By Bob Duncan

The local authority elections are finally over and the SNP has emerged as the clear winner, at least from an arithmetic point of view.

Assuming the ConDems manage to hold onto power at Westminster, only the European elections of May 2014 stand between us and the independence referendum and those are likely to be little more than an opinion poll for the referendum itself.

We hear from the leadership of the SNP that the launch of the “Yes” campaign is only days away, and we can expect a “No” campaign to begin soon, if somewhat tentatively, as the pro-dependence parties begin their communal dance, circling one another as they reach towards some form of coalescence. It would seem that the phoney war is about to end, allowing the debate to pass from the procedural to the political.

It is often claimed that Scottish independence will bring with it a number of highly undesirable consequences, notably a significant decrease in national income, the end of progressive social democracy, serious questions over national security and an uncertain future in the geopolitical arena.

One may be forgiven for dismissing such concerns as the usual scaremongering by those with little positive to offer, but in reality these are the completely predictable outcomes of Scottish Independence - not for the newly independent Scottish state itself - but for the rest of the UK, as it comes to terms with its post-Union future.

These dire consequences for the rUK are also the primary reasons why the Westminster will resist Scottish self-determination with all of the means at its disposal, despite recent claims that the incompetence of the Unionist camp demonstrates a secret wish to finally be rid of us. That may be true of a number of Tory back benchers, but is clearly not the view of the UK establishment.

Allow me to explain.

Take first the prediction of a decrease in National income. The UK has bolstered its current spending using Scottish oil revenues for almost forty years, avoiding national bankruptcy at times, and considerably reducing its budget deficit at others. This income stream has also allowed large capital projects in South Eastern England to be funded, such as the Thames barrage, Crossrail and the London orbital motorway. Do not forget, also, that 25% of all UK corporation tax comes from oil-related businesses.

Almost all of this is about to disappear from the rUK balance of payments in a very few short years. At a time when energy resources are likely to be the key to national success, it is Scotland which is holding all the cards. With between 1 and 2 Trillion pounds of oil reserves, around a quarter of Europe's renewable energy potential, and even the prospect of enough submarine methane hydrates to dwarf oil revenues, Scotland's economy is set to outstrip that of the rUK in a way first predicted back in the 1970's by the long-suppressed McCrone report. Over the same period, hard financial times await those South of the border.

Then what of the end of progressive social democracy? The loss of the thirty-odd Labour MPs from Scotland will not, as is often suggested, lead to a continual dominance of the Conservative Party in the rUK. Even without MPs from Scotland, the present administration in Westminster would need to be a coalition.

However, the two main parties in English politics are chasing a centre-right electorate in the South-East corner of the country, against a background of a rise in the far right, as exemplified by UKIP and the BNP, and the disintegration of the Lib Dems. The future of English progressive politics does not look rosy, and it is English politics which will dominate the rUK due to simple force of numbers.

And those questions over national Security? The location of all of the UK's nuclear weapons in Scotland, with no obvious alternative site in England (under the circumstances, we can probably discount Wales as an option) must place the continuation of the rUK as a nuclear power in some doubt.

Even if those nuclear facilities are eventually re-sited, this may make their replacement impossible and could lead to their eventually being scrapped. The renewal of Trident, in any case, may be an unaffordable option for a cash-strapped, energy-poor economy, increasingly forced to import most of its fuel, water and other raw materials.

Finally, we come to the question of the rUK's uncertain future in the geopolitical arena. Westminster's claim to World Power status is based primarily on having a veto in the United Nations, an historical anomaly that is hardly merited by its current influence or military might.

The loss of Scotland must put continued permanent membership of the UN Security Council in serious jeopardy, if for no other reason than its providing a unique opportunity for a realignment of the current  membership. The rUK would need to renegotiate its way back in, and from a position considerably weaker than that which it currently enjoys. On the surface, that seems quite ambitious.

So, given all of the dire consequences of Scottish Independence, for what is left of the UK at least, we should not be surprised if the fight to keep control of Scotland is a hard one. All of the dirty tricks will be brought into play, from the biased media to scare tactics, and even the security services, and the “No” campaign will not be a positive one.

