Another untold story: Independence and The UK National Lottery

At the moment, the profits from the UK National Lottery siphoned off to the range of bodies who fund good causes, are distributed across all parts of the United Kingdom.

As a current members of the United Kingdom, Scotland benefits hugely from this funding, in a variety of ways.

For example:

  • The Awards for All scheme has been like a national water table, bringing modest grants of up to £10k to small community projects everywhere. How many of Scotland;s communities – how many of Argyll’s communities – have seen their sustainability supported by timely funding awards from this important ‘cinderella’ scheme?
  • The biggies – like the BIG Lottery Scotland Fund, the Gaelic BIG Lottery Fund, the Growing Communities Fund, the Heritage Lottery Fund, SportScotland, Creative Scotland, Support and Connect… there are so many – have poured major funding into big capital projects all over Scotland – like £4 million to the Isle of Raasay for the purchase of Raasay House; and like, here in Argyll, the inspirational Atlantic Islands Centre for the Isle of Luing, which got about three quarters of a million pounds. Campbeltown’s Picture House has an application in progress.
  • Aspects of support for education, health, disability, the Gaelic language and culture, environment, communities, minorities, activities, capacity building, theatre, music, art, dance, film… are all currently supported in no small measure from UK National Lottery funding sources.

An independent Scotland would have to match this  funding input or accept a loss of growth and development that really has made a difference.

An independent Scotland could not responsibly replace the current lottery input from its own resources, given the very great demands upon its budget from its massive social costs and what would be a numbing cost burden to support a significantly swollen public sector.

So the loss of this now-familiar source of funding would be felt throughout Scotland and at all levels.

If Scotland were to be independent, Scots would still be free to play the UK National Lottery games, win or lose – but the country, communities and major community and national projects would have no right of access to the ‘good cause’ funding that results from the profits of that lottery.

We would imagine that the takings from subscriptions to the UK National Lottery would change very little were Scotland to become independent – those who play would continue to wish do so and might well have an increased need to do so.

The profits, however, which would also be little changed, would be distributed amongst the continuing UK, which would benefit substantially from such a situation.

Scotland could run its own Lottery but the potential rewards would be, by dint of a population a fraction of the UK, very modest.

The current UK population is 62.24 million [2011]. The current population of Scotland is 5.30 million [2011]. An independent Scotland would see the population of the continuing UK at 56.94 million – a massively bigger lottery catchment but one which which would be swollen by Scots continuing to play.

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Related Articles & Comments

  • Another stunning, in-depth and unbiased article. Really love this site!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 19

    Hugh McNeill May 31, 2013 11:52 am Reply
  • How would this impact on HIE?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 5

    Lowry May 31, 2013 11:57 am Reply
    • Rather substantially – on the budgets it effectively controls, on its role in highland life and development and on its influence.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 5

      newsroom May 31, 2013 12:00 pm Reply
    • Why would it? I’m not aware that HIE receives any Lottery money – am I wrong in that?

      As to this as an issue – well silly season has indeed started (and has been going on for a while around here). Adam Smith once famously said that a lottery is a tax on fools but they have been a good source of tax revenue for governments the world over. For an independent Scotland there are a number of options. It could run its own lottery and could take on the franchise for the Euromillions if the size of the jackpot is a necessary driver. All of the money raised in Scotland could be spent in Scotland. The other possibility is to reach an agreement on sharing the current National Lottery and the proceedings divided so as to guarantee that all of the proceedings that are raised in Scotland is re-invested (minus the running costs of course). Neither of these options seem particularly problematic.

      Adam Smith might be tempted to observe that someone who based their decision on how best to govern their country on access to a lottery is doubly a fool.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 17

      Fletcher of Saltoun May 31, 2013 12:16 pm Reply
      • Margaret Thatcher based a good many of her policies on the political ideologies of Adam Smith, the SNP seem to be following in her footsteps!

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 9

        Mary Walker May 31, 2013 12:31 pm Reply
        • I suggest you have a read of “Wealth of Nations”. Adam Smith would have had little time for Mrs Thatcher or any of her ideological children.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 13

          Fletcher of Saltoun May 31, 2013 12:43 pm Reply
          • No, but as I’ve just commented Mrs Thatcher had a lot of time for Adam smith and quoted many of his economic philosophies in her speeches.

            The Adam Smith institute is a right wing think tank.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 11

            Mary Walker May 31, 2013 1:12 pm
        • yeh yeh that’s right –free tuition , prescriptions travel nhs —yes the similarities with Thatcher is unbelievable. What a load of cobblers Mary Thatcher/Blair and Brown (no more boom and bust),Cameron are all made of the same stuff.

          PS

          If my name was MacDonald do I cook burgers?

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          h20 May 31, 2013 2:35 pm Reply
          • h20 – We don’t know your name so how could we possibly know if you cook burgers?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 5

            Gus Mackay June 1, 2013 1:22 am
      • As you will certainly know but choose to fluff, HIE is the lead body administering the Growing Communities Fund for BIG Lottery Scotland – and it may well administer other relevant ‘good cause’ lottery funds as well.
        This role has given HIE a very substantial budget to distribute, with all of the associated patronage and influence in Highlands and Islands communities as well as in business life.
        Were HIE to have been only the enterprise agency they are supposed to be, with capital and revenue funding given from government sources alone, its reach would have been limited to the business community, and to a limited degree given that the funds it had traditionally been allocated were modest.
        In being the agency for the managing of the Growing Communities fund, with a scope to award grants of millions of pounds, HIE reached into community life in an unprecedented way and one which its normal state funding could never have enabled.
        The loss of UK National Lottery Money will mean a loss of jobs in HIE – since there are officers whose responsibilities are centred on the administration of Growing Communities.
        It will mean a substantially smaller budget to distribute and the loss of patronage and influence that devolves from being the keeper of the keys of the safe.
        Significantly, since the Community Land Fund is rolled up in the same blanket, the loss of the BIG Lottery Scotland Growing Communities and like funding, may well impact on the achievable outcomes from the work of the Land Review Reform Group.

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        newsroom May 31, 2013 1:13 pm Reply
        • I’m not quite sure why you think I should be an expert of HIE funding but I have had a look at the HIE and the Big Lottery web sites. The only mention of current involvement between the two is in relation to the Scottish Land Fund where the two work in partnership supporting community buy outs. I did find a report on the Growing Communities Fund which did indeed say that HIE used to be the lead partner in helping distribute the funding but it seemed to suggest that this ended in 2010. Can you point us to a contemporary web page that backs up your assertion that HIE are currently in charge of this programme?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 9

          Fletcher of Saltoun May 31, 2013 3:47 pm Reply
        • I’m not convinced that you understand much about HIE: you state that its support for companies would be modest whereas it invests millions directly into Highland and island based companies as well as supporting lots of infrastructure. It has an annual budget of £75 million. Your suggestion that it would be largely ineffectual without access to Lottery Funding is bizarre. HIE (and its predecessors) has always had a strong social remit which distinguished it from SE.

