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This could be a record

Posted on July 05, 2014 by

There was an article on independence in the Huffington Post yesterday, which we’ve only just seen. Penned by one Dr Nicholas M Almond, a “cognitive neuropsychologist and author” who also has cerebral palsy – a physically debilitating condition but one which doesn’t affect mental capacity in any way – we think it may, word for word, be the most spectacularly ill-informed and offensively moronic article on the subject of Scotland ever to appear in a recognised and vaguely respectable publication.


For fun, we thought we’d count the errors.


Good Luck Scotland On Your Own

Before all Scots jump on my back, I will let you know I am one quarter Scottish; I am also very fond of my Scottish ancestry. However, we must acknowledge that this is not the Battle of Culloden in 1746.”

That was nearly as far as we got. Still, at least he didn’t say “Braveheart”.

“The British union between England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland has prospered in recent years and all countries have devolved governments.”

DING! ERROR 1: England doesn’t. (If we start nitpicking over stuff like the fact that the Union wasn’t actually between England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland we’ll need scientists to invent higher numbers.)

“Scotland has the ability to provide free health care to older adults and free higher education to students etc.”

DING! ERROR 2: Um, everyone gets free healthcare, not just “older adults”.

“These are great social benefits but they come at a massive economic cost.”

Hmm, “massive” is clearly a matter of opinion, so we’ll let that one slide.

“Gordon Brown was the UK’s most recent Scottish Prime Minister and was elected from his constituency in Dunfermline East, Scotland.”

DING! ERROR 3: When Gordon Brown became Prime Minister he was the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, not Dunfermline East.

“If Scotland go it alone then there will be no longer be a Scottish Prime Minister of Great Britain.”

DING! ERROR 4: There is no law preventing someone born outside the UK from being a British MP. Any British, Irish or Commonwealth citizen is eligible, and Scotland would still be in the Commonwealth. Although, y’know, why would we give a damn who the rUK’s Prime Minister was anyway?

“Alistair Darling, who was the Chancellor of the Exchequer explains why Scotland cannot keep the GBP if they become an independent country. This means that Scotland will either have to develop its own currency or join the Euro.”

DING! ERROR 5: An independent Scotland could keep the pound, which is a freely tradeable international currency any nation can adopt without requiring UK permission. It could NOT join the Euro even if it wanted to.

“Either option is completely illogical in terms of economics. Take this simple example, someone who lives in Newcastle but works in Scotland would be paid in either Euros or the Scottish pound; however, would they be taxed under Scottish fiscal policy or under UK fiscal policy?”

That’s easy – you get taxed where you live. Next!

“How will the individual know what tax and national insurance is paid?”

Um, the same way they do now?

“What benefits will he be entitled to (if he is in the UK he will not be entitled to free care if he requires it his children will not be entitled to free higher education if they go to university in the UK, but will they be entitled to free higher education if they go to university in Scotland?)?”

We think our brain just fused. How many people actually live and work on opposite sides of the border anyway? Does it happen anywhere else in the world? Do their economies collapse in chaos as a result?

“Let’s speak economics for a moment…according to The Guardian, Scotland has a deficit of £12bn in 2014.”

A one-off low due to record investment being offset against tax. Not even “Better Together” try to pretend that Scotland’s structural deficit is that high.

“It is true that Scotland has access to the large amount of gas and oil in the North Sea; however, these gas and oil fields are owned by multi-national conglomerates and it would be practically impossible to separate the fields that are owned by Scotland and those that are owned by the UK or Norway.”

DING! NOT SO MUCH AN ERROR AS A FULL-BLOWN MENTAL BREAKDOWN: How, we wonder, does Dr Almond think the UK and Norway currently decide whose oilfields are whose? Oh, that’s right – by existing international laws and boundaries. As it happens we already know precisely which oilfields are considered Scottish, English and Norwegian, because the Labour government of 1999 moved the borders.

“Companies such as British Gas and Shell pay tax to the UK government in terms of corporation tax, income tax, national insurance etc. Due to Scotland’s large deficits in government funding this would mean that there would be an increase in tax across the board for any work conducted in Scottish waters.”

DING! ERROR 7: No it wouldn’t. You don’t tax work, you tax profits.

“Unfortunately there is no way that Mr Salmond could continue the expenditure on social care and higher education without raising taxes in Scotland.”

DING! ERROR 8: An independent Scotland’s financial position would be stronger than that of the UK, even before it started saving money on things like defence. So if we don’t have to raise taxes now, we wouldn’t have to raise them when independent.

“Apart from the fishing industry, Scotland has a significant lack of natural resources to bring into its GDP.”

DING! ERROR 9: We beg your pardon? Whisky? Renewables? Tourism? Scotland has more “natural resources” than about 95% of the countries on the planet.

“It is completely impossible for Scotland to retain the British pound and therefore there would be a massive loss in that Scotland must either accept the Euro or create their own currency (costing billions).”

DING! ERROR 10: It doesn’t cost “billions” to create your own currency. But we wouldn’t need to anyway, as noted above. Sterling is a fully-tradeable currency. Scotland can keep it if it wants to.

“An exchange rate must then be agreed with the Bank of England, and this would cost both countries a significant amount of money.”

DING! ERROR 11: Really just Error 10 again, if we’re being honest.

“If Scotland joins the EU and accepts the Euro as its currency then the UK has an immigration problem.”

DING! WAIT, WHAT? What on Earth does the Euro have to do with immigration?

“The UK has a referendum whether to stay in the EU or get out. If the UK leaves the EU and Scotland stays in then we will basically need build Hadrian’s Wall again and have strict border control.”

DING! Who is “we” here?

“EU migrants will flock to Scotland and the Scottish economy will not be able to cope with this.”

DING! ERROR 12: Actually, we need EU migrants. They’ll be very welcome.

“They will not be allowed into the UK and this will cause massive tensions between Scotland and the UK.”

DING! ERROR 13: Make your mind up, Doc. Are they flocking to Scotland or trying to get into the UK? If we want them and the rUK doesn’t, keep them in Scotland and everyone’s happy. No “tensions”.

“The EU wants nations to be more interdependent and have closer ties. Therefore, why does Mr Salmond want to break away from the UK and risk bankruptcy?”

Because you’ve just told us the UK wants out of the EU?

“He has also ideas that all nuclear missiles will be returned to the UK so Scotland would be defenceless against a nuclear attack.”

Um, from whom and why? Only one country in the entire history of the world has ever been attacked with nuclear weapons, even though the vast majority don’t have any to “defend” themselves with.

“Glasgow and other shipyards in Scotland thrive on building British warships but this agreement will obviously stop if Scotland become an independent nation; another economic loss for the Scots.”

DING! ERROR 14: That’s not “obvious” at all. In fact, it’s cobblers. There’ll be no facilities anywhere in the rUK capable of building warships. The MoD has already said that the contract for the second aircraft carrier at Rosyth will not be affected by independence. BAE Systems has already said it has no plans to build the Type 26 frigates anywhere but on the Clyde. The building of the Prince Of Wales will destroy the myth that Britain never builds warships in “foreign” countries.

“Finally, we have the drug culture and obesity/diabetes problem, which is higher in Glasgow than anywhere else in the UK. The NHS serves the United Kingdom”

DING! ERROR 15: No it doesn’t. There is no UK NHS and never has been.

“thus the cost of healthcare would need to be funded by Scotland and not by the UK”

Just as it is now, in money from Scottish taxpayers returned from Westminster to Holyrood in the form of the block grant.

“This economic and societal burden has not been considered in the financial repercussions of Scotland becoming independent.”

Probably because it’s total bollocks.

“On top of this, Scotland would need to make their own financial funding to the EU and to foreign aid. In 2013, the UK net contribution to the EU was over £8.6bn and the UK pledged over £440 million to the Syrian crisis alone; this does not include agreements to countries such as India and other Asian, African, South American and Central American countries.

The share of the expenditure must therefore be divided by the UK and Scotland, however can Scotland really afford that and keep up their social policies for free healthcare and no tuition fees? The answer is no.”

DING! ERROR 16: Scotland already pays for its share of foreign aid as part of the UK.

“In short, at best Scotland will become the new Greece; with high unemployment, crazy amounts of government borrowing and a mass exodus of highly qualified workers moving to the UK or other European countries.”

Wait, didn’t you just say immigrants would be flocking IN to Scotland from the EU and swamping the economy? Is everyone in Scotland and mainland Europe just going to swap places? Isn’t it going to get awfully crowded at Customs with half the population of the Northern Hemisphere flocking both out of and into Scotland at the same time?

“At worst Scotland may ignite radical separatists as seen in ETA (in the Pais Vasco).”


“Europe needs to be more integrated and not separated, therefore Scotland must keep with the UK and not become an isolated country.”

But you’ve just told us the UK might leave the EU. Therefore the only way for Scotland to stay integrated and avoid isolation IS to leave the UK, so that it can stay in the EU, which is ten times the size.


So that’s 16 flat-out major factual blunders, and a whole bunch of screaming batshit madness on top, squeezed into just 914 words. That’s one serious mistake every 57 words. (This paragraph has 65.) God alone knows how many it would have been if he hadn’t been a quarter Scottish. The bar’s certainly been set high for Johann Lamont’s next speech, that’s all we can say.

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      This could be a record | Scottish Independence News

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    1. Lanarkist says:

      This is the distillation of years of smear and fear. The author is really an ideas distillery, just the wrong ingredients being put in to the mix!

      One Quarter Scots and three quarters bat shit crazy!

    2. handclapping says:

      DING The British union … has prospered in recent years

    3. gordoz says:

      Are you sure this guy does not write for the Scottish Daily Express ?

      Seems to meet their standards of factual error count.

    4. handclapping says:

      DING according to The Guardian, Scotland has a deficit of £12bn in 2014 Unfair to blame the Gruniad when he has chosen to use their prediction of the outcome of the rest of the year

    5. Bob Sinclair says:

      Thing is, the Doc seems to be really pleased with himself given how many People he tweeted this to.

      Where’d he get his Doctorate, because I could do with one, and if this is the standard of analysis and research of your subject required then they must be handing them out to anybody passing them in the street.

    6. gordoz says:

      Sorry got that wrong, its clearly Sarwar in disguise.

      Its got that Unionist with Labour ‘Truth Team’ feel to it.

    7. kendomacaroonbar says:

      This Hadrians wall pesh really does my head in.

    8. gordoz says:

      “Where’d he get his Doctorate ?”

      GCU(K) London ?

    9. joe kane says:

      Better Together for Idiots Condensed Edition.

    10. Croompenstein says:

      This is a spoof right? is this and finally?

    11. DougtheDug says:

      “An exchange rate must then be agreed with the Bank of England, and this would cost both countries a significant amount of money.”

      I don’t think Dr. Almond really understands currency trading or how the value of a currency is set.

      The value of an independent Scottish currency wouldn’t be decided by the Bank of England but by international currency traders.

      There seems to be a bit of a bubble mentality here where the only country that counts is rUK.

    12. peter says:

      I had a drive in the Highlands today, a couple of things noticed, lots of Yes and Pict stickers on road signs and this, I was stuck behind a beat up old Volvo with a UKOK sticker. I refuse to take seriously a slogan U-KOK, anyway this beat up old Volvo was the UK, toddling along, being left behind by others and holing me back!!!

    13. heedtracker says:

      A n other daft as a brush unionist, howling at the moon. Great stuff!

    14. JWil says:

      What age is this guy and what institution does he reside in? Is the good Doctor seeing a doctor?

      The failure here is the Huffington Post deciding to print the article. It looks like the editor is in the same institution as the author.

