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Wings Over Scotland

The killer inside

Posted on February 11, 2014 by

Good grief. We take our eyes off the ball for a couple of hours to watch a creepy movie (warning: spoilers) on a quiet Tuesday night and everything goes bananas. We’re hearing some stunned reactions to some programme the BBC put out, but we’ll have to wait to catch up on that one – the big story, for some reason coming out in the middle of the night, is that all the UK parties are going to finally definitively rule out a currency union between the rUK and an independent Scotland.


We’ll believe that one when it actually happens, readers. Because if they do, we can only assume that they’ve all got some sort of referendum death wish. Either that, or our side’s got a secret assassin in the heart of the No campaign.

So far as we can see, such a move would be little short of total insanity.

– It’ll be massively unpopular with business on both sides of the border, and risks all sorts of havoc and damage to the UK economy just as it starts to recover.

– Scottish voters are likely to regard it as arrogant bullying.

– It gives the Yes side seven months to get the public used to a Plan B, of which there are several viable possibilities that aren’t very scary. (The most probable seems a Scottish pound pegged to Sterling.)

– It gets the Scottish Government off a rather awkward hook of uncertainty, and also frees the Yes camp from some troublesome internal conflicts around the issue that “Better Together” has enjoyed exploiting.

– It gives the Scottish Government precious little reason to accept any share of rUK debt, leaving an independent Scotland starting with a clean slate rather than up to £150bn of debt.

At Scotland’s current deficit (most of which is actually UK debt repayments), it’d take us about 100 years to rack up that sort of sum – even factoring in higher borrowing costs, being able to walk away from that is still a very visible jackpot.

– It leaves the UK government pretty short of bargaining chips in independence negotiations. What exactly do they have left to threaten Scotland with? Sterling was the one thing Scotland really wanted from the deal. Any hopes the UK government had of keeping Trident in place for a few years, for example, are surely now shot to pieces.

We can’t see such a step doing anything other than backfiring catastrophically. We’d had a nagging fear for some time now that Westminster might hold an announcement back until the eve of the referendum if the polls were close, using it to swing public opinion at the last minute while minimising any damage from businesses panicking about it. But doing it now is just madness.

As such, then, we still don’t believe it. We can’t see anything more than another load of vague, perhaps more strongly-worded but still ultimately meaningless, waffle about “it’s unlikely”. (Even if they do come out and say it, we suspect it’d turn out to be a bluff when push came to shove.) But we rather hope we’re wrong.

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    330 to “The killer inside”

    1. J. R. Tomlin says:

      No Sterling zone, no debt for Scotland. If they want to play ‘hard ball’ they can suck up the consequences.

    2. Dinnatouch says:

      Pure abject terror is making them to promise to cut their noses off to spite their faces. As you say, Scots will look on this as bullying and won’t take kindly to it.

    3. steven luby says:

      Well,I can honestly say hand on heart,I’d be happy with a Scots Pound. Business can just suck it up as there are bigger things to deal with. Like people being fed,housed,educated,health,retirement. But then I’ve never given a stuff about private housing or business because they don’t give a rats arse about people.

    4. Derrick says:

      BBC`s Tim Vine tweeted earlier “I’m told UK govt is likely to rule out formal #currency union with Scotland”, which is not quite the same as formally ruling one out, is it ?

    5. Ian Brotherhood says:

      The ‘Alien Act’? 1705?

      (I know, I know, but it really is weird – I just read about that stuff this morning, and here it is again, in real life, right now?)

      I’m now confidently expecting some obscure Stuart to announce a comeback bid…

    6. The Man in the Jar says:

      I just came across this on the BBC by accident and was going to post a link.

      “They can not be serious!”

    7. If such an announcement is made, it will be interesting to see the response of the UK’s Bankers. Even the ‘highly unlikely’ fudges of recent months forced the treasury into making ‘that statement’ on the UK’s responsibility and promise to stand by its own sovereign debt.

    8. Taranaich says:

      Given the amazing hash Westminster’s been making of the recent floods, I truly wouldn’t put it past them to rule out a currency union even now. They are an incompetent congress of baboons.

    9. Arbroath 1320 says:

      As you know by now Stu, I’m an extremely cynical bitch! 🙂

      I have a problem taking this story in at present, but there again it does sound like the sort of thing Osborne would do to try and exact his ‘authority’ over Scotland in my view.

      What I find extraordinary is that this story has broken on the same day that Max Keiser over on R.T. covered Scottish independence in his programme “The Keiser Report.”

      I put up a link to the programme on the previous article Stu but I’ll repeat it here for ease of reference.

      I’m now of the opinion that the powers that be in the Scottish government should take on board what Max says about a currency union with rUK and give serious consideration to creating a new cryptocurrency similarly to that which Iceland is currently in the middle of launching.

    10. rabb says:

      One thing us Scots don’t tolerate is a fucking bully.

      Bring it on Tory boys! Bring it on!

    11. Dan Vevers says:

      As far as I’m concerned, they can bluff away. We don’t have to bluff. We can forge several viable alternatives. Frankly, I’m sick to death of these circular arguments over currency, and I say if Osbourne comes close to anything approaching an unequivocal No we forge ahead and watch the panic deepen further.

      This dim-witted move (if it happens) would mark a recurring trend of the Unionist parties shooting themselves in the foot in their hatred of Salmond and their hellbent desire to try and embarrass him. When the Yes vote comes they’ll be kicking themselves for not letting Devo Max onto the ballot paper, another such example. As with Devo Max, yet again with the Currency Union proposal the Scottish Government can say (to the English as well as the Scots) “Well, look, we tried to get you what you wanted, but Westminster said no out of petty spite.”

    12. Steven Rodger says:

      Seems strange to rule out a currency union after Barclays today said they would deal with the outcome whatever .Maybee Barclays did not get the right script to read .

    13. Ghengis D'Midgies says:

      Will Sterling fall off a cliff? Again that is. It happens often enough but has supposedly had a good run recently. Mind you that doesn’t look right either:

    14. David Smith says:

      Hey! What have baboons ever done to deserve comparison to those intellectual cretins?


    15. Patrician says:

      Are you still having problems with the DDOS? Post disappearing.

      Can’t say I’m disappointed about the refusal of currency union. I always thought it wasn’t in Scotland’s interests but pegging to Sterling for a few years during the transition would be enough for a new Scottish currency.

    16. Cath says:

      Coming at the same time as Canon Kenyon Wright is pleading with all 3 parties for something bigger than devolution – respecting Scotland’s sovereignty; and while many are still fondly but with futility waiting for more powers this truly is madness. It’s the precise opposite of what no minded undecideds are looking for.

      People want, at the very least, to be chucked a bone but preferably more than that. Instead they’re being kicked in the teeth and told to f*** off.

      Hopefully that should push a few people from pragmatic don’t know to proper yes. I can also imagine, if they’re business people who see opportunities in independence, this will put more pressure on Westminster and Sterling than anyone else.

    17. Wayne says:

      I find it incredible that such a decision could be made without a parliamentary debate.

      If this proves to be true it is a monumental gamble, but BT will be literally jizzing themselves at the prospect of such an announcement. The pro-union media will absolutely love it.

      Alastair Darling will be positively drooling and blinking like mad with excitement about getting to hark on about “plan b” over and over.

      This could be a game-changer. Scots will not like being told by Tories that we can’t use our own currency. The SNP need to use that great campaign they had in the 70s: for ‘it’s Scotland’s oil’ swap, ‘it’s Scotland’s pound’.

    18. HandandShrimp says:

      It is an interesting position for all the parties to suddenly take and I look forward to them spelling it out clearly and simply over the next couple of days.

      This is hard ball negotiation and well in advance of the vote.

    19. Kiereann says:

      ah but … if we cannot share a currency – doesn’t that also mean we absolutely CANNOT have any DEBT?

    20. Gavin Greig says:

      A quiet Monday night, did you say?

    21. Alasdair says:

      It seems likely that they have taken on board recent polling and have decided that Scots generally will brick it if we think the currency will change. They will no doubt now push the notion that Indy Scotland will need to join the euro and woe be us! Personally I’m comfortably with the euro, sterling, a Scottish alternative, or hell, let’s go all in and use the US dollar!

    22. Arbroath 1320 says:

      Damn it Kiereann, you’ve noticed the flaw in Osborne’s wee plan! 🙂

    23. Smith says:

      It was Tuesday if I’m not mistaken, but it all Blends Together in la la land.

      I’m a small business owner buying products in dollars and euros and selling in pounds, dollars, euros and any other currency that I can. The world is now international.

      As far as I can see from having dealt with exchange rates for over 12 years, the pound isn’t the “safe haven” that even they tell us it is.

      I wouldn’t have the slightest fear about entering a new currency pegged to any other main currency. In fact, I’d think it preferable to be pegged to the dollar or euro.

    24. twenty14 says:

      Was this Alex Salmond’s plan B all along – tell them time after time in front of the media glow that we’ll definitely be in a currency Union- easy peasy. The Bullingdon boys and their better together coharts take the bait and say we’ll show him whose the boss – and hey presto we are picked upon by Westminister. Nothing better to turn Don’t know’s into YES

    25. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “It was Tuesday if I’m not mistaken”


    26. mogabee says:

      Mmm, bluff or double bluff? Just when we were running out of nonsense too…

    27. Alasdair Stephen says:

      Sorry to pick up on inaccuracy. If no debt then no 5bl debt repayment then no deficit. So it won’t take 20 yrs to rack up. more likely a surplus.

    28. caz-m says:

      A Government source has told the BBC that George Osborne has ruled out a currency union.

      Since negotiations regarding the currency will continue into 2016, that would mean the UK would be a year into a new parliament.

      This would make it impossible for George Osborne to make policies for future parliaments while in government in a present parliament.

      It is illegal and outside the law.

      They simply cannot make a currency policy for a future parliament.

      Just the same as they can’t guarantee an in/out EU referendum to the electorate until they are voted into power at the next Westminster GE.

      Summary:- The Government source is talking bullshit.

      I’m sure someone will word it a bit better for me.

      BBC Scotland Link-

    29. Holebender says:

      Gavin Greig, I’m sure the Rev will have absolutely no idea what you mean. 😉

    30. Patrician says:

      If this is true, then the drinks will be on George Soros and his mates as they make another killing on Sterling.

    31. Ghengis D'Midgies says:

      Maybe the millionaire politicians running the UK government don’t care if Sterling fall off a cliff. They are maxed out with tangible assets like properties, art and Swiss bank accounts denominate in foreign currencies. Only the ordinary people of the UK will suffer through yet more inflation. They don’t give a stuff about the people these millionaires.

    32. msean says:

      Maybe it’s because Barclays isn’t beholden to Westminster,didn’t they bail themselves out during the crisis? Barclays wished to remain independent of government.

    33. FlimFlamMan says:

      Usual caveats, nothing official yet etc. etc., but…

      I suspect the yes campaign have played a blinder here. As I have said several times, Westminster would be insane to agree to a genuine currency union, so by following a strategy that puts the UK gov in the position of refusing one the yes campaign gains all the advantages mentioned here.

      I further suspect that the Scottish government knew full well that a union would be refused, and that things are progressing nicely, with a fully developed plan for a Scottish currency waiting to be rolled out. Not a ‘crypto’ one though; it’s pointless.

    34. David Agnew says:

      If its true – its the last offensive of Project Brainfart. Its also too early to have pulled a stunt like this. Once it becomes apparent that it hasn’t worked (and it won’t) they will literally have nothing left to use.

      I am beginning to think that we are watching the Union literally tear itself to bits before the first vote is cast.

    35. faolie says:

      Interesting to see the markets’ views tomorrow if true

    36. Ian Brotherhood says:

      If they’re just kite-flying then shouldn’t we be feigning outrage and fear?

      Just saying…

    37. StevieTV says:

      Game over. The UK is done. We are now coasting all the way to September to a landslide “yes” result.

      This move by the Tories has just guaranteed a “yes” vote.

      No Scot is going to stand being bullied and threatened into voting “no”. Not only that some who were originally going to vote “no” will now be voting “yes” because of this threat to us all.

      Is Scotland’s entire population going to lie down and do what some pasty faced, towel folding, little, fat, horrid, public schoolboy, millionaire’s son from the South of England tell us what we can or can’t do? I think not.

    38. Mary Bruce says:

      “Osborne’s gone all-in with a pair of twos” says a wit on twitter. Ho ho. All that’s left for us to do now is call his bluff.

    39. Chris Darroch says:

      twenty14 : Good point and it often crosses my mind that Alex is a few steps ahead at all times.

      Ye canny get cannier.

    40. fairiefromtheearth says:

      If this is true i must be god, wet dream time, lets get rid of the fiat money system and have our currancey be backed by our resorces, work ethic and goodwill.

    41. Chris Darroch says:

      Wow; an actual government reduced to only soundbite politics.

    42. Discodoob says:

      It’ll be interesting to hear the official version of the reasoning behind this.

    43. I just spotted this going round on Facebook:

      It’s very amusing indeed!

    44. HandandShrimp says:

      Who is going to be Mr Macho first…Osborne, Balls or the other one?

      I am really looking forward to this definitive statement. Something we can really get our teeth into. One firm statement of intent has the potential to snowball into several. Firm decisions kill uncertainty and with months to go people have time chew things over. I think the prospect of our own pound securing our own notes is something people would actually warm to.

    45. muttley79 says:

      Who would be the lender of last resort if we had our own currency? Does it not mean we will not be liable for any of the UK’s debt either?

    46. Paul Kelly says:

      And then they came to fight us. If George Osbourne says a definitive no to currency union the markets will go berserk. Lol i don’t actually believe he is that economically illiterate!

    47. HandandShrimp says:


      We would need to set up our own central bank. If we intended to join the Euro in a few years time ultimately the ECB would become the central bank.

      As to debt if rUK starts removing bargaining chips from the table before negotiations I think they could expect short shrift on anything other than us accepting liability for debts directly attributable to Scotland. Their bank their debts.

    48. Purr says:

      Mr. Salmond, Rule out a currency union Now !

    49. Creag an Tuirc says:

      How about Norges Bank as the lender of last resort?

    50. Aidan says:

      I’m picturing Osborne pointing a loaded shotgun at his own feet, saying: “This will hit them where it hurts.”

      I find it very hard to believe that he will pull the trigger on this. As you say in the article, Stu, he will lose the THREAT of doing so in future and may well do harm to Sterling and the UK economy in the process. He may also end up looking like a fool, or a liar, or a a combination of the two, when he has to glue his feet back on later and put away the shotgun.

      Isn’t he more likely to say that he’s now 99% certain – almost completely convinced – that a currency union won’t happen following a YES vote?

      If he does give it both barrels, though, the phoney war will be over. It might make things slightly more challenging when it comes to persuading the congenitally faint-hearted among us that Scotland really can do it but the prize will be proportionately bigger. We’ll be looking at ways forward to a truly free country, entirely our own.

      Robin McAlpine’s new blog, C’mon Scotland, has kicked off with several posts on currency-related matters. This is the latest of them:!Currency/c112t/C1626DDC-F8BF-40C4-98AE-26D348F165F3

    51. cearc says:

      BBC Scotlandshire

      that was hilarious

    52. Margaret says:

      All they have are scare stories and more propaganda from the BBC. It’s what we come to expect from better together with their little scare stories and BBC Scotland and STV news with the night after night with their propaganda bullshit from Westminster.

