Dinner with No Voters or “What I wanted to say before the Pudding hit the fan”

This from Peter Arnott works as in part response to this conflict-averse piece by Madeleine Bunting (check the weird ethnic civic framing).

One thing that almost all of my friends who tell me they intend to vote No in September have in common is that they wish that this referendum campaign had never happened. They don’t see the need for it. They think it is needlessly sowing doubt, division and uncertainty at a time when nobody really wanted the debate to happen. They wish the whole damn thing would go away and be forgotten.

I have a certain amount of sympathy with that. I am sure Alex Salmond does too. After all, he didn’t expect the Labour Party in Great Britain and in Scotland to collapse quite so comprehensively as they did in 2010 and 2011, and thus make possible the election of a majority SNP administration at Holyrood that was bound – trapped even – by history and manifesto commitments into calling a referendum that was not at the time of their choosing.

Where I take issue with my friends, who are still my friends I hasten to add, is in their imagining that a No vote somehow cancels the uncertainty and division. That life can ever again be like this never happened. I think that to imagine some kind of “return to normality” is not only deluded, I think it is a positively dangerous complacency about the way things have already, irrevocably changed. And more, how things will change after a No vote, as well as after a Yes.

Part of this change is positive, of course, online and in the meeting halls and pubs and clubs, the Yes campaign in all of its participatory variety has revealed and unleashed a new and painfully hopeful democratic culture in this country on a scale and of a quality of thought and debate that I never would have expected. I’m sure that my No voting friends don’t really want all that to disappear and be forgotten

It has also raised, less comfortably, the spectre of the crying need genuine reform of the creaking, rotten edifice of the British State, and has revealed many less than attractive elements of its defensive, secretive, mendacious, culture of self-interested pessimism which I’m sure that all of us, whatever side we’re on, would rather not have seen revealed so pervasively in institutions that once held almost universal affection if not allegiance.

In any case, despite the devout wish of many in the BBC and the Labour Party, to name but two, that this whole question had never been raised,, the status quo, as I’ve said before, may well be on the ballot paper. But it is not on the cards. A wish for a return to normal is a wish for a stability that is already in the past.

You can’t go home when it’s not there anymore. Indeed, I would argue that a No vote will change the terms of that “stability” quite as radically as a Yes vote. A No vote is just as much of a vote for change. It is not only Yes voters who should be called on to look into a crystal ball and imagine a future that is radically “not the same”

Before my No voting friends dismiss that as a paradox, may I ask them to consider the following.

Every vile piece of Westminster legislation that has attacked the poor and dismantled the Welfare State, every policy that has ensured that it is only the poor who have paid the price of the recession caused by the greed of the rich, every act of economic and social vandalism – it has been the comfortable posture of the well-meaning voters of Scotland that none of these things have been your fault. That you didn’t vote for them.

Well, you won’t be able to say that any more.

Up until September the 18th, we have all been able to hide behind all that being someone else’s fault. Either way the vote goes, Yes or No, that comfortable position has already been shattered. Either we vote to take responsibility for our own economics, our own wealth distribution, our own decisions to make war or peace…or we are voting to mandate away control over all of these matters to Westminster forever.

Either way, we will be responsible.

If a Yes voter has to take on board the moral hazard of whatever happens for good or ill in an independent Scotland, a No voter must equally accept moral responsibility for having given Westminster permanent permission to do whatever it likes forever. No questions asked.

Moral Hazard works both ways.

Whatever austerity measures are coming down the line, all those policies that weren’t your fault before September 18th? After September the 18th, they will be your fault. No. Sorry. Every single one of them. Will be your fault. This is the trap that history has set you. And I understand your discomfort. I understand your wanting to wish all this away. But you can’t. You’re stuck along with the rest of us.

Except of course, we’re going to be really, really annoying about it. We’re going to make you feel bad. We will be unbearable. Every single day, we’ll be reminding you. When the Tories make a formal or informal pact with UKIP and win the election in 2015, despite having no seats in Scotland? Your fault. When there is a vote to leave the EU and Scotland votes to stay but we have to leave because middle England votes Yes? Your fault.

Sorry. That’s the way it’s going to be. In fact, I confidently predict that at dinner parties in Scotland in 2016 it will be impossible to find anyone who will admit to having voted No, so complex and disruptive and chaotic will be the consequences, so omnipresent will the border question be in every single dispute about everything. It will feel very bad to have actually voted for all that.

But my sympathy will fail me pretty quickly. Because your No vote or your failure to vote will have signified that it in your view it is better for Scotland to suffer neo-conservative governments it didn’t vote for than to take responsibility for its own affairs. You will have voted for Scotland, politically speaking, to cease to exist. So kind of hell mend you. Sorry.

Now, hold on…is that fair? We can’t be expected to have thought all that through before it happens!

Well…Think about it now. Alex Salmond, though he is deemed to be the source and fount of all evil, is not the only begetter of this referendum. David Cameron agreed to it too. Now why do you think he did that? Because he is a friend to democracy, perhaps? Surely only a very small minority of No voters believe that. No. You know and I know that Cameron agreed to the referendum in order to call Scotland’s bluff. To settle and silence the “Scottish question” for a generation.

(That won’t work, obviously, but that’s an argument for later)

Cameron only did that because he was confident of a No vote, of course. But what have the Tories, and others in the British establishment to gain from a No vote?

I think they know that if we take independence off the table, if we remove, voluntarily, that bargaining chip from future negotiation, then there won’t ever need to be any negotiations ever again. Everything will be in their gift. For a generation. And having voted for that once, we will have thrown away any electoral influence over what happens next.

Everything we have gained since devolution in terms of the painfully slow emergence into democracy we are still undergoing has been predicated on the “or else” of independence. Does anyone in the No Camp seriously expect a prize for loyalty when we remove the best card we’ve got from our hand? One or two of you can expect knighthoods, maybe, but what can the ordinary No voter really expect as a reward? from those people?

The Yes camp are constantly being asked about what kind of negotiations we can expect after we “reject” the United Kingdom – on currency, NATO, oil, Trident and the rest? Well, what kind of negotiations do you expect when you’ve said to other side; “whatever you want to do is fine with us”?

There I go again…being divisive…talking about “the other side”.

Well, take a listen to the mutterings of the backbenchers from those English and Welsh constituencies who haven’t had the bargaining position we’ve had, that bargaining position you’re going to vote so happily to throw away, and see how long all those promises to protect the Barnett formula and add meaningful powers to Holyrood last.

David Cameron wasn’t offering us a choice between different forms of democracy. He was offering us the choice between shutting up and fucking off. And fucking off might well have its difficulties, but we should be in no doubt that shutting up is exactly what is demanded of us if we don’t have the guts to fuck off.

A replacement for Trident? You don’t want that? Shut Up. A slashing of consequential health spending as privatisation of the NHS in England and Wales speeds up? You don’t like that either? Shut up.

You voted for it.

Before September the 18th, nice left-leaning folk in Scotland chatting about the Welfare State and the decline of local government and the miners and the poll tax and the sale of council housing and the destruction of our industries at dinner parties could say in their comfortable, pre-democratic way:

“Oh well, it’s terrible. But it’s not our fault. We’re not responsible. We didn’t vote for that. ”
No more. After September the 18th, we in Scotland will be responsible for whatever happens to us. Our choice is whether or not we want democracy to go along with the responsibility.

Right now, thanks to the referendum, however uncomfortably or prematurely, our future is, temporarily, in our own hands. A No vote is not a place to hide from that future. It is just a vote to have no influence over that future after we deliver a mandate to whoever wins in Westminster elections that we can’t influence to do whatever they like with it.

I hope you’re comfortable with that, folks. Because if you win, I promise to devote every waking moment to reminding you what the hell you just did, even if there are none of you at dinner parties in a years time who will admit to it any more than you’d admit now to being a Tory.

Everything has changed. Everyone has to face the reality of that. Our only choice in September 18th is: Do we make the way we change subject to democratic control within Scotland, or do we leave the management of that change to whomever somebody else votes for.

Because, my brothers and my sisters, as George Bush once said, democracy, with all of the adult responsibilities that implies, is coming soon to a place near you. For the first time in history, for 15 hours in September, Scotland will be a democratic country, with its people responsible for themselves.

Putting your head in the sand of a No vote won’t make it go away.


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Comments (430)

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  1. Steve Bowers says:

    Bloody hell, this is the best thing I’ve read so far in the entire debate, now how can we get the people to take their fingers out of their ears, stop screaming LA LA LA LA NOT LISTENING and actually open their eyes. People should be asked to read this just the minute before they enter the polling booth

    1. mary vasey says:

      Totally agree with you Steve, should be read by all before voting 😎

    2. MBC says:

      Yes, totally agree. Fantastic piece of writing.

    3. MrHinsh says:

      Except I just got my biggest ‘no’ challenge to read it as they said:

      “I fundamentally disagree with every factless point raised in this article”


      1. muttley79 says:

        Tell me, how are we supposed to maintain the NHS in Scotland with ever decreasing budgets from Westminster. How are we going to manage to maintain free university in the face of diminishing block grants? If we vote No, will we still be in the EU in 5 years time, given the UKIP?

      2. muttley79 says:

        Apologies MrHinsh. I misread your post. Just ignore my reply. All this war shit and the referendum is getting to me.

      3. david tolmie says:

        If you want facts go watch Ivan Mc Kee of business for scotland on u tube put to rest all the rubbish about cant do it, although i dont think anything would change your mind my fear is no voters like you so selfish, put my grandkids at risk of a 2015 Con kip Government and the possible rise of Scottish Natioalist nutjobs who say we have tried the ballot box

    4. VictoriaB says:

      Totally agree, best article I have read so far. A must read for all Scots before the 18th Sept

    5. Sure Scot says:

      This has to be the worst example of emotional blackmail I have seen yet!
      Now that the Yes campaign has lost the economic argument – is this what the yes tactics have resorted to.
      Well ok , given Peters viewpoint here – the same should apply to Yes voters in the event of independence.
      Will they be held responsible for any job losses, collapse of businesses, house repossessions that would be a direct result of independence?

      Infact – Here is a question for all yes voters

      How many job losses, home repossessions (brought about by higher interest rates that an Iscotland will bring), loss of business and livelihoods do you think is acceptable to achieve your dream of independence?

      1. JM says:

        In true political fashion, I answer your question with a question: where is the proof that things will not get worse under Westminster, especially given their commitment to austerity, welfare reforms specifically designed to screw over the most vulnerable, implementation of a snooper’s charter(which, by the way, grants Lords and MPs immunity to its surveillance), a House of Lords capable of undermining Scotland’s democratically elected Parliament without due process, the mere existence of food banks in a state whose capital is known to be a haven for the rich and morally-dubious, and tendency to transport nuclear bombs through residential areas at night?

        Here’s the thing: Westminster demands that the Yes campaign breaks out a crystal ball and makes solid predictions for the future. Which is impossible: an independent Scotland does not exist yet. Moreover, the UK government’s tactics for dealing with the referendum (hiding under a table while chanting “lalalala not listening!”) means that they refuse to engage with any kind of conversation which would GET those answers (see: EU entry). However, Westminster’s got form. We can see what they did in 1979 – all those jobs at the shipyards they promised to “save”. And we can see what they’re up to at this very moment.

        And it is downright ugly.

        Face it: Independent Scotland? No track record – an untested blank slate, or limitless possibilities. Westminster? The devil we know. Better check what you write in your emails – they’ll be watching.

      2. Peter Arnott says:

        Scot…these questions are asked of Yes supporters ALL the time. You made really interesting posts earlier, but the point of the piece was to puncture the bland assurance that I encounter from No voters that everything will go back to “normal”. There is no normal Not any more

      3. Sure Scot says:

        When I mention the possibility of this to Yes voters they are in denial that this will happen “why would interest rates” etc – the response I get after explaining the economics behind it is “well I don’t have a mortgage” or “that won’t affect mine too much” or in response to certain industries that will be affected by job losses “not my industry”.
        The yes voters I know are a very selfish bunch that will not be economically impacted by independence!

      4. Mike Heinemeier says:

        Hi Sure Scot. You are absolutely right. We will be responsible for anything that goes wrong if we vote for Independence. But that’s precisely the point. We will also have the responsibility for finding solutions, OUR solutions and not those imposed upon us by Westminster. We need full powers to create a fair and just society and to elect governments that will represent the needs and aspirations of those who live in Scotland.
        We would no longer need to resign ourselves to whatever decisions are made by the UK, London based government which has left our people subject to the political winds of
        change. Sure Scot, I realise that you will be voting no and that’s ok by me because we live in a democracy, but consider that this referendum is a demonstration of the will of the Scottish people. Are you willing to give this right away, to witness the last free vote as a Nation.

      5. David Fullstone says:

        Predicting the future is very much a guess so will have to go by previous actual facts. How many suicides was it before maggie got the poll tax fine tuned enough to pass to the South? Don’t get me wrong I love England and have worked here for 25 years both in the army and now as a contractor. When I left the army I wanted to move back but as all recruiters told me forget the North of England and Scotland, Westminster’s stranglehold keeps all the money in the South of England. Maybe one day I’ll be able to move back but with the past and current situation moving back is not viable. Westminster not England strangles jobs etc to the point where as someone who has worked and has lived all over the country has to ask how some believe it can get any worse. The North of England and Scotland have always been a black hole by comparison to how easy it is in the South of England. It might come across as scare tactics but the first rule of change management is to create a sense of urgency otherwise people will overall stay in their existing status quo until things get unbearable. Maybe one day things will change and I’ll be able to move back but believe me compared to the South of England jobs by comparison couldn’t get much worse. I don’t know the future or claim to predict it I just go by what has happened in the past and what is currently happening and therefore what is likely to happen in the future if nothing changes.

    6. Kevin Devine says:

      Fantastic. Pass it on! Share it! Now!

  2. bringiton says:

    Very well put Peter.
    I can’t stop thinking that a lot of No voters are clutching at one scare story or another as a fig leaf to cover their basic fear of making the jump to independence.
    Will hope and aspiration overcome fear?
    We will find out in September.

    1. Because we’re all scared. That’s the only explanation that we don’t agree with you? That we don’t agree with someone who doesn’t try to understand our way of thinking but instead just calls us scardey cats? No valid argument put forward at all, just another pointless, lofty, better-than-thou goad.

      1. muttley79 says:

        Ross William Drew: Okay. Can you tell us how the NHS in Scotland is going to be saved from privatisation if we vote No? What is going to happen to tuition fees? If we vote No what is going to happen to the remainder of the welfare state, presently being destroyed at the moment?

      2. Peter Arnott says:

        I’m sorry if you feel insulted. I apologise if I’m intemperate.

        But I’m not saying that you’re scared. I’m saying that I’m scared. And I genuinely am trying to understand your way of thinking. But I can’t see why you’re NOT scared. Just a little.

        It seems to me in order to vote No with conviction you have to be convinced, and to convince me, that Scotland does not and should not exist as a political unit – a sovereignty. Or that if it does, it shouldn’t have democratic control over it’s own affairs.

        Why not?

        Real question. I think there are perfectly logical arguments for that position, by the way – I just haven’t heard any of them,…and I mean ANY of them, from Better Together.

        I think the people with a genuine attachment to the British State have been shockingly ill served by the No campaign, which is so unconvinced of the virtues of the pessimistic, exhausted UK elite…that they have come up only with arguments about our unique incapacity for self rule…or to vaguely threaten that the rest of the world would be so ticked off with us that no realistic negotiations about anything would be possible.

        It may be that there was anger in the piece…I was rather angry when I wrote it. I had just been patronised, I felt. And ,ayber I was a little splenetic. But my point was very serious. I genuinely believe that if Yes voters are to be constantly leaned on for answers to questions about the results of negotiations that haven;’t happened yet and which are being ruled out as impossible before they start, then No voters have to take on a little moral hazard about what happens when we take our single strongest negotiating card ( “we” being an assumed Scottish polity) off the table.

        I also genuinely feel that as Gerry Hassan argues so well in Caledonia Dreaming, there has been an unjustified moral superiority at large in our political culture…an assumed left liberal consensus that shelters behind the irresponsibility of NOT being able to influence elections, a comfortable, self serving pre-democratic moral superiority.

        And I am saying that this vote, this referendum, one way or another, blows that complacency out of the water.

        We ARE going to be sovereign for those 15 hours. We will be responsible Yes or No, for what happens next.

        I am unsure about lots of things about an independent Scotland. The future is like that. Are you certain about the consequences of a No vote? Do you really think we’ll be able to sit in the Caledonian smugness of it not being our fault anymore.

        I really think we won’t. If it goes “Yes” we will have tough, grown up decisions to make about tough grown up stuff. I’m scared of that.,

        If we vote No, we will hand all the decisions about the difficult stuff to someone else…actually, positively, as a sovereign people (for 15 hours) choose to hand sovereignty BACK. Aren’t you even a LITTLE worried about that?

        In the meantime, if you can offer me a coherent case for the Union that demonstrates the concrete advantages of the new situation that will obtain after September the 18th, then I really do want to hear it

        And if you do win, I really hope you’re right…that we will be able to make social progress within the Union….because I will still be living here.


      3. David Fullstone says:

        Ross being scared I believe is not meant as an insult. It is one of the major building blocks of Change Management. Any major change is scary. It’s how you deal with that fear that makes the difference. I’ll admit I’m scared for both votes. For the NO vote I’m scared at how much more of a stranglehold Westminster will place on Scotland after calling our bluff and for the YES vote it will be a real time of uncertainty. That’s life it’s not an insult just a natural response from the mind preparing us for major change one way or the other which I believe either vote will result in.

      4. david tolmie says:

        Check out Jim Sillars on utube the speach in Motherwell might just sway you, if not Ivan McKee of business for Scotland a Yes convert put paid to all the drivel in the media, about cant do it, and im older can remember the 1979 devolution vote told stay with the strong UK keep steel at ravenscraig, save the 3 car plants bathgate,linwood, and hillington also save the pits, then no was odds on favourite but yes Won vote changed to suit No, So no i cant understand the way you think, here’s why Ravenscraig the most cost efficient Steelworks in Europe CLOSED Car factories at all 3 sites closed, mines all closed, Engineering ship building decimated. So dont patronise people who lived through that hell, worked hard to give my kids a chance in life. What chance have they if it’s Status Quo ? ANS None and it will be your fault as anyone who takes the time to find out and votes no has no Scottish blood in there Veins

    2. Sure Scot says:

      You mentioned scare tactics in your post here from No side??
      I think all Yes voters have selective hearing and vision of scaremongering!

      This article is overflowing with scaremongering from the Yes perspective!

      This “oh, we will regret it if we vote No and they will make us pay” is absolute scaremongering – but this seems to be acceptable coming from the yes side for some reason?
      All you yes people should read this again after reading my comments.

      1. Peter Arnott says:

        Pot Kettle Black. This is a deliberate riposte to the extraordinary trust you are putting in David cameron et al

  3. Flower of Scotland says:

    This is a great piece of writing! However as a YES voter you have filled me with fear! Your ordinary NO voters aren’t going to read this. You are already preaching to the converted and putting all my nightmares on the one page! Hopefully it will make us try and convert more NOs to YES!

    1. Margo Murray says:

      Hi FofS I have been thinking same as I read Through peter’s piece. He says it all but how do we get our No pals to consider reading such a lengthy view. I often copy and share just a particular paragraph of something that catches my imagination and post it into the “what’s on your mind” top of home page of fb. I find that I often get more interest in that personal approach than by sharing the whole piece. You can select just sentences or paragraphs with impact and post different ones throughout the day with reference to Peter Arnott article on Bella. If everybody did that with this and other articles it could be a kind of gentle bombardment. I’ll continue doing that whatever.

    2. Judepatch says:

      Flower of Scotland, I was a NO voter, but on reading Peter’s reasoned arguments, from a link by a friend, I realised that I just hadn’t researched enough on the subject to be able to make an informed opinion on how to vote. I have always said that if you don’t vote, you cannot complain about what happens. This article has made me think very hard, & I shall now read as much as I can on the subject & look at the opinions of others with whom I did not formerly agree. I think it’s fair to say that there’s a good chance I will change my vote. If I don’t, & many others may not, then we cannot complain about what happens to Scotland as a country & a nation, & that would be more than a great pity.

      1. Sure Scot says:

        I think someone’s telling porkies here!
        So you were a No right up until you read this article?
        This article takes less than 5 minutes to read and has converted you!
        You are either very gullible or this is a set up!
        So all of the reasons for voting no such as having no real currency, no Eu membership, the job losses and house repossessions that will happen, what currency you will get paid in and pay your bills with and exiting the 6th largest economy in the world – that all just doesn’t matter no that you’ve read these few paragraphs!
        Btw folks – have you heard that they are removing the word gullible from the dictionary!

  4. Ditto what Flower of Scotland said, terrific article

  5. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

    Good article Peter – consequences of a No vote will be dire and the No voters at least should be aware of what they are voting for.
    If no is the end result, I just do not get the “generation thing”. The Yes campaign is not going away any time soon. We will be back!

    1. John Duncanson says:

      It truly was a brilliant piece, wonderfully argued and beautifully constructed! Like so many other readers I just hope Peters article is widely published, and reaches all those No- hopers, in No-man’s lan

      1. That last word should, of course be “land”. And I am also convinced that Yay or Nay, whatever is decided, this will not be the end of it!i

    2. Sure Scot says:

      One word here – Scaremongering!

  6. I’ve been saying this for some time. The status quo ceased to be the day the Edinburgh Agreement was signed. And if Naw wins then all the fine promises and bribes will vanish like sna’ aft a dyke, leaving what I can only describe as status quo minus — possibly even minus our Scottish Parliament. For One Nation Labour wants to amalgamate the two NHS systems to make one national system. Andy Burnham said so some time ago but the media ignored it. How many more devolved areas will suffer the same fate. Education? Someone has already suggested that.

    Both Cameron and Lamont want to give more say and a wee bit of cash to local authorities, elbowing out Holyrood. So you can bet neutering Holyrood will be high on the agenda, after all the Scots are hardly going to complain — that’s what they voted Naw for, isn’t it?

    But this great head of discussion and working together that has been built up on the Yes side, the revelations about Westminster government, the fact the internet allows us to uncover much that previously went unnoticed or hidden — none of that is going to go away. And our visions of what could be achieved with independence (N56 Scotland Means Business reckons we could be the third wealthiest country in the world) will sit mockingly beside the increased austerity, more kids in poverty, and rundown of our country through lack of finances — those finances that we worked to generate but which will increasingly be spent in London and the south-east. After all, that will be what was voted for with a Naw.

    1. yerkitbreeks says:

      Spot on in your second paragraph. How many have overlooked the potential catastrophe of demoting our national forum.

      If Yorkshire alone has a bigger population than Scotland, you can imagine the consequences.

    2. MBC says:

      Brown wants there to be a single education system. He said so in his book. Claims 14-16 year olds want it.

      1. Wilma Mcewan says:

        yes he does,imagine HIM even having a view on this ,it would be a disaster for OUR ed-system ,but I rather think he ultimately want us to be fee paying at uni,also the NHS to be aligned with the south ,anyone who has been awake over the last we while will know,where that is leading ,privatisation ………no we MUST SAY YES

  7. juuxjuux says:

    Tear in my eye. That is the best analysis of the referendum outcomes I’ve read yet, and I’ve read plenty.

  8. Magnificent! Well past time this was said. Share this on Twitter, on Facebook. Email the link to ALL your friends – the Yes & the No ones!

    Please don’t forget that all it will take to get rid of Holyrood altogether is a single vote in Westminster. Think it will not happen? Think again.

    1. dennis mclaughlin says:

      Ian, what do you think would happen on our streets IF that scenario came to pass?.
      Would G Galloway join us all in the Glesga Commune ?.

  9. mary vasey says:

    Well said Peter, I have far more trust in my fellow Scots, well most of them than in that god forsaken Westminster pit. Thank you for saying what most of us yessirs feel.

  10. David Agnew says:

    yes! agreed! Sums up my own feelings on the issue. The no camp made a huge mistake of fighting this from a position of learned helplessness. From Davidson who told English tories 8 out of 10 Scottish Households contributed nothing to the success of the UK. Lamont with her something for nothing culture. Rennie thinking all the forms that would be needed to be completed is just too hard. Robinson who thought independence was fine for people with History, culture and arts – shame Scotland didn’t have any. Brown who thinks Scottish pensioners get more out of the UK than they paid in. Osborne claiming Scotland is a 300 year old charity case. Darling with his endless pronouncements about how crap it is to be Scottish. The endless procession of commentators, journalists, op-ed pieces exulting in every rancid story that says how much the world hates Scotland. Thank Christ we have Britain to hide behind. This has had a corrosive effect on Scotland’s reputation and standing with the Union. The “love bombing” we have seen recently, in context of how we are attacked endlessly from all areas of the media, is insulting in the extreme.

    There is no way in hell they will able to go back to the way it was. Too many lies, too many smears, too many vague promises. Hell, even Darling when asked if those who voted yes could be reconciled to remaining British, could only stammer out “I hope so” – I hope so? really? is that the best this man could come up with? Where is the certainty that we are “better together”. Where is the assurance that we will enjoy the “best of both worlds”? You’d almost think he didn’t believe any of that tosh. You’d think he knows something, the majority of No voters don’t.

    You see, a no vote is not just saying that you want no say in the future of Scotland. Its also saying that you broadly agree with the idiotic descriptions of your nation. The best of both worlds saved from the perfidy of the SNP. An inept and bungling Scotland, propped up by the more industrious and prosperous Britain.
    The no voter will be left feeling a little uncomfortable as they see the main stream parties consign Scotland to the back burner as the general election arrives. They’ll start to feel a little afraid as they realise just how right-wing insane the Westminster parties have become. They may even panic and vote in a larger SNP government into Holyrood in 2016. But Westminster holds the purse strings and they have decreed they want more of Scotland’s money for stuff Scotland didn’t want.

    Oh a little uncomfortable with idea of pensioners being put on workfare – well sod you, you voted no.

    Don’t like TIPPS and the privatisation of the NHS? – who cares what you think, you voted no.

    Horrified that the abolishing of National Insurance is going to see the end of the welfare state? – tough, you voted no.

    We are removing the state pension – workfare will replace it – neat eh? – no? who cares, you voted no.

    Residential Workfare – yes ok, its the return of workhouses, but hell, you voted no right?

    UK not OK? Not really seeing how we are better together,? not getting the best of both worlds vibe? Tough shit, you voted no.

    Yes voters will be lumped together with them, but we will feel vindicated. Those who were scared into voting no will feel massively betrayed. But for those who actually believed. All I can say is that Magic Cloak of Britishness had better be real, or you are going to feel like the dumbest f***ers in the room.

    And yes we are going to remind you of that.

    1. A superb addendum to a superb article. Thank you David, thank you Peter.

  11. alistairliv says:

    I am going to re-blog this on our Radical Independence Dumfries and Galloway blog. Firstly since it is a very powerful piece of writing. Secondly because I have argued that a No vote has the potential to cause more trouble for the UK than a Yes vote. See http://radicalindydg.wordpress.com/2014/07/10/a-sovereign-people/

    The problem for the UK is that it is based on parliamentary sovereignty.
    But the very fact of the referendum confirms the case that ‘in Scotland the people are sovereign’. Popular sovereignty is incompatible with parliamentary sovereignty. A Yes vote would resolve this contradiction. A No vote will not. Any attempts to ‘punish’ Scotland for challenging the sovereignty of the Westminster parliament will lead to a permanent constitutional and institutional conflict.

  12. Robert Graham says:

    with you flower of scotland a wider audience should and need to see this and if after reading they still continue with their aim to vote no well F/k them the only thing is we are going to be in the shit along with the -oh its to much of a risk- oh i don’t know enough about it – oh i don’t like salmond i mean after all the bloody evidence thats been presented to them they still won’t listen then the brainless ones deserve all that’s coming don’t you wish you could shake them we have all met them the ones who won’t even consider anything but this rotten bloody union i believe jim sillars a few years back gave up and went into semi retirement because of this and after if it is a no vote the ones who have lied and cheated to get their way will crawl back into the shadows and protest it wisnae me and a service of reconciliation aye F/N right

    1. michael diamond says:

      Robert graham, spot on, if scotland do vote no and we get crucified through savage austerity cuts, not one of these cowards would have the courage to admit they voted no.

  13. Robert Graham says:

    just read David Agnews piece well your comment is as powerful as the main blog with you all the way just imagine if we had equal access to all the media as the other lot have with so much and so many lies day and daily and a new one is taking place through the national news there they line up tory-labour-lib dems -ukip all spouting what they want and never a right of reply this is a total one sided bloody fix and all the media are doing their duty well done boys but if you’re smart all this propaganda can be turned in your direction but they are to bloody blind with their hatred of Alex Salmond to see this . again good post

  14. YESGUY says:

    Well said Peter

    You really are that good. Very moving .

    This is bookmarked and copied along with “Tough Love” by Derek B.

    the standard of writing on the yes blogs is of such a high standard that you put the MSM to shame. We have an incredible wealth of talent and knowledge at our finger tips .

    I cannot count the number of times i have been lifted with the various bloggers and commentators. Dave Agnew and the rest.

    Thanks for that Peter. It;s given me a chance to start my own project fear and we’ll see how they ,The No’ers like it.

    Brilliant Article.

  15. Canuckistan says:

    “David Cameron wasn’t offering us a choice between different forms of democracy. He was offering us the choice between shutting up and fucking off. And fucking off might well have its difficulties, but we should be in no doubt that shutting up is exactly what is demanded of us if we don’t have the guts to fuck off.”

    …I think I now actually love you. Thanks for that.

  16. deewal says:

    Best article ever. I’m going to learn it line by line and repeat it and post it everywhere.

