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Wings Over Scotland

Trouble with numbers

Posted on January 27, 2014 by

We’re not sure which of The Scotsman and Murdo Fraser of the Scottish Conservatives was most confused this morning. Reporting on the second half of its intriguing ICM poll (which put the gap between Yes and No votes as low as six points), the paper publishes some data about the attitude of Scots to the EU.


Excluding don’t knows, the results provide a clear 16-point margin for Scotland remaining in Europe, at 58% to 42%. (The raw numbers put it only slightly lower, at 46 to 33.) But for some odd reason the newspaper chooses to reveal this vote of confidence under the bafflingly negative headline “A third of Scots would back exit from EU”, without even an “only” in there to reflect the implication of the stats.

Weirder still is Murdo Fraser’s reaction, though.

The most recent poll we’ve been able to find for the whole UK’s view on EU membership is from November last year, and came to the opposite conclusion – again excluding Don’t Knows, the people of the United Kingdom want to leave the EU by a clear 10-point margin, with just 45% wanting to stay in against 55% who wanted out.

(Remember, too, that those figures are distorted by the more favourable Scottish vote – the reality is that English people want out more strongly than the UK numbers suggest.)

That, then, gives us a hefty 26 points of difference between Scotland and the UK. Unaccountably, that statistic left Murdo Fraser feeling able to say this:

“This gives lie to the claims often made by the Yes campaign that political attitudes in Scotland are widely different from those south of the Border.

“It shows that hardline attitudes towards immigration and growing Euro-scepticism are as much part of public opinion in Scotland than they are in the rest of the UK.”

Um, it really doesn’t seem to show that at all, Murdo. Scotland clearly wants to stay in the EU by a substantial margin, and indeed we don’t recall ever seeing a poll that put the pro-EU vote higher than that 58% figure, so there doesn’t seem to be a single shred of evidence for “growing Euro-scepticism”.

Equally, it very much DOES suggest that political attitudes are different in Scotland and England. We’re not sure what you could do to illustrate that any more clearly than to produce a poll showing Scotland in favour of EU membership by 16 points and the UK against it by 10 or more. You can’t get much more opposite than “In” and “Out”.

We understand that politicians like to spin figures, and to cherry-pick whatever little bits of data they can pull out of a poll that support their cause. The Scotsman reveals something about its own view of Europe by its choice of headline, and creates a strange impression, but the words are technically accurate in themselves.

To simply stare the data in the face and flatly insist that it says the exact opposite of what it actually says, though, is a very strange way to conduct an argument.

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    73 to “Trouble with numbers”

    1. Morag says:

      They only say “only” a third of Scots when they’re talking about the independence vote. Or maybe, “barely” a third of Scots, since obviously 33% isn’t quite 33.333333333%.

      And they’ll go on saying it even when it’s 37%. In fact, they’ll probably decide thats “only a quarter” or something like that.

    2. handclapping says:

      What a curious chap Murdo is. He has the political wit to see that the only redemption for conservative Scots is to ditch the Tories. And then he comes out with pish like this.

      A consumate politician who is not very good at politics. Perhaps todays politics (Lord Foulkes) is not suitable for anybody who is a politician (Disraeli).

    3. Gillie says:

      Scotland is pro-EU, England isn’t. Long standing political truth.

      If Scots vote NO in 2014, the English will vote to leave the EU in 2017. That is now a given.

      That would trigger political instability which will ultimately lead to another referendum vote on Scottish independence. So independence is inevitable, and YES vote in 2014 is now the only realistic option.

    4. Dan Vevers says:

      Tories trying to convince Scots that they’re actually Tories. They just can’t handle the idea that there might be an area of the UK that hasn’t been as susceptible to the reactionary, dog-whistle politics of the right-wing media and establishment.

    5. Ken MacColl says:

      The sad reality is that when the camera pans along the Tory benches at FMQ, dear old Murdo looks disturbingly normal.

    6. James123 says:

      That would trigger political instability which will ultimately lead to another referendum vote on Scottish independence. So independence is inevitable, and YES vote in 2014 is now the only realistic option.

