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We need some time off from that emotion

Posted on July 31, 2015 by

Having failed over the course of several years to label the SNP “Nazis” and “fascists” (or, depending on which sort of newspaper you were reading, “Tartan Stalinists”), the party’s political and media opponents have a new(ish) meme to punt: that the SNP is a religious cult made up of credulous, fanatical zealots impervious to logic or facts.

georgemichaelfaith

The leader of this new front is right-wing columnist Alex Massie, who by our count has managed to flog someone this diatribe at least four times already this year – the most recent being in yesterday’s Times:

“With its group-think, blame culture and wilful blindness, the Teflon party has turned into a faith-based organisation”

But he’s far from alone.

First we should of course document Massie’s own charges:

“The SNP, you see, is the will of the people made flesh. To doubt the party is to out yourself as an apostate.” (The Spectator)

“How do you defeat a faith-based party whose voters are animated by quasi-religious zealotry?” (The Spectator)

“Scottish nationalism is a faith-based initiative, creating its own reality.” (The Spectator again, who apparently really lap this stuff up)

His allies, though, are numerous, including but not limited to:

“They behave like a political cult, not a political party.” (Tory rentaquote MSP Alex Johnstone, in the Daily Express)

“The Scottish National party is more like a cult than a political party.” (Labour peer George Foulkes, eerily mirroring Johnstone’s words almost exactly)

“The SNP is now a mystic cult wholly divorced from reality.” (Scotsman columnist Gerald Warner)

“[The SNP] is an outfit whose supporters are not in the slightest bit interested in whether their policies are good, bad or indifferent… or even if they have any. They are simply there to be supported, cult-like, no matter what.” (Alan Cochrane in the Telegraph)

“Our separatist movement isn’t violent, thank goodness, but it is bluntly dumb, faith-based and irrational.” (Daily Mail columnist Chris Deerin)

“Battling with the SNP was more like debating a religious cult than tackling a political party.” (former Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, the Mirror)

“Voting SNP now requires faith in the unbelievable… the SNP has been able to create an impregnable parallel reality. Enormous chunks of what was once a sceptical, questioning country are about to take part in mainland Britain’s first faith-based election.” (Andrew Gilligan, the Telegraph)

“A senior Scottish Labour figure, who asked not to be named, said there was a kind of ‘religious zealotry’ to the SNP’s hardcore element.” (The Express)

“The nationalists […] are zealots gripped by a dangerous conviction that right is exclusively on their side.” (Iain Martin in Standpoint)

“The SNP now ‘functions religiously’ for many of its members. It has ceased being a limited, political organisation and is now an all-encompassing ‘movement’ with faith at its core.” (David Knowles in the Huffington Post)

If you read any of the articles the two main recurring pieces of evidence for the claim appears to be that (a) SNP voters keep liking the SNP and refusing to think or do what the authors think they should, and (b) there are a lot of them.

Massie, for example, notes in scandalised terms in one of the Spectator pieces that according to a YouGov poll in February: “56% of SNP voters believe collapsing oil prices are ‘neither good nor bad’ for Scotland.” 

The problem with his assessment, of course, is that that’s perfectly true. Indeed, not only is it true, it was basically the entire core premise of the No campaign which won the referendum four months before the poll was conducted. Scotland, as a result of that campaign and its successful outcome, remains in the UK, and therefore oil price fluctuations make very little difference to the Scottish economy.

(The question hadn’t mentioned or implied anything about independence, and nor did the rest of the poll, which was almost entirely about Westminster issues.)

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Indeed, just days after the YouGov poll the National Institute of Economic and Social Research stated that “The sharp fall in oil prices will boost Britain’s economic growth this year”, meaning that it was in fact a good thing for Britain, and therefore Scotland.

(Sure enough, this week the BBC reported “UK economic growth accelerated in the second quarter of the year, helped by a big jump in oil and gas production”.)

The only flaw in the poll respondents’ thinking had been to be slightly too negative. But Massie and chums are so keen to paint SNP supporters as gullible crazed fools that even such simple and obvious empirical flaws in their own arguments are ignored.

We can only imagine the frustration of the SNP’s opponents at the moment. Having apparently believed that defeat in the referendum would bring the party’s destruction, having thrown their weight behind mad tactical-voting campaigns run by extremist lunatics (Massie and Deerin, fervent Tories, both announced that they were voting Labour to stop the SNP), they must be suffering a near-existential crisis.

Ironically, they’ve been blinded by their own faith (in both the Union and Tory ideology) to the extent that they’re unable to accept even the plainest realities.

(One might indeed reasonably ponder in passing whether being a Scottish Tory voter – backing a party that hasn’t won an election in Scotland for over 60 years despite the swings and roundabouts of UK fortunes – wasn’t a rather better indicator of someone being a faith-based zealot resistant to the facts.)

All politics relies on believing parties’ promises about what they’ll do in the future, and is in that sense quasi-religious. But it IS affected by reason – the SNP isn’t perfect, but its record of doing what it said it would do is rather better than anyone else’s. It has earned the faith of its voters and done little to lose it, something reflected in the fact that its poll ratings continue to rise after eight years in government.

(To see what happens when you do lose your voters’ faith, just ask Labour. Given the epically abysmal state of that party, NOT switching to the SNP would be the only truly irrational choice for Scottish social democrats, which is most Scots.)

Conversely, anyone who’s read this site for the last three years will have at their fingertips literally hundreds of rather compelling reasons why SNP voters shouldn’t trust the word of Unionist politicians and pundits. Trust cuts two ways.

That your opponents refuse to capitulate meekly to your arguments is not a sign that they’ve lost their mind, nor that they’re unthinking disciples. It’s a sign that either your argument is fundamentally weak or that you’re conveying it badly. Any other belief leads down the dark, ugly road which ends in calling your fellow citizens “sheeple”, at which point you’ve lost all right to be heard ever again.

(A message which applies equally, incidentally, to independence supporters insisting that No voters were idiots or duped, or that the referendum was rigged.)

The sooner the likes of Alex Massie come to terms with that fact, the sooner we can all be released from the monotonous repetition of this particular mantra.

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    1. 31 07 15 01:17

      We need some time off from that emotion | Speymouth

    2. 31 07 15 10:53

      The SNP are masters at playing Heads I Win, Tails You Lose - Spectator Blogs

    3. 31 07 15 16:27

      We need some time off from that emotion | Polit...

    256 to “We need some time off from that emotion”

    1. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Yeah, good article, Rev.

      They still refuse to get it.

    2. Betty Boop says:

      Thanks Stu for helping confirm that it was a good decision to stop reading mainstream newspapers a long time back. I recognise most those contributors as the nutcases with whom I always disagreed and, indeed, thought utterly foolish.

    3. Lesley-Anne says:

      Alex Massie … Hmm.

      Wasn’t he the *ahem* intellectual who wrote a biography about Alex Salmond without ever actually talking to Alex Salmond? 😉

    4. Indigo says:

      It’s interesting. I don’t agree with everything they say and do, but I trust the SNP to do their best for the people of Scotland, and their track record suggests that the leadership within the party are people of integrity.

      The very notion that commentators equate trust with a cult suggests to me that those very commentators are essentially untrustworthy themselves.

      It must be hard for them to feel so left behind, stuck in old, out of date paradigms that are no longer relevant in Scotland. All they are left with is lashing out, decrying those of us who understand that Scotland has changed while those who have not appear dazed and confused.

    5. Chic McGregor says:

      How dare you Rev. Everyone knows a well worn Unionist mantra is “We are the sheeple” err, or something like that.

    6. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Wasn’t he the *ahem* intellectual who wrote a biography about Alex Salmond without ever actually talking to Alex Salmond?”

      No. You’re thinking of David Torrance.

    7. blackhack says:

      I have “Faith”….Faith that there will be another referendum, and a lot sooner that most of these right wingers think.

    8. Capella says:

      I would like to grace their accusations with the psychological term “projection”. It means that they have an unconscious desire to believe in irrational dogma but, because they consciously believe themselves to be rational, they must project that attribute onto other people who then become BAD.

      The more strongly irrational they are, the badder the objects onto which they project become. Fear of witches is an obvious parallel. Witch hunts are an obvious outcome.

      However,a more immediate explanation is that they are highly paid lackeys of the neo-liberal Establishment. No rational person would sell their soul for so low a price.

    9. Marko says:

      I don’t think all No voters were duped, but I think it’s becoming clearer by the day that vast swathes of them were.

    10. Eckle Fechan says:

      Surely it is only the SNP who can deliver us from Evil*, for thine is the Kingdom of Caesar!**, for ever and ever, amen.

      * Not to be confused with EVEL.
      ** Scotia if you prefer

    11. Ian Brotherhood says:

      Smug SLab bastards!

      Cultism is definitely something they can’t be accused of – to form a cult you need more than one member, right?

    12. Famous15 says:

      Praise the Lord and those who pray at Morningside Church. As in Madagascar the raising of the dead forefathers and dancing with the decaying corpse is a cult tradition I would only ask what cult did that yesterday?

      Halleluja and amen.

    13. Tam Jardine says:

      Re the oil price- the focus has been exclusively on how “disastrous” a low oil price would be for an independent Scotland even though falling revenues would still be revenues and the wider Scottish economy would benefit from lower petrol/diesel prices.

      Higher oil prices in an independent Scotland would therefore increase revenues but would be somewhat mitigated by the cost to the wider economy.

      Consider oil-less RUK. Low oil prices are therefore less good than they would be at present as the benefit is not improved by tax revenue whilst high prices would be extremely bad as there is no revenue to offset the damage to the wider economy.

      Am no economist but I can see why they had to keep us.

    14. Chic McGregor says:

      Wondered who would be the first to highlight the orchestrated cult meme. You win, again.

      Having gone through ‘Tartan Tories’, ‘Caesar!nian style Socialists’, ‘Nazis’ and ‘Stalinesque Communist’ accusations I suppose the cult thing is all that is left.

      They are now attempting to drill through the bottom of the barrel.

    15. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “but I think it’s becoming clearer by the day that vast swathes of them were”

      Then why isn’t that reflected in polls, which show only a slight movement to Yes? Believe what you can show, not what you WISH was true. Have we been wasting our time here for the last three years?

    16. Chic McGregor says:

      Maybe they are just trying to take the cult out of ‘cultural’?

      Especially Ffoulkes?

    17. walter scott says:

      I come from a Labour voting family but they have all voted SNP in the recent GE & last Holyrood election. Also, so have ALL my friends. Farmers, Bank employees, Self employed, NHS. Everyone I know (almost) voted Yes. None of my friends & family would recognise themselves as deranged zealots.Nicola Sturgeon isn’t the Messiah,she’s just a very clever girl.

    18. Democracy Reborn says:

      Chris Deerin’s bio on ‘Charlotte Street Partners’ website : “one of Britain’s most respected journalists”.

      SNP/nationalism a “religion”? “Faith based”? What, in the sense of propounding (like most religions) a moral code that should be followed?

      Chris Deerin wrote a Daily Mail article in 2014. The headline:

      “We Scots have a clear moral duty this year – to stay British”

    19. Chitterinlicht says:

      The bad me wants to like Mr Massie.

      The good me …..not so much.

      He also knicked my jacket at a party southside Glasgow.

    20. thedogphilosopher says:

      There does exist structural similarities between politics and religion when you consider that most political party machines operate along similar lines to large religious organisations in terms of their hierarchical divisions and the ‘devotion’ expected of its members and adherents.

      Both have their ‘manifestos’. Historically both are male-dominated spheres. They hold regular meetings to ‘hear the news’ and contribute to funds. And as with any kind of ideology, followers are expected to ‘keep the faith’, especially in the war of Us verses Them.

      As for the SNP/Yes Movement being a brainwashed cult? Well perhaps that’s how it appears to those Believers in-all-things-Westminster; that sacred cathedral stuffed to the gills with outmoded elitist ritual and weird religious ticks.

      The belief in Independence for Scotland is about democracy and fairness, and if we are fervently holding the line against the false gods of neo-liberalism, then so be it.

    21. charlie says:

      to quoute a very sucessful politician
      This party is a moral crusade or it is nothing
      I think morality equades with faith, even it just means faith in humanity. Westminister type politics has chucked that out the window

    22. CameronB Brodie says:

      So you don’t like the phrase “sheeple”, either? Good to hear. 😉

    23. Col says:

      So Scotland voted Labour in great numbers for years and realized it was getting us nowhere. Then we started to trust a different party. A Scottish party, and here we are.

      Suck it up losers, you lost the GE and previously the Scottish election. You will soon enough lose your precious union because you still don`t understand why we are where we are just now.

      You won the referendum, just. But our growing aspirations are your worst fear because like a shoe 4 sizes too small your union doesn`t fit anymore.

    24. Rock says:

      I don’t know how effective the Messiah is going to be.

      But it makes sense for the electorate to have faith in a party which is working in their interests.

      Alex Massie is a liar who presented himself as an undecided as a panel member on a TV debate.

    25. galamcennalath says:

      Unionism is the political cult based on faith and perhaps a dash of nostalgia – I have still to hear a reasoned logical argument for the Union. I conclude there is none and followers must be driven by nothing more than blind faith.

    26. charlie says:

      Also I think it would be more reasonable to look at what the Scottish govt has done. Free prescripions, free health care etc etc, this is not faith that is action.
      Glasgow City Council being voted in Labour for 60 odd years and still having appalling mortality rates, now that is misplaced faith and why it has gone away

    27. CameronB Brodie says:

      Does Chris Deerin not advocate torture to obtain ‘intel’?

    28. Rock says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell,

      “(A message which applies equally, incidentally, to independence supporters insisting that No voters were idiots or duped, or that the referendum was rigged.)”

      Does that mean hardly anyone was duped by Gordon Brown’s scaremongering about pensions?

      And hardly anyone was duped by The Vow?

      Then, I am in total agreement with you. I have been saying that for a long time.

      Regarding rigging, I beg to differ.

    29. CameronB Brodie says:

      Col
      When I think of the Union I think of ‘feet binding’. It’s certainly hobbled Scotland. ;(

    30. Francis mooney says:

      Your time has not been wasted. This is evident within your site stats. The problem remains the same.

      You mention, I think, nine national and net publications. They have continued their mantra. My belief is that you cannot win that media war.

      GE result matters because there was a move in people. This cannot be overlooked because it is huge. It seems reasonable that every gun should be aimed at the Scottish Government as they thrive where they should have perished.

      My Father in law could not vote Yes because of pension worries. He voted SNP at the GE.

      If we are to win then we must, as must the SG, spell out an alternative economic plan that does not involve the pound.

      I know that we would have shared the pound initially but Westminster had the power and so the superior bluff.

      Given that money is simply managed debt creation, maybe we should create some debt .

    31. “galamcennalath says:
      … I have still to hear a reasoned logical argument for the Union.”

      I’ve only ever heard one argument for the Union that could be considered as rational, prima facie. It’s endemic among unpoliticised Scots residents who are leery of Independence. It’s the one that goes, “we all have to live together on one island, why can’t we just work together?” Variations include “pooling and sharing” and “…more in common with a Liverpool docker than…”.

      The basic inference is a sound one: co-operation is better than conflict. Unfortunately, the argument rests on an implicit assumption that’s plainly false in the case of Scotland v. UK: the assumption that fair co-operation is possible.

      We all know – that when economic and political control is entrenched at the opposite end of the island, and held there doggedly by a financial elite, a corrupt establishment, a corrupt state broadcaster, a corrupt news media, corrupt troughing politicians of all shades, partisan civil servants and think tanks, and an ‘unwritten constitution’ that can be bent without limit to the whim of the establishment – that fair co-operation is impossible, and it never has been in 308 years.

