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The McCrone Legacy

Posted on August 22, 2014 by

As readers of this site will be well aware, 40 years ago the UK government economist Professor Gavin McCrone analysed the effect of North Sea oil on the finances of a notional independent Scotland, which at the time seemed a real and possibly even imminent prospect. His assessment was so alarming to Westminster that its findings had to be kept secret from the Scottish public for over three decades.

With the information suppressed, Scotland remained in the UK (and was even refused modest devolution despite voting for it in a referendum), resulting in the imposition of a series of Conservative governments elected on English votes, beginning with Margaret Thatcher’s turning-point victory in 1979.


Ironically, we have Mrs Thatcher’s government to thank for the collation of the data which demonstrates the true state of Scotland’s finances within the UK, in the shape of the GERS figures (Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland).

The data was subsequently collected into the Scottish National Accounts Project, which provides the figures (Excel document) for the following analysis. What it reveals provides a surprisingly unambiguous statement of Scotland’s financial condition, and one which is agreed across a broader political spectrum that you might imagine.

The chief difficulty in establishing Scotland’s position relative to the UK is that when ascribing income and expenditure to individual parts of the UK, a number of estimates and presumptions have to be made. For example, defence spending or foreign affairs are essentially non-geographic in the Scotland/UK context, and so spending in these areas is generally apportioned on a population basis.

North Sea oil presents a particularly sensitive issue, and the presentation of the data has been fudged for political reasons, obfuscating the reality by producing figures on an economically meaningless per-capita basis as well as the proper geographic basis which would in fact be the case upon independence.

The prominent feature of the UK data is the regularity of annual deficits. There’s nothing unusual in this – rather, it’s the norm among developed western economies. What’s more concerning, however, is the rapidly growing level of debt in recent years.

The red line on the following graph represents the UK debt as calculated from the data, and accurately reflects the known position. The debt has grown from about £98bn in 1980 to £1.2 trillion in 2013. In this graph, debt is shown as a downwards line. (Such graphs are more commonly shown upside-down, with the mounting debt depicted as a rising line, which is psychologically less alarming.)


Scotland’s share of this debt – on the “pooling and sharing” basis presented by Labour as a benefit of the Union – naturally follows an identical trajectory, and can be seen marked by the red line in the graph below, with only the values on the vertical axis different. It’s grown from £8.2bn in 1980 to £99bn in 2013.


The orange line, however, shows the equivalent effect of using the data specific to Scotland. It begins with the same population-based share of debt in 1980, namely £8.2bn – although, as noted in this article, Scotland had already been outperforming the UK for decades before that.

Even with that unfavourable starting point, it can be seen that the debt is replaced by a credit balance for several years before moving back into debt in 2003/4, with the debt since rising to almost £70bn in 2013. This is a significant improvement (of £29bn) on the position calculated by a per-capita debt share.

But this doesn’t accurately represent Scotland’s true historic fiscal position. Within the annual expenditure ascribed to Scotland is a share of the cost of servicing the UK debt (ie paying interest on it). GERS allocates a population share of UK interest payments, rather than calculating a separate Scottish figure.

This means that the Scottish figures are misrepresented by including too large a share of the UK’s debt repayments. Scotland is being made to pay for the UK’s proportionately-higher deficit, not just Scotland’s own. Fortunately, the data enables us to rectify this and calculate a fair share of the UK debt interest. This is shown as the yellow line on the graph below.


The cumulative debt so calculated for 2013 is only £3.8bn, compared to the £99bn with the UK’s debt shared across the whole country. In fact, we see that Scotland has been in credit since 1982/3 and right up until 2012, only dropping into a modest level of debt in 2012/13. During those 30 years of credit an independent Scotland would have paid no debt interest at all, because it would have had no debt.

But this still understates Scotland’s true fiscal position. What does a country do when it has a credit balance? It invests it for a return (as with Norway’s fabled $1 trillion oil fund). How much positive income would this generate?

A 4% return on the credit balance (similar to the average produced by Norway’s fund), would be a reasonable, even slightly conservative, estimate. If we factor that into the figures, along with the absence of any UK debt interest payments, it leads to an accumulated surplus of over £63bn in 2013, shown by the green line.


This figure is slightly below the £68bn produced by the pro-Union economist Professor Brian Ashcroft last year.

“I estimate that Scotland’s share of UK debt interest amounted to £83 billion at 2001-12 prices. Subtracting this from total estimated Scottish spend of £1,440 billion we get a debt interest adjusted estimate of spend of £1,357 billion. This means that Scotland was in overall surplus by about £68 billion“.

Yet this figure still doesn’t necessarily reflect the true position. Scotland has accrued, on its own account, a substantial credit, while the UK has accrued a substantial debt. The UK services that debt, paying interest to creditors at rates which have varied over the years. Scotland has been a de facto creditor of the UK, because its credit balances have offset overall UK debt.

The effective rates paid by the UK (and therefore earned by the creditors) can be calculated, year on year, from the data, and therefore we can apply those rates to the calculated Scottish credit balances, to determine our fair return on those surpluses.

Those calculations produce the final result, depicted by the blue line below.


The credit balance reaches £207bn in 2013. Scotland would in fact have been in “profit” every year since 1982/3, with the single exception of 2009/10. Just as McCrone predicted, it would have become “a country with a substantial and chronic surplus”.

Therefore, using only figures provided by the UK government and some very reasonable and modest assumptions, we can answer the question “What has it cost Scotland to be part of the UK since 1980?”

The answer is the difference between the red line (a cumulative debt of £99.2bn) and the blue line (a credit of £207.8bn, very close to the £222bn calculated by the independent body Full Fact last year). That is to say, Scotland has lost a massive £307bn since 1980 through “pooling and sharing” its resources with the UK.

While the numbers sound astonishing, they’re entirely consistent with what Professor McCrone predicted way back in the 1970s. Unlike almost every other UK government body across that period, up to and including the current OBR, he got his sums right.

The Norwegians have made their wealth work for them. They retained their wealth in their economy rather than giving away over £300bn to someone else, and made the money work for them, generating more wealth. They avoided the ravages of wholesale deindustrialisation and high unemployment in the 1980s, and the credit crisis of 2008. They’ve spent their money looking after their citizens, both in the present and by investing for when the oil runs out.

Although the biggest of the boom times in oil are now past, an independent Scotland would still, according to some extremely learned experts, have the opportunity to produce surpluses. There are decades of healthy oil receipts left, and a renewables potential that could come to dwarf them.

Scotland might never catch up with Norway, but will shortly face the opportunity to at least start travelling in the same direction, and free itself from a UK that’s currently got its foot jammed on the throttle and its wheels pointing straight at a brick wall.

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  1. 22 08 14 13:17

    The McCrone Legacy | Scottish Independence News

  2. 01 09 14 11:08

    The McCrone Legacy – Awakened State

192 to “The McCrone Legacy”

  1. Iain Bell says:

    Only one minor quibble with the figures used above. The Norwegian oil fund, properly known as the Pension Fund, made 16% on investments in the last financial year, not 4% as stated above. This makes a difference, though it’s academic.

  2. Andy Nimmo says:

    I am 100% convinced that George Reid, arguably one of the most gifted, moral and sincere politicians, lost his seat in 1979 thanks to the non stop barrage of ‘Vote Labour – it’s the only way to stop Thatcher’. They even had it blaring out from speakers non stop from dusk to dawn.
    35 years later and they’re still lying through their teeth and peddling the same old blatantly false scare stories.

  3. Bigdrone says:

    McCrone then……..Clair Ridge now!!!! Don’t Get Fooled Again!!!!

  4. Robert Louis says:

    I posted this a few days ago, but it is just as relevant to this excellent article. As the oil revenue flowed to London’s treasury during the 1980’s and 90’s, the line about Scotland being subsidised by England was repeated over and over again. The EXACT opposite was the case, a lie perpetrated by both Tories and Labour, who both also hid the truth from the McCrone report over several decades.

    The great lie about England subsidising Scotland is summed up by this patronising comment from Thatcher herself.

    “We English, who are a marvellous people, are really very generous to Scotland.”

    Margaret Thatcher, 1990.

  5. Votadini Jeannie says:

    It makes you weep, doesn’t it, to think how it might have been. Thank you Dale for this analysis and another set of figures to show my undecided friends.

  6. G H Graham says:

    And folks still wonder why the British State is fighting tooth & nail to cling on to what the tabloids effectively call, “a subsidized country filled to the brim with benefit scroungers & drunks.”

    And just in case anyone is still asleep, some of the money Scotland has sent south is being being spent right now on this …

    Crossrail – £15 billion
    Thameslink Programme – £6 billion
    Bank station congestion relief project – blah blah billions etc

    Hey, Scotland! Are you feeling the benefit of “pooling & sharing” yet?

  7. benarmine says:

    Thanks Dale, excellent work. I look forward to the unionist reaction when it’s all over the media tomorrow.

