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The greener grass

Posted on February 27, 2014 by

Let me first declare my interests. I’m a Yorkshireman, so I suppose that technically makes me English. I wish my beautiful region had more autonomy from Westminster, because perhaps if we had our local representatives would have fought to protect our vital industries (steel, coal, fishing, transport), rather than letting Westminster ruin them as part of their ideological experiment in turning the UK into a “post-industrial society” built around the London financial sector. (We all know how that turned out.)

I know there’s no chance of Yorkshire achieving regional autonomy from London in my lifetime, but that doesn’t mean I begrudge the people of Scotland their opportunity to end London rule – in fact I’m delighted for them.

The only concern I have is the possibility that the people of Scotland will decline this magnificent chance to assert their autonomy. Come September the 18th, I hope we’ll be celebrating the rebirth of the Scottish nation. I hope I’ll be drinking a toast to “Scotland the brave”, not mournfully lamenting for “Scotland the servile”.

One of the most crucial arguments I can think of in relation to Scottish independence is the uncertainty issue. The naysayers have repeatedly tried to frame the independence debate around uncertainty. They like to fearmonger that Scotland faces an uncertain future should the Scottish people choose to go it alone. In my view this argument is absolutely ludicrous because Scotland would face an equally uncertain future should they vote to remain part of the United Kingdom.

If Scotland votes to end London rule, then there will be an element of uncertainty over Scotland’s membership of the European Union. However if Scotland votes to remain part of the United Kingdom, these uncertainty issues will not be resolved, in fact, they may be made a whole lot worse.

Several high profile EU technocrats have tried to intimidate Scotland out of voting for independence. It is absolutely clear why they’re opposed – they’re under enormous pressure from countries like Spain, Belgium, France, Finland and Italy, who are all desperately trying to prevent their own regions from achieving greater autonomy.

As well as numerous EU technocrats making this point, the odious William Hague chipped in with this assertion:

If Scotland left the United Kingdom, it would also be leaving the organisations the United Kingdom is a member of, including the European Union.”

The idea that these threats are anything more than hot air is ludicrous. The EU would be much poorer without Scottish oil and Scottish renewables, so to drive Scotland out would be an act of grotesque economic illiteracy. Even if these ludicrous threats to lock Scotland out of the EU are followed through, who would want to be part of a political union that is intent on driving their own country out of it anyway?

Let’s say that Scotland votes No because of this uncertainty over Europe. What then? Well, given that the Tories, Labour and UKIP are all promising an EU referendum in the next parliament, it seems inevitable that one will take place. The problem for Scottish people being that their votes will be massively outnumbered by English votes in an EU referendum. This means that if the English do as the press has been conditioning them to and vote to leave, Scotland will be dragged out with them, no matter how the people of Scotland vote.

Whichever way Scotland votes in the independence referendum, uncertainty is inevitable. The difference is that should Scotland vote in favour of independence, the uncertainty will be in their own hands, but if Scotland votes no in September, the uncertainty will be in the hands of English voters in the forthcoming EU referendum.

This may not seem like a good thing to most Scottish people, but given Johann Lamont’s ludicrous claim that Scottish people “are not genetically programmed to make political decisions“, perhaps she and New Labour would be happier if Scotland’s fate were left to the Daily Mail/Murdoch-reading English to decide for them.

Scotland can either vote to take control of their own destiny, or they can choose to remain in the UK and leave the fate of their country in the hands of English voters.


*A version of this article first appeared on Another Angry Voice.

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116 to “The greener grass”

  1. Alexandra-M- says:

    Exactly! Well said

  2. art1001 says:

    Much appreciated. I lived in Middlesbrough for a number of years and really loved the place, the people, the scenery and the beer. I really believe that a YES vote will be the opportunity to turn the page and unleash the power, diverstiy and potential of England and its regions as well as restoring Scotland to its rightful place in the world.

    In fact I am now going to book a nice cosy Yorkshire Inn for a long weekend in your wonderful county.

  3. gordoz says:

    My brother-in-law (a Yorkshireman) has always said something very akin to this.

    Wise words indeed.

    Thanks for the vote of confidence Thomas – Yorkshire is wonderful part of the world (but you already know that).

  4. eric says:

    Excellent. Tweeted and shared. A voice of reason. Please come and swap places with anyone in the following list.

    1. Johan Lamont
    2. Gordon Brown
    3. Alistair Darling
    4. Duncan Hothersall
    5. Kezia Dugtail

    And many many more….

  5. Andrew Morton says:

    The best thing Scotland can do for England is to leave and show that there is another way. Which is probably one of the reasons why Cameron & Co are determined that we should vote no.

  6. I think the uncertainty is a selling point. It gives us the opportunity to make changes. The only certainty from voting no is the certainty of more London centric policies, more austerity etc.

  7. Ghengis D'Midgies says:

    “I hope I’ll be drinking a toast to “Scotland the brave”, not mournfully lamenting for “Scotland the servile””

    hear hear!

    An excellent article.

  8. Sue says:

    I’m from Yorkshire (I always say that now when people tell me I’m English) and now that I live in Scotland I realise that God made Yorkshire beautiful because He was practising for making Scotland 🙂

  9. Vincent McDee says:

    My partner, a Yorkshire lass, had to emigrate to Scotland after her graduation as a music teacher, because here were the only chances for work in her chosen career.

    35 years later, that still seems to be the case.

    Thank you kindly for your vote of confidence Thomas, we’ll be open for jobs and business, maybe you can consider the option of moving here. We’ll love that.

    O/T Something weird is happening in the BBC news site, the 7th most read piece TODAY, was written in 2011:

  10. handclapping says:

    Thank you and thanks for offering the Rev some respite. He is probably coming down off the highs and likely to be suffering the shakes about now.

    I like the concept of uncertainty in our own hands as opposed to uncertainty at the hands of others. I hope you will allow re-use.

