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What Scotland’s afraid of

Posted on January 22, 2014 by

The headline findings of the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey compiled every year by ScotCen are of limited use in the context of the independence referendum. The main constitutional question it asks is deeply unhelpful, with a vague, all-encompassing “devolution” option that tell us next to nothing about how Scots will vote.


(To be fair, that’s not the survey’s fault – it was designed long before the referendum was ever thought of as a reality, for a broader purpose, and asks the same questions every year for consistency of comparison.)

But the results for 2013 are interesting – as they always are – because they tell us what Scotland thinks when the debate is moved away from overtly political questions, they tell us where the arguments are being won and lost, and they enable us to determine just why Scots are the only people on Earth who’ve been (so far) successfully made scared of running their own country.

More than anything else, SSAS 2013 reveals just how up for grabs the referendum is. When asked a question that (deliberately) leads them towards admitting they’re not sure, the survey finds almost 40% of Scots aren’t yet set in their vote. The bad news for the Yes camp is that its support is almost as soft as the No camp has been shown in other polls to be, with almost a third of its backing weak.

When nudged very gently towards a Don’t Know option, just 20% of respondents rate themselves a solid Yes and only 42% plump for No, leaving the undecided at a whopping 38%. More cheeringly for Yes Scotland, on the three-option question that’s asked every year (the table above) there’s been a 6% swing to Yes since 2012 – undermining the constant claims of ScotCen’s director, Professor John Curtice, that there’s been no movement in the debate in the past year.

On the other hand, on the four-option question the SSAS also asks every year, there’s some movement the other way. The choice that’s independence by another name loses four points – just one to the status quo, but two to the idea of abolishing Holyrood altogether (and one to a rounding error).


For our money, though, the most intriguing data is in Tables 3 and 4.


What we learn from Table 3 is that Scots don’t believe they’re subsidy junkies. While the highest segment believes Scotland and England do equally well from the Union, it’s only a handful of points ahead of the group that thinks Scots get a bad deal. Almost a third think we’re subsidising our southern neighbours, a whopping margin of 60% (32 to 20) over those who think we’re the economic winners out of the deal.

Which makes Table 4 all the more bewildering.


Because Table 4 shows that the independence side is winning most of the arguments. People think a Yes vote will lead to a big surge in national pride, and there’s also a strikingly clear win for those who think we’ll have a louder voice on the world stage, smashing the constant “Better Together” line about the UK’s influence and clout. Far more Scots also believe – by a comfortable margin of almost 50% – that independence will reduce inequality than worsen it.

On economics, we see the first sign of the great disconnect that always shows up in the SSAS. While far more Scots believe that we subsidise England than the other way round, irrationally there are (very small) margins of belief that the economy and standard of living would get worse rather than better after independence.

But the huge – and difficult to rationalise – fear is the fear of tax. A majority of Scottish voters think their taxes will rise if Scotland takes control of its own resources, with almost nobody believing they’ll fall, and that just doesn’t make any sense. After all, if we’re subsidising England or doing equally well – which is what a thumping 73% of Scots think – why would we have to put up taxes?

That single statistic shows how deeply ingrained is the terror of taxation which an overwhelmingly right-wing media has left the citizens of the UK with. We’ve never been less taxed than we are now, but 30 years of being pummelled with the opposite message by the press has made a deep, deep scar on Britain’s psyche.

The No camp has barely focused on scare stories about increased tax, because there’s not even the slenderest of nails to hang them on – neither the SNP nor Yes Scotland has ever talked of tax hikes, instead insisting that Scotland has plenty of money already, certainly in the context of a comparison with the UK. Table 3 suggests that Scots believe that line, yet with relatively little prodding from “Better Together” they’ve also convinced themselves that independence would mean massive tax rises for no good reason.

So fixed is this terror that it’s overwhelming what people really want. When asked how they’d vote if Scots were just £9.62 a week better off, Yes scores a crushing victory, by 52 to 30. And even if they were assured only that things wouldn’t get worse, the referendum is on a knife-edge at 34 Yes to 40 No.


We can see, then, that the entire driving force of the No camp’s lead is the people’s terror of being financially worse off independent – despite the fact that (as we found in Table 3) only 20% of them currently believe we’re being kept afloat by English money, and far more think we’re currently subsidising London.

This giant contradiction is hard to pin down. When pressed further on individual issues, respondents think that independence will be better for pensions (by a big margin) and spending on public services (narrowly). But one fear above all others still preys irrationally on Scottish minds – that of another banking crash.


It’s irrational because it betrays a complete ignorance of how bank bailouts work. In reality, it would have made no difference whatsoever whether Scotland was independent or not when RBS and HBOS went down the dumper, because bailouts happen where customers are, not where head offices are. Scottish taxpayers would only have had to fork out to cover Scottish deposits, not those held anywhere else. But this is the one “Better Together” scare story that HAS managed to get some traction. By more than three to one, Scots quiver behind the sofa at the thought of banks with “Scotland” in their name going belly-up again, however unlikely it is.

What we’ve discovered, then, is that Scots are scared of crashing banks, tax rises and terrorist attacks – the latter a particularly hard fear to understand, as Scotland is one of the least terrorised nations in world history. It escaped the murderous attentions of the IRA (even despite Scotland’s sectarianism issues, which you might have thought would have made it fertile ground), and Islamic fundamentalists had just one try before being sent home with their plums in a poke – not by the mighty security forces of the UK, who completely failed to see the Glasgow Airport attack coming or do anything to foil it, but by a taxi driver and a baggage handler on a fag break.


The only reason that any terrorist has ever tried to attack Scotland is the UK’s foreign policy in Muslim countries, but for some reason – and again, it’s a line that’s barely been touched on by the No campaign, so they can’t take the “credit” – Scots are seemingly paranoid about it happening twice a week if we have a far more peaceable attitude towards the rest of the world.

So for another year, we’re left looking at a survey characterised by one giant logical contradiction – Scots think we’re currently subsidising the English, but that we’d be too poor to balance our own books without them. If they could be convinced that they’d be even a pound or two a week better off (and not being constantly bombed), they’d jump at independence. But they’re NOT prepared to pay even a penny extra for better pensions, better public services and a reduction in inequality.

In many ways, then, the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2013 is a depressing set of findings, not least in what it tells us about the damage that can be done when a country has an almost entirely foreign-owned media with a drastically different (and specifically, more right-wing) agenda to that of the native population.

But there’s plenty of encouragement for the optimist too. Yes Scotland’s task over the next eight months is clear and simple – if they can get Scots to join up what they already believe about who pays most into the UK with the (you’d think) obvious implications of that fact, suddenly the picture looks an awful lot brighter.

With 38% of the electorate still open to persuasion, it’s all to play for.

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  1. 22 01 14 12:57

    Revealed: the price of independence | GlaWest

115 to “What Scotland’s afraid of”

  1. redcliffe62 says:

    Good analysis. The focus needs to be on the pocket not on the heart for many.

  2. Gray says:

    Kind of says it all about folk. Bugger the democratic argument, to hell with the case for social values, I want more money!