  8. Colin Church says:

    The scale of the UKOK deception (theft) is so massive that the real issue is getting people to recognise it. There are always two options when taken for a fool. Righteous indignation and change to YES or inability to believe and head bury to a NO.

  9. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The Norwegian oil fund, properly known as the Pension Fund, made 16% on investments in the last financial year, not 4%”

    I believe 4% is the lifetime average, and have amended accordingly, but will check.

  10. R-type Grunt says:

    Well done on the article, Dale. Considering how many numbers there are in it I found it easy to follow. Shared.

  11. Someone on the YES side should hold a press conference to point all this out, verified by ‘experts’ of course.

  12. G H Graham says:

    Colin is right.

    The deception is so chronic & so large that it has become almost unbelievable for even the most open minded of people.

    I remember a earlier post on these pages

    which showed Scotland had given London up to 80% of its revenues for so long that Whitehall became too embarrassed to continue publishing the numbers.

    Only an armed invasion & occupation of another sovereign nation could have come close to helping achieve the enormity of this theft.

  13. fred blogger says:

    it is our oil; ie WM rhetoric “look @ what we can do with our oil” in which WM obviously assumed “ownership”, using scotlands oil to crush opposition to that view.
    they used the oil to build up the south east of england, which IS what WM has done, into a vote winning income generator. they thus established their power base, to thwart opposition.

    they used scotlands oil to improve their lives and not all of our lives. in this, i see them as greedy children wishing to maintain their “scrumptious kindergarten”.

    scotland now needs it’s oil revenues back, they have had their chance to use it wisely, for the benefit of all and have BLOWN it.
    they used the scottish socialist mind set, scotlands amazing social language, against the people of scotland, and enough is enough!

  14. Robert Peffers says:

    Well done, Dale Ross, that report was much needed and is much appreciated.

  15. steve davies says:

    great article

  16. Andy Nimmo says:

    I’ve just rediscovered this gem from this time last year. Becoming more and more relevant.

  17. Robert Peffers says:

    This would make a great letterbox leaflet drop along with the Wee Blue Book. If only it could be managed before the quickly approaching vote.

  18. Well done Dale Ross for providing Concise Data and charts that informs us on a subject that Scots always felt was the real case.

    The only way Scotland can possibly fail as a new Independent Country is – IF we ever allow Krash,Flipper.Davidson or Curran into our Scottish Parliament.

    Scotland is wealthy but we see Foodbanks on the increase.
    A National Disgrace instigated by the same SLAB scabs who repeatedly serve the same despicable lies to their own voters.? And Scotland.?

    They should be standing at the Hague for WAR CRIMES.

  19. Derrick says:

    I’ve long suspected that the true situation was cleverly hidden in open daylight by the GERS figures. Great to see it explained at last.

  20. Peter Macbeastie says:

    Good article. Illustrates nicely how we’ve been getting screwed for years.

    I like the McCrone Report. I use it regularly to hit No voters with and have an unassailable counter to the accustaion that ‘it’s old information that isn’t relevant any more’ response.

    Yes, it’s old information. My response to that is simple. The UK Governments since McCrone reported in the Seventies have been aware of the true position of the North Sea potential and have lied, again and again, to the UK public saying it’s going to run out first in the Eighties, then the Nineties, and on and on lying to the people… although I note now the Tory attack is ask what’s going to happen when your children are middle aged.

    My response is simply one of ‘and does that old information mean you are happy that the UK Government has been lying to you about the oil industry for all the time since it came out?’

    The McCrone Report should have been exploited as the bombshell it ought to have been when it was eventually released. Instead it created roughly the same amount of noise as a loud fart. It should have been published by the SNP, or indeed any group with independence aspirations, and screamed about in terms of ‘why would you trust a government when it’s been lying to you about this for decades?’

    Missed chance, that one.

  21. Sarah Logan says:

    Great piece on the thieves and vagabonds at Westminster, surely we must vote YES on 18th September, let all of Scotland see this report, I am quite confident it will lead to even the No voters thinking twice.

    Democracy, removal of Nuclear Weapons from my lovely River Clyde, ALL revenues going to Holyrood, an end to the disgrace of food banks, fuel poverty in a land abundant with oil and gas, and probably worst of all child poverty in the 21st century, hang your heads in shame Westminster for the theft and squander of my country’s wonderful resources, and for the character assassination of my fellow Scots, vote YES YES YES Scotland.

  22. Macart says:

    The great lie, ‘Better Together’.

    If they had trusted the public with the facts at the time perhaps we would have become independent, perhaps not, but respect for our system of government and our representatives would have lasted a damn sight longer. As it is, they lied, they hid the truth and misappropriated the wealth of a partner to fund their ‘projects’, their place in the world. The pooling and sharing has been on evidence pretty one directional. Time to put our resources to a better use.

  23. Kozmas left peg says:

    What can’t be factored in or easily displayed is how this revenue could have changed the economy to help keep our brightest talents, encourage growth in other industries and so on.

    We could have already developed a green economy and be exporting the surplus energy to create even greater surpluses. The whole of Northern Europe could have been benefitting from that instead of being beholden to Russian gas imports. The whole political dynamics of Europe could have been different.

    Instead we have to keep fighting just to stand still

  24. msean says:

    £307b,£1b for every year in the union,better together,eh? No Thanks!

  25. Andy says:

    What proportion of the fund would have been wiped out by bailing out Scotland’s financial sector (our largest export) a few years ago? Or would Scotland’s financial sector have been almost unique among nations in not being affected by the crisis?

    I say almost unique, because of course Norway escaped it. Not because of its oil fund, but because it has a very small financial sector and its own currency, which allowed it to adjust interest rates accordingly.

  26. heedtracker says:

    Ken500’s been explaining pretty much all of this for years.

    Anyway its vital to remember the human costs of this nonsense union long after the horror days of Thatcher world or even her finest achievement, New Labour and the god given right to reign over us.

    “Late in 2002 Lady Thatcher came to Hampshire to speak at a dinner for me. Taking her round at the reception one of the guests asked her what was her greatest achievement. She replied, “Tony Blair and New Labour. We forced our opponents to change their minds.” But in a very real sense that only happened between 1992 and 1997. The 1992 Labour proposition to the country was very different from the 1997 offering. And that was due to the defeat of 1992. The Conservative government of 1992-1997 by simply sitting there and existing forced Labour to change.”

    From Conservative whatever the fcuk that is.

  27. EphemeralDeception says:

    A great article and highlights some of the issues with the Gers figures.

    As Gers are not audited and are full of many suppositions, though it is the most complete annual figures currently existing we have to be very wary of the data.

    If you compare some of the accounting data analysed by Niall Alsen to the methods used in Gers then it is not just a case of inaccuracy through apportioning on a population basis.

    I will take the example of GAS production, imports and distribution. I am not at all an expert but some things are blindingly obvious armed with the key facts.

    England imports 40% of the UKs total GAS consumption via the worlds biggest pipeline from Norway to East England.
    The costs for the project and the Rnning costs have been shared across the UK. Scotland does not and can’t use qny of this GAS. This is not in Gers. The Sleipner pipeline goes through Scottish territory, currently free of charge…I am not aware that countries allow pipelines through their territory for free but I don’t know how this is costed either.
    Meanwhile Scotland exports most of our own Gas Production South of the border. What is this worth? It is not part of UK balance of payments as it is currently internal. Data is very sparse and out of date.

    At the end of the day we are underestimating our GDP and revenue in many many different ways.

  28. Tronnis says:

    Slightly O/T. The UK national debt increases by 2 bn pounds every week. If the chancellor manages to keep the lights on and maintain the phantom recovery until the 2015 election, he’ll be lucky.

    By the looks of it, there will be nothing to pool from and only debt to share.

  29. galamcennalath says:

    Excellent piece of work.

    One VERY BIG question arises. Why should iScotland take on board any of the UK’s accumulated debt?

    There’s a very strong economic case to say that we’ve contributed such a huge surplus historically, that debt certainly ain’t ours!

  30. fred blogger says:

    i agree, which is why the let bygones be bygones offer of CU, is a very generous golden goodbye, indeed.

  31. Golfnut says:

    And where was was this £99 Billion spent? My understanding is that we have to borrow capital from WM for capital projects or fund from our block grant.

  32. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    So, the “stick you debt share” opening line has a base of fiscal reality as well as a legal one too.

    Happy days during the negotiations.

  33. Papadox says:

    @thedogphilosopher says:

    You can call a press conference, MSM EBC STV will not report it or doctor it to distort the truth to HMGs advantage.

    ” none are so blind as those who do not want to see”

  34. The life expectancy in Norway is nearly 4 years longer than in Scotland ,thats what happens when you are in control of your oil revenues.
    Think of the family or friends that might still be with us.
    Vote Yes to a longer life for you your family and your friends.