  11. Ghengis D'Midgies says:

    OT – another excellent article
    “Scottish Independence; An Open Letter To England” – Jay Stringer

  12. Donald says:

    I’ll be down for the start of the Tour in the summer. Really looking forward to it…

  13. Iain says:

    The battle will be won get the message out there. The truth will prevail

  14. Ian Brotherhood says:

    Is it just me, or does the DDOS attack seem to have eased off a tad? Things moving much smoother this evening.

  15. heedtracker says:

    “not mournfully lamenting for “Scotland the servile”. Which is exactly why everyone at BetterTogether UKOK BBC etc from Flipper Darling down, begin every vote NO cringe with “I’m a proud Scot but.”

  16. ronnie anderson says:

    Thomas,A good piece thanks,Yorkshire a stones throw over that wee dyke,& more in common with Scot,s than Sth Eng /Londoners,
    & that,s what the people of the south don,t understand. You never
    know your luck after we become Independent, you might fancy this side of the dyke. Thanks again for the kind words.

  17. Morag says:

    If that picture is “Yorkshire, yesterday” then it has greener grass than is actually possible in this hemisphere in February.


  18. Croompenstein says:

    O/T – Tommy Sheridan debating with Brian Donohoe in the Volunteer Rooms in Irvine tomorrow night dunno what to make of that…

  19. ronnie anderson says:

    Thomas is Alister Darlings cod father still worrying the sheep

    (Bernard Ingram).

  20. GrahamB says:

    It has been said often and by most people, except for the usual few bampots, that we have no fight against the English just with their system of government.
    Wonder what the Euro technocrats would have said if the plan had been to leave the EU? No doubt they would have been pleading with us to stay …

  21. X_Sticks says:

    Thanks Thomas, it’s always good to be reminded that not everyone from England is a rabid Mail reader.

    To paraphrase Leonard Cohen

    “First we’ll take back Scotland, then we’ll take the North!”

    Only an independent Scotland can force the change that’s needed in the rUK – freedom from westminster.

  22. joe kane says:

    Like WOS, Another Angry Voice blog is another consistently excellent source of online commentary and analysis.

  23. Bigdrone says:

    It’s all summed up in the last paragraph;

    “Scotland can either vote to take control of their own destiny, or they can choose to remain in the UK and leave the fate of their country in the hands of English voters.”

    There is only one choice and chance for this, it’s a no-brainer – the vote has to be YES!!!!

  24. liz says:

    It was really nice to read a positive story from a Yorkshire man.

    I spent a few minutes of my time on the comments section on the BBC story about Standard life but had to give up as the comments were really ignorant.

    It was also the glee with which the commentators seem to feel at an iScotland experiencing difficulties for daring to become independent.

  25. Grouse Beater says:


    Much appreciated, Thomas – your welcome missive arrives with a pleasantly verdant view of a remote farm in the Yorkshire dales.

    @Andrew Morton
    Thanks, Andrew for the post on my website. “By hook or by crook you’re first in my b …site” Damn. Doesn’t rhyme.

    PS: Anybody instruct me on how to add an avatar to posts?

  26. EphemeralDeception says:

    Many good points raised and the uncertainty thing is ‘certainly’ a double edged sword.

    NO and the media have repeated again and again what a bad thing uncertainty is for independence. They have overplayed this since they don’t have anything positive to offer, so have to revert to type.

    If they had said Status Quo or YES, then what happens after a No is clear. Except they have all made vague statements about more powers. Jim McColl let the cat out of the bag yesterday in the SP. He stated that he was invited to 10 Downing street to discuss what could persuade him to vote No. His position is that nothing less then a commitment to FFA, for the 3 London parties will cut it. Cameron seems to have recognised this, and said they are preparing something.

    Mr McColl is sceptical. The chance that the 3 Unionist parties are going to come up with something concrete and all agree on is extremely remote.

    So, in the end, I am confident that the ‘uncertainty’ pendulum will swing back to No, because they are not even proposing anything clear whatsoever, no white paper of what No will mean… NOthing.

    The voters will be caught between an uncertain positive future and an uncertain status quo. Most people are, in the least, demanding change and also more control within Scotland. Independence is one vision, not without risk, but if it is the only vision then that’s what people will go for.

    NB. Jim McColl, secretly invited to 10 downing street, is a clear interference from the PM and should be publicised as such. That would put pressure to debate instead of Leading the No campaign by proxy.

  27. Stevie says:

    The Norh of Englqnd is adjacent to Scotland and it makes sense that we develop a close working partnership. It would then be in the interests of the North of England to have autonomy so that Scotland can deal directly with the North – in both our interests.

  28. john king says:

    “I’m from Yorkshire (I always say that now when people tell me I’m English) and now that I live in Scotland I realise that God made Yorkshire beautiful because He was practising for making Scotland :-)”

    Aww what are you like?

    Your on the Christmas card list 🙂

  29. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Croompenstein –

    Yep. Sheridan versus Donohoe.

    Methinks we could witness the first ever onstage filling of a human doughnut.

    ‘Is that a wig or a meringue?’

  30. Midgehunter says:

    Very well said Thomas and a nice picture of the Dales 🙂

    If there are two countries in the UK which are perfectly suited to one another then they are Scotland and “Gods own coutry”. Both have similar mentalities, are hard grafters, socialy minded, have tremendous landscapes and are very independent minded.

    The years I spent climbing in the Dales at Malham Cove, Gordale Scar, Kilnsey or the Grit of Almscliff Crag will never beforgotten.

    My dad was a Yorkie so I really did have the best of both worlds.

    Independence for Scotland and then we’ll try and bring home Doncaster…!

  31. Marcia says:

    Love visiting Yorkshire, lovely place with lovely people

    Re SL all over the BBC today, a spoiler perhaps? HMG knew of the S & P rating coming out?

  32. Lindsay says:

    Oh, the jocularity.

    “In a packed press conference yesterday, First Minister Alex Salmond angrily hit out at “those who would seek to bully Scotland” over the question of an independent Scotland’s future currency. Salmond aimed his remarks specifically at “reality”, which he claimed had “ganged up with logic, common sense, and just basic obviousness”, in a devious plan to undermine the Yes campaign.

