Coffee House

Ming Campbell knows how to kill off the Scottish nationalists. Shame no-one’s listening to him.

10 March 2014

2:13 PM

10 March 2014

2:13 PM

The independence campaign could be over now. The Yes campaign could be all but destroyed with six months to go before the vote. The unionists have it within their power to do this, yet they choose not to do so for the simple – and apparently intractable – reason of narrow party politics.

This morning the Lib Dem grandee Sir Menzies Campbell will unveil plans to try to forge ‘common ground’ between the three unionist parties on more powers for the Scottish Parliament. Sir Ming knows that if he can get Labour and the Tories to agree with him, then a tri-party agreement on more powers will effectively kill off the nationalist threat then and there.

Just look at the results of the TNS poll commissioned by Sir Tom Hunter earlier this year. Voters were asked to choose between three options: the status quo (which attracted 31 per cent support), full independence (24 per cent) and more powers for the parliament (35 per cent). The poll showed what has been the accepted wisdom for some time in Scotland: some form of ‘devo plus’ or ‘devo max’ is the best supported option in Scotland. That is what Scots want.

Yes, there is a hard core – about a quarter – of Scots who want full independence but, really, most would be happy to stay within the UK, keep the pound and everything that helps them along but have more power of tax powers and, possibly, welfare.

That’s it. It really is as simple as that. Scots want more powers for Holyrood but not full independence, yet that is the one option that is not on the ballot paper for September. Sir Ming realises this. That’s why he believes the three main unionist parties should come together and agree a common platform for more powers, setting out which ones they all agree should be transferred north.

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The belief is that, if the unionist parties did that, it would effectively put devo plus on the ballot paper. Scots would be able to vote Yes for full independence or No for the Union but with more powers for Holyrood.

But Sir Ming also knows he is likely to be thwarted in his attempts to get that agreement simply because Labour politicians want to drag their feet for party political reasons. Prof John Curtice put it well on the BBC’s Sunday Politics programme yesterday when he said:

‘I think there is a feeling inside the Labour Party that they want to feel ownership of more devolution… The trouble is all three parties are not just fighting for the referendum, they are positioning themselves ahead of the 2015 and 2016 elections and that does not encourage cooperation.’

This is the rub. If the unionist parties really wanted to win the referendum and win it decisively, they would not only bury their party-political animosities and agree a broad platform for more powers but they would offer a clear guarantee that these powers would be central to their manifestos for the 2015 General Election.

It is not as if they don’t agree on the main thrusts of the policy debate. All the three main parties seem to back the devolution of income tax to the Scottish Parliament and air passenger duty, they also agree on the transfer of other rights and responsibilities, including the right of the Scottish Parliament to control its own elections. There are disagreements over welfare and corporation tax but these could easily be left outside any agreement.

The parties could all put their proposals on the table and where there is agreement – like the overlapping areas in a Venn diagram – this could become the basis for a cast-iron promise to Scots. That would persuade many wavering Scots that they would actually get what they want, a continued place within the UK but with more autonomy, more control over domestic affairs but not outright independence.

Ming realises how this could transform the campaign. It just seems a pity that his Labour rivals are so locked into their own partisan battles (and its desperate desire not to be seen to be working with the Tories) that they cannot see it too.

Gordon Brown’s intervention today has to be seen in this context.

With his party arguing over how many tax powers to transfer (and the Scottish leadership look set to win this argument and back the wholesale transfer of income tax to Scotland), his remarks seem a bit so-whatish. The former Prime Minister’s proposals would see Holyrood granted a load of symbolic new powers – the Scottish Parliament couldn’t just be abolished on the whim of Westminster for example – but most of these are hardly necessary.

What Scots need to know is exactly what actual powers would be transferred in the event of a No vote. That is what is important, not just a symbolic right to more powers, which Mr Brown seems to be suggesting.

And, as the Nats pointed out quite pertinently this morning, if Mr Brown feels so strongly on this issue, why on earth didn’t he do anything about it when he was Prime Minister?


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Show comments
  • Bumb Lebee

    Hopefully in Sept 2014 Scotland will vote to remain part of the UK – but if they don’t they need not expect the loyal citizens in the rest of the UK to continue to buy Scottish goods where there is an alternative – has this inevitable boycott been factored into Salmond’s calculations?

  • Ringan

    Ming sounded grumpy, petulant and well past his sell-by date in his interview on BBC Good Morning Scotland. He obviously felt Gary Robertson wasn’t treating him with the deference his grandee status demands. One of the most amusing comments I heard was from someone who thought he was already in the House of Lords.

    His difficulty is that the Liberal Party has done precisely nothing to advance the cause of federalism in its years in UK and Scottish government. It will soon be a footnote in history.

  • Mr_Ominous

    More obsession with Scotland from The Spectator. Give it a rest.

  • The Laughing Cavalier

    Who is going to pay for it all?

  • davetheginge

    I don’t believe this column is deluded, I believe it’s disingenuous. The Tories may be unionists but DC and GO are out for themselves. They know every time they open their mouths a Scottish unionist dies. There’s the shallow party politics. I am not Tory, Labour, LibDem etc, but I will rue the destruction of the UK. Thanks Dave(!)

    • davetheginge

      The only way DC & Co can win a majority this decade is after having jettisoned Scotland.

  • The_greyhound

    The quickest way to kill off the remaining nationalists is to cut off the supply of Buckie.

    Nationalism is the product of strong drink on weak minds – nothing more.

    • Paul Bethune

      And ignorance is the product of an uniformed mind that rarely ventures outside its own bubble. Whatever you’re good at Mr greyhound, grand national assumptions are not it.

    • justejudexultionis

      So you are opposed to British as well as Scottish Nationalism then?

  • abystander

    1 Devo anything is only proposed when the SNP are doing well.
    2 The morning after a No vote all this will be forgotten as will Brown and Campbell’s witterings.
    3 What can two failed leaders do, realistically? Nothing.

  • Ringstone

    There’s a very good reason to keep Devo Max out of the mix – because it would be never ending. Holyrood would inevitably come back wanting more, again and again.
    The current question is absolute and closes the debate, in or out, put up or shut up.

  • scotcanadien

    “This is the rub. If the unionist parties really wanted to win the
    referendum and win it decisively, they would not only bury their
    party-political animosities and agree a broad platform for more powers
    but they would offer a clear guarantee that these powers would be
    central to their manifestos for the 2015 General Election.”

    And what CLEAR GUARANTEE could they give that the powers would actually be implemented in crowded Parliamentary business? Just remember the LibDems and University fees. And we don’t want any Devowhatever without the OIL money.

    Better by far to go for the GUARANTEES of Independence.

  • Andrew Morton

    Has anyone got a jam spoon?

  • Maidmarrion

    Devo max is not on offer and will not be on the ballot paper – t was rejected by the great and the good of Westminster.
    Having listened to Ming on radio , someone should tell him to retire – waffle and drivel on offer nothing more.

  • Frank

    If the Scots won’t vote to go, can the English be given a vote to get independence from them???

    • scotcanadien

      Stop your nonsense. You know you will be heading to the boondocks after the Scots dump you.

  • Henry Hill

    This would be wholly counter-productive. This is a referendum on Scotland’s membership of the Union, not the terms. You cannot have a unilateral vote on devolution.

    Taking this course of action would make a ‘No’ vote a conditional vote for a particular deal, rather than a vote for Britain the country. It would be doing exactly what the short-sighted charge toward devolution has done to date: sow the seeds of future disaster in pursuit of short-term attempts to “kill nationalism stone dead”, invariably without success.

    The shape of a post-No constitution is for the entire British people to negotiate together at a convention, not for Scots to decide unilaterally.

    • rollo_tommasi

      Spot on. Completely agree.

  • Vincent McDee

    Is this some kind of “sugar free” devo?

  • disqus_J2aLhU917U

    If all the money raised in Scotland stayed there likely wouldn’t be the
    referendum in the first place, as in the current arrangement (as it has
    been for decades) Scotland operates at a surplus which the UK government
    scoops up to spread yet more jam onto London and their old boys club
    pals and leaves Scotland to wither and go hungry (now almonst literally
    as Scotland still pays up more money than it gets back while the imposed
    austerity leaves foodbanks empty as they struggle to patch up holes –
    another UK dividend). With all the demands for abolishing the Barnett
    Formula do you dream of Scotland having more money or gleefully stealing
    yet more of it for Westminster’s spendthrift ambitions?

    The
    Union has bled Scotland dry. The union has sucked money out of Scotland
    while burdening a Scotland with debt which it did not borrow or enjoy
    the benefits of as it has operated at surplus. Scotland gives
    significantly more money to the Westminster pot than is given back and
    has “spent on its behalf” (on such wonderful projects as foreign wars,
    rail systems that won’t go within a hundred miles of us, London’s
    Olympics, aircraft carriers with no planes on them and nuclear weapons)
    And lets not forget the icing on the cake – leaking nuclear sites based
    in Scotland thanks to this union, the government of which had the leaks
    hidden from Scotland’s own government. Treated with contempt and robbed
    blind and in return for all that suffering and sacrafice that Scotland
    constantly gives.

    These are facts. Even the UK’s own figures back this up and they are hardly known for aiding the cause of Scottish independence.

    • The_greyhound

      Great technique. Make up a load of stuff, and then say “these are the facts”.

      There isn’t a shred of truth in anything you say. No wonder people classify nationalism as a mental illness rather than a political philosophy.

      • justejudexultionis

        I take it you are opposed to the British Nation as well then.

  • Lady Magdalene

    If the Scots can’t be persuaded to vote to leave, then I guess Devo Max will have to do.
    But their involvement in English-only matters must be completely curtailed. No say whatsoever. And the Barnett formula must be scrapped. They can raise their own taxes and squander them as they see fit …. but they can’t do it with English money.
    The English have been patient quite long enough. It’s time we had home rule for England.

  • BP39

    As the majority want minimum of all powers to Holyrood, apart from defence and foreign affairs, we can see nobody is going to agree to that.
    As MIng Cambell says that some powers should be given at some stage, the others could agree to that, but meaningless.

  • swatnan

    I think everyone stopped listening to Ming back in 1979. But he certainly is never going to get a tripartheid agreement on anything, and certainly not Scotland. As so often before Scotland has just been a miserable pawn in Englands Great Game. Thats why Salmond called the Referendum.

    • justejudexultionis

      ‘tripartite’ is the correct spelling.
      SAOR ALBA

      • swatnan

        Many thanks for spotting that. But its a play on words: that Mings suggestion was pretty hopeless in the first place; the Parties are never going to have a consensus policy on Scotland (see G Brown’s recent intervention) even with ‘Better Together’. Labour see Scotland as their fiefdom; The Tories see Scotland as a colony; and the Lib Dems would be wiped out if Scotland went Independent, because Cornwall could be next. As I’ve Scotland is just a pawn.

