Referendum 2014
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Osborne: North Sea bill will rocket without UK's broad shoulders

THE cost to Scots of cleaning up the North Sea will rocket 12-fold under independence from just over £300 per person to £3800, George Osborne will warn today.
Peter A Bell's insight:

What Osborne refers to as the "costs" of decommissioning are actually tax allowances on expenditure that is the responsibility of the operating companies. He talks about these "costs" as if they are a consequence of independence. But the reality is that they are a consequence of the tax policies of the UK Government. It is the UK Government that has promised the operating companies £20bn in tax breaks. If that is as economically damaging as Osborne claims, then the blame lies squarely with himself and his predecessors.


Being as duplicitous as British nationalists tend to be, Osborne fails to point out that the people of Scotland will have to bear a proportion of these "costs" even if we remain in the union. But remaining part of the UK means that the "costs" will not be offset by revenues flowing direct to a Scottish Exchequer. As an independent nation, all of the "costs" will be covered by revenues which stay in Scotland rather than being sucked into the maw of Westminster.

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Norman Stewart's comment, September 4, 2013 4:48 AM
I wondered about this myself with 90+ of the income from the tax on the north sea bonanza why would it be a problem?
Referendum 2014
The Scottish independence referendum and the debate about Scotland's constitutional future
Curated by Peter A Bell
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Green leader claims independence good for the British Isles - Press and Journal

Green leader claims independence good for the British Isles - Press and Journal | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Londoners have heard that a Yes vote offers the best chance of showing that a fairer society across the British Isles is possible. Scottish Green Party co-convener Patrick Harvie took the referendum campaign south last night as he argued that independence will not mean Scotland turning its back on its neighbours. He told an audience... Read Full Story
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Scottish independence: Salmond invokes Bruce

Scottish independence: Salmond invokes Bruce | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
ALEX Salmond has unveiled his own Declaration of Arbroath, seeking to “invoke the spirit of Robert the Bruce”, as he urged Scots to back independence.
Peter A Bell's insight:

As ever, the Tory/Labour alliance speaks to the people of Scotland with a forked tongue. While British Labour's mouthpieces in Scotland dutifully parrot the protestations of their Tory partners, in England they sing a different tune - berating the coalition for their vandalism of the NHS.


Neil Findlay asserts that the Tories' assault on the NHS poses no threat to Scotland. But he also lies about the amount being spent on private health-care services in Scotland. In order to get his figure of £400 million he has included things such as locum cover for doctors and the use of agency nurses. These are NOT contracted services. They are part of the normal running of our public health services. It is downright dishonest of Findlay to claim that the Scottish Government's spending in the private sector is in any way similar to the wholesale privatisation of the NHS in England.


If he is prepared to lie to us about this, why should we trust anything he says? Why would we risk our NHS on the word of people who so casually seek to deceive us?


I'll take the word of Unison, a major source of funds for British Labour and the union which represents health workers in Scotland:

"David Cameron and George Osborne might not run NHS Scotland, but that doesn't mean that they aren't attacking it. We must fight to save it.


Devolution means they can't run down and privatise our NHS directly, the way they are doing in England. But what they can do is starve it of resources. They are cutting back on the money provided to the Scottish Government and this puts the health budget under pressure."


There is absolutely no doubt that a No vote puts NHS Scotland at risk. Only a Yes vote can safeguard our health service.

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The 'Missing Million' ... most will say Yes

The 'Missing Million' ... most will say Yes | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The question of Scotland’s ‘missing million’ has been a recurring one during the referendum campaign. According to the Electoral Commission Scotland, turnout at the 2011 Holyrood elections was 989,540 lower than the 1992 general election. So, where have all these erstwhile voters gone?

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Will a 'Yes' vote save the NHS?

Will a 'Yes' vote save the NHS? | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Alex Salmond and the independence campaign have been increasingly vocal with their argument that voting 'Yes' in the upcoming referendum will save the NHS from privatisation. Paul Cairney explores ...
Peter A Bell's insight:

Paul Cairney misses a crucial point. He fails to recognise that, in the wake of a No vote, NHS Scotland will become a political target. Arguably more than anything, NHS Scotland symbolises Scotland's distinctive political culture. Eradicating this distinction will be a political priority of the UK Government regardless of who wins the 2015 UK elections. Looking at the past and examining current trends tells us nothing useful about a political environment that will be markedly changed by a No vote and the ensuing triumphalism of the British state.


The British establishment feels threatened by Scotland. They will do everything in their not inconsiderable power to eradicate differences between Scotland and England which pose a real or potential embarrassment to a UK Government ideologically committed to dismantling the welfare state and putting healthcare in the hands of profit-takers. If Scotland votes No, the UK Government will use its control of the purse-strings to impose their "One Nation" dogma.