    53. HandandShrimp says:

      According to the Guardian all three of the UK parties are going to explicitly rule out a currency union imminently.

      I wonder who will be first? Balls I suspect, he wants to look macho the most. That said Osborne has got Alexander almost fully house trained as a Tory so he might speak for the Treasury.

      I will be disappointed if this is another probably not, maybes no statement.

    54. Les Wilson says:

      Just a thought, if this was going to happen, then it may mean that all us canny Scots, every voter, every household in Scotland might get an Independence cash bonus!

      Now that is an offer some Scots would take, in fact a shit load of them. Osborne could just make such a move very affordable. How bright are they.

      As far as a Scottish currency is concerned, I like the Sc$ ( Scottish Dollar ) pegged to Sterling, if it is deemed right to do so ( given the possible drastic fall in Sterling that would be sure to occur, we might not choose to). However it does make at least initial sense to peg.

      Trade links would recover, as while we will have the money for investment to create jobs and a just society. rUK would be totally screwed. Business for Scotland says 700,000 jobs down South depend on trade with us. We also have a lot dependent on them,but not as much.

      However, with all the dosh we will have, we would very quickly, even before Independence day start getting new jobs to replace the lost.

      Yes we trade with them, but we can now trade with everyone we want to. So for that reason there will be an agreement on trade to continue, both ways. Nothing else makes sense.

      A very big shot in the foot for the Union, I think they will quickly reconsider and this will not be said, we will get another fear tactic. But if they are so stupid as to carry it out, we will manage very, very well, without their debt. What a party !!!

    55. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Sorry to pick up on inaccuracy. If no debt then no 5bl debt repayment then no deficit. So it won’t take 20 yrs to rack up.”

      Had already fixed.

    56. ronnie anderson says:

      can anybody demonstrate how much Scotland received from the £ 1.3 trillion, any increase in the Barnet formula,or did I miss something,Cameron said they would assume resposibility for the UK dept,did A Salmond give up
      Scotland,s right,s to the shared assets,or did I miss that to.

      Isent Big Davy looking very Presidential,with his standard flag,s, money,s no object Davy,its to little to late, those people, will be your lost vote,s,P45s for the lot of you,s.

    57. ronnie anderson says:

      @ Taranaich, this will sit well with your ,Congress of Baboon,s, Parliament of Crow,s ,an ah think they Rookes
      will be leaving the Tower, Wales becon,s.

      For the Times they are a Changing.

    58. FlimFlamMan says:

      If this is true, and UK ministers genuinely believe it puts pressure on the Scottish government, then they’re dumber than I thought, though not dumb enough to actually enter a currency union. The hour is late, but it’s hard to see this as anything but positive for the independence cause. Unless Salmond and co. are dumber than I thought as well, but I think this is their briar patch.


      …lets get rid of the fiat money system and have our currancey be backed by our resorces, work ethic and goodwill.

      That’s pretty much what fiat currencies are backed by, that and taxes. Taxes in the first instance, and then the capacity and stability of the economy/society.


      We would need to set up our own central bank.

      Or its functions could be a department of the Scottish treasury. The difference isn’t huge, given that the Bank of England is owned by the UK treasury, but there’s the question of direct democratic accountability.


      The UK gov has already assumed full liability for UK government debt.

    59. Kenny Ritchie says:

      After watching “The Keiser Report” this evening. I’m in complete agreement with the posts above. Alex Salmond may be proven both astute and devious in equal measures. The currency union is infact the Plan B. It’s all starting to make perfect sense.

    60. ronnie anderson says:

      The World money market,s will have a field day,buisnesses will shit themselve,s,fun day,s ahead.

    61. Barontorc says:

      If there’s no GBP (sterling)pound available to Scotland come independence, then so be it. It’s rUK ‘s loss as the markets will soon tell them.

      And nobody said it wouldn’t be hard to set up our own future.

      If these are the problems we will face, and we’ll have set-backs, but by God we’ll do it!

      What absolute pillocks!

    62. CameronB says:

      Rev., you might like “Out of the Past” aka “Build My Gallows High” (1947), “The Killers (1946), “Killing” (1956), and “Sweet Smell of Success” (1957).

    63. DonUnder says:

      I’ve just had some joker on Twitter tell me that in an independent Scotland a Scottish Labour, Tory or LibDem government would legislate that Scotland would have to take on debt which it has no legal obligation to.

      And he expects them to get voted in with THAT on their manifesto?

      If these unionists weren’t so funny I’d actually cry at the outright stupidity on show.

    64. Onwards says:

      If this happens then all the SNP have to do is promise a Scottish pound linked to sterling – then a BIG CASH BRIBE for the money we will same on the debt savings.

      Not saying we will disown all the debt, but we certainly wouldn’t have run up that amount as in independent oil rich country.

    65. Doug says:

      Would it make sense to have a similar system that financed the 1914 war. I believe that was accomplished using the Bradbury Pound, notes that were provided by the Government.

    66. Turnip_ghost says:

      As others have said above when I read this I did think to myself…are they going to let the papers run with it for a day or two and then BOOM! Plan B is revealed in all it’s detailed glory for Captain Darling to rubbish 20 minutes after seeing it for the very first time?

      Does this also mean Bt were handing out their “goodbye” flyers a week or so too early? ;-D

    67. Bill says:

      I agree that to some extent this might help the Yes vote, but I can’t agree with the idea that a Scottish pound would be straightforward from an economic perspective. It would almost certainly mean paying more to service our share of the national debt (refusing to take on our share of the debt would be appallingly short-sighted given the message it would send to the markets). Pegging ourselves to Sterling would also create problems of its own because to peg your currency you require large amounts of reserves, which in turn can generate inflation.

      It’s easy to be flippant about this stuff now, but these are real issues that we’ll have to deal with as an independent country. I also think joining the euro should seriously be considered given by the time we’d be doing this (3-4 years down the line) we might have Eurobonds, debt mutualisation and whatever else is required to make the euro work. The euro might be politically toxic, but there’s more to this debate than what will win the referendum in my view.

    68. Howard Kennedy says:

      Actually, they have been saying: “It’s unlikely”, then: “It’s highly unlikely” that there will be a currency union.

      Now what they are actually going to say is: “It’s likely” that a currency union will be rejected.

      So, essentially they are saying exactly the same as before. If they definitively say: “There will not be a currency union in the event of a YES vote” then watch the pound crash like a stone overnight.

      It is just more panic scaremongering and playing with words. However, it may force the markets to get tough and insist they give cast iron guarantees about what their actual position will be instead of playing first-year politics.

      Either way, this is one of their stupidest own goals to date.

    69. Iain says:

      I think Salmond should now press for a debate with Darling asap. Apart from shutting up all the BT types, it would engender a marvellous Wile E. Coyote in mid-air above the Grand Canyon moment.

      ‘”Of course it would be desirable to have a currency union, but you also have to understand there are consequences. Because a currency union means you have both got to agree your budgets. You’ve both got to agree how much you can tax, spend and borrow.”

      However, the ex-chancellor immediately seemed to contradict himself by suggesting the this would only apply to Scotland’s budget, saying: “This is something we all agree on, you’ve got two partners who have to agree Scotland’s budget.”

      When pressed by Brewer on whether a monetary union with Scotland would be in the interests of the rest of the UK, Darling replied: “Of course! If you have independence, or separation, of course a currency union is logical.”‘

    70. Robert says:

      I would have a watch and listen to Max. He talks about leaving sterling and the debt. Follow icelands lead by creating cryptocurrecny.

      Very interesting viewing!

    71. jake says:

      It’s nothing more than a tactic to finesse a “plan B” out of the SNP. Eveyone knows that the sensible option is to keep the pound in scotland and rUK with a sterling zone. Any “plan B” will have disadvantages and these will be exploited by project fear and will give an economically illiterate media plenty of opportunity to hoist the “so many qustions” and uncertainty flag.Our response should be that this is nothing more than political gamesmanship…and we (too) won’t pre-negotiate.

    72. Vulpes says:

      Remember when Theresa May got convicted for Contempt of Court? ‘Course not: that was the day David my-dad-runs-an-offshore-fund Cameron decided to tell us all about Jimmy Carr’s offshore fund.

      Remember when the Bank of England got investigated for rigging Foreign Exchange rates?

    73. Appleby says:

      Sometimes I get the fear thinking how close it is and other times I see these blunders and instead I wonder if the No Scotland team is filled with double agents or just really this bad at their job.

      The latter would explain how the country ended up in such a mess to start with.

    74. CameronB says:

      Late night TV with another thrilling retro cliffhanger, especially for our palls at Project Fear (and whoever is blowing their Bit-coins). 🙂

      Star Trek – ‘Wink of An Eye’ (condensed)

    75. Appleby says:

      Quality TV at its finest.

    76. john king says:

      This is starting to look like the guy standing on the roof of the building threatening to jump and the cops below shout encouragement, or maybe…

    77. CameronB says:

      We’re watching. 🙂

      Star Trek – ‘The Mark of Gideon’

    78. JLT says:

      My view on such a move is this…

      For Better Together, the Tories, the Establishment, or whoever, know that the momentum is with ‘Yes’.
      The ‘possible’ way to kill this and the thought of Independence is to go for the ‘suicide’ option.

      By telling Scots that Sterling is off the table means that it will throw many Scots into a panic. This will have ‘UK’ companies screaming at their Scottish workers to vote ‘No’ if they want to save their jobs. If Scots vote ‘Yes’, then these companies will pull out on mass.

      If the Scots DO go for it, then the UK will be in one hell of a mess, and the Tories will be right at the heart of it.
      The rUK will expect the Tories to keep their word. what if they decide on Day 1, let’s talk and have currency union. The rUK will scream holy bloody murder.
      If they do keep their word, well, the rUK will wake up to find Scots debt free, have all the oil, whisky, energy and everything else and that taxes will increase ten fold across the rUK.

      At the end of the day, this is a case of ‘who blinks first’. The ‘Yes’ campaign would need to tell the Scots of the benefits of being out of Sterling (if they decide to do that), and give dire warnings to the rUK of the consequences should it follow through.

    79. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Not had time to read all the comments. But

      This seems to me that Osborne has just loaded all the chambers of his revolver, placed it to his head and threatened to pull the trigger.

      I thought the whole point of Russian Roulette was to gamble with the odds against self immolation.

      Quite petulent and clearly deranged.

    80. JLT says:

      Ian Brotherhood says:

      The ‘Alien Act’? 1705?

      Mate, you’re spot on. This is like the aftermath of Darien all over again. Darien post-1700 …meet Darien 2014.

      The rUK is basically telling us to submit, bend the knee, vote ‘No’ …or we will destroy you. Yep! Better Together…

      Oh, how history repeats itself…

    81. Patrick Roden says:

      One things for sure, it isn’t the pound Scotland will be losing, it will be any pretence, that we are an equal partner in the rotten union.

      How can you claim to be Better Together, when you aren’t ‘together’ at all?

    82. Brotyboy says:

      C’mon Ivan.

    83. Macart says:

      Just woke up to this one, local server being down since yesterday. What a howler if they follow through. They’re clearly using this as a desperation gambit to break the indy vote. I don’t think they’ve thought it through though.

      Rev’s pretty much nailed the reasons above. I can’t believe they think this one’s a vote winner. The markets and businesses are going to go apeshit.

    84. Fergus Green says:

      Just for information, in the event of a Scottish pound pegged to Sterling, who would be the ‘lender of last resort’?

      I am asking because later today I fully expect to be asked the same question on social media or in newspaper comments sections and I would like to have a reliable response up my sleeve.

      Can anyone advise?

    85. Lily Zotou says:

      I think ‘they’ could be vindictive – just for the sake of being vindictive. I mean ‘the establishment’ – the party hue is irrelevant. If they are, it will be counter-productive – for them – and make little difference to us. I suspect they know this well. It’s all sound and fury…

    86. Albalha says:

      @Fergus Green

      As posted by @Aidan higher up this from Robin McAlpine may help.!Currency/c112t/C1626DDC-F8BF-40C4-98AE-26D348F165F3

    87. CameronB says:

      Are we still being serenaded?

      Star Trek – This Way to Eden

    88. Stephen Park says:

      I look forward to purchasing my Scottish Passport using my crisp new Scottish notes from my wages. This is my preferred option.

    89. scottish_skier says:

      Please, please, please make this true. Please.

      I wonder where ‘No debt’ would rank on this.

      That and ‘giving the rUK government a two fingered salute for being such a wanker’.

      Nemo me impune lacessit

    90. R whittington says:

      On a plus point this may force the SNP to offer up a currency plan B. YES or NO the debate needs some clarity.

    91. You know, it surprises me how much of a stink BT make of the currency issue, to the point of shooting themselves in the feet with a rocket launcher (Osborne, Darling, Cameron, Balls, Milibot, Clegg, I hate to tell you guys….the rocket jump only works in videogames.)

      That chart shows that currency issues rank pretty low when it comes to voter’s priorities. Surely there are better arguments to be made on their part on other issues where the result may be something a little better than a Pyrrhic victory at best.

    92. Pete says:

      Wasn’t Scotland bankrupt at the signing of the act of Union? Wasn’t that the primary factor in the Scottish nobles deciding to create a union with England? Other than the Scottish King taking over the royal dynasty as the last English Queen had died heirless?

    93. Kenny Campbell says:

      Actually I disagree, they only need to make the noises that its off the table to scare away enough folks who would potentially vote yes.

      Even if we get YES vote it can of course be brought back on the table. This is actually quite a smart move from BetterTogether. I suspect they will gauge impact in polls and then decide whether to push or slowly withdraw.

      Actually what is needed here is SNP to lock horns on this and bring up business disruption and debt. I’ve always said we should not just take the debt mountain anyway.

      Softly Softly approach from SNP/YES campaign has to me always been exploitable. Just lucky that other side seem just as slow.

    94. Kenny Campbell says:


      Currency in itself is low but it can be used as a lever on Economy,Personal finance and Pensions…Allof which could/would be affected by a currency change.

      I base that on having lived through a currency change from DM to Euro. In actuality its not as difficult as it sounds but its not just the notes.

    95. Albalha says:

      If you missed it Nicola S on GMS around 0734 on currency tells it how it is.

    96. moo.moo says:

      And here I was thinking the English aren’t gonna shoot themselves in a foot. They have absolutely nothing to gain and stand to lose everything. Refusing a currency union will cripple Scotland’s beginnings for a year or two but it is sure to drive England into the ground completely.
      Refusing the currency and Scotland walking away from the debt, the pound will plummet into a new low. If English want to play hardball then Scots should look for another currency to attach themselves to. Forget the pound, it’s not going to be worth the paper it is printed on!
      I think at this point adopting Euro might actually play out better, even with strings attached.
      Although, personally I would look into attaching Scottish pound to a more stable currency – Norwegian Krone or Swiss Franc. Yes, the business won’t like it but… tough shit! It will play out for the better in the long run.

    97. Roberto says:

      Can anyone tell me if the IOM and the CHANNEL islands are responsible for any UK debt as they use STERLING.

    98. Disco Dave says:

      Maybe a moot point in the bigger picture but if true surely Cameron has to debate with his First Eckness now? You could maybe have said differences between FM and PM were solely ideological but ruling out a currency union is hardly small beer is it? Obviously use to seeing Cameron defending the indefensible but this debating the FM on this point alone would be fantastic viewing!