    ” Because if you win, I promise to devote every waking moment to reminding you what the hell you just did, even if there are none of you at dinner parties in a years time who will admit to it any more than you’d admit now to being a Tory.”

    Now that should hit home.

    Thank You Sir.

  17. Still reading but have discovered a minor error;

    “In any case, despite the devout wish of many in the BBC and the Labour Party, to name but two”

    That is but one.

    Still reading and it is very engaging. Deserves to be diffused far and wide.

    Please forgive my sardonic mood this morning.

  18. MBC says:

    Spot on. The Noes are mainly exactly as you describe. Comfortably off, complacent people who don’t see the need for change. It’s a version of ‘I’m all right, Jack’. They just want comfortable ‘normalcy’ to continue.

    But the Noes need to consider what kind of a signal their No vote sends out.

    Because it does send out a signal that invites another kind of future, not the present. They giving the thumbs up for the rotten system to continue to make radical changes to the way we live.

    1. Sure Scot says:

      I find the opposite to be true – the yes guys that I know are well off, have paid off their mortgage, plenty of money in the bank, kids grown up and moved out.
      Basically guys with little to lose in the great gamble that is Independence!
      Most hard working – working class families struggling to pay their mortgage, utility bills, store and credit cards are mainly the ones voting No – as we have the most to loose!

      1. Mike Heinemeier says:

        Sure Scot. Perhaps you could visit a food bank or the poverty stricken families and their kids in Shettleston in Glasgow. Ask them which way they are voting, it might change your mind.

      2. Wilma Mcewan says:

        Who do you talk to Scot ,because ,the working class have a lot to lose not least the right to buy their own food,it is precisely us ,the working class who have the most to lose ,and by god we will if a no vote is returned ,so again I ask who and where are you talking too ,ermmmmmm utility bills ???no a term much used here in Scotland ,gas, lecky ,council tax,we use these terms…………store cards ??? more suited to a talk in the USA ,whereabouts in Scotland do you say your from??? and i am experiencing quite the opposite, the well offs as you put it ,are saying no ,they think they will lose what they have

      3. david tolmie says:

        i find that comment so patronising, i have a mortgage kids grandkids and i lived through Thatcher, but i wasn’t political anymore, but i realised if i stayed out of it , the people who dont bother to find out the facts would vote no and your aka says to me looks like someone blinded by a flag. No sorry wont bring the tone down but if its a No and 2015 gives Scotland A Conkip Government and the carnage they bring to the scottish people will be down to you, Your happy with food banks poverty and dispare and child poverty in your so called country

  19. Peter Arnott says:

    “To reiterate from first principles, then ; we, as free individuals, autonomous, “sovereign” individuals if you will, choose to pool that individual autonomy at pragmatically chosen levels of administrative convenience and democratic accountability. We do this in cities, regions, nation-states and associations of nation states. The question before us now is whether we think it’s time to extend that democratic and fiscal control. Do we remain as subjects to an authority who lends us power occasionally within very strict limits, or do we assert that as autonomous individuals we choose to pool our authority how we choose and in the size and extent of polity we choose.”

    I wasn’t thinking about Gaza when I wrote that. I am now. I’m thinking about a lot of things. That even if as a small country at the edge of Europe, there might not be that much we can do about…say…Gaza…when the thuggish boot is being brought down on the faces of children…asd least if we’re independent, we won’t be selling the thugs the boot…and telling them how nicely it fits…

    1. gonzalo1 says:

      If terrorists (those lovely Islamist chaps at Hamas) fire rockets continually at your home surely there has to be a time when you have to say – enough is enough. An independent palestinian state would be run by fundamentalist gangsters and remember the Phoneystinians didn’t even exist before 1948, if you consult your History books.
      Yes, give them their independence on the condition that they do not attack their neighbours. And Gaza isn’t under occupation, it is run by Hamas, the Israelis gave them it back a number of years ago.

      1. Thanks for your contribution to this blog about Scotland.

        I fear you may have a range of different blogs and threads open at the same time and have misplaced that comment in this thread.

        Chin up.

      2. muttley79 says:

        Wrong page Zionist.

  20. JimnArlene says:

    Brilliant, scary, but true. I’d rather “f**k off”, than be f***ed.

  21. I have written to Richard Walker, the Editor of the Sunday Herald, asking him to re-run this piece on Sunday.

  22. Cath says:

    Ach come now. The one plus point of a no vote will be sitting back and laughing at Scottish Labour types trying to blame things on Westminster or whining about another Tory or Tory/UKIP government. Or aggressively pro-union businesses whinging about the UK being pulled out the EU.

    Laughing and pointing out that’s what they voted for and if the 92% of the uk that’s “not Scotland” demands something – anything, even abolishing Holyrood or demanding our NHS is privatised along with theirs (one nation and all that) well that’s the level they fought to keep our democracy at – UK level, ie Scotland has none and is not a real country.

    Will the independence movement go away? No of course not. But some of us might take an extended holiday and allow those who prefer dealing with Westminster to having our own democracy to do the firefighting with them for the couple of years following that result.

    Then maybe around 2017 when you can no longer find anyone admitting to a no vote, that’ll be the time to join together and fight for another referendum. And that will be one hell of a fight at that point.

    1. Cath

      This is my only and last chance.

      It must work this time, because if it is a No vote there will only be a ruin to rescue.

      1. diabloandco says:

        I’m with you Bugger – this is the last chance saloon for me too ,time is not on my side and I want to see my country free to make it’s own decisions ,free to deal with it’s successes and failures .
        I want to see the progress for Scotland’s children and grandchildren prior to the popping of my clogs.
        I can imagine only destruction of Scotland if the NO vote wins and being of an unforgiving nature , barbaric even , I will NEVER forgive the media of Scotland.

  23. Hugh Wallace says:

    Reblogged this on Are We Really Better Together? and commented:
    “If a Yes voter has to take on board the moral hazard of whatever happens for good or ill in an independent Scotland, a No voter must equally accept moral responsibility for having given Westminster permanent permission to do whatever it likes forever. No questions asked.

    Moral Hazard works both ways.

    Whatever austerity measures are coming down the line, all those policies that weren’t your fault before September 18th? After September the 18th, they will be your fault. No. Sorry. Every single one of them. Will be your fault. This is the trap that history has set you. And I understand your discomfort. I understand your wanting to wish all this away. But you can’t. You’re stuck along with the rest of us.”

  24. douglas clark says:

    I had thought that there were no further arguements to be made. How wrong I was.

    This is just splendid.

  25. Up there with the very best, Peter. Personally, I don’t think we will be able to find anyone admitting they voted No after the Yes campaign win on the 19th, September. Or at least, very few.

    1. Sure Scot says:

      The silent majority is about to find it’s voice -there is no shame in voting No. I am proud to be Scottish and British.

      1. Andy Nimmo says:

        So imagine you are the supporter of a football club that consistently fails to perform. A club that has slipped from 3rd in the league to 18th in a relatively short period of time.and is now staring relegation in the face at best and bankruptcy as a more logical outcome. A club that consistently pays mega money to strikers who are patently useless, missing sitter after sitter whilst at the same time paying peanuts to the defenders – the real backbone of the club – and worse blaming these decent individuals for the abysmal performance. At what point do you say enough is enough, it’s time to sack the board

  26. Andy Todd says:

    The assumption that a no vote validates austerity is flawed. Nothing changes on 18th September. We live in a democracy and, in a democracy, we accept the government in power’s right to rule regardless of how we voted. That’s how democracy works.

    The independence vote changes nothing – if I vote no I haven’t changed my vote to support the Coalition and their policies. I’m voting no because I’m voting for democratic UK state, and all the possibilities it offers, rather than a democratic Scottish state, and equally the possibilities it offers. My belief is that a democratic UK state offers me more than a democratic Scottish state – transient party politics doesn’t come into it. A no vote is not about David Cameron and the coalition just as a yes vote is is not about Salmond and the SNP.

    1. Andrew Brown says:

      Andy, the Americans have an expression for your type of thinking, it’s called “drinking the Kool-Aid”. You are in for one almighty unpleasant surprise if there is a No vote; and it will come from the people you think you’re “better together” with. Personally you lost me when you started talking about democracy in the UK. The House of Lords is democratic ? Who knew ?

    2. Kieran Cheung says:

      “We live in a democracy and, in a democracy, we accept the government in power’s right to rule regardless of how we voted. That’s how democracy works.”

      This would be true if Scotland’s political opinion was roughly the same as rUK, but this is not the case. Scotland has distinct political identity.

      Scotland as a whole never votes for a Conservative government. In the 2011 General Election more people voted for the SNP than Labour, so even the possible second party has declining support.
      In the 2014 European elections the Scottish vote for UKIP (10%) was about a 1/3 of the vote compared with the UK (29%).

      House of Lords isn’t democratically elected by anyone.

    3. Illy says:


      Voting for the Union, in it’s present state, *is* voting for the policies of Cameron and Milliband (cheered on by Farage). London and the South-East want them, and what they want, they get.

      That’s how the system is set up.

      Don’t like that system? The only other option on the table is to walk away from it, by voting Yes.

      That will change about 30% of the landmass to a better system, and then maybe we can wake up the other 70% with an example of how to do it better.

      Remember, the worst nightmare of a career politician is an informed, motivated and active electorate, Scotland now has that, England doesn’t. They *will* try to destroy us.

      1. Apol says:

        With that logic a Yes vote is a vote for the SNP and Salmond who aren’t offering any change from the right wing politics seen with the Tory government.

        Yes or No, the only way we get change is by voting for a more left wing government en masse. I would love to see our current political energy being aimed at promoting the green party for example.

    4. MBC says:

      The debate isn’t aimed at the minority of British nationalist people like you who just happen to live in Scotland, but Scottish people who have been conned and cowed into voting No. I have never felt British in my life.

      1. innerbearsdenurchin says:

        I don’t think Illy is a Britnat.

      2. MBC says:

        I think a lot of people who are thinking of voting No though, imagine that their No vote means, No, not at the moment; and not, No, no way, not ever.

        But that is exactly how it will be interpreted by the British Establishment, and all guns will be blazing to snuff out Labour’s 1997 devolution experiment.

        We need to get the word out to these people that their complacency is deluded. There simply isn’t time. It’s now or never.

        This fantastic piece of writing could be a game changer, shake enough Noes out of their false sense of security – a wake up call.

    5. tartanfever says:

      Andy Todd – ‘We live in a democracy’

      Really ? Thats what the House of Lords is about.

      Thats what the new Anti- social behaviour Bill, that can see any ‘not run of the day normal’ behaviour being targeted as anti-social. Bunch of grannies decide to protest at the closure of their local library. Thats anti-social behaviour and they can all be carted off by the police. They don’t have to commit a crime, just be doing something that is out of the ‘everyday’. Every single protest now held from now on by anyone can be considered anti-social.

      The Infrastructure Bill that sees all publicly held land now open to being bought by any private party – absolutely no questions asked and can allow fracking companies to drill right under your house without even having to tell you.

      And now the new Security bill which is as much about allowing the government and security services to tamper and manipulate electronic data and websites as it is about keeping personal records available for inspection.

      If thats your idea of democracy – the passing of draconian laws to subjugate the individual, support the wealthy and pander even more to big business at the expense of the ordinary man and to make Westminster even more unaccountable than it already is then I despair.

      1. Alan Ferrier says:

        Just to expand on the comment above regarding the new Security Bill or the “Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill” to give its full name – MPs and Lords will be given special exemptions that prevent their communications from being monitored under DRIP – exemptions that will not be granted to the proletariat.

    6. Scottie says:

      Google “remembrancer” and see what you find. A position held in the House of Commons and tell me if you think that’s democratic.

    7. Judepatch says:

      But DO we live in a democracy? Since when did the government do what we wish, or even ASK us what we wish? They didn’t consult us, the voters, over entry into the EU! Are they not supposed to be there to govern on behalf of those who voted them in?

      1. Sure Scot says:

        I didn’t get the Scottish Government I voted for – is that a democray?

    8. KayBee says:


      Whilst I personally do not agree with your own conclusions Andy, I do fully understand and respect why you feel you need to vote No in September.

      Can I just say that yours is the first open and honest no BS ‘No’ reason I have so far read/heard as to why you, as a no voter, personally feel you need to vote against independence and remain within the union.

      As long as all folk in Scotland vote for valid reasons (be that personal or otherwise) as opposed to for some of the garbage fear & smear reasons that have been getting spouted as fact on the MSM networks/tabloids, then can I just lastly add here that your ‘No’ vote counts every bit as much to me as my own ‘yes’ vote, as I have no doubt that you are voting in what you yourself think/reckon is best for OUR Scotland in the future.

      What is even more important than our differences here is that we both are passionate about what is best for our country – it is just that we have very different ideas about how to actually get there.

      The political re-awakening in Scotland spans both the Yes and No camps – the status quo of old has been broken already and surely that can only be to the good?

      Well I hope so anyway.

    9. Sure Scot says:

      Yep – austerity coming to an Iscotland near you!
      It is almost certain that an Iscotland will default due to our insistence that everything should be free to everyone all the time!
      When the IMF bail us out – the loan conditions will consist of a lot of austerity 🙁

      1. MBC says:

        Scotland is a wealthy country. But it’s wealth is not evenly distributed.

  27. Everyone has to read this before voting on 18 September 2014. Please,

  28. Peter Macbeastie says:


    Unlike the author, though, should Scotland turn out at polling stations like mice and vote no in a majority I will have the precise sum of no sympathy for the resulting whines about bad governance or being ruled by people we didn’t vote for.

    A No vote says very clearly ‘you have abrogated every hint of responsibility. If you are going to complain about Westminster actions after that be aware that; A) you chose this and B) Further complaint within my earshot will get you a punch in the teeth.’

    I too have been saying for some time that a No is not a vote for the same old story. If you pay attention on any level to where Westminster has taken the country over the last twenty years or so you can be in no doubt that it will get less fair, divisions in society will grow, and the poorest will take the brunt. If you are aware of what Westminster are doing right now and you STILL intend to vote no you cannot claim in any clear conscience that you have any sort of social or moral compass. You are ignoring what they are doing, and what they will continue doing, because you want to vote no.

    I’ll be sharing this on Facebook and Twitter later. I would urge everyone to do the same. Print it out for leafletting, leave it where folk will find it…. because it should be required reading for ANYONE who thinks the vote is for uncertainty and risk with Yes but a safe, cuddly return to the arms of Mother with a No.

  29. James Dow a voice from the diaspora says:

    At least if there is a NO outcome nuclear weapons and Trident submarines will no longer be located in Scotland. That’s right they will be located in merry old England right in the heart of Scotland right after Falsane and whatever land around it that is required for security reasons and guaranteed marine and land access are annexed as a UK sovereign region. The old Eton word warriors boy’s club will not take the chance on any future outcomes disturbing their province.

    1. euan mclelland says:

      And no more singing Flower of Scotland instead lets all stand up and sing ” God Save The Queen.”
      Because as I see it that is what we are doing if we vote “No”

  30. Scott says:

    This is a great article,the part I like is.
    it has been the comfortable posture of the well meaning voters of Scotland that none of these things have been your fault. That you didn’t vote for them.

    Well, you won’t be able to say that any more.

    As someone well into my seventies I have said this along as long as we had Westminster to blame for our troubles we were happy,now we have the chance to change grasp it with both hands,we are a nation a country who can and should take responsibility for ourselves.

  31. Martin says:

    I have been online on the main Yes sites this past five months and there has been an awful lot of very good writing but this article comes slamming through from another angle and just stands out. I posted it on fb with the title “What did you do in the referendum, dad?”

    1. Sure Scot says:

      “What did you do in the referendum dad? ”
      I will proudly tell my kids that I voted No!
      That I helped stop Scotland from turning into a basket case of an economy, I preserved the NHS, I stopped the country from turning into a fascist nationalist regressive state, I protected people’s jobs / business/ houses, I helped keep one of the strongest currencies in the world.
      Most of all I will tell them that I prevented them and their children from having to sort out the economic mess that Scotland would be left in after independence.
      They will still be Scottish and British – that’s not a bad thing!

      1. Peter Arnott says:

        Ah…I was enjoying your posts. I have been looking for someone to make a case for the Union that wasn’t either ludicrous (Brian Montieth) or self serving disguised as collective pragmatism…but when you call me a fascist…well…

      2. Sure Scot says:

        Peter Arnot – I’ve had to reply here as there is no option to reply to your post – I wonder why?

        Please point out – When or where have I called YOU a fascist!?

        You seem to leave immature responses with no option to reply to your posts – you are not doing your cause any favours by acting like this!

  32. JLT says:

    Brilliant! Posted something very similar to this on Wings yesterday where I said that I can live with the disappointment, because for me, life goes on, and I have a number of avenues to still fulfil in my life. However, for all those folk who vote ‘No’, get ready to be hit with the hammer blow of ‘regret’. And believe me, it will eat at your soul for the rest of your days. There is a vast difference between disappointment and regret.

  33. Mainy says:

    In the many discussion I have had with those who are voting no I have found that without exception the debate reaches a point where they cry “but what about me”.
    What about MY pension?
    What about MY job?
    I am earning good money just now so what about MY earning potential?
    It’s not something that I am comfortable with as some of these people are friends and what I am hearing is “right now I am doing great, so to hell with anyone who wants to mess with that.”
    This sort of argument lends itself to considering that the majority of people who want to remain in the union are just wanting to maintain the status quo as it benefits them.
    There is no effort to think communally.
    No acceptance that the road the UK is on is going to take us all somewhere that very few of us are going to feel comfortable with.
    Strip everything away and it’s a me me me stance being taken.

    I am sure that’s not the case with everyone, but it sure does feel like it.

    1. MBC says:

      ‘I’m all right, Jack’

      1. Sure Scot says:

        Yeah I’ll just get my house repossessed then (due to Iscotland interest rates being approx 2% above BOE) – just so all the Yesers can have a shiny new scottish passport.
        Doesn’t sound much like socialism to me.

    2. muttley79 says:

      Maybe you should ask them if they want to pay £9,000 a year for their children to go to university? If there is a No vote then the block grant is going to get slashed (just ask the new Tory Treasury minister about that). Ask them if they want to have a public or private health service? Nobody should be under any illusions about the consequences of a No vote, and they will be dire. There will be no protection from Westminster because we will have given away all the leverage we had over them, which was namely the fear of independence. A No vote signs us all up to continuing and possibly permanent austerity in the British state, which is also ending for an EU exit as well.

  34. JLT says:

    Brilliant article! I said something very similar to this on Wings yesterday. I’m getting sick of folk shaking their heads at me and going, ‘naw!’. Well, on the 19th, if it’s a ‘No’ win, I’ll just suffer disappointment., but life will go on. I have other things to achieve in my life without feeling regret., for I can say that I truly tried to change this country for the better.
    To the ‘No’ folk …get ready for the hammer blow of that ‘regret’ …and you will feel it! Wait till the Tories rub your face in it, and patronise you at every turn. Believe me, you will feel that guilt-ridden regret for the rest of your days. It will be like a stain on your soul.

    There is a vast gulf between ‘disappointment’ and ‘regret’. Personally, I want to feel the emotion of ‘euphoria’ on the 19th; not one of these other two emotions…

  35. hektorsmum says:

    I have to say this is what is needing to be said, we will always have those who will vote with the herd, not always the wealthy or the complacent better off, came past the council houses at Abbey view this morning and saw the Union Jack. These people will lose out and they will be the ones who did it to themselves. I have come to the conclusion that if there is a NO vote the SNP should step down and leave the other three to it. Let them be shown for the inadequate that they are. Let them and their pals the Tories get together and show the NO vote what they really voted for.
    Sadly this is the last time for us, we will be going if there is a NO vote. I will not remain in a country which lacks courage, any way my Scotland will surely vanish. I do not think there is a chance in hell of an Independent Scotland then, not unless it is given after they have used all our resources or we take it and that would unfortunately require violence.
    I do have another one for NO voters to consider, if your boss threatens your job, how much worse will it be once you vote NO.

  36. I am on the other side of the border – an Englishman. You are proposing to dismember my country and I hate that. And I have no say about it because I am English. We have no English parliament or are likely to have one in the near future. I believe in ‘Team GB’ but I also believe in a proper, federated, grown-up system where the constituent parts of the UK get proper democratic representation. Home Rule for all of us….. I agree that the status quo is no longer a available option. Stay in the UK and help us fight for a more balanced, democratic and rational state structure for the 21st century. This is not a time to dismember our family of nations, our shared history and culture and our influence in the world. If you do then you will diminish the strength of our collective state and damage us all in the process. This article concentrates on the consequences of a ‘No’ vote. How about the consequences of a ‘Yes’ vote? How do you think your English cousins will feel when they need a passport to visit their relatives in Scotland? There is an old English saying “Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”. Don’t divorce us – help us change things for the better. Not all Southerners are Tories.

    1. muttley79 says:

      So you are saying Scotland is not a nation or country are you? We do not make the difference in general elections anyway. Why should we stay when our vote does not make a difference, and we keep getting governed by a political party we do not give a proper electoral mandate to?

    2. astropoet says:

      I don’t see any appetite for change in England… Do it yourself, you don’t need us. And you got the chance for devolved regions and failed to take it.

    3. tartanfever says:

      Edgydumbledor – ‘I agree that the status quo is no longer a available option. Stay in the UK and help us fight for a more balanced, democratic and rational state structure for the 21st century.’

      Hello ?? You had your chance and you blew it.

      The AV referendum in 2011 was your chance to start the ball rolling. What was on offer was far from perfect, however it was an opportunity for change and to start hearing some alternative voices in mainstream politics. 70% of the vote was for No change.

      What was handed to UK governments that day was the unarguable continuation of FPTP and the House of Lords as they currently stand.

      Fight for a more balanced state structure you say, you had your chance, given to you on a plate and you threw it away.

      No Westminster government is going to make any changes whatsoever, the UK voter has clearly told them to carry on as we are.

    4. Colin says:

      I’m in the home counties, I’m 19, and I have fuck all to look forward to when the Tories get their way and bring us out of Europe and destroy any future for people who aren’t graduating from the public schools – and you lot too if you vote no.

      In the constituency I live in there are 77 thousand voters. Last election 29 thousand voted Tory. 21 thousand voted LibDem. Labout got 1 thousand votes here. Since I say pox on all their houses, you can imagine how pointless my support of the Greens are.

      It is not for me, all the way down here, to tell you Scots anything about how they should vote. I, personally, will wish them luck whatever they decide. But from a personal, egotistical point of view I do hope they vote yes.

      I wrote why on my own blog here on wordpress in a long post, so I won’t bore you with the details, but here’s the thing I’m leaning at: the best way to smash the Westminster system and get change is for something to deliver such a shock to it that it needs change. So, from that personal and egotistical view, I think a yes-result in the election would be that shock. I think you up there in the North of England should keep that in mind too. I think a Scottish yes is your best chance to get a federal rump Britain.

      For us down here? We’ll be eaten by the Greater London machine anyway. I don’t think there’s any chance for a place like Surrey or Sussex to have a local say about anything.

      1. MBC says:

        Thanks Colin. I wish you well. I work for the OU and many of my English colleagues have told me they support Scottish independence and some have even said that if we vote Yes, they will move to Scotland. They will be most welcome, and I predict an influx from left leaning and Green leaning folks south of the Border if there is a Yes vote. Historically Scotland has often absorbed political ‘refugees’ from England who have enriched our culture and economy. There are two Anglo-Saxon cultures and nations in the UK. But this historical fact is not openly acknowledged. The southern one is still under the yoke of the Norman Conquest. The northern one despite being attached to the conquered southern territory and its elitist Norman imperial political culture still entertains hopes of being Ultima Thule, the last of the free.

        Currently though, because we do not control the Scottish economy, around 40,000 of our young people aged 16-24 leave Scotland every year for other parts of the UK, Europe, or the world, and it is partly to stem this tide that we seek independence.

        But it means that as a consequence we need another 40,000 young people aged 16-24 to emigrate here to make up for this loss. You would be most welcome here if you ever decide to vote with your feet.

  37. ianbeag says:

    Brilliant summation of Scotland’s dire position following a NO vote. This article deserves circulation to every household in Scotland. With two issues of the YES newspaper due in the coming weeks it should be given prominence or better still included as an insert which could also be distributed through letterboxes and on every street corner.

  38. John Russell says:

    Ian Russell:

    Magnificent piece of writing Peter. Somehow , and I don’t know how The Sunday Herald needs to be made aware of your letter and to print it for all to read especially the NO voters

    Well Done

  39. Chris Murray says:

    Reblogged this on The Ego Factor and commented:
    Excellent post for voters of all stripes in #indyref, but mostly the Nos.

  40. Luan says:

    This is why everyone who can should be out canvassing, the internet and social media is great but only reaches a few. Undecided voters in the comfort of their own homes are more open to talking about their fears and Better Together beam their project fear messages into all our living rooms, we have a fantastic grassroots campaign – but to be truly effective we need to stop talking to each other and get the facts to the people who will be voting.

    The more people learn about independence, the more likely they are to vote Yes. Canvassing is daunting, sometimes I am intimidated but every time a no/undecided moves to Yes, when someone puts a Yes sticker in their window it is worthwhile.

  41. Baz Thomson says:

    Well put. Spot on.

  42. Michael says:

    As a Scot who lives outside of Scotland I wanted to give this article a chance – to hear another perspective. Some of the arguments hold water but then your mask slips with the comment:

    ” You know and I know that Cameron agreed to the referendum in order to call Scotland’s bluff. To settle and silence the “Scottish question” for a generation.”

    And there it is – the misguided, chip on the shoulder view, that England the big bully wants to subjugate this great nation. Living in England and working with English, welsh and Irish colleagues this is completely false. Are you seriously telling me that people living in Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle are all part of a nascent plot to rape and pillage Scottish land? That is a load of tosh to put it mildly. While I’m at it is it my fault as a Labour voter living in Liverpool that the bedroom tax was brought in? Am I vicariously responsible for this like no voters in Scotland will be should independence fail? Well I’m not standing for that. This country has evolved into the country that it is, for better or worse, over the last 300 years. I left scotland to live in England and what right do you have to break my country off from the rest of the UK?

    I would argue it is your views that are parochial and mendacious by peddling a resentment of the “English” that it is so far from the truth it’s embarrassing. Get out of Scotland, open your mind, travel a little and then realise just how unique the UK is – to have so many political and cultural views pieced together in one relatively happy family.

    Make all the arguments you want but keep your moral compass in your pocket – together we can make this the progressive, fairer, UK we all yearn for.

    1. muttley79 says:

      That is just it, no we cannot make the UK more progressive or fairer in its present form . Politically, it has been on neoliberal steroids for over 30 years. The City of London and big business have completely captured Westminster. Scotland should take responsibility for its own affairs.

      1. Apol says:

        2010 marked the first hung parliament in 36 years. If this is a continuing trend then we can give more power to the minority parties such as greens moving for more radical change.

        1. That would make a difference?

          The evidence is not.

      2. Apol says:

        Well i’d rather see the greens take a majority but that’s not happening in the next decade at least, independence or not.

        Then again if UKIP can gain so much popularity in 20 years I have some hope if enough campaigning/media coverage is given.

    2. MBC says:

      Nobody is blaming you personally. But the fact is your country, England, contains a lot of Tories and 90% of the UK population. You call the shots, not us. You are the majority. It is up to Labour people like yourself to be more committed and energetic about socialism. Put pressure on the leadership.

      Why do you expect us (8% of the UK population) to be able to hold a line that you (90%) have failed to hold?

      Isn’t that pushing the ‘Scotland the brave’ theme a bit too far? We are tired of making utterly futile sacrifices for the British empire.

      1. Michael says:

        90% haven’t failed to hold the line. 40% who voted Tory were the ones that created the problem. That leaves 60% who yearn for progress. And we all built this empire so it is up to us to make it better. Anything else is an abdication of responsibility.

        1. Michael, are you honestly saying that the LibDems and Labour are not Tories too?

          I have that damn near the 90% of the rUK’s 90%

      2. Michael says:

        Michael, are you honestly saying that the LibDems and Labour are not Tories too?

        I have that damn near the 90% of the rUK’s 90%

        Yes I am. I am not aware of any who believe that.

        1. Good for you.

          I rest my case.

      3. muttley79 says:

        @Michael: I do not think Scotland is subjugated by England or the English. To me this is to do with governance.

    3. muttley79 says:

      Are you really saying that independence supporters are not as intelligent, well travelled, sophisticated, and wise as you? How arrogant and condescending can you get.

      1. Michael says:

        I’m saying that the notion that it is one big, cynical ploy by the English elite to suppress scotland is wrong. If you travelled outside of Scotland you would quickly realise that. It’s a parochial view.

        I too decry the political class in the UK – but there is not a shred of evidence that an independent scotland would be any different. They are politicians after all. If oil creates the wealth predicted you would soon be moaning about the oil industries power.

        1. ” I too decry the political class in the UK – but there is not a shred of evidence that an independent scotland would be any different. ”

          We can vote them out of Holyrood as a group.

          We know where they live.

      2. Michael says:

        Muttley79: Why do you think a small nation like Scotland running its own affairs is parochial? Would you go to Norway and tell the people there they were parochial? Would you do the same with the Danes, Swedes, Irish, Belgium, all the small Eastern European nations? I really don’t now understand why you say that if you travelled outside Scotland you would realise this? All the other small nations in the world govern themselves. I don’t see why Scotland should be the inception.

        I don’t think it’s parochial. I said the view that the English deliberately subjugate the scots is.

    4. Peter Arnott says:

      I used the word “Cameron” The problem is the ruling elite. The Norman Yoke,Many of whom are Scottish. We get shot of them first. Then it’s your turn. I have lived and worked in London…and in the States and in Istanbul and…I am not being parochial. This is a way of being in the world, but as ourselves, as grown ups, no longer as irresponsible errand boys happy to take credit for the good bits and dodge the blame for the bad bits. Scotland being sovereign will make it a better neighbour.

