Features

The surprise winners from the referendum? Scotland. Politics. Big ideas are back at last

This campaign has brought back conviction politics. It’s been as invigorating as a seaside walk on a raw and windswept spring morning

6 September 2014

9:00 AM

6 September 2014

9:00 AM

Let us take a trip to America in 1976. The unelected incumbent president, Gerald Ford, is being challenged for the Republican party’s nomination by Ronald Reagan — and does not take it seriously. Sure, Reagan may have served as governor of California but, still, come on, is this Grand Old Party really going to choose a two-bit B-movie actor as its standard-bearer? And isn’t he the candidate of fruitcakes and loonies? Say what you will about Gerry Ford but you know where you stand with him.

But not everyone sees it that way. Reagan is winning in places he shouldn’t have a chance. A memo to senior members of the Ford campaign complains that Reagan’s ‘unexpected success’ is thanks to voters who were ‘unknown and have not been involved in the Republican political system before’. ‘We are in real danger,’ the memo warns, ‘of being out-organised by a small number of highly motivated right-wing nuts.’

Bang. That’s what an insurgency looks like. It is true that upstarts often fall short, though sometimes defeat is merely the prelude to victory. Reagan lost in 1976 but won four years later; Howard Dean lost in 2004 but Barack Obama won in 2008. The Scottish National Party has sung its separatist song for decades, and the rest of the country hasn’t joined in. But when things change, the common thread is the political establishment’s loss of control — and evident bewilderment.

There are echoes of this in Scotland now. The ‘no’ campaign risks being out-organised by highly motivated ‘yes’ supporters, many of whom have not previously had any great involvement with politics. The referendum is a contest between two large — and equally legitimate — visions; two ideas of who we really are. The polls are tightening and the outcome remains too close to call. This is real politics, engaging all the vital organs.


No wonder it has been so energising. From Brora to Ecclefechan, Coupar Angus to Tobermory, this is a time of great and energetic disputation. The referendum is inescapable. Something is happening and that something is important.

Of course there has been stupidity and dishonesty and some unpleasantness but, on the whole, the notable feature of the campaign has been its civility. There will be some fraying of this decency in the final, fevered fortnight but this vigorous political carnival has been good for politics and good for Scotland. It has also been a revolt against politics as usual: a cry, from the heart as much as from the head, for a different way of doing things.

A cynic would observe that getting what you vote for only delays disappointment. A cynic would be right. And yet the hope remains and it is worth something. If nothing else, the right questions are being asked. Chiefly: can’t we, as a country, do better than this?

This question is not exclusive to ‘yes’ campaigners. Facebook is stuffed with arguments, and those for a ‘no’ vote are frequently just as heartfelt and passionate as any for independence. People are asking themselves what they value and sometimes, I think, they’re a little surprised by what they find and by how much they value it. Conviction politics has returned and who, really, can be disappointed by that? It’s been as invigorating as a seaside walk on a raw and windswept spring morning.

This isn’t just a Scottish thing, either. Whatever one thinks of Douglas Carswell’s defection to Ukip, he has been one of the few MPs to recognise that the old ways of doing things are not as suitable as once they were. It is possible to reawaken interest in politics; it just takes an effort to do so.

Yessers and Nawers in Scotland agree on little, save perhaps this: the campaign has been a steroid injection for democracy. Not just because tens of thousands have returned to the electoral register but because politicians are talking about big things at last. Things that go beyond a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote. ‘Yes’ or ‘no’, change is coming. This is what politics is supposed to be about; this is what we’re supposed to want.

Many Scots have tired of this campaign, some have been disgusted by it. Of course it has sometimes been grotesque, but focusing on the inevitable shortcomings at the expense of the grandeur is, I think, a mistake. And it risks misunderstanding the forces that have driven so many Scots back towards politics, in a way that confounds pollsters and terrifies all those who had thought the idea of partition too ridiculous to take seriously.

Take it from a normally jaded unionist: in Scotland now, just for a moment, the future is infinite. Yes, the outcome of the battle for Britain looks thrillingly — terrifyingly — unpredictable. But for all the right reasons.

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Show comments
  • flippit

    Sounds like it’s just a game. Everyone’s enjoying the ‘debate’. Yet the arguments don’t really matter; every fact is attributed to fear mongering, every expert is contradicted by another. One point of view is immediately presented with its exact opposite so that evenhandedness supersedes correctness. Debate for the sake of debate but without real weight. But I suppose as long as people are enjoying it and feel engaged …? That’s all there is to it then. Farewell to the Union. Come on England, let’s leave the debaters to it.

  • Dusty01

    The thing is, change can be a scary prospect, change by its nature is hard work and takes time. Scotland hasn’t won anything until the hard work is done, YES or NO come back in 50 years and ask the same question again… Has Scotland won and what has it won?

    • The_greyhound

      Interestingly the lying little SNP is pretending to voters that there is no cost, no risk, and not even slight inconvenience in a yes vote. If they exposed even some of the potential downsides, there wouldn’t be a point in holding the referendum.

      If you love your family, vote no.

      • magpie5

        True enough , but many of these voters are drunk on child-like optimism and have abandoned critical thinking skills …mere munchkins on the yellow brick road to Salmond’s fantasyland
        I made the mistake of thinking that these YES folks were just a mob of braveheart-like xenophobic nationalists , but many are not , they are dangerous fools , their heads filled with Salmond’s lies , on the march to only God knows where ..we’ve got a real fight on our hands here and when we l win it will still be a sorry state of affairs to think that a large section of the population are essentially idiots

        • Martin Blank

          I think the mistake you make is to label and insult those that do not agree with you. The process and the engagement with it is almost as important as the result. You do it a disservice with your bigotry.

          • magpie5

            I can respect other peoples views even when I don’t agree with them , but so called ”Scottish independence ” is mad , bad and foolish beyond belief ; it is , quite frankly , beneath contempt and folks who agree with it should be laughed at and ridiculed unmercifully until they regain their senses
            It’s not only a dangerous contemptible idea , but it’s been promoted by an obvious political opportunist and creepy demagogue Alex Salmond

          • Mike101

            That is contemptuous beyond belief. With the British Empire gone, Britain’s indigenous industries destroyed and now the ‘new saviour’ of finance on life-support, the claim of the most successful union in history is history. Rome, the Mongol Empire, the Ottomans, they’ve all gone, and so has the British Empire. All that’s left are the home countries, and one of them mostly left in 1921. The ‘idea’ that only idiots believe in Scottish Independence (whether or not they would want Salmond in charge) is sheer idiocy in itself. Grow up.

        • Reminds me of a quote attributed to Adlai Stevenson during the 1956 Presidential campaign. After a speech, a woman supposedly called out to him, “Senator, you have the vote of every thinking person!” Stevenson replied “That’s not enough, madam, we need a majority!”

          • Lorenzo

            Stevenson’s sniffish attitude toward the electorate helped him lose two presidential elections.

      • Dusty01

        Telling someone that he doesn’t love his family because he votes YES is a really good example of Unionist arrogance and is just plain childish nonsense.

        Vote yes for a better future for ALL our children grandchildren and greate grandchildren.

        • Terry Field

          I agree; and getting rid of the poisonous Scot6tish Labour MPs from Westminster will be WONDERFUL for England.

          • Francis Albert Sinatra

            and getting rid of Westminster and the House of Lords will be even better! For SCOTLAND.

          • Hegelguy

            Why this eagerness to break nations up into smaller and smaller pieces? Small nations become dependent on big ones anyway.

            Just think this out rationally.

            Scots have played a huge role in British politics. In effect they have power over a large and significant country. If they agree to become a small one they lose that power and England with ten times more people and control of the pound would still dominate Scottish economics – only now the Scots would have no say in Westminster.

            Meanwhile Salmond wants to make Scotland dependent on Brussels !

          • Francis Albert Sinatra

            Maybe Europe can become a larger nation then? Oh No, that wouldn’t suit England.

        • magpie5

          Better future ?….within 10 years , or less , Scotland will be an economic basket case like Montenegro and folks like you will be denying that you ever voted YES
          The British Union is the single most successful union in the modern world and you fools would like to destroy it over a romantic nationalistic dream promoted by a gang of fringe party opportunists

          • Dusty01

            “The British Union is the single most successful union in the modern world”

            I agree but I believe this union has run its course and its time we grew up and accept this fact.

          • Frann Leach

            roflmao. “most successful union” with £1.3 TRILLION debt. Pull the other one, it’s got bells on

          • Francis Albert Sinatra

            How many Nations that have won their Independence from London have asked to come back???? Answer ZERO

          • magpie5

            Scotland was NEVER an English colony

          • Richard

            Have you read anything about Jamaica and a poll in which a majority or close-to said they would prefer to ruled from London? Do you really think peasants in India, or Africa, really understand anything about any of this? That statement is fatuous, and I should know, I come from Africa.

          • Derick Tulloch

            Between 1990/91 and 2012/13 there were 63,820 excess Winter Deaths in Scotland. The excess winter death rate in the UK is twice that in the Scandinavian nations.

            We’re Better Together, so the No ye cannae campaign say. Who are we better than?

            http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/theme/vital-events/deaths/winter-mortality/2012-13/tables-and-figures.html

          • Richard

            And the summer deaths in Europe were much higher than in England in 2003. Your point being?

          • francis_albert_sinatra

            Built on greed, theft, slavery and war. At least it made a few individuals very wealthy while most of the populace lived in poverty and misery.

      • Francis Albert Sinatra

        I love my family and we will all vote YES.

        • justejudexultionis

          Well done.
          SAOR ALBA

          • Richard

            Long live Islamic Scotland! (shouldn’t be long)

    • magpie5

      ”hope and change ”..I’ve heard all of this emotional nonsense before in the 2008 US presidential election that produced a lightweight fruad and poseur A K A Obama

      • Dusty01

        This is not the good old US of A.

        • magpie5

          Haven’t you got better things to do like watching reruns of Braveheart or voting on the X Factor

          • Dusty01

            Braveheart? Is that the one with Alan Rickman playing the sheriff of rottingham?

            You are very small minded.

    • Graeme McDonald

      The thing is that in this case we won’t win, we will lose things; splitting up is going to cause turmoil on the markets a run on the currency; which make our debt a lot more expensive and then we will be competing against each other instead of cooperating.

      Furthermore, we won’t be able to sustain the current benefits, NHS, pension, etc… with such an old population that is aging faster and with more pensiones and more people on benefits

      • MichtyMe

        Yep, the Scots age faster and die younger, what a waste of potential pensions and benefits.

