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And that ignorant, offensive, rant sums up exactly why the YES campaign failed  

Good god. What a load of boarish spiteful bile from bad losers has been posted during the night. I actually dread to think how Scotland would be run if this is representative of how the yes vote behav

I'm disappointed in the lack of grace shown by some across the net in accepting this No vote. A complete lack of any empathy and understanding as to why fellow Scots didn't vote Yes.   I personally

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Alice Thomson has a piece on the forthcoming debate in the Times this morning. I print it not because it has any startling revelations, but to my untutored eye it seems a reasonable opinion without going into to much detail. That of course isn't really posssible at the moment.

Salmond the Shrewd could still pull this off

The Scottish referendum result may look like a foregone conclusion but David Cameron has a battle on his hands

Imagine for a moment that it’s October 2014, the day of the Scottish referendum. The sun is shining on the bonny banks and braes. The purple heather is glimmering in the haze and the Scots are congratulating themselves on having had the perfect summer.

Schoolchildren dressed as Robert the Bruce have held blue and white Battle of Bannockburn parties at the end of term before heading off to see Brave 2, about a wee Scottish lass overcoming her tyrannical overlords. Andy Murray, the bairn from Dunblane, has won his first Wimbledon. And then they have had the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Chris Hoy, wrapped in the Saltire, has done a victory lap of the velodrome and received his gold medal from Princess Anne to the strains of Flower of Scotland. The bagpipes have been playing to commemorate the centenary of the valiant efforts of the Gordon Highlanders in the First World War and the Europeans have won the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. No wonder the Scots are feeling good about themselves.

Then imagine that the First Minister, Alex Salmond, has set out a rather attractive vision for an independent Scotland. He has made it sound more like evolution than revolution, a sort of Independence Lite; Home Rule as he calls it. England and Scotland can now be close friends rather than a bickering couple, he promises, sharing an island, a royal family, a currency and VAT rates. Nothing too drastic would happen: the two countries could combine their defence policy sometimes and maybe even their embassies. Scotland would remain in the EU and take turns with England at the UN Security Council; the BBC could now be the SBC.

It all sounds very persuasive. Meanwhile in England the coalition has been stumbling towards its messy conclusion. The fragile cross-party consensus against Scottish independence has fractured and the Scots have no idea what will happen if they remain within the Union.

Now come back to October 2012. Everyone seems to think that Mr Salmond has already lost the independence referendum. “Mission Impossible†read one headline yesterday. But don’t be so sure. The First Minister may yet pull it off and convince everyone from the ladies in Jenners to the foresters in Pitlochry to say yes. Mr Salmond is a remarkable gambler. He has always studied the odds, whether on horses or political outcomes, and he knows how to hedge his bets. He’s been at this game for nearly 40 years and honed his skills against everyone from Margaret Thatcher to Gordon Brown.

As one old Scottish adversary told me yesterday: “You can go into a revolving door before Alex but you always come out after him.†He is the most astute and agile political tactician of his age. The First Minister knew that lowering the voting age was irrelevant and soon realised that David Cameron was never going to allow him to have a second question on the ballot paper. But winning on the date was crucial; he needs as much time as he can get to sell his benign vision to four million voters.

The Scots are a cautious, conservative nation, practical and pragmatic. Only a third want independence and that figure hasn’t altered for a decade. According to the latest Social Attitudes Survey, however, nearly two thirds would vote for a middle option — a compromise or fudge, however you prefer to look at it. These are the votes that Mr Salmond needs to win. He has to convince his countrymen that he is the rational, reasonable middle way and that they have nothing to lose and everything to gain from renegotiating a warmer, more balanced relationship between the two countries.

So what can Mr Cameron do? Nothing personally. He can’t take Samantha on a cruise of the Highlands and Islands dressed in a kilt; he mustn’t evoke images of English lords in plus fours crawling through the heather or he will end up with an axe in his head like Henry de Bohun killed by Robert the Bruce at Bannockburn. He will need to hand over the day-to-day running of the “Better Together†campaign to his second-in-command, the former Labour Chancellor Alastair Darling but as an avid Unionist he will want to keep overall control.

So the Prime Minister must ensure that Mr Salmond doesn’t grab the centre ground. First the No campaign should refute the First Minister’s hints that independence is “devo-max†by another name. They must make it clear that Mr Salmond will not automatically be able to keep the pound. The European Union has shown that it is madness to have economic union without political union — so Scotland will probably be stuck with the groat.

Nor is it likely to be allowed into the European Union on its own if the Spanish have anything to do with it: they don’t want the Catalans getting ideas, nor do the Belgians want their Flemish separatists getting overexcited. José Manuel Barroso has already said they will have to apply for EU membership. The English will no longer be sharing their Celtic cousins’ welfare bills, yet the home of Adam Smith will still have to help pay off the national debt.

