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The bully’s gospel

Posted on October 15, 2013 by

Alistair Darling is in full Private Frazer mode over on the “Better Together” website today with his campaign’s latest variant on the timeless “too wee, too poor, too stupid” theme. Allow us to save you some time by stripping the entire 1000-word rant down to its three core paragraphs:

“Scotland has run a net fiscal deficit in 20 of the past 21 years. This suggests that over this period North Sea Oil receipts would have been required to fund public services in Scotland rather than being invested in an oil fund.

Faced with the fact that Scotland’s oil taxes are needed to fund Scotland’s public services, John Swinney made a decision that alter the terms of the independence debate forever. He made it clear on Good Morning Scotland that he favoured borrowing money to pay into an oil fund.

Borrowing to save is such a daft idea that it leads you back to the conclusion that to set up an oil fund they would have little choice but to raise taxes or cut spending. “

Contained within those few short lines is so much misinformation that it’s going to take rather longer to pull it all apart and see what the former Chancellor is trying to conceal, so let’s get straight to it. We don’t even have time for a picture.

——————————————————————————————

1. The truth hides a lie

The reality of Scotland’s fiscal situation since the discovery of oil was established quite recently, not by the Yes campaign but by Professor Brian Ashcroft, husband of former Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander and nobody’s idea of a cheerleader for independence.

What Prof. Ashcroft found, in a document called “Has Scotland already spent its oil fund?”, was that like almost every other country on the planet an independent Scotland would indeed have run a deficit over the past 32 years – though an unusually small one of just under £500m a year.

But crucially, he also found that the only reason for that deficit was the payments Scotland made as its contribution towards servicing the UK’s debts.

Without the UK’s debt hanging around its neck, an independent Scotland would have been in surplus by around £68bn. (And in reality a lot more than that – partly because much of the money could have been invested, as Norway’s has been, and partly because of what we’re about to discuss in the next point.)

——————————————————————————————

2. We don’t have to live that way

Now that’s all very well, but Scotland wasn’t independent, there is no oil fund, and we are where we are (namely being dragged into a swamp by the UK’s crippling debt and the disproportionately high share of it that Scotland pays). So what would be the situation in the future?

As ever, Darling’s argument is based on the gigantic fallacy that an independent Scotland would have the same spending plans as it does within the UK – something that isn’t likely to be the case, and certainly doesn’t HAVE to be. Per head of population, Scotland currently spends more on “defence” than almost any nation on the face of the Earth, for no rational reason.

Even on the SNP’s rather hawkish plans for an independent Scottish military, there are billions of pounds per Parliament to be saved. “Better Together” knows this perfectly well, so constantly attacks the Yes movement for allegedly “spending” this money several times over. (An allegation they’ve never bothered to actually support with evidence.)

But that still leaves the uncomfortable truth for the No camp – that money WILL exist, and WILL be available to spend, and is enough to make a very significant difference to the budget of a country with just five million people in it.

——————————————————————————————

3. This isn’t as good as it gets

The “same spending” fallacy has a twin – the idea that an independent Scotland wouldn’t have any more income. Yet as well as the prospect of oil prices rising as supply falls, and the opportunity to make further discoveries (particularly off the west coast, previously off-limits so as not to interfere with Trident operation), Scotland sits at the threshold of a whole new energy boom, from renewables, which could yet make the revenues from oil look like chickenfeed.

——————————————————————————————

4. The false economy

Even if none of the above were the case – and it IS the case – how would Darling’s logic stand up? Is it really so insane to borrow to save? Well, let’s get personal for a minute.

I live in a simple rented two-bedroom flat in town, which costs me an eye-watering £725 per month (unfurnished). A married friend recently bought a very nice large four-bedroom house (with garden and parking) a five-minute train-ride away, because while he only earns slightly more than me, his income is stable and predictable, in so far as anyone’s can be these days.

For this vast and excellently-located property, he and his wife pay a mortgage of around £950 per month between two of them. 30 years from now, I’ll still be paying (the inflation-adjusted equivalent of) £725 a month while they’ll be free and clear. They’ve borrowed to save in the long term, AND to enjoy a significantly higher standard of living in the meantime. Nobody appears to think they’re “daft”.

By pouring our money down Westminster’s insatiable maw to pay for nuclear submarines and tax cuts for the rich, Scotland is effectively renting a room in the UK. Except the UK is living way beyond its means, and wants to turn off the heating in Scotland’s room to save money so it can buy a new Mercedes (on tick, obviously) to impress the neighbours.

Despite Alistair Darling’s ever-present shrieking about “volatility”, Scotland’s income – as demonstrated by Professor Ashcroft – is more than stable enough to be able to afford its own place. Any short-term ups and downs can be easily negotiated, backed by the security of a huge and valuable asset.

——————————————————————————————

So Darling’s case boils down to a lie (disguised as usual by the thinnest veneer of truth), a fallacy and a denial. Like an abusive husband, he tells Scotland that she couldn’t afford to live by herself, that she’d still have to pay for all his booze, that she could never do any better and that she’s stupid to even think about managing her own affairs in the perfectly normal way other people do.

There’s a telling line at the very end of the piece, where Darling says “Of course, Scotland could decide to go it alone.” Note the “decide to” there. Recently the No camp has been making a big deal of saying (at least in public) that an independent Scotland COULD be a success, but that they think it’d do better in the UK. But the strain of keeping that mask on is clearly starting to tell.

“Of course, Scotland could go it alone” says – albeit in a rather negative way – that Scotland is a viable independent nation and the referendum is simply a choice between two valid alternatives.

The sentence “Of course, Scotland could DECIDE TO go it alone”, on the other hand, carries a menacing tone that’s akin to the abuser saying “Well, if you want to go and throw yourself under a bus I can’t stop you, so Hell mend you.”

But Scotland doesn’t have to choose between misery or death. It’s one of the most blessed nations ever to luck into a position of abundant natural wealth, a desirable location and a resourceful, clever, industrious people. Unlike most nations, it doesn’t even have any natural enemies.

Or none outside its own borders, anyway.

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    353 to “The bully’s gospel”

    1. Paul Kirkwood says:

      Brilliant!

    2. fordie says:

      Another excellent critique Rev. And ssh, don’t mention the water.

    3. Brotyboy says:

      This is the sort of de-construct we should all note, link to and reference in any and all communications with the fearties.

    4. cath says:

      I salute you, Sir. I couldn’t even bring myself to read your summary of Darling’s words. I start trying to read what he says but switch off instantly, in the knowledge it will be time out my finite life I will never get back, as well as causing brain cells and parts of my soul to commit suicide.

    5. The Water Beastie says:

      “no natural enemies….Or none outside its own borders” – yes, a fair point indeed….

    6. Triskellion says:

      One of your best

    7. Murray McCallum says:

      Flipper’s “logic” nicely filleted, skewered and roasted.
       
      Wasn’t flipper Chancellor of the Exchequer when the 120% mortgage was available? Why does anyone listen to this man’s economic arguments?

    8. Barry Blust says:

      ‘Scotland currently spends more on “defence” than almost any nation on the face of the Earth, for no rational reason.’

      You want peace?  Scotland       War?  UK
      You want equality?  Scotland       Rich get richer?  UK
      You want a fair society?  Scotland      Poor and disabled in the bin?  UK
      You want to be proud for a change?  Scotland
       
      Why?  Because we will be determining who we are as a nation, what we stand for.  Our gift to the future will come from our hearts and minds and the sweat of our brows.

    9. Keef says:

      History has shown, he was never one for figures.
       
      Should he decide to run for office in Scotland after the YES vote, I’d suggest he wears his best nikes.

    10. Doug says:

      I found that somewhat difficult to read.  It was a bludgeoning with words.  This also stands out, however:
       
      “Ministers go to extraordinary lengths to deny there is fiscal deficit in order to sustain their narrative of Scottish oil wealth being squandered. They compare historic levels of taxation between Scotland and the rest of the UK, but ignore the higher levels of spending in Scotland. They compare the proportion of UK taxation paid by Scots with the proportion of UK spending received by Scots, preferring to quote percentages because the cash figures take you inescapably back to that £7.6bn shortfall.”
       
      I have heard this argument from unionists before – the idea that we have a deficit is “scary” and thus we need the UK.  What is omitted, naturally, is that if we had the same revenue/spending per head as the UK then that deficit would be a lot higher (I forget the figures) and our economy is actually substantially more healthy than the UK as a whole.
       
      Thus, what they are saying contains (again) a fragment of truth, surrounded by lies and their favourite rhetorical method – telling us what is “really” being thought by the Scottish Government (such psychic powers).

    11. to set up an oil fund they would have little choice but to raise taxes or cut spending

      Also what he omits to mention here is that if we stay in the UK we will definitely face more cuts but have no oil fund.

      So even if what he said was true, which it isn’t but if it was, the choice would be between independence with an oil fund and cuts to public spending or staying in the union without an oil fund but still having cuts to public spending.

      and an interesting use of the word “they” in that sentence, “who are they?” as Margo once said…

    12. Holebender says:

      One of your best yet, Stu, and the final sentence is a killer.

    13. BeamMeUpScotty says:

      Darling claiming that Scotland’s deficit was somehow something we Scots did all on our own and that it was nothing to do with his and previous Westminster chancellors economic policies.
      It wisnae me.
       

    14. muttley79 says:

      Underneath all the Unionists’ claims that Scotland is capable of being independent, there is a fairly apparent attitude that it would be a disaster.  The veneer is as shallow as you can get.  Make no mistake Unionists believe Scotland is too wee, too poor, and too stupid to be independent.  This believe is reached not from some high moral principle or ideology, but through sheer self interest.  Darling and co aspire to elevation to the House of Lords, we want to change our country.

    15. Frazer Allan Whyte says:

      Countries who find themselves colonialized always throw up people like Alistair Darling and his ilk but most have the good sense to finally throw them out. As the late great cartoonist Walt Kelley had a character say “We have met the enemy and they are us.” This one man who’ll have no statues erected in his memory.

    16. beachthistle says:

      The longer Darling keeps to this script we have to question:

      1. if he is genuinely unaware of (or hasn’t been shown) these revenue figures and spending choices, and/or doesn’t comprehend what they mean regarding the underlying relatively good health of the Scottish economy; or

      2. he is aware of and understands them but is blatantly ignoring them.

      If 1 he is the most economically illiterate Chancellor of the Exchequer London has ever had so should be ignored or ridiculed by all, especially the MSM.

      If 2 he is beneath contempt – deliberately lying to, scaring and borderline threatening Scots, including members of my close family, which I am beginning to take personally…

    17. Gordon Hay says:

      Rev, might I suggest a minor edit to make a major point –
       
      Scotland currently spends (or, more accurately, Westminster spends on Scotland’s behalf, and without asking first) more on “defence” than almost any nation on the face of the Earth.
       

    18. Ray says:

      Such a simple response but a fantastic one filled with quotable sentences to pass onto those undecided masses.

    19. Doug says:

      Just noticed another howler within that paragraph I cited.  To paraphrase: ‘They highlight tax but ignore spending’ followed by ‘They compare tax and spending (but we don’t like the form they express it in)’.
       
      Absolutely shocking lack of internal logic/consistency.  You could almost forgive it if it was good prose.

    20. Ken500 says:

      Never have so many been promoted above their capapilities.

      Different decision would have been taken in Holyrood. Like not spending 10% of £1Trillion on an Illegal War. £Billion on non existent weaponry – Ordered but never delivered leaving a £40Billion++ black hole. Not forget the £Bilion of Gas burnt off. Thatcher cancelled a pipe line wasting the equivalent of £Billions of Gas. The equivalent of £20Billion a year taken by Thatcher, while shutting down every manufacturing facility in Scotland. Tax avoidance in the City of London. A Law unto its self. Corrupt Westminster, Press and Bankers. Scottish Oil sector taxed at 61%.
      McCrone Report kept secret by Labour, plus other documents on Devolution. Equal within the Union not likely.

      Politicans re writing history should Get out more.

      Policies would have been very, very different in Scotland.

    21. muttley79 says:

      Doh, that should be belief not believe (did not have time to edit it).
       
      On the deficit that Unionists keep on mentioning, this is the same for the vast majority of nations.  It is just another misleading slant on just about everything they say, from the claim that there will be border guards at the border, the claim that there will be 18,000 jobs lost because of Trident, that we will have to use the Euro, and that we will be not be a member of the EU.  This stream of misinformation/disinformation is intended to get them over 50% of the vote in the referendum.
       
       
      @sideshowmanny
       
      Why would a self declared “proud Scot” use the word “they” to presumably describe Scotland?

    22. handclapping says:

      “Now our case is not that Scotland cannot survive as a separate state. Of course it could.” Alistair Darling 2012
       
      “Of course, Scotland could decide to go it alone.”
      Alistair Darling 2013
       
      What happened? Did Yes start to get traction? Is Project Fear now afraid?

    23. Macart says:

      They use the UK model of spend for two reasons.
       
      Firstly people identify with their current situation, which although bad is a known entity and a form of knowable comfort zone. Secondly BT have neither the courage, wit or imagination to picture a different course and outcome for the Scottish economy either in or out of the union (which kind of makes it difficult to form that positive vision). They have no answer to the economic carnage visited upon the UK by the very parties which are fighting to keep it and their careers together. Indeed the fact and irony that the leader of BT is one of the architects of our current situation seems entirely lost on those who would vote no.
       
      How can you possibly believe in the arguments or reasoning that we are better together, when those arguments are put forward by a man who is positively living proof that clearly we are not. A man who supports a system of government and an economic model which has eventually resulted in current welfare reform, food banks, criminalisation of the poor, the widest rich poor divide in the developed world, 1 in 5 children born into crushing poverty (http://www.cpag.org.uk/scotland/child-poverty-facts-and-figures), parliamentary elitism and patronage, finance sector casino gambling with the public purse. The list goes on a bit, but you get the drift.
       
      Yet this chap has the nerve to stand up in public and tell us this is as good as it gets. Well I’ll guarantee you this, that should you vote no next year this will be as good as it gets. Its time for some imagination and a bit of back bone. In fact its time to get more than a little hacked off with those who say thus far and no farther. Who is he to say we shouldn’t look to improve our lives and our governance? Who the hell is he to say we can’t do better? Of course we can. We can do do whatever we set our minds to and that includes making a better fist of running our own country.

    24. Doug Daniel says:

      “But Scotland doesn’t have to choose between misery or death. It’s one of the most blessed nations ever to luck into a position of abundant natural wealth, a desirable location and a resourceful, clever, industrious people. Unlike most nations, it doesn’t even have any natural enemies.”
       
      Aye. Can you imagine the people of other nations with far less than us, watching us handwringing over whether we’d be a few pounds better or worse off? It’s quite insulting, really. It’s like a couple standing in front of a homeless person debating out loud whether or not they can afford to move out of their two-bedroom house and into a three-bedroom one, because they might be £50 worse off every month.

    25. Alex Grant says:

      Excellent as ever Stu BUT, BUT
      Why is it only You and Business for Scotland who are preaching this message?

      Neither the SNP nor YES are getting this rebuttal across! Indeed it shouldn’t be rebuttal – this should be pushed through every letterbox once a month!

      if you were to carry out a survey tomorrow only a minority would understand any of this!

    26. Ken500 says:

      UK government spending £720Billion. £20Billion more

      Total taxes raised in the UK £610Billion

      Total taxes raised in Scotland £57Billion. (£60Billion) Scotland has to borrow £7Billion to pay for illegal Wars, tax avoidance in the City of London and non existent weaponry – ordered but never delivered. £1.5Billion for Trident. Scotland pays back £4Billion debt repayment to UK Exequer on £7Billion of (forced) borrowing. 40% interest rate.

      Scotland Block Grant £27Billion + £17Billion for Pensions/Benefits = £44Billion. A difference of £13Billion. Even with £2.5Billion Defence costs and £2Billion administration costs. creating jobs in Scotland. It still leaves £7.5Billion for infrastructure investment or a fund for a rainy day – creating jobs in Scotland.

      Scotland (forced to) borrow £7Billion – 10%

      Rest of the UK borrows and spends 30% – 20% more. Giving a higher disposible income. While Scotland pays off the debt. Equality within the Union is a joke. To be spending the same amount as the rest of the UK Scotland would be spending £70Billion.

      The Royal Mail as been sold off cheap, so the UK Exchequer can use the £38Billion Pension fund to cut borrowing. Selling off the assets again as a stop gap measure.

    27. Jingly Jangly says:

      Brilliant but we have to get over the fact the UK is a busted flush, if interest rates rise and/or bond rates go up it will be unable to service the debt without massive cuts in public sector spending. (you aint seen nothing yet) We have to get over to people what a perilous state the UK finances are.

      Its not a when but an IF when the IMF come calling in an attempt to get some monies owed to the International Community.

      O/T Jackie Bird announced at lunchtime that a bus is travelling Scotland educating us all about Britains inventions such as Gravity!!!!!!

      If The UK has the patent on Gravity then why are they not licensing it out to the rest of the Universe. That would help pay off the deficit. Mind you with the economic numpties like Danny boy who took over 10 billions worth of Royal Mail pensions liability and sold off the same company which earned over 400 hundred million pounds to the treasury per annum for a cut price 1.7 billion (after costs) then we would probably have to pay for others to use our gravity.

    28. Jimsie says:

      Dear Alistair, you must give me all your income for ever more. I will then decide how much I will give back in order that you survive well enough to keep paying me. Deal ?.

    29. HandandShrimp says:

      Alastair is like this chap
      http://evangelineholland.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/im-not-saying-that-it-was-aliens-but-it-was-aliens.jpg
       
      Except Alasdair says “I’m not saying Scotland is too poor, wee and stupid….”

    30. msean says:

      Can’t believe our luck that he is in charge of No.

    31. Ken500 says:

      Scottish gov figures GERS(UK gov figures) Go to Scottish Gov website Search GERS P30/36

      UK gov figures – attempts to keep secret.

    32. Tris says:

      No wonder Darling made such a monumental mess of being chancellor.

    33. desimond says:

      Im suddenly remembering that Prisoner Line-Up scene from Life of Brian

      “Freedom or Crucifixion?”
      “Freedom thanks”
      “Ohh, jolly good, off you go!”
      “Only kidding, Crucifixion!”
      Oh youre cheeky you, almost had me there, here’s your cross to bear!”

    34. handclapping says:

      @msean
      His funds come from Tory donors, he gets invited to Tory conference and gets applauded and you still think he’s in charge of No?

    35. msean says:

      on the face of it yes,but we all know he isn’t calling the shots .

    36. MochaChoca says:

      Said this on the Herald the other day:

      Isn’t this very simple?

      Taking the GERS figures from last year: our revenues were £56.9bn (9.9% of UK revenues), we ‘borrowed’ £10.2bn (8.4% of UK deficit) and our spending was £64.5bn (9.3% of UK spending).

      Last year we therefore ‘lost’ £2.6bn that could have been put into an oil fund without affecting either tax, spending or borrowing.

      Of course there are a number of other factors, such as the proposal to reduce defence spending that could improve this figure further. And of course if independent it may be wise to use some of that to reduce the deficit rather than invest it all in an oil fund but those are decisions for future Scottish Governments.

      The fact is that the deficit needs to be tackled whether we are independent or not, it will just be far easier to tackle if we are.

    37. Tasmanian says:

      I have a solid idea as to who your bemortgaged friends are Stu, and where they live – as someone who drove buses through that place for several years, I’d strongly like to object to the ‘excellently-located’ description O_0

    38. TJenny says:

      Apols for going O/T but Kezia Dugdale, Slab MSP, has tweeted the following today:
       

      ‘Postal votes have dropped in #Dunfermline – it’s time to get that @scottishlabour vote out people!
       
