Coffee House

Cabinet concern over the state of the Unionist campaign in Scotland laid bare

13 April 2014

12:32 PM

13 April 2014

12:32 PM

There are only five months to go to the Scottish referendum and the Cabinet is becoming increasingly agitated about the state of the Unionist campaign. At Tuesday’s meeting there was a frank and realistic discussion about its problems.

The government’s concern is prompted by the fact that it has fired its biggest gun, telling the Scots there’ll be no currency union after independence, but the Nationalists are still standing. Indeed, they appear to have strengthened their position. The coalition now thinks that part of the problem is that there are not enough purely Scottish voices making the case for the Union. They fear that even Scots with Westminster seats are, to some extent, seen as outsiders in this debate.

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Another worry is the state of Scottish Labour. Alistair Carmichael, the Scottish Secterary, bemoaned that it is leaderless, rudderless and soldierless and thus unable to give ‘Better Together the support the Unionist side was banking on. There is also increasing coalition frustration with the intensely tribal way in which Scottish Labour is behaving.

But a senior Labour source tells me that Better Together’s message has been ‘too Tory’, too centered on questions of fiscal credibility. Indeed, Ed MIliband is taking the entire shadow Cabinet to Scotland later this month to try and make a distinctly Labour case for the Union.

The Unionist side in Scotland needs to sort itself out—and fast. With only five months to go, it can’t afford this kind of navel gazing. At the same time, as Cameron told Tory MPs on Wednesday, the rest of the UK needs to make far clearer to the Scots that it doesn’t want them to go. If these things are not done, then the United Kingdom—with its great history and moral purpose—could be lost forever.


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Show comments
  • rjbh

    The “Scottish Labour party” has made exactly the same mistake it made in the May 2011 Scottish election, because the polls in January and February put the Labour party ahead by such a big majority they thought they could just coast home to victory. The result of course was the SNP simply blew Labour out the water with a result, that our voting system was designed to prevent.

    It is already too late for the Unionist, there will be a massive YES victory.

    • allymax bruce

      I think they, (Unionists) know a massive landslide Yes vote is on the way; but they continue with their negativity/propaganda polls because that’s all they know.

      • Wessex Man

        I believe you to be right allymax and power to your elbow!

      • Doggie Roussel

        Are you saying that the polls are rigged / manipulated/ distorted… Shureley Shome mishtake….

  • Rillian

    Think of the lead UKIP will gain if Scotland leaves the union, bitter sweet victory though in my book.

    Its a shame so many northern voters still cling to Labour, like it was still the 60’s or something and they gave half a toss about the working classes.

    • allymax bruce

      Decades of brainwashing the poor masses from the 70’s onwards, coupled with a unique phenomenon that was relevant for its time. Early 20th century ‘Britian’ saw massive industrialised work for Scots, and a ‘corporate capitalist’ ethos from Westminster/London; and the only ‘protection’ of Scots industrial jobs was Trade-Unions, against Corporate Capitalist Westminster/London. This ‘belief-system’ was procured from the Scots-en masse populace, by The Labour Party in Scotland for decades, as such, Labour had Scotland’s vote in-the-bag. The 60’s and 70’s saw a different ‘economy’ rising, and the Conservatives knew they couldn’t compete with Labour in Scotland, so The Conservatives destroyed the ‘protection’ basis for Scots voting Labour; The Conservatives wiped-out Scotland’s manufacturing industry, in an attempt to disenfranchise the massive Scots’ Labour vote. As such, The Labour Party had to ‘manipulate’ the brainwashing to try and keep these impoverished Scots ‘tethered’ to the Labour Party; hence we now have an overburden of Public Sector economy in Scotland; the ‘positive discrimination’ of Scots women into jobs, and the emasculation of Scots men onto ‘dependency’ welfare. In 50 short years, The Labour party have swung the balance of power from their tradictional massive Scots’ mens Trade-Union vote, to a massive Scots’ womens Public sector vote. With the advent of Bliarism, The Labour Party attempted to place its cap in both Trade Union camps, and The City camp; trying to keep both ‘on-board’. The Crash happened because The Labour Party were populist in their political ideology, while the bankers are greedy barstewards; quite a machiavellian mix! Now, in the 21st century, Scotland has seen the Light; any Unionist party will only use Scotland as a cash, resource, productivity cow; telling us Scots you want us to stay in the Union, only enrages us more now.

      • Wessex Man

        POWER TO THE PEOPLE COMRADE ALLYMAX!

        breaking news Comrade Len McClusky is now going to form a UKip of the left wing of Labour!

  • rjbh

    Theres nothing Westminster can offer many in Scotland but more of the same… compare that with what the SNP government already offer us, and we certainly want more of that.

  • john

    The fierce UK wars of 2014 are moving clearly in the direction of Scottish independence.
    Salmond’s guerilla troops are motivated and moving South. The Establishment forces are dispirited and trapped in W1. Labour voters everywhere are siding with their tartan fellow travellers. I foretell a great victory ahead and civil war breaking out in Tory enclaves.

    • Wessex Man

      oh dear.

      • john

        Don’t worry. The Iceni of Wessex will join the Picts and march on Londinium to utterly destroy the ruling Etonii.

        • Doggie Roussel

          The Etonii must be shitting themselves…

        • Wessex Man

          Are you for real, when I had my DNA tested in Scotlands’ DNA I was pure Anglo Saxon as were the vast majority of the good folk of Glasgow and Edinburgh according Scotlands’ DNA.

          I thought you Scoti wiped out the Picts when you stole their land.

  • Fencesitter

    These people want power at any price. With Scotland going its own way, the Conservatives would have a much better chance of forming the government in England and Wales. So it suits their interests to let the unionist campaign slide.

    • Alexsandr

      you cynic.

      • Fencesitter

        It’s a point of view, no doubt oversimplified, which remains to be supported or dashed on the rocks by future events.

        Can you seriously doubt that there are those in the Conservative party who have done the electoral sums and decided, for that reason alone, to roll with the prospect of Scotland’s secession?

  • starfish

    Interesting times.
    I do wonder if there is going to be a re-alignment in politics in the UK
    Nationalist parties in power in Scotland and holding a significant balance in Westminster if we are to believe UKIP polling figures
    The three ‘major’ parties are doing themselves no favours. They do not seem to stand ‘for’ anything. Seemingly uttering ridiculous vacuous sound bites, pandering to vocal minorities and lobbyists, feathering their own nests while finding ever more inventive ways of extracting money from the taxpayer
    Certainly my own circle of friends are heartily fed up with all of them – a UKIP landslide in the Euro-elections, an SNP-inspired earthquake in the autumn followed by a UKIP tsunami in the following spring….could be a very interesting year

    • Wessex Man

      we can only hope!

  • gram64

    As an Englishman, I hope the Scots vote for independence. The English will then have their own independence, it’ll be a tremendous boost for English identity and nationalism, and every Scots MP will be kicked out of Westminster! What could be more agreeable?

    • rjbh

      Im Scots of mixed UK blood, and a SNP and YES voter…but I agree wholeheartedly with you, I hope that is exactly what England does, after all, I want England to be Independent as well as Scotland.

  • startledcod

    It is deeply depressing that Gordon Brown was critical in creating the conditions for Scottish independence. In his rise through Scottish Labour he was instrumental in fomenting the anti-Thatcher, anti-Tory wave that Wee Eck is riding to such success. Once more Gordon Brown is shown as the ultimate wrecker.

  • Iain Hill

    There is no sorting out since no case exists. If you had the chance to vote for a more compassionate, more redistributive, less war-fixated, more open and less marketised state with no chance of Tory government, what would you do? Without the deliberate creation of fear and anxiety by the Nonos, there would be an 80% Yes vote. Accept it gracefully and seize all the opportunities it offers to junk a lot of 18C baggage, and dislodge the elites who over dominate England in favour of a state which represents it people, not its press.

