The world's most-read Scottish politics website

Wings Over Scotland

The Loch Ness Monster’s underwear

Posted on November 26, 2013 by

There’s an atrocious piece of journalism in this morning’s Guardian, and on this particular occasion we’re referring to its technical standards rather than any bias or spin. Here are the opening paragraphs:

“The Treasury has claimed Scotland’s voters will face tax rises of £1,000 per head after independence unless the next Scottish government immediately cuts billions of pounds in spending.

In a calculated effort to undermine the release on Tuesday of the landmark white paper outlining the case for Scottish independence, the Treasury said those increases would hit 2.4m people now paying the basic rate of income tax.

It said the alternative, according to the most optimistic scenario for Scotland’s economy and debt levels sketched out last week by the Institute for Fiscal Studies, would be to cut public spending by £3bn more than the UK government plans by 2021.”

We’re confused already.

Because despite the article having taken two people to write (Severin Carrell and Nicholas Watt), the provenance of the £1000 figure never gets any clearer than that. Is this supposed £1000 bill an annual one? Does it kick in in 2021? Does it reach £1000 in 2021, having grown over the intervening eight years? We’ve read the piece from top to bottom and there isn’t a single clue.

We’re interested because the apparent source of the claim is Danny Alexander, and it’s not too long – the start of this year, in fact – since the Chief Secretary to the Treasury told us that the cost of independence was just £1 a year, to much amused hooting from Yes supporters keen to know where they could send the cheque.

This seeming 99,900% increase in 10 months in the bill Scots will be asked to pay for self-determination and democracy, though, merely serves as another reminder, were one needed, of the mad folly of prediction where economies are concerned. And looking back at that January post reminded us of some striking evidence to that effect.


What that graph so starkly shows us is that eight years ago, in 2005, the UK government’s highest estimate for the price of oil in 2013 was around $42 a barrel. Yet today the actual price of Brent crude is $107, well over twice that figure. But today we’re being asked to accept a UK government claim that it can meaningfully forecast the price of oil (and therefore the health of an independent Scottish econony) exactly the same amount of time into the future.

If we go back just five more years, the sums get even more comical. The most optimistic price the UK government could foresee for North Sea oil in 2013 was around $20 a barrel – less than a FIFTH of the reality. (Its pessimistic guess was about $10.)

Yet last week we were asked to accept that the Institute for Fiscal Studies could accurately identify oil revenues not five or 13 years into the future, but FIFTY.

We suppose we ought to forgive the Guardian’s abysmally sloppy reporting. Because whether Danny Alexander was asserting that the £1000 bill would land on Scots the day after independence or almost a decade into the future, or whether it was annual or cumulative, it’s based on complete fantasy either way. So asking them to actually explain what he was claiming is a bit like arguing over the colour of Nessie’s knickers.

Print Friendly

    119 to “The Loch Ness Monster’s underwear”

    1. Jock says:

      Another way to look at it is that they are claiming our annual earnings are going to rise by a third instantly as a result of independence, therefore our tax bill will increase proportionally with it!

      Good news then!

    2. John McKay says:

      Thanks Rev. Literally, on the money, as per. You must be an early riser. 

    3. Thistle says:

      Another poor piece by the Severin in the Guardian.

    4. Ken500 says:

      £20 a week is a bargain to get rid of the Tories and protect NHS/Education.

      Cut Trident/Defence £1.5Billion. Put a tax on cheap booze £1Billion+

      Spend the £Billions going to the UK Treasury more wisely in Scotland.

      Scottish revenues £60Billion in £60Billion out.

      Rest of the UK Revenues raised £512Billion Revenues spent £633Billion Difference £121Billion.

    5. Seasick Dave says:

      Nessie’s knickers are green.

    6. msean says:

      Nessie wears a saltire on its’ knickers,everyone knows that lol.Anyway, union jack knickers would never do.Nessie is voting yes.

