Politics

A Scottish revolution is coming, and everyone’s losing their heads

It seems that nothing will dent the SNP’s appeal – not even the fact that the Tories are counting on them

11 April 2015

9:00 AM

11 April 2015

9:00 AM

Normally, if a candidate whose party came fourth in a constituency last time tells you they’re going to win, you put it down to election derangement syndrome. But in post-referendum Scotland the normal political rules don’t apply. When Joanna Cherry, the SNP candidate for Edinburgh South West, says she’s headed for Westminster — despite the SNP picking up just 12 per cent of the vote here in 2010 — she is probably right.

Walking round with Cherry as her team cheerfully canvasses in the early evening sunshine, you can’t help but be struck by how prosperous the constituency is. If it were anywhere in England, you wouldn’t bother to ask which way it voted: you’d know it was Tory. For almost a quarter of a century, it was represented by Sir Malcolm Rifkind. Last time its voters returned Alistair Darling to Westminster. But this genteel part of Britain’s most middle-class city seems to have succumbed to the SNP surge.

Lord Ashcroft’s constituency poll puts Ms Cherry, a respected QC, on course for a 13-point victory. Even in this ‘no’-supporting seat, 38 per cent of voters backed independence. If the bulk of those do come out for Cherry, while the Unionist vote splits between Labour and the Tories, she’ll be part of a band of 30 to 40 or more SNP MPs who’ll be heading to Westminster on 8 May. The one thing that might have held back the SNP tide — a popular local incumbent — isn’t there. After leading the Better Together campaign, many thought Alistair Darling would return to the Labour front bench. Instead, he’s one of the many Scottish MPs who have chosen to retire rather than fight the nationalists again.

The SNP has the resources to mobilise its ‘45 per cent’. With more than 100,000 members, it has enough activists to run an old-fashioned canvassing and get-out-the-vote operation. In another political throwback, it also has a popular leader: 62 per cent of Scots think Nicola Sturgeon, who is a far less divisive figure than her predecessor Alex Salmond was, is doing a good job as First Minister. Voters talk about ‘Nicola’ with almost proprietorial pride. She is an authentically working-class girl made good — she was the first in her family to go to university — and her story seems to resonate with people here.

At the last election, Scotland was Labour’s silver lining; there was actually a swing to Labour here, even though the SNP went on to win a majority at Holyrood the following year. But the referendum appears to have collapsed the difference in voters’ minds between UK and Scottish elections. They seem to be treating this general election the same way they would a Scottish Parliament one.


One estimate has Labour losing 28 of its 40 seats to the SNP. People on both sides find these numbers hard to believe. One Labour candidate told me that the polls just don’t tally with what he’s hearing on the doorstep. Privately, senior SNP figures admit that they’d be satisfied with a gain of 30 seats in total: that would still mean they held the majority of seats in Scotland.

What is most alarming for their opponents is that nothing seems to hurt the SNP. The collapse in the oil price has demolished the economic case for independence; this fact barely registers in Scottish political debate. The nationalists’ poor record in government (neither health nor education are better as a result of rule from Edinburgh) also bounces off. As even senior Labour figures now admit, New Labour’s devolution model has a fatal flaw: it allows the Scottish government to blame Westminster for every failing.

The question now — for Scotland and the rest of Britain — is what this boatload of SNP MPs will do at Westminster if they hold the balance of power. Nicola Sturgeon has repeatedly declared that she’ll never put the Tories in. But she is also clear that Labour will have to pay for nationalist support. She claims that she would make Labour increase spending, not cut it. Labour counters that if Sturgeon won’t back their opponents, then she has no bargaining power.

Last week, a Scottish Office memo was leaked which said that Sturgeon, contrary to all her public protestations, had told the French ambassador she would prefer Cameron to Miliband as Prime Minister. You can see why she would: a Tory government committed to an EU referendum would make it much easier for the SNP to hold another referendum of its own.

Sturgeon has denied the story, saying the leak summed up what was wrong with Westminster. Such is her personal authority that in the Scottish television debate on Tuesday none of the other leaders dared mention it. But there’s still no convincing answer to the question of what the SNP would do if Labour, despite not having a majority, simply refused to deal with them. Are there any circumstances in which the SNP would vote down a minority Labour government?

The Scottish situation makes it almost impossible for Ed Miliband to win a majority; if he is to govern, he will almost certainly have to rely on nationalist support. This thrills the SNP, who boast that they will keep Labour ‘honest’ — in other words, stop it from behaving in the centrist, reformist way that New Labour did. While this might appeal to disillusioned former Labour voters in Scotland, it has the power to alarm swing voters in England; the Tory campaign is counting on that. Hence the perverse situation where the Tories and the SNP seem to need each other — they benefit from each other’s seemingly antagonistic rhetoric.

If the SNP do win a majority of Scottish seats, it will have a profound effect on British politics. A nationalist party will be able to claim with some justification to speak for Scotland at Westminster, and will use every tool at its disposal to make the case for independence. That could prove far more important to the future of Britain than who is Prime Minister after 7 May.

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  • – “Such is her personal authority that in the Scottish television debate on Tuesday none of the other leaders dared mention it.”

    Wrong. The reason the other leaders cannot use it is because all 3 involved parties have categorically stated that the story is untrue:
    a) the First Minister
    b) the French Ambassador in London
    c) the French Consul-General in Edinburgh

    • James Cleghorn

      When has the truth ever mattered?

      • Sittyton

        When the electorate overwhelmingly believe the story to be untrue and therefore if any of the panel were to mention it it would backfire. Carmichael and Mundell run The Scottish Office: enough said.

      • BigRed

        The only one that ever tells the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is Nigel Farage.
        Which is the main reason why the establishment hate him. He continuously highlights their lies by telling the truth.
        Take the NHS for example, spending billions on immigrants while our British people are dying because the NHS can’t supply the necessary drugs. That is truth – why!
        Ignoring this one day it could cost you your life, while the necessary drugs may be denied to you because the available funds are being used up by immigrants who come to the UK to treat their ailments, what ever they are.

        • Alex Gordon

          Could you justify the statement about billions being paid to look after immigrants with some stats or Facts?

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            They can’t because it is a lie. They are liars.

          • Bertie

            Well we know Health tourism costs our NHS AT LEAST £500m per year, minimum

            And that’s bound to be only the tip of the iceberg.

            http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/patients-must-show-passport-to-use-nhs-or-pay-1000s-for-care-in-heath-tourism-crackdown-10172027.html

          • Alex Gordon

            £500 million is not Billions as you said…
            Why is it “bound to be the tip of the iceberg”? I asked for facts not assertions…

          • Bertie

            Why is it “bound to be the tip of the iceberg”?”

            Because obviously

            1) It’s understated – because if the true cost was known, and why so many are having to go without due to scarcity of resources they’d be uproar.

            2) It only relates to HEALTH TOURISM

            ie It DOESN’T INCLUDE all the other areas where costs are involved.Clearly.I thought you’d realise that

            Ever wondered by the Country seems to be spending more and more yet the indigenous population are generally not breeding anywhere near as significantly as new migrants,and that many are emigrating or dying…

            Net Migration is 225-275,000 per year made up of 200,000 indigenous Brits leaving, and 425-475,000 non Brits arriving, of mainly YOUNGER so called worker, or contributors to the economy as they’re mostly claimed to be. This also is a FACT

            How come the country’s finances continue to deteriorate with more and more money required for the NHS (Where does it all go) and Welfare/Social Security continuing to surge. *Not an assertion but another fact!

            You have Eastern Europeans, unemployed, who return back to Poland/Czech but STILL expect to receive their child benefit/child tax credit because they are not working. **This is a FACT

            Ludicrous. Do you think the UK taxpayer can afford all this.

            “I asked for facts not assertions…”

            Let me know where you can find them because most of these externalities are not costed in any CBA, it only focuses on the basic parameters -FACT

            They look at tax revenue, and amount of welfare received,and conclude that they’re a marginal net benefit.But this fails to take into account everything else that they don’t pay for.

          • Alex Gordon

            “Let me know where you can find them because most You have built a case on your prejudice on your bigotry and the presented it as gospel. How wonderfully appropriate your avatar is…of these externalities are not costed in any CBA, it only focuses on the basic parameters -FACT”
            So you don’t actually have any facts which is what your verbal diarrhoea basically amounts to?

          • Bertie

            I’ve given you facts.What bigotry are you talking about?

            “Minority ethnic workers in UK twice as likely to be unemployed as whites”

            http://www.theguardian.com/society/2014/jan/08/minority-ethnic-workers-more-often-unemployed

            Significant proportion of Bangladeshis dont speak or write English.So cant communicate.So clearly find getting a job tough!!!!! Not rocket science.