  35. Macart says:


    In actual fact GM, they’d probably still owe us around £147bn in real terms, even if we decide to let our debt share of around £160bn slide in their favour. But at this point we’re in the realms of real politik and horse trading. Who knows what will come out in the wash of negotiation?

  36. Proud Cybernat says:

    O/T (but slightly related)

    Over at The Herald: Coalition: Scotland cannot keep pound and leave debt

  37. handclapping says:

    What I don’t get is the way its Scotland’s financial sector. Yes there are brass plates in Edinburgh etc but the investors are world wide, pension funds etc probably less than 1% people living in Scotland so the shareholders would hardly make it Scottish.

    As for the business part Scotland’s total economy is monetised at c. £150bn so just in comparison to the losses of RBS, HBoS and the Dunfermline the business of these must have taken place furth of Scotland so how does that make them Scottish?

    And the losses themselves were they made in Scotland? In the case of RBS a huge chunk was dropped on the take over of ABN Amro which was only possible through FredtS pursuading the London money markets to back him. Just because there is a S in RBS does that make the ABN Amro adventure Scottish?

    When you see the sums that the USA, the Gulf States and others put up to cover the business of Barclays and even the UK lending to Ireland you have to wonder why the Scottish got blamed. Surely it is much more a question of global corporations being out of the control of any one country that needs to be addressed rather than the Scottish financial sector

  38. muttley79 says:

    The Herald is talking utter shit Proud Cybernat. No surprises there though. The MSM in Scotland really are the biggest cringers.

  39. Onwards says:

    The comparison with Norway should be an absolute embarrassment for any NO supporter.

    Most people don’t understand the scale of their oil fund, when you begin talking about millions and billions.

    But with a £520 billion savings fund, compared to annual Scottish spending of £65 billion less debt, they are around TEN times wealthier than us.

    10 times richer, and a far fairer society.

    The remaining oil is an estimate, but you can’t argue with the facts comparing the 2 countries so far.

    That’s what is possible when you control your own resources.

  40. scunnered says:

    wow…it just gets better and better
    or worse and worse depending on how you look at it
    thanks for this
    for years i have had to endure arrogant english snobs telling me how we should be grateful of the subsidy we recieve…its not there fault though because there only going by what they have been told..being gullible is not a crime
    but being told by a former scottish prime minister and current chancellor who obviously know the real stats is unforgiveable

  41. HandandShrimp says:

    The British State’s honesty regarding the resources and potential of Scotland has been noticeable by its absence for a very long time. They are not going to get honest at this juncture.

  42. fred blogger says:

    Proud Cybernat
    and they call that journalism?
    scotland already owns a share of those assets, and is already paying it’s share of uk debt.

  43. Robert Peffers says:

    @Andy says: 22 August, 2014 at 1:50 pm: What proportion of the fund would have been wiped out by bailing out Scotland’s financial sector (our largest export) a few years ago?

    None whatsoever. In the first place the bailed out banks are no more Scottish Banks than is the Bank Of England an English Bank. In the second place it was not the Westminster Parliament that bailed out the failed, United Kingdom banks it was mainly the countries where they did their main business. Thirdly if they had been properly Scottish Banks, (registered head Offices paying their due tax to a Scottish treasury), then the Scottish Parliament would not have had such a lax regulatory system. Fourthly, the parts of the failed banks that went into trouble were centred on the City of London. Where the Brass Plate is hung is not the criterion. The employees of the Banks with a Head Office in Edinburgh had more employees in London than in Scotland.

  44. HandandShrimp says:

    I see James McAvoy has challenged Salmond and Darling to the ice bucket challenge.

  45. Karmanaut says:

    I got into serious trouble today. I saw that my Iranian neighbour was out in his garden digging up truffles. He already had a fair pile of them. So I went over and helped myself.

    But that made him mad.

    I tried to explain how unreasonable he was being. “Look,” I said. “I sell them for loads of money. And I’ll give you ten percent of the profit.”

    He booted me out and kept all the truffles for himself. How do you account for such weird behaviour?

    Then I noticed that my other neighbour was digging up truffles too. He also had a big pile of them. So I went over and helped myself. He was about to object, when I reminded him that we’d been neighbours for ages and that we were better together and that pooling and sharing made us both stronger and that his truffles would probably run out soon anyway. So he agreed.

    He’s Scottish.

    I’ve got loads of truffles now, if anyone wants to buy some.

  46. HandandShrimp says:

    PS I hope Alex does it and nominates Johann and Osborne

  47. IcySpark says:

    Here is Ivan McKee explaining the GERS figures for 2012 in great detail. We most certainly are being robbed blind.

  48. Ulfisch says:

    Well, there’s the second STV debate still to come. Wouldn’t it be great if one of the panelists had 4 nice big blow-ups of the above graphs to hold right into the camera. And with one poster after the other explained the viewers faces would drop and drop.

  49. heedtracker says:

    Here’s the last Labour Prime Minister of teamGB explaining it all to an audience of golden retrievers maybe

  50. galamcennalath says:

    I’ve gone from being amazed, to being very very sad.

    If we had grabbed Independence in the late 70s [don’t blame me I have always voted SNP], this little nation of ours could have been £300billion better off. If say 6million Scots have been alive over that period, then that’s £50k per person. Perhaps, say £150k for every family.

    Sounds a lot, per year it’s a lot less. But it would still be well over £1000 per person on average, every single year.

    We would be living in a totally different and better country and not going through all the crap we endure now. In fact, all the Westmidden crap we have endured over those thirty odd years.

    Saddened, and angry. That angry should be directed at those trying to pursuade their fellow Scots that we are Better Together. No Thanks, Vote Yes!

  51. Dcanmore says:

    There you have it in a nutshell folks. Why the union wants to keep Scotland because Scotland is a cash cow and keeps bailing out rUK. We’ve known this for years but not sure by how much, now we know. As McCrone said Scotland would be very rich with independence, well we still can be and we cannot only help people, our country, but we can be a beacon of light shining through the misery of neo-libshite politics. We can show the the world there is a better way.

  52. JWil says:

    Hopefully these graphs will be the first thing on the negotiating table after 18 September with a request for a rebate for Scotland being handed to the Treasury.

    If you would like to see the graphs in the normal way of presenting them, copy them onto a Word document and then use the drawing facility to invert them.

  53. Nemo says:

    I made an estimate of these figures, not quite as rigorously as in the ATL article, and confronted a member of the Scottish Cabinet with them a few months back. My point was that in the event of a currency union, we would be in surplus using these figures, and England, Wales and NI would have to pay us. I still believe that this is the correct way forward. They are planning to walk away from their obligations, not the other way around.

    I did receive a knowing smile from the (senior) cabinet minister.

  54. PeeGee says:

    In his history of Modern Britain series Andrew Marr stated that at one time 1 pound in every 4 of tax was derived from the North sea.

    That’s the Britnat Andrew Marr. No friend of Scotland and broadcast on the EBC so it must be true. Wonder if he’s aplioed the Tippex to those pages of his book too?

    Sadly you can’t tell people what they don’t want to hear. Especially if they are sectarian bigots or racist morons.

  55. faolie says:

    This is a great post Dale. Love all these economic posts that use the UK’s government’s own data to show how much they screwed – and still screwing btw – us. Excellent. Already shared.

  56. ticktock says:

    Sorry o/t but has anyone else received the Yes Scotland booklet “Why independence will be the best thing for generations” ?

    Maybe they’ve been getting sent out for ages for all I know but this is the first I’ve seen or heard of it. Delivered by postie this am not YES canvassers or activists so in theory at least it should be getting sent to every home in Scotland.

    It’s actually pretty damn good and not just because I agree with it. It covers all or most of the bases in a measured but effective way and looked at objectively you can see that it will easily sway at least some undecideds well into 6+ YES territory.

    The only criticism I can think of would be that it might be getting sent out just a wee tad too early.

    Anyone else just got one or am I just behind the curve?

  57. JWil says:

    The UK government kept the PFI figures off the balance sheet to hide them from the public until the EU told them to make them public. If the Treasury can do that they can use every trick in the book to fool the electorate.

    Of course there is the other thing that never gets mentioned in the Media. That the EU (EEC) forced the UK to give Scotland devolution because they wanted Russia’s satellites countries to get on board and treating Scotland like a pariah would have been seen as non-PC in these countries. Labour claim the credit for devolution even although they were against it and were coerced into it.

    Whatever opinions are about the EU it has certainly been useful in some respects.

  58. Proud Cybernat says:

    @ Ticktock

    My YES booklet arrived today too (Glasgow City Centre).

  59. Port Jim says:

    I’m not aware of any reasons given attempting to justify classifying the McCrone report secret. Have there been any statements on this, or does Westminster just accept that everyone knows that the purpose was to hoodwink the people and voters of Scotland?

  60. Robert Louis says:


    Yes, those new books are very good. Lots of detail, and good subject matter.

