Leading article

The shocking truth about the English and the Scots: they agree

12 December 2015

9:00 AM

12 December 2015

9:00 AM

Last year, the United Kingdom came within 384,000 votes of destruction. A referendum designed to crush the Scottish nationalists instead saw them win 45 per cent of the vote — and become stronger than ever. Since then, the SNP has taken almost every Scottish seat in the Commons and is preparing for another landslide in the Holyrood election next year — giving Nicola Sturgeon the power to threaten a second referendum. We may be just a few years away from a second battle for Britain.

In her short time as First Minister, Sturgeon has established herself as one of the most formidable politicians in Europe. She has raised a rebel army that she inspires with talk of destiny and dreams — while her opponents drone on about banks and the Barnett formula. Perhaps her single greatest achievement is to persuade voters on both sides of the border that the Scots and English are growing apart; that since devolution, the two countries have begun to see the world in such different ways that the only sensible option is to file for divorce.

In fact, the reverse is true. The SNP’s talk of discord conceals an inconvenient truth. Since devolution, opinions either side of the border have been converging. The British Social Attitudes Survey, widely acknowledged as the gold standard of polling, collects data nationwide but seldom focuses on how opinion varies regionally. A study of its raw data by The Spectator has shown that the difference of opinion between Scotland and England is now smaller than between the south-east and south-west of England.


The SNP portrays a Scotland united in its loathing of Tory welfare reform and rejoicing in the rejection of university tuition fees. In fact, while there is a quarrel between political elites, public opinion is consistent across the UK. The idea that some students should pay the cost of their own tuition is supported by a majority in Scotland as well as in England. Most Scots support the welfare cap that the SNP abhors and they are, if anything, more likely to believe that ‘people on the dole are fiddling in one way or another’. Since devolution, there has been a sharp rise in Scots agreeing with the splendidly patriotic notion that the world would ‘be a better place if people from other countries were more like the British’.

Our great country certainly has its internal differences. A Londoner is four times as likely as a Yorkshireman to trust government to put ‘country before party’, and twice as likely to go to church. London has the most religious population in Britain, north-east England the most secular. But there is simply no great divide between ordinary northerners and southerners, in spite of the politicians’ squabbles. Scottish politicians, for example, often say they want more immigration, but only 3 per cent of Scots agree. The Scots themselves are reasonably Eurosceptic, which is why Ukip was the only party to make any gains in Scotland in the last European election.

It is hard to think of any two other countries whose outlook on life is so similar. This should not be surprising. We are huddled together on the same island, we have defended it together and forged our future together. According to a University of Leicester study, cockney slang has started to creep into Scotland because of the popularity of EastEnders. Both countries have the same favourite dish (curry) and the same first and second languages (English and Polish). We are a people united in our love of chips and beer. The idea of our countries being culturally incompatible is bizarre.

Every year, the President of the United States delivers a State of the Union address — a tradition that nods to the fact that, even now, Americans don’t take their unity for granted. In 1860, as civil war approached, James Buchanan used this speech to warn that the American union was ‘threatened with destruction’ — this was true of Britain two years ago, but no warning was sounded. Our political leaders were complacent and the UK almost split as a result.

As David Cameron considers how to grow his ‘one nation Conservatism’ from an election-night soundbite, he should consider starting a new tradition. At the end of each year, the Prime Minister could make his own State of the Union speech — reflecting on our common endeavours and shared triumphs; the many ways in which the countries of the United Kingdom have been better together than apart. Scotland now has employment at a record high, while pensioner poverty is at a record low. So does England. This is not a coincidence.

We share problems: too many of them. But with our continent in chaos, the people of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland are enjoying enviable levels of stability, prosperity and opportunity. We are, in every way, better together — and it would not hurt for the Prime Minister to say so a little more often.

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Show comments
  • fordwych

    Are you sure it’s church that most of London’s religious go to?

  • IndependentEngland

    Not sure that the Scottish really want to be with us English other than for purely financial reasons. They voted in 56 SNP MPs but voted NO in the referendum. That smacks of McCake and eat it to me!
    The people of England are better together. The government should abandon its unwanted and divisive regional policies for England and establish an English Parliament to represent all us English irrespective of race, religion colour etc. I would prefer an independent England not being held back by the UK.

    • Sausage McGuffin

      Not really it smacks of Labour Party incompetence and the inability of the post-Macmillan Conservative Party to understand Scotland (and in particular, Thatcher’s anti-Scottish attitude which was a rare blind spot in someone otherwise so accomplished, but as damaging to the Union as any of Alex Salmond’s antics).

    • starfish

      Nope it shows that the Scots are a pretty canny lot

    • NickInEdinburgh

      Just because the SNP got 56 MPs doesn’t mean they got 95% of the vote. We were robbed by the first past the post system, the overall SNP vote in the general election was 50%, if there was any justice they should only have half the MPs!

      • Calzo

        Indeed, must be annoying then that the SNP are now the largest supporters of PR in the UK…

    • NickInEdinburgh

      Just because the SNP got 56 MPs doesn’t mean they got 95% of the vote. We were robbed by the first past the post system, the SNP got 50% of the vote and if there was any justice they would have 50% of the MPs.

      • IndependentEngland

        It will be interesting to see how the SNP do in next years Holyrood elections.

        • NickInEdinburgh

          Indeed it will be interesting. I have a feeling the turn out will be lower than the UK general election. The may well again get about 50% of the vote, but thankfully we don’t use first past the post.

        • NickInEdinburgh

          Indeed it will be interesting. I have a feeling turnout will be lower than the UK general election. The SNP may well get around 50% of the vote again.

        • NickInEdinburgh

          Indeed it will be interesting. I have a feeling the turnout will be lower then the UK general election. The SNP may well get 50% of the vote again.

  • Terence Wilkinson

    On tuition fees I would like to offer my own experience to show up the SNP’s claim to be “progressive” for the exaggeration it is. When I did my first degree in the late 1980s, early 1990s, I qualified for full tuition fees and a grant. Certainly the free fees were a help but the grant was far more important in my decision to go to university – in the process becoming the first person in my family to do so. Under the SNP’s policy I would not have been able to afford university. The large discrepancy between the number of people from poor backgrounds who attend university in England and Scotland would seem to provide concrete proof of my assertion.

    • JoeCro

      There are no grants in England anymore. £9000 a year in tuition fees sounds like a large disincentive. Free higher education in Scotland is a very popular policy. If you were planning to attend university in England how would you be able to afford tuition fees and living costs?

      • Jambo25

        It’ll sound even worse when it goes up to the predicted 15 K a year.

      • HJ777

        You don’t have to afford tuition fees and living costs. Don’t you understand how the system operates? It’s effective like a graduate income tax.

        • Todd Unctious

          Correct. To repay tuition fees and loans you would need to earn £50,000 a year for 30 years. Many students may reach £50,000 but not in their early years. Government expects less than 45% of student debt to be recovered.

        • JoeCro

          Student loans are freely available in Scotland. Could you explain clearly how increasing the debt burden on students would encourage access for the socially disadvantaged?

          • HJ777

            We could debate this at length, but unfortunately I don’t have time now.

            I was, however, merely pointing out that students don’t need to be able to afford the tuition and living costs in England because the system doesn’t work like that. Funding is provided and you pay back later (if you can) according to income.

            The merits or otherwise of the system in England can be debated at length, but the fees don’t seem to have put off poorer students compared to Scotland. Indeed, students form poorer backgrounds are considerably more likely to go to university in England than in Scotland.

          • JoeCro

            You can’t answer the question. Your data set is incomplete and inaccurate, a large proportion of Scottish higher education institutions are not part of UCAS. The student loan system is the same across the UK. To suggest that the high cost of student tuition fees is not putting off prospective students from poorer backgrounds is laughable.

          • HJ777

            Yes, I was aware of the UCAS situation and how it makes accurate comparisons difficult.

            Nevertheless, however you look at the figures, it is clearly the case that more students from poorer backgrounds enter higher education in England than in Scotland. The only issue is by what margin.

            You can assert that it is laughable, but you can’t provide the evidence. The proportion of students from poor backgrounds going to university in England has risen since fees were introduced and is higher than in Scotland.

          • JoeCro

            It is not clear, you do not have accurate data, just your assertions which have already been debunked numerous times.

          • HJ777

            Can you point me towards where my assertions “have already been debunked numerous times”.

            It’s news to me.

            In fact I can only recall commenting on this issue once in the past. I looked at the facts and agreed that the UCAS figures underestimate higher education participation in Scotland relative to England – but that it couldn’t possibly be to the extent that Scottish higher education involvement amongst those from poorer backgrounds was as high as in England. Nobody challenged my comment, let alone ‘debunked’ it.

      • NickInEdinburgh
    • LG

      That’s a bizarre view since there’s free Uni tuition in Scotland. If kids aren’t going to Uni, its not because the SNP have made it expensive.

      • NickInEdinburgh

        If the SNP were really socialists as they’d have us believe they would have a sliding scale for fees where wealthy families contributed and poorer families were supported. Private schools in Scotland cost between £6000 and £30000+ a year, why on earth shouldn’t people who can afford to pay that to a private school contribute to a university’s fees???!!! Also there is a lot of analysis that shows the no-fees policy is not working, the number of students from poorer backgrounds is reducing because places are limited and bursaries are slashed. On the ratio of wealthy students to poor students we are doing comparatively worse than England. Do some googling and don’t just listen to the political rhetoric.

        • CraigStrachan

          The SNP’s “socialism” is in practice little more than subsidies for the middle class. The genuinely poor are worse off since the SNP have been in government.

        • Calzo

          If you continue the googling you’ll find out that the Tories have now cut the subsidies to the poorest students in England so where’s all that money that’s floating about from the extortionate fees?

      • e2toe4

        The SNP policy has mainly benefited Middle Classes…because going to University still costs (living costs if away from home) and especially when judged against getting a job, the poorest quartile despite the zero cost of tuition still don’t take up the *offer*.

        In addition the lack of fees means, according to a recent study by Edinburgh University, that Scottish Universities have less free cash available to create schemes specifically targeted at the poor.

        In 2010/11 the amount spent by English Universities on helping poorer students to University was £371.5M against only £10.4M in Scotland…far less than the population and school figures would suggest should be the amount.

        So the amount of money in grants to poorer students in Scotland has fallen AND the funding packages offered are virtually the same regardless of the students wealth.

        Which is why the academic and University Principal Ferdinand von Prondzynski, selected by the SNP themselves to review Higher Education said that abolishing tuition fees has benefited the middle classes.

        IT’s a similar argument to the ones made about the Winter Heating Allowance in that it may not cover all the heating needed for a poorer pair of pensioners but helps better off pensioners with their eating out nights for a few weeks.

        If it’s a given that rich people will send their kids to University anyway..whatever the price. Then the data is showing the main beneficiaries are upper Middle class and middle class kids where the send/can’t send line lies.

        Below this, for poorer people, just the absence of tuition fees is necessary but not sufficient to tip the balance in favour of sending. The extra cash around in England means Universities can offer more help with bursaries and grants that reach down below that middle class layer.

        This help is necessary AND sufficient..that’s why England (and Wales and N Ireland) are showing levels of students from poorer backgrounds that are quite closely aligned whereas Scotland’s are markedly lower.

        Obviously there are no magic money trees and all spending decisions have impacts and effects whether good or bad, that are not always foreseen…or if foreseen, and bad, are judged less important than the good outcomes.

        At present the supposedly left-wing SNP are pursuing a policy that the data shows helps Middle class people to send their kids to university, but not poorer people, when compared to England.

        My own view is that many SNP policies were shaped from 2007 and especially 2011 with the referendum in mind, and the idea that differences between North and South of the border should be emphasised, or if non-existent , should be created.

        The difference in tuition fee policy is a very simple and straightforward one (at first sight) and provides a big flag to wave… which was waved very vigorously in the lead up to last year’s vote.

        However given the defeat of the SNP at that vote, the downside of the policy is now being seen.

        I think these effects were not unforeseen but were judged acceptable because of the possibility they would help achieve victory at the referendum, and once that had happened it would have been a different world…it’s their bad fortune the result went against them and they now have to explain and deal with the real world outcomes.

        Oh!…and that goes for the decision to not *waste money* fixing the Forth Road Bridge in 2010/11…. another of a whole flock of chickens now coming home to roost.

