Reaching for No

signofchangeStating the bleedin’ obvious, Archie McKay examines the post-referendum landscape.

Dear Editor,

I see a lot of comments these days along the lines of “Thanks No voters, see what you’ve done, we told you so, etc. etc.” which, while expressing the frustration of Yes campaigners, are not very helpful from a perspective of national reconciliation or of enhancing the independence argument.

During the referendum debate, the Better Together campaign, aided by a compliant right wing media and state broadcaster, focused its fearmongering energies on the largest demographic, which happily for them coincided with the one they felt they could most heavily influence, particularly given the older generation is also the most resistant to change.

For two years, older and retired people were relentlessly pounded with negativity by their traditional information sources: newspapers and the (once respected) BBC.

Is it any wonder in such circumstances that the majority feared for their retirement income and feared equally that their country would quickly wither?

I’ve no doubt that, while I didn’t agree with their decision, the majority thought long and hard but ultimately were cowed by Project Fear’s argument that their own pensions and their grandchildren’s country were under existential threat.

With that in mind, it could be argued that the Yes campaign was not convincing enough, and in retrospect there were areas in which its thinking hadn’t yet matured. Currency, arguably lethally for the campaign was one of those, and while the majority of Yes supporters were happy to take a leap into the dark, it wasn’t convinced Yes supporters that the campaign needed to persuade.

I don’t believe, as Neil Hay fatally tweeted (opening the door for Ian Murray to become the only Labour MP in Scotland) that the older generation were too doddery and infirm of mind to understand they were being brainwashed. Such naivety only stiffens resistance. Instead, the BT campaign understood that traditional news sources were the well this group drank from and all it needed to do was poison enough of its members and the job was done.

In the end the statistics tell us that it was the only demographic to vote No in its majority, so clearly the campaign from that perspective was a success. All the BT campaign felt it needed was a win to put an end to notions of self-determination. Events since then tell us otherwise and show us that the road to independence remains negotiable.

We in the Yes campaign were devastated by the result. But our path to a successful independence campaign is not one where we sneer and snipe at No voters on the sidelines, but one where we demonstrate that No voters and the generations of their families to come, will be safer, more comfortable, happier and more prosperous in an independent Scotland.

At the moment, every parliamentary vote at Westminster triggers an “I told you so” from Yes campaigners. I think No voters are perfectly capable of seeing for themselves the condition of the country under Tory rule, and equally how weak and ineffectual Labour have become.

It’s time to stop sniping and start reconciling. It’s time to move the debate on to discussion about just how Scotland can survive and prosper on its own. It’s time to shore up those areas the Yes campaign failed on, such as currency, and it’s time to engage more fully with the demographic that needs convincing the most.

It’s also time to warmly invite the members of that demographic into the debate and encourage them to propose the ideas they feel Scotland needs to adopt in order for an independent nation to be in their and their family’s best interests. That’s the way forward, not pointing fingers and snarling at folk who did what they thought at the time was the best thing for their country.

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  1. deewal says:

    ” I think No voters are perfectly capable of seeing for themselves the condition of the country under Tory rule, and equally how weak and ineffectual Labour have become.”

    No they aren’t. They’re still watching the BBC and reading the same poison. Also can we stop pretending that ” it was the pensioners what done it ” ? I know lot’s of 16-60’s who voted No and will do so again ( if by some chance lol ) another Ref comes about. They are also screaming “what’s the 56 SNP MP’s doing about it ?” ( Which wss the Tory Plan all along )

    “Events since then tell us otherwise and show us that the road to independence remains negotiable.”

    Really ? With whom ? With what body does a Region of a Country negotiate it’s Independence ?
    Westminster refuses to Affirm Scotland’s Right of Self Determination.

    If anyone at all is going to Legally Challenge the last 4 Years of blatant breaches of all Electoral rules by this gang of Criminals using the name of Westminster then they better do it soon before they Abolish Devolution and the Scottish Parliament.

    1. Gordon McShean says:

      “I know lots of 16 – 60’s who voted No…” you say in response to Archie’s contention, “I think No voters are perfectly capable….” I’m bemused because none of the people being discussed were born before my “radical” Nationalist identity was established. Back in the 1940s and 1950s, as a laddie who had been befriended by Robert Curran, the Scottish National Party’s National Secretary (who was also the first nationalist ever to get elected, in Alva), we knew that Scots who voted against nationalist initiatives had not thought “long and hard” about their decision (as Archie opines). They were instead practicing the basic conservative habit of resisting change, whether or not their political awareness or economic status made such a practice sensible. Observing folks’ demonstrations of “political responsibility” in many parts of the world (my exile brought me to quite a few!) proved this. The achievement of a Yes vote in any contentious ballot should surely be seen as an indicator that some people have now thought “long and hard.”

      There was no likelihood of Scotland being allowed a referendum (or winning one!) when Robert suggested that guns likely to be used against demonstrators – held near Glasgow – should be taken and destroyed. The subsequent difficulties (described in my memoir RETIRED TERRORIST) were merely noted in the Glasgow Herald as a burglary!

      One of our band went to jail, and Robert and I went abroad (where I have remained); the media provided no opportunity for Scots to think! But I’ve concluded that the majority of folks didn’t want to know. I recently attended a Scottish celebration held by older, homesick Scots – and found myself sequestered, warned to keep quiet: “We know about you,” they said. I was pleased to realize that my fellow Scots back home had recently learned to think!

    2. robert graham says:

      agree totally ,all this rubbish about engaging with people who won’t ever listen is a waste of breath, they won’t change their mind .

    3. KL says:

      I am now convinced having spoken to a number of older adults since the independence referendum that the man issue was the lack of clarity by the Yes campaign regarding the currency and banking issues. In general it was not that older adults were frightened that they would loose their pensions or savings it was the contradictory muddle which created uncertainty. Older adults don’t like either muddle or uncertainty.

      grace and peace

  2. Charles Murphy says:

    Totally agree , we are alienating the exact people we should be cultivating .
    It is difficult to have a conversation with someone you just insulted .
    It is time to drop all this blaming and shaming and get on with the job of encouraging and helping those that are afraid to understand that their fears are unjustified
    The words we use with them need to be supportive of them as human beings , many of them old.

    1. Jimmy Waugh says:

      Totally disagree with you and the last sentence of article ” That’s the way forward, not pointing fingers and snarling at folk who did what they thought at the time was the best thing for their country.” My many interactions with No voters since the GE find the majority even more narcissistic , full of hatred, IMHO due to the thought we might upset their little Utopia where they don’t care about anyone else, and spitting vitriol against Independence supporters than after the referendum. They did not vote for what they thought was best for their country they voted for what they thought was best for themselves and this section of our population will never change unless they can see some gain to themselves in voting Yes and WEstminster will always be able to outbid us with the bribes.

      1. Alastair Whitwell says:

        Jimmy, I more or less agree with what you say but in addition I think one of the main reasons we missed out on gaining our independence was the fear induced by BT regarding sterling. 🙁

      2. Sam Mitchell says:

        Jimmy … I agree with you… I also agree with the editor on the impact the bbc has made on the no crew… & this is & will continue until someone with a set of b+++s in the SNP stratosphere decide to announce the formation of a Scottish broadcaster…. & I know some wit within these posts will state that Broadcasting is not a devolved issue…. WHY NOT… well could it possibly be because wm & its associates fully realise how their use of the bbc to promote FEAR during the Indy Ref & then again by creating the same FEAR parallel to influence the Eng middle class & ironically the then leader of the labour party who… rather than confront this head on decided he would prefer a tory gov to a positive & forward thinking SNP alliance..
        Perhaps if the SNP did announce such a provocative & radical step then it may alter the britnatz thinking that the bbc hold dear….. as come Indy… Is Scotland simply going to follow the bbc as being the sole arbiter of International News…. would the bbc be so intent on reporting the miserable few announcements re Scottish sport it presently fits in between cricket & tennis?..
        But… reconciliation with the no side…. I leave that onerous task to better than me as I have found their stance has hardened… they know they betrayed their fellows… they have a guilt… that unfortunately does not cede to their self interest or their reinforcement of negativity by the bbc.

        1. Broadbield says:

          As a member of the retired community, who voted YES, I think Jimmy is right – many NO’s voted that way out of self-interest, but also through fear of change, fear of the unknown, and these fears were stoked and massaged by the forces of darkness and lies emanating from the msm and especially the BBC. Many people do fear change, whether in the workplace, social relationships or politics and that’s something we have to understand and allay. And pensioners are one group who have been largely protected since the crash, and probably for good reason as they tend to vote, though they probably don’t have the clout some think they do as there are fewer of them.

          In private I curse the No voters for giving us (at least) 5 more years of a morally bankrupt Tory government (elected by 25% of the electorate) but that anger isn’t going to persuade them to vote Yes next time. We have to be smarter and more persuasive.

        2. sandy ritchie says:

          The very thought of a Scottish National TV gives me the heebie jeebies…let’s just have McPravda…and Bellacaledonia of course…

          1. Jim Bennett says:

            Yes, let’s stick with those who know how to do it properly. After all, they’ve mostly been to private school, Oxford and Cambridge, so they must be our betters, eh?

          2. robert graham says:

            Question is this your full time occupation ? you have posted at the last count ten times , every one total shite .

      3. Andrew Morton says:

        I had many on street conversations with No voters. I was always courteous and listened to their views with respect and without interruption. It’s fair to say that a significant number of them (not all) responded with hostility.

        When I thought about it, it seemed to me that they held two conflicting views, firstly, that Scotland was a country which deserved respect and secondly, that Scotland was incapable of governing itself and needed to be told what to do.

        It was the pointing out of the mutual incompatibility of these beliefs that brought out the hostility, as they were forced to confront their views. Rather like a child who runs away rather than deal with criticism.

        Some of them groped around for words to articulate their rage, such as the man in Haddington who said, “But don’t be daft, what would we live on when the oil runs out, heather?”

        These people have to be shown that you can’t be a country and allow someone else to dictate to you, but shouting at them will not do that.

      4. Alistair says:

        I agree. They will never change their vote until they personally feel the pain, but they happen to be the only demographic not touched by austerity (ironic, as that generation is the one responsible for empowering the banks). The SNP should use their new tax powers to specifically target this demographic, after all, these are the types who said they’d leave if it was a yes vote and their sense of Britishness will lower the inertia needed to be overcome to encourage them to relocate to a lower tax area of the UK, and hence not vote in the next referendum. If they can be bought with English gold, then let’s use their avarice to our ends.

  3. IAB says:

    Many of the comments directed at No voters are because of the barrage of abuse coming at the Scots from all sides of the MSM but we need to rein them in and let the actions of the Tories speak for themselves. The MSM isn’t giving them the free ride they anticipated with regard to the Budget.

