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By Dave Taylor

A poll carried out by ComRes for today's Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror newspapers shows that support for Scottish independence is now the preference of the largest section of voters across the UK.  The poll also showed that independence appears to be increasingly the choice of Scottish voters, with a clear majority of Scots in favour.

ComRes questioned 2004 voters across England, Scotland and Wales on whether they agreed or disagreed with the statement: Scotland should be an independent country.

The argument for Scottish independence appears to be winning the day.  39% of those polled agreed with the idea that Scotland should become independent, narrowly outnumbering the 38% who were opposed.  The 39% in favour represent a six-point increase since ComRes last polled UK voters on this question in May when the SNP won their landslide victory in the Holyrood election.  Those opposing Scottish independence have decreased by four points over the same period.

Although ComRes polled only 176 Scottish voters in the poll, the Scots were strongly in favour of independence with 49% in favour against only 37% opposed.  This figure is a marked increase since the last ComRes poll, showing an increase of 11 pointsin pro-independence sentiment since May.  The proportion of Scots who are opposed to independence has declined by 9 points.

As UK polling organisations typically weight their polls according to Westminster voting preferences, it is possible that the poll understates the true proportion of Scots in favour of independence as the Unionist parties have consistently performed better in Westminster elections than in Scottish elections.  When considering Scotland's interests, as opposed to UK considerations, Scottish voters are more prone to lending their support to pro-independence parties, especially the SNP.

The poll will also give heart to the SNP government in another way.  ComRes also asked voters about their attitude towards lesbian and gay marriage.  Across the UK 51% were in favour, with 34% opposed, however voters in Scotland showed the strongest support for gay marriage anywhere in the UK, with 55% of Scots in favour.

SNP campaigns director and MP Angus Robertson said: "This is an excellent poll that shows support, in both Scotland and England, for our nations having a new relationship of equality as two independent countries, sharing a head of state and working together as partners in Europe."

Comments  

 
# enneffess 2011-10-15 23:17
Please, please, please let's not have an SNP MP making an arse of himself in Westminster again by bringing up a poll in PMQs.

You cannot use a sample of only 176 Scots as a barometer of public opinion. English respondents probably want us to be independent, since the msm potrays Scotland as a subsidy junkie, whereas the Welsh see kinship.

Angus, concentrate on getting the right message out. Leave the polls to political commentators.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2011-10-16 06:57
Nonsense, NFS. All politicians use polls, and the SNP would be remiss not to at the very least 'use' this poll to get out some soundbites, which is exactly what Angus Robertson has done.

As for SNP MP's making fools of themselves - I take issue with your viewpoint, as the SNP is only party that cannot make ANY comment in Westminster without getting hurls of abuse from unionists. The SNP do not make "fools of themselves at PMQ's', rather it is the cringing unionists in Westminster that merely abuse them.

NFS, your take on this is all wrong. Of course the data is limited, but that doesn't mean the SNP should not comment.
 
 
# ButeHouse 2011-10-16 12:15
On this occasion enneffess I must agree with you. No poll under a 1000 voters is worth its salt. I have often berated similar election polls which went against the SNP.

However in the light of the larger UK poll and the other larger Scottish polls which have been published over the past 12 months, there is no question that support for Independence is growing.
 
 
# Jim Johnston 2011-10-16 12:33
Sorry NFS and BH, you're completely missing the point. What the SNP must highlight in Westminster is the UK position in this poll. It's hardly a Scottish poll is it ?
Of course the tiny Scottish element in the poll is important and very encouraging, but the main point to hammer home in Westminster is the huge support increase for the SNP in England.
Perhaps we will have a purely Scottish poll conducted by a UK newspaper to balance the England result, but don't hold your breath waiting for it.
 
 
# Blanco 2011-10-15 23:30
Unfortunately this poll is statistically irrelevant due to the small sub sample size for Scotland. Will be very interested though to see the next proper poll. I do think it will be heading in the right direction. (it is important too that polls ask the same question as will be in the referendum, as previous polls have shown that wordings such as 'separation' and 'break' make the pro-independence responses drop).
 
 
# J Wil 2011-10-15 23:38
What will happen when the majority of English people hear the truth about the value of Scotland to the UK economy, instead of the 'dependency culture' rubbish that the English press keeps spouting at them? I suspect they will be inclined to draw back from the edge. On the other hand it should give a confidence boost to many Scottish voters who are not yet wised up on the real situation.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-16 00:18
Best we get our Independence then before they find out. :D
 
 
# clootie 2011-10-16 08:08
AB1320
You beat me too it!
 
 
# Macart 2011-10-16 14:14
Oh aye! Everyone good for next week? :0)
 
 
# clootie 2011-10-16 17:39
Oh Yes! Home from offshore just in time.
 
 
# mudfries 2011-10-16 08:49
Thats a fair point J Wil, in all the recent polls I've seen most voters in England support Independence, a good question for unionists who have such a low opinion of the people of Scotland thet they really believe we are incapable of running our own affairs is - IF PEOPLE IN ENGLAND VOTE FOR INDEPENDENCE BEFORE US, WHO WILL YOU ASK TO COME AND RUN SCOTLAND? c'mon England, go for independence, I think you can make a real go of it!
 
 
# Old Smokey 2011-10-15 23:39
I have to agree a sampling of 176 is a waste of time, the only credible level of sampling has to be at least 1000
 
 
# Edna Caine 2011-10-16 00:48
I live in England and have sampled many of my friends and acquaintances attitudes to Scottish independence. My research does not completely agree with NFS or J Wil above.

Of those that have expressed an opinion,

A. about one-third do not want Scotland to "separate" under any circumstances. These are the last British Imperialists who still believe the sun will never set on their domain.

B. about one-third want Scotland to "separate" because we are scroungers. A smaller proportion than you imagine, NFS, but they all read the Daily Mail.

C. the other third wish the Scottish people to have the right of self-determination and know it is not morally correct for the UK Government to place obstacles in their path. These are the people that realise that an independent Scotland has the right to benefit from its natural talents and resources, and be free to deal with its own problems. (J Wil, I think these people are informed and intelligent enough to realise that Scotland will be better off with independence and accept that fact. They also tend to think that they are totally disenfranchised within the English political system.)

I should point out that my research has been carried out in pubs, social gatherings and parties.

It is also my opinion that the Unionist opponents of Scottish independence who live in Scotland fit into category A above.
 
 
# gedguy2 2011-10-16 10:05
I have lived in England for decades and I have not met anyone who insists that Scotland remain in the Union. The vast majority of English people that I have spoken to about Scottish independence couldn't give a monkey's what happens to Scotland.
The reason being is that the majority of English people that I have spoken to are too busy getting on with their own lives to concern themselves with the 'troubles' in Scotland. Long may this continue.
 
 
# Holebender 2011-10-16 17:49
Quoting Edna Caine:
B. about one-third want Scotland to "separate" because we are scroungers. A smaller proportion than you imagine, NFS, but they all read the Daily Mail.



A third of the people you know read the Daily Mail? Damn, I think you need some new acquaintances! ;)
 
 
# Edna Caine 2011-10-16 20:59
Aye, Holebender, it's aboot that number. It has to do with geography. Leafy rural England houses many guilty secrets.

Everywhere else seems to "read" the Sun.
 
 
# oldnat 2011-10-16 01:13
What is interesting is the Brit response to such polls - not the polls themselves, necessarily.

independent.co.uk/.../...

