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SNP wins 2016 Holyrood election

Posted on November 20, 2013 by

We realise that while all the polls still have Alex Salmond’s party a long way in front, and the First Minister himself still enjoys record approval ratings for a leader midway through his second term of office, it’s a little early to be calling the result of the 2016 Scottish Parliament vote at this stage.


But then, we’re not the ones doing it. (And it’s not the SNP either.)

Last night we were sent a document by a disgruntled Labour Party member. It was a preview of a leaflet “United With Labour” will be handing out this coming weekend, and it was a bit odd in more ways than one. (Click to enlarge.)


Now, we’ve covered the absurdly obvious and ham-fisted hypocrisy of this particular campaigning angle several times before. Labour are trying to claim that the SNP’s proposed 3p reduction in the rate of Corporation Tax is a “right-wing” outrage against ordinary working people, which would be much more convincing if Gordon Brown hadn’t reduced the tax by FIVE percentage points the last time Labour were in power.

Now, it’s one thing to do that in an election campaign. But it’s a little bit weird to use it in a referendum, because the referendum won’t set the rate of Corporation Tax. If Scotland votes Yes next year, it won’t actually become independent before the 2016 election. So the only way a Yes vote could bring about a Corporation Tax cut is if the outcome of that election is a foregone conclusion.

It’s not just Labour, either. In an earlier post today we quoted the Telegraph describing opposition “fury” at the Scottish Government’s launch plans for the independence White Paper, during which the Tories’ business manager John Lamont wailed:

“This latest stunt shows nothing but contempt and disrespect towards the parliamentary process and is a chilling glimpse of how a separate Scotland would be run.”

Is it? Leaving aside the merits or otherwise of his assessment in its own right, wouldn’t that only be the case if the SNP had a majority again, meaning it had won another massive landslide? Mr Lamont appears to be discounting any other possibility.

We must admit, based on the performance of the Tories, Lib Dems and (especially) Labour in opposition, we currently find it pretty hard to picture any party other than the SNP winning the 2016 election too. But it’s still two and a half years away, and an awful lot can happen in politics in that space of time. It seems a little premature for the Unionist parties to be conceding already.

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    Hail the Conquering Heroes | A Wilderness of Peace

103 to “SNP wins 2016 Holyrood election”

  1. Cath says:

    Perhaps it’s an admission from Labour under Westminster that they won’t even bother fighting the 2016 election if it’s a Yes vote? Either they know that if it happens Labour for Indy or some other genuine left wing coalition will emerge and they’ll all be gone, or they’re just planning to all up sticks and leave it to the SNP and anyone else who wants to form a party?

  2. Ally says:

    Am I the only one that picked up on this? Brilliant!!
    “during which the Tories’ business manager John Lamont wailed”

  3. Doug Daniel says:

    The leaflet says “The SNP’s right-wing economics have been independently condemned”
    “Separately” condemned, surely?

  4. Cath says:

    In any case, does the SNP have a definite policy for 2016 yet? If it’s a NO vote, they can’t touch corporation tax – that will still be decided by whatever shade of Tory is in at Westminster. They can only change it if it’s a Yes.
    So they also appear to have conceded the referendum and know what the SNP 2016 manifesto will say. 

  5. Gillie says:

    Note at bottom right of UWL leaflet, “Stamp is not needed but would save us money”
    You know what to do folks. Get as many of these leaflets as you can fill them in, remembering to put a cross in the YES box, and send it back WITHOUT a stamp. 

  6. Cath says:

    And know the SNP manifesto will definitely say this despite “Alex Salmond’s adviser Nobel prize winner Joseph Stigliz” disagreeing with it.
    Blimey, it’s wrong on so many levels it’s hard to know where to start and stop

  7. chalks says:

    And yet, the question remains, what are Labours plans for a Scotland that votes No?

  8. Gordon says:

    Actually a 3p cut in Corp tax is a step to make us more competitive within the EU and hopefully entice American companies to set up more R&D and build up a manufacturing base. It’s a sound policy in my opinion and will make doing business in Scotland a little sweeter. If doing that attracts more companies, it means more jobs. More jobs means more Income Tax paid into a Scottish Treasury. More tax income means we get to lower the debt we’ll be saddled with post Independence and eventually lead to paying it off whilst securing our public services. Win-Win scenario.

  9. Jiggsbro says:

    You’ve missed the point: if there’s a Yes vote, there won’t be a 2016 election. Eck will proclaim himself “President for Life” and abolish political parties. If you don’t believe me, just look at North Korea.