    • Wessex Man

      We’ll chose who we please when you are gone, hopefully , thankfully, destiny calling!

  • MajorFrustration

    Where is the evidence that the rest of the UK wants the Scots to stay. Dream on. Let them go. Typical – politicians out of touch yet again. Its time to give the English a vote.

  • Jeffrey Dudgeon

    Whatever happens no more devolution concessions. They only tell the Scots you have no bottom line and will concede anything and everything, even independence. Let them face up now to their own decision.

  • Jeanne Tomlin

    “then the United Kingdom—with its great history and moral purpose—”

    Pardon me while I finish coughing. What moral purpose would that be? An illegal war in Iraq? Torture and murder in Kenya? Throwing Afrikaaner women and children into concentration camps? Two ‘Opium Wars’ to force the Chinese to buy British Opium? Or maybe we should go with something simple such as jailing Gandhi.

    I’m just wondering.

    • Wessex Man

      Yes there’s that bonus that people like Blair, Brown, Reid, Roberston and Cameron, being Scots won’t be able to drag us, the English into such adventures!

  • Tony_E

    I think the unionists are worrying too much. To ensure the union survives simply go home and let the Scots decide. Put up no campaign, and publicly say ‘ get on with it, it’s your funeral ‘

    Salmond is already a busted flush.

  • Malcolm McCandless

    A Tory funded, Labour led top-down negative campaign that is completely dependent on a compliant unionist media in instilling fear into the Scottish electorate by a daily series of scares, threats and smears. A campaign that refuses to engage directly with voters, refuses to participate in public events, and chose not to build a grassroots movement. A campaign built around a deliberately constructed lie.

    What could possibly go wrong?

  • CharlietheChump

    Or we can let ’em go and stuff Liebor forever! Happy days.

  • ian channing

    Who says “the rest of the UK .. doesn’t want them to go?” It’s fine by me, for starters. From an English perspective, I cannot see any point to maintaining the union beyond sentimentalism, and I don’t think the pro-unionists can either, deep down, which is why they are struggling. We would lose 10% of our geopolitical clout. So what? Whether or not the Scots go, we would still be mid-table in Division 2 internationally. And why shouldn’t the Scots go? Every small nation in northern Europe, even Ireland, is doing just fine, thanks partly to EU buttressing. Even without that, though, it does look as though 5-10 million is the ideal population size in north Europe right now. With that level of mouths to feed, Scotland could almost get by on English-language services, tourism and whisky alone–it’s more than Ireland had (and Ireland still doesn’t have a single product with the global wealth-generating power of Scots whisky.) That is without even mentioning the oil.

    • Jeanne Tomlin

      Quite true and it is refreshing to occasionally find a sensible post from one of our English neighbors.

      • Wessex Man

        We tend to be reasonable all the time, only roused to trading insults with racists like you when you start to do so. Most English posters here there and eveywhere support the Scottish right to self determination, what we are not prepared to do is put up with your remarks about us!

        You don’t have to add to your comments your little witty racist remarks, the fact that you do shows your deficencies not ours!

  • Raddiy

    I want them to go, and the Welsh and the Northern Irish.

    I do worry for them though, because once the English have gone their own way, they will collectively have nobody to whinge about, and blame for all their woes. They will have to take full responsibility for their own decisions. The bank of the benevolent neighbour and all round mug will be closed to them for ever.

  • Raw England

    I’ll put it in a nutshell why Britain and Britishness is not worth fighting for:

    Absolutely any third world immigrant can now come and claim British identity. As you can see, millions and millions and millions already have. Britishness is an identity and ethnicity – a White ethnicity. It always has been. But its now been soiled, colonised and claimed by foreigners.

    It can now be claimed by absolutely anyone: even Islamists and terrorists.

    Thus, our identity has been destroyed.

    Rightfully, nobody is willing to fight for it.

    The only thing we have left, now, is our primary identities: White and English.

  • KampungHighlander

    If the no side want to win then they need to give Scotland Devo Max, that is what the vast majority of people in Scotland want. When I say give I mean exactly that, not promise, because quite frankly Westminster promises are no longer believed by anybody.

    • Alexsandr

      cos devo max means the scots will probably get barnett max, and would not answer the west lothian question.

    • Raw England

      Scotland already gets huge financial preferential treatment from England. If Scotland gets and wins Devo Max, it’s going to cause serious problems.

      No Devo Max – just LEAVE.

      • KampungHighlander

        We don’t want preferential treatment, we want to stand on our own two feet. Devo Max means we collect all the revenue raised in Scotland and give the UK our share for the cost of shared expenditure like defence and foreign affairs.

        • Raw England

          Scots already receive a lot more, per head, than the English.

        • Alexsandr

          have you considered the costs of splitting agencies like the DVLA, the AAIB, RAIB, network rail, CAA, and all the other myriad of government agencies.

        • Tony_E

          Then vote for independence.

        • Wessex Man

          tip for the future, ignore Raw Enfland as much as you can.

        • Doggie Roussel

          Ha, bloody ha… you’re ‘avin a larf !

        • Doggie Roussel

          Thanks for flagging me, coward !

          • KampungHighlander

            It wasn’t me.

  • paulus

    They should be dead and buried by this stage. Tell Gordon Brown to get out and fight.

    mons, Le Cateau, Retreat from Mons, Marne 1914, 18, Aisne 1914, La Bassee 1914, Messines 1914, Ypres 1914, 15, 17, 18, Nonne Bosschen, Hill 60, Gravenstafel, St. Julien, Frezenberg, Bellewaarde, Loos, Somme 1916, 18, Albert 1916,18, Bazentin, Delville Wood, Pozieres, Guillemont, Flers-Courcelette, Morval, Le Transloy, Ancre Heights, Arras 1917, 18,
    Vimy 1917, Scarpe 1917, 18, Arleux, Pilckem, Langemarck 1917, Menin
    Road, Polygon Wood , Broodseinde, Poelcapelle, Passchendaele, Cambrai
    1917,18, St. Quentin, Lys, Estaires, Hazebrouck, Kemmel, Soissonnais-Ourcq, Bapaume 1918, Drocourt-Queant, Hindenburg Line,
    Epehy, Canal du Nord, Courtrai, Selle, Sambre, France and Flanders
    1914-18, Italy 1917-18, Helles, Landing at Helles, Krithia, Suvla,
    Scimitar Hill, Gallipoli 1915-16, Rumani, Egypt 1916, Gaza, El Mughar, Nebi Samwil, Jaffa, Palestine 1917-18.
    These names are not withour resonance, these names are where Scottish soldiers stood side by side with Englismen, Every battle is a thread thu the fabric that weaves us together.These nationalists should be ashamed of themselves.

    • MichtyMe

      Scots soldiers stood side by side with with scores of nationalities, it was the WORLD WAR, even for unsavory allies like the Tsarist Autocracy…So?

    • KampungHighlander

      The Irish had soldiers in those battles also, do they feel ashamed for leaving?

      • glurk

        Can we please face up to the rather messy status quo as is now and stop reverting to history as a reason for staying or going. UK has changed, our culture has changed our sense of self is changing beyond belief. This is not necessarily as nanny said, a bad thing.

    • Raw England

      This is all when Britain was actually British.

      Things have badly, badly changed and degraded since then.

      Immigration and multiculturalism have not only decimated our economy and cultures, they’ve also caused White-against-White conflict.

    • Wessex Man

      oh do grow up and stop using such examples we are in a different world now, if the Scots want to break away let them.

  • DaveTheRave

    If Scotland wants to go, let it. Then, perhaps, we can start looking after ‘our’ piece of earth a little bit better. Everyone needs a homeland, it’s a basic right, isn’t it?

