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Now Scots know: an independent Scotland won’t be Salmond’s ‘same-but-slightly-different’ vision

16 February 2014

16 February 2014

Personally, I’m now waiting for the Queen to get involved.

After all, there’s not much left of Alex Salmond’s independence-but-not-independence blueprint that is left intact. First it was his ‘we’re going to share the pound in a Sterling zone’ claim. That was ruled out by George Osborne (and Ed Balls and Danny Alexander) last week.

Then it was his ‘independence in Europe’ claim, and that was dismantled by Jose Manuel Barroso today. The only pillar of Salmond’s grand ‘everything’s-going-to-remain-the-same-only-different’ scheme which remains in place is a shared monarchy.

So it can’t be long before Her Majesty also intervenes and says: ‘Do you know what? I don’t much like the idea of being monarch of an independent Scotland, I think I’ll opt out of that too.’

For months, the referendum debate has been chugging along, the same old arguments have been explored without much to get anybody really interested. Then, kaboom, in just a few days, everything has changed. Ever since the campaign started two years ago, thousands of Scots have demanded clarity and certainty. What is going to happen to the pounds in our pockets? They have cried. What’s going to happen to our place in Europe? They have asked.

Well, now they know and this is really what has changed in the last few days: Scots have been told that an independent Scotland will actually have to be independent. It will not be the ‘same-but-slightly-different’ vision that Salmond has painted for so long.

An independent Scotland will be independent. It will have to have its own currency – whether or not that can be pegged to the UK pound – and Scotland will be stranded outside the EU, probably for years and possibly even for decades.

The Nationalists could – and did – dismiss this warning when it came from the Chancellor over the currency last week. But now that we have had a cold, hard dose of reality from the President of the European Commission, the truth of the situation is really starting to sink in.

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There has undoubtedly been a feeling in Scotland that voting Yes didn’t carry much of a risk. We would still be attached to the UK, at least in part. We would have the same currency, we would be able to rely on the Bank of England to bail us out if we got into trouble and we would still be in the EU so could trade as normal with everyone.

But now, all that has changed. The independence debate has shifted. It has moved on, substantially so. Everything has become starker and it now should be clear to everyone in Scotland just how high the stakes are.

Mr Barroso’s intervention this morning on the Andrew Marr Show would have been significant at any time but coming, as it did, just after the Chancellor’s dismissal of a shared currency after independence, it had real weight.

Just for the record, let’s have a look at what he actually said: “In case there is a new country, a new state, coming out of a current member state, it will have to apply and – this is very important – the application and the accession to the European Union, will have to be approved by all the other member states of the European Union.”

And he added: “I don’t want to interfere on your referendum here and your democratic discussion here but of course, it will be extremely difficult to get the approval of all the other member states to have a new member coming from another member state.

“We have seen, for instance, Spain is opposing even the recognition of Kosovo so it’s, to some extent, a similar case, because it’s a new country and so I believe it’s going to be extremely difficult, if not impossible, a new member state coming out of one of our member countries, getting agreement of the others.”

Now, there will be many people out there willing to criticise Mr Barroso. After all, he is not a much-loved figure in the UK – being Europe’s top bureaucrat and all.

But if there is someone who knows how Europe works, it is him.

He knows that every country in Europe has its own agenda and, if it suits that country to use its veto on Scottish membership as a bargaining chip for something else, then that is what is going to happen.

This time last week, Scottish independence looked, to many north of the border, like the best of both worlds. Scotland could keep the best things of being British, including the pound and the monarchy, and take on the best things about being independent – making Scottish decisions at a Scottish level.

But now it looks very different. Independence suddenly looks as if it would actually mean what it says on the tin. It would mean estrangement, separation, divorce and, following Mr Barroso’s intervention, isolation as well.

The Nationalists expect a substantial number of Scots to take such umbrage with this supposed ‘bullying’ from the EC and the UK Government that they will join the Yes campaign.

That may be right but there will also be a lot of voters who will go the other way, frightened by the reality of what independence will actually mean.

So, while no-one quite knows how all this is going to pan out in percentage terms for each side, what is certain is that the debate is now definitely more polarised than it has been up until now. It is harsher, it has more edge but it is, at last, rooted in reality.

And that, in the end, is probably no bad thing.


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Show comments
  • ItWillAllBeOverSoon

    The sooner this vote comes, and Salmond sees the reality that MOST SCOTS DON”T WANT INDEPENDENCE, the better. We’re not all English-hating bigots with a historical, shortbread tin chip on our shoulders. That’s the twisted minority. So don’t believe his hype; when Alex Salmond speaks of Scotland, he does not speak for Scotland.

  • KingCuilean

    The 1974 Crone Report written by Prof McCrone, tory treasury civil servant,Completed his Report under new incoming Labour UK government: north sea oil would make an independent Scotland embarrassingly rich, ‘Scotland as rich as Switzerland’ and the Scottish £ the hardest European currency next to the Norwegian kroner. McCrone went on to advise how the UK government should act to ‘Take the wind out of the sails of the SNP’, chief of which was to keep the truth of Scotland’s vast wealth TOP SECRET for over 30 years. The incoming Labour government classified it as top secret whilst they, along with Tories peddled lies on a breathtaking scale, that Scotland could not survive on its own. Does this sound familiar at all? In 1975 McCrone met with senior Westminster politicians and all agreed that his Report was entirely accurate; that the average household income would increase by 30% PER HEAD in an independent Scotland, that Scotland’s economic problems would disappear on independence with new oil wealth. See Telegraph article on 28 Sept 2009 ‘North Sea oil gave Scotland massive budget surplus’. McCrone’s Report only forcibly made public, in 2005, via an SNP Freedom of Information request. In 2012, McCrone advised House of Lords that an independent Scotland right now, would immediately increase its GDP by 20%. So its certainly not too late for Scotland. Quite the opposite.. Why else is DC et al so keen to hang onto so called ‘Skintland’ in the biggest lie perpetrated on the people of this country in the history of the GB? It’ll be interesting to see the current secret Reports on Scotland voting YES in 2014, in circa 30 years time. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

  • Eric McLean

    It’s clear to me that Scotland might as well give up trying to be a country. It is obviously too difficult. The tremendous obstacles placed in front of it and helpfully highlighted by people like Darling and Rennie clearly illustrate the futility and folly of Scotland trying to be like every other country in the world.
    Clearly, plan A is fraught with inordinate difficulties, plan B, C, D, E, and F will be no better. Getting into the EU, And NATO will be impossibly arduous, similarly staying out of the EURO will be impossible.
    It’s clear that we should trust the Lib-Lab-Con coalition. They might not have done much for Scotland in the past, but we can be sure that they have our best interests at heart now.
    So good people of Scotland, give up thinking that you might manage your own affairs and get governments you vote for just like other countries.
    Let’s rely on Westminster looking after us. They will do the right thing for our pensioners, students, NHS, poor and disabled. Westminster will look after our fishing, our farmers, our housing, our employment and our oil. There is no need for anyone in Scotland to worry.
    Please give up these crazy ideas of managing our own finances. It’s too hard and too complicated for Scotland.

    Let’s keep the nuclear weapons as well. It’s not that expensive, just a few billion between all of us. We probably have enough hospitals, teachers and schools in any case.

    The people who have been telling us that we are too wee, too poor and too stupid to be a country, are probably quite right. I mean, these nice MPs in Westminster are only telling us what we cannot do, for our own sake. It’s nothing to do with them losing their jobs or losing Scotland’s oil. Really, they are just trying to help us.

    Best we let them manage sterling, it’s a very complicated thing to manage your own finances.

    • flippit

      Why not try and get the plan right then. Instead of blowing your own trumpet about how great you are and how everyone will be grateful to have you, why not work with them and negotiate from a clever position not an antagonistic one. Stop egging the pudding on the figures and the oil. Get real. There are things a new state can do by itself straightaway and others it can’t, get the facts, get people with influence in right places on your side. Get smart. Work out a way that genuinely benefits others as well as yourselves, don’t just tell them you know what’s good for them. Alternatively be glad and grateful that you’re in a union that is peaceful, prosperous and has given in far too much to your feelings of inferiority. Stop feeling sorry for yourself

      • Eric McLean

        I will try to do better, Flippit.

        I will sell the trumpet and stop egging the pudding.

  • Eric McLean

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

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

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

    • David Booth.

      Alex Salmond not a liar???
      What about the legal advice he said he had taken over the EU, then spent thousands of pounds defending a FOI request.
      He then sent his little lapdog Nicola to apologise to Holyrood and admit no advice was sought. Not only a liar but a coward to boot!

  • Eric McLean

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

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

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

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

  • Eric McLean

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • emiller7

    Darien scheme!

  • emiller7

    Perhaps the Scots need another Darken scheme to remind them why they joined the union in the first place!

  • Ronald Whitehand

    Can someone please explain how the House of Lords will function should Scotland get independence. Currently the HoL scrutinises legislation for all the UK with members of the Lords involved no matter where they live in the UK. Post independence would any Lords domiciled in Scotland not be part of HoL or what? If Lords from North of the Border do become unwelcome in HoL does that have a knock on effect onto the constitution and The Queen’s involvement in Scotland?
    This is a big issue that needs resolving.

  • http://www.DNotice.org/ Dean Jackson

    The article reads, “But now it looks very different. Independence suddenly looks as if it would actually mean what it says on the tin. It would mean estrangement, separation, divorce and, following Mr Barroso’s intervention, isolation as well.”

    For those of you not in the know, the EU will soon collapse (Moscow & Allies have already tasked the implosion of the EU, or haven’t you noticed the dire economic situation in the EU yet?):

    “Editor’s Note: The phrases ‘From the Atlantic to the Urals’, ‘From the Atlantic to Vladivostok’ and ‘From Vancouver to Vladivostok’ are interchangeable in the strategists’ lexicon. In the course of his Nobel Peace Prize Lecture, delivered in Oslo in June 1992, Gorbachev said: ‘Our [sic] vision of the European space from the Atlantic to the Urals is not that of a closed system. Since it includes the Soviet Union [sic], which reaches to the shores of the Pacific, it goes beyond nominal geographical boundaries’. Note that Gorbachev, who had been out of office for six months, referred to the Soviet Union, not Russia. In an interview on Moscow Television on 19 November 1991, Eduard Shevardnadze continued speaking as though he was still Soviet Foreign Minister: ‘I think that the idea of a Common European Home, the building of a united Europe, and I would like to underline today, of great Europe, the building of Great Europe, great, united Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals, from the Atlantic to Vladivostok, including all our territory, most probably a European-Asian space, this project is inevitable. I am sure that we will come to building a united military space as well. To say more precisely: we will build a united Europe, whose security will be based on the principles of collective security. Precisely, collective security’. These statements by key implementers of the strategy reflect the central strategic objective of asserting ‘irreversible’ Russian/Soviet hegemony over Eurasia, thus establishing the primary geographical component of the intended World Government.” — ‘The Perestroika Deception’, by KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn.

    http://www.spiritoftruth.org/The_Perestroika_Deception.pdf

    and here’s more on the upcoming “Atlantic to Vladivostok” union…

    http://www.russkiymir.ru/russkiymir/en/publications/interview/interview0004.html

    When the new “Atlantic to Vladivostok” union materializes, Communist strategists will have achieved two goals, (1) the further isolation of the United States in the world; and (2) the disbanding of NATO.

    The Communists want a United Kingdom should Scotland NOT want to join the EU upon independence, however I want a Union Jack with the cross of Saint Andrew on it to destroy the still existing USSR…

    Take a look at these pictures out of Russia…

    http://www.airliners.net/photo/Russia—Air/Antonov-An-12BK-PPS/1584360/L/

    and

    http://www.defencetalk.com/pictures/su-47-berkut-russia/p6041-su-47-berkut.html

    Then for Russian Naval vessels, take a look at what’s still appended to the bow (enlarge picture)…

    http://flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com/2013/06/08/9225/

    Those pictures were taken in 2009, 2004 and 2013, respectively, not before the “collapse” of the USSR. As you can see, the distinct Soviet era nationality emblem of the Communist Party…the distinct-designed Red Star… is still present. That political symbol of the Soviet government would have been immediately removed in early 1992 if the “collapse” of the USSR were genuine. As the legal emblem of the USSR and the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, the distinctive Red Star nationality emblem can only be present if Communists are still in power in Russia and the other 14 republics that made up the USSR.

    Take a look at what’s still on Aeroflot aircraft…

    http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.airplane-pictures.net/images/uploaded-images/2013-8/31/316500.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.airplane-pictures.net/photo/316500/vp-bdn-aeroflot-airbus-a319/&h=853&w=1200&sz=342&tbnid=LpEalOG0f8GrcM:&tbnh=101&tbnw=142&zoom=1&usg=__G489DWC7zsP5bnmGg5-Pi0QB8xs=&docid=xUpoGn9FHxnMDM&sa=X&ei=evRRUtGuJNGs4APLsoDICg&ved=0CC4Q9QEwAA

    Note the Soviet emblem of the hammer & sickle stenciled on the Aeroflot aircraft’s fuselage!

