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Theresa May’s grubby little warning: an independent Scotland will be out in the cold

29 October 2013

6:10 PM

29 October 2013

6:10 PM

It is a good thing that government ministers come to Scotland sometimes. It is a bad thing that they insist on opening their mouths when they do. Earlier this year we endured the spectacle of Philip Hammond making an arse of himself; today it has been Theresa May’s turn to make one wish cabinet ministers would, just occasionally, contemplate the virtue of silence.

The Home Secretary was in Edinburgh to warn that an independent Scotland would be a dangerous place. It would, in fact, be left out in the cold. It would not, you see, be part of the English-speaking-world’s Five Eyes intelligence-poolling network. The UK, United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will continue to share information. Little Caledonia will be left on the outside, all forlorn, friendless and at risk. She might eventually be admitted to the club but there’d be no guarantees about this.

As May put it:

‘If Scotland were a separate state, I would expect there to be co-operation between the UK and Scotland, but that would be different from the arrangements we have today. Those arrangements, crucially, is that natural working together, that automatic access to capabilities [which] would not necessary be there in the future were it a separate state.’

Well, sure. On one level this is little more than a statement of the bleeding obvious. Things will change after independence. Crivvens! But on another level it is pitiful stuff that nudges folk a notch closer to voting Yes in a spirit of To hell with you.

May was north of the border to brief the natives on the contents of a new Home Office ‘report’ on the potential consequences of independence. I was surprised to discover that this Whitehall paper concluded that independence would be a high-risk adventure that might leave Scotland more exposed to international nasties and other security threats than she is at present. Best to think again, lads.

What is the point of this stuff? Who does Theresa May think she is persuading? Vote No to remain beneath the GCHQ umbrella! It’s pitiful stuff, frankly. How does anyone manage to live without the protections afforded by the British security services? I mean, even the Belgians. Come on.

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And, of course, lurking in the background is the implication that if, heaven forbid, bombs were to start going off then, hey ho Jocko, it would be your own fault for voting for independence. What’s more, don’t you know, independence might make it more likely Scotland would be targeted. Another example of soft-touch Scotia, I suppose.

This is drivel. Worse than that it is exasperating drivel. Who, I ask again, is it supposed to persuade? The poor sap who might vote Yes but can be security-theatred into voting No? How depressing, how insulting. It’s a rotten way to campaign and something that should be unworthy of the Home Secretary.

Apart from anything else and though of course some arrangements would change it would plainly be in everyone’s interests for there to be an exceptionally close security relationship between the two countries.

Of course Whitehall wants us to believe that there are countless technical and procedural difficulties inherent in unwinding a 300 year old Union. And indeed there are. Some of those – on currency, pensions and other matters – really are quite important and really do need some explanation before voters trudge to the polls next September. Others, however, do not.

They are matters that can be worked out if and when they ever actually need to be worked out. The precise nature of an independent Scotland’s intelligence service is one of those bother-with-it-later issues. Ditto its relationship with allied intelligence services. Or are we to assume that everyone is too stupid to manage to organise these things in some tolerably satisfactory manner?

But, of course, they can be so arranged. For instance, Severin Carrell reports that the Home Office report warns that:

[A] new Scottish border would stop Scottish and UK police from “hot pursuit” of criminals fleeing over the border. Cross-border arrest and search warrants would be slower and more bureaucratic, the report said.

Sounds bad doesn’t it? Well it’s a shame no-one at the Home Office appears to know anything about the history of the border. If they did they would have known that last time there was a “real” border between England and Scotland there were clear rules established to deal with the problems caused by cross-border crime.

That is to say, no-one in the Home Office appears to know anything about the Hot Trod.  The Hot Trod was a ‘strictly legal, almost a hallowed process’ wrote George Macdonald Fraser in The Steel Bonnets, his magnificent survey of the Border Reivers:

It enshrined the right to recover one’s property by force, and in practice to deal with the thieves out of hand. A trod might lawfully be made at any time within six days after the offence; it is was followed immediately it was a hot trod, otherwise it was known as a cold trod. In either case it was governed by strict rules; a careful line was drawn, under Border law, between a trod and a reprisal raid.

[…] If the trod crossed the Border, there were well-established ruled to ensure that it was seen for what it was, a legal pursuit, and to assist it. The 1563 agreement between England and Scotland speaks of ‘lawful Trodd with Horn and Hound, with Hue and Cry and all other accustomed manner of fresh pursuit”; according to Scott, this obliged the pursuer to carry a lighted turf on his lance-point, as evidence of open and peaceful intentions. He was also bound to announce his trod to the first person he met across the Border, or at the first village, and to seek assistance. There seems to have been an obligation to give this assistance when it was asked for; certainly impeding a trod was a grace offence, punishable at least by making the impeder liable for the goods stolen. In England in the 1550s failure to follow a trod was punishable by death; later this penalty was reduced to seven days’ imprisonment, plus a fine of3s 4d.

And this at a time when the frontier was the closest thing Britain has ever had to the Wild West. If some form of cross-border co-operation and policing (however inadequate) could be organised then I fancy it might just be possible to do it again. Instead we get this kind of blackmail from the Home Secretary. I don’t suppose she knows that’s a term originating on the Anglo-Scottish border either.

(Mind you: if the Borderland could somehow revert to being in large part beyond the writ or control of London and Edinburgh alike that would be even better.)

Anyway, the point is that most of this is a non-issue and it is, or should be, unworthy of the Home Secretary to imply that Scots shouldn’t vote for independence because if they do they increase the risk they’ll be blown up by lunatic terrorists who would have been apprehended if only Scotland had been wise enough to remain part of the United Kingdom. This sort of thing, for once, really does merit the scaremongering label.

 

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Show comments
  • Cymrugel

    You know Alex, give your understandable and obviously rising level of irritation with this sort of tripe served up daily by the no campaign, I think you may well find yourself voting YES.
    and if a columnist in the Spectator finds this sort of patronising scare story shenanigans a trial, what of Joe MacSoap?

  • SeanieRyan

    Scotland can either be the monkey or the Organ Grinder. As it stands it will always be a distant land from power and wealth in London. It can be happy to let wealth and investment focus on London or it can decide lets stand and push for our own growth and be a viable investment option as land with political freedom or let London via Westminister look after itself.

  • Colin
  • Wang King

    Why oh why do they give senior political jobs like this to women when clearly they have no idea. She should be in the kitchen.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Look on the bright side Englander pals. If Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland go their own way, the chances of a Labour government in Westminster would be slim to non-existent.

  • BoiledCabbage

    Why doesnt May give the Russians the maps and co-ordinates of Scotland and see if they want to invade? For example`?

  • Charles Patrick O’Brien

    She insult my intelligence and that of every other Scot.I have always wanted independence and been sure of it since I was 14,I’m 61 now and my opinions have not mellowed with age but hardened with each new insult,whether its saying Britain needs HS2 as it takes in the North,but not the north of Britain more the south,and as for Mrs.May she is in the same league as the fools who think Britain stops at Manchester.The main reason for all this nonsense about security and who knows what else will come from the deranged minds of Westminster is that they have NEVER TOLD THE TRUTH ABOUT ANYTHING REGARDING SCOTLAND! NOW THEY FEAR BEING FOUND OUT SO THEY COME OUT WITH ALL THIS RIDICULOUS STUFF ABOUT HOW BAD IT WILL BE MORE TO BE PITIED THAN SCOLDED I SUPPOSE. Scotland is self-sufficient in food and power (not counting the north sea) we have a food surplus and we are the only country in the UK that has a surplus,think on we can only be kicked so many times then we say bye bye,and its this time.

    • Wessex Man

      bye bye. zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      • Maureen Luby

        is that inanity supposed to be a contribution to a debate? lol Saor Alba 🙂

  • Wang King

    I am touched be her feeling and concern for Scotland but I rather think she is more concerned with her own security than ours. We all know Scotland will not be a major or even minor target of any sort. We won’t be Lording it over small Middle-East countries or bombing Pakistan and Afghanistan. So the only concern is how those sorts of terrorists are going to sneak through Scotland into England.