    99. john king says:

      “If you missed it Nicola S on GMS around 0734 on currency tells it how it is.”

      Well? we’re all ears.

    100. scottish_skier says:

      Currency in itself is low but it can be used as a lever on Economy,Personal finance and Pensions

      The finer points of currency and its effects on pensions, finance etc is lost on most people.

      Debt-free is something anyone can understand if you stick it on the front of a leaflet and with no ‘formal’ currency union, Scotland would be debt-free.

      The proposal that Scotland take on a share of the debt is highly unusual; it has never happened to any country leaving London rule before. So a debt free independence would actually be the norm. £Scots can still be pegged to the £BoE for as long as needed keeping Bob from Broxburn happy enough; no change to what’s in his pocket.

    101. Marc says:

      Well I’m left with a feeling of uncertainty this morning as for me this blog post leaves one key question completely unanswered – is The Killer Inside Me any good? I’ve got the DVD sitting here but haven’t watched it yet.

    102. Kalmar says:

      Osborne and his mates have been down the bookies eh? What were those odds, 99:1?

    103. bunter says:

      What it will do is in the medium term anyway, it will give wall to wall headlines in the pro Union media of ”indy Scotland cant use the pound”. The fearmongering over pensions, savings, insurance and all other personal financial products will then go to another level.

      There would be another 6 months of fear and doubt to get from that lot and YES on the defensive for most of the remaining campaign.

      For those who would have liked the consequences of a NO vote addressed, forget it!

    104. scottish_skier says:

      We’re getting really close to the joint statement now.

      Really, really close. Who’s for betting it will happen when the London cabinet come to visit?

      An opportunity will present itself, they say, on 24 February when the UK cabinet and the Scottish cabinet are reported to be meeting in north-east Scotland within 10 miles of each other.

    105. Albalha says:

      Not sure this answers your query directly but may be of interest re CI.

    106. Brotyboy says:

      I see this as more of a move to bolster the troops on the No side.

      After the last 2 weeks or so, they probably need some bolstering. This is another indication of blind panic in the ranks. And amongst the officers.

    107. sneddon says:

      There’s nothing to stop Scotland from using pound in absence of a currency union as it is a freely tradable currency. In addition the UK govt has taken on ALL respnsibility for UK debt as per the announcement from them last month. Therefore Scotland doesn’t have to pay its share of UK debt as the Treasury has promised to pay it. If Osborne is willing to gamble higher interest rates, a devalued pound, credit down rating amongst the other consequences of losing Scotland’s contribution to the UK economy on the chance that scots will vote no then he’s the baw bag I think he is and it’s the people of rUK that will pay the price of his stupidity at playing politics with ScotGov.

    108. Toshtastic says:

      Its an interesting one. I think that the undecided’s & Ignorants out there will be wary of what they see & hear today though.

      It doesnt affect people like us too much as we have thought about this many times.

      I think that the YES camp now need to come out with a concrete set of plans though. I heard a lot of undecideds say to me that the currency issue was ‘unresolved’ – well now it is.

      There is nothing to stop the YES camp providing a detailed plan for people & businesses of what our currency will be and how it will affect everyone.

      If they do that correctly – then people will listen.

      Today was a key moment – I just hope we handle it correctly. Calling it a ‘bluff’ in public will not persuade the people who are unsure

    109. Grant says:

      So I guess we will see the Tory William Hague take over the “Better Together” campaign and lead it with ‘Last chance to save pound’ ….. deja vu

    110. scottish_skier says:

      Ye can stick yer feckin poond up yer erse
      Ye can stick yer feckin poond up yer erse

      Will be the reaction.

      We all know how well ‘Don’t vote SNP. SNP are bad. SNP will be a disaster. Alex Salmond is a fat liar’ worked out. Two wins on the trot with the second coming from a 15% swing leading to a historic majority.

    111. Captain Caveman says:

      ‘As such, then, we still don’t believe it. … But we rather hope we’re wrong.’

      Mm, that ‘hope’ of yours Stu just rings rather hollow to me, sorry – if true, this is going to be a very large spanner in the works. To me, it rather looks like the Phoney War is at an end and the real battle to save the Union is about to start, and the first ‘nuclear option’ is possibly about to be played out? This was anticipated, albeit I will concede I thought it’d be another 2-3 months from now.

      From a voter’s perspective, the SNP will be exposed as having absolutely no viable (or indeed any) idea about the currency an independent Scotland would use, mere months/weeks from the vote and despite having had years to work out this most fundamental of issues. That would be catastrophic for them, and rightly so; for the SNP to be reliant on the goodwill of the UK Government in all of this just smacks of incredible naivety and incompetence IMO.

      Whenever this comes up, the retort of Indy supporters seems to be that a breakaway Scotland could have zero debts, just because of a lack of currency union with the UK – but of course, this is very naive also (and untrue).

    112. Edward says:

      Just listened to Alex Neil giving Hayley Miller on GMS a complete pasting regarding health
      Hayley got that flustered that she came out with a gem ‘even with independence, people will still be drinking, smoking and eating too much’
      Also GMS couldn’t get anyone from Better together or the Scotland office to comment on Osborne’s ‘likely’ statement on currency union, so they got Bill Jamieson and iain MacWhirter to provide their views. Interestingly GMS 8:30 news headline would only provide a clip from what Jamieson said

    113. dodecostanza says:

      Could someone explain this to me please (for help in discussions with No/DKs)

      I read people talking about if we are not in a currency union, then losing the oil revenue damages the UK.

      How does that work exactly, if we are independent then the revenue comes to Scotland surely?

      So how does being in a currency union “help” the sterling zone (with regards to the oil money)?

      Sorry if that is unclear but I’m always a bit confused when the debate shifts to economics….!

    114. Edward says:

      BBC Scoland on full anti independence mode. They will have Jackson Carlaw on to respond to Alex Neil. Strange that they have a Tory on and not anyone from Labour to talk about health….
      Then at 8:50 its the call in and the topic is of course currency union
      You really could not make this stuff up . If it was something that supported independence, it would not get the time of day

    115. Robyn - Quine fae Torry says:

      I’ve always preferred to have our own currency anyway, but for the short term after the Yes result, would it not make sense for both sides to have a currency union to smooth the transition? I don’t understand finance much but I thought that this plan would help English/Welsh/NI businesses as much a Scottish ones. Westminster is hurting all these interests out of spite.

    116. Alec says:

      I think an element of realism has to be injected into the yes campaign at this point. The rUK attitude to a currency union is completely sensible – no sane government would sign up to a union without full fiscal union, and in the case of post independence Scotland, that would in practical, democratic terms, mean Westminster setting budgets. Some will argue that fixed rules should apply to all members of the currency union, but this failed miserably in the Eurozone and democratically I don’t see this as being acceptable in rUK. When you join an arrangement with another country, their views matter as much as yours.

      Those who say Scotland should adopt the Euro in response are being perfectly sensible economically, but presumably if Alex Salmond thought this was a vote winner, that would be the Yes campaigns position, as indeed it was, not very long ago.

      So that brings us back to the response to the refusal to join a currency union. The idea that Scotland would refuse to honour any of the national debt is really one of the daftest ideas out there. It would end completely any negotiation on independence. Without negotiation, there is no EU membership.

      As has been made abundantly clear by the EU Commission, they are not going to support negotiations on Scottish membership of the EU unless this is mutually agreed. Other countries who have a veto and a vested interest in preventing independence movements will also not support such a step. And rUK of course will have it’s own veto. No debt sharing, means no joining the EU, with a Westminster veto in Brussels.

      If the nuclear option on debt is played, Scotland could still have independence, but it won’t have a currency, it won’t be in the EU or have any relationship with the EU, and it will have an extremely pissed off near neighbour, with it’s closest and biggest export market given lots of reasons not to buy Scottish products.

      There is no prospect whatsoever that Scotland could refuse to fund part of the existing UK national debt, and following the Euro crisis, there is equally, in my opinion, no prospect that the voters of rUK would accept a shared currency without full fiscal control residing with Westminster. That’s a democratic factor south of the border that nationalists really need to understand, as it affects the very heart of the current independence offer being presented.

    117. Alba4Eva says:

      Why are the BBC announcing that Osbourne will make this statement tomorrow… usually they get the press release in the morning of the announcement. Why not this afternoon for the statement?

      24 hours is a long time in politics!

    118. heraldnomore says:

      Assuming a higher authority than our esteemed Chancellor has now been consulted, what are Ladbrokes saying?

    119. moo.moo says:

      Except there will be a change to people’s pockets. Everyone’s pockets. because Scotland walking away from the debt will devalue the pound quite a bit. Not Zimbabwe kind of devalue, but significant enough.

    120. Edward says:

      Jackson Carlaw actually stated that Alex Neil is disgraceful that he (Alex Neil) has brought in the NHS into the independence debate
      Hayley Miller giving Carlaw an easy time, surprise!

    121. scottish_skier says:

      @Captain Caveman

      History tells us that attacking / bullying a nation does nothing but galvanise it’s resolve.

      Right now support for London rule is the lowest it has ever been in Scotland, with trust in the Scottish government far outweighing it. The gap just grew larger.

      London appears to be using the same tactics used whenever a country has thought about leaving its rule before. Historical success rate is not particularly good.

      Debt free is the message here and a two fingered salute.

      If you can give an example where a country leaving London rule before took a large share of London’s debt, I’d be much obliged. Scotland has been rather diplomatic on this front so far.

    122. Alba4Eva says:

      Alec… you have typed loads of guff there. Big business will decide… not the voters and certainly not the Westminster Government.

    123. Alec says:

      @Scittish Skier – “History tells us that attacking / bullying a nation does nothing but galvanise it’s resolve.”

      This is really what I’ve been trying to say here, from a different perspective. Nationalists on here are understandably very keen to find scenarios to suit their opinions, but on the currency, voters of rUK will equally refuse to be bullied.

      Threatening to walk away from a fair share of UK liabilities would be an utter disaster for Scotland. Attitudes in the south – ambivalent in the main at present – would erupt, and not a single concession would be permissible by UK voters. It would be a disaster for Scottish business and it really is something that people on hear just have to ditch completely. There is absolutely no prospect that Scotland could walk away from the National Debt.

    124. As long as when I go to the cash machine it still gives me papers I can spend and the shops take them I’ll be happy. It isn’t like we have English money anyhow!

    125. G H Graham says:

      The referendum will occur in September 2014 but Scotland will remain within the UK for some time after that because all it does is give the Scottish government a mandate to negotiate terms with the British.

      The Treaty of Union & Act of Union will have to proceed through some degree of bureaucracy & depending on the obstinacy of the British, may take a year of two to sort key terms.

      I believe Osborne will bluff when he makes his statement tomorrow because there is a British general election in 2016 & appearing to act tough with the restless natives in Scotland will appeal to the south east of England.

      It is inconceivable though that regardless of who gets elected in Britain, that they would refuse to enter a currency union because the consequences to businesses in England that trade in/with Scotland would be hugely damaging.

    126. Seasick Dave says:

      I’ve got a tin of Scottish pound notes if anyone is interested?

      Only 50 pence each.

    127. Alec says:

      “The UK as the successor state is obliged to hold on to all of the debt. We would be liberated from a population share of UK debt of £125bn.”
      John Swinney, 23 April 2013

      There’s another thing. Leaving behind the debt confirms that you would not be a successor state. Where does this leave claims for automatic membership of the EU, Nato, impact on the UK seat at the UN etc.

      It’s one thing or the other.

    128. Westie7 says:

      Aye heard Hayley Millar just now.
      Can’t figure out if this health attack along with the one on ITV last night was to distract from the currency debate or to tag team with it.

    129. scottish_skier says:

      “There is absolutely no prospect that Scotland could walk away from the National Debt.”

      Which countries formerly under Westminster rule have taken on a share of Westminster’s debt?

      I personally don’t think this will happen – i.e. debt-free – but just out of interest.

    130. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      A Nordic future, perhaps but a Viking Funeral for Osborne, Cameron, Clegg and Miliband.

      They’re all in the floating funeral pyre together.


    131. Ann Ballinger says:

      Hooray! Game on!!

    132. Brotyboy says:

      The Pound/Dollar Daily chart. Hope this comes out okay.

      Note the red lines, indicating Divergence between the Highs on the Price and the Highs on the MACD (the yellow line in the box below).

      Classically, this indicates a likelihood/possibility of a downturn. Subsequent Lower Lows and Lower Highs reinforce this possibility.

      Against this, of course is that currently the majority of traders are short on the Pound/Dollar, so they are selling it, thinking it will drop further. Retail traders are notoriously wrong.

    133. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Deasick Dave

      I was rummaging around in the loft and found my old John Bull Printing Outfit.

      So, I sent it to Osborne last night.

      He’ll need it more than us after the Yes vote.

    134. scottish_skier says:

      The union simply cannot be saved by making it as unattractive and bullying as possible.

      Whether I’m right and the Tories are gunning for a Yes vote, or they really are that stupid, the end result will be the same.

      History tells us this.

      Scotland is way more Scottish than it is British and current pro-union tactics can only increase that gulf.

    135. Training Day says:

      I’m glad the Respect agenda is finally with us.

      Yes, the pro-Union media and the BBC are all over this, but let’s keep one thing clear. These people despise us. If we capitulate to their bullying in the form of delivering a No vote, it will tell us everything we need to know about the self-respect of Scots. The London establishment will, if anything, despise us even more if we vote No – and they will treat us accordingly.

    136. G H Graham says:

      If British government refuses a currency union then they will receive payments from Scotland in a different currency. If Scotland’s currency rises in value against the pound, the amount the British would receive will fall.

      This rise in exchange rate is likely because Scotland will have a lower debt to income ratio, a lower absolute amount of debt, lower unemployment, higher GDP & a smaller budget deficit. This would also make it cheaper to import from Britain.

      The loser in this arrangement would be Britain as it would receive smaller receipts as it attempts to reduce its net public debt which by 2016 will be north of 1.6 trillion pounds.

      Scotland’s net public debt might actually be zero.

    137. scottish_skier says:

      If London want’s to make this gap even bigger, it has my blessing.

    138. Seasick Dave says:


      I can just imagine you playing hardball with your daughter when she leaves for college for the first time.

      “Right darling, that’s £50,000 you owe for your share of the mortgage, there’s £5,000 as a share of my gambling debts, we’re having your laptop and mobile phone back as I bought them with my own money, you can’t move back in with us and, best of all, you now qualify for £36,000 of student fees. Love ya! Oh, nearly forgot, your too stupid to get a degree.”

    139. Craig P says:

      The timing of this seems odd, it would be more effective just before the referendum. But the risk for No is by then the general populace might no longer believe the scare stories that Scotland is a basket case and be perfectly relaxed about being joined to a poorer performing economy.

      With the polls tightening the unionists have played their final card too soon. There’s another seven months to go and the only thing left (that I can think of) is dirty tricks.

    140. Macart says:

      @Captain Caveman

      “the Phoney War is at an end and the real battle to save the Union is about to start,”

      How to win friends and influence people. Dave’s ‘love in’ at the velodrome followed by some good old fashioned sabre rattling. 😀

      I agree though, had this been released a few more months down the line it would have made more of a splash and less time for a recovery. Right now though, it comes across as a naked threat, (STAY, OR ELSE), giving YES and the Scottish government plenty of time to make it work decidedly for them.

