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Professor Curtice, saviour of Scotland

Posted on October 19, 2014 by

There’s a rather curious piece in today’s Sunday Times by the UK’s only known living psephologist, the estimable Prof. John Curtice of Strathclyde University. In it he rather blows his cover of impartiality by framing his comments as an anti-SNP warning, but nevertheless raises an interesting point, while adding to the enormous pressure on the unfortunate Smith Commission.

It’s worth taking a moment to ponder the impossibility of its task.


It’s extremely difficult to imagine what possible satisfactory conclusion Lord Smith of Kelvin and his chums could arrive at during the few short weeks they have to ponder the conundrum of Scottish devolution. The government they ultimately answer to has set its heart on complete devolving of income tax, a position strenuously opposed by Scottish Labour for reasons we detailed before the referendum.

But Gordon Brown, the public face of “The Vow” and the only Labour politician even remotely trusted (for reasons which continue to bewilder us) by Scots in the context of more powers, couldn’t have come out much more strongly against that proposition, in so far as it can be said that the former PM has any sort of remotely coherent idea of what the new settlement should be. (Which is to say, not far at all.)

And the Commission’s conclusion will be delivered in the context of an imminent UK general election which could render its findings completely meaningless. If the Commission says “devolve 100% of income tax” and Labour wins the election, the chances of that decision being implemented are surely somewhere between microscopic to nil, given that it flies in the face of both Brown’s stated position and that of the party itself in its laughable “devo nano” document, which was supposedly Labour’s final, definitive settled will on the subject just six months ago.

If David Cameron retains the keys to 10 Downing Street, on the other hand, what sane person could believe that he’d choose to implement only partial devolution of the tax, given how desperately his party wants to shift it all north in order to reduce the voting power of Scottish MPs – especially in what would be very likely to be an extremely fragile coalition/minority administration?

Immediately, then, the Commission is – at best – a hostage to English electoral whims. More realistically, it’s simply a complete waste of time. Whoever wins in 2015 will do whatever they like with regard to Scottish devolution, and Lord Smith’s report will be consigned to the dustbin as swiftly as Lord Jenkins’ one on electoral reform was when Labour won in 1997, having solemnly promised to deliver on its findings.

The prospective devolution settlement, then, faces a massive problem of legitimacy. And attentive readers will of course already know that all three of the Westminster parties’ plans amount to a fiscal disaster for the Scottish Parliament, which would be forced into massive extra cuts or tax rises to fill the multi-billion pound black hole that would result from them.

The only solution to a lack of democratic legitimacy is the voice of the people. Professor Curtice’s suggestion is not only a political answer but Scotland’s only hope of averting economic catastrophe. To impose a damaging devolution settlement without the explicit approval of Scots would be a risky move which would only inflame nationalist sentiment, with a Holyrood election looming the following year.

(And indeed, it’d be interesting to see what appeared in the parties’ 2015 manifestos, since their desires seem to be fundamentally irreconcilable even before considering whether Lord Smith and his colleagues feel obliged to offer some sort of tokenistic concession to the SNP’s good-faith participation.)

And that second referendum campaign, with the 2014 Yes parties very likely to be campaigning for a No vote and the possibility of Labour having to join them, would be a pretty mess to watch unfold indeed.

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141 to “Professor Curtice, saviour of Scotland”

  1. Croompenstein says:

    It would be good for Poultice to have another referendum then we would get him wall to wall on TV and radio again, it would swell his bank balance nicely

  2. old mack says:

    You have exceled yourself this time, you have blown Prof Curtice’s cover wide open, that he is an out and out Unionist.
    But you have managed to hoist that same unionist mantra on the yardarm, as in days of old may it hang there until it rots and dissolves away, just like the Tories to be followed by Labour in May.

  3. Jason F says:

    It’s difficult to see how a referendum for just a few more powers, if successful, would stop calls for more devolution afterwards.

  4. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    It wouldn’t. That’s not its purpose.

  5. Onwards says:

    Surely, we should be supporting 100% devolution of income tax, and also 100% FFA including oil revenues.

    More devolution rather than less.

    Most SNP supporters want Scotland to be able to compete.

    And I suspect many YES supporters wouldn’t mind Scotland being slightly worse off at first, if it was likely to lead to huge pressure for other taxes coming to Scotland to make up the difference.

    But if only income tax was devolved alone, then it makes sense that the Barnett formula should be replaced with a different solution that maintains the same levels of Scottish spending.

  6. Brian Powell says:

    And of course further devolution could have been on the ballot paper, so no future in anything these ‘respected’ people utter.

  7. Dave McEwan Hill says:


    Don’t be bewildered. The Scottish media feign to trust and respect Brown. Most sensible people suffer no such lack of judgement.

    I rather wonder if huge sections of the Scottish press understand that they have abandoned all credibility over the referendum campaign. John Curtice on the other hand had very little credibility to start with and his continuous tortured efforts to wipe away any advance for the YES campaign was eventually vindicated by a result I do not believe.

    On an unrelated point I saw an uninformed remark on the last post about whether the Sunday Herald would “revert to type”. As it supported the SNP in both the 2007 and 2011 elections as well as declaring for independence in 2014 the question rather puzzled me

  8. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    I don’t think that Smithie’s Committee for putting the Jocks back in the Box will come up with anything to assuage the outrage of the unwashed Brigade of the Tartan Taliban, a grouping in which I am proud to serve as an Irregular.

    A referendum on the proposal would be akin to asking a bald man whether he wanted a comb or a brush for Xmas.

    It is coming, sooner than later and, if the latest UKIP voting intentions for WM 2015 are anything near accurate, we will be facing a ConUKIP alliance in government.

    Time to quit this accursed union.

  9. Grouse Beater says:

    Curtice feels safe enough to come out of the closet.


    Who now can take his future contributions as impartial?

    In the case of Scotland’s aspirations surely he’s rendered his ‘expertise’ worthless.

  10. HandandShrimp says:

    The panic in the Labour back rooms continues apace. From what I have seen of Lord Smith on TV he seems both determined and confident he can deliver by the 31st of Oct….which is probably what is worrying some people 🙂

    It may end up a fudge but at this point I can see Smith delivering something more radical than Labour (and Curtice) wants and the desperate fudge manufacturing taking place in Westminster when they try to implement it.

    What we need is strong SNP representation in Westminster and slim or no majorities for whoever is in power. Then the room for manoeuvre will become tight.

  11. gordoz says:

    Is Scotland ‘too wee’ cause we only have one Psephologist ?

    Can’t beleive he is the only Psephologist in Scotland.

    Well the only one supposedly of note anyway.

    Christ if I was one I’d be miffed that they only ever quote him.

    Rev Note : Typo ; Para with multi billion pound black hole –

    “And attentive readers will of course already know than all three of the Westminster”

    (Just for info)

  12. Dennis Nicholson says:

    All the Prof has done in my opinion is make already muddy waters murkier. Nothing can come out of any of this that won’t strengthen those who argue for either complete independence or something so close as to make no appreciable difference. But then, what do I know? I couldn’t believe we’d vote No when the chips were down – and here we are…

  13. Ken500 says:

    Just vote SNP. There will be no Unionist politicians to consult.

