Labour’s six unanswered questions

I had that wee Wullie Bain at my door the other day. I didn’t know it was Wullie at the door, seeing as how at the time I was engaged with a wullie of my own – which I refuse to describe as wee, seeing as how I’m a guy. I was attempting to stop it peeing all over the bathroom floor when the door went and distracted me.

As any woman will tell you, it doesn’t take much for a man to soak the toilet seat and the surrounding floor, although many women are also prone to moaning when men don’t put the seat down afterwards. I was never entirely sure why my female friends and relatives complained about that, as if the toilet seat is left up then at least they have the confidence of knowing that the men in their lives haven’t just peed all over the toilet seat and not told them. Because men will do that. Men are very like a Better Together No Thanks canvassing in this respect, as lies by omission are a prominent feature of Better Together literature too.

So having successfully ensured that there was no pee on the floor or the toilet seat – no, honest – I came out the cludgie to find an Untied with Labour No Thanks leafletty thingy on the hall floor – Labour’s “Scottish Referendum Special”. So I hadn’t managed to stop pish from landing on the floor after all. Then I took the dug oot and saw Wullie oot – the other one, mine was carefully hidden away behind zipped flies – with a wee group of hingers on trying and failing to gain entry to a close further down the street.

But still, at least I got some more raw materials for the dug to practise his artistic skills on. He’s thinking papier maché this time. Artistic skills were also very much in evidence in the Labour leaflet, which gave artistically interpreted answers to “your top questions” about independence and I was gutted that I hadn’t answered the door to Wullie, or he could have explained them in the medium of interperative dance.

So to save you the bother of rebutting Labour’s attempt at a balletic presentation of non-answers, here are Labour’s questions, and the answers they don’t give.

1: Will we keep the pound after independence?

Despite the heading “your top questions answered”, Labour’s leaflet doesn’t answer this question at all. In case you were wondering, the answer is Yes, we will. Even senior members of the UK cabinet have admitted it. Instead Labour restates the line that the Unionist parties have ruled out a currency union, like the Unionist parties have never lied about anything in the past. Then it goes to say – In the SNP’s own words ‘the SNP Government have no currency plan for an independent Scotland’.

These are not in fact the words of the SNP Government, nor are they even the words of any official SNP policy statement, they are not even the off the cuff remarks of any member of the SNP government. They’re the words of Jim Sillar, the retired MSP who is opposed to the present policy of the SNP to seek a currency union and to remain a member of the EU. Jim made the statement in an article in the Daily Record with reference to the statement from the Unionist parties that a currency union wouldn’t happen. Jim Sillars was saying that the SNP Government have no plan to set up an alternative Scottish currency – Jim’s preferred option. They don’t have any such plan because Scotland is going to keep the pound.

Jim Sillar’s preferences are perfectly valid, but they’re not the policy of the present Scottish Government and it’s highly misleading for Labour to pretend that they are. We could just as easily tell the Labour canvasser “In Labour’s own words: the Westminster system is holding us back and not allowing us to fully realise [Scotland’s] fantastic potential as a forward-looking, progressive nation.” These are the words of Alex Mosson, former Labour Lord Provost of Glasgow who supports a Yes vote. Alex Mosson’s words represent official Labour policy as much as Jim Sillar’s words represent the words of the present SNP Government.

If Scotland votes Yes, we keep the pound, formal currency union or not. Ireland kept Sterling after independence in 1922, until the Saorstat Punt was established in 1928 and was pegged 1:1 with Sterling. Renamed the Irish Punt in 1938, it remained pegged to Sterling at a 1 for 1 exchange rate until 31 December 1998 when Ireland joined the European Exchange Rate Mechanism in preparation for the introduction of the Euro.

There are several options which allow Scotland to keep the pound. A formal currency union which is the preferred policy of the Scottish Government, or using Sterling without a formal currency union, or – the most likely scenario, a currency union which the Westminster parties agree to but call something else in order to allow them to save face with the electorate south of the Border.

