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YES for an Independent Scotland
2014 will be a referendum on relocating power from London to Scotland. 2016 will be an election about the policies of a free Scotland
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Gordon Is Back In Town- Lest We Forget

Gordon Is Back In Town- Lest We Forget | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scoop.it
Gordon Is Back In Town- Lest We Forget
 Posted by michaelgreenwell on May 14, 2013

I see a certain Mr Brown has reared his head again to add his particular nuances to the Independence debate. This reignites his old pal’s act with Mr Darling.

I wonder what other old friends he would bring along if he could.

If you don’t remember how this story went, then it was with allegations of duplicity.

Gordon Brown and David Miliband were last night drawn directly into the furore over the release of the man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing when it emerged that Britain told Tripoli that the prime minister and foreign secretary did not want to see him die in prison.

In a major setback for Downing Street, which has insisted the release was entirely a matter for Edinburgh, it emerged that a Foreign Office minister intervened last February to make clear to Libya that Brown and Miliband hoped Abdelbaset al-Megrahi would not “pass away” in prison.
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Expert: Scotland can legally leave the UK and be debt free

Expert: Scotland can legally leave the UK and be debt free | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scoop.it

Expert: Scotland can legally leave the UK and be debt free

Dr Qvortrup says successor states took on liabilities in past break-ups

By ANDREW NICOLL, Scottish Political Editor
Published: 12th May 2013

SCOTLAND can legally walk away from its share of the UK’s debt mountain and start independence with a clean slate, according to a top constitutional expert.

Lawyer Dr Matt Qvortrup says the nation could begin its life outside the union unshackled from a £125BILLION overdraft — equivalent to four years’ spending at Holyrood.

And the world-renowned academic believes his findings, based on studies of historic state separations, could have a massive impact on the independence debate.

He said: “Imagine — ‘vote Yes and send the bill to David Cameron’.

“Of course I am neutral and just an observer, but the world deserves to know the facts. Personally speaking, I think this could be a game changer.”

Dr Qvortrup’s explosive findings are published in a report that looks at national divorces dating from 1830, when Belgium left the Netherlands, until the break-up of Yugoslavia and the collapse of the Soviet Union in the Nineties.

His research found countries that split equally have historically shared the debts built up during their union. But if one partner continues as before as the ‘successor state’ — keeping its position on international bodies such as the United Nations — it shoulders the debts.

Westminster has already claimed that the remainder of the UK would carry on in that role after a Yes vote in the 2014 independence referendum.

It would hold on to its seat in Europe as well as at the UN and military alliance Nato — while Scotland would have to start from scratch and apply for admission to those bodies.

Dr Qvortrup — an academic at Cranfield University near Swindon, Wilts — said that would reduce Holyrood’s UK balance sheet to zero.

He said: “If Alex Salmond doesn’t want to share the debt and is happy to reapply to Europe, the default position in international law is that Scotland would not have to pick up the debt.

“That has to be known to the people before the vote next year so that David Cameron will know we are starting negotiations from the position that UK (remainder of UK) is the successor state. That has consequences. The one that pays the debt is the successor state.

“If you want to be the EU successor state and be in the UN Security Council, you can. You take all the spoils — but you also take the baggage.”

He added: “In Yugoslavia, Serbia Montenegro wanted to be the successor country but they were deemed not to be — which meant they were not landed with the debt. The position Scottish Secretary Michael Moore and Prime Minister David Cameron have is that as long as they are the successor state it’s all good.

“But the understanding about them having to pay the debt could be a good argument for the Yes campaign.

“All other things being equal, Scotland does not have to pay its share of the UK’s debt.”

The findings in the Qvortrup Report tally with the opinion of Professor David Scheffer of the Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, US.

He believes Westminster’s reading of the post-indy situation is a “bold presumption that rests on very thin ice”.

And he says that negotiating a slice of the UK’s financial burden after a split would give Scotland bargaining power in talks.

However, the Vienna Convention treaty states: “When part of the territory of a state is transferred to another state, the state debt is to be settled by agreement.”

But only eight countries signed up to the convention — and the UK is not one of them.

A report published by Michael Moore in February said that a new Scotland would have to start from scratch as a new country — loaded with 300 years of UK debt. The analysis pointed to “the overwhelming body of international precedent including Irish independence in 1922”. It said: “In the event of independence, the UK would continue and Scotland would form a separate state. There would be an expectation that an independent Scotland would take on an equitable share of national debt, to be negotiated.

“The continuing UK would need to seek to ensure that a fair settlement applied to assets and liabilities.”

Finance Secretary John Swinney has already hinted he could be ready to walk away from the UK’s monetary liabilities if the SNP wins next year’s referendum.

When Chancellor George Osborne visited Scotland last month, he warned that he was unwilling to keep sharing the Pound with Scotland after independence. But Mr Swinney warned he was “playing with fire”.

He said: “The Chancellor argues that the UK would be the successor state, would hold on to the Pound and we couldn’t get access to that.

“If that’s his position, then the UK is obliged as a successor state to hold on to all of the debt.

“We would be liberated from a population share of the UK’s debt of £125billion.”


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Lesley Riddoch: Blast from the past, welcome or not - Scotsman

Lesley Riddoch: Blast from the past, welcome or not - Scotsman | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scoop.it
 Lesley Riddoch: Blast from the past, welcome or not
Published on 13/05/2013 00:00
Voters may see the former prime minister in a kinder light, or he may bring back too many bad memories. Picture: Reuters
BRUISER Brown is back in business. Labour’s heavyweight enters the ring.
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Clunking fist smashes independence – every tabloid headline and weary cliché about the former prime minister is ready to roll as Gordon Brown prepares to stride the boards in support of the Union and a Labour campaign distinct (best not say separate) from Better Together.

Journalists may already have written the story, but there’s no guarantee the Scottish public will smile upon the former Labour leader after three years of self-imposed near-silence. At long last the notoriously hesitant politician is taking a calculated risk. Will that count in his favour?

Will Scots be reassured to recognise the fundamentally capable, moral man who once ran the United Kingdom? Will we think of the glory days when he stood beside Tony Blair forming a solid New Labour wall that Scots believed the Tories would never breach again? Will his time away from the limelight and hurly-burly have produced a more modest, reflective speaker? Will his smile finally look real?

Or as soon as he speaks, will we remember the former Chancellor’s proud boast about abolishing the cycle of boom and bust? Will Labour voters judge him harshly for the long silence over Iraq and recent revelations that he offered 30 marginal seats to the Lib Dems before the 2010 election in a desperate bid to stop the Tories?

In short, is Gordon Brown like Captain Kirk in the new Star Trek movie – a very welcome blast from the past? Or like David Miliband – a walking reminder of leadership failure and pride before a terrible fall? Until he takes to his feet later today, who can tell?

