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Rolling no news

Posted on October 21, 2014 by

This is a tough time to be writing analytically about Scottish politics, and for once we have a degree of empathy with our fellow journalists in the mainstream press. Very little worthy of discussion is actually happening, yet there are still pages to fill. Perhaps we should have taken a month off rather than two weeks.

That’s not to say that nothing NOTABLE is happening. The SNP more than tripling its membership in a month to the point where it may well be four times that of the three Unionist parties put together, for example, is a remarkable event, but there’s very little worthwhile to be said about it other than observing the simple fact. Nobody knows who these new members are, why they joined or what they want, and anyone speculating about it is just filling space with the sound of their own voice for the sake of it.

bobsmith

Similarly, discussing the Smith Commission report is mostly a pointless exercise. Its conclusions will be based on the submissions of the three Westminster parties – we can all, surely, discount the idea that any significant amount of the SNP’s contribution will be included – and those have been known since March.

And in any event, as we noted at the weekend, the Commission’s report will be an irrelevance. It’ll be followed in short order by a general election, and whichever party takes the keys to 10 Downing Street will not be bound by its conclusions. If the eventual devo package reflects the Commission’s findings it’ll be by pure electoral coincidence – if the Tories get in they’ll implement the Strathclyde Commission, and if it’s Labour it’ll be “devo nano”. (Why would either of them, having just won an election, voluntarily and needlessly compromise on their own preferred plan?)

So what to talk about?

The newspapers have been reduced to reporting gossip and tittle-tattle. Jim Murphy either will or won’t replace Johann Lamont as Scottish Labour’s pseudo-leader. Lamont’s predecessors Henry McLeish and Jack McConnell are bemoaning yet again (accurately) that Labour doesn’t know what it stands for beyond hatred of the SNP, but have no actual suggestions of their own as to what that ought to be.

(Don’t hear much from Wendy Alexander these days, do we?)

The Sunday Post recently plumbed the depths of trying to whip up outrage over an MSP having a hundred-quid dinner on expenses, or others staying in something other than a windowless orange EasyHotel when on government business in London. (We can’t help but ponder that these sorts of stories are motivated chiefly by bitter hacks who used to have their own nice expense accounts but don’t any more as newspaper budgets are screwed down ever tighter due to plummeting sales.)

Internet media’s been barely any better, largely occupying itself with fundraisers to open cafes and awareness workshops, or build wish trees, or hire full-time community arts correspondents, or (with admirable chutzpah) pay people to go on nice European holidays. Some, with touching optimism, have even sent their own submissions to the Smith Commission, where they’ll serve a vital purpose mopping up coffee spills. Others have agonised over the Commission’s outcome, as if it matters (see above).

But there’s one topic that’s gone curiously unexamined amid the orgy of trivia and agonised introspection about the future of Scottish Labour. It’s a subject that appears to concern nobody in Scotland except this website and the Labour MP for Glasgow South West, Ian Davidson. Because while everyone’s banging on about abstract “powers”, nobody seems to be asking about the money.

If a new devolution settlement ever arrives, there are in real life only two possible outcomes of it. One is that Scotland will have to raise more of its own taxes and the Barnett Formula will apply only to the residual block grant from Westminster – meaning that Scotland will lose billions of pounds and be forced into massive cuts over and above those already coming down the line – or it’ll have to raise more of its own taxes and the block grant will be increased to ensure that there’s no loss.

The latter outcome, of course, would make the devolution of new powers a complete waste of time and money, particularly from the UK government’s perspective (the only one that ultimately counts in the context of devolution). And the former would be a financial catastrophe for Scotland on a scale never seen before. The Scottish Parliament has never seen a budget cut on any sort of comparable scale to that which the uncompensated full or partial devolution of income tax would cause.

Readers of Wings Over Scotland will of course be wearisomely familiar with this line of analysis – we’ve been going on about it for almost a year now. What we don’t understand is why nobody except us and Ian Davidson is talking about it.

The administrative infrastructure of taxation is a subject of little to no interest for normal people, and nor should it be. What they DO care about is whether their public services are butchered because Holyrood’s purse is suddenly £4bn or £5bn or £7bn light, depending on which devolution plan is implemented.

We’d be a lot more confident about the future of Scotland if anyone else was at least asking those blindingly obvious questions, rather than wittering on idiotically about whether Fergus Ewing had the prawn cocktail or not.

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    1. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      Well if they do try to short change Scotland any further than it is presently, I would expect a lot of No’s to change their tune quickly, demanding at least Devo-Max.

    2. indigo says:

      Always good to see a photo of the lovely Robert Smith, otherwise there’s very little to say except ‘yep, agreed’

    3. Swami Backverandah says:

      Bravo.
      The whole matter of devolution of powers was and is ever only about the money.
      You can see the way WM spin is softening up the electorate with their EVEL cry in full force. Although this pitch appeals to the voters as it seems to be about a matter of fairness, in reality it’s the rhetoric masquerading as the battle cry for the following onslaught of cuts to Scotland’s budget that will inevitably follow from the 2015 election. And it’s being shaped in the rUK and No-voting simple public minds as the injustice of the Barnett formula.

    4. McHaggis says:

      The in-out EU referendum is a topic that merits further exploration… if only to highlight and contrast the views of certain characters and parties towards THAT referendum compared to the recent one in Scotland…

      e.g.
      Barroso now an outcast where he was a sage and wise commentator before,
      Referendum in Europe apparently creates certainty whereas we know the line on the Scottish referendum
      etc etc

    5. schrodingers cat says:

      westminster will tell us that they are increasing funding wwhile ensuring that holyroods budget is slashed massively, forcing the snp to cut drastically, and get blamed for it. this is wm chance to piss all over us and tell us its raining.
      our only chance to avert this is to elect as many mp;s from scotland and hope that the wm arithmatic is in out favour and enable us to hold their feet to the fire on devo max
      what other options are open to us?

    6. June Maxwell says:

      Hi Stu. While we wait for results of the magical powers or an alternative media outlet, I wonder if WoS would be amenable to producing a wee A5 booklet-type regular bulletin with your analysis of pertinent issues like this one. After attending a packed SNP local mtg Im certain there’s an army of activists who could print and distribute these thru letterboxes, etc. If these work like the WBB a lot of Nos might turn in time for next try.

    7. fred blogger says:

      great, so now we wait to see the size of the pig in a poke scotland has been sold.
      now scotland really is on pause, learning how to watch paint dry, to see how little we are being offered.
      that worked out well dinit eh slabs?

    8. Dan Huil says:

      Erm… we could always talk about English politics. How it’s moving further and further to the right. How the rise of ukip in England could help the independence cause in Scotland. Ukip’s ignorance of all things Scottish will result in one massive backlash if they push for the former outcome as described above by Rev. The unionist media will be giving ukip full coverage, of course.

    9. Ian Patterson says:

      I think this is a point extremely well made; and it was done so after what I also thought was an apt preamble.

      What on earth can we do about this? It seems as if the only sort of action that stood a chance of being noticed was for yet another of those interminable 38 degrees petitions to be fired-off. Beyond that spontaneous (but perhaps rather shallow) thought, I’m clueless.

    10. Oscar Taime says:

      If they get EVEL we need to insist on Scottish Taxes on Projects in Scotland #STPS or SToPiS.

    11. Luigi says:

      The lull before the storm?

    12. Sandy says:

      The saddest part is the fact that the people who voted No, care more about their own pensions than the amount of money available to Scotland.

      Greedy, selfish, short sighted and blinkered.

    13. galamcennalath says:

      Good article. I feel like the vulture in the cartoon, “patience my ass, I need to kill something”. Waiting for some action is difficult.

      Perhaps things will hot up soon …

      Swami Backverandah says:
      “EVEL … seems to be about a matter of fairness, in reality it’s the rhetoric masquerading as the battle cry … to Scotland’s budget that will inevitably follow from the 2015 election. ”

      Indeed. I think a lot of people in WM feel their No win has given them a green light to do all the things to Scotland they have been champing at the bit over for years.

      Our mission must be to give them another fright in the GE.

      Aye, fear. Fear of Scots’ potential actions kept WM’s excesses at bay for decades. Yet they used fear back at us to win the referendum. It’s time to make them fear us again! If nothing else, a bus load of SNP MPs heading south will keep WM backfooted where Scotland is concerned. On the other hand, that same busload could easily be the next step to independence.

    14. James Boatman says:

      Sounds like full full income tax devolution plus oil revenues (£5.4 billion 2012) makes it a zeroish sum. This gives Holyrood the taxation responsibility it wants and ends the boring argument about what the oil is worth.

    15. Andrew says:

      A massive cut to Scotlands funding via the Barnet would indeed be felt in Scotland via public spending cuts and increased taxes – I think it is this pain that has to be felt before the No majority sit up and take interest in affairs.

    16. G H Graham says:

      I was at the SNP branch meeting with John Swinney MSP in Stanley, Perthshire last night.

      The Smith Commission topic came up while I hammered away at the desire for an independently funded Scottish news broadcaster.

      The theme is that the next 6 to 12 months is quite uncertain but nevertheless, Smith will be pushed as hard as possible to deliver as wide a range of powers as possible.

      But it’s easy to read between the lines. No one really expects Smith to deliver much at all, despite the words coming out of the SNP.

      It seems then that the strategy is to leverage the failure of Smith to punish the Westminster parties next year by sending a large contingent of pro independence representatives on the back of a paper thin package of new powers.

      Traditionally, the parties would have fought each seat independently but there was a strong suggestion last night that a coalition of pro YES people is being considered by the SNP as a strategy to win even more seats from Labour.

      I think this is indeed the only way the SNP can achieve say a block of pro indy MP’s in excess of say 35 in Westminster.

      And it is a strategy that seems sensible and one that I support. The challenge will be to overcome the differences in principles & philosphy since some members of this coalition are staunchy anti NATO for example.

      If these variations can be temporarily set aside in a mature fashion in order to achieve the longer term objective, then it might have a chance of securing even a power sharing platform in London. At the very least it will keep Westminster nervous.

      Meanwhile, any tactical voting towards UKIP in Scotland must be crushed by everyone, otherwise we may well end up with a right pig’s breakfast of a coalition.

      And in the background, funding, orbanisation & talent must be assembled to create & deliver a broadcaster that serves Scotland, rather than London. NO, this has almost no bearing on the political tactics between now and the british GE but it is a problme that nevertheless must be solved.

    17. crisiscult says:

      @June

      support your thinking. More generally, we need wings to help us organise and take practical steps to deal with the expected shafting HMGov (and the rats who sail in her) has waiting for us.

      Predictions along the lines: Smith produces a report that MSM in Scotland mis-sells making it seem like a decent offer (ie missing out the info and main point Rev Stu has just posted here). Labour get lots of free advertising through MSM that Scotland’s only hope is a labour gov. MSM freezes out the YES parties. Drive to get SNP vote down in 2015.

      Demoralised YES supporters start drifting away and throwing in the towel. Further devolution rolls into the long grass. Back to business as usual.

      Let’s start planning. Funding; leafletting; more demonstrations. Lots of yes groups planning to continue and looking for ideas of activities and material to distribute. We need to harness our anger.

    18. Tam Jardine says:

      Great article – my only slight bone of contention would be that if Scotland is suddenly raising the vast majority of her taxes and getting royally screwed even more by the ever more blatant draining of her riches from exports, oil, gas, electricity etc it may finally wake up the complacent middle class. Risky business though.

