Features

The SNP’s 'cybernats' are a modern political scourge – with the zeal of converts

If – and probably when – Yes Scotland loses, where will all that frantic energy go?

30 August 2014

9:00 AM

30 August 2014

9:00 AM

The first ‘yes’ campaign volunteer knocked on my door towards the end of last year. She was a member of the Scottish Socialist Party. I glanced at her dog-eared tally sheet — in my old block of 40 flats, only three residents had said they would vote no. In this neglected pocket of Edinburgh there are men who roll up their tracksuit bottoms to show off their prison tags. It is made up of decaying towers and pebble-dashed tenements. The people here are going to vote for change. Who can blame them?

Now that I have moved to a more genteel suburb outside of the city, a further three yes activists have attempted doorstep conversions. I have heard appeals to my head, my heart and my wallet from nationalists who are as dogged as Jehovah’s Witnesses. What motivates them to plunge into a cause that was, until recently, the preserve of a marginalised few?

One factor is consistently overlooked. Like most Jehovah’s Witnesses, my door-knockers tend to be converts. They have a born-again zeal that propels them on to the streets to share their faith. Their appearance demonstrates that a disengaged electorate is ripe for conversion to the nationalist cause.

Alan Bissett, a prominent ‘yes’ campaigner, made a recommendation recently. ‘On the day of the referendum, “yes” folks should be on the streets giving out not leaflets or flyers, but flowers.’ That’s what Moonie proselytisers used to do in airport terminals.

Without these converts, the dream of Scottish independence would be confined to SNP apparatchiks and a small slice of the voting public. Without all their campaigning, the words ‘End London rule’ would languish in faded paint on motorway flyovers.


Most of the converts I have spoken to cite political disengagement as the reason they support independence. They have finally found relief from political boredom. They want change and the referendum offers a quick fix.

Alex Salmond knows that old-timers don’t shout the virtues of their cause through a megaphone. It’s converts who aggressively seek recruits. They give themselves completely to their new obsession. Which is what makes them so valuable — and volatile.

The ‘zeal of the convert’ is a measurable phenomenon. A 2007 Pew survey of all American religious believers found that converts were more ardent than non-converts both in their beliefs and their practice. The early Christians were nervous of converts. St Paul is explicit in his first letter to Timothy: a church elder ‘must not be a recent convert, or he may be puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil’.

Converts to many creeds, political as well as religious, tend to be excitable and angrily dismissive of non-believers. That helps explain why some Scottish nationalists behave so horribly on the internet. We call them ‘cybernats’ with mock affection, but at times their bile can be so bitter that I wonder if we should drop the cute nomenclature. (After J.K. Rowling’s £1 million donation to the Better Together campaign she suffered the kind of abuse that would make a prison guard blush.)

These new nationalists remind me of Ukip supporters. Nigel Farage is embarrassed by the gushing devotion and crazed invective of ‘cyberkippers’. When asked about them in private, he murmurs that they tend to be — you’ve guessed it — ‘recent converts’.

The new believers are both an asset and a problem for the ‘yes’ camp. The campaign has a disciplined and professional public face, yet it is constantly embarrassed by its loony fringe. Nationalists with hair-trigger tempers make for disastrous headlines. Yet the sheer energy of these converts is undeniably an asset. They will knock on doors until their knuckles are raw. They will spend every spare hour traipsing up worn tenement stairwells in pursuit of a percentage point. They are not discouraged by polls; being true believers, they dismiss them out of hand.

After two televised debates, bookmakers put the chances of a Unionist victory at 84 per cent. But the quasi-religious determination of the ‘yes’ campaigners is the wild card. Scots who never usually vote in elections — like my former neighbours — are going to turn up in numbers that are impossible to determine.

What will become of the new nationalists in the event of a ‘no’ vote? The most committed ‘yes’ campaigners will still be wound up like spring pistons. It is hard to imagine that this energy will quietly dissipate if they don’t get their way in a fortnight’s time.

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Show comments
  • Stephen Brown

    I hear what your saying Daniel but from my experience these people are in the minority. Until recently I was a labour supporter but the realization that the party I once knew has diluted and changed before my eyes. Scottish Independence is the only way that Scotland will get the government it votes for, that much is clear.
    Until a year or so ago I wasn’t really that bothered about it all but as you say, I am now one of these ‘converts’. Coming from a position of undecided/nae bothered I completely understand people’s reason to say no and in fact I regularly tell people that I believe there to be very good reason to stay in the union, but there are infinitely better reasons to be independent. To say that converted yes supporters act as you say is disingenuous in the extreme when most of us empathize quite strongly with no voters. If you love the UK, fair enough in my book, but if you are voting no because you think Scotland cant make a good job at it and go in its own direction then expect to be called up on it!
    We are certainly not ‘true believers’, from my experience we are just engaging our brains and realizing that perhaps there status quo isn’t the best way forward.

    • john lyttle

      Well put Stephen. Don’t agree, but well and concisely put.

    • MichtyMe

      Good comment but for the “status quo” in your final paragraph. The future is not the status quo, things change always, stuff happens, a No vote future is also unpredictable and unknowable. The vote is to decide in whose hands some of that future will be shaped and decided by.

    • colchar

      During Labour’s entire tenure Scots got the government they voted for but cannot handle it now after only a couple of years of coalition rule? People regularly vote for the party that doesn’t win, end up governed by a government they didn’t vote for, but just get on with it. For example, here in Ontario Canada the party I support lost the last election so I am governed by a government that I didn’t vote for, but I am just getting on with life until the next election. Why can’t Scots do the same instead of crying about who is in power (I notice they weren’t crying when Labour was in power). And by the way, I say this as a transplanted Scot myself.

      • Stephen Brown

        Thanks colchar for the reply but the point is not who the individual votes for but the country votes for. If scotland is a country then it should be getting the government it votes for 100% of the time, not 39% of the time. Labour are not what they once were, hence why they were routed in 2011. We were indeed bemoaning New Labour in power but they were just the best of a samey bunch. Democracy in the uk is unfortunately broken

  • Fuarach Blas

    I don’t think I’ve read anything so rabid.
    It would appear Daniel doesn’t like having his views challenged.

    • john lyttle

      Perfectly calm and collected writing FB. Don’t much agree with its point but if you think it’s rabid it’s very clearly you who’s having trouble with a challenged viewpoint.

      • Fuarach Blas

        To declare that whoever disagrees with his views is comparable to a cultist is as rabid as you’ll get.
        It’s a normalcy bias in action.

        • john lyttle

          He said some of them are rabid. I’ve met a few too. They are. Not all, some. He doesn’t tar everyone with the same brush. For you to say so… Well, we can read you know.

          • Fuarach Blas

            I can…and I can also interpret.
            You support his view because you are on the otherside.
            I disagree because it’s mischief making nonsense akin to the media hysteria that accompanied JKs declaration.
            Those lies were subsequently rubbished when the perpetrators were outed as labour activists from Manchester.
            Doesn’t stop the MSM still claim it was “vile cybernats”.

          • john lyttle

            Those blinkers aren’t coming off anytime soon, are they?

            All the virtues to yourself, all the vices imposed on others.

            And yet your posts commit every crime – and more – you accuse others of.

            You do get that, don’t you? Because the bulk of those on this thread, I suspect, can and do, be they Yes or No.

          • Fuarach Blas

            Evidence is always necessary when bringing forth allegations.
            If someone lies to you or consistently insults you,do you ignore it?

          • john lyttle

            Wouldn’t a partner or family member be better placed to answer that for you?

          • Fuarach Blas

            Mirror,mirror on the wall…

          • john lyttle

            ,,, Fuarach Blas is the silliest of them all.

            Isn’t that how it goes?

          • Fuarach Blas

            Aren’t you embarrassed it took you that long to think of a comeback?

    • The_greyhound

      Rabid?

      The SNP which has deeply undemocratic instincts, a characteristic of all single-issue parties, has a deep abhorrence of debate and questioning of ts dogma.

      Do you realise just how divorced from the canons of normal decent behaviour, rational debate, and even common courtesy, your weird little campaign has become?

  • The concept of Union has always meant security from outside invasion, the original threat to Presbyterian Scotland and Anglican England being an invasion from either Catholic France or Catholic Spain. What else would bring two such diverse cultures together, the Celts of Scotland and the Anglo-Saxon Normans of England? And the threat of foreign invasion is more subtle today, even unseen, because the enemy is weak in numbers, hence the enemy’s need to conceal its identity. Who is this enemy that threatens Britain?

    The enemy is within and without, and are Marxists who’ve co-opted the political parties of the West, including the West’s leading institutions, from the media to religion. We know this to be true not only because we were warned of the enemy within by KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn in 1962, but because the West’s institutions failed to warn its populations that the collapse of the USSR (and East Bloc nations) was a strategic disinformation operation, as proved by the West’s failure to not only verify the collapse, but de-Communize the Soviet Armed Forces officer corps (which was 90% Communist Party officered in late 1991), and failure to de-mobilize the six-million vigilantes that assisted the Soviet Ministry of Interior and militia to control the populations in the larger Soviet cities.

    The West’s fate depended on verification of the collapse of the USSR, verification’s absence proving co-option of the West’s institutions. On the Soviet side, there could be no collapse when (1) the Soviet Armed Forces officer corps remained Communist Party dominated; and (2) six-million vigilantes continued to control the population.

    In order for Scotland to decide on Union or independence, Scots must be armed with all the information that’s necessary to make the correct decision. The co-opted media will not present the facts as laid out above.

    Read my comments to The Scotsman article, “JK Rowling honours Malala Yousafzai at Book Festival” for a concrete example of how the USSR co-opted Western media and governments act together to manipulate their populations to support political policies those populations would otherwise never support…

    http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/books/jk-rowling-honours-malala-yousafzai-at-book-festival-1-3520271

  • smilingvulture

    the referendum offers a quick fix

    Not really,it’s a neverendum,till Scotland becomes a normal Nation.every vote for YES brings us closer.Unionists kept devo max off the ballot to kill nationalism,BIGGEST MISTAKE in political history.when they made the decision YES was 25% in the polls,now were mid 43% making ground.happy days,years ahead

    • monty61

      FREE CAPITALS for ALL in an Independent Scotland! (FREE MILKY BARS as well!!!!!!!)

    • smilingvulture

      5 years ago when I spoke to undecided or defo NO about Scottish Independence,most said are you crazy or angry,now when I say I’m voting YES,the 1st reaction is “I understand where your coming from” instead of outright ridicule.

      • john lyttle

        That’s heartening. Understanding each other is a step forward. Still going with No but good to know debate sometimes works.

        • smilingvulture

          mind you better together campaign is doing its best to counter this

          • Wessex Man

            The Swines!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • magpie5

      No fool …you don’t have enough sense to read between the lines and are believing your own propaganda …YOUGOV is the only poll worth its salt and even they are weighted too high for the YES camp …the so called undecideds are all going to defect to the safety of the status quo and will not take a leap int the dark at this late stage …I also suspect that some of the Yes voters are merely engaging in saber rattling , like a stroppy teenager threatening to leave home if he doesn’t get his way …when their bluff is called they usually fold …many Scots like to moan but they know which side their bread is buttered and will not cut off their nose to spite their face

      • smilingvulture

        magpie5—name a charity of your choice—if YES is below 48% I will donate £25,sept 19th

        • magpie5

          Doctors without borders
          48% ….hahahaha …nearer 32% I’d wager

        • john lyttle

          I love a betting man. Big thumbs up SV.

      • Alex Creel

        ‘Many scots like to moan’. Wow, so glad I tuned in for your incisive socio-political commentary. Yawn…..

  • rjbh

    A recent convert, yes, almost, I turned to the SNP when Blair Brown decided to attack Iraq, this after a life time of opting Labour.

    • The_greyhound

      Would you care to explain the currency issue to us, or analyse the issues with rejoining the European Union, or explain how swinney can increase public spending, cut tax and default all at once?

      Perhaps you need to ask yourself what it is you are supporting, and waste less time indulging in paranoid delusions about how they’re all out to get you.

      • rjbh

        Clearly, you have no interest in the Referendum debate otherwise you would have read the Yes white paper about Scotland’s future.

        • The_greyhound

          Clearly you haven’t or you would know that the White Paper discountenances salmond’s solution to the currency problem, assumes, wrongly, automatic admission to the EU, and doesn’t discuss swinney’s incoherent budget – CT – default tangle.

          • Fuarach Blas

            Your ramblings are even more uncoherent than on the Scotsman.
            A troll has spoken and he has adjudged his views to be superior to all others.

          • john lyttle

            The rage of Caliban upon seeing himself in the mirror.

          • Fuarach Blas

            Until you started your quite obnoxious ramblings,the conversation was civilised.
            Have you smashed your mirror?

          • john lyttle

            Ask your writers for new – and better – material. This stuff is flopping.

          • Fuarach Blas

            Wow!
            It only took you a day to embarrass yourself further.
            I’ve heard of slow but you’re taking the biscuit.

          • Wessex Man

            oh for heavens sake why on earth shoud The_greyhound be continually polite to you whilst you continually issue bile?

          • The_greyhound

            The reference is a bit upmarket for an SNP troll to understand.

          • The_greyhound

            I notice that you have not even tried to rebut anything have sad, but confine your feeble efforts to personal insults.

          • Fuarach Blas

            Insults?
            An insult is when something said is untrue.