      I am deeply suspicious of the veracity of postal votes and wonder why so many people now appear to need them. I understand that it was Gordon Brown who did away with the rules and regs for postal voting, e.g. you would be out of country at time of vote or were disabled and couldn’t manage the trip and that a member of Electoral Commision or somesuch had to oversee your postal vote, so that now anyone can have one on demand. Do Slab not have a bit of a history on manipulating postal votes? We need to get a handle on this re referendum but I don’t know how, unless we are able to introduce new tighter regs maybe?

    39. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I’d strongly like to object to the ‘excellently-located’ description”

      Hey, I said “excellently LOCATED”, not “excellent” 😀

    40. HandandShrimp says:

      I confess to having a deep unease about postal votes too. Labour’s love of them is frankly disconcerting and I am sure there was definite fraud in some English inner city constituency proven, although I can’t recollect which city.
       
      There is a fair chance that the turn out will be low at this by-election and if postal votes are down Labour might well have a moment of worry. This is a seat they must win. The SNP only just squeaked in on the crest of a wave…if Labour don’t take this then Lamont might as well be given her jotters now.  

    41. Bubbles says:

      This is another great article Stu. Loads of pretty easily digestible facts here. If only we could get them to the masses eh?
       
      I keep noticing on discussions such as this there’s always folks asserting that unionists believe their tripe. They don’t! There are only three reasons to vote No –
       
      1. You are already comfortably off and would prefer to keep your nose exactly where it is, thank you.
       
      2. You’re a bigot who was born under a Union Jack and will be happy to die under one.
       
      3. You’re a moron!

    42. Marker Post says:

      Pretty much on topic, (if lying fear-monger is the topic), stamps could cost 1 pound if newly privatised Royal Mail loses VAT-free status… Daily Mirror
       
      I wasn’t reading it, honest, I just happened to spot it when I was searching on Google for something else…

    43. Gray says:

      I AM NOT A PROUD SCOT
       
      How can I be proud that for centuries my nation has willingly accepted subservience to some “foreign” state.
       
      Scotland is like a child who is given pocket money on an annual basis, a pat on the head and told to go away and play quietly. For as we all know children should be seen and not heard.
       
      I would love to be a proud Scot and just hope that the people of this land will finally wake up and throw away the reins.

    44. Edward says:

      T Jenny
      I found where I am (not far from the Rev actually 🙂 ) The LibDems are hard at with going round doors and ever so helpfully offering to ‘postal voting’ for you

      We had a local council election and sure enough a former LibDem MP comes to the door suggesting I could do a postal vote. As I’m neither disabled or going on holiday I politely said no thanks. BUT I am indeed very suspicious of the likes of Labour and the Libdems, especially in areas where there are a high level of pensioners and sheltered housing. Funnily enough I didn’t bother voting as many of my neighbours, turn out was around 30% and the Tory toff got in, so much for democracy

    45. MochaChoca says:

      Suppose there is a fair chance that Dunfermline could go back to Labour.

      Another resignation or two could potentially see the SNP loose their majority, that would make things really interesting.

      Would an incoming ‘rainbow’ coalition attempt to cancel the referendum? I suspect they wouldn’t dare.

      Would a year of Lamont as first minister and unionists in charge in Holyrood be the wake-up call that some of our citizens seem to need?

    46. jake says:

      Rev,
      Perhaps you could make it clear that the first of the three core paragraphs you italicised was actually Mr Darling quoting from the “then private ministerial papers”.

      To leave it as it stands gives the impression that the flippercanorious former chancellor actually has some insight into the workings and future realities of the Scottish economy.

    47. Morag says:

      HandandShrimp said:
      I confess to having a deep unease about postal votes too. Labour’s love of them is frankly disconcerting and I am sure there was definite fraud in some English inner city constituency proven, although I can’t recollect which city.
       
      Here you go.  (It was Birmingham.)
       
      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1487145/Labour-activists-had-vote-rigging-factory-to-hijack-postal-votes.html
       
      The sheer scale of the fraud was eyepopping, but even so, it was a council election not a parliamentary one.  Also, the nature of the fraud was such that it should have been obvious to the returning officer that something was going on.  How can anyone retain a “see no evil, hear no evil” attitude when very substantial numbers of ballot papers are showing up with alterations on them?
       
      I’m dubious about a lot of the knee-jerk claims that they’re “at it” all the time, and I don’t even know who to believe about Glenrothes, but there’s no doubt it’s something that needs to be actively monitored a lot more closely than seems to be happening.

    48. Papadocx says:

      Slabcon: what a bunch of wasters, con artists & rogues. Darling, foulkes, davidson, curran, lamont, bailey, gray, Kelly, Carmichael, Davidson, Mundell Not one conviction politician amongst them. Would you buy a second hand car from any of them? How did they ever get elected by a majority of their constituents? The mind boggles. The old adage if someone cons me once shame on them. If they con me twice shame on Me. Scotland and it’s people deserve better than that lot, or maybe we don’t. Vote yes.

    49. Brian Powell says:

      It would be good to have someone from the SG debate this with Alistair Darling in a public situation rather in the maximum security of a studio with a compliant interviewer.
      It would be even better if he were to go along to a STUC meeting and try to sell his version of the financial crisis and Scotland’s finances.

    50. Brian Powell says:

      In Northern Ireland they have very strict regulations about postal votes, which makes me wonder why it was OK to relax them for mainland elections but not there.

      Of course any electoral fraud there would have physical repercussions.

      Still it was like there was an acceptance that fraud would be OK here!

    51. muttley79 says:

      @MochaChoca

      Another resignation or two could potentially see the SNP loose their majority, that would make things really interesting.
      Would an incoming ‘rainbow’ coalition attempt to cancel the referendum? I suspect they wouldn’t dare.
      Would a year of Lamont as first minister and unionists in charge in Holyrood be the wake-up call that some of our citizens seem to need?
       
      Eh?

    52. david says:

      i believe the right honourable mr darling is the number 1 hate figure on the no better together side. hated because he lies, steals and cheats and wants this to continue. After a yes vote  i hope there is nothing in scotland for this man. 

    53. jim mitchell says:

      It wouldn’t be half so bad it the unionists touting these lies had something approaching a good record in economics, but a look at the history books shows us that they haven’t, especially since the empire went and Britain really had to start competing with other countries where trade is concerned, I really do think that it is time that we started showing what Britain’s economic record since the end of the second world war really has been like!
      Boom and bust doesn’t cover it, let’s show these experts for what they really are.

    54. Doug Daniel says:

      Even if the SNP managed to lose their majority, they can count on the support of Margo, John Finnie, Jean Urquhart, Patrick Harvie and Alison Johnstone to back the referendum bill.

    55. Pippa says:

      Responses completely missing the point.
       
      “Borrowing to save” – Swinney apparently thinks it would be good to borrow money to invest it in an oil fund. About as sensible as you or I taking out a loan at 5% and putting the money in a savings account at 3%. Not very.
       
      Defence – you think it’s a good idea to selfishly check out of mutual defence, lose the defence jobs, fail to spend the money in-country (any tanks, helos or planes made in Scotland? Nope.) and still expect all those neighbours you’ve just stiffed to help out, share intelligence and play nice? Fat chance.
       
      Oil prices going up? One word – shale.
       
      Renewables “revenues” “boom”? Renewables don’t make revenue, they consume subsidies from you and me. Even once they get to breakeven for their owners, it’s a long time before they can be taxed to generate “revenue” for anyone else.
       
      Oh, and one last point on an “oil fund”. Anytime any government of mine finds itself in possession of a vast unspent surplus, I want my share of that money back, right NOW. Tax cut or even a cheque. I’LL decide what to do with it and where to invest it.
       
      Anyone who believes in an “oil fund” is in fact in possession of a full-on “cringe”, because they believe ordinary Scots are too stupid to decide what to do with their own money.

    56. scaredy cat says:

      Excellent again Rev Stu (never sure what to call you – Stu: Rev Stu; maybe Father ??). Anyway, this is really really good, and like most of the articles on WoS, I have shared it on Facebook.

      For anyone who doesn’t share, it really does work. I frequently share, but rarely get any indication that anyone has read the links or if they have, what they think. Only recently I spoke face to face with a couple of FB friends (at different times) and both said they were reading absolutely everything I post. One said they log on just to see my posts. She is now a definite yes, and the other is leaning that way.

      I honestly thought that people thought I was a raving nationalist lunatic (maybe some do), but some people are obviously paying attention, so it works.

      This stuff is too good to keep to ourselves. Share, share, share, I say.

    57. MochaChoca says:

      I’m saying the referendum only became possible by an SNP majority (prior to the 2011 election they were in government, but as a minority, and the other parties blocked the referendum attempts).
      Their majority is currently on a knife edge (65 out of 128 if I’m not mistaken) although bolstered by the Greens and 3 independents.

    58. MochaChoca says:

      I’m just saying it would be an interesting turn of events.

    59. faolie says:

      Rev, brilliant demolition. Not to sound too much like a slavering sycophant, but jeeze, you really are on top of these jokers and their bollocks haverings. Dunno where you get the time.
       
      Agree with all above that these are easy to understand (and real!) figures that anyone could use to help persuade the indy waverers that ‘better together’ is actually terrible together.

    60. muttley79 says:

      @Pippa
       
      Oh, and one last point on an “oil fund”. Anytime any government of mine finds itself in possession of a vast unspent surplus, I want my share of that money back, right NOW. Tax cut or even a cheque. I’LL decide what to do with it and where to invest it.
       
      So you do not believe in planning towards the future?  Can you name an Oil Fund that has not been a success?  Is it BT’s official position now to oppose an Oil Fund for Scotland, given that Darling admitted one should have been set up in the UK?  Is it only because it is the Yes campaign that are proposing one that you are opposed to it? 
       
      You sound as if you have a ‘I’m alright Jack’ attitude.  Selfish individualism writ large, which has got us into the worst financial situation since the 1930s.   How can you defend the British state over the last thirty years?  Are you opposed to the privatisation of the Royal Mail (even Thatcher would not go as far as the privatise the Queen’s head)? 

    61. Callum Macdonald says:

      I know whose side I’m on, Rev. You are an amazing analyst, writer and commentator and I’m pleased that we’re on the same side. More power to your pen and keyboard. 
       

    62. MochaChoca says:

      @Pippa
      “Oh, and one last point on an “oil fund”. Anytime any government of mine finds itself in possession of a vast unspent surplus, I want my share of that money back, right NOW. Tax cut or even a cheque. I’LL decide what to do with it and where to invest it”

      You could even donate it to the Conservative Party.

    63. handclapping says:

      @Pippa
      Why do you think you are entitled to the oil revenues? Once its gone its gone and you want to spend it on yourself now?
       
      We are leaving a pretty disatrous legacy for our children and grandchildren as it is. If we spend their inheritance now they will start to wonder why they should support us when we get old.
      Think of your “oil fund” in terms of you and your childrens pension fund. Remember that there is only £45 bn propping up the entire social security system for the whole of the UK and start considering the effect of inter-generational conflict.

    64. john king says:

      Frazer Allan White says
      “This one man who’ll have no statues erected in his memory.”
      I say we should erect a statue in his name,
      right outside the parliament and with a permanent traffic cone on his head

    65. callum says:

      My company, registered in Companies House Scotland, pays VAT and Corporation Tax through south of the border offices.  The income tax for employees and national insurance stamps are paid through Cumbernauld.  I have always wondered whether anyone has truly figured what the Scottish exchequer tax take might actually achieve – never mind all the other types of per-industry tax, e.g. import duties – One of my previous companies paid 15% import duty on parts manufactured abroad!

    66. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Dunno where you get the time.”

      Hey, this is me at work. The readers paid for a full-time writer, that’s what they get 🙂

    67. Brian Powell says:

      Pippa
      So far it hasn’t been our money.
      The Unionists will love you, you say everything they want to hear.  Short-termism, bitterness, shale, ignoring normal behaviour and the history of every other negotiated settlement, and how countries deal with each other in the real world.

    68. handclapping says:

      As a rider, the £45 bn is entirely “invested” in special unmarketable UK Government promises to pay interest.

    69. Pippa says:

      Muttley
       
      “Can you name an Oil Fund that has not been a success? “
       
      Yes. The Norwegian one. Return of 4%. Jeesh, I can, have, and will continue to do better than that.
       
      “Are you opposed to the privatisation of the Royal Mail”
       
      Certainly not. I’m now deciding whether to stag the shares and take the (admittedly small) loot, or sit back and enjoy the 6% divi.
       
      Which is just the sort of decision which we should all be able to make, if for some sort of reason our government ends up with surplus cash. I’LL invest it, not THEM.

    70. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Suppose there is a fair chance that Dunfermline could go back to Labour.
      Another resignation or two could potentially see the SNP loose their majority, that would make things really interesting.
      Would an incoming ‘rainbow’ coalition attempt to cancel the referendum? I suspect they wouldn’t dare.”

      Why would the SNP losing their majority lead to a new administration? They governed as a minority from 2007 to 2011.

    71. Linda's Back says:

      As Derek Bateman alludes to in his recent article on the BBC:-
      http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/8180–business-as-usual
      this is the kind of article that should be compulsory reading, along with the facts on banking bail out, for all BBC journalists so that they can challenge Alistair Darling on his wild assertions rather than acting as nodding donkeys.

    72. Andy-B says:

      Good piece Rev.
       
      Youve been doing this so long now,  picking apart the lies and fabrications that hold together, BT’s very core priniciples.
       
      Your very last words on the matter couldnt have held more truth, regarding enemies within.

    73. Pippa says:

      handclapping
       
      “Why do you think you are entitled to the oil revenues? Once its gone its gone and you want to spend it on yourself now?”
       
      Why do you think the government is entitled to the oil – or any other – revenues?
       
      Who said I was going to “spend it on myself”? Maybe I will. Or maybe I’ll invest it. MY choice. Why do you people think ordinary Scots are too stupid to choose wisely?

    74. TJenny says:

      Oh Rev, would that all that we paid for was so fulfilling and rewarding:-)

    75. muttley79 says:

      @Pippa
      Anytime any government of mine finds itself in possession of a vast unspent surplus, I want my share of that money back, right NOW. Tax cut or even a cheque. I’LL decide what to do with it and where to invest it.
       
      I know I have already commented on it, but this comment really does scream ME, ME, ME, ME every time you read it.  It an appalling sentiment, selfish does not begin to accurately cover it.  This has been the story of the British state for the last 30 years or so.  It is in effect social Darwinism writ large.  There is no trace of humanity, no compassion, no sense of a desire to build a better society.  It really is disgusting.  It just confirms that if we vote No next year then we are going to be at the mercy of this kind of a sentiment.

    76. handclapping says:

      @Pippa
      Indeed you can sometimes make more on an investment of £750 but can you invest £400 billion and do better?

    77. scottish_skier says:

      Oh, and one last point on an “oil fund”. Anytime any government of mine finds itself in possession of a vast unspent surplus, I want my share of that money back, right NOW. Tax cut or even a cheque. I’LL decide what to do with it and where to invest it.
       
      Man that post must have swayed a few finally to Yes. Was like having UKIP knock the door.

    78. Mosstrooper says:

      Wow, stupid Norwegians. Fancy THEM not knowing as much as the mighty Pippa.

    79. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      Hoo boy.

      “Swinney apparently thinks it would be good to borrow money to invest it in an oil fund. About as sensible as you or I taking out a loan at 5% and putting the money in a savings account at 3%. Not very.”

      Yeah, I’m sure you’re much smarter than him. That’ll be why you’re the country’s Finance Secretary.

      “Defence – you think it’s a good idea to selfishly check out of mutual defence, lose the defence jobs, fail to spend the money in-country (any tanks, helos or planes made in Scotland? Nope.) and still expect all those neighbours you’ve just stiffed to help out, share intelligence and play nice? Fat chance.”

      Christ, I’d need a whole article to deal with all the stupid in that one paragraph. Defence against who? (And if there are no tanks, helicopters and planes made in Scotland then that money isn’t getting spent here now, so where’s the loss?)

      “Oil prices going up? One word – shale.”

      You’re right, that IS one word. Any chance of turning it into some sort of coherent argument instead?

      “Renewables “revenues” “boom”? Renewables don’t make revenue, they consume subsidies from you and me.”

      Man, it’s lucky you weren’t in charge of the oil industry. “What? Millions of pounds up front to build drilling platforms miles offshore? That’s a LOSS, not a profit! Leave it under the sea!”

      “Oh, and one last point on an “oil fund”. Anytime any government of mine finds itself in possession of a vast unspent surplus, I want my share of that money back, right NOW. Tax cut or even a cheque. I’LL decide what to do with it and where to invest it.”

      Yeah, right up to the point where there’s some sort of unforeseen disaster or event and you’re demanding that the government comes up with money to fix it, or when you’d quite like something new built, like a road or a bridge or a railway.

    80. Macart says:

      @scottish_skier
       
      What you said. 🙂

    81. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “You could even donate it to the Conservative Party.”

      Pippa’s got UKIP written all over her.

    82. AnneDon says:

      I’ve retweeted and passed this to Facebook, and advised folk to read it, or memorise it if they’re Yes Campaigners!
       
      This is a brilliant demolition of so many of the Bitters’ arguments, all in one page.
       
      @Pippa – are you in the Taxpayers’ Alliance?

    83. Tony Little says:

      Pippa
       
      Well I find your attitude disgusting and so short-termist that it beggars belief.  Forum rules do not allow me to say what I think you are, other than selfish, egotistical, and based on your comments, bereft of any redeeming quality.
       
      We don’t need this attitude in the UK, never mind an independent Scotland.  A nation’s natural resources should be managed for the benefit of the nation, not for a few rich and greedy individuals.  the fact that the UK is the most unequal country in Europe, and something like 4th worst in the world is not a badge of honour.  It is attitudes like yours that got us into the current financial mess.
       
      I hope that by the end of 2014 we can say goodbye to all this.

    84. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Wow, stupid Norwegians. Fancy THEM not knowing as much as the mighty Pippa.”

      Total morons, sitting there with their piddly £500bn like chumps. While the UK, run by people exactly like Pippa, desperately tries to claw back £1.5trn from disabled and unemployed people before the entire country implodes.

    85. Linda's Back says:

      Pippa’s probably nevbr been North of Watford or South of Dover but it is noinsence to question the worth of oil funds.
      A cursory wikipedia search reveals all
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_sovereign_wealth_funds

    86. muttley79 says:

      @Pippa

      Your responses, together with your original contribution, tells us everything we need to know about your selfish individualism, your lack of concern for others.  These comments are just ghastly.  You are a supporter of the enrichment of the few at the expense of the vast majority.  Socially we are going back almost a hundred years, and yet you appear not to have the slightest concern of the damage being done to others.

    87. Macart says:

      Even good old wiki has a pretty decent description of what a sovereign wealth fund is and does. The list of nations and accrued wealth fund assets is pretty useful too.

    88. scottish_skier says:

      Wow, stupid Norwegians.
       
      Yeh, I mean they, as individuals chose what to do with their (country’s) oil wealth. They went out and voted for governments which advocated an oil fund.
       
      But then Pippa’s not contradicting herself at all now is she.

    89. handclapping says:

      @Pippa
      Of course people living in Scotland are not too stupid but only a few will have been educated in finance and investment to be able to make proper choices between consumption now and future needs. Especially if their choices might create inter-generational conflict.
      And what chance of proper consideration in the choices of children and teenagers, not to mention those of limited mental capacity?