        • HJ777

          Indeed, The SNP’s eventual undoing will be because they position their policies specifically to create/demonstrate/provoke division with England, rather than on their merits. Scots will tire of such government.

          • e2toe4

            In that respect the Forth Road Bridge fiasco (and it is a fast moving story with more detail emerging on the *not done* repairs to the failed metalwork in 2010) could be more damaging than even the under performance in Higher education.

            That one is akin to the Dartford bridge AND tunnel being closed down for London in it’s effects on Edinburgh.. for commuters, businesses, etc.

            The alternatives are very long distances..around 50 miles plus in total and of course themselves are getting hammered now so long theoretical diversion times are getting even longer in reality.

            This kind of daily aggravation tends to have more impact than the run of the mill Tv news type items about education or health under performance, simply because it affects directly and daily far more people.

            Of course they hope to provoke irritation in the English as well, that is the 2nd leg of their strategy…if they can’t win a referendum to leave they seek to create people in England who will join a campaign to have them kicked out. 🙂

          • HJ777

            You are entirely correct.

            Provoking irritation and reaction from the English is a key strand of their strategy. They want England and Scotland to be at loggerheads, so they can use this to get Scottish votes.

        • NickInEdinburgh

          Thanks for doing the research I was too lazy to do. You hit the nail on the head.

          And what is more, I believe that due to Scots not paying fees at Scottish uni’s, spaces for Scottish students on each course are limited as the Uni’s have to acquire a certain percentage of paying students to be able to pay the bills. So even if there are 5 spaces available on a course, if the quota of non-paying Scottish students has already been met then our kids wont get a place.

          • e2toe4

            THat is absolutely right… Scottish Universities have to admit all EU students on the same basis as Scottish students ie with no fees.

            The only exception are the English , who have to pay £27K over 4 years (In Scotland most courses last 4 years not 3).

            This means Scottish Universities have road shows in England now targeting English students (and of course Chinese, American, Canadian, Indian and so on).

            THis in turn means even the *advantaged* middle class are having trouble getting their children into the courses and universities they may want them to get into…and which, if they were not been filled up by non-Scots and non-EU students, would have the places available.

        • LG

          I see your point regarding the poor targeting of support for poorer students. The same applies to all universal benefits – whether they be TV licences and free bus passes for pensioners, child allowance, etc. The problem is – means tested support isn’t popular either. What about the NHS? Should that be means tested too? Because the same principle applies, the more the middle classes are funded, the less money for the deserving poor.

          Whether there is a sound argument that Scottish Uni’s would create bursaries for poorer students if they were allowed to charge fees, I think that’s moot. They would probably just pocket the cash.

          I don’t think you’re right about the SNP creating differences for the sake of it. Free prescriptions and Uni fees have been very popular policies in their own right. I don’t think they’re as machiavellian as to come up with popular policies – other than the basic reason that they’re popular.

          Trying to turn the FRB steel crack into a party political matter kind of undermines your whole credibility. When you figure out how to ‘maintain’ 50 year old steel girders to stop stress fractures from occurring unexpectedly, let me know. You should know it was the SNP who kicked off the building of the new bridge, against the wishes of the other parties. Some things just happen whatever party is in government.

          • NickInEdinburgh

            The SNP are a populist party and they love nothing more than standing on their soap box shouting about how morally superior and more enlightened than the UK government they are. The frenzy they whip up with the “people in Scotland deserve a free education, I didn’t have to pay blah blah” nonsense is mental.

            Regarding the FRB…. the bit that cracked was due to be replaced in 2010 when they identified the structural system that it is a part of was overly stressed but the work was cancelled. Whether or not that was directly related to budget cuts from the SNP government only time will tell.

            Figuring out how to maintain bridges is what the expert engineers are paid to do, its not witchcraft!

          • LG

            Well, they’re certainly popular. So, mental enough to get a near clean sweep of the MPs. I think that’s called ‘successful’ in politics.

            I do agree that anything that can be done to get more social mobility should be looked at. Maybe old fashioned student grants – but if you want to target it, it has to be means tested – and that’s just not popular with the electorate.

          • NickInEdinburgh

            The list of parties that are good at winning elections but not so good at running their countries is endless. That’s the problem with populist policies…..

            We used to do means testing before the SNP, I don’t think it was unpopular, it’s just the SNP sold people on “FREE EDUCATION!!!!”. Again using the tactic of polarizing a debate to Free = no tuition fees = good and Not free = fees = bad. Over simplification goes hand in hand with populist politics.

          • LG

            I don’t vote for them myself, but they seem to be doing a far better job than the last lot. And clearly many other people thinks so too, or they’d be voted out. You are quite strident in your anti-SNP commentary but the facts on the ground are that they’re not actually too bad – and a whole lot better than the last bunch of corrupt wasters. Give it time, though and I’m sure they’ll end up the same as all the rest.

          • NickInEdinburgh

            Yeah, well the first thing that put me off them is still the main reason I don’t like them. From what I can see they put their goal of independence or at least some sort of quasi independence that’s gives them more power, before anything else and that includes what is actually best for the country.

            I.e. Populist policies like we’ve just been discussing and creating division between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

            They actually have quite a poor track record in many areas of government but one thing I will say for them is they are good politicians because they manage to dodge most of the dirt that’s thrown at them by pointing the finger at London.

          • NickInEdinburgh

            Yeah, well the first thing that put me off them is still the main reason I don’t like them. From what I can see they put their goal of independence or at least some sort of quasi independence that gives them more power, before anything else and that includes what is actually best for the country.

            I.e. Populist policies like we’ve just been discussing and creating division between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

            They actually have quite a poor track record in many areas of government but one thing I will say for them is they are good politicians because they manage to dodge most of the dirt that’s thrown at them by pointing the finger at London

          • e2toe4

            I think some of the things you say are reasonable and I don’t think the SNP spend all their time thinking up policies of no merit purely on the basis of trying to create enough *differences* between the UK and Scotland in order to validate that claim that people are different in Scotland.

            But I do think it has been an element in some decisions. For example, whatever the rights and wrongs of the causes of the troubles at Police Scotland, which is entirely an SNP project, I haven’t heard any justification for the way in which PS was given the authority over Railway policing meaning the British Transport Police have no jurisdiction in Scotland.

            This meaning that BRP officers have to get off the trains at Berwick or Carlisle and Police Scotland ones take over, and vice versa. I think this is unnecessary and as I say, I haven’t seen any real justification for doing it. Although of course it has created another way in which *Scotland is different*, a small one I suppose in the bigger picture, but the bigger picture is composed of small details.

            The situation with education is that the SNP have made much of Free University tuition by appealing, as with *We CAN use the £* to the ordinary uninvolved person’s ordinary understanding of the matter, judged at first sight.

            I think anyone can agree Free prescriptions and free university education are popular policies..Free beer, petrol for the car and grants to buy Christmas presents would be as well.

            But the fact is these headline policies can, and are , having unintended outcomes…or outcomes that may be presented as unintended and unforeseen. Another in education is that no SCots pay tuition fees in Scotland, no Lats, Lithuanians, POles, Germans, French etc either.

            The only European Community students who pay tuition fees are the English.

            Leaving aside the arguments in favour of this policy or against it what it means is that cash strapped universities in Scotland are actively targeting English students (and non EEC Americans, Chinese, Indian etc) making it more difficult for even the advantaged children of the middle class to get into the universities and onto the courses they would like.

            My basic position in the Independence situation is I think the UK has been a great country… all the usual historical events often mentioned to counter this, notwithstanding.

            I think it has been a great country for English and Scots (and indeed Welsh and Irish) and given the people a better history than they might otherwise have had if it had never existed.

            I also feel that in future, if we split the island up we will not get better outcomes than if we stay together.

            I can accept that if, after a honest argument, a majority of Scots (though I was a bit surprised to see Scots in the last ref excluded 1st generation children whose parents still lived in Scotland, if they did not.) decide that separation is the best way to go then so be it.

            But it seems a shame and a disgrace if the decision is to be made on the basis of a false prospectus.

            One of the major elements of the false prospectus is that somehow the Scots are markedly different from the English…this is just not true and in many ways Western Isles Scots have more in common with Cumbrian English (and so forth) than with Glasgow or Edinburgh…while these cities have more in common with Newcastle and Manchester than any of them with Cumbria, The Highlands, North Yorkshire etc.

            IN respect of the Forth Road Bridge (FRB) it’s a fast moving story now, and the Transport minister Derek Mackay is now saying things that support the idea that removing tolls, obviously removed revenue and this in turn impacted on repairing decisions in 2010 which would have involved replacing the parts that have in fact failed.

            One might say the cracks in the SNP government are starting to show for the first time under the pressure of events.

          • LG

            You seem to accord every unforeseen consequence of SNP policies as the result of some dark malice aforethought. It’s just not credible. Let me tell you, they’re just not that clever. Do you really think they came up with this policy to send less poor kids to Uni? So that they look bad?
            I don’t vote SNP, but then I also don’t think they are run by some all-seeing superbrain either.
            Moving the Police Scotland into one organisation instead of however many, that made total sense to me. As for transport police – do you really see people rushing out to vote for independence because Police Scotland is in charge of Scottish trains rather than British transport police? In practice, I’ve never seen a policeman on a train anyway. Of all the things to throw at the SNP, probably not the finest example?

          • e2toe4

            No I don’t think every outcome whether bad or good is one that was foreseen and planned. I do agree with you that it is not credible to think everything done is planned through the sole prism of independence.

            But I do think that where choices have been made that have presented the question; how will this play in Inde terms? Then they have on significant numbers of occasions made choices that play well on first view…but have also had the potential for bad outcomes to arise that WRRE known.

            So removing road tolls off the Forth Bridge did mean £12M of toll money was no longer available.

            In turn this made FETA even more dependent on the Transport for Scotland (The ScotGov’s department of transport) funding and at that point, in 2010, as the Transport Minister Derek Mackay now admits, known and detailed repairs that had been identified, including the specific Link End Truss that has failed and now resulted in massive dislocation; but these were postponed.

            The Link End Truss and other elements were not at that time predicted to fail on this month in this year…but they and all the other things WERE reported as sub standard and repair/replacement was advised.

            So we have a popular and populist ending of road tolls, which means a reduction in income from the bridge, done in the recession post 2008.

            And clearly identified repairs that were not done.

            Right now the smoking gun of the irrefutable direct connection in a document between postponed repairs and reduced income has not been discovered. But a few days the Scottish Government were denying the failed element in the bridge had been included in the *needs repair* report in 2010…that position has since been reversed by the Minister.

            I can’t say (at present) that the SNP govt tried to eke out the old bridge because they knew a new bridge was coming. Many people have pointed out the SNP pushed through this new bridge, as they did. But that isn’t really a connected excuse for allowing the old one to fall to bits so catastrophically.

            The Transport police point was just to throw in a very small issue, that most experts feel was an unnecessary change in the bigger scheme of things, but that creates a clear point of difefrence between the rest of the UK and Scotland.

            I don’t for a moment think anyone will be swayed either way by a different method of policing the trains to change their views on independence/separation. It’s just one of many small and similar changes.

            The Uni point is they have waved that big *caring * flag of free tuition very vigorously as part of the effort to create an idea that Scotland is a nicer, more caring place than England (Though they tend to try and finesses away the idea that they mean Scots are more caring than English people by saying it’s the Westminster Government that is *uncaring*—although this begs the question of how this uncaring govt gets in without winning votes from the people in the constituencies.).

            But they have equally vigorously denied the effects shown in the data that the policy is resulting in a cascade of unforeseen (or acceptable) bad outcomes: That cash hungry universities feel they need to get more paying customers from non EU and England and that where places go to Scots the people receiving most help are the Middle Class , and not the poorer people… AND that when compared to England Scotland is performing worse in both these areas.

            Either they didn’t see these things would/could happen…although they were told they would…or they decided, if they were foreseen, they were a price worth paying.

            I don’t know.

            I believe the outcomes would have been seen as unclear, while the benefits in the lead up to the Independence referendum were clear, and so they did what they did and ignored the caveats.

            Had they won the referendum it may be that now they would be looking to address these things…maybe even by introducing a tuition fee.

            But because the neverendum continues I imagine they feel they must continue to wave the free tuition flag and simply try and ignore the other data that is showing the adverse effects.

            I don’t know because they aren’t saying.

