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Wings Over Scotland

The point of no return?

Posted on October 18, 2012 by

Something’s been puzzling us for a while now, readers. We’ve been a bit reluctant to mention it before because it’s the sort of thing people can spin in misleading ways, and because it’s something we neither want to see happen or believe ever would. But purely by way of an intellectual exercise, let’s ask the question.

Ever since being unveiled as the figurehead of the anti-independence campaign, Alistair Darling has insisted that a Yes vote in 2014 would be “irrevocable”. It’s a word that crops up frequently from the No camp, in what appears to be a strange and misconceived extension of the standard-issue fearmongering approach which has characterised most Unionist campaigning to date.

(Because we very much doubt that even one person who votes for independence will be doing so with the thought “Och, if it doesn’t work out we’ll just rejoin the UK”.)

Nevertheless, if we’re really “better together”, why would it be impossible to go back?

Surely if it’s true that the Union benefits EVERYONE in the UK, it stands to reason that it would still be desirable to re-unite after a period of Scottish independence? If, as we’re constantly told, the United Kingdom would be a worse and poorer place for the absence of the Scots, why would it insist on staying that way if they asked to come back after a failed attempt to go it alone?

It’s not like the practical difficulties would be all that forbidding. All the infrastructure of a unified British state already exists now, all you’d have to do would be take the blueprints out of the filing cabinet and revert to it, rather than having to integrate from scratch. (Or better yet, retain most of the post-independence departments and have them continue to be responsible for Scottish matters in a new and quasi-federal devolution settlement.)

If Germany can manage a much more traumatic reunification – between two systems that were the polar opposites of each other in most regards, rather than largely identical – and still be the economic powerhouse of Europe, why couldn’t the UK?

We can only think of two reasons for saying there’s no way back from independence. One is that such a sequence of events is in fact a far more likely way for a “federal” UK to come about than by devolving a united one, and despite the lip service they pay to the idea, all three London-based parties actually hate the idea of a federal UK.

(Labour because it would drastically reduce the number/influence of Scottish MPs at Westminster, the Tories because it means ceding significant powers in a large part of the country that never votes Tory, and the Lib Dems because – well, who the hell knows what’s going on in the minds of the poor confused Lib Dems any more?)

The second possible reason, of course, would be that we’re NOT better together at all, and if Scots ever discovered how much better off they’d be as an independent nation they’d never want to come back in a thousand years, so the Unionists have to try to terrify us into staying. We feel sure it can’t be something as cynical as that, but yesterday an alert reader drew our attention to a comment on The Guardian this week:

“Just consider that Westminster could very easily make it clear exactly how much Scotland puts into the Union, and exactly how much we get back in return. After all, it’s Westminster which collects all the money and allocates where it goes. We can assume they know who pays what and who gets what.

If Scotland was indeed hopelessly dependent on UK handouts, Westminster would publish all the figures in glorious technicolour and upload videos to YouTube, and there would be a ten-part BBC documentary all about them. This would pretty much kill the independence debate stone dead, as Scots would be able to quantify those so-called Union benefits in precise detail.

But instead finding out how much Scotland pays into the Union and how much we get back takes a crack squad of industrial-strength accountants on amphetamines. So it’s a safe bet that we’re not dependent on subsidies from Westminster after all.”

Hmm. When you put it like that, it sounds like a good point.

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94 to “The point of no return?”

  1. If ye’s go INDY, David Cameron’ll be in a big puff an he’ll no let ye’s back.

  2. Tris says:

    …and worse still Johann, you’ll not get to join Wee (Lord) Jock McConnell on the red benches… and that’s what’s really worrying you and Alistair, isn’t it?

  3. DG says:

    It wouldn’t be final of course, that’s rather pathetic FUD.

    It’s worth mentioning though, that unlike independence  a reunification would probably require a referendum on both sides. 

