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.



  1. A little plug for

    This seems to be a group that is doing their best to help us see through the fog of spin and deceit from all political parties and campaigners. They appear to be unbiased, and provide a revealing insight into what is being asserted/claimed. Quite revealing if you take the time to read their analysis of what is being said by our political leaders of all persuasions.

    A few tidbits from their web site ….

    David Cameron says they’ve halved the deficit, Nigel Farage says the Tory’s have doubled it. Seems that both are telling the truth (apart from Nigel Farage exaggerating slightly) – both claims are made based on the same credible data from the same source. David is talking about the deficit as a proportion of GDP (which I think is a suspect way of looking at it), and Nigel is talking about it in absolute cash terms. So – both claims are essentially correct but appear contradictory because neither side is giving the whole story. Completely unhelpful to the electorate!

    Torys claim employment is at an all time high – apparently this is true but irrelevant since the population is also at an all time high. A more relevant figure showing the proportion of the population that is employed also shows a good economic recovery, but not at record levels. It is also understating the position because of differences in male and female state retirement ages that haven’t been fully harmonised yet.

    Zero hours contracts – lots on this – key points seem to be that the data do not support claims of an ‘epidemic’ of zero hours contracts, and for all sorts of reasons, are misleading and statistically unreliable. Details on the web site.

    Privatising the NHS – seems the Tory’s are indeed increasing the rate of private provision of healthcare within the NHS, but are only continuing a trend that Labour established before them, and in fact, at a somewhat slower rate than Labour did. And overall, represents a tiny proportion of the overall NHS. A small issue blown up into a mountain perhaps – but one which Labour cannot complain about. The SNP would seem theoretically to be correct to say that both Labour and the Tory’s have been increasing (slightly) the private provision in the NHS. But probably not by significant amounts.

    Everyone is £1600 per year worse off under the current government – in spite of all sorts of problems with different measurements and interpretations, this seems more or less true, if you take GROSS pay before tax. But this figure does not include the effect of taxation, reduction of which for the lower paid is said to be a major influence in how much we have to spend. So it is not representative of the real position, and seems deliberately cherry-picked to present a misleading, negative case. And the figure is a year old, disregarding major changes in the last year. It is also only an average – the real position varies widely for different groups of people.

  2. Interesting read- YouTube. John jappy. “Hiding the truth”

    • Hi – and nice to see you back in the forum 🙂

      Was indeed interesting – would be nice to know more of the details behind what he is saying, and hear others of different views discussing them. Sadly, I can well believe that Scotland was a major contributor to the UK in the past, especially during the richer oil years and maybe as he says, before then too – I have no idea. Trouble is, it is the situation now that we need to be concerned with, whatever the rights and wrongs of the past. And there is more to the independence debate than simple cash – on both sides of the debate.

      I have learned not to trust a thing claimed by any politician or campaigner of any party unless I can get to some independent information that supports it – all parties are spinning their views like mad and making it as hard as possible for the electorate to get at the real issues.

      Looks like is trying to provide some of the truth behind claims from all sides. Was interested to see that when Labour and SNP claim the deficit risen dramatically under the current government while the Torys claim it has halved – they are both telling the truth – just different spin on exactly the same figures from the same source! Shows how meaningless claims are without understanding the background!

      Seems to me that the only party out there who is making any attempt at being honest are the lib dems – perhaps because they’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain by being seen to be straightforward!

  3. Just wondered if anyone still keeping an eye on this forum as the independence issue still seems just as real now as it was before the referendum. Listening to Nicola Sturgeon, I am increasingly convinced that she will ignore the SNP ‘promise’ that the referendum was a once-in-a-generation affair and that the issue was now regarded as settled for many years. This was even stated explicitly by Alex Salmond immediately after the referendum result as well in all sorts of spin leading up to the referendum.

    I also noticed with interest on the Sunday Politics TV program last weekend, that Nicola Sturgeon said something like (as near as I can remember the words) “I would rather Scotland were not subsidized by England – instead we should take control”.

    Sounds exactly like an admission from the SNP that (as they must have known all along, in spite of all the assertions to the contrary before the referendum), that Scotland does indeed receive overall more from the UK than it puts back, and is financially stronger as part of the union!!! What a surprise! And the SNP want to throw that away?

    So I think the ‘unionist’ supporters could be about to sleepwalk into an independence campaign that is as aggressive and devious as ever, even if the SNP are superficially downplaying that aspect in public just now!

    • I shall be reciting another ‘anti-Scotland the brave’ poem before too long. Meantime, I think we should be laying plans to enforce the independence of the Scottish pound (and any subsequent currency that is neither to be ‘ruled’ by the Bank of England nor is the Euro).

      This will keep numerous Scots out of the rest of the UK as well as making it much cheaper for the rest of the UK to visit Scotland for the only reason anyone would ever go there (nothing to do with the Scots): The beautiful landscapes.

      • Nice that someone is still here, whatever their views 🙂

        But I think you are doing Scotland an injustice – sure – the landscapes are fantastic – but the people are friendly and welcoming, and most are not fervent extremists for the SNP cause!