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Scots Better Together campaign red-faced after TV ad blunder featuring BNP tweeter

Scots Better Together campaign red-faced after TV ad blunder featuring BNP tweeter | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The Scots pro-union Better Together campaign was left red-faced on Monday after a TV advert was broadcast featuring Yvonne Hama –...
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BBC - Blogs - College of Journalism - Referendum debate: Seven key stats about Scotland

BBC - Blogs - College of Journalism - Referendum debate: Seven key stats about Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
With less than a month to the Scottish referendum, here are some key figures relating to the debate. Do you know what percentage of the UK population lives in Scotland?
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English Bill Rants on the Currency Union - YouTube

It just doesn't make any sense!
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This is wonderful!

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Scottish independence: Attacks on currency plans

Scottish independence: Attacks on currency plans | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
THE leaders of the No campaign warned of the dangers of independence as they took to the streets of Scotland yesterday to mark the final month of the campaign.
Peter A Bell's insight:

I'm not sure what is more ludicrous here. Unionists continuing to obsess about a currency issue that most of us realised a long time ago isn't an issue at all. Or British politicians trying to bribe us with our own money.


The sense of panicked desperation in the anti-independence camp is unmistakable.

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Paying attention for thickos

Paying attention for thickos | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Folks, we seriously sometimes think we're the only people covering Scottish politics who can actually read. Here's a page from the Scottish Sun this morning: The paper, last seen struggling to subt...
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Witterings of a Weegiewarbler: An Open Letter To An Unapproachable Prime Minister.

Witterings of a Weegiewarbler: An Open Letter To An Unapproachable Prime Minister. | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

I hope that you will take the time to read this, that it finds its way into your hands. You see, I’d like just three questions answered, and if you can answer them to my satisfaction, I’ll really, truly might consider a ‘No’ vote.

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News Release: RIC reveal detailed results from 100 of their canvasses

News Release: RIC reveal detailed results from 100 of their canvasses | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
RIC reveal detailed results from 100 of their canvasses targeting working class communities, totalling 16,000 canvass returns, a sample much larger than any polling company has produced to date. Th...
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Cameron: Salmond's a desperate man with a desperate argument on the NHS

David Cameron has branded Alex Salmond a
Peter A Bell's insight:

If I was inclined to be generous I would describe David Cameron's little tirade as disingenuous. Or perhaps I might resort to the old cliche and accuse him of being "economical with the truth". In fact, he is being positively parsimonious with the truth.


While it is true that the Scottish Parliament has full powers over Scotland's health services, what Cameron fails to mention is that Wesminster holds the purse-strings. The UK Government can use its control of Scotland's revenues to force the Scottish Government into adopting policies it otherwise wouldn't. The Scottish Government has done a remarkable job of safeguarding our NHS. But it cannot possibly continue to find the resources required when its budget is constantly being squeezed.


Cameron also neglects to mention that, while health spending in England has been ring-fenced up to now, that will not continue to be the case. The coalition is committed to cutting public spending on the NHS by more than £1billion a year. That will inevitably impact Scotland's budget because of the way the Barnett Formula works.


But the main thing that Cameron is keeping quiet about is the fact that NHS Scotland will be a primary poitical target of the British state should we be foolish enough to vote No. NHS Scotland stands as a symbol of Scotland's distinctive political culture. Eradicating all manifestations and expressions of that distinctiveness will be a priority for the UK Government and all the British parties. British nationalists will be determined to create their "One Nation Britain". And that will mean bringing Scotland into line with England.


There is absolutely no question that a No vote will lead to the destruction of NHS Scotland just as the NHS in England is being destroyed. Cameron and his British Labour cronies can snort and splutter all they like. We simply can't afford to vote No. We have too much to lose.

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How a Scotland ‘Yes’ Vote Could Challenge the UK Nuclear Weapons Program

How a Scotland ‘Yes’ Vote Could Challenge the UK Nuclear Weapons Program | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The entire Scottish independence movement is firmly against nuclear weapons," Jimmy Watson, a resident at Faslane Peace Camp, tells me.
At 32 years old, Faslane is one of the world’s longest-running p
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For Fairness & Social Justice! Anne-marie Monaghan

For Fairness & Social Justice! Anne-marie Monaghan | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Anne-marie works as an independent consultant. She has been working in the social care and community development sector for nearly thirty years. Outside of work Anne-Marie has a love of all things ...
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Press Conference: RIC canvassing evidence shows No campaign have lost working class Scotland