  4. Juteman says:

    Excellent article Stu.
     Nice lateral thinking.:-) 

  5. Luigi says:

    Here’s a thought. With a second now question off the table, and a likely majority of scots who would support devomax/FFA, if Scotland votes YES in 2014, the people can rightly say “Scotland never left the UK, the UK left Scotland (no choice)”. There was no alternative on offer.

  6. Braco says:

    Sort of on/off topic. Just responded to admin on Labourhame over the subsidy junky relative deficit crap. Is my logic sound or have I made an arse of myself?
    admin says:
    October 17, 2012 at 6:36 pm

    Scotland pays more in to the rest of the UK than it receives back: to be precise, it pays 9.6% of total UK taxation and yet receives just 9.3% of UK public expenditure.
    Yeah, right.


    braco says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    October 18, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    Dear admin, does this not just mean that Scots are paying a full share of interest on a UK loan (debt) of which they are being denied .3% access to. Does not seem much but, when the loan is heading towards the trillion number, that kind of percentage could easily be covering all the previously established and proudly Scottish Labour policies which you now claim to be unaffordable. Maybe as a Scots representative in the House Of Commons you could bring this up with the Chancellor? Many thanks in advance.


  7. Alan says:

    Let’s get our Independence…

  8. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:


    No, you are right. I have an article sitting with the Rev for publication that covers this situation.

    In summary:

    Scotland is currently running a £10.7 Billion deficit (a smaller deficit than the UK as a whole – which Scotland gets a share of thats £11.432 Billion).
    This is not a “subsidy” from the UK as Scotland pays the interest on that money and it is accounted for in the £3.7 Billion that Scotland pays in debt repayments EVERY Year as part of the UK.
    But the real tradgedy is that despite havning a lower deficit than the UK as a whole, we are expected to pay for a population based share of the UK debt and its interest. A situation that has seen £19 billion of debt that was neither run up by, or spent on Scotland being added to our “share” (just in 2011 alone we were allocated £732 million of the debt that did not belong to us).
    It’s a bit like going out to lunch with your friend and getting a £9 main course, while your friend gets a starter and main for £11. When the bill comes your friend goes £10 each, thereby charging YOU £1 for the meal THEY ate. Now you may not mind once or twice, but if this has been going on for 30 years and all the time your friend calls you a scrounger living off their money that should be lucky to go to lunch with them (afterall they take you to all the nice places… the UN Security Council canteen, NATO’s sandwich shop, etc…) then something has to change.
    Scotland has 8.4 per cent of the UK population, we contribute 9.6 per cent of the taxes and in return we get 9.3 per cent of spending. Or to put it another way, we are more financially sound than the rest of the UK.

  9. YesYesYes says:

    Has anyone else noticed how, every year, when the BBC boycotts the SNP conference, you never hear anyone from Scottish Labour talk about the pro-SNP ‘bias’ of the BBC? Not even Ian Davidson. Funny that. 

  10. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I think that this may help this subsidy nonsense Braco.

    If you look at the bottom of the graph you will find that Scotland gets 20% more than we pay in tax, apparently, however the rest of the UK gets 24% more back than they pay in tax. So if we are subsidy junkies then what the hell does this make the rUK?

  11. muttley79 says:

    Never mind the politics guys.  Catriona Shearer is hosting the Scottish news at the moment and is looking absolutely stunning…swoon…

  12. Iain says:

    Re. irrevocable independence, it’s one of several areas of cognitive dissonance in Unionism. I’ve often noticed the sulky ‘glad to see the back of you’ brigade happily fantasising about Eire begging to return to the fold (leaving the enclosing arms of the EU in the process), and then in a blink of an eye telling us pesky Jocks to take our fellow benefit junkies in Northern Ireland with us.
    It’s an over-flogged metaphor, but I really see British (née English) Nationalism as the spurned husband lurching around the house, punching some children, sucking up to others, shouting at the neighbours and soon to collapse into lachrymose drunkenness.

