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Wings Over Scotland

The tragedy of Project Feart

Posted on November 25, 2013 by

There’s an interesting piece from Lesley Riddoch in this morning’s Scotsman, pointing out that “Better Together” is scared to put its prospectus for a Scotland inside the UK to the electorate, preferring a purely destructive critical approach to the Yes side’s:

“If this was an important individual decision like the choice between two homes or two cars, you can bet your bottom dollar the pros and cons of each option would be minutely listed, questioned and compared by prudent consumers.

And yet as citizens we are content to make a decision on the future of Scotland based on scrutinising the apparent shortcomings of the independence option only.”

But while the piece echoes one we wrote last weekend pointing out that Scots will be choosing between two different futures next September (not just opting to keep things as they are) Riddoch doesn’t quite capture the full extent of the No camp’s cowardice, because she misses one important point.

And that’s the fact that not only are the advocates of the Union scared to put their own option fully and clearly on the table, they’re also terrified of allowing Scottish voters to properly assess the case for Yes.

That’s because despite all their shouting and bawling about “unanswered questions”, they’re the only people in the debate who are suppressing information. They scream about uncertainty around Scotland’s membership of the EU, yet the answer to that question is in their gift and theirs alone.

They endlessly demand a “Plan B” from Alex Salmond in the event that the UK refused a Sterling currency union, yet refuse to simply come out and say once and for all whether they WOULD refuse that union. (Because we all know they wouldn’t, because it would be suicidally stupid.)

Indeed, almost ALL of the key questions that the No parties will demand answers to this week after the release of the white paper are ones that only they can actually answer, because the vast majority depend on how petty, vengeful and obstructive the post-referendum UK government would be.

(In most or even all cases, the answer is “not very”, because acting to an independent Scotland’s detriment would also cause serious damage to the UK. Being awkward about currency or EU membership, for example, would have appalling consequences for rUK businesses and therefore the rUK economy.)

But so frightened is the UK government of losing Scotland – with its North Sea receipts, vital balance-of-payments contributions, nuclear submarine base, abundant fresh water and limitless renewable energy potential – that not only do they want to keep their own offer secret, they’re determined to do everything they can to prevent the Scottish people from being able to make a judgement on the Yes case too.

They’re so scared they won’t even make a ten-second phone call to the EU to furnish you with the truth, preferring to construct endless excuses for why there’s no need.

That, readers, is the true meaning of “Project Fear”. It’s a campaign which not only sets out to sow fear, but is entirely created FROM fear. They want you to share their blind panic, and vote with both your eyes closed.

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    73 to “The tragedy of Project Feart”

    1. Holebender says:

      Yes indeed, the fear in Project Fear is entirely theirs.

    2. Horacesaysyes says:

      This is indeed the heart of the matter.

      They hide behind the ‘it’s those proposing change that need to justify it’ canard, ignoring the fact that there will be change whatever the result. And they say they ‘refuse to pre-negotiate’ so they can put out ‘doomsday scenarios’ whilst knowing full well that, in the cold light of day around the post-yes negotiating table, things will happen in a far more grown up and sensible manner, and will produce the outcomes most beneficial to both parties.

      This lack of proper, serious debate from the No side does the people of Scotland a grave disservice.

    3. proudscot says:

      Come on now, if you want the well thought out reasons for voting NO, you only have to listen to the likes of Johann Lamont, Maggie Curran, Alistair Darling or Alistair Carmichael … erm … or maybe not! I’ll get ma coat …

    4. tartanfever says:

      What’s going on with Lesley Riddoch ?
      For 2011/2012 she was involved with the political debate as well as doing her Nordic Horizons stuff and constitutional debates etc at Holyrood.
      Nowadays she seems to have lost some of her political presence, concentrating on social/artistic aspects of the debate.

    5. The Man in the Jar says:

      Regarding Riddochs analogy of buying a car. Imagine going to view two cars with the intention of buying one of them. Which one do you choose? One cars owner has the documents available along with a full service record, receipts for all repairs,, a bundle of all the old MOT certificates and both sets of keys. The other car has none or only some of the above. If it has them they are being deliberately hidden. 
      It is amazing that some people will still even consider the second option.