          • Wessex Man

            er, no an insult is to offend, I would have expected you to know that as you are such an expert at trying offend all posters on here who don’t agree with you.

          • magpie5

            I have read all of your comments and it’s true that fine minds really do think alike ….the National seperatists really are just a bunch of cynical opportunists , romantic fools and loathsome , xenophobic , narrow minded bigots , but like all chancers they dont know when to quit , but overstrech themselves and eventually go crashing down in flames
            The slippery fish Sturgen claimed that there were 30,000 supporters at the pro independence rally in edinbrugh 21st sept 2013, but any fool can see on Youtube that there were more like 6,000….a very poor showing for such an event
            I suspect we may be about to witness one of the great meltdowns in recent political history as the silent majority turn out and crush this pernicious idea once and for all ; after all , the Nats are really a protest party, somewhat like UKIP, a dustbin for angry people to vote their frustrations and I suspect they will poll a UKIP-like vote of around 27-33%
            The canny , pragmatic Scott , no ones fools when it comes to fiscal matters will always outnumber the romantic

          • Ryan Doherty

            may a point out the hipocrisy of calling someone who has a political opinion a bigot lol. so basically everyones a bigot who doesn’t agree with you. No wonder so many people want change in this country!

          • james cormack

            And how many Better Together people were there?

      • thomasaikenhead

        There is no currency issue, the Republic of Ireland managed to use the pound for decades after independence, so Scotland could certainly do the same.

        • Bryn

          The Republic of Ireland did not use the pound. It had its own currency – the Punt. The value of the Punt was matched to that of the Pound iniitially but was then cut loose.

          • James Morrison

            It used the pound for most of the 1920s. The Irish punt was then introduced, which was pegged 1:1 against sterling until Ireland entered the ERM in 1978.

          • john lyttle

            Stupid Punt.

        • Stephen

          Scotland can use a pound in the sense that it can use a currency called the pound. After all, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria use a currency called the pound. And Scotland can peg its pound to the pound sterling at whatever rate it chooses. But it won’t be using the rUK pound sterling. Polls show that rUK does not want to enter into a currency union with a foreign country. I do not understand the principle behind wanting independence from the United Kingdom and then ceding control of fiscal affairs to the rUK. Surely independence is independence. But the politics is obvious. It retains a bogeyman in London and avoids the risks associated with a small country having a vulnerable currency.

        • The_greyhound

          Wrong, and wrong. Ireland used sterling until 1927, and then its own currency pegged to sterling, until the punt was floated.

          Scotland could use seashells as currency, but each of the so-called options salmond has presented comes with a price tag he daren’t disclose. Sterlingization would lead to massive losses of activity in the financial institutions which currently account for 9% of GDP.

        • Mukkinese

          What a silly and shallow reply. Just what I have come to expect from the “head in the sand” faction of the Yes campaign.

          You must have heard a thousand times that just using the pound is not a currency union, you might as well use the Dollar or the Euro, they are all internationally traded currencies after all and would give you the same amount of say over your own general monetary policy, that is none…

          • Guest

            Should Scotland create its own pound it would manifestly be devalued against the English pound, the Irish pound, the Euro, the US dollar and many other currencies world wide which will impact directly our cost of living, like paying considerably dearer for cars, petrol, foreign holidays, mortgages, our wages, our pensions, taxation, indeed, almost everything will become more expensive. If the country aligns itself with the English pound then apparently the BoE will determine our wealth and have control over the country’s expenditure and similar too with the EU. We cannot win nor be wealthier by becoming independent. Independence is a no-win situation.

          • james cormack

            Garbage. We will become wealthier because of our resources. Dont you understand that?

          • james cormack

            Stop kidding yourself on.Scotland will be strong due to its abundance of resources and the rump UK will be weaker because it has huge debts and is inefficient.

        • james

          In Salmonds head there is no issue. What he is asking the yes vote to do as he clearly stated in his debate, was to give him the mandate to negotiate. This means he is not 100% sure that he will get everything he wants. Negotiation means no gain for Scotland, in independence if you get to peg to the UK pound or even use it, then Scotland will be at the mercy Englands interest rates and fiscal policy. its imports and exports will be directly impacted by movement in the English pound. … If Scotland does not get the Pound, then what value on your savings account, homes, exports etc? He cannot tell you.. he cannot guarantee it and so passes the buck to the Scottish people by stating he will negotiate, ‘you asked me to do this for you Scotland’ its your fault…. for something so fundamental if he cannot give Scotland 100% guarantee we could all be sitting on worthless piles of paper and perhaps hyper inflation …. you cannot vote with your heart in this you have to vote with whats right for Scotlands people and Slippery’s lies and 0 information is not enough to gamble a countries future on.

          • james cormack

            Yes, Alex is a fine man and he stands for Scotland

      • james

        Unfortunately its hear no evil, see no evil when it comes to the ‘policies’ laid out by the wee emperor. His new clothes will be seen for what they are soon enough. The last party that was able to cut taxes, raise spending, increase jobs and print their own currency was back in the mid 1930’s… it seems we have our own blackshirts in the streets and the media if you dare speak out against slippery Salmond.

    • WFB56

      What would “all the good bits of SNP and Yes” be?

      • Mukkinese

        Far too much wishful thinking.

        It seems Salmond possesses some magic power to bend reality to his will, a power that will only come into effect when Scotland is independent.

        God help the Scots, especially the near 50% who do not want to take this wild leap in the dark…

    • BillyShears67

      ‘All the good bits of SNP and yes’

      Erm yeaahhhhh.

  • RavenRandom

    The newly converted are quickly turned into nut jobs. I know a sensible fellow who now regularly visits conspiracy sites, thinks the UK government is hiding a new massive oil field (yet somehow the SNP is keeping quiet about it), and worries that his ballot will be changed if he uses a pencil. He is immune to rational argument now, and believes that all of the UK parties are lying when they say Scotland won’t have a currency union. It’s cultish and rather alarming behaviour.

    • Fuarach Blas

      I’ll say 2 things.
      Scotlands North Atlantic seaboard mineral deposits.
      And
      Glenrothes.

      • The_greyhound

        You will have to translate that gibberish.

        Are you referring to the Brigadoon oilfields that magically appeared for a period of just four weeks to help out the SNP, and are visible only to nationalists?

        • Fuarach Blas

          Hmmm…the oil companies that have applied for licences in these areas must be delusional according to you.
          Notice you didn’t argue about the nefarious,and notorious,Glenrothes affair.

  • CarlosCicca

    Having lived in Scotland a long time, I find that the general argument of those in favour of independence, circles around the statement that with independence, Scotland can get “the Government it voted for”. I find this interesting as I think there are many different Scotlands. Everyone knows the West Coast – East Coast divide but the Borders, the Central Belt and the Highlands are all very distinctive from each other and then there are the Gaelic and Scandinavian Islands. Scotland is not a very homogeneous entity, politically or socially nor has it been historically, a point often
    overlooked in the romantic notion of Scotland as a nation. As a neutral in this debate I feel that a lot of the Yes campaign is driven by an opposition to a perceived Tory England rather than a shared view of an Independent future. I think Scotland may face some challenges balancing its consistent parts when Independent and would likely fracture further into a looser Federation. Not that this is a bad thing, it is just comment about the internal to Scotland constitutional future that really doesn’t seem to be discussed at all in the current debate.

    • Fuarach Blas

      That’s because your observations don’t take into account the underlying current.As someone from another country,pontificating on perceptions of nationhood,you will appreciate that if I went to your country,I too could make sweeping generalisations of the populace.

      • john lyttle

        Oh FB… ‘as someone from another country….’ and ‘pontificating’… Well, he lives there now and presumably pays his taxes and presumably can vote so you might want to drop the ugly nationalist/racist slant to your post. Try engaging with his perfectly sensible observations and valid opinions – which he’s entitled to, though you’re bizarrely suggesting he doesn’t. If you don’t you run the danger of being one of the types discussed in the article. Get it?

        • Fuarach Blas

          You know as well as I,that your interpretation is not what I intimated.
          He is giving a view from the position of one not culturally or emotionally tied,in its basic form,to the idea of Scottish nationhood.
          For me to go to wherever he comes from and pontificate with a limited understanding on his home nation would be equally misleading as an authorative view of his country.
          His views,however welcome,are not something I recognise.
          I think as well that you are deliberately misinterpreting to make an argument.
          Who sounds more like the people in the article.

          • john lyttle

            Re-read your own post. If you characterise all those who disagree with you as ‘pontificating’ … Oh, I give up. No one is actually here to educate you.

          • Fuarach Blas

            I don’t need to,I’m not the one judging with preconceived ideas on the morals and philosophies of the poster.
            Do you disagree that his understanding is limited,just as mine would be if the roles were reversed?

          • john lyttle

            How would I know about limited or not his understanding is on the basis of one post on a single subject? How would you?

            I can tell you he’s more thoughtful and reasonable than you, but that’s only because you’ve done such a mighty job of establishing the difference.

            Bored now. Off to walk the dog.

          • Fuarach Blas

            No,got to disagree with you.
            BTNTUKOKS,or whatever you call yourselves,have been actively campaigning on just this platform.
            They see at as the normal establishment tactic of divide and conquer.
            Create division amongst the populace as to who’s got more rights and watch any conflict with the powers that be dissolve into an easily controlled internal conflict.

          • john lyttle

            Says the man who characterises those not born in Scotland as somehow mythically and actually less than the obviously ‘pure bred’, whose opinions, not matter how nastily neo-racist, should be given more weight and consideration…

            No dividing there, hey?

          • Fuarach Blas

            Whit?
            Are you completely nuts?
            There is a difference between saying someone not brought up somewhere might not understand all of the cultural,historical and emotional nuances,of a nation, and,as you claim,saying their views are not worthy because of it.
            Are all no voters so filled with hate they think everyone else is as well?

          • john lyttle

            Are you saying that someone born and brought up somewhere will always understand all of the cultural, historical and emotional nuances of a nation?

            Reality, human nature and the education system begs to differ.

            And I’ll put the words into my own mouth, thanks. I didn’t say anything about the views of the Scotland born not being worthy. Paranoid much? Or do you just make up stuff and hope people won’t notice?

            Poor you. You’re going to be terribly shocked to find that your single vote is worth exactly as much as that ‘foreigner’s’ single vote when you’re standing in the booth on the day.

      • The_greyhound

        What underlying current?

        When the midget SNP went the ballot box in May 2014 just 400,000 out of an electorate of 3.9 millions voted for the deranged incompetent pygmies.

        The SNP may have no policies worthy of the name, but it will never miss an opportunity to tell you how wide its support is. Note that carefully. They’re lying, as usual.

        • Fuarach Blas

          Are you one of these “vile” people?
          “May 2014”? Is that a lie? Or do you just want to shout and don’t care if you make mistakes?

          • The_greyhound

            I know it hurts and angers and depresses you. But it needs to be repeated.

            In 2011 the SNP had the support of just 22% of the electorate. Unionist parties attracted more votes, but the vagaries of the electoral system gave the idiot salmond a majority of seats in the Edinburgh Parliament. Three by-elections, one of which the SNP lost to Labour all confirmed a massive fall in support for the SNP. Local Government elections showed no progress for the SNP, and the elections in May this year, despite salmond “staking his reputation” (this is not meant as a joke apparently) on the outcome, humiliated the SNP with the seat salmond had promised to the SNP gong to UKIP!

            Objective reality, as opposed to the mad frothing of the nationalists, is that there is only one broadly based politcal coalition in Scotland today, one that unites all mainstream parties, and that is Better Together. The SNP project may be much the noisier, but recognize that for all that, it remains a dwarf organisaton, led by pygmies, and attracting far less support than it would have us believe.

          • Fuarach Blas

            I’m not SNP.
            You,however,should analyse exactly what it is that fuels your hate instead of transferring it onto the first external influence that appals your bigotry.

          • The_greyhound

            If you support the SNP, and are ashamed of the fact, that is of course your problem.

            But I am not expressing bigotry but the disgust decent people feel for the nationalists and their behaviour. Joanna Rowling stood up to the craven bullies, and already the cowards are back on their bellies, whining in the traditional posture of their kind.

          • Fuarach Blas

            NURSE!

          • MichtyMe

            Ironic that this article on the Yessers has flushed out only one really loony fringe zealot and it is a NO hoper.

          • smilingvulture

            word watch

            idiot
            humiliated
            dwarf
            pygmies
            well/done

          • The_greyhound

            Explain which words would have been more suitable.

            idiot – The intellectual giants of the SNP? people who can’t tell us what currency we will be using and for how long?

            humiliated – The magnificent achievement of the SNP in failing to achieve any of ts objectives (or is “failure” too forbidden?)

            dwarf – small but perfectly ill-informed?

            pygmies – an entirely fair summing up.

            Try/again.

          • Jambo25

            Sorry I was wrong. Not a bit OCD but a screaming windae licker.

          • The_greyhound

            You really aren’t enjoying this drubbing, are you?

          • Jambo25

            Drubbing? Are you now taking a Largactil fuelled holiday from reality?

          • MichtyMe

            You seem to have got your simple school level arithmetic wrong, want to have another go to get the answer right.

          • The_greyhound

            You were saying?

          • john lyttle

            Rebuttal, please.