For more information about Scotland’s currency options, and why we will be keeping the pound, see here:

Academic evidence adds weight to case for independence, from Business for Scotland

Evidence given by Professor Anton Muscatelli to the Scottish Parliament


2. What’s best for jobs, schools and hospitals?

Labour gives another non-answer here, stating that Scotland receives over £1200 per person more in government expenditure than the rest of the UK, omitting the important fact that Scotland also pays in more per head of population than any other part of the UK except London. What they also don’t tell you is that UK Government expenditure on Scotland also includes Scotland’s notional share of projects which the UK Government deems to be “UK national”, these include really useful things like Trident, the High Speed Railway between London and Birmingham, London Crossrail, and the London sewer upgrade. Scotland really is paying so that Westminster can take the piss. After Scottish independence, Scotland’s taxes will not be spent on these vanity projects – they will be spent to develop Scotland’s jobs, schools and hospitals. We will have more money after independence, not less, and Scotland’s revenues will stay in Scotland to benefit Scotland, not the richest parts of the rest of the UK.

As part of the non-answer, Labour also repeats the threats made by several prominent businesses that independence is bad for jobs and the economy. These are the same companies who made the same threats in 1979, and again in 1997, when Scotland was debating devolution. Companies will not remove themselves from a profitable market, and after independence Scotland will remain profitable. The scare stories are baseless.

What’s best for Scottish jobs is for a government responsible to the people of Scotland to have its hands on the levers of economic management. Currently Scotland lacks the ability to develop her own economy in a way which is of long term benefit to Scotland’s population. Instead we live in a UK which has decided that the motor of its economy is to be the financial sector based in the City of London. The UK, and Scotland with it, have witnessed the decimation of the manufacturing sector, and the growth of temporary and transient contract work which doesn’t pay a living wage while a small minority get very wealthy indeed. This is not a model which is going to provide for all citizens to live in dignity. Only with independence can Scotland alter its economic strategy in order to create real jobs which pay real wages. And Scotland has the resources, the skills, and the talent to do so. For the dignity of labour and for a living wage, vote yes.

Scotland’s schools and education system are already fully devolved. However like other Scottish public services their funding depends upon the block grant which Westminster passes to Scotland every year, because Westminster collects the taxes and revenues and makes all the borrowing decisions. This means there is in practice a ceiling on the aspirations of Scotland’s education system, it can only ever be as good as Westminster funding will allow. But without Westminster’s ceiling, Scotland can plough the resources into an education that will allow this country’s young people to soar.

The biggest threat to Scotland’s NHS is a No vote. The NHS in England is being subject to increasing internal marketisation, driving different arms of the health services into competition with one another, and private operators are increasingly being awarded contracts to deliver NHS services. It’s privatisation by the back door. Although Scotland’s NHS is under the control of Holyrood, the money Scotland receives in her block grant from Westminster is determined by UK spending in the rest of the UK. The UK Government seeks to reduce the costs of running the NHS by privatising large parts of it, this will reduce the amount of money Scotland gets for running the Scottish NHS.

For more information about jobs, schools and hospitals in an independent Scotland see here:

Iain MacWhirter explains the real threat to the NHS is a No vote

Yes NHS Facebook page

What will happen to the NHS in an independent Scotland?


3. How secure will our pensions be?

State pensions will continue to be paid at the same rate in an independent Scotland. The Scottish Government has committed itself to maintaining the “triple lock” on state pensions, and moreover has said that it will not increase the retirement age as is planned by the UK Government and will not permit Scottish pensions to fall below the level paid in the rest of the UK.

Labour tells us that pensions are better protected by being backed up by a “strong and secure economy”. The UK economy is dominated by the needs and interests of the financial sector of the City of London, which as the crash of 2008 proved is considerably more volatile than oil. According to the economic and credit ratings agency Standard and Poors, Scotland has a broad-based economy which is more than capable of providing for the needs of Scotland’s population.