      • Dusty01

        Have more babies then! Future taxpayers.
        What would be your solution?

      • Cath Ferguson

        Turmoil in the markets and a run on the currency is entirely the fault of Westminster and the incredibly stupid way they’ve played the currency issue. They deliberately wanted to create uncertainty and fear in the hope that would guarantee a no vote. If it doesn’t work on the Scottish people and a Yes looks likely anyway, it will rebound and hit the markets instead.

        • Cath Ferguson

          And if Scotland really does leave Sterling as well as the UK, then prepare for real disaster for Sterling, Which is one reason among many a CU will happen, at least in the short term.

          • magpie5

            It was the UK taxpayers that bailed out your Scottish banks..if you had been an independent country you would have been bankrupt

          • Frann Leach

            Actually, a lot of it came from the US. Bank bailouts are done by the country where the business is done. Some in the US, some in the rUK, not so much in Scotland

          • magpie5

            fantasist

          • Francis Albert Sinatra

            The banking collapse began in the USA then over here in England with Northern Rock.

        • magpie5

          You cannot demand independence and then demand a currency union …folks in the rest of the UK don’t want to be a guarantor of the debts of a foreign country …surely you can understand that ?

          • Patricia Wilson

            never heard of the BRETTON WOODS AGREEMENT ?The USA was in a currency union with….wait for it …THE POUND from 1947 until 1971 …but you’ll still tell me currency unions with a “foreign ” country dont work .

          • Son of Adam Smith

            No it wasn’t. It was a fixed trading rate of currencies inside a tight band, more like the latter phase of the EC’s ERM than a CU, & there were a number of clumsy repeggings and rewriting of the rules over its lifetime. The system required governments to be willing to see gold reserves run down. And the countries involved had nothing like the potential volatility of a post-1973 petrocurrency. You’ve just demonstrated in one foolish post just how little the separatist proponents of CU understand the currency issue and just how much they are whistling in the dark. Anything different from a separate Scottish Pound pegged to English sterling within a wide variability band would be madness for a country susceptible to oil price shocks. Even then, that would play havoc at times with cross-border banking, pensions and insurance – all of which to a greater or lesser extent in one way or another affect most Scots. Keep the Pound, keep the Union, but give London a bloody nose. An ideal result would be 48% Yes, 52% No, to make London realise that Scotland is different and should no longer be taken for granted (machine Labour politicians take note). As John Buchan argued, you have to be something of a nationalist to be a proper unionist; otherwise you are not a unionist but a supplicant tied to the Labour political machine. But independence is the way to the field of dreams which, as Jiminy Cricket told Pinocchio, is full of murrrrderers (Taggart) and madmen.

          • Richard Ferguson

            The Bretton Woods agreement was an exchange rate mechanism – not a currency union. Very different.

          • Francis Albert Sinatra

            Well, Germany doesn’t want your debts.

        • mattwardman

          What’s this run on the currency you are imagining? All seems pretty stable.

          The UK economy is quite able of stabilising the impact of 1/12 of it cutting itself off.

          How the 1/12 would cope, though…

          Nice conspiracy theory.

    • Lamby

      It could be a disaster of enormous magnitude, costing billions and billions that you just don’t have. Coming back in 50 years, I would say come back in 5 and see where we are…

      • Dusty01

        Ask Ireland if they think independence was a mistake.

    • well you’ve won the irritation of the rest of the country – that’s something

  • enyha .

    The unending Darling message “we’re all doomed, doomed I say ” is hardly likely to get my vote!!!

  • Kitty MLB

    What has Scotland won? Ah yes, a daydream of the romanticism
    of independence..the princess being unshackled by the great celtic
    leader…slippey Salmond..and released from the dungeon of England..and into the Utopia of the promised land of Scotland.
    But what comes after freedom…has the hero wee Eck thought about that…its all been about the great escape..the end of the game..that he will say he’s won.

    • ChuckieStane

      Kitty, You didn’t read Mr. Massie’s article did you? This is not about “slippey Salmond” – everyone in Scotland is talking about the indy ref. All shades of opinion are questioning the leaders north and south, questioning the very existence of our nation.
      For years politics has been a sterile game played by remote TV personalities. The referendum has put the power back in the hands of the people and the people are enjoying the responsibility, if a times a bit overawed by it.
      Every single vote will count, the result will be momentous and moreover, regardless of the result. many who have become engaged in politics will not fade back into the shadows.

      • Dusty01

        Its quite funny how some folks think that if its a NO then we who want change should get back in our box and sit on that shelf for the next 300 years.
        Their in for a shock.

        • Richard Ferguson

          See above. I think most people know that the UK as a political entity is drinking in the last….sorry, it’s so much of a cliche that I can’t even bring myself to write it down…

          In short, most know that this will come back soon enough if there isn’t a radical shift in power within the UK.

          • Jambo25

            I agree with virtually the entirety of this. I’m a Yes supporter but I still expect a No vote (just). I’d have probably voted for DevoMax but it was never offered probably because it would have required change in the whole UK state and that simply isn’t likely to be offered by the London establishment. A No in this referendum will simply be a stay of execution.

          • Henry Hooper

            Ditto with me
            ..too true

          • Jambo25

            We may be wrong. Let’s hope.

        • Tim Morrison

          I would have been devo-max too and so am a ‘yes’ voter – it is electrifying now because it never crossed my mind we would win and now it is tantalisingly close

        • Frann Leach

          Hopefully not. We’re going to win

          • magpie5

            you’re missing the X Factor on TV

        • Craig Millar

          that’s fine, but if its a no bear in mind you will be graining against the majority of SCOTS, who wish their land to be part of a union. there is a vast array of uninhabited islands around the country where you could start your own nation, i’m sure it would be gifted

          PS – ‘They’re’ in for a shock, not their.

    • AtMyDeskToday

      Kitty, I look at this as a win-win outcome.
      YES wins… fulfilment of a life-long dream.
      NO wins… Ah well, it’s democracy and life’s too short to get worked up, but then 41+ Labour MPs continue to head south and, in the event of a EU referendum, Scots vote overwhelmingly in favour of staying in. Just might sway it. As a firm believer in conservative values this will bring me no great satisfaction other than to quietly chuckle at the likely reaction of you and the rest of the Kippers on here. Good luck.

      • Richard Ferguson

        Coincidentally….

        NO wins – the UK as a survivor of a near-death experience, recasts itself and ditches much of the political, economic and social claptrap that has held it back for decades now.
        YES wins – Scotland wakens up to some brutal economic truths, gets over itself and, through some smart thinking and hard work, becomes a low-tax, high-wage Celtic tiger and ditches the baggage that has held it back for decades now.

        Win-win indeed.

        • Singapom

          “Low-tax, high-wage Celtic tiger”: have you been on the coolaid? Structurally, iScot faces impossible social and political hurdles which will stop this future happening, namely aging population, shrinking population, shrinking tax take, hyped-up populace expecting liberty hall in the new “fairer” Scotland. When the inevitable tax rises – incl. VAT – and public spending cuts come in, it will be carnage. Sadly, iScot will be a small, gradually less wealthy, European backwater, reliant on England as a market, in debt and subsidised (and controlled) by the EU/Germany, cos you’ll be in the Euro. But – hey – you won’t have the damn English around anymore (other than as your customers). That’s the more likely future if Yes wins.

          • Richard Ferguson

            I’m well aware of the economic truths. However, the greater the shock to the system, the more radical will be the necessary response. I know how horrible this will be – but a very sizeable proportion of the population doesn’t. They will soon enough: and if they don’t, you will be right.

          • AtMyDeskToday

            ” iScot will be a small, gradually less wealthy, European backwater,”

            You’re English and live in Singapore, right? So you would know exactly how successful small countries can be.

          • Richard Ferguson

            Singapore: right in the heart of the most dynamic region on the planet, right in the middle of one of the busiest shipping routes on the planet, minimal welfare state, young (-ish) population, has its own currency (a managed float – not fixed like Hong Kong or like the models proposed by YES), is the key financial centre for SE Asia, an entrepot of commerce, airport hub and adapted painfully to a brutal economic shock when it was kicked out of the Federation of Malay States in 1965. Also a city state, so far easier to govern than a larger geographical entity with a relatively sparse population.

            Scotland and Singapore comparisons are as pointless as Scotland and Venezuela on the basis that both have oil.

          • AtMyDeskToday

            Can’t think of a single point there that could not be applied to Scotland, with some work post independence, and we do have the oil which Singapore does not.

          • Richard Ferguson

            Beyond parody, I’m afraid.

          • AtMyDeskToday

            Go on give it a go, if you really think you are up to it. The more you write the more I am convinced you are not.

          • Singapom

            I’m British, living in Britain. As for thinking Scotland can be like Singapore – I refer you to Richard Ferguson’s excellent answer below, which doesn’t even begin to touch on the relevant social and cultural differences or structural economic differences.

          • AtMyDeskToday

            …and I refer you to my answer to his answer. As for your knowledge of Scotland and the Scots, pretty thin I think.

          • Singapom

            Not a single point that can’t be applied to Scotland? What about the “minimal welfare state”: or is that part of the plan for iScot? If so, good luck getting that accepted. As for Oil, you’re wrong: Singapore’s refineries process two and a half times more barrels per day than Grangemouth.

          • AtMyDeskToday

            You’re confusing processing with ownership of supply.

          • Singapom

            No, I understand the difference…and your answer on “minimal welfare state”?

          • AtMyDeskToday

            If you understand the difference then you will understand that ownership is the most important factor, so you are on the wrong foot to claim it is not. The current view on these blogs is that Scots are welfare junkies. Well you need to get around more, in particular check the ONS figures for welfare, you might be surprised as which area in the UK has the highest dependency (clue…it’s in England).

        • Hegelguy

          Low tax small state situations lead to unstable economies and in the end to political extremism.

          • Jambo25

            Switzerland?

          • Richard Ferguson

            Exactly!

          • Hegelguy

            No. Switzerland has a huge welfare system.
            Without welfare, how can economies be stable?

          • Jambo25

            Its got quite a generous system but highly decentralised in ,many ways.

          • Hegelguy

            If you leave the poor to fend for themselves they will support extremists in the end.

        • Hegelguy

          Low tax, small state, means: the very rich rule.

          • Tim Morrison

            and how is that differerent from now?

          • Hegelguy

            Worse.