      Anything that highlights the imbalance and wakes up the electorate to who is subsidising who is going to help make Independence happen.

      But then it is ok for me to say bring it on – it potentially involves a hell of a lot of misery for those less fortunate than myself.

      The SNP had to take part in Smith but I can see them walking out if/when it is looking futile which may be a better outcome.

      O/T if I may: I have been laughing this morning at Nick Clegg’s insult to our First Minister likening him to a Japanese soldier still fighting the war 20 years after it is over.

      Laughing because in the days after the referendum I suggested to friends that I would remain fighting in the jungle for as long as it takes like said Japanese soldiers.

      What Nick Clegg and all these ‘get over it’ types Dinnae get is that they are asking the impossible.

      Imagine all the press were hell bent on separation, running stories about the dangers of remaining in the union with the Sunday Post the only dissenting pro-union voice.

      Imagine the Scottish Government controlled the BBC and it covered the indyref with a heavy pro-independence bias. And pensioners had been terrified by pro indy canvassers threatening their pensions if they remained in the union, or threatened eu nationals with deportation if there was a No vote.

      Imagine the Scottish Government had a vast Foreign Office able to lobby foreign government’s to warn of the dangers of unionism.

      And imagine the Scottish Government had at the last minute cobbled together some bullshit offer that swayed the referendum result. And Yes had won by a small margin despite all the fear and intimidation..

      Were that the situation, and if Nick Clegg truly believed in the union, he would be donning the Hachimaki and digging a foxhole in the jungle with the rest of the unionists, determined to continue fighting and rightly so.

    19. Vince Diaz says:

      What about http://www.cuthbert1.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/ ?

      Jim and Margaret has been writing papers on the Scottish economy since…ever.

    20. Steven Luby says:

      Giving that Scots voted No with nothing specific being offered why should Westminster & Co concern themselves with North Britain?Giving decades of apathy the levels outright ignorance of basic economic & political understanding won the day,so be it. I read & hear lots about this group,that group but the bottom line is we voted No without anything backed up with legislation. The whole referendum was simply in or out of the Uk,people barking about Devo-this & that forget that Devo-Anything is as flimsy as Labours understanding of democracy. Scotland will be carved up and giving the stupidity of its electorate,i’m losing sympathy for what’s coming. Westminster won’t make this mistake anytime soon for any referendums held in Scotland & by the time a majority of Scots want out the TTIP & its elitist supporters will be laughing all the way back to the bank,again.Scotland is in for a jolt worthy of several pages in any future history book but the bottom line is……we will be left with only ourselves to blame.

    21. muttley79 says:

      @crisiscult

      I am very wary about having too many rallies/marches. There will come a point when numbers drop off if they happen to regularly. As numbers start to fall, then there is a distinct possibility that some people get disillusioned and annoyed at those who do not attend the rallies. To be honest, once a year is probably better for these types of thing. I am not sure how effective they are, and they do have a tendency to preach to the converted.

    22. Author_Al says:

      Joined the SNP after watching Labour betray its values. I could not believe that all Labour politicians did not want Independence, and felt that Scottish labour was being sacrificed for the greater good down south.

      I am English, live in Scotland with my Scottish wife, and have been made most welcome. The media & the politicians aimed to drive a wedge between Scots and English. Independence was about self-determinism, having a say about local issues and matters without London-centric Westminster skewing things for its own gain.

      I am from Kent and know that Scotland is almost like a foreign country down there, with much stereotyping against it – due to the likes of UKIP, distance and misinformation.

      Why choose SNP? SNP might be nationalist but they are willing to change leaders, have a socialist heart, are aware of the value of immigration and cultures coming together, speak out for the disenfranchised etc. Also I feel that adding to the number of new members sends a signal out to Miliband, Clegg and ‘Swiss Tony’ Cameron.

      SNP isn’t perfect mind, as it can be bloody minded but no more so than Lamont who spends her days hissing and going against everything that SNP do.

      If Labour had distanced themselves from the Tories, allowed its own politicians and members a ‘free vote’ on Independence, had not corralled Unions into writing letters to poorly paid members to vote No, had not had activists harassing elderly over the phone, had not spread misinformation about Scotland’s resources, etc then it might have got my vote.

      I have spent much time in Noway – and my Norwegian friends despair over what could have been.

      Btw – why should £9 million go to UK Govt as regards the new law here for paying for plastic bags?

    23. David McCann says:

      Agree with everything you say Stu about any settlement we get from Westminster.
      I am becoming increasingly nervous about the trap of tax raising powers without commensurate access to a share of tax revenues, something which is not going to happen.
      My submission to the Smith Commission (not that they will take a blind bit of notice) is to scrap Barnett, and go for FFA, with Scotland paying Westminster for non devolved powers.
      After all, that is what the much vaunted Vow offered to those who voted No. Those of us who voted Yes know that independence is not on offer, but will have to settle for FFA.

    24. Rigmac7 says:

      I’m sure that each individual NO voter has good points, are just normal people etc, but see for the last month or so, as a collective, I fucking hate them.

      Hope it’s not just me and that’s normal. I’m away up a clock tower to relax for a bit.

    25. desimond says:

      What about the main questions of the day?

      Wheres Alastair?

      Wheres wee Dougie?

      re Jim Murphy in for Dame Jola…how can this happen if its the Unions who vote for Scottish Labour leader rather than Ed simply in a reshuffle?

      The Smith Commission..they’d have been as well spending the money commissioning a bust of Mel Smith for all the good it will do. Imagine the apathy in that room..

      “What do you want?”
      “Whats the fecking point?”

      BTW Are you showing The Cure as according to JoLa we are a disease(virus)?

    26. Robert Louis says:

      The point regarding devolution of income tax, is important. We could have powers devolved that will do NOTHING but damage Scotland, and its economy.

      Partial devolution of taxation, is in itself, the most dangerous of traps, which the unionists in London will implement with glee. Scottish MP’s will care little for the damage done to Scotland, if it will also damage the SNP Government.

      The SNP are aware of this, but need to let Smith play out to its logical pointless conclusion.

      I was talking this over recently, and the thought occurred to me, if Westminster really wanted to settle the matter once and for all, then actually devo max (all powers except defence and foreign affairs), would do it. Just consider, to Westminster, the actual financial value of the Scottish oil revenues, is not so much in the money amount (a small proportion of the England/rUK budget), but rather its value as collateral for the debt, and its impact on balance of payments. So, consider, devo max offers London the best of both worlds. It end Barnett, it ensures there is no change to the balance of payments or collateral from the Sterling point of view, and it effectively kils Labour in Westminster ‘stone dead’.

      So, what would the objection to devo max be? Well, in the past and to the present day, the fear is, that if Scotland has devo max, it will inevitably progress to full independence, but is that correct? Imagine a devo max Scotland, with full powers at Holyrood, except defence and foreign affairs, even I as a die hard indy supporter can see that in that context, it could prove very hard, if not impossible, to motivate a large enough percentage of the Scottish electorate to vote for full independence. My instinct, is that MOST folks would be content at devo max.

      Of course Labour, for their own selfish party reasons would oppose devo max, but it does need asked, would devo max REALLY make Scots then vote for independence? Would they see the difference as important enough? I don’t think they would.

      If Westminster was brave, and fully implemented devo max, it would not only satisfy most Scots, it would keep Scotland as part of the UK, retain some of the benefits of the oil (but not the actual revenue) within Sterling, kill Labour in Scotland, thwart the SNP, and possibly create a better more secure footing for the UK going forward. It would also in its implmentation serve as a template for further devolution down south.

      Of course that isn’t about to happen, and we will if lucky get a damaging and costly devo nothing settlement forced upon us, and so the demand for independence will continue.

    27. heedtracker says:

      “If a new devolution settlement ever arrives” It won’t. Even an optimist has to look at Scottish 80 year socio economic decline and realise it’s only going to get worse. England rules teamGB and it needs everything Scotland has to offer. That’s the whole point of colonialism.

    28. Rigmac7 says:

      Apologies, bad day today. Grumble mumble grrrr

    29. chalks says:

      There was a small comment in the Hardcastle column in the Daily Mail about Osborne considering handing over control of oil revenues to Scotland.

    30. Me Bungo Pony says:

      Next big thing:- Elect as many SNP MPs as possible next May. Given electoral arithmatic, that could see dozens of Scottish MPs actually standing up for Scotland (instead of dozing off on the Labour benches …. when they can be bothered to turn up). More importantly, they could easily make up the biggest non Lab/Con block of MPs and be able to force them into full Devo Max (one short hop from independence) in exchange for their support. Even Labour may be amenable to this as their Scottish MPs would no longer be such a big proportion of their Westminster contingent and, therfore, EVEL and the downgrading of Scottish MPs not such a problem for them.

      Second big thing:- the amalgamation of the plethora of pro-indy sites on the web into bigger sites with more diverse content even on the slow days. The Caledonian Mercury must be ripe for becoming such a hub. It was very promising when it first burst on the scene, though cyber-brits from the Scotsman site soon descended on it in an attempt to troll it to death. They seem to have been close to succeeding.

      Third big thing:- Lunch.

    31. Grouse Beater says:

      If, by colonial mindset, or unionist adherence, half the voting population of Scotland can’t see the wisdom in voting for genuine self-governance and citizen empowerment – an SNP ideal – why will it vote to populate the Parliament with SNP MSPs?

    32. Onwards says:

      I think it all comes down to the question:
      ‘Should Scotland be able to compete?”

      The budget shortfall comes from a case where only income tax is devolved, and the Barnett formula is reduced accordingly.

      But if Scotland had Devo-Max, then I reckon many people would accept an adjustment or a reduction of the Barnett formula.
      Especially if we had a share of oil revenues included.

      There seems to have been an assumption that no tax competition could ever be allowed in a united Kingdom.

      But this IGNORES the fact that the current situation isn’t a level playing field.

      Look at how the population ratio has changed between Scotland and England over the last century.

      Same will happen with business, without changes.
      Head offices and investment are naturally drawn to London and the South of England, for all sorts of reasons.
      Proximity to Europe and main markets, Infrastructure, direct flights, networking, lobbying, climate etc

      If Scotland cannot compete on taxes, the same way US states can, then the natural end conclusion is permanent subsidy – once the oil runs out, the crown estate receives most revenues from offshore renewable energy, and London is even more of a world mega-city.

      Is that the future people want for this country?
      To be a remote northern region, a feeder zone for London, happy with redistribution / hand-outs via the Barnett formula?

      We should be aiming for as many powers as possible, with the reasonable aim to undercut the south of England, and provide some balance.

      Look at what the airline heads said could happen if the airport passenger tax was cut and we got more direct flights.
      Tourism could DOUBLE.

      There is a reluctance to allow Scotland FFA, in case it leads to independence. But there is just as much risk for the SNP in that a looser union with Devo-Max could strengthen the UK. All the problems with a currency solution would still exist in a second referendum.

      Perhaps the Smith commission will surprise us, although I doubt it.
      The case for income tax devolution alone is weak, with no change to Barnett.
      But a majority do want significant new powers, and the YES vote was uncomfortably close for them.

      Would they take the risk of another SNP landslide at Holyrood and a Scottish public that feels betrayed..?

    33. Vince Diaz says:

      There are two people that have been talking and writing papers on the Scottish Economy since…ever:

      http://www.cuthbert1.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/

      What about if we start focusing on the 59 Bye-elections we are going to fight next coming May?

      There’s only less than 200 days left. Just saying.