    Still if we can ever get around to some impartial debates on the issue, the economic argument is there to be won.

  3. The Water Beastie says:

    Looking at the tables, I just find myself wondering what was so special about 2005…?

  4. Jim Arnott says:

    An interesting question to put to every Scot we talk to would be:

    Do you think Westminster is likely to reduce your tax?

    I think this would lead to an interesting conversation.

  5. Ken500 says:

    Millionaire Curtice

  6. Gizzit says:

    Personally, I think it’s sad that the Tories were so successful in embedding the cult of greed and personal gain into people’s psyches.

    I’d willingly, gladly pay additional tax if it means we can build a country to be proud of.

  7. CameronB says:

    “but for some reason – and again, it’s a line that’s barely been touched on by the No campaign, so they can’t take the “credit” – Scots are seemingly paranoid about it happening twice a week if we have a far more peaceable attitude towards the rest of the world.”

    BBC News 24 a.k.a. Terror TV?

  8. bunter says:

    Quite depressing figures all in all. After a year of spreading the message, on some measures, we are going backwards based on this. Are we basically spending too much time talking to ourselves? How can we break the stranglehold of the MSM when a big story like that of the UWS media bias report can be kept from the populace. Does the SNP and YES actually have a plan? I fear for Scotland.

  9. NorthBrit says:

    Does anyone think that Scotland would lower taxes?

    The fear is of Francois Hollande style economic vandalism in the name of “fairness”.

    I know someone who was voting Yes who has changed to No on meeting the Radical Independence lot (or similar).

    Look at SLab. Lamont screeching about the evil rich benefiting from free school meals. Terry Kelly and his “avanti poplo(sic)”.

    The most effective anti-independence slogan is Vote Yes, get Labour, or even worse, “real socialism”.

    I don’t think you can give Better Together any credit for this. You might credit SLab for being so terrifyingly witless and unpleasant that no-one can contemplate the risk of a Labour governed Scotland without severe anxiety.

  10. Craig P says:

    People are scared of a banking crash and of having less money in their pockets at the end of the month because so many live one pay check away from the street, and are terrified they wouldn’t be able to get another job (also, lots of folk have large personal debts). Personal financial insecurity and terror of unemployment and being on benefits leads to an unconsidered approach to taxation and banking.

    Also, when most folk say they would pay more tax for better services, they are lying. Witness the failure of the Lib Dem’s ‘penny on tax’ campaign.

    As for terrorism, that is a pure success for right wing propaganda over logic. I suspect if people were asked about Romanian immigrants and the EU making all our laws they would be worried about them too.

  11. Sneddon says:

    Northbrit- your friend must be the softest YES voter ever! if they changed their mind after meeting the RIC people. A sense of perspective is need methinks. Asking people if they’d vote for indy if they would be better off is like asking ‘is oxygen good’. This was a survey taken last year so I’m not getting excited about this. The SSAS is not specifically a indy poll (which to be honest most of the other polls are of duboius value in reading the entrails anyway). From the doorsteps I’m getting a different story.

  12. Craig P says:

    It is a sad thought that the vision that makes independence worthwhile – equality, opportunity and fairness – will likely have to be ditched by Scotland’s early governments if they want to be re-elected, based on the evidence presented here. Perhaps that is why Labour do so well in Scotland – people like to pay lip service to the concept of socialism, but deep down are closest Thatcherites?

    Alternatively a future Scottish electorate are likely to want to be careful with public money, which is a more heartening way of looking at things.

  13. Ian Kirkwood says:

    Good morning all! Good wake up call Stu. So, still a lot of work to be done. On a positive note this is excellent feedback which the YES campaign and SG need to listen to, digest and react to. As mention above, hopefully there is a plan. It does seem to be a wee bit quiet what with all the activity and PR stuff coming from the dark side. No doubt it is a cunning plan to let them blow themselves out and then make the big push.
    Another comment wonders if we are too busy talking to ourselves, the converted. It is a worry and I do think it is time to get the sleeves rolled up, gloves off and get stuck in.

  14. john king says:

    What the hell is wrong with this country?

    I despair of people I really do, and that survey (I’ve found) is pretty close to the truth because people I have spoken to say they don’t think we are subsidized but still think we’ll be worse off, and clearly the msm has a huge part to play in that belief because all you have to do is walk in any supermarket and the first thing you see is the newspaper rack with (usually ) the Daily Express or the Daily Mail’s headline facing the door (hmmm anyone?)
    screaming doom and gloom,do you have to be special (I dont feel special) to see the obvious manipulation?
    and the subliminal messages keep on coming.

  15. Papadocx says:

    Why does England NEED to control and manipulate Scotland?
    Why do the Scots want to be governed by a foreign and alien (Conservative)? Country.

    Is it altruism, evangelicalism or GREED that drives English panic at Scottish nationhood?
    Why must Scotland accept that it is to wee, stupid & poor?

    Is England the great white chief?
    Are the Scots the wee illiterate, naked, immoral natives needing a great white father to look after us?

    Why do none of England’s former colonies want England back to run their affairs?


  16. Michael says:

    When was the survey carried out, what were the dates?

  17. Macart says:

    You know we’re going to win this. It is completely inevitable 2014 or a single generation ahead, say 2034 or there about, but it is going to happen. The only difference will be in what we will have suffered to trigger the event.

    How much suffering are we willing to take and how much misplaced faith are we willing to give before we, as an electorate, say enough. We already know that overwhelmingly Scots believe the important decisions should be made at Holyrood. The undecideds or soft no segment are however, desperate to hear ensuring words of devo whatever from their Westminster parties and those hypocritical bastards are only too happy to oblige with their utterly empty promises of discussions and debates on the ‘devolution journey’ (© Westminster). There will be no and can be no devolution guarantees. There is no such option on the ballot and this was very much at the insistence of those self same Westminster parties.

    In the past month we have already seen Westminster take back powers from the Scottish parliament and it is perfectly within their current remit to do this at any time, with any power and for any reason they so choose. This is going to hit home sooner or later and in the event of a no vote more economic carnage and socially divisive measures from the top down WILL be administered. The Rev has, chapter and verse, accurately sourced evidence for all of the above.

    The way I see it our job isn’t really to take apart Westminster or the status quo. That job is done and dusted. People already know who they want to administer their governance. I think we should be concentrating more upon the fudge that is devolution. Take it apart and avoid perhaps twenty more years of waiting for undecided to become decided or perhaps two, possibly three more Tory/Tory Lite (Labour) parliaments shitting on the helpless from a great height.

  18. Mealer says:

    If I believed that My friends,neighbours,relations and workmates were too useless to run their own country I’d be voting NO.Its up to US to convince people around us that we ARE capable of making Scotland a more prosperous country.As the referendum gets nearer,more people will want to start considering the arguments for and against.People do not believe everything they get from the media.Despite the constant barrage of fear from the media,people are still open to persuasion,as shown in this survey.Its all to play for.

  19. Caroline Corfield says:

    Just because you think taxes will go up doesn’t mean you think it’s a bad thing. That’s the MSM talking there. The people of Scotland in conversation will usually admit to being willing to pay more to get a fairer society.