    6. I think the Unionists will regret the stance they have taken, the real contempt they have for the people is doing everything they can not to take part in the debate, do anything to avoid it and if they have to debate then shout down the opponent.

      The SNP have a majority, it’s the will of the people but the Unionists don’t care about the will of the people or they would be taking part, it’s obvious, plain as day, they don’t want democracy for Scotland, thankfully the rest of the world is looking on, they must be falling about laughing at the daily bullshit being spewed.

      What a party we will have next year, An Independent Scotland and all the Unionists idiots banished to history forever, I’ll drink to that 🙂

    7. wee jamie says:

      Gradually, more and more people are beginning to understand the truth of this, when we see elder statesmen of the labour party , such as Charles Gray, and Alex Mosson come out in open support of independence,it makes the likes of Johann Lamont, and Anas Sarwar seem at odds with their own voters,combined with failed  labour chancellor Alistair Darling being chosen by David Cameron to front what is really a Tory government campaign, and even speaking at a tory conference,this  leaves the average punter sick and disillusioned at this unholy alliance. Throw all the failed scare stories, such as border patrols and passport checks at Carlisle, extra charges for mobile phones,even last weeks Dr Who shite into the mix,and the better together mob have a REAL recipe for disaster, they are making a big mistake in assuming the Scottish electorate have an endless capacity to accept and believe these blatant lies.

    8. a supporter says:

      Rev Stu
      Now that’s more like it. Hammering Project Fear and pointing out its inadequacies.

    9. Cath says:

      “The other car has none or only some of the above. If it has they are being deliberately hidden.” 
      And as you’re trying to look at the first one and chat to its owner, the owner of that other one is yelling in your face the whole time “YOU DON’T WANT TO BUY THAT ONE! It’s a death trap. That owner is a lying, racist bastard. Mine is the car you want, and you know it. SERIOUSLY WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING EVEN STILL LOOKING AT THAT ONE? IF YOU GO FOR THAT ONE YOU’LL HAVE AN ACCIDENT AS SOON AS YOU LEAVE THIS FORECOURT AND THAT’S A PROMISE. Him, he can’t guarantee you won’t have a blow out straight out the door. He can’t guarantee I won’t have put nails in the engine can he?  

    10. sionnach says:

      Once the White Paper is out there, any negative comments from the NO side can justifiably be countered with “Come on, we’ve shown you ours, now you show us yours!” But I still think they’ll be too shy…

    11. scaredy cat says:

      “The other car has none or only some of the above. If it has they are being deliberately hidden.” 
      Problem is, we have borrowed this car before and all our CDs are in it, along with a box of hankies and a bag of mint humbugs. We know that it has a leaky roof and that it keeps breaking down, but there is something comfortable about driving a car that you know…isn’t there?
      yeah right!

    12. The Man in the Jar says:

      @scaredy cat
      And the first car even comes with a free sat-nav! 😉

    13. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Now that’s more like it. Hammering Project Fear and pointing out its inadequacies.”

      Wee word to the wise: this is not a productive area of discussion.

    14. creigs17707repeal says:

      Indeed. A YES vote in next year’s referendum is every Scot’s ‘get out of jail free’ card. Let’s not waste it.

    15. scaredy cat says:

      For anyone struggling with which car to choose, I have found this to be very effective. Nothing new to most of us here (apologies if it has been posted before), but I showed it to a couple of undecideds recently and they were totally blown away. Good for lazy people who don’t want to read long articles and reports (or white papers).

    16. Iain says:

      The comments on the page archived are almost entirely unionist, and so at first I was pleased to suppose that honest and true citizens had not accessed The Scotsman site and earned it money through hits. Then I noticed that the unionist comments had been given a lot of ‘thumbs done’ clicks, which indicated that I was wrong. Come on guys! Wait for the archived articles – let the unionists finance The Scotsman site on their own! 

