Politics

The SNP surge at Westminster might just accidentally save the Union

The SNP has given the Conservative and Labour parties a lot to think about

25 July 2015

9:00 AM

25 July 2015

9:00 AM

There are few quicker ways to annoy an MP than to suggest that they are on holiday when the House of Commons isn’t sitting. Such a suggestion will be met with a tetchy and immediate list of the constituency work they are doing in recess. This week, however, marks the start of the first summer break since the election, so the honourable members should perhaps feel entitled to a rest. Indeed, most MPs who aren’t engaged in a leadership contest will be taking one.

As they sink into their deckchairs, they will have plenty to think about. The election might only have been two and a half months ago, but the dynamics of this parliament have changed, utterly.

Elections will return soon enough. There will be a Scottish Parliament vote and a London mayoral contest next spring. The whole country will vote on Britain’s membership of the EU before the end of 2017. The Tories have already started planning for the next general election — MPs in marginal seats have been organised into an incumbency group and are being advised by deputy chairman, Stephen Gilbert, on how to protect their majorities.

The MPs most in need of a holiday are the Scottish Nationalists. Last summer, they were campaigning for independence and so have not taken a breath for two years. The new contingent of SNP MPs should be pleased with their work in the Commons. Sitting together in tightly packed rows, they support each other with something close to military discipline and stand out in a chamber often deserted by the other parties. They claim to take parliament more seriously than anyone else; on the last day of the Commons’ term, they moved to the near-empty Labour benches in a stunt designed to show that they are the real parliamentary opposition to David Cameron. Given the state of the Labour party, they have a point.

Yet they may end up saving the Union that they seek to destroy. Since devolution, remarkably little attention has been paid to Scottish politics at Westminster. This is partly why even the Scottish independence referendum was regarded as a second-tier issue until it became clear quite how close it would be. But the SNP’s success at the general election has changed all that.


The party’s Westminster leader Angus Robertson now has two goes each week at Prime Minister’s Questions. This might seem like a trivial detail but it is worth remembering how much of the No. 10 machine is geared towards readying the Prime Minister for his most important half hour in the Commons. George Osborne, Michael Gove and several of Cameron’s senior aides devote Wednesday mornings to helping him prepare for this appearance. ‘We’re having to take a lot more interest in the minutiae of Scottish politics than before,’ one of those involved in these prep sessions tells me.

Readying Cameron to face Robertson’s barbs means ensuring he is well-informed about events north of the border — about the SNP’s record at Holyrood. Slowly but surely, the Tory attack machine is turning its attention to being able to rubbish the governing record of the SNP as effectively as they trashed the last Labour government. One adviser in charge of this says that ‘for years, things have been hidden away in the Scottish Parliament. Now, they are moving front and centre.’

This development should help safeguard the Union in two ways. First, it means that Downing Street and the Prime Minister are far more aware of what is going on north of the border. The government is more sensitive to the impact of its policies in Scotland. The second is that the SNP’s record at Holyrood is nowhere near as impressive as its poll ratings suggest. A persistent attack on the SNP’s failures, could — in time — begin to pull back some of the SNP advance. It is hard, however, to see anything stopping the SNP winning another outright majority at Holyrood next year. Some of the Cabinet have taken to grumbling about Cameron’s new Scottish focus. When I asked one secretary of state about a recent political Cabinet discussion about the Holyrood campaign, I was told: ‘Far too much time is being devoted to Scotland at the moment, in my -opinion.’

If the SNP have made the Tories’ concentrate more on Scotland, they are pushing Labour in a different direction. The nationalists taunt Labour for not being a proper opposition, for not being left-wing enough. This approach is working because of the deep divisions in Labour. The party is split between those who think the election defeat demonstrates that it needs to win back trust on the economy and welfare and those who argue that a more left-wing message will uncover a hidden cache of voters.

The former position is clearly the more credible, but the left of the Labour party has been significantly strengthened by the new intake of MPs: 18 of the 48 who defied acting leader Harriet Harman and voted against the government’s welfare bill this week were elected for the first time in May.

The leftward tilt of the new intake reflects the direction the party took under Ed Miliband, the influence of unions on selections and the desire of many constituency Labour parties to reject the ‘third way’ politics of New Labour. This can be seen in the nominations for the leadership: polls show the hard-left Jeremy Corbyn in front.

This clash between Labour’s energised left and its more centrist wing will go on for years, regardless of who wins the leadership. The left, emboldened by what is sure to be a stronger than expected showing from Corbyn, is unlikely to accept a leader trying to move the party back towards the centre.

The ideological nature of Labour’s new intake contrasts with the pragmatism of their Tory contemporaries. Even those new Tory MPs who favour leaving the European Union are keen to avoid the factionalism of past arguments over Europe. The worry for Labour has to be that the terms of debate for this parliament have been set before they’ve elected their new leader.

The SNP’s Westminster contingent will head home for the holidays satisfied that they have made their mark, and made Westminster pay more attention to Scotland. But by doing that, they might have made their great ambition — independence — more difficult to achieve.

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  • Henry Hooper

    “The SNP’s Westminster contingent will head home for the holidays satisfied that they have made their mark, and made Westminster pay more attention to Scotland. But by doing that, they might have made their great ambition — independence — more difficult to achieve.”
    Nonsense. Total utter nonsense. The only thing that could possibly save the union is that the ‘devo-max’, ‘home rule’, ‘federalism’ promise is kept and quick smart too.
    Given that’s clearly not going to happen, countdown mode is where we’re at. The No vote could have killed Indy if it were 2:1, but with a 5% swing margin, Cameron in power and a completely hopeless, dead-as-a-dodo right wing Labour party …all appear to be making Independence inevitable. Happy Days.

    • I see no reason at all why the admirable principle of subsidiarity should not apply in the United Kingdom. But within that principle’s application you do have to have a democratic legislature to delegate to. In Belfast, Cardiff and Edinburgh we have. Unless there is a very good reason not to the Celts should run their own affairs. So let’s have a Federation in our United Kingdom based (for example) on the American system. Westminster morphs into a Federal Parliament for UK-wide matters (Defence for example) AND an English Parliament for those matters about which the Celts (and now the English) take their own devolved decisions. Four “State” legislatures for devolved matters, one Federal Parliament for those not devolved.

      • RolftheGanger

        Theoretical. The reality is that Westminster is addicted to centralisation of all forms of power, control, influence and wealth.
        They grudgingly cede the barest minimum when pressure forces them to reluctantly do so.

        The sensible answer is to dissolve the Union and promptly shift to a set of mutually acceptable cooperation agreements.

        • jonkle

          That’s a decision for those who live in Scotland, and latest polls suggest No to independence despite the strutting and posturing rhetoric of the SNP.

          • Abie Vee

            Surveys suggest that support for independence has in fact risen since the referendum, while support for NO, though still the majority, is falling. The over-60s remain as the sole bulwark against independence, with every other age group now in favour of Scotland becoming a separate state.

          • jonkle

            This appears to contradict your comments, what is your source ?

            What Scotland Thinks 14 July 2015:
            “The party’s success in the Westminster election has not been accompanied by any surge in support for independence. Consequently there continues to be a narrow majority in favour of staying in the UK. Today’s poll puts support for Yes at 43%, No at 47%, virtually the same result (44% Yes, 47% No) as that obtained by Survation when they last asked the question in May. Equally, there is no sign of increased enthusiasm for the idea of holding an early referendum.”
            http://blog.whatscotlandthinks.org/2015/07/survation-on-the-opportunities-and-challenges-of-2016/

          • Boroinmilan

            Agreed. I think the figures completely refute what Abbie is claiming

          • Abie Vee

            “Refute”? As in “completely refute”? Not so fast .

            Scottish referendum result. YES 45% NO 55%. Now you write to tell me what I already know, that the NO vote has fallen. Thanks.

            “Of those certain to vote, 47 per cent would vote to break away from the UK – an increase of 2 percentage points compared to last September’s vote. 53% would vote NO” ( a fall of 2%) . Independent refers.

            We’re on the right track baby.

          • Boroinmilan

            Not after the collapse on oil prices you are not

          • Abie Vee

            Seen the price of gold lately?

            Commodities go up in price, and they come down in price. That is what they do. You must be alone in the world if you suppose otherwise. Good grief… how did we ever manage before oil?

          • CraigStrachan

            The SNP were nowhere before oil.”It’s Scotland’s oil” made them. The relevant question now is how they will cope when oil is out of the equation.

          • Abie Vee

            How do I know… I’m not Mystic Meg. But I do know that Standard & Poors are clear on that matter. They say Scotland’s on-shore economy is robust enough in itself (that’s to say, without any North Sea Hydrocarbon revenues) to guarantee her it’s coveted highest credit rating.

            And if that’s good enough for the international markets, it’s sure good enough for me Jimmy.

            And I’m not ducking the argument, but I’d like to just add that Independence (as per Brexit) isn’t entirely about money.

          • CraigStrachan

            I think you’ll find a Standard & Poors research paper years out from the event is a long way short of a guarantee about how the international markets might receive Scottish independence. That’s the thing about markets – there are no guarantees. Scottish independence remains a very risky proposition.

          • Abie Vee

            Indeed, the facts change. And change back again. ‘Tis the way of things. All is change. “Risky” you call it? I call it an exciting prospect.

            “Where there is no vision, the people perish”. Proverbs. 29 : 18.

          • CraigStrachan

            Then it’s really quite simple: persuade the Scottish people that the prospect is exciting enough to justify the risk to their living standards and pensions.

          • Abie Vee

            Your comment is an informal fallacy: aka a loaded statement… one wherein the “facts” are presupposed by the question , in this case that savings and pensions are at risk (anymore than they are now).

            It’s a simple schoolboy-ish rhetorical tool, too silly to dignity with a proper answer (as with all loaded statements).

          • CraigStrachan

            Yes, there weren’t any proper answers on offer from the YES campaign last year. Doesn’t appear you have learned the lesson of that loss. Suits me!

          • Abie Vee

            I’m not sure what facts (if any) are contained within your previous childish remark, any more than are in this one.

          • CraigStrachan

            Oh, the fact is the YES campaign failed to make the economic case for independence, and wasn’t even able to offer reassurance on something as fundamental as the currency. That’s something they will need to rectify before they try again. It’s clear you’ll be no use to them there, though.