      We need to demonstrate this to the unconvinced. Any Yes2 campaign needs to make more of the fact that the Union is unfixable, as much as continuing to argue the advantages of independence.

      On a related note, we need to learn more about the motivations and mindset of No voters, rather than just speculating about them being feart for their pensions or whatever. I’m not suggesting that our national movement should become fixated on focus groups and demographics like nu-Labour (RIP) did. However, we need to know what we’re up against. As well as political polling, it would be great to have some ordinary market research done – asking people all sorts of questions about their lifestyles and aspirations and worries, right down to what brand of phone or toothpaste they use. Questions about political parties and IndyRef vote and attitudes to independence or union could be thrown into the mix. We’d learn more about the real differences between yes and no voters that way than by simple political polling. Anybody know how to organise that kind of research so that it covers the full spectrum of the population?

    32. woosie says:

      Deerin, Massie, Torrance, Foulkes, they’re all cults.

      Not sure my spellcheck is wonking.

    33. Grant says:

      Being Scottish I would say, call us a Clan please.

    34. donald anderson says:

      Gave they ever spoken to a Labour Cooncillor or MP? I believe he once classified them as “lumpen numpties”.

      For “faith based illogical”, etc, how else could he describe these careerist, opportunist thickos?

    35. scottieDog says:

      The best example of a cult is neo-liberalism. Massie holds it dear to his heart even though the overwhelming evidence would point to the fact that it results in economic decline.

      It’s probably not his fault, he will have had these beliefs engrained throughout his schooling no doubt.

      Anyway off to sing the national anthem.

      Oh BTW the Queens speech is tradition not a cult gathering ok.

    36. Angus Skye says:

      What we have is trust; trust in the SNP as a party and trust in its leaders. This is certainly not blind – they do not get it right every time and we do not agree with each and every statement, proposal and decision.

      Manifestos are like restaurant menus. We do not refuse to enter a restaurant because there are a few items on the menu that we dislike; we choose the restuarant with the menu which appeals most overall. At the moment Restaurant SNP gives us the best possible choice. If that changes we will go elsewhere.

    37. Wee Jimmy says:

      “Faith” is merely belief without evidence.

      And there is much recent evidence of the SNP being capable and empathetic in government to convince people to keep voting for them – the Rev Stu provided a link, and many Scottish residents will have personal experience of getting free Uni tuition and/or have been mitigated from paying the bedroom tax (to name but two). Another good reason for the seismic shift to the SNP is that the other main political parties have proved themselves to be stunningly inept – and so many in the electorate have lost all confidence in their ability to work in their interests.

      So nothing to do with “faith”.

    38. Graeme says:

      31 July, 2015 at 3:39 am

      “galamcennalath says:
      … I have still to hear a reasoned logical argument for the Union.”

      That’s because there isn’t one

      almost every pro unionist spewing this sort of shit against us has a personal vested interest in us remaining in the union, people who are doing quite well in the union thank you very much people such as JK Rowling, well she’s doing ok isn’t she and perhaps one day she’ll be Lady Rowling,

      aspiring careerist Labour politicians looking to ascend to the highest heights of power in the British establishment possibly ending in a peerage with it’s on demand prostitutes and cocaine or whatever else takes their fancy

      Then there’s the journalists like Massie well they’ve got their jobs to keep haven’t they and not only that keeping themselves in favour with high ranking members of the establishment elite who read their columns does them no harm either I would imagine

      All of the above are fully paid up members of the decaying, corrupt and decadent institution known as the British establishment, their views and opinions are not based on reasoned political or economic reason but self interest.

      If Scottish independence was on trial in a criminal court these bastards wouldn’t get a seat on the jury yet almost every media outlet TV, Radio and Press bombard us with their opinions as if they were somehow more relevant than the views of the ordinary man/woman on the street

      Graeme

    39. mjack says:

      These Scottish Unionist/Loyalist journalists are just an emmbaresment to Scotland.

    40. DerekM says:

      Always thought he talked a load of rubbish and had mince for brains.

      Its astonishing the mind set of some of these people they think they do the profession of journalism a credit they do not,they are the epitome of the very lowest a journalist can stoop to a butt kisser.

      A cult is following one person singing their name in praise,waving flags and cheering as they grace you with their presence,bow to your masters,do as they say mindlessly,hmmm now why does that sound familiar and where did i see that again.

    41. Mealer says:

      I believe in Scotland and so I vote for the party who stand up for Scotland.So do half the voting population.Its perfectly normal.The leadership of the SNP is extremely competent and I have every confidence in them.That isn’t blind faith.It is something that been built up over time.

    42. Joemcg says:

      Scunter-pretty much agree with you but I honestly think we have pretty much identified the groups who voted no. The Orangemen and rabid imperialistic Brit Nats and the dyed in the wool oldies who have the emotional attachment to Britain are unreachable.Its the pensions and perceived financial risks that are the golden ticket to independence. We MUST address those factors and put people’s minds at rest.

    43. Tam Jardine says:

      I wonder what Massie’s take on the obsession (far less prevalent up here) with the royals. Every funeral, wedding, birth and significant anniversary is met with something like mass hysteria.

      I suppose that’s totally normal and understandable because God chose the Queen and her predecessors and descendents to rule over us. But the SNP, with their commitment to free education and their broad support across society, their positive agenda…. of course they are an evil cult.

      Britnat logic.

    44. James Dow A voice from the diaspora says:

      Ian Murray in his first major speech says ” Labour needs a new generation to fix problems” No it doesn’t, it needs to keep on disappearing up its own arse which it is already making a remarkable fist off.

    45. AndyH says:

      It’s all about faith for me.

      I have great faith that an Independent nation of the Scots will be a far far better, fairer and prosperous place to be.

      It’s coming and they can’t stop it now.

    46. Ken500 says:

      Never trust a Tory/Unionist

      Above average earners will not pay £20 a week to stop children starving. They can’t take it with them.

      Scotland raises £54Billion in taxes. Pro rata the rest of the UK raises £39Billion. The wealthy tax evade. Media owners and their unprincipled sycophants tax evade £Billions.

      Without a fair and balanced MSM there is no democracy. Thatcher illegally and secretly saw to that.

    47. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “So you don’t like the phrase “sheeple”, either? Good to hear.”

      It’s a word, not a phrase. But no, it’s right up there with “("Quizmaster" - Ed)”, “("Tractor" - Ed)” or “Zionist” as words to use if you want to absolutely convince someone instantly that you’re a nutter whose views should be ignored.

    48. SheenaJ says:

      Can YOU help?

      The National Yes Registry (nationalyesregistry.scot) is an attempt to draw the grassroots YES campaign back together again as a campaign group and to be ready for indyref2.

      A lot of work has been done behind the scenes bringing, I believe, over 70 yes groups on board. They are only trying to raise just under £9000 by Saturday evening but are just half way there – can you help?

      https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/national-yes-registry#/story

    49. panda paws says:

      It’s interesting that uber Tory Chris Deerin describes the independence movement as “dumb, faith based and irrational”. One of the new SNP MPs is his uncle so that must make family gatherings a hoot. Indeed one of Fraser Nelson’s aunts votes SNP.

      So with SNP suppporters in their families and thus an opportunity to see how supporters are indeed just normal people, one might almost feel that all this cult guff is rhetoric to disguise their weak arguments against the SNP and independence itself!

    50. CameronB Brodie says:

      Tam Jardine
      Of course Tam, God is an English gentleman. A tired cliche perhaps, but Anglican evangelism was one of the main forced used to spread the empire.

    51. CameronB Brodie says:

      Tam Jardine
      Of course Tam, God is an English gentleman. A tired cliche perhaps, but Anglican evangelism was one of the main forces used to spread the empire.

    52. Shug says:

      Do Massie and Co write this way because they believe it or is it because the papers pay them to produce this tone of material

    53. Macart says:

      Yeah, you can tell they’ve lost the argument can’t you?

      But just to simplify it for them, yes it is about faith and trust. We’ve lost faith and trust in their system, so we’re creating one in which we can place some. Probably comes under the heading of… WELL, DUUHH!

      Not a hard concept, unless of course you’re a self interested party such as say, a commentator for the right wing meeja. 🙂

    54. galamcennalath says:

      Marko says:
      at 12:25 am
      “I don’t think all No voters were duped, but I think it’s becoming clearer by the day that vast swathes of them were.”

      Clearer to whom?

      More political savvy folks always knew Project Fear and promises of more powers were distinctly misleading.

      As for those who were duped, has the penny dropped with large numbers of them? They got their world view from the BBC/MSM/Unionist Politicians and those sources haven’t changed their tune much. If anything they are even more brazen in their bias and propaganda.

      Conversion of the gullible will be a slow chip chip exercise.

    55. CameronB Brodie says:

      Word, phrase. You got the drift. I find it condescending.

      “Zionist”

      How else would you describe Israeli nationalism, without divorcing the description from it’s ideological root?

      I was only niggling Will. 😉

    56. Geoff Huijer says:

      As Capella said at 12.33am it is projection and because the writers appear in national publications they MUST be important mustn’t they? I mean you wouldn’t get some biased, loony-toon ershole writing for a national publication would you?

      But therein lies part of their problem; the publications themselves no longer command respect. They are screaming into a wilderness; the Telegraph has a circulation of about 17k in Scotland for example.

      If our propaganda-driven TV stations relied more on investigative journalism and giving time to polar-opposite positions and less on opinion & trying to manipulate public opinion these ‘commentators’ would, to paraphrase Christopher Hitchens, be shouting at people in the street holding a cardboard sign and selling pencils from a cup.

    57. heedtracker says:

      Cults are bad, better vote SLab. Its a toryboy world.

      If only there was a SLabour party. There used to be once, after WW2, an actual Labour party.

      Watched the end of BBC Dimbleby thing on Scotland last night as he sailed around “our” Scotland. Gave up when he got to Port Glasgow and the last tiny Clydebank shipyard. “Why do you think you’re the last one left” he asked two guys in hard hats, “it’s all over in China now, cheap labour.” Dimbers said “well why do Norway and Sweden have so many booming shipyards chaps?”

      He didnt.

      The real creep show going on around us is the red tory SLabour gits pretending they’re not. Which explains to some extent why there’s only one left, in Morningside, Embro. If they didn’t have the ferociously corrupt old BBC, where would they be?

    58. Yerketbreeks says:

      I guess believing in a national identity (whatever your origins) could be seen as quasi-religious, and given the SNP is the only party to fully represent that, then perhaps this is the reason for the responses of the likes of Massie.

    59. galamcennalath says:

      Scunterbunnet says

      “Yes2 campaign needs to make more of the fact that the Union is unfixable”

      One of the corner stones of BT, adopted more and more as the campaign progressed, was that the Union would be fixed. Cameron’s win and the debacle of the Scotland Bill supply much evidence that there will be no significant changes.

    60. Doug Daniel says:

      I see the most important sentence in this article is being dismissed by the sort of folk who need to pay attention to it most…

    61. R-type Grunt says:

      Another good article Stu, although you’ll excuse me for not clicking the links. Capella got it right at the start; everything they do is Projection. Why they have no-one pointing this out to them is what’s so surprising.

      Britnats are the “narrow nationalists”. They’ll do anything to prevent us taking away their Union (I’m alright..) Jack.

    62. Jean-Loup says:

      Stu, the trouble with polls is they don’t always reflect the reality of a situation. If the polls showing labour and the Tories neck to neck are anything to go by.

      I’ve also not seen that many since September about how people would vote in indyref2.

      That said, I don’t subscribe to the idea that people were duped.. There are probably far more unionists who, ironically, simply have faith in the union than we want to accept.

    63. 1971Thistle says:

      Gerald Warner is a “mystic cult wholly divorced from reality.”

    64. dakk says:

      Massie et al’s tactic corresponds with the familiar unionist/no voter refrain of ‘all politicians are the same.’

      They want everyone to be cynical of all politicians and accept the Malcolm Bruce doctrine of ‘all politicians tell lies’.

      They want to dumb down politics and tar SNP with their brush so voters don’t engage too much and let the political and media establishment get on with ruling the ‘sheeple’.

      Sorry Stuart,couldn’t resist that.

    65. Tony Little says:

      The MSM, in particular the BBC is a significant impediment to getting the truth into peoples’ heads.

      I do not wish to drag this thread OT but I happened across a video about 911 and one of the recurring phrases when people came to describe what happened was “I know this [whatever] happened, because I saw it on TV”.

      Among the Scots who regard the BBC as their primary source of information and ‘facts’, they will simply not believe an alternative because the BBC has/is for them “The Real Truth”.

      I do not know how it is possible to break that connect, but break it we must if we are to win IndyRef2.

    66. Colin Rippey says:

      Here is a perspective that you will not want to hear.

      Throughout the referendum campaign the SNP told everyone how wealthy Scotland would be if it were independent. That oil was a bonus and that prosperity would be there for all.

      Less than one year later we’ve seen the (totally unpredicted by *everyone*) fall in the price of oil. The projections for an iScotland’s economic sustainability have been called into question by various economic “think tanks”.

      The Scottish Government’s own figures tell us that it would initially be a huge adjustment for an iScotland to function and that serious changes to the entire Scottish economy would have to happen. It’s not that an iScotland would not be self-sustaining, of *course* it would; but there would have to very very difficult changes to be made.

      And yet…there is absolutely no perception of this on sites such as this.

      Contributors such as @ken500, @Dave McEwan Hill, @Robert Peffers tell us over and over and over again that we’re being robbed and that we cannot use any figures we have at the moment because they’re all unionist propaganda.

      I put it to you all that the reason the “journalists/bloggers” the Rev mentions above keep touting the notion of SNP supporters being a religious cult is because…that’s how you come across.

      There is a vast swathe of people on this site who refuse to even consider that the GERS figures have any relevance of any kind. The GERS figures are “made up to suit a unionist agenda”. The GERS figures “hide all sorts of revenue such as Whisky Export duty”. That there’s a country called “Extra-regio territory” that has a gigantic oil fund that should be ours.

      It is a blind faith approach, ignore all evidence of anything that contradicts your belief systems. Never ever attempt to ever present any competing evidence that will reinforce your own belief systems, it’s easier just to attack the attackers.

      I do often wonder what it is that goes through your heads when you keep writing “the No voters were duped”. You see, I look at the SNP White Paper projections and I think to myself “The YES voters were duped, hook, line, and sinker”.

      There are many Yes voters who looked at the SNP White Paper and thought “hey, wait a minute, we’re being robbed by the English, geez oor money back”.

      But that was clearly not the case was it? It will be very interesting to see White Paper 2.0 and what numbers are in it (or will the SNP copy/paste the numbers from White Paper 1.0 and say “look at what Westminster are doing to us today”).

      I digress, we’re never going to see that mentioned on here are we? Why? Because it goes against the belief systems. And that is why it can be suggested that there is an element of a cult following amongst SNP supporters.

    67. Scott Borthwick says:

      Meanwhile, empowered no doubt by the media telling them ‘separatists’ are somehow mentally defective, the unionists are still very happy to abuse independence supporters. Facebook troll cave United Against Separation has a particularly fine example today.

      If you own the van in question, this is specifically directed towards you.

      https://www.facebook.com/VoteNo2014?fref=ts

    68. heedtracker says:

      Its a toryboy world. We just live in it.

      We need more women in politics and we need more interest in politics and we need more WoS. Extremes of wealth and poverty needn’t produce extreme politics. I like to watch lefties around the world. Sometimes they win, Scandinavia, sometimes they lose…

      I like this though “ideals are advanced naturally.”

      “One beautiful thing about advocating for the poor is that feminist ideals are advanced naturally. In order to fight eviction from their homes, women who patriarchy has kept secluded have been allowed to emerge into public life. Their husbands have been forced to choose their homes over their idea of honor. Even within my organization, the patriarchy is being broken down. Energetic young females are beginning to share influence with older male members. When you’re in a tough fight for a common cause, you can’t afford to be choosy about where the best ideas are coming from.”