  14. Bruce says:

    I put that into my submission, any agreement has to be put to the electorate in a vote. That way people will have to look at the Devo nano proposal in detail and see they have been conned.

  15. Doug says:

    Stick Indy on the ballot too. Brilliant.

  16. heedtracker says:

    I don’t trust this guy at all. He was a core part of project fear/BBC campaigning and how come they jumped in with The Vow at the very end of a clearly successful project fear campaign anyway? Prof Curtice kept saying for 2 years No was winning poll after poll and he was right. If they do allow a second referendum, what’s to prevent another The Vow 2.0 if they suddenly panic again? They had no regard for the Edinburgh agreement and here we are, still in a union.

  17. Chris says:

    This Commission has been set up to fail from the start… but I want to know how the SNP intend to play this, not if, but when, “The Vow” fails to deliver. Will they commit to another referendum in 2017 if/when UKIP take us out of the EU? If we stay in the EU, what then? Do they aim for one in 2020?

    While we can’t rush in too soon, I think we need to strike while the iron is still relatively hot and the grassroots movement is galvanised.

  18. Macart says:

    This has major rammie and car crash written all over it. It seems our referendum (though hijacked) will still have the eventual desired effect. The splits in WM are about to become chasms. 🙂

  19. Dr Jim says:

    At no time was a referendum discussed as part of this process, nor should it be, we already have enough mud to shovel without suggestions of even more.
    The solution is as simple as the question, HM Gov promised it in their own stupidity to the Scottish people, now deliver it and ,or, face the consequences of a referendum or other decision, on that
    Do the right thing and who knows, do the wrong thing, if you dare
    Confused? Join the SNP then you wont be

  20. emegra says:

    What an utter shambles the more I learn about all this the more convinced I am that independance isn’t just desirable it absolutely neccessary, wouldn’t it have been so much simpler if the Westminster parties had stayed out and let us decide YES or NO instead of changing the goalposts at the last minute (illegally in my opinion) and offering DEVOSomething to get what they want.

    It seems to me the Labour party will make sure we get nothing out of the Smith Commission because it’s not in their party interests, the statemant made by the Labour MP who said in the Commons even if Scotland would be better off as an independant country he’d still be against it sums them all up he was just the only one stupid enough to say it.

    they are vermin

  21. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “But if only income tax was devolved alone, then it makes sense that the Barnett formula should be replaced with a different solution that maintains the same levels of Scottish spending.”

    …in which case there isn’t actually any point in devolving the tax at all.

  22. pete says:

    He was a double agent all a long!!!!!!! impartial my ares. Well now we know, to be fare I always knew he was a complete No voter. And he made a shed load o money , the snake. 🙁

  23. heedtracker says:

    Interesting list compiled by Yes Orkney about just one of our imperial masters actual voting on Scottish Devo, the bloated bufffoon

    “Our Colonial Governor’s voting record on Devo matters. Seems odd for a representative of a traditionally “Home Rule” campaigning party. Can it be that they, like the Red Tories, have abandoned all the policies they were founded upon solely in order to get SE English votes? Surely not! Aye. Right. ”

    Alistair Carmichael Orkney & Shetland Liberal Democrat Devolution Record

    Voted against a second reading of the Scotland Bill
    Voted against requiring Scottish ministers to order officers to start counting within four hours of polls closing
    Voted against devolving regulation of air weapons
    Voted against keeping insolvency powers with the Scottish parliament Voted against keeping responsibility for regulating health officials with the Scottish Parliament
    Voted against devolving tax powers for quarrying and mining
    Voted against code of conduct for Scottish ministers in relation to the treasury and borrowing powers
    Did not vote on devolving the Scottish elements of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency
    Did not vote on devolving responsibility for railways that start and finish in Scotland
    Did not vote on devolving elements of the Crown Estate and accountability of the Crown Estate
    Did not vote on devolving time powers, time zones, and British Summer Time
    Did not vote on devolving powers over food content and labelling
    Did not vote on allowing the Scottish government to tax companies’ profits

  24. Ian Brotherhood says:

    We need a referendum on more powers for Professor Curtice.

  25. handclapping says:

    If the problem is Barnett, which is a spending measure, why does WM want to devolve taxes, which are income?

  26. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Give him his own cookery programme…

    ‘This lovely Victoria sponge I made earlier is 67% plain flour, 10% strawberry jam…’

  27. Pam McMahon says:

    The Smith Commission – A Highway of Diamonds With Nobody On It. Talking heids with nothing to say. I guess it depends whether he is following Tory dictat or Labour party bidding, whether he recommends 100% income tax to come to Holyrood.
    A hard rain’s gonna fall, and we’ll all get soaked.

  28. Heather Sibbald says:

    They are only considering the devolution of income tax? So Scotland will still be left out of the massive taxes on whisky and oil then? How typical of Westminster to throw us a rotten bone.

  29. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    ‘This lovely Victoria sponge I made earlier is 67% plain flour, 10% strawberry jam…’

    How could he have made it earlier when the jam wasn’t coming until tomorrow? 😀

  30. Ian Brotherhood says:

    He can do the weather as well…

    ‘If you’re in the Garnock valley there’s a 42% chance of light showers tomorrow afternoon between three and half-five…’

  31. tartanfever says:

    Onwards says 12.22pm

    ‘Surely, we should be supporting 100% devolution of income tax, and also 100% FFA including oil revenues.

    More devolution rather than less.’

    It’s not that simple.

    Stu has used the phrase ‘ responsibility instead of power’ many times. Think about how it would work – responsibility to impose and collect income tax now comes under Holyrood, with all the costs that may involve and Westminster duly get to cut the Barnett formula.

    It offers Westminster a great opportunity to fiddle even more money from the Scottish coffers.

    So do we end up with more of our own money ? Highly unlikely. The money raised in Scottish income tax will just be deducted from Barnett – net effect zero.

    Does it help us tax the rich to give to the poor ? Possibly, but that may have consequences of seeing a flight of wealthy citizens head south.

    Does it offer us a real opportunity to take a different path from Neo-liberal London ? Not really, all business taxes, borrowing and the like will still be controlled by Westminster.

    Things can’t change that much for us until we start to keep our own business taxes and revenues and have the ability to set those tax rates and have our own borrowing powers.

  32. Hugh Paterson says:

    I wait with interest the outcome of the general election, be interesting to see how many labour seats fall and who gains them?

  33. Murray McCallum says:

    Full devolution of all powers except defence and foreign policy is the option to eliminate Scotland being ripped off by Barnett counter measures.

    The nature of full devolution, Scotland running its own internal affairs, is why it will never be proposed.

  34. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Give him the athletics commentary gigs as well..

    ‘Now we know that Usain Bolt can run very quickly indeed, but the really big question is – and the polls simply can’t tell us this – can he run faster than the other people who are in the race? That’s what we don’t know, and we won’t find out until the day.’

  35. callum says:

    Slightly O/T – had an intertesting legal conversation at lunch today in that “the vow”, unlike political pamphlets has all the hallmarks of a unilateral gratutious promise and is a binding contract under Scots Law because it was written and signed, especially in the context of 2 days before the referendum.

