Coffee House

David Bowie, George Osborne and the PCS union have given Scottish nationalists momentum

21 February 2014

21 February 2014

Ask any election strategist and they’ll tell you that momentum is everything.
For the past 18 months, the No campaign has had all the momentum in the referendum debate. The Yes camp were becalmed, the No side had everything going for it and (let’s be honest) there was more than a hint of complacency on the unionist side.

Well that there was should have been blown out of the water by what has happened over the last couple of weeks. Subtly, almost imperceptibly, the ground has shifted in the independence debate. The Yes camp has not bounced into a lead or anything like that, but it has started to make progress.

A poll this week by Survation for the Scottish Daily Mail in the wake of George Osborne’s ‘You can’t share the pound’ speech showed that the gap between the two sides had come down to nine points.

According to the poll, the Yes camp is on 38 per cent and the No side on 47 per cent with 16 per cent undecided.

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The Chancellor’s aim was clearly to frighten a decent share of the undecided into backing the Union. He may succeed in that aim, in the long term. But, in the short term, it now appears as if his tactic has merely angered the ‘don’t knows’ so much that some of them have jumped over into support for Yes.

Then we had David Bowie. The music legend’s bizarre and surprising intervention in the independence debate, delivered by supermodel Kate Moss at the Brits this week – ‘Scotland – stay with us’ – was first thought to be good for the No camp. The so-called cybernats certainly thought so. Bowie was roundly abused, in a vicious and unpleasant manner, by these nationalist trolls, after he had come out for the Union. Now, normally, that would play into the hands of the Union. Someone like Bowie, who is generally lauded for all that he has achieved over his lifetime, would get sympathy after being attacked in this way. But it now appears as if the general mood in Scotland is to either ignore what Bowie said or to react against it by objecting to an intervention by a multi-millionaire superstar who has little connection with Scotland.

There may be some Nats who will now go through their old vinyl collections and, feeling spurned, smash every Ziggy Stardust record they once lovingly cherished, but many more Scots will simply show a slight irritation at what he said, with some shifting towards Yes as a result.

But there is more. Tomorrow the PCS Union will hold a special conference in Glasgow to discuss its approach to independence. Officially, the union is still neutral but sources inside the union have suggested that the conference will lead to the union officially coming out in support of independence.

The PCS is not the biggest union in Scotland and other unions – the GMB, ASLEF, Community and Usdaw – have already backed a No vote. But one of the country’s major unions backing a Yes vote would be a significant move nonetheless.

Now, these three developments do not, in themselves, point towards a Yes victory. After all, the Yes camp is still trailing in the polls. But they should cause serious head-scratching in the No camp because the Yes side, for the first time since the campaign started, is starting, just starting, to build up a little momentum.

There is a long way to go yet and that momentum could easily shift back again before too long. But to use a curling analogy – which I’m sure everyone south of the border is now well acquainted with – there are still several ends to go but the Nats have the hammer and no-one gives that up without a fight.


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Show comments
  • Iodine

    Misinformation:

    Survation always givesspurious results.

    Read the excellent ukpollingreport.

    ‘Let start with the Scottish polls though. Last weekend we had a Survation poll in the Mail on Sunday which was widely reported in the media as showing that George Osborne’s intervention in the referendum debate had actually boosted YES. This was mostly rubbish – the change appeared to be largely, but not wholly, the result of Survation changing their weightings. I concluded we should probably wait for more evidence before deciding what the impact from the currency row was.

    Today we have a new ICM poll for Scotland on Sunday. Their topline figures with changes from a month ago are YES 37%(nc), NO 49%(+4). At first glance this poll would indicate the currency row had led to a significant boost to the NO campaign, but once again I’d urge some caution. Regular readers will remember that the previous ICM poll showed a big swing towards YES, far bigger than any other poll, so this one may very well just be a reversion to the mean rather than any meaningful change (in particular ICM’s last poll had an unusually pro-independence sample of young people, which I suspect may have vanished. On that subject this month ICM have apparently changed their method very slightly, changing the age bands they use to weight young people.)’ etc.

  • Doggie Roussel

    For anyone who wants a good laugh about Scotland or the Scots there is an absolute ‘must read’:

    Faintheart by Charles Jennings… I implore you all to read it.

  • Albin

    Looks like Undecideds are the most volatile.

  • Denis_Cooper

    Hold on – Survation changed their methodology from that used in previous polls, and they say that most of the reported boost for “Yes” is down to that.

    http://survation.com/2014/02/a-note-on-methodology-for-our-recent-scottish-poll/

    “Scottish Independence – The Great Scottish Currency Debate & An Important Note on Methodology – Feb 20th”

    “In the interests of ensuring comparability with other best practice Scottish referendum and voting intention polls in the industry, we have taken the decision to politically weight this poll by the 2011 Scottish Parliament election results (constituency vote). This is in contrast to the previous Scottish opinion poll by Survation published on 2nd February, which was weighted by 2010 general election results in line with our usual national polling practice.

    This change will bring our method in line with that used by most other pollsters operating in Scotland and so will enable better comparability between our polls and others, though of course it does mean that the voting figures in our most recent poll should not be used as a direct comparison to show changes from the previous Survation poll on 2nd February. In terms of its impact on the referendum and voting intention figures, a cursory look at the tables suggests that using 2011 weighting rather than 2010 weighting has been more favourable to the SNP in terms of voting and similarly to the “Yes” campaign for the independence referendum.”

    “Taking into account the variation in the raw figures (likely more due to random sample fluctuations than any real shift in opinion during the last 20 days), the effect
    of changing the weighting appears to account for approximately 6.5 of the 10.8
    points of apparent reduction in the “No” lead compared with the previous Survation poll. As found by other pollsters, false recall of their 2010 vote by nationalist voters is the most likely explanation for this effect.”