    “Let there be no doubt,” Salmond said, to an audience made up of neutral businessmen who only ever eat porridge, “Scotland is not the kind of country that will bend the knee to simple maths. Ever since William Wallace proved in 1301 that 2 + 2 equals 17 and a half, we have maintained a proud tradition, north of the Border, of utterly and deliberately ignoring what anyone with a brain knows to be the case, and shouting out the opposite very loudly, again and again, as if that makes it believable. So I say this to anyone in possession of the truth: hasten ye home, you’re not wanted here.”

    Salmond then turned his ire on “facts”, which he claimed had been stacked against the SNP by a “deliberately biased universe” or possibly an “anti-Scottish deity working alongside Alistair Darling”. His venom was also directed at the concept of “numbers” and “the figure 5,000” which he asserted were an English invention, and an attempt to personally smear him.

    Taking questions from the press, Salmond then issued a “precisely costed” 13-point policy document, giving the SNP’s “firm and final proposals” on the vexatious issue of Scotland’s future currency. Here are those proposals:

    1. It is SNP policy to use the euro, as the pound is a “millstone” around Scotland’s neck

    2. It is SNP policy not to use the euro. Anyone who claims this is a bully. Using the euro is a terrible idea. Look at the Eurogeddon disaster

    3. We’ll use the pound. It’s ours. The English will agree to a sterling zone – our very own Fiscal Commission says they will

    4. George Osborne says the English won’t agree to a currency union?

    5. Doesn’t matter. We WILL use the pound in a sterling zone, because the amazing Fiscal Commission of independent experts appointed by us says this is best

    6. Ed Balls also says the English won’t agree?

    7. Doesn’t matter. The English will agree in the end because they’re toffs, bullies and liars and will therefore want to help us even if makes no sense for them

    8. Ed Miliband also says the English won’t agree?

    9. OK so the English won’t agree. But we never wanted or needed their agreement anyway. All along our REAL plan has been to use … the pound!

    10. That is to say we’ll use it “informally”, without permission. Or a central bank. Or a lender of last resort. Look how well Montenegro is doing

    11 OK so the Fiscal Commission says this won’t work either. But what the heck do they know, who appointed them, bunch of idiots

    12. What, we appointed them???

    13. On 18th September 2014 Scotland will return to a barter economy. 1 neep = 1 tatty.

    The press conference then closed, after police warnings that a noisy demonstration outside the building, of “the world as it actually is, rather than how Alex Salmond wants it to be”, might turn hostile.”

    With thanks to Sean Thomas of the DT.

    The “Great Economist” isn’t doing too well, is he? Can anyone come up with any reason, at all, why the continuing UK would actually prefer a formal currency union to informal “sterlingisation”?

  33. Grumpomcchief says:

    Thank You Thomas. I’ve always thought that Yorkshire was closer ideologically and socially closer to Scotland than London. I have many friends who are Yorkshire people and I see them as kinfolk. Perhaps when Scotland leaves it will help shake up the rest of the UK and help you achieve your wish.

  34. smac says:

    It’s not just the Scots that project fear is aimed at.

    The ‘Establishment’ have in motion probably the biggest propaganda/divide & conquer campaign ever. The stakes couldn’t be higher for Westminster short of sending in the troops!
    The only weapon they can use is propaganda, spin, misrepresentation, manipulation, out right lies and deceit. And the ‘old boy’ network is in full swing… probably calling in favours from old enemies ‘for the greater good’
    They will prosecute all of the above in order to keep the plebiscite in check.

    Westminster is terrified of losing power. If it loses Scotland, regions of England will want more power and therefore a fairer distribution of wealth.

    It will be almost impossible to alert the people of England to this as the media will have such an influence as to their attitudes towards constitutional change.

    Westminster and the establishment is hoping to pull the wool over the eyes of the English to make the changes to the system that they want. Meanwhile duping the Scots to a NO vote.

    I just hope the Scots aren’t duped and manipulated again as in ’79 and can see through the deception.

    Unfortunately, through no fault of the majority of people of England that have a lot to gain from an iScotland. There will be no big progressive support from south of the border. We’re on our own!

    We have a chance, let’s not blow it for the brickie in leeds, the electricians in Manchester, the plumbers in Liverpool, that we have more in common with than the London politicians, bankers, corporate moguls, and CEO’s.

    I still have a small hope that the people of England will see the deception that the are being sold but I fear by then it may be too late.

  35. Vronsky says:

    We seem to have new nationality, the Scotbut, as in “I’m a proud Scotbut’. Bloody immigration out of control again, I expect. Incidentally, in Japan ‘proud’ is not a compliment – it means you pay no attention to the opinions of others.

  36. Lindsay says:

    As someone said, “History does not repeat, but it does rhyme.”

    In this case, the Ghandi aphorism has been changed to this:

    “First they ignore you
    Then they laugh at you
    Then they fight you (for about 30 minutes – one speech)
    Then they go back to laughing at you
    Then you lose – or in fact we all win, as the silly pantomime of nationalism crumbles in the face of political and economic reality.”

    All the best

  37. Croompenstein says:

    @Lindsay – once again..awa and pump yersel !

  38. sausage fingered luddite says:

    Re “Status Quo”
    Some folks are quite happy with the status quo. Fortunately, when I hear or read this view it seems to be confirmed No voters as opposed to anyone who might be wavering.

  39. Lee Rogers says:

    re DDOS – Rev’s first act with new funds was to upgrade his servers by a huge amount, therefore a smoother site 🙂

  40. Findlay Farquaharson says:

    could anyone imagine not voting for your country to be independent, what a small mentality.

  41. scottish_skier says:

    Hey Lindsay,

    Any thoughts on the death of Britishness?

    Holy beejesus – 71% ‘Scottish only’ in the #iGen…

    72% in those 16-17’s…

    ‘There’s ane end of ane auld sang’ certainly.