    15. Celyn says:

      That bloke’s main job seems to be writing works of fiction, usually detective-y stuff, but perhaps he is branching out into political fiction.

      I propose a new rule of thumb to make things easy for everyone: as soon as you find any reference to Hadrian’s Wall, particularly with reference to the potential reconstruction thereof, you can immediately know that the writer is just producing badly-thought out deranged nonsense.

      Am I alone in being suspicious of people who like to parade their academic qualifications when they have absolutely NO bearing on the subject in hand? I mean, I’m sure it’s lovely for him to have a Ph.D., but it in no way qualifies him as any kind of political analyst. Indeed, most people choose not to parade their academic credentials where not relevant. This guy even calls himself Dr.Nicholas M. Almond when writing his cops and robbers fiction. (Sample of his work here for anyone interested

      Back on topic, the article in the Huff Post is just crazy: he writes from a basis of no knowledge whatsoever but expects readers to take his word for it, being at no point provided with any citations or references to back up Almond’s assertions.

      It is all just really ODD. What the heck gave him the idea to hold forth on Scotland and independence, and why did he do no research at all before doing so?

      I’m getting very grumpy and ranty now, so off with me. 🙂

    16. Wee folding bike says:

      Hey, I drive a 1997 Volvo 940 turbo wagon and it’s all Yes.

    17. handclapping says:

      DING Glasgow and other shipyards in Scotland thrive on building British warships The figures are of the order of 33000 in 1979, 12000 in 1999, 8000 in 2008 and 3200 in 2014 making this an unusual definition of “thrive”

    18. Lesley-Anne says:

      I have a question for Dr Nicholas M Almond.

      Sweden joined the E.U. in 1995, when exactly did Sweden join the Euro?

      Now being the highly intelligent individual that he obviously is I fully expect that he will appear on this site in a short period of time to give us all the correct answer.

      p.s. for those who can’t be bothered to wait the answer is that Sweden is STILL not using the Euro. That’s right folks 19 years after joining the E.U. Sweden STILL uses the Swedish Kroner. Now who would have thunk it. Sweden a country IN the E.U. and NOT using the Euro, shouldn’t be allowed! 😛

    19. MekQuarrie says:

      Seems like he wrote down some notes and Huff just printed ’em without any quality control… :-/

    20. carbonblf says:

      Has anyone reported this to the Huffington Post? This is seriously bad journalism.

    21. Illy says:

      This website may help with counting how many errors:

      That lets you easily get past x^x, where x is the number of particles in the universe.

    22. Iain says:

      “He has also ideas that all nuclear missiles will be returned to the UK so Scotland would be defenceless against a nuclear attack.”

      DING: Trident is a “deterrent” not a defence against nuclear attack. It does not leave us defenceless.

    23. bookie from hell says:

      grimm fairy tales

    24. cynicalHighlander says:

      Sanctimonious twaddle from start to finish.

    25. Diane says:

      Sweden a country in the EU, still using the Swedish Kroner, not using the Euro and has a non EU neighbour on which it’s on perfectly good terms, no discernible land borders ….

    26. Brian Powell says:

      IT may be an abuse trap, of the ” cerebral palsy sufferer suffers blah blah blah” etc.

    27. Johnnypict says:

      Sorry I lost the will to live after DING! ERROR 5:

    28. geeo says:

      “And finally”…followed by another 6 points destroyed as fantasy…lol.

      At least we know jola’s speech writer now !

    29. Nana Smith says:

      Did this guy get his degree from the same place as IDS.

      Wiki on IDS…

      His claim that he studied at the University of Perugia was later found to be false after an investigation by the BBC.[7] His office subsequently admitted that he attended the Italian Università per Stranieri (founded 1921) in Perugia for a year but he did not obtain any qualifications or finish his exams.[7] In 1975 he attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was subsequently commissioned into the Scots Guards.[8] Duncan Smith’s biography, on the Conservative Party website, claimed he was “educated at Dunchurch College of Management” but following questioning by the BBC his office confirmed that he did not get any qualifications there either, stating that he completed six separate courses lasting a few days each, adding up to about a month in total.[7] Dunchurch was the former staff college for GEC Marconi, for whom Duncan Smith worked in the 1980s.[7]

    30. Harry McAye says:

      Apart from all that, quite a good article I thought!

    31. Lesley-Anne says:

      Diane says:

      Sweden a country in the EU, still using the Swedish Kroner, not using the Euro and has a non EU neighbour on which it’s on perfectly good terms, no discernible land borders ….

      You are obviously referring to the high walled and fenced off borders such as these Diane, right? 😉 😛

    32. JPFife says:

      Ding? Is the Klaxon not working? Come on, this is just click bait. No one can be so incompetently wrong about so much in one article.

    33. handclapping says:

      DING “This economic and societal burden has not been considered in the financial repercussions of Scotland becoming independent.” So what are pages 54 to 77 of Scotland’s Future about?

      I take my hat off to you Stu ploughing through this crap so we dont have to and showing us how to take it apart.

    34. David says:

      I’d rather have singer Marc Almond’s opinion on Scottish independence, after all he released an LP in 1984 titled “Vermin in Ermine”!

    35. kendomacaroonbar says:

      @Brian Powell

      Totally agree

    36. Lesley-Anne says:

      Of course we can’t let this discussion about the Swedish Norwegian border go by without discussing the very highly manned and fenced off border between Finland, another E.U. country and Norway. 😉 😛

    37. Ellie says:

      Stu I think your taking this guy to seriously, he’s a troll, nothing more, no one is interested in this guy’s opinions (mainly because even the no campaign couldn’t defend this rot) and frankly the howlers really just show him up (my personal favourite is the oil fields though there are so many it’s hard to choose. He does all the work for you.). Besides anyone who thinks writing something like that is okay because he’s 1/4 Scottish……does anything else really need to be said about that?

      Don’t give him the attention he so obviously craves, he is not worth it.

    38. Steven Roy says:

      Not sure this applies to all but generally if one is a native of one EU country but works in another you have the choice of which one you pay tax in.

    39. Alastair Wright says:

      I do wish people would stop saying our education and health care is free – it isn’t it’s state funded from the taxes Scots pay to Westminster and returned in the ‘block grant’, which isn’t a grant either, it’s some of our taxes being returned to us so OUR government can spend them on policies we voted for.

    40. D Duncan says:

      A rant of nothing . Celebral Pal say isn’t that what professor Hawking has ? And he has an astounding brain.

    41. HandandShrimp says:

      It would have been a lot easier for him to write

      “See Scotland – too wee, too poor, too stupid. Would be the worst country in the known universe”

    42. Lesley-Anne says:

      Somebody PLEASE tell me that Police Scotland are going to get stuck into these sectarian racists and BAN them once and for all. Far too many innocent people are injured by the *ahem* supporters of these sectarians!

    43. Geoff Huijer says:

      What is it with all these ‘Doctors’ and ‘Professors’? – these titles are seeming more like a health warning by each passing day.

      Gone are the day when I think that those titles mean ‘this is someone I should respect’.

    44. 1) You pay tax where you work and where you live, however there are agreements in place to cover this within Europe

      There is an offset between both tax regimes

      2) Thousands of workers in the oil industry in Scottish waters Live in other parts of the UK

      3) Currently Tax is paid where the employing company is registered, however it all goes to a London Gov

    45. Kev says:

      Priceless! Get this guy on the telly now, mite need the straightjacket and Lecter mask but it would all add to the entertainment. Seriously, whats with the No camp’s apparent magnetic-like ability to attract some of the dumbest academics around? Keep em comin I say.

    46. mary vasey says:

      I swither about posting on here as due to a medical condition I suffer badly from ‘brain fug ‘ so am not as good with words now. But even I could write a far more coherent article than this guy – jeez and I thought I was thick these days, just absolute tosh fae start to finish. Roll on September 19th and we’ll be over the worst surely.

    47. mogabee says:

      FGS does this guy even know where Scotland is?

      And that “quarter Scottish” he mentions…did he mean 1/4 gill? 😉

    48. Northstar Avalon says:

      Hadrian’s Wall, huh? Okay cool, means Newcastle is in Scotland. Don’t mind that 😀

    49. Muscleguy says:

      As someone with a science PhD I am always telling people, including colleagues, to beware of scientists and academics pronouncing outside their fields using their standing. The prime exemplar is Roger Penrose. I have nothing but admiration for his work on Physics, Maths and Computing theory. But as soon as he switches to human neuroscience his authority should evaporate.

      I did my PhD in the neurophysiology section of a physiology dept and my thesis includes a section on neural development and I’ve been to heaps of neuroscience talks. So I’m not an absolute specialist but I can tell you Penrose on consciousness is batshit wrong.

      There are plenty of other examples.

      BTW if on here on anywhere else on the net you spot me pulling out my PhD as an unacknowledged argument from authority (I occasionally make acknowledged ones) then you have my full permission to call bullshit.

    50. Angela Bell says:

      Erm..hate to be pedantic but Gordon Brown wasn’t elected Prime minister from anywhere actually.

    51. Croompenstein says:

      @Marcia – Jesus what is that? who is that wee girl and what the hell has happened?

      I’m not asking Marcia to explain just WTF is happening when a wee girl has blood running down her face.

    52. Pete says:

      There is no defence against nuclear attack, only counter attack.

    53. willie says:

      Hope someone sends the old duffer a link to this article

    54. Patrician says:

      From Wikipedia. Almond, “The fruit of the almond is a drupe, consisting of an outer hull and a hard shell with the seed (which is not a true nut) inside. However this Almond is a true UK nut.

    55. gerry parker says:

      Reads like it was “Scottish Independence for Dummies”.

    56. JimnArlene says:

      The Huffington Post, “a recognised and vaguely respectable publication”, an absolute pile o pish, did you mean. I have read some of their articles before and found them to be badly written, as well as puerile. Mostly celeb puff stories and squirrel headlines. As for the above, dissected, article; more pish.

    57. Marcia says:


      I believe she was hit by a bottle.

    58. Lesley-Anne says:

      Croomp I think she must be the wee girl who was *ahem* bottled at the Orange Order parade in Glasgow today. They are really REALLY brave those Orange Order types, glassing a wee girl like that. Wish I was that brave… NOT!

    59. bluedog says:

      ‘bluedog says:
      Your comment is awaiting moderation.

      5 July, 2014 at 10:51 pm

      ‘and Scotland would still be in the Commonwealth.’

      No it won’t. Nor will Queen Elizabeth be head of state.

      Remember what happened to Ireland when it left the Union.’

      Well, that proves it. Plenty of pro-Secession articles have been published since 10.51pm, but a post that questions your assumptions is censored. If you dispute my points, substantiate your position with extracts from Hansard or a UK Government press release that does so.

      What are you afraid of, Rev’d Campbell?

    60. Robert Graham says:

      Oh god they are trying to drown us in shit ok I give in yep professor your spot on right on every level but you know what I don’t care how much a bloody bean costs before or after us gaining independence it doesn’t matter what maters is us becoming a normal democratic country with some sense of universal care and compassion for all people who live here and not having to ask what to do asking permission to bloody breath it’s as simple as that

    61. Bunter says:

      Danger danger… this is another provocative article designed to attract comments which can be used to smear YES.

    62. Les Wilson says:

      Sorry about this guy’s affliction, but he is a dingbat!

      Ref the Marches, they seem to be illegal, what about “Lawyers for YES” No one got anything to say??

      If they are illegal, then they should be banned, this responsibility also lays with Councils who allow them to go ahead, they should also be held responsible.

    63. Croompenstein says:

      @Marcia, Lesley-Anne – I am shaking with anger that is shocking. The sad thing is that it isn’t shocking where these purveyors of hatred are concerned. dark days ahead I fear..