The Scottish Government plans to use Scotland’s revenues and income to reindustrialise the country in a sustainable way, guaranteeing a secure future for all of us. The question is then, which is the stronger and more secure economy – an economy geared to reindustrialise the country and create sustainable jobs and which uses Scotland’s massive natural resources to invest in Scotland, or an economy based upon the casino capitalism of the City of London where Scotland’s resources are leeched away and where the jobs created are unskilled non-jobs on zero-hours contracts. I know where I’d feel my pension was safer.

For more information about pensions and how Scotland can afford to maintain a decent income for a dignified life for all our older people, see here:

Standard and Poors report on the economic potential of Scotland

Pensions promise in an independent Scotland, by Nicola Sturgeon

Pensions in an independent Scotland, the Scottish Government’s view


4. Will Scotland be better off if it has all the oil revenue?

Labour doesn’t answer this one either, since the answer is obviously “D’oh. Of course. That’s a really really stupid question.” After all how can you NOT be better off if you get to keep all your income instead of letting someone else collect it then giving you some of it back at their own discretion as pocket money.

But that doesn’t stop Labour’s creative choreographic copy writers from trying to imply otherwise. Scotland, they tell us, has run a deficit for 20 of the last 21 years. What they don’t tell you is that Scotland’s deficit is smaller than that of the rest of the UK, nor that the reason we have a deficit is because of the spending priorities of the UK Government. All those Trident missiles and London commuter railways don’t come cheap you know.

Scotland’s oil revenues are currently paid to the UK Treasury, which makes the decisions about how to spend them. They’re not all spent on or in Scotland. After independence they would be, and that’s why Westminster Tories are keen for Scotland not to become independent – Or did you think they don’t want us to go because they really love us?

The McCrone Report, which was hidden by successive UK Governments for decades, revealed that with full control of its own oil revenues and resources, Scotland would be an embarrassingly wealthy country.

Labour also tells us that as supplies of oil diminish, they become more expensive to extract. This is true, however it’s also true that as supplies diminish, prices go up, making it more commercially viable to extract deposits that are more difficult to access. Scotland will continue to produce significant quantities of oil for many decades to come, the question we face in September is which government is the best steward of our remaining oil resources – a government in Westminster which treats Scottish oil revenue as another income stream to spend on strutting the world stage, or a government in Edinburgh which uses the income to develop the economy and prospects of Scotland and to invest in Scotland’s future.

For more information about Scotland’s oil and the potential it gives this country, see here:

The McCrone Report

The oil debate for busy people

Is Scotland’s economy too dependent on oil?

How valuable are the expected tax revenues from Scotland’s oil and gas?

Can Scotland establish an oil fund?


5. Will Scotland remain a part of the European Union?

Yes, we will. And that’s a certainty because there is no mechanism by which the EU can expel Scotland against its wishes as a punishment for making a democratic and perfectly legal and constitutionally valid decision to become independent. The foundation treaties of the EU oblige EU states to respect, accept, and defend such democratic decisions. Becoming independent will not result in Scotland’s automatic explusion from the EU, automatic expulsion is against EU law – as explained in a legal paper written by Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott of Oxford University (here).  So Scotland will remain a part of the EU, and will negotiate full membership in its own right from within the EU.

Viewed in that light, the pronouncements of a former President of the European Commission that Scotland will find it very difficult to reapply for membership are kind of meaningless. José Manuel Barroso is a political ally of David Cameron, so what he said was entirely predictable and was politically motivated, not a genuine statement of EU policy. The truth is that such matters are not within the powers of the EU President to decide. His opinion is not shared by the current President of the European Commission, who is not a political ally of David Cameron. Junker said that he would accept the result of the Scottish referendum whichever way the vote went.