While the opinions of those furth of Scotland, won’t decide the referendum, every weakening of English opposition, weakens the position of the Brits in Scotland. As their support on both sides of the border dwindles, so does their morale. They become more desperate, more strident and more ridiculous in their claims.
 
 
# JRTomlin 2011-10-16 03:27
This is a large survey over-all which gives the results a good deal of credibility. One noticeable factor is that the UK-wide support for Scottish independence increased very substantially between the May poll and the October poll.

This tends against the view I see some express that they are just accepting the MSM rants about Scotland being dependent. Those would have already felt that way. The people who have changed their minds seem to me to have probably thought more about the matter and be reacting less as a knee-jerk.

This can only be helpful to the campaign for Scottish independence. It does weaken the morale of the Brit Nats, but it may also solidify the idea in the minds of wavering Scots that this is a valid option.

Some will say this shouldn't make a difference, but it does. Everything that pushes independence to the fore of people's minds as a legitimate option will strengthen the position of the Scottish nationalists.

My opinion, anyway.
 
 
# Scottish republic 2011-10-16 05:41
Ms Tomlin, thou speakest sensible words.
 
 
# uilleam_beag 2011-10-16 05:08
It's a shame that the Scots sample was so pitifully small; UK-wide opinion on the subject is (let's be honest) only of passing interest.

What is interesting, though, is that this fits with the ongoing narrative, one which increasingly sees Scots independence as virtually a fait accompli, barring a significant game-changer by the unionist clique. Personally, I find that pretty remarkable.

The prize has not been won yet, but we may well be very close to the tipping point.
 
 
# Scottish republic 2011-10-16 05:48
The sample was too small to be nationally relevant.

One has to wonder why they imagine 176 people is sufficient to gauge the sentiment of a nation?

Two points :

- this follows the last comres poll which was of a similar size and probably most of the same people, which showed a 39% YES against a 38% NO

So that poll sample shows an upward trend.

- it's nice (just before the SNP conference) to have a YES poll winning in the public arena as JRT said.



Bur nobody here is really taking such a poll seriously till it's backed up by other polls - the Brit nats will be however, and it might make them shut up a little OR it might make them more aggressive still and send them into full bully boy mode.
 
 
# JRTomlin 2011-10-16 07:02
The low number of Scots does seem a bit odd. I'm sure OldNat can correct me on this, this but isn't there usually a sample of about that size for 1000 person polls? I would have expected something more around a sample of 300 or so in a 2000 person sample. But I'm not a polling guru so I may be mistaken.

I do wonder why no one is doing a Scotland poll. Maybe some would rather not know.
 
 
# uilleam_beag 2011-10-16 07:22
Hi JRTomlin. I think the last stat I saw put Scotland at 8.9 pc of the UK population. For a UK-wide poll of 2,000 that would work out as just under 180 for the Scots sub-sample, so we're well within the shinty field here. There's a reference to the previous time this question was posed by ComRes (in May) in one of The Independent's blogs, which puts gives a sub-sample at that time of 183.
blogs.independent.co.uk/.../...

SR: the query on Scots independence was just one of a series of questions asked as part of this monthly political tracker, so it is a bit disingenuous to suggest the pollsters truly believed the Scottish sub-sample was an accurate reflection of national sentiment. Like you say, nobody will be taking this poll seriously in isolation; as part of an ongoing trend and building momentum, it's guaranteed to rattle a few unionist (dependentist) cages.

It'll be interesting to see the outcome of the next fully Scottish poll, though as we all know they're affy few and far atwin.
 
 
# RaboRuglen 2011-10-16 05:48
Hi U/B at 06.08,

I agree. I think we are very close to the "tipping point". It has been a remarkable achievement to get so many Scots to consider the possibility of Independence seriously as an option. It is not so long ago that all a Unionist had to do was ask "And what will Scotland do for an army, navy and air force?" to win the argument, as the very impossibility of Scotland having such things was inconceivable to most people. Now the response is automatic, and without irony - "We will have them, just like any normal nation".

To get to this situation, we have had to persuade millions that the "news" they receive from all arms of the Scottish media are really huge distortions of the truth and in consistently telling the truth ourselves, Scots have begun to see through the Unionist lies. Newsnet and Nationalist bloggers on the internet have been an invaluable tool in this respect by providing a Nationalist platform which was absent until recently.

The Unionists just have not caught up yet with this new reality and are seemingly powerless against it. They do not seem to realise that by appealing to outdated sentiment and increasing the volume of their distortions they are actually now driving more and more people into our camp. Indeed in continuing these tactics they are just making themselves look more and more ridiculous.

I agree, the prize has not yet been won, but I think we are clearly on the right road.

Regards,
 
 
# uilleam_beag 2011-10-16 08:17
Very true. When I was a wee lad, growing up under the Thatcher cloud, I'd go on about the need for independence at great length (not bad for a 6yo!). The general response from most fowk was: "That's a nice idea, but..."
Even way back then, no one made much of a defence of the union. Rather, the concept of independence was mentally locked away as a perfect-world fantasy, while the union was begrudgingly accepted as a practical reality. The important task at hand was to get rid of the tories; little could we guess that when we finally achieved that, we were left with ... a different set of tories (though took a while for some fowk to realise that).

The oft-trundled-out line is that the SNP majority win in the May election shouldn't be interpreted as a vote for independence. If we overlook the big dose of sour grapes in that, I think we can admit that there is an element of truth in there. But the reality is that I doubt anyone would vote for the SNP if they were actively opposed to independence -- what we have is an electorate that is overwhelmingly relaxed about the prospect of independence and which believes that the public have the right to decide the issue. On top of that there is a core group passionately fighting for self-determination, who are demonstrably growing in number by the day.
Quhit a chynge!
 
 
# mealer 2011-10-16 05:50
The poll shows 49% in favour of independence and 37% against.That suggests only 14% undecided.It also suggests that almost all the previously undecideds who have now decided have decided for independence.A very small sample and we shouldnt put to much faith in it.But I think it probably does show that our argument is being won.
 
 
# gus1940 2011-10-16 07:07
OT

If any body is thinking of accessing the new super 'improved' Scotsman web site to read SoS - forget it.

It is a total disaster and would appear to have gone totally ti-s up.

I gave up in frustration after about 5 minutes of futile attempts at accessing the various sections alleged to be contained in the site.

Whatever information I managed to bring up seemed to be old news from yesterday and preceding days.

JP seems to be drifting rapidly down the Swanee towards oblivion as far as Scotsman Publications is concerned. I see The Edinburgh Herald and Post ceases publication next week - 1 down and 3 to go.
 
 
# uilleam_beag 2011-10-16 07:26
Och you're kidding -- nae more Herald&Post?

How will future generations of wee neds sneak through Marchmont apartment buildings' security gates?
 
 
# Scottish republic 2011-10-16 11:21
I tried too and it's a mess.

Also, I've really lost the will to actually read Scotsman articles because there is paucity of news, a surfeit of opinion and a vacuum of reporting.

It's hit the bottom in my view.

The Herald is still actually reporting the news and has some decent stuff there.
 
 
# J Wil 2011-10-16 08:08
I think there must be a deliberate "head in the sand" attitude from some unionists. If the poll results are hazy and unreliable they can spout off any old rubbish they want to support their case. If the poll result was to be clear and unambiguous they would not have a leg to stand on.

Pre-elections, the unionists parties seem well aware of the situation from taking their own soundings, which, as far as I can see are not made public.
 
 
# Roll_On_2011 2011-10-16 08:10
Coalition ministers to flood Scotland in SNP attack

heraldscotland.com/.../...

