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Scottish Nationalists have become Masters of Doublethink

19 May 2014

5:37 PM

19 May 2014

5:37 PM

Let’s be fair, however, UKIP have not cornered the market in weirdness. One of the odder elements of the Scottish independence campaign is the manner in which so many Yes voters deny being nationalists: I support independence but please don’t make the mistake of thinking me a nationalist. I only support nationalist aims, like. 

I suppose this is just about tenable if you are a member of the Green party or if you swim in one of the Yes campaign’s other minor tributaries but it’s a mighty rum thing to hear from members of the SNP.

Which brings us to Pete Wishart, member of parliament for Perth and North Tayside. The other day he tweeted that he has “Never much cared for any ‘nationalisms’ whether Scottish, British or Whateverish.” The referendum, he insisted, was only “about democracy”.

An ordinary citizen might think this a curious thing for a member of the Scottish National Party to say. A bit like being a member of Sinn Fein but insisting this should not be taken as evidence you’re a Republican.

Perhaps, however, Mr Wishart contains multitudes. There is the Pete Wishart who tells parliament “I have never felt British in my life” and that “I do not even know what Britishness is“. This Mr Wishart should not be confused with another Mr Wishart who wrote recently that: “Britishness will be a feature of an independent Scotland as we go forward and we are keen to develop and build new British institutions as an equal partner. I wholeheartedly agree with the positive historic image of ‘Britain’ that the Nos [ie, Unionists] present and shout a rousing ‘hear, hear’ when I listen to them talk of a Britain as the ‘idea’ that built the NHS and stood together in the war.”

Good golly. That’s not all however. You see: “Independence can actually even reverse the decline of the idea of Britishness, a concept that has consistently been on the wane and which I feared might eventually go in a devolved Scotland”.

This Pete Wishart feared a sense of Britishness might disappear? Apparently so. Titter ye not. Perhaps pro-British Scots should vote Yes to reverse the decline of the idea of Britishness. Yes indeed. In the same manner, I suppose, as an Irish Republican should cheerfully vote for the Democratic Unionist Party to reverse the decline of the idea of a United Ireland. Well why not?

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This, remember, is the Pete Wishart who says “If someone had told me that I would now welcome my own Britishness a few years ago I would have almost choked on my jellied eels”.

A few years ago? How about 18 months ago? In October 2012 some other Pete Wishart was writing that “It’s time to reach out to that patriotic inner Scottish nationalist who resides in practically everybody who lives and works in Scotland” and “Our job is to unleash that inner nationalist”.

This Pete Wishart would have us believe Scotland is a stunted, crippled place. A kind of constitutional freak: “It is the ‘inner nat’ that longs to be like all those other countries in the world, normal and self-governing, peacefully patriotic and above all free and independent. The inner nationalist knows we are better than this.”

And what is the prize? “The inner nationalist is simply an emotional response that says Scotland deserves better, is better and deserves its national liberation, its independence and its freedom”.

National liberation? Can the Pete Wishart so full of praise for the United Kingdom’s history and culture be the same Pete Wishart who talks of national liberation and freedom? If the United Kingdom has been so splendid there’d surely be no need for liberation? And liberation from whom, anyway? Scotland has not been held within the UK against her will, after all. Rather remaining within its borders has been the settled will of the Scottish people.

But, hey, that was Mr Wishart 18 months ago and 18 months is a long, long time. So I assume it was another imposter who wrote in August 2013 that the great thing about independence is that “we will regain our national self-respect and dignity”. Doubtless one of the Wisharts can tell us precisely when we lost it. Some time ago, I presume, since this Wishart opines that “Our nation will belong to us for the first time in over 300 years”.

Well, perhaps. There is nothing reprehensible about that notion. But it seems modestly difficult to conclude it’s not a nationalist view. And, look, there’s nothing wrong with being a nationalist! At least nothing necessarily wrong. Unionism is, in some senses, a form of nationalism too. An idea that there is such a thing as a British idea and community over and above and beyond mere Scottishness or Welshness or Englishness or (some) Irishness and that this idea, this community, has some value. A value earned over centuries whose dividends we continue to enjoy.

Now you can disagree with that. You can certainly think Scotland is imprisoned, choked, held back or otherwise diminished by the Union. You can even think the Union used to offer value, security and opportunity but that it no longer does so, or only does so in ways less relevant to life in the twenty first century.

Perhaps you accept that the United Kingdom is a place from which Scotland must be liberated. After all, at the present time sad, wee, defenceless Scotland lacks dignity and self-respect. Anyone can see that. Only independence can boost national self-esteem! And anything that does that must, ipso facto, be a braw and bonnie thing.

Which, like, is fine. But it is difficult to square that with the notion that springing Scotland from its UK cage will produce a pleasing, overdue upsurge in British sentiment.

One of these many Wisharts may be right but it is very hard to see how they all can be proved correct. It’s almost – warning, cynicism ahead! – as if these Wisharts are prepared to say anything and everything provided, that is, their remarks nudge you towards endorsing independence. The reasons do not matter and nor do the means, only the end.

Which, again, is fine. If you like Doublethink anyway. As Orwell put it: “The secret of rulership is to combine a belief in one’s own infallibility with a power to learn from past mistakes.” That’s a lesson the SNP – and its multitude of Wisharts – has learned well.

The party retains a remarkable ability, as the great man put it, “To forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary.”

It is quite a trick to pull off but the nationalists (sorry to label them such!) are as good at it as they are upset when these things are pointed out. Very good and very upset, that is.

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Show comments
  • http://batman-news.com Concerned Ysobel

    The article quotes “Learn from past mistakes”. Why don’t we Scots? Look at our history; the success we have had in every field. Look at our resources, and, considering our much wealth has been generated by our resources, why is the only road between Berwick on Tweed and Edinburgh the A1? Not a motorway? Why is their not even a dual carrigway road to Inverness? Why are their no railways or main roads in the North of Scotland?
    Where has the revenue from the tax on whisky gone? That tax is 25% of UK GDP. Where has the revenue from oil and gas gone? There are only 5 milion Scots. We don’t cost that much in benefits, AND, why are we having to claim benefits?
    Wake up and see through the miasma created by polititians in Westminister.
    The ONLY party whose accounts were correct to the last penny was the SNP.

  • http://batman-news.com Concerned Ysobel

    It the writer of this article and the representatives of the “No , Better together campaign” are of the same ilk as their representatives I encountered in Musselburgh this morning, God help us !! I had to call the Police because of their appaling behaviour to me. Their total ignorance and bullying was unbelievable. I now will bring my education and husband’s millions to fight for independence for decent, intelligent Scots.
    Wake up!! look at the Mickey Mouse Money in your purse. Where is the silver and gold the coins once represented? There are so many false £1.00 coins in circulation that no one bothers to check anymore.
    Mrs. Doctor ….

  • komment

    The Scots are able to hold more than one thought in their heads at one time, this is generally seen as an indication of a higher form of intelligence. This is natural remarkable feat is beyond the understanding of the one subject brain of many MSM journalists who support the the NO campaign.,and is in stark contrast to the genetically modified Joann Lamont who can’t tell her caveats from her caviars.

  • http://chokkablog.blogspot.co.uk/ Kevin Hague

    So much good stuff in here …

    “The referendum, he insisted, was only “about democracy””

    I’ve argued this point at length (see link below) but in simplest summary:

    Making a country smaller does not make it is some way “more democratic”, it just makes it smaller. That might be better or worse for a variety of reasons, but being “more democratic” will not be one of them.

    http://chokkablog.blogspot.co.uk/2014/05/we-should-decide-who-governs-us.html

  • justejudexultionis

    I suppose Massie thinks that unionists are not ‘nationalists’ at all but somehow represent the triumph of the forces of enlightened reason against the barbarous hordes of nationalist bigots? Does he consider Robert Burns and Fletcher of Saltoun (great minds both) to be ‘bigoted nationalists’ when they lamented the state of Scotland in the face of English dominance? Does he believe that the Founding Fathers of the United States were ‘narrow bigots’ when they created a new *nation* to secure their liberties? Does he think the Greeks were wrong to rise up against their Turkish overlords in the 1820s to recover their ancient nationhood? Perhaps he believes that Germany and Italy should both have remained a patchwork of fragmented princedoms, bishoprics and feudal anomalies? Is Massie so ignorant of history that he believes that *all* nationalism is wrong, always? If so, then he is himself ignorant of history and something called the ‘principle of national self-determination’. Scotland was an independent polity for over seven hundred years before its effective annexation by the English. Does he really think the Scots are too stupid and lacking in resources to go it alone? Or maybe Massie is right and the Scots just are too stupid and frightened to do what countless other small nation states have done, stupider than the Irish, for example…

    • HJ777

      So you didn’t read the article then, preferring just to post an irrelevant and ill-informed rant.