            There are many other areas like this and while I don’t think they are a single controlling superbrain, my point is that since 2007 and especially 2011 they have taken decisions where the *good PR* possibilities in the long lead up to the referendum have been over weighted…and the bad outcomes under-weighted…or completely ignored.

      • NickInEdinburgh
  • CockneyblokefromReading

    So for this article you show a Scottish flag and…a British one.

  • iain mackie

    “the people of Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland are enjoying enviable levels of stability, prosperity and opportunity. ”
    What you meant to say is that the people of London are enjoying these things while the rest of the country use food banks have had no wage increase for a decade and are 90% more likely to be in fuel poverty than before the Tories took over 6 years ago. …..

    • HJ777

      The rest of the people use food banks?

      Really? From where did you get that implausible idea?

      • iain mackie

        2 in the top 10 poorest UK burghs are in London, 7 in the top 10 are in Glasgow. Im not saying there are not skint bits of London, but its proportionally way better of than the rest of the UK.

        • HJ777

          In which case, if true, only one of the poorest boroughs is in the rest of the UK, so how does this make London ‘way better off than the rest of the UK’?

          Of course, what you say simply isn’t true at all. There are a number of similarly deprived areas around the UK, for example Hartlepool and a number of seaside towns.

        • Mr B J Mann

          You mean the majority are SNP responsibility?!

    • Tamerlane

      Hysterical rubbish.

      • Todd Unctious

        Whereas Scotland is historical rubbish.

  • FrankieThompson

    Good try Fraser, but the unfortunate truth, for yourself, is that the Union of the Parliaments is heading for divorce right enough( there being two parliaments now) and the Union of the Crowns will stay( there being one Crown still). Thats means we will still have a Union, and we can still have the Union Flag, which can remain as it is until Ireland is united.

    Meanwhile, we can all still watch Corrie, if that’s all right.

  • Wee Mental Davie

    Of course we agree the same. It’s just the SNP that try to tell us otherwise. I love the Union and look forward to waving the Union flag soon.

    The good thing is that lots of people are getting the message that politics in Scotland is broken and split, that’s why the SNP have risen, but more and more of us reject independence.

    Despite how many migrants the SNP entice into Scotland, they will never be enough to win the independence vote … even with muslim postal vote rigging.

    • Sunset66

      Well the “mental”bit of your name is an accurate description
      Sheesh multiple conspiracy theories in one post from you.

      Mind you Davie your unionism is not like that from SE England
      Yours is more than no surrender unionism which repels those in England

      • Todd Unctious

        For England the Union is like having a septic Siamese twin. Like being chained to a dead weight while floundering in the sea.

        • Sunset66

          Lovely ” better together”

          ” A sceptic Siamese twin “. Now that’s special . Love you too

          • Todd Unctious

            I said septic, as in badly infected and rotting.

          • Sunset66

            Calm down it was finger trouble on my part

            We got the jist of your message.
            Lovely it’s good to know you care

          • Todd Unctious

            I care enough to not give a damn about Scotland.

          • Sunset66

            You sound a bit stressed
            We got the message when you posted that sceptic septic thing

          • Todd Unctious

            Not stressed, just disdainful.

      • Wee Mental Davie

        Away and man up and admit you knew about the first crack on the truss assy on the Fourth bridge. It was you.

        I have no idea what you are talking about surrendering. What ??

        • Sunset66

          Oh Davie

          You know how it goes ” the cry was no surrender , surrender or you’ll die”
          Honestly we all know you are an Orangeman. You go on sbout tarrier and Fenians

          • Wee Mental Davie

            Ill give you a deal. You pay for my relocation to another part of the UK and buy my cooncil hoose back, then I’ll leave Scotland and this will free up another hoose for your asylum seekers.

          • Sunset66

            Your simpleton act is hardly convincing
            Poor NI having you move there

          • Wee Mental Davie

            Simpleton act ? What are you on about now ? I’m being serious.

          • Sunset66

            Well your posts come across as though they were posts from the village idiot.

            My favourite from some time ago was that you had to rush off for your ” chickhen supper”

            You surely can’t be that simple so I presumed it was a guise.

            But hey maybe not

          • Wee Mental Davie

            You must be stalking me. I’m away to listen to celt*c loose on the radio.

          • Todd Unctious

            I’ll give you a deal. You keep voting for Jock independence and we can eventually be rid of having to pretend we have any thing in common with you feral, chippy, drunks.

          • Wee Mental Davie

            Keep it coming Todd. I’m not a muslim so I won’t get offended by any eejit that speaks up. On you go.

  • Daffy Duck

    I work for a large UK employer. We have a Scottish division. I would say that the majority are SNP supporters. They represent all sides of the religious divide. Very few of them appear to be left wingers. If they are, they don’t shout about it.

    They don’t hate the English, they just want Scotland to be ruled by the Scottish. I can’t argue with that. If/when they get their independence, lets see how long the Socialist SNP stay in power. I would suggest that the Scottish Conservative party might rise like a phoenix from the flames. I also predict it will be a ‘Conservative’ party.

    • Todd Unctious

      Scotland is not like England, never has been. Scotland is European culturally. Scots burned witches like the Europeans Scots allied with France for much of the Middle Ages. The English are fiercely independent. The Scots are less so. Scots like to blend in and be like the mainstream. Scottishness is predictable. Englishness is unique.

      • Daffy Duck

        As an Englishmen I cannot argue with you. But I know a few Scots who would disagree.

      • Daffy Duck

        The English are fiercely independent

        Not a historian…But didn’t the Romans find the Scottish fiercely independent. Unlike the English who got defeated and assimilated.

        • Todd Unctious

          The Romans found the Scots fierce yes, but also feral and less promising as subjects for civilising.

          • Daffy Duck

            I am going to come back and read this in a couple of hours. See what other comments have popped up.

          • Emmet Krull

            The European enlightenment was fueled by Scots thinkers. Adam Smith with his seminal work: ‘wealth of nations’ invented modern economies.

            Voltaire, himself said: ”We look to Scotland for all our ideas of civilisation’

            (‘Nous nous tournons vers l’Écosse pour trouver toutes nos idées sur la civilisation’)

          • Todd Unctious

            Like I said. Scots are European……nothing like the English. The English are noble and unique.

          • Emmet Krull

            You have totally sidestepped replying to my rebuttal of your assertion that the Scots are ‘feral’ and ‘less promising subjects for civilisation’. Let me save you the trouble. The European enlightenment laid the foundations for the Western democracy that we enjoy today.

            In case you haven’t noticed, the English are European too. And it’s my belief that the Scots and the English have more in common than with the rest of Europe.

          • Todd Unctious

            Other than Hume and maybe the disgraced economist Smith most enlightenment figures were French or German. Scotland as ever was peripheral but pretending to be more important than it really was.

          • Emmet Krull

            Your attitude towards Scotland borders on hate speech. Smith is by no means ‘disgraced’. We provided 2 eminent figures of the Enlightenment out of a population that stood at 1 million in the 18th century. Not bad for a small country. You may not agree, but frankly, I don’t give a damn.

          • LG

            You’re clear ignorance is on display.

          • Todd Unctious

            Do explain how.

          • LG

            You’re clearly in ignorance of much of enlightenment history. I suggest you might want to do some more reading. If you’d like some names, you may wish to consider:
            Robert Adam, Alison Rutherford, James Hutton, James Clerk Maxwell, Joseph Black, Frances Hutchison, Thomas Reid, William Robertson, Henry Home, Adam Ferguson, James Stuart Maxwell, Walter Scott, Robert Louis Stevenson, etc

          • Todd Unctious

            Oh I see. You want to include forgotten,second rate thinkers. You should have said. If we go to such second division intellects England had plenty too.

          • LG

            Second rate thinkers. Mmmm. Which ones are they?

          • NickInEdinburgh

            But you’re not English you’re from Devon, right?

          • Todd Unctious

            Correct. I am neither Scotch or English. Just well placed to assess both .

          • NickInEdinburgh

            Now look at the state of us, Adam Smith must be spinning in his grave!

          • The PrangWizard of England

            Surely they also looked at the geography and climate of Scotland and decided it wasn’t worth the trouble – wet, cold and with only a small amount of useful land.

          • NickInEdinburgh

            Yeah, as nice as the, “we Scots were too fierce for the Romans” theory is I think the reality was it wasn’t worth the effort for an already stretched empire.

          • Todd Unctious

            What we Devenish folk call a shithole.

          • IndependentEngland

            I think the Romans looked north and thought ‘sod that for a game of soldiers’. Not worth the bother.

        • HJ777

          If we’re going to get really silly about this I should point out that the English are, to a large extent, of Anglo Saxon origin and didn’t turn up until later.

          It would be more accurate to say that the Celts were pushed to the periphery.

          In reality, of course, we’re all pretty mixed up these days. An awful lot of us have a mixture of Scottish/English/Welsh/Irish (and plenty more besides) ancestry.

          • Daffy Duck

            I agree – Maybe I should have said the inhabitants south of Hadrian’s Wall.

          • Kevin Ronald Lohse

            Correct. We’re a nation of mongrels.

          • Glenmoriston

            Strange how they never refer to African’s or Asian’s, but we in Britain are classed as mongrel because we come from four closely related northern European tribes.

          • NickInEdinburgh

            I suppose it’s all relative.

          • NickInEdinburgh

            Most people in mainland Britain are genetically very similar. That is to say, most Scots are also “Ango-Saxon” (in other words a mix of various types of Scandinavian), the Celtic genes only really dominate in the far west and northern regions.

          • HJ777

            That’s very true. Indeed, before Walter Scott got involved, most lowland Scots treated many of what are now widely considered to be symbols of Scotland with disdain and worse. They were really symbols of Highland Scots.

            The split along these lines was pretty well demonstrated in the Jacobite rebellion.

          • Todd Unctious

            Scottish “traditions” were invented largely between 1800 and 1850.

          • steddyneddy

            People south of the Highlands were referred to as Sassenachs.

            I was taught at school that Scotland was made up of three races. The native British in the west, the incoming Scots in the north, and the Northumbrian English who occupied Edinburgh and the breadth of the English Scottish border.
            The Firth of forth was once called the Frisian sea, and English was spoken in Edinburgh before it was spoken in Leeds.

          • Todd Unctious

            Rubbish. Where did you get that from? Professors Peter Donnelly and Mark Robinson’s DNA studies for the Welcome Trust published in the Journal Nature in March this year have shown that traditional interpretation of Anglo-Saxons, Scandinavians and a Celtic fringe to be so much twaddle. Scots are in 4 or 5 genetic groups and very dissimilar to the English. Equally we folk in Devon share little in common with the English.

          • NickInEdinburgh

            I have just read that article and I think you are overstating it a tad. I put the term “Anglo-Saxon” in “”‘s as it is often used as a lazy was to refer to all the people who arrived from Germany and Scandinavia after the “native Celts and Brits”.

            The map in the Nature article shows quite nicely that the People in the West and North regions of Scotland are similar but I would also say that because one dot on the map is red and one is orange doesn’t been these people are not similar, it just means they have identified “a” difference. And the article is a bit light on details or conclusions, which is why you are over stating it a tad. Worth noting as well that its based on the population of the late 1800s before people started to move around more.

            The point I was trying to make was that the remnants of the “native Celts” are only really dominant in the north and west. The rest of the country has a much bigger influence from Scandinavia and Germany, the Saxons were also incidentally originally from Scandinavia. So as to dispel the idea that Scotland is a nation of Celts which marks us apart.

            I’m a Scot and my genetic heritage is in Celts from Spain and Saxons from Germany, like many others I would assume.

          • Todd Unctious

            I don’t necessarily disagree. There is a lot more Iberian DNA in the UK, especially in Cornwall and Wales, than any Baltic or “Celtic” blood.

          • Noa
          • Todd Unctious

            Rubbish. Scots are definitely not Anglo-Saxon ,except for the posh ones in Edinburgh.

          • Mr B J Mann

            Of course the Scottish (as opposed to the Pictish) are the same people.

            Which makes the way the Gaelic ones who stayed in Ireland welcomed back the children of the Gaelic ones that invaded Pictland ironic!

          • Mr B J Mann

            Even more ironic is the fact that Dublin was a Norseman slaving centre.

            And when Dubliners complain about being “invaded” (they were actually invited over to help in local wars) by “Englishmen” they are actually referring to the France based Norsemen that had conquered the English.

