JimB: I suspect people can give you their …

Comment posted Cameron scores own goal in independence move by Dr Douglas McKenzie.

JimB: I suspect people can give you their detailed reasons for wanting independence for our country until they are blue in the face (and not in a Mel Gibson blue in the face fashion) and you would still bemoan the lack of detail. Your deduction that it is not based on facts or reason just shows that you need to improve your powers of deduction. If you search through my contributions to this site you will find my hopefully well reasoned and certainly thought through motivations for wanting Scotland independent.

Just a wee point on your comment about Scotland being a net contributor to the EU (if we are still in it). This would mean that Scotland’s economy would be stronger than the EU average, thus suggesting that an independent Scotland would be doing pretty well for itself.

And just to turn the tables a bit, why do you feel that Scotland should not be independent?

Dr Douglas McKenzie also commented

  • Robert: you put your finger on the real weakness of trans UK transport initiatives – Westminster cares even less about the North of England than it does Scotland.

    If I was choosing a rail project to fund within Scotland, I think I would prefer to create a high speed line running from Glasgow Airport to Glasgow Centre then onto Edinburgh Airport and terminating in Central Edinburgh. Having been on the Mag-Lev in Shanghai I think the investment would be worth it just for the fun of the hurl!

    On a more sober note, you are right in that the further you can attract rail passengers from the more beneficial the project will be as it will pull passengers off short haul flights. Birmingham to London is just pathetic in this regard (though I guess there are some numpties who do fly between Birmingham and London).

  • The reference is to the high speed train line but I was confused as well as to the point of the question. Regardless of whether Scotland is independent or not my understanding is that the cost of the high speed line north of the border would fall to the Scottish Government. However, what was exercising the SG was the fact that the existing planned line in England goes nowhere near the border so even if we fund our portion there is nothing to attach it to.
  • JimB: The Norwegians (same size as Scotland, similar energy reserves) became independent of Sweden in 1905. It remains outside of the EU and has its own currency. Faced with the North Sea bonanza, the Norwegians took a very different course from the UK. Both the UK and Norway set up national oil companies but Mrs Thatcher made sure that Britoil was flogged off as soon as possible (and at a deep discount). The equally imaginatively named Statoil remained in public hands in Norway (currently 67% owned by the Norwegian Government). Statoil thus not only pays its taxes to Norway but the capital value of the company remains part of the wealth of the Norwegian nation. Norway enjoys the presence of a major oil company head quartered on its soil with all the attendant jobs and infrastructure.

    The second thing Norway did was set up a national oil fund (actually two funds but let’s not become bogged down with details). As of the valuation in June 2011, it was the largest pension fund in the world. As of 31 December 2010 its total value is NOK 3,077 billion ($525 bn), holding 1 per cent of global equity markets. With 1.78 per cent of European stocks, it is said to be the largest stock owner in Europe (Wikipedia). In the UK we applied school boy economics to the oil money and spent it all propping up high levels of unemployment and dark pits of urban deprivation. No investment in the future and a national debt now about three times that of the Norwegian oil fund.

    The Norwegians go further. They obviously read their bibles and took note of the parable of the talents. Far from just hiding their talents under the national bed or keeping it in the banks, they began to think about the post-oil world and determined to use their wealth to build the industries of tomorrow and, more than that, to build the industries that they could be good at and which were a fit with their national resources and outlook. I had the honour a few years back of being an international referee to the Norwegian Government’s Fuge programme which set out to develop a biotechnology industry in Norway. They especially looked to focus on marine biotechnology (my speciality) and aquaculture. Norway pretty much owns the salmon industry globally and they are working away on second generation aquaculture industries.

    They think of and build the future so they will continue to have a living post-oil.

    The Norwegian oil fields are part of the same North Sea basin that Scotland’s oil fields inhabit. They are equally finite and suffering the same depletion as the Scottish fields. No doubt this decline is causing investors to pack their bags and flee Oslo in droves and the money markets are busy discounting Norway’s credit rating and the currency is spiralling downwards as investors lose faith in a nation so dependent on dwindling oil reserves? Err no. Norwegian GDP per capita is 4th highest in the world. It has a triple A credit rating. The Legatum prosperity index puts Norway in the number one spot in the world for 2011. My only criticism is the price of beer and the national fetish for eating fermented herring (not so keen on their support for whaling either)..

    The Norwegians invested wisely; the Union did not and Scotland has very little to show for the North Sea oil wealth. When a thinking Scot looks at Norway he (or she) wants to weep at the lost opportunity. Had Scotland seized its destiny in the 1970s then not only would the Scots be much better off but I believe the RUK would be better placed as well. Without the easy fix of Scotland’s oil, it would have invested in economic policies that would have genuinely transformed the economy rather than being content with high levels of unemployment and increasing social disparity.

    But it is not too late for Scotland. Yes, oil is important for Scotland’s economy post independence but so are our Higher Education, Food and Drink, Tourism, Financial, Clean Energy and light engineering sectors. Sensible use of the 40 or so years of remaining reserves will allow us to invest our wealth into the future so that when oil finally disappears we will have a strong, diversified economy more than capable of supporting our population in a civilized state similar to that enjoyed by the Scandinavians. Properly done, we will not notice the economic effect on the day the last well-head is closed off.

    So that’s my vision for an independent Scotland in twenty to thirty years time. What’s your vision for us if we stay within the Union?

  • To Ken: my recollection is that the students who repatriated the stone dropped it and it broke. They had the stone repaired but placed inside it a note that stated that this was the real stone. Modern imaging techniques would quickly show if there was indeed a note within the stone in Edinburgh Castle. I have heard many tales of the stone including that a number of replicas were made and I have also heard (from good authority!) that one of these rather than the original was what was returned but I have no idea of where the truth actually lies. Nor do I care much as the provenance of a lump of sandstone has very little bearing on whether or not we should be independent.

    It would be nice if the original stone (the black one) would turn up though and recovering the Holy Rood would also be pleasing. But the most important ancient artefact from Scotland’s past is safe and well: the Declaration of Abroath and that is worth a thousand Stones of Destiny.

  • JimB: HBOS is entirely owned by Lloyds and so is an “English” bank if you are divvying up the banks. Lloyds has a division that is HQ’d in Scotland but it is not a Scottish bank, whereas RBoS is HQ’d in Scotland and is not owned by anyone other than its shareholders.

    The financial rating of an independent Scotland would be determined at the time but there is no reason to suppose that it would necessarily be down-rated from AAA. The actual rating will depend on the economic policies pursued by the Scottish Government and how that is viewed by the market. If you look at similarly sized Scandinavian countries then you would anticipate that Scotland would retain a AAA rating (as would RUK).

    As to the debt division, we are talking about sometime in 2015/2016 depending on how long negotiations on dissolving the Union take. By that time the national debt may be considerably lower than it is at present and (hopefully) the banking sector will have recovered and so the overall debt may be considerably lower than it is today. Or have you no faith in the policies being pursued by the Coalition Government in Westminster?

Recent comments by Dr Douglas McKenzie

  • Rustle with Russell
    More utter rubbish from Lynda Henderson. Have you actually spoken to Bob Allen? Whoever told you the story sold you a pup and in your arrogance you cannot admit to be wrong so you make up this story that he was persuaded not to resign.

    Your position is completely untenable.

  • Russell back in the bathtub, now trying to sink Keith Brown’s boat
    I’m afraid you condemn yourself by your own words. I don’t think that anyone reading what you have written here and the language you have used would conclude anything other than that you have a deep dislike for Mr Russell and that dislike is leading you to basically lose all sense of either proportion or impartiality. It doesn’t matter how well (or otherwise) you know Mr Russell you are clearly exercised by your interpretation of his actions and it is leading you well beyond the pale in what I would consider fair comment.

    This vendetta against Mr Russell and the SNP is destroying FA’s credibility and I have to confess that I’m seriously considering whether or not to continue reading FA (which will cheer Malcolm up if nothing else). I for one am becoming increasingly disenchanted by the constant negativity and sheer nastiness that has crept into this blog. I say that with a lot more sorrow than anger because I think that FA could have been great and indeed still could but there has to be a degree of balance, civility and indeed humour. All we are getting here is bile and it is causing me heartburn.

  • Russell back in the bathtub, now trying to sink Keith Brown’s boat
    To be honest, this post clearly shows that you are speaking from your personal dislike of Mr Russell rather than an unbiased analysis of the man. Phrases such as “publicity hungry coward” are well beyond what is reasonable comment.
  • Russell back in the bathtub, now trying to sink Keith Brown’s boat
    You don’t seem to understand the separation of a MSP’s duty to his or her constituency and their responsibilities as a Government Minister.