          • Abie Vee

            What reassurances can anyone give ahead of the detailed tripartite negotiations that would have to be undertaken? I’m certain you don’t know. You’re simply guessing. The English have duped you, and themselves, into believing they hold all the cards. They do not.

          • CraigStrachan

            Right, so there are no assurances, just risks.

          • Abie Vee

            Risk? You take a risk every time you open the front door.

            The English primary tactic in the independence debate was scaremongering. The tactic was simple and it worked pretty well: frighten the pensioners, Job done.

            I forecast at the time, wait until the General Election for round two of the campaign. And Lo it came to pass that the Tories were able to frighten just enough people with lurid tales of rampaging Scots ( a simple re-hash of dimly remembered times) to secure themselves a slim majority.

            Assurances you want? Of course: I can assure you that the Tories were simply bluffing. In fact, I’d bet my sweet life on it. Little more really needs to be said.

            What you people fail to understand is that The Bank of England is no such thing: it is the Central Bank of the United Kingdom, and thus as much ours as it is yours. And in that respect, Scotland owns its proportional share of the UK’s burgeoning national debt. But by the same token, her proportional share of the UK’s national assets too.

            You think the English hold all the cards? Think again. Apart from the above, there’s also North Sea Oil and gas; North Sea fisheries; Scottish air space; Trident facilities; easy trading routes with Scandinavia and the Baltic; airbases and army facilities and etc to consider. Whichever way you look at it, it’s lose-lose for England.

            As a fall-back position, the Scots could use the pound, without England’s permission, until either producing their own currency (other countries of similar size, New Zealand and Denmark, don’t seem to find it a problem) or joining the Euro at a later date.

            Nothing is insurmountable. Scottish Independence will not be an event, a stasis frozen in time, it will be an evolutionary (revolutionary) process, and the opportunities are boundless.

            CARPE DIEM SCOTLAND.

          • CraigStrachan

            Yes, you take a risk every time you open the front door or get out of bed. Those are necessary risks for most folk. Breaking up a country that provides you with a certain level of economic security is an unnecessary risk, especially for a country with an aging population, like Scotland.

          • Boroinmilan
          • Abie Vee

            “Did not” he opines, with all the authority of a Scottish newspaper quote. I presume that from now on your entire argument is going to be based on semantic wriggling over the word “guarantee”? I’m familiar with the sophist tactic. I actually read the report. Did you?

            An alternative take on it from the same link:

            “Standard & Poor’s have concluded that Scotland’s wealth levels are comparable to those of AAA-listed nations, and that as an independent country – even without North Sea oil – Scotland will qualify for S&P’s highest economic assessment.

            [that is perfectly true, they indeed said that]*

            “That is a glowing assessment of the Scottish economy from an impartial source and completely demolishes the scaremongering of the No campaign. The anti-independence campaign was already guilty of massive hypocrisy on this issue following the UK’s downgrading from AAA status by leading credit agencies, but this endorsement puts the scare stories to bed and is a massive endorsement of the Scottish Government’s vision of a prosperous, economically successful independent Scotland.”

            Which is about where I’m at too.

            *my comment.

          • Boroinmilan

            You completely exaggerate. In fact, I’ll go further, you lie. First you said all age groups apart from the over 65 voted for independence when 18-24 didn’t and 55-64 didn’t then you say S&P guaranteed Scotland the highest credit rating when it clearly didn’t . You are full of cr@p! And I don’t quite know what you doing quoting yourself for you divvy.

          • Abie Vee

            And so the good ship Boroinmilan sinks into the sunset with a broadside of invective and a barrage of sophistry.

            Er, I am not quoting myself at all; I am indicating that the remark in brackets is an interjection by me, and not a part of the quoted text itself. D’oh! It is a convention.

          • Boroinmilan

            Just can’t be bothered with someone that lies.

          • Abie Vee

            Scratches head in bewilderment.

            What I said was present tense, as in now. I am saying there is a shift in Scottish public opinion towards independence. You seem to be talking about last September, whereas I am talking about since then.

            (1) From the Independent: “Support for Scottish independence has increased since last autumn’s independence referendum, with all ages groups except pensioners now in favour of secession, a new poll shows.”

            That was my position , more or less word for word, which you appear to have deliberately lost sight of to suit your own erratic argument.

            From The Daily Mail: Most people in Britain now think Scotland will become independent sooner or later despite last year’s ‘no’ vote, a new study has revealed. Some 69 per cent of Scots now believe there will be a split …

            I rest my case. For now.

          • Self-hate then…

          • Boroinmilan

            We all used coal which largely came from England and Wales. The oil price is going to be low for a few years. Backs up what No said – volatile, unpredictable and finite. Yes’s claim of a second oil boom was dishonest and could have had disastrous consequences. Luckily that spending black hole is being covered by taxpayers in the rest of the UK. You dodged a bullet there and you should be holding Salmon and the SNP to account over it.

          • Abie Vee

            Standard & Poors pre-independence referendum report on the Scottish economy said there was no reason why Scotland should not have its own currency, and that her on-shore economy was robust enough on its own to guarantee S & Ps top credit rating: get that, “on its own”?

            Just thought I’d let you know.

            As regards who subsidises whom, the annual GERS reports show conclusively that since their introduction in Blair’s early days as PM (amazingly, there were no official statistics before then!) Scotland is in fact a net contributor to the UK economy, nine years out of ten.

            I thought I’d let you know that too.

          • Boroinmilan

            The S&P report did no guarantee the top grade. It was at best neutral and talked about ‘significant but not unsurpassable’ problems. This was in view of a possible currency deal with the United Kingdom’ which has been ruled by the government and before oil prices almost halved. Your analysis of the S&P report is way off because you are seeing what you want to see and are not motivated by getting to the economic facts , but rather justifying your own nationalism. This makes you exaggerate. If Scotland was a net contributor good for them, but they are not now and that black hole is being filled by the rest of the United Kingdom right now. My region, the North East of England is not a net contributor I am afraid but we are part of the same community. Something the ‘compassionate’ Scottish Nationalists don’t be believe in, but funnily all those ‘evil’ people in London do.

          • Abie Vee

            “At best neutral” OK… your terminology, and I’ll settle for that. Indeed I will. Neutral. I have read the report, have you?

            As regards England’s political posturing… nothing is ruled out or in. The government’s position, its true position, will only emerge in the hurly-burly and trade-off’s and compromise that will be the Independence negotiations themselves. No negotiator ever reveals his true hand, or his fall-back position in advance of talks. To imagine otherwise is preposterous. And we don’t even know who the English government will be when the time for talks finally arrives… so how you can witter with such authority on just what rUK will or won’t do is pure conjecture.

            The English have been fooled into believing that they hold all the Aces. They don’t. Not by along way. Scotland has bargaining chips too… her share of the National Debt, North Sea fishing and oil rights and of course Trident, for starters.

            There will be three parties to this matter; the EU, Scotland, and the rUK. And it’s going to be great fun to watch. Please God I’m still around to watch the show.

            The North East? They’d vote SNP tomorrow if they could!

          • Boroinmilan

            No we wouldn’t. Another SNP myth – ordinary people in the rest of the UK support them. We can’t stand them.

          • stool-pigeon.

            those making a noise would

          • Jackie Ogden

            What credit rating do you think you’d get if you defaulted on your share of the national debt? You rely on British companies to drill the oil. Trident could go somewhere else, taking with it the associated jobs. The EU are only peripherally involved in this. However, whether they would be particularly quick to let Scotland in is debatable particularly if Scotland has a poor credit rating (for Eurozone purposes). And if the rUK is out of the EU, there will have to be border controls at Carlisle because the Tories in the border lands won’t want any immigrants getting in via Scotland (Sturgeon has said she is pro-immigration).

          • Abie Vee

            “What credit rating do you think you’d get if you defaulted on your share of the national debt? ”

            That’s very easy, AAA. Countries without a national debt are hugely attractive to investors, and as rare as hen’s teeth.

            “You rely on British companies to drill the oil.” Nope. International companies.

            “Trident could go somewhere else…” Yup. It would take at least 20 years to construct deep-water fascinates from scratch (not that England has any such places) and cost untold £billions (if not £Trillions).

            What else you got?

          • Domhnall MacCoinnich

            Scotland is the 3rd wealthiest part of the UK (after only London and the SE) before oil and gas revenue is added. The UK has its own black hole and a rising oil price would never cover that. If after 300 years the 3rd wealthiest part of the UK could not go it alone in one of the richest countries in the world then the UK is not fit for purpose.
            Also, any black hole we have is as a result of our current circumstances within the union. A recent report showed that taking Scotland’s Research and Development (with our very strong universities) funding from the lowest in the EU (a woeful UK set up) to in line with other successful northern European countries could give Scotland an extra 12 billion per annum very quickly.
            The UK is holding Scotland back.

          • Jackie Ogden

            The Scottish universities get millions from the UK funding councils, which facilitates their research.

          • Domhnall MacCoinnich

            Yes, so do English universities. So what?

          • Sheryl Hepworth

            net contribution from Scotland to England (WM) over ther last 33 years had been to the tune of £3446 per person!!

          • You’re a complete clown
            1.
            “Coal which largely came from England and Wales”… When almost the entire central lowlands and Fife was one giant coalfield !
            What were you doing when you should have been at school ?!?!?

            2.
            “…that spending black hole”
            I take it you refer to the supposed £7.6 billion Scots current deficit which compares almost equally to that of the UK as a whole on a per-capita basis ?
            Pathetic attempt using statistics and/or incomplete information.

            I suggest you use ALL the facts, and refrain from repeating the nonsense of others.

          • CharlesPtwo

            No matter the Oil Price you seem eager to ignore the fact that in an Independent Scotland, ALL of the Profits from Oil would go into the Scottish Exchequer in not into the British Treasury to be spent on London Capital Projects from which wee derive no benefit!
            In fact, all of your arguments seem rather shallow and Threadbare from being Rolled out without thought or careful attention!

