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Wings Over Scotland

Steve Richards, Unionwallah

Posted on February 15, 2014 by

As we’ve noted before, the Independent is by a large distance the most English of all the UK’s “national” newspapers. Alone among its peers, it has no Scottish edition, no Scottish news section, no Scottish editor, not even a full-time Scottish correspondent. It struggles to shift 3,000 (not a typo – THREE thousand) copies a day in Scotland.

So if we were conducting a panel debate about Scotland on a news channel, we’re not sure that the paper’s chief political commentator Steve Richards is the guy we’d call for expertise. But the BBC, bless it, has other ideas.

That notwithstanding, today’s edition of Dateline London was an interesting watch. Correspondents from the USA, China and Greece, and host Gavin Esler, offered some largely insightful comments, only occasionally interrupted by Richards butting in in a desperate attempt to get the discussion back on the standard UK-media line.

Bizarrely, the Independent man started off by pointing out that he hosts a regular politics show at the Edinburgh Fringe at which by his own count, 80% of the topics are of no relevance to a Scottish audience.

More mystifyingly, he asserted that the defining ideological motivation and purpose of the UK coalition government – which we think most rational observers would agree is welfare reform – was something that was already devolved in Scotland. (It isn’t.)

His main contribution was on the currency issue, on which he displayed a near-total ignorance of reality. In his view a formal currency union was impossible, Scotland using Sterling without UK government approval was equally impossible, the Euro was impossible and a separate Scottish currency was impossible. Frankly, it seems a miracle that Scotland currently has money at all.

(Of course, actual financial experts differ with Richards’ interpretation.)

David Leask, writing in yesterday’s Herald, observed that it was necessary to venture outside the UK media for a rational view of UK politics relating to Scotland. “It was a threat in French, a threat in German and a threat in Spanish. But not English”, Leask noted of press reaction to Osborne’s power-play. And this morning’s Dateline London illustrated the same point.

Detached foreign journalists made a number of sensible, intelligent points about Scotland (along with the occasional clanger, like the notion that Alex Salmond wanted a second question on the ballot paper), emphasising repeatedly above all how different the country has become to the rest of the UK, and more particularly the south-east corner that’s sucking everything north of London dry.

Richards faithfully came in one last time to punt the orthodox UK-media line, adopting the role of a colonial governor condescending to the simple-minded natives by clutching at north-east England’s entirely rational rejection of a useless talking-shop regional assembly as evidence of a mythical British unity. But more and more, we’re finding that overseas media presents a far more accurate and truthful picture of events around the independence debate than the Scottish/UK one.

No wonder the No campaign hates foreigners so much.

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97 to “Steve Richards, Unionwallah”

  1. mogabee says:

    Nice one Indy! Well named there.

    Watched an episode of Dateline with Polly Toynbee and she gave pretty fair and balanced comments as did the others.

    Makes you wonder what happens to UK correspondents whenever Scotland is mentioned, a strange phenomenom of bitter and ill-informed guff.

  2. Murray McCallum says:

    The Chinese writer seemed to have a better grasp of what was at issue, and I wonder if she has ever set foot in Scotland.

    Steve Richards managed to concentrate a tremendous amount of misinformation and non-information into a short space of time.

    There also seems to be a lot of commentators who have the physiological belief that humans can think with their heart.

    This seems to be their way of dismissing a sense of common identity and belief that you can make a difference. If not dismissing it, they are definitely trying to second-rate it. “They haven’t really thought this through …” kind of mind set. Patronising.

  3. fairiefromtheearth says:

    Dam those pesky ferengies

  4. fairiefromtheearth says:

    Yea the Heart thing always gets me,we have abused and used you for over 300years but your hearts will tell you its BetterTogether lol theyv lost it mentally

  5. kininvie says:

    checking in for the third time

  6. fairiefromtheearth says:

    I see that David Icke might be right monks and protesters in Thailand have sent the police packing to thing again,their weapon peacefully reading the Bible,I thought you had to shoot a 6inch torpedo down a 9inch exaust pipe to defeat the empire.

  7. JLT says:

    Fear is gnawing away at those who love the concept and mythological dream of what they perceive Britain to be …or should be.
    The problem is, the dream is crumbling before their eyes, or fading like a mirage.
    Once Scotland goes, then the mythological image of Britain is lost …and probably for good. Scotland pulls towards Europe, England looks deeper into its own soul. How can the two ever be reconciled into ‘One Nation’ again.

    And as you have pointed out many a time, Stuart, the Libs and Labour now follow that same dream that many within the Tory establishment have always followed. As said, ‘Ed Miliband’s ‘One Nation’.

