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Wings Over Scotland

The mind of the nation (part 2)

Posted on October 27, 2013 by

Alert readers will recall that earlier today we revealed the answers to the first 10 questions we asked the Scottish public about their views on various topics not directly related to the independence referendum, just because we were asking them about stuff anyway and it seemed like a good idea.


Here, in a surprise twist, are the other 10.



In favour: 61
Against: 11
Don’t know: 28


Vindication for the SNP again in pushing through a policy change at its conference last year. Scots overwhelmingly support membership of the military alliance by almost six to one. Curiously, with the deed now done, SNP voters loyally backed the position by +43 in our poll (56-13), with the other parties lining up in increasing order of hawkishness at Labour +47, Lib Dems +48, Conservatives +88.

Men were more in favour than women (although by a margin a little smaller than we were expecting, with the net scores being +56 and +45 respectively), and those closest to the memory of war were the least likely to relax about the military threat, with backing rising steeply from the 25-34 age group (+36) up to the over-65s (+69).



In favour: 45
Against: 37
Don’t know: 17


Well, there’s a blast from the past. Polling consistently shows the UK public is still narrowly in favour of hanging criminals (and less narrowly depending on the specific crime), as we approach the 50-year mark since the last murderer took a long drop on a short rope. Unlike the rest of the country, Scots stop short of an absolute majority, but by an 8-point margin would still rather see the noose in use.

Men scored +12 against just +5 for women. The only age group of voters opposed to capital punishment were those between 35-44 (-9), with pensioners predictably the keenest at +22. Politically only the Lib Dems were against (-20), with SNP voters at +8, Labour at +4 and the Tories on +32.



In favour: 82
Against: 9
Don’t know: 9


If you’ve been wondering why Scottish Labour have been rather quiet recently on the supposedly “regressive” nature of this SNP flagship policy and Labour’s plans to dump it, we may have the answer for you.

It appears to be the most universally popular policy adopted by any government since the Sierra Leone People’s Party administration of 1957 started giving everyone free lollipops, and even that one didn’t get such high poll ratings as the six-year-long council tax freeze, only partly because we’ve just made it up.

Labour’s own voters back the freeze by a +63 margin (75 to 12), and it’s also cherished by SNP supporters (+79), Lib Dems (+57) and Conservatives (+79). Women (+75) and men (+71) are united in their praise too. It’ll be a brave First Minister of any party who puts it up again, let alone by the whopping great amounts it grew by under the Labour/Lib Dem coalitions.



In favour: 15
Against: 66
Don’t know: 19


Another Union dividend, readers. Scottish voters and MPs alike overwhelmingly rejected the sell-off of a profitable and largely beloved national asset, but their opinions counted for nothing. In fairness, nor did those of the public in the rest of the UK, but they’re the ones who elected the Tory-led coalition who did it so they’re just going to have to suck it up. We have a choice.

(Even Tory voters opposed the move by a small margin of -4, with SNP supporters recording the highest opposition at -63, Labour close behind at -61 and the guilty Lib Dems trailing in at a sheepish -42.)



In favour: 39
Against: 34
Don’t know: 28


Next out of our policy grab-bag was an issue attracting much less of a consensus. Perhaps because we left out the suffix “anywhere near MY house”, Scots were rather less antagonistic to the idea of nuclear power than is commonly asserted.

Perhaps unexpectedly, this was one of the issues with the biggest gap between the sexes, and easily the biggest of the ones not traditionally held to be gender-specific. Men (who are, of course, radiation-proof) were pretty gung-ho about the idea, recording a +21 rating that was fully 31 points adrift from the female -10.

People who voted Conservative in the 2011 Holyrood election were +59 pro, with SNP voters the only ones opposed (-2) and Labour and Lib Dems marginally in favour.



In favour: 57
Against: 7
Don’t know: 40


The attractiveness of a constitution, of course, rather depends on what’s in it. But still, Scots were massively behind the idea in principle, with a +50 net rating and hardly anyone actually opposed. SNP voters were the keenest by over 10 points (+64), with the others much of a muchness.



In favour: 56
Against: 32
Don’t know: 12


Erk. Can we pretend this didn’t happen, Scotland? We’re ashamed of you.

We gave you every possible chance. We used the rather leading word “forcing” at the start, and said “unemployed people”, rather than the de-personalised, slightly pejorative “the unemployed”, but despite our gentle nudging apparently more than half of you still subscribe to the idea of slave labour in 2013.

Keenest on a return to the days of the Victorian workhouse were of course the Tories (+77), with their Lib Dem flunkies trotting obediently behind on +47 and Labour voters clearly heeding the “sod the homeless” words of Tom Harris MP at +18.

Even SNP supporters, albeit by the lowest margin (+10), seemingly think it’s fine to treat their friends, families and neighbours like criminals on community punishment for beating up an old lady should they fall on hard times.

Women, the caring sex, backed compulsory work without pay for the poor, on pain of destitution and starvation, by +28 compared to men at +18. Heartwarming empathy.

We can clutch at straws, like the fact that Scotland’s attitude is still a fair bit more humane than that of the UK as a whole (+24 rather than +39), but frankly our heart’s not in it. Dear God, save us all from the monstrous, compassionless beasts that we seem hell-bent on becoming. Maybe we should all just vote Tory and at least get the whole ugly business over with quicker.



In favour: 39
Against: 47
Don’t know: 14


But hey, at least we can still get pissed on the cheap to forget our descent into primitivism as we viciously tear at each other’s eyes for the spit-covered scraps from the Bullingdon Club’s table while they laugh and light cigars with £20 notes, right?



In favour: 34
Against: 40
Don’t know: 26


All to play for in this category, and only recording +10 net support from women (with men on -25) is probably a quite disappointing result for advocates of the so-called “positive discrimination” approach to redressing the gender imbalance in politics.