But their campaign can’t just be negative and nasty. The Better Together brigade needs an alternative vision for the Union. At the time of the Scottish Devolution Referendum in 1979 the Tories promised that if Scots voted No they would be rewarded for their loyalty. Instead they got nothing — until the poll tax. The Scots haven’t forgotten. It’s not enough for Mr Cameron vaguely to hint that he will arrive bearing gifts if his side is victorious. He needs to make it clear that he is willing to make the relationship more of a partnership. When British jets were sent to Libya, the Prime Minister didn’t even bother to phone the First Minister to warn him. But conversely, he can’t give too much away or Mr Salmond will have found a different means of fracturing the Union. It’s not going to be easy.

Smart Alex often likes to quote Robert Burns — “The best-laid schemes o’ mice an’ men gang aft a-gley [often go awry]†— to his aides when they fear they are being outmanoeuvred by their opponents. But the poem that Mr Cameron should be worried about is Loch Lomond. “O ye’ll tak’ the high road, and Ah’ll tak’ the low road/ And Ah’ll be in Scotlan’ afore ye.†Mr Cameron may think that he has a head start on Mr Salmond on the high road, but he could yet find the Scottish leader has taken the low road and arrived at independence by another route.

http://www.thetimes....icle3570350.ece

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Alice Thomson has a piece on the forthcoming debate in the Times this morning. I print it not because it has any startling revelations, but to my untutored eye it seems a reasonable opinion without going into to much detail. That of course isn't really posssible at the moment.

http://www.thetimes....icle3570350.ece

Not bad. To be honest, the times is the only paper I've come across which actually comes up with reasonably accurate articles about the Scottish situation.

I'll pick them up on the EU thingy though. Now that an amicable agreement has been reached between the Scottish and UK governments, the views of the EU (which will be both are successor states as that's what the UK and Scotland have agreed themselves internally) will be aired in good time. Spain have already stated clearly that the Scottish situation is nothing to do with them and is a matter for the UK internally. After all, Scotland is technically a sovereign country under treaty with England (+wales and N Ireland) as opposed to e.g. a region of a country or state within a federation. Spain's constitution is problematic for Catalonia; the UK has no constitution, just a treaty covered by the Vienna Convention and that's why Westminster can't block Scotland leaving in the courts for example (would be bad politically to try that anyway!).

Next year, the Scottish government will release a white paper on exactly Scotland's position initially upon independence. This will not be what they 'hope' but actually what has been agreed with the rUK, EU, UN, NATO in the event of a yes vote (this is not an armed rebellion!). It will blow many of the scare stories out of the water by removing effectively all uncertainties over what a Yes vote would mean. This will put the no campaign in a very difficult position as it will have lost its negative scare stories and instead will have to come up with a positive case; something they have failed to do for decades, hence the gradual disengagement of Scotland from Westminster.

As I said before, the concept of Scots voting for the unknown (on EU, currency etc) is laughable. Better Together are already shocked that the Tories happily agreed to the referendum and everything the SNP wanted (they did not have much choice really under the terms of the treaty of union). They're going to be in real bother when the white paper comes out. Will look just like devo max, but with some extras.

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EDIT. As for the talk of 'Bannockburn' and 'William Wallace' etc. This is typically done in a degenerating way, like it's some sort of hate the English thing.

Personally, I've never celebrated these events actively, but those that wish to and do to should be proud too. They are seminal events in the history of Scotland. Who the enemy was is irrelevant - could have been the Danish or the Irish or whatever - the wars of independence (I find the name a bit wrong as it should be wars to retain independence as Scotland was independent before them) was Scotland fighting against a much larger foe to remain Scotland. Scots should be as proud of bannockburn as they are of the role they played in WWII. If anyone uses bannockburn jibes against Scotland then they are degenerating and insulting the people of Scotland.

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EDIT2.

Scottish Labour increasingly losing support of the STUC. I expect the latter to back independence at some point soon. Already indicating favouring Devo Max.

http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-economy/6065-lack-of-economic-powers-is-harming-scottish-employment-claims-stuc

Lack of economic powers is harming Scottish employment claims STUC

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I couldn't find the details for this on the IPSOS web site.

Support for independent Scotland is fading fast

Scots are increasingly turning their backs on Alex Salmond’s dream of independence with support for leaving the UK plunging, an exclusive opinion poll for The Times reveals today.

The Ipsos MORI poll of 1,000 Scots, the first to be published since Monday’s independence referendum agreement between Mr Salmond and David Cameron, shows that support for independence now stands at 30 per cent among those Scots certain to vote, down from 35 per cent in June and 39 per cent at the end of January.