  20. Michael says:

    Oh, I see, it’s June to October last year when the ‘campaign’ hadn’t even started on the Yes side. Last year was the grass roots building part of the Yes strategy. No were campaigning and you can see the impact of their fearmongering in some of the tables. I think Curtice makes the mistake of thinking of the two campaigns as mirror images of one and other. But No had a full scale traditional election campaign last year and Yes didn’t, so the notion that the campaigns have had little effect on voters doesn’t make sense if you see that one campaign was attempting to build a grass roots army, normalising discussion of independence and planning carefully for future stages of the battle while another was firing all its ammunition and acting as if the Referendum was going to be held tomorrow.

  21. Papadocx says:

    @macart 8:23 am

    Couldn’t agree more. We will be free once we have no assets left to strip. DEPRESSING.

    We have let our grandchildren down! Sold their futures out of FEER & SELFISHNESS!

  22. Com’n people, did yie think it wis going to be easy? We just need to work harder.

  23. Caroline Corfield says:

    Ah Craig P

    “Also, when most folk say they would pay more tax for better services, they are lying. Witness the failure of the Lib Dem’s ‘penny on tax’ campaign.”

    Therein lies the crux of the matter, that was a UK policy, placed on the doorstep of the UK electorate, and rejected by the same. You’re evidence stands as discredited as the idea that UKIP are the UK’s favourite party, when having lost every deposit in a Scottish election and only polled 11% in a council election, they are quite obviously popular in the rUK but not Scotland ( one could hazard a guess they’re none to popular in Wales but I could see them working in NI).

    There is a reason Labour have ‘suggested’ unfreezing council tax and that’s because they know the argument ‘better services cost more’ resonates with the Scottish electorate, they certainly don’t believe in something for nothing, but they do believe in looking out for each other. It’s a benefit of being a small country.

    With its massive population and relatively small area England can encourage her electorate to behave anonymously, to stigmatise sections of society that in places it is entirely possible to never come across real examples of.

  24. Caroline Corfield says:

    Apologies for you’re instead of your, a feature of this morning’s rants as I’ve theired instead of there-ed all over fb

  25. Macart says:


    Not yet we haven’t Papa. I’m piss poor and in a single earner household and the economic angle although important has never held any sway over my choice. I’ve always believed in the principle of self reliance and independence (although for a short period about twenty odd years ago I had a brief dalliance with a fetching young thing called federalism). Soon came back to myself though. 🙂

    We all really believe we should be standing on our own two feet and making a better life for ourselves and our kids. Its the very definition of independence. People will come to realise this and they will make the right choice. They just need the right push, the right motivation. I don’t want Scotland’s rebirth as a nation to come from fear and suffering, but because its welcomed with open arms. I want people to turn up at those polling stations on 18th Sept and say ‘Fuck it, I’m in. Let’s go for it’. The best way to do that is dispel the myths, kill the fear, give them the real choice on offer.

    The opposition are past masters at fudging issues, hence the insincere bollocks over possible debates on devo whatever. We know they have no intention of honouring those promises, our job is to pass on what we know and why we know it.

  26. Caroline Corfield says:

    And I’m saying the Scottish electorate look out for each other ( though so does the Labour Party!)

  27. Ian Brotherhood says:

    re last night’s Greenock debate:

    Why don’t these televised debates have pre and post-discussion polls if the audiences are ‘balanced’? Could it be that, wherever they’ve been done, in schools and universities, there’s always a significant swing to Yes?

  28. Dorothy Devine says:

    Macart,I can’t wait until 2034 – I’ll be lang deid. It needs to be now for me so that I can die happy in the knowledge that the children and grandchildren of Scotland are taking responsibility for their country.

    I’m listening to Dougie MacLean and Caledonia as I type and thinking in a shout, ” ‘Mon Scotland!”

  29. Craiging_619 says:

    I feel like a lot of circles would have been squared if they’d also asked, “Do you believe that Alex Salmond is overweight and a bit arrogant, thus automatically negating all future benefits of a Yes vote?”

    On the plus side, the results suggest that people are getting the message about our huge annual subsidy to Westminster, which has to be encouraging. I noticed a big increase in people discussing the vote around the White Paper release, and while it died down at Christmas it’s started up again. A few of my friends have openly declared themselves Yes, and some people who I thought were die-hard Nos have moved towards Don’t Know already.

    Yeah, don’t get the tax one. Something’s got to be done about that.

  30. Helena Brown says:

    I have a few questions, in the interest of fairness is this nit picking only done in Scotland? If so why, why does this level of scrutiny have to be done here? Is this because our Maisters are not sure how restless the natives are?

  31. Macart says:


    Neither can I. 🙂

    We can do it still at first time of asking, its just going to take wee bit of work is all. For folks like me (that is basically an expert in nothing), its simple tasks like redirection. Making people aware of sites like this and doing a lot of running back and forth. Directing people to those who do have specific knowledge in a given area. Simply talking to people face to face in a positive friendly manner. Every little bit will help.

  32. scottish_skier says:

    Notes only 42% no value for June-October 2013 in straight Y/N. Fits nicely with falling no trend in polls. Sees abnormally low Yes in same question, but more correct value in others (low to mid 30’s). Attributes this to shy vote as TNS-BMRB has a problem with as DK correlates with Y but no correlation with No.

    Notes actual approximate, within variance, referendum result appears again – 52% Yes / 30% N – as it does often in roundabout ways (peak value in long term trends). Anyone recognise 63.4%? Have you seen that before? Maybe in a previous referendum? Looks a bit like a number in the census too as that’s how it always balances out.

    Understands it’s not about £500; that’s just a means of justification. In contrast for £500 worse off, people are shy enough never mind opening themselves up to ‘being illogical and emotional rather than rational’.

    bewildering..Because Table 4 shows that the independence side is winning most of the arguments.

    Not really. The apparently conflicting findings are a result of people partly saying what they believe but also what they think people would like to hear and/or what seems logical and not emotional/irrational. Depends on the question. The 2011 results are probably the most accurate as it was publicly ‘acceptable’ to be pro-indy that year. Was the in-thing so people were much more truthful.

  33. ian foulds says:

    Maybe this has already been addressed:

    Aren’t we likely to be £500 worse off, if there is a No vote and the powers that be decide to wreak vengeance or just due to the fact the have to ‘screw’ the whole country to bolster their p***poor planning, wastefulness, repaying trillions and keeping them in the manner to which they are accustomed at the trough?

  34. kininvie says:

    @ Caroline

    Don’t forget the SNP’s ‘Penny for Scotland’ campaign of ’99, which didn’t go down too well. And that wasn’t even a tax rise – just a proposal not to implement a tax cut.

  35. Marian says:

    Now we know why Lamont brought her big lie about England subsidising Scotland to the fote at FMQ the other week.

    Expect Project Fear to keep banging on with their big lie right up to polling day.

  36. Paul says:

    O/T I see that George Foulkes is trying to prevent the referendum on Europe by leading the Lords into tabling that many amendments that it will run out of time. Nothing changes with this clown time we got rid of these ermine cloaked free loading idiots. Also I have been barred from the Daily Record comments section for posting too many pro independence comments.