          I would also like to point out that far from being an untold story, this was covered in the Herald some weeks back – and dismissed as inconsequential then.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 14

          Fletcher of Saltoun May 31, 2013 3:52 pm Reply
          • Our understanding of HIE’s operations with the Lottery good causes funds has not been wrong. We are happy to accept that the Growing Communities Fund – which you admit HIE DID manage, may well now have been replaced by a current fund – and we are glad to see that you are now aware of the potential impact of the loss of lottery funding on a politically visceral issue – the Community Land Fund, which HIE manage.

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            newsroom May 31, 2013 3:59 pm
          • No, I don’t accept what you have said and I suspect that I have just caught you out on another complete piece of nonsense. Your argument was that if Scotland became independent then HIE would suffer terribly because it is administering Big Lottery Funding. However, it looks as if HIE are NOT now administering the fund you mentioned. they are working in partnership with the Big Lottery to deliver the Scottish Land Fund, funded by the Scottish Government but administered by the Big Lottery in conjunction with HIE. This fund in total is worth £6M: so is only a small fraction of HIE’s annual budget (though vitally important for community buy outs).

            As far as I can see, the money for this fund actually all came from the Scottish Government. http://www.biglotteryfund.org.uk/scottishlandfund

            So loss of Lottery money would have no impact on HIE.

            Details of this funding can be found here:
            http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2012/02/landfund20022012

            I am happy to be corrected if any of this is wrong but it looks as if your assertions are completely wrong. Would you care to apologise or at least correct your earlier postings?

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 12

            Fletcher of Saltoun May 31, 2013 4:22 pm
          • You’re really wriggling on a pin here, Fletch.
            We did not say that HIE would ‘suffer terribly’, we said, in a comment response, that it would be ‘substantially affected’ – and that is the case.
            BIG Lottery Scotland runs each fund over a period and then replaces them with new funds which are differently oriented, but often still aimed at the same target beneficiary sectors.
            We don’t know what may have replaced the Growing Communities Fund but we are in the process of finding out and will report when we get the pcture.
            The overall issue here is that the way the lottery good causes funds are distributed, through a range of organisations with specialist interests and access – like HIE, SportScotland,Creative Scotland, Gaelic BIG Lottery Scotland…. and through the combination of support for premier league capital projects and for small scale but genuinely useful community development projects through Awards for All, funding from this one root source makes a serious impact on lives and jobs in Scotland.
            There are very many jobs involved here, in the various bodies who distribute the good causes funds: advisers, accountants, evaluators, mentors, managers…
            The overall impact of losing access to UK National Lottery good causes funding will be a significant headline figure – but its impact across the board in communities in Scotland and on businesses at all levels, with contracts that would not have existed had the good causes funding not enabled them, will be genuinely felt. And then there is the multiplier.
            Think on.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 7

            newsroom May 31, 2013 4:36 pm
          • It is not me who is wriggling on a pin: it looks as if the information you posted was incorrect (again). I am happy to be corrected but it looks as if the impact of losing Lottery funding on HIE would be zero. If you can show that I am wrong in this then I’m happy to be corrected. If not, then an apology from yourself for misleading people will be in order.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 10

            Fletcher of Saltoun May 31, 2013 4:46 pm
      • If income to the National Lottery did not change much then why should they change their rules on distribution of the money? Are they allowed to do so anyway, I would not surprised if there is something in the legislation preventing it. It also might not be popular in the UK if they guaranteed sending a proportion of the money to a foreign country.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

        Lundavra May 31, 2013 1:32 pm Reply
        • You can’t buy UK National Lottery tickets abroad. And the legislation don’t allow you to buy on-line without checks that you’re in the UK. So if Scotland leaves the UK, we wouldn’t be able to buy continuing UK Lottery tickets, nor benefit from its fund distributions.

          An independent Scotland could set up it’s own Lottery. You could reasonably expect its income to be around 8% of the UK ones, since that’s our population share. Jackpots too – ceteris paribus – could be 8% of UK counterparts, ie around £300,000 for tomorrow night.

          But – we all know that sales rise when jackpots soar. So how well would sales hold up with jackpots regularly below half a million? I don’t know. Nor does anyone is my guess.

          Now, I don’t really like any form of gambling, but that’s my opinion. However, it’s among us, and the Lottery is designed to have community benefit. So, if out Lottery landscape changes, we need to understand the full consequences.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 5

          Mairi May 31, 2013 1:49 pm Reply
          • If there were an independent Scotland, many people would have family connections south of the border and others would have good friends. Could dedicated lottery players use UK accommodation addresses to allow them to play?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

            newsroom May 31, 2013 2:01 pm
          • Unlikely – the web security on playing online checks IP address location, and checks for country. So if you’re abroad on holiday you can’t even update standing order bank details, for example.

            The clincher would be if you won big … and had to give your non-UK address… you’d forfeit your winnings, I think 😮

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

            Mairi May 31, 2013 2:11 pm
  • That’s me swayed.

    There I was thinking the Euromillions was Europe wide.

    Wait a minute – if Scotland is in Europe and the rest are out, where does that leave us?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 12

    Patsy May 31, 2013 11:59 am Reply
    • Up a gum tree, basically.
      The EU has just entered its sixth successive quarter of recession.
      Forecasts of global economic growth have been revised downwards within the last few days – on account specifically of continuing and serious concerns about the health of the EU and of the Eurozone in particular.
      The UK economy, on the other hand is showing reliable signs of recovery at last.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 9

      newsroom May 31, 2013 12:04 pm Reply
    • Under the control of that nice iron lady Angela Merkel!

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      Mary Walker May 31, 2013 12:09 pm Reply
  • August 2013 would be a good time for another global banking colapse LOL

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

    Keith McMillan May 31, 2013 12:11 pm Reply
  • £2 billion of lottery money was used to subsidise the London Olympics (i.e., used for managing the event and providing stadia, not for supporting athletes).

    Can we therefore expect to see Glasgow getting £2 billion of lottery support for the 2014 Commonwealth Games management and infrastructure? No? Didn’t think so.

    Not important enough. The Scottish cringe prevails.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 15

    pm May 31, 2013 12:19 pm Reply
    • Not cringe, whinge.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

      Dugald Barr June 1, 2013 10:31 am Reply
  • Apologies this is apost relasting to a number of different threads rather than specifically this one.
    I get so bored just hearing the term ‘cybernats’ – it is a pathetic schoolboy name that is being used, more often than not, by people who are as guilty of the associated ‘crimes’ as those they are accusing. Independence is an emotional debate and it is inevitable that there are going to be people in both camps who, with little of actual substance or value to say, resort to fairly petty name calling (and occasionally something more threatening). As someone still sitting on the fence in this debate I don’t see that either side is particularly worse than the other and I still don’t think either side has been particularly ‘better’ than the other in terms of putting forward credible arguments to support their position.

    The independence debate started as a fairly demoralising procession of accusations and denial and, since then, has deteriorated even more. For me the ‘No’ campaign(ers) have failed totally to convince me that there is good reason to stay in the UK and ‘Yes’ campaign(ers) have failed to persuade me that there is sufficient to gain, and enough assurances over associated risks, to leave the UK.

