Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Is the SNP lead hardening still further?

Today's Scottish subsample figures from YouGov are : SNP 48%, Labour 20%, Conservatives 18%, Greens 5%, UKIP 4%, Liberal Democrats 3%.  That's happened in spite of a whopping downweighting of respondents who identify most closely with the SNP - they've been scaled down from 52 to 30.

Individual subsamples are of course not especially reliable guides to the state of play, but there has been a particularly high concentration of this type of finding over the last few days.  It wouldn't be entirely surprising if the SNP lead is indeed hardening still further, because the Tories' tactics of portraying Alex Salmond as a potential master of the universe after the election is playing into our hands rather nicely.  They obviously don't particularly care that it's playing into our hands, because they're speaking almost exclusively to an English audience, they don't have much to lose in Scotland, and all the tedious rhetoric about their "undying love for our glorious United Kingdom" is a load of guff.

For those who are concerned that the SNP should be downplaying expectations much more than they've been doing, it's worth bearing in mind that this very beneficial hype in the London media about the filthy Tartan Hordes would probably not be occurring if expectations hadn't been ramped up to the max in recent months.  There may be a careful balance that needs to be struck between canniness and swagger over the days and weeks to come.

68 comments:

  1. Let's see how long Bell's latest 'If' adventure runs, then look at the next poll after that...

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  2. We all live in hope. There is about to be a massive attack on full fiscal autonomy. I'm not sure how this is going to pan out with the voters. What do you think?

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    1. I think we're living on rather more than hope these days.

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    2. Well, 45% voted for super fiscal autonomy max with border posts / guards, no currency and chucked oot the EU etc.

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    3. That's an interesting thought. Although the media have reached new heights of bias and propaganda. The Snp aren't getting the air time to speak against them. Do you think people will still see through it all?

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    4. Agree with SS.

      1.6 mil voted Yes in the face of the mass scaremongering. Most of the 1.6mil plus the pissed off/soft No/15% no voting SNP voters will be voting SNP too.

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    5. If the MSM and unionists now decide to attack FFA, then how do they account for the fact they promised us Devo max/federalism before the referendum vote? They of course cannot do so. Yes supporters know they were lying to the electorate in Scotland, but they will be showing to everyone that they are against any significant change in Scotland's constitutional position, and illustrating just how untrustworthy they are.

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    6. meh. I think the picture is inevitably going to be mixed from constituency from constituency with our support firming up in some areas and falling a bit in others.

      We certainly aren't relying on the polls as we have been campaigning for weeks and the ground campaigning is only going to intensify.

      The Ashcroft polling is handy for pointing out where we are best placed to get rid of unionist MPs in individual constituencies like the one remaining nasty party tory MP. The other polling also does no harm at all as it reinforces the point that we are leading. Even if we did fall back the chances of 'scottish' Labour taking the lead are growing ever more vanishingly small by the day so in the end we are looking at an election with a background of polling showing the SNP to be the largest party in scotland which helps us in plenty of areas where it used to be taken as read that they were safe seats for the unionist parties.

      Not any more. :-D

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  3. Unfortunately, almost nobody reads the Grauniad in Scotland.

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  4. Very true we should be canny and careful with our language in the face of the kind of rhetoric coming up from English media and politicians. Basically they're helpful to us rather than hindering the outlook.

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  5. In your opinion James, is it likely we're still looking at a 20% lead for the SNP at the very least?

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  6. That's happened in spite of a constant tirade of propaganda on every front from the Unionist side. Do people routinely disregard everything they are told by the MOT now?

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    1. More likely it is happening BECAUSE of a constant tirade of propaganda.

      Some people will swallow it, some people will disregard it but many people will see it for what it is and those are the people that are deserting the unionist parties.

      Maybe Jim and Kez really are SNP agents - it would explain an awful lot. Mind you, so would their utter incompetence!!!

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  7. This election will be an enormous test of how truly welcome Scotland is within the 'family of nations'. Colony or not put to the test for all to see.