      (Hunza Valley, Pakistan)

    69. Muscleguy says:

      @Eckle Fechan

      Scotia definitely, Historians use ‘The Kingdom of Caesar!’ to denote the entity that apparently existed but is very poorly attested from just after the Picts defeated the Northumbrians at Dun Nechtan to iirc Kenneth MacAlpine’s accession to the throne.

      So we don’t want to be the Kingdom of Caesar! for ever more, that would be backward looking. In fact I don’t want to live in a Kingdom, of Caesar!, Scotia or Scotland. I want to live in the People’s Communitarian Republic of Scotland (or whatever the Gaelic for that is, official language).

    70. Les Wilson says:

      This is simply another SNP bad tactic, to use with their other tactics to belittle all associated with them.
      Saying were are faith based, then what is their definition of their doctrine?

      Power mad is good? Greed is good? No principles is good?
      To attack the weak is good? Encourage food banks is good?
      To increase poverty is good? etc etc.

      So tell us Unionists,what makes your way, better than our way!.

    71. Grouse Beater says:

      “Zionist” How else would you describe Israeli nationalism, without divorcing the description from it’s ideological root?”

      “Jewish extremist’ is the current fashion, as if, somehow, you avoid categorising the individual. Back in the day when Zionists were termed terrorists because they bombed the Brits, ‘Zionist’ indicated a person of the Zionist party, ergo, an extremist.

      On a more every day note – as soon as I speak or write a sentence I get tagged as ‘left-wing’, whereas I describe myself as a social democrat with a healthy subversive attitude to authority – including tetchy Wings rejections of over-used words.

      “…right-wing columnist Alex Massie…”

      In description of opponents I use ‘right-wing’ a lot, (we all do) occasionally defining it if a specific category. I’m not keen on the phrase though everybody understands its meaning. It’s a useful generalisation, but what’s the alternative? Ten minutes of circumlocution? Do I attempt explanation: a person of a business leaning political party who feels life is all dog eat dog so let the weakest fall by the wayside? Or do I spend hours arguing against the lie that altruism doesn’t exist in human nature?

      What annoys are those who consider Scottish ‘British’. They mean to wound. They remove your heritage and your history in an instant. They reduce you to a common denominator mindlessly happy with Westminster rule.

      Hence, when I insist I am Scots because I was born in a country with hundreds of years of recorded history, therefore I am not English, an opponent is apt to respond I’m a racist – so I smile and I nod. Fine.

      If that’s how they want to close down the debate, so be it. Either I know I am a Scot or I am ready and willing to be convinced otherwise – that is, completely feckless, and of no fixed abode.

      In any event, what has being only ‘British’ got to do with the democratic omissions Scotland endures? Stick to the political points you want to make.

      As for a journalist who tars passionate Scots a religious sect, please don’t call him ‘normally intelligent.’ He has yet to prove that theory has substance.

    72. Robert Bryce says:

      I don’t think they like us much to be honest.

    73. BrianW says:

      He’s right..

      Surly we all dance about with big yellow foam hands like Kenny Everett’s evangelical preacher Brother Lee Love shouting “Praise the Party”

      It’ll not be long till we’re likened to Scientologists, where Nicola, Eck, Angus etc are thetans controlling our thoughts and actions.

      Sheesh.. The establishment REALLY don’t like it when a party upsets the apple cart do they – How very dare they increase their membership and take 56 seats at Westminster.

      The lengths the Unionist press go to to disparage the SNP and their members is quite something. The party are clearly doing something right to elicit the venomous prose from the cohort of journo’s in the post (and others).

      Funny thing is though – the more they carry on like this the more they are appearing to be deranged, maniacal dysfunctional adults who are childishly not getting their own way. These journo’s are a short step from flinging themselves on the ground having a tantrum. Kicking and screaming on the floor because they’re not getting their own way and people aren’t listening. Their work is being laughed at.. Amen to that!

    74. AndyH says:

      Cheers for that link Macart!

      Brought tears to my eyes on a crowded train.

    75. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “Less than one year later we’ve seen the (totally unpredicted by *everyone*) fall in the price of oil. “

      …which, as this very article notes, has actually boosted the UK economy, not damaged it. Oil does not exist in isolation. If the price of it goes down, there are winners as well as losers.

    76. Scott Borthwick says:

      1971Thistle says:
      31 July, 2015 at 8:57 am

      Gerald Warner is a “mystic cult wholly divorced from reality.”

      I’m sure you’ve misspelt something in there.

    77. If I’m ever struggling to explain to anybody why I believe we have been brainwashed by Westminster for over 308 years, i now know I only need to refer them to Colin Rippey,s comment.

    78. heedtracker says:

      Colin Rippey says:
      31 July, 2015 at 9:15 am
      Here is a perspective that you will not want to hear.

      OK Colin, explain in just a tad of detail how the fall in oil prices has affected the Scottish economy please?

      Has lower fuel prices actually been a good thing for the economy and so on?

      Or to mimic your UKOK garbage

      I digress, we’re never going to see that mentioned anywhere in the toryboy media are we? Why? Because it goes against the belief systems. And that is why it can be suggested that there is an element of a cult following amongst UKOK supporters.

    79. Tony Little says:

      OT In case you missed it, a powerful piece of writing by WGN yesterday

      https://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2015/07/30/a-thistle-grows-in-the-rubble/

    80. Grouse Beater says:

      Colin Rippey: that’s how you come across.

      How do you ‘come across?”

      Dear me, what an embarrassing phrase, equivalent to BBC Kay’s ‘What’s your take on British imperialism, Mr Gandhi?’

      If Scotland’s economy relied entirely on profits from oil we would never have seen the rise of the SNP.

      Curiously, at a time one would presume Scots might flock to the SNP and vote for independence, when oil was flowing and Thatcher was squandering it on making as many people as possible unemployed on welfare, the SNP’s support was low.

      It was low even though the SNP’s slogan then was ‘It’s Scotland oil.’ (Absolutely irrefutable.) As usual, the propagandists always omit Scotland’s economic pluses and toss it all onto oil, because that way stops people thinking we have survived without oil hundreds of years. Manufacturing conformity, I believe, is the issue of the topic.

      Mr Rippey, time you understood the meaning of the phrase, ‘arrogant colonial’.

    81. Joemcg says:

      Colin-can we reverse the situation we are in and say Scotland dips in to the entire UK cash fund annually then in turn we give a fraction of that fund to England to keep them going. Let’s call it the Barnett formula. Does that sound fair?

    82. ScottieDog says:

      @Colin Rippey
      No I didn’t swallow the white paper hook line and sinker. It’s another political document like many before and there is much I disagree with.

      I did however come to the realisation that I had watched a union of countries (I supported having previously voted for unionist parties) slowly dismantled by neo-liberalism. I watched as the country’s manufacturing and export base was demolished to make way for a racket of money printing and the sale of debt. This dismantling of the productive economy was blamed on the people with a compliant media. governments of other countries took a stake in their industrial base whilst thatcher boasted that our national debt was lower than Germany’s so we must be more successful. Compare and contrast both nations now.

      So in the end I chose uncertainty over the inevitability that is unfolding now. The ideological driven beliefs of new-liberal economists are being played out in Greece with disastrous consequences, yet we are run in the UK by a govt which ignores the evidence and ploughs on to oblivion.

      It’s about far more than natural resources, it’s about investing in the productive economy and increasing demand, not increasing personal debt over bank inflated assets – which decreases demand. Of course the key to that and also where I deviated from the white paper was a sovereign currency

    83. George Elliott says:

      On the oil price argument- if a barrel was $100 and the tax take is circa $70 to Westminster and our share is circa $9. When it dropped to $50 then tax at $35 our share would be circa $4.50 but if we were Indy our share would be $35 ….. Is this too simplified? Part of the Union $9 Indy $35 or better!
      Apologies for not knowing the exact tax take.

    84. Dan Huil says:

      Unionists, especially those Scots hired by London-based media, have failed to understand the independence movement in Scotland, probably having “gone a bit native”, so are reduced to coming up with the “cult” and “religious” excuses as a last resort. I mean, if they didn’t come up with some explanation or other for the rise in SNP support, what could they write that would be of any interest to their London-centric bosses? Better to do down Scotland and keep the wage coming in.

    85. J Wayne says:

      On a quick look through comments I haven’t seen anybody express the obvious.

      Massie, Deerin, Cochrane etc write about a cult/religious following not because they believe it but because they hope others will and repetition is an essential part of that. Standard propaganda technique – they know what they are doing individually and collectively.

    86. Joemcg says:

      George-aye,that’s the basic facts. Oil revenue split amongst 5 million people or 60 million? It’s not rocket science is it?

    87. Nana Smith says:

      @Alex Beveridge

      Aye you are right, some folks are easily led and brainwashed for sure. Colin needs educating so maybe he should stick around here for a wee while.

      Is it not amazing how Scotland’s oil can grow the economy for Georgie boy but not for an independent Scotland a much smaller country.

      Did anyone see it mentioned by the bbc or stv?

      http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/jun/10/manufacturing-production-drops-between-march-april

      Unable to archive the article, computer glitch.

    88. Marko says:

      “Then why isn’t that reflected in polls, which show only a slight movement to Yes?”

      The vow, devo to the max, near federalism, a strong voice in the UK, better together?
      A lot of people lapped it up, just because they don’t realise they were duped doesn’t mean they weren’t duped. As we watch the Tories push through austerity to the max and attempt to relegate Scottish MPs to second class members, and with Labour refusing to do anything about it it is becoming clear that smoke was being blown rectumwards.

      Nothing here is pointless, one of the messages that we need to get across is that, if you bought all that stuff, you were mis-sold.

    89. Macart says:

      @AndyH

      Nae bother.

    90. louis.b.argyll says:

      Er…divine rule..

      There has been a ruling CULT lording over us since the Pharaohs perfected the mechanisms required to disguise slavery as a commitment to progress.

      When the progress is self serving to a religious elite, like in the Ancient world, progress makes a sideways shift, and generations pass before hope is placed in the next leader.

      Are the SNP enslaving anyone?

    91. Grouse Beater says:

      For Mr Rippey and Mr Cameron, and anybody else arguing being British means living in the greatest country in the world so long as foreigners and Scots know their place:

      https://grousebeater.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/the-obcenity-of-food-banks/

    92. Jock McDonnell says:

      Seems clear to me voters were duped, not necessarily by the vow but over a long period beforehand.
      Fear & misinformation were widespread, many had their minds set on voting no for months before the vote.
      On the doorstep some looked at Yes canvassers as a horror, bringing calamity, others just wanted you to go away quietly & not disturb the denial with a time bomb question.

      We need a narrative now, before the next full campaign. We need to talk about pensions, defence, currency. We need to get the gears turning in the minds. We know this, its been discussed here before. When people start to think about it, the journey begins.

      I believe the great majority of Scots want Scotland to control its own affairs, many just lack the belief we can do it. They need encouragement to see the possibilities appear.

    93. chris kilby says:

      “Hatred of austerity, a rejection of greed … if this is a ‘cult’ count me in”

      (Kevin McKenna)

      http://www.thenational.scot/comment/kevin-mckenna-hatred-of-austerity-a-rejection-of-greed-if-this-is-a-cult-count-me-in.3042

    94. heedtracker says:

      https://twitter.com/proftomkins is my favourite toryboy ukok tweetster/lightening rod/hammer of the scots/Slovene BetterTogether branch manager etc

      But today, Corbyn leads the race and Professor Smirky McSmirkinson tweets

      Adam Tomkins ?@ProfTomkins 21 hrs21 hours ago
      It’s now impossible to take your eyes off this. Summer 2015: the death of the UK Labour Party.

      Nice, same toryboy that helped fart out Smith Commission waste of space also pushes another ukok toryboy blusterer

      https://twitter.com/kevverage

      Who ever this toryboy actually is, he always begins his hard core right wing raging at Scotland running Scotland’s economy with

      “The current state of the Scottish economy is entirely down to the fact that is controlled, taxed, exploited and legislated by Westminster, London, England…”

      He doesnt, ever:-(

    95. chris kilby says:

      Also, the SNP is a “cult” which is now followed by 60% of Scots. And a staggering 80% of under-35s. 80%! That’s some “cult.”

      (Not to be confused with Labour, of course, which increasingly looks like some sort of fanatical death-cult hellbent on its own extinction. Pass the Kool-Aid!)

    96. gordoz says:

      @Colin Rippey

      So Colin; just for interest which of the UK parties do you have most affiliation / sympathy with ?

      Just asking

    97. ahundredthidiot says:

      Bruce Springsteen ‘in 1985, blind faith in your Government, will get you killed’

      If anything, wingers, yes voters, pro indy folks are breaking away from a Cult, having had our eyes opened. We are saying the world is round while the MSM and UKOK nuts are all screaming at us that it is still flat.

      But it’s too late. Once you know it’s round, there’s no going back.

    98. MJT says:

      I joined the SNP prior to the referendum, I’ve been to several branch meetings and I became an office bearer at our last AGM. Newer members were encouraged to get more involved by the long-standing members and so several of us newer members were elected as office bearers.

      Whilst there has been, and still is a period of adjustment within the party, this is only natural as the party membership has swelled to unforseen levels. What I can say, in my experience, and I speak only for myself, is that healthy debate is encouraged. We don’t all agree on the various issues of the day, how can we, but debate and discussion is passionate, informed and civilized.

      If it were the case that I was expected to shut up and tow the line, every line, I’d leave the party. But that’s just not the case in my experience. But, like in any organisation, be it a football team, a theatre company, a business, there’s a common goal that is greater than any individual and the SNP is no different.

      Massie and his ilk are just plain wrong. It’s that simple and if anyone wants to see for themselves they should go along to a local branch meeting. Maybe their experience will be different to mines, I dunno, but I’d say Massie & Co need to look inward and self reflect then check their own cult membership status.

    99. Jock McDonnell says:

      @ScottieDog

      ‘a sovereign currency’

      Good term, we should use that.

    100. sensibledave says:

      … deep breath! Whilst not agreeing with a lot of what Mr Massie wrote, I do recognise some of the traits he describes.

      Many here on Wings will take great delight in highlighting splits, rifts, infighting, the left and right, hawks and doves, wets and dry’s that exist in all other parties. Whether it’s the Tories or Labour (or UKIP or the LibDems) we know where different views exist, within the parties, on particular policy areas. The current Labour leadership campaign is a current example of the range of opinion within a single party. This, surely, has to be the case in any mature, political party – because MPs are not, or should not be, robots.

      What is the alternative? A bunch of people that all say exactly the same thing, voting exactly the same way, unerringly, and following the party line on any subject?

      Which MPs are on the left or right, of SNP policy? Which MP has made a pitch to vary the policy on any particular leadership decision? Does Tommy Sheppard think the same as Mhairi Black as well as Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon – on all issues?

      The way the party presents itself, we are expected to believe that the SNP are at one on all issues. But where is the debate? How did a particular party policy come about? What were the other policies/solutions considered before the party line was decided upon? For instance, did all the 56 agree that doing a U turn on stated policy on not voting on purely English matters – was the right thing to be doing in terms of the party’s aims and reputation? Was there public, or private dissension, from any SNP MP?

      Rarely, here on Wings, is there any discussion about party policy – other than for everyone to agree with it.

    101. chris kilby says:

      I hate to be pedantic – honest! – but when “a cult” attracts the majority, it goes mainstream and becomes the dominant, established faith while the old religion falls by the wayside and becomes more cult-like with all that implies – insular, exclusive, fanatical, embittered and, ultimately, self-destructive.

      Heh.