    Now, for the main paper of the Russian Ministry of Defense…

    http://www.redstar.ru/

    “Krasnaya Zvezda” is Russian (no kidding!) for “Red Star”, the official newspaper of Soviet and later Russian Ministry of Defense. The paper’s official designation is, “Central Organ of the Russian Ministry of Defense.” Note the four Soviet emblems next to the still existing Soviet era masthead, one of which pictures Lenin’s head, the man who removed the independent Russian nation from the map, supplanting it within the new nation called the USSR (the USSR being the nation that was to one day include all the nations of the Earth, incorporation taking place either by violent revolution or deception)! Those Soviet emblems and Lenin’s head can’t still be next to the masthead of the Russian Ministry of Defense’s newspaper due to their association with the Soviet Union and its ideals of world revolution; the nations of the world constituting the Soviet Union!

    The fraudulent “collapse” of the USSR (and East Bloc) couldn’t have been pulled off until both political parties in the United States (and political parties elsewhere in the West) were co-opted by Moscow & Allies, which explains why verification of the “collapse” was never undertaken by the West, such verification being (1) a natural administrative procedure (since the USSR wasn’t occupied by Western military forces); and (2) necessary for the survival of the West. Recall President Reagan’s favorite phrase, “Trust, but verify”. Notice that not one political party in the West demanded verification, and the media failed to alert your attention to this fact, including the “alternative” media. When determining whether the “former” USSR is complying with arms control treaties, what does the United States do to confirm compliance? Right, the United States sends into the “former” USSR investigative teams to VERIFY compliance, yet when it’s the fate of the West that’s at stake should the collapse of the USSR be a ruse, what does the United States do to confirm the collapse? Nothing!

    In addition, the KGB agent Quislings that controlled the Russian Orthodox Church before the “collapse” of the USSR are to this day still in control. They were never identified and thrown out of that institution after the “collapse” of the USSR. The same is true for all other religious institutions in the other 14 republics of the USSR, including East Bloc nations, proving not only co-option of those religious institutions, but that the “collapses” of the East Bloc and USSR were disinformation operations:

    http://sofiaecho.com/2012/01/17/1747052_eleven-out-of-15-members-of-bulgarian-orthodox-churchs-holy-synod-worked-for-communist-state-security

    For those unfamiliar with this subject, the “collapse” of the USSR in 1991 was a strategic ruse under the “Long-Range Policy” (LRP). What is the LRP, you ask? The LRP is the “new” strategy all Communist nations signed onto in 1960 to defeat the West with. The last major disinformation operation under the LRP was the “collapse” of the USSR in 1991.

    The next major disinformation operation under the LRP will be the fraudulent collapse of the Chinese Communist government. When that occurs, Taiwan will be stymied from not joining the mainland. This is why China is buying up gold all over the word. It is believed that China currently has 3,000 [metric] tonnes of gold. When China has 6,000 [metric] tonnes it will have the minimum gold reserves necessary for its currency, the yuan, to replace the United States’ dollar as the world’s reserve currency, that is after the fraudulent collapse of the Chinese Communist government (the United States gold reserves is approximately 8,133.5 [metric] tonnes).

    For more on the “Long-Range Policy”, read KGB defector Major Anatoliy Golitsyn’s books, “New Lies for Old” and “The Perestroika Deception” , the only Soviet era defector to still be under protective custody in the West:

    https://archive.org/details/GolitsynAnatoleTheNewLiesForOldOnes

    http://www.spiritoftruth.org/The_Perestroika_Deception.pdf

    The following is an excellent brief three-page introduction to Golitsyn and his significance in understanding Communist long-range strategy:

    http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/archived/looking.htm

    By the way, EU President Jose Manuel Barroso is a well known Marxist, and therefore an agent of the Cominform.

    • allymax bruce

      Interesting comment, Dean; but please see what I said to Pootles, in the article recently.

      Osborne nixes currency union; Salmond hops around claiming it’s only a flesh wound

  • mightymark

    I suspect Salmond could expect to get the Queen, the UN and maybe even the Commonwealth too. Fine, all it will show is that he has got the trappings of statehood/independence but (see sterling, EU and as I argue below, NATO) very little of the substance.

  • David B

    The EU has taught us one thing – Political vanity projects make poor economic decisions. The Independence is a project based on a political dream. The SNP have spent months trying to prove it will have no economic impact, or that everyone else will have to bend to Scottish will after a “yes” to independence.

    The SNP are learning the hard way – just because it is in an independent Scotland’s best interest that is not enough to make it happen. It must be in all parties best interests, and independence is only in the interests of SNP.

  • Vincent McDee

    And this article will increase Spectator sales in Scotland how?

  • Terence Hale

    Hi,
    Case against pound in Scotland is. That a currency from one sovereign
    land belongs to the other is impractical as seen with the euro and is a
    problem. The Bank of England’s job is to look after the pound, interest rates
    and money flow in the interest of England which could happen that this could
    not be in the interest of Scotland. Like Mr. Salmond eating a Haggis and not
    paying.

  • Robert_Eve

    Why would a free country wish to join the EU?

  • Dr Lisa Boehm

    Borrosso’s intervention was rhetorical. It is without legal substance. His term appears to be up, in any case, and by all accounts his most likely replacement will not be so self-indulgent.

    But, yes, by injecting such symbolic violence into what has been hitherto a series of positionings, a certain amount of polarisation has probably taken place. It was evident, for example, in the number of individuals who publicly responded that they were were now committed to Scottish Independence. What we have not seen, and what Mr McDonnell is forced to speculate upon, is the number who were forced towards the negative position. If I were a strategist in the (rather pedestrian) machiavellian mode of the NO campaign, I should be be busy producing some slyly worded opinion polls, that confirmed some movement to the NO position, and thereby retained control of the so-called ‘media narrative’ that is so willingly promoted by sympathertic journalists.

    • Dougie

      Legal substance … the EU … What’s legal in the EU is whatever the Commission and the French and German governments agree it is. The Spanish Government were very put out when the Catalan separatists appeared at a YES rally last year. Don’t expect the Spanish to make things easy for an newly-independent Scotland.

    • andagain

      On the face of it, an independent Scotland would have the same legal claim to being a member of the EU as it would have to being a permanent member of the Security Council of the United Nations. That is, none.

      The UK is a member of those organisations. An independent Scotland would not be a part of the UK, so why should it automatically be a member of them?

  • mightymark

    “The Nationalists expect a substantial number of Scots to take such umbrage with this supposed ‘bullying’ from the EC and the UK Government that they will join the Yes campaign.”

    I think what will happen is that there may indeed be a sense of hostility or having been bullied but there is plenty of time for that to wear off or be absorbed before staring reality in the face and deciding the Nats game isn’t worth the candle.

    The guiding principle here is that Scotland is not (except perhaps in the minds of wilder shore SNP fantasists) an “oppressed” nation and so the onus is entirely on Salmond and Co to show things would be better with “independence” – whatever that means in this context – rather than worse. This week has shown what a tough burden that will be to discharge.

    Coming soon – how NATO (a nuclear backed alliance) must surely reject membership of a state that seeks to undermine that nuclear backing.

  • Q46

    “But if there is someone who knows how Europe works, it is him.”

    Indeed if Scotland becomes independent and stays in the EU, that would open the door for the other regions who currently claim independence or who who might be inspired so to do.

    That would move Government and power closer to the People and away not just from centralised National control, be Brussels central control of the Commission and the ‘European Project’… and that would never do.

    Barosso’s opinions are based in self-preservation.

  • David Booth.

    The SNP remind me of the concerned mother who complains to the Colonel of her sons regiment on passing out parade that “The whole army are out of step except for my wee Alex”

  • Tony Quintus

    If the Indie-nats think this is bullying wait until they get a real dose of reality. The fact of the matter is that Westminster will dictate the terms under which Scotland becomes an independent nation. In the event of a “Yes” vote Salmond will take what he is offered or he will get N O T H I N G! And I do mean nothing, the Crown (which rules the UK, not westminster) will maintain ownership of all the assets which a national government would usually control, including the oil rights Salmond wishes to rely on to fund his Fiefdom. Yes, Scotland would have no national debt, but they wouldn’t have anything else either, not even their own Parliament building, and you can bet the terms that they are offered will be in no way fair, because the Westminster government, whatever brand they may be by that time, will have no incentive to offer Scotland preferential terms, in fact it would be political suicide to do so.

    • Waldo Tim

      More nonsense!!

      • Tony Quintus

        It took you 2 months to come up with that?

  • serialluncher

    It makes no sense to be in a currency union with Scotland.
    SNP’s tax and spend projections are based on the oil price staying high. And the oil price appears to be due a big drop given all other commodities have corrected. We shouldn’t take that gamble.

    And the SNP has threatened not to pay their debt. Is this going to be regular threat every time the SNP doesn’t get its way with rUK taxpayers? It could make our relationship with Scotland poisonous. The SNP have shown their colours. Better not get involved to begin with.

    • Andy

      That is the problem. Salmond is never going to agree to give up enough Fiscal & Political sovereignty nor form a credible Banking union to make a currency union work. The reason is that at the heart of Scottish Nationalism is hate England and the English.

      • Waldo Tim

        ha ha ha, that’s why the SNP has English born people in its party then I suppose, cos the SNP are anti English,

  • Roy

    To see an independent Scotland on another footing. There will be many countries who will want to sell their product to Scotland as well as to buy from Scotland. Despite what area they call themselves. There will be many who wish to set-up industry in Scotland, especially after a much reduced tax system and incentives are installed to easily compete with England and the EU. The new value of the new Scottish Pound will no doubt be set to its advantage. Scotland will be free in more ways than one, and the freedom from Westminster, with careful management, will be the brightest star of them all.

    • Les

      That’s what William Paterson said!

      • Roy

        Scotland and its people have always had to seek salvation for themselves. They could never rely on the English for any help and assistants, more so going back into Paterson’s time. The only thing going against the modern day Scotland is the debilitating social welfare system that has handed out free food and keep for doing exactly nothing. The way to spoil a people who are quite capable of hard work, is just that. A free Scotland will have the unenviable task of cleaning up the streets from what is the feeble attempt of the UK management to keep order and better prospects of employment at the bottom end that needs it.

    • David Booth.

      And Roy of the Rovers will win the cup again!

    • Bonkim

      Don’t forget the fundamentals of locating industry – transport to the market. an independent Scotland would be at a distinct disadvantage in terms of that.

      Shipping goods from Scottish ports will be expensive as also transhipment through English ports. Scotland’s economy is tied to the rest of Britain like it or not.

      Scottish industry (ship building, and heavy engineering) had historically developed servicing England and the colonies and to harness its lower labour costs. Much of that is now gone. Scottish banking and insurance have largely depended on the British market.

      • Roy

        Necessity breeds invention. Scotland has many fine ports ideally situated on the east and west coasts, not too far distant from any city. The fishing industry would have to be renegotiated with the advantage going in Scotland’s favour and a big hole in the EU’s share. Scottish banking and insurance can be changed overnight, no problem. Scottish agriculture and tourism will see a resurgence once priorities are reinserted. The run is all down hill for Scotland.

        • Bonkim

          Yes Roy – necessity will make people and politicians resourceful. Good luck.

  • Hexhamgeezer

    In essence we have Alex saying, “Independence is what I say it is”

    Which is patent bullshot.

  • Mike

    Barrosso and his cronies know full well that automatically letting Scotland be re-admitted into the EU after independence would cause a major shake up and ferment civil disobedience or worse in certain parts of Europe. Forget about self determination or democracy, that’s the last thing the EU wants or really believes in and for certain member states its no different !

    England has played a blinder here by letting Scotland have its head and decide for themselves whilst highlighting the pit falls of leaving. Unlike the EU, Barosso & Spain, we haven’t bullied Scotland into staying in the UK as why do we need to bully them when others are much better at it.

    If Scotland could automatically be re-admitted then Catalonia and The Basque Region of Spain would demand independence very forcibly and even Belgium could see itself demanding to be split in two. They’re the most obvious ones but there are other separatist regions who would also demand to be independent within the EU.

    Given the parlous state of the Euro in many countries, I hardly think that Barrosso or Van Rompuy want to see a fragmentation of member states that could double in a matter of a decades and the financial basket case of Spain that is barely holding it together, would probably crash if the relatively rich region of Catalonia achieved full independence.

    Barosso has no choice (for his own self interests) but to back bullying governments that are against regions breaking away even though its undemocratic. If Scotland achieved entry and others were refused, in all likelihood it would be a recipe for civil war in some member states and then you could kiss the EU good bye !

    • HJ777

      In what way is the UK government “bullying”?

      I thought all the threats were coming from the SNP about what it would do if the rest of the UK refused to go along with its currency plans.

      A nation has the right to make its own decisions about currency. Salmond and his cronies are arrogant and hypocritical wanting Scotland to be independent but to deny independence on currency decisions to the country they want to leave.

      • Mike

        I didn’t say the UK government was bullying Scotland, I was blaming the EU and Spain who have issued real threats if they vote for independence. That said, quite why they are interfering in another countries internal referendum says a lot about the EU and its members and not in a good light.