    I think if the currency is sorted out, the tide will turn. The Tories are not as secure as they think and the aftermath of the budget will move young families along the path. IDS should be watched as his inappropriate behaviour will show the true face of the Nasty Party.

    As for the SNP MPs – their marginalisation should be highlighted to point out that Westminster is an English parliament.

    The next few years will be telling – the EU vote may splinter the Tories and Johnson will leap at his chance to oust Cameron. Farage is waiting to campaign again and Labour will hopefully start to recover and challenge the Tories in England.

    As for us, we just have to keep moving forward.

    1. alex says:

      We need to
      Sort out currency: I would say use the Swiss Franc till we can have our own: It is a stable and trusted currency

      Convince Scotland we do not need the oil or convince WM that the oil is running out

      Show Pensioners and near pensioners that they would be better off in an independent Scotland

      Convince NO voters that Independence would be good for them. I know one person voted NO because their business was struggling, and got their family to vote NO. NO voters voted for themselves. We need to make voting for Independence a vote for themselves. Perhaps telling landowners they might have a chance to reverse the SNP Land ownership proposals in an independent Scotland would help.

      1. dinky says:

        The SNP have performed too many U turns to be trustworthy.

      2. Kieran says:

        I find it hard to say this, but it’s a shame that we might well have another chance so soon. I took a lot of abuse from NO people prior to the vote. The fear did not only come from the official BT campaign and the media, but also from many of those people who planned to vote no. “You’re a YES man” then they would launch into a tirade of abuse and would refuse to listen to any of my opinions.
        Even had a woman from Northern Ireland accuse us of being responsible for the impending invasion of the North by the Republic of Ireland.
        I am still very angry, upset and seeking retribution. These people have not suffered for their vote.

        The currency was a major problem, but not the only one. The economy was possibly a bigger one. No-one ever produced a balance sheet in black and white showing how we could finance ourselves just now, never mind in the future. That gave BT the freedom to talk about oil, gas and the loss of the Barnett formula.
        It also did not help with companies such as Standard Life and John Lewis threatening their staff with job losses. (John Lewis is now threatening to pull out of Edinburgh again because of the regeneration plans for the St. James are. Same old record)

        However, I do agree that there will have to be a campaign to turn No’s into Yes’s.
        Although the Pensioners were a big force in the NO vote there were many more from other demographics. Don’t be fooled into thinking that the 16 – 25’s were all yes and there were certainly big numbers of others as well.
        We should remember that many voters in 2018 could be as young as 13 just now.

        Someone mentioned that there was no-one regions or countries could negotiate with.
        That’s not strictly true. Should the Scottish people in 2016 vote in a similar way to the GE then we would have a mandate for another referendum. Run by Scotland this time though. If the country were to vote YES this time, Scotland would have a political mandate to go to the United Nations and ask for help in carrying out the will of the people.
        UDI would be a very big step, but how can countries such as Canada, Australia, The United States, Israel turn their backs on us?

        I hope we have some very great minds working on strategies and messages just now. The campaign does not start in 2016, it starts now, because the next Scottish election is about Independence no matter what blinkers anyone wants to wear.

        1. Jams O'Donnell says:

          Keiran is right. We need a campaign to persuade “no” voters. Part of this must include, as Keiran says “a balance sheet in black and white showing how we could finance ourselves just now, never mind in the future.” and a properly thought out plan for a currency. Otherwise another referendum is just a waste of time, as Westminster will repeat the same propaganda campaign, with the help of the BBC and other media. A new Scottish broadcaster is a good idea too.

  4. John Böttcher says:

    “At the moment, every parliamentary vote at Westminster triggers an “I told you so” from Yes campaigners. I think No voters are perfectly capable of seeing for themselves”

    Cool. So here’s a thing: telling ‘no’ voters what would happen if Scotland voted NO, and then No voters complain loudly when the inevitable did happen, remind them of it. Just might make them reconsider next time. Fooled us once in 1979. Fooled us twice in 2014. Not sure folk want to be fooled again, so mind them of it.

    Let them make their own minds up.

    “It’s time to stop sniping and start reconciling. It’s time to move the debate on to discussion about just how Scotland can survive and prosper on its own. It’s time to shore up those areas the Yes campaign failed on, such as currency, and it’s time to engage more fully with the demographic that needs convincing the most.”

    Yep, done that, doing it and will continue to. Lots of great ideas about. I’m not sure what ‘reconciliation’ means? Over politics? Should I start hugging-a-tory in belief of mutual faith and understanding now? Hug a Labour supporter? Where do I find them?

    “It’s also time to warmly invite the members of that demographic into the debate and encourage them to propose the ideas they feel Scotland needs to adopt in order for an independent nation to be in their and their family’s best interests. That’s the way forward, not pointing fingers and snarling at folk who did what they thought at the time was the best thing for their country.”

    I don’t point fingers, and never snarl. Don’t know anyone who does, really. I enjoy a slight political freudenschade feeling now and again, however. Human nature. Again, we’re all doing the debate. Have you not been paying attention?

    1. dr says:

      Yep. I can’t quite figure if this piece is meant to be satire, or is just that naive. It’s certainly a genre thing, repeating various slanders in classic concern troll fashion. Different things are persuasive to different people: the idea one must always and only appeal to those (here flattered as the ‘moral majority’) whose objection is in fact to ones existence, and indeed, to the existence of debate, is why her majesty currently lacks a functional opposition in parliament. Reconciliation is not lacking, between all those who eschew petty hatreds. But it is desperately fantastical to imagine that none of the 13 million plus people in the UK who are anti-Scottish live here. Engaging them is a waste of precious time and energy: conflating them with ‘No

      1. dr says:

        voters’ is a cynical ploy. People who vote from fear got us here, in September, in May, and in that ’emergency budget’. They are – everywhere – a minority, but an easily manipulated one. That will not cease to be the case in any future vote, on independence, or for any parliament, or on the EU. (They are opposed to everything, and so mean nothing.) The evolution of better debate about independence is necessary, but it is not motivated by Better Together, nor is achieving it defined by that preference.

      2. It’s neither satire nor naive but a serious heartfelt and honest appeal to try and change the nature of the debate. Nor it ‘classic troll fashion’.

        1. bob gorman says:

          Yes or no, I was one of the intimidated pensioners why went yes, but vitriol from either side will not progress us a country. The conservatives are perfectly capable of self harm just let them get on with it.

      3. Ben says:

        18 million plus if you count the UKIP vote who were as anti Scottish as the Tories. Hefty number

      4. Duncan McFarlane says:

        If you label anyone who is opposed to independence “anti-Scottish”, giving the strong impression that you’re unreasonable and blinkered in your viewpoint, why would they waste their time debating with you? It’s about as reasonable and effective as when the Bush administration labelled anyone who opposed their policies “unAmerican”. Would you take a No campaigner who labelled anyone who was for independence “anti-British”, and not worthy of debating with, seriously?

        Face up to the fact that there are risks involved in becoming independent, as well as risks to staying part of the union – and come up with proposals to reduce the risks associated with independence, and also to counter or minimise them if they arise. That will be harder than just labelling every No voter “anti-Scottish”. It’ll also be an awful more likely to change some of their minds though.

        There are risks attached to independence (currency crisis due to deregulated global currency markets and speculators that weren’t around when e.g Ireland got it’s independence ; the “Loyalists” turning Scotland into another Northern Ireland ; border controls due to hysteria in England over immigration damaging trade with an independent Scotland (with our biggest export market being England), etc). Denying those risks exist at all and just labeling them ‘scaremongering’ or due to people being ‘anti-Scottish’ will not convince anyone that people who back independence have a well thought out plan.

        There are of course risks to staying part of the union too (another banking crisis due to lack of re-regulation of the banks ; a personal debt crisis due to welfare and taxation “reforms”; a small minority of executives and major shareholders of big banks, firms and hedge funds continuing to squeeze everyone else for more and more money ; getting dragged into more US led wars, etc). But people want to know our plans for dealing with currency – not just a vague “oh it’ll be fine” or “we have lots of options”.

        1. stephy says:

          Duncan mcfarlane – you are sooo right! Excellent comment

        2. ScottieDog says:

          Mainly agree Duncan which was why I emailed and wrote and wrote to the YES campaign to be more expansive on currency with a view to delivering its own as a serious alternative. As I learned when politicians are in campaign mode they are blinkered and unreceptive.

          I think however that you can have the best concrete proposals out there (which I totally agree YES did not) but if the opposition has the big media weapons at its disposal they will win.

          MSM relentlessly pumps out the neo-liberal ideologies and the majority gobble it up. A fine example is Thatcher’s sermon about the macro economy being a akin to a household. That rubbish continues on to this day and it’s a hard one to unpick in people’s minds.

          So with independence there will always be uncertainty. Absolutely. However I think there is a real lack of understanding amongst people just how economically dysfunctional and anti-democratic the UK has become. So I chose uncertainty over inevitability.

          I’m no life long nationalist or SNP voter. I voted lib dems for a good 20 years, however once you see something for what it is, you can’t unsee it.

  5. Jim Morris says:

    Regardless of it being “bleedin’ obvious” ‘Not in my name’ or DBM-IVY (Don’t Blame Me I Voted Yes) is a necessary preamble to any future engagement in Scottish or All-in-it-Together politics. Complete transparency of the past is necessary for a trust-filled future. As to the Currency: when the Bank of England was Nationalised in 1945 by the then Labour Government, the first of their nationalisations, Scotland was about 20% of the population of what is now the U.K. So, 20% of the assets of the Bank of England belong to the Scottish PEOPLE. Were the rumpUK to have denied an independent Scotland access to these assets, then they would have been legally bound to ‘buy us out’, which given the recent neo-liberal policies of the Better Together Unionist Team would have rendered the rumpUK bankrupt very quickly, if not immediately. The only way to cancel the Lies and Smears is not keep repeating the Truth.

    1. Jim Morris says:

      “Is to keep repeating the truth”
      Why does your site have such an intrusive auto-correct?

  6. Mike Fenwick says:

    Extract: “It’s also time to warmly invite the members of that demographic into the debate and encourage them to propose the ideas they feel Scotland needs to adopt in order for an independent nation to be in their and their family’s best interests.”

    Archie … invitation accepted, where and when can you and I meet? And that is a serious request.

    My name is above, I am past pension age, and I have more than one idea to propose.

    Here is a short version of my journey from “outside” what I have seen described as the “Indy bubble”, and my attempts at engaging with it so far.

    My journey started in Lewisham, the day after the GE, and a long discussion with a member of the Socialist Working Party at a stand which was encouraging those to take part in the Anti-Austerity march. After that discussion I knew that work I had done in earlier in my life could make a difference, a very real difference.