    102. ErinT says:

      A zealot like Massie writing in a bile-filled extremist publication that likes to test the limits of how much hate speech it can publish such as the Spectator can normally be safely ignored.

      The real cult are right-wing bigots that cling to ideas of conservatism, because the modern world scares them, and refuse to listen to what the majority of people actually want.

    103. david agnew says:

      It is clear to me that when you read this, you realise that the NO camp had clearly no plan for the aftermath of a no vote. They genuinely didn’t think they would need one. The no vote would simply drown out the yes vote. It could be ignored and you wouldn’t need to worry about reconciling the nation or even offering new powers.

      That would have required a no vote in the region of 70/30 or 80/20 – 55/45 was nothing more than a stay of execution. But they tried to shout us down anyway. But you can’t really ignore or marginalise almost half of an electorate – that’s the mistake thatcher and major had made. Look where it got them.

      The one singular achievement of the No camp and its many champions – and this includes the likes of Massie, Cochrane, Deering, Torrance and all the other little nabobs for naw – was to take a party that could only command 1/5 of the vote in scotland and transformed it into a party that now commands 50% of the vote and can pack out stadiums with its supporters.

      If the SNP was a cult then these people were its founders, grudging, unwilling perhaps but they are to be applauded for their role in bringing down unionist politics. Make no mistake – they had a huge role in transforming Scottish politics into what it is now. And perhaps that’s were the anger lays. Somewhere in the deepest recesses of the mind, they know that they are not helping their cause and in fact made the SNP stronger. But what can they do, but keep digging down.

      In reality their mistake to was to trust Scottish labour and believe that its support was greater than it was. Their pens and mouths started writing cheques their parties couldn’t cash. Finally they needlessly alienated a large number of Scots with their arguments for dependency as a boon of union.

      That’s on them. Thats a failure they own completely. The fault of the political system was to fail in planning for a more narrower win, and failing in re building bridges. That’s on westminster and unionist parties. That’s on Murphy, McTernan and McDougall for thinking what did the damage could fix the damage. That’s on the likes of Hothersall for unthinkingly and uncritically supporting failed policies and ideas. That’s on “bettertogether” for allowing Osborne to make his sermon on pound. declaring to the world that Scotland contributed nothing to the success of Sterling and by extension the UK.

      They want to know why they got kicked square in the nuts? take a looking in a mirror Mr Massie…the villain of the piece is staring right back at you.

    104. ronnie anderson says:

      SNP ah Cult, where does that leave WOS.Cmon Rev your at the forefront in everything else. When ur you passing oot oor Robes ,You the highpriest & Paula Rose the Highpriestess lol.

    105. Dr Jim says:

      I think it’s probably correct to say it’s all faith based
      And what’s wrong with that pray

      One puts one’s faith in an organisation and hope they’ll do what they say they will
      In the case of the SNP that has worked out quite well thanks very much

      Where the other political parties fall down in that respect is they’re all flaming liars who took the public for all they could get because they became comfortable in their own apathy of power and position and when found out by that same public got annoyed at being caught so demonised the folk who had stuck to their guns and tried to do the right thing the SNP

      Now I don’t hold much stock in all this ideology right or left stuff, never have,
      I prefer to think of the SNP as D.Management and in that role they have performed (Within the constraints of
      Westminster) very well

      Plus they’re very nice people and that’s also important to me, and they’re local, so that’s good, and approachable, getting even better, they send you regular emails information and updates if you join, what’s not to like

      I might even put up pictures on my wall like the kids do with “One Direction” I can see it now John Swinney in soft focus or Nicola Sturgeon (praise her name) in her Susie Quatro outfit

      I think I’ve just answered the question, the other parties are ugly and unglamorous whereas the SNP are always surrounded by Stardust

      So there we are, not really faith based

      More confidence based eh

    106. Grouse Beater says:

      Jock: Seems clear to me voters were duped, not necessarily by the Vow but over a long period beforehand.

      Yes, ‘inculcated’; doesn’t matter how you say it, it’s decades of British propaganda until we all believe the same thing, happy to cheer and wave the Royal barge down the Thames on a cold, wet blustery day, the drookit faithful.

      Coming soon to a pay packet near you, tax to cover £5 billion to upgrade the House of Commons, and a £150 million to upgrade Buckingham Palace.

    107. Brian Powell says:

      One of the most interesting discoveries for me that came out of the Referendum was just how irrelevant ‘authority’ figures from newspapers, television and political parties were.

      Power only exists where we let it.

      I found looking at a situation and using my own experience to decide ‘does this make sense?’ was the most enlightening of experiences.

      When I was talking to one of my daughters about voting for Independence, she said there is so much information it’s not clear what is right. So I said you don’t need to keep all of the information in your head all the time. Look at what is important to you and decide does this or this make sense.

      When you’ve decided then put it aside and look at the next issue. How do they add up, and it doesn’t necessarily matter what others argue, stand by your own decision.

      I don’t know if that had an effect but she did vote Yes.

    108. Eric Rice says:

      If anything in politics right now deserves the lable of “Cult”, it’s the Free Market, Neoliberal Austerity doctrine which has been shoved down everyone’s gullet ever since Thatcher & Reagan began their assault on the post-war consensus/social safety net with their “government is the problem”, “no such thing as society”,”there is no alternative” catechism.
      Which has really worked out well, hasn’t it….

    109. Petra says:

      What about the members of the other political parties, the O O and so on? No mention of them being religious fanatics? No mention either of the millions of weirdos in this country that seem to glorify and support the continuation of a corrupt, callous war-mongering Government and / or a House of Lords packed with ex-jailbirds, thieves, conmen (and women), perverts and paedophiles.

      This is of course just more guff aimed at trying to brainwash the masses in an attempt to undermine and demonise the SNP … the threat to the status quo … to the State.

      @ Colin Ripley at 9:15

      Thanks for your contribution Colin and yes I can see where you’re coming from to some extent. However just picking up on your first paragraph you say that ”Throughout the referendum campaign the SNP told everyone how wealthy Scotland would be if it were independent. That oil was a bonus and that prosperity would be there for all.” Now that’s not true at all Colin. We weren’t told that prosperity would be there for all. If anything we were told that we would have challenges to face. If I had more time on my hands I would put forward the ‘economic’ case for an Independent Scotland but I’m sorry I don’t have at this time, however I’m sure others on here will do so.

      @ Scunterbunnet says at 3:39 am ”On a related note, we need to learn more about the motivations and mindset of No voters, rather than just speculating about them being feart for their pensions or whatever … However, we need to know what we’re up against. As well as political polling, it would be great to have some ordinary market research done – asking people all sorts of questions about their lifestyles and aspirations and worries…”

      We should be trying to identify what did make them ”feart” of course other than currency and pensions, which will hopefully be addressed by the SNP next time round.

      A great deal of research has also been carried out to identify how individuals voted in relation to gender, age, culture, identity and so on. What we should be doing now is basically asking people to give their, say, top 5 reasons for voting no. As an example, I found that over and above currency and pensions (lack of) defense was a real issue. I would also hope that the SNP is carrying out some research of their own to ascertain how best to go forward in future.

      We’ve also looked at a number of panel-based results on here. It might help if we could compile a list of perceived Independence ‘issues’ and asked no voters from different parts of Scotland to identify the most off-putting for them in order, from say one to ten issues (or more). Not too many as it would become confusing and unwieldy.

      It would also be interesting to find out if individuals who voted yes previously have changed their minds now in light of the current oil revenue situation. Do we still have around 50% support? More or less?

      There are also numerous research sites online which are helpful such as the Economic and Social Research Council (ERSC).

      http://www.cpc.ac.uk/

    110. Grouse Beater says:

      Worth repeating:

      Oil at $100 barrel: $70 to UK Treasury, $9 to Scotland.
      Oil at $50 a barrel: $35 to UK Treasury, $4.50 to Scotland.
      Oil at $50 a barrel under an independent Scotland: all $35 to Scotland.

    111. galamcennalath says:

      Jock McDonnell says:
      “Seems clear to me voters were duped, not necessarily by the vow but over a long period beforehand.
      Fear & misinformation were widespread, many had their minds set on voting no for months before the vote”

      300 years of it!

      Specifically though, in the last couple of years unfounded fearmongering and false promises duped many NOs for sure.

      Ashcroft’s poll immediately after the ref gives up a reasonable picture of what made people vote NO.

      http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/LORD-ASHCROFT-POLLS-Post-referendum-poll-tables-Sept-2014.pdf

      Table 9 Reasons for voting NO

      47% said ‘risks’ made them vote NO. OK, some people will have genuine reservations, fair enough. But all the lies must have duped many into over estimating some risks.

      25% said ‘more powers’ we’re coming. That’s working out well!

      Just as interesting is the time when people made up their minds. It’s was, as you say, a build up over time.

    112. Dan Huil says:

      Are Alex Massie and Colin Ripely one and the same?

    113. Clootie says:

      Tartan Tories / Nazis / Stalinists / Cult followers. Another ORGANISED slur will be along in a minute.

    114. Paula Rose says:

      Methinks sensibledave is confused, this is Wings, that political party over there is the SNP. It does not hold its meetings here. Some people visit here and go there, but certainly not all.

    115. Socrates MacSporran says:

      Sensibledave @10.46 am was asking where the debate on SNP party policies was on this site.

      Not the duty of Wings dave. This is an independence site. Yes, independence is the desire of the SNP, but, not all supporters of independence are also members of the SNP.

      Discussions on SNP party policy are for SNP party websites, not for on here – we’re about the core goal an how we get there.

      Once we’ve arrived, we can sort-out the nuts and bolts, let’s get there first.

    116. Grouse Beater says:

      Dippydave: I do recognise some of the traits Massie describes

      Oh, look, a fight against indie fans. Wounds galore. Pass the salt. Let’s join in! Whoopee!

    117. Camz says:

      Desperate to find a way past the wall of “the SNP puts Scotland first”.

      Make it a cult.

      The amusing thing is that if all the critics stopped being arrant arses and started supporting Scots and Scotland within the union. But they don’t know how, without it being obvious and cringe-worthy.

    118. sensibledave says:

      Joemcg 10:11 am

      You wrote: “George-aye,that’s the basic facts. Oil revenue split amongst 5 million people or 60 million? It’s not rocket science is it?”

      Come on Joe, you know that it is not as simple as that. The point that other people have made above is that to only spin one side of the ledger is to be either naive, or dishonest.

      If all the oil revenue is geographically attributed to Scotland post Independence then, obviously, we have to look at how other revenue is affected because the Barnett formula revenue has gone. As I understand it, Scottish oil revenues would be worth about an additional £400 per head in Scotland. However, per capita spending is around £1200 per head higher in Scotland than the average in the UK.

      That additional spending per head is because it costs more, per capita, to provide health, education, transport and other services in less densely populated areas. Although, we also need to factor in that Scottish water costs are counted as public expenditure in Scotland but not in England.

      I would hope that the decision of whether the population of a country wanted in Independence or not – is not based upon whether they think they might be £1000 a year better, or worse, off. It is more important than that surely. However, if figures are to be thrown about to support a particular argument then all the figures should be made known – or you end up with the totally misleading, naive or dishonest assumption you drew above.

    119. chossy says:

      Mind that time the SNP said you could stick a rosette on a monkey and the people of scotland would vote for us…. no wait it wasn’t the SNP was it.

    120. Stoker says:

      From the article above:
      ““Battling with the SNP was more like debating a religious cult than tackling a political party.” (former Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy, the Mirror)”

      And here’s another take from Murphy quoted from his Policy Exchange Speech earlier this year (June 2015?) referring to the Scottish tv debates he participated in:
      “I felt as if i was campaigning against a pseudo religious rock concert where the truth didn’t matter..”

      Dear Mr.Murphy,
      Can i take this opportunity to state clearly to you and your friends in the Unionist media that there is only one side in all of this who have been repeatedly shown to be liars – Unionists!

      If spreading the truth makes me some kind of religious zealot, or whatever other label you lot want to adhere to me, then so be it – I am a determined disciple of the persistent variety.

      The truth will out, DimJim, the truth will out, ALWAYS!

    121. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I’ve heard our FM is in China. Has anybody told the BBC?

      A couple of points. I am continually astonished by some of our supporters and their naive attitude to the currency question. The currency option chosen (sharing the pound sterling) was the only sensible option in the immediate term of independence.

      That is not to say that it would have been in Scotland’s long term interests. That would have been decided after a period of independent economic stability which would have provided us with safe choices.

      Had we however gone independent with our own currency (pegged presumably to sterling or the Euro initially)it would almost certainly have been subjected to huge speculation and probably devaluation. The four economic experts that provided us the four options knew exactly what they were doing.
      The furious attack on our position was because it was the right position and one that was least destablising and most re-assuring.

      Secondly those who approach the referendum result from the point of view that it must have been honestly achieved need a reality check. If it was going to be tight at all there is no doubt that rigging was a serious or even likely possibility. It got to be very tight indeed
      The result was anomalous in a large number of ways not least in the take up of postal votes to over 90% in many parts and up to 96% in five regions. Nobody has as yet come forward to explain how such North Korean figures could possibly be achieved.

      The most massive canvas ever done in Scotland was also done, right across the country, into every community,well balanced and closely supervised. I was involved. (Here is an area which is Scotland in miniature with all social strata represented widely.
      We got some area with small no majority, some areas with small yes majority and others with significant yes majorities).
      The result is seriously astray of what that nationwide poll established. I believe our leadership were very hopeful that countrywide we had over 50% of the vote.
      I am willing to concede we may have lost or won on a small majority either way (though everything then and since tells me we won) but I think if there was interference it was overdone in panic. There is no way NO had an honest majority of 450,000 on the day

    122. gordoz says:

      @Colin Rippey

      So Colin; just for interest which of the UK parties do you have most affiliation / sympathy with ?

      How often when you ask a simple, calm, straight question of a Union Supporter – they disappear ??

      Anyone out there ? Colin ?

    123. starlaw says:

      if the SNP is a cult, what the hell is the labour party with its jobs for the card carrying boys.
      My parents regularly referred to them as fraudsters, but still voted for them, as they were better than the other side.
      Scottish labour got away with this for far to long, more than half a century to long.

    124. Robert Peffers says:

      Now! Now! Rev Stu, You’re being rather humorous this morning. I’ve never yet, in something like 60 or 70 years, met an SNP member, or an independence supporter, who had not arrived at that conclusion other than by thinking things through for themselves. Mind you it has most often been arrived at as a result of their attention having been drawn to something or other resulting from the actions of some facet of the Establishment or the Establishment’s organisations.

      I’d go as far as to say no one comes over to the conclusion that independence is inevitable without haven’t thought it through for themselves.

    125. Luigi says:

      Massie and chum’s rantings may seem bizarre to most of us, but you have to understand the unionist mindset (difficult I know). They are frustrated and very afraid.

      To the uber unionist reporter, complete with red, white and blue blinkers, there is no appreciation whatsoever of a real, viable alternative to the union. When they see so many people turning to the SNP, they simply cannot understand the many reasons for doing so. To them the only explanation anyone would turn their back on their wonderful, 300 year-old union. As the rev implied, theirs is the faith, and rejection of their faith in the union must be explained by another faith, an evil cult that threatens all they believe in. It’s the only explanation they have.

      As a unionist reporter (I guess that means most of them), it must be quite demoralising, knowing that very few people are listening to you. My heart bleeds. 🙂

    126. Grouse Beater says:

      Dippydave: he point that other people have made above is that to only spin one side of the ledger is to be either naive, or dishonest.

      Here we go – whatever the irrefutable facts reverse them to the opposite point of view, and be sure to state, “No one can trust the word of Nicola Sturgeon”. Job done.

      When are you going to stop wasting time here and help the starving in your hometown of Hull, Dippy? Too coy to answer?