    90. Papadocx says:

      I have always been proud and interested in Scotland’s past, everything about it, the good the bad and the ugly. for the first time in my 67 years I feel an awakening, a stirring (hope it’s no ma prostate). Whether we win or loose the referendum, I feel the cat’s out of the bag and it ain’t going back in, independance is on it’s way, of that I have no doubt.  

    91. MochaChoca says:

      Rev,
       
      “Why would the SNP losing their majority lead to a new administration? They governed as a minority from 2007 to 2011.”
       
      I was just hypothesizing, however back then the chances of a getting to hold a referendum looked to be about nil, the SNP looked to be still ‘complying’ with the impossible majority scenario, indeed many thought this was just a blip caused by a protest vote, it would be the ‘decent thing’ to have the leader of the largest party as the FM, and maybe even a bit of letting the electorate see just how ‘bad’ the SNP would be in power would set them back a few years.
       
      None of that worked out for the unionists. Now if they could get a chance to get the SNP back out they’d bite your hand off. The SNP have proven to be a steady hand and the very real propsect of independence could make them do very desparate things.
       

    92. annie says:

      I was hoping we were all going to ignore Pippa – you could argue ’til you’re blue in the face with her and people like her and they wouldn’t change their position.

    93. Andy-B says:

      Most people wouldnt pick apart BT’s ramblings, or do such a good job as the Rev, at deconstructing their speel, and their in, lies the problem.
       
      I think if Alistair Darling speaks quickly enough and frowns those privet hedge eyebrows several times whilst shaking his head, the average, ill informed punter will take him seriously.
       
      It can only come down to lack of true info, that fools the common man/woman, into believing, BT’s rhetoric, thankfully we have the Rev on our side.

    94. handclapping says:

      It must be karma that Pippa has chosen to enlighten us on a thread entitled “The Bully’s Gospel”.

    95. Les Wilson says:

      I tip my hat to you Stu, yet  again! Excellent stuff. Pity we could not trap Darling in a debate with answers like these and the questions to him that would arise from them.

      I  have seen him  get flustered when hotly debated against, and he would flap, as he knows his deceit would be out in the open. 

    96. muttley79 says:

      @MocaChoca

      The independence referendum is going to happen next year.  It suits the Tories very nicely to be in alliance with Scottish Labour in particular at the moment. 

    97. Mosstrooper says:

      Aye yir right Annie. One word sums up Pippa–Divot
      Naw two words—Selfish divot
      Naw again three words —Selfish greedy divot
      Naw four words—
      Ach I was right the first time—Divot 

    98. MochaChoca says:

      @muttley,
      I know, I did say even if they did manage to tip the balance they wouldn’t dare cancel the referendum.
      And I agree, the Tories do seem to be on a win-win situation with this, and Labour on a lose-lose…. just wonder if/when Labour will actually realise this.

    99. G H Graham says:

      Never, ever forget that Darling’s primary motive to retain the status quo is to preserve his  personal financial wellbeing with the hope of getting elected to a seat in the House of Lords or to a permanent but unelected role in government. Either way, he receives a generous, non negotiable income.
      Every single word & sentence that comes out of his mouth in defence of the Great British union is nothing more than a poorly camouflaged attempt to coerce the people of Scotland to inadvertently protect his own source of income.

    100. handclapping says:

      @annie
      Many people are suggesting that Don’t Knows and Naysayers read this blog to gain an alternative view on the arguments that should be being raised in the debate that should be happening anent the Referendum. It would be lax to allow some of the “considered opinions” of people like Pippa to go unchallenged in case a reader suppose that such were unassailable because they had been unchallenged.
       
      Furthermore it is good practice working out your responses to similar statements by people on the doorstep. Admittedly some may be lost causes as Pippa appears to be but many will not have thought about the consequences of their thinking, if indeed, they have thought about it at all.

    101. Bubbles says:

      Thanks Pippa. In my last post I said you could vote No for one of three reasons. Stupid me for not giving an ‘all of the above’ option.

    102. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      @Pippa
       
      “Borrowing to save” – Swinney apparently thinks it would be good to borrow money to invest it in an oil fund. About as sensible as you or I taking out a loan at 5% and putting the money in a savings account at 3%. Not very.
       
      Except that is not what would happen. The plan is to set up 2 oil funds. One to smooth out the ups and downs of oil and gas tax receipts, and the other to save money long term to make sure that we can continue to reap the rewards of our oil wealth far into the future. 
       
      It may be that for the initial period (as the economy continues to grow and recover), the Scottish Government uses all Oil and Gas receipts to fund services. There would be no oil fund in this situation unless the deficit was decreasing annually, thereby showing an improving financial position, and allowing the Scottish Government to look at longer term planning.
       
      The Scottish Government could borrow on the markets at a reasonable 3% or thereabouts rate. Investing that money in funds could give a return of far more. For instance the top 100 Hedge Funds in 2012 provided an average return of 20.2% (above the industry AVERAGE of 18.9%). Clearly therefore, it would be possible to borrow and earn provided 1) the initial borrowing was at a suitable rate AND 2) the fund was managed pro-actively with a medium to low risk strategy for investments.
       
      Defence – you think it’s a good idea to selfishly check out of mutual defence, lose the defence jobs, fail to spend the money in-country (any tanks, helos or planes made in Scotland? Nope.) and still expect all those neighbours you’ve just stiffed to help out, share intelligence and play nice? Fat chance.
       
      1) Scotland would be ‘checking out’ of mutual defence – we would be providing defence to Scotland and working with allies to ensure peace and safety across these islands and Europe. 
       
      2) Why would we lose defence jobs? Only 520 jobs are tied to Trident and the rest can be re-tasked to a Scottish defence force. Westminster is making cuts and ‘re-organisations’ to Scottish regiments regularly and only spend £1.4bn on defence in the country – despite Scotland contributing £3.4bn to the UK pot for defence – a figure that would increase to £2.5bn in the event of independence.
       
      3) Why would Scotland need tanks? We are on an island with only one neighbour with a land border. Anti-tank missiles would be a better buy. As for an airforce, you must have missed the plans to buy euro-fighters (made in Europe) and F35’s (made in the US), to add to the Chinook and Apache choppers from the U.S.
       
      4) As for sharing intelligence it’s a common interest thing. Scotland and England share a 97 mile long land border that, short of putting up a wall and patrolling it 24/7, is impossible to police. Clearly the best defence is to share intelligence and co-operate BEFORE people make it onto these islands.
       
      Oil prices going up? One word – shale. 
       
      I work in the Oil industry and let me assure you that Shale Oil is difficult and costly to extract. It is not going to kill oil price rises as consumption from the developing world will continue to outstrip new developments. 
       
      In addition to this, Oil prices are generally not based on production, but rather perceived threats to production. As more and more instability presents itself in the Middle East, combined with the dwindling stocks and increasingly difficult to extract resources, prices shall continue to be buoyant.
       
      Oil is used for FAR MORE than just fuel. One of the main products in which it is used is fertilizer. Without a steady supply of oil the worlds food resources could become more volatile. Rising populations mean more need for fertilizer. It all feeds into a rather depressingly worrying situation in the future, however a future that is unlikely to include oil prices bottoming out.
       
      Renewables “revenues” “boom”? Renewables don’t make revenue, they consume subsidies from you and me. Even once they get to breakeven for their owners, it’s a long time before they can be taxed to generate “revenue” for anyone else.
       
      Renewables use LESS subsidies than Nuclear power does over the life of the sites – Nuke build subsidies, protection (MOD Police etc…), insurance costs, decommissioning, storage; all run to BILLIONS. While it is true that Wind Farms need help to establish themselves, once in place they are cheap to maintain and their fuel (wind) is free – plus, if another fuel source comes along in future, the environment can be returned to its original state. 
       
      It has been predicted that offshore wind could be at parity with gas generation by the end of the decade as gas prices rise. Of course the UK gov want to stop that by backing fracking, but the environmental impact of this is horrifying.
       
      Oh, and one last point on an “oil fund”. Anytime any government of mine finds itself in possession of a vast unspent surplus, I want my share of that money back, right NOW. Tax cut or even a cheque. I’LL decide what to do with it and where to invest it.
       
      Oil and Gas is an asset that belongs to all the people of Scotland, not just the ones lucky enough to be paying tax at present.
       
      Tax breaks are merely spending that asset so that future generations cannot benefit from it.
       
      Alternatively look at Norway’s oil fund. By saving money they have ensured that over the long term their taxes will go down (as you wish), but that this shall be continual as the fund supports infrastructure and educational development for centuries to come.
       
      Its about doing whats best for society as a whole, not simply giving short term tax breaks to individuals so that they can be marginally better off at the expense of impoverishing the future society of Scotland.
       
      Anyone who believes in an “oil fund” is in fact in possession of a full-on “cringe”, because they believe ordinary Scots are too stupid to decide what to do with their own money.
       
      On the contrary, an oil fund is a belief that Scots can break the destructive me, me, me, now, now, now attitude that got us into boom and bust. It is taking a national asset (oil) and keeping that asset with the nation, for all time, in order that all Scots will benefit. 

    103. Rooster says:

      “Anyone who believes in an “oil fund” is in fact in possession of a full-on “cringe”, because they believe ordinary Scots are too stupid to decide what to do with their own money.”
      Do you equate knowledge of finance with intelligence?

    104. Vee says:

      Thank you Thank you!!

      Somebody sent me AD’s article & referred to it as “The Truth” 

      Now I can use a link to this page & mark it as The Truth that Uncovered the Lies”

      Great fisking skills, as ever.

    105. muttley79 says:

      @GH Graham

      Never, ever forget that Darling’s primary motive to retain the status quo is to preserve his  personal financial wellbeing with the hope of getting elected to a seat in the House of Lords or to a permanent but unelected role in government. Either way, he receives a generous, non negotiable income.
      Every single word & sentence that comes out of his mouth in defence of the Great British union is nothing more than a poorly camouflaged attempt to coerce the people of Scotland to inadvertently protect his own source of income.
       
      Telling like it is.  I wonder why all the MSM journalists have not even mentioned Darling’s obvious motives for wanting the preservation of the status quo?  Instead while Salmond is depicted as a monstrous dictator, Darling is presented as a noble figure.  There is no need to bring up the fact that he has been paid by private medical companies, or any point in highlighting his serial house flipping, and the fact that he was Chancellor when the economy went completely tits up.

    106. James Patterson says:

      Can’t decide if Pippa’s really such a ghastly person or just a troll – maybe she’s a tory  so she could be both I suppose.

    107. HandandShrimp says:

      Pippa
       
      You do come across as a card carrying member of the Tax Payers Alliance and they are Tories by any other name…..Regardless of view on independence most Scots 85%+ do not do Tories.  Pushing a Tory line is fine, just don’t expect it to be well received.

    108. Dcanmore says:

      Apologies if this has been seen before…
      Here is the UK Oil & Gas Activity Survey 2013. It quite a compelling read, full of optimism about the future of the industry in offshore UK. Here are some extracts.
       

      http://www.oilandgasuk.co.uk/cmsfiles/modules/publications/pdfs/EC037.pdf

      At the time of writing, companies have just under £100 billion of capital investment in their business plans… The prospect of investment on such a scale highlights the potential for the UK’s offshore oil and gas sector to boost economic activity and contribute to the country’s prosperity for many years to come.

      There is an over-riding case to maximise recovery of the UK’s oil and gas with 70 per cent of British energy requirements still likely to be met by oil and gas into the 2040s and the urgent need to identify and promote drivers for economic growth.

      In addition, there is the potential for another £30billion of investments directed at projects with a 50 per cent or greater chance of development… Looking ahead 30 new fields (around one billion barrels) are anticipated to come on stream over the next two years… It is anticipated that production (overall) will rise to two million barrels per day or above by 2017, or earlier if new developments come on stream in a timely fashion.

      This, as they talk about, is an industry that’s expanding around the UK (ie mostly Scotland), not contracting in ever-decreasing circles as the Unionist mob will tell us. The report highlights the massive amount of future drilling to come with 53 exploration wells to be drilled in 2014 alone with the West of Shetland gearing up for an increase in activity. 

    109. Doug says:

      Beautiful takedown of the nonsense from Pippa.
       
      I get this sort of nonsense from my more reactionary/conservative friends.  They seem to think I am totally mad for wanting a society where the well-off (I am very much here as a GP) are properly taxed and the poor are protected.  They think they work quite hard enough for the money and that the government shouldn’t touch it.

    110. Pippa says:

      Oh gawd, there really are people here who would trust the government – Swinney – to invest their money better than they could.
       
      People who think that a Scottish “oil fund” could make 20% when the Norwegian one makes, er, 4%.
       
      People who think that an “independent” Scotland could continue to borrow at the same rate as the UK. Oddly enough, financial markets don’t let new states do that.
       
      People who really think that there are only 520 jobs associated with Trident. Wonder what the other 6000 at Faslane do then? Paint the minesweepers?
       
      People who call me “selfish” for suggesting that I’m best placed to decide what to do with any putative surplus generated from my taxes. Tell you what, 20% to Oxfam, 25% to Shelter, 25% to cancer research and the rest for my own family. OK with you? Not that I really care.

    111. handclapping says:

      What happened to the Conservative view that one should be self-reliant? When did it morph into you should be self-reliant except if you’re Scotland?
       
      Why should England not be self-reliant too, insted of relying on our oil revenues to fund HS2, Olympics and London sewers?
       
      Pushing it to its logical conclusion, why are the Scottish Conservatives not supporting a Yes vote?

    112. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Oddly enough, financial markets don’t let new states do that.”

      Financial markets don’t set their rates according to how “new” an applicant is, but by how secure their loan will be.

      “People who really think that there are only 520 jobs associated with Trident.”

      …are correct. You know that Faslane is a naval base, not just a Trident repair shop, right?

      “People who call me “selfish” for suggesting that I’m best placed to decide what to do with any putative surplus generated from my taxes.”

      …are being generous. You’re not bright enough to be selfish.

    113. muttley79 says:

      @Pippa

      People who really think that there are only 520 jobs associated with Trident.
       
      TELL THAT TO THE MOD AS THEY WERE THE ONES WHO GAVE THAT FIGURE.

      People who call me “selfish” for suggesting that I’m best placed to decide what to do with any putative surplus generated from my taxes. Tell you what, 20% to Oxfam, 25% to Shelter, 25% to cancer research and the rest for my own family. OK with you? Not that I really care.  
       
      Giving to charity is not the same as paying sufficient taxation to ensure a good society though.  You appear to want a return to the Victorian age with the rhetoric you are espousing.  This whole ‘charity’ schtick the uber rich use to assuage their guilt is really getting wearing.  Jimmy Saville was big on charity.  It is not an viable indicator of what a person is like.

    114. southernscot says:

      pippa, don’t forget Red Cross as now operating in UK first time since 1945. 

    115. handclapping says:

      Oh I agree with Pippa; Scotland could not borrow at the rate of £120 billion per year. You need a very special person to do that. Step forward Alistair Darling and Gideon Osborne and take the applause of the bankers.

    116. Edward says:

      Callum
      “One of my previous companies paid 15% import duty on parts manufactured abroad!”

      That is quite an exceptional rate of duty, as the highest, I’ve encountered has been for textile goods. (I’m in the shipping business).

      But your right revenues will be an important input into the Scottish Exchequer. Duty rates vary depending on commodity, some don’t even have Duty as the rate is 0%. But on top of the Duty, you have VAT, which is calculated on the landed value (Freight cost and supplier invoice value) plus any duty paid.

      There is data on values of imports as well as exports, provided by HMRC, but as has been previously pointed out its done on a ‘UK Regional’ basis. For example you can see values of imports that arrived into Scottish ports, but you cant see the values of Scottish imports that arrive and clear ant English ports.

    117. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      @ Pippa
       
      Oh gawd, there really are people here who would trust the government – Swinney – to invest their money better than they could.
       
      Its not their money, its the wealth of the nation – not an individuals. You dont own the oil and gas, the nation does.
       
      People who think that a Scottish “oil fund” could make 20% when the Norwegian one makes, er, 4%.
       
      Nope. I said that the top performing funds get that. Clearly therefore it is possible to borrow low and invest wisely as opposed to your strange notion that we would borrow at bond market rates and be so useless at managing our own resources as to fail to make a return.
       
      People who think that an “independent” Scotland could continue to borrow at the same rate as the UK. Oddly enough, financial markets don’t let new states do that.
       
      Scotland would have a lower debt to gdp ratio than the UK, a balance of payment surplus and a £1.5 trillion asset (in the form of oil and gas) to ensure that they are viewed as a VERY safe bet for repayment – hence high credit rating.
       
      People who really think that there are only 520 jobs associated with Trident. Wonder what the other 6000 at Faslane do then? Paint the minesweepers?
       
      It doesnt matter a jot what they do at present. They can be RE-TASKED to a new role in the Scottish Defence force. The point is that presently they are not dependent on Trident for their jobs. It was the defence secretary himself who confirmed that only 520 jobs rely on Trident in response to a parliamentary question.
       
      People who call me “selfish” for suggesting that I’m best placed to decide what to do with any putative surplus generated from my taxes. Tell you what, 20% to Oxfam, 25% to Shelter, 25% to cancer research and the rest for my own family. OK with you? Not that I really care.
       
      OR how about – properly funded NHS, social housing, research and development, education and improvements to civic spaces that you and your family can enjoy… with everyone else.

    118. HenBroon says:

      Once upon a time, a long time ago, there was  a Unionist politician, who rose from being a poor councillor in Scotland, to the most pwerfull man in the land, The Chancellor! He had white hair and  bushy black eyebrows,  that bounced up and down when he lied, he liked his expenses, his second home in London, which he flipped six times,  and of course he liked being in power, he was born in England, he even hoped to be rewarded one day with an Ermine Robe.

       Once he thought he would play a trick on the people of Scotland and have some fun at their expense and try to keep his cushy job.  So he ran toward the Main Stream Media crying out, with all his might,–

      “Don’t vote for Independence! You’re Too Wee and Too Poor! I will give you Union Jam tomorrow if you vote no”

      Some of the people of Scotland listened and heeded his words.  But after they voted no the Unionist politician laughed at them for their pains; there was no Union Jam.

      Still another day the Unionist politician tried the same trick, and the people of Scotland listened and heeded his words again and got laughed at again and they still had no Union Jam.

      Then one day in 2014, there was a referendum on Scottish Independence. In great fright, the Unionist politician ran as fast as he could towards the Main Stream Media.

      “Don’t vote for Independence! You’re Too Wee and Too Poor! I will give you Union Jam tomorrow if you vote no” he screamed out loud. “The oil will run out and there’s no going back!” he shouted out with all his might.

      The people of Scotland heard him, but they thought it was another mean trick; no one paid the least attention, or went near him. They voted Yes in 2014 and gained their Independence, the Unionist politician lost his job, his second home and even his expenses and of course he would never gain what he craved most an Ermine Robe.

      That is the kind of thing that happens to people who lie: even when they tell the truth no one believes them. 

      And so: We were told before the referendum on devolution
      that we would see the sky come down on Scotland if we dared to vote
      for it, we did anyway. The polls were wrong. The sky stayed up.

      We were told before the election in 2007 that the
      sky would come down on Scotland if we dared to vote the SNP in to
      power. We did anyway. The polls were wrong the sky stayed up.