Press Conference: RIC canvassing evidence shows No campaign have lost working class Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The Radical Independence Campaign (RIC) revealed today(1) (Tuesday) the evidence of their canvassing in working class communities across Scotland, and argue that “the results show the No campaign i...
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An opportunity that's too good to miss | Yes Scotland

An opportunity that's too good to miss | Yes Scotland | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
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Vote Yes to protect Scotland's National Health Service

Vote Yes to protect Scotland's National Health Service | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Dr Philippa Whitford says vote Yes for the NHS Independence protects Scotland's National Health Service from Westminster cuts and privitisation. Scotland's NHS remains dependent upon a reducing funding settlement from London. George Osborne has steadily cut Scotland's funding – which is
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The ultimate Britishness fail

The ultimate Britishness fail | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The Times of London (to give it its full title) has been the newspaper of record for the British establishment for 226 years. It was practically the only facet of British life that survived in the ...

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John Curtice: Referendum voters make up own minds

John Curtice: Referendum voters make up own minds | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The No campaign in the referendum was long ago dubbed “Project Fear”. Voters would be persuaded into voting No by being advised of the deleterious consequences and risks that would follow from Scotland becoming independent.
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Salmond: Scotland could keep the pound short-term

Salmond: Scotland could keep the pound short-term | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
ALEX Salmond has sparked fresh ­questions about his currency proposals by saying an independent Scotland could keep the pound unilaterally as a
Peter A Bell's insight:

In what possible way has this "sparked fresh questions"? Or, indeed, any questions at all? We have always known that there were a number of viable currency options. And we have always been aware that some of these options might be transitional to some of the other options.


The efforts of British politicians and their cronies in the media to sow doubt and confusion about the currency issue grow more frenzied and pathetic by the day. They seem dumbly unaware that they are impressing nobody with this nonsense other than the clique of hard-line British nationalists who would gladly have the people of Scotland pay any price to preserve the structures of power and privilege which define the British state.


Outside the dank and dismal confines of Project Fear, nobody really cares about the currency issue. Largely because in their crude efforts at scaremongering the anti-independence propagandists have overplayed their hand. They have tried to create the impression that Scotland will be left with no functional currency at all after independence. Thoughtful people take no time at all to work out that this is a ludicrous notion. And people in general intuitively sense that it is a ludicrous notion.


While unionists have been obsessing about "Plan B", people have been finding out more about the range of currency options that are available to Scotland. As they have done so, they come to see the incessant demands for a "Plan B" for the maliciously deceptive nonsense it is. As one undecided voter said to me the other day, "I don't understand why they keep asking about a Plan B when they know what the choices are."


As to some options being transitional, there is nothing new about this either. Anybody who has bothered to read the White paper and listen to informed commentators knows perfectly well that even a retained currency union could be regarded as a transitional arrangement. I have written about this often myself. The very fact of being independent means that Scotland will always be able to choose the currency arrangement which is deemed most appropriate. It is only the present political union which locks us into monetary union regardless of whether that monetary union suits Scotland's needs.


The "currency row" is not overshadowing the referendum. Most of us have moved on long ago. Only the unionists are stuck in this rut because they have nowhere else to go. They have shot their scaremongering bolt - to little or no effect - and are now left only with this tedious mantra about currency and the occasional rehashing of previously debunked scares about EU membership and risible talk of border posts.


Unionists have lost the campaign. We have to be somewhat concerned about what they might resort to in order to avoid losing the referendum.

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Nothing to Say

This is a recent example of the kind of correspondence I get and from which I mostly shield you on the blogsite. Zero comments? More like an Ongoing Monologue than your lofty claim of an “Ongoing D...
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Theme for the Early Days of a Better Nation

Theme for the Early Days of a Better Nation | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Here's a preview of our 'Songs for Scotland' album and concert with THEME FOR THE EARLY DAYS OF A BETTER NATION with Jackie McGuckian by Matt Seattle. Buy your tickets and album HERE.  Tickets are ...
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Margo Mobile

Margo Mobile | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it


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Not stopped: Hama time

Not stopped: Hama time | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Earlier today we highlighted some rather ugly tweets from the No campaign's latest "grassroots" star, Yvonne Hama of Airdrie, apparently a fan of the BNP's Nick Griffin and the idea of hanging Cath...
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Nuclear warhead facility could be built near Falmouth

Nuclear warhead facility could be built near Falmouth | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
THE people of Falmouth, and more specifically Flushing and Mylor, have more to fear than most if Scotland gains its independence in September, according to a new report from the Royal United Services Institute.
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