Related Articles & Comments

  • Some of the loonier people in the independence campaign seem to think they would be independent virtually the day after a Yes vote.

    I remember there was a TV programme about the Royal family and Scotland a few years ago. Someone (Salmond I think but not 100% certain) said that it could take up to ten years to sort out all the issues involved in independence so not changing the role of the Royal family would be one less thing to have to deal with (I am still sure most of the SNP leadership are diehard republicans and would get rid of the Royal family as soon as possible but some don’t want to admit it).

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 8

    Lundavra June 9, 2013 5:08 pm Reply
    • Some of the loonie people in the no campaign thinks the future queenie Camilia is beautiful and loves Scotland

      As for newsies hard work in producing such guff can I just remind the UKip Tories coalition will have a referendum in leaving the union which as timeline goes will take us up to 2020. If England votes to leave Europe & Scotland votes to remain what will happen?

      New Milliband Labour and Lamont will follow the Tories in means testing, support fighting in Syria and at the same time cut conventional defence forces while supporting a weapons system that would kill millions as a virile symbol for the politico’s in London who are still lining their pockets on a day to day basis..

      Newsies in depth report ( ironic) avoids how over the past hundred years and even more recently countries survive being independent . Is Norway ok, Estonia, Latvia, Finland etc.

      I do not know of one country wanting to return to their previous positions. Why?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 23

      H20 June 9, 2013 5:24 pm Reply
    • Only changes for royal family would be different titles for a few of them … union of crowns isn’t included in 2014 referendum & there might never be a referendum asking that royal question

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 1

      Iain June 9, 2013 6:22 pm Reply
    • Maybe if your are to quote you could remember the facts first like who said what when and where and not conjecture.

      On the Gin like the Dukie ess of Cornwall?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

      h20 June 12, 2013 10:10 pm Reply
  • Another massive outlay would be the cost of establishing embassies abroad. The UK has numerous embassies, most of which will have been purchased long ago when property was cheap. They are well staffed and serve the needs of UK citizens when overseas. Can you imagine the time that it would take and the cost to an independent Scotland of acquiring all the required properties and then staffing them ? No doubt the Ambassadors roles would be jobs for the boys. Scotland’s population could not fund an ambassadorial presence that would have a coverage and range of facilities to match those of the UK. The duplication would be a ridiculous waste of money and Scots abroad would end up with less support than they have now. The SNP preach the benefits of economies of scale when seeking to change the police force, fire service, court system, etc., rightly claiming that it reduces costs by avoiding duplication. Why then is it a good idea to duplicate the framework of every UK public service function ?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 22 Thumb down 11

    Digger June 9, 2013 5:30 pm Reply
    • The UK already shares embassy space with other commonwealth countries. It’s absurd to suggest it wouldn’t do the same with an independent Scotland.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 14 Thumb down 15

      Arethosemyfeet June 9, 2013 6:23 pm Reply
      • No problem – Scots in the UK diplomatic service are legion, all they’d need is two hats and the ability to keep a straight face in the event of widely disparate foreign policies. The cost of salaries, pensions etc would ideally be split pro rata according to the respective populations of the two countries, but if the UK Chancellor of the Exchequer were to be a Scot (quite possible, given the number representing English constituencies) then there could be some hard bargaining on this point.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 8

        Robert Wakeham June 9, 2013 8:34 pm Reply
      • And charge them for it hopefully, I hope you are not expecting the UK taxpayer to subsidise am independent Scotland to provide embassy services. I would hope they would charge enough to make a profit out of doing so.

        I suspect that a lot of the items listed would continue to be provided by the UK but they would charge for doing so. The alternative might be to contract out provision of some of them to companies like Serco, G4S, TNT etc.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

        Lundavra June 10, 2013 8:27 am Reply
        • eh –there is no uk taxpayer if Scotland controls her own affaires as there is no uk !!

          Seems your happy for Scotland to subsidise England at present.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

          h20 June 12, 2013 12:21 am Reply
    • Digger: we already pay a population share of the costs of embassy services and through SDI already operate a quasi-independent overseas business intelligence and networking service (one of the major function of embassies). The existing embassy facilities belong to the UK and will have to be divided on dissolution or a cash equivalent allocated to Scotland if rUK wishes to hang onto all of the embassy buildings and residencies. Those assets (including the SDI offices) can be used as the initial base for our overseas operations at little additional cost. It is common for countries to share consular services to look after the interests of citizens and it is likely that we would share facilities with the rUK and other EU members, especially in back of beyond locations.

      It really isn’t the big deal that unionists like Lynda Henderson like to make out.

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

      Fletcher of Saltoun June 10, 2013 11:31 am Reply
      • Ah – hello Fletch, back singing my name for the start of the week.
        Don’t forget that I was pro-independence until interrogation of the realities produced the evidence that it cannot lead to anything remotely resembling what most of us regard as ‘independence’, that the costs will be crippling and that there is no economic development plan in existence that is worthy of the name.
        So I have become a unionist through the necessary processes of reason and analysis. I did not start as an autopilot unionist just as I was not an unthinking supporter of independence.
        Moreover my interest in the independence proposition was not born of any alienation from the Union – but from an interest in whether we could do better.
        The fact that the current independence prospectus is, as you demonstrate, increasingly latching on to continuing provisions of all kinds from the Union demonstrates that we cannot do better, we can only try to get away with self-centred cherry picking.
        The fact that Scotland would end up still needing to be an effective part of the Union to benefit from its services and its financial power would mean that this country had been foxed into spending a fortune for what would be no more than vanity ‘independence’, with a few expensive ruritanian flourishes – like the suggested Scottish coronations – to make us look different. This is becoming increasingly daft.
        The power of reason is supposed to distinguish the human species. It seems perverse not to use it.
        Would you care to specify the European members states you consider to be ‘the back of beyond’?
        Lynda

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        newsroom June 10, 2013 11:53 am Reply
        • Just where is your evidence that the cost will be crippling? As usual you shout “doom, doom” without much in the way of hard evidence to back this up. You are entitled to an opinion and a vote but this “article” is just more of your poorly thought out and frankly trivial dumbing down of the most important decision we will have to make in our life times. Why is it that Scotland is so uniquely cursed that, despite the quality of our people and our natural resources, we alone could not make a good job of being independent? How did the almost one hundred other countries that have become independent since WW2 manage?

          And in case you haven’t noticed, the real danger and expense is in staying with a UK economy that is becoming deeper and deeper in debt with no obvious way back.

          You stick with mediocrity and stagnation – at best. I have a rather more optimistic and ambitious view of what my country can achieve through its independence. Should Scotland be an independent country? Yes it should.