    • Jeanne Tomlin

      Yes. I hope that happens because most of England and Wales isn’t being looked after any better than Scotland has been. Good luck to you!

  • Denis_Cooper

    The British cabinet is faced with the major problem that few people still believe that they can ever be trusted to mean what they say. And that applies also to other UK politicians who would now be in the British cabinet if the votes had been cast a bit differently at the last general election, few people still believe that they can be trusted either. This is something that the English and the Scots actually have in common, along with the Welsh and the Northern Irish, few now trust the UK politicians they have elected, and so many across the UK simply disbelieve their statements that the government would never agree to a continuation of the currency union between an independent Scotland and the continuing UK. Needless to say that isn’t helped when some idiot Tory minister, still unidentified and unpunished, tells the Guardian that of course there would be a currency union. Passing an Act now to say that if the Scots do vote for independence then any proposal for a currency union would have to be approved by a referendum in the rest of the UK would help, but even then some would say that it did not provide what you might call a cast-iron guarantee, and in any case the UK government refuses to countenance the idea of putting that issue to a referendum in which people in the rest of the UK could have their say on it.

  • graham hughes

    Yes Wales wants Scotland to go and we want to come with you !

    • Wessex Man

      We want you to go with them as well.

    • startledcod

      Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Scotland can make a good case for being able to afford to run itself, Wales couldn’t even begin to do so. Wales standing on its own two feet is taffily impossible.

  • jazz606

    There are actually three horses in this race. The Unionists, The Scots Nats and lastly the English who are as usual not being listened to.

    • allymax bruce

      Who said that?

  • asalord

    Those who claim to love the union are doing the most to end it. Delicious.

    • Kitty MLB

      We will not miss you.

      • Wessex Man

        no one will miss him, I feel pity for Scots who will have to put up with him!

        • Kitty MLB

          Not the most cheery of souls, he needs to take some
          long walks in the magnificent Highlands. And wonder who
          will be their next tormenter.. they clearly need one.

  • Elspeth Parris

    England and Scotland joined together, supposedly, as equal partners sharing a King. And then England took over. More recently, Scotland, which tends to be rather more leftwing has suffered years of tory (or blue-labour) rule. Why be surprised that Scotland wants its own identity back and the desire to be free of right-wing rule strengthens that longing? I’m English, by the way.

    • Raw England

      People like James and the other failed, pointless ‘No’ supporters are all part of the Liberal establishment. They want the disgusting status-quo to continue as it benefits them.

    • saffrin

      England, Wales, Scotland and N.Ireland have been governed by the unelected in Brussels for decades.
      If Scotland want independence they sure as he*l are going the wrong way about it.

    • Andy

      King James VI succeeded to the throne of England following the death of Queen Elizabeth. They were never ‘equal’. James had long enjoyed a ‘subsidy’ from the Queen, and when he succeeded her he gained a much more vast treasury than as King of Scotland. England was always far more populated than Scotland.

      You go on to say ‘Scotland, which tends to be rather more leftwing has suffered years of tory (or blue-labour) rule’ but Scotland has 8% of the UK population. Are you saying that if Scotland votes for the Fascist Left we all have to suffer too even if we don’t vote for them ? And now we have the reverse. We only have a coalition government controlling English Affairs because of Scottish seats. Even if the Scots vote to remain in September the status quo is not now an option. There must be devolution for England.

      • Raw England

        “Even if the Scots vote to remain in September the status quo is not now an option. There must be devolution for England”

        Exactly.

    • Colonel Mustard

      I scorn the way lefties (who all voted for it three times) have revised their history to make New Labour 1997-2010 an extension of the Tories in order to distance themselves from its consequences and promote the “pure” socialism now espoused by, wait for it, the same group of front bench Labour has-beens who connived and conspired under Brown and are now led by one of Brown’s protégés. Cynical doesn’t even begin to describe it.

      • Elspeth Parris

        I haven’t voted for Labour for years! Problem is, with Labour having gone to the Right – I am without a party to vote for. Looks like I’ll have to vote Green next time unless Left Unity comes up with a candidate. Nothing cynical about simply being a socialist, but the Labour party isn’t socialist, hasn’t been for a long time. Sadly.

  • Raw England

    The rest of the UK doesn’t give a f*#k if Scotland leaves.

    I don’t think you realise how bad things are. I don’t think you realise the level of hatred there is for the grotesque, foreign city of London.

    You also have no idea how badly the native people have been destroyed.

    And what “Moral purpose”? Britain now stands for NOTHING due to the ruling Leftist elite, immigration and multiculturalism. People now despise their own country due to these things.

    The ‘relationship’ between Scotland and England is now intensely TOXIC. Separation MUST happen.

    Its time for English Nationalism. Scotland is now just another entity trying to drain the increasingly, dangerously oppressed English people.

    • Hello

      Oh, bugger off.

      • Raw England

        Thank you for your ever-illuminating input, Hello.

        • Hello

          Your hysterics hardly need any cogent response.

    • dado_trunking

      Now Nigella, you gave it away in your first sentence. You could have written:
      a) The rest of the UK doesn’t give a f*#k whether Scotland leaves.
      b) The rest of the UK doesn’t give a f*#k when Scotland leaves.

      But you didn’t. Now, either you are illiterate (something we will not reflect on for long) or you suffer from a generic lack of confidence.

      I will offer assistance with the latter – when you own nothing you will call zero shots. Now off you go and shine my shoes. You did not lose anything, you gambled away not only your money but your moral code – you have no one other than yourself to blame for that.

      • Raw England

        Oh, I do enjoy your replies to me, Mr Dado Trunking X x

    • Wessex Man

      It’s time for you to go and lie down in a nice warm dark room without the benefit of oxygen!

      • Kitty MLB

        Ouch ! I hope you never say that to me,.

        • Wessex Man

          No of course Kitty my dear!

          • Kitty MLB

            Thank goodness. I would be quite desolate.

  • jazz606

    “..The government’s concern is prompted by the fact that it has fired its biggest gun, telling the Scots there’ll be no currency union after independence, but the Nationalists are still standing…

    Of course they are. They are fanatics and impervious to reason.

    • scotcanadien

      They were elected by a landslide under a democratic proportional representation system specifically designed to try to ensure that wouldn’t happen. The fanatics are the Tories who even though in a minority in Parliament are still inflicting their nasty neo-liberal right wing policies on the people with the aid of their little helpers in the LibDem Party. The Tories are little better than the fascists of UKIP with their Nationalist jingoism and flag waving..

      • saffrin

        Bought and paid for Brussels blogger masquerading as a nationalist hate filled Scot.

      • jazz606

        As I said ” impervious to reason”.

      • Wessex Man

        Spoken like a true comrade, who do you propose to line up against the wall first, be careful it’s not you!

      • Doggie Roussel

        You are a typical Scot who chooses to live any where but Scotland, like the egregious Sir Sean Connery who lives in the Bahamas and claims that returning to Scotland would be injurious to his health and privacy.

        He, like you, from your foreign bolt holes, simply whine about English injustice and choose to live anywhere but in your homeland.

        • allymax bruce

          There’s an idea, Doggerel; how about yoos-lot give us The Bahamas, oor ane wee sunshine island, and we’ll let you share the £ in a Currency Zone?
          Open for negotiation.

          • Wessex Man

            behave yourself allymax everything Doggie says is true.

            • allymax bruce

              Ok, I wiz just joking. I like Doggie; he’s guid fir a laugh.

          • Doggie Roussel

            I don’t think the Bahamas are not ours to give away, Ally… they gained independence from Britain in 1964 and i believe that they now use the Bahamian dollar….

            Any way I wouldn’t choose the Bahamas to live… it’s full of tax avoiding spivs, like Connery.

            It also harboured the Duke of Windsor when he threatened to sell his soul to the Fuhrer, Adolf H. The royals were terrified that he would have to share a gallows with those other traitors, Lord Haw Haw and John Avery.

