Coffee House

Alex Salmond attacks ‘campaign rhetoric’ with a ‘George Tax’

17 February 2014

1:26 PM

17 February 2014

1:26 PM

After a couple of weeks of something frightening and bad called ‘campaign rhetoric’ from Westminster politicians, Alex Salmond today tried to reassure Scots that everything would be OK if they did vote for independence. ‘The rest of the UK will never be foreign’ to an independent Scotland, he insisted, sounding rather in favour of another aspect of the Union (alongside the Queen, the pound and so on). And this ‘campaign rhetoric’ about the currency union was wrong – and dangerous to the rest of the UK, said Salmond. Employing something that was of course nothing like campaign rhetoric at all, the First Minister warned that ruling out a currency union between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK would damage British businesses through transaction costs:

‘Now my submission is that this charge – let’s call it something, let’s call it the George Tax – my submission is that this would be impossible to sell the English business, to be charged by their own Chancellor for the privilege of exporting goods to Scotland.’

[Alt-Text]


The George Tax was one of the many deft rhetorical flourishes that Salmond employed (definitely not campaign rhetoric though) in his speech and the Q&A afterwards. He described the interventions from George Osborne and colleagues as ‘a succession of day-tripping Conservative ministers flying up to Scotland to deliver lectures and then flying back to Westminster again’. He joked that the ‘charm offensive’ from David Cameron ‘didn’t last very long: it was just replaced by the offensive only a week later’. Those references to ‘campaign rhetoric’ were also supposed to dismiss threats about the pound and the EU as just scare stories, rather than a real statement of what would happen in the event of a ‘Yes’ vote. Salmond wants voters to think that the risks are not real, just empty threats.

And he tried to frame Labour’s involvement in that cross-party intervention on currency union last week as damaging to the party’s long-term prospects, saying:

‘But the sight of a Labour shadow chancellor reading from a script prepared by George Osborne was too much to bear for many Labour supporters in Scotland. For Alistair Darling’s former election agent, it was the straw that broke the camel’s back and made him declare for a Yes vote.

‘I predict that moment will prove to be one of Westminster Labour’s biggest misjudgements.’

This, of course, wasn’t like the sort of ‘bullying’ that the SNP has experienced from politicians, central bankers or European types in the past few weeks. As low income Labour voters are the ones who hold the key to whether Salmond gets close to a ‘Yes’ vote, it’s also an important point to make.

But while Salmond’s speech was engaging and detailed and all the rest, it did highlight once again how very light his model of independence is, from the question of national identity to currency union. The difference between independence-lite and devo-max is technically quite thin, but the ‘campaign rhetoric’ of the past week has shown that one carries a great deal of risk and the other doesn’t. Vote ‘Yes’ for independence-lite and leave the European Union and lose the pound. Vote ‘No’ for the devo-max promised by Westminster politicians and stick with all the things Salmond wants to assure you are safe. Salmond warned voters again about what he sees as the bullies in the Westminster establishment, but the question is whether they’re more uncomfortable with Westminster politicians or with the risks of independence. And if independence-lite doesn’t offer them much more than devo-max, then why bother taking the risk of voting ‘Yes’?

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
  • Stephen Brown

    Westminster has not promised Devo Max so why do you regurgitate this myth? Vote no and get nothing is what has been promised so far. Vote yes and Scotland gains its full sovereignty and only then can the country decide which sovereignty it would like to cede. At the moment with have little or no power to decide our own future. People wading in to the debate without being properly informed are letting the viewing public down.

    • Michele Keighley

      “People wading in to the debate without being properly informed are letting the viewing public down” – In which case Stephen, I think you should desist.

  • Dave McEwan Hill

    I felt I had to comment on the utter rubbish also being spouted by some extremely ignorant posters here about the EU.
    Barroso has no right or position to determine anything on the EU. What he said on Sunday on the Marr show he said exactly around three months ago and it was dissembled as bullshit them and is bullshit now.

    This is the man who met with Bush and Blair to expedite the invasion of Iraq and he will end his term of office shortly as the most derided leader the EU has ever had. Why the UK establishment thinks him an appropriate authority to pontificate I have no idea – but much of the media scraping about to attack Scotland doesn’t appear to share my disgust.

    ttp://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/feb/17/barroso-scotland-ludicrous-remarks

  • Dave McEwan Hill

    I find it very difficult to take seriously a commentator, apparently intelligent, who finds it impossible to differentiate between a variety of forms of devolution and independence which is something entirely constitutionally different.
    There is of course no such thing as “independence lite” on offer though English commentary that suggests that this is something somehow similar to devo max has the effect of encouraging the wavering to vote YES on 18th September which I am sure is no part of any intention.
    It is very careless to describe a generous offer that Scotland would like to FREELY share some relationships with its next door neighbour as “lite”. – “freely” being the operative word, as any such offer can be FREELY reversed by an independent neighbour.
    There is also no form of “devo max” on offer and neither will there be (and such has just been completely ruled out by the Better Together Campaign) so it’s about time that the metropolitan media either got themselves properly informed or butted out.

    In fact I have to say that I have huge sympathy for the average English person who is so completely misinformed about Scotland, its more than robust fiscal condition and its relationship on these matters to the UK. This is entirely the fault of the media and those who write the sort of rubbish i have just read here

  • mikem64

    If the technical difference between Devo max and Indy lite is so thin then we now know Devo Max will never be on offer after a NO. The fiscal constraints on a currency union would be almost identical and Osborne has ruled that out .. apparently. Devo Max is now dead in the water. The decision now for Scottish voters the majority of who are hoping for something like Devo Max is whether to relinquish all hope of those powers by voting NO and submitting themselves to the whims of a future Westminster Government which will likely cut Barnett and the number of Scottish MPs or to take full control of their own country and economy by voting YES.

  • rod mac

    I wish those outside of Scotland that feel compelled to comment on the Referendum from within the London Media Bubble would at least do some research before opening their thrapples and talking mince.
    There is no Devo Max , Independence lite or whatever on offer.
    There is status quo or Independence, the unionist went out of there way to ensure there was no Devo Max/FFA or anything on the ballot.
    The SNP have given us a 600 page White Paper the Unionists , err zilch except the you can’t have this ,you can’t have that .you will not be able to do this ,or that ,
    Then on cue the London ill informed media blast out the Westminster propaganda and lies of unionism.
    You are slowly wakening up down there you have 7 months to catch up to life outside of the Westminster bubble.
    Some of us have been working towards this our entire lifes.
    You lot have not got a clue, at least research sweetheart before making a fool of yourself in print.