      When faced with that kind of proposal many an electorate has responded quite negatively to the challenger. I’ll wait and see what Osborne’s exact wording will be, but I almost hope he does categorically rule out a Sterling zone. I think it will backfire quite dramatically.

    141. Famous15 says:

      We have not heard what Osborne actually is going to say! Will he shoot his own foot or do we find the chamber empty? They are hoping YES will blink first but that is not happening. So Sterling Zone it is.

    142. heedtracker says:

      WoS still online! What time do the DDOS attacks usually start, straight after tea break at GCHQ?

    143. Helena Brown says:

      Seems as always the Government in Westminster always asked those with vested interests what they think rather than finding out themselves. Thus they get screwed. I think this is another case in point. Well hell, as they say mind them. Listening to the tone taken by many on pages like the Guardian and the Telegraph, nobody is on the Independent worth listening to. They have this superiority complex which really needs addressing. This will be a good thing for us, not so good for them.
      I would hope that the Scottish Government is looking at the oil pipeline to England and considering a divert to Grangemounth.

    144. MochaChoca says:

      Westminster had the YES side over a bit of a barrel with the currency issue, now they don’t.

      Dozens of other other arguments used to beat the YES campaign have now dissolved.

      They can not now expect us to help service their debt if we have no say in the BoE, which is owed a third of it?

      The main consequence I can see is that they could use the debt issue to impede our entry into the EU.

    145. Seasick Dave says:

      What about Cameron’s offering to flood hit England?

      Money no object to sorting the floods out?

      Surely that’s the enormous banana skin to end all enormous banana skins?

    146. Tattie-bogle says:

      I posted on my FB about this weeks ago it’s the Alien act all over again blackmail

    147. scottish_skier says:

      “the Phoney War is at an end and the real battle to save the Union is about to start,”

      This needs correcting.

      “the Phoney War is at an end and the real battle against the people of Scotland is about to start,”

      There we go.

    148. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      Well done to Wings Over Scotland and all those Proud Cybernats.

      Looks like your nasty Cybernattin’ and TRUTH-telling has panicked George into writing-off Scotland’s debt.

      We’re all RICH!!!!!

      I can afford to buy that screen-flickering App for my iPad now.

    149. heedtracker says:

      Its all just UKOK smoke and mirrors going after undecideds. I listened to a “depressed” Tory MSP tell BBC radio Scotland listeners that NHS spending in Scotland had gone up by £1.3 billion thanks to David Cameron and the union, so vote no. BBC radio women had no idea what to say as usual or, another BetterTogether vote no day at the office.

    150. Atypical_Scot says:

      Likely scenario of iScotland in currency union from a Westminster perspective maybe too detrimental prospect.

      If iScotland manages its finances better than the rUK without austerity, (and the rUK is tied to long term austerity including deeper cuts) how would you feel if you were an rUK voter?

    151. Gillie says:

      If it’s a 99.999999999% “No” from George Osborne to a currency union then we can take it as a definite “Yes” to a currency union.

      If it’s a 100% “No” then it is economic suicide for a rUK. The markets will not be pleased.

      As a campaign tactic it will be a 100% failure. A Tory Chancellor and a Westminster elite trying to bully Scotland is a sign that the NO campaign’s strategy is unravelling and they are simply resorting to base threats.

      The markets, I suspect, will be looking for and expecting a “definite maybe” from the Chancellor just to keep the door to a currency union open.

    152. The Penman says:

      Note that the love bombing continues on the BBC website article about this.

    153. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      @Atypical_Scot says:
      Likely scenario of iScotland in currency union from a Westminster perspective maybe too detrimental prospect.

      iScotland … I like that … i-things are COOL !!!!

    154. HandandShrimp says:

      The press and the BT have really trumpeted this one so if Osborne is less than clear in his rejection of the currency union he will be painting a target on his own butt. Balls as ever will likely try to out do Osborne and look even more antipatheitic to Scottish aspirations and at the end of the day who cares what Alexander says.

      New entitities without successor state recognition start with a clean sheet. It will be interesting to see how the UK press play the “you will take all the liabilities and none of the assets” card. It is of of course completely untenable and it may well be that if Westminster force that route ultimately we will end up as a wholly independent country with our own currency in EFTA (of course the EU is a shifty beast and may ignore Westminster and move to secure its existing baliwick) and neutral with regards NATO and the like. I for one will not be unhappy with that result.

      I am looking forward to this 🙂 Some plain talking at last from Westminster and not before time.

    155. Caroline Corfield says:

      I’m on my phone without my glasses so no way am I reading this now, perhaps somebody could check this out;

      The first graph looked interesting

    156. Murray McCallum says:

      This looks like a panic and/or premature policy ejaculation by Westminster.

      It’ll be interesting to see if they really do close and bolt the door to a Sterling zone.

      The SG needs to continue its policy of coming from a point of being reasonable. Let’s not get into a slagging match. Let’s not give away our negotiating position through the media.

      I think the SG should continue to say their preference is for a currency zone, but are prepared to introduce an independent Scottish currency (they can mention pegging it to some range). We have until March 2016 to get things sorted.

      The SG should really get stuck into designing a robust, independent financial regulatory framework. We should see this as an advantage and sell it to the Scottish public as a means of addressing decades of weak Westminster financial oversight and regulation.

      The unionists will no doubt continue their usual approach of ridiculing the currency union (“not real independence”) and a new Scottish currency (“it’ll never work” / “we cannae dae it”) at the same time.

      The announcement coming on the back of David Cameron basically promising unlimited funds to repair flood damage in the South makes you wonder exactly how Westminster can afford all this. I guess they will simply go further into debt.

    157. Greannach says:

      Nice to see Danny Alexander, Highland MP, standing up for his fellow citizens in the event of a Yes vote. I wonder what his constituents think of his support should they find themselves in an independent Scotland.

    158. Edward says:

      I see comments allowed on BBC article and attracting the usual little Englander Scotland haters

    159. sneddon says:

      Alec ‘ambivalent in the main at present ‘ that cracked me up Have you been looking at the comments regarding this matter? Chack out the Guardian, Telegraph etc you’ll find a whole range of ignorance, bigitory, stupidity and down right hostility to Scotland and the referendum with a smattering of intelligent commentry along the lines of ‘Go for It’, “its your choice” etc. Ambivalence doesn’t come into it. It seems the UK gov are wanting ScotGov to reveal their hand before the vote. Let’s see what osborne comes out with. I bet there’s a lot of “maybe’, ‘at the moments’ and similar type of language used.

    160. niccs says:

      Just because there won’t be a currency absolutely does not mean we won’t get shared debt. The fact that they are both financial issues does not mean that they are related.
      And the matter of Trident that you brought up – The UK doesn’t want to keep it in Scotland – part of SNP’s policies is that they are very antinuclear. When the UK pointed out that this meant that they would be taking Trident (and thousands of jobs) out of Glasgow, SNP started wavering saying how they are sure that they could come to an agreement of making part of Glasgow unclaimed territory.
      Now I’m not against the YES campaign, but you guys are making it far to easy for the NO campaign to pick holes in everything.

    161. Linda's Back says:

      The more YES vote increases the more scare stories and bullying that will come from London.

      This will come back to haunt Scottish Labour MPs who are backing George Osborne against Scotland.

      Watch out for UKIP vote in tomorrow’s by election and then Miliband’s further moves to appease the UK right wing press.

    162. Craig P says:

      There’s another seven months to go and the only thing left (that I can think of) is dirty tricks.

      Actually there is one more thing, with a month or less to go they could promise, hand-on-heart, cross their fingers hope to die, a ‘review of devo max’ in the event of a No vote.

    163. heedtracker says:

      @The Penman, losing that loving feeling? First comment BBC online from exiled cringer in England and I don’t recall Holyrood running up any “national” debt. Much confusion going on in unionism. Maybe they think national only applies to British nationalism, which is the best kind.

      176. superiorMunchkin
      JUST NOW
      As a Scot unable to vote as I live outside of Scotland I have noticed that so far there has been little fact and a lot of speculation around as to what will. If this helps move the debate onto facts regardless of the outcome it is a good thing. The fairest outcome in the event of a yes vote is Scotland taking their share of the national debt and losing the £.

      Yes that’s all very helpful superiorMunchkin:-)

    164. Dal Riata says:

      “UK Chancellor George Osborne is likely to rule out a formal currency union with an independent Scotland, government sources have told the BBC.”

      “likely to” Come now, BBC, is it ‘will’ or is it ‘won’t’? This “likely to” is just a slight notch up from, ‘might’, ‘could’, ‘may’, and all the other usual suspects. So, nothing definite… again. Tsk! People will think you’re just scaremongering if you keep this up… again.

      “government sources” Woooh, scary! Who are these Men in Black?

    165. Dan Huil says:

      Currency union or not, Westminster has blown the “united” kingdom even further apart than it already was. Their arrogance is truly breathtaking.

    166. Horacesaysyes says:

      Now, while I can except that Westminster may indeed rule out a currency union, I can’t for the life of me work out why they would do it right now, rather than just a few weeks before the referendum.

      My gut feeling is that the speech isn’t going to actually rule it out at all, but will just be another ‘it’s not likely to happen’ without explicitly being a ‘No’.

    167. HandandShrimp says:


      I agree, I thought Nicola was very sensible to stick to her guns and point out that a currency union is not only good for the Scotland it is good for the rUK. At the end of the day it does not take long to float ones own currency especially if it is pegged to the euro, pound or dollar. Plan B doesn’t need much articulation or time because it is pretty straight forward.

      By maintaining a reasonable position on assets and liabilities it will Westminster that is cast as the ogre in this debate, wanting all the cake and Scotland to do all the washing up. From a PR point of view this is a good position for the Yes camp to be in. The more unfriendly and hostile Westminster become the less they appear to be “our” Government.

    168. theycan'tbeserious says:

      Westminster are just creating news for the no campaign and the bbc in Scotland. Once again nothing positive to add to the debate, just more bullying and fear! Better together my hairy Scottish arse!

    169. Atypical_Scot says:


      It’s easily the best news so far.The anarchy of capitalism is fueled by debt. It’s much easier to deliver good social policies without it.

    170. heedtracker says:

      @ Edward, this one you mean? What privileges will they take away after the 18th Sept. This would be funny if it wasn’t that uncommon a mind set. Where do they get it from though?

      169. Bradford
      13 MINUTES AGO
      The Scots need to realise that they will lose some of the privileges that come from being part of the Union.

      I don’t think they quite realise this yet.

    171. Edward says:

      ‘Morning call’ struggling to find anyone support no, so they now have someone called Ian in Cumbria supporting no vote
      So far there is overwhelming support for yes
      Most calls commenting on the bullying aspect so looks like Osborne/BBC shooting themselves in the foot
      Ratio so far 9 to 5 for yes plus a yes leaning undecided

    172. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Well I’m left with a feeling of uncertainty this morning as for me this blog post leaves one key question completely unanswered – is The Killer Inside Me any good?”

      To be honest I couldn’t say I particularly enjoyed it. Plenty of nastiness but a threadbare plot and next to no character development.

    173. Alec says:

      @Seasick Dave – “I can just imagine you playing hardball with your daughter when she leaves for college for the first time.”

      What a stupid post. Absolutely no relevance to anything anyone on here has said.

    174. Bill McLean says:

      Skier – just had a look at that chart. You will have noticed the latest date shows “British” identity going up and “Scottish” coming down. Tell me you have more recent data showing the opposite!

    175. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Just because there won’t be a currency absolutely does not mean we won’t get shared debt. “

      Scotland has no debt. Fact. All the debt is in the UK’s name. We are under no obligation whatsoever to accept a single penny of it. If the UK wants to play hardball over negotiations, so will we.

      “And the matter of Trident that you brought up – The UK doesn’t want to keep it in Scotland – part of SNP’s policies is that they are very antinuclear. When the UK pointed out that this meant that they would be taking Trident (and thousands of jobs) out of Glasgow, SNP started wavering saying how they are sure that they could come to an agreement of making part of Glasgow unclaimed territory.”

      Goodness me, it’s hard to know where to start on that. Every single assertion in your paragraph is wrong, and I’m busy this morning.

    176. Les Wilson says:

      Just listening to McWhirter on Call Kaye ( or whatever it is called now )he said that Westminster is saying they will not enter a currency Union. He added, this is an attempt to actually tell us that either vote no, or we will wreak the Scottish economy. A wrecking ball as he said, that would damage each side. Crazy stuff.

      Bully boy tactics by the dominant partner in any close relationship,is universally abhorrent,yet this is from supposed “friends” that are desperate to show us how much they love us (er, need us! er,our resources! er, everything we have!)

      Lets us end this, and get shot of these moronic bullies. We have options in ref to currency let us use the best one and tell them to stuff their, self accumulated debt.

      So far we have been nice and reasonable in our intentions, but with this threat, the can stick their debt where the sun don’t shine. We will manage very very well.

    177. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Wasn’t Scotland bankrupt at the signing of the act of Union?”

      No. A few Scottish nobles were, which isn’t quite the same thing.

    178. Alec says:

      @sneddon – basing your views on comments sections might well explain why the impression of English opinion on here is so wildly out of line with reality. I genuinely didn’t ever expect to see anyone arguing that this is a good way to gauge opinion.

      No one is out to do down Scotland. This harks back to the very worst days of history, but it might surprise people that since Culloden, things have moved on a bit. People in England by and large hope Scotland stays in the union, because they generally like the UK. It’s nothing more or less than that.

    179. Misteralz says:

      O/T, but off work ill right now and there’s bagpipes in the background of the curling. Bet the BBC are loving that.

    180. Dan Huil says:

      I think we can mark down Feb 12th 2014 as the day the fallacy of a “united” kingdom was finally exposed for all to see.

    181. Our friends in the south remind us how friendly they really are. We shall have to raise the price of our oil when we sell it to them.

      As I stated on another thread, Scotland linked to the pound sterling is very uncomfortable. Our political parties, the same so dedicated to Scotland’s prosperity, remind us where their allegiance lies, and how they lie.

      They give us an excellent reason why Scotland will, ultimately, need its own currency.

      Not so long ago the Euro was riding high and the pound seemed in its death throes. That could happen again. The EU has shown how resilient it can be against the might of USA dollar interests.

      In any event, it is less what the Bank of England might do to limit Scotland’s economic choices, either deliberately or by accident, but more what the new criminal class that is the City and their attendant barons in accountancy firms and off-shore company lawyers are allowed to do.

      France, for example, keeps a tight grip on its natural resources, gas and electricity in particular. Prices are low. Here, we were told competition in a free unregulated market guaranteed low prices … now we see the lie as our gas and electricity companies post record profits, raise prices, even to the point of charging for meter repair and maintenance they won’t ever need to undertake. (Thanks to Ofgem’s naivety.)

      If the thieves’ den that is the City of London is left to “sort itself out on a voluntary basis over the next 15 years” – (Osborne), who, honestly, in the head and in their heart, would want to be linked to the pound sterling?

    182. MajorBloodnok says:

      I think it’s partly posturing from Westminster – all the parties think they can gain a few votes from the stoked up anti-Scottish feeling amongst right wing voters in England, whilst at the same time making the Scots electorate nervous about voting YES (particularly DKs).

      It may well work with the former, but I don’t think Scots much like being bullied, although when I look around me there are plenty of cowed and cringing Scots still out there that could be susceptible to uncivilised threats and naked coercion from the “Mother of All Parliaments”.

