Punishing Scotland


Scotland will be punished by the UK establishment if we vote No in the independence referendum, independence campaigners have argued at a press conference today.

The Scottish Independence Convention unveiled a new leaflet (pictured) with quotes from David Cameron, Priti Patel MP, Boris Johnson, The Taxpayer’s Alliance, Ruth Davidson, Nigel Farage, a recent YouGov poll of English voters and Piers Morgan, all showing evidence of the direction of travel of the UK’s political establishment and institutions to weaken Scotland’s budget in the event of a No vote.

See footage of the press conference here.

Lord Jack McConnell, former First Minister, has also said the Barnett Formula will “wither on the vine” in the event of a No vote.

Mike Small, from the Scottish Independence Convention, said:

“The point of this leaflet is to show that a No vote is not a vote for the status quo. There will be uncertainty regardless of the result on September 18th – the difference is there is the potential for things to get better after a yes vote, whilst there is lots of evidence that things will get worse for Scotland after a No vote.”

Robin McAlpine, Director of the Common Weal, said:

“The idea Scotland will be in a strong bargaining position after a No vote is not serious. MP’s in England will have the power to alter Scotland’s relationship with the UK, and not in a good way – the Barnett Formula will go, the statements from various figures in Labour and the Tories in Scotland and England make that clear, and that will only lead to reduced funding in Scotland.

We need to get real about the debate over regional funding in the UK after a No vote. Other regions of the UK have a strong claim for more funding for them. Scotland will be in the weakest political situation of all the regions to make its case after a No vote.

It is a duty of yes campaigners to raise the risks of a No vote. The No campaign have constantly raised what they see as the risks of a Yes vote, but the public have to know that things will get worse for Scotland if they vote No – the evidence is absolutely clear.”

Ivan McKee, Scottish businessman and Business for Scotland representative, said:

“From a business perspective, there is a very worrying danger in the context of a No vote that there will be reduced public spending in Scotland which will have a knock on effect on Scottish businesses. We know that the majority of the austerity measures are still to come. We will not be rewarded for voting No. People need to be aware of this, if we vote No we are vulnerable to English MP’s who we didn’t vote for and who are under pressure from their own constituents to change funding arrangements in the UK.”


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  1. We need independence,we must vote yes.I know some wont see because they don’t want to see,we must make sure the rest get out and vote yes,ask your neighbours if they would like to walk to the polling station with you or offer them a lift,encourage all you can to get out and vote yes.

  2. I initially wondered if the Yes campaign were doom-mongering about cuts to Scotland’s funding after a “no” vote but I get it a bit more now. It’s taken me a while to see that the Yes campaign has scored a direct hit on the foundations of the British state – which have been built to promote the interests of the economic and political elites of England and Scotland. You have undermined these foundations and those select groups who depend on them for their pay packets will fight back. They are too far in to do anything else except try to punish the “aggressor”, whatever weasel words they may come out with.

    If there is a “Yes” vote, then the desire to punish will be the same, if not worse, but their room for manoeuvre will be much more limited by their own self-interest.

    1. MBC says:

      This is spot on, UEH. The very fact of holding an independence referendum, of having the audacity and ability to hold a referendum, has changed the entire UK political landscape. If there is a Labour government there may be some slight chance that a weak increase of devolution may be offered to placate and retain existing Labour No voters in Scotland.

      But if a Tory government is returned in 2015 the mood will be more to placate alarmed English voters, and the Tories will be competing with UKIP for the English nationalist vote and the Scots will be an easy (captive) target. Impotent to do much about Europe, it will be the old army system again, everybody gets to kick the cat, and that will be us I’m afraid.

      In either case, whatever government is returned in the UK its aims will be to clip our wings.

  3. Illy says:

    Here’s an interesting argument I’ve tried on a friend:

    The worst possible outcome of the referendum is a slim win for No.
    The referendum, by all accounts, is on a knife edge.
    So *even* if you actually want No to win, if you accept that a slim No win is worse than a slim Yes win, then you have to be damned sure that No will have a resounding win if you are going to vote No.
    So to ensure that your worst option isn’t going to happen, you have to vote Yes.

    It’s a varient on “Voting Labour to keep the Tories out”, not sure if it’s worked on him yet.

    1. tartanfever says:

      Illy, try this on your No voting friend.

      ‘What are you as a No voter going to do if your side wins ?’

      ‘How will you persuade your party (Labour/Lib Dem/Tory/Ukip) to keep Scottish spending as is, to keep the Barnett formula ?’

      ‘How will you stop privatisation spreading to the Scottish NHS ?’

      ‘Can you persuade your party or the Westminster government to set up some kind of oil fund to try and save for future generations or should we just keep wasting it ?’