    7. Barontorc says:

      Put Danny Alexander’s name against any source and the data’s immediately suspect. Attach the print version as being a Severin Carrell by-line and we have music-hall stuff. Do these two half-wits not realise that their standing is so rubbished by previous gaffs they’d be struggling to convince folk what the time actually is?
      It will be sweet revenge to see Danny boy thrown out on his ear come the next election – what are those who voted for him thinking now?

    8. Famous15 says:

      The SOS Carmichael raised all this nonsense onGMS but it was very telling to hear the question he dodged and was not pushed to answer “But what is the cost of a NO vote ? ” The fear of this question oozed from every pore in his unctuous body. The BBC presenter also sounded fearful..that she might  be too hard on her Unionist boss!

    9. Hewitt83 says:

      Big day today.
      I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the BBC and other media outlets coverage so far.

    10. DougieDouglas says:

      Sorry, just posted this on another thread but saw this one and thought it connected to this story…
      I have spent a fair bit of time reading the Telegraph and Guardian online (the usual guff) and the comments associated with Scottish stories.

      Now of course there is the usual bile countered by legends such as Conan The Librarian however I think i am detecting a subtle change in tone from many English posters.

      They seem to starting to sit up and take notice and discernibly more are understanding why our movement is happening.  I.e. they are recognising that this is as a result of Westminister and the corrupt political elite and establishment.  It is refreshing to see them actually understand that this not about them and us but about us and the establishment and that we have had enough.  They seem to be increasingly making noises that are outright support (not in the ‘just fuck off and leave’ style but as in ‘if this happens we can change things too’)

      Is it just me seeing this?
      Exciting times, I think.

    11. Craig P says:

      Apparently Nessie’s a no voter. She has threatened to move to Windermere in the event of independence. 

    12. Silver19 says:

      I am sorry but Yessie is yes voter

    13. Juteman says:

      Folk like Carrell actually get paid good money for making up these stories. That’s the weird thing.

    14. alexicon says:

      Its just a phase there going through.
      Next, as the referendum gets closer, will be the sentiment and tradition stuff, you know like how we fought so many wars together and all that.
      I keep a link handy of how Churchill & Field Marshall Ironside had drawn up plans to ignore the screams of Scotland and protect England if Hitler had invaded Scotland first.
      You can read the story here on wings in the archive section Feb or Mar this year.
      That tends to dampen their sentimental shoite.

    15. Macart says:

      Well its Carrell and Wintour, we’re expecting Woodward and Bernstein? 😀 LOL
      That lad sometimes dances on the edge of Cochers territory.
      Also Nessie does not wear green knickers (so last year), its a pantone 300 onesie with a Saltire motif stitched into the gusset.

    16. Ken500 says:

      The rest of the UK should pay more taxes and cut spending. Balance the books.

    17. Ken500 says:

      11WW in Europe

      26million Russia (1 in 4)
      8 million Germany
      6 million Poland
      6 million Jews
      2 million America
      1/2 million France
      1/2 million Britain

    18. Linda's Back says:

      Quote of the day:
      Better a Wish List than a Death Wish 

    19. Craig M says:

      Re DougieDouglas
      No, you are not alone in seeing English views changing. I was having a discussion in England last week with English colleagues on Scottish Independence. One comment stood out, “you are leaving us alone with having to deal with London.”
      The penny will drop in a big way because the counter argument to Scottish Independence has to be a London centric one. Cue spotlight and magnifying glass on London, the Elite and their corrupt practices in government. The English will start to wake up and ask questions. The White paper is the catalyst for change within the British Isles; that is a good thing for all the people of these islands.  

    20. Hewitt83 says:

      Alistair Darling just called the White Paper a ‘Jock-ument’
      How can Scots actually be on this moron’s side?

    21. Les Wilson says:

      “I keep a link handy of how Churchill & Field Marshall Ironside had drawn up plans to ignore the screams of Scotland and protect England if Hitler had invaded Scotland first.”
      Yes, another thing was how Churchill abandoned the Scottish Highland Division, to save the English forces at Dunkirk. Left with no ammunition and surrounded they were captured by the German Army. He claimed Dunkirk it was a miracle. What caused this “miracle” was having the Scots in the rear to stop the Germans slaughtering the English troops, which they did until they had nothing to shoot with, many thousands were taken. This was no miracle for the abandoned Scottish soldiers.