      • LG

        “Englishness is unique”

        Yes, but not necessarily in a good way.

        Why do you think, anywhere you go in the world in the sporting world it’s ABE? I personally like the english on a one to one level. But your racist comments certainly don’t give a very good impression of “englishness”.

        • HJ777

          It isn’t “ABE” anywhere in the sporting world, of course. You need to get out more rather than simply projecting your prejudice.

          Of course, when it comes to international sporting competition, countries want to beat England because England generally has a prominent place in international sport. But name me a country that a particular country doesn’t want to beat at sport.

          • LG

            “….because England generally has a prominent place in international sport.”

            We’re always the team to beat, eh? You just don’t see it, do you? That’s why ABE is a well known acronym across the world, because there are so many prats like Unctious and yourself, with an exaggerated sense of english sporting ability.

            You know that TV advert for the lottery? The one where all the most disliked celebs buy a ticket, and the tag line is “Just don’t let it be them!” Well, that’s how England are seen in world sport. Its not ABFr, or ABGr, or ABIt, or ABSp.

          • HJ777

            I said nothing of the sort and all I see is your delusional anti-English prejudice.

            England has a prominent place in international sport because many prominent international sports were invented/codified in England and England still features prominently. However, in Rugby Union, for example, it is clear that the country most opposition want to beat is New Zealand, not England. If your opponents place greater importance in beating a certain country than in beating others, it is a sign of respect, not disdain.

            Nobody cares about beating England at, say, American football or Basketball In women’s Hockey they all most want to beat the Netherlands. In men’s, India. I can provide many more examples which disprove your ridiculous prejudiced opinions.

            And you failed to name me a country that other countries don’t want to beat at sport. Who doesn’t want to beat Scotland at football or rugby, for example?

            You also wrongly assume that I am more English than I am Scottish.

          • LG

            I can assure you I don’t share the prejudice you speak of. I simply know of the attitude, and like you disapprove. It is difficult though, faced with comments like Unctious, above.

            But following your reasoning, with ABE rampant in at least football and rugby – England should be pre-eminent in those sports. And yet it doesn’t appear to show any prowess in those sports? How does that square?

          • HJ777

            There are plenty of inflammatory comments from SNP-supporting scots that are as or more inflammatory as anything from Unctious. I disapprove of all of them, but you can hardly deny that many SNP supporters set out to provoke such responses from the English. Creating division suits their purposes.

            The ‘ABE’ attitude is really something confined to football and rugby (mostly football) and comes predominantly from a vocal minority of Scots. It isn’t widespread from other sources, much as some Scots would like to claim it is. Everyone within these islands wants to beat England in these sports, however, for the very simple reason that England is easiest the biggest country and tends to have the most resources and success.

            This attitude isn’t particularly widespread outside these islands, or even outside a minority in Scotland. For example, in Rugby the SH countries tend to support each other against the NH. They all want to beat England because, frankly, England have long been the NH team they most fear (for good reason). In football, there are many great rivalries. I’ve never heard of anyone outside the UK ever expressing an ‘ABE’ attitude towards the England football team.

          • LG

            Actually, I don’t see much anti-english sentiment expressed by the SNP. There are plenty of low-life types on both sides of the border who shout the tribal slogans, etc. but I think the actual politicians are extremely careful not to express such views.
            There are idiots on both sides, such as Unctious, but if you can direct me to any actual instances of anti-english behaviour by the official SNP I’d be very surprised. Since you say it’s so widespread, you should have no difficulty?
            I do think a lot of English are offended by the notion that Scots might want to run their own affairs without them. Quite a lot seem to take offence at that, like a spurned spouse, and assume that it means Scots hate them, which just isn’t true. Some of our best friends are English.

          • HJ777

            SNP politicians are extremely careful not to say anything explicitly anti-English (although the same cannot be said for quite a few of their supporters).

            There’s a very good reason for this. They would lose support from some quarters whilst not attracting any more (because they already have it all) from the anti-English element of their support.

            But, of course, that does not stop the SNP from acting in a manner designed to provoke the English. They need to create division in order to achieve their aims – and they will do it in any way they think will serve their aims.

            I’ll give you one example – Salmond with his “It’s our pound and we’re keeping it – sovereign will of Scots” rhetoric over currency union. People in England were rightly offended that he seemed to think that they didn’t have a sovereign right not to agree, as clearly it would take two parties to reach such an agreement – neither an independent Scotland nor the rest of the UK would have any right to demand a currency union with what would be a separate country. Salmond backed this up with threats of walking away from shared debt if the rest of the UK wouldn’t agree. How could you not find that offensive?

            Another example. The claim that nuclear weapons are deliberately located near Glasgow and not near London because, by implication, people in England care less about Scotland. This was blatantly untrue. The AWE is only 30 miles from London. Nuclear weapons such as cruise missiles were based on Greenham Common, not far from London. London would clearly be a bigger target than Glasgow.

          • LG

            “…although the same cannot be said for quite a few of their supporters”

            Well, obviously. And the same goes for the English who express anti-Scottish views in the columns of this very magazine.

            So, essentially, you agree that there are no SNP anti-english views expressed. They are however perceived by the English – because they are offended by the Scot’s desire for self determination. The same goes for Salmond’s desire to share the currency. The corollary of your point is that the shared pound would not henceforth be ours, but the shared debt would be. You can see how that might be offensive to the Scots?

            I don’t agree with Salmond on the point in any case, I think there is no economic case for separation. But the English shouldn’t be offended any more than the Scots offended by the English. The only people doing the ‘we hating the English/we hate the Scots’ are the low life’s that you find in the margins of any political party – think UKIP. They hate everyone.

          • HJ777

            No I don’t agree. SNP officials are careful not to PUBLICLY express them. There is clearly anti-English sentiment in some quarters within the SNP.

            At most levels in the SNP, however, there is a willingness to provoke the English if it leads to their ends being achieved.

            Your “Share the pound” argument is nonsense. What is being talked about is a currency union – and both parties would have to agree to ongoing arrangements that limited their sovereignty after separation. Salmond omitted to ask the rest of the UK what their wishes would be in this respect and simply insisted that Scotland would get what it wanted – and made threats to back it up. The shared debt would be separated and allocated to each party accordingly. It would not continue to be shared.

      • David

        Unique? Fat 50 something year old bloke in football shirt…is that what you are talking about?

  • Tamerlane

    Lots and lots of Scots articles in the Speccie these days, not surprising but it does get a bit boring. There never has been a UK in anything other than name, there’s England and England’s various attachments and when the attachments have run their course England will bin them. That’s generally how the cycle of history works. The Scots can dream all they like and Scottish editors can write all the articles they like.

    • Todd Unctious

      Fraser is obsessed with Scottie land. He likes to pretend that Edinburgh and its barren hinterland counts for something. It does not. Not anymore. Yes, in the 19th C it had entrepreneurs and we’ll respected Universities. Now it is a bit of a sideshow.

      • Andrew Morton

        Define barren and hinterland.

        • Todd Unctious

          The area between the rivers Esk/Tweed and the featureless terrain of Sutherland.

  • Suriani

    The power of the centrist, establishment media BBC and ITV and their reporting of the London based press and its preoccupations is uncomfortably similar to that of the ruling ‘monoculture’ of the old Soviet Union. In a country with a relatively static, ageing and predicted declining population that only 3%, according your survey, support immigration is highly suggestive of a Scotland out of focus with its actial needs both social and cultural.

  • toasted teacakes

    Scottish secession: on the one hand, the break-up of Britain. On the other hand, goodbye forever to the whining SNP, and to Scotland’s entire bloc of almost uniformly leftist Parliamentarians.

    I wonder how many English and Welsh Tories surreptitiously donated funds to Yes Scotland?

    • davbeau

      You must be a millionaire – or are you one of the brainwashed plebs who thinks unions are the work of the devil and aspire to pay for BUPA as well as the NHS? Unless you are sitting financially very pretty right now, good luck long term with your touching trust in the powers that be to improve your lot…

      • toasted teacakes

        I’ve no objections to the union movement – I belong to it. The thing that the likes of you can’t come to terms with is that, whereas a significant number of private sector workers like me still belong to the unions, a great many of us also look at the two choices available to run the country, and always plump for the more right-wing one. The reason? We can see the value of unions as a means of collective action and defence, but we see nothing to like in Labour tax and spend policies, even in normal times. With the disgusting Corbyn and his hangers on in charge of the show, the imperative to keep them permanently out of power only increases.

        The SNP and Cameron combined have driven a stake into Labour’s heart: ruined in Scotland, whilst watching the Tories romp to a hundred seat majority in England and their best result in Wales since 1983. If the Nats succeed in winning a referendum rematch, then it won’t just be Britain’s North than is severed, it’ll be the English Labour Party’s head. Their position is already so weak that any remaining hope they have of getting back into office is predicated upon a coalition with the SNP.

        The only Labour leader to have won a general election in the last four decades was Blair, and he only managed that through a combination of the Major-era sleaze scandals, Tory civil war, and the co-ordinated dumping of most of Labour’s socialist baggage. Labour has been drifting leftwards, and consequently weakening ever more rapidly, since he left office. The Holy Grail of the destruction of the Left is now coming into view, and if the end of the Union with Scotland will help us to grasp it then so much the better. Then we down South can have the definitive political realignment that will respond to our needs: an American-style system in which a centre-right party – representing, in essence, the orthodoxy that has prevailed ever since 1979 – faces off against a traditional, socially conservative right-wing party.

        Much of what’s left of Labour’s white working class vote would gravitate towards the traditionalist party (as it is already doing towards Ukip,) most of the ethnic minority vote would break for the centre-right moderate party (as per the American Democrats,) and Labour – if it continued to exist at all – would be reduced to a marginal rump appealing to cultural Marxists, placard waving dog-on-a-rope radicals, inter-generational benefit junkies, and gender-segregated rallies of Pakistani and Bangladeshi Muslims. Safely in its box, screaming impotently from a handful of urban fastnesses, unable to do the vast bulk of the population any more damage ever again.

        Too much to ask for? I hope not!

        • davbeau

          “Disgusting’ Corbyn? It’s just an emotional insult with no backup. In what way exactly do you think Corbyn is ‘disgusting’?

          Whilst Labour did poorly at the election, predictions of a complete Labour demise are probably premature since no Labour election win since 1945 has depended on the Scots vote – they would have won anyway without it.
          It’s good that Corbyn sticks to his guns over issues that most people in Britain actually agree with him and not the Tories over – NHS, austerity, tax credits, Trident renewal, student fees – and where the Tories are the extremists (check the YouGov polls). It gives some people some hope of jnot being on the continual receiving end of lying and shafting. But whether he ends up being the leader who takes Labour into the next election remains to be seen.

          Many white working class gravitate to UKIP for understandable reasons – they are shocked by the huge rate of foreigner influx in the last 15 years – an understandably human reaction the ‘I’m alright jack’ bleating of much of the middle class left wing media fails to take on board – and they are stressed by the strain on services and housing which the Tories are actually cutting whilst continuing to allow the influx. They were let down by Labour and now the Tories are letting them down massively on 2 fronts on this.

          Meanwhile people like you seem to swallow the whole austerity line hook line and sinker, content to see the huge inequality gap grow ever wider. Your ‘tax and spend’ line seems straight from a Tory pamphlet. What is the detail behind that?

          Your overall vision seems to me to be a stark and bleak one riven with huge economic division and injustice and if that is the England you want you are very welcome to it. Go and live in right wing America where your health care depends on your job if you like the idea but its not one I think most British – or most English people would welcome.

          Placard waving – i.e. protest – is our proud democratic right hard won with centuries of blood and not be ridiculed in a pithy crib of tabloid cartoonery. There are very very few ‘dog on a rope’ types in our country and they are usually vulnerable homeless people with serious issues and who need help. Might as well ridicule someone for being in a wheelchair. There is a middle way – being left wing doesn’t mean to say you don’t recognise the psychological and cultural strain of too much immigration – as well as the practical downside when combined with a policy of deliberate underfunding. That this issue has still not been tackled at all by ANY of the major parties including the Tories is a failure of intelligence, imagination and courage they are all guilty of. Oh and they segregate in synagogues too, so we could pass a law which says no segregation anywhere at all except changing rooms.

