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The blood sacrifice

Posted on February 09, 2014 by

As David Cameron came out of the closet this week to proclaim his great love for Scotland (a love most commonly demonstrated by forcing policies on it that its people despise and its elected representatives vote overwhelmingly against), we found ourselves pondering what could have provoked such a drastic step.

davidcamerongcu

After all, it’s hardly a revelation that Etonian English Tory Prime Ministers are not necessarily a demographic Scots are inclined to hear sympathetically. As noted by the esteemed Lallands Peat Worrier earlier this week, until now the operation of the “Better Together” campaign has been clear – Tory money paying for Labour activists, because the latter are a lot more likely to command the hearts of those (mainly the working-class poor) on whose vote the referendum hinges.

So why has Cameron thrown all that away to take a gamble?

To answer that question, we need first to answer another: why are the Tories and their wealthy supporters funding the No campaign in the first place? What’s in it for them?

We know where Labour’s self-interest lies in the Union – their Scottish MPs don’t want to lose their cushy jobs in glamorous London, and their C-list MSPs don’t want to lose theirs if the Westminster brigade comes looking for a Holyrood lifeboat in the event of a Yes vote. But why do the Tories care?

Scottish independence would, after all, ease life for the Conservatives significantly. This site has documented how rarely Scottish MPs make a difference to the outcome of UK elections, but with UKIP currently threatening to split the right-wing vote there’s a chance that their influence might be more important in future, especially if the expected massacre of the Lib Dems benefits primarily Labour.

For our money there’s still no chance of Ed Miliband becoming PM in 2015, for reasons we’ve explored in some depth before, but a great many Tories would still be very comfortable with the insurance of Labour losing a contribution of 20-25 MPs towards a majority or plurality. Rejected by Scotland for six decades, it would be unwise to overestimate their attachment to the Union on purely sentimental grounds.

(The most-cited benefits of Scotland to the Tories are oil revenues and a place to keep the UK’s nuclear deterrent. But the former, substantially if not entirely offset by Barnett Formula spending, is a relatively minor net contribution to the Treasury’s coffers, and those with a better grasp of the right-wing mindset than ours have suggested that having a ready-made excuse to pension off the nuclear deterrent might not be a wholly unwanted development, particularly in Washington.)

It’s necessary to take a step back to see the wider, longer-term picture: the Tories have far more to gain from a No vote than oil money and Faslane. Margaret Thatcher famously said that her greatest achievement was New Labour, and it wasn’t just a taunt. Tony Blair’s massive concession of ideological ground laid the groundwork for the current coalition to go further to the right than the Iron Lady would ever have dared. (An oft-cited case in point being the privatisation of the Royal Mail.)

The more the centre-ground of UK politics shifts rightwards, the giddier the Tories become. George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith have been freed to wage the savage war on the poor, disabled and vulnerable that they’ve always wanted to wage precisely because Labour declared it first – the bedroom tax, Atos’ cruel Work Capability Assessments and workfare were all introduced by Blair and Gordon Brown, defusing opposition by robbing voters of any alternative and enabling the media “scroungers” narrative to build public support for draconian benefits policy unchallenged.

But what does any of that have to do with independence?

The key fact is that Scotland is a pain in the neck for UK Labour – desperate to fight for right-wing Tory votes in England as UKIP continue to set the political agenda, having to pander to the last stubborn shreds of socialism present in their northern faction causes nothing but trouble for the would-be architects of One Nation. To have any chance of winning England, Labour must bring the Scottish branch into line.

johannlamontonenation

And if you’re scratching your head wondering where the heck all this is going, don’t panic, because we’re about to get to the point – it’s in the common interest of both Labour and the Tories to see Scottish Labour destroyed and gutted.

Being able to rebuild a shattered Scottish division with fresh-faced and obedient young drones would free the UK party of a dead weight which at least slightly holds back its ability to move right to compete with the Tories. And as we’ve just noted, that makes the Tories happy too, because the right is their natural territory and they’re more than willing to fight there.

(It’s an arms race Labour can in fact never win, but they’ve been locked into it irreversibly by 20 years of Blairism and essentially no longer have any idea what else to do. All principle was long ago sacrificed to triangulation in search of power, the point of seeking that power long since forgotten.)

But why would a No vote destroy Scottish Labour? Because in the cold light of day, Scots would hate themselves for it. No nation has ever willingly voted against its own independence, and if you have a campaign based solely on fear, the only reason you give people to vote for you is cowardice. And while cowardice is sometimes the rational thing to do, it never makes anyone feel good about themselves.

A No vote will fill Scots with self-loathing as the rest of the world laughs at the faint hearts of a once-proud people, and Scottish Labour will be the scapegoats. The electorate already trusts the SNP far more than any other party to fight for Scottish interests, and plagued by guilt will vote for the Nats in 2016 to try to ensure the delivery of more powers. The 2011 landslide will look like child’s play by comparison.

(Particularly because a No vote will also wipe out any chance of Scottish Labour’s barren ranks being revitalised by an influx of relatively high-grade Westminster talent.)

There can surely be no rational doubt that Labour would willingly surrender Holyrood to the SNP in 2016 as the price of winning a UK election in 2020, especially if by this September the Tories were leading the polls. But for that to happen Scottish Labour has to be routed, and the surest route to that goal is a No vote.

Johann Lamont and her troops are cannon fodder being sent for slaughter. Judging by her panicked attempts to align herself with the Labour right, she knows it. And when her plans for devolving income tax were shot down in flames again by the old-schoolers on her own side this week, the threat to a No vote that would be posed by Labour offering nothing of substance was so severe that even David Cameron had to risk disaster by intervening to try to save her.

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    1. 09 02 14 16:58

      Scottish Nationalism, Internationalism, Antinationalism - IT'S GETTING WORSE

    122 to “The blood sacrifice”

    1. Macart says:

      There is only one way to secure a Scottish Labour party and that is a YES vote. No more, no less will do it.

    2. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I believe that if Labour enters the referendum campaign proper still in the NO position it is finished. There is of course a significant possibility that it will have imploded before then but I suspect the media will keep the corpse apparently running

      I don’t think they will ever win another UK election. They have been sucked into the establishment and swallowed up.

      The other confusion we face is the Better Together ‘s continuing threatening of us with malicious behaviour if we vote YES while trying to be nice to us a the same time.

      They are in contradictory position.

      I don’t think they will ever win another UK election. They have been sucked into the establishment and swallowed up.

      O/T

      The Labour Hame site appears to be dead. Nothing new on since well before Christmas and now the twitter column is away. Tory Hoose appears to have been taken over by Scotlandshire

    3. Ian Brotherhood says:

      ‘…even David Cameron had to risk disaster by intervening to try to save her.’

      And we all saw how that worked out.

      It’s like that old one:

      Johann Lamont goes into the doctor’s with a toad hanging off her forehead.

      Doctor: What seems to be the problem?

      Toad: I’m not sure. It started out as a wart on my arse.

    4. TheGreatBaldo says:

      Always struck me as bizarre that the Unionist parties, Labour in particular never twigged that running hysterically negative campaign was going to strengthen the SNP’s hand after a NO.

      I mean you’ll have over 40% who will vote YES who will never vote or trust a Unionist party again, The SNP will benefit most but the Greens & SSP to a less extent.

      With up to 40% of the electorate The SNP would comfortably win the popular vote in any election.

      The (almost)tragic irony is that if Labour ‘wins’ the referendum it almost certainly loses Scotland probably forever…..where as if it loses arguably it has it’s best chance of returning to power and pre-eminence.

      Sadly they have brought this upon themselves with their own myopic stupidity….I have great sympathy for the membership but nothing but contempt for it’s leadership both at Holyrood & Westminister.

    5. heedtracker says:

      If this is actual time line for Lamont’s Labour in Scotland after the ref, imagine the “heated” debate they’re having over their vote No for lots of devo bid for power or the wee things as they call it now.

    6. Patrician says:

      Sorry, but who are these SLAB socialists that you speak about? Alexander, Murphy

    7. ronnie anderson says:

      They were handed a poison chalice,& they drunk heartely

      of the vintage Rothchild,I would hope there,s a clean sweep.