    • terregles2

      It’s probably easier for them to come in at Dover. Theresa has cut so many of the immigration staff down there that is most likely how the undesirables will continue to come in.

    • Wessex Man

      What are you going to do about the terrorists Blair, Brown and Reid?

      • Wang King

        I suppose they’ll just have to chance their luck in England. Neither of them supporting an independent Scotland they would be far better suited there in a nice quiet corner of Wessex.

        • allymax bruce

          There’s already one EU Nation that has said it will arrest Tony Bliar on war crimes charges, if he enters their country, and I am led to believe Scotland, once independent, will take the same line of thinking.

      • Wang King

        Actually if they came from Afghanistan or Africa you English would be falling over backwards giving them a 5 bedroom house in London at the taxpayers expense.

  • HandandShrimp

    Well I took May’s comments as an assurance rather than a warning and I for one will happily vote Yes knowing we are outside of the ghastly, unholy circus of spying on ordinary citizens.

  • 1950union .

    I’m not, instinctively, someone who favours independence or more borders. But we are, I think, approaching the point where many of us are getting truly sick of the nonsense that Westminster politicians are spouting in an attempt to scare us.

    It is particularly daft to argue that cross-border security co-operation will be damaged when the government is simultaneously trying (for no discernible reason other than dogma) to withdraw from the European Arrest Warrant. They really have lost the plot, in this as in so many other ways.

    This referendum is the Cameron government’s to lose, and everything they do, every cack-handed fusillade of negativity, is playing into the Yes campaign’s hands. I was firmly anti-independence. Like an awful lot of others I know, I’m now a potential Yes voter. That’s not where I wanted to be.

  • allymax bruce

    ‘Five Eyes Intelligence Service’ ? We, here in Scotland, already have a more sinister ‘intelligence cleaner’, it’s called the Work Capabilities Assessment Team, at Bathgate, where, when you complete a medical assessment form, an ESA50, they screen your phone number, then call you; upon calling you, a John will then proceeds to ‘clean’ your phone of all information!
    I know because I heard them discussing my contents of a discussion I had with my daughter about the horrendous effects a family divorce had on our whole family. But, to hear ignorant scum like these Jacqui’s & Johns, then laughing about my private family discussion misfortunes, shows how nasty, ugly, degenerating & disgusting these scumbags are. Theresa, I’d be quite happy for Scotland to be Independent, and ‘out-in-the-cold’, as long as you take your scumbags at WCAT with you when you leave Scotland!

    • Wessex Man

      You couldn’t make it up but then again zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  • Robert James George

    I doubt that an independent Scotland would want to act as America’s poodle and get involved in all the foreign excursions that assorted UK Prime Ministers have seen fit to involve or keep us in of late. Therefore we shouldn’t need so much ‘intelligence’shared, especially if it is of the quality of the Iraq dossier that encouraged the saintly Tony Blair to take us into Iraq.

    • Wessex Man

      Er Blair, Brown and “Dr” John Reid-a little tidying up exercise, yes we’ll be more that happy for the break up of the Union down here as well, really looking forward to it in fact.

      • Jambo25

        Ah, your usual cry. ‘A big Scottish boy forced me to do it, then ran away.’

    • Graham

      You have to think that sharing intelligence with Theresa May would be an enterprise with very little prospect of a return.

  • scotcanadien

    Well, well, well, it has taken Massie a long time to see the light but now that he has let’s hope he continues to sit in it. May’s f.ck up is just one in a long line of f,ck ups emanating from the Westminster Government. They have produced seven of these ‘Reports’ so far and each has been laughed at derisively by Scots because of their stupidity. Does anyone at Westminster and London know anything about Scotland. Massie didn’t mention it but Scotland’s Police and Anti-Terrorism set up has always been ‘separate’ as has its legal system. Virtually nothing will change I Indy happens.

  • Peter Thomson

    In the mean time the intelligence units of the Guarda, Northern Ireland Police Force and Scottish Police Force worked together to track and arrest four members of the ‘Real IRA’ who came to Scotland to allegedly kill one of their number who has ‘squealed’. The four are in Govan Terrorist Detention Unit prior to being indicted to the Scottish High Court on terrorism charges under Scots Law and jurisdiction. Seems odd Ms May forgot to mention this rather than the discredited garbage she actually spouted. Oh she forgot, Scotland has its own legal jurisdiction over which she can do squat diddly; just like Jack Straw did over his attempt to fix Megrahi’s prisoner transfer for his boss Blair. The new Scottish Secretary warned against this sort of hectoring, pleased to see the Tories ignored him.

  • Henry Hooper

    Theresa May is a fu**in idiot, but she, like all true tories is a great asset to the Yes campaign.
    Long may she continue in this vein….LOL

  • JPJ2

    Theresa May appears to have the same attitude to Scotland that Margaret Thatcher had. Thatcher always regarded Scots (Willie Whitelaw was a good example) as entitled to be treated as honorary Englishmen-so long as they were suitably subservient. Many Scots would not regard that as necessarily positive.

    People in Scotland thinking (if that is the right word) about voting “No” , should be aware that May is a serious candidate to succeed Cameron as Tory leader.
    I advise voting “Yes” to avoid such a horror scenario-one Thatcher was one too many!

  • Howard Osborn

    “The precise nature of an independent Scotland’s intelligence service is one of those bother-with-it-later issues.”

    No it isn’t.

    • Jambo25

      Oh I think it is. There are already various ‘regional’ offices dedicated to anti-terrorism duties, at least one of which is in Glasgow. It used to be in St. Vincent’s Street, Glasgow. I think it was set up largely to keep an eye on the more extreme sympathisers of Irish terrorism. It was staffed almost entirely by locals. The activities of such people and local equivalents of Special; Branch or whatever they called themselves operated all over Scotland. I expect they’re still there.

      • Howard Osborn

        But the point is whether they would still be there when Scotland gained independence.

        • Jambo25

          Well, since to my understanding, they were locally recruited Scots, I see no reason why they wouldn’t be. Given the break-up of what appears to be a ‘Real’ IRA cell in the Glasgow area, over the last few days, I assume there is still an active anti-terrorist capacity, largely based in the local police, in Scotland.

          • Howard Osborn

            It’s a question of tense, isn’t it? You “assume there is still an active anti-terrorist capacity, largely based in the local police, in Scotland.” “is” isn’t “will be”. Whether the “local” people currently employed in this capacity would have access to the UK-wide resources they need to do their jobs come independence remains a moot point.

            • Charles Patrick O’Brien

              We have our own resources did it not occur to you to think that we may have the ability to run our own affairs? The answer is that there is active anti-terrorist squads,and they cover a lot more than you might assume.

              • Howard Osborn

                I am glad that there “is” active anti-terrorist squads. My point is that, should you become an independent nation, you may find that they “is” no longer.

            • Jambo25

              I presume the police who helped arrest the terrorist suspects over the past few days are still extant.

              • Howard Osborn

                I am sure that they are. My point is that they may have to go south of the border if you become an independent nation.

                • Jambo25

                  Why would Scottish recruited and based police go “south of the border”? Answers on a postcard please.

                • Howard Osborn

                  What security service would employ them? Would they have access to the UK-wide resources they need to do their jobs? That is why I made my original point – this is not a “bother-with-it-later” issue.

                • Graham

                  Why do they need access to ‘UK-wide resources’ to do their jobs? The security services of other countries don’t need the resources of somewhere else to operate so why should ours?

                • Howard Osborn

                  With a population of 5.2 million (as opposed to 8.1 million in London) Scotland will find it difficult to have any kind of security service unless it has agreements in place with many other countries. These need to be sorted out now – it is not a “bother-with it-later” issue.

                • Graham

                  5.2m would put Scotland just past half way down the list of the world’s countries ranked by population. The countries below manage to run their own security services so there is no reason to suppose that Scotland would be uniquely incapable of doing so without recourse to its neighbour. Of course there would be issues of mutual concern shared by countries with a common border, and with others, but the arrangements for dealing with those are a matter for administration and negotiation. They are not an obstacle to Scotland’s independence. In that regard they are indeed something which need not be addressed now but can be dealt with in the period following a Yes vote in the referendum and prior to Scotland becoming independent.

