Coffee House

Cameron’s unionism speech was laudable in substance, but it made him look afraid of Alex Salmond

7 February 2014

2:53 PM

7 February 2014

2:53 PM

I got a text from a mischievous friend in London this morning.

‘David Cameron has asked me to ask you not to leave the UK. We would miss you all awfully if you did and the Olympics were jolly fun with you on board,’ it said.

I don’t think this was quite what the Prime Minister had in mind when he decided to appeal to the English, Welsh and Northern Irish to use their powers of persuasion to get us Scots to stay in the Union. But if that wasn’t what he wanted, then what was it?

The Prime Minister’s big speech on the Union today is both interesting and difficult for a Scottish audience to hear. For a start, the speech is about Scotland, it is focused on the battle for Scottish independence and it is about us, the Scots, and the decision we will have to make in seven months’ time. But it is not aimed at us: it is aimed at the English, the Welsh and Northern Irish, urging them to persuade us not to vote Yes.

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It is almost as if he has decided to go over our heads and talk to others about us, saying: ‘Look, it’s quite obvious they are not going to listen to me, they don’t seem to like me for some reason, but they might listen to you. Could you have a go? Maybe you can succeed where I’ve failed.’ That may be a little harsh because I think Mr Cameron’s intentions are good but the underlying impression here is hard to ignore.

Second, this speech – about Scotland – is being made in London. That’s fair enough and I think it probably is a good move to try to blow some heat into the last embers of Olympic togetherness, if that can be done. But it is hard to escape the feeling that, after being battered and bruised by constant SNP attacks, Mr Cameron is running scared – just a little.

The context is simple: the SNP leadership has been demanding that the Prime Minister either comes up to Scotland and debate with Alex Salmond on the future of the Union or he should stay out of the entire debate.

However, what this morning’s speech suggests is that Mr Cameron wants to play a part in the debate but he is too frightened of the Nats to come up to Scotland and really give it laldy, as they say up here.

As a result, today’s speech seems to bring with it a hint of reticence, or hesitancy, as if the Prime Minister doesn’t really believe it is his place to interfere directly and strongly in the debate over independence and that, if he has to, he is more comfortable speaking about it in London. The odd thing is that everyone knows Mr Salmond’s demand for a head-to-head debate is just a tactic designed to unsettle the Prime Minister. It is nothing more than that. Everyone also knows such a debate is never going to happen, which allows Mr Salmond to keep banging on about it from now until polling day. It is just a tactic so Mr Cameron should have the political savvy to just ignore it.

But today’s speech, however laudable it is in substance and message, nevertheless gives the impression that the Nats have got to the Prime Minister, just a bit or, as Mr Salmond would say, he looks a little bit feart – which is not where he should be, not least when he is leading in the polls with seven months to go.

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Show comments
  • Redrose82

    If Cameron’s intervention in this debate is likely to galvanise the YES vote has anyone not considered that it may be precisely what he wants. To rid Westminster of the Scottish MPs would give the Conservatives a majority probably in perpetuity. Bring it on.

    • Denis_Cooper

      Do you really think the English are so stupid that they would elect the Tory party in perpetuity?

      • jazz606

        Well they were stupid enough to vote in a Labour Party for thirteen years, so anything is possible.

        • Denis_Cooper

          Yes, but with the electoral cycle that is about the longest period before people get really fed up with an increasingly tired and discredited ruling party and take the next opportunity to vote it out. At least in modern times; I admit I haven’t looked back to check the early 20th century, or before that when the maximum period between general elections was seven years, and with some exceptions such as the Tories managing eighteen years from 1979 to 1997 through Kinnock’s brash stupidity during the 1992 election campaign which should really have led to the Tories being defeated but didn’t.

          Even eighteen years doesn’t qualify as “in perpetuity”.

          In any case, as I recall Labour would have got substantial Commons majorities in 1997 and 2001 even without the MPs elected in Scotland, and I think that in fact they won the majority of seats in England without having to rely even on Labour MPs elected in Wales let alone Scotland, and that only changed at the 2005 election.

          It’s a delusion among some Tories that they are really popular in England and it’s only the Scots and the Welsh who stop them getting Commons majorities, even though there are now swathes of England where they are so unpopular that they can get hardly any MPs elected. Basically as far as the Tories are concerned those parts of England have headed in the same direction as Scotland did some time before.

          • jazz606

            The Tories are unpopular with real conservatives who will either vote UKIP or not at all. And that is Labour’s ‘ace in the hole’.

  • http://www.mummycentral.com/ Donna@Mummy_Central

    Just saw you on BBC News Hamish. Very well put. If he’s getting involved in the debate, he should have the courage to come up and speak to the people of Scotland. It might not do him much good – but it can’t be any worse than lecturing us from London. After all, what are the Yes voters basing their decision on? The fact that they feel an out-of-touch bloke from London is making decisions about their lives. Staying down there is just proving them right.

  • Maidmarrion

    Is he pretending to be in Scotland? How come a Glasgow Caledonian Uni drape is on the lectern?

    Some great comments from down south ,

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/ask-and-ye-shall-receive/

  • Alan Franck

    Imagine a future where the likes of Gordon Brown would never get the opportunity to wreck the UK economy and where Salmond’s best buddy Fred Goodwin wouldn’t be allowed to wreck the financial sector.
    This Englishman is desperately trying to persuade all his Scots family, friends and colleagues to vote yes!

    • dougthedug

      Keep up the good work!

  • Alan Franck

    If, as the Cybernats on this thread are right, DC’s intervention will boost the yes camp, so much the better. Imagine a future without the constant background whine of Scottish grievance

    • Iain S

      Stop your whining.

    • Suriani

      All the Residual State has to do is quit the EU and Europeans will be spared the constant whinge of the anglo-saxons.

  • Iain S

    I think Frankie Boyle has the right take on Cameron’s plea for Scotland to stay in the Union: “You know that if the Alien in Alien could speak it would be telling you to stay on the ship, right?”

    • HookesLaw

      Frankie Boyle? You want the Scots to listen to Frankie Boyle?
      This is the man who said of Rebecca Adlington – a real sporting hero with real talent (not like him) – that she “looks like someone who’s looking at themselves in the back of a spoon”.
      The man who thinks that doing a skit on Down’s Syndrome is funny.
      The man who thinks that making jokes about ‘Jordans’ heavily disabled son is funny.
      This is the man whose performance on Comic Relief was cut it was so disgusting and was booed by the audience.
      This is the man who joked about the brother of F1 driver Lewis Hamilton having cerebral palsy.
      And last but by no means least this is the man who can say, “30 years since the Falklands War and Simon Weston doesn’t seem to have aged a day”

      Boyle is a disgusting brainless no talent oaf, and you use him to promote Scottish independence??
      Sums you up.

      • Iain S

        In reply to your first line, as that’s all I can be bothered reading, yes. I’m sure it will be preferable than listening to you.

        • HookesLaw

          So you’re well and trully stuffed then?

          • Wessex Man

            Hooky, Hooky at last you are getting a sense of humour!

            • HookesLaw

              If only Frankie Boyle had one.

              • Wessex Man

                this is so true, at least we don’t see much of him down here in the Mother Country anymore!

  • asalord

    Unionist desperation continues.
    Even in front of hand-picked onlookers Cameron fails to convince.
    Ask the audience? Cameron probably wrote the questions.
    Phone a friend? Like that’s going to work!
    Fifty-fifty? A conservative estimate.

  • albertcooper

    I just don,t care ! That slippery Scottish Salmon ,well leave him to his citadel,but with no support from England ever again.

    • dougthedug

      Thank God for that.

  • HookesLaw

    Another article twisted to suit the preconceptions of the writer. There is nothing different in this principle than that which was voiced in Canada over Quebec.
    It is a scottish vote and Cameron has to tread a line which cannot be construed as interfering, but he and indeed all who support the union, is entitled to urge both the Scots in England, and the English themselves, to say ‘we want you to stay’.
    Salmond is absolutely desperate for the English to say ‘get lost’ ‘we don’t care’, ‘we don’t want you’. He relies on the English appearing to justify an anti English sentiment.