  42. ronnie anderson says:

    @ Ghengis D”Midgies thats a good read Springerville, well done.

  43. john king says:

    do you have a point to make Lindsay or is sticking it to the enemy getting you off?

  44. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Lindsay –

    Come on, you’re slipping up there – ‘jockularity’, surely?

  45. gerry parker says:

    and away from all the political banter and unionist white noise, this little gem.

    Sleep well.

  46. You and My Comb says:


    Remin us what S and P say

    You take ages to talk pish.

    Just shut or get off the pot next time

  47. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

    @Ian Brotherhood says:
    Is it just me, or does the DDOS attack seem to have eased off a tad? Things moving much smoother this evening.

    I think there’s been a change of plan in the attacks tonight.

    The DDossing is now pointed at the Indiegogo server.

    The Lindsay “bot” is pointed at Wings.


  48. Alba4Eva says:

    I’m a fellow honourary Yorkshire Lad.
    Was born in Richmond near Catterick Camp. 😉

  49. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Lindsay –

    ‘Can anyone come up with any reason, at all, why the continuing UK would actually prefer a formal currency union to informal “sterlingisation”?’

    Er…the answer is in your question?

    Post-Yes, there will be no more ‘UK’. Your precious ‘Realm’ will be over either way – there’s no point panning the shop window in just because they’ve taken the UJ bunting down.

  50. ronnie anderson says:

    Lindsey, go & read that link that Ghengis D Midgies posted at 8.15, its about becoming informed,which your certainly not.

  51. Chris says:


    Can you give me further details of this speech made by Alex Salmond as I can’t seam to find any reference for it. I would hope that you are not trying to deceive a simple person like myself.

  52. tartanarse says:

    My second favourite English county I’m afraid as I have a love affair with Cornwall.

    Cornwall aside Yorkshire is a great place. Yes it does remind me of Scotland and so does its people.

    I have had great times in Scarborough, Northallerton, Hull and Beverley. I’ve been burnt on the dales and frozen in the water of Whitby.

    I particularly enjoyed ‘ull though. A not very glamorous place next to a dirty river leading to the north sea with a massive bridge, plenty of pubs clubs and takeaways and funny accents. Just like Dundee!!!!

    Like everywhere, including Scotland, I met some unpleasant characters but I would like like to think that nature and not Yorkshire had bred those.

    On the whole most of the folks I met were great and I would recommend a visit to Yorkshire to anyone, North, South, East or West. Can’t make up my mind between the dales or the coast myself.

    We could do with more of this sort of thing from decent English folk such as Thomas.

    Can I remind everyone though that it is still technically legal to shoot a Scotsman after dark with a bow and arrow if you find one in York.

  53. Bill McLean says:

    Lived in Scarborough off and on from 1964-1997. Loved it, loved the country side, loved the people – like us direct and straight talking puts people like Lindsay and Scotbuts to shame. Lindsay doesn’t really mean it though – he doesn’t know what he means. Ignore him!!

  54. Chris says:

    I always spell seem wrong (doh)!

  55. Croompenstein says:

    @Lindsay – I don’t give a monkeys chunky about currency, EU, oil, lender of last resort or any of the other shite you spout all I care about is that there is a Yes vote and then we can strap ourselves in and enjoy the ride, you however can fuck right off..

  56. tartanarse says:

    Can anyone confirm if it is ok for a Scot to shoot a Scot with a bow and arrow in York after dark. I feel an evil plan coming on……

    Invite the BT lot to a conference in York……

    I won’t bother giving all the details in case GCHQ still have those naked photos of me they stole from Yahoo.

  57. Thepnr says:

    Thomas it’s great to hear from an Englishman still living in England that supports Independence for Scotland.

    Part of Westminsters propaganda war against Independence is to create division between ordinary Scots and English. Many many English appear to have fallen for this tactic as evidenced by many of the hateful comments on supposedly liberal newspaper articles like the Guardian.

    Funnily enough, politicians and the media continue to report that the spite flows in the opposite direction. People who care to look would soon see it as being untrue.

    This is a big concern of mine, I truly believe Scotland will vote Yes and that the rhetoric could even increase, I’m saddened by what “our” government are doing to us, inciting hate using propaganda though only serves to make me more determined.

    I have many English friends and family living in England, no matter how hard they try. That will not change, they will still be friends and family.

    I can only hope that the ordinary person in England will eventually realise that the government they trust in is not worthy of that trust, as is being shown by their actions in power.

  58. Grouse Beater says:


    Ta, Sticks!

    I hope you like the avatar chosen.

  59. Dal Riata says:

    Lindsay is an anagram of ‘in sadly’. And sadly for us, he is in this thread.

    Hi In, sadly, if you’re still hanging around like a bad smell, may I just say, could you perhaps ask one of your fellow troll-bots to do us all a favour and kick your arse out of here and GTF permanently? You will? Oh, top-ho, old chap! And don’t let that door slam your already-kicked-and-hurting arse on the way out… well not too much, anyway. Toodle pip the noo!

  60. Andy-B says:

    Great piece Thomas, Yorkshire is a lovely place, if ever you tire of Westminster’s oppression, you’re very welcome, in Scotland.

  61. chicmac says:


    “1. Johan Lamont
    2. Gordon Brown
    3. Alistair Darling
    4. Duncan Hothersall
    5. Kezia Dugtail

    I take it that last was a Freudian typo. 🙂

    Quite appropo but.

  62. chicmac says:

    “The “Great Economist” isn’t doing too well, is he?”

    He’s an economist, not a remedial psychologist.

