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Who will fill a coward’s grave? 100 Days to decide Scotland’s future

10 June 2014

2:24 PM

10 June 2014

2:24 PM

In the new Scotland people may be able to count. Until then we will endure nonsense like yesterday’s hoopla claiming there were 100 days until the referendum when there were, in fact, 101.

Peevishness aside, the campaign now enters its final stages. Not before time, you may think. You would not be alone in reckoning so. For every person energised by the campaign (and many folk have been) there’s at least one thirsting for it to end.

Not that it will, of course. If the Yes side wins more than 40 per cent of the vote (and especially it it takes more than 45 per cent) this thing will rumble on and on. Until, as one nationalist put it to me recently, “we win”.

As matters stand – which is to say, if the referendum were held tomorrow – Scotland would vote No. Even the high heid yins in the Yes campaign admit that. But they cling to the hope that the No vote is soft. That Scots can be persuaded to set out on a fresh course. They insist there are many more undecided voters than people think, many people who are telling pollsters that they will vote No but secretly hanker for a reason to vote Yes.

Not so fast, pal, Unionists insist. The undecideds are much more likely to vote No than Yes. If you’ve not been persuaded to back independence yet what else can the Nationalists do to persuade you? Besides, senior Unionists say, many No voters are bashful types still in the closet. This, they think, is like 1992 all over again. Just as some people hesitated to tell pollsters they intended to vote Tory back then, so some Scots are reluctant to admit they’re voting for the Union this September.

This is, admittedly, all fairly unknowable. It’s true that in middle-class dinner-party Scotland no-one will look at you oddly if you announce you’re voting No but I fancy there are some voters who kinda think it’s a shame they’re going to vote No and who wish to keep pretty quiet about it.

Of course there are, respond the wilder Nats. These people are suffering from Jockholm Syndrome. You couldn’t be proud of voting No, could you and deep down you have to know doing so is an act of betrayal. Toom tabard and all that.

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You won’t hear that from the SNP leadership, of course. Nevertheless, in the end the campaign boils down to this: Are you for Scotland or against it? As a senior Yes Scotland source told me last week:

“The Unionist parties are trying to kill us off now because they’re worried about the last three weeks of the campaign.” […] In the end, he says, the Yes campaign will frame the question simply: “A vote for Scotland or a vote against Scotland? A vote even against the concept of Scotland.”

You don’t need to agree with this view to recognise its potential. You might think it a grubby piece of emotional blackmail but this isn’t an inconsequential struggle. All the marbles are up for grabs. So I don’t blame the nationalists for their tactics and nor, really, do I think their scaremongering desperately reprehensible. It’s no more dishonest than much political campaigning.

Much of it, however, remains based upon a kind of category error. Here, for instance, is my old chum Kate Higgins:

It’s one hundred days to go until we choose our future.  To trust ourselves enough to be bold and brave and vote yes.  Or to be found wanting at the last, too timid, scared into submission, beaten down by all those stories, all that [scare] mongering and fail to grasp what is tantalisingly within reach.  A country, a sovereign state, a nation to call our own, to make of as we will.  The normalcy of being just like any other people, standing on our own two feet, taking and making all our own resources, all our own decisions for better and for worse, just the same as every other country.

Fair enough, you may say and I would agree with you. Kate’s a nationalist making a nationalist argument. If you think like this then this is the way you think. But it’s an argument based upon a number of questionable assumptions. The first is that Scottish people are presently stateless. Many nationalists earnestly believe this and assume rather too readily that everyone else must surely be chafing against the tyranny inadequacies of the British state too.

But this is not the case. Many Scots are entirely comfortable (and some are even happy!) with being British too. They do not view London as a foreign capital. They do not think being British is unusual or in some ways non-normal. They don’t believe there’s a contradiction between being British and Scottish and they don’t think being part of the United Kingdom diminishes their Scottishness or makes them in any way lesser people than their neighbours who intend to vote Yes. They don’t, that is, think the United Kingdom an artificial construct or some kind of irrational constitutional arrangement. Are they bothered? In the end, not really.

And when they hear nationalists talking about freedom and liberty they wonder what country the nationalists think they’re living in. Unionists don’t think themselves oppressed or marginalised or disadvantaged at all. In as much as they ever pause to contemplate these things, they actually enjoy being British as well as Scottish. Scotland is Britain, after all, for without Scotland there’s a much, much lesser Britain.

Secondly, there is this assumption – widely held on the Yes side of Scotland’s great divide – that if only people knew the facts or opened their eyes to the opportunities of independence everyone would rush to endorse the idea. Instead, all too many Scots are held back by fear. They lack pluck, boldness and bravery. Deep down they don’t really trust themselves. They are the embodiment of the Scottish cringe.

Perhaps I exaggerate but only a little. The nationalists’ certainty in their cause has always struck me as being a great strength and, like many strengths, a weakness. They know what they believe (good!) but often seem to lack the empathy required to understand why others might disagree(bad!). Which is why so many struggle to understand why so many of their compatriots might, in good faith, take a different view.

Put it this way: it is much easier to find Unionists who acknowledge there’s a case for independence and that this case is not ridiculous than it is to find a nationalist who admits there’s a perfectly respectable and even modestly persuasive case for the Union.

But of course there is, not least because all the evidence suggests a majority of Scots still favour Union. It seems improbable they can all be craven or captured by a cringing false consciousness. Improbable, that is, that a vote for Union must necessarily be irrational.

It’s true that like many others I think the Better Together campaign could benefit from a touch more poetry. Nevertheless there’s a reason they’ve not taken that approach. Their focus groups tell them that risk and uncertainty put people off the idea of independence. Why take the gamble when there’s no need to put your life – and life savings – on independence?

Which is the problem for the Yes campaign. We could do this. Perhaps we even should do this. But must we do this? Not really. Every time nationalists talk-up Scotland’s strengths (which are reasonably abundant) they remind wavering or unpersuaded voters that, actually, this is a punt they need not take. For most Scots life is pretty reasonable. Not as great as it might be, perhaps, but not so ghastly independence is the kind of high-risk, high-reward gamble that makes sense.

That may yet change. It may be that the people can be persuaded to take this gamble but I don’t think it’s obviously stupid to pause and say that actually we don’t need to do this at all. Thanks but No Thanks.

Most of all, however, there is this problem for the nationalists: being part of the United Kingdom is by now perfectly normal. Sure, we might not vote for Union if the present constitutional situation were reversed. But it is not reversed is it? Which is why the burden of proof remains upon the nationalists and why, perhaps, they have not yet made their case to the jury’s satisfaction. At least not yet which is why, with only 100 days to go, time is beginning to run out for the Yes campaign. They can still do this but the odds remain against them.


