Don’t Believe the Hype

Ch4T7xfWEAMuDnOThe media exultation over the Tory revival  (Rhapsody in Blue?)  has been quite a spectacle.The tabloids have been going into a trance like state of ecstasy whilst Marina Hyde seems to think that because Ruth Davidson is not an Etonian and can simultaneously hold a pint and smile,we’re all in the grip of some sort of outbreak of mass Tory populism. Too early on Friday morning I watched a gleeful Alex Massie interviewed at Pacific Quay saying: “Tory Tory Tory, the Force Awakens”. I’m not sure what that could possibly mean – he was clearly over-excited – but let’s get a few things straight. We are so used to the Scottish Tories being annihilated we are getting very confused.

They didn’t win anything. They have no mandate for anything. They just have avoided obliteration. That’s all. They continue to be irrelevant. All that’s happened is that the constitutional question has exposed naked economic interests and the Labour right has switched hands in despair. A string of photo-ops and a media free pass doesn’t make up a platform for opposition, never mind government.

Bringing these people into the cold light of tv studios will be very revealing and the days when they are patronised and treated with quiet jocular contempt are now over. They will surely confuse Sturgeon with Mugabe and oppose land reform and child protection. In doing so they will be doing us all a favour.

As Nicola Sturgeon said today, the Conservatives: “Didn’t win the election and Ruth Davidson should be careful of overreaching herself.” Further south Billy Bragg chimed: “Triumphant Tories should be careful telling Scots that indy is off the agenda. Best recruiting sergeant the Yes campaign could wish for. Independence is a process, not an event and if Scottish Labour don’t get with that process, they’ll be out for a generation.”

“Triumphant Tories should be careful telling Scots that indy is off the agenda. Best recruiting sergeant the Yes campaign could wish for. Independence is a process, not an event and if Scottish Labour don’t get with that process, they’ll be out for a generation.”

Many in the independence movement should avoid the hysteria and reflect on Bragg’s wise words. The Tory media’s euphoria is just that, nothing else. Media monitors should know that. The referendum dream isn’t in shreds. Middle Scotland hasn’t roared, the Daily Mail has. Independence is a process and putting the Tories centre-stage may be a big help.

torypressThere is nothing distinct about Tory Scotland. It is landed and locked and jaded and broken. It is backwards looking and trapped in fear of change, protected by a guard of media acolytes. There are no innovations, no policy difference, no stunning campaign, no brilliant oratory. The simple fact is that Ruth Davidson represents exactly the polices values and ideas we rejected at the last General Election and roundly rejected again on Thursday. All else is spin.

What’s the difference between The Ruth Davidson Party and Westminster on Dungavel? On Trident? On sanctions? On the sort of benefits system that has created the foodbank crisis? On spending billions on new nuclear? On Syria? On tuition fees? On tax? You don’t need to mount a buffalo to know the answer to these or any other questions. Her and her new Scottish cohort are as enthusiastically committed to the austerity agenda as any of their English colleagues. They really are all in it together.

I can understand the glee of Conservatives but neither the indy movement nor the rest of civilised society should indulge in the gloating. As Tommy Sheppard has pointed out, the first time the Tories were wiped off the political map (in 1987) they were on 24% of the vote. This week they were on 22%. So when you get past the spin and the bullshit and the media soft-soaping the reality of what these people stand for, you are left with the simple reality of a discredited rump boosted temporarily by people scared and incapacitated enough to be incapable of considering self-government.

This is not a revival, this is just a sherry at the wake.

Comments (79)

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  1. Bert Logan says:


  2. Derek says:

    I’ve never seen supporters of a political party so angry and bitter about winning a landslide victory before. I wonder why that could be.

    1. MBC says:

      A divided country and a hostile and biased media?

  3. michael traynor says:

    Hard to argue with much of that but complacency should be avoided at all costs. Any upsurge in popularity for the Tories has to be a cause for concern. It is,undoubtedly down to the constitutional question. It’ll be interesting to see where the last remaining Labour voters go because that is a party with absolutely nothing to offer Scottish voters in this climate.

  4. Clive Scott says:

    Sound commentary – the Tory’s are bumping along on their baseline core vote circa 20-25%. However, the SNP could have done better in getting the vote out. I had two stints as a polling agent in Falkirk and the Tory’s had a presence in numbers unlike GE2015. There was a clear effort to get 16-17 year olds to vote with kids being picked up from school after their exams and driven to the polling station by their Mum to vote for the first time. It was treated as a jolly jape much like blooding cheeks at the first fox hunt kill. Sickening to witness young minds being poisoned. Maybe waiting patiently for the elderly to shuffle off to the hereafter won’t work.

