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Scottish Politics 2011-2017


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Aye, well faced with this problem you might imagine they're starting to prepare for negotiations.

 

http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/poll-suggests-48-of-scots-would-vote-yes-in-indy-ref-if-they-felt-tories-wo.1397409810

 

Poll: 48% of Scots would vote yes in indy ref if they felt Tories were likely to win next general election

 

 

If it looks like the Tories or a Tory-led coalition (with DK in brackets):

 

56% likely to vote Y (48%)

44% likely to vote N (38%)

 

Labour or Labour-led coalition:

49.5% likely to vote Y (42%)

50.5% likely to vote N (43%)

 

Funny that. I thought it was all about being say a few hundred bucks better off?

 

Oh no I didn't.

 

I've said many times, every poll says Yes but straight Y/N. Give people an excuse for admitting they are leaning to or for Yes, be that the price of a cheap egg mayo sandwich a day or the Tories, and suddenly things look different.

 

What you are doing is getting closer to the truth. It's like when you ask in a roundabout way, you immediately see differences, e.g. this from Scotpulse in February:

 

Posted Image

 

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

 

Also, here's another one. Quite a lot of them 'coming out' at the STUC in Dundee.

 

 
Labour Party local chairman backs Yes vote
 
A Labour Party chairman has declared his support for Scottish independence.
 
Mike Dyer, constituency chairman of Anniesland, in Glasgow, revealed his backing for a "Yes" vote at the STUC conference in Dundee.
 
He cited the "relentless negativity" of the No campaign as one of the key motivating factors in his decision.

 

 

 

EDIT TUsforYes twitter feed from the STUC

 

https://twitter.com/TUsforYes

 

 

And, just so you know:


 
“The North-East has nothing to fear from ‘devo max’ for Scotland, Labour’s leader north of the border has insisted.
 
Johann Lamont rejected suggestions that Scotland is poised to gain a huge economic advantage over its neighbouring region, in return for voting ‘no’ to independence.
 
Instead, Ms Lamont urged people in the North-East not to believe ‘propaganda’ about extra powers and riches heading to Edinburgh.â€...
 
...“Scotland has a fixed budget. Our choice is about how we spend it. I can understand people in the North-East hearing about the fantastic things going on in Scotland, but that other side of it is never spoken about.
 
Scotland will not be getting more money, it will simply be accountable for raising more of its money. I hope that dispels some myths.â€

 

 

 
In case you thought that Devo Nano amounted to anything...
 
Picked up by Wings as usual.
 
 
--------
 
EDIT.
 
Janan Ganesh at the FT hits the nail fairly square on the head.

 
Politically Scotland has already left the union behind
 
...Scottish public life is growing so unlike England’s as to already resemble that of a separate state. Wonderfully, Mr Salmond can call for more immigration and live to tell the tale. No Westminster politician would try. Less wonderfully, he can espouse the kind of economics that would cause much of England to check that it was not 1975.
 
This disparity is not going away. The unionist campaign is a footling concern next to the deeper unionist plight. Independence may be averted in September but the trend of history is unmistakable.

 

 
 
 
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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

Posted Images

To balance things up between polls done for either side this one conducted by YouGov  for Better Together on the matter of further referendums:

 

Even a third of SNP supporters want to move on if theres a No vote:

 

The overall percentage for/against another referendum:

 

For: 31

Against :59

 

I don't think this is surprising, the campaign has been going on for what must seem an eternity to some Scottish voters, this is even outdoing USA Presidential campaigns. There must be some voter fatigue by now, as has been seen in the USA in those swing states the money thrown into advertising eventually has diminishing returns. I think we might see a tuning out by some voters for the next few months and then a re-engagement as the vote nears.

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Nick,

 

Yougov are the second most unreliable pollster in Scotland (MORI most unreliable).

 

Somehow they have up to 10% more English people living in Scotland than actually exist. That can quite readily hand 8-9% to No and shave nearly the same off Yes.

 

Not only that, but they weight to 2010 which all the other pollsters have given up on. You can see the huge flaw - sometimes the groups here require 4% of respondents views have to be upweighted to over 10% for example... Again helps No as it creates too many Labour voters and too many SNP respondents who voted Labour in 2010.

 

As a quick rule of thumb your figures are probably more about even.

 

Trends are interesting though. Independence against devo current / more up 6% since December with the directly from devo maxers / no. 4% rise in the last month alone. 35% indy - even when offered devo more is the highest in 7 years when more devo offered too. Nearly as high as the 37% Yes Yougov are getting which as a recent record. 

 

What happens if it as No really depends on the level. You need 70% No to put the matter completely to bed. 60% No would make it hard to push again soon for a referendum, but with unionists crying 'Scots want much more devo not indy' then they'd need to produce that and people will vote SNP to get it as it must come from Westminster. No more devo and we are back to square one.

 

If it is just over 50% No we are looking at the SNP and other pro-indy parties deciding whether to propose another referendum in 2016+ term if no devo max agreed. That would be fair and would likely guarantee them another majority.

 

50%+1 and Scotland is independent. Ideally would be a bit better than that and polls point to that. 60-65% Yes is my prediction based on over 16 years worth of polling and SSAS data.

 

EDIT

 

To expand. If say 48% vote Yes to independence they are not going to vanish. They will need representation. They will want representation. If it's a No why should I change my view and not vote in support of another referendum? That would be like Labour winning the next UK GE and Tory voters saying 'Well, that's it settled - we'll wait a generation before voting Tory again'.

 

Of course if it is a Yes, there is no problem for pro-UK parties calling for a referendum on re-joining the union and putting that in manifestos. Residents of the rUK would need to be asked in a referendum to of course and conditions set out for this - they'd demand it I imagine after Scotland had voted itself out. I can't see it being a vote winner.

 

Anyway, with the Tories / two main anti-Scottish UK parties (against devolution) due to get >50% of the rUK vote next month (Tories + extreme Tory UKIP), things are just about to really heat up!

 

UKIP run a real hearts and minds campaign...