      ‘ How will you stop the UK getting into more illegal wars ?’

      ‘How will you stop the Bedroom tax and other socially unjust austerity plans designed to hammer the poor while bankers keep their huge bonuses ?’

      Because unless your friend actually believes in all of these policies, then they have to realise that they now have a duty to try and redress them.

  4. Abulhaq says:

    Anyone reading the comments in the “national press” below articles on Scotland will get the full flavor of the antipathy to independence and, more worryingly, to Scots. The union seems now merely a sticking plaster covering a festering historic sore. The British state apparatchiks are exposed as revanchist. In their eyes we are damned to hell if we do and damned to oblivion if we don’t. We have foolishly wasted 300 years on this enterprise. Not one more nanosecond is it worth.

    1. MBC says:

      Absolutely. What on earth have we gained in 300 years of union? Trust, friendship? We can’t apparently be trusted to share in a currency union where the Bank of England (nationalised in 1946 and a UK asset, despite its name, and incidentally, founded by a Scot, William Paterson, in 1695) will be lender of last resort because apparently we are Greece to England’s Germany. (As if! Germans have very low levels of personal debt and do not engage in casino capitalism).

      I am encouraged to believe though that these right wing comments do no reveal the true English view, but are being whipped up by a noxious populist press. However that is sadly rather powerful.

  5. rowantree633 says:

    Reblogged this on A Yes Voter in Nairn and commented:
    Reblogged on nairnyes.wordpress.com. This is a subject I have been banging on about for a while, both online and when out campaigning. My real concern is the risk to Scotland of remaining in the union. No one in Westminster will be checking who voted no. No one will give a damn about ‘loyal Brits’ or will be creating a special list of no voters to be protected from the inevitable cuts that will follow a no vote. We are all in this together and the only way to remove the huge political and economic risk of remaining part of the union is a Yes vote.

  6. macart763 says:

    I don’t think there’s any doubt what will happen in event of a no vote. This will have been considered a close call, one that the establishment will not want repeated. The rUK public have already been primed by a compliant media with the political narrative of the sponging, whining black hole of subsidy and benefit dependency. A country constantly getting ‘freebies’ that no one else enjoys and always at their cost. That’s the line which has been sold to the average voter day after day by sneering commentators in both the press and broadcast media, yes?

    Whatever Westminster visits upon Scotland not one soul will raise a finger in protest.

    1. Illy says:

      Oh yes they fucking will!

      None of them may be in London or the South-East, so Westminster will almost certainly not care, but people will protest!

      I can honestly see UDI in the future if Westminster actually follows through with more than token revenge. And that won’t go down anywhere nearly as well for England as just letting us go would.

      “If you love something, set it free.
      If it comes back to you, it is yours.
      If it doesn’t, it never was.”

      1. macart763 says:

        Yes, I could see a popular call for UDI if they follow through on even half what’s been quoted above, but it would provide a whole raft of problems both at home and internationally we could avoid simply by voting YES at first time of asking.

        The popular, peaceful, democratic mandate is the best route of travel for all concerned. Let’s do it with confidence.

  7. seanair says:

    As someone said on another blog site, what a wonderful way to thank those who voted NO. Slash budgets, refuse to grant new powers and generally be nasty to Scotland.
    People who vote NO should be aware that this is the agenda. No use kidding yourself and complaining afterwards.

    1. tern says:

      It’s the Yes voters who will be complaining afterwards. When a British government you can no longer vote against, and for that reason is more likely Tory, dictates your fiscal policy to you and forces even more austerity than the currency chaos and accompanying interest rate explosion will cause anyway whether as a cost of creating a new currency or of a failed curency union like the Czech Rep and Slovakia that lasted only 31 days and whose collapse brought in IMF restructuring upon them. Salmond will then say, oh but it’s the nasty English making me have cuts and austerity. They won’t give you back the union and your vote in it, then.

      The unproven unevidenced claims that a lot of utopian things will happen under indy, with no evidence of how they will be costed and every prospect of economic chaos meaning they won’t be, oil is unpredictable and you have respent the Trident budget on umpteen promises already, will remain a myth that was never disproved in practice, if No wins. So there will be a lot of irrational anger from Yessers blaming the No vote for anything bad that happens and keeping faith in their unproven risky myth. Whatever bad happens we will now would have been worse under a Yes still inflicted on us without us having any vote and inflicted on our children born in rUK who, we will remember, Yes horrifically wanted to refuse to give citizenship by right to, so they would have been in rUK cut of from their families’ help against these things, while in the situation after a No vote, those same families will still be free to come together in the same place to help each other against economic woes and poverty, as well as in time of medical need.