    1. John McCall says:

      You think encouraging kids to vote is sickening do you Clive? Don’t you think that people you disagree with have as much right to a democratic say, and to seek to persuade others, as you do?

      1. MBC says:

        That’s not what he’s saying. He’s saying that Tory Mums in 4x4s got the teenage Tory vote out before the teens had a chance to think for themselves.

        It’s very interesting evidence he raises.

        1. David Sangster says:

          Mm, maybe time to reacquaint ourselves with The Kinks’ “Young Conservatives”

        2. Tony Little says:

          Interesting comment. At 16/17 I was entirely OPPOSITE in my politics than my parents (Strong Labour at that time – not now). Do people think that Scottish youth are so easily led by their parents?

    2. Dean MacKinnon-Thomson says:

      The vitriol in your comment is the only real poison I’m detecting here.

      Are you saying 16/17 year olds voting is a bad thing? Or only if they vote Scots Tory? Or is your contention they are being prevented from thing for themselves if they vote Tory?

      What we are witnessing is a Scots Tory party rediscovering the social vote-base presumed permanently lost since 1997. And this social base of rural voters, middle class professionals and young millennials have every right to vote Tory if they wish. And they have that right free from the melodramatic hatred and vitriol you are displaying Clive Scott.

      1. Richard MacKinnon says:

        Well said. I can detect here from some of the irrationality within the nationalists’ comments eg Clive Scott, that they are rattled by the Torys’ new found confidence. The SNP may have all the support but they have a massive unspeakable problem; which is ‘a crisis of identity’. If the referendum on 23 June is for Remain the Scottish Tories will be a lot more vociferous, they will claim ‘we saved the union’ that a ‘second referendum will never happen’.

    3. Jim Kearney says:

      Absolutely disgusting comment.

      1. Richard MacKinnon says:


        1. MBC says:

          The Tory vote was an anti-vote. It was anti-independence, anti-Scotland, and anti-SNP. That was the platform Davidson stood on. ‘If you hate the SNP and Scottish independence vote for me’. That was her pitch, and that’s noxious.

          I have no problem with people who feel British and want to remain part of Britain. I respect their national feeling.

          The problem I have is that they seem unprepared to recognise mine – Scottish.

          I am sick to the back teeth of Scot-haters.

          If Davidson had stood on a pro-Britain platform, ‘we love the union, it’s just great’, I would have found that an honourable position even if I do not share it.

  5. Smeddum07 says:

    The real story is the waste of SNP x2 vote that is what allowed the Tories to gain so many seats. if SNP voters voted for greens or rise there would be a rainbow left in parliament. Now SNP get what they want to pretend to be radical but blame the Tories for not allowing them to do It with John swinney putting in place central policies!

    1. tartanfever says:

      Fed up with this.

      Thinking further ahead, it would have been an absolute disaster if the Greens had come in 2nd place, which may have happened if all 2nd votes went to the Greens.

      Imagine the useless nature of FMQ’s with Patrick Harvie having to stand first and ask questions to Nicola Sturgeon with the Tories again being given a curtain to hide behind. This way they have to stand some actual scrutiny as the main party of opposition and hopefully, Nicola Sturgeon will deliver that week in week out. Westminster will be under proper scrutiny for the first time in years.

      As Mike says, we now have a clear divide. Derek Bateman also called it an Independents’ Dream ticket – Tory opposition.

      And if you want to be tribal about it, what about the Green vote in last years GE that saw Mundell elected as the only Tory MP in Scotland. 800 or so Green votes in that constituency could have seen an SNP MP elected instead. The uproar caused by that would have been seismic. Cameron would have been forced to either appoint an unelected peer as Scottish Secretary and take them out of the HoL or appoint an English Tory MP or lastly a Scottish MP from another Party (ie Carmichael again from the Lib Dems)

      That consequences from that happening would still be playing out to this day.

  6. J Galt says:

    Billy Bragg is right.

    This is now a straight fight with Unionists.

    The “nasty” Unionist element has been forced to break cover from Labour and the Lib Dems. They are now in the open.

    The fight is on and Nicola and Patrick must now step up to the plate and fight for their country’s survival.

    1. Dean MacKinnon-Thomson says:

      ‘Nasty Unionist element’?

      One might be interested to hear if you’re as robust when analysing the nasty separatist ‘element’.

      Sour grapes is never a pleasant thing to witness. The SNP lost their majority, the Scots Tories rediscovered the social vote-base thought permanently lost. This isn’t some ‘nasty Unionist element’, it’s ordinary voters exercising their rights in a parliamentary democracy.

      Their right to say “enough!” with the endless ‘national question’.

      1. John Mooney says:

        1987,24% of the vote,2016,22% of the vote,enough said! :o)

      2. CW says:

        Hi Dean,

        Is there any political party or movement you haven’t been a member of yet?