    34. desimond says:

      @Grouse Beater

      For the people who got out and voted in referendum, theres a massive percentage of YES voters who are now interested in GE voting compared to NO voters.

      I find myself wondering how the Proxy Postal vote scam ( hello retirement home voters) could be divied up this time around?

    35. Onwards says:

      From the Herald:

      “Lord Foulkes of Cumnock, the Labour peer and former Scotland Office minister, broke ranks with the main UK parties by arguing further devolution should end the Barnett formula.

      In a vow days before the refer­endum the UK parties promised to retain the funding mechanism, which delivers higher than average public spending for Scotland. But Lord Foulkes said Holyrood should be granted as much tax-raising power as possible without damaging the UK, arguing: “This inevitably makes the Barnett formula redundant.”

    36. Graeme McCaffery says:

      What can be done about these cuts?
      Well Labour expect the SNP to meekly implement them and let Labour come back into power at the next Holyrood election.

      How about this instead, (assuming that we can’t stop this massive effective cut) the SNP lay out what will have to be cut and how much taxes have to rise in a proposed budget and then the entire SNP govt resigns to force a Holyrood election. Assuming they win then refuse to form a govt that would have to implement these cuts all the while getting a mandate for devomax at the election.

      Essentially create a constitutional crisis and make Scotland ungovernable. Perhaps even disrupt oil production…..

    37. Dr Ew says:

      It’s a rum game, this politics lark, eh?

      Most Wings’ correspondents have long understood the object of the Tories’ strategy was to devolve income tax-raising so it could claim the Scottish Parliament had “more powers” and say “Scotland raises its own taxes” then slash the foundation grant. Kill the SNP and the Parliament by forcing swingeing cuts AND huge tax hikes in Scotland. Job done. They grasped that when they emasculated local government in the 80s.

      Independence is, of course, the only real way to make Scotland’s finances work in the long run; we can’t run a left-of-centre state within a state because they’ll cut the legs from under us. In the short to medium term – let’s say till the beginning of the new tax year on 6th April 2020 – securing control of the range of tax powers being sought by SNP & the Greens via the Smith Commission (I know, I know) could work to our benefit but only if allied to a capacity to borrow. Without somethat, most new powers aren’t just worthless they’re toxic.

      Of course, REFUSING new tax-raising powers will be depicted by our friends in teh Fourth Estate as cowardly / petulant / undemocratic / unrealistic / stupid / aggressive / confrontational / Nazi-like. We’ll need Wings to help explain the complexities even to many Yes supporters.

      As I said, it’s a rum game.

    38. HandandShrimp says:

      It is important that the expectations of the Smith Commission are raised. By raising expectations only the Westminster parties can lose by failing to meet those expectations.

      I am not quite so negative about Smith though. The SNP and Greens have put forward strong proposals and I think the Tories see an advantage to going much further than they were previously inclined…not because they desire to benefit Scottish aspirations but because it discomfits Miliband so much. The Labour party antipathy to EVEL played badly for Miliband in the English press. I do not think that will have gone unnoticed by Tory campaigners.

      Could we secure Devo Max because it simply suits the Tories electorally? Quite possibly.

      Robert is very eccentric but the Cure do have a back catalogue of some very fine tunes.

    39. Grouse Beater says:

      Rigmac7: I’m sure that each individual NO voter has good points, but…

      I share your sentiment.

      I am certain many No voters were sincere in their choice, but that doesn’t mean their choice or the reason for their choice should be respected.

    40. Stoker says:

      Rev writes;
      (re – the astounding increase in SNP membership)

      “Nobody knows who these new members are,
      why they joined or what they want…”

      ((( HALLELUJAH )))
      I’ve been thinking the exact same thing but have
      deliberately avoided upsetting the applecart for
      fear of being branded some sort of negative Nel.

      Are all these new members pro-Independence? (i hope so).
      What are their reasons for joining etc?

      I’m still not sure if this is a good sign or a bad one.
      Remember, all these new members can influence policy.

      Time will tell. Meanwhile, for my own sanity, I’ll sit
      slightly on the side of cautious positivity.
      🙂

    41. stonefree says:

      @Sandy says:
      21 October, 2014 at 12:02 pm

      I totally agree, they like their BT leaders have no shame

    42. Roberto Esquierdo says:

      Rigmac7 . Chill. Scotland will be independent a lot quicker than most people realise as soon as the west Lothian question comes to fruition at westminster watch the political revolution amongst the unionist parties in Scotland. Thirty five per cent of no voters would never vote for independence and I do not need to identify the parties and the organisations but they include the church of Scotland who in my opinion have put themselves and the union before the well being of hungry ,poor, under payed, parishioners. I will never go back to my local church after what I saw in Ayrshire from most of the clergy and the church members.

    43. Mealer says:

      Stu,
      How about doing an article on the trade union movement in Scotland.Does the STUC leadership reflect members views on the constitution etc? It seems to me that a clear majority of union members must have voted Yes.Do the union leaders recognise that? How does this affect Labour Party-STUC relations?

    44. schrodingers cat says:

      G H Graham says:
      “I was at the SNP branch meeting with John Swinney MSP in Stanley, Perthshire last night.

      there was a strong suggestion last night that a coalition of pro YES people is being considered by the SNP as a strategy to win even more seats from Labour.”

      Pete Wishart hinted at a similar thing in Perth on Sat

    45. desimond says:

      @HandandShrimp

      Its all very well having confidence in The Smith Commission but its like working really hard and having confidence your boss will give you a bonus before he turns round and says “Sorry, the big boss in London said No can do, maybe next time eh?”

      This is no more than a pat on the head and a “Run along now silly wee Jock. The Adults are speaking”.

    46. Tam Jardine says:

      Stoker

      Imagine the SNP membership had dropped off a cliff after the No result – that would have been bad, yeah? I can see no reason the tsunami of new members can be anything other than good from swelling the coffers to more leafletters and canvassers and of course in helping guide policy to reflect the broader indy movement.

      New members are a cause for celebration for all pro indy parties in my view.

    47. muttley79 says:

      @HandandShrimp

      I agree with you. Negativity can become a self fulfilling prophecy. I am going to wait until I see what the Smith Commission proposes before dismissing it out of hand.

    48. desimond says:

      schrodingers cat, H Graham

      2 out of 3 applicants for the SNP Deputy leadership have also voiced their approval for such a plan. Wee Keith the Train Man Brown yet to comment I believe.

      Be interesting to see what Greens and SSP do if Yes Alliance offered.

    49. Yesitis says:

      The occasional itch hasn`t yet become an open wound.
      Yet.

    50. desimond says:

      muttley79 , HandandShrimp

      Not being cheeky but how long have you been coming to Wings and reading about empty promises? What exactly do you expect from a Tory Lord after a NO vote? Even contemplating “Lets see” is beyond my comprehension.

    51. Onwards says:

      @Robert Louis

      “Imagine a devo max Scotland, with full powers at Holyrood, except defence and foreign affairs, even I as a die hard indy supporter can see that in that context, it could prove very hard, if not impossible, to motivate a large enough percentage of the Scottish electorate to vote for full independence. My instinct, is that MOST folks would be content at devo max.”

      I feel the same.
      Make no mistake, I want independence, but I can see that Devo-MAX has the potential to really “kill the SNP stone dead.”

      Imagine the Tories actually offered FFA.
      They could say they have given us “Independence within the UK”, with the security of the pound, etc etc

      And they could deliver EVEL – a vote winner in England, and another chance to get the UKIP votes back.

      Most people in Scotland don’t care about voting on English Laws – that is a genuine grievance and rightly so.

    52. How will the pensioners feel when they have to pay for doctors appointments ,prescriptions ,public transport all on the lowest state pension in Europe.
      How will the winging middle class feel when Penelope and Torquil`s 4 year jaunt at` Uni` comes out of their savings for a cottage in Gascony.
      How will Orkney and Shetland feel when we can no longer subsidise the transport to the islands.

      Feeling better already or Schadenfreude.

    53. galamcennalath says:

      @Robert Louis

      “If Westminster was brave, and fully implemented devo max, it would not only satisfy most Scots, it would keep Scotland as part of the UK, retain some of the benefits of the oil (but not the actual revenue) within Sterling, kill Labour in Scotland, thwart the SNP, and possibly create a better more secure footing for the UK going forward.”

      While I would prefer full Indy, we are where we are. The electorate were offered Devo Max and chose it. We know that offer was just a callous lie, but it was made and accepted by enough people as genuine.

      Smith/WM has two paths. As you outline, with stability for perhaps decades. Or, some DevoNano or DevoTaxTrap botch up with a shelf life of months or a few years. Then it’s back to the next constitutional crisis. Unionist wishful thinking say “now move along, it’s all over” just isn’t the situation we see and that just ain’t going to happen. But they are incapable of seeing reality, it would seem.

      I expect it to be a botched job. The pressure on Smith from all Unionist politicians will be too much.

    54. muttley79 says:

      @Onwards

      Why has Devo max the potential to kill the SNP stone dead? After all, if it was implemented, it would become the status quo within 10 years, just as devolution has become.

    55. yerkitbreeks says:

      If the ” command paper ” is anything to go by, then you’re right. It really is an insult to make so little effort after Osborne’s build up.

      I have though, made a personal representation to the Smith Commission and I hope that a local Borders meeting tonight will agree to a group one.

      The rationale is that although the SNP’s one is watered down Inde, the more nominal and indirect support it can have, the better.

    56. Cuilean says:

      What is interesting is that the Scottish Labour Party’s very own TV & Radio Dept, (aka ‘BBC Scotland’), broadcast this week, a radio programme and a TV programme, both dedicated to SLAB’s flat-lining in Scotland.

      I also read that the elusive Alistair Darling is in grave danger of losing his seat at the May General Election. Good.

      SLAB & Darling think, as time wears on, and by May 2015, ‘YES’ voters’ passion will simply ebb away and allow SLAB to return to their ‘entitlement’ belief that they ‘OWN’ Scottish voters, in the same way that a farmer ‘owns’ livestock. Livestock can be shunted about, terrorised with dogs and cattle prods and shipped off to the knackers as required to keep the farm (SLAB) going.

      SLAB pays as much thought to voters’ feelings, as the farmer pays to animal feelings. Sure, the farmer sees the stock stays minimally healthy enough, for his own ends. Just as SLAB pays minimal lip-service to ‘socialism’ now neo-liberal socialism or red-torism.

      However, there’s something Darling, Alexander, Brown, Curran, Davidson, etc., do not take into account. Black civil rights American poet, Maya Angelou, sums it up thus,

      “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel”.

      SLAB made Scots feel cheated, conned, duped. In short, SLAB made Scots feel expendable, disposable, insignificant, dispensable, disposable, in short, shilpits.

      Cromwell summed up the Rump Parliament in 1653, as follows and it seems to sum up my feelings on SLAB perfectly “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately… Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

    57. HandandShrimp says:

      Desimond

      I may be wrong but I am prepared to give Smith a chance. I think he may very well go further than certainly Labour want and, hitherto, the Tories.

      Of course the resultant bun fight in Westminster might very well see a good package fall by the wayside but that is something we can use to our advantage. So I support the Smith Commission in producing a radical and brave solution. I have written to that effect to the Commission.

      If the Commission produces nothing more interesting than one of the existing Westminster packages then it will have been a shocking waste of time. Even Brown wants a more robust deal than Labour’s Devo Nano.