      We were told before the election in 2011 that the
      sky would come down on Scotland if we dared to vote the SNP in to
      power. We did anyway. The polls were spectacularly wrong the sky
      stayed up.

      Alex Salmond is still the most popular politician
      in the UK. 75% of those asked in a recent poll trusted the SNP
      Scottish government, considerably more than the 18% who said they
      trusted the London government on Scottish politics.

      Pretty good for a Government in mid term, who have
      the unrelenting unionist MSM to fight also.

      The sight and sound of BBC Scotland’s pet professor Curtice and Gordon Brewer on Newsnicht, assuring each other that the poll suggesting  an SNP landslide in last years election was just a rogue poll, and that all would be well the status quo would prevail and Salmond would be put back in his box. Trebles all round.

      My sides are still sore from laughing.

      On election night they both looked as if they had been sooking lemons, along with the white faced terror stricken Iain Gray. Aye the killing fields Iain eh!

      VOTE YES FOR SCOTLAND’S FUTURE.

    119. Doug says:

      “not that I really care”  Except that you do?  Otherwise you wouldn’t be on here posting.  
       
      For what it is worth, Shelter/Oxfam (like food banks) should not need to exist.  They represent good people doing a good job of trying to correct structural failings in society(ies).  I would rather we lived in a country/world that treated its poor with dignity, allowed them to live in good housing, allowed them to be able to buy enough food to survive.  We have enough material resources to make hunger/poverty things of the past.

      I earn a good wage, live in a nice house, pay a good amount of tax.  I would happily pay more if it would lead to that better society.  Equally, I would prefer to see our natural resources marshalled in a way that led to a good future for all our children (not just mine – if I am lucky enough to have any).
       
      We should probably just agree to differ.  I will not persuade you to think differently.  However, I feel that your attitude/mindset is both a symptom and a cause of the inequalities that have led to the malaise/suffering we see all around us and should not go unchallenged.

    120. Edward says:

      HenBroon
      Funny you mention A Darling. I remember well when he was an Edinburgh councillor, apparently he wasn’t that good a lawyer. Turns out he wasn’t that good a councillor either. The Labour city council gave A Darling the job of Transport convener in charge of the then City of Edinburgh Buses. He made a dogs ear of that. So Young Darling was moved on up the greasy pole and was elected to the House of Commons.

      At the time all buses of the City of Edinburgh carried the Transport conveners name. So you would see A Darling on the lower panel of each bus. Coincidently other failed Labour Transport conveners that had their names on the buses were B. Wilson and D Begg

    121. handclapping says:

      Pippa’s got UKIP written all over her.
      (I know tatoos are in fashion but …)
       
      IMO (s)he is too extreme even for UKIP. Probably hoping to start the BTP – British Tea Party.
       
      Apologies to Pandas everywhere 🙂

    122. Pippa says:

      “TELL THAT TO THE MOD AS THEY WERE THE ONES WHO GAVE THAT FIGURE.”
       
      http://www.royalnavy.mod.uk/The-Fleet/Naval-Bases/Clyde
       
      “More than 6,500 civilians and Service personnel are employed on the site.”
       
      Wups! Nat fail, etc.
       
      Unless you really think the other 6000 are busy painting the 8 minesweepers?

    123. Dcanmore says:

      Tell me Pippa, why do you think Scotland could NOT be a successful independent country such as say Denmark (almost the same population) surrounded by sea but half the land mass, a little land border, and much less natural resources available. What is it that the Danish can do but the Scots can’t do?

    124. Pippa says:

      “Clearly therefore it is possible to borrow low and invest wisely as opposed to your strange notion that we would borrow at bond market rates”
       
      If you really think that a “Scottish” “oil fund” will be able to get more than the 4% the Norwegian one achieves, then I have some choice opportunities in Florida real estate for you. Oh, and a bridge in Brooklyn.
       
      Please get in touch ASAP.

    125. muttley79 says:

      @Pippa
       
      You still have not grasped that Faslane is a naval base, as well as a base for Trident.  The MOD did actually say that there were only around 500 jobs dependent on Trident.  UKIP/Tory British Nat fail!..

    126. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Unless you really think the other 6000 are busy painting the 8 minesweepers?”

      Say that again. I dare you.

    127. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      @Pippa
       
      “More than 6,500 civilians and Service personnel are employed on the site.”
       
      YES… now you are getting it…
       
      They are employed on the site doing things that dont relate to Trident!
       
      After independence they will STILL be employed onthe site doing different things that dont relate to Trident.

    128. annie says:

      Handclapping – of course your right, having read the Rev’s and Sneekyboy’s demolition of her arguments it is obvious that while it will probably make no impression on her it could on other sceptical readers. 

    129. Murray McCallum says:

      Pippa why don’t you read the description in the website you linked?
       
      “It is home to the core of the Submarine Service, including the nation’s nuclear deterrent, and the new generation of hunter-killer submarines. More than 6,500 civilians and Service personnel are employed on the site. HMNB Clyde provides a base port to the ships and submarines of the Faslane Flotilla (FASFLOT) and supports dozens of other visiting vessels each year.”
       
      Faslane does more than service Trident WMDs.

    130. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “OR how about – properly funded NHS, social housing, research and development, education and improvements to civic spaces that you and your family can enjoy… with everyone else.”

      I don’t think you understand, Scott. Pippa isn’t sick, so there’s no need for an NHS. Her house isn’t on fire, so there’s no need for a Fire Brigade. She’s not being mugged, so why should she pay for police? She gets all the information she needs from the Daily Mail and the Financial Times, so why should her money be wasted on libraries she doesn’t use?

    131. Dcanmore says:

      Pippa your argument is about Faslane is simply wrong. You assume that Faslane will be closed in the event of Independence and those thousands will be made unemployed. Scotland needs a main navy base to house its own navy. That navy will have around 50 vessels in total, with about a dozen with blue water capability. The MOD is correct in saying that Trident removal will effect 500-odd jobs, the other ‘thousands’ are connected to the running of base itself, not the submarines. Those thousands will still be needed to run the base at it stands in an independent Scotland, instead of nuclear subs, there will be conventional ships.

    132. Tom Hogg says:

      Epic trolling. Kudos.

    133. muttley79 says:

      You know I think Pippa could very well be part of Godfrey Bloom’s barmy army!.. 😀 😀

    134. Edward says:

      I wonder if Pippa has any more pseudo facts that she wants to through in to get minced up
       
      Frankly Pippa may be a nice person, but from what I’ve ready is totally misguided, whether she will learn anything to change her perspective, somehow I doubt

    135. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      @Pippa

      Temasek, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund, has made a compounded nominal annual return of 13 per cent in the past decade while the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority has returned 7.6 per cent a year over the past 20 years

      Meanwhile, the Norwegian fund is invested in ethical and low risk ventures so returns less.

      Also, you seem to be under the delusion that Scotland would be permanently borrowing to put in the oil fund… er, no.

      The borrowing would only be at the start to set up the fund and get it rolling.

    136. Patrick Roden says:

      Pippa,
      If you or me get a bit extra from the government as a result of them making extra money from Scotland’s oil wealth, then it would be great but would not benefit Scotland as much as an oil fund would.

      Simple economics tells you that if the government accumulate a large oil fund then invest this money, the money earned from the interest would eventually make Scotland more  cash than the oil!

      Oh and you mention that you feel you are entitled to spend your own tax money as you see fit, but this money wouldn’t come from your taxes it would come from the money made from Oil revenues, so it’s not your money in the first place.

      I can’t help thinking your from the south of England and perhaps a Tory/Ukip type though Pippa, because your complete lack of interest in other people in your community and only seeing your own interests in any future financial decision, does reflect a very selfish right wing ideology, that is soundly rejected in Scotland.

    137. The Flamster says:

      Excellent article Stuart.
       
      Pippa had a two line comment on the previous article but it must have been missed with all the debating over a swear word.

    138. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      @Pippa
       
      The Norwegian Wealth fund quadrupled in size since 2005 
       
      I bet they are gutted at last years 4% though… 

    139. muttley79 says:

      I should add I was referring to Bloom’s recent actions (such as the Michael Crick incident) rather than any moronic comments he made.

    140. Pippa says:

      “They are employed on the site doing things that dont relate to Trident!”
       
      Er, like what?
       
      The “520 civilian jobs” figure is instantly shown up by the fact that there are 4 Trident subs.
       
      Each with two crews of 135 each. Oooo, that makes 135 x 8 = 1080 bods straight off.
       
      The “520” number is the civilian posts directly associated with the UGM-133A weapon itself, not those supporting the Vanguard-class weapon system as a whole.
       
      What else do you think the 6500 people do? The only other assets deployed at Faslane are 8 minesweepers.

    141. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      Sorry… should have read
       
      “I bet they are gutted at last years 4% increase… above inflation” 
       
      My bad.

    142. muttley79 says:

      @Pippa

      Take it up with the MOD then as it is their figure, nothing to do with us.

    143. Pippa Says :
      Once again guys the lady (? eh sure ) has pointed out to us Scots that Scotland having Oil reserves is a bad thing (uniquely)  – don’t you get it ? But Britain using/stealing Scotlands oil reserves (for decades) is a good thing. Keep saying it over and over and you will get it eventually.
      Come on you must get this surely ?
      We’re the bad guys remember – we don’t deserve the oil revenue; we’d just pish it up a wall anyway.
      Pippa makes a good point – take the telling. OIL IS BAD !

    144. Seanair says:

      Hen Broon
      You missed out that Darling was born into a wealthy family and was educated at an expensive private school (Loretto–same as another failed Chancellor, Norman Lamont).
      He then had a brainstorm and became a Marxist, but recovered and  remembered that the path to wealth and the House of Lords was by way of the Labour Party–where else?

    145. Jingly Jangly says:

      Pippa, re Norwegian oil fund and borrowing to invest.
      The  Return on investment figures for Norways oil fund are available online they show that Norway are getting back more from there investment  than they are paying in  borrowing. Presently the rate Norway borrows at is 2.9% and the return on investments excluding real estate for the “Oil Fund”  in 2012 was  13.2% 
      Norway was borrowing at less than 2.9% last year, all countries “Bond” rates have gone up as the markets see more risk in lending to Countries.
      Basically then you are financially  illiterate as Darling, Brown and Osbourne, so we will not listen to you telling us that Mr Swinney who has balanced the books since taking office in 2007 (Did Darling and Osbourne manage that?) does not know what he is talking about. 

    146. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The “520 civilian jobs” figure is instantly shown up by the fact that there are 4 Trident subs.
      Each with two crews of 135 each. Oooo, that makes 135 x 8 = 1080 bods straight off.”

      NEWSFLASH FOR PIPPA: submarine crews are not “civilians”.

    147. scottish_skier says:

      I see Pippa’s oot tae single-handedly save the union by converting Scotland to extreme right-wing nuclear neoliberalism one web blog comment at a time.
       
      Quite some task that.

    148. gordoz says:

      Pippa / Lets simplify things:
      Britain Good – Scotland Bad (very Bad) Yes ?
      (Do you work for BBC Scotland by the way ?)
       

    149. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      HandandShimp
       
      The TPA is the Tory Party at preyer and I did not make a mistake in the spelling.

    150. G H Graham says:

      Stairheid (Candidate for First Minister of Scotland) says …
       
      Wurr aw part of a big society which wiz whit Ed Molybdenum wiz dibaytin last month. Ye’ see, clubbing aw the pocket money the gither gees us a chance tae spread the munnay aboot for stuff ye want. So Alister Darlin is jist sayin the same stuff cuz he know whit he’s talkin aboot cuz he wiz in charge o’ the war chest an’ ‘at doon in London. He’s the bloke ye want when yer bank goes tits up & ye canny cash yer Giro. Knows sum shit aboot munny even yer granny couldnae figure oot on a packet o’ fags.
       
      Yoos sepratists just want mare munny for stuff we dinnae want like tartan lamp posts & Gaelic speakin tattoo parlours. An’ dishin oot Tea Cakes tae celebs fur votes wullnae wash wi me neither.  
       
      Aye, withoot blokes like Darlin, we’d a’ be doon the swanny. Scoatland might be as shite as a wet weekend but wurr just no qualified tae be daein oor own stuff. Right mac?

    151. Murray McCallum says:

      Stairheid (Candidate for First Minister of Scotland) says …
      “wurr just no qualified tae be daein oor own stuff.”
       
      Mrs Stairheid – I suspect that would be Pipa’s next line of attack regarding defense. What would a bunch of Scots do with a naval base given they are surrounded by sea and their most valuable assets (not liabilities) are found at sea?

    152. gordoz says:

      O/T From YES Scotland website.

      C4 News – According to Eric Schlosser (US Author & journalist), the British Government has been even more secretive about accidents than US involving nuclear weapons.  

      As for the weapons on the Clyde, Mr Schlosser tells interviewer John Snow that “The Trident missile system, which is the principal nuclear weapon that Great Britain has, has some safety issues that were revealed in a report to Congress more than 20 years ago” and concludes – “I hope in Scotland that they’re very careful when loading and unloading the missiles.”

      Nuclear weapons of mass destruction are monumentally expensive, useless, immoral and, it appears, arguably a bigger risk to safety than any threatened attack.

      Since your so proud of it, maybe we can deliver Trident sytem to your locale Pippa – just need an address

    153. Davy says:

      First thank you, for not putting in a picture of Darling I would like to keep my tea down.
      I would bet that come independence we will not see Darling for dust, he will bugger off back south as fast as he can, who honestly would believe anything said by him about Scotlands economy after what he did to the UK economy.
      Even calling him “flipper” does not do him justice for his dishonesty with his expenses, how he got off with that is beyond believe. The quicker he go’s the better for Scotland.

    154. Nan says:

      I think pippa must be a ” yes ” plant, tasked with showing how stupid the unionist argument is.

    155. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I hesitate to intervene to stop Pippa making a total arse of herself. The crews on the submarines are not part of the workforce at Faslane.

      As the SNP has pointed out an independent Scottish navy (around the size for instance of the Norwegian one with 70 vessels) will use Faslane and probably have to extend it

    156. Albert Herring says:

      Trident submarines manned by civilians? They’ll all be G4S employees, right?

    157. Caroline Corfield says:

      going back a bit to the postal voting I found this too
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-bradford-west-yorkshire-11204720
      I knew there had been a Labour scam but I could only recall Bradford, so did a search for that and look what popped up. 
      I bet both sets justified it to themselves, probably along of the lines of “it’s really mine, I deserve it” sounds awfy familiar having trawled down to the comment box now…

    158. Edward says:

      I have now come to the conclusion that the troll known as ‘Pippa’ is either an agent provocateur or just mind numbingly thick (or both)

      Pippa really doesn’t want to accept facts, such as the actual number of CIVLIANS employed from the local area being 520. A figure that was recognised after a survey carried out jointly by the STUC and CND. The figure bandied about coming from the MOD INCLUDES Military personnel and includes the 520 CIVILIANS. It should be noted that ACTUAL numbers of Military personnel is likely to be less due to cut backs by London

      I doubt very much that ANY of the local civilians are ‘hand’s on’ the actually missile systems

      What Pippa has to get into her thick skull is the fact that Trident Nuclear weapons are not needed nor wanted in Scotland. Scotland will have a conventional naval force that will use Faslane. Because it is conventional and because the number of surface vessel will be more than the current number of Trident and other vessels deployed, will need more civilians locally!

    159. Thepnr says:

      Pippa’s posts just show how little credence should be given to the usual BT arguments.

      Statements are not facts and the lies and contradictions are easily exposed, we could do with more of this as the rebuttals given in the responses show the original poster up as just another blethering bawbag.
       
      The highlight was that civilian crews are manning the UK’s Trident nuclear deterrent, I never knew that!

    160. Hetty says:

      ‘Pippa’ already knows just what sort of ‘Union’ we would be subjected to, and how many jobs will be lost for the sake of the rich boys in London. Er who destroyed Scotland’s industries and put thousands out of work without a care during Thatcher’s time? Who is forcing people onto the dole now, introducing zero hours, undermining people’s basic needs and shafting the young and vulnerable especially? ‘Pippa’ knows the answer to that.
      (S)he sounds like (S)he wants a place in westminster government after the next general election, or as an msm journalist, good luck pet!

    161. HandandShrimp says:

      NEWSFLASH FOR PIPPA: submarine crews are not “civilians”.
       
      Ah but they would be if Pippa was running the country – Atos probably.

    162. handclapping says:

      Please note the 520 are just described as civilians. Do not forget that the storage and secondary care of the UK’s nuclear warheads at Coulport has been outsourced to Yank contractors.

    163. Pippa says:

      Well, despite the abuse I note that nobody has come up with any coherent explanation of what 6500 people are doing at Faslane if only “520 civilians” work on “Trident” and the only other assets there are 8 minesweepers.

      I see there’s a suggestion that the “non-civilian” jobs don’t count. Like those people don’t eat, drink, go out and spend dosh in shops, etc etc.

      And returning to the original point, nobody’s expressed any support for the Swinney notion of borrowing at a higher interest rate to invest at a lower one. Odd that. Did I see a suggestion that the Scottish “oil fund” would be invested non-ethically to get a higher return? Quelle choque, quelle horreur!

      Must go for a while. Lessons to prepare.

    164. Ken500 says:

      Collecting Postal votes on the door step is Electrol Fraud. Votes are not tranferable. Gerrymandering. It is a matter of complaints to the Police and investigation, and the appropriate action to be taken. The Scottish gov could easily (if it has the power) to deal with this. The Scottish gov should have the power to deal with this, under the terms of the Referendum arrangement.

    165. Thepnr says:

      Pippa I hope these lessons are for BT managers and supporters. I wish you well.

    166. gordoz says:

      Very little abuse but notice you did not answer my direct questions Pippa so..?

    167. HandandShrimp says:

      I don’t have an issue with Pippa’s neo-conservative Tea Party stuff – it is pretty much bog standard wares on that front. It cuts little ice with the Scottish electorate. What I do find incredible is that Labour jumped into bed without so much as batting an eyelid with such views. Better Together is not funded by Labour or Labour supporters (although Labour is supposed to supply the voting fodder) Better Together is funded by the Tories and individuals that are actually pretty much of the right in the Tory Party at that.

    168. Dramfineday says:

      Good article, aptly entitled and with a full on disciple of the Westminster system and A Darling’s mendacity, as an extra added bonus. That’s what I call a real value article Rev.

    169. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I note that nobody has come up with any coherent explanation of what 6500 people are doing at Faslane if only “520 civilians” work on “Trident” and the only other assets there are 8 minesweepers.”

      Perhaps because people foolishly assumed you might have the wit to be able to use Google.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMNB_Clyde

      http://www.nuclearinfo.org/article/uk-trident-operational-berths/ministry-defence-reveals-just-520-faslane-jobs-depend-trident

      “MoD replied that “there are 520 civilian jobs at Her Majesty’s Naval Base (HMNB) Clyde, including Coulport and Faslane, that directly rely upon the Trident programme”. MoD employs 159 personnel at the Clyde base, with private contractors Babcock Marine and Lockheed Martin UK Strategic Systems employing 254 and 107 people respectively. The majority of the jobs are for engineering and science specialists.”

      “About 3,500 of the jobs at the Clyde base are uniformed Royal Navy personnel, 1,700 are contractors and 1,600 are other civilian employees, most of whom work principally on other aspects of the Navy’s submarine programme, rather than Trident.”

      That took me all of 60 seconds, including the cut-and-pasting. Anything else you’d like us to do for you? Chin need wiping? Shoelaces all tied?

    170. Ken500 says:

      The UK gov is borrowing at a higher rate and lending at a lower rate.