  37. farrochie says:

    Remember how Scots voted in 1997?

    I agree that there should be a Scottish Parliament
    Agree 1,775,045 (74.3%)
    Disagree 614,400 (25.7%)
    Turnout 60.4%

    This has to be our target for 18th September, and why not? This is the first time that Scotland has been asked to endorse the conditions of membership of the UK. There are not many who think that Westminster is serving Scotland well. A big proportion of the NO vote is recognised as a “soft” vote, often taking “status quo” as their default position.

    The big challenge will be to get a decent turnout.

  38. scottish_skier says:

    £500 is an excuse, not a reason. The two are quite different things.

    £1.36 a day and two fingers up to the union. A cheap Asda egg & cress sandwich and goodbye rule Britannia? Whole lotta love their for union flag waving there.

    When you say £500 though, that sounds like a fair bit of money. Which logical, rational person would not agree to it? Hey – I can justify my Yes vote!

    And vote Yes they will as it’s not an election. They might not get another chance for a very long time.

  39. SquareHaggis says:

    Couple of articles on NNS this morining maybe worth perusing,

    Looks like fish as aff the menu but tourism and inward investment gets a boost. Also covers the SAS result.

  40. Dave McEwan Hill says:

    This poll is largely meaningless because it is seriously out of date. It will be used against us nonetheless

  41. Alastair wright says:

    My take on polling is that Scottish citizens have only ever been asked TWICE to actually put their X where their beliefs are, and both times it was a majority YES. So folks keep the positive Heid on!

  42. Brian Powell says:

    There is every reason for the Conservatives to maintain these fears: the need to control people is in their blood,but for Labour activists, in Scotland, to go along with this is incomprehensible.

    The politicians I now understand; it is the self engrandising power, and the belief that if they can keep power then they haven’t been a complete waste of space; the rhetoric must be true.

    It is the activists on the ground that baffle me. For Example, if Labour had created a strong social and financial base when they were in Government then it wouldn’t have crumbled so readily in the last three years, assuming they blame the Conservatives.

    The other Northern European countries, mean from Holland, France, Germany upwards, went through the same crash but were not so destabilised, and have been recovering faster.
    Ireland is now is able to borrow money at a lower rate than the UK!

    Activists ignoring the reality they see around them leaves me with the belief they are putting Party over people.

  43. gerry parker says:

    Aye papadocx, but the times, they are a changing’

  44. scottish_skier says:

    Where’s the £41.67 a month going to come from?

    A personal cheque each from Alex Salmond? Maybe a tax rebate at the end of the year? Maybe all employers will give everyone a bonus of that size?

    How will you know you got it? Will it be visible somehow? On your tax return or P60 as ‘independence personal bonus’? Maybe on your monthly payslip? Maybe on bills as an ‘independence discount’?

    It’s an excuse not a reason.

    52% want to vote Yes, 30% No. Give the former an excuse they can use to justify what is in the end an emotional choice on national identity and they’ll jump at saying Yes.

  45. Luigi says:

    If Scottish voters were motivated purely by lower tax levels, they would have voted conservative for the past 30 years.

    They did not.

  46. chalks says:

    Belief is rising, the more they say we can’t do it, the more people begin to get annoyed.

    Belief, is the key and it’s on the rise.

  47. Doug Daniel says:

    The No camp has barely focused on scare stories about increased tax, because there’s not even the slenderest of nails to hang them on – neither the SNP nor Yes Scotland has ever talked of tax hikes

    I wonder if it’s just because they realise people believe it without them saying anything, and bringing it up gives the Yes camp the opportunity to completely dispel the myth? So instead, they focus on issues which don’t really affect people’s day-to-day lives, and keep us busy talking about those?

    That’s possibly crediting the No camp with a bit too much intelligence, though.

    One thing these figures show us is that people need to get real about what it is that is preventing people from being in favour of independence. Those of us who care about the democratic deficit or the righting of historical wrongs are already won over, so there’s no point going on about those.

    The single most important thing we need to get across to people is that Scotland is NOT a poor country. The data in this survey is the embodiment of the “I’d like Scotland to be independent, but I don’t think we could afford it” attitude. Most people are not ideologically attached to the UK, they’re just worried about upsetting the apple-cart, even though the apple-cart has already had both wheels knocked off and is dragging along the ground.

  48. Craig P says:

    Caroline Corfield:

    Just because you think taxes will go up doesn’t mean you think it’s a bad thing.

    I like that! Never considered that point of view but that squares the seemingly contradictory messages.

  49. Jimbo says:

    The SSAS has been asking the same questions for years.

    Does anyone know if they use the same respondents for every survey?

  50. Dal Riata says:

    Let’s be honest, many of the electorate are not really clued up, for want of a better phrase, about what independence could, and would, mean for the country and themselves. The term ‘low information voter’ has been used for such people. Lots of people are just not interested in politics, don’t understand or want to understand and are bored by the whole thing. Their interests are elsewhere, whatever they may be. Also, many are too busy getting on with their daily lives, school-runs, work, shopping, TV watching, etc. to have time for much else.

    Whatever Better Together and their propaganda outlets may be, they are not so daft as to not know exactly how to ‘play’ the electorate in their favour. And that is exactly what they have been doing since day one of the campaigning. ‘Keep ’em ignorant and scare ’em too!’ is the Better Together way. They will be well aware that should the electorate know ‘the truth’ they will lose, and heavily. Ergo, the collusion between the British state and all the organs at its disposal, including – and especially – the mainstream media, to, as much as they can get away with, impose an information blackout about the positives of independence for Scotland on those eligible to vote.

    Up to now, there have been no checks and balances to curtail the unfairness and bias of the UK’s media (See the report produced by the University of the West of Scotland).

    What we do have – as well as the on-the-ground ‘foot-soldiers’ doing great work – are online sites such as this one which show up the misinformation and lies produced as facts by the media – and stellar work they do, too. But yet, how many of the eligible electorate even go online daily, never mind regularly visit Wings Over Scotland, or Newsnet and the like? The ‘truth’ is here (or, ‘out there’, as is said) waiting for people to become ‘better informed’. Will enough go online to make a noticable increase to the ‘Yes’ vote? Only by the evening of the 18th of September will this be known.

    There are still eight months to go until the referendum. It may sound like a long time, and maybe even feels like it to some, but it really is not, not when the independence movement has to fight daily to disclose and reveal the nefarious doings of the Better Together project bombarding the electorate with more lies and fear.

    When, and if, ‘Yes’ wins the referendum, it will be a ‘people’s win’ – an incredible achievement against the British state’s ‘war-machine’ of propaganda. Can it be done? Yes, it can. It has to, for the sake of the future of Scotland and its people.

  51. Doug Daniel says:

    Actually, is it not utterly, utterly depressing that a third of the country think Scotland’s rightful place is as the UK equivalent of the Faeroe Islands?

  52. ScotFree1320 says:

    O/T. Sorry.

    John Swinney’s comment seems to have got lost. Maybe the dog ate the tape?

