With friends like these the Union has no need for enemies

6 February 2014

In the cover story for this week’s edition of the magazine (subscribe, by the way!) I write that “The battle for Britain is being conducted on a wavelength which unionist politicians in London struggle to pick up.”

As if to prove my point, consider this story from today’s Financial Times in which it is revealed that government ministers in London have been pressuring defence companies to “highlight potential job losses and disruption if Scotland splits from the UK”.

Philip Dunne, minister for defence procurement, “would like to see the defence industry in Scotland being a bit more upfront in explaining their concerns to their workforce and the people in Scotland and I urge them to do that at every opportunity.”

How often does it need to be said that this dismal kind of nuts-and-bolts fear-mongering is counter-productive? Sure, the defence industry post-independence would likely contract but so what?

Are we really supposed to think that the fate of the United Kingdom should be decided or even influenced by the number of people Babcock or BAE Systems might employ north of the Tweed after independence? Is this debate so niggardly, so small as this? Is this the best the British government can do?

Apparently so.

Who is this supposed to impress? The people who work for these companies? Sure. But that’s about it. Who else thinks that the fate of the nation should be determined by contemplating the impact independence might have on a handful of companies?

It’s like arguing Britain shouldn’t leave the European Union because doing so would have a catastrophic impact on Welwyn Garden City. It might but that’s hardly the point or the real issue, is it?

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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.

That is the case not least because it is not obvious Unionists can win the accountancy question. The Prime Minister concedes the obvious: there’s no requirement for Scotland to be a basket-case after independence. This is perfectly sensible. Because it is true (though it would help if we elected fewer numpties).

True, this creates certain difficulties for Unionists. If an independent Scotland is feasible it becomes harder to argue that it is plainly an idiotic notion. But that in turn would, in a sane world, suggest ministers should cease suggesting every damn business in Scotland will scuttle south after independence.

Perhaps some would. So be it. But that kind of anxiety isn’t enough to win the argument on either the intellectual or emotional level. Who wants to be held hostage by business? Who wants to admit to hankering after a Yes vote but being persuaded to vote No out of some tender concern for BAE Systems or BP or Tesco or god knows who else? Not many people.

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. Perhaps drizzle would be the order of the day but no-one wants to vote for it, far less do so enthusiastically.

So, again, what is this sort of intervention designed to achieve? Who is supposed to be convinced by it?

It’s not just Whitehall that’s all at sea, however. At First Minister’s Questions today Johann Lamont raised the BP non-issue before shifting to the troubling implications for supermarket prices in an independent Scotland. Vote No or pay more for your mince. 

At that moment I began to wonder if Johann Lamont was a cunning piece of satire. A kind of warning to vote No because otherwise people like this will have more power in an independent Scotland than they do now. A kind of political variant of the so bad it’s almost good movie. Or, if not good, then at least effective. Enough to concentrate the mind, then. Albeit unwittingly.

Help ma boab.

Then again, I have no idea what the Scottish Labour party thinks about anything (though I have a suspicion it’ll be no good, whatever it is) and nor, it is becoming clear, do they.

But between them, Westminster and Labour are making an almighty hash of this campaign.

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Show comments

    Britnat’s bottle collapsing.
    Possibly the part reason that Project Fear cant respond to the upsurge of support for Scots Indy is that they and the Britnat media are still couching the debate in terms of its just about the F.M Alex Salmond and failing to recognise that their is a wide movement supporting Indy outside the SNP.
    Don’t blame us Britnat, we have been telling you its a referendum and not an election and is not about the F.M and SNP.

  • Fergus Pickering

    What does elp ma boab mean. I read Oor Wullie for years but I never knew. Is it Glaswegian code?