 

xR4woZs.jpg

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SS the poll you referred to in terms of expectation of a Tory win in the GE and voter intention on independence was done for Yes Scotland so I think its a little unfair to dismiss a poll done for Better together.

 

Both could  be accused of some bias although looking at the questions they don't look that way, even if we say drop 10 percent off those YouGov results to appease your concerns that's still 49 against another referendum.

 

Similarly as I mentioned its pretty evident why people might just feel a bit weary about another referendum, that percentage in the advent of a No may change once the dust settles and the Scottish public have re-charged their batteries.

 

The percentage for Yes/No I will concede is important.

 

If the negotiations go well and Salmonds wish list gets fulfilled then probably the transition will be smooth with those who voted No they'll probably be less worried about the future.

 

Have you thought for a minute the reaction if its a no to currency union, EU membership becomes rocky. Will Salmond just blame everyone else for not jumping when he says jump, at that stage would it be fair for Westminster to yet again be the scapegoat, for the EU to be just being difficult or does the buck stop with the Yes side .

 

There are a section of Yes voters who want independence at any cost, they simply don't care what happens afterwards as long as they get their own government, that's fine for those, theres a section who maybe saying Yes because they think it will all work out fine afterwards and that the White Paper is facts rather than assertions, they're happy to buy the everyone is bluffing, scaremongering etc.

 

That's all well and good if that is the case, have you asked yourself what if those aren't bluffs?

 

There are no guarantees after independence, IMO if you vote Yes its with the longhaul in mind, you accept things might get rocky for a while and its not all sun and sangria.

 

Again I will repeat my previous posts, nation referenda are normally won with huge percentages because its such a clear cut scenario, where the population has either suffered war, oppression, poor living standards etc, there is generally universal celebration afterwards because anything is perceived as better than the status quo.

 

I don't doubt that Scotland alone could be successful but it will take time and patience, I suspect you have that but the softer Yes's don't.

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Nick, Yougov are the second most unreliable pollster in Scotland (MORI most unreliable). Somehow they have up to 10% more English people living in Scotland than actually exist. That can quite readily hand 8-9% to No and shave nearly the same off Yes.

Are you sure about that? I'm trying to find a source (annoyingly it's coming up with polls for English people in England, who of course won't have a vote), but I've read that English-born residents of Scotland have in fact been historically more likely to support independence than Scottish-born Scots. One of the few friends who adamantly supports it is English born. And there's me too! And I've only been living here for two years.
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Are you sure about that? I'm trying to find a source (annoyingly it's coming up with polls for English people in England, who of course won't have a vote), but I've read that English-born residents of Scotland have in fact been historically more likely to support independence than Scottish-born Scots. One of the few friends who adamantly supports it is English born. And there's me too! And I've only been living here for two years.

 

I believe the English people living in Scotland who support independence are very vocal; probably more so than Scots who are Yes. Maybe this is because if you are English you can hardly be accused of being anti-yourself by unionists. It's a bit like my wife who is French; amongst her friends she's much more open about supporting independence. She's not shy at all as can say 'But France is independent - why would Scotland not want to be!'. Nobody can say to her 'Why don't you feel Scottish and British'!. She can clearly feel Scottish and does now after 14 years here, but how could she feel British having no family relations in the rUK and only been through it once by bus as a student. All she knows about life in the rest of the UK is a view from the plane and what's on TV sometimes. Posted Image 

 

MORI has a similar problem to Yougov in that it's samples also don't match census / SSAS country of birth and natID - too English again and too British Scottish. More to do with telephone polling and hitting an older, more conservative and better off group I assume. However, if you look at cross-tabs, people saying they were born somewhere else in the UK (dominated by English), 80% are normally No / 10% Yes which we can take to be generally correct. 

 

EDIT

 

I wish pollsters would at least ask country of birth and ideally weight to it. It is a strong influence on how people feel in terms of the way they view Scotland.  

 

Panelbase seem to be good here in terms of their sampling (panel) as they asked this in November:

 

Imagine yourself meeting someone from overseas for the first time. Regardless of how you plan to vote in the referendum, would you feel more proud introducing yourself as Scottish or British?

 

62% Scottish

19% British

18% No difference

 

Not the SSAS or census question, but a decent reflection of the census which gave 62% 'Scottish only' and 12% British first with a part of the 'equally Scottish and British' siding with British when pushed to give 17% total (checked and yes 17% is forced choice British historical average). The 'no difference' respondents of course will be a mix of 'equally S&B' and people not from Britain originally.

 

EDIT again

 

In the 2011 census 2.3% of people stated they were 'English' only (compared to 8.7% born in England). I wonder if they are not the ones more supportive of independence for Scotland - after all they don't see themselves as British so much? You might imagine if they were more union orientated they'd say British or English and British just as strong unionist Scots say S&B...

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EDIT again In the 2011 census 2.3% of people stated they were 'English' only (compared to 8.7% born in England). I wonder if they are not the ones more supportive of independence for Scotland - after all they don't see themselves as British so much? You might imagine if they were more union orientated they'd say British or English and British just as strong unionist Scots say S&B...

I'm not sure. I say I'm English no matter who I'm talking to now, but I would've said I was British before I came here. When I realised many if not most Scots call themselves Scottish, it almost seemed like the 'British' label was the preserve of the English (in England). And the last thing we want is Britain and England being synonymous labels.Calling myself English just adds a further distinction and is more specific. This isn't a distinction that most English people in England need to make very often, as 85% of Britain is English and for them the terms are almost synonymous. It's not that I'm not British.In all honesty, I think denying Britishness comes across as a bit forceful and ridiculous. There's a British culture and for the medium term there will continue to be no matter what happens in September. Even if you're for independence and recognise the cultural/social/political differences (and similarities!) between the four UK nations, you're going to be someone of Britain. Similarly, a UKIP member born in England is European due to the accident of their birth. They're still entitled to not want to be in the EU. TL;DR version: I don't like 'I'm not British!' being used to make a political statement.
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Are you sure about that? I'm trying to find a source (annoyingly it's coming up with polls for English people in England, who of course won't have a vote), but I've read that English-born residents of Scotland have in fact been historically more likely to support independence than Scottish-born Scots. One of the few friends who adamantly supports it is English born. And there's me too! And I've only been living here for two years.