    Yet again, this is another instance where a member of the Government can do no right: speak up and be condemned as “desperate” or stay silent and be accused of not serving your constituents’ interests.

    It is just as well that Mr Russell has broad shoulders!

  • Atlantic Islands Centre for Luing: biggest investment in island’s history
    Well done Luing – an inspiration to all of Argyll’s communities.

powered by SEO Super Comments

Share and Enjoy:
  • Digg
  • del.icio.us
  • Facebook
  • Google Bookmarks
  • email
  • LinkedIn
  • Technorati
  • TwitThis
  • Ma.gnolia
  • NewsVine
  • StumbleUpon
  • SphereIt
  • Reddit
  • Slashdot
  • Print

121 Responses to JimB: I suspect people can give you their …

    • Anne,
      I think in the fullness of time, we shall discover the likes of K1 was simply a prototype for the real thing.

      Or a very clever SNP plant. Cameron could be also, given the surname and behaviour…

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • No red votes in Orkney at all – all blue (one red just showed up). Shetland split. Western Isles split. Skye 65% blue -35% red. Cowal blue. Reds around Mount Stuart on Bute. Kintyre blue. Ardnamurchan relatively busy for 1.00an, mostly blue. Islay 3-1 blue. Lochgilphead blue. Couple of blues around Strachur Central belt looks 60% blue 40% red. Dundee pretty blue, North Berwick pretty red. Wales and N,Ireland emphasis on blue. IOM split 50-/50. England – at a guess looks 40% blue 60% red. Swizerland blue. Basques only care about themselves. Gallic shrug from France but blue where they’ve bothered. Belgium has blues.Tiree has s single red – probably a furious No Argyll Array supporter. One lone vote jup in Tromso – blue. Falklands Undeclared. Could play with this all night. Must a stop – after a quick look at Oz and NZ. Answer – OZ – one red at Campbeltown NSW; one red in Perth; one blue in Brisbane. NZ – one blue at Invercargill, south island. STOP. Must sleep.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  1. THE SOUND OF KNOCKING KNEES AS “FLASHMAN” DAVE SINKS INTO THE MIRE
    We all knew Cameron didn’t “get” Scotland, but we were waiting to see if he’d be stupid enough to take Salmond’s bait and charge in.
    Now he’s up to his knees in Scottish mud – and it’s oozing over the top of his Cavalier boots. From here on in, it’s a slow slide into the mire. It’s too late for bully-boy Cameron to go back now. He called the tune and now he has to pay the piper.
    Within hours the English media were frantically trying to undo the damage. Stories appeared desperately trying to convince anyone stupid enough to believe it that “Cameron’s not ‘dictating’ to Scotland.”
    Now the back-peddling has gone into over-drive, with many of the usually strident English and so-called “Scottish” unionist newspapers trying to pretend there never was a plan to impose an “18-month deadline”.
    Here’s a typical example from Cameron’s pals over at the Daily Mail:
    Cameron’s gamble over the Union could play into slippery Alex Salmond’s hands
    “Mightn’t this gamesmanship have the opposite effect – raising hackles among chippier Scots over high-handed English interference, so playing into the hands of First Minister Alex Salmond (himself one of the most slippery and accomplished gamesmen on the political scene)?”
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/deb
    Oh dear! You can hear the knees knocking together from here! You almost feel sorry for them. In their ignorance, they are only now beginning to grasp the full ramifications of Cameron’s arrogance.
    The cocky bravado we have endured from the English loony fringe on forums like this one has evaporated. Reality is finally sinking in. Scotland really does want a divorce.
    It would be pitiable if not for the fact they are the architects of their own downfall. The edifice of self-deception is crumbling to ashes before their eyes. “Without Scotland propping us up”, they wail, “what will England be?” The answer is not to their liking:
    “Among the crazier delusions of recent years has been that England without Scotland would be better off. The stark truth is that, along with international respect and influence, a Britain shorn of Scotland would lose assets, including the submarine bases at which our independent nuclear deterrent is based, the universities at which a great many of our doctors are trained, and a talent pool that has produced brilliant leaders in politics, science and the arts.”
    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/deb
    Where’s the bold yah-booing and jingoistic Little Englander braying we usually hear whenever Cameron says something to put the “chippier” Scots in their place?
    It looks like what it is: Cameron’s made the fatal mistake of advancing onto Salmond’s ground – only to discover it’s a swamp. You’d think they’d learn something from history, but apparently not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Well done Jock; you’ve really come out into the open and betrayed what really motivates you which is rapid anti-English feelings.

      I feel that is sad and, hopefully not representative of the vast majority of my fellow countrymen as we approach the most important vote in our history.

      To rational and intelligent Scots the question of leaving the Union is most certainly not about hating the English. It is about the future and what is best for our children and grandchildren.

      You approach the issue as though it were a football match. Luckily most here are not like you.

      As I have said on here before I am a Scottish Patriot.

      A patriot loves his country.

      A nationalist hates other countries.

      Simple as that Jock.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • I am happy to describe myself as a Scottish nationalist and have identified myself as such for more than 50 years.
        I don’t know WS and I doubt that he -or she- knows me but I can honestly state that I dislike very few individuals and I don’t hate any countries -rapidly or rabidly; some I like more than others but such a generalisation as the one posted above is pretty dumb in my book.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • Then, Ken, explain the mindset of the likes of Jock.
          There is a hardcore of people in our community for whom the question of Independence is not one of our future but simply and solely one of “stuffing” the English.
          That they have freedom to rant xenophobic tripe, let alone vote, is worrying.

          This debate is not about England or the English or past history.

          It is only about Scotland, Scots and our future.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • You’ve generalised my direct and rapid (sic) attack on the xenophobic English loony fringe into a hatred of the entire English people, rather than what it is, an attack on “Flashman” Dave the rest of the feral elite that rules them (and us).
        You’ve accused me of being part of the Scottish loony fringe, which undoubtedly exists, but of which I am not a member.
        You claim that “luckily most here are not like you.” Yet, strangely there are more people giving my post the “thumbs up” than the “thumbs down”. Would you like to explain why that is? I bet you don’t.
        Since you’ve awarded yourself the right to judge me, allow me the courtesy of judging you.
        I bet when you were at school and the bully demanded money on the threat of a hiding you paid up sheepishly and ran away with your tail between your legs.
        I stood my ground and gave as good as I got. I didn’t always win but there were a few bullies who were sufficiently impressed to give up bullying on the spot. That was the way I was brought up.
        When, or if, the going gets tough, you will be glad there are people like me to stand up for you. By that point, you will be saying: “thank god most people here ARE like you”! I just hope and pray I don’t get you in the next foxhole.
        Open your eyes and have a good look at who it is who’s bullying your country. It’s incidental they happen to live in England, or are English. If they were from Alpha Centauri I’d still be calling a bully a bully.
        So you see, you have mistaken my anti-bullying metaphor (i.e. Flashman Dave, etc) for an anti-English one and rushed to accuse me of “xenophobia”. A common error amongst appeasers.
        By your definition of a “nationalist” I am, indeed, not one. To accuse me of not being a “patriot” is, however, insulting. When I am being threatened by a bully – regardless of which country they come from – I will continue to be a “realist”, even at the risk of upsetting the weak-willed and pollyannish.
        Simple as that, W.S.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • You certainly have a bent for violent analagies Jock !
          “I bet when you were at school and the bully demanded money on the threat of a hiding you paid up sheepishly and ran away with your tail between your legs.
          I stood my ground and gave as good as I got. I didn’t always win but there were a few bullies who were sufficiently impressed to give up bullying on the spot. That was the way I was brought up.
          When, or if, the going gets tough, you will be glad there are people like me to stand up for you. I just hope and pray I don’t get you in the next foxhole.”
          For your information I was never bullied at school. I often sorted out those who bullied others. And if in your fantasy “the going gets tough” I won’t need your sort looking out for me thank you very much. Seventeen years in Her Majesty’s Forces still stands me in good stead.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • If your seventeen years were spent stealing oil wealth for the British Empire then they count for nothing in my book.
            I stand by what I said. Sadly you appear not man enough to admit your mistake.
            No bullying of Scotland. Whether they are English, or from the planet Zog, it makes no difference to me.
            I did note that you couldn’t explain why I’m still getting so many votes in my favour.
            When it comes down to the reality, you’re not prepared to answer a straight question with a straight answer.
            And you must be finding it rather odd that Salmond himself is on the BBC and in the Guardian today saying, albeit a bit more “diplomatically”, exactly what I said in my post:
            “The UK government is in a state of total confusion. Overnight, yesterday’s 18-month sunset clause had disappeared into the sunset, the coalition is riven with tensions, and Westminster is backtracking in the face of the massive thumbs down from opinion in Scotland to Tory interference in the Scottish democratic process.”
            On the BBC Salmond is clearly telling Cameron where he can shove his bullying: “The patience of the Scottish people is running very short indeed…” See it for yourself:
            http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-16486390
            Salmond uses the words “stampeded” and “dragooned”. Wish I’d thought of using those in my cavalryman “Flashman” analogy. They fit perfectly. How lucky we are to have someone like Salmond. Someone who, like me, is prepared to tell the bully his bullying days “are over”.
            So what are you going to do? Start accusing Salmond of being what you call a “nationalist”? A “hater” of the English? Not a “true” patriot?
            Just because I used a more colourful analogy (note the use of the “o” in there) doesn’t change the reality. Salmond is making the exact same point I did: Scotland will not be bullied. Not by “Flashman” Dave. Not by the English. Not by anyone.
            So, come on W.S! Be a man. Let’s hear why so many people are voting for me. According to you they’re supposed to be well outnumbered. We all want to hear it. Giving me a sneaky little thumbs down and running away with your tail between your legs is looking a little sheepish right now.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. Despite the Braveheart chants we all really know, deep down, that independence is a bold move, fraught with risk and by no means certain to produce the better Scotland we all hope for. However, many people clearly believe it’s a prize worth going for.
    The situation now is that we appear to have people in England pressing to sever the union and cut Scotland free- presumably Cameron is in this camp as it could guarantee a conservative government in England and Wales for the future.
    If I am to be part of an independent Scotland though, I want it on our terms, not to be evicted from the house like some wayward teenager.
    Cameron is as shrewd a politician as Salmond, and knows that he has nothing to lose from pushing the issue early (it resolves the matter;it could take advantage of the undecided voters, of which there are probably a majority still; and it shows he has been masterful and decisive), whereas allowing Salmond to build a head of steam and delay a referendum until 2014 say, will probably simply delay what will then be inevitable. Similarly, if we reject the concept of an early referendum, we are seen to be avoiding the fight and will lose credibility as a proud nation, fuelling any anti-Scotland feeling south of the border.