  • Andrew MacGregor

    RavenRandom.
    1) He NEVER claimed to have spoken to the EU and then confess he hadn’t.
    2) The question of the EU membership – his point was that we will negotiate our membership from within and that is the stance the SNP maintains.
    If you need to go do some research start with the Lisbon Treaty – notice to withdraw. This is a period during which Scotland can negotiate it’s membership whilst Scots and Scotland remain in the EU. They keep the treaties, MEP’s, support etc whilst they negotiate their withdrawal as Greenland did with the precursor EEC. That element was carried forward. The UK and indeed Spain (who have said nothing about blocking Scotland) have no veto, no consultation even will take place with them except through the commission. That’s a fact. There is no ambiguity here. Barroso won’t be able to block it. He’s gone in Sept. The new President is Danish. A man stating a preference for Scotland to join with minimal upheaval.
    On the subject of the £. Bluff, Bluster and Bullying. Not an unreasonable accusation. Alistair Darling, Alasdair Carmichael, even Gidiot and Balls were all talking about the positives of a common currency area up to the White Paper launch. ‘Logical and Desirable’ was how Darling put it. Again not hard to see this not as anything to do with common sense, but simplistic politicking to try and scare voters.
    Biggest issue in this debate. Lies, deception, sophistry – all quoted as fact by the MSM for No campaign. Rumour against Yes also quoted as fact if the story is negative.

  • Baxter Parp

    No party has promised extra powers after a no vote. Devo-max is not on the table.

  • http://logicsrock.blogspot.co.uk/ Roddy Macdonald

    Devo max “promised” by Westminster politicians? Some of us are old enough to remember the Jam Tomorrow promised by Westminster politicians in 1979. If there was the remotest chance of Devo Max being offered, let alone delivered, why did those self-same Westminster politicians move heaven and earth to ensure Devo Max never appeared as an option on the ballot paper?

    For a far better assessment of the chances of Devo Max, I’d suggest reading the blinder of a blog by Derek Bateman:

    http://derekbateman1.wordpress.com/2014/02/18/you-have-been-warned/

  • The Blue Flash.

    Just listen to salmond and sturgeon (who is who) they drone on and on and don’t actually say anything. Try it and see.

  • Eric McLean

    In the past sixty years, the performance of Westminster has been abysmal. This is regardless of which party is in power in the corrupt FPTP two party, power hoarding system.

    We might have expected equality, social justice, balanced economy, and a progressive society had Westminster been delivering.

    Instead, look across the UK at what we do have. Do I need to list the mess that is debt laden, unproductive, impoverished and unequal Britain? We are indeed Broken Britain. Most of us understand that.

    The younger generations in this fair land, struggle to get housed, educated, bad decent jobs. We have already saddled each of them with 40,000 in debt.

    Westminster has no leaders or statesmen… These people in power are naive, green and arrogant. That is how they are seen by the Germans and others in EU

    For Osborne and co to unilaterally disavow a currency agreement without any form of negotiation and discussion, smacks of arrogance and there is no doubt, hegemony.

    The only reason for this coordinated SPIN is that Westminster polls showed YES increasing… And they show that currency is the biggest worry for the average person. So they gambled everything (including English business transaction costs) to try to scare the electorate.

    Let’s be very clear. There WILL be a currency union of some description… Anyone who thinks otherwise is as delusional as Osborne.

    People like Darling who are hastening us towards the Euro, were telling us a few weeks ago that we will have to reapply for the EU. That alone demonstrates that they will spin anything to try to frighten people.

    • Bo Williams

      You need to stop drinking the Kool Aid. FPTP was the democratically agreed voting system passed by a majority of voters in a referendum less than 4 years ago.

      If you want equality you had better go and live in a kibbutz because other than that you are not going to find it in any country on earth. However, notwithstanding the lack of equality, the British economy is currently one of the most successful in Europe, hence all the EU migrants, who manage to find work, so there is definitely opportunities to better yourself if you work hard.

      I’m struggling to understand why the younger generation can’t get an education. Are there no schools in Scotland? As Scottish universities are very much full of Scottish youngsters – (receiving free tuition, so Scottish students are not saddled with £40,000 of debt) – I assume many of them are receiving some sort of education. Maybe they are home schooled?

      • Eric McLean

        They are saddled with 40,000 of government debt, plus any loans for university.

        The British economy works well for London and the South east., not for Scotland.

        The Electoral Reform Society is a political pressure group based in the United Kingdom which advocates scrapping First Past the Post (FPTP) for all National and local elections. It argues FPTP is ‘bad for voters, bad for government and bad for democracy’. It is the oldest organisation concerned with electoral systems in the world.

        Cool Aid? I drink Iron Bru…

    • Wessex Man

      it’s not clever to keep repeating yourself, people will think you are daft!

      • Eric McLean

        Not the lurkers who only read portions of the thread. 🙂

  • Eric McLean

    The number of unionists who have emerged out of the woodwork recently, to tell us how things are impossible and Alex Salmond is a liar, need to recognize that their assertions and Alistair Darlings assertions have been debunked by a considerable number of political journalists including a few on here. When Darling tells us how impossible it is, it usually means the opposite. A number of Economists, the Governor of the BOE and the fiscal commission, and many commentators in Europe all say that a currency union is both possible and sensible.

    Let’s face it. Independence is normal for a country. There are things that might have to be worked out, but the way the unionists are describing it, Scotland might as well try to build a rocket for Mars instead.

    Get real everyone. It’s not that hard. It’s not that scary. It’s only unionists that want us to believe that.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      You are just a bit thick really aren’t you. Of course a currency union is easy and preferable if you have unified fiscal, monetary, public expenditure policies and a political union like, oh, what we have in the UK today. What is impossible is a currency union of the type envisaged by Salmond whereby an independent Scotland will borrow and spend whatever likes while the UK underwrites its debt and the BOE acts as lender of last resort to Scotland’s banking system (which is 12 x The Scottish GDP). It would be an act of unforgivable irresponsibility for a UK Chancellor to offer an unlimited guarantee of the debts of a foreign country. Indeed, a very hostile foreign country. I am not a unionist and a happy for Scots to decide their own future but you cannot have independence while keeping the bits of the union that you like even though it is massively detrimental to a post independence UK. That is why Salmond’s strategy is in tatters today and all he can do is scream and shout abuse at people who are simply acting in the best interests of their own country not yours.

      • Eric McLean

        “You are just a bit thick really aren’t you”

        Hahahaha

        Sure. I am thick. And you are a bitter old man with a range of complexes.

  • Thoughts of a Scot

    With regards to the EU, article 50 of the EU treaty prevents the expulsion of a territory without a negotiated exit. Its pretty clear cut here. Scotland starts off in, and must either negotiate to either one of two outcomes. Revised terms and conditions to reflect its new status as a separate, smaller entity, or an orderly exit from the Union. If you read the treaty then you’ll see that you can’t pull away from the bear hug of the EU that easily(despite what UKIP and some Conservatives think with regards to the UK’s own membership).

    I’m a little surprised that so few people know anything about the EU and its various levels of bureaucracy.