Coalition ministers are planning a series of high-profile visits to Scotland to campaign against independence with the message that Alex Salmond risks “trashing” the Scottish economy by delaying a vote on separation from the UK.

UK ministers, including the Prime Minister David Cameron, plan to travel regularly to Scotland to push the message that “Scotland has two governments”, each looking out for the nation’s interests, and that the SNP is not the country’s sole voice.

Alistair Carmichael, chief whip for the Liberal Democrats, said of the referendum: “Bring it on.”

Carmichael claimed Salmond was being deliberately vague because he was too scared to talk about the detail of independence, as that would expose the SNP’s confusion on the practicalities and alarm voters.

But the SNP said it would pay the bus fares for Tory and LibDem ministers, “because every visit is worth a thousand votes to the SNP”.



Can you imagine it….. Cleggy, Cammy, Alexander, Moore, Cleggy, Cammy, Alexander, Moore, Cleggy, Cammy, Alexander, Moore……. Whow that will work wonders for the SNP… even I would chip in to pay their bus fares.
 
 
# uilleam_beag 2011-10-16 08:24
I love that final quote from the SNP spokesperson. But that was the first thing I thought when I saw the headline: "Regular visits from Southron Tory ministers (& their LD lackeys) to traduce the government we actually voted for? Brilliant, you couldn't pay for a better pro-independence campaign!"
 
 
# J Wil 2011-10-16 09:50
"...Alex Salmond risks “trashing” the Scottish economy..."

The unionists have already had a good go at trashing the Scottish economy and the new Scotland Bill will contribute even more to that end.

Once the Scottish Affairs Select Committee start mucking about with the Scotland Bill to put even more damaging things in it for Scotland there will be another backlash.

I think Scots will not take too kindly to a continuous trail of t**ts
coming here to lecture on what is good for us.

Please let it be Foulkes!
 
 
# tartanfever 2011-10-16 08:18
Sorry, but a poll on Scottish Independence and they ask 176 Scots ?

Thats a joke surely. I could ask more people in a day standing on the street corner. How can anyone take this poll seriously. Bloody joke.
 
 
# farrochie 2011-10-16 08:52
Quoting tartanfever:
Sorry, but a poll on Scottish Independence and they ask 176 Scots ?

Thats a joke surely. I could ask more people in a day standing on the street corner. How can anyone take this poll seriously. Bloody joke.


The poll has to be interpreted in context, which was a UK-wide exercise; it was not a poll of Scots on Independence. Because the 176 represent a subsample of the 2004 adults interviewed, there is a larger uncertainty around the specific results.

From the poll: "Methodology: ComRes interviewed 2004 GB adults online between 12th and 13th October 2011. Data were weighted to be demographically representative of all
GB adults. Data were also weighted by past vote recall. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules."
 
 
# uilleam_beag 2011-10-16 09:10
Aye, and its unclear whether the Scots sub-sample was weighted to reflect Scottish demographics or that was simply done across the whole group of respondents for the UK population. In the latter case it would make the Scots sub-sample doubly unreliable for the basis of analysis.

Equally, one would assume the responses were weighted to reflect past voting in the Westminster election. Does anyone know if that is done UK-wide or individually for sub-sets in the various component nations?
 
 
# J Wil 2011-10-16 09:52
How much is the pauckle factor employed by the polling company?
 
 
# Zed 2011-10-16 09:20
Basically there is a war in progress, a propaganda war to be exact.
Of course this poll is not a proper poll of over 1000 to be credible. But, most people won't look at the sample size.
Most will look at the headline, and that's where this poll is important in the propaganda war.
The Unionists have done it for years, and yes, it worked.
Only political anoraks look at the sample size. So the SNP are right to make political capital out of it.
 
 
# scottish_skier 2011-10-16 10:23
Quoting Zed:
...
Only political anoraks look at the sample size....


That would be me then ;-)
 
 
# farrochie 2011-10-16 09:21
I'm not so sure there really was a poll. It isn't mentioned on the BBC Scotland news [16 October 2011 Last updated at 00:19]:
bbc.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-16 11:01
Unfortunately farrochie the BBC will never mention this poll, or others like it because there is absolutely no way they can spin this story into an anti SNP article.

As we all know, the BBC only ever report "good" stories about the SNP when they can also spin the tail of the article into an anti SNP line.
 
 
# Allan Christie 2011-10-16 09:23
I am disappointed that they polled fewer than 200 people in Scotland considering this is the part of the UK which will be voting in the referendum.
 
 
# farrochie 2011-10-16 09:34
Allan, it was not the purpose of this poll to assess referendum voting intentions. It was designed as a UK-wide poll of various issues on behalf of the Independent on Sunday and Sunday Mirror.

The poll results can be downloaded from the ComRes Website:
comres.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# tartanfever 2011-10-16 09:49
Ok farrochie, I see where you are coming from, national poll on a number of topics - however, surely the statistic, clearly pointed out in the article still states that the 176 people in Scotland that took part, 49% would be in favour of independence.

Doesn't this statistic stand true without taking into account any of the other information that was asked ?

Or am I just being really thick. It's ok you can tell me, I'll just blame it on Sunday morning sleepiness.
 
 
# farrochie 2011-10-16 11:07
tartanfever,
There is no doubting the 176 polled and the 49% in favour of independence.

From a statistical point of view, if a different 176 were polled a different % would be obtained, ie, there is an "error" in statistical terms around the 49% eg plus or minus 5%.
 
 
# scottish_skier 2011-10-16 09:52
People should be pleased with this poll. The small subs-sample probably means an error of at least 5% even with weighting, but as an indicator it is positive coming on the back of the TNS Scotland-wide one which showed the Yes ahead of the no for the first time (according to multi-poll running averages) since ahead of the 2007 election.

Based on running average all polls going back to pre-1997, I have:

Yes = ~44.0%, rising
No = 37.5%, falling
Unsure = 18.5%, falling (going to yes)
 
 
# scottish_skier 2011-10-16 09:56
Core 'no' is ~30% - i.e. the same as that who are not supportive of FFA. Core YES is ~38% (has never gone below this based on running averages). The rest are interested in both FFA and independence if the former is not forthcoming.
 
 
# Clanky 2011-10-16 10:02
Does anyone know when the next TNS-BMRB Scotland poll is due out?
 
 
# dusgadh 2011-10-16 10:31
Lies & Statistics!

Having just crunched the numbers in this survey as reported in the article I can confirm that these results are NOT statistically significant. In other words we can be 95% confident that there is no significant difference between the 49% for independence and the 37% against. This is due to the relatively small sample size and the large confidence interval it causes. In other words, on the subject of Scottish independence this survey doesn't really tells us anything.

However, contrary to conventional wisdom which is all too often wrong and in response to some of the misinformed comments I've just read here, in the case of the Scottish extract of the sample showing responses which were 49% for and 37% against, a sample size of only 267 would have been required in order to infer a significant difference. A small sample size is only problematic when the results are evenly split. Don't take my word for it, go learn it for yourself.

Due to the weighting process which makes the survey more representative of the whole UK population, the actual sample size from Scotland was not 176 voters as reported here but only 146 voters.

Some interesting observations from the survey:

From the weighted base figures, SNP voters are the most underrepresente d group in the survey.

Of those intending to vote SNP at the next UK general election, 21% didn't vote at all at the last general election, 7% previously voted Libdem, 4% voted Labour & 2% voted Tory.

56% of voters in Scotland feel certain they will vote in the next UK election. This is the highest of any voting region as defined in the survey.