    64. Vambomarbeleye says:

      All this talk of rebuilding Hadrians wall. Does that mean that we can use that as the border marker on a land and see. Here have some bricks and cement. I will even give you a hand.

    65. Lesley-Anne says:

      I know if I was living in area where there was an Orange Order bout of shenanigan’s going on Les I’d be copying this:

      I would then be seeking out the senior police officer on duty and pointing out to him that under this Public Order Act of 1936 the Orange Order, now that they are now a recognised political party as a result of registering with Electoral Commission, they are operating under contravention of the act and are therefore breaking the law.

      Of course they would dispute it but the fact is they would, as far as I’m aware, have to go to court to get a legal definition of what does and what does not constitute a uniform. By the time they had been through the courts it would be past the 18th September and it would no longer make any difference but there could be NO Orange Order marches until the legality of “uniform” had been resolved. 😛

    66. Lesley-Anne says:

      Same here Croomp. In fact my partner said she had seen somewhere on her Facebook page that a bus had also been attacked by these *ahem* brave Orange Order members. Oh to be so brave as the Orange Order. Thankfully instead of bravery like that in the Orange Order I have something called a BRAIN. I am therefore able to distinguish between right and wrong. Just a pity the Orange Order can’t and are MORE focused on their sectarian HATRED!

    67. The Rough Bounds says:

      When I was a young man it was the crackpot catholics that refused to countenance the idea of an independent Scotland; now it’s the crackpot protestants.

      I am protestant as is my buddy Larry. He was telling me today that a friend of his (also protestant) says he is going to vote No because ”if Scotland gets independence the catholics will take over”.

      My brother’s neighbour says that we won’t be allowed to get independence because ”The Queen won’t allow it”.

      It’s so sad.

    68. David Agnew says:

      You cannot reason people out of a position that they did not reason themselves into. Its pure supposition and re-heated bettertogether scares. In the end, its all they have.

    69. Bob Sinclair says:

      If you’ve got a twitter account check out Stu’s latest. Seems our old adversary @historywoman has got to the point where her head is full if broken biscuits and seagulls, to the point of making some wildly libellous claims.

    70. Minty says:

      Did this guy get his PhD in a cereal packet?

      Honestly, his opening remarks are so woeful that I nearly chucked my laptop out of the patio doors ‘I once stopped in Newton Stewart to buy a paper and therefore I am perfectly qualified to give my opinion on #indyref’. My great Granny was Welsh, but I wouldn’t pen an article claiming to be an expert on the electoral prospects of Plaid Cymru.

      Anyhoo, the Huff Po don’t pay most contributors (as should be obvious from this bilge) and no-one reads it anyway, so hey ho.

    71. Croompenstein says:

      People have always said that we can’t tackle sectarianism in Scotland but this has to be the time to set this right. Times are changing and we are moving on, the best thing is to leave the haters behind.

      I would ask any of these hangers on at these marches if they are getting up on Sunday morning to attend the church they so vehemently support, not many I think as the churches are empty and would distance themselves from such support.

      Orange Order I tell you now that Scotland will be free of such prejudice and hatred that follows you..follow follow..

    72. CameronB Brodie says:

      I once saw a cognitive neuropsychologist, who was assessing me to see if neuro linguistic programming would be usefull in adressing my ‘bad attitude’. Things didn’t work out for her either.

      I think the technical term for thr good doctor is TRUMPET! 🙂

    73. Lesley-Anne says:

      Well R.B. you mate’s friend *ahem* claim about the Catholics taking over is about as zany as Hammond and his claim of aliens attacking an independent Scotland. 😛

      In so far as your brother’s neighbour is concerned the same applies, I’m afraid. The neighbour is obviously totally unaware that the queen does rule OVER Scotland. It is the people of Scotland who are sovereign so it matters not a jot what she thinks she can NOT stop Scotland returning to being an independent country. 😉

    74. Dcanmore says:

      I think this is my favourite… “At worst Scotland may ignite radical separatists as seen in ETA (in the Pais Vasco).”

      Why would we have radical separatists like ETA after independence?

      Unbelievable rubbish published by The Huff, so detached from real world Scotland it’s scary and it’s supposed to be a serious news outlet.

    75. Free Scotland says:

      The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, prohibits the sale of unprocessed bitter almonds because of the risk of cyanide toxicity.

    76. Murray McCallum says:

      I reckon Doc Almond’s article in the Huff Post is a good taster for some of the stuff that will be in Robert Peston’s BBC piece this week.

    77. Croompenstein says:

      @Cameron – Luv the new avatar but do miss our wrestler (if that’s who he was)

    78. Gavin Dowds says:

      I love you guys but I do worry that the other side will find the angle a bit tasteless given that the author has cerebral palsy.

    79. JWil says:

      His mutterings are so wide of he mark it must be a deliberate ploy.

    80. Gavin Alexander says:

      “The British union between England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland has prospered in recent years…”

      Exactly how??????????

    81. denvilda says:

      Are you sure cerebral palsy doesn’t affect the brain!!!

    82. George Elliott says:

      The Czech Republic joined the EU 2004 and still uses the Czech Crown as it’s currency ….what no Euro? After 10 years?

    83. haud on the noo says:

      Mon guys as others alluded its trap. Don’t give in.

    84. Robert Peffers says:

      This has to be a spoof. No adult would be so totally ignorant as that.

    85. Derek M says:

      Keep taking the pills Doc 😉

      Do these journalists not check what they are printing,i havnt really read this rag before but if thats the level of publication i might check it out as im always looking for a good laugh just not enough comedy in the world any more lol

      Damn those sectarian idiots give`s us protestants a bad name ,i hope they all get banned ,poor wee lass getting hit by a bottle by a bunch of knuckle dragging Neanderthals,oh that makes me so mad ,the MSM had better cover this and the polis had better catch the bastard who threw it and lock his ass up.

    86. Flooplepoop says:

      It will be required reading for Better together activists.

    87. caz-m says:


      The Orange Order embarrass BBC Scotland and Better Together, so we need to keep reminding undecided voters that they are ALL in it together.

      Did BBC Scotland report on the injured girl?(I do hope she is OK).

      The Orange Order will try to bully us into voting NO.

      Crossfire will be all over this story in the morning.

    88. Robert Peffers says:

      @Gavin Alexander says: 6 July, 2014 at 12:21 am
      “The British union between England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland has prospered in recent years…”</b

      Britain isn’t in a Union. There are 8 countries in Britain and only four of them are in the United Kingdom and that is in fact a bipartite union of Kingdoms not of countries.
      The other four are three non-UK Crown Protectorates and a republic and republics cannot be parts of kingdoms anyway.

    89. Yesitis says:


      A new poll in Sunday Post due out tomorrow, well, later today. Blair McDougall tweeted about it earlier, and he only tweets about upcoming polls if they are favourable to No.

    90. Lesley-Anne says:

      This all I can find on the good old UKIP Channel, sorry BBC, caz.

      As you will be able to see there is NO mention of the glassing of the wee girl nor is there any mention of the two stabbings. I also heard, via Twitter, that a seagull was punched. Go figure. 😛

    91. Croompenstein says:

      @Yesitis – We can almost see the whites of their eyes..hold..hold..hold..

      The polls are a weapon and it’s to our advantage that they use them as when we get to the beginning of September and they can hide it no longer then that is when we strike

    92. Jamie Arriere says:

      I hear Doc Almond is to be nominated for a Nobel Prize – not for Economics, but for Comedy…

    93. CameronB Brodie says:

      Thanks. Paula convinced me it was time to retire him and the new one just seemed appropriate. I think it could do with a couple of seeds blowing off, so it may change again. If I get around to it. 😉

    94. Croompenstein says:

      @Lesley-Anne – was it Steven Seagull? 🙁

    95. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Well, that proves it. Plenty of pro-Secession articles have been published since 10.51pm, but a post that questions your assumptions is censored.”

      Everyone’s first comment is moderated, as you’d know if you’d had the courtesy to read the comment rules, you dozy twat. So if I’m doing something else, anyone who’s previously had one approved can post freely, but new users can’t until their first one’s been manually accepted. So wind your petted lip in, sulky.

    96. Mary Bruce says:

      If someone asked me to write an article from the point of view of someone who had only ever read Better Together press releases then this is what I would write.

      He is like an exact replica of what Better Together and the media expected all of us to become when they set out on their campaign.

      Thank God for Wings and the internet…

    97. Doug Daniel says:

      It just shows you the insularity of people like this that they can’t even comprehend the idea that two sovereign nations xould share a border without descending into chaos over who pays tax where and what money everyone uses. The UK even shares a land border, although his “Prime Minister of Great Britain” comment suggests this might be news to the doc.

    98. Lesley-Anne says:

      Croompenstein says:

      @Lesley-Anne – was it Steven Seagull? 🙁

      I love it Croomp. I don’t know how I let that one slip through my fingers. 😛

    99. Dcanmore says:

      Apparently Whisky producer William Grant & Sons have donated £100k to Better Together, expected I suppose being old Tories and supplier to the Queen.

    100. rea says:

      ranty rant sent to Huffington post including a link to this piece and I unsubscribed from all their emails and facebook posts. So bloody insulting!

    101. iclare says:

      There’s mince everywhere.
      Here’s a wee paid for by UK Govt twitter thingy that could also do with some analysis, or chuckle at their highlighted bit in pic 7.

    102. Liquid Lenny says:

      Just got in from the pub and read that nonsense, however rev re the 12 Billion Scottish Defict in 2013-14
      Uk Deficit for same period 107.8bn fair enough if Scotlands deficit was as per population share it would be

    103. Morag says:

      Come on, I’m dying to know how come we won’t be in the Commonwealth, and the queen won’t be head of state.

      Or is this the part where some troll goes in for argument by blatant assertion of some piece of ridiculous nonsense, then insists it’s true because he says so?

    104. Lesley-Anne says:

      Apparently someone I follow on Twitter is reporting that there is some sort of riot in Duke Street in Glasgow. I’m guessing those lovely law abiding racist sectarian Orange Order numpties will NOT be the ones involved because they’ll all be tucked up in bed so they can all go to church in the morning. This means there is only one other group that could possibly be involved with such violence, that’s right folks it those nasty cybernats… they’re at it again! 😛

    105. Croompenstein says:

      I honestly feel that is the most powerful front page yet from the indyref on Sunday Herald. Maybe I’ve had too much to drink but it could be a game changer as the image of the wee lassie in Vietnam burnt by napalm changed the course of opinion against that war.

      I appreciate that we are not in an armed struggle just pointing out the power of photography.

    106. Doug Daniel says:

      bluedog: “No it won’t. Nor will Queen Elizabeth be head of state.
      Remember what happened to Ireland when it left the Union.”

      Ireland left the union in 1922. It remained a constitutional monarchy until the 1936 constitution, and wasn’t actually officially a republic until the 1949 Republic of Ireland Act.

      Seriously doc, just stop digging. Your article provided more than enough evidence that you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about, so you don’t need to spew out more howlers here.

    107. Lesley-Anne says:

      Always remember the old adage Croomp:

      A picture says a thousand words! 😉

    108. Liquid Lenny says:

      Don’t know what happened there It posted without me finishing or hitting the submit button so I will start again!!

      Just got in from the pub and read that nonsense, however rev, re the 12 Billion Scottish Deficit in 2013-14

      UK Deficit for same period 108bn. fair enough, if Scotland’s deficit was as per population share it would be
      9bn. So 3 bn shortfall for Scotland.

