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Where does Scotland’s wealth go?

Where does Scotland’s wealth go? | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
Where does Scotland’s wealth go (if it doesn't stay here)? Click to enlarge It's a simple question but not one often asked, probably as most economics bloggers like myself get bogged down in numbers and over complicate the issue.
James Whyte's insight:

"How does a political and economic system that drains billions in revenues from Scotland and leaves the poor unable to heat their homes make us better together?  The current Westminster system leaves many Scots children in poverty and growing up in a culture of hopelessness. It leaves our nation’s families comparatively poorer despite the fact that we generate more tax revenue per head that the rest of the UK."

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BBC bias and the Tommy Sheridan interview

BBC bias and the Tommy Sheridan interview | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
James Whyte's insight:

Great interview for the rather marmite Tommy Sheridan, and more outrageous bias from the BBC.

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Debate has intoxicated Scotland. People have seen the chance to seize power

Debate has intoxicated Scotland. People have seen the chance to seize power | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
Deborah Orr: The independence referendum has stopped being about nationalism and started being about democracy – and finally the rest of the UK is taking notice
James Whyte's insight:

The Better Together campaign says: “Leave it to the big boys. It’s all too complicated for you lot to understand. Get on with your work. Look after your kids. We know best.” The Yes Scotland campaign says: “Think about how government impacts on your own life. Understand it. Reflect it back. Don’t be intimidated. Get involved. Get your workmates involved. Get your kids involved. We can work out what’s best together.” One campaign says: “Be quiet.” The other campaign says: “Speak.” Is it any wonder that yes has gained converts, while no has not?

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9 No Campaign Claims And Why They Are Wrong | National Collective

9 No Campaign Claims And Why They Are Wrong | National Collective | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
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(2) Scottish Independence - Vote YES

James Whyte's insight:

I know there’s a lot of stuff around at the moment that people are screaming “THIS IS A MUST WATCH” about, but seriously folks, do take a look at this if you can. This is Craig Murray, former UK ambassador.

“We were shipping people in order for them to be tortured, and sometimes, tortured to death.”

"I know for certain … that they knew there weren’t any (weapons of mass destruction). It wasn’t a mistake, it was a lie.”

"I think it is impossible to be proud of The United Kingdom. I think when we invaded Iraq we did to The United Nations what Hitler and Mussolini did to The League of Nations.”

“The system stinks. Westminster stinks. The British Government is deeply, deeply immoral. They don’t care how many people they kill abroad if it advances them.”

"The UK is a "pathological state that is a danger in the world. A rogue state. A state prepared to go to war to make a few people wealthy”.

"It’s not possible to be a decent person and vote no, and we shouldn’t be ashamed to say that."

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Eckenaccio

Eckenaccio | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
By Alistair Davidson And Eck was cast into a furnace of fire: there was wailing and gnashing of teeth. To Britain’s journalists there was no question, Darling bested Salmond. To many Yes activists ...
James Whyte's insight:

Those of you who are pro-yes might like to read this. Everyone else, move along please. Nothing to see here.

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New Statesman | The flaw in Osborne’s pre-emptive strike against a currency union

New Statesman | The flaw in Osborne’s pre-emptive strike against a currency union | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it

If Osborne’s pre-emptive rejection of a currency union stands, Scotland could sit back in the aftermath of a pro-independence vote and watch the rUK potentially lose a permanent seat on the UN Security Council, impose extremely onerous conditions on removal of the entire British nuclear submarine fleet from Faslane by Independence Day, force the rUK into a much more difficult relationship with the European Union that may accelerate British withdrawal, and, perhaps most importantly, refuse to negotiate a reasonable division of UK assets in a manner that would hurt the rUK more than Scotland.

None of this silly face-off has to happen. The logical outcome of a pro-independence vote is negotiations to facilitate a smooth transition with the goal of advancing the best interests of the citizens of each nation. Indeed that is exactly what was indicated in Clause 30 of the Edinburgh Agreement signed in October 2012 and which is internationally admired as a model of consensual deal-making. 

Instead, Osborne launched a pre-emptive strike to kill post-referendum negotiations.  He may think he is a realist playing hard politics to bring Scotland to heel, but these are tactics the Scottish government could also successfully employ but smartly has rejected - at least for now.