    So where do I start, from “outside”? A bit of googling took me to a meeting of the Ayrshire Independence Movement. I took along one of the ideas, and asked if I could have some time after the meeting to demonstrate. “Beardy”, “Young Cool Guy” and “Big Guy” (their descriptions not mine) gave me that time, and the result was positive, they not only saw the potential, but beyond it. Their advice to me, you need to start networking, getting to know people.

    That’s fine, if you know who “Bella” is, and why you need “Wings” – but for me, and thousands like me, mainstream media is the known world, Bella, Wings, Common Space, Independence Live etc – that is an unknown world. (Yes – Nota Bene, indeed!”)

    So more googling, and I find the Open Space Launch Party, pay my fee, and attend, and confront a sea of faces, not one of which I have ever seen before. I ask Peter McCall if I could have a few minutes, and in a rushed 20 minutes I outline what I have in mind, the verdict from Peter – 8/10.

    I then follow up with Hilary Wainwright (Red Pepper), who already had an e-mail from me much earlier – result of my 20 minutes with Hilary – that is a practical idea – take it forward, and good luck.

    So far so good, but what about the second idea I have? I ask Angela at Open Space – can I have a meeting? Yes, and the result, a two hour meeting with her and Ben Wray and the possibility (maybe – it’s in Open Space’s court to think through) of a campaign, which has a direct bearing on banking and by extension, the currency debate.

    What next? I watch You Tube, and hours and hours of Robin McAlpine, Cat Boyd and many others, and then I follow up with a meeting with Robin – which took place only yesterday at his house, with Willie Sullivan also present. It was agreed I give Robin an A4 summary of bullet points and he will give me a response from his perspective.

    That is my journey so far, and a record of those I have met, and I thank each and every one of them for the time they have given to someone who just arrived on their doorstep unannounced.

    The concepts behind what I am proposing (more than one idea) is very simple, and can be summed up in this Proverb:

    “If many little people, in many little places, do many little things, they can change the face of the world”

    The eventual attainment of Scottish Independence will be secured on that basis, and only on that basis. Whether we are young or old, or in between.

    So, Archie … when and where can we meet? And who else, can you introduce me to?

    1. Mike – do email us and give us some detail?

    2. Lawrence Anderson Burley says:

      You sound anchored, and damn persistent. For sure this country needs people like you! God bless you and if I meet you I’ll buy you a drink!!

  7. William Thomson says:

    Totally agree with the sentiment. No voters voted for Scotland to remain part of the union the majority didn’t vote Tory in the general election. Now of course some of them did and they are happy with both results. But many – the very ones we need to persuade to yote yes – didn’t and pelting them with the you have ‘no right to complain’ fractures the anti Tory narrative and the cross society response we need. I personally want to hear and encourage EVERY anti Tory voice. Devisive and grudge bearing politics isn’t the way forward.

    We do need to move on as a movement and focus on persuading no voters to vote yes.

  8. Elgoldave says:

    I like many others try to be positive and patient with No voters but some do really still believe everything Miss Nippy (that’s Nicola Sturgeon) does wil damage their lifestyle and March is over a cliff. It’s been interesting to see they don’t seem bothered they’ve now got a Tory majority government and they only view the 40+ SNP MPs as ineffective troublemakers. And they hang on to media reports religiously. Some younger folks I know who were NO totally regret it.
    I think we need to occasionally stress ” I told you so” especially when directly relevant. It may make them rethink. But tact is the way! And with bigger picture comment.

  9. Mike Fenwick says:

    ^ … you know the e-mail address I use to log in here, follow that and you will already find an e-mail (2) from me, asking, can I come through and have a meeting.

    Why a meeting rather than just an e-mail with a summary? Two reasons.

    1) At the AIM meeting, my contact with Jim Sillars (who with Dennis Cannavan were the speakers) came with a warning from him, don’t go wholly public, keep it under the radar, until you have proved it will work and are ready for launch.

    2) My contact with my MSP told me this won’t work – it is a reserved matter. Initially, Robin gave me much the same answer yesterday, ( to be 100% fair, I hit Robin and Willie with a lot of material in a fairly short time from a standing start).

    Then as part of what is documentary evidence (not my self generated opinion on something) – I showed him an extract from an Act of Parliament which showed that factually it was not wholly reserved, and there was a distinct opportunity to be exploited, which nobody has noticed, and don’t even think exists.

    Perhaps there is a more fundamental third reason, and it comes from the Proverb I quoted – if what I propose is to happen, it will not be a top down, permission is granted, initiative – it will be a bottom up, we don’t need permission, initiative.

    You have my e-mail – I am happy to meet anywhere any time – and let you have the details.

  10. Edward Andrews says:

    Thank you for your article. I went and hid in Italy for the 2 weeks after the Referendum. When I came back I fell right into the blame game. It was all the fault of the Geriatrics. Being a geriatric and having worked quite hard for YES. I took exception and ended up unfriending people who simply couldn’t accept that for whatever reason we hadn’t got our message across. My age group, God forgive us, were not persuaded that YES was the right way to go.
    Now assuming a Referendum 2 by 2021, we will not have died off (one of the solutions which I have heard). We really have to go out and start now, not “I told you so” which only gets then going, but rather “What’s wrong, how do we fix it?” There are say 25 – 30% who are simply Unionists. People who have unfriended me as I keep on in Scottish Politics, their identity is being British and they will not vote YES. Then there are the whatever percentage who voted YES, and all we need to do is to keep them in the tent. Finally there are the ones whom we need to work with. That is the challenge. The question is how do we meet it? Where do they itch, what are their concerns? That is the job until the next Referendum happens. The campaign has already started, when it is going to happen there will be a short campaign to nullify the MSM lies, but we have to get going now to change peoples ideas and minds.

    1. John Page says:

      Pensioners for Independence………

      Get your copy of National for 10p with your bus pass……..

      Yessers to give free iPad lessons to seniors………

      I am sure some of our media savvy youngsters could think of more and better ideas

      Thank you

      John Page

      1. Edward Andrews says:

        That’s fine John. You and I are politically engaged, the first problem we have is that there are a lot of people who are not politically engaged. I buy the National discounted or not, how do we get people to change from the Record. The people I worry about are the ones who are digitally poor. They have either turned their backs on the digital age (or hate it so much that they only use it when they have to, or simply don’t have the very expensive toys like ipads or even desktops with a decent connection.
        We are going to have to get at people face to face the problem is how?

        1. John Page says:

          We are going to have to do it one conversation at a time……..I have an elderly visitor staying who wants the Scotsman everyday out of habit………it’s been a struggle with all the coverage of George and Charlotte!
          You are right that this is going to be difficult…….think of the endless BritNat myth making that generation has been subjected to…….The Dambusters, Zulu, Battle of Britain every Boxing Day and every Royal occasion for over 50 years
          Think about how dependant many of the elderly are on television and how much more propaganda they get than other demographics.
          John Page

        2. Muscleguy says:

          When out canvassing in the referendum one of the ‘too hards’ was nursing homes. We couldn’t get access, certainly not without an appointment. By which time we had moved on. Add to them the elderly Noes who on seeing our Yes badges just shut the door with a ‘No Thanks’. The first group are very hard to engage at all and the second won’t engage.

          Another impression was that those elderly who in conversation mentioned their grandkids were more likely to be Yes. I remember an old guy in his 80s on my first canvass who was voting Yes for his grandchildren. I also remember lots of conversations with elderly people who were No who never once mentioned their family. Those who did on many occasions mentioned that their children and grandchildren had been on at them.

          So how do we contact the isolated elderly, and how do we get them to even engage when we do?

          1. sandy ritchie says:

            Maybe Muscle guy its people like my 97 year old mum who still lives at home in her council house remembers nursing troops of all nationalities in ww2…. and having many English friends for years whom she’ll never regard as foreigners …and has her resolve to vote No …if she’s still alive…to vote no…after I’d shown a sample of the vilification of the elderly by so called patriotic Scots….PS and she votes Labour …because she believes that working people of this small island should stick together ..not torn asunder by petty nationalism…. Just saying like…

  11. Alister says:

    I’m a No voter – I voted NO to Holyrood and recent events have strengthened my opinion that I was right.

    If you want to convince me to change, start by explaining the paradox claims of “be like Norway” and “at the heart of Europe/EU” – Norway has voted time and again NOT to be in the EU! Then there was the claim of be like Ireland, which has gone very quiet after the Irish bailout.

    I’m old enough to remember the 1986 oil price crash – when the price of oil halved. Guess what it’s happened again except this time we’re NOT dealing with easy to get oil but fields that are marginal. Fields that need $70+ per barrel to be profitable, not $20 or $30. I’ve heard claims by YES supporters that that there’s £X Billion of oil left – oil only has a valve if if can be brought ashore at a profit, most of what’s left cant! As an analogy there’s 25 tonnes of gold in every cubic mile of sea water – yet no one has figured out how to extract it profitably.

    On currency, Greece is providing that currency unions can and do run into problems. The reason and only solution, debt “forgiveness/reduction/extension” amounts to a fiscal transfer, essentially a fiscal union. And a fiscal union doesn’t work without – the German population are unhappy at giving their money to Greece – a solid political Union. “Ever closer Union” or “more Europe” is being pushed as the solution. That’s hardly independence.

    So either you’d have a currency union which tends to lead to a fiscal union and in turn a political union OR you’d be at the Heart of the EU in which case you’re entering into a political union of 28; which isn’t independence at all. To be Independent, like a lot of YES supporters claim to want, you’d need to be out of the EU with your own currency. Any takers?

    1. alex says:

      The EU is something to be decided after independence. I would like us to be in Schengen and have the right to work in Europe but otherwise it looks like the EU has gone wrong somewhere

      As I understand it Oil is the jam on the bread not the bread. Just irrelevant. We will thrive without it.

      Currency: Our own currency or use a trusted stable one like the Swiss Franc. Our own is better

      You have not made any positive case for staying Yoked to London rule by a party of Neoliberal extremists, who collectively (Tory, “Labour” and Lib “dems”), exhibit, outside the fields of political manipulation, intrigue and feathering their own nest, a level of incompetence that surpasses that of a bunch of circus clowns trying to fight a fire and a level of intelligence that should cause the educational establishments they attended to issue a public apology for failure.

      1. sandy ritchie says:

        Replacing WM neoliberals with Holyrood neoliberals is jumping from frying pan into the fire…Scots are inherently conservative with a small c.

    2. Bill Halliday says:

      I don’t want to debate with someone who has experience of Norway and yet still holds your views.
      So perhaps from your experience you could clarify, maybe even explain your thoughts on Norway’s current relationship with Europe generally and the various treaties they have with several Scandinavian countries within the EU.
      It would help if facts like 2 Referendums didn’t become “Norway has voted time and again NOT to be in the EU!”

