Can Scotland afford not to become independent?

Back in 2014 the question constantly put forward by the forces of British nationalism in Scotland was – can Scotland afford to become independent? With the implication that of course it couldn’t. As we face the inevitability of a second independence referendum, one which has been brought about by the lies and deceit, the shortcomings and failures of British nationalism, the question now facing Scotland is – can Scotland afford not to become independent?

The reality is that Britain costs us, and it costs us dear. For a Scotland that’s a part of the UK there is a heavy economic, political, psychological, and moral cost. Britishness costs. The British state and the Conservative ethos which dominates extracts a price. In return for the heavy price we pay, Scotland is belittled, ignored, sidelined, and taken for granted by a British establishment which has no interest in doing what’s best for Scotland.

The economic cost to Scotland of being a part of the UK lies above all in the inability of Scotland to develop its economy in the interests of the people of Scotland. A recent report from the Fraser of Allander Institute demonstrated that Scotland exports over £9 billion annually of Scottish produced wealth to the rest of the UK and abroad. The levers of macro-economic control rest firmly with a Westminster which jealously guards its power. Despite devolution, the UK remains one of the most centralised states in Europe, and that centralised power is used in the economic benefit of London and the south east of England.

Opponents of independence point to the GERS (Government Expenditure and Revenues Scotland) figures as “proof” that Scotland is subsidised by the rest of the UK and that we’d be unable to provide for ourselves as an independent state. But that argument rests upon a fundamental fallacy, the fallacy that an independent Scotland would make the exact same economic and political choices as are made for it by the British state. The entire point of independence is to enable Scotland to make different choices, better choices, economic choices which work to Scotland’s benefit, choices which Scotland cannot take as part of the UK.

When an opponent of independence claims that Scotland can’t afford to become independent, they are in fact admitting that the economic policies of the UK have impoverished Scotland. They are arguing that the way in which the British state has failed the people of Scotland means that Scotland must continue to depend on the state that has failed us. That nonsensical view is given huge amounts of airtime, its fundamental illogicality is almost never pointed out in a Scottish media which is overwhelmingly opposed to independence.

Brexit has made a bad situation even worse. We were told in 2014 that independence would cost Scotland £500 per year per household. Now we discover that Brexit is costing every household £900 per year. We are worse off than we would have been even under the worst case scenario promoted by opponents of independence back in 2014. What you can be certain of is that the economic cost of Brexit will not be felt by the Boris Johnsons and Jacob Rees Moggs of this world. It will be felt by you and me.

We are told that Scotland can’t afford to become independent because the majority of Scottish exports go to the rest of the UK. For starters it must be pointed out that this is an estimate, not an accurate figure, because as part of the UK Scotland is also deprived of the precise and exact economic information that is required to make detailed economic decisions. However it’s most certainly true that the bulk of Scottish exports go to the rest of the UK. The answer is – so what? The great majority of Ireland’s exports were once likewise destined for the UK, but as an independent nation capable of making its own economic decisions, Ireland now exports more to the rest of the EU. An independent Scotland could do the same.

Meanwhile the issue of the Irish border looms large in the Brexit negotiations. Ireland and the EU are demanding, rightly, that the UK abides by its commitment not to introduce any perceptible border within the island of Ireland. It is likewise politically impossible to introduce a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. The UK cannot threaten a Scotland which is a member of the customs union, the single market and the common travel area with a border, when it has guaranteed no border with another state which is a member of the customs union, the single market, and the common travel area. And if there is no perceptible border, it matters not a jot if the majority of Scottish exports go to the rest of the UK until an independent Scotland rebalances its economy.

The political cost of the UK to Scotland weighs heavy on our shoulders. We were promised in 2014 that we’d be a valued and equal partner in a family of nations. That’s nothing more than meaningless cant designed to make Scottish people feel better about the subservient position of Scotland within the UK. The political price Scotland pays for being a part of the UK is that Scotland gets what England votes for. England makes up 85% of the population of the UK, an unassailable majority. Scottish votes can only make a difference when opinion in England is very finely balanced. Most of the time, Scottish votes are irrelevant.

As long as Scotland and England were on the same page politically, alternating between Labour and the Conservatives, Scotland could kid itself on that it was participating in a Union. Scotland got what it voted for often enough and we could pretend to ourselves that Scotland was an active agent in UK politics. The truth is that when Scotland got what it voted for, it was mere coincidence, not agency. We got it because England just so happened to vote the same way.

