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Revealed: the price of independence

Posted on January 22, 2014 by

Today’s release of the 2013 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey results provided an interesting pair of stats. Scottish people told pollsters ScotCen that they’d favour independence by a very big margin (52% to 30%, or 63 to 37 excluding Don’t Knows) if they could be assured that they’d be personally £500 a year better off.

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However, if merely assured that they’d be neither better nor worse off that they are now, the No vote narrowly came out on top, by (again excluding DKs) 54 to 46. An obvious question therefore presented itself: just how big a bribe do Scots need to take responsibility for their own country?

The methodology is simple. If it takes £500 to get 63% of people saying Yes, how much does it take to get to 51% and win the vote? There’s a 17-point gap between the Yes figures at £0 and £500, but we only need 5% to get from the lower figure over the winning line, so clearly it’s 5/17ths of £500, which works out at £147.06 a year each.

That sum – 40p a day, or £2.82 a week – is what Scots tell us stands between them and voting for independence. It wouldn’t buy a decent sandwich in most supermarkets. Multiplied across the entire electorate of four million voters, it comes to a little smidgen over £588 million a year. An independent Scotland would save at least £800m a year on its defence budget alone.

Of course, you don’t even need to bribe the entire electorate. You only have to give that money to 51% of them so they’ll vote Yes, so the true cost is a tiny hair below £300m. That’s roughly 1% of the Scottish block grant, or fractionally over 0.7% of Scottish tax revenues in 2011-12.

For such a pittance, independence could apparently be bought. But as things currently stand, the people of Scotland are going to vote No for fear of losing £2.82 a week. To be honest with you, readers, we don’t know whether to rejoice that the requirements for victory are so meagre, or throw ourselves off a bridge in despair.

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  1. 05 02 14 17:04

    Scotland wouldn’t just be better off independent tomorrow or next year or the year after, but for decades | 18 September 2014 - YES to Scottish Independence

194 to “Revealed: the price of independence”

  1. Gillie says:

    Bribing yourself with your own money is not a bribe.

    People are being too pessimistic on this matter of personal finances.

  2. yerkitbreeks says:

    If it boils down to this, thank heavens there’s still eight months to go

  3. Norrie says:

    Is there a list of savings anywhere? Lords, defence, MPs salaries/ expenses etc.

  4. Sneddon says:

    I’d be happy with fish finger sandwich to be honest 🙂 but I’d have to be a DK or a NO voter to get the bribe. Nah I’ll stay a YES voter and consign the SSAS to the dustbin of irrelevance. On the other hand what will I lose if the NO votes wins? Is there a calculation for that? Can it be extracted from the estimated fall in funding from the ending of the Barnet Formula. Can the consequences of that be put into everyday terms?

  5. Like whooping with joy when you get a Tax rebate cheque from HMRC before you realise it was your money all along.

  6. Doug Daniel says:

    That’s roughly 1% of the Scottish block grant, or fractionally over 0.7% of Scottish tax revenues in 2011-12.

    0.7% is also the percentage of GNI that developed nations are supposed to be giving in international aid. Perhaps these 5% of “oooh, I would vote for independence but you’ll have to cross my palm with silver first” voters should consider whether they’re really as needy as the poor in Africa?

  7. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

    A wafer-thin sandwich. Give me the Roux stuff.

  8. Al ghaf says:

    Ironically, the bridge would probably be toll free.

  9. Brendan hynes says:

    I would be happy to pay that much in extra Tax !

  10. Dougie Douglas says:

    Less than 3 quid a week? – frankly if people don’t take this opportunity they deserve all the austerity that will be heaped upon them, the shallow bunch of fucks.

  11. Brian Powell says:

    I would hope there is more going on in peoples minds than shown in the calculation.

    But, at Christmas, I happened to see the old film, Kidnapped, and a lot of the discussions in the press and the attitudes that might be at work in reaction to finances, remind me of one the characters.

    The hero, David Balfour’s uncle, played by Donald Pleasance, is a miserable, grasping, petty little man. He tries to have Balfour kidnapped and sold for indenture in the Carolinas, so he can keep his inheritance.

    After failing to do this, the old man, on his death bed, asks to speak privately to David Balfour, who thinks he is going to say sorry or impart some last kind words.

    But the miserable man whispers, “Davie, make sure the doctor doesn’t charge you to much.”

    I’m just hoping that R L Stevenson wasn’t a too astute and insightful judge of the Scottish nature.

  12. Juteman says:

    Remember folks, this poll only shows that a few hundred folk are greedy bastards.

  13. Brian Powell says:

    OK, that should read, “The uncle of the hero David Balfour, is a miserable…”!

  14. Where do I pay do you think they’ll take Paypal 😉

  15. KrisforYes says:

    Even though I know it to be true I can’t believe anyone would make this decision on personal finances based around the next 3-5 years. What about your children, and your grandchildren. The opportunities this grants us now are great, but for the next generation its unimagineable! Do we think this would be a different result if we were voting for independence in times of boost (rather than coming out of a recession) or would that be easier for BT to convince the undecided on us being better in the union?

  16. Gillie says:

    What can you buy for £2.82?

    Can we have a list?

  17. Schiehallion! Schiehallion! says:

    @ Brian Powell

    Re Kidnapped, I doubt that’s the ending as Stevenson wrote it, though Uncle Ebeneezer is certainly a mean and disappointed No voter – a bad apple, so to speak.

    But think of the heroism of the bonny fighter Alan Breck!

  18. macdoc says:

    Its exactly what the media want. I’m afraid to be blunt but at least 70% of people in Scotland don’t know there arse from their elbow about politics in general. These results just confirm this.

    How anyone can’t understand that a Scottish Government which prioritizes for Scottish needs in regards to expenditure, taxation, capital projects etc in comparison to a Uk Government where we are a mere region making up 8.4% of the population is the main point of this whole debate. The media have take n every step to prevent this from being what the debate is all about.

    Imagine just how much better this type of government would be in terms of growing the economy and looking after its people. The whole debate just leaves me feeling cold because the real issues aren’t being discussed. Currency, Monarchy and Eu are mere trivilaites compared to the real issue and the media know this so keep plugging away.

  19. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Even though I know it to be true I can’t believe anyone would make this decision on personal finances based around the next 3-5 years. What about your children, and your grandchildren.”

    I don’t have any children or grandchildren, and I’d happily pay £2.82 a week every week for the rest of my life purely for the self-respect of not announcing to the world that I was too pathetic to take responsibility for my own country.

  20. Tattie-bogle says:

    Next BBC/BT press release headline sandwiches to cost £300 in an Inependent Scotland.

  21. Les Wilson says:

    Don we know the areas of the poll? Do we know what people were asked the questions ie were they from ie a richer/poorer area?

    Do we know if they were employed or unemployed? These groups are likely to throw up differences in their answers.If it is a factor, how do we tell, as they are unlikely to inform us of such a process. To know, what group would be likely to sell us for £500 could then have more work on them to explain just how this is just over £2 per week, and not a £500 lump sum that some seem to think they would get.

    Also, solid calculations of what we could lose with a NO vote, and what that would mean to them.

  22. Gillie says:

    Burger King Veggie Wrap £2.79

    Big Mac £2.59

    KFC is off the menu, too expensive.

    Greggs lunch deal £2.75

    Perhaps we can create our own Referendum meal to tempt Yes votes.

  23. heedtracker says:

    Scots want to earn more and pay less tax, just like every other human being on the planet, Prof Curtice included.

  24. Ericmac says:

    There is a price for being a member of the UK club. There is a premium. There is an cost.

    Westminster, Whitehall, London, and especially the MOD are like a supermarket with a brothel on top.
    There’s a lot of fu&&ing overhead.

    I’d bet a years salary that there are huge savings to be made across UK plc.

    I’d bet another years salary that Scotland plc can shed a lot of operating costs in every department. It could run more efficiently, be more flexible and take more cost effective decisions in all departments (industries)

    In addition, much of the money that went south and money that was spent of Scotland’s behalf, has accumulated the biggest percentage of assets in the south. (Scotland doesn’t have 8.4% of the (£) assets of the UK located in Scotland)

  25. Ken500 says:

    People in Scotland would be much more than £500 a year better off by not paying for Illegal wars, Trident, redundant weaponry, tax evasion, and banking fraud through the City of London and having it’s surplus used to it’s disadvantage. If they can’t work that out, goodness help them.

  26. Bob Duncan says:

    I think Gerry Hassan hit the nail on the head this morning on GMS when he suggested that the £500 was simply a proxy for a number of issues. If voters are confident that an independent Scotland will prosper, they will vote Yes in sufficient numbers to give a significant majority. And all the polling and canvassing evidence seems to show this is the general direction of travel for undecided voters.

  27. JasonF says:

    Presumably this better/worse off idea is taken from a standing point of how things are now; it might be interesting to know what happens if people are asked how they’d vote if they would be worse off after an No outcome.

    Though Scottish Skier’s point about people answering what they think the questioner wants to hear and to avoid looking emotional about the argument makes a lot of sense – taking part in a general YouGov poll, for example, can be an interesting experiment to take.

  28. Fergie 35 says:

    The British establishment is pulling all the media strings to keep us in their ‘union’, yet they tell us we are spungers and cannae dae it! It is the rUK that cannae go it alone, we will have a Scandinavian style government and living standard.

  29. msean says:

    40 pence a day,the price was lower than I thought. Fortunately for us,the poor amongst us will help win this for Scotland, because it’s hard to be any worse off than they are.I’m guessing that nobody polled them as poll results might be a tad different.Just a guess though.

  30. Captain Caveman says:

    O/T (ish)
    UK unemployment “staggering” drop to 7.1% during last quarter:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25841570

    “… Especially pleasing is that the fall in unemployment is coming both from declining short and long-term unemployment, and a large decline in unemployment amongst 18-24 year olds,” said David Tinsley from BNP Paribas, who described the overall figures as “staggeringly strong”.

    IMO, the biggest threat to Indy (besides the EU debacle) is not whether or not people would supposedly be better off a few hundred quid either way, but the demonstrable, empirical, increasingly strong UK economic recovery and proof of the veracity of UK (Coalition) economic policy?