            NOTE – FACT according to the DWP
            “DWP figures show jobless rate of 45% for young black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi workers ”

            “How wonderfully appropriate your avatar is…of these externalities are not costed in any CBA, it only focuses on the basic parameters -FACT””

            Well it’s pretty obvious to anyone with a brain that if they are marginally of net benefit in pure terms of tax revenue raised vs Welfare(Income top up, Housing benefit,Child tax credit/Child benefit) then it’s obvious they pay sweet FA into the pot for Roads, Defence, National infrastructure, Schooling , etc etc Who do you think pays for all those?

          • Alex Gordon

            So your argument appears to be “British society Racist towards BME population”? Well I’ll agree with you there…
            BTW, brevity is the soul of wit!

          • Bertie

            Eh – my argument is “IF you don’t speak the native language,English, don’t expect to be given a job”

            There’s nothing racist about that at all. I’d expect similar in their country

            You erroneously claimed my comment viz Pakistanis/Bangladeshis was based in bigotry – so I provided you with FACTS, linked form a left wing newspaper which makes it even more credible(and you cant complain its a right wing paper lying)

            Tough luck…

            “So your argument appears to be “British society Racist towards BME population”?”

            Might want to concentrate on the facts rather than lying and claiming I said something I clearly didnt….

          • Alex Gordon

            My native language is Gaelic as it was my prents, grandparents and great grandparents.
            Why give your German dialect preference to my native language?
            British society is inherently racist…

          • Bertie

            “My native language is Gaelic as it was my parents, grandparents and great grandparents. Why give your German dialect preference to my native language?”

            Possibly because yours is dying out and no longer recognised, or spoken , both in the UK and around the world? English is the language of International commerce.
            If history had worked out differently perhaps Gaelic would have been the dominant one – but that’s history for you.

            eg Gaelic is a national language – the signs are everywhere. Shame the same cannot be said of its speakers.

            http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2010/dec/11/ian-jack-saddened-by-scotland-going-gaelic

            You’re perfectly entitled to learn and speak it – who’s stopping you?

            British society is inherently racist…

            So is every society to strangers or those that don’t conform / integrate. It’s not just peculiar to Britain – Chinese just as bad, as are Koreans or Japanese. But I bet you’ve never lived in any of those countries…

        • Leigh Douglas

          That’s funny, the last time I checked the figures, immigrants actually put more into the economy than they take out. And for every 1 migrant on welfare, there are 5 British migrants on welfare in Germany for example. Immigration helped build this countries economy.

          • Callipygian

            And so you want a version of Communism, else why sport Ernesto Guevara? He was a filthy killer: you know that, don’t you?

            This is the problem with Scottish independence. It’s not the independence that’s really the problem, it’s the irresponsibility of Leftism.

          • chasdf

            England was a very homogenous nation from 1066 to WW2. so the very small scale immigration before that may have helped, but made little difference in the long run.

          • Bertie

            “That’s funny, the last time I checked the figures, immigrants actually put more into the economy than they take out”

            Really what figures would they be – not the ones that assess tax revenue vs welfare withdrawals which has immigrants marginally ahead. Big elephant in the room being that this CBA utterly ignores any contribution to drains on roads, schooling, NHS,Housing,Congestion,Pollution, etc etc

            ie If you take into account ALL the externalities associated with large immigration you’ll find the outcome is , overwhelmingly, a big fat negative when all is taken into account. These latter issues are conveniently ignored in any Cost Benefit analysis. Resources are scarce, – the more people there are drawing on them,the less there is for everyone to go around.

            “And for every 1 migrant on welfare, there are 5 British migrants on welfare in Germany for example.”

            I didnt realise the British migrant on welfare was so large in Germany.Just how many unemployed Brits are there living over there?

          • Alex Gordon

            Frome the Telegraph:

            “One, a 28-year-old computer science graduate from Birmingham, worked for an IT firm in Berlin for two months before losing his job and claimed €560 (3474) a month for six months.

            He said: “It’s quite amazing that you can live here as a foreigner and claim benefits.

            “In Britain I had to put up with patronising officials, some of whom tried to get me to accept a job as a cleaner despite my degree.”

            He added: “I much preferred the German system because once you get on it, the money comes in regularly and there is no more hassle.”
            1 in 10 Britons in Germany are on benefits.

            Matt Johnson, 25, a musician from London, and his girlfriend use handouts to boost their income in Berlin.

            “It sounds wrong to get on the dole for that reason but our generation has had it much worse than that of our parents,” Mr Johnson said.”

          • Bertie

            I asked

            Just how many unemployed Brits are there living over there?

            So – “1 in 10 Britons in Germany are on benefits.”

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/germany/10392257/Thousands-of-Britons-claim-dole-in-Germany.html

            Brits in Germany.
            104,175

            So 10,417 on dole.

            Minute compared to the vast numbers that come to these shores and claim the wholeshebang(and do so for 30+ years eg Tower Hamlets Bangladeshi community, Northern England Pakistani community or those that come to work in low skill labour and are therefore entitled to “Income top up/Support” as well as Housing,Child tax credit / Child tax benefit.

            As a Computer technician he’s highly unlikely to still be on the dole after a year or so. So a big issue would be the longevity that such claimants are on the dole.

            So the numbers are very much NOT in the indigenous populations favour

            “The UK claims it is funding up to 600,000 unemployed EU migrants here but that figure is disputed by the European Commission.”

            As this amply evidences. I#ll take those 10,470 odd over 600,000! And you’ll NOTE that this is only EU migration – we haven’t even considered NON EU migration where most of the sponging/health tourism happens to actually occur.

          • Alex Gordon

            As a taxpayer, I say welcome one and welcome all…

          • Bertie

            Dont you think we should be selective, welcome those with , you know, skills, who will contribute rather than drain our financially stretched country?

            As indeed the US, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong,and , surprisingly, the rest of the world do!

          • Alex Gordon

            We are the 6th Richest nation on Earth and BTW if there should be no migrants coming here, then we should repatriate those who have gone to Canada, the US, Australia et al…

          • Bertie

            It’s a money illusion this being the 6th richest nation on earth, founded as it is on National Debt of £1.4 trillion pounds.

            “BTW if there should be no migrants coming here, ”

            Who ever said that there should be no migration?

            Evidence please. Rather than attempting to smear me with a piece of selective disinformation.

          • elseybee

            Migrants are a big drain on the NHS?! If it wasn’t for migrants there wouldn’t be an NHS!!!

          • Bertie

            Yes they are a big drain on the NHS – some are also a big help to the NHS (eg Philippinos)

            What is indisputable however is the NHS is too expensive in its current form, is often failing to look after the indigenous population – the problem obviously being “Too many poeople” in this country, putting a demand on the scarce resources of the NHS, which in turn necessitates more hirings from overseas…rinse and repeat.

            It’s very much a post code lottery – for example, where I went for Ophtalmology checkups I was one of three white people out of 35+ – and this ratio didnt change whether I went to the hospital at 9am, midday, 3pm, mon to friday…

            Hence my comment that migrants (and health tourism is rife we all know) are causing serious imbalances….

            People seem to forget that the UK infrastructure was built to cater for 50-55million only – we are well passed that at 65 million. The problems will only worsen – congestion, less treatment at NHS for all of us , crowding at schools..etc etc.

            Few however considered these important exrternalities

            The facts are without all this health tourism, all the years of migrants, the freedom of population movement in the EU, with a lot lower population the NHS would be fine without “All those migrants”

            “If it wasn’t for migrants there wouldn’t be an NHS!!!”

            Simply over exaggerating there. They do make some impact,but its only because of the unfettered migration over the last 20 years that they are now needed.

        • Paul Veverka

          UKIP disgusts me in all aspects. May will see the end of the 1 sole politician in Scotland. (thank god)

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            Yes.UKIP is utterly disgusting. These vomit inducing neanderthals must be opposed at every twist and turn. Vulgar, uneducated,knuckledraggers all.

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          Healthcare should never be based on birth location.Dimwit.

          • Bertie

            No, it should be based on Birth Location and WHETHER you’ve PAID ANYTHING into the POT..

            If you think the NHS can afford to be the health service to the rest of the world, as well as providing suitable treatment to the indigenous population, then you’re a crack pot.

            There isnt enough money.

      • Oliver_Haddo

        Only when you can handle it. The English are in denial on the topic of Scotland because truth is their deepest primal fear is to be reduced to their own borders without the add-ons that make them (at leaast in their own eyes)… “Great.”

        England historically has been tyrannical in its military/political incursions in Scotland and Ireland and the so-called “united” kingdom that has ensued has never been regarded as such by a good number of Scots… a perspective increasingly shared by those now waking up.

        N. Ireland should put the boot to the artificial Unionist ties that have supported nothing but jingoistic flag waving, ethnic/religious elitism and oppression of the nationalist people through recent history and integrate as an island nation. The Scots should believe in themselves because they still are “a people” in both an indigenous and cultural sense… in ways that the English are rapidly ceasing to be… and raise it to the level of political will and self-determination.