  63. Hobnob Bob says:

    ……….”Let me first declare my interests. I’m a Yorkshireman, so I suppose that technically makes me English”………

    Really? Do ya think? Not a good start. Both in denial, and pandering to the establishment’s divide and rule ethos in one opening sentence….. But then again, maybe the author is ashamed to describe himself as English for fear of being allied with right wing knuckle-draggers, the blue rinse set, the Home Counties tutt-tutt-tutting brigade and worst of all, the Daily Mail collective of reactionaries…. I am English -and am proud to be so. It’s home to the Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, John Cook, Wat Tyler, William Wilberforce, John Lilburne, Hereward the Wake, Sir Joseph Bazalgette and Sir Tim Berners-Lee, etc, so why wouldn’t I be proud?

    Anyway, to the article proper… Another pencil-sucking scribe waxing lyrical about Scotland’s date with destiny – while as-per-usual, comprehensively ignoring the real democratic outrage within this laughable ‘Union of Equals’….. I of course refer to England (a country) having no national parliament and no First Minister. (We’re not even allowed a national anthem FGS). All expression of a national English collective identity has been judged to be not acceptable by the Brit’ establishment. We are the only country in Europe to exist in this democratic land of nod. And when challenged, Blair, Brown, Clegg, Cameron, et al bluster that to have an EP reinstated would be a monumental waste of money, extra layer of politicians etc, etc. Yet, at the drop of a hat, we’re in, off on idealogic adventures around the world, lecturing this despot, unseating that dictator and finger-wagging to anyone who wll listen about the democratic imperative, while here at home 50M+ wallow in a democracy-free zone.

    If Mr Clark REALLY wants more power to his beloved county of Yorkshire then he should be screaming, demanding an English Parliament be reinstated PDQ. He’ll then get his devolved power – based on a national structure. The alternative is a Britain full of little enclaves of about 5 million people each, raising their own budgets, fighting each other for inward investment and answering to Brussels for everything.

    And if that were so, do you really think you’d be allowed unfettered access to your own fishing grounds. Come to think of it, the coal industry ain’t looking too healthy, what with all those cheap as chips imports, traditional coal mines versus giant open-cast operations in South America or Australia… Then there’s steel making. Well that’s gone well hasn’t it? World prices dictate – and delivery via the cheapest and/or the most efficient workforce…..

    BTW, I am English, but please do not assume I’ve been conditioned by the press to be anti EU, I’ve been anti EU since 1975 when I voted NO in Wilson’s IN/OUT referendum, because even then, as a 22 year old Labour voter, I just knew what the end game plan for Europe actually was. ‘They’ just couldn’t leave it as a trading block… Meddle, meddle, meddle.

    I’ve voted Labour all my life, up to 1998 when Blair’s devolution Bills gave everyone except the English a national voice… A federal option was the only way to go. But New Labour were not interested in true democracy, they wanted to kill the SNP stone dead. The result was a UK camel, falling apart at the seams and the SNP gaining overall control in Scotland. And then there was Iraq. Never voted for them since, nor ever will again.

    I am English and am very proud to be so – but I don’t read the Daily Mail, or indeed any Murdoch rag. I am a democrat. If national democracy is good enough for every other western nation, then it’s good enough for us too. No ifs nor buts, an English Parliament and First Minister right now, is the minimum requirement. So to that end, I too hope the Scots will vote YES by the millions – and hasten the demise of this God-forsaken British state. English Parliament NOW! Freedom for Scotland – and England!

  64. Thepnr says:

    O/T Peston on BBC again telling us all about SL again. I always look forward to driving to work in the morning to hear the latest scare story.

    99 times out of a 100, you get a repeat of an old one. Now and again though a new scarebomb is thrown in and then the best bit is a few hours later it is debunked by Wings.

    Rather than report the success of the Wings fundraiser it can’t be too long before they attack this site and it’s readers in the media. That should be fun.

  65. Xander says:

    Re Lindsay, it’s a straight cut and paste job from the Tory bible:

  66. call me dave says:

    Findlay Farquaharson

    Can you imagine not voting for independence for your country?

    I couldn’t but my sister when asked at a family funeral in Sheffield last Friday said “We’re too wee, I’m voting NO”
    a direct quote

    She now has about 10 emails with appropriate links to sites like WoS. We are not talking at the moment. Imagine my vote is cancelling out hers.

    To make matters worse her man says he’s swithering but would definitely be YES if it included getting rid of the Queen. I said it was 1707 we were ditching not 1603 and a NO would not get rid of the Queen. “Aye I suppose” he says!

    FFS (I don’t swear)…really. My auntie who we buried will be birling in her new coffin. 🙁

    Still 200+ days to go.

  67. tartanarse says:


    I would love it if they turned on WoS. Great publicity. I’d like to see them try to dissect or spin anything here to their advantage.

    Best not to mention this site too loudly in BT world.

  68. Hwanofbute says:

    Cheers Thomas. I lived in Sheffield for nine glorious years in the 80’s. I have a great affinity for the place and many friends there. The parallels between the North of England and Scotland are there for all to see. Shame you can’t join us…but maybe one day.
    By the way, have been following your Another Angry Voice on Facebook for some time now. Always a great read. For those Wingers who haven’t seen it, check it out. WoS and AAV have a lot in common.

  69. Ian Brotherhood says:

    @Chicmac –

    Nice one.

    And carrying on that list, who might possibly be next spotted, under a dug’s tail?

  70. SquareHaggis says:

    @ Lindsay,

    Back again eh?
    Yawns, settles back, kicks off baffies and lets out a nice long sneaky silencer…


  71. Flower of Scotland says:

    @ Lindsay
    Hello and goodbye !

  72. Thepnr says:

    Be up front and open about your support of Wings no matter the situation. 🙂

    There’s no skulduggery here!

  73. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “50M+ wallow in a democracy-free zone”

    Oh for fuck’s sake. England’s had the government England voted for at every election for the last 100 years. “Democracy-free zone” PMSL.

  74. X_Sticks says:

    Oh, hi Lindsay! I see your advanced depression over Scotland regaining its independence hasn’t improved then 😀

    Enjoying yourself? So nice to have you around. It really, really, no, I mean REALLY cheers me up no end. 😀 😀

  75. HandandShrimp says:

    Freedom for Scotland – and England!