Support for the Union, however, is on a consistent upward trend and now stands at 58 per cent, 3 percentage points higher than June and eight points above January. Twelve per cent of Scots are undecided, two points higher than June.

The poll will cast a shadow over SNP activists as they gather today for the party’s annual conference in Perth. Ipsos MORI also found that when it came to voting intentions for Holyrood, Labour is making significant inroads into the SNP’s lead.

Support for the SNP among those certain to vote now stands at 40 per cent, down 5 points on Ipsos MORI’s last poll in June. However, backing for Labour has gone up from 32 per cent to 35 per cent — a narrowing of the gap by 8 points. The Conservatives are on 13, up 1, while support for the Lib Dems, although up by 2 points, is still languishing on 8 per cent.

While Nationalists will point out that the referendum is still two years away, the task they face to turn around opinion on independence appears to be getting ever steeper. While the poll does not include voting intentions among 16 and 17 year olds, who will be allowed to vote for the first time in the referendum in autumn 2014, it shows that among the next age group — 18 to 24 year olds — support for independence is running at only 27 per cent, the same as in the over-55 age group.

Support for Scotland leaving the UK is highest among the 35-54 age group — the so-called “Braveheart†generation — where it stands at 35 per cent.

Compared with June this year, support has fallen among the younger age groups. For 18-24 year olds it is down 10 points and for 25-34 year olds, it is down 20 points since June. There is no change among 35-54 year olds or those aged over 55.

Support for independence continues to be particularly low among women as only 24 per cent would vote ‘Yes’ compared with 37 per cent of men. Support among men fell 6 points since June.

To add to SNP anxieties as they meet in Perth, Ipsos MORI also found that Mr Salmond’s approval ratings among Scots voters have fallen again, with 50 per cent satisfied with the way the First Minister is doing his job and 40 per cent dissatisfied. While this is still a net satisfaction rating of plus 10 per cent it is down 3 percentage points on June this year and an extraordinary 25 points down from January when it was plus 35 per cent.

However, the approval ratings of Johann Lamont, the Scottish Labour leader, are also down on June this year. Thirty five per cent of Scots are satisfied with the way Ms Lamont is doing her job and 30 per cent dissatisfied, a net rating of plus 5 per cent, down 4 per cent on her net rating in June. Net satisfaction ratings for both Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Conservative leader and Willie Rennie, the Scottish Liberal Democrat leader, remain deep in negative territory.

The fall in Ms Lamont’s ratings will be attributed by observers to her recent controversial speech in which she questioned whether the free universal benefits received by Scots — including free personal care of the elderly, free prescriptions and free student tuition — were financially sustainable. However, it does not seem to have had a negative impact on Scottish Labour’s overall poll comeback.

Alistair Darling, chair of the pro-Union Better Together campaign, welcomed the poll but warned supporters not to “take the foot off the gas in any wayâ€.

The SNP’s Deputy Leader and Scotland’s Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon insisted that the party was very confident of achieving a Yes vote in the referendum.

“We know from other surveys that a clear majority of people in Scotland believe that the Scottish Government is better at making decisions for Scotland than Westminster. By spelling out over the next two years how an independent Scotland will flourish — and that the alternative is to have the achievements of home rule such as free personal care and no tuition fees rolled back — I believe that we will turn this potential majority into a Yes majority in 2014.â€

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http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/news/politics/article3571680.ece

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If this was done before the referendum deal was confirmed, then it's not very relevant. Even if just after, still too soon to impact. Devo Max will still be affecting things.

I suspect it was, as results for MORI drip out over a long period.

In the meantime, within error, it looks like their last one where Devo Max was given as an option. Need to wait for the tables.

Although I'd be happy with 44% not ready to vote for the union tomorrow at this stage if it was close to correct. I remember when Labour were polling up to 49%, at least 12-15 points well ahead of the SNP on ~30% Christmas 2010. Papers were full of the prospect of a huge Labour victory in the spring. I was not so worried, as poll data said the lead was a very soft one and a gut reaction which was unlikely to turn into votes.

The key event will be the white paper next year. That will confirm what independence is, overcoming existing uncertainties. Devo Max should be very much dead and buried by unionists then too.

So far we've had:

Stage 1

SNP shoot to victory after performing really well and the Tories returning.

Stage 2

Support for independence surges in the aftermath/euphoria (Yes was ahead of no for a sustained period around last winter)

Now we are in:

Stage 3

Oh brown stuff, it's really going to happen. What will it mean? What about the EU, defence, etc? Maybe Devo Max is safer.

Next is:

Stage 4

Ok, no devo max but oh, independence looks safe enough now that the details are all confirmed....

Couple that with the prospect of a Tory win in 2015 (Ed's lead is as soft as Ian Gray's was) and...

This is exactly why the Scottish Government are giving plenty of time for things to be organised (EU status, currency, defence etc) ahead of the vote.

