Referendum 2014
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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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Attempt to discredit Panelbase poll traced to 'British Unity' activist

Attempt to discredit Panelbase poll traced to 'British Unity' activist | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Allegations of a coordinated plan to swamp a UK polling organisation with Yes supporters in order to influence independence polls have been traced to a sole pro-Union activist.


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The Branded Hand

The Branded Hand | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Strange things are happening following the government’s defeat over Syria. Political commentators wring their hands, agonising over whether Britain has lost influence in the world or whether the ‘special relationship’ has been put in jeopardy. Meanwhile David Cameron desperately spends the G20 summit trying to convince people that the United Kingdom is still a major force in the world.


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Dishonesty and delusion

Dishonesty and delusion | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

In our view, it’s a serious mistake to treat prominent Labour activist Duncan Hothersall as someone sincerely concerned with the best interests of the Scottish people, differing only in how those are to be achieved. His only goal is to advance the fortunes of the Labour Party, and himself within it.


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Fingers jammed in ears

Fingers jammed in ears | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Sometimes even a site like this, dedicated to spending a large percentage of its time exposing the barely-concealed bias of the Scottish press, is almost lost for words.

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Making up the numbers

Making up the numbers | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

We know “Better Together” has a history of mangling statistics beyond all recognition, but today’s effort might just take the biscuit. Their Facebook page and Twitter feed still carries a graphic distorting the true findings of today’s Lord Ashcroft polling to a degree so spectacular as to be unmeasurable.


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England needs Scotland’s energy, claims minister | Holyrood Magazine

England needs Scotland’s energy, claims minister | Holyrood Magazine | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
England would need Scotland to maintain a secure energy supply in the event of independence, an SNP minister has claimed. Energy Minister Fergus Ewing said
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Action 4 Equality Scotland: Democracy on Tap

Action 4 Equality Scotland: Democracy on Tap | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

One of the interesting things to emerge from the encouraging outbreak of democracy in the Westminster Parliament recently - is the new found desire of MPs to be seen representing the views of their constituents.

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#BizforScotland destroys the No Campaign's bank bail-out lies

#BizforScotland destroys the No Campaign's bank bail-out lies | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
1 Churchill Place, Canary Wharf is a very important address in the debate about the economics of independence.  It is home to a company the recent history of which completely exposes the misinformation tactics of the No Campaign.
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Yes vote would be the perfect birthday present for schoolboy Ethan

Yes vote would be the perfect birthday present for schoolboy Ethan | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
People of my age are definitely starting to pay more attention to the referendum. The closer is gets, the more people see it as a massive event. They might not know what way they'll vote, but from the people I talk to, they'll definitely be voting.
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Brian Monteith: SNP can survive ‘Yes’ vote doom

Brian Monteith: SNP can survive ‘Yes’ vote doom | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
AN independent poll by Tory Lord Ashcroft shows the ‘No’s at 65% but puts SNP as the next election’s biggest party, writes Brian Monteith
Peter A Bell's insight:

SNP voters saying No to independence! Support for the Liberal Democrats increasing! Johann Lamont more popular than Alex Salmond!

For any truly impartial commentator these highly dubious findings would immediately ring alarm bells. And any analysis worthy of the name would have turned up the fact that some plainly dishonest fiddling was required in order to come up with the figures on priorities that Project Fear has latched onto.

The anti-independence campaign will get the headlines it wants while detailed analysis of the poll will be swept under the carpet by the mainstream media.

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Anger as Better Together Chief gloats over Ricky Burns 'pumping'

Anger as Better Together Chief gloats over Ricky Burns 'pumping' | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

A senior figure within the anti-independence campaign has caused anger after appearing to gloat at what he described as the 'pumping' suffered by Scottish boxer Ricky Burns in his world title fight on Saturday night.

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The convertibles and the others

The convertibles and the others | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

As we’ve already noted today, those who don’t currently support independence can be split into two groups: those who can be persuaded to support it, and those who can’t.


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Hearts and minds

Hearts and minds | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Scotland on Sunday this week carries a piece interviewing No voters to find out why they’re currently intending to keep Scotland governed by Westminster (following on from a similar article about Yes supporters last week). It’s an interesting snapshot of both diehards and people who could yet be turned round.

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Risk of Long Term Damage Through Prolonged Exposure

As the referendum debate has progressed, there has grown an increasing clarity as to what the tactics of ‘Better Together’ are.


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Letters from Catalonia: Part 1 | National Collective

Letters from Catalonia: Part 1 | National Collective | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

If Scotland ignores the Catalan process we will miss out on a story from which we have so much to learn. Worse, we would be ignoring our friends in their time of need.