Labour also asserts that Scotland would lose the UK’s existing EU opt outs, such as the opt out which allows the UK never to adopt the euro as British currency. Although it has an almost fetishistic standing amongst UK politicians, this opt out is pretty meaningless. No EU member state can be forced to adopt the euro. Sweden and the Czech Republic don’t have formal opt outs on the euro, but equally have no intention of giving up their own currencies. In order to adopt the euro, a country must first sign up to the ERM, as Ireland did in 1999. Signing up to the ERM is entirely voluntary, no EU country can be compelled to join it. No ERM, no euro. That’s the only opt out anyone needs.

Other UK opt outs depend upon existing UK commitments to the EU and a Scotland that’s a part of the UK. For example the UK opt out on the Schengen common travel area rests upon the fact that the UK currently doesn’t have a land border with another Schengen state. If Westminster decides to oppose an independent Scotland’s decision to remain a part of the Common Travel Area consisting of the UK, the Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man (and these last two are not even part of the EU), then all of a sudden it undermines its own Schengen opt out. After a yes vote in September, watch Westminster turn into an enthusiastic advocate of Scotland not joining Schengen.

But we can’t be certain we will remain a part of the EU if we remain governed by Westminster. David Cameron has committed the Conservatives to an in-out referendum on EU membership in 2017. It’s looking increasingly likely that Labour will not win the next UK General Election, meaning that Scotland could face an exit from the EU whether voters in Scotland choose to leave or not.

For more information about Scotland and the EU, see here:

How easily could an independent Scotland join the EU? By Professor Sionaidh Douglas-Scott, professor of European and human rights law at Oxford University.

Scotland’s accession to the EU: Written evidence by Professor Graham Avery


6. What will be the cost of becoming an independent Scotland?

You’d think this question refers to the cost of setting up an independent Scotland. At least that’s how I’d interpret “the cost of becoming independent”, but then I’m not a creative choreographer and have two left feet. But that makes me way more socialist than the two right feet of the current Labour leadership, so I don’t feel hard done by.

In case you were wondering, this is estimated at an initial cost of around £200 million, with total costs between around £600 million and an upper level of £1.5 billion. It’s impossible to arrive at an exact figure as the amount depends upon negotiations between Holyrood and Westminster after a Yes vote. And Westminster refuses to “pre-negotiate” Scottish independence. But we can at least be certain that the upper figure, £1.5 billion will only apply should Westminster refuse to acknowledge that Scotland gets its due share of UK assets. If that happens, we can expect to be compensated in other ways.

These figures are based upon the calculations of Professor Patrick Dunleavy, who produced the research which the UK Treasury used as a basis of its estimate of start up costs of £2.7 billion, which Professor Dunleavy later strongly criticised as being over inflated by a factor of 12. The figure of £2.7 billion was given by the UK Treasury for the setting up of new Scottish departments of government, these costs are estimated by Professor Dunleavy as more realistically in the order of £200 million.

Big numbers are always a big eye watering, and usually come under the heading of blah blah blah that most normal people tune out from. So let’s put them into a bit of perspective. The UK Government is paying £14.8 billion towards the costs of the London Crossrail project. It’s a new railway line and tunnel running east-west below the centre of one of the most crowded cities in the world. The UK Government has classified it as a UK national project, which means that taxpayers from Scotland contribute 10.4% of the cost, so Scotland is paying £1.54 billion towards it. We’d no longer be paying for London Crossrail after independence, representing an immediate saving to the Scottish budget of £1.54 billion. And there’s all your start up costs there, without even noticing.

However Labour, being Labour, prefers to answer an entirely different question to the one they actually ask themselves. They decide to answer the question “What would it cost Scotland if it was independent but kept all the same spending priorities and tax policies as it does as part of the UK?” That’s the question that the Institute for Financial Studies were asking themselves when they came up with the figure that Scotland would have to raise taxes by £1000 per person per year in order to maintain current spending levels. If Scotland maintains current UK spending priorities, the future is bleak indeed.

But of course the whole point of independence is so that the people of Scotland have a parliament with the powers to tackle Scotland’s problems, and to grow and develop Scotland into a land fit for all her citizens.

