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Wings Over Scotland

The horse’s mouth, and other parts

Posted on May 27, 2014 by

Yesterday the UK government put out what was even by its standards a ludicrously hyperbolic piece of scaremongering about the costs of independence, suggesting that to set up all the governmental bodies the new state would require might come with an eye-watering price tag of £2.7 billion.


Its citing of the London School of Economics made it particularly interesting to hear what Patrick Dunleavy of the LSE actually said about the figures.



£2.7bn divided by 12 comes out to a rather more affordable £225m – or just slightly over £42 per person in Scotland. (Though in fact many of the bodies already exist and in reality wouldn’t need to be created at all.) We don’t know about you, folks, but for the entire administrative infrastructure of a nation that sounds like a bargain to us.

Readers can of course decide for themselves who’s more likely to be giving the most accurate and honest interpretation of the LSE’s figures – the LSE or the UK government. Either way, it saves us a bit of work. We might go and have a sandwich.

BBC Scotland’s make-or-break new current affairs show, Scotland 2014, debuts on air at 10.3o tonight and will apparently feature an interview with Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander. We keenly await his being interrogated on Mr Dunleavy’s claims that the Treasury has “badly misrepresented” his institution’s work.

We’re sure we won’t be disappointed.

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    1. 28 06 14 15:34

      Start-up, the spin cycle | Are We Really Better Together?

    194 to “The horse’s mouth, and other parts”

    1. Muscleguy says:

      Do your counterfactual predictions work on the web? I thought they had to be tweeted?

    2. Steve Bowers says:

      Dinna hold yer breath Rev !

    3. Murray McCallum says:

      Well this is a timely nugget for Sarah to put to Danny. We need answers.

    4. Alba4Eva says:

      WHEN?.. WHEN?… Just when are people going to wake the HELL UP?


    5. ForgotMaths says:

      I must be missing something – £15m * 180 is £2.7bn, isn’t it?

    6. Croompenstein says:

      O/T – Apparently there are no yes voters in Dundee not one. F*in Ponsonby on STV News doing a piece from Dundee where he spoke to folk and he couldn’t find one yes voter. WTF!

    7. TJenny says:

      Alba4Eva – distant echoes of Cheech and Chong movie there. 🙂

    8. heedtracker says:

      On flagship BBC in Scotland tonightfarce, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander calls for all YES voters to be transported to the colonies.

    9. BBC? They’ll let Danny spout his crap unchallenged and we may even get treated to a gay burst sofa telling us to get breeding.

    10. Pin says:


      That’s mental. My other half is a Dundonian. There are so many yes voters round that neck of the woods that she thinks we should have held the referendum by now and we would have walked it.

      Took me a while to explain that we’re actually behind in the polls. She just can’t see where the hoards of No voters are all hiding

    11. HoraceSayYes says:

      Is that £225m total, or does it have the percentage of Scottish spending which already goes towards Whitehall costs removed?

      And also, it would be spending in Scotland, providing jobs to folk who would be paying tax and spending money in Scotland, helping the local economy, so it has additional benefits there too.

    12. Angus McLellan says:

      Your actual IoG report by White and Dunleavy is here. Quite long, but it’s worth skimming the executive summary if you’ve ten minutes to spare. Strangely enough, the conclusions include the 6Ps: Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance. Who knew?

    13. Angus McLellan says:

      @Horace: This is a one-of cost. Well, one-of until someone decides to reorganize things. Reasons for past reorganizations (given in the report) make for sad reading.
      It cost how much to make a job for John Prescott?

    14. No no no...Yes says:

      @ Croompenstein 6:20pm

      I was having my tea and just about choked with anger. Disgraceful piece of journalism. Given Dundee’s YES profile he didn’t try hard to seek them out. I think it was a latvian student he interviewed who said her country’s independence experience was bad and she was not sure about voting YES in Scotland. Bloody propaganda, I’m away to calm down!

    15. heedtracker says:

      “£2.7bn divided by 12 is a rather more manageable £225m (especially as, in fact, many of the bodies already exist in Scotland and wouldn’t need to be created at all).!”

      So for a lot less than cost of one years BBC licence fee £300+ million, we can have Scotland running Scotland. That’s a toughee.

      Wonder why our ukok BBC liars haven’t run with that headline tonight.

    16. Harry says:

      The Ponsonby Dundee piece was jaw dropping in its bias. He went looking for negativity. Asking one group of women, possibly mother and two daughters, “when it comes on the telly do you reach for the remote?”, “Aye, we dae”. Asking a pensioner who is a No voter who states “we need the help”. Two young lads, one undecided, the other repeats No over and over. An eastern European student, didn’t catch her nationality, who said her country got poorer after indy but stated that there was an appetite for the debate at her Uni and the poll there was 51% No so very close.

      As bad as anything the BBC have come up with. I notice they are not leading with Salmond’s optimism but more doom and gloom about the NHS.

    17. ForgotMaths says:

      Oh, hang on, England’s about 12 times larger, isn’t it.

      Forget I ever posted that.

    18. Croompenstein says:

      @Pin @no no no – Absolute disgraceful,two young guys an undecided and a no, guy in pub who never said either way ust that he was getting negativity from folk who are voting differently??, then an at length interview with an old gadgy that said I’ll vote no because we need the subsidies..WTF and what was with Ponsonby’s club book look?

    19. Training Day says:

      ‘BBC Scotland’s make or break new current affairs show’

      Sorry Rev, there’s nothing that corrupt institution can do to salvage itself – it’s too far gone.

    20. Juteman says:

      Thank you so much for doing this, Stu. You will need a brain transplant by the end of this campaign. I’ve had to stop reading the ‘news’, as it was doing nothing for my blood pressure.
      I think the least WoS readers can do, is fund a nice holiday for you after September the 18th.

      Maybe some place full of foreigners?

    21. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      I hope Prof Robertson of The University of West Scotland is on the game and reporting weekly tallies.


    22. Croompenstein says:

      BBC Scotland’s make-or-break new current affairs show

      What do we want – Flipper and Coburn
      When do we want them – NOW

    23. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      @ Training Day

      BBC Scotland’s make or break new current affairs show

      BBC Scotland is oor ain wee Humpty Dumpty.

      Good only for scrambled egg.