Brexit has destroyed any pretence that Scotland is politically relevant within the UK. With a General Election we could always tell ourselves that if Scotland didn’t get the UK government it wanted, there was always the election in five years time. We could hope for the coincidence of English votes going the same way as votes in Scotland and pretend to ourselves that Scotland was an active agent in its own destiny. Brexit has blown that out of the water. Brexit is forever. Scotland has no voice, no input, no say, despite the fact that in the EU referendum Scotland voted to remain a part of the EU by a considerably larger margin than it voted to remain a part of the UK in 2014.

You cannot delegate your political decisions to your neighbours and tell yourself that you live in a functioning democracy. There’s only one way in which Scotland can get what Scotland votes for. There’s only one way that Scotland can be anything other than a coincidental democracy. That’s to take the powers of self-government into Scottish hands.

There is a heavy economic cost to Scotland for remaining a part of the UK. There is a punishing political cost to Scotland for remaining a part of the UK. There is also a crushing psychological cost. It’s called the Cringe. The Cringe is a product of the cognitive dissonance that arises when you are a member of a nation that isn’t allowed to act like a normal nation. The mismatch between Scotland’s concept of itself as a proud and ancient nation, which is automatically to be compared with other nations like Denmark or Finland, and the reality of a part of the UK which the British state equates with a glorified English county, exerts a significant psychological toll. The Cringe is what comes of trying to reconcile two different realities, the reality of how you see yourself versus the reality of how you are seen by those with power.

The Cringe is what produces the Proud Scot But. I’m a proud Scot but … we cannae dae that. I’m a proud Scot but … we won’t be allowed to. I’m a proud Scot but … we’re too wee. I’m a proud Scot but … Europe wouldn’t want us. A person who tells you that an international organisation wouldn’t want their country is a person who has internalised the view that their country is a lesser place, that it’s not good enough, that it’s inadequate.

The Cringe tells us that we’re not good enough. The Cringe tells us that if something is Scottish then it must by definition be a subject of ridicule. That’s why British nationalists are happy with the Scots language being used in comedy but not with it being used in serious news reporting. It’s because the Cringe tell us that Scottishness is funny, a wall of laughter to hide the pain and insecurity that lurks within. The Cringe is responsible for the Great Scottish National Inferiority Complex, the deep rooted sense amongst so many of us that we’re not quite good enough.

British nationalism feeds on the Cringe. It nurtures it. It depends on it because the mental chains of the Cringe are what keep Scotland in the British state. The Cringe is the psychological cost of being a member of a nation that can’t act like a country. Scottish independence is the radical notion that Scotland could be normal. That terrifies and threatens those whose wealth, privilege, and preference depend on the Cringe.

Scotland pays a moral cost for being a part of the UK. We pay that moral cost in the deaths and injuries of young Scots men and women who enlist in the armed forces because they have few other options, and who are then deployed in the many wars that the British state engages in in its insane post-imperial drive to prove that a medium sized European country is still a global player. Scotland pays a moral cost in the deaths, the injuries, the displacements, the destruction, the refugees produced by British military adventurism. Scotland pays a moral cost by acting as a host for British weapons of mass destruction.

Scotland pays a moral cost in the treatment of refugees and migrants to our country at the hands of a Home Office with a policy of creating a hostile environment. As long as Scotland remains a part of the UK, the international shame of the UK is our shame too. It makes no difference that we voted against it. It makes no difference that we oppose it. We are perceived by those outwith the UK as being every bit as complicit as anywhere else. No one condemns the actions of the Russian state but makes an exception for the people of Yakutia or Mari El. When people abroad talk about and criticise the actions of “Inglaterra”, they mean Scotland too. We pay a moral cost by making ourselves invisible, by subsuming ourselves into a larger whole over which we exert no effective control. The first step to gaining moral agency is to find your voice. Only with independence can Scotland find its voice. Then we will be responsible for our own actions, and not complicit in the actions of the British state.

The costs of Britishness are heavy and burdensome. It’s a cost which empties our pockets, which destroys our agency, which crushes our confidence, which taints our soul. It’s a cost we can’t go on paying. Scotland can’t afford not to become independent.