  13. Braco says:

    Sneekyboy, thanks for that more detailed explanation. I posted what I felt and then got a sort of brain fade. I am looking forward to your article so that I can really clarify and formulate a simple and foolproof answer to this kind of statistical unionist dancing when I face it. Thanks again.
    Arbroath, thanks min I will post that If I may for admin. It’s all still in moderation so may never see the light of day anyway!

  14. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Muttley behave yourself! 😀
    Any more of this sort of talk and Gordon Brewer will be attending your address. 😆

  15. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I reckon if you post the link to the admin will be a sure fire way to ensure you end up in permanent moderation Braco.:lol:
    I have no problems with you reposting the piece after all I posted the link from a link on my partners Facebook page. I think it explains everything that needs explaining about this whole ridiculous subsidy junkie s****! As I said before, if Scotland is the subsidy junkies what the hell is the rUK?
    Unfortunately the unionist comedians who push the subsidy theory can’t answer this question.

  16. muttley79 says:

    She is a beauty, you have to admit.  Any looking for political bias goes out the window when she is presenting the show!

  17. Braco says:

    Arbroath, as posted. Thanks again
    Dear admin you may find this link will help you fight our corner in your forthcoming robust conference with the Chancellor. You may want to show it to the ex Chancellor heading up the BetterTogether cause as well, as I am sure he would not want any BetterTogether literature to seem misleading.

  18. Andrew says:

    Whit’s wi thae easy-access zips?

  19. muttley79 says:

    What are you talking about?  What’s easy-access zips?

  20. Andrew says:

    Catriona’s outfit. Dinnae tell me ye didnae notice!

  21. cynicalHighlander says:

    Braco I posted this link yesterday to Admin(Tom) yesterday and it is still in queue.

  22. muttley79 says:

    Got you.  When Catriona presents the show and the daughter of the Cubie report guy does the weather, politics can seem very insignificant for a time….They both put even Penelope Pitstop in the shade!

  23. Braco says:

    cynicalHighlander, that’s a stoater! I think I will put both yours and Arbs links away somewhere safe for future use, thanks. Sounds like my posts to admin are doomed but well, you never know. 

  24. tartanfever says:

    Just to confuse things a bit further.

    Those graphics say ‘Scotland contributes 9.6% of tax, but receives 9.3% of spending, which according to the Bitter Together mob makes for £63b back to us as opposed to £53b we contribute.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it seems to me that we are quoting ‘tax’ and they are quoting ‘spending’ (all spending). A fair comparison would be to look at ‘tax’ money we get back, as we contribute in other ways to Westminster through VAT and fines etc. 

    Also, if we contribute £53b a year, and our block grant is £30b, then where the heck is the other £23b being spent ? 

  25. Morag says:

    Pensions, social security, defence….

  26. Derick says:

    ah, aa dis steamy stuff maks me tink o DIS photo.  EEEEEEEEEEEEE

  27. Andrew says:

    M25, London Sewers, Olympics, House of Lords, etc, etc, etc, ad nauseum.
    I reckon when everything is counted in, it it will be blindingly obvious that we will be MUCH, MUCH better off than the figures so far published indicate.
    How else can you explain how Ireland, Iceland, Sweden, Finland, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Holland, Belgium, all roughly similar-sized countries to Scotland, but with NAE OIL, all have higher living standards than we do.

  28. tartanfever says:

    Sorry, mistake in my post, meant to say ‘what is the other £33bn being spent on’ – as the Better Together mob claim we get back £63bn. (£30bn block grant)

    Are we really getting back to Scotland £33bn and spending that on pensions and social security etc. Defence we know about, a measly £1.8bn, but I would be surprised to hear that our public/social costs are so high.

  29. Cuphook says:

    Talking of the block grant, does anyone know how much of it is returned to the Exchequer as VAT? The fact that our new police service has to pay VAT got me thinking about it.

  30. Bill C says:

    Hi folks, I am so bloody mad about the make up of tonights Question Time panel that I have emailed and telephoned the BBC.  I have asked for a posted, written explanation of the bias of the panel. If anyone else feels they would like to call and register a complaint the number is 037 00 100 222.