If there was a UK general election tomorrow, 37% of people in Scotland would vote SNP, 20% Labour, 15% Tory, 5% Libdem.

If there was a UK general election tomorrow, 17% of those voting SNP generally consider themselves Labour voters.

Of those who consider themselves SNP voters, 11% do not agree with Scottish independence.

Of those who consider themselves Labour voters, 38% agree with Scottish independence (UK wide).

From the age demographic, those least likely to support Scottish independence are 55+.

Take from these observations what you like, but it seems to me that the Labour leadership's pro-union stance is at odds with many of their voters and that voters in Scotland recognise that SNP is most likely to best serve Scottish interests at Westminster, indicated by Labour voters' dual allegiance and SNP support gained from previous non-voters. People in Scotland have become the most politically awakened group in the UK. Being the most indoctrinated, traditionalist and risk averse group in our society, we need to work harder to persuade the over 55's that independence is the right way to go for our country's future.
 
 
# oldnat 2011-10-16 14:08
There are virtually no "UK polls". This is a GB poll.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-18 14:27
What, you mean instead of working at his day job in Westminster Gordon Brown, aka G.B., is going round the country asking people how they will vote in a referendum?
 
 
# sneckedagain 2011-10-16 10:53
There are couple of points to made here.

The lie that was designed to frighten timid Scots away from independence ie England subsidises Scotland - escpaped to England and made many English people want to kick Scotland out of the union. This presented a serious political problem to a UK borrowing vast amounts on the strength of Scottish oil revenues. I suspect Cameron's visit to hugely publicise the new oilfields is the first step in a campaign to persuade the English how valuable to UK Scotland is. It has changed the game up here however.
We are to be hit with a "we love Scotland" campaign "we want you to stay".

The other point is that the old "I'd like tae vote for you but you'll never win " and "I'd like Scotland to be independent but you'll never get it" has been completely demolished by May's result. This attitude was a bigger impediment than all the mince about economic stuff but an assumption that we would never get to independence had been replaced by an assumption that that is exactly where we are going if we want to.
Straightforward national pride and national self-respect will now play a much more significant part in our journey.
MacWhirter is getting close to the money in the Herald today

Look out for the dirty tricks. They are coming, unless of course the economic collapse of the UK state intervenes to take attention elsewhere.
 
 
# uilleam_beag 2011-10-16 14:01
Your second point is bang on the money -- something I alluded to earlier. The change of mindset has been dramatic, from "it'll never get anywhere" through "you know, it might actually be possible" until today, where we're gradually approaching "oh aye, it's a cert".

It's comin yet, for aa that".
 
 
# sneckedagain 2011-10-16 10:57
J Wil

Shouldn't that be "pauchle"?
 
 
# J Wil 2011-10-16 12:23
I did try that one but it didn't look right. I need a Scottish dictionary.
 
 
# ianbeag 2011-10-16 11:18
The next big test of public opinion will come in the Council elections in May of next year and particularly in Glasgow. Should Labour lose control to the SNP (or come close) that will provide another quantum leap on the road to the referendum and a positive result. To date Alex Salmond and the Scottish government have not put a foot wrong and the chaotic opposition from Westminster has failed to land a blow. I suspect that the outcome of the two 'leadership' elections now taking place in Scotland will further increase SNP credibility in the eyes of the electorate. We live in interesting times.
 
 
# raisethegame 2011-10-16 11:41
So a 'world exclusive' for the Politics Show Scotland - Ian Davidson announced he will be standing for the post of Deputy Leader presumably that's the Holyrood Labour group or whatever they will be calling themselves. Could it be Tom Harris for leader and Ian Davison for deputy? :)
 
 
# sid 2011-10-16 11:53
to quote the man himself "WHO CARES"
and then of course we had the leader of the new Labour version of team Scotland who could not or would not tell the world not one policy Sid
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-16 12:00
Could this be Team Magic. :D

Tom Harris as Labour Leader in Scotland, Ian Davidson as Deputy Leader of Labour in Scotland. Just the team we all want to help push the YES vote over the edge into 95% :D
 
 
# J Wil 2011-10-16 12:31
Does Ian Davidson realise how frightening he looks (and sounds)? The grim reaper!

The SNP business manager made short shrift of Davidson, telling him his committee was irrelevant to Scotland. It is true too. What have this committee actually done for Scotland except drag it down?

We have another SNP man who won't stand for any nonsense, which just goes to show that the 'one man band' argument is total nonsense.
 
 
# Taysider 2011-10-16 12:23
The poll that really matters just now is the Council Elections next May. It is important that the SNP's position is strengthened in as many areas as possible and nowhere is it more important than in Glasgow. The ongoing rise in membership of the SNP is important too. A strong SNP membership base and a strong presence in council chambers both help build momentum and undermine the efforts of those who would talk of separation and support Scottish dependency.
 
 
# Scottish republic 2011-10-16 12:25
Thanks dusgadh.

It may show that there is an upwards trend towards independence if the same people are being interviewed as were interviewed for the last Comres poll.

Anyway, the invasion of the Brit nats from Westminster should help.

It bewilders one to think that they imagine that the coalitionists will do anything except make the Lib Dems even more unpopular.

It is however, their first step to announcing to the Scottish people that they intend to hold the independence referendum under their rules and conditions.

If they do and it's not as favourable as we wish, we'll hold a second one anyway.

It's difficult to imagine what the Days of Empire mob think they'll gain.
 
 
# J Wil 2011-10-16 12:41
It bewilders one to think that they imagine that the coalitionists will do anything except make the Lib Dems even more unpopular

They are damned if they do and damned if they don't. Hopefully.
 
 
# Jim Johnston 2011-10-16 13:06
What a gift Margaret Curran and Ian Davidson are to the SNP. More more more.

LABOUR ARE IN VERY REAL DANGER OF OBLIVION !!!!.
 
 
# Displaced Patriot 2011-10-16 13:30
Excellent article by McWhirter in thre Herald.
He encapsulates perfectly what Labour need to do, and what their big problems have been till now.
question is ,will Labour listen?
You only had to watch Ian Davidson today on Politics Show ,t say "not anytime soon"

Labour need a few more gubbings to get the message.
 
 
# raisethegame 2011-10-16 17:00
For anybody who missed Mags Curran being unable to come up with one Labour policy for the new Scotland, and Ian Davidson losing it against the SNP's Derek MacKay you can watch it on the BBc iPlayer. It starts about 29 minutes in:

www.bbc.co.uk/.../b007tjwq
 
 
# Robert Louis 2011-10-16 18:21
Quoting raisethegame:
For anybody who missed Mags Curran being unable to come up with one Labour policy for the new Scotland, and Ian Davidson losing it against the SNP's Derek MacKay you can watch it on the BBc iPlayer. It starts about 29 minutes in:

www.bbc.co.uk/.../b007tjwq



I thought Derek MacKay of the SNP was simply excellent - really, really good. He comes across very, very well. I want more of the same from all in the SNP.

As for Ian Davidson, jeez does he have any idea how out of touch he sounded, pontificating about what he and Westminster intends telling Scotland.

My word, Labour really, really just do not get it. With every passing day, they sound even more remote and out of touch. They also, truth be told, sound very much like a bunch of Scottish has-beens, pining for the past. Deary me.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2011-10-16 18:27
Incidentally, is it just Labour and the Tory mouthpiece Alan Cochrane, that refuse to just use the term 'Independence'. Using a silly term like 'separation' is just silly. It is the kind of thing kids do, when they are about thirteen years old.