  • CraigStrachan

    “The independence campaign could be over by now”

    It is over, bar the whingeing.

    • justejudexultionis

      FEARTIE!

      • CraigStrachan

        WHINGER!

  • Count Dooku

    The Scots can have devo max if they with but the following conditions must be met:

    1) Abolish the Barnett formula. And tax raised in Scotland is kept there and there are no fiscal transfers from the rest of the UK other that national expenditure like Defence.

    2) If the Scots can issue bonds, they will NOPT be backed by the UK Treasury. A default would mean a default.

    3) Wales and NI must get exactly the same powers. England comes next…

    4) Scottish MPs MUST be forbidden from voting on non-national matters affecting England. English votes for English matters (the same applies for Wales and NI).

    5) The leader of the largest English party becomes the First Minister and deputy PM by default. He will lead a mini-govt based in Westminster and run the English only ministries.

    Only if all the above is met should we even consider giving Holyrood more powers. The Union is already massively unbalanced as it is.

    • Andy

      Quite right. Let the Scots have ‘devo max’ just as long as England gets exactly the same powers and rights. Home rule for England !

    • Ringan

      It’s not in your gift, Count.

  • Jeanne Tomlin

    First, the welfare isn’t a maybe. Scotland having control of welfare in order to do away with the hated Bedroom Tax is essential. And Scotland would need control of all taxes not a few taxes and of all spending.

    They could have agreed to put this on the ballot. They didn’t. Now if anything they propose, we know they are lying. It is as simple as that. There will BE NO MORE POWERS. Ming Campbell knows that as does the Spectator.

    Scots were fooled by such empty promises in 1979. We won’t be fooled again.

    • Wessex Man

      So vote yes and do us all a favour, go and then prove your points, I’ll guarantee that England won’t be begging you to come back, go and do everything you want to do but go, please just go!

      • Jeanne Tomlin

        So who asked England to beg us to come back? Unlike you towards us, we will wish you well.

    • Nicholas chuzzlewit

      You can have control of all taxes, spending and welfare but emphatically not as part of a currency union with the UK.

      • Ringan

        er… it’s not in your gift, Nicholas.

        • Nicholas chuzzlewit

          No it is not but thankfully the Chancellor of the Exchequer and his Labour and Lib Dem counterparts have precluded this particular piece of utter madness.

          • Ringan

            The Unionist parties will be falling over themselves to agree a currency union the minute Scotland votes Yes, as it is clearly in the mutual interests of both successor states.

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              Uh no. Why would the UK seek to underwrite and guarantee the newly issued public debt of a foreign country without any control over amount or term?Thankfully, we chose not to enter a currency union called the eurozone which, you might have heard, is having a few difficulties for that very reason. Second, why would the UK act as lender of last resort to the banks of a foreign country – banks which are 15 times the size of that country’s economy. If it was a good idea we would join the euro or a currency union with the USA or Australia etc etc. Why does Salmond want a currency union when he had previously described Sterling as “a millstone around Scotland’s neck”. The answer is twofold, firstly he realises that joining the euro may not be a good idea and Scotland’s automatic entry to the EU is far from certain. Second, while he can brandish all manner of favourable reports about Scotland’s economic prospects from S & P etc he knows, because sensible people have told him, that with no debt issuing track record, Scottish debt could only be issued at a huge premium to UK debt (175 bps by one estimate). Indeed, the UK has alread been forced, to ease market jitters by confirming it will stand by all existing UK debt, including that part which would transfer to Scotland upon independence, so why would any sane person add to that burden on behalf of a foreign country? There is no advantage to the UK entering a currency union with Scotland and spare me the rubbish about it costing UK companies money, we manage forex exposures etc with a multiplicity of countries and one more will not make a difference. Also, please do not suggest that by joining a currency union that Scotland will be doing the UK a favour – it wont be. By all means keep using Sterling but not as part of a currency union with the UK thankyou very much. I give you full marks for total economic and political naivete though.

              • Ringan

                One obvious answer is the significant benefit to rUK’s balance of payments. The terms of a currency union will be agreed pragmatically to the mutual benefit of both states.

                Despite the EU’s clear economic difficulties, the Eurozone is surviving quite well, with new states continuing to join.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Absolutely feeble. Any balance of payments advantages (to the extent that they exist) would be massively outweighed by the UK guaranteeing without limitation any newly issued public debt by a foreign country, the exUK. That is why a currency union has been emphatically and unambiguously ruled out. Waffling about pragmatism will not alter the fact that the exUK wants a currency union in order to access cheaper public debt costs and the UK does not. We could have a currency union if the exUK agreed to allow the UK Treasury to set strict limits on its borrowing and spending but what kind of independence is that? Salmond has sold you a pup by saying you can have independence while retaining all the benefits of union. You cannot.

                • Ringan

                  The Union offers very few benefits, Nicholas. That is why we are determined to end it.

  • Pip

    I sincerely hope that Scotland votes YES, it will the best thing that for the English with the added bonus that we will rid ourselves of 40 or so Scottish Labour MPs. I do hope the Scots realise that they will lose all their nice little freebees once they get their much agonised over freedom, personally I believe they are heading for disappointment and hardship but that’s for them to discover.

    • 1957sim

      Please detail the ‘freebies’ you refer to.

      • Alexsandr

        no tuition charges, free elderly care.

        • Jeanne Tomlin

          Those are not ‘freebies’. They are taking decent care of your people. You should be demanding them in England, not whingeing about the Scots doing the right thing.

          • Alexsandr

            we live in a united kingdom. the benefits should be the same for everyone. But it seems to me Scotland gets a better deal than England. Do tell me what, as a scot, you don’t get what the English do.

            • Jeanne Tomlin

              Scotland and England have never had the same benefits and we aren’t going to give ours up now! We have each always had our own educational and health systems. If you weren’t aware of that, perhaps educating yourself would be a good start.

              I assure you that we watch the English NHS being sold off with considerable horror.

              If you want the NHS protected and care for the elderly and free education, demand them. Don’t whinge because they are a priority in Scotland. We give up other things to fund what we value.

              • Andy

                You may ‘watch the English NHS being sold off with considerable horror’, but it is none of your damn business is it ?

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  Then why is it any of your damn business if Scots give our people free educations and free elder care?

                  I have what I consider simple human feeling for friends on the other side of the border. Something valuable is being destroyed. In order to protect the NHS in Scotland, I believe that we MUST have independence.

                • Andy

                  Have I said anything about Scottish education and free elder care policy ? No I have not. What I do say is that if you want these things you must pay for these things. That means scrapping the Barnett Formula and dividing up tax revenue strictly on a per head count.

                  I also say it is not your concern what policies we have in England. That is my business not yours, so butt out. And that means every single Scottish MP has to lose any voting rights on English affairs. We want devolution too.

                • 1957sim

                  We already pay for these things. The Barnett formula is merely pocket money while our wealth is squandered on vanity projects like HS1, HS2 ,Olympics and weapons that we neither desire or need. Rather than divide up tax revenue (I’m sure you don’t include North Sea revenue in that) I’d rather just have 100% control of our tax & affairs and the ability to make decisions in Scotland for the good of Scottish people .

                • rollo_tommasi

                  “100% control of our tax & affairs”

                  You won’t get that with a currency union.

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  You should have independence rather than devolution. Per capita division isn’t reasonable. Scots should collect our own taxes–all taxes generated in Scotland. Scots should pay our own expenses–all expenses we accrue. That pretty much takes care of the Barnett Formula doesn’t it.

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  I notice you are happy to butt into a discussion of Scottish affairs that are not your concern. And you might read the thread you are posting in which is very much about supposed ‘freebies’ such as education and elder care.

                  As far as Scots losing voting rights over English affairs, I’m all for it. It is called Scottish independence. We’ll vote on it in September, but that is our business, not yours, so butt out.

                • Andy

                  I do not comment on devolved matters, but I do not expect people like you to start saying what we in England should or should not be doing.

                  And perhaps we too should have a vote on Scottish independence/devolution. It effects England too.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Excuse me but the break up of the United Kingdom is most definitely his business and you have absolutely no right whatsoever to fetter the opinions of anybody on this thread. The last time I looked this was still, despite the best efforts of Gordon Brown, something faintly resembling a democracy where freedom of speech is valued. It is not for you to proscribe opinions as you see fit and I for one bitterly resent your attempts to do so. Should Scotland vote for Independence in September I have no doubt that you and your kind will relish the opportunity to police opinion and punish those who dare to take a contrary view but until then, this remains a United Kingdom and Andy and anybody else can express whatever opinions they like.

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  Excuse me, but we’re still all in the United Kingdom so it is most definitely my business what goes on in England and neither he nor you have any right whatsoever to fetter my opinions.

                  It doesn’t occur to you that I was simply returning what he was dishing out. Until Scotland is independent, what happens in the rest of the UK is my business. Yes, freedom of speech should be valued but I note that you don’t value mine.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  “But that is our business, not yours, so butt out”. Are you so ignorant and hypocritical as to not even be able to recall you own words?

                • 1957sim

                  And you’re to stupid to realise that she was parroting his words from the previous post. Balloon.

                • The_greyhound

                  The Union concerns everyone in the Union. While the greasy little crook Salmond may have done everything in his power to gerrymander the constituency for the referendum (and Cameron had no business allowing the jumped up little wretch to do so) excluding 800,000 Scots resident elsewhere in the Union, and giving the vote to small children, he will still lose by a large margin.

                  So you and your sad few friends can forget your dreams of hijacking any part of Britain. So perhaps it is you that should butt out.

              • The_greyhound

                Do my eyes deceive me? A nationalist telling someone else not to whinge?

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              A decent Rugby team. Scotland’s is utter crap.

        • 1957sim

          And these are free how? Do we not pay taxes in Scotland ?The Scottish Government simply prioritises the spending from our Westminster pocket money differently to the Westminster government. There are no freebies.

          • Alexsandr

            do tell us what the scots don’t get that the English do…

            • 1957sim

              Enhanced cancer care . Your post implies that Scots receive extra money to achieve free personal care for the elderly and free university tuition. Is that what you believe?

              • Alexsandr

                its what I am asking.

                • 1957sim

                  And I’ve given you the one example that I’m aware of. I’m sure there are others but the upshot is the same , it’s a question of pririties. It seems that providing free education was not a priority for the UK government. Probably they want to keep their system dominated by privilege.

                • 1957sim

                  priorities.

          • Pip

            If you don’t comprehend the fact that the English Taxpayers subsidise the Scottish Economy then you never will.