 

This isn't very scientific and proves nothing, but here goes anyway :)

 

I have seven friends on Facebook who have liked the Better Together page, all live in Scotland but four are English born, the other three are Scottish born, and you'd never guess what football team they support :rofl:

 

I have nine Facebook friends who have liked Yes Scotland, eight are Scottish born and one is English born. All bar one of these nine live in Scotland, the other moved to the US last week.

 

Roughly 15% of my Facebook friends are English, and around 4% are non-UK. I'm still not getting the hang of being a rabid xenophobic Scottish Nationalist :lol:

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 There's a British culture and for the medium term there will continue to be no matter what happens in September.

Hello Harve. Please define "british " culture? 

 

There's a British culture and for the medium term there will continue to be no matter what happens in September. Even if you're for independence and recognise the cultural/social/political differences (and similarities!) between the four UK nations, you're going to be someone of Britain. Similarly, a UKIP member born in England is European due to the accident of their birth. They're still entitled to not want to be in the EU. TL;DR version: I don't like 'I'm not British!' being used to make a political statement. 

 

Theres cultural social political differences and similarities among the nations of europe , so the uk is not unique in this. I honestly dont think i have ever heard anyone in scotland say they are not of "Britain" in a geographical sense. That will always be the case independance or no. The problem i think you may be conflating here  is the rejection of britishness , not just in scotland but as scottish skier pointed out as in the 2011 census across the uk , as a nationality.

I personally see myself as a scottish national , but also at present equally a uk and eu citizen. I m not british isnt a political statement , its a projection of reality in terms of nationality.

The uk is a multi national state and always has been.  Whats more natural than saying to someone , im scottish , or english? Personally dont see the issue myself.

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In all honesty, I think denying Britishness comes across as a bit forceful and ridiculous. There's a British culture and for the medium term there will continue to be no matter what happens in September. Even if you're for independence and recognise the cultural/social/political differences (and similarities!) between the four UK nations, you're going to be someone of Britain. Similarly, a UKIP member born in England is European due to the accident of their birth. They're still entitled to not want to be in the EU. TL;DR version: I don't like 'I'm not British!' being used to make a political statement.

 

I agree. Nothing wrong with feeling British nor having British as part of your identity. It is a perfectly valid one.

 

On the census I ticked 'Scottish'. I saw no reason to tick 'British' in addition to this as if I'm Scottish then, for now, I'm a British citizen. Also, what does 'British' mean? Would ticking British be taken politically, i.e. that might mean I support the union and Westminster rule? Or would it just be like me ticking  'Norwegian' and 'Scandinavian'?

 

If I found myself taking the SSAS and was asked the Moreno Question, I'm not sure what I'd answer. 

 

1. 29% Scottish not British

2. 33% More Scottish than British

3. 25% Equally Scottish and British

4. 4% More British than Scottish

5. 6% British not Scottish

 

In the census, you could just tick Scottish without needing to state any affinity (or not) to Britishness. In the Moreno Q, people are asked in all cases to link their Scottishness to Britishness in some way. Option 1 is quite forceful as it implies a strong rejection of Britishness. Option 2 even does that to an extent. It's weird as you'd never get in e.g. a Danish survey the option 'Danish not German'. And what is meant by British? Support for integrated union or a loose more EU style one? Maybe just social historical bonds?

 

I'm really not sure how I'd answer. I've always been Scottish and when young, as Scotland was part of Britain, so I was British too. However, the unionists tell me that to be British I must accept direct Westminster rule. In that case, I'm forced towards 1. 

 

Clearly what happens here is those who consider themselves Scottish with little to no identification with Britishness tick 'Scottish' alone in the census and split into 1 and 2 on the SSAS depending probably how strong they feel politically I'd imagine.

 

Would also be a tricky question for someone English but who did not feel British!

 

In terms of people saying 'I don't feel British' as a political statement - I think that's fine. How you nationally identify and how that governs your politics is your own business. Wanting Scotland independent because you are 'Scottish' only is perfectly legitimate. It is the main reason countries exist.

 

Saying someone is a traitor or something for feeling British in addition to being Scottish is wrong; some people genuinely feel Britain is their country, normally for family ties or history of where they have lived.

 

I bring the topic up with respect to the referendum a lot as it is fundamental to it. Scotland is no different to any other country in the world. Feeling that Scotland is your country is no different from someone Finnish feeling Finland is their country.

 

The more Scottish someone considers themselves the more they view Scotland as a country and Britain not one. Ergo, the more likely they are to vote for that. It's the single biggest factor involved. If the vast majority of people in Scotland saw it as simply a region of Britain, then they'd feel British, we'd have no Scottish parliament and no referendum. I've noted how Scotland has steadily been becoming more Scottish with younger people the most Scottish on record (over 70% Scottish only). This is of course not people wearing kilts more regularly or eating more haggis; it is simply that the British component of identity has been weakening. 

 

Of course there are plenty of exceptions to the rule, but as a rule it's a very strong one. Hence why I think pollsters should be weighting to country of birth. I said in the past they should weight to natID. However, this becomes political and people tell porkies (you see this in variation in the SSAS depending on the political climate, but not in the long term average). Country of birth solves this as it should yield correct natID generally yet people don't see the question as political.

 

So far, Panelbase is the only pollster that seems bang on here. MORI and Yougov are out. ICM and survation get similar values of Y/N to panelbase using similar methods which suggests they can't be far off.