    8. The Water Beastie says:

      A fascinating alternative to the interpretations that either the Tories are deliberately trying to throw the vote, or that they are actively trying to keep Scotland for its balance of payments dividends. And – although it may not be at all deliberate, and might just be a paucity of elected talent from 2011 – again might explain why Labour in Holyrood overall are so clueless and adrift.

      (e.g. Wee Kezia only just finding out Dennis Canavan is the Chair of Yes Scotland…lol – do try to keep up with new developments, dear…)

      GroupThink , Mr Aaronvitch? I think not…

    9. A2 says:

      “I have great sympathy for the membership”

      That’s the membership that are failing to hold their leaders to account, that same membership that are defining all by their loathing of the SNP for stealing THEIR rightful place instead of looking at why that happened.

      No sympathy here.

    10. Morag says:

      Look, we currently have Blair No getting all excited about a poll that shows Yes at ONLY 43% (excluding undecideds), because it’s 2% down on a previous poll. (Even though that’s within the margin of error and in general the polls are moving inexorably to Yes.)

      Don’t worry, be happy.

    11. Thepnr says:

      And never forget, that if you want to win this referendum then you must persuade Labour voters to vote Yes. I agree with tackling their elected leaders but not the voters.

      I direct people to this site, mainly Labour voters. However some of the comments in recent articles have put them off.

      The labour vote is crucial, lets welcome them.

    12. Morag says:

      There are some pretty unfortunate comments. Stu asks people not to do that, but of course a section of the commentariat ignores him.

      Personally I think he’s going to have to start deleting comments, and not for hitting the return key either.

    13. I don’t often disagree, Stuart, but on this occasion I will. I think you focus too much on the window dressing that is David Milliband and Ed Cameron. Ne’er a fag paper shall be thrust between them.

      The blind panic of the last few weeks has been the Establishment that thought it had the British political elite bought and paid for, waking up to the fact that the docile, ovine Scots might actually have recovered from the depredations of Cumberland, Clearance and Cultural negation, and be about to navigate their own course.

      The Establishment knows only too well that Scots may well look to the example of our Icelandic cousins, who jailed the bankers and bailed out the people and, admittedly after a couple of years of economic pain, are now the economic growth powerhouse of Europe.

      The bloated Establishment’s biggest fear is that what Ian Hamilton QC said earlier this week may come to pass: That Scots may by their exertions save themselves, and by their example save England as well.

      At long last this song may be about to be put to bed:

    14. call me dave says:

      It’s too early in the morning for me but.

      I’ve heard of thinking ahead looking at all the possibilities. But lots of dominoes need to be lined up in this scenario.

      This presupposes a NO win for starters. In the event of a NO win and if the electorate affected by a ‘guilty feeling’ do we assume the SNP vote in the UKGE 2015 election will rocket? Maybe it will, maybe it won’t, depending on whether promised jam tomorrow appears or not.(I think no jam)

      I’m stopping there… I’m not convinced but willing to be persuaded. Tomorrow is another day..Oh it is Sunday already. I’ll sleep on it.

    15. James123 says:

      A No vote followed by a win by the Tories in the 2015 British general election may provoke the emergence of an alternative pro independence Scottish Labour Party to challenge traditional SLAB, for example if LFI were to form a political party. Such a party unhindered by London control could become a real force in Scotland and could consign SLAB to history.

      The next Scottish elections could see pro-independence parties make up 60 to 70 percent of the vote. This is why I believe that a No vote is not necessarily the end for independence, in fact for me its an inevitability.

    16. Doug Daniel says:

      I dunno, I reckon if the destruction of Scottish Labour is your aim from a Tory point of view, then a Yes vote is the way to do that, since it amputates the troublesome faction.

      Nah, I think the main reason Tories don’t want us to become independent is simply ego. They don’t give a toss about Scotland, but they also don’t like the idea of such a public rejection of dear ol’ Blighty. When they go on about Scotland’s place in the world being diminished, it’s actually the UK’s place in the world that they’re worried about being diminished. Same reason they’re obsessed with the Falklands and Gibraltar remaining “British”.

      And of course, the referendum means Scotland finally has to put up or shut up, and if our bluff is called, the Tories can finally set about crushing the not-so-rebellious Scots.

      That’s not to say that the scenario you paint wouldn’t end up being welcomed by the Tories, of course.

    17. Marian says:

      Could it simply be that the Tories don’t want to go down in history as the political party that lost Scotland?

      Its not so implausible a theory when you think about the political fallout there was because of the Falklands.

    18. Patrick Roden says:

      OT but isn’t it interesting that Margrit Curran, is in the Daily Record on Thursday, with an article saying that the Labour party need to realise that people aren’t interested in EU or Currency deals…

      She has been one of the most dishonest and shrill people screeching about these issues for the past six months.

      But suddenly Margrit understands the people of Scotland so well, that she goes public to proclaim that the things they are interested in is the ‘bread and butter issues’ like jobs, pensions, and public finances if Scotland votes yes.

      Just a couple of days later and WOW! She’s spot on!

      Is Margrit a prophet!

      Why has a woman who has been so out of touch with the people of Scotland for so long suddenly got the pulse of the ordinary people so well?

      Oh wait a minute! could it possibly be that these neutral polling companies have private meetings with certain politicians?

      Could it be that the polling companies are not so honest or neutral after all?

      Did margrit use this leak from her friendly polling companies, to position herself as a champion of the people, who understands what it is they want…just in case they vote Yes and she wants to play the ‘Blame the other Labourites who didn’t understand the people, game’?

      At the same time of course, Margrit would be putting herself forward, as the natural candidate, for leader of the new Scottish Labour Party.

      The polling companies cannot be trusted.

    19. ken says:

      This website is utter pish. I can’t believe people actually listen to this propaganda

    20. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      ah Rev Stu

      You are nearly there and when I can get at my real computer and not this souped up chopping board I will explain before alcohol touches my lips.

    21. JLT says:

      ‘A No vote will fill Scots with self-loathing as the rest of the world laughs at the faint hearts of a once-proud people, and a key reason for this won’t be that they just voted ‘No’, they will have done this for a second time within a generation.’

      That line in truth, that will haunt and terrify many a ‘No’ voter when the time comes, and it will hit home at the crucial key moment when they are standing in the booth with a piece of paper in front of them, a pen in one hand, and one single question.

      “Should Scotland be an independent country?” …and as they read that question, they will feel ill, and they will be in absolute turmoil.
      To vote ‘No’, they will know, that for the rest of their days, that at one key moment, they turned their backs on Scotland.

      How can they sing ‘Flower of Scotland’, or say ‘I am a proud Scot’ when they voted ‘No’ when Scotland needed them most. There is NO justification for it. No answer can suffice. What a mockery for a person voting ‘No’ to sing that one line in the 3rd verse of ‘Flower of Scotland’, when they sing ‘we can still rise now, and be the nation again.’ Well …no we won’t, because YOU voted ‘No’!

      I can tell you right now, for me, a ‘No’ voter can bugger off with answers such as ‘we can’t afford it’, ‘we’ll be worse off’ or ‘I’m British’. Those are not answers that one should vote ‘No’ for.

      This is about your country, and the question is very simple in my book; are you Scottish or Not? Retorting answers of ‘Will I be £500 better off’ is not what this question is about’ Better Together can sod off with that argument.
      At the end of the day, this is about whether you truly love this land, it’s people, it’s way of life. That is what we are really voting for. To vote ‘No’ means you turn your back on all of that.

      Which is why, in that key crucial moment, many a ‘No’ voter …not all of them, but enough …will place a ‘X’ in the ‘Yes’ box.

      To me, the key battle ground on that day, will be that moment when one stares at that question. That is when we will win.

    22. GP Walrus says:

      I think SLAB are a total irrelevance now and don’t see this as a credible motivation for DCs intervention. More relevant are the likely knock-on effects of indy for the rest of the UK. Once we go, the whole thing will unravel with Wales, NI and English regions demanding more autonomy. That will be a very good thing for everyone except the ruling London Establishment, the exact constituency which Cameron (along with Milliband and Clegg) truly represents. It is their interests that DC was promoting from the Olympic Stadium this week.