        1. Dean MacKinnon-Thomson says:

          You have me at a loss, I have no idea who you are.

          But since you seem to know me, you will also know I’ve only ever had a membership card to one party; albeit on-again-off-again; the Scots Tories.

          Not that I see how any of this is any of your business ‘C.W’.

    2. Richard MacKinnon says:

      Name calling is lazy thinking. Labour got away with it for years. Nasty Torys = self righteous nationalists.

      1. John Mooney says:

        “Name Calling” Not from me,I am just stating a fact,the Tory vote has actually decreased from 24% to 22% ergo they have no power whatever apart from bluster and froth,but why let the facts get in the way of fantasy.I look forward to Ruthie with the mask off defending more Tory attacks on the poorest in society,interesting times ahead! :o)

        1. Richard MacKinnon says:

          I was not referring to you, my comment was in response to J Galt’s terminology “The “nasty” Unionist element”. I am instinctively repulsed by name calling.

          1. J Galt says:

            I was talking about the orange element we all saw at the George Sq riot – there is no real equivalent on the self determination side. It’s still a sizable element in West/Central Scotland and they’ve deserted Labour for the Tories.

  7. Fiona Robertson says:

    Thanks for this. It’s a pretty good antidote to my feelings on the matter (

  8. MBC says:

    What’s worrying me is that in constituency after constituency the results show that the SNP vote dropped in % terms and often by the same % as the Tory vote rose. Even though it didn’t necessarily prevent the SNP from taking the majority of seats, it’s worrying to see SNP support drop and Tory support rise in traditional SNP supporting areas like NE Scotland.

    There were increases in the Tory vote share by as much as 19%. OK, this was from a very low base, and they still were a long way off taking most seats, but there was a concerted attempt by Davidson at rallying the No vote behind her, and it bore results.

    In my constituency, Edinburgh Southern, a three-way marginal taken last time by Jim Eadie (SNP) by 609 votes, but lost this time to Labour, the Tories were sending me two leaflets a day for the last week, anouncing that Ruth Davidson would ensure there was never a 2nd referendum and would hold the SNP to account and that Labour voters were now turning to her to fight the SNP.

    No other party managed that level of publicity and I wonder where the money and resources came from. Most were mail shots and arrived through the post.

    1. Connor McEwen says:

      Con in Con-Conservative, Plentiful supplies of cash from Metro and Daily Bile owners Rothermere, and Daily Expresso owners will chip in to Rob Scotland and lay waste to Scotland resources.

    2. Ann Rayner says:

      Perhaps the expenses issue should be looked into. I’ve been following Channel 4 News on the undeclared Conservative expenses in some marginal seats in GE 2015. Police willing to investigate so should be interesting.

    3. K. A. Mylchreest says:

      My impression as the results came in was that the SNP only fell back by a couple of percentage points if that, roughly equivalent to what the Greens picked up. Indeed most of the figures from polls and the election itself show the constituency percentage for the SNP = SNP + Green on the list. I.e. the Greens were voting for SNP constituency candidates (since they rarely stood their own), rather than SNP supporters selling out to the Greens on the list vote.

      As for the extra Tory vote, this pretty much matches the almost 10% drop in the ´Labour´ vote, Red Tory, Blue Tory, is there really much difference these days? At least the Blues are a bit more honest about their evil intentions.

      With the layer of Labour fudge now removed from Scottish politics, hopefully many more people will begin to see with side their bread is buttered on …

    4. tartanfever says:

      ‘What’s worrying me is that in constituency after constituency the results show that the SNP vote dropped in % terms and often by the same % as the Tory vote rose’

      I didn’t see that at all and i watched the BBC coverage until 5am. The correlation was between Labour and Tory votes, not the SNP. In fact the Tory seat gains were by a majority described as a ‘swing from Labour’

      200,000 more people voted for the SNP, the extra 2 seats required for a majority could have been gained by as little as 600 or so votes. I’d weigh up vote numbers and percentages, not solely rely on one or the other to get a truer picture of what transpired.

  9. c rober says:

    Comparing 2011 to 2016. Dont kow where you get the rise correlation and drop with Tory and the Snp.

    Snp up 1.1 percent on constiuency , down 2.3 on list. Where the handicapping of d hont matters , a small percentage drop actually means rather a lot.

    Conservative up 8.1 percent on constituency , up 10.6 on the list. The opposite of the SNP D hont maths happens with the Tories , thus a 10.6 percent increase without a handicap of having the popular vote to negate it.

    Labour down 9.2 on consituency , down 7.2 on the list. So where did the votes desert to , most likely Tory.

    Green up .06 on constituency , up 2.2 on list.