Tories and (oddly) the Lib Dems are most opposed at -27 and -21 respectively, with Labour voters very narrowly for (+2) and SNP supporters very narrowly against (-4).



In favour: 73
Against: 13
Don’t know: 14


The Offensive Behaviour (Football) Act doesn’t get the best press. Opposed by every non-SNP MSP at Holyrood, it enjoyed great support from the public before being enacted, but has subsequently been relentlessly attacked by just about all and sundry. Judges, solicitors, journalists, bloggers, and of course the two sets of fans it was primarily aimed at have all laid into it, often in the most hysterical of terms.

(Although curiously, despite the doom-laden language about fascism and victimisation and bigotry and whatnot, as both sides claim it’s picking on them alone, nobody’s yet managed to point us to a single actual living, breathing example of anyone who’s been done any notable injustice by the Act.)

Two years on, though, the public stubbornly persist in being right behind it. So pretty much as everyone expected, it looks like it’s fans of Celtic and The Rangers doing all the bawling and screaming over being asked to button it once and for all about ancient Irish history at Scottish football matches, while everybody else is delighted about getting a bit of peace at last and being able to call the referee a bastard without worrying about what school he went to.

Men support the OB(F)A by +53, women by +65, Tories by +44, Labour voters by +56, Lib Dems by +58, SNP by +69, homeowners by +60, social renters by +60, young women by +72, old men by +54, the wealthy by +54, the poor by +60.

We’re calling that as near to unanimous as laws ever get. Scotland’s message to Old Firm fans is unequivocal: shut up about Bobby sodding Sands and Derry’s frigging walls or we’ll sling you in the jail, because the rest of us are utterly sick of it.

Nice to end on a bit of unity, at least. Next up, back to independence.

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    1. 04 07 14 17:44

      Gie’s Peace! | A Wilderness of Peace

    89 to “The mind of the nation (part 2)”

    1. Atypical_Scot says:

      Glad I didn’t shave…,

    2. Adrian B says:

      …..Bullingdon Club’s table while they laugh and light cigars with £20 notes, right?
      Thats so 1983, I think the lowest they use these days is a crisp £50

    3. JLT says:

      The ‘Forcing the Unemployed to work for their Benefits’. I wouldn’t look on that too harshly. I’m guessing when this question was put to people, they didn’t think about the sick, the one parent families, the disabled, or the recent employed becoming unemployed. It wasn’t them that they saw, or hold in contempt.
      I think people see young laddies, in shellsuits, drinking buckie all day, and doing hee-haw with their lives. I think that’s what they saw when asked that question.
      If you broke this down into categories, I think it’s the ones that DON’T want to work, are the ones that spring to folks minds on this question. I think that question is being asked wrong.

    4. sneddon says:

      forcing the unemployed to work, wait until it happens.  Then we’ll hear the screams from here when the unemployed are given THEIR jobs. Plenty unemployed skilled and semi skilled folk out there. A question whose answers have not been thought through by a sorry % of the respondants.  Should be ashamed of themselves.  If I ever meet a person who supports this at my SNP branch meeting they’ll get ma boot up their arse(figuratively of course).  Morons.

    5. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      The Death Penalty: Maybe they thought that included Tory MP’s!

    6. kininvie says:

      I think we need to go back to Julie McDowall’s courageous article to see the truth behind this:
      When he’s finished his birthday cake, it would be interesting if Stu could give us the full age/socio-economic/voter breakdown on the figures.

    7. david says:

      its easy to say yes to the death penalty as long as someone else is the exeutioner. 

    8. Iain Hamilton says:

      The recent outcry / twitter storm over Kwik Fit / poundland etc gives me hope that perhaps there was a misunderstanding over that workfare question. The amount of people who vocally derided and threatened to boycott said firms I would take to be a mere fraction of those who would silently walk away and spend their money elsewhere. Don’t give up on us yet. We ARE better than that. Delightful reading so far by the way. Now bring on the laughing at Darling.

    9. clare maitland says:

      Its all gone a bit Daily Mail

    10. mealer says:

      Youth unemployment should be abolished.Every school leaver should be somewhere form 9-5 doing something constructive.It should be a priority of every Scottish Government to provide whatever resources are needed to ensure this happens.Thats the first and biggest step in tackling youth unemployment,long term unemployment and generational unemployment.It should not be slave labour and it should not lead to homelessness or destitution.It should lead to a better,fairer,more equal and more prosperous society.

    11. Macart says:

      Again you see the SG did their homework on policy. No great shocks on most of it, but still picking up teeth off the deck after the forced to work for benefits result. 🙁

    12. panda paws says:

      Whilst I believe JLT is right in stating people were thinking of the stereotypical scrounger when they answered the question, this is a VERY surprising result. It seems to suggest people have absorped (absorped?) the strivers vs scroungers narrative to a sickening degree. Surely people are aware we’ve been in recession virtually since the Crash in 2008?
      I wonder how many of those who answered “in favour” would change their answer if they were given vignettes of different catagories e.g
      1) forcing someone on JSA to work for benefits if they had a long term condition/disability that limited the types of jobs they could apply for
      2) forcing someone who was 56 with a life time of umemployment until being made redundant 2 years ago etc

    13. Craig Stewart says: has some excellent articles analysing the government’s claims that <insert your minority here> are ruining the country and of course thoroughly debunking them in the process. Well worth a read and a share (and a sponsor, she’s looking for funding). 🙂

    14. James S says:

      JLT, I am sure you’re right.
      Yet the group you refer to and the media use to tar the entire welfare system with – the fraudulent claimants and the long term unemployable – represent just 4% of welfare spending. This just shows how successful the right and their compliant media have managed to taint the mood of  the general population against all welfare recipients.
      Sad really.

