Saturday, November 28, 2015

There are no consolation prizes for getting it wrong because you erred on the side of caution

As you may have seen, Derek Bateman commented yesterday on my post about his views on the timing of a possible second independence referendum.  I won't try your patience with a full dissertation by way of a response, but there are a few points that I'd particularly like to pick up on.

Firstly, very loud alarm bells started ringing in my mind when I saw Derek's suggestion that demographics are working in favour of the independence movement.  That's a slightly softer version of the refrain we often hear in the comments section of this blog that "more No voters die every day", and that the main thing we have to do is wait for the slow passage of time to weave its inevitable effect.  I don't think that's so much a complacent view as just entirely misconceived.  If you trawl through the archives of Scotland on Sunday from fifteen or so years ago, you'll find a headline story about a poll of teenagers showing that people who hadn't reached voting age yet were strongly in support of independence.  SoS concluded (somewhat provocatively) that the SNP were entitled to take the same view as Sinn Fein : "Our day will come."  All they had to do was be patient, wait for a generation to pass, and independence would fall into their laps.  In fact, a generation did pass, those teenagers became voters, and yet by 2012 the independence movement had a larger deficit in the polls than for many years.  It took a referendum campaign to turn that around, not a further dose of patience.

As I alluded to in my post the other day, there were a number of polls in 2005/6 (including one from YouGov) showing a lead for independence.  Indeed, there was a famous poll in the run-up to the 1992 election giving 50% support for independence, even though a three-option question had been asked.  It's very difficult to track down datasets for old polls, but if we could, it's highly likely we'd discover that the strongest support for independence was among the younger age groups, just as it is now.  So the believers in demographic inevitability could easily have said in 1992 or 2005 : "Aha!  All we have to do is wait for ten or twenty years, and Yes will be completely out of sight."  If anyone did say that, they must have been scratching their heads slightly at the state of play in 2012 and 2013.

The flaw in this whole line of thinking is, of course, that the independence movement does not "own" people who say they support independence at any given moment in time.  The biggest changes in public opinion are not caused by older voters dying or by younger people becoming old enough to vote, but simply by people changing their minds - and that can happen in either direction.  The idealistic teenagers of 1999 are today's working-age adults with bills to pay and a different set of priorities.  The bullish fifty-somethings of September 2014 will be the pensioners of 2029, and may well develop the same fears as their forerunners.  Demographic shifts are not our enemy, but they're not our friend either - they shouldn't affect our thinking on the timing of a second referendum.  Whether that vote is held in five years' time or thirty years' time, it will have to be won through hard persuasion.  There are no short cuts.

The second assertion of Derek's that I want to take issue with is that a second referendum defeat would be "the end".  What does that mean?  Does it mean the end for a generation?  If so, I'm struggling to understand how we'd be in a worse position, because we're effectively being asked to put off holding a referendum for a generation in order to, killing the issue for a generation.  Why is the generational wait less bad if it's self-imposed?

Of course, Derek could mean that a second defeat would be the end for all-time.  If so, I just think that's wrong.  Twenty or twenty-five years is an eternity in politics, and voters won't be impressed by the idea that they can or should be bound by something that happened such a long time ago.  You only have to look at the arguments that were put in favour of the in/out EU referendum : nobody under the age of X has ever had a say, and nobody could have foreseen in 1975 what Europe would look like today.  Very similar arguments will apply in respect of the independence question once enough time has elapsed, irrespective of whether there has been two previous referendums or only one.  And if you want to be reassured that there's no supernatural law preventing a country holding a third (or even fourth) independence referendum, I'd point you in the direction of Puerto Rico.

Thirdly, Derek has reiterated (and indeed amplified) his point that it's an insult to all Scots who voted in the referendum last year to be even talking about the possibility of another referendum so soon.  I must say I struggle with that line of argument.  The way that the Labour party show respect for the democratic process is by accepting that the Conservatives are the legitimate government at present, and that there can be no change of government until there is another general election.  They don't do it by saying that there shouldn't be another general election, or that the next election should be postponed indefinitely, or that they won't put up candidates in the election.  By the same token, we show our respect for the people's verdict in the referendum by accepting that we are part of the United Kingdom at present, and that we won't and shouldn't cease to be a part of the UK unless the electorate freely decide to reverse their decision.  That would be a two-stage process - firstly, they would give a parliamentary majority to a party or parties with a manifesto commitment to a referendum, and secondly they would vote Yes in that referendum.  If either or both of those things never happen, last year's result remains in force indefinitely and we remain part of the UK.  Our respect for democracy is total and impeccable because we accept that.  We aren't going to declare UDI.  The more interesting question is how respect for democracy can be reconciled with the view that the Scottish people should be denied a referendum even if they vote for one.

Derek's objection seems to be that a referendum would just be one manifesto commitment out of many, and that the mandate for it wouldn't be clear or binding.  That's fine as a debating point, but it falls apart when you think about it in a real-world context.  If the SNP have any mention of a referendum in a future manifesto, the opposition parties will ensure that it completely dominates the election campaign.  For heaven's sake, they ensured that it dominated the 2015 general election campaign even though the SNP manifesto DIDN'T propose a referendum!  So there's not much danger of a mandate for a referendum being won by accident.

The broader point I would make about the need to respect the voters' verdict is that Derek seems to view the referendum outcome as totally self-contained, whereas I think most of us now see it as merely the first act in a two-act drama.  It was said more than once in the days after the referendum that something truly extraordinary would have to happen for an early second opportunity to come around, but the fact is that something truly extraordinary has indeed happened - the SNP won all but three Scottish seats at the general election, and pro-independence parties won an absolute majority of the votes cast.  OK, that isn't sufficient in itself to trigger a referendum, but the idea that it changes absolutely nothing is, I think, quite difficult to sustain.  David Cameron sought a No vote on the basis that all options for further devolution were on the table and all were possible.  The Scottish people took him at his word by voting No and then using the general election to express their wish for maximum devolution to be granted.  Cameron has cheerfully ignored the second part of that mandate, and indeed has retrospectively redefined the No vote as precluding the possibility of maximum devolution.  That cynical sleight of hand has not gone unnoticed, and I would suggest the average voter would not find it unreasonable that the prospect of a second referendum has been brought at least somewhat closer as a result.  I also think most voters will have been nodding along when Sally Magnusson put it to Jim Murphy that, irrespective of what the SNP themselves said, it was just a statement of common sense that an SNP landslide was bound to reopen the question of independence.