    24. AC says:

      BBC scumbags. May they rot in hell.
      Scotland’s NHS is knackered, according to them.
      Now they’re showing people singing Rule Brittania..WTF!

    25. ianmc says:

      The eastern european student was probably a Russian speaker and decendent.

    26. Col says:

      I watched the STV in Dundee story and it made me so angry I went straight onto the YES Scotland website and had a look to see what events are on. Going to a meeting tomorrow at St Vincent Terrace Glesga and will collect a pile of YES newspapers to deliver and some other leaflets too I think. Maybe if we all switched off when the Scottish news is on and got out there we could make an even greater difference than simply moaning about it. Lets Channel our anger into deeds and claim our country back from the media-ocracy we currently live under. Power to the people!

    27. Andy smith says:

      The Lithuanian student that was interviewed I’m sure was the same one quoted in some paper(can’t remember which)a couple of weeks ago.
      Did they actively seek her out for this ? .

    28. seanair says:

      Didn’t catch whether the young uni girl was Latvian or Lithuanian, so don’t know if she’s telling porkies about the state of her country. Presumably she would like to go back to a Utopian life as a colony of the Soviet Union.
      And no Mr. Ponsonby, admitting that your “sample” of interviewees wasn’t scientific doesn’t excuse your poor journalism. How do these ex-LibDems like B.Ponsonby and Poultice get away with it?

    29. annie says:

      Anyone planning to watch the new version of Newsnight with John Smith’s daughter in the driving street can forget it, it’s business as usual. She was just on Reporting Scotland discussing the topic tonight being the latest figures from the Treasury being rubbished by the Scottish Government EVEN THOUGH THEY ARE NOT YET OFFICIALLY RELEASED. Did we expect anything else.

    30. david anderson says:

      There are a huge number of YES voters in the DEE, my whol

    31. Doug Daniel says:

      The student was Lithuanian, and you have to ask – if she’s a student (i.e. 18-22) then how the hell would she know what Lithuania was like before it became independent?

    32. Steven Roy says:

      So for a lot less than cost of one years BBC licence fee £300+ million, we can have Scotland running Scotland. That’s a toughee.

      That is a cracker of a stat. For those who say that setting up an independent country has to cost a lot we can now say it will cost you less than your TV licence. Will be a lot more worthwhile than facilitating BBC bias.

    33. Nana Smith says:

      Don’t expect any change from the bbc,bias all the way.
      STV are just as bad.
      I’m disgusted by the lot of them.

    34. gordoz says:


      STV UKOK News Broadcast – Saw it: Ponsonby no longer credible at all, very biassed piece > he knows better.
      Its official no YES voters in Dundeed (STV says so!)

      Saw the subliminal messages in ‘Union St’ sign and on U Jack prow of Discovery; very subtle (Aye sure !).

      Ponsonby showed his hand yet again.

    35. david anderson says:

      damned delete button removed all my positive outpourings for the Dee! needless to say there are huge numbers of YES voters in the DEE, my whole family and many many friends all intend to vote YES. There are numerous events and gather ings where the general public show a huge appetite for the positive message of the YES campaign andpolls have indicated support for Independence over the status quo. I myslef will am organising a music event for August that I shall post more about nearer the time and I hope some wingers will come along to support it. O/T I just contributed to the YES bus campaign in Dundee so if anyone wishes to add their wee bit then the link is here

    36. Faltdubh says:

      It’s fairly stupid of me to make an assumption on something I’ve not even seen (this STV report), but I’m guessing that the Lithuanian or Latvian citizen was probably a Russian speaker.

      I take it STV were up the Perth Road or somewhere fairly affluent near the uni?

      Believe me folks, Dundee wil vote yes. It’ll be the highest yes vote of all the Scottish cities!

    37. gordoz says:

      Andy smith says:

      The Lithuanian student; Yeah I saw that in press too.

      Its co-ordinated and they’re not even trying to hide it anymore.

      Just ‘too easy’ for UK state machine; who’s going to stop them ?

      No ones being physically injured by this tactic and Scots wont March in the Streets over this state system brainwashing coverage.

      Scotland sleepwalks towards a NO vote by relentless state media mantra.

    38. Paula Rose says:

      @ Juteman (6:34) – a nice holiday for the Rev after the 18th, full of foreigners, that’ll be Scotland then!

    39. Pin says:

      Referendum coverage in our media is bad for my mental health. Glad the Rev exposes this stuff but it only gets me down.

      For the most part I give it a rubber ear- I speak to the people I know about the indyref where we can have a civil, honest conversation.

      Sometimes we’ll agree to disagree but there’s none of the manipulation, deliberate lying, concealed agenda you get from journalists.

      Oh and now and again I check on social media what the wider Yes movement are up to

      But pulling your hair out over what the media are saying just isn’t worth it

    40. Famous15 says:

      Some are getting excited about the BBC bias but their lack of understanding of Scotland betrays them constantly. Take the crowd of Unionists they filmed outside the SG Cabinet meeting,we know who THEY are and the upside down Union Flag and the English quartered Royal Standard confirms it.
      No I did not see the knuckles scraping the ground or hear the cry of No Surrender to know.LOL.

      My sense of humour betrays my Proddy upbringing and no I am not ashamed of it since I did not choose it. I hope I have now risen above such nonsense.

    41. gordoz says:

      @Famous15 (Same story for me)

      Agree but they still make me boak.

    42. manandboy says:

      If ‘Scotland 14’ shows no change in the BBC Scotland Director, Ken McQuarrie’s anti Yes Campaign, then I suspect there will be a sudden swelling in the queue to cancel the TV Licence.
      If only I could persuade my wife !

    43. Alabaman says:

      You know, sometimes just sometimes , I wish it was the year 1314 again, and that we could really, REALLY make it count for “all time”!!, and that we would not have to keep returning to fight the good fight over and over.

    44. Muscleguy says:

      Nobody asked me here in Dundee either. You have to wonder how come the SNP do so well in Dundee if there are no Yes supporters here.

    45. peter says:

      A YouGov survey on Independence and how newspapers stance on the referendum would alter my decision to purchase or not, also asking voting intentions. A sign perhaps that the polls are showing a definite swing toward Yes, I hope so.

    46. handclapping says:

      I’m not nearly as worried by the anti-independance of the MSM after Thursday. To take up a point I made on “talking about last night” There will be worried faces at the Beeb as BBC support for UKIP blasted them to 30% in E+W but only 10% in Scotland.