If Scotland ignores the Catalan process we will miss out on a story from which we have so much to learn. Worse, we would be ignoring our friends in their time of need. - See more at: http://nationalcollective.com/2013/09/10/letters-from-catalonia-part-1/#sthash.Ro37AMSg.dpuf
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Scottish independence: ‘Own currency needed’ claim

Scottish independence: ‘Own currency needed’ claim | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
IT IS hard to envisage full independence for Scotland without making the “difficult” transition towards a separate currency, economists have warned.
Peter A Bell's insight:

This is disappointing stuff from the Cuthberts. I would have expected them to recognise Greece's woes were not solely, or even primarily, due to it's membership of a currency union, but it's irresponsible fiscal policy. Being in the euro may have aggravated the situation, but it's a situation that would not have arisen in the first place if successive Greek governments had exercised anything even remotely similar to financial prudence.

Scotland is NOT Greece. There is no meaningful comparison because there is not the slightest possibility that any Scottish government would behave so recklessly.

That being part of a currency union places constraints on monetary policy is obviously true. But if we are considering a currency union it behoves us also to consider the nature of those constraints. If the governance imposed by a central bank, whether it be the Bank of England or the ECB, is no different from what a nation's own central bank would do, then nothing of significance is lost by ceding monetary control - so long as a nation has the power to withdraw from the currency union if and when circumstances arise in which membership is no longer appropriate.

That is why it is crucial that Scotland restore its rightful constitutional status. We need the power to choose that will only be ours when we bring our government home.

We are already in a currency union. We are, effectively, locked into a sterling zone in which monetary policy and much else is dictated by a central bank that is, in a very real sense, "foreign" to Scotland. And we cannot get out of it!

Voting Yes in just over a year's time will change all of that. We will then have the power to choose the currency arrangements that best suit Scotland's needs. For many reasons, there is cause to suppose that we would gain more from being in a currency union with rUK than we would lose. There would be many mutual benefits. With full control of fiscal policy and alternatives to turn to should circumstances change, retaining the pound in a formal sterling union makes perfect sense, at least as a transitional arrangement.

At present, we are in a currency union that hobbles Scotland and prevents us realising the potential locked up in our land, our seas and our people. With independence, we have the chance to loosen London's grip and establish a currency union that works for us rather than against us.

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Honesty boxing

Honesty boxing | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Shall we keep track of some of the falsehoods printed by the Scottish and UK media today with regard to the Lord Ashcroft polling, and see which ones ever get corrected?

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Lord Ashcroft's Scottish polling: mums, dodgy sums and naked politics

Lord Ashcroft's Scottish polling: mums, dodgy sums and naked politics | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
The former Tory treasurer, Lord Ashcroft, has just published three major polls of more than 12,000 Scottish voters which are generating as much heat as light on Scottish independence
Peter A Bell's insight:

Another embarrassing day for Project Fear.

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'Besides, as one of my aunties put it, that Ruth Davidson has been a bit of a disappointment, hasn't she?'

One observation I made in Michael Greenwell's podcast the other day was that there is, in fact, something positive that campaigners can do about polls, in the sense that (if you have the money) you can simply commission one that pushes your own priorities, and in which the dice are loaded in your favour in terms of getting a favourable result. The findings can then be used to shape the media narrative. Lord Ashcroft has just proved that point by effortlessly getting his latest 'research' featured as the lead story in the Scotsman, although I'm sure it's just pure coincidence that a billionaire No-supporting Tory peer of the realm was able to pull off that trick where crowd-funding Yes supporters failed just a few weeks ago.

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Do Lord Ashcroft’s Polls Tell Us Anything New?

Analysis of the findings of three polls on attitudes towards devolution and independence commissioned by Lord Ashcroft.
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What Remains?

What Remains? | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Interesting mixture of category error, genuine regret, inappropriate possessiveness and complete confusion in this polling from the Scottish Times ...
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The size of the task

The size of the task | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it

Yesterday we ran a couple of features examining the sort of people the Yes campaign needs to convince if it’s to win the referendum in just over a year’s time, and how it might go about tackling that job. Today saw the release of a series of polls from Tory peer Lord Ashcroft that demonstrate just how big a challenge that’s going to present.


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Poll: Scots to reject independence, re-elect SNP

Poll: Scots to reject independence, re-elect SNP | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
SCOTS are prepared to back the SNP again in a Holyrood election even though they look set to reject the party in next year’s referendum on independence, new polling has revealed.
Peter A Bell's insight:

It simply is not possible to take seriously a poll which gives Johann Lamont higher approval ratings than Alex Salmond.

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No campaign straight-up lie about Lord Ashcroft indyref poll | Bright Green

Project Fear's take on the Tory sugar daddy's poll goes way beyond spin. It's a flat-out lie.
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Eddie Barnes: Reasons for backing the Union

Eddie Barnes: Reasons for backing the Union | Referendum 2014 | Scoop.it
Is it old-fashioned loyalty, or issues like currency and pensions, that drives a majority of Scots to back the Union, asks Eddie Barnes
Peter A Bell's insight:

Bad reasons and dodgy reasoning.

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