    • MichtyMe

      Salmond and his SNP are not anti English. They are nationalists, Scot Nats in particular but as Nats they are comfortable with English identity, expression, independence. They hate the Union yes, so are anti UK not anti English. Indeed there is probably more distaste for Englishness from the metropolitan political and media elites than any Scottish source.

      • HJ777

        They want the anti-English vote – that is undeniable.

        The SNP has a long and well documented history of anti-English sentiment within it. Do you want me to post sources?

        That does not mean that all, or even most, or even a large proportion of SNP members/supporters are anti-English but it does mean that some are and are prepared to be deliberately provocative.

        Take ‘Terregles2’ for example, who consistently claims that she is not anti-English but who consistently describes bodies such as the Westminster parliament (the most respected parliament in the world, according to Nelson Mandela) as “discredited” just because she doesn’t like some government policies and who also goes around saying that the English should stay out of the debate whilst at the same time telling England what will be good for it.

        • MichtyMe

          Errr, describing the Westminster Parliament as discredited is anti English, crivens, jings, help ma boab, bet most English folk have thought something worse, ye ken, the expenses etc. Come on HJ something more please.

          • HJ777

            I can well imagine the outrage from the likes of you and “Terregles2” if the Holyrood parliament and Salmond’s administration were described as “discredited” by someone English.

            And I note that you haven’t challenged my other points.

            • MichtyMe

              Oh HJ, if I challenged every bit of hokum that appears at this place it would entirely comsume my life.

              • HJ777

                What a typically weaselly response.

                You know perfectly well that there is anti-English sentiment in the SNP, that the SNP relies on the anti-English vote, and you know I can prove that is has historically been so.

                Challenging every bit of hokum that appears here would certainly consume your life considering it is you who is posting most of it.

              • terregles2

                He still doesn’t get it does he. Westminster governs every country in the UK so we can all judge it as we please. Holyrood governs Scotland and no other country. I think most of the mad Britnats have criticised Holyrood frequently on this forum Can’t say it bothers me.
                While we are all British we will say what we like about the westminster discredited government.

          • terregles2

            Poor H777 He thinks the Westminster parliament is an English parliament . I expect that is why the YES vote is rising. At the moment we are British and send our MPs to westminster it is the British parliament and we are all entitled to have an opinion on it.
            The poor deluded Britnats think that if we criticise the discredited parliament in westminster and the anachronistic House of Lords that is anti English.
            They are so confused they think that British means English.

      • Wessex Man

        I must of misheard the Breakfast Radio 5 interview then when he said he had been speaking in the cities of Northen England and they deserved their own Assembly.

      • HookesLaw

        I actually said, ‘Salmond is absolutely desperate for the English to say ‘get lost’ ‘we don’t care’, ‘we don’t want you’. He relies on the English appearing to justify an anti English sentiment.’.

    • terregles2

      Cameron says he will not interfere as it is a Scottish matter. He then asks English people to phone their family and friends and ask Scots to vote no. The Foreign office then asks the Spanish press to speak out against Scottish independence. It is all so confusing. One doesn’t know what to make of it.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        You were squealing like a stuck pig that he should debate with Salmond a couple of weeks ago and now you are telling him not to interfere in “Scottish matters”.it is all so confusing. One doesn’t know what to make of it.

  • HJ777

    The question is why Salmond is refusing to debate with the person the “No” campaign has chosen to put up, Alistair Darling. I don’t recall the “No” campaign telling the “Yes” campaign who they must put up.

    Is he afraid of debating against a Scot? Cab anyone think of any other plausible explanation given that he says he wants a debate?

    • Iain S

      Because Salmond is not leading the YES campaign, that is Blair Jenkins and Alistair Darling is his opposite.

      Unionists always tell us that Scotland has “two governments” so why won’t our Prime Minister debate our First Minister?

      • HJ777

        Then they can put up Blair Jenkins to debate with Darling can’t they? But if they want it to be Salmond, he should debate with who the “No” campaign nominate.

        Each side should choose who they put up – it is not the right of one party to tell the other who they should put forward.

        • Iain S

          Darling refuses to debate him.

          Why should Salmond debate a back-benck MP with no power to speak for rUK?

          Each side debating their opposite number seems the fairer way of doing it.

          • HJ777

            Then the “Yes” campaign can put up whoever they choose against Darling if that is what they want.

            Nobody is forcing Salmond to debate, but he keeps claiming he wants to.

            Cameron is hardly Salmond’s “opposite number” anyway. He is the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. Salmond is leader of a devolved assembly.

            • Iain S

              Like I said, Darling refuses.

              Salmond is leader of a country he wants to be independent and Cameron the leader of a Union he wants to maintain – seem like opposites to me.

              We’ve already had a debate between Nicola Sturgeon and Alistair Carmichael. Well worth watching on Youtube. “Bruiser” Carmichael was reduced to calling for the Chair to help him and actually said “make her stop”.

              • HJ777

                If Darling refuses, then he’s just as bad as Salmond then. But no worse

                Salmond is not “leader of a country”. He is leader of a devolved assembly.

              • HookesLaw

                No they are not ‘opposites’. Cameron has facilitated the referendum and in doing so has fulfilled his duty given the SNP majority in Parliament. He has stated the position of the current UK govt in an fair and balanced way. it remains to be seen how the leaders of the other two parties behave. He has no place in getting involved in some local Scottish slanging match.

                • Iain S

                  Cameron “facilitated the referendum” to avoid a showdown between Scottish & English constitutional law. The referendum would have gone ahead without him. That he has signed up the rUK to help Scotland after it has made its decision is welcomed though.

                  If Cameron “has no place in getting involved” then why does he continually do it? He comes to Scotland and lectures us and then says that he can’t debate as it’s a matter for the people of Scotland only.

      • HookesLaw

        Why should Salmond be debating with the PM of the United Kingdom over what is a Scottish affair? The referendum is being held because there is a majority in the Scottish Parliament for it.

    • Kitty MLB

      Was Alistair Darling really the best person for that job,
      its really not going too well.
      Perhaps someone with more energy and character would have been better,
      quite honestly I would do the opposite of what that man tells me
      and that’s not just because he is a leftie
      He appears weak.

      • Wessex Man

        Who cares? personally I would have put Tone Blair in charge of the Better Together Campaign!

    • Brian K

      The absolute last thing Cameron should do is to ‘debate’ the issue. It is for Scots themselves to debate against Scots of a different opinion.

      However, it would be perfectly fine for English people to say a) there will be consequences and some of them will be unknowable b) the UK has been very successful c) England doesn’t want the Scots to leave the UK.

      In my opinion the best thing he could say is: if the Scots remain (presumably with some form of extended devolution) a grand commission would be formed to sort out the illogicalities in the constitution based on the principles that the people are sovereign and of equality for the individual components of the UK. I think promoting out a positive vision such as that would be helpful.

      The only problem is how would you avoid political parties trying to skew the process to favour their sectional interests.

      • HJ777

        That’s a reasoned argument, but the Cybernats here don’t like reason.

        The “Yes” campaign is engaged in creating as much division as they can, blaming the union for every problem and grievance (and creating grievance and offence where there was none and asserting everything will be better after secession yet never acknowledging any extra costs (ongoing or transitionary) or uncertainties associated with secession.

        it is impossible to have a sensible discussion with most of these people. They don’t want one.

        Yesterday, Salmond was busily attacking Cameron telling him that he should not be commenting on the issue (despite demanding a debate with him) and even telling him that he should be spending his time dealing with the flooding in Somerset (as if that were any of Salmond’s business). He is simply trying to provoke a reaction with his arrogant and antagonistic behaviour. Cameron is not likely to respond and to his credit (I am not usually a Cameron fan) has been unfailingly polite.

        Of course, the behaviour of these fanatics will be counter-productive as Iain Martin has pointed out today. Most Scots are, in my opinion, reasonable people and will see this behaviour for what it is and will listen to the much more reasoned argument from the “No” campaign.

  • Kitty MLB

    A question please why can’t Scottish people living in England get a vote.
    there are a quite a lot of people from another political website who feel they
    are being discriminated against just because they do not live in Scotland.

    • Iain S

      Because the vote is not based on ethnicity, it is based on the Scottish Electoral Register.

      Why would it be fair for someone who has lived in England for years and has no intention of returning to influence the outcome?