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On Plan B

On Plan B | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
James Whyte's insight:

“What’s your plan b” is a pretty smart rhetorical trap, because there’s no good way for a politician to give a direct answer. You can state your plan b, and be perceived as being “on the run” and lacking faith in plan a (thereby retreating to an option you’ve already stated is your lesser preference and leaving that lesser preference itself open to attack); or you can refuse to give a direct answer and be accused of being secretive, unreasonably confident or out of options. Salmond chose the latter; there's no point denying it didn't play out terribly well for him. Going the other way wouldn't have gone well either, such is the nature of clever traps. 

 

His response though, “we have a range of options but we’ll be keeping the pound” was maybe actually pretty smart nonetheless, because it avoids the “plan b is …” pitfall, whilst leaving a fallback position open (almost certainly redundant though it may be). 

 

If when it comes down to it Westminster really is insane enough (and it isn't, as both men well know) to stick to its pre-referendum posture of withholding currency union from us as an option then we can manage without it, and use GBP regardless.  

 

There doesn’t need to be a "plan c". Sterling is a fully tradable international currency and there isn’t a force in London or the world that could stop Scotland or any other country who so chooses from using it. Many do, and it suits them well. Actually there’s a good argument to be made that a “Sterlingised Pound” would make a perfectly acceptable plan a. (http://j.mp/1mtwnQf

 

To be honest, I’m not that fussed on the currency question, both GBP options have pros and cons, and none of the downsides are dire enough to me to outweigh the many other benefits of ditching Westminster. A pegged Scottish currency doesn’t scare me off that much either as it happens. My voting intentions remain unchanged. As someone else beautifully encapsulated, I care more about whose pockets the money is going to be in.  

 

The Better Together strategy obviously is to get voters rattled about currency and the economy. “It’s confusing and dangerous and we shouldn’t mess around with it because we’re not smart enough here. Let the clever politicians in London sort it all out for us, I’m sure we can trust them.”  

 

Will that plan work out for them? I guess time will soon tell.

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Ireland’s past could have an answer to an independent Scotland’s currency question

Ireland’s past could have an answer to an independent Scotland’s currency question | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
Of all the currency arrangements cited in the debate over the future of Scotland’s currency, the ones conspicuously missing are those closest to home. While supporters and opponents of Scottish independence…
James Whyte's insight:

I'm really not that fussed about "currency plan b" personally, we have good options if Westminster is stupid enough to stick to their guns post yes (and I don't believe they are). But this is an interesting read.

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New Statesman | Enough of the Scottish subsidy myth

New Statesman | Enough of the Scottish subsidy myth | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
Scotland pays its way in the Union - it's time the London commentariat acknowledged that.
James Whyte's insight:

Several common anti-independence economic myths busted in this article.

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Time To Show the Doubters the Future

Time To Show the Doubters the Future | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
Description
James Whyte's insight:
Timely advice for those for those of us involved in volunteering for Yes Scotland, or trying in our own ways to convince more people to vote for an independent Scotland. The No campaign continues to intimidate voters with a combination of scary sounding technical points and boundless negativity. Yes has an opportunity to focus wavering voters on what a better Scotland might look and feel like, and how tantalisingly within our reach it lies. "Folk living on low incomes in Scotland’s poorer housing schemes will not be swayed into a No vote by fancy promises of more devolution from Labour and the Tories. They already think that most politicians are in it for what they can get. But these alienated citizens might be tempted to vote Yes if they feel there is a once-in-a-lifetime chance of life getting better in Scotland. Which suggests the Yes campaign has to focus hard on persuading them this is possible."
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When is a doctor not a doctor?

When is a doctor not a doctor? | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
A post appeared on the news-and-discussion site Reddit Scotland last night. We've reproduced it in full below, because it seems like something people should know. "I'm an NHS doctor (GMC #7036831)*...
James Whyte's insight:

A couple of my no-voting pals posted this "93% of leading doctors are voting no" statement recently. I thought it sounded highly unlikely, and I was right.

 

The 93% statistic comes from a tiny sample (73 out of 76 respondents) of Scotland dwelling members of London based academic group (not "leading doctors") funded by big pharmaceuticals, and whose stated aims include influencing policy.

 

"Are Better Together openly lying to people on Facebook? You decide.”

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Scottish independence: Voters previously against Yes vote explain why they changed their minds

Scottish independence: Voters previously against Yes vote explain why they changed their minds | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
Fiona Sarwar, 31, lives in Coupar Angus, Perthshire. She was born in England to Scottish parents and moved back as a teenager. Previously undecided, she decided to vote Yes in February.
James Whyte's insight:

The reasons these people have given for switching from anti to pro-independence all sound really familiar to me, from chatting to folk through volunteering for Yes Scotland and from conversations with friends, family and colleagues.