    Why stop a good thing? Especially if the alternative “independence” of still using Sterling, BoE and all the rest of it may feel rather like Norway’s status within the EU to many people? Also, most ordinary people, Scots included, are not hard line, unreconstructed Socialists, like much of the hard core Indy movement seems to be; they don’t want to be paying endless, spiralling welfare from their hard earned any more than the rest of us)

    The doom-laden economic narrative from the hard Left/Indy movement will continue apace, no doubt – but people can see with their own eyes how much better things are getting (and quickly); they can feel the tide of optimism with more working than ever before. I reckon they’ll just want to get on with their lives and crack on.

  31. Tinyzeitgeist says:

    After 307 years are large numbers of Scots suffering from ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ defined in Wikipedia as;
    “Stockholm syndrome, or capture–bonding, is a psychological phenomenon in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending them. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness. Stockholm syndrome can be seen as a form of traumatic bonding, which does not necessarily require a hostage scenario, but which describes “strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other.” One commonly used hypothesis to explain the effect of Stockholm syndrome is based on Freudian theory. It suggests that the bonding is the individual’s response to trauma in becoming a victim. Identifying with the aggressor is one way that the ego defends itself. When a victim believes the same values as the aggressor, they cease to be a threat”

    It seems to me that this description fits with the world view of many people in Scotland, which we often self loathingly describe as ‘too poor, too wee, too stupid’.

  32. David McCann says:

    The reality is if you vote No, you get nothing, but if you vote Yes you will get self respect, which is priceless.

    In a pamphlet he wrote for the Scottish Independence Convention, Robin McAlpine wrote these words which to me encapsulate exactly what independence means.

    ‘On the 18th of September you will have the opportunity to vote for the Scotland you want. If you vote No, you will have that choice only once, and then you hand the real decisions back to London.

    If you vote YES you will have the chance to choose your Scotland, not only once, but again and again from then on.

    Scotland will always be your choice.

    VOTE YES. ITS YOUR SCOTLAND FOR EVER’.

  33. Papadocx says:

    Tinyzeitgeist

    Sounds ok to me. Possibly wee bit o grooming as well?

    Proud Sots excepted of course. God bless Engerland. We’re lucky having friends like these.

  34. HandandShrimp says:

    Briefly listened to Kaye this morning with some chap that was waffling on about how we would be charged to use our own railways and our own NHS. He was doing the concerned citizen bit but it was a really shoddy piece of BT fluff. A telephone concern troll. That was the only call I heard so I hope someone kicked him in the fork (metaphorically obviousment) further on in the show.

  35. Ali Whiteford says:

    My feeling is the money issue is the way people express their unconscious ‘fear’ that Scotland is too wee too poor too stupid. Project fear is working as long as it can keep enough people feeling this way.

  36. alexicon says:

    Captain caveman.

    Even better that the jobless total fell to 6.4 in Scotland.
    That’s a drop of 25,000 to a total of 175,000, the best for 5 years.
    Of course the bbc has a response from the unionists’ with John Swinney’s response sandwiched in the middle.
    They just can’t help themselves.

    Maybe people in employment will have more confidence to vote YES?

  37. Ericmac says:

    @captain caveman

    A few snowdrops do not guarantee an indian summer.

    A few positive economic indicators may give slight comfort that the pressure is coming off, and that we will start a return to 2008 conditions. (highly unlikely by the way)

    But even if it did, you have to ask yourself, How long has Scotland been in decline for? The gradual decimation of Scotland has been over decades.

    Independence should not be bought or sold for £500 pounds in anyone’s pocket. The only financial question that should be asked is “Can Scotland be an increasingly strong nation over the next fifty years?”

    Most of us on here won’t be around. But Independence is about stopping the spiralling decline of this country, stopping it becoming a backwater region of the UK and growing and developing it into a prosperous, fair minded, progressive nation that is governed by people who care about the country.

  38. Mary Bruce says:

    People shouldn’t worry too much about this poll, it is already redundant, events have moved on since it was conducted prior to October last year.

    The White Paper has been published and Osborne’s Autumn statement has been announced.

    The latter has highlighted that the UK can no longer afford a welfare state. It is clear that as part of the union we will have to work until we are 70 until we receive a state pension. It is now more evident that billions will be cut from the Scotland budget if we vote no and the threat of privatisation of our NHS becomes greater by the day.

    The White Paper, on the other hand, has placed great importance in maintaining these things in an independent Scotland and demonstrates that people will be able to retire earlier.

    So, while Scots might might find it difficult to judge whether or not they will have more cash in their pockets after independence, it is becoming easier to grasp that if they want the security of a welfare state, pension, NHS, care for the elderly etc, then independence is much more likely to deliver for them. Ultimately this will be worth much more to them than a few quid more or less in their pockets every week.

  39. Captain Caveman says:

    “Even better that the jobless total fell to 6.4 in Scotland.
    That’s a drop of 25,000 to a total of 175,000, the best for 5 years.”

    Precisely mate, not bad eh?

  40. Craig Brown says:

    You have to keep in mind that these people haven’t embraced the referendum like we have and as such are much less well informed. If you only follow MSM you would think we are completely skint and most of us can’t afford to take a further hit on our income. Just keep on spreading the truths of the indyref and please Rev, do not jump off a bridge.

  41. Gillie says:

    Lets not get too sniffy about putting money in peoples’ pockets.

    If £2.82+ is all it will take then there is an aspect to this referendum that says “how can this be done?”

    If Scots derive benefit from a council tax freeze, which everyone applauds, then how do you construct a tax and welfare policy that allows Scots to directly benefit from the expected lower cost in running an independent Scotland.

  42. Big Jock says:

    I don’t want a nation that can be bought and sold like a business decision. People who can be bought are not worth having!

  43. HandandShrimp says:

    It must be a source of profound irritation to Grey and the rest that the Scottish Government out perform the rest of the UK. They can’t pretend that it is either UK policy because the figures are better – considerably better and they can’t blame Salmond for them being worse.

    The SNP are doing this deliberately I bet.

  44. heedtracker says:

    When we get into to it in Aberdeen, almost immediately taxation post indy comes up, will I pay more, what on earth am am i paying for and why is there so much debt? Maybe its the old supply side multiplier that makes Con/Dem Labour Westminster borrow and spend so much but getting high earners in Scotland to believe they wont get taxed even more is a real challenge.
    “there is no £ left” was a massive indictment on British government tax and spend.

  45. Hewitt83 says:

    I’d happily be £500 worse off a year if it meant independence for Scotland. More than that actually.

    We are a fickle race.

  46. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Lets not get too sniffy about putting money in peoples’ pockets.
    If £2.82+ is all it will take then there is an aspect to this referendum that says “how can this be done?””

    I made a point of noting how small an amount it was in terms of the budget. We just need to keep pointing out all the financial benefits, hard and often.

  47. Bubbles says:

    I’m with Big Jock. I don’t want to live in a country with people with so little self – esteem they’d be willing to sell their country for £500. Bloody depressing to be honest.

    O/T I’m in the QT audience tomorrow. I wonder if they’ll pick my question.

  48. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “IMO, the biggest threat to Indy (besides the EU debacle) is not whether or not people would supposedly be better off a few hundred quid either way, but the demonstrable, empirical, increasingly strong UK economic recovery and proof of the veracity of UK (Coalition) economic policy?”

    You couldn’t be wronger. If growth is rising and unemployment is falling, the Tories will shoot up in the UK polls. And the Tories looking like they’ll win in 2015 is, by a distance, the biggest factor that’ll drive the Yes vote. It sure as heck isn’t going to make Scots vote Tory.

  49. Oneironaut says:

    So the majority of voters out there are perfectly happy to throw away their country’s future (not to mention making that same decision on behalf of the rest of the country!!!) for the sake of an extra 500 quid?

    Is this the same people who keep telling me that they’re voting No “because they hate Alex Salmond”?

    This almost made me knock myself out banging my head on the desk hoping I was just dreaming it and that real intelligent people couldn’t possibly be this twisted…

    If anyone is looking for me, I’ll be in a soundproofed room somewhere releasing the enraged rant I managed to stop myself from typing up here!

  50. Ericmac says:

    Imagine two companies or organisations that have been trading for 300 years.

    And you perform some analysis on both. We discover that both companies have similar liquidity, operating, and expense to revenue ratios. In other words, the economic and financial analysis indicates that they are doing okay.

    Until you go inside both companies and wander around. In one you find, modern infrastructure, worker facilities, and seemingly better conditions. In the other, you see dilapidation, broken machines and poor working conditions.

    This makes you go back and look at leverage ratios, assets/net worth, debt / net worth.

    What it tells you is that both companies may have difficulty meeting their obligations but one company has a surplus of fixed assets and will survive the other is in drastic need of modernisation.

    You could apply this analogy between London and various places in England. But we are interested in Scotland.

    If you think of us as a business inside a bigger company. The bigger company is neglecting our products and market by not reinvesting.

    Now you might argue that if the smaller company, left the bigger company, it would be in trouble, and you’d be right, except the smaller company still owns 8.4% of the overall assets.

    Independence is not about today or tomorrow, it is about the strategic imperative of managing your own economy and finances. Because the track record of our parent company has cost us profit, market, opportunity, reinvestment and modernisation.

  51. Gillie says:

    Is the SNP buying votes with the Council Tax freeze?

    Bribing yourself with your own money is not a bribe.

    If £2.82 is all it will take then there is an argument that says, “why not?”, and if you agree then you will say, “how can it be done?”

  52. MochaChoca says:

    @Ericmac,

    According to the 2007 Asset Register Scotland had £23bn of the UK’s £337bn assets. Thats 6.8%, or put another way, £5.1bn short of our population share.

    There doesn’t appear to be any up to date Asset Register information, but the Whole of Government Accounts for 2010 state UK wide assets of £1267.6bn.

    If our ‘share’ remained constant until 2010 we would by that point have been £19.3bn short.

    How much the difference is now, or will be by March 2016 is anyone’s guess. For some reason attempts to glean an up to date asset register are being resisted.

  53. Ericmac says:

    @Stu

    “You couldn’t be wronger.”

    ‘More wrong’ surely? 🙂

  54. Gillie says:

    As has been pointed out recently what is fuelling UK economic growth is the London and SE England housing boom, a Coalition policy based on winning votes. As we have seen before with UK government inspired housing booms this is not sustainable and certainly not desirable. This housing bubble is projected to go bust around 2017.