 

As I've said before, I believe the referendum result will reflect national identity.  It did in 1979 and very clearly did in 1997 where we had two questions with an effectively perfect match. Ultimately, nobody can know whether independence will make Scotland prosperous or not. Whether it will deliver better governance long term etc. Everyone says it's about the economy etc and yet the prospect of the Tories is enough to swing it and that doesn't imply Scotland would be better off per se, just that it wouldn't get the Tories. The majority want independence or all but independence (devo max). The majority trust Holyrood more - it's their government after all. The majority don't trust Westminster at all... etc

 

Those unsure or soft no who feel Scotland is their country will struggle to vote No as a result. As French Mrs SS put it 'How could anyone vote against the existence of their own country!'. You see this when they are given excuses for yes such as Scotland would be slightly more prosperous or not get the Tories. You also see it when they are asked if they think an iScotland would be a success; they say Yes. 

 

Maybe I'll be wrong but that would be a surprise given that Scotland is no different to any other country. 

 

As for English people in Scotland being open about supporting independence... As I said, this is because they can be, or at least are feel freer to talk openly. You only have to look back through this thread to see the 'You just hate the English' card played by some. The British media have encouraged this or at least been complacent. Unionist MPs have talked about Scotland becoming some anti-English facist dictatorship on prime time TV. This causes people to be quiet. That and they know voting Yes will end Britain which is something they feel they may be looked badly upon for doing. If they could have got independence without breaking up Britain  they'd have gone for it, i.e. Devo Max.

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You have to respect other peoples personal feelings when it comes to nationality. I don't feel British and never have. I can't pretend to feel British just to spare someone elses feelings or to help them affirm their own feelings. Nationality can be forced with a passport or a sword but never emotionally internally. Hence the Irish were always Irish even when ruled from London. You would be hard pushed to find any Irishman in the republic who feels anything remotely British! Why are Scots who don't feel British being forced to admit they are British. The Irish were taken by force but I was born in Scotland currently part of the UK due to history not by my choice. People are who they are and you have to be relaxed and not force identity onto them as that's a form of insecurity.

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Sad too see people bringing race into the equation. They normally do this when they have lost the argument or have no further valid arguments. It tends to work as the last thing anyone wants to be is branded racists.

I was born in Yorkshire consider myself a Yorkshire man then English and last of all British.

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Sad too see people bringing race into the equation. They normally do this when they have lost the argument or have no further valid arguments. It tends to work as the last thing anyone wants to be is branded racists.

I was born in Yorkshire consider myself a Yorkshire man then English and last of all British.

 

On the census there were two separate questions in this area:

 

One asked about ethnicity / race (Q15).

 

The other asked about national identity (Q14).

 

http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/files2/the-census/scotlands-census-2011-specimen-questionnaire.pdf

 

As is standard - the two being completely different things.

 

Racist BNP types often try to link them of course - rather ugly. To have unionist politicians doing it is particularly scary.

 

Obviously, there's no such thing as a 'Scottish' nor 'British' race. People nationally identifying with either or both of these come in all shapes / sizes / 'colours', religions etc (Q13) etc.

 

But yes, it's not an effective approach. If you accuse people of being something they are not in public, the papers etc, you don't change how they plan to vote, rather you just make them likely to lie when asked.

 

In the meantime, watch out for space monsters. From the Daily Mail...

 

Posted Image

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Looks as thought the Scottish goverment is no better than the goverment in London when it comes to ignoring parts of its country.

And the yes vote is going to bring greater fairness to Scotland!! - yeah right. Any new independent Scottish goverment will be just as bad as any other goverment ignoring certain areas / people although they like to have you think they will be different.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-27043974

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Looks as thought the Scottish goverment is no better than the goverment in London when it comes to ignoring parts of its country.And the yes vote is going to bring greater fairness to Scotland!! - yeah right. Any new independent Scottish goverment will be just as bad as any other goverment ignoring certain areas / people although they like to have you think they will be different.http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-27043974

 

Erm...

 

Did you read the article you posted? Notice the words 'Lerwick Declaration?'.

 

UK government in panic and trying to play catch-up is the story here. As usual.

 

From summer last year:

 

http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2013/07/25/snp-keen-on-greater-isles-autonomy-says-salmond-in-lerwick-declaration/

 

SNP keen on greater isles autonomy, says First Minister in ‘Lerwick Declaration’
 
A new ministerial task force will be set up to examine how Shetland and the other island groups can gain greater autonomy as part of a “Lerwick Declaration†by First Minister Alex Salmond yesterday.

 

Also, your logic is strange on fairness. Scots can't change the UK government if it is 'unfair'. They can change the Scottish government.

 

They have already. We've had three different administrations in just 4 parliamentary sessions. You f-up, you are out on your ear.

 

It's the beauty of PR - no majorities based on small fractions of the vote and no two party system. 

 

Nothing's perfect, but you can at least try to make things better.

 

Maybe you feel you can't be bothered trying to change anything. Others have more get up and go.

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I can just see it now. Year 2030. EU is asked to intervene as Scotland sends troops to quell independence movement. In a serious escalation Scotland sent an airborne division after demonstrators threw local Scottish appointed ministers into the harbors in a refusal to pay taxes. Local Government buildings were quickly secured .

Protestors say that the Scottish Government doesn't care about the islands and is happy to bleed them dry.

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I can just see it now. Year 2030. EU is asked to intervene as Scotland sends troops to quell independence movement. In a serious escalation Scotland sent an airborne division after demonstrators threw local Scottish appointed ministers into the harbors in a refusal to pay taxes. Local Government buildings were quickly secured .

Protestors say that the Scottish Government doesn't care about the islands and is happy to bleed them dry.

Posted Image

 

 

 

 

http:////nwforum.r.worldssl.net/forum//public/style_emoticons/default/whistling.gif

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The funny thing is, recently, those who attack the message of pro-union people the most... slag them off... say that no positive case is being put forward for the union.... are not those that support independence...

 

But those that support the union:

 

http://wingsoverscotland.com/votes-of-no-confidence/

 

The ‘No’ Campaign Has Sunk Further Than the Jeremy Kyle Show

(Huffington Post, 16 April 2014)
 
“The ‘No’ campaign’s approach to discouraging Scottish independence is akin to an abusive bully threatening a fleeing partner. It has been so shamelessly threatening that at times I have wondered if it is part of a covert plot to drive Scotland away. As we have got closer to the September vote, the arguments against independence have got more desperate and apocalyptic.
 