    23. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I have said since the Edinburgh Agreement, in my less paranoid moments, that Cameron would not be fussed by the loss of Scotland if he could keep face and be able to sell the loss as a win. I believe that AS’s position on the £, Queen, UK debt and other thing to be negotiated and spun, will be his “Golden Bridge”

      Scottish Skier was ahead of me in articulating this one but we came at it from different starting points.

      The Rev Stu is right, Miliband wants shot of his North British Westminster cohort, as he also probably wants to lose his NE England diehards. That may come about bizarrely by a longer term repositioning of the NE of England within a Scottish economic zone.

      Miliband wants, needs, to turn Labour into the Red Tories, to have any chance of becoming PM and shorn of the Awkward Squad he can press ahead with the rebranding exercise. I use rebranding deliberately as this is a marketing driven strategy.

      The Arc of Prosperity blog by Tomas Widdeman, arcofprosperity.org is today musing about how politicians do strategy well but tactics miserably. The answer to that is that political tactics are cobbled together when opportune, as it is virtually impossible in a political arena to define a full battle plan which can be laid out and implemented in detail. “Events dear boy” as McMillan said. That is of course one explanation and the other, probably complementary one, is that most senior politicians are psycho / sociopaths who are so taken with their intergalactic hyper speed political drive that they cannot see the scenery passing by and the damage the are doing. That bit is for SpAds and Spin Doctors to sort out.

      To return to Miliband, why would Labour abandon its very roots?

      The answer is, as always, money. Follow it and ye will will understand.

      Blair managed to get funding from the City Spivs and distance himself from the other traditional cornerstone of the Labour Movement, the Trades’ Unions. Thatcher knobbled them, Blair distanced and marginalised them and Miliband wants to cut them off at the knee. He realises he needs the City Spiv money to buy the SE of England.

      The City, or at least the big beasts who invisibly pull the strings realise that if they can buy the two major political parties then it is trebles all round and happy days forever more.

      Red Pill or Blue Pill choice for the electorate. Cleggie has done his duty and killed what could have been an democratic alternative and UKIP really are manipulated by pocket money from where? What was Farage before he split his time between Bruxelles and the Pub?

      The rUK will turn into a Democrat / Republican political wasteland where both parties will “sadly” exchange “control” every so often but not a lot will change. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.

      The Referendum is the only chance that Scotland has of getting out of this bloody mess. Vote No and we are finished.

      Vote Yes and Wales will follow suit eventually. N Ireland will eventually sort itself out.

      We live in interesting times Grasshopper.

    24. Ken500 says:

      It’s ironic but Independence for Scotland will bring Britain closer together. Scotland would become more Tory (better off), the rest of the UK would become more left wing Labour (worse off). Win Win.

      The fact remains Scotland is less well off than the rest of the UK. Fifty years of Labour/Tory stealing the assets and squandering them. This will only be addressed with Independence.

      Why does Scotland vote Labour? The poverty of despair.

      Vote Yes.

    25. Red squirrel says:

      A Yes vote will allow a new Scottish Labour Party to flourish under traditional labour values – whether that starts from LFI or new faces – of which Scottish members could be proud.

      A No vote will lead to more z-list candidates in Scotland and another lurch to the right.

      I just hope traditional labour voters can take the leap of faith to Yes against what they are bring told by SLAB, if only because the Tories are also telling them to vote no.

      More powers are fine but that won’t get rid of trident or let us take Royal Mail back into public ownership. Only a Yes vote will do and I hope we are brave enough to go for it.

    26. Alfresco Dent says:

      No is NOT an option!

    27. tartanfever says:

      I think we are in danger of starting our own myth about Labour and should nip it in the bud.

      Many a time I’ve seen the phrase used ‘ rebuilding the labour party in Scotland with the talent of Westminster’s Scottish MP’s on independence’

      or

      ‘Westminster’s A listers/ Holyrood C listers.’

      After listening to Davidson, Curran, Hood, Donohoe, Doyle and all the rest of them, do you really want these people to be at the forefront of building a new Labour Party after independence ?

      Do you really think that they are vastly more capable than their Holyrood counterparts, just because they sit in Westminster ?

      Do you really think that years of acting as a ‘Vichy Government’ (talking down their own constituents and country for London favour) will change immediately after the Yes vote and they’ll all become something different ?

      No, I thought not.

    28. Ken500 says:

      Aaronovitch was right, everyone in the UK wants State paid education/NHS and are willing to pay taxes to fund it. Westminster ConDems elected to protect NHS/Education cut the funding. None of the Deficit has been paid off. More funding for Trident and redundant weaponry. A higher tax on Oil sector 11% increase. Now 60% to 80%, while (foreign) multinationals in the City of London tax avoid. The ‘bedroom tax’, while millionaire mansions decay in London. Westminster does the opposite, Holyrood keeps it’s manifesto promises.

      Aaronovitch was wrong about Westminster/Holyrood commitments.

      Wee wealthy bright Norway picking up the medals.

    29. Wp says:

      JLT.
      Brilliantly put. Can you get leaflets delivered with this word for word just before the big day ?

    30. call me dave says:

      Mr Salmond says no jam from labour (‘Scottish’ labour)

      http://archive.is/F418u

    31. Iain says:

      I agree with Doug Daniel.

      Without Scotland, the international prestige and influence of the UK would be greatly diminished: these have owed a lot to historical connections and bluff for half a century anyway, and at times the UK has been regarded as a pompous, self-important pain in the neck. But if London governments don’t even have control of the island of Great Britain, or the confidence of the people of Scotland, why should other states accord it, and rUK’s needs, much attention?

    32. farrochie says:

      Bill Whiteford has just quoted a few sentences from this thread on Radio Scotland Headlines, on live right now.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/radioscotland/on-air

    33. JLT says:

      I’ve seen a couple of things mentioned here where people wonder if Labour Voters will vote ‘Yes’. I don’t think they are the problem.

      I work in the heart of Edinburgh within a major Financial Institution. To me, the problem isn’t Labour voters. It’s those who have everything to lose that will vote ‘No’.
      What I mean by that, is all your wealthy doctors, your financial traders, those who send their kids to private schools, hell …even just your average Manager on £50,000 a year. Those folk are going to vote ‘No’ in large numbers for two simple reasons. One, they are not on the breadline. Two, a lot of these people believe that a ‘Yes’ victory will see the end to their more privileged status and believe that they will be made redundant when their company up sticks (as they believe) and bugger off down south.

      Voting Labour, and voting ‘No’ are two different things. I think many a person who is suffering financially, or comes from a more run down area, will be Labour voters at heart, but will vote ‘Yes’ no matter what Johann and Anas tell them.

      With the wealthier ‘elite’ in Scotland, the chances are a good many of them (not all of them, but enough) will vote ‘No’. However, this group is hugely outnumbered by the common working man and it is the working man, on a large scale as far as I believe, that is going to vote ‘Yes’. That means Labour supporters. That means Liberal supporters. That means people, no matter what political party they vote for, are sick to the back teeth of what has gone on for far too long.

      I believe Labour supporters (as well as the Libs (if there are any left!)) will know the difference between voting for their party of choice and voting ‘Yes’ in the referendum.

    34. frankieboy says:

      I will go out on a limb here and predict that at some point soon, Better Together campaign will be marginalised and overtaken by a Yes2UK campaign. The need to try and be positive is glaring and this is the only way I can think of how they can manage that. It would also generate more funds and the BBC would love it. It is fraught with danger as well but at the moment, the polls show that what they are doing isn’t working. Westminster is a huge powerful beast with massive resources, we must not underestimate them and what they are capable of doing.

    35. Cruachan says:

      Nice reference to your post Rev. On the media review on BBC Radio Scotlnd just now. Especially the mention of you getting over 100,000 readers per day.

    36. JLT says:

      Wp

      Don’t have to mate. I intend to sit with my work colleagues, family and friends a couple of weeks before the referendum, and tell them exactly what I wrote. I’m going to get into their heads, and put doubt there.