Paul Kavanagh has said that the correct time to hold a referendum is when we're going to win.  I almost agree with that, but with a slight modification : the correct time to hold a referendum is when we have a better chance of winning than we will at any future time.  If the chances of winning in 2019 are 40%, but we have good reason for thinking they would rise to 70% by 2027, the right thing to do is wait.  But if we think a 40% probability is likely to prove our high watermark, it's absolutely rational to go early even though the odds would be slightly against us.  Derek thinks it would look "desperate" to push ahead because of a fear that the political seasons will change.  I'd call it realism.  I'm not sure whether it would have looked desperate for James Callaghan to call an early election in 1978, but there can't be many people on the Left who don't think that would have been a price worth paying for averting Thatcherism.  It also seems highly probable that the Yes vote in the first devolution referendum would have been higher if the ballot hadn't taken place just after the winter of discontent in 1979.  Seasons do change, unfortunately.  It really shouldn't be a controversial point to say that the time to make the next push for independence is when the SNP are still in the ascendancy, not when they're in a long spell of opposition and Nicola Sturgeon has been long since replaced by a less popular successor.

Of course, it's impossible to know for sure whether your stock is going to rise or fall in the near future - it just comes down to instinct, or educated guesswork at best.  But there are no consolation prizes for getting the timing wrong because of over-caution rather than rashness.  If you succeed in arguing for a twenty year delay, and if at the end of that period First Minister Dugdale (or whoever) is at 50% in the polls and independence has reverted to being a pipe-dream, I'm coming looking for you.  I don't have your address, but Maryhill isn't that big.


  1. You have shown remarkable restraint in your reply to Bateman, James.

    1. Definitely with James on this too. I'm a big fan of Mr Bateman's, but his assertion that even considering another referendum so soon was some sort of "insult" to No voters strikes me as completely backwards. Pretending that voting No was a vote for devomax/home rule/ "all the powers of devolution" before proceeding to vote down nearly *every single* amendment to the Scotland Bill - THAT'S insulting to No voters. Closing down HMRC, cutting thousands of oil sector jobs, slashing Scotland's budget, shrinking the promised frigate orders, and threatening to take Scotland out of the EU after promising all those things could ONLY be safe with a No vote - THAT'S insulting to No voters. Having the temerity to insist that a referendum is "once in a generation" when they used all their might to stop the referendum happening at all - THAT'S insulting to No voters.

      I sincerely doubt any but the most hardcore unionists are actually happy with what's happened in less than two years since the referendum: either from Westminster's lack of respect, New Labour's collapse, or from the ascendency of the hated SNP which they were sure would die upon a No vote. The recent Wings poll showed some 40% of people "definitely" want independence, compared to 30% who would "never" vote for independence, leaving 30% who could be convinced either way. In other words, the diehard independence supporters greatly outnumber the diehard unionists.

      Tick tock.

    2. First of all I'm thinking yes Taranaich I agree with you. Then I'm thinking .. hang on you're attributing too much awareness to the no voting mentality. They're still not interested in politics for the main part. If they or someone in the householdis bringing in the bacon thethey're still posting pictues of cats on Facebook.

  2. Glasgow.Working ClassNovember 28, 2015 at 8:55 PM

    It will happen when it happens.

    Meanwhile in May, vote SNP both votes.

  3. Great response James.

  4. There is much to do. But right now it is the removal of any unionist politician be they an MP, MSP, Councilor or Union official has to be our plan. Pull their teeth let them have to put up Dames and Lords and Duchesses as their spokespeople. We cannot beat the BBC but we can make them a laughing stock if all the have the un-elected to justify their propaganda.

    So keep the momentum going and aim for anytime after Council elections.

    When we control all of Scotland's elected bodies then we have a chance and a good one.

    "O" and play nasty, they used their patronage and largesse to put their placeman into positions of power, we have to replace them as well.

  5. The SNP have to be exceptionally clever to run Scotland well given the stitch up the public school boys have pulled off at Westminster.

    The party has to put forward exceptional people to take over the councils and run them well too. Are there so many? For us to take over, dominate and maintain that dominance in the way Labour has done since the war? I fear for my country.

    Labour has not gone away. They are in disarray, but like the communists in Eastern Europe, they still dominate "behind the scenes". Why do we think the MOT is so pro Labour? Because they own it. And we know it. And they know it. And what the hell can we do about it?

    I want independence passionately. I took part too late in Yes, and regret it. and will not make the mistake again. But can I, and all those others wait 20 years? I'll be surprised if I'm still alive then.

    We owe the No voters bugger all. They were wrong. They know they were wrong. They stayed at home in May. They were sold a false prospectus. I heard some really ludicrous reasons for voting No. And so many of the sound reasons - huh - have turned out to be lies after the event.

    We should go in 2020/21 and to hell with the opinion polls. Fortune favours the brave.

  6. Referendum is off the table for the next Holyrood parliament. Anyone who thinks otherwise is engaging in wishful thinking.

    60% threshold requirement.
    Duff oil industry.
    Strongly unionist and right wing UK government.
    EU referendum.
    We just had one recently and the answer was no.

    So, given all of that, the parliament of 2016 will not realistically see an independence vote. But there will be lots of hope and hot air and empty promises - of that, I'm sure.

    1. The fact that we have a very right-wing government makes independence more likely, not less likely. I'm sorry to have to break that to you, Aldo, but there's no point in sticking your head in the sand. You can have unionism or you can have Toryism, but in the long run you can't have both.

    2. Of course, the new Scotland Bill powers provide an "opt out" from toryism - provided Scots pay for the increased spending themselves. It's time to put our money where our collective mouth is James. Are we really a socialist country? If so, we'll be prepared to pay a bit more in tax. I suspect not however. The tories in Scotland will have their second coming - just as soon as the SNP and Labour begin screwing around with our tax codes.

    3. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 29, 2015 at 9:16 PM

      James, Nat si ism and Toryism whats the difference? Both do not under any circumstances want to tax the rich. They take money from rich capitalist doners. They want to keep privatisation of trains and buses. Salmond says he will bring back into public ownership the Scottish Mail. But you know he is telling porkies and would never upset the markets. Now how does it feel being a Tory James.

  7. What's this Grant Shapps thing? It's all over the papers...

    Total disaster for the Tories it seems.

  8. I think the Tories are throwing a low ranking Pedo to the wolves, a lightning conductor so those in power are ignored

  9. No voters are in denial at least the no voters that I know are. They complain, still take the piss out if their own country, saying Scotland is too stupid or whatever suits their agenda.

    They really do not want to heat anything positive about Scotland, whether it's having no tuition fees, everyone having access to prescriptions, ie they are 'free'. They also put their unionist fingers in their ears and say lalala if you say anything bad about how dreadful the current westmonster government are and how their liebour pals are all in it together. They blame the SNP for any minor failings in services etc.