  55. desimond says:

    “Im leaving home”
    “What?, why?…you will have to pay bills, council tax, serious stuff like that!”
    “I know, its called being responsible.”
    “Oh”

  56. Captain Caveman says:

    “You couldn’t be wronger. If growth is rising and unemployment is falling, the Tories will shoot up in the UK polls. And the Tories looking like they’ll win in 2015 is, by a distance, the biggest factor that’ll drive the Yes vote. It sure as heck isn’t going to make Scots vote Tory.”

    To be fair, that’s a very strong point I suppose I’m optimistic that the average person might be a little more inclined to give the Tories the benefit of the doubt if, say, unemployment is at 6% and still falling fast at the time of the Referendum & indicators are even stronger than now?

    Still, I concede this is (perhaps insanely) optimistic on my part; I’m just trying to see the bigger picture as of the here and now, not 30 years ago? But you could be right.

    UKIP will take many Tory votes at the next GE and split the Right. I would not be at all surprised to see another Con-Lib coalition/hung parliament again – which for my money would be an entirely good thing and *perhaps* more palatable to Scots?

  57. Indy_Scot says:

    I would be happy to contribute 51.595744 Yes votes.

    This seems good value to me working out at around £145.50 per year.

  58. HandandShrimp says:

    The survey shows that the No vote is very soft and that it would not take much to push the vote the Yes way. While Stu’s £2.82 is a bit fun showing just how soft that vote is, it will not just be money that swings the vote. The BT campaign is all about Fear and Uncertanity. While it is not easy to put money on emotional states I believe that if we go into the vote with Yes having made people feel confident about the future on a variety of levels, economy, social justice, health, freedom from increasingly authoritarian knee jerks about human rights etc, then a lot of that £2.82 will be considered paid in kind. The Social Attitude Survey simply is not that sophisticated.

  59. Captain Caveman says:

    “As has been pointed out recently what is fuelling UK economic growth is the London and SE England housing boom, a Coalition policy based on winning votes. As we have seen before with UK government inspired housing booms this is not sustainable and certainly not desirable. This housing bubble is projected to go bust around 2017.”

    I’m no economist but I don’t agree with this – high end manufacturing is booming in the UK, better than it has been for years, and it’s valued by politicians like never before. Hard lessons have been learned from the ‘Banking Crisis’ and only in the nick of time. This isn’t the same UK as it was in 2002-2008.

  60. edulis says:

    I think this £500 thing is just mood music. Faced with the ultimate question, the voter’s response will depend on whether they are optimistic or pessimistic. It will be up the ‘Yes’ team to keep it positive. The Better Together lot are digging a hole for themselves with their ludicrous scenarios. On September 18, if BT haven’t come up with a clincher negative, which they won’t because they have already used both barrels, then its game over. We will go independent.

  61. Gillie says:

    Gillie: “Lets not get too sniffy about putting money in peoples’ pockets. If £2.82+ is all it will take then there is an aspect to this referendum that says “how can this be done?”

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says: “I made a point of noting how small an amount it was in terms of the budget. We just need to keep pointing out all the financial benefits, hard and often”

    Who benefits? That is the key. There will be financial benefits derived from independence. Instead of summarising that as simply a £benefit per head, try stating that as a proposed cut in a tax, and/or a specific welfare benefit.

    You could easily end up with independence proposals that state; examples.

    A 10 year Council Tax Freeze

    Increasing the minimum wage to the living wage.

  62. Ericmac says:

    @Gillie

    It is not just the housing.

    Quantitive Easing has caused a ‘bubble’ in the stock markets. Although according to Bernanke there is “no immediate bubble risk”. Don’t believe it. Its the job of the Federal Reserve in the US to lie to the markets to keep everything calm.

    QE has been exceptional good for UK and US stock markets. (traders are celebrating) That alone is enough to suggest that it is not good for the rest of us.

    QE has the effect of making markets look buoyant and increasing confidence, when many companies are actually still in decline and losing market share.

    In the meantime, there are people and investment banks making money out of the effects of QE.

  63. chalks says:

    Caveman, what happens when the interest rates go up and the massive public debt that has been accumulated is longer being paid off by the working/middle class?

    The new houseowners and the people still mired in debt from 2008 will be fk’d….people not paying off debt, is not a good thing. And the markets will respond accordingly.

  64. SoDa says:

    “Better Together’s Blair McDougall said he was encouraged by the survey’s findings.

    He added: “People who have still to make up their mind are leaning towards remaining in the UK and are rejecting separation.

    “The reason for this is clear. The economic uncertainty of leaving the UK has become the defining issue of the referendum with fewer than one in 10 Scots believing they would be better off outside the UK.”

    WTF? Where did he pull that 1 in 10 figure from??

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-25833692

  65. TheGreatBaldo says:

    OT

    The Question Time Line Up….

    John Swinney
    Jim Sillars

    vs

    Kezia Dugdale
    Ruth Davidson

    By interesting to see if there is a question about ‘Cabernats’ given the alledged identity of ‘Fifi La Bon’

  66. Gillie says:

    Caveman:

    The Bank of England’s Funding for Lending Scheme together with the Coalition government’s Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme have helped to reflate house prices as part of deliberate policy to revive the UK economy.

    If this stimulus allows the Tories to win in 2015 then from a political point of view it will be deemed a success. From an economic point of view it is perverse, a bust is projected for 2017.

    Just imagine in three years time the UK has just voted to leave the EU at the very moment the UK economy is going tits up (again). If Scots vote No in 2014 my advice would be “emigrate”.

  67. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The Question Time Line Up….

    John Swinney
    Jim Sillars”

    I hope Sillars makes it, in the light of today’s news about Margo. He’d be an interesting voice, especially against a pair of numpties like Dugdale and Davidson.

  68. Gillie says:

    Okay here is my £2.82p worth to win the referendum.

    1. A guaranteed 10 year Council Tax freeze.

    2. A living wage for all workers.

    3. A reduction in corporation tax.

  69. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “Who benefits? That is the key. There will be financial benefits derived from independence. Instead of summarising that as simply a £benefit per head, try stating that as a proposed cut in a tax, and/or a specific welfare benefit.”

    Indeed. The SNP seem well aware of this tactic in normal politics. But for the indyref they need to pick a single figure and then hammer it home instead of chopping and changing all the time.

  70. handclapping says:

    @Captain Caveman
    There is optimism and optimism. To value a loss-making but still dividend paying AIM sized company on 2.97% yield is optimistic in the Sir Humphrey sense. There are many such on the LSE and people are still predicting 7000+. Where is the Company wreckage that would have accompanied a proper downturn, where is the reinvestment that signifies a return to growth?

    We have been conned by negative interest rates and QE into believing we have had a recession and are now recovering. Its a lie; we have had and are continuing in the sort of stasis that is productive only of zombies, political, financial and economic.

  71. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “high end manufacturing is booming in the UK, better than it has been for years”

    Who’s buying all these products, though? Oh, that’s right – the rich people living in the booming houses in London and the SE.

  72. Ericmac says:

    If anyone really believes that the UK is showing signs of rampant recovery and not on a road to perdition, check out this site.

    The table on this page is especially interesting as it explains that Scotland, Wales and NI are part of UK debt. Who knew?

    http://www.debtbombshell.com/public-spending.htm

    Is it any wonder the English think they subsidise us.

  73. Captain Caveman says:

    “Who’s buying all these products, though? Oh, that’s right – the rich people living in the booming houses in London and the SE.”

    No, it’s largely the Chinese and Indians, as well as more traditional EU and US markets – export led. Just look at JLR; they’re just about to open their £500 million engine plant.

  74. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “No, it’s largely the Chinese and Indians”

    We may be at cross purposes over “high-end”:

    http://www.moversandshakers.uk.com/images/uploads/London_Luxury_Quarter_-_September_2012.pdf

  75. Captain Caveman says:

    “The new houseowners and the people still mired in debt from 2008 will be fk’d….people not paying off debt, is not a good thing. And the markets will respond accordingly.”

    I’m not a banker, but seriously, do you imagine there’s much consumer bad debt left from 2008 – 6 years ago now – that hasn’t been written down/off? That’s largely what all the bail out money was for.

  76. Papadocx says:

    Inflating house prices in L&SE of Engerland is just what is needed for HMG. Buying votes and popularity amongst the establishment and the great & good.

    When the financial markets get jittery then the horns will need to be pulled in, and somebody will have to pay.

    Aye Scotland will have to pay for London’s excesses again, in higher interest rates, job losses and cuts in government funding.

    BETTER THE GITHER RIGHT ENOUGH. WHAT FRIENDS WE HAVE. GOD SAVE THE UNION,
    GOD HELP SCOTLAND.

  77. Albamac says:

    I have 18 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. Nothing will sway me from the conviction that my Yes vote will help keep them safe from future harm.

    £500 for the sale of one’s soul doesn’t look like much of a deal but, let’s face it, there’s a glut on the market.

  78. Captain Caveman says:

    Stu, I’m talking about British *manufacturing goods* being sold abroad (and their much higher perceived cachet, engineering excellence and quality, as compared to even a few years ago), not a bunch of rich foreigners buying up London properties, or posh designer retail shops servicing them.

    Jaguar wants to quadruple in size and may actually do it; their manufacturing base is in the Midlands of course and nowt to do with London/SE.

  79. TheGreatBaldo says:

    I hope Sillars makes it, in the light of today’s news about Margo.

    What news about Margo ???

    Has she taken a turn for the worse ?

  80. Ericmac says:

    @handclapping

    “We have been conned by negative interest rates and QE into believing we have had a recession and are now recovering. Its a lie”

    We have been conned by negative interest rates and QE into believing we are now recovering. Its a lie.

    Corrected it for you and absolutely agree with your analysis and sentiment.

  81. Borach says:

    The elephant in the room with falling unemployment figures is Carney’s promise only to hold interest rates till the unemployment figure reached 7%.

    Just how much rising interest rates will affect the economic recovery, particularly a property drivenrecovery, is a problem waiting just around the corner to bite the chancellor’s bum!