      It gives Yes a figure on how much the Beeb’s hostility will skew the Referendum outcome and to me it looks like something we can handle. so the effect of BT’s main supporter is being nullified by the boots on the streets and will be even more so when the argument becomes constitutional and not political

    47. EphemeralDeception says:

      No matter what the No campaign are going to continue to publish deeply flawed or blatantly untrue scare stories. This carpet bombing of total crap will continue in the hope that some will stick just enough to dissuade the don’t knows on the 18th.

      It also has the added benefit of avoiding real debate and keeping the YES campaign busy countering all the crap ‘into the bargain’ – as John Sweeney would say.

      For me there are 3 ways of countering this:
      a)Ensure people are aware that this is all part of project Fear and that 90% of No campaign press releases have been misleading and false. This approach has limited impact on its own.
      b) The YES campaign (not the SNP) now need to make a sustained and vocal attack on BBC BIAS in order to increase awareness.
      c) Ensure a high turnout by informing and engaging public directly through the grass roots networks. This I think is already a huge success and I think is the main activity that can counter the No Campaign propaganda war.

      The BBC meanwhile will continue as they have: doing whatever they like within their own agenda.

    48. Auld Rock says:

      About Bettertogether broadcasting Corporation’s new show tonight, I’ve just got my bucket ready. I suppose that we’ll have a response from John Swinney to keep things even-handed – LOL. Pass the bucket!!!

      Auld Rock

    49. Muscleguy says:

      Me too. My No supporting wife even agrees with me that BBC Scotland is biased and awful. But still won’t let me tell the licensing people to F-off.

      March 2016 cannot come fast enough. If there isn’t a clearout at PQ with lots having to apply to join the SBC I will be very angry. The people Derek Bateman (what is up with his blog?) named and others must be shitting themselves as the polls get closer and closer.

    50. Democracy Reborn says:

      O/T (apologies)

      Hypocrisy of the BritNats (No.49):-

      Only ONE day after Johann’s “progressive” politics & Sarwar’s “No joy in UKIP – we must continue fight against nationalism” tweet. Courtesy of today’s online Guardian:

      Ed Milliband delivered a “conciliatory message” today to UKIP voters in Essex, trying to “reach out” to them. Ed said “it is not prejudiced to worry about immigration. It is understandable.”

      Goin yersel Ed – fighting nationalism indeed!

    51. YESGUY says:

      So sad . But it’s what we can now class as the “norm”. The BBC/STV have nailed their colours to the mast . I don’t hold out too much confidence in the “new “show , more like sames scares ,smears different voice.

      This is a grass roots campaign and it will be the people walking ,talking and spreading the truth that will win this referendum. Not the tv. People are all too aware of the spin on tv. Don’t underestimate them . it’s getting to the point where we really should organize a boycott of the license fee. And keep talking to folk.

      We have enough ammo to last 10 campaigns. Almost everyone i know takes much of the MSM with a LARGE pinch of salt. We’re not paranoid , every ones noticing .

      And as shameful as it is that we have an UKIP mep in Scotland and the BBC can take a large chunk of that blame, it’s also a bonus. We know where the rUK is going and i believe most will make sure we are on a different road.

      keep up the good work folks . We’re almost home.

    52. ronnie anderson says:

      Is that the London School of Economics that Gaddaffi’s Son

      bought his Degree LOL.

    53. Muscleguy says:

      What’s the betting Ms Smith will be blissfully unaware of the LSE’s complaining that Westminster have wilfully misunderstood their figures and got them wildly wrong.

    54. Dr Ew says:

      Would anyone take me up on an accumulator bet that Danny Alexander will:
      a) Repeat the cyncial spin on the LSE report
      b) Repeat his assertion that independence will cost Scots at least £1,700 per head (or £5,400, or possibly some other number he’ll make up off the top of his head), and
      c) That he won’t face any serious jounralistic pursuit of the sources of his figures or assertions.

      If I’m wrong on I’ll donate £10 to Wings (I’m skint right now). If you’re right you donate £5,400. Deal?

    55. bookie from hell says:

      Severen Carrell–Twitter

      Some boos for @DavidCoburnUKip as it emerges he, Scotland’s newest MEP has a home address in Kensington, London #EP2014 #EPScot

      this video shows laughter

    56. Morag Graham Kerr says:

      The reports criticising Said Gaddafi’s PhD thesis were malicious. His external examiner said he defended the thesis very well in his viva voce examination.

      A malicious journalist looked at perfectly legitimate sources Said had cited in his thesis, and based his arguments on, and called plagiarism. It was absolutely unfounded. Scholarship relies on citation and discussion of earlier work.

      I’m not saying Said is the greatest genius of creation, or that daddy’s influence didn’t help him get his post-grad place at the LSE. However he seems to have actually done the work and produced a respectable, journeyman-level thesis which was legitimately awarded a PhD.

    57. Aikenheed says:

      Just what I thought but much more succinctly put.
      When history reviews our path th independence I think this will be seen as a pivotal moment.
      The MSM have been bigging up UKIP to undermine the We Are Different claim.
      They now have a tiger by the tail as they realise that UKIP “success” is galvanising the don’t knows, the scared of the unknown and the genuine Labour supporter who now sees the emperor in all his glory.
      As UKIP emerge in their true colours what to do?
      How to attack them without boosting the YES side now that UKIP are in the fold?
      THe MSM have been hoist by their own petard – I just wonder how many of the BBC labor placemen acolytes go home at night and ponder on what they are about – then again perhaps not.

    58. TD says:

      Just to be fair to the poor old BBC, I have just used their on line “Have you got a story” facility to make sure they have this story about the UK government lying to the people of Scotland and abusing their position of power. Quite a newsworthy story I would have thought if it concerned any other aspect of life in the UK apart from the indyref. However, as it does, I’m not holding my breath.

    59. Brian says:

      In all this talk of the Lithuanian Student, lets not forget the very real possibility that she was selectively quoted.

    60. Morag Graham Kerr says:

      Damn. Just posted a comment pointing out that Gaddafi’s son earned his PhD legitimately and defended his thesis to the external examiner. (Though no doubt daddy’s position helped him get into the LSE as a post-grad student in the first place.)