      Selling Gov bonds at 2.5% and lending at 1%. Along with printing money, increasing the cost of living. Currency exchange makes exports cheaper and imports dearer. One of the reason for the increase in cost of importing Gas/fuel. One reason for the increase in energy costs for households.

      The Pound has fallen in value against the Euro and other currencies. Was £1 = 1.44 Now £1 = £1.20.

    171. handclapping says:

      @Pippa
      By your own reckoning some 1000 are the crews of the Vanguard boats. They are not civilians. They are part of the total cost of the Trident “independent” nuclear deterrent program for which we are charged as part of the £3 billion ascribed to us as our “share” of the cost of the UK MoD budget. These boats could sail away and be based in Devonport with the other nuclear Astute boats within a week. We do not know where these crew members, or even the Admiral,  call home or are paid but certainly not all in Scotland so it is foolish (deliberately or otherwise) to imply that the total wage bill is then respent in the local economy.
       
      What you fail to see is that the facilities at Faslane are also suitable as the HQ for the naval forces of an independent Scotland and proposals have been made for it to be just so in an iScotland and as such it would employ around 5000 comprised of Scottish naval personnel and civilians.
       
      For what your remaining 5000 do at Faslane you should apply to the UK MoD. You can then deliver an argument based on facts and we will listen.

    172. Edward says:

      Slightly O/T
      Anyone seen a this new (new to me anyway) blog
      called 3 men in a blog. Main view is presenting a weekly video review of FMQ’s and other interests http://3meninablog.wordpress.com/ 

    173. MajorBloodnok says:

      So let’s get this straight.  There are 6,500 people employed at Faslane, etc., of which 520 work on Trident.
       
      After independence a) the 520 Trident related jobs at Faslane will go – possibly to England or elsewhere; however, b) Faslane will still be a naval base for the Scottish Navy and will very likely expand considering that there are no (as I understand it) significant Royal Navy vessels actually based in Scotland currently, apart from the those submarines.
       
      Therefore, this scenario will likely mean more jobs at Faslane rather than less, unless you (I’m looking at you, Pippa) think Scotland is congenitally incapable of having a navy?  Perhaps you do.
       
      Simples.
       
      PS If Finland can do the non-nuclear independence thing successfully, so can we – and they don’t even have oil.

    174. Pippa says:

      “About 3,500 of the jobs at the Clyde base are uniformed Royal Navy personnel, 1,700 are contractors and 1,600 are other civilian employees, most of whom work principally on other aspects of the Navy’s submarine programme, rather than Trident.”
       
      Excellent. Well done. Just like I said. All those bods are working on “submarine” work, not the Trident weapons themselves.
       
      So, in an “independent” Scotland without any subs, all those jobs would be lost. Wouldn’t they?

    175. muttley79 says:

      Is that hole you are digging getting any deeper Pippa?

    176. handclapping says:

      Naughty Pippa
      “All those bods are working on submarine work” is not the same as “most of whom work principally on other aspects of the Navy’s submarine program”
       
      Offhand I can only think of the Rolls Royce people working on the nuclear propulsion units whose skills would not be transferable to the maintenance of surface vessels.

    177. Edward says:

      Pippa
      Apart from the cherry picking of facts, you still really don’t get it.
      The Scottish Navy would be a conventional one, that is NO NUCLEAR SUBS with Nuclear weapons. do you understand that concept?
      The Scottish Navy will require MORE personnel due to the fact that more naval ships will be based in Scotland, most of which will be in Faslane Coulport as well as Rosyth
      Scotland currently is lacking in patrol ships, it will get more as it will have to patrol both the North Sea area (likely out of Rosyth) and the Atlantic and near ocean down the West coast and that will be out of Faslane.
      Now more ships means more personnel , do you understand that concept?
      Scotland will also be able to take advantage of the oil that was discovered in the Firth of Clyde in the 80’s, but was blocked by the MOD, due to the proximity of the Nuclear weapons  on the Clyde. So take away the weapons and we free up the Clyde Do you understand that concept?
       

    178. Murray McCallum says:

      There seems to be confusion that all submarines are nuclear (zero conventional) and that surface ships need no personnel?

    179. HandandShrimp says:

      So, in an “independent” Scotland without any subs, all those jobs would be lost. Wouldn’t they?
       
      In short, No. A naval base will be required and it will be required to be maintained. A lot of those jobs relate to keeping the base running. Your assumption only carries if you assume that Scotland will have no military. If it has a navy, airforce and army it will require at least one naval base and one air base plus barracks. Due to all the cutbacks that is precisely what Scotland is left with, one naval base and one air base. Some jobs at Faslane will change a little, maintaining and replenishing surface vessels is not identical to submarines but it still requires much that is the same. The base will require guards and maintenance crews and marines and fitters and weapons maintenance crews and crane handlers and fork lift truck drivers and all the rest that is required in a busy port (whether naval or civilian). The submarine personnel and the submarines will depart that is all. The weapons storage facility at Coulport will cough up its nuclear warheads and it will go back to what it did before which provide conventional weapon storage and routine maintenance.

    180. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Excellent. Well done. Just like I said. All those bods are working on “submarine” work, not the Trident weapons themselves.”

      Oh dear Christ you’re stupid.

      (1) Trident subs are not the only subs at Faslane. It’s also the base for the Astute-class non-nuclear-armed vessels.

      (2) “Uniformed Royal Navy personnel” – the majority of people employed at Faslane – will remain as such. They’ll either stay in the rUK navy with their boats, wherever they get relocated to, or move to the new independent Scottish navy. The rUK is unlikely to just scuttle the Astute-class subs in the Holy Loch if Scotland becomes independent, they’ll still need to be crewed.

      (3) An independent Scotland will have other ships based at Faslane, including some manner of frigates, destroyers etc. There are likely to be considerably MORE naval jobs in total, between the rUK and Scotland, as a result of independence, and the need for at least as many civilian support staff as there are now.

      I see the Major has already pointed most of this out, but clearly you need to be told everything several times over, so what the hey.

    181. Doug Daniel says:

      This almost feels like bullying. Come on folks, Pippa can’t help being thick as pigshit. It’s not her fault that she swallows every piece of nonsense the No campaign pump out like it’s oxygen, like the right-wing dingbat that she is.

    182. HandandShrimp says:

      The bottom line is that Pippa buys into the too wee, too poor too stupid line. An independent Scotland would only be able to afford a dinghy and a broom handle to defend her territorial waters and therefore the navy would operate from Crail harbour.
       
      That is the long and short of every Unionist argument/scare story. The fact that Estonia or Denmark or Norway or Belgium all have navies is irrelevant…we are simply too useless to run a country and need our hand held by our neighbours.

    183. MajorBloodnok says:

      @DD
       
      She’s quite good at it though – maybe she’s a speech writer for Alistair Darling; or prepares the ‘lessons’ for Ms Lamont.

    184. Edward says:

      Here is current UK SUB Fleet
      Astute Class Submarines
      HMS ASTUTE      Nuclear Powered             Launched 2007  Homeport : CLYDE
      HMS AMBUSH   Nuclear Powered             Launched 2011  Homeport : CLYDE
      Trafalgar Class Submarines (being phased out and replaced by Astute Class)
      HMS TIRELESS                    Nuclear Powered             Launched 1984  Homeport : PLYMOUTH
      HMS TORBAY                     Nuclear Powered             Launched 1987  Homeport : PLYMOUTH
      HMS TRENCHANT            Nuclear Powered             Launched 1986  Homeport : PLYMOUTH
      HMS TALENT                      Nuclear Powered             Launched 1988  Homeport : PLYMOUTH
      HMS TRIUMPH                  Nuclear Powered             Launched 1991  Homeport : PLYMOUTH
       
      Vanguard Class Trident Ballistic Missile Submarines
      HMS VANGUARD             Nuclear Powered             Launched 1992  Homeport : CLYDE
      HMS VICTORIOUS            Nuclear Powered             Launched 1993  Homeport : CLYDE
      HMS VIGILANT                  Nuclear Powered             Launched 1995  Homeport : CLYDE
      HMS VENGEANCE            Nuclear Powered             Launched 1998  Homeport : CLYDE (Currently in Devonport for refit since 2012)
       

    185. handclapping says:

      Come on Doug Daniel, no need to be rude. Remember that there are some people taking lessons from her and looking up* to her. Remember how hard it was when you were told there was no Santa Claus and think of their feelings when they find out their mentor is a Tea Party short of a 4th of July celebration.
       
      *I know my place.

    186. Alan MacD says:

      “Must go for a while. Lessons to prepare.”
      Dear god, are you a teacher?

    187. Pippa says:

      “Oh dear Christ you’re stupid.
      (1) Trident subs are not the only subs at Faslane. It’s also the base for the Astute-class non-nuclear-armed vessels.”
       
      As one of your mates has just pointed out, the conventional SSNs haven’t moved to Faslane yet.
       
      “Oh dear Christ, you’re …..”
       
      At least I don’t pretend to be a “professional” journalist.
       
      Or even a “Reverend”.

    188. For die says:

      Oh dear, poor passive-aggressive Pippa. Wouldn’t it be nice if more don’t knowers even gasp, NOers came here to actually debate rather than lecture. Does that ring a bell? Pippa, refer yourself to the Common Weal project if only to understand what, in large part, drives us Yes folks. Aside from the need and responsibility  to govern our own country. Thanks to you all for usual fab rebuttals.
      Re. Postal votes. Political parties should not be allowed to be involved, full stop. Aside from the opportunity to directly abuse the system it leaves open coercion ie if we arrange it for you, you’ll vote for us. Right. Subliminal. Sort of the same when driving folks to the polling station. Unfortunate but true.
       

    189. Famous15 says:

      @Pippa ,you are no dingbat since you have skillfully diverted attention from Darling disgracefully subverting the truth to attack the best hope Scotland will have this century to achieve independence. I would like to call you that word but I won’t. Oh yes I will the word is troll.

    190. For die says:

      @pippa Oops forgot to say. Liked your attempt to flip the TW, TP, Too Stupid argument. Try again. Too transparent.

    191. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Conan
      I think she maybe a nursery teacher. Does that ring a bell down Medway, where they hang monkeys because they are French?

    192. beachthistle says:

      (Another example (in Blackburn) of postal voting jiggery-pokery by the redcoats http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/06/new_labour_post/ )

    193. Dan huil says:

      It used to be said of Thatcherites that they knew the cost of everything but the value of nothing.
      With unionists it seems they don’t even know the cost.

    194. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      @BTP
       
      sm753 is a teacher…

    195. handclapping says:

      @Pippa
      Trident subs are not the only subs at Faslane. It’s also the base for the Astute-class non-nuclear-armed vessels.”
       
      As one of your mates has just pointed out, the conventional SSNs haven’t moved to Faslane yet.
       
      Matbe you suffer a special form of dyslexia that letters only shapethemselves into the words you want to see, that apart, such a delberate non-sequitur is proof of wilful stupidity.

    196. Edward says:

      I’m going to hazard a guess that ‘Pippa’ is still at school and would say she is in England, which accounts for her immaturity and her ignorance of what is happening in Scotland
      Someone though she could be a teacher, I think either a student at college or school
      She went away to prepare for her lessons, a term that’s used for homework, maybe for an exam

    197. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      @ Conan
      Ah, the Admiral? Should have realized the navy thread would bring it in.

    198. G H Graham says:

      Stairheid (Yer candidate fer Furst Minstrel of Scotland) sez …
       
      That Pippa burd wiz wan o’ ma best pyoopils. Ah showed her evrythin I knew aboot yon balustrade missiles so yer sepratist numbers are pish. Ah mean, whits gonnae happen tae the Tandoori in Dunbarton if yoos chuck oot the submarines wi the soldiers?. That’s right, a bloody queue ootside the Chinky as long as Darling’s expense claims. Chaos. Bloody chaos ahm tellin ye.
       
      Listen Mac, all Eck wants tae be is Popeye the sailor man wi his plans fur his own army of boats. Yoos lot votin Aye are full of pish so yez urr. Wurr just no qualified tae be daein anything wi under water boats wi yon Iraqi bombs on board, right?

    199. HenBroon says:

      “sm753 is a teacher…”
       
      The style and the dna is unmistakeable, like the North end of a Southbound skunk.

    200. Scaraben says:

      @Edward
      I see that HMS Vengeance is refitting at Devonport. Perhaps we should remember why it is there and not at Rosyth. The following is from my memory of what what I read in the papers at the time, and so apologies if I have misremembered any of it.
       
      It was promised that the refitting of Trident submarines would be done at Rosyth, as a sweetener for Trident being based on the Clyde. Then Thatcher insisted that the work had be to put out to tender, although something like £100 million pounds had already been spent on preparatory work at Rosyth.  When Rosyth submitted a lower bid than Devonport the government stalled on awarding the contract and gave Devonport time to submit a revised bid which just undercut Rosyth. When, after a further delay, Rosyth responded with a still lower bid, the government announced that this was too late and could not even be considered. The contract went to Devonport.
       
      When it emerged that the site at Devonport had geological problems which would cause considerable additional costs, it was suggested that the work should go to Rosyth as this would be cheaper overall. Thatcher’s response was that, if it proved to be too expensive to have the submarines refitted at Devonport, this would be done in America (i.e. anywhere but Scotland).

    201. handclapping says:

      Well that was fun whilst it lasted. We’ll have to remember this thread for the next time someone tries to get off on “What about Faslane”
       
      Wildly O/T
      @BtP
      Talking of navy thread, are you any good on trouser turnups? I put the foot through mine this morning.

    202. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Scaraben
      Rosyth had an earthquake proof dry dock so that is why Nuclear subs are / have to be refitted at Rosyth. 
      Thatchers position was taken because the SW of England was threatening to become Liberal and so she pushed through the refitting in England despite the fact that it could not be. 
      The decision to continue with Rosyth was taken later without fanfare.

    203. rabb says:

      At least I don’t pretend to be a “professional” journalist.
       
      Or even a “Reverend”.
       
      Project Fear Handbook: Section 18, page 92014
       
      “In the highly likely event that you’re losing the argument(s), resort to playing the man and not the ball.”

    204. Krackerman says:

      Pippa – I’d imagine they run and operate the base facilities – your argument that all these jobs would be lost is based on Faslane being closed. The SG has already said this won’t happen – that it will in fact be the defacto base for the Scottish Navy… Which means more ships and more jobs….Less submarines but who cares about those….

      Not me or any other sane person..

      And for someone who wants be in control of your own spending you seem stunningly blasé about spunking 100bln in tax money on a completely pointless and unusable weapon system! Or do you think 100Bln is a good price for 520 (or oven 6500) jobs!!!

      Hope you don’t teach economics!

    205. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Handclappi
      Are you any good at re-dying cotton breeks?
      I was cleaning up using bleach and now camouflage green and yellowish trousers.
      Turnups.   So. Prince Edward
       

    206. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “In the highly likely event that you’re losing the argument(s), resort to playing the man and not the ball.”

      Aye, I think that’s the end of the “troll or not troll?” debate. Bye, “Pippa”.

    207. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      “you seem stunningly blasé about spunking 100bln in tax money”

      Strangely ‘pippa’ means just that in Italian slang…
       

    208. handclapping says:

      @BtP
      Crimpilene is way better, almost indestructable; but I’d try doing them Batik style with a nice red. And at least if that didn’t work you’d be highly visible, like the Kilgour tartan for the cattle thieves. 🙂

    209. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Ps Handclapping
       
      I did get the navy thread pun but could’t think of a suitable riposte. I leave that for librarians.

    210. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      Touché.

    211. Weedeochandorris says:

      Ach Toodlepips where did you go.  Was going to challenge you to a battle of wits but I could see you were unarmed.

    212. moujick says:

      To bring things back a bit in terms of Norway, didn’t their fund grow by over 13% last year?:-
      http://blogs.wsj.com/source/2013/03/08/norway-oil-fund-shrinks-european-assets-for-emerging-markets/
      Not sure where this 4% comes from, maybe it’s either the quarterly figure or Pippa has misread the fact that they LIMIT the amount that they take out from it annually at 4%.
      Anyway, in terms of hard cash their fund is at $712bn and grew $78.7bn in 2012 or £49.2bn…compare that with the entire 2013 Scottish Government Budget of £34.5bn…

    213. Doug Daniel says:

      Moujick – I think “she” was using her maths skills there.
      13%
      = 1 and 3
      = 1 + 3
      = 4%

    214. handclapping says:

      To return to the Rev’s post, it is not TWTPTS, that’s Project Fear. Its all about the positive case for the Union, sharing. We’ve shared your oil since 1974 and we ought to share it till it runs out. Then it is all yours.
      Its silly for you to want to put something by for a rainy day when London is sinking, the seas are rising and we need HS2 so we can escape to Birmingham. We need our share and more now for all these gold plated projects so you wont mind if we use your share as well at present and we’ll let you have it back later. Honest.

    215. Macart says:

      Hmmm, don’t particularly like the thought of a neo liberal me, myself and I WMD defended Scotland.
       
      Sounds like a country full of fear and doubt ridden social parasites t’me. And nobody, be it a failed chancellor or a mibbies, mibbies no teacher could persuade me to vote for that bullshit. Their model has failed utterly and driven not just Scotland, but the entire UK to the edge of financial and social breakdown. Their remedy is to penalise the poor, the helpless, the ‘foreign’ for their own cataclysmic mistakes. Their UK is NOT as good as it gets. We can do better. We can make financial provision for the many by careful and targeted investment of our resources. We can rebuild our technological and manufacturing base putting people back to work. We can have a more just society by redefining the remit of our parliament and public servants. A written constitution will go a long way to making that happen.
       
      It’ll take time, effort and importantly will. As for those who deliberately spread fear or doubt, pouring derision and scorn on such a concept? Just who does that to their own electorate? What kind of people decide that’s a good way to communicate? That’s all the opposition have to offer and frankly they’re no big enough. When they can come back and speak to the Scottish electorate on equal terms, offering them a vision of a more equitable UK future, then and only then would they be deserving of serious notice. Until that unlikely day arrives they can take their project fear and their small minded derision and stick it firmly and painfully where the sun don’t shine.
       
      Oh and by the by a grovelling apology on bended knees wouldn’t go amiss either from Mr Darling and his bosses.

    216. JLT says:

      Bloody Hell! What’s going on? Who’s …Pippa?

      I go away for a couple of days, and then ‘Whoa!!!!’
       
      Is it Grahamski using a female pseudo name?

    217. velofello says:

      And looking to the positive.
      Pippa has caused many to come forward with useful data that can be used when facing the dogged unionist. Trouble is I cannot recall some of the data when in face to face conversations. Example, yesterday when out distributing the Yes newspaper i came across a retiree who refused the newspaper, I suggested to him that it could serve as a source of information on the referendum debate.He declared that he gets his information from the Economist. I confess I did laugh, the Economist!But could I recall the Skintland article until afterwards.
      My “client” declared that rather than spend billions on roads in Scotland money should be spent on roads in the North of England that “are in a dreadful state”. I advised that £2850 pa per capita is spent on roads construction and maintenance in the SE of England, £280 pa/pc is spent in Scotland, “and how much do you reckon is spent in the North of England? About £300? he replied.No £5 pa/pc.”.
      Now just how factually correct was my data I cannot say, I was repeating what I’d read on Wings. I/we need a wee condensed Red Book on verified facts and figures for easy reference. Any takers?