Yes supporters will be in no doubt – but swithering Labour supporters are the constituency that really matters. It’s been hard to gauge the impact of Alistair Darling at the helm of Better Together. On the one hand, Gordon Brown’s erstwhile colleague had a net approval rating of +1 in February compared to Nicola Sturgeon’s +17. On the other, Ipsos Mori last week recorded a three-point drop in Yes support over the same period.

No-one’s expecting more from ex-chancellor Darling than predictions of doom and gloom on any path that deviates from “steady as we go”.

Expectations of Gordon Brown are different – partly because of his new path since leaving No.10. Well-paid international speeches have netted £1.4 million for the office of Gordon and Sarah Brown to “support his involvement in public life” and a number of children’s charities.

Brown has become a UN ambassador for education and will share a London stage with Beyoncé in June as board member of her charity Chime For Change, which promotes women’s empowerment. Perhaps the spectacle of the reformed clunking fist turned feminist could appeal to women voters – currently twice as doubtful about Scottish independence.

Perhaps – but the slightest hint of insincerity or opportunism could be politically fatal, reminding voters that the MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath spends a lot more time rubbing shoulders with the international jet set than MPs (his Commons attendance rate is just 13.6 per cent).

Perhaps, though, we don’t care. Maybe we consider that taking care of constituents, supporting women’s causes and raising money for kids’ charities is a better use of time than sitting belittled with the rest of the cannon-fodder on Labour’s backbenches. Yet, isn’t that what MPs are paid to do – even former prime ministers?

Luckily for Gordon Brown, “Big Man” worship is back in vogue thanks to the surprise departure of Manchester United’s hairdrying, Labour-supporting boss, Sir Alex Ferguson, last week. Suddenly, the tough but fair, hard as nails archetype of the Scottish male is in favour again – even if Monty Python’s Four Yorkshiremen sketch reruns involuntarily each time a tale of abuse at the “Master’s” hands is fondly recited.

But politics is about more than personality. And the constitutional debate is about more than bashing the other side. Does independence or the Union best serve Scotland’s national interests?

Sooner or later Gordon Brown will have to answer some really hard questions to win more than grudging, and potentially changeable, support.

Might the English public vote to leave the EU whilst the Scots do not? Does that prospect matter?

Does it matter that 1,000 people still own 60 per cent of Scotland or that council elections across Britain encourage only a third of the electorate to vote?

Will Scotland’s future constitutional status make any impact on the poverty, deprivation and appalling health record of Scotland’s poorest communities? If not, why not? Glasgow Centre for Population Health has found deprivation profiles of Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester are almost identical, but premature deaths in Glasgow between 2003-2007 were more than 30 per cent higher. This “excess” mortality runs across almost all ages, males and females and deprived and non-deprived neighbourhoods.

Leading health professionals are bravely looking well beyond their own areas of clinical expertise towards disempowerment, grief and lack of family security in the early years to find explanations.

Can Gordon Brown explain why Scots should pin their hopes for a healthier, more equal society on the re-election of a Westminster Labour government when inequality increased under his watch last time around?

Of course the SNP must tackle the same questions. But today is Gordon Brown’s day and Labour’s opportunity to re-energise an electorate behind an alternative vision for Scotland and Britain. Scots might care greatly about the next Westminster election if Gordon Brown grasps the thistle, abandons tit-for-tat debate and unashamedly espouses the social democratic values which once prompted Peter Shore to say of John Smith: “He was too Nordic to understand southern greed.”

Gordon Brown can be the change he wants to see today by using this “local” speech about Scottish independence to launch a new political vision for the whole UK. Or he can let the SNP grab Keir Hardie’s mantle just as they successfully grabbed cultural Scottishness in the wake of devolution.

Dramatist Kevin Toolis recently observed that Blair sold hope and leadership far better than Gordon Brown – but then Blair was “selling” to a largely English electorate. Can Gordon Brown surprise the home crowd with an unapologetically Scottish rebirth as a progressive feminist socialist?

On past performance, I’m not holding my breath. But despite it all, I am still waiting.

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Tory civil war over European Union is damaging Scotland abroad, SNP claims

Tory civil war over European Union is damaging Scotland abroad, SNP claims | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scoop.it
 Tory civil war over European Union is damaging Scotland abroad, SNP claims
11 May 2013 00:01
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Angus Robertson, SNP leader at Westminster, has warned that the Tory obsession with leaving the EU risks damaging our interests abroad.

The Moray MP, who is the party’s foreign affairs spokesman, said fear of UKIP could pull the Tories so far to the right that there is a real danger of the UK leaving the EU.

That would leave Scotland as part of an isolated UK unless voters choose independence in 2014.

Robertson said: “UKIP’s success south of the Border is dragging the whole Westminster agenda further and further to the right – far from what the people of Scotland want.

“Scotland’s interests lie in fighting our corner in the European Union, but we are prevented from doing so by a Tory Government at Westminster that is obsessed with their plans to drag us out of Europe.”

Robertson spoke as Boris Johnson said he will only vote to stay in Europe if there is a substantial improvement in Britain’s relationship with the EU. The London mayor insisted the UK should go into negotiations with other EU leaders with a clear threat to leave the union.

He told the Today programme: “We should be prepared to pull out – that goes without saying.

“You can’t go into a negotiation like that without being willing to walk away.”

Meanwhile, Tory Eurosceptic Philip Hollobone said over 100 of his colleagues could support a Commons amendment expressing anger over lack of a vote on EU membership before 2015.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind also accused former chancellor Lord Lawson of unleashing “a hand grenade into a small building” by calling for Britain to leave the EU.

Robertson said: “Tories are turning on each other out of fear of UKIP. The danger of a No vote in Scotland’s independence referendum is there for all to see – isolated outside Europe under Tory Westminster control.”
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YES Scotland Car Stickers / Decals

YES Scotland Car Stickers / Decals | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scoop.it
Decals for YES Scotland independence supporters (Another order for my YES Car decals overnight, hopefully can get a few more #yescars on the road !
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Do politicians really understand what Alex Ferguson can teach them about Scottish independence?

Do politicians really understand what Alex Ferguson can teach them about Scottish independence? | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scoop.it
A.L. Kennedy   Friday 10 May 2013
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Do politicians really understand what Alex Ferguson can teach them about Scottish independence?
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Fergie's stock list of fine Caledonian qualities has been paraded by those same commentators who use national stereotypes to dismiss Scottish independence
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Although I don’t follow football, I have a friend who does and am aware it encourages enthusiasm among many. On its lighter side, the game can call itself beautiful, offer examples of skill, dedication and community spirit and allow grown men to feel like happily anxious kids for a few hours, to be one in a clever and daft assembly of like-minded friends. Football’s ability to generate both enthusiasm and revenue means it can occupy our media’s attention in ways that are both glamorous and undemanding. And, despite the persistence of racism, bigotry and violence on the terraces and the bizarre and distressed behaviour of some prominent players, football can sell pretty much anything.

