An independent Scotland will inherit a fair share of the UK’s £1.3 trillion assets. This is of huge significance. These assets will generate a huge economic windfall for the people of Scotland of £109 billion. It will make Scotland far wealthier and allow us to reshape our institutions’ towards priorities that suit Scotland.
The rest of the UK (rUK) faces having to increase taxes in the event of a Yes vote if post-referendum negotiations result in the UK Treasury having to service all of the UK’s current debt.
Analysis carried by the Scottish Government has concluded that any refusal on the part of the Westminster Government to share assets and liabilities equitably would leave the remainder of the UK with up to £130bn more debt than would otherwise be the case.
The paper shows that the rest of the UK would face between £4 billion and £5.5 billion a year in additional interest payments, equivalent to increasing the basic rate of income tax in the rUK by one pence.
The Basque newspaper Deia has taken an exceedingly dim view of José Manuel Barroso’s spectacularly unsuccessful attempt at not interfering in subjects beyond his remit on the Andrew Marr show the other day.
In an editorial published on Tuesday, the newspaper makes some points about the European Union which don’t often get aired in the UK media – because they don’t accord with the favoured position of Westminster and the Guardiatelegramail. That position being Scotland bent over with its legs apart and ready to be shafted.
So it’s worth repeating Deia’s points for a Scottish readership. The points the paper makes are far more fundamental to the entire structure and purpose of the EU than arguments about whether Scotland can join via article 48 or article 49. Deia argues that Scotland must be admitted as a full member, without being excluded, as this is the only option which is in accordance with the most basic principles of the EU, as expressed in the EU Treaties Carmichael and Darling are so fond of citing selectively.
Insisting that Scotland must leave the EU breaches the principles upon which the EU was founded, and would deprive Scotland of democratic representation in the sovereign body of the EU, the EU Parliament. Since the EU Parliament is the sovereign body according to the Treaty, the EU Parliament would have to vote to exclude its Scottish representatives, the European Commission doesn’t have the power to order their exclusion. But calling such a vote would fall foul of the EU prohibition on interference in the internal democratic and constitutional affairs of an EU member state.
A vote on excluding Scottish MEPs would be illegal. In fact any vote on excluding Scotland from any EU provision, obligation, or benefit would be illegal, because we will have achieved our independence democratically, constitutionally, and fully in accordance with the fundamental principles the EU Treaty commits EU bodies to uphold.
And finally, the graphics on this artcile show that the INTERNET is as big as TV and this site "Wings over Scotland" is now bigger, more read and seen than all the main newspapers - The Herald, The Scotsman, Guardian, Record ... That IS very significant!
With six months to go until the people of Scotland vote on the constitutional future of our nation, Yes Scotland has launched a massive campaign to promote the message that Scotland can, should and must be independent.
I will go further and argue that efforts to preserve the political union will ultimately fail - with the probability that other aspects of the union between our nations will be severely and perhaps irreparably damaged in the process.
This is a price that the British establishment appears to be willing to pay in order to preserve the structures of power and privilege that define the British state. We see confirmation of this readiness to sacrifice the social, cultural and economic unions, which largely work to our mutual benefit, in the increasingly shrill and confrontational stance of the UK Government and the British parties.
For decades the union has been held together by a noisome potage of lies, deceit, bribery and ever more uncomfortable compromise. Various things have served to dissolve this unreliable glue - the reconvening of Scotland's Parliament, the rise of the SNP as a political force, and the burgeoning of internet communication all being major factors. The political union is done. It is now only a question of how much we can salvage of the rest of what has been developed over the past three centuries. Unionists seem hell bent on destroying all of it in a fit of pique.
And that is one of the reasons why Scotland must be independent. We simply cannot afford to let the forces of reactionary ultra-conservatism triumph. We must not allow the ruling elites to destroy that which is ours by any measure of natural justice in order to preserve that which they regard as theirs by divine right.
The ultra poor and disenfranchised who normally couldn't give a stuff about politics as it makes no difference whatsoever to their suffering are being mobilised and are registering to vote - to vote YES of course.