Misinformation, propaganda, fearmongering and much worse will characterise the lead-up to the referendum and no dastardly deed will be left untried.

We must be ready for this form of opposition if we are to win the popular argument, and must fight negativity with a consistently positive message. We must concentrate on the solutions to poverty, deprivation and ill-health which will be made possible by self-determination, and not advocate independence for its own sake.

We must dominate those new media to which we are not denied access, and we must use them wisely and use them well. And, most of all, we must win the battle on the doorsteps, in the workplaces and in the pubs.

If, over the next two years,each of us overcomes the fears of just one other person, inspiring that individual with the vision to vote for her or his own freedom, then we will prevail. It is the individual voices of those who share a positive vision for the future of this country that will make this happen. Not the political parties, not “Civic Scotland”, not the governments in Edinburgh or London.

It is you and I, face-to-face, online, in print, making the case for self-determination wherever and whenever we can, that will finally win our people their freedom.

And the campaign starts right here, right now.


# Davy 2012-05-17 07:40
Damned RIGHT.
# cjmjr 2012-05-17 07:58
Seconded,have been saying same for a long time. Coverting one person at a time to Independence is what I'v been doing since the 60's usualy works out at three or four a year.
# Kinloch 2012-05-17 08:03
Excellent aricle Bob it sure will be a dirty fight, especially when the fear factor is viewed through unionist eyes. Seems the rest of the UK stands to lose far more than they would like to admit. I wonder if the exponents of the subsidy junkie myth will ever see an analysis like this though, hope so.
# Leswil 2012-05-17 08:09
I absolutely agree with Bob's thinking, I also have been speaking along the same lines for some time. There is no doubt that we will have to be strong and tenacious to get our independence.

Which in my own view will let Scotland evolve in positive ways we never could have imagined while being tied and robbed by Westminster.

However, there are very many dark forces out there to try and thwart us, and lots of these walk among us.

The UK will go bust without our oil, unless, the gas find off Blackpool is as big as is suggested, and if the oil finds in the Falklands turn out also to be big finds.
If these come to pass, they will be less interested in Scotland.

We of course will not worry if these things turn out for them, as WE only have 5,000,000 + mouths to feed not the 55-60,000,000 rUK will have. We can take strength in that fact.

Scotland has much going for it, we just have to get people to really understand that.
# Sleekit 2012-05-17 08:13
Great article
# Sleekit 2012-05-17 08:17
I would just add one thing though...

The NO campaign will be negative to the extreme, it will be insulting, and at times it will be ridiculous.

What we cant do as independence supporters is react to this in any other way than positively stating facts to counter misinformation, and arguing our point politely and positively.

If we let the Anti's paint us as abusive or reactionary then we lose the upper hand. We must always be level headed and accurate.

So if your angry with anti's, back your assertions up with facts and quotes...

They dont like it up em.
# Fungus 2012-05-17 08:45
What we need is independent, multinational, preferably European, oversight of the referendum process from beginning to end.
# X_Sticks 2012-05-17 09:12
I'll second that Fungus!
# Marga B 2012-05-17 08:56
Well, at the risk of speaking out of turn due to lack of knowledge, I'd say the nationalists have fallen and heavily at the first hurdle, the local elections and their outcome.

There were surely some weaknesses that were obvious and weren't corrected and some perversions of the system that could have been predicted and weren't.

Unless someone gets ahead of this game the same thing is going to happen at every crucial stage - outmanoeuvred and caught without a Plan B.

Without that, surely being right, positive and accurate will get you nowhere!
# handclapping 2012-05-17 09:22
I don't have the knowledge either, but, in terms of making progress towards independence, the increase in councillors improves the reach of the nationalists into the heart of communities.

Independence in a referendum is not a party political event. It is going to be much more like the Covenant, Convention and Wendy Wood's Patriots IMO, so to have more respected local figures on the ground arguing the independence cause is a bonus.

It should also be remembered that a Councillor in "opposition" has far more time available than one in "government".
# Sleekit 2012-05-17 10:40
I'm afraid that Marga has it right.

The SNP missed a trick, or rather the public did.

