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Wings Over Scotland

Rolling the dice

Posted on September 19, 2013 by

Vote No in 2014 and one of these three could be your nation’s leader:


The full data tables are here. In them you’ll learn that just 6% of Labour voters think Ed Miliband is “strong”, only 13% of Conservative voters think David Cameron is “in touch with the concerns of ordinary people”, and incredibly, as many as 13% of Liberal Democrat voters still think Nick Clegg “sticks to what he believes in”.

You could have one – or quite possibly two – of those guys, who even their own supporters overwhelmingly think are useless. Or you could have a Scot leading a government of Scots elected by Scots making all the decisions about Scotland.

It’s your choice. You’ve got a year left to think about it.

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107 to “Rolling the dice”

  1. scottish_skier says:

    As noted on the last article. Been getting closer and closer, then, the latest Yougov:
    Con 36%
    Lab 36%
    Lib 10%
    UKIP 12%
    The gap is maybe 4 points at best now, down from 10 earlier in the year. The ICM wisdom index (how people think the parties will do in 2015) has a gap of just 1 point.
    ICM has the SNP on 5% 🙂 (60% in Scotland), but just a tiny 90 person sample. Nice though.

  2. Robert McDonald says:

    Is there a Scottish equivalent as well? I suspect that would give nightmares to them other folks in the opposition (you know who I mean, what’s his name and they wee, shouty weemin?)

  3. Patrick Roden says:

    Hey SS
    The Herald is reporting three polls, coming out today, that show a drop in support for ‘Yes’
    I find this very hard to believe, so can you shed any light on this?

  4. scottish_skier says:

    Herald polls.
    They’re just reporting the Yougov one which shows a drop of 7 for No and a rise of 4 for Yes. A MORI one which shows no change, has a flawed base (doesn’t match on the Moreno question / skewed towards British) and isn’t politically weighted (causing Prof C to question it), and one from a company that never does regular polls and isn’t registered with the BPC so should be ignored (tables, weighting information not available).
    What’s good about the MORI one is support for Yes rising amongst Labour supporters and only 34% saying they’re for no and certain to vote that way. Core no.

  5. taratnfevr says:

    BBC Douglas Fraser in cahoots with the IFS and their new report on Public Spending in Scotland and how we’re all ‘doomed’.

    Started reading the report on the IFS website, but anything that starts with the line
    ‘Scotland: 8.4% of the population that receives 9.3% of the funding’
    and fails to mention our higher tax take that affords us better public spending limits is always going to be a tough read.

    But the constant ‘UK spends £3bn in Scotlands best interest on defence’ ‘Uk spends Scotland’s best interest’ is absolutely wearing so I abandoned the reading in favour of my sanity.

    However, what i realised, is that this doom and gloom article that’s designed for no other purpose than to garner ‘No’ votes, is actually a blessing in a major way. It shows us that we can afford higher public spending (if they had put in the 9.9% figure).  Yes, the article does end with warnings that Scotland will have to cut or raise taxes because oil is fading fast (yawn!) but there was a certain joy to be had in reading that our personal public spending is 11% higher than England, that we spent so much more on this and that. 

    It made me want to jump up and say to the rest of the UK – ‘look at us, look what we can afford. This is what the state is meant to do for the individual !’

    So I’m giving the message today that if we were to receive the correct amount of tax that we contribute, then we could afford more of these services or at least guarantee them.

  6. scottish_skier says:

    Note both MORI and Yogov asked the ‘tomorrow’ question, rather than the ‘what will you do in 2014’. So in that sense they are rather useless as predictors. However, polling companies are so used to this for elections so they keep sticking with it (in the past, the government could suddenly call an election if it thought it could grab another term by holding one early, hence the ‘tomorrow’ response was of interest). Applying it to the referendum is rather silly though.
    If I was a devo maxer, I’d quite likely say ‘No’. After all, there’s still a chance of some devo package emerging maybe?
    Really the pollsters should be asking what people plan to vote in 2014. That causes people to forward project, taking into account what they think may happen over the next year. Results in a much lower gap.

  7. John Daly says:

    I don’t care whether the elected leader of an Independent Scotland is a Scot or not.

  8. scottish_skier says:

    I don’t care whether the elected leader of an Independent Scotland is a Scot or not.
    I trust you’d wish them to at least live in Scotland, which would make them a Scot in the sense the Rev was talking about.

  9. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    I don’t care whether the elected leader of an Independent Scotland is a Scot or not.”

    I think you’d be alone in that view in just about any country in the world. Indeed, in a great many it would simply not be possible.

    Remember, “Scot” is not an ethnic definition.