    What Cameron also wants is that if independence becomes a reality, it’s Scotland that made the choice rather than England voting to get rid of the ‘troublesome Scots’. Then, if it all ends in tears, we have no-one to blame but ourselves.

    So, a dilemma. Do we go along with Cameron’s idea of an early referendum? Absolutely. Bring it on. If we really believe there is widespread support, it won’t matter when but we will have made the choice and will live or die by our own decision. By 2014 we might find ourselves being pushed out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • For School Defender: There was a letter in The Sunday Herald (from a Mary McCabe of Glasgow – p38/39) with a new take on the referendum decision – which was interesting and challenging.

      She feels (our words) that Scotland is now at a point where saying ‘No’ will itself do damage. Her reasoning is that the world beyond Scotland has watched this country’s increasing confidence, has been aware of the ongoing debate on independence since 2007 and has begun to anticipate our independence. She argues then that if we back off after this, we’re going to look as if we don’t believe in ourselves and haven’t got the bottle to go for it.

      In her words: ‘A ‘Yes’ vote may or may not lead immediately to independence but will show everybody we mean business, that we have plans and aspirations. A ‘No’ vote will indicate the opposite. We’ll present ourselves as a nation of sullen losers, scared of responsibility yet resentful of our child-like status, prepared to let others choose the colour of our government, to be dragged into wars we disagree with, to play host to a weapon of mass destruction we do not want.’

      What she is putting forward is the lesson of 1979 where a narrow ‘Yes’ in an independence referendum could be simply set aside, with succeeding UK governments feeling free largely to disregard the views of Scots – seeing that we, (her words): ‘… having voted Labour as hard as they could and yet accepted a Tory government, had no cards left to play’.

      This is a new take on the situation, pointing to the psychology of a post-’No’vote decline and making the point that, either way, things will not be the same again. Interesting. We’d not looked at this aspect of the consequences and it’s a provocative one.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • I’m not convinced that a no vote would be catastrophic, although would have to be seen and widely accepted as endorsement of the union. But I also think that if the vote was to be a no, it would be better to come sooner rather than later (after a lengthy yes campaign, a no result could be construed as a slap down for the Scots I admit).
        It is a tricky one, but I still favour an early referendum and, if we can present sound, rational and evidence based reasons for a yes vote would establish a statement of intent that HM government could not ignore. Either way, we control our own destiny.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. As an individual who has experience of living in a social democratic country I see this has pluses and minuses. I don’t wish to get drawn into the debate of England Scotland except to say that my father and grandfather both fought for britian, one had a kilt on at parade the other a set of trousers.
    However be aware of the choice that is being made, there will be benefits but there will be a cost. Look closely at other social democratic countries and decide is this the path to walk.

    In the meantime I might invest in a 30 yr lease in an industrial warehouse to take advantage of the cross boarder trade which will emerge when differences in the tax system cause it to emerge. For information type in norby sweden into a search engine.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Jock, are you feeling all right? You seem to have been in touch with reality even if only briefly. You are right, Alec Salmond is a slippery ( I would have preferred slimy but I will acccept slippery ) charecter.

    Is he the kind of person we should be putting our trust in? It seems to me that his aim is to go down in history as the Mandela of Scotland. To me he showed his contempt for his constituents when he stood in both parliaments andrarely attended Westminster thus disenfranchising his electorate. Someone else where on forargyll suggested that he might retire from politics if he achieves independence. I am sure he might go and leave someone else to pick up the pieces. Afterall the big game he has played all of his political life would be over and replaced with the stark reality of the responsibility of an independent Scotland.

    Keep taking the reality pills.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Do you really believe that slavishly attending the House of Commons does in some way magically “enfranchise” electors?
      Any cursory examination of Alex Salmond’s political record and the constitiencies that he has represented in the Grampian area at Holyrood and at Westminster suggest that as a representative he has been highly effective and efficient and has steadily built upon support throughout his political career.
      I lived for a period in Ayrshire where I was “represented” by a likeable but wholly ineffective Labour MP who regularly attended the parliament, always voted as his party whip directed, never contributed to debate and was not much good at responding to constituency mail. He was not untypical of that generation of Scottish MPS. Inevitably he ended up in the House of Lords.
      That, I suggest , is neither Alex Salmond’s ambition nor his destination.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • The quote about Salmond being a slippery customer isn’t my opinion. It’s the Daily Mail’s. So the Daily Mail may or may not be right, but not me.
      If you’re going to attack my character please do me the courtesy of reading my opinions and understanding them first. Otherwise you look a bit, er, “out of touch with reality” – if only briefly. Clearly your reality pills aren’t working.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  5. The thought that my future, and that of my children, in Scotland might be determined by ridiculous Mel Gibson wannabees like Jock Macsporran is too horrid to contemplate.
    Go and paint a saltire on your face and run about screaming ‘freedom’ if you wish, but if you think that arrogant, bigoted, racist mannerisms help our argument for independence then think again.
    This decision needs careful thought and planning, and the structure post referendum (whichever way the vote went) is not clear enough yet to allow right minded people to make well judged decisions. Please don’t cloud the debate with petty jingoism, it’s just too important an issue for that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • You may have read what I wrote but you’ve understood none of it.
      Scotland will not be bullied. Get used to it.
      And keep your own arrogant, bigoted, racist, jingoistic “Braveheart” comments to yourself.
      You are incapable of appreciating the irony of it. Or how foolish it makes you look.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • ‘Irony of it’. How is that going to help the debate??
        Why can’t you stick to facts rather than continually make abusive and ridiculous statements, thereby perpetuating the stereotype you undoubtedly are?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • The facts are stated in my post.
          I note you don’t present any to counter them. Just the usual abusive and ridiculous anti-Scottish insults.
          Just how stupid do you think we are?
          You don’t even have the guts to admit you’re English!
          No Scot would come out with that “Braveheart” claptrap.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • I think you are stupid, and the minority like you, not the rest of us Scots. And questioning my ancestry just makes you look even more ridiculous (a wee tip for you- Rab C Nesbitt didn’t really exist, he was just a TV character so stop modelling yourself on him).