    They go hand in hand with the wee blue book. Together both are great tools – they are in fact better togeth…oh.. 🙂

  61. ticktock says:

    Robert Louis


  62. Robert Louis says:

    Port Jim,

    That is an excellent question. I don’t think it has ever been asked. Mind you we all do know it was done to deceive the Scots, but what was their ‘official’ justification?

  63. auldacquaintance says:

    But feel this guest article on Auld Acquaintance is worth the sharing. Thanks.

  64. Mike says:

    They get away with peddling the most blatant outrageous lies simply because they control the media. Its the media more than the Govt who are responsible for the great deceptions. Their unwillingness and failure to expose the truth is the reason we’ve been bled dry as a Nation and its only thanks to the internet that the truth is finally being displayed and distributed.
    If it wasn’t for the internet the SNP would never have gained power and there would be no referendum on the horizon.
    That’s the power of media.
    Some reconciliation may be on the cards after a Yes vote but there should be no reconciliation for the media.
    The media should be hounded and exposed for their part in the great political deceits over the last decades.
    Editors and journalist alike should be exposed and shamed publically for their disservice to the public.
    We should have been Independent since the 70s and its mainly thanks to the media that we’re not.

  65. PeeGee says:

    There’s been a new theme emerging from the astroturfers on all of the Independence comment threads. People trying to start a run on the, “Scottish,” banks.
    All of them with the usual lies about lenders of last resort (that would be the Treasury), no Deposit Guarantee Scheme (an Eu wide policy), banks with Scotland in the name being bailed-out by Scotland even when they are english in all but name. Fear, smear and total shite.

    Paid labour activists using multiple identities trying to destroy the Scottish economy. What lovely people they are. Calling them ("Tractor" - Ed)s and ("Quizmaster" - Ed)s is being far kinder than they deserve.

  66. Robert Kerr says:

    O/T sorry but.

    WBB funding now over 57K.

    Well done us!

  67. Capella says:

    Good to see the figures set out so clearly. It does make me feel incredibly sad at the loss of our resources and angry at their squandering by the Westminster government. Listening to The Big Debate on Radio Scotland today was an excruciating exercise. Themed “defence and security” we hear that we are indeed too wee, too poor and too stupid to defend ourselves from Jenny Marra (although Henry McLeish was much more positive). Are these unionist politicians lying or stupid? Could someone send them these figures so we can dispense with this “pooling and sharing” rubbish.

  68. Andy says:

    @Robert Peffers and @Handclapping – you are missing the point. I am not talking about what happened to HBoS or RBS in the context of the UK.

    What I am saying is, if we had gained independence decades ago and built up a large oil fund, it is extremely likely – given it happened in every other Western economy – that we would have had a financial sector, probably making up a significant proportion of our economy, that would have needed government help during the global crisis. That help would have come from the oil fund. It is therefore not realistic to take no account of the global crisis when trying to calculate what the fund would be valued at today.

  69. Police are looking for ”no supporter” who racially abused a woman working in the YES Kirkcaldy shop. Report in Courier today.

    Quote “He said he wasn’t criticising Scotland, and said he was Scottish through and through. I told him I didn’t doubt that and he stated, ‘I’m more Scottish than you’.

    “When I asked what he meant, he said ‘You’re not even from here.’ Unquote

    I hope they get this clown but I wouldn’t hold my breath

  70. fred blogger says:

    yes sad.
    truth given light of day, moves one to anger, and brings enormous benefits for us all.
    when they say indyref is crating borders and divisions-trust gut reaction, when “not true” or indeed “true” is heard by gut.

    look behind their words, and therefore see the barriers and borders to truth, that they erect in using those words.
    that the divisions are created by WM as borders/barriers to democracy, as if, somehow the individual doesn’t get it.
    see that it is WM that has erected those borders/barriers and not scotland!

  71. TJenny says:

    Robert Kerr – and remember Stu said he’d received £4K in non indiego donations too. So it must be £61k+ by now. 🙂

  72. Robert Kerr says:


    This is “whataboutery” writ large.

    No sane government would use an “oil fund” to bail out banksters. Perhaps to protect the savings of citizens but surely let the banks and shysters go bust and hopefully to jail.

  73. Iain says:


    Blair McDougall ?@blairmcdougall 3 mins
    Just heard from impeccable source that Henry McLeish endorsing Yes on Monday. Hardly a surprise but he’s entitled to his view. #indyref

  74. PeeGee says:

    Did that revolting Irish Republican,Friend of Israel, British Nationalist, and former Secretary of State against Scotland, J Murphy MP ever post the videos of the Nationalist Mob that assaulted him in Motherwell?

    Do we think that he ever will or that he was just lying again?

  75. bunter says:

    Jas Cook of BBC tweets that Blare MacD has said Henry McLeish is coming out for YES. Why would Blare know? Is the smear machine about to kick in for poor McLeish!

  76. bunter says:

    Henry McLeish now denies Blares assertion. Any guess MI5 has been eavesdropping and BT running a spoiler.

  77. wilma says:

    “What’s yours is mine and what’s mine is mine.” That’s what they’ve done to us over the past 30 odd years.

  78. archieologist says:

    See that economist Sir Donald McKay has waded into the debate on future oil reserves following Sir Ian Wood’s politically motivated attack on the Scottish Government.[NNScot] He says that the SG figures are robust.

    It is a national disgrace that Scotland after all the years of oil production has no oil fund.
    We have no oil money in the bank . Labour party politicians in Scotland should be thoroughly ashamed of their actions over the years. The Crone saga illustrates their deceit and they are still at it , running Scotland down. I am sick and tired of their constant negativity , lack of ambition and lack of a positive vision for Scotland.

    We need a YES vote , to clear out all the Labour, Tory and Lib Dem dross which have dominated and kept Scotland back for far too long.

  79. Ann says:

    Received Yes Booklet today (West Fife)

  80. geeo says:

    OT and apologies, but is Alex Salmond going to complete the ice bucket challenge set by james mcavoy ?

    Alistair Darling has completed his challenge from mcavoy, Come on Alex, get it done and nominate Cameron, Sarah Smith and Liar Broon.

  81. Andy Nimmo says:

    It’s TOTALLY the media’s fault that we’re not Independent today. Here’s another snippet not being covered at all.

    I wonder what Westminster’s Plan B is

  82. kalmar says:

    ice bucket challenge? what the hell?

  83. kalmar says:

    Ann, I’m also in Fife, I got the latest Yes book through the door yesterday. It’s pretty good isn’t it!
    Whereas some might not trust it because “both sides are exaggerating”, I like that the messages are quite consistent with the WBB, which is fully sourced and difficult to argue with.

    Both are a lot more convincing than the old yes newspaper format, IMO.

    Good stuff.

  84. heedtracker says:

    The Fighting Irish

    @WoS, if we don’t hear back from you, does that mean we won’t get to deliver any WBB or rather be sent any first?

  85. geeo says:

    At first glance this story seems a legitimate attack on a SNP councillor until, as usual, you read past the first paragraph.

    You then find out, surprise surprise, that the councillor has done nothing wrong at all, and has fulfilled his obligations as a councillor.

  86. liz says:

    Hope this is far enough down the thread to be O/T but my Yes supporting brother who is a bit of a gambler says that he has resigned himself to a No because the odds at the bookies for a No vote are shortening by the day.

    I know some people on here have mentioned bookies odds in the past – do you agree with his thoughts?

  87. Juteman says:

    I don’t do Twitter, but a post on Newsnet says that JMc from Better Nation is rubbishing the 1M signatures by saying he voted 8 times.
    If he really did tweet that, then i name JMc a British State sleeper. I hope he enjoys his silver.

  88. Onwards says:

    “PS I hope Alex does it and nominates Johann and Osborne”

    The ice bucket thing.. AS won’t nominate Lamont.
    As much as anyone would like to see her get dunked, it would just be another stunt to get a bunch of NO thanks banners on the news.

  89. Nana Smith says:


    Far as I’m aware you can only sign the declaration once.

  90. Malc says:

    Liz, No if you look at William Hills only London has NO ahead due to some very big bets. All of Scotland and both Wales and Ireland have majority betting for YES. If the favourite always won the bookies would be skint. If you have deep pockets it is easy to make NO look popular. On oddschecker it is still 59% of the money on YES versus 41% on NO.

  91. Malc says:

    Blair Mcdougall saying on twitter that Alex Mcleish to come out for YES on Monday.

  92. crisiscult says:


    re bookies, I’m sure someone who knows more about gambling than me will come along and give you more information but as far as I was aware, bookies look at form and their exposure and adjust the odds. So, if there’s a horse race with 6 horses, and based on form, one horse appears the strongest, they’ll of course give short odds. However, where the money starts going will affect those odds and the odds of others. So, it’s not simply a case that really short odds means it’s a sure thing. As there’s no way they can use form in this particular ‘race’, they would surely be working largely on exposure to risk. This must mean there’s more money on no than yes at the moment.