  10. scottish_skier says:

    Is there a Scottish equivalent as well?
    Well, only subsets available, but on balance Dave’s looking better than Ed in Scotland.

  11. call me dave says:

    I’m off to work, internet free day until teatime.
    Enjoy this link , another day another scare.

    EDIT BY REV. STU: I’ve tweeted an link to this piece. Please don’t reward the clickbait trolling with a real link.

  12. Training Day says:

    What people should also think on is McDougall’s revelation that any future (mythical) powers to be devolved after a No vote will go to local authorities.

    Let’s spell out what that means for the hard of thinking and the wetnats. Labour don’t think they can win Holyrood so they plan to neuter and then abolish it. As do their buddies the Tories. They are going to take away your Parliament if you vote No. This message, rather than somnolent reassurances from Blair Jenkins, is what needs to be hammered home.

  13. scottish_skier says:

    Let’s see. In all the recent polls, who is No and definitely going to vote that way (where we have this info):
    MORI = 1/3
    Panelbase = 1/3
    ICM = 1/3
    They all agree with each other underneath the headline figures. No can rely on 1/3. The rest are up for grabs.

  14. Patrick Roden says:

    @ Training days,
    More power for Glasgow City Council. !!! who want’s that?

  15. nelliejean says:

    My brother’s argument for staying in the union is “Scotland doesn’t have a strong enough leader to be a successful independent country”. 
    …Yeah. I’ll be working on him over the next year!

  16. Training Day says:


    McDougall disclosed on Newsnight last night that he didn’t want welfare to be in the hands of the First Minister. Rather, any future devolved powers should bypass Holyrood and go straight to local authorities. Labour of course have their corrupt power bases such as Glasgow in mind.

    What McDougall didn’t say – but means – is that the plan is to strip Holyrood of all powers and hand any devo tinkering which remains to Cooncillors. A nightmare scenario.

  17. Brace yourselves before visiting that Simon Haver article linked above.  Borderline racism.  We should put a copy of that guff through every Don’t Know’s letterbox.  Might be a good idea to invite him to a debate?

  18. Doug Daniel says:

    nelliejean – sounds like your brother is one of these No voters who is only looking at one side of the debate. Ask him if he really thinks David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg are strong leaders, or who else in England would be. That should hopefully get him thinking a bit!

  19. gavin lessells says:

    Personally, I do not care if the leader of an Independent Scotland is a Scot or not. Only that he has lived and experienced the Scottish way of life for say atleast ten years. If he or she is the best woman or man for the job in the eyes of the electorate does it really matter where he or she originally came from?

  20. john king says:

    call me dave says’ 08.45
    thanks for that dave, I was just getting my blood pressure under control and you post that 
     the comments are absolutely risible, and  shows the complete lack of understanding of how Scotland is given less money than it pays into the exchequer,
     these people are in for a BIG  reality check next year 🙂

  21. MochaChoca says:

    Interesting bit from the IFS report:

    “One might also expect the loss of economies of scale in a smaller state to push up spending in some areas in an independent Scotland. Unfortunately, there is relatively little evidence about whether scale economies are important. But the evidence that does exist – such as the proportion of tax revenues taken up by collection and administration costs – suggests that while there may be significant variation in the efficiency with which services are administered across countries, these differences are not related to the size of countries, in general.”

    The economies of scale argument has been regularly cited as one of the big benefits of the union.

  22. Murray McCallum says:

    Would have been good to see Nigel Farage included in these questions. 2014 is going to be a crunch year for UKIP.

  23. Albalha says:

    R4’s Nick Sutton has posted the different Mail front pages …

  24. gavin lessells says:

    Just another wee thought whilst I am in the mood. Would in not have been interesting if Alex Salmond had been included in the above leadership comparison. Even on a UK level the level of appreciation might astound the Unionist Press

  25. gordoz says:

    Forget everything I suggested about the record & David Clegg.
    Yesterdays edition was a shocker – 12 selected at random (Aye right). Poor journalism !!

  26. kininvie says:

    Love the fact that the subs have labelled the Daily Mail rant ‘VERY provocative.’ As if even the DM wondered whether it wasn’t a bit extreme….
    I can quite see how the tabloids might enjoy a bit of Nat baiting, but the trouble with wind-up articles like this is that they do more than provoke; they actively promote difference and dislike (as can be seen from the comments) and work to keep the usual unpleasant stereotypes alive. I doubt that even Mr Heffer believes a quarter of what he writes – but some of his readership will believe all of it.

  27. Desimond says:

    People saying they dont care is leader is a Scot or not, I just hope its possible they can be anything they want to be, even a Catholic…imagine that in the modern day and age.