      1. tartanfever says:

        Tern – You should vote Yes.

        Short sentences and full stops will be compulsory in an independent Scotland.

        As will making sense.

      2. Hi Tern,

        The Czech and Slovakian currency union didn’t last but that had no long term harm. This focus on currency entirely misses the larger economic, political and democratic issues.

        What did happen to the Czechs and Slovaks is outlined by the ex-BBC journalist Angus Roxburgh, in the New Statesman http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2014/03/slovakia-life-after-velvet-divorce

        Roxburgh writes:
        “as a Scot living in the Slovak capital, Bratislava, for the past three years, I see the experience of this country’s separation from the Czech Republic as pretty positive. The strongest testimony to this is that a large majority of both Czechs and Slovaks – who overwhelmingly opposed the split at the time (there was no referendum) – now believe it was for the best. Re-creating Czechoslovakia does not even register as a political issue. More than that, Czechs and Slovaks appear to get on better now than they did when they shared a country, constantly bickering as they did (just like the Scots and English) over whether one “subsidised” the other or “dictated policy”.

        In conversations with Slovak politicians and observers, I have heard the same upbeat point again and again: “We have grown up politically. We don’t have anyone else to blame any more. We are responsible for our own decisions.”

        Similarly, in Wales, although only 50.3% voted for devolution in 1997, by 2011 63.5% were voting for greater powers for the Assembly, and by 2013 eight in ten people trusted the Assembly to act in Wales’s best interests.

        Once people take back responsibility for their own affairs it becomes self-evident that any other option would be crazy.

      3. Peter A Bell says:

        You forgot to mention the rain of fire.

      4. EMD says:

        I’m going to respond to two points and leave the rest of your tripe to others. 1 – why would the rUK be dictating fiscal policy to iScotland anymore than iScotland would be dictating to rUK? It is proposed as a currency AGREEMENT. Kind of suggests that both sides would have to compromise and set limits. Small point often missed by Unionists. 2. Nobody is promising an utopia, maybe in comparison to the dungheap that is Westminster politics it may appear to be.

        Take some time to sort out your own irrational anger you numpty.

      5. Craig says:

        @ EMD-
        Why would the UK be dictating Scottish economic policy?
        Well they wouldn’t be. But the economic policy of the UK would massively impact what happens in Scotland. The British economy is very heavily tied together with Scotland being the smaller part of it.
        A: The SNP want to use the pound- do you really think the BoE will consider what a foreign country wants when they’re deciding policy? Its unlikely they will set out to actively hurt Scotland but in the process of making policy to helping Britain, Scotland will get thrown about a fair bit.
        B: When the UK joined the EU in 1973 Ireland and Denmark joined at the same time. Coincidence? Nope. Their economies were simply too reliant on the economy of their far larger trading partner. Decisions made in Britain even to this day massively impact the Irish economy despite almost a century of independence.
        For Scotland things will be no different. Even if Scotland was independent it would still be very very reliant on decisions made in Westminister- decisions that thanks to the loss of the Scottish vote would be far more likely to be solidly south east England centric.

    2. Craig says:

      NO it isn’t.
      Tory policy != No thanks policy.
      This is a fundamental error many people are naively making in deciding to vote yes.
      We have a general election due next year don’t forget. One that all signs suggest will not be happy for the Condems; most of the people south of the border are sick of them too.

  8. Alex Buchan says:

    All this assumes that the situation in Scotland will have no impact on this.

    Of course, I want a yes vote, and of course a slim no would be tragic, but that shouldn’t blind us to the reality that a very high vote for independence sends a massive shock wave through the British political system. The narrative down south is that nationalism is the obsession of a minority of extremists and that most Scots are loyal British citizens. This will be the line peddled by both Cameron and Miliband, but it doesn’t stand up if between 40% and 50% have Scots have votes for independence, and the English will know this.

    That’s not to say we should settle for a narrow defeat. But it is to challenge the idea that we would be completely impotent after a no vote. That idea is self-defeating.

    If we get bogged down in a rigid Yes is our only hope mentality then chances are we will get bogged down in totally pointless post-mortem analysis of the campaign. Instead we need to be ready to turn immediately to the new situation by not accepting any no vote as the end of our struggle and so not allowing the dynamic created by the referendum campaign to merely melt away.

    There are varying ways we can do this is: through exploring further the alternatives to traditional politics that this campaign has shown us. The other is to be adaptable and show that Scotland will not go away. The unionists have promised more powers so we would need to agitate for those powers to be delivered and the 2015 election gives us a focus for this. We are only impotent if we chose to be. A close no vote is the death knell of the existing system at Westminster. By refusing to play by their rules were start building the groundwork to a more firm basis across society for the future struggle to gain independence.