    Not getting off to a good start in terms of feeling that union love.

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  8. Despite what the London elite think,the No vote in the referendum was not a positive affirmation of the "union" but more people's concerns about pensions and currency.
    That,of course,excludes the Brit Nat anti Scottish minority who will always vote No.
    The surest way to antogonise people is to denigrate them in the way the right wing English press are currently doing.
    Anyone would think they are doing it deliberately!




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    1. @bringiton

      Yes, I appreciate that the Yes campaign had to adopt a 'don't scare the horses' strategy, given the comparatively low support for independence in 2011-2013. However, I don't want to go into another independence referendum campaign arguing against establishing a central bank, and having our own currency; which does not restrict so much the powers of independence. Pensions was another issue that the No campaign made the running on, and was never really addressed adequately by Yes imo.

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  9. POST ELECTION

    1.Tory party never to be trusted
    2.More Powers offered,a spiders web,SNP trap

    the anti-scottish slant downsouth is disgraceful

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  10. James the biggest danger now is the Conservatives take the lead in England, threaten to win a majority, and Scots vote Labour stop it. Do you agree?

    If a hung parliament no longer looks likely, how do the SNP respond to that?

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    1. If Tories are going to win outright as your scenario suggests mas usual it would make no difference what Scots vote.
      Therefore the public should know at least by voting SNP they will have someone that will stand up for Scotland.
      that is the message for the doors ,"Who do you trust more to protect you and Scotland in Westminster , SNP ,or Labour?"

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    2. Donald, if I may interrupt. If the Tories look like winning easily in England then there is even less of a point in voting Labour in Scotland. Labour in Scotland's feeble mantra, Vote SNP get Tory, will be even more irrelevant since England's choice will out-weight anything Scotland does. Thus: might as well vote SNP so that Scotland gets as strong a voice as possible at Westminster.

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    3. I agree with you both up to a point. But I do worry that since our whole campaign has been predicated on the basis of a holding the balance of power in a hung parliament, if that no longer looks like happening, if the Tories look like they might win, then it looks like our whole campaign has been undermined. Yes we can make other arguments based on other outcomes, but will there be enough time? The danger is people will say, oh no the Tories might win, no hung parliament, might as well vote Labour.

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    4. @Donald

      The SNP would likely respond by pointing out that it did not make a difference in 1979, 1983, 1987, 1992, and 2010, so why would it now?

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    5. James the biggest danger now is the Conservatives take the lead in England, threaten to win a majority, and Scots vote Labour stop it. Do you agree?

      If a hung parliament no longer looks likely, how do the SNP respond to that?


      If the Tories look likely to get a majority, then the results in Scotland become entirely irrelevant to the outcome. The Tories need to win 326 seats for a majority. Whether a seat goes to Labour or the SNP has no effect on whether they achieve that.

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    6. Let's also remember that despite little Ed being one of the worst Labour leaders in modern times the coward Cameron is still running scared to debate him.

      That's hardly a position of strength and there is simply no way on earth that either leader can hide from the electorate as the GE campaign intensifies. (because it's not as if Cameron is that much more popular than little Ed always remember)

      The tories also need to be leading consistently and a by a large amount. Cowardly Cameron's backbenchers managed to scupper the boundary changes with their opposition to Lords reform so it's not as if just being ahead by a little is enough for them.

      Superficially it might make it look closer than it is but all the polling for months has been pointing to a hung parliament in much the same way they did in 2010.

      The tories are also relying on Osbrowne to be an election strategist and we all know how hilariously bad he was at that in 2010. Having Crosby doesn't help them all that much since any tory posturing on immigration or Europe will be a godsend to the kippers. The kippers will also not disappear completely. Sure, they will likely fall back but it's pie in the sky to belive they will fall all the way to their 2010 levels of 3%. They will be strong enough in more than enough areas to put the coward Cameron under extraordinary pressure as the tory MPs in kipper strong constituencies begin to panic.

      As muttley also rightly points out we just tell scottish voters 'how did that work out in 2010?' should they ask about the unlikely event of an outright tory win.