  • Fergus Pickering

    What do you mean ‘have become’. They were always like that. And UKIP is in no way weird. Wash your mouth out with soap. Nigel rules!

  • Doh

    “so many Yes voters deny being nationalists”

    It’s an inevitable consequence of political correctness and cultural marxism – I blame people such as you.

  • ChuckieStane

    Of course Alex, it would be churlish of you not to allow a little doublethink.
    After all, did you, a committed unionist, not appear on a BBC indy debate panel declaring yourself to be an undecided?

  • Stamford Raffles

    You calling UKIP weird – what are you ? On thursday you are going to find out you are the weirdo not UKIPpers. Seems to me you know less about yourself than Wishart.

  • JPJ2

    As I am sure Alex Massie knows it is commonplace for unionists to declare that THEY are not nationalists, in spite of the fact that supporting the British state is every bit as “nationalist” as supporting a Scottish state.

    “Nationalism” has of course been given a bad press due to a certain chap in Germany a while back.

    However, what he was actually indulging in was imperialism, the polar opposite of the desire for self determination currently being pursued by intending “Yes” voters.

    • justejudexultionis

      British Nationalism gave us concentration camps in South Africa, the near-destruction of Highland culture, the decimation of cultures from Africa to India, the shameful Opium Wars and the eradication of Aboriginal culture in Australia. Does Massie seriously believe that an independent Scotland would be prepared to equal such heinous historical crimes by engaging in a policy of ruthless imperial exploitation?

      Clearly, Scottish nationalism is much to be preferred to its rather odious British Nationalist counterpart.

      SAOR ALBA 2014

  • HenryWood

    Mr. Massie,
    As an Englishman living in Scotland since 1969, and working (and prospering) in various industries including offshore oil, onshore hotel and catering etc., etc., your doom laden tomes come far too late and have far too little real content to have any affect whatsoever on my intention to vote for independence in the near future.

    You see, we little people up here in Scotland are now understanding just what you and your ilk have been trying to do to UKIP over the past few weeks in England. And I will honestly tell you this: we do not really like what we see.

    I believe my Scottish friends have the same affinity as I have when we encounter a bully, *either* physical or verbal. We *all* tell him where to get off!

    So, begone Mr. Massie, take your spiel and put it in the back of your kilt.

    Meantime, try and salvage something from the wreckage of the virulent anti-UKIP campaign by learning something, then maybe I might one day try to read your twisted words again.

  • tjamesjones

    Well played Alex Massie.

    • justejudexultionis

      Hardly. See my post above. He is largely speaking to an audience that knows nothing of Scotland and its history.

      • tjamesjones

        I don’t know much of Scotland, but I can spot hypocrisy

  • DGStuart

    What I’d like know – and no one has given me an answer yet – is when did the £ stop being ‘A Millstone Round The Neck Of Scotland’ as Alex Salmond said back in 1999? Apparently that was still his/SNP’s position in 2010 at least, so when did the £ stop being a millstone round Scotland’s neck and why?

    • Alex Boitz

      Things have moved on a bit since then (15 years), or hadn’t you noticed? Economic experts have since advised him that sharing the £ would be the best option for both sides. Should he ignore that advice just to show how pig headed he is?

      • Michele Keighley

        Experts have also advised that a currency union is not in the best interest of the rest of us Should the Westminster government ignore that advice just to show how pig headed they are?

        • Alex Boitz

          No Ifs no Buts no Maybes. An EXTREME position to take on the advice, as far as I can see of their pet civil servant. Their current stance is showing us how extremely pig headed they are.

      • Wessex Man

        You can’t have currency union and be independent!

        You the Yes Campaigners are always quoting your famous Guru McCrone but have ignored him when he says you should bring back the Merk. I rather think that the Scootish Merk has a certain ring to it!

      • DGStuart

        It’s not 15 years though is it, it’s about 3 or 4 maximum. I as someone far from expert realised about 20 years ago that the euro (having first thought it a good idea around 25 years ago) was a deeply flawed project, so Alex Salmond must be an incredibly dumb fuck to have nailed his and SNP’s colours to that mast. Doesn’t answer my question though – why was the £ ‘a millstone round the neck of Scotland’ then but not now?

        You clearly haven’t the wit or intelligence to answer that so best you just go back to your comics or books with big type as you’re just not up to this.

        • Alex Boitz

          Ho ho! Did you think your reply was witty and intelligent? It wasn’t.

          • DGStuart

            No, I was looking for an answer to my question. You clearly haven’t got one and neither has that fat charlatan Salmond, who it is obvious to anyone treats the electorate with utter disdain and contempt.

            • Inverted Meniscus

              I have been pressing that idiot for the same answers. No chance I am afraid.

          • DGStuart

            No, I was looking for a reply to my question, which you clearly can’t provide. Nor can that fat charlatan Salmond who obviously treats the electorate with utter contempt and disdain.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            There seems to be an awful lot of people asking the same questions of you regarding a CU and you haven’t got the courage or honesty to answer any of us.

        • JPJ2

          I know the LibDems are idiots, but they are also in Government-and unlike the SNP, their 2010 GE manifesto was in favour of joining the Euro 🙂

          • DGStuart

            Oh the Lib Dems are idiots for sure. Their enthusiasm for all things EU has been one of the reasons for their lack of credibility. They are only where they are because of Cameron’s inability to win against a hugely unpopular PM (Brown). After tomorrow their Euro presence will be toast and after GE2015 their British parliamentary presence likewise.

  • Chris

    Massie, when this referendum is over, collect your articles in a book, you’ve been definitive on the matter.

    • justejudexultionis

      Definitively misguided and feartie, I agree with you.

  • Smithersjones2013

    When it comes to weirdness the biggest freak in the whole circus would seem to be this sick sneering moron Massie! What a mean miserable world he must live in that all he can do is sit in his ivory sneering at and belittling anyone who doesn’t fit into his sad little world!

    • mightymark

      See, its when people make that kind of overstatement that more neutral people start to suspect the person they criticise has a point, and those who agree with the overall stance of the person criticised (me here) start to think maybe their side is winning the argument.

      Massie’s article points out what seem, at the very least, to be inconsistencies in the argument of a major player in the “Yes” camp. Now you could have countered by showing for example, that

      a) he didn’t make such remarks
      b) Massie has twisted those remarks, or
      c) by reconciling the allegedly inconsistent remarks.

      That you have chosen instead to simply hurl abuse speaks volumes about the way the “yes” camp are running their campaign

      • Alex Boitz

        My objection is the way that one man has been represented as the entire SNP., and your assertion that individual YES supporters here are abusive and thus representative of the YES campaign. As far as I can see the abuse is coming from the other side.
        Massie’s work here does seem a bit vitriolic.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Oh he’s a bad, bad man.

  • abystander

    Da, da ,da,
    da,da,da da.

    Tories pander to a shower of xenophobic blockheads and promise a referendum to keep them quiet.

    Guess what?

    It encourages them.

    The SNP would never make that kind of miscalculation.

    As to the nationalism thing, Unionists are British Nationalists and some of them are not very pretty.

    Step up, for example, the Orange Order, who (helpfully) are going to have a pro Union march in Edinburgh the day before the independence poll.

    • HookesLaw

      Pander? The blockheads had a majority in the Scottish parliament. BTW what would worry me about an independent Scotland is incresed sectarianism. I may not be being fair but the fact remains it worries me.

      • JPJ2

        HookesLaw- Nothing to worry about.