It is highly insulting to Scotland, therefore, when politicians and others with a vested interest try to manipulate voters in a way that wouldn’t even work on drunk cartoon socialites in a ‘reality’ TV show.â€
 
The SNP, UKIP and our disunited kingdom
(The New Statesman, 16 April 2014)
 
“Rather than making the positive case for the Union, Better Together has run a negative campaign characterised by dry and technocratic attacks on the SNP over the currency, North Sea oil and EU membership.
 
In so doing, it has only enhanced its opponents’ appeal as an optimistic, anti-establishment force. If the No campaign is to avoid defeat in September, it must respond to the clear and consistent desire in Scotland for greater autonomy by outlining concrete cross-party proposals for further devolution.â€
 
It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
(The Independent, 15 April 2014)
 
“In the entire global history of the political campaign, has any been more misconceived, wretchedly executed and potentially self-defeating than the one designed to keep Scotland within the United Kingdom?
 
Until proof is found of a Eugene Terre’Blanche run for mayor of Soweto on the Apartheid Now And Forever platform, the assumption must be not.
 
With every week that passes, the No campaign’s once lavish and seemingly impregnable lead evaporates. And as it dwindles, its scare stories continue to deluge the debate in the curious belief a) that Scotland, a proud and bellicose nation, is a wee, timorous beastie; and http:////nwforum.r.worldssl.net/forum//public/style_emoticons/default/cool.png that if you double down on a tactic of transparently counterproductive idiocy for long enough, it will metamorphose into one of purest genius.â€
 
The perils of pessimism
(The Economist, 12 April 2014)
 
“After the speeches were done, at a recent rally in Calderglen High School for “Better Togetherâ€â€”the cross-party campaign to keep Scotland British—there was time for questions. They were mostly the same.
 
The inquisitors, typically retired and articulate, asked the assembled politicians—including a Conservative cabinet minister and a serving and former Labour MP—to make a “positive case†for keeping the 307-year-old union intact. “Why are we better together?†said one.
 
This was awkward. It was bad enough that the venue, in East Kilbride, on the southern edge of Glasgow, was cavernous and the audience small. But what was most dismal was the lack of a good answer to the question.â€
 
Lord Robertson has taken negative referendum campaigning a step too far
(Daily Record, 9 April 2014)
 
“It is widely believed the doom-laden message punted too often by the unionist campaign – that if you vote for independence the sky will fall on your head – is driving the don’t knows into the arms of Alex Salmond. But Robertson seems to have taken this negative campaigning one step further.
 
He doesn’t just think a Yes vote would be a disaster for all of Scotland. He thinks it would be a disaster for all of western civilisation.â€
 
Lord Robertson is trying to bully Scots into voting no in the referendum
(The Guardian, 8 April 2014)
 
“As well as losing the pound, Scots are told they will be stripped of everything from the BBC to EU membership. It’s like a loveless relationship in which a partner is told that, if they walk out, they will have their clothes and DVDs taken away, lose all their friends, and be kicked out on the streets.
 
This establishment campaign is self-defeating, and has left many Scots feeling as though the choice is between hope and fear.â€
 
Darling’s rattled performance will increase No campaign anxieties
(The New Statesman, 6 April 2014)
 
“As a politician, Alistair Darling is renowned for his calm and reassuring manner (most famously during the financial crisis). But interviewed on The Andrew Marr Show this morning on Scottish independence, he appeared distinctly rattled. 
 
As I tweeted during the programme, he sounded like an embattled football manger giving a post-match interview after a bad result.â€
 
Charles Kennedy brands Better Together campaign as “stupidâ€
(The Sunday Post, 30 March 2014)
 
“The anti-independence campaign was under growing pressure last night after being labelled ‘stupid’ and a ‘disaster’ by MPs on the pro-Union side.
 
The Better Together campaign was already reeling from a newspaper report quoting an unnamed UK Government minister claiming currency union with an independent Scotland would happen despite Treasury claims to the contrary.
 
But yesterday former Lib Dem leader Charles Kennedy attacked Labour’s referendum pitch of ‘Salmond versus Scotland’, describing the message as ‘stupid’.
 
And Falkirk Labour MP Eric Joyce also hit out at the wider Better Together campaign, describing it as a disaster and claiming it is ‘treating Scots like inferiors and fools’.â€
 
Campaign to save the UK in crisis: Summit called by pro-Union chiefs after support for Scottish independence grows
(Daily Mail, 28 March 2014)
 
“Leaders of Scotland’s No campaign are holding crisis talks today as they battle internal splits and rising support for independence.
 
The Scottish Daily Mail can reveal that Better Together board members have called a crunch meeting to draw up a strategy for the final months of the referendum fight.
 
It is understood that campaign tactics will be dramatically reversed and a more positive message will be adopted as part of a major advertising drive.
 
The U-turn comes after a series of opinion polls found that support for the break-up of Britain is growing, while hard-hitting messages about the disastrous consequences of a Yes vote appear to be backfiring.â€
 
Now even David Bowie’s ganging up on the Scots. Is this how to stop independence?
(The Independent, 20 February 2014)
 
“The next part of Osborne’s plan is probably to announce that if Scotland becomes independent, it won’t be allowed to keep its zoos, so the day after the vote it’ll have to release tigers and bears and crocodiles into the streets of Edinburgh. But it won’t be able to ask for help because it won’t be allowed to use our language, or any of our letters, so they’ll have to communicate by barking.
 
Nor will Scotland be allowed to share our orbit round the sun, and Osborne has it on good authority that NASA won’t let it join another one so it’ll have to find a different solar system but if that’s what Scotland wants, it’s up to them.
 
At one point, for a change, the No campaign got bankers to tell the Scots they were being silly to think they could be independent as well, because there’s no one your average Glaswegian likes to please more than an English banker.
 