    17. handclapping says:

      As Luigi said … BT should be required to produce a “Black Paper”, highlighting what we can expect following a NO vote.

      If somebody can tell us how many billions we are to have chopped off our Barnett between next September and 2020 when the austerity stops, then we can put the pressure on politely e.g.
      “Well now Yes have told us what to expect in their White Paper, how about No doing the same? Things are not going to carry on as now, we already know that they are going to chop £_x_ billion out of the Scottish budget if we say No. I think No should tell us what to expect from that.”

    18. scaredy cat says:

      For anyone who hasn’t seen it, here is the Declaration of Radical Independence.
      Inspirational stuff!

    19. ronnie anderson says:

      Project feaf,  Hey , Hey, Am Ah  Believer.  ( monkeys )   (  Im Hanging On Every Word They Say ) ( T Turner )  C mon people alltogeter now Whistle while WE Work

    20. Dcanmore says:

      I am still gobsmacked at how ill prepared Better Together, and the Unionists in general, are in opposing independence. They’ve had a year and a half to come with a creditable plan to offer the Scottish people, something, anything worthwhile as an alternative to independence. And yet they are still scrambling around flailing in the dark screaming and bawling as if that is supposed to be meaningful opposition.

      The MSM will do either of two things, they will give the White Paper a fair hearing (stop sniggering), publish some extracts and provide measured comment OR they will endlessly allow Better Together to shout an bawl and provide the column inches that the MSM should be writing themselves… ‘accused this, warning that’ and so on. What YES campaign should do is a White Paper roadshow taking it to the town halls across the country highlighting what the alternative NO vote really means for Scotland.

    21. scotchwoman says:

      Despite this fudge and manufactured confusion, the message is getting out there. Here’s a link to data tables in yesterday’s Panelbase poll for the Sunday Times:
      Not sure if this qualifies as earth-shattering news but the poll shows a majority of males in favour of YES (45.3% Y, 43.7% N, 11.0% DK – which rounds up to 50.9% Y to 49.1% N, excluding DKs) Amongst males aged 35-54 the difference is most dramatic at 52% Y, 37% N and 12% DK.
      The position with women is radically different (31.4% Y, 50.2% N, 18.8% DK – which rounds up to 38.5% Y to 61.5% N). Women over 55 are the most heavily NO, with very few view DKs.
      This seems to me like good news and a useful indication of where further work is required. The real story is that YES is already ahead on male votes but women as a group have still to be persuaded.

    22. Greannach says:

      Boris Johnson’s Daily Telegraph article has certainly convinced me how to vote. Surely we feel humbled and proud that he loves porridge and purple heather and enjoys swimming with seals. This is the strongest pro-Union article I have read so far.

    23. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      You are entirely correct in stating that the referendum is all about change. The consequences of a NO vote will be the continuation of governing for the wealthiest 1% in society. The inevitability of that will be more food banks, privatisation of The NHS, no real Investment in the economy etc. The rich will continue to amass more wealth at the expense of everyone else, as Westminster will strive to delete the annual deficit, by eradicating the welfare state and increasing taxes that most can ill afford.    

    24. Vincent McDee says:

      They just can not help themselves!
      If there is a worst possible way to introduce a new, problematic policy, the UK Gov always chose it:
      “Inverness has become the first place in Scotland to operate the UK government’s universal credit benefit”
      Will they ever learn?

    25. chalks says:

      No wonder BT and the gang are sh**ing it, looking at those data tables, does not make good reading for them.

    26. NorthBrit says:

      @scaredy cat
      I read that three times, just to be sure I wasn’t missing anything.

      It’s not a declaration of independence; it’s hardly a declaration of anything at all (other than ‘tax the “prosperous”‘).

      It’s the only thing I’ve read that made me sympathise with anything Euan McColm has ever said.

      If I wanted to persuade someone to vote “No”, I’d send them to that link.  See Derek Bateman:

    27. ronnie anderson says:

      Handclapping, I would rather hiv a roll of Black Puddin, a real wan, no wan thats bulked oot wie rusk, or stale breadcrumbs, they will not produse any papers in answer to the White paper, they will continue to talk shite via the Bias media, if its not in print they play the blame game , I didnt say that, ask the person who said it ,no me ,circles in a spiral.