        Neither the Labour Party or the Tory party in Scotland have ever got anywhere near to achieving what the SNP have achieved – a very similar percentage of supporters from both Catholics and Protestants

        I will also point out that the first Asian elected to Holyrood was for the SNP, and if the opinion polls are correct, the first Asian MEP from Scotland will be elected for the SNP on Thursday.

  • Lucy Sky Diamonds

    Aww bless Alex, he has banned us from commenting on his UKIP article!

  • dado_trunking

    It has just occured to me Alex, why not change the Scottish referendum question last minute: “Do you agree that Britain was not your country but Scotland is?” – Yes or No?

    • Alex Boitz

      Britain is not a country, it would generally be considered as the mainland comprising of England Wales and Scotland together with the various islands, therefore I am Scottish and British, but Scottish first.

      • HookesLaw

        Britain is self evidently a country, why get tied up in short hand? The UK is a country. See the label at the UN.

        • Alex Boitz

          If Scotland does get independence then these issues will need to be FORMALLY sorted out. Could get interesting.

          • Wessex Man

            yeah like paint drying!

          • Expat

            Nothing to sort. If Scotland votes to become independent it will become ‘Scotland’. England, Wales and N.I. will remain as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

            • Alex Boitz

              That could be in doubt …for clarity you might need to add “excluding Scotland” on the end….just kidding. But the united Kingdom of Great Britain was originally Scotland + (England and Wales)…so without Scotland there is only one united?Kingdom… ….and to complicate things further the Crowns (Kingdoms?) would still be united. Could get confusing. It may not be worthy of discussion..but then again…. it might be.

  • Alex Boitz

    Are you sure you have the right Pete Wishart, and not one of the thousands of other ones that you seem to think makes up the entire SNP Party?

  • asalord

    “Doublethink”?
    Like British nationalists criticizing Mr Salmond over comments he made about Mr Putin whilst at the same time asking for Mr Putin’s help in fighting Scottish independence.

    • manonthebus

      You do write some weird things!

      • GreyNag

        But true.

  • MichtyMe

    Hmmm, I had always thought that a nationalist was one who believed that a nation should also be a sovereign state.

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Read some History. Nationalism is all about identifying a race, creed etc that can be blamed for all of a country’s problems.

      • JPJ2

        Sez You 🙂

  • http://www.predictableparadox.co.uk Graeme Cowie

    Pete Wishart obviously didn’t get the memo back in 2012…

    Alex Salmond: “Scotland is not oppressed and we have no need to be liberated.”

  • Alex

    Enough of the willful ignorance Alex. Seems you missed out a HUGE distinction in your discussion of nationalism. Why is that? Are you hoping some of your readers will be confused or perhaps worry they are turning into Hitler because they are thinking of voting yes.

    Never fear, since Alex left it out I have used Wikipedia to fill in the gaps.

    CIVIC NATIONALISM: is a kind of nationalism identified by political philosophers who believe in a non-xenophobic form of nationalism compatible with values of freedom, tolerance, equality, and individual rights.
    Civic nationalism is the form of nationalism where the state derives political legitimacy from the active participation of its citizenry (see popular sovereignty), to the degree that it represents the “general will”.

    ETHNIC NATIONALISM:

    Ethnic nationalism (also ethnicism and racial nationalism[1]) is a form of nationalism wherein the “nation” is defined in terms of ethnicity or race.
    The central theme of ethnic nationalists is that “nations are defined
    by a shared heritage, which usually includes a common language, a
    common faith, and a common ethnic ancestry”.[2]

    • gilbertratchet

      But Civic Nationalism actually makes no logical sense, and therefore leads to Ethnic Nationalism…a far better writer than me explains why:

      http://effiedeans.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/is-civic-nationalism-consistent-with.html

      The tl;dr version – if this is nationalism based on values rather than heritage, why aren’t the Geordies, Scousers and the other parts of the UK that never vote for the Tories also invited?

      • JPJ2

        Probably because claiming part of another country is generally referred to as imperialism and would be rather frowned upon by England.

      • Alex

        It’s an interesting post but very much dilutes (or outright ignores) the ideas behind Civic Nationalism to try and shoehorn in a point.

        She does not say that Civic Nationalism leads to Ethnic Nationalism at all. Rather she argues it is not compatible with independence because it is about what unites us.

        Problem is that is a very simplistic way of looking at it. She completely ignores the fact that Geordies, Scousers and so on would NOT WANT to be part of an iScotland because of their own sense of Civic Nationalism. So to question why they are not invited is quite an absurd statement. Same reason you wouldn’t invite your future mother in law to a stag night, its not going to please anybody.

  • weescamp

    Oh dear. Let’s remind ourselves shall we that SNP is the Scottish National Party not the Scottish Nationalist Party and while we’re at it lets also remember the Tories are the “Conservative and Unionist Party”… So whilst we can legitimately call Tories unionists because that’s what they call themselves the use of the word “nationalist” is something objectors to Scottish independence like to use in the same way as they use “separation” instead of independence. They just think it sounds scarier.

    Of course all it proves really is that those who oppose independence have to rely on riducule and sneering because their logic for staying in the union is so flawed.

    • Alex

      The new unionist media tactic has changed from scaremongering to dangerous misinformation.

      It started in the Times at the weekend with its divisive “English voters may kill off independence” and it has moved on to this.

      • Barakzai

        Unionist misinformation?
        Have you read the SNP’s crypto-newspaper ‘Yes!” ?

  • FF42

    I don’t think the independence campaign is even luke warm, let alone half baked. I object to having my intelligence insulted by newspapers funded by lottery winners that tell me to tick YES and £5000 will be mine. I am appalled by Salmond’s aggressive misrepresentations about almost every policy aspect of independence. I expect the pain to be severe if my fellow countrymen in a moment of madness opt for their programme.

    But even I can tell the difference between ethnic and civic nationalism.

    • Kitty MLB

      I understand the Scottish people have a list of very important questions that they have asked Mr Salmond many
      times. In regards to the pound, business, mortgages, natural
      resources, the EU and many others. Because independence
      is the end game as far as Salmond is concerned.
      He has not thought about what happens afterwards for
      the good people of Scotland and that is utterly wrong.

      • Alex Boitz

        It is the Better Together campaign that has the list of questions, not the Scottish people as far as I can see, The questions are so preposterous that they would not have entered the heads of most Scots. Alex Salmond can give calm, reasoned answers to every question, so he must have thought quite deeply about it while helping to prepare that 600 odd page White Paper. If there is a NO vote it will be because of uncertainty caused by Project Fears’s misinformation, and that would be shameful.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          And yet he does not seem to have an answer to the question: “what will you do if the UK does not agree to a Currency Union”. He flatly refuses to answer that question “calm, reasoned or otherwise” but simply makes preposterous accusations of bluster and bullying. It would be madness for the UK and so he needs to answer the question.

          • Alex Boitz

            Because the idea that UK politicians would conspire to damage the economy of both the UK and Scotland as well as causing untold damage to the relationship of the two countries out of pure spite is utterly beyond reason. The UK economy is much more prone to failure than the Scottish economy, and Mr Cairney stated that monetary union was perfectly feasible with suitable controls. The Scottish Parliament has managed it’s affairs much better than Westminster and is unlike to go Kamikazi. Just because Better Together equates Scotland to Panama does not make it so.

            • Inverted Meniscus

              Gibberish. What has spite got to do with it? Osborne simply articulated that it would be unacceptable to guarantee the newly issued public debt of a foreign country without being able to limit the amount borrowed or the term? The UK could enter a currency union provided it had unfettered control ver Scottish fiscal, monetary and expenditure policies but that would hardly be independence would it? To suggest that Carney, within the strictly apolitical parameters he has to work within, did anything other than pour cold water on a CU s utterly preposterous. As ever and just like your ‘dear leader’, no attempt to answer the question is attempted just a lot of flannel and lies. I particularly enjoyed the preposterous suggestion that an economy worth $ 2.4 Trillion nominal GDP is more likely to fail than an economy of $235 Billion nominal GDP. Salmond knows that without a CU, Scottish borrowing costs will rise and with it mortgage rates etc. Or do believe all that rubbish about avoiding cross border forex adjustments?