But the No campaign seems to think that the answer is to send more disliked people to be even ruder. Next week Eric Pickles will walk round Paisley naked with a tattoo of Edward II on each buttock, telling voters ‘you’ll get no more of this if you leave England you know’.“
 
With friends like these the Union has no need for enemies
(The Spectator, 6 February 2014)
 
“An argument that suggests, implicitly, that, sure, you could vote for independence but if you do you’re stupid is not an argument that is going to prevail. Insulting or threatening the electorate is a bold move and one that causes more trouble, really, than it is worth. 
 
Indeed, it is juvenile and hackle-raising stuff. The kind of thing liable to provoke a sod-you backlash just as much as it is likely to scare folk into voting No.
 
Worse still it reveals the extent to which Whitehall and Westminster still cannot grasp that this is an argument about a concept or an idea much more than it is a question of dismal accountancy.
 
Better Together needs a story about the future as well as the past and that narrative needs to be based on something good, not on gloomy predictions of mass unemployment after independence.
 
I have plenty of issues with the Yes campaign and the SNP and they offer us plenty of guff too but at least their imbecilities, most of the time, look to a sunny future rather than endless drizzle.
 
Between them, Westminster and Labour are making an almighty hash of this campaign.“
 
Tories fear Scots will break away
(The Times, 29 December 2013)
 
“Tory critics are increasingly alarmed by the cross-party anti-independence campaign led by Alistair Darling, the former Labour chancellor, saying it is too negative and lacks momentum.
 
Crosby is understood to have suggested that the campaign is so feeble that the future of the UK is in doubt. In a surprising assessment, he is said to have warned that polls giving unionists a strong lead are wrong — and that victory for Salmond in September is not only possible but likely.â€
 
No campaign is branded as ‘amateur’
(The Sunday Times, 8 December 2013)
 
“Senior Labour figures are demanding an urgent overhaul of the Better Together campaign to save the union, with some supporting Tory claims that its figurehead Alistair Darling is ‘comatose’ and branding its staff ‘amateurs’.
 
The former chancellor was undermined by briefings from senior Conservatives last week amid indications of concern in Downing Street about his leadership of the No campaign.
 
Some have also condemned Better Together’s strategy for securing victory. Although polls show support for a Yes vote trailing by at least nine points, Labour MPs have warned privately that voters are being turned off by the No campaign’s messages.â€
 
The clock is ticking – Better Together needs a positive plan
(Left Foot Forward, 16 September 2013)
 
“Without the single united prospectus for a devo-max Scotland, Better Together will ultimately flop and sleepwalk to an Alex Salmond victory.
 
Time is ticking fast, and a plan is desperately needed to save the union and establish a sustainable future for Scotland in the union.â€
 
Scottish independence: Ditch No campaign – McLeish
(The Scotsman, 8 July 2013)
 
“Labour should abandon the cross-party Better Together campaign, former first minister Henry McLeish has said as he accused the unionist group of using ‘fear and scare tactics’ to defeat the SNP.
 
Mr McLeish said the anti-independence campaign was ‘treating Scots like idiots’ as he claimed Better Together was working alongside Westminster in attempting to frighten voters about independence.
 
He also said that Better Together was involved in a ‘constant haranguing of Scots’ in a campaign he claimed is dominated by Westminster and London-based politicians.
 
Mr McLeish said: ‘There are fear and scare stories such as that we’ll have passport controls at the Border and won’t have access to blood transfusion supplies. Next they’ll be saying there will be seven years of famine in an independent Scotland and that aliens will land here.’â€
 
Better Together Campaign Must Up Its Game
(Huffington Post, 21 February 2013)
 
“When I think about it, I’ve yet to come across any real argument as to why people should vote ‘No’ come 2014. It seems to me as though every argument the Better Together campaign has put forward is simply to poke holes in what Yes Scotland say and do – but never setting out themselves why the Union is indeed better together.
 
‘No’ campaigns seem to be relying on the fact that people will automatically want to stick with the status quo, that citizens able to vote will automatically vote ‘No’ unless persuaded otherwise.â€
 
Indy’s leap of faith is only issue
(Sunday Mail, 17 February 2013)
 
“The No campaign needs to start explaining why the Union can make Scotland better not why independence will be a terrible thing as Scots, mired in a swamp of endless negotiations, wander between our mud huts borrowing cups of woad.
 
 
The above is of course in response to stuff like this:
 
Posted Image
----------
 
Anyway, I liked the way the thread has been going recently. Rather than attacks from either side, it had become more of a serious discussion about the campaign and how it might play out with latest polls etc.
 
Would be good to keep it going like that.
Edited by scottish skier
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The latest TNS face to face survey poll still shows a large amount of DK's but the addition of another question seems to be shedding some light on this.

 

http://www.tnsglobal.com/uk/press-release/scottish-opinion-monitor-no-lead-referendum-campaign-narrows-12

 

In the tables they've added a question regarding the extent to which the respondent has made up their mind, the actual total which states totally unsure is 15% which is in line with many of the other pollsters regarding DK's

 

Maybe its the face to face nature of the interview which is adding to the DK's, the older age group 55+ is more sure of their vote, the younger you are the less certain in terms of Yes/No.

 

On the face of it there still a lot of DK votes up for grabs but how likely is it that people will go against their original instincts?

 

The debate at the moment I think is somewhat marooned in claim/counter claim and I think the polls are likely to stabilize for a while, nearer the vote I think you'd expect to see more movement as voters begin to concentrate their minds.

 

I suppose an interesting variable and quite an ironic twist is the question re which political party is likely to win the GE and Scottish voter intention. The Panelbase results suggest perception of a Tory win gives Yes a healthy lead, a Labour win its neck and neck. So if the economy continues to improve and with it the Tories get close to or overtake Labour in the opinion polls could also help the Yes vote.

 

Theres also the other chance that as the economy improves more Scottish voters will perhaps think they're not willing to risk that. I think one has to be a little sceptical as to how much the issue of which party will win the GE will truly feed through to the decision itself, I'm sure the Yes campaign will try and do their best to connect a vote Yes with sending out a message to the Tories, equally its imperative for the No side to make sure the vote isn't connected to that.