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Show comments
  • http://almashriq.hiof.no/lebanon/300/320/324/324.2/hizballah/ Sons of Ares

    Oh, how very, very sad: the Scottish Enlightenment only extends to how it influenced America which got rid of England’s ridiculous and useless monarchy but falls on deaf ears for today’s Scots. Just like their brethren 700 years ago, who undermined themselves in the fight for independence, contented to remain colonized and to have colonized minds whose true head of state is an old lady in a drafty castle.

  • mina

    I was too busy selling novels to worry about the Booker Prize :)
    köpek mamasıköpek cinsleriنمای سرامیک

  • KampungHighlander

    “We could do this. Perhaps we even should do this. But must we do this?”

    A pretty accurate description of where things stand. The Yes campaign has done a very good job of establishing that Scotland would be a viable state that at its outset would be able to maintain all the services people currently depend on. They have also made the point that Independence is the only solution to the democratic deficit that Scotland faces as part of the UK as well as our only chance at creating a more socially just society.

    The final hurdle will be convincing Scots that they must vote for Independence. That argument will not be won by quoting facts or figures it will be a choice that is made on emotion. I am reminded of a story about the Scots who supported Bonnie Prince Charlie. Many of them supported him and risked everything even though they never believed he would win. They did it because to not support him would have left him and them open to ridicule.

    Now imagine that unlike almost every other country that has come into being that we have not had to struggle or fight for our Independence but have merely been asked to tick a box on a ballot. If we fail that minor test how would we be able to say to a Kurd or a Palestinian, “I’m Scottish” without them and everybody else laughing at us.

  • Rob Murray Brown

    Allymax Bruce – what sort of name is that?

  • allymax bruce

    Why does the Spectator allow trolls like Rob Murray Brown to destroy article threads with personal insults, and ignorant threats? He has come on here, spammed the thread, using 20% of all comments, to insult & threaten other commentors; Spectator, get rid of him.

    • Rob Murray Brown

      You are not making a lot of sense. You post opinions without any evidence to back up their veracity and expect people to accept them – then when challenged, you just go litlte bit weird. Maybe you should be banned? I wouldnt want you to be banned but you might answer my questions.

  • allymax bruce

    “too many Scots are held back by fear. They lack pluck, boldness and
    bravery. Deep down they don’t really trust themselves. They are the
    embodiment of the Scottish cringe.” (Alex Massie).
    Yes, Alex, correct. And, as I’ve intimated to Kitty, on this thread, being plied with pretension more’, by the ‘Autocracy, embedded by their ‘Bureacracy’, only further functions the the top-down hieracrchical Class-System model of Capitalism, and forces us into these un-Natural ‘positions’. I don’t think I’ve ever hugged a tree, but I wouldn’t think odd of anyone that does. However, the imposition of Social Mores’, being meted-out to us in the un-ending propaganda, that only exists to prop-up the Class-System that divides us, forces us to think this way; it’s an un-Natural ‘state-of-affairs’. Scots & scotland would find themselves much better versed with ‘their lot’ in an Indpendenet scotland, that wouldn’t have-to conform to the ‘British’ Empire Class System ideals.

    • Rob Murray Brown

      You need help.

      • allymax bruce

        Is that your argument; personal sleights?

        You’re a pathetic ignoramus; don’t ever talk to me again.

        • Rob Murray Brown

          you post rubbish – none of it backed up by any facts. You need help – urgently. The NHS is still just running in Scotland but I wouldnt wait too long – A&E waiting times are atrocious but Im afraid you will just have to wait. You could always put yourself straight into Carstairs.

  • Fergus Pickering

    Somebody put down £40,000 tthat the vote would be NO. He only got 4 to 1 on. Money talks, it seems. Come on, Eck, but your £40,000 where your mouth is.

  • paulthorgan

    The vote has to be based on sentiment as there will be no going back for centuries. Thus all the policy platforms are irrelevant. It is about where you heart is and which flag you would want to die for.

    • Rob Murray Brown

      Of the fools and dreamers who will vote yes you are clearly a dreamer.

      • paulthorgan

        And you clearly do not understand what is going on here.

        • Rob Murray Brown

          I live here and can see exactly what is going on with you cybernats run from Salmond’s office threatening some poor women because she believes in the UK. The majority of Scots do not want your vision of Scotland – do try to understand that. Check the polls if you dont believe me.

          • paulthorgan

            I am not a Dr Who creature that first appeared in the 1960s.

            I have no vision of Scotland.

            I merely state that any decision has to be based on sentiment as independence will be so long-lasting such that the policy promises by the nationalists that are only good for a few years will be irrelevant. Who will care about free child-care or some such in 200 years?

            Therefore the decision has to be driven by sentiment. This means the choice of flag, and nothing more.

            • Rob Murray Brown

              Absolute rubbish. Well done.

    • Fergus Pickering

      I don’t want to die for any flag, thank you very much. I would die for my children perhaps. Flags! Tchah!.

      • paulthorgan

        Sorry. This is not the New Statesman. You took a wrong turn.

        • Fergus Pickering

          Silly boy! Do you know who said Patriotism was the last refuge of a scoundrel? I’ll give you a clue. It wasn’t Karl Marx.

          • paulthorgan

            “Do you know who said Patriotism was the last refuge of a scoundrel?”

            Yes, I do. This does not validate your point. Go back to the Guardian.

            • Rob Murray Brown

              You are running out publications.

            • Fergus Pickering

              No you don’t. And I haven’t read the Guardian for forty years.

              • paulthorgan

                Clearly you are missing them.

  • FF42

    “Vote YES to give more powers to politicians. Vote NO if you want a job.”

    Which way would you vote?

    • Derick Tulloch

      Vote Yes to stop featherbedding rUK with constant subsidies from Scotland. It’ll do them good to stand on their own two feet.

      Vote No to have Barnett cut and get even less of our own money back. Vote Yes to spend our own money, all of it, as we see fit. Vote No to get the second lowest state pension in the OECD, and the worst performing private pension sector. Haud me back, mammy.
      Which way would you vote?

      • FF42

        And will voting YES benefit me in any of the respects you mentioned*? I think not. Just because the politicians in Holyrood are given a tighter hold on the reins of power doesn’t mean they can or will magic something out of nothing. Especially as Scottish-based business relocating to stay within the UK market will take a sizeable chunk of our jobs and GDP with it.

        * Scotland doesn’t subsidise the UK, a point that will become very clear if we do foolishly vote for independence.

      • Rob Murray Brown

        Derrick leave the clever stuff to someone else – there’s a good lad.