Its ability to sell and its status as “the people’s game” mean that football attracts politicians in the way that jam and happiness gathers wasps. Berlusconi’s Forza Italia, for example, echoes a football chant and has marketed itself accordingly. In the UK, politicians who hope to woo “the people” use footballing metaphors, profess in-depth knowledge of the 4-5-1 formation and frequent high-profile fixtures, while tweeting. So, as Sir Alex Ferguson prepares to retire after what even I know is a remarkable 1,500 games with Manchester United, it seems only fair that Fergie’s ability to motivate and inspire, his admirable personal life and qualities, his success in achieving his aims and bringing joy to many have been contrasted with our current political management team and its sad list of inabilities and failings.

In a Britain where many leader writers and leaders appear to think Shameless is a documentary about the average urban voter, I’ve found it heartening to come across praise of Ferguson’s leadership as a gritty product of the University of Life, rather than the narrow rat run that squeezes likely chaps along from prep school to public school to Oxbridge and a seat in the House with private-sector options thereafter. Fergie has long been characterised as a canny Scot, full of my nation’s industrial wisdom, prudence, application and moral fortitude. It’s interesting to see that stock list of Caledonian qualities being paraded when commentators are equally keen to assume that all the other stereotypes of “chip-eating, aggressive, stupid, red-haired, foreign” will prevail should Salmond – the other Alex – get his way on independence.

Whether an independent Scotland would be paradise on earth or not, it certainly is a country with traditions and a history that have proved valuable to itself and Britain, some of them entirely alien to Westminster’s current thinking. As far as I understand humanity, it’s as silly to assume that every artisan has a heart of gold, as it would be assume that knowing which way to pass the port makes you a good person. Sadly, what we might now call the Great Untaxed do seem to operate on the assumption that personal wealth and personal worth are synonymous. The getting of wealth is therefore as spiritual a pursuit as the buying of perpetual prayers once was in the Middle Ages. Except now your wealth doesn’t get wasted on monks, it simply forms its own glorious chorus around you, expressed in material goods and influence, the granting of prayers in Parliament and HMRC and the blessing of non-executive directorships. Because wealth is virtue, any behaviour which amasses wealth is virtuous, even if it creates an environment so toxic it becomes unsurviveable without money to insulate individuals against sabotaged healthcare provision, undermined schools and self-defeating transport systems and rapacious utilities. Activities which could be defined as treasonous become simply the remedying of “market failures”. Not that the market is ever believed to fail. Only people do. Therefore poor people are also bad people – QED.

While Scotland’s history can show enthusiastic slave-traders, arms dealers, racial supremacists, Nazis and Adam Smith, it does have other traditions – of education, enlightenment and workers for liberty. (And Adam Smith did point out that markets left to their own devices would turn on consumers.) Scottish manifestations of religion can be heavy on misogyny, guilt and wrath, but – although the pulpit was often expected to keep rebellious Scots in line – even Scotland’s spirituality could be rebellious. Red Clydesiders left Glasgow for Westminster to the accompaniment of hymns, as well as red flags, embracing values such as charity, co-operation and responsibility. Govan, in Ferguson’s day, was both a hard place to survive and somewhere that expected you’d behave decently.

Young people had some chance to learn skills, be useful and proud of their craft. Glasgow’s working classes were encouraged to learn what their schools failed to teach, and the welfare state was bringing the beginning of widespread health, a degree of social mobility and hope, even as giant industries changed and died. And being sharp, funny, ingenious, human and humane would just about get you through – the other options being to live as a predator, or to not live at all.

Politicians on the right may take Ferguson as an example that hardship produces rough diamonds if it’s kept hard enough. For the new left, he will be a working-class hero who only needed “choice”. For me, he’s a man who worked with realities – with minds and bodies, winning and losing. Inspire, train and educate a group of people, find their strengths, tell them they have the power to do wonders and eventually they will. Our current leaders deal in fantasy statistics and ideological vehemence, faith-based policies and narcissism, feudalism and profiteering disguised as democracy. This means that reality will always contradict them. And the weakest among us will be lost along the way.

AL Kennedy’s most recent book is ‘On Writing’, published by Jonathan Cape
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Talking point: 10 years on, still turning | Holyrood Magazine

Talking point: 10 years on, still turning | Holyrood Magazine | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scoop.it

Talking point: 10 years on, still turning

by Neil Evans May 08, 2013 No Comments

GRE_logoAs one of the small CalMac island ferries makes a regular trip from the mainland across the Sound of Gigha, a familiar sight can be seen cutting the sky in the distance.

They are known on the Isle of Gigha as the ‘Dancing Ladies’ and since they were installed in 2003 have been producing energy for the National Grid – and more importantly, money to support the running of the island.

Gigha is marking 10 years since a community buyout put the residents in charge and the three turbines – the controlling trust wants to buy a fourth – are a central part of that as the islanders try to put things on a more financially sustainable footing.

It became Scotland’s first community-owned, grid connected wind farm and the enthusiasm that greeted their arrival was in marked contrast to the rows that have beset other wind turbine developments elsewhere.

They were installed, second hand, having previously been at the Haverigg 1 wind farm in Cumbria and, as they needed cleaning after a lengthy transit, the Gigha residents showed tremendous support for the ‘Wash Our Windmills Day’ when they got them ready to stand tall.

The Scottish Government released its own figures this month, celebrating the fact that as of June 2012, more than 200MW of renewable generation capacity came from community and locally-owned energy projects – 40 per cent of the 500MW target for 2020 which was set out in its Routemap for Renewable Energy.

Many of them are in the Highlands and Islands region, and Highlands and Islands Enterprise was one of the backers, along with the National Lottery, of Gigha’s community buyout.

Elsewhere there is still a debate over the siting of turbines, particularly when they are collected together in large numbers.

But what projects like Gigha’s Dancing Ladies show is that with the backing of the community – and a tangible benefit to them from the project – wind farms do not have to be as black as they are painted.

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Green light for LED plan - More than £500m of Scottish projects already under consideration

Green light for LED plan - More than £500m of Scottish projects already under consideration | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scoop.it
A nationwide programme of converting to greener street lighting will be brought forward by the Scottish Government to be considered for Green Investment Bank (GIB) funding.
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Audio | First Ministers Questions Review | 090513

Audio | First Ministers Questions Review | 090513 | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scoop.it
A confident Johann played the health service card. Its a perennial for any opposition in any administration. Alex refused to rise and was diplomatic, probably under advice. Ruth scored another smal...
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Predicting the wardwise distribution of Yes and No votes

Predicting the wardwise distribution of Yes and No votes | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scoop.it
Predicting the wardwise distribution of Yes and No votesPosted on 12/03/2013 by thomas

The prediction I made recently of the geographical distribution of Yes and No votes was very coarse — I only looked at the regions.

However, Martin Baxter of Electoral Calculus was so kind as to point me towards some ward data (CSV format).