      Completely agree, not only the repercussions of an in-out EU referendum but the impact of Holyrood receiving no extra powers after a No vote. Independence after 2014 will be a messy affair so let’s get it done and dusted in September.

    7. Albert Herring says:

      Or maybe Murdo’s 26% short of the full shilling.

    8. Les Wilson says:

      What the Scotsman SHOULD have said is-


    9. tartanfever says:

      This is par for the course for unionist media and a form of deliberate headline manipulation.

      Choose the percentage that is in favour of your own biased agenda and spin that to cast doubt on logical data.

      For instance, ex- BBC man Raymond Buchanan came up with this headline in Oct 2012:

      Has Scottish government ignored its own independence consultation?

      Buchanan attempts to accuse the SNP of ignoring public opinion by only offering a Yes/No option on the ballot paper.

      The article centres around one figure, that in the public consultation held by the SNP government on the referendum produced a response of 62% in favour of a single question ballot, as opposed to a 32% for a devo-max question included alongside a Yes/No response.

      All logic is discarded and clearly the headline is the complete opposite to the facts produced in the article. Buchanan of course doesn’t print the facts until near the very end of his piece, way down at the bottom of the page.

      By that time, many readers have given up on his turgid witterings and don’t get to the end of the story, or they only look at the headline and leave with the idea “SNP = BAD” , which is exactly what headline manipulation is designed to do.

      Have a look for yourselves:

    10. call me dave says:

      The referendum Cameron promises to have after a ‘renegotiation’ about the EU terms will not happen.

      People will look at the arguments put forward by businesses in the debate and come to another opinion. The Tories will come under pressure from the giant multinational producers and it will be quietly shelved amid government spin as being the best deal, so better not bother.

      However in a newly independent Scotland it would be nice to be given the choice, so I’d like to have my cake and eat it.

    11. Ken500 says:

      Murdo’s always good for a laugh.

      Sweden’s right wing policies?

    12. Lanarkist says:

      Murdo seems willing to stretch the truth in order to get his name mentioned. How far are they all able to go in their jostle for public recognition and a chance to stay in employment.

      When Yes wins I cannot see Ruthie cabernat keeping her post. Maybe Murdo thinks that keeping his name active gives him a chance, just as long as you don’t look at the details too closely.

      Trouble is they are now fire fighting and only just looking at the present moment. Do they not realise that anything said now will be analysed in the near future. The information doesn’t just disappear. The BBC and MSM in general should also take stock of that fact and start to question their position in a changed circumstance.

    13. DAVY says:

      Your kind of scraping the barrel when you have lie about the results of your own poll, as for Murdo well “hanging desperately on” would proberly be his best discription.

      As for England leaving the EU it certainly sounds like it just now, but after Scotland becomes independent would their be a relisation that it might not be the best idea by Westminster. But if they have committed to a in/out referendum they may not have a choice in leaving the EU.

      Westminster may be hung by their own stupidity.

    14. Murray McCallum says:

      “To simply stare the data in the face and flatly insist that it says the exact opposite of what it actually says, though, is a very strange way to conduct an argument.”

      OK. Three possible reasons:

      1. You realise the importance of the underlying issue.
      2. You think you will lose the argument anyway.
      3. St. Mirren

    15. Yodhrin says:

      @Ken500; he’s -technically- correct in that Swedish politics have experienced a minor rightward drift in recent years, but as always the way he presents that information is completely dishonest, since even Sweden’s “right-wing” parties sit to the left of our supposed left-wing.

    16. Dal Riata says:

      Just wait for the wailing MSM headlines after a ‘Yes’ vote in September… If the vote is – as some are predicting – in the mid-sixties for ‘Yes’, expect the likes of the Daily Telegraph to have, “Over a third of Scots vote No to seperation!! Is there now a case for the referendum being null and void?”.

      I expect the Daiy Mail to just self-combust. Which is another good reason to vote ‘Yes’, come to think of it!

    17. crisiscult says:

      Fraser talks about hardline attitudes towards immigration. I’m not sure what percentage of the population of Scotland they represent but if you go to BT facebook pages you’ll maybe understand where Fraser gets his ideas from. Having a foreign wife and a foreign grandfather makes me, for one, more than a little uncomfortable with the attitudes on display on such sites.