          Lastly you talk of all these powerless and poor people causing ‘damage’ to the vast bulk of the population. Are you blind to the obvious reality that the only people capable of doing that are the powerful and that harm is being meted out right now? What would you do about that beyond your sensible membership of a union?

  • William Smith

    Someone has to take up the fight for the Union, it is too often neglected and forgotten by those at Westminster. The one good thing, I suppose, from the Nationalist surge in May is that the Scottish MP’s now sit as a literal mass on the benches of the House of Commons; Scottish affairs must, by necessity, rank highly in the reckoning of Downing Street.

    A lot of people seem to forget that Britain has been, by and large, for much of its history a backwater in the greater scheme of things. It was only when Britain united that we gained the stability to look beyond our shores and become the great nation that we are today.

    No longer does Britain “rule the waves” or command a “quarter of the globe”, we have inevitably declined relative to the vast nations of the world, but together we still stand taller than the total sum of our parts. If we split, I fear that all “home nations” would be the lesser for it; I have no wish to see a little England or a small proud Scotland when, together, we have such a magnificent voice on the world stage.

    • NickInEdinburgh

      The SNP block in Westminster are a gaggle of gits and a complete waste of time. We are massively under-represented in government and in the shadow government. I haven’t checked but I wouldn’t be surprised if 1 MP in Government and 1 MP in shadow government are the lowest figures since the union was created.

      • Andrew Morton

        That’ll be why Scotland voted for them and supports them still in massive numbers.

        • NickInEdinburgh

          1.6M people voted Yes in 2014. 1.4M people voted SNP in 2015. I think you’ll find the source of their election success right there.

          • Todd Unctious

            46 million Brits got no vote.

      • They stand for their country. In stark contrast with so called “English” MPs most of whom can’t even bring themselves to say England let alone stand for England.

        • NickInEdinburgh

          In my opinion they stand for their party. None of them are allowed to express opinions which differ from party line, how is that representative of the people of Scotland?

    • LG

      I really shiver when I hear that “punching above our weight on the world stage” stuff. For what?

      • NickInEdinburgh

        Not getting told what to do by Germany?

    • Andrew Morton

      I don’t want a ‘magnificent voice on the world stage’, I want to live in a small proud nation.

      • Todd Unctious

        Move to Montenegro then.

      • HJ777

        Pride comes before a fall.

        And it wasn’t ‘proud small nations’ that were able to withstand all the tyrannies that would have subjugated Europe, had they been allowed.

  • weescamp

    Yesterday the regional GVA % figures were released by the Office of National Statistics. London’s % is 22.6 of the UK total, Scotland’s is 7.7% . Even allowing for differences in population size London’s GVA is nearly 2.5 times that of Scotland.

    Now tell me again the benefits of Scotland’s economy being so badly managed by Westminster.

    • NickInEdinburgh

      Looking at GVA statistics alone doesn’t really paint the whole picture. And to be honest the GVA figures are hardly surprising if you think about it logically. And anyway, why is London having a successful economy so bad? I don’t get the anti-London argument from Scots, if any part of the country is doing well it is beneficial for the rest of us. At least it is until the SNP get their full fiscal autonomy (not that they really want it) because then none of the tax which is being taken in London will cross the borer to Scotland.

      • LG

        The problem is that London actually receives a massive subsidy from all the other parts of the UK. The whole cost of government is taken from the regions and spent in London. Also, since London has all the cultural assets, it gets all the public spend on cultural assets. Since all the spend is in London, that’s where everyone want to be.
        HS2 is all about widening the London commuter belt. It’s promoted as being for the North – but where are they starting it? London, and working out from there. Says it all really.

        • Andrew Morton

          And the third runway at Heathrow will create tens of thousands of new jobs – in London. What a surprise.

          • HJ777

            Are Glasgow or Edinburgh (or anywhere else in Scotland, for that matter) in need of new runway capacity and not getting it?

          • shona long

            Nah, we already have a spare one at Prestwick 🙂

          • LG

            A greater effort has to be made to spread the government/capital city benefits around. There’s no reason why Birmingham/Manchester airports could’t be expanded, and at the same time, government departments spread around the country a bit more. If the Energy Department was in Aberdeen, perhaps more oil co HQ’s would be there, rather than London. If the Department for work and pensions was in Hull, etc, etc.
            Maybe if Parliament was in Liverpool it would be nearer the constituent countries.
            This whole country is based on complete centralisation around London. The country should be called Londonistan rather than Britain. Maybe we should rename it that and just be honest.

          • NickInEdinburgh

            Surely the travel costs and wasted time would be unacceptable if you had government departments spread all over the country.

          • LG

            Why? Would it be any more than the costs of stoking this massive boom in London? But if so, move it all wholesale somewhere else. The north could do with all the subsidy that government entails. And since London is full up now….

          • davbeau

            They would if it was tempura soup.

          • HJ777

            Nobody other than user demand is stopping Birmingham or Manchester airports expanding. They have spare capacity.

            Government departments are spread around. The DVLA is in Swansea. My tax office (I live in Southern England) is in Cumbernauld. I could go on.

            It is certainly true that decision-making and revenue generation (i.e tax) is too centralised in the UK, as are spending decisions. But this is a ‘central government’ problem, not a location one.

          • LG

            “Government departments are spread around.”

            Yes, but obviously not enough. You say it’s too centralised, well, exactly my point. If departments, including the decision making elements are moved out of London then that decentralises them locationally. The salaries earned are spent in the regions instead of all being spent in London.

          • HJ777

            No, your complaint was centralisation in London.

            If you centralise decision-making, then it has, by definition, to be centralised somewhere. But that’s not the same thing as the spending (as opposed to the spending decisions) being centralised.

            I support far greater decentralisation of decision-making and tax revenue generation. It seems that people like Osborne are starting to agree and move in that direction. However, within Scotland, exactly the opposite is happening, unfortunately. That is perhaps the inevitable consequence of introducing another layer of government at Holyrood that has to justify its existence.

          • LG

            I was with you there until the thing about Scotland. I understand the isles are to be granted greater self-governing powers. But I think some of the ‘cooncils’ couldn’t run a soup kitchen and I’d be very way of devolving much importance to them.

          • Todd Unctious

            Scots won’t eat soup. It may contain vegetables.

          • HJ777

            Perhaps better people would run councils because the public would take more interest had they more power (especially tax-raising ones).

          • LG

            That’s the general argument for devolution – although it probably shouldn’t be taken to extremes.

          • styants64

            You can keep the third runway stick it on the Isle of Skye with all the pollution that goes with it Londoners ordinary working -class get all the rubbish along with high living costs.

        • styants64

          London loses of 50 billion pounds of taxes raised there which spent in other parts of Britan IE Northern Ireland Wales and Scotland all have more spent in subsidies per head than any other part of Britain.

    • NickInEdinburgh

      Incidentally when you look at GDP figures the difference is less, £38k per capita GDP in London and £26k per capita in Scotland.

    • Todd Unctious

      Wrong. Scotland has 8% of UK population,London has 14%. If it had a GVA 2.5 times that of Scotland it would be 35% not 22%.

  • Calzo

    Differences in social attitudes across the border are fairly modest but present nonetheless. It’s no wonder considering the Scottish masses are also exposed to the nonsense of the Mail and the Sun. On the other hand ~80% odd vote centre or centre left. Quite a startling difference surely…

  • shona long

    Interesting illustration. Where is the English flag ?

  • Andrew Morton

    As long as Scotland has a media which is controlled from outside and which pushes the Establishment line, it’s hardly surprising that a large number of people absorb its views on such subjects as Welfare.

    • Aporia

      Scottish papers and other news sources are ubiquitous. Scottish
      people are, moreover, not mindless “absorbers” of information. I’m
      always amazed by how Nationalists claim to “believe in Scotland” then go
      on to insult the intelligence of the majority of Scots in a hopeless
      attempt to explain away their own failures.

      • davbeau

        Politicians – ’nuff said.

    • davbeau

      Don’t think independence would free us from an ‘establishment’. The Scots establishment have shafted the people probably every bit as much as the English establishment have over the centuries and the only thing that will curtail business as usual would be the extra visibility and vigilance in a smaller unit that independence would bring. However don’t hold out much hope – as we saw from the Glasgow mafia Labour party – the Scots have a remarkable capacity for carving out fiefdoms and shafting each other as soon as they get a whiff of power. Clannishness must be in our blood. Education is what will make a difference to that.

      • NickInEdinburgh

        We now have and have had for some time a Nationalist Establishment. The people you support are part of the problem.

  • Do rose tinted spectacles come any thicker?

    Ukishness is in terminal decline (outside the establishment) and we will all get on much better as independent ex-home nations. We can still also be “British” post UK for the minority who want to be.

    The end of the “UK” will be good for the peoples of the islands (particularly the underfunded, unrecognised English) and with an end to UKish delusions of “punching about our weight” which in reality is doing what ever the US tells us to do – good for the world too.

    The future’s bright the future is independence all round. Bring it on.

    • IndependentEngland

      Totally agree. From an English perspective the UK has become meaningless. Massive support for the SNP in Scotland, and constant complaints of underfunding from Wales and N.Ireland mean that the UK has become a negative not a positive. It is easy to list the negatives. There are few if any positives.
      England should withdraw from the UK and not seek a position on the UN Security Council.

    • davbeau

      Why did so many English in general go so weird and emotional over the idea then, getting all bitter and anti-Scots over it?

      • CockneyblokefromReading

        It’s more frustration out of annoyance. The English are pi$$ed off about some Scots continually banging on about exploiting ‘their’ oil, and the fact that the amount per head paid to the regions is unfair. I personally know a Scot who’s been living in England his whole adult life, and yet is rabidly anti-English – especially over sport. So why doesn’t he go back there? Like Mr Connery – what a plank. When the referendum hit, the vast majority of Scots stayed silent, instead of speaking up for the Union. Personally, I would like to see us all break up and go our own ways. I think you’d find mass emigration from Scotland and Wales into England. And with the future of oil much in doubt, Scotland would suffer enormously from being independent. As the comments say above, we should take our new place in the world, which wouldn’t be on the UN Security Council, and stop being told what to do by the US. And I’m not sure we should hold nuclear weapons, either.

        • davbeau

          I don’t think many Scots complain about the expenditure, they complain about being characterised as taking more than they give when the real figures don’t bear that out. They also don’t like the inability of most English people to understand why Scots do not support England at football and do not want or require English support for Scotland. To Scots that’s a hangup that simply denies our relative positions in size and strength – now and for the last 1000 years. Sport is the one area where the English should accept maximum competitive animosity as part of the game. It’s a lot better than fighting for real. I would find any Scots person who is ‘rabidly anti-English’ rather odd and agree with you that such a person should head home at least – but actually should just change their ideas. The Scots did not vote for independence they voted against it – that’s the reality, so English people with a hang up over it can’t have it both ways – we voted to stay in the union so stop focusing on those who lost – they are outnumbered by pro union Scots. Connery is criticised in Scotland too for hypocrisy over his residence – but he is still of course the greatest alpha male specimen of the 20th century! I really don’t know what would happen if we split but I’m less concerned about economics based around oil, it’s more about what kind of society you want to live in and whether Scotland could overcome the hurdles it faces as part of the UK in fashioning the kind of country most Scots actually want. Your vision is interesting but probably has few takers in England. That could change over the next 50 years though but I think the bigger issue will be for the English people to tackle with the rest of us the growing inequality in the country, the creation of a huge underclass and the dumbing down required to maintain that.

    • vieuxceps2

      Well done, Wyrdtimes. Look well at this you people in England,for you need to DO something about it.

  • Englishoak

    There is agreement between the British & the Scottish, but not the English & Scottish.
    The British agree with that the Scots should receive preferential funding, over representation, separate Govt, separate Parlmnt & still vote on England only business in a British laden Parliament.

    The English are inclined to disagree. Where is our English Parliament?

    • shona long

      An English parliament, is the only thing which may ultimately hold our Union, together. I agree England should have one. The trouble may be that Westminster (and the elite), may not want to relinquish their power. The British elite like to have power centralised at Westminster. More people should wake up to the facts, especially the one that Westminster is NOT the English parliament. It is the one we all have a share in. EVEL needs an English parliament.

      • NickInEdinburgh

        Power in England is less centralised than it is in Scotland. The UK government have for some time been devolving power to the other countries and regions of the UK. Unlike the Scottish government who have been centralising all power to Holyrood. I do agree though that an English Parliament would be a good idea, and somewhere outside the South East.