    15. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      In favour: 57Against: 7Don’t know: 40
      Some typo sneaked in over the eyes of the subs? Total is 104%

    16. iain taylor (not that one) says:

      Interested by the last one. Living in Fife & going to ice hockey (football once per season, and that will be Forres Mechanics if at all possible) the sectarian pond life isn’t much of a current concern for me.
      I lived in Glasgow for 15 years, so learned all about it.
      But on an easyJet flight from Edinburgh to Munich on Friday night, I was among 100+ normal travellers (many bemused Bavarians going home after a nice trip to Scotland) who had to enjoy drunken shouting, swearing & sectarian songs from 16 bon viveurs. This included a wee ditty which seemed to be about flying over Celtic Park & shi**ing on the fenians below.
      I’m not a catholic or a fenian any more than I’m a Celtic fan, so I’ve no particular axe to grind.  
      But on balance, could the legislation not be beefed up to include life sentences (or lobotomy, as a fall back position)? 

    17. @Thomas William Dunlop
      Postal votes!

    18. Iain Hamilton says:

      “shi**ing on the fenians below”
      Funny that. I’d be more likely to type “shitting on the fen**ns below”.

    19. Ghengis says:

      Do you think unemployed people should be employed by your organisation or company to do your job for their benefits money?
      Should people on benefit be compelled to work for their benefits by doing your job instead of you?
      Should the organisation your are employed by be compelled to pay you for your Labour?

    20. AnneDon says:

      The Offensive Behaviour Act has seen the police appear at folks’ homes at 7am to drag them out of bed and take them to the police station. This is not being reported by the mainstream media, of course, and so you’d only know about it if you know someone directly or follow those threads.
      It’s being well used among Catholics by Labour apparatchiks to show how “sectarian” an independent Scotland would be. Although it has led to the discovery that white Catholics are the most frequent victims of offensive behaviour (I don’t think they tell them that bit).  

    21. gordoz says:

      On nuclear energy; people love to listen to the scientists & the costs of Hinkley Point etc blah, blah , blah, but when all consider the astronomical costs and millenia of time for the clean up operations  this is clearly not a sensible future option for anyone.
      I think we would all agree that German Scientific / Engineering accumen largely leads the world. They have doen the maths and won’t touch nuclear power for the reasons above.
      Perhaps a better example to follow than Westminster.

    22. Desimond says:

      O/T Johann Lamont on Scottish Politics “I have never said anyone gets something for nothing!”. Shes rattled after being asked to state what she is for rather than always say whats she’s against. The free ride she ( and most viewers no doubt) expected here hasnt appeared, shes floundering like a drunken seal with arthritis

    23. Ewan MacKenzie says:

      I think JLT got it spot on. 
      If the question had been split down into categories you would have seen a different picture.
      e.g. “Do you think the following categories of unemployed people should be forced to work for their benefits: unemployed more than 6months/1year/2years/3years; recent school leavers; recent graduates; long-term sick; disabled; single parent with pre school-age child; drug addict; etc
      You still might not like the answers, but you would see compassion for some groups and not for others. Personally, I would quite like to see a few people I know made to do something useful rather than spending a quite astonishing amount of money that they’ve done nothing to deserve on booze/fags/scratchcards/Sky TV while flashing their new iPhone (contract, not nicked). These are, of course, a small minority of those claiming benefits, but they’re the ones I would like such a policy to be aimed at, because they are taking the piss.

    24. AnneDon says:

      @Genghis – I think that explains why richer people don’t object to workfare. They’re not working in the type of jobs that would be under threat by workfare.
      Although I’m sure there are enough sociopathic economic illiterates among the unemployed at large to give us a workfare Westminster Cabinet. Strange no-one is suggesting that, eh?

    25. Mosstrooper says:

      @ Iain Hamilton 12.40
      THAT’S what you took from Iain Taylor’s posting?

    26. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      With you completely on this.
      What happens to a teenager as he or she starts of on lfe is of critical importance. It may well determine the course of the rest of it. It is much more of a problem to the males as most females become mothers and most of them make a bloody good job of it.
      I would argue for a National Youth Service Scheme on which our young folk got work, bed and board and a little wages around the country (or in developing countries) on schemes in the national interest. It would be good for them, good for us and they would enjoy it hugely. Some of the best folk I met in Africa were the VSO young people from UK working for a pittance  on such schemes  (and the Canadian equivalent CUSO) and it was a joy to watch so many of them visibly grow and grow up as they did so.
      Even the Nigerian government (not usually recognised for constructive, progressive or sensible behaviour) had such a scheme in which young people finishing their education were posted all about the huge Federation of Nigeria on such schemes and the French had in those days a system in which French students on finishing had a choice of national service in the armed forces or a couple of years in a developing country .
      It’s not as if we don’t have a lot of stuff needing done all around the country.

    27. Webcraft says:

      Re. Lamont  on Sunday Politics – someone needs to do a mash-up of her blatantly contradicting herself. The woman has lost it.

    28. cheryl says:

      It’s also a misconception that only Celtic and Rangers supporters have a problem with the legislation. The FAC demo in George Square had supporters from various clubs in attendance  and I know of Motherwell and Hibs supporters also being treated to police harrasament. The dawn raids are outrageous.
      People are of course entitled to support the legislation but for me its another example of the media withholding the whole story to unknown ends.

    29. bunter says:

      Lamont     ”We need to have a discussion”.      Vote Labour for a discussion.

    30. James Kay says:

      “But on balance, could the legislation not be beefed up to include life sentences (or lobotomy, as a fall back position)?” 
      Why not go all the way and take in two popular choices: the death penalty for football-related offensive behaviour?

    31. Iain Hamilton says:

      @ Mosstrooper.

