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What’s the matter with Scotland? It’s full of Scottish people.

29 May 2014

Here’s the thing many people misunderstand about Scotland’s referendum on independence: it isn’t really very much to do with England. When someone starts chuntering on about Braveheart and Bannockburn you know you’re listening to a fruitcake. This is true whether the fruitcake is Scots or English. At least the latter have the excuse of ignorance, I guess.

Anyway, the point is that as much as we may occasionally dislike or, more frequently, be irritated by the English they’re not the problem. The people we really hate are our fellow Scots. And with good reason. I mean, look at us. The worst part of losing the referendum (whichever side you favour) is having to share a country with the winners. I spy much unhappiness.

So I enjoyed Iain Macwhirter’s column in today’s Herald. I like Macwhirter, even if he is a pillar of the Scottish establishment. His columns are always rewarding. Even when, as today, they are hysterical.

You see, the problem with this independence thing is that the Scots just might not be up for it. They are too cowed, too timid, too poor, too damn apathetic so seize the moment history has, albeit accidentally, given them. Too wee and too stupid too. If only we could replace them with another people.

Macwhirter has been in Norway and, naturally, likes what he sees there. Which leads him to ask an awkward question: what if the Norwegians are simply better people than the Scots?

Lest you think I exaggerate, here’s what Macwhirter asks:

 [H]ere’s a thought: what if Scots prefer being subsidy junkies to living the Norwegian way?

Building an independent country, like building a business, is hard work. It requires a stubborn confidence and a self-reliance that Scots may have lost after generations of living in grey housing estates.

If Scotland could become Norway overnight, I suspect there would be a landslide for Yes in September. But most Scots are realists and know that being Norwegian isn’t that easy. I’m not entirely sure we have the will for this kind of thing any more – if we ever had it.

If Yes loses in September it won’t be the cause that’s failed, it will be you. You’ll have let yourself down, for sure, but worse you’ll have let your country down.

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But what else should we expect from a nation of layabouts? I mean:

Norwegians famously have rather small town attitudes, because there are lots of small towns. They are communitarian and disciplined because they had to be to survive in an often hostile environment. Scots prefer cities and pubs and holidays in Spain.

Feel the burn, all you soft, sloppy, slobbish urban Scots addicted to booze and cheap foreign sunshine. Your lives are far too comfortable. Mr Macwhirter concludes, cheerily:

I don’t want to contribute to our national vice of negativity but the question in September isn’t really about the economics of monetary union or whether an independent Scotland would be in deficit or surplus.

It is about whether Scots have the determination and self-confidence to strike out on their own and take charge of their own affairs; or whether they would prefer a managed decline and an an apparently easier life, consoled by the cynicism and self-loathing showcased by the Unionist “Just Say Naw” campaign.

I’m glad he didn’t want to contribute to the national vice of negativity [sic] because much more of this and you could be forgiven for thinking Mr Macwhirter is guilty of Talking Scotland Down.

The Confidence Fairy is, of course, cousin to the Willpower Wisp. In each instance, if we only believed enough everything would be better. Just as an American president’s failings are routinely ascribed to a lack of presidential willpower, so a No vote in September can only be explained by a craven lack of confidence.

It’s a theory.

On the other hand, if you convince yourself people have no good reasons for voting in ways you find disagreeable or sub-optimal it may be that the only person you’re really fooling is yourself.

Still, this kind of one-eyed analysis is telling. It is what, deep down, many Yes voters (nationalists or not!) really think. It reflects a kind of epistemic closure. There are no good or even vaguely plausible reasons for thinking differently; anyone who does so can be cheerily dismissed or presumed to be arguing in bad faith.

OK then. There are, of course, other echoes. A No vote is a vote for ‘managed decline’? That sounds, well it sounds rather like the kind of thing Margaret Thatcher was saying about Labour in the late 1970s. Rhetorically, if in few other senses, the nationalists have something in common with the Iron Lady.

Except Scotland is not in decline. Three-quarters of Scots are amply happy with their lives. Independence is only feasible because Scotland is, as every sensible person agrees, broadly-speaking a successful, wealthy place. The question is less one of feasibility than of necessity.

And if we must talk about cynicism then let’s consider the cynicism of a kind of politics that thinks a single policy choice will by itself make everything better. The cynicism of a worldview that presumes opposition is motivated by self-loathing or some kind of false consciousness that causes people to vote against their own interest.

Not just the cynicism, frankly, but the arrogance too. It’s a Caledonian version of the smugness that too often characterises Democratic attitudes towards those benighted [sic] parts of the United States that continue to vote Republican. They have What’s the Matter with Kansas? and we have What’s the Matter with Paisley? 

Scotland: great country, shame about the people eh?

[There’s plenty more rot in Mr Macwhirter’s splendidly enjoyable – and revealing column – but that’s fodder for a different post.]

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Show comments
  • shiva

    It brings art into disrepute, which is a shame.
    راهبند اتوماتیکزومردرب پارکینگ

  • 2stcenturytruth

    You have to laugh at the sheer stupidity of the UKIP’ers. Driven by nothing but
    meanspiritedness and a hatred of sharing we are going to let this bunch of 1950’s has beens run the country. It will not happen. For they are just the BNP in disguise. Cameron was 100% right. UKIP is nothing more than a bunch of racists and loons……… Can we add crackpots? Come back Alf Garnet all is forgiven!

  • Fergus Pickering

    I think it behoves us down in Kent to be silent on this one. It’s just a domestic. Let’s tiptoe away.

    • Kitty MLB

      O, you have started me off now. it was the word ” tiptoe”. I envisage Fergus
      as a woodland creature, up in Kent ( it’s up from where I live) tiptoeing out of
      of his forest, to create mischief and then scuttling back.
      I have been wondering what to call the baby hedgehog ( your not supposed to
      name them) but he’s such a little character.
      I ‘ve just thought of a very suitable name. But I’m not telling you…

      • Fergus Pickering

        Good God! Do you live on the Isle of Wight? Surely not. Perhaps you mean the South West which is quite lovely.

        • Kitty MLB

          I suppose if I lived beneath you, I’d live in the
          sea.Whats wrong with the Isle of Wight? My
          aunt used to live in Rye (which is lovely) nearly
          visited the Isle of Wight, but will not now after
          you have put me off.
          The husband, myself and verious creatures
          South West (Dittisham) but will hopefully
          get to the North Norfolk coast at some point
          as we love the wildness.Assume that place
          Is ok, Fergus dear.

          • Fergus Pickering

            They have red squirrels on the Isle of Wight but some of the people are a bit odd.