  53. Roberto says:

    All the more reason that Ivan McKee,s ECONOMIC FACTS on Bella Caledonia,s website be publicised and seen by everyone in SCOTLAND.

  54. kalmar says:

    Northbrit said:

    Does anyone think that Scotland would lower taxes?

    The fear is of Francois Hollande style economic vandalism in the name of “fairness”.

    This is a reasonable assessment I think. Or fear of mismanagement and uncautious spending – the Scottish Parliament building and the Tram fiascos don’t give much confidence.
    I think the SNP are quite canny actually, and wouldn’t make a bad job of it. As a higher rate taxpayer I’m certainly not expecting that bill to go down though.

  55. Papadocx says:

    Check out NNS our fishing communities were sold down the river for the benefit of London admits Hague. He makes it sound like a mistake, it was no mistake it was intentional. If the fishermen of Scotland had been allowed to negotiate at the big table all would have been well. The London spivs had other ideas, so some clown was put up from London to sell out the fishermen. NO MISTAKE NO ACCIDENT!

    Aye we are better together, FOR THE ESTABLISHMENT.

  56. Marcia says:

    Perhaps Prof Jim Mitchell could cast his eye on the balance of the questions asked. From my own circle of family and friends there is (at last) a good shift to Yes.

    In 1979 and 1997 the Business community seemed hostile to a positive vote in these referendums. I am greatly encouraged by the business men and women who are actively campaigning for a yes vote. You would not have seen the article below in either 1979 or 1997.

  57. Doug Daniel says:

    And another thought – there is little point in asking people if they think taxes WILL go up without also asking if they think taxes SHOULD go up. Table 5 in this release ( shows that while only 6% think taxes should go down, 48% think they should stay the same with 42% saying they should go up. Those 42% might all be saying “I think taxes should go up, and I believe they would, because we don’t vote for Tory bastards.”

  58. Clootie says:

    If you don’t mind I will put my faith in the changes I sense around me.
    I suspect many of these polls are engineered anyway.

  59. Ken500 says:

    More Propaganda and nonsense, trying to affect the result. Why do people pay attention to this nonsense. The Pollsters that are always wrong but personally gain (£Millions) from failure. The pathetic Pollsters thatbarevalways wrong.

    I.e watching biased TV programmes and then complaining. Don’t watch. The viewing figures go down – out go the Programmes and the participants. Heads will roll. The MSM doing themselves out of a job. The tax evading right wing MSM going broke. Wisen up.

    Watch world class Tennis instead. Oor favourite son. c’mon Andy. That’s the way to win. Keeps the spirits up.

  60. Dal Riata says:

    I’m a big believer in the ‘Fuck it! Let’s dae it!’ modus operandi come referendum day.

    There will be plenty who will be of a certain mindset, wanting to vote ‘Yes’, but still listening to that wee Better Together Project Fear devil on their shoulder saying “Fear! Naw, ye cannae! Doom and gloom! More fear!”… and will be inside the voting booth all on their lonesome… who will pick up the pen, think for a few seconds… and go, “Fuck it! Let’s dae it!” and mark their X in the ‘Yes’ box. Hope over fear, after all.

  61. Horacesaysyes says:

    It does depress me that the idea of paying tax, and it being used for public services that benefit society as a whole, is somehow seen as bad thing by lots of people.

    The poisonous ‘me-first’ attitude fostered by Thatcher and all those that have followed, is in a large part what has gotten us into the mess we are in at the moment, but it’s also what has gotten us to the point where hugely important decisions like the referendum seem to come down, to a lot of people, to the question ‘will it make me finacially better off in the short term?’.

    But the other thing that disappoints me is that using the question ‘will I pay more tax’ doesn’t even allow for the possibility that, even if your tax does go up, wages could go up or prices come down too, meaning that what you can do with your money is greater too.

  62. Jim Arnott says:

    I have always had the philosophy that I can’t pay enough tax.

    I wish I was due to pay the taxman £1m this year. I would be a damned sight better off than I currently am. Think about it folks.

  63. G H Graham says:

    The primary reason for the chronic, illogical contradictory attitudes of Scots is surely the universally invasive & scaremongering propaganda delivered by the British media.

    Not a single copy of any newspaper, magazine or current affairs periodical expresses a “pro independence” editorial position.

    And the BBC, STV & the English based cable/satellite broadcasters are all pro Union & have just last week being proven to be wholly biased in favour of the status quo (

    Despite falling numbers, last July, Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) ( reported a combined daily circulation of 12 titles of almost 800,000 (Excluding The Herald & The Scotsman).

    Print media may well be dying but there’s plenty of metaphors such as anecdotal accounts of wheezy old men living well into their 90’s despite smoking 60 fags a day.

    The British Empire is well & truly finished as a global force for good, bad & ugly but it continues to haunt us through the reverberations of our unimaginative & stubborn media.

  64. CameronB says:

    Has nobody twigged yet? The pollsters frame the political landscape for the electorate. By asking specifically formulated questions, the pollster can, without fuss of significant effort, herd the flock to the abattoir. Doh!

  65. Doug Daniel says:

    G H Graham:

    The primary reason for the chronic, illogical contradictory attitudes of Scots is surely the universally invasive & scaremongering propaganda delivered by the British media.

    This probably ties into what S_S is saying about people being shy Yes voters. Deep down, most people would like Scotland to be independent. They might not think we CAN be, but all things being equal, it would be their preference.

    But then they’re faced with a hostile media telling them that they’re WRONG to think that. So they feel frightened of expressing their true feelings, because they think they’ll mark themselves out as a pariah.

  66. ronnie anderson says:

    Scotcen study,/ University Of West of Scotland Study.

    oh whit tae day, Stv / Bbc / newsprint,run the story most

    important to the Scottish Public,add Prof Poltice,on both

    Bbc/Stv, demontrating non Bias,( what). what was the air

    time on UWS study,compaired to Prof Poltice study. Bias

    is our stock & trade, Stv/Bbc,two finger,s on both hand,s

    held high to the Scottish people.

  67. a supporter says:

    “why Scots are the only people on Earth who’ve been (so far) successfully made scared of running their own country.”

    That’s a bit strong. I don’t believe the bulk of the population has engaged with the idea of Independence and won’t until the last few weeks. This shows in the fact that the polls have hardly changed over the last year and that according to a number of recent polls the NO bullshit in the media in re of, EU, using £sterling, et al has hardly registered in the minds of ordinary people.
    I also believe that the economic arguments while important are overplayed and that at the ballot box it will all come down to what is in the heart. Who is going to vote NO for the dismal status quo, and by God it’s dismal, against the excitement at the birth of a new Independent nation

  68. a supporter says:

    I tried to use but without success apparently.

  69. MochaChoca says:

    O/T BBC reporting big drop in unemployment figures today, down in Scotland from 201,000 in October to 176,000 now.

    UK wide also seeing a big drop, but Scotland continues to out-perform (6.4% vs 7.1%).

    Wonder if this is good or bad for the prospect of a YES vote?