      It's also far less potent now that so many scots have woken up to the Red tories being just as useless and right-wing on so many matters as the blue ones.

      The bottom line is that having a positive vision for scotland and how it is governed is proving to be extremely popular on the doorstep while whining about 'don't let X in by voting Y' is a position of weakness that totally relies on how other parties are viewed as well as your own.

      If the unionists can't even make a credible, believable case for their own parties then they are in very deep trouble indeed.

      What is also getting missed by the westminster chattering classes in the media is that this General Election was of vital importance for the SNP to successfully transition, not just to a new leader, but an entirely new situation.

      Our membership has skyrocketed to approaching 100,000 and let nobody tell you that was an easy thing to manage logistically. It wasn't. Yet now we have branches almost everywhere that are motivated, enthused and also well managed with a professional attitude and the people power in place to make every election from now on a whole new ball game.

      Just wait till 2016. :-D

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  11. I think it's a bit early to be calling this a further increase. 48-20 is more likely to be oscillation around the long term averages, just as the lower SNP / higher Labour scores in some of the YouGov polls last week were. For all the talk about the Scottish polling, even in the UK media, there hasn't been any great change since the large movements in the autumn.

    There's a full scale Survation poll out next week, which should give a better idea than the sub-samples.

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    1. I'd rather have a MORI and/or a Yougov. The survation ones are fine, but they're just one company / method. Sure they're regular, but who knows if they are correct. A range of polls from different pollsters is of course best.

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  12. This ties in with the poll that wasn't used, that showed Labour had lost 10% points in Glasgow from October to January.

    It wasn't published because of some uncertain weighting procedure, but it did nevertheless show a continuing fall in Labour support ( because of Jim Murphy, perhaps?)

    The increasingly public infighting seems to confirm that all is not well in the Branch Office, and if things don't improve soon, the big clunking intellect (Maggie Curran) will need to pull another rabbit out her arse (oops, hat) to save the day.

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  13. Hi James any chance of doing your own immigration poll to counter the BBC's rigged one. They are trying to pretend that we are all united Brits together. The question was never asked do you think Scots should get priority over jobs only Brits. Given that 10% of our population are English the biggest immigrant working population would be English.

    They did it for Poles etc. But for some odd reason ignored English immigrants. Personally I think it's propaganda to create false unity. I also couldn't give a damn where people come from or who gets what job. What I do care about is deliberate stirring and misinformation from the BBC to suit their agenda.

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  14. Unsurprisingly none of the indy sites seem to have noticed the GERS report this morning. So let me point it out to anyone who missed it:

    2013-14

    Percentage of UK taxation revenue we generate: 8.6% (with a geographic share of oil)
    Percentage of UK spending we receive: 9.2%

    That's before the oil price drop. Why is full fiscal autonomy a good idea again?

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    1. Great Idea ,Gers does not tally all Scottish revenue ,e.g. Vat on Scottish sales for UK corporations or Scottish exports exported out of English ports to name but two .also if you look at the amount we pay for defence and servicing UK debt ,consolidate this picture and a completely different picture appears

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    2. Percentage of UK taxation revenue we generate: 8.6% (with a geographic share of oil)
      Percentage of UK spending we receive: 9.2%


      It's hard to say how meaningful this is without knowing what proportion of UK spending comes from borrowing. Do we have comparable figures for rUK?

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  15. Anon, figures include £3BN military spend, £3BN for westminister debt servicing, £2.5BN for 'service costs'

    or £8.5BN spend allocated to Scotland which would be vastly reduced, under independence

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  16. In last 6 years Scotland has contributed £19BN to military (mostly illegal warmongering) and £20BN to service westminister debt (mostly QE and gifts to banksters)

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  17. Anon.
    Revenue generated is real money.
    Percentage of UK spending is borrowed money. See the difference? As Chris points out Scotland pays through the nose for that borrowing in our 'share' of UK debt 'servicing' costs.