    Bob that was long post to get to this point but I agree. I think it will be good for both countries and I hope we both grow and prosper in democratic harmony.

  76. Janet Cameron says:

    Where on earth are Westminster getting these people from?? David Bowie who is English living in New York. Now we have Nicky Clarke, hair dresser who obviously knows nothing about Scotland or it`s people. Many years ago we were told if we voted SNP we would be making a big mistake, but at least it would be our mistaKE INSTEAD OF WESTMINSTER WHO DECIMATED PRIVATE PENSIONS.WESTMINSTER HAS HUGE DEBTS THAT WE WHO ARE MORE PRUDENT WOULD NEVER HAVE HAD,a VERY INTERESTING BLOG WAS FROM AN ENGLISHMAN LIVING IN SCOTLAND WHO IS VOTING yeS, BUT HE SAID THAT ENGLISH PEOPLE AT THE MOMENT HAVE NOT A CLUE WHAT IS. REALLY GOING ON

  77. Morag says:

    Srsly, I’d get that caps lock key fixed before Stu comes after you….

  78. gordoz says:

    On the Lindsay person manic interuption nonsense –

    What is it they say about chidren and tantrums;
    Something like best to ignore them ?

    A slightly unhinged individual, as are the majority of BT screaming Cyberbrits whose only subject of comment seems to be the First Minister, neglecting the thrust of the populist YES campaign entirely.

    Not worth the effort in terms of intellect.

    Lets move on when this one visits it is tiresome.

  79. Hobnob Bob says:

    Rev Stuart Campbell says: “Oh for fuck’s sake. England’s had the government England voted for at every election for the last 100 years. “Democracy-free zone” PMSL”….

    You’re wrong mate. Top of me head, the last Blair electoral win saw a majority of English voters shoving their ‘X’ next to a Tory candidate., yet we got Tony as PM.

    Dont get stroppy Rev’ – (should a man of the cloth be swearing?) Up to Thatcher’s era, Scotland had its fair share of Tory MPs whose electorate voted on to UK trends. It is only since poll tax that Tory support has gone off a cliff north of the border.

    Fact is, whether you like it or not, (and I don’t really care either way), national parliament is our right, as defined by the UN. Since 1998, the unitary model has gone. National empowerment for Scotland, Wales and NI is great, but i want it also for England. National democracy – Time we in England actually had some. Why not write about this for Sunday’s sermon?

    TCYAYCGANIGCSAHYWHTPPCTGT (To cure your affliction, you can get adult nappies in good chemist shops, and hey, you won’t have to pay prescription charges to get them)

  80. Lindsay, you coward. You’ve been called out in the Eight Hours 24 mins comments section. Get back in there and fight your corner like a man(or woman, your name is one of those horribly ambiguous ones so its hard to guess), rather than running away like a scared little child.

  81. Capella says:

    “Oh for fuck’s sake. England’s had the government England voted for at every election for the last 100 years. “Democracy-free zone” PMSL.”

    Is it not possible that English regions might feel just as disenfranchised as we do in Scotland? After all the Thatcherite era engineered a concentration of wealth in the city of London thus impoverishing vast areas of England in the Midlands, Yorkshire and the West Country. The problem of a democratic deficit extends to all areas of the UK. But we in Scotland have the best chance of breaking up the hegemony by legitimate democratic means. What happens next is up to the regions.

  82. Morag says:

    Bob, me old mucker, the top of your head is wrong. Go read this. Very carefully.

    Now you want an English parliament. Fine. Carry on. Why are you yelling at us? We’re not standing in your way in the slightest.

  83. velofello says:

    Lindsay: Would you like fish fingers with tomato sauce? And once you’ve eaten it all up you can have an ice lolly! And then we’ll to the park and you can go on the swings.

    And by, you do spell well, for a child.

  84. Hobnob Bob says:

    No. National government first.
    Then the regional issue will be sorted, under a national umbrella, just as in Scotland.

    Most people in England, when asked have consistently favoured a return of our Parliament. But of course, there is one way to finally sort the issue, let’s have a national referendum! Oh no, hang on. We can’t have that, can we? While there are refs galore in Scotland, Wales and NI, here in England, we have yet to be consulted…. Because, if we are, we’ll probably not give the answer that ‘they’ have decided we should have….

  85. Morag says:

    So why are you here? What have your grievances to do with us? We aren’t holding you back from your goal in any way. Indeed, we may indirectly be facilitating your objective.

    You’re shouting at the wrong people.

  86. Clootie says:

    One of the main reason Westminster/Whitehall is fighting Scottish independence so hard is the risk that it raises greater awareness in the North of England and Wales of the damage a London centric system is causing.

    We cannot change the UK but we can change Scotland.

    Thank you for the article and support.

  87. Bob, If Scotland leaves, then it gives folks like yourself the opportunity to seize the moment and demand the return of the English Parliament. We are not your enemies. If anything, we are your allies in your quest for self determination.

  88. Thepnr says:

    @Hobnob Bob
    “Most people in England, when asked have consistently favoured a return of our Parliament.”

    I don’t quite get you here Bob, which parliament are you talking of when saying “our Parliament”

    What is this regional issue you speak of that “will be sorted”? We’re having a “National Referendum” a Scottish one.

    You sound quite wound up, raises your blood pressure, best not do that.

  89. Hobnob Bob says:

    Morag, not yelling at anyone. It’s called passion, particularly when someone responds with ‘you don’t need an EP because you control the HofC’….

    My original comment was in response to the original writer of the article. Myopic isn’t in it. He is perfectly willing to debunk the ‘E’ issue – for some astonishingly infantile aim of Yorkshire empowerment, while the UK is effectively on its way out…. So what of all the other English counties? Do they get the same empowerment? Does Rutland pack as much as Yorkshire? Or does the author care not a jot for the Ruttish?

    Divide and conquer.

    Thanks for the link. I shall be sure to read it, very, very, very carefully….