    Referenda are not the only way Scotland will gain independence. For instance, the creation of a different political culture in Scotland will lead to the appearance of different pro-independence parties that will address the different electoral constituencies of the existing UK parties. A Scottish Parliament with a permanent majority made up of different pro independence parties would not be containable within the British political system.

    1. Illy says:

      “Instead we need to be ready to turn immediately to the new situation by not accepting any no vote as the end of our struggle”

      And if nothing else, accusations of vote-rigging by postal votes will dampen any No win. Labour have *tonnes* of experience doing that.

    2. muttley79 says:

      @Alex Buchan

      Any No vote, even a very close one, will be seen by Westminster as a confidence vote on their rule. Within a month of a No vote Scotland will be forgotten about, until they slash the block grant after the 2015 general election. Unionists in Scotland will set up a useless talking shop on the constitution, and will keep delaying any final report for 10 years as Douglas Alexander has said. I am afraid I really cannot see why you are saying that a close No vote is the death knell of the existing system at Westminster. That can only come about through a Yes vote. A period of reckoning is going to come to Scotland if we vote No. As Andrew Neil has said, Scotland is more likely to lose powers than gain them in the aftermath of a No vote.

      1. Alex Buchan says:

        That’s looking at it only from one side. How did we get devolution? It wasn’t because of any referendum vote but because of consistent struggle over many years. What’s the alternative, suicide?

      2. muttley79 says:

        Alex, what part of only having an independence referendum once in a generation do you not understand? There was 18 years between the two devolution referendums. Exactly how are we going to achieve independence, or substantially more powers in the event of a No vote, particularly given the arrival on the scene of Farage/UKIP and Boris Johnson? Why is the British state going to give us more powers in the event of a No vote? This is power we are talking about.

      3. tartanfever says:

        Alex Buchan –

        ‘That’s looking at it only from one side. How did we get devolution? It wasn’t because of any referendum vote but because of consistent struggle over many years.’

        Well we were lied to in the 70’s, told we would get an assembly but didn’t. Democracy went out the window with the 40% rule quickly followed by Thatcher and the complete decimation of our industrial base, social system and communities with the Poll Tax for desserts.

        And for that we were given a Parliament, of sorts. It has no real fiscal or economic powers.

        And to finish off they took away 6,000 square miles of North Sea..

        That wasn’t a struggle Alex, that was a systematic brutal beating of our entire country. Most people in Scotland kept their heads down and their mouths shut and took it, never once raising a finger or a shout in a public demonstration.

        5 million people live in Scotland Alex, I never saw more than a few thousand at a time on the street protesting.

      4. Alex Buchan says:

        What bit of “of course a slim no would be tragic” do you not get. Where did I say it wouldn’t matter. I know all of the stuff about what has been said which you mentioned in your first reply. I was on this blog months ago making exactly those points. But there is an equal mistake in assuming that just because people say something is going to happen that it will, regardless of everything else. I actually think that the vote is closer than the polls suggest, so neither am I saying that a no vote is certain, the time left is just short of the time of a normal general election so there is still a lot that could happen between now and Sep 18th. But the British State is not some invincible foe, of course a no vote, even of one vote strengthens the British State in the short term, but it also leaves it central mechanism weakened. In fact having this referendum is a strategic failure for the British State, one which it will try very hard to turn to its advantage. But the SNP will still be the largest party in Scotland not just next year, but also after 2016 there is no sign of that changing. There is also nothing the UK parties can do about that however fevered peoples imaginations are, and they are also limited in the moves they can make against the Scottish Parliament; unless you’re suggesting we will get martial law as some here seem to think. I stand by the fact that a close no vote is a disaster for the UK state, and they know it, which is why they are in overdrive to try to drive the vote down as low as possible. A yes vote is not a disaster for the UK state it is the end of it.

      5. muttley79 says:

        This is my last comment to you Alex on this thread. I am fed up trying to get professed supporters of independence to understand the consequences of a No vote. So here goes: 1) The British state regards Scotland as their possession, that should be clear to you.

        2) This is about political power, This is not about niceness, fairness, this is a political battle. By holding this referendum on independence, we have pissed off the British establishment in a major, major way. If there is a No vote they are going to want revenge big time on Scotland. This means that our block grant will almost certainly be slashed, and I mean slashed. If you cannot see this then that it your problem.