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EDT. Got some of the data tables.

Yep, fieldwork was before the final agreement/signing of the deal for one question only. So, already out of date. The death of devo max effect will need a few months to begin fully sinking in.

Yes is looking better than first inspection as 'all giving an intention' has 48% opting to not back the union if they had to vote tomorrow. Not great for the better together side these figures, particularly coming out of the great year of Britishness with independence yet to be clearly defined. You'd be wanting 65% no for 'all giving an intention' to feel confident.

Not sure if they asked about devo max (not in these tables, but may have been done but yet unpublished); that is the important number as it better reflects the proportion with no love for Westminster rule and so ultimately is closer to what will be the Yes vote come the time.

For VI, they have the SNP lower on 40%, compared to 47% in the two most recent polls prior to this (TNS, Yougov early September . Suggests a wee possible drop to maybe 42-43%. Labour maybe gained a little, but within precision error. However, I'm starting to feel confident that the impact of Labour shifting to the right is kicking in slowly (as these things do); up to 5% down over the past couple of weeks. More time needed for this as they are in opposition.

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I could not have put this better myself:

http://www.heraldsco...e-vote.19177623

LibDems should put their own convictions to the vote

Iain MacWhirter for the Herald.

No sooner had Alex Salmond and David Cameron struck the Edinburgh Agreement, and opened the way for a single-question referendum on independence for Scotland, when along come the Liberal Democrats with plans for a full-scale federal restructuring of Britain. The Scottish Labour Party has also finally convened its Devolution Commission. And of course David Cameron has suggested that Scotland can expect enhanced devolution if we are good boys and girls and reject independence. Suddenly you can't move for devolution commissions. What will Scots make of it all?

Well, the Liberal Democrats first. Their Home Rule Commission under the former leader, Sir Menzies Campbell which reported this week, has essentially restated their long-standing policy of federalism. The LibDems want a formal separation of powers between a federal UK level of government and subordinate state governments in the component parts of the UK. Much like the United States of America – though smaller. The Scottish Parliament would gain full powers over income tax and domestic policy, while leaving defence, foreign affairs and overall currency to a new level of government. It's a system that works very well in countries like Australia and Germany where federal systems were introduced by British colonial and wartime administrations.

But it would mean that English people would have to get used to voting for their own parliament, in a location yet to be identified, while also voting for a UK president or party at Westminster. And here lies the essential problem. English people are quite happy with their parliament in Westminster and don't see why they should go through some constitutional upheaval just because the Scots want a better deal. Northern English regions were given the opportunity to vote for regional parliaments in referendums on devolution in 2004 and the proposals were decisively rejected.

There is another problem: the Liberal Democrats. They have a massive credibility problem in Scotland, not least because of commitments made never to increase university tuition fees, which of course were abandoned when they came to office. Similarly, the Liberal Democrats promised electoral reform and reform of the House of Lords, neither of which ever saw the light of constitutional day. Which makes it hard to believe that their federal system will ever be adopted. Especially since they have just spent the last two years insisting that their proposal should not be put to the Scottish people in a referendum.

This really won't do. Sir Menzies says that the present constitutional settlement is "unsustainable" and that there needs to be a root and branch reform of the UK constitution. This is, to all intents and purposes, devolution max, yet they have insisted that there should be no opportunity for the Scots to give their view on it. The Liberal Democrats were happy to have a referendum on the Alternative Vote and say they want one on British membership of the European Union. About the only constitutional issue they don't want tested in a referendum is their own plan for a federal UK.

The Scottish opposition parties have expended so much political capital on blocking that second question that they've left themselves precious little for their own schemes. Labour has finally convened the Devolution Commission that was promised by Johann Lamont last March. Mind you, given the new Scottish Labour leader's predilection for abandoning cherished Labour policies like universal benefits, it's not inconceivable she might just decide to dump home rule as well. Who was Keir Hardie anyway? The Scottish Parliament begat the "something for nothing society" – free personal care, tuition fees and so on. So why not just get rid of the thing and save money?

The Tories probably aren't stupid enough to propose that, but they are so marginal now in Scottish politics that they can more or less say what they like. They know, as Ms Lamont knows, that if the Scots vote No to independence in the autumn of 2014 there will be no need to come up with complicated schemes of enhanced devolution. A No vote will be regarded as a vindication of the constitutional status quo, plain and simple. There will no longer be any need to honour vague promises of better things to come. The UK Government may agree to some kind of post-referendum review of the Scottish Parliament's powers, but this will report that the powers already conceded by the recent Scotland Act are pretty much the limits of constitutional autonomy within a unitary state.