          • Boroinmilan

            There is a 7 billion pound spending black hole that needs to be covered by tax rises and/or spending cuts. It’s currently been paid by the UK tax payer. That’s fine you don’t need to thank us. You wouldn’t be gaining the tax receipts you’d be losing Barnett. If pointing out that a population of 5 million would have to face up to black hole of over 7 billion pounds is a threadbare argument then you are not taking any notice of the economic argument and have been watching too much Braveheart. As the referendum showed, the rest of the populations is a little more astute.

          • Scott Bowie

            what’s the astrological equivalent of the uk’s 1.5 trillion deficit?
            7 billion deficit? really? that’s it? scrap trident, hs2, the lords and londons upgrades, that should easily net us 7 billion.
            what’s next on the agenda?

            only unionists every mention braveheart, they’re obsessed with it.

          • Boroinmilan

            Its’s everyone’s debt, in fact given the higher levels of public spending per head in Scotland, the fact it was a Scottish Prime Minister and a Chancellor who were in power at the time who had been voted in overwhelmingly by the Scottish public and much of the money was spent bailing out the Royal Bank of Scotland, it’s Scotland’s debt as much as anyone else’s. In fact probably more so. And daft Sturgeon wanted to borrow more. Scotland has to pay its debt. Of course Britain needs to upgrade its transport network and defence systems. Scotland also needs to update transport and defence. Edinburgh anyone? The Lords has been a responsive indirectly elected second chamber and doesn’t cost much. Scotland will need a second chamber also. You can’t stop the world and get off. You haven’t really though this through have you?

          • Scott Bowie

            oh the old myth about higher levels of public spending in scotland…

            “Fiscal stability – for 32 years in a row (up to
            2012) Scotland has paid more of the UK Treasury’s revenues than we have
            received as Treasury expenditures (E.g. in 2012, the last year for which the
            Treasury have released figures, Scotland paid in 9.6% of total Treasury
            receipts but received only 9.2% of Treasury expenditures). Therefore, an
            independent Scotland would
            immediately have increased government funding (from 9.3% up to 9.6%) available
            with the same tax structure as in the current UK.”

          • The £1.5 trillion is DEBT….not a deficit.
            If you’re going o debate, best to use the correct terminology

          • There you go again …it is NOT being covered by the UK tax-payer. It is being covered by BORROWING on the international markets. Scottish tax-payers, as part of the current UK, PAY INTEREST, like everyone else, on said international loans.
            The UK, a nation of 60million has to face a “black hole” ( the correct term is current deficit) of about £80billion, and, this figure has been as high as £110billion

            And, as for references to “Braveheart”….
            Please….grow up, or shut up !

          • Sheryl Hepworth

            The 7.6 billion ”Black Hole” as you keep harping on about is actually the share (haha) for Scotland of the interest payment due on the astronomic debt run up by the last government and as Scotland didn’t have ANY SAY in the borrowing why should we accept responsibility for a debt that isn’t ours??

          • Andrew Gallacher

            £7 billion “black hole” covered by UK taxes? What are you sniffing? England’s black hole is £100 billion! Scotland’s population is approximately 10% that of England’s. Do the maths, if you can.

          • Andrew Gallacher

            And I think it is you who should be thanking us. More tax paid per head of population in Scotland for 33 of the last 34 years. Oh, and we also die younger, taking less out of the pension pot.

          • Sheryl Hepworth

            Not only all the income from oil instead of 9p in the pound!!! The tax take on exports that, at this time, ALL go to WM exported theough English ports so that every penny goes to them. The Whisky, foodstuffs, bio medicinal, ALL exports!!

          • CharlesPtwo

            What this seems to ignore is the fact that recent Polls now show the SNP standing at 60% in voting intentions for the Scottish Parliamentary Elections in 2016, according to ‘Survation,’ who have always produced the most accurate Figures on Scotland.
            Relying on the English Polling Organisations, however, after their Performance on the General Election 2015, as to ‘For and Against’ for Independence, strikes me as tantamount to Peeing into the Wind!
            Every single move made by the Conservative Party since the beginning of this Parliament is undermining the possible NO Vote at an exponential rate. Independence is not just inevitable, believe me, as one who lives in Scotland, it is imminent!

          • Jackie Ogden

            Not everyone who votes SNP is pro-independence though.

          • Jackie Ogden

            For a divided Scotland.

          • Boroinmilan

            This isn’t true. The 18-24 bracket voted against independence as did the 55s not the over 60s.

          • Abie Vee

            Well I suppose you pays your money and takes your choice.
            My references come from the two polls which addressed the subject, Ashcroft and YouGov.

            In short, Ashcroft shows that only 27% of voters aged 65 and over voted for YES, as opposed to 52% of the 16-24 age group. YouGov gives 34% of 65+ for YES, and 49% of the 16-24 group.

            Of course, as per your comment too, that was then. This is now, and the figures today continue to move towards the YES camp.

            There’s my case. Where is yours?

          • Joshua Macpherson

            Thanks for the figures 😉 Independence is inevitable. Mr. Cameron does everything he can to speed the process up which is good for Scotland. Go Scotland!

          • Boroinmilan

            Please see below Josh. You kind of sound like one of the 16-17s group.

          • Boroinmilan

            Lord Ashcroft poll in the Guardian clearly shows the majority of 18-24 voted for the Union as did the 55-64s. You seem to think people will just die off? I don’t agree I think the 16-18 will mature and have attitudes similar to those in the 18-24 group.

            http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/20/scottish-independence-lord-ashcroft-poll

          • Abie Vee

            Well, putting it bluntly, old people are indeed “likely to die off”.

            And, er, I’m not trying to be rude here, but what you “think” is hardly germane, is it. Evidence we need, rather than speculation.

            The majorities you refer to are slim, most of them apart from the over 65’s are within the margins of sampling error and all of them are out of date.

            The latest polling supports the proposition that the drift towards independence is continuing.

          • Jackie Ogden

            They weren’t being offered independence though. And the SNP weren’t exactly super snappy at trying to get FFA as an amendment to the Scotland Act. Only when it was pointed out that they weren’t asking for it, did they put it an amendment which was soundly rejected. This implies to me that they weren’t particularly enthusiastic about it. If you are going to have this degree of impact on the rUK though and the divisive nature of the poll, to be successful the aye voters should have to get at least 70%. I think you might have more chance of getting rUK to kick Scotland out because Scotland is aggravating quite a lot of rUK with their perpetual whingeing and overly generous settlement.

          • Domhnall MacCoinnich

            Ah stop whinging. You believe everything you are fed.

            Good luck with the 70%. The UK establishment shot that bolt a long time ago. 1979 I believe.

          • jonkle

            Link and evidence please.

          • Abie Vee

            Links to what, the Bible?

          • jonkle

            That answers my question.
            Thanks.

          • MartinC

            The next referendum regarding changing the constitutional arrangements of this United Kingdom must encompass the entire UK.
            On the principle that it takes two to have a marriage but only one to cause a divorce, then yes if the Scots vote for independence they shall have it.
            But any change to a federal form of government must be subject to a UK-wide referendum.

          • jonkle

            Quite right.
            The SNP demand a say on English matters which impact on Scotland, therefore the rest of the UK should demand a say on Scottish matters which impact on the UK.

          • Abie Vee

            So what you’re saying is this: you Scots can have devolved powers so long as we English have a veto over everything you do.

            What that means in practice is an end to devolution. Try running that one past the Scots. You won’t get very far.

          • jonkle

            No, only a say on matters that impact on the rest of the UK.
            That is effectively what the SNP are trying to do at Westminster.
            It cuts both ways.

          • Abie Vee

            You really do not understand. I can’t help you.

          • Wessex Man

            It appears to be you who really do not understand , no one can help you.

          • Abie Vee

            Ok Brains, off you go… in what way is this short statement incorrect: “So what you’re saying is this: you Scots can have devolved powers so long as we English have a veto over everything you do.”

          • RolftheGanger

            They already do. Westminster sets the overall econonic, social, political and cultural rules for the entire UK, plus England’s MPs dominate decisions of fiscal and monetary policy and taxation, including the total of the Scottish budget.

          • jedi44

            Which would be?

          • jonkle

            Scottish independence.

          • Abie Vee

            Um, are the Scots Nats proposing a UK Federation? They may well be, but if so, that’s the first I’ve heard of it.

            Aren’t they more likely to oppose federation on the basis that they want independence instead? What then?

          • Domhnall MacCoinnich

            Seeking self determination does not take two. What an absurd notion. If the people of Scotland want self determination they should be allowed to vote for it without the interference of a biased civil service (who openly congratulated themselves on ‘winning’ the referendum) and without last minute vows and desperate fear mongering through the governments business connections (pulling favours) and misuse of the diplomatic service.
            How about leaving the Scots to a fair referendum without all the hyperbole and propaganda?
            As far as federalism goes you might have a point but if a larger country just gets to vote down anything that the smaller countries in the union want and protects its own interests to the detriment of the others what kind of federalism will that be? Federalism could work if England was broken into smaller polities that mirrored more closely the sizes of the other countries. Otherwise it is just the usual England dominance by numbers. No country today would join England in a UK with such an imbalance in power.

          • Jackie Ogden

            That’s the reality and England would still dominate even with independence. And it’s exactly the same in the EU. Germany dominates. You get representation on committees and voting based on the size of country. Given the size of Scotland’s population, influence would be minimal apart from on fisheries committee maybe. Assuming the UK stays in, the reduction of Scotland is unlikely to make much difference to our voting rights. The referendum wasn’t even a referendum on independence. It was effectively home rule if you read the SNP’s white paper on independence, with lies by Salmond about having consulted lawyers about EU membership (Scotland would have to submit a formal application for membership. Scotland would not get very far trying to use Sterling, the currency of another member state in their application).

          • Domhnall MacCoinnich

            England would not still dominant with independence. At least not in the way it does. It would have to content itself with only dominating Scotland in the way it does other small countries outside its immediate power. The international community would keep an eye on things I am sure. The rUK would be diminished in power too don’t forget and a lot of the world don’t really take the UK that seriously anymore anyway. A delusional bully puffed up by its own sense of importance but really just hiding between the USAs legs. The UK has had a hard time getting over its lost empire.

            Salmond never lied and Andrew Neil said he didn’t think he lied and he interviewed him.
            “Mr Neil asked Mr Salmond in March if he “sought advice from your own law officers” on the matter of Scotland’s future in Europe.