When Lamont said that the SNP had got the arithmatic right but not the politics, we all thought she was mad... "but the SNP won" was the cry.

What we all failed to note at the time, but which is all to clear now, is that she was not talking about politics in relation to the public (the traditional sense of elections), she was talking about politics in relation to parties.

The Labour, Lib Dems and Conservatives had always been planning to jump into bed with each other if the arithmatic stacked up to deny the SNP.

There was only three votes in the election:

1) SNP
2) Green
3) The Union Retention Dependency Society T.U.R.D.S (Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem)

This was the failure in politics of which she spoke. The SNP could have warned the public to expect this Unionist Rainbow as a reslut, but I dont know if they saw it coming.
# John Souter 2012-05-17 11:19
Marga - there's a vast difference between multiple choice local elections and the proposed referendum.

Now's not the time for pessimism nor to become a casualty to the quality of feed supplied by the MSM as solace to the appetites of the political trough feeders.

It's sub prime, lacks nourishment, unsustainable and ultimately toxic to the biology of a healthy society.

Since 2010 the only success Westminster can claim for its austerity dogma is the decimate welfare and the conditions of the poorest in society. On balancing the books, regulating banks and getting some control on the financial alchemist alongside their commitment to act as the US poodle they have failed miserably.

Probably the SNP could do more on the independence front but, for the moment, why risk your armour when your opponent is marching towards a swamp?

Now is not the time to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
# pa_broon74 2012-05-17 11:30
I would also add, even if they (the SNP) did know (and its possible they did) what could they have done about it?

Local elections never fully follow national trends anyway, and I would say, if the SNP did suggest to people there would be a unionist rainbow, they would have been accused of talking about national politics over local issues.
# whitburnsfinest 2012-05-17 23:43
Agree, pa. They'd also probably have been accused of paranoia and much fun would have been made along the lines of "OMG!!!!! SEEKRIT YOONYONIST CABALS are ganging up on us!!!!!"

Hardly the impression such a competent and balanced Government would want to give.
# Leswil 2012-05-17 08:59
Sorry to deviate from the article but you may want to see Craig Ferguson in Arbroath for CBS. Including a good interview with Alex Salmond.

Send it around
# X_Sticks 2012-05-17 09:08
According to the Press & Journal the No campaign is imminent:

"Scotland Office Minister David Mundell told the Press and Journal that details of the plan to save the Union will be revealed “within weeks”."

Apparently they (the union supporing parties) are all going to gang up on us (the independence supporters), so be afraid, very afraid!

I'm sure the facade will be sweetness and light, but for sure the dirty tricks departments will be working overtime.
# tartanfever 2012-05-17 10:29
Sorry to go O/T but just wanted to highlight this article on the BBC website for you. I've mentioned a couple of times in the last few days that we should stop visiting various news websites and contributing to their online viewing figures as a decline in those numbers, in my view, will see a decline in advertising profits.

It seems that this may well be the case: full story at the BBC here -

The newspaper and media group Johnston Press has reported a fall in advertising revenue since the beginning of this year.

Total advertising revenues in the first 18 weeks of 2012 were down 9.1% compared with the same period in 2011.

However, in terms of the digital (online) revenues, we have this :

In its latest statement, the Edinburgh-based group said digital revenues were up 13.9%.

Digital revenues are going up because people are visiting the site to make comments on the shoddy journalism and argue online with unionists. An increase in visitor numbers will only push up online revenues and in turn will only encourage the paper to write more one sided bias journalism so that more people will visit the site. They've laid a honey trap and we're falling for it.

Please consider the ramifications of visiting the Scotsman website.
# gus1940 2012-05-17 16:49
Can we have the actual amounts not just percentage increases/decreases - that would paint a more meaningful picture.
# Aucheorn 2012-05-17 18:05
A combination of "AdBlock Plus" and "Ghostery" two add-ons for browsers added to "Do Not Track" technology you can block all adverts and counts for the adverts and the sites.

Of course NewsNetScotland is in my exception list.
# 1314 2012-05-17 20:04
tartanfever - I'm not sure you have this right. The number of people who comment on Scotsman articles is relatively small compared to the number who read them, but those who read the articles may also read a few comments. If independence supporters do not comment, where are the majority of readers to obtain balance or exposure of outright bias/misinformation.