  • M2

    Even if Salmond’s £500m estimate is right, it pales in significance when compared to the 11bn euro third bailout of Greece. It really is a no-brainer

  • CortUK

    So that’s Salmond’s big comeback is it? After promising to deconstruct every single one of the Chancellor’s points, the best he can come up with is “but not having a currency union will hurt the English!”?

    Oh Alex.

    1. Not in the view of the English.

    2. Even if it did, that’s our problem, not yours, and we’ll just make our own choices if you don’t mind. Isn’t that what this is all about? Freedom to make your own choices?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=toFm4CkDaUE

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Hear, hear! Well said. Forgive me, if I take no comfort from the claim that Salmond is acting in the best interests of British business. Laughable

  • Smithersjones2013

    Did I hear Salmond threaten England with some protectionism? Hmmmmm that won’t help their application to join the EU. In fact it might also make any trade agreement with the EU impossible given UKr could veto it.

    Why doesn’t Salmond just grow up, stop with the infantile threats and recognise he’s not in a powerful position?

    • Michael Mckeown

      Because he is a megalomaniac that needs to be in the center of attention.

  • Michael Mckeown

    The ‘George tax’? Seriously what a nasty little man Salmond is, all he does is try day after day to inflame Scotland against the rest of the UK.

    There will be charges imposed on cross border trade in the event of independence and this will all be Salmonds fault but what Salmond fails to grasp is that businesses wont be paying out hundreds of millions they will just buy elsewhere instead.

  • CortUK

    Alex Salmond and the SNP today…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx32b5igLwA

  • CortUK

    Salmond’s latest protestation.

    “The absence of a currency union will hurt the UK!”

    Like he gives a toss what happens to the UK. Talk about desperation. A man without a plan.

  • JimmyLinton

    Maybe we should campaign for a new vote on retaining devolution?

    Sturgeon sounded desperate on the radio, this morning. John Swinney just sounds daft. We deserve better.

    What a shame, this is all going to end up a bit like our World Cup adventures in the seventies and 80’s.

    So close: so many silly songs, so many stupid slogans, so many gap toothed smiles and dodgy Perms, too many cr@p managers.

    Sadly, Never glad confident morning, again… At least, not in my lifetime.

  • CraigStrachan

    You just know there was a wee confab in his office about whether to call it the “George Tax” or the “Gideon Tax”.

  • Richard

    All this bad news bodes badly – if they vote no we will be stuck with the East Lothian question – something will have to be done to sort this anomaly. Were the boot on the other foot would the Scots take it??? I doubt it.
    Come on Scots, vote yes!!!

    • CortUK

      Careful. There is nothing a ScotsNat hates more than an Englishman who supports independence.

      You see, they desperately want to be wanted, but (stay with me) desperately want to reject those who they want to want them. One doesn’t need a degree in psychology to explain this one.

      • Richard

        are you saying there is nothing like a Scotsman with a grudge!!! I want them to want me to wish they would want to leave then wait to be disappointed …… clear as mud eh?

        • CortUK

          It is never difficult to distinguish between a Scotsman with a grievance and a ray of sunshine. (Wodehouse)

  • Alex Creel

    The independence vote is the first step in a process, not the be-all and end-all. The SNP have pushed the option of the common currency in order to secure independence rather than to shackle Scotland to a loss of economic sovereignty forever. Whether the currency union is secured on a 1yr, 5yr, or even 20 or 50 year term it still means the next generation of Scottish voters would have the option to launch their own currency (or join another). No rush…..

    • HookesLaw

      Thats the official position is it? Put it on a poster – I dare you.

      • Alex Creel

        It’s what I’m flogging on the doorstep and it’s well received. 🙂 Of course, the other thing I make sure voters are aware of – especially no voters – is that in 2016 they can vote whomever they like to run the country, a vote for Yes isn’t a vote for the SNP and many of Alec’s current plans can be reversed or modified if the voters wish. The vote’s been polarised to a ridiculous extent – commentators think that a yes vote with currency union is impossible meanwhile the tories & lib dems reneged on manifesto promises in order to form a coalition…..

    • Richard T

      “Whether the currency union is secured on a 1yr, 5yr, or even 20 or 50 year term…”

      So to be quite clear, the UK is to backstop the monetary policy, fiscal risk and banking system of a newly independent Scotland for whatever period the latter sees fit.

      You do understand, presumably, how this confirms the skepticism of Osborne, Balls, Alexander, the BoE, the Treasury et. al. with respect to the political instability and hence undesirability of a currency union?

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    The ECB zone will expand. Why would they reject a nation with vast natural assets?
    Why would the Chancellor of the Exchequer *refuse* to continue to control Scotland’s money if he could? It is becoming increasingly clear – the game plan is to widen the realm of the ECB, and the Scots will agree because they have been failed miserably.

  • JPJ2

    Has it dawned on anyone just how difficult the EU makes if for anyone actually to exit the EU-try googling Greenland?
    Ask yourself whether the EU wishes to expand or contract and you then have the answer to whether or not Scotland would be in the EU. Barosso’s comment is dishonest politicking.

    • Major_Eyeswater

      All true and fair comment – but you omit that all actors bar the SNP say that Scotland will have to apply for EU membership. And the price the EU will have you pay: Scotland will be obliged to join the Euro. Bang goes your fiscal and democratic sovereignty.

      • JPJ2

        Major
        I really don’t regard the fact that Germany and France and, I think, 16 other countries share the Euro means that they are not meaningfully sovereign independent nations.
        Scotland at the moment has zero sovereignty, as power devolved is power retained. If Scotland votes “Yes”, it is unambiguously the case that it will have more sovereignty than now.

        • Major_Eyeswater

          Sir, the Scots are of course free to choose their path. Some (the Greeks, Irish, Cypriots and Portugese for example) might say that the Euro was not a good thing economically or politically for a nation. You may feel this is a price worth paying for the higher degree of independence you see in this outcome but I don’t think a majority of your countrymen will agree with you come September.

          Mr Salmond is insisting that he will join the EU without having to join the Euro. This is clearly at best a fantasy and at worst being downright dishonest with Scottish voters.

  • Mr Creosote

    Why is Salmond surprised that Balls is adopting the concensus line? It is clearly in Ball’s political interest to retain all those Scottish MPs in place for the next election. Once cast adrift by a yes vote, Labour will be severely disadvantaged.

    • dougthedug

      Nobody’s surprised that Balls is acting as Osborne’s wingman.

  • BigAl

    Please vote yes or we will have to put up with endless whinging and self righteousness for years.

  • JPJ2

    I would be obliged if the author of this article would provide me with links which indicate where the unionist leaders have promised devo max as that is entirely untrue.
    I really think contributors should have at least a passing knowledge of the facts 🙂

    • dougthedug

      Vote ‘No’ for the devo-max promised by Westminster politicians and stick
      with all the things Salmond wants to assure you are safe.