    Independent, Scotland could borrow just as UK (and most every other developed economy does) only cheaper as we would be servicing a smaller overall debt. Quite straight forward really if you think about it.

    braco

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    1. We're not talking about independence here, we're talking about full fiscal autonomy - i.e. our spending is proportionate to our revenue instead of based on allocation systems like Barnett (which GERS shows are very generous under the present sent of circumstances - and even more generous if we consider the fall in the oil price since). We'd still be liable for existing debt under that scenario.

      Proposing independence is one thing; this is proposing that we stay in the UK but voluntarily offer to slash our own spending.

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    2. *set of circumstances

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    3. Full Fiscal Autonomy. That does not mean NO borrowing. If it did, then yes of course it would be impossible, just as it would be for every other economy in the developed world. Is that really your point?

      If it is, then what was all that guff about devo max and a settlement as close as close as possible to Federalism promised just before the vote. Did you make it clear to everyone what was being offered was in fact economically impossible under your definitions? Were you arguing for Independence during the referendum then anon?

      braco

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    4. Anon

      You are assuming that under FFA, Scotland would continue exactly the same revenue and expenditure (and debt repayments to London) as before.

      I would expect that FFA would be just that and nominal funding for the things we never get or have incurred, like the Brown and Osborne accumulated defecits might be ultra vires.

      Scotland does "balance" its books each year. It cannot borrow. All debt is London made and financed with a proportion allowcated to Scotland, whether it had benefited or not. Try working out where the money came from for Crossrail, the London new sewage system, the Thames barrier. We are paying a share of that debt financing.

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    5. The biggest austerity cuts are still to come, and combined with any stealth cuts when Smith is implemented, future GERS reports will look better.

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    6. "You are assuming that under FFA, Scotland would continue exactly the same revenue and expenditure (and debt repayments to London) as before."

      Not at all. We could improve productivity, we could improve growth (productivity and growth could also go down in comparison to the status quo). Nobody can predict the future.

      But I don't see any reason why we should ignore the current fiscal situation when we're determining what's in our interest. If we are part of the UK then we should be arguing for the maximum public spending possible as far as I'm concerned, and at present full fiscal autonomy just isn't going to get us there short of some fairly implausible economic developments.

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    7. I am not ignoring the current fiscal situation and am pointing out the flaw in that rigged system.

      then

      It depends how you define FFA and how Westminster lets you do so?

      Gibraltar, I of Man, Jersey?

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  18. Anon, I think the next few years will show Devo Max / FFA to be unworkable as it's impossible to split debt/defence/service costs in that scenario.

    Independence would have been the easier option!!!

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  19. Interesting to see so many posters trying to disavow responsibility for Scotland's proportion of the UK national debt - debt that has been accumulated to fund current expenditure from which Scotland disproportionately benefits, by a government elected by the whole UK (and indeed significantly the responsibility of a party that the Scottish people voted strongly for in the years 1997 - 2010). I am afraid you're into the realms of fantasy if you think Scotland can walk away from its responsibilities for its share of the debt.

    The GERS underlines, to a certain extent, the gearing of the Scottish economy to oil production and prices and therefore Scotland's vulnerability to the commodities cycle, dwindling exploitable North Sea reserves and replacement technologies. That is a point most nationalists refuse to recognise, let alone address. Yet it is vital because Scotland's high public spending model is utterly dependent on oil revenue, which has proven this year to be a fickle mistress. Borrowing money on the back of such an uncertain revenue profile will be a significant challenge and, contra Braco, is likely to mean Scotland's borrowing costs over the medium term are higher than rUK's. Banking on North Sea and West Coast oil is a bet that could come good, but very few industry experts think it will.

    Yes, Scotland could save some money by reducing expenditure on defence, although given its desire to join Nato it is unclear how much can be saved there. Not funding Trident would be a nice short-term boost, but offset by the loss of employment and damage to other industries after any transition period. It is also quite likely that corporate redomiciliaitions would hurt the Scottish exchequer, through the loss of corporation tax and income tax receipts and reduction in business activity, exacerbating the present, significant, funding gap.