    3. Scunterbunnet says:

      Hi Alister, I’d like to reply to some of the points you raised, mainly because I hear similar points often – and they don’t make any sense to me. Please reply if I’m being unfair, or if I’ve misunderstood you.

      re: “be like Ireland”, “be like Norway”. I’ve never heard anyone suggest Scotland can or should be exactly like either of those places: but we could emulate their independence and dynamism. What they’ve both done is used the economic levers available to them to great advantage. For Ireland, being in the EU allowed it to grow within 20 odd years from a fairly backward, agricultural economy, to a modern industrial nation with excellent infrastructure, a high standard of living, and nearly the highest GDP per capita in the world. Yes, 11% per annum growth can’t be sustained indefinitely, and they had a recession like everyone else after 2008 – but they’ve got higher growth than the UK again now, and the infrastructure to remain competitive: well done them. For Norway, being outside the EU had advantages – so they stayed outside it – and they’re the most solvent state in Europe: well done them too. Scotland’s best interest won’t be served by copying some other country exactly – the lesson of Ireland and Norway is just that being able to act exclusively in your own interest works best.

      re: Oil Price. Yes, the price of oil is volatile: but we’re not dependent on it. We’re a net exporter (unlike rUK), even without oil. We have a government that ‘balances the books’ every year (without the assistance of oil money, and without fiscal levers available to independent states). What we can’t do at the moment is take steps to increase our productivity, and grow our economy: that’s what independence would bring. Oil is a finite resource, whose price must trend upwards over time, as it becomes scarcer. In the long run, it will become viable to extract what’s left. But that’s by the by – oil price is a red herring when it comes to the independence debate.

      re: Currency. I’m completely in accord with you on that. Except for the point I already made: with independence we can choose to act in our own interests – whether that means being in the EU or outside of it. I favour a government-issued Scottish currency, temporarily pegged to Sterling during the transition to Independence, managed by a publicly owned central bank. The key thing is that an independent government can choose the best course in any given circumstances.

      re: Debt. How can you not think this is a big issue? A high debt to GDP ratio is a killer in the long run, and the UK has no strategy for reducing its debt. Public funds are constantly leached away on interest payments; government has to worry about the value of its sovereign bonds to creditors, instead of the real economy; productivity is throttled, to keep the currency artificially high, so the government can sell more IOUs. The UK economy is a basketcase. Scotland has the get-out clause of becoming a export driven, productive country – which isn’t available to rUK. We either take it, or keep circling the drain within the Union.

      1. dinky says:

        What we can’t do at the moment is take steps to increase our productivity, and grow our economy: that’s what independence would bring. Can you clarify how this would happen. What steps will increase our productivity ? New powers are coming to Holyrood, why can’t we wait to see if they work in practise.. Not oh will do this or we could do that. Actions speak louder than words.

    4. Ian Glen says:

      That’s exactly how I feel. I voted yes but can’t join the SNP as being in the EU is no form of independence. What do people like me do? ( Age 74).

      1. Muscleguy says:

        Separate the issues. There is no compunction to join the SNP, I’m Yes and pro Europe and I have joined no party, just SCND. I put my vote where I want based on the election, who is standing etc. I will almost certainly vote differently from Holyrood than in the GE. You can do that too. You are not being inconstant or inconsistent doing that, certainly not to yourself. To thine own self be true.

  12. patsy says:

    Intrigued by Mike Fenwick. Wonder if we shall hear more about his idea?

  13. Morag says:

    That’s completely unfair to Neil Hay. His tweet said nothing of the sort. What he tweeted was a concern that elderly people with advanced dementia were on the electoral register. He said nothing about elderly people who are of sound mind.

    1. hindmost says:

      As someone who works with people with advanced dementia his tweet was demeaning to these people and their families, friends and carers. Even someone with advanced dementia can be supported to cast a vote. For a lot of these people voting has been an important part of who they are. These are the people who voted for Labour in 1945 which led to the creation of the NHS. So yes, these are people who are struggling, but it’s not remembering their name that’s the problem, it’s remaining in contact with who they are, which is information you can get from friends and family and other sources to use in supporting them.

    2. Sandy Ritchie says:

      Neil Hay was and still is an obnoxious twerp. Nicola said let the electorate decide…and they did. Good riddance I say (well I would put it stronger but some youngsters might read this…lol)

      1. jdman says:

        No you right better this fine upstanding man
        http://tinyurl.com/osajzdh
        Than Neil Hay
        this little twerp
        http://wingsoverscotland.com/a-serious-case-of-hypocrisy/

    3. dinky says:

      Why they hell shouldn’t they be on the electoral register.? Do you think because they have dementia the should not be allowed to vote.?

      1. Jams O'Donnell says:

        Well, it might be seen to cast some doubt on the validity of their thought processes (I say this as a pensioner).

  14. Mike Fenwick says:

    Extract: “So either you’d have a currency union which tends to lead to a fiscal union and in turn a political union OR you’d be at the Heart of the EU in which case you’re entering into a political union of 28; which isn’t independence at all. To be Independent, like a lot of YES supporters claim to want, you’d need to be out of the EU with your own currency. Any takers?”

    Yep! I am in no way dismissing your other comments, however your eventual question establishes that we have a choice which is binary – either this OR that, and based around the subject of currency. Most of the debates I have seen on a choice of currency follow a similar path, and also end up in binary or perhaps tertiary choices.

    So maybe we need to think and debate at an even deeper level? Let’s say we learn from evolution, and descent with modification, if Scotland is to evolve into an independent country, what might it modify, it’s currency, this or that, or something that we know keeps going wrong, and which we keep paying the price for, namely the failure of banks and the failure of their regulation? Perhaps it’s not currency, but money itself that we need to start understanding, and for money flip to the other side of the coin, and you will find that – money = debt.

    Try this 4 minute video, I hope, if nothing else, it might widen the debate from this OR that:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eHQ7wvWzUW0&feature=youtu.be

    To avoid doubt this is NOT one of the proposals to which I refer in my earlier posts, but it is something that I wish to see much more openly debated.

  15. john young says:

    Alister you are very strong on currency this and currency that never once mentioning the UK debt of 1.5trillion,so somebody in this/previous governments are not doing a very good job very little of this mentioned anywhere convenient or not eh! would you agree,as for oil being on the way out/down?why are they the oil people investing billions world wide in finding new fields.The price of oil is rigged by the USA/Saudi Arabia to meet their own perspectives,the former being our biggest ally or should that be “a lie or allah/ie”.All arguments along these lines are peripheral,the argument is who has the best interests of Scotland/Scots at heart almost certainly not Westminster so how can you argue FOR, e.g.s of Norway/Ireland are hogwash they at least have the confidence/determination/bravery to govern themselves

    1. Alister says:

      The Debt or Scotland’s share frankly is lower down the scale than the currency/EU

      As you say ” oil people investing billions world wide” not in the North Sea! The Easy Oil is gone, what’s left is in small hard to get pockets. Perhaps in 20 years there’ll be the technology to allow us to get at it or perhaps in the greener energy revolution we won’t be allowed to burn fossil fuels?

      If you think Westminster is bad you’ve not seen Brussels. Common Fisheries Policy/Common Agricultural policy/ Harmonisation funds/ VAT control by EU/TTP / ECB. Depending on who you ask at least 50% of our laws come from /driven by Brussels – hardly independent!

      1. Shaun says:

        Alister, your arguments regarding oil are too well informed and even betray a slight understanding of economics. You’re not meant to be doing that. You were meant to band your chest and scream “it’s ooooooorrrrrr oil!!!”, and now go and lobby Greggs to keep the macaroni pie (a commodity apparently more important to the SNP than oil).

        1. Andrew says:

          They’re not well informed… They’re also predicated on the belief that the Scottish economy is oil dependent, which it’s not. Yes, it could be more diverse, and yes, oil makes up a decent percentage of Scottish GDP but in my mind the running down of other industry and the focus on oil by successive UK governments is one of the classic arguments against the union. In any event, if you read industry reports, the reason the UK oil & gas is suffering at present are down as much to the high tax levied by Westminster and the instability in the same as it is to the current (and no-doubt) short-term severe depreciation in prices. I’d also note that even though the industry is currently suffering I didn’t see anything in the recent budge to address this.

          I could go on about the fact that current unit operating costs are ~£17/boe, or that 2014 saw record capital investment of £14.4Bn or that there are 15-24 billion boe reserves remaining in the NS (some hard to get at but not all) or that fields in the Western Isles and West of Shetland are still being actively developed, etc, etc.

          Personally, I’d rather a diverse economic base where the bonus of oil is used to invest in the long-term economic prospects of the country and we stop peeing it away on things like trident and HS2 and big sewer pipes and all the other things.

          1. Shaun says:

            I work in oil and gas and the reason that it’s suffering at the moment certainly isn’t due to Westminster taxation.

            The biggest problem facing the NS is the escalation in cost, especially in recent years, which, when combined with the price drop, has cast severe financial difficulties on many operators. Hence, projects are being postponed and cancelled and belts are being tightened, with the unfortunate result in many thousands of redundancies. Given the volumes that remain and the generally enhanced technical difficulty in extracting them, profitability is already low in the NS, and even before the beginning of the price drop companies were starting to realise that it simply isn’t sustainable (Shell and Chevron announced a set of job losses and Wood Group cut contractor rates whilst oil was still $110+ per barrel).

            Other high cost regions are also feeling a lot of pain in this environment.

            Westminster helped the situation slightly by reducing taxation on the sector in March and again in its recent budget. I would hope that the Scottish government would do the same if it had to.

          2. Andrew says:

            Yep, but tax is a major component of overall cost. You can’t just blank it out. IMHO what makes it even more galling is that other major industries pay next to no tax due to widely documented evasion practises.

          3. sandy ritchie says:

            Yep …corporations who pay next to no tax…like Amazon…who Alex Salmond enticed to Scotland and washed his hands of its tax avoidance schemes claiming (correctly all be it immorally) that collecting taxes was not a devolved issue…then of course yer WoS offerered bullshit stats claiming that UK was still better off with the jobs …many zero hour…pmsl

          4. The reality is we are using multi platforms to get this music out there to as many people as possible. Anyone use Facebook? (!)

  16. My Cocaine says:

    For months, people have accused the Labour party of having its head in the sand, and learning nothing from its catastrophic defeat. The same could be said for the Yes campaign.

    Patronising articles such as this, is the reason why we’ll lose another indy-referendum, because the Yes side are equally as guilty of burying their heads in the sand.

    The idea that old people switch on the BBC or pick up a Murdoch paper, and are automatically brainwashed to believe their headlines, is pure hogwash.

    Has it ever occurred to the Yes side that old people voted No in their droves, because they liked being British? After all, this generation grew up post-war, and would have strong links to the survivors of the Empire days, through parents, or the last vestiges of the Empire in the 1950s/60s.