    28. Gordon Smith says:

      Why do the YES side not simply draft a “Almost False Flag” list of Better Together already with half-drawn up proposals, and distribute, at least it will be condemned and force the issue to be discussed,
      More Tax responsibilities  (Would BT dispute this – or not)
      APD – remove ?
      Crown estates income – Scotland will get it?
      Start with the plans to redo  Barnett,
      Privatise NHS Scotland,
      All the planned cuts
      Redoing the democracy in Westminster on the West Lothian Question
      Etc, etc,

      Make them answer Questions?

    29. JLT says:

      Absolute perfect summary of the whole attitude of Project Fear and BT.
      Well said, Rev!

    30. ronnie anderson says:

      Oh Geordie pordy puddin in pie, whit a whopper o a lie, Your gonna  Cap WONGA payday louns, in whitch centuary, as its harmful to the poorest in society, feel me touch me , tory, ffks ah wuld fuckin touch you arite roonaboot the neck,in ever decreacein circles.

    31. scottish_skier says:

      Panelbase poll details say economic FEAR only thing holding Yes back.
      This last question says a lot:
      Imagine yourself meeting someone from overseas for the first time. Regardless of how you plan to vote in the referendum, would you feel more proud introducing yourself as Scottish or British?
      – Scottish 63%
      – British 19%
      – No difference / DK / other 18%
      Suggests panelbase are bang on in terms of sampling with respect to national identity. This matches the census very well.

    32. desimond says:

      This all makes me think of the “People in Glass houses” saying. Project Fear have been so deluded by the single tactic of  “WHAT, WHEN, WHY, WHERE?” demands that people have started saying “Aye, but what about you?”

      If youre gonna throw out a million questions, you better be prepared to answer a few of your own

    33. PickledOnionSupper says:


      Yes, I read that too. Must be a record for the number of Scottish cliches per column inch. But he didn’t mention shortbread. What’s wrong with our shortbread Boris??!!

    34. X_Sticks says:

      scottish_skier says:
      “Scottish 63%”
      Aye, SS and I think that when push comes to shove and they are standing in the referendum booth with pencil stub in hand that the 63% WILL declare themselves Scottish and vote Yes.
      That’s my prediction – 63% Yes! 

    35. handclapping says:

      But you cannot use the Census. According to Prof Poultice it was biased as it didn’t agree with his SSSRC survey!

    36. Seanair says:

      Sorry, O/T, but there are saltires in the sky over Edinburgh! Natural phenomenon of biblical proportions or YES Scotland organised?

    37. handclapping says:

      Surprisingly, I think NATS is the answer!

    38. benarmine says:

      Exactly right, Rev, but no MSM journalist will turn these questions on the pound and EU around on the British Govt. We just have to hope the trickle down of posts like yours here have an effect and I’m still very optimistic on that. Can’t wait for tomorrow…

    39. Hetty says:

      It’s crucial that this realistic and logical analysis, ie what the UK government and even beyond, are frightened of and therefore what lengths they will go to, to disempower the YES campaign, becomes part of the message and discussion over the next few months. 

      And yes most women I know over 50 just will not discuss Independence and are terrified of it, more prone to media scare stories is the only explanation surely? They have almost as much time and plenty of opportunity to arm themselves with the true facts as men do so it’s interesting if it is indeed true, that they are still resistant to an Independent Scotland. 