            • 1957sim

              Sadly that view is not borne out by any official figures. The governments own figures show that for every one of the last 32 years Scotland has received less in funding than she has put in to the UK economy. But don’t let facts get in the way , just spout unsupportable drivel to back your point.

              • Wessex Man

                They show nothing of the sort, give us those GOVERNMENT links that state any such thing!

                • 1957sim

                  GERS links are included in the following very illuminating article . If thats not enough please feel free to do your own research. http://www.businessforscotland.co.uk/think-tank-scotlands-economy-stronger-than-previously-thought/

                • HookesLaw

                  Oil revenues? UK oil revenues not generated by a Scottish economy but developed by the UK govenment and economy.

                • 1957sim

                  Even without oil revenues Scotland makes a more than adequate contribution to UK economy. I don’t remember mentioning oil revenues . Please elaborate.

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  They were ‘developed’ by private companies not by the government.

            • Ringan

              They don’t. That’s just what you are fed by the Daily Mail. The money flows the other way.

    • taranaich

      Which “freebies”? Scots have paid more into the rest of the UK than they’ve received in spending, and have done for the past 30 years:

      http://archive.is/5Swry

      Scotland currently has zero borrowing powers, so all the money they get from the government is based on a block grant – one which gives 70% of the amount Scotland contributes in tax revenue. Those “freebies” – presume you mean free prescriptions, tuitions, elderly care etc – are paid for by Scottish taxes, much as all the public services in the rest of the UK are paid for by UK taxes.

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        So you are advocating the scrapping of the Barnett formula?

  • Mikkytoo

    Hang on, the non-Scots are getting a bit restive here, I think we should have some say in this. I can envisage a more-powers Scotland responding to any reduction in private sector employment by boosting spending in the public sector, underwritten by rUK, which would end up paying for it.

  • BigAl

    If Scotland are net contributors to the UK as the SNP claim, in this new redistribution phase would not a Scotland as part of the UK pay monies to England, N Ireland and Wales? Of have I missed something………

    • Pip

      I doubt anyone but the Scots have any regard whatsoever for what Salmond has to say and more fool them.

    • Spammo Twatbury

      Big Al: You are entirely correct. Brown’s proposals entail the enshrining in law of the Scottish subsidy to England. Of course, he keeps quiet about that aspect.

      • HookesLaw

        All Brown wants is to make the West Lothian question even bigger. He wants less say in Scotland by people outside Scotland but just the same influence in England by Scots MPs.
        Brown gave us the dogs breakfast of Devolution. Now he wants to make it more messy.

  • http://blog.widmann.org.uk/ Thomas Widmann

    I’m sorry, but more powers over income tax just wouldn’t do it for me. For devo-max to be a realistic alternative to independence, it would need to include full devolution of everything the DWP does, and raising all taxes in Scotland and then sending a block grant to Westminster to pay for shared services. The House of Lords should also be replaced by a Senate with equal representation for the four nations of the UK. This is just not going to happen.

    • Alexsandr

      hang on. Its the scots that want change. How about a change to the Barnett formula and a resolution to the West Lothian Question. When we get those sorted then we can talk about giving the scots more powers. But NOT at the expense of the English.

      • BarkingAtTreehuggers

        an expense is incurred when you lose control of your main fossil fuel income stream.

      • rod mac

        You do not Give us anything ,we will take the powers we want.

        • Alexsandr

          fine. but done expect keep under English skirts -get your own currency.

          • 1957sim

            It is our own currency. Every bit as much as it’s yours.

            • Kitty MLB

              Oh no its not! its called the English pound, its our currency
              you cannot keep it as a security blanket, you can join the Euro
              or start with a new currency of your own. It’s called independence, some just want their Salmond fish cake and
              eating it too.

              • 1957sim

                Hilarious. See what you did there with the condescending fish remark. Very original. It’s referred to as GBP (that’s Great British Pound). It is an asset of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and NI . There will be no need to join the Euro as we will be using the pound whether in or out of a currency union.

                • dalai guevara

                  no you won’t but never mind.

                • 1957sim

                  Oh yes we will. And there’s nothing rUK can do to stop it. You do understand that Sterling is a fully tradeable currency , don’t you?

                • dalai guevara

                  You misunderstand my comment.
                  It is not in the Scottish interest to be excluded medium-term from monetary decision-making processes.

                • 1957sim

                  Our Fiscal Commission with the two Nobel Laureates seem to disagree with you. (If I understand you correctly) I think the problem that rUK would object to is that iScotland would not enter into a perpetual union.

                • Wessex Man

                  it’s not your Nobel Laureates you have to try and persuade it’s us the rest of the UK, who won’t share with a foreign Country our currency.

                • dalai guevara

                  There is no long-term (Andorran) option in which a country the size of Scotland would find itself outside a union whilst running on that currency without an input into monetary decision-making processes.
                  This will leave two options:
                  1- setting up its own central bank.
                  2- joining another

                • rollo_tommasi

                  Sterling is an institution not an asset. There is simply no law or principle in international law that would force the rest of the UK to share its currency without express agreement from the UK government.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Yes I do. But you cannot impose a currency union upon us because that would be against our interests. We have no wish to underwrite the newly issued debt of a foreign country. Oh, and we are the UK by the way. What we call ourselves is none of your business so kindly drop the rUK nomenclature.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Where are our usual group of Celts such as Terengles,
                  Ally and Jambo ?

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  The pound is a medium of exchange it is not an asset divisible or otherwise. You are quite right you can use the pound for as long as you like but you will most emphatically not be using it as part of a currency union with the UK. Current market projections suggest that Scottish debt within a currency Union with the UK would require a premium of 175 bps over UK gilts of a similar term and its price outside of a currency union ( which you cannot have) would be considerably higher. I recommend that you take steps to pay down your mortgage if you have one.

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  Ah well, without that nasty UK debt, I suspect we will do very nicely. Thank you.

                • rollo_tommasi

                  Very nicely? Not when we veto your EU, NATO membership. And when all the banks/providers evacuate Scotland for down south taking thousands of jobs with them. When we boycott Scottish goods and services and the credit rating agencies assign Scotland junk status making the cost of mortgages sky rocket.

                  Perhaps we could close the borders to land traffic so that all food/materials had to be brought in by air/sea.

                  And so on…..

                • JPJ2

                  You can’t under the Edinburgh Agreement

                • rollo_tommasi

                  Where does it say you can walk away from your debt in the Edinburgh Agreement?

                  Must have missed that.

                • Paul Bethune

                  JPJ2 means you can’t threaten Scotland because your Prime Minister has signed a treaty with Holyrood to respect the outcome and work in mutual co-operation for the benefit of all on these islands.

                  To quote from Article 30:

                  “The two governments are committed to continue to work together constructively in the light of the outcome, whatever it is, in the best interests of the people of Scotland and of the rest of the United Kingdom.”

                  Of course if you want to rip up what the UN will see as an international agreement, by all means keep up the petty animosity. It will serve only to embarrass you and those charged with handling the negotiations.

                  As for the “debt” Scotland has no debt. All the debt is in the name of the UK Treasury – which they announced to the world they would guarantee in full. If Westminster wish to postulate as the only successor state then legally, a seceding Scotland would be liable for no debt. It would be up to Westminster to negotiate a settlement of that debt and for a Scottish government to agree. Anyone with a degree in economics will agree any negotiations on debt will be based around the mechanisms for servicing such debt. As the BoE is one of the largest creditors to the UK government, it’s conducive for both governments to be servicing the debt in the same currency with out exchange controls.

                • rollo_tommasi

                  The framework of International law dictates that debts and liabilities are to be apportioned equitably. The SG have already said on numerous occasions that they would honour their share of the debts for obvious reasons and this would form part of the political negotations following a yes vote.

                  The only caveat they have is that the rUK must enter (against its will) a currency union with Scotland on the basis that the currency is an asset. This is wrong as it is an institution of the UK not an asset.

                • Paul Bethune

                  There are only a few international precedents for the apportion of a states debt between seceding states. All of them which had deals had them signed in accordance with the referendum rules. Serbia & Montenegro being a prime example.

                  A perfect example of no agreement of the apportion of debt between new states is the break up of the Soviet Union. Moscow found it almost impossible to convince their creditors that as the sole successor state they were not liable for the full debt of the Soviet Union (by the way – the UK has already guaranteed all the debt).

                  Legally there is nothing Westminster can do but negotiate fairly to see an amicable agreement on the apportion of debt.

                • rollo_tommasi

                  Of course Westminster will negotiate fairly. What it will not do is be forced against its will to enter into a currency union on the incorrect proviso that Sterling is an asset when it isn’t.

                  The whole thing is a complete nightmare full of massive uncertainty, such a good job Scotland will vote no in September.

                • Paul Bethune

                  hahaha Rollo get a grip son. The people who pertain currency to be no asset to a country/government have no clue what they are talking about. Even Cameron & Co are not as daft as to say something like that.

                  Why don’t you go and look up the dictionary definition of asset.

                • rollo_tommasi

                  There is no rule or principle in international law that would require the UK goverment to share its currency. It is an institution not an asset.

                  As for Cameron and Co that is exactly their position as stated in the Scotland Analysis papers with detailed legal opinion from world-leading experts Professor James Crawford and Professor Alan Boyle

                  https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/279454/CM8815_2901849_SA_SterlingUnion_acc.pdf

                • Paul Bethune

                  Never said there was, what I said was there is no legal requirement for Scotland to assume a proportionate share of the debt – something that you tried to assert.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Well if you did walk away from your share of the National Debt you will be regarded by the markets as being in default. Good luck with getting a rating which will allow you to borrow money on that basis.

                • 1957sim

                  Clearly you missed the Standard & Poors report last week.

              • Paul Bethune

                English pound? LOL

                And you think you have an informed opinion. Bless.

                • Kitty MLB

                  And you would not know whimsicality if you fell over it,
                  a little overly serious me thinks.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  I think the more discerning English voices recognise that you can keep the pound and there is nothing, short of war, that we can do to stop you. I for one would be perfectly happy for you to carry on using Sterling because it is as much your currency as mine. What you most emphatically cannot have however, is a currency union with the UK. Post independence, the UK will not be underwriting the newly issued public debt of a foreign country without limitation as to amount or term. We do not do that for Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Bhutan etc etc and they do not ask us to. Neither will we be doing it for Scotland. For that matter, I cannot imagine Scotland wanting to underwrite the newly issued public debt of the UK. We will not be acting as lender of last resort to your banks either. So keep the pound with, for one, my blessing but no currency union I am afraid.

                • Paul Bethune

                  Nicholas I don’t think you have any idea what proposal would be on the table for a currency union. I’d be incredibly surprised if you knew exactly what was being proposed based on your argument against it.