  82. Captain Caveman says:

    “Just how much rising interest rates will affect the economic recovery, particularly a property drivenrecovery, is a problem waiting just around the corner to bite the chancellor’s bum!”

    Mate, the average person doesn’t yearn for the economy to fail; they’re hoping and praying it doesn’t (and are doubtless pretty chuffed at where we seem to be headed now, as I am. UK now has highest growth rate within the EU – official).

    With all due respect, I think this, more than anything, distinguishes “normal”, everyday folk from the hardline politicos at both ends of the Nat-Britnat spectrum. Most people just want to get on with their lives, and yes, most would not be prepared to see yet another £500 of their hard-earned wages be taken from them and their families. They’ve bills to pay and lives to lead.

  83. Les Wilson says:

    O/T I have just came across another reason to be Independent, taken this morning from an Investment article.

    “That’s because geologists believe there’s shale gas beneath British soil. A lot of shale gas. In fact, some estimates suggest parts of the North West could be sitting on the biggest shale field in the Western hemisphere.”

    We are even richer than we think!

  84. kalmar says:

    @Les indeed, another reason to be independent – in that hopefully we’d leave it there.

  85. The Man in the Jar says:

    @Captain Caveman
    I normally see some sense in your contributions but I think you are well off the mark on this one.

    “Might be inclined to give the Tories the benefit of the doubt” 😆 😆 😆

    Anyway nice to hear from you again.

  86. Luigi says:

    Bob Duncan:
    I think Gerry Hassan hit the nail on the head this morning on GMS when he suggested that the £500 was simply a proxy for a number of issues. If voters are confident that an independent Scotland will prosper, they will vote Yes in sufficient numbers to give a significant majority. And all the polling and canvassing evidence seems to show this is the general direction of travel for undecided voters.

    There are many, many things to consider, but at the end of the day, the two main issues will be:

    1) What do you feel (Scottish or British)?

    2) Who do you trust to govern (Holyrood or Westminster)?

  87. Murray McCallum says:

    Britain’s economy is still 2pc smaller than it was before the 2008 financial crisis. [ONS Dec’13]

    Of course the percentage growth is rising – it’s because the economy was run into the ground and starved of investment. The recovery has happened despite government policy.

    Let’s wait and see what impact an increase in interest rates has on mortgage repayments, house prices, bank loans, retail sales, UK sovereign debt, …

  88. Wp says:

    Amazes me how much importance is attributed to polls. People that should know better take it as a true picture.100 people Polled and set in stone as to the updated mood of the people. Lord Ashcroft, Daily Mail, The Times. Has anyone here actually been polled ? Almost every Yes supporter knows from personal experience that the Yes vote has gained significantly in the past few months but this won’t be truly seen until the vote.

  89. JLT says:

    To be honest, they way I see it, is this…

    When we get closer to the time of voting, I think a huge percentage of the population will turn to others, and it will be for one simple reason. They will be lookking to others for confirmation.

    Once they see that others are voting ‘Yes’, then it will give them the belief to do the same as everyone else. At the end of the day, that’s all folk want. The belief that we can do it.

    It won’t come down to money (or it shouldn’t). It is belief. If we just tell simply that Scotland will be fine, and life will go on, then we will win.

  90. Training Day says:

    “Amazes me how much importance is attributed to polls”.

    Indeed. Had the most junior academic researcher been as wildly, ridiculously wrong on polls as the ‘expert’ Curtice in the run-up to May 2011 – and had they repeatedly and unapologetically trumpeted their errors in public, as he did – that researcher would have been quietly released from employment at the end of their contract.

    But the response of the ‘Scottish’ MSM to Curtice’s 2011 debacle? Saturation broadcast coverage from then until 18 September this year.

  91. If £500 is the price of Independence then why not give them it?

    It could be paid out as an “Oil dividend” to every voter in Scotland on the anniversary of first day of Independence. A one off payment backed by oil revenues.

    There are about 4 million adults in Scotland so the cost would be about £2 billion, but if taxed it would reduce to £1.6billion.

    The lowest paid and untaxed would keep all the cash, and would tend to spend it quickly, resulting in a real boost to the economy.

    Even the unionist press would be compelled to print up such a promise in headline terms, so even those who never think about politics would be informed of the personal benefit to them.

    A firm written promise of something like this would go a long way to securing the undecides to the Yes side.

  92. Patrick Roden says:

    OT, but I see that odious little lickspittle Foulkes, is yet again calling on Alex Salmon to put a stop to the on-line abuse that the jolly decent unionists (like Him) suffer.

    It occurred to me that this is something I’ve heard from a number of Unionist MP/MSP’s, but it’s simply a strategy they are using to make sure AS isn’t seen as a victim of Unionist bullying.

    They know he isn’t responding, or abusing anyone, so they simply get their ever so keen MSM to link AS to every single bit of bad language or insult that is posted on-line.

    They hope that in the publics mind, AS is held responsible for each and every on-line insult and therefore he can have no complaint when they constantly call him names or accuse him of being dishonest or deceitful.

    This is an important political battleground and one we need to win, so spread it far and wide that this is the usual bullyboy tactics of a gang of thugs asking some innocent bloke in a pub what the f*%CK he is looking at, before setting about him.

  93. heedtracker says:

    Someone commented that high tech now booms in UK since the Bank crash but if it does, why?

    When vote no stuff comes up here on Aberdeen, I try to point to a global company like Johnson and Johnson that’s based it’s world wide diabetic medical research etc at Inverness. They are now the biggest employer in Inverness but they’re under continual pressure to pull out and move as far away as South America. J&J have not moved and it’s all down to Scots.gov, SNP Scots.gov investing over £2 million per year with them. So the point is, does this kind of Scots.gov spend make for Value For Money?

    Also, how come BetterTogether/bbc tv debates have completely dodged North East and the Highlands and Islands? funny that. Again today in BetterTogether/Press and journal, whole page on how UKOK “protects” Scots fishing .

  94. Barontorc says:

    Yes Luigi – spot on – the two fundamental questions:-

    (1)How do you feel; Scottish or British?

    (2)Do you want to be governed by Holyrood or Westminster?

    Everything flows from the answers to these two questions and we’ve already established that Scots people feel more Scottish than British, or at the very least the same about both and when it comes to approval and trust for the government we would choose, the Scottish Government is streets ahead of Westminster for the vast majority of Scots.

    This £500 is a red herring trying to stimulate the basest of voter instincts to gain a headline – it’s a pitiful tactic and its use just about sums up the omnipresent and one and only psephologist of choice for good old auntie Beeb, Prof Curtice as he smoothies his way along the Union’s yellow brick road.

    Boy oh boy, are they in for a helluva wake up call on 19th September.

  95. CameronB says:

    @ Captain Caveman
    Hi Captian. Sorry, but I can’t agree with you about the ‘recovery’. Though growth isn’t necessarily the test of a healthy economy, it is the metric most commonly use. By that measure, the economy shows little sign of strength or vitality. How sustainable is the recent positive blip? As others have questioned, is it not simply being pumped by another housing bubble in the SE?

    Also, I imagine that a lot of the high-end manufacturing that you mention, is part of the UK’s burgeoning nuclear industry (14% of UK manufacturing output). I am not sure I would count the production of nuclear fuel, reactors and parts as a plus. I would call it toxic waste, but that’s MO.

    I haven’t found figures for the arms industry, though I know it is significant. Should this go on the asset side?

    I could go on, but I not cruel. 😉

  96. Patrick Roden says:

    @Captain Caveman.

    The problem with the Tories in Scotland isn’t how well or otherwise they are doing with unemployment or finances etc, these are just reasons to remind ourselves why we loath them so much. they are a toxic brand in Scotland and that doesn’t look likely to ever change in our life-time if at all. so much so that their last leadership contest in Scotland had one candidate (Murdo Frazer) who’s leadership challenge was based on the Party ‘separating’ from the UK party and calling itself a new name (I can’t remember if they ever decided on the new name)

    So, your idea that perhaps we might give the Tory’s another chance since they had managed to lose 7% off the unemployment figures, is the kind of thinking that only and Englishman would make. Good to hear from you again though CC. 🙂

  97. desimond says:

    That Question Time line up…no Lib Dem, Green or even a celebrity to ease the tension?

    Its liable to be a verbal bloodbath if Scottish Labour are relying on Kezia ranting to get a point made (what exactly is so very wrong with Johann she cant appear on such shows?).

    Swinney is far to professional to play Kezia’s baiting game and if Sillars refrains from meandering SNP history lessons or taking any Labour splitter teases, we could all see David Dimbleby with his head in his hands by the end.

  98. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “What news about Margo ???
    Has she taken a turn for the worse ?”

    She’s in hospital. That was all Sillars tweeted about it.

  99. RoughMan says:

    @ Rev Stu.

    “Indeed. The SNP seem well aware of this tactic in normal politics. But for the indyref they need to pick a single figure and then hammer it home instead of chopping and changing all the time.”

    I agree completely; I sincerely hope they have, or are at least working on, a better strategy for the last few months, particularly remembering it’s the economy, stupid. Forget the currency and the EU, those lies have been destroyed, concentrate on personal finances.

  100. Illy says:

    On falling unemployment figures:

    Does anyone remember that the figures are only falling due to Westminster fiddling the metric?

  101. scottish_skier says:

    I think Gerry Hassan hit the nail on the head this morning on GMS when he suggested that the £500 was simply a proxy for a number of issues.

    Gerry Hassan talks sense at times.

    People should be very happy at that poll. It’s just the way it was asked makes it sound crap. People should be asking what it means, not what it says at face value.

    As I’ve said before, it’s the referendum result (~52 Y / 30 N). Yields the result of 1997 Q2 and that’s not a coincidence; it’s essentially the same people +/- new additions / losses to age as appropriate.

    Saying £500 is just giving them a reason to justify their vote logically to others when the reasons for it are in the end, deep down, emotional; they’re Scottish and they want independence. Give them an excuse that people can’t really attack them for (if it makes them / Scotland better off by a clear margin…) and they respond the way they really want to.

    Up to 20% of the population will not vote with half of that never having an opinion / highly unlikely ever to (this applies globally). Neither Scots nor British nor any other group are any more or less likely to fall into this ~2/10 group.

    Thus our 52Y / 30N just represents national identity census / SSAS Scottish / British split times around 0.82 in each case.