      Disappeared, possibly into the spam filter. Ah well.

    61. bigGpolmont says:

      Yeah, Dont get me wrong but if you were to set up 180 different departments that did not talk to each other,
      allowing them all to duplicate the work the others do, Man them with incompetant civil servants who are content to let things slip until they get their super superannuated pension, giving each the same sort of expenses and allowances that they get at westminster, cock up procurement of IT systems that will never work and generally flush wads of cash down the toilet then their figures probably are correct.
      but who says we want to copy how Wasteminster does things?

    62. Liquid Lenny says:

      Both my next door neighbour and I have just received calls from BT, He didn’t sound to confident on the phone, maybe he is getting fed up being told what way the vote is going:)

    63. kendomacaroonbar says:

      Let’s be clear, whatever the set up costs are, the money will be spent in Scotland !

    64. seoc says:

      The desperate ‘NOs’ and their equally anxious backers would seem prepared to distort any attempt to have a sensible discussion based on discernible facts.

      Yet THEY want to keep control of Scotland.

    65. Dcanmore says:

      regarding Ponsonby/STV, once again we see the MSM trying change opinion rather than reflect it.

    66. Paul says:

      People it is time to hit these unionist biased companies where it hurts, stop watching unionist stations like STV(NBTV)and the BBC(MCBC With their press allies stop commenting and clicking that just gives ad revenues to the likes of the North Briton, the Daily retard etc. It is time for the gloves to come off so far we have allowed the unionists to do all the running No more come on Blair and the rest of the leaders of the yes campaign you are almost invisible. Lets see and hear you.

    67. CameronB Brodie says:

      On the subject of the BBC and their apparent ease with promoting what your average punter might consider fascism.

    68. GrahamB says:

      Derek Bateman’s blog seems to be working again. I’m sure he won’t mind me quoting this paragraph which does not quite instill confidence in the new programme:
      “The bigger issue with this programme is its leadership. Marcus Ryder is the editor and that should send shockwaves through the team as to my knowledge he has no interest in Scottish politics and has never expressed any. He was editor of the investigations section where a major role was to sell programmes to the network so his focus was always on what London wanted. His understanding of Scotland is, by repute, scant. One producer tells of him watching a clip of Nicola Sturgeon circa 2008 and saying: If that’s what the SNP are claiming, we’d better get a reaction from the Scottish government – only to be quietly told the SNP WERE the government…”

    69. mj says:

      I just read the first few pages of the ifg “making and breaking whitehall departments” and it’s clear where bt’s figure comes from but even more clear the flaw in their calculation. recommend a quick look wingers!

    70. call me dave says:

      Bateman’s been ok to get online for a couple of days.

    71. mj says:

      Dcanmore, i like your phrase. msm trying to change opinion rather than reflect it.

    72. Nana Smith says:

      Sorry I can’t access the rest of this article from the FT

      Data on cost of Scots government ‘misleading’

      LSE professor hits out at Treasury ‘manipulation’ of his research

    73. Fireproofjim says:

      I have just emailed Blair Jenkins asking him when the Yes campaign are going to start rebutting the No lies, and start using words like “liar, ("Quizmaster" - Ed) and rogue”. We must take the initiative and vigorously grab the headlines. We are far too polite and time is short.
      I spend much of my time delivering thousands of rather bland Yes newspapers around the tenements of Edinburgh and would love to have something which will stir people out of their apathy.
      At 76 years of age the stairs keep getting steeper, but I want my efforts to be worth while, with something to catch the attention of the undecided.
      At my age I am obviously not doing this for my benefit but for the future of my beloved Scotland.

    74. Fireproofjim, yir some man! Keep up the good work.

    75. Grouse Beater says:

      Many thanks for clarification, Stuart, on the alleged trillion, billion pound plethora of bureacracy that will sink Scotland before it manages to finance and open a kiddies petting zoo.

      Our colonial-minded pals have so clouded honest reports and advice from their neck of the woods one automatically distrusts anything that arrives by carrier pigeon with a sprig of laurel in its beak.

      On the Sarah Smith Show – I’ve already expressed cynicism over the trailer that warns of another clunky sofa and chat show as pioneered by Andrew Neill – the One Show but it comes from Scotland! Cynical? Me?

    76. john king says:

      Im in heaven
      my town is in the eye of the Labour storm,
      and (I thought) foursquare behind Gordon brown,
      then this happens,

      we’re winning guys!

      If we can break Lochgelly and Cardenden ,Cowdenbeath will be a pushover 🙂

    77. Hood says:

      Nana Smith says:
      27 May, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      Sorry I can’t access the rest of this article from the FT

      Data on cost of Scots government ‘misleading’

      LSE professor hits out at Treasury ‘manipulation’ of his research

      see here

    78. Nana Smith says:


      Thanks for that.

    79. Silverytay says:

      Kendomacaroonbar , I left a message for you over on off topic on Saturday .
      I am looking for more wings car stickers for Yes in the Park if you have them

      If you have some left email me your address to mmccabe [at] ea [dot] n-lanark [dot] sch [dot] uk and I will send you a S.A.E and a bit extra to cover your costs .

      cheers Mike McCabe

    80. Graeme Doig says:

      Nice to see a lot of different names posting here.
      We’re going to do this people !


      I’ve got my claymore ready

    81. cynicalHighlander says:

      @call me dave

      following your link gives me “Internal Server Error”

      It is very iffy in getting it in bits or at all.

    82. haud on the noo says:

      BBC. I’ve had enough, beyond angry with the deception and lies. Someone posted a number to call to explain the reasons for cancellation. Anybody got that to hand ? Thanks.

    83. seanair says:

      call me dave
      Nope, it doesn’t work, as cynical highlander says.

    84. call me dave says:

      @seanair & cynicalHighlander

      Works for me here is the first paragraph.

      Is tonight the night? Is it true that this evening BBC Scotland’s new, classy and (allegedly) controversial replacement for Newsnicht will air for the first time and change the political landscape? Well, let’s hope so.

      Sorry can’t suggest a solution.

    85. msean says:

      Wonder how far into the new newsnicht 2.0 we will get before either ukip or Mr Farage is mentioned.

    86. call me dave says:

      Link on the WoS list of blogs works for me too???

    87. kendomacaroonbar says:


      Pinged you off a reply.