        • Craig Millar

          low tax? they need to go up just to break even

  • Richard Ferguson

    My sense is that this vote is likely to be NO which will be little more than a relief – a short-term panacea almost. The prospect of a marginal YES vote based on a split population will be traumatic – as if Scotland’s tribal identities aren’t sufficiently unattractive. The referendum – along with “events” – will lead to changes which few of us can yet foresee. If radical change doesn’t take place within the current political establishment, then this issue will simply come back again within five years and the people will overwhelmingly vote to leave the UK. I’d prefer to see 80% of Scots saying YES rather than 51%.

    • Jambo25

      Scotland’s “tribal identities” do not result in large scale rioting and death like another country not too far away. Scotland is, in fact, remarkably peaceable.

      • Richard Ferguson

        “Large-scale rioting and death”?

        Go on, expand on that first.

      • zanegray

        Just hope that Scotland’s new rulers don’t sell out to globalisation.

        Which what has happened in Eire.

        Even Sinn Fein are nuts about importing cheap 3rd world ‘labour’.

        ‘We’ve off to Dublin on the scrounge on the scrounge…..’

        • Cath Ferguson

          Yeah, me too. That’s one question that does bother me: how do we ensure we can have a different model; how can we make sure this level of engagement and involvement continues so a small elite can’t take over. There are many great ideas out there but some seem a bit Utopian. Ultimately though, I believe we stand a better chance as a small county with far closer ties to politicians, government and the networks that run the country. The UK elite are totally out of reach and distant, and have been completely bought over by corporates.

      • Richard Ferguson

        The problem with comparison though is that (1) England is ethnically more mixed and (2) it’s population is 10x ours. I’m not going to do a tit-fot-tat here. I accept your point and thankfully we have avoided the type of riots witnessed in England in recent years.

        However, my experience of growing up in Glasgow, shaped my view that Scots always seem keen to have identity badges stuck to them. I felt hugely liberated from these identities when I left.

        • Cath Ferguson

          Many of us manage to live in Glasgow quite happily without requiring identity badges, thanks. I think there is always a sense of liberation form the place you grew up when you move away. I’ve moved round continually and lived many places including England and Canada. It’s always liberating. Of everywhere I’ve lived though, Glasgow is the best place I’ve found to settle down.

          • magpie5

            Maybe it’s because you are at heart a narrow minded nationalist …or maybe you are just a fanciful dreamer ”somewhere over the rainbow ” ?

        • AtMyDeskToday

          “However, my experience of growing up in Glasgow, shaped my view that Scots always seem keen to have identity badges stuck to them.”

          I grew up in Glasgow and apart from assignments in the UK and abroad have lived on the west coast my entire life. Strange that I completely missed those “identity badges”.

          • Richard Ferguson

            Yes, but given your comments on Singapore earlier, perhaps we can conclude that empiricism isn’t your thing.

          • AtMyDeskToday

            Did your badge say… “I’ve got a giant inferiority complex”?

    • The_greyhound

      This has been divisive, but there is no reason to think we will be discussing it again in five years’ time. The nationalists’ coalition isn’t stable, the SNP is very small (fewer than 390,000 votes in the spring of this year) and salmond can’t survive the defeat that is coming.

      • Richard Ferguson

        Interesting wee point re Salmond. I think – I may be wrong on this – he’s only ever lost a single election in his life and that was for the presidency of the student union at St Andrews. I think this will end his political career: that said, I don’t think he’ll mind.

  • Sean L

    This is mostly just hot air, no argument at all. People like this guy say it’s good for people to take an interest in politics or ‘democracy’ as if it were self-evident. But I can’t see it as other than a *bad* thing for the most part. If everyone instead looked after themselves and their loved ones, paying due respect to strangers, mindful of their institutional responsibilities, we’d all be better off.

    By far the greater part of political discourse consists in bigging-up one’s own support. In other words appealing to the basest mob mentality, the primal human fear of being ostracised from the group. In effect democracy makes an idol of the mob. Which isn’t to say some form of democracy isn’t valuable as a check on power. But that’s all.

    It’s not democracy in itself that’s of intrinsic value, but the constitutional arrangements that it plays a critical part in maintaining. But that’s precisely what political activism endangers. The mantra repeated here that “there must be a better way” is usually false. The general rule is not that “things can only get better”, to quote Labour’s ’97 election theme song, presaging the most destructive government in modern history, but that they’re far more likely to get worse, as empowering those activists back then demonstrated.

    .

  • The_greyhound

    There has scarcely been a debate. The lies, the endless deceits, and the bullying, sometimes veiled, sometimes not, from the nationalists will leave a toxic legacy for years to come. To say nothing of the hostility of the rest of the UK that the poisonous dwarf salmond has deliberately aroused.

    A comprehensive disaster for Scotland, brought on merely to sate the vanity and lust for power of a second-rate parish pump Musso.

    • Michael_Mooney

      Thanks for your constructive contribution to the debate.

      • The_greyhound

        A pleasure.

        Any time I can disturb the cosy little lies of the Sleazebag Nationalst Party, I am at the public’s service.

        • MichtyMe

          Actually, the only people you disturb are the more rational elements on the No side, who cringe with embarrassment when folk like you contribute.

    • Andrew Morton

      You merely have to substitute ‘Unionist press and politicians’ for ‘Nationalists’ in your post to arrive at the true state of affairs.

    • fionammdd

      You obviously don’t get out much. In community halls, school halls, pop up shops, theatres etc meetings have been organised and debate has flourished.
      Massie is right. This has energised people across Scotland.

      • The_greyhound

        I don’t subscribe to the lies of the pissy arsed little SNP, that’s all. The public meetings I have attended Unionists mostly outnumber salmond’s creepy little supporters. There’s no actual debate, with the SNP just braying its witless lies, uncosted promises, and cheap anti-English rhetoric. The Unionists clap their own side, and on leaving, agree that looking at the nationalists, they didn’t realise that one country could breed so many odious morons.

        • magpie5

          That’s correct …Scots are similar to the Jews insomuch that they have a formidable streak of brilliance , clarity of mind, intellectual curiosity ,combined with first rate business acumen , but how did a people who produced so many great minds produce so many political gargoyles and halfwits ? ..it’s simply a mystery to me

    • AtMyDeskToday

      The Labour Troll strikes again.

  • scotlandsaysyes

    the reason it has awakened the scottish electorate is because we have a chance of making our votes count nothing else #voteYes

    • Rex Ironsmith

      Turkeys voting for Xmas.

      • Patricia Wilson

        and the financial folk in the know ALL say that Scotlands GDP is better than the rUK WITHOUT oil ,gas and renewables taken into account ..seems the big loser will be the Westminster government WHEN not if we get independence

        • Son of Adam Smith

          Oh dear. Ignorance from PW again. It doesn’t matter what your GDP is, what really matters is your GNP, and there it just doesn’t look so good, with a lot more profits flowing out of the country already. And with firms likely to move into the jurisdiction and currency zone where they do most business (er, the rUK) then more of the profits will go south. Scotland is only one of the wealthiest countries in the world because it is part of a currency union and political union that minimises transaction costs and has a good and big market framework. DevoPlus or DevoMax would preserve this and therefore our prosperity, while allowing us to tackle more of our problems ourselves (different age-profile, worse health record, better balanced economy), but independence would see lots of our profits and much of our tax base head south. Slashing Corporation Tax just wouldn’t keep these firms, and in any case very low Corporation Tax at a time when deficits will have to be cut would force us to raise income (& Council) taxes not just on the rich but on the squeezed middle. You can’t expect the most integrated partnership of countries in the world, the UK, to separate out and still have your economy power ahead. Rupture is rarely a good idea, and this is no exception to that rule.

      • Francis Albert Sinatra

        Turkey is Independent

  • Aidan McLaughlin

    Excellent article Alex – a true reflection of what’s happening here in Scotland right now, regardless of the outcome.
    We have to hope that this enthusiasm does not just dissipate after the referendum but it seems that whoever wins will do so by a very narrow margin so it is incumbent on them to bring both sides together.
    Otherwise cynicism will kick in and that is bad for democracy – it creates a vacuum where only extremism can flourish.

  • magpie5

    I will concede that I’ve seemed to have underestimated the support of the Yes campaign ; the mistake being that I presumed it was just a mob of tribal xenophobic , braveheart-like nationalists ; however , it now seems that those nationalist have a sizeable ally of disgruntled anti establishment /UK knaves and fools who are willing to jump upon Salmond’s nationalistic bandwagon in the gullible and fanciful hope that ”change ” will be better …these child-like utopians and political munchkins are following the yellow brick road to cloud cuckoo land ..these are the folks who tend to be woefully uninformed about politics and vote in an election in a similar way that they vote for the X Factor or Big Brother …hmmm….deep thinkers indeed ?
    And so , it does seem that we sober minded unionists have a fight on our hands against both xenophobic nationalists and a clueless utopian idiots ; not to worry , well still win , but it would indeed be troubling to think that up to 40%of the electorate of Scotland have abandoned critical thinking skills and succumbed to a group psychosis and plague of the mind otherwise known as ”Scottish independence ” !

    • Jay Crawford

      Thanks for your post, it’s a very good example of the condesending attitude and patronising comment that has driven the Yes vote to where it is now.

      • MichtyMe

        An extreme example of a common attitude. Silly Scots shouldn’t think for themselves or show self reliance, the man in Whitehall knows best, London elites are there to advise and guide you, just dinnae bother, vote No.

      • magpie5

        Politically speaking , you sir, are merely a child

    • KingdomJock

      You concede that you were mistaken in thinking that Yes supporters were “mob of tribal xenophobic , braveheart-like nationalists”.

      Do you not also think you could be wrong in thinking that we’re all “child-like utopians and political munchkins….following the yellow brick road to cloud cuckoo land ..folks who tend to be woefully uninformed about politics and vote in an election in a similar way that they vote for the X Factor or Big Brother”???

      Perhaps it’s you that is “woefully uninformed”!?

      • The_greyhound

        Actually Magpie’s assessments of the the yessers are fearsomely accurate. The better neighborhoods, the better schools, the Universities, people with an education generally, people indeed with jobs, are saying no. As are Scotland’s big league businesses, and the people who work in them. Ranged against them are salmond’s supporters, the stupid, the ghastly little racists, the twisted whining losers, the something for nothing brigade, and for some unfathomed reason, really fat people.