      But wait a minute, the Bank of England reimbursed the treasury for the Quantative Easing interest payments for the last few years which was 30bn, the Royal Mail pension funds were absorbed into the UK Accounts that’s another 28bn, so the without these credits the UK deficit would have been just about 168 bn pounds, Now there is a footnote on the GERS Report that say that the population share of the Quantitave Easing and Royal Mail pension funds were not accrued to the GERS figures.

      This means that Scotland was 1.76 billion pounds better off than the UK in the reporting period 2013-2014, and that’s with the massive investment in the Oil industry which reduce the tax take on a once off basis.

      Same old Same old, telling lies by omission.

    109. Drunken Hobo says:

      With my tinfoil hat on, this almost seems like a trap. Write something so unbelievably incorrect & insulting in the hope that you incur the wrath of the “cybernats”, and then can fill the next few days’ headlines with “Evil Cybernats Attack Defenceless Disabled Brit”.

    110. Croompenstein says:

      @Lesley-Anne – It is shite that a wee lassie has been injured in this way and it is wrong to use it for political ends but there is no escaping the fact that the wee lassie has been injured as a direct result of better together orange order george lord naw naw galloway slab slibdem scon tactics.

      Can you imagine if a wean had been hurt at yes in the park the msm would have spun it out of this world.

    111. Chic McGregor says:

      Oh dear!

      I guess this is like the old adage “Just because your paranoid, doesn’t mean the aren’t out to get you”.

      i.e. “Just because you have an illness that doesn’t effect your rational faculty, doesn’t mean… etc.”

    112. Grouse Beater says:

      I agree with Drunken Hobo

      The article – yet another taking the Missionary Position – is so obviously a pile of steaming poo that one wonders if any response will be happily interpreted as an attack on a man suffering a severe debilitating physical illness.

      It looks very like another trap of the ‘ordinary’ kind, a woman with a child that needs special care.

      Reasoned reprisal is justified, however, on the Huffington Post for publishing the crap.

    113. Lesley-Anne says:

      I absolutely agree with you Croomp. Had this happened on a YES march or gathering the you would not be able to move for front page to back page coverage of it. Don’t forget the good old UKIP Channel, sorry BBC, would be covering it with wall to wall coverage as well. The fact that this happened on the Orange Order’s watch… oh look a squrrel!

    114. macart763m says:

      No, you’re right Rev, its just moronic.

    115. Grouse Beater says:

      Let’s see now:

      Children enjoying an afternoon’s protest outside the BBC are pawns in the hands of proto-fascists.

      But a little girl badly injured at an Orange Lodge march is unfortunate collateral.

      The No campaign are determined to keep discussion on the notion of self-governance to gutter level.

    116. Democracy Reborn says:


      Press Association : “Ex-Labour Minister backs Yes vote”

      Leslie Huckfield, former MP for Nuneaton & Bedworth in England, now resident in Perthshire. Under Secretary of State for Industry 1976-79. Currently active in Unite:-

      “Scotland…is a country with a veritable passion for social justice. The agenda in England represents the disintegration of many principles and policies to which Scots hold dearly.”

      “…I believe an independent Scotland is an opportunity not only to free itself from Tories and a UK Coalition agenda but also from the agenda of New Labour.”

    117. frankieboy says:

      nae mair drink for him!

    118. Croompenstein says:

      Open request to Blair, Flipper, Crash, Skull, Lord FoulkSake et al your Better Together campaign is resulting in little girls injured and bleeding on the streets of Glasgow..

      For the love of God is this how you envisage Scotland in the 21st century

    119. Taranaich says:

      bluedog:Well, that proves it. Plenty of pro-Secession articles have been published since 10.51pm, but a post that questions your assumptions is censored. If you dispute my points, substantiate your position with extracts from Hansard or a UK Government press release that does so.

      The fact that you call it secession doesn’t exactly bode well for your arguments.

      Speaking of:

      ‘and Scotland would still be in the Commonwealth.’

      No it won’t. Nor will Queen Elizabeth be head of state.

      Remember what happened to Ireland when it left the Union.’

      It remained in the Commonwealth for another 25 years before choosing to leave on the 33rd anniversary of the Easter Rising?

    120. Barontorc says:

      Looks like the baser element of our social mix is showing true colours. Simple question – do we need or want such cretins in our future?

      All answers can be made by the simple act of putting a big X for YES – meaning NO THANKS!

      Good riddance!

    121. Thepnr says:

      The guys writing about Scotland is obviously pish as the Rev has so easily pointed out. Don’t get upset just laugh and show it to friends.

      As for the trap carp. Hahaha, I doubt they are that smart, this is no trap just another piece of rubbish that the Sundays probably wouldn’t touch though might do with a few weeks to go.

      All of you have had enough ammunition published here on Wings even today to go and convince any doubters. You have the Maryhill foodbank story and the OO violence in Glasgow.

      So let’s not got wound up in any way by some numpty that knows nothing of Scotland or it’s people and is basically embarrassing himself.

      By the way, I’m sure I spotted up to half a dozen trolls on this thread. Maybe they are breading. We are good at troll spotting so don’t hang around. xxx

    122. geeo says:

      Thank goodness we are hosting the commonwealth games before we are leaving it then…!!

      Why are England wales and N.I. not boycotting the games?

      As for sectarianism, surely a Yes vote ends all that as a fleet of removal vans will be heading south or over to N.I. on the ferry ?

      Independence Special Offer..

      Fix 2 problems for the price of 1…sorted !

    123. Haggis says:

      I see Glenfiddich and their parent company have donated £100,000 to the Better Together campaign. I’ll never buy their stuff again. They can rot along with Mackie’s.

      Seeing as BT already have more money than they’re allowed to spend in this campaign, what happens with these donations…?

    124. Croompenstein says:

      @Haggis – Nice to know, have you got a link for this skulduggery. They are ramping it up Haggis they will be telling you next that the ingredients of haggis contain sherry

    125. kiwimike says:

      If I believed this gentleman, I really don’t know how we survive in New Zealand, at the bottom of the world. We have free hospitals, superannuation (66% of average wage) and all from general taxation – no umpteen pounds a week NI contributions. We have scores of TV channels, including two ‘free-to-air’ M?ori language channels, plus BBC programmes and no licence fee.

      Although many of the indigenous M?ori are still over represented among the lowest earners, the ‘Treaty of Waitangi claims and settlements’ has paid a billion dollars to M?ori Iwi (tribes) plus returning 50% of fishing quota in the Sealord Fisheries settlement and Kiwis are well aware how native people suffered under British Empire rule. It was British troops under the Union Jack that fought against M?ori in the ‘M?ori Wars’ of the 19th century. There are guaranteed M?ori seats in parliament and at present the M?ori Party is in loose coalition with the NZ National Party in government.

      No we are not perfect and may have problems like other nations but feel we have a much better and fairer quality of life than the UK but I’m afraid can’t compare the price of beer which seem to be very important to the BT team.

    126. bluedog says:

      Rev Stuart Campbell @ 12.46 am greets a first time poster with:

      ‘… you dozy twat’ and ‘So wind your petted lip in, sulky.’

      Thank you. From the comment rules to which you also refer, ‘So try to avoid puerile name-calling’.

    127. bluedog says:

      Rev Stuart Campbell @ 12.46 am greets a first time poster with:

      ‘… you dozy twat’ and ‘So wind your petted lip in, sulky.’

      Thank you. From the comment rules to which you also refer, ‘So try to avoid puerile name-calling’.

    128. bluedog says:

      Revd. Stuart Campbell greets a first time poster with:

      ‘…you dozy twat’ and ‘So wind your petted lip in, sulky’.

      Thank you. From the comment rules to which you refer, ‘…try to avoid puerile name calling’.

    129. kiwimike says:

      Oh! and our relations in Australia, Scotland, Ireland and England, we don’t consider ’foreigners’ but are actually ‘family’ and communicate more frequently than we, or anyone, could have done in the past.

    130. Croompenstein says:

      @bluedog – Och blue don’t take it personally

    131. bluedog says:

      Taranaich @ 2.04 says, ‘It remained in the Commonwealth for another 25 years before choosing to leave on the 33rd anniversary of the Easter Rising?’

      I stand corrected. However, if Scotland does secede from the Union, will it not have to apply to join the Commonwealth? A situation similar to that of British membership of the EU and the UN may apply. If the rump UK is deemed to be the member state of the Commonwealth, Scotland is no longer a member of the Commonwealth at the midnight hour.

    132. Haggis says:

      @bluedog, you “greeted” him with a rather nasty and entirely unfair accusation. The tone of your post was unreasonable and could have been avoided if you had either read the rules, lurked here for a bit and seen it mentioned many times in comments on articles or simply asked about it instead of accusing. Like any human conversation if you start with a nicer tone you’re more likely to get a nicer tone in return.

      It’s his house and you tramped into it and were rude. Other places would ban, edit or delete your comments for less. Triple posting a whinge post about it isn’t helping.

    133. Haggis says:


      It’s going to be in the Sunday Herald tomorrow. They were mentioning it online in the previews.

    134. bluedog says:

      Haggis @ 3.45am says, ‘Triple posting a whinge post about it isn’t helping.’

      Agreed. Got Error Message 503 once, twice, three times so was not expecting my post to get on the board at all.

      ‘Like any human conversation if you start with a nicer tone you’re more likely to get a nicer tone in return.’

      So true, but having lurked for some time and reached a conclusion, it was reflected in my post.

    135. Skip says:

      I see that the Huffpo article isn’t taking comments. No surprise there!

    136. sionnach says:

      It’s now more than 40 hours since Dr Almond’s blog was posted, and there isn’t a single comment. I guess no-one knows just where to start… 🙂

    137. sionnach says:

      @Skip: “isn’t taking comments”

      They do appear to be inviting comments: “There are no comments on this entry yet. Be the first!”

    138. David says:

      Normal people are worried about things like getting rid of Trident, making sure food banks are not required, and rebuilding the economy, etc, etc.

      Mr. Bloo is worried about not being in the Commonwealth.

      FFS, Blu-tack, it’s only purpose is to put on a sporting event every 4 years that doesn’t include China, the US, and Russia, so giving everyone else more chances to win medals!

      Is that it? Seriously, is that all you have? We’re used to being threatened with Space Invasions, Armageddon, financial black holes, and no Eastenders on tv.

    139. Roll_On_2014 says:


      Meanwhile back at the NuLabour funny farm it appears there is ‘trouble at the mill’ a fair section of the ‘No Together’ party have grown a pair. Go get em Ed.

    140. bluedog says:

      Taranaish @ 0204 said, ‘The fact that you call it secession doesn’t exactly bode well for your arguments.’

      I beg to differ. Consider the precedent of North America where thirteen colonies gained Independence and formed a Union, the United States, before a group of states within the Union seceded to form the Confederate States of America. Both parties seemed content with the term ‘secede’.

      The Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England were sovereign nations that formed a political union, the United Kingdom, in 1707. The thrones of the two nations had been united a century before, as we know. Thus if England were to vote to leave the UK, England would be seceding. But England is not leaving the UK, Scotland is voting to determine whether it should leave the Union. If Scotland votes to secede its position will be that of the CSA, but you may not like that comparison.

      Looking forward to your explanation of why the term ‘secession’ does not accurately reflect the policy position of the SNP.

    141. Roll_On_2014 says:

      Celyn: at 10.44 pm

      Back on topic, the article in the Huff Post is just crazy: he writes from a basis of no knowledge whatsoever but expects readers to take his word for it, being at no point provided with any citations or references to back up Almond’s assertions.

      Aye Celyn he is struggling under the belief he is a MSM/BBC churnalist, who the fUK believes them anyway? It’s a wonder this has not appeared on the BBC, but give them time I am sure they will get round to it.

    142. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Which institution gave him a doctorate or it that a typo and he just lives in one?