    88. Alex Gallacher says:

      All this talk of BBC bias. Don’t want to give anyone any ideas here, but back in the day I do remember radio free Scotland and it did annoy the BBC especially when their signals were jammed probably more difficult to do now.

    89. Andy-B says:

      Barclay’s Bank proclaiming that there would be a 60% chance of Scotland adopting its own currency if it became independent, according to its economic advisers. Barclay’s also claim, that a currency union is unsustainable, and Scotland’s oil reserves are in steep decline.

    90. msean says:

      Which is strange,I thought Barclay’s were neutral on the indyref.

    91. X_Sticks says:

      Bateman’s working fine for me from the link at the top of the page.

    92. cynicalHighlander says:

      @Alex Gallacher

      Not the real Alex Gallacher of aka Braveheart infamy?

    93. Rock says:

      “I think the least WoS readers can do, is fund a nice holiday for you after September the 18th.”

      But it will have to be a short holiday because Stuart’s incredible talent will be a great asset to be put to use rapidly in a newly independent Scotland.

    94. ronnie anderson says:

      Am gonny be ready fur the rubber room by the time Sept come,s,ah hiv visions of Steve McQueen in The Great Escape,
      only its no a baw am bouncin aff the waw its a
      Rubber Calculator.

    95. TJenny says:

      call me dave – what’s the title of Derek’s article that you refer to? The top article on his site, that I’m seeing, is ‘Better Together, The Proof’ from yesterday, but your quote isn’t the same opening para.

    96. bunter says:

      My windows 8 laptop cant access Batemans blog but my wee android phone can. Hmmmm

    97. cynicalHighlander says:

      Re Derek Bateman just got in and can see comments here.

    98. TJenny says:

      bunter – I’m also using a windows 8 laptop and I can access DB’s site but it’ not showing any article for today.

    99. bunter says:

      Barclays surely know the consequences of no CU for rUK duh. Sounds like they will be using the famed OBR estimates on oil too.

      Looks like all offices of state and institutions are on message in defence of the realm.

    100. Paula Rose says:

      Derek’s article is called “Going Live…” try going through Wee Ginger Dug – it worked for me just now.

    101. bunter says:

      There is a new article but not there when I use windows 8. I get error messages when I try to access older threads too.

    102. TJenny says:

      Paula Rose – that didn’t work either, still only seeing yesterday’s article – how odd. 🙁

    103. Kev says:

      Will be giving this 2014 programme 5 mins of my time and if its business as usual ill switch over to Sturgeon, Lamont on Scotland Tonight although I don’t think its a debate this time, instead they are just answering questions from viewers – I wonder how many Jola will manage to answer without hurling insults at Nicola.

    104. Alex Gallacher says:

      cynicalHighlander, The real Alex Gallacher – Nationalist – not infamous but perhaps notorious.

    105. cynicalHighlander says:

      @haud on the noo

      This one?

    106. Robert Kerr says:

      Derek Bateman.

      Got “internal server error”

      Tried again and it worked instantly


    107. Paula Rose says:

      TJenny – does this work for you?

    108. DaveDee says:

      Scotland Tonight: Johann Lamont and Nicola Sturgeon debate

      2235 STV

    109. Croompenstein says:

      @DaveDee – I hope Kay’s Catalogue man Ponsonby isn’t back on with his Dundee Drivel

    110. TJenny says:

      Paula Rose – Unfortunately not. That link gives me a ‘URL not found and in addition a 404 error’. Ach, well, I’m sure the Rev will pass comment on the BBC’s show tonight.

    111. DaveDee says:

      Re Scotland Tonight

      this is the description but I’m not sure if will be an actual debate or just individual interviews,

      It may seem it has been a long time coming, but on Friday the official independence referendum campaign period will begin.

      The rival sides will have 16 weeks to win the hearts and minds of the Scottish people.

      Scotland Tonight invited Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, representing the pro-independence Yes campaign, and Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont, representing the pro-Union No campaign, to debate the issues.


    112. Paula Rose says:

      TJenny – posted the article in Quarantine

    113. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Kendomacaroonbar/Silvertay, if your going to CH2 Ken bring the stickers I will square you up & give the to Michiel.

    114. ronnie anderson says:

      give them to Michiel, ( edit edit edit eejit )thats me no yous.

    115. haud on the noo says:

      Thanks, cynicalh.. off to sack London in morning so will sort it Friday, assuming my heads still attached.

    116. Hood says:

      Looks like the adverts in cinemas will be banned from June 5th but also looks like Yes ones were being planned for after that date so wont be shown.

    117. annie says:

      Re the Lithuanian student, I have worked occasionally with a young, mid thirties, Lithuanian woman and when discussing the indy ref she said her country had bad experiences after independence, although better now, however I pointed out that Scotland is a wealthy nation so unfair to draw comparisons. She agreed to keep an open mind.

    118. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      STV’s Ponsonby/Dundee interviews.

      The guy who said that Scotland “needs the subsidies” was named as Jimmy Borland.

      Mr Borland is a regular contributor to the letters pages in The Courier and Evening Telegraph. He’s also on Tay AM’s “Talk -In” show on Sundays almost every week.

      Makes you wonder how such a media personality just happened to be having a seat in the city centre for Ponsonby’s convenience.

    119. cynicalHighlander says:

      I hope that Nicola has a card with ‘ANSWER the QUESTION’ to show the camera.

    120. cynicalHighlander says:

      I hope that Nicola has a card with ‘ANSWER the QUESTION’ to show the camera.

    121. TD says:

      Just got this on FT
      “Ministers in London have misled Scottish voters over how much it would cost to set up an independent government in Edinburgh, according to the man whose analysis underpins the Treasury’s case for Scotland remaining in the UK”
      So at least one publication in the MSM recognises that this is a story worth reporting.

    122. TJenny says:

      Paula Rose – thanks for that xxx 🙂

    123. cynicalHighlander says:

      @haud on the noo

      Ransack I hope!

    124. caz-m says:

      Ronnie Anderson

      What is the dress code for Friday. Smart but casual or tuxedos. I want to blend in.

    125. neil mackenzie says:

      According to FT costs to be £1.5bn

    126. Grouse Beater says:

      I’ve yet to hear of a single BBC executive, in Pacific Quay or HQ London, sensitive to greedy salaries, offering an enganced budget, or to reduce by half their salary in order that Scotland gets a good budget for its political programmes on the run-up to the plebiscite.