    Someone please correct me if I’m wrong on the general principle here.

  93. handclapping says:

    Sorry to have mis-aprehended you. Your argument suffers from 1 major and 1 minor assumptions.

    Why should you assume that the Scottish Government would do a Broon and save the bankers and socialise the debts? Iceland jailed their bankers and let the shareholders pay for the debts that their companies had built up.

    Why should you assume that the oil fund would be available for a Scottish Government to use? You will find the Norwegian Fund has very strict rules about the extent to which it can be used.

    You also forget that your hypothetical Scottish Government would have been subject to the sovereignty of the people and the right of instant recall at that time.

  94. Nana Smith says:


    The small print on the declaration page….

    Please note we will remove any multiple entries and that only people on the electoral register in Scotland will be counted towards our target of 1 million signatures. However, if you do not live in Scotland you are very welcome to show your support by signing even if it does not count towards that total.

  95. crisiscult says:

    oh, and I see now that Malc has clarified that the large amounts of money are not being put on in Scotland.

  96. Juteman says:

    Cheers Nana.
    I stand by my opinion of him then.

  97. Malc says:

    OOOps that should have been Henry McLeish not Alex McLeish. what a blunder

  98. chalks says:

    Great day for Yes.

    Workmate is now wearing his Yes badge with pride and has converted his wife’s family to vote yes.

    Walking around aberdeen there is a lot of Yes badges on show.

    Henry McLeish out in the next 2 weeks as well….

  99. Juteman says:

    Now is the time to expect surprises. The British State isn’t stupid. I agree with Jim Sillars that they will have agents in place to cause mischief.
    To paraphrase someone else, Indy despite Them!

  100. Macandroid says:

    @ PeeGee

    I think it was maybe a wee old lady that scared him 🙂

  101. JWil says:

    The ice bucket challenge? Well if we all want to behave like lemmings.

    It’s reminiscent of the circular letters that were sent at one time. If you broke the chain you were doomed.

    If Salmond takes the bait you can be sure there will be a derogatory picture, accompanied by some derogatory text in the press the next day.

  102. Andy Nimmo says:

    You have to be very wary about advertising bookmakers odds Liz, they’re done as part of a marketing strategy in the first instance in order to compete with competitors and then it gets complicated but ib ‘Bookies’ parlance means betting over so that no matter the result the High Street Bookmakers win.
    I don’t know if you remember about this time last year, it made front page headlines in the Daily Record that one punter had staked £200,000 at odds of 1/16 on a No victory. If true, then that punter,probably a London Banker (no rhyming slang intended) must be pretty sick considering the current odds. £200,000 sounds and is a massive wager but then you have to consider the actual liability to said Bookie which is only approx £12,250. If you then offer odds of even 10/1 on a Yes Vote all you need is people staking £12600 at these odds and your on a win win situation ie
    No wins Money In in total 212600 money out 212250
    Yes wins Money In 212600 money out 127260
    so they can now safely offer odds of 3/1 or 4/1 Yes until they take in another £80,000 approx then slash the odds on Yes and push out the odds on No if required knowing that they’ll just keep betting over and over ad infinitum.
    When you add in the factor that these High Street Bookmakers are licenced and regulated by the Westminster Government you add another intriguing spanner into the mix metaphors.
    Hope that clarifies matters.

    PS Best of luck anyone wanting to place a sizeable bet on a YES Vote in a Betting Shop…I guarantee you’ll find yourself being asked to wait while they check with Head Office for approval only to be told ‘Sorry but we can only offer these odds to a maximum of £50

  103. Hobbit says:

    IIRC, the SNP MPs in 1979 voted for ‘no-confidence’ in the Parliamentary vote which brought down the Labour Government of the time and gave us Margaret Thatcher. Can someone remind us as to why?

  104. chalks says:

    Was it not due to Labour not following through on Home Rule?

  105. liz says:

    @Malc and @crisiscult – thanks for the input – I tried to argue that more money must be getting put on No to shorten the odds rather than the bookies predicting No, but you have clarified the postion.

  106. Capella says:

    @Handclapping 4.15
    Also, Andy is wrong to say – “given it happened in every other Western economy” because it didn’t. The Australian economy did not allow banks to bet on international markets. (I believe neither did Canada).Former Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating, made clear that banks are public utilities and so must be regulated in the interests of the public. The Scottish government would do the same. So no need to speculate on bailing out the banks.
    Also as Robert Peffers pointed out above, the bailing out happens in the country where the debt is accrued (if at all). In the case of RBS that is London and New York. Hence the massive multi-billion bail out from the US to UK.

  107. Robert Louis says:


    You’re right. It is a great day for YES. 1 million genuine signatures is no mean feat.

    Like others, I know of some voting YES who have not signed yet.

  108. PeeGee says:

    Margaret thatcher was elected by the millions of people who voted Conservative in 1979. With or without the vote of no confidence labour were fucked.

    It is typical of the labour owns Scotland mentality that The SNP gets blamed for labour failures. Anybody not voting or supporting labour for any reason is an enemy.

  109. Malc says:

    Latest from Ladbrokes re betting.
    So, for August to date, almost 75% of the bets Ladbrokes have taken have been for YES. How come the odds have moved in the opposite direction? Here are three of the reasons why:

    1. The £600k punter. William Hills have reported that they’ve taken £600k from just one client on NO. That bet alone will have had an impact on the whole market; Hills can push their YES price out as a result, other companies have to do the same if they want to compete for that money.

    2. The Exchange market. If we simply reacted to the supply and demand of our customers, our prices would quickly be out of line with the betting exchanges, opening up arbitrage possibilities which would quickly be exploited, with the odds settling down at a marginally lower price for YES. That doesn’t mean the exchange price is necessarily the “true” one, because in this market in particular, I think we are talking about two totally different categories of investor. Maybe the Scottish high street betting shop punter is actually better placed to assess the situation that the broader based exchange client base. I’m more of the opinion that you’ve got a better chance of coming to an objective view on the probabilities by being removed from anecdotal “on the ground” evidence.

    3. Oddsmakers have taken an opinion. Probably the most important factor. To be totally honest, we are of the belief that a lot of the YES money is motivated more by optimism and confirmation bias rather than the hard evidence of the polls. So we’re taking it on. Opinion pollsters and bookies alike will be taking a hit on September 19th if the Scots have voted for independence.

  110. liz says:

    @Andy Nimmo- thanks for that – it sounds quite complex but I knew that bookies always set odds to make sure they don’t lose money and I think they also lay off bets onto other bookies.

  111. Marcia says:

    Re the 1,000,000 declarations.

    You cannot sign the Yes declaration more than once as all declarations are checked against the electoral register to count for the 1,000,000. Trying to decipher some peoples handwriting and their email addresses was not easy I can tell you.

  112. Ian Stewart says:

    It is understandable why the majority of the (uninformed) English, and most in Westminster think they have been subsidising Scotland since the 70, as they see ALL of the oil and gas coming out of the North Sea as belonging to them with no regard to fact it lies in Scotland agreed maritime zone.

  113. crisiscult says:

    @andy nimmo

    thanks for that info. I only gamble once per year on Grand National (and always lose my five or ten pounds) but I’m going to go in and find out today what they’ll give me on this. What odds should I be looking for, do you (or anyone else) know?

  114. Fireproofjim says:

    I wrote to the Yes campaign yesterday to tell them I thought the latest Yes Newspaper is bland and rather boring and completely lacking in inspiration. However I will deliver about 2,000 of them but hope the next and final one is really exciting. I agree that the new booklets are very good.

  115. heedtracker says:

    @ Hobbit, so mad old Cockers says Thatcher was all down to 11 SNP MP’s now. He’s certainly getting more and more desperate by the day but he says he’s leaving Scotland after independence anyway so that’s a very sad thing. Love the “-strong” bit. Briish journos eh
    “11-strong SNP group in the Commons in 1979”

    Libby Carrell of vote NO Or Else Graun even ditched “SPLIT” from her headline this afternoon too. Something is happening out there

  116. Marcia says:


    Simple. More people in England voted Tory so we got a Tory Government although Scotland did not.

  117. crisiscult says:


    I think I’ll be taking the chance, not so much on the emotional side (I never bet on my football team), but because of canvassing returns and movements of other independence referendums in the last 60 years, which I understand usually move up towards the end. My only doubt is that I’d be quite surprised if the UK state was going to let Scotland go.

  118. Macandroid says:

    In the unlikely event that you haven’t already signed the declaration!

  119. Malc says:

    criscult, look up and search on scottish referendum. It will give you the odds for all bookies

  120. Les Wilson says:

    liz says:

    Liz where are all the bookies based? Does Westminster govern them too, same as every company in the UK?
    Just another negative, by compliance?

    Enough said!