                • Howard Osborn

                  Security is always an issue for today and not for tomorrow. It is not, and cannot be, a “bother-with-it-later” issue.

                • Howard Osborn

                  Security always has to be dealt with today and not tomorrow. It is not a “bother-with-it-later” issue. It is a matter of immediate concern.

                • Graham

                  No doubt that is true although the security ‘risk’ does seem at times to be a convenient excuse to impose further restrictions on the people, However, it cannot be the immediate concern of, or dealt with today by, the government of an Independent Scotland as that body does not exist and, assuming a Yes vote, will not do so for the best part of three years. The details of security provision will be a part of the preparatory work that takes place in the period between a Yes vote at the referendum and Scotland becoming an independent nation.

                  It may be that the present UK government is failing to make adequate arrangements for the continuance of security co-operation in the event of independence but that is hardly the fault of the Scottish Independence campaigners. Unless there is some compelling reason that means Scotland will, almost uniquely among the nations of the world, be unable to manage its security affairs then it is an irrelevance to the case for or against independence.

                • Howard Osborn

                  I don’t think that the UK government is responsible for the transition of security arrangements. An independent Scotland will be. You can’t have gaps in this sort of thing – that’s why it’s not a “bother-with-it-later” issue. It would be wise to have things in place yesterday.

                • Graham

                  ‘An Independent Scotland will be’. Yes ‘will be’ How can something that doesn’t yet exist, and won’t for the best part of three years, be responsible for doing something ‘yesterday’? It can’t be the responsibility of an Independent Scotland now. The UK government is the only body with any authority to deal with security matters so either it starts making arrangements now or the transitional arrangements are made during the transitional period between a yes vote in the referendum and Scotland becoming an independent nation. That is precisely why there will be that transitional period, so that things such as this can be dealt with and there won’t be ‘any gaps’ rather than Scotland becoming independent the day following the referendum result. How else could it be done when the UK government is opposed to making any transitional arrangements in advance of the referendum result?

                • Howard Osborn

                  Fair enough. My point has been made.
                  There seems to be a theme going on here that suggests “If we win the UK government will sort all of these things out for us in the transitional period” . Really? I wouldn’t hold your breath on that one. Now is the time to prepare.

                • Graham

                  I am sorry but that is quite frankly just silly. The government of a newly independent Scotland will be perfectly capable of organising its affairs. If we wanted the UK government to ‘sort things out for us’ we wouldn’t be looking to gain independence in the first place. That is rather the point of it. But the fact remains that until the referendum has been held and, in the event of a yes vote, an election is then held to appoint a new government to take Scotland into independence there is no body with the authority to do this. You are the one saying that security needs to be dealt with now and if you want that then there is only the UK government who can do it. The issue at hand is how security matters are shared between the governments of Scotland and the government of the remainder of the UK. That can clearly only be resolved through negotiation between those two governments and as one of them does not yet exist it is difficult to see how those negotiations could take place earlier than the transitional period.

                • Howard Osborn

                  You cannot allow a “security void” for any period of time. You have my view on this matter – as you have now descended to the level of insult this is my word on the subject.

                • Graham

                  Which is precisely why it needs to be resolved in the transitional period, so there won’t be a ‘security void’. The issue is one of inter-governmental co-operation in the event of Scottish independence. Quite how you expect that to be arranged when only one of the governments is in existence you have yet to explain. It is all very well repeating that it needs to be done now and there can’t be a gap but the reality is that it has to be done by the government of an Independent Scotland and can therefore only be done when that government exists.

                  I haven’t insulted you once, I referred to your unfounded and rather ludicrous comment as ‘silly’ as it was a fatuous misrepresentation of the position of those arguing for independence but at no time have I insulted you. Still if that gives you a get out to avoid addressing the obvious flaw in your logic so be it.

                  In any event I still have not seen any reason advanced as to why Scotland would uniquely among the nations of the world be incapable of organising it’s own security services so I say again, it is a matter of administration and negotiation and not a barrier to independence.

                • Howard Osborn

                  My point from the beginning of this exchange is that security is not and cannot be a “bother-with-it-later” issue .

                  You say that an Independent Scotland cannot deal with this issue until an Independent Scotland exists as a political reality. This is simply wrong – you must prepare for the reality that you hope for. To assume that if Scotland chooses to become a foreign power it will have access to UK security services is optimistic, perhaps even naive.

                  You say that Scotland will be capable of organising its security services, but you do not say how. You assume that the UK will help. Why? If you choose to become an independent power why are we obliged to assist you further?

                  There is a strange assumption that if Scotland says “Yes” then England will be spending the three years following that decision helping it to find its feet. That’s most unlikely imho.

                  And that’s all this is – an opinion. If you find my opinion to be fatuous, ludicrous,silly and unfounded then you are entitled to take that view. It’s cheap comment, though.

                  We clearly will not agree, so I’ll simply restate what I believe to be a self-evident truth.. Scotland’s security is not a “bother-with-it-later” issue.

                • Graham

                  You could just as easily argue that Scotland should have dealt with it last year or five years ago.Despite your asesrtion otherwise, it is an inescapable truth that until a government exists it cannot deal with any issues, security or otherwise. The only body (disregarding the CIA) which has any jurisdiction over security issues in the UK (of which Scotland remains a part until such time as the Union is dissolved) is the UK government. You grandly state that ‘you’ need to make arrangements now but fail to say who should be making them. The government of Scotland which currently has responsibility for security matters in Scotland is the one in Westminster.

                  I make no assumptions such as the ones you ascribe to me. Nowhere did I say that in the period following a yes vote in a referendum would England be helping Scotland or that I expected Scotland to continue to access the UK security services, (notwithstanding that those services are presently Scotland’s as much as they are those of the rest of the UK) That period will be used for the newly elected first government of Scotland to make it’s own arrangements.

                  However, where the issue is one of mutual co-operation in security issues between the two countries I would indeed expect the government of EWNI to be involved. Unless, of course, they intend to sever diplomatic relations with Scotland. I would imagine that those involved in security matters in Whitehall would be keen to maintain some degree of co-operation with a neighbouring country sharing an open border.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    You are right in suggesting that a modern version of the Hot Trod could be re-instated.. You will find the same Surnames in this county now that were victims and perpetrators back in the day. And doubtless the same applies the other side of the border.

    I’m sure that we can come to some local arrangements once again.

    • terregles2

      I quite agree it is hard to understand how Scotland choosing to elect their own government and decide how they want to run their country should provoke such nastiness in some people.
      After independence there are many areas where the Scottish and English governments would co-operate. It would be in both our intrests to do so especially in the area of terrorism.
      A change inhow we are governed is simply that no more no less. Those of us who live in the real world of cross border family and friendships find it hard to understand the abuse and insults that are issued by some.

  • Colin Forbes

    The Scots can safely ignore ms may and her dire warnings of doom. What she said is, of course, a statement of the bleedin’ obvious, and, simply because it comes from the mouth of a Westminster politician, lends credence to the Yes campaign for Scotland to be independent and free of interference from Westminster. I cannot for the life of me see why Scots would vote against freedom and independence versus a life of subjugation under such fools as are in office in this pathetic, undemocratically established ‘Coalition’ government. It’s just a shame that people living in the rest of the UK don’t have a vote: that way we could ensure Scotland’s freedom to the advantage of everyone else in the ‘United’ Kingdom.

  • Iain Hill

    Her ignorance and spite are staggering.,

    In the event of independence, the distribution of assets, and relationships between the countries, will be decided by negotiation, or failing that, by court judgement, not by hysterical political shrieking by the Queen of the Nasty Party.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    Of course in UK hadn`t nicked all oil, Scotland would potentially be as rich as Norway.

    • The Laughing Cavalier

      You need to learn how boundaries re drawn.

      • Charles Patrick O’Brien

        You will need to learn that the boundaries are drawn under international agreement and not by the way Westminster would like them to be.The boundaries revert back to those at the time of the union’s formation.Check it up and see,the oil will be all in Scottish waters,psst want to buy some ?