    58. schrodingers cat says:

      @desimond

      “Be interesting to see what Greens and SSP do if Yes Alliance offered.”

      thats a good point, might even be a tactic,
      if the greens and ssp refuse, that would push the yes supporters towards supporting the snp??

      as a sign of good faith, nicola might do well to offer ph the post of minister of the environment to push through the land reform bill

    59. Macart says:

      For Smith Commission see under waste of oxygen.

      A pointless exercise which will result in absolutely nothing of any worth for Scotland’s electorate. The only absolute guarantee from the most likely incumbent of number ten in May is serious fiscal pain and hardship, loss of services and a fair chance of career politicians feeling arrogant and or condescending round commons committee rooms.

    60. gillie says:

      Devo-Max means nuclear weapons on the Clyde. It means Scottish soldiers fighting American wars. It means selling arms to every despot, dictator and nutter on the planet. It means a British passport in your hand. It means our future in the EU is decided by Westminster. It means Scots are not brave enough to take that small step to full independence.

      We should consider Devo-Max as a stepping stone and not some brick-wall.

    61. Thomas William Dunlop says:
      21 October, 2014 at 11:29 am
      Well if they do try to short change Scotland any further than it is presently, I would expect a lot of No’s to change their tune quickly, demanding at least Devo-Max.
      ===============================

      The NOs will not change their tune except to be upset when it affects them. These NOs will blame the SNP the SG it will be all their fault. Nothing to do with the selfish, stupid self-centred NO voter.

    62. Grizzle McPuss says:

      I attended the SNP Clydesdale meeting last night in Biggar, and much of the same sentiment as expressed by @G H Graham above was mooted.

      In short; party political allegiances need to be set aside for the betterment of a ‘Scotland United’ approach to the GE2015. That was a given.

      (All the main party leaders already acknowledge this, so this faux analysis of Patrick Harvie is by no means helpful. The same can be said of the SSP leadership. No-one wants to adopt the smoking revolver and sore foot approach).

      One of the main points of last night causing most concern out of this discussion on GE2015 was the timeframe in respect of getting new faces out there and into the eye of the electorate.

      With barely 6 good months of campaigning, it was realised that we are not only requiring to establish the best political party to represent the anti-Unionist cause in each particular ward, but we need to actually find suitable candidates in the first place.

      Without doubt, the SNP are going to be the strongest party in terms of agenda to best competes in most, if not all areas. I write this in respect of the WM vote, not Holyrood.

      The SNP are very much aware that they have 85 thousand potential campaign foot-soldiers, and within that, a considerable amount of mixed & exceptional talent.

      But who are these individuals that will represent the party and potentially steal the votes of the incumbents?

      Compared to the existing well known, and rapidly despised personalities of the Unionist parties, we need to offer someone far better in respect of integrity and foresight…someone for each constituency to fully invest in.

      Usually, any prospective candidate would have the luxury of a couple of years on the ground, getting to know the area, putting their face in the memory of the electorate.

      In all of this, we have to take note that our fellow Scots are not, by any means, simple; they are now politically engaged. They have appraised the track-record of the SLAB, Tories et al in the run up to the independence vote, but out of this, they will not necessarily knee-jerk into the polling booth and vote them out in place of anyone.

      Sometimes, “…the devil you know…”

      The message from last night was not to just to the SNP in attendance, but to everyone that is still on this journey…

      The work of putting in place at least 50 of our best representatives is just beginning, and we need everyone to re-engage. We need to get out there to everyone, especially the disillusioned NO voters, and convince them of the very dire consequences if the Unionists remain the significant representation at WM.

    63. Murray McCallum says:

      It’s funny to see news articles that talk about 30%, 40%, 54%, etc of Scottish income tax revenues being “controlled” by the Scottish parliament.

      Surely the only logical alternatives are 0.0% or 100.0% depending on whether you believe in centralisation or not?

      Anyone that buys into the idea of Scotland being partially accountable (say a magical 54%) for part of its own revenue is a complete idiot. This type of person would go along with their employer only paying 54% of their wages with the remaining 46% depending on company solidarity, pooling and sharing.

      Scotland should obviously be in 100% control of all its revenues. To assist transparency, support the UK Parliament and be all round good citizens we should support the introduction of a “Westminster Levy” to cover the cost of UK institutions & defence. This is our contribution to the maintenance of the UK so everyone can see what it costs us.

    64. wullie says:

      I think Grouse Beater hits the nail on the head, Im sorry to say but I think we are still in our wee pre ref indy bubble talking away to ourselves and not seeing the elephant in the room. Way over 2 million people voted NO. The NO voters I have spoken to are cock a hoop at the result and intend to continue voting for unionist parties, they quite fancy UKIP and as far as I can gather will vote to leave the EU just like the rest of the brits in England. Answers I have none.

    65. Doug Daniel says:

      The Smith Commission is indeed a waste of time, with the results more likely than not already decided. However, folk should send in responses anyway, if only to have it on record that people made an attempt to engage with the process. At the very least, let’s make sure the Yes side can’t be accused of being the reason why it fails.

      We had a meeting in Aberdeen last night for folk who wanted to send in responses, and if nothing else, it was a good opportunity for folk to learn a bit more about what is and isn’t devolved.

    66. yesindyref2 says:

      I hate to say this, but the idea that devolving income tax while getting rid of Barnett is a bad idea is so blindingly obvious, that even the SNP have thought of it.

      Westminster can legislate whatever it wants as a Scotland Act 2015. But the Scottish Government has to approve it. Does anyone seriously think the SG will voluntarily accept such a ridiculous notion?

    67. Swami Backverandah says:

      @ Onwards
      “In a vow days before the refer­endum the UK parties promised to retain the funding mechanism, which delivers higher than average public spending for Scotland. But Lord Foulkes said Holyrood should be granted as much tax-raising power as possible without damaging the UK, arguing: “This inevitably makes the Barnett formula redundant.”
      This is a key point re any further powers, but not, as first appears, to do with the Barnett formula.

      The key point is to whose detriment.
      WM (any complexion) can argue that Scotland voted for the Union, and devolution of further powers – whatever they are. In delivering on this promise, they will argue that in voting for the Union, Scotland could not have voted for new powers that would be to the Union’s detriment.

      Yes Scotland, and ironically enough, their No-voters, need to counter this by arguing that their vote to stay in the Union was on the expectation that devolution of further powers would not be to the detriment of Scotland.

    68. John Russell says:

      What are we hanging around for if the SNP membership is greater than the 3 Unionist parties in the Scottish Government then lets go for UDI now

    69. handclapping says:

      @grouse beater 12:27
      That indeed is a worry. The hope is that they will split their vote among the 3 amigos and allow our 45% to sail through. But that is not a given; just check the Tory and LibDem votes at the Glenrothes Bye election to see what can happen if “Confound the Nats” becomes the object of the election.

      So the Yes Alliance as a formal thing is a Norwegian Blue as it immediately allows the MSM to play “CtN”. Also these “pacts” have a habit of biting you on the bum. There was a Lib – SNP “understanding” in the late 50s early 60s that allowed the Libs to survive to be “merged” with the SocDems and nick the mantle of the centre alternative to Tory and Labour greatly to the detriment of the SNP. My advice to the Greens / SSP and SNP, don’t do it.

      The real hope for the SNP is the huge membership. What it should mean is that they can fight a Bye election type fight in every constituency. The worry is that they dont have the organisation to do that in every constiuency and one thing the Yes campaign didnt do was the nitty gritty of getting the voters out on the day 84% was good but it should have been well over 90%. 600,000 didn’t vote, only 75% voted in Glasgow and Dundee. If the Yes campaign was mainly the SNP then they don’t know how to organise a mass movement to get the vote out.

      If they can, and if they can stop it becoming a “CtN” election, then yes there is a good chance of a decent number of indy MPs at Westminster next May

    70. Doug Daniel says:

      wullie: “The NO voters I have spoken to are cock a hoop at the result and intend to continue voting for unionist parties, they quite fancy UKIP”

      And therein lies our opportunity. Not only are we unlikely to see No alliance candidates, but UKIP aren’t going to win any seats in Scotland, so every vote they get is one less for Labour/Lib Dems/Tories. Meanwhile, if we can get as many of the 1,617,989 who voted Yes to vote SNP/Green/whoever, then we stand a chance of getting a very significant number of pro-indy MPs in Westminster.

      (It wasn’t way over 2 million who voted No, incidentally. It was only 2,001,926 – less than 400,000 more than the number who voted Yes.)

    71. saporian says:

      Once again the Scottish subsample of voting intensions for the GE in the latest Yougov poll is showing the SNP (49%) well ahead of Labour (24%) http://cdn.yougov.com/cumulus_uploads/document/u021h6mva9/YG-Archive-Pol-Sun-results-201014.pdf
      However these are only subsamples and what I think we need now is a full Scottish opinion poll. This could also be used to determine how hard or soft the present VI are and if they are likely to be swayed when BBC Scotland and the MSM start to repeat the mantra that “you need to vote Labour to keep the Tories out”.
      I think a lot of important information could be gathered now if the right questions were asked and I can think of no better person formulate these questions than the Rev.

    72. muttley79 says:

      @John Russell

      What are we hanging around for if the SNP membership is greater than the 3 Unionist parties in the Scottish Government then lets go for UDI now.

      Are you being serious?

    73. davidb says:

      On the subject of interest in the aftermath, this site has now got manageable posting numbers again. Its very time consuming to read 1000 posts.

      I think the worst outcome for Scotland would be a Labour victory in Wm. A Conservative minority propped up by UKIP may be best for us if we can send a huge Yes contingent. The conservatives are more likely to deliver more to us in the hope of putting the issue to bed while at the same time crippling Labour. UKIP are such a disparate group of nutters they wont last a whole 5 years as a single group.

      It would be up to us to make the best hash of whatever hand we are dealt. It would be no bad thing for our country if we broke the link between Labour and welfare dependency which they exploit to maintain a grip on power. Its no surprise the deprivation is never eliminated in Labour heartlands.

      And lastly. I am confined to bed and have been reading my Blind Harry. Scotland has been here before. The only thing I see much different is the hardship of the middle class is a novelty. We have to focus our every effort on doing all in our power to make our country ungovernable except by us. In the end they will go away.

    74. Stoker says:

      Tam Jardine says:
      21 October, 2014 at 12:47 pm
      Stoker
      Imagine the SNP membership had dropped off a cliff after the No result – that would have been bad, yeah? I can see no reason the tsunami of new members can be anything other than good from swelling the coffers to more leafletters and canvassers and of course in helping guide policy to reflect the broader indy movement.
      New members are a cause for celebration for all pro indy parties in my view.
      __________________________

      Tam, let me put it this way:

      “swelling the coffers” – Agreed.
      “more leafletters” – Agreed.
      “more canvassers” – Agreed.
      “helping guide policy to reflect the broader Indy movement” –
      Who says that’s what all of them have joined to do?

      As i said, Tam, i shall try to remain positive about it, but
      that’s not easy for someone who was born sceptical – it’s in
      my blood, i was born to question everything and trust no-one.
      🙂

      Hopefully we will get some strong answers/signs very soon.
      Until then my jury remains out.
      😉

      btw, i should add, i’m not a member of ANY party and i have
      no intentions of ever being either. But i have only ever voted
      for the SNP and always looked to them as being the only party
      capable of delivering Scottish Independence. So it gets me a
      wee bit inquisitive when i see a record breaking rise such as
      this going full pelt through the roof.