  10. Rab Haw says:

    May I remind all these stupid Yoons, YOU CAME SECOND, ie YOU LOST. It doesn’t matter how much you sugar coat it YOU LOST>!!!

    1. Jim Kearney says:

      I wish people would stop with this “yoons” thing. Every time I hear it, it sounds a little more like the way Donald Trump supporters or UKIPers use the word “immigrants”.

    2. Richard MacKinnon says:

      But the union is safe. So who lost?

      1. Robert Connon says:

        How’s your union safe 63 snp + 6 greens makes

        1. Richard MacKinnon says:

          The number of SNP and Green MSPs has nothing to do with Scotland’s constitutional future . The SNP did not put a referendum in their manifesto for a good reason. The last chance for independence is a vote for Brexit but what are the chances?

      2. James_Mac says:

        The referendum was meant to have saved the Union.

        1. Richard MacKinnon says:

          The referendum did save the union. A few nationalsists are only now beginning to realise the enormity of the decision that Scotland made on 18.09.2014. We called it. We lost it. The result of 23 June will I think help others wake up from the dream.

          1. MBC says:

            I don’t like your pompous self-righteous tone. You ‘won’ the referendum, true, but the matter is not settled. Liberty is not a cause anyone ever gives up. The union is on life support. You have 3 unionist Scottish MPs out of 59 and a Scottish parliament and Scottish Government controlled by the SNP. It is you who are deluded if you think the union is safe.

          2. tartanfever says:

            I always find it amazing the hubris of some commentators. Maybe one day they might wake up and realise that after 300 years of union the reason that a significant portion of Scots want independence is because they are genuinely unhappy with the society and politics of Tory Tax Haven London.

  11. Frank says:

    Good analysis in this article. I’m feeling positive about the result. An independence majority which is not dependent entirely on the SNP is a good thing; remember when we used to say during the referendum that independence wasn’t about one party! And with the Tories in opposition the debate is more crystallised and focused. The role of Scottish Labour on issues such as austerity was to deflect attention away from the Tories, whilst exaggerating what was possible under devolution. Paradoxically, the more the Tories talk about not having a second referendum, the more indy is back on the agenda.

    It would also be good to see some analysis on why the so called radical left failed to have any impact. Afterall sites like this were responsible for feeding much of the hype around Rise.

  12. Coul Porter says:

    News just in:


  13. Chris Danes says:

    Sherry at the wake. 🙂

  14. James_Mac says:

    Spot on!

  15. Lewis says:

    Lovely sign-off.

  16. J Mac says:

    Apart from the independence question I think what this election shows is that the majority of middle class voters vote for pure self-interest. This means no to any tax rises for them personally and all other issues are secondary. I live in an affluent area and I can see it every day – nimby attitudes, keeping up with the Joneses, all the stereotypes ring true. I think these people console themselves by giving money to good causes like Children In Need once a year and think they’ve done their bit.
    If the problems faced by many Scots are not in their faces then they don’t consider them. In fact it is worse than that. Their attitudes pervade everything – my daughter’s school offers her a very narrow curriculum, anything that is not likely to be in the final exam is ignored. After narrowly missing a pass in one of her prelims she was advised by her teacher “as she was likely to fail the Higher she should consider not sitting it until next year”. This was not for the pupil’s benefit but to massage the figures, to help improve the school’s league table performance. It is a vicious circle – the school performs well, more affluent parents move into the area, house prices spiral out of control, parents can afford tutors for their kids, pressure is put on the school by parents, etc.
    I think their is a real danger of the disadvantaged in Scotland being disillusioned by politics. I am a big fan of Nicola Sturgeon but I don’t understand her posing with a copy of the Sun. What is the message here – popularity is more important than integrity?

    1. James_Mac says:

      Folk didn’t vote for Labour because people like Anas Sarwar fighting against austerity is not convincing in the slightest. The Lib Dems are a joke party and no-one listens to them.

  17. Steven Milne says:

    I would suggest to Independence supporters that you get out of echo chambers such as this and try to engage with people who hold differing views.

    You might come to realise that the staunch defence of the Union by those who vote Tory, UKIP, Labour and Lib Demand is not driven by an aversion to Scottish independence per se but rather by a reaction to the attitudes and behaviour displayed by the loudest voices in favour of separatism.

    We are put off by what we perceive as an unjustified sense of moral superiority, economic illiteracy and a lack of courtesy to anyone who holds a contrary point of view.

    1. Jack s says:

      Spot on Steven, couldn’t agree more. In someways 2015 GE result distracted the Yes movement from engaging with why indyref1 was lost. Why knows if this result will prompt the serious analysis that’s needed. Fortunately / unfortunately (depending on your view) I don’t think it will and indyref2 (if and when it happens) will find the yes movement skewered again on the questions of ‘what will Indy cost me, and if so, what currency will I need to pay the price in?’