      There’s an old adage about how the Sun and the Guardian would report a racial incident where insults were hurled at a racial minority. The Sun would report that “black b******s” was shouted, where the Guardian would report the same insult as “b***k bastards”. Of the two words in Iain’s post I know which one I (and presumably the anti sectarian laws being discussed would) find more offensive. I am not in any way suggesting that Iain’s phraseology was anything more than unfortunate, just “thinking out loud”.

    32. Bawheid Bragg says:

      If unemployed people are forced to work for benefits (I’m assuming here for privately owned companies – eg M&S), why would employers then bother to hire and pay wages for ‘real’ workers??

    33. gordoz says:

      Everything hugely interesting so far; but I think we’re all waiting for the considerations of the MSM & TV  questions

    34. Cheryl says:

      I’m really disappointed by the workfare and death penalty responses, and very surprised.

    35. Desimond says:

      can you ask “Do you trust the Police?”

    36. HandandShrimp says:

      Well if there isn’t an interesting selection of social attitudes in this mix to get the MSM peeking into the results then I am a Yeti on a unicycle.

    37. art1001 says:

      I am really amazed about home owners worried about house prices in the event of a YES vote – especially in Edinburgh but would ripple out across Scotland.
      If Edinburgh were to become a proper international capital where governments, organisations and companies would be scrambling to open up up headquarters, offices, consulates, embassies then what do you thing would happen to property values in Edinburgh. Would they go up or down? Its a no-brainer. If you own a flat in Edinburgh voting NO would be an act of economic lunacy.
      However on a NO vote Edinburgh would be reduced in status to a kind of regional town like Hartlepool. You would not be able to give the thing away.

    38. Desimond says:

      So we live in a Royalist nation that favours people out of work earning their benefits. If so, why are the Tories doing so badly then?

      Makes me wonder if such questions are of any benefit. Shouldnt we be asking questions like “Do you know the difference between PFI and Futures Fund?” 

      As for young kids..hows about asking .”Should you or future generations pay for your education?”. I feel those thinking No favouring kids feel a sense of “Britishness” are misguided, have you ever heard any youngster mention such feelings, their minds are on other tastier things.

      I think its more a case that the people being questioned have basically no idea what life is about, they have had a decent enough upbringing where food is on the table, medical treatment is on tap and never been facing the sack with a huge pile of bills\mortgage\family to support. Not patronising them, its just their life experiences have been largely “political” free as yet. Its up to YES campaign to make it all relevant and highlight what saying NO could mean as status quo will not prevail.

    39. ScottyC1314 says:

      oooooooft…..cue scores of our Celtic supporting friends moaning about you lumping them in together with the other cheek…..”I’ve not heard sectarian chants at Celtic Park for years”….well I witnessed a group singing sectarian songs en route to Pittodrie earlier this season so I can assure you it is still an issue. Why this group assumed the targets of their chanting and agressive posturing were “proddy bastards” is anyone’s guess. 
      There are some issues with the legislation but its a massive step in the right direction and the fact that its supported by vast majority of Scots suggests a significant amount of Rangers and Celtic fans feel the same. 

    40. Murray McCallum says:

      The mention of the Czech Tatra car company the other day on this site reminded me of Alexei Sayle’s excellent autobiography “Stalin Ate My Homework”.
      His Dad gave a key bit of evidence at one of the UK’s last death penalty convictions; James Hanratty. Alexei reckons it affected his Dad for the rest of his life. There was doubt over the conviction (and therefore the execution) until DNA evidence much later proved the guilty verdict was correct. Unfortunately Alexei’s Dad had passed away by then.
      I could not imagine being a juror in a death penalty trial.

    41. call me dave says:

      Ken MacDonald mentions the on-line sites. Including the poll.
      40 mins in. 

    42. Desimond says:

      IAt moment UK interest rates are basically at 0% making Mortgage interest very low for homeowners .Its pretty hard to make people risk that great unknown when they’re constantly being fed fear and dont know what the Scottish economy would be like. Hopefully the White Paper can help ease any worries.

    43. HandandShrimp says:

      Not really surprised about the death penalty score, in fact it is encouraging that it is below 50%. It has taken a long time to get to that stage. More interesting is the one on unemployed working. I have no great issue with the unemployed being asked to work as long as they are paid at least minimum wage. The workfare debacle was a disgrace and simply encouraged employers to fill real jobs with free labour.
      The rest I am not so surprised at. There are a number of issues that people need more information on. The deal struck to supply new nuclear power stations in England with guarantees of twice the going rate for energy is hardly a selling point.

    44. Doug Daniel says:

      I suppose the workfare question just shows you how effective the media’s attempts to demonise unemployed people has been. And the fact people support nuclear power shows how effective the nuclear lobby has been. I mean, do people not understand what nuclear waste is and how you can’t get rid of it, or are they simply taken in by the lies that nuclear energy is cheap?

    45. scottish_skier says:

      We gave you every possible chance. We used the rather leading word “forcing” at 
      You led those being surveyed to conclude that the unemployed you were referring to somehow were not doing the right thing so needed to be forced. Ergo, they tended to imagine people who were choosing not to work / make an effort to find work.
      If you had said e.g.  ‘Force people who have lost their job to work for nothing or they lose unemployment benefits’ you’d have got a totally different answer.

    46. HandandShrimp says:

      Knew I should have shaved this morning. :O

    47. muttley79 says:

      Did Lamont really say we need to have a debate or discussion again?  How many times has she said this? 
      On the polls, have to say the support for the death sentence amazes me.  How many miscarriages of justice has there been since hanging was abolished?  There has been loads.  WAKEN UP PEOPLE.  The benefits poll result is a disgrace.  When are people going to realise that there has not been full employment since the 1970s?     