It reminds me that 18-24 months ago I’d almost certainly have told you Scottish independence was a terrible idea.  What changed my mind? I made a conscious decision to learn about the debate and the facts behind it. My mind changed completely, and actually pretty quickly. I’m still learning, but the pile of reasons I have for voting yes has become stupidly large. 

 

Learning about “democratic deficit” was a big eye-opener for me: that it is virtually impossible for Scotland to influence the outcome of a UK election, and that we’ve suffered with dreadful governments we didn’t vote for and policies that harm us as a result. Independence by its very nature would stop that in its tracks. 

 

Having spent my life believing that Scotland was subsidised by the rest of the UK I learned the opposite is true, that we pay out more than we get back. I learned that Scotland is a wealthy nation and the fact we can easily afford to look after ourselves is beyond question. And we have the potential to become a very wealthy country indeed. Moreover, we have the opportunity to ensure that our wealth is spread out a lot more fairly tun it is now. 

 

I’d been aware of the ever increasing gap between the rich and poor in the UK, but I believed it probably sort of had to be that way. That it wasn’t ideal but that there was no better alternative. Probably.  

 

All nonsense. Successive Labour and Tory governments have conspired to make it so whilst training us, the masses, not to ask questions. But there are other very possible and sensible options out there, all tried and tested and proven to work elsewhere. It is absolutely possible to turn Scotland into an economically competitive country that has low unemployment, properly paid jobs and excellent public services. Check out The Common Weal (allofusfirst.org) and Radical Independence (radicalindependence.org) for example - these are truly fascinating and inspiring projects. 

 

I’ve never been as excited about political and social change; this is a real and genuine opportunity. But independence is not an end goal and won’t magically transform our country and our lives overnight. If we get it it’ll be the first important step in a series of important steps for building a fairer, happier and more prosperous country. A yes vote is a starting point, not an end goal. I’m up for it, I just hope enough people come around by the 18th of September.

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Spin and Smear

Spin and Smear | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
The Better Together campaign has been one extended smear operation and the permanent attacks on Yes supporters as abusive and aggressive has been part of that campaign from day one.
James Whyte's insight:

The always excellent Robin McAlpine on the extraordinary smear tactics and gross distortions of the No campaign. 

“Once this campaign is over, each and every one of us will have to answer for what we did and what we said. I am absolutely confident that I will be able to look back at my deeds and words with pride. I can say the same of almost all the people who are campaigning beside me. We have gone door to door, town hall to town hall, and we have told a positive story about Scotland’s future without telling lies about our opponents or trying to scare the people of Scotland with vague threats.”

I feel the same way. Whichever way the vote goes I'm happy and proud to be counted amongst the people who campaigned for independence.

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Scottish Independence: Ignore The Doomsayers

Scottish Independence: Ignore The Doomsayers | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
Do you want to see wholesale panic on the world’s financial markets? Do you want to see terror, despair, and mayhem? Do you want to see grown men desperately stuffing their money under the mattress, riots in the streets, banks set ablaze, and women running down the road screaming and flapping their [...]
James Whyte's insight:

"Can’t see it? Grab a magnifying glass. The “mayhem” and “turmoil” are that tiny flicker, when the pound dips from 0.80 euros down to 0.79 euros and then back up again.

 

Aaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhhhhhh! Save yourself, Alice! Run for the hills!!!!!!!"

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Scotland - The Heartbreak of a No Vote

Scotland - The Heartbreak of a No Vote | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
The single most heart-breaking aspect of the Independence Referendum in Scotland, is to hear intelligent, thoughtful, worldly people list all the things that could be positive about a Yes vote only to tank it all with a hypothetical doubt and declare...
James Whyte's insight:

It reminds me of the time my first marriage was coming to an end I was fighting tooth & nail to keep it going, not because I was happy, not because I wanted things to stay the same but because I had pledged myself dammit. Isolation and infidelity aside, I had to work within the bond to overcome fundamental differences in world views that were damaging us both - because I was a person of integrity and that is just what you do. And then a friend very gently pointed out that although the intention was a good one, there really wasn't anything noble about maintaining your end of a contract when the other person had done nothing to honour theirs.

The penny finally dropped.