    I believe denial is playing a big part within the mindsets of these people now. They refuse to believe that the final days of the remnants of the British Empire are now at hand. History calls. The Empire fades. What is left?

    And that is the problem for them. What will be left for the remnants of the UK, or rather, England? Where does England go from here? Scotland is not the problem. Scotland has an idea, an epiphany. England does not. Lost in the past, and lost to the future. What does England do once she loses her control of half of the main Island, and her fading influence within Europe.

    That is what terrifies Steve Richards, and so many like him.

  8. Marian says:

    With typical arrogance Westminster has used the currency union issue to reinforce its assertion that rUK will be the continuing state after Scotland votes YES to independence. Osborne opportunistically drove home that assertion in his claim/threat that Scotland has no right to use the £ after gaining independence.

    The Herald reported that an unnamed source close to Cameron and Osborne later threatened that if Scotland tried to negotiate terms after a YES vote that Westminster did not like, that Westminster would not allow independence to happen. The threat was made based upon Westminster’s arrogant assumption that rUK would be the continuing state and thus able to dictate terms to Scotland.

    The Scottish Government should start challenging the Westminster claim to be the continuing state otherwise it will continue to be used by Westminster to issue more threats during the debate and also seriously disadvantage Scotland in post YES vote negotiations.

  9. ronnie anderson says:

    thats me off line for a while guys, 1000 yes Papers to fold,

    Airdrie Yes have 10,0000 papers if any other,s need paper,s, I will be back on tonight, the last story.

  10. Mosstrooper says:

    How odd. It’s like listening to 5 people trying to describe a duck billed platypus with them only having heard of it being described by a blind man and all of them convinced that they are individually correct.

  11. msean says:

    Couldn’t watch much more,stopped after 2:20 “it is a different country”. ’nuff said.

    Gavin Esler previously stated he was a Scot.We are devolved,not independent.

  12. caz-m says:

    The ignorance and arrogance of most of the English media is astonishing. Is this Steve Richards not a regular on STV Scotland Tonight.

    When English media are interviewing anyone from the YES campaign, their questions seem dated and irrelevant.

    And this was a serious question put to Nicola Sturgeon by a Sky News presenter about Mark Carney’s statement regarding a currency union.

    “How can you be truly be independent when Mark Carney said that if you want a currency union then you would lose ALL your sovereignty”.

    Nicola politely asked the presenter to read the Mark Carney statement again.

    The English media just can’t be arsed wasting their time reading facts about Scottish Independence.

    It’s their way or it’s no way.

    And generally it’s that is the attitude of the great English public.

  13. David McCann says:

    We had more people out today in Tullibody, delivering Yes papers, than we have had before, many of whom I have not clapped eyes on before. And this on a dreich Saturday morning.

    Something else I noted for the first time, was the number of tooting cars, as they passed by our happy band of Yessers!

    Thank you Osborne, Milliband and co. You sure have stirred up a hornets nest!

    You may well need that gunboat yet-rebellious Scots to quell!

  14. velofello says:

    By heart take it to be the emotional side of the brain. This emotional side for centuries cynically fed re-written history, or here in Scotland, Scottish history ignored, flags, sporting events, the glories of war etc.The population denied access to the reality of factual data for logical reasoning.Fortunately thanks to the internet, and compliments to Wings and many others, data now is being provided to the general population for the logical thinking side of the brain to consider. And so we are now enabled to apply balanced emotional and logical assessment on whether to vote Yes or No.

  15. Andy-B says:

    Mr Richards is an odious little man at best, but I do agree with him that no matter what happens, in the referendum, Scotland is going its own way, which is in a complete and utter different direction to the rest of the UK, I just hope we’re independent, when we venture down the the opposite avenue to the UK.

    O/T I do apologise here’s the Economist with the headline “Losing the battle but winning the war” referring to Scots losing the currency battle but overall gaining independence.

    The Economist thinks that far to much political damage has been done, between Scotland and the rUK, ergo a break is inevitable. The Economist refers to the UK political parties ganging up on Scotland, and Scotland hinting it wouldn’t pay its fair share of the national debt.

    Though, I think the Economist has picked up the second point wrong, I can’t recall the Scottish Government, actually saying they’d renege, on a debt the UK Government assured.

  16. Colin says:

    “It’s a different country”

    No shite Dick Tracy.

  17. Juteman says:

    Outsiders can see what those in the London bubble cannot.
    It will be hilarious when that bubble is burst.