    22. Barontorc says:

      Re Nessie’s knickers – the blue colour is Pantone 300 (as it should be)  – and interesting to note  – the blue used in the Union Jack is Pantone 280 – so not only did the steal our flag but they couldn’t even make a decent fist of incorporating it into their ‘Butcher’s Apron’.
      BTW, the Patone 300 has been registered by the Scottish Government as the true colour of the Saltire – future aspirant usurpers, again note well!

    23. Ken500 says:

      Is Severin resident in Scotland. Is Severin too mean to pay £20 a week to protect NHS/Education?

      Cutting £3Billion is easy £1.5 from Trident/Defence Tax on cheap drink £1Billion+ cut in Healthcare spending. Spending revenues is Scotland more wisely, with fiscal autonomy.

    24. gerry parker says:

      @Craig M.
      100% with you on that.

    25. call me dave says:

      “Better a Wish List than a Death Wish”             I like that Lynda. 
      Now’s the day and now’s the hour folks.  Gloves off and make sure our spokespeople get the point across big time today.  
      Their politicians will be on the back foot for a wee while until the media step in to write their sound bites for them.  However BBC been OK so far this morning in a general way.
      Popcorn ready hope it’s a good one.  Macart might still be on the mints.

    26. Annibale says:

      Mr. Carrell is well named, ‘cos we’ll soon be “Severin'” ties with Westminster!

    27. Si A says:

      At this rate, the next quoted figure will be ONE MEEELLION DOLLARS! (Cue manic laughter and litle figure raised to corner of mouth)

    28. chalks says:

      Scotland’s journey to self determination has truly begun.
      Great day.

    29. Les Wilson says:

      Sorry, Carmichael continues to get battered on his blog, not anyone with anything good about him.

    30. Rod Mac says:

      I have had  to stop listening to BBC reporting on this before I have a stroke.
      Referring to the WP as akin to a Harry Potter novel, trotting out as fact the IFS  BS , saying for 100% certain there will be no currency union Scots will be £1,000 worse off.
      The lies and propaganda fill me with rage.
      Of course nobody from YES gets a chance to debunk these blatant lies.

    31. Horacesaysyes says:

      Well, in the BBC article on this, it says the IFS report said the supposed £1000 increase is what would be required to reduce the national debt. Anyone fancy calculating how much it would have to go up for the rest of the UK to do the same?

    32. Albert Herring says:

      Nessie goes commando

    33. Edward says:

      Ah the old ‘thoosant poonds’  The amount as a child would come up with, when asked how much money would you like? ‘ah want a thoosant poonds!’ 
      What I’m illustrating is they really do think we are childish fools that a figure is plucked and thrown into the debate will some how have some resonance

    34. ronnie anderson says:

      O/T no time to read post guys, just in fron doing papers at Airdrie station, BT mop not very sociabile , one inperticular any ways anybodys going to the science centre

    35. Ken500 says:

      So everyone in the UK would be paying more. The rest of the UK would paying even more as there is less tax raised and more is spent. (pro rata)

      Why is Scotland always paying off the rest of the UK debt? That it doesn’t borrow or spend.

    36. faolie says:

      You’ll pay more tax!!
      Oil’s running out!!
      Bunch of old folk drawing tiny wee pensions!
      Doomed, ah tell ye, dooomed!!
      Captain Darling on BBC breakfast this morning. Jeez.