                  The proposal as set out by the current Scottish government is for shared representation on the Monetary Policy Committee – a board that sits within the BoE. That is who sets interest rates, and targets inflation – not Westminster. Unless a future Westminster or Holyrood becomes a creditor within Sterling then only the Bank of England – a nationalised and politically independent financial institution that makes it’s money through interest on the UK treasury’s own debt to the bank – would be underwriting any new debt.There would be two consolidated funds, so each governments accounts would be separate.

                  Thanks to Gordon “am fae north britain” Broon the MPC is entirely separate from Westminster, so there should be no problem of fixing the rate of Sterling as it is, in fact the Scottish economy is almost identical to the rest of the UK that setting up a new consolidated fund and revised representation on the board would be seamless. For a transitionary period that is the most beneficial approach to diverging the intrinsically linked currency and debt.

                  Without the Scottish economy, there is a huge risk of the devaluation of Sterling. Just like 1976, Cameron, Osborne & Co will have 3 choices before them. The freefall of Sterling, a siege economy (think Osborne oil tax grab circa 2010 but for the entire economy) – or the swallow your pride and partake in transitionary measures to help dampen the markets inevitable drive to devalue Sterling when 10% of its market share no longer exists. It’s going to happen eventually, but why not lessen the blow. It’s called pragmatism and it’s what will win the day at the negotiating table.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  I cannot stop you from deluding yourself or from constructing a mythical hand of aces with which Scotland will ‘negotiate’. Incidentally, you cybernats all seem to believe that negotiating means 2Agreeing to everything we want without compromise”. You will not have a currency union with the UK because it is contrary to our interests whatever Salmond says. If a currency union was such a good idea why doesnt the UK have one with the USA for example where we do far more buisiness than we would with an independent Scotland? Like I say. enjoy your delusions.

                • Paul Bethune

                  Actually after the EU Nicholas Scotland would be one the rUK’s largest importers as well as exporters. The USA would actually be fourth in the table.

                • rollo_tommasi

                  Where does it say that?

                • Paul Bethune
                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Another fantasy statistic. We are the UK not the rUK. You can vote for whatever you like but the name of our country is none of your stinking business.

                • Paul Bethune

                  I see you’re bringing approved international evaluations of national economies to your argument. Oh no wait that’s me. All you have is more waffle and pent-up rage from the doldrums of your mind. Superb skills of nitwitery there old boy, keep it up.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Frankly, I would feel far more comfortable doing more business with the USA than with the exUK.

                • Paul Bethune

                  So conjecture is all you got sunshine.

                  I knew this already, but it’s fun making uninformed reactionary dinosaurs squirm.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Whereas you have the arrogance and deluded stupidity of certainty. Well here is a statistic for you, the people of England, Wales and Northern Ireland make up 92% of the population of these Islands and if you think the demands of the remaining 7% will predominate in any post independence negotiations then you enjoy a naïveté with which few are blessed.

                  I knew this already but its fun making ignorant, uneducated semi-literates like you squirm.

                • Paul Bethune

                  It’s 8.4% actually.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  I doubt if that additional 1.3% will carry much weight when considering the needs of 91.7% of the population. For example, that is 91.7% of the current UK population for whom a currency union would be a potential disaster.

                • Paul Bethune

                  If the evidence suggested a Scottish government would preside over a basket case economy while simultaneously not being capable of reducing it’s deficit and borrowing excessively – then you would be right. Except that’s not what the evidence suggests. In fact all data and estimations of taxable income coupled with public spending in Scotland shows the government has a lower budget deficit than the UK overall – and with an economy that is both mixed and vibrant. 5.3 million compete evenly with a population of 50+ million. Scotland as an independent nation would have a stronger fiscal position to borrow on than rUK!

                  So in other words Nicky, the potential charge for excessive borrowing is already being committed by Westminster. Somebody should go tell them.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Well its great fiction but it falls down when I look at the projected borrowing costs for an independent exUK which are currently running at 175 bps pa over UK gilts of comparable term. You see, the UK has a long ‘track record’ of honouring its debts and the exUK does not have a track record at all. Markets are funny about things like that and dont content themselves with the platitudinous words of optimistic wafflers like Salmond and yourself. Of course, that premium rises if the exUK is not part of a currency union with the UK (which it most emphatically will not be becuse that would be contrary to the interests of 91.7% of its current population). My advice would be to pay down that mortgage if you have one. Mind you, It does not look as if there will be any financial institutions left in Scotland for you to pay back anyway or are they just ‘scaremongering’ and bluffing as well? Another thought occurs, post independence there will be at least 41 former exUK Labour MPs and their respective coterie of socialist nutters looking for something to do. Good luck building a ‘vibrant economy’ with that lot trying to build a socialist utopia at the same time.
                  Now, I must break off as I am heading off to Rome this weekend to watch England play Italy and I have to order a few euros. Has the exUK ever thought about getting itself a Rugby team by the way? I only ask because my lads had to play on a swamp in Edinburgh a few weeks ago and nobody else turned up. How ill mannered. There were all manner of grandiose pyrotechnics and bagpipes before kick off and a few cretins in blue shirts scampering about but England wisely chose to ignore them.

                • Paul Bethune

                  Maybe one of the big three credit ratings agencies report on a independent Scotland would soothe your notions of any future borrowing.

                  “The Scottish economy is rich and relatively diversified, with 2014 per capita GDP estimated to be US$47,369 (based on the Scottish government’s estimates, which include Scotland’s geographic share of North Sea output, abbreviated as Scotland (Geographical) in the table above). Scottish wealth levels are comparable to that of the U.K. (‘AAA’), Germany (‘AAA’), Ireland (‘BBB+’), and New Zealand (‘AA-‘). Even excluding North Sea output and calculating per capita GDP only by looking at onshore income, Scotland would qualify for our highest economic assessment. Higher GDP per capita, in our view, gives a country a broader potential tax and funding base to draw from, which supports creditworthiness”

                  Standard & Poor 27/02/2014

                  Kinda blows your conjecture out the water doesn’t it?

                  :-)

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  No it does not because this a matter of price and a key factor of price is track record etc. In any event, and I know this is a question you will ignore, If the above means that the exUK will secure equal or better pricing than the UK in international debt markets, why is Salmond so keen to form a currency union with the UK? and no it is not because he is desperate to help the UK and save its companies money on foreign exchange translations. Surely such a union would be to the detriment of the exUK if your analysis is to be believed. Oh and remember, it was S & P who rated large tranches of all of those securitised mortgage bonds as AAA and so I would be a little more circumspect about their endorsement if I were you. That is why those of us who actually trade debt rather than scour the headlines for plitically favourable reports, actually dig a bit deeper and look at the track record of a borrower rather than rely solely on the utterances of rating agencies. We also understand pricing. Like I said, pay down that mortgage if I was you.

                • Paul Bethune

                  Lol Nicky if S&P had called Scotland a basket case economy you would be masturbating all over it.

                  And you know it.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  So no answer to the question why is Salmond so keen to join a currency Union with the Uk . Go on have a go at answering that question instead of making disgusting suggestions and employing the language of the gutter. Why is Salmond so keen on a currency union with the UK and its, in his words, “millstone” of a currency? Why are you not planning to join the euro?

                • Paul Bethune

                  S&P have more authority on the creditworthiness of an independent Scotland than you or any of your wee Tory chums in Westminster. Face it, you’re full of conjecture and misinformation. You think you’re an expert on an economy you are only on the fringes on. You call me ignorant the same time you’re using suspect percentages.

                  I know it angers you that the great imperial Westminster is in its dying days. Believe me England will be a far better place with the mask of Britain removed.

                  As for the currency union are you trying to be obtuse? Or just pig ignorant? Or a wee bit of both?!

                  Why don’t you explain why a currency union short, medium or long term is contrary to the interests of rUK?

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Bluster and insults but no answer to the question : Why does Salmond want a currency union with the UK? A currency he has previously described as a “millstone around the exUK’s neck”. The reason of course is that despite any number of positive analyses from S & P etc he knows, because sensible people have told him, that without the backing of the UK treasury and its record of never having defaulted on public debt, Scotland will have difficulty raising money in the international debt markets and whatever it does raise will be priced at a significant premium to UK debt.
                  It is not in the interest of the UK to join a currency union with the exUK (as Osborne, Balls, Alexander etc have stated) because it would require the UK Treasury to underwrite any newly issued public debt by a foreign country without control over amount or term. The UK Treasury has already had to publicly guarantee all existing public debt to quash market fears that the exUK might ‘walk away’ from its share of the National Debt as threatened by Salmond and Sturgeon. By the way, try borrowing money have repudiated your share of the National Debt. It would also require the UK’s central bank to act as lender of last resort to the banks of a foreign country. It would be possible to have a currency union whereby Westminster was able to dicate precisely when, how much and for how long the exUK could isssue new public debt but that is what we have at present and that would hardly be independence would it? If a currency union was such a good idea why did we not join the Euro? I suspect even the most partisan spectator could understand the folly of that choice. No doubt, that favourite cop out of “it is all open to negotiation” will be rolled out but it is invalid. Salmond would be negotiating in an empty room.

              • Jeanne Tomlin

                No, it is not called the ‘English pound’ except by people who don’t know better. It is the pound sterling of the United Kingdom. That you believe that England is all that matters in the UK is pretty typical.

                • Wessex Man

                  oh dear.

              • Vincent McDee

                I get it now! The pound is another of the “benefits of the union”

                • Kitty MLB

                  Actually Vincent( doesn’t sound very Scottish, you should be called Hamish !) we would benefit from some whinging humourless
                  Celts just disappearing off ( we have a new bunch here, the usual people are less tribal and more friendly ) but we need to be kind to you
                  and warn you of the dangers as well as the trickery of
                  wee Alex, you know that chap with the large self esteem,
                  who rides around the highlands bare chested on a horse these days, promising you lot all sorts.

                • Vincent McDee

                  Thank you kindly for being kind to us and for the warning, we really appreciate to be loved by all kind of people.
                  And we really mean it when saying: by all.
                  PS: I’m sure you are confusing Alex with Putin, but you are wrong, is not a horse, it’s a bear.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Yes, Vincent, you are quite right I mixed Alex with Putin
                  and a horse with a bear. I shall apologise to Mr Salmond
                  for that error.

              • malcolmG

                what an absolute trumpet you are

            • Alexsandr

              Read the writing on the notes
              Says Bank of England.
              you are the ones wanting to secede. you are the ones who need to create a currency.
              if you want to keep the £ then stay in the union.
              A country is not truly independent without its own currency. If you keep the £ then London will decide your fiscal policy. Why does salmond want second best?
              This is the same argument as why I don’t want to be part of the Euro.