  • beenzrgud

    According to Mr Salmond, et al, Scotland will be the Saudi Arabia of Europe come independence, absolutely rolling in the riches of selling abundant renewable energy to the rest of us. Let them vote for independence, because no-one even knows what the state of affairs will be a few years from now let alone a few decades. For all they know fusion reactors could be perfected and Scotland could be left with large amounts of egg in its face. One way or the other I don’t wish to see to much more of the cynical opportunist that is Alex Salmond, the Scots are welcome to him !

  • Ian Scott

    Enjoyed this and if you do follow the logic of Macwhirters argument the only option is of course to vote no in the referendum which surely can’t be his intention. This is of course as the above suggests the secret shame of the Yes side and the SNP historically. They don’t much like the Scottish people and we are a constant source of disappointment to them and don’t really deserve them. Even the toxic Mrs T, at least in Scotland, seemed to generally like and be interested in Scotland even if she did not understand it and had a very strange way of showing her feelings at times. The Labour, Conservative and the Lib Dems may all be on the way down or bottoming out in appeal here but at least they like us. Perhaps the secret of success in politics is not to like joe or jock public.

  • Malcolm McCandless

    “Scotland is, as every sensible person agrees, broadly-speaking a successful, wealthy place”

    Good god! Someone mark a calendar. so we can refer back to the statement above anytime in future when Alex returns to his usual Scotland is “Too Wee, Too Poor and Too Stupid” commentary.

  • cromwell

    Eastie beasties and westie besties not to mention those lazy highland teuchters.

    • La Fold

      Westie besties? Away for a deep fried pizza, munch box and your bottle of buckie you Weegian! “Lazy” teucthers have been keeping you lot in 10 pound bags for decades!

      • cromwell

        My comment too :) sasanach I am but I sailed in the merchant navy with Scottish Ship management (old Tate and Lyle and hungry Hogarth) gave me an insight into regional Scottish differences though on the whole they were all great lads.

        • La Fold

          Ha ha, aye it must be fascinating to an outsider the madness which is the west coast/ east coast/ north east scottish rivalry!

          • cromwell

            So it was, they were to buy arguing with each other to bother me as the only sasanach :) Have happy memories of the time, on runs ashore if it got a bit willing in a bar you new you could rely on the lads to put differences aside and stick together.

          • Jambo25

            What rivalry? I live half the week in South Edinburgh and half in rural Dumfriesshire. Some of my oldest friends come from Glasgow, Portlethen and the Western Isles

            • La Fold

              And thats the rub, for you lot life stops at Leith! I too have mates from Scumdee, Embra, the Weeg and rabber bamper land. The fact he even used the word teucther shows it exists, light hearted and friendly most of the time but it certainly exists.

              • Jambo25

                Read my comment again. Rural Dumfriesshire is both the West and Borders of Scotland. and I don’t describe rural people as ‘Teuchters’. As for Leith: I wouldn’t go near the place. Too many Hibbees.

                • La Fold

                  True about leith but syaing that no edinburgh clubs in the premiership this year, so every cloud and all that!
                  PS Porthlethen? Know it well my man.

  • flippit

    When I read McWhirter’s piece I thought it sounds like he’s given up, he knows yes won’t win. It was a bit bitter and defeatist in itself.

  • DougDaniel

    I suspect you know fine that you’re being extremely disingenuous here, Alex. If not, perhaps you should try chapping some doors to ask people why they’re voting No or are undecided. It always boils down to the same thing: “I don’t think we can afford it.”

    I’ve talked to enough folk to see that “undecided” generally means “I like the idea of Scotland being independent, but I just don’t see how we could do it.” What is that if not a lack of confidence? And then there are the nailed-on No voters, many of whom simply say “we couldn’t do it.” I’ve even spoken to people who say “I’d have voted for it 20 years ago, but there’s nae oil left, so I’m voting No.” Never mind the fact that’s it’s completely wrong – such thinking simply oozes resignation. To pretend this doesn’t exist is nothing short of naive.

    But these are (hopefully) isolated examples. It is the No campaign that thinks little of the majority of Scots, but then I think you know that really. A campaign whose sole strategy is to scare people into not voting for self-government is not a campaign that thinks highly of people. We wouldn’t have the self-styled “Project Fear” if they didn’t think we were a nation of fearties. Telling pensioners that their pensions are at risk if they vote Yes is not empowerment in anybody’s world. The whole message of “oooh, you’ll be isolated and alone in an uncertain world” treats Scots as mugs, telling us that uncertainty is a bad thing when it’s the very nature of life itself. Such negativity tells you which side thinks the Scots are idiots, and it’s not the Yes campaign.

    • Richard T

      ” It always boils down to the same thing: “I don’t think we can afford it.”

      Always? Not hereabouts.

      As to the core campaign dynamics, they are almost wholly a function of the chosen strategy of the Nats. Which has been to minimise the perception of risk, maximise the impression of seamless continuity, and insist against all rational evidence that there will be no significant downsides, whether volatile oil taxes, Clyde defence job losses, costs of governmental infrastructure building, international institutional membership processes and timescales or the inability of Scotland to force the rUK into specific monetary arrangements.

      The option of going with the Sillars-style Indy-at-any-cost line was available, but discounted in favour of reassurance, numbers and a White Paper which would answer all our questions.

      Except, of course, it didn’t.

      If you choose to base a campaign on wildly unrealistic and optimistic assumptions which are liable to collapse under scrutiny, it’s a bit much complaining about ‘negativity’ when they’re scrutinised.

      “which side thinks the Scots are idiots, and it’s not the Yes campaign.”

      Actually, it is.

      • DougDaniel

        “If you choose to base a campaign on wildly unrealistic and optimistic assumptions which are liable to collapse under scrutiny, it’s a bit much complaining about ‘negativity’ when they’re scrutinised.”

        “Scrutiny”. So lying to people is “scrutiny” now, is it? This week, the No campaign has been chastised by an LSE professor who didn’t take kindly to having his name used to back completely made-up figures, and by Great Ormond Street Hospital, who were rightly repulsed at seeing cinema adverts claiming the existing arrangements between NHS Scotland and NHS England would somehow change with independence and cause sick children to be put at risk.

        That’s not “scrutiny”, it’s downright lying.

        What about the constant bleating about “leave the UK and you lose the pound”, despite it being crystal clear (for all those wish to see it) that anybody can use the pound, as it is a fully-convertible currency? Again, not “scrutiny”, but lying.

        We’ve had Jackie Baillie claim 19,000 jobs depend on Trident, when the real number is a fraction of that. That’s lying, not “scrutiny”. And so it goes on.