        • magpie5

          Sadly , having just returned from a 1200 mile journey around Scotland my eyes have been opened …if the people you describe were the only folks voting yes , then we’d have nothing to worry about as they could only poll about 25-30%
          But that’s clearly not the case ; a dangerous , even messianic, idea has been awoken by Salmond’s gang that bodes an ill wind for the future ; I wish it wasn’t so but it simply is ..a pernicious idea has aroused and seduced many otherwise normal people and filled their heads with child-like fantasies of hope and change , somewhat similar to the election of a poseur like Obama …you can see these types at any YES rally as they are politically clueless and gullible but filled with dangerous optimism ..these are the folks who are filling the ranks of Salmonds otherwise nationalistic supporters

    • The_greyhound

      Looking at the 40% that support the SNP’s independence bid, I am reminded of the indignant MP asking the House if they realised that half the electorate were of below average intelligence. Looking at the salmond’s suppirters, one is tempted to reply “evidently”

      • magpie5

        We’ll still win , but sadly it will be much closer than I ever thought possible …I’m just very relieved that I don’t live in Scotland and have any of these YES voting fools for neighbours

        • The_greyhound

          They’re much more difficult to find on the ground, I can assure you.

          The SNP recruited the scum of the country to fight its cyber war, and the odious little creeps haven’t disappointed the chief odious little creep, salmond.

    • Cath Ferguson

      “Anyone who doesn’t share MY opinion on everything is clearly stupid, a munchkin, xenophobic, an X-factor watcher etc, etc.” Nice.

      You do realise the entire media and UK political establishment are on the NO side of this campaign, don’t you? Those of us who have seen through the propaganda are the ones who aren’t just being spoon-fed a diet of celebrity TV, GBBO, BBC etc. The PatronisingBTLady ad sums up what the UK want people in Scotland to do – vote without thinking or critically analysing. Just eat your cereal and shut up. Sadly for them, Scots aren’t that daft.

      • magpie5

        Well of course they are on the side of the Union …FREEDUMB is such a lame idea …it is emotion overiding reason

  • Hegelguy

    None of us liked Maggie Thatcher and what she did with our country. But let us not, like the small minded and small hearted George Monbiot (a Frenchman?) get carried away by anger. Let us not say because our families have not always listened to us we should welcome the burning down of our home.

    Let us not exaggerate Maggie. Let us not allow to happen what Hitler failed to achieve – the destruction of Britain – just to spite that wretched hard hearted, chicken brained, shrill voiced lady from Grantham.

    A world of small garden sized countries would be helpless amidst ruthless giants like China, the US, India, Russia and Germany.

    England and Scotland are kin with centuries of history in common. They changed the world together more than any other modern peoples did. And a lot of it for the better. They came through the Industrial Revolution, the two world wars and the rise and fall of the British Empire together.

    You would have to be a moron with the imagination of a snail to throw all that rich shared experience away over some gripes about Maggie Thatcher.

    The England that comes out of the Scottish secession would be a sad, shrunken, brutally diminished place.

    I shudder to think of it.

    I am a Briton of Indian origin and what is happening saddens and shocks me beyond words. I am losing my country ! Will Uganda outlive Britain?

    • Jambo25

      “George Monbiot (A Frenchman?)” Ho,ho,ho,ho .

    • Francis Albert Sinatra

      Go back to India and tell the people there to give up their Independence and be ruled by Britain again. Good luck with that.

  • AJH1968

    The way Mr. Salmond is rubbing he’s hands together reminds
    me of Uriah Heep surely the Scots should be able to see through he’s duplicity.
    I don’t think I would trust the fellow with a fish and chips stand (and I do apologize
    to the owners of fish and chips for the comparison), he is certainly no brave
    heart, but then again; and this to all Yes voters be careful what you wish for.

  • Malcolm McCandless

    Fear is being replaced by excitement as Sept 18th draws near.

    I have never experienced anything like this before. Record numbers on the electoral roll. People finally engaging at home, in work, in pubs and clubs, on the streets. Also the growing number of Saltires in windows, on top of buildings, on cars, in gardens is a sight to behold.

    Tell you one thing not many people are very forthcoming about intending to vote No. People seem embarrassed about admitting that.

    • Jimmy from largs

      Malcolm, I’m delighted, proud and excited about Voting……….NO. The UK is a great country and I’m excited about continuing to remain part of it. A global outward looking exciting economy……

      • Malcolm McCandless

        It seems a bit late to be offering a positive case for the union after two years of fear, smear and hate; but better late than never.

        Do you regret the scare stories, the attempts to demonise and the expressions of self-loathing? I simple Yes or No will do.

        • Jimmy from largs

          Malcolm, Credit to the Yes campaign for a cleverly coordinated program ….very good and under estimated by Better Together.

          Also sad to see that the devolved Government of Scotland is in a virtual stasis for the sake of this referendum.

          Not all is well with the Union of course but there are far many more things that unite the UK than divide, a personal opinion of course.

          I loathe Nationalism and the atmosphere that has been created by this referendum.

          I fail, despite scrutiny see little case for independence, I will vote NO, if the result is YES I will move to my personal plan B and Scotland will probably no longer be my home.

          • MichtyMe

            You loathe nationalism and on a Yes will leave. To which polity will you go to that does not pursue a national interest?

          • Jimmy from largs

            MichtyMe,

            In the event of a YES vote, on September 19th I will still be a UK citizen until March 2016. In this period I assume I will have free movement of domicile in the rest of the UK which is preferable to me.

            Anywhere away from the direct consequences of the actions that the SNP are propagating sounds like a more preferably polity for my taste. I would not be surprised others feel the same that will be for them to choose.

            Before you comment, yes sadly there will be consequences for other parts of rUK, I would bet the rUK economy which is larger more varied and more robust indeed Global and more able to cope with these changes. Meanwhlie iScotland chooses to create a degree of separation from this not sure why.

            I’m British and proud to be so in a quiet non shouty, non flag waving way…….and I’m not having it summarily removed.

          • MichtyMe

            Thanks for the response Jimmy, although I am unsure that a move South would place you in less nationalist environment, perhaps even more so, with the Euro issue.

          • Jimmy from largs

            MichtyMe, I agree it has risks….and the balance of risks would sway me towards another part of the UK.

            But that said I wish Scotland well….who would not.

          • Cath Ferguson

            No one is “removing” your right to be British anymore than Norwegians are no longer Scandinavian because they’re no longer run from Sweden. Where power lies has little to do with national identity and more to do with democracy and accountability.

          • magpie5

            That’s another lame , bogus comparison

          • Jimmy from largs

            Cath, Thanks for your note. I always thought independence means just that.

            Of course the SNP will want to offer an easing slippy slope towards it , but I do not buy into it.

            Also I think our neighbors in the rUK post what could be an ugly settlement could be thoroughly sick of us. I know I would be…..

            Onto your point about Scandinavia…each country in Scandinavia has a different language, different currency and three of them have different monarchies.

            In the UK we have MANY more things that unite us than divide us many much more than unites the Nordics thats for sure.

            I have lived there….the SNP Nordic play is simply nonsense.

            …..I have voted NO….and proud to so so……..for a great UNITED KINGDOM………………..

          • Jambo25

            But you’re a British nationalist.

          • Jimmy from largs

            Jambo25,

            If being proud of being British is your definition of being a Nationalist….then its your definition.

            Not mine……….I know my politics and I vote NO for the union

          • Jambo25

            You see your loyalty as being to a British state. Therefore you are a British nationalist.

          • Francis Albert Sinatra

            British nationalism is the worst kind…because it has forced it’s hand on many other Nations….all of whom have won back their Independence. Scotland will be next.

          • Hegelguy

            Scotland, unlike these other nations, has power in Westminster.
            If India had it and was part of the same region as England I would not have advocated Indian independence.

          • Francis Albert Sinatra

            That’s good of you…how considerate!

          • magpie5

            yaaaaaaawn another typical and oh so predictable nationalist

          • Francis Albert Sinatra

            Go to bed or at least have a lie down.

          • magpie5

            you’re going to need a long lie down on sept the 19th

          • Francis Albert Sinatra

            Yeah! after the party!

          • Hegelguy

            Is there no one here to speak up for large societies and large nations…..to warn that most human greatness has been owed to large societies and that people dwindle into littleness in little places.

            Most of the great writers and thinkers of the world came from big societies, great metropolises, large nations, great empires.

            It is when many people are together in one state that great history is made. Even when writers belong to small principalities – like Rousseau, the Citizen of Geneva and Goethe the Prime Minister of Weimar – their work is about large societies.

            Orson Welles has a famous quotation in the film The Third Man:

            ”In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed—but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”

            And then there is the sheer, dangerous matter of POWER. If, as the little minds and little people want, big nations break up, we would have no one left to stand up to the few big nations that survive. We would have no defence against the great world corporations. Everything will become municipal and small scale and petty, and there would be no money for anything big.

            No world scale humanitarian concern could be addressed because we would be a bunch of small nations with no means to tackle world scale problems.

          • Hegelguy

            Sensible people seek the best of both worlds. They would seek full powers for Scotland and seek also to keep the historic United Kingdom. Why throw away one good thing when you can have both.

          • Hegelguy

            Indians were often ruled by Scots viceroys and colonial governors. Scotland profited immeasurably from the British Empire.

          • Francis Albert Sinatra

            Only on the instructions of their imperial masters.

          • magpie5

            they were only following orders ?

          • Hegelguy

            The imperial masters were very often Scots. Think of Arthur Balfour, Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Andrew Bonar-Law, Lord Rosebery, Ramsay MacDonald, Harold Macmillan – all Scots and prime ministers in the last century or so.

      • Jacobite

        Jimmy I actually think you have a point here. When I talk to people who are intending to vote no they see Scotland not as a country but as a region on the uk so they are fine with decisions being made in Westminister. In the event of a no vote however I don’t see the issue going away because there is an increasing number of people who I am tending to find in the younger age group who don’t feel that way. Interesting times indeed. I think Mr Massie hit the nail on the head with this article. We are now talking about big things

      • Frann Leach

        I don’t know what you’re on, but please pass my name to your dealer

        • Francis Albert Sinatra

          You have a dealer?? I don’t.

        • Jimmy from largs

          Frann, Thanks for your comment most interesting. Tells me a lot.

          Good luck to you and your kith and kin.

    • Sean L

      It could also be construed as emotion driving out reason or mob rule. sounds like England at world cup time when everyone flies the flag of St George (except in London where it’s every other nation’s flag). But that’s merely over a football game. . .

      • magpie5

        That’s correct ..it is similar to the mindless , nationalist world cup when emotion overrides reason , except this is not a frivolous football game , but potentially the destruction of the modern worlds most successful political union

        • Francis Albert Sinatra

          There was NO UNION! only a take over, the larger swallowed up the smaller.

          • Craig Millar

            union was inevitable after the joining of the crowns, it just took longer than expected, expedited by darien.

            The accomplishments of scots since then (as part of the union), has been astounding

          • Francis Albert Sinatra

            Just watch us after we get our inevitable INDEPENDENCE back!