    All in all, quite a lot in this for nationalists to ponder.

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    1. Scotland has had a Fiscal Deficit (without debt) in every single year since 1980 (before which there are not separate records. In the early 20th Century, before figures were suspended as being "too embarrassing for London" Scotland got to spend about one third to one half its generated fiscal Revenues.

      The idea that Scotland has "needed" or been "responsible" for a single penny of Westminster's debt is utterly ludicrous. It's London's debt, let London pay it back.

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  20. Bugger, I think our best chance of FFA is from a Tory Govt. We would have to be very careful that we don't get stiched up. Slippery b*stards at westminister.

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    1. I think a strong SNP team would be more than a match for anything that Westminster can put up.

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  21. Hilarious to see out of touch tory twits shrieking about GERS when we all know that an oil fund would deal with the oil price fluctuations. Only the very simple and feeble minded like Daily Mail readers believe the bullshit that scotland doesn't pay it's own way.

    Enough of the Scottish subsidy myth

    Scotland pays its way in the Union - it's time the London commentariat acknowledged that.



    http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-staggers/2011/11/scotland-12288-union-public

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  22. Mick - who's shrieking (and throwing around the same dull insults)?

    The oil fund will smooth out fluctuations (and potentially deliver a net benefit if the returns generated by the fund are greater than the cost of capital) but it doesn't address the fundamental point that if over any given period the oil wealth is not sufficient to make up the revenue/spending deficit (as the GERS and industry projections illustrate), Scotland will need to borrow more. You can't spend the money twice. By putting more into the fund during the good years, you are increasing the deficit in those good years, which therefore requires more borrowing. Sure, you borrow a bit less during the bad years, but it all nets out (subject to the point above about performance). Oil funds are marvellous for countries with large surpluses, looking to invest their wealth and avoid overheating their economies in the short term. Scotland is not in that happy position.

    The GERS very soberly points to Scotland's challenge - a much larger deficit than rUK, even taking into account oil revenue on a geographic basis, and even before the recent precipitous decline in prices is taken into account (which as you know affects not just public finances but the broader economy, including services industries). That is the challenge an independent or fiscally autonomous Scotland would face today. It can't be ducked.

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    1. Thing is Flockers, I don't see the unionist parties proposing anything either. All I'm reading today is a lot of pointing and saying 'we told you were too poor'. Not exactly the basis for a happy and stable marriage.

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    2. Oooh, suddenly a fan of GERS are we, Flockers? Funny how that wasn't the case in previous years - indeed you and your fellow Tories seemed rather keen to "duck the challenge" it laid down for the weak case for Scotland remaining in the UK.

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    3. James, if you can give one example of me "ducking the challenge" on GERS, or previously criticising it, I will gladly withdraw. You won't find one.

      Like any statistical analysis it has its limitations - which it readily acknowledges - but it is a decent source. And yes, in some years it has found Scotland to be a net contributor, in others a net beneficiary. But the fact that sometimes Scotland pays its way is no more a case for Scottish independence than the equivalent would be for London, or Surrey. Economics is only part of the broader question.

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    4. No, that's not how it works, Flockers - in order to avoid the charge of hypocrisy, you have to provide a link to where you met the challenge laid down to unionism by GERS. If such a thing exists, I'll look forward to reading it.

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  23. "who's shrieking (and throwing around the same dull insults)? "

    You are as we've heard this insulting tabloid tosh that scotland doesn't pay it's own way for decades. Toddle back to Stormfront Lite/PB where the far-right loons might believe you and be clueless enough to base everything on one single set of GERS figures rather than the totality of all that has gone before.

    http://www.snp.org/media-centre/news/2015/mar/gers-scotland-needs-financial-control

    Fact is we've already won the argument on the oil fund with even Labour belatedly realising it's efficacy. Though they did admittedly try to spin it and rebrand it as a "resilience fund" lest we laugh at them too much for their hypocrisy and lies on the subject for decades. ;-)

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    1. Mick - you haven't "won the argument" with me on the oil fund. You have, as ever, spectacularly missed the point. It's not about the merits of an oil fund per se, it's about whether an oil fund can address Scotland's larger deficit. Personally I would like to see an oil fund, for the same reasons as you. But I don't kid myself that it is a panacea, or that it will somehow allow us/Scotland to have our/its cake and eat it.