    48. gordoz says:

      On house prices; it has astounded me for years that Scots put up with the variance in prices of London and the South East compared with properties further north such as in Scotland. Its all relative – yes prices are higher but should there be such false extremities as are currently represented per Sq ft etc ? We all put  up with it because these are the noems presented in TV & media for the largley English market.
      You could not pay me to live in the rat – race that is London & the South East and thats why many people pitch up in Scotland to take the opportunity for decent economic house prices and better standards of living overall. So why not vote for such things as standards of living and better social community values represented by Scotland  – not Britain ?

    49. Murray McCallum says:

      I do not understand the mentality of any Scot who would favour nuclear energy. I assume they must want to guarantee beyond all doubt that electricity prices should be higher?

    50. ScottyC1314 says:

      Not surprised by minimum pricing outcome….as Doug Daniel has alluded to with regards to other points, the media have hammered the Government on this one and kept the police and medical experts opinions in the shadows. Can we call this the ‘Eleanor Bradford effect’?

    51. Vronsky says:

      “Vindication for the SNP again in pushing through a policy change at its conference last year. Scots overwhelmingly support membership of the military alliance [NATO] by almost six to one. ”

      Jesus wept.
      But déjà vu.

    52. Desimond says:

      For the Might not bother voting folk:
      If you are bored and disgusted by politics and don’t bother to vote, you are in effect voting for the entrenched Establishments of the two major parties, who rest assured are not dumb and are keenly aware that it is in their interests to keep you disgusted and bored and cynical and to give you every possible psychological reason to stay at home doing one-hitters and watching MTV Spring Break on Primary Day. By all means stay home if you want, but don’t bullshit yourself that you’re not voting. In reality, there is no such thing as not voting: you either vote by voting, or you vote by staying home and tacitly doubling the value of some Diehard’s vote.

      David Foster Wallace, Rolling Stone, April 13, 2000

    53. Macart says:

      On nuclear energy: Y’know its spooky, everyone just wants that bulb to light up when you hit the switch. Many apparently seem perfectly happy with the idea of those reactors getting built, yet I’ve never met a single person who’d want one built within even several miles of where they live.
      Strangely though, as soon as you mention renewables to this sector, groups are formed almost immediately to protect the countryside/ocean bed from their heinous pollution (visual and otherwise) and destruction of the natural environment. Campaigns become bitter and personal, adverts are taken out in newspapers, petitions are raised, the general perverse consensus amongst these groups being that renewables should not be pursued in any way shape or form in order to protect the land.
      Similar and to my mind the more compelling arguments are issued by the anti nuclear forum. My own feelings aside, as near as I can tell the only reasonable answer for both is to use magic pixies to produce power from thin air since both are agreed that destroying countryside to build the means of generating power is a bad thing. Or we could go with democracy and whoever puts forward the most compelling, workable and affordable case in their manifesto gets to proceed with the permission of the voter?

    54. Murray McCallum says:

      “I was in charge of nuclear power for a long time, and I remember when I was told that nuclear power was cheap, safe, and peaceful. It turns out nuclear power is three and a half times the cost of coal. Far from being safe, it’s deadly dangerous, as we know from Chernobyl and Three Mile Island. And thirdly, it’s far from being peaceful. All the plutonium from our civil nuclear power stations went to America to make warheads for the bombs. We were lied to about nuclear power.”
      Tony Benn October 2000 (I guess we would add Fukushima to his list of disasters now)

    55. gordoz says:

      Nuclear Energy : visit German ideas of this as an energy solution. You will learn an awful lot, it makes good sense to stay away from Nuclear Energy solutions.
      IT IS NOT ECONOMIC –  as an energy model it does not take into account the clean up operations (which are impossible to fully quantify)

    56. Desimond says:

      Lamont was asked to explain what she was “for” rather than always against. She agreed she needed to state this, then duly rambled without stating anything she was for! When asked on Council Tax Freeze she couldnt disagree with Party statements so gave the “lets have the debate about changing how we deal with this!” style reply.
      As for Death penalty..indeed…in this demonising blinkered Blame culture..i fear if you offered the horrific question “Prisoners cost the taxpayer a fortune, should we utilise the jobless to kill the murderers” then the replies would be terrifying!

    57. Richard Cain says:

      On forcing the unemployed to work, I was unemployed a few years back, and would have jumped at the chance to work.  Sitting at home doing nothing is the most demoralising and soul-sucking experience, and does nothing to help you get back into work.
      On the death penalty, it is over two generations since this was abolished, so is a fairly abstract concept for most people.  If you were able to make the question more personally relevant, you would get a rather different response.  Ask them to imagine a close relative being on death row, for example.

    58. John Gibson says:

       “Maybe we should all just vote Tory and at least get the whole ugly business over with quicker”
      You know, I’ve thought just that on and off for maybe 20 years now. Second only to freeing ourselves from Westminster, it’s the probably the only other reasonably swift solution – to just push this neo-liberal nonsense until it breaks. The slow break-down of a cohesive society following the last few decades pattern of Conservatives privatising and cutting, followed by periods of Labour doing nothing to reverse the damage, just means that you have the choice of slow suffering or quick suffering.
      It’s partly the reason why I’ll no longer vote Labour (apart from the fact I’ve lost all respect for them) – there’s just no point. I’d rather fall to the bottom quickly than be slowly tortured on the way down.

    59. Davie says:

      In favour: 56Against: 32
      Right, here’s what we do:
      1. Sack everyone in work
      2. Put them on JSA
      3.Tell them to go back to place of work and do the same job
      4. Stand back and watch the answer to that question.

    60. Bubbles says:

      I think a great many Scots have real problems when asked to be serious, if only for just a minute. There’s some damned depressing results so far, welfare in particular. But so far this pretty much echo’s my own sentiments about the state of the nation. The definition of a country is, for me, it’s people. On the evidence presented so far they’re not worth the fight.