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110 comments on “Can Scotland afford not to become independent?

  1. Andy Anderson says:

    You have summed up exactly how it is Paul. I can hardly wait for the yoke to be removed.

    To be free. What a thought.

  2. Angus Coutts says:

    ‘Take These Chains From My Land And Set Me Free’ with apologies the the late great Ray Charles.

    If only we could get somebody to write fresh lyrics around my quote above,. find musicians to copy the arrangement and a credible Ray Charles impersonator it could be the theme tune for Indyref2.

  3. Graeme Timoney says:

    Jings you are good Paul, that is one of your best.

  4. […] Wee Ginger Dug Can Scotland afford not to become independent? Back in 2014 the question constantly put forward by the forces of British nationalism […]

  5. mearnsgeek says:

    “Proud Scot”.

    I’d love to know how many folk on twitter with that somewhere in their bio are die-hard unionists who are anything but a proud Scot and need to add that “but”. Seems to me that if you are proud of being Scottish you don’t need to trumpet it out loud.

    Seriously though, The Cringe is the worst, in whatever form it takes.

    Great article though, thanks.

  6. Pogo says:

    Your best to date Paul. Power to your keyboard.

    There are too many who are Cringeworthy!

    Let’s get educating them share your blog far and wide is a great start!

  7. Proudscotnobuts says:

    A quite superb bit of writing that should be shared with every man, woman and child in our nation. Thankyou Paul

  8. mogabee says:

    I believe the young are losing a lot of that insecurity, thank god. With indy it will become strange to be accused of having the ‘cringe’.

    Long live a confidant, secure and positive population!!

  9. Jean Watson Mullan says:

    I’ve lived in Ireland,another former victim of Empire,for the past 25 years and find it so frustrating that my fellow Scots don’t have faith in our ability to be an independent nation. Ireland takes its place proudly on the world stage. You have burst the bubble concerning all the usual arguments as to why we can’t and, of course, we can and must!

  10. Cubby says:

    A brilliant piece of writing.

  11. If only we could get the Guardian or Times to publish this brilliant ‘speech’, Paul.
    The Proud Scots But:-

    Douglas Alexander Paisley and Renfrewshire South Shadow Foreign Secretary
    Willie Bain Glasgow North East Shadow Minister for Scotland (2010–13)
    Gordon Banks Ochil and South Perthshire Shadow Minister for Scotland
    Dame Anne Begg Aberdeen South Chairwoman of the Work and Pensions Select Committee 1997
    Russell Brown Dumfries and Galloway Shadow Minister for International Security Strategy 1997
    Katy Clark North Ayrshire and Arran 2005
    Tom Clarke Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill 1982
    Michael Connarty Linlithgow and East Falkirk 1992
    Margaret Curran Glasgow East Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland 2010
    Ian Davidson Glasgow South West Chairman of the Scottish Affairs Select Committee 2005
    Thomas Docherty Dunfermline and West Fife Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons 2010
    Brian Donohoe Central Ayrshire 1992
    Gemma Doyle West Dunbartonshire Shadow Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans
    Sheila Gilmore Edinburgh East 2010
    Tom Greatrex Rutherglen and Hamilton West Shadow Minister for Energy 2010
    Tom Harris Glasgow South Shadow Minister for the Environment 2001
    Jimmy Hood Lanark and Hamilton East 1987
    Cathy Jamieson Kilmarnock and Loudoun Shadow Economic Secretary 2010
    Mark Lazarowicz Edinburgh North and Leith Shadow Minister for International Development (2010–11) 2001
    Michael McCann East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow 2010
    Gregg McClymont Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East Shadow Minister for Pensions 2010
    Ann McKechin Glasgow North Shadow Undersecretary of State for Scotland (2010–11) 2001
    Iain McKenzie Inverclyde 2011
    Graeme Morrice Livingston Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Shadow Deputy Prime Minister 2010
    Jim Murphy East Renfrewshire Leader of the Scottish Labour Party 1997
    Pamela Nash Airdrie and Shotts Baby of the House 2010
    Fiona O’Donnell East Lothian Shadow Minister for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2010–12) 2010
    Sandra Osborne Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock 1997
    John Robertson Glasgow North West 2000
    Frank Roy Motherwell and Wishaw 1997
    Anas Sarwar Glasgow Central Deputy Leader of the Scottish Labour Party (2011–14) 2010 Jim Sheridan Paisley and Renfrewshire North 2001 Gavin Newlands SNP
    Lib Dems
    Danny Alexander Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey Chief Secretary to the Treasury 2005
    Michael Crockart Edinburgh West 2010
    Michael Moore Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk Secretary of State for Scotland (2010–13) 1997
    Sir Robert Smith, 3rd Baronet West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine 1997
    Jo Swinson East Dunbartonshire Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Employment Relations, Consumer and Postal Affairs 2005
    John Thurso, 3rd Viscount Thurso Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross Chairman of the Finance and Services Committee 2001
    Not forgetting The Clunking Fist and Lord Darling of Bigbux.
    This list of Labour Shame and Lib Dem fence sitters had held Scotland back in subservient colonial subjugation for nigh on 40 years.
    Therer are no threats of scaremongering left.
    We are on our way.
    Where are this bunch of freeloaders hiding these days?