  10. Ray says:

    I kinda hope that at the end of this parliament Salmond retires and the SNP disband and “separate” into new, vibrant Scottish parties with their own policies, only so the papers can’t lazily pick on them both each and every day like monotonous robots.

  11. Peter A Bell says:

    British Labour in Scotland are not engaging with the referendum campaign at all. They are fighting the next election. And they are doing so using the same tactics that so spectacularly failed them the last time.

  12. Atypical_Scot says:

    “Do you think Scotland should be an independent country”
    Again this question is put to labour members, who are obviously remain unconvinced by their parties stance.

  13. I forgot all about United With Labour!  Is that really all they’ve come up with since their launch?

  14. Cath says:

    “They are fighting the next election. ”
    But on reserved issues which won’t come into effect unless we’ve voted yes.

  15. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    I do see the SNP being the nuclei for several new parties but, not until the second GE post independence and the emergence of new blood of all political persuasions. 
    I also hope to see a more mosaic cluster of parties which will form and break associations with each other to have a stronger voice on specific issues, even on a case by case basis.

  16. Michael says:

    The aspect of this leaflet that seems to have been missed so far from the discussion is the imagined target audience. I can’t think for one second who this is meant to appeal to other than Labour activists themselves since the objective appears to be to persuade recipients that supporting the UK is somehow or other a leftist position. But who needs persuaded of that? Punters generally couldn’t care less if something is ‘right wing’ or not and most won’t give a second’s thought to corporation tax since it has no bearing on them personally. This is just another example of the Labour No campaign talking to itself.

  17. Macart says:

    Awfully nice of them to throw in the towel so far in advance. Saves time I suppose… 🙂

  18. BillyBigbaws says:

    “…a chilling glimpse of how a separate Scotland would be run.”

    Imagine it.  A benighted land where referendum White Papers on future tax policy, etc. can be released to the public at launch events with complete impunity.  It just doesn’t bear thinking about.  That’s how the Nazis started, isn’t it?   

  19. Michael says:

    Please no, not the silly posts about the SNP breaking up again. Usually comments and posts on this site are totally sensible, thoughtful and well-considered. But posts connected to the party system post independence are invariably silly and ill-informed and based on the notion that the Westminster system provides a universal model. There is nothing in history which suggests anything but the continued dominance of the party that achieves independence. It is the other parties which might be described as being the nuclei for the formation of new parties, not the SNP. 

  20. HandandShrimp says:

    As Stu has noted, our lovely Better Together Corporation tax has reduced. It is it Labour policy to put it back up? I think business should be told. Or is it a case that no matter what Osborne sets the rate at that is OK but any tax policy the Scottish Government chooses is wrong?
    I would sooner a CT that was 20% and collected than a CT of 30% and avoided.
    One day Labour will be coherent..but it will not be this day (to steal from Tolkein)

  21. Michael says:

    And one final point about the leaflet – the design quality is shockingly bad. It’s like something that might have been produced for a cooncil by-election in 1992.  

  22. Bubbles says:

    I’ve been banging on about this assertion for ages now. I think it’s an inevitable progression from the Unionists constantly playing the man rather than the ball.

  23. Ian Brotherhood says:

    SLAB focus group issues pre-emptive WP analysis:

  24. mr thms says:

    All the political parties in N. Ireland want the power to cut Corporation Tax. They think it will attract investment and jobs. They don’t just want to cut the rate by 3p. They want to bring it down, in stages, to 12.5p. The rate used in Ireland.
    “The document, Preparing For A Lower Corporation Tax Environment, by Oxford Economics, says that a reduction in the rate from 24% to 12.5% would create double the jobs that would otherwise be produced locally, as well as £6bn in extra wages and profits for the economy as a whole.
    With the current tax rate, employment growth over the next two decades is forecast to be 57,000 jobs, a quarter of the rate of employment growth during the pre-recession decade.
    The Treasury is currently mulling a proposal to allow Northern Ireland the power to set its own tax rates.”

  25. MajorBloodnok says:

    Leaflet says: “They can’t give straight answers on what independence will mean for workking people but they can guarantee a big tax cut to the richest corporations.”
    Number of things wrong with this:
    1.  The SG is publishing a white paper next week that should settle as many of the questions as is humanly possible (assuming of course that Labour and the MSM permit people to find out what’s actually in it).
    2.  The SG can’t vary Corporation Tax as they don’t have the powers just now and they haven’t won the 2016 election yet so they can’t and indeed haven’t guaranteed anything.
    3.  Corporation tax affects all businesses of whatever size, so it’s not just about big corporations but helps the SMEs too, thus encouraging economic growth.
    4.  And the Labour Party’s view on Gordon Brown cutting Corporation Tax by 5% is … what exactly?
    5.  I am disappointed at there being no mention of hedgehogs in this leaflet.  Shoddy.