    18. Paul says:

      The people at the top of both Labour and the Tories will have to go when we vote Yes. Notice I never mentioned the Libdums as they are dead already. How on earth can Lamont and Ruthie ever be trusted to form an independent Scottish government. The first thing either of them would do would be to try and sell us out again it is just inconceivable for them to take charge in a government they have tried with every fibre of their being to prevent from happening. I know wee Ruthie has had practice as she and her Tories fought against Devolution but this would be too much. Now they have nailed their colours to the unionist mast they will stop at nothing to try and keep the lifestyle they have become accustomed to. They must be given short thrift.

    19. Chic McGregor says:

      “Scotland is pro-EU, England isn’t. Long standing political truth.

      If Scots vote NO in 2014, the English will vote to leave the EU in 2017. That is now a given.

      That would trigger political instability which will ultimately lead to another referendum vote on Scottish independence. So independence is inevitable, and YES vote in 2014 is now the only realistic option.”

      Scotland voting to remain in the EU and England voting narrowly out, overall result UK stays in, is not impossible.

      Now wouldn’t that set the cat amongst the pigeons?

    20. Chic McGregor says:

      P.S. nice revenge on the Faragists though. 🙂

    21. Big Jock says:

      Just proves that if you want to believe an ideology you can take a minority as a reflection of your ideology as broad agreement.In other words facts mean nothing only opinion.

    22. Murdo Fraser Baghdad-Bob’s ICM Polling Data!

      Clearly the Scotchman was at its wits end to come up with an honest headline for that article, so I’ve emailed them the one above at no charge.

      I bet they wont even have the decency to thank me.

    23. heedtracker says:

      “Weirder still is Murdo Fraser’s reaction” is all you’ve ever needed to say about this tory boy’s tory boy.

    24. Ken500 says:

      Newsnetscotland has a report SNP (supports EU membership) has 43% polling support for EU election. The three Unionist Parties have 44%.

      That says more than Murdo, who’s out of the loop again.

    25. Ken500 says:

      Murdo is quite a young lad and possibly doesn’t know. Scotland has had a problem with emigration not immigration. Scots having to leave home to improve their lives, because of Tory/Unionist policies.

      Unionists should have to do counting/reading tests, before they get their hands on public monies. In Boris’s cause IQ tests. The dope on a rope.

    26. Eric McLean says:

      @crisiscult. Me too.

      But people will rail against immigrants if they don’t think their government is looking after them properly. This is an unfortunate truth amongst many of the less fortunate.
      England has a problem that Scotland does not, dure to over population.

      We need immigration, but we need to make there are enough facilities for current residents of Scotland especially as we more heavily rely on social housing, to avoid the problems that are emerging in England.

      We can do this with a Govrrnment in place that actuall works fir the people.

    27. Rod Mac says:

      Just watched STV and BBC News , STV did report on latest poll favourable to YES.
      A total news blackout on BBC ,so not just fiddling headlines the naysayers get up to ,it is totally ignoring anything in favour of Self Determination.
      It is an absolute disgrace and an insult to democracy.

    28. Croompenstein says:

      Just sat and watched the big bird on dis-reporting Scotland and surprise surprise not a mention of the poll showing the swing towards yes. who’d have fuckin thot it

    29. JLT says:

      I noticed that weird headline also while sitting having lunch and checking the main headlines of all the papers online.

      So, a third of Scots are unsure about the EU. Okay …but what about the two-thirds who still want to be in the EU?

      It seems that this is the media’s new way of distorting facts.

      The thing is, they don’t really want to say that ‘only a third of Scots back ‘No” but they’ll quite happily say it for ‘Yes’


    30. Ken500 says:

      It was the London (passport complainer) Murdo (Spectator?) who made the remark about Sweden’s right-wing policies?

      Not much difference between them.

    31. JLT says:

      To be honest …the BBC are really needing to be brought to book. Maybe we should have a mass protest outside Pacific Quay. See how they like it when 10,000 folk are camped outside their front door screaming for transparency in the news.

      That would put the fear into them …especially if other parts of the media gleefully took advantage of reporting it while the Beeb quietly pretended that nothing was happening outside!