    Scottish only + other Scottish (census) = 64 * 0.82 = 53%
    Remainder (Eq. S&B, variations on British + other) = 36 * 0.82 = 29%

    Of course there is crossover, but these cancel out.

    It’s a national identity referendum masked as a socio-economic one. People give socio-economic reasons as they feel a little silly and open themselves up to ridicule / attack (anti-English!) by saying what it’s really about. What it’s really about is the same reason just about every other country exists. Because it’s a nation in its heart.

    55% said to panelbase they’d not vote to join the union right now. This is the same people.

  102. scottish_skier says:

    For such a pittance, independence could apparently be bought.

    It’s the truth you are buying.

  103. Brian Mark says:

    falling unemployment = part time work,short term contracts and crap wages!

  104. chalks says:

    Caveman – As regards to the publics debt, yes people are still paying them off and the bailout did not pay off my debt or anyone elses loans etc, how do I know that? Because I am one of them. Thank god I don’t have a mortgage or I’d be fk’d if the interest rates went out.

    They bailed out the banks not, public debt….it’s why the public debt has never been higher and is exactly why the UK is labelled a ‘zombie economy’

    Payday loans etc etc etc…..people are trapped in debt, with little disposable income if the interest rates go up….what would you rather pay, your mortgage or a small loan?

    A toxic economy. Ripe for ruin…again.

  105. Ian Brotherhood says:

    The price of independence?

    What about the price of failure?

    Unthinkable as it is for many here, meself included, the price we should remind ourselves of from time to time is how we’ll feel on Sep 19th if we don’t win.

    And it’ll be a hangover from hell because it’ll never end – decades of gloating by the characters we’ve come to know so well: the MacDougalls, Darlings, Lamonts, Baillies, Foulkses, McConnells and Sarwars; the Magnussons, Birds, Nauchties and Brewers.

    Imagine a post-No Scotland? Imagine Cochrane and Calman, Nelson and Kelly and Hothersall laughing, laughing, laughing at you and your children – forever.

  106. Captain Caveman says:

    Well sorry guys, I just don’t share this *abject* pessimism. I don’t pretend to know everything (er, far from it), but as a (very) small businessman in the North of England I get around, I’ve my finger on the economic pulse of the country. I have to.

    All I can say is is that things have step changed for the better in the last 6 months; the employment figures (i.e. those actually working) don’t lie, and neither do audited growth assessments. As for Chalks’ comments about no bad consumer debt having been written off, I’m sorry but that’s utterly untrue – billions and billions of it have been written down by the banks since 2008 (and thereby taken off their balance sheets).

  107. CameronB says:

    ian brotherhood
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlRnx7wz0Q0
    goes on a bit, just like austerity)

  108. Bubbles says:

    For my money and taking my working environment it’s safe to say moving from a minimum wage to a living wage would be a deal breaker for my colleagues.

    Worth thinking about.

  109. bunter says:

    Cheers Scottish Skier, you just brightened up my day!

  110. chalks says:

    Caveman, just because it is off their balance sheet does not mean the economy is recovering.

    People have less money to spend as they are still paying off old debt, not only that, but this equals less money going into the economy. Just wait and see.

    You can look at it like the banks have written down debt, or you can look at it like this money still has to be paid back, frankly, its idiotic to assume that people have no debts because the banks were bailed out.

    Go look up the debt levels of the UK, they are one of the worst in the world, the debt has not been paid off, no-where near it, all it will take is for the interest rates to go up, house prices come down (as less people will be able to afford it) and you are back in the same position as before.

    Negative equity and with the importance of the UK housing market on the government, it’s a recipe for disaster.

  111. Andy-B says:

    I don’t see it as a bribe, I see it as a helping hand, and if it helps to gain enough votes to obtain independence, then so be it. It also proves just how many Scots fear losing any income in the future, and under the UK governments guidance, which has still to impliment many cuts, the possibility of income loss, is far greater.

    O/T I see Patrick Harvies comment in the Glasgow Evening Times, that UKIP are neck and neck with the Green Party in Scotland, in the race to take, one of Scotlands six European Parliament seats.

    I was surprised to read this, and can only hope the Green Party, wins the seat.

  112. CameronB says:

    Captain Caveman
    Some ONS figures;

    In Jan 2013, UK industrial production was 2.9% lower than Jan 2012.

    Manufacturing on a seasonally adjusted basis fell by 3.0% in January 2013 compared with January 2012.

    Industrial production is over 15% lower than at the start of the recession in 2007.

    http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/7132/economics/uk-production/

    http://www.economicshelp.org/blog/5843/economics/economic-growth-stats-2/

  113. Illy says:

    @Bubbles:

    Are you saying that a raise to the minimum wage would mean that your colleuges would vote No?

    And I hate to say it, but if people knew what’s coming from Westminster, the SNP promising to just not make things any worse would be a winning argument.

    Westminster is talking about pulling out of the human rights treaties… What’s next, the Geneva Convention? Trial by a jury of your peers? Freedom of Speech?

  114. Illy says:

    @Andy-B:

    The 6th Scottish seat in the EU elections isn’t going to UKIP. Let me go find the link that explains why…

    ahh, here it is:
    http://albamatters.blogspot.co.uk/

  115. gerry parker says:

    @Brian Mark.
    “falling unemployment = part time work,short term contracts and crap wages!”
    Good point, the (un)employment figures are easily manipulated and don’t really measure anything useful.

    What is more important is the amount of income tax and NI contributions gained from the employed, minus the amount that’s paid out in benefits to the employed because they don’t have enough to get by on.

  116. Al says:

    Employment may be increasing, and the economy is growing, but I don’t see much to celebrate. As others have pointed out a recovery driven by household debt is hardly solid. And I’m not sure how much bad debt has been written off – a sixth of UK debt is currently held by those who have less than £200 a month left after essentials. Moreover, median wages are continuing to fall – the OBR forcasts that they wont recover to to pre-cris levels until 2018 at the earliest. If you factor house prices into account, wages for the average worker are predicted to fall indefinately (below real wages of 1997 in 2018)

  117. Training Day says:

    ‘And it’ll be a hangover from hell because it’ll never end – decades of gloating by the characters we’ve come to know so well: the MacDougalls, Darlings, Lamonts, Baillies, Foulkses, McConnells and Sarwars; the Magnussons, Birds, Nauchties and Brewers.’

    Jesus, Ian! The ninth circle of Hell just got a bit less scary by comparison!

  118. memaw says:

    Tinyzeitgeist
    You have defined absolutely what my husband and I feel when we talk to our friends who are No voters. When we suggest anything positive about the present debate you can actually see the shutters go down. They stop relating to us completely. We described it to each other as asking them to question their religious faith.
    O/T
    I am at present working my way through Scotland’s Future and was amazed when I read on page 548, Building a Modern Democracy,Section 532 :Is Independence about democracy? – Yes-It can be argued that it ( Westminster) fails Scottish democracy on 5 counts. (Under the third point): “…..A single Member of the House of Lords has more say over the welfare system in Scotland, for example, than the whole of the Scottish Parliament”

    Reverend Stuart, do you think we could have an open debate about this publication?

  119. Marcia says:

    I received a Yougov invite to a Scottish Poll, first for yonks. Usual voting questions Scottish Parliament/Referendum. Do you trust AS? Lots of questions on energy. Do I wear a Kilt! Question on Burns Night.

  120. Gillie says:

    With apologies to the bard

    But pith and power, till my last hour,
    I’ll mak this declaration;
    Buy back our independence with North Sea gold-
    Use such bounty to free our nation.

    It will be worth every penny.

  121. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Cameron B –

    Aye, cheers. Imagine being trapped in a cell with that on a loop, full volume, for a few years. Then we’re getting close.

    We will NEVER hear the end of it – the cage door was opened, and the lion just huddled in a corner, hoping for its master to chuck it some leftovers…

  122. Glass Girl says:

    Captain Caveman, I would be more inclined to think that any meager recovery is probably due to the economy being so far into the sh*t that the only possible way is up, even in the hands of a numpty like George Osbourne.

    The employment schemes they have introduced seem to be pretty superficial and short-sighted, entirely focused on massaging the figures rather than actually addressing the problem of getting people into secure long term paying work.

  123. Kenny Campbell says:

    I wonder if the survey was taken wholly at the Royal Gourock Yacht Club…..

  124. Andy-B says:

    @Illy.

    The 6th Scottish seat in the EU.

    Thanks for that link, I really hope albamatters has got it right. I couldn,t bare the thought of UKIP having some sort of representation for Scotland in anything’ never mind the EU

  125. Faltdubh says:

    Scottish Skier, what a fascinating and interesting poster you truly are. Certainly brightened up my day.

  126. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Al, Gerry Parker and Brian Mark

    There is no economic recovery taking place in any real profound and sustainable senses.

    There is an increase in part time and zero hours contracting which gives the illusion, gleefully hyped by Osborne as positive. As for the GDP, cheap QE from the B of E has seeped into the London property market and it has caused a local hot spot in price rises. That market rise can really only be sustained by continued cheap money and will in short time will create yet another bubble. It may come sooner rather than later if the BoE “taper” of QE is made too quickly and interest rates go up faster than the self same property market can absorb. Many will not be able to repay their loans, again.

    Scotland and in fact everywhere outside the SE of England will be wondering where all this growth is happening.

    Best to out of the UK asap.

  127. caz-m says:

    Driving along the road listening to “Smooth Radio” in Glasgow. Then the lunchtime news comes on.

    Unemployment in Scotland has fallen again and lets have a word with Alastair Carmicheal. He then spews out some shit about its all because of the UK Government.

    Absolutely no praise given to the Scottish Government. They never even got a mention, for all the hard work they have put in.

    I was so enraged about what I had just listened to, that I emailed them as soon as I got home.

    They got both barrels and I told the “Unionist Bastards” I will not be tuning into any more of their programmes again.

    No matter what you listen to, the Unionists have infiltrated them.

  128. Richard says:

    From what I have read today, real wages have dropped by 1.1% if you use CPI and 1.8% if RPI is used. More people in work in low paid jobs and wages not rising.