            Mr Salmond replied that “we have, yes, in terms of the debate” and said the advice can be read “in the documents that we have put forward which
            argue the position that we would be a successor state”.

            There you go stop lying or believing the obvious spin. If you read the sentence after the one selectively repeated so much (above) there can be no doubt he was talking about advice that ‘can be read in the documents we have put forward’.

            Sterling can be used by anybody and it is our currency as well. The rUK makes legal claims that have not been tested. Other legal opinions exist and in the event of independence will be tested. The same old dogma being pumped out time and again by unionists is just a little quaint really.

            Scotland would have more representation in the EU than we have at present and more importantly it would be representation that actually has our best interests at heart. Not some lord representing us on rural issues when we have perfectly good and experienced people like Richard Lochead who should be doing the job. A total disgrace but what we all expect in this dying excuse for democracy.

            The sense of English entitlement is deafening from the same old sources. It will be good to see this unfold and see how many of these pompous claims get thrown out.

      • Wessex Man

        Paddy, when did your road to Damascus moment occur for years you’ve kidded yourself that there was no need for an English Parliament.

        • Sort of ! I wouldn’t like one in Manchester, or Norwich. But, yes, I do think only England’s MPs should vote on English matters.

    • Ian McDonald

      The truth is that Sturgeon got the Westminster Gov. she wanted,the plan was there for all to see, defeat Labour in Scotland. After this was completed it was always going to be a Tory victory in England then Westminster would get the blame for everything that was wrong and they would ignore the 55% who voted no. The SNP are a shameless bunch of charlatans who don’t mind being seen with terrorist leaders or courting the votes of people whose main purpose in life is the destruction of the U.K. and the imposition of a Marxist ideology on the people of Great Britain. Make no mistake about it the SNP will seek out the vote of some of the most despicable groups in this country in order to destroy it.

      • Scott Bowie

        that’s crap. she would have preferred a weak labour govt. in order to extract more powers. she even offered miliband the partnership remember? it was him that said no, turning off a lot of labour voters who didn’t bother showing up on the day and letting the tories in.

        • Jackie Ogden

          You’re talking crap too. If she actually would have preferred a Labour government, she would have shut up instead of which she kept going on and on and on about making Labour better etc. Not only did this probably make some borderline Labour/SNP voters vote SNP, in England it had the effect of people voting for the Tories. It has always suited the SNP for Tories to be elected and actually the SNP stand more chance of extracting things out of the Tories because the Tories will be more favourable to the SNP just to spite Labour.

          • Scott Bowie

            ‘Not only did this probably make some borderline Labour/SNP voters vote SNP, in England it had the effect of people voting for the Tories.’

            so it’s our fault that the voters in england suffer from petty nationalism and voted the tories in rather than work with the snp?

            ‘It has always suited the SNP for Tories to be elected and actually the SNP stand more chance of extracting things out of the Tories because the Tories will be more favourable to the SNP just to spite Labour.’

            oh yeah, we loved what thatcher did to the place. also i’m sure the tories love the snp, the way they just bloodied their nose over fox-hunting, they way they disagree on powers for scotland, the lords, trident, ffa….honestly do think before typing?

      • Rob smith

        What a distorted view of reality you have.

      • Shug Renicks

        I think you must be Living in A Parallel Universe! If as you say, SNP got the Gov they wanted! Why is it that Only the SNP vote Against Tory policies While Spineless Labour ABSTAIN ???

        • smoke me a kipper

          Because a Tory government in Westminster gives SNP the best chance of winning a second independence vote, if one should ocurr

      • Brian

        What ARE you on about? FFS

    • Bertie

      “All appear to be making Independence inevitable. Happy Days.”

      And it’ll be happy days indeed when you sweaties piss off, taking your banking debts/share of national debt(as well as your share of North Sea oil) with you..

  • flippit

    This could well be right. I noticed that in response to a shrill, shouty question from an over excited Tasmena Ahamed Sheikh, the minister at the despatch box (can’t remember his name) gave a smooth and detailed reply about the effect of a specific part of the welfare Bill on women, and women in scotland specifically. So this could well be what it’s all about, that the real debate starts here, with a well prepared government exposing SNP rhetoric for what it is. Hope so.

  • Williamecornish

    Get It Now.-p-e-c-a-t-o-

    • RolftheGanger

      Forget that, take some tips from the part-time Tory and Red Tory MPs making rather more money from that by moonlighting whilst in office and in trading contacts and access for directorships afterwards.

  • A real liberal

    There is no saving of the Union. Both the genie and the bottle have gone.

  • misomiso

    The only way to save the Union is to leave the EU, and set up an independent Scottish Unionist Party.

    You are right that the SNP’s record in Government is nothing to shout home about, but this doesn’t matter. We are in the politics of identity, and Scots may one day fall out of love with the SNP, but that doesn’t mean they’ll stop voting for them as they are the only party that represents Scotland.

    Cameron should stop listening to his Pro European advisors (who fear an independent Scottish Party would be too anti EU) and go for a set up similar to the CSU in Bavaria. Then at least they can fight the Nats on their own turf – for the Soul of Scotland.

    And while we remain in the EU, the Nats will always have a case to leave as Europe has designed itself to favour smaller states over big ones (like the American system). But of course Cameron and Osborne seemed determined to keep us in no matter what.

    We’re now in silly season, so please guys, could you do at least one article on just the possibility of a Right of Center Independent Scottish Unionist Movement? Fraser seems so against it, and is so loathe to criticise Ruth Davidson, but it does get talked about.

    • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

      ha….ha…. “An independent Scottish Unionist Party” ??

      That’ll attract all the orange order, blue order, SDL, EDL, UKIP (BNP) bigoted, sectarian , knuckle-dragging community……. and should give The Monster Raving Looney Party a run for their money.

      YES SCOTLAND

      • jonkle

        So, are you an Englishman or a Scotsman today ?

        • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

          I’m Scottish of course…. But if someone uses my name, I will use their’s.

          • jonkle

            You were English last week.

      • Ian McDonald

        As opposed to Irish republicans ,Pro Palestinians,the IRA and every terrorist scumbag with a vote.

    • Sunset66

      A right of centrescottish unionist block would have to prove that they had Scotland’s interests at heart. If that was the case they would have to confront Westminster over investment , the devolution of real power.

      If they follow the conservative line from Westminster they would be seen to be just the lackeys of the Conservative party and they can’t get MPs elected to save themselves

    • MichtyMe

      An INDEPENDENT Scottish Unionist Party….. absurd….an oxymoron ?

    • CharlesPtwo

      Who would subscribe to this ‘Right of Centre’ Party? The Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party scored the Lowest Vote in their History at GE2015, are you going to conjure them out of thin Air? Behave yourself!

  • Edward Wynn

    This article is spot on. The reality north of the border is that Holyrood is failing to manage its affairs well. This is increasingly becoming evident to wider sections of the population. It is likely that the SNP can hang onto their momentum to gain a majority of MSPs in 2016. However, as they have increased fiscal and governmental responsibility given to them, as they demand, the meme of ‘its Westminster or the Tories fault’ will start to lose credibility. I don’t think the SNP will slide into oblivion but the extreme levels of support currently enjoyed will reduce. The only trigger point to ask for Indyref2 will be an out vote by UK, which IMOA is unlikely.

    People will begin to realise and understand that iScotland actually is very vulnerable fiscally. Thought stream for everyone is – In a rUK out of EU and iScotland in EU what currency does it use? rUK is never going to support or permit its currency to be used in a country which is member of an organisation it has just left. Does iScotland want to use the Euro because a fiscal crisis would leave it with less autonomy than it has inside the UK. Look at Greece FFS

    • Abie Vee

      An interesting comment, but one predicated largely upon posturing, bluff and propaganda. All you’ve done is disinter the mangled corpse of “Project Fear” and dust it off. Ho hum. Here we go again.

      The whole schemer hangs on this shaky political proposition: “rUK is never going to support or permit its currency to be used in a country which is member of an organisation it has just left” .

      Leaving aside the obvious retort that “never” is a very big word, I’ll refer you to a speech given by Mark Carney , Governor of The Bank of England, to a meeting of Scottish businessmen in Edinburgh at the very start of the independence campaign; Carney outlined the benefits of a shared currency, namely the elimination of transaction costs, reduced uncertainty about currency movements and helping to promote integration by removing one of the barriers between markets and improving transparency. In short, from a purely financial point of view, such a deal would be to the advantage of both countries and all British businesses.

      It is quite true that he also emphasised the dangers of such an arrangement without first putting a strong regulatory framework in place, which would mean Scotland ceding some sovereignty on the matter. The Scots themselves, apparently, do not regard this as an insurmountable problem.

      On another tack, Standard & Poors, the international credit ratings agency, also produced a report on the issue of independence and their conclusions may astound you: they saw no reason why Scotland could not have its own currency, and that the Scottish on-shore economy (that’s to say, even without North Sea hydrocarbon revenues) was robust enough to guarantee it their highest credit rating… thus laying to rest the ghost of all that absurd guff about an independent Scotland not being able to borrow on international markets.

      All is far from as you think it to be: braggadocio, jingo and bluster is fine on the hustings, and makes for good headlines, but when it comes to the crunch, realpolitik will take over from schoolgirl insults.

      • CraigStrachan

        Right,and when it came to the crunch the Scottish people disregarded the jingoism and bluster and voted NO. As they would again.

        • Abie Vee

          So you say. Any evidence for that bold statement? Did you predict the winner of The Grand National, for example?

          • CraigStrachan

            Well, the old man was a Glasgow bookmaker and I suppose I am still in basically the same business: taking bets, making bets, hedging the book.

    • Meanwhile In Scotia

      “This is increasingly becoming evident to wider sections of the population.”

      That’ll be why the SNP have been polling at 60% then? 60 fcuking percent!

      The idea that Tories attacking the SNP record will help bring that down is deluded beyond belief. Its the exact tactic Labour have been employing, and look at them, and conversely, the SNP now.

      • Edward Wynn

        My point was entirely missed if UK votes to leave EU and Scotland gets Indyref2 on that basis. Then if iScotland occurs then what currency will it and should it have?
        rUK having voted to leave the EU is most unlikely to allow itself to have iScotland using its currency in any kind of tied way.