  31. Angus McLellan says:

    But it’s not easy to join the UK. Just because you ask, and even if you vote for it, that doesn’t mean you’ll be let in.
    Look at Malta. Held a referendum in 1956. Result 77% Yes, 23% No (with widespread abstentionism, but not nearly enough to have changed the result). And were the Maltese allowed to become – like Northern Ireland at the time – a semi-detached part of the UK? No, they weren’t. Malta Labour Party leader Dom Mintoff took the hump and the rest is history.

  32. Dubbieside says:

    Please do not take this as criticism but should the SNP party machine not be putting out figures to rebut admin and all the rest with their misleading figures?

    Comical Alex was also on the Herald web site with the same subsidy junkie message today.

    Scot and keybored do a great job coming up with rebuttals to the unionist fantasy figures but they should be coming from someone like John Swinney so the just may have a fighting chance of getting the coverage they deserve.

  33. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Just watching Q.T. Second question about Independence. Curran says she is voting NO and a significant section the audience applauds. Is it me does any one else think the audience is loaded. Having just said that there was big cheer when Nicola spoke.
    Oh by the way Curran came out with her classic……Independence will kill off devolution!

  34. Arbroath 1320 says:

    According to Cochrane Scotland could survive as an Independent country but not as well as it currently is doing.
    What an idiot!

  35. Morag says:

    I think the audience is loaded, and I think they’re deliberately picking pro-union audience members to speak.

  36. Morag says:

    That audience member said Iceland was about the same size as Scotland.  Innumerate as well.

  37. Iain Gray's Subway Lament says:

    QT a disgrace as usual.

  38. muttley79 says:

    Yes I noticed that as well.  Getting a bit heated now….Davidson is a pain, not slagging off Scotland tonight, surprise, surprise.

  39. Morag says:

    Curran is appalling.

  40. Arbroath 1320 says:

    When is this woman anything else but appalling!

  41. Morag says:

    Dimbleby seems to think he’s called independence audience members, and asked for people against to speak!
    The Welsh guy is the best of the lot actually, because they’re letting him speak.

  42. Arbroath 1320 says:

    We’re doomed all doomed.
    According to an audience member Scotland’s oil will run out by 2027!
    Erm will all passengers waiting for the last flight to planet Zog please make their way to gate 1 immediately!

  43. Morag says:

    Dimbleby has said a couple of sensible things actually.

  44. muttley79 says:

    The audience are mostly shitheads.  Curran and Davidson predictably awful.  If we get a Yes vote then Curran will be like a gerbil on speed.

  45. Morag says:

    Arb, that guy also shouted about where would the money come from to pay back all Scotland’s debts!  Taxes would have to go sky-high!  Very shouty man.
    Needs to be asked how the UK’s debt is going to be paid back, and what will happen to his taxes for that.

  46. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Yeah I think he is doing well Morag.
    To be fair I think Nicloa has also put up a strong defence/attack when she has been asked to do so. She does appear to be taking no s**** from any of the unionists on the panel.
    I think I posted last night that I thought he might be not necessarily a pro Independence speaker but he does seem to be definitely leaning towards being pro Independence.

  47. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Isn’t it funny that the more the people shout the more ridiculous they seem to be?
    I think he has been taking something before hand. Why else did he feel it necessary to sit there and shout hie “argument” about where we would get the money from etc…..

  48. muttley79 says:

    Gorgeous blonde was on a minute ago, did not ask a question, foxy…..

  49. Morag says:

    I was once in an audience of an ITV show like this chaired by Jonathan Dimbleby, and it was quite interesting.  They do manipulate the audience replies very heavily.

  50. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Hell Muttley if we win Independence do you where we can get a human sized gerbil wheel ?
    We can just put Curran inside and lo and behold our renewable energy production will escalate astronomically. :LOL:

  51. Morag says:

    Nicola not saying a huge amount.  I saw her sitting quietly while Magrit and Ruthie were having a screaming match and Dimbleby was telling them to shut it.  This is not the time, basically.