      If we all just do that, then even the biggest ‘No’er’ will be rattled!

    37. DougtheDug says:

      I’d go with Doug Daniel (Doug2).

      The Tory opposition to Scottish independence is based on national pride rather than any electoral calculation.

      They don’t want to lose the northern province of their ancient Island Realm. (© David Cameron)

      Labour are pretty much the same although the loss of their MP’s will be in there too.

      However I’d agree with Wings about the Labour party’s willingness to sacrifice control of the Scottish Parliament in exchange for preservation of the Union.

      People forget that to the bulk of the Labour Party Scotland is just like Shrek’s Kingdom, it’s Far, Far Away and losing control of a block grant funded subservient regional parliament means very little in leafy Islington.

      They will be banking on the Scottish electorate continuing to vote Labour in Westminster elections to try and keep the Tories out after a No vote and I suspect that they will be proved right if it comes to that.

    38. Kalmar says:

      Very good. See if you can get this onto CiF, Stu.

    39. Ken500 says:

      Cameron should stop his backbenchers from baying and Home counties Tories from asking planted questions. It gives a bad impression.

      Cameron and Co are too lazy to come to an agreement with Holyrood.

    40. call me dave says:

      Headlines on Radio Scotland.

      McWhirter: tsunami of negativity in press, Scottish labour must offer electorate something. Their conference next month will promise stuff but needs Westminster to deliver…no consensus. Rag bag of powers ‘Devo+’

      Lead to less representation in Scotland at Westminster for labour and no Barnett.

      Think tanks say Scotland is sound but uncertainty across the board on currency. Admits Scotland will be better off. But all obscured by MSM.

      Mr McWhirter we knew this already.

    41. scottish_skier says:

      “I warn the Labour party about getting into bed with the Tories. They’ll suck you in and spit you out just like they did the Liberal Democrats.”

      Scottish Labour can’t say they weren’t warned.

    42. call me dave says:

      Here’s a headline.

      Good cop bad cop!

      This is the latest analysis of the ‘NO’ campaign.
      Darling bad cop, Dave good cop. Aye right.

    43. Ken500 says:

      There are a lot of very wealthy people in Scotland support Independence. Some of the wealthiest entrepreneurs. McColl Weir Group? Souter, Bankers (Yes), Lawyers/Doctors and Academics, Lottery winners etc, etc. A lot of Tories support Independence. Unionist David Murray supported Salmond as the best person for FM.

      The Guys at the debate Glasgow Uni? Wings highlighted.

    44. Murray McCallum says:

      I think the Tories do care about “keeping” Scotland within Westminster control (aka the UK) because it is the foundation of their world view. It enables them to have their place at various “top tables” lecturing the globe on how to establish and run democracies.

      This comfy, never changing and obedient home foundation is under threat. Westminster clearly cannot introduce policies that manage their own economy and society. They cannot meet the needs of their own UK citizens.

      In the event of Scottish independence, I can see the Tories (and New OneNation Labour) increasingly looking within rUK for solutions. Not looking outwith their borders.

      I honestly believe that the rUK mindset will be that their economic and social problems were “foreign” derived. They will therefore be able to address their problems 9they think) by focusing in on themselves rather than working with other nations.

    45. caz-m says:

      BBC Scotland seem to have Labour Party lover, Daily Record political editor David Clegg on more and more shows.

      Mr Clegg is a staunch lover of the Labour Party.

      Mr Clegg detests all things SNP/YES Campaign also anything resembling Scottish Independence.

      Between him and Prof Curtis they are now the preferred opinion At Pacific Quay.

      BBC Scotland still find it difficult to invite guests into the studios that may even have the slightest leanings towards Scottish Independence.

    46. G H Graham says:

      Devolution was supposed to halt the nationalist movement. To the unionist’s horror, it did not.

      And it certainly was not supposed to be a platform where deep political & cultural divisions between Labour & North British Labour in Scotland were to be exposed.

      The Conservatives know this. Championing the union so openly now, forces Labour to continue its lurch to the right, leaving the 3rd rate members of North British Labour in Scotland isolated, ineffective & from a south east of England perspective, utterly meaningless.

      When the Conservatives win the 2016 British General Election they can then begin the process of dismantling Scottish devolution & accelerate the erosion of the institutions that define our Scottish identity: Law, NHS, Welfare provisions etc.

      This will lock us into to a right wing political landscape for at least a generation. The only way for Scots to prevent this is to vote YES in September.

    47. joe kane says:

      It’s always interesting to see what actual material interests of Scottish Labour MPs are at stake in the independence referendum.

      Here is a small sample of the expense claims of Tom Harris MP in pdf format hosted on the BBC website. They give a flavour of the lavish lifestyle Scottish Labour apparatchiks enjoy as part of the Westminster one party neoliberal nomenklatura.

      Harris, some will remember, claims the Labour Party isn’t a charity and derides Scottish working class mums as spongers. He tweeted that his favourite place in the whole world is the Westminster Houses of Parliament.

      MPs’ expenses: Tom Harris
      http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/bsp/hi/mpexpenses/html/705.stm

    48. Auld Rock says:

      When Cameron grasped at his Scottish ancestry I was reminded about an old saying that goes something like this, many a good and promising Clan Chief’s/Laird’s son was ruined by an English public school education

    49. ScotFree1320 says:

      If a no vote is returned and the SNP win in 2016, it will be the SNP that have to deal with administrating the cuts that will come as a result of the abolition of the Barnett Formula.

      Labour in Scotland will be hoping that these cuts will destroy the popularity of the SNP and force them to abandon key policies, such as NHS funding (opening the door to privatisation as per E&W), prescription charges, anti-bedroom tax funding et al.

      Will the people of Scotland fall for it? That is the question.

    50. Edward says:

      Totally agree with Stuart’s assessment (yeah I know how big of me) Its what I’ve been mentioning for time now that because Labour in Scotland is or has become toxic due to reliance since the Blair years and beyond that, on being told by London what to do and being totally devoid of ideas. It means that IF its a No vote, they are stuffed in 2016. If its a Yes, then the existing Scottish leadership will be chucked out in a blood bath, which will see in fighting you can only imagine.

      We saw earlier this week the spectacle of people like Hood standing up spouting his vitriol in the House of commons as he and his colleagues see that the ermine prospects slipping away.

      The key indicator for Labour will be the March conference and they will no doubt show unity. But those should watch for Labour MP’s that don’t bother attending.

      The Labour cheerleaders, the BBC will no doubt glaze over any dissent and promote what ever garbage that Labour comes out with

    51. Edward says:

      Scotfree1320
      Your right with that in that any SNP government after a No and elected in 2016 will have to deal and manage the cuts and Labour no doubt will be hoping the people are stupid enough to not see that the cuts are a result of acquiescence of accepting the guff of remaining in the union.
      But we ay also see Libdems and the single tory wiped out in the 2015 GE and Labour mp’s slashed with an increase in SNP MP’s in the 2015 GE. Unless of course the Scottish people are that stupid to fall for the labour guff of ‘Vote Labour to keep the Tories out’ which was peddled in the 2010 GE!

    52. Vronsky says:

      It seemed to me that Scottish Labour were already “destroyed and gutted”, certainly as a leftist party. A regular source of amusement on this site is watching their painful contortions as they try to reject and approve a policy at the same time. Approve they must, because it’s London policy. Reject they must, because it’s unsaleable in Scotland. It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so sad.

      The problem for London (Labour or Tory) isn’t Scottish Labour – it’s Scottish Labour supporters. They won’t vote for a right-wing, neo-con, Blairite junta, and Labour’s last battle in Scotland is their struggle to obscure from their supporters that that is what they have become. They are losing and some of them know it – the appearance of LFI looks to me like Noah building his Ark.

    53. Dal Riata says:

      Sorry, O/T

      From the BBC website:

      “Scottish independence: ‘Economy matters most’ to voters”

      Included is this LOL! belter of a scare-story:

      “Dr Azeem Ibrahim, of the Scotland Institute think-tank, is one of the academics featured in the programme.

      He claimed that the British government may build a border post to guard against the threat of terrorist attacks because independence for Scotland could lead to intelligence failures.