    37. Vincent McDee says:

      Michel Fry debunk the currency issue in a quite plain speaking way:
      Yet, out of the goodness of his heart, Alex Salmond offers an arrangement by which Scotland’s continued use of sterling would come about not unilaterally but through the agreement of both sides. No measure could surely be more conducive to the friendship, continuity and mutual benefit within these islands that we all wish for (do we not?) whatever the outcome of the referendum.
      Given the close links bound to continue between the economies of Scotland and England, this would surely be of advantage to both sides. Of course, the English are perfectly entitled to refuse any such agreement: it’s up to them. What they cannot do is actually stop the Scots using sterling while it remains a fully convertible reserve currency.
      The position is slightly complex but perfectly clear. It is even so quite beyond the conceptual grasp of Alistair Carmichael, Secretary of State for Scotland, who when asked in an interview last week if an independent Scotland would be excluded from sterling, simply replied “yes”. Perhaps he should return to being a pastry cook: he would find his soufflés more substantial than his command of the economic arguments about independence.

    38. Ian Brotherhood says:

      At least Nessie’s got knickers. Danny Alexander long since abandoned underpants as they burst into flames every time he opens his gob.

    39. kininvie says:

      @ Les Wilson
      At the time of the German attack trhough the Ardennes, the 51st Highland Div was not with the rest of the BEF but was stationed much further south among the French trrops. After Dunkirk it retreated along with the rest of the French army and ended up at St Valery, where most of the division was captured.
      It’s simply not fair to say they were abandoned to save English lives. In fact, it’s a fairly gross distortion, not least because there were several English regiments attached to 51st.

    40. MajorBloodnok says:

      O/T Just back from leafletting at Waverley Station this morning.  Well, when I say “Waverley Station” I actually mean North Bridge/High Street, as so many had turned up to help there wasn’t any room around the station itself.  Didn’t see the BT guys but I heard there were a few somewhere.  Great enthusiasm and quite a few interested punters.  It’s going to be an interesting day today…

    41. faolie says:

      Actually, slightly O/T, but I that fearsome interviewer, Susannah Reid on BBC Breakfast, brought Darling out in a fluttering sweat, when she ever so gently suggested to AD that Independence could be quite good. They could repeal the bedroom tax for instance. No, no, no, the way to do that is for Labour to win the next GE says AD. No, says Susannah, once they’ve got independence they just could repeal it, couldn’t they? No, what you have to understand [Alistair’s favourite sidestep phrase] and he went on to waffle on about pensions. Mrs Faolie, not quite as fanatical about the independence argument on the news as me, wasn’t impressed
      This far out from September and they’re really starting to struggle. And btw, BBC news reported just now that the £1000 is a £1000 a year.

    42. Kev says:

      Not long now till the White Paper launch, just hope it will contain some of the fantastic policies employed by the Nordic countries in the “Our friends in the north” programme last night, it certainly painted a picture of a country I would like to live in and contrasted sharply with the lunatic policies of Westminster…

    43. Ken500 says:

      Millionaires Carmichael (£100,000+) Lamentable/ Darling and the rest of Westminster are too mean to pay £20 a week to protect the NHS/Education.

    44. Robert Louis says:

      Look (I got that from Darling), Look, the following are going to happen if Scotland becomes independent.

      1. The Chicken will finally cross the road and the sky WILL fall down.

      2. North Korea will launch an immediate and total nuclear attack against Scotland.

      3. Scottish taxpayers will end up paying a gazillion pounds extra in tax.

      4. The oil will run out. Immediately.

      n.b. a gazillion is a million, million times higher than anybody can imagine.

      All facts courtesy of the anti Scottish independence project FEAR!!!

    45. HandandShrimp says:

      I heard Carmichaelmoore on the radio this morning answering the rather simple question “couldn’t Osborne simply clearly say No now to a currency union?”. Poor old Carmichaelmoore said that obviously “he hadn’t made himself clear Osborne can’t do this because an independent Scotland would be constituted differently” 
      Well I’m glad he cleared that up. Does this man just make incomprehensible gibberish up or does it mean something on his planet?
      I no longer bother reading Severin articles in the Guradian but rather go straight for the jugular below the line. Severin is just a mouthpiece for Better Together but the Guardian kindly picks up the tab.

    46. Horacesaysyes says:

      O/T – Is anyone able to get to open?

      I’m just getting ‘Error establishing a database connection’. 🙁

    47. Bunter says:

      I hope Salmond  does not give Nick Robinson or the BBC first question.