    127. r esquierdo says:

      Jesus loves the little children of the world and all SNP members.People and journalists who live in Stonehouse should not throw glasses

    128. robertknight says:

      Well done Alex, daddy must be very proud. 😉

      Just goes to show what is possible when one is dragged up on a diet of British Nationalism.

      Keep up the good work!

    129. Marcia says:

      The SNP have won the 2 Aberdeen Council by-elections with over 50% of the vote on first preferences. Labour polled more 1st preference votes in 2012 in both seats.

    130. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      sensibledave at 11.18

      The flaw in your argument is that per capita spend in not £1200 more in Scotland than in the UK as a whole. That is a distortion deliberately used by quoting “identified public spending” on providing services in Scotland. The provision of services only makes up about two thirds of government spending in the UK’s regions and figures just as high could be manufactured for any region of you leave out lots of things

      To effect his you leave out so called “national expenditure” (in mostly London and South East which means Scotland and everybody else is paying for London sewer system upgrade and London’s huge Undeground station renovation for instance) and leave out vast government procurement expenditure (defence in particular of which Scotland gets about one third of its due)which is about 70% in the South East of England.

      In reality by far the biggest government per capita expend in the UK is in the South East of England but you can concoct figures for other regions as you wish as long as you leave out much of the actual data.

    131. sensibledave says:

      Grouse Beater 11.35

      Here we go – whatever the irrefutable facts reverse them to the opposite point of view, and be sure to state …..

      Instead of spouting the same old tosh Grousey, could you take a moment to discuss the point at hand and actually give us “the irrefutable facts”.

      Post Independence, including all the Scottish Oil revenues and excluding the Barnett formula, how will the Revenue and Expenditure account look.

      Not words grousey – numbers!

    132. heedtracker says:

      “Here we go – whatever the irrefutable facts reverse them to the opposite point of view, and be sure to state, “No one can trust the word of Nicola Sturgeon”. Job done.”

      Indeed, same ol ukok same ol.

      If the Scots oil and gas industry is such a heavy burden on England, give up control and taxation of it to Holyrood.

      Why maybe we could even get one of these going too

      http://www.nbim.no/en/

      And yes, that is 7+ trillion NOK on their counter, and it’s only going up and up, as UKOK oil got weeweed down the teamGB pooper.

      So no, not a chance in UKOK hell. Wonder why.

    133. galamcennalath says:

      Unionist faith based view of the world?

      https://pbs.twimg.com/media/B3MxsfaIEAAo3UO.jpg

    134. Dr Jim says:

      Are Alex Massie and Alan Cochrane not in the Masons?

      Makes you think that some of these cult complainers could be in the OO or a Union or a wee secret circle somewhere

      The Wee Journo Bad Mouthy Club

      Is that a thing

    135. Effijy says:

      Colin Rippey says:
      31 July, 2015 at 9:15 am
      Here is a perspective that you will not want to hear.

      Throughout the referendum campaign the SNP told everyone how wealthy Scotland would be if it were independent. That oil was a bonus and that prosperity would be there for all.

      Wow Dim Jim!

      Let’s look at the fact that Scotland has contributed more per head than any other member for the last 34 years.
      In 2012, we put in £1,700.00 per person more, but due to our special circumstances such as supporting the most rural areas within the UK, we received £1,200.00 more per head.

      To save you the maths, every Scot gives Westminster £500.00 each for the privilege of being a 2nd class UK citizen.

      Now we know for a fact that Westminster will lie cheat and
      with hold any information that might reveal how much England makes from Scottish Whisky, and other produce leaving
      Tillbury Docks, but believe it is a very substantial sum that could do some much more for a population of 5,000,000 than it does with 65,000,000.

      Shall we take in the matter of Scottish Fishing Waters bbeing shared with the EU in order for English and Welsh water to be reserved? Shall we take into account that 6 oil rigs where given to England along with 6,000 square miles of Scottish waters, by a Labour Party who thought better of debating the issue, consulting anyone, publicly announcing the matter. The whole idea was to prevent a democratic decision by Scots to leave the corruption of Westminster.

      The money above that is stolen from us is justification enough for me to part company with the UK, but being attacked unjustly by every Westminster controlled media organisation, being Lied to with the horrific lie that was their Purda breaking Vow, Scots MPs being condemned for voting on Fox Hunting, their democratic right, and having one Tory MP telling 58 other Scottish MP what they will be forced to do has no relation to democracy in my book. The latest insult from the Tory B******* is to appoint a Slanderer, a Proven Liar, a Waster of £1,000,000 of public money made the Scottish Minister for Justice.

      I must also commend the Rev for providing a very fair and balanced picture of what is truly happening in UK politics.
      He and this site are unequivocally better connected with reality than any TV, Radio, or Newspaper within the UK.

      Thanks for your thoughts and if I could help you out, I would be happy to take your wages and return them in part to you, with instructions on what you are and are not allowed to do.

      Name and address supplied to the Rev so that you can send on your Bank Details.

    136. manandboy says:

      With so many references to cults and religious faith by so many from UKOK, the odds are that it is official 10 Downing St propaganda which David Cameron has okayed.

      But the real story is the huge numbers who believe Cameron’s lies and consequently put their faith in the Tories, in spite of the overwhelming evidence that the truth lies elsewhere.

      Such is the power of State propaganda in the UK, I would hazard a guess that the majority of the population simply don’t know what is true and what is false in political discourse. The Vow is a case in point whereby the UK Government insist they are keeping their promises but the Scottish Government, truthfully, say that is not the case.

      Against this background, it will require the patience of a saint until a clear majority in Scotland choose Independence.

      You’d better believe it.

    137. call me dave says:

      @Marcia

      Thanks for that. 🙂

      Here’s another laugh and I’ve an e-mail from a Zambia Prince too!

      https://archive.is/cM2nH

      PS: North Sea+ West Coast

      Oil £ divided by 60,000,000 UK folk = X£

      Oil £ divided by 6,000,000 Scots folk = 10 X £

    138. heedtracker says:

      We’re not allowed to compare and contrast oil rich Norway with oil poor Scotland but its still a bit of freak out.

      Ghastly old BBC Scotland proud of Scotland 7 billionaires

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-27363200

      Norway has 222.

      http://www.thelocal.no/20140925/norway-boasts-a-record-222-billionaires

      As per usual from toryboy propagandists at Pacific Quay, their stuff like Mohamed Al-Fayed is now a Scottish billionaire, or “The study found that Britain has more billionaires per head of population than any other country, while London’s total of 72 sterling billionaires is more than any other city in the world.”

      is just another day of bizarre ukok propaganda nonsense, from non cultist union jack draped BBC.

    139. Desimond says:

      The Church of the Poisoned Blind!

      Im still laughing away here at kezia dugdales latest makeover..shes gone all Housewives of Haymarket on us with soft tints, light tones and tonnes of slap on including cheeky purple eye shadow.

      Oh Nicola..what have you done to them!

    140. Jim says:

      They have compared the SNP and it’s members to almost every evil in history so “Cult” is just a natural progression for them.

      If Alec Salmond was still leader they would be calling him the “Jimbo Jones” of Scottish politics.

      Don’t drink the Kool-Aid folks!

    141. Al-Stuart says:

      Rev Stu.,

      THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU….

      Rev. Stuart Campbell says: 31 July, 2015 at 12:36 am

      Then why isn’t that reflected in polls, which show only a slight movement to Yes? Believe what you can show, not what you WISH was true. Have we been wasting our time here for the last three years?

      A very wise man once wrote on Wings Over Scotland

      1. Write as if an undecided voter is reading.

      “Fewer than 1% of the site’s readers post comments. That means the comments give you an inaccurate picture of the overall readership, and things that might go down well within a small group of dedicated activists don’t sound so good to people who’ve come to the site looking for information to help make up their minds.

      People without whom we won’t win.”

      ———————–

      Stuart, I have only anecdotal evidence, but have managed to persuade 3 friends to change their position and vote yes for a Full-Devolution Referendum (EVERYTHING except Foreign Affairs & Defence), whereas each has told me they are still inclined to vote no to Independence.

      Would it be a huge imposition to ask if you might consider the following questions to be added to your next Panelbase survey please? The reason is that a debate is about to be had in just a few weeks at the SNP Conference on exactly what to put into the manifesto for the Holyrood 2016 election.

      My preference based on persuading no-voters and undecideds to vote YES is for TWO referenda. Best case SNP 2016 manifesto commitment…

      2017: Scottish Full-Devolution Referendum.

      AND

      2020: Scottish Independence Referendum.

      Possible Survey Questions To Add To Next Panelbase Outing…

      Would you vote Yes/No/Don’t Know to the following…

      Q1. Should There Be A Scottish Full-Devolution Referendum In 2017 (everything except Foreign Affairs & Defence)?

      Q2. How Would You Vote In A Scottish Full-Devolution Referendum? Yes/No/Don’t Know?

      Q3. Should There Be A Scottish Independence Referendum In 2020?

      Q4. How Would You Vote In A Scottish Independence Referendum? Yes/No/Don’t Know?

      The reason the precise referenda wording and policy offering is important is that SNP Constituency Branch members are debating on this now. So the better informed we are, the more coherent the policy that eventually emerges in the SNP Holyrood Manifesto for 5th May 2016.

    142. arthur thomson says:

      I really think Robert Bryce at 9.31 has it right when he says:

      ‘I don’t think they like us much to be honest’

      I’m still chuckling at that Robert

    143. Stoker says:

      Marcia wrote:
      “The SNP have won the 2 Aberdeen Council by-elections with over 50% of the vote on first preferences.”

      Good news, Marcia, thanks for that.
      This “cult” thing has really taken off, eh!
      I wonder if they refer to their Unionist paedophile rings as cults or are they just secret organisations?

    144. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      Hi Al-Stuart.

      I replied to you on a previous page but you never responded.

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/a-modest-proposition/comment-page-1/#comment-2043932

      “Hi Al-Stuart.

      Questions 2 & 4 are identical. Also, I would disagree to the idea of tying an incoming SNP government’s hands to specific years.

      If question 4 is supposed to be about independence, then I would suggest the date (for both referendums) should be “when the government deems it appropriate”.

      Although I don’t see any point in having a referendum on FFA. That has been blown out of the water by votes in the HoC.”

    145. Jimbo says:

      I’ve always considered Massie to be not so much a journalist, more an establishment propagandist.

    146. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      O/T – SNP won both of the council by-elections in Aberdeen with 55% and 61% of the vote.

      Labour vote was down by around 19% and 20%.

      http://ukgeneralelection2020.blogspot.co.uk/2015/07/council-by-election-results-30th-july.html

    147. heedtracker says:

      In a week that saw a dentist’s life in your America dramatically alter after he took a weekend to kill a lion, here in teamGB, blood sports types reek an environmental holocaust across Scotland’s mountains and glens

      https://archive.is/psSeT
      Shooting industry must stop putting strain on countryside, says RSPB chief

      The royals in SPB for example hire a couple of blokes to set fire to vast areas of their Balmoral estate, killing everything, flora and fauna. They also give same guys shotguns and they spend their Highland winters shooting anything that moves. Its very British and very posh.

      If only Scotland had lions with names like Cecil.

    148. Joemcg says:

      Sensibledave-maybe that is a sweeping generalisation about 60 m x 5m but can you answer the calculation above that Scotland would receive $35 out of a $50 barrel of oil instead of $4.50 at present?

    149. Dave the squirrel says:

      A likeness of Alex Salmond appeared in my skirting board last night.

    150. cirsium says:

      @Grouse Beater, 11.08

      Oil at $100 barrel: $70 to UK Treasury, $9 to Scotland.?
      Oil at $50 a barrel: $35 to UK Treasury, $4.50 to Scotland.?
      Oil at $50 a barrel under an independent Scotland: all $35 to Scotland.

      Like it. Short, easy to understand and right on target.

      @Dave McEwan Hill, 11.25

      The result was anomalous in a large number of ways not least in the take up of postal votes to over 90% in many parts and up to 96% in five regions. Nobody has as yet come forward to explain how such North Korean figures could possibly be achieved.

      I’d like a fully researched explanation for that as well. When the SG asked for views on the referendum, I wrote that strict limits needed to put on postal voting. My view now is that there should be no postal voting.

    151. orri says:

      Consider the possibility that the way the votes were moving the result would still have been a NO but a far narrower one than that achieved. Though not in itself a fix the ease at which a postal vote was obtained meant that a lot of people were encouraged to make up their minds early.

      Other than that I’m not sure where those claiming that support for the SNP, not independence as such, think that argument leads. Obviously if it’s a cult then there’s little chance of persuading those that cast near 50% of the votes in the last election for the SNP to change their mind. Nor, if the polls are to be believed, the 60% or so intending to vote SNP in the next Holyrood elections. In other words this is pretty much their surrender speech as they bow to the inevitable.

    152. Petra says:

      @ galamcennalath says at 11:09 am ”Ashcroft’s poll immediately after the ref gives up a reasonable picture of what made people vote NO.”

      http://lordashcroftpolls.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/LORD-ASHCROFT-POLLS-Post-referendum-poll-tables-Sept-2014.pdf

      Thanks for that galamcennalath. Lots of interesting data there. I’ll have to take some time looking through it however as at a first glance it doesn’t seem to separate yes and no voters when considering issues such as NHS, defense and so on. Maybe I’ve missed something?

      @ call me dave says at 12:08 pm

      https://archive.is/cM2nH

      I see Burnham promises to ”give’ them …. One wee Englishman will take it on himself to make a massive decision affecting the Labour Party in Scotland! It’s this kind of language that (continues to) tells you that the SBO of the Labour Party has no power at all. It also sticks in my craw that Scotland has to go cap in hand to any number of absolute nonenities.

    153. De Valera says:

      Andrew Gilligan has it the wrong way round, it is because we are now a sceptical, thinking country that we have 56 SNP MPs. The days of blind faith and quasi religious belief in a party (Labour or Liberal, depending on which part of Scotland you lived in), have gone.

      As for Alex Massie, I watched him on Question Time a few weeks ago and he was barely coherent.

    154. galamcennalath says:

      Al-Stuart says

      ” I … have managed to persuade 3 friends to change their position and vote yes for a Full-Devolution Referendum (EVERYTHING except Foreign Affairs & Defence), whereas each has told me they are still inclined to vote no to Independence”

      Congratulations, you are more than half way there with them, but you really need to get them fully onside for Indy.

      Pursuing DevoMax in any way achieves only two things…

      Firstly, it reinforces the message that there is absolutely no way that WM will ever deliver. My own feeling is that we are now close to that position.

      The Referendum ended as a vote between DevoSomethingWorthwhile versus Independence. The SNP stood in the GE on a ticket to demand DevoMax. The democratic will of the Scottish people has been tested twice. Clear outcomes which WM is currently ignoring.

      The Scotland BillI will appear soon, and be greeted as useless. I suspect Holyrood 2016 might frame a final test of demands for serious devolution, but with the threat on non delivery consequences this time.

      The DevoMax window is rapidly closing.

      Secondly, it may be to either side’s interest to play for time by keeping the DevoMax possibility dangling. I think WM’s only aim to play for time ad infinitum. The SNP may wish time to make clear it is off the table (as above), they might want to minimise Indy talk until after 2016, they may wish to wait for good reasons for Indy2. So I can see why more powers/deliver of The Vow is still being discussed.

      However, DevoMax will never happen. So sooner or later, depending on the grand strategy, it needs to be killed off.

      We most certainly don’t want a specific referendum because no matter what we decide, WM’s attitudes are pretty clear.

    155. heedtracker says:

      I see Burnham promises to ”give’ them …. One wee Englishman will take it on himself to make a massive decision affecting the Labour Party in Scotland!

      And above all else, he’s just one more bare faced UKOK liar.