      1. Michael says:

        I would like to agree but there is one problem – Scotland helped create the ruling elite. It has developed over 300 years with our complicity. Whisper it but there are times when it greatly benefited us – maybe you can argue right now it does not.

        To just decide scotland no longer has any responsibility for that is a regressive view in itself. We all have a duty to work together as one nation to create socially progressive ruling elite..

      2. muttley79 says:

        Michael: I’m saying that the notion that it is one big, cynical ploy by the English elite to suppress scotland is wrong. If you travelled outside of Scotland you would quickly realise that. It’s a parochial view.

        Why do you think a small nation like Scotland running its own affairs is parochial? Would you go to Norway and tell the people there they were parochial? Would you do the same with the Danes, Swedes, Irish, Belgium, all the small Eastern European nations? I really don’t now understand why you say that if you travelled outside Scotland you would realise this? All the other small nations in the world govern themselves. I don’t see why Scotland should be the inception.

    5. tartanfever says:

      Michael – ” You know and I know that Cameron agreed to the referendum in order to call Scotland’s bluff. To settle and silence the “Scottish question” for a generation.”

      ‘And there it is – the misguided, chip on the shoulder view, that England the big bully wants to subjugate this great nation.’

      I don’t see how you jump to that conclusion Michael, it appears that you are the one with the chip on your shoulder.

      We don’t regard England as a bully, we have a great affection for English citizens. It’s Westminster we have a problem with… oh , and the Daily Mail.

    6. David Fullstone says:

      I don’t think anyone is saying England as a whole. There are lots of Scots in England myself included. In fact I live just south of you. The divide being discussed is actually the same divide that exists in England. You see the English are always going on about the great North South divide but Scotland is never mentioned. I explain better further down but the cities you mention are North of the English divide where treatment by Westminster is similar to how Scotland is treated. Yes as you state we are in this relationship in a similar way to a marriage but to use an analogy this marriage is one where the husband goes out earns the money and spends it on himself and gives the wife just enough to get by on whilst reaping the benefits of being seen as a family man to the company. Yes we can get by but sometimes people want more. I would love to move North of Chester but I want to do more than just get by. I have lived in England for 25 years and worked all over the country and from vast experience have found that it is exponentially harder to do more than just get by the minute you move north of what the English call their own great divide roughly half way up England. It’s a Weatminster thing and to them the North of England and Scotland are out of sight out of mind. I want us to stay with England love the country actually but from experience an NO vote will leave things the way they always have. Vote Labour vote Tory it doesn’t matter the suits in London running things in the background will always keep the money and power down South of England not UK unless change happens.

  43. Peter says:

    How about crowd funding to see this distributed to every household.

  44. TheBabelFish says:

    Reblogged this on The Babel Fish and commented:
    Considering a ‘No’ vote? Or no vote at all? Urgent – Do not do so without first reading this. Peter Arnott tells it like it is.

    1. Do you know what confirmation bias is? I’m going around reading Yes propoganda against my view. You are going around reading Yes propoganda that supports your view.

      1. TheBabelFish says:

        Do I know what confirmation bias is? Haha, you clearly have no idea who you’re talking to. So let me explain. Confirmation bias is what happens when you come to an issue with a pre-conceived notion of what you WANT to be true, and so you take that pre-conception with you wherever you go and whatever you read. It is just as much at work when you dismiss something because it DOESN’T support your pre-existing beliefs. As you are doing.

        The best exemplars of confirmation bias are religious people. They believe what they want to believe about the nature of the universe, despite the evidence, and indeed in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. This is because they are incapable of distinguishing between the statements, “It is desirable that X should be true,” and, “X is true.” They simply don’t see the difference.

        I, on the other hand, came to the issue of Scottish independence without a pre-conceived, preferred outcome. I was genuinely open-minded. The thing is, I came to the issue 35 years ago. If I hadn’t reached a conclusion by now, I wouldn’t be much of an analyst, would I? And I did reach one, quite a long time ago now. Nothing has emerged in the last two years, if I’m honest, to seriously challenge that conclusion. Like a good rational, scientific thinker (son of an atheist engineer) I would review my conclusion if the evidence changed. It has not. It has mounted.

        So I am very comfortable with my conclusion, and therefore I don’t come to the present debate undecided, seeking an answer. I already know what I think and it is thoroughly buttressed in reason and logic, so I am prepared to campaign for it. Somebody has to fill that roll, we can’t all be undecided voters. Articles I re-blog, like this one, I re-blog because their authors have grasped what, as far as I’m concerned, are MY arguments, and said something I wanted to say. And said it well enough to save me the trouble.

        When I talk about the evidence though I’m not talking about articles like this one. This is an opinion piece. It isn’t pretending to be evidence of anything, it’s just Peter’s frank account of how he will feel in event of a ‘No’ vote. As it happens I think he eloquently expresses how I, and many other ‘Yes’ voters, will feel. ‘No’ voters need to understand this. Neither we, nor the issue, are about to go away. And everything I’ve learned over the last 35 years leads me to be convinced that if you vote ‘No’ you WILL regret it. Now, I have read a lot over the course of this campaign, on both sides of the argument. There’s an awful lot of opinion, an awful lot of conjecture, and an awful lot of unsupported assertions. On both sides. To challenge conclusions as robust as mine, however, would require evidence of a high standard. Peer-reviewed academic studies for instance. There have been precious few of those, but all have been favourable to the ‘Yes’ case, and all have borne out predictions I made years ago.

        So, as I said I am very comfortable with my conclusions. I hope you are too, because on September the 19th it’ll be too late to change your mind.

  45. I’m just as comfortable giving my permission to Westminster to do what they please than you are giving permission to Holyrood to do what they please. There’s zero evidence it will be any different, Promises are not evidence.

    1. MBC says:

      Could we do any worse?

      Sometimes you just have to make a break for it.

    2. Dr JM Mackintosh says:

      at least we will have the power to change it – which we do not have at present.
      I think it is called democracy !

    3. tartanfever says:

      Dear oh dear, what an engaged chap you are. Giving your Parliament permission to ‘do as they please’

      – illegal wars
      – draconian laws (anti-social behaviour bill etc)
      and so on.

      Westminster is a sovereign parliament over the people.

      A newly Independent Scotland will see a new constitution that recognises it’s citizens as sovereign, not it’s parliament.

      Thats a very important difference.

      1. Mike T says:

        And that means an independent Scotland won’t have any draconian laws? Those laws can just as easily be put in place within an independent Scotland, so I can’t see how this argument makes any sense on either side of the debate.

  46. Alan Ferrier says:

    As suggested by Helen Ross (‏@Tighnacoille on Twitter) I believe that this article, presented as an open letter to the people of Scotland, a crowd funded full page advert in all Scottish dailies would be a worthwhile project. I’m in. Who else?

  47. John Hutchison says:

    I recommend that you do a synopsis for the Agenda column in the Herald. Perhaps the Record too.
    Well done!

  48. douglas says:

    and how are the newspapers going to report all this as you said they voted for it,how are they going to fill there pages the daily record can hardly moan about what con/ukip are doing when they are in power they voted for it

  49. well,a terrifying future awaits those who dare to vote NO-a stream of obliquy and blame from the Yes camp.I wonder if,given it is possible there may be some positives from political union,they may be fair enough to apportion a little praise?Well, I haven’t ever attended a dinner party and I dont think I’ll be doing so if this is what is going on,no one invites me anyway, but a little calm here might be helpful.Politics is a skewed game and it doesnt always go the way of the “good,true and beautiful”-Im not in any of those-and if it does go badly disappointment is hard to contain.This time though is different.As one part of the article makes clear-all is changed and those changes and the desire for more are not just going to go away.Ohh sure there will be much Unionist crowing and sniping etc etc but I have supported Indy for over 30 years and this country now compared to,say,the 1970s is a vastly changed place. I havent ever seen so much engagement,not necessarily party based either,and so much discussion going on.All that has an effect.If not this generation then the next.I may be wrong but,IMO,these changes are deep.Consider the once mighty Slab.I remember their days of unchallenged rule and yet now,my parents,Slab to the core,are voting YES.That is not uncommon and damn yer daft “opinion” polls.Naw,take it easy I think.Cool,cool.If the unthinkable happens regroup and assess the situation and available opportunities.What is the alternative?Greetin intae yer linguine?dinner parties are supposedly generally placid affairs.Thats something that looks set to change too.

    1. innerbearsdenurchin says:

      Mine are more flaccid, or perhaps that is more me.

      Anyway, whilst I accept your stoicism and experience. We would be here without people like, living and gone, I live outside the UK, in France due to a complex of work, business and smug self satisfaction; cheaper wine, better food and better weather.

      If Scotland were to become independent, I would be back in an instant, and put my shoulder to the wheel to help you propel Scotland forward to a better future.

      I am actually the oldest living male member of my male line, at 65, and so whatever time I have left I may selfishly dedicate to redressing the flaccidity of my life.

      To be brutally honest, when I come home to Scotland, and my native Glasgow, Maryhill, I am saddened by what I see. I visited my niece and saw a local drug dealer, owner of a BMW and his minder an Audi TT Quattro, snorting cocaine in open view of a toddler.

      I could not imagine me living beyond that degradation, which I believe would be the natural consequences of a No vote; c. f. the descent into Hades of Scotland after Cameron / Osborne MK 1 (aka Maggie Thatcher).

      I don’t think I could control my anger.

      Instead I will slink off out of the UK, live out what I have left and somehow reconcile my conscience with what I have done.

      Dear God, have I become a Unionist politician.

      Please be it that Scotland votes Yes.

  50. Don says:

    Brilliant piece Peter. But WHY OH WHY did you have to spoil it with the use of expletives? I would love to share this with friends and family who – despite my best efforts at convincing them otherwise – seem determined to vote no. I know for a fact that they will get to the first use of the “f” word and switch off. And that would be a crying shame.

    1. Peter Arnott says:

      Don…sorry about the swearing…please feel free to cut and paste and censor…

  51. Ian McAllister says:

    I’ve been moved to make a comment. Brilliant thinking. If only we could make it go viral.

  52. innerbearsdenurchin says:

    I have buggered up, hence my name, a bit the grammar of the above post. There are a few periods missing or added and “not” missing as the second word of the first sentence but, in defence, it was typed from my heart and not my brain.

    I swear I am TT just now.

    1. Dear Mr Panda

      I’d better not presume to use your “Christian” name or it’ll get me on some sort of register, but I just wanted to say what a laugh the multi-layered symbolism of your name so frequently provides me with. I do hope that those not versed in Scottish imperial politics don’t make the mistake of thinking you’re being facetious. It’s brilliant.

      As for Madeline Bunting’s original post, she’s wrestling with what all this happening in Scotland means for English folks. I spent a little time with her before she went to the Hebrides. She wrote a very good book called “The Plot” about what a small piece of family land near Scotch Corner meant to her as a child. The issue is that this debate is painful for some English folks because it makes them realise what they’ve been deprived of, and that they currently lack the political consciousness to do what we’re doing.

      I read Madeline’s Guardian piece and see it as one face of the debate, and dearly hope she’ll represent other aspects of what she heard during her journey to the Hebrides in due course. Wake up, England! We’re not leaving you – join us.


  53. David Heffron says:

    I’ll come back here in 2016 and tell you I voted “No”.

  54. Well here I am a nationalist all of my life A SCOTTISH NATIONALIST to make it certain.If we lose our country then even in my decrepit state will have to seek life in a country that is willing to be a country.I could not endure the shame of my fellow Scots who think we should doff our caps,tug the forelock,or bend my knee to our lords and masters I cant do that.I have lived my life in the hope of independence take that away and I have nothing,no longer any hope of being a true Scotsman independent and proud to have my country.Have my country run by fellow Scots for the best of Scotland,what shall we be called? Northern Britain? Scotlandshire? the County of the Scot? will we be able to use the word ScotLAND will we have to remove “Land” from Scotland.Who could bear the pain and the shame? I suppose those who voted for personal greed or monetary gain.

    1. Charles of Clydebank. long time no speak.

      I have a wee problem of saying I am this or that in this debate. I describe as myself as positive for Yes, not a Nationalist, not a Patriot not a 90 minute supporter either.

      I dislike labels so, I decided that the best way to describe myself, is that I am a Spiltelist. (Copyright Ian Dury and Albert Einstein).

      That should confuse them.

  55. The only problem with this piece is that it’s absolute bollocks.

    We *have* a vote in UK elections. We *always* have had. We will *continue* to have.

    A No vote isn’t about ceding power to “Westminster”, it’s about *retaining* the power that each and every voter in Scotland has to influence the politics of the UK.

    Planning your bitter recrimination against people like me might be cathartic, but it’s idiotic.

    1. I don’t want to have the retention of that power over Westminster. We both know that is meaningless or have you not been reading and understanding the democratic deficit that is the UK political system.

      You could however Duncan, have a more direct input by moving to London?

      Silly, you would still be pissing in the wind there too.

      It is the system that is the problem, and its handmaiden cheerleaders.

    2. Don says:

      The problem with your position, Duncan, is that it is naive in the extreme.

      It is a simple arithmetical fact that half as many folk live inside the M25 as live in the whole of Scotland. Also there are 73 MPs within the M25 as opposed to 59 MPs in the whole of Scotland. This fact may well reflect the population share but it also bodes ill for anyone seriously thinking that the “Scottish” vote will have ANY MEANINGFUL INFLUENCE within the Westminster system. That person is seriously deluded.

      This fact is precisely why Mrs Thatcher was able to decimate Scottish industry in the 80s – she realised very quickly that she had nothing to lose in Scotland. She didn’t need Scottish votes and boy did she not make sure we found that out the hard way.

      We have a chance to make sure that doesn’t happen again. Lets make sure we use it or the nightmare scenario predicted in this article will not be a nightmare any more – it’ll be reality.

      1. settingfreethebears says:

        And then we’ll have Glasgow voters saying we did not get the Government we voted for as all the Embra folk voted for their preferred party or the Heilanders did or the Perthshire farming set. You can associate or dissociate with whomever you wish and blame that for your condition. Blame the English, Blame the colored folk, or blame the No voters at your next dinner party.

        How about improving the argument in favour of a genuine seperation. Offer me a Republic instead of a Monarchy and I will give your argument a serious listen. But don’t offer me a pig in a poke argument that we can deal with that kind of preference after independence is established.

        Just to be sure, I will refuse all dinner party invitations unless the host can assure me I will not be meeting with some Belladonist or Wings Over Scotland type who is going to blame me for the inadequacy of his or her appeal.

      2. Don says:

        @settingfreethebears: Taking that argument to its conclusion means that the folk in Easterhouse complaining that they didn’t get the government they voted for when the folks in Coatbridge voted for someone else. That is just a ridiculous argument.

        So your solution is that only London should get the government it votes for so we can all blame the same lot. Sorry, but I disagree profoundly with that line of reasoning.

      3. settingfreethebears says:

        To Don @ 17.27

        You may not have noticed but I did not present any solution. I merely pointed out that the democratic deficit argument can be distilled right down to street and household level. I cannot have purple windows because the neighbours would object. Quite right too, in my opinion.

        There is a lot of scaremongering going on here.

        Vote Yes or you’ll get UKIP

        Vote Yes or you’ll get Austerity Measures

        Vote Yes or you’ll get mean comments at your next dinner party.

        The assumption that a naive reader could leap to, is that these threats will all disappear in an Independent Scotland. I beg to differ and I do not see that as a very grown up analysis. So what might we get- a little less austerity than the English?? A Scottish right wing movement blaming the Europeans or immigrants now that the convenient English have departed??

        The article does not have a good analysis to begin with, of the reasons why there is an SNP Government but a No Vote majority. With such sloppy analysis, many false deductions are reached.

        My solution, if I can be allowed to state it for myself, is more of a position than a solution. We get the government we vote for in whatever associative state we ally ourselves to. Only those Scots who see themselves as solely Scots (or not English) and not as Brits accept the “logic” of democratic deficit with a national boundary mindset. The rest of us acknowledge that we have to live in a society with people who think differently to us, whether they be English, Welsh or from Salt’N’SauceLand.

        I have no problem in staying to fight with my English and Welsh family to prevent BNP, UKIP or right wing Tories from having undue influence. I have no confidence that, if I shrank my zone of concern to work between Dunnett Head and The Mull of Galloway, I would not have right wingers and racists to combat and argue with. Scotland will be as much at the mercy of these trends as are UK, Europe and any other conglomerate of peoples.

      4. Don says:

        @settingfreethebears: At least we agree that the democratic deficit argument can be distilled right down to street and household level. I accept that you didn’t provide a solution, but the logical conclusion to be drawn from that is that your solution is the staus quo in the hope – forlorn in my view – that the “Scottish” vote can really make a difference. History manifestly shows that this hope is vain so the only escape for Scots is to get away from the Westminster government and take on the challenge to make a better job of it ourselves.

        I’m not naive enough to think that the morning after independence there will be milk and honey flowing down the Clyde but the long term view is that those of us who live in Scotland are best placed to make the political decisions in the interests of our own country and not in the interests of a city 400 miles away.

        I’m personally not convinced of the “no-vote majority” as you put it. In fact, I would argue that there are very good reasons to argue that – despite the opinion polls – Westminster have already privately conceded defeat. Witness the cabinet re-shuffle the other day (in particular the appointment of the Scotland hating Priti Patel) and the steadfast refusal to publish a particular poll. Of course, they will never admit this but it is clear that Cameron’s sights are set on the 2015 election and not on preserving the union.

      5. settingfreethebears says:

        “but the logical conclusion to be drawn from that is that your solution is the staus quo in the hope – forlorn in my view – that the “Scottish” vote can really make a difference.”

        It really isn’t the logical conclusion.

        The capital can be anywhere- Glasgow, Embra, London, or Birmingham. The bigger population centres will still have the bigger number of votes. It isn’t rampant English nationalism that has led to a concentration of wealth and population in the Greater London area and SE generally, it is market forces.

        If you really wanted to reduce my argument to absurdium you could say I was arguing for a capital in the geographical centre of Europe (somewhere around Eastern Poland, Lithuania or Belarus) or for a One World Government (around 150 km southeast of Ankara).

        Anyways, if your rosy prognostication for the success of the Yes vote is based on a flimsy guess that a cabinet re-shuffle means acceptance of defeat, maybe you should check the prices on offer from those neutral arbiters, the bookies. You could clean up backing your hunch.

        My tip would be to distrust backing your hunch with cold cash. You are likely to need it whichever way the September vote goes. Neither Scotland nor Britain can escape market forces.

        1. bellacaledonia says:

          Wow, you get the prize for the most cynical nihilist post on Bella, ever. Well done. What does it feel like living in a world where nothing can ever change?

      6. John S Warren says:

        “Neither Scotland nor Britain can escape market forces”.

        Voting No quite obviously requires a naive faith in Britain’s ability to escape market forces; and probably a forlorn hope. Market forces are not setting our interest rates, but the Bank of England; and how long they can be held low and hold up the property bubble requires an exercise of considerable dexterity. One or the other will ‘go’; quite probably spectacularly. Both private and public debt in Britain is sustainable only with low interest rates that long term are not sustainable. Do you see the drift of this argument? Whatever Britain represents – it isn’t the “market”. Furthermore, and just as examples, there has been manipulation of LIBOR, investigations of forex trading – I shall not go on. The list of matters where the market either has not applied in the recent past, or does not apply in Britain today, is almost endless. Suffice to say that the idea that Britain’s economy today actually represents “market forces” at work is, frankly, preposterous.

        Ironically, if you actually believe what you write (and I do wonder whether you have simply been carried away by the vanity of your extended ‘argumentum ad absurdum’) you actually make our case for independence for us. The British ‘market forces’ model is dysfunctional and simply doesn’t work; the major underlying structural problems and systemic contradictions cannot be resolved. It is wise to move on. By all means stay behind.

      7. settingfreethebears says:

        To bellacaledonia


        An award from the editor himself! An insult without evidence, debate or argument. I am sorry you lowered yourself to that level but, as I have no idea who you are, I may find it difficult to feel that I am worthy of your award.

        I am a sceptic by nature but do not drift into cynicism nor nihilism. However, I do intend to make my stay on here a brief one so you may continue to have your beliefs unsullied.

        P.S. We will both be living in the same country after the September Vote, whichever way it goes, but don’t expect a dinner invite 🙂

        To John S. Warren

        You use an opening quote from me and then your first line seems to turn it on its head. Since I have stated that Britain will not escape market forces, how can my intention to Vote No betray a naive hope that Britain will escape market forces. Your argument only makes sense to me if you know, rather than believe, that Scotland will either escape or suffer significantly less damage from market forces than Britain will.
        I would say that the variables on which to make this prediction are largely unknown, since we do not have the terms for an agreed seperation as yet. Therefore, my best bet is that we will both suffer and that, even if I was motivated by self interest alone and a desire to see my English and Welsh friends suffer, there will not be enough difference between the economic fates of either entity to justify the upheaval.
        However, thank you for remaining polite whilst disagreeing.

      8. John S Warren says:

        “my best bet is that we will both suffer”

        This is your selected result; the logic of your argument. Forgive me, but this doesn’t seem to amount to much. All that polemic, to produce this? An unavoidable nullity? I must confess that this does seem to begin to approach the outer fringes of nihilism. Alternatively, perhaps your contribution was a mere exercise in rhetoric?

      9. settingfreethebears says:

        To John S. Warren

        As I promised to deprive BellaCaledonia of my own form of disagreement, I will make this my last reply to you.

        Saying that “we will bot suffer” is not an unavoidable nullity, and, therefore, does not approach anywhere near nihilism or cynicism.

        One entity may suffer less than the other and it may be worthwhile to suffer less but, as I said, under our knowledge of the current variables, it really is difficult to predict. My best bet is that Scotland is likely to suffer more from our combination of ageing population, distance from markets, and weak negotiating position in the divorce settlement. However, so many other important calculations have been left out of that simplistic list of variables.

        In leaving this site, I take full responsibility for any lack of impact or import in my observation, but I refuse to be defined as a nihilist or cynic because I gainsay the predominant view here.

        Good luck in September. I suspect you will need a lot of it.

      10. I have probably missed our fleeting, anonymous correspondent but lest he or she fleetingly returns (loftily to observe) I shall offer a reason why I am unconvinced by the argument presented. The statement is made by our anonymous correspondent that:

        “Your argument only makes sense to me if you know, rather than believe, that Scotland will either escape or suffer significantly less damage from market forces than Britain will”.

        “Know”. Did I read that our correspondent was a “Sceptic”? A sceptic. Now it is fundamental to philosophical scepticism that the claim to “knowledge” is problematic. If our correspondent wishes to examine my contention I strongly recommend that he reads Sextus Empiricus (as a preliminary to all the great sceptical thinkers). The claim to know, if I may say; as cavalierly expressed by our correspondent, is not one that I would expect a convinced sceptic to make at all; and certainly not to make in such assertive and if I may also observe, rather dogmatic terms (and from a sceptical or Pyrrhonistic perspective this sentence may fairly be described as dogmatic). I suggest that either he/she does not understand the nature of scepticism, or perhaps he/she felt obliged suddenly to make an appeal to knowledge, to escape the consequences of the logic of his/her case, or the inconsistencies in the underlying argument. This problem has dogged the whole Better Together campaign; which has fatally used the even worse term “certain”; which has proved a very, very bad mistake.

        Of course our correspondent will not read this reply, but I do not mind; but then, I profess to being a sceptic.

      11. settingfreethebears says:

        Did I? Aye

    3. Peter Arnott says:

      Are you REALLY saying that ANY British government is better than ANY Scottish government? Are you really saying that Scotland is not a political entity? Or are you just saying that democracy is too good for it – as “Scotland”?

      1. John S Warren says:

        “A No vote isn’t about ceding power to “Westminster”, it’s about *retaining* the power that each and every voter in Scotland has to influence the politics of the UK”.

        Actually the people of Scotland have very little “influence” on “the politics of the UK”. We are not a Federal state, and there is no likelihood that such a division of sovereign power will ever happen. Westminster politics as currently exercised in the UK serves London, the City of London and the Home Counties (very well indeed). Everywhere else has been allowed slowly to wither on the vine; since at least 1979. The Scottish people have slowly – and very, very reluctantly – realised this fact (there are longterm historical reasons for the slow gestation of this dawning realisation in Scotland that we may leave aside here), and the Scottish people have come to realise that there is no prospect of British politics materially changing in any foreseeable future, or Scottish voters materially influencing change to the political ‘status quo’, and especially the contemporary ideology of Britain in ways that would meet Scottish aspirations. It simply can’t be done, and that is just a plain fact.

        The Unionist parties no longer tangibly represent the values or the aspirations of a great swathe of the Scottish people; possibly a majority. Such a position is not sustainable in politics, and something must ‘give’. Scots have realised over the last fifteen years that it is time to approach the problem from the other end; to change the balance of power by other political means. This requires Scotland to take a tougher, more assertive line, and it is clear that this is effective; but only if it is followed through to the endgame. This is the nature of real, and not sham politics.

        Unfortunately Mr Hothersall appears simply to have missed the point of the referendum campaign altogether.

    4. MBC says:

      We have a vote but we don’t have power. Are you that dim that you can’t do basic maths? 8% of the population? 53 MPs?

    5. Duncan,

      have you watched a recent Scottish Questions in Westminster? It used to be the preserve of Scottish MPs with perhaps a handful of Scottish Tory MPs from down South. Nobody else bothered to turn up.

      I had the misfortune of watching one of these a few weeks ago. The house was packed with Tory and Labour MPs all lining up to put the boot into Scotland on every subject they could think of.

      Truly it was a very scary sight and a guide to the future for Scotland after a No. It did not look very like the promised “best of both world” and us all being “better together”.

      if you want to see the real “Project Fear” in action just tune into Westminster Scottish Questions after a No vote to see what I mean.

  56. Div Woods says:

    Brilliant. Exactly right.

  57. roddymacdonald2014 says:

    One of the best pieces on the indyref I’ve read so far.

  58. ticktock says:

    This article’s so powerful it’s even got worthless scum like Hothersall crawling out from the woodwork. Him and his ilk are terrified that this potentially gamechanging piece gets the exposure it deserves.

  59. mikeinkwazi says:

    Reblogged this on mikeinkwazi and commented:
    “for 15 hours in September, Scotland will be a democratic country,”

  60. Phil Robertson says:

    Touch of the “Project Fear” with this. Be scared of what you vote for!

    The main consequence that it fails to consider is what might change in rUK in the event of a No vote. In contrast to how things might change in Scotland, it is assumed that, elsewhere, the status quo will prevail.

    Other options exist, most likely an increased demand for further devolution to Wales and English regions. That is a better option than the SNP appetite for increasingly centralised governance. The Holyrood unicameral model is far less democratic than the (admittedly imperfect) Westminster model.

    So, Yes voters, be careful what you vote for!

    1. muttley79 says:

      How can you possibly argue that Westminster is more democratic than Holyrood, with the unelected House of Lords, and the first past the post voting system? What do you call London’s dominance in the UK as anything other than almost complete centralised governance? There is almost zero demand for the regions in England to be given any devolution.

      1. Phil Robertson says:

        “How can you possibly argue that Westminster is more democratic than Holyrood, with the unelected House of Lords,”
        I did say imperfect but the advantage of the HoL is that it is a second chamber that can scrutinise legislation. Holyrood has no such checks nor balances.

        “What do you call London’s dominance in the UK as anything other than almost complete centralised governance? ”
        Agreed that is true as far as the economy goes but England does not have centralised control of police and fire services nor the same central control of local government finances.

        “There is almost zero demand for the regions in England to be given any devolution.”
        Nor sure about that. There are already rumblings from Cardiff and there is an increased appetite for city majors.

        1. Attaboy Phil for toeing the party line.

          We know the hidden sub-text of your post. Let just bypass Holyrood and pass the goodies directly out to the large cities and conurbations. Then reduce the functions of Holyrood to that of tax raising. Perfect divide and rule tactics of the Imperial UK.

          No way!

          GDC, is the most corrupt local administration this side of Tamany Hall; from drug fueled leaders to nocturnal parking games, association with the marching men to help secure a sectarian vote and arms’ length service organisations where everybody at the top gets a nice little earner, off council books.

          No way!

          What you are proposing is anti democratic and designed to neutralise a democratic process which you detest. You dislike democracy and yearn for the days when the SNP did not expose your corruption and deliver the better level of democracy that the people deserve.

          We see straight through you now and can predict your every anti democratic move.

          The game is up.

  61. Andrew says:

    I like asking No voters one question:
    “Name me one thing Westminster has done in your lifetime which you are happy and proud of?”
    I have had no single response, not one. Try it.
    Asking questions is better than making statements, it makes everyone think. The more No voters who realise they can’t think of one single piece of evidence to support their argument, the better.

    1. Apol says:

      Announce the creation of a UK spaceport (with a high chance of it being in Scotland – along with jobs).

      1. Apol says:

        From a scientific and logistical standpoint some of the Scottish locations make sense.

      2. muttley79 says:

        @Bugger: GDC, is the most corrupt local administration this side of Tamany Hall; from drug fueled leaders to nocturnal parking games

        To be fair you were saying you wanted to get down and dirty with a female bear on another website a few days ago… 😀 😀

        1. A Finnish bear, she was.

      3. muttley79 says:

        @Bugger: You have not Fin/ished it with her have you? 😀 😀

    2. Sure Scot says:

      Devolution, tax credits, working families tax credits, entering EU, introduced minimum wage, bailed out our banks, maintaining a free NHS, maintaining a stable strong currency, not joining the euro, member of Nato, generous benefits system, negotiationibg Eu rebate and vetoes, lowering interest rates during banking crisis, etc, etc……..
      “What have the Romans ever done for us “.Lol

  62. Anne Gorman says:

    What a powerful piece of writing! Absolutely spot on and make no bones about it, I for one will remind everyone of those no voters about the fate they’ve ‘inadvertently’ planned for me and mine!