  • Malcolm McCandless

    As the pressure builds on Scots to choose it will become much harder to vote No than Yes in the voting booths. Why? It is not the 100 days of campaigning that matter but the thoughts of the days to come after September 18th.

    If Scots vote No then every political, social and economic event that impacts negatively on Scotland, as there will be, will highlight what might have been. Fingers will be pointed and those Scots who voted No will have nowhere to hide, they will be derided and dismissed out of hand for letting their country down. Harsh and unfair maybe but that is the reality they now face.

    Do Scots want to go to their graves knowing that they voted No to their own country?

    Now that would an interesting question the pollsters might want to take up.

    • Rob Murray Brown

      The vote is a choice between irrevocably changing everything in one day with a plan that has been shown to be nonsense or try harder to change things from within whilst maintaining the good, stable life most of us enjoy. Why would anyone but a fool or a dreamer want to choose the former option? Claiming that voting no is anti Scottsish is a cheap nationalist trick but then that is what we have come to expect from Salmond’s saltire waving clan.

      • Malcolm McCandless

        You can call it what you want, but believe you me if Scots vote No then every thing that befalls Scotland afterwards will be blamed on those who voted No. That is the nature of people, there will be no escape from that reality.

        • Rob Murray Brown

          Its a strange argument. If yes wins then i suppose if it all goes horribly wrong we can blame the people who voted yes?? What is the point in blaming anyone – just get on with life and look forwards not backwards. Are you still blaming the English for the McCrone report? Of course there maybe a more sinister threat in your message – but really no one is going to take it seriously. Oh by the way – i dont believe you.

          • Malcolm McCandless

            Exactly, it works both ways………. but you are starting to lose it with the ‘sinister threat’ aspect.

            • Rob Murray Brown

              You think so after Salmond’s office was found to be running a smear campaign against the mother of two and getting its facts wrong. Wings over scotland – now an official yes website – joined in with some seriously unpleasant and threatening abuse. Lovely people, the nats.

      • Derick Tulloch

        You may care to check out the long term trend on the real value of the Pound. Stable? Ho ho! good one!

        • Rob Murray Brown

          When you say long term what do you mean? Value today $1.68 ish value in 2013 $1.52-1.58. Value in 1985 (from memory) about $1.10. 2004 about $1.80 and 2009 about $1.40 to $1.80. So what is your point? What do rtake from the pound fluctuating? What are you talking about – do you even know?

  • Anton Le Grandier

    “A country, a sovereign state, a nation to call our own, to make of as we will”
    reading these words I can almost hear the “great leader” theme in the background.I’m voting YES but statements like this move me closer to No every time I see/hear them.

    • Rob Murray Brown

      Why are you voting yes – genuinely interested in how people can vote for somehting that is so vague and un thought through.

      • Derick Tulloch

        Can’t speak for Anton, but the choice is not ‘status quo’ vs ‘uncertaintly’
        The choice is Uncertainty without Power, or Uncertainty with Power.
        Choose to be done to, or to do.
        You would think people who read a right leaning publication would get that. Vote no for dependancy. Lovely

        • Rob Murray Brown

          As usual you mistake your opinion for fact. There is nothing to vote for – the white paper has been shown to be complete fantasy – so just what does your independent Scotland look like? You wont have power – one vote in ~3.5m as opposed to one vote 38m – whats the difference, your vote doesnt count.

  • Kennybhoy

    “…but I fancy there are some voters who kinda think it’s a shame they’re going to vote No and who wish to keep pretty quiet about it.”

    Nope. Some, possibly most, are fearful of the sort of response such an admission will provoke from the “wilder” nationalists. Others tend to be quietly patriotic and, unlike nationalist braggarts, uncomfortable with talking about it.

    • Jambo25

      And what would that response be Kenny? The real thugs like the Orange Order and the loonier football fan tendency, in the West, are almost exclusively Unionist. Worry about them.

      • Rob Murray Brown

        Celtic fans are unionists – are you from Scotland?

        • Jambo25

          As the name suggests I go to quite a few football matches. Celtic fans ‘rebel’ nature tends to stick at Ireland. If you see any Saltires or Lion Rampants, at Celtic matches, you win a major prize. Rangers fans were, in the past, fully paid up Orange Unionists. What is interesting is that the old anti nationalism of Weegie footie supporters is starting to break down..

  • roger

    I’m not happy with the franchise of this referendum.
    I know it would have been difficult to give the Scots diaspora their right to vote but at least they could have tried.
    I heard some dim politico go on about tax and economics, but surely Scotland is a ‘country’ , a cultural unit , not a consumerist shopping cart. If I had a vote , i don’t, i would vote ‘yes’ .A distant Ross.

    • Andrew Leslie

      It’s quite simple: it’s an extension of the ‘no taxation without representation’ arguement. Those who live in Scotland will have to live with the consequences of the referendum. Those elsewhere won’t have to. But it’s not too late to come home.

      • Rob Murray Brown

        Nothing is simple and this certainly isnt, despite the nats attempts to make it so with a – ”well its hasnt worked for 307 years so its time for a change” message. The problem with the nats argument is that they are not offering a credible alternative – the white paper has now been so rubbished by pretty well everyone of any note, the SG has been forced to back track on its ridiculous oil revenue figures and key policies like free childcare are unworkable without increased taxation. We have no currency, we have little idea on the Eu except that it certainly wont be as explained in the fairy tale.

        If we had been given a credible option, yes would certainly have won. But as we havent only fools and dreamers can vote yes.

        • Jambo25

          You were arguing with me on the Treasury estimate of start up costs and got virtually every fact wrong. Try and read some accurate information before commenting. You could try reading the WoS website you so disparage. At least it checks its sources.

          • Rob Murray Brown

            You have still not produced your ”’evidence” on Prof Young. Treasury figures of £1.5bn are the the accpeted ones for anyone not in the yes camp – which is the majority of Scots. fakedogcollaroverscotland.com has been ridiculed by the FT – a good piece with a dry dig at his two faced approach to propaganda.

            • Jambo25

              Stuart Campbell was not the subject. The Treasury estimate of the set up costs of a Scottish state was and the 2 main research sources that the Treasury drew on have both distanced themselves from their findings. Young rather mildly. He put possible costs at about £600 million Dunleavy has savaged the Treasury and may I remind you accused it of misrepresenting his views, multiplying his costings by 10-12 and actively misleading the British public. When asked on BBC Scotland’s ‘Newsdrive’ whether he agreed with Alec Salmond’s figure; he said very largely.

