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Referendum Spin: Beware the Tory Bogeymen!

21 March 2013

6:50 PM

21 March 2013

6:50 PM

So we have our date with destiny. Scotland will march to the polls nine days after the 501st anniversary of the Battle of Flodden. September, 18th 2014. There are fewer than 600 days to go.

And already the spin is starting. Stephen Noon, that smart nationalist strategist, is first out the blocks with a post asking who would stand to benefit from a No vote? His answer should not surprise you. Noon thinks David Cameron’s own re-election campaign will be boosted if Scotland says no to independence:

Labour and Tories may share a platform and campaign together before the vote, but as soon as the votes are counted there would be only one person in the No victory spotlight. Peer into that future and what do you see? It’s David Cameron, UK PM, alone on the winner’s podium. Ed Miliband and Johann Lamont, thank you, your job is done.

I bet the Tories are rubbing their hands in anticipation at the fillip a Scottish No would give them as they enter their pre-election Conference. They would hail the PM as the man who saved their ‘nation’. Success breeds success. And no one does flag waving better than the Tories. If you thought John Major was saved by his soapbox campaign to save the Union in 1992, well you ain’t seen nothing yet.

And so today, while Scottish Labour loyalists congratulate themselves in advance of any victory, the rest of us can see the bigger picture. They will have spent 18 months as the foot soldiers of the No campaign, and every door they knock for No, every leaflet they deliver will help, in the event of a No victory, to deliver David Cameron the keys to Downing Street for a second term. You might call it ironic. Let’s make sure it doesn’t happen.

This is cute. Wrong but very cute. Interesting use of quotation marks around ‘nation’ too. It vastly overstates the interest English folk have in this referendum. Do we really think Cameron’s attempts to hold Tory marginals in 2015 will be greatly assisted by victory in Scotland eight months previously? Will this make the difference in those Lib Dem-Tory battles in the south-west of England? Could this be the tipping point the Tories need to help them in London?

Come off it. Sure, Cameron will bask in the sunshine of Unionist victory. But it won’t really help him win the next general election.

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So what is Noon really doing here? Well, he’s reminding us of a core part of the SNP strategy. The nationalists will spend the next 18 months arguing that a No vote is a vote for maintaining “Tory rule” in Scotland. Cameron will be portrayed as Margaret Thatcher’s bastard offspring, all the better to scare Scottish voters into voting Yes.

This may be a grubby approach but it is not necessarily a stupid one. I think there are grounds for thinking that the Yes campaign, paradoxically, needs the Tories to be polling well in England. The more likely a returned Tory government in London seems the more Scots will be persuaded to vote Yes. It is a wager on anti-Toryism being stronger than doubts about Scottish independence.

So, viewed dispassionately, it is in the SNP’s interests (at least this is their view) to exaggerate the probability that the Conservatives will win the next British election. Vote Yes or the Tory Bogeymen will get you!

Conversely, if a majority of Labour-supporting Scots are persuaded that Labour will win the next British election it seems probable that a good number of them will answer the question of how Scotland will avoid the alleged horrors of Conservatism with a pretty simple answer: elect a Labour government.

Which is why the SNP are anxious to persuade Scotland that David Cameron will still be Prime Minister in 2016.

Of course, Labour tried this in 2011 too. There campaign then was reduced to the slogan Now the Tories are back….vote Labour to protect Scotland. Biter bit and all that.


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Show comments
  • dun werkin

    “However even ther most desperate No group will never mention Johaan Lamont as even they are embarrassed, and at least in this profound embarrassment we are all united.”

    Haha! Thats the best description of La Mont I have heard, and am ever likely to hear!Bravo!!

  • Redneck

    Terregles1 and Jambo25

    I think we’re at extremes of the spectrum: I like and intend to vote to stay British. Hence, the status quo suits me. Can you tell me your preference and/or predictions for what should happen to the following, should I be on the losing side? Thank you.

    1. Currency?
    A) If I were in the Bank of England I wouldn’t countenance an Independent Scotland have anything other than very disadvantageous terms.
    B) The Euro fills me with dread.

    2. Defence?
    A) Do we forget nuclear deterrent altogether?
    B) Do we expect still to be part of or supported by a Greater UK force?
    C) Part of a Eurozone force?

    3. Funding?
    A) Can’t remember exact figure but about 50% of the population is employed in Public Sector: how do we fund that when oil runs out.
    B) Given that our major banks have all failed dramatically, what is or would be our sources of revenue?

    4. Immigration?

    • terregles2

      If you wish to stay British …good luck …you will need it.

      • Redneck

        Terregles2

        I am grateful for your good luck message but would you mind giving me your opinion on the points raised please?

        • terregles2

          You want to stay with Westminster I want to leave the union, What is there to discuss? We are all adults. you place your X I will place mine,

          • Redneck

            Terregles2

            I was genuinely interested to hear your views and am disappointed not to be able to read them.

            • terregles2

              Disappointed…. Good Lord I am sure you will cope. Just stick to reading the Scottsh Daily Mail I am sure you will cope…

              • Redneck

                Terregles2

                I don’t read the Scottish Daily Mail and reiterate, I was honestly interested in your views.

                • terregles2

                  Really Redneck if you want to keep up to speed and take part in an informed debate reading the Scottish Daily Mail is a preresquite. Sorry but there is no way round that.

    • terregles2

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpUYKdSJlfg
      This is quite a good youtube clip for anyone who still has questions about some of the issues regarding Independence.