      • Kitty MLB

        Fair point I suppose, but they still consider themselves Scottish,
        and may like a say in regards to her.

        • MichtyMe

          The Union state does not recognise any such thing as a Scot, it only recognises persons resident in Scotland and it is only they who are on the electoral register. If any expat Scot wishes an official Scottish identity they must wait and hope for independence, thereafter perhaps, they can take their Scottish passport to a Scottish Embassy to vote.

          • HJ777

            Oh come on.

            Salmond managed to extend the vote to others who aren’t on the electoral register in Scotland (i.e. 16 and 17 year olds) when he thought it would be his advantage, but curiously he did not manage to extend it to Scots living in the rest of the UK.

  • starfish

    So Cameron decides to do his own thing good on him. That the SNP trolls condemn him for it suggests it was a good idea

    • Suriani

      I believe he was counselled to make his speech by a YesScotland mole….

    • terregles2

      I have never voted SNP but I am voting YES. I love it when Cameron speaks to the Scottish people. More please. Many Scottish people have not laughed so much since Kinnock fell over in the sea.

      • HJ777

        They’re laughing at you.

        I heard your laughable contribution on the radio. You know where you asserted that Scots were being told they are “too wee, too poor, too stupid” – something that only “Yes” campaigners have ever said.

        I particularly enjoyed your risible usual claim that, just as every time anything is said in public on the issue by anyone you don’t like, that you went around speaking to people about it and that they had all changed their vote to “Yes” as a result.

  • Kitty MLB

    Cameron is most certainly afraid of Alex Salmond and so he should
    be, Mr Salmond makes Cameron look like a political lightweight- a very
    Savvy chap is El Presidente- A name some like to call him.
    in fact the entire bunch from Westminster are political lightweights
    without any gravitas.
    Cameron should not go anywhere near Scotland, mind you
    our Prime Minister does not travel well.

    • Iain S

      No one but the more fervent wing of British Unionism calls Salmond “El Presidente”; the vast majority of people just call him by his name.

      As polls show, he continues to be the most popular political figure in the UK.

      • Kitty MLB

        Indeed he is very much a character, real and not a plastic clone.
        Yet perhaps he is popular because the competition is not up to
        much at the moment. Some more cynical would say taking advantage of a situation.
        The coalition is weak and so is Labour is even worse-
        bit they are only temporary, it should not be about present governments.

        • Iain S

          Better Together is a Tory funded (from outwith Scotland) organisation which is fronted by Labour politicos who are doing exactly the same as they did 2011: assume that everyone hates Salmond as much as they do.

          The Tories are a minority party with an aging support base, the LibDems are beneath contemptible and are polling about 3%, and Labour are run by a leadership which is a joke and refuses to have a vote on Independence (last opinion poll had 25% of Labour voters saying YES. And, 20% of NO voters will also switch to YES if they don’t think Holyrood will get control of Tax and Welfare.).

          I’m not in the SNP but, like you say, Salmond seems real, and he has done exactly as he promised he would before the election. I like that in a politician.

      • Fergus Pickering

        In Scotland surely. Most English people have never heard of him.

      • Wessex Man

        No they don’t both sides of the border call him The Fat Comtroller!

      • HJ777

        I don’t think he’s very popular in most of the UK, so I doubt your claim. Can you point me to any polls which show him to be more popular in the UK than any other political figure?

        Scots, sympathetic to him or not, often call him the “Fat Controller”, by the way (my very Scottish neighbours do, as do my daughter’s friends in Glasgow). But you’re correct, I don’t think many, if any, call him “El Presidente”.

    • Jambo25

      I know nobody who calls Salmond “El Presidente”.

      • Wessex Man

        You should get out more.

      • dougthedug

        I do. They’re all commentors on the Telegraph or the Spectator.

        • Jambo25

          Exactly. I know people who refer to him as “Wee Eck” or “His Eckness”. I do myself but nobody ever calls him “El Presidente.

  • CharlietheChump

    Cameron IS afraid of Salmond who, though a dreadful bluffer, is a consummate small pond politician.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Agreed, why do anything that Salmond wants whether or not you are afraid of him?

    • dougthedug

      What’s he bluffed about?

  • Ron Todd

    The people I know in Scotland are all well able to decide for themselves how to vote. There is nothing I could say that would make any of them change their mind either way.

    • Jambo25

      Thank you Mr Todd.

  • Fergus Pickering

    But the speech is not for a Scottish audience. It’s for an English audience. That’s why he gave it in England. Is that so hard to understand. He would be wise not to go to Scotalnd. Nigel Farage was all but beaten up..

    • Iain S

      In other words, Nigel Farage was not beaten up. The poor wee mannie got heckled by a crowd who don’t like his politics and he got himself all worked up over the audacity of the electorate.

      • MichtyMe

        A “crowd” a group of pimply youths shouted.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Really! Not what I heard.

        • Iain S

          Saw it with my own eyes. He then went on to accuse everyone of being racist, including a BBC Goodmorning Scotland presenter.

          • Fergus Pickering

            And was the presenter racist. Many Scots are, after all.

            • Iain S

              I heard it was the English who are racist; or is it stupid? Or maybe that’s just you.

              • Wessex Man

                nice of you to prove his point!

                • Iain S

                  Nice of you to miss subtlety in language.

                • Wessex Man

                  that’s the thing I’m just one of those English you want to demonise to get a yes vote and I’ve already offered to come up and help you canvass. You see I have this ingenious plan to get you over the winning line.

                • Iain S

                  Demonise the English? That alone shows you know nothing of Scotland or the referendum.

                  There are many English people working for a YES vote, as there are people from all around the world. 10% of the SNP’s MSPs are English.

                  Only British Nationalists seem to want this to be about ethnicity.

                • HJ777

                  You are surely not suggesting that the “Yes” campaign is not relying on or not welcoming any anti-English votes it can get?

                • Iain S

                  Can you link me to any anti-English comments from Yes Scotland, or the SNP for that matter?

                • HJ777

                  No – they are extremely careful not to do that.

                  That doesn’t mean there isn’t anti-English sentiment in the SNP (which is simply an indisputable historical fact) or that there is no such sentiment in Scotland – on whose votes the “Yes” campaign is relying. There is, however, plenty of behaviour deliberately designed to provoke an English backlash. You only have to observe the behaviour of many cybernats to work that out (e.g. many of those that pop up on this London-based blog on this subject but no other).

                  I am part Scottish and have much of my family still living in Scotland. They know about it because Scots who are so inclined (who I don’t claim are anything other than a minority and unrepresentative of most Scots) don’t hide it from what they see as fellow Scots.

                • Iain S

                  Your proof of anti-English racism is that there is non. Nice logic.

                  You’d think it’d be easy. Here’s anti-Scottish racism from UKIP http://www.plymouthherald.co.uk/Plymouth-UKIP-man-quits-calling-Scots-workshy/story-19019945-detail/story.html Obviously the media is interested in this sort of thing.

                • HJ777

                  You didn’t ask me for evidence of anti-English racism in Scotland.

                  You asked me for examples of anti-English public utterances from the “Yes ‘ campaign – something they are very careful not to do.

                  I never said there is no anti-Scottish feeling in England (but I do think it is rare and largely a result of constant whining and deliberate provocation from a small minority of unrepresentative vocal Scots). I know many Scots in England and have never once heard any of them complain about any anti-Scottish feeling and neither have I observed any (as a part-Scot I would have objected, had I).

                  The history of the SNP leadership, no less, is littered with anti-English public comments. Scots such as Andrew Marr have openly talked of anti-English sentiment in Scotland. My very Scottish neighbours commented to me on how appalled they were when they last visited family in Scotland to hear such sentiments voiced in public.

                  Are you denying that it exists or that the “Yes” campaign wants the votes of people with such views?

                • Iain S

                  Of course there are idiots in Scotland, and as you yourself make obvious there are in England too.

                  You offer nothing in support of your desires other than apocryphal tales.

                  Are you denying that as UKIP support the No campaign their anti-Scottishness will attract some of the voters?

                • HJ777

                  It didn’t take you long to resort to issuing insults, did it? It merely reveals that you have run out of arguments.

                  Anti-Scottishness is hardly likely to play a part in a vote held only in Scotland. Neither do I recall UKIP (which I do not support) advocating splitting from Scotland.