I applied the same percentages as last time for mapping political parties to Yes/No:

 SNPLabourConsLibDemsYes81.7%25.8%5.9%26.2%No18.3%74.2%94.1%73.8%

Furthermore, I split the “other” parties (and independents) 50/50, and I allocated an extra 10% of the electorate to the Yes side, simply because I think there’ll be more interest in the independence referendum than in a council election, and I reckon this interest will benefit the Yes side.

In this way, the result for Scotland as a whole would be 51% Yes and 49% No.

Now we get to the interesting bit. Here are the results for all of Scotland’s electoral wards, sorted by ascending Yes vote (i.e., starting with the most unionist ward and ending with most nationalistic one):

CouncilWardYesNoEast RenfrewshireNewton Mearns South30%70%EdinburghColinton / Fairmilehead32%68%Dumfries and GallowayAnnandale East and Eskdale36%64%AberdeenHazlehead / Ashley / Queens Cross37%63%EdinburghPentland Hills37%63%EdinburghCorstorphine / Murrayfield37%63%East RenfrewshireBusby, Clarkston and Eaglesham37%63%AberdeenshireAboyne, Upper Deeside and Donside38%62%South AyrshireAyr West38%62%EdinburghMeadows / Morningside38%62%Argyll and ButeSouth Kintyre39%61%South AyrshireAyr East39%61%Dumfries and GallowayAbbey39%61%East DunbartonshireLenzie and Kirkintilloch South39%61%EdinburghSouthside / Newington39%61%East DunbartonshireBishopbriggs North and Torrance40%60%EdinburghInverleith40%60%East RenfrewshireGiffnock and Thornliebank40%60%StirlingForth and Endrick40%60%AberdeenAiryhall / Broomhill / Garthdee41%59%Dumfries and GallowayLochar41%59%Dumfries and GallowayAnnandale South41%59%Dumfries and GallowayMid and Upper Nithsdale41%59%East DunbartonshireBearsden North41%59%EdinburghAlmond41%59%East RenfrewshireNetherlee, Stamperland and Williamwood41%59%AberdeenshireStonehaven and Lower Deeside42%58%Scottish BordersJedburgh and District42%58%Dumfries and GallowayNith42%58%Dumfries and GallowayNorth West Dumfries42%58%Dumfries and GallowayAnnandale North42%58%FifeDunfermline Central42%58%FifeEast Neuk and Landward42%58%South LanarkshireBothwell and Uddingston42%58%East RenfrewshireNeilston, Uplawmoor and Newton Mearns North42%58%AberdeenMidstocket / Rosemount43%57%South AyrshirePrestwick43%57%Scottish BordersKelso and District43%57%East DunbartonshireBearsden South43%57%EdinburghFountainbridge / Craiglockhart43%57%FifeSt Andrews43%57%Perth and KinrossPerth City South43%57%AberdeenLower Deeside44%56%AberdeenshireBanchory and Mid Deeside44%56%South AyrshireTroon44%56%South AyrshireKyle44%56%South LanarkshireClydesdale East44%56%East DunbartonshireBishopbriggs South44%56%East LothianNorth Berwick Coastal44%56%EdinburghForth44%56%EdinburghDrum Brae / Gyle44%56%Perth and KinrossStrathallan44%56%Argyll and ButeHelensburgh Central45%55%Scottish BordersMid Berwickshire45%55%Dumfries and GallowayStranraer and North Rhins45%55%Dumfries and GallowayCastle Douglas and Glenkens45%55%Scottish BordersTweeddale East45%55%East DunbartonshireMilngavie45%55%DundeeThe Ferry45%55%FifeTay Bridgehead45%55%InverclydeInverclyde East45%55%South LanarkshireClydesdale North45%55%RenfrewshireBishopton, Bridge of Weir and Langbank45%55%StirlingStirling West45%55%North LanarkshireMurdostoun46%54%AngusKirriemuir and Dean46%54%Argyll and ButeHelensburgh and Lomond South46%54%Dumfries and GallowayDee46%54%Scottish BordersTweeddale West46%54%EdinburghCity Centre46%54%FalkirkLower Braes46%54%FifeHowe of Fife and Tay Coast46%54%FifeCupar46%54%GlasgowCalton46%54%GlasgowPartick West46%54%AberdeenshireHuntly, Strathbogie and Howe of Alford46%54%ClackmannanshireClackmannanshire East46%54%Perth and KinrossKinross-shire46%54%Perth and KinrossAlmond and Earn46%54%Perth and KinrossStrathearn46%54%South LanarkshireRutherglen South46%54%South LanarkshireCambuslang West46%54%StirlingDunblane and Bridge of Allan46%54%AberdeenshireWesthill and District47%53%South AyrshireMaybole, North Carrick and Coylton47%53%South AyrshireGirvan and South Carrick47%53%Scottish BordersHawick and Denholm47%53%Scottish BordersSelkirkshire47%53%Scottish BordersEast Berwickshire47%53%East LothianHaddington and Lammermuir47%53%EdinburghLiberton / Gilmerton47%53%GlasgowEast Centre47%53%South LanarkshireHamilton South47%53%North LanarkshireMotherwell North47%53%AberdeenshireNorth Kincardine48%52%North AyrshireKilwinning48%52%HighlandEast Sutherland and Edderton48%52%North LanarkshireStrathkelvin48%52%North LanarkshireThorniewood48%52%East LothianPreston / Seton / Gosford48%52%East LothianDunbar and East Linton48%52%EdinburghCraigentinny / Duddingston48%52%GlasgowGovan48%52%GlasgowPollokshields48%52%AberdeenshireEast Garioch48%52%AberdeenshireMid Formartine48%52%InverclydeInverclyde North48%52%FifeInverkeithing and Dalgety Bay48%52%StirlingTrossachs and Teith48%52%AberdeenshireMearns49%51%Argyll and ButeKintyre and the Islands49%51%South AyrshireAyr North49%51%Scottish BordersHawick and Hermitage49%51%FifeWest Fife and Coastal Villages49%51%FifeDunfermline South49%51%South LanarkshireAvondale and Stonehouse49%51%EdinburghLeith Walk49%51%FalkirkFalkirk South49%51%GlasgowDrumchapel / Anniesland49%51%InverclydeInverclyde West49%51%South LanarkshireHamilton North and East49%51%RenfrewshirePaisley East and Ralston49%51%RenfrewshirePaisley North West49%51%Perth and KinrossStrathmore49%51%South LanarkshireCambuslang East49%51%East AyrshireCumnock and New Cumnock50%50%North AyrshireDalry and West Kilbride50%50%North LanarkshireCoatbridge West50%50%East DunbartonshireCampsie and Kirkintilloch North50%50%East DunbartonshireKirkintilloch East and Twechar50%50%North LanarkshireKilsyth50%50%Dumfries and GallowayMid Galloway50%50%South LanarkshireClydesdale South50%50%EdinburghLeith50%50%GlasgowNorth East50%50%GlasgowNewlands / Auldburn50%50%GlasgowLangside50%50%AberdeenshireWest Garioch50%50%AberdeenshireInverurie and District50%50%InverclydeInverclyde East Central50%50%InverclydeInverclyde South50%50%West LothianLinlithgow50%50%North LanarkshireMossend and Holytown50%50%North LanarkshireWishaw50%50%Na h-Eileanan an larBeinn na Foghla agus Uibhist a Tuath50%50%RenfrewshireHouston, Crosslee and Linwood50%50%South LanarkshireRutherglen Central and North50%50%StirlingStirling East50%50%AberdeenKingswells / Sheddocksley51%49%AberdeenTorry / Ferryhill51%49%HighlandLandward Caithness51%49%FifeDunfermline North51%49%South LanarkshireEast Kilbride West51%49%East LothianMusselburgh West51%49%East LothianFa’side51%49%EdinburghSighthill / Gorgie51%49%FifeLeven, Kennoway and Largo51%49%GlasgowAnderston / City51%49%GlasgowGarscadden / Scotstounhill51%49%GlasgowLinn51%49%HighlandInverness Ness-Side51%49%East AyrshireAnnick51%49%FifeCowdenbeath51%49%FifeLochgelly and