    32. Thomas William Dunlop says:

      The whole article was a classic.

      It took to the tenth paragraph to mention that the SNP have a stonking double digit lead over any other parties in the european elections. Seems news to me. Even then they only compare it to the SNPs own result in the last election.

      But we are treated to the neck and neck race for deposit chasers & lunatics. Some dodgy number massaging. Nasty foreigners, blah, blah, blah, usual right wing shite.

      Not worth the paper it’s printed on, IMHO

    33. Ken500 says:

      TV journalists are so thick it’s annoying.

      London 8 million people. 300,000K jobs created. % as a proportion of population?
      Edinburgh 1miliiion people. ? Increased jobs created.
      Glasgow less than 1 million people loses jobs, but is 30/40mins commuter distance from Edinburgh.

      Aberdeen/shire 1/2million people 4K jobs created. Many people commute more than 30/40 mins

      Dundee population falling (because of fall of no of chikdren? demographics). Dundee doing really quite well? Regeneration etc.

      All coming out of Reccession.

    34. creigs1707repeal says:

      So, 58% of Scots want to remain in the EU. The more things change the more, it seems, they stay the same. Here’s the result from Scotland of the 1975 post-legislative referendum on remaining within the EEC (aka the Common Market now the EU):

      Scotland total 1,332,186……948,039…….58.4………41.6

    35. creigs1707repeal says:

      Should have added the 1975 results from England which are quite remarkable:


      England total…..14,918,009………6,812,052…….68.7……….31.3

      So, in 1975 England supported EU (EEC) membership much more strongly than did Scotland. Whilst the support in Scotland to remain in the EU has remained almost exactly the same at around 58%, support in England has crashed by 23.7% (from 68.7% to only 45%).


      It is quite clear that the EU remains as important to Scots now as it was in 1975 but not so to the people in England.

    36. A2 says:

      O.T. sorry “Does scandinavia want scotland” radio 4 at 8.00 should anybody be interested.

      Finding these documentaries to be rather more balanced than the news so far although there are the odd slanted lines.

    37. Big Jock says:

      No mention of poll all day on Radio Scotchland.They spent all day talking about parking restrictions at a School in Edinburgh.Thats obviously more important than the biggest event in Scotland for 300 years! They are a shambles.

    38. A2 says:

      Hopefully creigs1707, this suggests that the influence of media propaganda is not as strong here?

    39. The Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government need to call for an official inquiry into the apparent political bias at the beeb with respect to the referendum.

      Two questions to be asked:

      1- Did the BBC violate its charter?

      2- Did the BBC or its employees engage or conspire in criminal wrong-doing with respect to the misuse or diversion of public monies to further a private political agenda? Did the BBC or individual employees at any time act as surrogates for the NO campaign by using broadcast time to further their agenda?

      The Inquiry would have the power to compel witness attendance and testimony under oath.

      It could require the release of electronic and print documents to include BBC internal memos and email, electronic text messages, office diaries showing who met whom and where.

      Telephone records could be scrutinised which could be particularly useful in determining whether there was collusion between the Corporation and/or its employees with any political party or politician.

      It’s the only way to put this issue front and centre before the electorate with the intent of ending or at least ameliorating the BBC’s toxic effect on the electoral process BEFORE September 18.

      It may also have an immediate salutary effect on BBC conduct and practice in their reporting and analyses of the independence campaign. A journalist or programme-maker’s prospect of being interrogated and testifying under oath may be enough to bring them to Jesus.

    40. creigs1707repeal says:

      “Hopefully creigs1707, this suggests that the influence of media propaganda is not as strong here?”

      Or it could simply be that the media only need to promote their propaganda in England because it is only the English vote that will matter. It’s unlikely that the result in Scotland would change the UK outcome just as it wouldn’t have done in 1975.

    41. A2 says:

      where you getting your figures?

      According to the National records of scotland 2012

      population for City of Edinburgh is 482,640
      population for Glasgow City is 595,080

    42. Lochside says:

      NotReporting Scotland’s Jackie Bird’s comment during the report about the ‘Viking’ gravestone removal to London for exhibition, of Govan as ‘the spiritual capital of the Ancient Britons’?