          • Craig Millar

            i wouldnt need to watch i’ll be part of it. Im certainly not a doomsday no voter whos claiming to flee in the result of a yes.

            scotland would be a succesful country, as it is today, my preference is to say in the union.

            biggest risk in this referendum is the threat on democratic rule. will one side accept the others result? thats what i’ll be watching

          • magpie5

            Friday the 19th of September will be a day of mourning for you , dear boy !

          • Francis Albert Sinatra

            I accept that possibility, but the fires have been lit,

          • magpie5

            Well then , I’m just waiting in anticipation for the inevitable bucket of water

          • Francis Albert Sinatra

            You will need more than bucket!

          • magpie5

            true enough ..I’ll pi$$ on it then

          • magpie5

            The Scots came asking , cap in hand , for the union after the Darien fiasco …haven’t you ever read a history book ?

          • Francis Albert Sinatra

            I certainly have. There is an excellent one by an Englishman John Prebble called The Darien Disaster. Read it now and find out how a Dutchman invited by a handful of English politicians to accept the throne, planned and schemed to make sure Darien would fail. Then also read how a few land owners sold our Independence for money. This led to riots in the streets. The people of Scotland were sold down the river.

          • magpie5

            that’s the culture of complaint ; always someone else’s fault
            If you folks did , by some miracle , gain your indepenDUNCE , you would make a mess of it and then blame the English or more specifically ”The Tories” …if you replace the word TORY for JEWS you can easily see the line of twisted reasoning

          • Francis Albert Sinatra

            Well, that did not make any sense at all old bean.A bit like Eastenders.

    • The_greyhound

      How the crappy little SNP wishes us to believe those lies.

      Most people are completely turned off by the endless boredom of it. Even the odious nationalists veiled attempts at intimidation can’t disguise the fact that the majority of Scotland remains solidly unionist. And needless to say plenty of those saltires are being flown by unionists. A lot of us think nothing to the treacherous little SNP, and resent the idea that this unrepresentative little clique of power seekers should try to appropriate our flag to themselves.

      People who actually love their country will be voting NO. Only those who don’t care about its future will be saying yes.

      • AtMyDeskToday

        Don’t you get bored with your repetitious Labour Troll slagging off of everyone who does not agree with you? I’m certainly bored listening to it over and over and over again. You have not produced a single coherent argument in favour of your position. Simply vituperate bile.

        • The_greyhound

          SNP troll complains of being trolled.

          Witless, even by your own pathetic standards.

      • Frann Leach

        If you’re so bored, what are you doing writing comments on here? And you must be hiding away somewhere if you think that many people share your view.

      • Francis Albert Sinatra

        It’s the Scots who vote NO who are treacherous.

        • Jimmy from largs

          Francis, Thanks ….I voted NO and therefore according to you I’m a traitor.

          WOW……not much more needs to be said is there.

          • The_greyhound

            They’re off their bloody heads. I’m ashamed that the country could have produced such irrational and unpleasant little cowards.

            I voted no too.

        • magpie5

          even the world war two veterans like the scot who helped sink the Bismark ?…the scots who have been in the British armed forces are much , much more likely to vote no

          • Francis Albert Sinatra

            Two bloody World Wars….that’s what imperialism does. Time for peace now.

          • magpie5

            Your comments should be framed as a perfect textbook example of a SNP/Yes voter …politically speaking , merely a child
            we are giving you folks just enough rope to hang yourselves

          • Francis Albert Sinatra

            We won’t be hanging anyone. Meanwhile in London….woman beheaded in broad daylight.

          • magpie5

            thank you

        • The_greyhound

          We’ll be the first nation in history with a treacherous majority then.

    • Craig Millar

      those voting for change (yes) are always going to be more vocal and publicly visible than those wishing to maintain the status quo.

      • magpie5

        That’s correct, but the silent majority will move en masse and decisively crush this madcap idea with little fuss and fanfare

        • Craig Millar

          whilst i sincerely hope that is correct, im concerned that the polls are at 53:47 in favour or no, and the typical demographic being polled and registered with such agencies are regular voters. There has been a surge in the electoral roll, majority of which have been new yes voters.

          • magpie5

            how do you know they are YES voters and not NO voters stampeding to the polls to stamp this bushfire out …I was reading that there has been a surge in voter registration in the Shetland and Orkney Isles ; are we to believe that places that are as pro-union as this will be voting YES ? hardly

  • Lamby

    Scotland has not won at all sadly. It is in truth a lose lose situation. This referendum has opened up huge divisions here, and the darkest core nationalists are running the show. These wounds are tearing open families, ruining friendships and will not be easy to heal whatever the outcome.

    A yes vote would be a disaster for Scotland. Scotland on a world stage without that any alliances or allies will be completely isolated, it will not be part of NATO/the EU/G8/G20 or any other relationship that has been built up over the centuries. Without defence it will be vulnerable, especially in this climate, and without capital (because it is going to cost billions in reality to be independent) it will be poverty stricken. Do we trust Alex to run our country? I mean Seriously? No I thought not. How can this possibly be a good outcome for Scotland? There will be tremendous tension and hatred between Scotland and England which will last for generations, which was not there at the start of this stupid referendum. It is simply not possible that we will vote yes and everyone will be the best of friends afterwards, and nothing will change. Everything will change!!!!! And not for the better.

    I for one, am not sticking around to see what Salmond will do to this good country, I can not think what life will be with him as our dictator. All because we got sucked into a nationalistic tide without stopping to think of the real cost and the reality..

    • MichtyMe

      Missed out the bit about the risk of Scotland being attacked by the Faroe Islands and all oor fish stolen.

    • Jimmy from largs

      Lamby, I’m tending to be of your opinion.

      I see little good in this just chaos and for what for what real benefit which could not be solved now with a Scottish Government who would work with Westminster.

      So good luck….I have voted NO.

    • AtMyDeskToday

      “I can not think what life will be with him as our dictator. ”

      Did the voices in your head tell you that? Attributing evil intent to others is a serious illness.

    • Jambo25

      Hysterical dribble. One example is NATO. You do realise that only yesterday an ex British ambassador to NATO came out and said that Scotland would have no difficulty joining the organisation and she (The ex ambassador) was voting Yes

      • Craig Millar

        only because shes making sure she has a job no matter what on the 19th!

        • Jambo25

          I think the lady is now retired on a substantial FO pension.

    • Francis Albert Sinatra

      God bless Alex Salmond…he has installed a new confidence in Scotland, he is our liberator who has brought us out of the darkness and back into the daylight. He, more than any other individual has stood up for us against all odds. For the first time we have got a man who in no Uncle Tom or is controlled by London masters. He is our man. Fights Scotland’s corner.

      • Hegelguy

        Why scream about getting out of the UK only to scream about wanting to get into the shackles of the EU?

        • Francis Albert Sinatra

          You are all for one Union but against another?

      • Craig Millar

        my goodness i think a little bit of sick just came up

        • Francis Albert Sinatra

          See a doctor….

          • Craig Millar

            vote yes by all means, but getting all luvvy over a politician, please.

          • magpie5

            these folks a mere clay in the hands of demagogues such as Alex Salmond

          • Francis Albert Sinatra

            Em nae luvvy. Why are you named after a castle anyway?

      • magpie5

        and you thoroughly sound like you deserve him …in fact , you both deserve each other

        • Francis Albert Sinatra

          True…and you can keep Clegg, Cameron and the other public school boys. Damn good deal!

    • Lamby

      Jambo ~ it is incredible that you choose to use the words of an ‘ex’ ambassador of NATO, and the conversation as I read it did not suggest Scotland would be welcome at all! And most people with some moderate degree of intelligence would be more interested in what the ‘current’ ambassador would have to say surely….I am sure if you updated your views you would see that NO member of NATO are suggesting an invite to an independent Scotland to join, what would they??? What could a bankrupt outpost like Scotland offer NATO? Apart from another rendition of your Scotland is utopia campaign! Please grow up! It is getting boring listening to so many lies!

  • Scotland wins whether YES or NO. But when will the English get a say on England?

  • 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. There can be no collapse of the USSR without…

    Verification, De-Communization and De-Mobilization.

    A United Britain is a threat to the USSR and her ally China, and a hindrance to their global strategy to “liberate” the world by means of infiltration of the West’s institutions.

    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

  • Lachie Macquarie

    Nice balanced piece AM.

  • Tim Morrison

    I have not ever agreed with Alex Massie and so am delighted to do son now. I am suprised flippit at your response. We are in no doubt that It is not a game but that does not mean people are not allowed to enjoy the process – the debate is constant and everywhere – builders shouting at each on scaffolding about the future of the Bank of Englad, 13 year old girls screaming at me that i was a fool to vote ‘yes’ without being certain of the currency. For the first time I remember people of all backgrounds are engaed, informed and asking questions about the nature of power and the future of the currency. That you say this is a bad thing and do not want to engage with this kind of process is perhaps the most eloquent comment that can be made about how democracy is understood within the context of the Union.

  • Tony Collins

    Excellent way to put it Alex. Refreshing to hear someone from the pro-union side compliment the whole process rather than obsess about the divisiveness of the whole, division was always there- rich/poor, left/right, rural/urban, it’s just that now we’re facing up to them

  • smilingvulture

    I’m YES,brilliant article

  • magpie5

    This referendum should not even be taking place as it was only voted for by 25% of the electorate …and yet , here we are in a serious fight to save the modern world’s most successful union from a gang of fringe party opportunists promoting a truly contemptible idea
    It does tend to remind me in some ways of the Weimar Republic in the late 1920’s when another fringe party led by a skilful orator , backed by a cadre of true believers, used romantic dreams , wishful thinking and optimistic slogans such as ”Germany Awake , or ”the future belongs to us ” to seduce and manipulate gullible , uninformed voters ..a ”Springtime for Hitler ” ….I can well understand how the Nazis became the largest party in the Reichstag

    • smilingvulture

      take it your undecided

    • Cath Ferguson

      Yet another British Nationalist comparing people to Nazis. And these will be the same people who complain the debate is “divisive” and “nasty”.

    • MichtyMe

      Self reliance, self government, national sovereignty, distinct societies determining their own future, all truly contemptible ideas. Well OK, if you say so but you have a lot of people to convince.

  • Joel Cobbs

    I realize this question may come under the scrutiny that is the Internet Troll, but I’m an American who loves to read. Can someone kindly recommend some literature regarding this movement towards independence? I feel this isn’t being covered in America as well as it should and want to know more. I’ve looked online but would rather ask here. (By literature, I mean both fiction and nonfiction.) Thank you!