              • 1957sim

                The £10 note I have here says TEN POUNDS STERLING on it. No mention of England anywhere. The pound is a fully tradeable currency so we’ll use it as and when we wish.(I’ll bet it will be in a currency union too when your politicians realise that Sterling is doomed without Scottish taxes and contribution to the balance of payments) As for independence , is Germany not an independent country?

                • Alexsandr

                  Scottish notes are not legal tender.

                  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banknotes_of_the_pound_sterling#Scotland_and_Northern_Ireland

                  the scottish banks have to hold the same value in Bof E notes as the notes they issue. I believe the BofE issues very high value notes for this purpose!

                • 1957sim

                  And you wonder why Scots wish to be independent of the arrogance of some English people. Time will tell.

                • Wessex Man

                  well go!

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Arrogant, modest or somewhere betwixt the two, many of us are begging for you to vote yes and take those 41 Labour MPs with you.

                • rollo_tommasi

                  He’s telling you a simple fact.

                  Whats arrogant about that or is it your arrogance not to accept it?

                • Wessex Man

                  you want to leave the union so you leave, not just try and hang on to bits, vote yes and go away!

              • Jeanne Tomlin

                No, it doesn’t.

                And funny thing, but for decades after declaring independence, independence recognised by the UK government, IRELAND used the pound sterling before it got around to having its own currency. So did New Zealand.

                But I guess everyone was just imagining they were independent. A number of independent nations have existed for considerable periods of time without having their own currency.

                Educate yourself on the topic.

              • Vincent McDee

                I wish to thank you for your exceptional support for Yes.

            • Wessex Man

              Then why did your Fat controller say the pound was a millstone around Scotland’s neck?

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              Yes and you are welcome to keep using the pound and there is nothing we can do to stop you. Well done you. What we most emphatically will not be doing however is entering a currency union with Scotland. Persuading the UK electorate that guaranteeing any newly issued public debt by a foreign country is a good idea is a non starter. Neither will our central bank act as lender of last resort to Scottish financial institutions. I would imagine that you would not want Scotland to be placed in a similar position based on your, admittedly rather comical, assessment of its financial muscle. By all means keep the pound but no currency union for the UK with, judging by your comments on this thread, a hostile foreign country thank you very much.

              • Jeanne Tomlin

                I suspect you know exactly what the Scottish response to that is. As far as hostility, it isn’t on my side. Now you are obviously very, very angry. It really isn’t a personal rejection, you know.

              • 1957sim

                Hostile ? What are you talking about? As for my comical view of Scotland’s financial muscle lets wait and see how the money markets view an already struggling currency that loses £90 billion of its balance of payments and 9% of it’s tax payers . You’ll be laughing all the way to the worst recession in history. Your clever chancellor has taken an almighty gamble and it may well blow up in his face if Scotland votes Yes.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  But we will be rid of you and your like so a reasonable price to pay.

            • rollo_tommasi

              Its the currency of the UK. Scotland leaves the UK ergo it leaves that currency.

        • HookesLaw

          Take? You can have independence if you want it and sink or swim on the consequences. Otherwise within the United Kingdom we should carry on as before.

          • Kitty MLB

            Indeed, sink or swim, and they cannot keep the pound as
            some king of insurance policy at the expense of the British
            taxpayer if things do not work out, or even as a security blanket. Independence means just that, they will be the smallest country starting from the beginning and we will
            not have the Scottish Labour MP’s to deal with and Scotland
            having a say on how Britain is run.

            • 1957sim

              We’ll see.

            • 1957sim

              Nor will you have our tax take (higher than anywhere outside London) or our natural resources to prop up your dying economy.

              • Kitty MLB

                Oh our economy is on the mend, growth is much higher
                then expected and the world of business will never see
                Glasgow in the same light as London ( although Edinburgh
                is delightful and improving according to the lovely Ally)
                Your natural resources, well your will need them, as you will
                be on your own…although do they not belong to the Queen,
                you know a little old dear, not just the Queen of Scotland.

                • 1957sim

                  Read the papers. Your economy is far from ‘on the mend’ except in the mind of Cameron and Osborne. The UK produces nothing and any ‘recovery’ is based on an artificial housing and personal credit bubble, underscored by a low wage economy designed to enrich the non tax paying rich at the expense of the poor. You are deluded but I hope that you will come to recognise your folly before the national debt sinks you and the newly privatised NHS is not there to provide care.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  But let’s face it, it will be none of your damned business.

                • rollo_tommasi

                  Your economy?

                  You don’t live in the UK then?

                • 1957sim

                  Yes I do. Does that mean that the economy is mine alone then? What a foolish remark.

                • rollo_tommasi

                  You live in the UK. Its your economy too then.

                • 1957sim

                  Correct. I assume you live in the UK so it’s also yours. What’s your point , caller ?

                • rollo_tommasi

                  You said ‘Your economy is far from on the mend’.

                  When you meant ‘Our economy is far from on the mend’.

                • 1957sim

                  Do you have a degree in pedantry? Twice now you’ve leapt to the defence of another poster, once when I correctly stated that the ‘millstone’ comment was from 1999 as shown by your own Daily Express link and secondly because I referred to another posters assertion about ‘our’ economy as your economy. In both cases I was correct so what is your problem?

                • rollo_tommasi

                  The millstone comment was from 1999. Correct.

                  But as those links I sent you show he was as recently as 2009 still advocating the Euro.

                  My feeling is he still wants to join the Euro with a view to having the currency union as an interim measure which he will dump at the first opportunity.

                  Salmond has not emotional attachment to Sterling whatsoever, its just a political tool to get peoples to vote for independence.

                  That’s why the main political parties don’t trust him one bit. Neither do most of the electorate on both sides of the border.

                • 1957sim

                  I don’t disagree with you for the most part however I do feel that the ritual pillorying of Alex Salmond is a bit tiresome. I think you are correct that he doesn’t want to be tied into a perpetual monetary union but I don’t think he is being dishonest about this merely doing what he has always done and looking out for what he considers to be Scotland’s best interests. Of course he wants people to vote for indy , that’s been his consistent goal during his entire political career. It does worry me that otherwise intelligent people are being sucked into playing the man here. It’s classic Westminster tactics. I’m not a fool but I feel much less inclined to trust Osborne , Clegg , Cameron , Milliband and Lamont as none of them have demonstrated anything other than self interest for them or their parties throughout.If you are a Scot then I’m sorry but I think you’ve been duped by the tactics of WM and the mainstream press to paint AS as some sort of demon who maliciously wants to break up our beloved UK. The truth is Scotland gets a consistently poor deal from WM (as do other regions away from London) and we now have an opportunity to save ourselves. I for one have no intentions of missing that chance.

                • 1957sim

                  Actually I think his ultimate goal would be a Scottish currency.

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  No, they most certainly do not belong to the Queen.

                • Vincent McDee

                  Your economy is on the mend…acity.

                  Are you reffering to Elisabeth the First?

              • rollo_tommasi

                You obviously don’t need a currency union then as why would you want to strap yourself to a dying economy?

                • 1957sim

                  Because we have no desire to damage the economy of our biggest market. It’s Westminster that are , bizarrely, making this an acrimonious debate.

          • 1957sim

            Good luck with that. When the next financial crash comes (very likely as a result of pensions mismanagement) our natural resources (and tax take) will not be available to support your flatlining economy.

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              We have 300 years of Shale gas etc and commercial imperatives will ensure that those reserves are exploited. There is an awful lot of Socialism in Scotland as 41 labour MPs testify. Good luck with promoting a dynamic economy with that millstone around your neck.

              • Jeanne Tomlin

                If you think they’re socialist, you have a very odd definition of socialist. Red Tories is more like.

            • rollo_tommasi

              You wont notice the next financial crash as without a central bank Scotland won’t have a financial services industry.

              • 1957sim

                Rubbish.

                • rollo_tommasi

                  Without a central bank they most certainly will as their shareholders will get spooked and their share price will plummet.

                  They’ll move down south so fast it will make your head spin.

                  Thousands of jobs will be lost.

                • 1957sim

                  With our AAA listed robust economy they would be foolish to do so , but even if they did there would be plenty of investors looking for safe economies to invest in. Standard & Poors seem to think so anyway. Maybe you know better.

                • rollo_tommasi

                  The S&P report S&P concluded that agreeing a currency union with the rest of the UK would provide “considerable support” for the country’s rating.

                  BTW Did you read the Citibank report?

                  Plenty of investors? who??

                • 1957sim

                  The S&P report clearly stated that even without a currency union Scotland’s economy was investment grade and would attract their highest rating. So unless investors were to completely ignore S&P and instead take your advice it’s highly likely that there would be no shortage of funds willing to invest in a vibrant oil backed economy.

      • taranaich

        “But NOT at the expense of the English.”

        Your problem is with Westminster, not the Scots. The Scots want more powers and self-determination: that’s not robbing a thing from the English. Look closer to home: what’s a greater drain on England, the extra few billion in the Barnett Formula (which does little to redress the £27 billion Scots have given to the rUK over the past 30 years), or the hundreds of billions handed to bankers and MPs through bonuses and tax evasion?

        • HookesLaw

          Banks headquartered in Scotland. Have you seen the RBS edifice?

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            Who makes the laws and regulations under which they operate? Where are most of their operations?

            I’ll give you a hint. It isn’t Scotland.

            • Nicholas chuzzlewit

              But it is headquartered and registered in Scotland where the Board meets and makes key strategic decisions under Scottish law and that, I am afraid, makes it a Scottish Bank.

              • Jeanne Tomlin

                Scottish law does not control banking. No, it is not a ‘Scottish bank’ in any real way. Its ownership is not in Scotland. The laws under which it operates are not made in Scotland. Most of its business is not conducted in Scotland. It does own a rather fancy building here.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Your powers of delusion are exceptional but as the Governor of the Bank of England said, RBS is a Scottish bank. Indeed, Scottish banks are 15 times the size of the entire Scottish economy so good luck with that.

            • Wessex Man

              No but it was a Scottish PM and a Scottish Chancellor!!!!!!!!!!!!

              • Jeanne Tomlin

                You agree with all English PMs, MPs and Chancellors?

              • terregles2

                They were politicians within a British government. What are you saying that all the top jobs in the British government must always go to an English person.?

        • Andy

          So every single Scottish MP never votes on matters pertaining only to England ??

          • 1957sim

            SNP ones don’t . Can’t speak for London Labour. Or our pet Tory.

            • Andy

              We have to put up with 41 Fascists meddling in our affairs, not to mention the LibDums. Not one of them should vote on English affairs – period.

              • 1957sim

                Fascists ? Where?

                • Vincent McDee

                  I think he means labour.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  He is referring to the Labour Party and it’s decidedly authoritarian proclivities.

            • Wessex Man

              and how many SNP members of the UK Government are there?