    On top of ukok asset stripping Scotland re oil etc, they are also removing funding 100% for Gaelic tv, and even crucial lottery funding to the tune of 30million pounds. That will impact on our charities who provide essential services to some of our most vulnerable.

    Other things, RNIB, moved their operations down South, and then therecis the case of the lifeboats, RNIL I think removing that service from St. Abbs. There are probably others taking their operations and jobs out of Scotland.

    We cannot wait 10-20 years, that will mean Scotland being in a weaker position due to westmonsters attacks on Scotlands industries. Still not 100% that the Indy ref was all legit in 2014, but we gained so much in terms of support for the pro-Indy parties since, that it would be foolish not to go with the will of the people via the ballot in 2016 election.

    Then if all is done fairly and above board, we will know where the land lies to call a referendum and let's hope that the unionist side then accept the result with good grace, that is of course, questionable.

  10. First rate rebuttals of Derek Bateman's off-the-cuff, "papal"-style assertions and diktats or neo-Beeb "fatwahs', if you will (something about the Jock chatteratti drawn from the Brit MSM which seems to inculcate delusions of grandeur in them - see MacWhirter of the Herald et al; or even when they leave - like the said Bateman of the BBC. Perhaps, there is something in the water dispenser?).

    Robust discussion is critical always and particularly on this democratic, constitutional journey - and Peter Bell is acquitting himself well in this respect on Derek B's site - but, in the final analysis, it is not the chatteratti's call but the citizens's served by the ScotGov as their sovereign instrument acclaimed via election and on temporary duty.

    My prediction is on a re-sovereign Scotland being negotiated post-Holyrood (suspect GWC's and Aldo's unusually respectful contributions on this thread indicate they smell which way the wind is blowing, too).

    1. David, if I'm respectful its due to the way I was brought up and the recognition that people are entitled to their beliefs - not because I see an inevitable coup for the SNP on the horizon. Quite the opposite - I can honestly see nothing but strife as wrangling over taxation begins and the obsession with indyref2 reaches boiling point. Your party will have to address all of these in office, with an increasingly blameless opposition looking on.

  11. Well argued point James re indyref2.

    Im not sure whether its your site or whether it's the increasingly infuriating decision-making at Westminster, but I'm definitely warming to your view.

    My only argument is that it will never be a rational decision. As you described, these kind of things can only appear rational or irrational with hindsight. There will always be uncertainty. It is no more "erring on the side of caution" to wait for a better chance than it is to go sooner to avoid longer odds.

    It will always be balance of the opposing fears that decides; fear of the boat sinking again vs fear of missing the boat altogether. At the moment, the former is still too easy for an indy supporter to visualise. Ironically it might take an SNP poll dip for that to change.

  12. If.

    If the high watermark of independence sentiment is the 50% or thereabouts that we are seeing right now, we should go for it. The issue for me is predicting future trends, I doubt anyone can do that with any accuracy, tho' there are pointers, perhaps.

    I do think that there is an element of truth in the idea that younger people embrace change more than older people. Despite my best efforts, I know older people who would not budge - I am kind of old myself - based on concerns about their pension, nothing more, nothing less. You could do a Lesley Riddoch on them and it was water off a ducks back.

    I am not convinced that 'events, dear boy, events' play to any great extent in political or independence leanings. Unless we view them as a drip, drip, drip process. Eventually, people come to the conclusion that they are not particularily well served by the present regieme. Your site has been full of surprises for me. I was, frankly, depressed after the referendum. To see our side move up in the polls has been a godsend for me. It suggests that some more folk are seeing through the pageantry and faux patriotism of a nation I desperately want to leave.When the best that they can do is something out of a cheap Hollywood movie, it is time to leave.

    When you could be led by a Lass of Pairts rather than an inbred millionaire, I think we should take the risk.

    So, in summary, I agree with you.

  13. Thanks for an excellent article,James.Plenty to digest.Plenty to debate.After the referendum Salmond said "Scotland has changed and changed utterly".I think he is right and I think this needs to be considered when we look at the issue of demographics.People die.Theres no doubt about it.We can make a fairly accurate assessment of how many No voters and Yes voters die on a weekly,monthly and yearly basis.When they die their vote is gone.Immediately.
    But people get older.Theres no doubt about it.As they get older,they get more conservative.However,we can't so easily put a figure on how much more conservative people get with regard to independence in a post referendum Scotland because this is all new territory.Scotland has changed utterly.Will mortgage payers who were exposed to a bombardment of fear,but voted Yes,become less likely to support independence once that mortgage is paid off ? Some will,but enough to make up for all the No voters who Shuffle off ? We don't know.
    Here's a statement for you to consider. "Churches are frequented by mostly older people.These people die,but are replaced with people who become old.So church attendance never falls.Churches never close." I don't think we can assume that demographics are neither our foe or our friend.Its possible,perhaps even likely,but it's not a certainty.In short,we can be certain of how many No voters will die next year,but we can't be certain they'll be replaced pro rata.Please note,I'm not for a moment suggesting all we need to do is sit back and wait.IF demographics do play a part,it will be a small one.

    1. Here's another couple of statements regarding conservatism as we age.
      "I'm 30 years old.Several of my friends are gay.It doesn't bother me in the least.Never has.However,as I get older I will,no doubt,become more conservative.By the time I'm 80 I'll want them incarcerated."
      Here's another one;
      "The vast majority of 80 year olds have the same opinion of independence as they did when they were 40".

    2. I think they reference financial and constitutional conservatism in this theory rather than cultural conservatism.

  14. Derek Bateman is a 'we're defeated-there's-no-point-in-trying-anymore-just-accept-our-miserable-fate-and_don't-look-above-the-rim-of-the-trenches' plonker I'm afraid - oh, I like him and he was a useful voice during the referendum but he's a giver-upper as he has demonstrated a number of times now. He was the first voice among us to say 'accept our fate and become good Brits'. He needs to be more Robert the Bruce than Winie the Poo. He is a follower, not a leder and as such his opinions are a bit gutless at best and downright suppine to the Brits at other times. Derek - just get tae f if you have given up and let the rest of the doers get on with the job at hand OR grow a pair and make the news rather than bow under the weight of the Brit media.

    1. Hear, hear! Derek Bateman lacks the stomach for a fight and is a typical 'born loser'. I well remember his long time defence of the BBC's impartiality when its anti-SNP/Indy bias was obvious to even the most stupid persons. Best to ignore him.