  • alabenn

    The no campaign is dead in the water, its best hope is that the movement towards the yes camp has reached its peak.
    Nothing they say now will have any effect, they shot their bolt with ever lurid threats that carried no water.
    To turn now and say, we really did not mean any of the nasty stuff and really you are everything we want as a partner, so lets stay friends will not wash.
    The Tories do not carry enough clout.
    Labour in the shape of Browns batman Darling, took them for granted and when they decided to try to persuade, they used threats and fear, both have failed as a large part of the population now know that, Labour only need them to hold up its only viable chance of power in Westminster and for them Scotland is a means to an end.

    • jazz606

      “…they shot their bolt with ever lurid threats that carried no water…”

      Of course they aren’t threats, but post referendum that won’t matter Salmond will have won.

      • scotcanadien

        No! They are/were illusory incredible lies. Even the english didn’t believe them; apart from you that is.

        • saffrin

          If you’re talking about currency union, isn’t the EU’s failed ‘euro’ currency union a good enough example to explain “Independence” means Scotland will be on their own.

          With no EU membership there’ll be no EU bailout, not until Salmond has negotiated membership and after Salmond has robbed the personal current accounts of every Scot in the land.

          Remember Greece?

          • scotcanadien

            Are you another escapee from the local mental hospital?

            • saffrin

              Explain why you think England would want a currency union with an independent country that can’t hold it’s own?

              • scotcanadien

                “can’t hold its own”… what? D1ck…cock…prick ….

                • Wessex Man

                  Your contribution to the debate on Scottish matters doesn’t bode well for Scotland if Scotland is to rely on people like you.

          • John Banks

            A currency union between Scotland and rUK would not pose Eurozone-style risks as explained by the Fiscal Commission, a group of the most respected and cited experts in the world.

            • Alexsandr

              so what is the benefit to the rest of the UK in having a currency union with Scotland? Someone please tell me how a Rest of Uk government would sell that to their electorate?

              and why would an independent scotland want to use the currency of a far lager economy anyway. The larger economy would enforce fiscal rules on the Scots, on levels of taxation, spending and borrowing. For a joint economy to work these things would have to be convergent. So then its not relly independence is it?

              I am glad the EU has not joined the Euro for the same reason and am baffled why the Scots would want to be second fiddle in a joint currency.

              • John Banks

                Read the Fiscal Commission’s report from last year, explains it in considerable detail why that is the case.
                The second part is explained and rebutted in the report as well, and has been rebutted several times in other articles/comments/documents.

                • Wessex Man

                  This is the Fiscal Commission commissioned by the SNP is it? the same SNP whose leader in a speech to the EU said the pound is a milstone around the neck of Scotland, you can’t have it both ways and you are not going to.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  I have and it was commissioned by the SNP. It ignores the proposition that the UK taxpayer would have to underwrite any newly issued public debt by Scotland without limitation as to amount or term. The same taxpayers would also find themselves acting as ‘lender of last resort’ to the banks of a foreign country. I confess that I am struggling to find any advantages to the UK accruing from a currency union. The only way it could work is if the UK Treasury could assert complete control over the total amount of debt issued by Scotland, interest rates, tax rates etc etc and that would hardly be independence. I think Scotland would simply have to use Stetling, a freely tradable currency, but without a currency union with the UK. Managing exchange risk between the UK and Scotland by the way would all be in a day’s work for the average corporate treasurer and a ludicrous reason for establishing a currency union. You need a plan B Mr Salmond.

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            But the many other currency unions around the world don’t count, right? :)

            • Inverted Meniscus

              Irrelevant. The UK taxpayer will simply not wish to be in a position whereby he or she is expected to underwrite the newly issued public debt of a foreign country without limitation as to amount or term. Speaking as one of those taxpayers, I also have no wish to act as ‘lender of last resort’ to the banks of a foreign country either.

              • Jeanne Tomlin

                So the Euro is relevant but the others are not. :)

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  The point is it is not in the interests of UK taxpayers to underwrite the newly issued public debt of a foreign country without limitation as to amount or term. Incidentally, why does Salmond want a currency union with the UK as opposed to joining the euro zone?

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  You mean other than the fact that a nation has to have had its own stable currency for a minimum of two years in order to even be eligible to join the Euro zone? Other than the fact that the eminent economists who made up the board that gave the Scottish government their advice said that a CU with England would be the best choice? I don’t know. My own enthusiasm is very limited but I can see some advantages on both sides.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Unfortunately for Scotland, a currency union has to be in the best interests of both countries. 8.7% of the population does not get the right to impose such an arrangement upon 91.3% of the population and a currency union is emphatically contrary to the interests of UK taxpayers. It would have to be approved by the Westminster Parliament and ergo, it will not happen. By all means continue using Sterling, it is a freely tradable currency, but not as part of a currency union thank you very much.

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  And it seems to be in the best interest of both at least in the short term. In what way would a negotiated agreement between the two governments being imposing anything? If it were agreed to and the government applied the whip, it would indeed pass Westminster.

                  Edit: Incidentally, simply using the sterling until we had our own currency established would be my personal preference, however I also recognise that the economists brought forth a number of reasons why a currency zone would be preferable.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  The point you seem very reluctant to grasp is that a currency union is not in the interests of the UK and more importantly, its taxpayers. There is nothing to negotiate as the Chancellor, PM etc etc have said repeatedly. Salmond is trying to ‘impose’ a currency union with threats of reneging on Scotland’s share of the debt etc. An empty threat because the UK Treasury has already promised to underwrite all existing debt post independence. He is desperate for a currency union having promised voters that there will be no disadvantages to independence. He knows full well that failure to secure UK treasury backing for newly issued Scottish debt will send Scottish borrowing prices soaring which will feed through to higher mortgage rates etc. There are no advantages to the UK in joining a currency union and therefore it will not happen.

                • Wessex Man

                  You must be exhausted, this ‘lady’ doesn’t like real facts.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  So I have painfully discovered. A contrary opinion is met with arrogance and bluster and no semblance of economic reality.

      • Jeanne Tomlin

        So you really believe Lord George Robertson when he says that there will be a world-wide cataclysm if Scotland becomes independent and we will be at the mercy of the ‘forces of darkness’.

    • Kitty MLB

      I surmise the involvement of Brown and Darling was for
      the very basic reason of them being Scottish.
      Never mind that they represent the worst of politics,
      atleast they were not begotten Tories- so never mind !

  • AnotherOldBoy

    If denying that an independent Scotland could enjoy a currency union with the rest of the former UK was the “biggest gun” that those who wish to maintain the Union had, then we deserve to lose.
    The case for the Union has to be positive, not negative. In particular the electorate in Scotland need to be persuaded – as is the case – that Scotland’s future is better as part of the UK (not less bad).

    And arguments to the effect that an independent Scotland would flounder are inevitably counterproductive.
    The positive arguments need to be focused on those Scots who have not profited from the Union by empire building in the 19th century or by successful political or other careers in London in the 20th and 21st. Arguments based on the opportunity of sucess beyond Scotland’s borders will not resonate with those who choose to stay within them.
    “Team GB” at the Olympics showed how the Union works, albeit in a particular area. Andy Murray can never win a major tennis tournament at home if Scotland votes for indpendence. When he won at Wimbledon he diid so as a Scot and a UK citiizen. We need to point out the sucesses of the Union for the people of Scotland and to the future benefits of maintaining it.

    • AnotherOldBoy

      I should have added that Sir Sean Connery would not have been eligible to play James Bond had Scotland been independent 50+ years ago.

      • Jeanne Tomlin

        Haha! Irish have played James Bond in case you haven’t noticed. There weren’t riots in the streets.

      • Wessex Man

        now that’s the sort of remark that will start the racists on these pages fuming and rightly so, your arguments are, I think a little tongue in cheek to wind up certain people!