      South Eastern Mississippi Regional Baptist Internet University?

    143. bluedog says:

      Doug Daniel @ 0110, thank you for your correction, I’ll try to lift my game.

    144. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      Regarding secession and separation etc.

      I was talking to a friend in the USA on the 4th and said, jokingly, happy Separation Day.

      She was unfazed as that was the original name of their Independence Day and some States still call it Separation Day.

    145. Bugger (the Panda) says:


      I would expect nothing less from that dysfunctional family.

    146. Clootie says:

      Dr Almond’s comments are so ill informed that the rebuttal by Stu can be considered polite and mild (he must have been in a good mood)

      One thing that has come out of this debate is that we no longer accept the statements from academics and “think tanks” without question. As soon as one clear, blatant and deliberate falsehood is noted – why should we accept any of the reports further content.

      We now have professionals from Journalism to Science willing to prostitute themselves and their trade to maintain a political construct. If they are prepared to do so during the referendum debate then I can only assume that they will sell themselves at any time.

      Westminster/Whitehall have proven that the survival of the “empire” is far more important than the truth.

    147. john king says:

      I tried to post a comment on the story about Ed Millibands sons looking on us as foreigners but I lost it due to my router going offline so I’m going to sulk on here instead,

      At the heart of it was a concern about us waking up on independence day and having a new language to learn, a new currency which might have strange units which make up the whole such as, oh I don’t know, a unit of 244 sub units broken down into 1/2ps 1ps 12ps 24ps 120ps who the hell could understand that,
      and food we’d have to eat foreign food, no give me a good old British Bhuna every time, all that foreign much makes me bilious,
      and then there’s drink dear god we would be assailed with foreign labels on our great British Tesco wine shelf I want to know when the wine Im buying goes with sausages,

      The estimable BtP kindly brought me a bottle of wine when we met again at CH2 from that foreign country he lives in, what do you call it again,? oh yes France, and while the gift he gave me which the wife served up at room temperature after decanting to allow it to breath for an hour, to show this foreign muck how we Brits know a thing or ten about high Cuisine and she used it as an accompaniment to her signature dish
      Pie Beans and Chips, and while the cheap copy of a decent wine from Kent was adequate with high and low notes with a
      distinct plummy and vanilla roundness with a smoky after-taste the label was complete gobbledygook and left me as confused as to whether it was an appropriate accompaniment to Scotch Pies or not (this is important to me, one has to have standards) so what this label said was of no help whatsoever
      Domaine de la Romanee-Conti Romanee-Conti Grand Cru, Cote de Nuits, France

      I got the France bit but I think these Jonny Foreigners just write the rest of that crap just to confuse up folks who speak a real language and not one made up as they go along,

      No Eds got a point.

    148. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      @ Gerry Parker

      The French version for that would be

      L’Independence de l’Ecosse pour les nuls.

      Idiocy is multilingual.

    149. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      John King

      Serves you right and that is a calumny. Your good lady wife can cook. Your ruddy face and velcro troosers are testament to that.

    150. john king says:

      BtP ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    151. john king says:

      Are you sure you haven’t confused me with Ronnie BtP ?

    152. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      If your other half confuses Ronnie with you, she might just have won a watch?

    153. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      John King

      A Welsh Claret reportedly the kick of an Aborigine’s arm pit.


    154. john king says:

      I have to say the Cote du Rod Laver has a certain je ne sais quoi! 🙂

    155. Muscleguy says:


      Sadly there are some people who ascribe what seem like magical power to the Royal family and sometimes the “powers that be” in Westminster. The nature and extent of these powers are usually opaque but if you press them the likes of MI5 and the SAS usually make an appearance or that AS will be ‘got at’.

      There is sadly no arguing with people who hold worldviews such as these as they are inherently unfalsifiable.

      Our best hope with such folk is that the inherent hopelessness of their position is not such as to render voting a worthwhile activity.

    156. john king says:

      “Serves you right and that is a calumny. Your good lady wife can cook. Your ruddy face and velcro troosers are testament to that.”

      Dont diss the pie beans and chips BtP
      I have it on good authority that such luminaries as Chic Murray was partial to it and especially when its someone elses. 🙂
      Ive got braces now,
      velcro gave up when I was on my paper round and left me with my troosers at my ankles! 🙁

    157. john king says:

      “South Eastern Mississippi Regional Baptist Internet University?”

      is it this one ?

    158. john king says:

      Peter, the driver of the beat up old volvo didnt look like this comedian by any chance?
      who by coincidence actually drives a beat up old volvo (mustard colour) he passed me on the Lochgelly Kirkcaldy bypass exceeding the speed limit by a substantial amount as I was already going faster than the limit and he went past me like a bat out of hell,

    159. john king says:

      “Did this guy get his degree from the same place as IDS.”

      I have a question,
      is IDS a disability?
      and if so are ATOS aware of it?
      they should find a cure no bother. 😉

    160. John D aka Nkosi says:

      “a physically debilitating condition but one which doesn’t affect mental capacity in any way” .
      Are you sure Rev Stu? After reading the article I am sure the good prof has lost all sense and reasoning.
      Also it never seems to amaze me how so called ultra intelligent people are so (expletive of choice) stupid.

    161. Ken500 says:

      Who is he?

    162. john king says:

      BBC at thier pish again,
      Laura Bicker goes to the Isle of Skye to gauge opinon on independence and after speaking to a guy setting up a glamping buisness gave his reasons for voting yes, and so out intrepid reporter sallys forth to find opposing veiws and says

      “I ran through the pretty pastel streets of Portreee trying to find someone who would disagree with Scott (glamping guy) but most told me that independence would benefit the tourist trade, and thought a cut in air passenger duty would make getting here easier and cheaper,
      and here comes the biter bit bites back,

      “I know this view is not typical of ALL (her spoken emphasis) our tourism businesses” but it was interesting that she didn’t say HOW many people supported the glamping guys opinion, was it two was it two hundred? we don’t know.

      The couple she finally found who would say no on camera were a pair who felt federalism was the right approach (good luck with that one guys),
      the woman says “the Scottish Parliament hasn’t been here THAT LONG (again persons spoken emphasis)and it needs to develop”,

      Dear sweet Jesus woman, vote no and it will develop into a car park!

    163. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      “Evil cybernats mock disabled academic”

      Daily Mail headline 7th July 2014

    164. Ken500 says:

      Why do GCC allow Orange Marches every other week (policing costs) and charge food banks (£3000) rent?

    165. john king says:

      Thats a fair point Nkosi Ecosse (nice to see you here)
      there a constant queue of academics just gagging to tell us how silly all this separation thing is as if we were recalcitrant children demanding chocolate in supermarket, the trouble is the vast bulk of people who ARE connected and involved are MUCH more clued up than these supposed betters,

      All the giants with clay feet are crumbling in front of our eyes! 🙂

    166. Grouse Beater says:

      Bluedog makes the usual error: a group of states within the Union seceded

      Scotland will remain in the Union of the Crowns, therefore it cannot ‘secede.’

    167. Anne Lawrie says:

      The OO will be marching in Edinburgh on the Saturday before the referendum. That should concentrate the minds of the “undecideds”.

    168. Iam Votingyes says:

      His section on living on one side of the border and working on the other was brought up by BT at our debate in Moniaive on Friday.Fairly relevant in an area that has a boder with rUK. They made the same points re tax/national insurance/benefits etc and they were an MSP and an MP. I couldn’t believe they were even making the point without acknowledging that it is a non problem. Tried to make out that “nobody knows what will happen” They also tried the pensions scaremongering angle and the cost of setting everything up line. I came away thinking that the two BT folk – both Labour – did not have their hearts in a No arguement and that they were closet Yes simply treading the party line. The two non politicians on the Yes side outclassed their opponents.

    169. Bugger (the Panda) says:

      John King

      IDS and where he took his degree.

      The same place as you and I, and your dug, if he was really interested.

      IDS lied.


    170. The Man in the Jar says:

      The “Big” Orange march took place directly across the river from me yesterday. Apparently there were 10,000 marching. I could not comment. It did however sound like 10,000 people taking part in a synchronised shed building competition.

      That is apart from the speeches. Depending on the wind I could make out some of them. I can say that word count wise “Republicanism” was by far number one. In second place was “Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. In third place was “Scottish Nationalism” And they all finished off with a rousing chorus of “God Save the Queen!

    171. Hugh Wallace says:

      I didn’t get past his ‘I’m 1/4 Scottish, don’t you know’. Couldn’t stomach it!

    172. john king says:

      Hello TmitJ
      I was hoping you would have been at the Newsrooms the other night, I only spoke briefly to you on Calton hill, are yuou planning on coming to the next wings nicht?

    173. The Man in the Jar says:

      @John King

      Hi John.

      To be honest I rarely darken the doorsteps of pubs these days. I know I sound like a boring old fart but I have just kind of gone off busy noisy places in general.

      I was at “Yes in the park” and the PQ demo so Im not a complete hermit… Yet! 🙂

    174. dramfineday says:

      What a rare week its been for academia. There they are singing that well known refrain “You are too wee, too poor and too stupid and we superior people know it, even if you think otherwise”.

      This is usually followed by a rendition of “My research tin will empty (if you dare manage yourselves)”.

      OT. Thanks for the great night on Friday in the Newsroom, nice to meet you all.

    175. seanair says:

      OK, Dr. Almond is a nutty professor, and writes “Why does Mr. Salmond want to break away from the UK? Implying that independence is the desire of one man and no one else.
      Why then does the allegedly pro-independence Sunday Herald carry a headline “Blow for Salmond as whisky giant gives £100k to No” ? I thought I was reading the Mail on Sunday or some other rag. The headline is an insult to all organisations, Greens, Business for Ind., SNP, etc. and all the people of Scotland who are not affiliated to any organisation but want independence for their country.
      Get a grip of yourself, Mr.Editor, no more BT/Unionist/MSM chicanery. Your circulation can go down again and I will save £1.30 a week.

    176. ClanDonald says:

      @I am votingyes, did you really think they were closet yes voters on Friday at Moniaive? I’m not so sure. The first thing Elaine Murray said when she came in the door was “This is a set up.” Despite the event being organised by a genuinely undecided pub landlord. The yes stall and guests were sorted out by a volunteer from the village with no prior political experience. They were the only politicians there ffs and there was no one from the snp. Just shows how paranoid they are.

      Russell Brown’s approach was entirely “there’s no answers, people have questions, no-one has any answers to give them” and Elaine Murray was “vote no for lots more devolution to come.” Both very dishonest approaches. I couldn’t believe it when she said devolution of the Crown Estates was on its way.

      They weren’t short of insults either – Elaine Murray accusing yes guest Richard Arkless of being a racist because he said he thought we’re the best country in the world with the cleverest people (in an attempt to negate the too wee too poor too stupid argument) and Russell Brown telling Mark Frankland to try and take a more intellectual approach. He managed to throw in a Salmond pulling the strings comment too.

      Apart from the uncertainty, jam tomorrow and insults from the no campaign, they really didn’t have much else to offer. Sums up the reality of their position, I suppose. A great debate, though, definitely got the message of the need for a yes vote across. It was a shame the chair forgot to ask for a show of hands afterwards, I’m sure there would have been a few convinced to move to yes.

    177. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      seanair at 11.54

      Did the whisky firm give £100,000 to Better Together?
      Is this to be kept a secret?