    It also lets the Yes side’s arguments off the hook. Let’s be honest, the currency strategy was an utter shambles, relying as it was on the agreement of the very people we were fighting against!

    We want to break away from you, but we’ll keep your currency, keep your Queen, and keep the BBC. What sort of independence is that? Better no independence than clinging on to the corruption of Westminster, and relying on their goodwill through a one-sided currency union.

    If you’re going to be independent, be bloody independent!

    To say that old people were stupid, and easily brainwashed by Better Together, is intellectually dishonest, patronising, and will hamstring us again, if ever we have another indy referendum.

    1. sandy ritchie says:

      Absolutely spot on….but most Indies still don’t get it….and never will..

      1. Tracy says:

        Yep – spot on. A big problem in Scotland is that we are split down the middle with both sides thinking they have the moral high ground. I voted no, and will do so again, mainly because after reading thousands of articles I could not see how we would be better off. To my mind it would have been a disaster and nothing that has happened since last September has changed my mind.

        1. muttley79 says:

          In case you missed it Tracy, the Tories are taking an axe to the remnants of the welfare state in the UK. No doubt they will want to privatise more public services as well. Are you comfortable with the fact that Labour have become mini Tories over the last 20 years or so? Are you happy that so many people are reliant on food banks in the UK?

    2. Edwin Moore says:

      Well said.

    3. Scunterbunnet says:

      If someone told me, “I feel British, and I want to retain the UK, because I want to share a country with all the other British people – come hell or high water”, I’d see that as a perfectly valid. Identity is important to people, and carries a lot of emotional weight.

      Funny thing is, nobody said that to me before IndyRef1, and I heard nothing like that from Better Together campaigners. There’s a lot of dishonesty in the debate. My impression over the years has been that there is probably 20 or 25% of the population who are strongly identified as Scottish-not-British, and a similar proportion of visceral British Nationalists. The remaining roughly 50% have a more complex, labile identity. The BritNatz and ScotNatz go online and pose as reasonable people to entice the undecided – which leads to lots of deceit and trollery. However, the Scottish side of the debate are generally more open about their core attitudes.

      A big part of the swing to Yes was probably due to BritNat trollery being seen through by switherers, and backfiring. Proud Brits online would maybe help their own cause by uncloseting themselves more often?

    4. florian albert says:

      My Cocaine

      It is refreshing to find somebody on the YES side who understands how utterly counter-productive much of what is written about NO voters continues to be.

      However, I think there is a split between NO voters who are totally committed to the union and those who were on September 18th unconvinced by the prospect of Independence on offer.
      The latter are, I think, the bigger group.
      If they were won over, Scotland would achieve Independence.

      They were unconvinced by the White Paper or by Alex Salmond’s arguments. For such people,
      R I C, Bella Caledonia and Common Weal were not on their radar.
      The currency issue was most often cited but reliance on a high oil price and uncertainty about entry to the EC also figured.

      If anything, this group is even less likely to vote YES at present, though too many on the NO side can not accept this fact.

  17. Jen says:

    The currency thing though. I cannot see how that would ever be resolved before another Indy Ref. To resolve it we would need co-operation from Westminster and the BoE – can anyone see that happening, because I can’t. It is a major sticking point and I do not see an easy resolution to it. Would be delighted to be proven wrong! Anyone?

    1. Jams O'Donnell says:

      There is nothing to stop the Scottish Parliament from putting together an alternative to using the pound, as long as it is properly thought through and attack tested. Someone above suggested using the Swiss franc. Personally, I’m not able to see if that’s a good idea or not, but there must be Independence voters who can, or can come up with a better option. This must be done, before any new referendum.

  18. arthur thomson says:

    The notion of ‘persuading’ hardened unionists to vote for independence is a non-starter and always was. It was not by accident that the unionists refused to come out and honestly debate during the referendum. It reflected their belief that they had no need to do so. They were not open to change, they just sat tight and then voted for the status quo. They are people, of whatever age, who have British values – of empire and superiority and a penchant for invading other countries (their true idea of ‘better together’).

    But a process of change occurred during the referendum, amongst those who were not committed to such values, as evidenced by the 15% who apparently moved from No to Yes. That change has continued as evidenced by the spectacular GE result. This change came about because increasing numbers of ordinary people saw:

    1. that they were being cynically lied to by British politicians and their mouthpieces and

    2. that what they had never dared to dream was indeed a possibility.

    That process will advance as long as those who support independence keep working for it.

    It is good to remind supporters of independence to be civil. Ideally, we need to learn to assertively but politely express our perspective and our entirely reasonable outrage that the actions of others have affected us negatively.

    Meanwhile, in increasing numbers, people will have their own moment of enlightenment based on the continuation of 1 and 2 above, when they will realise that independence is the better option. Once aware they will be outraged that they have been deceived and reject British values, permanently.

    We need to be polite but assertive and patient but resolute in equal measure.

    1. Scunterbunnet says:

      “They are people, of whatever age, who have British values – of empire and superiority and a penchant for invading other countries (their true idea of ‘better together’).”

      I don’t know Arthur, some people maybe just like cricket, or warm beer, or the Queen Mum, or Eastenders or Britain’s Got Talent. I spoke to a couple of people who voted no because “the TV would be shite” in an independent Scotland: basically they didn’t want to be made to think or take responsibility. There’s folk like that in every country. Some people will never be socially or culturally critical, or politically engaged. Many go home in the evening and slump in front of ‘The One Show’ or ‘The Only Way is Essex’ – they’re not going to have some autonomous epiphany about Westminster maybe not being the only way. Which doesn’t mean they’re imperialists – they’re just supine.

      (I can understand the origins of the belief that “the TV would be shite…”. In my view BBC Scotland have been running a Black Ops “Keep Scotland Shite” campaign for decades. The amount of kitsch, kailyardy, patronising bumpff drama they manage to churn out using wooden actors and facile storylines is astonishing)

  19. peter mccreadie says:

    The demographic clock is ticking; it will happen.

    Is it not logical to assume that the No Camp have alienated a sizeable Yes Camp.

  20. C Rober says:

    Fiscal information failure by the SNP during indy – True.
    Hoping on oil for Scotland future is a bad argument – True.
    The media as a whole was biased and egregious – True.
    BBC was biased during the indy ref , argued that it was not and never has been , yet David Cameron said they were despite winning an election – True.
    Bring in the sheep , not ostricise them- True.

    The Media.

    Hollyrood has powers to legislate to prevent bias , to reform the media , to set up a truly independent press and media watchdog , yet will not or has not done so. It needs to before the next Hollyrood election never mind a referendum.

    Simply create a NEW PCC in Scotland , independent and fast tracking consisting of 4 Judges , paid for by a circulation tax , this combined with hard punishments like front page retractions for inside or internet content being the goal.

    This will reduce national papers to parochial fluff editions , fearful of rendering lies for their masters.Basically your turning project fear on its head , the fear then becomes the medias own , one of being bankrupted.

    The BBC , a bit of lateral thinking.

    Hollyrood control national laws , therefore national court directives on what should be prosecuted , what is considered as a crime and for the punishment of crime.

    Its time to argue in Hollyrood that as long as the whole of the licence fee is not returned to Scotland – then its not a licence or a fee at all , but an illegal tax on being Scottish.

    Regardless of Licence fee law being part of Westminster’s remit it is up to Hollyrood to declare what is a criminal action in Scotland , arguing that by the non return of all of the Licence fee that it is unjust enrichment of the BBC in England , thus there can be only one legal outcome – declaring the act of purchasing a licence then becoming a crime itself , until its fiscally redressed , or is sponsoring a crime.

    Should the BBC , or should that be HMG , argue legally that there is no unjust enrichment , due to programming being made available “in kind” from the RUK to BBC Scotland and its viewers , then it could also be argued – that they are also depriving the RUK from a more varied programming created in Scotland by not wholly returning the fee.

    For that matter by HMG and BBC arguing successfully and won , is it not actually proof positive of subsidizing English Jobs at the expense of Scottish ones , or just subsidzing the cost of the Licence fee for the English?

    Even if HMG BBC somehow won the argument , it would still be proof that the Scottish Licence payer is thus still found to be paying for a service twice , that is if a service is offered as normal for the RUK Licence payer but is still “in kind” for Scotland’s as conditional on payment of the licence.

    BBC income from Licence fees in Scotland , 300m
    BBC monies returned to BBC Scotland to 80m.
    Cost of RTE to buy and transmit the BBC channels , 21m.
    Unjust Enrichment?

    Sources

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_unjust_enrichment_law

    http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-price-of-the-bbc/

    http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/psb/responses/mceihil_annex.pdf

  21. Allan Sutherland says:

    Good to see you chaps thinking about how to win more people to your side…without losing the nutter element. As you will read in the attched “Open Letter” to my old school colleague Alex Salmond there are a lot of people lile me who would vote yes if the SNP got real and honest about what has to be done to make Scotland a serious contender for independence. http://www.scotlandinunion.co.uk/dear_alex_an_open_letter_to_the_former_first_minister_from_an_old_schoolmate
    Good start though!

  22. Sylvina Tilbury says:

    SNP haters are never ever going to be converted to the Yes side, and there is no point wasting any time on them. Where the rest of us look at Westminster and see the obvious, SNP haters will use the inbuilt Scottish minority as a stick to beat the SNP with. Nothing they can do will ever change that. I say that after the Scotland Bill becomes law we move our focus squarely back on Holyrood and focus on building the very best country we can with the limited tools we have. The people who need convincing are the “Not Yet”s, and I know plenty of them. The Tories are right now doing a better job of that campaign than anything the Yes side have done to date, and positive action in Holyrood can only reinforce the message.

    1. Jimmy Waugh says:

      Sylvina you have hit the nail on the head there are a substantial group of Not Yet’s and we have to give them confidence that it is achievable, the best proof of that is to get on with what we are doing, use the few new powers imaginatively , many think they are a poisoned chalice and no doubt the Westminster Elite hope they will be. Let us turn that on them use the tax raising powers to the fullest and apply them to support the greatest asset that any country has its people , ensure that every tax raised in this case is clearly labelled as a Unionist Tax, explain at every turn that it is needed to offset the Austerity Policies of Westminster.
      Alongside this as I previously stated dealing with the Currency question and the EU would be a big step forward in building confidence.

  23. Bruce says:

    You do Neil Hay a disservice in misinterpreting his tweet to make a point, and one which could have been easily made without doing so.

  24. john young says:

    For all the oh! a just want to be British mob go down to England and ask them what nationality they are and they will to a man/woman answer English and rightly so,only up here do we get the weak/the lacking in pride/confidence I want to be British,no wonder we are a laughing stock amongst other nations,they treat you with dis-dain they loathe you they denigrate your country/countrymen yourselves included,yet you still wail I want to be British please let me be British they want fcuk all to do with you the more weakness you show the more they p–s on you,no matter you still bleat.