      Expect hamburgers sold as before, only advertised as this month’s once-in-a-lifetime-with-sauce at the same price.

    127. Clootie says:

      Independence will cost more than all the money currently in existence . We will become a black hole which destroys the universe.

      It will cost gazillions

    128. Thomas Valentine says:

      So BBC Scotland’s “Scotland 2014” programme will be one long NO campaign party political broadcast. Will they pose supposedly big questions while nodding obsequiously to weak answers without examination or contradiction? What future after all this is there for the BBC? Once you sell yourself you can’t do more than rent your soul back.

    129. Taysideterrier says:

      Here we go!
      Scotland 2014 by bbc.

      Sure this will be really impartial.

      Danny alexander to discuss the costs of independence!

    130. msean says:

      I think it is a big NO from the new auld newsnicht with purple lightbulbs ,’the cost of independence’negative right from the off.

    131. msean says:

      Switching over

    132. rab_the_doubter says:

      I’m going to wear my smart casual tuxedo ?

    133. Lesley-Anne says:

      Well folks it looks like NOB has had its chips, sorry about that, just seen this tweet from Severin Carrwell, yes folks THAT Severin Carrell.

      Exclusive: Odeon, Vue and Cineworld ban all #indyref campaign ads after surge of pro-yes complaints at @UK_Together

    134. kendomacaroonbar says:

      Jo La doing a load of assertion tonight.

    135. rab_the_doubter says:

      Soooo, Danny Alexander says the UK has deep pockets. Its a pity it has short arms as far as Scotland is concerned.

    136. msean says:

      lol good one,vote Labour ,Johann!

    137. heedtracker says:

      So no YES or presence whatsoever on all new BBC in Scotland flagship. as Danny Alexander waffles his crappy old list of project fear. They may aswell have painted lipstick on Gordon Brewer with a nice blonde wig.

    138. caz-m says:

      Scotland 2014.

      What a load of crap.

    139. HandandShrimp says:

      Poor Danny. I think he saw his future on Sunday night.

    140. Training Day says:


      It appears that Mr Borland, upon whom Bernard Ponsonby chanced in Dundee, is also a regular correspondent of the Daily Mail.

    141. caz-m says:

      When you listen to clowns like Johann Lamont or Danny Alexander,

      why are the undecided still undecided?

    142. bunter says:

      Missed the new newsnight with Alexander, did they hit him with the FT article on the fiddled figures?

    143. HandandShrimp says:

      It sounds like Bernard has been less than honest in his amble around Dundee. Perhaps we should ask him why he met so many voices that have already been heard? What are the chances of that happening?

    144. carthannas says:

      Just watched the new programme. Same old, same old. Danny Alexander got the usual easy ride that BBC Scotland gives No interviewees. Then some drivel from the BBC News website. Why did we expect it might be better than normal? Back to Scotland Tonight tomorrow.

    145. Croompenstein says:

      @bunter – kinda tickled him with it

    146. gerry parker says:

      @ haud on the noo.
      Dr JM Mackintosh posted this on another thread.
      “O/T – I have been on a round of complaints over the last few days.

      I had a long chat with the Electoral Commission on Friday and there nothing they can do about BBC as they cannot interfere with the “free press”. They referred me to OFCOM.

      Also on the CBI there is nothing they can do about them as it is up to the CBI to decide who should have signed their registration forms. They cannot decide who is deemed a “junior official”. All they can do is monitor the CBI and make sure they are not spending lots of money during the referendum campaign supporting the No Campaign.

      OFCOM call was very instructive about how our country works. OFCOM monitors the BBC output for everything apart from BIAS and ACCURACY. They have no authority to regulate the BBC on these issues and can do nothing about bias against the Yes campaign. I was speechless.

      So the BBC has to regulate itself via the BBC Trust – I am sure they will do a great job.

      Here is the BBC Trust’s number 03700 103 100

      Do not bother complaining to anybody else – they will all do nothing.”

    147. carthannas says:

      Sorry, forgot to say that the LSE business was brought up, he brushed it off, she let it go. Like I said, why did we expect this programme would be any different to the rest of BBC Scotland’s corrupt coverage of the independence debate.

    148. bunter says:

      Same old BBC pish.

      Why would they not want to launch a new programme with a bang when you have a huge story breaking in the FT, on Alexanders fiddled figures, all laid out on a plate.

      The BBC will just feed this new UKOK paper tomorrow into everyones home as fact.


    149. Grouse Beater says:

      Same old, same old

      hate to say it but I told you so.

      Expect hamburgers sold as before, only advertised as this month’s once-in-a-lifetime-with-sauce, same price.

      BBC Scotland is like confirmed No voters, too cowed, too timid, and too buttoned up to sieze the day.

    150. caz-m says:

      BBC Scotland will surely drop this report once they hear that the guy that wrote it says the UK Government have exaggerated the figures.

      You don’t think BBC Scotland would make it their headline story, knowing that it was a pile of shit, do you?

    151. Taysideterrier says:

      If they are genuinely going to talk about whats “trending” in social media, it may be worth keeping an eye on what is actually “trending” and what they report.

      Would be awfully naughty to push trend a story on social media like the FT’s article mentioned earlier and see what happens.

      Or is it only what trends from the bbc website? Not sure how it works?

    152. CameronB Brodie says:

      Has the BBC stopped being the state broadcaster? Why expect a leopard to change it’s spots?

    153. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Caz M If its a warm nite on Frid ah mibby waer ma Kilt an
      leave the drawers in the hoose.

    154. Grouse Beater says:

      Stick Brewster back in Smith’s seat and what has changed?

      Female for male and the backdrop – now an Arizona sunset!

    155. Marcia says:

      I spoke to at least a dozen Yes voters in Dundee today. Pity Bernard didn’t let me know he was around as I could have put a few up for an interview with him.

    156. Graeme Doig says:

      DA side stepped the LSE question and quoted some study from Quebec. Quoted some percentage of GDP estimated by this guy for setting up a separate state in Quebec. Who is this guy? How does this relate to Scotland? … and answer the bloody question!
      How stupid are we if we swallow this rubbish.
      I’ve had enough. I’m off to bed.