Six months today, the people of Scotland will have a fifteen-hour window in which they hold the future of their country in their hands. That day marks the culmination of decades of effort from those who tirelessly kept alive the hope and ambition of an idea whose time has now come.
Since the election of 2011 the traditional campaigning bodies of political parties have been joined by a variety of grassroots groups and activists with the potential to mobilise on a huge scale. Mass canvass sessions in recent weeks have seen dozens knocking doors in Easterhouse and 160 activists spread across Gorgie and Dalry. The traditional town-hall meeting is being revived, with meetings across the country drawing hundreds apiece – at a recent event in Edinburgh some sixteen additional rows of seats were laid out as volunteers scrambled to pack in the 400-strong audience who’d come to one of four meetings in the city centre alone.
The cat's out the bag. People are actively discussing the type of Scotland they would like to see.
“The Independence Lectures” is organised by RIC in collaboration with Pluto Press and Word Power books. This series of public events brings renowned academics, authors and thinkers to introduce radical arguments on a variety of topics related to Scotland’s constitutional debate. In these opening lectures Tariq Ali, author, novelist, filmmaker and icon of the 1960s uprising talks of the struggle for Scottish democracy and brings a new level of debate to the fore. Such occasion makes a mockery of the unionist lapdog press attempts to caricature the independence movement with his emphasis on internationalism, resistance, struggle and the vital role of of political movements of change.
And the BBC - effectively acting as the offical NO campaign, has come under increasing scrutiny and been found severely wanting.
A BBC presenter is at the centre of a row after appearing to voice his own opinion on the issue of a newly independent Scotland's membership of the European Union.
In an interview with First Minister Alex Salmond, Andrew Marr ended an exchange with Mr Salmond on EU membership by saying he believed a Yes vote would see Scotland forced out of the EU and finding it hard to get back in.
"I think it will be quite hard to get back in, I have to say", viewers heard the BBC man say.
The BBC presenter was immediately challenged on the airing of his personal view by Mr Salmond who appeared to have been taken by surprise by Mr Marr's statement. Marr defended the statement, saying he was basing the comment on views expressed by EC President Jose Manuel Barroso.
Andrew Marr is supposed to be one of the BBC’s leading interviewers. It’s true that he is recovering from a stroke, and his mind may not be as sharp as it once was, but that’s no excuse for bringing his personal views into an interview. That is directly in contravention of BBC guidelines which state that the viewer should not be able to discern the personal opinions of the interviewer when a politician is interviewed. Yet we see this sort of behaviour time and time again when the BBC’s London Scots contingent present programmes dealing with the referendum.
Is the End Nigh for the BBC? http://aworkingclassman.com/end-nigh-bbc/
Media is changing. Far from being controlled by the select few, the internet has allowed independently-minded people to create their own media. The ability to create a political narrative no longer just belongs to the fourth estate and political parties.
I pay £145 for the BBC. This is not a voluntary exchange, we have no choice but to pay a tax for the BBC. In return, I expect the BBC to maintain certain standards. I don’t want them to pass of opinions as fact, I don’t want them to be the echo room for the Establishment. I want good, old fashioned news.
I think that the end is nigh for the BBC. The public’s trust and respect of this institution will fall the longer it continues to wrap up pro-establishment propaganda as fact.
The YES campaign is no longer controlled by the official YES Scotland, it's already in the hands of the people at grass roots level and the unstoppable "revolution" train is being driven by them - to where some mainstream politicians even on the YES side might not quite like, but the "Jeanie" is out of the bottle and is not going back in again after 18th September 2014! People have woken up and seen the possibility of striking back against the Empire and they're going to grasp it with both hands.
Funny how if you're going to vote correctly and give the right answer - you can arrange and have a referendum in little more than a week!
And if you get it wrong like the Irish did with the Lisbon Treaty, well you just rinse and repeat until you get the "right" result.
Of course if it's quite clear that you don't understand what's a stake for the elite and are determined to vote wrongly like in the Basque Country or Catalonia well you're not getting a referendum then.