    As for UKIP..cant go Farage and wish him  and his party nothing but isolation but by the sounds of it, Daves gonna have quite a tough year ahead, which is nice.

    Anyone else laugh at Nick Cleggs closing words in his speech yestefday “Lets show the public the Lib Dems can be trusted”. Horse, Stable Door, Bolt anyone?

  28. Silverytay says:

    O/T  Sorry Rev   
    Just to let you know that I was at a real public YES meeting in Airdrie last night and when a member of the audience asked what the yes campaign can do to combat the biased media Elaine C Smith came away with the comment that sites like wings , newsnet , bella etc were doing a fantastic job at counteracting the media spin .

  29. aldo_macb says:

    any chance of a link on your front page to derek bateman’s new blog. it’s a great read.

  30. dee says:

    @Training Day
    I also think this should be highlighted more.  This idea has been floated by the Big Labour party and also by Johann Lamont over the past year. It is obviously a new policy that the Labour party would inflict on us if the won power in a Westminster election.  They want to regionalize the welfare system  throughout the UK. This again, is so London can have a different welfare rate to the rest of the UK. It would mean every city would have the power to set a rate that they think is enough to survive on.  A quote from Ed Miliband in june this year clarifies their future thinking,
    “It’s time to tackle this problem at source.
    So a Labour government would seek a radical devolution to local authorities.
    And Labour councils in Lewisham, Liverpool, Leeds, Manchester, Sheffield and Birmingham have all come to us and said that if they had power to negotiate on behalf of tenants on housing benefit, they could get far greater savings than the individual on their own.
    So a Labour government would give councils this power”.
    This would also lead to more powers going to your local authority as mentioned above and leading to the Scottish Parliament becoming redundant and eventually shutting down.

  31. Macart says:

    Oh my (fill in deity of choice). If I hear one more Lib dem bleat about home rule, I swear I’ll vomit on their shoes. Well who fecking knew and just what did those pricks do when given the opportunity to do something about that? Regardless of the tactics by the SG, the option was out there to be picked up during the consultation and franchise negotiation process. Those two faced, cowardly backstabbers, just dismissed it out of hand. Decades of commissions, pledges, manifestos… DECADES and when the opportunity rolls along for mandated constitutional change their first action is to protect the status quo and current system of government.
    If people thought their treachery over the tuition fees was bad and bad enough, their actions in coalition deplorable and their outright capitulation on criminalising the poor a low point. How does a complete betrayal of their party history, their electorate over several generations and their current pledges sound? IMO they deserve all the braying laughter and derision coming their way.
    TRUST? I’ll give you trust.

  32. tartanfever says:

    Aye Mac, I know. I think the decades waiting for that ‘Home Rule’ bill has now become a century.

  33. Morag says:

    Personally, I do not care if the leader of an Independent Scotland is a Scot or not. Only that he has lived and experienced the Scottish way of life for say atleast ten years. If he or she is the best woman or man for the job in the eyes of the electorate does it really matter where he or she originally came from?
    I would go along with that only if you added that this person self-identifies as Scottish.  I don’t want someone who is only here temporarily and sees themselves as belonging to another country leading this one.
    It’s back to what Alasdair Gray said about colonists and settlers, which was widely vilified because of the words he chose.  Perhaps visitors and immigrants would be a better way of putting it.  A visitor being someone who is living here for a time, possibly because of their work or even a relationship, but whose national alliegance has not been transferred.  An immigrant is someone who has chosen to become Scottish.
    Both groups are welcome here, but I’d be uncomfortable with someone in the former group being in a position of serious political power.

  34. Murray McCallum says:

    Nick Clegg really needs to hammer home the deep personal differences between himself and Cameron / Miliband. For example, Nick attended Cambridge University, not Oxford – a sure vote winner.

  35. Ivan McKee says:

    re- Economies of Scale
    Interesting observation from the IFS, thanks for that.
    Economies of Scale can operate in certain businesses for certain functions, but you eventually reach a point where they stop giving any benefit.
    Then you reach another point where the opposite happens, and systems become too complicated to control and start to become more inefficient.
    Without going into the topic of Organisational Design too deeply, I think its fair to say that the evidence shows that the 3m – 10m range is a good size for an organisation that wants to perform the functions of a state.
    An alternative strategy is to be really big, and derive benefits from being able to throw your weight around : think USA; China (or Germany who effectively use the Eurozone as a virtual size multiplier).
    Even the giants recognise the benefits that a 3m – 10m size brings (the average population of a US state in 6m).
    Being a mid-sized (30 – 80m) country is a nightmare. Too big to be responsive and agile, too small to get your way through global influence.
    Think Spain, Italy the UK on one side vs Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Austria on the other.
    Dinosaurs vs Mammals

  36. Macart says:

    Upon a time TF I had hopes that a federal solution to our constitution could be found between a Socialist Labour and Liberal vote. 1980 onwards changed that big time, but I had hopes. It makes me squirm looking at the grubbing political midgets running that party now.
    Steady, blood pressure rising.