    157. Lesley-Anne says:

      Now that we have all recovered from the scintillating first episode of BBC Scotland’s new political programme I assume we were all suitably impressed with how much superior to the old newsnicht it is. WHIT? you say you are NOT impressed. Well knock me down with a feather I could have sworn this programme was supposed to be a sign that the BBC was listening to the viewers and changing. Oh well UKIP Channel rumbles on then I suppose.

      Following the really deep and in depth scrutiny of the new government report due out tomorrow based on the L.S.E. report I can only assume that tomorrow night’s programme will treat the Scottish government spokesperson with the same level of respect as that shown to dear old Danny Alexander tonight. Oh wait a minute I’m talking about the UKIP Channel here of course they won’t it will be interruption after interruption!

    158. Tam Jardine says:

      What was that Scotland 2014 programme all about then? If the point was to remind me how much I like Gordon Brewer then it has succeeded.

      Gentle interview with Danny Carmichael highlighting cost of indy… a bad photo of AS with a fitba… nothing much on the minor matter of a crypto fascist lunatic fringe party’s monumental success down south and the implications for the referendum.

      Early days of course. There is no way Gordon would have let Danny Alexander off the hook so easy over the LSE misrepresentation or let him blab on with a PPB a few days after the Lib Dems were humiliated in both a national election and in the English council elections.

      I mean, is a lightweight magazine style programme what we want or what we need? Of course not. They have taken one of the only serious Scottish political progs where Mr Brewer would regularly tear the normally bubble wrapped BT politicians and expects apart, tear them a new one. They killed it and replaced it with something lightweight.

      I miss Newsnight Scotland. Didn’t they do the same with Radio Scotland? I am not a listener but I heard they had killed a show on there too.

    159. Donald says:

      Hi, in regards to Dundee and Bernard Ponsoby I live/work in Dundee and attend Dundee Uni and with very few exceptions most folk I know say they are Voting YES. Indeed I was informed by one of my lecturers that pretty much the entire staff bar one are YES voters.

    160. Papadox says:

      News night Scotland was dreadful and putting it out of its misery was probably the kindest thing they could do for it and it’s “actors”. So well done whoever made that call. You saved some people from excessive punishment.

      Scotland 2014 pure and utter pish, with truly awful “actors”. A poor imitation of NEWSNICHT Scotland.

    161. Grouse Beater says:

      What was that Scotland 2014 programme all about then?

      It was conceived middle-aged before it is born.

    162. StevieMcB says:

      Same old, tame old, BBC, No in depth questions on Alexanders repeated lies & Ken kicking tyres, Oh no.

    163. Murray McCallum says:

      The format of Scotland 2014 was odd for a late night news programme. Maybe the producer thought it was going out at 10.30AM – easy mistake to make.

      I’m prepared to give Sarah Smith some time to settle in.

    164. Jamie Arriere says:

      Hmmm…pretty insipid interview with Alexander, pleased she referred to the LSE complaint but did not pursue it hard enough & dropped the baw. Will reserve full judgement till I see their treatment of Scot Gov report tomorrow night.

      If the claws which were missing tonight suddenly appear tomorrow night, it’ll be OFF with the switch.

    165. manandboy says:

      KEN MCQUARRIE, Director of BBC Scotland, and JOHN BOOTHMAN, BBC Scotland Head of News will have to endure more criticism from the Licence payers after a poor show
      with Scotland 2014 on it’s opening night.

      Featuring the very depressed Danny Alexander who is compelled by his bosses to lie every time he speaks about Independence, the show, frankly, isn’t even worth commenting on.
      It was that bad.

    166. Lesley-Anne says:

      I agree with you on that one Jamie. What is the point of mentioning the LSE report, letting Alexander waffle on and then NOT pressing him the figures produced by Westminster or accusations from the report’s author. It doesn’t make any sense. I now fully expect that the Scottish government spokesperson will be given just as easy a ride in their interview tomorrow night. I say expect but realistically I think we all know the interview tomorrow night will be littered with interruptions!

    167. Footsoldier says:

      Must admit Sarah Smith is good on the eye, ok a sexist compliment, and she was feeling her way. Unfortunately she is following the trend of BBC Scotland presenters, cannot say journalist on tonight’s performance, by not being a forensic questioner.

      Her question to Danny Alexander re LSE saying their findings were not being accurately reported, was a good one but she then let him completely off the hook by allowing a load of waffle & twaddle to masquerade as an answer, instead of pursuing it. Typical BBC Scotland tactics, nothing has changed, unfortunately.

      Mind you John Mackay over on STV is a bit of a lightweight too totally lacking the killer instinct in his line of questioning with Nicola Sturgeon and Johann Lamont.

    168. manandboy says:


      Speaking with John Beattie on Radio Scotland,
      Sarah Smith said: “It’s about asking tough questions,
      about covering the issues
      that really matter to Scotland . . .”

      I guess KEN MCQUARRIE & JOHN BOOTHMAN fell down on the job then.

    169. In the FT Prof Dunleavy states the £1.5 billion figure was based on the costs Labour incurred in their chaotic setting up of departments in the Scottish Government. He expects the actual costs incurred by the an independent Scotland to be in the region of £150 to £200 million as most of the departments already exist and will only need expanding.

      Prof Young (of the IFS) said in his view was it would cost a maximum of £600 million around 0.4% of annual output based on similar calculation for Quebec’s independence.

      Neither are anywhere near Danny’s £1.5 billion figure.

      So last Thursday we were told Danny was going to say the cost would be £2.7 billion, on Sunday when the Sunday Herald blew the gaff it was down to £1.5 billion and one of the authors of the report on the LSE /IFS research is saying the actual figure could be in the region of £150 to £200 million.

    170. TD says:

      On the BBC website:
      LSE academic Patrick Dunleavy posted on his Twitter account: “UK Treasury press release on #Scotland costs of government badly misrepresents LSE research.”

      Mr Salmond added: “This is a devastating verdict on the Treasury’s figures from one of the authors of the report they have been using to base their work on.

      “And it totally undermines everything they have to say this week about the finances of an independent Scotland.”

      Has WOS shamed the BBC into a smidgeon of honest reporting?

    171. Mariaskid says:

      I’m so disappointed, I rather naively expected this new special Scottish political programme to be a proper grown up production, with sharp witted questioners asking insightful questions, and even a modicum of impartiality.