        3) It does not matter a shit if people vote in huge numbers for the SNP in 2015 and 2016. A referendum on independence will only happen once in at least 15 years. The SNP would have to sustain this success for that time to even get another chance. Even then it would be under the control of Westminster, as they are going to remove the power of the Scottish parliament to hold another referendum, and they will do it as soon as possible after a No vote. Their rule and power over Scotland has been severely challenged, and they are going to make it as hard as possible for it to ever happen again. Holyrood will gradually see its power taken away for this very reason.

        Your remark about the British state being limited about what they can do against Holyrood is preposterous. We have a DEVOLVED parliament, and its powers can be recalled at any time. Your remark about martial law is nonsense as well. The whole point is they do not need to do anything nearly as draconian as that to completely change the political situation in Scotland in the event of a No vote.

      6. Illy says:

        To be fair, if (after a No vote) the SNP run in 2016 (assuming that Hollyrood still even exists then) on a platform of UDI, only UDI, and nothing but UDI, and win, that’s about our only chance post no.

        What will be *far* more trouble, is if Westminster reports a slim No win, but Yes find evidence of vote-rigging that would push it to a Yes win, and Westminster refuses to accept it.

        Unfortunately, that’s what I’m expecting to happen.

  9. manandboy says:

    So much about a No vote and the consequences. Waste of time.
    The real question is about the Westminster reaction to a Yes result,
    That’s the one that’s going to happen.

    Westminster runs on neo-liberal software.

    Neo-liberalism doesn’t believe in democracy
    and won’t respect a Yes result on the 19th.

    Think security of oil supply.

    Check with Craig Murray’s assessment of UK Gov

    1. Illy says:

      That’s not exactly new, remember the 40% rule that *Labour* made up last time?

      They’ll do whatever they can to hold onto the north sea, I just hope that the Scots in the military side with Yes, but they control information so heavily with the military that I don’t hold much hope of that.

      Does anyone know anyone in the military, and how much info they’re getting on the referendum?

    2. Alex Buchan says:

      Wow. That’s the most powerful speech I’ve ever heard for a Yes vote. Is there anyway of getting this video more widely distributed. If it went viral it would have a massive impact.

    3. Great speech by Mr Murray. Perhaps if there is a No (God forbid), Yes voters could take their case to the people of England? The people, not the politicians. After all, after the referendum, No voters won’t be changing their minds too soon. There’s probably a lot of English people who would respond well to being awakened. Even if 10% of English people became convinced of the rottenness of Westminster, this would be 5 million, enough to keep the shockwaves reverberating. I need to think about what I should do myself. Once you become awakened, you have to do something about it.

      1. MBC says:

        Sadly UEH if there is a No vote I think a lot of No voters will change their minds after it becomes apparent to them just what they have done. But they will feel so overcome with shame and bitter regret they are going to have a hard problem living with their consciences. So I suspect they will just bury their consciences instead and pretend it didn’t happen, they didn’t vote No, or what followed would have happened anyway and they were innocent really. It is going to be compounded by their denial that they made a huge mistake. I will feel great pity for them and for Scotland.

    4. Hi manandboy – Can you give us the url link for the video? Thanks

  10. Tog says:

    Perhaps this partly explains the persistence of the don’t knows. The yes side are telling them we are doomed and they will personally be held responsible if they vote no, what did you do in the referendum Daddy. The no side are telling them Scotland will suffer economic woes if the vote is yes. With the Scottish psyche I suspect some are thinking they might both be right and they just might be. Have has a no win situation been created and if so what is the lesser of the two possible evils.

    1. MBC says:

      It might just be my own personal psychology, but when it happens for me that I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if it don’t, I figure, heck, I might as well please myself.

  11. Marian says:

    What Scotland gets if it votes NO:-

    * David Cameron or Boris Johnston for UK PM and Nigel Farage for deputy PM of the UK and another 5 or more years of a Tory government at Westminster.
    * at least 10 more years of UK austerity measures agreed by all Westminster parties whilst more foodbanks are opened.
    * Scotland torn out of the EU by the combined anti-EU Tory/UKIP MP’s voting majority at Westminster causing massive unemployment in Scotland.
    * Barnett formula abolished by Westminster causing £10.2 billion a year to be cut from the Scottish Government’s £30bn annual budget.
    * The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is signed by Westminster and all UK state services such as Scotland’s NHS are opened to private competition from American multinationals.
    * privatisation of Scotland’s NHS and Water due to a combination of TTIP and aforementioned Barnett cuts.
    * end of free personal care for the elderly and free prescriptions for all due to Barnett cuts.
    * Student fees re-introduced and brought into line with England costing £9,000 per annum due to Barnett cuts.
    * unlimited increases in Council Tax every year to compensate for central grant funding shortfall due to Barnett cuts.
    * Westminster reneges on promise of “more powers” after NO vote and instead legislates to make all of Holyrood’s spending decisions subject to approval by Westminster before they can be applied.
    * House of Lords lobby international sports bodies to abolish separate Scottish Football and Rugby sports teams citing the NO vote as confirmation of legal opinion obtained by Westminster that Scotland was “extinguished” in 1707 and became a county of England.
    * Trident nuclear weapon system replaced on the Clyde costing £100 billion and shipbuilding ceases in Scotland as all naval shipbuilding and repair is transferred to new facilities at Portsmouth.
    * more unnecessary foreign wars for Scots service personnel to be killed in.