  37. Murray McCallum says:

    “As for UKIP..cant go Farage and wish him  and his party nothing but isolation but by the sounds of it, Daves gonna have quite a tough year ahead, which is nice.”
    I totally agree with the sentiment of this. However, I do think that the fortunes of UKIP in the southern part of the UK will play some part in making people think about what the concept of “better together” really means in reality. Together with who?

  38. dee says:

    What if the Frenchman, SNP MSP for the North East of Scotland, Christian Allard,  went all the way to the top job?.
     I am not saying he will, but the potential is there.  That would be interesting wouldn’t it.

  39. Doug Daniel says:

    Desimnd – “People saying they dont care is leader is a Scot or not, I just hope its possible they can be anything they want to be, even a Catholic…imagine that in the modern day and age.”
    With the exception of a certain subsection of fans of a certain football club formed in 2012, I really don’t think anyone would care which church a potential Scottish leader belonged to. I mean, when I think about who in Holyrood is a potential future leader of Scotland, in most cases I have no idea if they’re Catholic, Church of Scotland or neither.
    Besides which, Tony Blair converted to Catholicism, and Scots had no problem voting for him as Prime Minister (more’s the pity…)

  40. Paula Rose says:

    Atheist immigrant for top job!

  41. Albalha says:

    Yes but remember the ‘open conversion’ was after he’d left the PM’s job.

  42. Lianachan says:

    o/t sorry, but everybody must be made aware of this!

    Quite apart from the points raised by the petitioner, there is also the point that this would be yet another assault on our distinct culture.  Britain is the “nation” that our children would be forced to serve.

  43. Albalha says:

    Too slow to add to my comment.
    I just hope we can move past all of that in an independent Scotland.

  44. Morag says:

    What if the Frenchman, SNP MSP for the North East of Scotland, Christian Allard,  went all the way to the top job?.
     I am not saying he will, but the potential is there.  That would be interesting wouldn’t it.
    Is he French or is he Scottish, now?  However nice a guy and however competent, if he isn’t planning on continuing to live here, retiring here and dying here, I’m not sure I want him running the country.  (Of course people’s circumstances can change, that’s not the point.  It’s the belief that you’re working for the nation you call yours and the country where you will live out your life that’s important.)

  45. Dave says:

    OT, I watched Darling’s performance on Scotland Tonight last night. The interviewer ripped him to shreds. Well worth watching again to watch him stutter and squirm.

  46. Morag says:

    @ dee @ morag

    He’s German.  His mother is a native-born ethnic German, and….

    …. he has stated that he’s “more or less completely German. I’ve lived in Germany all my life. I did all my school in Germany and my military service in Germany.”

  47. sneddon says:

    Morag where a person retires to (or dies in) isn’t a qualifier for measuring how committed a person is to the country they live in NOW.  

  48. Morag says:

    That’s not what I said.  Read it again.

  49. Murray McCallum says:

    In an ideal World I would like a strong cabinet team running Scotland. I think the whole “strong leader” thing is simplistic media speak.

  50. sneddon says:

    Morag      Outside this theoretical chat , its hardly likely to be someone with no emotional dedication to this country.  Mercenaries don’t usually hang around.  (e.g. Blair MacDougall)
    Better that french chap than any of the current bunch of libbers, labour or tory “scots’.  Let’s face it  he’s not here for the weather 🙂

  51. Ronnie says:

    Christian Allard was the first ‘face’ in ‘Yes Scotland’ I met – handing out leaflets outside Markies in Aberdeen a year ago.
    I was impressed by the strength of his convictions. He’s newly in office this year – let’s see how he performs.

  52. Randomscot says:

    More words of sense and restraint BTL (not that above the line fails to get its digs in) here

  53. Desimond says:

    Doug Daniel – Of course we all feel there should be no constraints (or demands), just the best person for the job. Sadly, that isnt how it is under the Union of course. I for one would like to see this actually oulined in the Constitution of Scotland.
    Anyone who feels its an irrelevance is wrong IMHO, discrimination is discrimination, regardless of how unofficial it is.
    As for Blair, the fact he attended Mass as his wifes partner but didnt covert until after standing down says it all really, about both the man and the Establishment.

  54. Bill C says:

    Doug, Tony Blair became a Catholic after leaving office.