        There’s nothing “wildly unrealistic” about the Yes campaign’s claims. There are things which can be contested perhaps, but you can blame the UK government for refusing to play ball for that. For instance, it is within the UK Government’s power to find out for sure what the situation would be in regards to the EU, but they choose not to do so. People can make up their own minds why they don’t.

        “The option of going with the Sillars-style Indy-at-any-cost line was available, but discounted in favour of reassurance”

        Ah yes, the old “wah wah wah it’s not proper independence” refrain. You’d be campaigning for it if it was the Jim Sillars version, I’m sure.

        “White Paper which would answer all our questions.”

        It does, you just choose not to see it. Constantly repeating a question you’ve already had an answer to does not mean it hasn’t been answered.

        You are right about one thing though, it doesn’t always boil down to “I don’t think we can afford it” (although that was just a turn of phrase). Sometimes it’s simply down to good old-fashioned British Nationalism, such as Jim Hood MP, who said “If the Scottish people are going to be better off economically and so on, I would still be against breaking away from the Union”.

        • Richard T

          “This week, the No campaign has been chastised by an LSE professor who didn’t take kindly to having his name used to back completely made-up figures”

          The only reference to the LSE work was in setting one, upper-bound estimate for total institutional setup costs, along with several other sources. The actual estimate used in the paper was around 55% of that figure. You’d know this if you’d read the paper. (p38, Box 2b, if you’re interested).

          Now, if you’re going to term that ‘lying’, what word would you use to describe ‘Eck’s alternative figure of a couple of hundred mil all-in (or +/- half a Embra tramline, if you prefer), which itself is flatly contradicted by Swinney’s?

          “anybody can use the pound, as it is a fully-convertible currency”

          Yes, anybody can use the pound, but that’s not what the Nats are selling. Anybody can very definitely not establish a Sterling Currency Union, which is what they are selling.

          “Trident” is one part of the UK commitment to defence investment and jobs in Scotland. There will be very substantial losses, without a shadow of a doubt, both from defence establishments and ship procurement, as bases and warship building head south. If arguing otherwise isn’t lying, what is it, would you say?

          “You’d be campaigning for it if it was the Jim Sillars version, I’m sure.”

          I don’t campaign, but would be voting against it just the same. But with a degree of respect for the honesty of a Yes campaign that acknowledged real risk and uncertainty rather than flogging a false prospectus to the electorate.

          “It does”

          It really doesn’t, unless you’ve drunk the Koolaid. Or simply don’t have a clue about economics, or constitutional law, or the crude realities of European politics, etc., etc.

          In which case the WP would work just as well with 600 blank pages.

          • DougDaniel

            “The only reference to the LSE work was in setting one, upper-bound estimate for total institutional setup costs”

            From the Scotsman: “The professor pointed out that the Treasury’s estimated costing assumed that all 180 departments would be major bodies. He also said that the figure used in his analysis of how much it would cost to set up a single UK government department – £15 million – was based on the way in which the last Labour administration established new bodies up until 2010, which he branded “chaotic”. In addition, he said some of these bodies already exist in Scotland, and would merely need to be expanded. He said an independent Scotland would only need the addition of four major departments: defence, foreign affairs, a reorganised tax and revenue office and a Scottish equivalent of Department for Work and Pensions.”

            So yes, I am indeed going to class that as “lying”.

            “what word would you use to describe ‘Eck’s alternative figure of a couple of hundred mil all-in”

            I’d call it “in line with Professor Dunleavy’s estimation” since he “estimates that the one-off costs of independence in relation to launching new organisations would be up to £200 million.”

            Oh, and the Swinney figure? I’m guessing you mean the “leaked document”? Well, let’s ask Professor Dunleavy again!

            “Leaked doc said to show “set up costs” £600m for Scottish tax, in fact shows RUNNING costs of £600m”

            “Set up costs you write off in a transition. Running costs are the normal expenses of collecting taxes.”


            “Yes, anybody can use the pound, but that’s not what the Nats are selling.”

            This changes the fact that “leave the UK you lose the pound” is a verifiable lie how, exactly? And this is the same problem with your waffle about defence jobs – Labour put forward a figure of 19,000 jobs, which was massively over the UK Government’s own official figures, to the extent that the Herald even published a correction and apology for printing the 19,000 figure. They did this because 19,000 was a lie. “Very substantial job losses” (says who? Not BAE, who have confirmed shipbuilding will remain in the Clyde even post-independence) does not make the 19,000 figure true.

            “I don’t campaign, but would be voting against it just the same. But with a degree of respect for the honesty of a Yes campaign that acknowledged real risk and uncertainty rather than flogging a false prospectus to the electorate.”

            You don’t see the irony in someone who doesn’t support independence complaining that a Yes vote won’t be independent enough, then? You see, the problem with the “not independent enough” argument is that transferring all powers from Westminster to Holyrood is, indeed, independence. Jim Sillars’ version can become reality once we have the power to make it so – if that’s what people want. People may say “a currency union isn’t real independence”, but it is, because if we decide it’s not working, we can choose a different option. That’s independence, so it isn’t a “false prospectus”.

            (Unless you’re saying France isn’t independent because it shares a currency?)

            “In which case the WP would work just as well with 600 blank pages.”

            It’s pretty clear it could be 6,000,000 pages and the No campaign would still insist it didn’t answer their questions. Alistair Darling kind of spoiled that line by making out he’d read it in under an hour.

            “The trick is to have a hole-free case”

            There’s no such thing. People like you would have found something to moan about no matter what case was presented. That’s why nobody takes such moaning seriously.

            • Richard T

              i “From the Scotsman”

              I’ve given you a reference for the original paper. The estimated costs are not based on the LSE numbers.

              You’re doing the usual mental gymnastics of picking one peripheral source and ignoring the substance of the argument.

              Which is exactly what you go on to do with CU, and with one estimate of lost defence jobs.

              You don’t bother to engage with the unarguable logic of base and shipbuilding jobs leaving Scotland.

              You don’t bother to challenge the unarguable fact that CU requires UK agreement and active co-operation and is vanishingly unlikely to get it.

              It’s dull, in all honesty.

              And I’m not ‘complaining’ that a Yes vote doesn’t mean real independence, I’m simply pointing out that the Nats are grossly misrepresenting the reality of independence.

              “People may say “a currency union isn’t real independence”

              And they’re right, but it’s moot, because a CU is not going to happen.

              Anyway, you’re plainly a True Believer, so rational discussion isn’t really an option.

