Unionist Shenanigans
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Unionist Shenanigans
Untruths, deceits, bias & dirty tricks by Unionists to undermine serious debate about independence for Scotland.
Curated by Jim Arnott
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The Brown note

Curiously, the only place in the media we’ve been able to find even slightly detailed coverage of Gordon Brown’s speech on independence to a group of Labour MPs, MSPs and party apparatchiks in Govan this week was in Newsnet Scotland.

 


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Labour accuses SNP of police cut delays - Herald Scotland

Labour accuses SNP of police cut delays - Herald Scotland | Unionist Shenanigans | Scoop.it
Herald Scotland
Labour accuses SNP of police cut delays
Herald Scotland
The accusation came as official figures showed that Police Scotland fulfilled the SNP's commitment to maintain 1000 extra police officers despite a slight drop last quarter.
Jim Arnott's insight:

Labour accuse SNP of police cut dealys but in fact the SNP have maintained there committment (given in 2007) to have 1,000 more police in Scotland. Typical of Labour's say anything but the truth strategy. Well! It won't wash.

 

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Scottish independence: One in four will vote yes

Scottish independence: One in four will vote yes | Unionist Shenanigans | Scoop.it
SUPPORT for independence has slumped to its lowest level since the start of the referendum campaign, according to a new poll which also suggests a growing number of people say they do not know how to vote next year.

Via Peter A Bell
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Peter A Bell's curator insight, September 4, 2013 4:48 AM

Blair McDougall, hapless architect of the appalling Project Fear, refers to "independently commissioned polls". What does this mean? What counts as "independent"? If a poll commissioned by the SNP is not "independent" then how can it be claimed that polls commissioned by anti-independence groups like Devo Plus are "independent"? Or, for that matter, polls commissioned by newspapers which blatantly flaunt their anti-independence bias?

Unless Blair McDougall is impugning the integrity of the polling organisations themselves, it shouldn't make a jot of difference who orders and pays for the survey. So. is Blair McDougall accusing polling organisations of being unprofessional? Or is he just speaking without thinking as usual?

Jim Arnott's comment, September 4, 2013 5:46 AM
I can't remember any time Blair McDougall had a sensible thought.
Peter A Bell's comment, September 4, 2013 6:24 AM
If he did, it was never made public.
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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.

Via Peter A Bell
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Peter A Bell's curator insight, September 3, 2013 4:18 AM

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.

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?
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Scottish independence: Osborne paints grim picture

Scottish independence: Osborne paints grim picture | Unionist Shenanigans | Scoop.it
ALEX Salmond will open a year-long parliamentary battle over the Scottish independence referendum today, as MSPs return from their summer break.

Via Peter A Bell
Jim Arnott's insight:

The comments section in this rag gets more obscene by the day. I truly hope Osborne keeps coming to Scotland - he is a great recruiting sergeant for the Yes campaign.

 

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Credibility and incredibility

Credibility and incredibility | Unionist Shenanigans | Scoop.it

Now, this is interesting. Alert readers will have noticed (by which we mean “be sick of us banging on about”) that we recently conducted a poll which suggested the Yes and No votes were a lot closer than the media portrayal, and the media blanked it for a bunch of feeble excuses including “you had a satirical option in one of your questions”, “you used leading wording” and “we were all on holiday that week”.

 


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Darling tells voters: don't buy Salmond's 'indy-lite ad gimmick'

Darling tells voters: don't buy Salmond's 'indy-lite ad gimmick' | Unionist Shenanigans | Scoop.it
Campaigners fighting to keep Scotland in the UK "cannot afford to be complacent for one moment", former chancellor Alistair Darling will warn.

Via Peter A Bell
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Peter A Bell's curator insight, August 31, 2013 8:13 AM

It seems that Alistair Darling has decided to join his Tory ally, Ruth Davidson, in cranking up the anti-independence rhetoric from inane scare-mongering to thinly veiled threats of punitive measures against Scotland by the government of rUK. What else can his ill-considered utterances mean? There is no inevitable reason why two independent countries cannot enjoy the benefits of close relationships. There is no necessary reason whatever why two neighbouring sovereign nations should not trade freely with one another without either of them relinquishing their sovereignty. Especially where there are pre-existing links that have been developed over centuries.