        Interesting the way things said before the referendum seem now to be undermined – another is the frequently repeated assertion that Scotland has had no influence on UK politics. That’s patently nonsense as is now demonstrated by all the concerns in Westminster about the change in the Scottish vote and the affect it is likely to have on the balance of power there! Scotland is (and often has been in the last few decades) more influential in UK politics than the SNP like to admit!

        Wonder how much more of the SNP rhetoric will unravel over the coming months and years?

        Would be nice if the owners of this site might like to update it a bit and keep it going as a discussion forum for the continuing independence issues ?? Still as relevant as ever!! Hope they’re listening!

      • I hope you remember, John, that my poem said that we English love the Scots; and we do (unless they divorce the UK, of course). I am completely sure that the new fish-named cow in charge of the SDP will absolutely ensure that Scots vote yes to devolution as soon as she can. We all know that, if the many Scots who live in England and Wales and, indeed, the likes of New York were allowed to vote, there would never be any chance whatsoever of Scotland even considering a vote for such a stupid, divisive and sour grape move. We’re not all Rob Roys, Mr Hancock!

      • Hear hear Tony!! I second your motion. I for one am glad that the people of Scotland decided to remain subserviant sheep. I’m over the moon that we have declared ourselves dependant on a system of Goverment as corrupt and evil as Westminster. It is impossible to imagine that there is an alternative…IMPOSSIBLE!!! I long for the day when we can put our nuclear missles to use and help to wipe out mankind…that’ll really show the poor people of our country just how important it was to keep them poor , eh!? I also can’t wait till I can travel down to England and ride that new train of theirs….I hear I’ll save almost 30 minutes getting from Birmingham to London…..Imagine that…30 whole minutes! My grandchildren will be delighted to know that this time was saved when they are paying back an impossible debt. SNP debt is of course a whole lot worse than UK debt…not the same at all. Tony, you are THE MAN! I sincerely hope all Scots continue to be sheep, forevermore. Altogether now….”Baaaaa”.

      • Instead – some of the scots, far from being sheep, are trying to emulate the bull in the china shop!

        Out of interest – what makes you think the SNP are any more trustworthy or interested in promoting the truth than any of the other parties?

      • Because they are the only ones putting the interests of Scots first. They are the only ones offering something different and they are the ones who are going to shake up the establishment; the establishment of politicians who line their own pockets, make their rich friends richer, enjoy unelected peership (a whole lot worse than your mentioned ‘disproportionate influence’) and cover up expenses scandals and paedophile rings. So afraid are this establishment that they maliciously lie about nicola in the press (France-gate) and they admit their only strategy for winning the referendum was to spread fear. Britain represents a dying empire, one that too many people feel the need to cling onto. It’s a sad state of affairs that the people in Scotland allowed themselves to be fooled or scared into voting No. Yep…there are plenty of reasons why this previous labour voter switched to SNP and won’t be going back. As for the policies of SNP leading Scotland into more debt (as though the black hole Scotland faces as part of the UK isn’t bad enough)…..there was nothing stopping people voting them out in an independent Scotland. Labour would likely have held power after 2016, but they lied, cheated and betrayed the Scottish people. To say it’s unfair the SNP have such an influence is totally hypocritical. We are supposed to be equal, we are part of the UK government and we have had to live with this disproportionate influence of English MPs deciding things for Scotland for decades…why is it so wrong for scots to hold power for a change?

      • Richard said “because they are the only ones putting the interest of Scots first”.
        That is rather insulting towards the many people who are fighting for the prosperity of Scotland and believe (I think correctly) that the aspirations of the SNP are seriously likely to wreck Scotland.

        Those who take the ‘independence’ view for financial reasons, believing that Scotland will be much richer that way at the expense of the rest of the UK (which seems to be many of the campaigners on the ground) are a bit like the middle and upper class taxpayers who say “I have worked hard to earn more money – why should I pay higher taxes to pay for benefits for others who can’t or won’t”. In other words – its an ‘I’m all right Jack” attitude where Scotland declines to be a caring member of a larger community! And, ironically, it flies in the face of a major premise of the left wing – including both Labour and the SNP!

        A member of the UK (and, would that it were possible in the future, the ‘world’) would be happy to throw in its lot with the wider society – helping to support others when necessary/possible, and benefitting from similar support from others when the ups and downs of life go the other way. That is a true and honourable ‘left wing’ position for a country as opposed to an individual!

        Would it be a step too far to suggest that many of the Labour and SNP supporters are left wing because it suits them to receive support rather than out of principle, and this is capitalised on by campaigners? And many right wing supporters are that way because they’ve got money and don’t want to spend it supporting others. In other words – many folk (by no means, all!) are left or right wing, not out of principle, but depending on whether they want to receive support (e.g. subsidized jobs, tax breaks, benefits, NHS etc.), or are in a position to provide support through taxation but prefer to spend their money on themselves? Human nature? 😦

        I know that’s over-simplistic, but I get the feeling it’s how much of the electorate think. And I don’t really want to be part of a Scotland that takes that “I’m all right Jack” isolationist view.