    Of course, the question is “so what” and “what can you do about it” – I imagine a legal action would be tough, especially since the vow is poorly written but it doesn’t fall into the rev’s pamphlet-pish bucket!

    Any lawyers4yes still around?

  36. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “and is a binding contract under Scots Law because it was written and signed, especially in the context of 2 days before the referendum.”

    Was it, though? Where can the physical document be seen?

    (In any event, of course, the content is such non-committal waffling pish it doesn’t actually constitute anything meaningful.)

  37. Alastair Wright says:

    The Smith commission is nothing more than a unionist fig leaf that is withering and decaying before us, it will be successful in locating and clearing the road to the long grass if we let it do what it was set up to do. There is no requirement for it as Westminster made a really big thing of thier ‘vow’ which both Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling presented as devo max, home rule / federalisim to every Scottish citizen via the capitulating MSM. Helpfully these had all been defined before the referendum – so whats to consider or talk about? Just get on and deliver the legislation before the 2015 Westminster election or face the ramifications of an increasingly angry electorate in Scotland and a settlement that will be worse for Westminster than what was being offered during the referendum.

  38. John H. says:

    Curtice blew his cover a long time ago. Why else would the BBC have had him on at every opportunity?

    Dave McEwan Hill 12.28pm.
    .”John Curtice on the other hand had very little credibility to start with and his continuous tortured efforts to wipe away any advance for the YES campaign was eventually vindicated by a result I do not believe.”

    I think we all believe that the ref. result was stolen from us by threats, lies, and false promises. Do you have reason to believe there was even more to it than that?

  39. Dr Jim says:

    Slightly o/t sentencing increases for online threats, should that not extend to newspapers and TV in the wake of the massive amount of direct threats made to the Scottish people if we voted YES. Crash Brown for example “No more blood transfusion service, or organ transplants, which we know were all lies, but, nevertheless a finger pointing, clunking fist threat, i could cite dozens more but you get the point
    I should say i’m not including the total EEDJITS out there,
    but if a threat is a threat who determines the level and the person making it,if your a politition then it’s OK or TV it’s OK or an actor etc etc…

  40. Mealer says:

    Interesting article.The next few years will be in turns exciting and dull.Euphoric and depressing.Westminster will thresh out Devo among themselves.They will impose it upon us.They might give us a referendum on it,but only if they are sure the media will deliver them the result they want.
    We need to undermine the MSM with new media and small conversations.Some flag waving events occasionally will keep us enthused.Rev will give us the ammo and demographics are moving things our way.Independence is coming.Its estimated time of arrival? I’m not able to estimate it yet because I don’t yet know how hard those 55,000 new SNP recruits will work for it.Or indeed how many will work for it.We’ll find out between now and may.I’m optimistic a fair number will put in the hours and miles required.

  41. Alt Clut says:

    We want “Home Rule” or “federalism” from the new devolution process. Nothing else will do from Smith as that is what was promised to the gullible in order to get a NO vote.

    When this fails to appear SNP/YES, and anyone else we can get on board, goes on the offensive to get the maximum number of anti unionist MPs in a fragile, post May 2015, Westminster. If that doesn’t produce the crisis then an SNP and allies, Holyrood government, with a secure majority and independence in its manifesto, for 2016.

    A clear and straightforward strategy.

    Curtice is a self important irrelevance. His referendum idea aims to run the independence movement into the sand by a combination of time wasting, confusion and voter exhaustion.

    Keep it simple, get organised, start the fight !

  42. HandandShrimp says:

    This is the full list of MPs and their voting record.

  43. Cuilean says:

    Grouse Beater, I never took Curtice’s polls to be impartial. He’s unionist/BBC labour to his comb-over core.

  44. Malky says:

    This man was never impartial and was wheeled out by his media paymasters to pour thinly veiled scorn in the name of ‘academic impartiality’ on any political or public promulgation by the YES side on Scotland’s right to self-determination. His words amount to nothing, even if they inadvertently strengthen the case for independence. Sorry.

  45. Valerie says:

    Err, is anyone surprised the Prof is a unionist? I’m not, you couldn’t avoid listening to him during the referendum, and it was obvious to a blind man, he had to stop himself breaking into ‘Rule Britannia’

    I reckon the Profs retirement plan is coming up short, due to the crap market performances, he knows the UK is on the brink of bankruptcy, the BBC will soon be toast, and he needs another earner, before too many of the 55% waken up properly.

  46. Derek Morison says:

    I think another referendum is a great idea. It is the obvious way to fulfill the hope expressed in ‘The Vow’ that ‘the people of Scotland will be engaged directly’ in the further devolution process. It also makes the Smith Commission redundant. The Devo Max referendum need only list each of the various parties’ proposals and thereby allow the Scots to decide which they prefer.

  47. Taranaich says:

    Scottish Covenant 2.0. It was easy to ignore it in 1950, going to be much harder to ignore it after that, especially since it’s so consistent.

  48. Cuilean says:

    A verbal contract is binding, under Scots Law, i.e. Scottish courts have always accepted unwritten agreements, so long as the parties involved share a common intent which creates a legal relationship. The three amigos DID share a common intent to the Scottish people if they voted NO; which they did, ergo it is binding

  49. Tony Little says:

    Income taxes on their own amount to about 25% of revenues. That means the overwhelming revenue of Scotland’ are still determined in WM. Nothing less than Full Fiscal autonomy will help Scotland. Income taxes on there own re poisoned chalice. No power over economic factors or investment policy etc. means that the SG becomes the revenue collector, but without the power to change the basis of the revenues being collected, or more importantly HOW to change the policy framework.

    The Smith Commission is designed to fool the public one more time. It will look as though powers are being transferred when in fact only the negative consequences will be. More cost to manage with NO increased revenues.

    It’s a trap

  50. Clootie says:

    So the SNP will “….selectively use polling data”.

    I wonder why the unionist media use him…mmm?

  51. Onwards says:

    “…in which case there isn’t actually any point in devolving the tax at all.”

    Yes there is because it is a step closer to devo-max, and independence.
    And because it is obvious that other taxes should also naturally be devolved, including a large share of oil revenues to make for any shortfall from the Barnett formula.

    What does it look like if we start backtracking and arguing for no change ?

    If only income tax is devolved , and we end up worse off, then there is huge pressure on the London parties because they have screwed us on promises of devo-max/federalism.

    Full independence will become even more logical.

  52. Taranaich says:

    I think another referendum is a great idea. It is the obvious way to fulfill the hope expressed in ‘The Vow’ that ‘the people of Scotland will be engaged directly’ in the further devolution process. It also makes the Smith Commission redundant. The Devo Max referendum need only list each of the various parties’ proposals and thereby allow the Scots to decide which they prefer.

    Which is why it’ll never happen.

    I’d love to think that people could look at the SNP’s proposals and see that as the maximum devolution, but after the 19th I genuinely worry that some people are going to be coerced into New Labour’s, as they were in this campaign. Because we’re already seeing New Labour starting to roll back on devolution, and we’re just going to see it more and more.