    If I had to choose between the two now (and was forced to go one way or the other) based purely on what has been said over the past year or so then I would say the ‘Yes’ campaign has been marginally more constructive (but really only by a tiny amount – certainly not enough to persuade me to vote for material change, which, unfortunately for the ‘Yes’ campaign is an obstacle they have to overcome that the ‘No’ campaign doesn’t). So far I have not heard anything positive from the ‘No’ campaign – their focus appears to be entirely on negative campaigning.
    .
    This lottery issue is just another example of how neither side of the argument is putting forward proper arguments to allow the public to decide. Will Scotland get lottery money? We don’t know just now. So what would be best? I would have thought clarifying that before spouting off to the media about it. Let us start to consider issues based on factual merit rather than ping ponging around scaremongering and denial. That is a criticism of the ‘No’ campaign’

    However equally we have the issue of the level of the debt Scotland will take on. The ‘Yes’ campaign claim it will be an amount which conveniently ignores future debt already committed to (which would double the actual debt level) and then comes out with a claim that they might be able to walk away without any debt. So again what do we have to decide on bar pathetic political gesturing.

    Politicians on both sides of the argument are not coming out of this in a good light. It is painting a picture of a country being run by petulant overgrown teenagers!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 9

    Integrity? May 31, 2013 12:43 pm Reply
  • I’m reminded of British cycling supremo, Sir Dave Brailsford’s marginal gains theory. He argues that you get the success you seek not via a single, magic solution, but by the accumulation of many small, marginal gains. So you get a marginal improvement in performance from better wheel design, for example. Then also from a specific training technique. Add on state-of-the-art wind tunnel practice. Latest advances in psychological coaching. And so it goes on. Each on their own won’t be enough. But taken together you have a recipe for winning.

    So it is with the arguments for staying in the UK. Of course, the reduction in Lottery funding for local good causes – on its own – is unlikely to sway voters. Nor will the probability of fewer Olympic golds, as Chris Hoy pointed out. No-one will consider mobile roaming charges at Carlisle – on their own – to be a deciding factor. Or even the probable absence of many TV programmes and BBC radio channels currently enjoyed by people in Scotland.

    But taken together – the accumulation of marginal arguments, if you like – it creates a very powerful case for staying in the UK.

    For this reason, I think it wholly warranted to investigate – in detail – what all these practical consequences of independence would be. What would it really mean to me? What differences would I experience? And if my local good causes would be affected, I need to understand the full implications.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 20 Thumb down 7

    Mairi May 31, 2013 1:38 pm Reply
    • Tremendously put Mairi.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 4

      Jamie Black May 31, 2013 3:19 pm Reply
      • Thanks Jamie 🙂

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        Mairi May 31, 2013 3:29 pm Reply
  • The National Lottery dispenses funds as a proportion of revenue spent by players. “Good causes” get 28p for every £1 spent on tickets, which means that – assuming grants are more or less proportionately disbursed across the UK – Scottish players have purchased £8.2bn of tickets in order to get £2.3bn back in grants. Of the rest, 50% comes back in prizes, 12p (or just under £1bn) goes to the Treasury to use as it sees fit, and 5% (just over £0.4bn) goes to Camelot in costs and profit.

    In other words, the lottery has COST Scotland around £1.4bn since it began, in money siphoned out of the country and given to the Westminster government and the Camelot Group, based in Rickmansworth in south-east England. Or if you prefer, every £1 of “grant” cost Scots £1.61 to obtain.

    (It’s actually slightly more than that, as retailers also take a 5% cut and many tickets are sold by non-Scottish supermarket chains, but let’s keep things simple.)

    In essence, the lottery has stolen Scotland’s wallet and then handed it back with a large chunk of the money missing, and the No campaign wants Scotland to be grateful for the gift.

    Another hilarious FAIL for the NO campaign – or at least it would be hilarious if so many intelligent people like Mairi – weren’t apparently in danger of being taken in by it.

    You are correct that the little things can add up to a lot and need looking into – so it is, sadly, necessary to look into each and every one of the NO campaign’s scare stories.

    It is a bit one-sided though because the NO propaganda machine (and I include this site in that particular collective) are not themselves honest enough to check the details of each and every scare story they whip up and pump out. Their tactic is to drown us out with sheer volume and quantity.

    One by one these scare stories are looked into in depth and refuted by diligent YES campaigners, but too late – by the time the real truth is out we are another ten scare stories down the line. It is an insidious tactic, and one that the NO campaign are currently using to great effect.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 18

    Webcraft May 31, 2013 2:08 pm Reply
    • In other words, the lottery has COST Scotland around £1.4bn since it began, in money siphoned out of the country and given to the Westminster government and the Camelot Group, based in Rickmansworth in south-east England. Or if you prefer, every £1 of “grant” cost Scots £1.61 to obtain

      ROFL!!!!! And the band played ‘Believe it if you like’…

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 5

      Jamie Black May 31, 2013 3:17 pm Reply
      • You should have tried harder at school, Jamie. Especially at arithmetic.

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        pm May 31, 2013 3:23 pm Reply
        • Thanks, but I wasn’t focussing on the arithmetic. It’s the mindset.

          It’s actually quite sad that so many Nationalists on this site and other think this way about everything.

          I have plenty friends who wish Indy, but none have the ‘we’re hard done to’ attitude that is prevalent here.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 4

          Jamie Black May 31, 2013 3:35 pm Reply
    • Webcraft

      “… so many intelligent people like Mairi…” – thanks – I’ll bank that wee compliment 🙂

      Your characterisation is a wee bit biased, I’m sure you’d admit yourself.

      * The billion that went to the Treasury is money that everyone in the UK benefits from. It is contribution on the income side, so we in Scotland gain from it exactly as everyone in Wales, Northern Ireland and England does.

      * Retailers come in all shapes and sizes. So whether it’s a locally owned corner shop, or a major multiple, lottery sales help their overall trade, and therefore jobs. Again, that’s a proportionate thing across all parts of the UK.

      * Winnings – they’re also broadly proportionate to all parts of the country.

      * Camelot shareholders – some of them will live in Scotland, and collect dividends. Or pension / insurance funds managed here might have an interest in Camelot; again, a benefit to Scots, as it is to those in England, Northern Ireland and Wales.

      To argue that “the lottery has stolen Scotland’s wallet and then handed it back with a large chunk of the money missing” is an argument against gambling, not a serious argument in favour of independence. The Lottery has no more stolen money from Scotland than it has from any other part of the UK. So to suggest that the Lottery is somehow anti-Scottish is just not credible.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 4

      Mairi May 31, 2013 3:27 pm Reply
    • Good post Webcraft.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 20

      Fletcher of Saltoun May 31, 2013 3:42 pm Reply
    • As someone said, the lottery is a tax on the stupid. I don’t doubt the analysis is correct but its a bit rich to paint the lottery as ever being any form of ‘investment’ you should expect to see any return from.
      The point of the original post holds true though – lots of UK lottery money funds things the taxpayer can’t or won’t. If Scotland is independent then how can it be part of the UK national lottery, especially if the UK decides it doesn’t want to open it up to a 3rd nation? Its not going to be a choice Scotland has the luxury of making. Ergo, no input, no output and many charities and good causes will have to look to other forms of funding or the Scottish taxpayer or close.
      Maybe the SNP will talk about doing a deal with the westminster government. Its becoming a stock answer and as every day passes is sounding less and less like true independence and a lot more like Devo Max!