          • MichtyMe

            Times up Greyhound
            or does in your crazed world 400,000 as a % of 3.9 million = 22% ???
            Correct answer of course 10.26%
            And I’m not correcting all the rest, nae enough time.

          • The_greyhound

            One of our villages is plainly missing its idiot.

            1. 900,000 votes in 2011. 22%

            2.400,000 votes in 2014 10%

            3. Electorate (not population) 3.9 millions.

            The SNP are obviously fielding their Dad’s Army.

          • Ryan

            Why are you using the 3.9m electorate figure when there wasn’t 100% turnout to vote?

            2.4 million people voted. 900,000 is 37%. The next largest voting block was Labour at 26%.

          • Alex Creel

            I can see that it’s much more satisfactory to have losing party 1 combine with losing party 3 to run the country when neither had a mandate from the public. Rolling back on their manifesto promises and doing it all ‘for the good of the nation’ Yep, we really got what we wanted in the last general election….

    • MichtyMe

      There are many different Englands all very distinct. Viking Kings based in York ruled the North. When England becomes independent upon the dissolution of the Union these lands will once again come under the power of Scandinavia, bet you didnae ken that Carlos lad.

      • The_greyhound

        That’s unusually idiotic, even for a nationalist. Does the SNP supply you with this stuff, or are you expected to make it up all by yourself?

        Do you appreciate that Viking Kings also ruled over Shetland, and are you saying this too will come under the power of Norway?

        • MichtyMe

          Your contributions here come over as those of a crazed obsessive, unsurprised that an attempt at humour, satire is not appreciated by you.

          • The_greyhound

            I’ll take that as a tacit admission of the grief I evidently cause the cybernats.

            But to help us, which other nationalist pronouncements will also be disclosed to be jokes? We already know about the currency union, and the automatic re-admission to the EU. Is swinney being satirical when he offers to default? Is the promise of a bright new tomorrow one big joke?

          • Jambo25

            Nah, you do come across as a bit OCD.

          • The_greyhound

            As I have said to you before, I’ll let others judge our respective mental health, bearing in mind that all you do s make offensive personal remarks.

          • Jambo25

            Reread your postings. Every one dripping with poison and bile.

          • The_greyhound

            If rehearsing the very poor turnout the SNP achieved in May this year is poison and bile, so be it. You may expect a great deal more forensic examination of the pathetic impotence of the nationalists, and their repeated failures at the ballot box.

          • Jambo25

            It’s the exaggerated, hysterical and insulting language you use.

          • john lyttle

            And you don’t?

          • Jambo25

            Not really. I have many varied interests. I merely come on here to spread enlightenment.

          • Wessex Man

            ah that’s what it was.

    • smilingvulture

      excellent post

    • Richard Ferguson

      I think you are broadly correct: there are competing visions of Scotland and they can be in conflict on the same side. For example, on the YES side (ignoring the fringe, paint-yourself-blue brigade) one group looks to reject the negatives of the past through independence and deliver “change” (whatever that may entail) while another view is held by people who simply wish to run away from reality. On the NO side (again, ignoring the fringes) you have provincial people who simply don’t want change and then people whose outlook is so overwhelmingly international and who don’t want to be part of something that they feel will be too provincial.

      One of my doubts – and one which I am always careful to caveat (ie, I love the place, I came back here after many years overseas and in London Scotland can achieve much as an independent nation) – is the notion of the local differences you highlight. The prospect of a concentration of power in Edinburgh with a self-serving business elite and its political hangers-on in what remains at times, if not a tribal society, almost a binary one (see the corrupt West of Scotland Labour politics, inward-looking and complacent businesses across the country, the football stuff, the religious stuff, etc etc).

      For sure, there are folk out there on both sides of the argument who get this. But it does seem to be heavily obscured when you look at the paucity of the current debate which seems to have become a local equivalent of all the ills that plague us at national (ie, UK) level. You are right: the challenges of balancing the constituent could be significant.

  • john lyttle

    I know exactly what the piece means about dumb, vicious online bile from Yes Men – and their shrill, blinkered hypocrisy at being paid back in kind, as if we hadn’t read their previous posts and realised there was no point wasting an argument on them – but I can’t think of any movement that didn’t draw on a near fanaticism (and hysteria) for its initial propulsion. As a gay man I’d be as big a hypocrite as the Yes Men if if I didn’t murmur Outrage, THT and… it’s a long list…. at this juncture. You may not like the ends (and in this instance I don’t) but, right or wrong, all birth comes with a bout of screaming unpleasant to the ears.

    • Fuarach Blas

      The shrillest screams come from the NO camp when they realise their cossetted little ideas are complete bunkum.
      Not sure what being gay has to do with recognising hypocrisy.
      Bump along if you have to with the union but remember this,if it wasn’t for the EU equality laws,homosexuality would still be something that was demonised in the media with orchestration from Westminster.
      Don’t forget what the SiS did to Jeremy Thorpe in the 70s when it looked like he was going to be the next PM.

      • john lyttle

        I don’t need a history lesson in gay rights FB, but kind of you to offer one, along with a conspiracy theory (that didn’t take long).

        If you didn’t get what I’m saying – and it’s perfectly obvious – then you don’t get it. No biggie.

        I fear I over estimated you.

        • Fuarach Blas

          It is no conspiracy theory.
          My father was one of the officers tasked with digging the dirt.

          • john lyttle

            If you say so.

          • Fuarach Blas

            I understand your reticence.
            I suggest you look at the evidence.

          • john lyttle

            You’ve had enough of my time, thank you. Just another Cybernaut, alas. Over and out for a far more important dog walk.

          • Fuarach Blas

            Thank you for displaying such endearing condescension.

            Next time,save yourself the trouble of crossing swords…you’re not armed.

          • john lyttle

            Sorry, but I could barely make that out over the sound of your rattled cage. As for taking your cues from Bush Jnr – Mission Accomplished! – without accomplishing anything… Not a good role model.

          • Fuarach Blas

            That line is ancient.
            Rattled cage?
            The only Parrot here is you.

          • john lyttle

            Well, one of us has to be a pretty boy.

      • The_greyhound

        What did SiS do?

        And why was the OVERSEAS intelligence agency involved?

        Amuse us.

        • Fuarach Blas

          SiS…Secret Intelligence Service(I give them a small “i” in the acronym because their not)

          How many times can you get it wrong in the day?

          “And why was the OVERSEAS intelligence agency involved?


          That would be the OSS you’re talking about.They were defunct in the 50s.

    • Jambo25

      On this site I see no comments as shrill or hysterical as come from our pal greyhound above.

      • john lyttle

        Greyhound hasn’t even offered me dinner a movie.

        Do try not to argue like you’re standing in the playground by the boys toilets Jambo. Not attractive.

  • The_greyhound

    Well, there’s no denying the unhinged ranting of the nationalists has filled the air for far too long. salmond, who is a deeply corrupt figure, has encouraged them to create an atmosphere of veiled intimidation in an attempt to cow decent people into giving in to these nutters. These unscrupulous and debased individuals will stoop to anything to get their way. If Scotland had a Reichstag it would be on fire by now.

    Has it done them any good? Little enough. The independence proposition will be rejected next month. The only thing to play for is the margin of the NO victory. We intend to bury the separatists for good, and the signs are encouraging.

    But the toxic SNP legacy will remain. Thousands of deluded, racist, near hysterical, low intelligence losers screeching their hatred at the world.

    • john lyttle

      I’m beginning to think there’s one on the thread greyhound. Mask slipped pretty quickly.

      • The_greyhound

        They take their cue from their obnoxious leader. He’ll be civil if he needs to be, and if he sees no need to be, he’s an aggressive bully. The archetypical small town thug.

        • Fuarach Blas

          Good Grief!

          • john lyttle

            Poor Post!

          • Fuarach Blas

            Snail Mail.
            Be careful,go any faster with your thought processes and the breeze will blow your toupee off.

          • Wessex Man

            try, just try to be grown up.

        • magpie5

          Salmond and his gang would have done very well for themselves in Croatia or Serbia …unfortuneatly , most of their supporters are too narrow minded and proudly ignorant to recognise that …these folks are political pygmies trapped in the prison of the present with no time for the wide angle lens of history …merely fools and knaves , more’s the pity

          • james cormack

            You fool. A typical sweeping statement with no knowledge of the facts. Do you know any SNP members? How can you say that about people you don’t know?

    • smilingvulture

      im voting YES,calling me a racist
      I have a racing greyhound that runs Newcastle,A5,down every other week when it runs

      • The_greyhound

        If you are unaware of the crypto-racist agenda which pervades the SNP then you presumably have been in a sensory deprivation tank for the last 7 years.

        • john lyttle

          You’ll find smatterings of it on this thread greyhound, along with the sort of cringe making Braveheart/Rob Roy romanticism – “I for one will carry on the struggle” – that makes the unconverted pity the speaker’s wilful detachment from ordinary, everyday reality.

          • Fuarach Blas

            Would you say that to those who’ve fought for equality,workers rights?
            Or is your scorn reserved for those who’s position you have no comprehension of?
            Where would we be now if everyone gave up because the state decreed otherwise?

          • john lyttle

            The flag you’re so nobly – and nauseatingly -wrapping yourself in may well be a shroud.

        • magpie5

          Thats correct ….anyone familiar with the break up of the former Yugoslavia wiil recognise the cynical opportunism of socialist turned nationalist creeps like salmond/sturgeon
          Their supporters are a kooky alliance of romantic, braveheart-like nationalists … narrow minded xenophobes and munchkin -like utopians…a very sad and pathetic bunch who are willing to destroy the most successful union in modern history in an attempt to brighten up their sad lives …they are utterly contemptable

          • Alex

            magpie5 I find your comments totally offensive and beneath contempt. You characterise a large proportion, hopefully over 50%, of voters in the referendum as very sad and pathetic while you yourself make the ludicrous claim of “the most successful union in modern history”. I think you’ll find that that is the United States, not a former empire breathing it’s last

          • By the *earliest* estimates the Act of Union is at least 59 years older than state admission to the union within the United States. This is if you are excluding everything west of Pennsylvania and Georgia (which is at least around 30/50 states). Naturally, this is a qualitative judgement anyway, and seems incommensurable. I may be optimistic here, but I also don’t think that poster meant the electorate, because obviously that would be a sweeping generalisation of the Scottish people. I think he/she was venting his/her frustration at the SNP.

          • Major Plonquer

            Magpie got 21 votes.
            Alex got 6 votes.
            Magpie wins the argument. That’s how it works.

          • Josh Cook

            The United States is not a union of formally separate sovereign states. Indeed I think it is entirely appropriate to characterise Yes votes as they have been above people who look beyond rationality and solidarity to fulfil their own idea of themselves as the chosen people.

          • james cormack

            We are so successful we now have FOODBANKS. Think about it!

          • Wessex Man

            Right, thinking about it also thinking about the FOODBANKS in Germany and France. Your point is?

          • ceedoubleu

            You already have your own Government – blame them

          • Josh Cook

            So you think that Britain is the only place that has food banks? Bizarre.

          • Moderator

            “narrow minded xenophobes and munchkin -like utopians…a very sad and
            pathetic bunch who are willing to destroy the most successful union in
            modern history in an attempt to brighten up their sad lives …they are
            utterly contemptable[sic]”

            You have summed up the Tories and UKIP….you have also spelled contemptible ‘contemptable’…but as an unwashed uneducated pleb you will not understand that.

          • james cormack

            The most successful union in history/?? Are you having a laugh?

        • james cormack

          Do you personally know anyone in the SNP hounddog? No, I didn’t think so. So that makes you unqualified to comment on what they’re like. In fact, have you ever been to God’s own country?

        • Moderator

          What has the SNP got to do with the independence debate? There is more than just Salmond and the SNP.

        • james cormack

          And where have you been? Certainly not on the streets of Clydebank, or Greenock, or Musselburgh or Dundee.

    • magpie5

      Salmond is indeed a slippery fish ; the Huey Long AKA THE KINGFISHER of Scottish politics ……Scottish independence is about the dumbest political idea i’ve heard in years and clearly should never of been allowed to take place …it’s a complete and total waste of Brishish taxpayers money

      • james cormack

        God! WEhat an imbecile. You have absolutely no idea of what has lead to the call for Scottish independence. You think we should just sit and take all the crap and do nothing, like dumb numbskulls. Sorry, we have had enough of you and your faded empire. Face the facts, it is finished.

        • Wessex Man

          Come then, lead us to your beaten down oppressed, racially segregated celtic brothers and sisters so that our crimes are laid before us or just vote yes and go away and leave us in peace!

          • james cormack

            There are many English and Welsh who are downtrodden and oppressed. We in Scotland are in total solidarity with them and will help them after independence.

        • steve3005

          “Faded empire” – how many times do you lot need to be reminded it was the BRITISH EMPIRE, and the last time I looked Britain included Scotland. And you call other posters imbeciles! Stones and glass houses spring to mind.

          • james cormack

            You have Gib and the Falklands. Hardly an empire now, is it?

          • steve3005

            James, James, James, can you not grasp the simple point I’m making? Try again. 0/10 for comprehension.

    • Alex Creel

      You should put on a show at the fringe – your writing is pure comedy!

      • AtMyDeskToday

        He’s a well known Labour Troll around here. Regularly his deep seated nasty self comes to the surface and sets him off. I’m sure he earnestly believes that all that vitriolic bile will actually persuade some of the undecided. Deluded fool.