To see how futile and counterproducti ve it would be for us to refrain from comment, have a look at the the media map referred to by alpinal below.

Here's the link

The Scotsman obviously has a large online following - even in the West. The best we can do is to counteract the worst of their excesses.
# snowthistle 2012-05-17 20:25
Wonder if that is true of most sites.
At the SNP conference I spoke to the folk from here and they said that while they had about 90,000 unique visits a month only around 200 of those actually posted on the site
# Clydebuilt 2012-05-19 21:23

bang on, Nats should boycott Unionist media sites.

reduce their visitor numbers
# Dundonian West 2012-05-17 10:54
"In its latest statement, the Edinburgh-based group said digital revenues were up 13.9%."
Perhaps tartanfever the rise is mainly pro independence responses,and we should desist and leave the Unionist Alliance to chatter away to one another unchallenged.
Difficult call,but I think that's the way to go.Deny them the oxygen of publicity.
# tartanfever 2012-05-17 11:24
Thats exactly what I'm suggesting DW.
# jafurn 2012-05-17 11:40
Quoting tartanfever:
Thats exactly what I'm suggesting DW.

Suggestion taken on board tartanfever and a point well made.
# tartanfever 2012-05-17 12:08
I promise I won't mention it again everyone :-)
# jafurn 2012-05-17 12:17
Quoting tartanfever:
I promise I won't mention it again everyone :-)

That wasn't meant as a a dig. I was just reiterating your point.
# tartanfever 2012-05-17 12:58
Ha ha, I know that - no worries.

Just aware of my habit of repeating myself, which does get a wee bit boring at times !
# exel 2012-05-17 11:54
“We hear from the leadership of the SNP that the launch of the “Yes” campaign is only days away, and we can expect a “No” campaign to begin soon, if somewhat tentatively, as the pro-dependence parties begin their communal dance, circling one another as they reach towards some form of coalescence.
It would seem that the phoney war is about to end, allowing the debate to pass from the procedural to the political.”

The author of this article obviously has the ear of the inner council of the SNP. But WE (the voters in the body of the Kirk) are still waiting for the analysis from the independent body (whoever they are) on the CONSULTATION.

What may I ask will happen if the parties you term (the pro dependence parties) do not feel the need to start a “NO” campaign at all?
# tartanfever 2012-05-17 12:15
' What may I ask will happen if the parties you term (the pro dependence parties) do not feel the need to start a “NO” campaign at all? '

So why is Mundell in the press announcing the 'no' campaign is just about to get underway ?

Why was Blair MacDougall reported in the press to have been appointed the co-ordinator of such a campaign ?
# Aplinal 2012-05-17 12:17
exel: Quote:
What may I ask will happen if the parties you term (the pro dependence parties) do not feel the need to start a “NO” campaign at all?

They lose the referendum vote?

OR, do you mean that you think that the media will do the campaigning for them, so the politicians don't have to bother? IMHO that will happen anyway (media bias towards the Dependency parties), unless some pro-independence media outlet springs up from nowhere in the next six months. (I exclude online media in this respect).

This media map from the Guardian ( makes interesting reading, especially for Scotland. (Click on specific titles for their spread.)

The absence of an unbiased media outlet is huge disadvantage for those of us with pro-independence leanings. All I really want in the next two years is some balance. I respect other people do not think like me, but if they have never been exposed to another picture of Scotland and Scottish potential under independence, why would they change their view.

I am reminded of Albert Einstein's quotation about insanity, "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

Do Scots really think that remaining in a dependent union will lead to a better future, just because Westminster politicians say so? To paraphrase Monty Python, "What has Westminster ever done for us?"