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          Fletcher of Saltoun June 10, 2013 12:02 pm Reply
          • Characteristically, you avoid the single major issue which this article highlights.
            Where would the money come from in the limbo period between Decision Day and Independence Day – to fund the massive developments to prepare for Day 1?
            Let’s hear you on the issue for a change.
            Moreover, this article certainly provides the evidence – of what would have to be in place by Day 1 if we were independent at all and able to function; and of the debt burden, the cost of servicing it and the inability of predictions even of favourable annual oil revenues to pay for the servicing of that debt alone. The figures are above. And THEN, on top of this, there will be the substantial debt of the huge setup costs incurred in the limbo 18 months before Day 1.
            The problem is that when the evidence provided is uncomfortable, it is easier to pretend it’s not there and to shriek bizarrely about lack of evidence.
            Trying to brush away the reality of the debt burden by saying that we might simply not accept it is a card any small time bankrupt would love to play. Can you see the everyday courts buying into that one?
            Scotland has had the funding over the years – more than our population size entitled us to have. We cannot in honour default on our responsibility to pay the cost of that.
            What sort of moral high ground would a new country inhabit if it chose to be born as a deliberate debt defaulter?
            I could never support anything so dishonourable and I imagine there are many others who would feel the same recoil.

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            newsroom June 10, 2013 12:15 pm
          • Lynda: Some of us have real jobs to do and don’t have the time indulge you by responding to everyone of your increasingly ludicrous claims. Even Simon – no friend of the SNP – thinks your list of impossibilities is just silly.

            To take the issues you highlight and deal with them quickly:

            debt: you fail to acknowledge that the debt problem is caused by the UK Government. Scotland contributes more in tax revenues than it receives back. The GERs budget has Scotland in deficit simply because of the allocation of a share of UK debt to the Scottish budget. This is included in £9 billion of allocated UK expenditure that is not spent in Scotland but is allocated to us as part of our share of the UK costs. You ask how Scotland will service this debt but not ask how the UK will service its much larger debt but on the back of a poorer GDP ratio, import/export and proportional tax base than Scotland. Basically, if Scotland cannot service its share of the UK debt then the UK will be in an even worse state to do so. And this is your argument for us staying IN the UK?

            You assume that there will be an actual transfer of debt on independence. This is possible but unlikely as it would require creditors to agree of a transfer of UK debt to both Scotland and rUK. The UK Government has made it clear that it wishes to be the continuity state after Scottish independence. The Scottish Government has made it clear that it would look to pay a fair share towards servicing the UK debt. The debt is likely to remain with the rUK but Scotland agreeing to cover a share of it. Most likely way this would work would be for Scotland to pay the interest on an allocated share of the UK’s total interest bill plus some repayment of the capital. The interest rate would be fixed between the rUK and Scotland and the terms negotiated between the two governments.

            Dealing with the UK debt is indeed a problem but on independence the problem is at least crystalized and Scotland’s economy is in better shape to deal with it than the UK economy as a whole. We should be able to reduce our deficit AND pay off the agreed sum.

            Oil prices go up and down as do tax revenues. I would just point out that the OBR predictions are at the low end on both future oil prices and production meaning that revenues are likely to be higher rather than lower than this. The Scottish economy is less dependent on oil than the Norwegian one and they seem to manage to handle the curse of oil volatility reasonably well.

            There are also many different ways that the two government economies could be separated to ensure that an independent Scotland has a budget available to it on day 1. You may have failed to notice but under the Calman proposals and the Scotland bill, the Scottish parliament is already receiving greater tax raising and borrowing powers. It is a relatively simple procedure to extend these to all of the tax revenues. I imagine there will be a buffer contingency fund set up to deal with any financial turbulence in the year following independence – this could possibly be in the form of a loan or a facility from the rUK to Scotland and either not drawn down if not needed or paid back later if it is. Since the UK government refuses to prenegotiate it is impossible to speculate much further as to how this would be done in practise but the dissolution of Czechoslovakia would provide one possible model.

            Back to some real work.

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            Fletcher of Saltoun June 10, 2013 12:56 pm
          • Goodness Fletch – you’re very keen to vanish at speed once the real issues have to be addressed.

            An immediate – and very important – matter of interest that has caught our eye here is that you are saying that Scots will have their tax take hiked immediately after Decision Day, to pay for the setup costs before Independence Day.
            That will be some hike – and people have first heard of this option here.
            SO – not ‘£500 per person better off’ then?

            We have made it clear that in the figures we provide above we did NOT use the OBR predictions but more generous ones. We have no interest in making anything look worse or better than it may be – only in getting to the facts so that reasoned decisions may be made on an issue from which there is no way back.

            On the matter of evidence which you accept is necessary to support assertions – you simply assert here – of the debt burden, that: ‘We should be able to reduce our deficit AND pay off the agreed sum. ‘ You give no figures to support this assertion. It would be good to see them.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

            newsroom June 10, 2013 1:23 pm
          • Lynda Henderson: tax hike? Where do I say anything about a tax hike? As usual you are just making things up.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7

            Fletcher of Saltoun June 10, 2013 1:32 pm
          • You were bound to make a swift retreat from this hostage to fortune, Fletch.

            ‘ …under the Calman proposals and the Scotland bill, the Scottish parliament is already receiving greater tax raising and borrowing powers. It is a relatively simple procedure to extend these to all of the tax revenues. I imagine there will be a buffer contingency fund set up to deal with any financial turbulence in the year following independence…’

            The inference here, in the context of the issue you are trying to address, is that tax raising powers, which exist via Calman, coud ba harnessed to providing an upgraded budget during the limbo period before Independence Day -and afterwards – to pay for the massive setup costs of independence.

            And your anticipation of post-independence ‘financial turbulence’ is a bit of an eye opener.

            Maybe a little more fast reversing out of more trouble? It’s an entertaining manoeuvre to watch.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

            newsroom June 10, 2013 1:42 pm
          • On your second point I point you to the Scottih Government’ own figures:
            http://www.scotland.gov.uk/News/Releases/2013/03/GERScomment6313

            You know better?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

            Fletcher of Saltoun June 10, 2013 1:35 pm
          • Lat word: that’s jut nonsense. I was pointing out the fact that under the existing devolved arrangements Scotland will already have its own ability to collect taxes so we will have the mechanism in place. So there is no need to have a new system to collect taxes – it will already exist prior to independence. I said nothing about tax rates.