              • BarkingAtTreehuggers

                Gibberish – Gidiot, Ballls and the crew confirmed that Scottish asset backing was no longer welcome in the Bank of England pool of assets post independence. They confirmed that because they know Scotland was sold to Frankfurt.

                Then what happened was central London BoE assets were magically raised by 20% since 2013 to compensate for the anticipated loss. There, fixed it for you.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  You have serious problems an I do not wish to intrude.

              • Alex Boitz

                So the UK economy is not in a mess then, and the Banks are under tight control, and and the massive debt has disappeared? Spite and Project fear has everything to do with it. The controls would be the subject of negotiation, and since we have no control over monetary policy at the moment, we would STILL be much more independent than we are now, It could be done easily if there was willingness on both sides, and if Scotland becomes independent and Westminster refuses a request for monetary union then it will be because of spite. The language used is both threatening and spiteful. Cameron Osborne and Milliband would no doubt be hoping to be re- elected before the effects kick in, I would think the theoretical risks of monetary union would be far outweighed by the assured damage to the economies and relations as mentioned before. Btw Cairney most certainly did not pour cold water on CU. Apolitical? You mean like that Treasury advisor?

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  There is no advantage to the UK taxpayer in guaranteeing the debt of a foreign country. That is why we chose not to join the euro. Choose independence by all means but don’t expect the British taxpayer to fund it.

                • GeeBee36_6

                  Absolutely right. Our poor friend Alex Boitz has clearly spent too long in Scotland, hermetically locked onto the teat of Westminster, and is in denial that once independent of said teat, he will not, somehow, continue to be allowed to suck it. There is an old adage, is there not, regarding the difficulty of both having cake and eating same?

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Yes except that this particular idiot wants ownership of the bakery and be at liberty to spend the money of the workforce as well.

                • GeeBee36_6

                  Well in a sense you are right, if only because of the old adage about the greater the height the greater the fall. Naturally the Duke of Devonshire has more to lose than does White Dee on Benefits Street. Whoops! An analogy a little too close to home I fear…

            • Wessex Man

              He said no such thing, where on earth can you point to where he said that, as for Westminster more prone to failure, who’s banks was it that went t*** up and had to be bailed out do grow up.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                A cybernat growing up! Good luck with that. These nutters just make it up as they go along. A message from the Governor of the BOE that a currency union would not be a good idea is treated as a ringing endorsement. I hope they vote Yes in September and just go.

                • Alex Boitz

                  He made the specific point at the start of his presentation that it would be of a technical nature and he was not giving an opinion on it. No one has said that he gave it a ringing endorsement. I think it is you who is making it up. Thank you for your good wishes. I am sure we will get along just fine after independence.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  You just keep clutching at straws and being utterly dishonest. There is absolutely no incentive to the UK taxpayer to joining a currency union with a foreign country and you cannot keep ducking the issue and failing to consider an alternative. The only alternative that scum like Salmond has offered is walking away from a per capita share of the national debt. A typically dishonourable approach from a thoroughly dishonest man.

                • Alex Boitz

                  hmmm….dishonest, foreign, scum, dishonourable, …not very nice words to use. Five alternatives were considered and ranked in order of merit, and, pending negotiations, Alex Salmond is pressing for the best of the alternatives. A loss of about 10% in the UK balance of payments is ABSOLUTELY no incentive? Alex Salmond is no Angel , and definitely would not have enough grace to accept part of the debt of an overtly unfriendly (foreign?) government. Absolutely no incentive?

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Best alternative for Scotland but absolutely disastrous for the UK. We have no interest in underwriting the debt of a foreign country. Let us hope you vote Yes in September and that the UK quickly severs every possible link with Scotland.

                • Alex Boitz

                  How can it be absolutely disastrous to carry on more or less in the same way that we are now? But of course you appear to be unable to countenance that.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Because you idiot, Scotland will be a foreign country and why would we guarantee the newly issued public debt of a foreign country? Where, for example, we have had to get a warship built in Scotland we can either build it ourselves or seek a better deal elsewhere.

                • Alex Boitz

                  tut tut.

                • HJ777

                  Yes, Salmond is pushing for what he considers the best alternative for a seceded Scotland. But it takes two countries to agree a currency union and the other party has very little incentive to agree – the risks are too great and the benefits small.

                  As for ‘balance of payments’ – what are you talking about? Whatever effect Scottish secession would or would not have on the rest of the UK’s balance of payments (and most reputable economists say the effect would be approximately neutral as Scotland exports more proportionately outside the UK but ‘imports’ proportionately more from the rest of the UK) matters not a jot economically. Trade would still happen.

                  It is Salmond who is overtly unfriendly – trying to force another country into a currency union with threats. You can imagine his reaction if Osborne had said that a seceded Scotland would have to join a currency union against its will because he had decided it would be best.

                  Trying to walk away from debt would be an economic catastrophe for Scotland – no debt, no assets (for example, the Holyrood parliament building is owned by the Westminster government)

                • Alex Boitz

                  Last time I looked Holyrood is in Scotland. Good Luck with trying to claim that. I disagree about the risks and benefits ……but it is YOUR nose that you would be cutting off to spite your face.after all.

                • HJ777

                  Lots of things are in Scotland but that doesn’t mean that they are owned by the Scottish ‘government’.

                  There is no claim necessary over Holyrood. The legal ownership is an established fact.

                  Why would any UK government be “cutting off its nose to spite its face” because it is following the recommendations of the Treasury? What do you know about the risks and benefits that makes you right and them wrong?

              • Alex Boitz

                He did indeed say that as well as saying that if he was told by the government to create a CU then that is what he would do. He most definitely did not say that he could not or should not do it. It was the UK Banks that had to be bailed, and there seemed to be no problem with helping the Irish Banks, because the UK is friends with (independent) Ireland. But we Scots have only been supposed partners for 300 years or so, so we can’t expect the same sort of friendly relations after independence, it seems.

                • Alan Parker
                • Alex Boitz

                  1999? He may be pig headed but not that much. I have noticed no Vitriol against the EU Commission. That would be foolish would it not.? Barrosso will not be making the decision about our EU membership and his input has been called unwise and incorrect by many of the people who WILL be making the decision. UK rebate got by giving up Scottish fishing grounds would come to Scotland, we would share UK agreements and there would be no Euro in the foreseeable future. Look it up.

                • Wessex Man

                  There’s a song “You change your mind as easy as you change,” can’t remember the rest of the lyrics but they certainly apply to Alex Salmond, first of all the pound was like a milstone around around Scotlands’ neck and damaging Scottish Business, then currency union was vital for both Scotland and the UK.

                  Shredder Fred Goodwin was leading a Bank that was showing Scottish Financial acumen,with his takeovers of dead duck business and Scotland was part of an Arc of prosperity with Ireland and Iceland. Then both went T**** up and he started comparing Scotland to Norway but not too much because he had a letter telling him that Scotland was assured of membership of the EU, then after spending tens of thousands of taxpayers money fighting a FoI request suddenly didn’t have it!

                  All of the above would persuade you that I’m a Unionist who wants Scotland to stay in the Union, nothing could be further from the truth. If the yes campaign wins in September I will be out celebrating with the many English who hope you go.

                  I feel that Salmond twists and turns in the mode of the three main political parties only better and relations with England are now so bad that it is best that you go!

                • Alex Boitz

                  Alex Salmond is a Politician and we all know what they are like. He would be a real liability if, just to please YOU, he refused to change his perspective to accommodate changes in circumstances. I say again, you guys have no idea of the benefits that Scotland brings to the UK, and would continue to do so in the spirit of friendly co-operation.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  If he was told by the UK government to build a spaceship and fly to the Moon he would be obliged to try because that is his job. It does not mean however that he would regard it as a good idea. That said, such an instruction would be more sensible than joining a currency union with a foreign country.

              • HenBroon

                “do grow up,” foot stamping petulance and ignorance of the highest order.

                The banks are and were United Kingdom Banks, operating under regulations set by the United kingdoms parliament in London. That is England.

                Established international procedure is that countries are only liable for the investments within their own borders. Under European law every bank must be registered to operate in a given country in order to be allowed to take local deposits. The authorities in the country the deposits were made are then responsible under EU law for insuring those deposits up to €100,000 (£85,000), even if the bank itself is foreign-owned.