        • Meanwhile In Scotia

          It really wasn’t.
          That is a separate point to what I addressed, and funnily enough separate to what this article is talking about.
          Currency isn’t the issue here.

        • Scott Bowie

          the ruk cannot stop scotland using the pound. it’s used by nations all over the world. if you’re going to be spiteful about it then we’ll only use it for as long as it takes to migrate to our own currency, taking the oil that the stability of the pound is tethered to in the process.

          • They can stop the Scottish banks printing sterling and they can choose not to be the central bank and lender of last resort and they can refuse to include Scotland in any interest rate changes or deflation plans though.

            Oil is globally set in US $ and has no bearing on the value of the £.

          • Scott Bowie

            utter nonsense. even if they could, why would they? just out of spite? seems unlikely they’d upset business on both sides of the border over such pettiness.
            scotland isn’t currently part of setting rate change or ‘deflation plans’.

            lastly oil is a global commodity traded in several different currencies, the euro, the dollar, the pound and the ruble.
            scotland could easily work in euro’s or, as i said before, and as most serious economists agree – the pound makes the most sense for both sides.

            what is it you think gives the pound is stability? it’s not gold, that was sold off by thatcher and brown, it’s not a stiff upper lip…so what else could it be that lets investors know their money is safe to invest in the uk…..hmmm is it the 1.5 trillion pound debt? no, can’t be that….

            give it a think, it’ll come to you.

          • Its not nonsense, printing another countries currency is called counterfeiting and no country on earth is forced to share central banking services.

          • Scott Bowie

            here’s a list of countries that use the pound.
            1. Alderney – Alderney pound
            2. Guernsey – Guernsey pound
            3. Ascension Island – Ascension Island pound
            4. Ascension Island – Saint Helenian pound
            5. British Indian Ocean Territory – British Indian Ocean Territory pound
            6. Cyprus – Cypriot pound
            7. Egypt – Egyptian pound
            8. Falkland Islands – Falkland pound
            9. Gibraltar – Gibraltar pound
            10. Guernsey – Guernsey pound
            11. Isle of Man – Isle of Man pound
            12. Jersey – Jersey pound
            13. Lebanon – Lebanese pound
            14. Saint Helena – Saint Helenian pound
            15. Southern Sudan – Sudanese pound
            16. South Georgian and the South Sandwich Islands – British pound
            17. South Georgian and the South Sandwich Islands – South Georgian and the South Sandwich Islands pound
            18. Syria – Syrian pound
            19. Tristan da Cunha – Saint Helenian pound
            20. Tristan da Cunha – Tristan da Cunha pound
            21. United Kingdom – British

            any questions?

          • Yes I have a question, do you know the difference between the £ and a £ Sterling?

            That was rhetorical as you clearly have no idea.

          • Scott Bowie

            so your theory is that the ruk wouldn’t allow it’s biggest importer to use a currency it helped build up over 300 years, simply to spite themselves?
            do you see many businesses liking that idea? me neither.
            the pound isn’t yours, it’s ours, we’ve just as much right to it as you. it also doesn’t help that scotlands oil is what backs it and gives it such strength….unless you think that comes from ruk exports and the volatile, market based economy of london?

          • You have no right whatsoever to any £’s in my pocket and no foreign country can expect my government to allow them to print our money.

          • Scott Bowie

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manx_pound

            the isle of man is capable of it somehow…but scotland isn’t with it’s 50 billion a year economy and 98% of the uk’s oil….the oil and gas capital of the eu, the fishing capital of the eu…with water, whisky, wool, meat, sciences, renewable energy, etc…the nation that gave rise to modern economics would be somehow unable to work out how to use a currency in the same manner as the isle of man?

            away with you.

          • The Isle Of Man is a British dependency and HM Treasury is liable to underwrite its economy, and independent Scotland would be owed nothing by any foreign country.

            These are old and tired arguments that your side lost when the overwhelming majority of Scotland rejected separation so move along now.

          • Scott Bowie

            “On Currency – we have stated we wish to enter
            a currency union with the remainder of the UK as the best policy with minimum
            disruption and costs for ALL concerned. Only the NO campaign coalition
            (Conservative, Labour and Lib-Dem) have said this will not happen. Therefore
            only the remainder of the UK
            intend provoking any resulting disruption. If a currency union does not come
            about, then Scotland will
            use the pound sterling anyway and the remaining UK cannot stop that. If we WERE in
            a currency union we would have 8.4% of the “say” in this (E.g. 1 seat
            out of 12 at the “table”). If we are excluded from a currency union
            then we will have 0% of the “say” in this (so 0 seats out of 12 at
            the “table”). Let’s be sensible – there is no real influence having 1
            seat at the table or having 0 seats at the table. Oh! say the NO-sayers – what
            about the lender of last resort ? Well, as now, each bank must be licenced in
            each country where it does business. As now, each licencing country (rUK,
            Scotland, USA, Spain, Canada, etc.) will in future continue charging all banks
            operating in their territory a bank licence fee and would then be responsible
            for insuring that portion of those banks against failure. So Scotland would only be responsible for licencing
            and insuring the proportion (within Scotland) of those banks’ business
            (E.g. for Lloyds/BoS, RBoS, HSBC, Barclays, Clydesdale, TSB, Citbank, etc.) We
            will not be as stupid/greedy as the overpaid banking dolts down in London who over-extended
            their employers (including Lloyds/BoS and RBoS) to the point of failure. Nor
            will we be as foolish as the Iceland
            government was, though be aware that independent Iceland did survive their terrible
            self-induced banking crisis.”

            apologies for the cut and paste, but it doesn’t change the info.

          • Still doesn’t mean you understand that an Egyptian £ has nothing to do with £ sterling, of all the stupidity available on the internet your post takes some beating.

            A currency union (getting £’s, printing £’s, lender of last resort, central banking facilities, consideration in interest rates and devaluation) is not something that can be forced on anyone and when the UK Government said NO to the idea then the issue was dead.

          • Scott Bowie

            the uk govt. is a transitional representation of the people (at least it’s supposed to be), in other words it would not be up to the govt. to decide, but the people whose businesses would be effected by it. which govt. would like to sit over the sudden trauma of losing a 50 billion a year ecomomy and 98% of its oil? all this at a time when your glorious union is 1.5 trillion in debt. wake up sunshine.
            money trumps politics, businesses on both sides of the border would needlessly suffer under your small minded vision – england would suffer more as i’ve already mentioned we hold the oil. we have a smaller population and we’re export heavy. the ruk is up to its eyes in debt, is import heavy and has nothing but a london-centric economy based on volatile banking – that’s the part in your glowing arrogance you fail to grasp.
            you completely avoided my question, how can the manx pound work…or the gibraltar pound – both sterling incidentally since you’ve got that bee in your bonnet?

          • OK, so the government does not decide who it chooses to have a currency union with? Don’t answer as its clear that the continuing swivelling of the eyes has created too great a centrifugal force that you now have brain damage.

          • Scott Bowie

            poorly worded, fatigue had set in.
            what i meant was any govt that pulled off such a clearly incompetent move would be judged by the voters and the businesses who rely on there being that monetary union. they would be voted out of office.

            economists and common sense show that sudden trauma of a 50 billion a year economy and 90% of your oil revenue gone at a time when you’re 1.5 trillion in the hole is not a wise investment. any govt that did so would plunge merry old england into an economic ravine.

          • 90% of the oil revenue = less than 0.7% of UK funding so that , very, small amount really is neither here nor there to HM Treasury but it is of course nearly 20% of Scotland’s revenue.

            50 billion a year is Scotland’s earnings that are put straight back to Scotland via The Barnett Formula with an additional 10 billion or so on top so its not true to say 50 billion would be lost as 10 billion would be gained.

            The UK government nor the majority of the British people are interested in a currency union, we were offered the Euro but we never wanted it and not that long ago there was a Sterling Zone and it was huge but Westminster wound it down.

            I cant ever see a situation arising when any UK government from any persuasion either surrenders control of Sterling (join Euro) or shares Sterling with a foreign government (currency union).

          • Andrew Gallacher

            Then rUK can keep all of the debt. The pound is an asset which belongs to all member countries of the UK, so if Scotland is denied this asset (following negotiations) we don’t take our share of the debt. Morally not what we would want to do, but legally not a problem. Personally I would prefer a new currency as this would free us from ruk’s monetary policies.

          • No Scotland would still owe what iit owes, life is not like the SNP say hence 28 out of 32 council rejoins rejecting independence.

            Why are you going through all the arguments you lot already lost?

      • Edward Wynn

        http://www.globalresearch.ca/scottish-national-partys-anti-austerity-hypocrisy-exposed/5463256

        Read this and then think for yourself a bit about what it means

    • nogginthenog

      Holyrood is indeed full of numpties, but Scotland has been badly run for many years at all levels of government and I think few will notice that the SNP isn’t very good at it.

    • CharlesPtwo

      One cannot take this sort of Knee Jerk attack seriously, what you really mean to say is, ‘You Wish!’

  • RolftheGanger

    The article is an exercise in whistling hopefully in the darkening gloom presaging the dissolution of the Union.

    • jonkle

      What’s the weather like over there in Oz ?
      But seriously the Union won’t be dissolving any time soon, Scots will see to that.
      The SNP are at the height of their popularity, downhill all the way from hereon.
      All hype and bluster, no substance.

      • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

        Support for the SNP just increases day by day.

        ….and every day more young, SNP supporting, Scots become eligible to vote.

        It’s only going one way, independence is inevitable.

        YES SCOTLAND

        • jonkle

          The SNP bandwagon will soon run out of steam, there is no apetite for independence, better get yourself back to Scotland and start campaigning.

        • Ian McDonald

          SCOTLAND VOTED NO GET OVER IT JACOBITE SCUM1

          • Abie Vee

            That was then. Tomorrow’s another day. (quite what the poor Stuart’s have got to do with this is beyond my comprehension).

            Personally, I blame the Welsh.

          • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

            The Tribute Band 2012, the best circus in town.

        • jonkle

          We heard all that before the last referendum.

      • Abie Vee

        Wheres, of course, the latest polls show support for the SNP, and for Scottish independence, is rising. Sad (for you) but true.