  15. The important point in this article is that we are approx in a 50/50 win/lose situation - we won't suddenly see a huge swing to independence ever by the looks of it BUT we could with enough work swing enough scared NOs to YES - we need to convince about 6% to 10% of the population to have courage and this is done by presenting a convincing argulent for YES. It is doable (not by losers but by winners Derek) and we can do it. BUT the postal vote system will be used by the banana republic Brits to steal the result - I'd do it to them and they will do it to us. EVERY voter needs to be checked as a resident in Scotland and their identity and address verified otherwise we will always lose.

  16. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 29, 2015 at 12:22 PM

    Seems to me there is a bit of desperation in some comments. The facts are clear why you lost. Lies were told regarding the economy. A Scottish currency was not offered. Sensible people want a guarantee their savings and jobs are safe. A yes vote meant thousands would have lost their jobs and you Nat sis knew this. A Yes vote would have been a vote for poverty and thousands leaving Scotland. But you lot did not care about that. You even lied about remaing in your beloved EU. People will vote Yes when they are confident you are telling the truth which is verified by facts.

    1. People will vote Yes when they are confident

      Aye, no love for the UK in Scotland.

    2. I wouldn't be so sure - over 2 million people turned out to save it.

    3. There is a difference between emotional attachment (love) and pragmatism (e.g. economic concerns etc).

      A majority don't even self describe themselves as British, but Scottish only (2011 census). SSAS forced choice national identity has >7 in 10 picking Scottish if forced to choose between it and British long term average.

      Then you have e.g. this (recent panelbase):

      Which of these statements is closest to your view?
      41% Scotland should definitely be an independent country
      28% I'm not convinced by the case for independence, but I'm not opposed to it on principle
      30% I would never vote for independence under any circumstances

      Your people who 'love' Britain fall into the 30%. As I said, not a lot of love. Under the right circumstances, 70% yes is readily possible.

    4. You did say "no love". This was the point I refuted :0)

      As with everything political Skier, the pragmatic middle ground will prove decisive. This is the group the separatists have to win over. Fat chance with oil at $45 a barrel and the independence movement looking more extreme and half assed with every "hope over fear" rally held...

    5. Sorry, not a lot of love I meant, i.e. minority love. Only really 18% or so who are firmly 'British'.

      Yes has gone equal or slightly ahead with $45 a barrel oil. Support for indy was much lower at >$100 a barrel back in 2012/13.

      When the price goes up again, it will make no difference just like it hasn't when it went down. It's not something people think about; they are too distant from it because it is a minor part of the Scottish economy. That and Scotland doesn't get the oil revenues anyway - London does and always has.

      It just makes unionists look like they hate Scotland when they revel in the fact people have lost their jobs in the NE. Especially now Dave had cancelled CCS for Peterhead. The Tory PandJ was fuming, especially after the Toried said they'd protect oil jobs / deliver a 200 billion oil bomb and haven't, even though people voted No.


      What's this Shapps thing about BTW? Looking really bad for the Tories. Bullying and sexual assault at the heart of the party?

    6. 'oil boom' that should be. Syria effect ;-)

    7. If only 18% are firmly British, then Better Together did a hell of a job in winning over the middle ground types to teach 55% in the indyref :0)

      Support for indy has increased with no indyref in the offing. As the author of this blog pointed out, pro independence sentiment peaked at over 50% in 1992 and again in 2006. Yet when a referendum was finally held, the seps were spanked. Polling figures now bear no relation to what will happen in 10 or 12 years time.

    8. Erm No turned 30% lead into a 10% one and now a 0% possibly. That's not much of a record ;-)

      And why are you avoiding the Shapps scandal? Ruth must be very worried about effects on next May's election. It's all sounding Major years sordid...

    9. Another way of looking at it. If 30% are firmly British and 41% firmly Scottish, then the BT camp won over a staggeringly 86% of the moderates. Why is that Skier? And do you think the situation would seriously be any better now, with N. Sea oil screwed?

    10. North Sea oil isn't screwed. No more so than it was when I started working in the industry. Jeez man, the world uses 96 million barrels a day and the current low price will only last as long as the Saudis / opec wanted it too. My wee co is sitting on an 'oil fund' as the clever ones are waiting for the next boom. Unlike the financially incompetent Tory UK government.

      In 1997, 74% voted Yes following a 50% oil price crash and oil was about £12.50 a barrel. I remember the talk. Oil was finished; no way Scotland should go for devo...

      Get over it; there is no correlation between oil price and Yes support. The simple reason is that most countries don't have oil and when they do, most people are too distant from it to figure. They are worried about their jobs and that's mainly it.

      Instead, you need to explain these broken Tory promises to the people of the NE. I suspect Ruth is going to take a big hit there in May. After all, has always had a decent Tory support area. But add in Peterhead CCS cancellation and that's a litany of lies from Dave.

      And to be honest, I find your enjoyment of job losses in Scotland disgusting. I have played that clip of Dave and the whole HoC (except Scottish MPs) laughing at Scottish oil job loses in the HoC on Autumn statement day to a few friends. Tipped the balance for them. Every new Yes voter counts!

    11. North Sea oil is in negative tax territory, for the first time ever, in its history. This is no blip - our oil industry is in extremely poor shape.

      I don't revel in job losses. But at least those guys can easily get new jobs / welfare support, being part of a United Britain and European Union.

    12. I wonder who caused that!! Perhaps George with his tax grab that delayed projects or his friends the Saudis over producing to bring the price down and stop the US and others from fracking? However funnily enough production figures are rising this year and probably will do for a while yet.

    13. Skier:

      "Erm No turned 30% lead into a 10% one and now a 0% possibly. That's not much of a record ;-)"

      I don't think that anybody sensible believed that it was truly a 30% lead, even when the polls said so. It all sounded too good to be true for me, my instincts told me it would be a lot more narrow than that. I don't doubt that there was a late swing to Yes, but a 30% in the first place sounds just too unlikely for me.

  17. GWC
    You really do know nothing about how the Pro-indy side conducted their arguments so I do wonder if you ever stepped foot in Scotland at all. It also seems that your lack of up to date info on exactly what is happening to Scotland via job losses and cuts to the budegt at the hands of westmonster, does not tally with someone actually residing in any part of Scotland and being aware of what is coming out in the news here.

    Definitely not worth wasting time on going into all that for your sake, but do please get lost, no one here wants to hear your insulting, inane, ignorant pap.

    You will be completely ignored from now on.

    1. I've been saying for ages that this guy is no working class glaswegian. He's an och aye the noo sasanach I know all about the Scotch English man with a little local knowledge.

    2. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 29, 2015 at 7:40 PM

      Hetty, I listened to all their lies for almost two years. Alex Bell bubbled on you lot.Yer ain man told the truth. You lost so take it on the chin. We NAWS tellt the truth and won.
      Wee Eck wis even feart tae debate with George Galloway. Galloway wid hiv torn him apart.