    How long until they’ve successfully convinced the 55% that devolution’s not such a great idea after all? Then how long until they think we should just give back some of the devolved powers we already have – we don’t really need Scot’s Law and a Scottish NHS, do we? Then how long until they convince them that Holyrood didn’t really work – after all, look at all the horrible division the Nats caused, which would never have happened if we didn’t have a parliament – and that it would be better to replace them with a Scottish Assembly, regain 72 MPs, get rid of “redundant” MSPs? Come to think of it, shouldn’t we show solidarity to the rest of the UK – officially call ourselves North Britain, make our regional status official?

    They’re never going to stop, which is why we must never stop.

  53. Roberto Esquierdo says:

    The prof was always a no man. Everybody knew that . Even the hard of learning uneducated N

  54. Onwards says:

    @Tony Little

    I agree that income tax on it’s own doesn’t make sense.
    That’s why we should be campaigning for FFA.

    But if it doesn’t look good if YES campaigners make it look as if we don’t even want income tax devolved.
    It just hands ammunition to the unionists to give us pretty much nothing at all.

  55. Scott says:

    Sorry O/T but this interesting.

    Barroso: EU exit would harm UK
    The UK would have “zero influence” if it voted to leave the EU, the outgoing president of the European Commission says.
    This is the man BT were always quoting I now see that the Tories don’t believe him and he is wrong.

  56. Quentin Quale says:

    By Jingo, that Barroso is one sharp cookie – UK would have no influence if it voted to leave the EU. Kind of like me having no influence on the outcome of the kids playing Hungry Hippos if I chose not to play, then?

  57. JillP says:

    We seem to be forgetting something important here. The over 65s appear to have voted overwhelmingly NO. Those who had postal votes were not influenced by Gordon Brown’s last minute intervention.
    So who are the people who believed Gordon Brown? My impression is that it was his speech, live on BBC, that swung it. The Vow in the DR just reassured those who believed Brown.

    Unfortunately they still do believe he will deliver. Try explaining that he doesn’t have the power to deliver anything and they reply that as a former PM he does still have influence. These are people who only know what MSM tell them. Most don’t have access to the internet and wouldn’t know how to use it if they had. Many of them also are falling into the line of “Why won’t SNP just accept the result?”

    The YES campaign missed a huge section of voters before 18 September. Steps must be taken now to ensure they are not missed before GE2015. Until 25th January GB is still on track to deliver. Once it is obvious he can’t deliver what was promised we need to be ready to calmly explain to those who feel let down that it was never going to happen, and advise on the next steps. Recriminations will not be necessary. They will feel very let down by a man they trusted to deliver.

    Until it is obvious that these powers will not be delivered GB supporters will not listen. But we have until then to prepare the next step. A Wee Blue Book type leaflet would be ideal. If it is too bulky they won’t look at it. And, of course, they will still be being bombarded by MSM.

    Rev, do you have any figures for postal vote percentages? Will the same postal vote rules apply in 2015?

  58. Stoker says:

    Already today i have read right here on Wings how Liberal Democrats are furiously pushing for ordinary people to be fined for failing to vote in elections etc.

    Fast forward a year or two onto and thanks to ‘heedtrackers’ post @ 1.04pm we learn that the Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney & Shetland (Alister Carbuncle) has failed to do his job and vote on a series of extremely important issues.

    Now, considering he is the current MP for a group of Scottish Islands, it has to be asked – what was his reasons for failing to vote on all those very important issues, especially the one concerning “elements of the Maritime & Coast Guard Agency”?

    If these unionists and their Scottish rent-boys want us fined for not using our votes – it is only right that we demand their imprisonment for failing to deal with issues they were elected to take care of. Shall we call it a gross dereliction of duty?

    The familiar stench of unionist hypocrisy is alive and well, eh.

  59. HandandShrimp says:


    In my submission I asked for all tax including VAT and Oil and offered to give some back for shared things like defence.

  60. Bob Mack says:

    I see no requirement for a further referendum on devolved powers. Those that voted for independence like myself wanted all powers 45%.Research shows that a quarter to a fifth of no voters were only swayed from voting yes by the promise of these powers This equates to a majority wanting control over Scotlands finances. The yes team have nothing therefore to fight for. The onus is very much on the no campaigners to come up with a solution, which they will ultimately fail to do. The voters who were let down, and remember they are equivalent to 400,000 at a pardon the phrase” Conservative estimate”,WILL SOON ( election), find a natural home for their discontent. Put that in your predictions professor.

  61. Atypical_Scot says:

    ‘To impose a damaging devolution settlement without the explicit approval of Scots would be a risky’

    But would;

    A. Appear as greater devo to the (eternally misinformed) public.

    B. Be such a disaster as to turn the (believe anything MSM) public off of devo and by proxy independence.

    The more independent Scotland ‘seems’ to be, and the more impossible the SNP’s job becomes, the harder it becomes to justify going it alone.

    With or without further devo, turning the screws via the block grant will not be the reason naysayers give for NHS waiting lists or housing shortages.

    It will be the wicked nationalists that did it.

  62. Capella says:

    @ callum and Cuilean
    I agree. My understanding is that you do not need a written contract nor signature under Scots Law. Different in England (which Cameron, Clegg and Miliband’s advisers may have been unaware of).
    So the Devo Max promises of the spokespersons also come into this category if the Scottish people had a reasonable expectation that if they voted no then they would get Devo Max.
    Damages in the billions should be expected.

  63. seanair says:

    While the share of Income Tax to be gathered by the SG is still to be settled, why has HMRC decided to close its office at Glenrothes with the loss of 50 jobs?
    Do they know something that we don’t, or are they just stupid?

  64. handclapping says:

    I will take income tax if that’s on offer. It appears to be a “BIG” tax rather than the diddy landfill tax and stamp duty we have already. If we show we can handle it, it is another stone in the “we can” dyke that fences us off from being Brits. I won’t take the Tories offer; they raise the tax free band to £12500 and it will have a disproportionate effect on the Scottish revenue as we have fewer of the higher paid to make up for the loss at the bottom of the system.

    What I do want is to get rid of IDS by taking over the whole social security system, state pensions, JSA, Universal Credit, ATOS, the lot. It is spending so it can be financed on the same basis per capita as the rUK and just added to the Barnett formula so there is no need for any aggro over tax raising etc.

    However it does give us the chance for our Parliament to talk to us and produce a sustainable system for social security suitable for Scottish temperatures and tempraments as the quasi-Beveridge one introduced after the War is no longer fit for purpose, let alone comprehensible

    And I don’t need the Prof’s referendum on that, 75% of Scots already agree with me

  65. When Scotland doesn’t get what it asks for maybe it’ll be time to take it.

  66. heedtracker says:

    Each of them correctly identified that No would win. Moreover each of the companies can legitimately argue that the error in its poll final is no greater than the margin of error of +/-3 points to which all polls are subject. However, the error was not random, but all in one direction, that is underestimating No strength. That is suggestive of some kind of systematic error rather than just the misfortune of random chance. Steve Fisher’s warning on this site earlier in the week that polls have a tendency to overestimate Yes support in referendums on constitutional change appears to have been prescient.

    Says teamGB only psephological dude. So you’re a Crash Gordon, Nick Clegg, Milliband type and you can read too and polsters like the Prof here say look at ALL polls and the you trash the Edinburgh Agreement at last minute promising a federal UK/Devo max.