                This principle can be seen in action in the Fortis and Dexia banking bailout of the 2008 Belgian financial crisis where the Belgian, French and Netherlands governments worked together to cover the bailout of the banks cross border business.

                It can also be seen in the actions of the US Federal Reserve when it bailed out RBS in 2007 and 2008 to the tune of $84.5 billion (the most of any non-US-based bank) in order to provide liquidity to American clients caught up in the global credit crunch.

                This fact was highlighted by Professor Andrew Hughes-Hallett (Professor of Economics at the University of St. Andrews) in an interview on BBC Radio Scotland’s “Newsweek” programme in July 2011, when he noted:

                “By international convention, when banks which operate in more than one country get into these sorts of conditions, the bailout is shared in proportion to the area of activities of those banks, and therefore it’s shared between several countries.”

                And the precedent for this, if you want to go into the details, are the Fortis Bank and the Dexia Bank, which are two banks which were shared between France, Belgium and the Netherlands, at the same time were bailed out in proportion by France, Belgium and the Netherlands.“

                Hughes-Hallett’s comments were backed up by George Walker (Professor of Financial Law at Queen Mary University London and Glasgow University) on the same programme, where he stated:

                “There are no formal rules for the allocation of market support costs in the event of the failure of a major financial institution on a cross border basis. We have provisions governing the allocation of supervisory responsibility and for cooperation and the exchange of information, but not for the formal allocation of support or recovery at the international level.”

                There is a committee which is the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision in Basel Switzerland, although it has no formal authority on matters governing support costs which are reserved to the Central Bank governors directly. There is a European Union memorandum of understanding on cross border financial stability of June 2008 which does set out procedures for managing cross-border crisis within the EU.

                In this particular case that we’re discussing, it would presumably then have to be calculated having regard to where the various subsidiaries and business operations of RBS and HBOS were located in England and Wales and Northern Ireland, with Edinburgh only then assuming a proportionate share of around, possibly, only 5% of the total costs concerned.”

                Grown up enough for you?

                • HookesLaw

                  All very interesting. Has RBS paid back these vast loans yet to the US govt? Or does it not need to – since these loans were to US clients. If it has not and will not pay back any money how was it baile dout?

                  But who would regulate these ‘Scottish’ banks?
                  The vast part of their activities would be in a foreign country which you would expect to bail them out if they failed.
                  So who would regulate them?

                  If its the rUK govt that would regulate them – certainly for their UK activities – then that is another example of an ‘independent’ Scotland not being particularly independent.
                  Are you therefore suggesting that the UK rely on Scotland regulating banks which would be a huge liability on the UK taxpayer?
                  I think we know that these banks would relocate to London if Scotland became independent.

                • Alex Boitz

                  Should we give up our aspirations for independence just because YOU think that they are not independent enough. I think not. You appear to have swallowed Cameron’s fearmongering on CU and banking Hook Line and Sinker.

            • HJ777

              Come off it.

              Not long ago Salmond was describing the pound as a ‘Millstone around Scotland’s neck” – now he is demanding a currency union after secession. That’s doublethink.

              Carney did, indeed, say that a currency union was feasible with suitable controls. But the controls he described are incompatible with the “Yes” campaign’s claim that independence will give Scotland control over monetary and fiscal policy. These would rob Scotland of the current proportional weighting in monetary decisions that it enjoys under current BoE decision-making. More doublethink

              As for the Scottish economy supposedly being less prone to economic shocks than the UK as a whole, are you kidding? What about RBS (you know, the RBS that Salmond supported in its takeover of ABN Amro)? What about the volatility of the oil price and the uncertainty over future revenue on which Salmond’s claims of oil riches for everyone in Scotland depends?

              • Alex Boitz

                Alex Salmond is being sensible by taking account of changing circumstances.
                I think the YES campaign would just hope for MORE control than at present, which should not be too difficult since we don’t have any at the moment.
                I would expect banks to be more tightly controlled by a Scottish Government, with NO bail out by the tax payer.
                Oil would be a BONUS. Scotland would not depend on it. Many small and large countries get by just fine without oil, and so would Scotland.

                • HJ777

                  Salmond taking into account changing circumstances? How about taking into account the fact that a currency union is not in his gift and that he is unlikely to get one.

                  At the moment Scotland is equally weighted in proportion to population in the data that the BoE use to control monetary policy. After secession there would be no weighting for Scotland whatsoever.

                  Banks more tightly controlled by the Scottish government yet no bailout? That’s a recipe for a flight of banks from Scotland. Either less regulation and no bailouts, or more regulation and governments acting as lender of last resort. Take your pick – to think that you can have tighter government regulation but no government responsibility if regulation fails is doublethink.

                  Yes, many countries get by without oil – but the “Yes” campaign is claiming (haven’t you seen the huge “Yes” campaign posters all over the place?) that Scotland will be richer after secession – and have higher public spending – based on a highly optimistic view of oil revenues.

                • Alex Boitz

                  How about taking into account he would be foolish to concede his position before independence negotiations are even started?
                  If you want your banks to do as they like then fine, I would expect mine to be more controlled… think of the RISKS.
                  I would say that they have every right to be optimistic about oil given the Billions that been invested in the last few years and the announcement of hundreds of new jobs in the industry.

                • HJ777

                  What is foolish is to take a position and not to have a credible fall-back option before negotiations are even started. You obviously have no experience of how to negotiate.

                  If you want the banks to be government-regulated (and if you really think this lowers, rather than raises, risk) then you have to have a government/central bank to act as lender of last resort. Incidentally, this – rightly or wrongly – is required as a condition of EU membership.

                  Every right to be more optimistic about oil revenues than industry experts and to promise Scots higher public spending and higher GDP based on this with no consideration of what will happen if Salmond is wrong?

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  But you cannot have more control you idiot because then you would be asking UK taxpayers to underwrite your borrowing without the ability to control how much or for how long. Would you give your next door neighbour carte Blanche to borrow whatever they like on the understanding that you will pick up the tab? Can you not understand this objection? Are you so monumentally uneducated and thick that you are unable to recognise that what you are proposing is untenable from a UK perspective?

            • Chris

              How would it damage the UK economy? Transcations costs, please, we trade plenty with Ireland. We trade more with the euro and the dollar than with Scotland, should we get those currencies?
              ‘The UK economy is much more prone to failure than the Scottish economy’ laughably ignorant comment, on what basis do you say this? How did RBS do?
              Carney said specifically you would ‘cede national sovereignty’ he was diplomatic but what kind of independence is it with London still dictating things to you, interest rates and exchange rates? I thought you wanted to escape from the overheated London south? No?
              If you use the pound informally you were equivalent to Panama, fair comparison.
              The Scottish Parliament ultimately has no real powers, it just stands at the sidelines and snipes at the English, hardly a fair comparison.

          • Sentinel

            The problem with a full currency union is that Scotland would be jointly liable for the debt of the rest of the UK (“rUK”) as the rUK would for Scotland. But in the event of a financial crisis south of the border Scotland is most unlikely to have the resources to bail out rUK.

            In the heady atmosphere of victory, an independent currency would surely be irresistible – famous Scotsmen on banknotes. Also, the Scottish exchequer would not have the burden of Scotland’s “fair share” of the UK debt.

            • Inverted Meniscus

              Walking away from Scotland’s per capita share of the national debt would also mean walking away from a per capita share of assets. It would also make Scotland a ‘defaulting party’ in the eyes of the debt market rendering it almost impossible to borrow money at least at a competitive price. Finally, it would be reprehensible and dishonourable but nothing less than expected from the likes of Salmond.

        • FF42

          Come on!

          The White Paper is 600 pages of wishful thinking, obfuscation and contradiction. It proposes to spend money like water while claiming a careful marshalling of resources that will fund a low tax regime AND leave money left over for a sovereign wealth fund. And so on. Never was so much assertion made with so little connection with reality. It’s not worth the, admittedly expensive taxpayer funded, paper it is printed on.

          I accept Alex Salmond has a certain rough and ready charm,. Probably a decent guy to hangout with, as long as he isn’t put in charge of anything. Like a country. He’s a gambler, not a sage. He doesn’t do calm, reasoned answers. He does aggressive bluster.