      He told the programme: “There is a high probability that there will be a border constructed between Scotland and England and there will be border checks and this has been articulated to me from the highest levels of the MoD.

      “Actually a former Secretary of Defence told me that is more than likely to actually happen because the rest of the UK simply cannot be open to any sort of vulnerabilities … if there are huge intelligence gaps between Scotland and England.””

      “intelligence failures”

      Yes, a common Better Together complaint there, and even you, a doctor yourself, Dr. Ibrahim, seem to be all too susceptible to this neurological disorder also, unfortunately.

      “But Dr John MacDonald of the Scottish Global Forum dismissed the idea that border controls would follow a vote for independence.”

      What he *didn’t* say was: “More lies and pish from the Bitter mob. Nobody believes anything they say anymore. Away ye go, ‘Dr.’ Ibrahim, ya numpty, ye!”

      But in a far more mature and intelligent manner he *did* say:

      “The idea of manned border posts is the most hysterical scaremongering. I consider it grossly irresponsible.”

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-26102076

    54. Flower of Scotland says:

      @JLT at 8.03
      That was a very good comment JLT ! I would like to use it . OK?
      I feel exactly the same and find it so hard to understand no voters ! Why would anyone want another country to govern them !
      However I am trying to persuade doubters without getting exasperated ! Trouble is the question most of them ask where,s the money coming from to support us is difficult to answer when it is engrained in them over decades that Scotland can’t support itself .
      They are feart , so as you say hopefully they will come to the right answer on SEPT 18 th at the ballot box !

    55. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      It was blood sacrifices in days gone by, bit it’s the pen rather than the sword now. Excuse the poetry.

      Cybernat Controller’s March to Independence

      Scots, wha hae frae foodbanks fed,
      Scots, wham Atos chased ‘til dead;
      Welcome to your room-taxed bed,
      Vote YES for victory!

      Now’s oor day, and now’s oor hour;
      See the front o’ Poundland lour;
      See approach yon Workfare shower—
      Say NO to slavery!

      Wha can fill a pauper’s grave?
      Wha vote for a Tory knave?
      Wha sae base as be their slave?
      Vote YES and see them flee!

      Wha’s for Scotland’s land and law,
      Vote YES and freedom’s won for a’,
      Scotsman stand, or Scotsman fa’,
      Lassies too—, follow me!

      By austerity’s woes and pains!
      By oor oil’s non-benefit claims!
      Nae school milk for poor wee weans,
      But YES will make us free!

      Lay the Proud Scot Naw-ers low!
      Twitter trends trash campaign-NO!
      Wings of Scotland’s where we’ll go!—
      Vote YES – We’re no’ Too Wee!

    56. Caroline says:

      Agree with JLT, it’s the ‘comfortable ones’ who will be the last to turn to yes – so BT are simply playing on their fear of losing it all.

      A quick look at BT’s facebook page – three posts in a row headed by pictures of banknotes.

    57. ian foulds says:

      Wp says:

      9 February, 2014 at 9:27 am

      JLT.
      Brilliantly put. Can you get leaflets delivered with this word for word just before the big day ?

      Ladies and Gents,

      Totally agree with Wp but do not leave it too late. I am afraid the non-participative part of the electorate may need the message to be ‘love-bombed’ to them over a period of a few weeks.

    58. JLT says:

      Ken500

      I agree there are many businessmen and wealthy folk out there who are ‘Yes’ voters, but there a good many of them at the same time who believe they have everything to lose.

      There are two points.

      First, my overall point was that we are assuming that the vast majority of Labour supporters are more liable to vote ‘No’ because they may listen to the mealy mouths of Lamont and Sarwar. I don’t believe that to be the case.

      Secondly, I believe that a percentage of those that may vote ‘No’ are more liable to come from those who believe, that they have everything to lose financially. That means those who are on a good wage who work for a ‘UK’ company. I am not saying Earl this, Lord that, or every wealthy person in Scotland. I’m talking about those who are working away at the highest professional level for a ‘UK’ company, not a Scottish based one.

      I have heard it from my own bosses lips. They talk about how we will all lose our jobs in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote. As we know, that’s pure nonsense. If companies walk, then others will just step in and take advantage of the open business opportunity there! No-one is going anywhere! For your normal working Scotsman, life will go on just as it is now.

      But in the mindset of those who have done quite well in a career, they are maybe more afraid of losing their good salary and excellent benefits against say someone who is maybe a sales telephonist, a helpdesk analyst, or a security guard, people who are on a modest wage with only some benefits. That is the difference, and that is the point I was trying to make.
      There are people out there on a good salary who are apprehensive over this referendum. They may have a mortgage that is worth quarter of a million pounds. Suddenly, the fear of losing their job, and trying to pay that mortgage puts the fear into them.

      You mentioned some companies, and excellent Scottish busninessmen, but these are companies based in Scotland. What I am talking about is those people who have done quite well, who work for ‘UK’ based companies. It is they who are apprehensive in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote, which makes me believe that a good number of them will vote ‘No’.

    59. JLT says:

      Flower of Scotland

      Mate, use it! Personally, my comment belongs to us all, for that is what we are all thinking.

      Thanks for the comments, guys.

    60. CameronB says:

      Calgacus MacAndrews
      🙂

    61. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I dunno, I reckon if the destruction of Scottish Labour is your aim from a Tory point of view, then a Yes vote is the way to do that, since it amputates the troublesome faction.”

      You’re mistaking the means for the end. If you remove Scottish Labour by a Yes vote, not only do you lose oil and Trident, but you allow Scotland to do the thing we all want it to do – set an example to England of a sustainable social democratic alternative to austerity and neo-feudalism.

      It’s no good telling people that that Common Weal-type policies work in Norway or Denmark. Most folk have never been anywhere near Norway or Denmark, and Scandinavia is a totally alien world to them. But Scotland is a land very much like England as far as British people are concerned – same money, same language, same telly. They’ve been here themselves, or they have family or friends here, or they have Scottish work colleagues.

      To both the Tories and New Labour, therefore, an independent left-of-centre Scotland is a deadly ideological danger, because if something can be made to work in Scotland then it’s pretty obvious to English and Welsh and Northern Irish people that it can be made to work in the rest of the UK. And that’s exactly what they don’t want.

      Politicians aren’t complete dimwits. They know that no one party can win every election in a democracy. Neither Tories nor Labour think they can do that. What matters is that even when they’re personally out of power, their ideology is still in power. So long as Labour is right-wing, Tories have nothing much to fear from it winning the odd election. They know utilities aren’t going to get renationalised, they know their hedge fund income isn’t going to get taxed at 80%, and they know that it’ll be their turn at the trough again soon enough.

      What they want is politics as a cosy phony war with only a few trivial surface details at stake. A Yes vote in Scotland puts a bomb under that more successfully than Guy Fawkes could ever have dreamed of.

    62. Seasick Dave says:

      I would consider myself reasonably well off but I don’t consider that I will be losing anything.

      I find it astonishing that directors can use the uncertainty card as a reason for not voting Yes.

      As a self-employed person I live, and embrace, uncertainty every day of my life and I have got stronger every year since I first started in 1995.

      Prior to that, I gave up a well paid job offshore to go cycling around the world.

      At the time, my parents tried to instill the fear of murderers, rapists, bears, manic truck drivers and rabies and every combination thereof (sound familiar?) to stop me going.

      Undaunted, I completed a fantastic, two year trip without any major mishap, and made friends each and every day of the trip and still keep in touch with many of them.

      Embrace the future, people of Scotland, and shake off the dead hand of the past.

      The only way is YES.

      We ARE going to win this.

    63. Roboscot says:

      I agree with the comments above that a lot of it is to do with status. It means a lot to the British establishment. A Yes vote would be as embarrassing for them as a No vote would be for us. And if Scotland goes, how long before Northern Ireland and Wales go too? Wales has been following the same path as Scotland but lagging behind. A Yes vote this year and I wouldn’t be surprised if Wales votes Yes later. Northern Ireland will be more complicated, but imagine a map of the UK without Scotland. Northern Ireland would stick out like a sore thumb.