  26. Rod Mac says:

    If the SNP government suggested healthy diet and excercise  were good for the nationthese naysaying London apologists would still bleat and greet.

  27. Wingman 2020 says:

    They are talking to themselves while quietly trying to ascertain the Indy Labour vote.

  28. sionnach says:

    It’s not just that they’re “playing the man rather than the ball”: they’re actually looking at the Wrong Ball. Hopefully the WP will focus opposition minds on the fact that this is a single-issue referendum, not a multi-issue general election.
    After a YES vote, the SNP will certainly need to remodel itself, because it will have achieved its primary raison d’etre. I don’t think it will break up – it has the means and the will to be a strong left-of-centre party, well capable of winning massively in 2016 – and I think Michael (@ 12:34) is right, that it is the opposition parties who will need to re-constitute themselves as Scottish political parties rather than the West Lothian branch of a London-based monolith.
    One scenario that has often crossed my mind is that a YES vote might actually bring about Eck’s retirement: quit while you’re winning and all that. One message to naysayers could be: you dislike Mr Salmond, vote YES and he’ll go away; vote NO and you’ll have to put up with him for years to come!

  29. Macart says:

    No but they may be covered in the white paper under renewables. 🙂

  30. sionnach says:

    The implication of the leaflet is that there will be no dartboards in an independent Scotland, so the hedgehogs will become irrelevant.

  31. Norrie says:

    Interesting that the Yes answer to the question “should Scotland be an independent country” is in black and the other options stand out less in light grey.

  32. Seasick Dave says:

    The release of this paper is not even mentioned on the front page of the BBC Scotland website.
    It is tucked away, half way down the politics page under ‘Independence ‘could spark jobs boom”.
    I will be cancelling my BBC direct debit today.

  33. HandandShrimp says:

    The number of times Labour have pulled the Godwin cunning stunt and called Salmond, the SNP, Holyrood a dictatorship is actually quite frightening. Not only is it utterly unwarranted, it demeans every poor soul that has ever had to live under a dictatorship. The Scottish wing of the Labour Party really are bereft of any sophistication in their political demeanour and language. They are the epitome of a failed political party desperately thrashing about looking for traction and a cudgel to hit their opponents with. Devoid of dignity, integrity and purpose (and hedgehogs).  

  34. Annibale says:

    @Major Bloodnok
    What’s the difference between a hedgehog and SLAB?
    By the way, the Famous Eccles says”Hi”

  35. Cath says:

    I will be cancelling my BBC direct debit today.
    I did that ages ago and made the DD out to Yes Scotland instead. At the time I wondered if I’d be wracked with guilt when the BBC finally started to be more balanced. Hasn’t happened yet and I can’t see it happening. I’m still glad I did it.

  36. Les Wilson says:

    BT et Labour tend to just love their mis information leaflets, maybe they are convinced they work for them. WE know it is all based on fresh air just as they do, but it attempts to cause confusion which is disgraceful but not surprising given their record.

    Maybe it is time to fight fire with fire, how about some leaflets of our own? We can just tell the truth about them, we do not need to make things up we have plenty we could say and get across to the public, so let us get moving have some digital leaflets made up and make them ( uneditable ?) and start getting them out there. Let us play them at their own game. Personally I would distribute them, happily, a bit of personal satisfaction. So maybe the REv could put together a couple of such leaflets that we could download, have printed and get started. Y/N

  37. Rod Mac says:

    sionnach says:
    One scenario that has often crossed my mind is that a YES vote might actually bring about Eck’s retirement.
    I totally disagree I think AS like a lot of us that have been in this struggle for a  long time will want to hang around to see Scotland on a steady course.

  38. Cath says:

    I also think it’s a real shame about the BBC because I’ve spent my whole life up until now defending public broadcasting to the hilt and still believe in it entirely. It’s just been eye-opening, I guess since Iraq, how easily it can become a state broadcaster. Not just over the independence referendum, but the NHS in England as well.