    48. Kev says:

      I seem to be getting it fine at

    49. Robert Louis says:

      Scot referendum site seems to be down – probably overload.

    50. balgayboy says:

      @Horacesaysays yes
      Real strange that, it was working ok till 5 minutes to the 10.00 launch….!!!

    51. HandandShrimp says:

      Alistair Darling just called the White Paper a ‘Jock-ument’
      I find that hard to believe. Is he really such an Uncle Tom? I thought he had a bit more gravitas and left drivel like that to the Chairchoob.

    52. Robert Louis says:

      Darling is a clown for that comment.

    53. Caroline Corfield says:

      Craig M.  As a resident of England this is exactly what I hope will happen. I might be Scottish but I see myself and my family continuing to live in Northumberland and I selfishly hope for Scottish independence because I think it will make a difference to the North of England in the long run, even if to begin with things get worse. The Londoncentric status quo was like a cancer eating into British democracy, there is no way it can now remain.

    54. Philip says:

      Johnny foreigner here. 
      Cant find any live coverage at all over about 7 different news channels and even the bbc scotland website appears to just have a twitter feed and a prefilmed compilation under its ‘Breaking news’ live feed.
      What is going on??

    55. Horacesaysyes says:

      @balgayboy – I know, who would have thunk it! lol

      I’ve got it through Youtube here, though

    56. The Man in the Jar says:

      Tried both links. No luck. 🙁

    57. The Man in the Jar says:

      Got it on youtube. with no sound. 🙁 🙁

    58. Philip says:

      Sorry, Russia today just mentioned the white paper with short interviews with Nicola Sturgeon and Linda Fabiani and the had the live coverage on a screen behind the presenter who said that we would see more of it later.
      Nothing on any other chanl yet!

    59. Philip says:

      Thanks for the links. I will go try them! 😀

    60. MajorBloodnok says:

      Apparently Brian Taylor (BBC) got the first question.  At least the state broadcaster bothered to turn up.

    61. desimond says:

      From BBC – The first minister went on: “Ultimately at the heart of this debate there’s only one question – do we, the people who live and work in Scotland, believe that we are the best people to take the big decisions about our future?”
      The white paper also pledged to extend child care…

      Wullie Rennie just fainted!

    62. Illy says:

      I saw one BT guy outside the escalators at Waverly handing out a newspaper-looking thing.
      Question for protocol:  Is it better to take the Yes flyer to boost the stats, or refuse it to let it go to an undecided?  I’ve been refusing with a smile so far, but if it would be more use to take it, even though I’m already planning to vote Yes, I can start doing that.

    63. Kev says:

      Nick Robinson what a tit…

    64. HandandShrimp says:

      I think you need to add the word Tory to that sentence 🙂

    65. msean says:

      Some of the uks’ top journalists in Glasgow today asking some of the uk’s stupider questions lol.even i guessed the border one there.

    66. Edward says:

      Just how many BBC Journalists are there in attendance? so far I have a 4 count
      Nick Robinson
      Brian Taylor
      someone from the world tonight (radio4)
      James Cook

    67. MochaChoca says:

      Predictions made by the OBR (which the other ‘think tanks’ take as gospel)

      Nov’10: OBR predict 2013-14 oil price of $87/barrel (and static thereafter)

      Nov’11: OBR predict 2013-14 oil price of $101/barrel (then falling $3-4 per year)

      Dec’12: OBR predict 2013-14 oil price of $106/barrel (then falling $4-5 per year)

      Mar’13: OBR predict 2013-14 oil price of $113/barrel (then falling $4-7 per year)

      In 2010 OBR were 25% out on a three year prediction, then having to appear more realistic as the outturn approached.

      Despite prices remaining stable coming on for 3 years, with each publication the OBR forecast a steeper decline leading to a $90-93 price point in 2017-18, indicating a deficit scenario in Scotland’s early years of independence.

      The OBR have already admitted Oil price prediction is impossible, so have chosen a ‘magic number’ which suits the Westminster agenda and are working backwards to create the illusion of a ‘forecast’ with this endpoint. They only have to maintain this strategy until September next year.