  • Frank

    Alex, excellent article, but no surprise that our duff politicians cannot see the wood for the trees. Imagine that the Australian guru came up with this plan, or the wonderful Lord Feldman! I will be happy if Scotland goes, or stays. I just want an end to the endless negative debate. Very good programme on TV the other night about the Anglo-Saxon kings of England, which happened to mention how the Scots withdrew their loyalty and the Anglo-Saxons had to march up and beat the c**p out of the Scots. Given that we have had 1000 years of Scotland being an unwilling guest, why do we not liberate them from our friendly embrace? Scottish independence may turn out to be like the Labour party, in that you have to experience a Labour govt to appreciate just how damaging it can be. It will however force everyone in Scotland to learn the facts of life.

  • FF42

    Vote No or pay more for your mince. is actually a reasonably good slogan. Independence will incur costs that will probably show up in the cost of mince.

    Or if you want a more positive slant, the Union makes doing business easier and cheaper. This shows up in the prices you pay. Vote No to stay in the Union and pay less for your food.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Vote No or pay for your mince. I like that.

    • Daniel Maris

      You’ve got no evidence for that. the Scots will be relieved for instance from paying towards the huge infrastructure costs of mass immigration in the UK. Try factoring that into your calcuations.

      They don’t have to contribute to the something like 50,000 homes (rough costing of £10 billion per annum) that have to be built for the 200,000 or more net immigrants into England. So that’s saving every Scottish family something like £500 per annum.

      Immediately, they don’t have to pay for 10% of HS2 = £8billion or about £1300 in the pocket of every Scotsman and woman.

      Similarly they’ll be relieved of paying for all the additional airport capacity, train capacity and so on.

  • Pauline

    I’d really like to hear about the EU.
    I read somewhere in the white paper about ‘the people of Scotland will decide’ on issues relating to EU Membership and Scotlands new constitution.

    Does this mean that we will ‘actually’ get a say? Most people I talk to about this, want us out of the EU!

    • Paul Wilson

      Perhaps if Westminster had fully implemented the social chapter them many peoples views on the EU would be different. One of the benefits of the EU that is never highlighted is that apart from the unique case that was the former Yugoslavia it has prevented generations of young men going to be slaughtered.That in itself is a cause to celebrate unlike this shower at Westminster who think that all the young men who were killed and maimed is to be a cause for joy.

      • Fergus Pickering

        I think that is very silly. Do you really believe David Cameron cheers every time a soldier is killed. I would say that is unworthy of you, but Alas, it is not.

        • terregles2

          NO but boabby is Glaswegian code for what some posters on this forum are.

  • FrankieThompson


    That is a very insightful article.


    Nice to see the Yes Campaign properly referenced rather than the SNP or AS. Those of us seeking independence have long discussed the view that JoLo is a ‘cunning’ plan to undermine the Scots Parliament. Along with the other (majority) numpties from the Unionist parties. Apologies to those few Unionist MSPs who do contribute. Fortunately, for those of us Indy-minded with a thinking brain, we look forward to the inevitable clean out of said numpties post-Indy. Yet Another advantage.

  • Andrew Leslie

    I think Alex Cassandra Massie is appropriate. Right, but continually ignored.

    I wonder how many other unionist sympathisers are going to vote Yes out of sheer infuriated frustration at the ineptitude of the Better Together campaign?

  • Paul Wilson

    The unionists are destroying the union in order to save it not a truer word has been spoken. Can someone also explain to us how two Labour MP’S have got rid of the bedroom tax in Scotland when with a SNP majority their vote vote or input makes not one shred of a difference the facts are that the SNP Scottish government has put in the maximum allowed £20 million and have had to go begging for permission from Westminster to be allowed to take £30 million from other areas to offset this ludicrous tax for a year could the Labour party tell us what their role was apart from thinking this tax up in the first place.

  • Malcolm McCandless

    So who else in business are having their arms twisted by UK government ministers to come out against independence because it does seem the oil industry and the major supermarkets have been got at.

    I would imagine that any future comments by business leaders will now be treated with suspicion.

  • Bill Cruickshank

    You know something Alex I wish you were on the YES side, that was an excellent article. To be honest, I don’t know why you want the drenched in “drizzle”. Come and join us, at least the forecast is sunnier.