    • KampungHighlander

      “Andy Murray can never win a major tennis tournament at home”

      Andy Murray, like most major tennis stars call Florida home.

    • Jeanne Tomlin

      So the best argument you can come up with for the Union is a sporting event? That is seriously sad.

  • duyfken

    The government needs to look at the problem afresh and take an entirely different stance. Instead of suggesting all sorts of nice things for the Scots if they decide to stay in the union, it is better to stand up to their threats and state that things will not be the same whatever the outcome of the vote. Their having raised the hare with this referendum, it should be explained to them that the UK will in any case wish to re-address the relationship were the Scots minded to stay with the union. And that will probably mean less financial support, less representation at Westminster and less influence over UK affairs. The Scots should be made to face the reality of what Salmond and his supporters have already brought to them.

    So if the Scots take umbrage as a result and leave, this would be unfortunate for the diminished union, but not so deleterious as that which lonely Scotland could find affecting their way of life and standard of living.

    • anyfool

      Most Scots already know that if they stay there will be a realignment of finances and interests, this will happen regardless of who is in power, the Tories will do it through financial necessity and Labour will have to deflect money to its recently arrived new best friends otherwise they will like the old core vote ditch them.
      Scotland`s only hope is to go for independence then elect a financially sensible party, that will not be Labour, nor will it be the SNP with Salmond still as its head.

      • allymax bruce

        I liked your comment, up until your last 12 words.
        For me, Alex’ Salmond is irreplacable, and a necessary absolute; like Ben’ Franklin was for USA.

        • Doggie Roussel

          Ah, Franklin, Jefferson & Adams… if only we had men of that calibre, learning and integrity in today’s politics.

    • Denis_Cooper

      Good idea, an excellent plan to preserve the Union – make it absolutely clear to the Scots, now, that if they vote for Scotland to remain part of the UK then afterwards the rest of the UK will find ways to punish them.

      • scotcanadien

        FFS. Are you an escapee from the local nut house? If not grow up.

        • MichtyMe

          Err, I think Denis was being ironic.

          • scotcanadien

            Are you telling me that Denis is a YES supporter? If so I rescind my comments. But if he’s going to indulge in irony he should make it clear which side he supports. Or use an irony indicator.

            • Denis_Cooper

              Rescinding all your comments would be a good idea.

              • scotcanadien

                Oh shut up or I’ll take back my rescindments. They’re a lot better than yours. At least people understand them. You don’t even understand your own comment.

                • Wessex Man

                  The only thing that people understand about you is that you exist and gurgle a lot.

            • allymax bruce

              I’m really not following the ‘ding-dong’ between Denis and scotcanadian, but the idea of an ‘irony indicator’ is brilliant!

      • duyfken

        I never did understand irony. Anyway, we should not want to preserve the Union if it means sucking up unreasonably to the constituents.

        • scotcanadien

          Denis_Cooper’s comment isn’t irony. He actually would like to see it happen and is stupid enough to think it could.

          • Denis_Cooper

            Like to see what happen?

            • Jeanne Tomlin

              See exactly what you said, that Scotland should be denied representation in Westminster or an influence in UK affairs.

              • Alexsandr

                Jeanne -do you really think the frosty atmosphere between the Scots and the English whipped up by this debate will suddenly subside in the even of no independence.
                OK the Scots have a few moans about the English, but I am afraid it goes both ways. And some of the language from the SNP is not popular here down south.

                • Jambo25

                  You really should get a grip on reality and realise just how patronising and hostile towards Scotland and the Scots much of the London based political and media classes have been for rather a long time. The idea that everything was OK prior to the independence campaign is quite bizarre. At any rate what is it about the desire of a lot of Scots for independence that has suddenly whipped up this frosty atmosphere.

                • Alexsandr

                  hey, i’m no apologist for the westminster bubble any more than the scots

                  I have thought the English have had a poor deal for some time. The fact that the devolved governments seem able to do giveaways like tuition fees and free prescriptions etc while the english get the basic offeing. Add that to that the fact that Scottish MP’s voted on devolved matters in England (likeEnglish tuition fees)But the thing that rankled most was Nicol Sturgeon saying like a petulant teenager ‘if we cant have the pound,we wont pay our share of the debt’ just sums it up really. I think if you have a major party whose raison d’etre is hating the english that is what you will get I suppose.

                • Jambo25

                  The SNP’s raison d’etre is Scottish independence, not hating the English. The Scottish government gets a block grant from Westminster. If it spends it in wiser ways than Westminster then take that up with Westminster. English Tory MPs were wheeled out for decades (Centuries in some case.) to push through legislation which didn’t meet with the wishes of Scots.
                  “Nicol (sic) Sturgeon saying like a petulant teenager”. Take a look at the full back story of the Currency Union before making comments. You might find it isn’t as you think it is. Personally, I’m one of those ‘Yes’ supporters who wants nothing to do with the £.

                • Alexsandr

                  but the game changed with devolution didnt it?

                  and someone asked why the debate has got nasty. well that sort of comment is why.

              • Denis_Cooper

                Except that it wasn’t me who said it.

                [Note to self – do not attempt irony with people who will not understand it.]

          • Wessex Man

            Life must be so hard for you to be the only one here who understands life, then again maybe you are just a drunken halfwit.

      • allymax bruce

        ‘Ed MIliband is taking the entire shadow Cabinet to Scotland later this
        month to try and make a distinctly Labour case for the Union’

        Punishment enough, Denis.
        As if this is going to ‘help’ UK!

        • Wessex Man

          allymax, I feel for you!

    • Alexsandr

      can you clarify. are you saying if they vote to stay in the UK, we should then address the west lothian question and the barnet formula? and the same questiosn should be asked about Wales and NI? Because I believe they should.

      • duyfken

        Yes.

        • Alexsandr

          then I agree.

    • Jeanne Tomlin

      So if Scotland were to stay in the union, we should forget representational democracy and cringe nicely whilst we are kicked. Hmmm… That should convince us.

      • Alexsandr

        But why should Scottish MP’s @ Westminster be able to vote on affairs that dont concern them or their constituencies – because they are devolved matters. Same goes for Welsh and NI MP’s @ Westminster. (All assuming for the sake of argument the Scots notw ‘NO’ to independance. If they vote ‘YES’ then the question is irrelevant.

        • Wessex Man

          You are trying to have a reasonable debate with someone who hates all things English because, well because they are English.

      • allymax bruce

        At last, Scots are waking up to what the ‘British’ State has being doing to us, our ancestors, and our heritage for 1000 years.
        Vote Yes, to cast-off the cringe!

  • scotcanadien

    “They fear that even Scots with Westminster seats are, to some extent, seen as outsiders in this debate”

    To ‘some extent’? ALL of the Labour shower ARE OUTSIDERS. Their only concern is to maintain the Union for their own financial benefit and to dip their snouts into the filthy trough that Westminster has become. The needs and desires of the people of Scotland are a very minor consideration in their thinking. The troughers constantly demean, discredit and dishonour Scotland and Scots. So is it any wonder the Scots have disowned them?

    • Jeanne Tomlin

      Jim Hood, Labour MP of Lanark and Hamilton East said on the floor of Commons (to applause I might add): “If the Scottish people are going to be better off economically and so on, I would still be against breaking away from the Union.”

      That is exactly how much they are outsiders.

      • Wessex Man

        erm, he’s a Scot sort it out among yourselves for heavens sake!

  • Sue Posi-Tory

    As an Englishman who has lived for several years in both Scotland and Wales, and traveled frequently to NI on business, I just wish they would all go away, leave the Union and get their subsidies from someone else.

    • asalord

      Bitter together, better apart.

      • gerontius

        Agreed

    • John Banks

      Subsidies? What subsidies?
      You wonder why there’s a lot of crap and abuse being hurled between some people in both sides, it’s because of patronising bulls**t like this.