  • allymax bruce

    Westminster is now a battlefield of competing ‘capitalist’ forces/interests; it’s our ‘moneychangers’, (The City), against ‘their’ (EU, Republicans etc), ‘moneychangers’; who do you fancy to win?
    I pray it’s ‘our-lot’; I don’t want ‘their’ institutions getting a foothold in our country, and control of our money/oil!
    This dichotomy will fashion a political struggle, of which, has already begun; the Conservatives being ‘London City’ minded to support, while Labour/Lib-Dems being EU minded to support.
    We have a real 21st century political/Capitalist struggle going on here, and I’m of the mind that the Conservatives/The City, fancy having an Independent Scotland on their side, with a strength in the £, a close and dependent-interested neighbour, (Scotland), on-board with Tory/London-City Westminster, as they go and duke it oot wi’ the encroaching ‘EU super-rich’!

  • http://www.facebook.com/simon.lakin.3 Simon Lakin

    Are we sure that the Tories really want a No vote? What would help the Conservatives long into the future? Surely a House of Commons without Scottish MPs.

    Am I the only one in this debate who has thought of this glaring political opportunity?
    I doubt it but perhaps no one from the Conservatives dare mention it publicly.

    Let’s see how things go over the next 18 months and let’s see how keen the PM and other Tory ministers really are to get behind the “Better together” campaign.

    If David Cameron really does want Scotland to stay part of the Union what about some others on the right of the Party? Which way would Boris Johnson’s mind be working? Here is a potential chance to get the Tories back in to power for generations to come…

    • Democritus

      At present Labour is 10 points ahead in the polls. The pollsters use their magic to predict the number of seats each party will win. At present Labour would have 110 seat majority. If you take Scotland out of the equation labour would have an 87 seat majority. The Lib Dems would be the biggest losers, 20% of their seats.

  • terregles2

    It is so difficult to pick a up a newspaper or read anything at all that is not full of hysterical scaremongering over the referendum

    Thank goodness I have found Newsnetscotland.com and CraigMurray.org.uk

    • Clavers

      Newsnat Scotland is nothing more than Natspeak and is a creepy reminder of what awaits freedom of speech in Salmond’s “Independent” Scotland.

      • terregles2

        Newnet Scotland is a bit of balance against the hysterical unionist scaremongering. Newsnet is slanted towards independence so it helps to give both sides of opinion. I never make decisions without assessing two sides of every issue.
        The idea of only listening to one opinion is really not an option. I have found the Craid Murray website also an interesting read. Over the coming weeks I will be looking at the Westminster GERS figures and seeing what I can find out from them.
        I like to read the Daily Mal and also the Guardian. gives a more balanced picture
        I also now like to read the Scottish Daily Mail and Newsnetscotland once again for some balance.

        • Eddie

          ‘I never make decisions without assessing two sides of every issue.’
          Hilarious! And I award you the joke of the day award!

          So what two sides were they you assessed? Whether the English are nasty wee beasties – or whether the English are dreadful nasty wee beasties?

          Any rational person who knows anything about business and economics can see that for the sake of Scotland and the Scots, being part of the union is essential.

          Otherwise, Scotland will become a wasteland, with high taxes, low growth, EU problems, mass uneployment, IMF visits, the lot! It will also be a one party SNP state – with a corrupt single party as nepotistic and corrupt as the ANC in SA. There will also be greater sectarian religious violence.

          • terregles2

            Oh the Guardian and the Daily Mail do not present any differing political opinion. Silly me…. thanks for setting me straight. Once again I bow to your intellectual superiority.

            • Eddie

              My point is: like most pro-indpendence monkeys, you were never ‘undecided’. You just pretend to have been.
              Come on, laddie. Fess up.

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000222335179 Maureen Luby

            What an inane comment! Have you any facts to back up your idiotic statements? You clearly show that your are neither rational nor have any knowledge of business and economics! Numpty! Saor Alba my friend 😉

    • Democritus

      It’s difficult to find ,any news about the referendum for or against. Perhaps now the date is set some facts may surface instead of all the posturing!

      • terregles2

        Seems strange that that you have not noticed that every newspaper you have recently glanced at is anti Scottish Independendence and every BBC programme is strongly biased against Independence they all spout anti independence propaganda. Perhaps you live abroad, If you are struggling for some info on independence cast you eye over Newsnetscotland and Craigmurray.org.uk. Both of these websites are unashamedly pro Independence but they make a refreshing a change from the same old same old played out Scottish Independence scaremongering.
        There again if you want to debate the in depth details of Independence check out the political giant Johaan Laamont and the Scottish Labour party.. They are indeed a formidable political force.

        • Redneck

          Terregles2

          Without wishing to appear rude, I suspect the pro-Independence group’s best chance of success would be to stir-up as much anti-English sentiment as they can, in the hope of creating a few, news-worthy “anti-Jock” retorts from a few Englishmen.

          These comments could be used on a continuous YouTube looped video, a la Mel Gibson, to convince the 16- and 17-year olds in the electorate that: “They can’t take our freedom”.

          I just don’t see a genuinely convincing case that would otherwise make the majority of Scots feel it was right to break up a 300+ year-old Union from which Scotland and many Scottish men & women have done very well.

          • terregles2

            What on earth has anti English feeling got to do with Independence. The SNP have some English MSP’s and some English members in their party.
            My neighbours are English and they are voting for Independence. There are a few half witted Scottish people who say they don’t like the English just as there are a few halfwitted English people who say they don’t like Scottish people. Some of these clowns post drivel on this forum. We need look no further than eddie who rants against Scottish people on a daily basis. Because eddie is offensive it does not mean all English people are offensive. Quite the reverse.Thankfully the morons are a small minority. Overall Scots and English get on well as many of us have friends and family on both sides of the border and none of that would change with Independence, indeed why would it?
            The SNP along with three other Scottish politcal parties are campaigning for a YES vote. They do so because they want to be governed from Edinburgh rather than Westminster not because they have any dislke of English people. No political party in Scotland is campaigning against English people or indeed any other nation.