    40. scottish_skier says:

      The very close match on national identity with the census strongly supports panelbase as getting a good demographic cross section. Certainly way better than MORI (too British) and TNS Yes has a shy problem.
      Panelbase is anonymous online so we’d expect less of an impact of any shy factor. This is why it has not shown anywhere near as pronounced a No peak as the other polls (TNS face to face and MORI telephone), instead a modest reduction in Yes over 2012 with the trough late last year, before recovering over 2013, as per the below:
      This trend is visible in both full base and 8-10 vote certainty (latter below).
      34.4% (Jan 13)
      38.3% (Nov 13)
      Creeping, creeping, creeping…

    41. muttley79 says:

      O/T  I read David Torrance’s article in the Herald this morning.  All I can say is I am still trying to recover from it…

    42. Dennis Smith says:

      This article is right is saying that the unionists will never present a positive vision of their own.  But I think it misses the deeper reasons why they CANNOT ever produce that vision.  Like many posters on this site it tends to lump ‘unionists’ together as a single unified mass.  But they are not: the unionists are internally divided, along several different faultlines, which is why they are incapable of agreeing on any one vision for the future.
      There are three main faultlines. The unionists are divided on the constitutional question.  Some of them (mainly paid-up Tories) are hostile to devolution in any shape or form: they want to see Holyrood abolished and a reversion to unshackled Westminster rule.  Some unionists want to keep the devolutionary status quo.  (This is a delusional position, because there is no stable status quo to keep.  I know this, most readers of this site know this, but these people don’t know yet.)  Some unionists want devo plus or devo max.  (This is probably equally delusional, but the position is muddied because the unionist parties refuse to engage in serious debate.)
      Unionists are also divided on Westminster party political lines.  This is why Better Together, an alliance of three competing parties, can never produce any positive platform of its own.  People who read this site think that Scotland is important – possibly the most important political issue in their lives.  We’re too prone to forget that this is not how the Westminster parties think.  For them, Scotland is a minor side issue.  What matters is power at Westminster and they will do what they can to grasp that power.  They will happily shaft Scotland and the Scots; but they will equally happily  ditch Scotland if they think that will help in their power games.  (This I think is Scottish Skier’s central point.)  The chances of Labour and the Tories maintaining a united front on Scotland in the run up to a Westminster GE are just about zero, which is why BT may struggle to stay together over the coming months.
      Finally, unionists are divided between Scots and English (leaving the Welsh and Irish aside for present purposes).  Historically most Scottish unionists saw the UK as a union between two distinct nations, Scotland and England.  This is why they were comfortable in claiming two national identities, Scottish and British.  (This position has become harder to sustain since the rise of the SNP.)  Most English people OTOH have never seen the UK as a union of nations: they see it as England plus appendages.  In this sense, most English ‘unionists’ have never been unionists at all.  That is why (by and large) they find the current debate incomprehensible.
      People campaigning on the Yes side should be more aware of these divisions within unionism.  There are plenty of opportunities here to be exploited.

    43. Luigi says:

      There will indeed be a choice of car for the people of Scotland.  At the moment, we have a clapped out old, 300 year old banger in the yard, leaking badly and dangerous to drive.  Tomorrow, however, a brand new, gleaming white porshe will appear in the showroom.  Canny scots will, of course not want to be seen rushing to buy right away.  There must be a catch, after all.  You can bet your bottom dollar, however, that they will be checking the new car out very carefully.  Rather than believe all the negativity that the BT salesman is shouting, they will insist on checking it out for themselves.  Then they will turn back to the BT salesman and say “OK, despite what you say, I really like this porshe.  The old banger is not longer an option, so tell me, what else are you going to offer?”.  Large globules of sweat will appear on the BT salesman’s face as he replies in a quivering voice: “Please don’t be hasty!”,  “Excuse me, I have to check with our manager in London!”.

    44. Papadocx says:

      Remember we vote NO and you will get cuts program THATCHER + style inflicted on you. As promised by Labour, liberals and TORY parties, all signed up to that cheery thought. Just in case you are a real unionist taxes will increase massively as well. 
      Vote YES then nice Alex will let you vote again to decide what kind of country you want and who you want to run it. But it won’t be Westminster for London! It will be Edinburgh for Scotland.

    45. Luigi says:

      “People of Scotland, you simply cannot buy this porshe!”. 
      “It’s all nonsense! It beggars belief!” 
      “Think of the running costs, the price of fuel, the volatility!” 
      “You won’t be allowed to drive it in Europe, and the banks would never finance it!”
      “Think of your poor brothers and sisters in Portsmouth, in Liverpool and Cardiff, left with the banger. We need youn r help to keep it on the road!”
      “You won’t be able to watch Dr Who when your are driving!”
      “And, besides:”
      “You are too poor, too  wee and too stupid to drive it properly!”