        Richard said “politicians are lining their own pockets” – that’s true of MSPs too – look at the pay rises they’ve been voting themselves – making Nicola Sturgeon the best paid politician in the UK according to recent reports. “political correctness” has forced her to pay a small proportion of her salary back (or to charity – I forget which), but that doesn’t change the fact that the MSPs seem to have voted themselves pay rises seemingly well ahead of most of the rest of us – and that is scandalous.

        On covering up expenses and paedophile rings – I think there is a lot of evidence that says that kind of thing happens as a result of the nasty side of human nature, and in a lot of walks of life – not just politics. I also don’t see any reason to believe that Scottish politicians will be any more honourable than any others – its just that the Scottish parliament hasn’t been around for so long to build up a history!

        You said “Labour have lied, cheated and betrayed the Scottish people” – there I agree with you – and they have in my view done that equally also to the rest of the UK and every time they’ve been in power for the last half century. And the SNP seem to me to be heading the same way on economic matters. It’s not an anti-Scotland thing – it’s the kind of policies that both Labour and the SNP share.
        Sadly, in different ways, the Tories haven’t been blameless either – that seems to be the nature of politics! My point is – that kind of issue is not one that should be a decider in something like independence – it applies in different ways to nearly all politicians and all political parties and they do it to everyone.

        As for the proportionateness or otherwise of the Scottish political influence in the UK – as I’ve demonstrated at length (with evidence) in other posts last year, we’ve had a lot of influence in Westminster – being powerless is not a valid complaint! The English labour party needs Scotland, and always has done (with the exception of just a few landslide elections) – which may be just one of many reasons why they fight so hard to keep us.

    • John, there are many people in Scotland who support independence but are not SNP voters, it’s unfair to target them specifically for this. Independence is a desire by almost half the population. Given the lies and broken promises before and after the referendum from the Unionist parties it’s believed more people would change their vote to Yes now. Independence is a movement by the people and the SNP simply give the best political means to achieve this. I’d love to know how many YES labour voters have become sickened by Labours lies and years of accomplishing nothing despite having such a stronghold on Scottish politics for so long. They are the ones who are switching allegiances.

      As for the once in a generation thing….yes, perhaps that does sound like a broken promise…much like The Vow, which was illegally declared a week before the vote. The difference though is that Nicola has very publicly stated another referendum will be sought if that is what the people of Scotland want…and it is. Independence will not just go away because of one vote. How did the sufferagets, blacks, LGBT communities (to name an obvious few through history) deal with opposition to their cause; did they give up at the first hurdle? Nicola’s SNP are at least doing what the main unionist parties aren’t; they are serving the needs of their constituents, not lining their own pockets and making their rich friends richer. If the people of Scotland want a referendum, SNP should and will deliver this, not arbitrarily reject it for a generation because Alex Salmond said so. Good grief, then all we’d hear is how he was a dictator and how the SNP refuse to serve the people!

      As for the money, economists of the highest standing disagree on this point for both sides. How are we minions of the subject supposed to know better than the experts? I certainly don’t and obviously choose to believe those who say Scotland can succeed whereas you choose your side…and that’s fair enough. However, what this simple layman does know, is that debt ( in real terms) is rising and will continue to rise, despite the austerity imposed upon the UK. THe UK has no way of actually paying this off. Disaster is coming, whether it’s in 5, 10 or 20 years…somewhere there is going to be a meltdown over the growing 1.6 trillion pounds of debt. USA might beat us to it and F*ck the world all over again. Heck, China or Isreal may even start WW3…who knows what the future holds!? At least the SNP is suggesting an alternative to grow our economy to help reduce debt. I’d rather take a chance with that than continue on this road of spiralling debt the UK has been on. If it weren’t so sad I’d laugh about how unionists constantly attack an independent Scotland’s economy and debt while completely ignoring how Broken and Broke the UK is.

      • Richard made all sorts of points 🙂

        I don’t think we can talk about which party tells lies – each side accuses the other of that. Seems to me that all the major parties will bend, spin and lie through their teeth if they think they can get away with it, to hoodwink the electorate to support them. The SNP campaign have certainly been doing that in spades, but so (I believe) have labour, and the tories.

        You said that independence will not go away with one vote. Unfortunately, that’s true. Just when Scotland needs to stop messing about with bickering over independence and get on with the job of being prosperous (as the SNP promised), it looks like we’re all going to have to divert ourselves from all the other critical issues to get back into this same old fight!!

        It’s like a planning application to build an unwanted development in a green belt – it gets fought off – then re-applied for and fought again, and again, each time taking up time and money from the defenders to fight it off – and no sooner is the decision made but the application is made again and we are forced to do it all over again.

        To run politics that way makes a mockery of democracy – it’s almost like holding the electorate to ransom “we’re going to keep on pestering you and distracting you from everything else until you finally weary of it or run out of time for the fight and we win – whether the majority really want this or not!” That’s what it feels like, and it isn’t democratic!

        No point in saying that if people vote for it, that’s democracy – it is clear that if a balanced campaign is fought equally from both sides, the issue is not an obvious SNP victory. But if the unionist campaign tires, the then one-sided spin will of course start winning votes. That isn’t balanced and fair-minded democracy!!!