  • asalord

    Mr Massie calls it correctly once again.
    Everyday sees another scare story from the unionist media.
    The BBC has lost all credibility concerning its supposed political neutrality over the referendum. Its reporting of the BP affair was so desperate – especially in the one-sided press reviews and soft-questioning of “experts” predicting the worst – that it almost seemed as if the BBC was more interested in convincing its panicky self rather than the calm electorate in Scotland.
    The media and No campaign will continue with scaremongering because [1] they have no positive message to convey and [2] if they suddenly changed tack they would be open to even more ridicule than they are now.

    • terregles2

      It is remarkable that the YES vote continues to rise after the unrelenting campaign of negativity from Westminster and the scurrilous personal abuse that the MSM have thrown at Alex Salmond.

      • HJ777

        You just do statements and assertions, rather than bothering providing arguments or evidence don’t you?

        • Jeanne Tomlin

          Really? When was the last time Mr. Salmond referred to another politician as Il Duce or compared one to Mugabe? Funny. He never has, unlike his opponents. And only assertion terregles2 made was that the Yes vote continues to rise. Considering that the last SIX polls showed that, it is rather foolish to deny it.

          • HJ777

            I seem to remember referring to “Incompetent Lord Snooties”.

            If that isn’t personal abuse I’d like to know what you think is.

            And was not Salmond forced to promise to stop abusive online comments being posted by his own MSPs?

            • Jeanne Tomlin

              No he was not. And if referring to someone as ‘Lord Snooty’ is your idea of ‘abuse’ I have to laugh.

              • HJ777

                No he was not what? It is a matter of public record that Salmond said that he would stop abusive online comments being posted by his own MSPs. Google it if you don’t believe me.

                If accusing others of being “incompetent Lord Snooties” is not abuse, can you please tell me what you consider it to be? Sophisticated political discourse? A coherent argument?

                I wasn’t talking about the polls and what your belief is I am not responsible for. You probably believe all sorts of nonsense. Just look at the regular abuse thrown here by various cybernats.

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  And you don’t consider ‘cybernat’ a term of abuse but do consider ‘Lord Snooty’. That is darn funny. And no Mr. Salmond never said that his MSPs had ever posted abusive comments. He did say that they should never do so. One should hope not. They have never used terms of abuse calling their opponents Nazis and fascists as has been aimed at Salmond even from the floor of the Westminster parliament.

                  You will notice that in spite of the constant outpouring of vicious attacks from yourself and others of your ilk, David Cameron has never called for decency in the debate.

                • HJ777

                  “Cybernats” is a fair description of those who swarm all over anyone online who they don’t agree with hurling abuse at them. If you don’t think that happens, then I can only assume that you are wilfully ignorant.

                  Salmond was forced to make his comment when it was demonstrated, unequivocally, that some of his MSPs had posted abusive comments online.

                  As for the “vicious abuse” from “me and my ilk”, then you will be able to provide examples of my “vicious abuse” won’t you? Otherwise I might conclude that you are prepared to stoop to any low and untrue accusation in your attempts to smear those you don’t agree with.

                  I do not recall Cameron ever directing abuse at Salmond’s ministers as Salmond has at his. Calling for decency in a debate is easy. Demonstrating it is rather more difficult.

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  Cybernats is a term of abuse. Only someone who thinks that their side of the debate somehow has the right to abuse their opponents would use it. And imagine the nerve. We actually think we have the right to post on forums to defend ourselves from your attacks. How DARE we!

                  I consider the lies you just posted a form of abuse. Come up with examples of this supposed abuse from Salmond’s ministers. I can cite plenty the other way.

                  Ian Davidson MP called Alex Salmond a Neo-Fascist from the floor of Parliament. Of course, you will claim that was not abuse, because nothing from Unionists can possibly be abuse. MP Denis Macshane tweeted that Salmond was another Slobodan Milosevic. Lord Cormack of the HoL accused him of seeking to emulate Ian Smith or Robert Mugabe because he is for Scottish independence.