        I’m not even denying them sterling as they can continue to use their Scottish pounds however they can’t and wont be underwritten by a different country (England, Wales & NI) as they’ll have their own fiscal policies. If they do well, their pounds will be worth more than ours and vice versa.

      • Waldo Tim

        Any country can use the pound, the isle of man uses the pound its not in any union or part of england its a crown dependency. So Scotland can use the pound I know its hard to get your thick heads around the idea of the Scots using the pound

        • HJ777

          Where did I (or anyone) suggest that a seceded Scotland couldn’t use the pound? Anyone anywhere can use the pound if they please – it is an internationally traded currency.

          That is not what is being discussed. The SNP is proposing a formal currency union, and to set up the mechanisms required for a currency union all the parties that would be involved have to agree. Salmond seems to think that the democratically elected government of the rest of the UK should not have the right to decide its own policy on its own currency – whereas a seceded Scotland would. And he is prepared to back that with threats.

          Do you not understand the difference between simply using a currency and a currency union?

          You are the one with the thick head, it would seem.

    • BarkingAtTreehuggers

      You fail to grasp that splitting Belgium/Spain would not expand the realm, welcoming Scotland in Frankfurt would. In this context Barroso’s outpourings would have to be carefully reassessed.

      • Mike

        Please expand ?

        • BarkingAtTreehuggers

          It is obvious to me that this will ultimately be about the rebalancing of currency zones. The Sterlingzone is too small and does not play host to a sufficient number of punters to bail out the massive banking losses incurred – ever.

          Currency zones with a 400m population backing it (never mind a billion in India or China) have an increased chance of success, purely based on ‘collatoral’ which is in effect its workforce.

          In that context a Belgian/Spanish split is unwelcome as it will not advance the above – an independent Scotland ultimately joining the Euro will, especially in the context of its vast mineral assets.
          I understand the Eurozone is seeking that commitment from Scotland as we speak.

          • Mike

            Despite being significantly smaller than the Eurozone we appear to be in better shape than France since the crash and compared with the PIIGS its no contest. Quite rightly we shouldn’t play host to profligate countries like the PIIGS in the Eurozone as its their slf created problem and not ours.

            Scotland and its vast mineral assets, pleeze ! The gas is running out and the oil is still more expensive than middle east oil and is light crude only. Norway which as far more oil/gas assets has been much more canny and is keeping them for themselves outside the EU and the Eurozone.

            So this commitment is another of Euroland confidence trick to steal from Scotland what is theirs in exchange for admittance to the EU much the way the Eurobankers control Greece.

            Just who is the real enemy here ? England who has bailed out Scottish banks and fought alongside Scotsmen against the European hordes or the Eurocrats bearing gifts that are worthless !

            • BarkingAtTreehuggers

              I will only address the last point: England has done no such thing. It is the Scottish taxpayer that has forfeit his/her rights to direct control of his/her resources. It is the Scottish taxpayer who bailed out banking activity in the Square Mile. Everyone, including the Treasury in Westminster, agree that that is the case and that the BoE will continue to honour all obligations incurred by London-based activity.

              The unique opportunity of a lifetime presents itself to the Scots and they will take it.

              • Mike

                Very strange indeed.

                I used to do communications diagnostic work for RBOS & BOS back in the 80’s and would you believe it, they were actually based in Edinburgh and they were the very same banks that went bust.

                Wasn’t it that idiot Fred the Shred (another Scotsman) who caused RBOS to fail and I don’t recall him living in the square mile of London.

                • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                  Boy oh boy, what do you know…there is an RBS office in Edinburgh.

                  Ever the beacon of wisdom aren’t you.

                • Mike

                  No doubt those ‘palatial’ head offices I used to visit are now owned by the English tax payers.

                  Maybe we’ll have a fire sale when you get your independence or trade them for whiskey as there’s little else of value up there now the natural resources are getting depleted !

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      Northern Italy and its ‘Northern Alliance’ for example.

      • Mike

        Thanks, I forgot that one and its a very large separatist area. I’m sure the establishment in the EU want to hang onto the status quo rather than doubling the number of countries in the EU through break away regions and they’ll undemocratically support existing national governments in preventing that.

        Its interesting that the longest running ‘true’ democracy in Europe namely the UK is the only union that doesn’t have an serious problems in letting regions go ‘native’. I suspect its because financially it won’t be major problem for us unlike Italy or Spain if their regions split off.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          Agreed. Why we are indulging in this act of self-destruction is beyond reason.

  • Conway

    Surely it’s best that these things are out in the open. It would be dreadful if people voted for independence on false information. Now they know, voters can put their cross in the box in full knowledge of what they’re doing. That, I would have thought, can only be a good thing. After all, we don’t want a repeat of the 1975 referendum when we were told we were voting on a common market which would lead to no loss of sovereignty.

    • CortUK

      But it is nothing but bullying to offer an opinion or rule in your own interests, remember?

      • Conway

        Then surely the Scots Nats are bullying, too, because they want what’s in their interests not anybody else’s. Doesn’t it work both ways?

        • CortUK

          That was me agreeing with you this time. Score draw! ;o)

    • Daniel Maris

      I think the disinformation is all the other way. I very much doubt that Scotland would be excluded from the EU. It would be an absurdity – including Albania but excluding Scotland. I suspect some compromise would be cobbled together – probably some special treaty to keep the show on the road, before Scotland was offered re-admission.

      • Mike

        Albania isn’t really an issue as its a new country requesting to join the EU and member states can pretty much do as they like without rocking the EU boat.

        Scotland is the problem as its already part of the EU within the union but will have to be re-admitted if the union is dissolved. Re-admitting Scotland in itself is not really an issue either despite naysayers in the EU BUT it would open a floodgate of other regions already in the EU (within their own ‘union’) demanding independence as well. That is the issue that Spain and others will not countenance and they don’t want Scotland as an example of painless re-admittance.

  • CortUK

    “Sterling is as much ours as the rest of the UK’s!”

    Funny how that works for the currency but not the oil, isn’t it?

    • MichtyMe

      Oil is inherently a part of a territory, sterling a a joint creation.

      • CortUK

        That territory would be the UK right? Borders are a creation – you know, where they actually exist.

        Try again.

        • MichtyMe

          Today that territory is the UK, in future, it could be different sovereign territory.

          • CortUK

            “Today that territory is the UK.”

            Exactly. So today the oil is the UKs. And yet the Nats have spent nearly 40 years accusing the English of “stealing” Scotland’s oil.

            Try harder.

            PS And one day the Shetlands could have a border so the Edinburgh metropolitan elites hundreds of miles away can’t steal all the Brent crude to fund their pet projects in the south…

            • MichtyMe

              Technically incorrect, islands do not generate a continental shelf and the oil is in the CS of the adjacent land mass. Reference the Channel Isles they do not create an exclusive economic zone for themselves or the UK, it is France that has the rights out to the centre of the channel.

              • CortUK

                Fortunately for dozens and dozens of states, borders are not defined by continental shelves.

                • MichtyMe

                  This is governed by international conventions, the Exclusive Economic Zone of Scotland would include almost all the oil producing locations.

                • CortUK

                  I didn’t say anything about Scotland’s oil. I said Shetland’s. It could choose to separate into a sovereign state with its own border and EEZ, and keep Brent crude from being stolen by a distant government in a different land.

                • MichtyMe

                  As explained previously, islands do not have an EEZ, if you doubt what I have put to you there is plenty information out there which can be swiftly accessed for reference.

                • CortUK

                  Tell that to Cyprus. And all the other island states with an EEZ. According to the UN, that is.

                • serialluncher

                  Islands in general do not have an EEZ. Pardon? You don’t follow Falklands much do you?

                • serialluncher

                  The Economist has just reported that Shetland and Orkney would be entitled to a third of the oil. Try harder.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  There, there.Of course it would. But perhaps not.

            • Derick Tulloch

              Well, you can be sure the Englands won’t be getting any of it.

              Partition: what a spiffing wheeze. How did it go last time?

      • Andy

        Sterling is not a ‘joint creation’. Sterling was the ancient currency of the Kingdom of England. It is now the oldest currency still in use.

        • Les

          Correct. England allowed Scotland to use its currency. The central bank is called the Bank of England and is based in the City of London and always has been. The notes have “Bank of England” printed on them.

      • serialluncher

        Not if you leave it isn’t. rUK taxpayers who would be providing the guarantee are not a joint creation.

      • John Ruddy

        Joint creation? I think you will find that Sterling was already in place in 1707, and it was Scotland that was required to use it?

      • Two Bob

        What if New Zealand wanted to join the Euro?

      • Andy

        Actually Sterling existed before Scotland. It was created by King Offa (757-796) who was King of Mercia, one of the kingdoms of England.

        • Waldo Tim

          Wikipedia eat your heart out!!!

    • Conway

      Sterling is the UK currency. Once Scotland has left the UK, it has left the currency.

      • CortUK

        Er, aware of that. Not the point I was making. I was quoting the SNP.

        • Conway

          I was just backing you up. The SNP hasn’t a leg to stand on with this one.

          • CortUK

            Gotcha.

  • Andrew Leslie

    If you will forgive me, while I am here I would just like to try to refute the claim that so often arises (not least from Osborne) that a currency union would mean rUK being liable to bail out RBS (or any other bank) again if it went bust. The ‘lender of last resort’ business is rather more complicated than a matter of where a bank’s headquarters happen to be. I’m copying Sir Philip Hampton’s evidence to the House of Lords Economic Affairs committee: It is worth reading before you believe everything you hear:

    “Q759
    Lord Hollick: It would seem that, absent a lender of last
    resort, RBS, based in Scotland, would be at a severe competitive disadvantage in the marketplace.

    Sir Philip Hampton: It would depend on the arrangements. We should not
    think that lender of last resort facilities relate only to the top company in any bank.
    For instance, at the time of the financial crisis in late 2008,
    because we have substantial operations in the United States, we used
    the US Federal Reserve as a lender of last resort, providing
    short-term liquidity when the market completely dried up. The Fed
    gave us lender of last resort facilities amounting to many tens of
    billions of dollars. That was because we had a US banking licence and
    we were operating in the United States. A central bank does not want
    its banking system to collapse, so it acts for all the banks that are
    operating in that country.

    We have used many central banks as a lender of last resort for the many
    operations that we have in the many jurisdictions in which we
    operate. That is a key part of what central banks do in the
    jurisdictions that they control. Just because there might be an
    independent Scottish Government does not mean that all our lender of
    last resort facilities would disappear; they would be continued.”

    • Bonkim

      yes but the Bank of England will decide what risks it will accept and will be controlled by its political masters. That has to be with agreement of the affected Central Bank.

      Many countries use the US$. Scotland can continue with the English Pound but under English political control.

  • Andrew Leslie

    Strange to think that the Spectator was once considered to be a magazine for thoughtful and disapassionate opinion formers. I find scant evidence of thoughtful analysis here.
    Consider the question: why is Scotland seeking independence? What is so wrong with the union that one partner to it is seeking to leave? What has brought this state of affairs about?
    On currency: Many here are still coming up with the myth that Scotland is subsidised. It simply is not true. We are perfectly capable of managing an economy with, or without the pound. A currency union, however, makes sense on numerous different levels. It may be worth analysing what the effect on sterling would be of losing oil & gas revenues from the balance of payments; what the effect of £500m transaction costs will have on rUK business; whether inflicting added exchange risk and currency commission on ordinary consumers is really necessary…
    On Europe: As others have pointed out, Barosso has his own agenda and does not speak for the Council of Ministers. The political and legal entanglements of Scotland having to leave the EU overnight are so great that it is hard to see any cogent reason why the EU should not fight tooth and nail to prevent it. Everything from the rights of EU citizens to the effect on the Spanish fishing fleet is involved, not to mention there being no mechanism for forcing a country out of the EU against its will. The EU is a pragmatic organisation. Finding a political solution to this situation will not be beyond it.

    • HookesLaw

      Why is Scotland seeking indepedence? Because one particular party on a minority of the popular vote gained power in a devolved assembly. There is no evidence that the people of Scotland want independence. No other political party supports independence.
      Scotland is entitled to ask itself does it want independence – in so doing it should face the facts when it is told what that independence might mean. And can I say to you that as a citizen of the rest of the UK there is no way I would vote for a party proposing a currency union. That is my right and you need to wake up and admit it.

    • manonthebus

      ‘Consider the question: why is Scotland seeking independence?’ Well I have another question: “Would Scotland be even considering independence if it did not expect to have 90% of North Sea Oil and gas?”

      • CortUK

        The gas is mostly in English waters actually. That’s why you very rarely hear Scots whine about “North Sea oil and gas”.

        What’s theirs is theirs, and what’s ours is theirs too.

    • Albert Tatlock

      Scotland isn’t seeking independence, some people in Scotland are seeking to persuade Scots to make Scotland an independent country.

      There have always been Scots who wanted Scotland to be independent and there always will be.