        You were commenting on the financial situation – sure it’s hard to get to the bottom of it. But endless borrowing more to ‘invest in growth’ sounds to me like a kind of pyramid scheme – sounds good until the growth doesn’t come up to expectations, the scheme collapses and we end up catastrophically worse off than when we started. The risk of that feels every bit as bad as anything we could get into with the UK, and nobody in the SNP has done a convincing job of even trying to explain why that isn’t a real and very great risk – gamble even!

        A lot of honest, public and even handed ‘due diligence’ to satisfy everyone on that point would seem to be essential common sense – pity it’s lacking in Scottish politics!

      • Richard also mentioned about the UK being broke. Do you not realise that a major reason why we are in this mess is the result of the previous labour governments – they weren’t the whole cause of the financial crash, but they played a real role in setting the scene for it, actively encouraged the practices that led to it, and squandered our resources in the good times so we were very badly placed to weather it – before proudly announcing “there’s no money left” when handing over to their successors. Unbelievable!! They also wrecked the economy the previous time they had a long run in power – they’ve a history of this. If I sound bitter and passionate in my criticism of Labour, it’s because I am! And scarily – the SNP look as though they are intending to follow policies every bit as reckless as Labour – possibly even worse. What hope has Scotland got under them?

        By the way – I’m not keen on a lot of the Tory policies either – I don’t know how we as a country get out of this mess, and balance fairness with the economic prosperity to pay for it. But I’m totally convinced it isn’t by following the current labour, or even less, SNP lines! Perhaps more coalitions are the way forward, if we can avoid minorities wielding disproportionate influence.

  4. Salmond is now showing the reason why the majority voted No he would have taken Scotland into the gutter.
    His true colours are now showing, he is a very bad loser, and is bringing the democratic process into disrepute with the quotes coming from the man. I will not miss him, he gives Scotland a bad name, the quicker he disappears and is flushed down the toilet the better.

    • Not sure that Nicola Sturgeon might turn out to be even worse though!

      Both seem interested in independence at all costs and forget everything else unless it leads somehow down that road. What Scotland really needs is leadership that will look at the best interests of Scotland as a vital partner in the UK (which does mean thinking about the best interests of the UK as well, alongside Scotland!), rather than being continually directed by the independence agenda that is supposed to have been ‘put to bed’ for a generation.

      And crucially, work with the UK, not behave as an adversary fighting against it!

      The short to medium term future doesn’t look all that bright.

      And yet, if they changed their tune, the SNP might actually have had an opportunity right now to provide a credible alternative government to Labour. But they won’t drop their independence tunnel vision, so that won’t happen.

      We need a greater proportion of Scottish voters to see sense – without that, there’ll be no real change in the government. Pity that kind of thing needs a catastrophe or two first!

    • The only political leader in Britain with a democratic majority. In case you haven’t noticed Scotland, and Britain, are already in the gutter…that’s why some of us want change.

      • Then I’m afraid you’ll have to enlighten me. Britain seem to me to be in the process of being hauled out of the gutter that Labour left them in – and although there’s still a lot of problems, particularly with the level of national debt (which neither Labour nor amazingly, the SNP seem to care about), we seem to be making real progress at last.

        I haven’t seen anything in any of the pronouncements by anyone in Labour, the SNP or the ‘yes’ campaign that they care more than ‘lip service’ about the national debt – and that with its servicing costs and risks to our long term credit ratings have to be extremely high on the list of things to worry about.

        All these laudable aspirations about social fairness and the like are irrelevant if we are not in a position to afford them – something which Labour have discovered twice during my lifetime, and which I really hope they won’t have the opportunity to discover again.

        Looks to me as though the SNP have the same ideas at heart – though the one hope might be that their promises are electoral spin to try to get a ‘yes’ vote – and if they had gotten past the point of no return, just maybe the promises would have evaporated in favour of more painful economic common sense?

        But we’ll never know, probably!

        On the positive side – great that discussion here is continuing again 🙂
        Hope some more join in! Just because the referendum is out of the way doesn’t mean we all have to go to sleep!

  5. Recent quotes from Alex Salmond

    “A parliament with more powers could declare an end to the 300 year old union without seeking a mandate from the people or authority from Westminster”
    “A once in a generation referendum could be avoided if circumstances change”
    “You establish a parliament and you establish successively more powers until you have a situation where you’re independent in all but name, and then, presumably, you declare yourself independent”
    “Many countries have proceeded through that route; there is a parliamentary route where people can make their voices heard as well, so a referendum is only one of a number of routes”.

  6. can anyone tell me if there is a website for people traumatised by the thought of leaving the UK. It wouldn’t be so bad if we could now relax but the threats of some sort of uprising and the SNP garnering support daily is very unsettling. It would be good if there were a proper website which promotes the union and gives people an outlet to air their views and get advice.

    • “It would be good if there were a proper website which promotes the union and gives people an outlet to air their views and get advice.”

      There may be something happening on that front. I will hopefully know over the next day or two.