      I predict OBR predictions following September next year will revert to an upward trend as all other agencies are forecasting.

    68. call me dave says:

      BBC Scotland Call Kaye and BBC Radio 5 live has the FM   Says it all.

    69. call me dave says:

      Anyone cheched their referendum questions bingo card yet?  

    70. msean says:

      got a few ifs scored out ,a full house surely coming lol

    71. Frances says:

      Nick Robinson seemed awfully angry.

    72. Luigi says:

      Silver 19
      “I am sorry but Yessie is yes voter”
      What a great name for a mascot.  Perhaps YES Scotland missed a trick there!

    73. Kev says:

      Good to see Salmond treating Cochers like the silly wee child he is…

    74. Ken500 says:

      BBC News 24 Channel has it all

    75. Edward says:

      Bella Caledonia asking question, is this the first non print, non broadcast media that’s attended a press conference?
      Good to hear them

    76. annie says:

      Bet Alistair Darling’s facial tick is going into overdrive about now.

    77. handclapping says:

      The Westminster agenda that the OBR is working to is that the UK cannot afford pensions. That they can bash the Nats as part of that is a bonus but we’re only 8% in their grand scheme of things so basically they dont give a damn that their “projections” are a load of pish and are being used by dicks like the IFS to scaremonger with the added respectability of “figures from the OBR”.

    78. M4rkyboy says:

      Darling wouldnt have called it that.Is there a link?

    79. muttley79 says:

      Here is Alastair Darling on BBC now…

    80. Juteman says:

      AS said would you rather be on the positive side, or the deathly embrace of the Tories, the Libdems and the Labour Party leadership.
      Notice he said Labour Party leadership, not the party as a whole.

    81. msean says:

      …and he hasn’t been listening in obviously

    82. msean says:

      that would be the pound mr d

    83. muttley79 says:

      Oh no, Darling has mentioned “foreign” again.

    84. Robert Louis says:

      Darling spouting bare faced lies. the man is a joke.

    85. Murray McCallum says:

      Darling sooo predictable – fall back positions, negotiation positions not facts, plan Bs, unknowns, etc
      He needs a plan B for a new job.

    86. Seasick Dave says:

      I’ve just watched the launch and was extremely impressed by how Alex and Nicola fielded the questions with in-depth knowledge and, dare I say it, grace and style.
      It was noticeable to me that not one of the audience afforded them the courtesy of a round of applause at the end.
      Possibly the stunned silence said it all.

    87. Ken500 says:

      Plan B

      Darling retires
      Carmichael redundant

      Darling hilarious

    88. Robert Louis says:

      So, Darling asserting there are no answers, yet he hasn’t actually read the white paper.

    89. Luigi says:

      Bet Alistair Darling’s facial tick is going into overdrive about now.
      Whether or not the “jock-u-ment” slur is true, an increase in anti-Scottish rhetoric among the Uncle Toms appears to have surfaced during the past month.  Under pressure, and emotional they may be, but revealling their true, anti-scottish feelings, when the argument goes against them, does them no favour at all.  They are, in effect, digging their own graves.  Patriotic scots indeed.

    90. msean says:

      has anyone mentioned seperatists yet? like to see ad answer questions from a crowd like this for an hour and fifteen mins so far.

    91. muttley79 says:

      Here is Norman Smith now.  Is this guy actually a journalist?

    92. Papadocx says:

      Very good white paper launch, proud of Eck & Nicola.
      Darling, profit of doom, looks the part, sounds the part. Will not say (along with BT) we won’t let you use sterling. THEY NEED US MORE THAN WE NEED THEM!