            Go away and have a think about it rather than trying to put words into someone else’s mouth to suit your own purposes.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 9

            Fletcher of Saltoun June 10, 2013 1:55 pm
    • Ah, but the mantra of “we’ll have a sensible discussion with our UK neighbours about sharing resources” will come into play.
      While the rest of the UK might not want to loose Scotland and is making arguments why Independence would be a bad thing, it would be a fool who takes this to mean the UK would remain as cooperative if the Scots did vote Yes. At that point, the public position on a political future is determined. I cannot think of a single reason why the rest of the UK, led democratically by the opinion of the collective population of England, Wales and Northern Ireland, wouldn’t say, “ok, you have made your decision. We now need to think in the best interests of the rest of the UK, not including Scotland”. The UK would have no obligation to share any public service infrastructure with an independent Scotland.
      Perhaps Scotland could hunt around an piggyback public services off existing Irish, Belgian, French, Dutch, Norwegian or Danish systems perhaps? They will be just as foreign as the UK will be.
      As has been said before, per head of population Scotland attracts more public spending than the average in the UK. This is probably because with such a large geographic area and low population it cost more to deliver the same services. The people of anywhere north of Perth or in the depths of Argyll will feel equally entitled to services that anyone in Edinburgh gets regardless of the cost of delivery.
      Oil will plug a big gap but won’t last forever and will be increasingly expensive to get. But interesting to see all those fracking maps, most of which show those valuable resources sitting firmly outside of Scotland. Independence is a once only choice, think carefully and be prepared to reap what you sow, good or bad.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 7

      Jerry McIver June 10, 2013 12:23 pm Reply
      • Jerry: the old chestnut about Public services costing more in Scotland per head than in England! Of course, in one sense it is true. That is what the actual figures come up with. However, public spending in Scotland isn’t calculated the same way as it is in England. For starters, Scottish Water is considered public expenditure in Scotland whereas it is privatised in England. This alone explains most of the difference.

        More tax is raised in Scotland than is directly spent by Government. The apparent deficit in the Scottish budget in the GERS figures (about £7.4 bn) is caused by a share of the unallocated UK spending being attributed to the Scottish budget (£9 bn). This doesn’t mean that an independent Scotland would be £2 bn a year in the black but it does mean that our deficit is unlikely to be as high as £7.4bn.

        It doesn’t look as if independence would make us much better or worse of in the short run. In the longer term, the application of Government policy that is directly aimed at the Scottish economy rather than pandering to the City of London should result in a Scottish economy than strongly outperforms the rUk economy and indeed what the Scottish economy will look like if we stay in the union. There will be transitional costs but these are one off while there will also be savings – the Scottish defence budget alone is estimated to be £1 billion less than what is allocated to Scotland but not spent here at the moment. The transitional costs will also reflect jobs being set up in Scotland that are currently performed by civil servants in Whitehall.

        What is there not to like?

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        Fletcher of Saltoun June 10, 2013 1:29 pm Reply
        • ‘Real work’ didn’t take so long then, Fletch?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 6

          newsroom June 10, 2013 1:31 pm Reply
      • It will be good unless you are worried that England will be out for revenge. After all they will need friends —and they don’t have too many.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 5

        h20 June 12, 2013 12:24 am Reply
      • UK won’t exist

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

        H20 June 12, 2013 5:51 pm Reply
  • that a to z list says environmental protection services would need set up … whoever wrote list seems to have ignored fact that SEPA (Scottish Environmental Protection Agency) would be 20 years old by 2016.
    as for most of the rest …. lol

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

    Iain June 9, 2013 6:36 pm Reply
    • There is a fundamental distinction between an environmental protection agency such as SEPA and the environmental protection services we note in the context of coastguard and rescue services.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 8

      newsroom June 9, 2013 8:08 pm Reply
      • This is just nonsense. Most of the items in the list either already have local Scottish assets, systems and personnel or would not be difficult to set up.

        1: Water security. What is the issue here? water both supply and waste disposal is handled by Scottish Water and regulated by SEPA.

        2: Trade agreements. We are in the EU and will continue to be in the EU. Most trade agreements are now between the EU and other trading blocs rather than specifically between individual countries. There would be remarkably little that would need to be negotiated except for territories that do not have existing bilateral agreement with the EU. Import and export regulation and control comes under the same sort of heading.

        3: General Register of Scotland. ????? Is there not a clue in the name here?

        4: Vehicle licensing. Just how difficult do you think that is? I for one would quite like a Scottish licensing office that did not sell my contact details to private third parties.

        5: Passports: last time I looked there are Scottish passport offices. people would continue to use UK passports until these expire when they would be replaced with new Scottish one.

        6: Energy security: just what is the issue here? Scotland has a quasi independent electricity and gas grid. Oil is handled mainly through Grangemouth.

        7: Tax regimes etc. We already collect tax within Scotland and have lots of IR and customs assets within Scotland. My understanding is that the intention is to continue to use the UK rates and benefits etc but gradually switch to Scottish centric policies over time. Same with benefits.

        8: Gambling. Please!

        I could go on but life is short.

        This is the cheap tactic of trying to scare the gullible by producing a large list and making out that everything will be really difficult, expensive and frightening whereas much of it is already in position, is easily adapted or not particularly difficult. As an example, take the re-unification of Germany. This involved much larger and difficult political and economic change than the dissolution of the UK but was completed within one year. We could put that down to Teutonic efficiency or maybe these things are just not as difficult to do as Lynda Henderson would like to make out.

        There will be paperwork… oooh that’s scary so let’s just pass up on the opportunity to govern our own country and make Scotland a better place to live for everyone. If you believe that then get a backbone.

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

        Fletcher of Saltoun June 10, 2013 11:54 am Reply
  • It’s quite obvious that the SNP couldn’t run a party in a pub. There’s a neat little article in the Scotland on Sunday today “Yes vote ‘threatens post offices'”(David Maddox) summing up the issue of the post office network post independence. It appears that “Scotland has a higher proportion of subsidised branches because of the remoteness of some communities….”

    And this is just one item on the very long list of services that will need to be funded.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 23 Thumb down 11

    Lowry June 9, 2013 6:55 pm Reply
    • A Dave Maddox, too wee, too poor, too stupid article and you find it neat. There are well run postal services in many small rich nations like ours.

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

      Murdoch MacKenzie June 9, 2013 11:39 pm Reply
      • Presumably we could look forward to a new issue of stamps every week to cover the costs of the postal service by the sale of stamps to stamp collectors like the other small countries?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

        Lundavra June 10, 2013 8:29 am Reply
    • Royal Mail’s parcel prices in a not yet independent Scotland, within the last couple of months, gone from £2.60? to £5.20 (within UK) with next to zero notice.
      So, those not arithmetically challenged will see a 100% rise in the cost to send parcels via Royal Mail.

      Anyone remember the alarming advice we received on here that an independent Scotland would have to pay much more than it does to post letters/parcels?

      It is no surprise numerous small traders online businesses fear going to the wall from a direct result of these incredible hikes.

      Royal Mail’s sudden doubling of UK sent parcel costs have been introduced to come in line with the many new courier/delivery firms. Much more competition for services such as this maybe the shape of things to come?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 4

      JnrTick June 10, 2013 12:39 am Reply
      • Makes you wonder when we’ll be able to email parcels.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

        Robert Wakeham June 10, 2013 12:41 am Reply
      • That £5.20 is averaging out the cost over the whole UK. A postal operation with most of the expensive area to service will probably cost more.