    • No1important

      Also Scotland is not in the EU so it is not being ejected, the treaties exist between the UK and the EU and Scotland’s independence is a move for it to break away from the UK and therefore it would not have any treaties with the EU and would have to apply for membership. As Spain has the Basque region wanting to break away from it against it’s will, Barroso is only giving his expertise on the likelihood that Spain would agree and set a precedent that it’s own separatist region would latch on to. The pro camp can point fingers, call it nonsense and a bluff, but it is because they can not take the truth nor do they wish to tell the truth to the Scottish people.

      • Mike

        I think Spain is much more concerned with the richer Catalonia region breaking away as that could do far more economic damage to Spain than any resurgence of ETA terrorism from the basque region.

        England could easily survive the economic consequences of writing off Scottish banking debts as it would be a one off write down but for Madrid, losing Catalonia they would bleed money each and every year.

      • allymax bruce

        Wrong, because the 1707 Treaty of Union Act, is exactly what it says, a union between two equal partners, then when Scotland votes Yes in 6 months, and becomes independent again, both iScotland, and rUK will be either IN, or OUT, of the EU.
        Why do you think UK PM David Cameron is fervently negotiating with Brussells right now?

    • Les

      I’m not British. I have no dog in this fight. And it is a fight, because the nationalists have made it one. This is my unbiased observation.
      Although not British, I am a bit of an Anglo/Scoto phile. I’ve read more English and Scottish history than I can remember off the top of my head, but do forgive me if I get any of the details wrong.
      The Scots and the English are stubbornly proud peoples, but what has impressed me through my reading of history is how stubborn pride has worked out for the Scots in particular. Not well. The Darian adventures – I use the plural because there were two, followed by two further failed attempts to compete with the East India Company, and to get into the international slave trade. Those were all just – stupid. Uninformed, going purely on the word of a sailor who barely survived to tell his tall tale and send a thousand colonists off to their deaths in a territory already claimed and occupied by the Spanish, then expecting to be bailed out by the English was stupid. Hiding the reality of the situation from the people in order to drum up more money to send another 1,000 colonists to their ugly deaths – I think only 200 survived the return journey – even more stupid. Now destitute having hit up every man and woman in Scotland for every coin, they kept saying “We will do it again. We just need another scheme to raise some cash”, sinking every last coin into one last ship then entrusting it to a couple of charlatans who were never seen again, and in a final act of desperation the likes never seen in Las Vegas, “We just need to make some money…” leased a ship which floundered with its cargo.
      The delusions of grandeur were ridiculous enough, but the motivations were even worse. Because Scotland did not want to merely compete with England. Scotland wanted to beat England. Scotland equated its own success with England’s failure, and that is how it was sold to the masses. “We will be rich, but best of all – we will make England poor”.
      Most outrageous of all, Scotland blamed England for its failures. Because England didn’t help Scotland pursue its goals. England didn’t break its tenuous alliance with Spain when Scotland wanted it to, in order that Scotland could colonize Spanish territory. English vessels in the area did not stop at Darien to trade with the Scots, because the Scots had nothing of value to trade. England didn’t re-supply the Darien ships at Port Royal because Scotland had no money for the supplies. They expected to be supplied for free by a country they were extremely hostile to. England didn’t allow Scotland to encroach on the East India Company’s exclusivity, because why should they? Yet Scotland expected England to just give up its exclusive rights so that Scotland could get a foothold, with nothing in return but animosity. And finally, when an English ship innocently made port in Scotland as Scottish ships had done in England, a mob kidnapped and executed the crew.
      I look at some of the comments from nationalists here and elsewhere, and imagine it’s the 1690s all over again. You are not as concerned about your own EU membership as the prospect of the rest of the UK losing theirs – you equate the UK’s potential loss as Scotland’s gain. You rub your hands with glee at the prospect of the UK losing something, like that would be more than adequate compensation for Scotland losing something. You repeatedly say everything is “ours” – “our oil”, “our pound”, “our Queen”. You have threatened to walk away from the debts you have incurred just like that, because the prospect of bankrupting the UK is more attractive to you than anything.
      You hate England so much that you would burn your own house down for the pleasure of seeing theirs burn, too.
      I, and other Americans, are watching this ugly spectacle with shock and dismay at how a nation of people can be so horrible and petty and infantile.
      That is not to mention your total disregard of anything anyone with authority says that does not fit your glorious Darien-like fantasy of world domination. The former President of the EU Commission, an Italian, said in 2004 an independent Scotland would have to re-apply for EU membership. You dismissed him as an outgoing President or pretended he didn’t say it. Then the EU Commission’s official spokesman, a Frenchman, repeated this in 2012. You dismissed him as “just a spokesman who obviously knows nothing”. Then the current (Portuguese) EU Commission President repeated this, in an official letter and a television interview in December 2012 added he foresaw a problem with Spain and Catalonia. You dismissed him then, calling him a Spaniard, saying he didn’t know what he was talking about, and now he repeats this and you double down on your rhetoric. You dismiss the statements of the Governor of the Bank of England and the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer who both said there will be no currency union. You claim they do not know what they’re talking about. We have heard Alex Salmond, Nicola Sturgeon and one other SNP person shout and rant and rave that nobody knows anything except them and the people they have employed to back them up. The rest of the world is watching you guys and we think you are all stark raving, foaming at the mouth nuts.
      As the national of a country which fought for its independence from Britain over 200 years ago, I say this to you. You want independence? Then have independence. Do what we did. Make a clean break and start from scratch, build your own institutions, start your own currency, write your own constitution, build your own military, negotiate your own trading alliances. Stop living in fantasy-land and grow up.

      • Mike

        Excellent summary !

      • Bonkim

        Don’t be surprised if California or Texas go to become separate countries if/when the US as presently constituted fails to meet expectations of those states.

        History brings human groups together through wars, revolutions or voluntarily – equally when circumstances change people have a habit of reassessing such unions.

        The British Empire united the warring tribes of Britain together in a joint project. The Scots benefited immensely and played a significant part militarily, and in developing technology and education. For a relatively small population the Scots feature high in world achievement.

        I have no doubt they will succeed in making Scotland work if they choose the independent route. Size is not everything in geo-politics or economy. If Scots decide to go solo, this discussion would be on different principles – reality will set in and all will try to make the new situation work.

      • Andy

        Well said. Now put your tin hat on and expect buckets of bile.
        The problem with Scottish Nationalism is that at its core is hate – hate of the English. It is such a pity.

  • asalord
  • Jez

    You’re making me want to weep into my haggis I’ve purchased from Tesco in solidarity with you kilt wearing highlanders.

    Surely you cannot be so weak as to crumble already in the face of the Internationalists juggernaught?

    Its as though you have no concept of the small number of power elite that you must bow to as they annihilate any semblance of national, ethnic or cultural identity.

    Your bid for independence will dent their projected profits.

    How dare you! London is the new social model, take it……. or take it!

  • asalord

    “Now Scots know: an independent Scotland won’t be Salmond’s ‘same-but-slightly-different’ vision”

    Now Scots know what England really thinks about them. Cheers, George.

    • Michael Mckeown

      George does not speak for the English he speaks for the UK in financial matters.

    • CortUK

      How very dare the English express opinions of Scots which are similar to the frequently expressed Scot views of the English! Shocking!

    • manonthebus

      Unfortunately, that’s the sort of foolish comment that seems to crop up frequently on these and other comment pages. There are serious matters to be discussed. One of the most serious is the matter of currency and that has now been addressed by the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Presumably you understand the significance of that office.

  • asalord

    Judging by comments here and on other sites the “united” kingdom is politically disintegrating faster than even I thought it would.
    And it’s the British nationalists,with their threats and doom-laden newspaper headlines,who are currently doing the most to end the union.
    Strange behaviour from British nationalists but welcome nonetheless.

    • HJ777

      You say that in every post.

      Repeating it ad nauseum doesn’t mean that it bears any resemblance to reality.

      • asalord

        Like British nationalists and their never-ending scaremongering.

        • Michael Mckeown

          We have already covered that you dont know what scaremongering means so are you going to edit your post again or choose another word?

        • HJ777

          Any serious question to which you do not have a coherent answer is always denounced as “scaremongering”.

          Do try to behave like an adult.

          Now what is your view on what Salmond will now propose now that he has been told in no uncertain terms that he cannot force another party against its will to enter into a currency union with a seceded Scotland?

          • HookesLaw

            Can I politely suggest that you need to lift your head up and see that others on the right of what are essensially English politics react the same way when told about their anti EU manias.

            • Conway

              There is nothing mentally disordered about not wanting to be a region of the United States of Europe (don’t blame me for that appellation it comes courtesy of Viviane Reding, the Vice Chairman of the European Commission).

              • HookesLaw

                Reding wanted a’ true political union’ to be put on the agenda during the EU parliament elections. Well it is not.
                If such a proposal were put on an agenda as part of a treaty we would have to have a referendum on it and I imagine the UK would vote ‘no’.

                The whole point about the Euro and the Eurozone is that a true political union is more likely. Such a move would trigger various referendums in several countries and Cameron has passed legislation to trigger such a referendum here. It is precisely this move by the Eurozone countries which means we need renegotiations and a referendum. Its why people should vote conservative at the next election.

      • HookesLaw

        Its always nice to agree with you – well anybody really.

    • Albert Tatlock

      Why is The EU commissioner and Portuguese national, Barroso not a scaremonger, or bully then?

      It’s because you sir are an anti-English racist. Lets see if Mr.Salmond accuses Barroso of Bullying, I bet he doesn’t.

  • Radford_NG

    To take up two issues;current weather isn’t so unusual:and is was much colder 322 years ago.

    It was 13 Feb 1692(Julian calendar) that Alexander Campbell of Argyll and his men massacred the MacDonalds of Glen Coe,at the orders of the Scottish Parliament.

    Cold was the snow that wrapped Glen Coe,
    And Cruel the foe that raped Glen Coe,
    And slaughtered the House of MacDonald.

    • HookesLaw

      Miliband is playing his global warming card today I see.

      But on the point you allude to I fear that there would be increased sectarianism in an independent Scotland.

  • dougthedug

    Scots have got tired of bad news stories day in day out from the media so now it’s counter productive. Gideon’s, “No you can’t have the pound because despite the fact you’ve been in the UK from the year it was created it’s actually England’s pound”, backfired badly. Even the Times had a front page story about the expected backlash.

    José Manuel Barroso has form about predicting the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse if Scotland tries to join the EU as an independent state. He’s got nothing against Scotland per se but this is a wing-man operation for his Spanish pals and the real target is Catalonia.

    Barroso has no input into the decision to let Scotland into the EU because that decision rests with the Council of Europe and its members.

    When it comes to the crunch even Spain will be voting for EU membership because their fishing industry will collapse if Scotland leaves the EU and takes its fishing grounds with it.

    Nothing has changed. The procedure to join the EU is as it always was but the BBC as the PR arm of Better Together has decided that as the pound ploy with Gideon backfired they need to bring on Barroso again.

    • HJ777

      Do grow up.

      What Osborne said was not that “You can’t have the pound” he said “You can’t have a currency union because it takes two parties to agree a currency union and one party wouldn’t see any advantage in it”

      If you don’t understand this difference, what are you doing treating us to your opinion?

      Andrew Lilico, the economist put it very well:

      “The statements by George Osborne, Ed Balls and Danny Alexander that no currency union with an independent Scotland would be feasible have exposed a large degree of confusion amongst Scottish politicians and other commentators regarding what the dissolution of a currency union implies. For example, some have made remarks along the lines of “The pound is a shared asset – the English can’t deny Scotland its share” or “Scotland is entitled to its claim upon the assets of the Bank of England”. Each of those remarks is entirely correct, but have not the slightest thing to do with whether there is a formal currency union with England, rather suggesting that those making such remarks do not understand the basics of currency break-up.

      Thus there is no sense in which refusing to form a currency union with Scotland implies the rest of the UK attempting to deny Scotland its share of the pound or of the Bank of England’s assets.

      These are basic points. The independence debate in Scotland would benefit, considerably, if Scottish politicians and commentators were to grasp them.”

      • dougthedug

        An argument that starts with an insult is usually on shaky ground.

        Gideon said that the UK is keeping the pound. It’s an internationally tradable currency so of course Scotland can keep using it but it will have no ownership of the currency.

        There are others who do think it is feasible.

        3.26 Analysis shows that it would be in Scotland’s interests to retain
        Sterling immediately post-independence. It is also the case that – post independence – this would benefit the rest of the UK given the scale of integrated markets, including in areas such as financial services.

        From the “Fiscal Commission Working Group”, membership, Crawford Beveridge CBE, Professor Andrew Hughes Hallett, Professor Sir James Mirrlees, Professor Frances Ruane, Professor Joseph Stiglitz

        • HookesLaw

          Scotland can keep the pound in the same way that the Turks and Caicos Islands uses the US Dollar. Good luck to you on trying to win a referendum on that manifesto.

        • HJ777

          Don’t be ridiculous.

          Of course the rest of the UK would keep the pound – why would it give it up?