    93. MochaChoca says:

      The recent regional breakdown for UK public spending also reveals some interesting figures.
      Indentifiable expenditure on services in Scotland in 2012-13 is £53.944bn, however the tables show that about £1.48bn of that is accounted to spending ‘for the benefit of Scotland’ by UK government departments, the functions of which are already devolved and therefore accounted for seperately. (So we are billed for that twice.)
      Non-identifiable expenditure for the UK as a whole is £94.8bn (including £36.4bn for defence), we are attributed a population share of this spending equating to £7.9bn (of which £3.05bn is defence). The expenses of the front-line services (health, education, pensions and welfare, law and order, environment etc) are covered as indentifiable spending, so this £7.9bn is the basically the amount we pay towards administering and defending the UK.
      The question is how this could we save on some of this or how could it be better spent in Scotland (we already know how much we can save, and yet spend more, in terms of defence). If it was spent here how would that affect our employment levels, our health and wellbeing, our overall economy and therefore our tax take???

    94. msean says:

      the prof verging on economic opinion rather than comment on polling there.

    95. Murray McCallum says:

      I was impressed by and enjoyed the white paper launch media Q&A.
      Alex Salmond and Nicola Surgeon were excellent. A good team. Now up to everyone in the broad Yes campaign to face the onslaught of negativity from the No to Scotland campaign.
      Looks to me that the No campaign will have to start laying out the detail as to why Scotland can’t negotiate its position. The “too stupid” argument may come to the fore.

    96. faolie says:

      BBC at Downing St: Government ‘sources’ say ‘absolutely believe Achilles Heel, not credible that Scotland can keep the pound cos it’s in the UK govt’s gift’.
      What a load of tosh. ‘Let’s say more and more stupid scary stuff without saying anything’. Boy, are we going to hear a lot more of rubbish like this.

    97. Robert Louis says:


      Of course we will NEVER hear the chancellor say a definitive NO, for the reasons Alex Salmond stated. Without Scotland in a currency union, rUK would face a 39 billion pound black hole in their balance of payments. No chancellor would ever allow such a black hole to develop.

      The currency union WILL happen.

    98. Bunter says:

      Liked salmonds wee dig at the Wales FM and their unemployment rate. Class

    99. Lanarkist says:

      Thought the press conference went well. Really enjoyed the manner that AS dealt with Nick R.,  A Cockring and Sev.C. I did get the impression that the pack really wanted to attack but really could not find any traction.

      From initial impressions it looks like relentless negativity and knit-picking will be the chosen method of analysis.

      I liked that AS said that Westminster was the blocking point in receiving an answer from the EU and that  they should seek a definitive statement from DC which the Scottish Gov would be delighted about.

      AD spitting the toys out again immediately after.

      Very good presentation from AS and NS, fully on top of their brief, very slick in being able to refer to para’s, passages and page nos.

      Top marks.

    100. Robert Louis says:


      Aye, Alex and Nicola are on fine form today.

    101. alexicon says:

      Alex Salmond should put the ball in the unionist court and tell them to category rule out a Sterling zone now.
      See what their answer would be. 

    102. Cindie aka CR says:

      Alex and Nichola were excellent.  Here’s a link to the white paper, should anyone want to read it now. 

    103. Silver19 says:

      “What a great name for a mascot.  Perhaps YES Scotland missed a trick there!”
      Yes Scotland did think of that, there is kids T-Shirt with the word Yessie using Nessie

    104. Juteman says:

      I think that’s a good tactic, as it could be used by the UK later.
      If it was looking like a YES close to the vote, the UK could rule out a currency union as a last throw of the dice. They don’t want to say it now, as the financial markets wouldn’t like it. If they thought they were going to lose, they might take that chance anyway.

    105. faolie says:

      @juteman, @alexicon
      As the Yes vote climbs through the summer, the markets are going to take a very keen interest in the UK govt’s stance on Sterling. Suspect they’ll be asking George that he’s not really serious that he’s giving away a £1.5tn asset that’s underpinning their confidence in Sterling. You’re just kidding George, right? Surely, you’re just kidding, aren’t you? Because if you’re not, Sterling’s value is going to plunge faster than a dodgy satellite plummeting back to earth

    106. Murray McCallum says:

      I wouldn’t like to be the holder of a rUK Sterling pension that wasn’t backed by north sea oil & gas. The devaluation of Sterling and import of inflation would significantly impact its real value.
      Maybe the Treasury do wish to cull the value of Sterling life savings and pensions? What an asset grab that would be.