    Also worth noting the BoE had previously said interest rates wouldn’t change while unemployment remained below 7% (now ominously close?).

  70. desimond says:

    The bottom line is the bottom line.

    Used to work with an older wisercolleague who when they heard vacant talk of “Future Bonuses” and “Big Rewards on way”..they just used to stare blankly at the management and say “Show me it in my wages”.

  71. MochaChoca says:


    wouldn’t change UNTIL unemployment GOT below 7%

  72. caz-m says:

    Just noticed that this poll was taken by a pro union, always wrong, pollster called prof Cutis.

    This particular poll was started nearly SEVEN (7) months ago.

    Where else in the world would they be discussing poll results that were 7 mths old. It is designed to take the wind out of the YES campaign’s sails.

    The No camp know that the YES campaign is on a roll at the moment and they want to curb that momentum by using their old faithful tactic of negativity.

    The poll was also started long before the release of the White Paper.

  73. Ken500 says:

    The majority do not mind paying tax. It’s what the tax is spent on that’s the problem for many.

    Ie illegal wars, Trident, redundant weaponry

    banking fraud and tax evasion.

    While not supporting the vulnerable, the weak, the old the young. Creating injustice in the society.

    If tax is to be fair, it has to be progessive and equal. Justice has to be equal and fair, When will war criminals and fraudulent bankers go to jail?

    Citizens (taxes) were supposed to be equal and fair in the UK. Scotland out voted 10 to 1 has no say. They have not been treated equal and fair, since The Union agreement of 1707.

    Vote YES – Independence for a more just and fair society.

  74. Gillie says:

    I agree with scottish_skier assessment of this polling and how to interpret the findings.

    The No vote is being eroded faster than the Yes is gaining ground. I would imagine there will be a poll soon with the NO vote being under 40%.

    Further people not only care about the amount of money in their pockets but also where it came from. It is wrong to simply suggest that Scottish votes can be bought.

  75. Ivan McKee says:

    @ Roberto,

    Thanks, here’s the link again for anyone who hasn’t seen it.

  76. Vronsky says:

    Those intending to vote against independence – an intention incomprehensible in any other country – are responding to peer pressure. In everyday experience in the street, pub or at work, No voters easily outnumber Yes. No supporters tend to regard themselves as cool and superior. They see Yes supporters as crazy ultra-nationalist cranks, and have no inhibitions about telling them so. This may somewhat explain the ‘shy supporter’ effect that scottish-skier talks about. There may be an underlying hankering to vote Yes, but fear of ridicule makes people resort to claiming support for No. As they can’t give reasons they instead offer limp excuses, like not liking Salmond.

    At an SNP meeting many years ago John Swinney said that we would see little by way of results until we reached 30% of the popular vote, but then we would see our strength and credibility grow rapidly. He was right. If Yes can reach 40% before September, credibility will switch in the our direction, and ridicule will fall where it properly belongs – on the benighted few who want their country to be governed by an alien and unfriendly power.

  77. pa_broon74 says:

    Two things.

    I reckon the 500 smacks thing is a red herring, its a figure picked out of thin air. All it does is sway opinion to the tune of £500 either way, they may as well be asking folk if being offered sherbet lemons to vote one way or cola cubes the other would affect their vote. I doubt anyone will be thinking about £500, sherbet lemons or cola cubes when considering their vote.

    The other thing is about tax… A lot of people I think are defaulting to the ‘starting from scratch’ assumption – in that if they vote yes, they’d have to start paying for all the infrastructure (HMRC, military everything in fact.)

    What folk (I think) default to is that currently Westminster has responsibility/pays for all this, they don’t take the next logical step – that its partly their money Westminster uses to pay for it.

    Scotland already pays for its infrastructure and its not necessarily an infrastructure that suits us, i.e. we might be able to do it all for a lot less. (Certainly true with defence.)

    I bet that part of the survey would change drastically if you prefixed it with something like: “Bearing in mind that Scotland already pays for its share of UK infrastructure and on independence ALL of the tax you pay would stay with a Scottish government…”

    Or something a bit more snappy.

    Is what I think.

  78. Kenny Campbell says:

    Years and decades of being told you are too wee and too poor will take some level of overcoming. There are a lot of people with built in levels of inferiority.

    Those numbers would make good reading for the Westminster stooges.

  79. faolie says:

    The most important thing that I take from this poll is that we don’t believe we’re subsidised – au contraire, we believe that we subsidise the rUK. That’s surely the biggest hurdle leapt already.

    Nudging voters along a logical path from this to ‘so why do you think you’d need to pay more tax?’ – seems to me to be the easier task as I think people like to arrive at logical conclusions from their own thoughts, and this is the logical conclusion.

    I believe we can all take heart that, from at least 7 months ago, no one was believing this subsidy-junkie nonsense.

  80. Doug Daniel says:

    Ivan – your video single-handedly converted a probable No at my work into a probably Yes. Really great piece of work, which should be distributed widely and often between now and September!

  81. Paul says:

    I am beginning to think the battle is lost The Yes campaign is unable to get it’s message out there due to the extreme bias of the media. Will papers like the Daily Record etc apologise to the Scottish people when after the vote the real Austerity against us kicks in with the loss of the Barnett formulae.

    Isn’t it funny how the British economy is being reported as improving with unemployment supposedly falling where are these jobs coming from? I just don’t believe it.The figures on the economy will be manipulated to suit as the Bank of England says it will raise interest rates when unemployment falls to 7% it is not far away from that now if the figures are to be believed. What for the better together side when interest rates start to rise and already squeezed mortgage payers have to fork out more and repossessions start to rise. Remember the unionists will stop at nothing to prevent the loss of Scotland’s resources.

  82. Breastplate says:

    The threat of tax rises in an independent Scotland are a red herring as far as I’m concerned.

    If I was offered a choice of £100 a day taxed at 20% or £200 a day taxed at 50% the latter leaves more money in your pocket as I believe Jim Arnott pointed out above.

    Why would taxes need to go up? What exactly will we be paying for in an independent Scotland that we are not already paying for now?

    Remember also there are many savings to be made after a Yes result.

  83. msean says:

    Sold to the highest bidder for £9.62.ffs,embarassing. During the recent christmas period I saw a guy get interviewed in London proclaiming the bargains he got to the Sky tv reporter. He had just bought a real bargain,a roll of christmas paper down from £10 to £7.

    They would sell their future for the price of a roll of christmas paper in London.Embarassing.

  84. gavin lessells says:

    O/T Aye Right Leaflets

    Delivered 2000 to Perth yesterday for insertion in current Yes Newspapers. Anyone interested in similar can contact me on

  85. Breastplate says:

    Hi Pa Broon, just read you post and seems we’re talking about the same things.

  86. msean says:

    Saying that,it shows up the different countries that we are,very few in Scotland would (or could) pay that for christmas paper.

  87. scottish_skier says:

    Next time respondents can be asked if they’re ok to be ruled by Germany for £500.

    The answer you’ll get will of course confirm it’s not actually about £500.

  88. chalks says:

    They might say that we subsidise the rUK but they don’t believe it.