  18. Linda's Back says:

    caz-m says: @ 4.22

    The English Media’s ignorance of Scotland and its finances are shared by the numerous Better Together trolls on the Scotsman’s online comments who think Scotland’s economy is on par with Bangladesh without London’s benevolence.

    Oh wait it was a Labour politician who first claimed that in the 1970s while concealing the McCrone Report from the Scottish public

  19. Patrick Roden says:

    The thing about the currency issue is that when people were polled about it, it wasn’t nearly as important as BT seemed to think.

    Now we see an on-line poll in the courier saying that 47% of people say George Osbornes’ intervention has made them more likely to vote Yes, as opposed to just 30% for No.

    I think that’s what we call a threat backfiring.

    I was particularly struck by how the Couriers on-line poll didn’t veer off into some silly numbers like 90% more likely, neither did it have sudden spikes as people alerted their own side.

    I feel it was probably a good reflection of the impact of Osballs intervention.

  20. Vronsky says:

    What goes around, comes around. We notice the BBC agenda when it impacts us, but we ignored it for years when others were its target. The BBC is complicit in the normalisation of mass murder in the Middle East in pursuit of American oil interests. They made no mention that I can recall of the ruthless suppression of the people in Trucial Oman, or Bahrain (their local Hitler was invited to the last royal wedding). What about East Timor? Or read up on Aden, and what was done there, and why. Or Kenya, and those dreadful mau mau people. Weren’t they dreadful? The list of ignored, concealed or legitimised atrocities is very long.

    The Pastor Niemoller thing is quoted too often. The Scots are far from being the first people to be abused and exploited by the English imperium, supported by its egregious propaganda machine. We have an opportunity to make sure we’re the last – let’s take it.

  21. Alba4Eva says:

    Seriously getting tired of posting to see what been happening.
    As far as this discussion went… what a load of pash… on every front! …honestly, I dont even know where to start with it.

  22. TJenny says:

    Been off-line for a few days and understand WoS site is being a bit ‘tricksy’ ’cause of ongoing DDOS probs,so testng to see if this posts OK.

  23. scottish_skier says:

    SS calling WoS

  24. Patrick Roden says:

    @Bill C,

    No one from the Scottish Government has said they would renege on the debt, in fact Alex salmond made public statements several times assuring everyone that we would pay our fair share, regardless of whether we needed to do so legally or not.

    This has been the strange thing about the statement by Osballs, Osborne read out a statement, but mentions his civil servants advice, that should Westminster refuse a currency agreement that the Scots may threaten not to pay there fair share of the debt. The civil servant then goes on to say that this wouldn’t be a credible threat as Westminster would then Veto Scotland joining the EU and NATO, as well as Scotland becoming a financial pariah on the international markets.

    It seems to be more about getting the Scottish government to agree to repay the debt without a currency agreement than anything else.

    Perhaps the few voices that have began to mention that Scotland would be better not having a currency union with rUK has spooked the City, so Osballs have been sent up to get some guarantee from Alex salmond?

    So Alex and Nicolla both saying that Scotland wont be paying our share of the debt, if Westminster plays hardball with our currency, will be sending jitters right through the cities spine.

    perhaps this is why we have saw a marked softening of the stance adopted by both the Telegraph and the Mail, propaganda sheets for the city.

    Interesting times.

  25. Juteman says:


  26. caz-m says:

    A typical Londoner waking up on 19th September.

    “There’s something missin around this place and I can’t quite put my finger on it”

    If you don’t tell him, neither will I.

  27. Shiehallion! Shiehallion! says:

    Steve Richards should be prepared to wear his listening hat if he comes to Edinburgh this summer.

  28. Wayne says:

    OK, so the guy is a typical London-centric middle England hack, but so what? They weren’t only there to discuss just Scotland, but covered other matters as well. If the piece had only been about Scotland I would take your point, but it wasn’t, so I think maybe you are being just a little unfair.

    Having said that it might have been better if they did have a more clued in Scottish journalist as part of the debate, no doubt there.

    On the wider issue, it is true the foreign press bring a refreshing take and indeed there is this whole international dimension to the independence debate. This is no mere parochial matter. Academics the world over in a whole range of disciplines are very engaged by the referendum debate, and politicians across Europe are waiting to see what will unfold on a whole range of reasons. From those who would see an EU committed Scotland as a timely antidote to UKIP down south, to those who see any possible rUK re-negotiation of membership post a YES vote as essentially Cameron getting in through the back door. Not to mention the whole ‘separatist’ movement across Europe. What a great time to be alive and engaged with politics.