  39. Bobbie Jeal says:

    Really does seem as if they have all accepted that the YES campaign is a winner. Brilliant! Let’s look forward to life now in a fair and just society that doesn’t need Trident or to show off its armed forces on the world stage. Let’s live a life where we don’t need to go cap in hand to our masters in London for every penny we need. Let’s live a full and rewarding life !!

  40. Jon D says:

    @Les Wilson
    Maybe it is time to fight fire with fire, how about some leaflets of our own?
    May I humbly suggest that you join up with your local Yes group. Yes groups are awash with leaflets and will be very appreciative of your offer to distribute in an organised fashion

  41. Ken Johnston says:

    O/T Rev. apologies.
    Robert Burns’s watch, a present from Jean Armour going under the hammer next week.
    Crowd funding, donate to Museum of Scotland, wee sign underneath, ‘donated by public subscribers’, and a Wings logo.
    Or will the Weirs have a go.

  42. Gordon Smith says:

    Looks like Labour want to fight IndyRef on 2 fronts, to make it more difficult for the YES Side, as a referendum and as an election (Just to confuse the voters).
    Expect “Vote NO for Labour”  leaflets close to the Referendum.

    In which Case Labour for Indy should push the message “Vote YES for Labour in September 2014”

  43. BeamMeUpScotty says:

    The economically illerate Labour party,as usual completely mssing the point.The objective of cutting corporation tax is to create JOBS and the subsequent boost to economic activity.

  44. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    As we all know they had the responses made up before they read anything.

    Perhaps I’m wicked but I’d have carefully leaked some bollocks that isn’t actually in it to allow them to make fools of themselves.

    SNP response should “they haven’t read it yet” and on any live interview in the media the interviewer should be asked to identify precisely the point at question which should indicate that they haven’t read it either.

  45. theycan'tbeserious says:

    “Prime minister Cameron/Miliband of England and the rump UK! King Alexander IV of Scotland will see you now to discuss the terms of your loan! Please observe protocol and bow as you enter his presence….very low mind as you are asking for rather a lot”!!

  46. Les Wilson says:

    Jon D,
    You are probably right Jon, maybe letting my anger getting the better of me. However, I suspect that the YES campaign will be very gentlemanly about it, I want to be in their face waving something that will upset them!  

  47. sionnach says:

    @RodMac (1.24)
    Yours is the more likely scenario, I agree, because a YES vote will be a beginning rather than an end, and if AS were to retire at that point he could be accused of callous careerism (“How will history remember our callous ex-dictator?”). New-born independent Scotland will need his firm, confident, assured guiding hand (and Nicola’s too) in its formative years. My alternative thought was more of an idle surmise based on the No camp’s irrational hatred of AS.

  48. Seasick Dave says:

    Keep on keeping on…

  49. Balefire says:

    Did anyone else notice on the leaflet, “A stamp is not needed, but it would save us money.”
    That made me laugh. 🙂

  50. HandandShrimp says:

    Tend to agree, I think if we have a Yes vote, Alex will guide the ship home in 2016. He might step down as leader mid term and let Nicola take the helm for the 2020 election but that is another matter. I think he has always said he would like a retirement 

  51. David says:

    At least we can see what a future Labour government in Scotland will give us. Tuition fees, Council taxes will go up, means testing for prescriptions and bus passes. With Yes they will also put up corporation tax, end benefits for under 25s, keep trident, prevent Scottish yards from building RN ships and with a fondness for nuclear power can imagine will look to get a few of those built.

  52. HulloHulot says:

    While it’s a wee bit off-topic, those of us in the South of England might be interested in this lecture that’s being delivered at the University of Reading by Colin Kidd, Unionist fae the University of St Andrews: ‘From Jacobitism to the SNP: the Crown, the Union and the Scottish Question’
    It’s set to ask burning questions about where Scottish Nationalists stand on the question of Monarchy. I’ll be there, if any other sinister separatist fifth-columnists wish to join me in turning up and asking questions, give me a shout.

  53. Jim Mitchell says:

    There not catching us out like that, it’s obviously a plot to lure us into a real sense of security so we will stop working and they will push on.
    No chance!

  54. HandandShrimp says:

    It’s set to ask burning questions about where Scottish Nationalists stand on the question of Monarchy.
    Of many issues that has to be the one that is most like watching paint dry. Not a Royalist but if Queenie wants to be Queen I can’t say it upsets me. I would imagine we would see her at Holyrood opening sessions, xmas broadcast, the launch or opening of something and her holiday in Balmoral. I can happily live with that.