    Most odd,,especially from Crash as he’s the greatest political figure around apparently and not a panicky idiot.

  67. Brian McGowan says:

    “and selectively use polling evidence” ! ! !
    There’s none so blind…

  68. Capella says:

    @seanair 2:36 pm
    “While the share of Income Tax to be gathered by the SG is still to be settled, why has HMRC decided to close its office at Glenrothes with the loss of 50 jobs?”
    One of the arguments during the referendum was that the infrastructure already exists for Scotland to deal with taxation etc. Perhaps Westminster is now asset stripping to make that more difficult.

  69. Fred says:

    Curtice must be missing the limelight, the phonecalls & the media attention. The referendum proved to be a dripping roast to this man. I would have thought a neverendum would have been right up his street.

  70. john king says:

    The whole point is (and they knew it when they made it ) is the vow is meaningless because the vast bulk of the no camp couldnt give a rats ass whether its implemented or not, its in the no camps interests to keep schtum, we’re on our own again!

  71. No no no...Yes says:

    Professor Curtice is part of the establishment:

    Earlier this year he was elected a Fellow of the British Academy and has now decided to come out as an anti SNP cheerleader, and saviour of the Union. No surprise then. My question to Curtice, is, WHY DID YOU NOT SPEAK UP BEFORE THE REFERENDUM?

    To me the further devolution route it is clear:

    Over the last few decades the people of Scotland have taken a different political direction than the rest of the United Kingdom.
    We have a parliament that is delivering for our people and it is time to take more responsibility. Evolution demands more devolution.
    The referendum outcome was in part due to the VOW made by Cameron, Clegg and Miliband,heralded by Gordon Brown.
    The Smith Commission has included some public consultation and I am sure he will produce a programme that could work.I don’t believe that it will be enough to match the definitions of Devo Max or Federalism.
    The impotent proposals will be adopted by ALL three Westminster parties and included in their manifestos. (Who knows what UKIP will commit to in this regard?)
    The UK parliament, with a strong SNP/YES alliance of MP’s will hold them to account. However,an attempt to hold a referendum on more powers, would kick the process into the long grass for years, while a fully costed and detailed set of proposals is prepared to put before the people of Scotland. By the 2016 Holyood elections, voters would hold Westminster to account for this further betrayal. I don’t think they would risk that.

    Whatever flavour of further powers is put to the UK parliament, it is unlikely to pass, especially if there is a significant UKIP influence. So lets not kid ourselves, this whole thing is a charade, predicated on a lie by a manipulative Better Together campaign,and its allies. Unfortunately, some of the Scottish people fell for it.

    The SNP/YES alliance will return a majority in the Holyrood elections. Nicola Sturgeon will be a formidable First Minister and she will drive Scotland forward for the benefit of all its citizens.

    Indy ref2 will happen after the EU in/out referendum because the political choices and trajectory of Scotland will have created the opportunity and the right to have another referendum on the question, “Should Scotland be an independent country?” Next time, we will win.

  72. wifey4Indy says:

    While we can all see that Devo Nano of income tax alone will be a huge problem, I agree with @Onwards that if we were to vote No to any further devolution that would simply be used against us to say that the Scottish public had now had enough and wanted “no change”.
    That would make it virtually impossible to justify a future referendum on Independence.
    I don’t think it will be on offer but we should not push for a Devo referendum. We just need to try and hold them to what they did promise and try to get access to some of our resources.
    Shouldn’t we at least have as good a deal on the oil landed in Scotland as Shetland gets? We also need to get Crown estate as that will be very lucrative in the furture but WM doesn’t consider it a big deal at the moment. There may be other powers like that that we could push for under their noses.

  73. Onwards says:

    Atypical_Scot says:
    ‘To impose a damaging devolution settlement without the explicit approval of Scots would be a risky’…

    But would..
    ..Be such a disaster as to turn the (believe anything MSM) public off of devo and by proxy independence.

    Not necessarily. If it was obvious that we were getting screwed, because of a big difference between what we raise and what we give to Westminster, then the demand for full self-government will be likely to increase.

  74. Valerie says:

    Seanair, I think there are a number ofHMRC offices closing, thought that was very suspicious, I presume the SNP have slotted this, but funny it’s 4 weeks out from the vote?

    History shows that once the independence genie is out it never goes beautifully, so would not surprise me if UK govt were moving things. Why else do it?

  75. Valerie says:

    HMRC mooted in March 2013, for implementation this year, 1300 jobs at risk here, said it’s cutting costs, and you will now have to use the phone rather than speak to a person.

  76. Blair paterson says:

    The b.b.c. Employ and pay people like Curtice and Bradford to put Scotland down at every turn I would make it illegal for them to allow foreigners to talk down our country and have the cheek to try and make us pay to hear their lies their own country England has more problems than us so why doesn’t curtice ,Bradford and all the rest of them go back to where they came from and where they are badly needed we certainly do not need or want you here

  77. No no no...Yes says:

    Valerie 2:59pm

    HMRC offices closing

    I remember speaking to an “undecided” voter who worked at the HMRC and she was worried what would happen to her job if she voted YES. Despite my best efforts to reassure her, I put her down as a NO.
    I wonder how she is thinking and feeling now?

  78. Molly says:

    Ian Brotherhood well pointed out . Prof Curtice goes from psephologist to expert political commentator , to cheerleader for the union. He has only one job left to do.

    Order in time for Christmas – a free John Curtice with any DFS sofa

  79. No no no...Yes says:

    Blair paterson 3:04pm

    I don’t agree with your anti-English sentiment.
    During the referendum campaign I did not hear anyone within the diversity of the YES movement make any negative comments about any “foreigners” contribution to the cause or indeed Scotland.
    The Scots have traveled far and wide and made contributions to many other countries, so would you like it if others took a similar view as yours?

  80. Clydebuilt says:

    Grouse Beater says:
    19 October, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Curtice feels safe enough to come out of the closet.


    Who now can take his future contributions as impartial?

    All those ill-informed folk,Who don’t want things to change coz they’re just fine the way they are.

  81. Clydebuilt says:

    Grouse Beater says:
    19 October, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Curtice feels safe enough to come out of the closet.


    Who now can take his future contributions as impartial?

    all those ill_informed folk who didn’t want things to change Coz the are just fine the way they are!!!

  82. Blair paterson says:

    To you have your views I have mine it is called fair play the scots you talk about who went abroad went to help and improve things they were not paid to put the people of the countries they went to down

  83. Tîm Criced i Gymru says:

    Btw, you won’t believe it, but John(‘Bobby Charlton’s hair stunt double)Curtice is PLAID CYMRU’s special guest speaker(!!!) at our Autumn conference in Llangollen next weekending!! Can’t believe we’ve fallen for that,- either that or it’s their opportunity to tear strips off him and his biased electoral soothsaying!

  84. Tîm Criced i Gymru says:

    Re my previous comment – how about a few pertinent questions to put ‘Paddy Power’ Curtice on the spot at conference next week?

  85. Clydebuilt says:

    Grouse Beater says:
    19 October, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Curtice feels safe enough to come out of the closet.