              I just hope you’ve going to be able to cope with the resounding No in a few months time without permanent emotional damage.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    “Scottish people”
    Shouldn`t that “Scots” Scotlander pals?

  • Bob-B

    Nationalists often find that their nation is rather unsatisfactory. Thus, the Welsh poet R. S. Thomas, a committed Welsh nationalist, called the Welsh ‘“an impotent people sick with inbreeding, worrying the carcase of an old song’. Macwhirter’s rhetoric seems mild compared with this.

    • Max Bennie

      “Brothers and sisters are natural enemies! Like Englishmen and Scots! Or Welshmen and Scots! Or Japanese and Scots! Or Scots and other Scots! Damn Scots! They ruined Scotland!” – Groundskeeper Willie

      • La Fold

        Principle Skinner -“The Scots surely are a contentious people”
        Groundskeeper Wille-“You sir, have made an enemy for life!!”

        • Max Bennie

          Just shows you how a lot of nationalists think, doesn’t it?

          • Maidmarrion

            No – taking the Simpsons as an example of anything is hardly sane.

            • Max Bennie

              I disagree. The Simpsons is usually very cleverly written and often displays some great satire.

  • allymax bruce

    “Except Scotland is not in decline.” (Alex Massie).
    No, that’s a deflection deception, Alex; Westminster UK is mired in huge amounts of never-ending, insurmountable debt; as such is Scotland while tethered-to Westminster. It’s not going to get any better for Scots & Scotland staying in the union, it’s going to get a whole lot worse. Mark my words.
    And, the BBC propaganda that threatens Scots & Scotland with ‘ye cannae dae it coz ye’r too wee, too poor, n’ too stupid’, is doing exactly what they’ve been doing for 1000 years; dangled like a sword over our heads, to dare us to choose.

    Time to cut loose brother. Now’s the best time ever for Scotland to be independent; we have the oil, gas, renewables, and we also have a brilliant European, Chinese, Russian, global platform to make-the-change from Westminster enslaved compliance. We can do it; there’s never been a better time than now, to vote Yes!
    Now or never bruv.
    Vote Yes.

    • Sloan

      Really? Because I see an independence party cosying up to Trump, Amazon and Rupert Murdoch. Not my favourite siblings

      • Jambo25

        1) Trump was brought into Scotland by Labour. 2&3) Now 2 of Scotland’s major private employers. Do you wish for them to leave Scotland and their thousands of employees to be made unemployed?

        • La Fold

          By all accounts his golf course is a cracker.

          • Jambo25

            I don’t like the man but I honestly cannot see what all the fuss was about. By all accounts the local population were heavily in favour of the project. As for the planning procedure. My son is a planner with his own consultancy. He saw nothing wrong in any of the procedures round the way that Trump was given permission to create the course.

            • La Fold

              Cant stand golf, only time Ive been on a golf course was when I cheated at cross country at school. However most of the local population was for the course. The only people that were against it was your usual knit your own yoghurt brigade and the “im so right on even my cocaine is fair trade” lot. In fact I even went along to the no to trump campaign for a gigle with my “left wing mate” which really meant he smoked weed and had a crap job and it was all everyone elses fault, howveer I digress.
              The big issue was the shires council planning committee, when it came to the vote the committee chair Martin Ford used his casting vote to vote against it when he should have used his casting vote to vote for the citys infrastructure committee which had voted for it. The shires council also had a woman called Deborah Orr who was a complete water melon, green on the outside and red to the core. So it became an issue about these portected sand dunes, i kid you not and a nature resevre. Now the sand dunes have braved the north easts wqeather for generations and the nature reserve is about 6 or 7 miles along the coast. Also a man who lives next to the golf course has claimed all sorts of dirty tricks by trumps(although when issued with a compulsory purchase order for his land which I disagreed with) turned out to be complete cobblers. Just a stereotypical chippy teucther, the same sort who almost drove the oil industry to Dundee in the 70s.
              In my humble and otherwise unimportant opinion any of the opposition to trumps golf course was solely to the fact that Trump has a lot of money. When Paul Lawrie built his golf course not a peep from the usual suspects.

              • Jambo25

                That pretty much chimes with what I heard about what was going on. My son’s only surprise at the planning process as it went along was Ford’s vote and the fact that the future of a potentially billion dollar project was left to what was, in effect, a sub committee.
                We seemed to get the same stupidity from Aberdeen Labour and the ludicrous Crockett and Young over Ian Wood’s UTG offer.

                • La Fold

                  Dont even get me started with the UTG palaver. Absolute nonsense, again, the same people who were part of stop trump were “friends of Union terrace gardens”. Apart from about two weeks in the summer the place is a depressing eyesore. It was amzing how many people used it all the times yet evrytime I walk past there was about 15 people, half of them the local winos, in the place.

                • Jambo25

                  I know you probably don’t agree but some of us are SNP supporters because we see it as the only way of banishing creatures like Barney Crockett and ‘Wullie’ Young from public life.

    • Richard T

      “the BBC propaganda that threatens Scots & Scotland with ‘ye cannae dae it coz ye’r too wee, too poor, n’ too stupid’

      Although, in reality, that particular trope only ever on Nat blogs, in Nat speeches and in Nat talkboard posts such as yours.

      A straw man large enough to put a presbyterian policeman inside, IOW.

      • allymax bruce

        Richard T, thanks for your reply. Your last sentence is funny; Scots do have a self-deprecating bent; it’s called ‘Scottish cringe’. However, I’ve recently discovered our ‘cringe’ element, only exists because of the over-arching Westminster Establishment (BBC) sub-ordination, (too wee, too poor, too stupid), forced onto Scots & Scotland. This is exactly what George Orwell was talking about in his book ‘1984’; that by brow-beating the masses relentlessly, the Establishment can tell the masses anything, and the masses will begin to believe it. But, Scots utilise our element of Scotish cringe, as a Primary Defence Mechanism, to disavow the Westminster Establishment brainwashing propaganda. Most Scots don’t know it, but that’s what our ‘cringe’ is for.
        How’s about this Richard T; the official ‘Electioneering Campaign’ period begins today, and the Electoral Commission are ‘authorised’ to make sure no one-side of the Yes No Campaigns use more than ‘an allocated amount’, for/as propaganda for their campaigns. I would say Establishment Press, BBC tv & BBC radio have been breaking this propaganda rule for the last 3 months! I’m sick of hearing nasty negative anti-Scotland articles & interviews from the Establishment Press & BBC! Therefore, I would like the Scottish Government to report the BBC to the Electoral Commission as breaking the rules of this iReferendum Campaign. Ideally, the BBC are disallowed to use anti-Yes propaganda against the peoples of Scotland!