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    2. "you haven't "won the argument" with me on the oil fund."

      Sorry to have to burst your bubble but it's not all about you Flockers old bean. I said "we've" and cited the Labour u-turn in policy, or do you need everything explained to you like a child?

      Get as petulant as you like but you are hardly helping your case by mindlessly regurgitating easily disproven sub-Daily Mail pish about scotland not paying it's own way. Or indeed with simpleton straw man bullshit yelping about Panacea and cakes.

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  24. Sigh, the old "too poor" SNP trope again. The argument is not that Scotland is too poor, but that it will be poorer - or at least more exposed - as an independent economy. I salute anyone willing to accept that as a negative of independence but still supportive of it for other reasons, but I am afraid most independence supporters (at least those posting on here and elsewhere) are hell-bent on denying economic reality.

    The Unionist parties' proposals to date have largely focused on giving Scotland greater freedom over how its share of Westminster spending is allocated and some limited additional tax raising powers, both of which I support. Greater fiscal autonomy is harder to deliver without Scotland giving up the comfort blanket of Barnett, and doesn't really work without Scotland having independent borrowing powers, which cannot happen within the UK framework. I am sure greater minds than mine can come up with a solution but it will take time and needs to take into account the wider constitutional implications - this is not just about Scotland.

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    1. Those proposals don't address how Scotland would go about improving it's relative fiscal position.

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    2. In short, encouraging private enterprise and supporting welfare reforms aimed at getting people back into work are the two most important things Scotland can do to improve its relative fiscal position. They've had a restorative effect throughout the UK in the last three years. I would like to see Scotland invest heavily through tax incentives, grants and other means to encourage the development of industry and commerce in Scotland, and to be given all necessary powers to do so (with appropriate co-operation UK wide to avoid destructive internal competition)

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    3. The problem Flockers with your argument is you have taken a year in isolation and extrapolated. The dishonesty in this approach is staggering. Gers figures in the past made very uncomfortable reading by the unionist parties and gained next to zero media exposure. I wonder why.

      Scotland will have to be fiscally prudent and these figures highlight the issue but lets just get two points highlighted.

      1)Even with poor oil revenue figures Scotland is still a wealthier nation than the UK on a GDP per capita basis

      2)Even with poor oil revenues Scotland contributes more to the exchequer on a per Capita basis.

      The amount of savings that Scotland could make if independent. Not having to contribute an extortionate amount of expenditure on defence and nuclear weapons. Not having to contribute to the running of Westminster and their champagne and expenses. Not having the negate the bedroom tax.

      Lets be honest the decline in oil revenues has been down to the taxation imposed by the tories and George Osbourne in order to hram the SCottish economy in the run up to the independence referendum. This meant that profitablilty of extraction was at a minimum and meant that record investment into the sector. This ultimately decreased revenue from oil taxation.


      And finally....

      After we know about the Mccrone report the collusion of both British parties to silence this data. The huge under investment for decades in Scotland before devolution while poverty and social deprivation took its grip crippling the Scottish economy and leaving a huge legacy even today.

      The trouble with Unionists is there black and white approach to economics and lack of imagination. A government with full fiscal levers is much better able to deal with hardships and exploit good years to grow the economy than one dependent on big brother.

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    4. @Flockers

      The oil fund and GERS have been dubunked many times over.

      http://bellacaledonia.org.uk/2014/08/23/how-decisions-on-data-and-analysis-have-biased-the-referendum-debate/

      The obvious one is control of resources. In the case of GERS, Ian Lang knew exactly what he was doing when he allocated resources to the production of the first GERS in 1992. As he wrote to John Major, “I judge that it is just what is needed at present in our campaign to maintain the initiative and undermine the other parties. This initiative could score against all of them.” And likewise, successive unionist governments knew exactly the effects when they failed to resource extension of GERS to a proper set of accounts for Scotland.