      Obviously Dave, Ed and Nick just haven’t got round to telling us yet. Cheque’s in the post, just trust us and so on. Isabel must have a hot line to the devo-max room in Whitehall.

  • Mynydd

    Mr Salmond and the Scottish people must understand that when Mr Miliband/Balls said no to Scotland keeping the pound, that is it. Unlike Mr Cameron/Osborne this is not just talk, this is Labour’s position, and there will be 41 MPs in their Scottish constituencies hammering this home.

    • HookesLaw

      How pathetically mealy mouthed and tribalistic. The Chancellor and his treasury secretary were clear – but according to you only Balls means it,
      Uttterly but prediictably pathetic comment from you.

      • Mynydd

        Mr Cameron and Mr Clegg have done so many U-turns, what’s one more to them.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Labour troll. Ignore.

  • Rossspeak

    All rhetoric on thinner and thinner ice.
    I cannot see how anyone can take this Charlatan seriously any longer – not just “political opponents” – but Independent authorities one by one are proving conclusively that his case for viable Scottish Independence is based on suppositions at best , falsehoods at worst.
    Aside from the ” shared pound issue” – in the last 24 hours the Barroso has said joining the EU is a non starter – and the IOD have said that the costs of “cross border dealing” would pale into insignificance compared with the risks to the rest of the UK of entering an “unstable” currency union.
    As far as I can see – all he can appeal to is jingoism for an “independent” Scotland – any logical or reasoned arguments are being destroyed by the day.

    • JPJ2

      Barroso is a politician retiring before the referendum. He is assisting his unionist friends in Spain and the UK, no doubt as requested. He is NOT, repeat NOT, a decision maker on this issue even if he were not retiring, no matter what his current title might be falsely assumed to imply.

      • Daniel Maris

        Yes – surely the decision maker on all this will be the European Court of Justice, who will have to decide if EU ctizenship once given can simply be stripped from millions of people, including millions who don’t want to be stripped of it.

        • Major_Eyeswater

          I suspect the ECJ will do exactly what it is told to do. They know no law.

        • HookesLaw

          Yawn. The ECJ interprets EU law – ie how straight should bananas be. And disputes between EU countries. An independent Scoland will not be an EU country and not subject to EU law. I further suggest EU citizenshipo does not come under ‘EU law’. Its a line in a treaty.
          Scotland walking away from within an EU country is not being stripped of anything – Scotland is shedding its EU ties.

          • MichtyMe

            Yawn, we have been here before, Scotland is not walking away, Scotland’s parliament will not be doing either, it is Westminster that will be legislating to create two sovereign jurisdictions from the one. Scotland is part of the territory of the EU and there is no procedure for this to change upon Scotland and the rest of the UK becoming independent of one another.

            • HookesLaw

              Of course Scotland is walking away and using logic more familiar to the Red Queen does not make your assertions any more true.
              If Scotland votes for independence than rUK can have any currency it wants and share it with any body (or not) that it wants

              I believe Albert Steptoe summed it up nicely.
              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v28Qx8WDbTw

              • MichtyMe

                If you just consider that mere assertion let us then examine a precedent. Greenland was once part of the jurisdiction of the EU. The Greenlanders fervently wished to end that attachment but it took many years for the EU to detach Greenland. Yet we are told that by some mysterious means Scotland will find itself suddenly and reluctantly outwith the EU.

                • Jimmy R

                  Greenland leaving the EU bears no comparison with Scotland’s position should it leave the UK and become a separate country. Greenland was not a country which had become an independent and separate entity from Denmark when it sought to leave the EU and was, in effect still part of the State of Denmark, something which would not apply to Scotland should it separate completely from the UK.

                • Eric McLean

                  According to unionists, the establishment, their lackeys and Westminster… ‘The world is against Scotland and everyone will do everything to frustrate the commonsense position’

                  It’s a bitter potent blend of wishful thinking and manipulation….

                  For Scotland, everything is just too hard.

                  Aye right.

                • Wessex Man

                  That’s right the entire world is out to get you, do grow up and smell the air, which must be carrying a certain odour now Salmond has realised he has messed up!

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              Except that the head of the EU Commission said you will not be a member and while not the most reliable chap, I suspect he had access to considered legal advice on this matter and didn’t flip a coin on the way to the BBC.

              • Alastair Ewen

                Meanwhile the EU Commission distanced themselves from the remarks within 24 hours of the scripted performances of Barrosso and the BBC stooge Andrew Marr.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Because they do not want to become embroiled in the independence debate. But you just keep clutching at those straws.

        • mightymark

          But the “citzenship” was in effect, the gift of the EU to Governments that met certain the conditions of membership for their nations – not of individual applications from the citizens themselves. If the “membership” of the erstwhile Scottish component of the erstwhile UK is deemed to have discontinued, the question would be rather how its citizens could possibly also be EU citizens.

      • CortUK

        Barroso never, repeat never, said he has any decision to make. He said 28 countries do.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Which was never repeat never his contention. He said it was a decision for the 28 member states including the UK. Which means we could veto Scottish membership. Now that would give us all a good laugh although, come to think of it, we would be doing you a huge favour.

        • terregles2

          Still cannot understand why anyone in England would want to work against Scotland.
          Why would Scotland and England have any ill will towards each other after independence.?

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            Sadly, I think there is every reason to anticipate a growing enmity between the two countries. Should Scotland enter into a currency union with the UK, it would be one whereby Scotland would have to accept fixed spending and borrowing limits agreed/set/enforced by Westminster/BOE in order to avoid having to provide an open ended guarantee of a foreign Country’s debts as Osborne outlined recently. Salmond believes in a gradualist approach to independence and I suspect would accept these terms albeit very reluctantly. Firstly, I think this would leave Scottish ‘Yes’ voters wondering what they had actually voted for. Second, while Salmond would accept this temporary measure, empirical evidence suggests that he would constantly blame English bullying etc for thwarting his spending plans. I suspect this will irritate a lot of English people who would take the attitude that Scotland should join the euro or use it’s own currency. Scottish people may well be swayed by the English arrogance, bullying etc etc rhetoric and thus I see considerable opportunity for a growing mistrust and enmity between the two countries. I hasten to add, that I do not want that situation to arise but see it as inevitable. Scotland adopting the euro might be one alternative but regardless of the true legal status of Scotland’s EU membership post independence, it must be clear to even the most blinkered of Sottish nationalists that there is material resistance to this course in the higher echelons of European bureaucracy. A new currency would do the trick but in the short and medium term and regardless of oil revenues etc, I suspect the market would exact a hefty premium on Scottish debt with its eyes on the Scottish banking sector being 12 times the size of the economy. This would mean much higher borrowing costs for Scottish citizens further fermenting enmity towards their southern neighbours who they would be told bullied and forced this costly alternative upon them. I must emphasise again that I personally have no objection, nor should I, to the people of Scotland pursuing their own course. Indeed, I will love my Scottish relatives nonetheless. That said, for the reasons outlined above, I see nothing but a growing and painful friction existing between Scotland and the UK in future.