        Just look at other parcel services. I think all the areas where they have higher prices or surcharges are in Scotland.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

        Lundavra June 10, 2013 8:32 am Reply
    • My, Lowry you have a such low opinion of Scots running their country and services.

      How do you think the Royal Mail and post offices are now compared to 20 years ago –better? cheaper? more choice?

      I don’t think so

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 5

      h20 June 12, 2013 12:27 am Reply
      • At least it in line with the rest of the UK.

        Are you trying to tell me that in an independent Scotland the prices will be cheaper for the same service?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

        Lowry June 12, 2013 8:39 am Reply
  • Oh dear Newsie. What have you done !

    Webcraft aka Fletcher of Saltoun aka ScotsRenewables is going to go ballistic when he gets back from his sailing holiday and reads this piece.

    Hard hats on.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 6

    Herby Dice June 9, 2013 7:54 pm Reply
    • ‘Herby Dice’ – aka someone already active on this blog, or a newborn innocent?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

      Robert Wakeham June 9, 2013 8:44 pm Reply
  • All the issues raised are either under the responsibility of the Scottish government eh Registers of Scotland or are currently in the course of preparation.

    The Scottish government knows the Bible and the parable of the foolish virgin.

    If we get our share of the assets we accept our share of the debt. No assets, no debt!

    Just think for a moment how the markets will react if rUK doesn’t play ball! Immediate run on the pound and UK bankrupt, then goes cap in hand to IMF OR stability pact with oil rich Scotland.

    You can’t control the markets because they go for security which oil provides.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 10

    Graeme mccormick June 9, 2013 11:56 pm Reply
    • Graeme – this is not essentially about the pound versus the debt.
      This is about where IS the money going to come from to pay for the huge setup costs of the independent systems we cannot do without and which would have to be in place, reliable and operational on Day 1.
      This is not a trick question – it’s the honest identification of a real problem.
      We would have to pay for the setup costs that would result from our free choice of independence.
      But we would not be able to borrow in the usual way to cover those costs in the interim period between Decision Day and Independence Day.
      If we managed to defer payment until the day after Independence Day, some source [who and on what security?] would have to be able and willing to give us a major league credit line to cover what we would have to do in that 18 months That loan would have to be serviced on top of our legitimate share of the national debt. It could not be repaid.
      The problem of accessing borrowing in that 18 month preparation period is a genuine difficulty.
      It is in not in the interests of Scotland or its residents to pretend that there will be no substantial problems with anything and that independence will be cost free.
      Independence will cost us and cost us significantly. The question for each of us to answer from an informed position, is whether the cost/benefit stacks up.
      The setup costs will be very high and will leave us, at best, materially no differently served than we are today.
      We will be throwing awesome amounts of money to stand still in the same place under a different flag.
      The level and spread of disruption will also be significant.
      Then, what is on offer is a long way short of what we ourselves had understood to be a state of independence.
      Our position is therefore that the cost/benefit picture is heavily skewed against benefit.
      But the question remains: where would the money cone from to pay for that 18 months of heavy duty set up costs before Independence day?

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 18 Thumb down 6

      newsroom June 10, 2013 12:38 am Reply
  • THE biggest question is already answered, and it the one that would make any `independent` country a complete NON event..YOU will be fully signed up members of the European Union aka the EUSSR. although the snp can get us nothing (and as we all know it as completely nothing) in writing from the unaccountable bureaucrats we do already know `you can not go to the EU and cherry-pick`
    All you would have is a state of the EU, that would comply with everything and anything forced upon you by the EU..which now includes stealing your money from you bank accounts, as you will be at your cash machine looking for your Euros..aka the bail-out bank notes. I am saying `you` as me and my family along with my internet business would be out of here, just before the border controls appear at Carlisle to keep all the `free movement people` who would completely overwhelm any SNHS and all other tax payer funded services to extinction. Choudry and his cohorts could move here as well as the motherland right of law in EU states would see him well happy in Scotland with sharia law fully applied under the EC`s ECHR with the expectation that the rest of the UK`s voters are now coming to realise how these people milk it..how many times in the news have you heard `the European court has over-ruled the uk court` Just imagine the law system of the scots ..world renown, recognised and applied, being eroded by a foreign doctrine, that does make me sad, and may i say your not a scot if you do not believe that your home law should be your only law in your country

    Come on you utterly useless SNP`s what does independence mean ? a free separate country or a state surrendered to the EU ?

    ..oh come to think of it we may well head for Shetland cause once they see the tidal wave from the hapless hopeless EU they will be off double quick to join Norway..

    lets face it theres not a snow ball in hells chance of us sending someone homeward to think again, and we dont have to.. aah well if all else fails there will be that many turbines plastered all over our country that wee eck could rev them all up and see if he can break us away …thats how much a joke it is, just like the holyrood upturned fishing boats wi the windows rotting and crashing in

    SNP my god.. they certainly put the p in party !

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

    davy macmillan June 10, 2013 12:57 am Reply
    • Ah Holyrood, built under the responsibility of the late Mr Dewar. Was he SNP too? Well I never.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 9

      chris June 10, 2013 2:27 am Reply
      • and what was it Margo MacDonald said about the place and the snp never listened, the story about the windows was highlighted last week, when it was announced that there would be two jobs created as window counters..can our `leading` party not just tell someone to go and read the plans ! so what you are implying is that the snp demanded the buiding work be stopped when the costs were predicted as farcical ? have a wee listen to Jim sillars on the EU while you think about the snp being a listening party.. Have n`t things gone from bad to worse since Donald now that we have `Kim jong-peely-wally` 🙂

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 7

        davy macmillan June 10, 2013 2:35 pm Reply
        • Davy,
          I think you been drinking too much capol!

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

          h20 June 10, 2013 7:44 pm Reply
        • Was that supposed to be an answer to my comment?

          It doesn’t make sense.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

          chris June 10, 2013 11:21 pm Reply
      • Mr Dewar cost us a fortune for refusing to use the old High School and forcing the new build on Pfi as a labour project over budget over time…

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

        H20 June 12, 2013 5:56 pm Reply
    • Any chance you could leave just now —

      I am a Scot –but I am willing for my country to cooperate with other countries as part of the UN —

      Not to be subjugated into illegal wars by a bunch of heisters from London

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 9

      h20 June 10, 2013 7:51 pm Reply
      • Simply put, and well said h20!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

        Morven June 16, 2013 3:11 pm Reply
  • Newsie – you are living proof that there is nothing worse than a convert.

    We get it that you’ve left the SNP and are now printing everything you can to cast doubt on independence. Last time it was the national lottery (as if the retention/loss of that would be good reason for any sensible person to vote YES/NO). This time a list of just about everything you could think of and ask – how would an independent Scotland handle this?

    Fairly easily and readily I would’ve thought.