        • Wessex Man

          Pots kettles pans and AtMyDeskToday.

          • AtMyDeskToday

            Wessex Man criticising **me* on this subject. My goodness, talk about a hypocrite. I am an example of good manners and restraint in comparison with you and your companions in arms.

          • Wessex Man

            Stop telling me those tales you little fibber you!

          • AtMyDeskToday

            OK, but only if you promise to behave yourself.

        • james cormack

          He has a small non-functioning penis. His wife told me when we were between the sheets last night and he takes out his frustration on the internet. He can get help though in the NHS, before it’s privatised.

    • colchar

      Oh yes, they are all racists. Right. I guess you have to resort to that claim because you cannot tackle their arguments head on?

      • terregles2

        My English friends and neighbours are YES campaigners. I must remember to scold them for being such racists.
        They tell me it is because they want a fairer more accountable government in Scotland with a written constitution.
        Seems that their campaigning has just been a front for racism. Who would have thought it.

        • Wessex Man

          Who indeed!

          • Jambo25

            Same as my English wife and friends.

          • Moderator

            I do not think most people here ‘get it’. There is nothing to win, Scottish independence has little to do with the SNP and it will be a Yes majority in a few weeks.

          • Jambo25

            I’m not at all sure that it will be a Yes vote on the 18th but I doubt that would be more than a stay of execution for the Union.

          • Steve

            Egg, meet face. Wonder what your excuses are for the loss.

    • james cormack

      What a fool and a liar you are. WE are not racists, ask all the people from minority communities who are voting yes in the referendum.

      • Wessex Man

        Who said YOU were The_greyhound quite justifiably pointed out the character traits of the SNP Leadership.

        I’m sure there are many people weho are campaigning for the Yes vote who are very reasonable people, unfortunately there are quite a few SNP activists who give you a bad name.

    • mitchyboy

      You seem like a nutter. Why, if you want independence are you of low intelligence or hate the world? Most countries in the world are independent does that describe them? (and none have asked to come back to( Blighty)

    • james cormack

      Obviously you are blissfully unaware of the latest opinion polls. Ah, such naivete, mixed with hatred and contempt for those who are challenging the corrupt UK establishment.

  • Rob

    Does anyone really believe that if the Scottish people vote “No”, Salmond will not keep on banging his drum about “independence” for Scotland?

    • Fuarach Blas

      It won’t be a no vote.
      But even if it was,I for one will carry on the struggle.We’ve done 300yrs already.
      You ready for another 3 centuries?

      • rjbh

        Yup. So will I and no doubt many others, Alex Salmond and the SNP have given us a small taste of the future, That taste is not going away any time soon

        • john lyttle

          But it tastes of POO.

      • Rob

        My argument is that the referendum is an exercise in democracy. That being the case, if the Scottish PEOPLE have rejected independence, what gives Salmond or anyone else the right to continue to harangue and berate those who oppose his views? If the vote is against the proposed independence, then that should be the end of the matter, at least for the foreseeable future. That is how democracy works

        • Fuarach Blas

          Oh well then,that’s it.
          The next party to win the GE can stay there in perpetuity.
          No point doing all this democracy thing.
          Come back and tell us that,in highly unlikely event of a no vote, and you’re on your uppers because of Westminster decisions.

          • Rob

            I will be generous and assume that you are being WILFULLY stupid. The purpose of a General Election is to determine the Government for the next 5 years. The purpose of the Referendum is to determine the future of Scotland for the next 100/200/300 years. It is so much more momentous than a General Election, but because of it’s importance it is a once in a generation decision. In the case of a “No” vote, it would be unreasonable to re-run the Referendum until there is a new generation to be considered, or would you prefer a “European/Irish” Referendum, with continual re-runs until you get the “right” result i.e. the result which the SNP wants? Or would you agree that in the case of a “Yes” vote, the Unionists should refuse to accept the result and keep fighting to preserve/reinstate the Union, as you would keep fighting for Independence in the case of a “No” vote?

          • Fuarach Blas

            Naw,I’m replying to a stupid post.
            If you think that a no vote is a setback then you haven’t read your history books.
            And I don’t mean the Ox/Cam revisionist ones either.

          • Rob

            I am simply saying that, should there be a “NO vote, the issue of a FURTHER Referendum should be postponed for 20 years or so until children not yet born are of an age to be consulted on the issue. To repeatedly ask the same people the same question in the hope or belief that they will finally give you the answer you want is NOT democracy, it is BULLYING.

            I realise that the subject of Scottish Independence is not going to go away, and it will probably happen eventually in one form or another, but if the voters say “No” then they mean “No”

          • Fuarach Blas

            And to deny a legitimate call,before your moratorium ends,is not democracy.

          • john lyttle

            Letting fringe lunatics run the asylum with one issue single question votes that have already been answered isn[t democracy. But, please, be my guest – you want to piss off the reasonable mainstream voter and expose yourself a bit of a loony loser who can’t unclamp his maw from his bone? Go right ahead. Do my bidding and do it happily.

          • john lyttle

            So… you’ve started replying to your own posts?

          • Jambo25

            So, basically because some of the attempt at reforms of the electoral system in Britain failed at the first attempt we should now still be using the pre 1832 electoral system? Various Irish Home Rule bills failed in the late 19th and early20th centuries. Much the same argument against them as the one you’re using here was deployed. That ended well; didn’t it?

          • Rob

            Not at all. I’m simply saying that in the event of a “No” vote on September 18th, the issue of a FURTHER Referendum should be postponed for a period of 20 years or so, until there is a new generation of voters to consult. What is the point in asking the same people the same question every couple of years in the hope or belief of getting the answer you want. That is NOT democracy, it is BULLYING,

            I realise that Scottish Independence is an issue which will not go away, and it is likely that it will happen eventually in some form or other, but if the electorate says “No” on September 18th then they mean “No”.

          • Jambo25

            In a democracy, you simply cannot do that.

          • john lyttle

            In a democracy you have to or you risk the fringe lunatics running the asylum with one issue single question votes that have already been answered. But be my guest – you want to piss off the reasonable mainstream voter and expose yourself a bit of a loony loser? Go right ahead.

          • john lyttle

            Never mind bullying. It’s socially disruptive/divisive to Scotland (reasonable voters on both sides would hate the monomania of it, I suspect) and, equally importantly, economically destabilizing. Salmond won’t do it or precisely those reasons: it’s an investment killer. And a career killer if the vote is no twice in a row. To continue pushing the redundant question after that would be the obvious work of a raving neo religious cult and the world has enough of those already, thank you.

        • Jambo25

          Its called Democracy. Don’t like then tough.

          • john lyttle

            I must be tried because I don’t understand your reply.

          • Jambo25

            It means you cannot put a limit on what people campaign for simply because you want a bit of a break.

      • john lyttle

        “Carry on the struggle”… Spare us.

        • Fuarach Blas

          And you think it hasn’t been?

          • The_greyhound

            A melodramatic self-delusion.

            In another ten years you’ll just be another provincial Briton, with the same concerns and voting behaviour as any one in Somerset or Swansea.

            There never was a struggle, and there never was any chance of independence. A vast and damaging waste of time to sate the vanity of a single politician.

          • Fuarach Blas

            Scotland came into being in the 9th century.
            The last stronghold of the Britons was here.
            It ceded control of it’s Kingdom to Malcolm III,for fear of an Angle invasion.
            To this day it is still a Royal Burgh with all rights and privileges.

          • The_greyhound

            What is this random selection of words meant to convey? Do you suppose that everyone is as ignorant of Scotland’s history as you are?

          • Fuarach Blas

            Are you only now learning the truth?

          • john lyttle

            If you mean reading your posts – yes.

      • john lyttle

        And if it is a No vote?

        • Jambo25

          The Westminster boys and girls will, no doubt, overplay their hand. We’ll stumble towards an EU exit powered by UKIP and the Eurosceptic (majority) wing of the Tory Party which will detach much of Scottish business from Unionism and we’ll be back, either, with a full on second referendum in 10 years or with a more gradualist process detaching Scotland from the Union.

          • john lyttle

            I see you in a tent, in a turban, at a funfair. It’s a good look for you.

          • Jambo25

            No , I’m no Gypsy Jambo with powers to foretell the future. I just have infinite faith in the ability of Westminster to b.gger things up.

    • The_greyhound

      He won’t. salmond resigns on 19th September. The tartan Tories and the crypto-marxist elements of the SNP will then split into two parties.

      • Fuarach Blas

        No he won’t idiot.

        • john lyttle

          Blas – sees all, knows all.

  • FF42

    The whole referendum is dire.

    Scotland’s wealth right now mostly comes from being in the UK single market. Whether you think that is a good thing or a bad thing it is what Scotland is. If Scotland leaves the UK we will leave a chunk of our wealth and jobs behind. The economic situation in the years following independence will be grim: soaring unemployment and poverty and severely squeezed public services. After that, little by little, things will get slowly better. We don’t know whether we will ever get back to where we first started,or possibly improve on it a bit, but it will take decades.

    If you are a committed nationalist who takes a very long term view, you should vote Yes. Everyone else should vote No.

    Simple.

    • Fuarach Blas

      Lack of evidence to back up your claims suggests that they’re false.
      You wouldn’t be trying to mislead people,would you?

      • The_greyhound

        A childish attempt to pretend there isn’t a problem.

        In the unlikely event of a yes vote, Scotland could see massive losses of employment in the finance sector alone, which accounts for 9% of GDP and 15% of experts. If big business believed a word the SNP was saying they would be sticking around to cream off the profits. In fact the only businesses that support the SNP’s flight of fancy are a few corner shops and a Government subsidized bedpan operation, known collectively as Business for Scotland (representing 0.5% of Scotland;s SMEs)

        • Fuarach Blas

          Assumption is so unbecoming.
          One door closes,another opens.
          Are you really that stupid to think that financial institutions are going to desert the profit making part of these islands?

          • The_greyhound

            Are you really so stupid as not to know that these institutions exist to serve a market of which Scotland is a mere 8%?

            One door closes and another door closes after it in the economically illiterate world of the nationalists.

          • Fuarach Blas

            That’ll be why all these companies in nations smaller than ours are doing so well internationally then?
            We might be less than 9% of the GB population but our reach and profile is huge.

          • FF42

            They are in a different situation from Scotland. Our wealth comes from the UK market; theirs entirely from exports. By the way, smallness doesn’t guarantee wealth – some have better standards of living; some worse.

            If we become independent, we will have to become like them and rely on exports.I don’t see any reason for Scotland not to do so eventually and in any case we will have no choice. But there will be a long and painful transition and we may not even get back to where we are now. A Yes vote is a vote for more unemployment and poverty and worse public services, at least to start with. We have a choice and we could vote No and avoid all that.

            There is an honest case to be made for independence but our Government is making a dishonest case when it pretends that it will be a land of milk and honey from day one. Why make a dishonest case when it could make an honest one instead?

          • john lyttle

            No point at all in being calm, reasonable and factual with Blas, as his posts prove over and over.

          • Fuarach Blas

            What is on offer is not a land of milk and honey,that’s a BT line about GB.
            What’s on offer is the ability to decide our direction.

          • john lyttle

            One door closes, another one shuts.

            See how that works?

        • Alex Creel

          Strange, Business for Scotland, with 2500 members claim to represent 70% of the private sector workers in Scotland – do you have a source for your 0.5% of SMEs? Thanks.

      • john lyttle

        He’s presented reams of facts, figures, quotes from current law and Acts. What the f*** have you come up with, Snidely Whiplash?

    • MichtyMe

      Why would the UK single market not continue, there is a European single market, can you precisely detail what might change to end this single market, what restrictions on trade could exist to inhibit.

      • FF42

        Sorry, I don’t time right now to discuss this in depth. I link below a couple of comments I wrote earlier. I have developed my thoughts since then. In particular I now think job losses of 200 000 to 300 000 following independence more likely than the 100 000 I thought earlier

        Another reference point is Finland, that lost 20% of its external trade in the late eighties following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Its unemployment rate soared from essentially full employment to above 16% in a couple of years. The UK represents 60% of Scotland’s external trade. While it’s not going to fall to Irish levels of 12% straight away, it’s not going to stay at 60% either. This again points to an unemployment rate in the high teens from 7% now, at least as bad the worst times of the eighties and the highest rate in Scotland since the 1930’s

        http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2014/05/alistair-darling-is-not-being-replaced-as-the-leader-of-the-better-together-campaign/#comment-1383033807
        http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2014/05/scottish-independence-the-cost-of-living-like-this/#comment-1408234664

        • Fuarach Blas

          That 60% figure is a red herring.
          They count exports going,to other parts of the world,through English customs as exports to England. When they leave English ports,airports they’re counted as UK.

          • FF42

            Not on the figures I have seen. They are estimates however as no-one is obliged to keep counts.

          • Fuarach Blas

            No one keeps count of what’s coming in and out?
            QUICK,someone tell the smugglers.

          • FF42

            The whole point it’s a single market that massively benefits Scotland. In the referendum we’re deciding whether to become a foreign country to it. They will be exports in that case, and counted.

          • Fuarach Blas

            They’re already counted as “exports” to England,can’t you read?
            At least,with the full powers of a restored Scotland,the taxes will come to us instead of London.
            You seem to forget the rest of the world in your arguments.