    218. Davy says:

      Ah “Pippa”, any relation to the Middleton’s you know the one with the nice arse, or is the only connection you believe in speaking out of yours. Your arguements have been so destroyed by people a lot more knowledgeable than me that I won’t go down the same road.
       
      Instead lets look at the moral aspect, it would be easy to say that Scotland has a westminster government controling its financial levers which of course it did not vote for, infact more than 60% of the time Scotland since the end of the second World War has had goverments it do not vote for, but that would be to easy.
       
      So lets look at the present, we are living in a time where an investment banker can make millions in bonuses for himself, but at the same time here in the fourth or maybe sixth most industrised country in the world we have foodbanks. In Scotland I believe 14,000 of my fellow citizens have to use foodbanks to ensure they and their children do not starve, infact their is a growing trend for low paid familys to have to use foodbanks to make it through the week. And that is because their money is so low that no matter how hard they try it just does not last.
      Now I can’t remember this happening when I was a kid, nor in my teens, or my twentys & thirtys even in my early forties it was unknown, but now in my middle fifties it is becoming the norm and I am not standing for it. To have fucking foodbanks in this country and to have a Westminster government accept this and still think it was correct to give a tax break to the richest in the country is proberly one of the biggest disgraces there will ever be in this so called union.
      I will do whatever I can to pull my country out of this union and help create a fairer society where my kid and other kids are never put into a situation where foodbanks are a necessary, where a government will put the needs of their country before their party and its supporters. Our country will not put greed before society and its needs, compared to the way Westminster and its politicians do with their ‘am all right jack’ policies.
       
      So Pippa or whatever your real name is, have you got a moral reason for Scotland staying in the union ??? because I certainly don’t.

    219. HandandShrimp says:

      I think Pippa’s politics are a bit blue in the tooth for Grahamski, I know Labour have shunted to the right but not that far right 🙂

    220. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      On postal voting…..

      I was in Glenrothees for the last couple of days of the campaign. I was never so sure we had won a by election (and I’ve been at virtually every one since Pollok in 1966). We were stayiung in thewsmae digs as labour canvassers. They were equally convinced we had won. We heard stories of Labour activists going around with postal voting forms already prepared (whether application forms or voting forms I don’t know). But we were aware that Labour had been very active on that front. On the day of the election the whole SNP team were sure we had won. Exit polls said we had won.

      Our guys on telly went in to the stdios confident we had won. Then I remember Nicola looking perplexed with some message coming through on her earpiece.

      In the event over 8000 postal votes were introduced to the count (instead of the expected 2500). They won the election. Wethen found out that so many were the postal votes that the returning officer only checked one in six and even then he disqualified several hundred as the signatures did not match up between application and vote. And then they lost all the voting records!

    221. JLT says:

      I’ve just panned quickly through the comments with ‘Pippa’.
       
      Seriously …WTF! Are you guys bored tonight?
       
      There was football on! Scotland won! Why waste time with a troll?

    222. handclapping says:

      @Handand Shrimp
      I don’t know. I reckon there is only an Attila the Hun between SLab and our Pippa.

    223. HandandShrimp says:

      It does make you wonder what our table position would have been if Strachan had managed this campaign from the start. Hey Ho

    224. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “There was football on! Scotland won! Why waste time with a troll?”

      She was before the football, slowcoach.

    225. The Man in the Jar says:

      Completely off topic but I got a letter in the post today delivered by a nice newly privatised postie. Anyone else noticed the enormous fleet of brand spanking new vans they bought with our money just prior to privatisation?
       
      Anyway back to the letter. It was from my gas and electricity supplier SSE telling me of the impending price hike but promising that they will not raise the price again till autumn 2014 hurra! Thanks Mr. Ed! I feel much better together for that.
       
      In the interest of accuracy my supplier is Scottish Hydro (I know- same difference) but I wont be changing as it becomes a merry-go-round and I like the fact that when I phone them I get to speak to someone in Perth and Id rather the job be kept here in Scotland.
       

    226. Scaraben says:

      @Bugger (the Panda)
       
      About Rosyth, while some nuclear submarine refitting has been done there, some quick internet searching seems to indicate that this does not include any of the Trident submarines. Do you have any information about this? This sorry saga annoyed me greatly, along with many other things the Thatcher regime did; I would just like to be sure I have got my facts straight.
       
      As you said, the decision to give the work to Devonport was taken to win votes for the Tories in that area; they had nothing to lose in Scotland, since Scotland had stopped electing Tory MPs in any case.
       
      Of course, the other thing to be angry about concerning Rosyth is its being used to store decommissioned nuclear submarines. I hope that when Scotland becomes independent the rUK will not forget to take those away. I am sure they would enhance the Thames Estuary.

    227. Macart says:

      There was football?
       
      Arse! What was the score?

    228. Linda's back says:

      Brian Wilson in full anti SNP mode in Hootsman  defending Lamont’s performance at last week’s FMQs
      http://archive.is/hJnfz

    229. Webcraft says:

      <a href=”http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2013/oct/chilling-warning-trident-missile-safety”><b>Chilling warning on Trident missile safety</b></a>

    230. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekykboy) says:

      I’ve gone off to look at the Norway fund
       
      The fund made 13% overall with equity investments returning 18% and fixed income holdings returning 7%.
       
      In other words Scotland could get a very good return on an oil fund instigated from borrowing.

    231. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

      I’ve gone off to look at the Norway fund
       
      The fund made 13% overall with equity investments returning 18% and fixed income holdings returning 7%.
       
      In other words Scotland could get a very good return on an oil fund instigated from borrowing.

    232. HandandShrimp says:

      Macart
       
      2-0

    233. Macart says:

      Yeehaa!
       
      Time for the choccy raisins and Grants sherry cask. 🙂

    234. HandandShrimp says:

      Linda
       
      Brian Wilson was the template for the Labour allergy to all things Scottish and in particular the SNP. Lamont could stab Alex in the eye with a rusty fork and Wilson would still be in the papers explaining why that was the right thing to do. 

    235. clochoderic says:

      OT
       
      Can anyone explain this pointless puff-piece for Sarwar senior in today’s Guardian?
       
       Would any journalists in Govan be interested in a bit more research?
       
       

      From Glasgow MP to state governor
      Pakistan-born Mohammad Sarwar talks of having to give up British citizenship to take up ceremonial role in homeland
       
      http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/oct/14/sarwar-glasgow-mp-pakistan-governor

    236. JLT says:

      Rev,
      This seems to be my downfall on this site these days. Some days due to work and other nonsense, I’m just late to the party! Seems you all had fun with her anyway.
      Liked her one word …’shale’. Guess she’s talking about fracking. Isn’t she in for a fright when she realises what that is all about! She better hope no rig head gets setup near her home in the future.
       
      Macart
      2-0 to Scotland. Finished fourth I believe. What is rather shocking is that Iceland may have reached the playoffs!

    237. CR says:

      I think Pippa and her comments are the best argument for a yes vote yet.  Whatever happens after a yes vote, good or bad, it would be for the people of Scotland to decide.  I would rather live in a country that is run by people like Davy, who was incensed by foodbanks (me too, Davy), than someone like Pippa who IMHO personifies everything that is wrong with United Kingdom ltd.

    238. jim mitchell says:

      ‘Must go for a while. Lessons to prepare’. Just a note here friends, with unionists that expression often means, I will wait till things are quiet, even the wee small hours if need be, then I will make my next comment in the hope that no one will notice and I will get the last word, which also means by unionist rules that I will have won.
      I speak from experience!

    239. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Linda`s back
      Thanks for the link but I almost did myself an injury reading it I was shaking my head so hard. Utterly barking stuff from Mr. Wilson. in the Scotsman. 

    240. bunter says:

      BBC Sco news, ” look away if you dont want to know the score” then blabbed it was 2-0. Then the game itself, started with no sound then the picture went. Guess they didnt like the result.

    241. Macart says:

      @JLT
       
      I’ll take what I can get. 😀
       
      Its been a long day.

    242. The Man in the Jar says:

      “From Glasgow MP to state governorPakistan-born Mohammad Sarwar talks of having to give up British citizenship to take up ceremonial role in homeland”
       
      Just a pity that he still has time for his “ceremonial” role in Glasgow “advising”  on who to vote for. (Seeing how he flew “home” for the Govan by-election.)

    243. HandandShrimp says:

      JLT
       
      I liked Pippa’s “Shale” too
       
      Gas and Oil are not quite the same thing but Shale clearly excited her…and why not?
       
      My one word reply was going to be NIMBY….
       
      but I couldn’t be arsed.

    244. Shinty says:

      Lamont could stab Alex in the eye with a rusty fork and Wilson would still be in the papers explaining why that was the right thing to do. 
       
      Nice one;)

    245. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Sorry about the range of typos in the last post I made. I had just rattled it off when the door went ( a strange use of words that – the door is still where it was)and I posted it without checking

    246. For die says:

      Sorry, but can’tsscccccccc

    247. For die says:

      Oops. Forgive me rev. It wisnae me. It was the iPad. 🙂
      Sorry, can’t help it. My godson has just been called for Scottish under-16s Hungary 2014. How about that, ya chanter! 

    248. G H Graham says:

      Stairheid (Candidate fer Furst Minstrel of Scotland) sez …
       
      Aye, well, yoos wull a’ be greetin in yer porridge when Ali Toally Hominid comes chugging doon the watter fae Iran tae invade Helensburgh & yuv nae underwtatter boats wi continental balustrade missiles to fight wi’. An’ thurs nae comin back wance yoos are aw’ turbin wearin converts which is whit Alister Darlin said months ago or something like it. It might huv been tae dae wi’ money but ah huvnae ma script.  

    249. BuckieBraes says:

      I had just rattled it off when the door went…
       
      Chic Murray would’ve been proud of you!

    250. Morag says:

      I was out at a local SNP meeting tonight, and even the mildest souls are becoming insane with anger over the attitude of the BBC and the newspapers.  Darling should be having this stuff flung in his face in public, not given a free pass by sycophantic nodding donkeys.
       
      A year ago, I’d have greeted an article like this from Stu with approval and pleasure.  Now, I just find a red mist descends as I think about the way we are being deceived by those who should be informing and educating us.
       
      Even at my most pessimistic, two years ago, I imagined that we’d get at least some up-beat coverage, the occasional glimpse into the rejuvenation that would follow independence, from the repatriation of our full administration to the flowering of the arts and literature.  The odd hint of how the figures really stack up.  The occasional smiley face allowed to express its hope for the future.
       
      Instead, nothing but gloom, smears, insults, and the sort of brazen lies that would shame a Barras huckster.  Nothing to lift the spirit or even give the slightest inkling that independence might possibly be other than an unmitigated national disaster.
       
      I feel so betrayed by people like Robbie Dinwoodie and even Paul Hutcheon, whom I thought had it in them to be even-handed journalists.  And by the entirety of the BBC, which seems to be running a single-minded campaign to belittle and deceive the whole of Scotland.
       
      Can I go away to Ulan Bator and come back on 19th September please?

    251. The Man in the Jar says:

      Wee seem to be pretty off topic by now so I would just like to send my condolences to Bubbles and all the other commenters who regularly complain about their poor broadband speed.
       
      I find myself tonight in deepest darkest rural Fife (okay 2 miles from Kirkcaldy) and the broadband here is, to be kind I`d say “nostalgic” just like dial-up! I know I’m spoiled at home as it is only yards to Telecoms digital roadside cabinet consequently my new laptop loads pages instantly and I feel justified to go into a rage if video dares to buffer for a nano-second. This situation is ridiculous I can step outside and look across the Forth to see our capital city and this is the best that we can do.
       
      Just to add I brought my laptop with me so it isnt the equipment.

    252. Murray McCallum says:

      G H Graham
      “chugging doon the watter fae Iran tae invade Helensburgh”. Classic.

    253. twenty14 says:

      Sorry to be O/T, just back from a weeks hols in Espania and catching up here.
      A thought just passed my way – has anything ever come back yet about the hacking of Yes Scotland’s computers. Seeming to take quite a bit of time to tell us ” nothing to see here, move along ” ?

    254. For die says:

      @morag. No, you cannae. keep your pecker, or equivalent,  up.

    255. The_Duke says:

      Can I go away to Ulan Bator and come back on 19th September please?
       
      Kind of glad I am not there this year (not sure my blood pressure could take it), but I’m sad I will not be able to put my X next to the YES next year.
       
      Many here are in the Oil industry in Aberdeen… and have commented numerous times about the investment currently going on. Here in Houston, they cannot get the buildings up quick enough. You drive down I-10 (Energy Corridor) where all the big players are and it resembles a building site at the moment. I don’t they got the memo from Darling about it being volatile 

    256. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Morag
       
      My sympathies to you. Don’t despair I’m positive that you do not find yourself in an unique  position. It is staggering just how bad that it is turning out regarding the usual suspects. I like you expected at least a crumb of positive reporting for independance in the MSM.  And to think, if we lose against such a bunch of incompetent numpties that make up Better Together then we only have the MSM/BBC to “thank”!

    257. AmadeusMinkowski says:

      @ Rev. Stuart Campbell 
      @Wings Community
      The so called “Enlightening the Constitutional Debate” public seminar series organised by the Royal Society of Edinburgh rolls into Aberdeen on this coming Thursday. 
      The topic of the meeting is “Science and Education” , and the individual papers that all participants will present are freely available: just click on their names at the above link.
      Inspired no doubt by Project Fear, two of the papers are particularly Darlingesque in their approach: Prof. Chris Hawksworth and Rick Rylance (Chair of RCUK)
       
      Two of my favourite absurdist lines regarding an independent Scotland’s Higher Education and Research prospects are
       

      “Sweden has 2 universities in the top 100 and a population of 9.6 million, and countries with populations similar to Scotland (Ireland, Denmark and Norway) each have one university in the top 100. The implication is that with time an independent Scotland would have one, rather than three universities in the top 100. ” Chris Hawksworth

      “In conclusion, perhaps it is helpful to couch the argument in terms of evaluating the worst reasonable case, and the best reasonable case, that might follow from independence. Even the best reasonable case would be no better than today, and the concern is that the worst reasonable case is likely significantly to disadvantage researchers in Scotland” Chris Hawksworth

      “If there is increasing global competition, how will a dis- United Kingdom fare?” Rick Rylance

       
      It would be great if @Rev and @WingsCommunity could come together and dismantle the “content” of these ProjectFear inspired papers before the meeting. At least one of us will be able to make good use of that for the meeting! 🙂 The clock is ticking, since the meeting is on Thursday at 6.30 pm.
      WE CAN DO IT!
       

    258. Morag says:

      Even here in the Borders where there really is a No majority at the moment, there are quite a few fantastic moments when people you barely know toot and wave at an SNP rosette, or even just suddenly start grumbling that they can’t persuade their husbands to see the merits of a Yes vote.
       
      But according to the BBC, there’s nothing to hope for, and any positive arguments no matter how plausible and well-referenced are treated as cynical lies to be shouted down.  Even in their vox pops, the Yes people interviewed are either hesitant or incoherent.
       
      I’m sure this semi-permanent state of murderous rage can’t be good for me.  Roll on Thursday, and Perth.

    259. Morag says:

      Sweden has 2 universities in the top 100 and a population of 9.6 million, and countries with populations similar to Scotland (Ireland, Denmark and Norway) each have one university in the top 100. The implication is that with time an independent Scotland would have one, rather than three universities in the top 100.
       
      I’m sorry, is this guy supposed to be intelligent?  Doesn’t he know that the non sequitur is one of the stupidest logical fallacies?

    260. Doug Daniel says:

      Amadeus – well the line about Scotland eventually having just 1 uni in the top 100 is simply nonsense. If population has ANYTHING to do with it, then England must have 10 in the top 100. Oh look, it doesn’t! Germany must have about 18 in the top 100. Oh look, it doesn’t! And so on and so forth.
       
      Frankly, that argument completely belittles the outstanding universities we have here, implying they’re there as a result of being part of a big nation state, rather than simply because of their commitment to education excellence. And to top it all off, he probably smells of jobbies.

    261. Morag says:

      I’ve just realised something.  I’m subconsciously comparing this to 1992.
       
      Remember 1992?  The general election campaign, and the “free by ’93!” slogan?  It was insanely over-optimistic, but something happened that year.  The campaign to vote SNP as a vote for independence got the media going.  And some of it was pretty damn positive.  Alex Salmond went on Brian Walden’s show and came out on top.  The Money Programme made an episode about the economics of an independent Scotland which threw in a few barbs but included an awful lot of seriously good stuff.
       
      We had the Great Debate (OK, that was a bit later), and we had people being interviewed about their hopes and dreams for independence.  Alasdair Gray wrote a book called Why Scots Should Rule Scotland and nobody called him a racist bigot.  It was too soon, and we weren’t going to get that landslide, and maybe that’s why they didn’t go into full-on attack mode.
       
      I remember so much about the media coverage that year.  I was in England, but I had the Herald sent down and quite a lot of it was on network BBC and Channel 4.  It was heady and exciting and I was completely caught up in it even though I knew it was a pipe-dream.
       
      I remarked later that the strategy from the SNP might not have been quite as daft as it seemed.  That in a way the serious political programmes looking seriously at independence as a real possibility might have marked the first stage in normalising the concept.  I still think that.
       
      I think I was expecting a re-run of 1992.  That even though the general tone might favour the union, and some dishonest points would be allowed to slip through, there would be serious analysis.  And serious analysis, even if presented by unionist presenters (like that Money Programme) can’t help but present a tempting prospect.
       
      This time, it’s so bad I just want to go hide in a hole till it’s over.

    262. AmadeusMinkowski says:

      @ Morag
      @Doug Daniel 
      Of course, knocking down Hawksworth is mere child’s play. It’s Rick Rylance’s paper that deserves the greater scrutiny since he is the current Chair of Research Councils UK (RCUK); the overarching body overseeing all government funded research accross the entire UK. Exposing his ProjectFear inspired position is a top and urgent priority. All hands on deck! 

    263. For die says:

      @AmadeusMinkowski
      Depends on the metric but suffice to say that we are fab eg
      en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rankings_of_universities_in_the_United_Kingdom
      Re. research and a previous post of mine. We are 3rd in the world/population. Mind blowing.
      RSE debates are v. good In general.
      Happy to put an article together re. this subject Rev if useful.
      PS. I can’t work my iPad.

    264. Morag says:

      Look, it’s standard.  Anything good about Scotland is only good because of the Union.  Couldn’t possibly be sustained by TWTPTS independent Scotland!  But any weakness Scotland has, well that’s terrible!  How can Scotland possibly think about independence with all these weaknesses?  Madness!

    265. Bill C says:

      @Morag – Some of us have been warning for many months that we are in a struggle for the very soul of Scotland and that the Brit. Establishment will use every black op in the book to undermine our cause. Newsnet  has an excellent piece tonight on how the BBC are skewing the referendum debate in favour of the union. It is subtle, professional and effective.  The BBC have some very ‘professional advisers’ working in Pacific Quay at the moment, however I am in no doubt that their salaries do not come from the BBC budget.

    266. Morag says:

      I know, I know.  I knew it was coming, but even so it has surprised and depressed me.  But less than 48 hours to go!  Must do some packing.

    267. tartanpigsy says:

      This was first posted over on NNS, I’ve since reposted on the article regarding the BBC.
      I know a lot of people are already witholding payment but more need to do so.
      Any other plans would be good to hear.
       
       
      Send your TV Licence reminders/threatening letters resulting from your refusal to fund their proxy Better Together campaign posing as Scottish news to:

      BBC Scotland
      40 Pacific Quay
      GLASGOW
      G51 1DA

      Envelopes should be marked for the attention of:

      Mr J Boothman – Head of News & Current Affairs.