      ….most would have described it as the actual capital of the Strathclyde king (after being driven out of Dumbarton Castle by the Vikings)…but BT must always get the last word, never mind mentioning the latest increase in the ‘Yes’ intentions.

      Oh, and mind and let everybody know after the news, about the latest BRIT PROP DOC about James VI and the Stuarts and the former’s attempt to make them ‘one people’.

    43. A2 says:


      are the papers even more anti EU down there?

    44. Rod Mac says:

      Christian Wright says:
      27 January, 2014 at 7:55 pm
      The Scottish Parliament and the Scottish Government need to call for an official inquiry into the apparent political bias at the beeb with respect to the referendum.

      Only one problem Christian broadcasting is a reserved matter and Holyrood has no authority to hold an inquiry ,nor force people to attend or take an oath.
      Hence another reason why we need a YES Vote.
      we need the broadcasters to be under Scottish jurisdiction.

    45. Andy A says:

      Worth noting that EEC politics were rather different in 1975 than the EU debate today. In general terms at least, the right wing were more supportive of a YES vote and left was more NO oriented. So the difference in voting pattern between Scotland and England is not so remarkable. It was my first ever opportunity to vote and as I recall I was on the NO side (can’t remember why!)

    46. Desimond says:

      Surely the opposite of IN is NI?

    47. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      I am just recovering from reading Jenny Hjul’s mad mental meanderings on the referendum in yesterday’s Times. For absolutely senseless, illogical and contradictory copy it ranks with the best I have ever seen. My puzzlement is how the Times, once a respected commentator on matters political,could actually pay somebody to write shite that a sub editor at the Daily Star would have thrown out.

      If the readers of the Times can swallow that kind of nonsense they can also swallow nonsense on Europe and this appears to have happened in England. England of course has a historical antipathy to Europe which we do not share.

      The peculiar resistance to Independence by many in South West Scotland has often puzzled me. The penny dropped during BT’s Big Debate on Friday. Many in the South West look to Carlisle in the same way as the people of the East of Scotland (and some in the NE of England) look to Edinburgh. We should address this.

    48. scottish_skier says:

      Not sure if this issue has been raised…

      (just back from Norway and tired)

      If you want to know what people’s opinion on immigration into Britain is, you ask them that.

      If you want to know what they’re opinion is on immigration to Scotland is, you ask them that.

      I’ve been polled a few times and have often been asked (particularly by Yougov) what I think is best for Britain. My answer may be completely different to that for how I’d respond if I was asked about Scotland, particularly in a poll asking me about Scottish independence.

      Ergo, the questions asked on the EU and immigration are not Scots thoughts for Scotland per se. They therefore can’t be compared to views in England or the UK as a whole. They may not be far away from the truth, but it is incorrect to do what the Scotsman etc has done even before adding some spin.

    49. Bill McLean says:

      Chic McGregor 0626 – lets call UKIP the “Farangists” – it’s nice and close to the former Spanish Fascists known as “the Falangists”!

    50. Defo says:

      “The Scotsman reveals something about its own view of Europe by its choice of headline, and creates a strange impression, but the words are technically accurate in themselves.”

      I’ve been active on the Hootsmon frontline, with this moniker (& Flyingscott) for a few years, and can attest that it’s ALL about the headline.(although I do need to go for prolonged periods of R&R, to get over the depressing effect of the level of the ‘debate’) They seem to be of the opinion that we are all too apathetic to read past it, and their old style daily display boards (what is the correct name for them? Sandwitch?) outside newsagents don’t half get a sound bite out into the public domain effectively.
      Yesterday was some keek about UKIP leading the liars party by a point in the EU poll, with 13% between them.
      Read on, and you find the SNP are on 43%, light years ahead of the Slab boys.

      I may be reading too much into that 43%, but what other party is guaranteeing we will still be in the EU come 2017?
      A definite pro EU mindset up here methinks.

      The ‘third of Scots wants out’ story on the Hootsmon today fails to mention any party results whatsoever, and having just searched, it seems the Ukip story mentioned above seems to have vanished into the digital ether. Just in case the plebs actually do read past the headline, and get some off-message info, I suppose.