  63. Terry says:

    Hello all , very good article . I’m not Scottish but have a great interest anyway . I am an Irish nationalist living in the north of Ireland . The vote in Scotland obviously does concern me and everyone over here as well . While I support Scotlands right to independence there are consequences for us here . Without the labour MPs , if Scotland becomes independent , it seems to me inevitable that everyone else will be ruled by a continuing right wing government in London . If there is any chance a more lefty government would be elected then the unionists here would vote Tory . There is a myth that he UK is democratic . Like others have said on here most of the time Scotland voted Labour but is saddled with whatever government the English vote for . In the north of Ireland we can’t even vote for Labour as they don’t stand here . How’s that for democracy . Anyway this is about Scotland not Ireland . Good luck for a Yes vote even if it has a side effect of being ruled by Tories for the foreseeable future for the rest of us .

    1. Terry, the direction Scotland takes has a marginal effect on the overall UK result.

      That is part of our argument, we get whatever the SE of England wants.

      I wish N I luck after we have gone but staying to help the rest of the UK out would be voluntary assisted suicide, not solidarity.

      If the good people of the rUK do not want right wing governments then all they have to do is vote for it in sufficient numbers.

  64. Juteman says:

    What most Scottish democrats see as a nightmare scenario if we vote No, Britnats like Dunc see it as the natural order of things. Local democracy is a virus to be wiped out.
    Britain uber alles.

  65. hamish says:

    Seems that Mr Arnott has accepted that the delusions of the Socialist Republic of Alba will never rise. Thank the gods for small mercies. If this vote had won in the 1950s maybe. just maybe, we might have had the political & intellectual capital to make it happen, now we have a bunch of second-rate wannabes all looking to showboat on the flotilla of European submission – so be it. Seems such a shame that a country that virtually invented the 20th Century wants to do a 180 and march merrily back into servitude.

    1. Juteman says:

      Hamish? Really?
      Were you given that name to use by your handler? 🙂

      1. UKIP arises and arrives.

    2. muttley79 says:

      The personification of the Scottish cringe in action! Well done.

  66. wullie says:

    Only those who deep down see themselves as a child of Thatcher will vote no. For that is what they are .

    1. Sure Scot says:

      I didn’t know that Carol and Mark will be allowed to vote?

  67. Dr Ew says:


  68. Apol says:

    So much scaremongering! The UK has problems, for sure. Voting No doesn’t mean you accept them, it means we want a chance to fix them for the benefit of 50 million rather than 5 million. If you have given up on Westminister, fine. Doesn’t mean we all have.

    1. See the other side of Hell, when we can ice skate together.

    2. bellacaledonia says:

      I’ve lived my whole life listening to that nonsense, I don’t intend to die listening to it.

      1. Apol says:

        I’m surprised that with this renewed sense of political activism in Scotland that people are so dismissive of their ability to alter the party system of this country. With countless armchair campaigners our voices can carry weight far outside of local districts and can be on par with mainstream media. As much as I disagree with a lot of the content, this blog and Wings OS are demonstrating this.

      2. muttley79 says:

        Yep, all we get are more Tory or Tory lite governments, in thrall to the City of London, and intervening with America in conflicts around the world.

    3. Juteman says:

      Please tell me how we can change Westminster, Apol. I’m genuinely interested.
      As far as I can see, we have the choice of two governments. A Tory government that is determined to end the gains made for ordinary folk, the poor, the disabled and the disadvantaged, or a Labour government promising to be even more ruthless.
      At least with a Labour government, folk can be sure that no illegal wars will happen, so that is nice.

      1. Jute,an, remember the Troll who was always apologising (Apol ?) and said he had no friends.

        He is back on Bella

        I am going to ignore him. Waste of time exchanging.

      2. Apol says:

        As much as I disagree with them, UKIP seem to be proving minority parties can become more dominant. Surely a party with decent policies could do even better?

        This doesn’t just apply to Westminster. Currently the Scottish Parliament is dominated by Labour and the SNP. I might be wrong but i’m guessing the changes you want are wealth redistribution, fairer pay, good public services etc? Most of us do. I don’t think either of the two main Scottish parties are offering enough in this regard.

        What we need for change in either parliament (or referendum outcome) is campaigning, the level we are seeing for the referendum is what we need for any hope of change.

      3. Apol says:

        Actually Apol is short for Apollo. Never been on this site before, Sorry you cant take opposition to your opinion.

  69. Barry morrison says:

    Excellent bit of writing,couldn’t put it better myself !!

  70. Robert Dickson says:

    Ye gods man, you can’t half blather. You lost my interest a third of the way through. Talk to me about what Scotland can offer instead of poor we downtrodden me. You are pathetic and to think that someone like you gets to vote , and I don’t because I live in England. PS Can you say that word – England

  71. Marian says:

    Call me cynical if you will but I think that when the people of Scotland realise their mistake for voting NO they will be encouraged by the Labour Party in Scotland and its media chums to blame the SNP’s holding of the referendum for upsetting the balance of power.

    There’s a saying that history is always written by the victors and if there is a NO vote, the media’s written history of the referendum will not be the one that we in the independence movement recognise.

  72. derekduval says:

    This lost my attention at this point. “David Cameron agreed to it too. Now why do you think he did that? Because he is a friend to democracy, perhaps? Surely only a very small minority of No voters believe that. No. You know and I know that Cameron agreed to the referendum in order to call Scotland’s bluff” its like me saying Alex slamond only wants this independance to put himself in the history book. Lazy writing

  73. Juteman says:

    Point taken Bugger, so last comment.
    UKIP haven’t proven that ‘minority parties can become more dominant’, Apol. All the UKIP story has proved is that any bunch of right wing nutters can gain status if the BBC/British State decides it suits their purpose.

  74. Blair paterson says:

    Mr., Agnew says Alastair darling something about it is crap to be Scottish how would he know he is English born in London darling I mean

  75. velofello says:

    @ Duncan H: words, just ill-thought through words you have posted here.

  76. Jock Mactavish of the Clan Mactavish says:

    i read a paragraph then switched off. I’m a No voter and proud! If we leave the Union, we are DOOMED i tell you, DOOMED!!

    1. Jo says:

      Doomed?? Tell me you’re joking, right?
      Best regards from Jo,

  77. K Dizzle says:

    Of course you would have Scotland aspire to be a welfare state, totally pathetic want for your country. How about people get off their ass, stay in school, have families that they can support and find success on their own.

  78. tom mcguire says:

    Excellent piece. However, if it’s no, it won’t be no forever

  79. scottishsd says:

    Reblogged this on Swaying to the Left and commented:
    Absolutely fantastic piece.

  80. Peter Arnott says:

    Thanks everyone for the replies. It is very interesting and slightly bewildering that this particular polemic has taken ethernet wing…

    Anyhow, it is all, of course predicated on whether or not one accepts “Scotland” and its electorate as a political entity or not. And it is a perfectly coherent logical position that it doesn’t (The same logic applies to all nation/states of any size, by the way – the point is that a “nation ” is something in which people identify an agency for themselves within the larger unit. Which is what is undeniably happening in Scotland…and may or may not happen in Shetland…or my house…

    Turns out Tam Dalyell was right all those years ago when he identified devolution as a slippery slope. One there was an established democratic mechanism for mandating the government of Scotland as a specific place …once agency and democracy are invested in THIS polity…then hang the “recovery” of Auld Scotia…you’re on your way to inventing a nation from the ground up – and what could be better and more empowering than that.

    The simple rhetorical trope being that if you accept that a) Scotland IS a polity and b) democracy is the best way to run a polity, then you have to vote Yes.

    To vote No from CONVICTION, you have to be convinced that either Scotland is not a polity or that democracy is somehow inappropriate for it.

    The particular point of the piece is that we are well past the possibility of a return to status quo ante…that a No vote will also precipitate and cement changes already under way. . I really believe that a Yes vote will begin the disintegration of the power of that elite over everyone in these islands. I really believe they will use a No vote to entrench what English radicals used to call “Old Corruption”

    Finally, I had hoped it didn’t need saying any more, but it clearly does: an independent Scotland for me, for many of us, is a means to an end. And genuine equity and genuine living “better together” on all these islands is the name of that aim.

    The “they” I refer to is the British elite, who batten on all of our necks. And they are, as has been pointed out, disproportionately Scottish to some degree.

    Self rule is a project for everyone everywhere. The Yes campaign is part of what is happening globally. I’ve seen it. In the States, in the Arab world, in Turkey. Self -rule in the 21st Century begins with the individual, then we pool that autonomy in associations like trade unions and neighbourhood clear up schemes…or countries…nation states…or associations of nation states…as we, as sovereign individuals deem moist most effective and most democratically accountable. For me, right now, the United Kingdom of Great Britain scores very badly on these counts. I am hopeful that we can be better and do better…all of us…if we first decide to rule ourselves.

    1. Peter Arnott says:

      There are other more detailed bits and bobs on the above on my blog and elsewhere on Bella. http://peterarnott.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/dinner-with-no-voters-or-what-i-wanted.html

    2. MBC says:

      You have really hit the nail on the head by exposing the complacency and middle class hubris of the No voters you have encountered. I doubt though that many of these people would deny that Scotland is a nation. They just refuse to shoulder any responsibility for the fact of being a nation. They are happy being ruled by others and the fudge position we have now, whereby we have a faux nationhood in Scottish divisions of UK departments like education or the NHS (‘the best of both worlds’). What does that make them? Weak? Rotten to the core? Or simply duped?

      Some respondents have responded with anger towards these No voters, and have vowed reproach. You do too. Yet I think it s fair to point out the huge amount of lies, fear and propaganda put out by the unionist establishment.

      1. Peter Arnott says:

        Absolutely right. I allowed being smiled at complacently to influence my rhetoric…

    3. Gordon Jackson says:

      This article for me (and as a No voter, it’s really aimed at people like me, after all) doesn’t provide much reason for me to switch sides. I personally have no love of the Tories, austerity or any of the rest of it, but the thing about an issue like independence is that it’s fundamentally complex. There are countless different factors that can be weighed up and lead to a different opinion. Instead of operating from the standpoint that everyone on the other side is simply misguided, it would be a better idea to recognise that people can view the issue from different perspectives and legitimately arrive at a different opinion. You won’t convince anyone with self-righteous lecturing on how the sky is going to fall in if they dare to make the wrong choice, you have to approach people as equals and reason with them on their own merits.

      You’ve made a statement here, for instance, that to vote No is either to deny the existence of Scotland as a polity or to deny that Scotland should have democracy. But that’s completely at odds with what most of the No voters I know believe in. We believe that Scotland is different and should have devolution in most areas that affect our lives, but that the integrated nature of the UK means that certain areas should still be determined at a UK level (or will be determined at the UK level whether we like it or not). Examples of this would be the regulation of the economy in areas like services (which aren’t covered by the EU), having a currency union which allows us to pool our reserves when we access the bond markets (this would also imply some form of fiscal co-ordination), large-scale infrastructure projects that affect the whole of the UK’s economy, and various other areas where it simply makes sense, on a logistical level, to have UK-wide decision-making.

      There’s nothing undemocratic about that. In fact given most of these areas will still be de facto determined at the UK level whether we’re independent or not, it’s undemocratic from my perspective for Scotland not to have representation in those decisions. I don’t want to be a supposedly independent country that’s tied by a currency union to a foreign parliament we no longer have any representation in. That’s not democracy in my book.

      I don’t expect anyone to agree with that – both sides’ views are so entrenched at this point that it’s hard to change anyone’s mind – but we can at least respect each other’s right to have a legitimate difference of opinion on the issue. Creating a narrative under which No voters are either misguided, or selling the country down the river, or making a historic mistake that they should be hounded for until they die doesn’t do anyone any favours.

      1. Jock Mactavish of the Clan Mactavish says:

        Couldn’t agree more. The thing that gets me about Yes voters is that they think that anyone voting No is making their decision without knowing the facts. Its a bit like people who have religious beliefs, they seem to think that non-believers just don’t get it.
        I am not one of Thatchers children, and as such that is not a basis of their argument. I don’t think that in two years i will regret voting no. The comment earlier about No voters are just too middle class is ridiculous as well.
        The fundamental thing for me is that their is too many unanswered questions that have not been answered as yet by the YES camp, that have had years to work them out such as currency, taxation, regulation to name but a few. The fact that these issues have still not been answered with less than 2 months to go is key for me.
        This is not a blame issue what you vote for, its a matter of choice. Leave it at that.
        I am happy in the Union, and with the Union and as a result will vote No in September.

      2. MBC says:

        These are fair points, and this Yes voter certainly acknowledges that many (probably most) No voters are approaching this in sincere good faith. And can’t be reproached for that. They cover a spectrum. Some are Brit Nats who are irritated by the mere presumption of Scottish separateness, others, like Armott’s dinner party guests are merely complacent about the status quo which they think is good, (naively, in my opinion) imagine they are voting to preserve it, and think will continue. Others are duped by all the scare stories and are too timid to do anything else. Then there is the unfortunate numpty factor in Scottish politics, whereby you could put a red rosette on a dug and it would get in, in some parts of Scotland. So they will just toe the Labour party line. But others, like yourself, are thoughtful and generally impartial, but simply note the degree of integration that has already occurred and consider that there will need to be areas of continuing co-operation, like in services and currency. I agree.

        My question to you is why on earth do you suppose that this co-operation is going to end if we vote Yes? Why is this a reason to vote No? A lot will continue, just as it does between Denmark, Norway, and Sweden, now independent states, but once bound together as a single polity under the Kalmar Union. The point is that post-Yes we will be negotiating in these shared areas from a position of strength in international law as an equal nation (equality in international law does not recognise differences in wealth, population size, or territory) whereas as a constituent part of the UK were are merely a region with 8% of the population, and a with a similar amount of clout, politically.

        A second reason for voting Yes, is that the UK is in poor shape financially and politically. Therefore tough decisions need to be taken, and our 8% political and voting stake does not buy us much influence. Though tough decisions need to be taken, ‘there is more than one way to skin a cat’ and why should policy in such areas be made by a UK majority which represents the largest country, England, with its different circumstances and political culture? How is that fair to us? If we need to cut welfare costs, why do it via stupid policies like the bedroom tax? Why introduce things like prescription charges which yield as much money as is expendended in their collection? Pretty pointless exercises both of them.

        UK is not (as some believe) a unitary state, but a ‘union state’, a composite entity of several nations which has largely respected until now the distinctiveness of the component parts or nations. But as austerity bites, and the mood of the political class at Westminster changes with respect to the revolt of the Scots, I think Peter Arnott is right to fear that devolution is no longer welcome and will be progressively eroded. I think he is absolutely spot on to say that a No vote carries a moral hazard and it is NOT, in truth, a vote for the status quo, as those who are voting No believe.

        He is right to raise this issue of the political and constitutional uses to which a No verdict could be put. Especially if, as seems likely, the 2015 general election returns Cameron to power.

      3. Peter Arnott says:

        Thank you Gordon, for the best put case for the Union I’ve read. (That is, the least distorted by “apocalypse the morra” or “love yous”) Thank you also MBC for refuting what you say. Ultimately, this comes down to autonomy and agency, starting at the level of the individual and radiating through a nest of levels, or hierarchies. We should be self-governing in principle , I think, as individuals, and follow principles of “pooling” that self government into the forms that are A) effective and b) accountable…The positive argument is . or should be, about how best to do that for all the peoples of these islands. I think that what we have now is creaking, corrupt, mired in pessimism and culturally bankrupt. I think we can do better…but we need to START with the individual citizen and radiate sovereignty outward on a newly agreed subsidiarity…You think that’s the UK…I don’t. I think all the pressure has been on Yes to prove a hypothetical. The intention of the article was to put a spotlight the other way…anyway…good to hear from you.

  81. chicmac says:

    Within two years of a No vote, if it happens, my guess is 80% of those who voted no will:

    1 Deny they voted No.

    2 Be the most vociferous group demanding another referendum.

    However we should remember to blame the dupers, not the duped.

    IMO any obligation to honour a commitment to defer another referendum for a generation has long since been forfeited by the mendacity of the mainstream media/political cabal’s use of distortion, lies and omission.

    How can we be expected to accept a result when so many examples will soon become clear?. It will make the true oil value cover-up seem almost benign.

    If they try to rig that by making another referendum impossible then I believe that the party which stands with unilateral independence as their no 1 aim, would win.

    A no vote will, therefore, only be a temporary hiatus, another year or two gained for London rule, nothing more.

  82. susie says:

    A Nuclear free green Scotland ,and for an arguement DR PHILLIPA WHITFORDs speech to women for independence. MOST NO VOTERS HAVE NOT HAD TIME TO DO THEIR HOMEWORK OR ITSALL ABOUT PERSONAL WEALTH which of course it is not.

  83. JK says:

    Vote NO – you know it really makes sense.

  84. MBC says:

    Arnott may be a playwright, not a lawyer, but his ‘moral hazard’ argument has identified something of absolutely enormous legal and constitutional significance. The constitutional and legal implications of a No vote will be that Scotland has at last agreed it is not a sovereign country and has no wish to be. The fact that No voters were duped into voting No by a combination of complacency over the supposedly liberal benign nature of the UK (‘we can have the best of both worlds’) hollow promises over more devolution and scare stories over independence will not be any legal defence. Scotland will have spoken and its No will be read as it having ceded sovereignty.

    They will have fallen into the trap Cameron has sprung for them.

    Expect more attempts to remove areas of traditional Scottish autonomy in the wake of a No vote such as in sport or education or the NHS. We can expect less autonomy not more.

    1. Peter Arnott says:

      Thank you. Well put.

      1. MBC says:

        Historically we have argued up to now that the Treaty of Union is unfair because it was concluded by a handful of toffs under pressure from the Crown during a major global war, (War of the Spanish Succession) toffs who were also duped by promises of honours and money, and that it’s result is unrepresentative in a democratic age, but if No wins we will no longer be able to question the validity of the Treaty.

        At the time the people of Scotland were wholly opposed to the Treaty – but they didn’t have a vote. Historians estimate 90% of the population. There were angry scenes in Edinburgh during the passage of the act. Queensberry’s coach was pelted with dirt as he travelled up the Royal Mile to the Parliament (off St Giles – now a court house) and there were fears of riots, assassinations and revolution breaking out. Troops were sent to the Borders in case a revolution resulted, waiting to be put into action. More were on standby in Ireland and on the continent.

        But if No wins ‘the people’ will now at long last, after 307 years, have spoken. So that will no longer be an argument. The ‘people’ will have ceded their supposed sovereignty, just as the toffs did 307 years before.

        But unlike the Treaty, which built in safeguards for key Scottish institutions, like law, religion, local government and education, the Referendum is an entirely open ended question with no safeguards built into it all – which is the trap, the ‘moral hazard’ that your piece so eloquently highlights.

        The institutions which were preserved by the toffs in 1707 have enabled a sense of Scottish nationhood to continue as a ‘stateless nation’ (Dave McCrone). These safeguards have given your dinner party guests a sense of complacency. And they take them for granted. Scotland will continue, right? As a ‘stateless nation’ or ‘civil soviety’. Wrong! Key amongst those institutions is education. Scotland favours ‘the democratic intellect’ of the broad-based philosophy of education (like most of the continent) but England (almost uniquely) favours early and narrow specialisation. Thus we have Highers and they have A levels.

        But Gordon Brown has identified this last bastion of Scottish separateness, and has advocated a single education system for the UK in his latest book. He claims a survey of 14-17 year olds favour this.

        It had often been spoken of, as ‘completing the Union’, ending the separate status of Scottish institutions like its education system, a vital part of our Scottish identity, and turning the ‘union state’ into a unitary state, with the exact same institutions the length and breadth of the country, all controlled from London.

        But if we vote No, I think you are totally correct in your estimation that these comfort blankets of residual Scottishness will go. ‘Completing the union’ will now be the policy of UK governments but they will try to accomplish this by stealth, drip, drip, so that we don’t notice or are powerless to resist because the changes will be so incremental.

        Your article is totally spot on. And I want to thank you for articulating this ‘moral hazard’ so clearly.

        I hope the detail I provide here amplifies your case.

      2. Peter Arnott says:

        Your contributions on this thread are terrific.

  85. A Northumbrian for Democracy says:

    Fantastic article, and I echo the comments of those above that this is one of the best commentaries in the referendum debate.

    I think Scottish voters only need to look over the border to the North East of England to see what Westminster does after a No vote. After voting No to a regional assembly in 2004, social and economic conditions have steadily got worse, and it is one of the English regions most affected by austerity. Please learn from their mistake – Westminster takes “No” to mean “do what you want” (in fact we should really call this a ‘yes’ versus ‘do what you want’ vote). North Easterners had nothing to lose by voting Yes, and have lost so much by voting No.

    Labour voters in particular should reflect on what a no vote means, a no vote means accepting that a Tory UK government in Westminster is preferable to a potential future Labour government of an independent Scotland.

    A Northumbrian for Democracy

    1. MBC says:

      Great points. Wish you well. It is anecdotal, but I think Scottish devolution has already benefited the NE of England, as there is a lot of construction work going on in Edinburgh, and I see Geordie firms doing the building work and frequently hear Geordie accents. Edinburgh continues to boom, with nearly 1000 new residents every week.

      1. A Northumbrian for Democracy says:

        There is a long affinity between North East England and Scotland, and the former would probably benefit from Scottish Independence (e.g. the Borderlands initiative, increased economic growth north of the Border etc). Westminster *might* (i mean ‘might’) also be a bit nicer to the English regions after independence – but that is a bit hopeful. More crumbs I expect.

        Unfortunately, at the end of the day the North East was given the option of some self determination, and voted no. So they did sign up for whatever the Westminster system chooses to do. Scottish voters should reflect on this. While there has been a lot of scrutiny on the yes campaign to answer hypotheticals about Independence, I don’t think there has been enough scrutiny of the hypotheticals of a successful no vote (the more powers debate is a red herring – they are not on ballot paper). In particular, Labour has not been pushed on a future where they are not in power in Westminster. Labour involvement in Better Together seems predicated on the assumption that they will win in the 2015 general election. What if they don’t?

  86. Ali Duncan says:

    The argument here is that Independence will give Scotland a choice, a more accurate representation of what the Scottish voters request on the important matters. The issue with this argument is that for that choice, a number of options are required. Voting for independence could mean that the ability to choose is taken away completely as Scotland stumbles headlong out of Britain, out of the EU, in thee meantime losing countless businesses to more stable and better funded grounds. Pinning hopes on such optimism as a prosperous independent Scotland is too great a risk. No should be the vote until a realistic future can be promised. Right now that future is 1 million miles away.

    Also, the reason that I as a No voter dislike the prospect of a referendum is not just a wish that we could of back to how it was, not messing with a system that works. The effect of the referendum has already damaged Scotland, businesses are leaving our small country “just in case” independence actually happens. Businesses that are funded by the Britain and the EU. Researchers are leaving our capital in droves, as the prospect of an independent Scotland with no promise of future funding is something that nobody wants.

    If you think you Yes voters will be smug after a result of No, it will be NOTHING compared to how us No voters will feel after a Yes vote and all of Salmond’s empty promises fall woefully short and we say hello to a new recession.

    1. Ali, Jock and Gordon – I am a Yes voter, but I very much appreciate these No responses. Whatever future we wake up to on 19th Sept it is our mutual humanity that will determine how it works out on the ground, and unless each side has listened respectfully to the other and engages in debate then that humanity and with it, Scotland, will be diminished. It is therefore very good to see this debate happening here on Bella and would that there were more of it.

      For me, it is not about currency, or the EU, or whether we’ll be richer or poorer with the oil. It is about getting the government we voted for, about Scotland being a sovereign democracy for the first time ever. I worked 4 years in PNG in a place where there were land disputes because it had been “sold” by chiefs in colonial time for a bundle of axes. When I read the history of 1707 that’s what it looks like to me and why, although we’re not a colony, it does feel like it at times (especially in one of my major areas of work, land reform).

      I wouldn’t have fussed about that old history too much had it not been for our 2 recent wars and the decision to replace our local weapon of mass destruction. Where i live there’s a lot of poverty, intergenerational, and it’s tragic to reflect that this is an area where the heavy industry was deliberately broken in the Thatcher era, while the oil alternative, as in Aberdeen, not developed on the west coast seemingly because of MOD concerns about submarine routes (look at any marine chart, and it’s shocking how much of the west coast is designated for submarines). Yes, I know, low productivity was the main reason why the Clyde’s shipbuilding was contracted down to a few war contracts, but why were labour relations so bad in post-war Britain? Might it have been anything to do with the entrenched social class system that imposed a ruling class, instead of a communitarian basis of operating?

      The oil bothers me because i feel strongly about climate change. At the same time, we all use the stuff, it’s got to come from anywhere, and that being so I’d rather see it being used to relieve poverty in Glasgow or Dundee than lining the pockets of propped up mid-East non-democracies.

      I respect your Unionist sentiments. There has been solidarity, and I trust that will continue just as it does between other sovereign EU countries that have seamless borders. But I urge you to consider values beyond the pragmatic. Of course our political representatives (and not just Salmond) can’t give answers on many economic issues at present because the Unionist side in London aren’t going to yield that ground unless they’re pressed to by a Yes vote. And if there is a Yes vote, it will be in both sides’ interests to work, not for a United Kingdom in the sense of parliamentary union, but most certainly, for what my late friend Colin Macleod of Govan used to call a United Kindred.

      If you feel strongly to the contrary, vote No. If you have doubts, please consider abstaining. I will not presume to insult your intelligence by blindly urging you to vote Yes. And thank you all, again, for sharing your views here.

      1. Sure Scot says:

        Dear oh dear!
        Asking for No voters to abstain from voting in the referendum – I have heard this a few times from Yesers – absolutely shocking!
        This seems to be the Yes campaigns best hope – a poor turnout to get their dream of Independence – not very democratic is it!

    2. Peter Arnott says:

      Hi Ali

      Thank you for engaging so seriously with this. I respect your grounded, realistic approach. But I think you think too little of our neighbours, both in England and elsewhere.

      Do you really think we will cease to trade as an independent nation? Do you really think we will be punished? Do you really think that if we have a democratic mandate for self government, that will not be respected, in Europe and elsewhere? There is a promise by David Cameron to respect the result and work in the interests of both nations? Was he lying? If he was lying about that, do you trust him on everything else?

      Do you think there’s going to be some kind of resentful trade war or something?

      My experience with people, as opposed to politicians, is that Europeans (including English ones) are curious, rather than hostile. And they know about UKIP…

      This mass disinvestment and exodus you speak of? Is that anecdotal? Have you seen it? I haven’t seen it. I haven’t seen it reported anywhere.

      I think people are nervous, risk averse, change averse. I also think a No vote will mean change, as I wrote in the piece. I think the risk averse should keep that in mind.

      I don’t think you think we can’t…I think you think that other people will make it tough. And you are right to say that we live in an interdependent world where everything effects everyone else.

      But I would have thought that that interdependence is an argument for MORE localised democratic accountability, not less. For more flexibility of action, not less. The UK and its relationship with Europe and the rest of the world has good points and bad…I’m not an antinomian nutter…but I don’t think its tenable any more for me or for us to abjure any identifiably Scottish role in the world when I think it is the rUK that has changed and left us behind in so many ways. I have felt for years not so much like leaving as that we were being left.

      I think, finally, that a Yes vote will both recognise reality and create the democratically mandated polity that can deal with that reality. I don’t think it will be nirvana. But it will be a place for grown ups. And I am tired and sometimes a little irritated by our long, long childhood. Thanks for writing.

      1. susie says:

        and I live beside faslane and there is nothing scarier than that,where multiple myeloma statistics and 5 times the national average and every second person here has at some time suffered cancer.This is an abomination where we are out powered in every way ,where it costs £450,000 a week to care for our nuclear stash and our beautiful old buildings are razed to the ground to make way for more concrete MOD jungle without planning permission. I have 3 children and I am scared NOT to vote YES.

      2. Mark Forrester says:

        Not quite true to say it’s rUK which has changed and left Scotland. Scotland has changed politically and moved leftward in the wake of industrial decline. rUK has moved right in the same period, but not all of it by any means. Wales and the North are in the same post-industrial boat as Scotland.

        In an ideal world South East England would have had the independence referendum leaving the rest of us united.

  87. Neil Collins says:

    This article neatly distills all that is wrong with the ‘yes’ argument onto one piece. I know that isn’t the author’s intention, but nevertheless, he has done an excellent job of it. The basic thrust of the argument seems to be ‘we hate what Westminster is doing, so let’s set up on our own, and do things our way.’ It sounds very attractive until you actually think about it. I might as well declare at this point that I live in England, not Scotland, and don’t therefore have a vote, although I do have family in Scotland. There are many of us in England who detest the policies of the Tory government every bit as much as the the writer of this piece does. I would ask all left-leaning people in Scotland currently intending to vote ‘yes’, to remember that socialism, environmentalism and all other progressive creeds have always been internationalist doctrines, and have always seen international frontiers as artificial barriers to achieving a better world. That’s why we tend to support the EU, for all its flaws. It’s a bigger platform in which to bring about change for the better. Socialism in one country wasn’t exactly a glittering success last time, was it?

    1. MBC says:

      But you really need to get your act together in England if you care about these things. If you did, there would be more votes for progressive causes. There would be more of a challenge posed to Tories. You are too complacent. You need to campaign more actively. Like Arnott’s Labourite dinner party friends you don’t blame yourselves enough for this outcome. You blame it all on the Tories, and their voters, as if the Tories getting in had nothing at all to do with your political inertia. You are just too comfortable.

      Why do you expect the 8% of us in Scotland to hold a line that you in England, as 92% of the UK electorate, have failed to hold?