            • Wessex Man

              Sadly I have to agree, none of the nastiness is coming from England but from the Fat Controller, who really should have had a plan B on currency and should really have sought EU guidence before telling everyone he had.

              You really can’t say to another sovereign country that you are going to share their currency whether they agree or not. It’s not so long ago that he said the Pound was a millstone around Scotland’s neck.

            • terregles2

              I would have responded to the points that you raise but several of my perfectly polite responses to others have not been posted. I do not want to spend time typing something that will not be posted. It would seem that censorship rules. I suppose I should be flattered.

        • Eric McLean

          In the past sixty years, the performance of Westminster has been abysmal. This is regardless of which party is in power in the corrupt FPTP two party, power hoarding system.

          We might have expected equality, social justice, balanced economy, and a progressive society had Westminster been delivering.

          Instead, look across the UK at what we do have. Do I need to list the mess that is debt laden, unproductive, impoverished and unequal Britain? We are indeed Broken Britain. Most of us understand that.

          The younger generations in this fair land, struggle to get housed, educated, bad decent jobs. We have already saddled each of them with 40,000 in debt.

          Westminster has no leaders or statesmen… These people in power are naive, green and arrogant. That is how they are seen by the Germans and others in EU

          For Osborne and co to unilaterally disavow a currency agreement without any form of negotiation and discussion, smacks of arrogance and there is no doubt, hegemony.

          The only reason for this coordinated SPIN is that Westminster polls showed YES increasing… And they show that currency is the biggest worry for the average person. So they gambled everything (including English business transaction costs) to try to scare the electorate.

          Let’s be very clear. There WILL be a currency union of some description… Anyone who thinks otherwise is as delusional as Osborne.

          People like Darling who are hastening us towards the Euro, were telling us a few weeks ago that we will have to reapply for the EU. That alone demonstrates that they will spin anything to try to frighten people.

          • Wessex Man

            I know, I blame Blair, Brown, Darling, Dewer, Cook, Martin, Reid, and Cameron myself, still if you get your wish we could have sensible English Politicians instead.

        • Alastair Ewen

          Pitiful

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            Well it irritated you which was the intention you pitiful little oik.

            • Alastair Ewen

              I weigh 350lbs you sad little cnut

          • Michele Keighley

            Yes, well never mind, I am sure you will feel better in the morning.

    • Eric McLean

      The number of unionists who have emerged out of the woodwork recently, to tell us how things are impossible and Alex Salmond is a liar, need to recognize that their assertions and Alistair Darlings assertions have been debunked by a considerable number of political journalists including a few on here. When Darling tells us how impossible it is, it usually means the opposite. A number of Economists, the Governor of the BOE and the fiscal commission, and many commentators in Europe all say that a currency union is both possible and sensible.

      Let’s face it. Independence is normal for a country. There are things that might have to be worked out, but the way the unionists are describing it, Scotland might as well try to build a rocket for Mars instead.

      Get real everyone. It’s not that hard. It’s not that scary. It’s only unionists that want us to believe that.

      • Rossspeak

        I am obviously reading and seeing different reports to you. I certainly don’t recall the Governor of the BOE saying a currency union was sensible – and most economists and non political authorities ( including the CBI) are saying that the practicalities are not worth the risk for rUK.

  • RavenRandom

    Salmond is saying it’ll all be fine the UK and the EU are bluffing. Salmond is in wishful thinking territory again and lying to the Scottish people. Remember when he said he’d talked to the EU about membership and then had to confess he hadn’t?
    Slippery customer with no connection to the truth.

    • MichtyMe

      Salmond has never claimed he’d talked to the EU. The EU has said that it will only give an opinion if the member state requests one. The UK government refused to do that and no, Barroso babbling on a TV interview is not a considered legal opinion.

      • RavenRandom

        Look this is more wishful thinking. Scotland will have to reapply to the EU. It will have to take the Euro, these are the rules.

        • MichtyMe

          Is it? last month in evidence to a parliamentary committee, Sir David Edwards, legal academic, former Judge at the European Court of Justice and special advisor to Westminster on Europe disagreed with the need for Scotland to apply for membership and considered the change would be by section 48.

          • RavenRandom

            Perhaps you’ll be right, and everybody else, including the Head of the EU will be wrong.

          • HookesLaw

            Edwards in fact said neither contention was correct ie the best the Nats can come up with is that both they and their opponents are wrong.
            He suggest that as part of negoitiations a treaty could be amended. But all this assumes that ‘negotiations’ could be successfully concluded. This still leaves open countries like Spain refusing to agree.
            His exact words were ‘The outcome of such negotiations, unless they failed utterly, would be agreed amendment of the existing Treaties’

            As a former judge – just one of many – he has no standing or validity whatsoever.

        • JPJ2

          Why haven’t Sweden joined the Euro then?

          • HookesLaw

            Sweden was a member before the introduction of the Euro. So were we – we are not in the Euro.

          • CortUK

            Fail. You don’t have to take the Euro if you were in the EU before the currency was created. Yet another ScotsNat who hasn’t got a clue about a subject they reckon they know better than everybody else?

        • Alastair Ewen

          Wrong and wrong

      • Wessex Man

        If that’s the case why did the SNP spend £20,000 of public money in attempting to block a FOI request on what legal advice it had on an independent Scotland’s membership of the EU. the Scottish Deputy First Minister conceded in October last year that the SNP had never asked the EU about Scotland’s future in the EU despite repeated assurances from Salmond that he had!

        The wheels are falling off the Independence Campaign not because of not being a worthwhile campaign but because of the actions of the SNP.

        Salmond seems to suffer from short term memory loss of staggering porportions, having also said that ‘The pound is a millstone around Scotland’s neck, I think that being outside of the euro area is already penalising the Scottish Economy. In the medium term, the longer we stay out the more damage will accumulate. The euro is an example of why Scotland needs
        membership status so that we can make a decision on entry into the single currency.’

        So it must be that or he’s a liar!

        • MichtyMe

          Governments in Scotland or Westminster never disclose legal advice or even if there was advice. Previous Labour administrations in Scotland complied with this as do Westminster administrations it is the way government works.
          Of course Salmond has never spoken to the EU on Scotland’s future that is the sole prerogative of the UK government, the EU will only give advice to Westminster.

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            All that being true, why did the SNP spend £20,000 to avoid an FOI request?

            • MichtyMe

              Because all Governments in Edinburgh and London have defended actions against them on this, its not uncommon, defending the integrity of the system I suppose.