    That Chinese lady was exactly right, it will fundamentally come down to who Scots want to be? I just hope that people want to be Scotland just as much as they like to be Scottish.

  29. Findlay Farquaharson says:

    @ david mcCannn,
    im a tullibody man living in stirling, good to hear tullibody is on the march.

  30. Calgacus MacAndrews says:


    Thanks for posting this one with the Dateline London clip.
    It was very worth watching.

    I agree with @Mosstrooper earlier, it did have the feel of a bunch of people in the ivory tower (which was admitted) talking about something which had become the hot topic of the day, but about which they knew very little (which was also pretty well admitted).

    It was all a bit surreal. Having spent much time talking about how even the North of England is feeling isolated from London, nobody says:

    “Here we are in London on a TV piece about the Referendum, four invited talking heads, and none of us has the faintest idea what is actually happening in Scotland. Why wasn’t there even one person from Scotland invited on? Now I understand why they want their independence”.

  31. TJenny says:

    I think the currency question is another trap set by SG in the same way as the Devomax question was on the referendum ballot paper. SNP/SG never wanted that option to appear but it had to be seen that Westmnster wouldn’t allow it, which they duly shouted no to,loud and clear.

    I think that the currency union was the same type of trap where all along the intention was that we will use the iS£ pegged to the £ without a currency union, but again, had to get Westminster to refuse the currency union,which they duly have, loud and clear.

    So it can now be said that at least we tried to play nice with Westminste, enter a currency union and agree to take on some of the debt. Very busness like, however, again, Westminster wouldn’t play ball. So we take our deposit out of BoE and start our own bank, debt free and put Trdent on eBay. 🙂

  32. NorthBrit says:

    @Patrick Roden
    Scotland cannot take on a share of debt directly. UK has to continue to pay its contractual debts in full. Any attempt to pass UK debt directly to Scotland would be a default.

    All rUK can hope for is that Scotland will sign up to a new loan or debt service agreement where it pays a share of debt service to rUK.

    On the basis that the agencies thought this would happen a year ago, what caused them to start worrying? I wonder if the Treasury had a go at proposing a debt exchange and spooked the Rating Agencies.

    McFall seems to hint this is what happened here:

    The question is whether and how Scotland would take on a new obligation. None of the Unionist ranters seem to have any idea of what they’re actually proposing. Because they don’t have any experience of debt markets and documents.

    It should also be noted that unless Scotland gets a credit rating equal to rUK the rating agencies will ignore this “debt” to rUK completely for the purposes of rUK’s credit ratings.

  33. mato21 says:

    On the news there, a man affected by the floods said “the Gods seem to be punishing us for something”, and sad as I feel for these poor people having to live in those dreadful conditions the same thought came to mind today when I heard about the fire at Kew

    Fire, flood and foodbanks

  34. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    @TJenny says:
    I think the currency question is another trap set by SG

    You are so right. The currency issue is a great big bear trap set by the SG.

    And BT have fallen right into it.

    Fasten your seatbelt.

    It’s going to be an interesting (and accelerating) ride from here on in.

  35. X_Sticks says:

    Elaine C Smith introduction from the STUC Building, Glasgow 23/01/2014. Pure dead brilliant.

    Yes papers delivered to the rest of Westhills, Aberdeen today. Get out there folks!

  36. @Wayne

    It has next to nothing to do with “who the Scots want to be.”

    It has everything to do with the limit if any the people of Scotland – not all Scots by birth – wish to place on democratic structures under their control.

  37. The Independent, organ of the Russian tycoon Alexander Leadteapot. was originally founded by disgruntled Toadygraph hacks Andreas Whittam Smith, Matthew Symonds, and Stephen Glover , who believed that many of Britain’s educated and affluent citizens desired an objective source of daily news, one without the strong political biases of the country’s established newspapers.

    That was a bit of a flop, even more boring than the Toadygraph, eventually sold to the Russian Tycoon Alexander Leadteapot, who believed that many of Britain’s educated and affluent citizens would prove to be complete tossers who would do anything for a couple of quid.

    and how right he was, they sold our birthright for f*** all, just as that old pisshead Russian had sold out the Russians for a couple of quid to pricks like AL. and the one that bought Chelsea FC.

    I expect Mr Leadteapot is ambitious, and yearns for a part in the British establishment, just like all the other weirdo crooks that own the ‘ free press.’

  38. Calum Craig says:

    I can report dodgy behaviour from the comments as well- kept refreshing for an hour and nothing appeared (I refuse to believe there were no new comments in this period).