      You do understand that Tom Gordon is a Labour unionist, don’t you? He is employed to write political coverage for the Herald and the Sunday Herald. He writes from his side. It’s pretty inconsequential stuff. But he doesn’t write to order (unlike the sad souls on the Express, the Scotsman and the Daily Mail)

      SNP’s Joan McAlpine writes a whole page in the Labour supporting Record every week. Lots of contributors to the daily Herald are on the YES side though it has a unionist editorial stance – Ruth Wishart, Alan Taylor, Robert McNeil, Tam Shields, Ian Bell, David Pratt, Iain Mcwhirter. They are free to write from their point of view.The letter pages in the Herald and the Sunday Herald are exemplary. That is where one disputes Tom Gordon’s silly piece.

      If you want to get only the YES view the Scots Independent monthly will do the job for you

    178. Dick Gaughan says:

      As this appears to NOT be a spoof, let me see if I’ve got it straight.

      Some divvie who nobody’s ever heard of, who had one Scots grandparent, doesn’t live in Scotland, doesn’t have a vote in the referendum, knows eff-all about Scotland (or, it appears, most other things), clearly couldn’t find Scotland on a map of Scotland with a microscope and a compass and a wee wooden pointy thing fitted with a headlamp, writes a complete pile of bovine excrement on some obscure online celebrity fanzine, and we’re supposed to take it seriously because a) he has a debilitating illness and b) because he claims to have a PhD?

      Beam me up Scotty, they’re all stark staring fucking mad down here.
      (But let me vote Yes first.)

    179. Ken says:

      Congratulations – you have managed to seriously annoy a genuine head the ball over at Harry’s Place called Alec MacPherson. I call him “Alex” on the rare occasions that we cross swords these days because it annoys him.

      Poor Alex suffers from all sorts of highly entertaining mental problems, not least of which is his alliance with the sash singers in opposing independence. That’s when he’s not curled up in a foetal ball having another funny turn. The desire to get curled up was probably why all the buffoon could manage was to quote your opening paragraph and ignore all your substantive points.

      Anyway, he thinks you are “a cockweasel,” which I am sure will please you enormously. Getting under the skin of the Tories, the CBI, New Labour, the Orange Lodges and now one of their weird and wonderful supporters is not bad going.

    180. Proud Cybernat says:

      If this is the level of awareness in this debate by a ‘learned’ person, is it any wonder that No are (allegedly) ahead in the polls? If this academic has been taken in by the Project Fear n Smear guff, what hope for the lay person? But then, in thinking about it, I don’t even think the UKOKs could even get it this badly wrong, could they?

    181. YESGUY says:

      I can’t comment….. Gobsmacked and speechless .

      Where do they find all those “intelligent” folk that are Experts in Scottish Affairs.

      As for the OO . The sooner they are shut down the better,preferably after the march in Edinburgh as they will sway any DK’s to YES.

    182. wingman2020 says:

      Most amusing…

      “Oh and I am sure you’d have the same opinion if he had came out in favour of the YES campaign! Yeah right!
      Let’s face it: the most educated, rational and intelligent people – and most women too – want Scotland to remain part of the UK.
      On the YES side are irrational dreamers, bigots, racists, dinosaurs – lower class, uneducated, drunken Glaswegians – and mostly men too, who are irresponsible gamblers.

    183. seanair says:

      Dave McEwan Hill
      I have no problem with the SH revealing the donation. That is a fact. The headline is a technique used by BT/MSM to blame one man, which is fiction, and should be dealt with by the Editor.

    184. John devine says:

      Is this the same Dr Nicholas M Almond who recommended… (‘Legalise It, Don’t Criticise It’ – Should Cannabis Be Legalised?)…He Been smokin,De stuff again…Massah!.Vote Yes.

    185. Dave McEwan Hill says:


      There is no agreed etiquette of politeness in our MSM and political figures are routinely addressed in that manner.
      It is normal for the press to talk aggressively of Cameron’s this and Milliband’s that and so on and I’m sure Alex Salmond would expect no different. And certainly not from Tom Gordon.

    186. Conan_the_Librarian says:

      “Conan_the_Librarian says:
      6 July, 2014 at 9:07 am
      “Evil cybernats mock disabled academic”

      Daily Mail headline 7th July 2014”

      9.16 am

    187. handclapping says:

      Mindreader 🙂

    188. Tom Foyle says:

      I’m about to get a hammering, I know, but…NO-ONE can “defend” themselves from nuclear attack. Having nukes is just a deterrent. After Independence, assuming Scotland rids itself of the financial and moral burden of having nukes inside its territory, who’d want to attack anyway? Only a country that sees Scotland as a source of natural resources, and such a country wouldn’t use nukes for fear of destroying those very same resources. So….Bring it on, and remember Bannockburn!

    189. seanair says:

      Dave McEwan Hill
      We’ll have to agree to disagree. I think a supposedly pro-Indy newspaper should not adopt the faults of the other newspapers. The fact that Tom Gordon is a Unionist should not over-ride the editorial line. The Edtor should remind him who pays his wages.

    190. Skip_NC says:

      I see a few comments re the article being bate for an “abuse” charge, given that Dr Almond has cerebral palsy. So let’s be clear about a few things.

      CP is a neurological condition. Basically, the body’s nerves fire differently to those without the condition. CP has a wide spectrum and the mildest form is also the most common. On its own, it does not necessarily hinder one’s mental capabilities. Often, CP comes with epilepsy. Those of us fortunate enough to have mild forms of epilepsy and who grow out of it can lead perfectly normal lives. For instance, I managed to become a class 1 football referee in England (Northern Counties East League line for one season) and held senior positions in several CA firms before I emigrated.

      Given Dr Almond’s academic success, I have to wonder if his CP has absolutely nothing to do with his ability to write a properly-researched, coherent article on any subject of his choosing. Indeed, his failure to research any further than, apparently, media reports is disappointing. To gain any sort of doctorate, one must demonstrate above-average research skills.

      I can only speak from the perspective of one with mild CP. If this is turned into an “abuse” or “monstering” case, I hope we can find an expert or two to debunk any No campaign myths.

    191. Gary says:

      Interesting that a ‘cognitive neuropsychologist’ should choose to write on Scottish Independence. Interesting also that he should feel that he is an authority on the subjects of politics, economy, taxation, international law yada, yada, yada. Also notable that anyone would want to publish this. There seems to be a template for these pieces; “Professor (insert name) of (insert irrelevant specialism) warns of (insert scare) he goes on to say (insert scares and use other disinformation presented as fact). They seem to have a team of professors (they actually do, they have BT Academics section, remember all those ‘reports’ on BBC from ‘Academics’ that BT would agree with as though it wasn’t their own report? The BBC were complicit in this deception too!). The profs have subject areas unrelated to Independence but still feel they can present themselves as an authoritative expert, they’re not. They’re entitled to their opinion, but their opinions are at least uninformed, and at worst, out and out disinformation.

    192. First, what has my disability got to do with blog I’ve written?! Dick Gaughan, John D aka Nkosi and denvilda’s comments are despicable and could be viewed as cyber abuse. You have a complete lack of understanding of cerebral palsy and disability!

      Second, in England and Wales we do not get free healthcare, higher education or free social care, Scotland does. If the UK cannot fund it how will Scotland?!

      Third, the NHS serves the whole of the UK including Scotland so I do really know Rev Campbell is on about.

      Are you really suggesting that if the UK breaks its links with Scotland then we would have Scottish MPs in Westminster determining UK policy when the UK cannot have any power Scottish policy?!

      You can easily see where I got PhD by looking at my profile…so who is not doing their research?! It is in cognitive neuropsychology and not in politics or economics but I am entitled to my opinion on Scottish independence as a UK citizen. Also, does it really matter where Gordon Brown was the MP for, he was still the British Prime Minister and was Scottish.There would need to be an exchange rate and how can you have an exchange rate between GBP and the GBP?! At the very least Scotland would have to adopt their own currency.

      It is not always true that you get taxed where you live. I know people who used to work in one country and get paid in a different country because the country was from that country. An English person or a Scot could open a bank account in opposite countries and be paid into that account.
      It is only 914 words because 1000 is the maximum for a blog. I could have gone into greater detail using more sources but could not do so.

      All you guys are for indpendence, which is fine, but you do not need to be so hostile when someone has a different point of view. There are inaccuracies in the article by Rev Campbell, which is fine…my blog is not an academic publication and it has stimulated debate, which is what I wanted. However, I did not need the abuse and if people have to lower themselves to being abusive then that says a lot for their mentality!

    193. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “First, what has my disability got to do with blog I’ve written?!”

      It was mentioned solely to clarify for anyone who didn’t know that despite its name CP doesn’t affect mental faculty, and that we therefore weren’t attacking someone with a learning disability who’d at least have an excuse for not knowing what they were talking about.

      “You have a complete lack of understanding of cerebral palsy and disability!”

      I understand CP very well, thanks. I have a close relative with it (wheelchair-bound), and also a regular member of my local poker club (who’s mobile).

      “Second, in England and Wales we do not get free healthcare,”

      Er, yes you do. You don’t get free personal care for the elderly, which is an entirely different thing. It’s classed as social care, not healthcare.

      “Third, the NHS serves the whole of the UK including Scotland”

      No it doesn’t, and it never has. There has NEVER, not for one single day in history, been a UK-wide NHS. Please read the article linked in the piece.

      “Are you really suggesting that if the UK breaks its links with Scotland then we would have Scottish MPs in Westminster determining UK policy when the UK cannot have any power Scottish policy?!”

      Eh? No, of course we wouldn’t.

      “You can easily see where I got PhD by looking at my profile…so who is not doing their research?! It is in cognitive neuropsychology and not in politics or economics but I am entitled to my opinion on Scottish independence as a UK citizen.”

      Nobody said you weren’t entitled to your opinion. We, equally, are entitled to point out that your opinion is total bollocks and riddled with basic factual errors.

      “Also, does it really matter where Gordon Brown was the MP for”

      Not particularly. It just illustrates the laziness of your research.

      “There would need to be an exchange rate and how can you have an exchange rate between GBP and the GBP?! At the very least Scotland would have to adopt their own currency.”

      No it wouldn’t. Any country on the planet can use Sterling whether the UK government co-operates with it or not. It’s a fully-tradeable currency.

      “An English person or a Scot could open a bank account in opposite countries and be paid into that account.”

      Dear God. Where your bank account is doesn’t affect where you get taxed. Otherwise we’d all open accounts with the Bank Of The Cayman Islands or whatever and pay zero tax.

      “There are inaccuracies in the article by Rev Campbell”

      Feel free to point them out.

    194. The NHS serves Scotland as well as the rest of the UK. I agree it is divided up by countries the funding still comes from the whole of the UK taxes and borrowing.

      If you work for a French company and you are working in Thailand but if you have a French bank account you can get paid into your French bank account. If Scotland had a different tax rate to England then someone could live in England, work in Scotland and pay their taxes in England. My point is if Scotland had a higher tax rate than the UK then people could could live in the UK, work Scotland and be taxed in the UK.

      You will need to have some kind of exchange rate for my point above and the fact that Scotland will have a totally different fiscal policy to the UK. This is why the Euro is not working for countries like Greece, Spain and Italy…because they have got a totally different government spending and borrowing policy to countries like Germany and France. They have got a different tax policy and a different retirement age. If the government borrowing in Scotland increases but decreases in the UK the GBP will have to be valued differently in Scotland and the UK. If Scotland or the UK increased the interest rate then there would be a complete mess for one country or the other. So there must be some kind of agreement with interest rate, tax rates and government borrowing if Scotland are going to keep the GBP. If that is the case then you are not really independent.

      Regarding my disability, I do not see what relevance it has to my blog and I was not totally referring to your comment but I was referring to comments by other people which are abusive and should not have been posted.