  52. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Thing is Morag she doesn’t need to say that much. What I meant was that when she was questioned by Curran she responded very well, I have seen her get a couple of retorts in that might not necessarily have been picked up by the casual viewer.
    It is noticeable that the “shouters” on the panel are the old examples, namely Davidson and Curran.
    I have always thought that the people who are panel members who shout the loudest are usually the biggest idiots.

  53. Iain says:

    Cochers actually sounding almost reasonable tonight, Curran & Davidson being so bat-shit mental perhaps helping.

  54. muttley79 says:

    Yes, we could use Curran in the renewable wind industry!  She could certainly speak for Scotland!  O/T, if we get a Yes vote we would need to get Catriona Shearer on a contract ASAP in the new Scottish Broadcasting Corporation…..

  55. Morag says:

    Magrit in favour of 16 and 17 year olds being able to vote.  She’s going to make trouble if the SNP can’t get the electoral roll sorted out.
    Bizarrely, Dimbleby didn’t know you can get married at 16 without parental consent in Scotland.  What does he think Gretna Green got famous for?

  56. Arbroath 1320 says:

    What a face Davidson had when the camera was looking from behind Nicola when she was discussing the vote for 16 and 17 year olds. As usual Dimbleby is totally out of touch when discussing the laws of Scotland around marriage etc.

  57. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Jeez Muttley, go take a cold shower! 😀

  58. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Morag, I guess he thinks it is where the Scotland/England border is located. 😀

  59. muttley79 says:

    You can’t talk about politics all the time…..

  60. Morag says:

    That was appalling, but it wasn’t really Dimbleby’s fault.  Ruth and Magrit are a couple of fishwives.  And there were virtually no pro-independence audience members called to speak.  Dimbleby called a bunch of vitriolic unionists, then said, oh we’ve had pro-independence audience members, do we have one or two against it?  (OK that was his fault.  But it almost looked like a mistake.)
    The audience were just awful.  Why can’t they choose level-headed sensible people on all sides?  (Jonathan’s show actually did that, and told the shouty mob that they wouldn’t be allowed to speak.)

  61. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Well folks if you have not yet had enough of politics then Tommy Sheridan is on This Week. I’m guessing he will discussing/educating the local bunch of morons all about Scottish Independence.

  62. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Thing is Morag the BBC can’t pick an evenly balanced audience, after all that would require the BBC to show impartiality something they are incapable of doing.

  63. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “The audience were just awful.”

    Ever since the 2010 leadership debates I’ve said all political participation shows should copy their rules: ask your questions, applaud at the end, and otherwise shut the fuck up. Nobody’s fooled by party stooges all applauding their panellist, so what purpose does it serve?

    That was the most extraordinarily openly biased QT I’ve ever seen, though. I’ve been to one (got to ask my question and everything) and they’re diligent about asking you your political leanings beforehand, so either a lot of people lied or they just deliberately stuffed the crowd with Unionists.

  64. Morag says:

    I’m not even talking about the balance.  I’m talking about the ignorant shouty people they pick.

  65. Andrew says:

    And income tax, NI, fuel & alcohol duty, etc, etc. With VAT as well a good 1/2 probably goes straight back down south.

  66. muttley79 says:

    @Rev Stu
    I was, and am very suspicious about when most of the audience clapped after Curran said she was against independence. It just seemed premeditated and not an authentic reaction at all. 

  67. Morag says:

    Maybe they decided if the opinion polls were saying (say) 25% for independence, they’d put 75% unionists in the audience.
    Did you hear one woman accuse Alex Salmond of denying Scots a vote for devo-max?  Bizarre.

  68. Arbroath 1320 says:

    Good old Michael Portillo. You always rely on a Westminster minded idiot to bring up the “we subsidise Scotland” line. Nice to see Tommy sitting there fighting the Independence corner and, in my view, winning the argument.
    Oh dear Andrew Neil has to go and bring up the “wrapping yourself in the union flag.” Jeez what an idiot!