    • I think you may find some kind of reading list over at National Collective (http://nationalcollective.com/). Or perhaps Bella Caledonia (http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/). These are certainly places where your enquiry can best be dealt with.

      • Joel Cobbs

        Thank you. Much appreciated.

        • Jambo25

          Bearing in mind that the author is an anti-independence Tory Unionist, David Torrance’s ‘The Battle for Britain’ is quite a good base to start from.

          • Joel Cobbs

            Just bought it on Amazon. While I’m not sure what you mean by Tory Unionist, I understand anti-independence and will keep that in mind. It’s really a shame there’s not enough coverage of this here. Very disappointing. Thank you for the recommendation!

          • Jambo25

            Torrance used to be a political special adviser to Scotland’s sole Conservative MP. Up here these people are colloquially known as Tory Unionist as they are against Scottish independence and pro Union so there will be some element of bias in Torrance’s writing but not too much.

        • montyscoles

          The links you were given were pro-independence websites. Since you probably want factual information rather than campaign propaganda, you’re better off looking at a site that presents both sides, like http://www.futureukandscotland.ac.uk.

      • The_greyhound

        A joke presumably.

        These are merely SNP front organizations. Why do nationalists never tell the truth?

        • One of the reasons the Yes campaign is winning is the fact that, while blinkered British nationalist fanatics such as yourself have been obsessing about the SNP, the massive grass-roots independence movement has been going about the business of winning hearts and minds.

          Not that I wish to dissuade you from your stupidity. I think it was Napoleon who offered the sage advice never to interrupt your opponent when they are making a mistake.

          • The_greyhound

            More of your dimwitted personal abuse, I see.

            Was it your poor education, your physical shortness, or your sexual inadequacy, or all three that left you so bitter and angry?

  • Hegelguy

    Scotland is on the verge of committing the fatal blunder that India’s Muslims committed in 1947 when they seceded from India.

    Beware, Scots ! Don’t end up as England’s Pakistan !

    By demanding their own separate Muslim state or Pakistan, the Indian Muslims, from being the powerful minority that practically ruled Indian politics, the tail that wagged the Indian dog, straightaway dropped to the status of a powerless minority segregated in two corners of the subcontinent, handing over the main part of India to untrammelled control by the Hindus.

    As Patrick French, one of the best historians of the Indian independence story, put it: Indian Muslim power was broken for ever by the creation of Pakistan.

    An even worse fate, in terms of loss of power, threatens the Scots today.

    They will be a small state segregated at one end of the same island with a ten times bigger English population, having the English currency with no say in the Bank of England or the English Treasury, or government.

    The Scots, from being England’s senior partner, will become England’s colony.
    Economic policies in Edinburgh will be set in London, just as Germany decides what Greece can do in economics thanks to the Euro.

    Ironically, at the very moment of its apparent final dissolution the English Empire will be resurrected.

    Scots : You are said to be canny…..Don’t jump the wrong way !

    Intelligent Pakistanis now regret the Indian Partition. But it is too late.

    Ironically, Tariq Ali, a loud lamenter of the permanent damage Indian Partition did to his Muslims, is urging Scots to make their own Pakistan!

    Bizarre.

    • Malcolm McCandless

      Eh?

    • I agree with your final comment. The preceding rant rant truly is “bizarre”.

      • Hegelguy

        What I pointed out is that by demanding their own separate Muslim state or Pakistan, the Indian Muslims, from being the powerful minority that practically ruled Indian politics, the tail that wagged the Indian dog, dropped to the status of a powerless minority segregated in two corners of the subcontinent, handing over the main part of India to untrammelled control by the Hindus.

        As Patrick French, one of the best historians of the Indian independence story, put it: Indian Muslim power was broken for ever by the creation of Pakistan.

        An even worse fate, in terms of loss of power, threatens the Scots today.

        They will be a small state segregated at one end of an island with a ten times bigger English population, using the English currency but now with no say in the Bank of England or the English Treasury, or government.

        The Scots, from being England’s senior partner, will become England’s colony.

        Economic policies in Edinburgh will be set in London, just as Germany decides what Greece can do in economics thanks to the Euro.

        • Was ever anybody more closely wedded to the facile myth of “bigger is better”?

          • The_greyhound

            Looking at the pygmy leader of the midget SNP and its small-minded bigoted adherents, one can see why the idea gained traction.

  • john

    Hurray! The exact point! I dream of the same open questionning and public debate on Britain’s moribund constitutional arrangements. Just imagine: a real debate over the House of Lords, the monarchy, the Commonwealth etc. It would be wonderful. Go Scots!

  • Alex Massie spoils an otherwise excellent article with a glaring example of intellectual indolence when he asserts that the referendum campaign has been a contest between two equally legitimate visions for Scotland. It most assuredly has not. It has been a contest between a positive, progressive vision for Scotland and a deplorable campaign of lies, smears and scaremongering. But it is easier to portray both sides as being on a par with one another than it is to actually set about analysing and detailing the differences between them.

    There is something else which I detect in Alex Massie’s article. Something which I have noticed creeping into comments from unionists who are now facing the very real possibility of finding themselves on the losing side. Even those who have, until now, treated the whole referendum process with ill-disguised impatience and contempt are now at pains to celebrate that same process as a good thing for Scotland and for democracy.

    One can’y help but get the feeling that these people are positioning themselves for a Yes vote and the prospect of having placed themselves outside the mainstream of Scottish politics by their original and long-held attitude to the referendum campaign and to independence.

    They are beginning to ask themselves what becomes their credibility, either as politicians or as commentators, when there is a Yes vote and the sky does not immediately collapse as they have foretold.

    They are starting to fret, somewhat belatedly, about the impact on their reputations when it becomes clear that they have been almost completely wrong about almost everything.

    They are starting to worry about exposure of the lies and distortions that they have either foisted on the people of Scotland or helped to promulgate through the media.

    As the campaign itself draws to a close, they are beginning to reflect upon whether, with hindsight, it might have been wiser to have subjected the anti-independence campaign to more rigorous scrutiny, given that much of what has been said by British politicians and unionist commentators is likely to be shown to have been erroneous or dishonest.

    Most of all, they are positioning themselves to be able to claim, on the basis of their later utterances, to have acted with integrity and to have engaged with a worthy democratic process in an honourable manner. They are laying the groundwork for their own rehabilitation in the context of an independent Scotland that they have spent the past months and years denigrating as an aspiration.

    They want us all to forgive an forget and just move on. They want to avoid responsibility for the way that they have behaved during the campaign. They want the slate to be wiped clean so that they can continue their careers as if nothing has happened. They want a free pass.

    I’m not at all sure the people of Scotland will oblige them in this regard. It is not at all clear why they should.

    • Sean L

      Eh? I don’t suppose you’re employed in the public sector by any chance, are you?

      • What inane prejudice leads you to believe that, I wonder – without really caring to know.

    • Jimmy from largs

      Peter, You can enjoy Scotland, I do not want your ‘free pass’ sorry not interested.

      I do not want to live in an independent Scotland. I like the UK a lot.

      Good luck and best wishes…………..

      • You must really like the UK. It seems you want to make Scotland just like the rest of it. Privatised health-care. Tuition fees. Charges for personal care. Increasing poverty and inequality. Corruption in politics, business and every branch of public life.

        Not much of an aspiration. Not much of a future to bequeath to your children.

        • Jimmy from largs

          Peter, You really have a ‘golden’ view of the potential for Scotland.

          I simply do not share it…..the front bench of the current Scottish Government…mmmm…

          I have watched the last 12 or so FM Questions sadly I do not see the seeds of a temple democracy.

          Looking at your list of evils all of these are already devolved to the current Scottish Government….and have been for some number of years. But in the campaign they are all under threat …..from the bogey man of Westminster.

          Now you can have your own immigration, defence and terrorism protection, DVLC, treasury and tas machinery etc etc etc……all for no incremental cost…..

          I cannot see one good reason for this……so as I say good luck………

          ‘Corruption in politics, business and every branch of public life’….not my experience……in the world I inhabit.

          But oh dear Scotland being independent will be better !!

          • I do not have a “golden” view of the potential for Scotland. Merely a realistic view that is rather more optimistic than the prospect offered by the union.

            Anybody who judges Holyrood by the circus of FMQs is not to be taken seriously.

            It is true that responsibility for health, education etc lies with Holyrood. But Westminster keeps ultimate control through its stranglehold on the budget.

            A thinking person would wonder why, if Scotland is fit to have so many powers, it is deemed unfit to have all powers.

            Such a thinking person might also think it only reasonable, in a democracy, that the people should decide what powers their parliament has rather than a bunch of British politicians in London we had no part in electing.

            I don’t know where you get the idea that Scotland currently get defence etc. for free. It may be part of the same delusion that denies the corruption and ineptitude that brought about the banking collapse, and the criminality that continues to require financial institutions to set aside millions to compensate their victims.

            The same dumb delusion that blinds you to the endless series of scandals that beset your precious Palace of Westminster.

            Save your luck. With such highly developed naivety, you will need it all.

          • Sean L

            What drivel. As for the “corruption and ineptitude that brought about the bankiing collapse”, who has ever denied it? And since when was Scotland not part of it? Fred Godwin of RBS was practically a byword for it. And your talking about *delusional*. Please.

          • I talk about a system and you can’t get past personalities. Go back to reading your celebrity gossip magazines.

          • I talk about a system and you can’t get past personalities. Go back to reading your celebrity gossip magazines.

          • The_greyhound

            Was that the Fred the shred salmond so assiduously courted?

            Indeed it was.

            “I wanted you to know that I am watching events closely on the ABN front, It is in Scottish interests for RBS to be
            successful, and I would like to offer any assistance my office can provide.”

            salmond’s very words on an acquisition that it would cost £45,000,000,000 to sort out.

        • Monro

          And yet we hear nothing of the future from the SNP, simply extra childcare, but only if you vote for independence, and a couple of extra bob on public spending but we’ll work out how to pay for that in due course (since oil revenues have undershot SNP estimates by £2 billion this year and last).
          The reality will be a republic with an extra 70,000 immigrants every year in order to pay the pensions of a rapidly ageing population.
          Where will the immigrants come from? A few English trustafarian ‘crofters’ and the rest from outside this country. Why not? But let’s not pretend this is a future for Scots. They will be a minority in their own country by 2050.
          Sounds good to you? Fill your boots, mon.