No-one should be under any illusions that, if Scots vote No to independence, they will get anything remotely resembling devolution max or devolution plus, the latter being the proposal put forward by the Reform Scotland think tank who want all taxes repatriated except VAT and National Insurance. It just isn't going to happen. No so much new wine in old bottles as the bottles taken away in a skip. No means no.

It will be argued that, while subordinate levels of government can be given their own tax base, like local government, overall fiscal policy has to be set centrally by the central UK Treasury and backstopped by the Bank of England. Giving the Scottish Parliament further income tax-raising powers, or powers to create its own national debt, might lead to instability as it has in Spain, where the autonomous region of Catalonia has been running up deficits which Madrid doesn't want to pay. Can't have that.

So, the overwhelming majority of Scots, who want a new improved version of devolution but don't particularly want to leave the UK to get it, will soon discover that they have effectively been disenfranchised: allowed only to vote for options they don't actually support. The irony is that, if the Liberal Democrats' federal plan were put to the Scottish people in a referendum in 2014, the Scots would almost certainly vote for it. But of course it won't be, so they can't. The big question for the next 100 weeks is what the Scottish voters will do when they wake up to the fact that they have been locked out of their own referendum. I suspect many will not bother to vote, others will vote Yes out of frustration. Either way, it could undermine the legitimacy of the referendum.

Vote no and you get nothing. No more powers. Zip, zilch, sweet FA. Devo Max, plus, FFA are never, ever going to happen. Vote YES if you want more powers.

In time, the electorate will come to appreciate this. That was the whole reason Devo Max was talked about by the Scottish Government; so those 7 in 10 that would vote for it realise Westminster will never deliver it; it neither has the will nor really the ability either.

Edited by scottish skier
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I was interviewied by a chap for BBC Radio Scotland(or 5) on Buchannan street a week past today. Basically just wanted my opinion on the whole one question thing etc. to which I stated that it needed to be one yes/no question. He then asked what I though about the vote being in two years. I told him that 2 years was ideal as it gave the SNP time to put forward their argument for independance and to set it out in a clear manner what it would mean for us.

I also then said, it would give Scots a chance to assess how the next two years go overall for the UK and that the vote will most likely hang on the Torries and Cameraon perform in Westminster. Bearing in mind that they were all but wiped out in the last election, they have a long road to travel if they are to convince the undecided that we are better off in the Union.

Personally, ATM, I'm voting yes, not out of patriotic anti-englishness, (Edit: I'm not anti-english by the way lol) but out of the idea that I believe we would be better off, and we would thrive as a smaller nation. We will see if that changes over the next 2 years.

Also, I'm curious as to what people think about the Idea of a Federal Britain that was touted by Vince Cable? Ming Campbell? Well, someone from the Lib Dems. I think the idea was that Scotland would become a federal state along with the rest of the UK and it would be a Federal Union. Havn't got the details to hand.

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Also, I'm curious as to what people think about the Idea of a Federal Britain that was touted by Vince Cable? Ming Campbell? Well, someone from the Lib Dems. I think the idea was that Scotland would become a federal state along with the rest of the UK and it would be a Federal Union. Havn't got the details to hand.

As I've posted in the past, I have not always been unquestionably yes. I'm a pragmatist. When I voted for devolution, I felt it would lead to some sort of federalisation or confederalisation which may have been sufficient to make me happy. Certainly I would be a devo max supporter.

From the outset did not like the look of New Labour, but thought they suited a large component of the English electorate well. So long as more economic and social powers were transferred to Holyrood, I might have had little reason to complain.

However, when the SNP came to power in 2007, I started paying much more attention. The first thing that hit me was when the Libs refused to work with them in a coalition. Given their manifestos were nearly identical and they are both Liberal Democratic yellow flag-waving parties (well not the libs it seems), this was a shock. The fact that the Libs also refused to go for a referendum which included more powers - which polls showed has huge support - basically turned me off the only UK party I might have ever considered voting for. The open hostility to the SNP and the fact that no other parties would consider offering more powers basically put me firmly in the yes camp.

The crushing of any hope of UK electoral reform (AV would have led to PR, no hope of change for the HoL) has just confirmed to me that I was right to become definite yes, certainly now all UK parties are confirmed right-wing and increasingly authoritarian. I am a strong believer in proportional, representative democracy, where governments offer people the choices/policies they wish to the best of their ability. I'm also centre to left leaning and definitely socially liberal. The only parties offering this stance are the independence supporting parties (SNP, Greens, Margo etc). Ergo, independence it must be for me!

Working in the energy industry, I have never had any concerns about economic viability. Cripes if Scotland was a basket case anyway, that would make independence an immediate necessity!

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With the Lib Dem's federal plans as proposed by Ming Campbell the devil is in the unspecified detail, the Treaty of Union secures the sovereignty of the Scottish people, if the new federal treaty was for a indivisible unitary state then frankly stuff it. Repealing the Act of Union might just be a stunt to appeal to nationalists, while potentially weakening not strengthening Scotland's constitutional situation.