              • Rob Murray Brown

                You keep on repeating the same old nonsense. Show me the quote from Prof Young – like i asked you to a while ago. You have provided nothing , niente, zilch. We all know what the LSE said but you need to understand that the figures in the Treasury document were not (thats were not) based on hids research. the figure the Treasury gave of £1.5bn was based on youngs research. i cannot make it nay simpler for you. Come back when you have the Young quote – otherwise go and play somewhere else.

                • Jambo25

                  Read the FT article for god’s sake .Incidentally, try and find the Simon Johnson article where you and I discussed this. It had over 1,000 comments yet the immaculately anti-independence Telegraph pulled it. Why do you think that was?

  • Yorkieeye

    ‘Independence’ from what, the EU? That’s the first thing on the nationalist shopping list. Independence from the crown, wasn’t it the Scottish crown that subsumed the English one? Independence from English tax payers money? That could be tricky

  • DaveTheRave

    Being English with a democratic deficit, I hope, I pray that Scotland says ‘Yes’.

  • Kitty MLB

    You say Scotland needs to be brave. Its leaders also need to
    be honest instead of pretending a small country will be
    entering the land of milk and honey. And independence means
    independence.This foreign land of England will have its say,
    and if you stay for Gods sake stop the whinging about England.
    I wish her all the best regardless of what Scotland decides.

  • Blindsideflanker

    The Scots should never have been allowed to string this along. Cameron should have told them to make their minds years ago. Instead they have been allowed to mess us about for years. If the Scots do decide to stay they will find it won’t be everything as usual, for they would have tried all our patience to breaking point, and they would be well advised to keep a very low profile for the next decade or two.

    • Moderator

      . <——- can you hear that small violin playing for you?

    • HookesLaw

      I don’t understand you. It was only in 2011 that the SNP won a majority in their parliament, which I believe was the first time any one party had a majority.
      From this you jump to blame Cameron for not telling them to make their minds up ‘years ago’ – when Cameron only came to power himself (in a coalition govt) in 2010.

      Your anti Cameron remarks are plain silly.

    • Andrew Leslie

      And there, in a nutshell, we have the evidence as to why the union has failed. ‘Told’ ‘allowed’ ‘tried all our patience’ ‘be well advised’.

      • Damon

        But Andrew, he doesn’t speak for England. He speaks for himself, and a sad, lonely voice it is, I assure you. This (in a nutshell) is just the sort of individual the internet attracts. I promise you that the vast majority of sensible English people like and respect the Scots. Whichever way you vote, don’t listen to prawns.

        • Jambo25

          I suspect that he speaks for far more people, down south, than you’d like to acknowledge.

          • http://google.co.eu Sentinel

            Perhaps fear that an independent Scotland will succeed is what motivates such comments. Maybe at the back of their minds is how other former parts of the Empire have prospered once free of the imperial yoke – e.g. even the Irish Rep’s GDP per capita ($41k) is better than the UK ($37k).

            • Jambo25

              Don’t say that too loud. Knowing that the Irish are actually richer than the Brits might upset people.

              • Rob Murray Brown

                GDP is a not a measurec of people wealth – as anyone who knew anyhting about economics wold know. Try GNI.

                • Jambo25

                  It depends what dates you look at. However, Irish GDP per head figures on a PPP basis are still about £4,000 pa higher than UK ones. Anybody who knows anything about Economics and Econometrics would know that.

    • Damon

      Utter nonsense. Scots reading this – please rest assured that most of us English find these sentiments absurd and profoundly embarrassing. I’m sure you know by now that empty vessels, north and south, make the most sound.

      • Jambo25

        From the left, Polly Toynbee wants Scottish MPs exclude from the great offices of state. She wants us to go on being happy little Brits though: just second class ones.

        • Damon

          Jambo, honestly. If Polly Toynbee says it, it can be discounted “a priori”. OF COURSE Scottish MPs should not be excluded from anything whatsoever. The most successful country in history would never have attained that position without the invaluable input of the Scots. When Gordon Brown was PM, I didn’t feel myself to be a “second-class” citizen because I’m English. I objected to his policies, not to his provenance. Indeed, why would I feel second class – since he and I are from the same country?

          • Jambo25

            But Ms Toynbee and numerous others of both Left and Right wish to exclude on the basis of origin, not policy.

            • Rob Murray Brown

              No they dont Jambo – thats just what you have been told to think.

              • Jambo25

                Oh yes some do. Alan Duncan: a rather influential Tory back bencher was suggesting this 7 or 8 years ago during the Blair/Brown period.

  • Wessex Man

    I would have joined the debate but just haven’t got the time to read through yet another tome from this man who seems to think a thousand words are needed where ten would do.

  • Rob Murray Brown

    This is one of the more reasoned pieces I have seen. However it doesnt touch on the main thrust of the yes campaign’s efforts to get the non voters – a solid 30% of the electorate – to go just once to the polling station on the 18th. These are generally people who have nothing to lose in changing the system and are open to the anti WM, anti English message carrried to the doorsteps by the Radical independence Campaign. If by chance or coercion, most of these people vote yes – yes will just win. Buts its hardly democracy when the message they are voting for is pure propaganda. You just have to read fakedogcollaroverscotland.com to see the sort of lies that are being used to coerce this group. If as a result of this, yes win, do they really think that come the GE in Scotalnd in 2016, a party will not be formed to take us back into the Union and you wont get these guys out twice in 2 years!.

    • Bo Williams

      Many will regret voting Yes when Salmond cannot deliver the EU, the currency, NATO – anything really. But this is not a Hokey Cokey referendum once Scotland votes Yes it is gone forever and the Scots will need to live with their decision no matter how nasty it gets.

      • Andrew Leslie

        Dearest Bo – I do admire your utter conviction that Salmond cannot deliver ‘anything really’. It would appear to be based on a complete ignorance of how international relations work. If you have somewhat firmer grounds for your assertions, it would be good to hear of them.

        • Damon

          One piece of firm ground is that Spain (and not only Spain) will fight tooth, nail and claw to keep you out of the EU. If you have reasons why that won’t happen, it would be good to hear them too.

          • AtMyDeskToday

            If an actual statement from Spain to that effect has been published I’d like to see it. What has been published, that I know of, is statements from various EU politicians saying that Spain will do this.

            • Damon

              Please see my reply to Jambo25, above.

              • AtMyDeskToday

                Lots of “could” in that article, somewhat different from…

                “One piece of firm ground is that Spain (and not only Spain) will fight tooth, nail and claw to keep you out of the EU. “

                • Damon

                  True, but then I took two pieces of evidence out of dozens that my brief internet trawl turned up. I don’t think anyone would thank me for filling this page with ream after ream of quotations. Anyway, even if the question is merely ambiguous, that should give you pause for thought. If it’s a question of presenting speculation as certainty, I daresay both sides are guilty of this. Let’s not forget, for example, that Alex Salmond maintains that a currency union is “certainly” available, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. At least my point about Spain has the weight of some evidence, as well as probability, behind it.