Scotland only got a referendum because the poor fools of the British elite, demonstrating their complete disconnection from the political reality of anything outside London, thought that the Scots were going to do the right thing and vote No! Really stupid, but no surprise there.
Now they're having a "Wallace" moment - not Braveheart, no, as in Wallace & Gromit in The Wrong Trousers - "They're the wrong trousers Gromit - and they've gone wrong!"
The NO side are turning ever nastier and underhand as their continual repeat loop of the same regurgitated scare stories - No Pound/No EU/NO - (whatever it was I've actually forgotten!) fails to convince anybody.
Nobody cares anymore as the debate has moved on.
And the polls continue to show a rise for the YES.
Gordon Brown is not a stupid man. He knows that what he is saying today on pensions is nonsense and he has specifically selected his statistics to present a picture that is wildly far from reality. That is a clear and deliberate choice. It is the cheapest sort of negative campaigning, twisting the truth with the sole aim of frightening people.
Mr Brown knows that pensions and benefits are paid out of general taxation and that national insurance contributions are just part of that mix and, yet, according to the New Statesman he will say today that Scotland “will increasingly benefit from a system under which it pays 8 per cent of national insurance contributions but receives 8.8 per cent of the benefits”. However, what Mr Brown knows is that Scotland’s actual contribution, the total of all tax revenues, has been 9.5 per cent, on average, over the past 5 years. So, rather than receiving 8.8 per cent of the benefits and contributing just 8 per cent, as Mr Brown appears to be claiming, we actually contribute 9.5 per cent. He is trying to pretend that Scotland is dependent when the opposite, by far, is the case.
According to the reports in the media today, later in the speech he makes a similar point, this time suggesting that we can’t afford our pensions and benefits payments because they equal 3 times oil revenues. But again, he knows that these payments are made out of total revenues, otherwise the UK wouldn’t be able to afford its welfare system given that the costs for the UK as a whole are 25 times oil revenues.
It takes a particular mindset to try and pull this sort of political trick, especially as Mr Brown will know that the cost of welfare provision in Scotland takes up a smaller percentage of total tax revenues than in the rest of the UK. The actual numbers show that 42% of Scotland’s tax revenues were required to fund social protection (pensions and welfare spending) compared with 43% for the UK. That means we are better able to afford to support the most vulnerable in society.
I can’t help wondering, if the Union is so good, why do its supporters have to resort to such twisted claims based on a deliberate misrepresentation of the reality? Mr Brown is trying to take advantage of the fact that some people may not know how the welfare and pensions systems are paid for. But, he does. His misrepresentation, therefore, is jaw-dropping and ill-serves him.
At its root, Mr Brown wants us to believe two things. First, that Scotland is not capable of affording to look after our pensioners and, second, that we should, instead, trust the Westminster Tories (at least half the time) with our pension. He is absolutely wrong with the first, as demonstrated above, and spectacularly out of touch on the latter.
I believe most people in Scotland will trust our parliament - which introduced free personal care and the free bus pass - to do more to look out for and look after older Scots than Westminster. We wouldn’t waste billions on nuclear bombs while thousands of older Scots struggle to heat their homes. Those are the priorities of a Westminster system that is badly and dangerously on the wrong track.
And yet, tonight Mr Brown won’t have much to say (if anything) on the growing state of inequality. Instead, he will base his case on a truly warped presentation of the numbers and a glib description of the status quo of George Osborne’s austerity agenda and welfare plundering as the ‘best of both worlds’.
If this is the best the No campaign can do, they really are in trouble.
The former Chancellor, in short, seemingly plans to reel off a dizzying list of numbers, plucked from nowhere, which prove nothing and bear no relation to each other whatsoever. Everything we need to know to check his argument is missing.
It may be enough to fool an audience of bewildered pensioners and swooning fanboys in the English press, but anyone paying even the smallest amount of attention will find themselves asking a series of questions to which, we suspect we’ll find from tonight’s current-affairs shows, there will be no answers.
Also the CBI has now come out on the NO side without consulting its members and as a result many of them are leaving! Total Cluster-Fuck!