                  As a roughly equal parts English-Scots-Welsh person I abhor anti-English or anti-Scottish racism (and, indeed, any racism) but I do not deny that it exists. You, implausibly, seem to deny that anti-English feeling exists (even though prominent Scots have acknowledged that it indeed does) and fail, equally implausibly, to acknowledge that the “Yes” campaign will be very pleased to have the votes of people with such views.

                  Implausible sums up your argument very nicely.

                • Iain S

                  Insults?

                  10% of Scotland’s population is English. Some of them support UKIP. Some of them are anti-Scottish. Weird, but it happens.

                  You clearly don’t appreciate the subtleties of life in modern Scotland.

                  I also did not deny that racism exists in Scotland. I agreed with you that it does, as it does in every country, including England.

                  One interesting aspect of life in modern Scotland is that we don’t have a pejorative term for English people (no one says Sassanach anymore) yet you just have to read comments in the Telegraph, Mail or even BBC to find numerous such for Scots.

                • dougthedug

                  we don’t have a pejorative term for English people (no one says Sassanach anymore)

                  Erm… Sassanach is Gaelic. It means Englishman. Nothing more, nothing less.

                • HJ777

                  It was already apparent that he is entirely ignorant of his subject, so you really shouldn’t be surprised.

                • allymax bruce

                  Actually, it means lowlander.

                • dougthedug

                  If you really want to be pedantic it means Saxon.

                • HJ777

                  Given that you’ll deny any obvious truth even when it is staring you in the face, you are hardly equipped to lecture me on “the subtleties of life in modern Scotland”.

                  You have consistently denied that the “Yes” campaign wants the anti-English vote. That’s ridiculous.

                  Have you ever been to Scotland? I doubt it.

                • Chris Morriss

                  As far as I have heard, there are few subtleties in life in modern Scotland. As others have said: life in Scotland is like the inhabitants. Nasty, brutish and short.

                • allymax bruce

                  Thanks very much!

                • terregles2

                  Oh No.!!!!!…. does that mean you will not be coming to see us.

                • Suriani

                  A political critique of the UK or of Westminster or of Daily Mail type anti-Caledonian attitudes is too often labelled anti-English racism. Farage and his ilk are rather good at calling it that. Develop a thicker skin. You may well need it. Besides in what way is the Scots attitude to the English any different from views expressed by French, Germans, Indians, Australians? The world is no longer the Promenade des Anglais. The great white queen is dead. Lay down that white-mans burden.

                • HJ777

                  What a load of tosh. Is that the best you can come up with?

                • Suriani

                  If Cameron’s sentimental schmooze is the best the leader of the BritState can come up we are home and dry. Adieu!

                • allymax bruce

                  HJ777 to Iain S
                  “You are surely not suggesting that the “Yes” campaign is not relying on or not welcoming any anti-English votes it can get?”

                  Iain S to HJ777
                  “Can you link me to any anti-English comments from Yes Scotland, or the SNP for that matter?”

                  HJ777 to Iain S
                  “No – they are extremely careful not to do that.”
                  …………………..

                  Aye, the intelligence of the Glesca Herod!

                • HJ777

                  Well you have posted vehemently anti-English abuse here and I think we all know which way you intend to vote.

                  Q.E.D.

                • allymax bruce

                  Squeals like a stuck rat !
                  While yoos scumbag-journos do the dirty psychological warfare work of The Labour Party, even post-iScotland, I will continue to campaign against you. Labour will destroy iScotland if they were ever elected.

                • terregles2

                  They really don’t understand. When we criticise our dreadful British Wesrminster parliament.They see that as anti English abuse. A few of them genuinely beieve that Westminster parliament is English.

                • Wessex Man

                  Know nothing of Scotland or the referendum? I have family in Coatbridge, who see the antics of ‘militant’ Yes Campaigners.

                  You like most Yes Supporters want only to see the sunshine of Alex’s Golden Future, he had a dream. I am more than willing to support his dream and hope the Yes Campaign win and if that makes me a British Nationalist in your eyes it says more about you than me.

                • Jambo25

                  He doesn’t have to demonise you. You do a good enough job yourself.

                • Jambo25

                  He does it all the time.

            • allymax bruce

              Eh ?

            • terregles2

              Think that statement makes you the racist.

        • starfish

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eOochTbNmb8
          The level of Scottish politics

          • Iain S

            The level of English politics?

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-6_D9J685CQ

          • asalord
          • allymax bruce

            Ahem; you mean Scotch Labour politics!
            I passed by a SSP (Scottish Socialist Party), demonstration a couple of weeks ago, and the tall manny was bellowing into his megafone, blaming the Tories for bailing out the banks, immigration, and all and sundry problems in Scotland. I went up to him and said, “hey, wait a minute pal; all this happened under a Labour Government.” He looked flummoxed; then I knew the SSP & Labour are concocting another Marxist Revolution for iScotland!

          • terregles2

            Can you post his attack in Kent and we can make a comparison?

        • Suriani

          Many of his “assailants” were actually English. At the time most Scots had never heard of him.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Nonsense. Do you believe any of that? Or do you expect me to believe it? You guys live in a fantasy world.

            • Suriani

              The accents were recorded , English and Scots. Radio and TV you know. Why should English people not dislike this guy?

            • Suriani

              All this was covered by TV and Radio. The accents were clear. Scots and English. Nigel may be big in England in Scotland he is just a weirdo.

              • Fergus Pickering

                Rather lik Fattypuff the Scots leader, in that case but the other way round. Salmond! I knew I should remember if I thought about it. The SNP is led by two fishes!

                • Suriani

                  Two much prized, up-market fishes Fergus.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Caviare comes from the virgin Sturgeon.
                  Virgin Sturgeon very fine fish.
                  Virgin Sturgeon needs no urging.
                  That’s why caviare very rare dish.

                  I don’t know whether it is true in this case.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Very Good- two fishes!
                  May I add, two fishes having a whale of a time
                  trying to part the waters ! 🙂

        • terregles2

          If you read British MSM you will be unlikely to find out much about anything.

        • terregles2

          It was much worse for him in Kent when they hit him over the head with a placard. Dreadful

      • Kitty MLB

        He was last year, around autumn, someone did hit him
        in Scotland. He did not want to make a fuss about it !

      • allymax bruce

        Aye, but Radical Labour, (still Labour, but worse!), organised, ‘impacted’, and directed all the ‘nasty stuff’ hurled at Nigel, and then go and demand all Scots & Scots society be ‘more moral than thee’!
        Labour are the biggest sleekit snidey hypocrites on the planet. And, they know It!

    • HJ777

      For an audience in England as much as in any part of the UK, to be strictly accurate.

    • Kitty MLB

      Cameron could always disguise himself in a Burka, I am
      sure that’s been done before- ( not by him, but other dubious characters )
      As for being beaten up.
      I can envisage Cameron painting his face with a union jack, putting
      on a pair of plus fours and climbing on a horse.
      He will leap over the M25 ( his Hadrian’s Wall)
      He will have a battle with the Conservative tribes of middle
      England and be beaten up ( as well as Kipper – small tribes)
      and then he will reach the danger of the North or England
      Labour tribes who will also beat him up.
      Brave Cameron will eventually reach Hadrian’ s wall
      to be rescued by a kindly Scottish lady who will feed him,
      wrap him in a blanket before driving him back to London.
      And when back amongst his Notting Hill set, he will
      tell them tall stories about the big society and how everything went splendidly
      By The Way- Nigel Farage was actually walloped when he went to Scotland
      before Christmas- around October time.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Re Nigel. I know, but the Scots now deny it. They shouted at him a bit, they say.But I wouldn’t believe them. They regularly beat up English people but insist they never do. They are impervious to argument. Of course I am talking about the Nationalists, that’s about 30% of them.

        Oh, and they suppose Mel Gibson’s absurd charade is history.