                • allymax bruce

                  Alex’ Salmond has held his peace quite remarkably under all the propaganda being thrown at him; he’s much more of a good politician than any trying to demean him!
                  I trust Alex’ Salmond implicitly. What he says, is true as far as I’m concerned.

                • The Masked Marvel

                  I think that’s what Qaddafi and Megrahi said, too. :)

                • allymax bruce

                  That’s a malicious & ignorant comment; you should be ashamed of yourself. But I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re not. Don’t ever talk to me again.

          • Jambo25

            Proof or even minor evidence of his please.

            • Damon

              Fair question. (1) http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/spain-could-wield-veto-over-scotlands-eu-membership-6292846.html

              (2) ‘The Spanish prime minister has suggested that an independent Scotland would have to apply to become a member of the EU from the outside.
              Mariano Rajoy said that if a “region” opted to leave a member state, then it would “remain outside the European Union”.
              It would then require the agreement of all 28 EU members before it was allowed to join, he said.’

              BBC News website, 28th November 2013.
              http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-25132026

              • Jambo25

                Did Rajoy or anyone else say they would block a Scottish application? That, after all, is what you said above.

                • Rob Murray Brown

                  Jambo why dont you read what they said for yourself. You wont find it on one of your nat sites but it is on the Spanish Gov site. How do you manage day to day?

                • Jambo25

                  What is on a Spanish site? An authoritative Spanish government statement that they would block Scottish entry into the EU? If so, produce it.

          • http://google.co.eu Sentinel

            1. Spain has never said it would veto Scotland’s application to join the EU.
            2. Why would Spain or any member state want to create a hole in the Single Market?

            • Rob Murray Brown

              The Spanish gov has said it would not support Scotland’s ‘entry’ via changes to art48 and as they need to pass any changes to art48, thats means Salmond’s claims to the 48 option are toast. Get with the facts – its so boring having to get your guys up to speed the whole time.

              • http://google.co.eu Sentinel

                Well, sorry to be a bore but I would be obliged if you could provide a link to the Spanish government’s statement(s) on the Art 48 matter.

    • Andrew Leslie

      Two things:

      First you need a bit of background to such sites as ‘fakedogcollar’ (although I see it’s been pulled) before you take therm at face value, or commend them to others. It’s not hard to acquire.

      Secondly, I challenge you to produce a single shred of evidence that RIC is carrying an ‘anti-English message’. I’m completely at the other end of the the political spectrum from them, but I will defend their integrity on that front unless I see proof to the contrary. Meanwhile, it’s a baseless slur.

      • Rob Murray Brown

        Andrew – are you for real? Try wings over scotland run by the fake rev stuart campbell – get it?? God i dont know how do manage day to day? hahahahahahahaha.

        I have had lots of ‘conversations’ on the paper forums with people who say they are RIC and going door to door. The message these people put out on the forums is very anti english/anti union/anti WM etc etc. Very negative. So this is the message RIC are taking to the doorstpes of the couldnt give a damns. My guess is the ‘great’ reaction RIC claim they are getting is in fact the same reaction that Jehovas get – anything to get you off my doorstep. Its not a slur – its a fact much the same as a CU is fact of iScotland joining the EU via art48 is a fact or the latest oil revenue projections are a fact.

        The only viable message yes have is negative – it doesnt work with the english WM gov. Where is the positive message about how it might work with a SG – pure fairy tales and made up facts that have been clearly shownj to be nonsense.

        • Jambo25

          Produce your proof of anti-English messages. The last time I noticed you was on the star up costs debate a week or so ago. You were completely wrong on that and comprehensively trashed so simply reverted to insults

        • allymax bruce

          ” the ‘great’ reaction RIC claim they are getting is in fact the same reaction that Jehovas” (Rob Murray Brown).
          No, sorry Rob, but that’s not true. I’ve actually listened to RIC co-founder Cat Boyd, talking, (at the same panel-event as Kate Higgins), and found what Cat said to be very very encouraging for iScotland. She brings to the fore a new way to encompass wealth-distribution in a wealthy nation like Scotland; instead of all our money and efforts being syphoned-off by Westminster super-rich & their Political drones. In-deed, I’ve also heard Kate speak, very eloquently of how our generations, mine, hers, our mums & dads, our grandparents, have all been conned as commodities of Westminster ‘British Empire’ ideology. From the subservience of my mums generation, to the submissiveness of my generation, to the future subordinate generation of our children; I feel sore-sorry for all in Scotland who will vote no. (Luke 23:24).

          • Rob Murray Brown

            You have mistaken the truth for your opinion – we all do it. Love what you guys are doing via the internet – wings over scotland abusing the mother of two and taking direct instructions from Salmond’s office. Lovely way to carry on – vote no if only to avoid having this as the future of Scotland.

            • allymax bruce

              I don’t know anything about your cited example; and I am a ‘one-man-band’, as far as my opinion is concerned. I only come onto these Spectator pages; nowhere else on ‘British’ sites.

              • Rob Murray Brown

                Hello – im living here in Scotland in the real world – where are you?? Why have chosen to plague the Spectator? The example is all over the current news. If we needed proof of that Salmond was running the cybernats, here it is.

                • allymax bruce

                  I don’t watch tv, especially not the ‘news’; as you call it. I’m in Edinburgh. As far as I can see, all you’ve done is take a manifested lie, and try to make it bear validity. I’m not interested in playground politics.

                • Rob Murray Brown

                  What are you interested in apart from yourself? The story was in the papers – the ones you dont read. Tell why are pro indepenedence? And why dont you use your real name? Why hide?

                • allymax bruce

                  Scuttle off back to your Scotchman; ignoramus.

                  Don’t ever talk to me again.

                • Alec

                  I’d suggest you stop commenting on blogs, then.

                  You have a perfect right not to have someone address you in private e-mail or your personal blog, or pursue you across the Internet. None whatsoever to expect them not to address you on an open forum.

                  You also have the perfect right to reveal yourself to be wholly ignorant and not interested in dispelling this ignorance, although for your own credibility it might be best to pay attention to current events before commenting on them,

                  ~alec

                • allymax bruce

                  I suggest you stop trying to tell other commentors what to do.

                  You have the perfect right to ‘address’ me on an open Public forum, and I have the perfect Public right, on said open Public forum, to tell you to get lost !