Unless, of course, one of nations decides to erect barriers. And that is what Project Fear is now hinting at in the crude and clumsy way that we have come to expect.

What else could create problems for trade between Scotland and rUK other than deliberate malicious and unquestionably illegal action by the rump British state petulantly seeking retribution for Scotland's temerity in asserting its independence? Certainly not anything that the Scottish Government is doing or is likely to do. By Darling's own admission the Scottish Government is seeking to create a post-independence situation that keeps the bits of the relationship which work well for both nations while ending or amending the bits that don't work well for either one.

The irony is that while British nationalist bandy terms such "separatist" it is only they who show any sign of thinking in terms of the kind of absolute severing that they seek to imply. It is only they who insist that the restoration of Scotland's rightful constitutional status can only be achieved at the cost of completely ending all ties between the two countries.

Scotland's civic nationalist movement seeks only a more appropriate form of association based on a recognition of the rights of both nations to freely negotiate the terms of their relationship. It is only British nationalists who are saying that there can be no relationship unless it is one defined entirely by the British state for its own purposes and imposed on Scotland without our democratically expressed consent.

And it is only British nationalists who are threatening sanctions against Scotland should we refuse to accept the supremacy of the British state and the sovereignty of the British parliament and choose instead to assert the sovereignty of Scotland's people.

I will not be intimidated. Not least because I know these to be meaningless threats. Shutting down trading and other ties would be as damaging to the economy of rUK as it would be to Scotland. Unless he is a complete moron, Darling knows this. So his threats are dishonest as well as empty.


And Darling's dishonesty does not end there. There's all this drivel about "indy-lite" as well. Unless Darling actually believes that having economic and cultural ties with another nation cannot be achieved without forfeiting independence then he is talking utter garbage. And he is dishonestly representing the arguments of the SNP and the Yes campaign. Those of us who advocate independence are in no doubt about what it means. It means bringing our government home. It does not mean slamming and bolting the door behind us when we do so.

In his abysmal shallowness Darling cannot even begin to envision a newly forged relationship between Scotland and rUK based on the partnership of equals that the union signally failed to deliver. He can see only a relationship based on the existing structures of power and privilege, or no relationship at all. What a sad and petty little man he is!

I know that this sad and petty little man does not speak for Scotland. The question is whether in making these threats he is speaking for the British parties. Are we to take it that it is now their policy to introduce economic sanctions if Scotland should vote Yes? I think we are entitled to know. And if there is no such intention, then maybe Darling and his Tory allies should stop talking as if there were.

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Without honour or shame

Without honour or shame | Unionist Shenanigans | Scoop.it

We’d imagine, in fairness, that you need to be endowed with a pretty well-polished brass neck to stand as a Conservative politician in Scotland at all.

 


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Independent Scotland would struggle on world stage, says Alistair Darling

Independent Scotland would struggle on world stage, says Alistair Darling | Unionist Shenanigans | Scoop.it
Scotland would struggle to have the same diplomatic clout in dealing with international crises like Syria if it chooses to leave the UK next year, according to former chancellor Alistair Darling.
Jim Arnott's insight:

I have rarely read a comments section that was so scathing about four politicians - Darling, Davidson, Lamont and Rennie - the architects of the Better Together campaign. The article exposes the utter bunkum spouted by these so-called protectors of the Scottish nation. It is worth reading the bunkum just to get to the comments section - and please read through the entirety of the comments. Many of these are from English people pouring scorn - particularly on Darling - and expressing amazement at how Scottish politicians could be so focused on running Scotland down. As I have said, I found the comments extremely illuminating.

 

Scots have the chance next year to vote for a new consitutional arrangement and if Scotland vote for independence this will empower English regions outside of London and the South East to demand changes to the Westminster elitism.

 

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Woman confused about location

Woman confused about location | Unionist Shenanigans | Scoop.it

STV this morning reports a speech to be given today by Scottish Conservatives leader Ruth Davidson, in which she issues some blood-curdling warnings about the chaotic impact of independence on Scottish trade with the UK.