    61. Yodhrin says:

      @Murray McCallum

      Yes, lets add Fukushima(a reactor which took the combination of a massive earthquake and a tsunami to breach) to Three Mile Island(an accident which had no measurable effect on human health) and Chernobyl(an ancient, decrepit reactor of a flawed design that wasn’t properly maintained yet remained in service because nobody could afford to fix/decommission it).

      There are plenty of reasons to be opposed to nuclear energy, I agree with enough of them that I do oppose them in practice even though I am not in principle against nuclear power, but anti-nuclear campaigners have to stop with the absolute “ermagerd RADIATION!” hysterics and educate themselves about the science.

    62. MoeSzyslak says:

      Offensive behaviour at football?
      Have people not got more important things to be worrying about?
      Last week I watched a video which had been taken by an Ajax supporter from their end.
      Clearly seen a policeman getting hit by a seat,  yet neither he  nor any of his colleagues moved in to prevent any more trouble.
      Yet we have Celtic supporters doors getting smashed in for singing a song?

    63. Hetty says:

      Mealer says; Every school leaver should be somewhere form 9-5 doing something constructive.It should be a priority of every Scottish Government to provide whatever resources are needed to ensure this happens.
      Dave McEwan Hill says; I would argue for a National Youth Service Scheme on which our young folk got work, bed and board and a little wages around the country (or in developing countries) on schemes in the national interest.
      Crikey, this sounds like National Service, bed and board? Excuse me but my two boys will leave home when they are ready, not when the state decides! With one home educated ( not as a choice originally due to aspergers) and teaching himself architectural model making, Type design, Japanese Type design, Japanese language, English language and grammer,  some science, computer science, ( he can replace the screen on your broken mobile as well) with a keen interest in politics and economics, also drama and writing. The other son has volunteered for Conservation charities in between jobs/courses, and unlike many so called adults I know, given his last fiver to a homeless guy. Sadly he’s been shafted by local F Ed college so unable to follow his dreams as yet, but about to start another SCOTTISH government funded course tomorrow. Young people need options opportunities and a little support to find their feet, not a nanny state run boot camp.  It’s 2013 not 1913 for goodness sake, let’s trust our young to make their own way and decisions, with our guidance if needed. The future is theirs not ours.

    64. kininvie says:

      Well, those results certainly shatter a few cherished illusions….
      But what they clearly illustrate is that the further you go from centre (or even somewhat right of centre) the less you are reflecting the opinions of the Scottish people. This may explain the (to me) discouraging performance of the Greens vs UKIP in Dunfermline. It may also explain why ScoLab is floundering so badly in trying to find some (any) policies. Move further right and they are just even more visibly Tories in another guise. Move left and they move even further away from Scottish opinion.
      The SNP, on this evidence, is also treading dangerous ground if it tries to pull Scotland any further left. I suspect it’s being given benefit of the doubt because of its obvious competence as the party of government. It also gains from what one astute commentator pointed out: it can currently act as both government and opposition (to WM) at the same time. That of course ceases with independence.
      The interesting thing is where this leaves the Scottish Conservatives. These results suggest they should be doing OK. But I reckon they are really  f***d by their close association with WM. I’d be interested in a re-run of history where Murdo Fraser won the leadership & set of a new party. Of course, as I wrote previously, I think a completely new, pro-indy, centre-right party prepared to put forward radical policies for rural Scotland might do well….but no one seems ready to fill that gap.
      A lot to think about here. But remember, these opinions have little or nothing to do with indyref – that’s a different issue entirely.

    65. HandandShrimp says:

      I don’t think we should be too exercised over the nuclear power thing. The answer the poll suggest is “not sure”.
      On welfare there is a conflicting message. People clearly see the bedroom tax as iniquitous but have a suspicion that some on the dole could work. The Tories have been trying to demonise the elderly, the sick, the disabled and those on benefits. I am not sure that they have succeeded in Scotland at least but there will always be ambivalence over the dole/work thing. I think if the question had been “should employers benefit from free labour at the taxpayers expense” the answer would have been quite different. If there is to be workfare then it should be at a living wage and ideally geared towards public works that benefit everybody and give those participating both dignity and work experience.
      On the death penalty public opinion has lagged behind the human rights position for a long time. The Sun used to regularly conduct polls with those favour much higher than we have. I think support for such measures is fading and for it to below 50% is interesting. In fact it may one of the first polls to do so. It used to be as high as 70% with the older generation much more in favour.

    66. Alastair Naughton says:

      Disappointed in the survey results vis-a-vis the death penalty. If killing is wrong it is wrong whatever the circumstances. Revenge doesn’t make it right. Furthermore, it does not in itself bring closure to the relatives of those affected.
      To add to this, it is counter-productive. In the United States, statistics show that those states that practise the death penalty have the highest levels of crimes involving fatalities. Finally, the fact that it is not on the statute books acts as a safety measure against miscarriages of justice. We in the United Kingdom of all people should know that. The cases of the Birmingham Six, Guildford Four and others illustrate this.
      Furthermore, can you imagine if Barry George, the man convicted of the murder of the Crimewatch presenter (I forget her name) had been hanged? Rages such as the Daily Mail and the Daily Express would have loved him to “swing” for this, but as John Stalker, himself a victim of injustice, said, he was convicted on the flimsiest of evidence he had ever seen. Sorry, but there are no circumstances I can see where it is justified. 

    67. Murray McCallum says:

      I was quoting Tony Benn, the Minister responsible for the introduction of nuclear energy into the UK. I think that’s relevant.
      If you want to look closer to home, how about the “scientists” flushing radioactive waste out to sea in N. Scotland?
      In 2007 UKAEA pleaded guilty to four charges under the Radioactive Substances Act 1960 relating to activities between 1963 and 1984, one of disposing of radioactive waste at a landfill site at the plant between 1963 and 1975, and three of allowing nuclear fuel particles to be released into the sea, resulting in a fine of £140,000.
      I suggest UK nuclear scientists educate themselves about the full implications of their science. I think them spending any time on the total lack of any economic credibility to their output (electricity production) would be completely wasted on them – they are not interested in that whatsoever.