                  You also have the right to reveal yourself, but don’t
                  try to force your personal ideals of political incumbance on other commentors.

                  For your own credibility; you have none; don’t try to
                  impose your totalitarian ideals on other commentors on Public forums; you’re an idiot; don’t talk to me again.
                  allymax.

                • Alec

                  I suggest you stop trying to tell other commentors what to do.

                  This coming from the commenter who just said “Scuttle off back to your Scotchman; ignoramus. Don’t ever talk to me again”.

                  You really are a bit of a thickie.

                  If you don’t want me or Rob or anyone else to address you, sugar-off to your own blog. You can be sure that I, for one, won’t follow you.

                  And, yes, someone who admits to not watching the mainstream news really does reveal himself to be an ignorant wassock when taking an inflexible position on a contentious current affairs issue.

                  ~alec

                • allymax bruce

                  get lost ignoramus. go back to your doom-mongering msm ‘news’.

                • Alec

                  For someone who claims not be interested in me you are spending a lot of time responding. My guess is that this is ‘cos, in addition to being a thickie, you also are a spiteful bully who would humiliate people whilst denying them the opportunity to defend themselves… rather like Stewpot with his lying about and traducing a mother of a severely disabled child.

                  No-one is seeking to deny you the opportunity to comment. Being a narcissist, you think we are ‘cos that’s what you’d do… no, some of us have basic manners.

                  Are you a parent? Please post distressing stories about your children so we can laugh. If you’re not, tell us one about your children so we can snigger at your mother.

                  If not, put a sock in it.

                  ~alec

                • allymax bruce

                  And,,,, you’re a proponent of the evil toxic Uniionist No Campaign; how well you deceive yourself.

                  You’re a disgrace to humanity; wanting to laugh at others’ misfortune; why all the questions? Are you a nasty typical cringing Labour Party scumbag like your nasty cringing pal Rob Murray Brown?
                  Do yourself a favour, stop with the pathetic attempt to impose your ‘authority’ on other commentors, by demanding they answer your evil questions. Stick to the article; make your arguments, or go away.

                • Alec

                  Piffle, such ‘abuse’ is like being savaged by a Yorkshire terrier. Your defence of Campbell and Gunn (sic) for traducing a mother of a severely disabled child, however, literally makes the skin crawl.

                  Do yourself a favour, stop with the pathetic attempt to impose your ‘authority’ on other commentors,

                  Good grief, are you for real? The only one here doing that is you.

                  Will you TELL US YOUR NAME. TELL US WHERE YOU LIVE. TELL US YOUR POLITICAL ALEGIENCES. TELL US HUMILIATING DETAILS ABOUT YOUR FAMILY. YOU COWARDLY, WORTHLESS LOSER?

                  ~alec

                • allymax bruce

                  You go first.
                  Well ?
                  Where’s the beef ?

                • Alec

                  Pathetic. I’m not the one defending it… although I do post by my real name, and have a significant webprint.

                  Why won’t you let us laugh at your family? Not your own nearest and dearest, just Lally and other Unionscum, eh?

                  See the title of this article? It’s about you.

                  ~alec

                • allymax bruce

                  Ha !
                  Just like I thought; no beef !
                  Typical cringing trash; you & yer nasty pal Rob Murray Brown need to go and get nasty angry management help. But first, get lost !

                • Alec

                  You’re rattled. Why should I? I think it stinks and only a moral pervert would do so.

                  You on the other hand think Gunn was justified in doing so, and that Lally deserved everything she got. That’s because you are everything that turns-off women – and properly moral creatures – about YES.

                  ~alec

                • allymax bruce

                  There’s something really ‘wrong’ about you; first-off, you’re deluded to think you are entitled to discuss rubbish, like your are doing, on a Public forum. Secondly, you are filling-in wierd content, in your own mind, about things that haven’t happened; you’re completely off-the-scale.
                  I really mean this, don’t ever, EVER, talk to me again.

                • Alec

                  Just how thick are you? You initiated it. You make demands of others, but skuttle-off at the first sign of trouble.

                  You’re the sort of cowardly, monster loser who torments the kids of your opponents.

                  ~alec

                • allymax bruce

                  You go first.
                  Well ?

    • Jambo25

      Strange but I’ve never seen any of those terrible people you refer to. I’ve seen ‘Yes’ campaigners out and I’ve had ‘Yes’ material put through my door. My (English) wife has been invited to a couple of ‘Yes’ events. She’s never had any connection with the SNP or any other nationalist grouping (I have) but comes from a good English Tory background. I note you still stick to your normal debating trick (sic) which is to insult and disparage those you disagree with.

  • Kitty MLB

    Well I assume all the pandering to prejudices and ego trips
    have stopped. And I assume if Scotland leave that they have
    a plan.I do hope its not true that the SNP think of independence
    as the end of the road and that they have no ideas beyond that.
    And if Scotland stays will she want Devo Max. Oh I would
    be awfully sad not to return lots of Scottish Labour MPs

  • CraigStrachan

    This thing won’t rumble on. Come September 19th, it’ll be done, because folk will be sick of it.

    • Elliot Adams

      Wish I could believe that, I’ve heard a lot of support for further referendums “until we win”. If the SNP stay in, it’ll be Scotland on pause again I suspect.

      • CraigStrachan

        In that case I expect the people of Scotland will decide to move forward without the SNP.

  • The Masked Marvel

    Can’t wait for Scotland to become independent so we can all watch this wonderful experiment in nationalist pride. Absolutely cannot wait to watch the spectacle in about five years’ time when reality hits the fan.

    • Bo Williams

      Scotland will vote No. But if they did vote Yes reality all have hit the fan by Christmas. All Salmond’s talk about Osborne bluffing over the currency, the EU bluffing over membership, NATO bluffing over Faslane would be shown up for what it is. But from Salmond’s point of view it will not matter. The chaos, the pain, the loss none of it matters to him, he will have delivered an independent Scotland and will never be forgotten.

      • The Masked Marvel

        One gets the impression that’s all that matters to most of the Yes crowd.

    • Moderator

      Will be interesting to see the immediate impact and slow impact on
      England. Immediate interest rate rises on all Treasury loans demanded by
      investors the day after a Yes vote due to rapid increases in English
      government debt and 11% of their economy just voted to leave. Pop goes
      the housing bubble and most of the ‘recovery’. Several years later
      England stays in the EU but is replaced from the permanent seat in the
      UN due to it not being important enough to warrant it.

      • Rob Murray Brown

        Try to read some of the finacial pages – Bank of America report out on Monday said that rUK would be better off without Scotland. Scotland will be considerably worse off for the near future.