        • jonkle

          Not true, SNP support rising, independence static, neither do they want a referendum anytime soon. SNP MP’s are doing a good job of integrating with, and getting more closely involved with the Union.

          • Abie Vee

            Whether they want another referendum “soon” depends on what you mean by soon. The full extent of Cameron’s disastrous EVEL intervention (invention?) has yet to play itself out.

            And I’ll wager the In/Out EU referendum in 2016 has the potential to cause outrage in Scotland . If England decides to leave the EU and Scotland votes to stay in, all h3ll will break loose. 2016, soon enough for you?

          • jonkle

            The Scots I meet seem placid and pragmatic, the “outrage” seems confined to SNP politicians and their activists who post in the English press, but there don’t seem to be many of them, maybe fifty at the very at the most, although they do seem to be very active, angry, and boringly repetitive.
            Perhaps the polsters should carry out an “outrage” survey among the Scottish population. Something like “On a scale of 1 to 10, how outraged are you ?”
            That should settle it.

          • Abie Vee

            You take me out of context to make you point. I wrote “[…] the In/Out EU referendum in 2016 has the potential to cause outrage in Scotland. That was not to say, as you imply, it already has, but that it “has the potential to”. As with EVEL.

            It’s rather a simple proposition, although it has apparently confounded you. It is this: if England votes to leave the EU and Scotland votes to stay in the EU, what will happen then? Will Scotland be dragged out of the EU agaist her will? Highly unlikely in my opinion.

            Speculation I know… but as I said , “potential”.

            Dig?

          • jonkle

            The EU in or out referendum is a UK referendum, not a Scottish or English one.
            UK in or UK out, and you are of the UK as it states on your passport.
            My guess is the outcome will be overwhelmingly to stay in, most people will feel that going it alone is too risky, as the Scots wisely did in the independence referendum.
            All very simple isn’t it.

          • Abie Vee

            My Scottish passport also has the words EU Citizen emblazoned on it. However, the EU is not a country, it is a construct, a political entity. Currently there are no mechanisms for stripping a people of their EU citizenship involuntarily. Theoretically then, Scotland could be hauled out of the EU by the UK, yet her people remain citizens of it. In short, their EU citizenship in the future will be a separate issue from their UK citizenship.

            There’s a conundrum! And FAR from simple, as you pretend.

            I too agree with your In/out analysis… but it’s a little too early to say with certainty.

          • jonkle

            Not a conundrum at all.
            We are all British citizens of the UK, we will all have an equal vote.
            All in or all out.
            Simple.

          • Abie Vee

            We may well not all have an equal vote, especially if EVEL is introduced into our national Parliament creating two-tier membership.

            Likewise, just what is equal about your 60 miliion population and our 5.5 milllion? Or your 533 English constituencies to our 59?

            Inequality is built into the system… and the big boy always wins, eh? How nice and convenient for you… how “unequal” for us.

          • jonkle

            Who’s “us” ?
            Does “us” include the majority of Scots who voted to remain as part of the UK (or as SNP Ajockalypse calls them “North Britishers”, he doesn’t recognize them as Scots), or is “us” just you and those of your particular political persuation, including, presumably SNP Ajockalypse ?
            Please clarify.

          • Abie Vee

            “Us” is the other members of the UK: Northern Ireland, Wales and Scotland to be precise. The other members who between them have 117 Parliamentary constituencies as opposed to England’s 533.

            I can’t clarify anymore than that, since I’m unable to follow your rambling comment.

          • jonkle

            But you don’t speak for them or necessarily reflect their opinions either do you.
            If you are under the impression that you do, then it would seem you are deluded by your own sense of self importance.

          • Abie Vee

            Straddling both England and Scotland as I do: I’m happy that I’ve got at least some idea of how things really are between them. Having said that, my opinions are firmly my own.

            What I do, in the comments above, is not ventriloquising other people’s opinions… I am pointing out the overwhelming imbalance, the permanent in-built unassailable massive advantage that the UK Parliamentary construction affords the English.

            Again: 533 English constituencies to 117 for the rest of the UK. The levers of patronage ensure that the Great Seals of Office are all at England’s disposal; Home Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Minister of Defence, Chancellor of The Exchequer and etc; then the Armed Forces, the Treasury, and so on ad infinitum.

            Thus EVEL is a fraud, a phony, a confidence trick. If the English are decided upon a law, there is no possible way that the other regions acting in unison can overturn it.

            The playground bully gets what he wants. And you tell me that’s democracy. I call it tyranny.

          • jonkle

            A “tyranny” ruled by “bullies”, which the majority of Scots voted to remain part of, and where a mere 5% of the Welsh expressed support for independence (ICM 2014).
            Your opinions are not the opinions of most it seems.
            But rather than post them on here, perhaps you should stand for public office (assuming you are not already in one) and test them on the British electorate.
            Good Luck.

          • Abie Vee

            The Welsh? Yeah right.

            I suppose you felt you had to say something in reply, no matter how inane.
            But as regards regards the topic I addressed (the in-built, permanent and unassailable majority of the English) you have nothing to say. Well well… how odd.

          • jonkle

            “I suppose you felt you had to say something in reply, no matter how inane.”
            Ditto.

          • Abie Vee

            As regards the topic, you STILL have nothing to say. Admit defeat and go and have your boiled egg and soldiers.

          • jonkle

            Gammon egg and chips for me tonight cooked by my lovely wife, and a nice glass of Merlot.
            Hwyl.

          • Abie Vee

            The conundrum is this; since signing the Lisbon Treaty we have two citizenships; UK and EU. And it’s highly that in the event of an enforced withdrawal, against their expressed wishes, the one, EU, may well be be found to independent of the other.

          • jonkle

            So lets look at a scenario where the English vote to stay in the EU, and the Scots vote to leave. Will the SNP then be demanding independence before walking out of the EU. Hypothetical I know, but what would then be your line of argument ?

          • Abie Vee

            The line”? Obviously the line is the same as would apply to an English exit: she would simply renounce EU citizenship. Not a problem.

            The problem comes when trying to take EU citizenship away from a people against their will. There’s simply no provision for it under The Lisbon Treaty. In fact, quite the opposite! Citizenship implies rights, and the Lisbon Treaty obliges the EU (not, note, its member states) to protect the rights of its citizens.

            Happy days ahead.

  • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

    Support for SNP : 60%

    Support for SNP amongst 16-34yr olds : 73%

    This is only going one way, Scottish independence is inevitable, the only question is WHEN ?

    YES SCOTLAND

    • Sheumais

      The Scottish electorate for the general election totalled 4,094,784, of which only 1,454,436 voted SNP. That is 35%. The enlarged electorate for the Scottish referendum totalled 4,283,392, of which only 1,617,989 voted yes. That is 37%. Your support is already shrinking.

      Hopefully the third of Scottish voters who placed their blind faith in your ridiculous party will open their eyes and see reality before you’re allowed to do too much damage.

      • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

        The union dies a little more with each passing day….. We have time on our side.

        YES SCOTLAND

        • Sheumais

          You have no integrity.

          • RolftheGanger

            Says a Unionist shamus.

          • Sheumais

            Am I a unionist or am I someone who looks at the SNP and sees incompetence from top to bottom, recognising you couldn’t organise the proverbial in a brewery? I believe the WRI could have run the UK better than any recent Westminster government, but a primary school could run Holyrood better than your bunch of losers. I don’t want change, I demand improvement and you are incapable of providing that.

        • Peter Stroud

          Do ye know, I think you will bore your way to independence

          • RolftheGanger

            Whatever it takes!

      • Abie Vee

        More than happy to pop your bubblewrap old boy.

        Simply put, your assumptions are false: they are predicated upon that most unlikely of events, a 100% turn-out. To add insult to injury, you intimate that all those who didn’t vote were against both the SNP and Independence. What sophistry.. what presumption!

        Back to the facts:
        General Election: The SNP share of those who voted (a 71% turnout) was 50% (2,908,872 , if you must).

        Scottish Referendum : valid votes cast 3,619, 915 (an 84.6% turnout) . NO =53.3%. YES 44.7%.

        Your figures, calculated on a hypothetical 100% turnout, are fraudulent, based as they are upon the fantastic proposition that all those who didn’t vote can be counted as against the SNP. How do you work that out?

        “Shrinking”? Unfortunately for you, support for independence is still rising. The only electoral cohort left in steadfast opposition to the idea are the pensioners… all other age-groups now have an majority in favour.

        Interesting times indeed.

        • Sheumais

          What I offered was fact, the SNP received the backing of a smaller proportion of the available vote at the general election, represented by a smaller number of votes, than their hapless campaign did in the referendum. However desperate you are to offer your version of the truth, these are the numbers and anyone can verify them for themselves. You are not required to offer your interpretation of these indisputable facts or your empty politics.

          • Abie Vee

            Your facts are bogus and your “numbers” are pure hocus-pocus: you assume that all the non-voters are against the SNP and Independence. That is pure charlatanism.

            My numbers, as you call, them, are instantly verifiable. Which is the precise reason I posted them. Off you go … Ashdown and You Gov (it shouldn’t take you more than five minutes at most)

            It’s quite fascinating… you are lying yet you don’t know it! How odd.

          • Sheumais

            So the facts are odd and quoting them is lying? What a strange world you inhabit. Prove me wrong, produce different figures for both the general election and referendum result.

          • Calzo

            You are wrong because you are comparing apples and oranges. The Westminster vote was, as explicitly stated by the SNP, nothing to do with independence.
            Abie is also wrong to assume a referendum vote tomorrow would have a different result. it’s quite easy to back Yes in a poll with no prospect of it happening any time soon. Project fear 2 would be in overdrive and this time it would be backed by the numbers, which unfortunately do look more grim in the face of the oil price drop…

          • Sheumais

            I am comparing two numbers, one of them is bigger than the other. That is all.

          • RolftheGanger

            Dsengenuous and deceitful. You are attempting to maintain a common Unionist lie by associating two “facts” in such a way that the conjunction leads the reader to a false conclusion.
            Lying by incompletion and false implication.

          • Sheumais

            Stating the facts is not lying. Claiming it is a lie reflects the desperation for any kind of argument. You never change. What a pitiful specimen you are.