  12. Hazel Smith says:

    Paul, fantastic piece of writing, one of your best. My first thought – I have to share this with my anti independence friends. Thank you for putting into words exactly how I feel.

  13. paul mccormack says:

    The text below is paraphrased from Schumaker’s Small is beautiful (with Jim Kelman added at the end). It is pretty stark (even given the narrowness of just its economic commentary). This is as valid now as it was in 2014. In this respect, nothing has changed. The choice is simple: Scotland a cadaver, or Scotland a free democratic modern nation with a constitution.

    So what happens then, some may ask, when a rich province secedes a poor province? Most probably nothing very much. The rich will remain rich and the poor will remain poor. This should be perfectly obvious – same as it always was.

    But what would happen if before secession, the rich had subsidised the poor? Well then, of course the subsidy would cease, but the rich rarely subsidise the poor more often than not they exploit them.

    This of course they may not do so much directly as through the terms of trade: where they may
    obscure the situation a little by a redistribution of tax revenue, or small scale charity, but the last thing they would want to do is to secede from the poor.

    The normal situation is that the opposite is true. That the poor wish to secede from the rich
    and the rich want to hold onto the poor as the exploitation of the poor within one’s own frontiers
    is infinitely easier than exploitation of the poor beyond them. this is the simple reason why such a disingenuous obfuscation of these truths pours out of the mouths of those who would have us believe otherwise: that Britain is not a country, it is the name used by the elite and its structures of authority to describe itself.

    I daresay there’s a third option. We could all just sit tight and wait til Norway invades us… 😉

  14. Lekraw says:

    I think I enjoyed reading that piece more than just about anything you’ve written so far. Fantastic stuff, thank you. So many of us get caught up in the little details of the argument; the economics, currency question etc. It’s good to take a step back and look at the big picture, which this article describes quite superbly.

  15. Probably your finest post since I started to follow this blog. It should be required reading for EVERY voter before the next Independence Referendum. Thank you!

  16. Alba woman says:

    Wow what an excellent piece …many thanks.

    I had the unfortunate experience of being one of Tom Greatrex’s constituents. Boy did he do well out of his tenure. I followed his political career and noted his developing interest in energy matters. His interests did not lie in the much needed development needs of the constituency.

    Enquiries about potential economic skills development and investments in the constituency went straight over his head and those of his staff who were like bouncers from a tightly run club..Most certainly members only. He voted for the huge cuts to the social security budget….. nae bother to Tom

    I was not in the least surprised when he landed the CEO job with the nuclear industry association…..all that time he spent pursuing his energy pals paid off big time.

  17. Tol says:

    Stockholm syndrom…anyone?

    Its not easy to beak that hold hold (and Westminster has centuries of training). To break this is not easy and to paraphrase a post by Reena Kr –

    …………………………….
    Firstly you need to recognise the fear that made you
    see your abuser as the only one who truly cares for you.
    You need to see them for what they actually are .

    They have been training you like a dog. So, in your mind,
    in order to survive, you see them as a dog would a master,
    as the one they have to follow….
    …………………………….

    Yes, Scotland has been trained to be insecure and is “emotionally anaemic” However, on the flip side, this relationship reveals the emotional failings of English/Westminster. Does this analysis of abusers sound familiar? …’The abuser is morbidly insecure. They have little sense of their own social value and seek to to gain some semblance of value through domination and control.’…

    Scotland has been given a gift. Brexit has made England /Westminster reveal it true self (insular, angry and scared of the world). If Scotland is unable to take this chance it has been given, Westminster will tighten the leash even further.