                  All those are terms of abuse at the highest levels of Unionists and not one apologised for the abuse and David Cameron never called for them to cease. So don’t pretend some kind of innocence on the part of Unionists. The vilification can only be called vicious.

                • Wessex Man

                  You rant you rave and you don’t know you are doing it, you fellow posters on here are Saints. why butter wouldn’t mely in your mouth but milk would curdle!

                • J. R. Tomlin

                  Nice rant.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  I think something has to be more than two-and-a-half lines to be a rant.

                • HJ777

                  That is pure hypocritical cant from someone who goes around here shouting “lie” and liar ” at anything or anyone she doesn’t agree with.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  You nats are awful softies. Always whinging. Always on the verge of tears.

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  Yes, referring to the First Minister of Scotland by such terms is just the height of courtesy.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Come on, love. he ain’t the Pope. He’s just another lying, finagling politician.

                • Maureen Luby

                  “It is a matter of public record that Salmond said that he would stop abusive online comments being posted by his own MSPs” A link to this lie please. Thanking you kindly.

                • HJ777

                  That was a insincere attempt to behave politely after calling me a liar, wasn’t it?

                  Put this in your pipe and smoke it:


                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  Oh, sure. A paraphrase from the Tories. Well it is a link to the lie.

                • HJ777

                  You do realise how pathetic you are shouting “liar” and “lie” at anyone and anything you don’t like?

                  Grow up woman.

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  So where is the evidence? Hmmm?

                • HJ777

                  I posted it.

                  You just didn’t like it so you called it a lie and me a liar because you have not the grace or dignity to apologise.

                  I called you ‘woman’ because you post under the name “Jeanne”. Had you posted under the name John, I would have said “grow up man”. if you are a man, I apologise for getting it wrong.

                  I doubt your inferiority has anything to do with your gender. Your quivering and whimpering is your own business – much as you would like to blame it on me.

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  Thanks for confirming your sneering and condescending attitude with that ‘inferiority’ comment. If you think it will win votes in Scotland, think again.

                  I suggest that if you post evidence of your claims, you might not be called a liar.

                • HJ777

                  You referred to your inferiority. It would have been impolite to disagree.

                  Where did I claim that “Unionists would never, ever in a million years post abuse”? I do not recall ever making any such claim or suggestion – so perhaps you could point me to where I did?

                  For someone who is fond of accusing others of lying you seem to have a remarkably tenuous connection with truth.

                  It requires an outstanding talent for pure cant for you to complain about others throwing abuse when you are so fond of doing it yourself.

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  All right, I admit you didn’t mention a million years. That was hyperbole on my part. I apologise for saying that you said a million years. And I will even offer you the last word in this online dispute.

                  Feel free:

                • HJ777

                  Hyperbole on your part?

                  Well I never!

                • terregles2

                  Just more faux outrage from a bitter together fanatic who is becoming more nervous as September looms ever nearer. They were remarkably quiet when trolls posted the awful things they did when Salmond’s 90 year old father was ill.

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  And that can also be backed up. Here is the headline from The Scottish Express on that story: ‘I wish Alex Salmond’s father would die’ ALEX SALMOND’S 90-year-old father was yesterday forced to issue a defiant message after a twisted Labour supporter said online that he wished he would die.


                  Find anything even slightly equivalent to that nasty behaviour to post. I dare them.

                • terregles2

                  You are right Jeanne some of the abuse that Salmond gets from the political pygmies at Westminster and the intellectual pygmies in the ” British Press ” is a measure of how desperate they are.

              • terregles2

                Incredible that someone who calls people hypocritical liars if they dare to speak in favour of Scottish independence thinks that Lord Snooty is an insult.

              • HJ777

                The “Yes” campaign will lose.

                You’re going to have to deal with that reality whether you like it or not.

                The behaviour of people like you makes the outcome all the more certain.

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  Reality can indeed be a b*tch. How many polls in a row is it now that the Yes support has gone up and No support gone down? Seven at last count, I do believe. So we’ll see who has to ‘deal with reality’ come September.