        • Kitty MLB

          Yes, indeed.
          Salty says he has witnessed some quite brutal punch-ups,
          between Scottish and English chaps , usually in pubs
          when drunk.
          He says especially in Glasgow ( he says Glasgow is quite
          lawless) Salty used to be a political journalist, before
          retiring ( early) to work freelance now.
          I don’t know why the Scots deny walloping Farage,
          Perhaps after John Prescott’s many punch-ups they
          feel embarrassed to be linked to someone like him.
          Yes, indeed, I only saw a part of the Mel Gibson
          film, utter rubbish, and in- correct, probably
          made to please the US audience do prefer their
          own interpretation instead of reality- and they
          have strange views of the UK in general.
          Its a bugbear of mine, you have to be correct with your
          history,

        • allymax bruce

          You mean it’s not !
          Well, here’s me thinking we won.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Sorry. You lost.

            • allymax bruce

              But one, we won all the wars of Independence, especially the last and ‘decider’ in 1314. Our 700 year anniversary this year, Fergus.

              • Kitty MLB

                A wee question.
                Do you see what you are doing now as a war?
                because if you do , then we Anglo- Saxons will win
                ( well actually I am half Roman)
                I have been very understanding towards you lot but that can change.
                Another question porridge features-
                The Queen, why would you want to keep her,
                What about the military
                The pound
                The bank of England
                The EU
                North Sea OIL
                I do have quite a large list actually, with a lot of questions-
                but you will say to me mind my own business.

                • allymax bruce

                  I won’t say to you to ‘mind [your] own business’; I’m all for Free Speech, Freedom of Expression, and most importantly, Frredom ‘for’ Expression’. The last one is having the platform of the ‘corporate’ ability to Freedom of Expression & Free Speech. So, Kitty mlb go right ahead a speak! I’ll take all your questions in order as you asked them. (1)Not about war, Kitty, war is now the most unproductive form of International Relations, (IR); that’s why Corporate conglomerations are forming political & economic alliances; to avoid the up-and-coming massive Nations like India China etc. Marxist Capitalism avoids war like a plague! (2)I love the Queen; she is our Monarch here in Scotland. Why wouldn’t we want to ‘keep her’? (3)what about the military? iScotland will be part of NATO, and with oor pals the big ol USA, we won’t need to fear anybody. I think you are still living in the dark ages, Kitty. (4)BoE is as much Scots, as it is English. (5)EU, I’m not fussed about; in, or out. (6)You keep your coastal waters/resources, and we’ll keep ours. Fire away, Kitty.
                  ‘porridge features’! How did you know I eat porridge every morning?

                • Kitty MLB

                  Please just call me Kitty, the rest is just far too formal,
                  for Mediterranean types- only 50% English-
                  so therefore 50% of both you and I are neighbours-
                  and I shall not mention the Italian( Roman) half
                  as I am sure it will be a sore point!
                  You were the one who mentioned war when you were spouting on about how many you think you won.
                  ‘ Porridge features’ I have no idea what you have for breakfast every morning, but clearly some Scots sense
                  of humour is as chilly as the climate- although
                  not all of you. a friend of mine lives on the Isle of Mull,
                  and laughs at his fellow countryman everyday !
                  Not sure you actually mentioned the pound, missed it you see! no light bulb moments in the dark ages.
                  I need to get on with the rest of my list, delightful to
                  make your acquaintance- I shall be back,
                  Kilt wearing person.

              • Fergus Pickering

                Flodden, matey

                • allymax bruce

                  Hi Fergus, Flodden wasn’t a war of Independence; it was a contracted Auld Alliance strategy by France to invade you from the South, while we Scots stole Northumberland off you from the North. But those days are long gone now; but still happy to help.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Or Murrayfield on Saturday for that matter!

              • Kitty MLB

                AB-Porridge features, The Battle of Solway Moss,
                as well, more will be found by others, I am sure.

                • allymax bruce

                  Solway Moss was not a War of Independence; it was basically one of many Anglo-Scottish battles,; that went on for various and differing reasons. I think one was about Henry VIII going all anti Catholic. As we know, the Church in Scotland, pre-Reformation, and Post Reformation did more to protect God’s Spirit of Worship, than health, wealth or Right!

                • Kitty MLB

                  Why, thank you most kindly for your helpful response.
                  I was not fully aware.
                  I suppose you painted faced savages won more battles- You
                  know your Roman friends called you that- so don’t
                  point your sword in my direction. 😉

    • terregles2

      It was out of order that some students led by a radical English student shouted at Nigel when he visited Edinburgh, Completely out of order we should listen to every political opinion even if we disagree. I also hated to see Nigel hit over the head with a placard when he recently visited Kent. Totally unacceptable behaviour.

  • scotcanadien

    “Everyone also knows such a debate is never going to happen, which allows
    Mr Salmond to keep banging on about it from now until polling day. It
    is just a tactic so Mr Cameron should have the political savvy to just
    ignore it.”

    I wouldn’t be so sure about that. He is a man isn’t he? Isn’t he? And the pressure to behave like a man will mount. Very soon the Labour Party will join the chorus as a 2015 election ploy. I mean who is going to vote for a Party led by a man who is afraid to stand up and have proper debate with his opponents.
    Today’s speech will be seen as a disaster. The whole of YES and UNDs in Scotland are laughing at him on the Social Media and in the comments sections of newspapers and mags.

    • HookesLaw

      Salmond is not Cameron’s ‘opponent’. Your words are a load of cheap manufactured guff.

      • HJ777

        He’s a student political activist. What did you expect?

        • scotcanadien

          Post graduate student please. I have left childhood behind which many of you writing here haven’t

          • HJ777

            Like I said, student political activist with all the immaturity I would expect, and which you so publicly display.

  • In2minds

    “a tactic so Mr Cameron should have the political savvy to just ignore it.

    Indeed, don’t forget the real Cameron error is nothing to do with Salmond but
    to ignore the others in the Union. Cameron wants the Union to remain
    but does not want the Union as a whole, rather than just part of it,
    to vote. Ridiculous.

  • FF42

    No-one listens to political speeches so the newsworthy aspect of it is that he made the speech at all. That can be spun how you want.

    In general I would recommend David Cameron takes a very respectful stance towards Scots making our own choices, where a choice for the Union is just as meaningful as one for Independence. In fact, I think he does that. It’s also reasonable for him to stay out of the debate in Scotland, ie it’s a choice made by Scots for where we see our future; it’s not an England versus Scotland thing.

    But whether anyone is paying attention to any of that is another matter.

    • Wessex Man

      I’m hoping not, I want him chained to the doors of the Scottish Parliament screaming save the Union so that the Scots vote for independence.

      • scotcanadien

        Where’s the ‘lurve’ Man? I waited on another site for you but you didn’t turn up. You’re not a big Jessie like Davy no-balls?

        • Wessex Man

          No I don’t think so, how sad hanging around somewhere else just to hear my worthy comments, I didn’t realise I had such an illustrious stalker.

          • scotcanadien

            C’mon now Wessex Man. In your pidgin English dialect, show me the ‘lurve’ “Gie us a kiss”.

            • Wessex Man

              is that a Glasgow kiss you want?

              • scotcanadien

                I ‘lurve’ it.

                • Wessex Man

                  Sorry I took so long getting back to you, but then I had to translate your comments- give us a break and get a spell checker or I’ll disown you as my stalker!

    • dmitri the impostor

      When you scrutinise his record, it becomes clear that Dave has never done anything other than make a speech. In fact, he is the personification of a specialised case of Bishop Berkeley’s axiom, ‘To be is to be seen to make a speech’. To that extent, it is probably less newsworthy than the moon orbiting the earth or (back in the day) Clement Freud speaking when the whistle went.

      • Suriani

        Very percipient Dmitri!

  • Rockin Ron

    Great article. This should be an easy win for the No camp, but Cameron is such a liability that he is giving a huge lift to the Yes camp. The speech had passion, precious little substance and its setting said everything about Cameron’s knowledge that he is a great asset for the Yes vote.
    He should have been courageous and gone to Glasgow or Edinburgh and given the speech there. That would have pricked SNP’s complaint about a distant PM. Tackle it head on Mr Cameron, show courage and perhaps you will prevail. As it is, you are making it much easier for the Yes camp.

    • Mynydd

      It is nothing new, for years all Mr Cameron speeches have had precious little substance, he just doesn’t do substance. I am most surprised he didn’t blame the referendum on Mr Blair/Brown/Miliband/Balls.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        Or mrs Fatcher like you, you fatuous hypocrite.