          • You make the same error as is made by other ill-informed British nationalists in that you equate Scotland’s independence campaign with the SNP and remain dumbly unaware of the massive movement that now dwarfs all political parties. This is not entirely your fault. You have been trained to think of politics as being the three British parties and nothing more. Anything different is simply not recognisable to you as politics. And so you remain blind to the biggest grass-roots political movement in Scotland’s history. Which is sad. Because you are missing something magnificent.

            The Yes campaign is nothing else but vision for the future. Not packaged into easily digestible little policy sound-bites easily identified by party colours. But all the better for that and well worth the small intellectual effort required to access it.

            The stuff about “an extra 70,000 immigrants every year” is just the kind of laughably exaggerated nonsense that I’m happy to leave to the xenophobic bigots who populate the lunatic fringes of British nationalism.

          • Monro

            Oh dear! More petty insults from the snp.

            Scottish nationalism has enjoyed 30% support since the 19th century, as a consequence of immigration from Ireland.

            Those communities still exist, as happy to wave a republic of Ireland flag as the saltire.

            There is no groundswell of support. The nationalists have been behind on every poll and that will be the end result

            Why?

            Because the snp has run a campaign transparently based on electoral bribes, expediency and hot air.

            There is no passion, only self interest, greed for personal advancement, enrichment.

            If the passion existed, it would have manifested itself by now.

            Over 95% of the Czech Republic voted for independdence. That is what real, credible, heart felt nationalism rooted in ethnicity and history looks like.

            Scotland is a divided little country and no minority part of that divisiveness will be trusted with its future.

            http://www.thecommentator.com/article/4825/scottish_independence_brawl_exposes_deep_divisions

          • Excellent! You still haven’t learned that the independence movement is much bigger than the SNP. That suits me fine. As I think I explained earlier, I am quite happy for British nationalist fanatics to be massively wrong in a way that would be embarrassing to anybody with the smallest degree of self-awareness.

            The figure of 70,000 extra immigrants (exaggerated by you from an actual figure of 68,000, so you’re already a liar) is no part of any immigration policy. It is merely the outcome of a modelling exercise. Nobody is suggesting there would ever be immigration at that level. Other than idiots like yourself, of course.

          • Monro

            Yes, the 68,000 figure is a projection .

            The author of the paper points out that he actually used the figure of only 60,000 as a conservative estimate when addressing the committee.

            But annual UK immigration since 1997 has always overshot politicians estimates.

            If you think Scotland will be any different, you are delusional.

            It will be way over 70,000 per year by 2050 and you will be part of an embittered minority in your own land, if indeed you have any Scottish blood in you at all. It has to be greater than 68,000 per year in order to pay for the pensions of a rapidly ageing population since all the native youngsters are emigrating, and who can blame them.

          • The author points out that it is a “simple modelling exercise” and casts doubt on the feasibility of such levels of immigration “in the real world”.

            I doubt if he thought anybody would be so massively stupid as to mistake this “simple modelling exercise” for actual government policy.

          • So, you admit you lied about the figure. But you seem to believe that it is OK to lie when it is done in the cause of British nationalism. All of which suggests you are not someone to be trusted.

            But I think anybody reading this exchange will have figured that out for themselves a while back.

          • The_greyhound

            Out of curiosity, are you capable of a posting without insulting someone, or are you just here to work off your personal inadequacies?

        • Craig Millar

          we implemented free personal care, free prescriptions etc under devolution, and chose not to charge for tuition fees, so how are we going down the same route? utter nonsense.

          NHS budget is devolved 100%, and is already a better system than in England, the only people who can introduce privitisation to the NHS in Scotland is the Scottish Government

          • You dutifully parrot the line provided by the No campaign’s spin-quacks. No thinking required.

            This pathetically shallow analysis misses two crucial and glaringly obvious points. The Scottish Government controls the health service in an administrative sense, but Westminster maintains control of the budget. The Scottish Government has managed to defend our NHS to date by skilfully moving resources around within an ever-shrinking overall budget. That cannot go on forever. Because health accounts for such a large proportion of Scottish Government spending there must inevitably come a point where the block grant is slashed so severely that the NHS budget must be adversely affected.

            You also fail to recognise the fact that, as a symbol of Scotland’s distinctive political culture and a source of comparisons with what is being done in the rest of the UK which are very embarrassing to the British parties, NHS Scotland will be a political target. It will be in the interests of the UK Government to force “reforms” on our health service so as to bring it into line with the ongoing privatisation of the NHS in England.

            The unionist propaganda that you accept as gospel also completely ignores the potential impact of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Protocol (TTIP). This is a trade agreement between the EU and the USA which, among other things, will open up healthcare provision in the UK to the big American corporations. The governments of EU member states can declare certain areas of public service provision to be state monopolies and there fore exempt from the terms of TTIP. But the UK government has chosen not to implement such an exemption in relation to healthcare.

            As part of the UK, the NHS in Scotland will be vulnerable to these corporate predators. The Scottish Government could be sued for not allowing services to be privatised.

            The referendum is the most important decision voters in Scotland have ever faced. You have a duty to inform yourself before making your decision. That means questioning the stuff you are fed by the anti-independence mob.

            Vote No if that is your conviction. But do so in full awareness of the fact that you are helping to facilitate the destruction of our NHS.

          • magpie5

            So hath spoken a Soviet apparatchik

    • magpie5

      If Scotland actually
      ijj

    • Truth Seeker

      Peter. All this talk of vengeance against anybody who dares to stand up to nationalists is a little disturbing. Isn’t this supposed to be a free country? I think you would have fitted in well in fascist Italy or Nazi Germany. Unfortunately, for sad wee jacobites like you, the No camp will prevail. This is the high watermark of nationalism. The Fat Controller can’t go on for ever then you are left with SNP non-entities. You are going to lose. PS How does it feel to wake up every morning, look in the mirror and realise you are a pompous old windbag??

      • You will need to point to where I spoke of “vengeance”. It would seem to be a product of your fevered imagination. I spoke only of politicians and others being required to accept responsibility for their words and deeds.

        The rest of your fanatical rant is unworthy of a response. Maybe get back to me when you grow up a little.

        • Monro

          ‘They……..as politicians or as commentators…….They want us all to forgive an forget and just move on. They want to avoid responsibility for the way that they have behaved during the campaign. They want the slate to be wiped clean so that they can continue their careers as if nothing has happened. They want a free pass.

          I’m not at all sure the people of Scotland will oblige them in this regard. It is not at all clear why they should.’

          Plain as a pikestaff.

          • Where is there any mention of “vengeance”. I talk only of accountability.

            You are guilty of “creative reading”. You completely ignore what is actually written and read whatever accords with your prejudices. It goes without saying that this has the unfortunate consequence of making it look like you can’t read at all.

          • Monro

            I’m afraid this is nonsense. Just about every correspondent who has ever written a piece in support of a ‘No’ vote has had to put up with crass, profoundly stupid, clumsily veiled, threats of one sort or another from nationalists.
            Yours is yet another in a long line and all the worse for that.
            Petty minded insults invariably indicate the wrong side of the argument.

          • All this spittle-flecked bluster to cover up the fact that you still can’t point to any mention of “vengeance”.

            You embarrass yourself.

          • Monro

            Rude, indicating the wrong end of the discussion, and weak, indicating a shortage, amongst other things, of wit.

          • Still not pointing to any mention of “vengeance”. And well on your way to being more tragic than comical.

          • Monro

            Bless!

          • The_greyhound

            Well said.

            Wee nats generally have a massive inferiority complex, and tend to work it off with idiotic boasting, gratuitous offensive conduct and idle threats.

            salmond has had to scour the very bottom of the barrel to find his “elite” supporters. Most of us are deeply shocked to find there are so many aggressive stupid bigots among us.

          • magpie5

            we can read between the lines only too well and can understand it too …you are engaging in sinister euphemisms that any student of the history of the Soviet Union would immediately recognise ….it’s called Orwellion doublespeak
            ”accountability ” does have an obvious air of menace to it
            Your comments should be sent to every ”undecided” as an example of what to expect if Salmond and his gang actually won

          • I’m not sure whether you need to increase the dosage of whatever medication you are on or flush the whole lot down the toilet. I’ve never seen anybody get worked up into such a lather over nothing more than the concept of political accountability.

            What is truly “sinister” is your apparent conviction that politicians should be able to speak and act with impunity. That they should never have to answer to the people for their words and deeds. If ever there was a recipe for an elitist dictatorship you are the one writing it.

            It has to be said, however, that you very much reflect the attitude of British politicians and the British parties. The attitude that prevails in the British political system. Which is why Scotland must free itself of this baleful influence.

      • Richard Ferguson

        Got to admit that Mr Bell is the one person who can rid me of any of any equivocation about this referendum. Those paragraphs above are why NO cannot afford to lose. Whenever anyone talks about “Project Fear”, “Negativity” and all the rest of, show them this.

        Should they lose, we can be fortunate the likes of Mr Bell will return to their golf clubs and bars and there they can play out their revenge fantasies in private.

    • The_greyhound

      The impotent threats of a maundering hysteric.

      It’s little wonder that decent people regard nationalists with such utter disgust.

  • goatmince

    The really big ideas have not been publicly discussed – we wasted so much time talking about currency which, in any case, has an obvious solution screaming right at you.

    • Khambatta

      That was Alistair Darling’s campaign in a nutshell – bog the debate down in technicalities over things like currency, or dazzle folk with the inner mechanisms of Article 48/49, and bore people into believing independence has nothing to offer. (And have a compliant press impugn the character of ‘yes’ campaigners as often as possible.)

      If you get the chance to attend events by / read up on National Collective, Women for Independence, the RIC, or Bella Caledonia, you’ll find lots of people discussing the things you talk about. The Reid Foundation and the Common Weal have a library of high-brow economics & technical papers too, if you prefer that to social issues.

      • goatmince

        Very good! So what we must conclude, again, is that the English press landscape is in a dire state, afraid to discuss what actually matters. We must include the national TV broadcaster in this.

        • Khambatta

          I wouldn’t say it’s so much that they’re afraid to discuss what matters; it’s more that they’ve refused to take any kind of balanced approach. The BBC are as bad as the papers. Watch the “What’s in it for me” program they broadcast on BBC 2. You’ll see lots of scrutiny over independence, but rarely do they ask why we should vote ‘no’.
          We’re being offered a choice of two futures. The Yes campaign have set out their proposals. What are Better Together’s proposals? What’s their vision & why should I choose it?

          • goatmince

            Correct. ‘There is no vision’ has been my line since day one.

            The facts are that moving forward the changes encampsulated in a new approach outweigh what we already have. I doubt there will be enough clever folk to grasp that.