          • FF42

            1. They are not. We are in a UK single market now so they are not exports. I am repeating myself.

            2. Correct. The actual tax revenues are broadly similar between now and after independence, according to the IFS, It depends on oil production and price. It also assumes the Scottish economy continuing at the same rate, which it won’t do, as I point in my several comments above.

            3. We don’t sell more to the rest of of the world just because we sell less to the UK. Our eventual way out of the post-independence hole has to be through building exports. It’s going to be very hard and it will take decades.

          • Fuarach Blas

            It won’t take decades.
            At this present time,scottish business has to pay GB embassies to promote their goods.
            The kickback,to business,from a YES vote has not been factored into your projections.
            Never underestimate the power of being able to fight your own corner.
            Granted,those businesses that see themselves as “british” will withdraw from openly segregating themselves at first.Once the opportunities to them become apparent however…

          • FF42

            1. I disagree, but I won’t repeat my arguments. I am happy to be challenged on them,by the way.

            2. If they do that’s because they see it as a useful investment.

            3. True, but most of those powers are available to Scottish businesses the government under devolution. The Union gives businesses a useful additional channel.

            4. Don’t understand your point.

          • john lyttle

            Don’t irritate the troll with facts.

          • john lyttle

            Have I caught your mind reading and crystal ball act anywhere else? And you insulted someone earlier for saying one set of their figures were estimated?

          • john lyttle

            You know that you aren’t actually obliged to educate the dim witted, slow and willfully blinkered, don’t you FF42? Or may I call you 42?

          • john lyttle

            Sad. So so sad.

        • MichtyMe

          Can’t believe you are suggesting a collapse of the rUK on ex Soviet Union scale.

          • FF42

            Of course I’m not. RUK will hardly notice Scotland leaving the internal market, due to being much bigger than Scotland. The Finnish example is relevant because it shows the relationship between the sudden loss of a market and consequent unemployment – a 20% loss of trade equalled a 13% increase in unemployment. Scotland won’t lose all its UK trade but it will lose a substantial amount as it goes from an economy that relies on an internal market to one where everything has to be sold as exports.

            A one third reduction in Scottish UK trade would mean a 20% overall reduction in Scottish trade. Applying the Finnish formula would take Scotland’s unemployment rate to 20%, the worst since the 1930’s.

            Is a third reduction in Scottish UK trade going to happen? We don’t know, but it’s in the ball park. The example of Ireland suggests so. It is the model that Scotland is following for independence, but it doesn’t trade with the UK in the same way that Scotland does now. I have been involved with several UK market businesses. We have never had any Irish competitors.

            Calculating the post independence unemployment rate another way gave me 15%. We can’t be precise about it, but 15% to 20% looks likely.

          • Michael Mckeown

            When you see the Saltire on Scottish produce in the rest of the UK, and we see and buy a lot of it, what that flag is is a brand and Salmond will have damaged that brand and brand loyalty wont be what it was because he is constantly bleating on about all the wicked things the rest of the UK do to poor wee Scotland so I would recon a two third reduction is credible.

          • Fuarach Blas

            The figures you use are highly suspect.
            Since you like to dig,may I suggest that you research the reason for money generated to money distributed within GB.

          • john lyttle

            How would you know? So far all we’ve had from you is tap dancing and bared teeth. I’d counted you being definitively caught out three times on this thread and when you are you pout and spit venom. Buy a mirror sometime.

          • Fuarach Blas

            Whit are you wittering about now?

          • john lyttle

            That’s some research. Thank you.

      • Michael Mckeown

        The UK single market is in fact the domestic market and the EU single market is in fact the common market.

        The domestic market in Scotland will be reduced by 92% because the population of the domestic market will have decreased but the common market would after joining the EU exist for Scotland but no one in the rest of the UK goes on google to find an insurer in France to cover their car and no one goes looking in Romania to get life insurance not because they dont like the French or trust the Romanians its just even though they are in the EU its still a foreign country regulating and underwriting the policy.

        • Fuarach Blas

          Aye..about time we got awa frae the UKIP biased,xenophobic press.

        • MichtyMe

          There is a vast system of separate regulation in Scotland today, its called Scots Law and nobody thinks this unduly hinders business.
          And millions of folk in Scotland and England have their insurance with the FRENCH company AXA and millions have financial products with the Spanish Santander.
          Don’t you know things or do you just endeavour to mislead.

          • Michael Mckeown

            Scots law? The economy is not devolved and regulation of all industry’s remain with the UK government so although laws in Scotland are Scottish that does not mean they are not set in Westminster because that is where all laws relating to the economy and competition and regulation for Scotland are set so I suggest that start to get to know how things work as that comment was thoroughly ignorant of reality.

          • Fuarach Blas

            Idiot.
            They have to comply with the fundamental basics of our laws and that is why you have two versions.
            Example-The PACE Act.

          • Michael Mckeown

            Your talking nonsense, the regulation of industry’s are UK wide, tell me what is ‘Scots law’? I mean for 300 years it was written in London and then for the last 30 the EU as well and only in the last 10 has some parts been devolved so cite this law that states Westminster and the EU enact legislation only if it conforms to the ‘fundamentals’ of Scots law, there must be a law that says laws must confirm right?

          • Fuarach Blas

            Are you a newborn?

          • Michael Mckeown

            No, now give me the law that states, as you say it does, that Westminster and the EU must take into account ‘fundamentals’ when enacting legislation in Scotland.

            You do have the source for your claim dont you?

          • Fuarach Blas

            The Act of Union 1707

          • Michael Mckeown

            What about it? It does not say things need to be specific only certain things need to be separate and all that means is the Scottish courts deal will enforcement, nowhere in the Act Of Union is it stated that laws cant be the same and in the case of regulation they are the same.

            http://www.legislation.gov.uk/aosp/1707/7/contents

            Vi: That all parts of the United Kingdom for ever from and after the Union shall have the same Allowances Encouragements and Drawbacks and be under the same Prohibitions Restrictions and Regulations of Trade and lyable to the same Customs and Duties on Import and Export And that the Allowances Encouragements and Drawbacks Prohibitions Restrictions and Regulations of Trade and the Customs and Duties on Import and Export settled in England when the Union commences shall from and after the Union take place throughout the whole United Kingdom,

            XVIII: That the Laws concerning Regulation of Trade, Customs and such Excises to which Scotland is by virtue of this Treaty to be lyable be the same in Scotland from and after the Union as in England and that all other Lawes in use within the Kingdom of Scotland do after the Union and notwithstanding thereof remain in the same force as before (except such as are contrary to or inconsistent with this Treaty) but alterable by the Parliament of Great Britain With this difference betwixt the Laws concerning publick Right, Policy and Civil Government and those which concern private Right That the Laws which concern publick Right Policy and Civil Government may be made the same throughout the whole United Kingdom but that no alteration be made in Laws which concern private Right except for evident utility of the subjects within Scotland

          • Fuarach Blas

            And so you give the reason that the union is already null and void.
            Your institution have nullified the treaty already.

          • Michael Mckeown

            No the Scottish government made changes to certain things but the reserved powers are reserved because of The Act Of Union.

            You got it wrong so just accept that gracefully.

          • Fuarach Blas

            The Act of Union preserved law and education.
            Are you saying the nobility were lied to?

          • Michael Mckeown

            No it only preserved the separate institutions. The Act Of Union explicitly states the new parliament can change things and trade regulation must be universal, how did you miss that I put it in bold for you?

          • Fuarach Blas

            Revisionist history is all you’ve got left.

          • john lyttle

            Petulance is apparently all you ever had.

          • Fuarach Blas

            Revisionist.

          • john lyttle

            Sore loser.

          • Fuarach Blas

            Not for much longer.

          • john lyttle

            Oh dear. Petulant when exposed. Not a good look.

          • Fuarach Blas

            The EU laws,while universal,must be adapted to suit the individual member state.
            I think you need to beef up your arguments.

          • Michael Mckeown

            The UK is the member state though, think about it.

          • Fuarach Blas

            And what is the “UK”?

          • Michael Mckeown

            The United Kingdom that as we already have established has trade regulation based on the Act Of Union that states clearly that legislation for trade is universal and it is universal.

          • Fuarach Blas

            Right,I think we should restart because you’re obviously getting yourself mixed up with the point of the argument.It’s all over the place.
            Yes the Westminster govt enacts trade laws…but it has to comply with Scots Law before it’s implemented.
            And that’s when it’s “universal”.
            Westminster might think they can run roughshod over our laws but when it comes to the crunch they can’t.

          • Michael Mckeown

            Rubbish, Scots law is Westminster law pure and simple so either except your wrong or give the law that state that Westminster laws must conform with Scots laws but since the Act Of Union specifically empowers Westminster to enact Scots law you will struggle to do so.

            So tell me since Westminster is Scotland’s national parliament and Holrood is Westminster devolved legislator in Scotland who is it that Westminster must ask permission from to enact laws in Scotland?

            Do we have a ‘Scots law’ chamber in Westminster hiding somewhere thats kept secret from the rest of us?

          • Fuarach Blas

            I’m amazed that you have the audacity to come on here and publicly humiliate yourself with your ignorance.
            Scots Law,you moron,did not suddenly happen 300,30 or even 15yrs ago.
            Scots Law is ancient,and it’s built on the premis that people are the power,unlike English law where the establishment is.

          • Michael Mckeown

            Oh dear, here is your ‘ancient’ Scots law laid bare for everyone to see:

            http://www.rps.ac.uk/static/statutes_inforce.html

            a whopping 84 acts so before calling anyone a moron consider for one moment that 84 acts out of all the acts in force today is less than 1% and that is no basis for creating differences.

          • Fuarach Blas

            You are completely mad.
            We didn’t need thousands of laws.
            We ended up getting them in the union because of control freaks like you.

          • Michael Mckeown

            Wait a minute, first of all you were going on about all these ancient laws then it was proved to you there is like 80 of them so you then go ‘we didn’t need them anyway’! you are a remarkable fool.

          • Fuarach Blas

            That’s not what I said.
            The laws in place were sufficient for us to conduct our business and covered all eventualities.
            What I said was,Scots Laws are far older than you make out.
            Their number is irrelevant,unless you are inferring that a legal systems validity is based on the amount rather than the necessity,fool.

          • Michael Mckeown

            Clearly they were not because huge amounts were repelled to join the Union and very few survive to this day so your ‘ancient’ system is actually only 84 Acts and non of them say anyone needs to take the 84 Acts in to account when legislating for Scotland and that was your point.

            Scots law is 84 Acts of the old Scottish parliament and thousands of Westminster Acts along with lots of EU legislation and a handful of devolved legislation.

          • john lyttle

            Your insecurities are showing. Again.

          • Fuarach Blas

            No it wasn’t written in London.
            Westminster enacted a law,that does not mean it was enforced in Scotland.
            Fishing,trading hours,the PACE Act the list goes on.

          • The_greyhound

            “There is a vast system of separate regulation in Scotland today, its
            called Scots Law and nobody thinks this unduly hinders business.”

            Just nonsense. Laws that affect business are consistent across the UK. No one much cares about Scotland’s primitive and backward looking property law and law of the person.

          • john lyttle

            Michty, that’s just not how it works, but I see that the posts below deal with it.

      • FenlandBuddha

        It won’t continue as Scotland will not be in the EU once it secedes. and it is very unlikely to rejoin any time soon

        • Fuarach Blas

          That myth has been debunked so many times even BT have disowned it.
          If you’re going to debate,try catching up.

          • FenlandBuddha

            No it hasn’t been debunked at all

            http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/S4_EuropeanandExternalRelationsCommittee/Inquiries/Letter_from_Viviane_Reding_Vice_President_of_the_European_Commission_dated_20_March_2014__pdf.pdf

            Any of that not clear? Need anything explained?

            If Scotland secedes, it is no longer part of the EU and needs to apply for membership under article 49 – ie every member has a veto. And if Scotland reneges on its debts then a UK veto is guaranteeed.

            The full correspondence is on this link

            http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/70496.aspx
            You ‘d have to have a heart of stone not to laugh at the rather desperate tone of the convenor trying to find some loophole and getting absolutely nowhere.

          • Fuarach Blas

            You really don’t get it do you.
            Try to keep up.
            And stop trying to source info that is disingenuous.

          • FenlandBuddha

            So no actual reply to the point then just “try to keep up” – with what? Has EU law changed in the last few months?

            Disingenuous – its a letter from the Commission specifically addressing the question about Scottish independence and giving a crystal clear answer? What is disingenuous about that precisely?

          • Fuarach Blas

            It’s a snapshot of one issue.
            And if it applies to us…it also applies to England.

          • FenlandBuddha

            We are talking about the EU and remaining in the single market. It is the reality of Scotland’s position.

            No it doesn’t apply to England. If you reread the letter you will see it is very specific and clear on that point. The seceding country territory leaves and the other remains. The UK will be the successor state inside the EU. Scotland will be on the outside trying to convince the EU to let them join unanimously, after they have reneged on their debts.

          • john lyttle

            Don’t anger Blas with mere facts. It makes him mug old ladies.

          • Fuarach Blas

            England is not the UK.
            Nor is it England with wales and NI hanging on.
            Scotland will still be in the UK after we restore full nationhood to ourselves and you.