    That much is evident. Regardless, as discussed above the yes vote continues to creep up to 40%…once it hits that, there really is no going back.

    As for unemployment figures….these are also based on zero-hour contracts….so if you have one, you are deemed as being employed….if that is below the threshold for paying tax then so be it….but it is completely false

  89. a supporter says:

    Paul Stop being such a Jonah. We don’t need views like that on the YES side. Going by the NO camp’s panic attacks they doesn’t believe it is winning either.

  90. Training Day says:


    The battle is far from lost, Paul. Away from these contrived exercises people are talking and questioning – so many of us are sensing it that it cannot be an isolated phenomenon. We are winning.

    Ignore pretty much everything you see in the MSM and you won’t go far wrong.

  91. msean says:

    I don’t believe it either,when a few months ago the news broke that interest rates would rise if unemployment fell to 7%,how many folk said to themselves “that’s more excluded from benefits,because there isn’t the jobs to accomplish that any other way”.

    Lo and behold,7.1% arrives quicker than we thought,our policies must be working,especially when the person you helped into her job says you’re doing just fine,even though only a few months ago the UK was “playing with fire.”

  92. cirsium says:

    I want people to turn up at those polling stations on 18th Sept and say ‘Fuck it, I’m in. Let’s go for it’.

    Thank you Macart. That says it all for me.

    Regarding these survey results, it is now clear why Baron McFall was continuing to push the Big Lie that Scotland could not have afforded to bail out RBS.

  93. turnbull drier says:

    @ Gavin, tried emailing your address above and get an error, can you double check it…

    “Remote host said: 554 delivery error: dd This user doesn’t have a account”

  94. scottish_skier says:

    If you asked something like:

    If independence resulted in the government having an extra £500 per person to spend on public services such as roads & transport, schools, hospitals, pensions etc would you vote for independence?

    You’ll probably get a similar answer even though the person will not see the £500 in their wallet (this wasn’t even specified in the current question). However, once again, you’ve given them a solid excuse for justifying to others what they emotionally want inside.

    Remember that 55% who wouldn’t vote to join the union right now? Or maybe the 50%+ that are consistently satisfied with the Scottish Government (vs the ~1/3 who are not). They’re the ones looking for an excuse.

    An excuse they can use as a publicly justifiable reason.

  95. EphemeralDeception says:

    The survey is frustrating but YES have some advantages:
    – In all previous occasions when Scotland voted for more control of our affairs we have taken it. And we seized the opportunity despite all UK and media tactics.

    – The Yes campaign has many more ordinary people on he ground providing support and information.

    – The competing statements from politicians on both sides has had a numbing effect in that people are skeptical of both. People are also skeptical of the Scottish media. However I think that people will come to a decision near the end of the campaign based on relative strength of both sides. The No campaign simply has No roadmap. People absolutely do not want Scotland in the UK to stand still.

    We know Dev Max is not on the table – it would kill the UK obfuscation . When undecideds realise nothing is on offer they will switch to yes despite doubts imo.

  96. Murray McCallum says:

    Outlook for Brent oil prices for 2014 looks very strong. While Scotland’s economy and/or independence is not dependant on oil, it’s worth remembering the dire UK Treasury / OBR forecast decline.

    Time for the UK Treasury and OBR to re-do their homework.

    Outlook for 2014 looks like 2014 prices looks around $106 – $110.

    The International Energy Agency (IEA) yesterday raised its forecasts for global oil consumption, citing strengthening economies across the planet. The IMF have also raised their growth forecasts for developed countries.

  97. Chic McGregor says:

    IMO possibly the next biggest thing which motivates folk (after whether their families will be worse off financially, although it is related) is the largely unspoken fear that ‘the English’ (by which they mean the ruling London ‘elite’) will revert to type and seek retribution for Scotland’s ‘betrayal’ in whichever way they can post independence.

    I don’t think many countenance military repercussions (though some do, even that) but more in line with a modernised version of Darien, the Alien Act, obstruction of trade, etc..

    We need to, somehow, reassure people that in the modern world this cannot happen.

    We need to reassure them that in the modern world any such ideas of revenge would gain little currency, simply because it would not be in the rUK’s own interest.

    We need to reassure them that in the modern world, even if such ideas gained support in a clandestine fashion (the English people themselves would never support them) they would be severely limited in scope as to what they could actually do, at least without becoming an international pariah.

    But how can you even begin to do that though, when no politician of either side can even mention the matter?

    Yet, I know, from personal canvassing, that it is there, although people don’t like talking about it.

    IMO this could well be reflected in the apparent paradox that people believe we have been subsidising the UK but could still be worse off after independence.

  98. Paul says:

    A supporter I am not being a Jonah time is running out I was only highlighting the fact that the Yes message is not getting out and the polls are closing too slowly. We must take our chance’s when we can for example in last nights debate Fiona was very weak she should have put Sarwar in his place and she missed the opportunity it took the audience to do that. She could have pointed out that he was getting far to much time to prattle compared to the rest of the panel and what was the point of that comedian being there he just gave up. She should have been the one who showed Sarwar’s hypocracy over the bedroom tax and pointed out to him that if a union with another state is such a good thing then why is Pakistan not uniting with India. we can’t afford to let these chances pass us by.

  99. Macart says:


    That’s my feeling.

    We’ve just got to keep getting it through to people that we CAN do this. We’ve got the dosh, the resources, the people and the will.

    All we have to do is reach out and take it. 😉

  100. Chic McGregor says:


    I seem to remember the OBR predicting an oil price falling to the $80 range by 2015-16 in a report. Could be wrong, but I suspect they have been ‘revising’ themselves.

  101. msean says:

    Surely you mean revising again?And again.

  102. X_Sticks says:

    turnbull drier says:

    “tried emailing your address above and get an error, can you double check it…”


    you probably just cut and paste and it will have pasted:

    Cut and paste into notepad, remove the mailto: bit and then copy to email. Should then work.

  103. turnbull drier says:

    @ X_Sticks

    nope, he had put a typo in..(but ta for your thoughts). I dunno, these folk who cannae spell their own name 😛

  104. X_Sticks says:

    Have you checked the spelling on the leaflets turnbull?

    BTW whats the correct spelling, I will want some leaflets too 🙂

  105. fairiefromtheearth says:

    I shiver at the thought of so many idiotic Scots people with the vote. If in an independant Scotland the bankers started their ILLEGAL crap we jail them for life just ask Iceland and Ireland who has just decided to prosecute the ganster bankers.

  106. ronnie anderson says:

    Again the National Dept question raised it,s head last night,s debate,£1.2 trillion.Nobody has ever posed the question. What was the increase in the Barnet Formula during that time of accumulation of said Dept. N Ireland.
    Wales.Scotland.Any one answer that question. bo share out,
    no intrest payment,s owed by Scotland.But a FULL Acounting,
    of the ASSET,S Owed to Scotland. This should be acknowledged,& said by Alex Salmond,that & all the INCOME TAX OVERPAYED to HMRC by THE SCOTTISH PEOPLE,question,s need to be asked.

  107. Yesitis says:

    If the propaganda war is winning it for No, it will win it for a future No vote, time and time again.