Business for Scotland takes them to task-
The CBI led the anti-devolution business campaign. History shows they were wrong then, and it will show they are wrong now.
The CBI must come clean on what basis it has developed a campaigning position and activity against independence without the sign-off of members. Moreover, was it approached first by the Electoral Commission?
The CBI must explain why if it has a mandate to join the No Campaign from its Scottish Council why several Council members were clearly surprised by the decision to register with the Electoral Commission and then felt they had to resign.
The CBI must be honest about its membership. How can anyone take them seriously or believe anything they say when they say they have a membership of 24,000 members in Scotland but potentially have less than 70!
How do the CBI get away with claiming a mandate to join the No Campaign when 93% of members polled state their organisations are neutral on the issue?
The CBI is in serious trouble, and given their new found formal affiliation, so is the No Campaign. This story has some legs in it yet and we would not be surprised to see more resignations in the coming days.
A great site that catches all the IndyRef news from TV, Newspapers and all the best internet sites and adds his excellent comments is Peter Bell's Referendum 2014 Scoop it -
You need search no further to be up to date on everything that's happening. Highly recommended.
And if you want to get involved from any part of the world then why not join the #solidaritywithscotland campaign which is sending letters to British Embassies around the world urging them to NOT interfere with the democratic process as they have been advised to do by the Devolution Unit.
In January, the Sunday Herald published the news that the UK Foreign Office is heading a campaign to enlist support for Better Together in foreign countries. Wee Wullie Hague wants to hear from you if you have bad things to say about Scottish independence. According to the Herald, the Foreign Office has contacted the governments of China, Russia, New Zealand, Australia, Canada and the 28 members of the EU in a desperate search for viagra to bolster the flaccid Project Fear.
The Foreign Office has set up a “Devolution Unit” to co-ordinate their campaign. UK Embassies, High Commissions, and Consulates around the globe have received instructions to pass on any communications from individuals, organisations and businesses about Scottish independence. However, since of course the civil service is supposed to be politically neutral, the UK Government can’t come out and admit openly what you know, I know and the dug knows they’re up to. They must maintain a veneer of neutrality.
But two can play at that gemme. So if you are a Scot abroad, or a citizen of another country who sympathises with Scottish independence, write a formal letter to the UK Embassy or High Commission in your country. What you tell them is of course up to you, but something along the lines of expressing your disgust that the British Government is actively seeking foreign intervention in order to prevent Scottish independence wouldn’t go amiss. And there was you as a person in furren pairts extolling the Mother of Parliaments and the rigorously democratic system in the UK.
F*ck what the Guardian thinks!
They haven't got a clue what's happening in Scotland anyway.
(I had just written quite a long post and had it completely wiped by trying to link to their scumbag rag, so sod them!)
It's too late now Billy to think about devolved English regions - 10 years or more too late. It will take the aftermath of Labour's defeat in 2015 to even start that process and it will need new organisations to fill the void left by their shift to the ultra right.
As far as I know there is nothing like Scottish Socialist Party, Labour for Indy, Radical Indy or the Jimmy Reid Foundation in England.
“In the past few months the polls for the Scottish independence referendum have narrowed markedly and what was previously seen by many as a mere formality has become a real competitive contest.
Such a swift transformation has left most of the British political classes and media struggling to catch up with events. But it has also left large parts of pro-union Scotland feeling bewildered and disoriented at the pace of change.
Scotland has unambiguously become another country. This has been a very gradual, quiet revolution, one without obvious leaders, or simple causes, and one which has happened over decades.
Scotland’s gathering sense of itself has become interwoven with its changing society. It is a less deferential, ordered, high-bound place. It has become less institutionally dominated and elite-driven, as well as less Protestant, male-dominated and Labour-run.
Traditional authority and key reference points have faced seismic crisis. In the past couple of years, the Royal Bank of Scotland, the fifth largest banking group in the world pre-crash, hit the buffers; Glasgow Rangers FC, Scotland’s dominant and most successful club blew up, faced liquidation and is now working its way up through the lower leagues; while the Catholic church in Scotland has been mired in sexual scandals at its most senior levels.