      1. I must say, I agree with you there MBC. I was down in Somerset a few months ago and was in a home where the issue of our referendum came up, and they were all asking: “Why don’t we get a say? Why can’t we have our own parliament in England with free prescriptions, higher education, etc?” I said: “Who do you vote for?” They mostly voted Conservative, because he’s such a good constituency MP, and that’s just what’s normal round there. I said: “Well we voted otherwise, that’s how Scotland’s different, and if you want what we’ve got you maybe need to think about your own radical traditions, and your own acquiescence with the very status quo about which you’re envious of Scotland not having.”

      2. MBC says:

        Exactly. I stand by my words (below) that though it can be hard to accept it, ultimately people do get the quality of democracy they deserve.

        Where I have some sympathy is that things do tend to change rather incrementally over time, so often people fail to notice the warning signs.

        But there comes a time when you just have to look reality square in the face and see that values have changed utterly. And you and your complacency have been part of that transformation.

        Then it’s time to change you vote. And be less passive politically.

    2. Mark Forrester says:

      Wholeheartedly agree.

      There is absolutely no guarantee as to the political makeup of future iScotland parliaments and governments. No guarantee that politics may swing to the right. No guarantee that Scotland will have the funds to pursue a progressive policy agenda. No guarantee that Scotland will be able to come up with a political class / system free from the corrupting and self-serving influence of the major international corporations which own the assets on which the Scottish economy will depend.

      In this globalised economy corporations don’t see borders any more, goods, capital and people flow freely across them. Drawing new borders inhibits the ability of labour (small l) to unite and provide a counterbalance to the ever increasing consolidation of power and influence in international corporations and the politicians they own. In 2014 the concept of nationalism seems anachronistic whilst splitting up one of the globes biggest and least progressive nations appears a retrograde step, a step, which will stymie the influence of workers as they become fragmented. All this in an iScotland which may end up with a corporate controlled elite in Edinburgh instead of Westminster.

      And yet and yet…what option do we have? Vote NO and there is no chance for positive change, vote YES and there may be a slim chance. History has shown us that progressive change must be taken, it is never given. Only threats to the establishment generate irresistible pressure for change, whether it be in the aftermath of war or in fear of revolution. It pains me to say it but breaking up the union is the only such chance we have.

  88. Louisa Young says:


  89. Proud scot says:

    The one fundamental problem I have with this article is that it’s based on the premise that everything a government does when it is in power is automatically the fault of the voters that put them there. I reject this completely. How many people (and by that I mean in the UK as whole) of all political persuasions were opposed to the Iraq war but the government took action anyway. By the logic of the above article this is the fault of the labour voters that put them in power because ‘they voted for it’. Regardless of whether you vote yes or no, it does not automatically mean you agree or condone all the actions of the resulting government. You vote to put a government in power or change a governmental structure in the hope that the resulting government will take actions that reflect what you think is right for your country. This is of course a very broad way of looking at it but you only need to ask your average yes supporter to see that this is true. Therefore to hold anyone, regardless of whether they vote yes or no, responsible for every tiny action that occurs as a result of that decision would be completely unreasonable, not to mention a bitter waste of time. Yes, some responsibility must be taken for your vote but I don’t think that throwing blame on half the population for the decisions of a hypothetical future government is helpful or will generate informed debate on this important topic.

    1. MBC says:

      Well that rather depends on how closely you follow politics, doesn’t it?

      People get the quality of democracy they deserve!

      People need to wake up. Labour is changing. That’s the complacency that Arnott is complaining of. People who vote Labour as by generational rote learning, all the while with a superior moral belief in their sanctity without critically examining what Labour has now become are also part of the problem of our rotten democracy.

      When you can get a Scottish Labour leader like Johann Lamont say on a TV debate that Scots cannot have independence because we are not ‘genetically programmed’ to make decisions isn’t that time to wake up from your dream?

      When she can attack welfare as the ‘something for nothing’ culture and support Tory cuts, isn’t that time to wake up?

      I know it can be hard to change your vote but sometimes you have to see that a party no longer resembles what it once stood for.

    2. Peter Arnott says:

      The difference after September 19th is that no one ever asked Scotland AS Scotland these questions directly before. We will have to “own” our answers, as the Americans say. The campaign so far has put all of that onus one way. The piece was an attempt to redress that.

      It’s far more fundamental than an election. Byt a No vote can surely be read as “Whatever you say, we’re FINE with that…We will be sovereign for those hours. It will be in our hands.

  90. Colin says:

    All numbers based on popular vote percentage and not seats.

    General Election – How us Scots voted vs UK as a whole
    Labour – 41.6%
    Tory – 31.4%
    The rest – 27%
    Result – 58.4% didn’t vote Labour. Almost a third of Scotland voted Tory. We got a Tory government.
    UK as a whole – 42.3% didn’t vote Labour.
    – so we voted less in favour of Labour, as compared to the UK,and didn’t get a Labour gov.

    Labour – 35.1%
    Tory – 28.4%
    The rest – 36.5%
    Result – 64.9% didn’t vote Labour. Well over a quarter vote Tory. We got a Tory government.
    UK as a whole – 57.6% didn’t vote Labour.
    – so we voted less in favour of Labour, as compared to the UK, and didn’t get a Labour gov.

    Labour – 42.4%
    Tory – 24.0%
    The rest – 33.6%
    Result – 57.6% didn’t vote Labour. Just under a quarter voted Tory. We got a Tory government.
    UK as a whole – 57.8% didn’t vote Labour.
    – so we voted almost identical to the UK in not wanting Labour.

    Labour – 39.0%
    Tory – 25.6%
    The rest – 35.40%
    Result – 61.0% didn’t vote Labour. Just over a quarter voted Tory. We got Tory gov.
    UK as a whole – 58.1% didn’t vote Labour.
    – so we voted less in favour of Labour, as compared to the UK, and didn’t get a Labour gov.

    Overall to date:
    13 years of Tory.
    Looks like that’s what we voted for.
    Most of us never voted Labour.

    The Labour years
    Labour – 45.6% – we got a labour gov
    Tory – 17.5%
    The rest – 37.4% (this is the highest the rest has been for almost 20 years! So we are fragmenting?)
    Result – 54.4% did vote Labour
    UK as a whole – 56.8% didn’t vote Labour.
    – we voted more in favour of a Labour government and got a Labour government.

    Labour – 43.3% – we got a labour gov
    Tory – 15.6%
    The rest – 41.1% (oh dear…)
    Result – 56.7% didn’t vote Labour
    UK as a whole – 59.3% didn’t vote Labour.
    – we voted more in favour of a Labour government and got a Labour government.

    Labour – 39.5% – we got a labour gov
    Lib Dem – 22%
    Tory – 15.8%
    The rest – 22.7%
    Result – 60.5% didn’t vote Labour
    UK as a whole – 64.8% didn’t vote Labour
    – we voted less in favour of a Labour government and got a Labour government. Ah! That’s a first.

    The end of the Labour years…

    Labour – 42%
    LibDem – 18.9%
    Tory – 16.7%
    The rest – 22.4%
    Result – 58% didn’t vote Labour. Well over a third of Scotland voted Tory Lib Dem. We got a Tory Lib Dem government.
    UK as a whole – 71% didn’t vote Labour. Only 13% difference in the popular vote as compared to the whole of the UK.
    Scotland voted 35.6% for LibDemTory, so over a third of the population being represented seems quite good to me.

    To me, from a purely numbers point of view, the argument that we have never been represented in a UK government is bollocks.

    And with much more devolution happening in 2016 that can’t be stopped and with the tax raising powers we will be given, the fully devolved to the Scottish Government NHS will still have all the funding it needs. As long as the Scottish Government doesn’t spend all the money it can raise on silly things like council tax freezes…letting the poor and the needy freeze in the winter.

    1. Mark Forrester says:

      I am a YES supporter but wholeheartedly agree that the “democratic deficit” argument is absolute nonsense. In a democracy you sometimes get the government you voted for and sometimes you don’t. In an independent Scotland it will be no different – there will be areas of Scotland such as the lowlands who never the get the Conservative government they vote for. That doesn’t mean they should be allowed to secede from Scotland.

      1. Colin says:

        “That doesn’t mean they should be allowed to secede from Scotland.” ~ Agreed. If that is the will of Scotland, then it should be met 🙂

      2. Colin says:

        Actually I read that wrong!

        Are you saying that because a part of a country votes differently from the rest of that same country, they shouldn’t be allowed to split from said country? That, if for decades they don’t get their way, they should just shut up and take it?

        In the event of an iScotland, Shetlands and Orkney could in all reality split from Scotland as they were just a gift to Scotland. And they essentially have all the oil. So you’d tell them they couldn’t leave Scotland? Your YES vote seems to me you want to become a dictator to tell folks to do what you want them to do and respect your power base…unlike what the heart of the YES campaign is.

      3. Mark Forrester says:

        Perhaps the language is misleading – “allowed” does sound a bit despotic. I was trying to say that the simple fact that an area does not get the government it votes for does not mean that it is not being treated by the democratic process and that independence must inevitably follow.

        If a nation is to be viable as a long term entity it cannot keep splintering into ever smaller pieces. A line must be drawn otherwise there will be no confidence, long term planning or inward investment. Let’s say for the sake of argument the Scottish Borders consistently vote Conservative yet have to endure 20 years of left wing governments at Holyrood. They have a referendum, gain independence and have conservative government for the next 20 years. The people of Berwickshire who have voted Liberal for that 20 years are unhappy at never being represented so Berwickshire becomes independent and has 20 years of Liberal government, which displeases the inhabitants of the town of Duns who have always voted Labour and so it goes on.

      4. Apol says:

        So it could be the case that for some No supporters they want to draw that line at the UK level as opposed to the Scottish border? Not saying either is wrong, it’s down to the individual. Personally i’m an idealist and hope that the line is drawn at a european level one day when our ideals and economies match. I’d be quite happy to see Westminster powers move to the EU when the day comes that our wants and needs align.

    2. MBC says:

      For goodness sake man, ToryLibDem is not a single party. You are being ingenuous lumping the two together. Your own figures you supply here show how far the Tory vote in Scotland has shrunk since 1979. From 31% to 16%.

      And that’s on lower and lower turnouts. As large sections simply disengage from politics altogether. Tories however do not come from housing schemes in Calton and do not disengage. Their vote turns out, so that 16% in 2010 is numerically even smaller as a percentage of total Scottish population than 31% in 1979.

      1. Mark Forrester says:

        That’s guesswork on your part. Colin gave solid figures, that’s all we can go on with any certainty.

      2. Colin says:

        “Your own figures you supply here show how far the Tory vote in Scotland has shrunk since 1979. From 31% to 16%.”

        – what’s that got to do with the point in my post? Okay you dislike the Tories. Fine. But don’t think being iScotland the Tories won’t have any power within Scotland.

        My post was with regards to the point we are under represented in Westminster, not about the exact party in power. Take away the actual names of the parties and their politics and just leave the hard fact we have been as much represented and unrepresented as the rest of the UK – i.e. what happens in a democracy.

        And I had to lump them together, that’s the “party” that is in power.

    3. Peter Arnott says:

      The issue is AGENCY. Which is the nation state in which we are engaged? Are we invested emotionally and historically in the UK, or in Scotland? At the 2010 election, more than ever, I felt no so much like leaving as that I had already been left. I know that is subjective…but as has been pointed out by thinkers on both sides, you don’t describe identity/autonomy objectively

      1. Colin says:

        Fair points here. I understand that if you don’t engage or feel engaged by, then you won’t feel like part of the system.

        But you rightly say this is subjective. If you are now engaging in politics for Scotland, that’s cool. I get that. But why spend billions on creating a new state, when you could get yourself engaged as part of the UK for little to no money…

  91. Mark Forrester says:

    Great article. But I think perhaps Cameron had a different reason for permitting the referendum.

    As the author points out, Dave was under no legal obligation to permit a referendum, he wasn’t even under any irresistible political pressure to do so. In fact he had a full agenda to deal with including keeping a coalition government together whilst dealing with a crippling deficit / debt. Yet not only did he agree to it readily, he didn’t press for a devo max option on the ballot (which would have probably won comfortably), allowed the franchise age to be changed, didn’t try and negotiate on the question wording or date (Bannockburn / commonwealth games).

    In effect Cameron and Salmond have together made sure that the YES campaign has every conceivable advantage, all in a referendum that Dave didn’t need to agree to.

    Dave wants Scotland out.

    1. MBC says:

      Colin, you astonish me. How on earth do you imagine ‘the Tories’ will have any power in an independent Scotland? They have little enough power in a devolved Scotland.

      As a point of fact, it is their policies I dislike, not them, as people. In case you wondered.

      As another point of fact, sometimes political parties change over time. The name remains, but the stance, the values, have altered dramatically.

      Nowhere is this more true of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party in the latter part of the 20th century. A party that once stood for Calvinist sturdy self-reliance, social justice and local autonomy, has become under English influence a party of neo-cons willing to give control of just about everything to multinational conglomerations.

      1. bringiton says:

        I agree MBC.
        The British parties focus has become London and the SE of England with policies which reflect that reality.
        A Scottish government of whatever hue will always put Scottish interests first,otherwise we will get rid of them.
        That is the point of independence,being in a position to make choices which are in your best interests.

      2. Colin says:

        Fair point. They may not have “power” but in a Scottish PR system, they will have representation. And there are many people that will hate the Tories in all forms.


        So you don’t like the current party in power in the UK. Fine. I bet the 55+% of people who are also unrepresented in the UK (i.e. the party in power isn’t the one they voted for) also don’t like the Tories.

        Is there a party within the UK political spectrum you don’t like?

        1. If you do have one you like, you should be putting as much effort into political campaigning for them, for social change, for political change across the whole of the UK as you are currently fighting for independence. If every single person on both sides of this ref. did the same, we could affect more change for all people.

        2. If you do not. Start one. I bet if you started one as a grass root campaign that appealed to the folks from everywhere outside of London, you’d be on to a winner. And again you could affect more change in the UK and Scotland (in my personal opinion) than you could with splitting up the UK.

        I personally don’t think it’s the UK that needs to change or be split up. It’s Westminster. Together we should all be campaigning against and revoultionising the current political structure. Look at the Arab Spring and other changes in the power structure around the world. You don’t see that happening here. We sit on our arses and complain at rioting students. And then ask politely for change. We as a UK should be pulling the power base from underneath our politicians and rewriting the rules.

        If we all stood together we’d be stronger in an ever shrinking world. Why make it smaller?

      3. Apol says:

        I fully agree with that course of reasoning and action Colin. One recent example I saw was the MP Recall bill which was being discussed in committee. The online campaign and representation group, 38 Degrees, produced enough support including hiring a lawyer to rewrite the government proposed bill to allow people rather than MP’s to initiate recall. As far as i’m aware this revised bill may be accepted with some minor amendments made by the 38 degrees group!

    2. MBC says:

      You’re a bit misinformed. Cameron REFUSED to allow the devo max option Salmond was pushing for. Salmond has always been a gradualist, a realist, who accepts that people want incremental change, not sudden change. Devo max would have won easily. That was why Cameron ruled it out. He knew that support for indy has hovered around 30% for decades and was calling our bluff by forcing us to vote all or nothing.

  92. Reblogged this on Thoughts from the original village idiot… and commented:
    Worth reading whichever way you intend to vote…

  93. kbhresq says:

    Arnott’s argument can be summed up, in his own words, as:

    If a Yes voter has to take on board the moral hazard of whatever happens for good or ill in an independent Scotland, a No voter must equally accept moral responsibility for having given Westminster permanent permission to do whatever it likes forever.

    But his premise of the extent of moral hazard is false. This is a single-issue referendum: an important constitutional issue, yes, but not one with wider consequences of which any reasonable voter should be confident; that must be for democratic deliberation in whatever polity emerges. Essentially, this a referendum about whether Scotland should press for a three-state partition of Britain and Ireland rather than the present two-state partition. There are arguments for – principally, more localised decision-making for Scotland – and against – principally, loss of Scottish influence on decisions made within the United Kingdom (and not just by government) whose effects can be much more far-reaching. But those are about the reasonable limits of the responsibility being assumed by a Yes or a No voter.

    1. MBC says:

      Well, that’s your hope, that a No vote in this Referendum is a one off with no wider consequences but there’s absolutely nothing to prevent wider consequences stemming from it. We can’t foretell what legal or political use a future UK government or their legal advisers will put the Referendum result to, if it is a No vote. Put it this way, in 1707 we had a treaty, and now the government’s legal advisers tell us that it no longer sounds in international law, and that Scotland was extinguished in 1707. With advice like that and a treaty as clear as that being disregarded, the Referendum result could be put to much worse use if it is a No vote.

      But it would be fair for them to argue ‘Scotland has spoken, and stated that it does not wish to be an independent country and therefore recognises the sovereignty of the UK parliament and any legislation it passes affecting Scotland or any other part of the UK’.

      The UK government can rightfully claim legitimacy in all matters that pass through the UK Parliament, including pulling us out of the EU, should the in-out Referendum come about in 2017 and deliver a Yes vote. If a majority in Scotland have opted to remain within the EU then tough. Out with England we will go.

      A Yes vote is an opportunity. Take it or leave it. But this opportunity won’t come again, and if we refuse the opportunity of Scottish sovereignty, we will have placed Scotland in a fundamentally unequal position. Scotland will not be sovereign, but the UK will. The UK can dictate, and if we don’t happen to agree, then tough. And there’s not much we’ve agreed on in 40 years, so the trend is there.

      Which three states are you talking about? Scotland is not a state – a stateless nation, but not a state. Wales is a principality, and part of England. Northern Ireland is a rump of a province of a former kingdom, and no longer territorially an integral part of the UK (this was what the Good Friday agreement agreed). Though that seems to have passed most folks by.

      1. kbhresq says:

        “A Yes vote is an opportunity. Take it or leave it.”

        “if we refuse the opportunity of Scottish sovereignty, we will have placed Scotland in a fundamentally unequal position. Scotland will not be sovereign, but the UK will. The UK can dictate, and if we don’t happen to agree, then tough.”
        Independence would certainly give Scotland sovereignty in local matters and in the stance it took towards the wider world. But it would remove any Scottish representation in decision making within what would then become its much larger neighbour, a neighbour freed from any obligation to have regard to Scottish interests. That would be far more likely to lead to the situation you describe in your last sentence above, particularly if your cynical view of British government were to prove correct.

        “Which three states are you talking about?”
        The two current states are, in effect, the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland. The putative three states are the United Kingdom, the Republic of Ireland, and Scotland. The 3-state solution to divisions within Britain and Ireland wouldn’t be so different in operation from the 2-state one which has now had nearly a century to work itself out.

  94. Scottk says:

    I think you’ve got some issues pal

  95. puccini333 says:

    For 300 years we have been in a cage, fed and cared for. We could depend on being given what we needed to survive. Now the cage door may be opened and we may leave to fend for ourselves. Some of us leap at the chance. Some give pause and decide they must leave the cage. Some are not sure… they stand between those who have left and those who hover in the back of the cage. Then there are those who have been caged for so long they define themselves as caged. No longer Scots, they are Brits. They would rather stay in the cage with its limitations and even cruelty because it is known. The unknown frightens them. In this was they love their masters and feel good about themselves for being on of the gang which goes along.

  96. macart763 says:

    Cracking post Mr Arnott and very well said.

    For the past three years we’ve been bombarded with the doom laden possibilities of voting for independence. They’ve ranged from almost plausible to wildly hysterical in nature and almost exclusively ALL NEGATIVE in outcome from both our 4th estate and our unionist politicians. Not one would concede that independence was a worthwhile aspiration for a nation and only rarely has lip service been paid by our media to balance.

    What has been missing from this picture though? Why simply that both Westminster and BT have never been put under similar scrutiny or forecast. They’ve never been put under the microscope in terms of this referendum to map a future of the union. What are the legal consequences of Scotland voting no? Will Scotland cease to exist as opined by the Crawford/Boyle report? Is there a future for the Barnett formula? If the oil is running out any moment as claimed by the powers that be and its damn near valueless as claimed by the OBR, just what are the governments plans to replace this revenue stream in Scotland and what will happen to those thousands of jobs invested in the industry?

    The simple fact is they have no intention of answering those questions and so many more besides. The answers I suspect wouldn’t make pleasant viewing for them.

    1. MBC says:

      Spot on Macart. Of course Crawford and Boyle will put a No result to their purposes, and you can bet that their aim will be to prevent to possibility of us ever escaping again, by back peddling on devolution, by making it wither on the vine.

      It is absolutely appropriate that No voters face up to the consequences of their complacency or their timidity. Whichever it is.

      1. macart763 says:

        There is no dubiety here MBC. The government’s legal advice states that:

        “For the purpose of this advice, it is not necessary to decide between these two views of the union of 1707. Whether or not England was also extinguished by the union, Scotland certainly was extinguished as a matter of international law, by merger either into an enlarged and renamed England or into an entirely new state.”

        If the Scottish electorate vote no on September 18th they will effectively validate this opinion. No unionist politician has challenged this opinion, no member of the Westminster government. This is in fact their default position.

        Is this what we want? Do we want Scotland to simply cease to be?

  97. John Reilly says:

    Excellent hope No voters realise that if we stay in union it will be hell in Scotland and we will only have ourselves to blame not only No voters but us Yes voters who didnt point out the future under Tory rule forcibly enough

  98. wanvote says:

    Well, well! Some interesting, mature debate from both sides. Very welcome indeed. Thanks for such an excellent article and comments.

  99. Elizabeth says:

    This is such a fatally flawed article it’s difficult to know where to start, except to say that more people in Scotland voted for Tory and Lib Dem candidates than SNP, so there is as much validity in accepting the results of decisions at Westminster as there would be if a Labour govt had come into being. I refer you to the figures:-

    1. MBC says:

      That was in a general election. People do not see much point in voting SNP in a general election because they are not going to wield power at Westminster, ever, since they are a Scottish-only party, thus we (in Scotland) as only 8% of the electorate cannot influence what happens at Westminster if we do not agree with it. Maybe you didn’t notice the SNP landslide in Scotland in 2011? Maybe you don’t pay much attention to Scottish politics? Maybe you are not based in Scotland?

  100. jaypot2012 says:

    Reblogged this on Jay's Journal and commented:
    Wow! What a fantastic blog and what truth in it. We really do need to vote Yes!

  101. Susan Heard says:

    This piece of writing sounds like a threat, do as I want or I will make your life miserable for the rest of time. I was completely unimpressed by the arguments, for example, to say that we are giving carte blanche to the Conservative Party by voting no, for ever. I don’t think so. We can vote out the Conservative Party, should we wish just as we voted the Labour Party out for Tony Blair’s involvement with Bush, for the unexplained happenings, like David Kelly’s death. For Gordon Brown who was a nasty, bad tempered man and a lousy Prime Minister although he had done so much better as Chancellor of the Exchequer or so it seemed at the time. The good thing about social media and our press (who don’t always get things right) are that politicians no longer have anywhere to hide.

    Politicians from all parties in Scotland as well as England have been caught with expenses fiddling, bullying and generally lining their own nest. They just do not get away with it very often any more. The sad thing about politics is that people can go into it with the best of intentions but they get corrupted by power, by the Old Boys’ Network, by the need to scratch someone else’s own back to get your’s scratched. Ultimately power corrupts and people think they are above the law because they have some power. The recent upsurge in support for UKIP is a protest about all that has been revealed recently. Sane people don’t vote for a party like that normally it is a protest vote. Oh and by the way I do vote either Tory or Green depending on how I see the candidates at the time. I actually believe David Cameron’s heart is in the right place most of the time. Yes, he does come from a privileged background but he genuinely cares about Britain and the British. He has not always had the right advisers but no one gets things right all the time. it would be impossible. Who are you that you know what is inside David Cameron’s head? Perhaps he is just sick and tired of the Scots’ bellyaching about Westminster that he has responded by saying OK if you think you can do things better, go ahead. It is a risky policy but it may be he is calling the Scots’ bluff. I feel sorry for all those in the United Kingdom who would be affected by a yes vote winning independence but have no say in the matter. So I don’t know what was in David Cameron’s head and neither do you. So I move on to two sacred cows and sometimes sacred cows should be sacrificed because they are not sustainable and they cost you and me. I am referring to the NHS, welfare benefits and Higher Education fees.

    The truth about the NHS is that it has almost been a victim of its own success because of its costs; it has become so technocentric, so management heavy and drugs so costly that national insurance contributions cannot sustain these changes. Our population pyramid has changed, yes we do have an ageing population but remember these people have paid their taxes and national insurance contributions all their lives. We all should stick to a budget and cutting back when you have spent too much is something which is painful but necessary. The NHS should not be treated like a sacred cow nor should welfare benefits. First and foremost we should look after those who are unable to look after themselves but we should not subsidise true malingerers. And shock, horror I think those who can afford it should pay a fee to see a doctor. If healthcare is that important it should come before spending on luxuries, including holidays. Perhaps if people had to pay to see their GP they would be more likely to turn up for their appointments and more likely not to waste time by turning up for treatment for cold and flu viruses when drinking plenty of water, taking painkillers and resting are all that is required for return to health. Prevention is so much better than cure and this should be a policy which should be adopted far more widely.

    As far as Higher Education is concerned, yes, anyone who is able and motivated enough should be able to go to university. There are many at universities now who are not able enough or motivated enough and why should everyone get free education at a higher level? Some students are at university because it seems the accepted thing to do before getting out into the real world and actually working for a living. Many students are there because of pressure from their parents. Only those who cannot afford to pay fees and demonstrate this and are highly motivated should be subsidised. The Open University charges fees and I can tell you that every last student is motivated and works to the best of their ability. They often have a full time job, have families to support but produce work of a very high standard. I am full of admiration for them. So the sacred cow of no tuition fees should not be sustained because it isn’t sustainable and neither is it good for most students’ motivation or taxpayers’ purses. Those who are in charge of budgets, and that means our money, should be reminded frequently that it is not to be squandered but should be managed effectively and efficiently and up for scrutiny at any point in time by taxpayers.

    So Mr Arnott don’t you dare threaten me if I choose to vote No. I am voting No because I am British first and foremost and I have enough common sense not to believe a word Alex Salmond promises those who are vulnerable and those who believe a new system will happen with independence. It will not because it is politics and politicians and we will get more of the same, as the French say ‘Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose’ (add your own accents!).

    1. MBC says:

      I think you have not much experience or knowledge of politics in this country over the last few decades.

    2. Peter Arnott says:

      Thank you for writing. I believe I “threatened” you only with being annoying after a No vote. I’m afraid I may have already annoyed you. I think you make some good general points on some of the assumptions and wish fulfillment offered by the Yes campaign. You’re right. There is a deal of intellectual laziness and shared assumption going on…much of it held in common by political apparatchiks of Labour and SNP persuasion. (I seriously recommend Gerry Hassan’s “Caledonia Dreaming” for a withering dissection of our self congratulatory stance on social issues. I also entirely respect your self identification as British first and foremost. Following that logic, of course you should vote No. I also think that your voice, nuanced and individual, green and conservative, gets drowned out by the left/authoritarian orthodoxies of Scottish public life. My quarrel is mostly, I think who won’t follow through the logic of their own positions. Thank you for responding.

  102. Dave says:

    I will be voting No and not, as the article suggest because I ‘wish the whole damn thing would go away and be forgotten.’ the very fact I am on this site and have read this article would indicate this. I, like thousands and thousands of other No voters are not burying their head in the sands – like the Yes voters, I am happy we are getting the chance to voice our opinions and getting to decide our Country’s future. I just happen to believe that a better future lies down the path of a unified Britain. I understand that a lot of the Yes voters have made their decision based on the fact that the No camp have targeted the negatives of an independent Scotland, instead of the benefits of a unified Britain. I agree this has not been the best strategy on their part, but I believe this is now changing. I can therefore, understand the reasons why some Yes voters have made their decision based on this.

    However, I am getting somewhat tired of a lot of views coming out of the Yes camp (including this one) that have started to move away from the major reasons for and against independence and have started targeting the No voters themselves. Being called ‘unpatriotic’ and made to feel that I should be ‘ashamed to call myself scottish, should I vote No’ (I am not referring to this article) is not on. I am a proud Scot and don’t think that I have to have to live in an independent Scotland in order to feel so. I would hope that voters who are still on the fence at this stage do not feel bullied in to voting Yes, just because a number of Yes voters feel that they have the moral high ground. And just so you know, Mr Arnott, whatever way the vote goes, should you happen to bump in to me at a dinner party, I will happily stand by my decision.

    I hope that voters who are still on the fence will make their decision based on their head and/or hearts, be that by examining the facts that are being presented to them by both sides, or by their national identity. I hope it is not because they are made to feel ashamed that to vote No is to be any less of a Scot than those who vote Yes.

    1. Peter Arnott says:

      Hello Dave. Thanks for taking the time. And for identifying the pernicious “more Scottish than thou” strand that we are saddled with. I personally don’t “feel” that Scottish. My argument is more based on democracy

      I am persuaded of the case for democratic control of Scotland by Scotland…but this is as much for my own reasons of concern about the increasingly desperate rearguard action “democracy” – the rule of some principle other than money power – is fighting worldwide. I think we can fight that battle better as “Scotland” than we can as an adjunct of the UK whose voice (as “scotland”) counts for naught except in those areas where power has been leant out to us…while real power stays right where it is.

      Thanks for writing.

    2. Ruairidh Maciver says:

      As so many others have said here, this is one of the best articulated & informed pieces yet to have been contributed to this debate.

      It brings to my mind, the great Ruaraidh MacThòmais / Derick Thomson’s poem, ‘Cruaidh / Steel’. I was a No voter until I stopped and thought. Having done so, the only option for me is to vote Yes this fast-approaching September. And to be clear – I will do so through no dislike of England or English people. It’s a fine country with its own wonderful culture. So I’d ask anybody who cares to read it, not to misread the last line of Thomson’s poem.