  18. Significant changes since 19/9/14.
    1. VOW reneged on.
    2. Smith Commission reneged on.
    3. Renewables subsidy cancelled.
    4. Carbon Capture Project cancelled.
    5. EVEL attempted.
    6. Trident cost escalated.
    7. Nuclear Industry sold to China.
    8. Proposed war on ISIS with no proper detailed plan.
    9. Chilcott Report postponed again.
    10. 56 SNP MPs elected.

    I stopped at 10. How many more do you need?

    1. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 29, 2015 at 7:43 PM

      Anyone can draw up lists to suit themselves.Does not give them any credence though.

  19. "The idealistic teenagers of 1999 are today's working-age adults with bills to pay and a different set of priorities. The bullish fifty-somethings of September 2014 will be the pensioners of 2029"

    Flat out disagree with this point. There are several unique things influencing the older No voting group.
    - The shadow of WW2 and cold war.
    - Unprecedented pension wealth due to decades of stock market stabilty, including the oil fuelled stock market big bang.
    - Property wealth that the next generation will never see.

    People used to become more conservative as they got older in large part because they used to get more financially secure.

    This wont be the case for this generation.

    1. Spot on. And a third. Today's pensioners came to adulthood bathed in Unionist propaganda pre internet. Three TV channels. No internet. A 'War film' every single Saturday night and twenty times at Christmas. A time when Jimmy Saville was a respected entertainer. Those times are gone

  20. I think James is partially correct in assessing the transition from youthful idealism to working age realism; I'm sure many people do become more risk averse with age. However, anon's points above have greater potency IMO and outweigh the former. This is indeed a different generation and the vast majority of these people will NEVER learn to love the British state.

  21. After 3 centuries of union, a century of Scottish nationalism, two nationalist governments and a failed independence referendum, many supporters of separatism still think "it's okay - we just have to wait for some more people to die".

    James is right to point out the folly of this. You need to convince people. You need an argument. Above all else, you need an economic argument. Just now, the shadow of an economic argument you did have last year lies in ruins. Yet still, some of you still seem to think "a few more years of burying people and we'll be sorted".

    Please continue to think in this way. While nationalists rub their hands with glee at every funeral cortege they see, we unionists will be looking at economic stats, building a genuine case for union.

    1. Where is Rome? And where Austria-Hungary? How's the USSR doing these days? No empire lasts for ever.

      But you are correct that we need to improve the presentation of the economic case for Independence. Scotland has been subsidizing the rUK financially since the 1870s. The currency union plan was mainly to protect pensioners from currency fluctuations, as affects those pensioners living in say, Spain. Next time: no currency union. Be clear that we will take over the pension liability in full, provided that there is no debt share.

    2. Derick, the Scottish government's own figures refute your claims, with Scotland running a deficit twice that of the UK, subsidised by the UK.

      The United Kingdom isn't an empire. It's a modern day European nation like France, Germany or Italy. Our empire days are well behind us.

    3. Subsidy junkie. Get off yer arse and stand on your own two feet Aldo. ;-)

      And why are you avoiding Grant Shapps questions? This scandal could really dent the Tories in May.

    4. I'm a subsidy junkie if it keeps MRI scanners operational and surgeons in the Scottish NHS, Skier.

      Grant Shapps? Pah! That isn't proper Scottish news - according to the separatists, at least...

    5. You think it isn't a scandal?

      Bullying, intimidation and sexual assault at the heart of the Tory party? A major cabinet resignation? Ruth must be sweating.

      What really stands out is that he hasn't had the whip withdrawn and been suspended from the party pending investigation. Voters expect that and vote for parties that follow those rules.

    6. Nice try Skier. But the tories never presented themselves as saintly and a new type of politics, unlike the SNP who would like us to believe they never so much as defecate.

    7. So you are saying the shapps thing is true?

    8. And the SNP are nearly 100 years old. Hardly 'new politics'. I've been voting for them since the first time I was old enough at nearly 2 decades ago.

      That bit is in your imagination; the electorate know that 'slippery salmond' and have for decades. Jeez, the SNP got 1/3 of the vote in 1979 when I was crawling round the living room.

    9. They got a third of the vote in 1974. They were punished in '79 for bringing down the Labour government, from what I remember.

      And they aren't the same party they were then. Back then they openly had internal disagreements. Now they are like the Borg - one mind, no room for dissent. Or else.

      And I don't believe there is any suggestion of Shapps having done anything illegal - whereas this is a possibility with your two SNP wimin.

    10. So why has he resigned then?

      The fact he has stepped down yet not been suspended / had the whip withdrawn suggests guilt but the Tories protecting him.

      We are talking about the life of a young man here, not about some missing cash that might not even be missing.

  22. Its not glee, its not a rallying cry for mass complacency, its simply an observation that the demographics are marginally favourable.

    Oh and one other factor to add to the above list in Anon 4:27:
    - the internet.

    1. The demographics are not favourable, at all. Wolfie Smith will almost always become Víctor Meldrew, given 30 or 40 years. You people - like every left wing organisation - live in denial of human nature.

      The internet does nothing apart from increase blood pressure. The internet came in in about 1995. By 2020, we'll have had 3 great constitutional referenda in the last decade - AV, Scottish indyref, EU membership. All 3 are set to result in "no change".

      The internet is useful for 2 things only - shopping and jacking it.

  23. The debate between James and Derek, and the discussion btl on both is most stimulating.

    Peter Bell asked on Derek's thread ‘What other objective might there be but a second referendum?’ Which prompted the following train of thought.

    Westminster claims sovereignty – a Yes vote in a referendum would merely be a petition to Westminster to dissolve the Union.

    Westminster agreed to Indyref 1 because they thought they would walk it. It will be very difficult to get them to agree to Inderef 2. We could hold it anyway, but the No side would abstain and it would be meaningless.

    Scottish sovereignty rests with the MPs that Scotland sends to Westminster. No less an authority than Margaret Hilda Thatcher noted this, and it was implicit in the response given to the National Covenant petition

    As majority of MP’s elected specifically on a pro-independence ticket is a mandate for Independence.

    Of course in reality Westminster would ignore that mandate, and THAT would trigger a second referendum

    The question then, is which Westminster election should we pick for a return to the position that a majority of MPs is a mandate. 2020? Or 2015?

    Meantime, let’s do all in our power to remove from elected office all the voices that speak against us. 2016 Holyrood first, then the Councils.