A longer timeframe captures even more profound institutional crisis. The Church of Scotland is but a pale imitation of the once powerful force that ruled the land. It could, on existing trends, disappear in a generation. Similarly, the Labour party, which once held nearly as much unchecked power as the Kirk, has become a sad, sullen voice. At this crucial juncture, it seems bereft of ideas and resources, only sure in its detesting of Alex Salmond and Scottish nationalism.
Then there is the role of institutions such as the BBC, which has found itself for the past 30 years continually behind the curve of the Scottish self-government debate and even the explosion of arts and culture. Not surprisingly, the BBC along with most of Scotland’s mainstream media is not having a good referendum.
This is a Scottish expression of trends which are evident across the western world: the decline of deference, the rise of individualism, the crisis of traditional authority, and an emergence of new ways of organising and doing culture and politics.
One result of this has been the emergence of a self-organising, self-determining Scotland. I have called this “the third Scotland” by dint of it differentiating from the two establishment visions of Scotland – the new SNP one and the old declining Labour version. It has rightly regarded such a restricted choice and debate as barely adequate in a diverse, complex, wealthy society.
The third Scotland can be seen as a generational shift, with the emergence of a whole swath of articulate, passionate, thoughtful 20somethings. It signifies a shift in how authority and power is interpreted, with people self-starting initiatives, campaigns and projects through social media and crowdfunding.”
It’s a great pleasure to speak here today – to this audience in Brugge, and to those of you watching from the College’s campus in Natolin in Poland.
The College of Europe was the first university to offer postgraduate studies and training in European affairs. It continues to be one of the best places anywhere in the world to study the subject – which is why the Scottish Government funds three scholarships every year for outstanding students from Scotland.
But it’s also fundamental to understanding the nature of the campaign for Scottish independence. Ours is a peaceful, inclusive, civic – and above all a democratic and constitutional independence movement. It has been cited as such internationally, and is in sharp contrast to the profoundly anti-democratic processes we too often see elsewhere.
And our referendum process is founded on consensus. It was agreed with the UK Government and confirmed by the Edinburgh Agreement I signed with David Cameron 18 months ago. One of the many reasons why the outgoing President of the European Commission prompted surprise, even ridicule, from so many people across Europe when he recently compared Scotland to Kosovo, is that he erroneously confused our consented constitutional process with what was a contested unilateral declaration of independence. The background circumstances are also of course totally different.
And so because Scotland makes up just over 8% of the UK population, it is conceivable that unless we choose to change our circumstances this September, we could be dragged out of the European Union against our will.
Therefore the real risk to Scotland’s place in the EU is not the independence referendum in September. It’s the in-out referendum of 2017.
That decision on Europe isn’t the primary reason for seeking independence – the main reason for seeking independence is a desire to gain the powers any normal nation has; the powers we need to build a fairer and more prosperous country.
We propose a practical, common sense approach to membership, which means that there is no detriment – none whatsoever – to any other member of the European Union as a result of Scotland’s continuing membership.
And the alternative – the fishing fleets of 12 countries being denied any access to Scottish waters and as a consequence, their access to Norwegian waters, which is also dependent on Scottish access; 160,000 EU workers and students, and of course voters, in Scotland suddenly uncertain about their status; five and a quarter million people ceasing to be EU citizens against their will – this alternative, as Sir David Edward points out, is clearly absurd.
But it is more than absurd. There is simply no legal basis in the EU treaties for any such proposition. And it is against the founding principles of the European Union.
Now, there is a new world developing in Europe. It is a world where people want to be independent and interdependent: to address global and social challenges; to build a fairer and more prosperous society; to assess people and nations by their contribution – the positive difference they make – rather than by their status or their power.
But unfortunately, too much of the debate on this new Europe at Westminster, is being distorted by the dreams of an old empire. Those dreams have little allure now for Scotland. Europe enriches our culture, our economy and our society. We cherish the freedom it gives us to share, to travel and to exchange.