    156. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “How else would you describe Israeli nationalism, without divorcing the description from it’s ideological root?”

      I can’t imagine that I’d try to do such a thing. But you miss my point – the people who use the Q and T words can make perfectly legitimate dictionary-definition defences for them too. But it doesn’t matter, because the minute you say them you’re dismissed in people’s minds as a tinfoil-hatter.

      Look at the sort of people who most use words like “Zionist”. Want to be associated with them? Then feel free.

    157. Macart says:

      @call me dave

      Oh Jeez! 😀

      I don’t think Mr Burnham thought that statement through.

    158. sensibledave says:

      Joemcg 12:43 pm

      “Sensibledave-maybe that is a sweeping generalisation about 60 m x 5m but can you answer the calculation above that Scotland would receive $35 out of a $50 barrel of oil instead of $4.50 at present?”

      I am happy that the calculations I keep seeing above on oil revenues are correct.

      I asked Grousey to give me the “full up” Revenue and Expenditure figures post Indpendence – no sign yet.

      Of course Scotland will get a huge increase in oil revenues – no one is disputing that. But to keep repeating the numbers as if that is the extent of the issue is delusional. What revenues will be lost post Independence? What will Expenditure be? Will there be a deficit or a surplus?

      As I wrote, to just keep spinning “oil revenues up 10 fold” as if that means “job done” is naive or dishonest.

      I don’t know the final answer. I read various articles, most of which come to the conclusion that Scotland ends up with a deficit of around £8 billion. Maybe that is right or may be its wrong. What we do know is that no one has come up with an outcome that suggests a surplus.

      So, as discussed, to keep banging on about oil revenues without regard to all the other stuff – is just spinning.

    159. galamcennalath says:

      Petra says

      “it doesn’t seem to separate yes and no voters when considering issues such as NHS, defense and so on”

      Table 4

      Columns 15&16

    160. HandandShrimp says:

      The main anti-SNP posters over on the Groan love the whole “cult” thing. Old Viking Tellen Dougie is obsessed with the term.

      It excuses the poor performance of their own parties. It insultingly suggests that the voters are dumb sheep – but better that than face up to the utter absence of principles that beset the three UK parties.

    161. Colin Rippey says:

      @gordoz
      I wouldn’t say I support any specific political party. For me any party that wants to centralise power should be avoided, there should be as much devolved power as possible.

      I don’t support the SNP simply because they want to separate from the UK and I don’t believe that it would be of benefit to Scotland to be independent purely on economic grounds, it’s that simple.

      On other matters.

      I’ve noticed a few people present the following table:

      Oil at $100 barrel: $70 to UK Treasury, $9 to Scotland.?
      Oil at $50 a barrel: $35 to UK Treasury, $4.50 to Scotland.?
      Oil at $50 a barrel under an independent Scotland: all $35 to Scotland.

      For those who have presented this, can I ask you a simple question:

      Where do you get the numbers from?

      Why do you think that an iScotland would get 70% of the revenue of every barrel of oil produced from the North Sea?

    162. HandandShrimp says:

      The Aberdeen by elections look good. Over the two the SNP had 58% to Labour’s 22%…which would suggest recent polls are looking spot on and Labour should be a tiny bit worried.

    163. manandboy says:

      Calais Refugees from The National

      Refugee Council head of advocacy Dr Lisa Doyle said: “It’s extremely disappointing to hear the prime minister using such irresponsible, dehumanising language to describe the desperate men, women and children fleeing for their lives across the Mediterranean Sea. This sort of rhetoric is extremely inflammatory and comes at a time when the Government should be focused on working with its European counterparts to respond calmly and compassionately to this dreadful humanitarian crisis.

      “It’s easy to see why people are alarmed by the pictures they’re seeing and the reports they’re reading; it’s utterly heartbreaking to hear of people losing their lives. That’s why it’s so important that the prime minister shows real leadership by ensuring he uses responsible, careful language and doesn’t feed into people’s fears by misrepresenting the situation”

      Dr Doyle and the Refugee Council clearly don’t know David Cameron.

    164. Mosstrooper says:

      This “cult” thing is getting everywhere. The other day I was walking past a hostelry known for it being inhabited by follow followers. I was wearing in the traditional dress of my forefathers, when I heard one of the denizens cry out ” Hey, look at that cult in a kilt.”

      At least I think he said cult, hearing not what it was.

    165. heedtracker says:

      I don’t know the final answer. I read various articles, most of which come to the conclusion that Scotland ends up with a deficit of around £8 billion”

      So what is Scotland’s deficit now sensible and why?

      Check it out sensible, all your britnat jibberjabber’s going tits up, day after Scottish day

      Hilton, Woodside, Stockethill (Aberdeen) result
      SNP 47.8% (+20.1)
      LAB 29.2% (-18.5)
      CON 13.3% (+6.5)
      GRN 4.9% (+1.6)
      LDEM 4.7% (-0.1)

      Kincorth, Nigg, Cove (Aberdeen) result:
      SNP HOLD.
      SNP – 61.0% (+24.2)
      LAB – 19.1% (-14.0)
      CON – 9.8% (+4.1)
      LDEM – 6.5% (-2.2)
      GRN – 3.6%

      This is massive in Aberdeen where a unionist red and blue tory cabal/coaltion have been lets say, mind bogglingly shite. And they also sent me my council tax bill with a letter telling me to vote NO Sept 18 2014.

      Red and blue tory ukok, yer teas out.

    166. breastplate says:

      I think the second last paragraph has let you down and puts you at odds with your own article about faith.
      I believe the referendum was rigged, you seemingly don’t but let’s look at the facts.
      I don’t KNOW that the referendum was rigged. FACT.
      You don’t KNOW that the referendum wasn’t rigged. FACT.

      I have absolutely no faith that we had a fair referendum.
      Who do you have faith in that it wasn’t rigged?

      Can anyone explain to me and others like me why the referendum would NOT have been rigged?
      I’m open to all logical reasons.

    167. HandandShrimp says:

      Why do you think that an iScotland would get 70% of the revenue of every barrel of oil produced from the North Sea?

      To my knowledge the purpose of those numbers is to crudely demonstrate that at the moment Scotland receives a Barnett proportion of the tax take on oil and that if independent Scotland would receive 100% of any revenue generated by oil. In itself it is a straight forward concept. Whether it is 70% or 20% would be dependent on whatever tax regime is in force at the time but the principle (unless oil was devolved to Holyrood) would remain the same.

    168. Luigi says:

      Aside from oil, we keep hearing that Scotland’s gross exports are masked and deliberately under-estimated by not counting Scottish goods that are exported through English/rUK ports.

      Is there any way we can get a handle on this and find out just how much Scotland contributes to the UK balance of payments? How much do we export indirectly?

    169. Luigi says:

      Time for a few FOI trade requests, methinks!

    170. Dan Huil says:

      Excellent news about Aberdeen by-election wins for the SNP. Front page of the unionist P & J tomorrow?

    171. Rob James says:

      @ Colin Rippey.

      70% is the current treasury tax take.

    172. baronesssamedi says:

      Colin Rippey “The Scottish Government’s own figures tell us that it would initially be a huge adjustment for an iScotland to function and that serious changes to the entire Scottish economy would have to happen. It’s not that an iScotland would not be self-sustaining, of *course* it would; but there would have to very very difficult changes to be made.

      And yet…there is absolutely no perception of this on sites such as this.”

      Yes-because normal people know they have NO WAY of influencing or predicting the economy (2008, anyone?). The SNP are a means to an end and then I’m totally going green. Fingers crossed till the happy day.

    173. heedtracker says:

      Can anyone explain to me and others like me why the referendum would NOT have been rigged?
      I’m open to all logical reasons.

      Look at what actually happened. The ref result matched all the polls but one maybe.

      If anything, its our imperials masters that freaked out at the last minute with their The VOW fraud. Unless that was all part of a giant conspiracy involving MI5, MI6, all teamGB media freak show, the now extinct SLab red tory party, the Klingons, sensibledave, Libby Carrell of rancid The Graun, the Russians, the Pope, Darth Vader, Benedict Cumberbatch, the BBC, the people that shot Kennedy…

      Its just going to take a bit longer than YES voters might hope and wish for, is all.

    174. Colin Rippey says:

      @Rob James
      70% is the current treasury tax take.

      What tax is this you’re quoting?

      (I hope you don’t mean fuel excise duty, that’s actually more like 60% but…it’s got nothing to do with how much an iScotland would get from each barrel of oil)

    175. The Man in the Jar says:

      @Dave the squirrel
      at 12:45

      “A likeness of Alex Salmond appeared in my skirting board last night.”

      Mine was on a slice of toast! 🙂

    176. Calluna says:

      Talking about cults (mibbes?)
      Does anyone know anything more about the All Under One Banner march tomorrow?
      Or to be specific – anything to do with Sheridan?
      Ta 🙂

    177. sensibledave says:

      Rev

      … Alex Massie has written another piece in the Spectator (online) where he quoting your article.

    178. Taranaich says:

      The important thing in the whole “No voters were idiots/duped” thing is that it places the emphasis on No voters, when the emphasis should be on the people in power – Westminster & the media. It’s part of the Big Lie.

      When all the main parties consistently say they want to deliver more devolution, the BBC are constantly throwing around terms like “Home Rule,” “near Federalism” and “Devomax,” then it is entirely reasonable for people to conclude that they are serious about it. It would be a democratic scandal if all three parties then utterly reneged on their promises, and turned out to be lying through their teeth.

      The thing is, that’s exactly what happened. Even in the 2015 election, the Lib Dems and New Labour used the historically-important phrase “Home Rule” in their manifestos, while the Tories promised “extensive new powers.” So soon after the referendum, the electorate knew better.

      No voters were not being unreasonable in expecting their government to respect the mandate they gave them and acknowledge their desires: it is their government who is being not just unreasonable, but flatly disrespectful to them. The electorate responded, when 50% voted SNP, 24.3% voted for a party which promised a “Home Rule Bill” within the first 100 days of government, and 7.5% voted for a party which promised no less than Federalism for the entire UK. That’s 81.8% of the Scottish electorate voting for some variation of Home Rule.

      Yet Westminster just ignored that mandate completely. I thought we would see at least some scraps, some meaningless and petty amendments thrown to give the semblance that the Tories were willing to listen – but no. Every single one of the Scotland Bill amendments was voted down.

      No voters were not idiots for wanting what is, by all conceivable measures, the will of the vast majority of Scots – which is the sort of power all sorts of polities have. Catalonia has control over their media. Quebec has control over immigration. Individual towns in the US have control over VAT. Scotland is not asking for anything unreasonable that regions, states, and counties all over the world do not currently enjoy.

      In truth, it is Westminster who are idiots – to think that they can treat the people of Scotland with such open contempt in this day and age, where news and communication can spread instantaneously without the media acting as filter and spin. Sites like Wings show that we can get through if we keep going.

    179. call me dave says:

      Massie article: Spectator.

      https://archive.is/Jq1mU

    180. CameronB Brodie says:

      This major study develops a new account of modernity and its relation to the self. Building upon the ideas set out in The Consequences of Modernity, Giddens argues that ?high? or ?late? modernity is a post traditional order characterised by a developed institutional reflexivity. In the current period, the globalising tendencies of modern institutions are accompanied by a transformation of day–to–day social life having profound implications for personal activities. The self becomes a ?reflexive project?, sustained through a revisable narrative of self identity. The reflexive project of the self, the author seeks to show, is a form of control or mastery which parallels the overall orientation of modern institutions towards ?colonising the future?. Yet it also helps promote tendencies which place that orientation radically in question – and which provide the substance of a new political agenda for late modernity.

      In this book Giddens concerns himself with themes he has often been accused of unduly neglecting, including especially the psychology of self and self–identity. The volumes are a decisive step in the development of his thinking, and will be essential reading for students and professionals in the areas of social and political theory, sociology, human geography and social psychology.

      http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/0745609325?*Version*=1&*entries*=0

      From Anthony Giddens, Modernity and Self-Identity: Self and Society in the Late Modern Age, Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1991, pp. 187-201.

      ‘Living in the world’: dilemmas of the self
      In conditions of late modernity, we live ‘in the world’ in a different sense from previous eras of history. Everyone still continues to live a local life, and the constraints of the body ensure that all individuals, at every moment, are contextually situated in time and space. Yet the transformations of place, and the intrusion of distance into local activities, combined with the centrality of mediated experience, radically change what ‘the world’ actually is. This is so both on the level of the ‘phenomenal world’ of the individual and the general universe of social activity within which collective social life is enacted. Although everyone lives a local life, phenomenal worlds for the most part are truly global.

      Characterising individuals’ phenomenal worlds is difficult, certainly in the abstract. Every person reacts selectively to the diverse sources of direct and mediated experience which compose the Umwelt. One thing we can say with some certainty is that in very few instances does the phenomenal world any longer correspond to the habitual settings through which an individual physically moves. Localities are thoroughly penetrated by distanciated influences, whether this be regarded as a cause for concern or simply accepted as a routine part of social life. All individuals actively, although by no means always in a conscious way, selectively incorporate many elements of mediated experience into their day-to-day conduct. This is never a random or a passive process, contrary to what the image of the collage effect might suggest. A newspaper, for example, presents a collage of information, as does, on a wider scale, the whole bevy of newspapers which may be on sale in a particular area or country. Yet each reader imposes his own order on this diversity, by selecting which newspaper to read–if any–and by making an active selection of its contents.

      http://web.pdx.edu/~tothm/theoryii/Dilemmas%20of%20the%20Self.doc

      Where are all the sociologists and psychologists?

    181. Taranaich says:

      @heedtracker: Can anyone explain to me and others like me why the referendum would NOT have been rigged?

      There isn’t any reason it couldn’t have been rigged: we’ve seen vote rigging in the UK, we’ve seen it happen with much larger numbers of people in Florida, and the UK establishment has form in anti-democratic movements.

      The question is evidence, and for such a cataclysmic scandal, there’d have to be a hell of a lot of it. As of right now, it’s mostly anecdotal, incidental (like the lack of exit polls, lost boxes, and the postal votes situation) or limited to the amount of petty fraud you see in all elections.

      And, as the Rev alluded to with the use of certain words, it’s very easy for people to dismiss you out of hand. The first thing the establishment do to undermine people who are looking to uncover scandals is to call them conspiracy theorists. It’s what they did with the Iraq dossier, it’s what they did with Saville, it’s what they did with McCrone.

      There would need to be completely incontrovertible, irrefutable evidence for vote rigging – and even then, look what happened with Dr Kelly.

    182. Les Wilson says:

      If you look at the document compiled by Yes voters in a very well documented breakdown. At 96% postal votes for that area HAD to be rigged. It would have been a world first, yet, strangely never spoken about by the BBC or any other media.

      Doesn’t that tell us something?

      You would have thought a percentage this high would have been spoken about, but no.By ignoring the fact, it speaks volumes.

    183. Fred says:

      I cut an aubergine in half for the moussaka and lo, as the flesh oxidised, The Egg Man appeared in an Egg Plant. 🙂

    184. Taranaich says:

      If you look at the document compiled by Yes voters in a very well documented breakdown. At 96% postal votes for that area HAD to be rigged. It would have been a world first, yet, strangely never spoken about by the BBC or any other media.

      Doesn’t that tell us something?

      The immediate reaction would be “well of course, it was compiled by YES voters.

      The only thing for it is for an impartial investigation into these claims, isn’t there?

    185. Tony Little says:

      @Colin Rippey

      What tax is this you’re quoting?

      Do some research

      https://www.gov.uk/oil-and-gas-taxation

    186. CameronB Brodie says:

      Rev. Stuart Campbell
      I see where you are coming from and acknowledge your point. However, I still don’t know how to describe Zionism without using the word Zionism. A bit like trying to describe an orange, without using the word orange. I suppose I could describe it as ‘not an apple’.