          • John Chattey

            wow your ignorance and lack of understanding of politics is mind boggling. Scotland voting YES will mean it leaves the uk single market and the eu single market, it will be an outcast.

          • Wessex Man

            oh dear, “Scotland will still be in the UK after we restorefull nationhood to ourselves and you.”

            How on earth can you stay a part of something you want the Scottish people to vote to leave? Have I had too much Cider or have you had too much Whisky?

          • Andrew Smith

            Quite clealy it doesn’t. rUK would remain an EU member. Even the SNP have recognized this.

          • john lyttle

            Try to answer, not deflect. There’s a dear.

          • Jambo25

            Ian Gray the ex SLAB leader doesn’t even pretend that this claim is sustainable now.

        • Cymrugel

          we will not be in the EU for much longer if we stay if Dave has his way.

    • james cormack

      We have food banks, we are benefiting so much from the union. Mnay of you English still are deluded to think that we are all dependent on you when the truth is, we are slipping into the morass along with you.

      • Michael Mckeown

        Food banks the SNP have given many millions too and they did that not out of compassion but so you can moan about food banks.

        • james cormack

          WHICH, TRANSLATED, ROUGHLY MEANS….?

          • Michael Mckeown

            The SNP are a bunch of sick puppies as they are making things seem much worse than the actually are in order to get you to hate the people they say are responsible for food banks when it is in fact the SNP that are responsible for them springing up everywhere.

            If there is free food going people will come no matter what country its on offer in.

            Oh, you’re caps lock seems to be stuck.

          • james cormack

            You completely miss the point. Food banks have sprung up all across the UK in response to higher levels of poverty and despair. It isn’t the fault of the SNP, they are only pointing out that, if the union is so great, why do we have to have food banks in the second decade of the 21st century?

      • Wessex Man

        erm, I think you will find that FF43 is Scottish but not of the loony tunes fanatical SNP stormtrooper mode!

  • Barzini

    Personally, it seems obvious to me that Scotland would be slightly more wealthy if independent……

    However, since when does a people choose independence just to be a few hundred or thousand pounds better off per year? The idea is shameful…..

    People voting yes will do so out of feelings of identity and because they see that the UK political system is broken…..

    Is England really the only country in Western Europe that can’t afford to provide free university education? Of course not, tuition fees are a banker’s wet dream, that’s why they were introduced…

    Does the UK even have a foreign policy? No, we invade other countries because we are told to…..

    This is a shameful situation and Scotland’s only way to escape is via independence…..

    • The_greyhound

      How can it be obvious that Scotland would be more wealthy when the SNP can’t explain a coherent currency strategy, can’t begin to demonstrate how it can close the budget deficit, spend more and reduce corporation tax receipts, all at the same time, and simply ignores the problem of rejoining the EU?

      It isn’t obvious at all. It’s self interested wishful thinking. It’s plainly not the case, which is why the SNP doesn’t want to engage, and wastes our time with childish stunts, pointless scare stories and bald lies.

      • Fuarach Blas

        You,my deluded friend,are stuck in the establishment loop.

        • The_greyhound

          Another witless insult.

          • Fuarach Blas

            Whit?
            Not got a,lying,witty retort?

          • john lyttle

            Greyhound has grammar on his side.

    • Alex Creel

      Evidence, if it were needed here, really worth watching. http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2014/08/st-andrews-speech/

  • thomasaikenhead

    There is nothing ‘dangerous’ about people in Scotland wanting independence whether they were born Scots Nats or became Scots Nats later.

  • Barzini

    I still can’t understand the use of Alistair Darling by the No campaign, it just doesn’t make sense…..

    Imagine the roles were reversed and England was having the referendum, it would be like the Scots sending Gordon Brown to show the English how much we are better together, it has to be a conspiracy…..

    • The_greyhound

      Better Together doesn’t have a leadership cult.

      Compare and contrast.

      • Barzini

        Nice retort, must have put a spring in your step as you redescended the stairs back into your mother’s basement…..you fucking gimp

        • Jambo25

          Naughty Barzini. You used the F word you also called him a gimp. ‘Zoomer’ please.

        • The_greyhound

          It must be infuriating to an inarticulate booby, such as yourself, that you spend hours composing your witless nonsense, only to be flattened, repeatedly, in moments.

        • john lyttle

          I can’t hear you due to the sound of rattled cage.

    • Jambo25

      I did comment on this on another site a day or so ago. Darling got the job by default. There is hardly anyone in the SLAB Holyrood contingent who can be let out on their own, never mind lead a pro-Union campaign. Jo Jo Lamont or Gray really!.
      That leaves us someone from Westminster. It couldn’t be Brown as he is 1) Hated by most of the people he’d have to work with and 2) Just too weird.

  • davo1505

    More media bulls*#t!

  • The_greyhound

    The article prompts a question about a conflict within the SNP which is already evident, but which is likely to cost them dearly in the last few weeks before the referendum. There’s no doubt that the SNP have targeted some of the roughest schemes. And they have been moderately successful in recruiting support there (unlike schemes where most people are working – Unionists preponderate there, as elsewhere) As a result the independence project looks oddly like on of those interwar anti-democratic movements which allied reactionary right wing elements, nationalism, the poor after a better life, and mere ruffians. salmond has made extravagant (uncosted and largely undeliverable) promises to the bottom end of society which play very badly with the prosperous anti-Welfare State burgesses of the North East. Their disquiet is starting to be articulated. Will this unnatural coalition even last until polling day, or will the tartan Tories throw over salmond and his brownshirts? One thing is for sure. After the NO vote, there will be two competing SNPs before the year is out.

    • Jambo25

      Strange that. All my pals are either in comfortable retirement after long, well paid careers or still working in well paid jobs. All are graduates or graduate level technically skilled. Virtually all are Yes voters.

      • The_greyhound

        How the SNP would like us to believe any of their propaganda about their support.

        But there’s no ducking the basic facts. salmond polled just 10% of the electorate in the spring of this year. That means there are as many Tory and UKIP voters in Scotland as there are SNP supporters.

        • Jambo25

          I’m not an SNP member. Neither are any of the pals I referred to above but quite a lot vote SNP as the alternatives, in the shape of SLAB and the abysmal Scottish Tories, are simply beyond the pale.

          • john lyttle

            Abysmal is way too generous Jambo.

          • Jambo25

            Actually, leaving aside policies what really depresses me about a lot of the Scottish (and indeed British) political class is what awful communicators they are. How little presence they have in public meetings,TV discussions etc. As an ex teacher I tend to judge them on the Thursday, period 5, S4c test. How would they get on standing in front of a low grade S4 class at period 5 on a Thursday? Most would be ripped to shreds. They simply aren’t very impressive human beings.

          • john lyttle

            You’re preaching to the choir Jambo. One of things I do like about Salmond are the occasional eruptions of fire. I suspect there’s a real orator (seems like an oddly old fashioned word these days) there, if his handlers would let him off the leash. The rest of them are like deadwood middle management hanging on grimly for that brass retirement clock. Not what you want for a possibly epoch making event.

          • Jambo25

            I think there’s 2 reasons for this. One is the professionalization of politics where people go into it as a job. They’re organisation men and women on a clearly defined career path. As a result they have no firmly fixed views and they also tend to have no personality. Simply a grey mass. I did study Politics at university and have always been politically interested but even I cannot tell many of these people apart. The second thing has been the death of ideology and the transformation of politics into mere managerialism. Absolutely no one can possibly imagine that replacing Cameron with Miliband or Osborne with Balls will make much difference to UK policies.
            On the other hand, like or loathe the SNP, they have a definite belief; a definite purpose. Few at the top of the party went into it as a career as when they joined the SNP was a fringe group going nowhere. Had Salmond been the careerist that some of his opponents try to paint him as he would have joined Labour back in the early 70s and almost certainly been a very big hitter in the 97-2010 government. Salmond is a true believer.

          • Richard Ferguson

            For sure Jambo: unfortunately the ones who can communicate are usually the ones who frighten the horses a wee bit – Sheridan, Galloway, that Robinson bloke of the EDL.

            What subject did you teach?

          • Jambo25

            History, Mod Studs and a bit of Economics. I was pressed into teaching Geography once or twice. I think a very thick skin and a sense of humour were both requirements for teaching and I’d extend that to politics as well> Not taking yourself too seriously helps as well.

          • Richard Ferguson

            My favourite and best subjects. Mrs Ferguson has just enrolled as a 40-something mature student to train as a teacher. My question to you is: I’m sure the passion diminishes over time like 90% of jobs, but is it still there in that last year before you retire?

          • Jambo25

            It comes and goes. I was very enthusiastic in my early years then during the middle years of my time in teaching I did get a bit jaded. Still did my job efficiently but didn’t really enjoy it. I think I was a bit too tied up with advancing my career rather than actually teaching. Then towards the end of my career I stopped looking for promotion and just enjoyed the teaching bit. Eventually, I had to take an unexpected early retirement due to injury and I did find, to my surprise, that I really missed the interaction with the pupils.

  • James Morrison

    I’m not quite sure what point the article is making, as everyone is a political “convert” of some description. Nobody is born conservative, liberal, nationalist or socialist.

    • cambridgeelephant

      “I am a Tory. Was born a Tory. Shall die a Tory. It is part of me and I can no more be rid of it than these limbs that are my own”

      – Enoch Powell in the House of Commons, after he returned as an Ulster Unionist MP for South Down.

      • john lyttle

        No one is born aTory. Or Labour or any other political stripe. Romantic bum water.

  • magpie5

    Ridicule is the best way to deal with bullies and folks who take themselves waaay too serious ….if Germans had had a sense of humour those Nazi creeps would have been laughed off the streets
    What the great Mel Brookes did to the Nazis in THE PRODUCERS ,with the immortal ”Springtime for Hitler ” should be done to Salmond …try to imagine Salmond wearing a kilt . bare chested with painted blue face , dressed in black stockings , suspenders and high heels prancing around the stage singing ”Springtime for Salmond and S-C-O-T-L-A-N-D !”in a shrill falsetto voice !
    hahahahaha ..way to go fat boy !

    • smilingvulture

      tell me one policy in SNP manifesto that’s right wing?

  • Geoff Anderson

    Abuse goes both ways – I stopped my online Times subscription because of some really odious anti-Scottish sentiment – 2 years ago. Abuse only exists if you read it. The issue is that online many user maintain an anonymous presence which they use to say things they would never say in any other way. It is a small minority – using the medium to blow off steam – after the referendum they will all disappear back under their rocks to get agitated about something else. At this moment they are tweeting about the Great British Bake Off – tomorrow some other imagined issue.

    • The_greyhound

      I sympathize with your complaint about the Times.

      The problem is that the nationalists’ obnoxious conduct was bound to provoke a backlash – and salmond always hoped it would.

      • Jambo25

        The stuff in the English based MSM has been there for a very long time and doesn’t just pre date any supposed cybernat abuse but has been much more toxic. TheTimes on-line is nasty at times but isn’t in the same league as the truly unpleasant material turned up in the Mail and Telegraph and quite frankly some of the stuff coming from you. If you wish that people stop being unpleasant towards you then stop being gratuitously unpleasant towards others.

        • The_greyhound

          Says a cybernat who spends his sad little life posting abusive comments to anyone and everyone who won’t subscribe to his foolishness.

          But the equivalence of nationalist abuse, and the response coming England is just another of those SNP lies. The SNP set out to bully, intimidate, and cow anyone who dared disagree with their idiot mantras. If in doubt ask Sir Chris Hoy or Billy Connolly. A small number of functionally illiterate cybernats has attempted to crowd out all rational debate from the internet, while a flock of SNP front organizations attempt to cloud every issue. Now that the puny little SNP has got everyone’s back up, they’re whining when they get a well-deserved kicking, because, like every would be bully, they are just cowards.

          Not for nothing is the SNP emblem yellow.

        • john lyttle

          Jambo, I agree with you but you have to take your own advice first. I’ve read some of your posts and if you have the consciousness you’re claiming here you have to know they will provoke replies in the same vein, or worse. As for Mr or Mrs or Miss Blas, the Caliban of the Salmond Camp… Talk about being your own worse enemy.

      • Ryan

        So when a national newspaper prints that crap it’s because Salmond provoked the backlash, desired it even.

        When Jim Murphy gets shouted down in the street it’s because YES voters are anti-democratic yobs?

  • magpie5

    Mel Gibson should be leading the Yes camp ; after all , he’s a legend in his own mind ,a fantasist , a paranoid conspiracy theorist and anti semite ; but worst of all , he takes himself sooo serious …his magnum opus ”BRAVEHEART ” was not just bad history , but a really lousy movie filled with painful dialogue that would apppeal to a clueless teenager

    • smilingvulture

      when braveheart came out it was the unionists who raved about it,Jackie Bird,bbc Scotland couldn’t contain herself when it won an oscar

      • FF42

        Alex Salmond was keen on it too. Somehow his approval of the fourth most historically inaccurate film ever produced doesn’t surprise.

        Actually an enjoyable film, as long as you realise it’s total tosh and don’t take it seriously. The aforementioned Mr Salmond and others did take it seriously however.

        • john lyttle

          I loved it but it’s not meant to be a history lesson.

          • CortUK

            Tell that to the BSNP who think it’s a documentary.

  • magpie5

    Salmond really is the Wizard of Oz ; a serial fraudster , con artist and snake oil salesman …many of his supporters are political dopes , mere munchkins following the yellow brick road to socialism , some of them CLEARLY scarecrows in search of a brain ”’If I only had a brain ”?