                • HJ777

                  We certainly will.

                  In the meantime, please keep up the good work as the behaviour of people like you can do nothing but help the “No” campaign.

                • Jeanne Tomlin

                  Where is that evidence of ‘scurrilous posts by SNP ministers’? Hmmm? Examples?

      • Fergus Pickering

        What scurrilous things have they said? Do tell? Was he a long time friend of Jimmy Savile?

        • Jeanne Tomlin

          I see you very oddly don’t care to respond to my lengthy list of very specific ‘scurrilous things’ that have been said about Alex Salmond including the wish that his father would die. And I am happy to provide links to newspaper sources (not SNP ones) proving the comments.

          • Fergus Pickering

            Never saw it, love.

            • Jeanne Tomlin

              Probably you didn’t want to… love.

    • HJ777

      You – of all people – are accusing others of “losing all credibility”?

      If you don’t agree with the argument, then provide your counter-argument, assuming you have one. Just loftily asserting that anyone who says or reports anything you don’t like “has lost all credibility” or is “scaremongering” really is quite pathetic.

    • terregles2

      Indeed BBC even managed to slip in a little anti referendum propaganda on the One Show recently. One of the team were explaining the rules for voting in September and there was great faux astonishment at the fact that people who don’t live in Scotland would not be given a vote.
      Alex the Welsh presenter told us how outraged she would be if it were Wales and she would not have a vote because she now lived worked and voted in London.
      She would be furious at that situation. Whether she would be furious enough to go back and live in the country of her birth is another question.

      • HJ777

        My – very Scottish – neighbour is similarly outraged.

        Nothing ‘faux’ about it.

        • Jeanne Tomlin

          Very Scottish but not living or registered to vote in Scotland. So would you expect to vote in London elections just because your granny lived in London once upon a time?

  • terregles2

    Unfortunately for the no campaign I think they have put forward so many scare stories in this past year that voters have simply switched off. The No campaign stated that after a YES vote in September Scots would be unable to use their British passports. When we phoned the Passport Office we were told that we would be no different from British passport holders living in Spain or anywhere else. When the passports ran out we could then replace them with Scottish ones. And so it continued, one scare story after another from the threat of VAT on food to the threat of crippling fuel bills. People started to wonder why they were being deliberately misled.
    Everyone knows that after Scottish independence Scotland will face many challenges and problems. Every country does, it is part of political life and no government can escape that. The real choice that Scottish people face in September is who do they trust most to make the best decisions for Scotland.? Is it Westminster or Holyrood.?

    • Jambo25

      Spot on. People have simply switched off from these stories. The BT people and their allies have turned into a collective Chicken Licken running about shouting that the sky is about to fall. We are supposed to believe that the Scots are somehow unique in being unable to run a reasonably successful small, relatively resource rich state with a healthy high productivity economy. Somehow something which can be done by Finns, Austrians, Danes, Swedes, the Irish et all is completely beyond us.
      Similarly, the ‘love bombing’ nonsense has gone belly up as well. We love you cry some of the government’s stooges but if you leave us we’ll bankrupt you. We’ll be really unpleasant. I t doesn’t really work. It simply puts peoples’ backs up.

      • HJ777

        Nobody has said anything of the sort. To point out that the “Yes” campaign is not being candid about costs and is focussing solely on supposed upsides is entirely reasonable no matter how much you try to airily dismiss it as “scaremongering”.

        If it is just “scaremongering” then you will be able to demonstrate that with reference to facts and by providing counter-arguments, won’t you? Why then, have you not done so?

        • Jambo25

          Mobile phone roaming costs, grocery costs, border patrols, bombing Scottish airports, annexing bits of the west coast round military bases etc etc.

    • HJ777

      In which case, why is the “Yes” campaign unable, or unwilling, to tell Scots what its estimate of the transitionary costs will be? Why not just be candid with Scots?

    • HJ777

      You do invent a load of rubbish, don’t you?