  55. Illy says:

    Just curious, what *is* everyone’s problem with nuclear power?
    Is it the safety issues?
    The waste disposal?
    The oil, gas and coal companies losing profits?
    “Nuclear” hysteria?  (Scarey Scarey Radiation!  We only get half a day of it normally from the big explody thing in the sky (unless you live by the beach in Dalgety Bay))
    Only asking because I’ve worked with radioactives, and the analogy I would use is that they’re like a tiger at the zoo.  Fuck about with them and you’ve got trouble, but as long as you’re not an idiot about them there’s essentially no risk.
    Serious question.  What is most Scots’ objection?

  56. John MacIntyre OBE says:

    It can’t be true that Alex Salmond intends to reduce corporation tax by 3 percentage points in an SNP controlled separate Scotland. When the UK Government lowered the rate of corporation tax Alex Salmond called it an “obscenity“. Alex Salmond was expelled and suspended from the House of Commons for asserting “The Chancellor cannot do this. This Budget is an obscenity.” Ah well – what Alex Salmond considered an “obscenity” yesterday Alex Salmond determines is SNP policy today:- 
    House of Commons 15 March 1988
    Mr. Lawson The basic rate of income tax for 1988–89 will be 25 pence in the pound. The small companies’ rate of corporation tax will similarly be reduced to 25 per cent. This means that the basic rate of income tax and the corporation tax rate for small companies will both be at their lowest level since the war.
    Mr. Alex Salmond (Banff and Buchan) This is an obscenity. The Chancellor cannot do this [Interruption]
    Mr. Deputy Speaker Order.
    Mr. Salmond This Budget is an obscenity.
    Mr. Deputy Speaker I name Mr. Alex Salmond. Motion made, and Question put, That Mr. Alex Salmond be suspended from the service of the House.”

  57. muttley79 says:

    The number of times Labour have pulled the Godwin cunning stunt and called Salmond, the SNP, Holyrood a dictatorship is actually quite frightening. Not only is it utterly unwarranted, it demeans every poor soul that has ever had to live under a dictatorship. The Scottish wing of the Labour Party really are bereft of any sophistication in their political demeanour and language. They are the epitome of a failed political party desperately thrashing about looking for traction and a cudgel to hit their opponents with. Devoid of dignity, integrity and purpose (and hedgehogs). 
    This is the situation SLAB have got themselves into.  They have been reduced to hating, and reacting furiously to, anything the SNP does.  They still have not learned any lessons at all from the defeats in 2007 and 2011.  In fact their answer has been to intensify their hatred against the SNP, and Salmond in particular.  They are a ongoing train crash of a political party.  They have no strategy, ideas or apparent purpose at all.  No wonder there is growing support for independence among their members and supporters.     

  58. liz says:

    O/T extremely interesting bit of information from Derek Batesman’s blog -not one I had heard of but maybe others have:

    ‘I recall even more explicit Labour bullying. According to Murray Ritchie of the Herald, Gordon Brown was so incensed at the paper’s failure to stamp on nationalism that he threatened to have public sector advertising withheld from the paper – a major source of revenue.’
    Just another example of how labour are our biggest enemies and might explain why some newspapers are so vehemently anti-indy.

  59. Bugger [the Panda] says:

    3 Mile Island, calderhall, Chernobly, and Fukushima for a start andwhat do we do with the sarcophogi and waste after.

  60. Dcanmore says:

    @John OBE…
    Totally and utterly irrelevant, if you want to live in 1988 then so be it, we want to live and thrive in the future (that’s post 2013 to you) which means different economic policies for different times. You should be able understand this being a recently retired senior civil servant.

  61. X_Sticks says:

    HandandShrimp says:
    “Not a Royalist but if Queenie wants to be Queen I can’t say it upsets me.”
    Would it still not upset you if it were King Charles and Queen Camilla?
    Like you I don’t have too much problem keeping Brenda around, but when she goes the whole circus should be shut down.

  62. proudscot says:

    Slightly O/T but still on the subject of the guff spouted by Labour in Scotland, I see Sarwar has been talking through his Anas yet again (surprise!) this time trying to attack the SNP for not signing his false “anti-Bedroom Tax Eviction declaration” which he waved so theatrically at Nicola in the recent televised debate between them, An all too obvious attempt to deflect criticism of his hypocrisy in failing to vote in support of Labour’s anti-Bedroom Tax Motion in the Westminster House of Cobblers,

  63. Illy says:

    So safety and waste disposal then?
    Waste disposal I can understand (though short-term it’s not that much of an issue (see here:, but other than the recent issues in Japan nuclear reactors are getting safer and safer.  And we’re not likely to get hit by earthquakes and tsunami in Scotland, we’re too far from any plate edges.