      There is also the possibilty that these are the surface ripples from the hardball negotiations that are clearly on-going between Westminster and the Scottish Government.

      And on that basis, perhaps they thought this was just too good an opportunity to miss to try to catch out and diminsh Alex Salmond, putting him in ‘his place’.

      But then AS has on numerous occasions enticed them into doing precisely what he wanted, even if it was against their own best interests, where they thought that they had him in a trap. Could well be another one of those as he has spent a lot of effort appearing to make it absolutely clear what his position is (or is it?).

    183. CameronB says:

      Macart, I’d favour gunboats. 🙂

    184. Dal Riata says:

      Regarding my post at 9.42 am:

      I am still in Taiwan at the moment and tried to send that post at 12.30 pm local time, which would have been 4.30 am in the UK. I was unable to post it to the site even after numerous repeated attempts every couple of minutes or so. I can’t remember what was said on screen exactly, but it was something like “This wesite is unattainable”.

      I was asked for my registration details, which I gave, before I was finally able to make the post at 9.42 am.

      I’m presuming Wings is still undergoing DDoS attacks, then. Anyone else having problems?

    185. Alec says:

      @Rev C – “Scotland has no debt. Fact. All the debt is in the UK’s name. We are under no obligation whatsoever to accept a single penny of it. If the UK wants to play hardball over negotiations, so will we.”

      This is a logical idiocy I’m afraid. All debts are in UK’s name, Scotland is part of UK, therefore Scotland has debt.

      You can tell this is idiocy, as if the UK was dissolved, as some here believe it would be, then the debts could be void, as no UK would exist any more. Nonsense.

      What you’ve done there is accept Scotland’s status as a successor state. For the avoidance of doubt, as they say in English legal documents, that means Scotland is a new state, with all rights, privileges and liabilities retained by the rUK as the continuator state.

      This means you are entirely outwith the EU, NATO, and any other international agreements signed by the UK, and everything needs to be completed from scratch.

      Does this mean you hold no historic debt? I’m afraid not.

      There is no legal rule requiring continuator states to hold onto all debt following a break up of a sovereign state. The Vienna Coventions on Successions of States says in relation to property;

      “When part of the territory of a state is transferred by that state to another state, the passing of the state debt of the predecessor state to the successor state is to be settled by agreement between them. In the absence of such an agreement, the state debt of the predecessor state shall pass to the successor State in an equitable proportion…”

      Now,UK is not signed up to these conventions, but the SNP are fond of quoting elements from them in other areas, and it seems the most accepted guide for the circumstances.

      Debts will be settled by negotiation – that’s the legal position. If Scotland opts not to accept a fair split on debt, there is therefore no moral or legal obligation for rUK to accept a fair split of UK owned assets, including presumably, oil.

      Threats not to accept any debts are idiotic posturing, and an example of bullying behaviour than many here profess to be victims of.

    186. Edward says:

      At the back of my mind I think that this is all part of a ploy to push for Alex Salmond to say what ‘plan B’ is. As all I keep hearing from the No side is what is Alex Salmond’s plan B . Personally I don’t give a shit about any plan B
      But the end result is this, that in the event that Alex Salmond did come out with a ‘plan B’ then it would be shot at and you would get the same attacks regardless
      Bottom line No side are attempting to bully as their so called lovebomb failed to launch

    187. caz-m says:

      This has got to be the last throw of the dice by Better Together.

      Joint Westminster tactic. Get your boot on the neck of those begging Scottish bastards until the submit to your demands.

      How does Danny Alexander communicate with his constituents in Inverness while he is threatening to destroy the Scottish economy.

      O/T BBC Scotland booting the shit out of Scottish Government again. It’s usually NHS or Education. This time it’s “potholes”.

      Implying that “potholes” started when the SNP came in to government.

    188. HandandShrimp says:

      HYS is a laugh, the rather more strident anti-Scottish sentiment is out in force. I’m not feeling the lurve Dave 🙂

    189. @Alec

      Allow me to extrapolate your post in epitome:

      If Scotland wishes to benefit from genuine democracy we, the UK government, will remind by threat and withdrawal, how little democracy the citizens of Scotland actually have now, and will have in the future.

    190. jake says:

      They can’t actually stop us using the £GB anymore than we can stop them using our Queen as their head of state.

    191. heedtracker says:

      “Threats not to accept any debts are idiotic posturing, and an example of bullying behaviour than many here profess to be victims of.”

      Alec if Westminster is serious about no currency union then how do they enforce debt share, where do they take their case, the IMF? If Osborne and co say no, their borrowing costs shoot up instantly meaning a lot of even harder cuts in public spending for England, tax hikes or both.

    192. Craig M says:

      This is a convenient distraction from the flood mismanagement in Southern England.

      Osbourne to Danny (boy) Alexander: “I say Boy, can you think of a wheeze to deflect attention away from these dashed floods?”

      Danny (boy): “Of course Sir, give me 10 minutes and I’ll come up with something. Which cheek on your important bottom shall I kiss in the meantime?”

      Osbourne: “Goodo, that’s the spirit. The left is my favourite, as you well know.”

      Danny (boy) : “mmmmmsmack!”

      Osbourne to aide standing off stage : “Handy to have Boy so eager and willing. With his help and affection we’ll sort out those pesky Scots and the floods to boot!”

    193. @Cameron B

      You might be able to sale a gunboat down the M6 towards London without taking a North Sea route, but then great swathes of the south will be worthless, land unuseable. The floods have done more damage to England’s confidence and plans than any call for Scotland’s autonomy.

    194. kalmar says:

      Edward: that’s exactly what I thought. The media attack dogs will surely be howling for an admission of a plan B now. I really hope the Scottish Government hold their nerve and say nothing until / unless the UK gov definitively take their ball home.
      Astonishing high stakes tactic though, shows how desperate they are. Unfortunately I think it will have the effect of spooking the undecideds. Whatever the response is needs to be very reassuring.

    195. Caroline Corfield says:

      ok, a bit dry, not terribly relevant, but my what a lot of different ways to run a country, eh? Or indeed a Federation? or even all those differences in countries signed up to the Euro, who’d have thought there was more ways to do it that the way the UK of GB and NI does it?

      Oh, yes, and the reason we could easily get into the EU is not because we’d be a successor state, but because we already comply with all the legislation and policies so it would not require a wait to get up to scratch, likewise NATO.

      You seriously think the status of our statehood is going to change NATO’s mind about letting the country with one of the largest chunks of territory in the North Atlantic join? Seriously, it’s a defence club not an old boys club ( though with George Roberston sometimes it’s hard to tell)

    196. Helena Brown says:

      Twelve pages of comments and growing in the Guardian right now.

    197. HandandShrimp says:


      I am afraid you are wrong. The UK has already said it will retain all the debt. When the Soviet Union split up Russia took successor state status and all the debt. That is the way it works. The debt is own by the creditor. Westminster borrowed the money and they canot turn round and tell a creditor they have given the debt to someone else.

      It is UK debt and people are at pains to tell us the UK will continue and we will not be part of it. The Scottish Government proposal is that they will come to an arrangement to service a share of the debt value but that is solely between Holyrood and Westminster and nothing to do with the actual individual debts themselves. If Westminster do force the successor state issue and seek to isolate Scotland from international bodies, as they are clearly doing at present, then they can have no complaints if Scotland takes full new state status and starts debt free. That is how it works.

    198. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “What you’ve done there is accept Scotland’s status as a successor state.”

      No, what I’ve done is point out that the UK wants to have its cake and eat it. Scotland has indicated its willingness to accept a debt share, contingent on being treated as a partner. If the UK insists that we’re a possession with no partner’s rights, fine, we’ll go along with that too. No debt. Pick one or the other.

      (The EU and NATO don’t give a shit about our domestic squabbles. They’ll accept Scotland on its own merits according to pragmatism.)

      “Threats not to accept any debts are idiotic posturing, and an example of bullying behaviour”

      Oh please. Country of 5m people “bullies” nuclear-armed country of 60m people. Do fuck off.

    199. NorthBrit says:


      Your last post is incorrect. Whatever RevStu has done, he has done the exact opposite of accepting that Scotland is a “successor state”.

      “Continuator” state means the rUK (sic) is the UK. The UK has not ceased to be. It carries on the legal personality of the UK as if nothing has changed. There is no predecessor state and no successor states.

      rUK = UK

      Scotland would be a new state, in the same way as Ireland was, and Ireland did not take on any debt.

      If you wish to object to this position you should complain to HMG for making a legally dubious claim that the state formerly known as England = UK, in order to hang on to “an unmerited seat on the UN Security Council”.

      You cannot have it both ways.

    200. MajorBloodnok says:


      You mentioned oil, which in effect means control of marine territory (as the stuff we’re concerned about is still in the ground). As the UK is a signatory to UNCLOS and the provisions it has with regard to marine territory of independent states, then I’m afraid that oil isn’t one of the assets that the rUK can hold onto if it wanted to, considering that some 90% of the reserves will fall within the Scottish EEZ.

      Not too bothered about NATO (they will need us I think) but as regards membership of the EU, imagine the disruption to EU citizens wishing to live and work in a non-EU state. Do you think the EU would like that?

      Also, as the rUK will remain in the EU (at least for a few years) then what do you think the status of rUK citizens (as EU citizens) currently living and working in iScotland will be if such a state of affairs should be forced on iScotland by the actions of the rUK? They could become as welcome as Trident.

      If the rUK insists on behaving in a coercive and uncivilised fashion our obligations to be reasonable (which the SG has always been, up to now) are void, surely?

    201. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “I’m presuming Wings is still undergoing DDoS attacks, then.”

      The attacks are ongoing. We’ve implemented measures to make the caching much less aggressive in response.

    202. Rod Mac says:

      Well the love bombing didn’t last very long did it?
      To Alec and anyone else suggesting we will accept all the liabilities and none of the assets, you’re having a laugh.
      If Rump UK do adopt the attitude of a bullying overlord they are in for a fright.
      Scots do not react well to bullies as the BBC Radio phone in today showed.
      If Rump does not want to share the assets then we will not share the liabilities …simple
      P.S. You have 30 days to remove your WMD from Scottish waters.
      Bye Bye permanent Seat on Security council, cream on the cake your place will most likely be given to Nuclear India ,my ,my how the retired Colonels in the Shires and the UKIPPERs will enjoy that.

    203. NorthBrit says:


      Scotland had no debt at the Union. It was obliged to take on a share of England’s national debt.

    204. faolie says:

      Just listened to GMS (Bill Jamieson and Iain McWhirter, 2:10 in). First thing Jamieson said was that he thought that the currency markets and investors would be increasingly nervous about currency union statements and be wondering if the rUK would be good for their debt.

      Given the massive trail of the ‘announcement’, what’s the betting that Osbourne says nothing of the sort and simply repeats his previous position with a few more verys thrown in, ie it would be very very very difficult to have a currency union.

      Would have thought that the last thing he wants is an investor flight from Sterling but he seems to be playing a dangerous game.

    205. Dal Riata says:

      Oor wee pal Alec sez:

      “No one is out to do down Scotland.”

      So there you go. See all those lies, smears, sneers and fears from Better Together and stuff like, “The scrounging Jocks can piss off and the sooner the better!” that you read BTL articles in the UK press…? That’s “No one is out to do down Scotland”, that is!

      “… it might surprise people that since Culloden, things have moved on a bit.”

      That’s odd. What happened to, “No one is out to do down Scotland.”?

      “This is logical idiocy, I’m afraid.”

      Well, yes, you said it. It most certainly is!

    206. ronnie anderson says:

      Carney on bbc 24 Inflation report on now.

    207. Murray McCallum says:

      An article by Robin McAlpine addresses the issue of successor states and debts. A good read.!Successor-State/c112t/F59C74E6-7610-479A-921F-38CC4ABBC149

      There is so much “noise” on all this. Robin cuts through the bullshit.

    208. ronnie anderson says:

      Carney on bbc 24 inflation report

    209. Peter Macbeastie says:

      Ah, a long ream of words from Alec.

      All slightly punctured by the recent Treasury statement that all current UK debt is their responsibility. Or are you forgetting that? By their own admission, Scotland has no automatic requirement to take on a solitary penny of it, neither by agreement or under law. This is a well and truly accepted by everyone state of affairs.

      As for that line on oil, that is not an UK asset in any way that can be divvied up. It is territorial. Implying it will be subject to splits along the same way as, say, ‘you have this destroyer, we’ll have these ones’ is disingenuous in the extreme. The only direct part of the oil industry the UK government currently has is licensing areas for private companies to explore/ exploit. There is no infrastructure within the hands of the UK Government. So what you are suggesting is that the oil industry, in private hands, would be split up according to negotiation is wrong. It wouldn’t. That is simply ridiculous.

      Unless, of course, you are suggesting that this would normally happen, in which case let’s see where else it has happened. Good luck with that.

      Just to be completely clear; the vast majority of the North Sea and other oil production areas west of Shetland ARE in what would be Scottish territorial waters. Private companies notwithstanding, taxation from that industry WILL, under independence, accrue to a Scottish exchequer. Licenses issued by the UK Government will presumably be honoured by the Scottish Government with regard to private companies, but those licenses WILL NOT remain with the Westminster government under any circumstances because, just to reiterate, they relate entirely to areas geographically within Scottish territory.

    210. scottish_skier says:

      “British” identity going up and “Scottish” coming down

      Margin of error. Was 77% Scottish when asked a different way, i.e. for people to sliding scale their Scottishness vs their Britishness.

      Folk don’t change their national identity on short timescales.

    211. bunter says:

      HYS is funny. Lots of cringers and nasty wee britnats, but the funniest thing is when you try to rate the comments as some give the opposite result or nothing at all LOL.

    212. Mary Bruce says:


      Everything you are saying is all ifs and buts. There is no doubt that all this is about bullying the Scots into submission. Osborne’s position depends entirely on securing a no vote. Do you seriously think they will maintain this position if there is a yes vote? If so then what policies will the rUK be putting in place to manage the balance of payments?

    213. @Dal Riata

      Alec reminds of my old teacher; when he punished us with three whacks of the leather belt he said in hypocrisy:

      “This hurts me more than it hurts you, but it’s for your own good.”

    214. This has 193 replies here but none on or please educate them, and anyone who clicks their link. Please also comment in every newspaper online article, and write in to the main papers too, if people don’t visit Wings they won’t hear right away and might start believing this nonsense, get to work folks.

    215. Seasick Dave says:


      Miss breakfast?

    216. scottish_skier says:

      Anyone feeling more pro-union this morning? Even a wee touch of warmth that wasn’t there before?

      Thought not.

      Anyone feeling their resolve stiffened instead?

      Seems there’s a few pro-union posts on here today. That’s always a good sign for Yes.

      Saying their ‘might’ not be a currency union is seen as possibly helpful for BT. Having one ruled out is not helpful at all, even highly damaging.

    217. Gillie says:

      The BBC are now censoring posts so it looks like before George Osborne has opened his mouth a face saving operation is now being put in place by the No campaign.

    218. Clootie says:

      A definite maybe leaked through a third party – impressive stuff. What will we do now, it’s all over, retreat retreat!!

      Yoy may actually be helping them Rev. They leak it out and you point out the flaws and it goes no further.