        • Richard T

          “Scottish Cringe”, yes, I’ve heard of that. Is is what happens to you when you accidentally watch an Alan Bissett video on YouTube?

          Your Primary Defence Mechanism looks very much like delusional paranoia from where I’m standing. Which is in Scotland, btw.

          • allymax bruce

            Oh-oh; you’ve done it now; you’ve criticised Alan; he’s like a art-party god in Scotland.
            ‘delusional paranoia’; you are very very close to my analysis, Richard T. ‘Said’ delusional paranoia is another effective ‘position’ of a Primary Defence Mechanism, utilised by the ‘true-self’, to construct a ‘false-self’. Both are ‘constructs’ of the ability to disavow a certain element that is ‘harmful’ to the ‘true self’. While the former, Scots cringe, is in the ‘fantastical’ realm, your latter, delusional paranoia, is in the phantastical realm. I think your sub-conscious was telling you something, my friend.

            • Richard T

              Well, as I have no knowledge of your qualifications in clinical psychology I’m happy to accept that you have accurately diagnosed your own delusional paranoia. You may indeed be cringing at this very moment. Your implicit assertion that the entire Scottish population is likewise afflicted seems a bit of a stretch though. Round here I see no cringe, just Scots who have spotted Eck’s snake-oil pitch a mile off.

              • Jambo25

                Why don’t you leave out the personal insults? Do you get some kind of satisfaction out of it?

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Hypocrisy is a wonderful thing.

                • Jambo25

                  Says the inveterate, foul mouthed insulter.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  And yet you keep stalking me lad. What a sad little man you are.

          • Jambo25

            Another Unionist who thinks that personal insults are valid arguments.

      • Jambo25

        The phrase may not be used by the BT/No campaign but the basic gist of it has been what is behind much of their campaign right from the start.

        • Richard T

          Not really. The No campaign, such as it is, has been almost painfully deferential in confirming that Scotland is perfectly capable of making its way as an independent state.

          The Nats however have, without fail, leapt on every instance of rationally skeptical comment on fantasy numbers in the White Paper, fantasy institutional “sharing” with the rUK, etc., with a shrill cry of “Look! They’re saying we’re TWTPTS!”

          • Jambo25

            You’ve obviously been looking at a different ‘No’ campaign from me.

            • Richard T

              Well, I’ve been looking at the actual campaign. I’ve no idea what you’ve been looking at.

              • Jambo25

                The campaign . We’ll simply have to agree to differ.

          • ChuckieStane

            Danny Alexander’s speech and the Treasury’s associated paper this week was distilled essence of pure” too wee too poor too stupid”.

            Too wee: “smaller GDP than Pakistan”
            Too poor: ” It is the money that will pay for better public services and a fairer society”
            Too Stupid: does he think we’re daft enough to believe him when he says “Declining oil revenues and an ageing population…all of that…easily avoided by staying within the UK” – has he the elixir of youth and a never ending oil well?

            • Richard T

              Can’t find any reference to Pakistan in speech transcript or Treasury paper (any link welcome), but the facts that 1) oil revenues are declining and 2) the Scottish population is in aggregate aging faster than that of the UK are indisputable. The latest SG oil projections and estimated immigration requirements confirm this handily.

              So no: no elixir of youth but a slower-aging population, and no bottomess oil well but a vastly larger and more diverse economy less vulnerable to oil price volatility.

              The fact that you instantly leap for the TWTPTS meme says more about you than about the speech to which you refer.

              Sorry to quote myself, but you illustrate the point so neatly:

              “The Nats however have, without fail, leapt on every instance of rationally skeptical comment on fantasy numbers in the White Paper, fantasy institutional “sharing” with the rUK, etc., with a shrill cry of “Look! They’re saying we’re TWTPTS!”

  • Jupiter

    Scotland is certainlty full of numpties, especially Glasgow and its surrounding rotten burghs, but so is the rest of the UK.

    • abystander

      Tories don’t win elections in Scotland. They do badly.

      We use four systems

      FPTP Tories get one fifty something seats

      Mixed FPTP and PR top up- Tories get 12(?) of 129 seats

      Multi-member wards- Tories control no Councils

      Proportional- Tories get one MEP of 6

      See we have tried everything to help the Tories. But they are just so damned clueless, stupid, craven to London and plain daft that they cannot even put up a decent showing under any system, never mind win.

      • abystander

        “one of fifty”

      • Kennybhoy

        You left one system out. Full on PR.

        In the General Election of May 6th, 2010…

        Labour: 1,035,528 votes = 42 seats
        Lib Dem: 465,471 votes = 11 seats
        SNP: 491,386 votes = 6 seats
        Conservative: 412,855 votes = 1 seat

        Under PR the division of seats would be…

        Labour: 24
        Lib Dem: 11
        SNP: 12
        Conservatives: 10
        UKIP: Maybe 1
        Greens: Maybe 1

        Both the SNP and the Conservatives are shafted by the abomination that is FPTP.

        Safe bet that these figures significantly underepresent actual and potential Conservative voters who see no point in voting at all or who pick the least worst alternative…

        By way of comparison the same phenomenon exists down south in, for example, Yorkshire and the Humber where a two per cent difference in electoral share gives Labour pushing twice the number of seats as the Conservatives ffs!

        Oh and note that 77.6% of the votes cast were for unionist parties.

        • abystander

          EP election is full on PR in Scotland.

          Tory boys scrape one seat of six on maybe 17% of vote.

          No need for fantasy calculations.

  • Christina

    There really was not much development or focus throughout this article, just thinly veiled, facetious waffle. Think through what you’re writing before you post it, Alex.

    • Kennybhoy

      Och you really are a noob! This is an Alex Massie column ffs! :-)

  • abystander

    Public schoolboy and darling of Tory Unionists writing every other bloody day in the Spectator calls journalist an establishment figure.

    Complete lack of self awareness.

    • Kennybhoy

      “…darling of Tory Unionists…” Massie?

      Whit planet are you on? lol

      • abystander

        He’s a Unionist Tory boy. Well at home here. On this establishment rag.

      • Jambo25

        The same planet as the Massies; father and son, who are members of the Tory Unionist voting Borders/Edinburgh haute bourgeoisie. The one thing that marks Alan and Alex out from the bulk of Scottish Tory Unionist grandees is that they, the Massies, are a good deal more intelligent.

  • jim

    that was a rather pointless piece of filler. macwhirter has been using the reverse psychology rhetoric in his work for ages, nothing interesting to see(or write about) there

  • Spammo Twatbury

    “Except Scotland is not in decline. Three-quarters of Scots are amply happy with their lives.”