        England is rapidly becoming a failed experiment in certain key regards. Scotland and N. Ireland should take it to the next level and stake out their own political destinies.

        • Gerschwin

          Fuckwit.

          • Oliver_Haddo

            Just had an amusing five minutes scanning the deep thoughts on your disqus thread. Rage-filled ignoramuses – a demographic that seems to be growing exponentially in England – is another reason to bale.

          • Gerschwin

            What a vacuous little existence you have if that’s what you do in your spare time. Masturbation and reading my comments, you’re a freak!

          • Oliver_Haddo

            A child also… moving on.

          • Gerschwin

            Run out of issue paper?

        • Cyril Sneer

          This guy is still bitter over Culloden.

          I personally can’t wait for the Scots to leave the union.

          • BLMac

            I share your sentiment. The sooner we can get out the better.
            I would like to point out that Culloden was the end of a civil war, not a Scots v English affair.
            Most Scots fought for the British govt in the Jacobite Rebellion. The last thing many wanted was more Stuart rule.

        • TC

          Interesting narrative you have constructed but it exists almost entirely just in your own head.

        • Bertie

          “Only when you can handle it. The English are in denial on the topic of
          Scotland because truth is their deepest primal fear is to be reduced to
          their own borders without the add-ons that help to make them (at least
          in their own eyes)… “Great.””

          Au contraire, plenty of us English want to send you Sweaties home t’think again…

          We’d be better off without each other. The Union has served its purpose and is no longer worth saving frankly given the immense ingratitude of most Scots, Welsh and it’s time Ireland was united.

          England have simply had enough

    • Paul Veverka

      well said

  • Sittyton

    You don’t explain the headline ‘everyone is losing their heads’. You just seem to be unhappy with consequences that you agree are likely. Tough.

  • Alin Scot

    An interesting article and I may be wrong but I do not think it has been written from a Scottish perspective, which is why metropolitan observers are confounded.

    It is stated that the SNP’s poor record in government does not harm their case. This is the first error. Most people in Scotland on all sides of the independence divide, and after 8 years in government, see the SNP government as a competent administration. The NHS is every bit as good as in England but of course suffers from the same cuts and problems as elsewhere in the UK and education is not terrible and there have been attempts to improve things and this is ongoing. Certainly things are no worse than under the previous Labour/Libdem coalition at Holyrood.

    Having been elected firstly as a minority administration, the SNP were rewarded by voters with a majority administration. After 8 years in charge, one would think they would be in the doldrums but no, they are even more popular than ever and have risen to being the 3rd largest party in the UK by membership and it is not inconceivable that position could be improved.

    Paradoxically, if the SNP were to give up on independence they would probably sweep the board in Scotland and may indeed prove popular south of the border.

    The UK media is actually quite insular and what is going on in Scotland has not been accurately reported in England, even distorted. This is why Nicola Sturgeon’s appearance in the leaders debate went so well – it was news.

    • Paul Veverka

      I think the NHS in Scotland is excellent. I can’t recall having to wait more than 15 minutes in any waiting room and enjoy the free prescriptions and access to drugs that are currently denied South of the border. SNP have massively delivered on health in Scotland , not just in all the new hospitals but banning parking charges in the grounds too. It is now also illegal in Scotland to smoke not just in the hospital, but anywhere in their carparks or boundaries too.

      • Mike Evans

        Actually, while the majority of your post is spot on, it is not actually illegal to smoke in NHS Scotland car parks or grounds. A “ban” was introduced by NHS Scotland but it was admitted at the time that it was not legally enforceable.

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          Still don’t eat veg’ though, do they?

      • Gerschwin

        Illegal to smoke in a car park. Wow! I think the Romans conquered Europe with such vision.

        • Steve Bowers

          We don’t want to conquer anything, we’re perfectly happy just being us, it’s more than enough, that is that basic difference between you and I

        • BLMac

          Seems reasonable to me. They’re trying to stop addicted idiots killing themselves slowly in hospital grounds.

      • chasdf

        You mean the Barnett formula has delivered massively for Scotland.

        • uglyfatbloke

          Barnett excludes so many parts of public spending that it does n’t really provide a useful insight…which is, I suppose, why all the politicians like it.

    • Gerschwin

      So basically they’ve done a wonderful job except for the things they didn’t do wonderfully on which is all the fault of Westminster (sic the English). I get it. Easy.

      • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

        Rambling incoherent twaddle. Very helpful……not.

  • BigRed

    What I really cannot understand from a purely ‘unpersonal’ view. Why do the Scots (48%) of them want independence from UK but want to become a tiny province of the EU (the Fourth Reich).
    It simply doesn’t make sense.
    Vote UKIP for common sense.
    Vote Labour get SNP.
    Vote Cameron get more lies.
    Vote ConLibLab get Angela Merkel (Good grief – why would anyone want that?)
    Vote Farage for Common sense, truth and honesty. These three attributes are not shared by many in Westminster and even less so the the EU parliament.

    • The Bogle

      1) Indeed, independence from the UK but not true independence since membership of the EU involves the surrender of national sovereignty. All Scotland could aspire to would be, to paraphrase a former First Minister, Jack McConnell, to be “the best wee region in the EU”.

      2) One reason for voting Conservative is to secure a referendum on our EU membership. However, Cameron has chosen 2017, the year when the UK will hold the Presidency of the EU. One can imagine how our role will be bigged up and how Big Business directly and Brussels indirectly will fund the Stay In campaign.

      3) Given that a not-overwhelming percentage of the people of Scotland (i.e. not the Scots) voted no to independence in September’s referendum and thereby indicated that they wished Scotland to remain part of the Union, why is support for the SNP still so high? Is it simply disgust at Labour complacency or the belief that a strong SNP representation at Westminster can squeeze more concessions from the government in power who will not want Scotland to leave. The problem is that Nicola Sturgeon and Jim Murphy with his talk of a tax on London homes for nurses in Scotland are creating an antipathy towards Scotland in the rest of the UK.

      Perhaps Private Frazer was right: “We’re a’ doomed!”

      • hatfinch

        “why is support for the SNP still so high?”

        Because nothing’s changed: we’re still fed up with the Westminster stitch-up. Maybe you’re right and one day we’ll end up fed up with the Brussels stitch-up, but right now that’s the lesser of two evils.

    • Paul Veverka

      “Vote UKIP for common sense”

      surely a contradiction?

      • Wessex Man

        I bet you were slaving over that one all night.

  • JSC

    I don’t see how the UK having a referendum on the EU and voting to leave in any way gives Scotland grounds for having its own separate one. They soundly lost the Indy referendum which means they’re part of the UK and have to abide by the result even if the Natz don’t like it. There’s nothing in the law or past treaties which says they’d be entitled to one, they certainly could vote for one after that fact, but that’s a different matter altogether.

    • SNP UPRISING

      A typical BRITNATZ view…….. Utter tripe.

      • JSC

        OK my great and enlightened Scottish Übermensch, please quote me the law that would allow you to have a separate Scots only referendum on membership of the EU if the UK votes to leave. Last time I checked laws regarding the constitution of the UK and its foreign policies have not been devolved to Hollyrood; thinking that you’d get a separate vote is pure haggis in the sky. Truly the egos of the natz knows no bounds, but please do attempt to keep at least one foot on the floor. .

        • SNP UPRISING

          It really doesn’t matter what BRITNATZ like you think about the ,non-existent, UK constitution.

          The people of Scotland, and no one else, will determine if and when we have Indyref 2, and if it is a YES then the UK will need to accept it.

          If the UK fail to accept it, then they will be international outcasts.

          • JSC

            Lol, yep, that was the answer I was expecting.

            So what you going to do if the UK refuses to accept a yes vote, just like you’ve refused to accept the no vote? Shall we go best of three? Seems only fair…

          • SNP UPRISING

            What happens is that we declare Scotland independent ….. End of.

          • JSC

            Good luck with that.

          • Doninwindsor

            Good riddance.

          • Ooh!MePurse!

            End of Scotland.

          • Wessex Man

            End of English taxes flowing over the border, ah bliss.

          • uglyfatbloke

            Start of English taxes flowing over the border, oooh I wish.

          • Ooh!MePurse!

            Your understanding of constitutional law and convention is very poor.

          • chasdf

            Please vote yes and go. in England that is all we wish for.

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            We are really so very keen for the whingeing Jocks to just leave. GO

        • BLMac

          It is our sovereign right. We are not English where the sovereignty resides in the crown, in Scotland the sovereignty lies in the people. Hence the Queen is queen of England, but queen of Scots.
          You can check it out for yourself. We have our own legal system.

          • Wessex Man

            yes very good and your point is?

          • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

            A constitution nerd without anything of value to add.

      • Wessex Man

        a typical Cybernat nutjob’s reply.

    • Andy Ellis

      A differential result in Scotland and the rest of the UK in a brexit referendum plays into the hands of the SNP & pro-indy campaigners. The Scots, unlike the rest of the UK, are narrowly in favour of the EU; they will not take kindly to being told they are obliged to leave because little Englanders have voted to do so.

      Indyref2 is simply a matter of time; the SNP are about to do to the clueless “Scottish” Labour party branch office what they did to the Tories. Even if the UK Labour party are stupid enough (yeah, we know..they ARE that stupid…) to refuse to co-operate with the SNP, it is unlikely to matter to the SNP. The situation is win-win for them. If Britnats are seen to gang up on them to exclude them from any influence at Westminster, it will increase their support. If they make Labour dance to their tune, stop Trident renewal and are seen to protect Scottish interests, it will increase their support.

      The next referendum happens when Scots voters decide it will. The SNP aren’t stupid; they will bring it about when they are confident of victory; given current trends, that’s likely to be a whole lot sooner than most of us thought. Independence isn’t in Westminster’s gift, or something they graciously “allow” us to vote on; it’s a fundamental right. The people are sovereign in Scotland, not parliament. If Westminster tries to block another referendum, Holyrood simply calls a plebiscitary vote, or declares that a majority of the population voting for pro-independence in Holyrood or Westminster will be an automatic trigger for independence.

    • Leigh Douglas

      Em of course it gives Scotland grounds to hold another referendum. If the entire UK is pulled out of the EU by English votes (which is most likely be the scenario) and yet Scotland, by majority, voted to stay in the EU, then it is completely unacceptable, undemocratic and morally wrong for this result to come about. If the EU referendum happens, then the constitutional crisis will dwarf the one during the independence referendum (if you believe there was a crisis that is). Now you’re right, there is no legal framework for what you say, but Westminster can create a stipulation that requires a majority vote to leave the EU in every nation of the UK. That is entirely fair and proper.

      • Callipygian

        Your avatar is disgusting. And I don’t mean the Yes button.

        • ちんこまん

          Yours ain’t so hot either, cupcake.

          • Callipygian

            Possibly because I’m not actually a cupcake, Weirdo.

          • ちんこまん

            Well there goes my weekend.

    • hatfinch

      A large part of the case for remaining in the union was based on fears of Scotland being unable to continue its EU membership as an independent country.

    • David Hunter

      When a majority of Scots don’t want to leave, and if we voted that way, it would be perfectly democratic of us to wish another referendum on the union. Remember (because it seems to always be forgot) that we are a union of nations. Scotland is not a mere region, we are a country within a union. If that union votes to go it’s separate ways then separate ways it will go. To many a commentator on here that seems like it is wished for. So be it 🙂

  • SNP UPRISING

    Carmichael & “Fluffy” Mundell must be put on the spot regarding the leaked memo.

    They in effect ARE “The Scotland Office”, and with both their respective leaders ,Clegg & Cameron, today denying that it was their man who was responsible, then clear statements are required from Carmichael & Fluffy denying any involvement.

    Whoever is subsequently shown to be the LIAR, can then be kicked out of westminster and have CRIMINAL charges preferred in relation to the security breach.

  • Peter Arnott

    Doesn’t your observation that the Tories and the SNP “need each other” and that the labour party’s solitary “One Britain” approach is getting precisely nowhere…on either siude of the border….alert you to an inescapable truth?

  • Barry Rainey

    why do the English care if scotland want to stay in eu,ask any scot if England wants to stay in eu nato elo bfg cdo muk ,we don’t care you go your way ,then we can forget yous ever existed.

    • scotcanadien

      Well why the f.ck did you fight so hard to keep us? WE would have PREFERRED to leave.

      • Ooh!MePurse!

        I’d have preferred you to leave too. Scotland voted otherwise.

      • Gerschwin

        We didn’t. Our politicians did, think they were worried about their reputations. The rest of us had the champagne on ice and you let us down.

        • Wessex Man

          I’d like to second that opinion, you can’t rely on these Cybernat nutjobs for anything.

  • Trish McGuinness

    It’s worth remembering that JC’s constituency is not all wealthy or affluent. It takes in Wester Hailes / Sighthill / the Calders, too.

  • scotcanadien

    “The collapse in the oil price has demolished the economic case for independence”

    Do you journos have ANY brains? Yes, the oil price has collapsed at the moment but oil will still be there and being used for AT LEAST the next 100 years. Indy is FOREVER.

    • Paul Veverka

      “The collapse in the oil price has demolished the economic case for independence” – shows a clear naivety and lack of understanding of how Scotland was going to continue to prosper. Even now Camerons government refuse to put away ,invest or hedge a new oil fund which would see national debt decrease in generations time. Its all about spending oil revenue now to prop things up. Disgusting.

    • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

      Scotland has effectively been North England since 1707. It could easily be re-merged if we so decree. Scotland does not really have a say in it. England’s deep coffers and massive populace win every time.

      • fergus macerc

        i’d like that loony scenario to be tried. pmsl.

      • uglyfatbloke

        Y&B; you really should read some history.

  • scotcanadien

    “The nationalists’ poor record in government (neither health nor
    education are better as a result of rule from Edinburgh) also bounces
    off”

    That is a LIE. SNP’s record in Government during the 8 years it has Governed is FAR superior to Labour’s in Scotland over the last 80 years.

    • Paul Veverka

      i had to stop reading the article after that point. SNP have hugely delivered on health and education in Scotland. We have the best nurseries, best Schools in the UK (there are 4 state of the art schools in my area alone all less than 5 years old), half a week free childcare, no university fees, free prescriptions, no parking charges in hospitals and access to drugs on Scottish NHS that are still in trial only in England. The Scottish Health and Education system cannot be beaten in any of the UK, and its due to the fact the SNP took control of it and what gets spent in it. God forbid if privatising the NHS ever comes to Scotland.

      • chasdf

        Er yes and the Barnett formula.

    • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

      In the last 80 years Labour brought you universal healthcare and free education to age 18. SNP managed waiving the £8 fee for prescriptions incurred by 20% of people and lower tuition costs. Labour also provided nationalised rail,buses, coal, steel, docks, aviation, phones, and utilities. The Tories took these away.

  • scotcanadien

    “Labour counters that if Sturgeon won’t back their opponents, then she has no bargaining power.”

    How naive of Labour. If SNP have a barrowload of MPs there are many many ways SNP will influence Labour, AND Tories at Westminster. People who think they won’t are clearly unaware as to how things actually work in Government.

    One thing you CAN be sure of…there won’t be any Trident renewal. SNP are virulently against it as are a majority of MPs who cannot show their hand at the moment. But with the SNP giving them some backbone TRIDENT WILL BE OUT.

    Trident is not only an abomination as a weapon it is intellectually ridiculous to maintain it. WHO is it deterring from attacking us? The YANKS want us to be rid of it and to boost normal forces. Most UK military top brass think it is a folly. AND IT IS £100BN THAT COULD BE SPENT ON MORE IMPORTANT THINGS.

  • Henry Hooper

    Got an axe to grind James?,,there are so many clearly intentional distortions in this article, you should have a career change… a journalist maybe?…don’t just regurgitate the claptrap from the DT FFS.
    Firstly, oil is a bonus, Scotlands GDP per capita is 0.99 that of the UK..thats the UK with the City obviously, so the economic case for independence is far from ‘demolished’
    The Scottish Nationalist ‘poor record in government’…you’ve really lost me there mate, if there’s one thing that the vast majority of Scots fan agree on and I’m sure you’ll agree that IS something, is that the SNP have ben operating Holyrood/ Scotland as a very tight ship indeed….this is far and away the reason I am so impressed with them. Incidentally both health and education are considerably better run that in the rUK, university education still remains free, vast number of brand new schools have been opening in the last 5 year and as for health, new hospitals everywhere much reduced waiting times and if you throw in the good cost and schedule management at play for the commonwealth games, the Labour-Tory Edinburgh tram debacle (the SNP were forced to run with this), the new forth crossing, various motorway extensions…the list goes on and on.

    still stirring up lies about the memo…that was a complete fabrication and you fine well know it…you should be ashamed of yourself repeating what clearly was am attempted and failed smear on the SNP of almost exactly the same as they were on the receiving end of during the indyref.

    it’s articles like this that are the fuel that drives the SNP forwards and upwards. When our media print such twists and downright lies to smear the good governance we’ve had from the SNP for the last 8 years, you know that independence is now inevitable the arrogance of our establishment, our right wing media and their lackeys all it does it turn once pro-unionists (English background) like me into the arms of the SNP, leaving at best a bad taste in my mouth about the UK or at worst an utter hatred of what it has become…this last year as been an education for Scots,,,,and just as wee Nic said (and I paraphrase) there’s a political tsunami coming and Scots have got all the surfboards and are smiling

    • Henry Hooper

      …….and more if further evidence required:
      SNP promised and delivered.’Indyref during our next term in Parliament’
      SNP promised and delivered ‘Abolishment of tuition fees in Scotland.’
      SNP promised and delivered “Restoration of universal benefits in Scotland’
      SNP promised and delivered ‘Freezing of council tax’
      SNP promised and delivered ‘Abolishment bridge tolls in Scotland.’
      How many political parties keep their promises eh?..The SNP do!
      How many governments operate in the black?….The SNP do!