Unlike the latest report, the Steel Commission is Lib Dem policy, so why did they vote against their own policies repeatedly during the process of the Scotland Act? Ever since Ming Campbell breached the federal structure of the Lib Dems and stuck his beak in post 2007 election to stop an SNP Lib Dem collation that would have delivered an independence referendum in the last parliament, the Lib Dems have seemed intent on total self destruction.

Regards opinion polls, polls in the lead up to the 2011 election were hugely wide of the mark and did Labour really implode to the extent required for the apparent SNP turn around or were many of the polls simply wildly inaccurate?

Nobody I know whether staunchly unionist, supportive of independence or undecided seems to believe the polls on independence, even a few people I know who are very pro union reckon it's neck and neck and that is reflected in the people they know. With devo max out of the equation then I imagine in reality it's about 30% settled on independence and 30% settled on the Union with 40% yet to decide.

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Regards opinion polls, polls in the lead up to the 2011 election where hugely wide of the mark and did Labour really implode to the extent required for the apparent SNP turn around or were many of the polls simply wildly inaccurate?

No, they were real. It was a panicked reaction to the return of the Tories. Scotland has traditionally voted Labour to stop the Tories. It did not work (again) in 2010 and they (at least a 12% swing vote) were thinking about it for Holyrood. However, they saw how pointless this would be and that the SNP - whom they had been supporting until then according to polls - were a far better bet than Ian 'run away to the nearest subway' Gray's Labour. Hence the collapse in polls for Scottish labour ahead of the May election was as dramatic as it's strange rise from nowhere. It was an extremely weak support based on panic. Labour were not clever enough to appreciate this.

It is the same for the Y/N polls now. The fact that the Y was ahead at Christmas and now the N appears ahead is not saying 'we love Westminster again'. It is a panic reaction to the reality that there will be a referendum. So, some yes people are getting edgy and going to don't know (maybe devo max is best first!), while some don't knows are edging to no (devo max please!). Central to this has been devo max which offers what most want. What people must remember is that devo max is all but independence. Ask the electorate 'In an ideal world, would you like Scotland to be independent but with a good UK relationship?' and you'll get a big majority, probably close to 7 in 10 that polls for devo max.

This is not what polls are asking at the moment. They are asking people what they would vote for tomorrow with independence still seemingly uncertain (e.g. EU status, defence etc). However, the SNP remain completely confident as they know these uncertainties will not exist come referendum day. For example, the concept that people will go out to vote with no idea whether Scotland will be suddenly out of the EU is comical (will my wife and all those other EU citizens in Scotland have to leave? Will Scots in England have to leave as Scotland is no longer EU? Will the oil stop flowing as EU engineers are turfed out/refused entry at the airport and the rUK can't buy it because Scotland does not have a currency?). However, people don't always think straight and look at the bigger picture (I fell a little for it myself until I thought about it logically in response to events). That no vote is extremely soft (30-33% core No, i.e. the non devo maxers). Polling history tells us that.

Prepared to be sold devo max with bells on. All post independence arrangements will be confirmed by external parties (EU, BoE, NATO etc) before anyone is asked to put an X on the ballot. Anything else would be ludicrous for both Scotland, Britain and the EU etc, the reason being is that the moment a Yes vote is declared, Scotland would be independent, not a few months later, but instantly (this has just been agreed for the world to see, so Scotland will be recognised internationally upon a yes vote). The only way this could not be the case is if Scotland had no official government and was fighting its way out in an armed rebellion or similar.

Wait and see. In time, all will fall into place. Certainly, everything I expected has so far. We were talking about Devo max being a red herring a year ago and that it would be killed off by the unionist parties. Aye.

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In the meantime, enjoy the best postive case for the union stories being gathered together by Rev Stu at Wings over Scotland.

IF YOU VOTE ‘YES’ TO INDEPENDENCE:

- YOU WILL PROBABLY DIE OF CANCER

- SCOTLAND WILL BE BOMBED BY ENGLAND

- YOUR CHILDREN WILL BE KIDNAPPED

- OUR ECONOMY WILL BE DESTROYED

- WE’LL ALL BE MURDERED BY TERRORISTS

- THE EDINBURGH ZOO PANDAS WILL BE CONFISCATED

- YOU’LL NEED A PASSPORT TO GO TO GARELOCHHEAD

- THE ORKNEYS AND SHETLAND WILL FORM A BREAKAWAY COUNTRY

- RANGERS FANS WILL BE UNHAPPY

- YOU WILL NO LONGER BE ABLE TO WATCH ‘STRICTLY COME DANCING’

If that last one is written into an independent Scotland's new constitution, my Yes vote is secured for sure.