    1. sandy ritchie says:

      Nope…wrong …as usual. I’m Scottish… and British in that order…

      1. Iain says:

        What is he wrong about? Apparently you are Scottish and British in that order, but what does that even mean? If you are happy for the Westminister govt to exclude us, what does that say about you and your ilk? Surely if you are a unionist you have to British and Scottish in that order, it does’nt make sense otherwise. By the way do folk like you actually think Scotland is a country? And if you do how can you have a country inside another country? Also while you are here is it also your position that you believe the Republic of Ireland should not be a country and that it would be better for them to turn over the running of their country to a govt based in London?

        In addition an open question for unionists / no voters. If Scotland was an independent country at this point would any of you openly agree to put your country in the position it currently sits in within the union?

  25. wyd1 says:

    While I agree with Archie McKay in his comments, I must look for other answers. By my own thinking the comments mostly do not hold water, no insult intended and are not meant to.
    I truly believe that the Independence Vote was fixed and prearranged. There are far to many anomalies from Sept 18th 2014. We have all heard with interest in most cases the goings on during that awful day for Scotland, ie; No BBC Scotland exit poll – why not? Why did one of the countries bookmakers pay out (unheard of!) days before the official result. Why did one of the Legal firms in Aberdeen city hold a no result celebration the actual day before the 18th result came through – why were there many more postal votes than actual voters voted? The list goes on and on, including people complaining to official bodies who are supposed to oversee these things, and organisations starting private votes about vote rigging – has anything come out of this, or is this just another additive to the phrase; “not in the public interest”, – it is because of these points which make Archie McKay’s story seem implausible in the whole.
    I have read the book called BBC BIAS How the BBC stole the referendum and the story in International Scotland blog story, “Scotland’s Independence Vote – rigged or not rigged” and both are much more inclined towards the truth.
    Are we all so blinkered that we are still walking asleep into the next ten years in the same way Scotland did last Sept 18th 2014? we need to waken up folks or our chances will again slip away – the Scottish Government need to make their voices heard, now!

  26. john young says:

    You are well in the minority Sandy,do you ever query the “British” part of the equation? even after all the indignity inflicted on us,even after the “in your face” you as a country can have no part in governing “Britain” you are a poor neighbour that survives because of our generosity our largesse,do you really accept this,how demeaning/weak willed.

    1. sandy ritchie says:

      I don’t have the Scottish “chip” on my shoulder. I don’t get pissed off if a shop assistant in Ipswich knocks back a Clydesdale tenner…I probably would if I’d never seen one. I’m proud of Scots …and English achievements…and equally ashamed when our nations have over stepped the mark. I happen to believe that our institutions are well served by Holyrood despite SNPs attempts to dismantle them…attempts to remove the requirement of corroboration in our independent legal system …and the determination of our once excellent education system to name 2. I have more in common with a pensioner in London…than yer Brian Souter’s of this world.

      1. sandy ritchie says:

        Oops Deterioration not determination

      2. Juteman says:

        ” I have more in common with a pensioner in London”

        Ah, so well off, and feck everyone else?

        1. sandy ritchie says:

          Lol….maybe I should have said Liverpool or Birmingham….as I’m a poor feart pensioner barely with my marbles …according to the obnoxious Neil Hay ….and others

  27. M says:

    I for one am very interested in what Mile Fenwick has to say. There are systemic problems nationally (whatever you hold that to be) and globally.

    Whatever the solutions we need to look deeper and closer into our society for answers and while I don’t think the film link here necessarily provides the answers, it certainly discusses things on a level you will not see on TV:

  28. M says:

    Er, sorry – I meant to post this:

  29. Barbara McKenzie says:

    I am not convinced by this article. True there has been a lot of anger and frustration expressed on twitter and in the comments section of proindependence blogs, subsequent to the recent budget, but how much of that is read by the elderly, or other No voters for that matter?

    Furthermore, real anger from their grandchildren might be the one thing that gets diehard British loyalists to rethink.

    I would also like to point out, not for the first time, that Bella Caledonia has a penchant for articles by writers wringing their hands and claiming the moral high ground over other supporters of independence.

    1. I’m not sure what that’s supposed to mean Barbara? We are trying to have a critical reflection on where we go from here.

  30. john young says:

    Sandy more of a “monkey on your back” I think,you would rather be governed by proud English schoolboys that have no doubt your or your countries best interests at heart,what chance Scotland with “Proud Scots” of that ilk to the fore,maybe you could explain to me why a parliament in England concerned mainly with English matters would have Scotlands best interests at heart?The argument is not about Scotland v England it is about having the confidence in yourself your country to progress,Scotlands contribution to progress/innovation/creativity throughout the world is amazing for such a small country so much that Churchill commented on it pity they had to leave these shores to achieve them.

    1. sandy ritchie says:

      I’m quite happy with Holyrood …preferably with a Labour majority…and to work with English..Welsh and Scots to minimise effects of Tory austerity and their attempt to dismantle the welfare state that Labour built..

      1. Catrina Forde says:

        I can’t conceive as to why anyone would choose to ‘work to minimise effects of Tory austerity and their attempt to dismantle the welfare state’ rather than take responsibility for your own governance and see the Tories on their way. It makes no sense – is entirely illogical. And therefore I don’t believe this is a true reason.

  31. Broadbield says:

    I largely agree with you Barbara, but surely the main thrust of the article is correct? We have to engage with all sectors of society and keep hammering on about the immoral Tory government whose latest budget is an ill-disguised (by appropriating language in a Stalinist way) continuation of the attack on the poor, the vulnerable and the unemployed and further dismantling of the state. The msn, from the emasculated Grauniad to the Mail, is more interested in writing about what a “clever politician” Osborne is rather than exposing how his policies are a disaster for equality and social welfare.

  32. Mike Fenwick says:

    I’ll keep this as short as I can as it heads off at a tangent from the main article. (Posted after final paragraph – Sorry I already know I have failed – apologies) – I wish to see a debate that goes much deeper than a choice of currency, the material that makes me think that way is my following of the work of Positive Money (and others).

    I first took an interest in such work, when I found out that the money in our economy was 3% coins and notes under the control of the Bank of England, and 97% was under the control of the Banks, when they created loans (mortgages etc) and that they did so by simply creating a debit on their computers, to match the credit they had just issued – money (in fact debt) out of nothing. I had simply lived in total ignorance of that, and why it affected all of us, often so dramatically.

    One of the central proposals to change that is the establishment of an impartial, accountable body who establish the level of money in an economy, and how that might improve an economy.

    Now for me, I hear that argument, but am not sufficiently economically literate to reach a definitive conclusion.

    So here is how I would like to reduce my ignorance, and perhaps how to get the matter open for the wider debate I think it deserves.

    We already have a version of that “Committee” – The Council of Economic Advisers, and it was the Fiscal Commission, within that Council, chaired by Crawford Beveridge, that drew up its range of recommendations for how an Independent Scotland should think about a future currency.

    So is it possible to have the Council of Economic Advisers, advise us – do we need to consider a complete change to how money is created, what would be the “nationalisation of the ability to create money”, or is it a complete red herring?

    Should we ask?

    Again apologies for the length, but one final thought – when Beveridge et al suggested a sterling currency union as optimal initially at least, what scared you more – George Osborne saying no, or the possibility he might say yes?

  33. john young says:

    Mike nothing should “scare” us,we surely have the capabilities/resources both materially/ human to forge a country that we all can be proud of,a country we can all play a part and contribute in.As for the economic arguments I do not know why we put so much faith in the “experts” and the multitude of economic councils/banks e.t.c,if they are so well versed how/why is there so much chaos,or do they have a “cunning plan” a la Baldrick

  34. Mike Fenwick says:

    @ John Young … I could have chosen other than “scared”, but what was foremost in my mind were those in Greece, and the effect of a currency union has had on them, and will have years from now. Were I young or old in Greece, scared/fearful I suggest, is how I would feel.

    Don’t disagree with you over “experts”, and in the field of economics, there seems to be plenty of scope for “expert” disagreement. However, if a “Committee” was to be in charge of the creation of money – let’s see whether a current “Committee” (who I assume we are paying) can offer any guidance on the subject.

    I have taken up too much space on this, so as a final post from me (pro tem), let me say that from earlier contact with the Deputy First Minister’s office, and those in the Scottish Government’s Economics team – I have today sent them a pdf of my post – and asked that it be posed as a question to the Council of Advisers.

    I await a response.

    1. Mike Fenwick says:

      Addendum (for the record) … per my post, I received an acknowledgment today from the Correspondence Unit at the Scottish Government confirming receipt of my e-mail and pdf (sent on the date of my post) advising that I would a reply would be sent to me as soon as possible.

      1. Mike Fenwick says:

        Perhaps this would be better appearing closer to the launch of the proposals for a Scottish Digital Currency, but I do not want to create a gap in the posts I have already made, or jump threads.

        I have today received a response from the Scottish Government related to my request that they consider asking the Council of Economic Advisers to address the issues raised by those such as Positive Money.

        I copy in below the response received (edited to avoid the name, contact details etc of the individual who replied being posted):

        Dear Mr Fenwick

        Thank you for your email of 12 July 2015 to the Deputy First Minister, regarding your
        thoughts on the creation of money, a national currency, and the potential role of the Council of Economic Advisers on reflecting upon such issues. I have been asked to reply on his behalf.

        The Council of Economic Advisers is an independent advisory group to the First Minister,
        and is tasked with providing advice on improving the competitiveness of the Scottish
        economy and tackling inequality in Scotland. Within this, the Council’s work is currently
        focused on issues related to inclusive growth and innovation (two of the key priority areas set out in Scotland’s Economic Strategy), and on measures of Scotland’s economic
        performance.

        If you would like further information regarding the role and operation of the Council, more
        detail is available on the Scottish Government’s website at the following address:
        http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Economy/Council-Economic-Advisers

        I hope this information is useful to you.

        Yours sincerely,

        Office of the Chief Economic Adviser

        Ends …

        If I am following matters reasonably, we have since my posts back in July, had the proposals from NEF and CommonWeal, which in part acknowledge the work of Positive Money – so whilst the reply I have received does not say, yes or no, to what I what I was asking – I hope any efforts such as this, and those at the launch yesterday indicate to the Government that there are initiatives and innovations underway, which imho should in no way be ignored.

        May I also just add that the “idea” I mentioned in my earlier post continues, as does my journey with it, and so far not one of those I have met and discussed the idea with has shown me the door – if anything I have been welcomed.

        I have a few more such meetings still outstanding, the idea is still alive and kicking, and I hope sometime in the not too distant future, I can, with others, reveal what is involved.