      So GERS was never set up to be accurate it was designed by politicians for political ends.

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    5. "supporting welfare reforms aimed at getting people back into work"

      Perhaps you should have thought about them for longer than five minutes before handing them over to an incompetent out of touch twit like Ian Duncan Smith?

      Is Iain Duncan Smith Fit for Purpose? Tory Turmoil as Welfare Reforms Branded 'Unmitigated Disaster'

      According to a deeply-critical report by the Public Accounts committee of MPs, implementation of the reform has been "extraordinarily poor" and much of the £425m spent so far will have to be written off

      http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/universal-credit-welfare-reform-iain-duncan-smith-520376

      Though of course if you want to impress us on welfare you could always tell us how much of a stroke of genius the bedroom tax was. Amusingly, it somehow took little Ed an entire year to realise how disasterous and toxic that tory policy that was.

      *chortle*

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    6. If you actually believe the GERS figures, then you can could think of it as a good thing, especially with FFA or independence. A supposed large deficit will focus the minds of politicians to tackle Scotland's real problems. Mainly alcohol and obesity, which cost the Scottish tax payer £3.2 BN and £4.7BN. Getting rid of this wasted spend would mean that we'd be laughing all the way to the bank. It's a shame that no-one is willing to tackle this with a necessary steep tax rise on the causes. At least the SNP are making an attempt to tackle these problems, whereas Labour seem to want to keep it that way....

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  25. Perhaps there's a fundamental question here which relates to the way folk might regard these GERS numbers and their likely impact on voting intention. If there are structural imbalances in the Scottish economy showing as an over-dependence on the Oil and Gas sector for example, as there are in the UK economy with its over reliance on the Financial sector and disproportionately small Manufacturing sector - how did it become so?

    Given that it is UK national political decisions over a period of decades that are largely responsible for this state of affairs what should one chose to do about it now?

    Leave the political and economic decision-making power in the hands of the political bodies that produced the economic situation in the first place and which show precious little ability to resolve it, or instead seek to gain control of powers that might allow us to improve matters for ourselves?

    Independence was never going to be easy and I doubt if FFA would be, but to say that the current situation which was caused by others is a reason to leave control with those others isn't going to hack it with me. It gives me no reason to change my voting intention, it just strengthens it.

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    1. Nice post IanH, thanks.

      braco

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  26. "The Unionist parties' proposals to date have" - resulted in historic SNP leads. No other way to read than the scottish public simply not believing them or finding them pitifully inadequate.

    "the comfort blanket of Barnett," - Is a tabloid and unionist myth, or tired old "trope" if you like. One that is hardly being made any more believable by the deluge of foaming at the mouth lunacy from desperate unionist hacks about the "Thames foaming with much blood" and other bigoted nonsense.

    Your problem is that the coward Cameron obviously doesn't give a shit about the union right now. Not when he thinks he sees a narrow party advantage in demonising democratically elected scottish MPs having a say in how scotland is governed from westminster.

    He thinks scaring english voters about little Ed having to rely on scottish SNP MPs will help him and to fuck with the long-term consequences of that.

    No matter.

    We are already using this barely disguised racism from the westminster chattering classes all over social media very effectively. Just keep it coming. It simply proves all we have said about the broken and corrupt nature of westminster establishment. :-)

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  27. To paraphrase one commenter 'If the Tories won't subsidise a spare bedroom, they're hardly going to subsidise a whole country'.

    The moment the Tories openly back Scottish independence is the moment we know they've finished draining us.

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  28. amazing to me that people, firstly argue Scotland is uniquely incapable of managing it's own affairs and finances
    And in doing so, believe we enjoy our priveleges at the largesse of our benevolent neighbours.
    Playing the part of Beggars that don't know they're true worth, heartbreaking to see people value themselves so lowly

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