      You are right that the SNP and followers have the appearance of intentionally causing concern. My personal view is that it will not go away, and may be exacerbated by growing opposition from the rest of the UK. None of this is helped by the Westminster wimp attitude.

      Pressure is rising on that Genie bottle cork. We need something to take that pressure off!

      • Have to agree. Having observed the snp and green party in action over the past couple of months they will never give up the ground they have gained on the contrary they are busy building on it. I think we will have more protests and peace marches and food banks in George Square trying to promote the Independance party as the caring party while spreading hatred of Westminster. If SNP get a majority of seats in 2016 and more devolved powers Jim Sillers has said we are going for Independance with or without a constitutional referendum. He also said if they don’t get the promised powers we will go for it sooner. If they didn’t have the growing support they now have you could shrug them off as nutters but unfortunately they have picked on the idealistic youth to spread their message through facebook etc and of course they have the green party who are experts at organizing demonstrations.

      • But what can an independence movement do without the agreement of the UK? Turn us into another civil conflict like that for decades in Northern Ireland? While I’m sure there are a few nutcases capable of that kind of thing around, I cannot believe any serious folk in the SNP or green party would go down that route! Businesses would flee, investment would dry up etc. etc.

        And the UK wouldn’t cooperate – which means Scotland gets cut off, on its own! Independence with the cooperation of the UK would have been bad enough! I don’t really believe even Jim Sillars would seriously suggest it might be feasible to go independent without the cooperation of the UK!

        No currency union, no credit rating, probably no EU for a long time, no assistance in sorting out issues where agencies are joint across the border, possibly no oil unless Scotland uses whatever military assets it can hang on to to fight for it, no Barnett formula, no nothing from a hostile UK! And probably lots of angry ex-pat Scots living in England.

        What am I missing?

        Lets not jump to conclusions on the back of a silly and inflammatory rant from one extremist!

      • Dear John,
        Hope you and Angus recognise each other!
        I really hope that this frightening referendum has been a wake up call for the complacent members of the UK Government. I trust that they will get the facts over to the Scots regarding the profound integration of our Union.
        It was really disappointing that knights of the realm supported the breakup of our country. I hope they return their honours!
        Perhaps a solution would be to have a ‘hybrid’ Scottish MP, who sits both at Westminster and Holyrood? We are underrepresented in the UK, and grossly over represented in Scotland. We do not need a total of 180 elected representatives for a population of only 5m, and we certainly should not be influencing local English issues.
        The other issue that came over were the blatant lies the SNP told about the NHS. I was extremely disappointed in Harry Burns, who has abused his position to scaremonger.
        Thank you both for your thoughtful and incisive comments, they were a breath of fresh air amongst the nonsense spoken by others.

      • “Hope you and Angus recognise each other!”

        We did — and discovered we knew each other 30+ years ago! Edinburgh is such a village.

        “I really hope that this frightening referendum has been a wake up call for the complacent members of the UK Government. I trust that they will get the facts over to the Scots regarding the profound integration of our Union.”

        As a result of a really good chat there’s something new coming over the weekend. It’s a blog, forum and wiki to hold reference material. Designed to build a factual reference base, with the main thrust being the kind of in-depth discussion we’ve had here, and articles emanating from current affairs. It will have a political section, and probably an NHS section amongst others too. Hopefully, contributors will fill gaps not provided by Westminster or other places of power.

        All welcome! Including both sides of the Scottish Independence debate, and any other debate.

        Watch this space! And thanks, Angela, for identifying that something was missing.

      • Hi – sorry I’ve been so long in replying to your post! I’ve been coming up for air after the referendum – more or less taking a little break from all this!

        We did indeed find each other, and as Russell said, spookily discovered we knew each other from decades ago! A small world! Pity you are so far away you couldn’t join us. Your knowledgeable remarks about the NHS were invaluable, and provided insights that don’t appear to be available in the regular media!

        Now of course, the question is where next? Sadly, it already appears that there is little intent amongst the ex ‘yes’ campaigners to abide by the commitment given by Alex Salmond so publicly, that the question of independence is now settled for at least a generation, and possibly a lifetime. Instead, we keep hearing noises about folk trying to keep things going.

        But it leaves me with a conundrum about the Scottish general elections when they come round. Labour is disastrous and will never again get my support after they wrecked the economy for the second time around in their last period of government. Every time they’ve been in power in my lifetime, the economy has been left in a catastrophic mess and has had to be painfully rescued by the conservatives!

        But the SNP whom seem to be the only real alternative in Scotland seem set on continuing to rock the boat instead of showing some integrity and working cooperatively within the UK for Scotland’s prosperity without being distracted by a question that is officially settled for 20 years or more!

        Would be nice to see something from the SNP outlining what their vision for a Scotland within the UK is, and what policies they would follow if elected to remain in government as a regular government rather than as an independence pressure group! Initial comments from Nicola Sturgeon don’t sound encouraging though 😦

        I hope you will remain around, and continue to contribute when you can to any discussion that is going on! Perhaps we’ll even see you in person some day 🙂

    • I sincerely hope and believe your concerns are a little premature!