  35. john young says:

    Sounds good Mike always room for those with a different “take” on all matters,from someone who is close to being illiterate about the economy/s of the world it seems to me that they are dis-honest /corrupt and meaningless to most people they are set up for the benefit of a small% very small of the world,from what I can deduce from looking into alternative sites,the dollar therefore all of the western currencies are teetering on the edge and BRICS will pose a serious threat,the USA looks to be in a parlous state.

  36. John Craig says:

    I’ve slogged my way through his one with and along the way not found too much of any worth. There are some real little rays of hope on the Currency question but on welding a cohesive vote for another referendum things still look bleak.
    To set my stall out, I am retired, of modest means and in the past a staunch supporter of Scottish Nationalism. I voted NO with the firm conviction that at this time , those who represent Scotland are still in the same old mould of politics I grew up with and that much of their legislation, either proposed or enacted, was either inept or had an arcane aspect that I was ill at ease with.
    If I were to add the icing to the cake of that discontent, it would be the fawning gutless notion that we should have a member of the existing Windsor family as a head of state. In addition, I had only recently started looking at on-line opinion and was appalled at what I saw. This could be encapsulated in the observation by a noted Cybernat , that my wife was scum. To obtain this status, she had previously voted Liberal. My wife, now elderly like myself, is a retired nurse; her hands are now crippled with arthritis but as a noted member of the medical profession observed , “they’ve saved dozens of lives, brought scores of new lives safely into the world, tended and mended hundreds and eased the passing of so many whose time had come”. My wife offers society a degree of honesty and integrity which would be hard to match.
    Her Cybernat detractor, a man who has in the past addressed SNP conference on defence, a man with thousands of followers, withdraws his support for the SNP when his benefits are reduced.
    It is small wonder that an older generation has to make do with established media for guidance when such as he are lauded. He is not alone , so many Scots are too busy being “Real Scots” for my liking. That intolerance spells disaster for our country.

  37. john young says:

    John Craig do you know what means has meant disaster for our country a lack of bravery/confidence in our own worth,going back thro history this country has been riven with personal rivalries easily divided/dis-united and like the Red Indian easily conquered with our tribes/clans fighting one and other at the behest of those that would subjugate us,at long last we have a pos 50+% ready to make that last mile against all odds,if we falter again then we have lost forever and our country will wither on the bough.

    1. sandy ritchie says:

      What a load of puerile nonsense…”wither on the bough”…pathetic sentimental rubbish…putting our country down …Scotland has punched above its weight since joining the union…before that it was an insular cold country in northern Europe…Scotland put the Great into Great Britain…And don’t you forget it…

      1. muttley79 says:

        Sandy, the British empire was built on the back of slavery and racism, and the murder of millions of foreigners. What a repellent post of yours, celebrating an odious empire.

        1. sandy ritchie says:

          Our fellow Scots were complicit in all that was bad ….and good.. in building GB empire…but in the context of the time it was no worse …and a lot better than other European Countries..first to ban slavery for starters..whereas Scotland pre the Union was a dire place to live in northern Europe…but I see your happy to talk our country down…I won’t..

          1. Broadbield says:

            I don’t want to “punch above our weight” because that means foreign “adventures” aka illegal wars, interfering where we’re not wanted, often doing more harm than good. I want a Scotland that is a beacon of enlightened social policies, that puts fairness and equity before rewards for the 1%, that will embark on creating more equality, looking after the needs of all citizens and not demonising those at the bottom. In other words, the exact antithesis of where the UK, whether blue or pink tory, is going, where risks are socialised and profits privatised, state assets are sold off to the 1% at knock-down prices, the poor, the vulnerable, the disabled, the sick are punished and the dominant philosophy is “it’s their own fault.”

            It won’t happen overnight, and it will be a struggle to achieve but independence offers hope. In the absence of a purge of the neoliberals I have come to the view that UDI is the only way forward now.

            The alternative is another 10 years of Osborne. Hands up if you want that.

          2. muttley79 says:

            Scotland’s contribution to the British empire was appalling, and started after 1707. I see you are a Rule Britannia Scottish Labour supporter. Murdering millions, enslaving countless others, and plundering their natural resources is absolutely nothing to be proud of.

  38. leginge says:

    the only way to bring NO voters over to YES is to win the economic argument for independence – so we need
    1. detail – typical median wages, min wage, pensions, job prospects by industry sector, currency
    2. taxes raised showing scotland to be the rich country everyone says it is and how scotland would pay its way
    3. a vision of what an independent scotland would be like for young and old alike – nhs, EU, land reform, transport
    Up to now all we have is vague notions of how great are scotland’s resources…

    1. Broadbield says:

      Business for Scotland has analysis of Scotland’s economic position, taxes etc.

      1. sandy ritchie says:

        Business for Scotland has been discredited by better people than me…

        1. Kimberley Cadden says:

          Sandy you are just trolling now – Business for Scotland has done some great and respected work and if you want to denigrate a whole organisation you should make sure you have evidence to back up your point – although please don’t mistake that for an invitation from me – not least as I am unlikely to visit the thread again…..

          I agree with others on the thread though that we need to go much further on the economic questions in terms of analysis and accessibility – it looks like Common Weal will be doing a lot of work in that area including on the currency question, and indeed the Wings WBB was an invaluable resource during the indyref and I am sure there will be something similar again next time round but I think we need specific booklets for different groups of people next time – like a booklet for small business owners for example (many I know voted no as they felt they had no idea what the effect would be for them) so that people are clear the likely implications for them – I think this is much better than a massive white paper; and yes we need to be clear where the risks are too, but in doing so point out our world standing in terms of our wealth and capabilities as a nation and how there is no logical reason a nation such as ours wont do better than what we have at present with our hands tied behind our backs….I think if the SG can make some positive changes over the next few years on top of what they have done already, that this will only continue to build confidence in our ability to do things better the more powers we have…

          And yes when it comes to no voters plenty people clearly voted no due to feeling British and/or feeling a connection to the union – the post indyref survey has this at 29.5% of no voters – and some others clearly did for some very strange reasons (like apparently not liking certain people) and its clearly not reasonable to think we will change the minds of such people. But the majority thought it too risky and this is where we need to focus our attention – its about making the economic arguments clear and accessible as well as many other factors – lots of work to do!

          1. sandy ritchie says:

            OK Kimberley as it unlikely that you’ll read my reply I’ll keep it short. BFS has few members of any size or distinction, some of whom receive funds from the Scottish Government. Their claims that Scotland subsidies England have discredited many times. The SNP often quote them as a reliable source of economic reliability simply because most of the large businesses in Scotland have no truck with Independence. Very few of the BFS members have any cross border business. In short it is a mouth piece for the SNP that has little relevance to jobs or the Scottish economy.

  39. James Dow A voice from the diaspora says:

    sandy Ritchie reply. You may have more in common with a pensioner in London but you certainly don’t have much in common with an archetypal Scot.
    Go outside and pick up a Scottish rock and think about it for a while.

    1. sandy ritchie says:

      Lol…you know nowt about me so your comments are foundless…but typical smear by a Nat. What I will say though is that have utmost respect for Labour voters who have fled the nest…recent comments by some in Labour hierarchy make it difficult. However I can’t say the same for pre referendum Nats….ie tartan Tories…

      1. JBS says:

        “…typical smear by a Nat.”

        Sandy, that’s uncanny. You’ve started to sound exactly like Jill Stephenson.

        1. sandy ritchie says:

          Jill Stevenson?…lol…I don’t know who she is…but I gather it’s intended to be an insult. However if the said Jill is for a fair and caring country (UK) who is distraught at the attempted demolition of the welfare state by the Tories., who would defend trade unions against the attack by the Tories, who would like the energy companies, banks and rail brought into public ownership…and some one who believes that Jeremy Cobyn should be leader of the Labour party…then she’s fine by me…oh and I would add has a distrust of the Nationalist hierarchy who are wooing Labour voters by moving to the left… Allegedly… then she’s really a fine person….lol

  40. john young says:

    Sandy you are a “Proud subservient Scot”your Great British Empire raped/ravished/plundered 3/4 of the planet,most having to fight their way out and did successfully we are the last vestiges of it,tho there is a lot less fight here.

  41. James Dow A voice from the diaspora says:

    john young I think you are right. Since emigrating some sixty years ago I have returned to Scotland twice to be greeted with the observation they thought I was more Scottish than themselves. This came as no surprise, as a piper in a band in Melbourne it was always interesting to hear new immigrants as they progressively joined the band declare you know your more Scottish than we are back home. It had never occurred to them that they had become less Scottish.

    1. Doon the A701 says:

      James, can you tell us what an ‘archetypal Scot’ is?

  42. Neil says:

    Perhaps it is time to ponder the relevance of articles on last year’s referendum, seeing as they have all been written, already?

  43. John Craig says:

    ” Reaching out to NO ” it said, but ye gods, 107 comments and we’re still shitting on one another. Instead of just listening to what the other guy says and giving it an airing, it’s out with the insults right away and to hell with the object of the exercise.

    1. Neil says:

      Am I the only person here who thinks that the ambivalent referendum result put the future direction of the yes campaign in exactly the same place as the future direction of the no campaign?

      You don’t get a change to national independence without overwhelming patriotic fervour to that end. If the crux of the debate is about banknote denomination, that fervour and belief plainly doesn’t exist in any significant numbers, and I think it would take a tsunami the likes of which is almost certainly not going to happen to change that situation (and I am not talking about voting to leave the EU).

      I think the game’s over. The will is not there for Scotland or the UK, either – try it again when more than 70% of the population are in favour of Scottish state independence.

      I think the only thing that came out of the referendum was a general vague will for some more devolution to Holyrood by people who probably mostly don’t even have an understanding of what Holyrood’s responsibilities are in the first place.

  44. leginge says:

    Broadbield – I agree that BFS on its website provides a raft of information on the economy of an Independent Scotland – but I would challenge whether it’s in a format accessible to informed debate with our NO voting colleagues. As I said in previous post the case for Independence needs to be broken down into detail readily understood by working people.
    And as for GB’s inglorious empire building past – this is another irrelevant distraction from winning the argument for Independence. Within our own YES ranks we see the benefits of independence in other ways eg social justice, an end to our govts being run by a very rich establishment elite etc etc but to win the average NO voter it’s purely about how people would be better off under Independence ie the economy – and it’s about time we realized that

  45. Duncan McAllan says:

    Woe is us, 56 MPs and on course for a landslide in 2016.

    Every courtesy must be extended to those in other parties making the journey to the independence mindset.

    Much of the nastiness being reported is manufactured by the MSM and state broadcaster to bash the SNP. When you view other states past and present who have or are in the process going their own ways, Scotland is an absolute exemplar.

    Has the absurdity and democratic mockery of westminster rule of Scotland not sunk in yet? It’s not so long ago that SNP securing 26 out of 59 mps would have constituted grounds for independence negotiations.

