Referendum 2014
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Anger over Osborne border 'lie'

CHANCELLOR George Osborne's onslaught on independence was based on a lie, according to the Scottish Government, which has also mounted a strong defence of its oil revenue projections.
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Referendum 2014
The Scottish independence referendum and the debate about Scotland's constitutional future
Curated by Peter A Bell
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BBC Scotland told to rethink news output amid questions over indy balance

BBC Scotland told to rethink news output amid questions over indy balance | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Scottish audiences believe BBC Scotland needs a "thorough reassessment" of its news output and have questioned its in impartiality covering the independence referendum.


Peter A Bell's insight:

How many different bodies have to criticise the BBC, on broadly the same grounds, before something is done to break the culture of arrogant complacency that pervades the management of this once great institution? Who supposes, for even a moment, that this report will have any more effect than any of the other damning indictments of BBC Scotland?

I have always been a staunch supporter of the BBC as a bastion of public service broadcasting. But the corporation's conduct over the course of the referendum campaign has been indefensible. The prohibiting of comments on Scottish news and politics sites alone should have been enough to bring mass sackings of the managers responsible for such gross discrimination against licence-payers in Scotland. Add to this the catalogue of instances of blatant bias and it becomes obvious that this organisation is not fit for purpose.

If the BBC is losing the support of people such as myself then it is doomed. And if the BBC is doomed then so is public service broadcasting. History will revile the people responsible for this wanton act of cultural vandalism.

Sadly, I fear it is already too late to rescue BBC Scotland from the depredations of a management which seems oblivious to the effects of its conduct. The only hope of saving public service broadcasting in Scotland is independence and the power that will bring to effect a root and branch overhaul with the creation of a new Scottish Broadcasting Corporation.

Just one more reason for voting Yes.


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Independence: Firms urged to register in England

Independence: Firms urged to register in England | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
SCOTLAND’S small businesses have been told it may be “beneficial” to set up registered offices south of the Border after independence.

Peter A Bell's insight:

The FSB is to be commended for noting that there is only a "question" over Scotland's continuing membership of the EU in the event of a No vote. But I'm not sure where they get the idea that there is "no consensus" on the currency Scotland would use. Consensus among which parties?

The government of the rump UK has no say in the matter. And, while there some voices in Scotland raised in favour of an independent currency, the policy of the Scottish Government is that we should continue using the pound. So there is "consensus" among the only parties which are likely to be in a position to decide on the matter.

Despite this, and the doubtless hysterical response that we can expect from unionists, this report pretty much acknowledges what we all knew already - that independence implies no necessary impediment to continuing trade between Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The only ones who are talking in terms of creating barriers to trade are British nationalists. And that's all wind and pish.


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The Virtual Campaign: or, Dead Frogs and the Athelred Conspiracy

The Virtual Campaign: or, Dead Frogs and the Athelred Conspiracy | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The atmosphere of the referendum has noticeably changed. An increasingly paradoxical quality has emerged, probably because Better Together and the Unionist parties have coalesced c...

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Yes campaign gets boost as future position in EU made clear

SUPPORTERS of independence have been boosted by indications that Scotland would be treated differently from new EU applicants as it is already compliant with the rules.

Peter A Bell's insight:

It would be good to think that the latest comments coming from the EC would put an end to the idiotic scaremongering on the matter of Scotland's relationship with the European Union which has been such a prominent feature of the anti-independence mob's propaganda over the last couple of years. Experience, however, teaches us that British nationalist have a quite remarkable ability to blank out any information which is "inconvenient".


Just lately we've had the man who's seemingly endless series of grand entrances in the referendum debate stand in stark contrast to the anti-climactic paucity of his contribution to that debate, Gordon Brown, burbling about how independence will "put at risk" existing arrangement under which the four health services in the UK cooperate in matters such as transplant organs and blood supplies. In order to do so he has to totally disregard what has been said by NHS Blood and Transplant and the Organ Donation and Transplantation Directorate, both of whom insist that these arrangements will not be affected by independence.


To be fair to Brown, it is entirely possible that he is not actually being dishonest or deceitful here. It is perfectly possible - and very easy to believe - that he is just dumbly unaware of what these organisations have said. Gordon Brown has, after all, never given the slightest indication that he has a clue about what is going on in Scottish politics or the referendum campaign. He is far to bust trying to emulate Tony "the Weasel" Blair's money-grubbing success as a cipher on the stage og international politics to be bothered with such parochial issues as the fate of his country or the well-being of those he was elected to represent.


But the propensity for ignoring anything that contradicts the unionist propaganda line remains a feature of the No campaign. So it won't matter what Jean-Claude Juncker or anybody else says - the Britnats will keep on peddling the same tired old drivel about Scotland being expelled/excluded fro the EU if we dare to vote Yes. They will do so in the hope that more people will simply swallow the lies than are prompted to seek more, and more reliable information.
They will continue to peddle the old scare stories in a desperate last-ditch effort to hold onto those they have already managed to scare into voting No in the face of an increasing tendency for people to question everything that Better Together tells them..