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Jock – it’s Cornish. Your knowledge of the celtic languages is a bit thin ;-) Or is that not a proper language cos it’s not yours? I think we could certainly give you a lesson in manners if not in how to achieve indpendence! As a proud Corishman who has lived in Scotland for longer than he ever lived in Cornwall, I look forward to exercising my right to determine the future of Scotland after an adult and reasoned debate. Not your infantile polarised drivel. You sure have issues. Would you accept a ‘Yes’ vote from me or have it discounted as toxic Cornish interference?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  7. School Defender – Here comes the person who doesn’t have the guts to admit they’re English, displaying their detailed knowledge about Cornish…from Cornwall…in England. And betraying their eagerness to rush to the defence of their English pal. How very odd. Very odd indeed for a supposed “Scot”. In fact, the first time in history that anyone has seen it.
    How does it feel to have been lured into the swamp, just like your hero “Flashman” Dave? I learned that trick from Alex Salmond. Have you learned anything? Or are you as stupid as Cameron?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  8. So, clearly more people around “here” DO agree with my original post than disagree with it.
    This is true despite all the nay-sayers and appeasers trying to claim it isn’t. None of you have the guts to come back on and admit it.
    You are a boring lot.
    I’m off to re-engage the debate with people who at least have the courage to admit their own nationality.
    Take note “School Defender”: “Scottish ancestry” doesn’t make you a Scot. What a coward you are.
    You have all your anti-Scottish stereotypes on the tip of your tongue.
    Like your pal, “Flashman” Dave, you think you are clever. You are finding out you are not.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Jock, old chap, I’m sorry but having read your afternoon’s postings I will no longer engage with you on this subject. I have a preference for rational and mature discourse.
      Toodle pip.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Oh dear. Let me tell you what your post really says. “If you are going to show me up by pointing to irrefutable proof that what I say isn’t true then I am going to go in the huff, refuse to talk, and scweeem, and scweeem, and scweem!”
        As I said, you are a quitter, not a fighter. Leave the fight to people strong enough to handle it. God save us if you are what was in the UK armed forces “protecting” us. What did the enemy say when you threw your toys out of the pram and wailed “I’m not playing!”? Also, very odd that you are now reverting to the upper class English-speak “old chap” and “toodle pip”. Don’t tell me I’ve flushed out another one who doesn’t have the guts to admit they’re English? I had at least been giving you credit for having the guts to do that.
        Grow a pair! Get out there and vote for independence in 2014! Be a man!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  9. Bye Jock. Get a life whilst you are away. You ‘ll need a passport to get into Cornwall, England if you chose a new life there, but I’m sure they will welcome you!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  10. 12 all at the top of the table Jock. It’s looking tight. A bit like the SPL! I bet you have got a view on that as well. Are you real or just a cartoon? Be honest now……I just keep feeling a bit sorry for you – fancy a hug from a Cornishman (Englisman)?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. You don’t get it Steve. I didn’t say it wouldn’t be tight. I had my old pal “W.S.” trying to tell me that my viewpoint was well outnumbered “here”. Doesn’t look like it to me. When there are five times as many voting against me as for me come back on and try your dumb “you’re well outnumbered” bull, again. Who knows, maybe some idiots will fall for it?
    W.S. has now quit in the huff, which sort of speaks for itself. No matter how the number of votes ends up, it’s already clear there is substantial support for the viewpoint expressed in my post. So unfortunately your comment about “looking tight” is already looking a bit desperate. Since W.S. couldn’t summon the courage to admit he’s wrong, never mind apologise, maybe you should do it for him? Don’t fancy it, eh? Maybe a little bit of a quitter, like he is, hmmm?
    p.s. have you heard yet that we will be holding the referendum in 2014?
    The Scottish Government has told the Scottish people they will have a referendum in 2014. And you think “Flashman” Dave and his Lib-Dem pal “Tefal Heid” Moore are going to stop them doing that? Do tell, Steve, how on earth are they going to do that? I’m all ears.
    The day after Salmond humiliated “Flashman” Dave by luring him into a swamp he’s finished the job by shoving his face in it. They’re running around like chickens without heads, trying to decide what to do next. None of them saw it coming. I did warn you. They are out of their depth with this guy Salmond. Way, way out.
    When “Tefal Heid” was standing up in the Commons telling everybody how the Scots couldn’t have a referendum, Salmond was telling the entire world: “We can, and we will!” You have to hand it to Salmond, eh? He has a knack for symbolic timing. Talk about giving “two fingers” to Wesminster! Ha ha ha.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  12. Jock Macsporran (and it isn’t your real name, you are probably an English ‘plant’ designed to get up the noses of real Scots and persuade everyone that we are better off not running our own country), while your first post remains a draw in the like/ dislike stakes, all your other posts are overwhelmingly disliked (as is every other thread you have besmirched with your foul rantings). Smell the coffee, you just aren’t liked.
    We are a proud nation, and need decent, hardworking and positively motivated people if we are to make independence a success. Your sort, who rely on abuse and aggression, will be of absolutely no use whatsoever after independence, and are more likely to hinder the process before and after the referendum. Shame on you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • It IS my real name! Which means all of your insults above were DEFAMATORY and subject to litigation if I so choose. So I think you better watch your mouth, don’t you?
      Smell the coffee: I’m winning 13/12 in the “like/dislike” race. So it appears I am liked. By the Scots on the forum at any rate. And you’re telling porkies again! Shame on you.
      Quite ridiculous stuff from your Westminster Tories. Two months ago they said it was okay for Scotland to hold a referendum – and today they are trying to say it’s illegal.
      They’d say the “moon’s a balloon” as long it meant they could keep their greedy hands on the wealth and resources of the Scottish nation.

      Oh dear! Looks like you’ve gone a bit quiet now! Made a blunder on the real name thing did you? Never mind, I will think of you when I’m spending the money you’ve paid me in court damages.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. Looks like a big win for the Coalition Government and all Unionists to me , Salmond has been forced to name the date of the referendum against his will and with no consultaion with his MPs or much of his party .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Oh dear, what makes you think that the First Minister has not consulted consulted with his colleagues or indeed that the referendum date in 2014 was not determined some considerable time ago.You make a great mistake if you think that Mr Salmond has been “panicked” into precipitate action. Other events taking place in 2014 determine to a degree when the referendum wuould take place and anyone aware of those could have worked it out.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. K1, your political naivety knows no bounds.

    Of course Salmond and the party have known the date of the referendum for some considerable time, and have been waiting for the most opportune time to release it.

    It coincided almost to the minute with the daft statement by Michael Moore that Holyrood could not legally hold any referendum, not even a consultative one.

    Foot well shot by Moore there.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • As an ‘undecided’, come the referendum, I must say the interference by David Cameron was not called for.
      I say this as someone who is broadly middle of the road, and fair minded and definately not pro Salmond.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  15. Salmond’s panicked TV appearance only goes to prove the contempt he holds the Scottish people and Scottish parliament in . Any announcement of this nature by the First Minister should have been made to MSPs in parliament .

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • ‘Panicked?’ Were you watching the same man? I haven’t ever seen him panic. And your accusation of ‘contempt’ is just laughable.
      Grow up.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. Folks.

    Best just to leave “Jock” alone.

    He doesn’t get it when he’s being wound up….too easy; its not sport anymore.

    But, more importantly, the more he rants the more damage he does to the Independence cause.

    Chin chin Jock, old bean.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  17. Ha ha. The pathetic old “we’re only winding you up” ploy! The last refuge of sore losers everywhere. Anyway, I thought you were in the huff, my old English bean?
    p.s. at least as many of the “folks” agree with me. And you still don’t have the guts to admit it.
    But you’re right. It might be better for you to button it. As you will have read above, the defamatory statements made about me on a forum where I am using my real name are actionable in a court of law. Not the sort of thing you want to gamble on.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. Looks like “Cartoon Jock” (real name has been masked to protect the infantile) has been out-voted 15-13 and has possibly gone to bed under strict orders to get some sleep as it’s a school night.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Steve – my view is not heavily outnumbered here as was claimed. You are just making an even bigger fool of yourself. Come back and crow when five times as many have voted against me as for me. That’s twice I’ve told you that and ignoring it is the action of a child. And for the last time – even an idiot like you should be able to understand this – I am using my real name. You are therefore making defamatory statements against an identifiable individual that are actionable in a court of law.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • Just for clarification, and without prejudice etc etc, the like/ dislike system works as follows:
        The green thumbs up symbol indicates approval, and the red thumbs down symbol indicates disapproval.
        The number alongside each symbol denotes the level of approval or disapproval.
        Not so complicated to understand after all.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. Aye – your worst nightmare – an independent Scotland poplated by Jock McSporrans, being endlessly lectured to by Smug Salmond, pontificated to by Newsie on every subject under the sun and where high Scottish culture roams aimlessly (and repeatedly) between Gaelic quiz shows, Only an Excuse and Still Game.

    Nightmare.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  20. I really don’t want to disagree at all with School Defender, but I don’t rate Cameron as a shrewd political operator. His history when dealing with matters outside England is actually pretty poor.

    His decision on the merger of the Official Unionists with the Conservative Party in Northern Ireland not only led to the demise of that party at Westminster, it also may have been instrumental in denying him a majority. The Democratic Unionists and the Official Unionists would, in the past, have been possible partners for the Tories but the decision wiped out one party and alienated the other.