  • Sean McDougall

    The article is moderately interesting, the BTL comments are rather more revealing.

    The usual posters accusing Salmond of stupidity and ScotNats of abuse… While they dish out both in equal measure.

    Don’t worry about Osborne or Bowie adding to YES … The comments on here, duly copied and posted or tweeted are all grist to the mill.

    It seems that the Unionists, Conservatives and Other supporters of the establishment cannot hide their bitterness.

  • Maidmarrion

    So many spluttering and indignant comments, so many snide and ignorant – nice to read just what those South of the border think of us up here.
    Even more interesting to realise they are such loveable tolerant people with such a fine conceit.

    • Wessex Man

      for heavens sake, get rid of that chip, stop accusing us of your fairy tales and grow up!

  • Vincent McDee

    Scotland and England political marriage has ended, or so Scotland thinks. England reacts by denying the possibility of a smooth and costless divorce.
    When this happen among people, solicitors rub their hands.
    Why does Scotland have to suffer an irrational behaviour from the (used to be) “better halve”?
    As many divorced people admit, fighting the divorce will cost both sides a packet.
    So much the pity, but the divorce is going to be final eventually, independently of what the denying party may think about it. We, their children, will suffer, as seems the norm, shame.

    • The_greyhound

      But Scotland doesn’t think that.

      Nationalists are a declining minority (Salmond’s 2011 victory was never positive endorsement – just Scotland’s Five Star moment).

      The nats have got nothing to peddle but lies about the past, and delusions about the future, The only polls that matter are the ones at the ballot box : and last month Labour trashed the SNP (again) at Cowdenbeath. 71% of the vote went to candidates from Unionist parties.

  • HookesLaw

    The chancellors aim was not to scare anybody. itwas to assure the rest of the UK and at the same time explain to the Scots where they would be post indpendence.
    It has merely been described as a ‘scare’ by the narrow clique of the SNP.

    If the Scots were tlo be railroaded into independence on the back of these scares then it does not hold out much hope for any post independence competence on the part of either government or voters.

    • Makroon

      Especially since a large proportion of the remaining “brightest and best” Scots would probably vote with their feet and decamp to more promising countries – leaving the ground clear for Salmond and Sturgeon to do their worst.

  • CharlietheChump

    On we go, bla bla bla, just leave and be done with it. Let the whining cease.

  • uglyfatbloke

    Osborne saying he won’t support a currency union is not insulting. Osborne ..and others…saying Scots won’t get a share of assets but will get a share of debts is both insulting and stupid.

    • HJ777

      Osborne never said anything of the sort. Neither did anyone else in the government say, or even suggest, it either.

      It is Salmond and his SNP cronies who threatened not to accept a share of the debt if they don’t get a currency union.

      • HookesLaw

        You get a lot of ugly fat ignorance around here.

      • uglyfatbloke

        Au Contraire…Michael Moore as SofS for Scotland was perfectly clear that that was the position of the coalition government and – when asked – no coalition minister has denied it. Of course they’re not altogether wrong – the debt is worth more than the assets anyway.
        Only fair to admit that I hate all of the political class with a passion that I cannot convey with mere words…I’d need a big stick with a nail through it.

        • HJ777

          Provide the evidence.

          I doubt that the debt is worth anywhere near the assets. Public debt is currently about 75% of GDP, that is just 9 months economic output.

          • HookesLaw

            Its a bit of an absurdity. Is Scotland demanding that it have 5% of our nuclear warheads?
            It can have Faslane – a massive asset. What it does with it and the thousands left working there is its business.
            On the other hand there ought to be a charge against Scotland for the cost of the rUK in building a replacement submarine base.
            Scotland will have the massive asset of a warship building yard. Good luck with it as I for one will be demanding that rUK build its warships in our own country.

            Nats are as balmy as kippers. If they go independent then anyone dealing with an independent Scotland will have the self interest of rUK voters to contend with – not some neat theoretical projection.

            • Daniel Maris

              Well obviously an independent Scotland would be well advised to get out of the nuclear warship business.

              But independent Scotland will be in a good negotiating position now that Osborne has confirmed the Rump UK will take on ALL the old UK’s debts.

    • Denis_Cooper

      Share of what assets?

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Except that he said absolutely nothing of the sort. He said that a currency union whereby the UK would underwrite newly issued Scottish public debt without reference to the UK and without limitation was unacceptable. I suspect that if I asked you to guarantee all the debts I might incur, whatever the amount and without limitation as to time, you would be reluctant. That is exactly the wholly reasonable position that Osborne is taking on behalf of the UK. Neither will the UK’s central bank act as lender of last resort to Scotland’s banking system which happens to be 12 times the size of the Scottish economy. This is not bullying or threatening it is just a prudent and entirely rational defence of the UK national interest.

  • Altesegel

    Osbourne was right to spell out the financial consequences of secession. What needs to happen now is an emotional and heartfelt appeal by British people to keep our country together. Scotland is British – was British long before the Danes and Angles showed up. This is not about being ruled by Edinburgh London or even Brussels. It is a question of identity. I am British from the British Isles just as at home fishing in Cornwall as I am walking in Wales and dancing in the forgotten halls of Kintyre

    • MichtyMe

      Why does britishness require decisions to be made in a parliament in London, Sweden’s parliament is sovereign but they are still Scandinavian.

      • HookesLaw

        There is no analogy between ‘Britain’ and ‘Scandinavia’. The phrase Britain has existed since ancient times and Scandinavia is a relatively recent construct.
        At one time Sweden used to be ‘Scandinavia’. It was a great power, an Empire, at a time when
        Scotland was going cap in hand to England because it was bankrupt. Norway was ‘sold off’ to Sweden by Denmark and kept by force unlike here were a Union was requested by Scotland

        In our turn we built and gave away an empire as the British all with the help of the Scots. And fought two world wars together as British.