    46. And the steering wheel is on the wrong side.

    47. Cath says:

      “I am still gobsmacked at how ill prepared Better Together, and the Unionists in general, are in opposing independence. “
      I think their problem is they believed – and still do to a large extent – their own propaganda too much. They’re essentially run from London and the London media and Westminster politicians – backed up by their stooges in Scotland – just become an echo chamber for their own misinformation.
      So they honestly believed that Salmond didn’t really want a referendum, doesn’t really want independence, would be devastated and possibly abandoning the whole thing if devo-max was removed. They believe the Yes camp, SNP and Scottish government “know” they can’t win. They never really believed they would actually be fighting a referendum. I still think many at the top don’t realise they are.
      They just believe it’s a shoe in for no, everyone knows that and the SNP is busy working out who’ll lead them when Salmond resigns in disgrace and how they’ll regroup after a no.
      They also seem to genuinely believe no one in the independence movement has given “any thought at all” to how it might work and it’s all back of a fag packet, “Salmond” making it up as he goes along.
      It might finally dawn on some of them when they read the white paper that we’re actually serious.

    48. scottish_skier says:

      63% WILL declare themselves Scottish and vote Yes
      90% of Yes voters are Scottish.
      68% of DKs are Scottish.
      41% of No’s are Scottish.
      That would seriously worry me if I was pro-union. Very seriously worry me.

      What was the Y-Y result in 1997? Oh yes, it was 63.5%. Funny that. Coincidence? Well no, not entirely. It’s a little simplistic yes, but things cancel out…

    49. scaredy cat says:

      @North Brit
      While I can see Mr. Bateman’s argument, and I also see why some people might be afraid of this vision for Scotland, I personally, found the words inspirational.
      I should probably add that I am by no means one of the poor of this country. This makes no difference to my views. I want what is best for the people of Scotland. I want Scotland to become a more equal society, even if it means that I get less. I don’t believe I am alone in this. 
      There is more to life than personal wealth. Surely there must be a sense of worth and well-being and more tangible benefits in terms of better health and lower crime rates that would come with a more equal society? These are the reasons I am voting yes, or at least because I believe my voice will be heard, rather than lost in a throng of alternative voices from England.
      Still, perhaps Mr. Bateman is right. These are debates for another day. First we must gain our independence. Then we can discuss what we want our country to look like. 

    50. callum says:

      O/T – I posted for the first time on the Telegraph website on the Boris article (which i actually thought was surprisingly good).  This is what I posted, i think it may show to an English voter what is going on:
      Imagine, if you will, that the whole of the UK was able to vote in the London mayoral elections. Any eligible voter from lands End to John O’Groats would able to vote in who they wished to be the Mayor of London.
      1: would this be fair?

      2: What platform would candidates stand on? Would they choose issues that affectthe people of London (given that <15% of the electorate are actually from London)

      3: would these candidates actively work for (or against) London? might a successful candidate win on the basis of lowering the capital spend and influence that London has over the whole of the UK?
      Now, imagine if the successful London Mayor only achieved 1 out of 59 of the vote from actual Londoners who live in London.
      This is what it is like to be a Scottish voter in the UK general election

    51. Grant_M says:

      BBC website piece:
      Scottish independence: What would it mean for the rest of the UK?
      How would the national debt for the rest of the UK be affected?

      The Better Together campaign says that [Scotland] defaulting on the debt would be “completely irresponsible,” and lead to a higher cost of borrowing for the rest of the country. “It would put up my mortgage payments,” says campaign director Blair McDougall.
      In which part of the UK does proud and patriotic McDougall reside?

    52. jockthedug says:

      I know ladies, over 50, who will spend more time and effort researching web sites to book holidays, flights, cars or domestic appliances who are definitely voting NO. And that they take their opinions from the UK media and or a historical family belief set. I just hope and pray that the YES campaign has a clever and effective way of getting to these NO ladies.