  • Bill Cruickshank

    Project Fear is now being seen as Project Joke by more and more Scots. I think the mobile ‘phone charges was the tipping point. The scare stories are now so ludicrous that they are galvanising support for YES. You can only pull a scary stunt once or twice, after that the intended victim cottons on to the fact that they are being made a fool of. Time for Better Together to either enter into meaningful debate, or shut up shop.

    • Colin

      The only thing the Better Together team have to do to ensure a resounding win, is to remind people where their Giro’s come from.

      In the end, the giro vote will prevail. Which is sad, because the best bit about a yes vote is the prospect of never having another labour government in what’s left of the UK.

      • Jambo25

        You do realise, I hope, that there is a greater degree of active economic participation in the Scottish population than there is down south? Do you also not realise that, even without the Scottish vote, that virtually every Labour government to have held office would have done so?

        • FrankieThompson

          Not sure about that Jambo. The Tories won the popular vote in England in 2005.

          • Tony Little

            Yes, but the fact is – all the information is online – that except for two occasions, and one of those was the short term labour government in 1974, the Scottish vote has made absolutely no difference to the GE result. And in fact 6/10 times Scotland gets a westminster government it DIDN’T vote for.

            • allymax bruce

              Scotland being in this Union is of no benefit to anyone, other than The Labour Party. Nobody actually benefits from being in this Union now except Labour Party politicians. Scots pay more in taxes, get less in benefits, and are ‘costed’ for the ‘privilege’ of being ‘governed’ by Westminster! The Conservative voters in Scotland will be helping their colleagues in England by voting Yes independence for Scotland, because it would make it easier for the Conservatives to win in your own Country again.
              The SNP voters in Scotland already are convinced of Yes for Independence.
              Labour; well, they’re liars. Anything they say is always a lie; so why vote for them??? Nobody loses when we vote for Scottish Independence; except Labour politicians!
              Lib-Dems are in danger of turning into the Westminster weights; that only tip the balance for either Conservatives or Labour, but never really get their own Lib-Dem policies passed into power. That’s a ridiculous situation for Lib-Dem voters, where they vote for the Lib-Dems manifesto promises, but get absolutely nothing they voted for!
              So, vote Yes for Scottish Independence, all you Conservatives in Scotland; if you don’t want Labour politicians in power in England!

          • Jambo25

            Not the plurality of seats though and in the UK FPTP system that’s all that matters. It might well be that we should get rid of FPTP and introduce some form of proportionality but it is the Tories who are most against that.

        • Colin

          The fact is, there will be 59 (58) less left wing MP’s to scr*w things up of what remains of the Union.

          • SusieQ

            Actually Colin, it’s “fewer” not “less”,

            • Colin

              No, it’s less, not fewer. I consider them to be one gigantic blob of left wing uselessness.

          • Charles Patrick O’Brien

            There will be no union,when it is dissolved.You may find that there will be bigger differences in the south because there wont be Scotland to blame for all the ills,somebody will realise it.

            • Colin

              Mate, I’ve lived in England for fifteen years. Most English people I know have nothing but affection for Scotland and the Scottish. Sadly, I can’t say the reverse is true. The anti- English nationalistic jingoism is embarrassing.

              • Jambo25

                Examples please because my English wife and friends have lived up here for 30-40 years and haven’t noticed that anti-English animus. I’ve actually noticed real anti-Scottish attitudes in England (and it’s growing). A number of Scottish friends and relatives who’ve also worked and lived in England have noticed this as well.

                The good experiences of my wife and English friends doesn’t mean that anti-English feeling doesn’t exist up here and my and my Scottish friends’ experiences doesn’t mean that England is awash with anti-Scottishness. It does mean though, I suspect, that your views are simplistic in the extreme.

                • Wessex Man

                  I look forward to you listing all those reports of anti Scottish attiutues in England, as it’s growing you will haver no problem with supplying the details will you.

                • Maureen Luby

                  Go to any independence story in the English press and you’ll find plenty. It’s rather dispiriting but I’m sure a minority view.

                • Wessex Man

                  The same reply to you as to Jambo, list them, you shouldn’t make up stories to support your cause and by the way, I’m a supporter of your campaign for your “independence.”

                • Colin

                  My point is: Clearly not everyone in Scotland is a raving racist, sectarian bigot. I was merely pointing out that, being married to an English woman and having kids who were all born in London, with London accents, I have a certain perspective on this. Sometimes it’s subtle and sometimes, as in one very memorable, frightening and dispiriting incident in Glasgow, three years ago, it’s in your face. That’s all.

                • Jambo25

                  Married to an English woman with a son who is, by definition, half English and who now lives and works just outside London. He used to work just down in Southwark as well. He’s been threatened with a kicking once or twice for having the wrong accent in the wrong place. I’ve been physically attacked a couple of times for having the wrong accent (A long time ago to be fair.) on Highbury Fields and in leafy Didsbury. Pals of mine, who used to travel down for Wembley internationals, had their buses stoned and bricked by happy English locals on numerous occasions. One of my pals and another Scottish colleague were attacked in Leicester Square (of all places) while on their way to a jazz club in Soho. They were dangerous Scotnats. Actually they weren’t. They were bankers working for Robert Fleming and co.

              • Maureen Luby

                Please direct us with links to proof of the ‘anti-English nationalistic jingoism’ – thanking you kindly. Saor Alba 🙂

                • Colin

                  “Saor Alba” Again, too funny.

                  Scotland is free – has been for circa 300 years.

            • Colin

              “There will be no union,when it is dissolved”

              Of course there will. It’s not all about you, you know.

      • Bill Cruickshank

        Although your comment is veiled racism, it necessitates a response. In 2011/12 the average tax generated per person in the UK was £9000. In 2011/12 the average tax generated in Scotland was £10,700.
        It is unfortunate that some people rely on gutter and racist press for their economic information.

        • Colin

          “Veiled racism”. Transparent F*ckwit-ism, more like. I’m Scottish and proud of it.

          PS make one more attempt to smear me as racist and I’ll instruct my lawyers to show you just exactly what a proper response to your libel looks like.

          • FrankieThompson

            Doesn’t stop you being daft.

            • Colin

              I’m far from daft, buddy.

              • Paul Bethune

                Judging on your comments Coco you’re a complete dafty.

                • Colin

                  Are you my wife? Girlfriend? Effie, is that you?

          • Bill Cruickshank

            Now, now, calm down. No need to resort to abusive and threatening behaviour. The truth often hurts!

            • Colin

              There was nothing abusive in my threats to you, billy boy.

          • terregles2

            Colin you should watch your blood pressure you sound overwrought.

            • Colin

              I’m on tablets for it. Too much salt, apparently.

              • terregles2

                Well as long as you are getting medication. At the end of the day diet excercise and medication can only do so much. Stress and anger damage our bodies a great deal more.
                I don’t know why some people choosing to vote for self government should invoke such rage in you anyway. At the end of the day if that aggression you are carrying seriously damages your health then the outcome of the referendum wont matter.

                • Colin

                  Where are you getting the rage and aggression vibe in me from? I’m chilled, mate. Like I wrote earlier, whatever happens is win win for me.

                • terregles2

                  Colin it is all your bad language it never adds anything worthwhile to a debate

          • Col McGillveray

            Hahaha! Take it easy there Coco!

            • Colin

              I take it easy every day. I just can’t stand people who chuck out the worst kind of smear in order to shut down anyone with an alternative point of view.

              And another thing, only my wife and girlfriend are allowed to call me Coco!

              • thecreature

                Colin, your point of view was “shut down” by quoting the tax figures – nothing else. Your response threatening legal action is FAF.

                • Colin

                  Nah, come on. He called me a racist. Not on. That’s the first resort of the metropolitan tw@ts we have down here.

                  There’s nothing wrong with a bit of light hearted ribbing, but resorting to the R word just turns him into a living cliche´.

                • scotcanadien

                  I thought you were a Scot?

                • Colin

                  I am and proud to be one. I’m also British.

                • Wessex Man

                  “I’m a Lumberjack and I don’t care” get and do some work theres trees here there and everywhere!

                • scotcanadien

                  Ypu have now arrived as an idiot bigot and a racist f.ckwit tube (all words of yours by the way) of the worst kind since Wessex Man now supports you.

