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This is a campaign that will make sure that the patriotism of the quiet majority will be heard alongside the voices of the committed few. We share a common platform on this single issue because, along with so many of our fellow Scots, we believe that a better future for ourselves and our children is as a partner in the United Kingdom.

 

Alistair Darling’s speech in Edinburgh launching the Better Together campaign

 

 

Have your say ahead of the referendum

 

Welcome to the No Scotland Blog. Here you will find links to all the latest news and features on the Scottish Independence Referendum from both Yes and No camps.

Comments

  1. Tony said “I’m now thinking of forming BASIK (Brits Against (Scotland/)SNP In the Kingdom”

    If you change that to “Brits Against SNP” and remove the Scotland bit, I think an awful lot of scots would join!!! Seems getting on for half of scots support the SNP, but most if not all of the rest seem equally vehement in their dislike/distrust of them. Don’t tar all of us with the SNP brush!!!

    The SNP landslide in Westminster is a manifestation of the ‘first past the post’ electoral system – it doesn’t reflect the actual level of support for the SNP in Scotland!

    Like many others, I love Scotland and have my lifelong home and roots here, but I’m a citizen of the UK !! I don’t want to see the SNP wreck us any more than you in England want to see them wreck the UK!

    • Well, and correctly, put, John. All the Scots I know down south of ‘the wall’ and abroad want to stay in – but they have no vote. As a result of which, very sadly, when Mrs Krankie puts independence to the nation again, it will very likely be a yes and a very, seriously, costly yes (for all parties) at that! (PS. I hear there are something like 4 million Scots in Yorkshire alone)TF

    • We proud citizens of the UK (or what will be left of it after Mrs Krankie gets going) are proud of the Conservative/Lib Dem achievements of the last five years, remembering all too well what the Labour spendthrifts did to the coffers of we four country partners. Now that the SNP has declared war on the four nations’ duly elected Conservative Government, however, we might not be too very upset at the wording Robert Peston uses today on the BBC website to describe new austerity and cuts across the nations:

      “First, austerity-loathing Scotland will detest the implied block-grant settlement for their nation that flows from this negotiation.
      Second, health may not be quite as protected as seems at first blanche, given all the Treasury’s enthusiastic talk about merging health and social care spending, and devolving management of the lot to the regions.
      And finally, the implied cuts of between 12% and 18% (depending on who is measuring) imposed on the BBC a few days ago with the transfer to it of the free licence for over-75s, no longer look quite as savage as they did.”

      If the Scots want to reduce austerity needs, one thing they could start to do (like I’m beginning to do, personally) is slow down on the millions of gallons of alcohol with which they completely ruin their health day after day, year on year and so much more than those living south of them. Now there’s a thought!
      TF

      • Richard says:

        I’ve always enjoyed the back and forth of economic debate and potential outcomes of an independent Scotland. I for one would rather live with change in Scotland, even if that meant a small rise in taxes, so that the needs of Scots could be met, rather than accept the status quo of living on my knees to a Westminster government whose only concerns are big businesses and the SE of England. But that’s all by-the-by. What you’ve done tony is show yourself to be a an ignorant racist prick. Independence has nothing to do with getting away from the English people and everything to do with Westminster. However….it would be an absolute pleasure to see the backs of arseholes like you. Clearly you hate the Scots yet want to keep the union….make your fucking mind up you useless cunt.

      • Richard – aside from the fact that name-calling doesn’t add any value to any debate – I think you’re targeting the wrong enemy. I despair sometimes, watching our politicians trying to run our precious country (regardless of whether you regard that as the UK or it’s separate parts) based on who can shout loudest, spin the most convincingly, selectively choose and twist the facts to suit electoral convenience, all without communicating much if any of the real unadulterated situation to the electorate.

        Add to that, the way we’re asked to vote on a mixed package of issues for one of two or three parties, where few if any voters actually support all the components of any single party’s manifesto, as though it were a black-and-white situation, and it’s a wonder our country survives at all!

        If you have hatred, I think you should direct it at many (not quite all) politicians across the political spectrum, along with a ‘short term’ political system that encourages rhetoric and oratory more than factual analysis and rational decision-making. Most people of all political leanings are just ordinary, mostly nice, caring people, being forced into acting ‘tribally’ by our system of government.

        If there were ‘rules of governance’ that applied to politicians in an analogous way to which financial rules apply to the conduct of financial institutions (the 2008 crash notwithstanding), or even as applied to commercial advertising and sales, I think many of our politicians would be in jail for the equivalent of fraudulent miss-selling (and not just the SNP !!)

        I think this independence thing really boils down to an idealogical argument around whether you prefer to be part of an integrated larger community, or a go-it-alone and patriotic island. Both are valid points of view and both views can be held by people that are loyal to and love Scotland. As one might expect, the side trying to change the status quo (the SNP in this case) are ducking and diving, using any trick in the book to try and convince people to support them. The so-called ‘factual case’ for both sides is in large part spun and manufactured to support the corresponding ideology.