        The last two labour PMs were Scottish as were the last two labour Chancellors of the Exchequer. The first labour PM was Scottish.

        • HJ777

          Well ‘Jambo25’ reckons he’s going to vote “Yes” because he doesn’t feel British any more and neither do most Scots (he asserts, although the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey results flatly contradict him) yet MichtyMe and Salmond say that after independence Scots will be just as British, so someone is going to be disappointed.

        • Daniel Maris

          Well – what might have been. Equally the Scots could have been at the centre of a Viking Empire that colonised North America and became the pre-eminent superpower in the world.

    • HookesLaw

      the Scots came from Ireland in fact

      • Daniel Maris

        It’s been a two way traffic for thousands of years.

    • terregles2

      It does not matter what nationality we are it is more important how we are governed.
      My English neighbours here in Scotland are voting YES because they think Holyrood government will be better than Westminster government.
      After independence we will all just be people living in a country that has self government. It does not matter whether we were born in Scotland or not. We are all members of the human race. Nationality is not the most important thing.

  • Baggiebod

    Hello I’m going to vote yes just to p*ss David Bowie off!
    Are we in the twilight zone?

  • Angus_MacLellan

    I’m not surprised Bowie comes in for vicious treatment from the ‘cybernats’ – a particularly nasty group of people who have poisoned every debating forum they’ve infested.

    PS: I note their propensity to attack Massie in the odd occasion.

  • MichtyMe

    Also of interest in this poll is continuing support for the SNP Government.
    When asked how they would vote at the next election it was 44% and Labour 31% and the others negligible. For a government in the middle of a second term remarkably good but having an Labour party unable to provide a serious opposition less a credible future government helps.

    • HookesLaw

      A government? It is a glorified local authority spending money given to it.
      You have to fear for Scotland if it relies on these people for independent governance.

    • The_greyhound

      Fantasy.

      Labour trashed the SNP again last month at Cowdenbeath.

      Salmond’s planning a joint leaving (sacking) do with M. Hollande. The two will then tour the music halls – a pair of splat economically illiterate penguins.

  • Kingstonian

    Hamish – are you certain the Osborne’s intention was not to boost the Yes vote?

  • Eyesee

    So this article confirms that the Scottish independence position depends an malice. Every time a remark is made about what, factually, is the case (you can’t keep the pound) or a plea to maintain the Union that has worked, not beg for welfare payments from the one that doesn’t (EU), the Scots take umbrage. Well, I’m afraid there is no answer to that is there? ‘I am bound to take offence’ seems to be the Scottish way. It has certainly been the Salmond position; always the victim. Has he played his trump card yet? The clearances? Surely no right minded Scot wants to maintain a friendship with an enemy that as recently as 300 years ago was horrible to them? Us English too, have to consider whether we can stand the presence of the Italians, after all, what did the Romans ever do for us?

    • HJ777

      No, a minority of fanatical Nat Scots take umbrage and Salmond and his cronies stoke it for all they are worth.

  • London Calling

    Say it with a song………….:)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eXw47qb4U0

  • Denis_Cooper

    Perhaps the Unionist campaign should remind the Scots that not so long ago Salmond was not so enamoured with keeping the pound, and told Spanish TV that being able to join the euro was actually a strong reason for Scotland to break away from the UK:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/4143731/Alex-Salmond-Euro-membership-is-a-strong-argument-for-independence.html

    So what changed his mind on that?

    He didn’t seem particularly worried then that with Scotland in the euro and the continuing UK keeping the pound there would be transaction charges on all the trade between the two.

  • HJ777

    I disagree with this.

    Eventually, the message will get through and people in Scotland will realise that Salmond and his cronies respond to facts and rational argument that they don’t like, not with reason but with abuse of their opponents and claims to victimhood.

    • Denis_Cooper

      Yes, there are still seven months for calmer second thoughts.

    • Makroon

      Rational, reasonable Scots might, but there are plenty of the other type.

      • Wessex Man

        I don’t thick there are plenty, just a very loud well organised mob.

    • mightymark

      Good point – I said after speeches on Sterling by Osborne, Balls and Alexander that there was a danger some might react badly to it and accept Salmond’s nonsense about “bullying”, however the timing is such that as long as the message is maintained it will sink in as the referendum draws nearer and hard facts of life, instead of the flotsam and jetsam that characterise so much of the debate now, become salient. At the end of the day the burden of proof is on Salmond to show things will be better for Scotland if its votes “Yes”. I think that is going to be a very difficult burden to discharge and the clear presentation of possible factors that might actually make it worse only make that burden more difficult.

      • terregles2

        Allan Grogan and Patrick Harvie are persuading a lot of undecided voters on the merits of independence. Why do people keep going on about Salmond when another four Scottish political parties are campaigning for a YES,
        Lesly Riddoch gave quite an inspirational presentation on Scottish independence just recently.
        I think the don’t knows who are not too keen on Salmond are liking what they hear from Harvie,Grogan etc.

  • RationalSpeculation

    The problem with the interventions by Osborne et al is that while technically correct, they play into the chippy, victimhood meme which is such a large part of Scottish culture. Before anyone decides to abuse me, I am Scottish.

    • HJ777

      That may be true, but I don’t think that it is the dominant characteristic of most Scots.

      Most Scots are sensible enough to want to hear the facts – and that is why they will see through Salmond’s bluster when confronted with inconvenient truths.

      I’m part Scottish, by the way.

      • LadyDingDong

        I am not the least Scottish and couldn’t care less what your average Scot thinks so long as they vote yes and put themselves out of our misery. This moaning, whining and anti-English bigotry is driving me insane and the sooner we are rid of that benighted land the better.

        • HJ777

          But that moaning, whining and bigotry comes from a small, but very vocal, minority of Scots, not from the silent majority. And it wouldn’t stop after secession either.