  129. heedtracker says:

    Hey Reverend see the Guardian is calling you a pugilist now! Never punched anyone in your life no doubt. What an odd paper that is, progressive, liberal and deeply democratic, except when it’s new democracy for Scotland. Raging hypocrites one and all????

  130. Triangular Ears says:

    Not read the whole thread but I sometimes think we need to take a step back from the whole ‘are we better off [economically] independent or in the union?’ or ‘will we have x policy, or y lever available when independent vs the union?’ and talk about fundamentals.

    I’ve been debating with loads of folk on Facebook, (many I don’t even know) on friends’ pages, etc. I have recently had some success, even with initially hostile people, by making these basic points:

    1 Whether we like it or not, the default unit of governance in the world is the nation-state. Almost nobody would seriously argue that Scotland isn’t a nation or a country, so unionists need to be able to convincingly explain why Scotland and the Scots are ‘better off’ [deliberately left nebulous] being governed by another nation/country, when the norm is self-government.

    2 All the purported benefits of being ‘better together’ are far more deliverable and achievable by a partnership of equals; the definition of a partnership being two or more individuals working together. I point out that the UK is not a partnership because decisions are made by and for the hugely dominant partner rather than by and for the mutual benefit of all partners. Partnerships can ONLY happen between individual entities.

    3 (In response to somebody who pointed out when faced with point 1 above, that “nationalism is a really stupid idea in general” (the internationalist fallacy)), that I agree that nationalism (and the nation-state) is generally quite silly but that it’s a bit like capitalism; find a better system and everyone is all ears. I also point out that nationalism when you are ALREADY sovereign (e.g. British Nationalism) is far more nasty than nationalism when you are trying to ACHIEVE sovereignty. The former is the dangerous, and pointless, one. I also point out that the internationalism argument invariably collapses at the cliffs of Dover.

    There is no answer to point 1. Point 2 is easy to illustrate with countless examples if pressed further. Point 3 is my opinion, but is also difficult to disagree with, because people have to start justifying British nationalism while denouncing Scottish nationalism.

    Further to these points, I THEN get onto economic matters, and show that Scotland has a better ‘claim’ to independence than almost any CURRENTLY independent country/nation-state.

    Although I am beginning to think that Scotland’s embarrassment of riches is actually being seen as ‘too good to be true’ by some of our harder-of-thinking fellow Scots. This is why I try to avoid getting on to oil wherever possible, and keep to sustainable economics (while biting my tongue as I think about how Norway has turned a finite resource into a perpetual income-generating asset).

    In short, sometimes philosophical generalities can, with the right audience I think, be more powerful than endless seemingly too-good-to-be-true specifics about obscure technicalities, and perhaps plant that seed of self-research that makes a ‘hardier’ Yes.

  131. Craig M says:

    Re Scottish Skier et al

    Think back to the passionate, ill tempered opposition from the Unionist parties to a referendum when the SNP were in a minority government. The Unionists were terrified then and they are terrified now. They know what the vote will be, they knew it in 2007 and they know it now.

  132. Juteman says:

    Maybe I’m just stupid, but I’m convinced we will win.
    When folk go into that booth, they are basically being asked if they are Scottish or not.
    Can you see a majority voting No?

  133. Chic McGregor says:

    I get no pleasure from saying ‘I told you so’.

    The distribution of support from extreme Yes to extreme No is approximately normal. i.e. the majority of the electorate are in the soft, marginal, convertible region in the middle.

    There are basically two types.

    Those who are actively interested enough to find out about the issues but at this moment of time just happen to be aware of roughly equally convincing arguments either way.

    And there are those, of lumpen persuasion, who can’t be arsed and their vote will largely depend on what they are fed.

    But both are in position on the distribution where it would not take much to persuade them. Even a small overt bribe.
    I would expect the first type would be less responsive to that, would be more inclined to continue gathering more info. until they reach an informed decision (normally plumping for Yes).

    Sadly, that first type are in a minority.

    So we are in the hands of the lumpen, “feed me”, brigade.

    Each one of their votes is worth exactly the same as yours.

    Oh yes it is!

    Welcome to democracy.

    But that is the reality.

    Carrot and stick needs to be applied, however distasteful it is to our sensibilities, and they need to be applied with greater vigour than that weilded by an opposition to which such behaviour is second nature.

    We need to put our effort into getting across, in as simple a language as possible the two main corresponding points.

    1) They WILL be better off in an independent Scotland.

    2) The UK is on its last bob up above the waves before it goes down for the third and final time.

    Against this task at hand we have the serried ranks of a compliant and corrupt media. We have a chancellor who has deliberately contrived a fake, property bubble lead recovery for short term political gain (referendum, GE). We have a disgusting pile of corrupta in the form of so called Scottish unionist politicians without a modicum of regard for the people they were elected to represent and who will lie their back teeth off for a position at the trough.

    What do we have in our favour? We have footsoldiers to take the message out there. We have the internet so people can be informed that way. We have the facts on our side.

    What we should have, but don’t, is politicians vigorously wielding both carrot and stick and in a passionate way that will at least attract the attention of that decisive lumpen swathe. We keep waiting for it to happen, but when?

    Is it going to happen? Or are there too many who guard their perceived dignity too preciously? I know there are doughty fechters there but when are they going to come out fighting?

  134. scottish_skier says:

    I wonder if the people of Yorkshire would support being an independent republic in majority for £500.

    I think not. By why if it’s just about the money?

    Because it’s not.

  135. scottish_skier says:

    Maybe I’m just stupid, but I’m convinced we will win.
    When folk go into that booth, they are basically being asked if they are Scottish or not.
    Can you see a majority voting No?

    Yep. As I’ve said; it’s a ‘standard’ nationality referendum largely masquerading as a socio-economic one.

    the Unionists were terrified then and they are terrified now. They know what the vote will be, they knew it in 2007 and they know it now.

    Aye. They’ve even said so. Quite recently the SoS for Portsmouth was on about people lying in polls saying DK etc when they intend Yes. He kens fine well what the situation is. As does Darling with his ‘it’s going to be close’ stuff.

    Why the hell do people think the pro-union side are bricking it?

  136. ronnie anderson says:

    Rev,Re throw your self of a bridge in dispair.How you think WE feel,morning,noon,night,allthe political programe,s going,+ hinternet,an you want to throw yersel ower the bridge,NAW,S YER NO, WE RE AWE IN IT THEGITHER.

    suggestion,s on bridge,s, send by Pidgion post any auld strag I,ll do.

  137. ronnie anderson says:

    THERE,S LIGHT IN THE TUNNEL,JIST DONT STAWN IN FRONT OF IT

    IT,S A FEKIN TRAIN. LOL

  138. Juteman says:

    My tactic is to keep on asking my workmates the same question in the days before the vote.
    Are you Scottish or British? That is the choice.
    Focus the minds.

  139. alexicon says:

    @Triangular Ears,

    Good work, but please try and get them to sign the declaration of Independence as you will see from Chic McGregor’s comment, below, that a lot of possible YES voters can be soft voters too.
    Signing the declaration can help in their resolve to vote YES.
    Keep up the excellent work.

  140. alexicon says:

    @Juteman.
    They may say they’re Scottish and British.
    When my work colleagues say this, I usually say I won’t betray my own country by voting no and I wouldn’t want to live with that stigma for the rest of my life.
    I know its shock treatment, but some shock treatment is all that’s needed.

  141. Caroline Corfield says:

    Ok I’m a little confused about all these debts, people are saying public debt, and maybe they’re meaning debts owed by private individuals or maybe they’re meaning the government’s debt accrued on behalf (hahaha) of the public.
    The banks were bailed out – yes – because they lent people money who couldn’t actually afford to pay them back, and some of them didn’t ( most probably as a result of losing their jobs in the crash brought about by the banks suddenly realising how much potentially bad debt they owned), a lot of these people lived in the US, where the crash started but many of the banks involved were bits that belonged to what people consider to be ‘British’ or if you’re Better Together, ‘Scottish’ banks.

    I get that only the proportion of debt accrued within the country is required to be bailed out by the country, so is it only UK personal debt owed to UK branches that was bailed out? Is this what Captain Caveman says was written off? But if it’s personal debt, then I presume it had to go through the write off procedure (that is occasionally mentioned on tv and radio adverts) I don’t think the majority of people owing the money have gone down that route, I imagine a lot renegotiated their debts and are paying them off slower, and still with interest, after all people like having a credit rating, and like the idea of still having a credit rating at the end of ‘bad’ debt problems.

    However the much more interesting figure for the country is the level of governmental debt, nevermind that we the taxpayers are into the Lloyds banking group, RBS banking group and carrying the toxic remains of Northern Rock, plus the subsidies we gave early on to Barclays we’ll never see again; we the tax-payers are supporting 1 trillion pounds worth of debt/interest, which as far as I can see from various comments around the internet we are not actually paying down, merely inadequately servicing.

    Correct me if I’m wrong and we are actually making a dent in the capital owed, please.

    And finally Quantitative Easing, also known as ‘printing virtual money’ is a kind of debt, no?

    I don’t feel optimistic about the UK’s current economy in the slightest, I expect the whole house of cards to fall over shortly, now that the government have manipulated the employment figures to enable the BoE to increase interest rates, because frankly their pals want to make more money on their investments.

    Loans for up to £10,000 are available from high street banks at 6% yet the interest rate on an instant access high street account for £50,000 is only attracting 2.5% at best and then only for 3 years. That difference belongs to the taxpayers not the bankers.

  142. jingly jangly says:

    Caroline Corfield
    The losses that the banks suffered were at their casino banking operations mainly involving subprime mortgages and various financial betting schemes that went tits up.

    The UK Deficit is still around 100 billions pounds per year, which is adding that amount to the UK Debt of over 1.4 Trillion pounds. None of the Capital has been repaid. In order for the UK to start repaying the capital, even with the so called growth they are reporting which is basically inflation, they will have to make about 100 billions pounds worth of cuts per year on public spending (Pensions/NHS/Social Security/Defence etc).

    If interest rates go up, they whole economy will collapse as many companies and private individuals will no longer be able to service their debt. A good article to read about UK debt can be seen at

    http://info.moneyweek.com/urgent-bulletins/the-end-of-britain/

  143. gerry parker says:

    @bugger,
    You’re quite right, and if we counted something meaningful we would certainly see a very different picture.