  121. BB says:

    Just imagine how much money going right back has been taken from us? Add to that total the lost potential of reinvesting that money in our people, industry, etc. and the lost growth that would have come from it? Scotland has been artificially crippled and weighted down. Time for us to lose the baggage and start moving again. We know from figures shown on WoS that even going back to 1900-1921 Scotland got less than half the money it gave to the UK spent in Scotland. Imagine what that kind of drain and lack of reinvestment does over so many generations (centuries perhaps??).

    A reminder again that anyone interested in helping out with the referendum itself as part of the Wings effort by being agents witness the counts or agent to check in with polling stations, etc. to visit the off-topic thread and volunteer there. Lots of people needed across Scotland to ensure the most important vote we’ve ever had and may ever have happens smoothly and honestly.

    Ayrshire folk in particular…ahem. 😉

    Please pass the word and remind others of this as it’s all for nothing if we leave the door open at the last minute to fraud or “missing” ballot boxes, such as in the Glenrothes by-election.

  122. muttley79 says:


    If we get a Yes vote and Poor Old Cochers goes through with his threat to quit Scotland, we will have to have a day of rage or tears… 😀 😀

  123. heedtracker says:

    Former CBI chairman also says there’s no oil left or there loads if its UK oil, takes you choice. Funny how the shills leave out stuff like Melfort actually being a former CBI chairman or that the BBC pays a hell of a lot of money to be a CBI member too.

  124. heedtracker says:

    @ muttley79, mad olds Cockers will lead the 700 thousand NO voters that say they are going back to England, like Moses, heading for Rory the Tory’s cairn of freedom or whatever the feck they call it now.

  125. PeeGee says:

    (Proud Englishman while pretending to be a Scotsman) Ali Darling is a cheating liar!

    It is called THE ICE BUCKET CHALLENGE! ICE in a BUCKET! I saw no ice. Just a TISWAS stylee soaking. He can’t even tell the truth when it involves a cancer charity. Fuckfaced gonadsucker!

  126. BB says:


    Credit to you and all the others that put the massive work into collating all that information!

    1 million is hugely significant.

    4.2M electorate with (assuming higher estimates to make things difficult) 80% turnout.

    3.36M voters – 50% of those is 1.68M

    So we only *need* 1.68M + 1 person to win it. We’ve got the 1M for sure. I know personally at least 5 absolute 100% YES voters that aren’t on that list. I bet others do too.

    We can do this. We just need to keep the momentum going and talking to everyone. 🙂

    It does though bring into focus the huge impact that 700,000 postal votes will have. A system that is notorious for fraud and being very easy to manipulate compared to the ballot box.

  127. muttley79 says:


    Poor Old Cochers is much more likely to pass water than be able to part it, and glide through it!

  128. heedtracker says:

    “Mr Campbell said: “There is fundamental agreement on reserves in the Independent Expert Oil and Gas Commission’s Report and the Wood Review.”

    A “fundamental agreement” that old misery guts Ian Wood publicly stated was actually 24bn barrels reserves, worth £1.5 trillion at a 100 bucks a barrel, last year, on the shitty old beed too.

    Maybe Melfort didn’t get Sir Ian’s memo. Also Mefort, must be the most silly upper class twit name in the whole history of Scotland and i know a plummy git called Crispin and he didn’t got to a state school either.

  129. BB says:

    Old Cochers is probably passing water seeing some of the very positive Yes results recently. 😉

  130. macart763m says:


    Selective memory comes to mind. The Callaghan government fell because it was unpopular and failing. Its why there was a vote of no confidence in the first place. Wilson had resigned previously and Callaghan had inherited a poison chalice. Unemployment was already rife and the economy was in a hole.

    Blaming the SNP for a failed UK Labour government has had SLAB dining out on our credit card for the past thirty odd years. But the fact is Thatcher was going to come into power regardless of anything the SNP did.

    And the reason the SNP voted against the Callaghan government? Labour’s betrayal as they saw it in the devolution vote, the introduction of the 40% rule to scupper the vote.

    Independista pointed me to this piece –

    From Callaghan’s own memoirs “Time and Chance”, the then Prime Minister Jim Callaghan noted:
    “ In his (i.e. Michael Cox, Labour’s Chief Whip) view, the difficulty within the (Labour) Party, was much greater than any from the Scottish National Party, and the Whip’s judgement was that the government could not rely on the votes of Labour members from the north if we moved to reject the Repeal Order……… we could lose the vote.”

  131. Juteman says:

    Cochers is another public school boy. Funny how most of the Noers come from a certain strata, or aspire to it.

  132. TJenny says:

    Macandroid – I’m almost 100% sure I already signed the Yes Declaration way back when it was launched, however, just in case, I used your link and filled in my details and when I hit submit, I got a 504 portal access problem message – could that be ’cause I have previously signed? (Can’t access the link at all now – hopefully owing to all those Yessers that hadn’t signed, now signing up. 🙂

  133. Schrödinger's cat says:

    After the yes vote, negotiations will start
    But some things are not negotiable eg
    Personal tax will go to holyrood,
    Business tax also
    And vat
    And crown estate revenue

    There is no reason to even wait for the negotiations to start before these are transferred to swinney’s control
    If even before the oil revenue is discussed, these tax returns show over 10% this will focus the minds of everyone! And these won’t be statistics, they will be money in the bank figures. I like many on this thread believe that Scotland’s contribution to the uk overall GDP is underestimated. Btw if it is 20% and not 10%, we could pay off our £150 bn share of uk debts in 1 year without cutting any budgets

  134. heedtracker says:

    Here’s Melfort of the CBI’s bestest fweind Sir Ian, explaining pretty clearly stuff what he says now and everywhere, if you google “Ian Wood Scots oil”.

    Holy shit that’s blanket coverage and all for a piddly ass drop of ukok oil too. I included the last sentence for balance and to display how non partisan Sir Ian bullshits Scotland he is.

    ‘Maximising recovery’
    “We’ve produced 41 billion barrels,” he said. “If you look ahead, we could still produce another 25 billion barrels – at $100 a barrel, that’s $2,500bn.

    “If we don’t get it right, we’ll produce about half that – we could lose $1,250bn of economic contribution to the UK

    “We really have to have the UK government focused on maximising recovery and what’s still to come from the North Sea.

  135. Alex Grant says:

    Saw McCrone at the BookFest yesterday. His opening gambit was “thirty years ago Scotland was a poor country” That from the man who wrote the famous concealed report saying we were rich!
    He then went on to say “be feart about and be feart about that”! Usual BS!

  136. Muscleguy says:

    There are of course other things real governments do with surpluses. One such is pay down debt accrued previously. Though during surpluses the right of politics tends to agitate strongly for tax reductions seeing the surplus as taking too much tax.

    I saw both these things living in NZ under the recent run of minority Labour led coalitions (don’t confuse SLAB with NZLAB, they are very different parties).

  137. Marcia says:

    The Yes declarations are still being signed up and down the country and online. Just keep them coming. Do ask them to write clearly. 🙂

  138. heedtracker says:

    Mefort today

    “With current uncertainty, ageing assets, spiralling costs and the challenges of improving production efficiency and attracting investment, we will be hard-pushed to achieve the mid-range scenario of around 15-16bn let alone the holy grail of 24bn barrels.”

    Sir Ian Wood last year

    “We’ve produced 41 billion barrels,” he said. “If you look ahead, we could still produce another 25 billion barrels – at $100 a barrel, that’s $2,500bn.

    Come on Scotland, don’t let teamGB super rich rob our country again and again.

  139. Harry McAye says:

    I agree with fireproofjim, the Yes newspaper is underwhelming and why have they reduced it from 12 pages in Winter to just 8 pages the last two issues? And while the full page adverts are good ones, it means even less content about recent events, like the three BT campaigners who defected to Yes, though the last two may have came too late for their deadline.

    O/T Just been for a wee drive around Hamilton and Wow! An explosion of Yes windows just in the last few days as these are areas I drive through quite regularly. Five new ones today with a couple of new cars too. Also saw the other day my first “posh” house with a Yes window, just up from Hamilton Grammar. Plus while I was out delivering at some flats today, I was asked by a delivery man if I had any Yes car stickers on me. I had one and gladly gave him it. A good day.

  140. fred blogger says:

    today i got email thanking me for declaring yes.

  141. TJenny says:

    Update – just received an email from Yes Scotland saying thank you and ‘Thanks a Million’ – so I was right and I had signed after all, phewee. 🙂

  142. bigdrone says:

    I must apologize – I misread the article and thought it said ‘pooing on sharing’ ….oh I see it does!!

  143. Dcanmore says:


    The minority Labour government of the time just went through the ‘winter of discontent’ which pretty much brought the country to its knees with electricity cuts and public service shut downs, including rubbish piling up on the streets for weeks and the dead going unburied. On top of all that Labour brought in an unheard of ‘40% rule’ into the 1979 referendum which meant that the YES vote had to win with a guaranteed turnout of over 40% as first past the post was deemed, in this case, not good enough. This was seen as back stabbing the Scottish people, and gerrymandering democracy, by the SNP and they felt betrayed.