      Firstly, the SNP alongside the Westminster party leaders have publicly agreed that the question is settled for a generation. There is no uprising that can overturn that – they might not like it, but I think Scotland is now committed to being part of the UK for twenty years, after which I guess, if there is still a belief that the union isn’t working for Scotland, the matter could be raised again.

      Might be a good idea to let the dust settle before jumping to conclusions! After all, we are all adults here, and I believe the majority of ‘yes’ campaigners are like the majority of the rest of us – law abiding and prepared to work to make Scotland a success in the union or out of it. Don’t let a minority of childish and irresponsible thugs on either side scare you to that extent.

      I hope I don’t end up eating my words, but either way, things need to settle down a bit before we’ll know for sure! But if Scotland turns into a nation dominated by yes ‘thugs’, it might actually cause me to leave the country that I feel is ‘home’. Here’s hoping Scotland is too ‘grown up’ for that!

    • I actually think you need medication rather than a website. Your continued levels of anxiety are (to use the Scottish Tory leader Lamont’s favourite word) ..astonishing! Seek help lass.

      • having said that, the comments apparently being bandied about by the SNP where they seem to be trying to prepare the ground for an attempt to go independent without waiting for another referendum, and not abiding by what they formally agreed to (the union) – these comments (if they are as I’ve heard them reported) are irresponsible and dangerous. Any politician with any integrity should know better, as should anyone that might otherwise be minded to trust them with the future of Scotland.

        Had they done what was promised, and stood up to work with Westminster to find a way to make the union work, they might have gotten my support too – but trying still to be fighting the UK is scandalous after the referendum result.

        They look like they’re shaping up to be even worse (if that’s possible) than the last Westminster Labour government!

    • Why is Scotland’s debt of £7.6billion a ‘black hole’ when UK debt of £1.5 trillion a ‘manageable deficit?

      • Want to share who said £1.5 trillion was a ‘manageable deficit’? I find that scary! And as you implied, calling it a ‘deficit’ is dangerously wrong – it is a long term debt!

        Also scary to me is any suggestion that we don’t need to start paying down that debt – and right now, all that is being talked about, at best, are hopes to reduce the annual deficit as a share of GDP. On that basis, the debt isn’t being paid down at all – it will still increase. The deficit needs to be eliminated in cash terms before we begin paying down the national debt (i.e. we need to stop new borrowing altogether) – which not even the Tory’s are claiming they can do in the coming parliament I believe.

        Scary – and I think, a problem that over time could blow many other issues out of the water – including Scottish independence.

        Can any conceivable level of austerity, or taxation achieve that – whichever party is in power? But what is certain is that anything that increases borrowing makes the debt even bigger and money wasted on future interest payments even more astronomical!

      • Anne Mackenzie says:

        Sent from my Galaxy Ace on O2

  7. Sadly, looks like Alex Salmond is showing his post-referendum colours. Rather than looking for ways to help make devolution of additional powers work better for Scotland, according to this evening’s news, he seems to be looking for excuses already to blame Westminster for reneging on promises before they’ve really had a chance to get started! If he doesn’t want to help make it work, he should at least have some integrity and shut up until it becomes clear whether the promises are being kept or not.

    Of course, he might be thinking that by keeping up the pressure, he’ll rush Westminster into a solution that isn’t as fully supported or as good for Scotland as it should be – and then after the powers are in place, the SNP will turn round and criticise Westminster for not involving the SNP more or trying to rush things. Or am I being too cynical?

    Sooner he goes the better, and lets hope his successor has a more cooperative attitude! Though I kind of doubt it.

    I think the SNP might be about to miss a great opportunity here.

    • looks like Alex Salmond is trying to start a revolution in Scotland. He just will not let go and accept defeat. I can’t believe that he has been allowed to cause such disruption to this country and people are still supporting him. Please will he just go away. It’s really worrying.

      • I know – and I think Alex Salmond summed up the problem in one sentence in his speech where he announced he was going to stand down. He said something like “the dream will never go away”.

        That is the problem – this nationalist movement is based primarily, not on realities, but on a ‘dream’ – an aspiration for patriotic reasons, and for which the costs and benefits really don’t matter. The dream of independence is the end in itself, regardless of whether it actually ends up being better or worse for Scotland or the UK. I think its a ‘pride’ thing.

        Folk who look first at what will benefit everyone, and don’t have the emotional dream, almost never seem to push for independence. Those that do have the dream and don’t care about anything else, spend their time looking for reasons to justify their dream, while ignoring anything inconvenient. They are the dangerous ones who could ruin us and the UK.

        Nothing demonstrates that danger more in my view, than the way in which, having lost the referendum and knowing that independence is supposed to be off the agenda for at least twenty years, are now trying to rock the Westminster boat and apparently attempting to scupper attempts to take this forward. When a responsible attitude would be for the government of Scotland (who have a duty to the whole of the Scottish people, not just those with a dream!!!!) to offer to work with Westminster to find the best way forward for the union to which they accept they are now committed by the referendum result). But it took them only 48 hours after defeat before they started trying to get the fight going again. It’s disgraceful!