  39. ericmac says:

    The widening of the debate is bringing an increasing number of uninformed swivel eyed loons into the debate. It is honestly frightening.

    “…scots without uk cannot be very much and uk without Scotland…”

    “… independent Scotland would immediately apply to join the EU, if accepted then they would have to adopt the Euro under current EU rules…”

    “…No civil war will happen if Westminster simply outlaws secession, while permitting all normal freedoms. The Scots will go home to watch football once an insane temptation has been taken away from them…”

    “…Before it is too late there should be emergency legislation passed in the UK Parliament outlawing secession. The referendum should be cancelled…”

    “….Do we need any more evidence to see that Scottish nationalists are deranged loons? They want separation – but not in areas where it hurts them. They still want to free-ride on the Pound, and if they won’t get that wish, hell, they won’t assume responsibility for portions of the national debt that they’ve incurred…”

    “…No government, of any hue, would find favour with the electorate if it did not take a strong line in these negotiations, in which it would be the dominant party. Without getting into legal arguments about the right to secede, let’s not forget that there are no significant countries which would support the Scottish case, and that in the matter of realpolitik, it is size (other things being equal) that matters…”

    And these are just on the Economist.

  40. Calum Craig says:

    And, like others have said, they appear after I comment…

  41. Luigi says:

    thats me off line for a while guys, 1000 yes Papers to fold,

    How come everyone seems to be pre-folding papers? I find it easy/comfortable to just carry them in a suitable bag/satchel (unfolded), take out a bundle of c. 20 papers at a time, bend them and hold in the right hand to carry. At each door, remove the outermost paper with the left hand (which them glides itself into a half-fold), fold again and pop into the letterbox. Each to his/her own of course, but it sure saves a lot of time folding them beforehand.

  42. scottish_skier says:

    Roast artichokes.

  43. Papadocx says:

    It’s the little Englander in full “DENIAL” mode, they still believe all the rubbish spread by Westminster about punching above their weight. Westminster runs after the good old USA like a lap dog and does all it’s dirty work for it, trying to curry favour and make it look like an indispensable best pal instead of a hanger on and go for.

    All the influence GB thinks it has is imaginary, the whole world knows this with the exception of half of England and the proud PSUDO middle class Scots, who are quite happy to be second class Brits.

    The only real power England has left is Westminster’s bullying of wee Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, that’s their Empire and they ain’t going to give that up easily or willingly.

    Their bestest pal USA just uses it as a tool. Think if you check out Obama’s family history you will find that his father (and Obama himself) don’t have much time for the good old colonial days in Kenya, personally.

  44. mato21 says:

    Knock knock,anyone home?

  45. joe kane says:

    The unionist superiority complex is under attack from all sides.

  46. Dave says:

    My elderly relative is one of the 3000 Scottish readers, although I have managed to switch her to their loss making tabloid edition.

    I gently wind her up whenever she starts a discussion about current affairs by acting surprised and saying “What – in Scotland?”. This almost always works because they carry no Scottish stories at all.

  47. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    Staying on the topic of our isolation from London, the choice of venue for George Osborne’s “Poundless at The Point” speech, is wonderfully revealing on a number of fronts.

    David Cameron got pelters for not coming to Scotland for his Love-Bomb speech, and instead chose the bizarre combination of the Olympic Velodrome and a Glasgow Caledonian University lectern. The subliminal message came across load and clear:

    “I think Scottish people’s heads button up the back.”

    So George Osborne decided not to make Dave’s mistake, and came up to Scotland to make his Suicide-Bomb speech.

    Only he didn’t …

    There is a part of Edinburgh that will remain forever England.
    By that I mean the special extension of the Westminster Bubble that runs from Edinburgh Airport to just west of Edinburgh Castle.

    So when a Westminster politician needs to come to Scotland to speak, but doesn’t want to really be in Scotland or to meet any awkward Scottish people, they come up and only set foot in the Westminster Bubble Extension.

    It goes like this. They get picked up at Edinburgh Airport by specially-trained handlers, and get taken in a special hermetically-sealed unmarked vehicle to one of those buildings to the west of Edinburgh Castle that has a top-level view of the Castle (e.g. The Point Conference Centre, as on Thursday).

    The speech is then made on the top floor, with one’s back to the window (Castle in view), to an audience of a few TV and press people (all tame) and between zero and not-very-many other people (all tame, if any).

    A sharp exit is then made, and it’s back into the hermetically-sealed unmarked vehicle, and back as soon as possible to Edinburgh Airport, and onto the flight back to London.