        • Moderator

          Do you know how much debt the UK is in? Record low interest rates facilitate only to allow the UK to borrow more, not to make any capital payments to pay off these loans. Something has to give sooner or later and rising house prices for some former council house in London aint going to save it – privatizing all pensions might (again) or selling off the NHS.

  • P_S_W

    And there, in the first two comments, is the crux of the matter.

    • Elliot Adams

      It’d certainly help hold off the resentment following either result, if those taking part in indyref debate were more willing to acknowledge that(fringe elements aside) the ‘other side’ just wants what they think is best for their home.

      • Jambo25

        Alastair Darling isn’t a “fringe element”. He compared Salmond to a dictator and compared ‘Yes’ supporters, like myself, to Nazis. This has been a constant theme in the debate from sizable elements on the ‘No’ side. I think a lot of us will not forgive and forget.

    • you_kid

      Ah, someone gets it. I thought this would never happen.

  • you_kid

    The cowards will not vote for it even though there is heavy campaigning from all sides for them to do so. The plebs just don’t want to be free. They are too scared.

    • John Lea

      Cowards? You mean like those who refer to people as ‘plebs’ whilst using anonymous usernames?

    • Inverted Meniscus

      Is that the view of all your gibberish spouting sock puppets lad or are you having an argument with yourselves?

      • you_kid

        you cannot think for yourself, lad?
        you need to be told what to believe?
        we all knew that – tell us something new.

        • Inverted Meniscus

          What about the goat lad? Is it barking at a tree hugger or communing with Dalai Guevara or fixing some dado trunking. Have I missed any of your menagerie of gibberish spouting socialist nutter sock puppets lad?

          • you_kid

            Lad, you are off with the fairies again – what you need to do is stop diverting and start addressing the points, your muppet talk is of no interest here. Your gibberish is of no relevance.
            This blog is not about me, or you believing what you believe about me. Focus, lad. I will not ask you kindly again.

            • Ronnie Strachan

              yesnp zealots cannot grasp that you are in the minority and you are giving the negative message that wants to destroy the UK – you bully people and try and shout down debate but in the end the majority of good sensible Scottish folk for whom your SNP leader does not speak – will vote to remain in the United Kingdom who have looked after us well for more than three centuries

              • you_kid

                and there is absolutely nothing wrong with holding such a view.

              • Kitty MLB

                Good for you sir, well said.
                Unfortunately some voices shout very loud
                and do so far to often.Suffocating the opinions
                of the quiet and good mannered who are
                forced to keep their valid opinions to themselves.
                Scotland is your country as well and you will
                get your voice.

                • Jambo25

                  Ronnie sometimes ends up swearing at people as well. The Yesnp zealots no doubt deserve it according to Ronnie.

              • MichtyMe

                Three centuries ago when the UK was created Scotland had approx 20% of its population it is now 8%, a result of caring stewardship?

                • Damon

                  No, a result of very high population growth in some regions of England between 1800 and 2000. Nothing sinister there, it seems to me. Just demographics.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                Hear hear well said that man. Now prepare yourself for an avalanche of abuse from the resident cybernat nutters. Try getting them to acknowledge the utter lunacy of a currency union that’ll give you a laugh or two.

                • you_kid

                  that can’t be me then, ey lad? I already responded.
                  Hahaha, you are so plain dumb it’s unbelievable.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Is that what the voices inside your head are saying lad? An uneducated ringmaster for a bunch of socialist nutter sock puppets revolving around your tiny mind.

                • you_kid

                  voting up your own posts again? AAAhahaha!
                  You are crackers! No wait …

                  A-hahahaHAHAHA!

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Hysterical coming from the socialist nutter who argues with himself via his menagerie of gibberish spouting sock puppets.

                • you_kid

                  You are so dumb you have no idea what I just did.
                  just stupid stupid stupid. That’s the inversion of clever, you thick troll.
                  And now, in your plain stupid and dumb inferiority, you vote for your own sad post.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Is that the view of the goat lad? You thick socialist nutters never have an original thought do you? Too busy spouting gibberish.

                • you_kid

                  invert it then you might see sense – you have not posted a single thought in twenty post, you dumb troll.
                  Look at your pathetic troll trail, nothing but dumb trolling from you today. Sad

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  What would be the point in engaging with a gibberish spouting nutter like you and your army of sock puppets lad? You are a leftist troll getting a dose of your own gibberish spouting socialist nutter medicine lad.

                • you_kid

                  you dumb troll, troll off, dumb as you always were.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Which one of your idiot sock puppets is talking lad?

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  No you idiot. Was referring to the usual cybernat nutters who infest these blogs not you and your gang of idiot sock puppets spouting socialist nuttery. What an egotistical gibberish spouting nutter you are.

              • http://almashriq.hiof.no/lebanon/300/320/324/324.2/hizballah/ Sons of Ares

                “..who have looked after us well for more than three centuries..”

                Not a OUNCE of irony in that.

            • Inverted Meniscus

              Is that what you think or is it the goat lad? Difficult to tell with all of your socialist nutter sock puppets spouting unintelligible gibberish at once.

    • allymax bruce

      Are you the Englishman that put £400,000 on a no-vote, because you think us Scots are ‘too wee, too poor, too stupid’ ?

      • you_kid

        Why is the author allowed to invert in his headline unquestioned yet I am curiously not?
        My response is a response to the oldest comment on this blog, although not directly linked P_S_W appeared to have got it.

        • allymax bruce

          Yeh, I know what you mean; I don’t know the answer.
          I tried to do the same thing on Rod Liddle’s latest article, and never got anywhere. Here’s Rod’s article title, followed by my contention, to Rod’s ‘title;
          ‘Did anyone really think that Qatar won the World Cup fairly?’
          Did anyone really think that England won the World Cup fairly?
          I mean, all I did was mention that there were people on the pitch, and the ref’ should have stopped the game, given possession back to Germany, where they may have scored another late equaliser!

          • you_kid

            well, my inversion of Rod’s headline would be:
            “don’t we all know that England didn’t win the World Cup fairly?”
            best, you_kid

  • Elliot Adams

    It *is* very difficult to be won over by someone who claims you’re an idiot, a traitor, a fascist etc. for ever have thought differently to them in the first place.

    • robertsonjames

      Very wise words.

      It reminds me of the old half-joke that republicans are the worst advert for republicanism. I mean, there’s a perfectly respectable case for not having a monarchy. But, you know what? When some unwashed idiot with a mohican and a dog on a string is sellotaping handwritten posters to a tree in Edinburgh (which I swear I saw in around 1998 or 1999) bearing the unpersuasive slogan “Hurry Up And Die, Queen Mum”, it’s pretty clear that few people are going to be won over to a cause represented by such characters.