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I wonder if people in Crimea want to join Russia for economic reasons.

 

Nick, you are taking this too much like an election.

 

The prospect of the Tories is an excuse to tell the truth. To justify to others what someone intends to do. Something they may be attacked for. Something the press and people on TV attack them for.

 

Same for the prospect of a cheap egg mayo sandwich a day selling a whopping Yes victory. Really, that's all it takes?

 

There are a lot of people not quite telling the truth. You can tease it out of them by not asking them straight or giving them a reason they feel justifies their stance.

 

It's because many people don't want to find themselves in a position like this:

 

http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2014/04/16/ethnic-cleanse/

 

‘Ethnic’ Cleanse
 
According to the Herald journalist David Torrance he is an ‘ethnic nationalist’. To the composer James Macmillan he is a ‘Blood Scot nationalist’ and ‘motivated by hate’. To the Labour blogger Ian Smart he is ‘anti-English’ and ‘a nasty piece of work’. To The Telegraph’s Iain Martin he is full of ‘hateful pish’. Who is this monstrosity walking among us, conducting his rage-fuelled pogroms against the English? Why it’s me!
 

 

 

So they say 'Och naw' or 'Don't know, probably not'. Just like SoS Alistair Carmichael said - people are lying... Or at least there's a lot of evidence that's the case.

 

The TNS poll has issues with face to face in shyness (you see it in the lowest levels of Yes for e.g. SNP and other parties with high DK). There is also bit of a methodolgy muddle, but the shyness factor is strongest; hence the abnormally high DK. There in MORI too (telephone), smallest in online polls.

 

However, notice only 52% said they'd definitely made up their mind?

 

Only 30% definitely decided to vote No (this has been dropping)....

 

Hmm. So 70% are actually giving consideration to independence?

 

Holy crap...

 

Really amazing? Not so - 1997 was 74% Yes on Q1...

 

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

 

A wee anecdote...

 

Just before Christmas we went to cut our tree in the local community woodland.

 

We went to pay / see my neighbours mum to do so.

 

We had the normal chat for a good 15 mins, then started to head off. My wife had the tree in her car and me our daughter in mine. My wife pulled off and I started my car.

 

Just as I started to pull away out comes my neighbours mum waving.

 

I roll down the window, she looks around like she's worried someone's watching (which is ridiculous as she lives in the middle of nowhere) then says 'Here's hoping for September - we need a Yes. It will only get worse otherwise' in fairly hushed but excited tones.

 

I've known her and her husband for 4 years now and no idea they were Yes. They knew I was a big Yes (from their son) but never said a thing about their own feelings. Their son neither.

 

Even when she did tell me, it was all hushed like she was worried about saying it to me and without a soul around...

 

I have plenty of other examples.

 

You can blame the British media / pro-union campaign.

 

 

 

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Some straw polls after indie meetings in the likes of Shettleston are showing 70% yes.I think the working class will hold the power for once in this decision.

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My mum was at a meeting in Dundee last night, the straw polls were as follows:

 

Start of meeting:

 

Yes - 42%

No - 39%

DK - 19%

 

After meeting

 

Yes - 58%

No - 33%

DK - 9%

 

The tide has turned at grass roots level and I believe the next batch of polls will show at least parity with Yes trickling ahead.

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SS I really don't buy this that Yes supporters are too frightened to tell other people. There maybe some shyness in face to face interviews but generally if people agree to do the survey then they're happy to give their opinion.

 

In all the time I did polling on general elections very few people refused to give their opinion, the issue isn't really sensitive like for example a survey on attitudes to sex or some other issues where the respondent may feel judged.

 

If you accept that the Yes has lots of support then this isn't a minority position where a respondent may feel they are voting for some fringe party.

 

In terms of the last two posts re straw polls there will always be much more enthusiasm for the change candidate, there just won't be the excitement behind the status quo. I've no doubt the Yes have a better ground game and this will of course help get their vote out.

 

I don't know what Better Together is going to be doing nearer the time in terms of getting out their voters, I'm sure they realize they're lagging behind in terms of organisation on the ground so I would expect them to do something to remedy that.

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I don't know what Better Together is going to be doing nearer the time in terms of getting out their voters, I'm sure they realize they're lagging behind in terms of organisation on the ground so I would expect them to do something to remedy that.

 

The have a big problem because they don't have a joined up strategy to what a No vote would deliver. Labour are offering a shambolic tax policy, the Lib Dems more a federal system and the Tories still haven't told us what their offer will be yet.

 

If the all sat down together and agreed to legislate for Devo Max if a No vote is returned then No would win handsomely. The problem is, Westminster needs the black gold.

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SS I really don't buy this that Yes supporters are too frightened to tell other people. 

 

You need to visit Scotland then. Or any country governed by another (and which largely controls its media). It's normal.

 

Of course people are not living in fear of being taken away in the night, but they are nervous of being verbally attacked for saying they support independence. This is weakening, but is still there. 

 

My parents remember how you had to be really careful about saying you supported indy / the SNP lest you lose your job (e.g you worked for a unionist council). This was within my (relatively short) lifetime. They are quite open now even though they have been lambasted by colleagues for it. My mother told me how a good long term English colleague / acquaintance of hers flew into a tirade when she said she was Yes. The standard stuff. 'What a stupid idea...you've fallen for that Salmond..Scotland can't go it alone...London is the centre of the world!' The guy went mad and he's an established literary/publishing figure / a very intelligent man. He's calmed a bit since but some people don't want to speak lest that happens to them.