      • Ooh!MePurse!

        Abolition.

        • Paul Veverka

          abolishment is the older and correct term, but ‘abolition’ has sneaked into more common use in the English language. Both terms are correct and recognised in todays English.

      • Gerschwin

        ‘How many governments operate in the black?’ Certainly not the one’s that carry RBS debt that’s for sure!

        • fergus macerc

          RBS, like the other major banks, is a multinational business. it is immaterial where it’s headquarters are located.

          • Gerschwin

            Not if Scotland becomes independent it won’t be, it’ll be highly material, RBS Group (the holding company) is Scottish based and registered – it’s your debt. Now that’s what I call a result!

          • ailybee

            Really? Last I heard the UK government held 80% of RBS shares……..

          • Gerschwin

            Makes no diff old boy. An independent Scotland gets all RBS holding debts regardless as to who owns it as it is you that has the legal tenancy of it under international law and it is to Edinburgh the creditors will come looking. It’s just international law. Pesky little thing I know. Another one of those things the SNP lied about in the referendum. Anyhow, am not splitting hairs here on the internet, it’s your funeral frankly and I hate you people so much I’m also looking forward to it.

          • uglyfatbloke

            That is a reasonable observation – the law being the law so to speak. OTH, that would only apply to those RBS companies that have their HQ in Scotland (or arguably in the event of independence possibly the Isle of Man too) and not those which are registered in the Netherlands or Luxembourg or England.
            Of course the corollary of that is that all UK debt legally belongs to the Bank of England and – as all 3 parties told us repeatedly – an independent Scotland would have no share in that.

          • Bertie

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-29160255

            Lloyds said shifting its group tax residency from Edinburgh to London would see “no immediate changes or issues which could affect” its business.

            Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group said they would “re-domicile” their main groups south of the border if there were a Yes vote.

          • Bertie

            It’d be bigger than the entire Scottish economy..unless it’s pared down significantly.

            Scottish bank, run into the ground by a Scot. Bailed out by England.

            Gratitude of the Scots – zero.

            Next time, screw them.

          • Alex Gordon

            Bailed out by the US Federal Reserve I think you’ll find…

          • Bertie

            So how come HM Treasury had to bail out RBS and HBOS then by nationalising the former, and semi nationalising Lloyds bank after its rescue attempt sunk it as well.

            UK Taxpayer owned 80%+ RBS, and $5% odd of Lloyds – because of HBOS bailout.

            Where’s the FED bailout in all that – evidence please, not SNP rhetoric or disinformation.

          • Bertie

            It’s Scottish,and was run into the ground by a Scotsman.
            Bailed out by English taxpayer to our financial ruin.

            Of course it’s bloody relevant.

            If it wasnt for England it’d have gone bust.

          • Alex Gordon

            Again this bailed out by the English rubbish, the majority of the bailout was provided by the US Federal Reserve…

          • Bertie

            So how come the Federal Reserve didn’t hold the 80% stake in RBS, and the 45%+ stake in Lloyds then if they’d been the ones bailing out those banks…

            Eh, answers on a postcard in your own time.

            Evidence please, not some childish assertion that “bailed out by the English rubbish, the majority of the bailout was provided by the US Federal Reserve.” you seem to have repeated at least twice.

            What’s that QE of £375 billion then???? Scotch mist!!!

          • Alex Gordon
          • Bertie

            Ok, Im flicking through it now….

            My comments vis HBOS stand however.

          • Alex Gordon

            “Flicking through it”?
            FFS one does not flick through an article like that, one checks the references and looks at the source material. Where on earth did you study economics?
            As for the HBOS, you will also see that in the tables they are there also, they aren’t the subject of the article.

          • Bertie

            “FFS one does not flick through an article like that, one checks the references and looks at the source material. ”

            Why – it’s from a reliable source so I#m not going to waste my time going through referencing every piece when its clear FED didnt provide as much support otherwise they’d have ended up owning it? Obvious really.

            One only needs to flick through it to see that HM Treasury providing more financial support IN TOTAL, than the FED. Which is why the Treasury owned 87% of it, and 47% of HBOS/Lloyds(Lloyds was financially secure till it rescued HBOS)

            So where does it say that the FED gave more support?

          • Bertie

            Okay,in terms of bailout funding

            October 7, 2008

            Bank of England provides emergency liquidity assistance to Royal Bank of Scotland (Source: Bank of England).

            UK government announces bank recapitalization fund and other support measures totaling up to £500 billion

            This involved a £20 billion injection of capital into Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) in exchange for shares

            October 17, 2008

            Emergency liquidity assistance to Royal Bank of Scotland from Bank of England peaks at £36.6 billion (Source: Bank of England).

            January 19, 2009

            U.K. unveils second bank rescue plan. British government launches wide scale insurance plan to protect banks against further losses and boost lending (Source: CNN).

            January 19, 2009

            Shares in Royal Bank of Scotland collapsed today in the wake of the Government’s latest rescue bid and news that the bank is facing the worst loss in UK corporate history.

            February 26, 2009

            Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has announced the largest annual loss in UK corporate history and is to receive a further £13 billion of taxpayers’ cash (Source: BBC).

            February 26, 2009

            RBS is getting a total of up to £25.5 billion. The bank will receive £13bn once the scheme has been finalized, and also has the option to request another £6bn in the future if needed. It is also, in effect, receiving another £6.5 billion, because the Treasury agreed to subscribe for £6.5 billion of B shares to cover the fee for the insurance scheme (Source: The Guardian).

            February 26, 2009

            Royal Bank of Scotland is placing assets valued at £325 billion with the asset protection scheme. This means that RBS will be liable for the first £19.5bn of future losses on these assets, after which the “UK government” will cover 90% of future losses. RBS says it will cut its exposure to bad debts by £144 billion, or 25% (Source: The Guardian).

            November 3, 2009

            R.B.S. agreed to take an additional £25.5 billion from the U.K. government, making it the costliest bailout of any bank, and to accept help in containing potential losses from impaired assets. In exchange, the government would increase its stake in the bank to 84.4 percent

            US ARM.Citizens

            If one ranks the same firms by largest outstanding borrowing on a single day, Royal Bank of Scotland ranks 17th, with a maximum borrowing of $8.4 billion:

            Borrowings During the Bear Stearns Crisis, March 14, 2008 to May 31, 2008

            Royal Bank of Scotland’s borrowings during the Bear Stearns crisis from March 14 to May 31, 2008 were also surprisingly modest. Ranked by average borrowings during the period, the combination of Royal Bank of Scotland PLC New York Branch and RBS Citizens Bank ranked 21st among major institutions.

            **Average Primary, Secondary and other borrowings from the FederAL Reserve

            March 2008-May 31st 2008

            RBS Citizens. 28.765bn

            Borrowings from the Commercial Paper Funding Facility

            Next, we turned to the Federal Reserve’s Commercial Paper Funding Facility. With the exception of AIG, most of the other firms analyzed in this series showed a very small number of transactions under this facility.

            We see from the Commercial Paper Funding Facility (“CPFF”) the kind of massive Fed support for Royal Bank of Scotland Group that we expected (but didn’t) see via the “primary, secondary, and other extensions of credit.”

            Borrowing dates:
            First borrowing October 27, 2008.
            Average from
            2/8/2008 to 10/31/2009

            $5.5 billion

            Average when Drawn
            $9.7 billion

            Maximum Drawn
            $20.46 billion on April 22-26, 2009.

            So clearly, as the evidence shows,

            HMTreasury gave the most support which is why it ended up owning 80% odd of RBS, and not the Federal Reserve.

            That’s not to say the Fed support wasn’t considerable,which it was, but it was nothing compared to HM Treasury, or the English taxpayer as we call him.

            interesting link though.Thanks for sharing.

            http://www.kamakuraco.com/Blog/tabid/231/EntryId/321/Case-Studies-in-Liquidity-Risk-Royal-Bank-of-Scotland-PLC-New-York-Branch.aspx

        • Bertie

          Yes they ALL conveniently forget the trillions of debt of Both RBS(Royal Bank of Scotland) and the Bank of Scotland.

          Funny that. As, if they’re taken into account Scotland would be insolvent, they’re be unable to raise capital in financial markets.And with no pound sterling, they’d be screwed.