    75. yesindyref2 says:

      gillie
      Indeed, Devo-Max is a stepping stone for all the reasons you say. Reading between the lines of the Ashcroft Poll, I would say around 65% of Scotland wants Independence, but some weren’t prepared to take the chance. That won’t go away, even with Devo-Max, nor, I think, even with a full Federal system throughout the UK.

    76. Vronsky says:

      I don’t understand the logic behind the talk of an electoral pact. Looking at the 2010 GE results confirmed my intuition: if you take the seats where Labour won and then add all ‘Other’ votes (i.e. non-LibLabCon) to the SNP vote, Labour still win.

      Those ‘others’ are not just Green/SSP, it’s every other Tom, Dick and Harry, and it’s still not enough to matter. And that’s also assuming that Greens and Socialists, denied a candidate of their own, would fall 100% behind the SNP. I doubt it.

      The assumption must be that an independence candidate would draw some support from Labour. Why not just ask them to vote SNP anyway?

    77. Josef O Luain says:

      What is to be done? right enough …

      The question surely is, what can be done?

      What we know for certain is that over the past two years we have built a massive constituency of dissidence in Scotland. A constituency which in many people’s opinion, runs the very real risk of its own dissipation between now and “whenever” due to the lack of anything more concrete to look forward to other than the forthcoming UK elections. (Yawn …)

      Given our vast numbers, I believe we ought to be on-the- street as often as possible. Many of us now know that there are few things more empowering or affirming than standing/ marching shoulder-to-shoulder with the like-minded amidst a sea of saltires.

      Needless to add, our presence in large numbers cannot help but send the message: We haven’t gone away, and we’re not going away until we achieve our Independence.

    78. kininvie says:

      At our branch meeting last night, we approved a motion calling on the SNP to initiate an election strategy in conjunction with other pro-independence parties & individuals to ensure a combined approach to 2015. The point about individuals being that there will be a cluster of seats where a high-profile independent might well do better than the SNP or Greens or SSP…

      Meanwhile, like most SNP branches, we are working flat out to integrate all our new members into leafleting & canvassing teams ready for 2015. Why did these people join? – All I can say, judging from last night – is that they joined because they wanted independence. They felt angry at what they saw as a dishonest campaign and wanted to do something.

      BTW, I don’t think it a waste of time to put your views to the Smith Commission. There is pressure to be created by sheer numbers. So far about 6,000 individuals have submitted. There needs to be more. At it’s simplest, you could just say ‘I endorse the SNP’s proposals (effectively devo-max) Here’s the link:

      http://futureukandscotland.ac.uk/news/have-your-say-%E2%80%93-submitting-ideas-views-and-proposals-smith-commission

    79. YESGUY says:

      Stoker.

      Regarding the new members to SNP. It looks fairly certain that the membership rose because of indi supporters. Why would any unionist vote or join the SNP ? What do they gain.
      Common sense says they joined because they want Scotland free. The numbers went up after the NO result.

      Every new SNP supporter i spoke to says they joined to keep independence alive .

      Many will have come from Labour and with Nichola Sturgeon in charge , hope for a more leftish govt.

      So with Nichola FM and huge numbers of new (leftish) members, We can have the govt we choose for Scotland and a powerful voice if SNP wins enough seats in May.

      My own opinion is the biggest hike in members were because the YES campaign ,Blair Jenkins etc packed up and people only see the SNP as a way to fill the vacuum. There are still YES groups out there but with none of the organisation they had before the ref. Something we have talked of here many a time.

      People are awake now. Many have ideas but little time to get things up and running. The SNP are the choice because they stand for Scotland. And are big enough to be heard , maybe even holding the balance of power.

      Sadly the Greens/SSP don’t have the numbers to match so the choice to vote is obvious.

      I want independence full stop. But devo max will do for now. Without SNP we might get what Stu has mentioned, bugger all but toxic taxes.

      Maybe in the SE

    80. Onwards says:

      @muttley79
      “Why has Devo max the potential to kill the SNP stone dead? After all, if it was implemented, it would become the status quo within 10 years, just as devolution has become.”

      Because there is a risk that enough people would be satisfied with that.

      A limited devolution settlement leaves the UK more unstable than FFA or a federal type solution – with the demand for ‘more powers’ still unfulfilled, and many people feeling let down that promises were broken.

      But if most job creating powers are granted, then that pretty much leaves the pound and defense as the 2 main things holding the UK together.
      Currency is always going to be a problem in a second independence referendum, if the same approach is taken.
      If the benefit of gaining more powers is removed, then it becomes even more of a problem.

    81. Grizzle McPuss says:

      @Vronsky

      It’s all about NOT tempting a split vote…keeping it simple.

      Plus, you forget about the many many now disilluisoned SLAB voters of GE2010 who are now in political wilderness, but heading away from SLAB.

      You cannot compare GE2010 to what-might be in GE2014 while forgetting the disaster 18/09/2014

    82. muttley79 says:

      @Vronsky

      I do not think it would work either. There is only 6 months or so to the general election. The SNP would have to change their constitution, the Greens seem keen to campaign on their own as well. While it maybe helped in the immediate aftermath of the disappointment of the referendum result, I do not see a Yes alliance as being practical or effective. The SNP are the most suited to win first-past-the-post seats, given their resources and membership. 2016 offers more opportunities and potential for the SSP and Greens, given the PR system for Holyrood.

    83. Vronsky says:

      “It’s all about NOT tempting a split vote”

      The overall vote for parties outside Lib/Lab/Con/SNP is 2.5%. There’s not a lot to split.

    84. gorbalito says:

      If the Smith Commission outcome fails our will, what then?
      Are the Scottish Government legally bound to adopt any form of dilution of the clunking fist Vow?

    85. Valerie says:

      All of the comments about new SNP members reflect my own observations at the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth branch. New members are angry at the fear campaign, angry at the WM govt. and what is to come, fracking is a big issue now in the Central belt. New members also spoke of working with other Yes groups/Alliance over the election.

      I suppose it remains to be seen how many pan out to be physical assets to leaflet/contribute, but the branch meeting last week was packed and the “regulars” were clearly dumbfounded as was the MSP Jamie Hepburn.

      As I mentioned, they are getting organised this week, and I’m meeting the group for leafleting duty.

      Take the point tho’ about where are the suitable pro indy candidates going to come from? On the other hand, perhaps a short intense campaign building on post ref feeling is what is needed.

      We wuz robbed by the liars and cheats, and I just hope some of the feart No voters will be coming to realise that.

    86. muttley79 says:

      @Onwards

      Because there is a risk that enough people would be satisfied with that.

      The exact same thing was said about the 1997 devolution settlement and Calman. How did that turn out? That has been the risk since the 1970s, when the SNP supported devolution (although there was some internal dissent). It did not stop the independence referendum from taking place.

    87. galamcennalath says:

      @Tam Jardine

      Clegg thinks it’s all analogous to the Japanese soldier fighting from the jungle long after the war is over?

      Well, for a Pacific War analogy, perhaps the U.S. withdrawal from the Philippines might be better with Douglas MacArthur declaring “I shall return”. We lost a battle not a war!

    88. muttley79 says:

      @gorbalito

      If the Smith Commission outcome fails our will, what then?

      The 2015 general election, the 2016 Holyrood elections, and the council elections a year or two later happen, (which offer the chance to make further inroads into SLAB’s local government network).

    89. Tam Jardine says:

      Stoker

      “helping guide policy to reflect the broader Indy movement” –Who says that’s what all of them have joined to do?

      I understand your scepticism – but my reading of the rise in membership is simple: everyone in Yes felt numb and impotent after the colossal effort fell short of the line. So many joined up because they had to do something. There is a bit of a fuck you in there as well.

      Being a member for a sizeable chunk will be a fairly passive doling out of money. I guess I maybe contradicting my previous point but unless you grt really involved and go to conference (which I have never done) input on policy extends to choosing the list candidates and voting in leadership candidates.

      My worry is the zeal may dissappear for some when the shine comes off the membership card and the endless pleas to sell raffle tickets begin in earnest.

      Man – I’m all over the place on this!

      What I really want all these new members to do is occupy parliament and declare independence then man the barricades but Scottish politics doesn’t work like that.

    90. schrodingers cat says:

      “If the Yes campaign was mainly the SNP then they don’t know how to organise a mass movement to get the vote out.”

      the snp in my area were the organisers, but yes was a grass roots organisation, more people were interested in going to rallies than doing the ground work.

      with the increase in numbers, we now have a veritable army of activists, far more than at any time during the ref.

      i agree though, organising on this scale will take some doing

      but this is what our focus should be on

    91. Grizzle McPuss says:

      @Vronsky

      “The assumption must be that an independence candidate would draw some support from Labour. Why not just ask them to vote SNP anyway?”

      YES, but co-operation from the other parties not to split the vote by fielding competing candidates is the name of the game.

    92. Morag says:

      Some time in the mid 1990s I asked Alex Salmond (after a meeting, while he was circulating) for his thoughts about the idea that people would be satisfied with devolution and any hope of independence would wither. He fixed me with a reproachful stare and said, this is about democracy. If the people of Scotland want devolution, we have no right to stand in their way for any reason at all, and if when they get it they’re happy, then we have to come to terms with that.

      I felt about an inch high. And so much for all the hype about the man being a dictator and only acting for his own ego.

      And he was right. Fundamentally, it’s our job to try to deliver to Scotland what Scotland wants. It’s also our job to make Scotland want a wee bit more than it already has. But it is NOT our job to stand in the way of what Scotland wants, in the hope that frustration will result in people agitating for more than they were originally prepared to settle for.

    93. YESGUY says:

      Tam Jardine

      Spot on Tam. We should be celebrating the fact that so many want to do something and not just roll over and give up. I am really optimistic about things more because as you say. SNP/Greens/SSP membership could have dropped off a cliff …. like Labour now 🙂

      Desmond

      We have heard all the promises before but their failure to give power is more ammo for us. Every poll suggests Scots want more powers. i think the only way we get them is a big stooshie after the toxic stuff is offered.

      There is lots to throw at the union . NHS IS in trouble, many thought it was safe. Oil will last another 100 years not the 20/30 they scared folk with. More austerity , except MP’s with their huge rises. Fracking – nuff said

      People know the warnings we made are now fact. Lets hope it shifts some No voters off their arses. They were conned -AGAIN!! It’s pretty much agreed we all want more powers for the Scottish Govt. Even No voters agree.

      Again in my opinion . Folk have Xmas and the like to get through. It’s a tough time for folks. Maybe in the spring we will have clearer objectives and can get to work putting indi MP’s into WM.

      🙂
      Patience – and i don’t have much of that , is required.

    94. msean says:

      Only when the cuts bite will it sink in that the Scottish Government has protected Scots as opposed to elsewhere,but because they voted no,the Scottish Government can no longer hold back the tide.

      Whatever deal is imposed is the deal the no voters voted us into,one that was so vague even better together couldny tell what it was.

    95. Onwards says:

      Swami Backverandah

      “Yes Scotland, and ironically enough, their No-voters, need to counter this by arguing that their vote to stay in the Union was on the expectation that devolution of further powers would not be to the detriment of Scotland.”

      I suspect many YES supporters would accept a situation where Scotland was worse off in the short term, if we had more revenue powers and a reduced block grant.

      We would have to live within our means, but if we had the ability to compete for increased business and trade then we could make up the difference within a few years.

      And we would be a step closer to independence.