    64. JLT says:

      To both the Tories and New Labour, therefore, an independent left-of-centre Scotland is a deadly ideological danger, because if something can be made to work in Scotland then it’s pretty obvious to English and Welsh and Northern Irish people that it can be made to work in the rest of the UK. And that’s exactly what they don’t want.

      Totally agree, Rev.

    65. Ken500 says:

      The one’s who will win the Yes vote are those’s who normally never vote. They are off the radar. That is why the Polls are skewed.

    66. JLT says:

      Seasick Dave,

      My parents are the exact same. They read the Daily Mail (f****** why, I have no idea!), and yet, want socialist policies, but they also love the concept of Britain, though they don’t like the right wing politics, but at the same time, believe immigrants are in every second household in their street.

      Seriously, that’s my parents. Contradictions within contradictions.

    67. Craig P says:

      Seasick Dave – you sound like an interesting fella!

    68. heedtracker says:

      http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/8703-bbc-can-we-just-let-it-go-now The BBC in Scotland is another outfit that’s also a ghastly UKOK laughstocking, as in their letter above to UWS academic study of BBC politcal courruption/bias. The sheer gall of BBC hypocrisy is just nuts/staggering.

      From whoever Mr Small is at BBC vote No Scotland.
      ” Factual errors appear throughout the report (including significant inaccuracies in the number of news hours claimed as the evidence base for the report); it is highly subjective in its approach and highly selective in its choice of ‘evidence’ to support its contentions; many of its contentions about Reporting Scotland have no evidential base and are either misinterpretations or simply wrong; many of its general conclusions appear to be little more than guesses; the interpretation of data in crude quantitative terms, working from transcripts, appears to have resulted in a skewed and distorted analysis of broadcast output; much of the terminology used remains undefined and the language within the report is often, and very clearly, value-laden”

    69. Robert Kerr says:

      Scotland is different. Even the Guardian admits this.

      Shows maturity in place with our Government too. Not afraid to be outspoken against FMG. That’s the kind of political guidance I expect.

      http://archive.is/KYU1T

    70. Seasick Dave says:

      JLT

      My mother used to worry so much, she would never let me go swimming if my swimming trunks were still wet in case I got arthritis!

      However, with regards to the Referendum, they have both gone from “We cannae do it” to “Bring it on!”.

      Dad is a big Express reader (no idea why) but he can see through all the shite and the BBC does his head in. 🙂

    71. Robert Peffers says:

      Cameron is fundamentally a con artist. Trouble for Dave is he has conned himself. This speech exemplifies his mental incapacity to separate the truth from his own lies. It highlights Cameron’s delusions of grandeur. He begins with a lie and amplifies upon the lie throughout. His opening claim that Scottish independence would break up Britain is a lie. It will only break up the United Kingdom part of Britain. In fact it won’t even do that for, as neither former kingdom is contemplating republicanism, the United Kingdom will remain. What won’t is the United Kingdom Parliament. Whether Dave likes it or not the truth he hides from is that the title, “United Kingdom”, accurately describes the legal situation and it is a bipartite union. It will thus disunite on the Kingdom of Scotland leaving. The Status Quo Ante is reversion to the pre-Treaty situation of the status before, ‘Article III’, of the treaty. This plainly united two former independent parliaments as a NEW united parliament. I quote : – “Article III. That the united kingdom of Great Britain be represented by one and the same parliament to be stiled , (named), “The Parliament of Great Britain”. The 1706/7 Kingdom of England had long ago annexed both Wales and Ireland. Thus no further kingdoms have ever become part of the United Kingdom Parliament. The present set-up of four separate countries with Westminster the, (unelected as such), de facto Parliament of England and thus devolving English powers to three legally elected countries parliaments is a con trick of Westminster’s. Dave’s delusions that he is Prime Minister of Britain is pure fantasy – he is, correctly, Her Majesty’s Prime Minister, of Her Majesty’s Government, of Her Majesty’s United Kingdom. Britain is an archipelago that contains another four non-UK legislations and, “Great”, Britain is even a lessor part of Britain. Hands up anyone who has NOT heard Dave claim to be the Prime Minister of Britain and that he considers the Britain as his COUNTRY? Last time I looked there were four countries in the United Kingdom and eight distict legislations including four non-UK set-ups.

    72. Ken500 says:

      Is Dr Ezeem Ibrahim a Tory? A reservist in the parachute regiment?? ‘Fifthy rich’ Sun 2007.

    73. gavin lessells says:

      O/T

      I believe Ken MacDonald lost his voice (maybe at Murrayfield) which explains his absence on “Headlines” this morning. Definitely not stolen by Boothman and he, Ken, will be back next week.

    74. Marcia says:

      Robert Peffers

      I hope you do not mind e saying this.

      To help us aged readers on this site can you put paragraph breaks into your contribution. I do find it difficult to read very lengthy posts without paragraphs.

    75. Brian Powell says:

      The idea that Labour voters might be put off by comments made by individuals on this site seems odd and somehow doesn’t ring true.

      Comments are entirely about Labour leaders not about voters, and the point of debate is that anyone can contribute. Labour voters can put in their views. I am an ex Labour supporter and put in my view.

      I can’t believe Labour voters are so delicate they can’t just contribute as does every one else.

      It sounds a bit like the ‘neutral’, ‘undecideds’ on some of the newspaper pages. There are key phrases that give them away.

      Democracy requires different views.

    76. Marcia says:

      must be the cutbacks, e = me.

    77. Sue says:

      Sorry Rev, I’m at the back of the class and not sure if I’m keeping up here.

      I’m with you up to the point of Cameron’s motivation for a No vote, especially since your clarification above, but?

      Are you saying that DC thinks SLAB/BT are doing such a bad job of the No campaign that even Scots’ aversion to everything he stands for is less of a risk to a No vote than if he leaves it up to them to continue with Project Fear?

    78. kalmar says:

      Agree with JLT that the demographic of middle management or other professional middle class voters is probably where the No vote has the easiest sell.

      Although relatively comfortably off, keeping up appearances with large houses and flash cars means they’re typically in large amounts of debt and have a long way to fall if they suddenly can’t make the mortgage payment.

      As they work all hours they tend not to have the brain space to contemplate any more risk or disruption that might upset the fragile balance, so are often fairly ignorant of the subject of independence and don’t want to hear any more about it.

      Thus fear is a real motivator, and fear of change is engrained.

    79. Albalha says:

      Ivan McKee coming up Sunday Politics, BBC One.

    80. CameronB says:

      Re. Aaronovitch. Invade Iraq, deny Scotland and the Scots their right of self-determination. These are wee things.

      My benefits just went up 1.4 pence per day. Yipe.

    81. ian foulds says:

      Ref Mr Graham’s comment –
      When the Conservatives win the 2016 British General Election they can then begin the process of dismantling Scottish devolution & accelerate the erosion of the institutions that define our Scottish identity: Law, NHS, Welfare provisions etc.

      This will lock us into to a right wing political landscape for at least a generation. The only way for Scots to prevent this is to vote YES in September.

      This certainly is the message we have to get over to those who still believe Labour in Scotland will look after them

    82. Croompenstein says:

      @JLT @11:15 – it’s not just your parents, it’s a curiously Scottish thing contradictions within contradictions. Was talking to a guy last night who is undecided/no because he thinks his road tax and insurance will be null and void in iScotland but then went on to talk about his plans to change his car..you couldn’t make it up..

    83. Linda's back says:

      Ian Bell in Sunday Herald giving coverage to academic research into BBC bias in referendum debate.

      http://archive.is/rfiF9

    84. Taranaich says:

      @Doug Daniel: Nah, I think the main reason Tories don’t want us to become independent is simply ego. They don’t give a toss about Scotland, but they also don’t like the idea of such a public rejection of dear ol’ Blighty. When they go on about Scotland’s place in the world being diminished, it’s actually the UK’s place in the world that they’re worried about being diminished. Same reason they’re obsessed with the Falklands and Gibraltar remaining “British”.