        • shona long

          I have to agree , the SG is remarkably controlling. I am surprised more people don’t notice.

        • davbeau

          Its true – Scotland still has a long way to go. The land also is held by a smaller percentage than in England and needs reforming.

          • NickInEdinburgh

            The point being, we are moving in the other direction under the Tartan Tories.

          • HJ777

            The land issue is a simple one. Much of the land in Scotland is not currently economically viable to farm or for other uses. Large (rich) landowners often own it for other reasons because they can afford to. They often effectively subsidise it, which often benefits others – not something to be discouraged.

            I’m not sure that there is greater concentration of ownership of urban or rich farming land than in England.

      • vieuxceps2

        Some of us have been saying this for decades now,in fact the Campaign for an English Parliament (CEP) has worked tirelessly for it.We should federalise the nation called UK with each land having its own parliament (only England lacks one) and a federal assembly with members drawn from the four parliaments for overlapping policies,defence,fishing ,embassies etc.
        No extra MPs , the parliament in England would consist of the present set-up in Westminster minus all members for non- English seats. In fact,all MPs from devolved lands would be redundant, so a good saving there for our thrifty neighours. We must do something, we cannot go on with the present lop-sided set-up which is so unfair and unbalanced against England.Indeed when, not if, Scotland secedes from the Union, there will be no choice. Better start planning I feel.

    • davbeau

      The Scots ARE British, the English agreed the formula, your characterisation is simplistic because it doesn’t consider why it was agreed. It also contains unsaid in it the myth that Scotland supposedly takes out more money than it contributes to the UK. The Scots would be the first to support regional English parliaments – like the article pointed out there are areas of England that very definitely do NOT want to be grafted onto the South East.

      • Englishoak

        When did the English agree to being relegated to 4th class citizens in the UK? When did we agree to underfund England’s sick & dying? When we were given choices? When was our Ref? When were we asked anything?
        Keep your blatant lies to yourself.

        • davbeau

          No lies – I would be the first to support English regional parliaments, I don’t support relative underfunding of anyone. To get equal treatment you sometimes have to spend unequal money because of geography. Very simple. Then there are local choices. You the English keep voting for people who take these things from you like the free university education you used to have, Why don’t you at least learn the lessons and stop voting for a Tory party that is just going to make all the things you complain about worse? Will you only wake up when you have a private health system charging huge insurance and basic treatments are refused? When are you going to learn the lessons that means you will take these things back for yourselves and halt the worsening treatment of the English people at the hands of a corporate lead government that cares little about anything British OR English?

          • Englishoak

            Until you acknowledge you were talking rubbish & the English have never been given choices, let alone agreed to being underfunded via the Barnett Formula, there is no point in continuing with your further bull***t solutions which apparently include dismantling England as a nation.
            Off you F

          • davbeau

            Don’t get all emotional and insulting over it for goodness sake – have the conviction of your own argument. Who agreed the Barnett formula? It wasn’t magically imposed on the English by the Scots was it? The Scots have always been a minority of less than 10% or less in the UK. No position to impose anything. The English agreed it in the end. Face it and move on. If you want to argue that it’s now unfair then by all means go ahead – and answer my point about why you keep voting for a party that shafts your people.

          • Englishoak

            I was born in Cornwall and live in Yorkshire. Don’t tell me what I think.
            Either provide evidence for your assertions or stop demanding my attention. You’ve taken up enough of my time with your nonsense already.

          • HJ777

            “You the English keep voting for people who take these things from you like the free university education you used to have

            Don’t be ridiculous. It doesn’t matter who you vote for – free university education is an impossibility. It has to be paid for. You can’t get something free just by voting for it, or we would all simply vote ourselves free Rolls-Royces.

            It is merely a matter of who pays and by what mechanism.

          • davbeau

            Such speciousness is utterly pointless – you know exactly what was meant. Of course it’s about who pays and by what mechanism. The mechanism that was most generally beneficial was removed in England and not in Scotland. My suggestion is that you should put it back how it was.

          • davbeau

            Specious – of course its the mechanism – which England had right before.

    • vieuxceps2

      Well spoken sir! English Parliament and Homerule once again for England.

  • Nick

    We’re all the same people in the UK: English,Northern Irish,Welsh and Scottish.

    The differences are different regional accents and we eat different things like Pasties and Haggis etc.Other than that,that’s it.We’re all the same.

    Same people all mixing,living and marrying together.

    • Todd Unctious

      Now that is nonsense with knobs on.

      • terence patrick hewett

        Let us construct a simple mathematical model:

        Given that everyone has 2 parents, 4 grandparents, 8 great grandparents, 16
        great-great-grandparents, 32 great-great-great-grandparents et al: and if we
        assume for convenience that there is a re-generation every 20 years, then after 100 years we have two to the power 5 antecedents which equal 32 ancestors.

        Go back 200 years then we have 2 to the power 10 antecedents which equals
        1024 ancestors. Go back 400 years and we have 2 to the power 20 antecedents which equals 1,048,586 ancestors. Go back 1000 years and we have 2 to the power 50 antecedents which equals 1.12 trillion antecedents.

        Everyone has this ancestry: it is a physical impossibility not to have: the
        implication is: since there have never been anywhere near that many people born in these islands: that we are all related to each other; we all have common ancestors; apparently inc*st is best!

        To define where we “come” from 1000 years ago to within 15Km as some
        newspapers claim, is utter tosh. Only that one of your many genetic markers can be traced to an area inhabited by a small number of your trillions of
        ancestors. The Scot or Englishman may equally “come” from Arbroath as Andover.

        Finally: genetic markers tell us that we are all largely descended from
        those people left stranded on these islands which formed when the ice retreated some 10,000 years ago which links us ancestrally to all the peoples of Europe: so after 10,000 years; in Britain we all have 2 to the power 500 antecedents which equals 3 trillion-trillion: which is a very large figure indeed: in comparison there are estimated to be 100 billion stars in our galaxy. Going
        back further to our ancestral links with Europe we generate a figure so great
        as to change the implication into a certainty that we are all related. What
        price Daniel Defoes’ Mongr*l Race now?

        And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know
        not: Am I my brother’s keeper?

        The answer to that question is “Undoubtedly Yes”

        • Todd Unctious

          Garbage. A “regeneration” every 20 years ! Historians work on 30 years per generation. Until the 1830s very few women gave birth before age 28. What is most interesting is just how pure the DNA in the UK has stayed. Again, until around 1830 very few people moved very far at all. Genetic heritage remained in the same locale.
          Coupled with our notorious lack of social mobility that means Norman surnames are still 7 times over represented among Barristers then it is no surprise.
          Yes if you go back 15 generations (450 years) one would have about 30,000 forebears but 99% of them would be interrelated and come from within a very narrow radius. You seek to impose modern demography on an ancient culture.

          • Richard Baranov

            I seem to remember not that long back, a local school master turned out to be the direct descendent of a stone age man that they managed to extract DNA from in one of the Cheddar caves. Mr. Ugs decedent’s had not strayed more than 5 miles from where Mr Ug was found. It illustrates your point perfectly. Do you remember that? There was a T.V. programme about it.

          • NickInEdinburgh

            Same thing happened in Germany, a couple found ancient remains on their land and lo-and-behold they were their ancestors. Mind you so were probably thousands of other people to. But I suppose the point is that the people who originally migrated to that particular patch were related to the people who migrated the neighboring patches as well. We all came from Africa after all. Bit of a moot point.

          • Todd Unctious

            Indeed. Adrian Targett a local history teacher and directly descended from a 9,000 year old skeleton from Cheddar caves. The story broke around fifteen years ago.
            My own family can be traced back 725 years to a village in Devon 4 miles from where I was brought up.

          • Richard Baranov

            On my fathers side we came over with Bill the Conker and on my mothers side French and Welsh! What a combo! The French on my mothers side are two alcoholic twins who came here after being chucked out by the family.So in their habits they were true English people 🙂

          • NickInEdinburgh

            “Until the 1830s very few women gave birth before age 28.” Are you joking? 28 was virtually middle aged in the middle ages and before. Quick search on google and here’s a nice quote for you: “So, the most common age for a young woman of middle or low status to marry was from the age of 22 years old. Thus we can conclude that this young woman would have given birth to her first child before she was 25 years old.”

          • terence patrick hewett

            It is a simple mathematical model enabled to demonstrate a very large figure and a trend: whether the generation comes every 20 or 30 years makes no difference to the enormity of the final figure over 1000 or 10000 years: as does the smallness of the breed pool since one has to have two to tango: the smaller the pool the greater the inbreeding. It is impossible to create a mathematical model to represent the complexity of the migrations over 10000 years since we do not know their extent fully.

          • Todd Unctious

            You need to read Stephen Oppenheimer’s the Origins of the British and Gregory Clark’s The Son also Rises. You seem to think we have been nomadic for millennia. Wrong.

          • terence patrick hewett

            Read them.

            You do not seem to understand the nature of a progression.

            It is :

            2,4,8,16,32,64,128………n

            You, me or a San bushman – everybody has this ancestry. If the series is broken, the line ceases. Migration matters not one jot: just one man and one woman is needed. It matters not that the re-generation is 20 or 30 years: the figure after 1000 or 10,000 years is enormous.

            Oppenheimer demonstrates that the migration flows from Europe to the emergent islands was complex and massive.

        • davbeau

          Our differences are cultural not genetic – so much deeper.

      • Nick

        Oh no it jolly well isn’t.You fiend.

    • davbeau

      Aw Nick – don’t come over all Blue Mink on us – you’ll make me cry… 😀

      • Nick

        Good group were Blue Mink.;-)

  • ohforheavensake

    We just don’t like the Tories.

    • NickInEdinburgh

      Who’s we?

      • ohforheavensake

        We Scots.

        • NickInEdinburgh

          You mean, we non-tory voting Scots as opposed to the tory-voting Scots who probably do like the Tories.

          • ohforheavensake

            The Torries? Is that like the Corries, but a bit more right-wing?

            … But seriously though: over 80% of Scottish voters vote for other parties, and the Scottish Conservatives are trying to distance themselves from the old Etonians down south. So- yep. We hate the Tories. Not sure where we stand on the Torries.

          • HJ777

            It’s very silly to hate perfectly reasonable people as a group just because you disagree with them.

          • nicolsinclair

            “It’s very silly to hate perfectly reasonable people as a group just because you disagree with them.”

            And very immature

          • NickInEdinburgh

            I just get irked by the generalisations of we scots this and we scots that. Its a pretty diverse country with a lot of different views. 20% of the population is still a fairly significant quantity. And also just because the other 80% voted for other parties doesn’t me every one of them hates the Tories. In fact most of the non-tory voting people I know wouldn’t say they hate them. I don’t vote tory and I don’t hate them, I would much prefer them over the current SG as would most people I know. We are not a nation of left wingers, even though you wouldn’t believe it from the rhetoric that comes out of holyrood.

          • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

            20% ???

            Try 14%

          • NickInEdinburgh

            I was using the number ohforheavensake mentioned, but yes 14.9%. Still a lot of people. A lot of people who deserve to have representation just as much as the next person.

          • davbeau

            Yes of course they do – and they are even bluer than Cheltenham ladies with a blue rinse – but there are so so few of them.

          • NickInEdinburgh

            434,097 confirmed non haters earlier this year.

          • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

            North Britisher’s…. Not Scots.

          • davbeau

            You have a point.

          • NickInEdinburgh

            No he doesn’t

          • davbeau

            Yes more Tories in Scotland than you think – the skew of 1st past the post. I wonder to what extent English and other immigrants have infuenced that? On proportion of vote numbers alone I make the result SNP:30 Labour:15 Conservative:9 LibDem:4 UKIP:1.

          • NickInEdinburgh

            Again, there is plenty support for the conservatives. I’m not even going to respond to the English and immigrant comment. The truth is, before the poll tax and the mining dispute Scotland voted conservative in much higher numbers. They still have strong support in rural communities and there are many people who identify with a conservative ideology.

          • NickInEdinburgh

            Now I look more closely it is interesting that the biggest drop in % of votes for the Conservatives was between the 1992 and 1997 elections. So, against popular opinion, over a quarter of us voted for Thatcher pretty consistently all through the 80s and kept voting Conservative until Blair got in when the conservative share dropped to 17.5%. We were seduced by New Labour?