    53. NorthBrit says:

      @scaredy cat
      I agree with everything you said in your post (other than your feelings about the declaration). 
      Thanks for the thoughtful response. 

    54. Ken500 says:

      Scotland defaulting on the debt. What debt – Scotland breaks even £60Billion in £60Billion out. A cut in Trident/Defence spending would be in surplus.

      In the rest of the UK they are borrowing and spending £121Billion more.

      UK gov revenues raised £573Billion. Total UK gov spending £693Billion.

      Westminster is defaulting on the debt by printing money. By devaluing the pound China etc are not getting the money back from buying UK bonds. China is buying Gold instead.

      If Scotland becomes Independent, mortgages are more likely to go up in the rest of the UK.

      Westminster gov caused the debt, the illegal wars, Trident/Defence, illegal surveillance, banking fraud and tax evasion.

      Historically Scotland doesn’t have debt. Scotland would be in surplus without UK Treasury interference.

      Mortgages will go up anyway. How much longer can Westminster be selling Bonds at 2.5% and lending at 1%. BoE the ‘leader of last resort’. The leaders of last resort are China, Saudi and Japan.

    55. Ken500 says:

      What planet are BT on.

    56. NorthBrit says:

      What debt?
      The No campaign is claiming that rUK will be the only successor state to the UK.  Which is a spectactularly unhelpful place for them to start given that the Vienna Convention on Succession of States in Respect of State Property, Archives, and Debts (1983) states:

      “When the successor State is a newly independent State, no State debt of the predecessor State shall pass to the newly independent State, unless an agreement between them provides otherwise in view of the link between the State debt of the predecessor State connected with its activity in the territory to which the succession of States relates and the property, rights and interests which pass to the newly independent State.”
      Furthermore, the egregious Lord Wallace of Thanklessness pointed towards two precedents which support the conclusion that Scotland should have no debt:
      (Ignore the headline, this is just the Telegraph saying something untrue in the headline, and writing something closer to the truth in the article.)
      Russia took on all of the USSR’s national debt.
      Ireland signed a treaty that took on a share of the UK’s national debt, but this was waived in exchange for agreeing the border (a deal the Irish subsequently reneged on), so effectively did not take on any of the debt.  Clearly this pre-dates the Vienna Convention in any case.
      So Scotland ought have no debt to default on. 

    57. a supporter says:

      Rev Stu
      And a wee word to the wise for you too. Some of the stuff you’ve published recently has not been very productive to the discussion nor helpful to the YES campaign.

    58. Patrick Roden says:

      Although women have been less inclined towards Yes than Men, Nichola Sturgeon released polling data that showed women were slowly but surely moving towards ‘Yes’on the SNP’s ‘one to Ten’ sliding scale.
      The BT squealed and raged about her releasing this information, but only because she did not release all of the data relating to this polling.
      Not one of them denied that women were slowly moving towards Yes…interesting!
      Very telling stats from SS showing a definite trend. I think that looking at it from a purely psychological point of view, when Yes gets through the 40% Barrier, it will cause a melt down in BT and give a huge boost to Yes. 
      On the figures posted by SS this should happen in about three or four months….can’t wait!

    59. Albert Herring says:

      “On the figures posted by SS this should happen in about three or four months”
      I once did an OU calculus module which looked at population decline/extinction among species. The numbers would gradually reduce just like we are seeing, but then suddenly drop off a cliff. Here’s hoping anyway!

      EDIT. I’d just point out that I’m hoping the graph ‘drops off a cliff’, not the actual No voters!

    60. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Some of the stuff you’ve published recently has not been very productive to the discussion nor helpful to the YES campaign.”

      I don’t see any chains holding you down.

    61. scotchwoman says:

      I’m surprised there hasn’t been much reaction to my earlier comment above, pointing out that yesterday’s Panelbase / Sunday Times poll shows that a majority of male respondents are in favour of YES.
      I’d have thought this should be headline news. 
      Can we expect a broadly similar proportion of males and females to vote in the Referendum?