                • Wessex Man

                  You can’t be reading my comments lovey or you would known I’ve never sunk to your levels and I would never allow myself to, now go and do something useful like cut a few trees down, you fool!

                • scotcanadien

                  “lovey”
                  Please keep that sort of epithet for your close men friends. I am not one of them.

                • Wessex Man

                  no I know you arn’t thats why I called you lovey halfwit, lol

                • scotcanadien

                  You are obviously too thick to note the double entendre in my last post. And that translates as double meaning for numpties like you.

                • Charles Patrick O’Brien

                  No he said your comment was veiled racism,there is a difference.I would say its not its less.

                • Colin

                  Too funny.

                • Colin

                  What’s the difference, then?

                • Colin

                  Tax figures – straight from wikipedia.

          • scotcanadien

            colin
            You are a d1ckhead and a racist. Now sue me. I suppose you are a schoolboy with nothing better to do in the holidays but come onto the grown ups site to try to wind people up?

            • Colin

              Wow, that’s really deep.

              Should the YES campaign prevail, I hope you get to play your full part in the new workers paradise. I don’t really know you, but you read like the kind of person, who, in the part of the world I grew up in, would be known as and routinely called, a Tube.

              • scotcanadien

                Presumably because in that part of your world you are surrounded by them at Ibrox every second weekend? Or maybe on your Orange Order marches with a sash round your ankles. Round your neck tightly would be better. 🙂

                • Colin

                  I’m a Roman Catholic, you complete Tube!

                  One of the reasons I’m sceptical about this vote is, Head banging Tube’s like you could turn really nasty if it all goes the wrong way. I wouldn’t like to be English and living in Scotland if the vote is a NO.

                • terregles2

                  Colin why would anyone English living in Scotland have to worry about a no vote.? That comment makes no sense.

                • Colin

                  I think the debate is in danger of taking a very nasty turn. I visit Scotland very regularly. People are getting very worked up about the whole thing. In my experience, which, admittedly is very limited, compared to people who still live there, the pro independence side are very aggressive, when challenged, even gently.

                  My wife and kids are English, they have and continue to be subjected to all kinds of bigotry, “veiled” or otherwise, some of it unintended, but nevertheless, very hurtful. It’s very sad but it’s a fact. There also seems to be a sectarian element to the whole thing. Again, that doesn’t bode well for the future, whatever it holds.

                • terregles2

                  Really can’t say that is my experience Colin. I work with quite a few English people and have asked them if they encounter any anti English feeling I am glad to say thry have not. Indeed it is some of my English neighbours who are campaigning hard for a YES vote. I have attended several debates and people have exchanged ideas and concerns. It is really nothing to do with being anti English it is about choosing to have self government just like any other country. There are many diverse groups campaigning for YES . We have women for independence, artists for independence, small business for independence ,pensioners for independence etc. It is such a wide range of people we even have some Celtic fans for independence and Rangers fans for independence. Check the YES Scotland website if you want to see debate with no nasty content.
                  Scotland has like the rest of the UK anti racist laws and if anyone ever showed any racism towards my English friends here or my English family when they visit i would report them to the police PDQ. Nobody in Scotland should be subjected to any racism and you must report it if it ever happens again. I have experienced a few nasty moments in England from some anti Scottish numpties. i would not though say that is typical of English people in general. there are a few idiots everywhere.

                • Colin

                  I’m from the part of Scotland that is still living the “troubles”. Trust me, some of the worst offenders are my friends and sadly, sometimes my family.

                • terregles2

                  I don’t know where that is Colin I don’t know anyone like that. If it is your family then tell them you wont be back until they learn some manners. I would also look at making new friends.

                • Colin

                  Maybe you live in Barra, or something, lucky you.

                • terregles2

                  I live and work in Glasgow Colin and I would be interested in hearing where in Scotland the “troubles” are of any significance. Where would that place be.?

                • Steven Jamison

                  that’s funny I have English friends who stay in Scotland and not once have they ever had any sort of abuse because they are English, and how is it that most people who are on the BT sites don’t even stay in Scotland….lol

                • Fergus Pickering

                  When I first came to Scotland as a nine-year-old from London I got plenty of abuse. But I was pretty good at accents and soon I was talking the local patois. My brother was less skilled and went on being bashed up..

                • Maureen Luby

                  Oh my! A clearer case of projection would be hard to find! You sad, sad boy! I pity you having to live inside a head so full of hate for your fellow countrywo/men! Sectarian? Get your head out of of your odious little bubble and join the real world!

                • Colin

                  Another f*ckwit, reinforcing the points I’ve made. I love my fellow countrymen/women, just not the bigots, parasites and bullies amongst them.

                  I didn’t use the word “Unionist” with its sectarian inferences.

                  I didn’t use the word racist, with all the sinister baggage attached to that word.

                  I didn’t mention the Orange Sash, again with its sectarian connotations.

                  These were all deployed by the type of f*ckwits who demean the country of my birth. The type of people who’ll stop at nothing to get their way. The type of f*ckwit sheep, who’re in the market to be told what to think and only too willing to act as foot soldiers on behalf of the sinister f*ckwits, too cowardly to come out and say exactly what’s what.

                  I grew up in the West of Scotland, where catholics either had to be good at fighting or fast at running. I despise the violence and bigotry that blighted my childhood and I hate the scum who perpetuate that bigotry to this day. To try to deny that there are serious problems in parts of Scotland, related to sectarian and racial bigotry is just dishonest or totally f*witted. And, to try to deny that sectarianism isn’t a part of this specific debate is, addition to being dishonest or f*ckwitted – delusional.

                • Maureen Luby

                  Saw the f*ckwit and read no further! Name calling – the last refuge of the intellectually challenged!

                • Colin

                  You started it, Hen.

                  Don’t dish it out, if you don’t like it back. That’s the Bully Delusion in you.

                  You should read it further, because it’s all valid, if a tad inconvenient.

                • terregles2

                  You are right Maureen It is so crude and uncouth . Shows a lack. I hope nobody realises he is Scottish if he talks like that when he is out and about.
                  Bad language and bad manners are never attractive in a man.

                • Jambo25

                  My grandparents were Catholic smallholders from Mayo and went to mass with James Connolly’s family, in Edinburgh fairly regularly. My great granny went to church virtually every day until the day she died in her early 90s. Apart from a few Protestant Action loonies in the pre-war period none of my ma’s family ever had any trouble. I know the situation in the West was different but it has been greatly exaggerated.

                • terregles2

                  Quite agree I was born and raised in Glasgow my parents were mixed Catholic/Non Catholic .I was raised Catholic married a non Catholic have children that are no religion at all and nobody in my family or anywhere else has ever bothered either way.
                  The days of anyone bothering about religion in Glasgow is long gone.

                • terregles2

                  I grew up in Glasgow as a Catholic and I never experienced any problems. My husband is a non catholic and nobody has ever bothered or cared about our religion. If you are trying to say that you had and any hassle being a Catholic in Scotland you must be about 120 year old..
                  I work in Glasgow amongst people that I don’t know or care what religion they are and it has always been that way for me.

                • Jambo25

                  It’s people like you and your Unionist buds who seem to have the most difficulty controlling their language and tempers.

                • Charles Patrick O’Brien

                  No your not,as to when you use the phrase tube you would not have wrote Roman Catholic,we use different phrases.

                • Colin

                  Are you for real? You don’t know anything about me. The Tube makes my point perfectly, regarding the nationalistic jingoism that blights Scotland. In the context of such a monumental decision, people like that worry me.

                • terregles2

                  Colin the only jingoism that I have witnessed in the UK is from British nationalists.
                  I abhor nationalism and one of the reasons that I want Scottish independence is to not be associated with the BNP and the British jingoism that breaks out periodically.

                • Maureen Luby

                  ‘nationalistic jingoism that blights Scotland’! Bwahahahahahahaha! What planet are you living on? The Wastemonster regime are the ones that promote jingoism? You are one confused, deluded man! Sigh

                • Colin

                  Maureen, love, what part of scotland do you live in? Perth Australia?

                • Maureen Luby

                  ????????? Colin, babes!