    51. FraserP says:

      For the record, What Scotland Thinks:
      In the last 15 years (as far back as the WST polls go) Scotland has never come close to wanting to leave the EU according to the social attitudes survey.

    52. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      The UKIP fourth place at Cowdenbeath is being given an importance it doesn’t merit.
      I still believe an attempt is underway to promote UKIP in Scotland to try to misdirect some Scots away from YES and the SNP. This is because the London establishment has absolutely no idea what it is doing in Scotland

    53. Flower of Scotland says:

      Murdo Fraser has deliberately skewed the figures ! He is a knowledgable guy and he knows exactly what he’s doing , I won’t call him a liar but you might if you want to !

    54. Ian Brotherhood says:

      @Defo –

      Aye, you’re right – ‘sandwich boards’.

      Here’s one:

      How demeaning is that? All those dudes had wives, weans, and that’s what they were reduced to.

      Here’s another –

    55. morgan mc says:

      Any Scot who supports Brussels rule from the EU is not worthy to call themselves an Independence supporter. After all it isn’t Westminster that tied up our fishermen.

      It wasnt westminster that applies the ctes to fuel putting costs onto business and consumers. It isn’t westminster that claims an independent UK/Scotland 200 mile EEZ is a threat to EU security and Waters.

      It is the EU that claims our waters, our energy, our trade as theirs. It is the EU that desires allegance to the flag anthem and currency of the EU.

      The unelected by the Scottish/UK/European people, Barroso, Ashton et al should have no say on the internal policy/affairs of any sovereign country.

    56. Defo says:

      @Ian brotherhood
      Apt pictures for a potential future if IDS & the Eton boys have their way.

      ATOS goon to quadriplegic deaf mute ” What do you mean you can’t work, we’ll just dress you up as Ronald, and you can sit outside McDonalds for a shift twice a week, earn your keep & get some self respect. Can’t say fairer than that now, can you. Sorry, forgot about the no speaking thing. That catheter will come in handy though, McDs time their staff comfort breaks.”

    57. Defo says:

      @morgan mc
      I think you might find it was Westmidden who sold out Scottish fishermen, as a bargaining tool.

    58. crisiscult says:

      morgan mc

      To be a purest about it, I could almost agree. However, I’d humbly submit that no country is independent. Personally I’m in favour of the EU, but despite the hassles that would be involved in leaving, I’m also in favour of Scots deciding whether they want to be in it and if its the will of the people, leaving in due course.

    59. chalks says:

      Morgan mc, I agree with some of it, but if we had our own people in there then I think things wouldn’t have went down the way they went down.

      Besides, one union at a time eh! : )

    60. Ken500 says:

      Greater Glasgow, Greater Edinburgh

    61. Ken500 says:

      Surrounding suburbs – run into one another. Central belt.

      Ie Aberdeen 250K Shire 220K – Abdeen/shire 1/2million

    62. Ken500 says:

      Pop Greater Glasgow going down – Greater Edinburgh going up – Result of Holyrood Parly -increased admin jobs? Increased even more if Scotland becomes Independent. £8Billion goes to UK Exchequer including admin in The Mall in UK Ministries. Admin jobs in London paid for by Scottish taxpayers will return to Edinburgh, increasing economic activity.

      Increase in tax 11% (£2Billion) by Alexander/Osbourne 2010, could result in a downturn in Oil sector activity 2017. A YES vote in 2014 will stop that. UK gov H&S Laws not being enforced has resulted in loss of life in the Oil industry.

    63. Fergie 35 says:

      Lieing with statistics and headline grabbers (in the assumption no one reads the article)is what its all about, but this one is more than just a wee bit corrupt.

    64. Muscleguy says:

      Dundee’s population is declining because of a lot of housebuilding just outside the city boundaries in Angus and Perth & Kinross meaning Dundee people leave the city but still live and work there. So just like you have used the numbers for Aberdeen/shire so you should do so for Dundee as the bare numbers are misleading.