      Culloden, the Disruption,
      and the breaking up of the tack-farms –
      two thirds of our power is violence;
      it is cunning we need.
      When the tempered steel near the edge of the scythe-blade is worn
      throw away the whetstone;
      you have nothing left but soft iron
      unless your intellect has a steel edge that will cut clean.

      And throw away soft words,
      for soon you will have no words left;
      the Tuatha Dè Danann* are underground,
      the Land of the Ever-young is in France,
      and when you reach the Promised Land,
      unless you are on your toes,
      a bland Englishman will meet you,
      and say to you that God, his uncle, has given him a title to the land.

      * Tuatha Dè Danann, a supernatural race in Ireland, sometimes said to
      be the progenitors of the fairies.

  103. David Fullstone says:

    What I have seen is not a desire to part from England but to part from the same establishment that has seen the rise of the UKIP primarily in England. It’s not so much a Scottish thing as a desire to see change UK wide before we all get dragged down together.
    I’m Scottish but have lived in England since 89 after joining the army. I hear the same debate constantly but it’s not the Scotland/England debate. When the English talk about the great North/South divide Scotland is never mentioned. All the wrangling goes on around some imaginary line around Leeds. Within England itself there is exactly the same debate and points the yes vote discusses except the imaginary line at Leeds is not something the north of England can use to separate itself from the South. No matter what happens after this election the same points will keep on going between the north of England and the south with exactly the same points the current yes vote is making. The further you get from Westminster the less you get. If the yes vote wants success they need to distance themselves from the current path and keep it simple. The NO vote is being pushed primarily by people with a vested interest in Westminster. The YES vote is valid and is also happening in England it’s called the UKIP. I have actually used this stone cold fact to my advantage. After over two decades working and seeing all areas around England I moved to Chester after finishing in the army. Chester is a beautiful area that truly epitomises what the YES vote is saying. In that area running East to West you manage to catch the last of the areas that Westminster gives a damn about where there are still a descent amount of contracts to be grabbed. You can also catch the much depreciated cost of living due to how everything starts to go drastically downhill from that point North. It’s a cold fact and why so many footballers settle there as you can just catch the best of both worlds. No matter though I believe the NO vote will win as it takes true courage to stand on your own two feet and too many people are too afraid of change. It might not be as obvious as the days when Maggie tested out Poll tax on the Scottish but believe me as someone who has seen what goes on first hand in Westminster Scotland is nothing more to them than the last remnants of their empire that they hold onto as a nice to have not as something that they provide stability and good living to. The only difference with Maggie was that she had the guts to come right out and state she was going to test something she knew was going to be very unpopular on a group of people she and her buddies don’t give a damn about.

    1. douglas clark says:


      You said, fairly early on in your post:

      ” I have actually used this stone cold fact to my advantage.”

      I have read your post a few times but it is not clear to me what advatage you derived.

      Perhaps you could elucidate a bit more on that?

      1. David Fullstone says:

        Hi Douglas sorry I wasn’t clear enough. Let me think of a better way to explain….. I know ok I have feelings both ways actually for both votes but for different reasons. Being Scottish, joining the army then working as an Oracle contractor has allowed me to work all over the country. I hear a lot of discussions by many I must admit clearly know more about politics than I do so instead of engaging in debate that is beyond me I thought I would describe what I call “stone cold facts” my sort of way of getting away from a predictive analysis type approach.

        Now then firstly for the NO vote first yes unity will bring more power overall. For the YES vote this unity is however a bit like a marriage where one partner keeps the other at home to look after the house and spends all the earnings on himself while reaping the benefits of being seen as a solid family man at work.

        Whilst in the army I worked as a Land Surveyor and Oracle DBA. When I came out both myself and my English wife wanted to move to Scotland so I posted my CV adding regional preferences etc. Due to my qualifications and experience the phone became very busy but primarily from companies in the South of England asking if I’d relocate thinking I was living in Scotland. Every experienced recruiter told me the same thing. The minute you go North of the great English divide (roughly around Leeds) you can forget it all the money is kept down South. I couldn’t believe it the phone was going constantly not because I’m amazing but because I am an Experienced Oracle DBA with Secret clearance that financial institutes really like. I did a bit of work in Brussels working as a civilian DBA for NATO to research more as I couldn’t believe it could be so easy in the South and so hard in the North. Yes I was expecting a bit of difference but this was ludicrous. Investigation showed me that Chester was the best place to live as you catch the best of the North and the South. Chester is right on that belt where the standard of living plummets drastically overall. A house that costs 200K there would easily be 500K further South yet I can still get amazing contracts. Right down South you get extra to compensate but right on the border of where it goes down hill is the best place to get the best of both worlds which is why I am reliably informed so many footballers buy houses there. I would love to move back to Scotland but the difference is like night and day. This is the stone cold fact that unfortunately will keep a lot of Scots down South. Before I joined the army living in Scotalnd I simply didn’t know the difference.

        The other part that is a stone cold fact is what I have seen with my own eyes in MOD London and Whitehall when I’ve work there in a support capacity. You see Lord Sugar is being brought in for good reason to help government. I’ve literally seen ex chaps from Eaton and Harrow who make Melcher in Black Adder Goes Forth look like a genius and I really mean it. These are the real people making the decisions sitting behind the MP’s much like in the series Yes Minister. I’m not kidding you, you could place a well trained chimp in charge if Scotland gets independence who would make better financial decisions. If you take the London Ambulance Service as one of many thousands of examples. Failed three times costing 21.7 million but apparently having the chaps you went to Public School with on the board is more important than having the sort of people Lord Sugar recruits in industry. Do they care, no, they can play their games because they have Wales, the North of England and Scotland to bail them out. Now that’s the real unity they really want.

        Now please believe me i know I could and may well be wrong but I’ve seen a lot in my time working all over the UK and these two fact have been there for a long time. Firstly I can easily have the sort of life down South of Chester that I could only dream of up North. House prices reflect this as does the pay to afford them. Secondly the old boy network who really run things in the background don’t care about all the blunders you see on TV as they know they can use the current Unity to bail them out and use the rest of the UK to maintain the far South. The only way you will ever stand a chance of improving things is if you make a change. The English are already doing their equivalent with the UKIP as they are that sick of it in many areas. From talking to them the only reason there isn’t a landslide that way is the fear of extremism.

        Anyway I and many others would love to move back North but if the existing status quo is maintained then I can’t see how things will change from the way they have been for decades. The future I’ll leave for the experts but the present and past are what I look at as that is a definite.

  104. Stephen says:

    Its seems to me a lot of No voters just havent bothered to read anything about the important issues.heres some advice,stop watching bbc news,ditch the daily mail and do some genuine homework on the subject.Then think long and hard about the long term implications of a No vote.

    1. Dave says:

      Patronising or what!? I suppose as a No voter, I COULD say that it seems that a lot of the Yes voters are voting Yes because they have a copy of Braveheart stuck in their DVD player. I COULD say that, but I won’t.

      1. susie says:

        Yes Dave I am finding that too,most admitting that they really have not had time to look at it all objectively ,I say to them think about your issues and take to both camps,and see how you feel after that.
        That is what i have done,although living in Faslanesville,being a green activist not SNP and a pacifist ,having worked in socialist theatre , with our local cancer stats, my mind has been made up since 1966.(Coulport opened)

  105. John says:

    To vote no would be to endorse what Westminster might implement of austerity measures in the future, – and what they have done in the past, as the waste of Scotland’s oil fortune.

    I am naebody’s lord,
    I’ll be slave to naebody;
    I hae a gude braid sword,
    I’ll tak dunts frae naebody

    Robert Burns

  106. Gordon says:

    I’ve been appalled at the mendacity (The McCrone report), the chicanery (1979 Assembly fix), the wars (Falklands, 2 x Iraq, Afghanistan) the waste (latest: 2 useless aircraft carriers @£6 billion), the money-grubbing (expenses scandals), the insult to the value of Scots’ lives (Clyde-based Trident}, the insults to the Scottish nation (subsidy junkies), the inequalities (executive pay now 160 X average wage), the trashing of industry (under Thatcher), the 3 generations of unemployed resulting, the mismanagement of the economy, the mending of which is laid at the door of the poor and the disabled, the pillorying of the less able, sick, asylum seekers and ethnic minorities, the privatisation of utilities essential to life and health (water, electricity and gas and now NHS down south), creation of an irretrievable national debt (1.3 £trillion by end of 2014), depopulation resulting in 30-40,000/yr of our brightest and best leaving for the fleshpots of London or abroad, the democratic deficit where the vote in Scotland counts for nothing, the virtual slave labour, where people are compelled to work for less than it costs to live, and food banks, things that have never been present in Scotland. If the ‘no’ voters want this to continue, watch the country’s talented youth leave in droves after the referendum, leaving an impotent nation of grey-heads behind. This has been ‘together’ and make no mistake, it will continue if we vote ‘no’.
    But Peter’s right, the ‘no’ voters can’t blame Westminster for any further depredations’. They gave that institution carte blanche. It is they that will carry the can.

    1. David Fullstone says:

      You are totally right Gordon. i’d love to move back to Scotland but everything you state is totally true. I can’t seem to see anything concrete that the no vote is offering as what you are stating will continue to happen. I went to the home page on Facebook for the no vote and all I could see was stuff like:

      Hilary Benn said today: “The socialism my father campaigned for all his life was about solidarity.

      “He was a passionate believer in standing together and supporting one another in struggle and difficulty, not pushing people apart.”

      UNITY – The state or quality of being one; singleness or ways of preserving family unity.
      Suppose it’s just like people who are in bad relationships if you’ve never known anything better you believe no matter how crazy that you’re lucky until you realise that pushing apart in a one sided abusive relationship may at first be tough but give you a much better life.

      There is no standing together even within England there is greater divide than with this debate between the North of England and South due to how badly they are treated. It’s this simple there is the good living in the SOUTH of England and then there is the rest getting bled dry. Unity simply means Westminster having everybody North of Leeds bail out the unbelievable amount of mistakes they make.

      I also see many other facts and figures thrown around of what may or could happen but I prefer to stick with what is real and what has happened that is not in the “he said she said” category. Simply put from experience it’s easy to make a very good living the closer you get to Westminster and once you go North of the line the English themselves call the Great Divide it’s so much harder to do really well. I’m not talking a small difference here, it is huge.

      From what I have seen and read the reasons for the NO vote are simply why Change Management has become such a driving force within management. People (in general) are afraid of change. Even when times are bad a very high percentage will stay in their existing status quo rather than venturing into the unknown.

      Whether you believe in the UKIP or not at least the English are getting the mental strength to come together to attack what Westminster stands for and I will tell you they would gain a landslide if it wasn’t for the fear that extremism might surface. The point however has been made.

      I’d love to move back to Scotland but the “followers” will outnumber those who can stand on their own two feet. The vote will most likely fail and the South of England will get even richer and the North of England and Scotland will continue to do what it has done over the years and get poorer and poorer.

      Scotland The Brave…… we will see.

    2. Peter Arnott says:

      Thanks, Gordon. You capture exactly my point. Even if we lose, at least we should be honest.

      1. MBC says:

        I do feel though that the MSM campaign against indy is very powerful and that a lot of people who will vote No have simply been duped by all the unionist tricks, lies and shenanigans. Getting through to these people is genuinely difficult. If there is a No vote the work of arguing for Yes must continue. I think sometimes the most powerful thing you can say to people is: who do you trust more? You have to trust somebody in this life. Do you trust your own people, your fellow Scots, your neighbours, your relations, for all their faults and short-comings, or do you trust a distant elite of Eton educated toffs to run Scotland (as part of the UK) in their own neo-con interests? This plea over trust is from the heart, not the head. I think it comes down to trust in the end. A friend once explained to me that ‘courage’ was from the French, ‘coeur-age’ – meaning ‘from the heart’.

        But here again, Scotland’s social history since 1707 has been simply tragic and we have ended up being unable to trust one another as well as we might normally have been able to do. Scots have been divided, separated, and pitted against each by the competitive capitalism of the ruling classes, first in the agricultural revolution, which saw the old multiple-tenant community farms amalgamated into agribusiness, offered for the highest possible rents to strangers with the capital for improvements, ‘kindly’ tenants booted out, traditional peasant rights overturned, forced off the land into the cities where they became the fodder for the greedy industrial capitalists and imperial wars during the nineteenth century that the union spawned. The instinct we have for social solidarity and for co-operation has been much eroded, and there is little continuity of social memory or family stability. These erode our confidence.

        The social history of Norway (which voted 99%) in a referendum in 1905 to finally break with Sweden, could not be more different. This was a land of small independent family farms that never had a class of aristocratic landlords, a land which depended on community networks and ‘samarbeid’ (working together, or ‘co-operation’) for mere survival, since time immemorial. Thus Norwegians have a talent for no-nonsense, straight-talking co-operation, with high levels of trust between neighbours and fellow Norwegians whether it is community projects, government, or business consortiums.

        Therefore, though I share your anger at the educated, pampered, privilieged ‘champagne socialists’ who want to vote No, as they should have stirred themselves to read beyond the headlines and ought to know better, I will feel nothing but pity for the poor and the dispossed, the politically disengaged, the duped, the detritus of all our upheavals perpetrated by the elites since 1707 who will be led to sign their own termination warrant.

  107. say aye Scotland says:

    I believe to vote no is a mark of disrespect to our children, it is also telling them we have no trust in what they can achieve.

    We all know they cannot possibly be worse than the morons who are at present running the country and at the same time doing a destruction job on the NHS.

    Your heading comments are refreshing and remind us this is a very serious business and not a joke as some are making it out to be.

    It’s worth remembering if it’s a NO or a YES vote the NHS in England is already destroyed – do the NO voters realise they are rubber stamping that destruction by voting NO – my point is the NHS in Scotland will have no option to go the same way as the purse strings are controlled from Westminster.

    It’s well worth remembering that in 2008 the NHS public sector contracts amounted to £9.6 billion, this year six years later the 2014/15 NHS public sector contracts have sky-rocketed to £101 billion. At this rate in six years that figure will go up to over a £1 trillion – this is what the NO voters are voting for as Westminster have engineered it this way so that the 220 known parliamentarians with financial interests can rake in the cash – probably another vote is needed so that no MPs or their relations can hold any sort of public sector contract shares.

    Thank you Bella Caledonia for your excellent heading comments, hopefully it will open a few eyes.

    1. Sure Scot says:

      Our children apparently do not want independence – the Scottish youth have managed to make a good assessment of thus thus far. They are not embittered the way that most of the 50 something generation and the “90 minute” natiolists are – mainly bitter testosterone driven middle aged men!

      To the Scottish youth the whole idea of separation from the Uk must just seem silly!
      Remember it is our children and grandchildren that will have to pick up the pieces of our economy because some people’s dream of independence.

      1. MBC says:

        When I was that age (16-19) I was not that into Scotland either. I was ashamed of the place, like I was embarrassed by my parents. It’s all part of teenage angst and immaturity.

        Then I grew up a bit, saw that my parents, if unglamorous, were good people, and instead of feeling ashamed at the limitations of my country, I saw that it had virtues as well as limitations, and I started to wonder why it was like that, and then I got angry. After I got angry, I got focused, and started analysing the problems and solutions, and I saw that we were a nation, and that we needed self-determination. Nobody can guide us or solve our problems like we can, because we know ourselves best.

  108. McTim says:

    Sorry for going off-topic, hope you won’t mind: Dear all, I have 9 videos from the Labour for Independence panel in Edinburgh listed below. Hope you find it interesting and useful. If you do, please share with undecided family and friends, especially Labour voters. Labour voters are going to be crucial in winning the Yes vote!

    Labour for Indy’s Gary Wilson (former Better Together organiser): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7NifgTyqT-w&list=UUryQU1dVED4DzPLdB9vQcwQ

    Labour for Indy’s Debbie Figures (Unite the Union organiser) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-0deOBtlsQ&list=UUryQU1dVED4DzPLdB9vQcwQ

    Labour for Indy’s Pat Kane former STUC president http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEI5tDmgf3Q&list=UUryQU1dVED4DzPLdB9vQcwQ

    Labour for Indy’s Tommy Sheppard (former Deputy General Secretary of the Labour Party) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0si_Jyvm2bQ&list=UUryQU1dVED4DzPLdB9vQcwQ

    Labour for Indy Q&A 1 Labour after a Yes vote http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6BN82Fmcs2g&list=UUryQU1dVED4DzPLdB9vQcwQ

    Labour for Indy Q&A Set up Cost of an independent Scotland http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DvHOOG7YfJg&list=UUryQU1dVED4DzPLdB9vQcwQ

    Labour for Indy Q&A3 how to best reach Labour members and can we trust Scottish Labour http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXdNiT-GJSs&list=UUryQU1dVED4DzPLdB9vQcwQ

    Labour for Indy Q&A4 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAbyL44aulM&list=UUryQU1dVED4DzPLdB9vQcwQ

    Labour for Indy Q&A5 What would Independence change for women http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gB8XqJQQkF8&list=UUryQU1dVED4DzPLdB9vQcwQ

  109. Elaine McGuigan says:

    People really shld read this great article well dne xx

  110. Dumbledore says:

    A wise man once said,’Be careful what you wish for, you might get it.’

    Peter Arnott is very persuasive but the fact is that History has shown that, in this situation, the only vote that is irrevocable is a Yes vote.

    Vote No and there will be an opportunity to change it in a future referendum whether Cameron wants it or not. In fact, if he renages on his promises, he knows that it will only make a Yes vote all the more certain the next time round. It would probably take some years before a second referendum but, if people want it, it will happen.

    Vote Yes and there will be no going back no matter how much you wish it.

  111. Sure Scot says:

    I find the opposite to be true – the yes guys that I know are well off, have paid off their mortgage, plenty of money in the bank, kids grown up and moved out.
    Basically guys with little to lose in the great gamble that is Independence!
    Most hard working – working class families struggling to pay their mortgage, utility bills, store and credit cards are mainly the ones voting No – as we have the most to loose!

    1. Andy Nimmo says:

      Sure Scot. I think you have inadvertently hit the nail on the head. Why should the decent honest working class people struggle to pay the bills in a wealthy country,
      Austerity? We’re all in this together?.
      The biggest Con ever.(Pun Intended)
      For argument’s sake.
      If you earn £2000 per month. Your mortgage is £1000. Your top of the range car + expensive toys come to £500.
      This leaves you with £500 to spend on food.
      Austerity bites and you are now only earning £1500 per month.
      Do you decide to pay extra to your mortgage to pay it off early?
      Keep paying for your expensive playthings – Trident, HS2 and HS3 etc etc?
      Have no money left to feed your family resulting in them having to visit foodbanks?
      If you answered No to any of the above, welcome to YES Scotland.
      You know it makes sense

      1. Sure Scot says:

        Andy – you sure know how not to get someone’s post.
        Due to a strong currency, stable economy, low inflation, low interest rates – people like me are just about keeping the wolves from the door just now -we have no appetite for a revolution that some people with little to lose seem to be up for.
        An Iscotland will have approx 2% higher interest rates than rUk(due to banks having to borrow with a poorer credit rating than current ratings), a “Scottish pound” will devalue against the stronger rUk pound plunging a lot of home owners into negative equity.
        Result – a home repossession crisis!
        When we have to get bailed out by IMF- their loan will come with many strings of austerity!
        In an Iscotland – it’s foodbanks and homeless shelter for me and my family!
        Is this the vision of socialism that we crave?

      2. Sure Scot says:

        Forgot to add – remember we won’t be starting with a clean slate.
        We will have over £100 billion of the existing national debt + £1.5 billion + (plan recently announced by Swinney) £2.9 billion to create new jobs.
        So when we try to insist that everything is free to everyone all the time in an Iscotland – Austerity will be a more difficult pill to swallow when we default!

      3. John S Warren says:

        “a strong currency, stable economy, low inflation, low interest rates”.

        This is an extraordinary interpretation of the British economy. We have £1.4+ trillion of national debt; and £1.4+ trillion of private debt, principally floating on a London property bubble. Our base interest rates (fixed by BofE) are near zero and this is not sustainable long term. The deficit is not removed and we are not even close to the point when there will be no deficit; the national debt is still increasing, significantly. We are sinking under it weight. We have an unbalanced economy, structurally unsound and ‘over-financialised’. Our financial regulatory structure has not fixed the underlying problems (we live permanently on the edge of the next Crash), and as the long list of utterly appalling mis-selling, and other scandals in the financial sector demonstrate – they are still being quantified – we have not reached bottom or adequately understand the total damage to the financial system that has been done. Try working out the level of austerity required when interest rates return to long-term norms.

        It is perhaps understandable that you have not factored in any mention of the Credit Crunch; because the mess has not been cleaned up; the black hole remains. Thus the proper description of this economic ‘recovery’ is; shallow and unsustainable. It is just the same old dross we have had before; property+low interest rates+ consumer spend. It will end soon enough, as all such ‘dud’ British recoveries always end; with a bust: only in the 21st century these are much bigger, more spectacular and dangerous busts for Britain than we saw in the 20th century. Our Governments have become the creatures of the city, which is completely out of control. I am staggered that after all the this time in the referendum debate this kind of glib, even triter argument is still being presented.

        1. Andy Nimmo says:

          Brilliant reply…Agree 100%….I understand your points but don’t understand why I was the target.

          Poor wee me LOL

      4. (Stet):

        Our Governments have become the creatures of the City, which is completely out of control. I am staggered that after all this time in the referendum debate this kind of glib, even trite argument is still being presented.

      5. MBC says:

        John S Warren

        Brilliant reply. The City of London is the problem not the solution. Sure Scot is just no listening.

  112. MBC says:

    Sure Scot, why would interest rates be higher in an independent Scotland? If your mortgage is currently with any of the big UK lenders why would the interest rate change?

    The plan is to keep using sterling – with or without a currency union – so a Scottish pound doesn’t come into it. Why are you raising this? Sterling is a fully tradable currency – anybody can use it. You do not need permission.

    Plus, various ratings agencies have estimated that Scotland’s credit rating would be as good, if not better, than the UK’s. Because our GDP relative to our debt is currently better than the UK’s, and could be a great deal better, if for instance we don’t take on a share of UK national debt. (Which we would not agree to do, if they did not agree to a currency union).

    See for instance: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/10802400/Scottish-yes-vote-could-improve-UK-credit-says-Moodys.html

    You’ve also not taken into account what sovereignty can do. There is more than one way to run an economy. We don’t have to follow the ludicrous way England runs their economy in the interests of the financial services industry which makes for ludicrous and inflationary house price bubbles. A key aim would be to keep costs of living low – as this keeps welfare costs low – which means public borrowing and spending is lower. Believe it or not, it is possible to live well and economically.

    For instance, we could build more publicly owned social housing, at fair rents. A thing we have not been allowed to do under the union, given Tory policies. This means comfortable, affordable homes. Which means people on low wages can spend more of their earnings on food and other things that matter to them, and less on the roof over their head. They could even save!

    There are just so many things we could do differently. Honestly, the way England runs things is totally mad. It really frightens me. The welfare bill is going up and up and up in England because people on low wages can’t get a roof over their heads without a welfare top up from the government. Their housing costs are high because the link between house prices and wages has been lost. This has happened because Thatcher deliberately loosened controls over the money supply, allowing vast amounts of foreign money to come into our precious banking system (the one you seek to defend!) and what did the banks and investors do with it? Lend to industry? Invest in manufacturing? Not on your nelly. They took the lazy route, and put it into property, fuelling a bubble, and earning money from rents and property inflation. This has a knock on effect down the chain, until even people on good jobs, with both partners working, are sinking into even greater levels of debt. The gist of this is, that the public, that’s taxpayers like you, are paying for all this public borrowing to support the welfare bill, the bulk of which is going on housing. Put it another way, it is daylight robbery. There is a straightforward transfer from the public to the private. The bankers and the landlords are slowly devouring us all.

    And you want this to continue?

    1. MBC says:

      Sure Scot, we’ll only take on a share of UK’s national debt if they agree to a currency union. Look, some times you just have to stop being a doormat, and play hard ball. We have a number of aces to play, and so do they. At the end of the day pragmatism and fair play will be the result. England or ‘rUK’ or whatever it’s calling itself, has absolutely NO interest in creating conditions in an independent Scotland that are unworkable and don’t allow us a ‘fair go’. We are on their border, there will be free movements of peoples, they have no interest whatsoever in us not having a stable economy, and vice versa. They would be cutting their noses off to spite their faces and so would we if we both didn’t come to a sensible and fair agreement.

      But go on clinging to their hopeless economic model if you want to. But there are other ways of running an economy. One size does not fit all.

      1. Sure Scot says:

        If we don’t take on our share of the national debt we will lose any chance of ever having a decent credit rating!
        The currency union wish of the SNP “dead parrot” – do you not keep up with the latest news.
        RUk will have no legal or moral responsibility to make sure we are alright – it doesn’t sound like you are really wanting “real independence” here – what the SNP wish to happen and the reality are two different things.
        Most people in Scotland have some form of personal debt whether it is a mortgage or loan of some sort – we are a 21st century capitalist country – despite your types views of some sort of revolution – we will have to tow the line of the rest of the Western world!
        Real independence will come will real grown up responsibilities – doesn’t sound like you guys are ready for that!

      2. “RUk will have no legal or moral responsibility to make sure we are alright”

        How precious! There are two reasons why this statement is simply ill-informed. Actually virtually everything this anonymous correspondent writes sounds like a position paper written by a neo-conservative or Labour/Better Together supporter.

        1) References to “legal and moral responsibility”, or even the bizarre; making sure “we are alright” (what does our correspondent think this is – a sequel to Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm? ). This is realpolitik. A deal will be done because rUK’s interests are at stake; real interests, real needs.

        2) Unfortunately our correspondent is simply wrong about rUK decisions, based on UK government’s recent decisions. On 22nd November, 2010 George Osborne made the following comments on a £77Bn European Bail-out package, as part of which £7Bn was supplied by the UK to Ireland:

        “This is a loan we can afford to make and will get back.”

        Osborne argued that Ireland accounted for 5% of Britain’s total exports – and two-fifths of Northern Ireland’s exports. Questioned on the bail-out and whether this was a precedent for other Eourozone countries he said: “I think there are very specific connections between the UK and Ireland which we don’t have with other countries and that’s why I think it’s completely appropriate we make a bilateral loan in this case”.

        For the sake of clarity – Scotland is far, far, far more important to the economy of rUK, financial and non-finacial, than Ireland. The arguments presented by this correspondent just do not stand up.

    2. Peter Arnott says:

      See you. You’re dead good at this. Write something for bella.

      1. Sure Scot says:

        I would like to – but I don’t think you would print it! 🙂

    3. Sure Scot says:

      Let’s be clear on a few facts here – there will be no currency union.
      Also, banks are not Charities – they are in it to make money and lots of it!
      Our credit rating will not be as good as rUk – so banks will have to pay a higher interest rate to borrow money on international money market – banks & financial institutions will undoubtedly pass this on to customers plus another healthy cut of profit as well.
      NEISR have calculated that it will be an extra 1.7% for the Iscotland banks to borrow – plus administration costs it will be 2% extra than rUk ( plus whatever additional profit they want to add in).
      NS&I have just announced that Iscotland customers will be barred all other banks and financial institutions will follow.
      No way will ruk and their banks allow the Scottish economy including mortgage holders debtors and savers to potential cause their economy to crash in the event of ours crashing. Therefore existing mortgage holders will find that the name of their lender might not change but it will be a Scottish version of this bank. (eg.If it’s Santander you are with it will become Santander Scotland etc).
      The rest of your post is a “revolutionary rant”.
      People with a long time to go their mortgage – or a sizeable mortgage that comes with a family home – ain’t up for a revolution!

      1. MBC says:

        Let us get a few things clear, there are no FACTS as you would understand it. It is called negotiation. This means that facts become a matter of discussion and wrangling. We have set out our position and they have set out theirs as a matter of politicking, but there can be no pre-negotiations. No clear ‘facts’ as you would understand it. Cameron is not an absolute ruler – he cannot bind a future parliament. But come a Yes vote both sides will have to mediate. We have some bargaining chips and so do they. You are clearly used to being a passive doormat and accepting whatever you are given courtesy of the UK and having no input into it whatsoever, but we will bargain fairly and firmly, and I believe rUK will do the same. In the end fairness and pragmatism will be the order of the day. In any colonial situation the British Empire ever pulled out of, the treaty negotiations aimed at fairness and viability. It is in no one’s interests to leave a mess of instability behind them. Or for any region of the world where Britain has had an interest to not prosper. Especially not on her doorstep. It is not what the UK does. It is not responsible behaviour. It will not happen here. Yes, it requires guts to stand up for yourself, and face the uncertainties of the future. But as Arnott has so eloquently argued here, the referendum, regardless of its result, changes everything. There can be no return to the status quo, but by voting No, you will have surrendered the only real bargaining power we could ever wield, and that is the prospect of our sovereignty. If you think you are going to be rewarded for voting No, think again. Scotland will have been asked: should we be an independent country? And will have answered, ‘no, we’re happy being ruled by London. London is our government, even though we have only 59 MPs out of 650’. It is like saying, ‘I surrender’.

        We will continue to use sterling as an interim and maybe permanently (if it works well) whether there is a currency union or not. As regards ‘our’ share of the UK’s national debt, we have no obligation morally or legally to take on a proportion of this if the rUK will not agree to an equitable share of our joint assets. We will have Trident sitting in Scotland and they will need to come to some arrangement with us as regards their nuclear deterrent being in our territory. We will want some payback over this. I would think it is a reasonable proposition to say, ‘we’ll look after Trident for 20 years if you agree to sterling in a currency union for 20 years’ that way everybody has a chance to make alternative arrangements, and to review them from time to time.