But we also seek the freedom to contribute. To contribute our voice as an equal partner on the world stage. To contribute to the future success of the European project from which we gain so much. To contribute our talents and innovation to the challenges that Europe, and the world, face in the future.
So when our small nation asks for the freedom to contribute, we will meet a welcome from around Europe. And we will gladly make those contributions – and more – when an independent Scotland, takes its full place in the European family of nations.
There is not a single UK newspaper that is pro-independence. You might get the odd commentary piece that is vaguely balanced or impartial, but the vast majority is rabid twisted manipulative propaganda and out right lies. It's written by a bunch a so called journalist who are too lazy to even leave London from where they spout their shite and actually visit Scotland to find out what is happening. Lazy and disingenuous.
But there is also an ever increasing nastiness that is becoming threatening.
We don’t exactly have high expectations when it comes to the Daily Mail.
We’d like to hope that experienced readers are wise by now to the tricks the Mail is employing in the piece. There are the token figleaves of balance, pointing out the Weirs’ good charitable works and making the odd vaguely pleasantish comment about well-cut suits, in order to make the rest of of the article seem less vicious.
But those 2100 words aren’t an innocent character portrait. They’re a sinister attempt at intimidation, not only of Chris and Colin Weir but the entire independence movement, and indeed the people of Scotland.
The word which most accurately describes the two-page spread is “othering”. The objective is to make the Yes campaign seem alien and creepy and suspicious, and in doing so cause Scots to shy away from it. The use of words like “queasy” and “targeted” are intended to reinforce that impression.
Throughout the piece hyperbolic words – “incredibly”, “staggeringly”, “extraordinarily” – are used to emphasise that something is not normal. Pejorative terms like “divisive”, “alarming”, “frightening”, “uncomfortable” and “destruction” are also thrown around liberally to leave the reader in no doubt that this unusual thing is a bad one.
Perhaps worst of all, though, is the phrase “that could change the lives of Scotland’s entire population, whether they like it or not”.
In conjunction with the rest of the article, that line is all but an incitement to violence. “These rich people are going to wreck your life against your will just because they fluked into money” is the message to the paper’s readers, barely even cloaked.
(Never mind that it’s basically a description of the entire UK cabinet.)
The article is a tour de force of old-school tabloid monstering, a deliberate and knowing attempt not only to smear and bully Chris and Colin Weir but to “de-normalise” the entire concept of independence and portray it as a disturbing and deviant cult masterminded by callous, grasping, manipulative ogres.
It can only be combated by Yes supporters tackling it head-on. Wearing badges, putting posters in windows and stickers on cars, and speaking out. Because after countless years of independence being the political goal that dare not speak its name, what two years of campaigning have done is make the idea reasonable and respectable - and that, above all else, is the key to winning over the undecided.
Such a prospect, dawning late, terrifies the Daily Mail and all that it represents. Since the start of the year in particular the Unionist media has really turned up the heat on independence-supporting individuals in classic establishment style. We have little doubt that there will be worse to come in the next few months.
Today’s piece is an attempt to drive independence supporters back into the shadows. Only they can determine whether or not it will be a successful one.
The Sunday Herald has become the first national newspaper to back a Yes vote in this year's independence referendum.
In a move which shocked activists on both sides, the newspaper made the announcement in a tweet of its front page which bore the headline "Sunday Herald says Yes".
In its editorial, the Sunday Herald states: "Scotland is an ancient nation and a modern society. We understand the past, as best we can, and guess at the future. But history is as nothing to the lives of the children being born now, this morning, in the cities, towns and villages of this country.
"On their behalf, we assert a claim to a better, more decent, more just future in which a country's governments will be ruled always by the decisions of its citizens."
ON September 18, Scotland must decide whether to remain within the United Kingdom or become an independent country.
No-one should find the decision easy. There is nothing simple, clean, or clinical about ending a union that has endured for better than three centuries. Nevertheless, having considered the arguments, the Sunday Herald sincerely and emphatically believes that the best outcome is a vote for independence.