It's frankly embarrassing listening ti the likes of Ian Davidson in a studio, where everybody, including the presenter is using the term 'independence', but for some inane reason he won't. I don't doubt somebody somewhere in Labour told him, that by using the phrase 'separation' it will ensure a rejection of independence, but this misses the point. The referendum will ask about independence, it most certainly won't be about 'separation'. Mind you, the more they keep using silly childish terminology, they more irrelevant and bitter they sound.
 
 
# Drew1314 2011-10-16 19:33
@Robert Louis.

Agreed it's childish, however remember Davidson was the one who called the SNP "neo-facists" at Westmidden - a slip of the tongue, I suspect not. Perception is all in the Unionists' eyes.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-16 20:09
I have just had a thought.

If these eejits keep using the word separation then when the time comes for the referendum and there is no mention of separation on the ballot paper then what are the chances that the voters will vote for Independence?

After all independence is spelt totally differently so it can't possibly mean anything like separation.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-16 20:02
With this pair of eejits at the helm is this really the BEST that Labour can come up with, JEEZ!

Rammy heid just hasnae got a clue, and as for "neo facist" man well the less said about him the better. I notice he didn't apologise for that neo facist remark after Derek Mackay reminded him, Buchanan and all the viewers that he had called the SNP and its supporters neo facists.

So according to Davidson, come independence we will have no dockyards. Well I guess that is a case of BYE BYE to their second aircraft carrier then. No dockyards no completion of the carrier, I reckon those down south will be WELL pleased with that result.

I don't recall Alex Salmond saying that post independence the Scottish Government will CLOSE any shipyards. If anything I am sure post independence our shipyards will be free from Westminsterial control and will able to put out bids for work worldwide irrespective of client.
 
 
# mato21 2011-10-16 20:23
His committee must have sat up late into the night thinking that one out It's a new one take note folks how often it is rolled out
 
 
# Caadfael 2011-10-16 17:08
Could prove very interesting to conduct a poll south of the border as to where they would like to see a new Hadrian's Wall!
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-16 19:25
Just so long as it stays SOUTH of Gretna. :D

I bied just along the road frae Gretna and I'd hate tae think they would tak Gretna and the Southern edge of South Scotland.

Ming you if they did they'd hae one hell o a fight on their hands. :D
 
 
# raisethegame 2011-10-16 17:28
Mere's Moridura on Mags Curran:

moridura.blogspot.com/
 
 
# Robabody 2011-10-16 18:04
"tired old Labour" captured in a nutshell.
 
 
# mato21 2011-10-16 18:25
She has a bad case of verbal diarrheoa Just as well she put a clean semmit on this morning since she forgot to button up her blouse.
 
 
# FREEDOM1 2011-10-17 09:31
Good one mat021
 
 
# J Wil 2011-10-16 19:14
My contention is that if Milliband can send Curran to sort Scotland out then he has given up all hope of saving our nation for the Union.
 
 
# km 2011-10-16 17:56
Was reminded last week that Iain Gray, speaking after Milliband was elected, said that as Leader of the Labour Party in Scotland, he had been promised a seat on Labour's National Executive Committee.

That never happened, did it?

Of course, you can't blame Milliband entirely for that - I mean, who in their right mind would give that responsibility to Gray?

But it is symptomatic of the Westminster dominance of Labour policy.
 
 
# Frankly 2011-10-16 18:03
As the capitalist system is in structural crisis, the sooner Scotland makes up its mind about independence and takes advantage of its still highly valuable offshore-oil lifeline the better, for the unbalanced UK economy and the over-indebted UK state will not protect this country very well from the upheavals which are coming in view of the fact that, according to the sociologist and philosopher Immanuel Wallerstein and quite a few others now, we are at present in phase B of a Kondratieff conjunctural cycle which began about 35 years ago following a phase A which was the longest (from 1945 to 1975) in the 500-year history of the capitalist system.

In a phase A profit is generated by either industrial or non-industrial production. In a phase B, on the other hand, capitalism, in order to continue to generate profits, financializes itself, taking refuge in speculation. Over the past 30 years businesses, states and households have become massively over-indebted. At this particular juncture we are in the final stage of a Kondratieff phase B, when virtual decline becomes real and speculative bubbles and debt bubbles burst one after another. Bankruptcies multiply, and the concentration of capital in fewer and fewer hands increases. Unemployment goes up, and the economy deflates.

In this instance, however, the moment at which the conjunctural cycle is occurring coincides with and is consequently aggravating a period of transition between two long-term systems. What fundamentally distinguishes this phase of the previously uninterrupted succession of conjunctural cycles is the fact that capitalism has reached a point in its development at which it is no longer capable of adapting in such a way as to continue to function as a system. It has become dysfunctional. When a system, whether it be biological, chemical or social, deviates too far from a stable condition, it cannot recover its balance and bifurcates.

The situation becomes chaotic, and the forces and agencies which previously were able to control it no longer find it possible to do so. A struggle then begins, not just between the defenders and the opponents of the system, as you might expect, but between all parties with a view to determining what will replace it. The system is in a crisis from which it cannot emerge. That being so, capitalism as we know it, improbable though this may seem, can be said to be coming to an end. This may take a long time. If it does, we can expect years of economic instability and uncertainty. In that case the sooner Scotland maximizes control of its assets to safeguard its position the better. Therefore, gather ye oil fields while ye may. They will be invaluable, which is why the UK will no doubt fight tooth and nail to keep them by holding on to Scotland, as in the 1970s, irrespective of what the man on the Clapham omnibus does or does not think.(tinyurl.com/65c457g)
 
 
# Drew1314 2011-10-16 18:53
There is another poll being prepared folks. At the time of posting it was 63% For 37% against. It's by the Metro - I suspect us Nats have been at it - I should know, I managed to vote three times, purely for research purposes, you understand.

Here's the link :-

metro.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-16 19:19
Well we all have to be sure that our research is as accurate as possible these days Drew. :D

We can't have the unionists have all the fun now can we? :D
 
 
# Drew1314 2011-10-16 19:24
@Arbroath 1320

Agreed, I feel suitably chastised.
 
 
# Stevie Cosmic 2011-10-16 20:05
Now at over 70%.

One hopes the 'trend' is not a statistical illusion.
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-16 20:17
I wonder if this poll will go the same way as the last one. Everyone must remember it. The poll on the newly formed unionist website that reached nearly 100% FOR independence and then disappeared.

It is just a shame none of us "cybernats" got a chance to vote in that poll. :D
 
 
# exel 2011-10-16 19:24
“The argument for Scottish independence appears to be winning the day. 39% of those polled agreed with the idea that Scotland should become independent, narrowly outnumbering the 38% who were opposed. The 39% in favour represent a six-point increase since ComRes last polled UK voters on this question in May when the SNP won their landslide victory in the Holyrood election. Those opposing Scottish independence have decreased by four points over the same period.”


I am just back from holiday, I missed that argument. Who made it and where can I read it please.
 
 
# Stevie Cosmic 2011-10-16 20:07
Go to the back of the 'wilfully ignorant' class Exel...
 
 
# sneckedagain 2011-10-16 19:36
Excellent piece from Frankly.
 
 
# exel 2011-10-16 20:02
What he is saying is Capitalism is failing.

Where does that leave an Independent Scotland?

We cannot exist on north sea oil alone. We cannot continue to rely on service industries. We need production.
What is the plan Scotland.
 