        But if the worst comes to the worst and we join the euro – they manage that OK in Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic in their cross border trade. Denmark and Sweden still use their kroner and they manage OK with their neighbours. It is an unnecessary impediment to cross border trade and English traders would not want it, so the rUK government if it was so foolish as to not agree to a currency union and perhaps oblige us to use the euro or another currency would face the wrath of their voters. English opinion that I have canvassed is not in favour of a different currency operating across the UK.

        Banks are not charities but why does that answer my question to you as to why your lender would start charging you a different interest rate from their English mortgagees the minute we vote Yes? It would be against EU rules on fair trade for a kick off.

        Mark Carney has advised that a currency union would be both desirable and workable. It would be a political decision. Would they rather we used the euro?

      2. Sure Scot says:

        So by your own admission if there are no facts then – this all amounts to one big gamble!
        Gamblers should stick to the bookies instead of gambling everyones future!
        Going to use Trident as a bargaining chip are we? You may want to condult the SNP on that. The have just made getting rid of Trident part of the constitution if we get indy – so no luck there.
        The currency union is a dead parrot – it is not happening!
        Your correct there will be no return to status quo – more devolution has been offered – labour are including it in their election manifesto the other two have pledged as well.
        Bizarrely you seem to speak quite fondly of the Uk and how they behave – but then you seem to speak of a “London” bogeyman.
        We are not ruled by London – we are ruled by the Uk.
        The Uk parliament is located in “Westminster” (that other bogeyman) within London.
        There is absolutely nothing wrong with London or Londoners – I have been there many times and they are just like us and quite socialist as well in many parts.
        The 650 MP’s at “Westminster” come from all over the British Isles – so to summarise London do not rule us!
        We can use whatever currency we like but it will not hold the same value that it does from its country that controls it – the value will depend on our economy.
        Mark Carnay has indicated that it could work but will need to be controlled by tbe BOE- the main Uk ministers have said it’s not an option.
        We will have to transfer (the banks will probably do this for us by setting up scottish ring fenced subsidiaries) our mortgage/savings/ loans to Scottish banks. These banks will have to borrow and fund reseves on tbe international money markets based on our new lower credit rating hence mortgages loans will go up by the 2% that has been calculated.
        I don’t know why this is so difficult for yesers to understand.

    4. kbhresq says:

      “we could build more publicly owned social housing, at fair rents”
      Great policy, capable of being followed whatever the result of the referendum. However, to fund it the government will have to borrow, and that’s where the higher interest rates that the market would set for an iScotland government would become a curse. It might be a bit easier to gain support for social democratic policies in an iScotland, but such policies would be more expensive to deliver because of the greater borrowing costs that an iScotland government would face to make the investments required.

      1. MBC says:

        There are many ways of doing this and it’s not certain what our credit rating would be. I see no reason why it wouldn’t match that of other small financially sound developed nations such as Denmark. We have oil, we are a stable democracy with an educated workforce. We are a wealthy country.

  113. Dumbledore says:

    I’m Welsh and have always supported the idea of Welsh independence but have come to realise that it is just a pipe dream. Wales has no money, a weak economy and few resources. Scotland is in a far better position.

    Most of my family is in Scotland – they are Scots – The Thompson Clan. I love Scotland and would love to join them, especially my grandchildren, but I am very concerned that if Scotland goes independent, the Scottish Economy is too weak and there is not enough extractable oil (as opposed to reserves) to sustain the country. In that case, I wouldn’t be surprised if my family might join me in Wales instead, if things got bad.

    On the other hand, you might feel that any price, no matter how high, is worth paying to escape from London rule

    1. Sure Scot says:

      I agree with most of your post but I’m just not understanding this “London rule” thing that is being used on this site.
      Was anybody using this phrase (outside of pro independence parties) when Labour were in power between 1997 and 2010??
      We are ruled by a Uk government – not a “London” bogeyman (just like the “Westminster” bogeyman the SNP keep referring to).
      I find this quite irritating and misleading – tory governments come and go.

  114. MBC says:

    Sure Scot, I can see there is no point in arguing with you since you do not believe in negotiation, just abject submission. You are a doormat who believes all the lies and posturing George Osborne tells and you wouldn’t stick your mitts up for anything except to attack those of us who are trying to build a better future. I will leave you to the security of your stonking mortgage and maxed out credit cards that you admit have so emasculated you and removed any will to manoeuvere or resist. You are in a bunker.

    1. Sure Scot says:

      A bunker? – no I live in a normal family house.
      I do have a sizeable mortgage that a family home brings – but sorry to disappoint you though – I don’t have a credit card.
      I’m not taking George Osbornes word for it – the three main parties are all saying no to a currency union. That is because it is too dangerous to the rUk economy – they are right not to agree – they have to do what is best for rUk.

      1. Remember your gobbledygook about the British economy just a little while ago? I know it is easier to move on – but here is what you said:

        “RUk will have no legal or moral responsibility to make sure we are alright”

        How precious! There are two reasons why this statement is simply ill-informed. Actually virtually everything this anonymous correspondent writes sounds like a position paper written by a neo-conservative or Labour/Better Together supporter.

        1) References to “legal and moral responsibility”, or even the bizarre; making sure “we are alright” (what does our correspondent think this is – a sequel to Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm? ). This is realpolitik. A deal will be done because rUK’s interests are at stake; real interests, real needs.

        2) Unfortunately our correspondent is simply wrong about rUK decisions, based on UK government’s recent decisions. On 22nd November, 2010 George Osborne made the following comments on a £77Bn European Bail-out package to Ireland, as part of which £7Bn was supplied by the UK to Ireland:

        “This is a loan we can afford to make and will get back.”

        Osborne argued that Ireland accounted for 5% of Britain’s total exports – and two-fifths of Northern Ireland’s exports. Questioned on the bail-out and whether this was a precedent for other Eourozone countries he said: “I think there are very specific connections between the UK and Ireland which we don’t have with other countries and that’s why I think it’s completely appropriate we make a bilateral loan in this case”.

        For the sake of clarity – Scotland is far, far, far more important to the economy of rUK, financial and non-finacial, than Ireland. The arguments presented by this correspondent just do not stand up.

      2. Andy Nimmo says:

        Ah Sure Scot you are indeed a challenge and your stubbornness has to be applauded.
        Alas you mistake political showboating for truth. By the three main parties I assume you mean Labour, Conservative and Lib Dems. All three spokesmen namely Osborne, Davey and Alexander have a history of backtracking on pledges made to soothe the rabid tabloids. The UK currency belongs as much to Scotland as it does to England, Wales or Northern Ireland therefore attempts to deny a currency union will face legal challenges, will prove unpopular with business communities.
        When the dust settles after a Yes success I will promise you the following.
        1. Gideon Osborne will not be at 11 Downing Street
        2. Ed Davey will not be Shadow Chancellor.
        3. Danny Alexander will have performed so many U Turns he’ll be on Strictly Come Dancing.
        I will give you odds against their being a currency union and the ‘dead parrot’ will turn into the albatross around the neck of the RUK.

        1. Apol says:

          Actually the UK currency belongs to the UK not the constituent regions. We are choosing to leave the UK. If we had the Euro then left the EU we would not retain rights to the currency union.

          Now I’m not saying we wont have a currency union however it will only be on Westminster’s terms and will probably include keeping trident here as a minimum condition.

      3. Sure Scot says:

        Who is this “correspondent” you speak of?
        So by your view then we won’t really be independent then – we will rely on ruk for just about everything! Lol! Oh yeah….and wait…there’s more…rUk will be more than happy to oblige.
        Independence. …….This is more like Even More Dependence!

      4. The correspondent is you. Is “‘Lol’, Yeah, rUk will oblige!” supposed to be an argument, for it looks very like a crude piece of juvenilia? Furthermore, it is one of the more fatuous forms of argument that Better Together attempts to use, to argue that if their (frankly eccentric) view of “independence” is not the version to which pro-independence supporters actually subscribe, then this is “Even More Dependence”. First, you clearly do not understand the issues at stake (this is sad but could be corrected with a little effort); second, in defining independence as dependence in this way, you are committing a logical fallacy (begging the question, or petitio principii); third, and for the avoidance of doubt no, I do not think we would be inclined to look to your insight for a definition of ‘independence’.

        It looks to me as if you have found all your information for these third-rate arguments from a job-lot of rank Better Together press releases. I suggest you look elsewhere if you genuinely wish to find something of intellectual substance.

      5. Sure Scot says:

        John Swarren – No, but I’m mocking you argument of using Ireland as an example – I’ll get to that in a minute.
        For somone who is quite articulate you seem to struggle with concepts such as responsibility and independence and the two go hand in hand.
        You seem to want all of the power but none of the responsibility now if that us not immature I don’t know what is.
        Do we really want to end up like Ireland? Most separatists use Norway as a model but lets go with this anyway.
        Lets see – Ireland – this is a country that defaulted not long after it became independent. This remained a “basket case economy” for about 50 years after that with many of its population emmigrating to find employment and even throughout all of this it never had a socialist government. It then sprung into life and had a growth spurt that lasted about 2 decades and then collapsed again recently.
        Hardly appealing is it?
        It may come as a shock to you but I certainly know what is at stake here – as people like me will have the most to lose – and that I have voted SNP several times before but never again after this.

      6. MBC says:

        They are saying no to a currency union as a political posture to derail the Yes campaign. It is politicking, not economics. Playing tough. Mark Carney said that a currency union would be the best solution, in straightforward economic terms, for both countries, but he made clear this would have to be a political decision. Get that? A POLITICAL decision. That means haggling. Not a FACT. A haggle. Do you get that? Persuasion. Trade offs. Mediation. Negotiation. Do I have to spell this out? Jostling. Jousting. NOT economics. POLITICS. The economic case is won, according to Carney. It would be the best solution. What they say now and what they say come the day (if there is a Yes vote) are two different matters. We have aces to haggle with too. But of course if we surrender our sovereignty as you would have us do then we have none at all.

        BTW if your credit cards are not maxed out you’re even more of a wooss for knuckling down to the scare stories than I thought. I thought you were in a real tight spot there for a minute.

      7. Is there any point to your replies at all? If you had bothered to read what I wrote I did not claim that there was a currency union. Ireland was tied to sterling, and the UK bailed-out Ireland ; these facts completely undermine your whole argument. There is nothing left but your vanity. If you did know about the Bail-out, or Irish history, then you make your position even more absurd. You have blundered but unfortunately lack the grace to acknowledge it. Of course your principal purpose (or talent?) is perhaps the most obvious – to waste everyone’s time responding to this dross.

        quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra?

    2. Welcome back. You have a strange idea about how logic works. You made a clear statement about the relationship between Scotland and rUK. There will be no joint agreement on currency because;

      “RUk will have no legal or moral responsibility to make sure we [Scotland] are alright”.

      Your argument is either true or false.

      What are the facts?I point out that the UK bailed-out Ireland and your response is that Ireland is a “basket case”. Do you really not understand that this does not answer the point, but begs it. If Ireland was not a basket-case (to put it indelicately) there would have been no need for a Bail-out. You were wrong; flat wrong. It really is that simple. Your point about Ireland is completely irrelevant. Only a fool would follow you down that road; it leads nowhere, only to more redundant, utterly futile dead-ends. Your argument has collapsed – your case is the real dead parrot. This argument is quite dead; find a good one by all means, and try again; because only a stooge for Better Together, someone who only has the BT spin-doctor’s manual for amateurs would keep making the same blunder.

      You continually make bad arguments about the economy, sneer at your opponents and hastily move on to the next daft proposition. If you keep this up we could all put together a case study on systematic incoherence.

      I could deconstruct your very, very bad arguments about the UK economy (you will see an outline in an earlier post to you that you simply ignored); you see where this is going? What is the point of debating with you, when the debate simply goes round and round in dud arguments, question-begging, irrelevance and a return to what you do best – regurgitating pap from Better Together or the Daily Telegraph? There is no point at all. Sorry to sound hard, but hey, there comes a time when it is a kindness to be frank.

      You will vote No. Fine. You feel more secure in rUK or UK. Fine – a bad idea, but fine. Your choice, and it is to be respected; but all you seem intent to do here is not to debate freely the issues, but fill the reply columns of Bella Caledonia (endlessly) with the tired, exploded myths of Better Together; presumably because you hope that some of the spurious stuff will somehow stick, or someone will become so mad they write something really stupid that you can exploit. Everyone else seems to have moved on to more interesting issues, but you, like UK/rUK, are stuck firmly in the past; an anachronism.

      1. Sure Scot says:

        I understand logic very well – I’m an engineer.
        I said that there will be no currency union and you retorted by saying that Ireland were bailed out because Britain offered to help – Does that mean there will be a currency union? – No.
        Did Ireland get a currency union when they went independent? – No.
        Your logic = 0.
        The only similarity between us and Ireland is that there is a good possibility that we will default.
        If you are not willing to accept responsibility, then its maybe not a good idea to be independent.
        The concept of this doesn’t seem to be sinking in here.
        Btw – I don’t work for or have any association with ” BT ” – I have Sky broadband anyway :).
        Oh, it might be best to get used to me on here, I’ll be sticking around – its about time that one sided points of view on fanzine websites such as this one, are questioned.
        Me? I’m just one of the silent majority!

      2. kbhresq says:

        “This is a loan we can afford to make and will get back.”
        That’s the nub of it: a sound business investment for the UK.

      3. Nice try, but I think you are being obtuse. First, your proposition was that rUK would not help Scotland if faced with a bail-out (your idea, not mine). I pointed out that the UK had in fact bailed-out Ireland. This is a bad precedent for your argument; clearly you didn’t know about Ireland, and that is the problem when sweeping assertions are made, based on no evidence. As an engineer you will understand this. In fact the reason the UK bailed-out Ireland was for reasons of state, not sentiment; the consequences to the UK of a chain-reaction in the banking system if the UK refused the bail-out. If the need arose this would also apply to Scotland ‘a fortiori’; because of the far larger Scottish financial system and the close connections with the City, and because the UK is not in a position of great strength (as you appear to believe and keep insisting), but in a very difficult predicament under stress, because of the City’s over-commitment to international finance.

        The problem is the UK’s, not Scotland’s. The argument about a Scottish bail-out is yours, not mine (you keep forgetting this!). My position is that it will not happen (in fact the biggest Scottish banks are probably going to move their nameplates to London to reflect this reality anyway). So, the issue will not arise, but in the event that it did (in your ‘fantasy’ scenario) rUK would have to step in to protect itself; serving Scotland is merely a necessary by-product. You seem very confused.

        Second, you are wrong (as an incontrovertible fact) about the Irish currency after independence (1922):

        “Did Ireland get a currency union when they went independent? – No.
        Your logic = 0.”

        This is just plain wrong. The Irish state used the pound sterling from 1922-28. Thereafter it developed its own currency, but backed by sterling on a 1-to-1 basis, until 1978. It was only the EMS that changed the close link with sterling. Ireland bound itself to sterling as tight as a drum for over fifty years and would not let go, for much longer than was in its interests. And no, that implies nothing in the present Scottish context.

      4. Sure Scot says:

        Oh dear! You really didn’t do your research here did you?
        Looks like facts as well as concepts aren’t really your strong point.
        Ireland did not have a formal currency union with the UK when it became independent – it just continued to use sterling without a formal agreement and was never part of any separation treaty. It did then develop the Irish pound (punt) a few years after and was pegged to Sterling.
        I am fully aware of the bailout that Ireland received from the Uk a few years back – it was all over the news – it would have been difficult to miss it.
        It was you who first brought up the Irish bailout when you barged into my debate with MBC about no currency union and interest rates in an Iscotland – we were not talking about bailouts.
        My statement – “RUk will have no legal or moral responsibility to make sure we are alright” – this was in the context of a debate about currency union not bailouts!
        The next time you try to come to the rescue of someone else loosing a debate try reading all of the posts and not just seizing one sentence!
        As always, nice articulation though but your logic still = 0

      5. Is there any point to your replies at all? If you had bothered to read what I wrote I did not claim that there was a currency union. Ireland was tied to sterling, and the UK bailed-out Ireland ; these facts completely undermine your whole argument. There is nothing left but your vanity. If you did know about the Bail-out, or Irish history, then you make your position even more absurd. You have blundered but unfortunately lack the grace to acknowledge it. Of course your principal purpose (or talent?) is perhaps the most obvious – to waste everyone’s time responding to this dross.

        quousque tandem abutere, Catilina, patientia nostra?

      6. You use the term “without a formal agreement” regarding Ireland’s use of sterling. In October, 1921 in the negotiations towards the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1921 (which does not mention currency), a ‘Memorandum of the proposals of the Irish delegates to the British representatives’ (No. 49 NAI DE 2/304/1) proposed a “Trade Convention” that would “make mutual agreements” on, inter alia “currency and coinage” to run in parallel with the Agreement. At the same time the Anglo-Irish Agreement did provide that the Irish Free State would assume responsibility for its share of the Imperial debt. Later, when Ireland took its first steps to extricate itself from this straitjacket, the punt was pegged to sterling, for fairly obvious reasons at the time. Ireland was thus tied closely to sterling both de facto, and “formally“. I am still trying to understand what your real point is on this matter: you do have one?

        The status of Ireland in 1921/2 has been thought of as closer to dominion status; and this is at the time was effectively colonial status (from the perspective of Britain). This colonial status is thus implicit, but not explicit, in the 1921 Anglo-Irish Agreement. Canada is the standard model of Dominion status; but when we examine Canada, we find that the eminent constitutionalist Frank Scott has said “Never at any time in [1919-39] was the full international personality of the Dominions, as distinct from Great Britain, established beyond equivocation”. Andrew Heard has pointed out that “important legal traces of Canada’s colonial status were only shed with the passing of the Canada Act” by the British Parliament in 1982. I make these points because your view of “independence” is consistently and dogmatically banal, and your understanding of the underlying issues of the relationship between the UK/rUK and Scotland, crude. I confess that you are annoying, but It is particularly disappointing that you are determined to undertake a so-called ‘dialogue’ in such a fashion. It is perhaps much more a part of the mindless tactics of “Unionism” than you perhaps realise, or wish to admit. Unless of course, as I might reasonably speculate, mere destructiveness is your sole purpose.

      7. Sure Scot says:

        Exerpt from your post on 23/07 @21:06 –
        {Second, you are wrong (as an incontrovertible fact) about the Irish currency after independence (1922):
        “Did Ireland get a currency union when they went independent? – No.
        Your logic = 0.”
        This is just plain wrong.}

        So why are you saying I was wrong then when you agree that they did not receive a currency union?
        Why does the Irish scenario, that has played out over the last 90 plus years, in any way indicate that rUk will buckle and sign up to a currency union?
        I think you are clutching at straws here!
        You should probably just have stuck with the standard Norway example that most yesers use!
        You are obviously trying to safe face here by signing of your post with a foreign phrase – Latin maybe? May impress some but not me.

  115. Starky says:

    Scaremongering…….. Has it really come to this? I was hoping for some facts, some debate and all we have here is “I’ll tell you so threats”

    Come back with facts, reasons to vote yes based on facts, reasons to vote no based on facts. Inform the public so we can make our own decisions.

    1. “Sure Scot” is ashamed to be a Scot, assuming he is a Scot, for he exploits the hoary old tactic of saying he was always an SNP voter but no more. In other words, just as the SNP offer the plebiscite denied to the nation over 300 years, Sure Scot, wobbles and skedaddles off into the sunset. Some Scot.

      1. Sure Scot says:

        Well Mr Beater – or should I just call you Grouse? What would you prefer seeing as you seem to see yourself as an authority on names – You struggle to believe that I can possibly be a real scot (I was born here and lived here in all of my 44 years – within Angus).
        You struggle to believe that I used to vote SNP – I was more than just a voter, I used to believe in independence but not anymore – it is outdated.
        I won’t be skedaddling off anywhere.
        I – like the majority of Scots – have no time for the false promises of independence.
        It was a joy to watch the opening ceremony last night a proud show of Scottishness – the Queen was applauded – England were loudly cheered into the stadium.
        This was a show of a progressive nation and is in stark contrast to what independence is all about – a regressive step towards separation.
        For the proud Scot No voters it was a job well done. I imagine though that there would have been a lot of yes voters last night cursing at their tellys.
        I am not “Some Scot” as you put it I am the silent majority 🙂

        1. There is no such things as a “silent majority.”

          If it is silent how does anybody know it is a majority?

          The ludicrous slogan was discredited almost as soon as tricky Dicky President Nixon uttered the phrase to imply he had legions of supporters too timid to speak up.

          There is no separation other than a restoration of democratic rights and structures appropriated by Westminster over 300 years without due consultation. You should question why you fear greater democracy for people of Britain.

          Scotland, certainly under this government, intends to keep key links with its neighbour. We have after all, over 300,000 English people happily living and working in Scotland.

          No country on this planet luxuriates in ‘full’ independence. Each nation state depends on others to sustain it way of life and policies.

          If you don’t know that then you know nothing, or worse, have no politics at all.

      2. Sure Scot says:

        Oh but there is! Just look at the opinion polls – all are showing a majority of Scots saying No when Don’t Know’s are excluded.
        Even the biased Panelbase polls set up by WoS (with leading questions asked before the main question).
        You seem to have a bizarre ideal that somehow that I would simply not be Scottish that “I’m ashamed to be a Scot”.
        You seem to make a lot of assumptions about me and other Scots. You seem to think that it’s unfathomable that we exist. I’m guessing that you are quite involved with the yes campaign – possibly a canvasser by the sounds of it.
        Just because a yes Facebook post gets 20,000 or so likes, and because the SNP have a majority SG (only by default in a poor election turnout in 2011) does not mean most of the nation is behind your cause.
        Yes voters are far more vocal about their stance. No voters are far more less likely to declare their stance.

        1. “Oh but there is! Just look at the opinion polls – all are showing a majority of Scots saying”

          Still not the mythical ‘silent majority’ you are so keen to imply are standing behind you, shoulder to shoulder.

          Polls interview around 1 to 3,000 people by telephone. Those interviewed state openly their preference – hence NOT a silent majority.

          Tabulations calculated from interviewee responses can not guarantee a No vote.

          Assuming questions are not deliberately skewed to achieve one particular outcome, polls show only a likely, or probable outcome.

          The tens of thousands not interviewed can not be categorised as voting one way or the other, principally because they are SILENT.

          On the 18th of September a majority of the people of Scotland – not all Scots by birth – shall vote for a nation renewed no longer under the thumb of its neighbour.

          At that point you too might well become silent.

      3. “Ireland – this is a country that defaulted not long after it became independent”.

        “Austerity will be a more difficult pill to swallow when we default”

        “RUk will have no legal or moral responsibility to make sure we are alright”

        Your statements, and clearly connected. The clear implication is that Scotland will default and rUK will simply allow it to happen. Only the UK stepped in to participate in the bail-out of Ireland, when on your hypothesis there were absolutely no grounds to do it. But Britain participated in the Bail-out to protect the UK: you really ought to try to think this through – you might find out something about the mechanisms of your beloved Union. There will be a currency union with Scotland because it is in Britain’s interest to have a currency union, whatever is said now. Britain is fundamentally weak, not strong. Your gullible acceptance of the froth issuing from Westminster is a demonstration of simple naivety. The ‘refusal’ would not survive a Yes vote by 24 hours: no buckling, no straws, just realpolitik.

        Your desperate obsession with Norway is your problem, not mine. So what?

        As to my Latin phrase, it was a quotation; a famous appeal (I thought) to infinite patience beyond what is reasonable or tolerable: whether you are impressed or not is a matter of utter insignificance; your vanity is showing again. But I responded rather well to my appeal to patience, and here I am; in spite of my better judgement to abandon dialogue with a smug, obtuse correspondent – I find myself still feeding strawberries to an elephant.

        Most of all if I read your remarks “at face value” (I have no other test to make); on that basis you manage to combine infinite vanity and stark gullibility to a quite exceptional degree.

      4. So you think we will be in an infinitely stronger position if we vote ”No” for the Union…….
        Hmm…lets recap…..

        £1.4+ Trillion public debt – and growing
        £1.4+ Trillion private debt – and growing
        The Credit Crunch
        Misselling on an industrial scale
        Legalised usury (4,000% APR)
        MPs Expenses
        Property Bubble
        Food Banks
        Inequality (UK approx. 6th of 28 OECD countries on Gini coefficient)

        No thanks…….I think I’ll leave it!

        1. Apol says:

          John Warren, firstly are you actually saying that Plebgate (effectively one guy and a couple of police officers having a spat) is a reason to leave the UK? Seriously grasping at straws!

          Secondly, I agree with your list of failings of the UK. However what I ask of you is to tell me how these things will be any different in an independent Scotland?

          The debt is big as a percentage of GDP but Scotland’s is just as big due to our un-curbed spending on tuition fees, prescriptions etc. In fact Scotland is haemorrhaging money at a faster rate because they avoid some of the austerity measures.

          MP Expenses – Did you see how much the Scottish parliament ran over budget, also the recent tax payer bill for putting Alex Salmonds entourage up in 5 star hotels? They really aren’t any better than Westminster.

          Ursury – If you are referring to Wonga and co. then surely you have seen that the UK government have been breathing down their necks. Also there are now plans to cap the interest these loans can accrue.

          Food banks and inequality – Aside from the living wage (which most of the UK parties are talking about adopting anyway), can you actually explain how any Scottish party intends to change this? I might have missed something but I have seen nothing in the white paper or elsewhere which will target this.

        2. The kind of in your eye concise reply I admire.

      5. MBC says:

        As to the psychology of SureScot, in his stubborn and arrogant obtusity, perhaps it is revealing that he is an engineer. I have found (teaching students from diverse backgrounds) that people from technical disciplines struggle at first to grasp the arts and humanities (politics being an art, not a science or a technology). This is because in technical subjects, if there is a problem with a machine, there is a single solution to that problem. If something goes wrong with a car, you have to locate the specific fault, because there IS a specific fault, and thus only a single solution. This means that people from technical backgrounds can at first be resistant to the idea of ambiguity and its creative potential. Generally though, I find that bright students, whatever their technical background and customary mindset, may struggle at first with this fluidity, but then they make headway with the complexity and dynamics of negotiation that form the arts and humanities – the problem SureScot is having here in his insistence that ‘there will be no currency union, because George Osborne says so’.

        But in the humanities, the issue is that people and societies are NOT machines. They are complex and capable of an infinite variety of responses and are for that reason, inherently unpredictable. Thus there is never a single technical solution to any given problem. (Such as the currency, post a Yes vote). There are umpteen solutions and permeations of solutions. Politics is the art of the possible. So a shared currency in a currency union is a solution that Mark Carney has identified as in the best interests – at least in the middle term – of both parties. But this will be part of a parcel of complex negotiations to achieve a stable and fair settlement. SureScot is temperamentally indisposed to deal with this kind of dynamic.

        On the other hand, there are possibly darker reasons. Hannah Arendt identified the fascist mindset as a narrow and inflexible one whose primary characteristic was ‘intolerance of ambiguity’.

        1. Apol says:

          Why do people on both sides constantly ‘suggest’ the other side is fascist or something equally as horrendous? We really need to stop demonising people in this manner. Whatever the referendum outcome is we all need to move forward after together.

      6. Plebgate: but not just any guy, and not just any police officers, and not just any situation. We still do not have a proper explanation. But I was rather allowing ‘Plebgate’ to stand for the broader, deep sickness in our dysfunctional institutions (Home Office, BBC etc., etc). We do not have a capacity to challenge even the unacceptable where it takes hold or becomes institutionalised in some way: Lawrence, Hillsborough, Savile (who was not brought down by a free press, or an investigation, but simply and probably only, because he died); and even past Home Secretaries speak of the dysfunctional nature of great departments of State. Too many of our major institutions have failed us very, very badly. This speaks not just to the decay, the rot of ages; but to an extraordinary deference and inertia in Britain that paralyses the appropriate timely response and slowly kills aspiration. The result is alienation or despair; or simply encourages everyone to give in to greed as the only socially respectable way forward.

        It isn’t ‘nationalism’, or even “the answer” that a ‘Yes’ vote offers, but opportunity; to start with at least as clean a slate as this old country can produce, and make of it the best we can. Better than we have; and at least to try to eliminate alienation and despair.

        I would happily continue through your lengthy list of issues, but this would become a very long reply and I probably write too much already; but I hope this provides some sense of where my argument goes.

        1. Apol says:

          Yeah I can understand the desire for a clean slate and to separate ourselves from some of the current decay.

          Maybe it’s because i’m a scientist as well, I constantly have to work through problems until they are fixed and don’t really have the choice to leave them in my working life. I do think this debate is separating people partly by life outlook maybe more so than political outlook or national identity.

      7. The UK does not fix problems, it fudges them; the Byzantine tax system that serves best systematic and aggressive tax avoidance; usury that is legalised, then it takes ten years for Governments to notice any bad effects. The Credit Crunch is the Union’s legacy to us all; a self-inflicted wound. Since the underlying problems have not been fixed nor the financial system completely restructured (Villiers was not implemented, and the new tripartite regulatory system is comparatively a pale shadow of Roosevelt’s authoritative post-crash New Deal banking system – indeed that system’s destruction in the 1980s, and replacement by neo-conservative ideology, was the preliminary to our present disasters); thus our economic recovery is for good reason described as “fragile” in the terminology of the day.

        Can we do well? Prophecy is beyond me, but we can certainly do better than this, and reduce both the level of sovereign and country risks that face UK/rUK long term.

        1. Apol says:

          Prophecy fair enough but we can take educated guesses from the options we currently have. For example you mention the rather outdated tax system and legalised usury. After independence we will then have to vote for one of the Scottish parties in Holyrood. Which of those parties is suggesting that we change these two issues above and how? I would quite like to know so that I can vote for them in that election? Personally I like UK Labour’s idea of a mansion tax, taxing accumulated wealth rather than income seems pretty progressive to me?