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 2

      Jerry McIver May 31, 2013 5:13 pm Reply
      • Jerry: If I can summarise what this complete red herring is about: Lynda Henderson was trying to attack independence through bogus concerns over lottery funding in an independent Scotland.
        There are two lines here:

        1: Scots would continue to play the rUK national lottery but no money would come back to Scotland
        2: If there was a separate Scottish lottery then this would not attract the punters as the jackpots would be too small (your point) and so funding for good causes would fall.

        To take the first: a lottery is gambling and has to be licensed. If Scotland was receiving no income from the rUK lottery then it would simply remove the licence from the rUK lottery to operate in Scotland. As noted above, you cannot play the lottery from outside of the UK (or the Isle of Man) so after independence Scots would not be able to play the rUK lottery (unless they are physically present in England or Wales etc). So no Scottish cash leaving for the rUK lottery.

        For the second point, the big jackpot game is Euromillions. “EuroMillions is a separate game in each participating country, but prizes are pooled and shared between all winning players using the results of a shared EuroMillions Draw”. An independent Scotland would have its own lottery organisation that would run Euromillions in Scotland. So Scottish punters would still have access to these frankly grotesque jackpots and there is no reason to suppose that people would play the lottery less so there should be no change in overall funding coming back to good causes within Scotland. The smaller games should not be difficult to replicate if that’s what we want to do.

        So, another pointless piece of chaff trying to distract people from the real question: do we want decisions that affect Scotland to be made in Scotland or not?

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        Fletcher of Saltoun May 31, 2013 6:35 pm Reply
        • You are using the standard grubby little cybernat tactic of attempting to demonise a person when you cannot dismiss the issues.
          I am amused to see you singing my name so regularly now, like a Holywood witch doctor in a war dance. It will not deter either for Argyll or me personally from investigating and reporting on the key issues around the independence decision.
          What has brought about my own movement from support for independence to opposition to it is growing awareness of the serious issues to which the Yes movement has no substantive answers – and the fact that they are virtually all economic and financial. This speaks of a toxic marriage of incompetence and complacency, a sort of ‘Never mind. The Bravehearts will buy it anyway.’
          Maybe they will – but the Bravehearts, like one swallow, will not make a summer of Yes.
          Scotland ought not to walk blindfold into a decision which is irreversible and which all of the evidence now shows will impact negatively on the lives of every one of us.
          The bottom line is that – with time available since 2007 – the Scottish Government has not made any serious attempt to do the work that had to be done to show the Scottish people a robust and honest picture of the future. It has relied on promises of a land of milk and money, of oil and no toil, of everything Scottish being ‘world class’, whatever that means.
          Yet when it had the chance to showcase this ‘world class’ capability, the Scottish Government had no confidence that Scotland could deliver even ‘commonwealth class’ when it mattered. It is impossible to justify the decision to award the contract for the opening ceremony at the Commonwealth Games outside Scotland and to a bland corporate internationalist.
          And frankly if you represent the Scotland that might be, with an inability to confront issues objectively and replacing that missing capacity with a fondness for being personally abusive, the sales pitch is flawed at source.
          We have said – and mean – that we will energetically contribute to making work whichever decision Scotland makes – but we are determined that people will neither be deceived nor starved of adequate information into the making of a decision of this ultimate gravity. Eyes wide open – and keep singing my name, Fletch.
          Lynda
          And by the way, we note that you have been unable to produce any evidence to defend your desperate assertion of yesterday that the person who called Chris Hoy a ‘traitor’ was ‘a known unionist poster’. Tut tut.

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          newsroom May 31, 2013 8:35 pm Reply
          • I read through this diatribe and failed to find a single word that addressed my points. Instead you resort to a personal attack on me using the term “grubby little cybernat”. I suggest that when people resort to name calling they have lost the argument.

            As to Chris Hoy and the disgraceful suggestion that he is in any way a traitor, have you any evidence that this slur came from a supporter of independence? I never said he was a “known” unionist supporter – I just pointed to the argument made on Wings that it seems more likely to have come from a unionist source putting words into the mouth of an imaginary “cybernat”. You seem content to make that up along with most of the other rubbish you are constantly posting on your blog.

            Would you like to take a deep breath and try to address my points or are you just going to continue with unwarranted abuse?

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            Fletcher of Saltoun May 31, 2013 9:18 pm
          • Newsie
            You demonise enough The use of the term “grubby” illustrates this.
            As someone who stated they supported the SDLP in a past life can I ask why the swing to the right wing parties?
            Furthermore
            I keep asking the question but you never answer – scared? Is For Argylll subject to the same conditions as the press as the press complaints commission or are you defacto dictator judge jury and fabricator of tales !! Very democratic!
            Ps any resignations recently that have actually happened.?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

            H20 June 3, 2013 10:02 am
        • Fletcher wrote:

          “An independent Scotland would have its own lottery organisation that would run Euromillions in Scotland. “
          Can you please direct me to where this policy is set out? Showing how – as you assert – that would secure the same income for good causes as is currently obtained via both Euromillions and Lotto, plus all the other sundry UK-only games, like scratch-cards.

          I was not aware that this was an agreed position, like keeping the queen and the pound.

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          Mairi June 1, 2013 12:50 am Reply
          • Mairi: I’m not aware that the Scottish Government has established its position on whether or not Scotland will have its own lottery: they probably have more important things to do. My point is that Scotland can have its own lottery organisation if it wants to and this would run Euromillions in Scotland (that is how Eur0millions works). The Irish run their own lottery.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 10

            Fletcher of Saltoun June 1, 2013 8:12 am
        • Fletcher, I don’t disagree with any of your comments. The Scots may well still play the UK national lottery by crossing the border to buy tickets or by proxy through relatives in the south. They might even win. Its a great outcome for the rest of the UK who will get more money played and a bigger fund to distribute to those causes in the UK. Those Scots will go out of their way to play in the hope of winning big will be doing so in the knowledge they are actively contributing to a fund that will not benefit Scotland at all.
          I don’t know how Euromillions works, but if part of the deal is a bit of money flows back to the host country, then if Scotland chooses to participate, then it will benefit. I suppose you can assume that at least this should be self funded and not a taxpayer funded body that would administrate it.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

          Jerry McIver June 5, 2013 11:25 am Reply
  • When the Weirs from Largs won £163000000 it was a Euro lottery win.

    Will the UKIP/TORY /FA ARGYLL BRIGADE ban the Euro lottery or take the cash? I am sure Scotland will still have a lottery.

    Another pathetic non-story

    — I think I might resign — no on second thoughts– Newsie will announce it for me after consulting her crystal ball.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 20

    h20 May 31, 2013 2:29 pm Reply
  • OMG no lottery ! thats it then, Im voting to stay in the union LOL

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 12

    kgv May 31, 2013 2:42 pm Reply
  • It’s actually slightly more than that, as retailers also take a 5% cut and many tickets are sold by non-Scottish supermarket chains, but let’s keep things simple.)