For more information about the costs and more importantly the benefits, of an independent Scotland, see here:

Will it cost too much to become independent?

The Common Weal: a model for economic and social development in Scotland


I’ve put in a number of links to further information on each of Labour’s six questions, but they are only a tiny sample of the information and links that are out there. And that’s where you come in, please leave your links, saying which question(s) they relate to, and I’ll add them to the links here. Then the next person with a dancing Wullie at their door will already have the real answers to Labour’s six questions.

37 comments on “Labour’s six unanswered questions

  1. Donna B-S says:

    As a women with a husband and a son, lass and me leave the seat Simples!

  2. […] Labour’s six unanswered questions […]

  3. Eilean says:

    Ma heed is nippin,an Ma knittin is rippin! Honestly my napper is full to burstin with facts and figures. Give the dug a nice creamy meringue for all his hard work. It can be a struggle to keep on top of the game when your opponent has so much pish at their disposal. Articles like this are a great resource. It is up to us to get it out there. No one else will.

    Talking of which I was engaging with an unionist while leafleting on Saturday lots of these facts and figures just came to me from where I don’t know but It was a good feeling. Every argument that he put up I had an answer for. He wandered away looking quite forlorn and despondent. I doubt if I made a convert but if he stays at home on Sept 18th that`l do me!

  4. […] Labour’s six unanswered questions. […]

  5. ian foulds says:

    Since we are constantly told by those needing spoon-fed that they are not being informed, what chance is there of your succinct and extremely informative article being reproduced as an advert in one of the ‘sympathetic’ dailies or other form of mass medium (leaflets) or a hyperlink on a YES Scotland billboard (for example) to get the FACTS over to our fellow countrymen and women?

    You wil have gathered I thought it was a VERY good blog.

    • hektorsmum says:

      Indeed Ian, heard on the BBC this morning that the Law Society thinks there are things which both sides need to answer. The Law Society, struth, you think they would have known how to use a computer or a telephone and asked or at least done what the rest of us do and LOOK.
      I also agree that this is the information which needs distributing, not to the Law Society, if they want to vote to ABOLISH THEMSELVES. so be it, but for those lazy ordinary, not yet engaged people.

  6. The same Mr Bain came to my door the other night asking. I told him I’d be voting ‘yes’ so he played the currency card. He looked surprised that I knew the answer to his question. I voluntarily added my additional knowledge, gleaned from WOS and others. I was then asked if I was an SNP member. Don’t think he expected a well-informed council house tenant when he came into my close. Incidentally it’s the first time in 24 years anyone from a political party has canvassed me at home. It feels good to be wanted after all these years.

  7. macart763 says:

    The dug that roared.

    That’s the fiscal and economic case for independence sorted. Ideological and philosophical tomorrow? 😀

    That’s a beauty Paul.

  8. Aye, that just aboot says it all.

  9. innerbearsdenurchin says:

    If that lot put as much time into governing correctly in the last 40 or so years, they would not have needed to put all that time in concocting that tome of abject sophistry.

    What a waste of trees and ink.

  10. innerbearsdenurchin says:

    Paul, is there a hidden edit button somewhere?

    • weegingerdug says:

      Just to the right of the date stamp on your comment (top right immediately above your comment) there’s a wee (Edit). Click that and you can edit your comment after publishing it.

      • innerbearsdenurchin says:

        Thanks Paul, but it doesn’t show on my Firefox and Mac OS.

        I head read some time ago you saying that there was an edit button and was worried that my glasses weren’t working.

        • innerbearsdenurchin says:

          see what I mean about me needing an edit button had read maybe auto correct.

  11. Jan Cowan says:

    Nothing more required for the DKs. Superb, Paul.

  12. Steve Asaneilean says:

    I spent 5 minutes looking at the factsheet and was able to debunk much of it with very little digging thus (their statements in quotation marks):

    “some treatments are too specialised to be cost effective in a country of 5 million” – so how do they manage in Norway or Denmark? Well, they out source it – just like we currently do in Scotland.