 

This is what they are reading in the British media from important political figures etc:

 

 
“Former prime minister Sir John Major has claimed Scottish nationalists deliberately use anti-English sentiment to irritate and enrage.â€
 
“Police asked to investigate Alex Salmond’s ‘anti–English’ jibesâ€
 
“Alex Salmond is exploiting Scotland’s reservoir of anti-Englishness. Don’t be surprised if it overflowsâ€
 
“Senior Nationalists are risking a ‘dangerous’ rise in bitter, anti-English sentiment by suggesting that Scots are different from or better than their UK neighbours, Willie Rennie, the Scottish Lib-Dem leader, warned yesterday.â€
 
“The broadcaster Andrew Marr has warned that anti-English feeling is still ‘entrenched’ in Scotland and can be ‘toxic’.â€
 
“Councillor claims she faced anti-English racism on Wings Over Scotland websiteâ€
 
“Fears that independence referendum could be sparking rise in anti-English racism in Scotlandâ€
 
“A retired couple are turning their backs on Scotland after 40 years — because they’re afraid the independence referendum could spark anti-English discrimination.â€
 
“The Scottish independence movement is anti-English and the SNP is bent on fostering English nationalism to secure the break-up of the UK, according to a former Conservative Cabinet minister.â€
 
“MP slams ‘anti-English abuse’ at Clydebank debateâ€
 
“Yes or no: are you in the anti-English tribe?â€
 
“If you think about it, Alex Salmond is a democratic Caledonian Hitler, although some would say Hitler was more democratically elected. [For Salmond] the English, like the Jews, are everywhere.â€

 

 

It's all s**t and designed to do one thing; degenerate.

 

Ugly, but standard stuff when a government/establishment is faced with a bit of it's empire looking to go independent. You make out those seeking democracy / independence as nasty, dangerous, xenophobic etc. Britain ain't special. If fact it used all the same tactics for Ireland and the colonies.

 

Due to the above, only recently have people been starting to discuss it in any measure in public. I know lots of people who I had no idea supported independence even though I've known them for years and they knew I was a big Yes. It wasn't something they felt ok talking about. 

 

RE polls, it's quite obvious. Firstly, note TNS face to face show the highest shy vote because they are not self selecting. Also telephone shows it, but less. Finally online shows the least.

 

In online panel polls where people sign up and get paid small amounts or entered into prize draws etc, most polls are not about politics at all. So the idea that people signing up here are totally happy, open and even actively trying to get their political views across doesn't carry much weight. Sure there are more of these people here, but most are just normal people who think 'hey this is an easy way of making a few bucks here and there for little time'.

 

The pattern is clear (average values recently):

 

Face to face = 55% of SNP 2011 say they're voting Yes

Telephone = 65%

Anonymous online = 70%+

 

Of course No vote follows the same pattern, being highest in face to face  - also highest DK. Applies across party lines. That says people are lying depending on who is asking and how. Of course we don't know how much if any people lie in online polls, only that is seems to be lowest here.

 

Anyway, it's not all people telling porkies - there is an element of uncertainty too. There is a sense of holding out just in case maybe Devo Max does appear. 2/3 of the electorate support 'independence' remember; it's just half of that are the 'progressive / pragmatics' who would have preferred to go to devo max first, as happened with Australia, New Zealand etc. Makes things smoother and also, importantly, non-confrontational. 

 

So face value looks ok for No, but when you dig it looks very bad. It's why they are panicking yet supposedly ahead.

 

As noted, TNS look pretty good for No with a decent 12 point gap still. However, it turns out only 30% of respondents are actually set on No with 70% giving due consideration to Yes. That shows how very weak the pro-union feeling is; something you don't see clearly from straight Y/N.

 

I'm interested in predicting the outcome. What Y/N says right now does not tell you that at all. Anyone paying attention to the 2011 election knows that fine well; a 15 point swing in a matter of a few weeks. Changes in the Y/N gap tell you something, i.e. how things are moving potentially, that's all.

 

For working out what's going to happen you need to look at decades worth of data on all aspects of Scottish social and political attitudes, past election results etc. This is a referendum on the independence of a nation, not an election. People's deep-down feelings on independence develop over the course of their lives and experiences. My parents remember 1979 for example - they are influenced by events decades ago. And rightly so because it all relates to how Westminster considers/treats Scotland and how people perceive trust in it as a result.

 

It's why I laugh when people say stuff like e.g. 'If the UK economy is looking on the up, Scots will be more likely to vote No'. Dear dear. There is zero correlation between support for independence, referendum results, rise of the SNP etc and the state of the UK economy in general. The SNP were elected at the peak of a boom. They got in again with a majority at the peak of a bust.

 

Things go much deeper and much further back than that. 

 

Your best guide to what will happen in September is previous referenda on 'increased independence' for Scotland. That and national identity; the two reflecting each other.

 

I find it odd that people can sit and watch news about other countries which want to leave / join other countries and the almost sole factor mentioned which is driving this is the national identity of inhabitants, yet when it comes to Scotland, it's about the EU, currency, economy on the up/down, who will win the next UKGE etc. 

 

The above factors do seem to influence people 'apparently', but that is taking things at face value. As noted, such things give can give an excuse to justify someone's feelings to others which are based on something much deeper and more fundamental.  

 

I predict we will continue to watch Yes slowly and steadily rise. Support never really went away (Yes was ahead in 2011 as it was 'acceptable' given the historic SNP win) - people just went quite mainly and now they are stopping to be. Parity is effectively here already, with Y/N ranges overlapping since late last year. Soon we'll have straight Y/N showing parity or Yes slightly ahead rather than needing to ask in a more subtle manner.

 

EU win for UKIP+Tories will reduce shy factor considerably and push many still harbouring doubts from soft DK/No to Yes. By the summer, Yes will likely be ahead regularly, but not a clear win.

 

Only in the 8 weeks prior to the referendum are we likely to see the final result emerging in straight Y/N polls as we saw for the vote on having a referendum in 2011. 

 

I still maintain the result will be like Q2 1997 (63.5%), i.e. into the 60's Yes.

 

 

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

 

 

EDIT.

 

Oh, and in terms of grassroots. This typifies the pro-union campaign.

 

'Big' Better Together meeting the other day in Stirling.

 

Posted Image

 

In contrast, YesScotland meetings look like this. 

 

Posted Image

 

That's just a group of Students from Yes Stirling University, never mind the local city-wide group.

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