          Nobody cares what the SNP’s Fiscal Commission says. The disadvantages to the rest of the UK have been laid out in no uncertain terms by Mark Carney and George Osborne. Having avoided a currency union in the form of the Euro, there is no way – no way – that the rest of the UK would join in one with a fledgling Scottish state. The risks would be huge and the benefits few because Scottish GDP is just too small compared to the rest of the UK.

          And as for the threat that Scotland wouldn’t accept its share of the debt if it couldn’t “share the pound” – this is laughably stupid. It’s nothing to do with “sharing the pound” it’s about whether a country could be forced into a currency union against its will.

          • Andy

            Correct. It is all about Salmond trying to bully the English.

          • dougthedug

            “The disadvantages to the rest of the UK have been laid out in no uncertain terms by Mark Carney”

            Has he? A few quotes would be useful.

            • HJ777

              http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-25945688

              http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25952277

              Now you are free to try to spin it as you please, but what Carney is saying, in clear but diplomatic language, is that the rest of the UK could only agree to such a currency union with a seceded Scotland if the Scotland agreed to severe limitations on its independence – otherwise the risks would be too serious for the rest of the UK to accept.

              • HookesLaw

                To assist you further albeit at the price of repetition.
                It is not simply ‘ther rest of the UK’. Its the rUK voters who have the say. Salmond cannot dictate to them. No rUK voter would vote for a party that promised to give up its economic independence to a currency union with Scotland.

                • HJ777

                  This is the point I have been making.

                  Salmond and the SNP seem to think that their desire for a currency union should be able to override any contrary wishes of the UK electorate. Clearly, he has contempt for democracy in the rest of the UK. He thinks that Scotland should be able to decide what it does about currency arrangements but denies that the rest of the UK should have the same choice.

              • dougthedug

                I wasn’t looking for links to an analysis from the unionists’ PR division I was looking for quotes from the speech itself to back up what you said.

                Try and get your quotes from this.

                http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/Documents/speeches/2014/speech706.pdf

                • HJ777

                  My apologies – I hadn’t realised that you were the sort of CyberNat who rejects anything or any analysis you don’t like as ‘unionist PR’.

                  I also hadn’t realised that you were incapable of reading or understanding Mark Carney’s speech in its entirety. If what he was saying could be relayed in a few quotes, then he would simply have made his speech much shorter.

                  What he is making clear is that, although he has no direct role in any decision (he is a banker, not a politician), is what would have to be put in place for a currency union to be workable. The risks in such a case would be heavily asymmetrical, because of the relative sizes of the Scottish and the rest of the UK’s GDP and also because Scotland’s banking sector is disproportionately large. Scotland wouldn’t be much help in supporting the rest of the UK’s banking system (because Scotland is relatively small) but the rest of the UK would be adopting a huge potential liability towards Scotland’s. This means, in essence, that this would work only if the rest of the UK dictates all sorts of restrictions to Scotland. It would have no interest in giving Scotland any say.

                  In short, either the rest of the UK would be substantially in charge of Scotland’s finance, and dictate monetary policy, or such an arrangement would simply be unacceptably risky for the rest of the UK, with few upsides and plenty of potential downside (plus a lot of hassle).

                • dougthedug

                  If what he was saying could be relayed in a few quotes, then he would simply have made his speech much shorter.

                  Short answer: You can’t find anything in his speech to back up what you said.

                • HJ777

                  Short answer: You won’t accept anything that you don’t want to accept even when it is staring you in the face.

                  Not being able engage with facts seems to be a common characteristic amongst CyberNats. You are obviously no exception.

                  Keep up the good work of publicly discrediting the “Yes’ campaign through your deluded behaviour. The more you people come out into the open, the more the “No” campaign will in by.

                • dougthedug

                  Facts. Lovely things. When I ask for a few all that I hear is spluttering.

                • HJ777

                  Precisely – the sputtering you can hear is yours when presented with facts and arguments to which you have no answer.

        • Andy

          Point of fact: the Pound is the ancient currency of the Kingdom of England. The Scots Pound was abolished in 1707 and exchanged for Sterling at a rate of 12:1.

    • Craig

      Firstly, all Barroso really said was that all member states must agree to Scotland being a member ( if application was as a new state but that’s a different argument). By this context , nothing will ever be agreed by the EU for any matter.

      Ok, let’s move this on and assume Barroso is correct, will Dabid Cameron therefore come out now and say renegotiating with the EU will not go ahead because it will be impossible to get approval from all EU members? You be the won’t , and let’s be honest , Svotland has more chance of getting approval to join than Cameron has of getting treaties renegotiated and approved.

      • Conway

        I don’t think there is any doubt about David Cameron being delusional about renegotiating. Barroso has said that he won’t be able to. It seems that both you and DC share the same mindset when it comes to the EU.

        • HookesLaw

          Cameron can negotiate – there are always negotiations going on in the EU. The EU want to integrate the Eurozone countries as a for instance.
          And after it we will get a referendum.

          • Conway

            I admire your optimism.

          • Wessex Man

            You really do live in the same cloud as the Cybernat nutters. Barroso has already told Cameron that there is room to ‘discuss’ small directives such as Hairdressers being allowed to wear highheels but there will be no negotations on the substantive Directives, do stop lying!

    • CortUK

      If it’s Scotland Pound too, why isn’t it England’s oil as well? It’s all in UK waters.

      Oh, and he didn’t say you can’t have the Pound. Are you thick? He said we won’t agree to a currency union because it is not in our interests post-partition. I know: how dare he, right?

    • HookesLaw

      If Scotland leave the UK and does not join the EU then its Scotland which will do the collapsing.

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    It strikes me that this has not occured to anyone – the massive apparent balance sheet disparities will be resolved by ‘selling’ Scotland to the Eurozone. That would be one obvious way to level off the manifest current account surplus of Northern European power economies. An unprecedented transfer of assets from BoE to the ECB will be the way this will play out. Frankfurt will be mo4e than pleased to welcome the new member in its pool of nations.
    In the meantime the US are still struggling to actually locate the physical gold they owe.

    • tastemylogos

      You like making these silly claims. Cite an actual unafilliated, bipartisan source please. The idea that the British would allow for such a transfer is just laughable and underlines the extent of your absurdly blinkered view.

      • BarkingAtTreehuggers

        I will not prevent you from doing your own bit of research.

        • Wessex Man

          In other words it’s all just a dream on your part, sad!

          • Craig

            Wessex, it is actually a very credible outcome what Barking has said. Make no mistake Uk debts are crippling and getting worse. The promise of bringing down the debt by Osborne is not bringing down the actual debt but bringing down the deficit. Last annual accounts show The Uk deficit was £121 billion ( FYI Scotland’s was £7.6 billion). That’s just one year. If the markets crashed again, what Barking stated might have to be the solution. Worse still, it could involve all UK.

            • HookesLaw

              Osborne’s promise was to eliminate the structural deficit.

        • tastemylogos

          ha. good one.. It is how peered review science, the great discoveries and philosophical insights all worked.

          Damn you talk some sh**

          • BarkingAtTreehuggers

            What harsh wording with little gravitas.
            Why don’t you begin your journey into the real world by inspecting the gold stock in F. Knox?

            I mean – if you actually had it, why not return it?
            I will leave you to it, pal.

            • tastemylogos

              Back with more vacuous musings. Why don’t you cite something for once? Ey? What are you afraid of?

              As for the real world. 10 years of trading and capital management behind me, ‘pal’.

              Handled more wealth than you have had haggis, sonny jim.

  • Albert Tatlock

    I thought Denis Canavan had already wee’d on Alex’s chips with regard to the monarchy.

    Dennis Canavan, chairman of Yes Scotland, said if Scots vote “Yes”, then a second referendum should be held to decide the head of state.

    SUNDAY 16 FEBRUARY 2014, The Independent

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    Damn, they won’t want real, scary, go it alone independence; it looks like we’re stuck with them and their socialist MPs in Westminster.

  • Careering Off

    Doesn’t all this just begin to make more sense if we assume Salmond is really aiming at devo max (and his own survival to benefit from it) for which he needs a strong but not majority “yes” vote? Maybe the unionists are right just to leave him to it?

    • tastemylogos

      I will guarantee you one thing, who ever is in power will punish Salmond and his henchmen. DevoMax of sorts will no doubt occur but it won’t be handed on a plate, and they will be made to sweat for it.

      • Andy

        I would hope so. All Scottish MPs to lose their meddling in English affairs. The Barnett Formula to be scrapped and replaced by a far more equitable solution which will mean Scottish taxpayers will have to pay more tax for all the socialist bullshit. That will do for starters.

        • P_S_W

          Easiest solution by far is to remove the Barnett Formula and let them collect and spend their own taxes.

          • MichtyMe

            Yes please, year 2011/12
            per capita revenue Scotland £10700
            per capita revenue UK £9000

        • Craig

          Andy, Scotland are the second highest tax payers after London. 8.4% population gets 9.3% of funding (which you all hear about and think we are being subsidised) however we generate 9.9% of tax income. This has been the common occurrence for all GERS reports available for past 32 years. Fed up hearing we are spongers when we are the second biggest tax contributors.

          • Andy

            So you agree to stopping all Scottish MPs voting on English Affairs ? You agree to the abolition, immediately, of the Barnett Formula ?

          • Les

            Don’t those figures include what the SNP estimates is from “Scotland’s share of the oil based on geography?”

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            Great. I can assume you have written to the SNP demanding an end to the Barnett formula.

  • Lemmi

    I wonder what dictionary definition of independence Alex Salmond uses? If he wants an independent Scotland then surely he wants his own currency and to be free from the EU? It seems that what he wants is all the benefits of independence but non of the disadvantages.

  • CraigStrachan

    This is basically where the SNP are now:

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

    • tastemylogos

      ha

  • Kitty MLB

    I have absolutely no idea what wee Alex ,
    Scotland’ s own King Canute is playing at,
    will be hoist by his own petard at some point.
    Has ButcombeMan pointed out- it will be alright on the night- Oh no it won’t !
    Independence means just that, a small country, starting out alone in the big
    wide world, out of the UK and out of the EU.

    • Conway

      I think what Salmond is angling for (no pun intended) is devo-max.

      • Kitty MLB

        Of course he is, angling for devo- max.
        Salmond will learn, he cannot have his fishcake and eat it too
        ( that pun was quite bad)

  • KestrelSprite

    So an independent Scotland would be out of the EU? Sounds like a good reason to move north.

    • ButcombeMan

      indeed. if I lived in Scotland I might have been prepared to vote for independence but on a very different prospectus to the one Salmond has put forward.

      A successful Yes campaign will exchange the precious freedoms the Scots have now for, if they get access to the EU, more external control from Brussels than any other Member State because the entry conditions will inevitably be so onerous.

      They will be voting to join the Euro which the UK will never do.

      • MichtyMe

        The precious freedom to hand all our taxes and revenues over to Wastemonster and then get abused for wishing a fair share back. The meddling of Brussels is minor in comparison to the intrusion of London. And yes, Scotland will have the freedom to chose to join the euro, if it ever decides that this is in its best interest. Also at a future time London will be compelled by economic events to embrace the euro.

        • Wessex Man

          mad, mad ,mad!

          • Kitty MLB

            As mad as a mad hatters Tea Party.
            utterly bonkers. Rather like Alex Salmond with that
            glint in his eyes.

            • allymax bruce

              Ahh ! So you’ve noticed Scotland’s brilliant FM Alex’ Salmond’s glint in his eyes !
              Hmmm, now it’s all becoming clear, Kitty !

              • Kitty MLB

                The only reason why Wee Eck has a glint in his eye,
                is because he has gone slightly bonkers thinking
                he is William Wallace.
                He will next be painting his face, buying a horse and riding bare- backed around the narrow Victorian streets of
                Edinburg , he will not manage hilly area’s you see.
                What is becoming clear, Celtic person?
                Are you still wandering around in some kind of Foggy delusion.

                • allymax bruce

                  I’m in Edinburgh, Kitty. Slightly drizzly today, but beautiful to be in Scotland; no fog, no delusion, only invigorated self-determination now. As for any Scot, I luv it when Scots paint their face; as for riding horse bare-backed aroung the burg of Eden, well, that’s up to them. We have no insecurities up here, only cringing BBC/STV/Hamish McDonnell journo scaremongering gossip to suffer. Edinburgh’s streets are more than a thousand years old, Kitty; so how do you reckon they are Victorian? The more you talk about Scotland’s brilliant FM Alex’ Salmond, the more I’m convinced there’s to this than meets the eye, Kitty!

                • Kitty MLB

                  Edinburgh is always slightly drizzly ,(unlike The beautiful Isle of Mull)
                  What do you do, look at that castle all day dreaming of days of
                  olde, wandering around with swords like little boys.
                  Having No inhibitions are the words you are thinking of,
                  the results will be insecurities – Do you repeat the words: I have my army of countryman- honestly !
                  I meant’ Victorian’ as in the Dickensian gloom that surrounds
                  Edinburgh like a cloak.
                  No , you are wrong, there is no more to Alex Salmond
                  then the shallow shell of his own self esteem,
                  and stop calling him brilliant, he is everything but.