Cardenden51%49%FifeKirkcaldy North51%49%FalkirkUpper Braes51%49%West LothianFauldhouse and the Breich Valley51%49%North LanarkshireMotherwell West51%49%RenfrewshireErskine and Inchinnan51%49%East RenfrewshireBarrhead51%49%East AyrshireDoon Valley52%48%North AyrshireIrvine West52%48%North AyrshireKilbirnie and Beith52%48%North LanarkshireCoatbridge North and Glenboig52%48%DundeeWest End52%48%FifeRosyth52%48%GlasgowShettleston52%48%GlasgowHillhead52%48%AberdeenBridge of Don52%48%InverclydeInverclyde South West52%48%HighlandInverness Millburn52%48%East AyrshireBallochmyle52%48%FifeThe Lochs52%48%FifeKirkcaldy Central52%48%MidlothianPenicuik52%48%MidlothianDalkeith52%48%MidlothianMidlothian East52%48%RenfrewshireJohnstone South, Elderslie and Howwood52%48%Perth and KinrossPerth City Centre52%48%Perth and KinrossStrathtay52%48%HighlandFort William and Ardnamurchan52%48%HighlandBlack Isle52%48%AberdeenHilton / Stockethill53%47%AberdeenKincorth / Loirston53%47%AngusArbroath West and Letham53%47%Argyll and ButeMid Argyll53%47%Scottish BordersLeaderdale and Melrose53%47%North LanarkshireCoatbridge South53%47%North LanarkshireCumbernauld North53%47%West DunbartonshireKilpatrick53%47%East LothianMusselburgh East and Carberry53%47%GlasgowCraigton53%47%AberdeenDyce / Bucksburn / Danestone53%47%HighlandAird and Loch Ness53%47%South LanarkshireLarkhall53%47%West LothianWhitburn and Blackburn53%47%MidlothianBonnyrigg53%47%Shetland IslandsShetland South53%47%RenfrewshirePaisley South West53%47%HighlandCaol and Mallaig53%47%South LanarkshireBlantyre53%47%South LanarkshireHamilton West and Earnock53%47%StirlingCastle53%47%StirlingBannockburn53%47%AberdeenGeorge St / Harbour54%46%Argyll and ButeLomond North54%46%North AyrshireIrvine East54%46%North AyrshireNorth Coast and Cumbraes54%46%HighlandThurso54%46%North LanarkshireBellshill54%46%South LanarkshireEast Kilbride Central South54%46%GlasgowSouthside Central54%46%GlasgowBaillieston54%46%GlasgowCanal54%46%FifeBuckhaven, Methil and Wemyss Villages54%46%AberdeenshireEllon and District54%46%HighlandInverness Central54%46%HighlandBadenoch and Strathspey54%46%FifeBurntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy54%46%FifeKirkcaldy East54%46%FalkirkGrangemouth54%46%West LothianBroxburn, Uphall and Winchburgh54%46%MidlothianMidlothian South54%46%North LanarkshireMotherwell South East and Ravenscraig54%46%ClackmannanshireClackmannanshire Central54%46%Shetland IslandsLerwick South54%46%RenfrewshirePaisley South54%46%HighlandWester Ross, Strathpeffer and Lochalsh54%46%HighlandEilean a’ Cheo54%46%AberdeenTillydrone / Seaton / Old Aberdeen55%45%North LanarkshireFortissat55%45%AberdeenshireTurriff and District55%45%West DunbartonshireDumbarton55%45%South LanarkshireEast Kilbride East55%45%South LanarkshireEast Kilbride Central North55%45%FalkirkCarse, Kinnaird and Tryst55%45%GlasgowMaryhill / Kelvin55%45%GlasgowSpringburn55%45%GlasgowGreater Pollok55%45%HighlandInverness West55%45%HighlandInverness South55%45%East AyrshireIrvine Valley55%45%South LanarkshireClydesdale West55%45%West LothianEast Livingston and East Calder55%45%MidlothianMidlothian West55%45%MorayFochabers Lhanbryde55%45%Na h-Eileanan an larSgire an Rubha55%45%ClackmannanshireClackmannanshire West55%45%Orkney IslandsKirkwall East55%45%HighlandDingwall and Seaforth55%45%North LanarkshireAirdrie South56%44%North AyrshireArdrossan and Arran56%44%Scottish BordersGalashiels and District56%44%HighlandNorth, West and Central Sutherland56%44%HighlandTain and Easter Ross56%44%DundeeMaryfield56%44%DundeeColdside56%44%FalkirkFalkirk North56%44%East AyrshireKilmarnock East and Hurlford56%44%West LothianBathgate56%44%MorayElgin City South56%44%MorayForres56%44%Na h-Eileanan an larSteornabhagh a Deas56%44%Na h-Eileanan an larSteornabhagh a Tuath56%44%Na h-Eileanan an larAn Taobh Siar agus Nis56%44%Orkney IslandsWest Mainland56%44%Argyll and ButeOban North and Lorn57%43%Argyll and ButeDunoon57%43%HighlandWick57%43%West DunbartonshireClydebank Central57%43%West DunbartonshireClydebank Waterfront57%43%AngusCarnoustie and District57%43%HighlandCulloden and Ardersier57%43%West LothianLivingston South57%43%Orkney IslandsStromness and South Isles57%43%Orkney IslandsEast Mainland, South Ronaldsay and Burray57%43%Orkney IslandsNorth Isles57%43%Shetland IslandsNorth Isles57%43%Shetland IslandsShetland North57%43%Shetland IslandsShetland West57%43%RenfrewshireRenfrew South and Gallowhill57%43%North LanarkshireAirdrie Central58%42%AngusMontrose and District58%42%Argyll and ButeCowal58%42%North AyrshireSaltcoats and Stevenston58%42%AberdeenshireCentral Buchan58%42%West DunbartonshireLeven58%42%AngusMonifieth and Sidlaw58%42%DundeeStrathmartine58%42%EdinburghPortobello / Craigmillar58%42%FalkirkBonnybridge and Larbert58%42%East AyrshireKilmarnock West and Crosshouse58%42%East AyrshireKilmarnock South58%42%West LothianLivingston North58%42%ClackmannanshireClackmannanshire South58%42%Shetland IslandsShetland Central58%42%Shetland IslandsLerwick North58%42%RenfrewshireJohnstone North, Kilbarchan and Lochwinnoch58%42%Perth and KinrossPerth City North58%42%Perth and KinrossBlairgowrie and Glens58%42%North LanarkshireAirdrie North59%41%AngusForfar and District59%41%AngusArbroath East and Lunan59%41%Argyll and ButeOban South and the Isles59%41%AberdeenshireBanff and District59%41%HighlandCromarty Firth59%41%North LanarkshireCumbernauld South59%41%West DunbartonshireLomond59%41%HighlandNairn59%41%FalkirkBo’ness and Blackness59%41%West LothianArmadale and Blackridge59%41%MorayElgin City North59%41%Na h-Eileanan an larNa Hearadh agus Ceann a Deas nan Loch59%41%Orkney IslandsKirkwall West and Orphir59%41%DundeeLochee60%40%FalkirkDenny and Banknock60%40%MorayBuckie60%40%Na h-Eileanan an larSgire Uige agus Ceann a Tuath nan Loch60%40%RenfrewshireRenfrew North60%40%Perth and KinrossHighland60%40%Dumfries and GallowayWigtown West60%40%AberdeenshireTroup61%39%DundeeEast End61%39%FifeGlenrothes West and Kinglassie61%39%FifeGlenrothes Central and Thornton61%39%Na h-Eileanan an larLoch a Tuath61%39%ClackmannanshireClackmannanshire North61%39%Perth and KinrossCarse of Gowrie61%39%AberdeenNorthfield62%38%AngusBrechin and Edzell62%38%South LanarkshireEast Kilbride South62%38%FifeGlenrothes North, Leslie and Markinch62%38%East AyrshireKilmarnock North62%38%MorayHeldon and Laich62%38%North LanarkshireAbronhill, Kildrum and The Village63%37%MorayKeith and Cullen64%36%Argyll and ButeIsle of Bute65%35%DundeeNorth East65%35%MoraySpeyside Glenlivet65%35%AberdeenshirePeterhead North and Rattray68%32%AberdeenshirePeterhead South and Cruden70%30%Na h-Eileanan an larBarraigh, Bhatarsaigh, Eirisgeigh agus Uibhist a Deas70%30%AberdeenshireFraserburgh and District71%29%