    “Scots have access to dozens of treatments that are unavailable in Scotland with no hassle and no charge” – wrong at a number of levels.

    They say “dozens of treatments” yet are only able to highlight three – heart-lung transplants, care for rare cancers, and paediatric liver transplants. The last time I looked at a dictionary “dozens” was not defind as “three”.

    At present what happens if you live in Scotland but need treatment in England? Well firstly your health board will have to satisfy itself that the treatment you need cannot be provided in Scotland and that you need to be treated in England and they will have to agree to fund that. Then the hospital in England that you are being referred to will have to agree to see you. And then your health board will be billed by that hospital for the care you receive. So why on earth would anything be different in an independent Scotland? Which leads us back nicely to what our friends in Norway and Denmark do…

    “…the Scottish Parliament since its establishment…huge improvements in life expectancy…” – there are two types of life expectancy that we measure in Scotland – life expectancy (LE) and healthy life expectancy (HLE).

    Both LE and HLE are significantly worse in Scotland than the rest of the UK and many other EU countries. On average Scottish men and women live about 2 to 2.5 years less than their English counterparts.

    Moreover Scottish men live 3.6 years less than Swedish men. Scottish life expectancy has increased since 1998 – but this trend is repeated across the EU and Scotland has done less well that most other EU countries.

    For women, between 1998 and now the gap in LE between Scotland and France (which has the highest female LE in the EU) has widened, whilst the gap between Scotland and Romania (which has the lowest female LE in the EU) has reduced (i.e Romania is catching Scotland up).

    Between 1998 and now the average LE in Scotland has increased by about 4% for men and 2.5% for women – not what I would regard as “huge”.

    At present a least deprived male in Scotland will live till 81 but their HLE is 11.5 years less at 68.5. A most deprived male will only live to 70 and their HLE will be a whopping 20 years less at 50. A least deprived female can expect to live till 84 with a HLE 13 years less at 77 whilst a most deprived female will live till 70.5 with a HLE 18 years less at 52.5.

    “we receive around £143 million of UK charitable funding, that’s 13% of the UK total compared to our 8% of the population” – but according to the Daily Mail on 11/09/2013 Scotland gives to charity £356 per head compared to a UK averrage of £303 and an English average of £285. So infact, whilst we receive 5% more than our “fair share” of charity funding by population size we actually donate 25% more than the UK average so we are actually receiving a lower percentage than we contribute!

    I could go on but you get the point.

  13. Steve Asaneilean says:

    Sorry – meant to say the latest BT?NT factsheet on the NHS

  14. rosa alba says:

    Thank you – I have some facts and figures but unsure of Crown Estate revenue which will be returned to Scotland after the referution. – the article is 3 years old but the figures are still approximately current about differential between input and return from the UK coffers.

    I am going to print your article off before I next go out – and maybe make into a wee facts brochure to take with when canvassing. When Grannie Labour descended she brought w. her a number of wee A8 or smaller concertina fold out brochures I have not seen. Ready reckoner of facts and this from the Yes Perspective would be good.
    The Yes paraphenalia is great but people do want something small and uncomplicated.

    Addding in something (nor to refute Labour but…) about the Geographical Strategic position of Scotland (not least NATO – was asked about NATO on Sat) in terms of shipping and fishing, and in addition the importance of the Scottish seafood with its European market (Spain, I am talking about you – one of my prev. employments was translating for fish merchants in conversations w. Spain).

    Beyond the Strategic Importance (as Iceland and – unfortunately in Guantanamo terms Ireland) on the transatlantic routes, there is the Energy factor. Not only the strategic importance of Scotland in terms of overseas companies working the platforms, but Aberdeen’s position as the Energy Capital, and research into alternate sources, not least wave (though we lag behind Portugal on that; why does no one need a translator of Portuguese???). Just as big businesses like B&Q will not throw away capital investment and move out of the North British market (!!!) so Oil Companies and other Energy Companies and related service industries will not only remain, but will have an interest in ensuring Scotland flourishes or at least does not go belly up.