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The surprise winners from the referendum? Scotland. Politics. Big ideas are back at last

The surprise winners from the referendum? Scotland. Politics. Big ideas are back at last | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
http://traffic.libsyn.com/spectator/TheViewFrom22_4_Sept_2014_v4.mp3Let us take a trip to America in 1976. The unelected incumbent president, Gerald Ford, is being challenged for the Republican party’s nomination by Ronald Reagan — and does not…
James Whyte's insight:

"Many Scots have tired of this campaign, some have been disgusted by it. Of course it has sometimes been grotesque, but focusing on the inevitable shortcomings at the expense of the grandeur is, I think, a mistake. And it risks misunderstanding the forces that have driven so many Scots back towards politics, in a way that confounds pollsters and terrifies all those who had thought the idea of partition too ridiculous to take seriously.


Take it from a normally jaded unionist: in Scotland now, just for a moment, the future is infinite. Yes, the outcome of the battle for Britain looks thrillingly — terrifyingly — unpredictable. But for all the right reasons."

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Creating jobs with independence | Yes Scotland

Creating jobs with independence | Yes Scotland | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
James Whyte's insight:

Job creation is crucial for Scotland. Too many people are either out of work or in low paid jobs. The UK operates a low-pay economy (the second lowest in the advanced world, after the US) which allows corporations to thrive by turning the workforce into doormats to be walked over.

 

Aside from the mass inequalities faced by people on low incomes, a substantial chunk of adults in Scotland simply can’t and don’t pay tax. By creating many more good, well-paid jobs for its people as happens in most other countries (particularly Nordic countries) we allow people a decent working salary to participate in life whilst also, crucially, contributing literally billions in extra tax revenue.

 

It isn’t foolishly idealistic and utopian, because we can see that it happens and works fine in other comparable countries. It isn’t a difficult or complicated problem to fix, it just requires commitment and hard work which I have no doubt whatsoever Scotland is up to. Oh, and it can’t happen until the Scottish parliament has the powers to make it happen, which it isn’t going to be given without independence.

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Barry Hutchison: Let’s Decide What Kind Of Change Is Coming | National Collective

Barry Hutchison: Let’s Decide What Kind Of Change Is Coming | National Collective | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
James Whyte's insight:

"The suggestion being tossed around by the No campaign and the media that if the country votes against independence everything will go back to the way it was is a lie. There is no “way it was” there is only Future A and Future B. In one of those futures, Scotland votes Yes and becomes responsible for its own decisions, with the freedom to win its own victories and make its own mistakes.

 

If we vote No, we give away all our strength. All future negotiations will be entered into from a position of weakness. Westminster will have the power to shut down the Scottish Parliament, and there will be nothing we can do to stop them. They will have called our bluff and we will have given them our full permission to do whatever they want to us, whenever they like."

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Salmond: there is literally nothing anyone can do to stop an independent Scotland using the pound

Salmond: there is literally nothing anyone can do to stop an independent Scotland using the pound | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
“ THE language of politics can be highly instructive and deeply revealing as to the motives and priorities of individuals, parties and campaigns.”
James Whyte's insight:
Alex Salmond writing in the Sunday Herald. Say what you like about the man, he's played a smart long-game and this is an elegant checkmate on currency. PLAN A (Sterling with currency union): good outcome for iScotland, good outcome for rUK PLAN B (Sterling without currency union): perfectly acceptable outcome for iScotland, highly regrettable outcome for rUK This is why unionist parties need to stop pretending currency union won't happen. Even in the unlikely event the politicians don't u-turn all by themselves come the day, rUK businesses and voters will insist upon it and Westminster will do as it's told. Plan A is our preferred option, they need to stop demanding our Plan B and start dreading it. Now let's move on please, we're still waiting to hear a single good argument in defence of keeping this failing and profoundly unfair union. http://www.heraldscotland.com/politics/referendum-news/if-the-no-camp-think-telling-ordinary-scots-they-have-zero-entitlement-to-a.25003848
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Magnus Jamieson: Graduation | National Collective

Magnus Jamieson: Graduation | National Collective | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
James Whyte's insight:

Perhaps the saddest thing the referendum has taught me is that many scots are so used to getting a raw deal they take it for granted, expect it, and don't even see merit in trying to change things. I can kind of relate. A couple of years ago I noticed that shouting impotently at the TV was becoming so everyday and frankly mundane that I would actively avoid watching the news and thereby the whole empty feeling altogether. Isn't that terrifying? Then along came the tantalisingly real possibility of Scotland's independence. Nowadays I don't shout, I become only more determined to campaign for a yes vote. Will I have to go back to powerless fury if Scotland votes no in a few weeks time? Because that thought fills me with dread.