      I don’t want a situation where we are trapped in a permanent subsidy situation once the oil dries up, and the bulk of UK investment has gone into London.

      We should be campaigning towards FFA, rather than giving the impression that we don’t want things to change in case we lose out on Barnett money.

      If we did get a situation where income tax alone was devolved, and Scotland obviously lost out, then I think the pressure would be towards FFA and independence, rather than moving backwards towards the present situation.

    96. Dave says:

      Hi Rev, Derek Bateman touched on the subject in his last podcast but he failed to grasp its significance. You need to contact him and explain it, can’t you be a guest on his show? That would be awesome anyway. So his guest, some teacher from Glasgow, started to explain it, he seemed to understand, but then Derek cut in and interrupted him (something he claims he doesn’t do) and the conversation never got back onto the topic.

    97. Vronsky says:

      The Vow or promises of devo-wotsit may have swayed some people but the main problem in my experience was the No voters’ innocent belief that they were preserving a comfortable status quo. Right now they’re on a learning curve. They’ll catch up.

    98. Morag says:

      I’m not worried at all about all the new members. I’m ecstatic.

      Yes, we all know some of them, the ones who made it out to branch meetings. These people have uniformly expressed their desire for independence as their motivation for joining. One of our new members told of sitting up all night as the results came in, in despair, then unable to sleep, getting online at six o’clock in the morning to join the SNP. And this was someone who didn’t campaign with the Yes group at all.

      It’s not just those people though. Two people I have known for years have just joined, to my absolute astonishment. Both expressed some interest in independence to me during the campaign, but no more than that. Both are now full-on into independence and gearing up to campaign. One tells me her son and daughter have both joined too.

      (Sunday night in the village hall, washing up after choir practice, I suddenly realised that all three of us doing the dishes were SNP members – out of less than 20 people attending. And one more in the hall is thinking about it, just swithering about the Greens.)

      Even if some malignant entity had thought of infiltrating the SNP with fifth columnists post-referendum, there is no way in hell they could have found more than a few dozen individuals to do this, at best. 55,000? Don’t be silly. The huge increase in numbers is the best defence we could possibly have had against such infiltration – the infiltrators would simply be swamped.

      The fact that even here, in a No-voting village, I’m seeing long-time friends and acquaintances joining up, is the best reassurance I could possibly have that the increase in membership numbers is real, and composed of genuine, new-kindled, grassroots enthusiasm.

    99. Les Wilson says:

      Well, if we think that Scotland will get some real, actionable powers that truly mean we could use them without penalty, forget it, it ain’t gonna happen. No matter how they portray it we get screwed.

      We simply cannot believe anything contrived in Westminster will help Scotland in any real way. Stu is absolutely right, and he has been pointing this out for a long time.

      So let us accept that ALL Westminster parties and their “Proud Scot” mob will do nothing that means anything real.

      I go as far as to say, they are the enemies of Scotland.
      If we firmly agree that, then the most immediate thing we need to do is destroy Labour in Scotland.

      No Scottish Labour party exists and never has. There is only one Labour and it is UK wide and England focused.

      We need to be denigrating Labour at every turn, show them to be the deceitful mob that they are. Then totally crush them in the election, by returning a huge SNP vote in the election. Gains also by all other Indy parties.

      The more Indy focused MP’s in Westminster is the way we will hold any power, by having a decent size voting block there.
      Where we WILL be heard, and indeed could swing votes in a hung parliament. Continually being a thorn in the side of the Westminster elites. Do this selectively and well thought through could clear the ground for Indy Ref 2.

      Where, we would have a much better chance of success. We now have engaged the Westminster machine, we know them much better and what they are likely to do again. We will know better how to handle them, as they sink lower and lower, in the eyes of Scottish people.

    100. Tam Jardine says:

      muttley79

      I take your point on the practical difficulties in SNP standing back from seats and leaving the field clear for a handful of Green, SSP and Independent candidates.

      It is probably not the sensible option to maximise the chances of eking out every last unionist MP scalp. But maybe it is worth the prize of continuing unity to sacrifice the chances in a few tricky constituencies for the SNP.

      galamcennalath

      “We lost a battle, not a war!”

      Agreed. I visited Flodden/Branxton last week while on holiday in Northumberland – that put the nature of our defeat a month ago in stark perspective for me.

    101. Morag says:

      Grizzle McPuss, at 1.06.

      One of the main points of last night causing most concern out of this discussion on GE2015 was the timeframe in respect of getting new faces out there and into the eye of the electorate.

      With barely 6 good months of campaigning, it was realised that we are not only requiring to establish the best political party to represent the anti-Unionist cause in each particular ward, but we need to actually find suitable candidates in the first place.

      You know, with hindsight, and if I’d known about it, I wish I’d come to your meeting in Biggar last night. It’s actually closer for me than my own branch meetings in Peebles! And of course next year Tweeddale will be fighting alongside Clydesdale in the same constituency, trying to unseat Mundell.

      We had a similar conversation in Tweeddale, though less detailed. If we’re serious about unseating Mundell, we need a first-rate candidate, and someone who can achieve that important recognition factor in this geographically dispersed and diverse constituency. And there are dozens of constituencies all over Scotland realising the same thing and competing for the same pool of talent.

      I don’t know what the answer is to the “independence candidate” conundrum, but I’ll be interested to see what emerges from HQ. And I expect we’ll be in touch, over the coming months.

    102. Defo says:

      “So what to talk about?”

      Tell us the story about what happens after we drink the Kool-aid again Stu please. Will there be virgins laid on ?

      🙂

    103. Valerie says:

      @Morag – yes definitely the case in the Cumbernauld & Kilsyth branch – very genuine concerns etc., and good to see newbies not afraid to speak at to the top table to say their piece.

      I hope the newbies in all the branches maintain enthusiasm to support the longer term members, to buoy them and share the workloads.

    104. desimond says:

      @YESGUY

      Im in the “hmmm” camp when it comes to how much people care about “being duped”. I dont think theres thousands of No voters sitting patiently waiting for delivered promises. They simply dont care and many will use that Devo promise as a sleep aid.

      When Smith delivers nothing bar a smiling Ruth Davidson glad as ever of the publicity time, any “look look, they lied!” cries will be met with a “Tsk, shocker eh?” from No voters who will simply carry on as before. This Commission will be forgetten long before the May 2015 results are in.

    105. Stoker says:

      YESGUY says:
      21 October, 2014 at 1:45 pm

      “Why would any unionist join the SNP ?”

      To help bring it down.
      Or at very least, paralyse it with in-fighting.
      Best way to destroy your enemy is from the inside out.

      I shall remain hopeful but vigilant.
      ________________________

      Tam,
      You make a good few points in that post @ 2pm, especially:

      “everyone felt numb and impotent after the colossal effort
      fell short of the line.”

      Oh Yes, and then some.

      “There is a bit of a fuck you in there as well.”

      Just a bit? I would say a MASSIVE bit.
      Almost drove me into joining.
      🙂
      ______________________

      btw, can someone instruct me how to do one of
      those wee laughing smileys, i effin hate writing “lol”.

    106. desimond says:

      Stoker

      type
      :
      then
      )

      🙂

    107. pete says:

      This has nothing to do with this article sorry, but I just had a very interesting conversation with my window cleaner about an hour a go, he is an older guy and a younger side kick, but lets go back a few months on the run up to the referendum, we would chat away as was cleaning the windows. He was not sure how to vote, so I gave him a few facts on the oil, nhs, pensions, and so on, the young er guy was an absolute No voter, there was no chance of changing his mind. The older one was on the fence . BUT this morning was a different kettle of fish, they were cursing and swearing and mighty pissed off, the older one did not vote, the young one voted No, and now they regretted what they had done, I did not know what to say , except well I told you so. And then told them to vote SNP OR THE GREENS NEXT, believe me they were so so angery, I think there is a lot out there feeling the same way…

    108. Grizzle McPuss says:

      @Morag & Valerie

      Indeed, Mr “don’t talk to me about wind farms” Mundell will be a tricky incumbent to remove given that the Tory WM machine will do all that they can to preserve his seat.

      On this point: a call was made last night for all members with political aspirations to consider their own contribution starting from the local council level, up to constituency MP level.

      But, on saying that, and with respect to the like of Mundell; the SNP is fully aware of the talent they have ‘on their books’ already…but as said, they just need to get those faces out there.

      Much work to continue doing, but thankfully with many more feet and money.

      As a general observation to these threads…

      It never ceases to amaze me the amount of doubters, negatives, pessimists and doom merchants, who rather than talk constructively, but yes realistically, always attempt to stifle any optimism (not delusion, before some smart arse tries to respond with that point)

      Any chance of some constructive criticism…or shall we all just bump our gums about what will never happen?

    109. Meindevon says:

      I think June at 11.55 has a good idea re stu drawing up concise and hard hitting short documents on important topics like this and their pros and cons from a real perspective. A5 and printable by wings supporters and others they could be printed and distributed through doors or even left in shops and cafés. Perhaps some of the items from the reference section although probably what we need now is how these decisions made in the coming weeks really impact on a future Scotland and not the unionist version.

      I know the articles have a pdf thingy but maybe more concise stuff as I said.

    110. Valerie says:

      Meant to say also, on the SNP front, they have just advertised for a parliamentary researcher, so that looks like they have quickly moved to use their new money wisely. I’m sure given the talented people they are, they will have had a wish list ready for the day they had the resources.

      I’m liking what I’m seeing thus far.

    111. a2 says:

      On a positive GE note , based on personal observation of no voters I know that havn’t previously fallen over themselves to turn out, I’ll be willing to bet a lot of the no voters go back to not voting at all, now that they feel “secure”. Some yes voters may do the same – but not in the same amount.

      Less positively, Looking at the previous elections, there’s an awful lot of ground to be made up with big labour majorities which may not be insurmountable in themselves, but in a lot of those constituencies the SNP is way back in fourth place behind the cons and lib dems as well 🙁

      Look at East Renfrew for example, with Jim Murphy on 50.8%, conservative: 30.4%, libdem: 9.2%, SNP: 8.9%. That’s not atypical and an awful long way to make up.

    112. Stoker says:

      desimond @ 3.02pm.

      Thanks, desi, but is that not just a “smiley” – i can do that.

      What i was looking for was a way to show that i’m laughing as
      i find writing “lol”, “LOL” or similar is a wee bit fake teenage
      girlie, for want of a better description.

      I don’t like using smileys either but understand the need to.

    113. BornOptimist says:

      When it comes to getting out the vote for the GE I’d like people to remember we live in the age of the internet/mobile phones. This seems like common sense but my experience in chasing up acknowledged Yes voters on the 18th September indicates that, even in a well to do area of Edinburgh with educated personnel, it can be overlooked. I was presented with a list of names and addresses for door knocking. What a waste of time – for each dozen or so addresses only one was at home, one had already voted, one had moved, the others were out at work/shopping/unavailable for whatever reason. Had phone numbers/email addresses been collected along with voting intentions when the addresses were first called at then reminding potential voters how important it was that they vote would have been less time consuming and probably much more effective.

      Incidentally, for anyone wondering why I did not do anything to rectify this situation beforehand, it was because I am an expat and drove up to Edinburgh for a few days to assist wherever I could. If I volunteer to do the same in May I hope I find a more professional approach.

      Perhaps data protection laws prevented the use of such information but if so then alternative means need to be found to make best use of volunteer time.

    114. a2 says:

      “The overall vote for parties outside Lib/Lab/Con/SNP is 2.5%. There’s not a lot to split.”