  12. Douglas says:

    All too true, Bella, and this explains why Devo Max is not on the ballot paper….nobody agrees to endure the risk and upheaval of a referendum without expecting to win something….

    …and what the Tories and their New Labour allies stand to win is a free hand with post indie Scotland, a plan once known as Shoot the Nationalist Fox…

    …but which we’re now seeing also means skin it, treat the fur and drape it as ermine around the shoulders of the next Labour Party peer in the utterly corrupt and putrefied House of Lords who will probably be Alisdair Darling himself, for services rendered to the Empire..

    It”s Scotland do or die on the 18th of September, and no mistake about it….

  13. Robert Peffers says:

    What is amazing about the claims on the leaflet is the depth of utter ignorance, (or depth of the lies – take your pick), of those in elected positions to the fact that the Scots Per Capita GDP, in official Westminster figures, is higher than the UK average. Not to mention that the official figures are massively underquoted.

    1. Marian says:

      I’ll settle on the “depth of lies” about Scotland’s GDP per capita as the only logical reason why Westminster wants to hold on to Scotland, because Westminster would have been falling over themselves to chuck us us out of the door a long long time ago if Scotland really was a basket case economy.

  14. Peter A Bell says:

    We simply cannot afford a No vote. People have to be made to realise that a No vote will be represented as an unequivocal affirmation of the union and a defeat, not only for civic nationalism but for progressive politics.

    Scotland will be a political as well as an economic target. We will be the scapegoat for every problem in every British politician’s constituency.. Whenever money is wanted for some project in England, the default position will be to demand that it be found from Scotland’s budget.

    The independence movement will, obviously, be regarded as a continuing threat. The British state will, equally obviously, move to neutralise that threat. That means we can expect our democratic institutions and processes to come under attack. Notably, the Scottish Parliament and the electoral system. As well as undermining the Scottish Parliament by loading it with responsibilities (which will be called “powers”) while starving it of cash, we can also expect Westminster to hand some powers to local authorities, not for the purpose of improving democracy, but in order to undermine the Scottish Parliament.

    There will even be calls from the further fringes of British nationalism to ban the SNP and any party which has independence for Scotland as part of its platform.

    The electoral system will be subject to “reform”. The purpose of which, whatever else may be claimed, will be to ensure that Holyrood is returned to the “safe pair of hands” that is British Labour in Scotland. The networks of grass-roots activism that have grown-up in the course of the referendum campaign will be “discouraged” in every way possible.

    Expect attempts to give British military installations in Scotland some kind of “special status” that would make it possible for unionists to claim that Trident couldn’t be removed even if efforts to effectively prohibit a second referendum fail. Measures will almost certainly be put in place to ensure that any future constitutional referendum will require Westminster’s approval and, if allowed, be under UK Government control.

    Institutions that symbolise Scotland’s distinctive political culture will be priority political targets. First among these is NHS Scotland. No effort will be spared to eradicate all differences and bring Scotland into line with England.

    Our pride and our self-respect are at stake. And much, much more besides. We cannot afford a No vote.

    1. Abulhaq says:

      A no would turn Scotland into the colonial possession many, by their attitude, believe we already are. There would be no shortage of homegrown compliant administrators however. Being a dependency of a self-important “banana kingdom” would be no fun though certainly an object lesson in the dishonorable native art of spitting in the face of golden opportunity to be well shafted for our “loyalty”.

    2. muttley79 says:

      Peter, could you please try and explain all that to Alex Grant because he thinks a close No is a disaster for the British state?! I have given up trying to explain the consequences of a No vote, and you are better at it than me. It is genuinely concerning how professed independence supporters cannot or will not consider the appalling consequences of a No vote. I feel like banging my head off a table!

  15. Ken Clark says:

    It’s not just a NO vote which will bring our Better Together partner’s ire down on us apparently. Blair McDougall told a Dundee audience that London wouldn’t actively work against Scotland until after independence. Looks like we can’t win. Damned if we do, damned if we don’t. I sometimes feel they haven’t quite got the hang of this “better together” lark.

  16. Bill Cunningham says:

    Jack McConnel said the Barnett formula would wither on the vine as Scotland was able to collect its own taxes.