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Oh, wait, you won't die

We got our reply (emphasis added): "Good afternoon, Thank you for your recent telephone call to the NHSBT Donor Line. I can confirm that Scottish independence will not affect organ donation and the...

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Remember, YOU WILL DIE

Remember, YOU WILL DIE | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
We telephoned Organ Donation Scotland on Friday for their reaction to the despicable scare stories being put around by a teenage Labour activist from Liverpool bussed up to Scotland last week by th...

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Embarrassment for Labour as party members vote to scrap Trident

Embarrassment for Labour as party members vote to scrap Trident | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The Labour party has come under pressure from its own members to scrap Trident after 50 party branches - including 5 in Scotland - called for the nuclear weapon system to be binned.

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Pensions better with Yes vote

Pensions better with Yes vote | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Motherwell FC director John Swinburne has declared his support for a Yes vote in September’s independence referendum.

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‘Scotland lacks means to boost productivity’

‘Scotland lacks means to boost productivity’ | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE: Scotland has too many workers in low-paid and low-productivity jobs to boost productivity should the country vote for independence, according to a new report.

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Labour of Love

Labour of Love | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

At university in the 1970’s, I was a member of Broad Left. This was an alliance of the Labour Party and various left-of-centre groups who, together, were very active and successful....

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Nicodemite No

Nicodemite No | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Reflecting on George Galloway as Ronald Villiers with a media free-pass and London's love-in with Gordon Brown

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UK government launch anti-independence website

UK government launch anti-independence website | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE: THE UK Government has launched an anti-independence website which it says will help people “find out how being part of the UK benefits them” in the run up to the referendum.

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'You don't have to choose between Yes and Labour' - YouTube

Tommy Sheppard, former assistant general secretary of Scottish Labour and co-founder of The Stand comedy club chain tells Labour voters that the values they ...

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Blair backing for Better Together a 'boost for Yes' say SNP

Blair backing for Better Together a 'boost for Yes' say SNP | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Tony Blair's endorsement of the anti-independence campaign is a boost for Yes, the SNP has said.

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The open letter signed by seven of the famous Upper Clyde Shipbuilders work-in dispute in full

The open letter signed by seven of the famous Upper Clyde Shipbuilders work-in dispute in full | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
SEVEN veterans who fought for the UCS outlined their support for an independent Scotland in the hope that it will rejuvenate the Clyde Shipbuilding industry.

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Gordon Brown targets chronically ill in latest attack on independence

Gordon Brown targets chronically ill in latest attack on independence | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

The anti-independence campaign has been accused of using desperate tactics in order to scare Scottish voters into rejecting a Yes vote in September's independence referendum.


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Cross-border organ transplant network ‘at risk’

Cross-border organ transplant network ‘at risk’ | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE: More than 1,200 Scots a year facing life-threatening illnesses are securing transplants or blood transfusions from donors elsewhere in the UK, former prime minister Gordon Brown has said.

Peter A Bell's insight:

Is this just another scaremongering lie from a man whose detachment from and ignorance of the referendum campaign makes each intervention look more foolish than the last? Or is there something more to it? Is Gordon Brown threatening that future rUK government will seek to end cooperation among the four health services? If so, who does he speak for?


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Kezia Dugdale: The Yes camp's spin on the subject of the NHS is a risk you don't need to take

Kezia Dugdale: The Yes camp's spin on the subject of the NHS is a risk you don't need to take | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
WE all need to stop and take a minute to consider the Yes camp's outlandish claims, says KEZIA DUGDALE MSP, or you might end up making a decision you'll regret all your children's lives.

Peter A Bell's insight:

Is Kezia Dugdale's faux outrage supposed to distract our attention from the latest lying scare story being put about by British Labour and their Tory allies? It seems that some mercenary lout bussed into Scotland to boost the No campaign's small and diminishing band of foot-soldiers has revived the old nonsense about patients in Scotland not being able to get organ transplants if they dare to vote against the ruling elites of the British state.

Now, it may be that this rent-a-gob is merely parroting the rubbish talked by Gordon Brown, among others. But there has to be a suspicion, at the very least, that these paid agitators have been briefed to tell such lies by the official No campaign.

The reality, as anyone with the wits of your average mollusc will have figured out for themselves, is that independence poses absolutely no threat to existing arrangements between and among the four health services of the UK.

Unless, of course, British nationalists are threatening that a future rUK government will end these arrangements as some kind of retaliation for a Yes vote - as with the currency union. If that is the case, then surely it is incumbent on the British parties to make their intentions clear and to explain to ALL the people of these islands what the impact of such destructive pettiness would be.