      You just can’t deal with facts or substance.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Would face, I think you mean.

  • HJ777

    Alex – You are missing the point.

    The “Yes” campaign is claiming all sorts of advantages to secession, yet never admits to any costs or unwanted consequences.

    The “No” campaign cannot claim any advantages to a “No” vote compared to the status quo. It is the status quo that is being defended.

    Therefore, the “No” campaign rightly has to point to the fact that the “Yes” campaign is simply being dishonest in not admitting to any downsides. The “Yes” campaign is saying “you can have everything you currently like, ditch anything you don’t, and it will all come without risks or costs”. It is the job of the “No” campaign to point out that this is not true.

    If anyone doubts this, can they please point me towards the publication of the assessment by the “Yes” campaign of the transitionary economic cost to Scotland. They can argue (I don’t agree) that secession would have long term advantages but they cannot reasonably argue that it would not have short-to-medium term costs (or merely get away with ignoring the issue).

    • MichtyMe

      The No campaign is required to explain the future for Scotland after a No vote. A No vote has consequences also and they will not, can not, answer any questions on this. There is no status quo there is only ever change. Better to have the powers to decide the change than have the future decided by a disinterested, unsympathetic other, that is the scary future.

      • HJ777

        The “No” campaign has no need to “explain the future for Scotland” as it is not proposing constitutional change. It cannot tell you what future policies will be because it is not a political party and thus does not have policies. Even if it were and it did, there are little things called elections in which Scots participate which decide such things.

        if you read the “Yes” campaign document, i.e. the white paper, it is a mish-mash of constitutional proposals with popularist policies (a menu with no price tag) that are not for the “Yes” campaign to decide because policies are a matter for electorates to choose at elections.

        What the “Yes” campaign has not done is to lay out the costs and immediate direct economic consequences of secession. Even you must acknowledge that there must be some and they will have substantial costs. How much will it cost to set up a separate defence infrastructure, for example? How much will it cost to set up a Scottish DVLA? How much to set up new computer systems to run new public sector organisations? How many people will lose their jobs at Faslane?

        • Douglas Guy

          “The “No” campaign has no need to “explain the future for Scotland” ”
          It does if it wants MY vote.

          • HJ777

            So you’d give more credibility to the entirely unfunded and unrealistic assertions of the “Yes” campaign to the experience of what the union is like already (i.e. enduring and successful over hundreds of years).

            If that’s the case, then you are being disingenuous to suggest that you’d listen to anything the “No” says.


              And mine. And most rational people. Haven’t you noticed that we don’t like what we have got. Hence the Referendum.

            • Auldreekie

              That a referendum is being held at all indicates that there is now a substantial body of opinion in Scotland against the continuance of the Union. If those in favour of it want it to survive, they have to sell it the Scottish electorate as endowing a bright and rosy future: inviting reflections on duration and success of the Union over hundreds of years is a pretty thin argument. Unfortunately for Better Together, there is plainly little prospect of a happy future for the UK, which is why we get their own assertions – the scare stories.

            • Robert Harrison

              what a load of crap Scotland was held back for a hundred years after jackabite rebellion dragged of to every war England went to with no real say caught up technology wise and then pulled ahead last century got its parliament by fighting back against westminsters lies all on its own by enduring westminsters tyranny so scotland can easy go solo with independence

              • Wessex Man

                You really do need to get your facts correct , I think but could be wrong but I think it was the Jacobites, any dragging off to war was done by the ruling elite from both sides of the border, as in Major, Blair and Brown.

                The only reason Scotland got a Parliament was because the Cabinet of 1997/98 was packed to the rafters with Scots who had vowed in the Scotish Claim of Right in 1988 to put the interests of Scotland above all others.

                I bet you were laid in bed while all of that was going on.

            • Douglas Guy

              You keep telling people what they need, and what they think and what they should think, and then accusing them of lying (or does disingenuous mean something else?) if they don’t think what you say they should think. Maybe if you sounded a bit less hysterical, people would take you seriously.