  64. Dcanmore says:

    This leaflet is nothing more than a vehicle to gauge how many Labour voters support independence, otherwise they wouldn’t bother asking the ref question. United With Labour is a Better Together ALMO (you know what this don’t you John OBE) to galvanise the Labour/Unions support into working for and funding BT without them realising it. If UwL ask you for money it will go straight into Alistair Darling’s pocket, but shhh don’t tell the Proles!

  65. Alex Taylor says:

    Don’t feed the troll!
    I’d hate to see it spend any time here.

  66. Muscleguy says:

    Ah but what happens when Queenie pops her clogs? Would you be as sanguine about King Charlie? How about if he refuses a separate Scottish coronation? Remembering that after the Referendum is won we will be back in the period between the union of crowns and the union of parliaments. So just like then Scotland can insist on a separate coronation. With modern travel and communications there can be no excuse.
    But refusals in the past were major sources of tension. As was the beheading of the king without consulting Scotland.
    I can see lots of potential sticking points to sharing a monarch which will put the issue under a microscope. Remember that Queenie reportedly dislikes having to be in residence at Holyrood House, not her favourite royal residence. Can a monarch who will not fulfil Scottish duties (as an independent Scotland sees them) be allowed to holiday at Balmoral?

  67. HandandShrimp says:

    X Sticks
    Not sure about Charles…don’t have any strong antipathy towards him. William and Kate? They seem like a nice couple. Of course Charles and Camilla might not want the job of Kinging Scotland. I think it would need to be discussed by both sides when the matter arose. I think Brenda has indicated she would adapt to any changes in the political scene so I don’t think it is an immediate issue.  

  68. Rod Mac says:

    Lizzie owns Balmoral like any citizen she can live in her own house.
    Post lizzie I personally would say no more monarchy

  69. Edward says:

    Any chance of a cleaner copy of the leaflet, one that includes the address?
    Its only fair that we should get involved 😉

  70. handclapping says:

    If we go back, way back, to choice between the contenders, I’d go for the admiral’s wife. Contract 1 big bash ( Games, Independence Day, whatever ) 1 festive message and 1 tea party pa plus 3 visits and 1 dinner pm for income tax + death duty free and lodgings in Holyrood. Damn sight cheaper than a President.
    1988 wow hair and a 32″ waist and I stopped paying the dog licence and eating Edwina’s eggs. JMK was right – When the facts change …

  71. Seasick Dave says:

    Tsunamis in the North Sea are not an impossibility. I have been involved in seabed surveys in this area and geophysicists have told me that there is a chance of further slippage although not as drastic as the original Storegga Slide.
    Of course if part of a fjord collapsed then that might be a different story.

    Of course, the integrity and honesty of the nuclear industry is not what it might be as record keeping is not their strong point, particularly when it comes to discharges, authorised or otherwise.
    Recommended reading for how the American Government treated its population during its series of above ground testing is Carole Gallagher’s American Ground Zero.
    ‘American Ground Zero’ is the extraordinary product of one photojournalist’s decade-long commitment, a gripping, courageous collection of portraits and interviews of those whose lives were crossed by radioactive fallout.
    For twelve years beginning in 1951, the United States government conducted above ground testing of nuclear weapons in the deserts of Nevada. For more than four decades it has tried to cover up the human and environmental devastation wrought by this testing. In American Ground Zero, Carole Gallagher has penetrated the veil of official secrecy and anonymity to document the incredible untold story of the Americans whose misfortune it was to live downwind of the nuclear detonations – those citizens described in a top-secret Atomic Energy Commission memo as “a low-use segment of the population” – and of civilian workers and military personnel exposed to radiation at the Nevada Test Site.
    The above ground nuclear testing was “the most prodigiously reckless program of scientific experimentation in United States history,” Keith Schneider notes in his foreword to the book. Many of its 126 fallout clouds floated across the American West and eastward with radiation levels comparable to those released at Chernobyl. Yet residents of the downwind areas were consistently told that there was no danger, and were even encouraged to “participate in a moment of history” by coming out to watch these fallout clouds drifting over their homes.
    To sum up, I do not trust the nuclear industry in any way, shape or form, and I grew up as an ‘Atomicer’ as my father worked in the nuclear reactor in Dounreay.