          • LadyDingDong

            If a small child kicks up a racket one can usually silence him with a lolly, a cheap toy and/or a kick up the bum. Unfortunately, this lot want all our silver, access to our savings, and to kick us continually. A plague on the minority, and on the majority who let this happen.

            • HJ777

              I’m not sure how you propose that the silent majority could or should shut them up.

              Believe me, most Scots are even more fed up of them than you are. They will show this by voting “No” – just give them time.

              • Wessex Man

                I don’t think you should bother trying to argue with somnething that is obivously off it’s trolley!

            • Fergus Pickering

              You’d better not try a kick up the bum in modern Britain. Though I do think it an excellent idea. So many children whiose bums need kicking. So little time to kick them.

              • MichtyMe

                Yes Fergus, when I was a bairn, a long time ago, adults beat up children, thrashed at home, flogged at school and outdoors a complete stranger could boot you up the erse, if they felt it justified.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  And yet you grew up the fine, upstanding person that you are. Rather humourless, but that does tend to be a Scottish characteristic.

          • flippit

            It won’t matter after secession. Scotland won’t be within our political system.

    • Fergus Pickering

      It is and it has been for at least sixty years, probably much longer. When I lived in Scotland as a child and a teenager they never stopped whinging. I can remember The Scotsman wouldn’t give the cricket scores.

      • terregles2

        I expect that when 6000 sq miles of Scottish sea was annexed by Westminster in 1999 the remainder of Britain would have kept a stiff upper lip if it had been the other way around.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Tell me about this. Dowe (the English) still have it? Did we come with cutlasses. Come fill me in, do. Is there any oil in it?

          • terregles2

            Yes Fergus the 6000 SQUARE miles are still now part of Englsih waters. It was pushed through the Westminster Parliament by Blair in 1999 with the help of the Scottish Labour party. It is the type of policy we would expect from Blair and the Labour cronies.
            It did not get much news coverage and if many people in England are unaware of it perhaps the Scots have not done as much whinging as you accuse us of.

    • CraigStrachan

      It’s a large part of Scottish Nationalist culture, to be sure.

      • terregles2

        To be fair I think people in Scotland who complained in 1999 when the Westminster govenrnment moved the Scottish maritime border up from Berwick on Tweed to Carnoustie had a bit of a point.

    • HookesLaw

      Should the facts not be laid out then?

      • Wessex Man

        of course they should in open and honest debate, one I’d like to ask is has the SNP paid back the £20,000 of public funds they spent trying to block the FOI request on ‘European Advice’ that didn’t exist.

        • terregles2

          More important does Westminster intend to keep the 6000 sq miles of Scottish sea tha Blair annexed in 1999.?

    • terregles2

      I am Scottish why would I abuse you for making such a comment. I would agree that in the past there was an inclination to moan about decisions that were made for Scotland by Westminster. Some of the complaints were justified but to moan about them and not do anything about it was indeed behaving like a victim. I don’t know where you live in Scotland now but where I am there is no moaning only excitement and enthusiasm about taking control of our own decisions. There are still quite a few people undecided about how to vote and are a bit frightened to vote YES. There are still lots of debate going on but little evidence of victimhood.

  • flippit

    As long as the Scots are clear there won’t be a currency union, then so be it. Osborne ‘s speech was not a tactic but a matter of supplying facts, so if Scots still want to independent then we have to admit they’re very keen on it indeed. The government should be sanguine then about the polls and think well, what will be, will be.

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    This is all panty wetting stuff. Why no one has yet discovered that it is in fact Labour (Scotland) that will be pivotal to the outcome in September is beyond me.

  • ButcombeMan

    “The Chancellor’s aim was clearly to frighten a decent share of the undecided into backing the Union”.

    Incorrect,

    It was spelling out that all the UK political parties are agreed that a formal monetary union with an independent Scotland is not going to happen because it is not in the interests of the UK. This was something that had to be done

    The voters in Scotland are entitled to that information as part of the basket of factors they will need to consider when voting. It fell to Osborne to deliver it because for the time being he is Chancellor.

    You are at the same tiresome game as Salmond. This is not responsible journalism nor sound analysis. The issues are too serious for this sort of nonsense.

    • flippit

      I too cannot understand why ‘serious’ people keep saying Osborne’s statement was intended to frighten the Scots. If they are frightened by it, well, they should be, but who’d not want to know the truth of the matter beforehand? I know I would

      • ButcombeMan

        The answer is that many of the posts on which we comment here are not serious journalism. The analysis of events as “the Viceroy” regularly points out, is often utterly juvenile. Fraser does not keep a grip on it.

        If I was editing here I would want to make it the absolute “go to” place, for serious right of center ideas and swift, informed analysis & comment. It is certainly not that now, if it ever was.

        The only reason I still visit is because several of those commenting are much smarter than the journalists and one can always learn. Many I am convinced, could do a better job than the kindergarten.

        That and telemachus and hookey, make me laugh

        • Noa

          Quite so and well said.

        • classieview

          Fraser’s remark in the New Year that some of the nicest people whom I know in politics are SNP figures, was revealing. In time, it might be bracketed along with D.
          Cameron’s ‘hug a hoodie refrain as indicating the disorientation of the centre-right.

          The editor of this weekly is careful to modulate his criticism of the SNP and ignore below radar dirty tricks because it might go badly for him if Salmond’s lot completely clean up in the future.
          Thus, we are presented with articles like this one complaining about Osborne giving a reality check to Scots because it just makes them more bloody-minded.

          • HookesLaw

            Cameron never alluded to hug a hoodie. All you are doing is quoting a socialist lie. This reliance does not say much for your argument.

            • classieview

              Funny how it is centre-right journalists like Quentin letts and Peter Hitchens who keep returning to what they see as an emblematic indication of what his Premiership would turn out to be like.