    That is, of course, an entirely meaningless statistic in the context of your argument unless we know how many were similarly happy five and ten and 20 years ago. If it used to be four-fifths, that would be a decline. Awfully sloppy from you, Mr Massie.

  • anyfool

    Massie giving up doom and gloom for sneer with a cheerful face.
    I spy much unhappiness within the no camp, it will be living with themselves that will be the biggest problem.
    If the yes vote wins, the yes will get on with trying to be like the Norwegians and the no brigade will sneer from the side lines at every tiny hiccup on the road.

  • CraigStrachan

    Norwegians tend to be taller and better-looking than Scots and all. Just saying.

    • abystander

      The Telegraph is reporting that English women are the fattest in Europe.

      Just saying.

      • CraigStrachan

        Fatter than the Germans, really??

        • Kennybhoy

          I would say so.:-(

        • abystander

          German women are very svelte.
          Taller, right enough.

          • La Fold

            Germasn dames it has to be said are very trim.

        • Jambo25

          Much. I travel to Germany and Austria frequently and English women appear to be much less fit (In all senses of that word). My lady wife (English born) buys a lot of clothes in Germany and Austria as the German stores and clothes shops still sell clothes for ‘real’ women that make them look neither hookers or frumps.

      • Fergus Pickering

        They are talking about lower class women I think. Middle class women are rarely fat.

    • Kennybhoy

      Fuck you too Craig! :-)

    • ChuckieStane

      (ok I know it’s Sweden) just saying

    • John Lea


      • CraigStrachan

        They’re better skiers and all.

    • La Fold

      Aye but flock me they are are the most boring creatures ever sh@t into creation.

  • Rillian

    Independent Scotland under the rule of the EU…

    Don’t worry, your country won’t be full of Scots for long if this happens.

  • Kitty MLB

    Does that ghastly fellow above represent Scotland a uncouth,
    drunk, bitter, violent , thuggish neanderthal and clearly a Leftie.
    I dearly hope not or I would fear for what Scotland will become
    after their referendum..
    Also why do Scottish people who live in England not have a say.
    And indeed English people, we are English and have not had our say yet.Especially in regards to the currency, and if Scotland
    do not actually go, will they ask for devo max.
    And what about Shetland do they not have a say, can they not
    have independence from Scotland.
    And by the way, that fellow above, never come across anyone like
    that when visiting Mull..

    • Wessex Man

      You’ll have to have a word with Call me Dave, or maybe not after the next election!

      • Kitty MLB

        Oh yes Nigel’s purple revolution..delusions of grandeur. Oh the ones who bask in the sunshine
        and who believe the storm clouds will never
        knock them off their pedestals…..Vanity, Vanity
        Vanity !
        I forsee a epic fall..

        • Wessex Man

          Perhaps you would like to make a bet on that Kitty my dear.

      • Kennybhoy

        Beat me to the punch there Maister W.

        • La Fold

          Im not sure of that. The ones Ive encountered dont even seem to realise they are scum. If they do they certainyl dont care. It might be a generational thing though.
          A woman I know, Robert Gordons College educated, wealthy family revelled in being a good girl gone bad (which meant she bought drugs from working class oiks), always made a point of her knowing toerags and wrong uns but as soon as she got pregnant it was back to mummy and daddies safe west end house and a pampered lifestyle. It must be nice to go slumming in your wouth but have the money to leave it when you want.,

    • Kennybhoy

      Have you really never heard of Rab C Nesbitt Kitty? Seriously…?

      • Wessex Man

        No she probably hasn’t, amazing isn’t it?

    • La Fold

      “Also why do Scottish people who live in England not have a say.”
      Well because they dont live there for starters. So why not Scots that live in Canada,.or Australia, or Spain? Would mean divets like Sean Connery who tell us who to vote for while livignas a tax exile aborad could vote.

  • Maidmarrion

    Just piggy backing are you?

  • Kaine

    I’ve been to Norway, have several friends over there, indeed my parents are in the process of emigrating.

    From a British perspective the weird thing seems to be how relaxed everyone is. Yes they work hard when at work, but then they come home and do other things, as opposed to the British method of existing in this constant world where every ping on the Blackberry jolts us.

    That they have far higher productivity would appear to show their ‘work/life balance’ works.

    • Colonel Mustard

      They are perhaps more relaxed about work because they don’t have the unfortunate British corporate disposition towards skullduggery, cutthroat office politics and back stabbing. That ping on the Blackberry might be someone telling you that you’ve been shafted.

      • Kaine

        Well Colonel, it appears we have found a point of agreement.

      • La Fold

        Or when it comes to their oil industry they employ brits because they actually know what they’re doing and work past 4pm.

    • Jambo25

      I’m not sure that Norwegians are economically more efficient than the British. They are rich due to having huge energy income which hasn’t been siphoned off elsewhere.

      • Kaine

        Norwegian productivity per hour worked is around 40% higher than that of the UK according to the OECD.

        • Jambo25

          On a very narrow range of products related, mainly, to energy and energy support.

  • Cymrugel

    Blimey! You’ve certainly changed your tune, Massie!

    So now Scotland is successful happy etc, etc?

    You’ve been banging on for ages about how we can’t survive on our jack jones and will end up an impoverished pit of despair.

    I reckon McSquirter is trying to play clever – seeing if the Scots are up for it. He’s over-egged the pudding a bit, but its vastly preferable to your on-going litany that we are just not up for it and our motivations are little more than anti-English prejudice.
    I also note that you are becoming increasingly irritated by the naw campaign. Are you giving in to your inner Nat.

    I think we should be told

    • Kennybhoy

      “Blimey! You’ve certainly changed your tune, Massie!”

      This is Alex Massie we are talking about ffs! Nelson employs him as a troll! lol

      As for him being a closet nationalist. I have been saying so hereabouts for several years man! :-)

  • Bill_der_Berg

    If you think the Scots are bad you should try living next door to a Roumanian.

  • TRAV1S

    Or so says Lenny Henry.

  • ShuggyMcGlumpher

    Spot on again. The boring Nationalist line about Unionist self-loathing/cultural cringe etc. is classic projection. I’m glad you enjoy MacWhirter’s columns. I find all this constitutional change as self-esteem therapy absolutely excrutiating.

  • swatnan

    There are more important things on this Earth than just money. For example the conspt of a Nation State, and a European Entity. So maybe the idea of an Independent Scotland is a good one, involved in an European Community of Nations.