Bob is right to suggest that all we, as individuals, can do is politely push the positive message. I DO believe that positivity will eventually win out over negativity. But it will be a tough road to walk with ALL the media in the opposite corner.
# Dundonian West 2012-05-17 12:39
On another thread I remarked I was stopping clicking on Scotland newspaper sites----your link to the Guardian media map above is mortifying-----almost all of Scotland are Daily Express clicks!
Help us!
Seriously,it is a revelation,and an indicator of what's going on.
Well worth a visit.
# exel 2012-05-17 13:44
Aplinal 2012-05-17 13:17
I take your point about the media, but all the media campaigning, biased or otherwise will not convince the electorate.

You can settle for political party spin version of the truth or you can have public debates involving the political parties. But the only way Scots will make up their minds is to keep the parties out of it.

Campaigning by the media is of no use to anyone. Face to Face discussion/debate has no substitute. The parties should publish their proposals and let the electorate discus them.
# Aplinal 2012-05-17 15:58
I agree to some extent, but would only say that with an unremitting "background noise" of mis/disinformation, smear, manipulation, lies and propaganda, it will take someone who REALLY wants to find out the truth quite a job to do so. Most electorate will not do this.

I hope that those that can't be pestered to find out the real situation, stay at home. This referendum is far too important to be decided by votes of people who simply vote out of impulse, rather than after thinking through the arguments pro and anti Independence.

For the undecided, there has to be some form of unbiased media outlet. If you didn't see the discussion between Irvine Welsh and Tristram Hunt ( it's worth a look. Clear, unfussed, straightforward presentation of facts and opinion. No shouting or frothing at the mouth. An example to us all.
# lumilumi 2012-05-17 16:25
Thanks for the link, Aplinal.

I think Irvine Welsh was so right in pointing out that the Scots have moved on. Never mind the unionist apologist and his gibberings, but increasingly more Scots have moved on and started to think for themselves (as opposed to letting their Westmister MPs think for them) and this is a whole new era. Which very much scares Westminster and the establishment.
# scottish_skier 2012-05-19 21:38
Irvine Welsh hit the nail on the head perfectly in his own Irvine Welsh way. His opposition got all dressed up for nothing.
# Macart 2012-05-18 09:18
Great link Aplinal, that's how a tv discussion should be conducted, one on one. So often we see a gang of three and a vid link which tends to end up as a who can shout the loudest contest.
# X_Sticks 2012-05-17 14:55
O/T I see Joan MacAlpine has got into trouble for not turning up to ask questions - again:

"Salmond aide Joan McAlpine ordered to apologise to MSPs"

I notice the beeb were keen to tell us what Joan had for lunch....

I wonder why that was? Just to point out to us punters how well fed our MSPs are? I wonder what they serve in the BBC canteen? - I've no doubt it is something similar...what with all those cookery programs.

I wonder what Johan (or is that John?) Lamont had for her lunch?
# lumilumi 2012-05-17 15:56
Thank you, Bob, for this well-argued and balanced piece.

Viewing the Scottish situation from the outside, from a modern Scandinavian country, I'm just tearing my blonde hair out! For me, Scotland's independence is a no brainer! Why would anybody in Scotland want to stay with the rancid old union?

England is a great little place, quirky, and steeped in all kinds of history, and nearly all English people I've ever met are truly lovely and nice. It's just their outdated, undemocratic political system that's the problem.

Scotland has wiggled a tiny bit away from that and is learning to be a bit more democratic. What's more, the Scots seem to have an ethos, a social conscience, quite akin to us in the Nordic countries. It's not all about money and profits, it's about people.

For me, a keen hillwalker, the difference between England and Scotland and their mentalities is very much evident in rights of ways. In England, you can only walk along designated paths, skirting private landowners' lands. In Scotland... anywhere! (Just like at home in Scandinavia.)

I think Scotland should be an independent country. It's got everything going for it. Rich in natural beauty and natural resources, a good and free education system providing a highly skilled workforce for future industries like renewables, and now a government with a vision for the future... Hell, my independent country doesn't score as high on these meters, except education.

Oh, you Scots, GO for it! You'll be so much better off independent, making your own decisions, not doing what Westminster tells you to.