 

Just imagine living in a small, successful democracy; as we undoubtedly will be. Independence will mean the significance of our individual vote - our ability to not just choose but influence our government - will increase tenfold. The hugely unfair and anachronistic House of Lords will for us be gone: nothing more than a puzzling memory from strange times past. We'll have real proportional representation that will allow progressive new political movements to flourish in a way the UK's ridiculously outdated first past the post never could. The Green Party could be a major political force instead of a protest vote. The Labour Party might become good again?! And maybe we'll finally have a chance to influence democracy positively for the rest of the UK and beyond.

 

"See, in the UK, the battle for social justice has been 300 years of “next time, things will be different.” “Next time Labour get into power, they will be better.” “Next Government, we’ll have democratic reform.” “Next time, when Scotland votes Labour, it actually will get Labour.” “Next Government, Scotland will get more powers.” “Next Government, we’ll make the Lords democratic.” “Next Government, we’ll tackle bankers bonuses and tax avoidance. Next time.” ‘Fairness’ in the UK is always one Government away, like the Holy Grail, teetering on a ledge over the abyss, just out of range your fingertips."

 

One chance, folks.

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The big gamble for Scotland is staying in the union - FT.com

The big gamble for Scotland is staying in the union - FT.com | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
Scots are a people of strong views, especially on the question of our country’s future. I have thought hard about whether to make my own opinions publicly known. A number of business leaders have spoken out against Scottish independence. One
James Whyte's insight:

Ralph Topping, who is retiring as Chief Executive of betting giant William Hill plc and is one of Britain’s foremost business leaders with 44 years experience, cited 'life chances for future generations' as a key reason for his decision to vote Yes in #indyref

“I firmly believe independence is the jobs opportunity of a lifetime,”

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These Crap English Celebrities Don't Want Scotland to Leave Them | VICE United Kingdom

These Crap English Celebrities Don't Want Scotland to Leave Them | VICE United Kingdom | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
June Sarpong, Ross Kemp and Baldrick all "star" in an embarrassing anti-independence video.
James Whyte's insight:

A good takedown of this excruciating and strange advert in which c list English celebrities tell us "Please don't go Scotland, we want you to stay". The message seems to be "please don't govern yourselves, because if you become foreigners then we can no longer be friends". 

 

Well who needs friends like that? I have good pals in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; but I also have good pals in France, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Norway, New Zealand, Australia, The US (I could go on). Not once has the fact they have a different government to me impacted upon our relationships. If anything it's the distance between us that makes it difficult, and as I really hope these celebs have worked out, *we're not going anywhere*.

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Independence is an opportunity for business & the common weal

Independence is an opportunity for business & the common weal | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
This is a written transcript of a speech I gave to the ‘Common Weal’ Conference at the Arches in Glasgow on 6th July ’14.� The Conference itself seemed to be a dramatic success: with large crowds attending all day, and with stalls, events, activities and debates catering for a wide range of
James Whyte's insight:

Business for Scotland were one of the participants at Festival of the Common Weal and this is a write up of their speech at it. In it they argue that business and the common weal are interlinked, each one needing the other in order to flourish.

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Forget the latest scare story ... the real threat to our health service is a 'No' vote

Forget the latest scare story ... the real threat to our health service is a 'No' vote | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
I'VE always had deep affection for Sam Galbraith, the former Scottish health minister, ever since I first met him in the 1980s during a factory occupation in Bathgate.
James Whyte's insight:

Another reason why a no vote will spell the end of the Scottish NHS.

Many people are now aware of one big threat to our NHS under devolution and the status quo: the fact that the money Scotland gets back from Westminster to pay for the NHS is decided as a percentage of what is spent in England. Therefore the more the English NHS is privatised, the less money the Scottish NHS will be given back. Even with devolution, even if The Scottish Government is (and Scottish people are) totally against privatising of the NHS, we will soon have no choice but to do so.

The highly controversial and secretive TTIP laws currently being shored up (don’t feel bad if you haven’t heard of them, many haven’t … though I urge you to find out about them) may well mean that regardless of the will of its people and government, Scotland no longer has the right to keep its NHS in public hands. Protesting against the TTIP laws is still important, but probably futile. By becoming independent we can avoid putting ourselves in this position irrevocably.

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David Morgan: The Question | National Collective

David Morgan: The Question | National Collective | Just Say Yes | Scoop.it
James Whyte's insight:

My story starts with a confession – with something that I’ve never told anyone before. To be honest it’s a bit embarrassing, but given the importance of this September’s vote I think it’s important to put it out there, so here goes.


In 1997 I voted ‘No’ to devolution and to the creation of a Scottish Parliament.

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