              I didn’t want independence. I wanted the status quo even less. But that’s what is on the ballot. So be it. I’ll choose between the arguments and the promises made, and decide for MYSELF how much to trust those promises, thank you.

              All four parties have reneged on manifesto commitments in the past, so I know to treat the more extreme ones as skeptically as “unlikely to be delivered”. Right now only one side is giving what _I_ consider a coherent narrative. Your view may vary.

              • HJ777

                “You keep telling people what they need, and what they think and what they should think, and then accusing them of lying (or does disingenuous mean something else?) if they don’t think what you say they should think.”

                Where did I do this? Where?

                And I suggest that you look up the meaning of disingenuous. I means ‘not sincere’ or ‘lacking candour’.

            • Jeanne Tomlin

              Sooner than give credibility to the ‘jam tomorrow’ promises of the likes of Johann Lamont. Yes. You better believe it.

    • Paul Wilson

      Why do you think the yes side have so many supporters the status quo is no longer tenable.You vote for right wing governments if you want the Scots are not for turning,

      • HJ777

        Who elected you to speak for Scots?

        Asserting that “the status quo is no longer tenable” does not constitute an argument. It is merely an unsubstantiated assertion.

        • Rev. Stuart Campbell

          Not unsubstantiated. In three-way polls the status quo is consistently the least popular choice, behind independence and the mythical “devo-max”.

          There’s no such thing as the status quo, anyway. Labour’s Anas Sarwar explicitly said that in the Commons this afternoon. On referendum day we have a blank slate and two choices – independence or the Union. Whichever we choose, things will change, because things always change.

          The choice is between whether we control those changes in future, or let England control them for us and hope for the best.

          • terregles2

            The better together campaign can never shake off their biggest disadvantage. There is no doubt what better together actually means. We just need to look around Scotland to see what the union delivers. This is as good as it can ever be. Even if we have another big oil find things will never get any better for Scotland. We gained nothing from any of our rich resources. The union can never make Scotland a better country but it can and will make it worse if the union continues.
            No wonder Cameron cannot face Salmond in public debate.

            • HJ777

              “We gained nothing from any of our rich resources.”

              I suggest that you go and tell the people of Aberdeen or Shetland that and see what reaction you get.

              Remember that you want English people to stay out of the debate so it is simply hypocritical to simultaneously demand that Cameron debate directly with Salmond. The question is why Salmond is refusing to debate with the Scottish head of the Better Together campaign. What is he afraid of? Having his view challenged by another Scot?

          • Fergus Pickering

            Thye Scots will always vote for more money for themselves. Salmond promises them that. Of course he might not be able to keep his promise.

        • Paul Wilson

          And who are you to say that I don’t unless we ask every single person who is allowed to vote then neither of us are right in our opinion are we.

          • HJ777

            That the point I was making. You are presenting your opinion and I am presenting mine. The difference is that you were purporting to speak on behalf of Scots in general, so it was reasonable of me to ask from where you received your mandate.

            • Paul Wilson

              I take your point which of course you are entitled to make can I just say that the head of the yes campaign isn’t Alex it is Blair Jenkins and the supposed head of better together is meant to be Blair Macdougall also the other two are Alastair Darling and his opposite is Denis Canavaan. so it would be fitting for the Salmond V Cameron debate to take place. Cameron is making grand speeches down South and to the Unionist dominated media so if he is true to his word then he should refrain from doing so.

              • HJ777

                Yes, I realise that the theoretical heads of the two campaigns aren’t Salmond and Darling.

                However, it is Salmond who (he says) wants the debate so presumably he has the agreement of the “Yes” campaign to debate on their behalf. The “No” campaign has said that they would like Darling to be their representative in such a debate, but Salmond is refusing to debate with him.

                Since when did one side have the right to dictate who the opposing side puts forward to present their case? It is only the “Yes” campaign (in the form of Salmond) who is demanding this. Darling has not said that he will refuse to debate with anyone that the “Yes” campaign prefers to put forward.