    Of course there are a number of factors influencing the timing of any referendum, but I do think that enough time needs to be given to it and that there should also be enough time for other business to be dealt with in the Scottish Parliament as well.

    With the council elections due this May, the European Elections in 2014 and the next Westminster elections due in May 2015 to hold the Referendum in 2013 would mean there would have been no year without major elections from 2010!

    A referendum on independence is the most serious matter that voters are likely to face and it needs to be treated as such. It needs proper preparation and a good time for people to ask questions and receive and consider answers.

    Personally, I have moved my views considerably over the last years and I’m sure I am not the only one. However, what I would want is a vote for independence based on confidence in the great diversity which makes up modern Scotland and not as a vote against any group.

    For me one of the most stirring things I have seen which made me proud of Scotland was seeing MSPs sworn in using languages in addition to English. They included Gaelic, Italian, Scots, Doric, Arabic and Urdu.

    For me this is what a modern independent Scotland would be: a nation of people from a variety of backgrounds and cultures who neither deny their own heritage nor attack those whose heritage is different, but value what diversity can bring. That would be worth campaigning and voting for!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  21. Not really sure how to respond to all of this but will try to pick out some key points that jumped out to me.

    The ‘gerrymandering’ debate is an interesting one. There are those who say that ex-pats living in England shouldn’t be allowed the vote as why it would be daft to give the vote to a collection of people who have chosen to leave Scotland and therefore are likely to vote for the benefits they have acquired through being a Scot living south of the border. At the same time Anne, quite reasonably, said that the referendum should be open to the current electoral role (and I am sure she mean the role in Scotland) which would therefore provide a vote to non Scots living in Scotland (which I am one of and I make no attempt to hide my nationality so no need to jump down my throat Jock). Is that not open to an accusation of double standards as it promotes a vote for non Scots who have decided to live in Scotland (and you would assume are happy here, as I am) but denies a vote to Scottish people who have made a decision to live outside Scotland?

    The BBC, I am sure we will all agree, has always been far too closely aligned to the Westminster Government of the day and the majority of its political programming is frankly embarrassing – whether that is to do with Scottish Independence, the war on Iraq, or going back to the days when Thatcherism brought the ‘joys’ of mass child poverty to the United Kingdom. Jock is of course correct that they should be impartial however they are not and haven’t been for decades. There is little or no chance that people will be educated on the pros and cons of independence by the BBC, no more likely than they will be through British newspapers (arguing either way). It is for the politicians to make their cases and make them well. It is also for people like us to debate these cases without reverting to generalisations which, for me, debase any consequent argument.

    Political persuasion is a tactical beast with many strategies to consider and shortfalls to beware of. The margins is where the majority of the focus will be spent, without taking too much of an eye off those who are considered ‘safe.’ If the pro independence movement makes a good job of demonstrating the benefits of independence to the margins whilst unionists sit back and let them get on with it without offering a credible counter then it is obvious that the unionists are playing a losing hand and just hoping to scrape through. If the unionists are truly committed to the union rather than being impartial to whether or not Scotland are part of it then they need to fight a much better fight then they are currently doing. However it could be that a number of them visualise the union as adequate with, or without, Scotland and are happy to allow Scotland to make its own mind up.

    Personally, as someone on the margins thus undecided how I will vote, I would prefer for my vote to be based on positive information rather than deciding based on insufficient information or due to one side ‘opting out’.
    On here I often read kintyre1’s fierce defence of the union and equally Jock’s fierce defence of independence yet I don’t recall either actually saying anything that makes me objectively weigh up the two options. That isn’t me picking particularly on kintyre1 or Jock, I am really just using them as examples as there are many others doing the same thing.

    What Scotland, or maybe more specifically the independence movement, does have going for it just now is that it has a majority government that is head and shoulders above its competitors in terms of the electorate and, in my personal opinion (and I stress what I have stressed before – I am not party affiliated) is more politically capable than its competitors. This gives it a powerful base to push to allow the people of Scotland (and I deliberately say that rather than Scottish people) to voice their opinion on the future of Scotland. However, as Spiderman knows well, with great power comes great responsibility and I hope that the SNP respect the position they have been put in and treat with referendum in a manner that is true to this responsibility. By that I mean they need to be open and transparent so that anyone how votes is voting based on accurate information free of bias. That is a difficult thing for any party to offer up which is another reason why I feel the unionists need to provide the counter arguments and do so in a constructive manner rather than sticking their fingers in their ears and just screaming ‘NO! NO! NO’

    I have as much time for David Cameron as I did for Tony Blair and that amount of time is exceeded by the time it has taken me to write this sentence. It would not surprise me in the slightest if he, and many of the Tories in his party, would happily wave goodbye to Scotland as it is not exactly a geographical area where the blue flag flies high (at least not that blue flag!) however people should not confuse the Tory Party with England. There are people North and South of the Border who want to retain the Union and politicians North and South of the Border who want likewise. They should speak up and speak up loudly so we can have a proper debate about this rather than it resorting to cheap jibes and uninformed presumptions about ‘what might be’ – this is far too big and far reaching issue to be dealt with and debated in that manner.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  22. Re. ‘gerrymandering’ – there is established international precedent that referenda of this nature are open to residents of the country at the time and only residents of that country. Voting in any referendum will be confined to people on the Scottish electoral roll. It would be kind of strange if my wife and sons were all eligible to vote but I wasn’t because I have only been here 45 years, do you not think?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Webcraft

      Agree entirely that it wouldn’t be fair. That would also remove my vote and having lived in Scotland for the best part of 29 years (bar a year or two away) and with Scottish children I would also object to not having a vote.

      I think confining it to the the Scottish electoral role who live in Scotland is the appropriate way to go (not aware of the international precedent but happy to take your word for it).

      I am not so convinced that it is appropriate to extend voting rights to 16/17 year olds as this does give rise to accusations of identifying what is possibly considered to be a sympathetic market and opening the doors to it. It smells a little of Thatcher’s redrawing of the boundaries which gave the Tories a massive boost in 1987 (at least I think it was 87).

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  23. Would Scotland still be a democracy if independence was to be acheived by the SNP?

    In a democracy is it not expected that political parties would abide by the laws of the land?

    It appears to me that the SNP are a bunch of anarchists (assisted by a few thugs). If the power to hold such a referendum has not been devolved to Edinburgh then it should not be held until the law is changed – that is democracy in action. For slippery Sam to throw a wobbly and throw his rattle out of the pram and insist that he will hold a referdum is anrchistic and really like aa 2 year old having a tantrum.

    But then, this is to be expected as historically the SNP have always been anarchists.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • I wouldn’t say it is rubbish. I can’t agree with the accusation that the SNP are anarchists and certainly not the ‘assisted by a few thugs’ jibe.

        However the legal problem is one that has to be overcome (and I am 100% sure it will) as constitutional matters have not been transferred from Westminster. I don’t believe for a second that Westminster will use legal arguments to prevent a referendum being held and, even more extreme, to block independence if it gets to that point however any split needs to be legally competent and therefore this is an issue that needs to be addressed.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • If and when independence, to some further degree to be decided by the Scottish electorate, is established, my question is what happens to the SNP? To what degree does its current support rest on the quest for more independence, or – to put it another way – to what degree might the electorate consider the SNP’s job done once a ‘steady state’ of national determination is reached?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Jimb

      By your rather strange assertion,there are a large number of anachists presently in Scotland?
      It beggars belief that you can make this claim.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  24. If you look at the past activities of the SNP it is, in my opinion fair comment.

    In the 1950s the SNP daubed every available surface with the party symbol, usually accompanied by the slogan,”End English Rule”. Is that democracy in action? It backfired as the general comment was that the SNP loved Scotland so much they were covering it in graffiti. One night activists painted END ENGLISH RULE in large letters on part of the retaining wall at Lyle Road in Greenock. The next day the area awoke to find tthats somebody had added the letterrs DEF to the start of the slogan which most people found funny and it stayed that way for months.

    Then there was the anti White Settlers campaign which w as xeenophobic if not racist.

    In the 1980s their campaign against the legally imposed Poll Tax encouraged people not to pay it and left thousands of poorer people in debt while leaving concils without money they should have had to provide services for the community. A large amount of money has been spent trying to chase up the non payers. Is thiis democracy in action?

    An activist of my aquaintance sold his car, TV etc. and rented replacements so that the Bailiffs could not collect his non payment. Is this democracy in action?

    Frankly the party has shown no real concern for the welfare of the people of Scotland. It was too busy chasing its one and only aim – independence.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Are you talking of past times jimb? Then please don’t forget to inform us of all the good done by those trusty fellows that Scotland has been voting for for more years than I remember.Those good old Labour/Tory/Liberal fellows that have done so much to build infrastructure to the degree we see all around today…………If you have some sensible arguments for Scotland in the good old Union then here we are waiting with baited breath!!!
      Meanwhile,thoses of us too impatient to wait forever,have been reading up on the trusty www for the information we seek.Try it jimb,it’s a relevation !!!!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  25. JimB – I have to give credit where it’s due and you are SUPERB!