              • 1957sim

                None. Only Tories and Lib Dems in government. If you mean at Westminster then for Pete’s sake GO AND DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH!!!!!

          • Paul Bethune

            SNP MPs in their history have never voted on matters pertaining only to England. Go look it up.

            • Aye Right

              It always amazes me that no one in the main stream media appears to know this.

          • Aye Right

            There are very few English only questions. The Barnett formula amount is decided as a percentage of the spend in England. Cuts to the NHS England budget (or privatisation) for example lead to cuts in the amount given to Scotland via the Barnett formula. Just as money spent on English infrastructure projects should add to the amount given in the formula. (Barnett consequentuals) Although this is dependent on how the government of the day structures the finance, cross rail for example led to no gains for Barnett.
            Get rid of the Barnett formula and the West lothian question is all but answered.

        • Alexsandr

          not really answering the question, tho it was a nice rant!

    • Tony_E

      Nor should it. If you want independence, then that is what you should get – with all the benefits and risks that that entails.

      Further devolution would never be set up to be democratically equal in terms of the democratic deficit of the English (via the West Lothian Question) – especially as I suspect that it would be a Labour government come 2015 that would be doing the negotiating to keep it’s own Scots MPs in power at Westminster. That would be unacceptable to many Englishmen.

      So now is the time to go for independence if that is what Scotland wants – or to settle for the current arrangement plus a proper settlement for the voting of English and Welsh only matters in Westminster. Anything else will just set us up for a re-run of the last two years in the next decade or so.

  • Ian Walker

    And why exactly should the rest of the UK give Scotland what it wants, like a spoilt child, without getting anything in return?

    “Devo Max” is not, like independence, an issue of self-determination, so it shouldn’t be a vote for the Scots alone. That’s why it’s not on the ballot paper, as was discussed ad nauseum at the time.

    • monty61

      It’s about Devolution (the clue’s in the name – you know the Devo bit). The wish for more self-government is totally understandable, and frankly I’m surprised the English don’t want a bit of that too.

      I’d be surprised if Alastair Darling wasn’t onto this, sensible bloke that he is. Is it really being blocked by the ‘strategists’ around Milliband and Cameron? (Does Lynton Crosby really think Cameron can be re-elected if the Union is lost? Likewise has Milliband got a hope of a second term without the Scottish Labour contingent? ).

      • Ian Walker

        We’re already scraping the barrel when it comes to politicians. What makes you think things will improve with another layer of them?

        Besides, no-one’s offering a nationwide vote for “Should the UK become a federation of nations?” or perhaps there might be more support for root and branch reform of our government structure. Instead, we’re told that one of the constituent parts wants to have it’s cake and eat it, and we have to sit quietly while this goes on.

        • 1957sim

          We want to decide whether to eat our cake or not. This is preferable to watching our partner eat it and leave us the crumbs.

          • GUBU

            No, what you’re actually voting for is whether or not you want to have your own cake.

            You will then have to decide what sort of cake you want, and negotiate with your former partners about some of the ingredients that might go into it.

            You’ve some way to go before any cake actually gets eaten.

            • 1957sim

              Yes. Around March 2016. And then , for the first time in history Scotland can have an equal and friendly relationship with our neighbour. I for one cannot wait for that day.

              • GUBU

                I have no doubt that a cake is feasible. Whether it will taste as good as you think it will is an altogether different matter. I suspect you may be disappointed, but perhaps having your own cake is what counts.

                And with that, my use of the cake analogy ends.

                • malcolmG

                  A home baked cake will always be better than a shop bought one . We are ready to start baking our own cakes.

                • 1957sim

                  Please don’t misunderstand me . This might not be a massive Black Forest Gateau or even a chocolate Victoria Sandwich , possibly just a humble Carrot cake but it will be our cake to do with as we please (unless we go into a patisserie union in which case we might have to give rUK a small slice).

    • Jeanne Tomlin

      Scots are not children, thank you very much. It is such remarks that makes me more than eager to get out of this rotten union.

      • Pip

        I hope you get your wish, for our sakes as mush as yours.

        • Jeanne Tomlin

          I hope it for all our sakes. I believe that there is a chance that the shakeup of losing Scotland might wake up the sleeping tiger that is the English population, most of whom are being treated no better than the Scots.

          • rubyduck

            Is that a glimmer of an understanding that the reason you’re being treated as s**t is that you’re just a common or garden oik, and nothing at all to do with being scottish, irish, northern, black, asian, female, or whatever ?

      • Ian Walker

        Giving birth to fully grown adults must be pretty painful!

        Of course, that’s not what I wrote, but thanks for your input anyway.

      • Kitty MLB

        Wee Alex is treating you all like children, he is on his own little
        personal crusade, a somewhat rotund Wallace, floating around
        in a bubble of his own self- esteem. He is playing to the lowest
        common denominator for cheap support ( reminds me of someone I will not mention) Are you absolutely sure that Salmond is being
        honest with you, and its not about playing to prejudices and a dream
        of much smaller land starting from the very beginning and full of milk and honey, obviously.

        • Jeanne Tomlin

          The utter disrespect of referring to the elected First Minister of Scotland as “Wee Alex” shows who is trying to treat us like children. Wallace has nothing to do with modern day Scotland any more than the murderous Edward I has to do with modern day England.

          Do you seriously think anyone will be convinced by condescending remarks about prejudice and milk and honey. I want Scots to run our own nation, a rather reasonable thing it seems to me. You would cheer another nation with such ambition. Only toward Scots is demeaning us for that considered appropriate: speaking of prejudice.

          • kyalami

            Jeanne – don’t get all worked up about name-calling. Everyone on this forum does it to all politicians.

            • Jeanne Tomlin

              No, this kind of disrespect to him is done all the time and not merely here but in all the English papers as a way of denigrating Scots in general.

              • kyalami

                Dear Jeannie: take a look around these forums: you will see Cameron mocked at length: ditto Balls, Milliband and Clegg, to name just a few. It’s the nature of what passes for debate on political forums.

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  I post on a number of political forums, thanks. I have never seen another politician treated with the utter hatred shown to our First Minister. That is not political debate but pure venom.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Handkerchief for Jeanne please what with all those Crocodile years.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Dont kid yourself. He is not worth the effort of summoning up enough emotion to generate any feeling beyond complete indifference.

                • anncalba

                  Oh, poor wee sweetie, some one doesn’t like your man. Do you Cyper Nats not realise how needy and sad you sound?

                • anncalba

                  True. But don’t expect CyperNats to understand that – Wee Alec is beyond criticism.

                • terregles2

                  Well wee anncalba is certainly not beyond dishing it out. Criticism is good when it is rational and constructive when it is name calling and nothing else is comes over as just wee and banal.

              • Wessex Man

                Chip on shoulder getting wider by the while, I prefer to call him the Fat Controller a nice little nickname which started in Scotland!

                • malcolmG

                  Crawl back under your rock

                • Maidmarrion

                  That says more about you than the First Minister and shows your ignorance.

                • terregles2

                  Not all politicians can be as virile and handsome as Nigel Farage.

            • Maidmarrion

              It is not just the forum , sadly there are many journalists who lead the name calling and even so called top TV presenters have merrily insulted the First Minister – it seems he’s fair game to every b^gger and their aunty ,none of whom are fit to lick his boots.

              • anncalba

                Lol

          • Kitty MLB

            Jeanne, no offence really, you should here what Cameron
            is called, and ever worse for Miliband ! Its just dark humour and I understand Alex Salmond has a sense of humour.
            I am hugely fond of Scotland and her people, and we
            will miss you if you go ahead with the divorce.

            • Jeanne Tomlin

              Using demeaning language toward people you are hugely fond of is rather odd behaviour.

              • Wessex Man

                I will remind you of your faked outrage the next time you do what you always do best.

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  I have yet to use a demeaning epithet for any politician and most especially not for any group of people, so if you are saying I do that, you are simply lying.

                • Maidmarrion

                  He has a habit of thinking he is awfully clever and well informed.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  You will not have to wait long.

              • davetheginge

                I use the most demeaning language towards the people I share greatest fondness with.

            • Makroon

              Alex Salmond might have a (very selective) sense of humour, but Jeanne evidently doesn’t. Actually, Farage is exactly the same, always smirking and taking the Mick, but when a group of Scottish students heckle him a mite, he suddenly loses his famed sense of humour.

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            Rank hypocrisy. As if these threads are not filled to bursting with disparaging nomenclature for Westminster politicians by cybernats like yourself.

            • Kitty MLB

              Indeed Nicholas, its not as if they are as sweet as apple pie
              when speaking about our bunch of delightful politicians.
              I suppose Alex is a national treasure who will save Scotland
              from the Tories in the same way Blair was the saviour for a while. Honestly, how some have built up that man, at the end of the days he’s a politician just like the rest of them.

          • The Laughing Cavalier

            Alright, let’s call him “Wee Eck” as you Scotch folk do.

          • anncalba

            CyberNat – beware. I always think of the man as Wee Alec, but know not to say that to any SNP supporter, or you will get a mouthful of abuse.

            • terregles2

              Lots of people who are voting YES are not SNP voters therefore not too fussed about what you call him.
              Problem with using the term wee Alec is that does not have any meaning. Put forward a proper argument against any of his policies but calling him wee Alec just makes you sound like a wee child with nothing worthwhile to say.

          • rubyduck

            We english would like the same.

        • bluebrazil

          The only prejudice I see here is in your foolish and immature remarks. Save it for the school debating club.

          • Maidmarrion

            I suspect even a school debating club could do better than that.

        • malcolmG

          Dear Dear, very intelligent position there. I am sure all 5 million Scots are getting taken in. We should really prefer Cameron or Milliband. We are not voting for Alex, the question is should Scotland be an independent country NOT is Alex Salmond telling porkies.

      • Colin56

        Quite right – Scots are grown-up people (just as the people in the rest of the UK) who should be able to see the incredible opportunities that independence offers. There are an awful lot of people on the southern side of the border who want to get out of this rotten, one-sided, increasingly resentful and unhappy union as well. That’s what makes it so frustrating that the independence campaign can’t seem to get its act together and make the case for an independent Scotland. After all, who in their right minds is going to vote against independence – a state that peoples and nations all over the world have striven, fought and died for – and here we are, the Scots being offered it on a plate with watercress round the edge, and polls show they are inclined to push it away like a cold cut of meat.
        It seems to me that there’s far too much emphasis on the threats that independence poses and not nearly enough on the opportunities for a new, reborn Scotland, free of the dead hand of Westminster (would that were available as an option to the rest of us) and free to make its own way in the world. Scotland really should grasp independence with both hands, while its on offer, and disregard the nay-sayers, the ‘better together’ merchants (led by the disastrous failure Alastair Darling) and those who can’t see beyond partisan politics. Then perhaps we can all co-exist as neighbouring nations, without the angst and resentment (again, both sides of the Tweed) that so sours the union today.