    • Speaking of AS and his successor, look at these two: , what’s not to like? They are like Hansel and Gretel

      Let’s not anticipate too much, let’s not make assumptions

      Instead, enjoy the euphoria; as the 80’s song says:
      “Don’t worry, be happy…if you worry, contact this forum, we will make you happy”

      • Oh don’t get me wrong – I am both happy and relieved. But I also feel we could be on the cusp of great change, and right now might be exactly the time to have a big influence on the outcome. Would be a tragedy if, because of nationalist principles, our government missed a rare opportunity to be a major contributor to a cooperative and consensus settlement that would set Scotland up for the future and also lay the groundwork for compatible settlements for other parts of the UK. If the SNP throw away this opportunity ‘on principle’ and just go back to adversarial fighting, they don’t deserve to be in government (in my view).

        I’m not happy about Nicola Sturgeon succeeding Alex Salmond though – not that it’s any of my business as I’ve nothing to do with the SNP. But I feel she would be more abrasive and outwardly aggressive about independence than even Alex would have been, and that is the last thing Scotland needs right now! Hopefully I’ll be proved wrong.

  8. Does anyone know whether the Scottish Parliament can hold a referendum for scottish independance without the consent of Westminster. Tried to google it but still unsure.

    • My belief is that we in Scotland can hold a referendum on anything we like, whenever we like, from independence to the hunting season for the haggis. But unless the UK formally agrees, it will have no binding jurisdiction on the rest of the UK who can ignore the result.

      Someone tell me if I’m wrong?

      • I would really like a cast iron guarantee from Cameron that we will not have another referendum in the next 30 years. I believe the SNP will be working to undermine the westminster government and incite dislike of the English before the eu referendum(if it goes ahead) in 2017. If its a vote to leave the EU I am worried it will trigger another independence referendum.

      • I don’t think any politician of any flavour will ever give anybody a cast-iron guarantee about anything, and if they do, they are deceiving you!

        But given that independence now would have been a disaster for the UK as well as probably for Scotland – whatever the SNP might believe or do will not convince the rest of the UK that independence can be tolerated any time soon!!

        So I cannot imagine any of the current Westminster parties agreeing to another independence referendum for at least a generation – which was the minimum timescale mentioned. And to be fair – if twenty years as a partner in a reforming UK does not improve things in Scotland to a level that changes public perceptions and makes an independence referendum less likely to succeed, perhaps the UK would deserve to be shaken up again!

        For what its worth – I’m guessing that many of the issues which are so controversial today will be much clearer in 20 years –
        * we will have a much better idea of just how much oil is or is not economically recoverable,
        * renewable technologies will be more mature and we’ll know better how much we’ll get from them,
        * climate change will probably be higher up the global agenda and perhaps driving up prices for renewables (good for us) and causing oil and gas prices to collapse (good for the environment, though bad for oil revenues!),
        * we may know if fusion technology is about to change the whole picture
        * Europe may have a more settled direction and we’ll either be in it or out of it, but whichever it is, it will be known!
        *The reforms in the UK that hopefully bill be kicking off now will have had some time to prove themselves and be fine tuned for everyone’s benefit

        and there’ll be a whole new clutch of issues on the table – probably more global ones than local ones. Who knows what will be the right thing to do then – though my guess is that there will still be a good case to keep stick to the UK.

        I do hope the SNP will have the integrity to abide by the democratic result and do their best to make the union work rather than trying to undermine it. And I think they might, though I have my doubts if any of the current obvious leadership candidates should succeed Alex Salmond. We’ll know in a couple of months though, who will lead, and whether they’re being cooperative or adversarial !

        Whatever else politics might be, it isn’t is boring !!

  9. Comment on the outcome of the referendum:

    45% Yes vote is not bad at all, more than I personally expected. It represents virtually one half of the voting electorate (so it’s not 1/3rd, not 1/4th, it’s much closer to one half than to 1/3rd ). No reason at all to be discouraged, and every reason to be proud. Everyone should thank the “Yes” campaigners for bringing about additional devolution for Scotland. They are the driving force that acts, and gets results.

    Looking at the bigger picture – at the history of steadily increasing devolution, creation of Scottish Parliament etc, it is evident that the trajectory of historical and current developments very much points towards future independence. In other words, if you look at the direction in which things have been steadily moving for decades – at the long term trend, you have to conclude that independence is the logical next step in the chain of events.

    For obvious reasons, there will be less nostalgia for the past “glory” of the British Empire next time around. (Even the English are desperately trying to distance themselves from their imperial and colonial past these days; they would like to pretend it never existed.)

    Now we know in detail what arguments both sides are likely to use. Failed attempts are very useful. They teach us, if we are willing to learn, how to do things better in the future, how to present our ideas more effectively. You don’t like what we are saying, or how we are saying it? All right, then. Thank you for telling us. We will try something else in the future, always in the spirit of cooperation.

    We will definitely cooperate with the unionists, they are good people, as idealistic as we are. We will not be spiteful, we will not sulk. We also want what is good for both Scotland and the UK. So we will debate very openly, and always decide democratically on next steps.

    • Does anyone know if the Scottish parliament can hold a scottish independance referendum without the consent of the Westminster Parliament. Have tried to google it but the law seems unclear. Seems like they maybe could.