            • Redneck

              Terregles2

              I fully accept your point about none of the parties overtly campaigning with an anti-English manifesto: to do so would probably be illegal.

              I would like to think, like you, that an anti-English sentiment was not prevalent amongst those whom I know who plan to vote for Independence. Unfortunately, when the guards are down, too many, when pressed, still define their Scottishness as being nothing more than an anti-English feeling.
              Sadly, I include friends and family among this group: too often I hear only, “it’s our oil” or ” I hate these English b*****ds”

              • terregles2

                If I were you I would change my friends. I have never heard any of my workmates or friends ever say they hate any nation far less the English.
                I don’t think any English people would join the SNP or campaign for independence if they had ever encountered anti English sentiment. I must say that if any of my family ever said that they hated any nation I would be ashamed. I certainly would not let them speak like that in front of me.
                I really find it hard to understand how anyone in Scotland could ever suggest that the only reason Scottish politicians do not campaign on an anti English ticket is because it is illegal. That is the most bizarre suggestion I have ever heard particularly as some of them are English.
                I also cannot understand how anyone you know defines themselves as Scottish What an outdated idea. I have Scottish, Irish, English. Italian, Indian and Chinese friends, their nationality is irrelevant I like and respect them all as people. I am a person like any other person on this earth. The fact that I am Scottish is just and accident of birth. It does not mean anything I am no better or worse because of my geographical location.
                i want to live in a country that like almost every other country governs itself. If the First Minister in an independent country is Scottish or English or Irish or Welsh, none of that will matter as long as they are accountable to the electorate in Scotland that is the only important thing..

                • Redneck

                  Terregles2

                  I am surprised that you’ve never encountered this rather virulent anti-English sentiment: I can only assume you move in much gentler climes than I do.

                  I wasn’t implying that your desire for Independence reflected an innate sense of superiority and I share your feeling that we’re all created equal etc.

                  However, may I ask for clarification on your statement that a definition of being Scottish is outdated? I suspect you’re in a small minority to take that view. You only have to be where Scots are asked: “nationality?” and I’d be shocked if a large proportion didn’t say, “Scottish”.

                  Finally, concerning your last section, re-your friends etc. A real bugbear of mine, in addition to the sudden lowering of voting age, is the limiting of voting to those living in Scotland at a particular time. It seems ridiculous to exclude those born in Scotland but currently living or working elsewhere in the UK. That seems to me to be flagrant voter manipulation, not exactly the actions of a mature democracy.

                • terregles2

                  No I have not encountered anti-English sentiment. My friends are anti English government not English people. I find any racism abhorrent and anyone who knows me would never denigrate another nation in front of me. If any of your family and friends are doing so you should really tell them that it is unacceptable.

                  I have experienced anti Scottish abuse more than once when I was in England but I did not class all the English as anti Scottish. I saw it for what it was, some uneducated English louts who knew no better. Just as any Scottish person abusing an English person would also be moronic.

                  When I said the concept of being Scottish was outdated I meant in terms of voting for independence. Anyone living in Scotland no matter what their origins are having a say in Scotland’s future. I find it hard to understand how that can be viewed as in any way unfair, For example imagine if the majority living in Scotland voted NO but independence was forced on them by people who don’t even live here. That would be undemocratic in the extreme. Apart from anything else how could you begin to locate the Scottish diaspora
                  and arrange a voting system for them. I think it is disingenuous to pretend that Scots living outside of Scotland should be voting. I have Scottish family living in England who cannot vote and English people living here who can. That is fair. Every country in recent times who have voted on independence have based it on the voters roll in the country. To suggest that this system is a sign of an immature democracy is puzzling in the extreme.

                  If you live in Scotland and you are voting NO as you claim then you should be glad the 16/17 year olds now have the vote. Latest opinion polls show that the majority of this age group are likely to be NO voters.

              • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000222335179 Maureen Luby

                It is our oil :). I think, like many, you are confusing anti English with anti Westminster. Go on any independence forum and you will see that anyone who spouts anti-English nonsense is quickly put down. Saor Alba my friend.

                • Redneck

                  Maureen
                  Thank you.

                  1. I am not clear how you can say “it is our oil”: what criteria do you use to define that?
                  2. I am slightly surprised that you feel able to imply I am confused concerning anti-English or anti-Westminster. I have never once heard any of my Independence-favouring friends, relatives or colleagues express their antipathy as an anti-Westminster comment. It is always anti-English. When I press them, their feelings seem reserved for, what could be best described as “Oxbridge toffs”. They tend to have caveats concerning folk from “up North”, with whom they express affinity. Maybe there’s a typical “Scottish working class” chip-on-the-shoulder element to it? But to re-iterate, never anti-Westminster.
                  3. Sorry, no idea what Saor Alba means,

            • http://twitter.com/MisterQuintus Tony Quintus

              More like governed from Brussels

          • terregles2

            Without wishing to appear rude on this forum the only anti nation rants that I have read come from a person under the name of eddie. I am sure you must have noticed them.
            His vile abuse of Scotland and all things Scottish are utterly disgraceful. If you took away the word Scots and put in some other nation or race I suspect that he would have been barred by now.
            The fact that eddie posts uncouth, abusive, insulting, irrational,rants is a refelection on him not the whole English nation.