    During the entire process the handlers, when they think the politician isn’t looking, laugh up their sleeves, as they are fully aware of the nature of the bizarre charade that is taking place.

    Watching the speech on TV or YouTube, or seeing the photos in the newspaper, the people of Scotland think (subliminally or consciously):

    “Look, he couldn’t be arsed coming up to Scotland properly. It’s that bloody view of Edinburgh Castle again. He thinks that will impress us somehow. He must think our heads button up the back.”

    Well done STV and That Man Ponsonby for intercepting George’s sharp exit on Thursday. An excellent and all-too-rare bit of journalistic bubble-bursting.

  48. Andy-B says:

    David Torrance claiming that the SNP are wishful thinking when they say George Osborne is bluffing over the currency union.Mr Torrance also said that Alex Salmond suggested we’d renege on the national debt.

    David Torrance is Alex Salmond’s biographer but the manner of his own writings certainly smacks of anti-independence.

  49. HandandShrimp says:

    Interesting discussion, particularly looking at it from the foreign correspondents eyes, although Steve made a fair stab at being more foreign than the other three 🙂

  50. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    scissors (separatist)

  51. Juteman says:


  52. liz says:

    All those comments lifted from BLC -don’t forget the amount of money donated to the BT mob from the rich city types – I starting to think they employ people to comment and also we don’t know how many reasonable folk that might be under moderation.

    When we got love bombed the folk who tweeted or blogged were very supportive in their comments.

    To the people who are having trouble viewing comments – yes at the mo some of us are having to log in constantly to get updated.

    That’s why you’re seeing comments like – paper, scissors etc.

  53. scottish_skier says:

    Andy-B. David Torrance needs his head examined.

    “DK’s will go with the chancellor and opt for No”.

    Wings poll Oct 13. Indy Y/N Undecideds.

    Do you feel that the following people and organisations have been acting with the best interests of the people of Scotland at heart? … Alex Salmond?
    Yes = 51%
    No = 18%

    David Cameron (proxy).
    Yes = 5%
    No = 60%

  54. Andy-B says:

    A good and enjoyable read from Roz Paterson on independence.

  55. heedtracker says:

    “Just for 10 seconds” Our UK establishment rulers have decided the Scotch have enough powers to be getting along with, so shut up, vote no and stay under British rule. It’s that simple.

  56. scottish_skier says:

    Re ozzy effect.

    Also, Times panelbase November.

    Imagine yourself meeting someone from overseas for the first time. Regardless of how you plan to vote in the referendum, would you feel more proud introducing yourself as Scottish or British?

    68% Scottish
    3% British

    Big contrast to No:
    41% Scottish
    36% British

    Polling data show that when the undecideds shift, it is always to Yes. There is no correlation between DK and No, only DK and Yes.

  57. mato21 says:

    Thinking about the national debt

    A percentage of this money must have been spent in both Wales and N.I So surely if it is X trillion the Welsh and N.I share must be deducted before our share is calculated

    From what I’ve seen so far the calculation seems to be a percentage of the full amount owed. Am I wrong?

  58. gerry parker says:

    One of the good spin offs in this is that we are all becoming more aware of how financial systems work, and how governments are financed. We need to be clued up as to how and why the current system failed in order to contribute to creating and supporting a new one.

  59. Morag says:


  60. JGedd says:


    And just to add to that list, there’s Sri Lanka, still in the Commonwealth and only mildly rebuked for terrible atrocities committed in their campaign against the Tamil Tigers. Business just goes on…..

  61. James Westland says:

    @David McCann

    Good to hear Tullibody getting the message! I’m an Alloa man, now living in Mull. I remember well the heady days of 74 – huge pre-election meetings in Alloa Town Hall, George Reid speaking. Atmosphere was electric We just about managed it then, but were betrayed. This is our best shot for a generation at least. It has to happen. YES all the way

    One of the things that was very noticeable about the SNPs 74 campaigning was the massive amount of badges, logos, posters all over the place. You couldnt go far without seeing one. I realise that this sort of stuff is PR/propaganda call it what you will but I do think it DOES have a significant, possibly subliminal impact. It also shows that you are dead serious and dedicated.

    There needs to be a MASSIVE display of badges, stickers, posters, Saltires between now and the big day. Assert your nationhood!!!

  62. James Westland says:


    “Polling data show that when the undecideds shift, it is always to Yes. There is no correlation between DK and No, only DK and Yes.”

    This is a CRITICAL area that needs to be addressed. Is it not the case, that when DK’s get presented with the facts, in debates, the balance always shifts in Yes’s favour?