              • CortUK

                Again, it turned out the advice didn’t exist. They spent the money not to protect advice, but to cover up the fact their claims to have had advice were false.

            • Eric McLean

              A country 1.4 trillion in debt, with marginal and dubious signs of recovery, threatening to exit the EU. With a housing bubble and debt bubble dwarfing their GDP….. Goes against the advice of the economists and the markets …. And claims that the right solution is to reduce the GDP of the sterling zone by 10% and try to make things difficult for their second biggest export market?

              An independent Scotland deliberately forced into an alternative currency and unable to pay its sterling debts?

              It won’t take much for the markets to get the jitters as they foresee some of these possibilities. Osborne and Balls have gambled the credit rating of the UK with their coordinated attack on Scotland.

              I for one will cheer when Fitch starts to look at the level of fiscal management and risk that Westminster are currently playing politics with.

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                I am sure you will cheer. You seem a nasty, vindictive, spiteful little man.

                • Eric McLean

                  Excellent. I will make sure and do an extra cheer just for you.

                • Wessex Man

                  You are only a sad little nasty nationalist like the Fat Controller ( who’s rather bigger, all cheeks aquiver), who has now discovered that the big boys don’t respond to threats, how sad you are!

          • CortUK

            Well, it’s quite easy to keep legal advice secret when it doesn’t exist.

          • Wessex Man

            That’s not true, first of all the UK Government will bluster and refuse and then you can appeal and they can refuse, then you go to the Information Commissioner who will then rule on the request, if he thinks you have a valid case he inists the Government or major organisations reveal all, if they refuse he will take them to court on your behalf.

            The SNP lied and said that they had obtained assurances from the EU when they hadn’t and tried to surpress all evidence, spending £20,000 to do so!

        • Makroon

          Something really rum about a dyed-in-the-wool Farage groupie, chiding the cyber-NATS for having no real substance and relying on the word of the “economical with the truth” and tricky flim-flam man Salmond. Oh! the irony.

          • Wessex Man

            when my party starts telling such large porkies as your paries porkies would be the day I would walk away from them but that’s as likely as the sun shinig where you don’t wipe!

        • Alastair Ewen

          Short term memory loss? Salmond said this in 1999 – at a time when Tony Blair wanted to join the Euro!! Are you suggesting no one can alter an opinion based on changing circumstances?

    • BarkingAtTreehuggers

      Why would the ECB reject the possibility of broadening its realm? Have you inquired whether that was the case or are you just guessing?

      • CortUK

        Decision has absolutely nothing to do with the ECB. It takes 28 yes votes in the EU. Do you have any clue what you are talking about?

        • Geronimo von Huxley

          Are you unable to put one and one together?
          This is not about the EU, this is about money control.

          • CortUK

            Nothing in the OP’s comment about money control. But nice attempt at changing the question to fit your answer. Who do you think you are, Alex Salmond?

            • Geronimo von Huxley

              Nope, still nothing to do with the EU and everything to do with money control as indicated in the OP.

              • CortUK

                Keep trying to fit the question to your answer.

  • Major_Eyeswater

    Did he answer the question “what currency will Scotland have?” or not? We now know Scots can’t keep the Pound, so he either wants a Scottish Pound (a la the Irish Punt) or he wants the Euro. Given that his stated aim is to join the EU, it looks increasingly like a “Yes” vote means it’s going to be the latter.

    No wonder he wants to duck the question. The implications of the answer, to an economy whose GDP has but a circa 0.6 correlation with Germany’s, are potentially devastating.

    • JPJ2

      I don’t wish to be unkind but anyone still equating not being part of a currency union as meaning Scotland cannot keep the £ really does not know what they are talking about-try googling the Adam Smith Institute (a non-nationalist body) to provide you with a deeper insight into the matter.

      • Major_Eyeswater

        Thank you for your reply. I have already read the ASI paper and also have a professional background in the risk management of sovereign credit to fall back on.

        Implict in the “hard currency” option you advocate is a sovereign credit spread to reflect the risk that a (socialist) government in Edinburgh failed to maintain fiscal discipline. Thus Scotland would have a higher cost of funding.

        Added to this is the obligation to stand as lender of last resort to the relatively large Scottish financial sector, most of which would probably head south to prevent this sovereign premium from increasing their own cost of funds.

        In any event the policy of the SNP is to join the EU which as everyone in that benighted Barad-Dur of central planning from Sauron down has pointed out, will mean adopting the Euro.

        The Scots need to know what lies in store before they cast their vote, I’d say.

        • JPJ2

          Major; As a Corporate Treasurer myself, with considerable foreign exchange exposure management experience, I am not a candidate likely to be intimidated by your background 🙂
          However, I am baffled by your claim that the SNP policy is to join the Euro. I don’t deny that up until the banking crisis their policy was the same as the UK Government of the time-being, we will join when the time is right. It clearly isn’t now.

          • Major_Eyeswater

            Sorry JPJ2, my appeal to my own authority (although normally a sure sign of a weak argument, I give you 😉 wasn’t meant to intimidate you, merely to state that I feel I have sufficient experience to form my own view.

            You misquote me – I said that it is the SNP policy to join the EU, not the Euro; their rejection of what this policy implies (joining the Euro) is what interests me.

            What do you think of the implications of keeping the Pound that I outlined above? Do you think Scots will fancy paying a premium on their mortgages versus England?

            The ASI gives Panama, Ecuador and El Salvador as examples of the hard currency option. Paying even half of those countries’ credit premia will crater the Scottish economy.

            Please could you explain why you like this option?

            • JPJ2

              Michty me beat me to it on the Irish interest rates-I suppose your background enabled you to predict that 🙂
              Certainly I noted that Better Together were a bit slow to destroy the leaflets which declared that Scotland could only retain its Triple AAA credit rating as part of the UK-bit embarrassing when the UK were downgraded!
              It would actually be very difficult to join the Euro as you need to float your own currency for 2 years before even becoming eligible. De facto & de jure , that is a long way from being obliged to join.

              • Major_Eyeswater

                And my reply to you is the same: by all means join the Euro, benefit from the implicit support of the ECB, and borrow at Irish rates (btw – the “benefits” of borrowing at too-cheap rates and stoking almighty credit bubbles are wholly illusory, ask Greece).
                However if you wish to retain the Pound post-independence you must recognise that your new Sovereign government will pay a risk premium to UK Gilts for its sovereign borrowings. Ditto any Scottish financial institutions. There’s not really much more to say – ’tis the price of freedom perhaps?

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  And answer came there none.

                • Major_Eyeswater

                  Thank you. Perhaps the penny has dropped Mr C, but I doubt it. I would be quite interested to see if the obvious implication of Salmond’s preferred £ solution – a hefty borrowing premium for HMG Scotland and for Scots – is picked up in the debate.
                  The credit spread of Scots Gilts to UK Gilts will also come to serve as a nice market barometer for Salmond’s fiscal probity, but I doubt we’ll get that far.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  I would not want him to be Treasurer of any company In which I was a shareholder.