 


Via Peter A Bell
Jim Arnott's insight:

This woman gives me "The Dry Boak"

 

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Timely thoughts on referendum

Timely thoughts on referendum | Unionist Shenanigans | Scoop.it
The man once regularly cited as Scotland's most senior civil servant, Sir John Elvidge, established himself as someone worth listening to both in and out of office.

Via Peter A Bell
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Peter A Bell's curator insight, August 27, 2013 6:56 AM

Is Sir John Elvidge "worth paying attention to"? Certainly not if we look at the content of his remarks rather than his admittedly impressive background.

This is a man who, in his comments about Orkney and Shetland, gives credence to the dangerous partitionist drivel spouted by Tavish Scott and a handful of other such pathetic attention-seekers. So he's not exactly taking an early lead in the credibility stakes.

Even worse, he actually seems to believe that Westminster will graciously deliver devo-whatever in the event of a NO vote despite there being neither incentive nor imperative to do so and despite the fact that all the British parties have already set their face against any further devolution. Both British Labour and their Tory allies have had ample opportunity to deliver meaningful additional powers. They signally failed to do so.

The whole story of devolution within the British state has been one of making the minimum concessions in response to growing support for the SNP while keeping ultimate power at Westminster. At every stage, up to and including the Calman Commission, the overarching priority has been to preserve the power of Westminster rather than deliver a settlement that addressed what was best for the people of Scotland.

More recently, when offered the opportunity to put a "more powers" option on the referendum ballot, the British parties rejected the idea with a vehemence that was a clear statement of their attitude to further devolution.

And now, while some in the British parties attempt to deceive the people of Scotland with empty talk of talks about considering the possibility of perhaps some further constitutional tinkering at some undetermined date... maybe, others are openly advocating the emasculation and even the abolition of the Scottish Parliament.

In the face of all this, how can anybody imagine that devo-whatever will be delivered despite our leverage being forfeited by a No vote?

So how much store should we set by Sir John's talk of "toxic polarisation" given that he is so misguided about other aspects of the referendum campaign? What is this polarisation other than the natural and inevitable outcome of a democratic process in which there are two opposed and mutually incompatible positions? Are we to abandon democracy simply because it leads to a contest between opposing views? Is that not what democracy is supposed to do?

We are living with the "toxic legacy" of a system which means that Scotland all too often ends up with a government at UK level which we have rejected at the polls. The only way the independence referendum might leave such a legacy is if the outcome were similarly grossly unfair. It is generally agreed that the Referendum Bill currently going through the Scottish Parliament will establish a framework that will ensure that the referendum is fair in all its practical aspects. Any perception of unfairness will therefore be likely to arise from the manner in which the campaign is conducted. For example, if the UK Government fails to respect the 16 week "purdah" period. Or if the people of Scotland feel that the result is based on distortion, deceit, dishonesty and scaremongering of the sort that has led Better Together to brand itself Project Fear.


Independence supporters will accept a No vote with appropriate good grace for the simple reason that they will be aware that this is only a setback to their cause and not a defeat. In the event of a Yes vote, the anti-independence campaign will, by contrast, have to swallow total and irrevocable defeat. The conduct of Project Fear so far does not suggest that they will take this defeat well. But, for the most part, pragmatism will prevail even where goodwill is in short supply.


Whether or not there is a "toxic legacy" therefore seems to be very much a matter for the London government and the anti-independence campaign. Let us hope they can rise to the occasion.

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Papers please

Papers please | Unionist Shenanigans | Scoop.it

With the official campaigns now over a year old, we can’t help wondering whether “Better Together Glasgow” shouldn’t have been launched before now.

 


Via Peter A Bell
Jim Arnott's insight:

A "public metting" that's private. Ha! Ha1 Ha1

 

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Miliband to bring Labour Shadow cabinet to Scotland

Miliband to bring Labour Shadow cabinet to Scotland | Unionist Shenanigans | Scoop.it

Labour leader Ed Miliband has announced his intention to bring his shadow cabinet to Scotland in an attempt at persuading Scots that staying with the Union is the best way to protect against welfare cuts and a stagnant economy.

 


Via Peter A Bell
Jim Arnott's insight:

You cannot be serious.