The anti-independence campaign has become synonymous with scaremongering. So Kezia Dugdale's over-egged righteous indignation over some alleged remark by a supposed yes campaigner represents the most sickening hypocrisy.

The anti-independence campaign has also become synonymous with brazen dishonesty. So it's no surprise to find Dugdale blatantly lying about GP appointment charges in Ireland which are not as high as she claims, affect only a small minority of people, and are in the process of being abolished.

There is dishonesty too in her shrill assertion that GP appointment charges are unthinkable. Such fees are no more unthinkable for British Labour and their Tory allies than the re-introduction of prescription charges and tuition fees. The reality is that charges for visiting a doctor are being openly talked about in England, none of the British parties have ruled this out, and we would have no reason to trust them even if they did.

And we must always bear in mind that, as a symbol of Scotland's distinctive political culture, our public health service will be a primary target of any UK Government should we vote No. That is what the terms "One Nation" means. It means Scotland being brought into line with England. It means the eradication of any differences in the way healthcare is delivered.

On balance, therefore, the threat of being charged to see your doctor in the event of a No vote is massively more credible than the threat of an end to any of the mutually beneficial arrangements by which the different health services cooperate.


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Tales from the Campaign Trail (1)

So, four weeks of the Sabbatical down, eight to go. Apart from a wee interlude in Yorkshire for the Tour de France, it's been pretty full on referendum campaigning. I set myself the goal of engag...


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Independence 'could benefit health'

Independence 'could benefit health' | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

A former chief medical officer has said Scottish independence could be "very positive" for the country's health.

Peter A Bell's insight:

This intervention from Sir Harry Burns is both very welcome and very interesting. It serves to remind us of the many less tangible ways in which a Yes vote could be good for Scotland. Others have spoken of the massive boost to "brand Scotland" that will be one of the bonuses of voting Yes in September. It is fitting too that we should bear in mind the feel-good factor that comes from doing something positive.


One can look at these beneficial effects as absolutes - even if they are, by their very nature, all but impossible to measure. It may make more sense, however, to think of them relative to the anticipated impact of a No vote.


Make no mistake! A No vote will be massively humiliating for Scotland. It will inevitably have a seriously depressing effect on the people of Scotland while seriously tarnishing the nation's image and standing in the world. We will have voted to be less than we might be. We will have declared ourselves incapable of doing what the people of other nations do as a matter of course. We will have renounced Scotland's status as a nation. We will have held our own sovereignty in our hands and we will have thrown it away.


In the event of a No vote, Scotland will be the subject of global ridicule and will be held in even greater contempt by British nationalists whose gloating triumphalism will be the salt in our self-inflicted wounds.


All of this must have a deleterious effect on our nation and our people which stands in stark contrast to the uplifting effects of a Yes vote. If a Yes vote is good for the country's health, as Sir Harry Burns says, then a No vote would be poisonous.

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Return of the living dead

Return of the living dead | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
For independence supporters of a certain age, the 1979 devolution referendum is one of the most infamous moments in Scottish history. While a wafer-thin majority of Scots voted Yes to devolution, a...

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Independence: Juncker ‘sympathetic’ to Scots EU bid

Independence: Juncker ‘sympathetic’ to Scots EU bid | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE: New European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker is “sympathetic” to an independent Scotland joining the EU due to his experience as a politician from a small member state, it emerged last night.


Peter A Bell's insight:

How is it possible for anyone to continue to give credence to anything Better Together says when they, the British parties and the UK Government are so regularly shown to be guilty of misrepresentation, distortion and downright dishonesty?

Nothing in this article is news to those who have been inclined to look at the issue rationally. There is no new information here that might alter any reasoned assessment of Scotland's post-independence relationship with the EU. All of this was known to unionists as well as it was known to everybody else.

All the time the anti-independence campaign has been insisting that Scotland would be expelled/excluded from the EU, they were perfectly well aware that this made no sense at all. Or, at least, they had access to the information which could only possibly lead to the conclusion that Scotland's continuing membership of the EU would be a mere formality.

So, what does this tell us about the British nationalist who have spent the last couple of years peddling scare stories about Scotland being thrown out of the EU and having to wait years to gain entry? It tells us that they are either idiots or liars.

Will you sacrifice Scotland's nationhood and the sovereignty of the people of Scotland on the word of idiots and proven liars?

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The fine art of selection

The fine art of selection | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Alert readers may have spotted that today's Sunday Herald features Professor Adam Tomkins and myself for its weekly "In The Hot Seat" interviews with opposing figures in the independence debate. Th...

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Substantial Substates

Substantial Substates | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Across the world there are non-national states doing things differently to their nation-state cousins. Scotland has the opportunity to lead the breakaway in a more conscious way. ...

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Yes camp say swing of just five points is needed

Yes camp say swing of just five points is needed | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
CAMPAIGNERS for a Yes vote in favour of independence claim latest polling vindicates their concentration on winning over traditional Labour voters in the run up to September's poll.

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