      That’s not the vote that’s being split though, it’s the 45%, many of who were not necessarily SNP voters. The question is are there enough who won’t revert?

    115. turra loon says:

      I really have No idea what sort of people could vote for Jim Murphy. It’s beyond me.

    116. Tam Jardine says:

      a2

      Just to take East Renfrewshire as an example – what is the chances of commissioning polling on voting intentions and potential preference of candidates? I have no idea if a hard left SSP or labour for indy candidate would be a better bet than SNP. Or if people would go for an independent yes candidate?

      Or if they are going to give Jim another shot on the gravy train anyway so why not give the SSP a chance to flex their muscles and have a right good go at it in preparation for Holyrood 2016. Get the machine in place and running smoothly.

      I suppose this has to come from the 3 parties and maybe Common Weal getting together as they have some great potential indy candidates on their board and below. There is nothing wrong with having a strategy and marshaling efforts where they can do the most damage. God only knows the dark side will be doing this.

    117. John says:

      I’m one of the new SNP members, and I joined for the cure ( sorry Bob, not The Cure) for greed and the opportunity to give our people hope of deciding their own future and path in life.

    118. Brian says:

      “The Rise In SNP membership.”
      It cannot be NO voters, can it. I think that’s a reasonable conclusion.
      YES voters then, like me, and friends and family, all joined because we want the SNP to continue spearheading the fight for Independence.
      If the GAP (between YES and NO) had been huge, we may have believed that there was little point in joining. But a 5%+ swing means it’s still eminently achievable. Someday.

      Secondly, can someone (Saporian) help me through the YouGov/Sun Poll? The majority of people (who voted) in Scotland think the UK Govt’s spending cuts are unfair, too deep and bad for the economy, yet the majority think they are necessary? Can’t get my head round that one. I must be interpreting the results wrongly?

    119. a2 says:

      “We simply cannot believe anything contrived in Westminster will help Scotland in any real way.”

      All is not lost on that front, they are in a rush, there simply isn’t time (or probably the desire) to think through all of the implications of what they implement, there may well be some slips that will work in our favor.

      Also looking ahead, an exit from the EU is a real possibility which even the threat of, may see a lot of businesses moving to Ireland, or further as Ireland get’s a grip of it’s tax evaders.

      We are probably a little bit better equipped up here to deal with that than middle which England which might see a massive turndown in exports. Not something I’d like to see but maybe work out in the long term.

    120. Craig P says:

      What can we do? Move to Orkney and Shetland. It will only take 10,000 of us to kick Alastair Carmichael out…

    121. Morag says:

      “Why would any unionist join the SNP ?”

      To help bring it down.
      Or at very least, paralyse it with in-fighting.
      Best way to destroy your enemy is from the inside out.

      Indeed, maybe a few. Or a few dozen. Not 55,000!

      The huge influx of new members is the best defence we could possibly have against hostile entryism. The infiltrators will be outnumbered and overwhelmed.

      And if anyone doubts the reality of it all, and even listening to the new memebrs speak at branch meetings doesn’t reassure, cast around your own acquaintance and see how many of the new members are people you yourself have known for a long time.

      In my case, one woman I work with (and her son and her daughter) have joined, and another who sings in the same choir as I do. Yet another choir member is thinking about joining. These people aren’t unionist infiltrators, they’re people who have completed their “journey to Yes” over the past year or two, and are now absolutely raring to go.

    122. Brian McGraw says:

      I’ve come to the conclusion that the only way the unthinking loyalty to the Labour Party and other Unionist Parties will alter is if things become intolerably bad. A pity indeed and the 18th was such a wasted opportunity but maybe this is just how it has to be . We can’t complain – after all this is what we voted for

    123. Hobbit says:

      http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/barnett-formula-warning-over-declining-oil-revenues-1-3579022

      In other words, be careful what you wish for. My take on things is that a realistic assessment of what parts of the tax base could be delegated, will make it painfully clear that something like Barnett-lite will still be needed in order to avoid a complete fiscal meltdown for the devolved Government.

      SLAb has other problems. Its desire to go leftwards means that it could lose some of its ‘aspirational’ voters into not voting at all. Talking about ‘justice’ is one thing; but once governments start talking about tax increases, enthusiasm for such will fall off very rapidly.

    124. Milady de Winter says:

      @a2 and @Tam Jardine, I’m in East Ren with the odious Jim Murphy as my MP and what you write is both true and depressing. I would pretty much vote for anyone that could oust him but voting Conservative is realistically the only other option and (hangs head in shame) I even tried that once to no avail. I utterly despise the man and this goes much further back that the referendum campaign (to my disapproval of his local ‘activities’ and alliances and expense scandals). In last elections I have always voted SNP and have now joined my local party with intent to try hard to oust him. I do feel though that it is a hopeless task 🙁

      Ps we also have made submissions to Smith..yes it may end up as toilet paper but it just felt right to add our voices to calls for FFA.

    125. YESGUY says:

      Desmond.

      I hear what your saying my friend but as most noticed before, the YES campaign kept a positive vibe. This vibe was built on hope. Nothing more as the rest was always speculation on what we could do. i believe this positivity is still there. I see it here, on the streets and people are still talking politics.

      Stoker .

      There is nothing wrong with being a wee bit paranoid.I think most of us are a little. We have seen the “dark side” at work and they have swayed many a voter with their spin. Like you i will be watching closely.

      I don’t think we will know what to do until after SNP’s conference . They are the big hitters and will be aware of situation . I also, like you find it hard to trust ANY politician but recognise that in the SNP we have good leadership and a proven track record of running Scotland on the pittance WM allow north. That’s a plus.

      Again Xmas will be on most folks minds. Afterwards we will have our aims and now there are a lot more willing to ” get out there”.

      I always remember in my army days that winter was a time for preparation and Spring a time for action. The YES army are preparing , organising etc. They will be ready come spring.

      Wingers have been on this road a long time. To quote galamcennalath ” We lost the battle , not the war”

      Keep the faith folks 🙂

    126. YESGUY says:

      Stoker

      You can muck about and get allsorts of smiley’s

      :
      plus
      )
      gives a big smile

      8
      plus

      plus
      )
      gives a wee smile.

      ; and ) give a wink

      Some of things i do online when am bored 🙂

      😎 😉 🙂 🙁 ;( 8-(

      I hope this works.

    127. YESGUY says:

      testing

      8-0 :-0 :0

    128. desimond says:

      Stoker

      http://codex.wordpress.org/Using_Smilies

      : then
      lol then
      :

      may be the one you need
      😆

    129. YESGUY says:

      I must be really bored .

      Got this list for you to copy showing a few more faces

      smile
      😀 bigger smile
      😛 tongue smile
      😮 surprise (can also be done as :O … )
      🙁 sad
      :'( cry
      8) cool glasses
      🙁 This is the >.:o Surprised… (it’s really this >o<)
      :v pack man
      :3 This one speaks for itself.
      :|] This is a robot head.
      :putnam: This is a face. Just a face.

      hope the thing doesn't show the symbols alone as it would be pointless , fingers crossed

      if they all show fine …. heres the page

      https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090426224406AAwO4zC

    130. desimond says:

      @YESGUY

      All on the same page mate of course and all debate and difference of opinion always welcome.

      The positive campaign got us from 25 up to 45%. I think that approach can take us all the way rather than looking at No voters having a Road to Damascus moment when The Smith Commission meets the long grass as I suspect.

      We live in interesting times indeed

    131. YESGUY says:

      <3

      < plus 3 should give you a heart too

      I <3 Scotland
      :
      grin
      :

      should give a smiley going red and goes oops!

    132. YESGUY says:

      ok they don’t work now ooops

    133. YESGUY says:

      Desmond

      Positivity was the character of the YES campaign. It was such a change from the dour faced No voters. Every time the ref came up in conversations the No voters always moaned. To stifle debate is a Labour tactic. This will bite their collective arses in future.

      “Oh now you want to talk ???”

      We have to keep that vibe. It drives us and is so inclusive that anyone feels they can join in.

      And i have to try and be optimistic Desmond. I was a right sour puss over the last two months. It’s not good for me and made me look like a NO voter. George Square gave me a lift and a few comments here put me back on track. Your comments too.

      It’s not easy being a YESSER but the result of a free country is cheap at half the price

    134. Onwards says:

      @BornOptimist says:

      When it comes to getting out the vote for the GE I’d like people to remember we live in the age of the internet/mobile phones. This seems like common sense but my experience in chasing up acknowledged Yes voters on the 18th September indicates that, even in a well to do area of Edinburgh with educated personnel, it can be overlooked. I was presented with a list of names and addresses for door knocking. What a waste of time – for each dozen or so addresses only one was at home, one had already voted, one had moved, the others were out at work/shopping/unavailable for whatever reason. Had phone numbers/email addresses been collected along with voting intentions when the addresses were first called at then reminding potential voters how important it was that they vote would have been less time consuming and probably much more effective.”

      That’s a good point.
      I had exactly the same experience.
      There just wasn’t enough time to do 2nd or 3rd round knock-ups in many areas.

    135. Grouse Beater says:

      Wullie: Answers I have none

      Don’t know if you’ll spot this, Wullie, been a lot of posts since you dropped your’s in – anyhow, I wish I was wrong, but I know I am not.

      Edinburgh, for example, was voted best city in UK to bring up a family … a vote made by English in England.

      And as I mention on another thread … I was astonished and depressed by the number of streets in Scotland who organised Jubilee parties on behalf of the Windsor family.

      Sigh.

    136. Stoker says:

      YESGUY says:
      21 October, 2014 at 5:22 pm
      Stoker.
      “There is nothing wrong with being a wee bit paranoid.”

      I wouldn’t exactly call it paranoia, mate, but more instinct.
      Its what’s kept me alert and sane all these years.

      “Again Xmas will be on most folks minds.”

      Yes, and unfortunately for the likes of me – I’m a true Atheist
      and don’t celebrate Xmas – that period of waiting, whilst the
      Yes movement goes into temporary slumber, will be excruciatingly
      painful. January can’t come quick enough.

      “Wingers have been on this road a long time…
      Keep the faith folks.”

      Not a snowballs chance in hell of me ever losing “faith”.
      I’ve been chasing this dream all my life and i can now smell it.
      😉

      btw, thanks for all the “smiley” tips, guys,
      i’ll have a play around at some point.

    137. frazer allan whyte says:

      All this talk of rallies – meetings – petitions – leafletting ec is all very well but the fact is it didn’t work on September 18th did it?

      You cannot overthrow 3 centuries and more of colonial mentality with any number of the no doubt worthy events mentioned above. People are right to say that if not careful people will be “meetinged out”. Independence needs to begin construction now.

      A strong showing for the independistas in the next Westminster election will be a good thing and I hope it will be the most focused ruthless cunning machiavellian party group ever to set foot in those halls of shame.Confidence in the fairplay ideals of the British Empire were never a good bet and the less talented inheritors of that particular interntional mafia are no less ruthless when their luxuries are threatened.Hopefully they won’t be so naive as to believe the lies and liars so naively as they seem to have been a month ago.

      But people have to start constructing independence on the home front. If there is no regular old-fashioned page-in-the-hand newspaper soon and no dedicated Scottish television channel, and not just for news but for everything else also, soon then the momentum of the post referendum will be lost. Soon means well-started at least within a year. Three centuries of brain washing coupled with a large segment of self-satisfied no-changers cannot be eliminated in a few weeks.I may not have to take a generation but it is no short haul task.