    There are Naysayers who simply will not budge. Britnat butchers apron-wrapped unionists to the core. No point in even talking to them. But the current DK’s – thats where this referendum will be won or lost.

  63. john king says:

    Come in Scottish skier
    come in Scottish skier

  64. TheGreatBaldo says:

    I actually think in a strange way this has actually been a brilliant week for the YES.

    What I mean is we are now talking about what will happen on Friday September 19th 2014 in the immediate aftermath of a YES vote.

    Indeed the scenario’s being discussed right now can ONLY HAPPEN AFTER A YES VOTE that’s a subtle but crucial shift.

    Once we start talking about what happens on September 19th, we can then start legitimately ask every Scottish MP & MSP what their position will be after a YES Vote.

    Will they side with Westminister (like Micheal Kelly suggests) or will they be with the Scottish people ?

    And if they are with the people,what is their preferred position on pensions, currency etc.

    After all they can hardly demand to know what The SNP Plan B is after a YES if they won’t even outline what their Plan A is after a YES.

  65. chicmac says:

    [full rant mode]
    I think a key point was made at the end. EU support or antipathy regarding Scottish independence will be a big factor.

    That is why it has, IMV, been a matter a matter of extreme folly for certain elements of the Scottish indy movement to align themselves with and indeed, encourage, other European regions with independence aspirations.

    It was not just a very stupid thing to do from a Scottish perspective, but also something not in the interest of those other region’s aspirations as well.

    And I’m not just saying this in hindsight either, myself and others who post here, tried, very hard, to persuade those thus inclined that this was the case.

    It would have been much, much, cleverer to proceed like this.

    1. Scotland is a nation, not a region, which happens to be in a voluntary union with the rUK. Scotland leaving that union would be more of a dissolution than a secession. Scotland is therefore a very special case.

    2. EU states, like Spain, Italy, etc. could then much more easily accept that very reasonable constitutional distinction and accept Scotland’s independence.

    3. After Scottish independence, after it is a fait accomplis, then Catalonia, say, could say ‘Wait a minute, why not us?. With far more chance of getting what they want.

    I think, the special case for Scotland can still be made enough, maybe, just, for those countries with restless regions to face-savingly accept Scottish independence, but enormous damage has been done by past ‘solidarity’ nonsense.

    It would have been so much easier for those countries to do so, I think most would actually have quite liked to see an independent Scotland in the EU, if only those involved had had the ability to foresee the present situation.
    [/full rant mode]

  66. Andy-B says:

    This is interesting.

    An even split along the lines of the ICM poll,would be bad news for the unionists. “What I fear is a 55%-45% result” said a senior Tory, to the Observers, Andrew Rawnsley.

    The senior Tory (Undisclosed) went on to say,”A close result would give the nationalists, every incentive to keep returning to the subject”.

    The article goes on to quote from the FT, the following, which is very much an eye opener.

    If Scotland’s geographical share of North sea oil,and gas, are taken into account,its gross domestic product (GDP) per head in 2012, was 19th in the world, ahead of that of France and the present United Kingdom and Italy. That same year Scotland exported £60 billion pounds worth of goods and services,which made it the 34th biggest exporter in the world.

    Not bad for a country too wee too poor and too stupid.

  67. Train Fares says:

    i’m only posting to see if my picture to the left appears from gravatar

  68. Croompenstein says:

    Hello perpetrators of this DDOS attack believe me when I say you will never shut down democratic debate we are winning and your actions perhaps piss us off but ultimately make us stronger. Now please fuck off back to the stinking cesspit where you belong!

  69. cearc says:

    Absolutely agree on the flag waving.

    In the summer we need everybody to be wearing Yes badges, t-shirts and (more practically) umbrellas.

    Flags and stickers on cars. Flags and balloons on houses etc.

    If we can create a carnival atmosphere in the run up to the vote it will certainly increase the Yes vote.

    Yes, is sooo Cool.

  70. heedtracker says:

    “Just 10 seconds but” Its weird watching pasty faced UKOK liggers with panic in their bleary eyes but this same dude thought this White paper satire was great and so did the other.

    No wonder BetterTogetherBBC has them on the box so much

  71. TJenny says:

    Rock 🙂

  72. Patrician says:


    I am so glad you are here to decide who is entitled to independence and also what areas are defined as a country or a region. According to the UK government’s advice Scotland isn’t even a region, Scotland ceased to exist at the start of the union in 1707.

    Personally, I would support any peoples who can setup the political parties and systems to acquire independence.