  • FrankieThompson

    The problem is that the Conservative Party In Scotland is irredeemably associated with a particular brand of Englishness that has no echo in Scotland at all. When the Tories , with their National Liberal allies( some things never change) took over 50% of the vote in Scotland in the 1955 General Election, they could rely on a network of disparate organisations broadly sympathetic to Conservatism and grounded in Scottish society. Since then, it’s all been downhill. Those organisations are moribund or spent, society has changed dramatically and , on a specific note, they have never recovered from the removal of Teddy Taylor in 1979, and his decision to move south. There was an authentic Tory voice who appealed to middle and working class sensibilities and was unquestionably Scottish, a kind of door to door insurance man of a politician. They have had nothing like him since and are reduced to 1 MP in Scotland.

    Thatcher was ,ultimately, a disaster for the Tories in Scotland, the Poll Tax contaminated them irreparably, and Cameron simply doesn’t connect with Scotland, in any way whatsoever.

    So it is left to the intellectuallly, politically, and philosophically bereft Labour party, a husk of the party that has controlled Scotland for two generations, to carry the flag and they are simply not up to it. Johann Lamont will not do.And Alisatair Darling, that hirsute public schoolboy ex-Trot? He might well do, but I fear not.

    Frankly, the more Cameron and Miliband involve themselves in Scotland, the better for the SNP. And “Better Together” is based on nothing but fear as the next 18 months will establish.

    They might be ahead in the polls just now but if a week’s a long time, 18 months is a wee bit longer.

    • terregles2

      No doubt your excellent summary of the Scottish political landscape will bring about the usual dreary negative bankrupt tirade from the predictable No campaigners.

      Somebody will call Salmond fat. Another will chip in saying Scots are too lazy and stupid to have independence.

      Another one will tell us that Miliband and Cameron are our best options for the future. Another in desperation will say that the SNP are really tartan tories. We will also hear that Scotland has always done well from the Union. Do these people walk around with their eyes closed?.

      The really really desperate ones will quote the wisdom of Alistair Darling a man who thought that the illegal invasion of Iraq was a good idea and a man who has all the appeal of toothache.
      However even ther most desperate No group will never mention Johaan Lamont as even they are embarrassed and at least in this profound embarrassment we are all united.

    • Nae a Belger

      Whilst I was too young to recall Teddy as a Glasgow MP I think there is an element of truth in this thesis.
      Think of a Scottish Tory and you are likely to think of someone like McLetchie, Edinburgh Solicitor and probably ex-Fettes or Loretto.
      Labour can get away with people like Darling because they are not seen as the party of the wealthy.
      They need to attract more working class made good business types. Take Banff and Buchan – the Tories put up Jimmy Buchan (Trawlermen fame) against Eilidh Whiteford (charity worker and academic) result 10%+ swing to the Tories.
      Huge cut in SNP majority.

  • Auldreekie

    Sober reflection on the loss of the Empire, the loss of most of Ireland and evidence of the impending loss of the remainder, the increasing demand for more self-government in Scotland and Wales, the desperate reliance on royal weddings or an Olympic Games in London every half-century as supposed features of British unity, should tell die-hard unionists that the UK in its present form is on the way out. Change doesn’t mean that there can’t be cooperation and common purpose in the future, but it is inevitable that London will no longer have control over the UK.

    It is a great mistake to believe, as some evidently do, that Alex Salmond and the SNP are the bogeymen, and that if they can be disposed of at the referendum, the Scottish problem will disappear. Firstly: even if the referendum were to produce a majority against independence, there would be a substantial ‘Yes’ vote – a higher proportion of support among younger voters than older. Second: the SNP is not going to vanish: it is the largest and best-funded party in Scotland, and around a third of voters will not vote for any other party. Third: according to all opinion polls for years, a solid two-thirds of the Scottish electorate want much more self-government – independence or a maximum form of devolution – than Westminster and Whitehall want to concede. This is an issue which is not going to go away until there is a solution acceptable to Scotland.

    • Democritus

      “even if the referendum were to produce a majority against independence,
      there would be a substantial ‘Yes’ vote – a higher proportion of support
      among younger voters than older.”

      Yes but that is because younger people see things in black and white, right and wrong etc. As we grow older we mature, we see that it is not a case of right and wrong, we grow up. If a person who is 40 decides scotland should be independent then he has come to that decision based on thought and experience. If a 16 year old votes his decision is on thought and propaganda because he lacks experience.

      The SNP have been around for 70 years. When they first came to Holyrood they entered as great victors, why? They refused to take any part in campaigning for the devolved Scottish Parliament for twenty years, they left it to others. They want separation from the UK and Europe. Well not Europe now because that would be silly and lose votes for independence but they did until two years ago! why the sudden change? because power is more important to the SNP.

      • terregles2

        As we grow up we mature?? Not much evidence of that on this forum.

        • Colonel Mustard

          Well your comments certainly prove your hypothesis.

          • terregles2

            Disappointed in your conclusion Colonel I had expected better.

    • Colonel Mustard

      I’d rather not have any Common Purpose in the future, thanks.

  • The Bishop

    ‘no one does flag waving better than the Tories’- really, Mr. Noon? I can think of one party north of the border that comes pretty close.

    • Jambo25

      And your reasons for thinking that?

  • terence patrick hewett

    Hopefully we will have something extra to celebrate in 2 years time: the back of both of them.