    In essence, the lottery has stolen Scotland’s wallet and then handed it back with a large chunk of the money missing, and the No campaign wants Scotland to be grateful for the gift.

    Another hilarious FAIL for the NO campaign – or at least it would be hilarious if so many intelligent people like Mairi – weren’t apparently in danger of being taken in by it.

    Just in case anyone missed it. The ‘facts’ won’t increase the NO vote, but the mentality absolutely will.

    Integrity? – your post was interesting. This type of mentality prevails a lot on Yes sites (which I visit, digest and contribute to, but virtually none of my comments are ever published). Do statements like this swing you towards the YES or NO side?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 23 Thumb down 6

    Jamie Black May 31, 2013 3:24 pm Reply
    • Jamie: what sites don’t publish your comments?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 23

      Fletcher of Saltoun May 31, 2013 3:43 pm Reply
    • What YES sites do you visit that do not publish your comments Jamie?

      Please tell – or is this just another unsubstantiated smear?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 19

      Webcraft May 31, 2013 10:44 pm Reply
      • Your question says everything about you webcraft and nothing about me. Shame the debate has come to this level.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

        Jamie Black June 1, 2013 7:19 am Reply
        • No Jamie – what my question shows is that you are unable to support your allegation and so prefer to stoop to personal insults.

          Shame indeed that the debate has come to this level. I ask you again, where are these YES sites that refuse to publish your comments? Come on Jamie, surely you can give us one URL at least . . .

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 12

          Webcraft June 1, 2013 8:09 am Reply
        • Jamie: My question was sincere as I was genuinely interested in pro-Yes sites that were censoring comments coming from No supporters (other than ones that were defamatory or offensive). However, your reluctance to name them does make me wonder if you in fact made this up. If so, then I hope you will do the decent thing and just admit to it.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 16

          Fletcher of Saltoun June 1, 2013 8:15 am Reply
          • Folks, go and try bully and accuse someone else. I’m not biting.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 19 Thumb down 7

            Jamie Black June 1, 2013 9:31 am
          • Jamie: It is hardly bullying to ask you to “name and shame” the Pro-independence web sites you said were not publishing your posts. Like most “Yes” voters, I want to see as open a debate as possible and that means making sure all voices are heard. If there is censorship going on then it needs to be challenged. One of the things that is genuinely good about For Argyll is that they do not censor posts unless there is a very good reason to do so (usually legal) and that tends to be rare.

            I think everyone who makes a claim should be prepared to back it up with evidence otherwise we get nowhere.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7

            Fletcher of Saltoun June 2, 2013 7:37 pm
          • disguisedNever ashamed to make an obvious point, here are two of them:
            You claim to ‘want to see as open a debate as possible’ – but in practice you do all you can to undermine every – evidenced – point we make when we raise concerns about the fragility of the independence proposition. Moreover your efforts to undermine the issues we raise stretches quickly to attempts to cast doubt on our integrity. We do not, by the way, resent that at all. We take it as read that this is the modus operandi of a great deal too many of the Yes camp and of some of the No camp.
            You say to Jamie that ‘everyone who makes a claim should be prepared to back it up’ – yet when challenged to do so you have been unable to support your own recent claim that the person who called Chris Hoy ‘traitor;’ was ‘a known unionist poster’ working to smear the cybernats – who need no assistance from anyone. As we said in a subsequent comment, The Daily Telegraph showed that this particular piece of abuse was in the same comment as the ‘bigoted anti-Scot’ insult hurled at Hoy – from an online operator known and undisguised as a nationalist activist.
            So when it comes to pious advocations of supporting all claims made, we suggest you begin at home.
            There was a fabulously named character in Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies – well, there were two, really – Mrs Doasyouwouldbedoneby and MrsBedonebyasyoudid.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

            newsroom June 2, 2013 9:22 pm
          • You do realise that naming a site does not prove anything? But it does sound like you know which Yes sites screen pro-union comments…anything you wish to admit?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

            Jamie Black June 2, 2013 9:16 pm
          • Jamie: I’m not aware of any of the main Yes supporting sites blocking non-abusive posts but I am interested if this is going on. I have heard that it is a regular occurrence on some of the No sites (Better Together, Labour Hame) but have no direct experience of this myself. If you give the names of any sites that you feel have blocked comments from you then I will certainly have a word with the owners of the sites to see what their take on this is.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 11

            Fletcher of Saltoun June 2, 2013 9:24 pm
          • If I had the time or inclination, I could in theory send you a copy of each post and the thread, and you could watch for it never appearing.

            They simply state fairly often that they cannot promise to publish every comment but do their best. How…convenient. 🙂 good night.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

            Jamie Black June 2, 2013 10:37 pm
          • Lynda Henderson: My difficulty with your blog is that you do not evidence your points and when challenged to do so you put up smokescreens like this one. You claim that I seek to undermine your evidenced points and your integrity. I have to ask what evidence and what integrity? Real journalists check their stories and correct mistakes. You do neither. When asked to provide evidence for your claims you throw hissy fits accusing people who reasonably ask for this of being “grubby little cybernats”. You don’t see the irony of you accusing Yes supporters of abusing Chris Hoy while you use language like this and worse. Unlike Simon, I don’t keep count but I remember you calling Michael Russell a coward, a bully, incompetent and a liar. You make things up. As an example of this I QUOTE: “yet when challenged to do so you have been unable to support your own recent claim that the person who called Chris Hoy ‘traitor;’ was ‘a known unionist poster’”

            I made no such claim. Check my post: I did not use those words. What I did point to was the analysis on Wings that the language used in that post was very unlikely to have been used by a Yes supporter. I did not say that the poster was “a known unionist poster”. If I knew who it was I would have said. You go onto to say: “The Daily Telegraph showed that this particular piece of abuse was in the same comment as the ‘bigoted anti-Scot’ insult hurled at Hoy – from an online operator known and undisguised as a nationalist activist.” I asked you to provide the link to this article as I could find no reference to it in the only Telegraph article on the subject which I linked to. You have so far failed to provide this link.

            On a growing host of subjects instead of providing evidence when called on to do so or to provide a correction for statements that were false -like your untrue comment on HIE being harmed by withdrawal of lottery funding – you instead abuse people who are merely asking you to adhere to the bare minimum of journalistic standards.

            Respect is earned Lynda and you have squandered yours and harmed this site through your naked bias against the Yes campaign, the SNP and Michael Russell.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 11

            Fletcher of Saltoun June 3, 2013 8:05 am
          • I think you seem to have forgotten who is running this website, Fletch. It’s not you.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

            Lowry June 3, 2013 9:36 am
          • Lowry: So you believe that untrue statements should not be challenged or corrected; that abuse should be just taken on the chin and that we should all just sit at the feet of Lynda Henderson just because she runs a blog?

            It does strike me that it is not the supporters of an independent Scotland who seem afraid of the truth and unfettered debate.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 7

            Fletcher of Saltoun June 3, 2013 9:49 am
          • Umm – well to start with I have heard a lot of apparently untrue statements from the SNP and they are still in Holyrood.