  73. jinglyjangly says:

    Scotlands population share of 8.3% is calculated on the total UK population. Therefore you are wrong in your assumption. Note that even if we enter a currency union the share of the UK debt that we will have to continue to pay will be minimal as we are also due our share of assets, and the assets are worth more than the debt (just)

  74. Paula Rose says:

    More papers delivered – anything important happened in the last four hours?

  75. john king says:

    Well that didn’t add anything to the sum of human knowledge

  76. TJenny says:

    John King – what the whole article, comments or a specific comment?

  77. Wayne says:

    This article looking at BBC bias from a different perspective might be of interest:–on-the-right-not-the-left-9129639.html

  78. mato21 says:


    Thanks I don’t like to feel we are being done in any way!

  79. Croompenstein says:

    the BBC are ‘sexing up’ the case for the union, they have toed the wasteminster line since Hutton

  80. scottish_skier says:

    This is a CRITICAL area that needs to be addressed. Is it not the case, that when DK’s get presented with the facts, in debates, the balance always shifts in Yes’s favour

    If you plot all the Y/N/DK data directly against each other (e.g. Yes vs No, No vs DK, Yes vs DK… on an XY plot) going back to the beginning of devolution you find that:

    1. Yes correlates most strongly with No
    2. Yes correlates well with DK
    3. No does not correlate at all with DK

    From this you can conclude that Yes benefits most directly from No. Which should scare the shit out of BT and ties in with £500 question which is an excuse, not a reason. Also shows how strong the shy vote is; depending on how ‘ok’ it seems for people to say yes, a group respond Yes sometimes and No at other times. They won’t vote No.

    When Yes has peaked in polls and gone ahead of no, it is a combination of direct swing from No and the DKs shifting to Yes.

    Data overall suggest there are very few people who make a long, slow transition from No to DK. Instead, they swing directly to Yes (or stop being shy) and DKs, when pushed, move to yes. The latter ties in with them being in majority Scottish in identity and very anti-Tory / untrusting of the UK government and trusting of the Scottish Government.

    No can’t gain from DK in any meaningful manner. Likewise it can’t gain from underlying Yes. The best it could have hoped for is to hold fort. However, the walls are crumbling slowly and George very likely just started them tumbling down.

    @ John King

  81. scottish_skier says:

    @ John King. Over and out

    /-ends transmission-/

  82. velofello says:

    And here is a snippet of the article in the Herald by A C Grayling,philosopher and Master of the New College of the Humanities in London:

    “Scotland’s history on the world stage began with the Union in 1707. it is nearly as true to say that its nationalism began with the invention of its traditions by Queen Victoria..” And there is lots more.

    A Philosopher?

  83. Doug Daniel says:


  84. Clootie says:

    If I hear one more time the financial situation of England/Scotland compared to Germany/Greece……!

    Do the really think we are THAT stupid.

  85. HandandShrimp says:

    “Scotland’s history on the world stage began with the Union in 1707. it is nearly as true to say that its nationalism began with the invention of its traditions by Queen Victoria..”

    That is a class bit of trolling. Grayling usually winds the religious up on the Guardian, this is obviously a wee break for him.

  86. Croompenstein says:

    The Dreichma, and Doug why u shouting

  87. Doug Daniel says:

    “Doug why u shouting”

    Figured anyone scrolling through the comments is more likely to see it if I’ve capitalised it!

  88. The Rough Bounds says:

    Putting out leaflets in Bridge of Earn today. It’s not the greatest fun in the world wandering up and down people’s driveways when the ground is wet and the sky is grey, but boy it’ll be worth it if we really make it to independence on the 19th. September.

    A friend of mine arrived from Australia two years ago and he gave me a bottle of Aussie wine called ‘Wallace’. He says I have to drink it when we win in September.

    That is going to be the sweetest drink of wine I have ever tasted.

  89. scottish_skier says:

    /-refresh comments-/

  90. bald eagle says:

    knock knock im not in

  91. K1 says:

    Thanks ctrl+F5…much better!

  92. Morag says:

    Doug, it doesn’t work for everyone.

    When did they decide to change the spelling of “drachma” anyway?

  93. Holebender says:

    It’s a play on words, Morag. Scotland is dreich, don’t you know!

  94. Morag says:

    I wondered about that! Too clever for me.

  95. Bill McLean says:

    Morag – we are going to call our currency “Dreichma” out of love for our weather!

  96. South Islander says:

    You may well be underestimating the reach of the Independent (newspaper) in Scotland. Your estimate of 3000 copies might be correct, but there is no way for that to include all the copies of the “i” circulating in Scotland. The “i” is basically a mini Independent.

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