                • Colin

                  I f*cking knew it!

                • Jambo25

                  “nationalistic jingoism” Examples please.

                • Colin

                  Was that a threat to kill me?

                • terregles2

                  The only place all that nonsense takes place is inside football grounds with all the silly songs they sing.
                  Meanwhile out in the real world we all go to work beside every religion and people with none. In all my working life I have never met anyone who knew or cared what religion I was and I live in Glasgow which is supposed to be sectarian.

          • SusieQ

            It’s not libel in Scotland it’s “defamation of character” which encompasses both libel and slander. I hope this will help you to make your attempts at threatening sound a bit more realistic

            • Colin

              Thanks, Susie. Helpful for future use.

            • Colin

              WTF are you on about?

          • Charles Patrick O’Brien

            But is Scotland proud of you?

            • Colin

              Some of it is.

          • Steven Jamison

            you are so pathetic its laughable, threating someone with your lawyer what a joke….lol

            • Colin

              The joke’s on you. Now, go back to stroking that tartan shortbread tin…

        • Colin

          Did you get those figures from wikipedia?

          • Bill Cruickshank

            The figures were sourced from Government Expenditure and Revenue Statistics (GERS) and just for the record I did not call you a racist.

            • Colin

              Just for the record. I got you and your comrades – from hook to waders…

      • Charles Patrick O’Brien

        I think you don’t realise where yours comes from,Westminster will no longer be subsidised by Scottish taxpayers,yes you have been lied to by your Westminster government now that is a surprise is it not!!?

        • Colin

          Wow, yeah, you could be correct, there. All those private sector taxpayer’s north of the border, propping up the rest of the UK, especially the South East. Gosh, I never thought of that. Remind me again what percentage of the tax take comes from the public sector?

          In addition to that, there’s Norwegian Oil & Gas.

          • Col McGillveray

            Are you getting paid for this?

            • Colin

              I should be. It’s f*cking too funny.

    • SeanieRyan

      Some Unionists are scared witless that they will have to start making decisions for themselves and their own lives instead of trying to get a pat on the head from London. London and Westminister do not even care what happens in Bermingham or remote and distant Yorkshire. They certainly could not care less about Scotland.

  • Sean MacDonald

    There comes a point when the average voter is forced to come to the conclusion that the nonsensical basis upon which arguments such as these are founded must lead oneself to question the veracity of any and all arguments put forward by “No”. I suggest we passed that point some time ago, hence the rise in undecideds and the drift from undecided to a potential (and it is only potential at this stage) “Yes” demonstrated in recent polls.

    The worst outcome would be a static “undecided” faction – resulting in low turnout. If the quality of the debate doesn’t improve then that outcome becomes more likely. The onus is very much on “No” here. To borrow an argument put forward by Alex Massie (I think), proponents of “No” would serve themselves better if they, now and again, agreed that some (many) things would be relatively straightforward and aren’t worth fussing over. Those who’re swaying to either side might be more inclined to take “No” seriously if they focused their ire on those more complex issues Alex mentions.

    But the way “No” tells it, Scotland would be uniquely incapable of performing just about every basic function of government (even those it’s performed independently for the past 300 years and more, never mind since devolution). Even more incapable than, well, just about everywhere since just about everywhere else is independent (it is, after all, the normal state of affairs).

    As a small boy, I remember my favourite primary school teacher drumming that old favourite, “there’s no such word as ‘can’t”, into my head. The “No” campaign consists of nothing but “can’t” (“cannae” too, I suppose)! The SNP tell us what Scotland “can” do as an independent country and what it will stand for. “No” can’t tell us what the UK “can” do for us, or what we can do for each other as part of the UK (which is more important for many, particularly on the left). What does the UK stand for in 2013? Austerity? That’s not a value. We need a “why”. What comes after austerity? Where are we headed? What do we want to lead the way in? The SNP have some pretty distinct policies in this area. You can question whether they can actually be delivered or not but that shouldn’t prevent you from coming up with your own, alternative, policies.

    The United Kingdom badly needs a mission statement. It’s my unshakeable belief in the fact that it’s utterly incapable of coming up with one that convinces me that “Yes” will win the day. We’re just about to hit the curve of the early majority and you know what happens from then on. “No” have blown it so badly I’m almost tempted to buy into the conspiracy theories suggesting some of them want to lose. No matter what we’re told in the media, static low 40%’s at this stage of the game is not good for “No”. They needed a clear majority over both “Yes” and the “Undecided”s. We’ve been inundated with negative publicity and the latter group has yet to be convinced (and their numbers are growing if anything). The latest Panelbase poll hints towards where their heart is leading them.

    I think Alex is starting to see the writing on the wall – when reading this article, I couldn’t help but think of Kevin McKenna’s gradual shift from ‘rampant unionist’; to ‘holding my nose while I type’; to ‘disgusted neutral’; to ‘the SNP do some ok stuff’; to ‘marching on Calton Hill’. I suspect Alex was reaching for a close-peg when reading May’s latest.

    • terregles2

      I think the biggest problem for the unionists to overcome is that for decades they told Scottish people that we were a poor useless country. We were told we were subsidy junkies and a liability to the rest of the UK. When the true facts were uncovered we discovered that Scotland is far from being poor and even Cameron has publicly admitted that Scotland could do well enough economically after independence.
      Since their economic misinformation was exposed they now bombard us with every scare story under the sun. The one question they have never answered is why they are trying so hard to keep Scotland.
      They have also never answered the question why they tried to conceal the McCrone report and why have they always tried to hide how much Scotland raises from their exports ans natural resources.

      • HJ777

        I’m a unionist and have never suggested anything of the sort.

        More pure fantasy on your part.

        • Jambo25

          You, possibly didn’t. Neither did Mr. Massie for whom I have a great deal of respect. Many unionists, however, did. The basis of the kind of nonsense from Ms. May is exactly that.

        • terregles2

          I of course meant the unionists who are in government they have been peddling that lie for decades. You can dismiss that fact as fantasy but that does not change the reality.

          • HJ777

            Well, if it’s fact and they’ve been doing it for decades, then you’ll have no difficulty providing plenty of evidence (references, links, etc.), will you?

            Unless you want to be shown to be one of those people for whom what they want to believe is automatically “fact”, that is.

            • terregles2

              With respect why would I take time to provide you with proof of any fact simply because you choose not to believe it.
              I don’t wish to be rude but whether you believe anything I say about the coverage of the referendum debate in Scotland is entirely up to yourself.

              • HJ777

                Thank you for your admission that your ‘facts’ are simply made up and have no evidence supporting them.

                • terregles2

                  Well I could suggest that you check out newsnetscotland or wingsoverscotland websites but you would not believe any fact that you did not like so there is not much point.

                • HJ777

                  Try me.

                  You’re right – I don’t believe your ‘facts’ because they seem to consist of what you want to believe. That is why I am asking for supporting evidence before I take them seriously.

                  Post the evidence for your ‘facts’ (don’t just suggest a visit to pro-separatist propaganda web sites). Otherwise admit that you have none.

                  Is evidence a problem for you?

                • terregles2

                  No it is not…. but debating with trolls most surely is.

                • HJ777

                  Didn’t take you long to start accusing me of being a ‘troll’ because I exposed your inability to support your ‘facts’ with evidence, did it?

                  If your claim is factual, as you claim, where is the evidence?

                  You have been thoroughly found out.

                • Robert Ferguson

                  Here is a good example of the kind of statements from unionists that terregles2 was talking about, from the NO campaign website no less http://bettertogether.net/blog/entry/experts-say-big-cuts-or-tax-rises-if-scotland-leaves-the-uk Completely ignoring the reality that Scotland has had five years since 2001 with a budget surplus but the reason for the overall “net fiscal deficit” they speak of is because we are paying a disproportionate share of overall UK debt. The real figures on Scotland’s financial ability to stand on its own are available here http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Resource/0043/00435599.pdf

                • HJ777

                  What do you factually contest?

                  As for the second link you provide – it admits that creation of the SNP’s supposed ‘Sovereign oil fund’ would require higher taxation or lower spending as otherwise the oil revenue would be needed to fund current expenditure. Where has the SNP proposed either of these things after independence? It is very fond of offering to pay for more things and cutting taxes after independence.