          I detest GDP as a measure of a country’s well being but you mentioned the economy. Not sure if you have read today’s news regarding the UK’s economic growth? I know its just a preliminary analysis however it suggests we may be the fastest growing economy in the G7. Fragile maybe but things are recovering.

        2. Apol says:

          I forgot to say, I detest using GDP as a measure because it neglects to account for wealth disparity, i.e. the people still going to food banks). However economic growth is important to the funding of public services. An independent Scotland would have to produce some impressive economic growth to reduce it’s deficit.

      8. A “fragile” recovery because it follows the standard British growth pattern (in fact it is already above historic norms and is probably not sustainable because it does not match British productivity performance); it relies on property value inflation (34% in a year in London, after a Crash!) + consumer spend; the old regime. It will end most probably like all other British expansions, with a ‘bust’. More important the economic recovery is the product of some return of confidence because there is actually a longer period between our recovery and the Crash, and recovery after the Great Depression. It is just a demonstration, late in the day, that we are not actually extinct. We are historically in new territory; also with QE, but even more critically the relationship between interest rate trends and growth in the UK economy do not plausibly reconcile. Almost all the key variables are being held artificially, for example by the BoE, in ways that long term do not convince. Interest rates that return to long term norms/trends would create serious problems both for private and public debt in the UK. It will be useful to search for the economic modelling that shows a) the deleterious impact on the property market and on mortgagees, of each 0.5% rise in interest rates from the current 0.5% base, to (say) 5%; and b) the same analysis on the impact on the deficit, national debt, and the resources that will be drained from spend on public services, to servicing debt. The effect on the UK economy will be frightening; and it cannot be avoided. The BofE simply seems to be trying to juggle the joystick to ensure a very slow, very soft landing. It doesn’t seem very convincing. The Government will no doubt resort to some implausible fudge that will land us in an even worse mess; they hope when they are out of office. ‘Plus ca change.’….. Sorry to end with cynicism.

      9. On taxation, we require to undertake a fundamental overhaul the system. The proposals you mention assume the background of the current dysfunctional system. Changing this is best done over time, and thoroughly; not in time for the first election. In the short term I think we should concentrate on ensuring the system works more effectively and fairly within its limitations; that the system is equitable and the extra resources are put in to ensure more tax is paid (much of this is done by negotiation at higher levels, but needs professional resources – often the major taxpayer is better advised than the Inland Revenue). If everyone paid equitable amounts the required marginal rate of tax would fall. So I would look to the plentiful accounting/tax skills in Scotland to produce a more effective regime until we can change the fundamentals. Not a brilliant reply, but realistic I think. It should produce more tax and be more equitable, while not overloading business or raise unnecessary conflict.

      10. Sure Scot says:

        Still not getting it are you.
        People are very wary of saying that they don’t want independence in public – by telephone, by door chap or by internet in fear of somehow looking “unpatriotic” (most people in this predicament say Don’t Know but some say Yes).

        Take the Declaration for Yes as an example. In approximately 2 years it has only amassed approximately 800,000 signatures (still ongoing by the way – any new signatures are still welcome online).
        A very impressive amount really but when you compare that to the total Scottish electorate of over 4 million people, then that equates to less than 25%!
        Now, going with the fact that yes voters are far more commited to the cause and use social media /internet to get their message across – I’m sure if there was anything near 2 million backing independence they would have signed the Declaration and the figure would be a lot nearer this. An approximate 90% turnout is expected at this referendum.
        I have heard on a few occasions of people I know that have had yes canvassers at their door that they say they are voting yes just to avoid confrontation and prolonged discussion. I can see their point!

        1. I can see their point!

          Alas, you’re blind to reason, relying entirely almost exclusively on vapid opinion and exaggeration.

      11. “Buckle”? Actually I wrote “no buckling”. You responses have nothing to do with my arguments (you have lost the plot yet again, or are ‘making smoke’). You simply refuse even to understand the simplest propositions. Refusing to see an opponents argument does not count as answering it (I think I need to mention this). And, yes, the UK debt is a far bigger, intractable problem than you (seem to) understand.

        You constructed an argument that Scotland would need bailed-out; there would be no obligation for rUK to bail-out Scotland, and it would not do so. You see, at least I do you the courtesy of reading your argument. I pointed out that the UK (which had less reason to bail-out Ireland than would be the case if the same problem had applied to an independent Scotland), had in fact bailed-out Ireland. You have failed to explain why the UK bailed-out Ireland. For me, the issue does not arise with application to Scotland. This is your problem. Why not address it?

        This is not a game. I am not interested in your juvenile efforts to reduce this subject to a point-scoring exercise; in truth the really sad fact is that in all your contributions I have not seen a single point (a single point) that you have made in defence of the Union that is original, illuminating, or even interesting. It is at best, dull, ditch-water, derivative stuff; jejune. Most acute Unionists I know wouldn’t be caught repeating it. I challenge it because Unionists who write on the matter really require to do better. Unionism as a concept is becoming an intellectual embarrassment. The Sneer, especially the empty sneer (the character of all your posts, and so typical of Better Together) does not cut the mustard.

        No, I didn’t say “it was all them”. The City was the heartland of the Credit Crunch; this is difficult to refute. I have not said anywhere that Scotland had no responsibility for our problems, this is just one of your typically gratuitous false attributions; but the fact is that Scotland is in the UK and the UK has deep, serious problems that go to the heart of its political system and institutions; and the UK has political values, especially a neo-conservative ideology, that is deeply at variance with Scottish aspirations. Currently Scotland is trapped in a political Catch-22 if it stays in the Union. How do we resolve this? Scotland cannot change Britain, and the opportunity now presents itself to shape Scotland’s prospects anew. We can do better, by starting afresh; not repeating the same old mistakes, not using the same old institutions, the same old political arrangements: no guarantees, no certainties because there are none in life. In life however there are times when fundamental change is required; something that occurs from time to time, even in British history. The proposition that in saying any or all the above I somehow believe that there is no corruption in Scotland, or that all our problems will be solved by independence is frankly groundless, obtuse and silly.

        At this point, if that is the basis of your case, then there really is little point in debating anything further (we have perhaps arrived at the outcome of the repetitive form of argument you typically rely on – the ‘argumentum ad absurdum’).

        1. Excellent reply, John, and inevitable given the low standard of discussion we confront.

      12. Sure Scot: “I can’t help it…

        You don’t say.

    2. MBC says:

      The only sure fact is that if we vote Yes on September 18th we reclaim our sovereignty and become an equal nation with whatever rUK is calling itself. Equal in legitimacy. But if we vote No we surrender our sovereignty and are in an infinitely weaker position.

      Take it or leave it.

      1. Sure Scot says:

        So you think we will be in an infinitely weaker position if we reject indepedence independence…….
        Hmm…lets recap…..
        No currency union
        No currency plan B
        No central bank
        No EU common market
        No EU membership
        No Nato membership
        No backing from any world figure.
        No backing from Obama/USA & China
        No backing from any European nation

        No thanks…….I think I’ll leave it!

        1. Andy Nimmo says:

          Och Sure Scot I’m becoming more and more convinced you’re a spoof. but in case you’re not and just obtuse, can you answer Yes to the following questions.
          1. Are you proud that the UK has slipped from the 3rd most prosperous country to 18th.
          2. Are you proud that pensioners in the UK receive the lowest pensions in Europe.
          3. Are you proud that the gap between the poorest and the richest citizens is higher in the UK than in any other country in Europe with the exception of Lithuania.and the number of Bankers (excuse the rhyming slang) earning in excess of one million pounds in the UK is more than double that of France and Germany combined
          4. Are you proud of the never ending increase of citizens forced to use Food Banks and the fact that Labour have promised to carry on with the brutal Welfare Cuts and Austerity Programme
          5. Do you honestly believe that Westminster provides the better chance of remaining in the EU with the likelihood of a Tory/UKIP Coalition.
          6. Can you honestly say that Britain isn’t broke.
          If you can honestly answer Yes than you also believe in the tooth fairy

      2. Sure Scot says:

        No one is really proud of slipping down any league table – but we have just come through a world wide recession where many western countries like Spain, USA, Ireland, Greece etc have had home repossession crisis and some have defaulted – compared to these countries we faired a lot better.
        Pensioners here receive more benefits than other countries – free travel, heating allowance etc.
        The argument of inequality is a grey area – the Banking sector and CEO’s pay is the main reason for the gap – take this small percentage out of the equation and it’s not anywhere near as bad. Salmond is a fan of these types though so it is unlikely that they will be taking a wage cut in an Iscotland.
        Are you proud of Salmond’s involvement with RBS and the SNP’s failure to back a 50p tax rate etc?
        There are foodbanks in most countries all over the world – there had just been a world wide recession – they exist in USA and mainland Europe – and yes even in London.
        The Uk is the better option to remain in Europe – even the majority of tories believe in the Eu – Cameron is using tbe issue to change the way the Eu works. Btw- there is just as much chance of a Green/Labour/Lib Dem coalition as there is of the tory/UKIP one.
        Your last point reffers to Britain being broke – if you mean financially broke then why is Independence going to rely so much on Britain being financially sound? (using the pound, central bank etc) If you’re reffering to the national debt – It is large but any debt is judged on the ability to pay it back – according to the IMF and ratings agencies – they are not concerned.
        If you really think Britain is financially broke then there would be no hope for an Iscotland.

      3. At last, a description of the UK that is our only salvation.

        “The argument of inequality is a grey area”.
        “take this small percentage out of the equation [Bankers and CEOs’ pay] and’s [inequality is] not anywhere near as bad”.
        “There are foodbanks in most countries all over the world …. …. even in London.”
        The Uk is the better option to remain in Europe Cameron is using tbe issue to change the way the Eu works.”
        “the national debt is large but any debt is judged on the ability to pay it back – according to the IMF and ratings agencies – they are not concerned.”
        “there had just been a world wide recession”.

        Gosh, I didn’t realise it was so obvious. This is the promised land. We can ignore inequality (a mere detail). The rating agencies (!) say we can afford our debt. That solves the problem. But at what level of interest rates? And what is the risk profile of the UK? Actually, not good. London has food banks, so it must be OK. There has been a World Wide Recession. Nothing to do with UK (it wisnae me), or the City. Strange that most of the serious fines in the US against a banking system that was out of control relates to activities that took place in the London offices of the relevant banks. Then there is the Libor scandal. As for RBS, the Scottish banking system was ruined by Big Bang in 1986. Scotland lost its distinctive and highly respected independent banking culture, and finally its major banks to the City. The catastrophe that is City ‘banking culture’ is recognised by, well everyone; only little is really being done to change it. RBS has been a City institution since the NatWest acquisition. Our great Scottish mutual fund institutions, from banks to pension funds have completely disappeared. The species has virtually vanished. TSB is now sunk in a bailed-out bank. Misselling has been on such a scale throughout the whole British economy (from banks to utilities), we still can’t quantify it. Usury is normal. Meanwhile Britain’s bust banks managed to transfer the losses from the private to the public sector; the banks keep the profits and the taxpayer is lender-of-last-resort for the losses. This must be what neo-conservatives mean by ‘free enterprise’. Our economy is dangerously over-reliant on the Finance Sector; with little prospect of fundamental, structural rebalancing. And Cameron is the answer in Europe!

        And you think ‘Yessers’ have a problem?!

      4. Sure Scot says:

        John S Warren – still persuing me by barging in to my debates I see. So a summary of your posts the last few days –
        You barged into my post with your incistance that because Uk bailed out Ireland then that proves that the Uk would somehow buckle and offer us a currency union – which it doesn’t.
        Then you insisted that Ireland received a currency union when they went independent – when they did not.
        You try to ” out post ” me with excellent articulation and Latin phrases but your arguments seem to lack any logic

        So your saying it wasnae us – it was all them (English) – standard reply from a yeser really.
        You hint that the Uk has an unmanageable amount of debt – but you would expect the Uk to bail us out (as well using their currency and central bank)
        I’m glad you mentioned MP’s expenses (scandal I presume) – there were just as many MP’S from non privileged backgrounds, many of them labour and some of them Scottish – doesn’t really bode well for an Iscotland – where there is power and money there will be corruption.
        Foodbanks im sure will be a prominent feature in an Iscotland – good chance I’ll be using them.
        There is a high probability that we will default due to our insistence that everything must be free to everyone all the time.

        Not sure if you read the news or you just stick to websites such as this and WoS but here is what is happening outside of yes Scotland blinkers today – the Uk economy is on the mend.



  116. That lad says:

    If yes wins then your future is even more in the hands of southern English (not all English are the same y’know. The north is more Scottish than they are southern) Tory gits.
    And if you think there are no politicians I the truest most negative sense of the word in Scotland then you’re off your face. Salmond and his ilk are just as bad as the old parties. They offer nothing different

    1. Sure Scot says:

      Yep, they do say – when a man marries his mistress he just creates another vacancy.
      All we would be doing here by gaining independence is just creating another figure of blame – instead of “Westminster” or “London” bogeyman it will be “Holyrood” or “central belt” that gets the blame for everything.

      1. That’s your opinion.

        Personal opinion has little if any substance.

      2. Peter Arnott says:

        Difference being that if Scotland voted out a government that government would be gone.

      3. Sure Scot says:

        Peter Arnot – the Scottish Government has continually proved, from its inception, that it struggles to make proper investment outside of the central belt. It seems to focus on vanity projects within the central belt such as – Edinburgh Trams, The Hydro, Scottish Parliament, a 2nd Forth road bridge etc.
        Meanwhile the main route to the highlands the A9 has been left as a 19th century single lane road in parts (resulting in many deaths) and Aberdeen is left in gridlock every evening as there is no proper bypass or dual carriageway – (and this is an oil city!) It’s no wonder the North and Shetland and Orkney have little appetite for independence along with the borders.
        You seem to follow the view that Scotland is a united country – far from it – it is becoming more divided as the days go on.
        Scotland will get the government that the central belt will vote for.

      4. ” Scotland will get the government the central belt votes for.

        That inane comment sums up the puddle depth of your thinking.

        Though a poor attempt to belittle and denigrate, taken at face value, you are saying in effect that the vast majority of people in Scotland live in the central area and consequently, democracy meaning first past the post, will win power in a parliament dedicated exclusively to the interests of all people in all of Scotland.

      5. Sure Scot says:

        Have you not heard about the Shetland Orkney and Western Isles – they want a referendum (to either remain in the Uk or seek their own independence) the week after the 18th if the vote goes Yes.

        Also seems to be a strong No coming from the borders.
        Given that there is not the appetite in the north & central east as much as the west coast – It looks like Glasgow (and surrounding area) is the only potential area that might vote yes.

        Today an opinion poll had revealed that as much as 700,000 scots will want to leave Scotland, if independence becomes a reality.
        Not much of a united country is it?

        1. susie says:

          Strangely the 70,000 leaving is the exact number that leave at the moment,hows that for twisting things pretty sad if you ask me .

        2. susie says:

          sorry just checked my facts in the Independent 700,000 have left Scotland in the last 10 years ,I for 1 would consider leaving if a No vote prevails,it would be so depressing to still have rule from Westminster. support for Yes is 1% up since last poll

          1. David Fullstone says:

            Susie I totally agree. I mentioned in a previous post that I would like to move back but unfortunately as an Oracle contractor it just isn’t viable. After leaving the army I found that the best place to live is roughly around Chester as you get the cheaper housing and by that I mean prices suddenly half yet you can still get very good contracts. Even if I posted up on job forums that I was living further North I kept getting endless calls from the South of England asking if I’d relocate. Recruiters are good at making money and whether English or Scottish they all said the same thing, forget it all the money and large financial companies are in the South of England. When I asked why they said simply that everything radiates out from the centre of power in London ending roughly half way up England. That’s the way it is and the way it always has been and a NO vote can only guarantee it will stay that way or get worse as far as I can see. At least a YES vote will create a second seat of power that will have a potential to create what can only currently be found in the South of England. It would be nice for all of us Scotts to be able to move back to Scotland but I feel a NO vote will guarantee that the existing status quo will be maintained. Can’t really say much more apart from the difference between the South of England and the rest of the country is phenomenal. If people feel that is a unity then fair enough but my experience is that like a bad marriage this unity is one where one partner thrives by being seen in a solid relationship while the partner is made to feel everything is fine by getting just enough to get by. Anyway I’ll let many get back to coming out with percentages this and politics that about the future while I live in the facts of the past and present and stay where there is a huge difference in living standards as it looks like that’s the way things will stay.

      6. Sure Scot says:

        It is a common part of life in any country that people emmigrate for various reasons. Sounds like that figure in the last ten years, equates to just over 1% a year, which I would imagine would be within the Eu boundaries.
        The point here is that 700,000 people would feel they need to do this as a direct result of independence. There will be people who just simply won’t want to be part of the economic madness that an Iscotland will bring. There will also be people who will not want to live in a country where they would be judged by their “Scottishness” or their nationality.
        I think it would be fair to say that almost all of the 700,000 would simply be moving to rUk to keep most of the benefits that rUk provides (membership of Eu, Nato, low tax, NHS, the pound & BoE etc) as part of a stable country.
        I wonder where the supposed 200,000 would be moving to in the event of a No vote? This is more likely to be a protest as where could they possibly find a country that maintains and provides all the benefits such as free healthcare etc.
        Also, there are approximately 140,000 Eu citizens who will be in a precarious position if we get independence as there is a high probability that we won’t get in the Eu straight away.
        Btw – the No vote also went up 1% to 48% (on the last poll conducted by this newspaper in May) – but since the last Panelbase poll (in June) the yes vote is down by 2% and the No is up 2%.

        1. susie says:

          ” STABLE” ?

      7. Sure Scot

        You keep repeating falsehoods as if you hope they become fact by mere repetition.
        No Scottish island has asked for independence.
        There are no records showing ‘700,000 ready to leave Scotland if it gains independence.’

        The claptrap you peddle is symptomatic of much of the unionist argument, baseless and ludicrous.

        If you insist on tossing nonsense around don’t expect to get respect.

      8. Sure Scot says:

        Grosse Beater –
        Do you not read the news? I have even attached a link here from the Herald.

        Your logic seems to imply that it’s ok for you to express an opinion on here but not for me to – nice!

        Anyway – The 700,000 would not be emigrating really, they will probably just be moving town (in either England / N Ireland / Wales) to stay in the Uk, to continue there way of life and escape the nationalist madness of an Iscotland.
        Like I asked earlier – it would be interesting to know where the 200,000 (that say they will leave in the event of a No vote ) – would be able to find a country with all of the benefits (such as free healthcare etc) of the Uk?

      9. Ther opinion you express is arrant nonsense. You’re now reduced to quoting nonsense spouted by others. Is the 700,000 on the move the new positive No campaign?

      10. Sure Scot says:

        “Arrant nonsense” – It maybe is…..according to your opinion!
        But to quote from you on your previous post from 24th July..
        “Personal opinion has little if any substance”.
        The 700,000 figure has come from a Panelbase poll – this isn’t a No campaign spin – it is what the findings of the poll are – take it up with them.
        In my opinion (if I’m still allowed one on here and in Grosse Beater world) the 700,000 will be moving to rUk to continue living a good standard of life, in a progressive liberal country – instead of being part of an unstable regressive pro – nationalist country.

        1. bellacaledonia says:

          The question is surely will the 700,000 be allowed in? By the No campaigns own admission they want to set up border posts, maybe they’ll be marooned! They’ll be unable to live in their progressive liberal country with its Hate Van and UKIP support soaring…?

      11. Sure Scot says:

        Of course they would be allowed in – they are Uk citizens – at least before any potential official separation.
        Which brings up an interesting point – what will determine whether you are Scottish or a Uk citizen that happens to live in Scotland – gets a bit messy there. That’s why I have no time for nationalism – who is really “Scottish” enough to be Scottish. I’ve heard of people complaining on other forum sites as to why Rod Stewart was performing at the opening ceremony as he was not seen as Scottish enough for them – his dad was Scottish.
        There’s a lot of Scottish people that come from cross border backgrounds and many Scots are married to other Uk citizens not from Scotland but live in Scotland.
        I imagine the 700,000 will be planning to move before any formal separation in the event of a yes vote. I think it would be fair to say that almost all of the 700,000 would be tax payers, most maybe in skilled jobs and taking their skills with them.

        1. Citizenship
          18 Scottish citizenship
          (1) The following people automatically hold Scottish citizenship, namely—
          (a) all those who, immediately before Independence Day, hold British citizenship and
          (i) are habitually resident in Scotland at that time, or
          (ii) are not habitually resident in Scotland at that time but were born in
          (b) any person born in Scotland on or after Independence Day if either of the person’s
          parents, at the time of the person’s birth—
          (i) holds Scottish citizenship, or
          (ii) has indefinite leave to remain in Scotland, and
          (c) any person born outside Scotland on or after Independence Day if—
          (i) either of the person’s parents, at the time of the person’s birth, holds
          Scottish citizenship, and
          (ii) the person’s birth is registered in Scotland.
          (2) The following people are entitled to claim Scottish citizenship according to the
          prescribed procedures, namely—
          (a) any person born in Scotland on or after Independence Day if either of the person’s
          parents meets the prescribed requirements,
          (b) any person with—
          (i) a prescribed connection by descent with a person holding Scottish
          citizenship, or
          (ii) any other prescribed connection with Scotland.
          (3) A person holding Scottish citizenship may also hold other nationalities or citizenships at
          the same time.
          (4) Further provision about entitlement to Scottish citizenship is to be made by Act of the
          Scottish Parliament, and “prescribed” means prescribed by or under such an Act.
          (5) Such an Act may, in particular, include provision supplementing, qualifying or
          modifying the provision in this section.

      12. Sure Scot: “The 700,000 came froma Panelbase survey..

        As ever, you’re wide off the mark.

        It was commissioned by the Sunday Times – total number contacted, 1.009.

        What was the question? ‘If the Scottish Government demanded the death of all first born would you leave Scotland?’The Sunday Times isn’t exactly the cheerleader for Scotland’s prosperity.

        What you did, either by egregous error or deliberately, was to claim 700,000 people will most definitely leave Scotland if there is a Yes vote.

        The poll stated categorically a potential 700,000 would think about leaving.

        The critical word is think.

        I’m thinking of seeing a movie this weekend. But I might change my mind.

        Only this year the same Sunday Times, followed by other UK national dailies, was telling us the most favoured place to live in the UK is Scotland, the preference, Edinburgh. It quoted English settlers, “The quality of life in Scotland is superior to anything we experienced down south.” According to you a large proportion of the same people are already packing their belongings to thumb a lift back south.

        Your detestation of Scotland’s elected government keeps blinding you to truth and accuracy.

        I repeat, the terrible standard of your posts attracts ridicule, your animosity repels.

      13. Sure Scot says:

        Grouse Beater – here is what I said in my earlier post about the 700,000 –

        “Today an opinion poll had revealed that as much as 700,000 scots will want to leave Scotland, if independence becomes a reality.”

        The 700,000 figure is derived from the most recent Panelbase poll.
        Do you really think I thought they had asked 700,000 people? – that would just be plain silly! The figure is derived from 17% of the sample that gave a positive result for this question.
        Given that the opinion poll is supposed to be a representative cross section of the Scottish electorate, the 17% projected across the whole of Scotland equates to approx 700,000.
        Do you think that any opinion poll asks the entire electorate? No they don’t it’s a fairly universally accepted way if estimating public opinion based on a cross section of approx 1,000 people.

        The poll was conducted by Panelbase – (the preferred Yes campaign pollster – on behalf of the Sunday Times and Heart radio).
        I have never claimed that 700,000 will absolutely definitely be leaving – yes I have made reference to the figure in my posts.
        In my opinion I think that there will be more than the estimated figure that will leave but I have not used this opinion or exaggerated the projected amount. I’m still trying to decipher the rest of your rant.
        Btw – what is it with you guys and the animal names? There’s the panda guy (not really sure what’s going on there 🙂 and you’re “Grouse Beater” – I sure wouldn’t want to be an animal in an Iscotland 🙂

      14. “Here’s what I said,” writes Sure Scot and repeats the offence ‘apparently’ without realising he is admitting the calumny.

        Wonderful. ‘I didn’t do it, officer, it was me.’

        So, 700,000 are not leaving Scotland after all.

      15. Sure Scot says:

        The operative word in my post is “want”. There is a big difference between wanting and doing or getting. They might want to leave but for other reasons it might not be practical.
        I can’t help it if you interpret thus as me saying they have their bags packed and are definitely moving.
        In my opinion I think this figure will probably be higher as this question was asked in a Panelbase poll (which I think has a higher SNP voter sample than other polling companies). If this question was asked in say a YouGov or Ipsos Mori poll I think it would be closer to 20% giving a positive answer to this question.

  117. David Fullstone says:

    Interesting point Sure Scot has anything actually been said by either the Scottish or English about what will happen when the YES or NO vote wins regarding citizenship. I’m Scottish but moved to England after joining the army in 89. My wife is English. My eldest son is English but now lives in Scotland (and can vote even though he’s English while I can’t even though I’m Scottish????) and my daughter and youngest son are English.

    I know the South has a great shortfall in the upper IT sector and are heavily recruiting from anywhere they can legally get people in, something that will probably reflect in their attitude in what they will do after the vote. Conversely if Scotland is going to get anything even vaguely comparable to what the South has technology wise then they are going to have to import skills as you can’t just develop them overnight.

    I’m just hoping that my English son makes the right vote regarding my Scottish heritage.

    1. MBC says:

      This is addressed in Scotland’s Future, the Scottish Government’s white paper.

  118. Reblogged this on stephenkavanagh and commented:
    An excellent piece of writing regarding the referendum

  119. Lee Lee A says:

    This paper has incited more fear for me in independence than anything else. It is clearly written by those nationalists who seek to demonise people for voting no & deem them anti-Scottish. The bully boy tactics are also reminiscent of Animal Farm: admit you’re voting no and we’ll make your life unbearable…? Yet still the most important questions remain unanswered:
    1) What will the currency be? If it’s going to be the pound, will it be devalued? Will my house that I paid for in British pounds be worth the same in Scottish pounds, Euros, or whatever other currency we’ll end up with?
    2) How is Scotland going to support itself & its poor financially? Can we really rely on oil money? Businesses can, after all, choose to leave if the conditions are not agreeable. Indeed, Orion oil & gas are already threatening to pull out of Scotland if independence goes through leaving 5000 people without a job & another 5000 people claiming an already stretched welfare state. Plus the intention to “go after the rich” is totally unrealistic: as if rich Scottish people will happily pay 80-90% tax to stay in Scotland?
    3) What about people who want to remain British? I love Scotland, I also love England & most importantly I love being a part of the UK. I don’t want a separation & all the changes that will involve like new passports, new flags, new borders…
    So yes, my vote is no & I’ll be happy & proud to admit that in 2016.

    1. David Fullstone says:

      All very valid points and questions Lee and although I sway to the YES side other things have made me cringe like the attack on the STV debate as to whether the Scottish would have to drive on the right that was sooooo obviously a harmless joke but………… I believe all these things can be summed up this way. Politicians corrupt or otherwise all have one thing in common. They will do anything to get elected/re-elected. Scotland and a lot of the North of England are a total non entity because no matter what it’s only really the South of England’s vote that they care about its nothing personal it’s just business. This is why Maggie could test out the Poll tax on the Scottish etc because they are meaningless from a the business of politics perspective. After leaving the army and having worked all over the UK I decided to stay in the South because the difference in the quality of life is like night and day it’s truly unbelievable. It’s the way it always has been and will only get worse if the NO vote goes through. At least with your own government the politicians corrupt or otherwise will be after your vote, you’ll actually be important for once instead of something Westminster enjoys as a nice to still own. Pounds, euros it really doesn’t matter the fact is the south if England takes max gives min because Scotland is a non entity in the business of politics and surely the Scottish can do better than bare minimum when it comes to succeeding. If so many people in Scotland don’t think they can do better than their current situation then so be it but it’s just like so many marriages sometimes there’s team work and sometimes no matter how bad a situation is for one partner they just keep hanging in there hoping things will change. That’s life I suppose and why Change Management has become one of the leading management practices.

  120. 613sport says:

    “every policy that has ensured that it is only the poor who have paid the price of the recession caused by the greed of the rich” Sorry what?! That is one of the strangest, incorrect, biased and perhaps ignorant comment that I think i’ve ever read. Terrible.

  121. Perhaps as an Englishman I shouldn’t be writing on your site, so apologies in advance – but I feel moved to write by your rather compelling argument, Of course, it is now generally recognised that the genie won’t go back in the bottle regardless of the vote – as you say, things will inevitably change. I think you are so right that many in England see this as a chance to say ‘Shut up or fuck off’ – not just the dreaded Tories. Indeed, I have a lot of sympathy with that view – I should also say that I think Scotland is a wonderful place, and I have many Scottish friends and colleagues, but that is entirely irrelevant. My main hope is that the vote will be a clear yes, Scotland becomes an independent country as quickly as possible, and that in future I can visit the wonderful place that Scotland is and I won’t feel that I am expected to apologise for being English when, to be absolutely honest, I don’t feel I have anything to apologise for. After all, like the majority of the English, I never voted for Thatcher either. Please, please, please, fuck off, and then we can be friends.

    1. David Fullstone says:

      Chris I’ve never heard someone say fuck off in such a nice way :-). Just remember nobody I know in Scotland dislikes England or the English we just dislike Westminster. The way many in Scotland feel is exactly the same way that the North of England feels about the South and for the exact same reasons. Having worked in England as long as I lived in Scotland I feel independence will do England as much good as it will Scotland in many ways.

    2. Peter Arnott says:

      Oh how I wish we had…still…you’re very welcome to come the fuck over any time.

  122. Elisabeth says:

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