    Who now can take his future contributions as impartial?

    I suppose All those ill_informed people who didn’t want things to change coz they are just fine the way they are!!!!, might.

  86. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    @ Blair paterson

    That is so wrong in so many ways you have someone whose objective is to undermine the discussion and create discord.

    Pure mischief making and unacceptable.

  87. galamcennalath says:

    The mess seems to get worse with each passing day, and as each interested party throws in their tupence worth.

    A referendum on anything less than Devo Max would fail. And I’m surprised Curtice thinks otherwise. Perhaps the idea is to call a maybe-referendum AFTER the 2015 election.

    With Brown’s wittering, I keep getting the impression that the Unionists just want cause chaos, say it’s all too big and too difficult, and ultimately to ignore us. They got their No vote, so they now just want to move on to in/out EU, more austerity, HS2, whatever they do.

    And, yes, Curtice out of the closet as Grouse Beater says. His career as a supposed impartial commentator must be finished. No wait a minute, he will continue fit in just nicely with the impartial BBC.

    The future IMHO? DevoFA, maybe, sometime. Possibly the 2015 GE first. Perhaps all to our advantage, in reality.

  88. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Blair paterson

    Where would you send the Scots born people like Brewer, Bird, Campbell, Crichton, ad nauseum?

    Think through what you post and please be much more careful.

  89. Ben Roberts says:

    Have been reading Wings for about a year now but only finally de-lurking.

    Regarding the whole EVEL thing I was wondering… Say for arguments’ sake there are 659 MPs – 59 Scottish, 600 RUK. After a general election say Tories win 325 RUK seats but no Scottish ones. Labour win 275 RUK and all 59 Scottish seats. Who forms the UK Government?

  90. The big question “When to have the next referendum?”

    As professor Curtice would say the numbers don’t lie.

    Annual deaths in Scotland = 53,000 (a)
    Swing needed = 200,000 (b)
    Time frame for swing by death alone (b/a) = 3.77 years

    Date for next referendum = 2019

    Might be a morbid way of looking at things but the older
    generation are the hard core unionists who will not be swayed
    by anything that you tell them. They are quite simply a lost cause.
    The only hope is to play the demographics game with them.

  91. Albaman says:

    Stew, does the “freedom of information ” act includes the press?,if it does, go and request inspection of the original ” vow” document and the signatures on it.
    I personally don’t think it’s worth the toilet paper it is written on, and legally is a none event, correct me if I’m wrong.

  92. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    The SNP should refuse to participate in any discussion in any program where Curtice is used and not introduced as a unionist.

    The BBC need to receive a letter from the SNP stating that the political position, history (eg Alf Young) and membership of any expert should be declared at the start on the transmission and repeated at the end.

  93. I’m pretty much certain that
    Blair paterson @19 October, 2014 at 3:04 pm
    is a troll.

  94. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Holiday Pay Claims

    You would need to factor in the average spread the age of deaths in Scotland and a factor to include the % of that cohort who voted No.

    Not all wrinkies voted No, you know.

    Maybe 3.77 years is a bit hopeful but the logic has merit.

  95. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    @ Albaman

    I am pretty sure that there is no “original” VOW DECLARATION, beyond what some graphic designer created in Pagemaker or Corel Draw and then “photoshopped”the faces in.

    The deal was done over the telephone with the Record Editor and some spin doctors.

    It is not worth the ink it took to print.

  96. Geoff Huijer says:

    Did Carmichael really say ‘betrayal bandwagon’?

    Hypocrisy writ large.

  97. msean says:

    Ever wondered what would happen if any party won an election when their whole manifesto is based on the word ‘maybe’?
    Ever wondered what the word ‘no’ actually means to the tory party?

    It doesn’t just mean no,it means do as you please,and we were all warned,only 45% actually paid attention. Welcome to the chaos that results when ‘maybe’ wins an election.

  98. ronnie anderson says:

    Ok ok we get it (sunday times / Johann lamont,the use of {MOST RESPECTED} means they’re the most prolific Lier’s, Ian Wood oil expert) &( prof Curtice political analist ).

  99. Brian MacLeod says:

    Let’s not faff around playing to Westminster’s rules )which they don’t observe themselves).

    The reality is we ARE sovereign. It a basic human right, and not because of the kindness of Westminster letting her majesty’s serfs have a wee bit of a say.

    Come May 2015, let’s get a majority of independence supporting MPs into Westminster, and then immediately declare independence.

    It is our sovereign right.

  100. Bob Mack says:

    Not sure what happened to my last post but will try again.
    45% of scots voted for complete control of powers for Scotlands government via independence. This was 1.6 million Scots. Of the 2,000,000 who voted no, research has shown that one in four was influenced by this” Vow”. Let us be overly generous and say only one in six was influenced by this promise. This equates to over 300,00 people. Therefore, almost two million people were effectively voting for further Scottish powers. What a powerful weapon to have in your armoury. The onus as I see it does not therefore lie within the yes camp to obtain these powers ,but on the no camp to fulfil their promise. We must prey upon this sense of injustice and maximise this coming up to election time, for if there is one thing I do know, it is that there will be no agreement on devolved powers due to vested interest of the SLAB

  101. Viking Girl says:

    I never cease to be bewildered by the almost child-like devotion some folk I know have to Gordon Brown. I have a die-hard Labour friend who describes him as ‘a decent man.’ I have advised her on numerous occasions that he is a bam-pot. She won’t hear it.
    You are right that the Smith commission’s findings might mean nothing after next May. It all depends who will be in power at Westminster, doesn’t it?
    It’s perfectly clear that Cameron is manipulating the ‘Vow.’ You can’t say that a devolution settlement will be imposed without the approval of the Scots. It was already approved of when the cowardly bribe takers changed sides again and voted No. They deserve all they’re going to get from Westminster.

  102. Blair paterson says:

    To bugger the panda I am stating what i believe and in in my own name

  103. Blair paterson says:

    To holiday pay I am not at troll I have been posting on here for months and with my own name I have nothing to hide

  104. Andrew Morton says:

    in Edinburgh today for lunch. There were ten of us, several with connections to Labour in London. One woman whom I’d never met before (English, married to a Scot) told our hostess that she had just joined the Labour Party, “I’m going against the flow because the SNP have now got 70,000 members and we’ve got about 17,000”.

    I couldn’t resist pointing out that the correct figures were 82,500 and 5,000!

  105. Alex Clark says:

    Occupy George Square on behalf of Glasgows Needy starts on Independence Live in a few minutes.

  106. CRAIGthePICT says:

    Curtis says “4.2 million who spoke out in the referendum” . This is wrong, that was the size of the registered electorate. 3.6M people spoke out and actually voted.

    A very poor oversight for a psephologist, but then again the piece is more akin to one written by a narcissist.

  107. X_Sticks says:

    You beat me to it Alex 😉

  108. Tackety Beets says:

    @ Holiday Pay Claim

    Did you margin in the 30% of over 65 that did vote YES ?

    Anyway those poor souls were ” Scared ” over Pensions , that is the despicable side of MSM and Unionists I despise more than anything .

    Still its a good point as every vote will count .