  90. velofello says:

    The second benefit of independence for Scotland, as I have discussed with English friends, is that it will break the mould of London-centric politics and lead to a fairer and equitable political governance for English people beyond the South East of England.

  91. sionnach says:

    Thank you, Thomas, for an excellent view from south of the (unpatrolled) border. I’d been toying with the idea of writing something along those lines from here in Oxford, but you’ve done it far more eloquently than I could have!

    Bottom line is that Scotland should vote YES because it can. The question/possibility of English regional assemblies is well outside the scope of this referendum, and is a long long way in the future: it might even depend on iScotland setting an enviable example (which I’m sure it will).

  92. Weedeochandorris says:

    Hey Lindsay! Will just tell you this once. Wipe the muck off your feet before you come trundling through here or you’ll feel the back o’ ma hand. Noo, awa oot and play wi the cars on the street.

  93. Graeme McAllan says:

    Excellent, excellent article – I think that Westminster is scared that Scotland makes a real success of Independence, and the English voters will turn on their government/house of lords as they have squandered Scotland’s resources for 40 years, and what do they have to show for it? The Channel Tunnel? What about social provision for the people – hopefully this will force England to become Independent 😉

  94. You and My Comb says:


    ‘Facepalm’ What a prat.

    Great news from my household. 25 year old daughter doing a PhD at a local, old university in Glasgow has been resistant to my constant midering to get her to read stuff other than MSM. Last night, quite spontaneously, she talked to me about the nonsense that MSM were writing and wanted me to give her places to look. Apart from here, I have given her a list of my favourite online blogs and sites. Brought a tear to a glass eye as I had given up hope of finding the right way to talk to her.

  95. I know a bunch of talented English guys who have openly said that if Scotland gets independence, they will come back to the British Isles and make Scotland their home. Actually, they can’t return home to England(they are effectively exiles) because they happened to fall in love with, and marry foreigners. As some of you may know, the UK makes it impossible to bring back a foreign spouse, unless you have a high paying job in the UK(it doesn’t matter if your spouse makes more than you do, its retarded). For these guys, Scotland is the only hope they have of ever returning to the island they were born in.

    Some food for thought on just how important this independence debate is. This isn’t just about us Scots. If we take our destiny into our own hands, we also help these talented exiles out by taking them in, in their hour of need.

  96. Macart says:

    Much appreciated and timely article Mr Clark.

    This past fortnight has been all about fear, the manipulation of circumstance to generate as much as possible to influence a democratic process.

    There is of course only one sensible conclusion to draw from this for any reasonable human being. Just why should anyone give their vote of confidence to those who would deliberately manipulate their fears and concerns for their own ends? To manipulate those fears in pursuit of taking choice and democratic powers from their hands? The simple answer is you wouldn’t, you’d show them the end of your boot and the door in that order. We have the opportunity to do this in September. Let’s show Westminster governance the door.

  97. nelliejean says:

    Excellent article, Thomas!

    I lived in Yorkshire for 6 years and loved the place. Came back to Scotland with a partner who’s now an enthusiastic Yes-supporter, much to his parents’ delight!

    The only “lovebombing” I’ve had from friends and family there is along the lines of “We love you! Will you move the border and take us with you when you go?”

  98. Vronsky says:

    Y’all know about this?. Interesting range of speakers, but they’re claiming the 450 capacity hall is oversubscribed.

    The skeptical movement originated in the States and is usually associated with the political right there – James Randi et al. Their mantra is ‘extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence’, an extraordinary claim being anything they don’t like the sound of.

    I’d classify the idea that Scotland (or indeed any country) should not be independent as an ‘extraordinary claim’. So far no extraordinary evidence to be seen.

  99. Bigbricks says:

    Hobnob Bob makes some very relevant points. I think there are many reasons for us being in the situation we are now. I’m not a natural SNP supporter, but will be voting YES because it seems to me the only way to get to the sort of society the majority of us would like to see, in which earnings inequality is less than it is now, we can prioritise education and health, and spend a sensibly proportionate amount on defence. What more than anything else has brought me round to this view is the fact that “democracy” in the UK is irrevocably broken, and driven by self-interested, venal politicians in a complex network of back-slapping private arrangements with banks and large corporations.
    Our first past the post electoral system at UK level is the only one of its kind in the EU. We have larger units of local government, and spend less on local government than any other EU country. We are grossly over-centralised, with national policies set to suit a small geographic area around London, and our economy twisted to make money from money, rather than any form of manufacturing. The lack of an English parliament, and indeed devolved assemblies, throughout the UK, is an embarassment as well as being a disgrace to democracy. I believe that a YES vote in September might be the catalyst for change at Westminster, and a re-assessment of the rUK’s place in the world, which is not as a world power with a vast defence budget, but as a medium sized European social democracy. An independent Scotland might force English politicians to look at a map and discover that the country faces Europe rather than the US.
    I strongly recommend “Blossom” by Lesley Riddoch, as reading material for any undecided friends you may have (no financial interest in sales of the book , just to avoid any allegations of venality against me!).
    Ps to Lindsay- if you’re going to make your comments so lengthy, it would be nice if they could also be either witty or sensible.

  100. HandandShrimp says:

    You’re wrong mate. Top of me head, the last Blair electoral win saw a majority of English voters shoving their ‘X’ next to a Tory candidate., yet we got Tony as PM.

    That is true but that was because ofthe first past the post system, not Scotland. Tony still won a slim majority of seats in England in 2005 but more people voted Tory. This was why Cameron wanted to run a boundary commission, reduce seat numbers from 650 to 600 and generally overhaul the system. However, the Lib Dems and Labour were against so he had to shelve that.

  101. fergie35 says:

    Northern England has always been different from South Eastern parts and Western parts, maybe it is not so much Anglo Saxon, rather than of Danish influence.
    Possibly they will start their own movements towards devolution, or use the German model of State parliaments for the different regions? Cornwall, Cumbria and Northumberland, Yorkshire and I’m sure more I dont know about come to mind.