        • terregles2

          I think it is hard for those not living in Scotland to realise the relentless scare stories that appear daily in the Scottish editions of the London press. Some of the scares are really frightening. We have been told independencwe will be a disaster. We will be left without pensions. All the companies will pack up and leave. We will live under a dictatorship with Alex Salmond. We will not get past the border posts into England. Our British passports will be unusable. We wont be able to tune into the soaps on BBC. (that might actually put the YES vote up) Our oil is worthless. We wont get into the EU.
          I wont bore you with the rest of the rubbish we have been threatened with. In view of this non stop scare mongering it is a miracle that the YES vote is as high as it is at the moment.
          Nobody likes change and if you have a hostile media bombarding you with the message that independence will be a dismal failure it is hard for some people to ignore such propaganda.

          • Nicholas chuzzlewit

            You choose to interpret these matters as ‘scare stories’ and that is your right particularly if you wish to drum up support for the ‘Yes’ campaign. That said, just as you are perfectly free to make a case for a ‘yes’ vote so others are perfectly free to raise issues that might favour a ‘No’ vote. The points you list are actually legitimate matters for debate and not simply fictions designed to place the ‘yes’ campaign in a bad light. Of course a separation will bring uncertainty and the need to iron out a billion details but I believe such vital matters as currency and monetary policy demand immediate consideration and not just ‘Scare story’ waffle and an ‘it will all come right in the end’ narrative. For example, the UK has made its position crystal clear on a currency union because it would be utter and irresponsible madness for the UK to contemplate such an arrangement. Mr Salmond needs to provide potential ‘Yes’ voters with a solid, viable alternative rather than hoping the UK is bluffing (it isnt)
            and that it will meekly concede to everything he wants after a ‘Yes’ vote. Can you imagine the mood of all those thwarted pro-union politicians post a ‘Yes’ vote particularly Labour who will see 40 plus seats at Westminster vanishing into thin air? They will not be accommodating.

            • terregles2

              Martin I am not trying to drum up support for anything. People living in Scotland will vote for what they believe to be best for Scotland. If some people choose no I am not trying to change their minds. I respect the opinion of no voters I just have a different opinion, I only hope that when we make our choice we do it with the correct information and not based on wrong information.
              You say that many of these assertions are not scare stories but when they are investigated they turn out to be just that. We read in the Scottish edition of a well known London newpaper that if there is a YES vote our British passports will immediately become unusable. When we phoned the British passport office and asked what would happen to our British passports after a YES vote the passport office answer was nothing would happen. You will just be like any other British passport holder living in any other country.
              The London media constantly try and portray Salmond as a dictator who will rule Scotland like a king when in fact he will be like every other UK politician and have to stand for election every four years. In fact after a YES vote he will need to stand for election in less time than that.You might not consider those to be scare stories but some would disagree. There are many more that I could give as examples
              I agree with you completely that there are many issues to be considered with independence but countries become independent all the time and go on to function quite normally. Scotland will be like every other country and manage its’ affairs in the way it thinks is best for Scotland. At the end of the day there are no problems only solutions.
              I am more than positive about Scotland’s future. We are a country rich in natural resources and we will be well able to decide on our currency future and every other policy after a YES vote.
              Nobody can predict how the UK will be governed in ten years time any more than they can predict how Scotland will be governed in ten years time. One thing that we can predict is that if we are independent then we will have the government we have voted for.,

              • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                Apologies, when I said ‘you’ – I meant it in a collective sense rather than suggesting that you personally were knocking on doors etc. I have little doubt that Scotland would function perfectly well as an independent country. Whether or not it would do better than if it remained part of the UK is a matter for legitimate debate but frankly, I have no interest in trying to persuade anybody one way or the other. Indeed, I suspect I favour independence on the somewhat partisan grounds that it would rid England of 41 Labour MPs and perhaps create a slightly more balanced admininistration in England. The passport example was an obvious piece of silliness but the currency issue will not go away. Were I resident in Scotland, I would want credible answers on that point very quickly in order to be able to make a balsnced decision. Whatever Mr Salmond says the currency union is a anon-starter and a political suicide note for any UK Government that agreed to such an arrangement. Not because of some silly ‘we hate Scotland’ emotions but by the cold hard logic that it would be crazt to guarantee your next door neighbours newly incurred debts unlimited by term or amount. Nobody in their right mind would agree to that particularly a person acting on behalf of 92% of the population and negotiating with somebody who represents 8% of the population. There is no emotion, scaremongering or bluster about that one it is simply sound economic sense. Keep the pound because we could not stop you even if we wnated to but no currency union. Mr Salmond should address this simple reality.

                • terregles2

                  I think you are right it will be better for England if Scotland votes YES. I think it will result in a political shake up throughout the UK and result in greater democracy for all. I think we all deserve a better deal from our political system.
                  I have never blamed Westminster for placing the needs of the majority in England first. They have a duty to do so as England has more than ten times the population of Scotland. Westminster has a duty to put England first. How could it ever be otherwise. That is just one more reason why I think independence will be better for Scotland.
                  It still always comes down to the basic question can Scotland be like almost every other country in the world and have self government. There is really only one answer to that question.
                  I will not me making my decision on any one issue. After a YES vote the currency will not immediately change the day after.
                  Negotiations will begin immediately if Westminster chooses not to share the pound for an interim period that is not a big problem. There are several other options and whatever one Scotland ends up with we will, just like every other country get on with it. We will face up to the challenges and problems that every country encounters and quite simply work our way through them..

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  I cannot disagree with any of that and must emphasise I have no objection to or see no reason why Scotland should not be independent. Simply from an academic standpoint if you like, I would be very concerned as a Scottish voter if no work had been done on establishing a sound ‘plan B’ ahead of reaching (an inevitable) impasse on currency union, regulatory regime etc. it is not my problem but I find it interesting that responsible politicians are prepared to ‘wing it’ on such matters.

                • terregles2

                  Nicholas there is a plan B and indeed a plan C . It doesn’t make sense to lay out all your options before you start negotiations. There will be other options simply because there have to be. Whether or not they would be your first choice is another matter but Scotland will go forward with some form of currency just as every other country that has chosen independence has done.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  That would be fine if you are negotiating with somebody who wants something that you have but in this case, the UK will simply carry on as usual with the same currency, regulatory framework etc etc? Scotland is in no position to prevent that neither presumably would it want to. Scotland laying out options makes no difference to the UK because they would not affect us. They would, I suspect, be of interest to the Scottish people however.

                • terregles2

                  Don’t think it is quite as simple as that Nicholas. We are two countries who will be dissolving a union.
                  We are both entitled to our proportional share of the debts and our proportional share of the assets.
                  We have all paid into the UK Westminster pot and will be taking our share of the assets and the debt. A share that will be in proportion to our size.
                  Both sides will negotiate hard for the best deal for their country but I am sure it will end in a reasonably fair compromise.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Absolutely correct but I was talking about a currency not divisible assets which are, as you rightly say, subject to negotiation. A currency, in this case Sterling, is not an ‘asset’ and cannot be divided up. It is simply a freely tradable ‘medium of exchange’ and that is why there is no dispute about Scotland continuing to use Sterling. What is not on the table for negotiation is a currency union between the two countries as it has been specifically excluded by all three Westminster parties likely to form the next Westminster Government. Hence my suggestion that the voters of Scotland understand the alternatives. There is no question of not putting your cards on the table at this stage because, on the question of a Sterling currency union, there is no table to put them on. As I said, that does not preclude Scotland from retaining the pound for as long as it is able or wants to. The problem for Mr Salmond is that he is promising to negotiate in an empty room on this subject.

                • terregles2

                  I suppose the question is do Scots feel that having control of their own government is the most important thing Everything else is an issue.
                  Personally I am quite confident about the currecy issue whatever the outcome. I will still vote YES. I appreciate that some people feel differently and they may well vote no..
                  Whatever the outcome I am sure most of us would agree that people having the chance to choose for themselves can only be good for democracy.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Agreed but being told what the choices are and their pros and cons is vital to making an informed choice and as you say, would be ‘democratic’. Mr Salmond seems very reluctant or unable to articulate those choices instead he persists that he will negotiate over a currency union which does not exist as a subject for negotiation.

                • terregles2

                  Time will tell Nicholas what futher proposals are forthcoming and what effect they might have on voting intentions. One thing I am sure that we can all agree on whatever our view on independence is that UK politics is certainly not dull. With the Independence vote and EU referendum both coming up within a short space of time. We wont be bored whatever else.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  Sadly, I suspect that the EU referendum is a chimera particularly as Miliband has ruled one out and he and his fellow coterie of amoral lunatics will probably form the next UK government.

                • terregles2

                  Don’t think Miliband will win an election. I would be more than surprised.

                • Nicholas chuzzlewit

                  To say that I wish I shared your optimism on that point would be an understatement of epic proportions.

          • anncalba

            I find the SNP are very good at supressing the debate (you could call it bullying). It is quite wierd, people ask “what do you think about Independence”, as if they are asking if you want to buy a dodgy substance. If you say “I’m not too happy about it” to a Nat, you will get a mouthful of abuse and scorn. Those against will then discuss it with you in muted terms, just in case a bullying Nat should be listening. Result is, the SNP are doing pretty well, in their own terms, in controlling the debate, but actually don’t have a clue what real people are saying.

            • terregles2

              Well it is the SNP along with many other YES campaigners who at the moment are organising question and answer meetings at town halls and community centres throughout Scotland on a weekly basis.
              I have not heard any abuse or bullying at any that I have attended. In fact there have been more informative and lively debates at a local level than anything shown on te

        • Chris

          Please please stop with this argument. If anything about this entire separation lark annoys me most (and there is much) it is the pathetic notion the Scots have of themselves as a colonised people. What makes Scotland different from England? Tell me. You were never militarily occupied, there was a signed agreement. You weren’t given a nationwide referendum in 1707, neither were the English. You haven’t had a vote on the issue, neither have the English. There has never been military force from England in Scotland, I’ve been waiting all my days for the SNP to do this. I’m in general against the break up of nations, unless the situation really demands it. Tell me what differences exist? Are there religious schisms? No. There are deeper religious divides within Scotland. The SNP’s sanctimony over the British Empire irritates me. Some sixty years after the end of the British Empire they protest that they don’t want to be part of it, because of the Iraq War (a tame event by comparison to many things the Empire did). Were the Scots objecting to the British Empire at the time? Nope. At the time of 1900 proportionally more Scots than English left to be part of the Colonies, but hey, sixty years later you’re unhappy about it. Never compared Scotland to anyone who fought for independence, you were more than welcome to leave at any point in the last eighty years. I come back to the notion of difference, there is more Child Poverty in London than Scotland. Grow up please.