    With that in mind the SNP (and Liberals, who were also campaigning for a YES vote) brought in a no confidence motion against the government which was backed by the Conservative opposition. The motion was passed and it instigated a general election in May 1979, a year earlier than what Callaghan had planned. Originally Callaghan, in autumn of 1978, was going to the polls in 1979 but because of national unrest he delayed the next general election to May 1980.

    Simple fact of the matter is Labour lost the general election due to their track record over the past three years in office, bookended by the £2.3bn IMF bailout loan and the ‘winter of discontent’. I doubt very much that Labour would have won the general election one year later in 1980, but if they hadn’t ‘cheated’ the referendum result in 1979 then Scotland (which voted YES by a slim margin) would have had devolution 35 years ago.

    No-one at the time envisaged what Margaret Thatcher was planning, she did not campaign on the back of destroying Britain’s industry, putting millions on the dole and forcing through monetary policies which deregulated the banks, she campaigned on simply by not being Labour. Thatcher’s policies did not kick in until 1982 where she was actually on the ropes and fighting for her political life within her own party, then the Falklands happened.

    Of course, over time we have now found out other Labour betrayals such as the hidden McCrone report. The SNP and the Liberals may have been naive in calling for Callaghan’s head but it has to be understood that Britain under Labour in the 1970s was not a very happy place and by 1978/79 the government was positively hated by just about everyone who paid tax, had a mortgage or relied on public services (i.e. a lot of people!).

  144. Andy Nimmo says:

    Hi – You can open an online account with Betfair and bet up to £167 @ 7.2…which means £10 staked will return £72

    If you prefer to go to High Street Bookmakers

  145. Dcanmore says:

    … also I meant to add that it is laughable to suggest that the SNP were to blame for Thatcher’s 11 year reign and 18 years of rule as Labour like to dine out on. Labour Lost subsequent general elections of 1983, 1987 and 1992 due to the fact that the electorate in England didn’t trust them or their policies until Blair came along as the new blue Labour Party.

  146. fairmersloon says:


    I am assuming, since you used the GERS figures, that you didn’t include an estimate of the revenue from oil and gas from the 6000sq miles of “adjusted” maritime border on the east coast.

    This wee present from 1997 or so includes important fields, and goes up to around Carnoustie. There is an international agency which arbitrates maritime borders – see one of Craig Murray’s previous posts.

  147. Nana Smith says:

    The contempt they had and have for Scotland….

  148. Ken500 says:

    It is too disgusting for words. Westminster are corrupt beyond contempt.

    Yes banners now 20/1.

    Vote YES

  149. Elizabeth Sutherland says:

    Also received my e mail “Thanks a Million”

  150. bald eagle says:

    lesley anne

    any new photos of rory the tories wishing well

    dont ask but yesterday on bbbc parliament (scottish laugh in edition) jola giving her moan about staying together said

    and I kid you not

    as a young woman i don’t want independence

    now hold your horses misses you do know it’s against the law to use drugs

    I looked around to see if that dugdale was egging her on but nope somehow jola has got it into her pin brain that she is young

    whatever she is on I want some

    can you imagine that the grannie you would put in a straight jacket before going to bed coming away with nonsense like that

    no doubt mcdougle will say he is really a panda in the nude
    and is just waiting for the adoption papers to come through

  151. Capella says:

    Just signed the Yes delaration online as I hadn’t realise it was there until somebody posted the link above! Went through without any problem. Let’s push it past the 2m!

  152. To MCandroid

    Me and my wife just signed the declaration.

  153. Gordon Broon says Labour benefitted pensioners when in power. 75p per week rise.

  154. Midgehunter says:

    @ Juteman – Nana Smith

    I live in the middle of Europe and signed the declaration at the beginning.

    If my signing and probably many other of us furriners doesn’t count to the million, then it stands to reason that the total of signers must be well over a million…! 😉

  155. Dave says:

    The green energy statement made by others are actually even more poignant. When you factor in that there was a deliberate Doctoring of a report on alternative energy production.
    Which actually portrayed Nuclear power as being the most cost effective. This however is not true. All our current nuclear power station are just now breaking even and we still have to factor in decommissioning costs and long term storage of the toxic waste. This was done for one reason only the UK government wanted the enriched nuclear fuel for its weapons program.
    Now the irony of this is that the modern wind turbine and the predecessor to current wave energy harvesting were actually developed in East Kilbride at the National Engineering Laboratories and we the people owned the patents until the UK government sold the NEL to our European competitors along with the patent rights.
    I’ll let that sink in.

  156. Les Wilson says:

    O/T G.Brown spouting negs on Independence, getting all the time he needs by STV. Shites,

  157. Ayeman says:

    Re. “SNP blamed for Thatcher years.”
    The SNP were not to blame for Jim Callachan’s motion of no confidence defeat. Independent MP Gerry Fitt and another Northern Irish MP, whose name escapes me, had previously supported Labour in parliament but Hansard has it on record they both abstained in the no confidence vote and they later said their action was in protest at the torture of prisoners in Northern Ireland. If memory serves me correctly I think Labour lost by one vote.

  158. mr thms says:

    Interesting PDF files showing the extent of new oil discoveries, and areas of potential oil discoveries

    It would be good if Wings could produce a map of all the areas around Scotland; showing current and future developments in oil and gas production; showing all the areas of exploration and under development; and all the areas that are generating or soon to generate wind and wave power.

  159. Bugger (the Panda) says:

    @ ayeman

    Did Callaghan not renague on a deal on devolution after the 40% fiasco?

    Anyway Callaghan was at the fag eng of a disastrous period of government when even the dead were not being buried.

    He was going to fall anyway and a GE was due within months as well.

  160. call me dave says:


    You can catch up with the whole story on utube it was complicated and came down to near a labour member too ill to vote and a couple of Irish members not clinching a deal.

    Part 1 (of 3) link below.
    Other links are in the utube side bar.

    Listened to Henry McLeish on the big debate on BBC radio this afternoon. I actually though he was going to endorse the YES vote on air.

    Disappointingly when asked, he stated he would vote NO but he certainly put the wind up the better together bunch as he said there would be in all likely hood a currency union, Membership of NATO, and the EU. Not bad for a NO voter.

  161. Brian Ritchie says:

    Just another wee positive anecdoe to add to the mix.

    This morning I got a lift from one of the local farmers. I had no idea where he stood on the independence debate, so when he asked me “how do you think we’ll get on in the referendum?” I answered “Yes I think we’ll win” and prepared myself to argue my case. I needn’t have bothered. “I hope you’re bloody right!” he said. “It’ll be a disaster if we vote NO!” He went on to say that most of the farmers he knew were yessers and that the recent support of the four ex-SFU presidents had been a great boost for us. He reckoned the scare stories were ridiculous, were being seen through and one of the biggest threats was Cameron’s EU referendum and UKIP.

    And to top it all off when I get home a great wee booklet from YES Scotland is waiting for me. Then I open the local rag to find a clutch of readers’ letters – all pro-YES.

    Fair made my morning it did. 🙂

  162. Training Day says:

    McLeish appears to be working hand in glove with BT. ‘Look, I’m nice reasonable Labour, not Labour like Murphy or nasty Blair Mcdougall, and I’m voting No, so it’s ok for you reasonable Labour voters to vote No too’

    Put up or shut up if that’s not the case, McLeish.

  163. john king says:

    Capella says
    “we hear that we are indeed too wee, too poor and too stupid to defend ourselves from Jenny Marra ”

    Surely we could defend ourselves from that wee thing. 🙂

  164. JWil says:

    Brown’s pension deficit. The worst state pensions in Europe and the demolition of company pensions.

  165. The Liberals voted with the tories as well. They are quiet about that. Labour and the rest lied to Scotland back then about oil and the vote for an assembly etc. No wonder the SNP voted to bring the government down. I would have done the same.

  166. JWil says:

    It looks as though Henry Mcleish is near tipping point but doesn’t want to be expelled from the party. Perhaps he thinks he can make a come back as a Labour MSP in an independent Scotland.

  167. Robert Peffers says:

    @JWil says: 22 August, 2014 at 2:53 pm:

    “Hopefully these graphs will be the first thing on the negotiating table after 18 September with a request for a rebate for Scotland being handed to the Treasury.”

    To be pragmatic, JWiL, doing so would be futile. Salmond, as usual, is correct. The old saying comes to mind, “Ye canna get blid frae a stane”. If Scotland continues to use the pound but is denied a currency union there will indeed be repercussions. One of which will be a hardening of the Scottish pound and the three country Kingdom of England suffering from that and from a cut in her credit rates. Together with the loss of current revenues, (obvious, hidden and previously pauckled from Scotland), their economy will go bust. Ye get even less blid frae a bankrupted stane and a falling pound is in no ones best interest.