            Neither am I convinced that Lynda tells untruths. ‘There’s no smoke without fire’ and the fury of the SNP at some of these articles seems to suggest that there is an element of fear from them – possibly being exposed for what they are or the real consequences of independence?

            What amuses me is that the SNP have stated their belief that very few people read this website whilst the evidence suggests otherwise and you continue to try to undermine it in anyway you can.

            I rather think Lynda is doing an excellent job of giving us news stories that allows us all to have healthy debate.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

            Lowry June 3, 2013 10:00 am
          • Lowry: You are of course entitled to your opinion and if your taste runs to fantasy gossip and a constant stream of bias then this is indeed the site for you.

            What enrages people (and not just SNP supporters) is the near constant postings of articles that are simply untrue. Suggesting that “there is no smoke without fire” is no excuse for an absence of normal journalistic standards.

            I don’t need to undermine For Argyll. Lynda Henderson does that all by herself.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 10

            Fletcher of Saltoun June 3, 2013 10:07 am
          • If this really is “fantasy gossip and a constant stream of bias” then why are you here?

            I would have thought that a person who believes they hold such high authority would have better things to do with their time.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

            Lowry June 3, 2013 10:15 am
          • To try and redress the imbalance Lowry. You seem prefer that it is allowed to pass without critical comment. How does that constitute debate?

            Not at all sure why you think I make any claim to “high authority”. I haven’t said anything about what I do. I certainly don’t hold any political office if that’s your implication.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

            Fletcher of Saltoun June 3, 2013 10:51 am
        • It’s a shame we’re ‘debating’ this at all!

          More speculation thrown on the waters and we all rise to the bait…

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2

          Barmore 2 June 1, 2013 1:59 pm Reply
  • Whats really hurting the jack booted ‘Yes’ campaign is that they can see the argument has already slipped away, and it didn’t take much just a few questions about the pound, Europe, Nato, the Queen and they’ve lost the debate…….not having any answers or policies didn’t help.

    Salmond thought he’d achieve independence with woffle and spin plus a good helping of the nasty brown shirted cybernats…..I’ve got to admit though I didn’t think they’d stoop as low as attacking a national treasure like Sir Chris Hoy.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 27 Thumb down 9

    Mary Walker May 31, 2013 6:22 pm Reply
    • Jackbooted is all one word I think.

      Godwin’s law . . . where would internet forums be without it? 🙂

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 15

      Webcraft May 31, 2013 10:45 pm Reply
      • ‘jack-booted’, I should have thought…

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

        Dugald Barr June 1, 2013 10:42 am Reply
        • Indeed, I had thought the same, but who are we to correct Webcraft?

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 4

          Lowry June 1, 2013 11:28 am Reply
          • Not just Webcraft, but also H2O, Fletcher, Morven, Dougie, and other persona I can’t be arsed to remember

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 8

            RichieMac June 1, 2013 11:34 am
          • Not just Webcraft, but also H2O, Fletcher, Morven, Dougie, and other persona I can’t be arsed to remember

            Eh?

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 6 Thumb down 11

            Webcraft June 2, 2013 12:47 am
    • Keep the brown shirts for the BNP and their ilk.

      Thanks

      H

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

      H20 June 3, 2013 9:53 am Reply
  • Well said Mary 🙂

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 9

    Simon May 31, 2013 8:26 pm Reply
    • Simon, you and Mary are obviously made for each other.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 18

      Fletcher of Saltoun May 31, 2013 8:33 pm Reply
      • Not just Simon and Mary – probably the majority of Scots

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 6

        Malcolm Kirk May 31, 2013 8:43 pm Reply
  • Integrity as usual, ever the moderator, a reasoned voice of balance. Post Nos 6. another example.
    The above report by Newsie has some issues worthy of concern as do many of the rolling pro ‘No’ artciles on here but for every eloquently well worded, if one sided, article such as this, there are always many equally convincing well delivered counter-arguments on other sites. The trouble is, some will choose to turn a blind eye. It is impossible for the ‘Yes’ side to turn a blind eye to the monotonous barrage of negativity shoved in everyone’s face evry time we pick a newspaper up or switch Newsnicht Scotland on etc.
    The conveyer belt of claimed hurdles post independence the cannae do’s advise Scotland will encounter, should not deter the apathetic nor fearmonger swallowing sceptics from taking a bold step to enable us to work towards something much better than mediocrity, a conjoined mid-table resignation that this is Scotland’s lot.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 10

    JnrTick June 1, 2013 12:20 am Reply
    • So who’s talking Scotland down now? And where’s the relentless positivity we were promised by the Yes-Scotland / SNP side?

      Not hearing it from JnrTick here anyway.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 6

      Mairi June 1, 2013 12:40 am Reply
      • Mairi

        There you are, damned if you do damned if you don’t.

        I have every confidence Scotland and those who reside here are more than able, have the resources, the intellect, the inventive entrepreneurial spirit to make Scotland a fairer more equal prosperous and democratic country.
        It is clearly apparent those such as yourself think otherwise, still, you have to live with your conscience.

        Being a pessimist and fearing our people are so conditioned in believing this union couldn’t possibly sell Scotland short it’s not difficult to see why the ‘NO’ supporters have a 10% lead in recent polls.
        Your friends who sell the ‘NO’ vision for Scotland have yet to show their true colours and when the battle really starts to heat up will stoop to new McCrone depths, of that I have no doubt.
        It is demoralising to witness people we share our communities with doubting Scotland’s potential, being content to permit other nations to lead us in sickness and in health regardless of the fact that the marriage has been gradually failing for some time but hingin on in there for the sake o the kids.
        Don’t let my attempt at recognising the other side’s pitch give you the impression I am anything but fully committed to a nation we can be proud of.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 16

        JnrTick June 1, 2013 1:21 am Reply
        • Jnr Tick

          I am incredibly proud of being Scottish – love the place and its people – believe we can do whatever we want. Include know a great thing when we see it. We’re not oppressed. We’re in this United Kingdom by choice.

          I love that we have chosen to belong to the UK club, if you like and enjoy all the rights and privileges that everyone else in England, Northern Ireland and Wales gets. I like that we get greater devolution, with the latest Scotland Act. And fundamentally that we enjoy the best of both worlds. We choose that.

          I resent that some people in my community think that my opinions somehow make me less- or anti-Scottish. I couldn’t be more pro-Scotland if I tried. You sound a bit like Tebbit and the cricket-team-supporting test, the way you’re going.

          And I can’t for the life of me see why I’d want to be an associate member only of the club Salmond has in mind. That way, instead of full involvement and equal powers we should be content with Westminster controlling the currency we use, and place controls on our spending plans – bonkers. They have no such spending controls now, and our MPs are part of the parliament that sets monetary policy. So we give up influence and cede control to a ‘foreign power, on our spending plans!

          That sounds pretty anti our interests to me.