      Please include, together with any correspondence directed to you from Capita Business Services Ltd., (the company contracted by the BBC to administeaction licensing system), a covering letter detailing why Mr Boothman’s department has left you feeling scunnered, has damaged the corporation’s reputation in Scotland, and why you consider deliberate non-payment of the licence fee as being your only recourse of action in order to make your displeasure known to Mr Boothman

    268. sionnach says:

      I came to this particular party even later than JLT did, and then spent time enjoying your troll-demolition. But on the way through the comments, I didn’t notice any mention of this article by Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, which would have been additional ammo for the “oil fund” part of the debate:
      http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/why-the-no-campaign-really-dont-want-a-scottish-oil-fund/
       

    269. Taranaich says:

      @Morag: A year ago, I’d have greeted an article like this from Stu with approval and pleasure.  Now, I just find a red mist descends as I think about the way we are being deceived by those who should be informing and educating us.

      I’ve had to stop watching the BBC for the same reason – not only because of their views on independence, but because this broadcaster which once took great pride in its impartiality is reduced to such disgusting lows. Ever since Hutton’s complete whitewash of the government and disproportionate blame on the media, the BBC and media in general has undergone a sinister metamorphosis – they seem all too eager to toe the government line. Thus we get appalling sights like Kirsty Wark actively promoting the fiction that Snowden could have been compromised and thus insinuating that the government’s destruction of Miranda’s property and illegal incarceration; countless newspapers and TV programs unquestioningly propogating the poisonous myth of benefits scroungers and “workshy” disabled; and do we even need to talk about Saville and the systematic suppression of any investigation?

      All I can say is that we all have to keep our chins up, no matter how soul-destroying and mind-numbing the negative thoughts get. Remember: we have hope. No matter how small it is, no matter how faint, it’s still there. I liken it to a crack in a dam holding back tons of water: once it’s there, you can never fully get rid of it. You can cover it up with cement, but the thousands of tons of water pressure means that you must constantly work to keep it in – likewise, keeping Scotland in the union requires constant work on the part of the UK to ensure it’s so. But there comes a point where there isn’t enough cement in the world to stop the flood. And Yes Scotland haven’t even gotten the pickaxes out yet…

    270. Morag says:

      You’re right.  I compare this to 2011.  I didn’t quite see how we could win.  We’d had a tiny majority, and had been criticised as governments are always criticised, and then there had been a financial crash.  Pollsters were saying Labour would get back in.  Scotland always votes Labour – we’d had our chance, and it hadn’t been enough.  Time to regroup for another heave in four, or eight, or twelve years.
       
      But the election approached, I began to feel differently.  Not that we were going to win, but far more afraid of a loss than I had been.  This wasn’t just another case of not quite, regroup and try again, this was Iain Gray as FM and these Labour donkeys running the country.  And the donkeys seemed a lot more asinine than the ones in 1999-2007, somehow.  I was genuinely scared.
       
      I bust a gut running round the bloody landscape, shoving leaflets in every letterbox I could find, and talking to anyone who seemed to want to talk.  I thought we’d done enough to dislodge Purves, but scarcely hoped we could win another term even as a minority government.  I was terrified.
       
      I’m just as terrified now, and a bit to spare.  I have hopes that the voters will show the same insight and good sense they showed then.

    271. kininvie says:

      @ Morag,
      Easy now, we knew it was going to get worse and worse. And for why? Because this is not 1992, and Westminster realises that it has a serious fight on its hands. All the old tactics that were played out over Ireland and India are re-emerging. If it wasn’t too long, I’d quote you a speech from Gladstone (pro Irish home rule) complaining about his Liberal party being called ‘separatists’ back in 1880-something. Incidentally, in the same speech he was railing against the police for arresting pro-irish activists and preventing their getting bail…we haven’t got there yet, but I won’t be surprised if we do…
      The campaign’s stilll relatively touchy-feely at the moment. Expect worse. But it didn’t work then and it won’t work now, however long it takes.

    272. sionnach says:

      @Morag
      Kininvie’s right, the next 11 months aren’t going to be easy. And it can feel lonely, “running round the bloody landscape”. Converts are going to come in ones and twos, some days not at all. But your conviction that it’s the right thing for Scotland will help you channel that fear (and fear is natural, because it’s the most important question in Scotland’s history) into positive campaigning.
       
      weesmileythingy

    273. sionnach says:

      Beautiful, Morag: I could live there 🙂

    274. Ken500 says:

      The joy when the SNP won a landslide knowing Scotland would be protected from the Unionist Parties. Especially when the ConDems came to power at Westminster. It is only the SNP gov in power at Holyrood which is protecting Scotland.

      The US admin, along with the muppets in Westminster could send the world economy off a cliff, In an even worse downward spiral. Scotland could break that power by voting for Independence and do the rest of the UK a favour.

      Westminster corruption must be stopped.

    275. Ken500 says:

      The shut down at Grangemouth is a political conspiracy to shut down and damage the Scottish economy. The Unions and Labour fall out, so they try and damage the Scottish economy, right at the time of the SNP Conference.

      If a Trade Union member has a grievance, see a lawyer. The Union is well able to afford to pay for the service.

      If Unions are so worried about working people, why do they fund Right wing political Parties.

      The SNP gov is already committed to spending £millions creating jobs in the area, why try and ruin that investment.

    276. Melanie McKellar says:

      “Scotland is effectively renting a room in the UK. Except the UK is living way beyond its means, and wants to turn off the heating in Scotland’s room to save money so it can buy a new Mercedes (on tick, obviously) to impress the neighbours.”
      Just about sums it all up to me!

    277. Seasick Dave says:

      Completely OT but from an article in today’s Scotsman (sorry, I know) from Tom English about Scotland’s great performance last night.
       
      Doing the double over Croatia would be a supreme achievement at any time, but doing it when the game in this country is at its lowest ebb is a thunderous endorsement of the Strachan era. Last night, we saw players being liberated from the doubt that has besieged them for years. This was a group who were told they were good enough and who clearly believed it as opposed to previously when they said they had faith but then played like they had not.
       
      I think that there is a lesson to be learned from that.

    278. JLT says:

      Morag,
       
      Maybe you’re looking at this all wrong. Look at it this way. The BT mob have been given such amazing coverage, and for our side nothing, except pure negativity. This should be a one horse race, with the ‘No’ vote getting something like 90% of the vote.
      But it hasn’t happened that way. If anything, it’s starting to go wrong for the BT mob.
       
      They may keep saying that ‘Yes’ is stuck on 30%, 25%, 23% …or if they wish, even 3%. The problem for the ‘No’ mob is that their vote is also starting to drop. The last poll said 31% were undecided. For the DK’s …it has never been that high.
      If it hasn’t come from the ‘Yes’ camp (because they keep saying we’re stuck on 25% …then where has it come from. It can only be the ‘No’ mob. Maybe they are panicking now. Have BT lost at least 10% of the voting intentions, hence, get rid off Moore and bring in Carmichael (not that he is going to make any difference anyway!))
       
      People out there are beginning to realise that something is not right. It must be giving the BT mob nightmares.
      The papers post a negative headline about Independence, and BT smugly sit back.
      Instead, to BT’s horror ….we, the folk who come to this site …walk into work and go ‘Mince! Dinnae you lot believe it. It’s actually, blah, blah, blah-biddee blah. Dinnae believe me …well check here!’ Everyone in my section knows about ‘Wings over Scotland.’ Everyone! The folk in my section may laugh now and again, but I bet a few of them have visited Wings. I think some of them are quietly, in the Don’t Knows bracket now, whereas a few months ago, they were hard core ‘No’s.
      It’s psychological warfare. The best example I can make is…. Your boss tells the section one thing, but then a Chinese whisper kicks in and it goes around the section. Everyone hears it. The whisper says the boss isn’t telling the truth, but here is the truth. In the end, everyone believes the whisper. No one believes the boss. I think it’s the same with what is going on in this (cough …aye, right) debate.
       
      When this White Paper comes out, I hope the Yes camp have got all the correct information in it, and that it is water-tight. I hope the paper is very straight forward to read. That it shows on each key subject, just how much an independent Scotland would be better off. In big bold letters, it tells the people that this document has been passed by the Law Lords, and therefore, it is GOSPEL! Summarise it on the last page in very straightforward language showing a before and after diagram on all the key issues, and if the people of Scotland read it, I think there will be a huge swing to the Yes camp. I think the people will begin to ask very serious questions of the BT mob.
      I hope the White Paper blows everything away!
       
      Morag, you’re just having bad day. we all get like that at times. Today might be better. The Rev may post something that gives us a laugh (certainly his 2 pictures of one Danny Alexander and the quotations on each of them when you ran the mouse over them certainly made me laugh!)
      But, one thing …if you do go to Mongolia, come back one day earlier and arrive on the 18th of September…we need you to vote!

    279. Dorothy Devine says:

      Ach ,Conan I need to go and wash my mouth out with soap now having followed your lead to that ridiculous ,ignorant blog – almost as bad as listening to whatserface at FMQs!

    280. AmadeusMinkowski says:

      @For die
      Viz-a-Viz the pending Edinburgh Royal Society public discussion seminar  on the “possible impacts of independence upon Science and Higher Education”: for others see previous posts for details.
      When a politician like Darling steps up and channel ProjectFear’s illogical nonsense, we are getting what we generally expect from the political class, and we have no means of direct redress; at least  within the current UK quagmire.
      If however an Academic crosses into Darlingesque deception and distortion, then the community of Academics can and must hold them to account. In particular, when that behaviour is displayed in a public forum, we have a duty to publicly expose it. I think this meeting in Aberdeen presents a golden opportunity to pit TRUTH against FALSEHOOD, and I know which side I’m on! 
      @Rev 
      If you and/or @for die can put together both a rebuttal to the absurdities of some of the papers that will be presented at this RSE meeting, we can go a fair way to settling why Science and Education will fair so much better in an Independent Scotland.
       

    281. Tony Little says:

      Keep the faith, Morag.  It is tough right now.  I know I have gone through highs and lows thinking about this fro afar.  As I have been living/working outwith Scotland for the last 12 years or so, I look back at my country and where it has been taken by Westminster with alarm.  Only thr SNP government has been able to stem the tide, but it can’t do that forever under the present system.  The propaganda spouted by the BBC in Scotland (I get some of it online) is breathtaking, and I know that that (at least for me) most of all is the nut we have to crack.  But I have faith in the Scottish people.  
       
      I am probably wrong in what I say next (Maybe S_S will enlighten me) but I read the polls like this.  Despite unremitting “Unionism” since 2011 and the referendum declaration, despite 99% of the media openly pro-Dependency, despite the BBC in Scotland acting like Pravda, despite the lies and misinformation daily, despite OUR taxes going to pay for pro-Union bean-feasts like the Olympics, and HRMs birthday (or whatever it was), despite ALL that the NO vote is actually falling.   Now, why should that be?  “The boy has cried WOLF! too many times.  Scots are not daft and even the dyed in the wool Union “believers” will have to think more carefully closer to the time.  
       
      I do not think we will see YES in the lead until well into next year (which I think is fine) but as the next wave of austerity hits home, people WILL have to consider alternatives.  The White Paper is a critical document and I hope that as others have suggested it is water-tight, but even if it is, there will be a massive media storm to try and undermine the facts.  (Another 500+ questions?) BUT, sites like this, and word of mouth with the reality will (should) get people looking at the information in the WP again nearer the time,.  And the question I hope that the DKs will begin to ask is, “If THIS is true, then the MSM/BBC/Westminster have been lying to me.”
       
      The big swing to YES will only happen by Late Spring next year, then it will become an avalanche.  I have to believe this, otherwise the alternative is too depressing by far!
       
      The war hasn’t started yet.  The WP is the real opening salvo but the ‘enemy’ has already shown us their operational plan, and used up its arsenal.  The NO campaign has nothing left.  This isn’t 1992, or even 2007, or 2011.  The media is being bypassed by those on the ground, and revelations by people such as Derek Bateman will add ammo to OUR cause.  (Still think he’s wrong about bias, but there you go – can’t have everything.  OR maybe he is holding back as more damaging revelations are yet to come?)
       
      Apologies for the length of this post!

    282. gavin lessells says:

      O/T
       
      Aye Right leaflets slightly amended to include drderekbateman.wordpess.com available at conf at printing cost ( to cover next run) available from self and Bob Allan.
      Increasing awareness of web sites vital to counter Unionist press. I know I am preaching to the converted!

    283. Macart says:

      @JLT
       
      What you said. 🙂

    284. Alex Taylor says:

      @ gavin lessells
      I’m trying to get your Aye Right leaflet condensed to business card size. I’m forever scribbling web addresses on beer mats and bits of scrap paper.

      Have you considered doing business cards? For when you’re face to face and trying to convince someone but your own word is not good enough for them: or you! Whip one out of your wallet and ask them go find out the truth for themselves.
      Alex

    285. gavin lessells says:

      Alan Taylor
      Thanks. We were thinking that A6 (quarter A4) might suit similar purpose. Printing business card size might limit number of sites re legibility. We will think about it though.

    286. Mosstrooper says:

      Hi Morag,
      As others have said here keep your chin up. I suspect you have been at the plough for many years now and it can be difficult to imagine that this furrow will ever end but it will, it will. Personally I have been howkin’ awa’ since 1959 and shed mony a tear in frustration and aye, in anger.
       
      But we have to lift oor eyes tae the end o the field and even when we get there is the planting for the future. I might never see it but I ken fine that it will happen thanks to the likes of aw the good folk on this site and ma bairns and grand bairns will live in a free and fair Scotland. Until i cannae dae it ony mair I, like you, will keep on goin’.
       
      We owe it those who have gone before aye and tae oor sels.
       
      Suas Caesar!

    287. Bunter says:

      James Naughtie due to start GMS this Thursday just in time for the SNP conference. He can share the same flight as the Tory ministers who also appear now and again,  to put the Scots in their place.

    288. sneddon says:

      BtP O/T I hate to be picky but your reference to hanging  a monkey in Medway was wrong surely you meant this  www.thisishartlepool.co.uk/history/thehartlepoolmonkey.asp  Sorry but it’s been preying on my mind (god! I need a life)
      The honest but extremely dumb burghers of Hartlepool have that honour.  Mind you Mandelson was their MP so their intellegence hasn’t changed much 🙂

    289. Edward says:

      Alex Taylor
      Is it me , or is it the case that the Pro Independence campaign has so many legs you could call it a centipede? Its maybe for me to realise as I know where to look. But there seems to be an ever increasing amount of websites and blogs (are these the same thing in IT parlance?) , that its difficult to keep up. All have something to offer, All are interesting, some are more interesting than others, but all are providing valuable input.

      With so many popping up, I think it would be brave to try and place them all on a manageable hand out such as a business card (like the idea by the way). Perhaps direct people to a few sites that also have the web addresses of others, such as the way that WOS has on the upper part here.
      I came across another one , new to me, which was 3 men in a blog (http://3meninablog.wordpress.com/ ) this site is headed up by Stewart Lochhead, Norrie Stewart and Phil Attridge. Its a weekly video discussion blog, mainly about FMQ’s and other topics

    290. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Tony Little
      If it is like a war then we have to admit that BT has the big guns. Westminster, MSM & BBC etc. Thankfully their problem is that all of their ammunition is defective and hopefully it will blow up in their faces.

    291. Luigi says:

      Morag,
      It was never going to be easy.  Just look back at how far we have come in the last decade – who would have thought it back then that we would ever be within a year of a referendum for Scottish independence?  Personally, I think the result will be very close, perhaps too close to call.  But the union is breaking apart – things will never be the same again, whatever the result next year.  We are effectively preparing the ground for independence, sooner or later.  We do what we can and keep plugging away.  Have a bit of time off – I am sure you will be back soon, all fired up again and rarin’ to go!

    292. desimond says:

      Where do I buy a “What Would Pippa Do?” T-shirt?

    293. Tony Little says:

      TMITJ
       
      Well, maybe the ‘war’ analogy is a little too strong, but it is certainly a struggle for Scotland as an entity.  If NO wins, then I think that reducing Scotland to a region of England will be the principle objective of the “Establishment”.  Until, that is, the oil runs out – including the oil off the Clyde and in the Atlantic.  They NEED Scotland far more than Scotland needs the rUK Establishment. 

    294. Robert Kerr says:

      @gavin lessells
      The “Scottish Enlightenment” site linked in an earlier thread may be enough. It has many further links and is a good start.

      http://www.mclean.co

      A business card with a few sites and advice on how to do it. Ask the kids!

    295. gavin lessells says:

      Been sending choice pieces from the proIndy blogs to james Naughtie for weeks now particularly the Derek Bateman Beeb revalations. He cannot say he did`nt know.
      Youse may contact him on james [dot] naughtie [at] bbc [dot] co [dot] uk if you have anything to add. He does not reply although he did once over a spat prior to 2011 triumph.

    296. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Tony Little
      I agree with what you say but to continue with the war analogy. I am heartened that we in the Yes camp have some of the best snipers in the business (our own Rev. Stu in particular). (Clip is from Enemy at the gates) 
       
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SKeuoNNe5cw
       
      Damn this rural broadband 🙁

    297. crisiscult says:

      completely off topic. After the great football performance last night – Scotland have made Croatia look pretty ordinary twice now – I thought it was worth making the point (though trying not to overstate it) how much of our psyche of ‘we cannae do it’ is linked to 1978 and subsequently. I have a book on Scottish football (can’t remember the title) that has a chapter on how the 1978 world cup debacle caused the referendum result of 1979! So, after recent games, I think WE CAN DO IT! To cure me of my completely alien optimism, I’m going to go and read some Scottish newspapers and the Better together website and return to a suitable state of mind to be allowed to live here in North Britain.

    298. Brian Powell says:

      velofello
      ON road funding in the North of England. in 2004 the North of England were asked to vote on having a regional assembly but the vote was 77% against.
      They could have had that voice representing them on funding but rejected it.
      Funding for building projects is devolved. They left it to Westminster to decide!
      Seems like another good reason for going for full Independence.

    299. Dorothy Devine says:

      OT but I happened to be on youtube last night searching for a daft but funny piece to show my niece ,and lo and behold Better Together adverts popped up.
      I was also reading the Australian and lo and behold the same BT ad.

    300. dee says:

      @gavin
      Does the appointment of Mr Naughtie at BBC Scotland confirm what we have been saying for a few years now, that that current staff at Pacific Quay are a shower of useless halfwits.  It shows that they don’t have the talent from within their Glasgow office, 
       
      O/T Is it one of the new “site rules” that you must type the word “Morag” in all reply comments.  When looking through comments from the good folk on this site, the word “Morag” seems to jump out from most replies. 
      Why is this??.

      If she was the name of a company you would say it was a publicity stunt. FFS,

    301. Les Wilson says:

      O/T We need a big fightback to counter the conspiracy against us, we need to figure out a way to get our  message across when big negative issues arise.

      An example of this would be the appearance of a combined BBC,Labour/ Unionist,  MSM and Union collusion in trying to effect the result of the Dunfermline by election.

      Could it not be that we could make a very concentrated fight back if we got ALL the independence  websites/bloggs etc to take a similar line of attack on the Unionist position en masse, at the same time.

      A really concentrated unified attack across all of the Independence orientated groups including the above mentioned websites and bloggs. 

      This would only apply when really important issues arise and everyone would continue in their own niche on a daily  basis, but respond  as  one ( not line  for line but with strong wording in the same vein) when situations like that which occurred yesterday in regards to Dunfermline.