          • Alex Boitz

            He has been running Scotland rather well actually. At least the White Paper has positive aspirations for Scotland, in black and white, whereas Westminster can only offer 10 more years of cuts and growing inequality, and (all too late) vague promises of further devolution, that can be revoked at any time. You appear to prefer the latter, whether or not it will affect you.

            • FF42

              I just don’t have your unquestioning, fundamentalist belief, in anything really.I admit it makes me a little uncomfortable. I find it strange that people would have that kind of belief in politicians, who are the most ungodlike creatures, and least of all in Alex Salmond .

              I think “better together” is a literally positive statement. The UK isn’t perfect by any means, but it helps bring some togertherness and rosperity. The extra jobs are helping to get people out of poverty* That has to be a good thing

              * http://policyscotland.gla.ac.uk/scotlands-improving-poverty-rate-worth-one-cheer/

              • Alex Boitz

                The thing is Better Together really only applies to the UK with Scotland in. There is absolutely no benefit to Scotland being governed from Westminster other than the general “better together”. If there was, I am sure Better Together would be trumpeting it. My belief is in common sense and pragmatism, and the ongoing degeneration of the UK unless the English electorate wake up and realize that their country is being sold out from under them.

            • Fergus Pickering

              Running Scotland? He can’t have been running Scotland. Westminster runs Scotland or that’s what you tell us. He’s just a hired hand.

        • HookesLaw

          We know where we are now, even if you do not like it fd=for some strange reason.
          But after ‘now’ turns to ‘then’ – well ‘what’?

          The answer is ‘nothing’.

          All we have is uncertainty – above all nothing on the currency.

          • Alex Boitz

            All the uncertainty has been caused by Project fear. The Westminster government could and should clarify everything as a matter of decency. Their advisors have advised them of the Theoretical risks of CU which are very remote, whilst many other experts have stated that CU is the best option for both sides and would not need very stringent controls to be “Safe”. The reason I do not like where we are now are the policies that the Westminster government is pursuing which are creating an even more unequal society and an unsustainable economy, and since any existing or proposed devolved matters, and even the Scottish Parliament, can be revoked at any time, the chances are that Scotland will be subject to the full force of them in the fullness of time. Scotland would do well with or without the co-operation of rUK, but I would fear for an uncooperative rUK.

            • Inverted Meniscus

              Remote! The risks of guaranteeing the newly issued public debt of a foreign country without being able to control the amount issued and term is not a remote risk. It is easily identifiable and very real. Salmond previously described the pound as a “millstone” but then it was explained to him that without UK Treasury support Scottish borrowing costs would rise and with them mortgage costs etc etc. Hence he is desperate for a CU and hence the dishonest, dishonourable and utterly amoral threat to walk away from Scotland’s per capita share of the national debt. Finally, we are the UK not the rUK. You get to vote for independence but you do not get to change the name of our country or anything else.

              • Alex Boitz

                Yes Remote..we are not Panama. NEGOTIATIONS to establish controls would have to be undertaken. ….but they would need to be between friendly countries. For International clarity there may well have to be some name changes… negotiations again. Share of the debt.?……negotiations again. Would YOU accept part of the debt of a foreign, unfriendly country?

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  The UK has publicly announced that it will continue to underwrite all existing public debt in order to calm market nerves. Thus if Scotland votes for independence we are guarantors of all existing debt whether or not Scotland assumes its share. The objection is to allowing a foreign country to add to that contingent liability post Independence. It is just disingenuous and typically dishonest to waffle on about ‘negotiations’. Can you imagine what Salmond would say if the UK Treasury disallowed some proposed borrowing by Scotland? Would his reaction be (a) the UK Treasury is correct it would be irresponsible to borrow this money now, or (b) those wicked English hate the Scots and are determined to punish us for becoming independent well we are not going to meet our share of the existing debt until they do as I want. I have no doubt that the answer from that nasty little demagogue would be (b) and have no doubt you would claim it was (a).

                • Alex Boitz

                  if the decision was the CORRECT one, then I am sure Alex Salmond would concur. I don’t think he would let his horns and tail get in the way.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Capitalising words just makes you look like a shouting idiot. Just like every other cybernat cretin you never answer the question posed you just obfuscate and dissemble. (A) or (b)?

                • Alex Boitz

                  Calling a person an idiot or cretin does not enhance you or your argument.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  No but if perfectly encapsulates my assessment of your feeble intellect and character. (A) or (b) or are you a coward as well.

                • Alex Boitz

                  Lower and lower you go.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  (A) or (b)? But that would require honesty wouldn’t it?

                • HJ777

                  If the UK Treasury were to veto some borrowing proposed by Salmond you can guarantee that he would not concur.

          • Calzo

            What certainty do we have with a no vote on the continuation of the Barnett formula? Our position within the EU come 2017? The renewal of Trident? Participation in illegal wars? Where in the pipeline are large scale investment promises for Scotland (or Wales or NI or the North for that matter)? Plenty uncertainty on both sides of the debate!

            • Wessex Man

              Not really, first the vote then the negotiations, then the relief of the final split!

        • Alan Parker

          Tell me one answer he has answered never mind calmly just honestly will do for us all!

          Was it on the Pound

          Was it on Europe

          Was it on NATO

          Was it shipbuilding for UK warships

          Was it on taxpayer money to block EU advice he never had

          Was it on Taxpayers funding a one sided white paper

          Was it on Childcare in which he can do now

          Was it on the tax raising power he let lapse

          Or was it on his misconception of being bought and sold for English gold when the truth is we are being traded for by lottery winners gold .

          Which one is it ?

          • Alex Boitz

            He has answered all of those except the last one which is not worthy of you. As for Childcare and tax raising, He does not have an unlimited budget so he would have to make cuts elsewhere. Please allow him to set his own budget priorities. If he used tax raising powers then sure as onions it would be clawed back by Westminster somehow.

            • Alan Parker

              You really really are clutching at straws because not one of his answers were honest they were wishes. All of which have been rejected by those that will make the decisions whether it be the Eu or the UK or NATO.

              His reply on childcare especially and the costing are an affront to parents

              He is the king of wishful thinking only and his answers have no validity whatsoever and people don’t vote on wishful thinking they vote on facts.

              • Alex Boitz

                You asked, I answered, and so has he ….often. As far as I know there has been no formal rejection by the EU or NATO (are you serious?).

                • Alan Parker

                  Yes and I notice your answers are like Mr Salmond’s and lack facts.

                  You also seem to ignore facts in evidence either from the UK, NATO or the EU who even have it as an official reply on The Eu website by Mr Prodi in which it states a full and new application will be required.

                  Now I can state as fact replies from the UK, The Eu and even NATO reject Mr Salmond’s answers as wishes. Each have said he has it wrong and we should have no cause to believe otherwise.

                  So again you have to accept Mr Salmond’s views on the pound the EU or even NATO are wishes not facts. Simple as that and those sensible enough will vote on those facts not the Mr Salmond’s fiction

                • Alex Boitz

                  Even if Mr Prodi makes all the decisions in the EU ( he does doesn’t he?) did he say that an application once made would be rejected, or would it be rubber stamped? Given that Greenland took 3 years to negotiate it’s way OUT of the EU, I don’t think anyone will be throwing Scotland out. You must be daft if you think NATO doesn’t want Scotland in. Application——-> rubber stamp. Use common sense man. Who wants to create international uproar when things can go on quietly more or less as before.

                • Alan Parker

                  Again sir you miss the point if you want I will rubber stamp it for you as the nationalist seem to think they own them.

                  EU: It was official reply from parliament which states a full and new application will be required, plus add that to the Eu presidents official view that means we will lose the rebate and have Euros in our pockets, borders and higher VAT etc etc.

                  NATO: will demand nuclear subs regardless of his wishful thinking.

                  UK: will not allow monetary union and won’t allow Scotland as a foreign country to build MOD ships as that will open the floodgates to other European nations.

                  All are facts that can’t be argued against and no need for a rubber stamp either.