      In all my communications I have not sworn once but you have and other people have, which shows a total lack of respect and an immature mentality. If people cannot have a discussion without swearing (especially if you are a man of God) then it is quite sad so maybe Scotland would be better on their own and you can all carry on swearing at each other being derogatory to anyone who does not agree with you point of view.

    195. Morag says:

      Tom Foyle, I think we all know that if someone starts firing nuclear weapons in anger we’re all screwed. The concern about Faslane and Coulport’s proximity to our largest city, and also to one of our most popular holiday areas, is that an accident may turn the entire region into another Chernobyl.

    196. Morag says:

      Sorry, I dind’t realise that post would appear in the middle of an important exchange. Please feel free to delete it, and this one.

    197. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “The NHS serves Scotland as well as the rest of the UK.”

      Oh good grief. THERE IS NO “THE NHS”. There are four completely independent separate entities – NHS Scotland, NHS England, NHS Wales and HSCNI, which doesn’t even have the same remit as the other three (it deals with social care too).

      How they’re funded is totally irrelevant. EVERYTHING is funded by taxes. You might as well say MI5, the Royal Navy, the police and council binmen are part of the NHS, because they’re all funded by taxes and borrowing. In fact, by that criteria you could also include the Luftwaffe, the KGB and HBO.

      “My point is if Scotland had a higher tax rate than the UK then people could could live in the UK, work Scotland and be taxed in the UK.”

      Yes, of course they could. If you live in the UK, you get taxed in the UK. The Scottish Parliament already has the power to impose different tax rates to the rest of the UK. It’s got nothing to do with independence.

      “You will need to have some kind of exchange rate”

      For the love of God, are you DEAF?




      It’s like talking to a particularly stupid brick wall.

    198. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      PS “Regarding my disability, I do not see what relevance it has to my blog”

      Then why is it mentioned in the bio on your article? You’re the one drawing attention to it, we just explained it to people.

    199. gordoz says:

      Toys out of pram ?

    200. If you read my other blogs some related to disability, that is why I have included it. It has no relevance on my opinion on Scottish independence and I do not need people being insulting about it.

    201. Ken says:

      Nick Almond’s point that “if Scotland had a higher tax rate than the UK then people could could live in the UK, work Scotland and be taxed in the UK” is not correct.

      1. Most people work on the PAYE system so taxes are taken out by the employer before the wages are paid.

      2. Companies have to report payments made to contractors who are then liable to the tax authorities in the country that has jurisdiction over them. In other words, a self-employed man in Glasgow could not avoid his Scottish taxes by keeping a bank account in London, any more than he can at present by keeping an account in the Isle of Man. Sure, he could use the London account for cash in hand work, but he can do that today in the Isle of Man, so what’s the difference?

      Secondly, in his earlier comment, Nick argued that Scots get goodies that English people do not, and argued that this was about affordability. It isn’t, it’s about political will. Scotland is a far more working class country than England, so Edinburgh governments will not be quite so afraid to tax the middle class as they are in London.

    202. For God’s sake…the exchange rate argument is quite easy to understand. Just look at Greece who have got a different government spending, taxation, government borrowing, retirement age etc to Germany but they have the same currency. It’s not working for Greece, Italy, Spain or Portugal so if Scotland keep the Pound they will have to keep the same taxation, government borrowing and spending as the UK.

      I commented in a greater detail but it has been deleted so I am not going to continue if are not going to be posted when other more insulting comments have been!

    203. Paula Rose says:

      Dr Nick, posts often disappear, its best to have a copy in reserve especially with longer ones. Please continue and don’t worry about the Rev’s ‘forthright’ language he does that to all of us -uppity employee that he is.

    204. Graham Ennis says:

      I am really excited by the idea in Huffington Post that the UK border be established at Hadrian’s wall, ully manned and guarded. Since the wall, which was the old Roman Imperial frontier, is about 40 miles South of the existing international border, this would annex about 4000 square miles of Cumbria and it’s population, who no doubt would welcome being given the full benefits of fully free health care, free university education, free care home support, etc etc….Shhhh!! Dont tell the Huffingtonians where the border is!!….so thats another mistake to add.

    205. Paula Rose says:

      I always wonder why the No camp in the CU debate liken Scotland to Greece and England to Germany – I would have thought it would be the other way round, any help on that one?

    206. Murray McCallum says:

      Paula Rose

      Me too and I have a degree in economics and am a qualified accountant.

      My observation is that the proponents of such an extreme standpoint (the Scottish economic basket case) usually start from a foundation of nostalgia and emotion.

    207. Thank you Paula, you seem quite sane compared to the great majority of people on here. I accept that my article may not be 100% accurate but as I mentioned before it is only my opinion and is not meant to be an academic report on Scottish independence. I have relatives in Scotland who do a lot of business with supermarkets in the UK and I know they do not want to be more sperated than what they are.

      With regards to my Hadrien’s wall comment I was simply making the point that we would need some kind of legal border such as you have Northern Ireland and the Republic. Obviously Graham Ennis missed that point!

    208. Murray McCallum says:

      There already is a “legal border” between Scotland and England.

      If there wasn’t, for example, how would we know where the Scottish legal system ended and the one for England & Wales started?

    209. Murray,

      stop being pedantic, if scotland became totally independent there would need to be an international border like the one between UK and France or UK and Eire.

    210. Murray McCallum says:


      I agreed Nicholas.

      This border can function in whatever way the two countries wish it to.

      Why did you change your N.Ireland – Eire comparison?

    211. Morag says:

      Oh, do tell us more about the border between the UK and Eire. That’s such a good illustration – of the point Stuart was making.

    212. I did not change my comparison, all I am saying is that if you were living England or Scotland and working in the other country then it would be frustrating to take your passport everytime you were going to work. However, if you want to be isolationists then go ahead…what will happen with high speed train travel? you will need your passport if you were going to Glasgow or anywhere in Scotland and vice versa.

    213. Paula Rose says:

      Funny how I don’t need to show my passport when I travel from NI to Eire or round Europe, why would our border with England be different?

    214. Murray McCallum says:


      Let me remind you what you said:

      “With regards to my Hadrien’s wall comment I was simply making the point that we would need some kind of legal border such as you have Northern Ireland and the Republic

      Please let me know about this border in the context of passports, travel, work, guards, migration, etc.

    215. Morag says:

      You don’t need your passport travelling to Ireland from the UK. (Paradoxically, many airlines insist that you present your passport when flying from Scotland to England at the moment, as a secudity measure.)

      Ireland became independent after a shooting war. Bad blood was flowing by the bucketful. But even there, after it weas done, Westminster passed a law saying that Ireland was not to be deemed to be a “foreign country”, and there is free passport-less travel between the countries. This even continued after Ireland ceased to use sterling and established its own currency, and continues to this day.

      Why do you imagine it will be any different when Scotland is independent?

    216. Morag says:

      Please excuse typos. Fat fingers.

      Why do peple with PhDs in one subject seem to imagine that allows them to comment authoritatively on a completely different subject?

    217. Paula Rose says:

      And if its to do with tax rates then am I right in thinking that Eire has the same rates as the UK and by extension across the whole of the UK?

    218. cynicalHighlander says:

      I mentioned before it is only my opinion

      We can all have an opinion on most things but would only voice that if we could back that opinion up with actual facts not imagination.

    219. Morag says:

      Ireland has its own tax rates, and its own immigration policies, which are not the same as Westminster’s. It uses the euro, while the UK uses sterling.

      And yet you can cross freely between Ireland and NI, or the British mainland, without any ID documents other than what your travel carrier may require you to carry for security reasons. (And that last requirement is already in place for travel between Scotland and England.)

      People live on one side of a border and work on the other ALL OVER EUROPE. It simply is not an issue. Give it a rest.

    220. Morag says:

      I accept that my article may not be 100% accurate but as I mentioned before it is only my opinion and is not meant to be an academic report on Scottish independence.

      What an astonishing lack of basic academic standards. No matter what I am writing, I strive for complete accuracy as far as I am able, and if I’m caught in a mistake I’m mortified. And yet you seem happy to pontificate in an article in a widely-read online magazine – not even a personal blog – without any care as to whether you have your facts right.

      You wade into this debate from a position of astonishing ignorance, sound off whatever you feel like saying to shore up your own personal prejudices, and then stick your name and your academic qualifications on it.

      We do not need this sort of dross cluttering up our debate. Take your PhD and do something more useful with it.

    221. Paula Rose says:

      Unfortunately Morag this is exactly the type of thing that is cluttering up what should be an intelligent debate.

    222. Paula Rose says:

      The rump of the former UK may have to erect a border barrier in order to stop the servants escaping.

    223. I have no more to add on the subject. I believe Scotland will be better if they stay with the UK but that is my personal opinion so lets leave it at that.

    224. Fiona says:

      @ Dr Nicholas M Almond

      The problem here is that you do not write your “blog” as an ordinary lay person with an opinion: you write as an academic. You even use your title in your posts here. There are others here with doctorates who do not do that, and the reason is that it has no relevance at all in this debate if it is an unrelated field. You may not realise this but it is, by implicature, an appeal to authority. It won’t wash.

      The content of your piece is riddled with errors/misinformation. You do not appear to have even the vaguest understanding of the topic and you come out with howlers which most people here are rather tired of hearing: we are interested in this subject and we spend quite a lot of time investigating assertions made about the issue. You cannot make the same claim as is obvious from your article

      I am left wondering why you bothered to write it, since you are not sufficiently interested to take trouble over it. I am also wondering why it was accepted since it is at best a collection of retreaded arguments comprehensively rebutted many many times before: you have nothing at all insightful or new to add to this debate, so far as I can see.

      If you choose to behave in this way you will be robustly answered and that should come as no surprise to you. To fall back on criticism of how people choose to express themselves is fair enough if it happens that you never swear and find it offensive. Lots of us on here do swear, routinely: and that is not censored at other forums because it really does not matter: what matters is the quality of the argument put forward however it is couched: and on those terms your article fails. Politeness, according to your lights is no substitute for accuracy and good research. Nice to have both, but if we can’t have both let us have facts any day.

    225. Morag says:

      I use my doctorate in my Twitter handle, because I tweet about other things where it’s relevant. I don’t use it in referendum-related writings, because I’m not a constitutional expert like Elliot Bulmer for example. (And even he just posts here as Elliot Bulmer.)

      Writing a pile of inaccurate scaremongering rubbish, failing miserably to defend a single statement and then running away with a parting shot that “it’s only my opinion” is pretty appalling behaviour for any academic.

      News flash. You are entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own facts. The factual errors are what were being called out in that article.

    226. Bill Halliday says:

      Not sure about the “you pay tax where you live” bit. It’s not always the case, and I hope it would not be the case in post Independent Scotland. I’ve been working in Norway and living in Scotland for 12 years plus.(Awa 14 days hame 28, bliss!!!)
      Pay Norwegian Tax and Social Security as required by Norwegian Law. So post Indy anyone earning in Scotland should be taxed here.

    227. Taranaich says:

      Everybody has opinions: I have them, you have them. And we are all told from the moment we open our eyes, that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion. Well, that’s horsepuckey, of course. We are not entitled to our opinions; we are entitled to our informed opinions. Without research, without background, without understanding, it’s nothing. It’s just bibble-babble.

      – Harlan Ellison

    228. Skip_NC says:

      Bill Halliday, you are right to be not sure about the “you pay tax where you live” bit. Each individual must consider the laws of the country they live in and the laws where they work (and US citizens/lawful residents owe tax to the US Treasury, no matter where they live).

      Of course, such arrangements can give rise to double taxation so most countries have tax treaties. The UK has been the leader in this over the years. Most treaties are based on the OECD model treaty. On independence, the law is not going to change overnight. UK tax law will become Scottish tax law, at least to begin with. So that makes it incredibly easy to ratify double taxation treaties with any country where UK already has one. Given the benefits to their own citizens, it would be daft for the other country to disagree.