    2. Mike says:

      But you don’t have a different viewpoint at all. There is no stanch defense of the disunion. Its indefensible. If you did you would have a positive case to present instead of the continued bare faced lying within Project Fear.

      The union doesn’t have an economic case its 5.5 trillion in debt and its growing not shrinking.
      It doesn’t have a social case we are a set of Islands with diverse cultures.
      It doesn’t have a political case England is Tory Scotland and Wales is socialist / Social Democratic and Ireland is sectarian.

      Everything we were told would go wrong after a Yes vote went wrong because we ended up with a No vote.

      We are not one big happy family we are a dysfunctional family in need of social counselling and time apart.

      This union of yours is a fantasy. A mental Rule Britannia delusion of past glories gleamed by warmongering against socially backward cultures.

      The only people who benefit are a small minority of privileged and patronised political elites who cant stand the thought that they are no longer a world power.

      Its sad as sick at the same time.

      1. Steven Milne says:


        You have proved my point perfectly.

        There IS a strong case for the union – both culturally and economically. Just because you (and perhaps also the people you associate with) do not agree with it does not mean it does not exist.

        In September 2014, more than 2 million Scots voted to remain in the Union. This was a decisive victory – even if all 169,347 No voters in Glasgow had voted Yes it would not have changed the result.

        If the separatists continue to argue that people voted No because they were greedy, stupid, cowardly, afraid, brainwashed or whatever then they have absolutely no chance of changing the minds of those people.

        Do you not think that perhaps producing a vision of an independent Scotland which is both realistic and positive might be a better tactic than the constant negativity about Westminster and Tories?

        1. Mike says:

          You never made a point.

          Where is this strong case for the Union? Nobody absolutely nobody has seen it heard it read it or come across it anywhere ever.

          If the polls are right then a hell of a lot of those 2 million have changed their minds. Hardly surprising when they were told constantly that all the things that could go wrong with a Yes vote went wrong after they voted No.

          They voted No because they were mistaken. Many have realised this and have shifted their point of view many more will in the future when this so called union of yours doesn’t deliver anything for anybody but the chosen few as usual.

          Its so criminally despotically corrupt its above the law.

          The Hillsborough tragedy is a microscopic example of the criminally corruption that is the State of the UK. The VIP paedophile cover up is another example of it.

          State sanctioned Illegal warmongering illegal arms deals Rendition for torture the list is endless.

          A case for the union? Get tae fuck!

          1. Steven Milne says:

            The Union has personally benefited me by allowing me to live and work in England and Northern Ireland and share in UK culture which includes Shakespeare, Burns, Dickens, Orwell, Cs Lewis, Grassic Gibbon etc.

            You refer to alleged VIP paedophile rings to support the case for an independent Scotland. I fail to see the relevance of this and, frankly, it makes you look a bit silly.

        2. James_Mac says:


          There is a lot of people that are willing to talk about the future of Scotland in an open way. However, on the Unionist side there is an overwhelming, intellectually-void Tory press that is hysterical. There is no real reason or logic in a right-leaning press. David Torrance, Stephen Daisley, Chris Deerin or Alex Massie article, who are – by far – the loudest voices in Scottish political debate.

          I think the problem is that there has never really been a good discussion on economics of independence. You have people like Kevin Hague claiming we will be a failed state, Iain Martin claiming there would be refugee camps in North of England. From a pro-independence perspective, I view that entirely the problem of the unionist side.

          I suppose, if it is any consolation, I do have some sympathy with you. But, you have to keep in mind the pro-indy side is bombarded by unqualified opinion dressed up as fact prime pumped on national television. The reason you have not heard any counter-arguments is because they are not allowed. Several esteemed Scottish economists believe in the there is a justification for independence. We are simply not allowed that debate.

          Also, calling people ‘separatists’ or ‘nationalists’ is a sure fire way to get people to stop listening.

          1. Steven Milne says:

            There are at least 3 major economic arguments against independence.

            1 The economy of an independent Scotland would be heavily dependent on the price of a single commodity – oil. The Uk has a much more balanced economy.

            2 It costs much more on a per capita basis to provide public services in relatively sparsely populated areas

            3 The Independence movement is dominated by left wingers who favour anti austerity policies which means higher taxes. There is a severe risk that this would lead to higher rate taxpayers upping sticks and moving to other parts of the Uk

            4 The currency question remains unanswered. Shadowing sterling could not be considered independence and would rule out Eu membership as new entrants to EU have no choice but to adopt the euro. If Scotland had the euro it could not adopt anti austerity economic policies – look at what happened in Greece.