          Typical hypocrisy.

          • Alex Gordon

            I will always be thankful to the US Federal Reserve for bailing out the banks, after all they put up the vast majority of the money. Not the treasury…

          • Bertie

            What’s that got to do with RBS or BOS – UK taxpayer had to bail them out for you because your prudent Scottish Fred Goodwin pissed all the money away.

            Fed bailout didnt help or change that eventuality. UK Treasury paid it ie A larger group of English taxpayers (and Lloyds Bank shareholders in HBOS’s case) than the FED.

          • Alex Gordon
          • Gerschwin

            Alex… shhh…. it’s called a straw man but you don’t know it…I don’t really think you understand what you’ve got here other than thinking you’re frightfully clever and have stumbled upon some great knowledge that puts you above everyone else when in fact… you’ haven’t.

          • uglyfatbloke

            RBS was doing slightly less than 6% of it’s business in Scotland and BofS about 7.% so a Scottish government could have coped with that level of exposure.

          • Bertie

            Where RBS was doing its business in the UK is irrelevant.

            It’s a Scottish bank, so if the financial crisis had arisen with an Independent Scotland, you, the Scots , would be LIABLE for ALL of its bailout.

            So Scotland would not have been able to bail out RBS or BOS on its todd – why do you expect the English taxpayer to foot the bill for business done by RBS down in London???

            Scottish bank – Scottish liability. Pretty obvious.

            And its clear RBS would’ve bankrupted you. BofS was merely the icing on the cake…

            “RBS was doing slightly less than 6% of it’s business in Scotland and BofS about 7.% so a Scottish government could have coped with that level of exposure.”

            Your claim is as ludicrous as me saying any English company up north that runs into the ground owing trillions means HM Treasury is only liable for the smidgeon of business it concludes down south – whatever it does up North is not our problem

            Clearly it doesn’t work like that.

          • uglyfatbloke

            Actually, it would have worked exactly like that had England and Scotland been different countries and exactly the same would have applied to your ‘English company up north’.

          • Bertie

            Clearly it wouldn’t – as a Scottish Bank Scotland would have been expected to bail out the WHOLE UK operation. England would have had no liability. Likewise Scotland would have no liability to an English company folding up North.

            Do you have evidence to your claim as that seems utterly ludicrous – as indeed Americas treatment of BP would also suggest. BP was fined, on basis of its global ability to pay – its North American arm simply would’ve folded. So the whole of BP was liable, not just the American arm(Arco/Aramco) that caused the spill.

            Cant see how your claim would work especially given the size of the liabilities of RBS/BofS. No way England would allow them to operate out of London, running up the trading exposure they did, if England wouldve been liable for whatever losses they made down South.

          • uglyfatbloke

            Had the two countries been separate at the time RBS and HBOS would have had to have had separate English -registered companies as is the case for RBS in the Netherlands. The same would apply the other way round of course…sauce/gees/ganders and so on. OTH, I;m not at all clear what the situation would have been with Natwest.

          • Bertie

            “Had the two countries been separate at the time…”

            So hypothesising- you’ve no evidence. It’s an interesting question for sure. BP would sem to indicate that the parent company is liable for losses of various divisions – RBS would therefore be liable for its UK operations imo.

            Why would a Scottish bank operating in London and Edinburgh(not have H/O etc in Scotland) and be liable for all its losses in one jurisdiction.

            If RBS Netherlands went bust who would be responsible for the bailout – Holland? Seriously?

            If your scenario had been the case then there is no way HM Treasury, repserenting English taxpayers, would have allowed RBS to run up such large debts.

            Re Natwest – presumably because RBS bought it they are therefore responsible. as was the case vis Lloyds and getting suckered into buying HBOS.

            With independence likely certain this is a point that needs clarifying imv.

          • uglyfatbloke

            RBS Nl is a Dutch-registered company with very little activity outside of the the Nl and Germany, so yes, the Nl government would have had to take whatever action they saw fit, though they need not have chosen the same route as Gordon Brown. HM Treasury would have been wise (obviously) to prevent an England-based RBS run up huge debts, though whether they would actually have done so is open to question…they did n’t do anything about it before did they – despite Darling being warned for a yea and more before the crash. The names of companies are n’t relevant here. If I started a deli called ‘Food of France’ and went but the French government would have no obligation to help. Interesting though, that when RBS was making billions it was a great British success, but when it went tits up it was a ‘Scottish disaster’. Same with HBOS…it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the ‘Halifax’ part of the equation was just as culpable as the ‘Scotland’ part, but does that mean that Yorkshire should have had to fund 50% of the bail-out and Scotland the balance? Brown bailed out the bankers and the shareholders who had n’t bothered to monitor their investments; personally (although I am not at all in favour of governments owning businesses as a general rule) I think he should have taken the whole lot into public ownership, offered the shareholders a fiver between them as compensation and then sold off any assets thqat could n’t be shifted at a commercial rate – remember that even at the lowest ebb RBS assets were 20 times the size of the bailout. Of course a good deal of the crisis could have been avoided if Brown and Darling had n’t made such a total mess of the Northern Rock thing in the first place and thus seriously damaged UK banking confidence as a whole.
            Natwest – I agree with you in principle, but as an English company that might not have been the case in practice and I absolutely agree with you that this is an issue that requires clarification. Trouble is that would require the political class to do some practical thinking…so I shan’t hold my breath. They would also have to admit that the dissolution of the 1707 Treaty was a real possibility and that is might be an idea to have publicly-stated plans accordingly. That, of course, would require them to remove their heads from their backsides …once again, I shan’t hold my breath!

          • Bertie

            “They
            did n’t do anything about it before did they – despite Darling being
            warned for a yea and more before the crash. The names of companies are
            n’t relevant here”

            That’s presumably because, despite being
            Scottish, we are operating under the umbrella of the “UK”. Darling
            being Scottish,and allowing a Scottish bank to run up a massive
            leveraged position, and then expecting the English taxpayer to foot it
            would not have been acceptable, nor the end of it if that occurred.

            “The names of companies are n’t relevant here.”

            Agree – it’s where theyre domicled. And in an independent Scotland they’d have been domiciled in Scotland surely.

            “Interesting though, that when RBS was making billions it was a great
            British success, but when it went tits up it was a ‘Scottish disaster’.”

            Well
            alot has changed since then regarding Scotlands place in Britain, its
            desire to remain in Britain, and England’s wish for them to stay in
            Britain..Many English people are sick to the teeth of Scotland, Barnet
            formula,and the general ingratitude of Scots.But that;s another point.

            It
            was always Part Scottish(RBS0, Part English(Natwest) in my view. Run by
            a Scot, one of the imprudent ones. Domicled in Scotland. Ultimately
            that makes its Scotland’s liability.And in any split from the UK – RBS
            becomes Scotlands problem, not England’s.

            ” Same with HBOS…it’s easy to lose sight of the fact that the ‘Halifax’
            part of the equation was just as culpable as the ‘Scotland’ part, but
            does that mean that Yorkshire should have had to fund 50% of the
            bail-out and Scotland the balance?”

            Most of the loan issues were
            at BofS, not Halifax I gather. So you pointis a moot one. Not sure about
            the Yorkshire reference as surely responsibility for Halifax would have
            defaulted to England and not Yorkshire, obviously.

            “Brown bailed out the bankers and the shareholders who had n’t bothered to monitor their investments;”

            So
            nothing to do with strong arming Lloyds bank then , to buy BofS,and
            thereby screw shareholders. All the latters fault.Seriously? That’s your
            opinion. You’re correct regarding RBS, ABN acquisition was a massive
            red flag.
            But compeltely wrong vis Lloyds imo

            “Of course a good deal of the crisis could have been avoided if Brown and
            Darling had n’t made such a total mess of the Northern Rock thing in
            the first place and thus seriously damaged UK banking confidence as a
            whole.”

            I’d say it goes further than that – taking away banking
            regulation from BOE and implementing a massively lax regulatory
            framework caused more damage than their handling of Northern rock.

            “Trouble is that would require the political class to do some practical thinking…so I shan’t hold my breath. ”

            You and me both.

            “They would also have to admit that the dissolution of the 1707 Treaty
            was a real possibility and that is might be an idea to have
            publicly-stated plans accordingly. That, of course, would require them
            to remove their heads from their backsides …once again, I shan’t hold
            my breath!”

            I think a split is inevitable.

            Again, it’ll occur without any suitable forward planning.

            England will not sit by and take the SNP ruling the roost.