  24. Replies
    1. If we assume that indy is off the table 2016-21, then it is likely that a pro union majority will emerge after that time - meaning no indyref in the 2021-26 parliament either. Assuming the SNP or pro indy parties collectively won the '26 Holyrood election, a referendum would probably be held within 2-3 years of that date. Assumimg two years, that puts the mythical indyref 2 sometime in about 2028 - fourteen years after the first. (a near mirror image of Quebec).

      You're in for a long wait chaps. And, by '28, oil will be on its way out and Labour back in power under a leader most probably still at Oxbridge at this moment in time.

      Don't worry though. You'll be free by 43 ;0)

  25. Great to see the resident Tory Unionist getting his knickers in a twist over the , frankly appalling, behaviour of senior figures within his Party which resulted in over 20 complaints of bullying, sexual assault and blackmail being made from its members and which culminated in the tragic suicide of one of the victims.

    The Tory internal investigation - undertaken by a lawyer who wishes to become a Tory candidate, will simply not be acceptable to either the deceased lad'd family, or the wider public. It will only result in a cover-up.

    Following Shapps resignation, pressure is now mounting on Lord Feldman, the Tory Party Chairman, to step down as well, as the net spreads wider.

    Feldman is a close personal friend and confidante of Cameron and it is now being speculated just how much Cameron knew about all this previously and failed to take any action against those responsible.

    These nanny-loving, all-boys-together, privileged, perverted Tory Throwbacks are totally incapable and unsuitable to run any country.

    Wonder if their camp followers indulge in the same behaviour?

    1. Knickers in a twist? Lol - I couldn't give a toss.

    2. Not give a toss about a young person's death due to Tory Party Bullying?


      That is very revealing.

    3. Seriously Aldo? If it's true you couldn't give a toss.

      If Thomson and McGarry were found clearly guilty of something I'd give a fucking toss and want them out.

      You don't care e.g. about the life of a young man bullied to suicide?

      This is why I'd never vote Tory.

      Probably the reason for this too:

      Which brings us handily back on topic :-)

    4. There are many reasons to top yourself - death of a loved one, terminal illness etc. To do yourself in because you were "bullied" by some toffs? It's not something I'd ever do.

    5. At least I'm honest in not giving a feck. You lot pretend to care to score political points - that's all. You should be chuffed - another tory 6 feet under. Or does that only apply to Scots aged over 60?

    6. I am sure the boy's father and mother will be grateful for your understanding - seeing as how they blame an ex-Tory Party Member for his death and the Tory Party itself for covering it up.

      You really are showing your true colours, now.

      You are merely a piece of Tory Trash - nothing more, nothing less.

      Personally, I will view anything else posted by you from now on, as submissions from a piece of low-grade, human shite.

      Nothing personal, of course.

    7. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 29, 2015 at 7:49 PM

      David. So Nat si policy is guilty until proven innocent! Were you the lavvie attendent In the St Vincent Place shithouse?

  26. No, but I hear you were a very regular visitor, pet.

    1. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 29, 2015 at 8:00 PM

      Aye were ye a pal o Charlie Sim?

    2. You really do know them all, Craig, don't you.

      Wanna tell us something, sweetheart?

  27. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 29, 2015 at 7:57 PM

    Jock_Skier. The young Tories have gone over tae the Nat sis. Why have two despicable right wing parties in a small country.

  28. Talking of pieces of low-grade human's it going McGibbon?

    1. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 29, 2015 at 8:15 PM

      Fine David had a few biers in that German Bier Keller in St Enochs today. Hope yer aupair is keeping you clean and tidy.

  29. Wow, Aldo. I try not to get involved in too many BTL discussions these days because it's true - it pretty much does just lead to raised blood pressure and further entrenched opinions. But PLEASE reconsider your comments above about a young man's suicide. "I wouldn't do it" is a grossly offensive thing to say. The implication is that you're a sensible, strong-willed person and no sensible person would react in such a weak, cowardly way to a bit of bullying. Perhaps that's true, and lucky you. I guess it's the same way that some people never catch a cold while some people have compromised immune systems and catch everything that's going.

    In this particular case, the young man seems to have been picked on pretty badly by this Mark Clark fellow. He made several complaints and was ignored, then named the guy in his suicide note. Just because you might have the emotional and mental resilience to cope with whatever life throws at you doesn't mean that it's not of profound concern that senior members of the Government knew about a young boy in a state of turmoil over bullying by people they supervised and did nothing. Imagine if your kid was being bullied at school and the headteacher wilfully ignored it. Imagine how you'd feel if your son was in tears and your neighbour looked over the fence and said "well I'd never cry about something like that."

    Behave yourself. I'm reasonably open to argument and opinion from the No side, but what you said there was way out of order. Show a little respect, for God's sake.

  30. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 29, 2015 at 8:51 PM

    The evidence must be heard. And what has a god got to do with this. Throw the suspects intae a Scottish Burn. If they float they are guilty, if they drown they are innocent.

  31. Scottish Daily Mail really attacking the Tories over Shapps. Quite something to watch.

    The Scottish Mail on Sunday leads with a story about Grant Shapps, who has resigned as international development minister, and makes new claims about blackmail, adultery and political corruption in relation to the scandal which led to his resignation.

  32. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 29, 2015 at 10:40 PM

    Skier. Makes ye proud we are all Jock Tamsons Bairns.Only in Saudi and Pakistan dae wummin get stoned fur adultery and the men get a pat on ra back fur hivvin a good shag. In Scotland the wummin are chaste and loyal, nae adultery here pal. Blackmail and political corruption in Scotland! Nah never this is God's country.

    1. Primrose Hill Working ClassNovember 29, 2015 at 11:41 PM

      Ock eye the now. I see you there Mr Jimmy. Jings mi kilt and such and such.

  33. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 30, 2015 at 12:37 AM

    My favourite Nat si group that gathered outside the Glesga City Chambers before the referendum was the Refugees for Independence.
    I have been told just recently by a Celtic season ticket holder that the Nat sis had in your face Tims for Independence at Celtic Football ground. What a bunch of divisive wasters the Nat sis have turned out to be. Anything that divides working class people the Tart and Tories will use. The new Scottish Bourgeoisie Scum.

  34. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 30, 2015 at 2:57 AM

    Laugh off the week was the young Labour bloke calling the Nat sis Robots. He was doing them justice as a Robot is functional. Clones could have been better.

  35. I'm with Derek on this one. Voters gave Westminster another chance and now we have to see what they come up with. (Federalism would be an Indy killer in my opinion). So far, what Westminster has come up with falls far short of what is required to keep Scotland. But I reckon most unionists need far more of a kicking from the UK before they notice or care. And in the meantime the rest of us can only point out the abuse and lost opportunities until no voters see the light.