          • The_greyhound

            “The Yes campaign have set out their proposals”

            Another lie.

            The SNP can’t explain the currency situation, refuses to acknowledge the huge issues surrounding negotiating re-entry to the European union, and hasn’t explained how it will balance a rising budget deficit, increase public spending and cut taxes on businesses all at the same time.

            A load of motherhood and apple pie statements aren’t “proposals” – just aural wallpaper. Try to connect with the real world, and stop repeating infantile slogans.

      • The_greyhound

        “bog the debate down in technicalities over things like currency”

        possibly the most moronic comment ever made in these pages. And the wee nats have been in keen competition with each other for that accolade for months.

        It’s a fundamental issue, and it’s one to which the poison dwarf and the other assemblages of onanistic halfwits you cite have no answer.

        Or perhaps you would like to dance us the answer to the problem of having no lender of last resort?

        • Khambatta

          Hasn’t anyone told you it’s the ‘yes’ campaigners that are supposed to be uncouth?

          • The_greyhound

            They are, and because it’s the only language you understand, I have learned to speak it. Or are going to whinge about the tone of the “debate” that your ranting lying little friends did so much to lower?

            Perhaps you suppose the SNP’s trolls entitled to a courtesy you never extend to anyone else?

  • Pat Lee

    Alex all the squirming in the world won’t forgive the derision and contempt you have shown the Scottish people and country. Prepare to receive your P45. After this Election the “People’s Voice” will be mobilising against those who stood against this nation.
    You will no longer be able to feed from our living carcass. A proper job will be out there for you but, the difference will be you will have to find it. Not an easy task. There will be a few of you going for the same jobs, then you will understand why this nation chose Independence, your corrupt estate will take a little longer to catch up.
    LIFE’S A BITCH.

    • The_greyhound

      We must assume the alex you are addressing is the poisonous little liar who leads the SNP, at least until the 19th September.

  • Francis Albert Sinatra

    Mahatma Gandhi in his quest for India’s freedom from Britain. “First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win”. Maybe George Washington had similar feelings.

  • justejudexultionis

    Tha mi toilichte gum bidh Alba saor am bliadhna.
    SAOR ALBA 2014
    (That’s a YES for all those of your who are limited by the fact that you only speak English)

    • Monro

      A HOINA HIVI PLISJ IMMI
      (That’s a pub Scottish YES PLEASE for all those of your who are limited)

    • The_greyhound

      We’re always grateful for your little lessons in the Irish language. Even if they have no bearing on the price of fish.

  • benbecula

    I’ve seen enough debates in this indyref to last a lifetime and the focus is so narrow it seems like someone has hit the repeat button. According to survey’s the top three concerns are the economy, followed by currency and border control/immigration. The third item has NEVER been discussed and the first two are thrashed to death. How many immigrants will they bring in, where from and how will it affect public services, social cohesion, our young peoples prospects. How will it help to redress the young : old population ratio when two major reports have shown importing immigrants cannot solve the “problem” – and why is it Japan and Korea with their even older population, don’t feel the need to import any immigrants. Many questions, but no answers because the politicians on both sides -and the likes of Massie and his media chums – have come to an agreement never to allow debate on the subject. Massie might be proud of the referendum engagement but the people are being kept in the dark. If the public new the scale of the tsunami coming their way, I believe they would vote NO.

    According to my own research Salmond’s talking about adding 0.5 % of the population annually with non EU immigrants and talks about +1 m in the medium term. He doesn’t even count the east European immigrants or mention the thousands coming in via the family reunion cases. According to the last census 78% of the people self described themselves as Scottish , down from 95% so the situation is already precarious. The people simply don’t know the blizzard coming their way if vote is YES.

    • Khambatta

      Compared with the current rate of immigration, we’re talking about an extra 2000 people per year – hardly a “tsunami”. We could achieve that simply by encouraging our own young people to stay.

      • Monro

        Your young people, the bright, capable ones, are already leaving in droves, have been for some time, as, in fairness, they have from other outlying parts of the UK. That is why the population of Scotland is rapidly ageing. You will never be able to encourage those to stay without small government and deregulation, low taxes.

        Westminster government may be dire but the standard of debate in the Scottish Assembly is execrable, a major turn off, so that exacerbates emigration in Scotland.
        Post independence, personal taxes will rise but corporation tax will fall, a politically toxic mix.
        Regulation will increase.

        Immigration is set to rise by a minimum of 70,000 per annum:

        ‘I was called to the Scottish Affairs Committee at Westminster to give evidence. The most interesting issue that we discussed was the level of net migration into Scotland that we would need to see in order to eliminate the cost differences that are projected between Scotland and the UK, and eliminating the costs of an ageing population……….an increase in immigration of 68,000[1] per annum (about +80%) on top of the ONS 2012 Principle Projection immigration flows. This level of immigration may or may not be politically feasible’

        http://www.futureukandscotland.ac.uk/blog/ageing-population-problem

        Sounds great, or not really? Pop over to Eire. That’s the future that Scotland is looking at.

  • It’s not about ‘Yes’ versus ‘No’. It’s about socialism versus classical liberalism.

    What sort of change do you have in mind, Alex? Be careful what you wish for. Oh: and may you not live in ‘interesting’ times. They’re generally not worth it.

  • What do I think of Carswell’s defection to UKIP (since you asked?). I think it’s great. Talent goes where it’s recognized and political virtue gets a leg up. Everyone wins. Except Cameron. Too bad.

  • El_minero

    At last someone seeks the common threads between Scottish independence and UKIP. The Scots will probably vote for independence albeit by a narrow margin and UKIP will romp home in Clacton on a big protest vote. The London Elite from Cameron to Milibrand may then start to wonder why – there’s been little interest in Scotland so far.

    People throughout the UK are becoming increasingly more angry at the way this country is run – not enough jobs, lack of affordable housing, utility bills and council taxes going through the roof, poor public transport…add a third thing as well, why the attraction to Jihadism by so many Asian youths despite its senseless brutality?

    Compare this to the increasing wealth gap with the London elite on one side and most of us on the other. No wonder the Scots want to leave the whole sorry mess.

    Of course, voting for Salmond or Farage is no panacea, and won’t get us out of the mess. The Scots may even end up in worse one. But if the whole thing starts a good look at the rest of the UK and some serious debate as Scotland has gone though, and even prompt some reforms, then some good may yet come out of it – for all of us in the British Isles.

  • Hegelguy

    Is there no one here to speak up for large societies and large nations…..to warn that most human greatness has been owed to large societies and that people dwindle into littleness in little places.

    Most of the great writers and thinkers of the world came from big societies, great metropolises, large nations, great empires.

    It is when many people are together in one state that great history is made. Even when writers belong to small principalities – like Rousseau, the Citizen of Geneva and Goethe the Prime Minister of Weimar – their work is about large societies.

    Orson Welles has a famous quotation in the film The Third Man:

    ”In Italy for thirty years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, bloodshed—but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love, 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.”

    And then there is the sheer, dangerous matter of POWER. If, as the Guardian little minds and little people want, big nations break up, we would have no one left to stand up to the few big nations that survive. We would have no defence against the great world corporations. Everything will become municipal and small scale and petty, and no money for anything big. No world scale humanitarian concern could be addressed because we would be a bunch of small nations with no means to tackle world scale problems.

    Is this what we want…..

  • The_greyhound

    There’s a carefully cultivated illusion that the SNP enjoys mass support. The polls may well be overstating their popularity – the hard evidence of actual ballots in Scotland over the last few years belies them. People will be surprised by just how small a group the nationalists are, and by their steadily declining electoral fortunes.

    At the General Election in 2010 the SNP polled just 491,386 votes.

    In the devolved parliament election of 2011 the SNP polled just short of 903,000 out of an electorate of over 3.9 millions. Even with the record low turnout Unionists outpolled the nationalists and it was only the vagaries of the convoluted voting system that handed salmond an absolute majority at Holyrood. This was the SNP’s best ever showing, and support for them has declined ever since.

    There have only been three by elections to the Scottish Parliament since 2011, but each has seen massive falls in support for the SNP. At Aberdeen Donside in June 2013 the SNP vote down 33.6%; at Dunfermline in October 2013 the SNP vote down by 32.7% with labour regaining the seat; and at Cowdenbeath in January 2014 the SNP vote down 46.6%

    The European Parliament Election in May 2014 was a bitter disappointment for the nationalists, with the SNP securing just 389,503 votes. Salmond had “staked his reputation” on the outcome, and promised the nationalists a third seat in the European Parliament. Actually UKIP took that seat. And the SNP were less than 160,000 votes ahead of the Tories.

    No doubt the usual SNP trolls will squeal their anguished outrage, but facts are facts, and they’ll not be able to rebut a single statement. salmond has a mountain to climb. I leave others to savour the incongruity of that image.

  • jmckba

    My family have always been labour voters and in the scottish referendum we will all be voting YES for a better fairer scotland for the scottish people. We are not nationalists and we will probably vote labour in an independant scotland. Independence is not a party vote but a vote for the scottish people to run their own affairs.

    • The_greyhound

      You support the SNP, and pretend not to be a nationalist. Are you ashamed of the company you keep? Do realise the damage you are dong Scotland by supporting the personal vanity project of salmond, or do you just not care?

  • Lamby

    If we all sort the view that dividing nations, because there are small differences regionally is just madness! Utter madness. The regional differences in all four corners of this great nation is what makes it great. If were to follow the nationalist view on here the whole world would be at war, fragmented, broken and constant fear and hatred would haunt each one of us. Unity brings peace, tolerance creates friendships and shared potential brings rich rewards. I fully support Scotland creating more devolution but to sever the country in two will just breed hatred and revenge that could last for generations.

  • davidofkent

    Actually, the relationship between England and Scotland will never be the same again. This is what Alex Salmond has achieved.

  • Richard

    Churchill did warn that after the Empire ended, Britain would be reduced to a collection of squabbling tribes. And that was before the advent of Labour’s mass-immigration policies. Amazing that countries like Germany, composed of disparate parts, or France, can work together, but the UK seemingly cannot, at least not harmoniously. More than anything it shows how primitive we really are.

  • Augustus

    “In Scotland now, just for a moment, the future is infinite.”

    And the world beyond its shores is beginning to grasp that a ‘Yes’ vote would be an astonishing act of self-harm. Not even to mention that, now that those divisions and anger have become so apparent in Scotland, a ‘No’ vote clearly won’t mean business as usual. ‘Conviction politics’ may have returned, but unnecessary uncertainty and confusion certainly has.

  • ohforheavensake

    Thanks: good article.

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