    • Fergus Pickering

      But the good Europeans don’t believe in nations.Nations are an outmoded concept. Good God they tell you this often enough..

  • Dr Lisa Boehm

    This not a ‘fisking’, if that is what it was intended to be. Its a tiny bit squalid, more like green ink than anything else (hence the chorus of approving Mr Angry responses).

  • Richard Young

    £8 a pint? Not for me thanks.That aside why has land reform not followed the Norwegian model which would partially replace Council Tax with land taxes?The Land Reform Act is in place?Although it’s a devolved matter the Scots Nats won’t implement a solution which would make make many more Scots more content with the Union. Labour never had the cojones.They love titles and ermine .But the Nats? they are laughing at us all.

    • Jambo25


  • LadyDingDong

    The question I asked myself on my tube journey from St James’s to Putney Bridge yesterday afternoon was: What’s wrong with London? It’s full of Scottish people. Why two foreign nations have to play their ridiculous game in Fulham is a complete mystery to me, as is why a bunch of large, cursing, beer swilling men in skirts who hate us so much should be making so free of my country’s limited resources. The Nigerians by contrast were well dressed and polite but no doubt will continue sending me numerous emails asking me to ease the transit of their relatives’ millions.

    • Cymrugel

      ” large, cursing, beer swilling men in skirts”
      You aren’t being LGBTphobic are you?

      • Kaine

        Most transvestites are heterosexual.

        • Kennybhoy

          Of ffs! Please don’t ever change!

    • Kitty MLB

      English men don’t have the knees for those skirts you
      mention. And might not be able to toss polls either.
      They make em tough up there in haggis land.
      And by the way the Cornish have kilts too, but cider swilling
      as well as cornish pasty tossing , instead of polls.

      • terregles2

        Kitty they toss the caber. If you are attending the Highland Games it is important to know what is being tossed,

        • Kitty MLB

          Oh yes, thank you. Caber tossing, not
          just any old tossing of polls.

  • scotcanadien

    “I like Macwhirter, even if he is a pillar of the Scottish
    establishment. His columns are always rewarding. Even when, as today,
    they are hysterical.”

    McWhirter is no pillar of the Scottish establishment. You are a wannabee pillar. And sadly your pieces are now full of what can only be described as clickbait. Get yourself some principles.

    • Kennybhoy

      First time I have ever voted you up ya loon.

    • Rhoda Klapp8

      ‘pillar’ is a typo.

  • Theuniondivvie

    ‘I like Macwhirter, even if he is a pillar of the Scottish establishment.’

    Rich, very rich.

    ‘One day my son, this will all be yours.’

    • laurence

      Ha! A hit, sir, a palpable hit.

  • Ricky Strong

    Having said very little about the Scottish referendum I would like to say one thing. Given that I am very excited about the possibility of UKIP having a major impact on our ability to self-govern it would be hypocritical of me to argue against the Scottish being offered the same choice.

    I must say though that having read various comments on such articles as this I would just like to say for the record that as an Englishman I could only ever wish my Scottish neighbours all the very best in whichever direction they choose.

    • 2trueblue

      Really davy those Scots, they want independence and then the want to be members of the EU. You couldn’t make it up!

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Agreed. They will trade the illusion that they are ruled by the wicked English for the reality of being ruled by The EU.

        • Jambo25

          Perhaps some of those awful Scots might find Germans, Dutch and Austrians more congenial.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            Possibly, but that would not include a stalking SNP nutter like yourself.

            • Jambo25

              I love you too, Sweetie. Kiss, kiss.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                And again the stalking cybernat nutter interrupts my day.

      • HookesLaw

        No, they can be just like Norway and be in the EEA and obey all EU regulations and payments to regional funds, including free movement of labour and be in Schengen. Its called a trade deal. Perhaps you can explain why kippers think the UK would or could be any different if we left. Perhaps kippers can explain why such minor differences are worth delivering us a pro EU labour govt led by a crypto Marxist.

        • Wessex Man

          perhaps for once in your life you could expand the argument you put forward with a few facts rather than nsults.

          • Randy McDonald

            The question is a real one.

      • JPJ2

        Just want to get rid of the useless but expensive middlemen in Westminster.

        • 2trueblue

          Well lets see what happens. If they get their Yes vote, when will we be rid of the Liebore MPs they have that are a thorn in our parliament when we want to look at things that concern only England. We don’t want them at all.

    • Kitty MLB

      Leaving the EU who we are not geographically attatched to
      or share the same currency is not the same as Scottish independence. And by the way, that referendum will
      be in 2017. Unless Labour resume their apocalyptic
      destruction of the UK.

      • Ricky Strong

        Sorry Kitty but I just do not believe anything that comes out of Dave, Ed, or Nick’s mouth anymore. UKIP’s position on the EU is clear and it is the position that I agree with. Dave is pro-EU, why should I believe him when it comes to a referendum?

        • Inverted Meniscus

          I don’t think you should believe him Ricky but if we do get an in/out referendum and I concede it is a big if, he has every right to campaign to stay in if that is what he believes. Should more people agree with you than agree with Cameron et al then we will leave. I have my fingers crossed that we will.

          • Rhoda Klapp8

            Can I trust him to lead the country out if he loses? I am inclined to think not, nor any other likely replacement leader from the Blob.

            • Inverted Meniscus

              I think that if he lost he would be forced to resign and not be in a position to lead anybody in one direction or another. That said, if we had a referendum and a majority voted for ‘out’ it would be pretty interesting to watch the political leader who said: “well thanks for your input but we are staying in because I know better”. Visions of pitchforks and torches spring to mind.

              • Kitty MLB

                The irony is that in reality Cameron is not
                actually a supporter of the EU.
                He would rather we were able to have more freedom with the wider world. Maybe since
                becoming PM he believes its his responsibilty
                to be a certain way and everyone tells him
                leaving will be a disaster.
                Cameron is a man of his word with this referendum, it will happen.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  Agreed. Are you feeling better these days Kitty?

                • Kitty MLB

                  Yes thankyou. Getting there.

                • Inverted Meniscus


                • Fergus Pickering

                  You are too nice for this world, Kitty. Cameron is not a trustworthy person.

                • Kitty MLB

                  And so are you dear man.I have just decided to
                  give him another chance.I know you don’t trust
                  Cameron anymore.But he will probably be gone at some point.And hopefully Theresa May
                  will be PM. She is rather like me, a gentle
                  and feminine soul.Somewhat difficult in her
                  job.I admire her strength and the way she deals with wretched Left and does so with
                  warmth and grace.