      • “Does anyone know if the Scottish parliament can hold a scottish independance referendum without the consent of the Westminster Parliament.”

        The answer is no, absolutely not. Find reference in Articles 3 and 25 of the Treaty of Union (

        If the Scottish Parliament were to try such a thing I know someone certain to apply to court to interdict from doing so.

        The referendum is gone, finished. History records that Scotland said No.

    • Glad discussion here is continuing post referendum 🙂

      Though you said “We also want what is good for both Scotland and the UK. So we will debate very openly, and always decide democratically on next steps.”

      I hope so – that is the same as most of us who voted ‘no’ want as well. That wasn’t the spirit shown in the campaign just past though – which was mostly what some people thought was best for Scotland and be damned to the rest of the UK!

      However, the steps for the next couple of decades at least are clear – it has been decided very democratically to keep the union together for at least a generation if not longer (according to Alex Salmond himself) by which time, who knows where things will be and a whole new set of topics might have become relevant to the question.

      In the meantime, we are all committed, SNP, yes voters, no voters and abstainers, to do our best to make the union as successful as it can be, as you said, for both Scotland and the UK.

      Let’s hope we all really can and will work to that end. Then if in twenty years or so, it seems right to raise the question again, so be it!

  10. Well, where does the SNP go now?

    Seems to me they should get enthusiastically and actively engaged in cross-party discussions on further political change/devolution of powers, to help get the best solution possible for Scotland as a strong partner in the UK (since that’s where we’re going for the next generation whether they like it or not, and I think there’s a real chance for them to fight Scotland’s corner in a UK context). But as a partner in the UK, not at the expense of or in competition with the rest of the UK !

    However, I fear they might effectively sit on their hands, challenging Westminster to deliver on their devolution promise, while trying to pick apart what is offered and undermining any possibility of consensus.

    Will they work cooperatively for a better Scotland in the UK, or will they strive to foster an adversarial ‘them-and-us’ argument that could put at risk opportunities for our future for the next two or more decades?

    If they can convincingly confirm that they are not going to try to undermine the UK but are going to work for the betterment of both Scotland and the UK as a whole in a healthy and integrated partnership, then they just might suddenly get a lot of support from those who are proud of being Scottish but do not want to break up the UK ! This could be their big opportunity to lead Scottish nation to a long and healthy future in the union.

    A lot might depend on an imaginative and forward looking choice of their next leader!

    • Hi john. I should imagine that the SNP will continue to battle Westminster…if for no other reason than it seems the promises given by the 3 stooges have already been broken. They knew fine well the backbenchers would revolt of dr this so were absolutely confident in offering the pledge with all sincerity. I’d be amazed if the SNP doesn’t remain the majority party for many years to come after labours love affair with the Tories. Once again Westminster have shown their true colours by lying to Scotland and for that I dont think anyone can complain if the SNP fight our corner for a better deal.

      • Well – I like to see the best in people as far as I can. And thanks for joining in and helping keep the forum alive after the referendum. Perhaps now the referendum is past, we’ll be able to keep more to issues than emotional referendum campaign spin (on either side) now!

        As I see it – Alex Salmond had three approaches he could have taken.

        1. Go quietly, without rocking any boats and let his successor decide how to handle things.

        2. Carry on battling Westminster, in spite of his commitment to abide by and support the union if there was a majority ‘no’ vote – doing his best to undermine and discredit anything Westminster tries to do, regardless of what that might be. And I see no evidence of reneging on anything yet! I hope that when the promised powers are delivered on time, he’ll be big enough to apologise for his innuendos and accusations, and then try to work with Westminster as he promised.

        3. Stand up tall and proud as a Scot, who is honourable and gracious in defeat, and offer to engage with Westminster to come to the best agreement possible for Scottish interests while still being mindful of the success of the UK too. And not resign at all, but continue to work for the best interests of Scotland!

        If he did the latter, and Westminster accepted him into their discussions (which I’m guessing they would), and made it clear he was intending to cooperate with them for Scotland in the union, rather than trying to sabotage everything in a Westminster battle, I think there would suddenly be a flood of support for him and the SNP (possibly even from the likes of me), and he would remain comfortably in power for years, leading Scotland to success in the union. And look for a successor who would continue that approach rather than reverting to adversarial battles.

        If he scuppers Westminster’s attempt to get a good solution and rocks the boat all the time, given that whatever he does, there won’t be another referendum for at least a couple of decades, I suspect natural labour voters will go back to voting labour and the SNP will fade back into the background. And Scotland will be lumbered with a poor version of devolution because he was undermining discussions rather than engaging with and supporting them for Scotland.

        The cynic might suggest that he wants this to turn out as badly as possible for Scotland, because through imposing 20 years of a bad solution on our country, he’s got the best chance of alienating possible ‘no’ voters next time. Though I find it hard to believe he could really be that cold and calculating at the expense of his fellow scots.

        He’s got an opportunity to show himself to be a great statesman and do some real good for Scotland. A tragedy that he looks like he’s going to blow it for nothing!

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