          2. James_Mac says:

            1 Scotland is much more dependent on financial services than it is oil.

            2 That’s true. Some services would be more expensive. Some would not be needed at all. Overall, I am of the view, that Scotland would be in a stronger fiscal position.

            3 That is certainly a risk. Poor economic policies in Westminster, to the determent is also a risk. Conversely, there has been net immigration to Scotland from England since the Scottish Parliament was formed. With the right policies, Scotland could be even more successful.

            4 Scotland already overshadows the UK currency. We have no representation on the MPC. We already use the pound. We rely on Mark Carney to ensure Scottish interests are looked after when setting Monetary Policy.

          3. tartanfever says:

            Steven Milne:

            ‘The Uk has a much more balanced economy.’

            No it doesn’t. The last 20 years it has relied on tax receipts of 15-20% from the City of London, about the same as Oil to a Scottish economy.

            The thing is now that at least oil is still worth something, as opposed to the City of London which has provided far less tax receipts than oil has for the last 8 years. And while oil is regarded rightly as a dirty, polluting industry so the City of London is regarded as the centre of the worldwide tax haven, tax evasion scandal. And we should remember what some Tory plans are for the London, to give it special City status and separate it from the rest of the UK, especially UK regulatory laws. London takes £5k per head of population for capital infrastructure, while other regions get as little as £500 and still it cannot make money after receiving this lion’s share of investment.

            There is no UK manufacturing on a scale of any note, tax receipts are declining because austerity shrinks the economy and any infrastructure spend is handed to foreign companies as we don’t have the required industrial skills.

  18. Hugh Loughlan says:

    Now that the tories have raised their snouts above the primordial slime in Scotland how likely is it they will champion a PR voting system at Westminster?

  19. Mark says:

    Hi Bella readers, love the website, I am currently doing a #sp16 project for uni, if you wouldnt mind taking 5 mins to fill and a brief anonymous survey … it would help a lot and is fully anonymous. Thanks for reading

  20. hawksmoor1661 says:

    By the same token, nationalists didn’t win the referendum either so why do they keep pretending they won? Perhaps put the invective aside and remember nationalists presently form a plurality, not a majority.

    1. tartanfever says:

      I think you’ll find British nationalists won the referendum.

      1. hawksmoor1661 says:

        I don’t usually do this but… hahhahahahahahahahhaha….

  21. Mike says:

    “economic illiteracy and a lack of courtesy to anyone who holds a contrary point of view.”

    You don’t think accusing people of being economically illiterate is showing a lack of curtesy then?

  22. bullykiller says:


    Ireland is sectarian, which part of Ireland are you referring to? Is it the sectarian engineered state called Northern Ireland, or ´the independent Irish state, which you should know exists. Also, I look forward to visiting Scotland in the near future to witness the miracle of non sectarianism.


  23. Richard MacKinnon says:

    MBC 2017hrs,
    There is no reply box at the bottom of your comment.
    You need to read my comment again. I voted Yes in 2014. What I have come to realise since then is that the union is now stronger than ever. In fact the irony is the referendum of 2014 helped to make it stronger. Brexit would I admit change everything but I dont think England will vote Leave. If I am right any talk of a second Scottish referendum after June 23 will be dismissed out of hand by unionists.
    By the way, I dont care if you dont like my pompous tone, I like yours, “Liberty is not a cause anyone ever gives up.” Priceless.

    1. James_Mac says:

      Even with a Brexit, another indyref would likely be too soon. We are talking about the next parliament earliest. The terms of the next independence referendum are being built now. Independence might be a process not an event, something close to independence may occur with no referendum at all.

      Scottish politics has changed and I think for the better. The problem is that even Unionists are slowly becoming more alien to the rest of the UK than Scottish nationalism. The establishment Tory activist base writing for a right-wing newspaper are in denial about the types of people that voted Tory in 2016 and why. These are not small business owners in the Midlands worried about tax.

  24. Mike says:

    Steven Milne

    1. total bullshit. The Scottish economy is not reliant on Oil and Gas. Never has been. Because of the low value of Oil many businesses flourish as a result of cheaper fuel costs.

    2. Based on what evidence? The more people you have to provide for the more its going to cost so stop telling stupid lies in the face of reality.

    3. Higher taxes than what? The UK of GB is the highest Taxed state on the planet. We pay more in taxation than anybody anywhere!

    4. Scotland has 4 currency options each one as viable as the other.

    Once again in place of an argument for union you spew project fear bullshit. Like I said and You’ve just proven there is no case for the union!

    Its moronic to try and argue that more powers and revenues is better but Full powers and revenues is worse! What kind of an idiotic gormless position is that to try and push? When does more suddenly become less? What is that pivotal point? You work that out and you have a positive argument for Union.