 

 

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Brian Wilson: SNP diversions no laughing matter - Scotland on Sunday

Brian Wilson: SNP diversions no laughing matter - Scotland on Sunday | Unionist Shenanigans | Scoop.it
Scotland on Sunday Brian Wilson: SNP diversions no laughing matter Scotland on Sunday It is a product of an episode in history, which I am delighted to remind her of if she insists – the defeat of the Labour government in 1979 when the SNP followed...
Jim Arnott's insight:

More Wilson twaddle laced with bile. I still consider Wilson to be one of the most odious politicians of the day - along with Ian Davidson

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Error strewn Chancellor can't be trusted | Scottish National Party

Error strewn Chancellor can't be trusted | Scottish National Party | Unionist Shenanigans | Scoop.it

George Osborne has come under fire as once again claims made by the Chancellor during a trip to Scotland quickly began to unravel.


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Gordon Brown visits Govan

Gordon Brown visits Govan | Unionist Shenanigans | Scoop.it

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown told an audience in Govan on Monday that Scotland benefits from the pooling of UK resources and would be better off within the union with its own secured parliament.


Via Peter A Bell
Jim Arnott's insight:

Brown just as delusional as he always has been. Yes he really is a has been.

 

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Jim Arnott's comment, September 3, 2013 6:21 AM
Aye! Right Gordon. We believe you ha! ha! ha!
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Labouring the point

Labouring the point | Unionist Shenanigans | Scoop.it

Alert readers will, we trust, remember how yesterday we highlighted the somewhat differing approaches that the Herald and Scotsman both took to reporting the two drastically-opposed independence polls of the last 48 hours.

 


Via Peter A Bell
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Peter A Bell's curator insight, September 3, 2013 4:25 AM

British Labour newspaper supports Tory austerity cult Chancellor.

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Voters will not learn from further leap into unknown

Did you ever see a terrible film called Next, about a man who could see everything which might happen in the next couple of minutes, then rewind and choose the best option?

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Peter A Bell's curator insight, September 2, 2013 2:59 AM

Andrew McKie is, of course correct in saying that the British parties cannot offer any devo-whatever option in the referendum. For the very simple reason that they vehemently rejected such an option. Nor, as Mr McKie also points out, can they come up with any detailed proposals for "more powers".

But this does not prevent them claiming on the Better Together website that the British parties are "committed to bringing forward proposals to give the Scottish Parliament more powers". And that a No vote is "a vote for more devolution".


If the Tory/Labour alliance will lie so brazenly about this then the people of Scotland must ask themselves whether they can be trusted on anything.

James McLaren's comment, September 2, 2013 5:30 AM
I am committed to go out for a walk this afternoon but, then again later this day I may not be ersed.
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Brown: Union is the best way to help the poor

GORDON Brown will today insist the United Kingdom is a "bigger idea" than Scottish independence because it is about pooling resources and spreading risks to help the needy and boost the economy.

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Peter A Bell's curator insight, September 2, 2013 4:41 AM

For any senior British Labour figure from the Blair era talk of the founding traditions and early heroes of the Labour movement should be distinctly uncomfortable territory. Fortunately for Gordon Brown, if rather less so for the rest of us, he is sufficiently detached from the realities of everyday life as to be blithely unaware of the inconsistencies and contradictions in his account of the British state to which he evidently owes such blind allegiance.


His portrayal of the British state as a bastion against poverty, inequality, injustice and economic instability could hardly stand in more stark contrast to the reality of life in a land gripped by the cult of austerity with appalling levels of inequality, the next economic catastrophe looming and almost daily revelations of political corruption and incompetence.


Lacking any "positive case" for the union, Brown has resorted to a fantasy so glaringly at odds with evidence and experience as to make one wonder, with perhaps a hint of jealously, what substances he is on.

James McLaren's comment, September 2, 2013 8:16 AM
That man wouldn't understand what was realty and what was fantasy, what was the truth and what was a lie even if it him him smack on the face.
James McLaren's comment, September 2, 2013 8:16 AM
Trutch is what GB says it is and so he believes that it is.
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Alistair Darling: Alex Salmond set to publish 'dishonest' prospectus for independence

Alistair Darling: Alex Salmond set to publish 'dishonest' prospectus for independence | Unionist Shenanigans | Scoop.it
Alex Salmond is preparing to publish a “dishonest” prospectus for Scottish independence that pretends the UK’s benefits will survive separation, Alistair Darling will warn today.