    219. Watched the crazy, lets start with the least important worry first. Oh and by the way that’s our list not the public one. lacking all credibility. And, did you see the backdrop of News night Scotland very bitter together. Then Jackie Baillie with her primary one economics.

    220. gerry parker says:

      @G H Graham. Those are certainly the practicalities in respect of business dealings. In addition, we all have £85,000 in the bank (bear with me).
      No currency union and these pounds become either very risky or even useless so what do we all do? We sell them for a currency which we feel will be strong and preserve its value. All those pounds going on sale will reduce the value of the pound (economics 101 – supply and demand).
      Bang – right in the foot Gideon – both barrels.

    221. Andy Ellis says:

      @ Alec 10:17

      The logical idiocy appears to be yours. As many academic studies (easily searchable on google with quite a few discussing the Quebec situation from the last time they voted narrowly against secession) simply don’t back up your assertions.

      There just aren’t enough precedents in the recent past to allow your conclusion to remain unchallenged. Negotiations ARE of course much the most likely outcome, but the contention that rUK can both rule out use of the £ AND expect iScotland to simply roll over and negotiate a good faith split in assets and liabilities a la Czech/Slovak model is fanciful.

      Your attempt to bring ownership of oil and gas reserves is a total red-herring, as there is simply no debate. It is quite clear from international law that the boundary between the sectors for the 2 states will leave >90% in Scottish waters: that geographical fact has precisely nothing to do with negotiations of how to split assets and liabilities like defence equipment, debt, buildings and property.

      As you say, the UK isn’t even a signatory to that part of the Vienna Convention, and whilst the limited precedents available all point towards negotiation, they don’t take account of individual situations and how the on-going relationship between the parties affects that. If Osborne is posturing for effect, it’s a bad bluff; if he isn’t the rUK can hardly complain if iScotland’s plan B is to renounce the debt and the share of assets and start with a clean slate and a new currency. Simples.

    222. sneddon says:

      As someone who has recently returned to Scotland after 20 years living and working in England. I can say with confidence what I believe are the feelings about Scottish independance in England are. Apart from the lack of awareness of the issue and its consequences for the rUK there exists a ‘2 world wars and 1 world cup mentality’ amongst all classes of people down south. There are of course a strand of considered, mature people well aware of the issues. These types are in the minority. When we have the usual right wing teaming up with the Guardianistas to promote the union and to do down the case for scottish independance with lies, baseless assertions and scaremongering there is something going on. The campaign for our independence is hitting something at the core of ‘britishness’ held by unionists of all nationalities but especially the english. One of the consequences of independence for Scotland is that rUK will have to face up to what it is for.
      Getting back to the perception of english opinion via the various comments sections in the media I never claimed my statement was scientific but taken with the wider media and my own personal experience it gives a fairly good indication of where we are in the perception of our friends and neighbours.

    223. Alec says:

      @Rod Mac – “To Alec and anyone else suggesting we will accept all the liabilities and none of the assets,…”

      No, that isn’t what I’ve said. I’ve said that liabilities and assets are divided by negotiation.

      No one in rUK is proposing to attempt to enforce an unfair division of either assets or liabilities onto the populations of Scotland or rUK. This issue arose because some Scots wish to leave the UK. In doing so, they wish to retain use of sterling in a currency union.

      The democratically elected leaders of the UK are apparently saying that this solution is not acceptable to those people who wish to stay in the UK.

      In response, some nationalists have argued that they will refuse to accept any responsibility for UK debts in retaliation. I am making the point that this position is legally unsound, morally inequitable, and will result in the people remaining within the UK to seek to balance this step by ensuring an allocation of resources and assets in favour of the remaining UK population in consideration of the fact that Scotland did not wish to receive any debt liabilities.

    224. HandandShrimp says:

      The love bombing was a damp squib wasn’t it 🙂

    225. Alex: “This is a logical idiocy I’m afraid. All debts are in UK’s name, Scotland is part of UK, therefore Scotland has debt.”

      England/UK per the legal opinion that is the foundation of the Westminster Government policy with respect to matters constitutional and Scottish, asserts that it will be the continuing state and that Scotland, absorbed by England in 1707, will be a brand new state.

      The continuing state obviously retains all the rights and obligations it had before part of its territory ceceded. The new state is created owning none of the assets of the continuing state and unburdened by its liabilities.

      The external or sovereign debt remains in the name of the continuing state, and it is that state that is liable for monies owed, borrowed in its name. Since Scotland’s name appears on no debt instrument, it cannot be held liable.

      Where it the case that Scotland and England were deemed successor states, then each would be heir to their share of the assets and liabilities current at the point of the dissolution of their union.

      The legal opinion upon which the Westminster government’s claim to title of continuator state is based is beyond convoluted and strains credulity. The “natural law” case is that the Union is dissolved and from that unwinding the original signatories revert to their pre-treaty status as independent nations, sharing the assets and liabilities accumulated during the tenure of their union.

    226. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      niccs at 9.39

      “Now I’m not against the YES campaign, but you guys are making it far to easy for the NO campaign to pick holes in everything”

      No Niccs. You are just talking utter tripe.
      I thought I had become inured to to the absolutely startling lunacies of some on the NAW support but this tales the coconut.

      Trident isn’t in Glasgow. There are no Glasgow jobs involved In Trident. The SNP has never at any point suggested it would be making any silly deals about Trident. Any suggestion that Glasgow would become any sort of “territory” is bonkers stuff – and I’ve no idea where you got that. Did you dream it or just make it up.

      What is perhaps more encouraging is the Scottish Government plans to expand the Faslane/Coulport joint base into the HQ of the Scottish Defence Force including its expanded navy.

      I don’t know why I’m writing this. I’m sure you post is a hoax

    227. Alec says:

      @Sneddon – it doesn’t. It’s anecdotal, and filtered through a biased individual perspective.

      My anecdotal perspective, filtered through my own biased perspective, and based on 20 years in London and another 20 in the north of England, is that the English really couldn’t give a tuppeny bit for Scotland, one way or the other.

      They like the idea of unity, believe if the Scots want independence that’s fine, but if they do, it will be done fairly to everyone.

      There is no plot to do down the Scots by the English, because quite frankly, we’re really not that significant. It’s about the same as saying the English are out to get the Cornish. It’s never given a passing thought.

    228. TheGreatBaldo says:

      If it was me and I was working for YES I would be delighted…


      Hack – Mr Osbourne you have just ruled out a Currency Union, how do you expect an Independent Scotland to repay it’s share of the Uk’s debts.

      Osbourne : Errr….shit

      As shrimp says Nicola has played a blinder.

      All YES needs to do is remain the calm sensible ones to both the markets and people in Scotland and allow George, Danny and Ed enough rope to hang themselves with their hysteria.

      No point in rushing to make a statement on a statement that hasn’t been made yet.

    229. CameronB says:

      Alec said;

      People in England by and large hope Scotland stays in the union, because they generally like the UK. It’s nothing more or less than that.

      Would England feel England had been diminished?

    230. Malky113 says:

      In next Opinion Poll, we should ask the question whether people would be more likely to vote YES if an independent Scotland started with no share of UK debt.
      Also need to gauge opinion on a separate Scottish currency pegged to Sterling for at least 5 years to ensure no disruption to trade.

    231. Dal Riata says:

      Whatever happened to the lovebombibg that was supposed to show Better Together’s overwhelming love for us timorous wee beasties in Scotia?

      And here we are just a couple of days away from Valentine’s Day and all… And we’ve been spurned, rejected, rebuffed and dumped once again! Tsk!

      Well, it didn’t take long – though highly predictable.

      It’s like when an abusive partner turns on the false charm in an attempt to coerce the other one into not packing their bags and leaving. Before long, and usually very soon, the fake facade breaks down and the real feelings come to the fore once more and the abuse recommences. The only solution is for the one abused to leave… and not return.

    232. Captain Caveman says:

      “… “the Phoney War is at an end and the real battle to save the Union is about to start,”

      This needs correcting.

      “the Phoney War is at an end and the real battle against the people of Scotland is about to start,”

      There we go. …”

      Oh please, spare me your frustration mate. It’s not mine, or anyone else’s fault who doesn’t support the SNP, despite the ludicrous amount of time the SNP allotted themselves to get even the most basic stuff like this in order, they’ve utterly failed. 600-odd pages of waffle that’s unravelling within days of its (eventual) publication, as we speak – they seriously couldn’t see this one coming? Cripes.

      I understand your anger, but take it out on the “architects” of Scotland’s (pseudo) independence campaign, which is an absolute farce in my opinion, not facepalming bystanders and observer nobodies like me.

      Shout me down by all means, but the UK is not the supine bunch of cretins, mugs and fall guys that you chaps seem to think they are, and nor does the SNP hold all the aces here, far from it. You’ll see, well before this is played out.

    233. NorthBrit says:


      In London now. English bring up independence all the time, and they get quite emotional about it.

      If you mean they never engage brain when you say “they never give it a passing thought” you might have a case.

    234. scottish_skier says:

      Oh please, spare me your frustration mate

      I’m not frustrated, I’ve got a huge smile on my face this morning. This has well cheered me.

    235. Southener says:

      Is this announcement not good for true independence from Westminster, why have the Scottish economy held to ransom by the Whitehall machine?

      Scotland could either adopt a new Scottish currency or adopt the Euro.

      The Scottish Government negotiations with the EU for revised terms of membership would state Scotland’s preferred option.

      The EU would decide whether to accept Scotland’s own new currency or to enforce Euro participation.

      Scotland using the UK Pound prior to 2016 and probably for a transition period afterwards seems a practical approach.

    236. NorthBrit says:


      I didn’t think it was possible to write in a high pitched shriek, but you’ve just managed it.

      Maybe you should lie down in a dark cave and calm down.

      While your pondering on “aces” consider this: UN membership matters are put to the General Assembly of the UN – how much support do you think that there will be there for England’s continued membership of the Security Council?

    237. Linda's Back says:

      Captain Caveman

      The Scottish government hold the aces here No Currency Union equals No Uk Debt and No Trident.

      To see Scottish Labour MPs backing George Osborne
      watch at 2.30pm the Westminster Hall Parliamentary debate Currency in Scotland after 2014: lodged by Labour MP Ian Murray

      Ian Murray must be struggling on his £66,396 a year salary as according to the Edinburgh Evening News, print edition, on 6th November he claimed the highest amount of any Lothian MP for his energy bill of over £747. Good to see taxpayers paying for an early energy freeze for MPs when many are struggling to heat their homes this winter.

      The Edinburgh South Labour MP claimed a total of £181,840 in expenses, on top of his salary, including the third highest amount in the UK for his Constituency Office at £26,593 which is crazy as since Devolution Scottish MPs have fewer responsibilities than English MPs. (Office rented from the former disgraced MP Nigel Griffiths)

      The Office expenses don’t include his staff salaries amounting to £121,430 which also provides extra household income by employing his partner as a secretary.

      No wonder these Westminster MPs are so hostile to Scottish self determination as it will end their London gravy train.

    238. the Penman says:

      @ Alec:
      “Debts will be settled by negotiation – that’s the legal position. If Scotland opts not to accept a fair split on debt, there is therefore no moral or legal obligation for rUK to accept a fair split of UK owned assets, including presumably, oil.”

      Two things:
      1. rUK are (as of today’s reports) refusing a fair split of assets. Hence the corresponding position of the Scottish Govt to refuse to take on a fair split of debt.

      2. Oil ain’t no rUK asset – at independence 90% of the existing fields are in Scotland’s territorial waters by international law, and hence as much to do with rUK as with Ireland or France.

    239. Desimond says:

      Surely if we are to have our own currency, it should be The Mince.

      “A poun’ of Mince” is so very very Scottish.

    240. scottish_skier says:

      There are a variety of ways the UK government could persuade Scots that we are all ‘Better Together’. This ain’t one of them though.

    241. Papadocx says:

      At this moment in time nothing has changed, Osbourne is trying to keep the horses spooked and not let them settle. He is a snake oil salesman with no snake oil so he’s bluffing his hand to buy time, hoping YES give him a hostage to fortune or something turns up.




    242. Gillie says:

      Before Gideon has opened his mouth this is another good day for the YES campaign.

      YES campaign – reason and reassurance.

      NO campaign- bluster and threatening.

    243. HandandShrimp says:

      Has anyone sighted a draft of Osborne’s statement yet? I will be a tad disappointed if it is a lot more woolly than the BBC and the Guardian are making out.

    244. ronnie anderson says:

      @Alex , no conssesion from uk voter,s when did the gov listen to the voter,s, tell what part of Uk Dept did we in Scotland benifit from, I have variable time ,s of memory loss, but I distinktly heard Cameron say all the Dept would be the rUKs.

    245. CameronB says:

      Grouse Beater
      Tic Toc

    246. Captain Caveman says:

      “I’m not frustrated, I’ve got a huge smile on my face this morning. This has well cheered me.”

      Okay mate, that’s fine with me.

    247. Desimond says:


      “Lovebombing…” Had a lovely wee chortle there, bravo

    248. scottish_skier says:

      As the Rev has commented on numerous times, the polls show Scots want independence – or at least something that is as close to that as possible – but shrink back when it is called independence.

      It’s because they want independence, but just don’t want to ‘break up Britain’. They’re nice and polite. Give them a way to be independent without breaking up Britain and they’d have gone for it (e.g. Devo Max).

      The politeness can only hold out for so long. Battering them into corner with threats will not help here, particularly given a cheap asda sandwich a day is enough of an excuse to vote Yes.

    249. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The EU would decide whether to accept Scotland’s own new currency or to enforce Euro participation.”

      The EU can’t enforce Euro participation. It’s not even currently possible for Scotland to join the Euro even if it wanted to.

    250. jenny says:

      To be honest this whole thing is pretty sad. I’m imagining some kind of “The Thick of It” moment with an angry man storming around Westminster screaming “well tell them they can’t fucking have it, then”.

      I understand some of the comments and feeling above about the debt etc…. and if the point is going to be pressed then @alec, I am in disagreement – I don’t think we do have to accept it. However, I don’t think it’s morally acceptable to leave our long-time partners in crime up the shitter so to speak and I’d rather we left this whole shit-storm with our head’s held high – even if Westminster couldn’t give two hoots about returning the favour.

    251. Alec says:

      @Andy Ellis _ I would agree that negotiations are the obvious process in all of this, which means that there is no certainty about what is or is not on offer to the Scotland in terms of independence. It is yet to be decided, and could look very different to the White Paper.

      I have to say, when I heard the Treasury statement on UK debt, and the reaction to this among some nationalists, I did think that London had significantly outflanked the SNP. There was at the time, no pressing need for this statement in terms of the markets, and the delight that the statement was met with on places like WOS portrayed in my mind, a complete misunderstanding of what the statement was about.

      The reaction among nationalists should have been, in my view, to accept the statement as a market assurance measure, but make clear that a fair proportion of these debts would be the direct, legal responsibility of iScotland. To be fair to Salmond, this is broadly what he said, although not precisely.

      The minute I heard the announcement, my thoughts were that Westminster was using the debt to claim continuator status, and all that goes with it.

      This whole area I think is fraught with difficulties. I’m not a legal expert, but I really don’t believe ‘natural law’ would be served in most people’s eyes, if an area of less than 10% of the UK population can vote to dissolve the UK. To dissolve the UK would surely need the democratic assent of all 63m people? Amidst all the apparent anger at London trying to do down the Scots, it seems to be forgotten that the democratic rights of the other 58m UK citizens needs to be accounted for.