  109. Chris Darroch says:

    I am certainly not the only person who understood Curtice’s cover to be blown a while back.

  110. Jim Mitchell says:

    Could someone help me out here, I remember another commission of not so long ago, headed by one Lord Calman.

    When it was ready, it sent, if memory serves. something like 83 recommendations to Westminster for it’s consideration, which as the commission had been set up by LibDems/Tories/Labour jointly in the first place, should have been easy, but I recall that the first thing that happened was that Westminster decided which of the proposals it would actually discuss and possibly act upon, it then cut the number down to about 40!

    Is then any guarantee that the same kind of thing won’t happen again?

  111. velofello says:

    Income tax collection devolved? Recommend you read Ian Bell’s article in the Herald on Saturday.
    Income falling, and so tax payable by individuals is falling. Income support for the working poor – no income tax due then? devolution of income tax collection is a trap.

    Please don’t waver, don’t be daft. Collection of all taxes in Scotland by the Scottish parliament is the only sensible and honourable settlement, for even the Scots Unionists.

    Money talks much more influentially that circa 60 Scots MPs will ever.

  112. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Say for arguments’ sake there are 659 MPs – 59 Scottish, 600 RUK. After a general election say Tories win 325 RUK seats but no Scottish ones. Labour win 275 RUK and all 59 Scottish seats. Who forms the UK Government?”

    In that scenario Labour, because they’ve got an absolute majority (334 seats out of 659, or slightly over 50%).

  113. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

    With independence, BBC London would have no need for a Scottish based psephologist.
    I wonder if that has any influence on Prof Curtice’s biased views on the SNP and Indy.

    He seems very quiet on the most striking effects on the polls post the referendum – the collapse of labour and the rise of the SNP.

    it just does not fit with his skewed agenda.

    But at least he is not trying to hide his bias anymore and he can now be challenged by Indy politicians and commentators at every opportunity.

  114. Onwards says:

    @galamcennalath says:

    “A referendum on anything less than Devo Max would fail.”


    Unless we get a referendum on Devo-Max, then this is a trap.

    If we get some wishy washy proposal on limited further devolution with income tax responsibility alone, and it is presented to the Scottish people in a YES-NO referendum, then any shortfall due to a Barnett reduction would be the highlight of the campaign.

    It would be rejected, We would end up with nothing, and the unionist parties could say that was the will of the people, and no more change is necessary.

  115. muttley79 says:

    I am actually cautiously optimistic about the Smith Commission for some reason.

  116. derek cameron says:

    Discussion of the legal character of the Vow is pointless as it’s content is so vague as to be meaningless- self evident to most folk. There is absolutely nothing there.The Smith Commission is doomed to fail.

  117. Ian Brotherhood says:

    John Curtice could turn his hand to doing observational stand-up comedy –

    ‘You know that thing where you’re in a shop and you’re getting your change and you go to say ‘thanks a lot’ or ‘thanks very much’ and it comes out as ‘thanks a much’? You know that one, right? Well, surprisingly perhaps, 57% of 18-25s have actually done that more than once in the past year…’

  118. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    I posed a rhetorical question on Prof Curtiss’s blog “What Scotland Thinks.”

    Bugger (the Panda) Alex Ferguson • 14 days ago

    Honest question.

    Is Prof J C on a retainer as a “go to” expert, from any Government Department or organisation?

    I believe Vince Cable’s Department has such fund.




    Share ›

    Of course I received no reply from the good Prof but today, two weeks after the original post this reply was posted.

    Alan Ji Bugger (the Panda) • 5 hours ago

    He is one of the authors, along with Heath and Jowell, of the classic “How Britain Votes” of the 1980s.
    That book is possibly the greatest and most thorough work of sociology published in the UK since the even more classic “Affluent Worker” books of the one, the only and the magnificent John H Goldthorpe in the late 1950s.
    Anyone who ventures a view on what other people think without having read at least two of those is asking for big trouble.”

    I guess it is one of his undergraduates, greasing his way up the greasy pole.

    I still wonder.

  119. Swami Backverandah says:

    @ Ian Brotherhood

    In a very recent poll, 100% of “the UK’s only known living psephologist” was found to be untrustworthy. 🙂

  120. @ Tackety Beets
    @ Panda

    I never took into consideration anything other than the base numbers.

    Really just floating the thought balloon on that one.

  121. Edulis says:

    Don’t dismiss what Blair Patterson says out of hand.

    Labour produced a leaflet in the last week of the campaign saying ‘If you don’t know, vote No’ which independists rightly condemned as immoral and dog whistle politics.

    Which is worse, that or encouraging non-Scots born voters to respect Scots left-of-centre culture and our aspirations for more control over our own affairs?

    The high ‘No’ votes in and around Elgin and in Edinburgh to my mind were directly proportional to the high numbers of non-Scots living there and their inability to ‘go native’.

    At 72:28 in favour of ‘No’ that represents nearly half a million voters!

  122. Ben Roberts says:

    @ Blair paterson

    1. No law should ever discriminate between people based on where they come from in the same way it should never discriminate on grounds of race, religious belief or sexuality. In fact no law should EVER discriminate between people full stop.

    2. Criticism of the state should never be legislated against.

    It had never crossed my mind before but after your comment I feel both of these points should be enshrined in any constitution. To allow either would be to begin the descent toward becoming a very nasty nation.

  123. PARKPUB2 says:

    Little Tony 1.51pm

    it;s a trap

    Yes i do agree, but i think the SNP are right on this, hence why they included John Swinney on their representation to the Smith commission, apparently John is a whizz with figures, and should smell the rats coming.

  124. Hobbit says:

    Edulis – agreed. This piece from Douglas Fraser had some interesting numbers in it:

    To put it another way, we need to understand why people voted no, and to think of ways to reach out. Simply lambasting them for being greedy, which I’ve seen in some quarters, won’t really cut it. Also, have a look here, even if you don’t agree:

  125. Ghillie Mackay says:

    Rev and folks, I followed a trail of blue lettered links and came across the most extraordinary and prophetic comments from nearly a year ago.

    Take a look at ‘Joining the Dots’ 23.11.2013, handclapping at 1.34pm and Thomas William Dunlop at 1.45pm. (just two examples)

    This open and confident discussion, the sharing of thoughts, bouncing around ideas, debate and above all: thinking! has produced the most insightful and intelligent political analysis I have ever seen anywhere. Wow! ( no rude comments about how limited my reading must be then please!)

  126. davidb says:

    Now I dont think anyone will be able to call next year’s elections in Westminster yet. I would think Miliband is unelectable. The comedians are already ripping him and I’d say he is a younger hapless Foot character.

    There are only a handful of seats which ever change hands. The euroskeptic wing of the Cons is well entrenched in safe seats. That is why they get the luxury of being a party within their party. So they are likely to be less vulnerable to UKIP. Ukip will cause unintended consequences. Labour getting in in seats they wont hold in 2020. But it is completely unpredictable.

    The Libdems are dead meat. They are going to be wiped out in big swathes of the country. But their votes could go anywhere – and a lot will go to the protest parties – Green & UKIP.