    With the continuing demise of labour there is no where else Scots to gather round other than the SNP, purpose, impetus and hope is with us!

  46. Crabbit says:

    Re the original article, I think it’s worth remembering what the post-referendum research found. There were a number of demographic groups that voted No, as well as the oldest age segment, 70+. According to the Ashcroft polling:
    – 18-24s (52% No)
    – 55-64s (57% No)
    – Women (56% No compared to Male 53% No)
    – AB income group (male 57% no, female 63% no)
    – C1 income group (52% No male, 50% No female)
    Yes was only in a majority for the lower income groups C2 (male C2 56% Yes, but female Yes at only 49%), and DE (both male and female majority Yes)

    The YouGov work matches the Ashcroft findings on income group, and adds in birthplace:
    – 73% of those born elsewhere in the UK than Scotland voted No, as did 52% of those born elsewhere in the EU

    If we are thinking about segments to address, it isn’t only the older generation, it is women, young adults, those with higher incomes, those with other UK connections, and other EU citizens. If the next referendum is in ten years time I can only see those groups retaining their numbers or growing, not simply passing on.

    1. Thanks Crabbit, an important point. We need to convince everyone, and the vilification of older people doesn’t help anyone.

      1. Neil says:

        I think the belief that the purpose of the referendum was to act as a practice dry-run for the next one is pretty misguided.

        That really wasn’t the purpose of the referendum, and no-one at the time said it was. Navel-gazing about the result achieves nothing – the result has to be accepted, and we move on – that’s the point of a referendum. There were three years of debate leading up to it – the whole thing has been done to death.

    2. C Rober says:

      I did my own back of a fag packet maths for the week after the indy ref too , not insulting you here , it really was back of a fag packet I did mine on.

      If 73 percent of those English born voted no then it ties up with some of my findings.

      Simply denying non Scots Born the vote , as some will argue , would still not be enough….or would it?

      There wasnt a 10% majority during indy , the yes vote lacked only a further 5% for a win , mathematically different , which does add to the argument about Scots Born as a qualification somewhat.

      If we use the 2011 census that a little over 9% in Scotland were Born in England , of the 4m voters registered for indy thats 360,000/.73 = 262,800 , which is 6.57% of the TOTAL voting population , this when the yes vote needed but 5%.

      Personally I prefer to think Scotland was like always sold out by the Scots for English gold , not instead by the English per se , parcel of rogues an aw that….. but then again only if you exclude the media.

      My other demographics showed that this part of the population have a considerably lower unemployment rate , and higher income rate.

      Which concurs regardless of Nationality that the wealthier a person the less likely they are to vote yes , then again there is always blips in the stats , one of the poorest areas in Scotland , Greenock , still voted no.

      I am sure that the SNP has access to all the figures I did , and has drew up war plans for round two , if they haven’t then they don’t deserve to be in power.

    3. Kimberley Cadden says:

      Depends who you think will actually change their minds; the Scottish referendum survey – the most comprehensive post ref survey carried out – found that yes won with every section of the under 50’s (so young adults aren’t really an issue) and the poorest and yes more men than women voted yes, but we need to look at this in light of their other data – for eg I think their findings that whilst 29.5% of those who voted no did so for the main reason of identifying as British and/or with the union, over 60% voted no mainly because they weren’t convinced of the risks – either being largely convinced we would be worse off, or at the other end just thinking its too risky and too many questions were unanswered; these factors and percentages are very important in terms of helping us understand the work we have ahead of us. We need stronger and clearer economic arguments, and we need to do better in establishing confidence; and I think the reason why less women voted yes than men is largely down to this element of perceived risk, and I think in any future indyref, in addition to the economic arguments (and clarity on currency etc) we need to tailor specific arguments to the needs of women in particular – for eg women are bearing the brunt of tory welfare cuts – how could we change that in an indy scotland? that sort of thing….

      But also if we look at census results we see that only 26% of Scots identify as British AT ALL, and whilst 18% of those identify as Scottish and British, that percentage rises the older people are, up to 25% of 65-74 age group. I would guess these folks form a large percentage of the no voters who voted no because they felt British, it certainly seems that generally speaking the older someone is the more likely they are to connect with the notion of Britain and of union – add that to concerns over their pension for the oldest and its a tough demographic – but we must still try – at least with the high percentage who don’t view themselves as British and simply have concerns over what indy means for them. On this point I have to say I prefer the idea of individual booklets next time round from the SG instead of a massive white paper – so we can have booklets with info specific to certain groups, like women (or perhaps different issues relevent mostly to women), pensioners, small business owners etc so people can see how indy will work for them (and distribution can be targeted).

      So yes I don’t think the well off will vote for indy but i think that if we can show how much better things could be for the working and middle classes (and of course I don’t just mean better economically but socially too) who largely don’t view themselves as British at all and certainly the no voters among them seem to have largely voted no due to perceived risk, then I think we will be giving ourselves our best chance of a yes vote.

      1. C Rober says:

        Almost word for word what I have been arguing since indy , targeted answers to specific questions , even if the questions are not on the electorates mind.

        I was shocked when it took a week for the media to come up with the same maths as me , of course I am not including those that enacted project fear.

        My argument will always remain for me , that if the SNP never dissected the cadaver of indy and found the cause of death , then they should not remain in power.

        The fact that Eck did the honorable thing afterwards meant he accepted responsibility for the failure , and a big part of that failure was the inability to answer the most affecting question to the voter , their income. His job done he took the party as far as he could , its now up to NS to drive home the stake.

        But are the ones coming up through SNP now , the new blood , as set on Indy or simply on their own local power?

        If independence is now not the SNP primary goal , the goal that defined and created the party , and that they are not still working on it , then they are just politicians …. and can drop the N in SNP , replacing it with a silent T or L instead.

        The no voters did though win something , they all but removed English Labour from Scotland.

        Had those Mps actually ignored Milliband , and remembered what Donald Dewar really said about INDY , not the lies at his statues feet , there would not be only one Labour Mp from Scotland in Westminster.

        Come the MSP elections I reckon there will be a change in tack if not a change in the wind for Scottish Labour , it has to happen.

        SLAB need to be reborn from the ashes and not remain North England’s regional office , their own project fear is just starting.

        Just as they stoked the furnaces of fiscal failure in the voters minds , they too are wondering if the p45 will be in the post , like their MP brothers and sisters , and googling “foodbank that does Chianti” just in case.

  47. john young says:

    How can you fight the fight on the “economics” argument when most of if not all of the ” economists/bankers” don,t have a clue themselves and that is something no one can dis-pute,it is the same about the “oil” argument they are killing millions all over the world to get their hands on this “useless” commodity,America/Saudis rig the market to suit their geo-political machinations whenever/wherever so nothing will change there.I wonder how Iceland is performing at present or dare I mention Norway.

    1. sandy ritchie says:

      As a “proud subservient Scot”… lol…I can tell you about Iceland and Norway…the latter country having recently elected a right of centre party now embarking on austerity measures due to combination of high welfare costs and oil price slump…familiar?…Iceland went through hell when the banking crisis hit them…and is only now recovering. But you may ask would it want to be united with Denmark again…nope is the answer. Finally I don’t ring my hands about GBs or Scots past “crimes”…others may do so…but I still believe that Scots and GB are a force for good compared with US and other countries …eg Australia whose treatment of immigrants for example is criminal

  48. john young says:

    Sandy you are still prepared to accept the loathing we are held in by the Westminster English rulers,still willing to accept their open disdain for us as a people/country,they have made it as humanly possible that we have no part to play in the governance of the UK,we should put up and shut up and crawl back into our corner.KLM/Lufthansa wanted to make Prestwick the hub of their North American business only to be told that it would have to be London,when the major ports were being developed Leith was put forward by shipping businesses as it was 2 days shorter to USA again shot down,we have BT when I last looked the B was british was pouring circa 4billion into the football in the EPL Scotland/Wales/NIs share was negligible same with Skys deal,nothing but nothing that I can remember has Westminster ever brought to our land worthwhile yet we still plead to be a member of the club??Winston Churhill no friend of Scotland is quoted as saying that us and Ancient Greece have of the smaller nations made the most impact on civilisation,pity ours was all abroad,we need to stand on our own to feet stand tall and proud.

    1. C Rober says:

      If Scotland is but a tenth of the Uk then the funding of Football should then theoretically be a tenth of 4b , but it isnt.

      Our game is destroyed not by Westminster , but be the Big two.

      There is other nations with a similar population yet their leagues do surprisingly well….despite them not hain Celic or ra bears and their lions share.

      If we want a Scottish game to continue then we must be equalising the funds payouts through not baseing them on gate receipts but by participation.

      If this UK is a union , is a nation , then why is the Leagues separated at all , why isnt it a UK league? Its purely to enable more places in the big money cups.

      We cant blame Westminster , or the English league for that failure , fifa or uefa , it lies in those fecking offices at Hampden.

  49. leginge says:

    you don’t need fancy maths to know where the ‘fault’ lies if you missed a self-government vote by 10% and 10% of your electorate are actually not from from your country.

    1. Darien says:

      I agree. The article is wrong to point a finger at elderly folks for the No vote.

      The vast majority of English folk living in Scotland simply have no passion for Scottish nationhood and why should they? For those who doubt the ‘English’ impact, consider the three ‘unionist’ constituencies ‘surviving’ in Scotland after the recent GE vote, each of which has an inordinately high English population relative to all other Scottish constituencies, i.e.:

      Edin south – where reside tens of thousands of English students plus a very high number of English academics and other ‘professionals’
      Dumfriesshire/Tweeddale etc- very large proportion of English residents
      Ork/Shet – ditto above

      The referendum No vote difference of 10% is therefore rather easily found. Mr. Cameron himself well illustrates this point in his proposed exclusions on the basis of ‘nationality’ for the upcoming EU referendum.

    2. C Rober says:

      Leginge- You mean missed by 6 percent , not 10 , 6.7 percent of the Country are English born that voted No as the stats prove. 45 plus 6 is 51 percent , all that was needed.

      Luxembourg , see their new legislation , if your not born there ye canny vote there.

      Darien you furgot Aberdeen , while they may huv noo returned a SNP MP it did vote naw , if mem serves it has 13 percent according to the census.

      But then again if Westminster enact an EVEL , then surely Scotland kin dae the same wi voters , Scots votes fur Scots Independence referendums. They will huv set the precedent soon as they allow it.

      1. sandy ritchie says:

        The SNP stated Scots werenae intae ethnicity….pmsl

  50. James Dow A voice from the diaspora says:

    Reply Doon the A701
    Archetypal
    Ancient/and of a type
    As any archetypal Scot could tell you.
    But if you are looking for them they are more easily found in the diaspora.

    1. sandy ritchie says:

      Ye’ll have had yer tea Jimmy….lol

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