    65. A2 says:


      Sorry, still don’t get it, national records puts greater glasgow at 1,168,270
      (2001) while you are saying its <1m, that's only the actual conurbation and not the larger glasgow City Region
      they don't list Greater Edinburgh as an entity but I wouldn't have thought it bigger than that unless you included all of Fife in which case you'd have to look at the bigger figure for the Glasgow city region as well.

      Also the population of Glasgow (city) went up 0.3% 2011-2012. For greater glasgow, the easy to get figures are 13 years old so I wouldn't hazard a guess.

    66. morgan mc says:

      @defo As the EU is a country in all but saying it. She dictates who does the fishing and the UK was bullied into accepting its dictacts.Much in the same way Croatia had to give up its territorial economic zone fishing to the EU as an accession state.

      At every turn different regions of the EU are asked to submit to their whims or face sanction.

      Iceland said no to its continued accession put a halt to it and is now a wee economic powerhouse.She was threatened economically by Brussels. Its surreal that the EU objected to Cameron statement about trade with China and that there should be no bamboo curtain preventing trade with the Chinese market.

      “We believe that it is premature at this stage to discuss a free trade agreement with China,” Alexandre Polack, a spokesman for the EU executive, told reporters”.

      As I said. Who is the EU to tell us who we can trade with?

    67. BillyBigbaws says:

      Morgan mc said: “Any Scot who supports Brussels rule from the EU is not worthy to call themselves an Independence supporter. After all it isn’t Westminster that tied up our fishermen. ”

      Um, aye it was. In fact it was the sainted Mrs. Thatcher who did it, when she re-negotiated the Common Fisheries Policy to the detriment of our coastal communities in 1983. Heath was also well aware that the CFP would disproportionately damage Scottish fishing, as reported in the Scotsman.

      Heath took us into the EEC, Thatcher signed the Single European Act to create the EU, Major signed Maastricht. The Tories have always loved and cherished the EU, for all their mumping and moaning. It provides them with an excuse to provatize industries, and a convenient bogeyman to drive up their domestic support. Then Brown signed Lisbon.

      Expecting Westminster or the UK Government to provide you with any defence at all against EU “encroachment” is a historical nonsense.

    68. morgan mc says:

      @billybigbaws:The SNP want to remain it:Thatch was brow beaten by the Heath, Heseltine,Maude, Howe, the Euphile elite.All in the pay of big business and the EU centric Commission as you say. Naebody was given that mandate.

      Iceland is not in EU is in charge of her waters and still more importantly still trading with the 28. So lets not listen to the lie that surrendering 75% of your countries powers is needed to remain in trade with the EU and that Scotland needs to be in it. The SNP mantra that Scotlands membership of the EU is in danger if England, Wales and N.Ireland says no to EU. Good for them I say.

      The only danger is the one that the EU thinks. SCotland being outside the EU will have juristiction over 200 miles of ocean to the mid pount with Faroes, Iceland and Norway and all mineral rights therein. Much to their annoyance. They will then cite EU common security/energy provisions and put economic pressure aswell as other tactics from their Foreign and external security service to destabalise that notion. (See Ukraine)

    69. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      Might I suggest that people just ignore morgan mc.
      The referendum is about gaining the freedom to take our own decision about our position in the EU. Until we take that initial decision all the rest of this silly argument is just that – silly.
      But them I’m sure morgan mc knows that. This is patently a diversionary effort.

    70. morgan mc says:

      @Dave McEwan Hill Spoken like a true EUnionist. So I take it when the SNP and Wings bleats about the rUK possible exit from the EU that is equally a diversionary effort and hee haw to do with the referendum or Scotlands Independence. Yet both mention it frequently.

      Some how I doubt it..Europe =50 countries EU=28 countries with a parlaiment in Brussels they are not one and the same.

    71. Dave McEwan Hill says:

      No comment

    72. Chic McGregor says:

      “Chic McGregor 0626 – lets call UKIP the “Farangists” – it’s nice and close to the former Spanish Fascists known as “the Falangists”!”

      Yep, I’ve used both forms in the past with that in mind. 🙂

    73. John McKay says:

      Excuse me. The comments section of this scurrilous article smells fishily of “acting in consort”. I demand PCC enquiry.

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