    1. Steven Milne says:

      1 In the past year tax revenues from North Sea Oil have reduced by £2 billion. This equates to £4,000 per annum for every man, woman and child in Scotland. This tells me the Scottish economy is heavily reliant on oil.

      2 I will demonstrate my point by way of an example. If you a build a road which is 100 miles long it will have a fixed cost irrespective of its location. The population density in England is 6 times greater than that of Scotland so it costs 6 times as much per Scottish tax payer to provide roads compared to his/her English counterpart.

      3 I am confused. I thought that one of the arguments for Scottish independence was to end austerity which can only be done by increasing tax rates.

      4 Again I am confused. For clarity, could you identify what currency option would be best for an independent Scotland and outline the reasons for this.

      1. tartanfever says:

        I’ll post this reply here as well as above:

        Steven Milne:
        ‘The Uk has a much more balanced economy.’
        No it doesn’t. The last 20 years it has relied on tax receipts of 15-20% from the City of London, about the same as Oil to a Scottish economy.
        The thing is now that at least oil is still worth something, as opposed to the City of London which has provided far less tax receipts than oil has for the last 8 years. And while oil is regarded rightly as a dirty, polluting industry so the City of London is regarded as the centre of the worldwide tax haven, tax evasion scandal. And we should remember what some Tory plans are for the London, to give it special City status and separate it from the rest of the UK, especially UK regulatory laws. London takes £5k per head of population for capital infrastructure, while other regions get as little as £500 and still it cannot make money after receiving this lion’s share of investment.
        There is no UK manufacturing on a scale of any note, tax receipts are declining because austerity shrinks the economy and any infrastructure spend is handed to foreign companies as we don’t have the required industrial skills.

      2. Mike says:

        Steven Milne

        1. Scotland receives zero pounds zero pence from Oil and Gas revenues within the union its all reserved to Westminster so if Independence were to bring in 1p per barrel to the Scottish Government that would be an asset in relative terms.

        2. Priceless bullshit. the cost of a road is highly dependent on terrain for a start. The more man hours you have to put into it the greater the cost. And of course it costs 6x more to maintain a 6x greater population which of course will have 6x the expenditure requirements.
        Brainless analogy.

        3. No wonder you’re confused. How can you end austerity by increasing peoples expenditures relative to their income?

        4. Each of the 4 options has its merits and demerits. For example keeping the pound sterling will allow the pound sterling to keep its value with the rest of the world currencies. If Scotland adopts another option the pound will plummet in value and peoples savings will be badly reduced in value. A belligerent rUK pretending its still the UK and refusing to cooperate with a Scottish Government over currency will see itself imposed with the entire 5.5 trillion growing debt with 10% less revenues and over 50% less geographical assets to help support it.
        Then of course there is the extra cost of doing business from the rUK across the border. Not just the Scottish border but every border in the world.
        Now explain to me the advantages for the rUK of denying Scotland the pound sterling?

    2. pistachiosarelovely says:

      “The Scottish economy is not reliant on Oil and Gas.”

      The Scottish “economy” is not reliant on oil, or gas. “the economy” would still be there if you took it away.

      The Scottish Government however, and its spending plans, and ‘society’ is totally reliant on oil and gas though, it accounts for 10 – 15% of public spending.

      (At the moment, because of the low oil price, the UK is making up the difference for you. No, no, you’re welcome, no, no please don’t mention it).

      If there had been a ‘Yes’ vote and you were decoupling now, you would be faced with a combination of eye-watering public spending cuts making the current ‘austerity’ look mild, and tax rises across the board.

      “2. Based on what evidence?”

      That Scotland has a higher cost to serve – even the SNP accept that.

      “3. Higher taxes than what? The UK of GB is the highest Taxed state on the planet. We pay more in taxation than anybody anywhere!”

      I think you’ll find that the Nordic Utopias, which you frequently hold up as ideals, have higher direct and indirect taxes, across the board.

      “4. Scotland has 4 currency options each one as viable as the other.”

      No-one outside websites like this agrees with you, especially the people who matter, who hold the power and hold all the cards (i.e. not you).

      What you would need to do to be truly ‘independent’ would be to have your OWN currency. For which you need £25bn in reserves to back it.

      You could do that tomorrow, if every adult put in about £9,000.

      No? I wonder why.

      Because you are too lazy to make the sacrifices necessary and do the heavy lifting to actually be ‘independent’.

      1. Steven Milne says:

        Well put pistachiosarelovely

        The economic illiteracy which is commonly displayed by proponents of independence is staggering.

        They cannot understand relatively simple concepts such as that it costs a great deal more to provide public services in sparsely populated areas (which explains why per capita public spending is much higher in ~Scotland than rUK) or that a country cannot be considered independent in any meaningful sense if it enters into a currency union with a neighbouring economy which is more than 10x larger.