    187. Betty Boop says:

      @ Lesley-Anne, 12:17am

      Alex Massie … Hmm.

      Wasn’t he the *ahem* intellectual who wrote a biography about Alex Salmond without ever actually talking to Alex Salmond? 😉

      Nah, Lesley-Anne. Sure that was thon ither inteleckchul, David Torrance. We are truly blessed.

    188. gordoz says:

      @Colin Rippey

      “For me any party that wants to centralise power should be avoided, there should be as much devolved power as possible”

      Take you didn’t want to admit to Labour then.

      See thats where we differ Colin.
      I believe in Scotland, unfortunately it appears you don’t.

      I would guess you have a ‘religious belief’ in Britain and the making of a ‘buck’; since the modern Thatcher/ Blair Britain is so US focused.

      Just so you know, is no Britain any more – only the 51st of Uncle Sam; just your too Lab/Tory blind to see sadly.

      No offence but you’re clearly in as much denial as those you accuse on this site.

    189. dakk says:

      Colin Rippey 2.02

      ‘ for me any party that wants to centralise power should be avoided’

      That comment beggars belief as the Westminster unionist parties are fighting to keep one of the most centralised states on earth in power.

      SNP offer the only realistic chance of decentralising power from London.What happens after that will be in the hands of the people of Scotland.

      You are not sincere in your statements at 2.02.

    190. Breastplate says:

      Heedtracker, that’s fine, if you believe that everything was fair and above board, good for you. I’m happy for you to think that.
      Trying to place people in the loony category because they think otherwise is a very poor stance to take.
      I like to think I’m capable of a logical thought process that helps me come to reasonable conclusions without drawing on who killed Kennedy, the Pope or Darth Vader.

      But let’s address your reason for believing there was no interference. (The polling was consistent with the result).
      Nobody interfered with the polls ergo nobody interfered with the referendum.

      You would have to believe that nobody interfered with the polls and that includes initial data, weighting, wording, interpretation or anything else that would skew results.

      I think it was David McEwen Hill that first mooted the point about 2 years ago that if the referendum was to be interfered with, so might the polling have to be. I happened to agree with him at the time because it seemed like a logical conclusion. Of course some coordination would have to be in order, hardly an obstacle.

      So Heedtracker, while you make fun of my thought process and conclusions, what logical process did you use to come to yours. I would be genuinely interested without a hint of sarcasm.

    191. galamcennalath says:

      Taranaich says:

      “When all the main parties consistently say they want to deliver more devolution, the BBC are constantly throwing around terms like “Home Rule,” “near Federalism” and “Devomax,” then it is entirely reasonable for people to conclude that they are serious about it. It would be a democratic scandal if all three parties then utterly reneged on their promises, and turned out to be lying through their teeth.

      The thing is, that’s exactly what happened. ”

      Indeed. I find it an utterly astonishing situation. It’s not a bit of spin, a little bit of denial, a minor cover up, a subtle change in policy …. It is an absolutely massive “democratic scandal” which is being perpetrated quite openly and in a totally brazen manner.

      How can anyone honestly believe this Union Has a future?

    192. AndyH says:

      How do you centralise power when you are going to be breaking it up into smaller areas???

      Me no understandee this person from the Onion lands.

    193. heedtracker says:

      Taranaich says:
      31 July, 2015 at 3:16 pm
      @heedtracker: Can anyone explain to me and others like me why the referendum would NOT have been rigged?

      There would need to be completely incontrovertible, irrefutable evidence for vote rigging – and even then, look what happened with Dr Kelly.

      But all of that slips into conspiracy theory too. When Kelly died it was 100% clear that there were no WMD’s in Iraq. It was 99% clear there were no WMD’s in Iraq before the invasion. Every day on BBC r4 Today show, they had UN weapons inspector Hans Blix explaining clearly that there were no Iraqi WMD’s. He’s still around, they still invaded. Today Bomber Bliar, Crash Gordon, Flipper Darling and everyone who voted AYE for invading Iraq has the blood of over a million people on their hands. Would they do it all again? No one has ever asked them.

      Saville was almost certainly a well known child molester and rapist at the BBC but certainly not to the wider public. The BBC creepshow kept him safe because it would harm them all at the BBC.

      Even Macrone was hidden but everyone in Scotland knew then and knows now the full value of not Scots oil. The real fraud on every Scot is that voters aren’t very clear on where Scots oil’s really gone, invested in the English modernised motorway infrastructure, the dole for Maggies millions, giant UK private pension fund industry… all of its been spent in England but that;s the whole point of being a territorial master, you take what you need, when you need it.

      And so, if our referendum was rigged why did they vomit their historic giant The Vow fraud on Scotland? Mind Crash Gordon rage at not real Scots, take back the streets from vile sepratistas, vote NO or else for federal UK, devo-max, security in the UK, Scots leading the way to the USA etc, all of it belting out of the BBC, ITV and C4 alone.

      You dont do that if you’ve rigged the ballot.

    194. galamcennalath says:

      Scottish subsample from a ComRes poll :
      SNP 54%
      Conservatives 19%
      Labour 14%

      Don’t quite know why, but I enjoy seeing Labour below Tories in Scotland.

      Perhaps it’s a sign that they are actually dying off!

      Perhaps it’s because, why vote Faux-Tory when you can choose Real-Tory?

    195. ahundredthidiot says:

      SEE! You’re all TOO honest!

      Let’s give the Unionist Takers some credit – If any of them were being called a Cult – They’d be asking for charitable status!!!

    196. It must be true that the conspirators emerge on a Blue Moon.

    197. Fran says:

      @ Rev
      . Have we been wasting our time here for the last three years?

      No, we are not wasting our time. We are building a future and it may take longer than we wish. But self determination for our country is bigger than any of us and we all have a part to play.

      Mosses never reached the promised land but the people did.

      There is a new, non-imperial thinking generation coming behind us and we must be the pathfinders for them.

    198. Lesley-Anne says:

      Thanks to Mr Malky on twitter for rhis link.

      Just a wee comparison folks, between Norway’s oil fund and Britain’s oil fund. 😀

      Norwegian Oil Fund.

      http://www.nbim.no/en/

      British Oil Fund

      £ZERO

      Hmm … 😉

    199. Gary says:

      Party makes detailed policies, builds grassroots support then does well in elections. VERY dangerous, SNPbad..

    200. tony O'neill says:

      Sorry rev but I believe the referendum was rigged,if they can lie to their people to go to war,they can rig a referendum to keep the valuable part of north Britain in chains.

    201. tony O'neill says:

      Sorry stu,but I believe the referendum was rigged.If the british establishment can lie to its own people to go to war and let its young spill their lifes blood on a lie then yes they could and did rig the referendum to keep in chains the most valuable part of these isles.

    202. cirsium says:

      O/T @Taranaich

      I’ve just reread your comment dated 28 September 2014 comparing the post-referendum period to the post Battle of Methven situation and what happened afterwards. It certainly made me feel better at the time. Now, seeing what has happened since the referendum, I want to congratulate you on your analysis.

    203. Petra says:

      Nana many thanks for the really interesting and enlightening articles that you post. See you’re off on holiday now. Hope you have a fantastic but more than anything relaxing time.

    204. heedtracker says:

      So Heedtracker, while you make fun of my thought process and conclusions, what logical process did you use to come to yours. I would be genuinely interested without a hint of sarcasm

      Breastplate, look at the GE result then. Without Project Fear scaring the life out of Scotland, SNP won I think its 50% of Scots electorate that voted that day.

      Which all makes sense as Project Fear slammed into Scotland to do just that, hold down YES waverers.

      Can see where I’m going with this?

      I love conspiracy theories too, if only because you can learn so much detail from them. But the reality is what is. If the SNP vote share had been hitting 70% Scots electorate then, ref vote rigging would seem highly likely.

      What is also clear is a lot of people that voted Sept 18 did not vote May 7 and maybe that’s the vote that will win the next and last referendum.

      In precis, the greatest fraud/conspiracy/shyste on all of us came pouring out of the BBC, ITV, C4 and a special thanks to the historic fraudsters and liars at the Daily Record.

      Scottish history will never forget or forgive any of them.

    205. Grouse Beater says:

      Our English ‘friends’ here so keen to sow doubt whenever they can, Dippy Dave and Mr Rippey especially, please tell us how many of your countrymen day in, day out are harangued as to whether or not they are really English, or how much their country is really made up of another nation’s people, or doesn’t exist at all.

      If the answer is rarely or never, might I suggest you both go to hell.

    206. Grouse Beater says:

      Stuart
      Probably obvious to everybody else, alas not to me, what’s the significance of George Michael to the topic, other than another celebrity who leads a double life?

    207. CameronB Brodie says:

      Here’s a relevant look back, perhaps?

      The tension between distinctiveness and solidarity is well known in social psychology. Once we label people as belonging to separate groups we tend to perceive the groups as more different from each other than they really are. If we belong to one of those groups, we tend to readily identify with it and value its distinctive culture and way of life.

      https://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21380-scotlands-social-mind-will-settle-independence-vote/

    208. Croompenstein says:

      @Grouse –

      You’ve got to have faith…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GpeG2dLRxys

    209. K11 says:

      The article’s title is a lyric from George Michael’s song Faith, Grouse.

    210. Breastplate says:

      Heedtracker,
      I know that believing the referendum was rigged is a conspiracy theory. I understand that completely, but there are measurements that apply to all of these that determine how batshit crazy one is.

      Impossible being one extreme through possible but improbable to possible and highly probable.
      I believe we differ on not the possible but how probable.

      Of course I could be wrong about the rigging of the referendum but what if I’m not?

      Anyway, this is the last day of my holiday in Portugal and I’m off out with my wife and kids for dinner. I may take a look in later.

    211. BigMac says:

      Thanks Rev. Stuart Campbell and all your respondents, your comments keep me motivated and stop me from getting despondent. Cheers.

    212. K1 says:

      Grouse, though Croomp’s is funny here’s the song with lyrics…

      Cults gotta have faith…

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRuVO8sEliw

    213. gus1940 says:

      Well done Stu – this is one of your best pieces ever.

      You have done a beautiful job of exposing how the media are centrally controlled and co-ordinated in their attacks on The SNP.

      The big question is whether or not that control/co-ordination is being exercised by the WM government.

      Is their some sort of government slush fund being dished out to the press – in particular the Scottish press?

      On the subject of cults I couldn’t help noticing that Massie is only one letter short of being an anagram of Messiah.

    214. Dab Haun says:

      Funnily enough, I’ve always thought Alex Massie was a bit of a cult. I think that’s the word I’m looking for, right?

    215. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      sensibledave at 11.47

      “Post Independence, including all the Scottish Oil revenues and excluding the Barnett formula, how will the Revenue and Expenditure account look.”

      How could we possibly know. You don’t think we want to be independent so we can run the Scottish economy the way it is presently run, trapped and mismanaged in a bust UK economy.

    216. Charles Edward says:

      Most of us have encountered someone we respect who doesn’t voice their politics. Over the recent times you assume that perhaps that individual doesn’t think the same as you and then you discover actually that they have very strong feelings that match yours.
      Think about the last time you connected with someone like this who believes in independence. It would be a mistake to feel warm at the idea that right through these quiet people there’s a stick of rock inscription reading SNP or FREEDOM! and that alone explains it.
      More often than not these folk are hard-wired with humanity, they might not make a song and dance about it because this isn’t only about feeling, it’s about knowledge.
      Humans have run around banging drum and chanting for thousands of years. Thinking, that cold measured skill, is what has distinguished our achievements.
      If you have ever been in a room with a horde of braying unionists there’s a hum of group-thought that isn’t really thought at all.

      I guess it would be nice if everyone could join the cult of integrity, give your heart away and put on the thinking cap.

    217. galamcennalath says:

      Grouse Beater says:
      “what’s the significance of George Michael to the topic…?”

      Sheesh. Even that much passed me by. I just thought it was some dude needing a shave and maybe symbolising relaxation while having “some time off” on holiday or whatever.

    218. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Taranaich at 3.37

      The figures provided were from the Electoral Commission, not made up by the investigators. The investigators were initially having lots of difficulty getting any information until the Scottish Government was copied in to the correspondence

    219. X_Sticks says:

      Grouse Beater says:

      31 July, 2015 at 11:08 am

      “Worth repeating”

      Indeed – knicked and tweeted 🙂

    220. heedtracker says:

      Anyway, this is the last day of my holiday in Portugal and I’m off out with my wife and kids for dinner. I may take a look in later.

      Lovely. We’re in Aberdeen, where its just stopped raining and shot up to 14c, so its a lot like this

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYX0sjP6Za8

      Over 8 million views and our Mhairi from Paisley gets over 10 million. Something’s up in Scotland.

      Have a lovely holiday Breastplate:D

    221. Grouse Beater says:

      I still don’t know how to describe Zionism without using the word Zionism.

      Cameron:
      I have no idea who Stuart refers to, but in my world ‘Zionism’ is a description of Jewish aggression, or to be absolutely correct, aggression by the state of Israel. It tends to be used by intellectuals of the left describing war crimes carried out by the ultra-right of Israel – a nation backed by the USA and Britain with billions in armaments and grants – aggression in pursuit of some Israeli announced ‘just cause’, the same ‘just cause’ you’ll find in the annals of Nazism.

      Call unwarranted aggression Zionism, terrorism, or ultra-right Israeli aggression – it’s the same thing – someone or some people are getting killed in the name of a ‘just cause’ that if done to us we would call terrorism.

      One of the most heinous ‘just causes’ of the Seventies was the Vietnam war on people we called ‘Gooks’, when we murdered millions of innocents, thousands still dying to this day because of old bombs and toxic chemicals, all done supposedly to stop communist China taking over the western world.

      And what is our relationship with China today?

    222. Big Jock says:

      The SNP is neither a cult nor a religion. What it is, is a movement. A Scottish movement. A movement that sees the people of Scotland combining and rallying around a single party. In order to advance the Scottish nation.

      Massive doesn’t understand it because he is not part of the national movement. He has chosen his side, Britain and we ours. We don’t ask or expect him to understand this. If you don’t believe in a democratic movement. It doesn’t give you the right to dismiss it or demonise it’s premise.

      If we the people of Scotland don’t unite the establishment will continue the vandalism of Scotland.

      History will show Massie and his like to be on the wrong side.

    223. CameonB Brodie says:

      Grouse Beater
      Thank you. It looks like the ‘agents of Zionism’ have managed to make a conspiracy theorist out of anyone using the word Zionism. Just as they have managed to convince folk that anti-Zionists, such as myself, are anti-Semites. Those damned Agents of International Zionism. 🙂

    224. Colin Rippey says:

      @Effijy
      Let’s look at the fact that Scotland has contributed more per head than any other member for the last 34 years.
      In 2012, we put in £1,700.00 per person more, but due to our special circumstances such as supporting the most rural areas within the UK, we received £1,200.00 more per head.

      To save you the maths, every Scot gives Westminster £500.00 each for the privilege of being a 2nd class UK citizen.

      Interesting that you choose the figures from the GERS report for the year 2011-2012, the year that the SNP used in the white paper. Do you have any figures for the other 34 years? And why only 34 years – oh wait, you mean since oil was generating substantial revenue. I thought the independence argument was that Scotland has been getting fleeced for 300 years.

      Care to detail the figures for 2012-2013, 2013-2014? No? Think you’ll find that your argument that Scotland contributes more quickly goes away when you look at the subsequent years (and in fact what is likely to be the norm unfortunately for the forseeable future, even if oil were to recover to above $100 again which is was for 2012-2013).

      @Tony Little
      The links you provided are for the tax rates on oil companies profits.