                • Alex Boitz

                  EU: As far as I am aware Westminster has not asked the EU for a ruling. I think you are WELL off the mark here. The EU just does NOT need the hassle that would result.
                  NATO: The Americans would rather have more conventional capability but the Nuke Subs will be around for 4 or 5 years. I think you are well off the mark here too.
                  UK: You can’t be certain of that, no more can I about my view point. But I hope common sense in the interest of mutual benefit would prevail.

                • Alan Parker

                  I did not say the UK asked the question but it was asked the answer is an official EU parliamentary reply and like it or lump it, we would need to fully reapply meaning loss of rebate, borders, higher VAT, Euros in our pockets etc etc.

                  NATO :like it or not they will want nuclear subs for decades to come especially the way Mr Salmond’s pal Putin is going.

                  UK: It is clear we will lose the pound and MOD shipbuilding along with our pensions being in danger.

                  Now all of these things are facts in evidence unlike Mr Salmond’s wish list

                • Alex Boitz

                  EU: I will investigate your claim but I suspect from your insistence on Euros and borders that you don’t really know that much about it.
                  NATO: They can have the UK ones for decades, but not in Scotland.
                  UK: you must have missed the admission by a gov. minister that pensions are not in danger.
                  I suspect that you are not all that well informed about the facts after all.

                • Alan Parker

                  Typical nationalist reply can’t win an argument resort to personal slurs.

                  Sir my views are well researched and are factual and are well documented in the press and government websites and unlike you no delusions or assertions were made during my posts. I can also assure you unlike the letter to santa known as the white paper there were no santa wish list used in my post just facts in evidence, so it seems you are to lazy to research properly but choose to follow your leader blindly.

                  I pity you and those like you who choose to believe wishes rather than facts to decide our nations fate.

                • Alex Boitz

                  I meant no personal slur. Since, in my understanding, membership of the Euro requires certain conditions to be fulfilled, including membership of the ERM (which is entirely VOLUNTARY) for 2 years, your insistence that we would HAVE TO adopt the Euro led me to believe that you are misinformed. If your assertions are indeed fact then I apologise for doubting your veracity, but if you have obtained your “facts” from the main stream media headlines, and Better Together’s Project Fear, then I return your pity.

                • Alan Parker

                  The real fear and negativity is from the cybernats who smear everyone who does not agree with them and your leader is at it as well with his recent statements on a fishing fleets blockade. This statement alone shows he is worried about EU membership

                  http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scottish-independence/10795056/Alex-Salmond-Europe-could-be-barred-from-Scottish-waters-if-we-lose-EU-membership.html

                  Or the deputy leader calling Mr Barroso’s statements preposterous it is all becoming insidiously personal if I’m honest.

                  Or do we forget EU membership will be needed under article 49 and not 48 as the SNP assert and the EU and Westminster both insist we would need to reapply as a new state using article 49, which will include the Euro at some point because the UK won’t allow the pound and we will need a lender of last resort which would have to be the ECB , as surely we could not make our own currency minus a LOLR. or maybe some favour the groat as a currency for Scotland.

                  http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2012/09/12/scottish-independence-europe-barroso_n_1877499.html

                  On pensions have the EU not also warned Scots on Pensions after a possible yes vote as reported here.

                  http://www.scotsman.com/news/politics/top-stories/scottish-independence-eu-deals-pensions-blow-1-3356554

                  This is the official EU parliament view ” When a part of the territory of a member state ceases to be a part of that state, i.e. because that territory becomes an independent state, the treaties no longer apply to that territory. In other words, a newly independent region would, by the fact of its independence, become a third country with respect to the Union and the treaties would, from the day of its independence, not apply anymore on its territory (Prodi 2004). ”

                  I also feel the yes camp have miscalculated the feelings of Scots on the EU and a growing number of Scots want an in / out referendum and they may be better in the polls if this was offered or they went the EFTA and EEA route, they also miscalculated the 16 – 18 year olds vote as well and if the ex pats In Wales. England and Northern Ireland go through with their proposed legal action on not getting the vote as they claim the SNP have removed their citizenship the yes camp could be in trouble as what I have read they could have a good case and let’s not talk about Shetland rights to a referendum being denied even though they are using the same arguments Mr salmond is using to push through a vote.

                • Wessex Man

                  I rather think just like Alex Salmond you make yours up as you go along, now go and vote yes and do us all a favour!

          • HookesLaw

            I do not see it going down well with voters in British shipyards if our warships are built in foreign shipyards. Ergo any UK govt would simply not be able to offer deals to Scotland even if it wanted to.
            Likewise it would be totally unable to offer a currency union to Scotland. Just how many votes are there in that? And what govt would be willing anyway to govern under those conditions. We like Scotland and the Scots we would like to save them from themselves but ultimately they would come back; rUK just has to wait.

            • Alex Boitz

              There you go again….FOREIGN. We have been supposed partners for 300 years and we speak the same language and we SHOULD have each others best interests at heart. That word is continually being used with more than it’s strict meaning. Yes we want independence but we can still have good relations and work with each other, including trade deals (done all the time) on whatever we are good at and best equipped to do. Ships are generally built where they are cheapest and Scotland specialises in warships. CU would not be an issue on either side of the border if it had not been raised by Better Together. As far as I know no country has ever given up independence after attaining it.

              • Wessex Man

                There you go again…. FOREIGN. You can bet on it, you go, you go, no currency union , no ties whatever, UK warships built in the UK.

                We are prepared to stand or fall without you so why are you so afraid to do the same?

                • Alex Boitz

                  Because the policies of the Westminster government are so FOREIGN to the people of Scotland, and they should be (and probably are to most) to the people in the rest of the UK.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                Ah you want independence but you want to keep all of the cross-border ‘sweetheart’ trade deals. Sorry no. Any ships that need building etc we will try and build in our own country and failing that, we will tender the work to foreign countries and choose the best deal on merit. Scotland will be just another foreign bidder. Indeed, by reducing the amount of trade we do with Scotland and bringing in more competitors it should improve our terms of trade.

                • Alex Boitz

                  Why not…..Spite? Gee.. thanks

                • HJ777

                  Under EU law, if you don’t build warships in your own country (as the UK always has), then you are obliged to put out an EU-wide tender (you can choose whether or not to extend this beyond the EU, but you must include all EU countries) and then choose the best supplier based on merit.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  We are wasting our time with this idiot bu then again it never hurts to try and hammer home a few practical truths. I always laugh when I see these cybernat nutters claim it will be ‘subject to negotiation’. This is because their definition of negotiation is ” give me everything I want when I want it”. These cretins actually believe the needs of 91.3% of the population will be subordinated to the needs of 8.7% of the population.

                • HJ777

                  It is painful trying to introduce people like that to reality and to try to get them to engage with inconvenient facts.

                • HJ777

                  Indeed, under EU law, if you don’t build warships in your own country, then you must put out an EU-wide tender and choose the supplier based on merit.

              • HJ777

                It’s you secessionists who want Scotland to be a foreign country to the rest of the UK, not unionists.

                And the UK government does not build warships outside the UK. Never has.

                Currency union after secession was a “Yes” campaign plan, raised in their white paper.

              • Fergus Pickering

                You silly fellow. If Scotland is an independent country then is is FOREIGN. It might be friendly foreign like Denmark, or unfriendly foreign like North Korea, but foreign it is..

            • Tony_E

              It’s more about EU regs on competition. To offer any work to an independent Scotland would force us to put it out to tender to the entire EU. Scotland would be hard pressed to win the work on that basis.

              The usual get around is security of vital defence industries which allows the normal EU tendering process to be bypassed and the work to be nominated to a home firm.

              • Alex Boitz

                We have specialist facilities for warships, and I think we would have a high probability of winning the contract in open competition, I am sure that Experience, Facilities, Quality of management and workforce etc. would all be factors, not just price. Of course the contracts could be placed before independence, there would be lots of negotiations going on.

                • Barakzai

                  Ah, that’s how Rosyth got the RN’s carrier work. And I always thought it was down to Chancellor Brown’s political interests being served . . .

            • Richard

              If they go, they go – the only reason they may want to ‘come back’ is because Alex has spent all the money.
              In that case the last thing we need is another milestone around our necks.
              No, let them make their own decisions and live with them – permanently.
              As for Devo-max, I’m up for it as long as it applies to England too.