    There really, in all honestly, are no other options for either independent kingdom than a currency union. Which is why Eck knows there will be such a union.

  168. john king says:

    “get it done and nominate Cameron, Sarah Smith and Liar Broon.”

    Can someone nominate Catriona Shearer?
    preferebly wearing a white tee shirt? 😉

  169. Robert Peffers says:

    @ticktock says: 22 August, 2014 at 3:06 pm:

    “Sorry o/t but has anyone else received the Yes Scotland booklet “Why independence will be the best thing for generations?”

    Yes got it a couple of days ago.

  170. Edward says:

    If Henry McLeish thinks in any way that the present of the Labour party in Scotland, is going to survive, regardless of a Yes or even No, he has another thing coming!

    Labour in Scotland are so toxic now, its very akin to the resent derailment of a toxic train in the US.

    He maybe is hedging his bets and hoping that he will re-enter Holyrood in an independent Scotland. But if he thinks that will happen as part of the existing Labour Party, forget it Henry it ain’t going to happen any time!

    I would say that those who genuinely who want to stand for true Labour values, will have to step back from Labour as it is. People like Lamont, Grey, Murphy will be rejected

  171. john king says:

    “Blair Mcdougall saying on twitter that Alex Mcleish to come out for YES on Monday.”

    If he does, blank him.
    I wouldnt trust him.

  172. Meindevon says:

    Could we all inundate the media and No websites/facebook with a reference to this article and the figures and ask them whether there is any truth in them?

    It just might make some more definite Nos turn into Yesses if they could see them.

  173. Harry McAye says:

    Did the folk getting this booklet also get the “Your Choice” booklet? If the new one is the one I’ve seen at the local Yes shop, there is some crossover in contents but the “Generations” has lengthier articles and a piece by the brilliant Ivan McKee.

  174. Robert Peffers says:

    Robert Kerr says:22 August, 2014 at 3:27 pm:

    “WBB funding now over 57K”.

    On my way to get my pension at Kelty Main Street this afternoon. There were several people on the street reading the WBB. At the YES stall next to the RBS there were people reading the WBB.

    It’s getting out and making a difference. I made a point of checking the waste bins on Main Street and didn’t see any discarded WBBs. Noticed a few more stickers in windows going down Station Road too.

  175. John says:

    How about we swap it for the Cayman Islands and Bermuda, then call it quits?

  176. David Coulter says:

    Excellent analysis and blows away all Unionist arguments. Just one thing I might not agree with and that is that the oil boom times are over. We cannot say that for sure and whilst I wouldn’t want to be overly optimistic about undiscovered reserves, I have a sneaky feeling that the continental shelf might yet yield a few more surprises. The best way to look on this possibility is that it would be a bonus.

  177. James S says:

    Frankie Boyle has a good tweet about this:

    How I feel trying to explain voting Yes to people— Frankie Boyle (@frankieboyle) August 22, 2014

    Nice summery from Rev Scott

  178. James S says:

    Frankie Boyle has a good tweet about this:

    How I feel trying to explain voting Yes to people— Frankie Boyle (@frankieboyle) August 22, 2014

    Nice summary from Rev Scott

  179. john king says:

    Juteman says
    “Cochers is another public school boy. Funny how most of the Noers come from a certain strata, or aspire to it.”

    He must have missed elocution lessons day.

  180. Robert Peffers says:

    @Andy says: 22 August, 2014 at 3:27 pm:

    ”You are missing the point. I am not talking about what happened to HBoS or RBS in the context of the UK. “

    Err! Nah! Andy, it is you that has missed the point. Here is the brief history of The Scottish Stock Exchanges – Ta! Da! Didn’t you know Scotland had a financial sector until 1971From Wiki : –

    ”The Edinburgh Stock Exchange was established in 1844. A rival Edinburgh and Leith Commercial and Stock Exchange was founded in 1845, and the two bodies merged in 1856. In 1964, the Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee stock exchanges came together to form the Scottish Stock Exchange, while still continuing to trade locally in each city. The Scottish Stock Exchange was closed in 1971, resulting in the closure of the Edinburgh Stock Exchange offices.

    More than three-quarters of Scottish bank shares were traded at the Edinburgh exchange, although the Bank of Scotland, the Caledonian Bank and the City of Glasgow Bank were also listed at other Scottish exchanges. Share prices from the Edinburgh Stock Exchange were published in the Edinburgh Evening Courant until 1886, then the Edinburgh Evening News.”

    The point I made stands – Scotland would have not allowed the lax controls that the City of London and Westminster allowed which caused and aggravated the financial crisis.

  181. Robert Peffers says:

    @geeo says:
    22 August, 2014 at 3:55 pm:

    “You then find out, surprise surprise, that the councillor has done nothing wrong at all, and has fulfilled his obligations as a councillor.”

    Bloody hilarious, geeo, A Labour Councillor protesting at an SNP councillor not attending all council meetings. We have more than one SNP councillor in Fife and I’m sure if needed to vote the guy would be back. The point is we only have one Labour MP and he doesn’t attend Westminster very often.

  182. Robert Peffers says:

    @Hobbit says: 22 August, 2014 at 4:29 pm:
    “IIRC, the SNP MPs in 1979 voted for ‘no-confidence’ in the Parliamentary vote which brought down the Labour Government of the time and gave us Margaret Thatcher. Can someone remind us as to why?”

    Remind us again, Hobbit, who ever claimed that the SNP had any loyalty to the London Labout Party?

  183. majestic12 says:

    To get back on topic, as I’ve just read Dale Ross’ s illuminating article. If the statistics are robust and can withstand a unionist attack, I think this needs to get out to a wider audience than blogs and groups already part of the Yes campaign. I know the Scottish media are unabashed in their allegiance to No, but could not the Herald on Sunday be approached to run with Dale’s excellent exposition of the facts?

  184. westie7 says:

    John king says:
    22 August, 2014 at 7:57 pm
    “get it done and nominate Cameron, Sarah Smith and Liar Broon.”

    Can someone nominate Catriona Shearer?
    preferebly wearing a white tee shirt?

    Hahahaha Priceless

  185. Croompenstein says:

    Anyone else hear Ponsonby’s report from Crash Gordon’s lie in today, at the end of his piece he said about this convincing people to vote No Thanks on the 18th but you thick unionist schmuck it doesn’t say No Thanks on the ballot paper it just says No. Surprise surprise they have dropped this line in the stv player version.

  186. MochaChoca says:

    Excellent article Dale.

    Of course one difficult to quantify but undoubtedly huge adjustment would also be how much lower our public spending and higher tax take would have been if the vast wealth we generate stayed here.

    Think how ploughing that wealth into our own economy, rather than it being syphoned off to London, would have resulted in lower unemployment, better health outcomes, higher wages, less emigration.

    Back then our education system was said to have been best in the world too, with that wealth that position could have been maintained.

  187. todayinscotland says:

    New posts, please share

    todayinscotland | The Referendum Blues

  188. JWil says:

    The Labour party truely are toxic in their present manifestation and with their present representatives.

    However in an independent Scotland, with the SNP having fulfilled their remit (more or less, as there is still the small matter of the negotiating to do and neither Labour nor any of the others should be trusted with that task), there will still be a coterie of Labour supporters hankering after past imagined glories who will keep the party alive. The choice will be between the destructive Tories, the Limp wristed LibDems or a new form of Labour rising from the ashes.

    My own preference would be for the SNP to go on as they will still be the only party fully committed to Scotland and determined that their baby grows up into a healthy adult.

  189. JWil says:

    Something I have noticed in the Daily Telegraph’s Scotland articles. The paid agents are still thick on the ground in the comments sections and the YES side seems to have declined somewhat. The arguments coming from the NO agents get more and more ridiculous and they seem to be talking to each other rather than to the public.

    Of course all that depends on being able to comment on the DTs articles at all. The opportunities for doing so are getting less and less with the censorship being imposed by the paper.

  190. FrenchFronck says:

    I recently saw a statement saying in the FT stating that if we get a Yes vote then the oil will be split on a population basis as opposed to a geographical basis. I haven’t been able to read the full article as it’s behind a paywall but what I could read was:

    “And so to Scotland. Britain’s rules on ownership of natural resources were clear well before oil was discovered; the UK Continental Shelf Act was passed in 1964. Before the discovery of oil in 1969, the Scots opted heavily against independence: in the 1966 general election the Scottish National party failed to win a single seat. The subsequent rise of Scottish nationalism, supported by the slogan “It’s Scotland’s oil”, is evidently in part an attempt at a retrospective resource grab. The 8 per cent of Britons who live in Scotland are between them entitled to an 8 per cent share of the proceeds from the British oil that has already been discovered, some of it in Scotland – no more, no less. If, after independence, some priceless new resource were discovered in the Highlands, it would be exclusively Scottish. Conversely, if it were discovered in Surrey, the Scots would miss out”

    Can anyone cleverer than me with regards to international law/mineral rights shed any light on this?

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