      The table presented below (which is what others have used) gives the impression that “somehow” HMRC gets 70% of the revenue from every barrel of oil, and that the 70% revenue would revert to Scotland were it to become independent.

      Oil at $100 barrel: $70 to UK Treasury, $9 to Scotland.?
      Oil at $50 a barrel: $35 to UK Treasury, $4.50 to Scotland.?
      Oil at $50 a barrel under an independent Scotland: all $35 to Scotland.

      This is again not what actually happens. There *is* a fuel excise duty that HMRC collects at the pertrol pump on the price of each litre of petrol sold, and the rate on that is just below 60%.

      In the event of Scotland becoming independent, the fuel excise duty collected in England would remain with HMRC, it would NOT be somehow sent back across the border to Scotland.

      This almost the exact same argument people make about the mythical whisky export duty – a simple data table gets copied and pasted around the Internet and before you know there’s thousands of people who believe something that has no basis in fact.

      @dakk

      says:
      31 July, 2015 at 4:02 pm
      Colin Rippey 2.02

      ‘ for me any party that wants to centralise power should be avoided’

      That comment beggars belief as the Westminster unionist parties are fighting to keep one of the most centralised states on earth in power

      Sorry but the SNP are one of the most centralising governments we’ve seen. Take the council tax freeze – when they introduced this I thought to myself “this is actually quite a good thing as it will prevent councils from doing whatever they want” but in actual fact it is a basic form of centralising the control over council budgets.

      It is almost as big a problem now as the council tax re-banding that will *have* to happen at some point. How will a future SNP government re-introduce council’s control over council tax rates?

      Police Scotland – centralised control over the entire country’s police – is this a good thing? Will this improve what should be a fundamentally a local service?

      I actually don’t think the SNP will continue with this centralisation policy as I believe it was a way for Holyrood to try and reign in some of the more “maverick” councils that the SNP did not have control over, but given that it’s likely the SNP will almost certainly take over just about every council in 2017 then perhaps the centralisation policy might change.

      @Dave McEwan Hill
      How could we possibly know. You don’t think we want to be independent so we can run the Scottish economy the way it is presently run, trapped and mismanaged in a bust UK economy.

      You do know Dave, you have GERS to refer to. Here’s what I don’t get, you claim that you don’t know, you claim GERS contains expenditure that should not be there. And yet, you’re absolutely certain that an independent Scotland would have a far better economy than the current UK one.

      What has led you to believe this? What evidence do you have to back this up? What? Is it that you have faith in that somehow it’ll be all right on the night?

      Finally, I’ve noticed a growing trend that last year’s referendum must have been fixed, there is no way the Yes vote could have lost. Some skullduggery was at work, MI5, MI6, GCHQ, The CIA, The FBI, Spectre, were all in cahoots with Westminster to scupper the Yes vote.

      You really have to try and resolve this issue, it is a crazy notion and it is becoming almost sacrosanct to challenge the view that the referendum result was not valid.

      Do you really believe that all the people involved in the counting and collation of votes all conspired to defeat the Yes vote, really?

    225. Grouse Beater says:

      Cameron: have managed to make a conspiracy theorist out of anyone using the word Zionism.

      Which is exactly germane to the theme of the topic. How the Right trivialises almost everything it disagrees with, sticks a derogatory label on it, for example, ‘sweaties.’

      The interesting aspect of Massie and right wing opinion benders is (my phrase) they are scared, same as the power elite. Their freedom to command the means of communication are under constant assault. They are getting removed.

      They cannot monopolise what we should think, any more than a ticket clerk can influence which train you take to your destination. We can see the timetable and compare the fares for ourself.

      🙂

    226. Grouse Beater says:

      Rippey: What has led you to believe this?

      Significant remark – as close to mind control as you dare get – eh?

      What is it you are trying to prove?

      It can’t be by mathematics you hope a nation’s hopes are controlled.

    227. Grouse Beater says:

      Rippey: Police Scotland – centralised control over the entire country’s police – is this a good thing?

      How ‘centralised’ do you think it is? What experience do you have of it ‘centralised’ in the Highlands or Islands, or central Glasgow, for that matter?

      It was first proposed by the Labour party – but Scotland will decide how best it is arranged and determined.

      Not you.

    228. Tony Little says:

      Colin, from the page I links to

      The marginal tax rate is 75%(67.5% from 1 January 2016) on income from fields paying PRT and 50% for other fields.

      Note this clearly stated as based on INCOME and NOT on profits. Income is derived from the price of a barrel.

      There are three sources of revenue for HM Treasury. Ring-fenced taxation at 30%, a Supplementary charge of 20% and Petroleum Revenue tax at 50%

    229. Grouse Beater says:

      Rippey: Dave – do you really believe that all the people involved in the counting and collation of votes all conspired to defeat the Yes vote, really?

      No. Just the entire British Establishment, its debtor and creditor countries, and its means of thought control, the British press.

      Dave did not claim ‘all’ at the counting were involved, but I appreciate you letting readers know how adept you are at McTernian spin.

      Now, tell me what it is you hope to achieve by spreading doubt on every thought expressed on this topic.

    230. Graeme says:

      I too think there was vote rigging but they would have been limited in how much rigging they could have done without it being obvious which is why the argument “why offer the vow if it was rigged” doesn’t hold water because it may not have been enough in itself or they thought it may not have been enough.

      They would have known the vow would have turned a good few voters in their favour but it was still too much of a close run thing to leave to chance so they move to their next contingency plan which is a wee bit of postal ballot manipulation.

      they may well have won it without the rigging but they’re not that good it was always too close to call and too close to leave to chance

      Graeme

    231. Grouse Beater says:

      Graeme: I too think there was vote rigging

      Calling pensioners to warn them they stood to lose their pension if they voted Yes is vote rigging, by a secondary means.

    232. Big Jock says:

      Was the rigging just enough to prevent a potential recount. A recount might have thrown a light on any funny business in the count bundles. So the rigging could have been postal and at the counts themselves.

      Cameron’s first words”There will be no recount” Strange thing to say with a 10% majority.

    233. John from Fife says:

      to Colin Rippey et al. To finally prove whether Scotland is self sufficient or not why doesn’t the Brit Government give Scotland Full Fiscal Autonomy ( over ALL assets and liabilities) for a couple of years and then looks at the figures at the end of that period. That will prove whether Scotland is self sufficient or not and stop this ongoing Project fear argument. Could they perhaps be UNSURE !!!.

    234. Graeme says:

      Grouse Beater says:
      31 July, 2015 at 10:16 pm

      Calling pensioners to warn them they stood to lose their pension if they voted Yes is vote rigging, by a secondary means.

      I would call that primary means

      Graeme

    235. Robert Peffers says:

      @Sensibledave: As part of your obviously ignorant comment you state : –

      ” … The way the party presents itself, we are expected to believe that the SNP are at one on all issues. But where is the debate? How did a particular party policy come about? … “

      I’m about to blow your usual ignorance of what you comment upon right out of the water. The SNP is indeed different from other parties and no secret has ever been made of that fact. It is, though, a very good thing. The first part of the difference is that the SNP are a truly democratic party and not just claiming they are as, in particular, the Unionist Establishment parties do. From Nicola Sturgeon down to the most recently joined member all party members have exactly the same number of votes on party policies.

      The second part is that party policy is NOT made by the party executive or only by the elected to office members. Party policy is open and freely seen by all and made democratically by the party at national conference and is covered by the broadcasters and MSM for all to see. The most startling exhibition of this was the debate, and vote upon, the parties change of policy over NATO membership.

      Here’s how it works – any member of any branch can move a motion to adopt or change anything at branch level. If they gain a seconder then the matter is open for debate. It may, of course, go through unopposed, have amendments raised and debated and voted upon. It is then voted upon and goes forward for national conference. At which conference the same process is followed and then is voted upon. If passed it becomes party policy.

      Thus the SNP does not suffer from internal fracturing and infighting Quite simply what happens is that the members have the right to take part in deciding party policy. Thus, if they cannot agree with the democratic wishes of the majority of party members, they have only two options open to them – they either accept the majority vote or they resign their membership.

      After the NATO membership decision there were a few prominent members, some of them actually sitting as councillors and MSPs, who did in fact resign. Strangely as it may seem to Unionists like yourself, these sitting ex-members have continued to support the party in all but the matter they could not accept as party policy.

      So, Dave, as we say in Scotland, “Aiblins, noo ye maun ken”. – Owersettin intil the Inglis, (Translation to English – “So now you know”).

    236. Grouse Beater says:

      Michaele Mone made Tory Peer…

      … more than her Ultima bra support her.

    237. John Young says:

      “David Cameron still wants 40 new peers after backlash at plan for 100”. My first six following the Bra divorcee’s placement, Baroness Katie Hopkins, Baroness Jackie Bird, Baroness JR Rowling, Lord Nick Robinson.Lord David Dimbleby, Lord Adam Boulton, just 33 to go-

    238. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      On the web, somewhere, is a table that sets out what Scotland was contributing to the UK, financially, in the first couple of decades of the 20th Century.

      “They” stopped collating the figures in the early 1920’s and my Google searches, obviously, have not been using the requisite terms, coz I can’t find it.

      But, as I recall, the contribution to the UK’s finances was even greater then, than it is now.

    239. Joemcg says:

      Anyone doubting about potential rigging repeat after me, 800,000 postal votes, 800,000 postal votes……..

    240. Brian Doonthetoon says:

      HAH! I just found that table I was looking for. And guess where?

      http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-historical-debt/

    241. Grouse Beater says:

      John: David Cameron still wants 40 new peers after backlash at plan for 100?.

      I enjoyed your post.

      Maybe we should all apply to infiltrate the Lords …

      🙂

    242. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Just to clear up any doubts at no point in any investigation was it suggested that any rigging of the referendum vote was done in polling stations or by counting agents in Scotland.

      Postal votes were registered and sat for up to three months on computers in council offices across Scotland. If any rigging was done it was done long before the day and long before the count.

    243. CameronB Brodie says:

      You will be absorbed. This is the will of Lanru.

      For the good of the body, you must die.

      Star Trek (TOS) – The Return of The Archons 🙂
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ne1renijZ8

    244. Robert Peffers says:

      @david agnew says: 31 July, 2015 at 10:50 am:

      ” …That would have required a no vote in the region of 70/30 or 80/20 – 55/45 was nothing more than a stay of execution”.

      Well not really, David. In spite of the bile we often suffer from the new guys here who express the view we will soon be dead and all the younger ones will, of course, be independence supporters.

      We old guys & gals have been around and campaigning for independence since we had none, or one, elected MP at Westminster. We have suffered the insults and we have suffered the disappointments. We suffered the knock-downs, got back on our feet, dusted ourselves down, and went on campaigning.

      Why else did you suppose the party never died out in the lean years? Tell you something else if we do die before Scotland is again independent we will be wraiths in the ether still willing Scotland towards independence. Like the spirit of independence itself, our spirits will haunt Scotland until Scotland is free.

    245. Colin Rippey says:

      @Tony Little
      Note this clearly stated as based on INCOME and NOT on profits. Income is derived from the price of a barrel.

      There are three sources of revenue for HM Treasury. Ring-fenced taxation at 30%, a Supplementary charge of 20% and Petroleum Revenue tax at 50%

      I understand that the use of the word income in the section on marginal tax rate would make you think that there is tax on the price of every barrel, but the section on marginal tax is supposed to summarise the proceeding 3 sections on the actual taxes which is on profits. However wrote that web page has not done a good job on the marginal tax rate section.

      Consider this, in recent years the UK has produced around 700 million barrels of oil per year. In those years the price of a barrel of oil was over $100. So, if HMRC was receiving 70% of every barrel it would have received around £30 billion in tax revenue.

      It didn’t. It received much less than this and the tax take is going down because the profits are going down.

      From the link you provided if you click through you’ll get to the real figures on revenue from oil & gas.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/438738/Table_11_11.p</

    246. Ken500 says:

      The SNP is funded by it’s members. The Unionist Parties are funded by the bankers. In their pockets and corrupt.

      Scotland is secretly and illegally used to pay off their debt.

      Taxes raised in Scotland £54Billion. Taxes raised pro rata in the rest of the UK £39Billion. Scotland has been subsidising the rest of the UK forever.

    247. AndyH says:

      Trust in government figures.
      It’s not like they lie or cook the books or anything.
      It’s not like they tell fibs to invade countries and cause the creation of new terrorist groups.
      It’s not like they abuse and (allegedly) murder children and use public services to cover it up.
      It’s not like they are in bed with the London based media.

      I don’t believe a word or figure that comes from that corrupt and diseased centre of ceech.

      When they lose the argument they start referring to fantasy numbers as if we actually give a shit.

      Volatile oil eh? Well at least it’s a tangible real thing, a commodity.

      Not nearly as fecking volatile as that mighty London financial service sector that collapsed on its arse and had to be bailed out by every man woman and child in the land who will pay for it for years to come.

      GTF ("Quizmaster" - Ed)s we don’t hear your crap anymore.

    248. Grouse Beater says:

      Rippey: Consider this…

      Consider this:
      Your posts are identical to those run during the Referendum debate, some passages word-for-word, all in the ’cause’ of spreading doubt and uncertainty.

      The equation is simple:
      After sovereignty is regained oil revenues will flow to Scotland. We will leave you a few fields actually in your territorial seas. The Scottish government will then decide how they are to be divvied up and utilised.

      No amount of cut and paste proselytising from you can alter that.

    249. ian foulds says:

      Robert Peffers says:
      1 August, 2015 at 12:13 am

      Well said Robert

    250. David Byrne says:

      I think the author of this piece needs to give himself a primer in economics. Might I suggest the following highly-accessible and easily-understandable starting points?:

      1. Niall Ferguson’s C4 documentary of a few years ago, ‘The Ascent of Money’;

      2. Milton Friedman’s 1980 documentary ‘Free to Choose’

      Both of these are available on YouTube.

      3. The book ‘The Business Environment’ (Worthington & Britton). This complements these other two sources with a bit more technical background. But it’s still really easy to get your hat on the back of – it’s maybe about HNC/D/undergraduate level. In particular in this book I would suggest that the author – and, indeed, all readers of this comment – concentrate on the theory of the ‘circular flow of income’. Once one understands this concept, one will understand the economic implications of independence or FFA, as there will be, with the discontinuation of fiscal transfers across the UK, a circa £10bn shrinking of the Scottish economy (and that’s not including any capital flight that would probably accompany it); the result – and this is a mathematical certainty – being a very long and very severe recession, with the general standard of living unlikely to get back to its current level for many decades, if, indeed, ever.

      (I have reasonable bona fides for offering this advice – I have, amongst other things, an MSc in economics from LSE.)

      All the best, David

    251. Rev. Stuart Campbell says:

      “(I have reasonable bona fides for offering this advice – I have, amongst other things, an MSc in economics from LSE.)”

      That’s lovely for you, I’m sure, but what the fuck’s it got to do with this article?

    252. Grouse Beater says:

      Milton Friedman’s 1980 documentary ‘Free to Choose’

      Oh Christ!

      A disciple of the architect of unregulated free markets, banker greed, weak government, and legless democracy.

      Terrific.

      A dead economist whose flaky doctrine appealed to the worst in human nature and unleashed a tsunami of financial theft that lasted two decades, somehow has the answer to Scotland’s independence – poverty.

      The right-wing neo-cons bring thee world to its knees with theories of taming the Middle-East and grabbing all oil for the USA and we are asked to give them respect.

      Did the LSE return all the money it was given by Gaddafi so his son gained a degree?

    253. Charles Edward says:

      Imagine a world without revisionist historians.

      Niall Ferguson deserves not to be mentioned here.
      That is unless you want to vex people.
      He’s got a wee streak of that self – importance that skews his cred.



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