  72. handclapping says:

    And there was me thinking scaffie

  73. JLT says:

    To be honest, Labour are finished in Scotland. I know of no one ….NO ONE; even those who are deeply, deeply Socialist, have anything good to say about Scottish Labour.
    Lamont and her cohorts all know, that they are staring not down the barrel of a gun, but of a big Mons Meg cannon…
    Because if they lose this referendum …it’s going to be one epic mess within the Labour Party, as the infighting, soul-searching, wailing, screaming, cursing, finger pointing begins. I imagine something on the lines of the Ides of March mixed with the Night of the Long Knives!
    And that doesn’t include those Scottish Labour MP’s who will be forced home from Westminster. They will be seriously peed off and will want jobs as compensation up here.
    Now, whether Lamont and Co try to bar them from any MSP jobs up here will be interesting, but personally, I can’t see her telling Davidson to GTF and go and find a job in the real world. I would love to see her do it, but something tells me that that big Labour beast will flatten wee Jimmy Krankie in no time.
    The recovery of Scottish Labour post-indy could take over a decade or more.

  74. A2 says:

    “After a YES vote, the SNP will certainly need to remodel itself, because it will have achieved its primary raison d’etre”

    Can’t follow that argument, it will take many years after a yes vote to bring the changes that are required and you want competent people who actually want the thing to work bringing the change about. Christmas isn’t over once you’ve wrapped the presents.

  75. Dcanmore says:

    Balmoral is a private residence wholly owned by the Saxe-Coburg-Gothas, purchased by their very own shillings, it is Holyrood Palace that belongs to the State and where formal Royal receptions are held. So if Queenie gets herself a Scottish passport and dual citizenship (through her mother’s lineage) then she is entitled to stay at Balmoral as long she likes, But Holyroodhouse, like Buckingham Palace, belongs to the State (in this case it would the Scottish State after independence). 

  76. handclapping says:

    @Grant M
    Anas supporting Untied with Labour now; is this a split in Better Together or is he trying to ride another two horses at the same time again?

  77. Illy says:

    Seasick Dave:

    Didn’t know that about tsunamis in the north sea.
    And compleely agreed that when things go wrong, they can go *really* wrong when you’re working with nuclear reactors.
    Still not convinced that they aren’t able to be run safely.  Willing to defer to experience on whether the current crop of companies do, or even can (kinda like MPs, but I know those won’t)

  78. Andy-B says:

    Alex Salmond, by cutting corporation tax is trying to lure big business away from London, towards Scotland thus creating jobs north of the border, Lamont and her Westminster masters don’t like this line of approach one bit at all…TOUGH.

  79. Ken500 says:

    HMRC is not fit for purpose. The UK Treasury supports tax evasion by large corporations, Westminster MP’s and MSM owners.

  80. chalks says:

    Renewable is clean AND it’s cheaper to maintain AND Scotland will assume a position as a worldwide leader in it, if it isn’t already.
    The same cannot be said of Nuclear. 
    Renewable is less of a risk and it supports more jobs throughout Scotland than Nuclear ever’s a no brainer.

  81. Morag says:

    ‘I recall even more explicit Labour bullying. According to Murray Ritchie of the Herald, Gordon Brown was so incensed at the paper’s failure to stamp on nationalism that he threatened to have public sector advertising withheld from the paper – a major source of revenue.’
    That’s in Ritchie’s book about the 1999 Holyrood election that I was telling everyone to read.  The Battle for Scotland, I think.  Some day, you guys will do as I tell you….

  82. liz says:

    @Morag -is on my list to read but now I know this, I will spread it far and wide.
    Just who the hell does/did ‘clucking fist’ think he is/was?
    I’m glad he got bombed out of Westminster and will never be allowed back.

  83. Dcanmore says:

    According to Labour mantra Scotland is not supposed to compete with London (as long as it remains in the Union of course). Cast your mind back to when Sony wanted to build £50m film studios just south of Edinburgh and the whole plan was kiboshed by the Labour Scottish Executive because it would be in direct competition with the London studios and that wasn’t allowed. Hence Scotland is kept in managed decline and little development in industry. Our young people are supposed to get a good education and then move down south, that is the script. Scotland is supposed to only export people, oil and whisky and not much else because it will compete with other elements of the UK. The complete mismanagement of the UK is almost upon us, we need to get out of this toxic union to  save our country.