      This really lies at the heart of the issue of a shared currency. If rUK is not happy with the option proposed by iScotland, then it is fundamentally undemocratic and unreasonable for this to be imposed.

      I also don’t really view sterling as an ‘asset’ that should be shared. It’s a system. Assets are the currency and gold reserves etc – these should be shared, equitably, along with the liabilities, but the currency system is merely a trading mechanism, not an item with an inherent value that can be divided and allocated.

      Again, democratically, I can’t see how 5m people out of 63m can legitimately force their will for a major alteration in a key financial system onto the other 90% of people who won’t wish this.

    252. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Oh please, spare me your frustration mate.”

      Seriously, honestly, you think we’re anything less than thrilled by this development? You really don’t get it at all. Everyone I’m speaking to can hardly contain their excitement.

    253. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Yoy may actually be helping them Rev. They leak it out and you point out the flaws and it goes no further.”

      It’s a win-win. If Osborne now comes out tomorrow and DOESN’T absolutely rule out a currency union he’ll look like a complete idiot.

    254. Dal Riata says:

      I understand your anger, but take it out on the “architects” of Scotland’s (pseudo) independence campaign, which is an absolute farce in my opinion, not facepalming bystanders and observer nobodies like me.

      Shout me down by all means, but the UK is not the supine bunch of cretins, mugs and fall guys that you chaps seem to think they are, and nor does the SNP hold all the aces here, far from it. You’ll see, well before this is played out.

      My, my, Captain Caveman, somewhat of a rant there, no? A “psuedo independence campaign”, eh. And you had been doing so well recently, too. Or was that just a charade for the ‘real’ you?

      The way you have expressed yourself in your post suggests that you believe Better Together have just usurped the whole Yes Scotland campaign and the game is now a bogie and ‘No’ is going to win big-time.

      But nothing as yet has been said or done by Better Together that should raise this profound optimism in the vote no camp and its disciples, such as yourself, so why the vilification of Scottish independence in your post?

      There has been plenty of reportage today in the pro-Union MSM about some ‘imminent’ announcement from George Osborne regarding currency union, but, as yet, apart from all the procrastinating from Better Together ‘spokespeople’, nothing has actually been said about it being a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to a currency union.

      You seem to have jumped the gun a little. Or, perhaps you have the ear of Osborne and are full of certainty about the ‘imminent’ announcement?

      Whatever, personally, I couldn’t give a shit what currency Scotland uses and from when. I have faith Scotland’s government will do what’s right for Scotland and its people. We have hope and positivity – that’ll do me.

    255. CameronB says:

      If no monetary union, who pays for Carney’s lunch?

    256. mogabee says:


      “Poun’ o mince” sounds ok!

    257. I G says:


      I don’t know if you were on holiday in the middle of January but completely contrary to what you say about Scotland’s debt obligations……. “The UK Treasury says that should Scots vote to leave the UK, it will honour all UK government debt issued up to the date of Scottish independence.”

      What part of that don’t you understand?

      Now there may be ethical and economic reasons for negotiating with rUK about the share of the debt but there are certainly no legal obligations.

      Your thoughts on this make about as much sense as the codswallop you wrote about Trident.

    258. Desimond says:

      @Dal Riata

      You’re Bang On….The United Kingdom..the embodiment of passive-aggressive.

    259. Murray McCallum says:

      IF George Osborne does 100% rule out a Sterling zone then this must ne an immediate issue for the international credit rating agencies.

      A decision has been taken that may increase the debt carried by rUK, while reducing their ability to repay it.

      The detailed SG response to all this will be very interesting.

    260. Stevebozzy says:

      Suppose we should be grateful to England for shooting themselves in the foot. After David’s speech in England the other day I wonder if he remembers saying that Scotland could go it on there own?

    261. ronnie anderson says:

      @Peter Mc Beastie, Could you shout that post our Peter,for all the numpties, who have lost the ability to think thing,s through, ( alec) being only one, that,s what people in the rUK think, that the r UK will retain the 6ooo miles ( blair stole )& a share of OIL revenue,after Independance lol.

    262. scottish_skier says:

      It’s a win-win. If Osborne now comes out tomorrow and DOESN’T absolutely rule out a currency union he’ll look like a complete idiot.

      Aye. Osborne has decided to pin Scotland against a wall with one hand around her neck and the other in a fist raised ready to punch her in the face.

      Will he follow though and make the situation even worse or chicken out in a major damage limitation exercise?

    263. Alec says:

      @Capt Caveman – I’m with you on this. There’s a complete otherworldliness about the debate on here, to the extent that they think this is a good thing for them. From memory this is the third version of currency policy the SNP have tried in recent years, but it is a pretty fundamental issue to get right.

      Sturgeon has again said that refusal to share the pound would lead to rUK having to pick up all the debt. I think this is a huge mistake.

      If there is to be now sharing of liabilities, there need be no sharing of assets.

      Forget EU membership. rUK has a veto. Negotiations wouldn’t even start until rUK agrees. With a market less than a 10th the size of rUK’s, and outside the EU, see how business would react. It doesn’t take much to transfer to England.

      Having said all that, I’m not so sure that Osborne, Balls and Alexander are actually going to rule out membership of sterling. I suspect they will in terms of what the SNP is angling for, but there’s no real reason why a currency union couldn’t work, certainly in the medium term, with sufficient fiscal controls. However, this isn’t independence.

    264. gerry parker says:

      “A poun’ of Mince” is so very very Scottish.

      A Scottish Crown (or Krone) has a nicer ring to it.

    265. scottish_skier says:


      This is a national identity referendum just like every other independence referendum in history. It may be masquerading quite well as a socio-economic one, that’s not what will decide the result; national identity will.

      If you understand it like that, then you’ll appreciate why threats from the UK government against Scotland are not a sensible approach to saving the union.

    266. I G says:

      BBC Headline: George Osborne to ‘rule out currency union’

      Article Text: … is likely to rule out a formal currency union

      What’s changed? Why the sudden rush by the BBC to put up another non-story?

      When/if we get our cast-iron guarantee that there will absolutely, under no circumstances, over my dead body, cross-my-heart and hope to die, be no currency union then perhaps that will be news.

      Even then, Dave “Cast-Iron” Cameron doesn’t have much of a track record.

    267. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Can I suggest we all just ignore Alec. He appears to be the same person as “John” on another blog. Both of them present long,rambling,patronising,assumptive bullshit that is an insult to the intelligence.

      Both of them affect an injured demeanour when they are accused of bullshitting
      Both of them assume the Scots are idiots.This is the default position of the unionist argument from the south.
      They actually have no understanding of us

    268. HandandShrimp says:


      It has always been accepted that Scotland could opt to leave the union. I don’t think anyone has ever considered that the other constituent parts could veto that decision if taken. It isn’t practical. What if we voted no and the rest voted yes?

      It is however academic. The Edinburgh Agreement is signed and ratified by both Parliaments and the House of Lords. If it is a Yes vote then the union will end.

    269. Patrick Roden says:

      @Captain Caveman, The thing is captain, what you guys have done, is spelled out in the clearest terms, that Scotland is not an equal partner, and we are certainly not better together.

      “it rather looks like the Phoney War is at an end and the real battle to save the Union is about to start, and the first ‘nuclear option’”

      If someone came to you for advice about a relationship and they told you that they had been considering leaving, but the ‘other half’ told them they would try to bankrupt them, even though it would also hurt themselves. what would you advise?

      Stay with someone who will try to destroy you if you ever leave.


      Get out now, because this is not a relationship in which you are respected in any way?

      I know what my advice would be and I think I understand the psyche of the Scots better than Westminster.

      It may be a slow burn, but the people of Scotland will be suddenly confronted with a reality, they have not understood before now, we are second class citizens in our own nation.

    270. Dal Riata says:

      Sorry, O/T.

      @Grouse Beater

      Haven’t seen you over on CiF for a while. Have you been put on the naughty-step, too? I’m there at the moment (again!), as is heedtracker (and maybe others who regularly post here?). I do still manage to sneak the odd post in under the radar, so to speak, but most of the time I can’t be arsed to put something together knowing it will probably be left ignored.

      It seems like the cybernat numbers are being culled-apace over on the Guardian – there soon won’t be room to move on that naughty-step, so overloaded will it be with cybernats!

    271. Alec says:

      @Ronnie Anderson – to be honest, oil is the least of the assets issues. You’re right – there’s perfectly good international law placing most of the reserves in Scottish waters. I don’t think when it comes to it that anyone will have an issue with that.

      However, if the liabilities are not to be shared proportionately, neither will the assets, so I’m pretty sure London will ask for the sea areas to be redrafted as part of the negotiations. Military hardware is an interesting point. No debt share would mean no defence. If Scotland accepted it’s status as successor state, and things got really tetchy, I would imagine all military personnel serving for her maj would be ordered south. Good news for anti nukes campaigners in Scotland, but perhaps not the wisest of moves all round.

      But again, we’re really into the what if’s here, and the rapidity of the nationalist to jump into a confrontational fight when quite reasonable doubts are expressed is alarming.

      There really is no prospect of a currency union of the kind being promoted by the SNP – none whatsoever. It was a glaring hole in the White Paper that some of us picked up on immediately. The 58m people within rUK have seen the impact that a badly designed single currency can have, very recently, and just won’t support it. This isn’t an attack on Scotland – this is the democratic will of the people.

      You can’t campaign for democracy in your country, but ignore democracy elsewhere. This is not an attack by a metropolitan elite that hates Scotland. It’s a simple part of representative democracy.

    272. scottish_skier says:

      With DKs in brackets…

      Panelbase Oct 2013

      Q11. Do you feel that the following people and organisations have been acting with the best interests of the people of Scotland at heart? … David Cameron
      24% (19%) Yes
      76% (60%) No
      (21% Don’t know)

      76% being forced choice identity ‘Scottish’ people on balance, natID having no effect on interest in politics particularly / likelihood to have a firm view. Similar to 1997 Q1.

      Q11. Do you feel that the following people and organisations have been acting with the best interests of the people of Scotland at heart? … Alex Salmond
      59% (49%) Yes
      41% (34%) No
      (17% Don’t know)

      And, within MOE, 6/10 being the number of Scottish only (census) or ‘Scottish not British’ +’More Scottish than British’ (SSAS) on balance and not far away from what the referendum result will be. Similar to 1997 Q2.

      I doubt the currency threat will help close the gap. Rather, it should widen it.

    273. edulis says:

      This is so obviously a tactic pre-referendum. I say that because apparently Ed Balls is in on it. If he weren’t then the words used would be the same as before.

      Having said that, when Osbourne makes the announcement, expect the same weasel words as before maybe in a different order.

    274. Dal Riata says:

      It’s a win-win. If Osborne now comes out tomorrow and DOESN’T absolutely rule out a currency union he’ll look like a complete idiot.

      That’s it, exactly! Between a rock and a hard place is oor Georgie Boy. Will he or won’t he?

      Alec (or is it John?) says to Captain Caveman – I’m with you on this. There’s a complete otherworldliness about the debate on here, to the extent that they think this is a good thing for them.

      “…to the extent that they think this is a good thing for them“.

      Better Together groupthink. There it is, right there.

    275. Captain Caveman says:

      Some weird crap seems to be happening with comments guys; I’m replying to a comment from Stu which seems to have disappeared, along with some others?

      To briefly answer (what I *think*) Stu said to me, I maintain that my reading of the developing situation is going to expose the complete collapse of the SNP’s (latest) currency proposals, which hardly seems like a great development from an Indy perspective, especially given the huge amount of uncertainty and on-the-hoof policy development by the SNP in this most critical area. The whole deal seemed to depend on goodwill and support from Westminster, upon which any fool could’ve predicted that Cameron was never going to do Salmond’s heavy lifting for him?

      I have many problems with the SNP’s proposals for ‘independence’, not least the fact that these change almost daily in fundamental, key respects, as we’re seeing now, mere months from the vote. But I think an even bigger issue than even this complete lack of (and changing) policy detail is that it’s not even independence at all – keep the Pound, keep the Queen, monetary Union with rUK with the BoE acting soley in rUK’s interests and all the rest? If the SNP wants independence, why can’t it campaign on and try to deliver it with Scotland’s own currency etc.? Dare I say, it all seems rather ‘fearty’ to me; are people really going to risk so much for so little, and something that’s so patently and inarguably *half arsed*?

      I may have misread this whole business; wouldn’t be the first time. To me, though, I cannot see how the complete unravelling of the entire cornerstone of the SNP’s plans – the very currency Scotland will supposedly use and under what circumstances – again – could possibly be construed as somehow great news.

    276. I G says:

      Excellent piece from the Adam Smith Institute!

      Put that in your pipe an smoke it Gideon.

    277. MajorBloodnok says:

      Alec said “However, if the liabilities are not to be shared proportionately, neither will the assets, so I’m pretty sure London will ask for the sea areas to be redrafted as part of the negotiations.”

      They may well ask but as a signatory to UNCLOS they should know what they are legally entitled to. I mean if the rUK can’t abide by UNCLOS then why should other signatories (the French, for example).

    278. MajorBloodnok says:

      @Captain Caveman

      This site is under DDOS attack – by some entity that clearly disapproves of open pro-indepedence discussion – hence lost/delayed posts. They have come to fight us….

    279. chris says:

      I have said on many occasions that the British Government have learned from their mistake with Ireland-bullying tactics that turned a home rule movement into an independence movement.

      I was wrong.

      The undecided and the soft No’s were wanting a reason to feel good about themselves if the voted No. Better Together realised this hence the “Proud Scot” line. People never feel good about giving into bullies. This is a game changer!

    280. Captain Caveman says:

      Hi Major

      That’s appalling. 🙁
      You know I’ll always support you guys 110% when it comes to any attempt to gag you. Disgrace.


    281. Heather McLean says:

      Dal Raita
      “Whatever, personally, I couldn’t give a shit what currency Scotland uses and from when. I have faith Scotland’s government will do what’s right for Scotland and its people. We have hope and positivity – that’ll do me.”

      Amen to that!
      I am absolutely certain that Alex Salmond and John Swinney have anticipated EVERY scenario regarding the currency issue and have not only a plan B, but a plan C in place!

      Just as the question of the third option on the ballot paper was resolved to the Scottish governments satisfaction, so will the question of the currency!

      Have faith! Alex Salmond and his team are no fools, they will have anticipated this and have prepared for it! Perhaps its even what they’ve been hoping for all along!

    282. Training Day says:

      Captain, as others have pointed out it’s the psychology that’s important here. Tory Chancellor threatens Scotland, asserting an assumed dominance in this ‘equal’ Union. It should now be an shoo-in for the Yes campaign to point out that if he threatens us like errant children just now, what the Hell are the Tories going to do to Scotland if we capitulate to threats and vote No? Mend fences and say we’re all pals now? Somehow treat us better?

      No, the bully will continue on the same path, secure in the knowledge that his ‘victim’ has acquiesced in the latter’s treatment.

    283. scottish_skier says:

      I may have misread this whole business; wouldn’t be the first time.

      You have. By focussing not on what is the primary, most fundamental factor behind everything and instead imagining it’s like a general election or something. Without this factor, some of what you are suggesting makes sense. Take that factor into account however, and things are very different.