  102. jeremy says:

    i read these replies with massive amounts of distaste,
    how come all of a sudden the scots love english people and welcome to our country and all that pish,it couldnt be because they agree with your point of view is it ?????
    its well known that most scots hate the english , ive lived here for 20 years and my kids were subjected to racial abuse at school and i have been told to f..k off back over the border where i belong on more than one occasion and hear the scots cheering on “anybody but england “in sporting events , so please cut the hypocrisy

  103. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “its well known that most scots hate the english , ive lived here for 20 years and my kids were subjected to racial abuse at school and i have been told to f..k off back over the border where i belong on more than one occasion”

    Maybe it’s not “the English”, Jeremy. Maybe it’s you.

  104. jeremy says:

    and what du you mean by that reverend ?? these comments were made by people who have never seen me before but heard my accent ,and my kids were called ENGLISH bastards
    so unless you know people you should not judge , just as you have done
    and unless you know the facts and i mean facts reverend you shouldnt comment

    I have many friends here who know me and dont care where i am from

  105. There is nothing more racist than generalising people Jeremy, so Pot Kettle Black. There are small minded people everywhere, but its foolish to let those people influence your opinion of an entire group of people

    In case you haven’t noticed already, the people on this site by and large haven’t said anything bad about English people. You’ll probably find that a lot of those “Yar Yar we hate the English yar yar!” types tend to be…wait for it! Unionists. Funny, I know, but when you think about it, it really makes sense. Reactionaries flock together.

  106. proudscot says:

    Two wrongs don’t make a right, but before you lump all of us Scots along with the few racist knuckle-draggers who have inexcusably verbally abused you and your kids, read the comments sections of the Daily Heil and Torygraph. The vile, racist, anti-Scottish venom you will read there will shock even you, I suspect.

    My point being there are racist morons in every country, the EDL and BNP are prime examples of that in England, just as the likes of the Orange Order and pro-IRA factions are up here. I also know several English residents in Scotland who have never experienced the level of abuse you claim to have. BTW, my brother-in-law is a Yorkshireman, and he, and a Geordie friend of mine, don’t like to be classified as English. Strange old world, eh?

  107. Grouse Beater says:

    The glaring problem with anecdotal comment is its veracity.

    I’ve had no end of humiliations at the end of our Cockney friends – the funniest folk on the planet – but worse from London-based companies determined not to allow projects to flow to Scotland.

    I can’t enumerate them unless I quote date, time, place, but above all, names and job category.

    Add to that the cesspit of lumpen trolls who spend their acne ridden lonely hours glued to a computer tossing – pun intended – abuse in all directions leaves one presuming their bile has no basis in fact, but lots in hatred.

    Dropping a few anti-Scots remarks on a website is akin to tossing a squib into a letterbox and running away.

  108. gerry parker says:

    We were brought up to be polite when in someone else’s country. Not enough people are taught that now.

  109. jeremy says:

    thoughts of ascot ,read my comments properly not selectively
    i said that i have a lot of friends here who dont care where i come from ,so where do you get your generalization from?

  110. Steven Thompson says:

    I don’t understand why the vote for independence isn’t offered to the rest of the UK. This will affect everyone, not just Scotland, so the English, Welsh and the Northern Irish should have the right to vote too, after all, at present we are a United Kingdom.

  111. Jeremy, do I need to point it out to you?

    its well known that most scots hate the english

    That is a massive generalisation. That is like me saying most English people hate Scottish people because some English people around me have hurled insults my way on a damn near constant basis. Those knuckle draggers may hate an entire people, but they are a small(but loud) minority. Those people in my experience are what we call reactionaries. Racist and bitter to the core, but also self hating.

    You want to know something about reactionaries? They often vote for the Status Quo.

  112. Steven, Why should it be? We all know what *that* result would have been.

    Being part of the United Kingdom is detrimental to all Scots, and others who live in Scotland. While the UK prances around like it is still a great power, Scotland is sucked dry to feed that machine. We gave our resources, our tax money, for 40 years to help the rest of the UK. What did we get in return? Sneering from westminister and its media lackeys.

    There is nothing “United” about this kingdom of ours. Its a convenient fable spun by Westminister to give the pretense that we, Scots, English, Welsh and Northern Irish are all in this together. fighting the good fight together. Really We are not. Since the inception of this “united” kingdom, they have been pitting us against each other through divide and conquer. They’ve been telling us that we are all better together, while at the same time provoking deep mistrust between the different nations. All of us, Scottish, Welsh, Northern Irish and Northern English, have been told time and time again by Westminster that we are all good for nothing, benefit cheating wastes of space that blight this fair island. Different narratives are spun at different times, depending on which region is misbehaving

  113. Ghengis D'Midgies says:

    “ThoughtsofaScot: Scotland is sucked dry to feed that machine. We gave our resources, our tax money, for 40 years”

    More than just forty years
    “Not just last year, not just for the last 32 years, not just for the last 70 years, but for much longer there is clear evidence of Scotland’s relative financial strength throughout the twentieth century. Scotland’s wealth subsidised investment in London and the South East to the detriment of the North.”

  114. Richard says:

    Being from Middlesbrough I have to admit if you did vote Yes i’d be wishing that you could move the borders so that the North of England could come with you!

    I don’t have strong views on independence for Scotland either way other than that I feel the rest of the UK will be stuck with a Tory government (or worse, UKIP) without the Scottish voters. The only thing I can’t understand is why the Yes and No campaigns with all the financial backing and great political minds are unable to put together as good of a reason in their literature as Another Angry Voice has in that article.

    I really have to say too, in response to Jeremy, although I’ve never lived in Scotland I’ve spent a lot of time in Edinburgh, Glasgow, Bellshill, Livingstone and Greenock over the years and have never been treat with anything other than respect and (other than overhearing a fairly scary conversation from someone about the IRA) I have never found any anti-English speech or hatred. I’m not saying it’s not there, but I struggle to believe that it’s the majority.

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