  • Eddie

    Of the Scots I know or know of. the middle class, educated, intelligent ones know that independence would be a disaster for Scotland – which has never been a nation in the modern world.
    In terms of finances, the EU, defence, employment, it was be a shambles and one which spins Scotland into a massive decline (Scots Nats like to blame the English AKA the Tories for the decline of heavy industry rather than world economics, showing just what pity party victim-hood craving liars the SNP are).
    The only people who want independence seem to be thick lower class Glaswegians, arrogant and unsackable academics, and moronic celebrities who have made their fame in England.
    I look forward to intelligent politicians across the spectrum explaining to gullible and romanticly inclined Scots just why independence would be bad for Scotland: Brown, Darling et al.
    To be honest, the English (who should have a vote really to dissolve a union anyway) don’t much care (after all, they subsidise Scotland massivley anyway), and the result willl make not a jot of difference to Tory policy of governing in England.

    • dercavalier

      What a pathetic attempt at debate. No wonder England is a shambles with people like you in it.

      • Democritus

        “What a pathetic attempt at debate”

        He is one person out of millions, your ,reply is idiotic.

        • Jambo25

          His reply, however, is fairly typical of many of our English cousins. Oh please save us from ourselves, oh mighty and enlightened ones.

          • Eddie

            As opposed to the decorum and manners of the refined persons who support Scottish independence.
            Tell me, do you quaff your Buckfast from the left, or the right side, or the trough? And is it good form to dribble whilst ranting against the English bogiemen who you and other saddo Scots nationalists have created to attempt to conceal the sheer misery and failure (self inflicted) of your pathetic little lives?
            Your arguments are weaker than Salmond’s comb-over. So you resort to abuse. With people like you, the vote is already decided: do the Scots really want losers like you in charge?

            • terregles2

              Resort to abuse. That is dreadful, thank goodness it is something you would never do.

            • terregles2

              You have forgotten to take your medication again you naughty boy.

              • Eddie

                You can post me what’s left of the crate of Buckfast you have every day for breakfast (though I doubt there’s much left after you’ve fed the bairns…)

          • Colonel Mustard

            There you go again. That old pot calling.

        • terregles2

          And your reply true to form is both rude and patronising.

          • Eddie

            And on and on and on…
            Yep, you sound like an academic alright…

            • terregles2

              You never let us down….as erudite as ever.

              • Eddie

                Not one point made – just ad hominem attacks and racist anti-English abuse.
                If Scotland does become independent there will be a loud whoosh sound coming from oop north – that of all the money heading down the M1 like a rocket!
                The Scots I know (intelligent, educated, broad-minded, rational, realistic) left Scotland to get away fro the sort of boorish, macho, sexist, racist thugs that dominate the SNP side of the debate. Do not kid yourself that SNP members are tolerant and broadminded people! More like the politbureau of Albania in the 1980s, but drunker…

      • Eddie

        This always happened in postings in response to those who argue against Scottish independence: abusive, straw man arguments, fale arguments, name-calling…
        Anyone would thinks the ‘yes’ campaigners were a bunch of boorish bullying English-hating racist thugs or someting…
        Pass the buckfest, there’s a good bigot…

        • terregles2

          Where would these stupid buckfast drinking halfwitted Scots be without an intelligent rational intellectual giant like yourself to guide them?

          • Colonel Mustard

            They have Jambo25 who has a very good degree in Politics and Modern History and 2 Masters degrees and is more intelligent than Darling – (finger in mouth, puke, puke).

    • Jambo25

      I posses a very good degree in Politics and Modern History and 2 Masters degrees. I haven’t a romantic or gullible bone in my body. I’ll vote ‘Yes’ next September. I believe I’m more intelligent than Darling and could certainly hold my own with Brown. As for Cameron and Osborne: I simply feel sorry for them.

      • Eddie

        And as I stated, many of those who will vote ‘yes’ are leftwing hypocrite academics and their ilk.
        By the way, I am way more qualified than you – but left academia to run a business and write, because I have 1) balls; 2) talent.

        • terregles2

          You should not have abandoned academia quite so soon. If you had stayed you might have learned to distinguish between hypocrite and hypocritical.

          You certainly have an aptitude for using crude boorish language.

          • Eddie

            I left academia to mediocrities and laggards like you.
            Your use of English is primary school level if you think my use of a compound noun (hypocrite academic) is wrong.
            Most Scottish people I know want Scotland to stay part of the UK – because otherwise it will be run by autocratic, abusive, macho, racist numpties like you, wallowing in romantic Scots nostalgia (most of whose symbols were invented by the Victorian English and Walter Scott actually… Even Buckfast is English, for Flodden’s sake!)

            • terregles2

              Eddie your rants used to annoy me but now I am starting to like them. Keep them going please.

      • Colonel Mustard

        You are many things except modest. You left out arrogant and opinionated.

    • terregles2

      Thank you for that enlightened piece of advice. We are really grateful for your well balanced and intelligent assessment. You are obviously an extremely clever chap. I will remember your wise words when I cast my vote.

    • Drew Edward

      Eddie,the SNP traditionally draws most of it’s support from the more rural or middle class areas of Scotland like Aberdeenshire, Angus, Perth and Moray. Most of the former industrial central belt like Glasgow is Labour’s heartlands, who support the Union.

      In terms of defence and economic policy the UK Government is over a trillion pounds in debt and the MOD budget went out of control to the tune of a 38 billion pound deficit building aircraft carriers that won’t be used in full or are not fit for purpose, forcing the current savage cuts to the military numbers. This all happened on Darling and Brown’s watch, those intelligent politicians you wish to see fighting for the Union.

      In terms of subsidies Northern Ireland has the highest levels of public expenditure in the UK according to the Treasury, followed by Scotland, Wales and London, so the beating heart of UK capitalism and the world’s financial centre isn’t shy about taking a generous handout from the taxpayer.