  17. Davythemidge says:

    I’ll tell you something……if in the (unlikely) event of a No vote, the rUK begin to tamper with our funding formula, they are in for one almighty struggle. If you think the referendum has unleashed a grassroots dynamism in the debating sense, then think of what could be achieved when we put that energy into organised resistance. I’m buggered if I’m going to stand by and watch Westminster take their revenge for us having the audacity to challenge their precious self serving Union. The Scottish genie is well and truly out of the bottle and it ain’t going back in.

  18. Iain Hill says:

    I hope the leaders of the Yes campaign are assessing any prospect of malicious rabbits Westminster may pull out of the hat before 18 Sept,mand preparing contingency responses.

    1. Brian Fleming says:

      “Malicious rabbits”? Why do you have to drag Alistair Darling into this?

  19. MBC says:

    Peter Bell is right that we cannot afford a No vote because we cannot fully predict what use a No vote will be put to both politically and constitutionally in the aftermath of the referendum by future UK governments. Because I think it will be used by the British state as an affirmation of its legitimacy over the whole of the UK to make more centralised decisions for instance over the NHS. It could be used to affirm the arrogant and ridiculous claim made in the Crawford and Boyle Opinion that Scotland was extinguished in 1707 and the UK is a ‘unitary state’ and not as others have argued a ‘union’ or compound state which gives special recognition to Scotland as a founding nation of the UK and not just a large region like Yorkshire. Thus currently (and historically) the NHS is a devolved area under the 1998 Scotland Act but this could be altered at will by Westminster especially if we vote No and they read that as us agreeing that the UK is a unitary state (as the Opinion alledges) and Westminster reserves the right to do what is ‘best for all of us’ or some such claptrap, such as privatising the NHS in Scotland because it might be argued this will save the UK Treasury money in public spending.

    A No vote is a trap – make no bones about it – it is not a vote for the status quo.

    On the contrary, it CHANGES the status quo. Because so far in this Union Scotland’s special status as a founder nation of the UK has been respected and upheld by UK governments and protected against English resentment.

    But by saying we reject Scottish independence what we are actually saying (if you think about it logically) is that we reject the idea of Scotland as a nation and thus we are throwing away its protected special status within the UK.

  20. Brian Fleming says:

    James Graham, 17th century Marquis of Montrose:

    “He fears his fate too much,
    Or his deserts are small,
    Who will not put it to the touch,
    To win or lose it all.”

    He did, and lost his life. Do not share his fate, but share his courage. Grasp the moment Scotland!

  21. Where are these leaflets available, Bella?

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      They’ll be available asap via Yes hubs. First batch has gone already. Will post details soon and make available as download.

  22. Thanks. Will look out for it.

  23. Gordon says:

    Be afraid, you NO voters. This has been previously discussed in Peter Arnott’s “Dinner with NO voters, or What I wanted to say Before the Pudding Hit the Fan” on Bella. Good to show all the quotes. Would like to get a poster made up of them for the YES shop in Largs.

  24. Craig says:

    That leaflet is terrible. Borderline illegal. Up there with the worst of the anti-change stuff in the AV referendum.

    Cameron says will Scotland’s current funding system will end? – well yeah, it will. Even the SNP want that. Change doesn’t mean get worse. All sides of the referendum want some change.

    A Tory backbencher from southern England says no would be a good opportunity to slash Scottish spending?- he’s a tory. They’re hardly known for being nice are they. Especially to people they don’t have to pretend to care about. But then the referendum is not about Tories vs. SNP as much as Salmond is trying to make everyone believe it is.
    Also, for the record, many Tory backbenchers and supporters actively want a yes vote as this will increase the power they hold in Britain (in many ways still including Scotland).

    The mayor of London doesn’t want to give Scotland more powers- Oh look. Another conservative. Greater London is big but it doesn’t quite stretch north of the Tweed. He is irrelevant to the referendum.

    A conservative think-tank wants to cut government spending?- Libertarians don’t like government spending? Who would have thought it. You could equally find a quote from an influential socialist think tank that says the opposite if you fancied.

    The Scottish tory leader says there’ll be a review of Scottish spending- What’s wrong with that? On its own that comment is rather neutral. Of course its hidden amongst the nastier comments of irrelevants so it looks worse. And do you really think the Scottish Tories stand a chance of winning the next election in Scotland? At best they’ll get a few more seats than last time (not hard given how many they got last time) but there’s no chance of them being in power in Scotland.

    Farage says something- Come on. Its Farage. He’s am out of touch nationalist dick. He is even less relevant in Scotland than his already pretty irrelevant status in England.