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 7

          Mairi June 1, 2013 7:34 am Reply
          • Mairi;
            Thats the way so many of us think. By far the silent majority.
            Some yes campaigners should not get a chip on the shoulder when many of us feel very proud to be Scottish, while also being in the United Kingdom.
            The local fiasco in the council while not having a massive relevence on a national basis, will influence the referendum vote, and certainly do the Argyll and Bute SNP no favours at the next local election. This is in spite of Roddy being back at the helm, giving it a temporary look of hope and stability but the wiser electorate can sense this in-fighting may not be over just yet.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 7

            phill June 1, 2013 7:53 am
          • Mairi

            “I like the fact that we get greater devolution”

            Can you imagine any other country in this entire continent let alone the world saying these very words.
            “The fact that we get”?

            Whilst advising us how lucky we are at the crumbs thrown in our direction, any chance on advising us all how fortunate the electorate in Scotland are when it inherits a UK government that England’s electorate decide to foist upon us?

            Approx. 10% of the Scottish electorate vote Tory up here.

            Would you agree that the people of this country are unfairly represented at general elections at least, and if so, does that make you proud to be part of a collective that is happy to maintain that?

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 5 Thumb down 11

            JnrTick June 1, 2013 10:15 am
          • You’re seeing ghosts there, JnrTick. If I lived in England, Northern Ireland or Wales I’d also describe the situation as ‘what I get’. People who live across the UK talk about ‘what they get’ to describe things that are the result of government decisions. “Really pleased that we get that new bypass soon.” “We’ve got good schools in our area.” That sort of normal everyday language is understood by most people for what it is.

            You must have a fevered imagination to contort what I said into ‘I am grateful to receive what a foreign oppressor deigns good enough to scatter in my general direction’. Really, you do need to get out more. Expose yourself to what the general public thinks and says. It sounds like you spend most of your time talking with other separatists who believe that people like me are deluded/ oppressed/ tricked by the devious BBC. When in truth we’re just different. With a different – consciously chosen – view of how we want Scotland to develop.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 6

            Mairi June 2, 2013 6:57 pm
          • Just like being governed by London metropolis unelected Lords who don’t give a toss for Scotland or its people’s unless it is to take its resources which are then squandered.

            Of course in 50 years time First Minister Salmond will not be around neither will Mairi At least in mindset.

            What route is best for our children and children’s children?

            I am certain it is not with the discredited means tested Westminster with their Little Englander UKip view of the world.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 6

            H20 June 4, 2013 8:49 am
          • H20

            I am a tad confused. Exactly how has Westminster got a UKIP view of the world?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

            Integrity? June 4, 2013 9:18 am
          • Just for clarity. ‘Little Englander’ and ‘Cybernat’.

            Are they equivilant terms?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

            Jamie Black June 4, 2013 9:33 am
          • Not really – although there can be a sort of ‘no man’s land’ where there is a crossover between the two.
            A ‘Little Englander’ means someone whose horizons are confined to narrow borders. A ‘Little Englander’ may be either passive or an activist defending chauvinist perspectives. The term may include those with an English nationalist perspective but more usually indicates those with a narrow and perhaps defensive complacency. In Ireland, Sinn Fein means ‘ourselves alone’ – and that pretty well sums up the attitude embedded in the description ‘Little Englander’.
            A ‘Cybernat’ is not any nationalist but specifically a nationalist activist bully, operating online [in ‘cyberspace’], untroubled by reason or evidence, fuelled by blind zeal, with a digital back pack full of terms of abuse and with the sole aim of bombarding into silence any contrary view by the use of whatever comes to hand.
            People used to be intimidated by this sort of stuff but are increasingly less so.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

            newsroom June 4, 2013 11:10 am
          • H20 asked:
            “What route is best for our children and children’s children?”

            Our children are very clear about what’s best for their own futures:
            60% want to remain in the UK, according to a recent rigorous poll done by Edinburgh University.

            Only 21% share H20’s views that separation is the way forward. And even among that group more want extra information to help them make up their minds.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

            Mairi June 4, 2013 10:07 am
          • Mairi
            Your post dated June 2nd 6.57
            R.e “What we get”
            This particular phrase taken from your above post is of course describing what is delivered to this and the other countrie within the UK. Did’nt really need your explanation.
            Perhaps you misunderstood me, the point I thought I made perfectly clear was how bizarre using this term sounded, don’t you listen to yourself before you voice these words?
            As someone who believes just like any other citizen of any other independent nation that to “Get” something suggests a dependence, Iam uncomfortable with that.
            The fact is Mairi, when you say “waht we get”, we don’t actually get anything, we more than contribute from our taxes, surrender our resources etc to “Get” what is delivered here in Scotland. Are you going to deny that as a trumpeter of subserviance?
            I would be very interested to find out if Wales and N.Ireland contributed enough into Westminster’s coffers or are these countries subsidised, perhaps this is why Wales at least is not as keen on self determination?
            Just to clarify your point regarding who I spend time talking to ie “other separatists”.
            I am a private person who keeps myself to myself so rarely discuss politics with anyone outside my very tight social circle. My wife, a Tory, father in law Labour, mother in law Lib dem, in fact from four brothers only one other votes SNP and my few friends don’t do politics.
            I attend SNP meetings once a month and have been ever since I first took the time to read the McCrone report, this the catalyst (about 3 years ago) in its entirity then further investigated the viability of independence in these times. I challenged automatic beliefs I held all my voting life, I had been lazy and accepted what I had been fed and conditioned to accept. Almost three years down the line and the deeper I delve, the more of the other side’s version I am willing to absorb the more resolute I find my stance on Scotland’s self determination.
            My monthly meetings from start to finish always involve local issues, never the cause, never National issues, so the like minded people here in Dunoon who I encounter once a month are of very little influence r.e my Scottish independence beliefs.
            “It sounds like you spend most of your time talking with other separatists who believe that people like me are deluded/ oppressed/ tricked by the devious BBC. When in truth we’re just different. With a different – consciously chosen – view of how we want Scotland to develop”.
            Whether you like to accept or not Mairi, your views will have been conciously chosen whilst informing yourself through BBC sources, a hugely imbalanced national print media in favour of the status quo and other sources you choose to expose yourself to.
            Finally, as I have taken the time to repond to most of the points raised in your aforementioned post, any chance of you addressing my last point from June 1st 10.15am r.e democracy and our lack of in unfiar representation in general elections?
            Cheers

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

            JnrTick June 4, 2013 11:04 am
          • ”I absolutely make no apology for saying that the Liberals, the Labour Party and the Tories are anti-Scottish … in coming together to defy the will of the Scottish people, the democratic mandate the Scottish people gave us to hold a referendum at a time of our choosing.”

            This was the quote that sparked my interest in Indpendence. That because you are opposed to Indy, you might be anti-Scottish.

            Anyone guess who said it? She should have been sacked on the spot, but the fact she was not, says a lot.

            Even when she was filling her face when she should have been in the chamber, she still held her position.

            Second question – if you know who she is, what position did/does she hold and why might it be worrying?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

            Jamie Black June 4, 2013 11:22 am
          • It was a pretty idiotic statement by Joan McAlpine. She did try and qualify it by saying it was a comment about the leadership of those parties for trying to deny a referendum (rather than a dig at anyone supporting those parties stance on independence) however it was still very ill advised and I would have thought her background in media would have been sufficient for her to realise who stupid they were.