    • terregles2

      Thick lower class Glaswegians. Oh Eddie you are a riot. I love your humour you are funnier than Billy Connolly and Kevin Bridges. You must come up for the next comedy festival. Everyone in Scotland whether thick and lower class or middle class and intelligent we all enjoy a good laugh.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000222335179 Maureen Luby

      Can you give us your spurious links to England subsidising Scotland when Westminster figures (GERS) show the opposite. Scotland has been subsidising England for decades even before the oil. You show yourself as being intellectually bankrupt with your inane comments. Saor Alba my friend 😉

  • Wessex Man

    Never spare us from your patronising articles, just who do you approve of those Scots “marching to the polls” or the “English Folk.”

    The Scots will vote in September 2014 about changing the history of these islands and we the English will watch them with envy, everyone I speak to and I am a social animal are taking a keen interest in Scottish Independence and want our own. The mood has altered these last few years and and the attitude especially here in the West Country, is a friendly divorce with Wales as well helped in no short measure by the antics of Peter Haine and the Welsh Assembly.

    I really don’t understand where you in particular obtain your information but it appears to be the same source as Call me Dave!

    • Democritus

      I agree, I think all parts of England should be regionalised so each part should run it’s own affairs outside the influence of Westminster. Of course the UK government would retain powers over defense and borders and monetary policy etc but we could all become a federation of states rather than the failure we are today. The south has a different dynamic to the north and Midlands and Wales and Scotland and NI. Instead of lumping us all together and and having a one size fits all government lets have devolution to all those areas.

      • http://twitter.com/VisceralRage Slicer

        You’ve just outlined the EU Commission’s regionalisation policy for big European countries. EU elites want us all the size of Cyprus so they can easily bully and control Europe.

        • Wessex Man

          Course he has, I’m not surprised that he has latched onto my comment people like him have tried to divide England up into minor states like Estonia since devolution. The people of North East England fought then off by voting no to a regional assembly by sevrn votes to one. Prescott then slithered away and shelved it. Now it’s that worthy Heseltine trying the same thing.

          The only constant in all this is Tony Blair’s flatmate Lord Falconer who was Prescott’s lacky in his attempts is now behind the scenes of Press Regulation, of course he’s never atcually been elected but has helped to change the UK profoundly!

          • Colonel Mustard

            One has to wonder why the lefties who passionately promoted Scots nationalism through devolution are so determined to deny England any self-determination at all. Having broken up the Union they now want to break up England.

            • terregles2

              I would never want to break up England. Scottish independence actually makes England a stronger country. I am Scottish and I love my country. The only thing I would want to change is that I want Scotland to have self government. When Scotland is Independent why would that stop Scottish people appreciating Scotland and also loving many things about England. Many people in Scotland want self government only to govern ourselves.
              It is time that English people started to appreciate their rich history and wonderful heritage that is theirs. A country that has given so much to the world from Shakespeare, Brontes, Wordsworth etc.. etc we could go on forever with the great things England has given the world.
              I will always want Scotland to choose its own government but after Independence it will never stop me apprecaiting so much about England. Perhaps it is time for English people to start doing the same.

        • terregles2

          What do you mean the same way that the USA and Britain try to control the rest of the world?

          • Colonel Mustard

            Old habits die hard.

      • terregles2

        Well they are talking about starting exploration for oil off the coast of Northern Ireland so if that goes ahead don’t think Northern Ireland will be going any where for a while.
        There again Cameron might just do the same as Blair did in 1999 when Blair moved the Scottish sea boder up to Carnoustie and included 6000 sq miles of Scottish water into English territory.
        Suppose it would be just as easy for Westminster to annex a large area of irish maritime border.

      • Colonel Mustard

        EU Lefty alert! Why should England be regionalised and not have a national government like Scotland and Ireland? Divide and rule?

  • Democritus

    Since when have the SNP become anti conservative? It was the SNP support of a Tory vote of no confidence against the Labour government in 1979 that forced an election that gave Margaret Thatcher the keys to 10 Downing street and a tory government for 18 years. I suppose they don’t want their supporters knowing things like that.

    • terregles2

      1979 was along time ago. In 1979 Labour were anti conservative now Labour are very pro conservative. They support most of the tory policies. Labour knows it is in trouble when Trade unions are turning against them. When part of your party breaks away and forms Labourforindy then you know the writing is on the wall.

      As I said previously many people who support independence and will vote YES are not SNP voters therefore SNP policy does not concern them. In an independent Scotland they would vote for other parties. At the moment though Miliband is pro bedroom tax, pro Trident, pro benefit cuts and pro almost every conservative policy.
      The yes no vote will not be affected by whether or not Miliband or Cameron are in Downing street as they are different sides of the same coin.

      • Democritus

        They have supported one in the last week to limit compensation in order to get agreement from other parties to open an independant enquiry into workfare scheme.
        Labour has attacked the bedroom tax (they invented the name). Trident is the most unimportant thing for Scottish or UK voters. I think I’ve said this before to you, Labour is in opposition, it doesn’t matter what they agree or disagree with they can’t win a vote but they can add amendments and maybe force others to break ranks in the Tory party or Lib Dems.

        • terregles2

          Trident is the most unimportant thing for Scottish voters? Is it really? Wnen did we have a survey asking voters if they would like the billions that are to be squandered on Trident spent instead on social services?
          I think it is incredibily arrogant for anyone to speak on behalf of all other voters.
          There again I think the Labour party has lost touch with what all voters want never mind the Scottish ones.

          • Democritus

            Surveys are great tools. Asked if they agree with trident a majority will say no. But if asked to rate from 1 to 10 what is important in peoples lives at that time and trident comes in below Europe, indeed in Scotland even independence is rated below the economy, NHS and education.