    Superb at getting people rattled and superb at reminding us of some of the wonderful moments of the SNP’s history.

    But I think you are really not seeing the real enemy here. You will find there are some people out there, like me for instance, that are just so flippin scunnered by being ruled by the muppets of Westminster that it wouldn’t matter if wee Shug fae Paddy’s market, Sean Connery or Lucifer himself were running Scotland just now – you would see this as what it is – our first chance in centuries to be rid of these nitwits in Westminster.

    I remember even as a wee girl telling my teacher in Primary school that if I could have one wish, it would be to saw Scotland off of the UK and drag it down to the Caribbean – and I am not and have never been an SNP supporter.

    I couldn’t give 2 hoots who is the party of the moment – it could even be the BNP – this is our shot at Freedom and I for one will be voting for Independence on those grounds.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  26. Ta Crazy, I’ll take that as a compliment. Unfortunately I am not rattling people hard enough as they are still looking at things through dark tartan glasses. I think the specs must be Black Watch tartan.

    Let us not forget that we elected our share of the muppets as you call them. Let us also not forget that the more able people, generally speaking, head for London and the second stringers Holyrood, but if that is good enough for you, then so be it. I would also point out that the English complained, with some justification, of being ruled by Scots throughout the labour years. This doesn,t bode well for an independent Scotland.

    Pity George Galloway wasn’t elected really, he has the wit to liven things up.

    Alison – If you think my last post was all fantasy then you must be one of the 16/17 year olds hoping to vote on this important topic. Don’t you have some homework you should be getting on with?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • JimB – oh dear, that is quite depressing actually, if you look at it from your point of view. That would mean Alan Reid is the best we have to offer from Argyll.

      Now that is sad.

      On the subject of electing those muppets – I remember looking at my voting slip and thinking, which is the lesser of all these evils…

      There was genuinely no-one from this area I actually wanted to vote for at all. The same cannot be said about the Scottish Election.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • And here we have from the horses mouth exactly how confused the unionists really are!

      ” Mr Moore claimed that any referendum would be illegal unless it had the backing of London. The Lib Dem MP also refused to back calls for 16 year olds to be allowed to take part, despite lowering the election age being a policy of his own party.

      However this was different from a statement from Mr Moore back in May 2011 when he promised that the UK coalition would not stand in the way of an independence referendum run by the Scottish Government.

      Speaking days after the SNP’s historic win last May Mr Moore said: “”I firmly believe the Scottish Parliament, if it so decides, can proceed with a referendum,” and added: “We could, I suppose, try to make a constitutional issue about where the powers lie or don’t, but I don’t think that would be a sensible use of anybody’s time.”

      Mr Moore isn’t the only Unionist politician to concede the SNP have the power to hold a referendum.

      On Dec 19th, shortly after being elected leader of Labour in Scotland Johann Lamont told the Daily Record: “There is nothing inhibiting him [Salmond] calling a referendum, giving us a date, making sure there is clarity in the question and then engaging in a hard political debate about which future vision for Scotland people want.”

      I can only wonder at the contempt that these people have for the Scots,when they blatantly lie to suit themselves.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  27. As for the grafitti campaign that was mentioned by someonelse in one of the many threads on the referendum on this shambling site.

    As for the activist – I am not revealing the name in the interests of the persons privacy.

    Ask around re the Poll Tax campaign it is on record.

    Take off your tartan glasses just for a minute – it is amazing what you can then see. If at the end of the day you chose to disbelieve me that is your problem, not mine. You will have revealed yourself as the fool not me as there are plenty of people here who could vouch for it.

    Read Crazy,s last post again.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • People who are losing the argument fall back on the “tartan glasses /braveheart b*****ks that abound right now.
      But Scotland needs to let England go do it’s thing and we can’t hang about giving them comfort anymore!

      You gotta realise that when a relationship is over …let it go and build something that is just as strong and important as the uk once was,but is no more.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • As far as loosing the argument goes it is you who is loosing it as far as I personally am concerned. I, to my everlasting regret, voted in favour of the Common Market. I was conned by Ted Heath The Common Market soon became the EU as it will all too soon become the United States of Europe. If we had been given more information then I doubt if he would have won the referendum.

        There remains the chance that actually you are right and Scotland would be better off as an independent country but nothing any of you have said so far has changed my mind.

        You all seem to think that once we win the referendum we will be free. It is not that simple, winning the referendum is only the first step and this is when the proverbial hits the fan in large dollops.

        Take the national debt which I have mentioned before and was blithely told it will be shared on a percapita basis. Who says so? It will be subject to negotiation and if you think, the English, Welsh and Northern Irish will agree to this when a large chunk of it is propping up 2 Scottish Banks, you are nuts. In fact some English contributors have said the same.

        I for one need to see a whole lot more detail if I am to be convinced that seperation is the way to go.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • One Scottish bank (I was there yesterday at RBoS HQ – very plush it is too). I have commented on this in detail on an earlier thread. As I calculated, if RBoS is entirely given to the Scottish Government then this makes less than an extra 10 billion in Government debt being transferred but this “debt” is in fact equity so may repay itself if the banking sector recovers.

          While there is a possibility that the asset division could be made on a different basis than per capita, this would be a lot more complicated so I think the most likely division will be per capita and would probably produce a rather similar result.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • What sbout HBOS, headquarters in Edinburgh or so I am told.

            What is 10 billion between friends. Mind you there is another factor here and that would Scotland’s financial rating be. If it is not AAA then the 10 billion could effectively be 20 or 30 billion in terms of the interest we might have to pay on the debt.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • JimB: HBOS is entirely owned by Lloyds and so is an “English” bank if you are divvying up the banks. Lloyds has a division that is HQ’d in Scotland but it is not a Scottish bank, whereas RBoS is HQ’d in Scotland and is not owned by anyone other than its shareholders.

            The financial rating of an independent Scotland would be determined at the time but there is no reason to suppose that it would necessarily be down-rated from AAA. The actual rating will depend on the economic policies pursued by the Scottish Government and how that is viewed by the market. If you look at similarly sized Scandinavian countries then you would anticipate that Scotland would retain a AAA rating (as would RUK).

            As to the debt division, we are talking about sometime in 2015/2016 depending on how long negotiations on dissolving the Union take. By that time the national debt may be considerably lower than it is at present and (hopefully) the banking sector will have recovered and so the overall debt may be considerably lower than it is today. Or have you no faith in the policies being pursued by the Coalition Government in Westminster?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • So -
      the grafitti campaign – ‘someone else said…’
      the activist – ‘I’m not telling.’
      the Poll Tax campaign – ‘ask someone else.’
      Great! That’s all your raving substantiated then! I’ll away and polish my tartan specs.
      Jim, I do hope that you’ll actually listen to the debate over the next couple of years and come to an informed decision, whatever that is. I see from your comment above that you think we should have had more information before the EEC referendum – you’re probably right, which is why I’m glad we have plenty of time to discuss the implications of this one. The details are coming, and you’ll have your chance to vote like anyone else. And just for the record, you and I will probably vote differently, but that doesn’t make either of us a fool, just different.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • I suppose you are going to deny that the SNP once had a campaign against English people living in Scotland who were referred to as “White Settlers”.

        Are you also going to deny that the Stone of Scone was stolen from Westminster Abbey by SNP activists, and that this priceless relic from Scottish history is effectively lost. (If separation oomes about then I forecast that the stone will miraculously reappear.)

        Two more examples of the murky past of the SNP which I am sure you will deny. You might want to make it a hattrick and deny the Holocaust while you are at it.

        Since these are all true some of you might begin to understaand why I would find it difficult to trust your party. I have been trying to get behind the tartan specs to see why you are all so sure seperation is best but I am left with the impression that antienglish xenophobia is the main factor as it has been in the party for decades if not forever.

        I suppose you are going to deny this too Alison. By the way it is time to read the next page in the activists handbook my dear, this asking for proof of things that are common knowledge is beginners stuff.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • Jimb..Sorry to burst your bubble!.but Stone of Scone is presently residing in Edinburgh Castle,after being returned in late 1990′s.

          Correct me if I’m wrong,but we are now living in the 21st century and the SNP,like many others have also moved with the times.It’s a natural process.

          You’re seeing things that don’t exist. With all due respect Jimb neither the SNP nor their followers,apart from a rabid few!! are anti English.In fact,look closely at the SNP team and many are indeed English…I am myself!