    Scotland really has to return a large contingent of Yes alliance. We will have a unique opportunity to get a federation just this once. We must hold the whip hand. Get most of our country back and leave them theirs.

  127. Fred says:

    Michael Foot had brains and was a very decent, public spirited guy. Miliband is nothing like Foot.

  128. Chic McGregor says:

    Yes, Smith has been tasked with taking the ball as far into the long grass as he can. Nothing more.

  129. Independent England says:

    The Westminster parties should take care. There is a general election next year and Scotland could return a majority of SNP MPs. Surely that would be taken as a giving a mandate to independence? A second referendum would not be required.

  130. Robert Peffers says:

    The BBC are deliberately missing part of the good professor’s correctly given name. The full correct version being, Ubiquitous, Professor John Curtice.

  131. Col says:

    I`ve spoken with several English folk since the vote who basically said to me why the f*ck did you pass up such a great opportunity? Even after explaining about project fear, all the lies from the media, the vow. They still don`t get it and just think if we are that gullible then maybe we are not capable or don`t have what it takes to successfully run our own affairs. We would have commanded some respect with a YES vote, now I fear that we are viewed even lower than before and all those English who think that we are payed for by them must now think we are lower than a worms crap. As for the rest of the world they must be bemused. How could a country ever vote for such a bad deal for itself?
    For me personally if things don`t work out here and we get shafted yet again by Westminster in the next year or two looks like Canada would welcome my skills. I said it before the vote, if we vote NO the Thatcher years will look like a picnic in comparison to what is coming. They set the trap and we just walked right into it. Hell mend us.

  132. Robert Peffers says:

    @Bugger (the Panda) says: 19 October, 2014 at 12:29 pm:

    ” … if the latest UKIP voting intentions for WM 2015 are anything near accurate, we will be facing a ConUKIP alliance in government.”

    Well, BtP, you really do have a point there. However, consider this – The original idea of a democratically elected United Kingdom parliament was to divide the entire United Kingdom into, more or less, equal constituent parts, (constituencies), and for each constituent part to elect a person to represent that constituent part. The Parliament was then to elect from within these independent members the ministers of state with the Monarchy choosing a Prime Minister. No political parties and each member equal with any other elected member.

    No unequal kingdoms and no unequal countries. Just one representative from each, (roughly), equal constituent part of one single United Kingdom. Then, for their own selfish reasons, those members formed political parties and democracy died. Voters officially vote only for a person – not for a party. This is why members of Parliament can jump the party ship and still remain a member of parliament for their constituency. Sitting as an independent or to join another established party or even establish a new party of their own.

    Parliamentary rules do not officially recognize political parties. So might not this Tory/UKIP thing be a trumped up Bullingdon Boy plot to always have a Bullingdon Boy party of red, yellow or blue in power? Thus to gain a seat as a UKIPPER and go into coalition with whatever shade of Tories will keep the Bullingdon Boys at the helm of the Good Ship Merry England.

  133. Robert Peffers says:

    @Chris Darroch says: 19 October, 2014 at 5:50 pm:

    “I am certainly not the only person who understood Curtice’s cover to be blown a while back.”

    Well, Chris, this old guy saw through the Good Prof since the first time I read, heard or saw him on radio, in print or on TV. He never fooled me for a second.

  134. davidb says:

    @ Fred

    I make no aspersions against Mr Foot. I long ago worked out that its all spin and perception. Mr Foot could have been Jesus himself and he would have been whatever the media decided to tell us he was.

    The situation today is even worse than it was in Michael Foot’s day. It is total and cynical PR we are subjected to. The great thing in the opening campaign for Scottish Independence in the 21st century is that so many people bypassed the traditional sources of state propaganda. We would have won hands down if people over 60 were as well informed as their children and grandchildren were.

    Miliband is a creature of the modern age. An empty canvas upon which the party paints the results of this and that focus group in an attempt to be everyman. I doubt he even thinks about the words he utters. But the comics generally have the nation’s mood, and he is not electable.

  135. Fred says:

    Davie, you only have to consider the demonisation of Alex Salmond at the hands of the media, I lost count of the dumplins ho didn’t like the First Minister, how no? ah jist don’t like him! Thus were the gullible gulled and hell mend them.
    If I had to pick politicians to have dinner with, Michael Foot would certainly be at the table, others include Cunninghame Graham, Oor Alex & Tony Benn. It would be at the Edinburgh townhouse of Ming Campbell so as the rest of us could catch a glimpse of the pair of Georgian bedside cabinets which he charged the taxpayer ten grand for and uses for storing the Campbell chanties.
    You can hardly expect this former gas board clerk to visit Ikea after all.

  136. North chiel says:

    The “Jackie Burd” propaganda show continues
    Unabated.the new strategy now is to “narrow”
    The polling gap between Slab ad SNP as fast
    As possible before GE 2015.tonights “broadcast” starred
    The usual suspects Curtice and a “trailer” for
    Sarah smith and Curran providing more Slab
    Propaganda on EBC 2 later tonight.
    Here we go again then !

  137. Bob Mack says:

    We can all play a numbers game.My own has involved finding five no voters in my local area ,and then using my time energy and intellect to turn them. It is not that difficult if you are sure of your ground. Many I

  138. Bob Mack says:

    Like Prof Curtice we can all play the numbers game. On a personal level, mine has been to find five local no voters and utilise my intellect, knowledge, ability, and neighbourly relationship to persuade them to review their choice. I found that every one of them had the fear of a leap into the unknown, but regular upbeat persuasion has finally won through and I know and have been assured that at least 3 of them will vote yes in future. I am still working on the other two but have made definite progress, and will continue to do so until one of us has had enough.If we all do this then who knows?

  139. archieologist says:

    We should have nothing to do with Curtice’s proposed Devo referendum.It is a unionist trap. It would never be a multi option vote but a signing up to the unionist Smith Commission recomendations.
    The SNP will argue for Devo Max in the Smith Commission, but won’t get it or anything like it. Smith will cobble something together based on the submissions of the Unionist parties.
    This will not meet the aspirations of the SNP but will be portrayed as the settled will of the Scottish people by the Unionists. The Unionist MSM would back it if it were to go to a referendum and hordes of spineless Scots would be shepherded into the polling stations to vote for it.

    When the SNP proposals are rejected by the Smith Commission. The SNP should make it clear that though they will not stand in the way of the implementation of the Smith Commission proposals, these proposals do not meet the promises of the VOW made to Scottish people.
    The SNP is the party of independence and that is unfinished business!

  140. Jane Paterson says:

    WHAT IF …. Smith Commission a big smoke screen. Just occured to me that they might have the proposals set already. How else can such a huge issue be addressed in a few weeks. Let people be under the illusion they are getting their say. Then we will be told with due to the huge amount of public involvement more time is needed…..and on and on and on. These power crazy Tories have no end to their deceit. EVEL thrown Labour into disarray. Scots all busy trying to make a submission following the ( designed to put you off ) guidelines. WHAT A WICKED WEB THEY WEAVE.

  141. Grouse Beater says:

    Archieologist: We should have nothing to do with Curtice’s proposed Devo referendum

    He is an analyst and sometime commentator – he has no mandate to piss in a pot let alone guide another referendum.

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