Because these figures add up to a very narrow Yes victory, they suggest that these figures are the minimum that will lead to a Yes vote. In other words, if the Isle of Bute doesn’t vote 65% Yes things aren’t looking good for the Yes side, and if Newton Mearns South votes 35% Yes, the No side should be very concerned.

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Video | First Ministers Questions Review | 090513

Video | First Ministers Questions Review | 090513 | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scoop.it
A confident Johann played the health service card. Its a perennial for any opposition in any administration. Alex refused to rise and was diplomatic, probably under advice. Ruth scored another smal...
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Newsnight Independence Debate 13th May 2013–Chas Booth and Humza Yousaf

Newsnight Independence Debate 13th May 2013–Chas Booth and Humza Yousaf | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scoop.it

Excellent debate from BBC Glasgow studios with an audience of mainly English voices.

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This is what you get when you dare to question a tabloid journalist in the UK

This is what you get when you dare to question a tabloid journalist in the UK | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scoop.it
(not satire sadly) Recently I wrote a blog post about what happened when I dared to ask a journalist who writes for national newspapers how she managed to 'trace' (her words) the personal phone num...
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UKIP: A Scottish irrelevance – a 'Scottish' media obsession

UKIP: A Scottish irrelevance – a 'Scottish' media obsession | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scoop.it
UKIP: A Scottish irrelevance – a 'Scottish' media obsession
Sunday, 12 May 2013 20:16

  By Campbell Martin
 
Unfortunately, British broadcasters and newspapers don’t make any concessions for Scotland, so you would be forgiven for thinking the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) was now a political force.
 
Over the past week, our so-called ‘national’ news on the BBC, broadcast from London, has been reporting how UKIP produced a seismic shift in politics by securing almost 25% of the votes cast in local government elections.  The fact those local elections only took place in parts of England and had no relevance to Scotland was barely mentioned.

ITV and Sky, also broadcasting ‘national’ news from London, have been telling us the same story.

In every British newspaper - including those that add the word ‘Scottish’ to their mastheads on copies sold north of the border – we have seen almost saturation coverage of UKIP’s advance, accompanied by photos showing a smiling Nigel Farage, the party’s leader.

However, in Scotland, UKIP is rightly ranked alongside the Monster Raving Loony Party.  Even Farage has described Scotland as “a graveyard” for UKIP, but that hasn’t stopped so-called ‘national’ broadcasters and newspapers from completely ignoring the Scottish reality and telling us instead that the far-right party is now a credible political organisation.

Let’s put things in perspective by looking at UKIP’s actual results in Scotland: at the 2009 European Parliament Election they polled just 5% and at the Scottish Parliament Election of 2011 their share of the vote was 1%.  UKIP might have taken almost 25% at last week’s local government elections in England, but at the last comparative poll in Scotland – the 2012 Council Elections – the party received 0.28% of the votes cast.

These are the results of a political party soundly rejected by the people of Scotland, and for good reason.

UKIP was formed by disaffected Tories for whom the Conservatives were not sufficiently right-wing.  A quick glance at what passes for policy within UKIP shows they are borderline racist: the party is anti-immigrants, anti-minorities and ferociously anti-European Union – all those ‘Johnny foreigner’ types mis-spending English tax-payers money (despite the fact the UK is represented at every level within the EU).

In addition to those positions, UKIP ran a campaign for the English local government elections which pandered to other right-wing prejudices, such as anti-gay marriage and branding those on benefits as scroungers living on hand-outs.  If you look at the political spectrum, UKIP sits on the far-right, mid-way between the Tories and the fascist British National Party (BNP).

It was no coincidence that BNP leader Nick Griffin posted a piece on the party’s website following the English local government elections, suggesting his party’s supporters should consider looking to UKIP as a political vehicle to advance their hate-filled far-right ideology.

Most Scots embrace a moderate left-of-centre, social-democratic position, which makes UKIP’s nasty, far-right policies completely anathema in Scotland.  As a result, the party will continue to occupy a berth on the extreme fringe of Scottish politics.

Yet, because British (London-based) mainstream media completely ignore Scotland, news programmes broadcast into our living-rooms will continue to give the far-right party a credibility and position that bears no resemblance to their actual standing north of the border.