          And please ditch the Holocaust reference…it is unworthy and uncalled for.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • There was a lot of dubiety about the returned stone and its history. I was never convinced that it was the geuine article.

            Yes there are quite a few white settlerss in the SNP and as I recall it was realisation that the party was alienating potential members that led to the end of the campaign.

            I have no idea what motivates an English person to move to another country and then join a separation party. England must be a strange place indeed.

            I am not appologising for the Holocaust reference. Even if you are English and can be let off for not knowing the history of the SNP don’t you think that if one word was untrue the learned Doctor and his cohorts would have been down on top of me like a ton of Eisdale slate.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • I guess I am the learned Doc but I assure JimB that I don’t spend all of my time on For Argyll. In fact I spent a fair amount of the week at a series of seminars on low carbon enterprises led by professors from Harvard and MIT and held at the RBoS Business School. Very interesting it was too and I spotted a certain Wendy Alexander sitting opposite me.
          As to the Stone of Destiny (also known as the Stone of Scone), you are probably correct in assuming that the one currently lying in Edinburgh Castle is a replica with the “real” stone squirrelled away somewhere else. Of course there is a deeper and much older tradition that the stone that was stolen from Scotland by Edward the First after he had invaded Scotland was nothing more than a rough bit of sandstone that the monks at Scone palmed him off with while the real stone was hidden somewhere. The original stone (which was supposed to be Jacob’s pillow)was described as black and smooth. I don’t think the high spirited liberation of the stone from Westminster Abbey can really be rated as the best example of the despicable activities of the SNP regardless of whether the stone that was given back was actually the one that was moved from the Abbey in the first place. There is a man in Argyll who knows the definitive answer but he is not telling!
          One way to find the truth out about the stone (or stones) is to vote for independence as when we achieve that I guess the truth will all out.
          I cannot remember any SNP sanctioned campaign against English people ever but I am not a dyed in the wool party member. Anne would probably have a better recollection on this. Scotland is not immune from racist nutters of course and I can well believe that some of these may have made such expressions. The so called Tartan Terrorists (SNLA) are a good example of these extremists but, as Wikipedia points out, the numbers involved were tiny.
          As has been pointed out, the modern SNP is about as far removed from a xenophobic organisation imaginable. Mr Russell MSP, an SNP cabinet minister and former chief executive of the SNP is English. He and the thousands of other English people that are either members or supporters of the SNP surely demonstrates that the party is well removed from racism.
          I also think your comment about the holocaust was distasteful and suggest you remove it.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • Is it not strange how the old stories emerge again and again. I have associations with the SNP in Argyll for almost 50 years and I can say with absolute authority that there has never been na campaign initiated by the poarty agianst “white settlers” and the term, as it was used in the 60s and 70s did not refer to English people. The origin of the term stems from colonial East Africa where people from the old country settled and expected and followed a lifestyle that rejected local custom and practiceand followed their own imported mores. Such settlement in the Scottish highlands was similarly described but was directed as much to people who came from urban Scotland as from down South-many “white settlers” came from Edinburgh and around!

            The SNP has always welcomed members from all corners to its ranks and several of our MSPs and many of our members have origins or connections from furth of Scotland.That is not inappropriate in a nation that can only be described as extremely varied in its genetic mix.

            The Stone of Destiny was stolen from Scotland by Edward 1 of England and was repatriated by Scottish students in 1950 They were simply making a political point and most effective it was! I have it on very good authority that whatever the authenticity of the stone taken from Westminster it was the same one that was left at Arbroath Abbey and eventually returned to Edinburgh Castle in a much less effective gesture on the part of the Scottish Office in the 1990s.

            The SNP is fairly unique as a national movement in that it has existed for decades and has never used anything other than the democratic approach to seek to achieve its stated aim of restoring Scottish sovereignty.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • To Ken: my recollection is that the students who repatriated the stone dropped it and it broke. They had the stone repaired but placed inside it a note that stated that this was the real stone. Modern imaging techniques would quickly show if there was indeed a note within the stone in Edinburgh Castle. I have heard many tales of the stone including that a number of replicas were made and I have also heard (from good authority!) that one of these rather than the original was what was returned but I have no idea of where the truth actually lies. Nor do I care much as the provenance of a lump of sandstone has very little bearing on whether or not we should be independent.

            It would be nice if the original stone (the black one) would turn up though and recovering the Holy Rood would also be pleasing. But the most important ancient artefact from Scotland’s past is safe and well: the Declaration of Abroath and that is worth a thousand Stones of Destiny.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • Thanks Morag & Dr D, I too find Jim’s Holocaust reference very distasteful and won’t be engaging with him any further. There’s no need, really, is there? He’s said enough.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  28. Having not been on FA for sometime it is dissappointing to read many of the contributions particularly on this topic.
    The name of the poster tends to put you off reading many of the posts.
    It is a bit like letters in local papers where you read the name before deciding to read the letter.
    Not being open about who you are also leaves it open to the charge of ‘wind up’ or even the accusation of posting under different names saying things you do not really believe.
    Perhaps there is simply a small percentage of lonely people in Argyll….. or maybe not from Argyll!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • Are you refering to me David?

      Its not so much of a name, more of a job description.

      If it is me, I humbly apologise for my choice of name and any offence it may cause.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. When it comes right down to it…..who are any of us?

    Are you in fact David Graham?

    Who is David Graham?

    Is Crazy who she says she is?

    What any reader or poster has to do is consider the views,rate them,engage with them or not!

    But don’t disregard a post by the name above it……that’s not engagement at all!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  30. This is drifting into the ‘Who is John Galt’ arena and I’m not sure any association between the SNP and Ayn Rand’s political philosophy is healthy for the Independence movement!

    Joking aside though I very much welcome threads like this. Yes there do sometimes drift into unproductive generalisations and emotional chest beating however they also start to tease out some of the key points that require discussion and debating. That alone is more than the politicians are currently giving us.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. Reading JimB’s recent reply to Morag it strikes me that there’s a thin line between acerbic comment and outright boorishness – particularly if the writer really is passing responsibility to others to correct mistakes of fact – and Easdale doesn’t have an i in it (not a typo) so that’s me done my bit to keep you straight, JimB.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. When you are reduced to picking up spelling mistakes you are getting a bit desperate aren’t you?

    The only usefull info I have managed to get out of the SNP brigade, and that took some work, was that there are no details as yet.

    Yet despite what amounts to no data to base a decision on many apparently intelligent people have concluded that independence would be better for Scotland. How?

    I am told it is not a result of watching Braveheart too often (once?). I am told it is not anti-english Xenophobia. I have deduced that the decision is not based on facts or data.

    Doesn’t leave much, it must be belief and blind faith in the party or the leader. If so, this is worrying.

    Perhaps you could enlighten me as to how your decisions were reached without data.

    I see on the BBC news pages an expert (as far as I know) has said that Scotland would be a net contributor to the EU so no benefit there then.

    I have left you a spelling mistake or two, mind you if this site worked properly all the time it would be easier to correct them.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • JimB: I suspect people can give you their detailed reasons for wanting independence for our country until they are blue in the face (and not in a Mel Gibson blue in the face fashion) and you would still bemoan the lack of detail. Your deduction that it is not based on facts or reason just shows that you need to improve your powers of deduction. If you search through my contributions to this site you will find my hopefully well reasoned and certainly thought through motivations for wanting Scotland independent.

      Just a wee point on your comment about Scotland being a net contributor to the EU (if we are still in it). This would mean that Scotland’s economy would be stronger than the EU average, thus suggesting that an independent Scotland would be doing pretty well for itself.

      And just to turn the tables a bit, why do you feel that Scotland should not be independent?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  33. So it is oil revenues quel surprise. Funnily enough nobody seems to have mentioned these. Did you read the figures in the link you provided? They are running out and will not last for ever, also the reserves are more difficult and expensive to extract probably leaving less margin for the Scottish goverment to milk unless the cost to the public goes up.

    I cannot square the circle of being nothing if not generous to the less fortunate. When the more easily extracted supplies in the north sea were extracted from the 1960s the whole of the UK benefitted. To say to your fellow countrymen you’ve used up your oil, I have moved and we are keeping our oil to ourselves seems bizarre. I am quite happy with it being Britains oil and used for Britain’s benefit.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • JimB: The Norwegians (same size as Scotland, similar energy reserves) became independent of Sweden in 1905. It remains outside of the EU and has its own currency. Faced with the North Sea bonanza, the Norwegians took a very different course from the UK. Both the UK and Norway set up national oil companies but Mrs Thatcher made sure that Britoil was flogged off as soon as possible (and at a deep discount). The equally imaginatively named Statoil remained in public hands in Norway (currently 67% owned by the Norwegian Government). Statoil thus not only pays its taxes to Norway but the capital value of the company remains part of the wealth of the Norwegian nation. Norway enjoys the presence of a major oil company head quartered on its soil with all the attendant jobs and infrastructure.