  55. Morag says:

    I’m just having a slightly blue day moaning about the constant negativity in the opinion polls.  How come the canvassing is looking so promising, and we’re doing well in the debates, and people are being converted to Yes every day, and still we’re subjected to these dismal headlines?

  56. Morag – I’d say it’s BECAUSE the canvassing is looking so promising, and we’re doing well in the debates, and people are being converted to Yes every day.  🙂

  57. Brian Ritchie says:

    I’m just having a slightly blue day moaning about the constant negativity in the opinion polls.  How come the canvassing is looking so promising, and we’re doing well in the debates, and people are being converted to Yes every day, and still we’re subjected to these dismal headlines
    I think the reason has already been voiced on this site: it’s an attempt to prevent the idea of independence being normalised and to paint YES as an extreme position favoured by a a minority of bravehearts.  In the long run it will fail.

  58. John H. says:

    I’m sorry to be o/t. I’ve just seen Johanne Lamont on FM’s questions. I thought she looked ill. Politics apart, for her own sake, I think that she should stand down.

  59. Training Day says:

    “How come the canvassing is looking so promising, and we’re doing well in the debates, and people are being converted to Yes every day, and still we’re subjected to these dismal headlines?”
    You know the reason, Morag.  Very noticeable yesterday too that Brewer and Dougal effortlessly picked up Darling’s mantra that polls a year out are in themselves a refutation of independence, and that Yes is on the back foot.
    Look out for a disastrous poll for Yes on the day of the White paper publication.  They’d publish one on Saturday to coincide with the march too except they don’t want to publicise the latter.
    Am I right in thinking that MSM mentions of the march, with two days to go, currently stand at 0?  That’s a rhetorical question.

  60. ayemachrihanish says:

    Cheer up Morag
    Look at the one we lost…
    The beloved – Mohammad Sarwar, who stood down as a Labour MP three years ago having represented the great people of Glasgow. He has been obliged to give up his British citizenship to take on the new role as Governor of Punjab.
    No doubt the best man for the Punjab! Son to follow soon…
    Further reason for cheering up.. 
    Who would have believed that we could come together and fill the hill…

  61. Bill C says:

    Morag – I agree the headlines do not make good reading, however as SS and Nicola Sturgeon have pointed out, there are interesting stats behind the gloom e.g. 42% YES, 22% NO in the poorer areas of Glasgow.  If Glasgow and the West of Scotland votes YES, Scotland votes YES.
    I think it was Paul ,the guy who spoke so eloquently at the Radio 5 Live debate, who said on FB that he had spent a night canvassing in Barrowfield (a really poor area in Glasgow’s East End) and didn’t meet a single No voter.  If we can convince those who have no hope at the moment that independence provides hope we will win.

  62. Doug Daniel says:

    I have no idea why I forgot Blair converted AFTER he stood down, cos I bloody knew that!
    Anyway, seeing as how I fully expect both Nicola Sturgeon and Humza Yousaf to become First/Prime Minister of Scotland at some point, then it would be pretty weird for Scotland to have no problem electing a woman or a non-white Muslim, but to draw the line at a Catholic. Maybe that’s just because we don’t give a toss about it in the North East, but it would feel truly bizarre for that to be the case.

  63. Morag says:

    I know, I know, I know.  But these are polls being condicted by independent polling companies, and however you criticise the methodology they’re still recording an awful lot of people saying No.  It’s demoralising, and may suggest that our own polling is too optimistic.
    Yes, it’s still a year out, and yes it’s all to play for, and yes there are signs that the gap is closing, but I swear if I wake up one more morning to Gary Robertson’s smug voice telling me that there’s a new poll out showing that Scots overwhelmingly reject separation I may not be responsible for my actions.

  64. Albalha says:

    Who is saying that would be the case, I don’t see why that would be a problem, am I missing something that’s been said or written somewhere?

  65. Morag says:

    O/T Apologies, but I really dispair..–152024691.html

    Yes, but that is complete mince.

  66. Edward says:

    Point to ponder – I hear on a regular basis from Better Together and Labour/Libdem/Tory about what would the SNP do as regards re-nationalising the Royal Mail in Scotland if Scotland votes YES. Clearly this is a multi pronged attack , first placing in minds that the SNP would be in power after independence, secondly if the SNP were foolish to give an answer, they would be jumped upon based on ANY answer.
    What people should be doing is this – when asked would the SNP re-nationalise the Royal Mail (or any other post independence topic), turn it around and state that it would be dependent on which party is actually elected to the first independent parliament, so what would Labour do if elected in the first independent parliament?
    Don’t be surprised that you don’t get an answer as so far as Ive seen Labour/Tory/Libdem prevaricate about independence not happening

  67. westie7 says:

    I had a theory why the polls are so bad and the headlines are so depressing. Its incase there is a tight vote and it is then challenged and questioned by BT as invalid… They’ll say it must be cos all the polls said so!
    The spooks will fix it and use years of opinion to say it was never a yes.
    Hands up all those who think I need tablets?