            But the populists will use whatever they think will gain them an edge to win votes, which is a mistake. A Eurosceptic party suddenly changes their spots to become Europhiles? I find that a tad dishonest.

            A party that is prepared to change it’s policies based on perceived popularity is a party with no substance.

            • terregles2

              Democritcus you are much cleverer than I am. If you want a debate on Independence you must debate with Johaam Lamont she

            • terregles2

              Democritus if you wish to debate independence you really need to engage with someone much more clever than I am. Try Johaan Lamont she knows much more about tools than I do .

    • Eddie

      Indeed. I remember my Scottish friends and colleagues in London saying one reason they were so keen to leave Caledonia was the way most people seemed very backwards and bigoted compared to the more enlightened English – racist, sexist, homophobic, (ie like most of the working class oop north in England too – and they’re all Labour voters an all!).
      My Scots colleagues (esp the women) really wanted to escape that mediaeval mindset north of the border, lots coming from the hateful sectarian puritanical religiosity too. It’s not all Tobermorey, y’know…
      The SNP is in no way an enlightened or liberal or even tolerant party; it is a party with just 2 issues – inciting hatred against the English (the straw man/bogie man for all Scottie woes) and making Scotland independent (under state control of a single stifling omnipotent party, the SNP).
      A newly independent Scotland would be as lost and rudderless as a newly independent Iraq – but less fun.

      • terregles2

        I think we can all see by reading your post how enlightened and forward thinking you are. You present such a coherent and balanced view of the world.

      • terregles2

        Eddie I know I really shouldn’t be …but just like your Scottish female work colleagues in London as a Scottish girl here in Scotland I feel strangely drawn to your forceful political opinions . I can understand why Scottish women might hang on to your every word ,,,,there is just sometning about you,

  • OldSlaughter

    What an ahistoric bunch of retards.

    • dercavalier

      I assume you are referring to the English public school chappies who are in power in England but haven’t got the brains to govern>

      • OldSlaughter

        Well you know where assumption gets you…
        No, I was referring to the type of person who would use a 5 year time frame to help make decisions that last centuries. As I said. Retards. Along with those that fall for it.

  • terregles2

    The most important fact of all has been left out here. This summary may have been true even last year but this article is hopelessly out of date. Most Scots now do not see Miliband or Cameron any differently. Miliband has supported almost every Cameron policy.Many Scots now think that both Cameron and Miliband have stolen from the needy to give to the greedy. Miliband when he supported the latest Tory legislation not to reinstate state benefits was the final nail in the coffin for Scottish Labour. There is now no pretence that Labour are in any way champions of ordinary working people. Those days are long gone.

    Scottish Labour voters are having difficulty coming to terms with Johaan Lamont supporting the tories. It does not sit easily with them. While Lamont’s party have a dwindling membership the breakaway Labourforindy movement are rapidly gaining members. Some Trade Unions are asking why they should continue to make a donation to the Labour party if they no longer represent their interests.

    It is a big mistake to view this referendum as a Salmond/SNP v Cameron/Miliband referendum.

    There are now more than four political parties in Scotland campaigning for a YES vote.
    There is now also the TUFI group (Trade Unionists for Independence). People in Scotland are starting to think that even if Miliband is elected they will still have a tory government in everything but name. As Scotland has PR some people are also starting to think that even if they do not support the SNP the idea of having a different PR group governing in an independent Scotland may be a more attractive proposition than a Miliband/Cameron option.

    • Redneck

      Terregles2
      Four points / questions, if I may?

      1. “Miliband when he supported the latest Tory legislation not to reinstate state benefits was the final nail in the coffin for Scottish Labour. There is now no pretence that Labour are in any way champions of ordinary working people. Those days are long gone.”

      Sorry to disagree with you. This comment is one of the prime reasons I will not vote “YES” to “Scottish Independence”.
      Sadly, it affects all of the UK, but is exaggerated in Scotland: I do not want to be in a country where working people expect or demand benefits. That path leads to perennial State dependence of the populace and is completely unaffordable.

      2. What is actually so wrong about being British? I think it is very pleasant to know that I currently can go to any part of the UK and be treated as an equal and have equal opportunities. I detest the way English students are treated, compared to EU students, in Scotland: to me that’s petty and vindictive. I suspect we’ll get even more of this should the vote be “YES”.

      3. Do you really want to become part of the Eurozone, were that desire to be “granted”, should the vote be “YES”? I’d much rather trust my joint-destiny to a man or woman from London, Newcastle, Swansea or Belfast than someone from Strasbourg who does not share a common heritage, spanning generations and many wars.

      4. One of the inherent strengths of the UK, in my opinion, is that if it functions as a whole then we can trust our shared values and work for the common good. Hence, currently the waters mainly around Scotland are contributing to our energy requirements but those reserves are finite and perhaps shale-gas reserves will become paramount: these are centred in another part of our country. Why should we allow a “divide and conquer” philosophy, driven by a relatively small number of politicians to become the way we run our country?

      • terregles2

        The Uk Government does not represent my values. The illegal invasion of Iraq made me ashamed to be part of Britain. The unelected House of Lords makes me cringe with embarrassment. Wasting billions of pounds on Trident missiles is obscene
        Seeing Westminster let the bankers go unpunished is a disgrace. This government now steals from the needy to reward the greedy.
        Having to listen to the BBC fawn over royalty and spend endless hours discussing the Duke’s bladder while important issues are ignored is not anything that I want to be part of. Giving the rich tax cuts while ordinary people suffer years of paycuts. What is there to be proud of in that?.
        The NHS is being privatised piece by piece and all our public services that we pay high income tax for are constantly cut.
        They tell us we have no money but we have plenty of money to waste on Trident, Afghanistan, MP’s expenses, tax cuts for the wealthy and there will always be money for the next war that might come along.
        If people are proud and content to be part of that then good luck to them but don’t tell the rest of us that we are wrong to believe that we can build a better and fairer future for ourselves and our children.