  69. cynicalHighlander says:

    QT was to show London that we are ignorant and course unfit to govern ourselves nothing about anything else.   I had a rant to the Beeb earlier about there blatant bias and the guy virtually pleaded with me to hang up as he had other calls incoming.

  70. Cuphook says:


    It would be interesting to find the sum that is returned to London. It’s all very well saying that Scotland gets X amount but a good proportion of that is then given back in one way or another. After independence that’s money that would be staying in Scotland.  

  71. Appleby says:

    I am posting this from a kobo e-reader just to see if I can. Sorry. 😛

  72. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

    “I was, and am very suspicious about when most of the audience clapped after Curran said she was against independence. It just seemed premeditated and not an authentic reaction at all.”

    And especially when they booed Sturgeon. Nobody gets booed on QT – at least not since the expenses scandal – and certainly not just for saying they believe in their own party’s policy. Labour have been making a big deal out of Salmond being booed, and I’d lay good money this was a pre-planned exhibition to that end. (And one that immediately casts the previous examples in a suspicious light.)

  73. Morag says:

    Come on, the light on the other examples was as suspicious as it gets already.

  74. Morag says:

    I cringed at the Scottish athletes in the Union flag too, but then that’s just me.  If you had good enough resolution and a tape of the Last Night of the Proms in 1988, you’d see me in the choir with a Union flag in my hand, and I was waving it.  And I was an SNP voter and a strong supporter of independence at the time.
    Of course if you had a tape of the 1996 version, you’d see me not singing Land of Hope and Glory, which was practically a hanging offence (I was in the choir, remember), with a saltire in my hand and (if you really zoomed in) a little SNP pin in the collar of my evening dress.
    I was the same person, with the same views, I’d just got a lot more sensitive to symbols and outward show in that time.
    The flag thing means nothing, and Alex Salmond is clued-up enough not to be bothered by it at all.  But unionists are going to snipe with anything that comes to hand.

  75. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I don’t think the BBC could produce a political programme that was anything other than biased.
    Neutrality is a word that is not in the vocabulary of the BBC.
    I agree with you Stu, I do believe that the audience was co-ordinated by Labour to ensure that they could “orchestrate” their new found weapon of choice, a bay booing crowd of numpties. They are not interested in the arguments they only want to shout down the SNP, Public Enemy number one as far as Labour are concerned.

  76. Morag says:

    I’m inclined to absolve the BBC from audience-stuffing, actually.  I think there was a concerted effort by Bitter Together.  They probably have PR people who can do media manipulation.  Also, the shouty efforts of the pro-independence group to match the noise were probably counter-productive as well.

  77. molly says:

    Right,I’m going to stick my neck out here. Just watched QT and with the exception of Ruth Davidson (who appears to have no manners what so ever ), I really thought some of the audience were quite good. 
     With the exception of one or two (the guy who obviously did not want to leave the studio alive ,who commented on ‘the type’ of people who perhaps hung about the park ,guessing ,not from Easterhouse ), this is our  fellow Scots ,whom WE have to encourage,challenge,persuade and get  the benefits of an Independent Scotland across to !
     It speaks volumes that the wee guy in the green, felt strongly enough and it was possibly his only opportunity to ask his own MP on national TV ,to justify how she can ramble (for that is what she did )about the huge problem of drugs when costs were so high to hire a park as an alternative.
    It was so noticeable when pushed on a local issue Margaret Curran struggled. Same with the woman who held her to account regarding dampness in the local houses.The soundbites sounded very lame.
    Yes even the guy at the end ,who obviously has given no serious thought,just prattled the usual trite nonsense,these are the people The Yes Campaign really have to perhaps not change their mind but at least ensure they give it more thought than what they’re having for their tea.
    That said ,the guy with the red hair and big glasses has definitely been on one of the BBC Debates before, Brian Taylors I think,one of the drawbacks with my job,rubbish at  names but good at remembering faces. 