                I don’t know what you mean about Cameron not being “true to his word”. He has not said that he will not make his opinion known. He is just not the chosen representative of the “No” campaign in a debate with the “Yes” campaign.

                It is the “Yes” campaign that is refusing to take part in a debate. That much is clear.

                • Paul Wilson

                  The we have to disagree Cameron is running scared he knows that the union has nothing to offer but more of a government that Scotland didn’t vote for and more austerity that could be done in a different way like taxing the rich not picking on the poor. They are both heads of the respective governments so it is in my opinion they that should debate it is what most Scots want to see according to opinion polls.

              • terregles2

                Cameron is too frightened to debate with Salmond he stated that he had to keep out of the debate because it is a matter for Scotland only. In the next breath he tells everyone in the rest of the UK to phone friends and family in Scotland to ask them to vote no. What a sleekit politician.
                Alex Salmond was right instead of telling the rest of the UK to influence the Scottish vote he should concentrate his efforts into easing the crisis for the poor people in Somerset.

              • Fergus Pickering

                Surely David Cameron can say what he likes. Why should he not?

                • Paul Wilson

                  Cameron said he was not going to get involved as it was up to the people of Scotland to decide are you saying that yesterday’s stunt isn’t involvement?

                • Fergus Pickering

                  It was a speech In which he said that it was up to the people of Scotland… blah blah blah. I thought you lot wanted him to go the Glasgow and ‘debate’ with Salmond. Isn’t that what you want?

                • Paul Wilson

                  Are you just being deliberately awkward refer to my previous comment Do you even have a vote in the referendum?

  • sfin

    Alex, you still don’t get it do you?

    The UK establishment WANTS the breakup of the UK because it is an EU construct blueprinted in the Maastricht Treaty. Why do you think Cameron appointed a figurehead with the dynamism and charisma of Alistair Darling to head up the ‘No’ campaign?

    Major’s government set the ball rolling with offering ‘talks’ to the IRA, because Northern Ireland needed an assembly, as part of the plan. Blair’s government accelerated the plan by capitulating to the IRA, devolving power to Scotland and Wales and creating the London Assembly. It then tried to create a North East assembly – but made the mistake of putting the project in the hands of that oaf, John Prescott and it failed (for now).

    The EU’s project is the slow destruction of the nation states, to be subsumed into a technocracy called the EU. Regionalisation has already taken place in France and Germany and those assemblies are granted more and more powers. My grandchildren will live to see the palace of Westminster house the regional assembly for South Eastern England.

    Wake up! Vote UKIP!

    • MichtyMe

      Well, that’s me confused, I thought the EU was supposed to be endeavouring things so,so, difficult for Scotland.

      • HJ777

        You’re always confused.

    • JimmyLinton

      Do you have a link to a pic of you in your Tin Foil hat?

      • sfin

        No – but I have plenty of pics of me in my flying helmet fighting for Britain as a helicopter pilot, in various theatres – if that’s your thing.

        • Paul Wilson

          What has that got to do with anything I served two years in Northern Ireland at the height of the struggles but I am still voting yes. I would have thought someone from the forces would be even more inclined the way successive Westminster governments have treated you.

          • sfin

            I was merely responding to Mr Lynton’s allusion to tin foil hats…And if you are still dancing to the same tune that the puppet masters played, when you were serving, then I feel genuinely sorry for you.

            • Paul Wilson

              You were the one who brought up being in the forces. The politicians at Westminster couldn’t give two hoots about their armed forces they sent them into war knowing they didn’t have the right equipment and they had to be humiliated before they would look after the injured properly well maybe you are proud to be treated like that but not me They have also tore the heart out of the Scottish regiments you must know yourself that they think more highly of MOD pen pushers than they do for their fighting men. I would have thought by my earlier comments that it showed I certainly am not dancing to the same puppet masters it is you if you believe in the retention of this union.

    • Paul Wilson

      Let England vote UKIP Scotland never will they don’t have even a single councillor never mind anything else.

  • Jupiter

    But what?

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