          • RolftheGanger

            Except for the glaring contradiction, obvious to all in Scotland, that the Scottish economy is currently in growth mode – in complete contradiction to the supposed total reliance on the “collapsed” oil price.

            Unionists are so embedded in their own construct of lies that they cannot see daylight, whereas the Scottish electorate simply distrust Westminster and Unionists.

            Trust in Westminster is down to 14% in Scotland.you have lost trust, consent to govern and will shortly lose your exploitative grip over Scotland.

          • Calzo

            Well the obvious answer to that is, that’s because we are in the union and not exposed to the oil collapse. Rolf, have you watched the Chokkablog analysis? It is, unfortunately (and despite Hague being an arse), clear and undeniable. Oil is not the bonus it was claimed, it was the difference that allowed us to be equal contributors to the union despite our significantly higher public spending. The collapse shaves billions of an independent Scotland’s budget which would only be covered by long term extraordinary growth. More realistically we’d have to shave public spending. That doesn’t mean theren’t are still other (massive benefits) to indepenedence, the economics however at the minute are not good.

          • RolftheGanger

            “because we are in the Union we are not exposed to the oil collapse”
            Huh? The Union magically casts a protective blanket and achieves the former level of price, does it?

            I read plenty arrant Unionist nonsense but that takes the biscuit.

            There is no “oil collapse” Growth of activity has slowed a little. The whole propaganda gambit is overblown Unionist hype, as usual.

          • Calzo

            It really is quite critical that you understand what being independent (or fiscally autonomous for that matter) means. The union does not ‘achieve the former level of price’ it spreads the risk of variations in taxation income across the whole UK. In the 80’s this was hugely detrimental to Scotland because oil revenues were massive but they didn’t stay in Scotland they were used by Thatcher to fund her massive de-industrialisation projects across the UK. Now that the price has collapsed oil revenue has not just halved but is now in the range of a few hundred million rather than up to £10billion as we’ve seen in past recent years.

            The union insulates Scotland from this large cut as it spreads the impact across the UK rather than just on the Scottish public purse, as it would be if we were independent. i.e. within the union our Barnett allowance is only marginally impacted by the collapse. The ‘oil collapse’ I speak of has nothing to do with activity in the oil sector and everything to do with the amount of taxable profits they are making which have indeed collapsed with $50/barrel prices. Maybe prices will rise again soon, maybe they won’t. Until they do, unless we cut spend or start producing roughly 16% more from other sectors then we would be fiscally worse off out of the union than in it.

        • Sheumais

          1,617,989

          1,454,436

          Which number is bigger?

          What is 50% of 71? 35.5.

          What is 53.3% of 84.6? 37.8

          You prove what I said is 100% accurate and call me a liar. What does that make you?

          • Abie Vee

            It isn’t the figures which lie: it is the use to which you put them, the conclusions that you draw from them… that’s where the lying begins! The lies, damned lies, and statistics.

            I’m not at all sure what it is you’re trying to prove here. In both cases, you are comparing the percentage of votes cast, the actual result, against hypothetical votes that could have been cast (i.e. the electoral roll). That is to say, to compare the reality with the theoretic, and drawing a specious conclusion from that.

            Nobody in their right mind could muster an argument on a basis that the results were other than what they were: a legitimate majority and a licence to govern. Were one to concede the point that they were not, then no government in the UK, at least since universal suffrage was introduced, ever had a democratic mandate. And thus we enter Hippy-trippy Land.

            Let me tell you this for a fact: there is no better way to measure public opinion on something that to have a vote on it! Statistically, the huge numbers involved in the voting process present the highest “sample” of public opinion reasonably possible (outside of compulsory voting, or a North Korean-style dictatorship) and are therefore the most accurate result we have.

            Thus it is, with some confidence, I can say that the non-voters, were they compelled to vote, would split along exactly the same lines as those who did vote. There’s just no evidence to the contrary.

          • Sheumais

            The conclusion I draw from them is the only one you can draw from them, THEY DID NOT VOTE FOR YOUR PARTY. There is no lie in that, it is simple, indisputable fact.

            I’m proving which one of us is honest.

            “Nobody in their right mind could muster an argument on a basis that the results were other than what they were”

            Which is preciisely what you are trying to do.

          • Abie Vee

            Equally, THEY DID NOT VOTE AGAINST MY PARTY either. Another, simple, indisputable fact.

            You are they liar here. It is not possible to hijack the assumed opinions of non-voters to your cause (whatever THAT may be). You are trying to say that because they didn’t vote for anything at all, that means, somehow, they were against us, and therefore the SNP have little legitimacy (despite winning 50% of all votes cast).

            And in support of this fantastically fraudulent opinion, you offer no evidence. Popper would call such nonsense “charlatanism” .

          • Sheumais

            I DID NOT SAY THEY DID. Try to get that through your immensely thick skull.

            You can keep claiming I’m lying, though you know I’m not, but you can only justify that by claiming I also said something I didn’t. You do realise everyone else can read what I said, do you? Perhaps you should ask an appropriate adult to explain it to you, as you’re obviously lacking a certain something, as well as integrity.

          • Abie Vee

            It is quite simple: some of the electorate did not vote. You cannot draw any other conclusion from that.

            And you are fumbling to do so. That is where the charlatanism comes in!

          • Sheumais

            That’s what I said from the outset, you feckless moron.

          • Abie Vee

            That’s risk. Do you mean to say that’s ALL you’ve been trying to say this last eight hours? That takes some believing . If that was ALL you meant to say, “from the outset” then why didn’t you? I smell a rat.

          • Sheumais

            Read what I said and ask your carer to explain the complicated bits, which is probably all of it for you.

          • Abie Vee

            I’m not sure that you’ve actually said anything at all. You have produced some numbers. We await the commentary. For now, you’re as enigmatic and obscure as a Zen koan:
            A philosopher asked Buddha: `Without words, without the wordless, will you you tell me truth?’

            The Buddha kept silence.

            The philosopher bowed and thanked the Buddha, saying: `With your loving kindness I have cleared away my delusions and entered the true path.’

            After the philosopher had gone, Ananda asked the Buddha what he had attained.

            The Buddha replied, `A good horse runs even at the shadow of the whip.’

          • Sheumais

            Oh, so I’ve gone from being a liar to saying nothing at all. You’re out of your depth child.

          • Abie Vee

            I never was any good riddles. Say what you mean or push off.

            I can’t argue with a number unless the number is put into a specific context. Elsewise it’s just meaningless.

            Here’s one for you. 379,000. Off you go… argue with that.

          • Sheumais

            You’#re not much good at anything. You called me a liar repeatedly, now you’re claiming I didn’t say anything at all. Neither are correct. You have nothing to offer. Do yourself a favour and go play with people your own mental age.

          • Abie Vee

            Well, what ARE you trying to say? Who knows?

            Presumably you produced your jumble of numbers to advance some argument or proposition? No? So far all we’ve got to go on is ; “BUT THEY DIDN’T VOTE FOR YOUR PARTY” (or some such inanity).

            What we are meant to concluded from it all (other than the fact that non-voters don’t vote) remains obscure and unstated. It beggars belief that you’ve gone to all this trouble in order to state the bleedin obvious!

            I distantly remember, you were trying to harness the imagined political opinions of those who didn’t express any, to some point or other, of your own… implied but not spelt out, suggested but not explained, hinted at but hidden.

            A right little prk-tease, eh Salome? Come on, don’t be shy, flop it out! Give us all a laugh.

          • Sheumais

            It is perfectly clear, now run along child.

          • Abie Vee

            Ok. Come back to me when you know what you’re fumbling not to say.

          • Sheumais

            You must be quite a burden on those charged with looking after you.

    • jonkle

      Source please ?

      • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

        TNS last week

      • jonkle

        Nothing on TNS website, link please.

        • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

          THS Poll – 16 July

          “It is worth noting that the SNP lead among younger voters continues to be especially strong – 73% of those aged 16-34 who express a party preference say they intend to vote SNP, against 12% backing Labour. After our last poll, Kezia Dugdale, one of the contenders for the leadership of Scottish Labour, warned her party that its relative weakness among younger voters meant that ‘we may not be at the bottom of where the Labour Party could get to in Scottish public life. There might be another storm coming’.”

    • Mary Ann

      And as the young get old they will change their minds because they will be more concerned about how they are going to live when they are too old to work.

      • RolftheGanger

        Such is the “inspiring vision” upon which the Union survives to exploit us.

    • Boroinmilan

      The majority of 18-24s voted for the Union. I think that is generally the period in which most people form their own political ideas and attitudes. I would take that as a more significant indicator of what young people think than the 16-17s who probably thought they were voting ‘for’ Scotland without much real thought. Their attitudes will mirror those of the 18-24 when they grow up a bit.

  • John Carins

    Stupid conclusion. Perhaps the SNP MPs have shown to their electorate in Scotland just how competent they are – not difficult when comparing them to the Labour and Tory ranks. This article is yet just another underestimation and pure wishful thinking. The best way to save the Union is to leave the EU pronto. This single act would deal a death blow to the nationalists.

    • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

      A “single act” that will result in “Indyref 2” and Scottish independence.

      YES SCOTLAND

      • What is it with you independence within the EU types? The EU does absolutely nothing for Scotland except hold it back.

        • RolftheGanger

          Well, that makes two, so solve the issue by getting rid of Westminster, the dysfunctional gobetween, then join Norway and Switzerland for a more appropriate relationship with Europe.

      • Ian McDonald

        And another that you and the peoples perjurer will lose

    • Sheumais

      “SNP MPs have shown to their electorate in Scotland just how competent they are”

      Indeed they have. When did it occur to them that their pledge for smaller primary school classes required more classrooms? How’s its integrated Scottish police force coming along? How about dropping any need for corroborating evidence in court? Hoiw about appointing central government as the guardian of all Scotland’s children and reconciling that with “freedom and fairness”? How about one of its own MPs describing Full Fiscal Autonomy as “suicide”? How about Scotland’s considerably greater deficit than the rest of the UK? How about its energy policy ensuring 40% of Scottish residents endure fuel poverty, with that rising to 70% in the Hebrides? How likely is it that the closure of existing and reliable electricity generators, ensuring we can presently produce more than enough electricity whenever required, will reduce production capacity below peak levels and increase fuel poverty whilst reducing security of supply? How can a party that claims it is dedicated to ensuring Scotland’s sovereignty reconcile that with EU membership?