          • davbeau

            It’s more than people think Nick, its true – and I would prefer PR myself (unlike the Tory party) but don’t get too carried away, 14.9% is still a small chunk of the vote and the Tories have only once had a majority in Scotland in 180 years!

          • NickInEdinburgh

            I’m not fussed I don’t vote conservative. I’d just like to see a more even distribution of MPs. Having pretty much a one party state is not healthy.

          • NickInEdinburgh

            I also think that Ruth Davidson is the best all-round politician in Holyrood at the moment. Her party may well get my 2nd vote.

          • Son_of_Casandra

            Many of us were delighted to see the old rates system go and poll tax brought in, so that the free loaders in council housing across Scotland who paid no rates at that time, had to actually pay for the services that they were users of.

          • nicolsinclair

            And then the SNP (Eck) let off the Poll Tax defaulters free of charge whilst the honest Joes who paid up have had to lump it. Why? Because the defaulters were undoubtedly SNP supporters…

          • davbeau

            I was only wondering…

          • nicolsinclair

            OMG, there’s near half a million of us. 🙂

        • Son_of_Casandra

          Do you mean like me, born and brought up and living in Glasgow and voting Conservative to try to save Scotland from the vile racist ideology of the Scot Natz?

      • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

        WE Scots.

        The unwanted London Tories are alien to Scotland.

        • HJ777

          You’re not even Scottish and don’t live in Scotland. What would you know?

          And don’t try to claim to the contrary. You were rumbled before.

          • nicolsinclair

            I shouldn’t really have bothered to comment to him/her for he’s yet another troll.

          • Kennybhoy

            “And don’t try to claim to the contrary. You were rumbled before.”

            When was this man?

        • Son_of_Casandra

          Racist drivel.

        • nicolsinclair

          You are speaking only for yourself when you say “We just don’t like the Tories.”
          There are thousands of Tory supporters (and voters) in Scotland. Their problem is that they are too widely spread throughout the land and therefore become disenfranchised.

  • davbeau

    With only 1 MP for the last decade the ‘nation’ in David Cameron’s supposed ‘one nation’ conservatism can only be England. It can’t apply to the UK as a whole.
    Didn’t he also demonstrate his feelings for the Scots at the last election with his panic racist campaign showing a sinister cartoon of Salmond arriving in London, the message of which was if you vote Labour then, horrors of horrors! you’ll put the Scots in charge! Cue widespread English panic and a surprise victory for the Tories. Does that not show how lovey dovey and connected we really are? Cameron is a shallow short term cynic and the fact that such a low level racist ad was a) considered as a viable strategy by the Tories and b) actually appeared to work on enough of the English population, surely illustrated very clearly where the Scots stand in the minds of a lot of English people.

    • NickInEdinburgh

      The fear was of the SNP not “the Scots” and anyone who says otherwise is being disingenuous. Wait until we get PR and then there will be up to 8 Tories north of the border.

      • davbeau

        The ads were widely pilloried and described as anti-Scottish not just by the SNP but by Gordon Brown and by Scottish unionists. There was no policy attack on the SNP, the independence vote was done and the only handle the Tories could reach for was Scottishness pure and simple. I’m afraid you’re the ignoramus here or you’re just sticking your head in the sand.
        As for PR – that’s a pipe dream and an utterly inconsistent one since the Tories have always been absolutely against it.

        • NickInEdinburgh

          Yeah and they were all playing a dangerous political game. Nobbers.

          To be honest, I didn’t like the idea of a Labour / SNP deal either and I’m scottish. The reason being why would you put a party bent on the break up of the UK into the UK government. That’s the fear. There have been plenty of Scottish cabinet minsters and PMs in the past with no wiff of a fear smear campaign.

          • toasted teacakes

            The natural consequence of an increasingly assertive and distant nationalist Parliament in Edinburgh is that the English, in turn, will be more and more reluctant to have the Scots continue to meddle in events South of the Border. The longer the devolution process continues and the deeper it becomes, so that failure of the original settlement to deal with the West Lothian Question grows ever more damaging. Already, the prospect of an MP for a Scottish seat ever becoming Prime Minister (or even holding a post such as Health Secretary) in London again is increasingly remote.

            In fact, I question whether, despite its remaining benefits, the Union with Scotland is any longer worth saving, from the English perspective. Divorce is not merely a tremendous boon for those of us who want to ensure that Gordon Brown is our last Leftist PM as well as the last Scottish one: we also have to consider the fact that, although the referendum proposition was defeated in September 2014, it nonetheless revealed that the Scots are almost split down the middle – with almost half of them having given up on the Union, and more than that now committed to supporting a political movement whose sole aim in life is to kill the Union by any peaceful means necessary. They want out, and people on both sides of the border know that an SNP voice in the British Government would concentrate entirely on pissing the English off by voting to impose on us deliberately destructive policies that they don’t have to suffer themselves, and helping Scotland to further handouts from the Treasury on top of its already bloated share of public spending. It’s why the Tories campaigned on the prospect of the wet, feeble Miliband becoming the dog that would be wagged by the Scottish Nationalist tail, and why that tactic worked so very well.

            The Union is dying, and the failure of both the Tory and Labour leaderships to even begin to consider federalism (i.e. fairness for all four parts of the UK,) will ultimately kill it off. It would therefore most likely be best for the arrangement to be put out of its misery as soon as possible. Then, if the first independent Scottish Government wants to experiment with radically higher taxes and redistribution, coupled with open door immigration to try to bring down its age profile and make its population a bit less embarrassingly white, then let it. Just so long as we make sure that our Northern border has a nice tall electrified fence and plenty of guards, of course.

          • NickInEdinburgh

            I can’t be bothered with a long winded reply. I just want to say that your reference to more than half supporting the SNP is incorrect. They got 50% of the vote which equated to 35% of the electorate. As I mentioned in another post on this thread less people voted SNP in the general election that voted Yes in the referendum.

          • toasted teacakes

            Which supports what I just said. 45% broke for Yes in the referendum, 50% backed the SNP in the GE. We can only estimate public support for a particular proposition in any given vote by looking at the wishes of those who bothered to turn out: what makes you so sure that the vast majority of those who couldn’t be arsed to vote in May were Unionists? Neither you nor I know the answer to this, one way or the other, but it doesn’t seem like a reasonable assumption to me.

            Any political or constitutional situation in which the population is split into two, heavily polarised and almost evenly matched camps is surely unsustainable? Something has to give and, since those Scots who have disowned the Union can presumably be relied on not to rediscover a love for it, the logical direction of travel remains towards independence.

          • NickInEdinburgh

            It doesn’t support what you said, your statement is factually incorrect which ever way you look at it. I didn’t say I was sure of anything I merely quoted the facts, you are the one creating your own story.

            I’m sorry if that upsets you as it doesn’t fit with your theory but your ego will just have to get over it.

          • toasted teacakes

            Stroppy stroppy stroppy! 🙂

            The Nats are hugely popular, and nobody who backs them is thinking of anything other than Scotland. If you have any regard for the Union, you don’t vote for a party that wants to destroy it (and whose preferred method of so doing is to irritate, and ideally inflict harm upon, the neighbours.)

            The Union is on its last legs. Any further serious divergences of opinion – notably in the EU referendum – could help finish it off. If it does survive then it will come increasingly to resemble Belgium, which only has the crown, the army and the football team to hold it together. Except that the UK doesn’t even have the latter, of course.

          • gavin

            You will find that John Curtice, the media’s forecaster of choice, has as his last *Poll of Polls* a constitutional dead heat.
            50% for independence—50% against.
            Given the preference of our southern neighbours for the Conservative Party( though only as the biggest minority), a Party whose recent history in Scotland is as a sweary word, then its all to play for!
            Its not only the SNP who believe in self government, but there are people in all Parties—and most of all, people in none.

          • NickInEdinburgh

            We all know how accurate polls can be of course.

          • lochbaum2

            Embarrassingly white??????

  • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

    Are there any unionist BRITNATS out there that actually beleve this tripe ?

    • HJ777

      No, nobody believes your tripe.

      Happy to have been able to help.

    • vieuxceps2

      Do you realise that you are the only person on the planet to use the term Britnat?

      • gavin

        Whatsup? Don’t you Brit Nats like the term?

        Its all the rage in Scotland—-a response to “Scotnat”, which Brit Nats seem to like to use.

        • vieuxceps2

          Aaaagh! Tjhere’s two of you.

      • shona long

        There are a few who do to be honest. A derogatory term used towards everybody in Scotland who isn’t 100% still obsessed with Indy.

    • David Griffiths

      Are there any swivel-eyed separatist fanatics out there who still retain the power of rational thought?

      • gavin

        Farage, Cameroon, Osborne…………………………………………….

    • Son_of_Casandra

      How very sad that you’ve found your way to this publication. Can’t you confine yourself to posting your vicious racist nationalist drivel on the Scotsman?

      • gavin

        The Scotsman is a Unionist propaganda sheet and has been for decades—certainly not Scottish.

  • carl jacobs

    We may be just a few years away from a second battle for Britain.

    Why? Simply say “There will be no referendum.” End of discussion. The British parliament holds sovereignty after all. It can’t be coerced. And what could Scotland do about it anyways? Hold its collective breath until it turns collectively blue? This is all nonsense. All the sovereign gov’t has to do is act like a sovereign gov’t.

    • davbeau

      Such certainty must be relaxing.

    • gavin

      The concept of “Sovereignty of Parliament” is an entirely English constitutional notion.
      It may have escaped your notice that the English Parliament was dissolved at the same time as was Scotland’s, and there was no mention of sovereignty in the Treaty of Union.

      In Scotland the people are legally sovereign, and have been since 1320.

    • jelliedeels

      If the English govt refuses a new referendum –then we revert to the previous constitutional position of ,if a majority of Scottish MPs who support independence get elected to westminster ,that is a mandate for independence

      • NickInEdinburgh

        eeeh…. na…

  • Fife Lad

    The sooner that Commissar(s) Salmond and Sturgeon et al along with their devisive, whinging, English hating brand of politics is consigned to the dustbin of history, the better.

    • David Griffiths

      As a Perthshire Lad I couldn’t agree more

      • Son_of_Casandra

        And as a Glasgow lad you can include me in that sentiment as well.

      • nicolsinclair

        Me too – Edinburgh lad.

    • Joe

      Edinburgh lad here! Count me in too!
      .

    • NickInEdinburgh

      +1

    • gavin

      Tut, tut—–Cybritnattery.

      Didn’t you get the memo?

      • Fife Lad

        You voted SNP. No one cares.

    • jelliedeels

      the voters dont agree —and in fife ,labour are finished

    • Albiro

      Lanarkshire, I agree as well.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    The Scots are a bit like the Germans, but without the sense of humour.

    • Son_of_Casandra

      We’ve a wicked sense of humour, but there’s nothing funny about the Scot Natz or the division and discord they have sown in Scotland.

      • gavin

        Tut, tut—-Cybritnattery.

        Cheap and offensive.

        • Son_of_Casandra

          If you don’t like facts go and hide your head in a hole in the ground. The fact is that the Scot Natz have set parent against child, brother against sister, husband against wife and neighbour against neighbour. You must be very proud of yourselves.

          • gavin

            No, that would be the Brit Natz, who have been sucking the life out of Scotland for decades, leading to outward migration for centuries.

            I AM proud to be a Scot.

          • Son_of_Casandra

            I’m ashamed that you’re a Scot.

          • jelliedeels

            typical racist comment from a unionist —by no means are all unionists racist but it is certain that all racists are unionists —–just ask down your local bar

          • NickInEdinburgh

            Aww poor little nationalist, I feel sorry for you that your life is so boring you have to invent stories of prejudice and victimization to try and give it some meaning. We should all take pity on you.

          • Damon

            “I AM proud to be a Scot.”
            So you should be, and I am proud to be English. Far more crucially, however, both of us should be proud to be British.

          • Son_of_Casandra

            You’re wasting your time on him. He hates the English and being British. Fortunately many Scots are with you on this, proud to be Scottish and proud to be British.

          • nicolsinclair

            I am also proud to be a Scot just not your kind of Scot.

      • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

        I am delighted to say that as a Scottish civic nationalist I could not be any more different from BRIT-Natz such as yourself.