Scots should bear in mind this misrepresentation as we progress towards next year’s referendum on independence.  It is not just in relation to UKIP that British print and broadcast media report news from an English perspective as if that also represents the position in Scotland.

British (mainly London-based) media outlets are heavily slanted in favour of the British Union, so don’t expect anything close to impartial news coverage of matters relating to independence.   Even the BBC, which is supposed to be impartial, makes clear in its Editorial Guidelines that impartiality “does not require absolute neutrality on every issue”.

The BBC’s position on independence is clear and the clue is in the name – it is the BRITISH Broadcasting Corporation.  There is no such thing as BBC Scotland: what we have is the BBC in Scotland, including non-neutral (or anti-independence) reporting contained in ‘Scottish’ news and current affairs programmes.

The Independence Referendum on September 18 2014 is the most important decision Scots have ever made.  In the 306 year history of the British Union, the people of Scotland have never been allowed our say, until now.  In 1707, just 30 Scots aristocrats sold Scotland into a parliamentary union with England.  They were paid by the English for their actions – in total they received around £3m in today’s money.  Scotland’s National Bard, Robert Burns, described them as “such a parcel o’ rogues in a nation”.

In towns and cities across Scotland, ordinary Scots rioted against the union but their voices were ignored.

From that day to this, spanning three-centuries, no Scot has ever been allowed to say whether or not they want their country to remain in the British Union or once again become a normal independent nation.  We are the first Scots to get that chance.

If British mainstream media, particularly its parts based in Scotland, continue to distort our political and social reality, and continue to report ‘news’ from a pro-British Union perspective, then their role will mirror the “parcel o’ rogues” who sold Scotland 306 years ago.  The reporting of UKIP’s position in England as if it also applied to Scotland is just the latest example of such distortion.

Until there is a fundamental shift in editorial policy, to allow balanced reporting of issues relating to independence, we should be very wary of what we read in ‘national’ newspapers and hear on news bulletins.
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Bad-karma chameleon

Bad-karma chameleon | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scoop.it

Because we’re not sure we can identify any actual policy differences between the Conservatives and Labour. Of course that’s not exactly new, but we thought in the interests of fairness we should probably update our old feature and see where the two parties stood now on all the major issues. Here’s what we got.

The Tories want to be tougher on welfare
Labour want to be tougher on welfare.

The Tories want to be tougher on immigration.
Labour want to be tougher on immigration.

The Tories want to introduce means-testing for more benefits.
Labour want to introduce means-testing for more benefits.

The Tories want to end free tuition in Scotland.
Labour want to end free tuition in Scotland.

The Tories support workfare and want to extend it.
Labour support workfare and want to extend it.

The Tory plan for cutting the deficit is a decade of brutal austerity.
The Labour plan for cutting the deficit is a decade of brutal austerity.

The Tories want to spend tens of billions replacing Trident.
Labour want to spend tens of billions replacing Trident.

The Tories introduced the bedroom tax for social rented tenants.
Labour introduced the bedroom tax for private rented tenants.
(And refuse to say they’ll abolish it.)

The Tories don’t plan to reintroduce the 50p income tax rate.
Labour don’t plan to reintroduce the 50p income tax rate.

The Tories have vague, non-specific, non-committal plans for devolution which offer more responsibilities rather than more powers, and which aren’t supported by the party’s Westminster MPs or leadership.
Labour have vague, non-specific, non-committal plans for devolution which offer more responsibilities rather than more powers, and which aren’t supported by the party’s Westminster MPs or leadership.

That Labour alternative in full, there. (Those, of course, are just the areas where Labour openly ADMIT to having the same policies as the Tories. In others – the privatisation of the NHS and Royal Mail, and the increasing of the pension age – Labour cynically pretends to oppose policies which they themselves set in motion.)

3MenInABlog's insight:

Because we’re not sure we can identify any actual policy differences between the Conservatives and Labour. Of course that’s not exactly new, but we thought in the interests of fairness we should probably update our old feature and see where the two parties stood now on all the major issues. Here’s what we got.

The Tories want to be tougher on welfare
Labour want to be tougher on welfare.

The Tories want to be tougher on immigration.
Labour want to be tougher on immigration.

The Tories want to introduce means-testing for more benefits.
Labour want to introduce means-testing for more benefits.

The Tories want to end free tuition in Scotland.
Labour want to end free tuition in Scotland.

The Tories support workfare and want to extend it.
Labour support workfare and want to extend it.

The Tory plan for cutting the deficit is a decade of brutal austerity.
The Labour plan for cutting the deficit is a decade of brutal austerity.

The Tories want to spend tens of billions replacing Trident.
Labour want to spend tens of billions replacing Trident.

The Tories introduced the bedroom tax for social rented tenants.
Labour introduced the bedroom tax for private rented tenants.
(And refuse to say they’ll abolish it.)

The Tories don’t plan to reintroduce the 50p income tax rate.
Labour don’t plan to reintroduce the 50p income tax rate.

The Tories have vague, non-specific, non-committal plans for devolution which offer more responsibilities rather than more powers, and which aren’t supported by the party’s Westminster MPs or leadership.
Labour have vague, non-specific, non-committal plans for devolution which offer more responsibilities rather than more powers, and which aren’t supported by the party’s Westminster MPs or leadership.

That Labour alternative in full, there. (Those, of course, are just the areas where Labour openly ADMIT to having the same policies as the Tories. In others – the privatisation of the NHS and Royal Mail, and the increasing of the pension age – Labour cynically pretends to oppose policies which they themselves set in motion.)

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Tackling inequality is a worthy task - Herald Scotland

Tackling inequality is a worthy taskSunday 12 May 2013

Thank you for the first real salvo in the debate about independence (A new blueprint for an independent Scotland, News, May 5).

For the first time I feel that we are getting a contribution to the debate that is visionary and radical. After years of neo-liberalism in the UK, it is surely time to ditch the values that promote materialism, individualism and inequality in favour of a new way. The academics and economists you quote do us all a favour by spelling out how this could be done in an independent Scotland. I do hope you are right in suggesting that key players in Yes Scotland and MSPs are privately more positive than the usual anodyne quotes suggest. Yes Scotland needs to get on to the front foot and present the case for independence based largely on this Nordic approach.

Jim Rooney

Grangemouth

I was glad to see expression of a vision in "Common Weal". At last, a chance to have serious discussion around the true Scottish idea of equality. In their book The Spirit Level: Why Equality is Better for Everyone, Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett present an evidence-based argument that equality is good for everyone; that communities, mental and physical health, education, crime figures and so on are demonstrably better in countries where equality is practised. The UK and US come bottom on most indicators. Income inequality drives common inequality and this would be a tough one to crack in an independent Scotland, connected by land and language to the rest of the UK. But it would be worth the try.

Donald M Thomson

Glasgow

If I could believe that an independent Scotland would implement the vision to which you refer in your leader, I would be much more inclined to vote "Yes" in the referendum. (At last, a vision for independence, Editorial, May 5). Am I naïve to wish that such a vision could be implemented throughout the United Kingdom?