    The figures – and the assurance last week (was it last week) of continued funding for research (from EU?) which comes from sources other than UKGOV despite what they say, and the position of Scottish Universities on the world excellence tables – was it 3 out of the top 18 (I don’t do numbers well) is also something that no one – internationally – is going to allow to fester. I do not like partnership with commercial interests but it is a source of income and employment. My former neighbour worked in Alzheimers Research and had created a company – international company – worth a significant amount and which worked in partnership with other pharmaceuticals.

    IN other news, GMS wheeling out same old OBR info on Oil.
    Are YOU doing ok?

  15. Capella says:

    Brilliant. should be turned into a leaflet and distributed as widely as possible!
    For Q6 I think the WoS article on “The Historical Debt” sets out how much the Union has cost us for over a century with the obvious conclusion that we would be so much better off without carrying Union on our “broad shoulders”.

  16. Could an independent Scotland join the European Union? – Graham Avery

    Click to access pub_4487_scotland_and_the_eu.pdf

  17. Cal says:

    Another excellent article. Thank you. Here is a selection of the materials I regularly use when canvassing.

    1. Will we keep the pound?
    An article by Prof Avinash Persaud (former global head of currency research at JP Morgan)

    2.What’s best for jobs,schools and education
    I use this general article on Business For Scotland often to very good effect (especially the three maps)

    Wrt privatisation of the HNS in England the excellent video by Allyson Pollock of a speech she gave at TEDxExeter is required viewing (18mins long).

    3. For Security of Pensions topic, I refer people to the audio of a question and answer session on the subject given by the politically neutral pensions officer with Prospect union where he explains clearly the issues in this complex matter very clearly. It’s about one hour long but excellent. This can be found at

    4.Oil revenue
    The McCrone report is definitely the best here. They’ve been lying about the prospects for N. Sea oil since it first came ashore. Their economic incompetence knows no bounds.

    Here’s a good non oil related one that shows they have been useless at managing money for a long time, even when it’s handed to them on a plate.

    5.Will we still be in the EU?
    I love explaining to people how the notion that we’d be out of the EU with a Yes vote is SO ridiculous! The funniest example you can use is Stu’s excellent one at

    Where he explains that Europe Direct (the EU’s information service) has stated, in writing, that your EU citizenship is granted by virtue of your citizenship of an EU country. Thus, given that the UK gov. has already conceded we’d still keep our British citizenship in the event of a Yes, we’d still be EU citizens (Scotland Analysis: Borders and Citizenship, Jan 2014, page 60). Soooo…. we face the prospect that Scotland, the geographical entity, could be expelled from the EU but everyone living there (ie the Scottish population) would still be EU citizens!!!!
    Which poses an interesting question. What makes a country – the people who live there or the rock from which it is made?

    6. Costs of becoming independent. I use the FT article myself.
    Only problem with that is that the FT has a pay wall. This is a good example of the corrupt UK gov. lying. I ask voters, if they lied about that what else are they lying about?

    Happy reading/listening/watching. I hope the links work!

  18. Jan Cowan….Nail….heed.
    This post covers it all.
    Thanks again Paul.
    Will be reblogging.

  19. Reblogged this on EezyPeezyLemonSqeezy and commented:
    For anyone who knows someone who is unsure about what to do, show them this.
    To read it all would take some doing but all the info. required is here.
    And you’ll have a good laugh along the way….

  20. Reblogged….

    Previous blog is also a reminder that nothing has changed too much from the mouth of James Keir Hardie himself, founder of The Labour Party.

  21. smiling vulture says:

    Not really into tractor stats dug

  22. SCED300 says:

    They can do this because there is no challenge from the media. That is, unless there is No vote.
    Then the Westminster Tory party machine will remember everything Labour has said.
    Everything the Machine has learned about the weaknesses in Labour will be used. They have shown there are many.