    An independent Scotland would simply either utilise the expertise within the country or buy in what it needs from elsewhere to set things up.

    Is there a price to be paid for that? Sure. But we pay most of that already anyway. A transition from a UK to an independent country would not be without costs or difficulties and hiccups – but these in the main would be teething problems.

    The two real questions for me is – Would Scotland be a successful country? And, would Scotland be a fairer and more socially equitable country by being independent?

    Everything else is just froth – like your list Newsie 🙂

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 16

    Simon June 10, 2013 11:26 am Reply
    • Simon, for once I am in complete agreement. People need to get their heads round the fact that we are being asked to make a decision about how we wish to be governed. If we decide for independence then lots of things will change. there will be costs, there will be savings, there will be benefits and there may be losses (though I struggle to think of anything meaningful). If we become independent we will manage. Have we so little belief in ourselves that anyone seriously thinks otherwise?

      As Simon says, The two real questions are – Would Scotland be a successful country? And, would Scotland be a fairer and more socially equitable country by being independent?

      I believe the answer to both of these would be Yes. Who dishes out our driving licenses has very little to do with either question.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 11 Thumb down 19

      Fletcher of Saltoun June 10, 2013 12:10 pm Reply
  • At least SNP MSPs are getting down to looking into important aspects of possible independence.

    http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28862.aspx?r=8201&mode=html#iob_74391

    ‘Christine Grahame (Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale) (SNP):

    4. To ask the Scottish Parliamentary Corporate Body whether it will consider procuring a resident cat as a humane mouse deterrent. (S4O-02228)’

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 13 Thumb down 4

    Lundavra June 10, 2013 2:17 pm Reply
  • Will a nationalist please explain why I should want to vote Yes and turn my son (who has a smallholding in mid-Wales) and my grandchildren into foreigners ?

    There are an estimated 800,000 Scots living and working in England, Wales, and N.Ireland.

    Why should their parents, brothers, sisters etc vote to turn them into foreigners ?

    Finally. Could a nationalist explain how separation will make Scotland a fairer country. What steps will be taken ? Expropriation ? Confiscation ? Quotas ? Discrimination ?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 17 Thumb down 9

    Herby Dice June 10, 2013 4:06 pm Reply
    • At least there’s unlikely to be a repeat of the horrors of the ethnic / religious ‘cleansing’ between Greece & Turkey a hundred years ago, between India & Pakistan after their separation, or the disasters in the Balkans. Maybe more like the Czech / Slovac division?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

      Robert Wakeham June 10, 2013 5:03 pm Reply
    • Little has been said about ‘nationality’. Whether people will have to choose between being Scottish or British, whether some will automatically get dual nationality or be able to claim it.

      Just one of the many details that don’t seem to have been really thought through.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

      Lundavra June 10, 2013 5:10 pm Reply
      • We have already mentioned this topic on previous posts but happy to repeat what Mike Russell has previously advised. Apparently he said that, in a post independent Scotland, a non-Scottish person living in Scotland will have the option of applying for Scottish citizenship or be treated as any other EU national.

        If this is the case, how will those people who are currently ‘British’, be treated differently if they choosenot to apply for Scottish citizenship?

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 10

        Lowry June 10, 2013 7:19 pm Reply
        • Not much. Irish citizens are not UK citizens but have very similar rights in the UK (and vice versa). Same would apply to rUK citizens living in an independent Scotland. The “foreigner” bit is yet another red herring in the unionist shoal.

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

          Fletcher of Saltoun June 10, 2013 8:30 pm Reply
          • So, to put it another way, why would a non-Scot want to apply for citizenship?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

            Lowry June 10, 2013 8:49 pm
          • Lowry: citizenship is to do with your commitment and attachment to the country. But it is not the big deal it used to be.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 10

            Fletcher of Saltoun June 10, 2013 9:05 pm
      • Can I be a Scot just now?

        —oops not allowed–

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

        h20 June 10, 2013 7:56 pm Reply
    • Let’s remember that it would be a reasonable assumption that this ‘foreigners’ argument will end up as relevant as it is between UK & Ireland … under Ireland Act 1949, which is still in force, Ireland is not considered a foreign country & I see no reason why same would not be true if Scotland did become independent.
      http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Geo6/12-13-14/41/section/2

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 9

      Iain June 10, 2013 6:11 pm Reply
      • Ah, good, I’ll tell my son not to worry. He’ll not be considered foreign thanks to an Act of Parliament…..so when his children apply to St Andrews they won’t be treated as foreign applicants, and when they decide to stand for election as MSPs there’ll be no objections as, despite living in Wales, they will not be foreign.

        Come on….of course Eire is a foreign country. Just as the UK will be if the nationalists get their way (very unlikely thankfully).

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

        Herby Dice June 10, 2013 6:59 pm Reply
        • I presume your son will remain your son –so calm down

          Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 10

          h20 June 10, 2013 7:42 pm Reply
        • shall I add more? OK … EU member states aren’t foreign states to each other so Eire/Ireland has more than just the Ireland Act making it NOT a foreign country/state to UK

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

          Iain June 10, 2013 8:00 pm Reply
        • Herby: there will be no barrier to anyone who is not Scottish applying to St Andrews. There may be differences in what they pay to attend St Andrews. This is to do with residency rather than any aspect of nationality. In other words if your son lives in Scotland long enough he is treated exactly the same way as a Scottish citizen.

          Unionists are remarkably insular. On the continent people move around the EU and work and study in different countries all the time. A German recognises that an Italian is not a German but they don’t make a big thing about them being foreign (unless they are from far right xenophobic groups). Lots of Irish living and working in England. Are they treated as foreigners? Why should a change of how Scotland is governed make people suddenly become foreigners? Citizens of a different country, yes but just the same people they are now.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

          Fletcher of Saltoun June 10, 2013 8:45 pm Reply
          • I don’t think Germany is quite the Utopia you think. They might accept an Italian but Some other EU states will not be accepted as readily and of course the Germans are against Turkey becoming a full EU member.

            Many British people consider Ireland a foreign country and Irish people to be foreign. I suspect something similar might happen with Scotland if it became independent.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 3

            Lundavra June 11, 2013 12:34 am
        • …..so when his children apply to St Andrews they won’t be treated as foreign applicants

          Look on the bright side – if rUK stay in the EU then your hypothetical Welsh grandchildren – like students from Eire – will not have to pay tuition fees at St. Andrews.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

          Longshanks June 11, 2013 11:59 am Reply
    • foreigners ? grow up they are still your family boyo

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

      h20 June 10, 2013 7:54 pm Reply
  • Fletcher of Webcraft in pure fantasy land :

    “The debt is likely to remain with the rUK but Scotland agreeing to cover a share of it. Most likely way this would work would be for Scotland to pay the interest on an allocated share of the UK’s total interest bill plus some repayment of the capital. The interest rate would be fixed between the rUK and Scotland and the terms negotiated between the two governments.”