  78. Dcanmore says:

    OT BBC

    Just watched the interview with Craig Whyte (ex Rangers FC owner) on BBC Scotland website.  Something odd happens at 21.40 when Craig Whyte mentions Alex Salmond’s involvement. Whyte says AS tried to speak to HMRC on behalf of Rangers about solving the tax issue at the club. The interviewer picks this up and says along the lines of ‘Alex Salmond spoke on behalf of Rangers?’ and the reply from Whyte was ‘yes, as he would for any large Scottish company’. Then the film suddenly cuts sharply as if a chunk of interview disappeared.

    Thinking that this might just be an amateurish fumble by the film editor, I watch all of the interview again and that blatant cut in the film at the Alex Salmond part looked to be the only obvious cut in the whole interview. Maybe it was nothing but it looked like some interview was removed as soon as Craig Whyte brought Alex Salmond into the conversation to praise him. Have a look at 21.40min. 

  79. TYRAN says:

    Better Together encouraged booing. It’s on their site somewhere. So remember who wrote that to start with. It’s their own activists/aresholes doing it.

  80. Castle Rock says:

    I agree with what Molly has said – certainly not the worst QT from Scotland and some good questions from people in the audience.  I think we all have to get out there and knock on doors, push leaflets through letterboxes, staff the stalls, speak to neighbours and colleagues about what independence means, write comments and letters in the press, etc, etc, if we are actually going to achieve it.
    Also agree with the Rev, it was extremely clear that the booing was organised by the Labour Party and was planned before people took their seats – we shouldn’t be surprised as this is the kind of underhand tactics that they use all the time but two can always play that kind of game…

  81. Bill C says:

    Rev gets the gold star tonight,
    “I was, and am very suspicious about when most of the audience clapped after Curran said she was against independence. It just seemed premeditated and not an authentic reaction at all.”
    And especially when they booed Sturgeon. Nobody gets booed on QT – at least not since the expenses scandal – and certainly not just for saying they believe in their own party’s policy. Labour have been making a big deal out of Salmond being booed, and I’d lay good money this was a pre-planned exhibition to that end. (And one that immediately casts the previous examples in a suspicious light.)

    At 58 I have been round the block a few times and for me Rev hits the nail sqaure on the head. It was a leading first question on independence, directed straight at Margaret Curran and designed to get a very vocal reaction from an audience loaded with old school Labourites.  It was a total set up and is an indication of  the difficulties we face.  It was political manipulation akin to the worst excesses of European dictatorships in the last century. It is time to take the gloves off and tell  how it is in this democratic Britain!
    That said the trade unionist from Wales was excellent. It is interesting that a left leaning neutral can see the benefits of independence. Curran was quite horrified.
    Question Time tonight highlighted a very serious problem in this debate because it illustrated the depths which OUR national broadcaster will plumb to ensure a skewed commentary on what is happening in Scotland.  Question Time tonight was designed to keep Scotland in the union, of that there can be little doubt. 

  82. molly says:

    I think what I’m trying to say is ,we know what the BBC/media are like.we know there are a lot of people in Glasgow died in the wool  Labour voters, hells teeth I’ve heard it personally and we know this is going to be difficult but we have to somehow get people to at least consider an alternative to what lets face it ,they have been told all their lives,by parents,teachers,the media,neighbours take your pick.
     One of the reasons, I feel so strongly about Scotland being better off as an Independent country is because several years ago,through work I was sent to a different area. This was pre satnav and maps and me just don’t work,anyway I drove by mistake into a housing estate. I was horrified. I could not believe that people in that day and age were being asked to live in those conditions. It was a mixture of horror and shame. Anyway, asked a nice person and got directions but I could not get it out of my head and I kept thinking something is not right,  and thats when I actually started to really question things and thats finally when the penny dropped. Something as simple as that. Not about oil or Braveheart or Freedom,it’s about the small day to day stuff,like a job,a decent damp free house,a decent school because at the end of the day its the day to day stuff that keeps us all here ,living in Scotland and not Barbados

  83. Morag says:

    I was the same person, with the same views, I’d just got a lot more sensitive to symbols and outward show in that time.