      Try turning it around and imagining Brussels was threatening heavy, punitive and very arguably unnecessary sanctions on the UK should it opt to leave the EU by democratic vote and you might grasp it. Would that increase support for the EU in the UK? An attack on a people by an outside entity does not endear them to that entity, it stiffens their resolve against it.

      Y/N polls… government satisfaction & trust… support for devo max vs the status quo. They all reflect national identity either directly or indirectly on balance. Sometimes needs a little digging, but you find the same numbers everywhere. If you only see it in terms of technicalities, then you’ll not see what’s going to happen.

    284. BIll McLean says:

      I’m frequently dismayed by the lack of constitutional nous by pro union commentators. Captain Caveman seems put out that we would want to keep the Queen. Frankly I couldn’t care less about the expensive anachronism but he should remember that Elizabeth is, separately, Queen of Scots, that it was the Scottish Stewart dynast that united the kingdoms and that the Scottish royal line is older than Englands – so, as long as Scots are happy to have Elizabeth as Queen of Scots that’s OK with me – I’m a democrat although not a royalist!

    285. Alec says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill – I can assure you that I’ve never posted anywhere under any other name than Alec, so rest assured – there is more than one people who doesn’t agree with you.

      And also to clarify – I am a Scot, through and through. I am one of ‘us’, and no doubt I may occasionally speak bullshit.

      We Scot’s aren’t immune to that, I’m sure.

    286. Alec says:

      @Majorbloodnok – it may well be that this site isn’t being specifically targeted. There has been a recent huge internet wide attack based on a completely new way of disrupting systems, going right into servers running the entire system. There has been quite a lot of disruption on other sites I’m aware of, so it may not be that someone is targeting WOS specifically. I would think it quite strange if they did, to be honest.

    287. gerry parker says:

      I would have some sympathy with the notion that the whole UK population should get a say on whether Scotland should be an independent country if the whole of the UK population had a say when the Kingdom’s were united.
      They didn’t, and I don’t.

    288. Macart says:

      @Cameron B

      If we think this is good wait till the joint statement is made. 😀

      Like the gunboats. 😉

    289. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “They may well ask but as a signatory to UNCLOS they should know what they are legally entitled to.”

      Alec doesn’t seem to grasp what an asset is. The oil revenues that have already been delivered are a UK asset. The day Scotland becomes independent, anything found in Scottish waters is Scottish, and international law and convention is extremely clear on what are Scottish waters.

    290. Caroline Corfield says:

      @Alec, I’d love to hear the reasoning behind redrafting West of Shetland as rUK territory, or for that matter The Minch, or the Firth of Clyde, all potential oil reserves, some at the beginning of their exploitation. The North Sea, as people continue to refer to the oil reserves of the UK, does not really mean the North Sea geographically in that respect. And the previous Labour government already ‘redrafted’ the maritime border so that 40 miles off Montrose you find yourself in English waters, I can’t see any international body going along with them getting more.

    291. JAC says:

      I’m going with your mole inside the campaign. Reckon even if you all vote YES it will miraculously be a NO. Too much in it to lose see? They cannot afford to lose you. So, THEY won’t let it happen. We do not live in a Democracy. We live in a Monarchic Republic. So, when it happens to be NO, least you cannot say I did not warn you. They do not want you to have a YES.

    292. gerry parker says:

      Where”s my Avatar gone?

    293. gerry parker says:

      Ah ha!

    294. kalmar says:

      Hi Cavey!

      I maintain that my reading of the developing situation is going to expose the complete collapse of the SNP’s (latest) currency proposals

      Got to disagree here. As far as I’ve been aware, there has been one single proposal for currency right since the start of the campaign. The SNP have been under continuous pressure from all other parties to announce a plan B, with exactly the aim of showing uncertainty or “collapse” as you put it. They did not!
      In fact, Westminster has been forced to up the ante even more, to the extent of ganging up and raising the rhetoric level. Naked bullying instead of negotiation of an option that’s clearly in the rUK’s best interest. Poor show.

    295. Calgacus MacAndrews says:

      @gerry parker says:
      Where”s my Avatar gone?

      George Osborne says you can’t have it any more.

    296. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “We live in a Monarchic Republic”

      How does that work, then?

    297. NorthBrit says:


      UK will not want to reopen sea areas. Current boundaries as good as they can get. See link to European Journal of International Law article:

      Clearly the Scottish government may want to re-open the point.

      If you keep making baseless assertions you make expect to be challenged. Ignorance of the facts is not “reasonable doubt”.

    298. Captain Caveman says:

      Blimey, hi Kalmar mate! Damn good to see you chap, where the devil have you been? A very welcome friendly face! 😀

      I see what you’re saying; my own take is that the powers that be are desperate for the Union to stay together, and as we’ve noted here many times before (and as you and I both know 😀 ), politics is a rough ol’ game.

      Hey mate, I’m getting a new motor, but I guess this isn’t the place to discuss petrolhead stuff :p

    299. gerry parker says:

      My Avatr.

      “George Osborne says you can’t have it any more”

      I just went and took it back!

    300. kalmar says:

      O/T Cheers Cavey, good to see you on here too. I’ll be back 😉

    301. Desimond says:

      On Friday, can we expect Danny Alexander to announce “No Jam tomorrow, or any other time, so there!”

    302. Alec says:

      @gerry parker – “I would have some sympathy with the notion that the whole UK population should get a say on whether Scotland should be an independent country if the whole of the UK population had a say when the Kingdom’s were united.”

      No – that’s a complete misrepresentation of what I’m saying. rUK has no interest in whether Scotland wants to be independent. rUK does have a fundamental democratic right to decide what currency it want’s to use, and how that is organised. Sharing sterling with a newly independent Scotland under completely new fiscal arrangements represents a potential risk for rUK, and is a fundamental change, so couldn’t be imposed on the people of rUK against their will. If Scotland opts for a separate currency or the Euro, there is no right for rUK to intervene.

      People here don’t seem to get the point that the SNP’s current currency policy requires a substantial change within rUK, and that on this point specifically, the wishes of rUK voters must also be accounted for.

    303. Desimond says:

      Talking of strange things to say, did this charming piece of slamming get covered?

      Im sure the Vice Principal of GCU would concur with Mr Darling ( sorry cant access archive hence direct link)

    304. Alec says:

      @various people – re the oil boundaries. I know full well about the conventions on boundaries at sea – please don’t misunderstand me.

      My point is simply that the SNP is suggesting that if it doesn’t get the deal it wants on currency, then it might turn it’s back on accepted conventions on sharing of debts.

      Given that we know debts are in the UK’s name, and Scotland is de facto accepting it would not be a continuator state, this would mean it cannot expect to share assets equally. It would have unilaterally have walked away from the principle of equal shares.

      In the ensuing negotiations, Scotland may wish to offer rUK an unconventional maritime border – ie give away some of it’s oil as an exchange for no debt. If it refuses to accept binding debt liabilities, it has to offer something in return. Oil may or may not be part of that offer. That’s all I’m suggesting.

      The fundamental point being that Scotland has to achieve a mutual agreement with rUK, otherwise there are enormous consequences. Refusing it’s share of debt isn’t an ace that Salmond holds. It’s a nuclear option that would give London the green light to veto EU membership, strip any removable assets and leave an independent Scotland to it’s oil, but still in a hugely precarious state.

      This would be bad for both states, but much worse for Scotland, and I suspect, very unpopular with Scottish voters.

    305. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Given that we know debts are in the UK’s name, and Scotland is de facto accepting it would not be a continuator state, this would mean it cannot expect to share assets equally.”

      I’m getting very weary of you dodging counterpoints. What assets are these?

      “Scotland may wish to offer rUK an unconventional maritime border – ie give away some of it’s oil as an exchange for no debt”

      We don’t have to exchange anything. We have no debt. Ireland took on no debt when it left the UK.

    306. MajorBloodnok says:


      No-one ever said the negotiation process would be dull!

      The thing is that the rUK has to weigh up its public opinion, the requirement to apply perhaps stringent and limiting fiscal controls to itself (not just iScotland), the reaction of the City to such fiscal controls being in place and the very real risk that iScotland will out-perform the rUK economically. There is also the temptation to stick one up Alex Salmond, whether or not of course that that was the reaction that AS had been angling for all along….

    307. FlimFlamMan says:


      People here don’t seem to get the point that the SNP’s current currency policy requires a substantial change within rUK…

      I think the people here get that just fine. Where you’re going wrong is in assuming that the SNP actually expect that to happen.

      The more I think about it the more I suspect that the currency union idea is just a campaign ploy to back Westminster into a corner. By putting Westminster into the position of having to refuse* the union, the Scottish government and the wider Yes campaign can gain support, for the reasons scottish_skier and others have stated.

      What I think the SNP and others expect to happen is a currency peg followed by a float.

      * They have to refuse it because with its external deficit, which will grow with the loss of Scottish exports, the rUK cannot operate under a currency union as discussed, with fiscal limits. It would end up like Greece but without the nice weather.

    308. Alec says:

      @Majorbloodnok – yes I would agree. The idea of fiscal controls applying to both states is economically reasonable, but my guess (and this is only a guess) is that it wouldn’t be supported by rUK voters. The Euro Zone had these rules, and they were useless, ignored first by France and Germany as I recall.

      There is a question mark over the use of fixed rules anyway, as the attempt to meet spending rules has been one of the problems since the crash, whereas a more countercyclical variance of spending thresholds is more appropriate, if you can trust the incumbent governments.

      I’ve said before that when we start looking at currency issues that will change rUK, independence need to understand that influences such as UKIP will become relevant. My sense is that rUK voters will heed calls for rUK as the biggest currency partner to keep strict control of fiscal matters, with the recent Euro experience being cited as a key reason.

      This isn’t necessarily economically logical, but I’m trying to think about political realities south of the border.

    309. Morag says:

      40 miles off Montrose you find yourself in English waters,

      That’s not actually true, to the best of my knowledge.

    310. Alec says:

      @FlimFlamMan – what you say might be possible, but highly unlikely I would have thought. What you are saying in a nutshell is that the SNP is telling barefaced lies to the Scottish voters on a central part on their policy platform. If they can do this on the currency, are there any other areas where they are saying one thing in public, while assuming something else in private?

      @Rev C – “I’m getting very weary of you dodging counterpoints. What assets are these?”

      There are quite a few things which would add up. Currency reserves would be one of them, and it would be quite hard to establish a currency without some level of reserves.

      The EU annual rebate is another, all assets owned by the MOD, including all military hardware, ships, tanks, coastguard vessels, a fair bit of and too. Not too sure about air sea rescue helicopters. There would be other stuff I’m sure,but again, we’re in silly territory here, like refusing a fair share of debt. These things won’t happen.

      On Ireland, my understanding was that the debt was waived in exchange for recognition of the Ulster border – ie it was negotiated away, for something the UK wanted.

      That’s how it would have to work this time. Ireland didn’t refuse to share the debt – it couldn’t.

    311. Jamie Arriere says:

      There is nothing in the world that will get people off the fence and up on their feet, than a wee Tory bully!

    312. Lou Nisbet says:

      Does no one remember the pastie tax or the fact that osborne is SO unprincipled he will park in a disabled bay for his own convenience? He can say anything he likes and then magically it will all go away after the UK GE.

    313. Patrick Roden says:

      Oh dear, Alec is one of the ‘I’m a proud Scot but’ kinds.

    314. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Currency reserves would be one of them, and it would be quite hard to establish a currency without some level of reserves.”

      We have almost £4bn already deposited at the Bank of England covering Scottish banknotes. Not a bad start.

      “The EU annual rebate is another”

      Dear God. I’ve never heard anyone on the Yes side ever suggest we’d get a share of that.

      “all assets owned by the MOD, including all military hardware, ships, tanks, coastguard vessels, a fair bit of and too”

      We can buy our own ships, tanks and planes for a couple of billion. Fixed assets like land and buildings stay where they are.

      Is that it? Is that all we’re giving up for £150bn?

    315. FlimFlamMan says:


      What you are saying in a nutshell is that the SNP is telling barefaced lies to the Scottish voters on a central part on their policy platform.

      No, what I am saying is that the Scottish government is putting forward a policy, which they may be perfectly happy to implement if it happens that way, while simultaneously putting pressure on the Westminster government, and expecting, or thinking it possible and acceptable, that Westminster will refuse. Or rather, I’m saying they may be doing that. Like I said, I’m increasingly convinced, not totally convinced. No lies there, just standard politics when dealing with another government that’s opposed to your goal.

    316. Alec says:

      @Patrick Roden – “Oh dear, Alec is one of the ‘I’m a proud Scot but’ kinds.”

      I see. You’re only allowed to be Scottish if you agree with a particular viewpoint.

    317. A. Strachan says:

      What I don’t get is this continued need to strike fear at the people of Scotland? This is going to back fire, and I think what has to be done is straight forward.

      1. You get the Yes and SNP to accept that and say publically, ok we will not use the UK£ you can have it.

      **Deep breaths, sighs and amazement at public level**

      2. We will set up our own currency, no EU and we will not be accepting any of the debt for your foreign currency.

      **exhales and cheers all round**

      If Salmond never engineered this, he has been lucky. If he did, he is a one clever clever dude 😉

    318. @Alec says:

      “You’re only allowed to be Scottish if you agree with a particular viewpoint.”

      No. It has nothing to do with ethnicity.

      One signals agreement that independence with compromise is the way to attain autonomy. Quibbling about this or that is all very well, but drawing a line in the sand implies a limit, beyond which autonomy is unacceptable.

      The doctrine is simple:

      One step at a time.

    319. creigs1707repeal says:


      “If there is to be [sic]no sharing of liabilities, there need be no sharing of assets.”

      That’s what many on here have been saying to you for weeks.

    320. MajorBloodnok says:


      Quite right to be doubtful about the air sea rescue helicopters as ‘assets’. The Tories privatised them last year.

    321. Caroline Corfield says:

      @Morag, technically not English waters from the point of view of the law, but English oil and gas ?

    322. Alec says:

      @Caroline Corfield – I had a look at that link – fascinating stuff, although I can’t really see any legal case for the idea that the sea line is wrong. The Scotland Act clearly accepts Westminsters authority on the matters covered in the order, which presumably effectively updates any preceding legislation, and it’s erroneous to suggest the SI 1999 1126 only relates to fishing – it doesn’t.

      Section 4 deals with fishery limits, but Section 3 clearly seems to deal with territorial waters with no mention of fishing only, so it’s coverage seems fairly complete.

      Not quite sure how one could go about effectively arguing that the sea immediately off shore of English coast north of Berwick could be counted as Scottish, given that the modern legal basis of the border seems well established and accepted.

      The link also makes a point of Scottish Parliamentary publications showing the new sea line, which would also be difficult to argue against.

    323. @Alec

      The Scottish government took all the legal and expert advice they could garner, checked and cross-checked, and had decades to accumulate data and facts as the SNP in opposition, I would not lose sleep if I were you on speculating with personal interpretations of what you feel might or might not be Scotland’s property.

      If you were right and they wrong, Westminster would have seized on it months ago and used it to ridicule Scotland’s elected represenatives ad inept and incompetent.

    324. Flower of Scotland says:


      I’ve just seen the SNPs Political Party Broadcast on STV . It’s been on before, but it’s good really good! Tugs at the heart strings and brings a tear to the eye! A wee respite from today’s annoying Labour shenanigans! Wish it was shown south of the border too!

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