      Scottish independence is fundamentally the same. I look round my colleagues and see that precisely the wrong people to convert the unconvinced are its loudest advocates. There’s the Englishman who has reliably supported every Third World fruitcake and terrorist faction in the two decades I’ve known him because he’s unrelentingly anti-British by instinct: he’s in favour of Scottish independence (like he’s in favour of the EU) but by now we know he’d still be in favour if Saddam Hussein were going to be running it. Then there’s the fanatical anglophobic left-wing Scot who’s obsessed with the idea that the English are all right-wing nutjobs: more racist, more selfish, more hard-hearted, etc. etc. His view is essentially that only traitors, snobs and psychopaths could conceivably reject the chance for “Freedom!!!””.

      And you say to yourself: if these are the strongest supporters of Yes that I know, I think I’m just not going to buy it, thank you very much.

      Decades ago the Edinburgh historian Arthur Marwick quipped that the question we really needed to ask about an independent Scotland was not whether it would be viable but whether it would be bearable. He had in mind the assortment of odd-bods and fanatics who were at the forefront of the SNP campaigns of the 1960s and 1970s and the genuine danger of ending up in a state designed and run by characters like that.

      Marwick’s point still stands.

      • MichtyMe

        It is the No campaign that seems to have collected disparate political grotesques. George Galloway for one, if I found myself on the same side I’d wonder.

        • Jambo25

          Galloway, the Orange Order, Lords Forsyth, Foulkes etc. Various Labour dinosaurs, businessmen with dodgy connections to Saddam Hussein’s regime and Serbian war criminals etc.

        • Elliot Adams

          and on the Yes side ETA, Tommy Sheridan, Army of the Scottish People – just because your opinion has a tiny commonality on one point doesn’t put you on the same ‘side’.

          The KKK supported the minimum wage for example, I doubt that gave many others who supported the minimum wage were given cause to wonder..

      • Andrew Leslie

        The world is full of ‘nutjobs’, and not all of them live north of the border. Indeed, one reason I shall vote Yes is for fear of being dragged out of Europe by a strange collection of ‘oddbods and fanatics’ who seem to have got a grip on the common sense of English voters (yes, I know we appear to have elected one too).

        I think, before writing off the Yes movement as you do, you should maybe ask whether the experience of having a Scottish Government – even one hampered by its limited powers – backs Marwick’s assertion, or whether it actually provides a rather better example of governance ‘for the people’ than we have seen exhibited by Westminster of late?

        It is there that the fundamental flaw in your argument lies. Essentially, you are repeating the old trope that we are too stupid – or nutty – to be able to govern ourselves, and you are basing that on a couple of colleagues. It is a pretty thin assertion.

        More interestingly, I note that neither you nor Mr Adams above, take your stance on anything positive about the Union, but are merely ready to vote because you perceive yourselves as villified as ‘traitors’. It does, of course, cut both ways, and I refer you to endless BTL comments in the Telegraph and Mail, should you doubt me. The difference is perhaps that I accept being labelled a traitor or fascist or abusive cybernat because I can state to myself and others my positive and rational motives for voting Yes.

        Can you do the same for your vote? If so, I would gladly hear your case.

        • Damon

          “Essentially, you are repeating the old trope that we are too stupid – or nutty – to be able to govern ourselves.”
          No, he isn’t. He merely cited the example of a couple of colleagues who represented the less attractive face of the Yes campaign. This is not the same as maintaining that, “The Scottish people are too stupid to govern themselves.”

          • Jambo25

            By repeating he Marwick story he was. Read his posting.

        • Elliot Adams

          Sorry, you assume I only want want to preserve Scotland’s place out of some kind of resentment for the various abuse, threats etc. I have received. This is simply not the case, I just don’t particularly feel like penning a short dissertation making the case for the union in any article-comment I make.

          The nationalists’ assumptions about my motivations, or if I am a quisling etc. have no bearing on my tendency to want Scotland to remain in the UK – they have however limited the persuasiveness of any argument(which I will listen to, despite my support for the union having calcified somewhat) they make.

      • monty61

        This. Massie’s missive above is fair and balanced and sensible. But the above sums it up in a quarter of the words.

      • Damon

        Excellent post, robertsonjames. I now hope and expect that your side of the argument will prevail in September, which will be a victory for all of us Britons – both north and south of the border. Best wishes and good luck from an English Unionist.

      • ChuckieStane

        I don’t doubt the veracity of your “idiot” anecdote, but from my experience the vast majority of oddballs sellotaping posters to trees in Edinburgh are students from beyond Scotland’s shores advertising their Fringe shows, often of very poor taste and even poorer quality.
        The careers of many stalwarts of British Broadcasting started in this way.

        • Kitty MLB

          And Edinburgh being one of the finest universities in the rhelm( sorry Allymax)
          The shame of oddballs from other countries
          mistreating those mighty trees with such
          Nonsense. Some of those, as you say might
          end up at the benighted BBC.
          Someone should warn them.

          • allymax bruce

            Hi Kitty, no problem. I just have a diferent perspective to Universities that claim they offer a ‘life-style’. I was once a member of a Christian church, that had a Rabbi teaching; that said uni’s are actually universities of death, (quick cue to JK Rowling’s ‘death eaters’!). I think that was an unfortunate description, that I don’t agree with neither; but, I see what he meant. He basically was trying to say, (in a more dramatic fashion), that institutions that teach ‘social mores’, take you away from what Jesus was trying to teach us to see. I”ve been to two uni’s, and I see where he was right; uni’s are institutions that demand you ‘conform’ to their ethos; heck, they even grade you to a degree to how much you learn to think like them! I really don’t think I will get more resurrection points for being clever, and having two degrees!
            “The shame of oddballs from other countries mistreating those mighty trees with such Nonsense. Some of those, as you say might end up at the benighted BBC. Someone should warn them.” (Kitty). That made me smile, Kitty.

    • ChuckieStane

      Agreed Elliot, Alistair Darling’s comparison of those that support self-determination for Scotland with Nazis was perhaps the low point of the entire campaign.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Hugh MacDiarmid was indeed a nazi-sympathiser. But I agree one nutcase poetaster doesn’t make an SNP.

      • Elliot Adams

        I certainly wasn’t a fan, though obviously it emerges that what he said was misrepresented, but I’ve heard such comparisons from others and it serves no purpose other than to tar the mainstream with the sins of fringe elements. Individual instances of ethnic nationalism can be criticized without slandering the majority of civil nationalists and their political allies.

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