                • JPJ2

                  Major-Apologies-these young children on half term get in the road of a man’s politicking 🙂
                  It would appear from your logic that Scotland is damned to suffer either by the achievement of lower interest rates than the UK via the Euro (a whole larger discussion here which I will park for now), or by independently accessing higher interest rates than the UK in the global markets. 🙂
                  Let us suppose that Scotland does agree on some rational grounds to take on board a proportion of the UK debt. Given that the UK has accepted that it IS legally responsible for the totality of that debt, I cannot see Scotland going into the global marketplace to borrow its proportion of the debt.
                  I would expect it merely to service and repay the debt over time on an agreed schedule which is certainly not going to be at a rate higher than the UK Government has borrowed as that represents an unnecessary transaction.
                  Over time, Scotland might borrow on the global markets to service or repay that debt but only if that were beneficial to Scotland.
                  Note that Scotland would then not be in “default” and in a legal sense (and that is very important to global markets) would only be borrowing in the global markets to fund any ongoing (post independence) budget deficit.

              • Major_Eyeswater

                Please can you explain why a newly independent Scotland with a socialist government that retained the Pound would be able to borrow in Pounds at yields flat to Gilts? The cost of this risk premium to the Scottish economy could be quite serious. Given the large Scottish financial sector your banks would also be obliged to pay an additional premium to borrowers concerned that a Scottish central bank wouldn’t provide the comfort of the British version.
                How do you think Scots would react to seeing their mortgage rates rise above the rest of the UK? Please think it through: credit risk premia are undodgeable!

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  I am looking forward to his reply to your questions because I cannot fault your logic.

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            It was never the UK’s intention to join the euro. That is why Brown and Balls dreamt up five impossible tests as a precursor to joining. Fooled old Tone though didn’t it.

        • MichtyMe

          Interestingly Ireland was borrowing earlier this year, 5 year bonds and at a lower rate than the UK. Austria, France, even Belguim can all borrow at lower rates than the UK, it is the UK with a fiscal discipline problem.

          • HookesLaw

            Dummy. The rise in UK borrowing costs is because investors expect UK interest rates to rise sooner rather than later. This is because the economy is growing and unemployment is falling. In other words this is an idicator of success.
            http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/0ccff964-834e-11e3-86c9-00144feab7de.html#axzz2takGKfBM
            ‘Last month ten-year Gilt yields, a bellwether for interest rates across the economy, broke the 3 per cent mark for the first time in more than two years as investors bet on brighter economic prospects this year.’

          • Major_Eyeswater

            Mr Michty – those countries have the Euro and the direct support of the ECB, hence their low borrowing rates. Mr Salmond has ruled out the Euro. He wants to keep the Pound.

            By what fancy do you expect lenders to Scotland to expect a lower yield on a Scottish Gilt denominated in Sterling than they would earn on a UK Gilt?

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            So not a good idea to be part of a currency Union with the UK then. Better let Salmond know that you have completed a full analysis of the yield curve, respective short, medium and long term debt profiles of your comparator countries, investor appetite etc etc. Also, when making your comparison did you make an adjustment for the fact that Ireland borrows in Euros and the UK normally borrows in Sterling? Making the appropriate exchange rate adjustments, how do the yields on UK and Irish 20 year debt compare?

      • CortUK

        Says the ignorant hypocrite who doesn’t understand why Sweden hasn’t been forced to take the Euro…..

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Of course you can keep the pound but you cannot have your debt underwritten by the UK or have the BOE acting as lender of last resort. Why would the UK underwrite the untrammelled borrowing and spending of a hostile foreign country.

    • monty61

      Is obvious isn’t it? The Dreichma.

  • Ronnie Strachan

    as pathetic and evasive a speech from Salmond as we have come to expect from him. He is a liar and will not dare to put his intentions regarding the Euro to the Scottish people.

    If the referendum is won, I fully expect him to be crowing on the steps of Bute House in the immediate aftermath that yes the UK government is right, the £ is unworkable for Scotland and we have to sign up to the Euro.

    He knows he is lost if this gets into the public domain before the vote – as is he.

    • Eric McLean

      The UK is A country 1.4 trillion in debt, with marginal and dubious signs of recovery, threatening to exit the EU. With a housing bubble and debt bubble dwarfing their GDP….. Goes against the advice of the economists and the markets …. And claims that the right solution is to reduce the GDP of the sterling zone by 10% and try to make things difficult for their second biggest export market?

      An independent Scotland deliberately forced into an alternative currency and unable to pay its sterling debts?

      It won’t take much for the markets to get the jitters as they foresee some of these possibilities. Osborne and Balls have gambled the credit rating of the UK with their coordinated attack on Scotland.

      I for one will cheer when Fitch starts to look at the level of fiscal management and risk that Westminster are currently playing politics with.

      • Wessex Man

        There really is no point in zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      • Michele Keighley

        Reiterating this bilious diatribe does not make it any more true that it was before.

        Cue abuse.

        • Eric McLean

          Wheres the abuse?

        • Eric McLean

          Where?

    • Stephen Brown

      it is impossible for Scotland to join the EU currency because we need to be a member of the ERM for two years. EU currency is a myth and cant happen until Scotland has it’s own currency and joins this Ex mechanism. So your hypothesis cant actually happen.

  • Alexsandr

    if we have devo lite, will that trigger a rethink of the unfair Barnett formula and sort out the west lothian question once and for all.

  • Swiss Bob

    Whatever the result turns out to be the Scots as a whole will be the losers, the bitter divisions will take a long time to heal and that’s if they don’t fall into sectarian violence as they so nearly did in the eighties.

    • MichtyMe

      What are you on about ? the only disorder this side of the Irish Sea has been in urban England.

      • Swiss Bob

        Your reading comprehension is low – “eighties”

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scottish_National_Liberation_Army

      • Ronnie Strachan

        and calling people traitors and Uncle Tom is the rhetoric employed by the cybernats – and that is all I could print here that would not be too offensive to readers. Swiss Bob is right – the country will be left bitterly divided once this ends – and for that Salmond is responsible

        • MichtyMe

          Uncle Tom? shouldn’t it be Uncle Tam?

          • Ronnie Strachan

            a typical unhumorous comment from a typical bigoted SNP troll

        • Swiss Bob

          I was reading the comments on the Scotsman and the Herald over the weekend and that is partly what I was basing my comment above on. It isn’t pretty. It is very sad and there will be long term consequences.

          • MichtyMe

            And the comments at this place, unless a swivel eyed frother fruitcake ain’t pretty either.

            • Wessex Man

              on that we can agree, noe get them fixed!