PS. My apologies to any Welsh readers, I banged on about Scotland/England and forgot about Wales, sorry. I've only been to Wales once and know very little about the political situation there.
# exel 2012-05-17 16:36
lumilumi 2012-05-17 16:56
“Thank you, Bob, for this well-argued and balanced piece.
Viewing the Scottish situation from the outside, from a modern Scandinavian country, I'm just tearing my blonde hair out! For me, Scotland's independence is a no brainer! Why would anybody in Scotland want to stay with the rancid old union?”

Here is another no brainer for you lumilumi. Why would anybody in Scotland wish to vote for independence without any guarantee the new political system would be any better than the “Old rancid” one?

What on earth is the problem with deciding a Constitution before we vote for independence.
# lumilumi 2012-05-17 18:29
To be honest, I don't know. All I think is that independence can't be any worse than the union. Probably better.

Independence is so dear to me that it cannot be measured in monetary or financial terms. I'd rather be poor but run my own affairs. And of course I'd rather be rich and run my own affairs.

Independence is not about money. It's about self-determination, it's about holding your head up high and saying who you are. Not a bitty-by semi-colony in the fringes, but your own people, your own country. Having your own voice on the world stage.

I admit money is important, but that shouln't be a problem for Scotland, a developed country with a well-educated workforce and lots of natural resources. Never mind what tantruming American tycoons say.
# exel 2012-05-17 21:06
lumilumi 2012-05-17 19:29
“To be honest, I don't know. All I think is that independence can't be any worse than the union. Probably better.
Independence is so dear to me that it cannot be measured in monetary or financial terms. I'd rather be poor but run my own affairs. And of course I'd rather be rich and run my own affairs.”

I think you are wrong. Independence is not the only route to self determination.

Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference. The principle does not state how the decision is to be made, or what the outcome should be, whether it be independence, federation, protection, some form of autonomy or even full assimilation. Neither does it state what the delimitation between nations should be — or even what constitutes a nation. In fact, there are conflicting definitions and legal criteria for determining which groups may legitimately claim the right to self-determination. Moreover, self-determination is just one of many principles applied to determining international borders.

The key phrase is:” whether it be by independence, federation, protection, some form of autonomy or even full assimilation.”

The people of Scotland voted for one route to self determination (devolution) over twelve years ago after the disintegration of the Westminster system.
Unfortunately devolution (a quasi federal system) was not the answer.

Large areas of the UK were still left with their aspirations unfulfilled. In reality the political parties, of all flavours, hoped that it would fail and it did.
# snowthistle 2012-05-17 16:40
Much to be learned from your very excellent education system lumilumi.
You should tell us a bit more about it sometime.
# exel 2012-05-17 17:24
Holebender 2012-05-17 16:29
“It is a logical fallacy to think that one is caused by the other.”

Are you saying that it is illogical or that it is a fallacy?

“The UK with a written constitution would be just as broken as one without. It's not just a matter of having any old piece of paper, it's far more important to have the right constitution.”

In my opinion with a written constitution, the political parties could not have “hijacked” the Westminster Parliament and claimed sovereignty for itself.

“I know of no example of a country which followed the route of first a written constitution then independence, do you?”

What is the logic behind that statement? Why should the Scottish electorate not have a part in the composition of a Written Constitution before they vote for independence?

Because it has never been done before??
# Holebender 2012-05-17 18:16
If you don't understand the term "logical fallacy" I suggest you look it up. One of the classical logical fallacies is the one you have indulged in here. It is formally termed "post hoc ergo propter hoc". Google will help you out.

The logic behind my statement is that it is not necessary to have a worked out constitution before becoming independent, as has been demonstrated by every country which has become independent before us. Why do you think Scotland is so different that Scotland alone cannot possibly achieve independence unless we have some fully worked out written constitution in place beforehand? Who's going to pay for the exercise of adopting a constitution for an independent state which may never come about? Who's going to put in all the work required?

You ask is it because it has never been done before. Maybe you'd be better to ask why hasn't it been done before. You might then realise that it hasn't been done before because there is no point in doing it that way.
# scottish_skier 2012-05-17 18:27
Dirty tricks will not win the referendum, only lose it. Westminster has used the same approach for every country wanting to leave the British Empire and has singularly failed in each case. Already, based on poll data, a yes vote is favoured. In 2 years time it will be a foregone conclusion.