  84. Westie7 says:

    Let me tell you a personal view on CT under the current scheme. 
    The main rate has been reduced by Westminstuncover the years until its almost the same as the SPR small profits rate. That means me as a small ltd company with profits under 300k pays nearly the same rate as a multinational turning over millions
    There are thousands of one man contractors in the north east and for us this is a no brainer. I’ve coughed up over 70k in three years to Gideon just because I’m registered here. 
    Doesnt take a genius to figure out how much of that Westminster keeps
    BP now 170/95 !!

  85. Jingly Jangly says:

    Lizzie had an independent coronation in Scotland on 24june 53, She gave the ancient honours of Scotland the oldest crown jewels in the UK full respect. (Not)

  86. Albert Herring says:

    Iran’s nuclear power programme is simply to produce materials for their nuclear weapons programme.
    We know this because our nuclear power programme is simply to produce materials for our nuclear weapons programme.

  87. ronnie anderson says:

    Sea Sick Dave, good  on you pal join the ever growing band of  No  FEE Payers of the BBC, C mon people save some money, buy anither Christmas present fur yer wains ,

  88. Embradon says:

    Illy said:
    “Just curious, what *is* everyone’s problem with nuclear power?”
    My principle objection is that it is horrifically expensive.
    Take for example the cost per unit recently guaranteed for 35 yrs for the new Hinckley point station. On top of that it will be exempted from having to carry public liability insurance. Then  add the cost of de-commissioning which will inevitably fall on the public.

  89. PRJ says:

    Thers a story over at the Scotsman about thebuisness  rate tax burden the SNP are creating and this leafley talks about cutting buisness tax.
    Is there a story there?

  90. Chris says:

    What I think too many people in the NO! and Undecided camps are neglecting to factor in, is the fact that the Devo-max option was taken off the table by Ca-moron.
    Any notions that those two groups of voters may have about Scotland being rewarded after a NO! vote, should be immediately dispelled by the fact that the Devo-max option (proven in opinion polls to be the most popular, was it not?) was thrown out immediately.
    If we don’t vote for independence, I think we will live to regret it.

  91. Wp says:

    Chris, a no vote is the end for Scotland. we won’t get another chance. And if we don’t take it, it serves us right.

  92. Chris says:

    I agree, WP.
    If we vote NO! we will get the country we deserve.

  93. ScottishThinker says:

    Labour don’t seem to pick up on how ironic their left wing outrage is. 

  94. LisaR says:

    I wonder if Gordon’s wee piggy bank of Office of Sarah and Gordon Brown is what would be funding United with Labour. Who actually knows what my MP does with this big mass of money being paid in to this Office? Its for charity but who’s charity…is there a way to find where his charity money goes if it doesn’t go into his bank account?

  95. cjmasta says:

    Any one in two minds about nuclear power should check out Dr Helen Caldicott`s lectures on youtube. The nuclear industry is one of the biggest cons in history with some very powerful people behind it, look what happened to Willie Macrae when he tried to expose the nuclear industry for what it is.
    There`s some good stuff on youtube about his death. I would recommend everyone to check these things out.

  96. Adrian B says:

    Another good website is Rob Edwards for many of his stories. This is his links page with other important sites to read:

  97. john king says:

    ally says
    “during which the Tories’ business manager John Lamont wailed”
    Was there a gnashing of teeth?  

  98. john king says:

    JLT  says
    ” I imagine something on the lines of the Ides of March mixed with the Night of the Long Knives!”
    Followed by the Black Hole of Calcutta !

  99. john king says:

    Dcanmore says
    ” Cast your mind back to when Sony wanted to build £50m film studios just south of Edinburgh and the whole plan was kiboshed by the Labour ”
    Your right Dcanmore it was Sean Connery who tried to get the studios built at Hermiston 

    “I told him I wanted to build a studio outside Edinburgh, to be the top point of a triangle with Shepperton and Pinewood, so that they could all be “It was never exactly spelt out, but it became clear that anything associated with myself was not going to be accepted. They would have been perfectly happy if I joined Labour… There was no way that I would consider going back to Labour, and so the thing just petered out.”
    This is what Labour think of Scotland

  100. Helena Brown says:

    Oh I do hope we get one of these, will be delighted to fill it in and to send it back, without stamp.

  101. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    Can we not get a couple of copies of this, mock them up, distribute say 100,000 of them, fill them in, or not, and send them back Freepost?

  102. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    The Scottish branch of The Labour party  are no more than a protest vote against the SNP. For the main opposition party to win an election they have to behave like a government in waiting.
    Alas poor Johann & co don’t even know how to ask probing questions, never mind produce clear solutions to improve Scottish life. So they protest against a popular government!   

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