      • Wessex Man

        So the Barnett Formula and beforwe that the Goschen Formula never existed then?

    • Raw England

      Well said.

  • MichtyMe

    The Better Together campaign is in trouble. Folk do not believe what they say and worse, people are now laughing at what they say. The Lord Robertson last week and his Yes vote as the cataclysmic end of Western Civilisation, the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, all destroyed as wee Scotland ushers in the forces of darkness. Jings, burst ma breeks lauchin at that, tee hee.

    • jazz606

      Lord Robertson ! another Scots socialist I don’t think anyone in England is paying him much attention.

      • MichtyMe

        A strange socialist, a consultant with a firm of American lobbyists who assist the US defence industry to garner contracts. As a former Defence Secretary and NATO head his Lordship will have a useful address book.

        • jazz606

          He was six times elected to Parliament, was Chairman of the Labour Party in Scotland, and was appointed to the Privy Council.[6] After Labour won the 1997 General Election, Robertson was appointed Secretary of State for Defence

          Sounds pretty socialist to me.

          • MichtyMe

            Perhaps an ex socialist or a T Blair – million pound per year retainer from merchant bank – species of socialist.

          • John Banks

            Labour are NOT socialist, and haven’t been for a long, long time.

      • Jeanne Tomlin

        *snort* The last thing he is is a socialist. A militarist, yes. Calling him a socialist is laughable. And they didn’t care if the English paid attention to him. He was supposed to scare the wee Scots into voting no. We’re not that stupid.

        • jazz606

          Well it is possible to be a militarist and a socialist. Stalin for instance ?

  • Kitty MLB

    Well its all just a shambles really, with Cameron whinging and Salmond
    smirking whilst using the Scottish people as a pawn in his game.
    If Scotland wishes to leave though, it will need to start again as a new small country
    without the pound as a security blanket. Also if Shetland decide to leave
    Scotland then so be it. My worry is this may be the start of a fragmented England.
    Maybe politicians should back away a little now and leave it to the people.
    Mind you the people here as an example, its a battle of gladiator standards.
    As soon as some Scottish and English people start posting, the red mist comes down,
    and heaven forfend, someone being Scottish and living in England-
    steam out of the ears, and betrayal of the Clans.

    • Wessex Man

      that’s not nice and it’s not true Kitty, I’m surprised at you.

      • Kitty MLB

        Must I always speak the truth, little turtle dove.
        I like small Roman or Viking type battles, gives you
        boys some exercise. But alright everone is on
        their best behaviour even Jambo.
        Can I mention a Celtic Lady, known to
        King Arthur and Avelon ( a clue) who
        is always biting me though.

        • Wessex Man

          I forgive you my dear!

  • David B

    The “Better together” campaign has 2 problems, as I see it:

    1. The basis of the campaign is inherently negative. At it’s base level it’s all about what will go wrong if the union is lost, it’s all about no change. That gives the yes campaign an easy “grass is greener” approach when suggesting change
    2. The no campaign is made up of an uneasy coalition of groups that don’t want to work together, even when they have a common goal. Milliband proved this with the AV referendum and the same problems are showing through.

    Is there a solution. I don’t know but all the parties in “better together” need to pull together in a way they seem to have been incapable of to date.

  • ohforheavensake

    If anyone’s interested (and wants to sign up for a free trial of the FT, because this is behind a paywall), Matthew Engel’s article is one of the best discussions of Scotland and the vote to have appeared in the UK press. He’s right: we’re taking this very seriously, & the rest of the UK hasn’t realised that-

    http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/90acb1a8-c04a-11e3-bfbc-00144feabdc0.html#slide0

    • Jeanne Tomlin

      Excellent article. It’s too bad more people won’t see it behind the paywall.

    • gerontius

      “If anyone’s interested (and wants to sign up for a free trial of the FT,”

      I’ll give it a miss, but thanks all the same

  • Smithersjones2013

    the rest of the UK needs to make far clearer to the Scots that it doesn’t want them to go.

    Cameron should stop clutching at straws. He should have stopped prevaricating over the English question and addressed it then shouldn’t he? He should have used Scotland’s disqSimple fact is according to the 2011 census 85% of the English and Welsh feel insufficiently British to acknowledge it in the census.

    • Chris Morriss

      Well, I want them to go. But in 5 years time when ‘Alba’ is on the edge of an economic precipice, we shouldn’t raise a finger to help them out.

      • Hexhamgeezer

        but, like the euro mentalist Irish I fear we would be ‘obliged’ to by the management.

      • Iain Hill

        Please don’t. That is always the excuse given for meddling. But don’t raise a finger to torpedo us either as in 1699.

        • Wessex Man

          You have to tell them don’t you, The Darien Project was all Scotland’s own doing and the English Government saved the day for Scotland, our ancestors weren’t asked about the Union either. If Scotland does achieve it’s Independence then I would expect any future Union only after a referendum of the English people.

          Reply

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            English governments acts of hostility actually had rather a great deal to do with the Darien project’s failure, although not the complete explanation, and it was the Scottish nobles who had invested who were ‘saved’ with payments of English gold, not Scotland.

            • Wessex Man

              Please expand on ‘English governments acts of hostility.’ The English Government of the day didn’t tell the Scots to invest in a mad scheme, didn’t tell the Scots to found the Colony in one of the most in-hospitable tracts of Land in the world, nor to take on the Spanish.

              You really should stop blaming England for every woe that has overtaken Scotland and you should really read up a bit on your own Country’s history. The comment about your nobility shows just how unread you are about this scheme. Every one of the 2,000+ speculators is recorded, are you going to tell me that your country at that time had 2,000+ Nobilty, no wonder you went bust!

    • Tom Tom

      They should take up Lavrov’s proposal for referenda in each region so people can decide if they want Direct Rule from Westminster or to have their own autonomy. This Government is going even further in imposing central Diktats on regions of the UK as if it is an Occupying Force

      • Wessex Man

        wrong, England if Scotland votes for Independence will be no concern of yours and hopefully we will get our English Parliament that the Labour Government refused to give under Devoltuion.

    • Iain Hill

      Most Scots would heartily agree with you. England must stop these childish games fabricated by a defensive, self serving press, and wake up to the real issues and opportunities for radical change.

      As for Scottish Labour, may it sink and be reborn!

      • Wessex Man

        ENGLAND is doing no such thing, the United Kindom Government is telling you what you can expect or not from the UK Government in the event of a yes majority.

  • XH558

    When, pray, was rUK consulted on the question of whether or not it wants the Scots to go? The most infuriating element in this “debate” (in which rUK citizens have no vote), is the unverified assumption that we are desperate for the Scots to stay, notwithstanding that we receive little but dog’s abuse from them year after year.

    • ohforheavensake

      Nope: firstly it’s our business, & secondly you do get all that oil revenue. So there is that.

      • XH558

        I have no argument with that. My argument is with those who want me to want you to stay in the circumstances you describe.

        • ohforheavensake

          Erm… OK- bit of a convoluted way of putting it, though: & I’m a bit surprised by the ‘dog’s abuse’ comment. You don’t actually know that many Scots, do you?

          • XH558

            Convolution is my middle name :) As to how many I know – well several including a very good friend (now resident in the US) and a few current neighbours. I was in Edinburgh visiting a friend at the University in the summer. If, however, one just sits quietly in England and listens to the general tone of comments from north of the border, then (to this ear), dog’s abuse is how most of it sounds. I used to be proud of the Union, and of Scotland’s many achievements, on the basis that (whatever the cause of Union and unpleasantnesses of history for which no living person is responsible), we had become one one nation. It does not feel that way any more.