      Yes, we can see just how competent the SNP are.

      • John Carins

        I agree totally.

      • S Tilbury

        I can immediately identify several false or highly misleading claims in that lot. I’m confident if I had the inclination I could research and refute more or less every single one.

        • Sheumais

          Empty words.

      • RolftheGanger

        You are ranting to yourself.
        Losing it – as well as the Union.

        • Sheumais

          You, as ever, are the last person who might lay claim to being the voice of reason.

  • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

    Today, as every day, lots of young Scots become eligible to vote…… and 73% of them support The SNP.

    Happy Birthday to today’s new SNP voters.

    Scotland is on the one inevitable road to independence.

    YES SCOTLAND

    • Sheumais

      Is that based on the poll of 19 of them at the referendum? If not, please supply the source of your desperate hopes.

      • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

        The source, TNS Poliing last week.

        Scotland is on the one inevitable road to independence.

        YES SCOTLAND

        • Sheumais

          With whom? The SNP offers subservience to the EU.

          • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

            At least when we are independent we’ll have a voice within the EU.

            YES SCOTLAND

          • Peter Stroud

            About the same level of voice as Greece.

          • RolftheGanger

            Sour negativity form a wee imperialist, who’d a thocht it!

          • Chingford Man

            You’re not independent if you in the EU, dummy!

          • RolftheGanger

            First get rid of Westminster exploitation, then WE settle the secondary issue of EU membership; or opt for the Norway and Switzerland solution.

          • rollo_tommasi

            Sort it out just like that eh? You can’t even settle your primary issue after 80 years of the SNP campaigning for independence and your own turgid contribution of 24000 posts on this single subject.

  • sandie

    Yes, the SNP are now in one great big goldfish bowl
    I didn’t fall for their drivel, never have.
    Now playing their naive followrs like fiddles, just see the comment below to see it in action.
    Devo max, home rule…you think they want that now?
    It’s all horseplay, that is why they got the bluntest tool in the whole shed, Margaret Ferrier (please google her) to ask about another referendumb.
    I think afterwards they sent her to the shops for a tin of tartan paint.
    Now they can say ‘we asked about a ref again but they said no’ getting them off the hook and imploring their followers to vote for them again.
    The more publicity this shower get, the better.
    BTW over 2m of us voted no.
    That the SNP have no proper mature response to that (disgruntled punters can froth all they want) showd how ‘limited’ they are and how undone they are becoming.

  • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

    “SCOTLAND VOTED NO GET OVER IT JACOBITE SCUM”

    Some wonderful racist anti-Scottish bile being posted here.

    With every vile anti-Scottish comment the union dies a little more.

    Keep up the good work bigots……… Every little helps !!

    YES SCOTLAND

    • Peter Stroud

      What a weak posting. Jacobite scum? A bit pre historic, I suggest.

      • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

        The rant of bigoted, unionist, BRITNAT with a pathetic Jacobite post……With opposition like this it’s no wonder that they always lose the “argument”.

  • CraigStrachan

    “it is hard, however, to see anything stopping the SNP winning another outright majority at Holyrood next near.”

    A pledge to hold indyref2 would stop the SNP winning another majority – which is probably why Nicola is showing every sign of shiteing it.

    • RolftheGanger

      One can always tell a West of Scotland Labourite by the coprolytic references in their comments (but ye cannae tell them much!)

      • CraigStrachan

        Clearly, you can’t always tell – I’m a Conservative Abroad in the western United States!

        • RolftheGanger

          Same mindset, these days.
          Craws.
          Hoodie craws at that.

          • CraigStrachan

            Well, you can take the boy out of Bearsden…

  • Jeanne Tomlin

    Nice job of not proving the articles main point. Just saying ‘this will make it easier’ does not make it so.

  • alanindyfed

    This article is nonsensical and biased. Its premise is unrealistic and illogical

  • John P Hughes

    The recent tragedy on the M9 in Stirlingshire looks to be a direct result of SNP Government. The SNP imposed a merger of Scottish police forces in 2012-13, abolishing the established regional constabularies.
    A car that crashed on a Sunday morning (5 July) was seen down an embankment on the motorway by another road user who reported it to Police Scotland. But the Police did not send any car to investigate or see it themselves and only after a second report did they go to the scene three days later. They found two people, one who had died and one who had lain injured and unrescued for 3 days. She died in hospital a few days later.
    The closure of the police control centre at Stirling and the centralisation of calls to police on an overworked and understaffed control centre south of Edinburgh; and the reduction in the number of traffic patrol cars since 2013, are likely to emerge as the reasons why the crashed car was not attended immediately, with the consequence that the occupants died.
    The accident happened in Stirlingshire. Had the accident happened before 2013, the call from the member of the public would have been to the Central Scotland Police who would have answered as such. It would have been direct into Central Police’s control centre at Stirling, whose civilian operators were local people who knew the area and would have pinpointed the location quickly while the caller was on the line. The operator would have directly called the nearest car patrolling on
    the M9 and asked to investigate whether the vehicle was abandoned or whether
    someone was injured inside. Officers would have found the crashed car within an
    hour and called medics and ambulance (and probably a helicopter air ambulance).
    Would this tragedy have ended in this way under the old police structure of regional forces? If that question is asked in the inquiry, the conclusion should be that under the regional constabularies it would not have happened. Two reasons why can be offered – because they had their own control centres staffed by people with local knowledge, and because they maintained an adequate number of traffic patrol cars to attend reported incidents.
    It is the SNP Government which abolished the regional constabularies.

    • SNP “AJOCKALYPSE”

      I’ve rarely read such tripe.

      • Chingford Man

        Not at your usual standard. The truth must hurt.

    • Quarmby

      I love you too! I mean, I don’t *know* that I love you, but you sure *sound* like some one I could love. Kinda drunk and horny. And I *love* that.

  • stool-pigeon.

    The canny Scots will wake up and realise that if by a remote chance the SNP do gain absolute power, the Party will turn Scotland into a dictatorship. It loves the EU !

  • Bob Siren

    “Downing Street and the Prime Minister are far more aware of what is going on north of the border”

    I stopped reading right there.

  • Quarmby

    What an utterly misconceived take on Scottish domestic politics and – equally importantly – the utterly changed political climate in Scotland which makes it inconceivable that any party of Union will ever again take the lead here. Anyone with a grasp of these fundamentals – and Tory advisors to Cameron like Mundell and Gove sure as hell don’t – knows that, short of full and unfettered Home Rule within a federation retaining the title of UK, then the Union is dead and Scotland’s departure is now a question of when, not if.
    But hey ho – never let your ignorance of the facts hold you back from parading the fact of that ignorance in public, eh Forsyth?

  • Suriani

    Anglo-nationalism will eventually ‘drive’ the Scots out of the Union as will the increasingly scotocentric political culture north of the border. Interest in Scotland at Westminster is simply a blip within the context of the steady rise, development and articulation of a conservative sense of Englishness which largely draws its inspiration from the perceived ‘glories’ of the past in which Scotland was considered a mere imperial auxiliary or, pre-union, an enemy. Scottish nationalism is focussed on the future of Scotland and its people something some commentators have a problem with preferring the comedic and rather racist retro-stereotype to the evolving modernising and subversive reality or opting to deny the evidence that the anglo-scottish marriage is broken and only awaits the decree absolute.

  • Jeffreyoore

    <❶❷❸.%@^@^@^!^!^!^!^.. ??????????+blogs+. < Read more info here='' ……..''

  • Nick

    It won’t belong before the people of Scotland destroy the stupid looney leftie SNP.They’ll do it in the same way that we the English smashed the stupid looney leftie Labour and Libdem parties at the last GE.

    It’s only a matter of time time until wee Jimmy Crankie returns to panto land.

    • Quarmby

      Your bile is palpable. It must be eating you up that post-Referendum Scotland didn’t pan out the way sleekit ‘I’m a proud Scot, but…..’ No voters expected when Project Fear engineered their pyrrhic wee ‘victory’. What will be eating your ilk up most, of course, is that in your heart of hearts, you know damn fine that what’s happened is an historic watershed moment. There’ll be no going back in Scotland to Westminster Unionist politics. The parties of Union are as dead ducks in Scotland as the Union itself. Hard to bear, eh.

      • Nick

        You shouldn’t take yourself or your beliefs so seriously as to do so will wear you down.

        I’m not speaking bile and I find nothing regarding this subject hard to bear.Those are my opinions and incidentally,they are the opinions of many Scottish people.

        Deal with it.

  • susan

    Where are all these GNAT entrepreneurs? The ones who are going to make Scotland grow at double the rate of any other country in the world? Helloooooo come out come out wherever you are. Helloooooooo. nope that was an echo I heard. Get going, come on, start a business now. Get the growth going now. Whats to stop you? Holyrood have control of money to support you. Come on, dont be shy…. nope… still no one. Holyrood have stacks on money they didnt even use. Half a billion underspent… come on…. youzz love them, they love youzz. No? really,….. oh well,….. thats ok then. Just leave it to those of us who love the United Kingdom, work hard, build businesses, pay taxes all so you can call us traitors.

  • hln

    The Spectator were quick to criticise the Scottish Nationalist 56 for turning up to work every day. Now they criticise SNP for asking too many questions about the effect of westminster polices on Scotland and also criticise the amount of time and effort required by government in answering questions posed by the 56. Imagine the government and the PM of the UK actually having to find out about what is happening in the second biggest country in the UK. You couldn’t make it up – oh wait the spectator just did?

  • evad666

    With the SNP controlling Scotland and UKIP controlling the North of England the question is who will control what is left, IS, HAMAS or Hezbolla?

  • Once again here’s James Forsyth (the sound of one neuron firing) with Yoda-like sagacity, demonstrating his utter cluelessness about matters politic and Scottish.

    Jesus wept.

  • chiefwhippet

    Yet Boris manages to juggle it all. MP, Mayor of London, writer of columns and books. if they are so over worked how does he do it? The lousy doth protest too much.

  • Are You Sure

    The sooner the SNP are consigned to history the better.

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