      Of course, that leaves us with rUK and iScotland. It is, I suggest, a simple matter of applying basic word-processing skills to the model treaty. It could be the easiest part of the whole negotiation process.

    229. Really good point, if you work in Norway and live in Scotland but you are taxed in Norway then if the income tax is lower in the UK than in Scotland after Independence people will just come and work in the UK. No one can deny that an Independent Scotland will need to increase taxes to cover the spending. I have seen arguments that Scotland are going to make all its money from whiskey, oil and gas…really? These three things are taxed in all other countries and how much money do people really think Scotland can make from whiskey?

    230. Skip_NC says:

      Dr Almond, you have just demonstrated that you do not have the vaguest notion of tax treaties. I suggest you stop digging, lest you never get out. At its simplest, taxation (any taxation) distorts competition, and wages, come to that. For instance, my wife and I found the cost of living in New Jersey to be very high and we wanted to move. State income tax was low at the time (3%) but property taxes were insanely high. We cast our eye southwards to Delaware. More house for the same money, no state income tax and no sales tax worthy of the name. It seemed ideal, until we checked salaries for comparable jobs. Basically, the salaries on offer negated any tax benefits almost exactly.

      So, if one focuses purely on taxation, one is not getting the whole picture. As a wiser man than I said to me many years ago, “Never let the tax tail wag the commercial dog.” Now, if Scotland had control of all (or, in the case of a de jure or de facto currency union, most) if its economic levers it could cultivate an economy that would lead to a more equal society. Consumers are about 70% of any economy. If more people have money to spend, the economy grows. Look at the innovators Scotland has produced over the centuries. If Scots are encouraged to innovate, the rest of the world will want to buy what we have to sell. That is when real economic growth comes.

      In short, taxes play a subsidiary role to economic factors. Either No Thanks does not understand this or they are deliberately choosing not to discuss it, in the hope that enough people will not see what Scotland can become as an independent country.

    231. Morag says:

      He can’t even spell whisky.

      Nicholas, you haven’t a clue. Stop embarrassing yourself. Stick to your own subject, where I presume you maybe know what you’re talking about.

    232. Morag, I don’t type due to my disability, my PA misspelt “whisky”…You have no answer to the question whether Scotland can make enough money from whisky to cover its Government spending!

      Skip, you live in America so why on earth are you commenting on Scottish independence?!

    233. Skip_NC says:

      Dr Almond, I campaigned for independence thirty years ago in Edinburgh East. I moved to the USA for personal reasons, but still retain an interest in the goings on in my home country. In any case, my comments on taxation (and the related economic effects) were largely generic. As taxation has been my profession for almost twenty five years, I believe I have something to offer in any such discussion.

      Of course, I could just as easily have said it is none of your business.

    234. Skip_NC says:

      Oh, and your argument re whisky does not stand up to scrutiny. As I mentioned in my post at 1:36pm today, the economy grows through selling things that other countries want to buy. Other countries want to, and do, buy Scotch whisky. Even in North Carolina (the buckle on the Bible Belt) I can walk 300 yards down the road and pick up a bottle of Glenlivet for less than $40. Other countries will also want to buy our oil. If we move smartly, they will also want to buy our renewables technology – something that will not be developed if we remain part of the UK. Heck, Scotland even sells tourism. One of my tax clients is in Scotland right now, enjoying a lovely trip around the coast and spending dollars earned in the US in doing so.

      Now, with proper economic levers, we can take that foreign money, build the society we desire and have more equitable distribution of wealth which, as I have already explained to you, will improve the economy even further.

      Of course, this is a leap into the unknown. We don’t know if future Scottish governments will be smart enough to take advantage of these opportunities. What we do know is that Westminster will protect London first and foremost, which means table scraps for Scotland. Surely it is better to have the chance than to have nothing at all?

    235. Adrian B says:

      No one can deny that an Independent Scotland will need to increase taxes to cover the spending.

      The SNP have stated that this is not the case as have the Reid Foundation and Common Weal. Business for Scotland don’t seem to think that it needs to happen either.

      There may be different views on this that you have not seen. A simpler TAX system would cut down on a great deal of red tape and make the system of collection much more cost effective. One of the problems that the UK suffers from at present is that it fails to collect a huge amount of TAX that should be paid.

    236. David Britten says:

      I really don’t care what the Scots decide. I want a referendum on separating England from Wesminster.

    237. Dr Nicholas M Almond says:

      Sorry but you’re in America and you have absolutely no idea about whats going on in the UK. How does Scotland becoming independent help the exportation of whisky to any other country?

      Westminster does not only look out for London, I am in Yorkshire and my MP has helped me immensely.

      Adrian B…get real Scotland has a bigger government spending than England per head so taxes will need to be raised.

      If anyone thinkis that cutting red tape and selling whisky and having more tourism in Scotland will help your deficit theyre completely deluded.

      So no-one has actually argued against my point that Greece and Germany share the same currency and while Germany are doing really well Greece are up the creek without a paddle. So if it doesnt work out for you guys, who are you gonna ask for a bail out? The UK, the EU or your whisky companies?!

    238. Caroline Corfield says:

      I had a lovely rant all typed up but there’s no fun arguing with stupid

    239. Dr Nicholas M Almond says:

      Just what I was going to say!

    240. Skip_NC says:

      With the utmost respect, Dr Almond, the points I have made in this thread could easily be applied to any developed economy. Some may disagree with my conclusions, but my arguments are founded in fact. Where I live has nothing at all to do with the validity of my opinions.

      You, however, have not demonstrated any understanding of economics whatsoever – not in your original article nor in your posts on this thread. It seems to me that there is no point in trying to debate with you. I suggest you buy a good college textbook on introductory economics.

    241. Adrian B says:

      Adrian B…get real Scotland has a bigger government spending than England per head so taxes will need to be raised.

      Scotland raises more in TAX per head of population without oil revenues than other parts of the UK. You are wrong on this point and are unwilling to look further into the numbers. That is not my problem – I am not trying to convert you , just point out that the information that you have from your sources ( A. Darling? ) is certainly NOT correct.

      If anyone thinkis that cutting red tape and selling whisky and having more tourism in Scotland will help your deficit theyre completely deluded.

      What deficit? Look at the figures……And the way that Scotland will move forward is by the deindustrialization of the economy.

      Cutting red tape in the TAX system will make significant collection savings. If you knew anything about TAX in the UK – then you would at least acknowledge the possibilities here. Whisky as an export is good for a countries balance of payments.

      So no-one has actually argued against my point that Greece and Germany share the same currency and while Germany are doing really well Greece are up the creek without a paddle.

      Scotland and the rest of the UK economy is NOT comparable with Germany and Greece. The problem for Greece is that its economy was not as good as that of Germany which has far better productivity. Scotland economy is actually all things considered (world wide problems) not at all bad – it can certainly be made better with adequate levers to bolster its future for the better and improve the current productivity levels to those closer with Scandinavia.

      So if it doesnt work out for you guys, who are you gonna ask for a bail out?

      Here is what happened with Barclays – From this link:

      “Barclays was bailed out to the tune of £552.32bn (at backdated exchange rates) by the US Federal Reserve and £6bn by the Qatari Government. Or to put it another way, foreign governments bailed out Barclays to the tune of more than twelve times more money than the UK Government’s capital support for RBS (£45bn).”

      The UK, the EU or your whisky companies?!

      Personally I like what Iceland did. The people found in court to be responsible for their countries problems were found guilty and put in prison for what they had done (its called responsibility). The banking industry has been reformed and lessons learned. Else where we have huge levels of QE, massive profiteering by those already mega rich and a mushrooming amount of UK debt that will be with Westminster for another 20 – 30 years.

    242. Paula Rose says:

      (Dr Nick – I suggest you stop digging, these boys know their stuff, what is your speciality by the way?)

    243. Dr Nicholas M Almond says:

      So, we have an American speaking about a Scottish economy.

      If Scotland asks to rejoin the UK when it all goes wrong I will be the first one saying No.

      Good luck on your quest Ahab or should I say Scotland.

      Im not answering anymore from this blog because you have all made your minds up and I hope it works out for you …if it doesnt work dont come crawling back to join the UK!

    244. Paula Rose says:

      Dr Nick – there’s a lot of countries who fought for their independence from Westminster clamouring to rejoin the greatest Union on Earth aren’t there?

    245. Derek M says:

      hey doc you sound very bitter no need to be such a prude just because you got your arse handed to you ,and dont you worry pal we wont be crawling back to the UK it will be the other way around when we remove oil revenue from sterling.

    246. Paula Rose says:

      Oh – that was a bit off the cuff, has any country that chose independence rather than the benificense of Westminster asked to be under that rule again? Dr Nick – help me out here you are an academic.

    247. Skip_NC says:

      Dr Almond, I am Scottish. Did you not see the line (5:32pm) about me campaigning in Edinburgh East thirty years ago? Are you so entrenched in your views that you only see what you want to see?

      I daresay it is true that many people who visit this site have made their minds up. However, many have done so after studying the evidence available here, backed up by sources and informed commentary. This site offers an alternative to the almost symphonic sound of the MSM.

      Finally, you seem to have missed the whole point of independence. I have believed all my adult life that Scotland should have the right to mess up its own economy, rather than have another country do it for them. The mistakes will be ours and the results of correcting of those mistakes will also be ours.

    248. Paula Rose says:

      As everyone on wings knows – I am a lonely voice trying so hard to make the case for the UK – help!

    249. Adrian B says:

      Im not answering anymore from this blog because you have all made your minds up and I hope it works out for you …

      Fair enough, your original piece has generated many comments. I would like to have continued but I also understand that you also have a life to lead.

      if it doesnt work dont come crawling back to join the UK!

      If things don’t work out down south, them I am sure that you will actually find that you would be more than welcome in Scotland.

    250. Paula Rose says:

      @ Adrian B – I concur.

    251. Bill Halliday says:

      Maybe Paula Rose should read Sir William Robert Ferdinand Mount, 3rd Baronet,and first head of Thatcher’s Policy Unit at No. 10. In his book “The New Few” he gives an insider’s perspective on why Westminster doesn’t work. There is no democracy only several Oligarchies. The whole purpose is for the few to get richer and the only way for that to happen is for someone to get less. Sadly there is no hope for those who remain shackled to that. Scotland has a chance to escape.

    252. Paula Rose says:

      Maybe Billy Halliday should get better together with Paula Rose, Billy honey – relax.

    253. Wow Bill, youre going back to the 1980s for your argument..great work, totally irrelevant.

      Wales are quite happy with a devolved government, Northern Ireland are quite happy with a devolved government. For some reason Scotland think they can make it on their own and dont care about Westminster. Fine but when you end up being the new Greece who will you look to for a bail out? Sorry, I forgot youre going to sell whisky and oil…yeah thatll work; youve got more chance of me walking 500 miles!

    254. Fiona says:

      @Dr Nicholas M Almond

      Thank you for telling us what Wales and Northern Ireland think: trouble is you have no evidence for that any more than you have any evidence for your hilarious assertions about Scotland.

      You have clearly made up your mind and you are too lazy to engage honestly with anything that is said to you, despite the fact that your article is almost completely wrong in every aspect.

      Why are you wasting your time on something that clearly does not interest you very much?

    255. andrew mills says:

      ” … Lesley-Anne says: Of course we can’t let this discussion about the Swedish Norwegian border go by without discussing the very highly manned and fenced off border between Finland, another E.U. country and Norway. …”

      This is the Norway/Russia border.

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