  68. Randomscot says:

    I do believe Alex Salmond committed an SNP Government in an Independant Scotland to renationalising the Royal Mail

  69. Doug Daniel says:

    Albalha – just something Desimond said earlier. Don’t worry, nobody’s accused an independent Scotland of becoming an anti-Catholic land of hate since the last time George Galloway did it!

  70. Soda says:

    I take it you have all seen this –
    And some have the cheek to mention banana republics but they have journalistic efforts like this that any regime in the world would be proud of. Everyday now i shake my head in disbelief and amazement.

  71. Macart says:

    They really are racking up all the bad news stories in advance of the march aren’t they?

  72. bunter says:

    Bit of doom and gloom today, but to be expected as with it being a year to go and the march on saturday, there was bound to be a raft of suspect polls and reports just to spoil the party. We know, on the ground, what the reality is, as do they. and they are going to fail.

  73. Edward says:

    Thanks Randomscot , I may have missed that statement as there is so much going on now

  74. Soda says:

    Sorry, a link that doesnt give them hits –

  75. velofello says:

    @ Morag; And what does your personal canvassing tell you? My door to door experience – wouldn’t stand up to Scottish Skier’s statistical analysis – is 60% Yes, 20% No, 20% Don’t Know. The Nos when provided with data I find almost always fall back on “Maybe, but I just think we are better together”.
    Alistair Gray said it for me, Itinerant opportunists if you prefer.

  76. Bill C says:

    Doug it’s called a Senior Moment, I can get them all the time and the bad news is they get worse as you get older! However, I suspect that you are too young for all that, perhaps it’s a lack of alcohol, I’ll buy you a pint on Saturday!
    On a more serious note, the anti-Catholic thing still simmers in a very small section of the Celtic support, I know a couple of ‘Bhoys’ who still believe that tripe. Having said that, I know that there is a very active ‘Celts for Independence’ group and that the ‘Green Brigade’ actually support an independent Scotland, so times have changed! However, I am convinced that as we near 18th September and YES has overtaken NO in the polls, Labour will play the ‘Orange Card’, we should be prepared for that and a whole host of other dirty tricks.

  77. Harry Shanks says:

    I do HOPE Labour plays “the Orange card”!
    If they do, and provided it can be exposed – that could seal the deal for YES.

  78. Morag says:

    @ Morag; And what does your personal canvassing tell you?
    I live in the Borders, remember?  Lots of shouty Tories.

  79. muttley79 says:

    @Training Day
    McDougall disclosed on Newsnight last night that he didn’t want welfare to be in the hands of the First Minister. Rather, any future devolved powers should bypass Holyrood and go straight to local authorities. Labour of course have their corrupt power bases such as Glasgow in mind.
    What McDougall didn’t say – but means – is that the plan is to strip Holyrood of all powers and hand any devo tinkering which remains to Cooncillors. A nightmare scenario.
    SLAB’s self interest appears to know no bounds.  They would rather give more power to their own councillors than give it to the people of Scotland.  What a disgraceful policy.  They really do not care about anyone but their own elected representatives.

  80. Linda's Back says:

    From Scotsman (can’t get archive is  to work)
    An independent Scotland could boost the Olympic medal prospects of badminton hopefuls born north of the border, the sport’s Scottish boss has claimed.
    Badminton Scotland chief executive Anne Smillie believes a yes vote in next year’s referendum on whether the country should divorce itself from the rest of the UK could eventually lead to improvements for Scottish competitors.
    Her claims come as the Scottish Government said creating an Olympic team for a newly-independent nation in time for Rio 2016 would be a “straightforward” process.
    Scotland already competes as a separate nation in a number of sports that will be played at the Brazil Games, including football, rugby, badminton, volleyball, amateur boxing and golf.
    And Smillie says taking control of the Olympic training programmes back from British officials would give Scots badminton players a better chance of landing a place on the podium.
    Successful programme
    She told BBC Scotland: “The GB programme failed to produce a medal in Beijing and London. We have serious doubts about the viability of the Rio plan currently delivered in Milton Keynes.
    “Badminton Scotland could run a successful Scottish Olympic programme, depending on funding.
    “If we became independent then we would be in a good position. It would allow the Scottish performance team to regain control of the training programme for our top players.”
    Scotland won a total of 14 medals at the London Olympics last year but some have questioned whether the country has the sporting infrastructure to compete on the global stage.
    And given our Tennis stars Scotland, rather than UK, would be in the elite group of Davis Cup nations.