  23. Eric Dodd says:

    Worth noting that the ‘formal currency union’ proposals are NOT the work of the Scottish Government and it’s civil servants.
    The plan comes from the fully independent (the members insisted on being independent) Fiscal Commission Working Group – that’s Professor Sir James Mirlees (Nobel laureate), Professor Joseph Stiglitz (Nobel laureate), Professor Andrew Hughes Hallett, and Professor Frances Ruane.

    In 2012 they were asked to produce a series of post-Yes economic proposals that could be introduced on Day 1 and would benefit BOTH Scotland AND the rUK.

    That was the remit – and that’s what they did.

    The media has suppressed that 226-page ‘First Report – Macroeconomic Framework’ – allowing hacks and Better Together to abuse, ridicule, smear, and insult what they all call ‘Salmond’s’ or ‘the Scottish Government’s plans’ – the reality being those plans were produced by four of the planet’s most highly regarded and experienced economists.

    Every time you hear Alexander, Darling, Carmichael, and all the others calling those plans ‘ridiculous’ and ‘economic fantasy’, and that the authors are ‘delusional’ and ‘don’t understand economics’ – they’re actually saying those things about the four professors, and another 15 or so who have all expressed support for the FCWG proposals.
    We’ve even had Ruth Davidson saying the plans were worked out ‘on the back of a cigarette packet’ during Holyrood debates.
    226-pages of detailed research that studied all the options and made a series of rational proposals – on the back of a cigarette packet ??

    I’m no economist, but I have read the FOUR FCWG reports. It took a very long time, but the ‘Executive Summary’ will be enough for most folk.

    It was the FCWG that proposed TWO oil funds in it’s ‘Stabilisation and Savings Funds for Scotland’ and a radical new, fair, simplified tax system in ‘Principles for a Modern and Efficient Tax System in an Independent Scotland’.
    The fourth report – ‘Fiscal Rules and Fiscal Commissions’ was referenced several times by mark Carney during his Edinburgh speech. He obviously approves of those proposals !
    But once again they’re all ‘Salmond’s plans’ – and are ridiculed.

    If you haven’t heard of the Fiscal Commission, then sadly that proves just how effective our shockingly biased media is – every IFS, OBR, and Treasury report is given blanket coverage.
    The FCWG is deliberately suppressed.

    • Eric Dodd says:

      Forgot to say that the ‘First Report’ was published in Feb 2013. The other three were published in Oct/Nov 2013.
      Yet how many folk have even heard of them ?

  24. Wee Genius Dug’I’m just back fae Riddrie Library where the great staff showed me how to print it.It’s for the wumman up the next close !! I could never have made it so clear .Thank you.Hope all’s well on the hospital front

  25. […] I had that wee Wullie Bain at my door the other day. I didn't know it was Wullie at the door, seeing as how at the time I was engaged with a wullie of my own – which I refuse to describe as wee, se…  […]

  26. YESGUY says:

    I laughed through most of that Paul.

    Same old scares brilliantly dealt with.

    Got a wee piece of music for you all. Comes from our incredible wealth and talent and my mates the singer too.

    Hope you like it.

    Don’t know when it will be released but it’s on YOUTUBE

    keep up the great work Paul. And regards to Andy.

  27. Hugh Wallace says:

    Reblogged this on Are We Really Better Together? and commented:
    Loads of info here!

  28. Thanks for this and all the other excellent articles paul, im a first time poster here but have been informed and entertained by your thoughts (and opinion in comments by others too) since around september when i started to engage in the debate.

    Also liked what Eric Dodd was saying at 3:14 and entierly agree, the information that matters when having to make a desision on this is utterly oppressed and/or belittled at all cost by the media.

    I admin a facebook page and(hope you dont mind) have shared many of your articles.
    Will let you know when I share them in future of course.


  29. xsticks says:

    Now that’s really useful Paul. I hope you won’t mind if I distill this a bit and use it for campaigning/canvassing. Just what I’ve been looking for. Many thanks.

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