      • terregles2

        People do not demand benefits. What people want is jobs. Scotland is the only country to discover oil and become poorer. I have never seen any evidence of the common good from a centralised London government. Don’t think the Iraq invasion or Trident missiles are in Scotland’s best interests.

        Also don’t think it was in Scotland’s best interests when Tony Blair moved the Scottish sea boundary up from Berwick on Tweed to Carnoustie.
        After I had a look at the Craig Murray.org web page I don’t realy see that Scotland is being well looked after.

    • Eddie

      ‘People in Scotland are starting to think that even if Miliband is elected they will still have a tory government in everything but name.’

      It’s called democracy. The English have had to put up with many a Labour leader and minister; they have had to put up with many a Labour government too elected via the inflated number of Scottish and Welsh MPs (who only needed around 40,000 per constituency – in England each MP had 60k+).

      There is nothing the Scots moan about that northern Englanders don’t moan about too. Maybe the Scots should join the SNP parts of Scotland with the whingeiest parts of ‘Oop north’. Then we could have a new country – called ‘Moanland’ maybe? And then all other Scots and English people can go on making the UK a great place to live – minus the moaners and whingers, the victimhood-craving pity party prattlers from Scotland, Scouseland etc.

      By the way, Alex Massie’s take (in this week’s Big Issue in response to Ken Loach’s rose-tinted spectacled leftie view of post-war Britain) on the nostalgic way the British look at themselves really does apply to the SNP-slurping Scots more than anyone else.

      Their whole ideology is based on a foundation of an imagined past, and looks up into the clouds to an imagined and unattainable future – all based on symbols that the English Victorians and Walter Scott invented less then 250 years ago. I’ve seen more reality in Dr Who…

      • Eddie

        Also, rather funny that Salmond himself looks a bit like Fungus the Bogeyman.
        Maybe that’s his English-hating mantra is always and forever:
        ‘S’not my fault…’

  • MichtyMe

    Conservative are to campaign for dependency and against self reliance and national sovereignty. Strange.

  • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

    Strange that a referendum “victory” for Cameron can be so casually dismissed as a factor when the Olympics were supposed to have been decisive.

    And it is a little naive to imagine that English lack of interest in the referendum (and Scotland) would detract from Cameron being pedestalled as the saviour of the “nation”. Few will ask why he’s up there, backlit, draped in a union flag, jutting his jaw and waving regally to the strains of Jerusalem. Such banal jingoism does not address the intellect. It is designed to appeal to those who couldn’t find the Atlantic on a map, never mind Scotland.

    There may be mischief in Stephen Noon’s analysis. But it has that kernel of truth which affords it credibility. Unlike analyses which have at their core nothing more than blind prejudice and a sneering contempt for Scotland.

    Oh! The word “nation” is in quotes because there is no such “nation” as Britain. It is a political fiction. A bit like all that talk of “more powers” for the Scottish Parliament.

    • Eddie

      Yes, and he says ‘their nation’ and not ‘our nation’ when in fact the constituent parts of Britan have done very well thank you off English taxes over the years.
      Britain is a country – and one the Scots were perfectly happy to be part off, piggybacking off England’s might and the Empire. Moreover, using the word British, rather than English, Scottish, Welsh etc, is far more inclusive and unifying. For example, can a black person really be English or Scottish? Not by heritage, that’s for sure. But they can be British. People sometimes forget just how conservative, backwards and bigoted Scotland can be (sectarian religious conflict and hatred; homosexuality not legalised until 1980, ingrained sexism against women by the macho drinking culture at every level).
      The SNP position can be summed up as just being a moaning, whingeing pity pary of victimhood – which you also get in some parts of Wales, and northen England too (Liverpool is famous for whining).
      Maybe the SNP are the Bogeymen – they, after all, are the ones perpetually screaming ‘Snot Fair!’ – when in fact, getting 10% per head more funding than the English seems rather fair indeed (for the Scots anyway, not the English).
      Scottish people are 10% of the UK; Welsh people are 5%. I get heartily sick and tired of their nationalists demanding more influence – they get plenty, and far more than places like the west of England or real people living in poverty in and around London (just coz politics is basedf there doesn’t mean the capital’s people get heard any more than people in Scotland, actually).

      • http://twitter.com/Airgead13 Patricia Calder

        This nutter must be a plant by the YES campaign.

  • http://twitter.com/VisceralRage Slicer

    It would help Tories a great deal if they stopped trying to be all things “British” and started realising that they are English and they are elected in English constituencies and they should start fighting for English interests not partaking to British (i.e. Scottish, Welsh) interests in order to keep people that haven’t elected them happy.

    • terregles2

      You are right England deserves so much better. In fact they deserve much better than Tory politicians. If Scotland votes for independence then it will be a great chance for England to create a better political system. Many of my English friends and family both in Scotland and England are both looking at the best way to create a better political future for both out countries.
      Scotand and England are both geographically and historically connected we always will be. Truth is we can both have separate governments that work together for both our best interests in the world.
      I will always love England and English people.But will always want to elect my own government in Edinburgh and I hope my English family will also get the chance to vote for the parliament that they really want in Westminster.

  • Ron Todd

    Given Cameron’s very poor PR skills and generally poor party management it is unlikely he will get much benefit what ever happens with the vote.

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