    68. Patrick Roden says:

      The demonization of people who are unemployed, as well as people who are disabled began about 8 or 9 years ago.
      I began to warn disabled people who I worked with that they could not relay on benefits as there was a plan to rob them, but not one person believed me.
      The MSM have been cheerleaders for this right wing ideology and there’s no doubt that the feeling that ‘something needs to be done about these scroungers’ is now a factor throughout the whole of the UK.
      You can’t just undo years of propaganda overnight, But one thing we must do is point out and keep pointing out that it started under the Labour Party.
      The Tories haven’t increased the level of cuts or hardships, in fact Alistair Darling has admitted Labour would have cut deeper.
      It might seem strange for a Nationalist to be asking everyone to point out that this is a Labour Party Policy, but believe me, this will start to effect people and society in ways that no one understands right now, and when the sh*t hits the fan ….we must make sure that it’s Labour and the whole Westminster system that is covered in smelly stuff.

    69. HandandShrimp says:

      Fair point, Balls has already indicated that he would cut benefits by a further 6 billion. That cannot be achieved without inflicting hardship.

    70. joe kane says:

      Well said Patrick Roden and everyone else.
      Given the decade old neoliberal campaign to demonise people who need the welfare state to survive at some point in their lives, it’s still impressive that a third of people are resistant to these socially corrosive ideas aimed at destroying the welfare state.

      Given 75% are against the Bedroom Tax in this WOS-Panelbase poll, and only 16% in favour, it shows that when there is a strong counter-narrative, which is often reflected by the mainstream news media, then people have something more than just endlessly peddled “scrounger” fictional stereotypes to inform their opinions and respond accordingly.

      Dole money/JSA is just 7% of the total DWP budget anyway, and hardly a big drain on national resources nor is it responsible for problems in the economy. Forcing unemployed workers to work for their dole is only going to hurt workers whose expensive jobs will be at risk of being undercut by this pool of state slaves whom tory employers have shown to be more than willing to exploit, and would be complete fools not to.

      Just in passing, here is the latest Citizens Advice Report on the DWP’s vile sanctions regime and the devastating effects it is having on the poorest and most vulnerable people in society, inclduing their children. Disabled People Against Cuts DPAC summarises some of the report’s main findings – 
      Sanctions: ‘Punishing Poverty?’ new report by CAB 
      26 Oct 2013 

    71. Grant_M says:

      Beeb website… Johann Lamont urges council tax rethink
      A spokesman for First Minister Alex Salmond said:
      “This is a massive own goal by Johann Lamont. Voters will be shocked by her announcement that Labour would scrap the council tax freeze.”
      “A poll published on Sunday showed the SNP government’s council tax freeze is backed by 82% of voters, with only 9% opposed. 75% of Labour’s own voters back the freeze.”

    72. The Flamster says:

      I’m a bit disappointed with the ‘work for benefits’ and ‘bring back hanging’ results but, not surprised. That’s what the tabloid readers and the Jeremy Kyle Brigade believe.  I wonder why many who said Yes to working for benefits were actually unemployed.
      Also the next case to be a miscarriage of justice will be Luke Mitchell, who is serving 20 behind bars for killing his girlfriend at the age of 14.  I’ve always had my doubts about this case and have kept a eye on it.  The SCCR are investigating it at the moment – we’ll see what the outcome is. I do not know Luke Mitchell or his family but have been a bit suspect about the guilty verdict.  My point being, had there been a death sentence, he would have received it.

    73. liz says:

      @Grant_M – was this one of the things they supported on their pamphlets in Dunfermline?
      Remember the debate in Clydebank in 2012 where Baillie was lying about what she claimed in her election pamphlet about what she proposed on a council tax freeze despite a member of the audience holding the very pamphlet up.
      When oh when will people open their eyes to these complete charlatans?

    74. ElaineMcCondochie says:

      I think the question about the unemployed should be asked as a multiple choice question, we all know people, family, friends etc who have never worked a day in their lives and milked the system for everything they could.
      I know they are the minority but it doesn’t seem that way when ure a working full time single mum worrying about where the gas money’s coming from. 

    75. Papadocx says:

      None are so blind as those who do not want to see

    76. Clydebuilt says:

      Not good to see people against minimum pricing In favour of Nuclear Power and making unemployed people work for benefits.
      Minimum Pricing is a Flagship policy, I’ve always been of the opinion that Scots were strongly infavour of it, hence the big win for SNP in 2011 and the other parties coming onboard. When discused on Call Kaye it always get’s strong support.
      Once again I’m far from convinced it’s beneficial for our cause to allow all and sundry to see the results of these polls. Paid for out of Nationalists pockets. Why are we helping them out?

    77. Grant_M says:

      I’m not in Dunfermline! … but, yes:

    78. Scarlett says:

      I dont think we should be too shocked at some of the results, but I equally I dont agree that it  means the SNP should not move any more to the left. I like to dream that in the event of indy and a serious re -org of the BBC and the newspapers/media  people will be better informed and then support policies that actually benefit them such as removal of the Monarchy. 

    79. muttley79 says:

      On welfare there is a conflicting message. People clearly see the bedroom tax as iniquitous but have a suspicion that some on the dole could work.
      That is the thing though, there has not been full employment in the UK since the 1970s.  I have no idea why many people seem to think that there is enough jobs, when clearly there are not? 
       I do not know Luke Mitchell or his family but have been a bit suspect about the guilty verdict. 
      I am not sure citing the Luke Mitchell case as a miscarriage of justice is a good idea to be honest. 