    62. farrochie says:

      Blair McDougall of Better Together stated that their Blueprint(s) would be provided “far in advance of the referendum”.
      We must hold him and his Tory/Lib/Lab partners to this.
      At 22:20 et seq.

    63. Brian Mark says:

      Project Fear chairleaders BBC Scotland are trying it on yet again over Glasgow and Prestwick airports. Demanding answers from the Scottish Goverment. If Prest wick had closed there would have been all hell let loose

    64. The Rough Bounds says:

      Thinking of voting NO?
      (Reminds me of my old Monopoly game.)
      Go to jail.
      Go directly to jail.
      Do not pass Go.
      Do not collect £200.
      And no ‘get out of jail free’ card to play with?
      I’ll vote YES.

    65. Luigi says:

      On the figures posted by SS this should happen in about three or four months….can’t wait!  
      Squeaky bum time for BT comes around Easter next year.  That’s when they realize they are going to lose the referendum.

    66. JRH says:

      Blair McDougall can produce as many blueprints as he likes as can Alistair Darling or even David Cameron. The fact is no one knows who will actually be in power at Westminster in 2015 and actually decide what “more powers” could be devolved to Scotland. No matter who promises what before the vote there will be no more powers, more responsibilities perhaps and more cuts for sure.
      I see the extra powers card being played big time in the spring by BT if as will be the case the polls are going more and more towards Yes but I am sure the Yes campaign will be ready to counter this.
      Women are perhaps less interested in politics than men and also may be less likely to take chances on change witout good reason. Many will not have paid much attention to the debate so far and might not have heard much from the Yes side as yet but will have picked up at least some of the anti indy propaganda coming from the media on a dailly basis.
      I would like to think that most people, both male and female will consider this issue so important that as time progresses they will become more engaged seeking information and the case for Yes will win more and more of them over as long as we can get the truth out over the noise comming from the likes of the BBC and MSM.

    67. @Derek Mair 
      R4 ‘Wish list’ implied with derision.

    68. PickledOnionSupper says:

      On the figures posted by SS this should happen in about three or four months….can’t wait! 
      I think it’ll be sooner, after the failure of BT to produce a convincing response to the white paper. 

      Interesting question is – what do BT do then? They’re not just going to throw in the towel surely? Fun for all the family coming right up…

    69. Franariod says:

      People dont like the unknown, thats why the status-que is portrayed as a better option. Independence is a big unknown for people, but the truth is the union is a bigger unknown because we are not in control. Its getting our fellow countrymen/women to understand this. Those who fear the “break up” of the United Kingdom need to understand that we are “redefining” what the United Kingdom is and our relationship with the other countries that share these isles but in our favour. The Pound will still be used, the Queen will still be queen ( If she still accepts the Scots Throne which many would not know about or understand) and our friends and family will still be our friends and family and not ” Johnny Foreigner”. We will still have our favourite English football teams, Yorkshire Puddings will still be on the Sunday menu and Blackpool will still be a hit on the September weekend ( no passport controls, the last time I passed from Northern Ireland into the Republic there was none….. oops I went from UK to a foreign country without border control how can that be !?). 
      I know I dont need to tell you all this, just got to sound it out before I use it in my conversion talks to any undecided and No Campers.  

    70. Alan Ji says:

      There are two very relevant examples of being the UK a good neighbour; one of them is an independence precedent.

      Norway’s North Sea wealth comes ashore in the UK, mostly at Peterhead and Middlesbrough. In the event of a YES vote, there is no doubt that rUK would continue the present arrangements; Norwegians might like to be assured that iScotland would do the same.

      Then there is the £ question, where the precedent is very clear.

      Ireland had a currency called the £ and pegged it to the UK’s pound until its last few years. It wasn’t a currency Union and the responsibility and risk was all Ireland’s.

      If the voters of Scotland vote for Independence, it will happen. You can no more be a bit independent than a bit pregnant or a bit dead. Independence lite don’t exist in the real world.

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