              • HookesLaw

                Hitchens? Yer avin a laff.

          • Makroon

            I think Fraser Nelson is an example of a newish phenomenon (Cameron is another example), let’s call it the champagne Tories, or the “nice” Tories.
            They have been so cowed by the past 15 years of leftie thought that they feel obliged to say things like: “White Dee is a salt-of-the-earth kind of lady”, “Some of my best friends are charming NATS”, “Christine Blower is a lovely woman deeply concerned about education” – as Margaret Thatcher might have said “No! No! No!
            These chaps are like the Ian Carmichael character in “I’m all right Jack”, they have completely forgotten who the enemy are.

            • classieview

              Unfortunately for me I wrote two books on contemporary Scotland whose appearance coincided with the rise of this arch-trimmer.
              They were dutifully sent to the Spectator but I knew that their chances of ever being reviewed were slim even though they departed from the romantic left-wing orthodoxy about matters Scottish.
              This is because in order to keep lines of communication open with the Nationalists, Fraser has to banish from the pages of his magazine any perspectives which go to the heart of what is rotten with Alex Salmond’s Scotland.

        • HookesLaw

          Serious ‘centre right’ and you might have a point.

          But I strongly suspect that you could print pages from the Nepalese telephone directory on Coffee House and the great mass of comments would blame the spelling on the EU.

          • Wessex Man

            oh Hooky your slip is showing, temper tantrums are never nice you know. Just because people hold different views to you doesn’t make them idiots.

            You are now displaying that very ugly trait of the Tories- sneering contempt for anyone who disagrees with you.

            It’s not nice and it’s not pretty.

  • swatnan

    With friends like Bowie and Moss, who needs enemies? Bring on Sean Connery, from his Island Paradise, just to balance things.

    • flippit

      If only they could! But no way is he coming over, not even for a drop in and when you think about it, would it hurt him? To support the country of his birth? He’s apparently told his agent or whatever, that he’s not taking any calls.

  • Swiss Bob

    Hooray!

  • alabenn

    If Scotland do vote yes, why would they be worse off, it looks like the UK is poised to re elect the Labour party to govern, when they collapse the economy, Scotland will go down whether they are in or out.
    An independent Scotland will be no worse off than a subject nation, in the sh*t you all smell the same.

    • Wessex Man

      well if Scotland goes, so do 50 something Labour MPs!

      • alabenn

        Every cloud has a silver lining. whether the UK or Scotland or both collapse,, that is still something that would be a blessing.

      • HookesLaw

        And Scotland will probably revert to socialism after any independence and SNP votes will drift back to the right.
        Just how long would an independence consensus last?

        • Wessex Man

          I agree but don’t really care, if they vote for ‘independence’ that’s just what they get anf keep.

  • LadyDingDong

    If, after all that they have heard in the last few weeks, more Scots want independence, then it confirms what I have long thought; they are too thick to save and must be cast adrift. The sooner we are rid of this God-forsaken, socialist outpost of whining welfare-ists the better.

    • Swiss Bob

      It is a little unfair to bracket them all in the bat-sh1t3 in5ane club but I’d agree with you as far as the Nats who believe that they will have a currency union and that if they don’t get it then they will take none of the debt.

      There are people all over the World listening to that and the only reason they’re keeping quiet is out of politeness. Argentina likes to play the barrack room laywer as far as debt is concerned and look at them…….

    • HookesLaw

      ‘IF’…. there is no clear cut evidence. The Survation poll alluded to involves a change in its methodology so where does that leave us? See UKPR.

    • malcolmG

      You prove the point wonderfully, why would we not want to be in union which such a nice person as you. Have a long look in the mirror , that will show you what a thick , bigoted moron looks like. Hope Atos stop your Giro.

  • classieview

    The defeatist message from this article is: the Scots are such a sensitive crowd. they don’t appreciate home truths. They are on the verge of jumping on the table and doing a mad jig with the nationalists. So for heaven sake watch what you say so as not to provoke more outlandish behaviour.

    Au contraire: George Osborne did Britain, and indeed the West a service by showing how irrationalism is sweeping over Scotland in 2014.

  • Gwangi

    A very odd article. My perception is the complete opposite: the warning from Barroso that Scotland would not be in the EU; the knowledge that it could not have Sterling and be linked to the pound (though it can have its own pound and give it any name) – these 2 things strengthened the NO campaign and made Salmond look like an amateur and a BS merchant. All a real reality check.
    Probably Scots in their Tory-hating obsessions will ignore anything Cameron or Osbourne say. But David Bowie? These things will matter to some. Bowie sums up what many Brits feel.

    • Daniel Maris

      …except the figures don’t seem to suggest that.

      • flippit

        Actually this one survey is for the Daily Mail. Laughable that Nats continually sneer at the Mail, but I think the DM too would be glad to see the back of Scotland. Small conspiracies abound.

    • Bo Williams

      In the long run it will prove to be decisive for the No campaign. The Scots will not give up the pound. The reality will sink in before long. Years of anti-English propaganda from Scottish Labour & the SNP (propaganda Scottish Labour now bitterly regrets) has resulted in a reflex “Yes” reaction amongst a significant percentage of Scots. When reality sinks in most will vote No.

  • kyalami

    Er … that graph shows nothing in terms of trend.

    • Daniel Maris

      Indeed – it shows a much more erratic see-sawing than I expected.

      Was the Oct 13 rise due to the party conference season? If so, it would like the SNP can expect a boost when the TV debates intensify in the run up to the vote.

      • terregles2

        Think a lot of minds are changing when people attend public meetings and hear the facts from guest speakers.

  • AdH2011

    I’d prefer Scotland stayed in the union but it’s a decision for Scottish people to make.