    Good luck Scotland, the world is waiting for you.

  18. hettyforindy says:

    Excellent piece of writing, thank you Paul.

    Scotland has been kept poor and begging for far too long by the UK government, all aided and abetted by the branches of UK political parties based in Scotland.

    The past decade of an SNP government has given Scotland confidence and self worth, after 100s of years of British rule. Quite an achievment, much to the Britnats’ disdain.

    Dyed in the wool proud Scot buts will take a bit longer, some won’t change. They do and will however, benefit hugely from living in a fairer and more forward looking country, than the one they are desperately grasping, but with only a few threads left of the butchers apron strings, it can’t last.

  19. The Carlisle Woollen Mill?
    The company is moving from Dumfries across the border to Carlisle ‘to create more jobs?’ For whom?
    Presumably they can add the Butcher’s Apron to their mast head now that the Edinburgh connection has been consigned to history?

    • Tol says:

      @

      I left you comment on our thread in the last article (link to comment below)
      Thought you may be interested.

      https://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2018/05/22/the-self-delusions-of-a-british-nationalist/#comment-62183

      • ….”The abuser is “morbidly insecure”. Actually having little sense of their own social value and seek to gain some semblance of value through domination and control.’…

        Sums it up really, Tol.

        The White Trailer Trash in the Southern States of the US who are manipulated by the Establishment to disregard their own sorry plight, sowbelly diet, and substance and alcohol abuse, because they are white, which means that they are superior and further up the social pyramid than any human who is black, Muslim, Jew, Catholic and so on.

        It gets them through the darkest and most ‘morbid’ of nights if they believe that illegal wetbacks are flooding over the Mexican border and stealing jobs which they should have.

        They know in their heart of hearts that they have no ‘social value’, but like the louts Over Here who march to the ‘morbid’ violent thump of the Laggan Drum or gather on the terraces at Parkhead and Ibrox to sing anthems of hate and menace, if you have nothing and rabble rousers offer you a ’cause’, then Sydney Poitier is an inferior lesser human being than you because he’s black and you’re not.
        It doesn’t get any more morbidly insecure than that, Tol.

        The Tory government thought that they could get away with deporting British citizens illegally because their victims were black.
        The white xenophobe majority would look the other way.

        Up Here we are ‘Jocks’, ‘subsidy junkies’ and therefore ‘inferior’ to the hard working just about managing English citizen to the South who demands subservience from us in return for them paying for all our ‘free things’.

        We discuss the Cringe here.

        Unfortunately out Fourth Estate Fifth Column sells this ‘subsidy junkie’ toss as fact, and many Many Scots fall for it.

        They learn to love their abuser for fear of punishment and retribution.

        The core of Project Fear was just that.

        Leave us and we will destroy you.

        We will bring down you economy, bar you from the EU, bomb your airports, stop paying retirement pensions, and our English stores and businesses will up sticks and leave, and/or hike up the price of everything.

        Of course they’d be laughed out of Scotland if they attempted Project Fear II.
        The Mouse is Roaring back, Tol.
        No more Mr and Mrs Nice Guy.

        • T says:

          @Jack collatin

          As soon as I saw the term “morbidly insecure”, it was amazing how it summed up the actions of Westminster – As you document above.

          All the terms previous terms for “Unionists” never felt quite right. They gave too much positive inference and never captured the aggressive nature of their actions towards another sovereign people or illuminated insecurities of England.

          YES needs to stop using terms that allow the English and Westminster plausible deniability of their actions.

    • Laura Atkinson says:

      Reminds me of Dunoon Pottery – kept the wee shop in Dunoon but moved the manufacturing to England. ‘Dunoon Pottery’ made in England! Lol

      Absolutely love this piece Paul. Hope you don’t mind but I’m going to print off a few copies.

  20. Arthur Martin says:

    Wow! That was a cracking bit of writing Paul, outstanding! So many truths packed into that fine piece of work. This should be printed off and delivered to every household in Scotland during the Indyref2 campaign.
    Many thanks.