        What the real factual situation is is pretty unclear – but as a ‘better together’ supporter, I am convinced that separation carries very real and unjustified risks, both to ourselves at many others at many levels. I consider the whole idea to be short sighted, selfish and idiotic, and carry a huge impact way beyond Scotland that we should not be exposing others to. To resort to the (to my mind, dishonest and unethical) behaviour that the SNP have been to push their point is scandalous – but away from politics, the folk involved are decent people!

        The ONLY thing going for our political system perhaps, is that that of many other countries seems even worse!

        Rant over – no offence intended to anyone (except politicians of any persuasion that indulge in selective truths and deliberate spin).

      • Very well said, John. To lose track of the message and slander those who love ALL people but might have a different view is probably not the way to win friends, votes or, indeed, favour in order to influence people.

        The compelling message to Scots is to look at absolutely all other countries that gained their independence since about 1959 and honestly, impartially assess where they are today, relative to the situation they were in as a British partner or even Colony.

        Having lived for most of my international insurance ((business) life in Bermuda and New York (where many of my dear Scottish, true friends are ex-patriots) I know for sure that the likes of the Bahamas and Palau were so much better off with the UK as their partner that an educated baby, too young and too well schooled to spout nothing but illegal verbal vulgarity, could assess the fact in one second!

      • Without wishing to undermine your argument, I have to say that I’m not actually convinced that the Bahamas or Palau make a valid comparison – I don’t know their politics before or since independence, but I’m guessing that Scotland’s politics and democratic systems are far more mature and stable than most of the UK colonies/empire members have been when they left the empire. But I stand to be corrected on that – it is my perception only.

        I would compare Scotland with Ireland and Finland, which I think are the closest to us in most ways and both of whom fought for and achieved independence. Both of them seemed to go through some really hard times before their economics settled down to something sensible. Finland now seems to be doing pretty well, though it seemed to have gone through a lot of pain on the way!

        I don’t fancy living through those sorts of decades in Scotland, even though I do think we would end up with a tolerable economy eventually. But I suspect, not nearly as comfortable as the one we currently enjoy for all its flaws!

        Of course, like all gambles, we might win big, or crash big, but (my) common sense says we’ll end up middle-of-the-road more or less after possibly a very hard transition. A high stakes gamble for the sake of an ideology that according to the voting in both the referendum and the general election, somewhat less than half of scots actually share!! And at the end of the roller-coaster nightmare, we’ll have the warm glow of being a self-ruled independent nation, who compared to today, are working much harder to stand still economically and on the international stage, probably much more vulnerable to global events.

        Perhaps if the SNP would go to greater lengths to address these kinds of concerns in a concrete, credible way rather than shouting ‘nonsense’, changing the subject and resorting to political spin and skulduggery, they might convert some more of the ‘better together’ supporters! That is, if they can find many credible factual arguments to present.

        The danger is, the SNP are so expert at spin and skulduggery that they might just succeed and force us down this path for all the wrong reasons!

  2. So the SNP and its cause has had a massive increase in support since the referendum, showing that Scotland is determined to have its own voice and in the view of many, justifies another referendum (even though that was theoretically not what this support is about?)

    And on the back of that, the SNP is probably going to put a rerun of the independence referendum in their manifesto next year.

    But is that true? Take a look at the calculations and figures below. They suggest that the total number of votes supporting the SNP in the election was probably around 1,475,700. This compares to 1,521,314 who voted ‘yes’ in the referendum. So in the election we’ve just had, fewer people supported the SNP than actually voted ‘yes’ in the referendum! To me, that doesn’t look like a massive increase in support for independence!!

    If you correct those figures for the different turnouts and assume that every SNP voter would vote ‘yes’ in a new referendum, then the ‘yes’ voters would be about 1,755,700 in number – marginally more than voted ‘yes’ in the last referendum, but still not nearly enough to win it.

    I think this landslide SNP vote is simply a result of those who voted ‘yes’ in the referendum voting for the SNP, and those who voted ‘no’ voting for other parties. That’s what the numbers seem to say – and the reason for the landslide SNP victory is simply a consequence of the eccentricities of the ‘first past the post’ voting system!!

    Perhaps the unionists don’t have as much to worry about as is being made out? And certainly doesn’t seem any justification for another referendum!

    But will be interesting to see what the next year or two brings! And how far the SNP try to spin these numbers as a massive increase in support for independence!

    ===============================================

    The numbers (some guessed assumptions here, but if you assume plausibly different guesses, it doesn’t change the conclusion by much!

    In the referendum, the results were as follows (according to various press web sites)

    Total number of votes cast=3,619,915
    Turnout = 71.1%
    ‘Yes’ votes cast : 1,617,989
    ‘No’ votes cast : 2,001,926
    Total votes cast : 3,619,915

    Now – that means that the total referendum electorate eligible to vote would be around 4,279,365

    Lets adjust that to get an estimate of the size of the electorate for the 2015 election since I don’t have the actual figures to hand. The referendum included 16 and 17 year-olds. Lets assume the same proportion of those voted as other age groups up to (say) age 80. I know older people will also vote, but the numbers have to be gradually dropping off amongst the elderly. Then – The subset of the referendum electorate that would not be eligible to vote in the election would be around 2/63 or about 3%. So the election electorate was probably around 4,151,000.