      However, I couldn’t have been more wrong, what should have been an important interview was stuck in between other items of general news and some inane drivel. Looks to me as if they are just producing an average magazine programme with some Scottish input to keep us happy.

      It seems like a continuation of the policy not to inform or enlighten. This was an insult to our intelligence.

    172. Andrew Morton says:

      Derek Bateman will be gutted. He was pinning his hopes on her.

    173. Taranaich says:

      Any chance we’ll see this in Private Eye, or will they just go with the “UKIP being voted for by 1 in 10 Scots is exactly the same as 1 in 4 English/Welsh” paradigm?

      That’s if they cover the Scottish elections at all, of course, though if they try to pull any of the nonsense we just saw in trying to present the rise of UKIP as anything other than the result of mass media and Labour/Tory/LibDem pandering to anti-immigration xenophobia, well, there you go.

      Just as well I’m in Arizona for the next few weeks and won’t find out.

    174. Paul says:

      The rubbish that Ponsoby couldn’t find a yes voter in Dundee reminds me of when the Hootsmon/North Britain did an election sample a few years ago and everybody they had in their rag was meant to be voting Liberal when in fact the Liberals got absolutely hammered.

    175. Ken500 says:

      It’s half the cost that it is now (excluding HoL/Scottish Office?). More jobs based in Scotland giving growth to the Scottish economy. Defence would be the same. Less spent – No Trident, redundant weaponry or illegal wars and more jobs based inScotland adding to the economy and growth. A fair, equal and progressive tax system. HMRC is not fit for purpose.

      UKIP are disgusting. Bankrupt Britain is a result if Westminster policies, not hardworking, smart immigrants, including hairdressers and dentists. Lively people. Westminster lies have come back to bite them. It is Brits returning from Spain because of the US/UK banking recession that increases the statistics. In all Eurooean countries the population Is falling (without immigration) because people are having less children. It is only in Africa the population is increasing because of poor health care. Once African health care improves.(soon) The world population will fall.

      Immigration is not a problem in the UK. It is Westminster lies. A diversion from Westminster economic/social/foreign policies which caused the recession. Tax evasion. The ghost train line to nowhere is another commercial decision to line the pockets of Westminster Politicans. The business plan is flawed. Not enough passengers in the future to make it commercially viable. (falling population. Strict immigration). The funds should be used to take the railways back to public control and improve the service, especially in the North.

    176. Ken500 says:

      Danny Alexander – Treasury figures. That’s a laugh. Don’t know whether to laugh or cry Clegg/Coburn. At least the YES vote will increase. Silver lining.

    177. Elliot Bulmer says:

      In other news, I read that the war in Eurasia has cost 37 billion.

    178. Grouse Beater says:

      Danny Alexander – Treasury figures

      He has no mandate either to serve or to belittle Scotland.

      He joins a long list of carpetbaggers afraid they’re about to lose salaries, perks, job, and status.

    179. Grouse Beater says:

      @ Andrew Morton
      Derek Bateman will be gutted. He was pinning his hopes on her

      The idiom of the programme is wholly at odds with the hunger, fire, and passion of the Referendum debate.

      Judging by the first effort, content and style appear to have been the result of a too convivial conference meeting in the local Starbucks, led by a producer fresh from a season running the One Show.

    180. Robert Kerr says:

      Going off-line for a while. South of the Border and then into Wales.

      I leave with one thought.

      Price of Independence. Mathew 13 v 45-46, “Pearl of Great Price”

      Enjoy CH2, sorry to miss it.

    181. Robert Louis says:

      So, let’s be clear, Danny Alexander, the Tory parties favourite puppet, will today speak about figures for Scottish independence that have already been condemmed by the original source. The media however, merely present this blatant falsehood, as a ‘matter of opinion’.

      It is not a matter of opinion, it is a matter of FACT, the Figures being used by Danny Alexander are nonsense. The source in the London School of economics has already said so.

      Will the lazy journalists in the media bother to raise this, or will it merely be present as a ‘matter of opinion’, as usual.

    182. Robert Louis says:

      As for the blatantly biased and propoagandist state broadcaster, the BBC, we now know, Sarah Smith, epic fail.

    183. Nana Smith says:

      Why aren’t there mass protests at pacific quay?
      Surely that could be organised.

    184. Caroline Corfield says:

      I would be extremely tempted to start taking a visible tally of the times when, after being asked a question, I was then interrupted by the interviewer. I may also be tempted to look at my watch during the interruption rather than the interviewer. And perhaps start with the time taken before continuing. It might be terribly rude, it might be that you’d only do it once, but I think something more than a virtual polite cough is now required if the interviewing discrepancies continue.

    185. Grouse Beater says:

      SKY News: There’s a bit of a controversy over the Treasury’s figures …”


      There’s a whopping lie from the Treasury.

      Building Scotland’s parliament on a pocket of land too small to contain it, that’s controversial. The Treasury lifing LSE research, multiplying its conslusions at least tenfold, and presenting it as truth, that’s a lie!

    186. faolie says:

      john king, 64% Yes Cardenden, 71% Yes Lochgelly

      Perfect antidote to Sunday’s vote and Ponsonby’s ridiculous Nelson impersonation (Yes voters? I see no Yes voters)

    187. Gordon Blair says:

      180 public bodies is completely different from 180 government departments. HM Treasury are as good with the manipulation of words as they are with the manipulation of figures. Utter disgrace as usual. Sarah was disappointing last night however I am sure she will come to life while interrogating Yes supporter tonight. Journalistic qualities under scrutiny , fair, equitable questioning I think not but we’ll see tonight.

    188. desimond says:

      I just find it weird that someone thought “How much is it going to cost, lets ask Danny Alexander”

      He isnt going to be involved!

    189. Chic McGregor says:

      I think John Mackay is the best of the bunch, asks the trickiest questions.

    190. Mark Coburn says:

      Sorry for elbowing in here folks

      My fundraiser for the local yes campaigns (a bike run from Rome to Glasgow) will end tomorrow morning at 7AM. I’m looking for a late surge. I’m sitting above £10,000 which is fantastic but would love one final punt.

      Facebook link:

      Fundraising link:

      and my speech on arrival at St Enoch Sq on Sunday evening:

      Please donate. This is for the crucial cause: the grassroots movements.

      I will be doing another one possibly in July or August.

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