William Whitson

Kirkwall

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Labour election victory in 2015 looks a distant prospect, says pollster

Labour election victory in 2015 looks  a distant prospect, says pollster | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scoop.it
'Troubling' research, suggesting party is perceived as incapable of making tough decisions, will be put to conference (not in"..
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Twitter / YesScotland: Great graphic we got sent of ...

Twitter / YesScotland: Great graphic we got sent of ... | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scoop.it
RT @YesScotland: Great graphic we got sent of Yes in many different languages #indyref http://t.co/NQVSB7aKxr
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Irish eyes are smiling

Irish eyes are smiling | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scoop.it
Irish eyes are smiling    Saturday, 11 May 2013 00:30
.
By William C McLaughlin
.
Now we know.  It`s official.  The Atlantic Margin which runs down from Greenland, past the west coast of Scotland and Ireland, to the west coast of Africa, has been identified by Cairn Energy as an under-explored area with great potential.

Scotland, take note, exploration has now commenced in Ireland's Atlantic Margin.  Two licences, about 100 miles off Ireland, at the Spanish Point gas condensate and the Burren oil discoveries, are estimated to contain more than 200 million barrels recoverable oil equivalent.

Cairn believes there is the potential to make further bigbdscoveries in the area.  The Porcupine Basin, off Ireland`s west coast, has huge exploration and development potential according to Cairn.

In the Dunquin Prospect, off SW Ireland, ENI and Repsol are drilling the 1.7 billion barrel oil equivalent gas condensate.  The Barryroe Block, in which Esso made finds in the 1970s, contains around 340 million barrels recoverable oil reserves.  The Irish Government offer more attractive terms for exploration and development than the UK.  Cairn is to spend £50 million hunting for oil and gas off the Irish coast.

Some pertinent points emerge from this Irish good news story.  First, some of the Irish finds go back decades.  Have similar large finds been made off the Scottish west coast in the Scottish North Atlantic sector, but put on 'hold' for now?  We know that the oil majors have been 'sniffin' around for oil and gas in the Atlantic, off Scotland's west coast, for many decades, and that significant finds of oil and gas were made and put under 'wraps' until it was economic to extract this vast Scottish wealth.

Second, the Scottish North Atlantic sector is part of this rich Atlantic Margin.  Third, why the big publicity splurge about Ireland`s Atlantic Margin oil and gas reserves but virtual total silence about the oil and gas reserves in the Scottish North Atlantic sector, off Scotland`s west coast (I`m not talking about west of Shetland here, I`m talking about off the west coast of Scotland)?

We don`t want to get the Jocks too excited about their massive wealth before the Indy Referendum in 2014, do we? Fourth, Ireland is independent and will benefit financially from every drop of oil that flows from its massive reserves.  Compare that with Scotland, where every penny of Scottish oil and gas revenues go straight to London.  The independent Irish have control over tax on their oil exploration and development.  The Scots do not and are apparently too stupid and incapable of managing their own massive oil and gas wealth.

Irish eyes are smiling all the way to the bank.  Scottish eyes are blinkered while they lose the benefits of all their oil and gas revenues to London and are told blatant lies about their oil and gas resources declining.  Do you think the Irish would throw their lot back in with England and give London all their oil and gas revenues.

Paddy aint daft.  Scottish eyes could be smiling too in 2014.  The choice is yours.
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Scotland Loves Trident?

Scotland Loves Trident? | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scoop.it
By Jamie Maxwell

As George Eaton points outs in the New Statesman this morning, the opposition of the Scottish public to nuclear weapons “has long been regarded as one of the safest assumptions of the independence debate”. But new polling research published today by Tory donor Lord Ashcroft seems to upset this settled consensus.

Ashcroft’s survey asked the following question:

“Britain’s current system of submarine launched nuclear weapons, known as Trident, is coming to the end of its useful life and will soon have to be scrapped or replaced. What do you think Britain should do when Trident reaches the end?”

Participants were then presented with the following options:

Replace Trident with an equally powerful nuclear missile system

Retain a nuclear missile system, but it should be less powerful and cost less than replacing Trident

Give up nuclear weapons completely

The results were:

20 per cent of respondents chose option 1

31 per cent of respondents chose option 2

34 per cent of respondents chose option 3
Ashcroft is spinning this as evidence that Scots support the renewal of Trident: combine the 20 per cent of Scots who back a like-for-like Trident replacement with the 31 per cent who want a less powerful and less expensive replacement and you get 51 per cent, 17 per cent more than those who want to do away with the strategic deterrent altogether.

But this question – the central feature of Ashcroft’s research – is clearly slanted against disarmament. This is because it offers respondents two opportunities to endorse Trident and only one to oppose it. Had there been a fourth option reading, for instance, Gradually phase out the UK’s Faslane-based nuclear weapons system ensuring any job losses were absorbed by the development of new local industries (or something to that effect), the results could easily have been very different. I’d be prepared to bet, in fact, they would have returned a comfortable majority for abolition.

The fun and games don’t stop here, however. In his Conservative Home commentary on the research, Ashcroft discusses other aspects of the survey:

“Overall, only a quarter of Scots thought Britain did not need nuclear weapons during the Cold War and does not need them today. More than a fifth said the need is lower than during the Cold War, while for nearly two fifths Britain needs nuclear weapons just as much as before (29 per cent) or even more (10 per cent): hardly a picture of overwhelming opposition.”

On this evidence he is, of course, right – Scottish opposition to Trident is weak. But he is selectively quoting his own work. Question 2 – In principle, do you support or oppose the United Kingdom having nuclear weapons? – is admirably clear. And so are the results:

37 per cent of respondents said they supported

48 per cent said they opposed

15 per cent said they didn’t know

So 48 per cent of Scots are, as a matter of principle, opposed to British ownership of nuclear weapons, 11 per cent more than those who, as a matter of principle, support ownership. That’s a pretty emphatic margin and one Ashcroft conspicuously fails to mention in his commentary.

Scrap-Trident-Fund-the-NHS

Hilariously, Ashcroft issues a warning to the SNP and to Scottish CND about misleading polling: “Trying to show that people think what you want them to think is not the same thing as trying to find out what they really do think.”

Oh the irony.

The reality is that this is a form of desperation by the No campaign after only last month the TNS BMRB poll showed the vast majority of people on both sides of the referendum debate are opposed to replacing Trident nuclear weapons.

The Scottish CND commissioned poll asking if people supported the UK government’s renewal of Trident showed 80 per cent of people are opposed – including 87% of people planning to vote Yes in the independence referendum, and 75% of current No voters.

See Bloomberg report on the poll last month.
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SCOTLAND 3.0

SCOTLAND 3.0 | YES for an Independent Scotland | Scoop.it
This is the first of a series of extracts from Scotland's Road to Socialism - Time to Choose, edited by Gregor Gall and published by Scottish Left Review Press. By Mike Small In the face of the aus...
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