      This is my thinking too. I don’t disagree that the destruction of Scottish Labour would be mutually beneficial to Labour and the Tories, but to be blunt, I think that’s affording Scottish Labour far too much importance in the grand scheme of things. The Tories don’t care about the people of Scotland, but they do care that if there’s a Yes vote, the UK will be sincerely diminished in a number of ways. So what if the dreadful Scots refuse to acknowledge their place and vote Tory like good little serfs? There’s only 5.3 million of them: London alone offsets the votes lost to Labour.

      With a Yes vote, the United Kingdom loses 5.3 million people (8.4% of the population), 78,772 km² of its landmass (34% of the British mainland), well over HALF the UK’s EEZ, 9.9% of its tax revenue, pretty much all the oil, and the simple knowledge that one of the founding countries of the United Kingdom is no longer under their control.

      As with everything, it’s about control, and they can’t stand the idea that there could be 5.3 million people they used to have power over no longer being under their sway, 78kmsq they can no longer use as hunting estates, or hundreds of kmsq of EEZ they can barter off to the EU. And if Scotland goes independent, what about Wales & Northern Ireland? The UK would continue to be diminished in size – because size is everything to the UK elite, be it the size of the lands they control or the size of their pile of gold.

      We Scots are fine with being a small country, but the UK cannot stand the notion. They want to be big, heavy hitters, prime time on the world stage. The smaller they become, the more ridiculous their Wizard of Oz pantomime becomes.

      @Bugger (the Panda): I have said since the Edinburgh Agreement, in my less paranoid moments, that Cameron would not be fussed by the loss of Scotland if he could keep face and be able to sell the loss as a win. I believe that AS’s position on the £, Queen, UK debt and other thing to be negotiated and spun, will be his “Golden Bridge”

      I think it isn’t so much “not being fussed,” and thinking he could make the best of a bad situation. He won’t be the man who “lost” Scotland, he’ll be the man who stopped the Scottish “secession” from causing disaster.

      @tartanfever: I think we are in danger of starting our own myth about Labour and should nip it in the bud.

      After listening to Davidson, Curran, Hood, Donohoe, Doyle and all the rest of them, do you really want these people to be at the forefront of building a new Labour Party after independence ?

      I would hope that the likes of Allan Grogan and the rest of Labour for Independence would step to the fore after the clear failure of the above. It’d be hard to shake them, but after “losing” the referendum (God how I hate bringing parties into this) Lamont, Curran et al are surely finished.

      That said, in my Independent Scotland, I would have ALL current Scottish political parties abolished. SNP, Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem, Greens, SSP – all of them. Tribalism has caused enough poisonous feuding, best to leave them in the past. Create new parties, with new names and ideals. Without the UK, what is the POINT of the Scottish branches of the LabLabCons? With independence, the SNP have achieved their great goal, and so could metamorphose into something new to meet the new challenges of independence.

      I cannot abide the idiotic, destructive sniping and petty attacks that happen because of the toxic tribal history of Labour vs SNP in particular. So let’s acknowledge that a new Scotland doesn’t need that shite anymore, and start from the ground up.

      You’re mistaking the means for the end. If you remove Scottish Labour with a Yes vote, not only do you lose oil and Trident, but you allow Scotland to do the thing we all want it to do – set an example to England of a sustainable social democratic alternative to austerity and neo-feudalism.

      It’s no good telling people that that left-wing policies work in Norway or Denmark. Most folk have never been anywhere near Norway or Denmark, and Scandinavia is a totally alien world to them. But Scotland is a land very much like England as far as British people are concerned – same money, same language, same telly. They’ve been here themselves, or they have family or friends here, or they have Scottish work colleagues.

      To both the Tories and New Labour, therefore, an independent Scotland is a deadly ideological danger, because if something can be made to work in Scotland then it’s pretty obvious to English and Welsh and Northern Irish people that it can be made to work in the rest of the UK. And that’s exactly what they don’t want.

      Politicians aren’t complete dimwits. They know that no one party can win every election in a democracy. Neither Tories nor Labour think they can do that. What matters is that even when they’re personally out of power, their ideology is still in power. So long as Labour is right-wing, Tories have nothing much to fear from it winning the odd election. They know utilities aren’t going to get renationalised, they know their hedge fund income isn’t going to get taxed at 80%, and they know that it’ll be their turn at the trough again soon enough.

      What they want is politics as a cosy phony war with only a few trivial surface details at stake. A Yes vote in Scotland puts a bomb under that more successfully than Guy Fawkes could ever have dreamed of.

      +1,000,000

    85. Bigdrone says:

      Why is he lecturing us from a lectern bearing a Glasgow Caledonian University logo? Surely not a sickly ‘we luv you Jocks’ gesture?

    86. Cruachan says:

      With Cameron’s speech the other day, with all his talk about “WE will be diminished if Scotland votes for “separation”, does this not make it pretty difficult for him and the Westminster establishment , after a YES vote, to somehow pretend that it has not diminished the UK?

    87. Atypical_Scot says:

      So why has Cameron thrown all that away to take a gamble?

      David Cameron – 5th cousin to the queen.

      George Osborne – 4rth cousin to the queen.

      Crown estates.

    88. Linda's back says:

      BBC Politics Show now has two anti independence commentators reviewing the press. I bet they don’t mention Ian Bell’s article.

    89. FreddieThreepwood says:

      @Bigdrone – read Derek Bateman’s latest blog for an explanation of that one.

    90. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Cameron is fundamentally a con artist…”

      For the love of Jesus, Robert, PARAGRAPH BREAKS. I’m not reading all that in one lump.

    91. ronnie anderson says:

      @Calgacus Mac Andrew,s, Tammy,s doff,d tae you Sir.

    92. Bigdrone says:

      Thanks Freddie – I wonder if she got it on a plane as cabin baggage or is there a number of these nestling in the London Velodrome to be wheeled out at in/appropriate moments. Dispicable!

    93. Les Wilson says:

      If there is a Yes vote, in my view it would be madness not to vote the SNP back in 2016. In subsequent elections of course that could be different, that is democracy at work.

      Truth is we must settle our country in, we must have a stable government,just who in labour would you say was able enough, and knowledgeable enough to take the country through this transitional period? I would suggest none at this time, that may be different the next again time round and democracy will return the will of the people. We must get past this period with the SNP in charge, or others will make a hash of it.

    94. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      Prepare ourselves for the biggest deception in the history of The Labour Party in Scotland.

      They have more or less announced their intentions. That is shifting existing powers away from The Scottish Parliament to local authorities. They will announce this as a radical democratic process utilising the considerable powers we have.

      This will result in increasing the basic rate of income tax. Big increases in local community taxes. Increases in business rates. Means testing welfare benefits. The end of the NHS etc.

    95. ddd201 says:

      O/T. The current UK Government was elected on matters which include devolved matters. A list of promises which affect only one part of the country (the largest part). Promises made on Transport and schools in England, affecting Scotland only via the budget from consequentials, is not a good reason for that party to govern all.

      http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/election_2010/8617433.stm (note how many items relate to England only)

      Its like the English having the SNP as their UK Government because they got into power on the promise of free education in Scotland. Would that be fair or democratic? I don’t think so!

      Cameron can promise to cut Scotland’s budget and spend the savings in England and be elected as the Government of Scotland.

      More powers to Scotland and the Tory manifesto suddenly contains more devolved matters. The UK election moves closer to becoming England’s devolved elections. They choose the Government they want to look after the same matters that a Scottish Government is elected.

      Currently they can cut welfare (UK matter) and divert this cash to transport or education where as we live off an 9% drip. The increased consequential payment due to increased spending south of the border on Transport or Education is needed to ‘mitigate’ the effects to the poorest meaning we can’t afford to spend the 9% on road or train track we otherwise could have built.

      When they say it will be the economy that decides the referendum I think the success of an independent Scotland would be on the connections that can be made to Europe bringing investment, jobs and increased exports. To me, the current situation is unhealthy that Scotland is reliant on exports to England who have heavy investment in their connections to the continent.( channel tunnel, Heathrow, HS2, cross rail etc) Scotland’s door to Europe needs to be unlocked.