  36. "fifteen or so years ago, you'll find a headline story about a poll of teenagers showing that people who hadn't reached voting age yet were strongly in support of independence. SoS concluded (somewhat provocatively) that the SNP were entitled to take the same view as Sinn Fein : "Our day will come." All they had to do was be patient, wait for a generation to pass, and independence would fall into their laps. In fact, a generation did pass, those teenagers became voters, and yet by 2012 the independence movement had a larger deficit in the polls than for many years"

    Those teenagers from 15 years ago are the Yes voters of today. The older voters of 15 years ago are the No voters that are still alive. That's the whole point. The article has actually shown itself to be incredibly far-seeing.

    The new voters in the suceeding years that have came through are, by and large, showing majority for Yes.

    I'd take polls on indepenedence when there was no realistic prospect of a referendum with a pinch of salt. I simply don't believe 50% would have voted independence in a three way ballot in the 90s. Believe that if you wish.

    People can change their minds. You'd rather be in the Yes position though where they are starting in your camp.

    The only thing that can and possibly will derail this is if/when the people get bored of an SNP government and Labour successfully change the narrative while in office. Difficult but not impossible.

    1. Also, the case is made stronger by Westiminster failure to give Scotland the powers it was promised. 5 years is not long enough to have judged the offer. I agree it would be disrespectful of the previous ballot and the voters to push early.

      Patience is the key. We're not living in the 90s anymore, we're living in post-referendum politics. Scottish people are thinking about independence as the main political issue of our times. It's also beneficial to allow a few years of "independence is inevitable" narrative to filter and bubble away. It gives the opportunity credibility in the wider population and will provoke panic in the unionist side. Alongside these two and the demographics it's win win to wait.

    2. "Those teenagers from 15 years ago are the Yes voters of today."

      The point is that the "demographic inevitability" brigade would have looked at that poll, and concluded that Yes support was bound to slowly increase over time, as those new voters replaced older people who had died. Instead, support for independence had fallen by 2012.

      I was going to say you had missed the point, but from the latter part of your comment it appears you understand what I mean but are evading the issue by suggesting that old polls are meaningless, and that your own instinct is a better guide to what public opinion used to be. There's a bit of a falsifiability problem there.

    3. Thanks for the reply. I enjoy the blog. In my opinion, if independence was so solidly supported pre-referendum campaign (80,90s, 00s) by 45% of the population, the SNP would have enjoyed far more electoral success. I think there is a gulf between polls conducted in times where the issue had no likelihood of fruition and a vote which would have brought about an independent state. Polls in Catalunya could show a similar degree of difference. They showed majorities in opinion polls but in the "independence" election they failed to secure a majority of votes. I believe 45% of the population voting yes was the vote maximised. I don't agree support for independence has fallen since the 90s, as your analysis suggests.

      Is there an opinion poll expert explanation for the concept that there could be Yes voters that would put Yes in an opinion poll but when the prospect is actually on the cards may not put their X in the Yes box? Because I think that explains my theory. 2012 we were still in the midst of the financial crisis and independence was actually on the horizon. Big difference from a wee protest opinion sharer during John Major rule without a Parliament.

      I think support has built over time as the Scotsman article suggested it would. Presumably the reason the article was of interest at all was that those too young to vote held stronger convictions for independence than the electorate at that time. The electorate now includes those youngsters who verifiably actually voted Yes and are taking the generations below them with them. The Scotsman article and those who argued to wait have been proven correct. We're not just talking about a tiny demographic that didn't even have the vote anymore, we're witnessing a Yes vote majority in those under 45 years of age who actually have the vote. The "demographic inevitability" brigade were hopefull in the 90s. It's now been converted and their theory is slowly pushing us in the right direction.

      That as it may be - the actual case for independence still requires to be strenghthened and maintained. There can, as yet, be no complacency.

    4. The reason to go for a refrerendum quickly in your eyes seems to be we are at the highpoint of possibility of success.

      However, if we believe your analysis from earlier all we need to do is wait until we have the 50% support in a three way ballot demonstrated in the 90s. If that existed, why can't it again?

      But then in other articles you seem to think we are unlikely to come close to 60% in a two way referendum therefore our 50-50 now is as good as it's ever going to be.

      How do you reconcile the idea we went from such an incredible high in the 90s (*I mean what's 50% in a three way ballot carried over to a binary choice?) to limply accepting we'll never breach 55-60% so we better get rush into a fifty fifty or riskier chance?

      you genuinely seem to believe we were on the brink of independence in the 90s but that now we're at a highmark of 48-52%? What happened, was the Yes campaign detrimental?

      Far more likely we are at a high mark now. We're higher than we've ever been.

    5. mean to add, we're at the high mark as the youngsters foreseen in the Scotsman article have made their presence felt - familiar, business, politics and the power structures of the nation. The generational shift is quite clear.

  37. Climate change is a highly topical subject at the moment. It is a massively controversial issue and the arguments around it can get quite heated. I have to say that I have never really understood why. For me, what matters is not whether, or to what extent, climate change is explained by human activity. All that matters is that it is happening. It doesn't much matter whether the measures such as emissions-reduction and rainforest preservation are necessitated by "man-made" climate change, they are a good idea anyway. They are almost entirely things that we should be doing even if we weren't threatened by a significant shift in the planet's climate system.

    What does this have to do with the second referendum? Only that a similar argument applies. All the things that we should be doing now, we should be doing regardless of whether the next referendum is to be in 2018 or 2028. But, just as it makes sense to assume the worst regarding "global warming" so as to give impetus to action that we should be taking anyway, so it is only sensible to proceed as if the second referendum is coming sooner rather than later.

    The argument that the independence campaign might be damaged by campaigning for independence is just as silly as it appears when it is distilled to its essentials.

    Some maintain that there other routes to independence. That a referendum is not the only way. This may be so. But it is surely the best way. A substantial Yes majority on a high turnout represents an unchallengeable mandate. But, more importantly, a referendum is something that we can campaign for. It is something that people understand. It is something which people know is achievable - because we've already done it.

    To choose a route to independence that is open to challenge only offers another line of attack to our opponents. The main advantage of the referendum route is that the British establishment has accepted it as legitimate.

    There are other ways that we might achieve our goal, such as by reverting to the position that a majority of SNP (or pro-independence) MPs constitutes a mandate to sue for independence. But this is fraught with problems. Not least that it takes the issue away from the arena of a mass popular movement and places it in the context of party politics.

    Independence must not only be the people's choice, it must be seen to be the people's choice. And people must feel directly involved in making that choice.