  144. @ scottish_skier:

    With respect to a plebiscite on nationality posing as a socio-economic one, didn’t you at one point present an analysis of poll data consistent with your assertion that the outcome will reflect the truth of this?

    Maybe you did not and I just wished you had.

  145. Captain Caveman says:

    @jingly jangly

    But by that same analysis, the entire world – not just the UK – is goosed! What is the deficit of the US in comparison to UK? Or Japan? So, are these countries doomed as well? Someone had better tell world investors who pump many billions into these economies. How about a whole bunch of other nations with similar deficits?

    It’s a serious question; I don’t know the answer by the way. But, it seems more than a little disingenuous for Indy types to single out the UK in isolation in this respect?

  146. O/T, Sorry Rev, but I’m just back from Arran and it seemed to me that every second or third car had a “Yes” sticker on it! What are they doing over there generates this hype?

  147. gerry parker says:

    @ Captain, There are many who do think the whole world is goosed because of the way money is created, and the dominance of neoliberal economics.
    I learned a lot about finance, money and the current global system by working through the crash course.

    http://www.peakprosperity.com/crashcourse

  148. gerry parker says:

    @the tree,
    Well done Arran.

  149. jingly jangly says:

    The Tree of Liberty
    There are also two Van’s with large No’s on the back doors and a sheep watering tank in a field with a large No.
    However Yes Arran are very active, and have held several successful fundraisers, and much more to come in the next few months. Hope you seen my big white Van its got six large YES Stickers on it!!!!

  150. alexicon says:

    O/T.

    Anyone on facebook to give some comments on a different slant on this thread’s topic?

    http://www.politics.co.uk/news/2014/01/22/major-new-scottish-independence-poll-brings-fresh-despair-fo

    Here is a more balanced approach to the whole scenario.

    http://www.list.co.uk/article/58006-the-2014-scottish-independence-referendum-debate-is-about-power-not-politics/

  151. Papadocx says:

    I neither hate nor like the English!

    Does that make me a bad person or a good person or a proud Scot, a bigot or a bad Scot. I want to be governed by my own countrymen. Does that make me a bad person. I don’t want to be governed by another country or by foreigners, good or bad.

    What have I said to upset any normal person, I am a Scot and proud of my history and heritage and want to pass it on to my children, and grand children and my great grand children.
    Why do some people find that offensive.

    Why would I want them to be indoctrinated with a alien bastardised history to please a foreign country.

    I was born a Scot and I will die a Scot and I apologise to no one for that.

  152. CameronB says:

    Christian Wright
    In case you didn’t see thee reply I got from the Law Society. My reply is at 2.13pm.
    http://wingsoverscotland.com/category-errors/#comment-771346

  153. Ericmac says:

    @caroline

    The national debt works out at £43,000 for every employed person in the country. And we are all paying a couple of grand a year on the interest.

    In other words, the government(s) borrowed that money on our behalf, the majority of which was to bail out the banks.

    Then there is the huge amount of personal debt that people have in the UK. (credit cards, loans etc)

    It adds up to one big squeeze on our standard of living going forward 🙂

  154. Triangular Ears: “Almost nobody would seriously argue that Scotland isn’t a nation or a country

    Oh I don’t know. This is exactly what HMG does argue. The legal opinion upon which that view is based in now the foundation of London’s policy with respect to matters constitutional and Scottish.

    Scotland is not a country, not a nation. It was snuffed out of existence in 1707 when it was swallowed whole by England (according to the opinion the UK and England are synonymous – something the rest of the world have been signaling Scots for centuries. We thought they had it all wrong but thanks to HMG we now know they were right and we had it all wrong)

    You understand that this makes you and everyone else born in England north of the Tweed, uh . . English. I won’t go on about it and clog the thread. More here http://weourselves.com

  155. jingly jangly says:

    Captain Caveman
    See this for league table for annual deficits by country

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_sovereign_states_by_current_account_balance

    You will also see that the UK has the 2nd to last worst current account balances in the World.

    On Debt, the UK uses what is called the EU accounting system, The EU uses a different accounting system. So for example, Public Sector Pension Liabilities, PFI and the Banking Bailouts are not on the UK books, if the UK used the same accounting system as the rest of the world then the onbook debt would be over double what it is now.

    Japan and the USA may (Depending on what accounting system you use) have higher debts than the UK but they also have a strong manufacturing base.

    I think you will find that the UK doesn’t anymore. In fact if it was not for North Sea Oil the IMF would be running the economy again. International markets are getting nervous not about Scotland’s share of the debt but how the rUK would pay its debt if Scotland votes YES. The UK are now looking to issue 100 year Bonds as the Markets are getting very nervous indeed. The UK is currently having to borrow over 50 billion pounds per annum to pay the interest on its debt which is growing by around 100 Billions pounds per year.

  156. Captain Caveman says:

    gerry parker/jingly jangly

    Many thanks for the info guys; I don’t have a response. Guess I need to mug up on the links/info before commenting further. 🙂

  157. faolie says:

    Ok, what are you going to say when people ask, “so are we really going to be £500 richer then?”.

    The answer’s no, it’s going to be way more than that. Did you know that of the money we pay each year in tax, the Chancellor keeps £824 of that for paying for UK debt / Trident / House of Lords (insert UK spend appropriate to conversation). Come independence, we get that back.

    Then refer them to Ivan’s YouTube video.

  158. jingly jangly says:

    O/T there was a comment the other day pointing us to a webcast tonight I think from Business for Scotland.
    I have checked all the comments for the last few days and I cant find the link. Am I imagining things or does somebody have the link!!!!

  159. Bubbles says:

    @ Illy

    No, I’m saying quite the reverse. I’m the only Yes in my work (don’t panic, there’s only five of us), the rest cite an independent Scotland’s inability to maintain their current living standards as a reason to vote No. A promise to ensure a Living Wage for all would go a long way to converting them to Yes.

  160. call me dave says:

    Labour support the SNP budget… You mean they weren’t going to make the same mistake twice.

    Good thing to do but it’s eeking out the pocket money and strangles wriggle room for other initiatives.

    http://archive.is/nFscR

  161. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    I think Ali Whiteford at 1.02 has understood it well.
    What that “£500 better off” translates as is “We are not too poor the be independent.”

    It indicates the central issue. We have to establish that we are – Or will become if it comes to that – self supporting when we are independent and then we win.
    I do not blame people who have been assiduously lied to for a generation for not jumping into the penury that Better Together promises them if we choose independence.
    It is our requirement to put to them – in terms they can understand – the information they need.

    Many of us are fortunate to have a decent grasp of the economic issue and, better than that, an understanding that there is no compelling economic case for or against independence.
    There however is a hugely dishonest imbalance in the distribution of the truth which is what we are fighting

    Other folk are no less decent just because of this they do not have a fully informed grasp.

  162. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    We have the condition of “the economy” being confused with the condition of those who toil in it.
    It is perfectly feasible to have a “very strong economy” built on the efforts of sweat shop labour which is the direction we are travelling in.

  163. jingly jangly says:

    Ive found that link, the webcast is just starting, its called Alan Bissett and Biz for Scotland and is on Livestream

  164. @cameronB

    Thanks Cameron. Yes I missed it in the other thread. The Law Society were as helpful to you on this matter as I have found them to be on matters that clearly ARE within their area of alleged competence.

    I can’t blame them in this case but they do seem to have missed the central point – that what is needed is a second contemporary legal opinion on the veracity of the claim that Scotland ceased to be in 1707 while England continued.

    That the Treaty of Union has no relevance in consideration of the above, and that therefore there is no circumstance under which Scotland and England could possibly be considered successor states (since there is no such land as Scotland).

    If Scotland separates from the continuing state it will be a of necessity a brand new country with no right of claim to the assets of the motherland (but by a supreme act of wishful thinking, it WILLl be liable for its share of the debts).

    It seems to me this is transparently a crock of shit (without going into the truly tortured logic of the opinion that gets them to the conclusions above). It is also insulting in the extreme in that it seeks at the stroke of a pen to rob a people of their land, their nationhood, and their right to the cumulative fruits of their labours over 3 centuries of asset-building this union. This is grand larceny on a massive scale.

    I still don’t get the muted response from the Scottish Government nor for that matter from Civic Scotland. Where’s the outrage?

  165. Krackerman says:

    Caveman – does this look like the expected outcome for an export led recovery in the UK?? I think not…

    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/uk-balance-of-payments-deteriorates-sharply-2013-12-20

  166. Krackerman says:

    Don’t mean to lay it on thick but this “recovery” is anything but.. from Marketwatch… “The nation’s current account deficit widened to 20.7 billion pounds ($33.89 billion), a shortfall equivalent to 5.1% of overall gross domestic product. That’s the widest deficit since 1989, the ONS said.

    The data underscore how a hoped-for rebalancing of the U.K. economy towards trade and investment and away from debt-fueled consumption remains a distant prospect. Public finances data Friday showed the U.K.’s budget deficit was wider in November than a year earlier. The Bank of England has warned rebalancing will be required if Britain’s economic recovery is to prove sustainable.

    Ratings agency Standard and Poor’s on Friday affirmed its AAA rating for the U.K. but retained a negative outlook, citing “risks to the sustainability of growth”

  167. Thepnr says:

    @jingly jangly
    “The UK is currently having to borrow over 50 billion pounds per annum to pay the interest on its debt which is growing by around 100 Billions pounds per year.”

    That sentence just shows how really bad the debt situation is. If you have to keep borrowing just to pay the debt you are effectively already bankrupt and are just buying time.

    I’d like Ivan McKee to say more on this topic and show the difference in Scotlands situation.

  168. farrochie says:

    gerry parker says:
    22 January, 2014 at 6:43 pm

    @ Captain, There are many who do think the whole world is goosed
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Seems now there is physical gold and there’s paper gold. I think the financial system now exists as a big IOU.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/gold-rehypotecation-unwind-begins-hsbc-sues-mf-global-over-disputed-ownership-physical-gold

  169. alexicon says:

    call me dave.

    “Labour support the SNP budget… You mean they weren’t going to make the same mistake twice.”
    Dave I was watching reporting Scotland tonight where Jackie Burd and Brian Taylor were at pains to explain to the public why Labour voted against the free school meals policy.