  • magpie5

    If the Yes camp has real popularity then why did they only manage to get around six thousand supporters at the last ”independence rally ” in Edinbrugh 21st sept 2013…Sturgeon claimed there were 30, 000 , but anyone looking at the vertical view on youtube can see that it was a pitifull turnout …does this look like the kind of vigorous , dynamic political movement that is forecasted to poll 45% of the electorate ?…well does it ?
    The Yes voters are but a small , vocal minority of braveheart-like romantics , xenophobes , socialist die hards and PROTEST VOTERS ….. and as UKIP has discovered protest voters are unreliable converts ..
    There are indeed ”shy no” voters who remain quiet and subdued , but will turn out on masse and determindedly put an end to this madness on sept 18th…there are also some ”soft Yes” voters who like to moan and engage in saber rattling , like a stroppy teenager threatening to leave home if he doesn’t get his own way , but when it actually comes to voting , will either vote no or abstain from voting in protest

    • Fuarach Blas

      Dream on.

      • magpie5

        Excellent rebuttal …but why did your messiantic movement only get 6000 supporters in Edinbrugh last september ?

        • Fuarach Blas

          Dreaming of Union flag undies are we?

          • john lyttle

            If you have no answer, say I have no answer. You can do it. Go on, give it a go.

      • john lyttle

        That all you got?

    • colchar

      Showing up at a rally has little to nothing to do with how one will cast their ballot.

    • mitchyboy

      Was there on Princes st. It took on and half hours for rally to go past. you should know better why in interests of establishmnent with help of broadcasting and media to play it down. youtube video you talk of was only the start,before rest cut off.

  • whs1954

    Mr Jackson, you have hit a nail on a head – what this is is the AV referendum all over again, the yes side convinced of their own righteousness and full of the zeal of the convert (most of the ‘progressive majority’ in 2011 never cared for AV, until it became the only cause du jour on offer). The result is likely to be similar. I have confidence most Scots, as with most Brits in the AV referendum, are pragmatic hard-headed types who react against the messianic fervour and sanctimonious sneering of the yes side.

    The only trouble with my analysis being their campaigning means I, in London, am now a convinced yes man; the sooner these smug, self-righteousness leftie Scots, convinced Scotland is a more moral place than wicked Thatcherite England, clear out, the better. But then I don’t have a vote.

  • Alex Creel

    So now we have trolls writing the blogs on the speccie…great. i shouldn’t engage but I can’t resist – Daniel, the lack of passionate ‘Better together’ troops at your door doesn’t mean that UK nationalists aren’t sufficiently rabid. It’s just that there aren’t many of them in Scotland. Those that are (I have some in my own social circle) are too lazy to knock on a stranger’s door and ask them what they think. That speaks volumes about the need for an independent Scotland – when the only better together people giving their time and effort (in my region) are tory and labour councillors / MSPs / MPs it should indicate that the union is moribund

    • The_greyhound

      What is a UK nationalist? Other than another pointless construct for the imbecile SNP to waffle about? Why is it that the nationalists are absolutely incapable of engaging with the real world?

      Why does the SNP pretend to have answered the currency question when it hasn’t? When are we going to get a mature discussion of the negotiation of re-entry to the EU? How is swinney going to redress the budget deficit, increase spending, and cut corporation tax against a background of depressed oil revenues?

      Why instead do we just get endless, whining, whingeing, maundering irrelevance? The only thing that’s completely moribund is the Weirs’ independence campaign.

      One could be forgiven for thinking that salmond didn’t want to win.

    • CortUK

      UK nationalist? So you concede the UK is a nation?

      I think you mean Unionist, you dumba$$.

      Oh, at the last General Election, 80% of Scots voted for unionist parties. The BSNP couldn’t even manage 2 out of every ten votes cast in Scotland.

  • The_greyhound

    A nice illustration of the increasingly hysterical and aggressive behaviour of the SNP’s supporters – http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/aug/29/jim-murphy-scotland-better-together-speaking-tour-suspended-intimidation

    I wonder what the tartan Tories think to salmond’ latest brownshirts, I beg your pardon, that should have read “recruits”.

    The intimidation, veiled or explicit, has been the one constant fixture of the SNP’s campaign. They may not know whether they are in or out of NATO, whether they will have a monarchy or not, and whether Scotland will have the EURO or the pound, but they sure as hell aren’t gong to let anyone else have a say.

    Nice people.

  • benbecula

    I note Jim Murphy MP has suspended his 100 day speaking tour due to organised nat aggression.

    • Fuarach Blas

      A,strangely,well timed attack given that YES is climbing the polls.
      I take it you haven’t seen the youtube clips of him,and his cohorts,abusing the sick and elderly?

      • john lyttle

        Everyone should have a hobby.

        • nope

          Unlike, for example, stalking someone else online, reading everything they say with devout fascination and then trotting out the ad homs.

      • Rex Ironsmith

        Please post your evidence of Jim Murphy abusing the sick and elderly or retract those comments.

        Plenty of evidence of nationalist intimidation here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDi1OXJn4Vw

        Near the end of the clip you’ll see a nationalist thug intimidating an English guy. Nice.

        • Fuarach Blas

          You really are new to this aren’t you?
          The evidence is all over youtube and twitter.
          Do your own research and learn something instead of looking for things to gratify your bigotry.

          • Rex Ironsmith

            Unfortunately, like the majority of Scots, I’m not at all new to ‘this’.

            ‘This’ of course being the constant outpouring of lies, obfuscation, false claims and accusations coming from nationalists at every level of the Yes campaign.

            When we ask for hard facts or evidence to back up those claims we are told “it’s all there, in the white paper” or “three Plan B’s for the price of one” or “it’s all over youtube and twitter” The evidence itself is never presented.

            Roll on September 18th.

          • Fuarach Blas

            And the facts on which you base an argument against restoring parity are risible.
            I don’t care if you as a lone no voter believe the Westminster hype.
            What I do care about is the fact that you can’t argue from the perspective of “I prefer Westminster to run our affairs.” and leave it at that.
            Instead you seek to belittle and demonise.Why is that?

          • CortUK

            Do you get paid per post, or is it an hourly or daily rate?

          • Wessex Man

            In that case you will have no problems giving us a few links.

    • nope

      Ah, the aggression that he claims happened which was caught on camera. And yet nobody is coming forward to investigate. Because the egg thrower looks suspiciously like one of his own security men. And because he is well known for being a screaming bully so doesn’t dare pretend he’s a victim too loudly.

  • cambridgeelephant

    Congratulations ! You managed to get all the way to paragraph ten on an article whinging about the Scotland Yes campaign before you managed to shoe horn an anti UKIP comment into the proceedings.

    Do try to get there sooner next time.

  • colchar

    Although my parents are Scots and I lived there as a kid, I have spent the majority of my life in Canada so cannot vote and thus have followed this issue with detached, unemotional interest. The one thing that I cannot reconcile is the fact that the nationalists want to end London rule but also say they will remain in the EU, which simply means that they will be ruled from Brussels. How the hell do they rationalize that???

    • cambridgeelephant

      The thrust of the SNP argument – and although I am no fan of theirs I do concede it has much truth – is that Westminster has become far too London centric and remote to realise properly, the interests of those who live in Scotland.

      Those interest are best served by bringing full Government to Edinburgh and confining all government decisions including foreign policy and – presumably – defence policy – solely under Edinburgh control.

      The already run health, transport and education – hence the devolution. They now want the full cake.

      They think – inspite of Spain’s intended veto for fear of Catalan separatism – they will be welcomed into the EU which they can then rely on to prop them up when – rather than if – things go belly up. Again I think they are right to believe this, as the EU is so ridiculous that it’s incapable of sticking to any policy line. And a fudge will indeed emerge.

      The problem is that EU is dead man walking and has been ever since the Euro came about. You either have one state and one currency. Or you have 30 odd states and multiple currencies. You can’t have 30 plus states and one currency. It can’t and doesn’t work. Hence the unemployment and dislocation across huge swathes of the Continent to patch this difference over.

      Of course one Government would be HQ’d in Berlin not Edinburgh. But neither Salmond or Cameron or Milliband have enough in them to recognise that. Or the courage to say it.

      Although there is a crazy nutter called Nigel Farage who does.

      • colchar

        But by remaining part of the EU they will not be bringing full government to Edinburgh as they will be required to adhere to laws passed in Brussels, laws on which they will have virtually no say at least compared to the say that they have in Westminster. It simply astounds me that they are crying about being governed from London but are willing to cede sovereignty to Brussels.

        • Ryan

          Two points.

          1.) The EU would be a political union Scotland enters into by choice knowing full well what it entails.

          2.) Being a full member of the EU gives Scotland a voice of it’s own and to concentrate on its own affairs, instead of a shared voice of the UK which is increasingly distant from the Scottish electorate

          • cambridgeelephant

            Are you serious ?

            If you think Brussels or Berlin are ‘nearer’ to Scotland than Westminster – which does actually share the same language – you are delusional.

            How exactly does being in the EU which controls agriculture, fisheries, taxation – specifically VAT, borders, immigration, and criminal justice to name a few “give Scotland a voice of it’s own to concentrate on it’s own affairs”.

            Under their rules you do just what they say. If Scotland thinks different – too bad. You lump it.

            Explain the ‘self-government’ in that ?

          • Ryan

            I don’t think they are nearer, quite the opposite actually. We’re already subject to those controls as part of the UK but our connection to the EU is by being a fairly inconsequential part of a collective voice.

            I would prefer the middle man removed and our government dealt with the EU in the way we vote for them to, directly.

          • mitchyboy

            because UK does responding for us. Tiny Malta 400,000 pop has more MEPs than us.

  • kefp

    The question that no-one seems willing to ask let alone answer here is how you force someone’s nationality to change if they don’t wish it. Do all British citizens in Scotland lose their citizenship on a given date (as was raised in telegraph letters this week)? Or will there be marches across the border à la India & Pakistan for those who wish to become Scottish/remain British? And what of the Islands who don’t want to become Scottish (as the Shetlands have said), do the new Scottish government send in the yet to be determined Scottish navy to force them? Seriously, no-one has even raised this question and I think it demands an answer, what is Salmond planning to do about it? Perhaps the surge in passport applications this summer was Scotts ensuring that they got renewed British passports while they still can.

  • CortUK

    What amuses me most about Scottish Nationalists is that by and large they also tend to be strong supporters of the reunification of Ireland. Another link in the evidence chain that strongly suggests Scottish Nationalism is mostly driven by a pure visceral hatred of the English – and that is no doubt fuelled by some rather pathetic and desperate inferiority complex. Why else would they save their most rancid bile for those Englishmen who support Scottish independence?

    • smilingvulture

      George Galloway–strong supporter of reunification of Ireand,is a leading light the NO campaign Scotland,getting praise from Unionists everywhere

      • CortUK

        1. I said by and large, not exclusively.
        2. Wow. One example.

        • smilingvulture

          by and large
          name me one?

          • CortUK

            About 50,000 at Celtic Park every week for a start.

            Oh, and some bloke called Alex Salmond who in 2012 compared Scotland’s “struggle” against the English with the “plight” of the Irish before 1921, and said he hoped that Ireland would be reunified soon..

          • smilingvulture

            thx
            id thought that would be your answer

    • smilingvulture

      If you think the Irish hate the English,your very mistaken,cheltenham festival,horse racing,greyhound derby,strong sporting links

      • CortUK

        How is that evidence contrary to my view? They come to take advantage of what we have.

    • The_greyhound

      Where nationalism is concerned it’s spelled FREE-DUMB!

    • Nymeria Meliae

      I am English by place of birth and Viking by ancestry… but as a Northumbrian, I support Scottish independence… and have every intention of applying for Scottish nationality. Westminster has invested the least amount of money into my region than anywhere else in the country, it has also made the most cuts in government spending to my region than anywhere else in the country… and we have the highest unemployment in the country that has continued to rise and is still rising despite what is happening nationally. There is literally nothing left here except Londoners buying cheap property to rent or retire to.

      An independent Scotland will be a land of opportunity… small population and a complete civil service to create… and provided they invest the remaining oil money in building infrastructure and developing new business it will only go from strength to strength… especially if they are able to maintain their EU membership – the likelihood being that a near permanent Tory government in England will result in England leaving the EU… Scotland will then be in a position to attract Nissan, Toyota and all the other Japanese, American, and Chinese businesses who are only based in the UK for English speaking tariff free access to the world’s biggest market.

      • James Y

        Hilariously obvious cyberNat.

        An independent Scotland would bankrupt itself within months.

        This is obvious to everyone except the economically illiterate.

  • Cymrugel

    I know.

    It would be so much better if no-one had any strong opinions on anything at all.

    After all a society with plenty for a few and little for the many is just the way of the world isn’t it?

    If everyone just lined up like good little boys and girls behind the tory party and kept quiet while they dismantle the NHS, welfare state and reduce the freeborn people of the UK to the status of serfs it would be so much better.

    I mean these dreadful Scotch oiks actually seem to believe what they say – and they think they might win; imagine!

    Don’t they know their place? No-one wants change, do they?

    • CortUK

      You sound exactly like the BNP, disguising their racism as victimhood.