We state our opinion not in an attempt to persuade our readers. That would be presumptuous and arrogant. We are well aware that there is good reason to assume the vote will be close. However, we are determined, as the debate enters its final, feverish stages, when emotions will doubtless run high, to make our position clear.
We believe that now is the time to roll up our sleeves and put our backs into creating the kind of society in which all Scots have a stake. Independence, this newspaper asserts, will put us in charge of our destiny. That being the case, Scots will have no-one to blame for their failings, no-one to condemn for perceived wrongs. We will, for the first time in three centuries, be responsible for our decisions, for better or worse.
The proposition is this: We believe independence offers Scotland an historic opportunity to choose the kind of country that might allow its people to prosper. Decisions affecting our lives will be made on our doorstep, by the people who live here. By us. A vote for independence says that a small country is not helpless in a big, troubling world.
Scotland is an ancient nation and a modern society. We understand the past, as best we can, and guess at the future. But history is as nothing to the lives of the children being born now, this morning, in the cities, towns and villages of this country. On their behalf, we assert a claim to a better, more decent, more just future in which a country's governments will be ruled always by the decisions of its citizens.
Scots have never been afraid to astonish the world. A small country has made a habit of producing big thinkers. The Sunday Herald says that it is time to think big once again. And to think for ourselves.
Their decision has had an immediate effect with almost every copy of the newspaper selling out. With newspaper sales plummeting in general it makes commerical sense if nothing else.
Good luck to them - let's hope it has the positve result of changing some of those NO's to maybe's to YES's.
As people who commission opinion polls occasionally, a thing that puzzles us is why other people who do it ask questions and then don’t talk about the results.
Because what the poll found, in a nutshell, was that the No camp’s scaremongering was largely working. Or to be more precise, it was working on the people who were already planning to vote No, and that’s all it’s designed to do.
So the poll tells us that while only 38% of people believe George Osborne and Ed Balls’ dire threats to refuse an independent Scotland a currency union, a whopping 61% of No voters swallow it.
More astonishingly, 57% of No voters actually believe that an independent Scotland would be thrown out of the EU – a view that almost no Unionist politician is prepared to state in public, and which some of them openly decry as ridiculous, but which has somehow found its way into the mind of a large slice of the public.
67% of No voters think Scotland wouldn’t be able to afford state pensions at the current level, even though Scotland currently spends LESS of its budget on pensions than the rest of the UK does. And 68% of them believe that major employers and businesses would leave an independent Scotland.
It’s as clear as day from the poll’s findings that No voters are frightened. They’re not voting No because they love the UK, they’re voting No because they think they’ll lose their jobs and their pensions and their money. Without those fears it would only take a tenth of No voters to change sides for Yes to win, and that’s a narrow margin of error.
So whatever they say in public, “Better Together” will keep up a relentless torrent of scaremongering from now until September, because they can’t afford not to. Almost every time there’s a debate there’s a swing to Yes, so they know they can’t win on the arguments. Project Fear is all they have.
(In fact an Independent Scottish entry might mean an extra 12 points for rUK instead of the nil puwaaang as usual - who knows?
Then again we might win the bloody thing and bankrupt ourselves putting on the next show - just ask the Irish! )
Oh and finally, Pensions will be safe regardless of the Referendum outcome and so are guaranteed in an Independent Scotland, thus destroying yet another Unionist Myth - but not that you would have heard much about it in the main stream news!
Anyone who really wanted to know the score when it came to pensions was already aware of the facts. For well over a year, the DWP has been telling people who asked that they would continue to receive their UK state pension regardless of the outcome of the referendum. So that’s reassuring.
But for some unfathomable and mysterious reason, the explanation for which defies all known science, that information hasn’t really made it into the independence debate.
So we were a little surprised last night when a piece in the Scotsman broke ranks.
“State pensions would still paid after independence a UK minister has told MPs despite concerns raised by the Better Together campaign.
Giving evidence to the Scottish Affairs Select Committee Lib Dem pensions minister Steve Webb said that anybody who had paid UK national insurance would be entitled to their state pension whatever the outcome of the referendum.
The intervention contradicts concerns raised by former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling, the leader of the Better Together campaign.”
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