                • allymax bruce

                  ‘we have no insecurities’, (ally), as opposed-to, or, considered against, ‘having no inhibitions’ (Kitty)?
                  Hmm; well, considering my context was ‘barebacked horse riding’, ie, I presumed your original context was to ‘situate’ the allegory-the emperor has no clothes, then, my ‘we have no insecurities’ suggests our emperor doesn’t need clothes. But, your ‘having no inhibitions’ is a different context; it suggests a cultural trait within the Scot, as opposed to a fictional narrative used as allegory. The differences are in the realm of ‘real’, and ‘unreal’. I see you like to discover the use of words; you’re an intelligent person, Kitty. Thanks for the chat. ally.

        • Albert Tatlock

          You guys have never quite managed to get out of the playground (Wastemonster, bitter together, rump UK etc)

          This isn’t a game you know. This is the most serious event in many people’s lives.

          You may well feel that London will be compelled to embrace the Euro, Alex Salmond doesn’t want to though, he wants the pound!

          • HJ777

            Well Salmond wants the Pound at the moment.

            Previously he was very rude about the Pound and wanted the Euro.

            Who knows what he will want next week? The Afghan Afghani perhaps?

          • Fergus Pickering

            Nonsense. The most serius events in people’s lives are personal things, you know, births and marriages and deaths. This sort of thing is quite secondary. And I should think so too.

        • ButcombeMan

          Scotland will not have any freedoms in relation to the Euro, that freedom is the UKs.
          New applicants are required to join the Euro.
          Independent Scotland will be in a weak negotiating position. Independent Scotland will have no freedoms and will be a net contributor to EU funds with no rebate.
          The UK cannot be compelled to join the Euro.

          • HookesLaw

            And any applicant for anything to the EU would have to jolin Schengen.

            • MichtyMe

              Wrong, both on the Euro and Schengen, I have been imploring people here to acquaint themselves with the evidence being submitted, on stuff like this, to parliamentary committees and to stop posting fiction.

              • Colin

                You’re wrong. The rules and in fact the law, as they stand, are pretty clear. If and that’s a BIG if, you are accepted as a new EU member, Scotland will have the Euro and Schengen.

            • Conway

              Given that an independent Scotland would have a border with northern England, probably Schengen would not be a requirement. Ireland isn’t in Schengen, for instance, because of the border with the north.

              • HookesLaw

                Ireland was given an opt out just as we did. We got the opt out because we were already ‘in’ the EU and could veto it. Anyone outside the EU does not by definition have a veto. All it has is a begging bowl.
                Kippers should realise this as well.

                The fact of a border is a totally bogus comparison. Schengen is a big issue to anyone who thinks it would all be hunky dory trying to negotiate anything with the EU from outside.

                • Conway

                  What about members of EFTA rather than the EEA?

                • HookesLaw

                  The EFTA members are in the EEA. Someone who was in the EU and left would be in nothing and thus have to talk their way back in somewhere.

                • Daniel Maris

                  Wrong as usual. Switzerland is a member of EFTA but not the EEA.

              • Les

                That’s because Ireland demanded an opt-out as a condition of joining.

        • kyalami

          You get a lot more than a fair share back. And we get abused for giving it to you.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Better not. I’ve heard the place is full of Scots.

      • Waldo Tim

        That’s right its full of Scots who pay for you to survive arsehole

        • Fergus Pickering

          How is that? By the way, I am a Scot. But not a fool.

      • Waldo Tim

        Sorry lad my mistake

  • Craig

    Keep it up folks, latest polls are showing the negativity and attacks by unionists are only adding to the yes votes lol

    • CraigStrachan

      Barroso’s a unionist?

      • Craig

        No, all the negativity and attacks from Westminster, the press, and those in rUK. It’s only creating more of a divide and turning people to a Yes

        • CraigStrachan

          You don’t think the press should be covering the news that an independent Scotland won’t be keeping the pound, or be in the EU?

          Seems quite important to me.

          • Craig

            A reminder to everyone why the main stream media has been so overwhelmingly backing the No Campaign is because not ONE national newspaper is owned by Scotland:
            Paper – Owner – HQ Based
            Scottish Sun – News Corp – England
            Daily Record – Trinity Mirror – England
            Scottish Daily Mail – Daily Mail & Gen. Trust – England
            Scottish Daily Express – Northern & Shell – England
            Scottish Daily Star – Northern & Shell – England
            The Herald – Newsquest/Gannet – England
            The Scotsman – Johnston Press – England
            Daily Telegraph – Barclay Bros – England
            Scottish Daily Mirror – Trinity Mirror – England
            The Times – Newscorp – England
            The Guardian – Guardian Media Group – England
            Add to that the fact BBC Scotland was found GUILTY by the BBC Trust for misleading viewers in favour of the No Campaign ( no apology ever given or article rebutted)
            The Independent study from the University West of Scotland showing a media bias from BBC Scotland and Scottish Television in favour of the No campaign by a ration of 3:2.
            It is therefore little wonder from the above why MSM has been so negative towards the Yes Campaign

            • CraigStrachan

              Look, just between us, Craig-to-Craig: if you’re blaming the media, you’re losing.

              • Craig

                Not blaming the media. Just saying beware the impression the media is giving. Looks like a slam dunker for a no according to the media. Just letting you know many people in Scotland are dismissing the media for information as they know it is not balanced. Not sure where you are located but the debate, talking and discussions are happening at the ground level in Scotland. Hundreds of events, meetings, coffee mornings, schools, stalls, Facebook, Twitter, workplaces, etc…real people talking to real people. So whilst the media gives one impression the yes are being battered, in reality things are actually different.

                • tastemylogos

                  > Just letting you know many people in Scotland are dismissing the media for information as they know it is not balanced.

                  Editorials are one thing but reporting that all major prospective decision makers are telling you to take a hike, is not bias. It is a statement of fact. The Scots know this. You refuse to smell the coffee.

                • monty61

                  Hundreds of yes conversations everywhere? Not the people I’m talking to. Only Yesses I’ve run into (apart from my mum – bless) is are numpties from Lanarkshire who wouldn’t know a currency union if it came up and slapped them in the face.

                  A lot of them are of a certain religious persuasion, fired up that since the Orange Order have been ‘ instructed’ (as I’m told) to campaign for a No, then they have to vote for a Yes. (Presumably on the basis that said Orangmen will pack up and head for Belfast on ‘iDay’. Fat chance of that).

                • HookesLaw

                  Well one thing I can agree with you out of all that is that an independent Scotland will have sectarian problems that the ability to independently regulate the fat content of deep fried Mars Bars will not paper over.

                • Conway

                  Could it be that they hark back to the Auld Alliance days?

                • Juggzy Malone

                  Yet you are giving wrong impressions such as the one that Ladbrokes seem to be putting the odds in favour of Scotland being in a currency union – which it isn’t. Don’t you think that this rather comes across as dissembling, manipulative and dishonest?

                • Fergus Pickering

                  If they are dismissing all the media then where are they getting their information. Ah, from wee Eck. Got it.

            • Alexsandr

              new corp -english? With HQ in new york and run by an australian. dont think so.

              • Craig

                Mighty me, that’s me wrong again. There is clearly an American/Australian influence on the Newscorp press in the UK. Here was me thinking with the UK HQ being in London there was not 100% balance. How terrible of me to suggest an English influence.

              • Albert Tatlock

                Didn’t Mr.Salmond try to influence Newscorp by leaking information and announcements to them?

              • HookesLaw

                You see – I can agree with you.

            • mikewaller

              If the press is so solidly against the split, why have none of them gone for the issue of Northern Ireland? Anybody who knows their history knows that whilst QE1 put the two Earls to flight, it was James 1st of England/James 6th of Scotland who was the driving force behind the “planting” of protestants in Ulster. And anybody who knows their economics, knows that Northern Ireland is a considerable charge on the UK exchequer. Thus whilst within a post Scottish independence world the costs attendant on Wales’s inability to balance its books would properly be viewed as an exclusively English concern, expecting Scotland to meet some part of the Northern Irish tab is surely only right and proper.

              • Craig

                Yip, great facts. Something I am sure all voters in Scotland have considered and came to a conclusion of voting no.

            • Wessex Man

              now you are just being a silly billy!

              • Craig

                Aw come on Wessex, 99 out of 100 ( ok my figures but you get the point) wouldn’t even know the above and if they did it would not make any difference to what they wrote.

                • Craig

                  Another thing, after Osborne’s speech the MSM were all saying Currency options available to Scotland would be the Euro. Anyone who had done their homework knows there are 5 criteria which needs to be met for joining Eurozone currency, 5th being that you must first be an EU member and have joined the eRM for at least 2 years to even be considered for the Euro. As for using Euro pegged to Euro, why? It will obviously be £ pegged to £ on a 1:1 with a currency board.

                • Conway

                  If Scotland joins the EU as an independent country it will be obliged to join the euro – it’s a condition of joining. Perhaps that is why the MSM were saying that the currency option would be the euro? In any case, it will not be sterling because a) all three treasury ministers, as well as the BoE, have vetoed it and b) there would be uproar in England from those people who know it’s a recipe for disaster. As for “we’ll renege on the debt if you don’t give us what we want” – that would hardly enhance Scotland’s reputation.

            • wobble

              Stop buying them then !

            • CharlietheChump

              Blame the media, blame the weather, blame capitalism, blame the dog.
              Reality is a cold, hard slap in the face.

            • allymax bruce

              Craig, you’ll be surprised to know all Johnson Press, and Newsquest are owned by a conglomerate of Republican offshore accounts.

          • Craig

            Suffice to say many people in Scotland are aware of the bias from MSM. But hey, if you think the current onslaught is working then so be it. I am not here to change your mind. It is just interesting watching the confidence being expressed by many who think a no vote is in the bag.

            • HJ777

              Craig – all you do is to attack the press and hark on about opinion polls.

              Why do you never address the issues? The “Yes” campaign’s proposal on a currency union has been shot down in no uncertain words this week – Salmond simply cannot force what he wants to be a separate country to form a currency union with Scotland. Imagine if he had wanted to join the Euro (as he once did) or create a new “Scots pound” and the rest of the UK told him no, Scotland would have to form a currency union with it. Can you imagine his outrage? Yet this is precisely what he is trying to tell the rest of the UK it must do – backed by threats and a lot of bluster about “sharing the pound” and finally an accusation of bullying.

              What is your currency proposal?

              • Craig

                Hi HJ,
                The issue of a shared currency has been blown out of proportion. Please look at it from a step back for the moment.

                Salmond based on the advice of the Independent Fiscal Commision derived it was in the best interests of both Scotland and rUK to have a shared currency as it would avoid transactional costs between our countries. Scotland is England’s second biggest trading partner and England is Scotland’s biggest trading partner.

                Also with Scotland’s £50 billion in exports keeping the UKs balance of payments in the black, would avoid rate increases. Salmond was also fully aware monetary policy would need to be ceded but that was fair as we would maintain fiscal powers.

                The next step was Salmond therefore said he saw a shared currency as the best option and common sense for both.

                Then Carney came to Edinburgh and pretty much said the same, certain powers ceded , some technical highlights and then stated it was up to both governments to come to an agreement which the BOE would action

                Next step, the Conservatives stated this was unlikely or undesired. Not saying no then obviously Osborne’s speech.

                This went against the Edinburgh Agreement article 30 which stated both parties would respect each other and work together in negotiations to come to an agreement. Westminster were therefore saying No negotiation.

                It was no guarantee a shared currency would be agreed but to not even discuss or negotiate it was not the right way to go about it. Salmond was putting forward what he saw as the best option for both , in his view it seemed a no brainer to not hurt business on both sides of the border and risk rate increases. It’s pretty obvious plan B is pegging to Sterling but Westminster I personally believe would agree to this after a yes vote. It’s the middle of a campaign and Westminster are using everything to campaign for a no.

                • HookesLaw

                  ‘Independent Fiscal Commission’ – now your ‘avin a laff.

                • HJ777

                  The balance of payments issue that Scots Nats talk about is arrived at by ignoring the fact that Scotland would have an huge import bill after secession from the rest of the UK. Just about every serious economist who has looked at this has concluded that effect on the balance of payments would be approximately neutral.

                  The point about a currency union is that the SNP’s Fiscal Concession did not look at what was best for the rest of the UK – it came up with an argument why what would be best for a seceded Scotland would be best for the rest of the UK. But Mark Carney (contrary to your assertion) and many others who have looked at this have simply said that there would be numerous problems (but Carney, not being a politician couldn’t rule it out) and it is hard to see the advantages for the rest of the UK for the elementary reason that the Scottish GP is only about 10% of that of the UK. The complexity and potential downside would outweigh any benefits for the rest of the UK. Given that we have stayed out of a currency union in the form of the Euro, it is never explained why we would want to enter another one with a fledgling state.

                  Then we have the unpleasant spectacle of Salmond/Sturgeon threatening the rest of the Uk that Scotland would walk away form its debts if it isnt given “a share of the pound” (as if that is what a currency union means). Is this in the spirit of the Edinburgh Agreement? I think not.