    Webcraft of Saltoun continues in cloud cuckoo land:

    “I imagine there will be a buffer contingency fund set up to deal with any financial turbulence in the year following independence – this could possibly be in the form of a loan or a facility from the rUK to Scotland ”

    If the future weren’t so serious those two daydream answers would be utterly laughable. Unfortunately the nationalists here seem to be promoting some kind of milk and honey future for us based on nothing other than totally misplaced utopian make-believe.

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

    Herby Dice June 10, 2013 6:40 pm Reply
    • So Herby – how do you think the UK national debt will be dealt with? You tell me that I’m in cloud cuckoo land but not why you think that or what your alternative is. If it is that the debt will be split can you tell me what the mechanism for that would be? Which creditors of the UK would volunteer to have their debts transferred to Scotland? Surely the most likely scenario is that the rUK will continue to be liable for the whole UK debt but Scotland agrees to pay rUK for a notional share of the debt repayment and interest? By the way, the Republic of Ireland hasn’t paid a penny towards the UK national debt since its inception. I think Scotland will do better than that.

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

      Fletcher of Saltoun June 10, 2013 8:35 pm Reply
      • “Which creditors of the UK would volunteer to have their debts transferred to Scotland? ”
        …..a VERY telling question.
        and back to your original milk’n’honey fantasy;
        1. There is NO WAY the UK would want Scotland’s share of the debt left on the UK balance sheet. Fiscal stupidity.
        2. Scotland would come to some kind of agreement to the interest rate Scotland would pay to UK for Scotland’s share of the debt eh ? You have no idea how gilt rates are set nor about the debt market do you.
        Just to educate you. The BoE currently owns c30% of UK debt. If a transfer is necessary no foreign creditor (BTW only a small proportion of UK debt holders are countries as you seem to think) need be inconvenienced nor outraged at a change of debtor from AAA (2 CAs) or AA+ (one Credit Agency) to goodness knows what Scotland will be

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

        Herby Dice June 10, 2013 8:50 pm Reply
        • Herby: Your response appears very confused. You seem to agree with me that UK’s creditors – I said nothing about who the creditors are – would like their loans repaid by the institute that took out the debt ie the UK. The Westminster government is in addition demanding that the rUK is the continuity state of the UK ie the UK continues after Scottish independence. In which case they still have the full liability for the UK debt. They (the rUK) cannot just unilaterally give the debt away without the creditors’ consent.

          Of course rUK would not want the debt on the UK balance sheet but they also want to be the continuity state. They cannot have both without reaching an agreement with the Scottish Government. If agreement cannot be reached (and I think it will) then the “Club of Paris” would look at the situation and impose a solution on rUK and Scotland – though they might decide to assign the whole UK debt to rUK or declare the UK dissolved and assign the debt between the two successor states (as happened with Yugoslavia).

          As I said, there are lots of different permutations. However, I think the most likely is that the rUK retains all of the UK debt but Scotland agrees to service a proportion of it rather than an actual split of the debt itself – though I acknowledge that the latter is possible.
          You are keen on criticising me but yet again you haven’t said what you think would happen and the mechanism by which it would happen.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 8

          Fletcher of Saltoun June 10, 2013 9:19 pm Reply
          • I feel it is futile to say what would happen as (i) the event (separation) is extremely unlikely to happen anyway and (ii)whatever you or I say is mere, ungrounded, speculation.

            I don’t mean to criticise you as a person.

            I do mean to criticise the standard nationalist spinmongering that after separation our lives will be all milk and honey in some kind of uberrich fair and egalitarian society.

            What is really telling is no-one has managed to come up with my requests for exactly how separation will suddenly make Scotland a fairer society. What will be done to make this happen ?

            Have the proponants of separation, the SNP, made our society the slightest bit fairer in the seven years it has held power here ?

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 7

            Herby Dice June 10, 2013 10:15 pm
          • You appear to confirm exactly what most of us are thinking – that no-one knows what would happen in a post independent Scotland.

            You may have some good ideas based on experiences of countries elsewhere, but all circumstances were different and even you have no clue how anything will be split.

            I don’t think many folk will vote Yes just because the SNP can make a few suggestions.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 6

            Lowry June 10, 2013 10:17 pm
          • “Have the proponants of separation, the SNP, made our society the slightest bit fairer in the seven years it has held power here ?”

            Herbie

            Have the SNP had full fiscal autonomy? What about the powers to reform Welfare?

            There’s two biggies for starters completely out of the reach of any democratically elected party here in Scotland.

            Devolved matters such as health, education, agriculture and justice although hugely influential in progressing our society, will not give us the tools to close the ever widening chasm between the haves and have nots. This problem as good a starting point to creating a “fairer” Scotland as any.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 7

            JnrTick June 10, 2013 11:18 pm
          • Herby: From your answer I conclude that you don’t know how the debt issue will be handled. As I have aid, there are a number of ways it can be done – I’ve just suggested what I think is the most likely. As the Westminster Government is refusing to enter into any pre-referendum talks then it is impossible to say with certainty how things will work until they do. However, what we can say is that it is the Scottish Government’s firm offer that Scotland would take on an equitable share of the UK debt servicing. The active word is equitable – which means fair to both side.

            Turning to your second query, As I posted earlier, my take on the economic position post independence is that we will be neither much better off nor much worse off – in the short term at least. Longer term, having a government focussed entirely on Scotland’s economic needs should pay dividends. As to how we would produce a more equitable country – it is difficult to see how we would do a worse job than Westminster on that score. An improvement is a pretty low bar to reach. It is too late tonight for a detailed response of how I think we can make Scotland a much fairer country but in the meantime have a look at this video from the ONS:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oGdRM3C_wjc
            Note the position of Scotland.

            Have the SNP Government made Scotland a fairer place? Yes they have and we can do far more if we have control of our own finances and political direction.
            Lowry: I think I answered your point in this post.

            Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 7 Thumb down 8

            Fletcher of Saltoun June 10, 2013 11:59 pm
  • Why don’t we all just calm down and wait for the Scottish Govt.s White Paper…? THEN there will be ample real material to comment on rather than supposition!!!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 4

    Barmore 2 June 10, 2013 7:25 pm Reply
    • Not holding my breath, the last document had nearly 50 `could`s, imagine how many a detailed one will have?! Our suppositions will be based on supposition…. hehe

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8

      Jamie Black June 10, 2013 10:04 pm Reply
      • hold your breath for 6 minutes –its bound to work!!

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

        h20 June 12, 2013 10:16 pm Reply
  • The debt issue is, for me, one of the, if not the biggest issues. Transference of it is going to be, for choice of a technical phrase, ‘bloody complicated.’