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Peter A Bell's curator insight, August 31, 2013 8:37 AM

Quite apart from the fact that darling is talking the kind of nonsense that we would expect from someone so completely detached from the realities of Scottish politics, all but the most blinkered reader will be struck by his blatant hypocrisy. Here he is talking about a "dishonest prospectus" while Project Fear (formerly Better Together) brazenly lies about the British parties being "committed" to more powers for the Scottish Parliament and a No vote being a vote for "further devolution".

There is no commitment of any kind from the British parties. Neither is there any possibility of any meaningful commitment prior to the referendum. And a No vote cannot possibly be a vote for an option that the British parties refused to accept on the ballot.

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Concern over Danny Alexander £10k peer donation | Scottish National Party

Concern over Danny Alexander £10k peer donation | Scottish National Party | Unionist Shenanigans | Scoop.it

The MP who uncovered the Cash-for-Honours scandal has hit out at the hypocrisy of Danny Alexander, after it was revealed that the Chief Secretary to the Treasury accepted £10,000 from a wealthy backer who was subsequently made a Peer.


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Better Together: Benefits of single UK market reason to stay in Union

Better Together: Benefits of single UK market reason to stay in Union | Unionist Shenanigans | Scoop.it
The leader of the Scottish Conservatives will argue it is a reason to vote no in the independence referendum.

Via Peter A Bell
Jim Arnott's insight:

As I've said before this woman gives me "The Dry Boak"

 

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Peter A Bell's curator insight, August 30, 2013 3:19 AM

Davidson was supposed to be setting out the "positive case" for the union. Instead she simply repeats the same old Project Fear scare stories.


The only way independence would affect trade as adversely as Ruth Davidson claims is if the rest of the UK were to implement some kind of sanctions. Is this what she is threatening?

James McLaren's comment, August 31, 2013 11:48 AM
Does it ever occur to anyone else that the No campaign still continue with their Project Fear & Smear despite decrying it because they do not know they are still doing it, because they can think no other way?
Peter A Bell's comment, August 31, 2013 11:58 AM
That would seem to be the case, James. Given the unpopularity of their negative approach they would surely do something different if they could.
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Scottish independence: Young will reject split - Davidson

Scottish independence: Young will reject split - Davidson | Unionist Shenanigans | Scoop.it
THE Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has said she believes that younger Scots will vote to reject independence because of the “interconnected world” they inhabit.

Via Peter A Bell
Jim Arnott's insight:

Ruth Davidson, in my opinion, is delusional and blinkered. Read the excoriating assessment of her views in Peter Bell's insight.

 

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Peter A Bell's curator insight, August 31, 2013 4:55 AM

Among the spokespersons for Project Fear there is strong competition for who talks the most perfect nonsense. For my money, it has to be Ruth Davidson. She regularly offers the most glaring examples of what I have referred to as curtailed thinking. That is to say, thinking as far as the first anti-independence (or anti-SNP) sound-bite, and then switching off the thinking process altogether.

Take the drivel about a "new border", for example. An individual not afflicted by curtailed thinking would, upon hearing this phrase in their own head, ask themselves the gob-smackingly obvious question, "What new border?". And, being unable to specify precisely what this "new border" might be, they would reflect critically on their choice of words and the ideas that they lay behind them.

Ms Davidson eschews any such considered reflection. The phrase, "drawing a new border" fits nicely with the propaganda line being peddled by Project Fear, so that's good enough for her.

More thoughtful people - which means just about anybody - will immediately realise that independence for Scotland does not imply any "new border". The border already exists. Has done for hundreds of years. It's how you know you're in Scotland and not England - or vice versa. It's how you know you're in one jurisdiction and not the other. Which, for reasons that perhaps only Ms Davidson would need explained, is quite important.