      We would be much much stronger in doing so, as there are many independence sympathizers who may see the point in this suggestion. Such a strong response would go a distance in nullifying the Unionists underhand  schemes in order to mislead the population for their own ends??

    302. Gillie says:

      James Naughtie is an Uber-Unionist and a Labour man. He will fit right in at BBC Scotland.
       
       

    303. Alex Taylor says:

      @ gavin lessells
      I’m going to get a small print run done, Gavin, and I’ll let you know how they look. The printer can’t eliminate any text to allow the web site details to be a bit bigger.

      I know new Indy sites are popping up all the time, but most of those on your leaflet contain links to these sites and they are simply a springboard to dive into the Indy debate.
      Alex

    304. Seasick Dave says:

      Naughtie by name…

    305. velofello says:

      @ Morag,…”I whistle a happy tune and no one ever knows…”. I’m sure attending the conference will lift your spirits. Mosstrooper talks about long furrows.I’ve delivered several hundred Yes newspapers and there is hundreds yet to go!

      I live in Tory country, Ayrshire, yet I’ve never seen any Better Together representation. Seems to me that Better Together is the BBC, MSM and little else. I don’t purchase Scottish MSM produce, and I negotiated with the BBC that I would no longer be a customer. Odd that I had to explain and justify myself to the BBC, but “I’m not prepared to pay to be lied to and listen to propaganda” seemed to convince them.The BBC is no loss to me since the more they pushed British themed programs the less I switched on.Just doesn’t seem a good strategy to provide your opposition with funding.

      @ Gavin Lessells: I’m finding your Aye Right leaflets really helpful with the Don’t Knows.

    306. balgayboy says:

      Les Wilson says: @ 11.00
      Wullie Hill’s betting has got Labour @ 2/7 and SNP @ 5/2 for the upcoming Dunfermline by-election. Do not know how they keep their books but it’s pretty scary even allowing for the Fifer’s manic devotion to the Labour party regardless of it’s present uselessness. 

    307. Gary S says:

      I’m also having fairly anxious moments these days regarding the referendum. I’m only in my 20’s and am desperate to see Scotland become independent so god only knows how people in their 40s, 50s, 60s etc are feeling.
       
      For the first time in my life I am giving serious thought to the prospect of leaving Scotland for good in the result of a No vote. I just don’t think I’d want to be near the place if we don’t take this chance.
       
      I hope the WP is something to behold and blows BT out of the water. It’s absolutely crucial that Yes have anticipated every shred of nit picking and nay saying that the other side will have lined up when the WP is realeased, because they will. They’ll have all sorts of bluster lined up and you can bet your bottom dollar THAT’S what the media will highlight.
       
      We still have a hell of a fight on our hands. Come on lads and lassies!

    308. gavin lessells says:

      Alan Taylor
      Be interested to hear how it turns out. We are currently doing print runs of 50,000 and would always consult (probably via the Rev) regarding any alterations prior to the next run by way of additions or eliminations. The number of sites has to be limited for obvious reasons.

    309. Macart says:

      @Gary S
       
      You can’t anticipate every single thing, but the important issues will probably be pretty water tight. Welfare, taxation, pensions, defence are all procedural. They rely on having the mechanics in place and all that is required is that due diligence and forethought has been demonstrated to the electorate. That the ability to pay for, transfer and operate is well within the capability of the Scottish government. Prove that and its game on.

    310. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Bookies
      They had Winnie Ewing at 100/8 (twelveand a half to one) at Hamilton though a group of very clued up local punters made a lot of money and pushed that down to 7/2 at the end. I had a sizeable bet at terrific odds when Jim Sillars won Govan and they were giving 11/2 against the SNP winning the 2011 election.

      Bookies give odds on what they think is the likely result. They don’t canvas and they are in receipt of biased information a lot of the time. Those Dunfermline odds you quote are over generous on an SNP win though I think a Labour win is judged the likeliest result. Mixed messages from the campaign however and the Labour candidate isn’t doing at all well.  Small poll in local newspaper put SNP in the lead

      Lets see what the SNP conference and the next week brings. 

    311. rabb says:

      JLT,
      I hope your correct about the white paper. All I can say is that it had better be bullet proof.
       
      The unionists (Better Together & BBC) are going to put their best people on it and attempt to destroy it. It’s going to be pulled to pieces and spun like a top by a media hellbent on bending the democratic process for their own end.
       
      I’m afraid I can’t put any faith in the white paper being the game changer. If it does then great but I don’t see Westminster with their subservient Scottish media accepting it as gospel.

    312. gavin lessells says:

      Les Wilson
      Great idea! We need some real coordination between various sites to attack issues raised by BT on a daily basis. Not sure how though. Maybe the Rev could help if he agrees?

    313. Robert Kerr says:

      This struggle is for “hearts and minds”. It shall be won by “boots on the ground”
      There is no effective ‘nuclear option” for BT since the eyes of the world are focusing on what goes on here.
      Sorry for military phrases.
      Be of good cheer.

    314. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      rabb
      It’ll tie them up for ages.
      In the final analysis if we can persuade the voters of two things  1) that we are self sufficient and 2) that Better Together have been telling us lies we will win

    315. muttley79 says:

      @Morag
      Darling should be having this stuff flung in his face in public, not given a free pass by sycophantic nodding donkeys.
      A year ago, I’d have greeted an article like this from Stu with approval and pleasure.  Now, I just find a red mist descends as I think about the way we are being deceived by those who should be informing and educating us.
       
      Yes, one of the most distinctive features of the referendum coverage for me has been the MSM’s almost complete lack of scrutiny on the No campaign.  There is no questions to Darling about the EU question, as we appear to be on the way out if we stay as part of the British state.  May says she wants to repeal the Human Rights Act, and no hint of what this means for Scotland from the MSM.  Similarly the threats from Tories about scrapping the Barnett formula are not highlighted.  Also, the MSM want to convince people here that if we vote No we are going to get more powers.  The list is seemingly endless.

    316. Morag says:

      Gary, I’ll be 60 next month, and although that’s hardly geriatric these days, I don’t want to wait any longer.  Especially now, when it’s gone beyond independence simply being something highly desirable, to its being utterly essential to avert a very damaging future.
       
      I too can’t quite believe how far we’ve come since I first started to take an interest in this (probably Hamilton), or since I started to be actively involved (the aftermath of 1992).  I also can’t quite believe how everything has transpired exactly as planned and anticipated following on from the 1997 referendum win.  It’s taken a couple more elections than the optimists originally predicted, but otherwise the script has been followed exactly.
       
      It’s exam nerves, except I never had exam nerves this bad.  Some days I feel I just can’t take the total absence of anything even faintly resembling honest debate in the media any more.

    317. Derick Tulloch says:

      For what it’s worth I am with Bill C in that the British State hasn’t really even started to dig in their box of dirty tricks yet. Look at the bizarre lengths that they went to to infiltrate and disrupt relatively harmless Animal Rights and Environmental campaigns.

      We pose an existential threat to said British State and they will pull out all the stops.

      In the last week I have had two different ‘Nationalist’ fb friends post links to Ban the Burka (sic) which is a straight up EDL operation. And an admin on the New Dawn (the name itself is dodgy) group post a really nasty link from the Sun, and then allow some vicous abuse in the thread that followed. It smells funny. 20 plus years working for Independence and this is new. But then we have a White Paper coming.

      So there will be the fake Tartan Terrorists, the leading ‘Nats’ that suddenly change their minds, the low level disruption. And so on and so forth.

      We will still win in the long term, though. Of that I have no doubt.

    318. Oneironaut says:

      @Tartanpigsy
      I like this idea.  Might make the BBC take notice if they start to lose income through taking sides there.
      Then again the people who are no doubt paying them off to parrot their propaganda probably have deep enough pockets to keep their media puppets broadcasting, at least until September 2014 (after which they’ll probably be abandoned and left to sink or swim on their own, with their “services” no longer needed).
      To anyone who likes watching shows on BBC, I should also point out that you don’t need a licence to watch the BBC iPlayer 😉
      I don’t have a TV signal any more thanks to the winter storms over the past couple of years demolishing every aerial I put up.  I’ve been a couple of years without TV now and I really don’t miss it that much…  Not having to pay the TV licence means I can save up for stuff like food that I never had the money for before! 🙂
       
      @Morag
      I get where you’re coming from.  I’ve been calm on the outside but majorly freaking out on the inside since this whole campaign began.  I’ve gained at least 5 grey hairs already!
      It’s like finally seeing a light at the end of the tunnel that for once doesn’t turn out to be the headlights of an oncoming train.  But there are people determined to grab onto you and stop you reaching it.
      While I like to think I’m polite enough to the No voters, sometimes when I hear them explain their reasoning I just want to grab them and shake some sense into them…

      @Gary S
      “For the first time in my life I am giving serious thought to the prospect of leaving Scotland for good in the result of a No vote. I just don’t think I’d want to be near the place if we don’t take this chance.”

      My thoughts exactly!

      We’re really fighting for our future here.  Because we won’t have one if BT wins this.  And after the scare this has given Westminster, I very much doubt they’ll give us another chance.
      Just got to keep fighting the good fight 🙂
      *waves “Yes” banner*

    319. Holebender says:

      Re coordinated websites/blogs: bad idea. Can you imagine the “Nats conspiracy, SNP front” torrent which will come out of the naysayers? We’ll lose much more than we can possibly gain.

    320. Edward says:

      Talking of James Naughtie, timing is everything as they say (not sure who ‘they’ are) anyway he has gone up to Scotland, apparently to do a weekly every Thursday slot? but I would expect him to cover the SNP conference that he is up in time for. I wonder if we will get meaningful balance or just meaningless sound bite stuff?

    321. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Thanks. We were thinking that A6 (quarter A4) might suit similar purpose. Printing business card size might limit number of sites re legibility. We will think about it though.”

      A business card should be totally feasible. Look at the Wings one:

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/wingscardback.jpg

      The “Omniphobe” text is perfectly clear and legible on the real-life cards. You could get plenty of addresses on at that size or slightly bigger, still with room above for some explanatory text.

      The great thing about a business card is that you can just pop them in your shirt or jacket pocket, and if you get in a conversation with somebody just whip one out and hand it over. Leaflets are only good when you’ve actively gone out leafleting. I got 2000 done (colour both sides, high gloss) for about 60 quid from Vistaprint. In fact, I might have a bash at yours right now.

    322. Morag says:

      Derick, the Animal Rights people were hardly “harmless”.
      http://www.theguardian.com/science/2006/dec/08/animalrights.uknews
       
      In principle, though, I agree with what you’re saying.  One of the problems is the presentation of the pro-independence view as “extremism” to justify suppressing that point of view.  (An organiser objected to me going into a village coffee morning wearing an SNP rosette, the weekend before the election in which I was a candidate.  Would she have objected if it had been the Tory candidate, with David Mundell in tow?  I think not.)
       
      So it’s OK to call Alex Salmond every name in the book, because despite him being elected FM on a landslide majority, we’ve decided his point of view is not legitimate.  But every sensibility of the unionists must be catered for.

    323. Derick Tulloch says:

      Morag – I did say ‘relatively harmless’!

    324. muttley79 says:

      @Gillie
       
      James Naughtie is an Uber-Unionist and a Labour man. He will fit right in at BBC Scotland.
       
      No, he is a Tory.
       
      @Morag
       
      You mentioned 1992 earlier.  I think the first elections to the Scottish Parliament in 1999 were very significant in hindsight.  The lead the SNP took after the referendum in 1997 going into 1999 meant that the MSM, and SLAB in particular, launched an unprecedented campaign against the SNP (and independence).  They were genuinely worried.  However, the SNP were unprepared for it as they had not experienced anything like it before, as they were in the lead.  I think Salmond was exhausted by all his efforts, particularly after the 1997 devolution referendum. 
       
      The MSM were in a much more powerful position as well in 1999.  The internet was in its very early development stages, and social media did not exist at all.  Sales of newspapers were also a lot higher in Scotland.  In 1999 SLAB still had the likes of Brown (still relatively fresh in power and before the financial disaster), Dewar, Cook etc. 

    325. Derick Tulloch says:

      Tulloch’s Law
      The guy at the front of the demo in the balaclava, breaking the shop windows is ALWAYS a Special Branch plant

    326. JLT says:

      Rabb,
      I believe that the Scottish Government is sitting on serious ammunition. I think they have not revealed a thing, but will instead launch it all at once within the white paper. That means CONFIRMATION that Scotland will be in the EU, be in NATO, use the Pound, Will gain ALL the Oil, etc.
      Such an onslaught of confirmations will certainly have the BT mob reeling. If it is passed by the Law Lords and the courts, then the info inside the doc MUST be correct, and it will therefore be sacrosanct. It will be literally gospel.
       
      What are BT going to do? Say the Law Lords are lying? I doubt it!
       
      Personally, I think it might be ‘Red Alert’ at BT HQ if this should come to pass. A lot of people will then ask serious questions of BT. Darling could end up actually being ‘Flipper the dolphin’, as he flips one way, and the other, as he ties himself up in knots as he tries to wriggle out of the lies that he has spun. Could be hilarious!

    327. gavin lessells says:

      Rev
      Very interested in how the card turns out.

      Currently, the A6 leaflets are printing at £8 per thousand i.e. roughly 25% of business cards. If the business card print is OK perhaps it might be best for individual local printing from the current PDF.

      The A6 leaflets fit quite nicely inside other leaflets and have good visibility in pubs etc.
      We remain open to an improving product, however.

    328. Morag says:

      OT.  My secretary just came into my office and handed me my desk diary for 2014.  The first thing I did was turn to 18th September and mark the day up in highlighter pen!

    329. Gary S says:

      Aye, our holiday forms for next year come out soon. Safe to say I will be taking the day as a holiday!

    330. JLT says:

      Gary,
      I thought about taking the 19th off (it’s a Friday), but may work it instead. The reason being, the chances are, the result probably won’t be announced until much later in the day (unless it’s an epic landslide for one of the sides!)

    331. Les Wilson says:

      gavin lessells 
      Gavin, I am no wizz with computers but it would seem to me that a list of emails of  those who are contacted and would  want to  comply, could be compiled and could get 1 email sent to all and alert  them, to being require for whatever the , the reason of the day. ( encrypted if possible ).
      They would then proceed to  alert all their readers in their own style.
      I noted, that some think the MSM would pounce on this as a SNP conspiracy.
      Well they tell enough lies as it is, what difference would it make ? So tough.
      The point is that all the readers would be clued upon what is going on and could have an effect on whatever the MSM are saying as they then pass the message on. I think this would promote a quick response/alert and get our counter claims out there very quickly.
      I think it would enhance and galvanize public opinion as the message goes out, possibly before the remained of the Unionist outlets have even started getting their own spin it out. 
      It is not as if,  they they do not already have a huge conspiracy against us. We, need to  fight back with  all we can muster and give them a taste of their own medicine.

    332. Gary S says:

      Fairly likely that I will take both days off and spend the weekend celebrating or the horrid alternative of wallowing in despair and looking for jobs in America or Australia. Christ, I hope it’s the former!

    333. Morag says:

      Gary, the day?
       
      I’m wondering if I can swing at least the three weeks up to and including the referendum week, if not more.  And I certainly don’t intend to be at work on the 19th, whatever happens.
       
      I’m going to a science fiction convention in Glasgow over Easter, and then the World science fiction convention in London in mid-August.  That’s going to involve a break of perhaps a week, and my friend wants to stay a couple more days in the metropolis.  I don’t care if I never see London again, but I don’t mind if it can be fitted in.
       
      Then we’re almost into the big run-up.  Maybe I should go back to work for a week to show willing and let someone else have a break.  But by the end of August I may not be coherent anyway.

    334. MochaChoca says:

      BT will no doubt have something up their sleeve to pull out on the day of the White Paper release (as they did with the last GERs publication) to take the edge off it.

      (I do remember wondering how long they had been sitting on the ‘Top Secret Leaked Document’ before spilling it).
      I just hope it’s something that can be pre-empted and diffused.

      Of course, to my mind the leaked doc was just a pragmatic appraisal of finances, but injected with skewed OBR forecasts. It was though, and still is, being presented as a massive coup. I just hope their are no similar ‘skeletons’ waiting in the cupboard.

    335. MajorBloodnok says:

      @Morag
       
      I’ve marked the 18th and 19th and booked them as annual leave.  I expect to be celebrating for a few days.

    336. Morag says:

      MochaChoca, diffused or defused?  Now don’t have a go at me, I just want to know which word is actually meant.

    337. MochaChoca says:

      I think I meant defused, although the best way to do that might be by it being diffused?
       
      or something

    338. Morag says:

      Well, either might make sense in context, though I thought maybe defused was more evocative somehow.

    339. MochaChoca says:

      Yes agreed. I’m just happy no-one has pointed out my erroneous use of ‘their’!

    340. wee162 says:

      In the name of christ. Once again someone from the British Nationalists comes out and pretends that the UK doesn’t run a deficit when they start talking about potential indepedent Scottish finances!
       
      We’re getting treated like fecking idiots by these arseholes.

    341. Alex Taylor says:

      Rev
      Let me know how the card goes. My local printer reckons the typeface will be too small on the addresses side. I popped along and agree with him but he was going to scan the address side and remove the wee bit of text to see how it looked then, allowing a bigger typeface.

      I’m looking at £60 for 500 if they’re ok (with matt laminate finish).

      I’ll let you know how they turn out.

      Love the idea of not having to write on beer mats for the next year.

      Alex

    342. Ken500 says:

      Anyone delivering papers – write Newsnetscotland.com at the top of the paper.

    343. For die says:

      @morag
      Sigh. The link you refer to doesn’t describe ‘the animal rights people’. It describes some animal rights extremists. Which I’m sure you know full well but choose instead to misrepresent.

    344. Alabaman says:

      Great article Rev, also Scott Minto,
      but I do agree whole heartedly with Alex Grant that it is all very well your readers reading,
      and commenting, and yes a number of us do pass it on to the likes of Face-book, but what
      about the public at large?, it’s getting it out to those people that really tells.
      Morag, —-was that your hoose ?.
       
       
       

    345. The Grew says:

      As an ex-pat living in Canada due mainly to the lame-duck policies, i take great interest your struggle to get the message across. Here is a voice that gets to the core of the problem, i think.

    346. Morag says:

      Sigh. The link you refer to doesn’t describe ‘the animal rights people’. It describes some animal rights extremists. Which I’m sure you know full well but choose instead to misrepresent.
       
      Oh for goodness sake, I do not “choose to misrepresent”.  I know that the vast bulk of the animal welfare movement is benign and well-intentioned.  My JOB is animal welfare, after all.  I was pointing out that the full set of affiliated interests wasn’t entirely “harmless”.

    347. Morag says:

      Morag, —-was that your hoose ?
       
      No!  That’s about three miles from where I live.  It’s just my favourite bit of road when driving to SNP meetings.  Compare and contrast with the 90-minute ride of hell to get to London Branch meetings in the 1990s.

    348. Holebender says:

      I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner;
       
      In 2013 Labour ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer Darling tells us borrowing to “save” is a daft idea.
       
      In 1997 Labour ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer Brown told us that borrowing to “invest” was such a good idea that it formed the basis of a Golden Rule. See, for example, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule_%28fiscal_policy%29
       
      Which Labour ex-Chancellor of the Exchequer are we to believe?

    349. Les Wilson says:

      Mouseland – Excellent AND appropriate if you make it Scotland instead !



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