              • Fergus Pickering

                You don’t want to go putting milestones round people’s necks. You have to get them out of the ground first.

      • Maurice_Gosfield

        And does UKIP not have to answer many of the same questions in regard to their plan to leave the EU?

        • Wessex Man

          Yes!

      • Fergus Pickering

        He has thought about it, Kitty. And he has wisely decided to say nothing. Don’t overestimate your electorate..

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Very brave and sensible comments. Expect those cybernat nutters, fanatics and bigots to come down on you like a ton of bricks.

      • Maidmarrion

        I doubt if they can be arsed , they have been fed so much ignorance , ordure and misinformation that they appear to be abandoning sites which only vilify Mr Salmond , the SNP and the YES camoaign

      • Alex Boitz

        I don’t see any cybernat nutters, fanatics, or bigots here. I have merely been stating my case, no bricks involved, and certainly no hate or disrespect intended.

        • DWWolds

          Really? You are obviously as blinkered on that as you are on most other things.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          Laughable. Like every cybernat you just make assertions and expect 91.3% of the population to lump it and accept the will of 8.7% of the population. Who will pay all the transition costs of separation? Another question Salmond and his cybernat army refuse to answer save for accusations of bullying, blustering and fear.

          • Alex Boitz

            I certainly do expect the rest of the UK to accept the democratic will of Scotland. I don’t think “who will pay” is a valid question as it is pretty obvious that the initiator should pay.

            • Inverted Meniscus

              Great and so when we say “get stuffed” in respect of a currency union you will accept the will of the 91.3% and move on. Fat chance.

              • Alex Boitz

                Obviously!. I don’t think we would invade and force the issue……….do you?

  • Shinsei1967

    I was reading the Business for Scotland (an organisation of Independence supporting businesses) website recently.

    One of its leading lights said he felt both Scottish and British and he would continue to “be both” after Independence. Not sure he quite gets this independence thing.

    Another leading business light, who claimed that England has always held back Scotland recently opened his company’s new HQ which is called Alexander Fleming House, after the Scot who had done most to help his fellow countrymen. This would be the same Fleming who left Scotland at 18 and did all his excellent work on penicillin in St Mary’s Hospital, Paddington, London. Some being held back !

    • Alex

      Not sure you get this independence thing. How on earth are we going to be independent from Britain short of moving 8 million people on a Ferry somewhere.

      • Shinsei1967

        Just going by generally recognised definitions of British.

        And Scotland has 5 million population, not 8 million.

    • Alexsandr

      there are Canadians and Us citizens and Peruvians and Argentinians and Mexicans. but they are all American.

      • HookesLaw

        I doubt you will hear a Canadian or Mexican call themselves ‘American’.
        Some might say North American or Central American. A Peruvian might call himself South American.
        We all know who ‘Americans’ are.

        I do not see how and independent Scot would refer to himself as ‘British’. We all know who the British are – they are citizens of the UK. If individual Scots want to bypass that definition then thats their little bit of a problem.

      • Geoff Matthews

        As a Canadian citizen, I call rubbish.
        Only the most pendantant Canadian would insist that they were as American as citizens of the USA. I never heard this claim growing up, and whenever people say this, I cannot help rolling my eyes.

        • Alexsandr

          Well I have met latin americans who really resent the US taking ‘American’ to mean US citizen.
          Of course Canada is really just another US state isn’t it. (Tongue out of cheek)

          But the point I was making is people in an independent Scotland would still be British as they would still live on part of the island of Britain, or islandsers would be on the archipelago of Great Britain.

          • Geoff Matthews

            Resentment or not, do Mexicans refer to themselves as Americans (those who aren’t living in America, that is)? And how representative is this?
            I’ve heard Canadians make this claim, but very few, and the ones that do are simply ridiculous in making it (and among the minority).

    • Alex Boitz

      Well! That sure puts the Bedroom Tax, Sanctioning those on Benefits ( a large percentage of whom are in “full time” employment) to pay for Trident and HS2, allowing tax avoidance on a massive scale, selling off the countries assets etc. etc. in it’s place. Thank god for penicillin.

      • Andy Maclean

        I could deal with a few statments there, but I think I’ll leave it with this: HS2 is supported by the Scottish government as well as Glasgow and Edinburgh city councils.

        • Alex Boitz

          I am surpised if it is indeed the case that the Scottish Government supports HS2. Edinburgh council probably hope that it will be connected to their infamous tram system. I am sure it will help sort out the economy and the other ills no end.

          • abystander

            It is supported by the Scottish government like Andy Murray supports England.

            • Alex Boitz

              I support England in lots of things too, but Westminster policies have strayed so far from what i believe is just and in the interest of the electorate that I am afraid I can no longer support a Westminster government.

          • Andy Maclean

            It’s amazing what you can do with a bit of research.

            HS2 will benefit the Scottish economy even if it isn’t extended past Leeds.

    • Calzo

      So by your logic since Sweden and Norway became independent nations no one from either country can legitimately claim to be Scandinavian? Grow up

      • Barakzai

        What do you mean by ‘legitimately?’ ‘Scandinavia hasn’t the constitutional connotations of ‘Britain’. They’re both geographic expressions, only one is a state. I’ve lived in Norway, and I never heard any Norwegian (or Swede) call him/herself ‘Skandinavisk.’

        • Calzo

          In my experience, most people feelings as ‘British’ ‘Scottish’ or ‘European’ transcend the constitutional particularities of those places and are rather more about shared cultural values and history. Scotland becoming the 194th Country to wholly govern itself does not diminish those things. Don’t worry, if it’s a yes vote in September no one is going be knocking down your doors and placing you in hand cuffs for continuing to feel British. 😉

          • Barakzai

            I’m not worried, thanks. Scotland can do what it wants.

      • Shinsei1967

        British means relating to Great Britain or the United Kingdom, neither of which will exist post Independence.

        Scandinavia as a term applies whatever the status of its constituent countries.

        • abystander

          Great Britain is a geographical expression. It means the island which is bigger than Brittany.

          • Shinsei1967

            I was referring to the usual definition of British. Check your Oxford English Dictionary. It applies to citizens of the UK.

            You seem to have brought up the geographical term “Great Britain” which is not the one I used, or the Business for Scotland guy used.

      • abystander

        Quite.

        When Norway became independent of Sweden is ceased to be Scandinavian

  • LadyDingDong

    The word you seem to be searching for to describe Wishart is, liar.

  • Mc Kenzie

    Nice writing Alex – and Mr Wishart’s positional shuffling is a joy to behold – BUT I remember as a kid being told by my parents that they would vote SNP because the party would “speak up for Scotland” BUT both parents stressed they were not nationalists and wouldn’t want to see an independent Scotland ?? It’s something I’ve continued to do myself as the SNP candidates are often the “least numpti-ish” on the ballot paper – I also won’t be surprised that after Scotland votes No in September, the SNP will continue to do well and will prob. increase its majority in Holyrood
    It’s also worth remembering that lots of folk north of the border wouldn’t really describe themselves as being particularly Scottish or British !! nationalism of any type seems quite last century

    • John Ruddy

      Trust me, the SNP has their fair share of Numpties. Even locally, there are MSPs from that party who are as useful as a chocolate teapot, councillors who do nothing, say nothing, and just clogg up the ballot paper (presumably they know where the bodies are buried in the local party) etc. Yet they keep get voted in.

      • Mc Kenzie

        John – Oh I know my point was about relative numpty-ness and only in certain constituencies / council wards etc – more often than not I will just not bother going to the polling booth

    • Kitty MLB

      Well said Mr F McKenzie.
      Scots who wish independence from the stiffling agenda
      of the SNP need preserving in whisky.
      I Don’t believe when push comes to shove that Scotland
      will chose to go it alone. Just as long as my little
      haggis eating neighbours do not see devo max as an option.

      • Mc Kenzie

        Having haggis eating neighbors can be problematic – watch out for blocked drains and rats round the wheely bin – all that lard !!!

        • Kitty MLB

          Rats. I am just about to cook dinner and you have turned me right off now. And we don’t put food in wheely bins. Just
          these horrid buckets- quite awful .

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