  81. MochaChoca says:

    Back during the London 2012 I commented on an Olympics thread on the BT facebook page that an Independent Scottish Olympic team would likely have far more competitors (going by a number of other countries similar in size to Scotland) than the Scottish contingent of team GB. That got me a ban.

  82. Linda's Back says:

    With Stuart’s indulgence
    Trying out Archive is link for Scotland’s Olympic Badminton

  83. old mikey says:

    silvertay @ 10.20 am.
    You beat me to it. I was there as well, Elaine told like it is. There was a great turnout, see you at the rally.

  84. Morag says:

    On the other side of the coin, one of the (maybe the only) genuine advantages of the union is for people who compete in team sports.  Andy Murray won his Olympic silver playing doubles with Laura Robson.  Would a Murray/Baltatcha pairing have been so successful?  Quite a number of “Scottish” medals were won by Scots who were part of teams with English team-mates.
    Years ago, this was the only genuine “union benefit” I ever managed to discern.  I remember laughing and saying, well we’re not going to vote No just to boost the athletic careers of people who compete in team sports.  But sure enough, that was indeed being touted as a reason to vote No, last year.

  85. Desimond says:

    Doug Daniel, Albalha, Bill C
    Not sure what Celtic fans still believing the Tripe means.
    Just to be clear, I was merely pointing out that anyone should be able to lead Scotland, which is something not available to everyone in Westminster. If we are playing the “Catholics can reach the top, its just we have never found one good enough card” then hopefully that excuse goes the way of the other stablishment that tried to hide behind it.
    This is nothing to do with Football however, or Catholics v Protestants or any other religion or athiesm, was just a small posting to say I hope we dont have any such unofficial caveats in a new independent Scotland. Look forward to a new dawn and new day for all. Simple as that and I know its something we all agree on.

  86. Albalha says:

    There’s nothing that says the PM at Westminster can’t be a Catholic. However the Monarch can’t be, of course they are now permitted to marry a Catholic. (How generous)

    As I said higher up I hope Scotland can move beyond it.

    I only pointed out that Blair’s conversion was after he left.

  87. BillDunblane says:

    O/T – Hey Stu,
    Just filled in a YouGov survey and after I finished it the usual multi topic page came up and there was WOS!
    Needless to say you got a big thumbs up.  😉 

  88. Desimond says:

    Albalha – Yip, Was noted, and no offence meant to you or Doug or Bill Cin recent reply, copied in as part of debate. The fact that theres nothing to say a Catholic cant be Prime Minister, we just havent had one in all these years, is probably worse that a truthful “Do not apply within” ban. Hence  this is why i would appreciate a declaration in our constitution but such things can wait. Lets get the door unlocked before worrying that everyone can fit through.

  89. Albalha says:

    I’m just an accuracy nerd, can’t help making corrections.
    You’re right, after all Blair chose not to ‘openly convert’ until he left office, says it all.
    Years before he left, I spent a short spell working for BBC Religion in Scotland, I clearly remember his all but weekly conversion being reported in the Tablet, it then got picked up, to some extent, by the wider media.
    The man was even a liar over his faith. 

  90. Andy-B says:

    WoW!   The question  none of these, really shows just how lacking the Westminster Government really is.

  91. Dal Riata says:

    Sorry, very O/T
     Rev Stu, I left a post in the “Colour separation” thread, but maybe you haven’t seen it yet. I’ll make this one shorter.
    I’m trying to comment using a Samsung S2 phone with Android – but can’t!
    I can type in the “Name” and “Mail” boxes, but cannot type in the comment box. It just won’t allow the ‘ticker’ to set on the page so I can start typing.
    I am able to leave comments on sites such as the Guardian without any problems.
    I have read posts here where people have said they have used their iPhone to send them.
    Any idea(s) what the problem(s) might be? Is it an Android thing? Is it something peculiar to the system you use for this site?
    It would be great if I could get back to the posting. But I can’t keep using my friend’s tablet, unfortunately!
    Thanks for any reply.

  92. Morag says:

    Can’t you email him?

  93. dodecostanza says:

    Regarding Simon Heffer’s drivel:
    “Official figures from the previous year suggest Scotland spent £62?bn but raised just £45?bn — an annual subsidy from the English taxpayer of at least £17?bn.”
    Could anyone point me in the direction of the facts that I can use to refute this nonsense in a discussion I’m having please?