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Regarding the currency issue, isn't the Scotish pound technically different from the English pound? Albiet, it's used cross boarder.

Yes, it is a different currency, yet equal in value. Basically Scottish banks have one BoE £ sterling in their reserves for every £ Scots they issue. Same in Northern Ireland for the ulster £.

The Bank of England is not actually the bank of England, but the Bank of the £-zone, which includes all the crown dependencies which use the £ all over the world. The £ 'belongs' to all these countries and territories.

The BoE will be desperate for Scotland to stay in the £-zone for very obvious reasons. The one at the top of the list is the £-zone balance of trade which you want kept strong; no currency zone wants to loose 10% of its economy. The second is that it is much better to pay for oil/gas (and increasingly electrical power) in your own currency, not the $almond (or dollars on the international markets) for example!

Before we vote, the BoE and George will confirm that Scotland can use the £ (they could not actually stop this as it is fully tradable); in fact they will welcome it.

Will all be in the white paper.

Edited by scottish skier
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Don't you just love the way the media have already decided the result of the referendum. I suspect most of the headlines are wishful thinking. Ones like:" Independence on the slide". What are they basing this on. Certainly not normal folk I speak to. Most of whom haven't actually decided one way or the other. Come 2 years time the polls will be a lot different. What really annoys me is the unchecked nonsense that the unionists spout daily. For instance Scotland can't be in Nato unless it has nuclear weapons. Well the truth is 26 countries in Nato don't have nuclear weapons. The other one that we hear daily is the oil is running out. Yes in 50 years! I am sure without nuclear weapons and foreign wars Scotland could build a future in a country we can all be proud of not ashamed of.

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. For instance Scotland can't be in Nato unless it has nuclear weapons. Well the truth is 26 countries in Nato don't have nuclear weapons.

Just out of interest who actually said that and when as it's so obviously nonsense? I think you may find that out of the 28 countries three have nuclear capability.

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As an 'outsider' in the Scottish Independence debate it's certainly interesting watching BBC's Question Time this eve and seeing a hell of a lot of squabbling going on amongst the Scottish people.

A great advert for the Scottish nation - the issue around drug use and the methods to assist/control seem to be attracting particular divisive views.

I wish you the best of luck on your own.

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As an 'outsider' in the Scottish Independence debate it's certainly interesting watching BBC's Question Time this eve and seeing a hell of a lot of squabbling going on amongst the Scottish people.

A great advert for the Scottish nation - the issue around drug use and the methods to assist/control seem to be attracting particular divisive views.

I wish you the best of luck on your own.

What did you expect; that's what you get when you put loads of unionists in the same room. 3 Tories out of a panel of 5 (including Mags from the One Nation Tory party). Dimbleby too I imagine. Not sure why they use a presenter that knows so little about the country they're presenting from; what an embarrassment for the BBC Dimbleby is - did not know Scotland has different marriage laws to England yet he's leading a debate which talks about ages of majority!

I understand only Nicola sturgeon is in the yes camp. Never heard from Mark Serwotka before/what his politics are.

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Alan Cochrane. LOL! Based on the last census, the Jedi vote probably now exceeds the telegraph vote. Alan Cochrane talks to himself in Scotland.

EDIT. A related point. In Scotland you don't need to pay your license fee. Just accuse the BBC of bias and they leave you alone. State TV is state TV after all. But then you know that BB; you've said similar yourself about the BBC. Note that in Scotland however, those towards the centre left and liberal have little respect for the BBC; it's a one nation tory institution after all.

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Yeh question time was a shambles last night. Where was the Yes Scotland member? Why did we have 2 Unionist MP's and a unionist journalist. Alan Cochrane is not only a unionist he is also a crank who makes Mussolini look moderate.

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Cochrane's comment last night about supporting Devo Minus just goes to show how out of touch he is with the people of Scotland.

Mark Serwotka as a Trade Unionist should have been supporting Margaret Curran and the Labour Party but that was plainly not the case. A sign of the times when a trade unionists criticises a once Socialist party. There is some speculation that the STUC may come out in favour of Independence and I think that will certainly be news of some note if it happens.

My Father was a member of the Labour party for many many years and has voted for them for all his adult life and it came as some what of a shock to find out that his vote, at the last Scottish election went to the SNP. He stated that the Labour party were no longer the party of the people and that the SNP represented his views and the people of Scotland better.

What people must remember is that the referendum in 2014 is NOT about the SNP (I have serious issues with them) but about Independence. The 2016 election is about the future direction of an Independent Scotland, whether that be a Liberal, Socialist or Conservative future, the future will be decided by the people of Scotland.

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What people must remember is that the referendum in 2014 is NOT about the SNP (I have serious issues with them) but about Independence. The 2016 election is about the future direction of an Independent Scotland, whether that be a Liberal, Socialist or Conservative future, the future will be decided by the people of Scotland.