    Times are hard and they will get tougher. UKIP may rise, fall and rise, Tories and a more right-wing Labour may bring Britain to it`s knees time and time again and still the sheer mass of pro-UK propaganda will win the war for Britain against the option of Scottish independence.

    With the threat of ‘separation’ dispatched relatively easily by the media (not by mostly useless pro-UK campaigns), the UK government will know exactly what to do every time the threat of independence arises. It will not be fooled again. It will be more than ready.

    Independence will be won in 2014 or it will never be won in any of our lifetimes. Perhaps, never at all. The last surge for independence is coming this Spring and Summer; it must be persuasive or, I fear, the dream is dead.

    As with life, there is no second bite at the cherry. This is it.
    Do what you need to do.

    Lastly *ahem*
    Stay positive.

  108. RoughMan says:

    @ Chic McGregor.

    It’s almost certain that rumpUK will try to interfere with our trade; that’s why we need the protection of the EU, NATO and the UN.

  109. the bunnyman says:

    re., Defence Issue. it’s plain for to all to see. what we need is a crack team of taxi drivers and baggage handlers, on minimum wage.

  110. Chic McGregor says:

    “It’s almost certain that rumpUK will try to interfere with our trade; that’s why we need the protection of the EU, NATO and the UN.”

    Well that was rather the point. In the modern world scope for that sort of thing is not what it was c 1700.

    But that is, of course, why ‘Plan B’ is to try to deny that Scotland would be a member of NATO or the EU. All part of a pretendy “you don’t want to see us when we’re angry.” tactic. The more vulnerable Scots feel, the more that will work, subliminally. Truth is, they will be virtually powerless to do anything.

    That’s a message to get across.

  111. Taranaich says:

    @john king: What the hell is wrong with this country?

    It’s a proxy war. One side is fighting for self-determination, the other colluding with a larger power to perpetuate their subordination.

    @Papadocx: Why does England NEED to control and manipulate Scotland?
    Why do the Scots want to be governed by a foreign and alien (Conservative)? Country.

    I think that’s the key issue regarding why the UK establishment’s even bothering: Westminster doesn’t want to keep the Scots – they want to keep Scotland. They want the oil, the trade, the tax, the resources. They want a holiday home away from the fracking sites and sprawling “foreigner”-filled cities. In short, they want the land.

    When the UK establishment talk about their love for Scotland, they’re talking about Gleneagles, Balmoral, Inverlochie – estates for the rich, concentrated land ownership by the modern nobility. Property. Do they talk about the Fringe? Celtic Connections? Do they talk about the people of Scotland, or the land?

    @Ian: Why don’t these televised debates have pre and post-discussion polls if the audiences are ‘balanced’? Could it be that, wherever they’ve been done, in schools and universities, there’s always a significant swing to Yes?

    Considering the debates vet the questions, I would guess they felt embarrassed about the last time they tried that. Same reason the questions were the same tired old questions that have already been done to death online: so that even though the panelists weren’t told which questions would be asked, they’re questions they’ve already answered time and time again anyway.

    @Papadocx: Check out NNS our fishing communities were sold down the river for the benefit of London admits Hague. He makes it sound like a mistake, it was no mistake it was intentional. If the fishermen of Scotland had been allowed to negotiate at the big table all would have been well. The London spivs had other ideas, so some clown was put up from London to sell out the fishermen.

    Funny you should mention that, it’s EXACTLY what I was talking to my skeptical grandfather about. He thinks the EU is “just as bad” as Westminster, citing all the quangos and stupid laws. I said simply that as we are now, we have no say whatsoever in our dealings with the EU, as it’s all Westminster’s domain. All the quangos and laws and such are things that Westminster is responsible for, while we can only accept what Westminster decides. I cited the fishing communities as an example: as part of the UK, we can’t do anything, but as an independent country, we would have a choice.

    Indeed, one thing that I wish would be asked in these debates is simple: would we rather be 8.7% of a country, or 100% of a country?

    @Ken500: The majority do not mind paying tax. It’s what the tax is spent on that’s the problem for many.

    Ie illegal wars, Trident, redundant weaponry

    banking fraud and tax evasion.

    While not supporting the vulnerable, the weak, the old the young. Creating injustice in the society.

    If tax is to be fair, it has to be progessive and equal.

    Exactly. That’s what swings it for me even if independence is hard – the struggle will be worthwhile. If taxes are high, I want the taxes going to public services, health, welfare and education, not war, banks, big business, and politicians. If the economy is struggling, I’d rather it was struggling because we were trying to help everyone, not because all the money was being sucked up by bankers and lords.

    Sarwar’s line about “bigger than independence” is the usual champagne socialist lie. Why would you choose to enable these psychopaths just because you claim to want to make bigger changes?

    @Paul: I am beginning to think the battle is lost The Yes campaign is unable to get it’s message out there due to the extreme bias of the media.

    We have seven months left. A LOT can happen in seven months – a lot has already happened. The media is not invulnerable: once the tide starts to turn, they’ll start to question whether it’s better for business to toe the Westminster line, or whether to reflect public opinion. If enough people start to turn to Yes, they simply won’t be able to ignore it, and be forced to choose either to jeopardise their already-plummeting sales by going against popular opinion, or to make a heroic leap to Yes.

    @Chic: IMO possibly the next biggest thing which motivates folk (after whether their families will be worse off financially, although it is related) is the largely unspoken fear that ‘the English’ (by which they mean the ruling London ‘elite’) will revert to type and seek retribution for Scotland’s ‘betrayal’ in whichever way they can post independence.

    I do believe that’s a possibility. But as you say, we’re actually LESS likely to be punished by Westminster as an independent country than we are as part of the UK. Look how the UK government treats its own citizens: food banks, fourth most unequal country in the developed world, £1 trillion debt while bankers and politicians get bonuses, welfare & NHS and public services being dismantled. The UK would be POWERLESS to do ANYTHING to an independent Scotland, for to do so would be to incur the wrath of Europe.

    People are already frightened by the government, because they have the illusion that they have no choice in the matter. Massie didn’t help in Greenock when he pulled the preposterous “SNP are as bad as the Tories anyway” line, exacerbating the problem. We’ve been browbeaten and told nothing we do matters for so long, that we start to believe it.

  112. CJ says:

    Lets organize a piper for each polling station. Surely that will do it for yes on the day. Probably not enough pipers in the country for that but lets employ them to play in every town across the land

  113. DanTDog says:

    Being prepared to pay a bit more in tax to live in an Independent Scotland doesn’t faze me at all. After all, I took a relative leap into the unknown when I bought my house, trusting that it would be a sound investment for the future but accepting that “house prices, like investments, can go down as well as up”.

    If people aren’t prepared to back their own country,”it’s a blue do”…as my granny used to say.


  114. william says:

    Brothers and sisters of scotland dont let fear stand in the way we have a duty to our children grandchildren and fellow scots remember we have 25 billion pounds cuts proposed after 2015 this vote is not just for the snp but for all partys to represent the people of scotland fairly dont let fear rule your heart vote yes

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