    107. Rod Mac says:

      The reality was that today As and NS were brilliant they fielded every question with dignity ,good grace and sense.
      However every News Bulletin especially Nick (I am a Tory) Robinson will hammer home the there will be no currency union , the Scotch will have to pay £1000 in taxes a year more than now.
      So many questions unanswered blah ,blah blah.

    108. Robert Kerr says:

      I missed the start but found it very professionally presented.
      Best part is at the very end after AS and NS have left.
      Camera catches the BBC man Brian Taylor.
      Despair has a name… it is YES

    109. MochaChoca says:

      Maybe he should take it one step further an really force their hand:

      “as it appears that the UK government will not agree to a currency union we are taking that offer off the table and will be proceeding wth our already well developed Plan B (maybe a Scottish Pound initially pegged 1:1 with Sterling) and as a the UK clearly intend to adopt the role of sole successor state we do not anticipate a transfer of any national debt.”

      Maybe a bit too early for that though…..

    110. Andy says:

      Illy @ 10:23
      Take the leaflet, read and absorb, then pass it on to a DK.

    111. Ken500 says:

      The £ would devalue further. The lenders of last resort, China, Saudi and Japan won’t be pleased. They are already being defrauded by the fall in the £. China is now buying Gold reserves.

      The UK Treasury is selling Bonds at 2.5% and lending at 1%. Can’t go on much long.

      Scotland has no influence on lending rates, now.

      If the Scottish Gov said Plan B would be to join the Euro, wait and see the panic. The Unionists would be arguing to keep Scotland in a currency Union.

    112. Danny says:

      Funny I’m sure I heard Alistair Carmichael say this morning that if Scotland was in a currency union then the UK would have to take control of taxes. So who is it again that is going to put up taxes by £1,000.
      As for Carmichael,I thought Moore was scraping the barrel and that only Mundell could have been more hopeless but good grief Carmichael is bizarre,he doesn’t know and he doesn’t care he doesn’t know. I fear he may adopt the Sarwar technique of shouting rather than debating when he comes up against Nicola. 

    113. Rod Mac says:

      Is the minsterial statement available anywhere live?

    114. Andymac says:

      As a member of Loch Ness Yes, I. Can con firm that N Essie is a Yes voter and that her undergarments are pretty pink 🙂 

    115. JGedd says:

      Received through the letterbox yesterday, a Better Together leaflet. This one seemed to be taking a more subtle – for them – tack, that we could have the best of both worlds, namely our ” successful Scottish parliament” and remain within the Union. This is a more soothing message and one which many people I’m sure, actually believe – that we can have the status quo and nothing need change. There were also dire warnings of the usual sort however, about what would happen if we were foolish enough to say Yes to independence.
      This cosy image of our competent Scottish Parliament continuing to protect us within the Union is one which they know appeals to many people. It has to be made clear to people that things will not remain the same and threats such as the withdrawal of the Barnett formula have already been made.
      Selling change to people is always harder than the status quo but people must understand that the status quo is not an option either.

      Many of you will know about the burning building phenomenon where people reach a window ledge and yet do not choose to jump to safety despite being urged by rescuers below. People have been observed to turn and go back into the burning building or remain rooted to the spot and do not survive. Jumping from a height might result in a broken limb but staying put has fatal consequences. 
      I hope that in the referendum vote, people do not choose to remain trapped in a collapsing structure and have the courage to choose a better future.  

    116. john king says:

      Illy says
      “I can start doing that”
      Why dont you ask for couple of dozen for your undecided freinds then drop em in a puddle in front of them, ahem 😉

    Comment - please read this page for comment rules. HTML tags like <i> and <b> are permitted. Use paragraph breaks in long comments. DO NOT SIGN YOUR COMMENTS, either with a name or a slogan. If your comment does not appear immediately, DO NOT REPOST IT. Ignore these rules and I WILL KILL YOU WITH HAMMERS.

    ↑ Top