      The second thing Norway did was set up a national oil fund (actually two funds but let’s not become bogged down with details). As of the valuation in June 2011, it was the largest pension fund in the world. As of 31 December 2010 its total value is NOK 3,077 billion ($525 bn), holding 1 per cent of global equity markets. With 1.78 per cent of European stocks, it is said to be the largest stock owner in Europe (Wikipedia). In the UK we applied school boy economics to the oil money and spent it all propping up high levels of unemployment and dark pits of urban deprivation. No investment in the future and a national debt now about three times that of the Norwegian oil fund.

      The Norwegians go further. They obviously read their bibles and took note of the parable of the talents. Far from just hiding their talents under the national bed or keeping it in the banks, they began to think about the post-oil world and determined to use their wealth to build the industries of tomorrow and, more than that, to build the industries that they could be good at and which were a fit with their national resources and outlook. I had the honour a few years back of being an international referee to the Norwegian Government’s Fuge programme which set out to develop a biotechnology industry in Norway. They especially looked to focus on marine biotechnology (my speciality) and aquaculture. Norway pretty much owns the salmon industry globally and they are working away on second generation aquaculture industries.

      They think of and build the future so they will continue to have a living post-oil.

      The Norwegian oil fields are part of the same North Sea basin that Scotland’s oil fields inhabit. They are equally finite and suffering the same depletion as the Scottish fields. No doubt this decline is causing investors to pack their bags and flee Oslo in droves and the money markets are busy discounting Norway’s credit rating and the currency is spiralling downwards as investors lose faith in a nation so dependent on dwindling oil reserves? Err no. Norwegian GDP per capita is 4th highest in the world. It has a triple A credit rating. The Legatum prosperity index puts Norway in the number one spot in the world for 2011. My only criticism is the price of beer and the national fetish for eating fermented herring (not so keen on their support for whaling either)..

      The Norwegians invested wisely; the Union did not and Scotland has very little to show for the North Sea oil wealth. When a thinking Scot looks at Norway he (or she) wants to weep at the lost opportunity. Had Scotland seized its destiny in the 1970s then not only would the Scots be much better off but I believe the RUK would be better placed as well. Without the easy fix of Scotland’s oil, it would have invested in economic policies that would have genuinely transformed the economy rather than being content with high levels of unemployment and increasing social disparity.

      But it is not too late for Scotland. Yes, oil is important for Scotland’s economy post independence but so are our Higher Education, Food and Drink, Tourism, Financial, Clean Energy and light engineering sectors. Sensible use of the 40 or so years of remaining reserves will allow us to invest our wealth into the future so that when oil finally disappears we will have a strong, diversified economy more than capable of supporting our population in a civilized state similar to that enjoyed by the Scandinavians. Properly done, we will not notice the economic effect on the day the last well-head is closed off.

      So that’s my vision for an independent Scotland in twenty to thirty years time. What’s your vision for us if we stay within the Union?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • I visited Norway this summer and was hugely impressed with their country and their attitude. I cruised on their coastal ferry service-the Hurtigruten – from Bergen to Kirknes, close to the Russian border, and back. IY is clear that their transport infrastucture has benefitted hugely from investment the considerable length of their coastline and numerous tunnels and bridges connect and link nearby offshore islands where practicable.They have a thriving fishing industry which still exports considerable quantities of fish to Mediterranean countries and they eat a lot of their own fish over and above the vintage stuff they dig up!

        Sure the beer is expensive but that is deliberate and the standard of social services matches a very high standard of living.

        We have much to learn from our Northern neighbours.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • Interestingly, Norway has also used surplus oil funds to support rural infrastructure and their domestic aquaculture industry. As such, they are global leaders in salmon production generating an annual revenue of over £2 billion.
          As a model for independence, Norway is perfect, but then again they got it right from the very start.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • I recollect a Norwegian ‘false start’ at the beginning of the oil boom when the government didn’t know how to handle it, resulting in rapid overheating of the economy and damage to native commerce & industry until they learnt from their mistake, established the ‘rainy day fund’ and got their act together.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  34. JimB, if I’m part of your Britain, why can’t I see the benefit? What infrastructure did that oil build anywhere near me?

    The new superfast rail link won’t make it here for the same reasons no other benefits did. Your “Britain” is the South of England and the rest of us aren’t in it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      • CC – Aberdeen: jobs – yes, prosperity – undoubtedly, infrastructure – a harbour that can’t be accessed in some sea and tidal states, an airport that’s only now acquired a runway of a reasonable length, a bypass that’s caused a huge and long running argument and still hasn’t been built. Also (on the plus side) some excellent academic institutions, and all the commercial and industrial development that you’d expect to find to service the offshore oil business way beyond the North Sea – but on the other hand, a run-down city centre that’s been neglected for far too long, and a city council with a very dubious track record in recent years and which is seemingly determined to rebuild the only major city centre public open space against the wishes of the majority of citizens, because a very successful son of the city is waving lots of money at them (the same person who – as chancellor of RGU – handed Mr D Trump an honorary degree).

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        • The reference is to the high speed train line but I was confused as well as to the point of the question. Regardless of whether Scotland is independent or not my understanding is that the cost of the high speed line north of the border would fall to the Scottish Government. However, what was exercising the SG was the fact that the existing planned line in England goes nowhere near the border so even if we fund our portion there is nothing to attach it to.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • True, Dr M, but one line of thought is that – rather than the truly British notion of building out from London towards the bundu (very slowly) – there’s more real benefit to building out from the farthest (and slowest) end to afford the longest distance travellers the most time gain, rather than just shaving a small amount of time off the already rapid journey between London & Birmingham. So a Scottish high speed line from the border to branch to serve both Glasgow and Edinburgh might be worthwhile. Just as in France, this would attach to the existing line onwards, which in time would hopefully get the high speed treatment over Shap and down to the present projected eventual end of the English HS2 somewhere near Manchester. If this Scottish line was somehow affordable fairly soon – say by continuing the budget line created for the new Forth crossing after it’s completed (in the same way that the London Crossrail budget line is being continued to finance HS2) – then the journey time would shrink substantially even without the ‘missing link’ in the North of England. And you never know, it might inspire the already neglected people of northern England to abandon a London-centric government and throw in their lot with Scotland.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          • Robert: you put your finger on the real weakness of trans UK transport initiatives – Westminster cares even less about the North of England than it does Scotland.

            If I was choosing a rail project to fund within Scotland, I think I would prefer to create a high speed line running from Glasgow Airport to Glasgow Centre then onto Edinburgh Airport and terminating in Central Edinburgh. Having been on the Mag-Lev in Shanghai I think the investment would be worth it just for the fun of the hurl!

            On a more sober note, you are right in that the further you can attract rail passengers from the more beneficial the project will be as it will pull passengers off short haul flights. Birmingham to London is just pathetic in this regard (though I guess there are some numpties who do fly between Birmingham and London).

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

    • It wasn’t all ploughed into infrastructure as such. The Labour goverment spent a lot of it on education and health. Just about every school building was replaced, those that weren’t were re-equiped. Language laboratories were introduced and lab technicians. Outdoor centrea were introduced and Teachers’ Centres for inservice training. Many new hospitals were also constructed. (This a brieif summmary of benefits you are more likely to have come across.)

      Then along came the Tory party and the Chancellor, Norman Lamont threw the rest away by bringing the top rate of tax down from 65% to 40% ostensibly so that the super rich would not have to continue getting massive annual increases. I have detected no reduction in this area but rather an acceleration.

      I think you have been looking in the wrong direction, Anne.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  35. JimB,
    Where I live I can’t see any of that, but I moved here from Glasgow fifteen years back. Twenty-three years ago, in that metropolis, I gave birth to my first child in a hospital whose windows were so rotten the midwives had stuffed them with towels to keep the cold off the babies (but whose staff were so dedicated and excellent I chose to return). Five years later he went to a Victorian built school that had newspaper stuffed into similar gaps. Far from seeing new buildings I wasn’t even seeing new windows and since I lived in a reasonably affluent part of the city I dread to think what facilities the more deprived areas had.
    What I saw during those years was an endless run of rallies in George Square as our industries closed and various manufacturing businesses were given incentives to move south. The roads I drove on had EU signs telling us we had qualified for the funding because we had some of the worst conditions in Europe. If they built something new, maybe we were too busy with the liferafts to see it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  36. Anne Baird.
    I suggest you take a trip to Dundee to see all the new schools built there in the past seven years under the PPP model. Another school St John’s High School was completely re modernised to bring it up to the standards required for the 21st century.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


All the latest comments (including yours) straight to your mailbox, everyday! Click here to subscribe.