                • HJ777

                  Come on – supply some evidence then.

                  No debate will be necessary if you can prove your claims.

            • Jambo25

              Theresa May and this piece of lunacy. Sky high roaming charges for mobile phones. Possible RAF bombing of Glasgow airport. Possible annexation of Faslane etc etc.

              • HJ777

                The claim was that “for decades they told Scottish people that we were a poor useless country. We were told we were subsidy junkies and a liability to the rest of the UK”

                Your comments aren’t relevant to that claim.

                • Jambo25

                  And if you bother looking back through the press record you can find that as well. However, this kind of claim became so toxic to the No campaigners that they have stopped putting it in those bald terms.

                • HJ777

                  Then you’ll be able to provide some examples if they’re so easy to find, won’t you?

                  Something that your friend ‘terregles2’ has miserably failed to do, instead resorting to describing me as a ‘troll’ because I politely asked her to substantiate her claim with evidence.

                • Jambo25

                  Actually, as for the ‘Subsidy Junky’ trope. This is fairly widespread in the English based media and used to be found in the more Unionist parts of the Scottish media such as the Scotsman although, as I noted above, it tends to be counter productive now. The exact term “Too wee,too poor, too stupid” probably wasn’t used in that exact format but that was the idea pumped out. Have a look at The Economist’s well known ‘Skintland’ edition. Oh, how we all laughed. Mark Littlewood of the IEA came out with the ‘England subsidises Scotland’ claim on ‘Any Questions’ a week or so back. No evidence; simply an accepted ‘factoid’.

                • HJ777

                  So still plenty of assertions, but no links to any evidence.

                  You have a strong ‘victim’ mentality that perceives any faint suggestion of something you don’t like as a huge slight on you, which you then project onto the Scottish nation and take offence about. Fortunately, most Scots have rather more robust common sense, in my experience.

                  Pathetic really, if that’s your argument for separation.

                • Jambo25

                  I gave you 2 examples of the top of my head. Easily checkable. I also gave you references to other sites which are also easily checkable. That it doesn’t fit in with your cosy little Unionist world view is your problem; not mine.

                • HJ777

                  So no links, no quotes, then. No evidence at all, in fact.

                  The Economist article explicitly said that Scotland isn’t a “subsidy junkie” – so much for this article supporting ‘terregles2’s’ assertion. It simply attacked the preposterous SNP line that Scotland would be financially a land of milk and honey, if separatists got their way.

            • terregles2

              The McCrone report was written in 1974 by Professor Gavin McCrone who was a leading UK Conservative government economist. The document was quickly shelved and classified as Top Secret as it showed how wealthy Scotland was during that period..It was only released under the 30 year freedom of information policy.
              Have a read at the McCrone report by the Conservative economist and perhaps you could suggest the reason why the Westminster government wanted that report withheld from the Scottish people.
              What possible reason could they have had for doing that in 1974.?

              • Colin

                1974, eh? That was way before the heroin and the catastrophic levels of state dependency. How is it relevant to this debate?

                • terregles2

                  It is relevant to the debate Colin because HJ777 asked the question what proof did we have for saying that Westminster had been hiding the extent of Scotland’s wealth for decades.
                  The Conservative economist Gavid McCrone produced a report on the oil and Scotland’s wealth. The report was classified top secret and hidden from the Scottish people. I was asking HJ777 why the Westminster fovernment would want to hide that report from the Scottish people.

              • HJ777

                Irrelevant to whether Scotland was ever “told that it was a poor useless country” and a “liability to the rest of the UK” – I have never heard anyone claim this and you can provide no evidence for your assertion.

                But as you raised it, Gavin McCrone has himself dismissed the idea that his report was somehow ‘hushed up’. It was an internal report and never intended for publication. It merely said that if all oil revenues were allocated to Scotland, then Scotland would be considerably better off. Hardly a secret.

                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2F-H01Qm1I

                However, it is revealing of the separatist agenda, which is based not on principle, but on short term financial advantage, conveniently ignoring the fact that had the oil been found in waters off England, there is not the slightest chance that England would have wanted to dump the rest of the UK in order to avoid sharing revenues. The point of the union is that good fortune as well as the burden of difficulties in one constituent part are shared by all.

                • terregles2

                  You have lost all credibility by saying that the McCrone report was not classified and kept top secret for 30 years. Please you cannot expect anyone to take anything you say seriously after making such a silly untrue statement.
                  It’s a bit like trying to argue that the world is flat. Please don’t embarrass yourself anymore and don’t expect anyone to waste any more time in answering your wild hysterical claims.

                • HJ777

                  So STILL you can’t provide a shred of evidence for your previous claim that “the biggest problem for the unionists to overcome is that for decades they told Scottish people that we were a poor useless country.”

                  Why am I not surprised?

                  Internal government reports are routinely kept confidential for 30 years and no, it was not classified “top secret”.

                  And I prefer the views of Gavin McCrone (who actually write it) to your silly hyperbolic nonsense. The only person who is has lost all credibility and is embarrassing themselves here is you.

                  You are increasingly pathetic.

                  Grow up.

                • terregles2

                  I am relieved that you find me pathetic I would be worried if a person like you praised me in any way. That would be a worry.

                • HJ777

                  I can put your mind at rest. There is no chance of me praising a small-minded bigot like you who relies on plainly false assertions in the absence of any sensible argument.

                • terregles2

                  Glad that we have agreed on something HJ777 the only difference between yourself and me is that I wish you well for the future. I have nothing but goodwill towards all people living in England and wish everyone in the UK all the best.

                • HJ777

                  Given your bigoted assertions about unionists, which you cannot substantiate, and will not withdraw, and your tendency to throw the ‘troll’ accusation at people for disagreeing with you, you are clearly a hypocrite.

    • allymax bruce

      Sean, I’ve got the ‘Yes’ vote at 50%, while the ‘No’ vote is 35%. I expect the ‘Yes’ vote to rise, as the ‘undecided’ choose nearer the time. I have no expectations of a movement for the ‘No’ vote.

  • terregles2

    When David Cameron refused to debate with Alex Salmond he insisted that only Scottish politicians should speak on Scottish independence. Theresa could not have been listening to her boss.

    • HJ777

      Actually, he didn’t say ‘insist’ on anything of the sort.

      Indeed, he has spoken on the subject himself – in Edinburgh.

      • Iain Hill

        Pedantic! He used this statement as a flimsy excuse to avoid exposing his gross inadequqcy.

        • HJ777

          So being correct is pedantic now, is it?

          If you care to read his speech, he made exactly the opposite point to the one that ‘terregeles2’ claims. He explicitly said that some people said he would be wiser not to speak on the subject – but that he disagreed.

          It was an excellent speech, by the way.

          • Jambo25

            Was that the speech where about the only thing he could find to say in favour of the Union was the London Olympics? If so, I don’t think it did go down all that well up here. It was certainly well and personably delivered but I think a lot of people thought the speech a bit light on substance.

            • HJ777

              No it wasn’t.

              • Jambo25

                Which one was it then? I must admit that Cameron’s speeches do tend to run into some kind of undifferentiated nothingness as far as I’m concerned.

                • HJ777

                  That’s because you don’t want to listen.

                  I am referring to his speech he made in Edinburgh in early 2012. You know, the one where he explicitly said the opposite of what your friend ‘terregles2’ says he said.

                • Jambo25

                  If that was the one when he spoke with a view of the castle in the background through a rather large window, then that was fairly vapid in content.

                • Wessex Man

                  Where do you get the time to avidly follow all of Cameron’s old Etonian orations, right down to the size of of objects in the background. You really should get a life dear!

                • HJ777

                  Far more content and coherence than you have ever managed.

                • Jambo25

                  See my earlier comments about Unionists and insults and swearing from earlier.

                • HJ777

                  Of course – unionists are always rude and swear and separatists are always polite reasonable people.

                  You really have constructed a fantasy world of good vs bad to justify your obsession with separation, haven’t you?

                • Jambo25

                  You seem to have difficulty in not being insulting.