 
# Stevie Cosmic 2011-10-16 20:16
Quote:
Where does that leave an Independent Scotland?


In a far better position than being part of a UK that has the South East as it's priority and Scotland as a secondary consideration, as it is of no consequence how Scotland votes as long as there is a Tory government in Westminster, ergo, there is no political consequence in the short term by ignoring Scottish constituents.

Quote:
We cannot exist on north sea oil alone.


That is, never has been, and never will be the plan. I suggest you stop reading the Torygraph and the Daily Racist.

Quote:
We cannot continue to rely on service industries.


Service industries will no doubt form part of a very complex equation. That's less relying and more an acknowledgement that they exist and are a part of the economy.

Quote:
We need production.


Bravo. Particularly energy production from renewables, in which Scotland is particularly gifted in source and skill. It is a multi-billion pound/euro/merk industry with enormous potential to change society forever, and with independence, Scotland could be at the forefront of that.

Quote:
What is the plan Scotland.

See above.
 
 
# tartanfever 2011-10-16 20:18
Very true exel, we need to produce.

We are at the cutting edge of renewable energy technology - producing not only technology but in the long run, possibly surplus electricity.

We have some niche technology industries that need to be expanded and helped - electronics/computing etc.

It's the core heavy industries that I would love to see return, especially shipbuilding. We still have the skilled workforce here for that.

But the most important thing is that we have independence, then we can set our own tax levels on business and not be shafted, as we currently are, by Westminster.

We have the basis to build, if we are wise and reinvest in Scotland, our people will prosper.
 
 
# bipod 2011-10-17 03:05
A bit off topic, but while some of you are on the subject of energy technology I suggest you watch this documentary.

www.youtube.com/.../

It is very long, but I did find this video(especiall y the second half)
to be very interesting.
 
 
# Scottish republic 2011-10-17 09:15
Independence should be helped by the attitude to increasing energy prices of the present Tory UK government.

Chris Huhne making concerned rhetorical noises about competitiveness in fuel prices being important while many will be facing a heating crisis this winter.

The quicker we break away from this toxic union the better.
 
 
# Harrbrian 2011-10-17 09:43
Poll reflects a growing understanding that Westminster is no longer fit for purpose.

Its long term incompetence is measurable, verifiable, and clearer the further you go in any direction from London.
Compare almost any economic measure (e.g. GPD per capita, percentage industrialisati on, balance of payments history, debt levels) and all the North European countries except France outperform the UK.
For most social indicators, (e.g life expectancy, obesity, cocaine usage, teenage pregnancy, Gini index, percentage of women in positions of power, % GDP spent on Health, etc) the UK is at or near the bottom.
The same is true for less obvious indicators (e.g. social mobility, Pisa education results, percentage of youth in training, liveable cities, renewable energy capacity, etc).

The economic failure versus Northern European rivals* is being achieved despite reduced union bargaining power, significant privatisation, and it being made easier to sack staff than in any of them, and also despite repeated devaluations (a factor of 5 compared with German currencies of the last 40 years). The UK has also combined North Sea oil with a consistent 30 year trade deficit. Genius.

Add to this the Iraq war, the MPs’ expenses and News International scandals, the behaviour of the UK banks, pay differentials (greater than in rival countries), the way private pensions are badly regulated (unlike rival countries), and season with hilariously inconsequential public inquiries, to get "Carry on, Westminster".

It is impossible for an Independent Holyrood to do worse.

* In or out of the EU, this is about competence.
 
 
# exel 2011-10-17 15:29
Harrbrian 2011-10-17 10:43
“Poll reflects a growing understanding that Westminster is no longer fit for purpose. Its long term incompetence is measurable, verifiable, and clearer the further you go in any direction from London.”

I agree entirely with you there, however neither Westminster nor the present Scottish government is offering an acceptable solution.

In today’s Scotsman Mr Salmond is reported as dropping his strongest hint yet that a referendum would include a third question on what he described as “fiscal freedom” or “economic independence”, something he said was a “legitimate point of view” that would see the Scottish Parliament have full financial powers but with foreign affairs and defence reserved to Westminster.”
Such a solution offers the worst form of a Federal solution yet. Absolutely unacceptable to the people of England I suspect.

For starters England would have to vote for a devolved parliament to run the economy of England. Wales and Northern Ireland would need the same fiscal powers.

For Scotland there would be no change in the present broken system. The Scottish parliament would still be subservient to Westminster (The Federal government). There will still be top down disbursement of taxes, now with a single house (unicameral) parliament, no checks and balances from the regions(or shires) A one party dictatorship just as we have now.

All the SNP are trying to do is muddy the waters
 
 
# uilleam_beag 2011-10-17 21:52
Oh, it won't go anywhere and I think Salmond understands that fine.

Full fiscal autonomy (or something fairly close) looks, by all recent polling evidence, the most certain outcome of a multi-option referendum. Westminster, however, would never agree to FFA, regardless the result.

The point is that by acting relaxed about placing that option before the people, the SNP is at one stroke undermining the propaganda about 'nationalist fundamentalism' and pushing the unionists onto the back foot. Every time the dependence mob reject federalism out of hand, it pushes the undecided inexorably closer to supporting full independence.
 
 
# exel 2011-10-18 10:43
uilleam_beag 2011-10-17 22:52
Oh, it won't go anywhere and I think Salmond understands that fine.

In other words the SNP are muddying the water.
 
 
# J Wil 2011-10-17 11:51
It seems that the UK government has an infinite number of inquiries, either in place, or in the pipeline. This must be costing an absolute fortune to the public purse and it all comes down to corruption within government in one form or another. We are now being told that the new Defence Secretary could also have links to Fox's charity.

The plot thickens, or should I say, the plots thicken.
 
 
# DJ 2011-10-17 16:19
On a foreign business trip last week to another small european country, I was asked about Scotland becoming Independent by 3 seperate people, and I was only there 4 days. I did not instigate any of the conversations, indeed the questions in each case came out of the blue.

Our neighbours at the other side of the North Sea are certainly interested.
 
 
# ScotFree1320 2011-10-17 16:20
An interesting analysis of this poll is on Syniadau, a Welsh Independence site:

.../half-hearted-unionism.html
 
 
# sneckedagain 2011-10-18 00:28
A three question referendum proposal nicely divides the unionists and puts them in a difficult spot.
It also probably takes the status quo out of the question in real terms but I'm sure that those who begin to undertand that FFA is an option will be very easy to persuade that that is only really possible under independence
 
 
# uilleam_beag 2011-10-18 09:29
It would be interesting how the unionist parties would position themselves in the event of a three-option. Most likely, the Tories would plump for no-change (certain defeat, but they're used to that north of the border), and the LibDems possibly going for the federal option. Would SLab manage to grow a pair by the time the vote came up and do likewise, or would they stay in the feartie camp?

In my personal opinion, a multi-option poll would have to be done as a two-question referendum (very rough wording):-

1./ Do you want Scotland to be an independent nation? Y/N

2./ In the event the electorate rejects independence, do you want Holyrood to take control of all domestic political affairs, including taxes and duties, while Westminster retains control of defence and foreign policy?

If it's done as a single question (possibly with single transferable voting?), then it would surely be rigged in favour of FFA -- status quo voters would put this as their second option, as would most voters for independence as an insurance move.