            • Kitty MLB

              And if the country vote to stay in, hope they
              won’t but we live in a democracy and they might.
              Then bye bye UKIP, it works both ways.

    • terregles2

      Well said Ricky. I have several English friends who now live in Scotland and are voting YES in September. It has nothing to do with being Scottish or English it is about having a more accountable government. Whatever happens I have only goodwill towards my friends and family in England how could it ever be otherwise.
      We all need more accountable government that is why i will vote YES in September. Good luck to everyone in the UK we all deserve better government.

  • mightymark

    Norwegians ………..are communitarian and disciplined because they had to be to survive in an often hostile environment. Scots prefer….. and pubs and holidays in Spain.

    Have met many Norwegians on holidays including in Spain, and some of them could drink (even)the Scots under the table!

    • Number 7

      WRT the Norwegians I know, I would substitute “some of them” with “most of them”.

    • Cymrugel

      I work with a Nog aged 65.
      The bloke looks 40 and can drink himself cross-eyed to the point where he is falling over dustbins, yet arrive in the office next morning looking as fresh as a daisy -no hangover or anything.

      • John Lea

        That’s nowt, there was a nice bloke I worked beside (in Glasgow, natch) who used to sit at his desk eating oranges injected with vodka. He would sit there all day, scoffing orange after orange, his face growing increasingly ruddy, his speech increasingly incoherent.

    • Kennybhoy

      Forget some man! Most of them could leave us trailing in a swally contest! And that includes the wimmin!:-)

      • Jambo25

        Speak for yourself sweetie. A fair few chaps round this part of Edinburgh could put most of our Norwegian friends away in a drinking contest. Actually, raging bevvy headism isn’t really something to be proud of.

    • La Fold

      They’ve got a bigger chip on their shoulders than the jockanese. And thats saying something becuase the scots are the most balanced nation on earth, we’ve got a chip on both shoulders.

  • Rhoda Klapp8

    And are your national newspapers in the habit of printing racist articles? Nobody should have to put up with that sort of thing, Scotland has made a lot of difference to the world. Way more than its size would indicate. In or out, there is a lot to be proud of.

    • Kennybhoy

      Thank you for that Rhoda but methinks that you invest both Macwhirter’s and Massie’s efforts with way too much significance! :-)

    • Frank Marker

      Oh aye, they certainly proved more than able in being guardians of the British Empire.

  • Swiss Bob

    Comparing Scotland to Norway is like comparing Switzerland to Zimbabwe.

    • dalai guevara

      Norway = Zimbabwe?

      • Wessex Man

        hur hur, go fetch!

      • Inverted Meniscus

        Dalai Guevara = gibberish spouting socialist nutter with a menagerie of sock puppets.

        • Jambo25

          God knows what you are.

          • Inverted Meniscus

            Ah the stalking SNP cybernat nutter returns. Now FO there’s a good lad.

            • Jambo25

              And back to crude insults and foul language from you.

              • Inverted Meniscus

                And yet you keep coming back for more. It must be a character trait of stalking SNP nutters like yourself. Do you honestly believe somebody as ignorant and dishonest as yourself deserves a considered opinion or politeness. Now FO.

                • Jambo25

                  Keep writing comments like this. As a ‘Yes’ supporter it cannot do the ‘Yes’ campaign anything but good.

                • Inverted Meniscus

                  I regularly engage with sensible people but not with brain dead stalking cybernat nutters like yourself.

    • ChuckieStane

      And yet Scotland and Norway for centuries were two of the poorest nations of Europe. Both suffered massive emigration through poverty.
      Both were lucky enough to have oil. Norway was transformed. Scotland’s oil wealth got the IMF off the UK’s back and paid for the billions in UK unemployment benefit in the 1980s.

      • Kaine

        I think you’ll find it was Shetland’s oil.

        • La Fold

          As someone who has worked in the oil and gas industry for over 15 years Ill think you’ll find that is complete cobblers.

          • Kaine

            The MSPs from Orkney and Shetland take a rather different view, as indeed might the people of the North East. There’s no reason any maritime border would be a straight line of latitude.

            • La Fold

              The MSPs from orkney and Shetland can have any view they want because I bet you Ive been to Sullom Voe more times than they have and I am one of the people from the North east. The north east which has been waiting for a simple bypass for over 25 years whilst bank rolling the welfare state of the west coast. The maritime border is indeed not a straight line of latitude, in fact it is taken as a continuation of the land border at the angle it is currently at.
              This would mean over 80% of the Gas fields are in English waters and around 40% of the Oil fields would be in Scottish waters. In fact over 50% of the Oilfields are in Norwegian waters as it.

            • La Fold

              I did try to reply to this last week but disqus had other ideas. The MSPs from Shetlands and Orkney can have any ideas they want, it dont make them right. And you are quite correct, the maritime border is definitely not a straight line of latitude, its a conitnuation of the border line at whatever angle it sits at currently. In fact a straight line of demarcation woul;d be more benifical to the scots.
              This would leave well over 75% of the Gas fields in English and Dutch waters and only around 45% of the Oil fields in British waters in theoretical Scottish waters. Over 50% of all viable fields in the North sea are actually in Norwegian territorial waters and operate under license from the Norwegian government.

        • Jambo25

          I think you’ll find if you do any research at all, that you are talking drivel.

    • Kennybhoy

      Fuck you too! :-)

  • Colonel Mustard

    It will be a sad day for me personally when Scotland leaves the Union, although I shall wave a happy goodbye to their Labour MPs. But the Scottish peoples right to self-determination is incontrovertible and the unionist camp’s attempt to block historic destiny by negativity is unfortunately counter-productive, as it was with UKIP.

    And if that was not enough a glance at Westminster, at the way Whitehall and Parliament now operate, should remove all doubt about the validity of Scottish independence. As an Englishman I don’t much like being ruled by the Bubble either.

    • Andy

      And as an Englishman I’ll have my right to self-determination, as it is incontrovertible.

    • Jambo25

      I tend to agree Colonel. I’ll be voting ‘Yes’ in September although I think a ‘No’ vote is most likely. However, had we had proper UK level governance and radical decentralisation of political, media and economic power over the past half century or so I doubt I’d be a ‘Yes’ voter.

    • terregles2

      I will be sad as I have really strong ties with England and will always wish the best for England. It is Westminster government that we would be leaving never our English friends and family nor indeed English people. We will always be geographically and historically close. We will have different governments that is all. When I meet friends and family in Dublin we never give politicians or who governs us much thought.

  • ohforheavensake

    Erm… no, it’s not really what most Yes voters think, deep down. It’s MacWhirter- who always and only speaks for himself.

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