    However I don’t see how Osborne saying the rest of the UK would rather not have a currency union is insulting the intelligence of Scottish voters (according to Salmond)? – if a currency union isn’t in the rUK interests then why would we.

    As for Bowie, how dare he have an opinion on this. Only pro-independence celebrities like Sean Connery are allowed to get involved.

    • MaxSceptic

      I am hoping that this is part of a cunning plan to allow us English to get away Scot-free….

    • terregles2

      I would not listen to any celebrity especially those who will not be living here after we vote in September. I don’t care whether they tell me to vote YES or NO they are entitled to an opinion but they certainly would never influemce mine.
      Some of them might have in the past dabbled in illegal drugs so perhaps they have not got the clearfest minds,

      • AdH2011

        Well indeed. I’d hope nobody would take too much notice of celebrity opinions as they are often not the most informed.

        I don’t see any need for the Bowie abuse though – he is entitled to his opinion, if people don’t like it then simply ignore it. End of problem.

        • terregles2

          It is really becoming so silly. Cameron telling English people to phone their family and friends in Scotland and tell them we don’t want them to leave. I know Britian has been dumbed down over the decades but does he really think I will decide such an important vote on whether or not my granny in Norfolk loves me. Oh please…!!!!
          I agree I do not think Bowie or indeed anyone should be abused for making a comment. I have only ever heard people having a laugh at him. It sounded even sillier when Kate Moss said it. They were even laughing about it in the Holyrood parliament. Reference was made to the UK Olympic medal winners being heroes for a day.

  • rolandfleming

    If a student showed me that graph and said there was an upward trend (‘momentum’) in last few data points of the red data series, I’d want to see some proper stats …

    • Makroon

      Well said.

  • Reconstruct

    I would have thought that the last couple of weeks would have proved beyond reasonable doubt that; i) the ScotNats hadn’t thought through some fundamental aspects of their project and ii) vicious and unpleasant abuse seems to have become the operational norm for the ScotNats. I’d be extremely surprised if this proved to be good for the ‘Yes’ camp over the medium terms. And if I’m wrong about that, I guess I’d also be wrong about my relatively sanguine view about the future for a newly independent Scotland.

    • Gwangi

      Absolutely true, but predictable – the bullying and abuse from the SNP and its supporters shows its true colours, that is a party based on hatred of the English and racism. Take that away and what is left?
      I have heard of those with Better Together stickers in their cars being verbally abused and spat at. And these are the people who will be in charge is the SNP get their one party statelet – sans the EU, sand the UK, sans the pound, sans everything.
      But hey, they can all be independently poor and independently bigoted, chauvinistic and unpleasantly backwards so that’s OK then…

      • HFC

        The No camp put forward the scare rumour that, in the event they lose the vote, England would reduce financial support as punishment for presuming to want to break away from the UK.

        A leaked note from the Yes team is even now rumoured to be doing the rounds; it claims the the nationalists will impose higher tax rates on English expats living in a newly independent Scotland.

        Well, why not?

        • Gwangi

          If Scotland votes YES then there won’t be any more subsidy from England at all. Is that what you mean?
          At the moment, Scotland discriminates against English students yet funds Scots and EU students – that is shameful, and a taste of the tartan bigotry Scotland will revert to if Salmond has his way. Nationalist governments are all the same, basically.
          But the ex pat tax would be illegal in the EU – though England could, if Scotland is out of the EU, pass laws to stop non-EU citizens like Scots getting benefits and healthcare in the UK. It could also have a drive to sack Scots working in England, official or unofficial. Then we could end up like Ukraine…

          • MichtyMe

            There is no subsidy from England and you can verify that with reference to UK gov statistical reports.
            The Scottish government pays the university fees of its student residents, why do you think it reasonable for it to pay for English residents, the London government does not pay the fees of Scots at English universities, is that because of bigotry? Perhaps you should lobby London to pay the fees of their students in Scotland or rescind all fee payment.

            • Bo Williams

              You don’t seem to understand what discrimination means. England treats English & Scottish students exactly the same. Scotland treats English students differently, not only from Scots, but all other EU students.

              An SNP led Scotland will be a nasty vindictive country. God help anyone who speaks up for England in the new Scotland.

              • terregles2

                There are hundreds of thousands of English people living in Scotland. They are welcome now and will be equally welcome after independence.
                Many of them are the ones out campaigning YES. They are looking forward to help build a better country and tackle the challenges of the future.

            • Gwangi

              Look, the Scots unis charge no fees to EU students EXCEPT those from England and Wales. Deliberate discrimination based on race and origin. Pathetic and childish too. Bigotry and quite deliberate, such is the Anglo-hatred in slimeball Salmond’s flabby breast.
              Scotland gets 10% more public funding than England – and in fact, despite the omni-whingeing Scotland is onto a nice little earner as part of the union.

              • MichtyMe

                The Universities charge for all students, the SAAS pay the fees of people resident in Scotland. Your beef is with an institution in the south.

                • HJ777

                  They don’t charge the students and students aren’t funded to choose a university that does charge fees (e.g. in England).

                • HJ777

                  So who pays for non-English EU-resident students in Scotland?

            • HJ777

              The Scottish government does not pay the fees of Scottish-resident students. It pays Scottish universities who then are not allowed charge fees to Scottish-resident students (or EU students) but are allowed to charge them to English students..

              Scottish-resident students do not have the option of having their fees paid if they go to university outside Scotland.

            • terregles2

              Instead of spending money on education the Westminster government would rather spend billions of pounds on Trident and HS2 . Westminster could pay English student’s fees but they would rather squander the money on Trident and war in Iraq and Afghanistan

          • Bo Williams

            England will not discriminate against Scots living and working in England. Firstly, because it is not in their nature and secondly, because they will remain British citizens as long as they wish to be.