        • Jambo25

          “Fatuous hypocrite”. Brilliant. How long did it take you to come up with that witty, incisive riposte?

          • HookesLaw

            Here is another word for you, ‘apposite’.

            • Jambo25

              Here’s another word for you ‘mannerless’.

              • HookesLaw

                You are.

              • HJ777

                Considering you have not offered one single constructive criticism or view here or discussed any facts, that’s pretty fresh.

                I have asked you, quite politely, to point me towards the assessments of costs of transition, so that they can be debated vs the claimed benefits. Are you going to or has no such assessment ever been carried out by pro-secessionists?

                You claim to want a civilised debate yet you refuse to participate in one when invited to.

        • HookesLaw

          Correct choice of words.

        • Mynydd

          In a Party Political Broadcast speech Mr Cameron said “we are paying down the debt” when he knew, like everyone else, that the National debt is going up. Is that a matter of substance or just being economical with the truth?

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            Funny you never seem to remember the £160 billion structural deficit and 7.3% contraction of the economy bequeathed by that swine Gordon Brown. That is why debt is still rising; or would you prefer massive cuts in welfare, the NHS etc? No, because every piece of socialist scum would scream like a stuck pig if that happened.

    • Fergus Pickering

      I wouldn’t go to Scotland if I were Cameron, and certainly not to Glasgow. Who in his right mind would go to Glasgow unless he had to?

  • London Calling

    Whisky, ingredients made in England, well I never………The union goes a lot deeper……. I also have Scottish roots and I’m proud of my heritage, but William

    • London Calling

      William Wallace I am not…..I think too many scots are thinking of brave heart and not acknowledging we are better of in a United Kingdom………… David Cameron is not afraid of Alex Salmond, he,s afraid that the Scots will stupidly vote yes and he is passionate not to allow that to happen…………….:)

      • Wessex Man

        I should imagine you have just added a couple of hundred Scots to the Yes campaign.

      • DougDaniel

        I love it when people accuse us of being whipped up in emotional hysteria (usually using “Braveheart” to do so) while blithely stating that Scotland is better off in the UK without giving anything even resembling evidence.

        There’s nothing “Braveheart” about being tired of being ruled by governments we didn’t elect, of seeing the Scottish Parliament’s hands tied by their limited powers as they try to take a more progressive path than Westminster, and of quite simply being sick of the affront to democracy that is the House of Lords and FPTP elections.

        Scotland is not better off in the UK, and there’s a very simple demonstration of that. Norway and Scotland – similar sized countries, similar landscapes, similar geographical position, similar natural resources… yet Norway has the biggest sovereign wealth fund in the world, Scotland’s wealth has been frittered away by successive Westminster governments, and instead of a surplus, we have a huge debt, bestowed upon us by the UK.

        It’s time Scotland did things its own way, before Westminster can do any more damage.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          Fine but you need to have a word with Mr Salmond because he plans to continue using the pound Sterling which will require Scotland to follow fiscal and monetary rules set by………..Westminster/the Bank of England. Or are you of the mistaken belief that you will be able to spend and borrow as much as you want without reference to the people of the UK?

          • London Calling

            Agreed………….

          • DougDaniel

            The BoE has been independent since 1998, so Westminster doesn’t set interest rates etc. As for spending and borrowing as much as we like, I think you’ll find the plan proposed is for a pact to ensure neither government starts borrowing and spending beyond a sensible limit – which might actually benefit rUK. Scotland’s better financial situation upon independence (confirmed by the Financial Times last week, even) means we’re not the ones that have to worry about borrowing going out of control.

            Of course, you’re probably one of these folk who would actually argue that the Eurozone countries don’t have “real” independence because they share a currency.

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              Firstly, do not presume to know my opinion or even speculate as to what my opinion might be. Second, I never place any confidence in a left wing rag like the FT. Third, if The exUK is going to be financially stronger than the UK post independence why do you have any interest in a currency union? Surely, in these circumstances, it should be avoided when you would command a better credit rating and could borrow more cheaply in international markets whilst retaining fiscal and monetary autonomy. I simply cannot see the logic of a currency Union for The exUK. Cybernats invariably cite the example of Norway (small population, plenty of natural resources) when seeking to underpin their case for independence. The last time I looked, Norway was not part of a currency union (the euro) and seems to be doing pretty well so why is The exUK not following this example? Indeed, if the parallels with Norway are that strong why doesn’t the exUK seek to enter into a currency union with Norway and adopt the Krone? Fourth, talk of a ‘pact’ is typical cybernat ‘waffle’. The ex-UK would have no choice but to do what it was told by the BOE/Westminster.

              • DougDaniel

                Ha! The Financial Times is left-wing? Well, that speaks volumes really.

                The logic of a currency union is obvious: continuity. Once we’re independent, there will be far better things to be getting on with than having to get our notes and coins changed. rUK will still be our biggest trading partner upon the day of independence (and we the second biggest of rUK), so pooling a wee bit of sovereignty will be worth it for the overall gains. When the circumstances change, I’d be in favour of having our own currency. One thing at a time, though.

                As for Norway, they do indeed have their own currency, as do Denmark and Sweden. Finland, however, is in the Euro, and they’re doing just as well as the other Nordic countries. Also, some of the fastest-growing economies in the EU – Estonia, Lithuania, Slovakia – are in the Eurozone. Mind you, Poland and Latvia have also been high-growth recently, yet Poland isn’t in the Euro and Latvia has only just joined.

                So essentially, neither having your own currency nor being in a currency union are silver bullets. Countries use whatever currency framework works for them at the time, and in the time being, retaining Sterling suits Scotland’s needs. There may come a time where Scotland’s economy diverges so significantly from rUK’s that the drawbacks of a currency union outweigh the benefits and we decide to use a separate currency instead. That may take 10 years, or it may take just six weeks as in the case of the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. In the meantime however, retaining the pound makes sense – for both sides.

        • London Calling

          So its all about money then?…………..

          • DougDaniel

            Did you just ignore the second paragraph which is clearly about Scotland’s democratic deficit and jump straight to the third one, or do you simply not have a very long memory span?

        • HJ777

          So you base your argument on oil revenues then?

          And if the oil had all been in English waters then you’d have advocated Scotland voting for secession just so it couldn’t unjustly share in the revenues.

          • DougDaniel

            How mind-numbingly tedious. No, I do not base my argument on oil revenues, I base my argument primarily on democracy and governance, and it’s just a simple way of demonstrating how Westminster has not governed Scotland well.

            Even without oil, Scotland’s GDP per capita is 99% of the UK’s – and that’s without the powers of independence that will allow us to tailor our economy to suit our needs, rather than the needs of London’s financial centre. So yes, I’d want Scotland to be independent even if we didn’t have the oil – the oil simply makes it even more of a no-brainer.

            • HJ777

              If it’s a no-brainer then that is obviously why you like it so much. Unfortunately for you, most Scots do have brains and therefore can see through your spurious argument.

              Scotland actually has a larger financial sector proportional to GDP than the rest of the UK. Scotland has equal weighting, proportional to GDP, in monetary decision making as any other part of the UK (interest rates would have risen by now if they were set in the interests only of London), yet the SNP proposes that it would still be tied to the pound but have precisely no weighting in monetary decision making. That’s less control, not more.

              As for your argument about 99% of average GDP – this may be so, but without oil (income from which is very variable and uncertain – the SNP produces estimates that are only ever at the top end of independent studies) how would Scotland fund very significantly higher public spending than the UK average (noting, of course, that public spending is a factor in the level of GDP)? Higher taxes would be necessary. Has the “Yes” campaign admitted this could be the case? Of course not.

              I know you think these things are tedious, but that’s because the facts are tedious when you are trying to promote a case in the face of others pointing out huge flaws in your argument. Another ‘tedious’ question for you: Where is the “Yes” campaign’s assessment of the transition costs associated with secession? Nobody can seriously argue that there won’t be such costs – so where is the assessment of these? Is the “Yes” campaign just pretending they wouldn’t exist?

              • DougDaniel

                Awww, straight in with a personal insult, how charming!