    80. sneddon says:

      Elaine-   Have a look at this website about the scale of it and whose doing it.  It may surprise you  Personally no one in my family or circle of friends is milking the system.  And I do believe it’s a realatively small amount of people who do.  And remember half of the total benefit fraud is committed by DWP staff or thei contractors.

    81. joe kane says:

      I don’t know anyone who is milking the system and have yet to come across any verifiable independent evidence that this is a problem of any importance.
      What I do come across is anecdotal comments claiming that such a problem exists and that something should be done about it.

      Just to repeat what sneddon says, the DWP loses more taxpayers money in departmental errors and inefficiencies than it does on fraud – and something like ten times the amount of money lost to fraud goes unclaimed by the poorest and most vulnerable in society many of whom are too frightened to claim what is rightly theirs in case they get tarred as scroungers and spongers.

      Compared to what tax dodging spongers get up to, it goes without saying, benefit fraud is a drop in the ocean.

      References –

      Benefit Fraud vs Tax & Unclaimed Benefit 
      Green Reading 
      21 Jan 2013 

      Department for Work and Pensions 2011-12 accounts 

    82. The Flamster says:

      @ Muttley 79
      Yeah you’re right should keep my thoughts to myself – it was the death penalty result that disappointed me.

    83. MochaChoca says:

      With regard to the question about the unemployed. I’m confident that a vast majority of those capable of working would do so given the chance.
      Aren’t our public services and presumably third sector organaisations very overstretched at the moment? It would seem a no brainer that instead of paying unemployment benefits to anyone who finds themselves in this situation they should be offered a placement within the public or third sector, subject to minimum wage with hours to suit the benefit received and the money still coming from central govt.
      No cost to the community but would result in a lot of good, providing there are safeguards to ensure employees were not ‘offloaded’ and the slack taken up by the those on such placements.
      I suppose this would be kind of similar to the way those employed at the moment are being ‘forced’ to work for their salary ?

    84. muttley79 says:

      Yeah you’re right should keep my thoughts to myself – it was the death penalty result that disappointed me.
      I did not mean it like that.  Everybody is entitled to give their thoughts on things here.

    85. CLIFF MCCABE says:

      I am an ardent socialist I 100% support an independent Scotland. I also believe that people who are able to work should do so and if they are unwilling to do so they should be compelled to, and it shouldn’t make me a pariah to take a position contrary to yours.

      I am slightly surprised at your outrage that your survey should show this up to be a common position to take, perhaps most people assumed that when you asked should the unemployed be forced to work, they assumed as i do that you are referring to the willfully unemployed or fraudulent claimants, because despite your mock protestation they do exist.

      You asked a straightforward questions with few, if any, qualifications, I imagine most people applied those qualifications themselves, i.e able to work, but unwilling, not interested in training or further education, working and claiming at the same time etc. I would also assume that very few who gave a positive response to this question had in mind that the unemployed should be forced to work for corporate entities, I personally thought the voluntary sector could do with the help.

      If only everything in life was as black and white as you like to paint it rev.

      BTW earlier in my life (in the 1980’s) I was unemployed for 18 months and after the first four months fell into a rut of sleeping until the bookies opened at eleven and spending the rest of the day there, I lived from giro to giro on comparatively less money than benefits claimants do nowadays. the fact that i could do this with no sanction did not help me to climb out of the rut, my opinion is that had I been compelled to work in the voluntary sector for the same amount of money as my benefits then that in itself might have made me try harder for a job.
      That doesn’t mean that I didn’t try hard or that people today aren’t trying hard but in the 1980’s similar to today it was difficult to find a job and after four months of rejection it was an easy rut to fall into.

    86. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “they assumed as i do that you are referring to the willfully unemployed or fraudulent claimants”

      Then they assumed wrong. If I’d meant that, that’s what the question would have said.

    87. Taranaich says:

      Rev, I haven’t commented individually that much on these, but I just wanted to thank you again for the fantastic work you’ve put into the poll. This is completely invaluable even beyond the independence debate, as it shows a broad-strokes glimpse of what the people of Scotland think, and what must be done with the information.

      @muttley79: On the polls, have to say the support for the death sentence amazes me.  How many miscarriages of justice has there been since hanging was abolished?  There has been loads.  WAKEN UP PEOPLE.  The benefits poll result is a disgrace.  When are people going to realise that there has not been full employment since the 1970s?

      Not to get into a prolonged death penalty discussion, but my opinion is that miscarriages of justice are inevitable. It is, frankly, impossible to do otherwise, for there is ALWAYS reasonable doubt. But while it’s truly terrible for someone to spend decades in jail for crimes they did not commit, sentences can be overturned – death cannot.

      And yes, I am legitimately furious about the benefits result, not just at the people, but that the anti-welfare machine has been successful. I had hoped the Scots had rejected the mythical Benefits Scroungers like they rejected Farage, but given the appalling complicity of the media perhaps it was all too inevitable.

      @MurrayMcCallum: I do not understand the mentality of any Scot who would favour nuclear energy. I assume they must want to guarantee beyond all doubt that electricity prices should be higher?

      I just wonder if they know that 35% of all our energy is from renewable sources, and that percentage is growing rapidly. At this rate we’ll be like Iceland, and we don’t even have massive geothermal vents!

      @Bubbles: I think a great many Scots have real problems when asked to be serious, if only for just a minute. There’s some damned depressing results so far, welfare in particular. But so far this pretty much echo’s my own sentiments about the state of the nation. The definition of a country is, for me, it’s people. On the evidence presented so far they’re not worth the fight.

      I understand your sentiments, but even if our generation is lost, our future isn’t. I’m not voting yes for the people who favour workfare or nuclear weapons or oppose minimum alcohol pricing: I’m doing it for the future which is not yet decided. Because we can influence that generation. They don’t have to repeat the sins of their predecessors.

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