          • terregles2

            You are of course correct we are free to leave any time that we choose. I don’t know why if we choose to do so it would make you so annoyed.
            You cannot see any reason why people living in Scotland should want independence well maybe if you lived in Scotland you might feel that like many Scots you would prefer more control over the governance of your country.
            As a person living in Scotland I would like to choose whether or not I want to store the Trident Nuclear deterrent in Scotland.
            I would like to choose whether or not I want to spend billions of pounds on renewing nuclear weapons.
            I would like to have the choice to carry out further exploration for oil in the Firth of Clyde rather than have the MOD decide that for me.
            I would like to choose whether or not to spend billions on HS2.
            I would like to choose the foreign policy for Scotland not have it decided by Westminster.
            When there is a vote on EU membership in 2017 I would like Scotland to decide whether we want to stay in or leave. I don’t want the decision made for me by the rest of the UK.
            I would also like to choose my own government in Holyrood rather than wait and see what the larger country next door chooses for me in Westminster.
            I would like Holyrood to be in charge of defence and social security.
            I would like to choose a government that did not include the anachronistic House of Lords.
            If you are happy with the present political set up in the UK then you are lucky but many others would prefer a better form of governance.

            • Chris

              It’s not that I’m annoyed, I don’t think Scotland should be independent, it’s the fact that you compared Scotland to countries which have had to fight for independence, which is an absolute insult to those countries which had to fight for independence. It’s an insult to compare Scotland to countries which shed blood to have independence. Not an ounce of blood has been lost for Scotland’s independence, so please all Scot Nats, never compare yourself to any other such country.
              Right, I’ve never understood how many people list flaws in a status quo, as if that’s an argument. Human institutions are composed of by humans, and humans are flawed, therefore human institutions will be flawed. There are three questions to be asked of any political position, at what cost, compared to what, and what solid proof do you have?
              Prove to me that an independent Scotland would be better. Tell me why people in Scotland are better placed to govern you. Contrary to what the SNP argue, Scottish people are not a homogeneous entity. 1 in 6 people in Scotland vote Conservative. Why is representation automatically better when taken in an independent Scotland?

              • terregles2

                You don’t think Scotland should be independent. Well some people would disagree with your opinion as is their right. I think Scotland should be independent You don’t. I respect your opinion but I will never share it.
                I am sure that you do not mean to but you do sound a bit aggressive and confrontational.
                Tell me why people in Scotland are better placed to govern you….. You seem to bark out that question.
                Well let me ask you why people in Scotland are not better placed to govern themselves. Most other countries find it quite agreeable to have self determination.
                You then continue to bark out the order Prove to me that an Independent Scotland would be better.
                Well I might ask you to prove to me why it would not be better.
                Your barking continues with. Why is represention automatically better when taken in an independent Scotland.
                Well I think most people would agree that a population of 5 million has a better chance of being properly democratically represented within its’ own small parliament than within the parliament of the much larger country next door.
                You seem so overwrought that you misunderstood the points I made about other countries gaining independence. Of course nobody is comparing Scotland’s journey to independence with any country where lives have been lost. That is such a silly hysterical accusation it does not merit an answer.

                • Chris

                  ‘After all, who in their right minds is going to vote against independence – a state that peoples and nations all over the world have striven, fought and died for – and here we are, the Scots being offered it on a plate with watercress round the edge, and polls show they are inclined to push it away like a cold cut of meat.’
                  What is that if not comparing Scotland’s route to independence with those which have shed blood? Also the language of self-determination suggests you don’t have freedom at the minute.
                  Ok so you believe in regional government, you believe decisions are best taken by those nearby? Tell me then, in this independent Scotland, should people in Aberdeen take decisions of those in Aberdeen. Surely people of Edinburgh can’t take decisions on behalf of Aberdeen. And so on and so forth.
                  There is no need to defend the status quo, read some history, things tend not to get better all of a sudden, they can get worse all of a sudden. To say that you don’t need to defend the status quo is to say that there is nothing redeemable about it, but people in far worse positions than Scotland have gambled on change and got a lot worse. People who defended the Tsar in 1917 would have had no case, look what followed. People who defended the Shah in 1979 would have had no case, look at what followed. I’m not saying I expect Scotland to decline into genocide, but to say change will inevitably lead to progress, and there is nothing good in the status quo, is quite a naive statement.
                  Here are some facts:
                  4/5ths of private sector jobs in Scotland are supplied by a company whose headquarters are un rUK.
                  Scotland exports more to rUK than the rest of the world combined. There are good things, why jeopardize them?
                  Also, more child poverty within an 8 miles radius of Canary Whart than in the entirety of Scotland, whose got it bad now?

                • terregles2

                  The quote that you have repeated was not made by me.
                  I think whoever made the quote was perhaps in agreement with what you are saying. They seem to be saying that so many countries have had to shed blood for independence why would Scots refuse to take it when it is being handed to them on a plate without the need for any fighting or loss of life.
                  I don’t beieve in regional governent. Scotland is not a region it is a country and I believe in independence for every country including England.
                  Your argument is becoming more illogical by the minute. You think it will be wrong for the government in Edinburgh to decide on policy for people living in the same country in Aberdeen. Yet you think it is good for the government in London which is in a different country to make policy for Aberdeen.
                  We will agree to differ. I want an independent Scotland in order for Holyrood to decide our policy on nuclear weapons, defence, foreign policy, immigration, social security etc. You think that London should continue to take these decisions for Scotland. I will be voting YES. I respect your commitment to the union but I could never share that commitment to it. I will without doubt vote YES in September. Thank you for taking time to debate with me.

                • Chris

                  So people in London can’t make decisions on behalf of Scotland, but people in Edinburgh will be mint at making decisions for those in Aberdeen, great logic.
                  Tell me what makes Scotland a country. Tell me what makes the Scots people, with their so called right to self-determination, unique, or different to the English.

      • MirthaTidville

        Thats the trouble with you SNP fanatics, you think its all one way. It isnt, there are plenty south of the border who just as eager to see the end of the Union, rotten or otherwise. Sadly however I think we are both going to be disappointed

    • taranaich

      I think the question should really be “why should the Scots contribute £27 billion more than they receive in spending over the past 30 years according to the UK government’s own calculations, without getting anything in return?”

      http://archive.is/5Swry

      • Pip

        You are having a laugh.

        • Spammo Twatbury

          Great comeback. You must be the darling of the local debating society. Are you suggesting that the UK government was lying when it acknowledged those figures?

          • Wessex Man

            yeah but Pip’s not lying.

        • terregles2

          You are right Scots did get something back. They got a new Scottish maritime border in 1999 when Blair moved the border up from Berwick on Tweed to Carnoustie. It meant they lost 6000 square miles of Scottish sea but they did get the new border in return. They also got to keep the nuclear weapons that are now leaking and threatening the health of Scottish people. The Westminster government also tried to stop the Scottish people worrying by concealing the latest accident for two years. That was another little Westminster gift.
          I hope they have plenty of money to clean up the plutonium that they have left scattered around Scotland. After independence they will be sent the bill for the clean up of our country.

          • HJ777

            “They also got to keep the nuclear weapons that are now leaking and threatening the health of Scottish people.”

            Really, you are mind-blowingly ignorant. First of all you don’t know the difference between nuclear weapons and nuclear reactors. Secondly, the only leak – not an “accident” – was into a sealed cooling circuit so there has been no release of radioactive materials. Thirdly, the idea that the “health of Scottish people” is being threatened is ludicrous. The overwhelming majority of ionising radiation exposure for the public comes from natural sources and nearly all the rest comes from medical sources (and even aeroplane flights). You will be exposed to far more radiation living anywhere near a coal-fired power station than you will living near a nuclear reactor because of the dispersal of radioactive elements contained in coal.

            I don’t suppose that you ever passed even a physics CSE so when you hear the word radiation you run around screaming nonsense. But I have physics degree and I know what I am talking about.

            But that’s always the difference between us, isn’t it?

      • Nicholas chuzzlewit

        That is an absolute nonsense. Those statistics have been carefully harvested to produce a favourable answer for the ‘yes’ campain. They take no account, for example, of the additional borrowing costs over 30 years had Scotland been forced to issue public debt on its own account rather than under the AAA rating of the UK (which is still AAA by one major agency and AA+ with the others).

        • Chris

          Amen. Also most Scottish private sector jobs are supplied by a company whose headquarters are in rUK. So yes it is Scottish revenue, but the jobs are made possible by the union. Can’t assume it will all be the same after a separation.

    • Guest

      The UK has been taking billions from Scotland in return for what? Scotland has paid more than it gets in return, year on year. Even by Westminster’s own figures. Yet here you are like a bloated tick acting like you’re doing the host a favour by acting like a parasite.

      • Wessex Man

        as ffor above let’s see OFFICAL HM Governments figures rather than fairytales!

        • Jeanne Tomlin

          The problem with that is that HM government is expert at deception and fairytales. Shall I start listing examples?

          • rollo_tommasi

            Deception and fairytales.

            Just like the fat controllers advice on EU membership that didn’t exist.

    • disqus_J2aLhU917U

      Scotland gives billions to the pot. It gets far less back in return. UK government’s own figures support this. Yet here you are arrogantly claiming the people of Scotland are “spoilt children” not giving anything in return. So much so that we’re still giving that surplus of cash to the rest of the UK while Scottish foodbanks are going empty with the imposted austerity and poverty from Westminster. What kind of person supports a country being forced into poverty while taking money from their pockets year after year?

      How much poverty must be imposed on Scotland and how many people have to go hungry for you decide that it’s “given something” in return?

      It’s bad enough to have that arrangement that leads to Scotland being artificially impoverished and now you are insulting a country for giving you so much and suffering for it and then pretending it was nothing. Disgusting.

      • Wessex Man

        I keep asking you people to supply links to your assertions but you never do!

        • 1957sim

          GERS reports are easy to find. Do your own research.

      • Maidmarrion

        I take it you have viewed Scotland’s outlook – a shameful indictment on this wealthy nation.

      • Andrew Morton

        Actually Scotland gets back more than it puts in. England/ Wales/ Northern Ireland get back WAY more than they put in. It’s called a deficit. The confusion arises because Scotland puts in 9.9% of the taxes and gets back 9.3% of the spending but the taxes and the spending are different amounts.

  • BarkingAtTreehuggers

    Now we finally get it. After all this huffing and puffing we now COME TO
    TERMS with the fact that there is only a choice between the end and…
    the end?

    YES vote = the end
    NO vote + constitutional changes = the end

    ergo,
    YES vote = NO vote + constitutional changes

    The deal is already done.
    quod erat demonstrandum

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