          • JPJ2

            The type of comment of which you disapprove was and is primarily from unionists-perhaps you could call upon them to stop?

            • Swiss Bob

              It’s from both sides so which side you are on is clear.

              Equally depressing but predictable is the quantity of anti English bigotry on display.

              • JPJ2

                Swiss-You need to explain how given the supposed anti-English bigotry, a substantial percentage of English people living in Scotland plan to vote Yes.

                • monty61

                  I keep getting told this but apart from those who claim to be just that online I’ve never met one of these mythical Gnat-voting Englishmen.

                • CortUK

                  You need to explain how, if England and the union is so terrible to/for the Scots, the majority of Scots don’t want independence. And no, the polls (where no leads anyway) don’t count the large number of Scots in England, particularly London, who detest Salmond and the SNP and everything they – and you – stand for.

                • terregles2

                  People are not voting on Alex Salmond they are voting on independence a completely separate issue. It would be surprising if Alex Salmond was popular outside of Scotland. The scurrilous abuse he has taken from the British media is disgraceful.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  That does not mean there is no anti-English bigotry in Scotland. It simply means that there are some English people in Scotland who will vote Yes.

                • Wessex Man

                  they probably have a cunning plan to vote yes then come home!

          • allymax bruce

            You shouldn’t read anything in the Scotch Press; it’s horrendously depressive!

            • Swiss Bob

              It’s very entertaining, just not in a particularly constructive way.

              I’m torn between ripping the ‘michael’ and sadness at the level and tone of debate.

              As a betting man I checked the odds. In conjunction with that and this weekend’s filleting of the SNP’s position on the currency and the EU I would bet a considerable sum on NO if the odds weren’t so vanishingly small.

              • allymax bruce

                The betting, (and the polling), figures were the same in April 2011; but SNP, led by our brilliant First Minister Alex’ Salmond, won an historic MAJORITY VOTE, overwhelmingly it has to be said. Even Iain Gray had to ‘nick’ his seat by some 152 ‘fictional’ votes!
                Anyway, what did you think of the journo articles in the Scotchman & Herod? Do you think they are inciting the hateful and attacking comments?

                • Swiss Bob

                  “Anyway, what did you think of the journo articles in the Scotchman & Herod? Do you think they are inciting the hateful and attacking comments?”

                  Raving loons don’t need much incitement but if your point is that the journalists write a load of tripe you won’t get an argument from me.

                  What I will say and it is now crystal clear to me, the SNP are such a useless bunch of fools with such badly thought out positions (that they have had decades to study) that Osborne looks statesmanlike, and who’d a thought that!

                • JPJ2

                  He might look statesmanlike in England but he does not in Scotland!
                  He was literally pursued down the street by an infuriated STV political commentator (Ponsonby) who objected to the fact that Osborne and the No campaign swanned in an out of Edinburgh barely answering any questions on his currency lecture

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Why should he do anything to assist Salmond? He told you there would be no currency union and that is that. If you want to delude yourself into believing he is bluffing or joking then be my guest but don’t expect him to argue the toss.

                • Ronnie Strachan

                  ah but he answered the one question he came up to answer with devastating clarity – you dont like the answer and are now pretending that last week never happened.

                • allymax bruce

                  Interesting description, ‘raving loons’. And, you did situate that not much incitement was needed; which is concomitant to the journos are inciting hatred; I see.
                  As for sanctimonious git looking ‘statesmanlike’, W looked statesmanlike!

              • JPJ2

                Swiis
                They haven’t changed much though.

          • HookesLaw

            That assums that the nutjobs who leap into webprint are representative.
            I do not regard loony toons (or loony mctoons) howling at the moon representative of anything.

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            Quite right, it never seems to occur to the SNP cybernats that they are not the only voice in the conversation. You only have to read a few blogs to realise that this referendum is slowly awakening the sleeping giant of English nationalism for a start.

            • Eric McLean

              “….this referendum is slowly awakening the sleeping giant of English nationalism for a start…”

              Excellent news. Really, this is great. Let England wake up at last and dismantle Westminster.

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                Whatever it takes to be rid of vindictive people like you.

                • Eric McLean

                  Excellent news. Carry on.

                • Wessex Man

                  I have personally volunteered to come up and doorstep alongside the Scots Yes Campaign but for some reason you don’t want our support, if you did you would have let us vote in the referendum and been assured of a Yes victory!

            • terregles2

              Nobody in Scotland who is voting YES is against English nationalism. That has always been one of the arguments for Scottish independence it would be beneficial for England as well.

        • Eric McLean

          What absolute nonsense. You suggest that the 650,000 hardcore YES support in Scotland are all sectarian bigots, racists and morons?

          You blame Salmond? Well many of us don’t vote for Salmond, many of us are educated, don’t care a jot for religion and have family in England.

          Oh how you unionists wish the debate could be simplified into raw nationalism. It would make your argument much easier.

          • Wessex Man

            yes that is nonsense if that was what he said but he didn’t! read it again. I know people in Scotland who are quite sane, who are going to vote yes but they are not the raging bigoted cybernat nutjobs here there and everywhere.

            • Eric McLean

              “I know people in Scotland who are quite sane, who are going to vote yes but they are not the raging bigoted cybernat nutjobs here there and everywhere.”

              Are you talking about a minority?

    • JPJ2

      What sectarian violence????????????????????

      • Tony Quintus

        Rangers vs Celtic

        • JPJ2

          The only think that unites Rangers and Celtic is their unionism.
          Both wish to preserve their faint hopes of joining the Premier League 🙂

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            Neither of them would be competitive in the Championship and nobody in England would want to watch them.

    • Eric McLean

      What absolute nonsense. You suggest that the 650,000 hardcore YES support in Scotland are all sectarian bigots, racists and morons?

      You blame Salmond? Well many of us don’t vote for Salmond, many of us are educated, don’t care a jot for religion and have family in England.

      Oh how you unionists wish the debate could be simplified into raw nationalism. It would make your argument so much easier, right?

      • Swiss Bob

        What are you on?

        With your irrational anger and wild interpretation of my comment you make my point perfectly. I couldn’t give a damn whether Scotland stays or goes but if I had a preference it would be for Scotland to Foxtrot Oscar because of people like you.

        You may get independence and good luck with that but if it all goes horribly wrong what then?

        And FYI, the IRA active membership was never more than a few thousand but it did have a lot of supporters.

  • In2minds

    Alex Salmond, still running rings around the ‘opposition’, or so they say!

    • Holly

      I know, and he is disappearing up his own ‘dark place’ in the process.

      • JPJ2

        Surely your comment is the type that the unionist Swiss Bob was objecting to?

        • Swiss Bob

          Not even close. By the way, I wasn’t objecting, merely observing 😉

        • Holly

          Made you comment though, didn’t it.

Close
Can't find your Web ID? Click here