    It just occurred to me.  What came between 1988 and 1996.  1992, the Queen’s 40th anniversary.  “Forty Glorious Years”, at Earl’s Court.  The choir was involved in that.  At the start of rehearsals I was innocently chuffed to bits.  By the actual performance I was ready to sign up for the first republican pledge I could find.

    Tons and tons about England, a “London Sequence” that went on for about half an hour on its own, shambolic organisation (allegedly by the military gent in charge of the Tattoo), and Scotland was represented only and exclusively by us singing “Amazing Grace” with a bagpipe accompaniment.

    That might be when it all changed for me.  There was an election that year, wasn’t there?  I remember joining the SNP shortly afterwards.  That must have been at the same time as the “Glorious Years” nonsense.  It’s all coming clear now.

    But still, waving a Union flag doesn’t prove anyone is pro-union.  There’s all sorts of reasons.  Including not being allowed to compete in the Olympics if you don’t.

  84. Morag says:

    The atmosphere was just poisonous, though whether the BBC did that on purpose I don’t know.  I heard one really really good point being made, that as things stand Westminster will cut the block grant to force Scotland to adopt the same privatisation and fee-for-service policies being imposed on England.
    There was no hope at all of that getting through to anyone in the middle of that rammy.

  85. douglas clark says:

    Does anyone have a link to this programme? BBC iPlayer says it’ll be available much later. I was working late and missed it.

  86. Bill C says:

    Molly spot on and they, the people who live in such conditions, are the people we have to convince. There are many reasons for being a nationalist, among them, social justice, which just happens to be among my priorities.

    Hail Alba

  87. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I think that when it is all said and done we should leave it to Margaret Curran to have the last word on Independence. 😀

  88. John says:

    I heard the latest unionist wheeze on 5 Live early morning news at 5.30. Some laboratory in England has found a way of creating cheap petrol from hydrogen, air, and carbon. They swear it’s true, and just as Scotland is going for independence too. Not to mention that we’re in the middle of the SNP conference.

  89. Arbroath 1320 says:

    I’ve one response to them then John.
    “Why are you still so desperate to hang on to us if you can manufacture all this cheap duel?”

  90. Scott Minto (Aka Sneekyboy) says:

    @ John,

    They have been able to make Oil (Well very similar chemically) from organic material for decades now.

    The problem is that in order to do that you need Very high pressures and temperatures equivalent to what you would find in an oil reservoir.

    It costs far more to MAKE the oil than it would make selling it, so pointless.

    Even if they figuresd out another way of doing so, the timeline to upscale a technology from Lab proven to industrial scale could well be another 25+years. And then there is the timeframes required to set up the infrastructure to be at a point to take over and gradually replace existing Oil. That could be another 25+ years on top of that

    In short, Scotland has nothing to fear from this technology if it does really exist and I doubt the people of Scotland would be falling for Pie in the sky stories of making cheap oil when all other countries in the world are banging on about drilling to find more of the stuff instead.

  91. muttley79 says:

    Having had more time to think about the debate last night, I think a few things were apparent.  The Welsh trade unionist leader was very good.  More surprisingly, so was Alan Cochrane…..Cochers was moderate, polite and impressive (for his own standards anyway). I got the distinct impression he was not impressed at all by Curran and Davidson.  When Davidson was calling for Sturgeon to release the legal advice about the EU, I thought he looked at Davidson in a disdainful way, in a kind of a how can you be so stupid way.   As Cochrane is a diehard Conservative and unionist I thought that was interesting.

  92. John says:

    About the cheap petrol. I heard the BBC’s own science correspondent say that to get 1 unit out, you would have to put 100 units in. In other words it’s a nonsense, just another spoiling tactic.

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