  • Mukkinese

    I hope that the “optimism” of the yes camp is not misplaced, with regards to the rest of the world falling in line, to bow to the wishes of an independent Scotland.

    If it all comes tumbling down into a mess, we all know damn well that Salmond and the rest of the “nationalists” will be pointing the finger south. It is their only consolation; Blame “Johnny Foreigner” for all our ills…

  • RedEvo

    My main concern with respect to the Referendum has been alluded to in this thread but not fully explored – actually when you exclude the bile and vitriol not much has been explored. What happens to a country after an independence vote when there’s no clear majority?

    I understand that 51% would give one side a winning position and I believe it’s possible for the vote to be close, if not that close. Irrespective of who wins is there any precedence for what happens next when a country is so divided as I don’t foresee the losing side simply saying “hay ho” and moving on.

    • CortUK

      If there is a vote for independence, don’t be surprised if the Shetlands demand a referendum with three choices:

      1. Stay in a union with the UK.
      2. Stay in in a union with Scotland.
      3. Gain their freedom from Edinburgh.

      I’m sure Salmond would be very happy to grant them their vote.

      • Skalavagr

        Actually, I will be very surprised indeed – because I live in Shetland and there is very little interest in such a referendum apart from a gaggle of eccentrics and “enthusiasts”.

        • Newton Unthank

          Also the islands in question are never referred to as “the Shetlands” except by the clueless, and they certainly do not “have the Brent oilfields”.

  • William Clark

    Scotland is sleepwalking into something it will regret, but for which it will have no-one to blame but itself – the damned English will not for once be available for that purpose. Far from having been oppressed by the Union, the Scots have allowed themselves to be infantalised by the protection from reality it has afforded them. They will soon realise the English were the the only friends they could ever absolutely rely on, as fellow countrymen joined by a long history within a common, friendly and advanced state – rather than the fantasy enemy, responsible for all ills and the source of myriad imagined slights. Once they vote yes, whether they like it or not, the political landscape will change out of all recognition instantly because it will be a new world. The Tory party, as senior partner of the coalition, having supported the Union through thick and thin will have to consign that position to the cliched rubbish bin of history and negotiate hard, and that means very hard. There will be no mileage in any conciliation at all by the rUK government. If Scotland refuses its share of joint debt, it will be as if it has defaulted on its gilts before it has even started and they have to realise no-one will lend them a farthing. And do not be fooled – the EU would eat Scotland up for breakfast and laugh while they did it – then you will really see what dependency, i.e. by the short and curlies, is really like – and it will not be like the mamby-pamby softie UK. I think it has to be a yes vote, because we can’t go through this pantomime every 20 odd years for all eternity, and as an Englishmen I am actually already very fed up with it. It will be for the best, certainly for us.

  • Suzy61

    The Scots are not voting for independence. Their choice, despite the denials, is to be governed by either Westminster or the EU.

  • CortUK

    Another thing that amuses me hugely is the way Salmond and the BSNP talk as if it is Scotland against the Tories, the party that the Scots hate and want to be freed from.

    2010 UK General Election result in Scotland:

    Conservatives: 16.7% (up 1% on 2005 – more Scots voted Tory than last time round).
    SNP: 19.9%

    Hardly a drubbing, only three in a hundred Scots more voted for Salmond than Cameron. Three in a hundred. Eighty in a hundred Scots voted for Unionist parties. Looks like it’s the SNP versus most Scots, not the Scots versus the “English” parties, Westminster, or the Tories, to me.

  • paul clarke

    Of course, a completely unbiased view ! Like asking slave owners for their views on slavery ! More establishment Project Fear fodder. reaching epidemic level , as September 18th approaches.

  • AJAX

    Vote YES! on 18/9 to being a nation again & restoring Scotland’s self-respect.

  • giovanni salzano

    Another day, another scare story.. Let the people vote and be done with it.

  • John Smith

    All the questions about currency etc. should have been decided before a vote was offered to the public, how can the electorate make a rational decision when they are not fully informed.

    I wonder how many of the electorate are saying yes to these door knockers just to get rid of them, I would after a few minutes.

  • Nymeria Meliae

    The ‘No’ campaign are beginning to lose the fight between the politicians and now have to resort to attacking the voting public… how hypocritical can you get? So it is alright to attack someone who plans to vote ‘Yes’ but if they dare to speak in support of their political beliefs or question someone planning to vote ‘No’ they are suddenly a ‘religious zealot’? Oh, how the language of Isis is seeping into the propaganda nastiness of the biased media. The British media are an embarrassment to our country.

    • nope

      Oh, and a criminal too of course. Or just too stupid to understand the realities.

      It’s an astonishingly biased, ill mannered and ill thought out piece, written by a silly and ill mannered boy.

  • Oor Wullie

    If independence is achieved and Scotland creates it own pound or currency it will inevitably be devalued against all other currencies and this will impact on both the cost of living and standard of living. If the new currency is aligned to the British pound it may still be devalued and as we already know the BoE will control the country’s expenditure; the same will apply with the EU. The people will manage but in circumstances of poverty relative to today’s wealth. Devaluation will make all that we purchase much dearer; it will affect mortgages, wages, food, the cost of cars, petrol, insurance, television, transport, housing, gas, electricity, holidays, pensions, social security, and all that is dear to us. More jobs are feasible but at lower wages. This is not a theory but the reality we will face so be careful of following the pied piper in the guise of Alex Salmond and the SNP (the serves no purpose party). We are facing a no-win situation if we opt for independence.

  • james cormack

    How dare you tell lies about the First Minister. He has never been found guiolty of corruption or anything else. And comparing the pro-independence people to the Moonies is insulting and just a part of a smear campaign. The Moonies and their ilk are a bunch of loonies. The Yes to independence campaign are passionate people who believe that they should, the people of Scotland that is, run their own affairs. Tell me, what is wrong with that?

  • edward

    The only reason salmond wants a yes vote is for the absolute power it will give him in what will be a one party state and that’s for certain what it will be there will be no room for other parties like labour or conservative.

  • ThinkingMoreJC

    It doesn’t make any difference what people living outside of Scotland think – they don’t get a vote. If you lived here you would see that the Yes campaign has turned into something similar to the black-shirt rallies during the 1930s. They are bullies and thugs.
    Salmond carefully selected the voter-type who would just vote for him because of the fist-pumping Braveheart ‘effect’. The sort of voter he appeals to, and would have to deal with in the unlikely event of a Yes vote, is the uneducated person – clever, as they don’t have the understanding to ask questions and he doesn’t have to explain any of his dodgy politics or false claims. I have heard this sort of supporter talking about how it will be easier to get the benefits they “deserve” in an independent Scotland. In England the uneducated mass only accounts for about 40% of the population, but in some parts of Scotland it goes up to 70% (e.g. Dundee). So Salmond is on a winner.
    If the average Yes supporter was capable of the slightest understanding of political issues in Scotland, they would be asking why Salmon and his SNP cronies have done nothing for Scotland in their time in office – most of the proposed ‘benefits’ he has promised following independence have been changes he could have made as they are incorporated into devolved areas, such as education.
    Given the ability of thought and logic they would perhaps ask why the higher education system is crumbling, with massive job losses and a poor outcome for students. Why the Scottish NHS is practically bankrupt and why money is being poured into SNP run council districts whilst being drained from non-SNP councils.
    The biggest favour Salmond did for his country was to give 16 & 17 years olds the vote, as despite their attempts to fiddle with the curriculum to indoctrinate children since 2007 the students have shown they are sensible and worldly and have turned against the insular, parochial politics of the SNP. These young people deserve a UK springboard for their futures and are well used to interacting on a worldwide platform. They don’t want to live in a country run as a 1950s parish council by an autocrat with some delusion that he is special. It would be like Zimbabwe without the sun
    If you lived here you would realise what great damage this egotist has done to communities – and be aware, all this is about is giving Salmond power and a paragraph in the history books. If he cared anything about the Scottish people he would have worked together with the UK and Europe to make Scotland a respected and more powerful contributor to international politics, not the sad joke it is today, with countries turning away in disgust and shame.

  • nope

    I wonder why people feel compelled to tell lies and utter such slurs and smears. Are they really this desperate? Nice attempt at painting anybody who wishes independence for their country as a criminal or a religious loon.

    Astonishing that a certain sort of hate filled anti independence commenter will try to paint anybody who disagrees with them as a barbarian, stupid, ignorant or all three.

    And of course, if the “author” of this hate piece was as sure of a no vote as he pretends, he wouldn’t be compelled to mouth such hate speech.

    If Scotland votes yes it will be because Scotland wants freedom. The same freedom to rule their own country that any country deserves. Anything else is all in your own head.

    And as for any nonsense we continually hear spouted about anyone else getting a say – this sceanrio is exactly the same as a couple who want a divorce. After 300 years of abuse Scotland decides to leave. So England, the abusive and controlling partner, says no. Ludicrous. No, England won’t get to take Scotland hostage, if Scotland decides to leave. It takes one partner to leave a marriage. It takes one country to dissolve a union. What are you going to do if Scotland votes for freedom and you decide against it? Lock her in the basement till she re-develops Stockholm Syndrome?

    We can also clearly see the abusive partner analogy in the way many English people online comment about Scotland. First they were telling Scotland they were idiots, what were they thinking? Then they threatened them, you’ll never manage on your own, you need us to look after you, you’ll dissolve into chaos. There was much squealing about currencies and veiled threats about money. Then for a while these enraged Angles went through the “But I love you, please stay with me” phase. And now we’re back to abuse again, as can be seen in any comment thread.

    The adolescent whining of the “author” and those in the hate camp is embarrassing, unnecessary and ill mannered. Scotland will decide for Scotland. And that is what is driving the control freaks insane – they don’t get a say.

    The desperate onslaught of articles like this are doing undecided and yes voters a huge favour. Just look at what the control freaks really think of you. They despise you and feel utter contempt for you. Why would you want anything to do with anyone who agrees with the sentiment that only criminals or religious zealots could possibly want their independence?

    Good luck Scotland. You will decide for yourself. And if you vote for freedom it will be because, just like any other country in the world, you have a right to it and have decided it is your time to take your independence. Regardless of what those filled with hatred claim.

    And whatever happens, your nation of intelligent, hard working and decent people will do just fine.

  • nope

    How are the votes to be counted, out of interest?

    There is literally nothing I would put past the sort of person who has decided that any country which wants its independence must be run by criminals and religious zealots. It’s an astonishing and ever more determined attack on the Scottish people, and should very much open your eyes to why independence is a very good idea.

    Make very certain that you have independent parties counting the votes. The relentlessly anti independence brigade are reaching a fever pitch of lies and slurs, and they absolutely cannot be trusted near your votes.

  • mitchyboy

    Such lies. the MSM hates social media they can’t control citizen journalism, whereas in the past could spout anything without rebuttal. N o democracy politically in Scotland or the 37 national and daily newspapers here which are all owned outwith Scotland. the breath of opinion is not being reflected hence Facebook Twitter etc.This will never be forgotten. Jim Murphy has to seek advice from police because of an egg being thrown! He has gone around Scotland telling outright lies about the pound and the NHS. This from man who has so much to lose if we vote Yes. I believe he has claimed nearly £1000000 in expenses over the years, the most of any MP. He has gone around Scotland with his coterie of No supporters and campaign staff, who are the only ones allowed to field questions, anyone else is ignored at his poorly attended soapbox events. Due to appear in Glasgow city centre and obviously looking to get out of it. All very suspicious, so many media there, no shock at being hit by egg, In what way anyway is an egg being thrown “co-ordinated”. A Yes supported was “battered” badly at a Yes stall the other day, of course that won’t make headlines. Please do not think that the majority of Scots have not woken up to what is going on with the BBC IN Scotland and the print media.

  • mitchyboy

    Suggest start taking a look, although bit late in the day at the vile and misinformed abuse hurled at Scots and Scotland in the comments section of Mail, Telegraph, Independent and surprisingly the Guardian, who don’t like social democratic policies if they are the Scottish variety and all because Scotland has the temerity to run its own affairs and regain its sovereignty.

    • nope

      The Guardian has run dozens of anti independence pieces in the last few weeks. It’s a veritable storm of attack. Bizarre.

  • mitchyboy

    God, it’s scary, there seems to be so many(educated, as Spectator readers like to think of themselves) weirdos or nutters with unbalanced thought processes. What I get from all comments is that Scotland is a region, a possession, how dare you leave, we are deeply offended and will punish you. Sad people.

  • Malcolm McCandless

    Daniel Jackson has an unhealthy interest in Alan Bisset. All too often Mr Bisset seems to be the focus of Mr Jackson’s attacks.

  • Cymrugel

    I’m confused.

    Your basic criticism seems to be that the campaigners are motivated and enthusiastic, so if they don’t win there might be trouble.

    Would you rather live in a society where no-one gives a damn and you just slog on with the same old, same old forever?

    Do you really see people with hope for the future and the energy and enthusiasm to try and make it happen as such a threat?

    Do you really want to continue on with the dreary buggins turn world of labour and Tory -or settle for permanent tory rule without end as many BTL commentators here and elsewhere seem to pine for?

    Are you really so fearful and defeated?

  • Doggie Roussel

    Bullies and Thugs… as demonstrated by Salmond in the second “debate”….

  • Rodolph de Salis

    Could Salmond turn Scotland into a Zimbabwe of the North?

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