            • Wessex Man

              Well put, I have family in Scotland and used to visit regularly and used to enjoy the company of their Scottish friends who now stare at you blankly and make sure you hear their views about the English, I haven’t visited since my car was keyed because it carried my English Football Clubs badge!

              • scotcanadien

                You’re lying. They wouldn’t let a fascist Brit Natz like you across the border

                • XH558

                  Godwin’s Law, thou art mighty yet.

                • MirthaTidville

                  If you are the quality he`s likely to meet, then its highly unlikely that situation would arise

                • Jimmy R

                  And this is the person claiming it’s all those nasty English who are the only ones being abusive. Sounds just like yet another CyberNat.

                • Wessex Man

                  It wasn’t you whilst heavy on Strong Cider that did it was it? no probably not it was done on a daytime visit to the shops and you wouldn’t have been up then would you.

                • Kitty MLB

                  I assume you reside within Glasgow..

              • Dai Station

                This is very much my perspective. As a child, I identified strongly with my part Scottish heritage and loved visiting Scotland. As an adult, I grew weary of the victim culture that has been fostered so absurdly by the likes of Salmond. If the Scots vote for independence, I shall at least be delighted that they will no longer be able to foist politicians such as Gordon Brown on us.

            • Jeanne Tomlin

              It never was that way. The United Kingdom was never one nation. For that to have happened, Scotland would have had to cease to exist and we were not going to allow that to happen. That you think it would have been a good thing is… your opinion which you have a right to.

              • XH558

                I thought it was a fact. The fact (which I readily accept was a misapprehension), was not displeasing. I never really had occasion to consider whether it was some sort of teleological good.

            • allymax bruce

              I’m sorry for digressing, but I can’t take it anymore; I’ve got to tell you that looking at your avatar, makes me think I’m reading the Sporting Life; your avatar looks like a Jockeys ‘colours’ icon.

              • XH558

                Oh please digress at will. Like Tristram Shandy, discourse on the internet is at its best when interpreted as a series of entertaining but pointless digressions.

      • Alexsandr

        But spending in scotland is higher than England. Look at the largesse the HIDB and its successors have given out -miles of empty roads and stuff. Look at the subsidies given to scottish railways and transport, especially in the Highlands and islands.
        And the Scots get free university tuition and also elderle care fees. No-one on these blogs has been able to tell me what benefit the English get that the Scots dont. (While we are on it the Welsh get free prescriptions and the English dont.

        • Jeanne Tomlin

          Explain to me why Scots should apologise for demanding from our politicians what you won’t demand from your own.

          • Alexsandr

            where did I say anyone should apologise? I just say and unfairness should be corrected.
            Demanding from politicians is a way of saying someone else should pay. We need to cut public expenditure, the size of government and taxes.

            • Tom Tom

              If there are more English MPs than Scottish it is interesting that the Barnett Formula is so acceptable

              • Wessex Man

                The sheep in Westminster are told what to do by their leaders who believe we are still a world power. Even Lord Barnett is ashamed that the Formula carries his name!

                • allymax bruce

                  One off the middle of the bat; that’s not like the Village Idiot. Get lucky old boy?

              • Alexsandr

                because its a bribe to And wales and NI…

          • Colonel Mustard

            How and where were those things “demanded”?

    • HookesLaw

      Well rUK did not have any say in Scotland joining the Union. Scotland decided to apply and were accepted.
      This is Scotland’s choice. The case to leave is wafer thin. One poll give NO a 10% lead and another a 5% lead.
      If the Scots want to leave and form a country with no currency and nothing agreed about a future which is based on totally wishful thinking then they have to justify it to themselves.

      • ohforheavensake

        Nope- the Act of Union was an act of union (the clue’s in the name); a pact between two countries. There wasn’t a UK for the Scots to join.

        • Tom Tom

          It was imposed to cement the 1689 Revolution and disinherit the Stuart Succession in Scotland

          • Wessex Man

            no it wasn’t it was to save Scotland!

            • Jeanne Tomlin

              England could not possibly have cared less about saving Scotland. lol

              • Wessex Man

                See my earlier post you bigot and read a little history. lol

      • XH558

        We do live in a rather different political / democratic world from that prevailing at the time of Union, but be that as it may my main point here is simply that I object to the assumption that rUK is opposed to Scots Independence, when the question has not been put to them by government. Provided that an independent Scotland shares nothing with rUK but a border post-independence, I am indifferent both to the outcome and its majority (predicted or actual), either way.

      • Wessex Man

        This is true Hooky, I’ve even volunteered to go up and help them out with their Yes Campaign!

        • Kitty MLB

          Oh yes, I am coming to help as well, a quiet
          small women , with good negotiating skills and
          who is not a rabble rouser might be required.
          And I can do a spot of touring as well, spendid!

        • telemachus

          You who have proposed that Lard be made President for Life

          • Kitty MLB

            Wee Eck’s empire, the land of milk and honey,
            even his birthday will become a national
            Holiday.

            • telemachus

              I think we should support a National Holiday on the day of his passing

            • allymax bruce

              Why not?
              My birthday is a National Holiday.

              • Kitty MLB

                So was mine nearly. Didn’t want to compete with Jesus so
                born 2 weeks early instead. A vainglorious creature like you
                dearest Ally would not have such an issue.

                • allymax bruce

                  I was born on Christmas day.

                  *And there were angels, wise men, and lots of animals hanging around my manger.
                  Well, that’s what the police officer said!
                  Just joking*.

        • allymax bruce

          Remember and wear your UKIP colours!

          • Wessex Man

            No I’ll wear my Campaign for an English Parliament T-shirt.

      • Jeanne Tomlin

        Scotland, thank you very much, did not apply to join a nonexistent UK. Try reading a little actual history instead of British propaganda. England was at war with France and wanted Scotland to make sure there wasn’t a back door. A lot of Scottish nobility wanted English money. Scots rioted but they weren’t being asked.

        • Wessex Man

          Theres an absolute bag of s**** , only what I would expect from you with your very pet hatred of all things English, I suggest that you get someone who can read to explain to you the entire sorry fiasco of Scotland the braves adventure on the other side of the Atlantic called The Darien Project/ Disaster, how Scotland was bankrupted on her very own actions with no help from the English!

          How Scotland was only saved by Union with England, and if you still don’t believe that look up the RBS Records released in their glory in 2011!

          I ‘ve never read anything about the English people being asked if they wanted Union with the Scots or not.

          Your attitude is never understandable because it has nothing to do with the Yes Campaign in the referendum, it’s just a sick hatred of we the Englisgh. Then reasonable Scots can’t understand why people like me want Scotland to achieve it’s Independence! They need only to read a few of your comments.

          • Tom Tom

            They did not get asked about Churchill’s (actually Monnet’s) Plan for Union with France in 1940……but the French rejected that………nor about Cromwell’s Plan for union with The Netherlands, but the Dutch Republic was frightened by that one

            • Wessex Man

              In a minute or not you will tell me what that has to do with Scotland leaving the Union, or maybe not!

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            Indeed people can read my comments and yours and decide who is motivated by hatred. They will see it isn’t me.

            • Inverted Meniscus

              I have decided. It is you.

              • Jeanne Tomlin

                A totally unbiased opinion, of course. 😉

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Correct, based on an assessment of numerous posts. Thank you for the acknowledgement of my objectivity.

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  Read it that way if you like. 😉

                • Wessex Man

                  unlike your friendly little ditties, which show your hatred of we English in all your glory!

        • allymax bruce

          Well said, Jeanne.

      • Tom Tom

        Scotland did not decide to apply – the Upper House was BRIBED to vote for Union and it was more like Khrushchev transferring Crimea from Russia than any popular vote. Scotland was traded just as Saarland was traded to France until a 1935 Plebiscite reversed the transfer

        • Wessex Man

          Do read a little propaganda-less history!