    So, for campaigning purposes, the objective must be a second referendum.I have no problem campaigning to get people to vote SNP. There are very good, and very obvious, reasons why we should. But when it comes to the constitutional question I want to be campaigning to get people to say Yes.

    By my reckoning, the earliest feasible date for another referendum would be the second half of 2018. Whether that is the date we actually want doesn't matter. For the purposes of campaigning, we should adopt the mindset that we are going for the earliest date possible. This does not mean that we should be actively demanding a referendum of Thursday 20 September 2018. Only that we should be preparing the ground as if that was when it was going to be. Be should be doing, with a sense of urgency, all the things that will be required whether the actual referendum is on that date, or a year, or two, or three later.

    We should be keeping the issue alive. We should be maintaining momentum. We should be developing our arguments and, more crucially, the means to take those arguments to the people.

    We absolutely must assert, affirm, and defend our right of self-determination against the machinations of a British establishment which is even now frantically seeking ways to ensure that we never again get to have a say on the constitutional status of our nation. What better way to do that than campaigning vigorously for a referendum in September 2018, OR THE EARLIEST POSSIBLE DATE THEREAFTER.

    1. Could not agree more Peter. If you know of any organisation that is prepared to restart the YES campaign please let me know. I am desperate to get back to it.

    2. I think a core group will emerge as the focus for the #indyref2 campaign. The "official" campaign, if you like. For the moment, it is important to keep local Yes groups active

      Although I recognise that many baulk at the suggestion, it is also important to support the SNP. Political clout matters within the British political system - which is where the battle for a second referendum and/or independence must be fought. The people of Scotland have built the SNP into a bag stick capable of frightening the British establishment. It would be daft to throw that away.

      For the moment, it's as well to regard the SNP as the core group. That we need an SNP majority in the Scottish Parliament after next year's elections is too obvious a fact to be worth much discussion. However the campaign for another referendum develops, it will all be pretty pointless if we don't have a government that is willing and able to stage that referendum. And one which has a "big stick" mandate to take into the inevitable fight with the British state over this.

      Once we have secured that SNP majority it will be time to start putting the pressure on for another referendum. We will be pushing at a door which is, if not open, at least unlatched. Nicola Sturgeon is just waiting for us to give her the go ahead. At that point, a single organisation will emerge to represent the views of those who want that second referendum. If only because pressure is more effective when it is concentrated - like focusing the sun's rays through a magnifying glass.

      When the actual referendum campaign starts, the SNP will become less important as the slog-work is taken over by the Yes movement. And, crucially, communication of the Yes message is taken over by alternative media.

    3. We spent most of our efforts the last time, playing table tennis with how the numbers stack up today on a fixed income Barnett formula. What we need to do is ignore all that irrelevance and paint the picture of how Scotland could be if it was Independent, making it's own economic decisions and show our people how that would work to their benefit.

      In all of the areas of life and economics we have the experts who could do this on our side. This should be organised like an improved version of the White Paper and include the draft constitution answering all the questions we were defending up to 18th Sept 2014.

      Then a suitable launch date after May 2016 could be set accompanied with a full bloodied yell for YES resounding around Scotland. The preparation needs to start now. We gotta get organised, attack with our own ideas, instead of defending numbers that would not exist in an Independent Scotland.

      That is why I agree with you and we should start now not after May 2016.

    4. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 30, 2015 at 6:47 PM

      Scots leave in their tens thousands and replaced by immigrants. This would be the Nat si economic miracle.

  38. I also think that waiting for demographics to be in our favour is a red herring. How much of the Brit Nats scorched Earth policy in relation to Scotland will be played out by the lets be patient brigade.

    It is also a distraction from what needs to be done in sorting out the Currency question for one. Or indeed those other questions where the lickspittle Brit Nat Press and Media will dance to the next version of Project Fear.

    On a day when it is reported in the National that James McAvoy stayed silent on the Indy debate for reasons of "career preservation!". I think waiting for demographics to take their course is just not on.

    I doubt even Nostradamus could predict the effects of The Brit Nats Project Scorched Earth on Scotland.

    1. Glasgow Working ClassNovember 30, 2015 at 6:57 PM

      There was no project fear. This was just Nat si spin. You Nat sis have been exposed for your porkies. Your main man bubbled. If you have another referendum then your further ies need to be believeable tae over twa million that smelt yer shoite in the first instance.

    2. Listen, you little "Nat si" agent provocateur, up your concentration guard boots and troll elsewhere.

      At least Aldo - your literate alter ego (?) - attempts civilized discourse.

      You, drone, however, are a Unionist bot aspiring to the GCHQ pay-roll (as are others of your ilk currently infesting Twitter and Facebook).

      Noted for the record, you do not attempt trolling on WoS but bottle out in favour of "Phil Robertson" & "Sensible Dave" whose bahookies are well-spanked regularly in the dialectical discourse sense, you neo-Fascist little OO Ludge troll that you are (no sense of humour implied in calling you out for what you patently are @GWC UKOK Achtung!).

  39. I disagree with Derek and others on this.

    Delaying and endless prevarication. Leads to a loss of momentum. We are neck and neck at the moment. We can say categorically if we go into indi-ref 2 after May next year. We have a fighting chance of winning.

    Jump forward 10 years. How does anyone know where the indi voters will have gone. These kids will have grown up and they might get bored with the lack of progression in Scotland. Shit happens people become ambivalent.

    The next generation at the moment are only 10 years old. In 10 years of British erosion of Scotland. How do we know they won't all feel more British than the last lot. Or the referendum will become just a vague memory of a failure!

    When you have the young people on your side you keep them enthused. You don't take cold feet and wait for gravity to make your decisions

    We must not let independence drift away and for the SNP to forget their purpose.

    Waiting is a guessing game going now with the percentages we have is much more certain than guessing the future.

  40. Only the SNP scares the Westminster Establishment. The Pouters will settle for a Nicky S minority government as a comfort. Those on the hard left are being rather disingenuous by asking for tactical voting for pro-indy RISE etc, on the basis of a false premise.

    Of RISE one can only ask if they are the Judean People's Front or the People's Front of Judea? Their real fear is that they are exposed as the real Popular Front of Judea!

  41. Janet
    Almost bang on the money except for might they be MONTY PYTHON in mufti?

    O/T Mr Bateman huffing & puffing again.

    Whatever happened to Newsnet Scotland since his editorial advent (GA Ponsonby & Prof Robertson excepted)?

    Ditto Bella becoming more overtly Trot (Mike Small excepted).

    Mr Bateman, ex-Beeb wallah, seems to be a man on a self-absorbed, West End of Glasgow, trendy mission @glasses of vino all round in the Ubiquitous Chip (which I love, too).