The border exists. And, as unionists themselves are happy to point out when it suits them, this border and the difference in jurisdictions have been no impediment to trading and other relationships. Why this would suddenly change in the event of independence Ms Davidson signally fails to explain. Although she did suggest one possible reason in another of her ill-thought utterances recently when she hinted at rUK adopting some kind of trade sanctions against Scotland. Certainly, she offered no other explanation as to why trade should be disrupted in any way by an ending of the political union between Scotland and England. After all, this does no more than place Scotland on a similar foot as every other nation that rUK trades with.

Then there's the nonsense about the "tide of history". Once again, Ruth Davidson has seized on the sound-bite without considering the implications. She knows that there is a tide, but mindlessly assumes that it's flow is such as to support her argument. In fact, as any moderately well-informed school-child will know, the tide has for many decades now been flowing in the direction of an increasing number of independent nations with ever more cooperation among them trough various forms of union or association - the EU being a prime example. The tide of history very strongly favours the independence argument. But Ruth Davidson simply disregards that reality and creates a new reality which is more convenient for her purposes.

Were her thinking not so tragically curtailed, Ms Davidson might see that it is not independence that is contrary to the norms of the modern world. It is Scotland's constitutional status within the UK that is anomalous. While citing global trends in relationships between and among nations, Ms Davidson is completely unable to offer any justification for her insistence that Scotland should remain an exception. If she truly wants Scotland to go with the tide, then she is on the wrong side of the debate.

Charles Patrick O'Brien's comment, August 31, 2013 8:57 AM
Good thoughtful article,I think Ruth Davidson is only there to take the fall.History is made when changes happen never has there been "history made" by standing still/status quo,history is made by the bold thinking,which she lacks in bucket loads.How can there be a barrier when the EU is all about taking them away? a border well similar we are just having geographical borders and no patrols to stop us from trading.There was a great point she made about how we export our financial services south east north and west and it brings in £9.billion,that is a positive for YES.She gives more reasons for YES than even some of the SNP.
Charles Patrick O'Brien's comment, September 1, 2013 5:34 AM
Excellent piece with great observations.
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Darling u-turns to cover up HS2 mistake #Indyref

Darling u-turns to cover up HS2 mistake #Indyref | Unionist Shenanigans | Scoop.it
HS2 'High-Speed 2' is a white elephant of a transport project with little or no economic benefit to the UK as a whole and a hugely damaging economic impact on Scotland.

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Ex-civil service chief: indyref debate is so polarised it may leave toxic legacy

THE independence referendum debate has become so polarised and divisive it could leave a toxic legacy that damages the fabric of society, Scotland's former leading mandarin has warned.

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Peter A Bell's curator insight, August 27, 2013 3:02 AM

I note, with no surprise whatever, that the anti-independence campaign views with horror the prospect of a democratic process being played out in Scotland. This is, after all, an alliance of the the British parties - Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Labour - which tried so desperately to prevent the people of Scotland ever having a say in their constitutional future. When it comes to being anti-democratic, they've got form.

A fact which Sir John Elvidge signally fails to take into account when he somewhat naively assumes that those same anti-democratic forces would graciously respond to demands for more powers in the event of a No vote.

It's not going to happen!

There is far too much at stake for us to be looking at the British state through Sir John's rose-tinted spectacles. We know from bitter experience that the British state guards its power with vicious jealousy and that Westminster is not to be trusted. A No vote will be represented as a resounding affirmation of the union. A No vote will sound the death knell of devolution.


The British state does not voluntarily relinquish power. The entire devolution process to date has been about making the minimum concessions to democracy while retaining ultimate power at Westminster. There is no rational reason to suppose that this process will be altered by a No vote in the referendum. There is every reason to assume that it will be reinforced.

A No vote empowers and emboldens those who detest the very concept of democratic devolution. Filter out the vacuous chatter about devo-whatever coming from the British parties and you will hear already the clamour of those who would see the Scottish Parliament stripped of its powers and even abolished. It will be argued that such voices carry little weight. But all is relative. Even as the enemies of Scotland's democratic institutions are strengthened by a No vote, so the imperative to respond to the demands for further devolution is diminished by the forfeiture of our democratic leverage.

Sir John Elvidge has taken an unjustifiably generous view of the British state's commitment to devolution. The people of Scotland cannot afford to be so trusting. If we want the power to make Scotland a better place then we must bring our government home. We must vote Yes.