      • Iain Hill

        Read your history. You have it all totally wrong. England drove the union, because of fears regarding the Protestant Succession. All opinions are welcome but deliberate misstatement of historical facts will not do.

        • Alexsandr

          So the Darien fiasco is nothing to do with it then?

          • Jeanne Tomlin

            No one said that. The financial losses of the Darien project made the Scottish nobles open to English pressure and bribes. It was the nobility and upper classes that lost money, not the Scottish government or ordinary Scots. Let us not forget, however, that those losses were caused at least in part by the English embargo on Scottish shipping. It was certainly not a matter of England helping out their friends the Scots. That could not have been less the situation. The Act of Union was seen as very much in the interest of the English as it removed a traditional enemy from their border during a period of wartime. The Scottish nobles who had lost money in Darien took the English gold and the ordinary people of Scotland got nothing out of it.

            • Wessex Man

              You can blame who you like, you are still wrong as any history book will tell anyone interested in reading the facts rather than your propaganda, see my earlier post.

              as a matter of interest to anyone other than a one eyed racist there is a vast hoard of material released by RBS which they have loaned to The National Library of Scotland. The raising of the funds was spread throughout Scotland and it was over 2,000 Scottish speculators who lost all their money.

              I don’t mind anyone having a justifiable pop at the English but this twaddle isn’t justified and shows the depths to which some Cybernat nurtjobs will sink to villify us!

        • Wessex Man

          So why do you so frequently do so yourself?

    • Wessex Man

      You are exactly correct except it’s not rUK it’s UK.

    • scotcanadien

      When I go to any media site discussing Independence It is YES supporters who are abused in the vilest terms by English people. Just look around you on this site. And it used to be a lot worse on here before more rigorous modding was introduced.

      Also, your very own post here accuses Scots of being abusive. I would suggest you consider mote, eye, own, before you post since you don’t seem capable of realising you are being insulting.

      And if you really want Scotland to leave why do you appear so desperate to keep it in the Union? Why aren’t you indifferent to the Scots’ quest for Independence?

      • XH558

        I don’t know how I managed to give the impression that I am not indifferent to Scottish independence. If so, I believe I corrected that in a comment below, but for the absolute avoidance of doubt, I am utterly indifferent. Just to be sure, I take the liberty of quoting something I wrote in another place a month ago:

        “Even the vast resources of the English language lack power to express the absolute indifference so many of us feel when contemplating the future of Scotland. Just go. Please. Use gold bullion, gumbo beans or midges’ wee wee as your currency, Join the EU, the NAU or the Better Business Bureau. Speak English, Gaelic or Mandarin. Have Sean Connery or Widow Twankey as your Head of State. Pay your debts, or default and be damned. Every time Mr Salmond whines Justin Bieber writes a new song, and it is more than we can bear.”

        • scotcanadien

          Well why the f1ck are you here spouting out your ridiculous bilious diatribe if you’re so indifferent? You are a twit with an ‘a’ in the middle.

          • XH558

            You were saying something about bad language and mods as I recall?

            • scotcanadien

              “f1ck” is bad language? But I see you still don’t know when you are insulting people. Do you want some English lessons?

              • XH558

                Not from someone who can’t spell a four-letter word, or lacks the courage of his (her) invective to get it right. And with that, my dear King (or Queen) of the non sequitur, I think I will let this little exchange rest.

                • scotcanadien

                  That is d1ckhead talk. Speccy won’t publish f..k unless it is concealed from the bots.

                • Wessex Man

                  See this charming halfwit’s reply below to see how you are wasting your time trying to reason with the hate filled republic in his own closet, I expect that he/she/it is even now sipping away at a strong Cider composing more bile to you.

                • XH558

                  It was clear from the outset that (unlike many nationalist contributors), scotcanadien is inarticulate, barely literate and what Jeeves would describe as “mentally negligible”. There was some limited pleasure to be derived from baiting him, but, like playing peek-a-boo with the toddler in the aircraft seat in front, there is no end to the game except resolute silence on one’s own part.

                • Kitty MLB

                  And as Wodehouse described as having enough intelligence
                  to open the mouth when wanting food, but no more.
                  One really need to pop the dummy into the mouth of such characters, place them in the playpen and ignore them.

                • Kitty MLB

                  He represents the worst of Scotland, just like Ally represents to best. I wonder if we will be bereft of their dulcet
                  tones after they have eschewed there pages and they will
                  as they have no interest in any other article unless it relates
                  to Scotland- although there are exceptions to the rule.

                • allymax bruce

                  You really are a sweetheart, Kitty. Ofcourse I’ll be back.

                • Kitty MLB

                  Well then I shall trust your word will be your bond, Ally and
                  that you shall return. Or some of us small dark haired creatures will venture into the foreign bleakness of Scotland
                  just to tell you off… and you would not want that, I am sure.

        • Jeanne Tomlin

          Someone does not post time after time at length on topic on which on has ‘absolute indifference’.

          • XH558

            I have been involved, I think, in two threads concerning independence. It might be three, I can’t remember and I am sure that neither of us can be bothered to check. Please do not, however confuse my indifference to the outcome of the referendum for Scotland, with indifference to the intrusive whining of this non-debate in England. The latter annoys me enough to respond and if, by doing so, I can irritate some floating Scottish voter into a “yes”, then that is a bonus.

            From an English point of view, however, I think the whole thing is a win/win. If it is “yes” then we are free of Scotland. If it is “no” then the cybernats will queuing up to jump off the Forth Bridge, and there will be so many tam o’ shanters floating in Firth that it will resemble a lily pond.

            • gerontius

              Harsh – but fair

            • Wessex Man

              It’s your absolute right to use this site and to post comments here, we live in a near free country, don’t be intimidated by by the rants of the Cybernat nutjobs, this is their usual tactic to try and shut down debate. Jeanne Tomlin and Scotcandien are amonst the most vocal of the racist branch of Scotland’s Yes Campaign.

              We have every right to be part of this debate as we will probably have to pick up the pieces of Scottiish Independence in about twenty years!

          • Wessex Man

            So why are you so adept at it?

    • MaxSceptic

      Maybe Dave & Co. have a cunning plan to allow England to get away Scot-free?

      (Enterprising Scots like our sainted editor are, of course, very welcome here)

      • XH558

        Well Mr Cameron could hide behind the proverbial spiral staircase, so your hypothesis is tenable. We live in hope.

      • Wessex Man

        sorry, we’ve sen how intelligent Call me Dave is with the MM Scandal, no I just think he has no plan.

    • Kitty MLB

      Yes, indeed and they even want to keep our pound and don’t think
      we should even have a say in that. And I believe even Scots living within
      the UK don’t get a say…but I suppose they are traitors to the Clans.

  • Shinsei1967

    The trouble with the pro-Union campaign is not that it has been negative (that is the SNP modus operandi with its “anti Westminster elites” message) but that it has been mainly reactive.

    So the Yes campaign comes out with various demands (we will have a currency union) and the rest of the country points out, purely factually and so as to avoid any “why didn’t you tell us” comments come 19th September, that this won’t happen.

    The pro-Union campaign needs some popular events, as Charles Moore suggests in this week’s column, to show that the UK is Better Together. Where are the Live Aid-style Better Together pop concerts ?

    • dado_trunking

      Not another bakeoff, pleeease!

    • Wessex Man

      who here in England cares?

      • scotcanadien

        If you don’t care why do you keep turning up like the proverbial bad english penny every time there is an article about Scottish Indy in the Speccy?

        • gerontius

          We are secretly hoping that Scotland will leave the Union

        • Wessex Man

          To keep halfwits like you in check and to answer your scandalous lies about we English, it’s a free world and I despite silly little people like you, I will have my say!

    • Jeanne Tomlin

      LOL You’re serious, aren’t you? So you think that some performers coming north will convince us that WMD on the Clyde and the bedroom tax are just dandy.

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