Full fiscal autonomy would probably go most of the way for most of us in terms of giving Scotland the controls over the macro-economy and other aspects of society to effect the changes we hope to see (contrary to unionist dogma, independence is not the solution to all Scotland's ills, it is the means that gives us the tools to solve said ills). Unfortunately, I don't see Westminster agreeing to it and there is little chance that it would work in a practical sense without similar sweeping changes to the constitutional make-up of the remainder of the UK. Imbalanced devolution is already putting a major strain on the union due to the perception of a power imbalance (based largely on misunderstandin gs); to go as far as partial federalism for just one of the constituent parts would tear it at the seams.
 
 
# uilleam_beag 2011-10-18 10:01
Quoting uilleam_beag:
Full fiscal autonomy would probably go most of the way for most of us in terms of giving Scotland the controls over the macro-economy and other aspects of society to effect the changes we hope to see (contrary to unionist dogma, independence is not the solution to all Scotland's ills, it is the means that gives us the tools to solve said ills). Unfortunately, I don't see Westminster agreeing to it and there is little chance that it would work in a practical sense without similar sweeping changes to the constitutional make-up of the remainder of the UK.


I meant to add the caveat that FFA would probably be enough for most of us, providing we had some kind of financial veto on future illegal wars and were able to boot the nuclear weapons out. That, and the fact that there is next to zero chance of the Westminster establishment implementing the sort of wider constitutional reform needed to balance it.
 
 
# mato21 2011-10-18 10:05
I meant to add the caveat that FFA would probably be enough for most of us

sorry UB not for me thank you
 
 
# uilleam_beag 2011-10-18 10:55
Sorry Mato, I was misquoting myself -- I said before that it would probably go most of the way for most of us in terms of getting us the tools to do the things we want to do to fix the nation, and by "most of us" I was referring to the electorate at large at this time and moment. I wouldn't be satisfied with it, but I'd begrudgingly accept it as an interim arrangement from which to pursue full independence.

Like I said, though, I don't actually think FFA is deliverable within the UK as it stands, and the Westminster establishment would find the constitutional reforms required to make it work pretty much inconceivable.
 
 
# bringiton 2011-10-18 10:44
UB:For me the questions should be the other way round.

Do you want Holyrood to take control of all domestic political affairs, including taxes and duties, while Westminster retains control of defence and foreign policy?

Should the Scottish Government be unable to reach agreement with Westminster on these matters do you wish the Scottish Government to pursue independence.

Hopefully by the time of the referendum,ques tion 1 will be largely irrelevant but somehow I doubt it.
The test will be of course what happens with the current Scotland bill.
 
 
# uilleam_beag 2011-10-18 11:29
The problem with a multi-question referendum like this is how you decide what the electorate wants if you end up with a 'yes' to both options.

What do we do if the independence question is passed way, 57% of votes cast compared to 43% rejecting it, while FFA nets a ratio of 72:28? Obviously, a majority of Scots voters would have agreed to independence but the door is open for the argument that we should stick to FFA, as it was the more popular response.

If the questions are in the order you propose, then the above results would only result in independence if the Westminster government rejects the call for Devo Max. You're effectively giving London a veto on our independence, even if it requires them to adopt a constitutional arrangement that will really stick in their craw.
 
 
# exel 2011-10-18 11:45
bringiton 2011-10-18 11:44
“UB:For me the questions should be the other way round.
Do you want Holyrood to take control of all domestic political affairs, including taxes and duties, while Westminster retains control of defence and foreign policy?”

Whichever way round you put it. Both questions are the same. Both require constitutional change.
 
 
# exel 2011-10-18 11:09
uilleam_beag 2011-10-18 10:29
“I meant to add the caveat that FFA would probably be enough for most of us, providing we had some kind of financial veto on future illegal wars and were able to boot the nuclear weapons out. That, and the fact that there is next to zero chance of the Westminster establishment implementing the sort of wider constitutional reform needed to balance it.”

You really are determined to carry on this FFA diversion and make the referendum such a farce that a majority of the Scottish electorate will dismiss it as irrelevant. If that is the only plan the SNP has, in my opinion it sucks.

A written constitution would sort out all the problems Scotland has with the union.

Let Scotland vote on a constitution first then Independence will be possible.
 
 
# bringiton 2011-10-18 11:22
I think I am a realist and I suspect that most people are concerned about money management (i.e. how their taxes are managed and spent) rather than constitutional matters.
We who have an interest in politics may get hot under the collar about this subject but probably not the majority.
 
 
# uilleam_beag 2011-10-18 11:39
I'm no poster boy for FFA. I've made it clear that I don't think it is in the least bit deliverable due to Westminster's attitude and the subsequent imbalance it would create in the wider UK constitutional arrangement.

However, we have to be pragmatic and recognise that a considerable number of voters at this moment in time see it as a more comfortable step forward than full independence, and I am of the belief they have democratic right to be given that option in any referendum. I don't see that as turning the referendum into a farce in any shape or form.

I agree that a written constitution is essential for the newly independent Scotland; how do you propose enacting that in a legally binding manner without Scotland first becoming independent? Do you expect unionist politicians either in Holyrood or Westminster to take the drafting process seriously? We may not see eye-to-eye with them on much but their input is essential if the constitution is to be seen as legitimate.

Independence is a prerequisite to a written constitution; you can't get there in reverse order.
 
 
# bringiton 2011-10-18 11:57
Totally agree UB.
As far as I know the only political party which has promised a referendum on constitutional change is the SNP and that is specifically a referendum on Scottish independence.
However,I believe that Westminster may be in the process of looking at a UK bill of rights so perhaps there are more relevant forums than NNS to explore such issues.
 
 
# exel 2011-10-18 12:27
uilleam_beag 2011-10-18 12:39
“I agree that a written constitution is essential for the newly independent Scotland; how do you propose enacting that in a legally binding manner without Scotland first becoming independent? Do you expect unionist politicians either in Holyrood or Westminster to take the drafting process seriously? We may not see eye-to-eye with them on much but their input is essential if the constitution is to be seen as legitimate.”

As I understand it the SNP already have a draft constitution (2002) for an Independent Scotland, which was to be used during the first referendum campaign.

Instead of formulating a crazy question on FFA, the SNP would better serve the Scottish people by discussing how Scotland would be governed post Independence (written constitution) then allow them to accept/reject said constitution as the first question on a referendum paper. Would that be legal enough for you?
 
 
# uilleam_beag 2011-10-18 12:52
Plenty legal enough for me on the basis of popular sovereignty, but I don't see the unionist herd giving it the time of day. The SNP's draft constitution (what I remember from when I read it a few years back) is a pretty good basis, but it will inevitably be seen as a partisan document if only proposed by a single party.

We must have a constitution that has been put together in an inclusive process that has active input from all sections of society to ensure that everyone can back it. Those who oppose independence are not going to have anything to do with designing a Scottish constitution until the decision to go for independence has already been made.

I fully agree that much, much more needs to be done to put meat on the bones of what independence means in concrete, accessible terms that fowk who don't hang around in politi-geek circles like this can grasp simply. That requires an open and rational debate that has so far been lacking. Salmond and the SNP top leadership have been guilty of prevaricating on these issues to a degree especially on some points to which there are straightforward answers that could be given; that's perhaps understandable given the knee-jerk oppositionism they have been facing to eminently practical and sensible suggestions in recent years, but they do need to begin fleshing out the details in the very near future.
 
 
# exel 2011-10-18 21:41
uilleam_beag 2011-10-18 13:52
“Plenty legal enough for me on the basis of popular sovereignty, but I don't see the unionist herd giving it the time of day. The SNP's draft constitution (what I remember from when I read it a few years back) is a pretty good basis, but it will inevitably be seen as a partisan document if only proposed by a single party.”