        • Son_of_Casandra

          There’s nothing civic about you and your sort. You spend your time hurling racist and bigoted comments at everyone who doesn’t support the insanity of Scotland becoming independent.

          Perhaps you can explain where the money to fill the black hole of billions of pounds in the Scottish economy is going to come from and while you’re at it, perhaps you can explain what independent currency an independent Scotland could use.

          • jelliedeels

            So your saying 300 years of london rule has left Scotland an economic basket case –not much of a reason to continue the union then .

          • Son_of_Casandra

            The Scottish government are now responsible for Scotland’s economic performance and we can see where that’s left us.

            They’re not even fit to manage the maintenance on a bridge.

          • jelliedeels

            9 years as against 300 years of English rule and in that 9 years london kept the purse strings

          • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

            Racist BRIT-Natz

          • Son_of_Casandra

            Instead of hurling abuse as you always do, perhaps you can explain where the money to fill the black hole of billions of pounds in the Scottish economy is going to come from and while you’re at it, perhaps you can explain what independent currency an independent Scotland could use.

      • jelliedeels

        How typical of a union jock –that guy makes a racist comment about Scots and you agree

        • Son_of_Casandra

          Except that I didn’t agree with his comment but your pathetic response is exactly what I expect form a Scot Nat.

    • gavin

      Yea, the English GET the German humour–is that because you are descended from them?
      Angles, Jutes, Saxons……………………………………..

      • NickInEdinburgh

        As do many people in Scotland.

    • davbeau

      Aw you flatter us – but yes it’s true that we don’t have the German sense of humour – because they have none according to the English. So we are definitely not like that I must agree.
      Other great German characteristics are their engineering prowess: agreed, Scots have a huge history of that, their love of music: right again we’re musical through and through, their intellectual life – Goethe, Weittgenstein etc:, yep the Scots were the centre of the Enlightenment with David Hume, Adam Smith etc. whereas the English are always suspicious of an intellectual – and of course the Germans, as we all know, are good at fighting – check – and love drink – check. It’s very fine of you to point these things out!

      • Jackthesmilingblack

        I’m a fan of the Scottish enlightenment, in particular James Maxwell. Calculating the speed of light without experimentation; now that was cool.

        • EUSSR 4 All!

          You have just managed to get the century (and the subjects) wrong, but otherwise, well done (considering that you are a Troll and you came from the *****y side of Teesside!)

      • Sean L

        But it’s the empiricist philosophy of David Hume that’s the basis of that scepticism towards intellectuals. Thus we talk of British Empiricism, not English. It’s the polar opposite of German idealism. Thus if you study philosophy at university in the English-speaking world, it will be what’s called Analytical Philosophy, as distinct from Continental Philosophy. That’s the influence of Hume. There’s no such thing as English or Scottish philosophy. The English philosophers of note, like Russell or Ayer, all take their lead from Hume. Their antipathy towards German and French schools is entirely Humean. Hume is the sceptical philosopher par excellence.

    • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

      Racist BRITNAT

    • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

      I’d much rather be German than whatever you happen to be.

  • marvin

    The Scottish people are a combination of people from all over Britain, just as British people number a great many subjects from Scotland. It is only the media and the hugely unpopular SNP who have created any divisions between us.

    • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

      Marvin

      “The Scottish people are a combination of people from all over Britain, just as British people number a great many subjects from Scotland”.

      —-

      Marvin, you speak from a position of utter ignorance.

      I would suggest that you do a little research on the terms England, Britain, UK, Great Britain and British Isles, before you comment further.

    • davbeau

      Try a venn diagram before talking about this next time.

  • gavin

    John Curtice’s latest Poll of Polls has a constitutional dead heat. 50% for independence–50% against.
    Give the Tories look likely to be the UK government for many years, and the antipathy in Scotland toward these selfsame Tories, then its all to play for.

    I daresay people all over the world agree on Motherhood and apple pie—doesn’t mean they want to all be governed from London.

    • Damon

      “John Curtice’s latest Poll of Polls has a constitutional dead heat. 50% for independence–50% against.”

      It may be 50-50 now, when there’s no referendum and no immediate prospect of one. If it should come to pass again, then stark reality will focus minds – just as it did last time.
      All of which, of course – banks, currencies, trade, EU membership, etc, etc – is secondary to the great and fundamental truth, that we are ONE country and ONE United Kingdom.

      • shona long

        We are one United Kingdom, but we are NOT all one country . It is good we can get along and retain our separate identities.

    • JLIT99

      ‘the antipathy in Scotland toward these selfsame Tories’

      The same Tories who have soared in the Scots polls?
      http://www.thecourier.co.uk/news/politics/conservatives-gaining-ground-on-scottish-labour-in-the-polls-1.911146

      • Thomas Mills

        Soared to 18%? Prepare for government it is then.

        • JLIT99

          Obviously not happening for a while, but just less than 20% is not a small proportion of people.

        • Albiro

          Prepare to actually come to terms with the fact you lost. Deal with it.

          • Thomas Mills

            Lost what?

          • Albiro

            The referendum, the argument . Game over. Deal with it.

          • Thomas Mills

            Quite a few assumptions you’re making there bright spark.

          • Albiro

            No assumptions, you lost.

          • Thomas Mills

            Oh I think you may have made at least a couple.

    • robertsonjames

      It does, however, mean that a key argument used by pro-independence campaigners, namely that on a range of touchstone political and social issues the Scots are quite distinct and different from the English and that therefore we need to create two separate polities to reflect this stark contrast in attitudes and preferences, is, as we say in Dundee, complete bolleaux.

      On everything from attitudes to the EU and the Euro to views on defence and immigration we are continually told that the Scots are at odds with the English. If I had five pounds sterling (about 27 post-independence poonds salmond) for every time I’ve heard a Scottish politician assert that on these and other matters the Scots see things very differently from their southern neighbours, I’d now be a very rich man indeed. But whenever a proper study of public opinion is actually undertaken, the claim, like so many other nationalistic myths, is shown to be almost entirely contrary to the available evidence. The Scots in fact are not appreciably more peacenik, more pro-multiculturalism or less Eurosceptic than the English.

      In short, I’m sick of being lied to by people desperate to drive a crowbar between these like-minded peoples for their own ends.

  • trace9

    You could compare it just to the North – South divide in the USA in the early 18th Cent. – Only upside-down geographically. Many Southerners were of Scottish stock – in the North, Anglo-saxon.. The South wanted to hang on to Slavery, in a rough way an equivalent of Welfare – liveliehood for (almost) nothing. Visceral differences which had been subdued by an imperative to work together – building the US continental ’empire’ coast-to-coast / building an industrialised & Empire-wide UK – now felt less useful to the seceder – the bigger half now a bossy & corrupt annoyance.. Exploited by ambitious pollys.. Even the Saltire’s like the Southern flag. ‘Wealth’ differentials similar to the US. We’d almost recreated the UK across the pond, them. Now, can we recreate the US here as a ‘Federalised’ UK.? Yes it can be done, first battle won, b never that first fine glory again.

  • Jacobi

    The nationalists in Scotland are disaffected politicians who chase illusion, not to mention a little place in history, a temporary surge in Scoto-American tourism and a very good pension

    The referendum result was helped by dissatisfaction caused by unemployment amongst 2nd or 3rd generation Glasgow Irish immigrant families with a vague folk memory of some Irish uprising, and equally disaffected youngish Scots, who if you mentioned the Darien scheme to them would think you were talking about a brand of Milk.

    As for the so-called Scottish nation, take away the half million English and the estimated three-quarters of a million Anglo-English, (lets leave aside the third generation Irish) and you do not have much left. By the way I speak as one who was born and live in that integral part of the UK known as Scotland.

    Now this nationalism will not disappear overnight, but from now on you can expect election results to steadily move away from nationalism, as reality dawns

    My ancestors learned the hard way that we Scots do better within the UK keeping you southerners in hand. We have done quite well out of that for some four hundred years and will continue to do so.

    • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

      Spoken like a true subservient and dependent North Britisher.

      Fortunately Scots do not share your BRITNAT views.

      • Jacobi

        Agreed. Like one born into the British stated of parents born into the British state, a state which has served me and my Scottish forebears well for 400 years after our pathetic attempt to punch 10 times above our weight, much to the astonishment of the Spanish who couldn’t believe their eyes before packing us off. Illusion is something people in this part of the world are prone to – and greed of course as our nationalist
        politicians know well.
        And by the way I am a Scot who happens to live in the North of Britain. Yopuy I suppose are down ion the London area somewhere?

      • FenlandBuddha

        I wonder why Scottish Nationalists didn’t win the referendum then?

        • Marvin

          Because they knew that it was suicidal to jump into the deep end without learning to swim first. The UK is their safety net, crutch and zimmerframe, because they know that they could not survive on oil alone.

          • Shapster

            Especially now the asre has fallen out of the oil market. Nowhere yet have we seen an intelligent argument for how much better Scotland will be out of the UK. It’s nothing more than vanity on the part of berks like Salmond and Sturgeon and sadly a good number of the population who – inexplicably to most English people – have a weird inbuilt nationalistic chip on their shoulders. Losing Scotland will be of no detriment to the remainder of the UK but the same cannot be said in reverse. If Ajockalypse and his silly, angry minded brethren want out then let them go I say and let’s be done with it. A Scotsman is painful enough to listen to at the best of times but when he’s wittering and mithering about his beloved homeland, it becomes unbearable. STFU and FO for pity’s sake..

  • JLIT99

    And another 15 in Holyrood 🙂

  • jmckba

    The people of scotland want independence. We need to get away from the corruption in the westmonster antiquated stuffy and outdated structure, The scottish hatred of the tories stems from thatcher destroying most of the industrial base in scotland. She treated scots as second class citizens while promoting london as the capital of the world. Not much has changed today. Hopefully global warming will see london and its basin under water within a few hundred years and this country will be a better place. Remember this never ending recession that is torturing this country is a direct consequence of the gambling bankers in london who are basking in the bahamas sun instead of in jail.

    • NickInEdinburgh

      The people of Scotland voted against independence, remember? We went through all that for the past 3 years!

      Regarding Tory and Thacther hatred… try scrolling down and reading some of the posts on that topic.

      Feel free to express your personal opinions but don’t assume to know the opinion of everyone in the country, doing so makes you as bad as the politicians you apparently despise.

    • NickInEdinburgh

      Also, my cousins live in London so thanks for the yule tide message for them, you’re a great guy.

    • NickInEdinburgh

      And another thing to consider is that banking and financial services are Scotland’s largest industry after Oil and Gas, maybe now it is THE largest. So before pointing the finger at London maybe you should look closer to home. Not to mention the global credit crisis was kick started in the USA.

    • Jacobi

      Maggie destroyed industry elsewhere also. The closing of the Forth bridge has been very instructive. Enormous disruption to what is left of the oil industry and of course our fishing industry which must get its produce quickly to the south.
      Just think what would happen if the frontiers go up from 2 miles south of Burnmouth to Gretna!

    • Albiro

      The people of Scotland do not want ‘independence’ and voted decisively against it. You are in denial of the facts to suit your agenda. Nationalists like you are no more than cult members . Idiot.

  • bobby_r

    But if they are so similar to us, why do they keep electing left wing MPs? It’s hard to respect a country that elected Gordon Brown.

    • Cobbett

      Cameron is Right Wing?….that’s interesting

  • IndependentEngland

    England is better together. We must resist attempts of the UK establishment to divide and conquer England by setting northerner against southerner, Lancastrian against Yorkist. We need an English Government away from London.

    • EppingBlogger

      The drive to separate England doesnot come from the UK establishment, indeed they would cease to be the “UK” establishment if they succeeded. The drive to separate us geographically comes from the old enemy – the EU.

      The plan is to reinforce regions and abolish counties; instead we will have the inelegantly named “sub-regional authorities”. Needless to say, these two layers of government will be support structures for the EU and over time they will replace Westminster.

      Attempts to divide us on all other grounds than geography are typically marxist but now used by all parties in the political class. By setting country dweller against townie, muslim against everyone else, driver against cyclist, etc they hope to do what marxists have done down the decades – divide and rule.

      Needless to say, the values and judgements of all these groups transcend the arbitrary groiups the politicians like to put us into, so we should just vote as we believe and do so often and vigorously. The weaknesses in Britain (or UK) are not among the people but among the wholly inadequate people who make up the political class.

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