          • uglyfatbloke

            I don’t think we’re actually as far apart in our overall views as all that – we’re focussed on what we disagree on here of course.
            UI think you’d find it interesting to have a good critical shufti at Barnett. So much is excluded that it is really a very misleading picture. For example Barnett takes account of Scotland’s share of various agencies – Crown Prosecution Cerise and Environmental Protection for example – though in fact the Scottish government funds separate Scottish agencies for the purpose. The purpose of Barnett was to convince Scots they were getting ever such a good deal and therefore should not vote for the gnats thereby saving the seats of Labour, Lib and (in the past) Conservative MPs. By telling the Scots they were subsidised to the hilt, the parties gave a hostage to fortune since – and quite rightly too if the the premise were valid – people in England, Wales and N. Ireland would surely come to resent it. That might seem obvious to thee and me, but Callaghan ‘s government, like every government since, was only interested in the immediate future.
            The Scottish GDP is less than 1% smaller than English GDP if you don’t include oil, but there are other factors to consider. For example virtually every whisky company has it’s UK HQ in London and their taxes are – sort of understandably – seen as revenue accruing in London as far as the exchequer is concerned, but I can’t recall ever seeing a whisky still in London – though there is a place in N. England that makes some pretty good gear!

          • Bertie

            Yep, agree that we aren’t not that far apart. in overall views.

            The Barnet Formula – – matters certainly are not assisted at the general lack of discussion as to who pays what, who receives what,and,as you mention, there is that question of Scottish companies with their HQs in london whose revenue is deemed as accruing in London as you say. Surely similar for those in Aberdeen or Edinburgh? Clearly unliekly to be as large.

            Ultimately what voters need is an extensive breakdown of all the revenues/tax receipts/benefits/subsidies – rather than the partisan disinformation both sides are currently getting.

            Union is ultimately doomed so the sooner we start preparing for such eg Border controls, splitting all the assets and the national debt(RBS/Hbos we’ll be sending back to Scotland), splitting the Army/Navy, moving the Naval Shipyards and associated work back down to Portsmouth(Bae systems) to the detriment of Clyde etc etc. the better..

            Semper paratis.

            At the moment we’d be taking a step into the unknown and I’m sure Sturgeon and her SNP would want to have their cake and eat it.As did Salmond with his we wont pay our share of the national debt and we’ll keep the pound. Pound sterling is the currency of the Union – you leave the union, you lose the currency.Pretty straightforward.

            And the English taxpayer guarantee to Scotland would , of course , have to end, both for devo max,as well as Independence.

          • uglyfatbloke

            A point about the Salmond/Debt/Sterling issue that is widely – and often quite deliberately – misunderstood….Salmond’s position was (is?) that of course Scotland would take an equitable share of the debt, but only if she got an equitable share of the assets, including the pound. Naturally that would require a fair amount of negotiation about assets and liabilities generally. For the sake of good relations it would be wise to bring in the efforts of one or two third-parties to ensure fair play, but I can’t really see either Westminster or Holyrood accepting that; politicians and wisdom don’t generally feature much in the same sentence.
            On the military aspect – and here I’m in rather more familiar territory than most topics – disaggregation would actually be fairly straightforward. Scottish defends needs are, frankly, relatively trivial – much smaller than the grandiose notions of the SNP ; moreover there is very little in the UK arsenal that the MOD would choose to do without and even less that would be suitable for Scottish purposes. A Scottish military would and should be pretty tiny, which is no bad thing since a large proportion of serving Scots (heavily over-represented statistically) would surely opt for the better career prospects in a UK establishment…just as well since the loss of 14% (or thereby – figure ‘s a year or three out of date) would be a pretty hard thing to cope with given the current level of over-commitment.
            RBS/HBOS…their real value is very much greater than the sums required to bale them out and I would expect Westminster would want to retain the many thousands of associated jobs. My guess is that there would be separate arms of the businesses registered in Eng. and Scot.; apart from anything else the overwhelming bulk of the their business is in England.
            OTH….the HBOS merger, apart from being fundamentally stupid, was of very questionable legality and would not have been allowed to go ahead had it not been for Brown and Blair’s political preference to over-rule/undermine anything that might smack of treating Scottish institutions as being independent (in the non- political sense). The same applies to the formation of he Supreme Court which is unquestionably an egregious breach of the Treaty of Union. Contrary to common understanding BofS was not a conventional limited company, but an operation under Act of Parliament (1695) so perhaps a demerger might be the better plan. Halifax was determined to get into the ‘big bank’ business and BofS was keen to get into property (especially corporate) in a big way and each saw a short-cut opportunity.
            You are of course quite right that proper information and planning would be the sensible thing, but why break the habit of centuries?
            English taxpayer guarantee…despite what the political class tell us, Scotland has put rather more into the Union than she has had out of it for all but 2 of the last 40-odd years. The same was true – broadly – up until the early 1920s when, for reasons beyond my comprehension, the government of the day decided that it was n’t a good idea for such figures to be complied any more – a situation which pertained until the invention of the Barnett Fiddle…I mean Formula.
            Final thing…honest….The Union – regardless of the acts relating to the 1801/2 addition of Ireland and the formation of Eire, is a construct of England and Scotland; they are the only two parties, so – as in a marriage and subsequent divorce – the Union would, strictly speaking, be dissolved. That said we’d all still be British in the same way that Danes and Norwegians etc are all Scandinavians.

          • Bertie

            I don’t think the point about Salmond’s debt/sterling issue is deliberately misunderstood at all.

            Pound sterling is the currency of the UNION – if you leave the Union why should you still get the use of the currency and be underwritten by the BOE?

            Equitable share of the assets for equitable share of the debt – the Pound is not an asset, its the means of exchange used by the Union, that is all.

            “Naturally that would require a fair amount of negotiation about assets and liabilities generally. For the sake of good relations it would be wise to bring in the efforts of one or two third-parties to ensure fair play, but I can’t really see either Westminster or Holyrood accepting that; politicians and wisdom don’t generally feature much in the same sentence. ”

            Absolutely agree and I’ve no doubt it will be both acrimonious and Scotland will try to weedle out of its fair share. Even more likely with a SNP that is able to pull the puppet strings that will be a weak Labour government unable to carry English voters.

            “Scottish defends needs are, frankly, relatively trivial – much smaller than the grandiose notions of the SNP ”

            I would not be so blase – Scotland accounts for a third of the UK landmass, and has a barren remote Northern frontier that the Russian Airforce seems to enjoy flying near/around/over.

            There’s also all that OIL they’ll need to protect in the event they don’t honour their obligations elsewhere! 🙂

            ” A Scottish military would and should be pretty tiny, which is no bad thing since a large proportion of serving Scots (heavily over-represented statistically) would surely opt for the better career prospects in a UK establishment..”

            Why would you expect the serving Scots to be employed in the English Army? We’d be giving such positions to Englishmen surely? 80% off of the British Army is apparently English currently. Why would we give jobs to Scots?

            “RBS/HBOS…their real value is very much greater than the sums required to bale them out and I would expect Westminster would want to retain the many thousands of associated jobs. My guess is that there would be separate arms of the businesses registered in Eng. and Scot.; apart from anything else the overwhelming bulk of the their business is in England. ”

            It will be interesting to see how this is sorted as both are HQ’d in Scotland currently. Personally I’d prefer they took their liabilities with them where they belong, on Scotland’s balance sheet – where the jobs happen to be is surely irrelevant with respect to this consideration. Many jobs would surely gravitate to Edinburgh in the event of Independence and the bank becoming more Scottish – or would it be more a gravitation of jobs from Edinburgh, from all those Asset managers who would relocate down south where the majority of their investors reside?

            “OTH….the HBOS merger, apart from being fundamentally stupid, was of very questionable legality and would not have been allowed to go ahead had it not been for Brown and Blair’s political preference to over-rule/undermine anything that might smack of treating Scottish institutions as being independent ”

            Agreed. It was without doubt Brown who forced this through – Competition commission surely would have rejected this merger.

            “Scotland has put rather more into the Union than she has had out of it for all but 2 of the last 40-odd years. The same was true – broadly – up until the early 1920s when, for reasons beyond my comprehension, the government of the day decided that it was n’t a good idea for such figures to be complied any more – ”

            Do you have evidence that this is true? I find it hard to believe a nation of 5.29million has put more into the Union that one that has been consistently much larger since 1707 and is now some 55million.

            “invention of the Barnett Fiddle…I mean Formula.”

            hahaha very funny. Spot on as well.

            “The Union – regardless of the acts relating to the 1801/2 addition of Ireland and the formation of Eire, is a construct of England and Scotland; they are the only two parties, so – as in a marriage and subsequent divorce – the Union would, strictly speaking, be dissolved. ”

            Agreed.Surely BOTH parties should have a say in whether it is dissolved or not – notice how the larger party, England, has had no say whatsoever!

      • chasdf

        Any government given the advantage of Barnett over England could do the same.

      • Zionist lackey

        And all paid for by the English tax payer!

        • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

          Not all. Only 88%.