    Yougov poll- At last here we could potentially have something. May I please see the poll and its methodology? But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. 1 valid point so far.

    Piers Morgan acted like a snobby git- LOL! Piers Morgan? Are you serious? Being able to say you aren’t from the same country as him would be nice but its hardly a major political issue. He is utterly irrelevant.

    1. alharron says:

      “That leaflet is terrible. Borderline illegal. Up there with the worst of the anti-change stuff in the AV referendum.”

      It’s illegal to quote politicians? Come off it.

      “Cameron says will Scotland’s current funding system will end? – well yeah, it will. Even the SNP want that. Change doesn’t mean get worse. All sides of the referendum want some change.”

      David Cameron is on record as stating that if Scotland’s funding were to change, it would be to to outright abolish the Barnett formula in favour of a “needs-based system.” So you think the change will be good? You think David Cameron will change Scotland’s funding system for the better – that he will reverse decades of cuts to the Scottish block grant made by Westminster, Tory and Labour government alike, even when the people of England cry out against Scottish “subsidies”?

      “A Tory backbencher from southern England says no would be a good opportunity to slash Scottish spending?- he’s a tory. They’re hardly known for being nice are they. Especially to people they don’t have to pretend to care about.”

      The Tories are in power in the UK.

      “But then the referendum is not about Tories vs. SNP as much as Salmond is trying to make everyone believe it is.”

      Quite correct, it’s about Westminster vs Holyrood. Labour & Lib Dems are not much better than the Tories: the entire Westminster system is utterly corrupt.

      ” Also, for the record, many Tory backbenchers and supporters actively want a yes vote as this will increase the power they hold in Britain (in many ways still including Scotland).”

      What, by 59 MPs? They’ll likely lose more than that number in UKIP defections. All the Tories care about are Scotland’s resources: they don’t care a jot for the people or their elected representatives.

      “The mayor of London doesn’t want to give Scotland more powers- Oh look. Another conservative. Greater London is big but it doesn’t quite stretch north of the Tweed. He is irrelevant to the referendum.”

      The mayor of the CAPITAL CITY OF THE UNITED KINGDOM is “irrelevant to the referendum”? A man are backing to take over from David Cameron is “irrelevant to the referendum”? Your complete disregard for the Conservatives’ importance in British politics is absolutely astounding.

      “A conservative think-tank wants to cut government spending?- Libertarians don’t like government spending? Who would have thought it. You could equally find a quote from an influential socialist think tank that says the opposite if you fancied.”

      Except do you really think a libertarian government is going to listen to a socialist think-tank? Conservative think-tanks offer confirmation bias to conservative governments and excuse them from defending their decisions.

      “Farage says something- Come on. Its Farage. He’s am out of touch nationalist dick. He is even less relevant in Scotland than his already pretty irrelevant status in England.”

      The leader of the party which won the European elections – the first time in over a century a party other than Labour or Conservative has won a national election – is “pretty irrelevant” in England? Even after we’re seeing plans for defections from the Conservatives? Even after we’re seeing the effects of UKIP altering policy on immigration, the EU and asylum?

      “Yougov poll- At last here we could potentially have something. May I please see the poll and its methodology? But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. 1 valid point so far.”


      “Piers Morgan acted like a snobby git- LOL! Piers Morgan? Are you serious? Being able to say you aren’t from the same country as him would be nice but its hardly a major political issue. He is utterly irrelevant.”

      In isolation, it is not. But it is entirely reflective of an atmosphere where Scotland is perceived to be subsidised by England, yet has the temerity to vote for independence. On its own, Morgan’s words would be meaningless – but his thoughts are far from rare.

  25. Dave Benson Phillips says:

    What a load of nonsense. “Punishing” Scotland after a no vote would be political suicide. Also quoting Nigel Farage and Piers Morgan, really? Misquoting the others. Poor effort!

    1. Peter A Bell says:

      I can quite understand that Nigel Farage and Piers Morgan are a such a profound embarrassment to those campaigning to deny the sovereignty of Scotland’s people that they would much prefer we do not shine a light on their antics. The fact remains, however, that the former is an official part of the anti-independence effort and the latter is one of those “celebrities” that Better Together like to wheel out every so often in the hope that somebody will be impressed.

      The Tories, their LibDem puppets and their British Labour allies have chosen to stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukip and other even more dubious outfits. If it makes you squirm to be reminded of this then perhaps there is hope for you.

      Then again, maybe not. Anybody who is naive enough to believe that British nationalists will be magnanimous in victory is probably a hopeless case.

    2. alharron says:

      ““Punishing” Scotland after a no vote would be political suicide.”

      Didn’t stop them in 1979, did it?

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