            • MichtyMe

              A resident English student will get their fees paid by the Student Awards Agency just the same as a native Scot.

              • Bo Williams

                Yes that is true. The SNP are, and intend to in an independent Scotland, discriminating against children who live in England (the vast majority of whom will be English obviously) but don’t intend to discriminate against children from France, Germany or Spain.

          • terregles2

            You do not subsidise Scotland at the moment. Read the McCrone report.

        • terregles2

          Sounds a bit more like another Bittertogether scare story.

      • ButcombeMan

        Not much is left. You are correct.

        I follow the debate fairly carefully as I have joint heritage and many pals in Scotland. I have worked there.

        The “Yes” lobby seems to be distinguished by what it is against and what it hates, rather than FOR anything in particular. It cannot be about freedom in the way the English understand it, because they want to hitch themselves even closer to the EU.

        I will be sad to see Scotland secede, I do not think Scotland will prosper. I feel sorry for what will befall people there. I expect London to have to bail Scotland out again within 25 years or so. I expect living costs there to substantially increase, I expect capital and business flight to England. I expect fairly soon Scots coming south to do their shopping. I expect pensions to be more expensive there and ever more bad news.

        Salmond explains none of this.

        His promised land is just a promise and self evidently backed by appalling judgement and lack of economic understanding.

        • Jabez Foodbotham

          You expect lots of unpleasant things but give no reasons for arriving at such expectations.
          You also seem to expect that Salmond should explain your private expectations.

          • ButcombeMan

            Well I am very sorry you do not understand my fears.

            Nothing I am suggesting is new, in fact it is all there, being talked about in the economic and financial pages,

            The business flight of banks and other financial services is already happening or being discussed as is the ending of national pricing by the supermarkets who will incur greater costs in an independent Scotland. The threats to the pension industry and the jobs attached to it. And so on.

            My great fear is that the Yes campaign can get a huge amount of support from those who do not understand the issues or probabilities. These are people who do not read those pages. Who never will. Who are being misled.

            And yes if Salmond was being honest he would be saying there will be downsides to secession. Maybe those downsides are worth the golden future Salmond promises. Maybe not. Keeping the electorate in ignorance of them is duplicitous.

            Salmond in my submission is not being honest, he is winding up his less economically aware supporters, he is fabricating an external enemy, “The Tories”, ” a Tory Chancellor”, “Westminster”, “London, and even subliminally, “England” and “the English”.

            Such external and even internal enemy, rabble rousing, has been the tactics of every tin pot fascist dictator, since time immemorial.

            Salmond is putting himself, in some very odious historical company.

            • HJ777

              Yes, Salmond and his cronies are putting their own interests and lust for power above the interests of Scotland and the people of Scotland.

              That much is obvious. Why else would they need to be so dishonest towards Scots?

            • terregles2

              Why do you think every country in the world is capable of self government except Scotland.?
              Why do you think a country choosing self determination is comparable with odious history>
              Have you read the McCrone report.?
              How do you think a country can fail to prosper when it is rich in exports and natural resources, such as whisky,forestry,fisheries,renewables,tourism,gas,textiles,
              food exports,minerals, oil,construction,paper, technology
              electronics etc.
              Why do you think Camerons wants Scotland to remain part of the UK.?

              • ButcombeMan

                I think Scotland is cabable of governing itself, I think it may overspend but many countries do. Your response misses the point.

                There are downsides to secession, Salmond is not being honest about what they are. To encourage his supporters he is creating non existent external enemies.

                The downsides of secession may be worth what the Scots think they are getting, On the other hand they may not.

                If the arguments for secession were strong enough he would not have to deceive his less educated population, like a tin pot dictator.

                • terregles2

                  I have never heard anyone suggesting that an independent Scotland will not face problems. Every country does it is unavoidable. We will have to make tough decisions just like every other country will face in the future. The difference is we will be sorting out our own problems and challenges not sitting passively waiting for the larger country next door to decide what it will or will not do for us.
                  With respect I think to compare a democratically elected leader like Salmond to a tin pot dictator is rather extreme.
                  The Scottish people voted Salmond in and we can vote him out any time we like. Many people who have never voted SNP are still voting for independence.
                  If there is a YES vote in September we will have a general election and the SNP may ot may not win that election.
                  We will have more than five other political parties to choose from we will listen to their policies and decide which we prefer. Most countries are independent and they all seem to prefer it. Scotland will be no different. is the normal form of government for most.

                • ButcombeMan

                  The comparison to fascist dictators is in relation to his fabrication of external enemies.

                • terregles2

                  No Scottish politiians have fabricated external enemies. We think we can govern Scotland better than governments that we very often have never voted for.
                  We like the idea of choosing our own government. Nothing strange in that.
                  The only politicians I have heard fabricating an external enemy are the Westminster politicians who denigrate the EU and demonise immigrants.

              • ButcombeMan

                On your last question it will actually be to the advantage of the Conservative Party to be able to dump a largely socialist Scotland. Gordon Brown’s style of socialism near broke the nation. It would be nice never to get anyone like him near the levers of UK power again.

                Frankly most people in the rest of UK see advantages to all from being in such a successful union. Scotland seceding from the Union will have huge costs for all concerned.

                There are no benefits to the UK (other than the Tory narrow self interest) just costs,

                Salmond describes benefits to Scotland but when set against the downsides (which he does not describe), they may not amount to much at all.

                Most Scots will be much worse off, the rest of us will also have to pay for your ephemeral benefits.

                • terregles2

                  When Scotland is independent you will pay for nothing. We will not need or expect any bail out from any country.
                  Why would England have to pay for emphemeral benefits whatever they may be.?
                  Read the GERS figures Scotland is a wealthy country and will never need any hand outs.
                  If I am living under the Westminster government after this September I will be more worried about the British UK debt. Westminster seems to have lost control of it.