Most definitely, but the unionists like to play the man not the ball. Has not worked very well in elections to date, but they persist.

What I find amusing is that AS is not even on the Yes campaign board, never mind leading it, yet it's all 'Salmond's referendum' etc.

Good to see we now have 'Labour for Independence' and 'Libs for Independence'. Even Tories like Peter de Vink jumping on board.

If there is a yes vote, the left and right fringes of the SNP will move away to appropriate new parties/ones evolved from what we have now (e.g. Murdo and a new centre-right party), leaving the SNP as a centre, liberal democratic party I'd imagine. Certainly, we'd be unlikely to see them with a majority after independence. I'm all for no party having a majority and instead consensus must prevail. Makes for strong policy rather than strong (dictatorial) government.

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EDIT.

Some rumours that BBC Newswatch has started investigating unionist bias in the BBC.

http://newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-news/6078-question-time-descends-into-one-sided-shambles-as-bbc-referendum-coverage-faces-scrutiny

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Just had N Sturgeon compared to a nazi by a guy in my work.. I let most things go over my head. But told him I wasn't going tolerate that. Utter madness from some people!

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http://www.yesscotla...ndence_campaign

SNP announce at their conference they will support the pro-independence campaign, Yes Scotland. Greens already officially done the same too.

Nicola Sturgeon obviously will be the SNP representative, having acted in that role prior to official party confirmation that it is backing the independent yes campaign.

The Right Honourable Alex Salmond, MSP, brutal dictator / despot? He's busy with being FM.

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EDIT.

Can I be a right-winger for the day and use the Mail for reference material?

http://www.dailymail...-elsewhere.html

This new MP expenses scandal surrounding rents...

Jim Murphy of Scottish Labour seems to have been doing nicely out of this wee sneaky trick.

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Good to see it in the Herald too.

http://www.heraldsco...-row.1350640850

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EDIT, this is quite good:

http://www.borderagencyscotland.com/?ind2014

Scottish Border Agency citizenship test.

I passed with an 'A'.Posted Image

Failed the actual British Citizenship test when I tried it before. Had trick questions on prescription charges and marriage ages etc.

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Yeh question time was a shambles last night. Where was the Yes Scotland member? Why did we have 2 Unionist MP's and a unionist journalist. Alan Cochrane is not only a unionist he is also a crank who makes Mussolini look moderate.

Just to put this in perspective question time has been a shambles for many years and I gave up watching it as I couldn't afford to keep replacing the TV.

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14/16 not bad think they will let me stay? Oh I forgot to mention the guy that compared the rise of Scottish independence and the SNP with Hitler and the Third Reich. Is an old Schoool White South African racist who insults Black people and immigrants on a daily basis. The irony oh the irony. Like I said some things I let go. However he insults and taints every free thinking liberal person who belives in Scottish independence including The SNP, it's members,it's asian MSPs,my family,Alex Salmond,Sean Connery,Jimmy Reid(Deceased),Dennis Canavan,Margo MacDonald,the Scottish Green party....As Salmond said :"The nonsense is over" . I will not tolerate such childish unneducated bigoted people who have no knowledge of anything they remark upon.

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--------------

EDIT, this is quite good:

http://www.borderage...nd.com/?ind2014

Scottish Border Agency citizenship test.

I passed with an 'A'.Posted Image

Failed the actual British Citizenship test when I tried it before. Had trick questions on prescription charges and marriage ages etc.

Both my husband and I got 14/16 doing this, (and the footie one was a bit of a trick) ..

nay bad !

:)

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Both my husband and I got 14/16 doing this, (and the footie one was a bit of a trick) ..

nay bad !

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Congrats; two Scottish passports on their way to you. Posted Image

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A significant development:

http://www.bbc.co.uk...litics-19993694

SNP party members at the conference vote to support remaining in NATO upon independence on the condition of no nuclear weapons in Scotland (note this does not mean Scotland would definitely remain in NATO, just that the SNP would support it as a party initially).

A pragmatic decision I feel and support. If they ever dropped the second part about getting rid of trident, they'd lose my vote.

What I liked about this, and e.g. the greens conference, is the way policy is debated then approved by party members voting. Some passionate and very well thought out speeches by both pro and anti-nato camps. A lively debate, then democracy decides. Pity we don't see that with the big UK parties really anymore.

Incidentally, the SNP now have a greater membership than the Lib Dems have in the whole of the UK. Impressive given Scotland is only 8.4% of the population.

Edited by scottish skier
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Yes democracy in action. Personally I am anti Nato. However as the majority are not I accept that and take it on the chin. The most important thing is to get independence first then shape our country. If we don't get independence then we cannot make these decision now or in the future.

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