        • fergus macerc

          surely you mean the UK taxpayers?

          • Zionist lackey

            Not any more.

      • Guest

        Plenty of local governments are in the black.
        And the SNP didn’t deliver independence. Right.

        Also, council tax freezes, for instance, are nasty for the middle class, etc.

      • TC

        Just to pick out one incorrect point – as it has no borrowing powers its technically impossible for the Scottish devolved assembly not to be ‘in the black’.

        Meanwhile the UK treasury is issuing plenty of gilts that fund spending in Scotland as an independent Scottish treasury would have to (infact borrowing would be even higher in Scotland as the GERs figures indicate).

    • chasdf

      Of course all these good things happen, because of the Barnett formula.

    • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

      England has Oil now. Three times as much as the North Sea. So let’s get rid of the whingeing Jocks and share the bonanza .

  • Toomtabard

    I don’t believe any of the polls have put the number of expected SNP MPs as low as 30. Indeed there have been polls which suggest labour will lose 90% of their seats with the SNP taking over 50 of the 59. I’m not a member of the SNP, but will be voting for them this time, partly because of the idiotic coverage run by the london media in favour of the westminster parties and the shameful behaviour of those parties during the referendum. The libourtory 3 cheeked behind have between zero and nil chance of getting my vote again at any point in the future. That does not necessarily mean the SNP can rely on getting it. They’ll need to prove there’s a reason to vote for them. As Jimmy Reid out it, Scotland didn’t abandon Labour, they abandoned us. Now they’re reaping the rewards of being red tories at the ballot box, and it’s been long deserved.

  • Andy Macdonald

    Also wrong on voting intentions in England as the Labour party are now in front the SNP surge will not help the Tories, only the SNP and Scotland will benefit. with England and the rest seeing an end to austerity politics

    • maraismarais

      How do we end ‘ austerity politics ‘ , higher taxation , more debt for our children and their children to repay ?

  • Liz

    I really enjoyed the article apart from: ‘Such is her personal authority that in the Scottish television debate on Tuesday none of the other leaders dared mention it’. In the Scottish political landscape, the knives would have been out if there had been a hint of truth in the ‘supposed leak’. Most Scots see it as a deliberate smear by the main-stream media against Sturgeon due to her popularity at the leadership debate, where she came across as articulate, competent and added a voice against continual austerity measures. I might add the SNP gained 2000 new members within 24 hours of that debate, so her policies struck a cord with many south of the border. Furthermore, the day of the ‘leak Sturgeon was speaking at a demonstration against Trident in Scotland, which was attended by thousands. The ‘leak deflected from news of the demonstration against a policy which will cost the British Tax payer an estimated 100 billion pounds.

    A big question is why has it taken so long for the south to hear about Sturgeon? why have the mainstream media been ignoring her prior to the debate, after all she has been a significant figure in Scotland for a long time. The media continues to control the news it wishes England to hear,for example The Scottish Leaders Debate was not televised in England, in spite it being in English residents interests to know what is going on north of the border, especially given the impact the SNP may have in Westminster. The worst situation for Westminster is not the political climate in Scotland, they lost us years ago but for England’s people to follow Scotland’s example of acting against Westminster’s assault on welfare, Trident and education, to name a few.

  • Paul Veverka

    I couldn’t make it to the end of the article. It is so factually incorrect. Oil was not the basis of an economic plan for Scotland. It was a bonus. Scotland has a flourishing economy not based on oil already. Going on about the leaked memo as if it has truth is a low point in the article. Some research will already show it was made up by the media with all parties named denying it ever happened.

    • justejudexultionis

      Scotland’s per capita GDP is in fact comparable to that of the rest of the UK, even without the oil. As you say, the oil is merely a bonus.

      • Yvon & Barry Stuart-Hargreaves

        Scotland is an impoverished backwater labouring under the burden of expensive heating bills. I am glad they want to go free and pay it all themselves.

        • fergus macerc

          that’s why your stuart ancestors left for England.

    • TC

      Scotland as a whole is not exceptionally richer or poorer than most other Constituents of the UK. It was the separatists who were pushing the notion that each Scot would be £100s better off after separation – with or without oil tax receipts we can see from the Scottish Governments own figures that this is nonsense.

  • berosos_bubos

    If the Conservatives hadn’t sent extra funding north then the Scottish wouldn’t be able to indulge in their escapism.

    • uglyfatbloke

      If Scotland did not – contrary to well-respected economic journals like the Daily Mail and the Beano – traditionally put more into the union that she gets out then we would n’t be having any sort of independence/devolution debate at all, then what would we do with ourselves when we ‘ve got 5 minutes to kil in the vicinity of a computer?

  • Iain Lawson

    What a dishonest and ill informed article.

  • davidofkent

    Will the so-called 45% get out and vote in a UK-wide election?

  • Gerschwin

    INDEPENDENCE FOR ENGLAND NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • mustdisqus

      why does no one ever mention Wales ;(

  • Jim Badger

    “Voters talk about ‘Nicola’ with almost proprietorial pride. She is an authentically working-class girl made good — she was the first in her family to go to university — and her story seems to resonate with people here.”

    Maybe her story does, or maybe it’s the fact she’s a politician that :

    a) Speaks the Truth
    b) Has a proven track record of standing by her commitments.
    c) Actually CARES about her constituents and country!

    The mere fact that you don’t yet understand this is why the English have no good choice to vote for. Epithets like “working-class” are meaningless once you treat others as equals, try it.

  • flippit

    The Scots have lost it. They’re all in a sort of collective mutual crush. They have no interest whatsoever in the debt they will be in or their kids will be in. Not even enough to ask the question “Where’s the money coming from?” Ok, so fair enough, Scots will leave the union and we move on, but they really must now pay for their choices and to be fair, I think they want to do that.

    • ON THE INTERNET NOBODY KNOWS YOU’RE A DOG

      Yeah, you know better than the 5 1/4 million people who actually live there. You do realise you are naught but a disembodied anonymous echo on the interwebs, right?

  • Dave Morgan

    My guess is that The traditionally left wing Scots are no more Nationalist nutjubs than the rest of Britain. They are tired of the greedy self serving anti social merchant banker types that seem to run our society and The Labour Party do not seem to be representing the values the majority of us suscribe to. Nationalism was just a convenient, if unfortunate, way of peeling away from a morally bankrupt wider Britain. We are the collective sum of the multicultural community that make us up today…not tied irrevocably to the sodding Norman conquest or the battle of Banockburn.
    We need to decide what we want British to mean. Cultural identity is continually changing as the sum total of the beliefs, views, values and thoughts of everyone in it right now…if you wish to live in a pox ridden feudal past join a historical re-enactment society
    https://thedaverave.wordpress.com/2015/04/12/would-the-real-great-britain-please-stand-up-please-stand-up/

  • Mode4

    She didn’t look so good in the debates when she had to stand by her record. It’s easy to criticize.

  • mustdisqus

    I wouldn’t trust or vote for any of them, beer guzzling ‘marketing to the working class’ pug Nigel Flange included, and any nation separation will do little but create another excuse for the chavs of this world to start another fight down their local. You are already ‘multicultural’ (lol), and you’ll all still be stuck on that tiny little island watching migrants pour in for some time yet. Wave your flags for as long as you want over patriotic girls, because it means NOTHING in 2015. I would burn every single one of them. Change takes many years, and new governments have limits regarding what they control. They aren’t going to help you ban any religion or enforce major border control, as some seem to believe. Spendeth thus moolah whilst an NHS or economy is in crisis, they ain’t. Illegals tend not to care regardless of how you attempt to tighten those borders, for they will come. Now get ready for bed, for there is school tomorrow

  • komment

    Perhaps the post referendum surge in support for the SNP can be explained by the fact that the Scots feel betrayed by the failure of the Unionist MP’s to deliver on their ‘vow’. Some NO-bodies state no such vow was ever made, or if it was, it had little substance. The majority of Scots don’t share that view.

    Another factor may be the amount of vitriol poured on the Scots by all Establishment sectors has created a Hostile Media Immunity Syndrome, whatever is said or printed now has no relevance to the Scots and this might explain why the deliberately engineered smear against Ms Sturgeon has not had the desired effect. The Unionists and their supportive media were found to have grossly misled the Scottish voters, why should they be trusted to tell the truth now.

    Establishment Credibility has gone down to an all time low whilst Scottish self confidence and self belief has grown to an all time high. The lack of grace displayed by the ‘victors’ has not helped the Unionist cause either, they won the vote and lost the argument.
    A strong SNP is here to stay so I suggest you get used to that fact and instead of wasting time and effort opposing it try to work out how best the two nations separated by a Treaty of Union can best work together.

  • uglyfatbloke

    James Forsyth…what an unusually ill-informed article.

  • ninja

    What is the Scottish revolution problems? I am from Iran.

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