Monday, August 25, 2014

"Isn't it hard not being independent? If you want to build something, you can't build?"

I don't know what it is about the London to Glasgow night bus, but every time I'm on it I seem to find myself sitting either behind or in front of two people who are complete strangers to each other, but who strike up an instant friendship and talk for hours and hours.  Last night, it was a young English woman studying at Dundee University, and a man from distant shores who has been in the UK for five years, and who was travelling to Scotland for the first time as an adventure, because it's too much hassle getting a visa for other European countries.  He knew very little about Scotland, and bombarded the woman with questions about what the country is like and how it's governed.  He seemed a bit perplexed to discover that our taxes still go direct to London, and ruefully told her that Britain had treated his own country in much the same way for two hundred years.  No, no, no, she protested, it's not like that at all, Scotland isn't exploited like an old British colony, because all the money is spread out fairly throughout the UK.  But he was still confused, and asked her : "Isn't it hard not being independent?  If you want to build something, you can't build?"

It just goes to show that it often takes a complete outsider to find true perspective on what is at stake.

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Now that I'm home, I've finally had a chance to look at the datasets from the bizarre Sunday Post poll of over-60s.  It's not possible to make a direct comparison between the headline numbers of this poll and the equivalent age-specific results from previous Survation polls, because breakdowns are usually only given for 55-64s and over-65s.  However, if we look at over-65s only, one thing that leaps out at me is that the Yes/No split with Don't Knows excluded is absolutely identical to the numbers for the same age group in the Survation poll from July, which of course showed the Yes campaign just five points behind among the whole sample.  The No lead in this poll (with DKs excluded) is also only 2% higher than in the over-65s results from the June poll, which similarly showed a 5% gap on the headline numbers.

There's not a huge amount that we can read into yet another poll of a conveniently No-friendly demographic group, but we can at least be reassured that the results are perfectly consistent with a very low No lead.

And don't worry - the unionist media haven't exhausted all of the imaginative possibilities yet.  Coming soon : did members of the Orange Order think Alex Salmond won tonight's debate?  Check out tomorrow's Daily Mail for an exclusive YouGov poll!

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While I was travelling, I couldn't work out how to embed the Phantom Power video that I took part in, so here it is now -


  1. Welcome home .... you've been missed.

  2. I don't really follow the Sunday Post, so have they given a particular reason why they're doing these special polls of women and old people?

  3. I would imagine that only women and old people read the Sunday Post

  4. The Sunday Post's a weird one. Didn't they break the Denis Healey admission that successive governments had lied over oil, and the MoD blocking oil exploration because of Trident. Reading my mum's copy today, they're bigging up Wood's dodgy oil forecasts and littling down (?) the NHS consequentials case. One line one week, another the next. Impartial or confused?

  5. Was busy campaigning again for Yes today and tonight but got back in time to see Darling reduced to a gibbering wreck.

    Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

    Even the audience destroyed him.

    The most delusional tory twits and rabid unionist press and media will have a hard time convincing anyone Darling was anything other than shit tonight.


    Great stuff. :-)

  6. Mick

    I advise you to have a read of tonight's debate thread on good old Political Betting. A good chortle I promise :-)


  7. Hugh,

    When I already know what they will have said?


    Nah, even they couldn't pretend that was anything other than Salmond monstering Darling. Oh all right, some of them could. ;-)

    Still, I think one of the most crucial points might have passed a great many by and certainly won't have occurred to the PB tories.

    The most probable turnout for the Independence referendum is beginning to solidify at around 80%.

    That's a MASSIVE voter gap between those who vote regularly at elections and those who don't. Why do you imagine we in Yes have spent so much time registering to vote and campaigning hard in areas the No campaign have never and will never set foot in? The heavily working class areas where people are utterly disillusioned and fed up with with politics as usual.

    Do those in the No campaign seriously believe these people who never vote at elections are actually being represented in all the polling?


    Not a fucking chance.

    There is a huge effort getting volunteers to GOTV on the Yes side. It is already bearing fruit and a great many have signed up for it already. I can tell you that for a fact.

  8. Any thoughts about the comments at ? Seems that someone was told by a "reliable" source at DC Thomson, before the Sunday Post poll, that there was one coming on Sunday that had Yes and No tied at 44%.