                • ButcombeMan

                  The rest of the Uk will have to bear costs because unpicking the Union, in the event of a Yes vote is going to be expensive.

                  It will be expensive for Scotland too. Not just in cash terms either.

                  Maybe the benefits for Scotland, whatever they are, outweigh the costs, but since Salmond never spells out the downside for you, you will vote in ignorance.

                  ignorance of true costs and benefits is I believe what he intends.

                • terregles2

                  You cannot see any benefit to Scotland in having independence well very many Scottish and indeed English people who live in Scotland can see dozens of benefits. Many countries have chosen to be independent from Britain over the years there is nothing new about countries wishing to have self determination.
                  It will cost Scotland more to stay as the Westminster government and House of Lords do not have a very good track record in governing the UK. Britain is in a mess and many in Scotland don’t want bad government any longer.

        • Kennybhoy

          “The “Yes” lobby seems to be distinguished by what it is against and what it hates, rather than FOR anything in particular.”

          Definition of a nationalist as opposed to a patriot.

        • terregles2

          Scotland will not need bailed out by anybody. We are a country rich in natural resources and even Cameron has agreed that an independent Scotland would be economically well able to survive,
          Yes voters do not hate anybody or any other nation we simply feel that we can govern ourselves better than Westminster is doing now and has done in the past.

      • Kennybhoy
      • terregles2

        I am a YES voter I am against English government not English people.
        Many English people living in Scotland are voting YES some members of the SNP are English.
        Many YES voters belong to other Scottish political parties not the SNP.
        I do not dislike any nation especially not the English as I have lots of English friends and family, You really should not say we dislike English people simply because we wish to have self government. It is untrue and really rather insulting.

        • ButcombeMan

          I do not propose to respond to you any more on this thread, as you seem to ramble illogically and ignore what went before. You ignore points, you do not focus. You are either unwell or you are trolling. Maybe both.

          I said this at the beginning of this discussion, I think it holds true: There is nothing in what you have said that changes that.

          “The “Yes” lobby seems to be distinguished by what it is against and what it hates, rather than FOR anything in particular”.

          • terregles2

            I am sorry that you feel that anyone who believes in self government for Scotland must be mentally ill or a troll. Of course your opinion is entitled to the same respect as any other.
            Good luck in any future debates that you choose to engage in.

    • MichtyMe

      Perhaps because the Scots have access to slightly more balanced opinions than xenophobia that issues from the London media elite.
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-26278237

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        The trouble is you define a “balanced opinion” as being one which is sympathetic to your viewpoint. Osborne, for example, said nothing unreasonable or threatening. He merely pointed out that the UK would not underwrite any newly issued public debt and that the UK’s central bank would not act as lender of last resort (to the banks), to a foreign country. There is absolutely nothing unbalanced, unreasonable or threatening about this. It is simply a responsible commitment to the people of the UK. Who, in their right mind, would give a guarantee to their next door neighbour, however friendly and trustworthy, without limitation as to amount and duration?

      • Bo Williams

        Isn’t Jim Currie Scottish? That hardly places him as a disinterested observer. Also, I think he was once on the board of RBS. So he obviously has excellent judgement.

        • MichtyMe

          Ok then if you insist here is a Englishman-GBGB271GB271&q=graham+avery+scottish+independence

          • Bo Williams

            Well that’s it settled then. No problem. Except. The President of the European Union says it won’t be so easy. Any country could object. Now if Scotland refuses to accept its share of the UK national debt I can think of one country that might object. Can you?

      • mikewaller

        What rubbish. “Let them get on with it” has been the general approach South of the border. We, on the other hand, have had to deal with a general background of “support anybody but England”, some physical aggression as in vandalising cars with pro-English stickers, and years of patronizing clap-trap from Master Salmond et al such as in the pound being “a millstone round Scotland’s neck”.

        Now, when for the first time UK politicians start pointing out a few basic facts such as the sheer unreasonableness of expecting a post independence pound to be managed in ways that continue to take full account of Scotland’s significantly different national interests, you start carrying on as it it was the Rape of Nankin. It is a well attested finding of social psychology that demonising “them” is potent device in uniting “us”. However, it does not make for very good long-term relationships between the two entities.

    • mikewaller

      I think that what is being shown is that the electoral gold standard, referenda, are in fact usually a case of the partially bind deferring the decision making to the totally blind. The point made by Osborne et al makes perfect sense to anybody who is prepared to think about it rationally. What this article seems to demonstrate is that rationality comes in a very poor last in this kind of event.

      We saw the same kind of thing with the AV referendum several years ago. I am a first-past-the-poster but was shocked by the lies and distortions contained in the anti-AV leaflet. Yet it sure did the business. God help us when it comes to Europe!

      • HJ777

        I couldn’t agree with you more.

        I agree too about the dishonest campaign about AV (I was in favour). It seems that all that matters nowadays is not putting honest positions forward and seeking to persuade, but winning by any method even if it requires lies and distortion to do so.

        • mikewaller

          I think “Europe” is particularly problematic because it is so complex yet so readily present as an largely false vision of a future Britain reemerging as world class sole trader. My guess is that this just might apply to about 30%of the work-force, but, to varying degrees, the rest are going to struggle in a globalised economy. Much the same is likely to be true of most of the rest of the Western world. What will happen next is that democratic pressures will push for increased protectionism and that most certainly will not be a time to be a sole trader.

          Of course, that is just my view; but it is the kind of thing that needs serious examination which it is most unlikely to get. What we ought to be pressing for is speedy version of a Royal Commission that would give folk the pros and cons in a tightly summarised form, before asking them to vote.

      • Makroon

        The only thing those strange plots seem to show is that maybe “the momentum” is with the don’t knows.
        Which is pretty similar to England really, where most people seem profoundly untroubled whichever way Salmond’s big day goes.

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