                • HJ777

                  You have difficulty not being insulted.

                  Anything you disagree with you make a point of being offended by.

                • Steven Jamison

                  well you are so very wrong because this year on national tv he said it was up to the people of Scotland to debate and that why he wouldn’t debate with alex salmond, get your facts straight before you come out with drivel n

      • terregles2

        Well he did do an interview shown on STV where he made it clear that he thought that no English politician should comment on independence. He said that as any English politician not on the voters roll in Scotland would not have a vote then they should not voice an opinion.
        Unless Theresa May is on a Scttish voter’s roll then I think we could all assume that Cameron’s remark included his Home Secretary.
        In truth many people in Scotland were disappointed that the UK Prime Minister did not tell us why it is good for Scotland to remain under Westminster government.
        We have been asking the Better Together campaigners that question for months now and have still not had an answer.

        • HJ777

          Unless you can provide evidence, then I simply don’t believe your interpretation of what he may have said.

          It seems highly unlikely considering the fact that he made a speech (in Edinburgh) on the subject himself and explicitly refuted the idea that no English politician should comment. The text of his speech is available online for all to read.

          What you mean, btw, is that you don’t like the arguments of the Better Together campaign.

          • Steven Jamison

            well you are so very wrong because this year on national tv he said it was up to the people of Scotland to debate and that why he wouldn’t debate with alex salmond, get your facts straight before you come out with drivel

            • Wessex Man

              are you saying that the Hone Secratary of the United Kindom shouldn’t speak on any subject, you can say that after you vote for Independence and win but not at the moment.

              As it happens I think the Tories are showing their inability to understand that lies no longer carry opinions yet again and that statements like Theresa May’s are surely a boost to your campaign.

            • HJ777

              I’ll remind you of the claim that ‘terregles2’ made:

              “When David Cameron refused to debate with Alex Salmond he insisted that only Scottish politicians should speak on Scottish independence.”

              Cameron refused to debate with Salmond. He did not either say or imply that only ‘Scottish politicians’ should speak on the subject of Scottish independence – in fact, he is on record (see his Edinburgh speech transcript, for example) as saying precisely the opposite.

              You are the only one failing to get facts straight, preferring to come out with drivel.

    • Colin

      He refused to debate with salmond, because rightly he didn’t want to accord a status to salmond, that quite frankly his (salmond’s) office doesn’t deserve. The idea that the leader of a fourth rate assembly, is in any way equivalent to the PM of the United Kingdom is laughable at best. The fact that it’s salmond in post makes it f*cking hysterical.

      • Jambo25

        Is it possible for unionists to post things without resorting to personal insults or swearing?

        • Whyshouldihavetoregister

          Yes, but it makes it so much more fun to let f*cking idiots like you pretend to be affronted.

          • terregles2

            If that is how you find fun in life I am not surprised then that you sound so bitter and angry.
            Seriously carrying anger like that around is not good for your general health.

          • Jambo25

            Thank you for so selflessly backing up my case.

        • Colin

          It’s perfectly possible.

          • Colin

            How the f*ck could anyone vote that down?

            • Jambo25

              Possibly because you have simply confirmed your own rudeness and crudity. By the way; it wasn’t done by me.

              • Wessex Man

                it gets better where have all your moronic comments gone?

                • terregles2

                  You always surprise us for a person who is 100% in favour of Scottish independence. You support Scottish independence with all you heart yet you still take time to come online and denigrate anyone who speaks in favour of Scottish independence. It is all so confusing.

        • William Pollock

          what a bunch of unionist moronic sheep on here.They prefer to be ruled by their British masters.Pathetic little sheep

          • Wessex Man

            because they have a different to you? ruled by British masters what a pathetic comment, I wonder why most of the Nats who comment here fill their comments with bile even toward their own countrymen.

        • Wessex Man

          This from you is a classic, it’s the way you tell them, are you worried about losing out as the nastiest piece of work who comments here?

          • Jambo25

            As long as you’re around there’s no danger of me ever holding that title.

            • Wessex Man

              why you’ve really hurt my feelings now, here I was hopingto learn from the master and that’s the best you can do?

      • terregles2

        You sound really angry and aggressive that is usually a sign that you have nothing rational or useful to contribute.
        Nobody who is voting YES in 2014 would claim that Salmond is equal with Cameron. All the YES voters think Salmond is far superior to Cameron and Clegg and indeed Miliband.

        • Colin

          Angry and aggressive ? Far from it. I’m salivating at the prospect of the outcome of the referendum.

          It’s a win win for me. If its a NO to the insanity of separation, I, as a Scot will breathe a giant sigh of relief that the best thing ever to have happened to Scotland will be preserved.

          If it’s a YES to the insanity of separation, the silver cloud is that we’ve seen the back of the evil, destructive, nastiness that is the modern labour (welfare) party in England and Wales. The irony of that outcome will go a long way to making everything right with the world.

          • Col McGillveray

            Colin. You have already threatened legal action. You come across as a spoiled petulant little brat.

            • Colin

              Far from it. It’s easy to resort to the worst sort of smear; especially when you want to close down a debate you don’t want to have or when you can’t abide a point of view that differs from your own.

              • SeanieRyan

                Grow up.

          • Steven Jamison

            wouldn’t hold your breath mate, coz this time next year we will be on our way to independence!! and no amount of propaganda scare mongering stories will change my vote from a yes vote, Westminster must think Scottish people are stupid if we are to believe any thing they say, scare stories is the technique used by many goverments through out the world to sacare the population in to submission, well it aint going to work on us scotts!!

            • Colin

              By “us scotts!!” Do you mean the Scotts family, like the Scotts who live two doors down from my mum?

              Just askin’

          • Cymrugel

            He’s right.
            You are angry and aggressive.
            I suggest a wee lie down in a quiet room.
            and lay off the coffee.

        • HJ777

          Ripe from someone who throws about the ‘troll’ accusation when politely asked to substantiate a claim with evidence.

      • Suriani

        Oh the hatred, the bile, a wonder you can get through the day without apoplexy. Soon we’ll be gone Colin then you’ll have to find something else to engage your rage. Note. Salmond is smart. The only reason Cameron won’t debate face to face. Fourth rate assembly? where does that put Westminster then? off scale?

        • Colin

          Apoplexy, rage ? What are you on about ? I haven’t had this much fun since listening to re-runs of strugeon being taken apart by virtually any political interviewer who’s ever lived.

          Did someone just email you and ask you to turn up and have a pop at a bloke called Colin? Pathetic…

          • Suriani

            You appear to dwell in a parallel universe Colin? You really need to get out more..reruns of Sturgeon? oh how sad…

            • Colin

              “Did someone just email you and ask you to turn up and have a pop at a bloke called Colin? Pathetic…”

              It’s true, isn’t?

              • Suriani

                You really are in a world of your own Colin. Bring out that old “persecution mania”. Mated with the classic “scotch whinge” a lethal combo. Vote Yes, you will feel better! pax tecum.

  • MichtyMe

    I thought May and the Tories were planning to opt out of the EU law and order measures like the european arrest warrant, so whats the problem with one more legal border when you are to create 27.

  • dougthedug

    A fair comment Alex but Theresa May is not unique in using doom and gloom as an argument against Scottish independence so she’s just following the herd.

    Doom, gloom and fear is the entire campaign from the unionist side in Scotland.

    From rejection by the EU, ejection from NATO, pension black holes, economic collapse, Alex Salmond as some form of “Dear Leader” dictator, wire fences and customs posts at the border, enormous roaming charges on mobile phones once you cross the border, the secession of Orkney and Shetland, the collapse of oil prices, loss of the BBC, terrorists all round, annexation of the Faslane naval base, the bombing of Scottish airports and on to the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

    OK they haven’t got round to the four horsemen yet but everything else has been said.

    It’s got to the point where it’s just treated as background noise now.

    • Jambo25

      I’m worried by the outbreak of contagious constipation which will break out if we Jockos vote ‘Yes’ next year.

  • Theuniondivvie

    ‘(Mind you: if the Borderland could somehow revert to being in large part beyond the writ or control of London and Edinburgh alike that would be even better.)’

    Bloody separatists…

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