Between now and 2014 gives us plenty of time to have the discussion required to satisfy the Scottish electorate that the document produced is a non partisan constitution.

To my certain knowledge at least two other draft constitutions are in existence, one by the SDA and another by the Scottish Constitutional Commission.

It is my opinion that the Scottish Constitutional Commission could host such a discussion, involving all interested parties.
 
 
# uilleam_beag 2011-10-19 05:07
It doesn't matter how good the intentions may be in setting up a Scottish Constitutional Commission, the three main unionist parties would boycott it for certain. They would then take every opportunity offered by the MSM to drag the commission's name through the dirt as a waste of time, public money and an example of SNP pursuing (in their eyes) a one-party state. And then they'd probably set up their own rival commission to obfusticate even further.

Just look what happened with the national conversation.

I'm afraid that without a clear and undeniable popular mandate for independence in the form of a referendum you will never get the unionists to treat constitutional issues such as this with the seriousness they deserve.
 
 
# exel 2011-10-19 09:07
uilleam_beag 2011-10-19 06:07
“It doesn't matter how good the intentions may be in setting up a Scottish Constitutional Commission, the three main unionist parties would boycott it for certain. They would then take every opportunity offered by the MSM to drag the commission's name through the dirt as a waste of time, public money and an example of SNP pursuing (in their eyes) a one-party state. And then they'd probably set up their own rival commission to obfusticate even further.”

The Scottish Constitutional Commission already exists.

I thought it was generally agreed here, that a constitutional commission would have to be called at some time. The feeling I get is that the one party state, that is what a unicameral parliament is, once established, will kick it into the long grass anyway.

As I said in my post above, “To my certain knowledge at least two other draft constitutions are in existence, one by the SDA and another by the Scottish Constitutional Commission. It is my opinion that the Scottish Constitutional Commission could host such a discussion, involving all interested parties.”

I would also remind you how devolution came about. Particularly the last paragraph.

The Claim of Right and the idea of a Constitutional Convention grew out of the Campaign for a Scottish Assembly (CSA), a pressure group established in the aftermath of the failure to secure a devolved Scottish Assembly in 1979. The CSA was an organization of individuals committed to some form of Home Rule for Scotland that by the late 1980s came to argue that a convention was the way forward to secure this.

Various organizations participated in the Convention, such as the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats, the Scottish Green Party, the Scottish Trades Union Congress, the Small Business Federation and various bodies representing other strands of political opinion as well as civic society in general. Representatives of the two largest churches - the Church of Scotland, the Catholic Church - as well as smaller church groups were involved as were some non-Christian communities which decided to participate.

Initially the Scottish National Party (SNP) participated, but the then party leader Gordon Wilson, along with Jim Sillars, decided to withdraw the SNP from participation owing to the convention's unwillingness to discuss Scottish independence as a constitutional option.
 
 
# Holebender 2011-10-18 12:14
Quoting exel:
A written constitution would sort out all the problems Scotland has with the union.



How? How will a written constitution sort out the problem of Scotland, with it's 8.6% of the UK population, getting whatever government the southern voters elect? How will a written constitution sort out any of the problems Scotland has with the union? How?
 
 
# exel 2011-10-18 12:39
Holebender 2011-10-18 13:14
“Quoting exel: A written constitution would sort out all the problems Scotland has with the union.
How? How will a written constitution sort out the problem of Scotland, with it's 8.6% of the UK population, getting whatever government the southern voters elect? How will a written constitution sort out any of the problems Scotland has with the union? How?”

The only way Westminster can prevent the breakup of the Union is to repair the broken British political system with a written codified constitution embracing a Federal System.

The only way nationalists can attain Independence is to convince the sovereign Scottish people to go it alone is by showing them that what is on offer is better than the present UK system. In fact A Scottish Written and codified Constitution agreed and voted for by a majority in a referendum.
 
 
# pa_broon74 2011-10-18 12:56
There is no way Westminster can repair the broken British political system, hardly anyone (except perhaps you) would trust them to do it.

Since they won't throw themselves out of office the next best thing is for us to part company, with any luck it would provide a catalyst for the English, Welsh and NI people to do something about their lot.

The referendum would be on the independence question, not a WCC. That comes later, how can we possibly formulate anything approaching a legally binding constitution when we don't necessarily know what it would for, FFA, or full independence.

Also, that old chestnut of clouding what is already a matter massively obfuscated by unionist parties namely, the truth and facts of the status quo by introducing chat about a WCC. The dependency parties couldn't even throw together the Scotland Bill on the back of the factually-challenged Calman Commission and they actually wanted that, god knows what would happen if they were allowed to get involved in something they didn't want.

A federal system in the UK is pie in the sky, Westminster wouldn't stick to it even if we had a WCC. But then since they'd have input in it's authoring it would be weighted in their favour anyway.

Its a waste of time.
 
 
# mountaincadre 2011-10-18 12:56
Agree on the way to convince the Scottish public is by showing them that there is a better way,your problem is that that is what the Scottish goverment have been doing.
 
 
# Holebender 2011-10-18 14:16
Very disappointing. You tell us a constitution "would sort out all the problems Scotland has with the union" but, when challenged, you can't even tell us how it would sort a single problem, let alone all of them.

If you can't tell us what good this blessed constitution you keep banging on about would do, how can you expect anyone else to show the slightest interest? You have obviously invested a lot of time and thought in this constitution idea, but it just doesn't seem as if you have actually thought it through. Either that or you are just hopeless at articulating your ideas.

And I absolutely reject your assertion that putting a constitution before a referendum is "the only way" to attain independence. If our government wastes time and money on a constitution before independence is assured in these straitened times I would be mad as hell at them, and I'm sure I wouldn't be the only one. Your time wasting, money wasting, exercise will do more harm than good.

I would heartily endorse government statements to the effect there will be a written constitution before the referendum vote, but going to all the trouble of getting an agreed document and putting it to a vote before the independence referendum is utterly pointless.
 
 
# Edzell Blue 2011-10-18 12:36
I'm sure that I read on this site that under EU rules a country (in this case the UK) could not devolve the control and collection of VAT. If this is so then we cannot get FFA.
 
 
# bringiton 2011-10-18 13:39
Slightly OT but noticed this on Google Scotland news:

telegraph.co.uk/.../...

Ian Davidson was going on about afforability of independence the other day so it would appear that this is the current Unionista tack.
Too stupid,too poor,too wee.
 
 
# chiefy1724 2011-10-18 13:52
That wouldn't be the sme Ian Davidson who has now put himself forward as a contender for Deputy Leader of the North Britain Parish Branch Would it ?
 
 
# Arbroath1320 2011-10-18 14:08
So basically what Sir Richard Dannatt wants to know is how many Scottish troops the RoB can rely on for support when the RoB next enters an illegal war.
 
 
# pa_broon74 2011-10-18 14:43
Just more squeeling from the telegraph. Also, its not exactly fair to say we'd be building an army from scratch, surely we've been paying something towards the one thats currently running sandy places at the moment?

I understand there will still be cross over in terms of Scot's in the army north and south, but to assume we'd be starting from scratch would be to short change Scotland quite unfairly.

That waste of space committee has no mandate in Scotland either, they assume the SG won't attempt to answer any of the inevitable questions about independence when they know thats a load of bilge.

Dannat and the armed forces also have a vested interest in the idea of the 'GB' farce, presumably if Scotland withdraws their budget will have to be reduced accordingly and new training grounds would need to be found.

Meh. Its the telegraph anyway, only dusty grey people read that dessicated rag.
 

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