                  A Plan B of pegging to Sterling is simply not viable – remember the ERM? Simply using Sterling without any agreement would be possible but it would mean that, without a lender of last resort, any Scottish HQed banks would have to leave and Scotland could not be or become an EU member – it’s completely contrary to the rules.

                  Frankly, this all smacks of the SNP simply not having thought these things through or being honest with Scots. All this rubbish about ‘bullying’ is just trying to cover their embarrassment of having been exposed.

                • Andy

                  No Currency Union can work without a Fiscal Union, some degree of Political Union and a Banking Union. Judging by Salmond’s antagonistic attitude towards the English i doubt very much any such agreements could be made.

                  Osborne was stating the bleed-in obvious. Why should the rUK agree to what Salmond demands ? Was he offering the above essential agreements ? No. And even if there was any sort of agreement we have the example of the Euro. While there is a high degree of integration between rUK and Scotland, which you do not see between Germany and Greece, I can quite easily see that the interest rate which the Bank of England would set would be inappropriate for Scotland just as it was for Greece. The seeds of trouble would be sown from the minute the ink was dry.

                • HookesLaw

                  Not only was he stating the obvious, he did it in a quiet restrained sensible and helpful way.
                  The NATS just howled’ bully’

                • Andy

                  With buckets of anti-English racism.

                • HookesLaw

                  And we should not join in the game.

                • HJ777

                  You’re right, of course, but try arguing logically with the CyberNats…

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Agreed. One of them is arguing on a DT thread that Darling is in favour of a currency union. I kid you not and has even posted a UTube link to that effect. Of course, Darling is in favour of the existing ‘currency union’ and not one where Scotland can do what it likes while still being underwritten by the UK with the BOE as lender of last resort. The poor deluded soul will not have it however and is triumphantly pontificating that Darling is pro a currency union.

              • HookesLaw

                Its not simply a question of the politicians not wanting one. Would you vote for a rUK party offering an independent Scotland a currency union and allowing Scottish politicians a say in our economic affairs?

                Its not the MSM or anything – its you and me and we are entitled to tell our rulers what to do no matter what Salmond and his fellow loony toons think.

                • HJ777

                  Did you mean to reply to Craig?

                  I agree with you, btw.

                • HookesLaw

                  No I am adding to your point. You would n ot vote for a party offering a currency union would you – I mean who in rUK would?

          • Holly

            Salmond played this so the Scottish people had to concentrate on free prescriptions, tuition fees, and the scrapping of the bedroom subsidy etc, because that is all he talked about, oh, and the trumped up debate, where he would play his silly Westminster game.. he did not expect anything else to be said about the other ‘trivial stuff he purposely poo poo’d, and accused those who DO have a say over currency/Europe of ‘bullying’.

            Did this bod EVER understand what independence actually meant outside his SNP bubble?

        • HJ777

          It seems to me that all the “attacks” are coming from the “Yes” campaign – such as threats to renege on debt obligations if others don’t agree to what they want.

          I do not recall any “attacks” from Westminster. Can you give examples of any (and just because somebody points out some facts that the SNP doesn’t like doesn’t constitute an “attack”, by the way)?

    • Holly

      And????

    • tastemylogos

      Fact is, your amateurish campaign is quite evidently falling apart around your ears because you didn’t think through your ‘policies’. People holding the levers, one by one, are telling you to take a hike and all you have in return is to say, ‘YOU’RE SO NEGATIVE’.

      It s your own fault for taking such stupid decisions. If you had said, ‘we won’t join the EU right away’, and, We will create own central bank’, you might have got somewhere, alas, you didn’t. Hence your child like response. It’s ultimately all you have. The sad thing is, in your heart of hearts…. you know it too.

      • Craig

        Hi taste, not here to argue. As I said before, if thats what you think then I do not have problem with that. But even the daily Mail and Telegraph just had articles where they are now questioning whether the current approach by those against Independence has been the right one. Again, not for me to say however I am quite comfortable for things to continue as they because I am seeing it on a daily basis more people turning to Yes because of the way they are being spoken to and the tone.

        • tastemylogos

          Tone will always be an issue, but y’know, ultimately most people o not behave like the childish student unions and make decisions premised on grudge. Most people put stability and conservation above such abstract emotions.

          Ultimately, Salmond took a gamble that everybody holding the levers of power would acquiesce to his world view. It was a risk that is back firing. He has clearly tried to wing this. You know it, I know it, the people of Scotland know it. The idea that this will have little effect on the peoples’ decision making is just naive.

          • Craig

            I suppose we will find out After the vote.

            • tastemylogos

              I always thought it would be close in these Tory fiscal conservative times but if you lose (which you no doubt will) it will be your own fault.

              You premised this referendum on a bloody general election manifesto, there was no real philosophical substance underpinning it,, and you made silly promises that were ultimately out of your own remit to keep. Just utterly amateurish and rather embarrassing actually.

              You wasted a once in a century, golden opportunity. Everything was aligned for a ‘Yes’. You blew it.

              • Albert Tatlock

                Absolutely spot on, If the Independence campaign can’t win in these conditions then it really is time to try something different.

                Alex Salmond picked, the Question, the time, the place. the range of the franchise (16 year old minimum age, and no Scots born living outside of Scotland)

                Against a background of Conservative austerity.

                Why, well it’s not just the Scots who don’t like being told what to do, The rest of the UK and the EU feel the same

                We all hate Bullies too. If only Salmond and co had included the rest of the UK this would be in the bag now.

                • Craig

                  Looks like its job done then according you guys and that Scotland will be voting no. You would be aswell getting the champagne out now. Funnily enough – Labrokes still have stunning odds on a shared currency being the most likely outcome. And we all know that bookmakers keep their ear to the ground to make sure they rarely lose. But hey, that’s no argument for a shared currency. As for the EU, whilst no member state has come out and said they would veto our membership, that’s a goner now just because Borroso said so. More champagne guy?

                  As I said before, happy for you guys to know its game over.

                • Albert Tatlock

                  If I were you I’d try to save your cutting remarks and ire for the bloke who keeps sending you out to debate without the truth.

                  Alex Salmond has been caught out being economical with the truth on EU membership before. Your attempts to defend him is laudable, but foolish.

                  His profligate tenancies with the truth is turning people like yourself, with a genuine an honest desire for Scottish independence, in to his liars. It’s not good enough and Scots will not put up with it.

                • MichtyMe

                  Salmond’s position on EU membership is consistent with the evidence, much of it from legal folks, presented to the European and External Affairs committee of parliament in recent weeks. Check it out on parliament website.

                • Albert Tatlock

                  “The first minister has repeatedly said that Scotland would be an automatic member of the EU, be free to adopt sterling as its currency and would inherit all the UK’s opt-outs on EU immigration and border controls. He has asserted that this position was supported by his government’s legal advice.

                  But Salmond was forced to make a statement to the Scottish parliament late on Tuesday after opposition leaders accused him of “lying” and “covering-up” following an admission from his deputy, Nicola Sturgeon, that no specific legal advice had been given by Scottish law officers on EU membership…..”

                  The Guardian 23 October 2012

                  http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2012/oct/23/alex-salmond-eu-legal-advice-scotland

                • HookesLaw

                  Ouch. That must have left MightyMe’s knackers in a painful state.

                • MichtyMe

                  This is semantics, advice given by Government law officers and legal advice are not the same. Once again, there is lots of legal advice out there, like the source referenced above.

                • Albert Tatlock

                  Not buying, the guy was caught out telling pokies and wee nippy had to take the flak for him. Because basically he’s a gutless bully.

                • HookesLaw

                  That has to be the most hilarious load of dissembling rubbish written on these boards for some considerable time.

                • Wessex Man

                  and Hooky would surely know as he’s a champion at it!

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  There speaks a very desperate man.

                • Craig

                  Sorry , the odds on shared currency bet doesn’t include the staying together

                • Juggzy Malone

                  It also doesn’t include currency union.

                • tastemylogos

                  You know it doesn’t look good when all 3 parties say we are not prepared to be your lender of last resort, when the BoE says you will give up sovereignty for it and when the President of the EU Commission tells you it will be ‘impossible’ for you to join.

                  You know it. So keep your head down until it blows over if I was you. You’re making a fool of your position.

                • Juggzy Malone

                  Ladbroke’s odds are on Scotland using Sterling on 1st Jan 2017. This is not quite the same as Scotland being in a currency union.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  No. What bookmakers do is go where the money is. You know nothing about their business. Bookmakers do not bet.

              • Wessex Man

                Well not so much the Yes Campaign but Alex Salmond and his camp followers. It doesn’t how much they shout and threaten, it’s over before the vote, even if they win the vote they will have no real power in the real world.

          • flippit

            Yes most people will think about prosperity and maintaining their standard of living for their children. Mortgages, pensions and the economy in general are far more important and influential than the tone of debate. I agree that the White Paper was the problem. It said out what and iScotland would have without, for a moment, checking with those institutions in who’s gift it was. Scotland is a small country, maybe a great one but still small. It just doesn’t have the power to throw its weight about with Europe or the uk

            • Craig

              Exactly, because that is what you need to do. Throw your weight about to be successful. Don’t mind that 8 out of the top 10 countries with the highest GDP per capita have populations between 5 and 10 million. They are obviously suffering for it.

              • tastemylogos

                No but none seceded from a union and promised to join a monetary union in which the other half does not want anything to do with

                You’d be very successful alone, I told you that above. You went about this campaign so idiotically that you lost it with promises you could not keep. In your heart of hearts, you know this

      • HookesLaw

        Being like Norway is a poor advert – they are in Schengen.

        • tastemylogos

          so? They didn’t have to be. Point is Salmond did not have to pretend everything was done and dusted. Instead he should have had the balls to tell his countrymen, Scotland will be successful on its own, like other small nations.

          He would then not be making promises he could not keep.

          • HookesLaw

            No – its just that all three non EU EEA countries are in Schengen. wake up and smell the coffee – no one who was not in the EU at the time is going to avoid Schengen if it want to trade with it.

            The EEA comprises the 3 remaining EFTA countries and 27 EU countries. To join that club requires joining its rules and if we – and or Scotland – leave the club we would have to reapply to get access.
            If you cannot go figure what would happen I am sure a few other people around here with some remaining brain cells can.

            • tastemylogos

              What are you banging on about lad, your passive aggression is bizarre.

              Scotland doesn’t need to be in the EU. It can be successful without being part of it and make its own arrangements later on down the line.

              You seem desperate for an argument. Chill winston.

    • Albert Tatlock

      No they’re not

    • asalord

      Agreed. It seems the “united” kingdom is on self-destruct mode. Great to see.

      • Wessex Man

        Matron!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • HookesLaw

          His logo is mr magoo….

          • HJ777

            And he has the same level of vision.

    • flippit

      What polls? One poll last week thats generally more favourable to the yes put the yes one point up

    • CortUK

      Not as negative as threatening to walk away from your liabilities if you don’t get your way.

      • Craig

        Not our liabilities if you don’t negotiate the assets. Your name is on the credit card. We may just do what Russian and Yugoslavian breakaway states did both legally and with market acceptance. And don’t confuse markets with politics. Markets don’t give a dam about politics, only money.

        • CortUK

          So you agree to let us keep ALL the assets? Great! Shake on that?

          Enjoy Year Zero!

        • Andy

          Sterling isn’t an ‘asset’. It is a currency, and was actually the ancient currency of the Kingdom of England.

        • Les

          As an American I am reading your post and reminded that Nicola Sturgeon suggested the same things: blackmail and default.
          And I ask: Who in their right mind would ever trade with you?

    • Conway

      What “attacks by unionists”? Telling people what they will be signing up for isn’t an attack – even if it does expose the fantasy. Personally I’d be happy to see Scotland be independent if that’s what they want, but they should be choosing on the basis of reality, not fabrication.

    • Juggzy Malone

      Which polls? There haven’t been any released that have been implemented since Osborne’s speech.

    • Wessex Man

      Thank the Lord for that, still willing to come up and canpaign on behalf of the Yes vote!

  • CraigStrachan

    Pretty funny how much of the Nat response to Barrosso has been bridling at the Kosovo comparison, when it was just last week that they themselves were comparing Scotland to Montenegro.

    You picks your Balkan basket-case and you takes your chance, I guess!

    • Mike

      The SNP has it all wrong and refuses to spell out the truth here but equally the EU and other countries are mixing it as they’re scared of the logical consequences of Scotland achieving independence and being re-admitted to the EU. They can see the writing on the wall if Scotland wins its independence inside the EU and that’s why they’re sh****** their pants !

      • allymax bruce

        Not so, the two issues that were always going to be used as contentions by Westminster were EU & currency. Now, it has been revealed that iScotland can use its own currency, and the EU situation will prove to move iScotland further forward to Self-Determination!
        All yoos ignoramus have done is irritate and annoy the whole populace of Scotland with your ugly sneering & bullying; thanks for that !