    It was a double act between the 2.

  170. Chic McGregor says:

    Jingly Jangly

    And in terms of % of GDP the UK is worse than the USA on the current balance sheet.

    Also, because Public Debt calculation methodologies do vary, it is useful to look at Total External Debt (TED) which is harder to ‘fiddle’ in that the division of different items between sectors which can vary, by methodology, should not effect the total.

    TED also gives an idea for the potential capacity for a nation to take on more debt. Obviously a country with low TED due to low levels of personal debt can take on more credit and have a consumer credit boom to boost the economy for instance.

    The following Morgan Stanley chart is a couple of years old but serves to illustrate the dire position on TED that the UK is in.

    Especially in the financial sector which is extremely vulnerable to ‘world’ events and lacks transparency on things like how much of it is toxic.

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/97149913/Total_Debt_to_GDP.jpg

  171. Sandy Milne says:

    £500 a year or £9.62 a week to get rid of Westminster. Where do I sign up for that?

    That’s right there’s a wee box that on a bit of paper next to the word YES that will be available on the 18th of September 2014 that wants my cross in it.

  172. Caroline Corfield says:

    Thanks chaps, I’ve read the moneyweek article before but I see now the bail out debt is part of this 1 trillion that the government is carrying. Presumably those who have not defaulted on loans considered toxic are paying into the banks and when we sell back our share of these banks a la the recent Royal Mail flotation we can expect to be ‘shafted’ once more. I shall peruse the other links when my brain is more switched on.

  173. FlimFlamMan says:

    You can’t make meaningful comparisons between private sector debt and sovereign government debt. The former have to acquire the money to pay debt while the latter create it.

    After WW2 UK government debt stood at over 250% of GDP, and this was the time of Bretton Woods and the gold exchange standard, when governments did face similar constraints to private individuals and businesses.

    UK government debt now stands at less than 100% of GDP, and the gold exchange standard is no more. Why would the UK government not be able to service its debt? The fact that it even issues debt is a useless relic of the gold exchange standard that ended in 1971.

    How did the UK — and US etc. — government manage to find vast sums of money to bail out the financial sector after the crash?

    Answer: they didn’t find it. They created it and issued debt to ‘cover’ what they’d created, because we have rules in place that make it appear that governments borrow. The Bank of England took on much of that debt. One arm of government ‘borrowing’ from another. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

    The government chose to create enough money when it suited them, to bail out the financial sector.

    The government chooses not to create enough money to adequately fund decent education, health care, pensions and so on.

    At 250% and with the constraints of Bretton Woods the UK government managed to spend enough to rebuild a country decimated by war, because it chose to.

    At 100% and no gold constraint the government can service its debt indefinitely, and spend enough to, at a minimum, eliminate unemployment and inadequate state pensions. They’re choosing not to.

  174. annie says:

    Alexicon- They will be at pains to get the message out with the Cowdenbeath by-election tomorrow.

  175. call me dave says:

    Aye the BBC tv & radio were piling in with the UK government’s part in the recovery. No Swinney to be seen or heard.

    PS:
    Advert for the home coming this year and all the events in Scotland. Was there always a union jack in the picture near the end in the street scene? Or has it just appeared, can’t say I had seen it before.

  176. scottish_skier says:

    They will be at pains to get the message out with the Cowdenbeath by-election tomorrow.

    News strangely quiet on that front huh.

    Maybe it’s because it’s Labour’s to lose rather than make ‘apparent’ inroads in as per Abderdeen Donside…

  177. Jon D says:

    One 20 gram Kinder egg plus “prize” costs 75 pence.

    The prize of independence and all the benefits that that could bring each one of us, and generations to come, is half of that cost per day.

    Come on Scotland; wake up. Do we not value our selves more than this?

  178. cirsium says:

    OT – have you ever seen a headline like this? Imagine celebrating the start of that war. What kind of country would do that?

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/britain-begins-a-year-of-celebration-for-world-war-i-centenary-a-943645.html

  179. Training Day says:

    So the BBC are now attempting to intimidate academics.

    This week alone they have ignored the damning UWS report; broadcast a farcically one-sided Sunday Politics show which concluded with a love-in between Unionist journalists with no counterbalance; broadcast a facile debate in which a committed Unionist panellist was introduced as an ‘undecided’; and now they threaten an academic with a crude attempt to bully the University into disowning him.

    With the Daily Mail doorstepping Yes tweeters, we have an uncomfortable vision of where civil liberties will lie if the No campaign gets its way.

  180. Thepnr says:

    Agreed Training Day

    Attempting to intimidate Dr John Robertson for his research is disgraceful, follow Batemans example and email ian.small@bbc.co.uk with your objections to this attack on Dr Robertson.

    http://derekbateman1.wordpress.com/2014/01/22/breaking-newsbbc-threatens-academic/comment-page-1/#comment-3727

  181. Ian Brotherhood says:

    BBC – Big Bull in a China shop…

    Oh well – given the subject matter, and the fact that a fellow academic is involved, we can look forward to Curtice doing the rounds later, explaining what all the fuss is about.

    “Are you now, or have you ever been, a cybernat sympathiser?”

  182. Peter aka Persistent Pete says:

    I feel despair! As an Englishman we are told the Scots are tight. Yet my living/staying in Scotland for nearly 35 years did not prove this allegation. Until now!

    How anyone can call themself a proud Scot, and yet are willing to be absorbed within the UK, I just cannot fathom it. All these centuries, since the Union, have lost the majority of Scots their identity. And self-confidence! And self-respect!

    My advice to the nationalists is do not let Westminster make this only an economic issue. For that is their only strength. No, you must sell the vision, the imagination, the vision. Remind the people of The Enlightenment and the huge opportunity to have a second one. Scotland has so many potential advantages.

    Why am I so keen?

    Firstly I really like being in Scotland. Secondly though, if Scotland leaves the UK it will force the English, and for that matter the Welsh and Northern Irish, to re-define themselves. Other than a common ancestry and culture, Britain to me is too London-centric. I’d rather see each nation flourish.

    To close, if the typical Scot places that pittance over their dignity, then they just deserve my contempt.

  183. Grendel says:

    Opinion trumpeted as fact. Anyone who thinks that a few folk answering a poll can be extrapolated out to represent all Scots needs their head examined.

  184. KraftyKris says:

    I don’t think a lot of people who posted earlier thought about this £500 question properly. If you are a parent struggling to make ends meet, where £500 could have been the difference between you getting a Christmas present for your child, heating your home over winter or maybe your £500 behind in your bills and the interest on that keeps rising but no matter how many extra hours you try and get or put in (but something else comes up that you have to

  185. KraftyKris says:

    Hit enter by mistake on my phone.

    … Something else comes up that you have to prioritise paying for) then £500 could be a large and important amoun of money. Obviously if it is someone sitting comfortably financially and they think like that then it shows their priorities are probably not in he right place, however, I would be careful judging these people, we have no idea what their situations are.

  186. Papadocx says:

    Peter aka Persistent Pete says:

    Well said peter. Westminster operates UK like a fiefdom from the 1700s NOT just to Scotland but to all outside the London bubble. It’s the archaic system that stinks.

  187. Illy says:

    Someone managed to get this into the Metro’s reader comments section on the Fife circle edition.

    They had to disguise it as a “Scots are stupid” rant, but they got the “£500 a year is less than £1.40 a day” line in.

  188. chalks says:

    @Caroline

    Sorry for the broad stroke when using ‘public’ debt…I meant household debt….it all adds up though and has an effect on the economy, especially if interest rates go up.

    We aren’t paying off our government accrued debt at all, instead we are adding to it. This will mean even more huge cuts and with huge cuts again means the impoverished (and there are many) getting less money forced into work for peanuts…

    What is next for the poor, sick and needy? Paying even more for your healthcare? In a globalised economy that promotes unhealthy food and subsidises it in order for it to be cheap….the US already has a massive obesity problem, diabetes type 2 usually follows….UK isn’t far behind in that regard….

    But do you know what the really sad thing is? The UK can afford to protect and look after it’s own, if they went after the people who don’t pay tax, you’d find the shortfall.

    They are so stuck to this neo-liberal mindset that it will never change though. For all their british nat pish that they come out with, they are fkn hypocrites. Why?

    Because if they rejected these massive companies and invested in local or british national companies with a set of values embedded into the workers rights, which protects workers and promotes goods locally, then this country would not be the mess it is.

    It really is quite simple. We don’t have to have these massive companies, making huge profits and not paying any tax other than employee contributions….it’s what happens when you have career politicians, looking for £££ and not in it for the people and ultimately their country.

  189. FlimFlamMan says:

    @chalks

    We aren’t paying off our government accrued debt at all, instead we are adding to it. This will mean even more huge cuts…

    Cuts will come because governments choose to cut, not because of government debt.

    The UK can afford to protect and look after it’s own, if they went after the people who don’t pay tax, you’d find the shortfall.

    The shortfall is there because the private sector wants to net save and we are a net importer. Under those conditions a government will always run deficits, no matter how many tax dodgers are kept from their dodging.

    Unless you make a mistake with the numbers, accounts will always balance. If one sector is in surplus — like the private sector net saving — some other sector must be in deficit.

    They are so stuck to this neo-liberal mindset that it will never change though.

    Yes, it’s there in all the Westminster parties, including their representatives in Scotland, and nothing will change fundamentally unless the mindset is broken. But part of that neoliberal mindset is the idea that governments are just like households, but bigger. That government debts are a burden.

    Accounts always balance.

    Government deficit = non-government saving, and sovereign governments can always meet that saving desire. Did government debt at over 250% of GDP destroy the UK after WW2? No; we even managed to rebuild bombed cities, and right now the government could rebuild neglected cities, jobs, and lives. If it chose to.

    It’s the neoliberal choices being made that are wrecking lives, not government debt.

  190. chalks says:

    @Flimfan

    ‘It’s the neoliberal choices being made that are wrecking lives, not government debt.’

    Kinda what I was getting at….

  191. FlimFlamMan says:

    @chalks

    It’s the neoliberal choices being made that are wrecking lives, not government debt.

    Kinda what I was getting at…

    I’m sure we’re broadly in agreement, but the idea that government debt means future cuts is buying into neoliberal arguments.



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