                For a start, your premise is wrong, and I’ll quote from page 110 of the White Paper here: “Under such an arrangement, monetary policy will be set according to economic conditions across the Sterling Area with ownership and governance of the Bank of England undertaken on a shareholder basis.” Scotland is due its share of all UK assets of course, which includes the UK’s central bank. Now, you can try to argue that Scotland has “equal weighting” just now, but the reality is there is no one arguing Scotland’s case specifically. The proposals put forward by the Scottish Government’s Fiscal Commission working group would see that change. That’s more control, not less.

                The “99% even without oil” point was simply to highlight that we’re not some basket case economy solely dependent on oil revenues. Beyond that, it serves no useful purpose. I might as well ask how rUK would fund public services if London became a city state like Singapore. The reality is Scotland has oil, so we don’t need to justify public spending without it (although we do need to plan for the future once oil eventually runs out – and I trust a Scottish government to do that far better than Westminster). And what, the Yes campaign is supposed to say “if we didn’t have oil, we would need higher taxes”? But we have oil so, err, we won’t need higher taxes. Again, has the No campaign admitted the UK economy would collapse if London decided to become a new Singapore? Of course not.

                Transition costs eh? You think people should vote No because there’ll be some admin costs? Maybe some forms to fill in, too. Well, what are they? We don’t intend to change currency, so no huge costs there. We already have a parliament and all the government machinery associated with that. We already have several independent institutions such as education, law enforcement and the NHS. Any costs associated with transferring things like tax powers to Holyrood would also have to be met if we get more powers in the event of a No vote – which the No campaign insist will be the case – so those are negated. We even have a huge BBC building on Pacific Quay just waiting to house the Scottish Broadcasting Service. So what are these huge one-off transition costs people should be worried about?

                Nobody cares about that kind of stuff except people who want to look for problems. Your average person on the street doesn’t say “oh but how much will it cost to set up a Scottish OfCom?”

                • HJ777

                  The White Paper is simply wrong – as Mark Carney has pointed out. Asserting something will be the case doesn’t mean that it has any basis in fact.

                  If Scotland were to secede, it cannot construct a sterling zone without the agreement of the rest of the UK. The rest of the UK would have no reason not to make monetary decisions entirely in its own interests.

                  I did not suggest, even for a moment that Scotland would be a basket case without oil revenues. I pointed out that GDP in Scotland is supported by higher public spending which would require oil revenues (and a relatively optimistic view of future trends in oil revenues) to sustain it. Take away oil revenues and and there would have to be substantial spending cuts.

                  I didn’t suggest that people should vote “No” because of transition costs. The “Yes” campaign is arguing that there will be a host of economic benefits and upsides (for example, earlier retirement, free childcare, etc.). If it is going to make such a case it is entirely reasonable to examine this case and to ask what the costs will be. The “Yes” campaign hasn’t admitted to any and has published no estimate. If transition costs are not going to be a problem, then why not assess these and publish its estimates? How do you know they won’t be a problem if there is no estimate of how big they will be?

                  Simply ignoring the issue whilst simultaneously claiming that there will be all sorts of money to spend on other things suggest one of only two possibilities (i) The “Yes” campaign simply does not have any sort of credible plan or (ii) it is deliberately not being honest and is hoping Scots won’t notice.

                  Either way, it is taking Scots to be fools. I can assure you that the average Scot in the street is very interested in the costs of what the “Yes” campaign is proposing – that’s why the “Yes” campaign refuses to be candid.

        • HookesLaw

          Similar sized countries?
          Norway is getting on for 5 times the size of Scotland. Norway’s GDP is significantly bigger. Norway has over half of the North Sea gas and oil reserves and has significant hydro power (Hydroelectricity was 98.5% of electricity generation in 2008).
          It has a much longer coastline than the whole of the UK never mind scotland and is a big exporter of fish.
          Approx 98 million tonnes of mineral resources were extracted by Norway in 2012. What is the Scottish equivalent?

          In short no comparison.

          Norway of course obeys the great majority of EU regulations and agreements and is in Schengen (and has its own currency).

          • dougthedug

            Norway is getting on for 5 times the size of Scotland.

            Whit?

            Norway Population 5,051,275.
            Scotland Population 5,295,000

          • Denis_Cooper

            “Norway of course obeys the great majority of EU regulations”

            Just two hours before you posted this, I replied to you on another thread as follows:

            “That is not true, see page 51 – 53 here:

            http://www.taxpayersalliance.com/controversies.pdf

            which concludes about the EEA as follows:

            “So the image of EEA members meekly incorporating EU edicts as they roll off the fax machine from Brussels is a straightforward fallacy.”

            But I don’t imagine that will stop you repeating it even though you know it isn’t true.”

            And so you have.

            To quote from that report:

            “Then there is the Norwegian example. There was a similar question raised in the Norwegian parliament in 2004 about how much EU legislation had been implemented under EEA terms. The then-government replied that over the period 1997-2003 there had been 11,511 pieces of legislation adopted by the EU. Of those 2,129 fell under the EEA Agreement, or about 18.5 percent. As recently as August 2010, Norwegian sovereignty campaigners Nei til EU released their own research covering the years 2000-2009, and according to their statistical analysis the national share ran at a rate of merely 8.9 percent.”

            And to quote from Daniel Hannan in 2005:

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/comment/personal-view/3620612/What-we-can-learn-from-Norwegians.html

            “Norwegians must meet EU standards when they sell to the EU – as exporters the world over must do. But they are spared the expense of having to apply most of these regulations to their domestic commerce. You will sometimes hear that Norway has to assimilate thousands of EU laws, but these laws are generally of a technical and trivial nature. The 3,000 EU legal acts adopted in Norway since 1992 have required only 50 statutes in the Storting. And the people who make such a fuss of these 3,000 regulations neglect to mention the 24,000 that Britain has had to incorporate over the same period.”

            3000 divided by 24,000 = 12.5%, which is some way from being “the great majority”.

          • DougDaniel

            1. When I said “similar-sized countries”, I was talking about population-size – Scotland and Norway are clearly in the same bracket when looking at world populations.

            2. You’re right, Norway’s GDP IS significantly bigger than Scotland’s. Thanks for making my point for me though, because Norway hasn’t always been one of the richest countries in the world. But they’ve used their oil wealth responsibly (barely using it at all, in fact). What’s happened to Scotland’s oil wealth? Frittered away by Westminster trying to cover gaping holes in the UK economy.

            3. A quarter of the EU’s potential for tidal power rests within Scottish waters, as well as 10% wind potential. We’re aiming to be able to produce 100% of Scotland’s energy through renewable means. Who knows, if we’d been independent years ago, perhaps we’d already be there?

            4. Have you never heard of Scottish salmon? I believe you can buy it in various parts of the world because we, erm, export lots of fish. And other stuff. Whisky’s a tad more popular than Aquavit, wouldn’t you say?

            In short, much to compare. Not a perfect comparison obviously, but there are more than enough similarities between Scotland and Norway to allow for a valid compare-and-contrast to show how the power to make your own decisions can affect your future greatly.

      • Jambo25

        Oh god “brave heart”. It just gets better and better.

  • Jambo25

    Pro independence Scots have been accused of basing their position on emotion and chauvinistic nationalism. In comparison to the vacuous, flag-waving nonsense produced by Cameron, this morning, they are hard headed super realists. I think this speech, no matter how ‘impassioned’ could be a big own goal.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Well what should he say? I am no fan of Cameron but cybernat idiots like you will accuse him of showing off if he goes up in a hot air balloon and of being a coward if he refuses.

      • Kitty MLB

        Indeed he cannot win either way, I suppose. I am not too sure what he really want’s
        but considering the strong feelings they all seem to have against
        the Westminster elite, who seem like a world away from Scotland,
        He should therefore keep out.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          He is between a rock and a hard place. You can hardly ask the PM of the UK to keep out of such an existential debate whatever the practical wisdom of that advice.

          • Kitty MLB

            Because Cameron himself will just remind them
            of why they do not like the Tories, it will become about him,
            and the current bunch instead of the wider picture. It will be a total disaster.
            They must leave The United Kingdom for the right reasons,
            and assuming they can afford to do so and not because they
            want to give Cameron a bloody nose.

            • Fergus Pickering

              But they can’t afford to do so and the sleekit wee fellows know it. All fur coat and no knickers as I said in another place.