        • Mike

          It was the EU that raised the re-admittance issues a long time ago as they are the ones calling the shots and not the UK. In fact if memory serves me right it was Mariano Rajoy of Spain who said he would block Scotlands admittance and not Cameron.

          The UK government at Westminster did spell out potential problems that Salmond would probably have with the EU over re-admittance along with many other sticking points that Salmond refuses to answer. Not once has the UK government said NO to independence or NO to EU membership for Scotland. It did rightly point out that he could track the English pound but he would need to find a lender of last resort for the Scottish pound.

          The only people we have irritated are those too blind to see the facts and of course Salmond who wont answer awkward questions.

          • allymax bruce

            See & hear the speech by Scotland’s First Minister Alex’ Salmond in Isabel Hardman’s article today, saying that NO EU member has stated they would block iScotland’s entry into the EU.
            Keep pumping out your bs; it’s great for iScotland.

  • Holly

    How come it takes you so many words, just to say what I have been saying all along?

    Glad you caught up though..
    Well done.

    • harry dodd

      For the love of God we should be helping the Scot’s obtain independence, it’s the best thing for all concerned. We should give every Scot a couple of grand to vote yes, think of the benefits.
      England gets rid of a financial burden we’ve carried for hundreds of years, the payback potential is beyond comprehension, and I’ll be able to walk to work through London in half the time it takes now as there’ll be less comatose drunken Scots to trip over.
      And of course they would have to apply for visas to enter England thereafter, and maybe we could deport a few of the undesireable one’s here now, and we can manage the 3 who are left, Lord I feel like swearing with happiness.

      • HookesLaw

        No the Union is a good thing and we should preserve it. I like Scotland and the Scots. its a nice country just like the rest of the UK is and its people are as decent as the rest of us (which of course means they are not perfect).
        Its sad that Salmond has seen fit to tag onto the gravy train in this way and seeks to sow division and discord. He wants to see anti Scottish antics like yours. He is sad and so are you.

        • HJ777

          Well said.

          • HookesLaw

            Thanks

  • Pootles

    Doubtless, the cyber-nats will be here soon, shouting that 1) Barroso (and the Commission) will think the exact opposite once Scotland becomes independent, and 2) Barroso is a bully!

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      I don’t think they will be anything like as rational as you suggest.

      • Andy

        Too much haggis.

        • HookesLaw

          Can you ever have too much haggis. Its really quite nice – and so are the neeps and tatties.

          • Andy

            It is boring a tedious, like Salmond’s endless anti-English bigotry.

            • CortUK

              Stop bullying those poor oppressed Scots fighting to be free!

            • Kitty MLB

              Salmond keeps hearing those bells and its not doing him any good in the slightest.
              Slippery little Salmond just reminds the his little Celtic
              followers of how much the deplore the English,
              he hopes this behaviour will cloud their judgement.
              It should be what is best for Scotland and not giving England a bloody nose, and Scotland an absolute slaughter.

            • Waldo Tim

              Enlighting us all to what eck said about the English bigotry then Andy, or is it just wishful thinking on your part eh!!, maybe you should read the comment section of your daily mail website or watch your TV for ray Winston’s or Richard madley for Scottish abuse on the TV and why nothing was said about cos its a regular thing amongst the English anti Scottish hatred you know well

          • Kitty MLB

            Well only fearsome Celtic warriors can stomach
            Haggis, the same with black pudding and tough Northerners!
            The Softy Southerners down here in the Southwest would
            not have the stomach for it.
            I will not mention deep fried mars bars ( who someone
            said was best frozen) I agree with a incurable
            Cameroon though, neeps and tatties are quite lovely.

  • ButcombeMan

    The whole “Yes” campaign has proceeded as if it will be alright on the night.

    It is not serious politics. It is no way to prepare to run a country.

    The Yes campaign is based on sentiment not on sense.

    • BarkingAtTreehuggers

      Correct, based on sentiment. What else? Why would anything other than sentiment ever matter? Shall we poll India, Australia, Jamaica or Hong Kong to find out?

      • tastemylogos

        You don’t half like wandering into non-sequitur. Those nations mentioned were not in a union. You are. There is no philosophical underpinning of your position.

        If you wanted independence you might have won if you had truly decided to go alone. Out of the £, out of the monarchy, and initially out of the EU. I really think you would have won. Alas, you tried to wing it instead.

        You keep clutching at them straws though.

        • BarkingAtTreehuggers

          You have taken the eyes off the prize. An unprecedented asset transfer from BoE to ECB requires underpinning. The Scots must be seen *in support* of that.

          • Wessex Man

            mad stark utterly mad!

            • HookesLaw

              Not as mad as Mad Mac McAdder who was madder than Mad Jack McMad who won last year’s “Mr. Madman” competition.

      • Albert Tatlock

        You’re in danger of using this pointless argument once too many occasions:

        “Poll Says Hong Kongers Would Prefer British Rule”

        http://www.rfa.org/english/news/china/hong-kong-03142013141313.html

        • BarkingAtTreehuggers

          I have given you that one as a token gesture.

          • Albert Tatlock

            Why thank you sir. 😀

        • Colonel Mustard

          This was bound to happen and there are several underground forums where this is discussed. Many Hong Kongers were refugees from communist China or the children of refugees with plenty of first hand knowledge of how the reds behave.

          • Kitty MLB

            Well. Colonel.
            Many people from Hong Kong say the place was much better
            when the English were in control.
            Its a case of be careful of what you wish for.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Hong Kong was not made “independent” at the behest of its people, sentimentally or otherwise. That jewel in the British crown, that successful, semi-autonomous city state, was handed over lock, stock and barrel to an oppressive totalitarian communist regime that nine years earlier had been busy murdering and torturing its own students.

        Fat Pang and the other betrayers stood in the rain as the red flag went up and then scuttled away to their taxpayer funded sinecures on the royal yacht leaving six and a half million Hong Kongers to get on with it.

        • Jim

          Britain had a 99 year lease with China. Hong Kong had to be turned over in 1997. I’ve been to Hong Kong since the handover and it is substantially the same as before. Hong Kong has much better freedoms than mainland China (part of the deal). For example, you can be Catholic in Hong Kong and not get arrested – try that in mainland China and see what happens to you. Hong Kong is a result of British Imperialism (for good and for bad). The bad is the Opium Wars when British merchants wanted to export opium into China, addict the Chinese people, and make a buck. China protested and the British attacked China to preserve the profit motive, taking Hong Kong and other territories. The good is that over time Hong Kong evolved into a democratic haven and an economic powerhouse and people (all people) evolved into have true personal freedoms.

          • HJ777

            To be strictly accurate, only the New Territories were on a 99-year lease, not Hong Kong itself.

            Hong Kong wasn’t judged to be viable without the New Territories, however.

            • Colonel Mustard

              Correct. And even at the height of Chinese aggression during the Korean war the territory was robustly defended. The defeatist whiners here have forgotten the noble concept that some things are worth defending even in hopeless situations.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Tripe. There are many emergent issues and problems bubbling just under the surface.

            And the current arrangement is not finite but only guaranteed until 2047. From 1997 the reds were already flexing their muscles and peddling their unique brand of state interference.

        • LadyDingDong

          Much as I hate to disagree with you my dear Colonel, the 99 year lease on the new territories expired in June 1997. Without the new territories, Hong Kong was untenable as a British colony and reluctantly it was agreed, at the Sino-British Joint Declaration in 1984, to hand Hong Kong back. I have to say, much as I despise Fat Pang, at least he incurred the hatred of the Chinese at the time of the handover, but of course he was not Governor when the agreement was reached by the Great Lady. I have always thought it was a shocking end to a great colony, and the sense of betrayal of the Hong Kong people was enormous, but rule of law and all that made it the right decision in the end. What happened to Honkers should not be confused with what that lying creep Blair and his filthy bunch of traitors would have done to Gibraltar if they thought they could have got away with it.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Yes, I know all that. But the Chinese position was dishonest. Faced with the return of the New Territories but not Hong Kong island and the Kowloon peninsula south of Boundary Street Deng said 1997 was as good a time as any to settle the matter.

            Either the treaties and dates were valid or they were coerced and invalid as China maintained. The craven British government acquiesced to his hypocrisy instead of telling him to take a running jump. But it was cake and eat it time for the reds, as it was for Adams and McGuiness, and as no doubt it will be for Salmond.

          • allymax bruce

            ” shocking end to a great colony” Hmmm, so why didn’t you have all yer ugly brainwashing propaganda MSM outlets pump Hong Kong with lies, scaremongering & hatred? Didn’t fancy the Chinese?

        • Ben Kelly

          Oh please, we have nothing like the power necessary to resist the Chinese in that matter. Accusations of abandonment are absurd, British power has declined steeply and is still declining, there was nothing we could’ve done.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Oh please nothing. The students in Tienanmen Square had nothing like the power to resist the Chinese state but they showed more courage than the British government.

            Craven it was, regardless of any notions of declining power put forward by whining defeatists like you.

            • Ben Kelly

              There is just no parallel between the student protest and the surrender of Hong Kong to Chinese rule none at all. You need a reality check, the decline of British power isn’t notional, it’s things as they are. There was no chance of Britain holding on to her colony thousands of miles to the east in the back yard of a rising China. We had not the means to resist it.

              • Colonel Mustard

                I didn’t suggest that there was a parallel. I was comparing the exercise of courage.

                You will never convince me that the surrender was not an act of spineless cowardice and a betrayal of the Hong Kong people. Never. So don’t even try.

            • allymax bruce

              Oh, so the ‘British’ democratic model is to attack, plunder and force under submission ‘British’ Democracy?
              Aye, very Classy’ !

        • allymax bruce

          Weren’t yoos-lot only renting it? Like, for 99 years? So why all the sentimentality over something you didn’t ever own?

          • Kitty MLB

            Haud yer wheeshit, King Alex Vi of Scotland’s wee foot soldier .
            The Great British Empire brought civilisation to most of the world . we educated , build and improved the lives of millions,.
            Your wee little, very small country will not even have a currency. So silence your tongue Celt,
            or someone will gie ye a skelpit lug.

            • ItinerantView

              “Haud yer wheeshit,
              I believe the word is wheesht but ‘wheeshit ‘ describes Eck well enough 😉

          • Colonel Mustard

            I should hazard a guess that the greater proportion of expatriates who invested in Hong Kong’s future were Scotsmen. Jardine Matheson, etc.

            And it continues:-

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-24836669

            http://www.heraldscotland.com/business/markets-economy/scottish-firms-urged-to-set-up-business-in-hong-kong.21376061

            But as explained elsewhere the 99 years was only the New Territories not Kowloon or the Island of Victoria which were ceded in perpetuity.

            • allymax bruce

              Hi Colonel Mustard.
              Kowloon & Victoria are right in the heart of the upcoming ‘troubles’ between Japan, China, & USA. I’m of the thinking the ‘ceding’ of these two UK Territories was all part of the observance not to get involved. In WWII, UK ‘ceded’ 3 islands to USA in return for allied help; UK has a track record of ceding territories when it finds the reward will be more ‘rewarding’. I’m surprised you haven’t asked why iScotland are not asking for half of all these ‘troubles’?

              • Colonel Mustard

                The USA always behaved in Hong Kong as if it were one of their own places and exploited the place far more than Britain ever did. Britain was clueless about it and never took full advantage of its unique position and character. In fact the HK Government was semi-autonomous, resisting the barmier ideas of the Foreign Office to create a very successful low-cost model of administration.

                ‘Expert’ visitors from the UK were invariably arrogant, thinking they were there to ‘teach’ the poor colonials and that they had nothing to learn.

                The ceding was cowardice and disregard for the people of Hong Kong, nothing more or less. Compare and contrast that situation to Hawaii. The UK should have told China to take a running jump and appealed to the UN on the grounds of their appalling human rights violations to underwrite an autonomous protectorate status on Hong Kong.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Sentimentality for my money. Wind up models of The Wallace that squeak, ‘Here’s tae us. Wha’s like us? Damn few and they’re a’ deid!’

        • Barakzai

          And painted blue and spoken in an Australian accent, of course . . .

    • Eric McLean

      That’s true if you believe the BBC and read the daily mail.

      Otherwise it’s the biggest load of guff one has ever had the misfortune to stumble across.

      • ButcombeMan

        Thank you for that well considered and erudite reply.

        Plainly quite a lot of people here agree with my summation.

        Why you might ask yourself are all the unresolved problems coming out now?

        Why has Salmond flipped and flopped over arguably the most important issue of independence and the economic management after it?

        I say for precisely the reasons I give.

        As others have said elsewhere, Salmond is trying to “wing it”.

        He is the political equivalent of a down market cheap double glazing salesman.

        If you do not like this price (policy) I have another in my back pocket.

        It is very difficult to take anything he says seriously, any more.

        So now he will just try to paint independence as an anti Tory battle. Despite the fact that ALL the main UK parties are agreed?

        Is that all he has? Is that to be the basis of deciding the future of a nation?

        Just whip up anger in the voters who do not understand the issues and wing it?.

        He should be ashamed to be reduced to this.

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