  94. Scott Douglas says:

    Some of the comments to the Heffer article are priceless.  One of the respondents wants military intervention to seize the oilfields.  The whole thing is a bit like an English version of ‘Heart of Darkness’ only with the boat sailing up the Thames rather than the Congo.

  95. call me dave says:

    Hi,  .. what has happened to you ?
    You were such a nice polite person, hard to rile, always firm in your responses but always leaving a wee bit of wriggle room for the uninformed unionist lacky!
    I am shocked that these attributes have vanished , I once called you a saint for your patience and concern for these folk, I am astonished.
    Frankly I am astonished you have not cracked before!!   Chortle..LOL.
    All the best.

  96. Caroline Corfield says:

    this is from the A to Z of Unionist Myths but I’ve seen a good graphic somewhere just can’t find it at the moment. 
    Subsidies:  Scotland depends upon subsidies from the UK to run our economy. 

    A recent study by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) think tank, based on official tax and spending figures, concludes that Scotland’s North Sea oil and gas revenues, with other taxes, means it gets no net subsidy from the rest of the UK.  And this is based upon shonky Westminster figures, which allocate a notional share of “UK national expenditure” to Scotland even though the money is actually spent in the South East of England.  So we’re paying for just under 10% of the bloody Olympics.

    But if, like me, your eyes glaze over when you hear talk of balance sheets, budgets and the Barnett Formula, just consider that Westminster could very easily make it clear exactly how much Scotland puts into the Union, and exactly how much we get back in return.  After all, it’s Westminster which collects all the money and allocates where it goes.  We can assume they know who pays what and who gets what.  

    If Scotland was indeed hopelessly dependent on UK handouts, Westminster would publish all the figures in glorious technicolour and upload videos to YouTube, and there would be a 10 part BBC documentary all about them.  This would pretty much kill the independence debate stone dead, as Scots would be able to quantify those so-called Union benefits in precise detail.  But instead finding out how much Scotland pays into the Union and how much we get back takes a crack squad of industrial strength accountants on amphetamines.  So it’s a safe bet that we’re not dependent on subsidies from Westminster after all.

  97. Caroline Corfield says:

    You could also point out how much whisky export duty is shown as English revenue because it leaves via an English port, or the raw food produce that is processed in the English Midlands and counts are English revenue as a result. Once the full figures are looked at its not so simple. There was mention of figures for those quite recently here somewhere.

  98. Morag says:

    In fact, I think that much of that humungous percentage of our “exports” that is nominally exported to England (and which is used to prove that we couldn’t survive “separate” from our biggest market) is actually stuff being exported abroad but which leaves from an airport or port in England.  So it’s credited to us as being “exported” to England”, but then England gets the credit for expoting it abroad.  I think.  Maybe I’m confused.
    But every time you find something confusing or misleading about the numbers, it always seems to show Scotland better off than they’re trying to make out.
    And did anyone mention “Crown Estates”?

  99. dodecostanza says:

    I think I’ve seen that graphic too,  a map of Britain with big arrows going in either direction?
    Thanks for the info, so basically they don’t compare like with like, thought so.

  100. Scottish_Snowboarder_;) says:

    nelliejean says:
    19 September, 2013 at 9:07 am

    My brother’s argument for staying in the union is “Scotland doesn’t have a strong enough leader to be a successful independent country”. 
    …Yeah. I’ll be working on him over the next year!

    Might help this wee extract from Better togeather’s latest newsletter

    “We have a strong Scottish Parliament making decisions on the things that matter most to us” Good old Blair!

  101. Silverytay says:

    old mikey   
                  I was the idiot standing at the door of the hall letting people in .
    It was a fantastic night and considering the football was on it was a very good crowd .
    The thing that cheered me up was the amount of people at the end making sure that they signed electoral registration cards .
    As others on this site have stated ,if we can give the people who are not on the electoral role hope and inspiration and get them to register and to vote then we will win this .

  102. Dal Riata:
    What version of Android OS are you using? You should be be able just to tap/click in the comment box and type away. As far as I know all android OSes are the same for telephone or tablet. Are you sure the browser app is working? (IE. not slowing down or crashing.)

  103. Bill C says:

    @Desimond – I was meaning that there is still a very small minority of Celtic fans who think that an independent Scotland will be anti-Catholic which is ‘tripe’ – a good old Glasgow term for nonsense. It is a view which is encouraged by Labour and is known as playing the ‘Orange Card’, Labour have been playing it in Glasgow for decades. No offence taken by the way, it’s good to talk.

  104. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    Bill C
    Exactly – and it could be critical. or – to put it another way – if we turn this around we will win in almost all of West Central Scotland.
    Albalha at 3.24
    If the Catholic Church had been a democracy Tony Blair wouldn’t have been allowed to join

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