    The election turnout in Scotland was apparently 71.1% so the total number of votes cast in Scotland was probably about 2,951,350

    They said on the live coverage that the SNP commanded roughly 50% of the vote which means around 1,475,700 actually voted for the SNP across all of Scotland.

    If you think I’ve got these numbers wrong (quite possible), please tell me how, and where I can get more reliable numbers from?

  3. Just watched an unbelievable interview on the Sunday Politics on BBC2 with shadow health minister Jamie Reid. Seems that the SNP aren’t the only party that don’t seem to be talking sense!

    I’ve seldom seen a senior politician so unable to answer obvious questions about a key policy, or looking so uncomfortable, until someone apparently got him out of trouble by pulling his connection to the interview (or an unbelievably convenient technical fault!).

    He was being asked about Labour’s NHS funding commitment, and the plans to fund this in large part from the proposed mansion tax. He was being challenged on how he knew that the mansion tax would raise the anticipated £1.2 billion contribution and seemed completely unable to answer! He was unable to say what the proposed tax rate might be, or whether it would be levied on the whole value of the properties, or just the amount over £2m. He instead claimed that independent experts have verified the figures, and dried up completely when asked who the experts were, instead saying how popular the mansion tax proposal was, and repeating the policy assertions until he was accused of filibustering the interview. He seemed to contradict Ed Balls who had apparently said that the mansion tax couldn’t come in before 2017/18, but James Reid said the money would be available in 2016/17.

    If it wasn’t so pathetic, it would have been a comedy.

    Seems we can’t believe what Labour say about their NHS commitments any more than we can believe many of the SNP assertions. Either that or we have to question the competence of some of their ministers!

    Imagine the two of them joined together!

    The interview will presumably be available soon on the BBC iPlayer if you’re interested.

    • oops – not ‘sunday politics’ !!!! It was today’s (Tuesday’s) “Daily Politics” with Andrew Neil.

  4. Does anyone besides me feel it bizarre and suspect that the woman that has said her aim is to break Scotland away from the UK now claims that she can represent UK interests at Westminster? When most of the UK outside of Scotland appears to be against Scottish independence?

    Pull the other one!

    • Angus Sutherland says:

      Pull both legs — Sturgeon is not standing in the UK election. The dour faced loach’s comments should not be broadcast, and she certainly should not have a podium at broadcast events.

      • Ooohh…It’s a beautiful thing…knowing that people like you Angus are simply seething with rage about what’s happening in Scotland. How are you going to cope with the inevitable? Knowing there is absolutely nothing you can do to stop the SNP and their dominance…..it must just chew you up being so impotent. Still, there will always be internet forums for you to vent your frustrations. Rant away son, rant away.

      • Angus Sutherland says:

        Hi Richard! Long time no chat. Hope you are well.

        BTW, did you get a positive mental capacity assessment yet? If not, hope they let you out soon and good wishes in that regard.🙂

      • Hello Angus! Well, whether I’m locked up in a loony bin or living just outside of Vancouver on the beautiful Pacific North West Coast, I’m watching the SNP dominate British politics with absolute glee. The day of independence is coming, and it will be a beautiful da indeed. Hopefully pessimists like youself are able to find suitable living arrangements in England as you no doubt will want to leave such a horrible place as an Indepenent Scotland asap.

      • Sadly you might be right. Scotland going independent is about the only thing that might induce me to leave it – depending on what they do. Though I love Scotland and hope such drastic action won’t be necessary! But the scary thing is, whether the rest of the UK will still be prosperous if the SNP manage to see through their threat to ‘represent’ the UK and steer UK politics. They’ve got no business meddling in English affairs that have nothing to do with them – makes a mockery of democracy. Our parliamentary system was not designed for the bizarre situation we face today! And if the SNP manage to drag the UK as a whole down, it will harm us in Scotland, whether or not we get dragged into independence!

        Pity the introduction of ‘English votes for English issues’ or some such didn’t happen quickly enough!

      • Richard, do us all a favour and grow up. If you could understand anything related to your beloved Scotland, you would realise that we are better off as part of the Union, and with you in Canada.
        Russell

      • Seethe away Russell, seethe away.

      • hi – great to see you back🙂

      • Watched Nicola’s press conference today. The Nuremburg rally came to mind I must admit. Also it seems she must have set the press questions herself. She’s definitely smart but is really having it easy in This election. On saying that I do think the contradictions of the Union may really be coming to the fore in this election which could definitely threaten the Union from an English perspective as I certainly believe her goodwill towards the rest of the UK will be short lived.

      • hi – nice to see you back online Gus !!

        Hope the owners of this web site realise it’s still in use and update it a bit!

    • I believe there might have been a modicum of success in one or possibly two countries that gained independence from the UK. Ghana looked really promising for a while, as did the Bahamas but then a megalomaniac (like Salmon{d}/Sturgeon) gained power and ruined the country for years to come.

      We English would not have wanted these people to have any say in the UK even when they were a part of it (Colony or dependent territory).

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