      The host of disappointed Scots long to do something and their leaders need to point the way to things they can do. DO is the important word hear. Some things to do are “negative” and some are “positive”. This can be as simple as organizing boycotts and poll failures for Scotland’s enemies within.Or something as big as a mass march to shut down Faslane. Maybe independence was – not yet – the “settled will” of the Scottish people but the elimination of nukes in Scotland is. Why tolerate Glasgow’s own next door chernobyl-in-waiting a minute longer? Why are the Higlands infested with absentee landlords? All these privatized welfare adminstrators have company addresses and shareholder meetings etc so why are these leeches still allowed to function with impunity?

      The “reasonable” approach seems not to have worked and it didn’t because no reasonable approach has ever decolonialized any British Empire territory. What’s left of that empire is still controlled by a self-serving elite who have no intention whatsoever of giving up any of their grasping priveleges. The difference is they are not even pretending any more. George Osbourne’s intention to cut benefits to the “working poor” to fix a hole created by his speculating friends – utterly shamefaced as it is – doesn’t seem to have elicited the outrage it would have even five years ago.

      So the time has come for actions – big and small – showing that there are somes things even Scots can’t accept. And lines need to be drawn in the sand as to what is or is not acceptable and if the unacceptable is still forced on Scotland then Scotland’s should lead Scotland out of the unequal “union”.

    138. mboyd says:

      My partner and I joined the SNP post referendum.

      The reason: the most important (we view the SNP) vehicle to bring the Union to an end. Maybe that’s exploitative of the SNP but we have paid up and are prepared to assist in anyway to progress the cause. On a cautionary note, if the SNP prove dilatory then I’ll move on to a party movement that will bring independence within the next 5 years at the latest.

    139. Tam Jardine says:

      frazer allan whyte

      Great post Frazer. The boycott list the 45 have put together is good but you have to make an effort to find it. I would have loved to see this much more visible and focused on the worst offenders. Also run alongside a longer list of pro indy or neutral alternative suppliers/providers/retailers.

      And I love the idea of a mass March to close down Faslane – and it would be a useful way of drawing new support into the movement if it is not simply a Yes rally.

      I have spent time today discussing the pros and cons of SNP yielding constituencies to the other parties to fight in – something I have zero say in. What you are talking about is of much more practical use.

      This is very late in the thread so your should repost in a new article.

      Thanks

    140. Alex Grant says:

      Stu, you and Davidson are telling a similar tale but with totally different objectives. Davidson is defending the status quo. I would hope that the SNP are being very reasonable in participating with Smith but surely when the short term conclusion will be Devo Max nae chance then the SNP can state clearly that the consequences are as you describe? I can’t see how the Unionist parties can enter the UK election final straight without that being clear even to the BBC. whatever alliance strategy is implemented the Yes army are simply getting themselves organised to take this story to the voters And whilst I always was a believer that we had to get more ‘down and dirty’ than Blair J ever would I do wish people would stop carping about the various initiatives which are currently being considered. We do need to have a top down strategy better constructed than last time and I hope Nicola is up for it

    141. Fred says:

      Grousebeater, I must confess to missing out on the Jubilee bashes, in this neck of the Glasgow woods there were nane!

    142. Robert Peffers says:

      Well I noticed something I’ve been harping on about for years. It is at long last being noticed by those who should have been screaming blue murder about for all those years – the people of Northern Scotland. This is the subject of unfair electricity grid charges for adding power to the National Grid and the unequal rates charged in Scotland for taking power from the National Grid. A death dealing double whammy that is killing Scots for fat profits of the South.

      The current National Grid charging regime means an energy provider in, say Peterhead, must pay £20 for every kilowatt of power it adds to the National grid. While, at the same time they subsidise electricity generators in the south of England by £3 per kilowatt they add to the National Grid. That imbalance , a total £23 per Kilowatt, alone overcharges Scotland by an estimated £100 million extra per year.

      Now comes the second part of this gigantic rip-off. The Electricity companies are charging Scottish customers an extra 2 pence per unit of electricity in the areas of Scotland that are not only the coldest areas of Britain but have the highest level of fuel poverty, not only in Britain, but in all Europe.

      Think about that for a moment! They charge Scots extra for providing electricity to the grid while also charging them extra for taking electricity from the grid. Yet, illogically, Scotland is a net exporter of power to England while England is a net importer of Energy from Scotland. The figures show that Scotland exported over 26% of her surplus power to England over the past year. Isn’t the rule that the ones with the commodity to sell reap the profits from those that need to buy the commodity?

      In Scottish Winters there are always thousands of extra deaths in Scotland due, at least in part, to cold related factors. Now for a very silly question Where are the BBC, STV and the MSM when Scotland needs them?. Oh! Wait a minute – they’re all very busy just now reporting the death, due to adverse weather conditions, of just one single fatality of a female person in London. I cannot remember such wall to wall reporting of a single incident of cold related death in Scotland during the entire Winter of 2013/2014.

      While all unnecessary deaths are cause for concern, it seems the adverse weather related death of one Londoners is of far, far greater concern to the Scottish media than the thousands of adverse weather related deaths of native Scots during every single Winter in living memory.

    143. Morag says:

      Nothing here, either, in a pretty No-leaning village with a fairly high proportion of English-born residents.

      On the day of the royal wedding in 2011 we had an enforced holiday from work. I left my republican Mum at home watching the spectacle on TV because she wanted to see the bride’s dress, and went out leafleting for Christine Grahame for the Holyrood election.

      There was one small gathering of OAPs in one side street, perhaps six or eight of them. The table was right outside the homes of two households I know voted Yes – one had Yes windaes last month and the residents were wearing “English Scots for Yes” badges.

      Other than that, I saw one flower-pot outside a front door with a couple of sandcastle-sized union flags in it, and one house liberally bedecked with union flag bunting. The only caveat about the latter is that it also belonged to a strong SNP supporter and Yes voter (married to another “English Scot for Yes”) and staunch republican, and the bunting had been put up by local lads as a hoax.

    144. Robert Peffers says:

      @Stoker says:21 October, 2014 at 12:38 pm:

      “I’m still not sure if this is a good sign or a bad one.
      Remember, all these new members can influence policy.”

      Aye! Stoker, they can, but if I remember the rule book correctly, there is a period before they get that power of influence but for the life of me I cannot remember how long that period is. However I’m sure I saw it reported either here or on the SNP party website within the last week or so.

      I’m certain, though, it means they don’t get that power until after the imminent National Conference..

    145. Robert Peffers says:

      @Onwards says: 21 October, 2014 at 12:53 pm:

      “Imagine a devo max Scotland, with full powers at Holyrood, except defence and foreign affairs, even I as a die hard indy supporter can see that in that context, it could prove very hard, if not impossible, to motivate a large enough percentage of the Scottish electorate to vote for full independence.”

      No problem there, Onwards, most Scots could then be motivated to vote for independence just to get shot of Trident from Scotland. To get the bombing of Cape Wrath ended and to get Depleted Uranium shells stopped from being deposited in the Dundrennan Firing Range Solway Firth.

      The Green’s membership would go right through the roof and take members from every other party in Scotland.

    146. Robert Peffers says:

      @Doug Daniel says:21 October, 2014 at 1:12 pm:

      “The Smith Commission is indeed a waste of time, with the results more likely than not already decided.”

      Will you never learn?

      What makes you imagine the Westminster Establishment will give any more credence to this particular Commission as it did to the last? The Commons takes the Commissioner’s findings and accepts what it pleases but also rejects what it pleases. Then the Lords neuters the entire thing to make it utterly unacceptable..

    147. karmanaut says:

      I’m still not sure i understand the damage of devolving income tax. Perhaps someone could explain?

      If Scotland presently receives a block grant of X. Then we keep our income tax Y. Then the block grant is reduced accordingly to X-Y. So we receive Y + X – Y, which is the same as before. What am I missing? Is it just the extra cost of collecting it?

      Or is the danger because it would be a population share of income tax? Because wages are so much higher in the south?

    148. Stoker says:

      Robert Peffers says:
      21 October, 2014 at 11:20 pm
      @Stoker says:21 October, 2014 at 12:38 pm:
      “I’m still not sure if this is a good sign or a bad one.
      Remember, all these new members can influence policy.”
      Aye! Stoker, they can, but if I remember the rule book correctly, there is a period before they get that power of influence but for the life of me I cannot remember how long that period is. However I’m sure I saw it reported either here or on the SNP party website within the last week or so.
      I’m certain, though, it means they don’t get that power until after the imminent National Conference..
      ________________________

      Thanks for that clarification Robert.
      Not being familiar with any parties rules, regarding such matters, i wouldn’t have a clue but what you say makes sense.

    149. K1 says:

      Kamanaut, This may help to explain…the trap.

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/joining-the-dots/

    150. K1 says:

      And Kamanuat if that doesn’t catapult you into what I now feel can safely be termed as post referendum depression…then this article should do the job. (Not that I wish you to be depressed, it’s just the inevitable feeling one is left with, knowing what could have been avoided, if we had won). It’s Stu driving the point home of what Labour’s devonano proposals really mean for Scotland post No vote.

      These two articles should be read together by all No voters.(Yes, I want them to be depressed…my bad)

      Prescient doesn’t even cover it. 🙁

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/through-the-fog-of-war/

    151. Karmanaut says:

      Thanks, K1.

      I can see that it is essentially the cost of duplication HMRC that’s where the problem lies, but with no extra benefit to Scotland other than an ability to vary income tax (which won’t be used).

      However, in my efforts to understand this, I’ve noticed something else which might be an issue.

      According to my calculations, Scotland is 8.4% of the UK population. Total income tax take for the whole UK is 154.8 bn (about 25% of all taxes raised.)

      So you would expect Scotland to account for 8.4% of this, which is 13 bn.

      But that’s not the case. Wages in other parts of the UK are higher, particularly London and the South. There’s no breakdown I can find of how many people are in the higher tax bands in each area, but I can get the average wage and population for each region from Wikipedia (e.g. the average wage in London is about £9k more than Scotland and this is among a popultion of 8.4 million.)

      So if you work out average wages by population density of all areas you get a rough estimate of how much income tax each area generates. London generates about 18% of all UK income tax (and it might be more because of the percentage of higher earners). Scotland generates 7.9% of all UK income tax (and it might be less). This is assuming equal employment/unemployment rates across the whole UK, which obviously isn’t the case, but it’s only a rough figure and is the best I can do. It also assumes higher wages are directly proportional to higher taxes, which is a simplified way of working. But it ought to give a ball park figure.

      If you take average wages into account Scotland generates 12.2bn of the total UK take.

      So if the UK government devolve income tax and then reduce the block grant by a population share (Scotland’s 8.4% of all UK income tax) then we would lose 13bn from the grant, and only be able to raise 12.2bn to replace it. A loss to Scotland of 0.8bn on top of the costs of replicating HMRC.

      To get accurate figures, we’d need to know the employment rates and the number of people in each tax band in each area. But even at this rough calculation, it shows another hidden loss to Scotland that nobody seems to be talking about.

    152. K1 says:

      Karmanaut,

      May I suggest you raise these finer points on the main thread right now, as they are pertinent. You will find many others more erudite and informed than myself who will be able to discuss the nuances of your calculations.

      I’m more ideas and overall direction of travel at the moment…however it’s dressed up…we’re f***ed. 🙁

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/tuesday-night-and-wednesday-morning/#more-62420



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