        Wealth is created by firms competing with one another to provide goods and services which meet the demands of their customers.

        The left wing mindset believes that “the rich” (whoever they are) have gained their wealth unjustly by exploiting “the poor” and that the government must intervene to stop this exploitation. People can improve their economic standing by virtue of hard work and ingenuity but left wing politicians do not accept this and encourage their potential voters to believe that they are helpless victims who are being exploited. This leads to an unattractive “chip on the shoulder” mentality among those who subscribe to this view.

  25. Alf Baird says:

    Independence is priceless. Ask any other independent nation.

  26. Mike says:

    “The Scottish Government however, and its spending plans, and ‘society’ is totally reliant on oil and gas though, it accounts for 10 – 15% of public spending.”

    Not within the Union! Scotland receives zero pounds zero pence in NS oil and gas revenues. Scotland instead raises over 56 billion in revenues hands that over to Westminster and receives back via Barnett approx. 24 billion in relative terms to Englands expenditure base on a population proportional mathematical calculation which makes it impossible for Scotland to receive a penny more in proportional terms to England.
    The Scottish Government balances its books every year because it has to. It cant borrow. It cant spend more than it has. That’s our union benefit. So when its Barnett budget is cut it has no choice but to introduce those cuts directly.
    At least that was the position before it got its so called tax powers. Now a Scottish Government can transfer its funding from Barnett to locally raised taxation with a net gain of zero as any revenue raised will see a proportional reduction in the return of Scottish revenues to Westminster via Barnett.

    That’s also another of Scotlands union benefits.

    “I think you’ll find that the Nordic Utopias, which you frequently hold up as ideals, have higher direct and indirect taxes, across the board.”

    They may have individual tax burdens which are higher than the UK but the overall taxation burden added together is less as it is over the rest of the world. FACT the UK has the highest overall taxation burden than anywhere else on the planet!

    4. Absolute bullshit. How the hell the pound sterling still maintain its value when the UK is 5.5 trillion in debt instead of maintaining a 25 billion reserve account?

    When was the last time the UK was 25 billion in the black?


  27. Heidstaethefire says:

    After ten minutes’ disappointment and a wee bit of calm and sober reflection, I realised that what we got was the perfect result for the next four years. The S.N.P fell just short of 50% in a system specifically designed to discourage majorities. It got more votes and more seats than the unionist parties combined. There is a majority of M.Ps from independence supporting parties. The Tory vote is smaller than when they were wiped out in Scotland in 1987. The fig leaf that labour in Scotland provided for the union has been blown away. It’s now S.N.P. v tories in Holyrood, and S.N.P. v tories at Westminster. There is a truckload of nasties coming down the line from the treasury over the next four years. Ruthie tank commander wil now have to get off her high tank, buffalo, camel, horse, or whatever it is that week, and defend every jot and tittle of the posh boys’ manifesto. With a minority government in Holyrood, sitting on their hands is not an option for the smaller parties; they will have to accept responsibility.
    A majority is far more likely to be needed in the next parliament, and, as a first step, the notion of the second vote as some kind of fashion accessory has been comprehensively trashed.
    So it’s all good, then.

    1. douglas clark says:


      Agree completely. The competition is now clearly between Unionists and Independistas. Whilst Kezia could waffle – her party are no longer major players – Ruth the Tank Commander cannot. Her Party is in overall control of the UK for the moment and she will be called to account.

      ‘Tis a perfect storm….

  28. david wilson says:

    Never fail to be amazed at how the print media can spin a story and the majority of the public suck it up. The cheesy grin on Ruth “available for the opening of an envelope” Davidson on winning her seat was truly cringeworthy as were her endless naff photo ops. People really do fall for this guff? So they picked up a lot of 2nd votes and hold constituency seats in their Borders heartlands. Rather than vote for red tories folks actually voted for real dyed in the wool tories this time- well “Ruth Davidsons Conservatives” starring Ruth Davidson and featuring Ruth Davidson with special guest a big buffalo. A generation has grown up with no direct knowledge or experience of the Thatcher years- more frighteningly a generation born at eh millennium has come of age! The SNP had a fantastic result- 3rd term and increased number of votes. But were so used to SNP success now its become the new normal. It does look like their is no way back for Labour in Scotland or in the rest of the UK. Politics are changing across the world- a massive paradigm shift is taking place- exciting times.

    1. douglas clark says:

      david wilson,

      Politics are changing across the world- a massive paradigm shift is taking place- exciting times.

      Interesting, would you care to expand? For absent us and the Catalonians it doesn’t seem much like an Arab Spring to me.

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