              • Kitty MLB

                Alex Salmond the kilt wearing crusader is allowing the people of Scotland to
                think they can support themselves.
                What about North Sea oil.
                Are we sure those in this country who want them to stay
                are not doing so for some’ romantic. reason of keeping us together
                At the end of the day, Westminster has not a clue
                what Glasgow, Mull or Aberdeen needs, and has
                ignored Scotland for years.
                But obviously I do not know what is for the best.
                ‘ The Fur Coat and no knickers’- that made me laugh!!
                Was going to say something about underwear and kilts,
                but thought better of it!!!

            • Wessex Man

              We can only hope that that he reminds then constantly in every way, then we English will have our freedom!

              • Kitty MLB

                William Wallace said that, did he not,
                About Scotland , obviously!
                I suppose some might say, it would
                be a pain to have to build another Hadrians
                wall, to keep The Celts in Scotland,
                If it all turned out wrong for them.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          I don’t disagree at a theoretical level but at a practical level, i.e. doing what is expected of a British Prime Minister, he has no choice but to give his opinion. It is part of his job.

          • Kitty MLB

            Fair point I suppose.
            yet its like rubbing salt into a wound.
            Yet as you say, it his job.
            Its just a pity Westminster does not have a clue about Scotland.
            Another question, Forgive me for not knowing,
            I know why Scotland is not too keen of The Tories,
            but considering the wreckage that was the last Labour
            government, why do they not hold Labour in the same
            contempt- Don’t say they are all Socialists- its not true .

            • MichtyMe

              Errr, the Labour Party got whacked at the Scottish Elections, to the extent that if it were not for proportional voting their representation would be minimal.

              • HJ777

                And the SNP got whacked at the General Election. What is your point?

                • Kitty MLB

                  There is an awful lot of whaking going
                  on, who will be next?

                • Wessex Man

                  Hopefully Call me Dave!

                • Kitty MLB

                  Maybe Cammy should have been whacked
                  before going into Coalition with the Lib Dums
                  it may have knocked some sense Into
                  him-but maybe not, he is rather thick skinned.

            • terregles2

              Labour are disliked and not trusted in Scotland any more than the tories are. It was Tony Blair who moved the Scottish maritime boundary up from Berwick on Tweed to Carnoustie and annexed 6000 square miles of Scottish sea. People in Scotland have not trusted Labour or Tory governments since then. When Scots discovered that the McCrone report was also kept hidden from them it showed that all Westminster governments have cheated Scotland. That is why the SNP are now the most popular party in Scotland. Nobody can really take Miliband or Cameron or Westminster government seriously.

      • Jambo25

        Ah yes! “cybernat idiots like you”. Your default position of throwing personal insults at anyone with the temerity not to share your opinions.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          I’m sorry you seem to be suggesting that you are not an idiot. Astounding, quite astounding. You cobble together some kind of ‘heads I win tails you lose’ rubbish to throw at Cameron and then claim you are not an idiot.

          • terregles2

            I wish that you showed more of the traits of young Martin Chuzzlewit and fewer of the characteristics of Mr Pumplechoock.

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              Oh just FO.

              • terregles2

                Oh dear…hardly the response one would expect from an erudite English gentleman.
                So disappointing.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Absolutely astonishing, you actually believe you deserve the effort of a dignified and reasoned reply. With your fatuous, unsubstantiated assertions and ridiculous hypocrisy you merit nothing more than casual dismissal. Now get lost.

              • Jambo25

                Lovely. Wit and forensic debating skills. You have neither.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  If you are so deluded as to believe I would bother to offer a dignified and reasoned reply to worthless trolls like terregles 2 and yourself you are sadly mistaken. You are simply not worth the effort.

    • HJ777

      No, they’ve been accused of claiming a host of advantages and offering a host of bribes (earlier retirement, free childcare etc.) but not being candid about costs and downsides. A “menu without prices”, in fact.

      Of course, if I’m wrong, you’ll be be able to point me towards the “Yes” campaign’s published assessment of transition costs, won’t you?

      • Jambo25

        “cybernat idiots like you”. Perfectly reasoned debate in your view, I take it.

        • HJ777

          No less reasonable than many of your posts. You have a very selective memory, clearly.

          I note you didn’t address the point I made.

          • Jambo25

            Yes because I start every exchange by calling people idiots. The reality, I’m afraid, is that Mr Chuzzlewit is a bad mannered boor.

            • HJ777

              You started this one by making an attack on Cameron which didn’t provide a single fact or argument or address a single point he made – merely dismissing it as “vacuous” and “nonsense”.

              Pot. Kettle. Black.

              And I see that you still refuse to address the perfectly simple and pertinent request I made. You just ignore awkward questions you don’t like in favour of slagging off opponents.

              • starfish

                There is no answer
                Apparently Mr Salmond will sprinkle pixie dust and it will all be OK

                • HookesLaw

                  Mr Salmond offers a pig in a poke and Scots would be foolish to listen to him. But for all that Mr Salmond offers anything at all, it is not ‘independence’.

                • monty61

                  It’s a worry but for once, Hooky, I agree with you.

                • Wessex Man

                  why is it a worry, let them go!

                • HookesLaw

                  We must sadly shrug our shoulders and get on with it if they go, but I would rather the country stay together. Plus at this time the upheaval cannot be good for anybody.

                • Wessex Man

                  Let them go Hooky, any who wish to emigrate to Good Old England, can as long as they’ve got family here.

                • terregles2

                  Mmmmm ….who should Scots trust more Mr Cameron or Mr Salmond. We wont need to think for too long about that one.

              • Jambo25

                I attacked Cameron’s rhetorical and oratorical style. A perfectly reasonable thing to do. You simply don’t like your hero being criticised.

                • HJ777

                  You attacked it for its content (or claimed lack thereof) when you said it was “vacuous” and “nonsense”.

                  And if you were attacking it for its style, I presume this means that you didn’t have any constructive criticism you could make about its content. Why am I not surprised?

                  I’m still waiting for you to answer my perfectly reasonable question about where I can find the “Yes” campaign’s assessment of transition costs so that they can be balanced against its extensive and detailed claims about the advantages of secession. It would be nice if you could address issues of substance just as I am willing to (perfectly politely, I might add).

            • Wessex Man

              Pots Kettles black!! Agree

              • Jambo25

                Yes, I know. Not greeing with you shows bad manners. I think I can live with that without losing too much sleep.

                • Wessex Man

                  oh dear have I upset you by standing up to you, we naughty English.

                • Jambo25

                  No, simply confirmed my opinion of you.

                • Wessex Man

                  I thank you for the honour of stating the high regard you have for me.

    • HJ777

      So if it’s not based on emotion and chauvinistic nonsense perhaps you could help me with the factual side?

      I refer of course to the “Yes” campaign’s assessment of transitionary costs associated with secession – where can I find it?

      I know you have repeatedly failed even to acknowledge the question, but that hardly makes you look like a realist, does it?

  • asalord

    If someone from England phones me to persuade me to vote No it could well turn out to be the longest phone-call in history.

    • Wessex Man

      Don’t worry, no one will.

      • scotcanadien

        asalord, can’t you see the ‘lurve’ shining through

        • Wessex Man

          Can’t you spell?

    • Colin56

      No one’s going to call your Lordship. We all hope you’ll vote Yes for independence and then forge your own existence as an independent country, and leave us to get on with running the remainder of the UK. Cameron’s vacuous speech will, with any luck, have precisely this effect (whatever an English PM says, any self-respecting Scot will do the exact opposite.) But good luck with the rugby tomorrow!

      • HJ777

        I strongly suspect that most Scots would like “asalord” and his fellow cybernats to forge their own independent existence – somewhere far away from Scotland, preferably.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Who in England could possibly be stupid enough to phone a one trick pony like you with your schoolboy credo of “bitter together, better apart” etc. some of us in England can think of more pressing an interesting things to do than conversing with you such as watching paint dry.

    • Smithersjones2013

      If we serenade you with ‘Flower of Scotland’ will that help?

      [That flower would have to be a spikey weed now wouldn’t it]

      • Fergus Pickering

        That really is a dreadful tune, isn’t it?

        • albertcooper

          Its protestant in its feel !

    • arnoldo87

      In that case we’ll reverse the charges.

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