    There is no way a proportion (probably based on population) can be transferred on the existing terms as that would be a default on the contractual agreement. If Scotland does take its share of the debt AND the creditors agree to the transfer of liability (the latter more in doubt than the former in my mind) then Scotland would almost definitely be faced with a higher interest rate than is currently being paid on the debt. Given this it would be more beneficial for Scotland to agree to service their share of the financing charge and capital repayment through an agreement with rUK. Now there are other countries (often compared to Scotland) with high credit ratings (obvious ones being the Scandinavian ones) however the big difference there is that they have their own currency and have established credit history (something which an independent Scotland may well be able to build themself over time although it will be harder without full fiscal autonomy).

    Some more petty people might ask why rUK should bother helping Scotland in such a way but I think that would be childish and not in keeping with the spirit of co-operation which I hope to see politicians adopt should independence go ahead. The debt would still sit on Scotland’s balance sheet and there would be a long term debtor and creditor on the rUK balance sheet. I hope there are other areas where the ‘load’ would be shared if an agreement can be reached which is beneficial to both parties.

    I still have grave concerns (and I have mentioned this a few times now) about the lack of transparency over the level of debt Scotland would be taking on. The constant exclusion of future liabilities (which are already committed to) when the debt level comes up in dispatches is misleading (and I think deliberately so). It will be in the same proportion as the current debt so this impacts on both an independent Scotland and rUK (i.e. it won’t disproportionately increase the ratio of debt that an independent Scotland has to ‘absorb’) however it needs to be factored in to analysis of Scotland’s fiscal future.
    For me getting this issue bedded down properly, and honestly far outweighs considerations about running the lottery, or various agencies or whether someone’s family in deepest darkest Wigan will be singing a different national anthem!

    I am not playing the scaremongering game here as I am not necessarily saying an independent Scotland won’t be able to manage this properly, and most importantly, affordably – just saying that it is a huge issue that needs proper consideration.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

    Integrity? June 11, 2013 10:58 am Reply
    • It has been estimated that if Scotland was paying the cost of the subsidy on wind farms all by itself the household bill would increase by about £180 now. I believe the estimate included Grid expansion costs and High Street price rises made necessary because of manufacturers and retailers increased electricity costs. The SNP want to treble that to £540 which would have to be added to whatever you are already paying for electricity.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 6

      Malcolm Kirk June 11, 2013 12:42 pm Reply
      • I note that neither Russell nor Fletcher have a response to this comment.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

        Lowry June 12, 2013 8:45 am Reply
  • All I really want from the SNP is something I can make a rational choice on. A balance sheet of positives AND negatives. In the very long term, maybe an independent Scotland does make a lot of sense for the reasons the SNP claim.
    What do I know –
    I know how it works now.
    I can identify with the issues the unionist camp raise as difficult and costly issues in the short to medium term.
    I hear what the SNP are telling me about the long term utopia.

    But, we live in a very immediate society that culturally won’t wait for the long term. Its all short term returns, quarterly financial, macro-economic metrics forensically picked apart on a month by month basis that is pretty much a pointless and meaningless exercise, but that the world we live in.

    Achieving independence isn’t a vote and 18 month exercise. It will take years and years to fully work through, to set up the instruments of state, to establish the national infrastructure. Those years will either involve transitional pain or a terrific amount of money thrown at it to keep people on-side. Just look at the current Scottish Parliament – even now, years after its establishment it sometimes still resembles a squabble in the playground because it hasn’t reached a depth of maturity. It will come, but it will take years.

    How many years has it taken for Germany to fully integrate – a situation where the rich half led the process and put its arm around the poorer east. This is very different from the poorer east actively detaching from the richer west and going it alone.
    30 odd years in, Europe has integrated but is now on the verge of collapse because ideology trumped reality and all sorts of unintended consequences have happened.

    Europeans are not Chinese. We are terrible at playing the long game and accepting the inevitable hard times before it all comes good – often decades. And in this instance, perhaps long after the SNP even exist if the people start to taste the bitter medicine and come election time decide the future is the future and whats important is what they have in the here and now.

    I want the SNP to be more honest with me and not sell me the long vision that might be realised when I’m dead. I’m more interested in what I might be experiencing in the next 25 years. Its not that far ahead. Until then, I think I’ll stick with what I know and am comfortable with.

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

    Jerry McIver June 11, 2013 11:27 am Reply
    • —selfish—-I don’t care about my children’s future based on your attitude.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

      h20 June 12, 2013 12:18 am Reply
  • Jerry McIver says:
    “I want the SNP to be more honest with me and not sell me the long vision that might be realised when I’m dead. I’m more interested in what I might be experiencing in the next 25 years. Its not that far ahead. Until then, I think I’ll stick with what I know and am comfortable with.”

    Have you no thoughts for future generations of Scots Jerry?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 8

    Barmore 2 June 11, 2013 11:38 am Reply
    • The SNP seem to have little thought for future generations. In 40 years time the oil will have gone, or what’s left will be uneconomic to extract and the Oil Revenue will have been spent to bribe the electorate. The landscape will be blighted by the hulks of wind turbines which have long since become obsolete. OK, maybe that’s a bit bleak, but is has as much chance, if not more, of being right as the “milk and honey” future predicted by the SNP. In terms of a fairness, consider this. Four people agreed to be in a lottery syndicate and bought tickets for many years. When the jackpot came up the person who bought the ticket that week refused to share it with the others. I don’t think that many Scots would consider that to be fair. Is that materially different from the four countries in the UK having an agreement for 300 years, but when oil was discovered the SNP immediately claimed that it was Scotland’s oil ?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 5

      Digger June 11, 2013 4:22 pm Reply
      • That’s because it was and is Scotland’s oil. It has gone straight into the London Coffers to be spent on projects that boost their local area.
        A free Scotland will not be a jackpot for anyone. They will be too busy working on all the improvements that we have missed out on.

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 9

        Murdoch MacKenzie June 11, 2013 6:25 pm Reply
        • Absolute nonsense to say oil will run out – look at the maps of how the earth used to be with Europe joined to America. The oil is out there just waiting to be found and used

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 10

          Malcolm Kirk June 11, 2013 7:53 pm Reply
          • I think your pretty much on your own believing that the oil will last forever..Still, “milk and honey for eternity” would make a catchy slogan.Or how about ” Heaven right here on earth” ? Just a pity that no one would believe it !

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 4

            digger June 11, 2013 8:23 pm
          • What has continental drift got to do with hydrocarbons, Malcolm?

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

            Robert Wakeham June 11, 2013 9:27 pm
        • I wonder if you would have felt the same if the oil had been discovered in English, Welsh or Irish waters ?

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

          digger June 11, 2013 8:28 pm Reply
          • Cannot comment about Wales but oil has indeed been found in both English and Irish waters.

            Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2

            Fletcher of Saltoun June 11, 2013 11:48 pm
      • does the US share its resource with Russia or Brazil with Argentinia-?-
        What you are basically suggesting is that Scotland should give up all its resources to others,,,
        well we have in our people our resources for years etc and still they want it all=========but only if we let them/

        That is exactly what Labour and the tories have done for years and will continue to do

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

        h20 June 12, 2013 10:21 pm Reply
    • Actually, yes I do care about future generations. I said at the top that it might well be a good thing in the very long term.
      My point it the general populous is a fickle beast, interested in the short term, the here and now.
      In a five year political term we expect to see significant improvements and woe betide any political party that dare suggest a bitter medicine or tough decisions that are obviously needed. It just doesn’t happen, nobody dares take the political risk.
      We’re going though some very necessary austerity for the medium to long term, for the benefit of our own futures, but how many are rallying against it, wanting to go back to the good old days when money was flowing and life was easier – even when we know it was utterly unsustainable. Was it the Bankers, Was it the Global economy? Yes, but it was also us, gorging ourselves on cheap money and having a right good time blowing up a property bubbly.
      How many of us stood back and said No!, borrowing 4,5,6 times our annual salary to get mortgages and gleefully cashing all those bankers cheques that used to drop through the door and holding a fist full of credit cards is a stupid thing to do because it all has to be paid back?

      How many of us actively pay more for food or lobby supermarkets to ensure farmers earn enough to keep investing in their businesses and keep us in Food?

      How many of us are welcoming the receipt of our pensions a few years later because there isn’t enough money to fund the current arrangement and we’re all living longer, healthier lives?

      How many of us are prudent and save for our own old age these days, foregoing new cars, holidays, house extensions and having active social lives?

      How many of us complain bitterly that train fares go up constantly, in the full knowledge that our rail network needs billions spent on it to get it to the sort of system we are demanding and that much of that money has to be provided up front?

      How many of us actively ‘buy expensive’ to benefit from long term low running costs of houses, cars and all sorts of other things?

      There may be a small number that do – I count myself amongst them, but the fact is I can think of very few examples where the massed public are genuinely willing to take pain in the short term to realise real benefits in the long term (for our future generations).
      That is my issue. Please tell me what to expect over the first 10-25 years. This is the question most are asking and the only answer we get from the SNP is ‘we’ll work it out when we get there’.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

      Jerry McIver June 13, 2013 10:41 pm Reply
  • “Have the SNP Government made Scotland a fairer place? Yes they have” (Fletch)

    Well then, give some examples !

    In reality the SNP have already made Scotland a place which is less fair:

    1. The dinner lady at the High School is now forced to contribute towards the university fees of the children (fresh out of private schools) of millionaires.

    2. The postal sorter is now forced to contribute towards the prescription costs of wealthy landowners (who don’t worry about waiting lists thanks to private hospitals).

    etc, etc.

    and independence will make little difference to the fiscal levers as these will be retained by London (money supply, borrowing, interest rates) and Brussels (fiscal unity and employment legislation, agriculture and fisheries).

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

    Herby Dice June 11, 2013 12:26 pm Reply
    • Herbydacious

      “Have the SNP Government made Scotland a fairer place? Yes they have” (Fletch)

      Well then, give some examples !

      In reality the SNP have already made Scotland a place which is less fair: (no they have not)

      1. The dinner lady at the High School is now forced to contribute towards the university fees of the children (fresh out of private schools) of millionaires.
      *Not forced pay their UK income tax and 20%VAT like any worker. However they can be thankful that their children can attend university in Scotland compared to England. Who gave millionaires tax cuts— London.

      2. The postal sorter is now forced to contribute towards the prescription costs of wealthy landowners (who don’t worry about waiting lists thanks to private hospitals).* Who created private hospitals? the postal sorter also gets their prescription free. Beforehand the wealthy did not care anyway.

      etc, etc.

      and independence will make little difference to the fiscal levers as these will be retained by London (money supply, borrowing, interest rates) and Brussels (fiscal unity and employment legislation, agriculture and fisheries).
      * so you believe Scotland has fiscal levers just now. What a laugh UK policy is based on what London and the SE England needs, want’s and gets and to heck with the rest. By voting YES we have a chance to change this.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

      h20 June 12, 2013 10:35 pm Reply
  • What does true independence really mean? I do not know. I guess nor do most Politicians as they would be the first to tell you if it was beneficial to them (no matter what party) with the difficulty of not knowing how Scotland would fare with true independence how is Scotland going to make decisive and correct vote when the time comes?
    If Scotland becomes truly independent of Westminster and does ‘go it alone’ a question that has never been broached is how is Scotland going to pay for and maintain an independent Army, Navy or Air Force, because I presume if Scotland does become totally independent then we as a Nation should expect the military security that we currently have under the cover of the current set up, driven by Westminster for the whole of the UK. Do the current advocates of true independence expect Scotlands’ own Military to be set up or do they expect to be looked after as we are now by the current military forces. If so at what cost – where will the money come from and would Scotland be expected to supply military to foreign aid maybe NATO or other aid programs around the world? What about local fishing protection? Where will that be funded from? Coastguards – independent?
    As I have not read anything regarding these matters I would be interested in hearing any readers/MP’s comments or suggestions relating to how this part of independence would evolve along with suggested costs and timescales, or do we need not worry about defending/protecting our shores, airspace and land

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

    Mike June 14, 2013 4:38 pm Reply
    • Perhaps things will continue as normal, with the new independent Scottish government dealing with defence the same way the UK government has – breaking one promise after another on personnel, basing and capabilities.

      Or maybe not?

      If the SNP form the first independent Scottish government (by no means a racing certainty) then they are committed to an annual defence and security budget of £2.5bn, an annual increase of more than £500m on recent UK levels of defence spending in Scotland.

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      Webcraft June 14, 2013 8:40 pm Reply
      • whether or not the current system does or does not break ‘promises’ etc I am not sure what you can buy in military terms for a budget for £2.5bn. I presume Scotland doesn’t actually own any Military hardware at present!. What price 1 nuclear sub or tank or jet fighter, don’t think £2.5bn would go very far. I still cannot fathom out where the money will come from and the hidden cost of running a Scottish Civil Service to make sure it all runs oh so ‘smoothly’ I guess it must come from Taxes but the volume of people in Scotland paying full income tax surely could not be enough. I don’t have an answer and I wonder if any of our Politicians (on any side)would care to speak the truth and tell us the voters where this will come from along with all the other benefits of ‘true’ independence

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

        Mike June 15, 2013 12:44 pm Reply
  • Mike,

    You seem to be overlooking the fact that a percentage of current UK defence assets would be inherited by an independent Scotland. From that perspective we already ‘own’ approximately 9% of UK military assets. We would not be starting from nothing.

    Denmark, which is of a similar size to Scotland, had a 2012 military budget of £2.6bn.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

    Webcraft June 15, 2013 1:08 pm Reply

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