    96. Lamont is hamstrung by a chronic inability to convey intelligence.

      Even when she gets hold of a contentious issue she offers no wisdom, no insight.

      The listener turns away, disappointed or repelled.

    97. Richard says:

      I wonder if the Tom Hunter poll won’t cause the Labour Party some discomfort. if the economy is one of the biggest issues for the referendum, it will not be an advantage to NO to talk up increased taxes at council level.

    98. Jimbo says:

      It’s all about the (perception of) prestige the UK is supposedly accorded by other nations.

      When Scotland votes for independence the rUK will lose face. They will be diminished – something that no-one among the ruling elite is prepared to countenance.

      I watched Ivan McKee on TV today saying that the Unionist Parties need to say what their intentions are for 2015, in the event of a NO vote. I doubt very much if any of them have the courage to be honest enough to state what their intentions are.

    99. Richard says:

      @Jimbo

      I don’t think ANY unionist party wants to commit themselves to ‘assertion, assumption and fantasy’. The are only able to rely on Project Fear being negative about the Yes campaign proposals.

    100. Richard says:

      @Les Wilson

      In the event of a Yes vote, I would like to see a national reconciliation government that brings together key players with some body like the national convention to negotiate the path to independence. I do not believe that the SNP alone should decide a constitution. I should say I am not a traditional SNP supporter and have no time for the current crop of Labour appartchiks.

    101. call me dave says:

      ronald alexander mcdonald

      I agree that UK money (Barnett) direct to councils is the plan. It is already clear that about 5 labour council have gone some way to threaten the COSLA membership.

      But Barnett no more is also on the books!

    102. mogabee says:

      With regard to comments that Labour are intent on redistributing funds towards council level and by-passing Holyrood.

      I don’t think this will fill many voters with confidance. I am probably not the only one to consider their local council to be utterly inept!

    103. Westie7 says:

      OT wonder what Alain Baxter thinks of this mornings Lympics Brit-fest. Considering he was actually first to win a medal on snow

    104. Midgehunter says:

      Taking a step back to look at the wider view of the “Big Game” as it was called in the 19th century, the British Empire was over time “converted” to the British Commonwealth. The nominal ruling head of this new entity was still the crown, government and parliament of the UK.

      This was still enough to play the game of world leader at the big tables of world power.

      Whereas the “conversion” took place outwith the British Isles, the campaign for Scottish independence goes straight to the core fabric of the UK itself. When Scotland goes the Britsh-UK is over and the Empire/Commonwealth left with the carcass of England as a leader. Westminster more or less reduced to the level of a poor bit player.

      IMHO this plays a big part in how the Tories think and act.

    105. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      The current Labour Party plot in COSLA should be typified as Labour trying to destroy a sensible organisation because they do not have control of it.

      This could easily be expanded to describe the dangers to the local communities that Labour presently represent

    106. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      @ronnie anderson says:
      @Calgacus Mac Andrew,s, Tammy,s doff,d tae you Sir.

      I’m honoured by the tammy-doffing.

      … though not quite ready yet to apply for my Creative Scotland grant for poetry-writing.

    107. Jock McDonnell says:

      I think we do need to remember the key message that Cameron wants a no vote, he wins either way, but no is his triumphant prize. He will become untouchable.
      Labour voters need to remember that.
      A Yes vote is a win for Scotland & a win for Liverpool & Newcastle.

    108. Andy-B says:

      Very good article Rev, a look at the Tories from another perspective, other than Faslane and oil revenues.

    109. Brian Powell says:

      On this thread there is some discussion about Councils being funded directly to by-pass the Scottish Government.

      I may be wrong, but at the moment Councils can’t become bankrupt, but any plan that involves the Councils dealing directly with Westminster are almost certainly to have clauses in the arrangement that means Councils could be legally bankrupted by overspending.

      It is the system in the US and other countries.

    110. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      @JLT says:
      Flower of Scotland
      Mate, use it! Personally, my comment belongs to us all, for that is what we are all thinking.
      Thanks for the comments, guys.

      JLT … I have made up a word-for-word PDF and put it here:-

      http://www.scotgov.com/pdf/2014/It_has_to_be_YES.pdf

      Let me know if you (or anybody else) thinks any changes are needed.

      The PDF can be printed or emailed (as an attachment) to people (the embedded links to Wings etc, should work).

      I will also put this post on the “The Barnett Future” thread.

    111. alex bell says:

      Vronsky, “They are losing and some of them know it – the appearance of LFI looks to me like Noah building his Ark.”
      Your experience n knowledge of LFI is? Or are you one of those who think 84 year old Charlie Gray is makin a career move?

    112. Colin Dunn says:

      @ Richard

      “In the event of a Yes vote, I would like to see a national reconciliation government that brings together key players with some body like the national convention to negotiate the path to independence.”

      Nicola Sturgeon gave a speech back in, what, March 2013, saying that’s the very thing that will happen – cross-party representation in the negotiations.

    113. fergie35 says:

      Wife’s sister phoned from Berlin, where Cameron’s speech was big news. They were laughing at his lovebombing!

    114. Tim from Aus says:

      Ironically it was this speech by the PM which “broke through” in Australia. It made it ont a number of news programs, and my reaction was “Jeez Louise, this must be serious, they must really have a chance of breaking away”.

      Until then there was zero on the news here at all on the upcoming Scottish Independence referendum – I didn’t even know one was coming up.

      I wish all you Scots the very best of British luck – I am not about to tell you from 20,000 k’s away what I think you should do.

      It does look rather desperate for the PM to be asking people in England to give you all a call and telling you how to vote. How truly bizarre.

      I think the very fact you are having a referendum speaks volumes for Scotland’s emerging sense of self.

      Tim

    115. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Tim, that surprises me not at all, because as I’m sure the Rev himself will confirm you get damn little about the referendum in points south of Scotland, and rather closer at hand than Australia.

      Best of Scottish luck, tho, surely? British luck got us to this point in the first place and we’d like a rather better outcome than that.

    116. Cath says:

      “Are you saying that DC thinks SLAB/BT are doing such a bad job of the No campaign that even Scots’ aversion to everything he stands for is less of a risk to a No vote than if he leaves it up to them to continue with Project Fear?”

      That was directed at the Rev, so can’t answer for him…but it has occurred to me recently that perhaps the Tories are just beginning to wake up to the fact that Labour are no longer as in touch with Scotland as they like to think they are.

      It was Labour who assured the establishment devolution would “kill nationalism stone dead”, while Tories warned it would inevitably lead to independence. It was Labour who then drove the Calman Commission while presumably re-assuring London that 2007 was just a blip and they’d be back in control here in 2011 nae bother at all.

      So no Labour have the job of keeping Scotland in the UK, and have sold themselves again to London and the Tories as the only ones who can do that – Tory funding for Labour activists. But the reality has been becoming ever more clear. There are scant few activists and the ones there are, are the most toxic, Tory-hating types. In fact, looking back to the 80s and 90s, it’s largely Labour and their media who have driven the anti-Tory sentiment in Scotland which has helped lead us here.

      It wouldn’t be too surprising if it was beginning to dawn (or has long since dawned) on many in the Tory party that Labour in Scotland is a liability in many ways. Better Together has always looked like something of a bear trap for Labour.

    117. John McKay says:

      Now I’m a simple soul so all of this tortuous political analysis gives me a sore head. It’s like this I believe. Does David Cameron want to go down in history as the UK PM who presided over the loss of Scotland and its oil, fish, whisky, water, wind, wave, tide, tax revenues, to the Union? Like hell he does! The tide is turning and it’s lapping around his Hunter Wellies. The UK PM who had to oversee the decommissioning of Trident? Thatcher would be birling in her grave. Cameron will take the blame. The Tory Grandees will crucify him. He has allowed Darling to take the lead, but now realises what a divot he is, hence the love letter from the Velodrome. But it’s too late. The toxic mix of Darling, Lamont, Carmichael, Lang, Forsyth, Gallloway, Farage, IDS, Osborne & House of Lords makes it impossible to turn the Better Together juggernaut away from the rocks.

    118. Yeti says:

      “No nation has ever willingly voted against its own independence”

      Quebec says you’re wrong.



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