Today, I brought up the subject with the painter painting my extenion. He's from Basingstoke; moved here about 20 years ago. Votes SNP and will be voting for indpendence.

As soon as I mention it he dived straight in with enthusiasim. The reasons he gave where much the same as my own 'Red Tories, corrupt, all the same, right wing nutters, better for Scotland and for the UK, should hopefully help England come out of its imperial hangover'. He liked that he felt welcomed as a Scot because he chose to come and live here and that was how he felt about the SNP.

People are thinking about it a lot, but not openly discussing it with ease quite yet. However, raise the subject in a friendly manner and off they go most of the time. In time it will become the hot topic that everyone can feel free to chat about. When it completely ceases to be 'taboo' to say you support independence, it will all be done and dusted.
# Dcanmore 2012-05-17 23:24
A good way of planting seeds with your neighbours, friends and family is to actually call the day of voting 'Independence Day' rather than a referendum vote. I will quite happily say to others in the run up "are you voting on independence day' in a jovial chirpy manner to keep things positive, with the intention that a vote for independence is a confident and positive thing to do.

I remember the devolution vote, hardly anybody I knew spoke on how they would vote, it was a silent affair. I also remember the day being reported as a rather sombre day where people shuffled in quietly and made their mark without a hint. It was only the following week I got a good picture of who voted for what when people became comfortable to speak about it.
# xyz 2012-05-18 00:32
good idea .. independence day it is
# Blanco 2012-05-18 06:48
I remember devolution day as well. It was indeed a quiet affair. The impression I got though was that this was not a dream fulfilled for anyone. For independence supporters it was merely the first step on the way. It was Establishment Scotland's answer to Thatcherism. Independence day will be different. This will be the people's referendum.
# mealer 2012-05-17 19:01
I quite agree,Bob.Its up to us.
# .Scot 2012-05-18 08:51
As Hollande withdraws the French public company Energie de France from the fuel security of the South East's Nuclear dreams, the need for Scotland's power sources will become even more desperate.

I find it strange that London, which sold & destroyed it's own very successful power companies for a quick buck, would depend upon nationalised companies for it's future energy security. Is this a confession of getting it all wrong?

Yesterday, giving evidence to Parliament, the Energy Minister Charles Hendry appeared to be unable to guarantee with certainty that any of the five agreed new nuclear power plants would go ahead.
# Macart 2012-05-18 09:48
There is a dark side to this debate. We've all seen it and experienced it. From wasteful trolls, to xenophobes, to plain anti-social rudeness. I've seen some right horror stories in the year or so I've been posting. Yet for all that the one thing I have taken from these forums is the amount of sheer factual research many a cybernat puts into their posts, its downright breathtaking how well prepared the average indepentista is to put their case.

The positive message is where its going to be won, and online forums are doing well, but its not enough on its own. We need a major outlet willing to publish the good news/feel good articles. Whenever the SG brings new business to Scotland or the launch of new public initiatives, whenever the SG gets a glowing report from overseas (a la green initiative awards?), when private business or university research launch scientific, technical or medical advances, anything that gives people confidence and trust in our national innovation and drive. I'm not talking small column space either, but each and every story six column spread with splash headlines. Less defending against negativity and more attacking with positivity.

I'd rather show the world what we can do and how much more we are capable of than taking apart union scare stories.
# Jim Johnston 2012-05-19 10:33
I could neither add nor detract a single word to your article Bob.

It reads like a Mozart symphony.

If you dont mind I will print and distribute as many copies as I possibly can.
I don't know a single thing about you Bob, other than that you are a Scot, with Scotland in your heart, like many many more here and around the world.
# alasdairmac 2012-05-19 13:40
Great article Bob. and if you don't mind I too will be keeping a copy of it handy for future use.

I like the idea of referring to referendum voting day as "Independence Day" and the other positive thing we all need to be doing is to always talk about "WHEN", and never ever "IF", we gain independence.
# Dundonian West 2012-05-19 14:33
OT.McCrone Report.Labour government.April,1975,and the oil starts flowing November,1975.

LABOUR in it's finest hour,and they're still at it---Red Tory/Blue Tory.

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