            Is it a resigning matter? For me, no but it certainly didn’t do the ‘yes’ campaign any favours. There are certainly a number of people who want independence, or at least undecided, but don’t necessarily vote SNP and statements along those lines are a bit of an own goal (and understandably provide rich pickings for the ‘No’ campaigners.

            For what it is worth I don’t feel that the majority of ‘yes’ campaigners that I meet have those type of views.

            (and yes I am assuming you are referring to her role on the Education and Culture Committee)

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

            Integrity? June 4, 2013 12:54 pm
    • For clarification: we have said that whatever Scotland decides, we will do all we can to help to make it work.
      Fearfulness is not in our DNA. If it were, we wouldn’t do what we do.
      The issues we examine have nothing to do with fear or with fearmongering.
      They are about simple common sense.
      We have never been automatic status quo sitters. It is evidence that has moved our position from having been enthusiastic supporters of the notion of independence to seeing the best possible future in a revision of the union.
      The serious issues that would impact on people’s personal and business lives in the sort of independent Scotland that is proposed [currency, mortgages, pensions,insurance, borrowing rates, benefits] don’t – cannot – add up because they are too expensive and far more complex and interwoven than the Scottish Government realised in time. [We will be publishing on research in these matters in the near future.]
      These issues had not been explored so the difficulties had not been foreseen. Work has not been done to explore, seriously, how core factors can be secured without too high a cost in money and in independence itself.
      We’re not getting the facts.
      All we are getting is glib ‘feel good’ assurances that we’re world class, that all will not only be well – but better. Open such statements and there’s nothing behind them.
      No sensible person would make an irreversible decision for a nation on the basis of empty envelopes.
      No sensible person would imagine that so major a change and so profound a severance could be made without cost.
      That ought not to be a problem. People are not cost-averse per se – life is about setting cost against benefit in every decision we take.
      But the costs need to be set out honestly so that people can make up their own minds on what matters most to them and what they are prepared to pay for it, either way.
      We ought not to be asked to vote away membership of something that can be shown to work to our overall advantage without being shown the costs of such a move – and actually, without being shown the benefits of it either.
      Think about that. Solemn announcements of the need to control the levers of this-and-that never say what a Scottish Government, whose political make up would vary over time, would DO with those levers – and with what precise effect.
      Potential independence is far more serious than a train set with levers to play with for the fun of it.
      The SNP Scottish Government has chosen to stick its own and everyone’s head in the sand and just keep saying it’s all going to be fine.
      That is irresponsible as well as lazy and complacent.
      The prospectus developing ad hoc as we watch, is not even any more about ‘independence’. It’s about far less than that.
      Whatever token independence is left will be unimaginably expensive – in money, in disruption, in skewing the state finances even more heavily to the public sector than they are already weighted.
      We will have to employ staff at all levels to duplicate our own versions [and to create them – ecstasy for consultants] – of an intelligence service, a diplomatic service, armed services, financial regulatory services, immigration and border controls, enhanced inland revenue and a greatly enhanced civil service to support a national government….
      We would suffer massive cost to the public purse and ongoing disruption – just to get back to how we are today. And not ONE of these ‘new’ services would make any appreciable difference to the lives of anyone.
      A country with a population of just over 5 million and an uncertain revenue base simply could not support the ongoing fiscal weight of a public sector of this scale – and to choose to pour our resources into this rather than into driving for economic growth within the union would be wilfully unhinged.
      It is issues like this – and we’ve not touched on the lack of integrity in the stance on the eurozone – that have moved our own ground strongly away from the notion of independence we had initially supported.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 9

      newsroom June 1, 2013 10:15 am Reply
      • So….how do the Danes manage it?

        You talk about cost but give not a shred of evidence.

        Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 8

        Fletcher of Saltoun June 2, 2013 7:41 pm Reply
  • Is the public ‘screwed over’ by the national lottery? For every £1 they spend, 50p goes to winners, 28p to good causes, 12p to the government on duties, 5p to retailers and the balance of 5p goes to Camelot (approximately anyway). So arguably ‘yes’ – for every £1 invested only 28p goes to good causes.

    However try and get people to just give £1 (in that volume) to good causes without there being the chance of winning and you will be fighting an uphill battle.

    Of course the lottery could have been a far more charity focused operation but this was not to be when the preposterous decision not to award it to Richard Branson was taken. However the idea that Scotland is somehow disproportionately ‘diddled’ by the lottery is an argument formed by finding a pile of straws and clutching at them erratically! In essence every pound spent by every person in the UK has been used in the same way.

    Jamie (in response to your post 11) – this sort of post doesn’t really swing me either way (in much the same way as some other posts on here by ‘No’ campaigners which are equally daft don’t swing me toward the ‘Yes’ campaign. As time goes by it is becoming more, rather than less, difficult to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to the independence debate.

    There are some good contributors on here (on both sides) who do seem to genuinely try to make their case based on rational thought and consideration of proper argument rather than political propaganda or a blinkered allegiance (often similar to that of a football fan). However there seem to be more and more (again on both sides and also, both on here and elsewhere) who adopt the American war on terror mantra that ‘You’re either with us or you’re a terrorist.’ For me it is a detrimental position to take because the only people that are going to be influenced are the ones who have already made up their mind anyway. The undecided floating voter is rarely influenced by diatribes, especially if there is a patronising or ugly tone to the argument. There are particular posters on here (and again I emphasize on both sides) who are regularly guilty of this. I am going to name names as it is purely my opinion rather than a matter of fact and I am sure many would disagree with who I name.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

    Integrity? June 1, 2013 11:35 am Reply
    • I presume that should say ”I am not going to name names…’

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

      Laurence Slavin June 1, 2013 7:11 pm Reply
  • Well said Integ.

    Been avoiding commenting on this article because I do not want to be dragged into this Yes/No lunacy that has swept over the site.

    The only decision I have made about Independence is that I am already sick of hearing about it.

    I have expressed my disgust at the decision to not give the Lotto to Branson when they could have before on here, but IF – please notice I say “IF”, we become Independent, then doesn’t that give us the ability to correct that?

    A non-profit Lottery, meaning all profits go to good causes? What if one of those causes was also the NHS? Taking the 5% of Camelot and 5% of the government – or even more?

    I for one would start buying lottery tickets again if I knew that was what my money was supporting.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

    Crazy She-Bat June 1, 2013 1:11 pm Reply
    • The lunacy spreads far beyond this site.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

      Jamie Black June 2, 2013 9:35 am Reply
  • John Major finished off what the Blessed Margaret begun, the destruction of the British work ethic. Way back when we were the respected engine of the world, people did not wake up every morning dreaming of where their next windfall would come from, they got out of bed and earned it.
    If there is to be a lottery in the Independent Scotland, then it will never prosper. Lotteries used to be held in Mediterranean countries and other backward states that we seldom spent much time thinking about.
    Only the love affair with debt has caused us more harm. Sloshing money around and building up peoples hopes will never replace well placed, and well trained, human resources in the fulfilment of a healthy and just society.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

    Murdoch MacKenzie June 3, 2013 7:27 pm Reply

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