  21. Macart says:

    The political and democratic cost to Scotland since 2014 is both self evident and well documented. Tory government we did NOT vote for has made Scotland’s participation in our bestest partnership in the history of partnerships a running joke. It’s been a punishment exercise by any standard. There was no reward for voting no. No renewal of vision going forward. No olive branches. NO FEDERALISM. Simply punishment.

    What Westminster’s governance and economic mismanagement have cost Scotland’s electorate so far.

    Oil industry: https://archive.is/5CVkU
    HMRC: https://archive.is/LlnME
    In retail and financial services? Simply google job losses Scotland. RBS, B&Q, Carpet right, New Look, BHS and so many more. Waaaay too many links for a simple post.

    In real terms? Those are wage packets. Families. People. Human beings. NOT COLLATERAL DAMAGE.

    Still. Broad shoulders… something, something… stay with us. Something, something, … lead with us. We love you.

    This was and is austerity UK. A UK governed and managed by the Westminster system of politics. A central government who enjoys sole ownership of the levers of the economy. A government and economic stewardship that has managed to run up a £1.8tr (and climbing) debt. A triple lock pension still under review (see under long grass) and state pensions currently payed out from direct taxation. That has introduced draconian benefits legislation driving the poorest and most vulnerable in our society into desperation and starvation. A stewardship that has overseen increasing numbers of our own population driven into third world poverty.

    The Westminster system of government and stewardship of the UK’s economy did all of that. No one else was in charge of the UK’s economy. No big boy (or burly men) did it and ran away. Successive Labour and Conservative governments did THIS and they don’t even have the courage to take responsibility. It’s always the other guy’s fault and when convenient? It’s furriners, the poor, tartan barbarians, but never those who actually make the fucking decisions. Never those who actually hold the power or the position. Somehow it’s the powerLESS who are to blame.

    It doesn’t end there though. Now does it? These examples are all matters of public record… to date.

    Setting aside the wilful democratic and constitutional drive-by shooting that was the EU referendum. A subject which has been covered by this site and so many more quite eloquently and fully. How about its financial outcome? How is this epic bout of political self harm going to affect you in your livingroom?

    Who says it hasn’t already started?

    https://archive.is/6K0oa

    “Real household incomes are about £900 per household lower than we forecast in May of 2016, which is a lot of money.”

    It’s going to get a LOT worse. And by a LOT worse, I mean it’s going to make the desperation of the Thatcher years look like a party by comparison.

    Just so we’re CRYSTAL clear. The next zooming yoon policy gonk that tells you Scotland’s population lack the wit to be better than we are? That the Scottish government’s proposals for the economy of an independent Scotland are economically illiterate? The stock answer is: – We couldn’t do any worse than you. ALL of the above is the REAL cost of voting no. It’s people.

    We can change this, but you have to want to.

    • Meant to post this here, not previous thread. I’m beilin’ and writing in Stream of Consciousness rant mode.

      Och, Sam I just caught FMQ. Better Together Mark II in full flow.

      Ruth Potholes Davidson berating the FM over the fall in Biology Highers.

      That Dick, The Scarf Leonard on NHS 12 week waiting time targets failing, James Kelly on hospices in ‘his constituency’ moving to East Kilbride, Jenny Marra on cuts to funding for swimming lessons for kids and her admiration for Maggie Thatcher’s education policy for Scotland, Annie Wells couldn’t even stumble through a reading of the fatuous question she was attempting, Young Mundell demanding that NS stop Edinburgh Woollen Mills morphing into Carlisle Woollen Mills, Iain Gray and Liz Smith on Swinney’s Education Reforms in two part Red and Blue Tory Harmony spouting pish bewcause the Labour shop stewards have infiltrated the Senior Teachers’ Union has, and Monica Lennon on…no it escapes me.

      It is clear that the Better Together Holyrood carpetbaggers’ job over the coming months is to drag Scotland down, Project Potholes, clogging up the Good Governance of Scotland with Wee Parish Council garbage, lest we the public actually see our Parliament tackle Brexit, the Power Grab, and engage in Big Grown Up politics of which Potholes Davidson and the Fat Falstaff faced Carlaw seem to find above their pay grade as they yet again laughed their fucking heads off, because it is a riot, this politics stuff.

      Toodle Oo The Noo’s ‘journalist chums’ were Rebecca McQullian, features editor at the Herald Britland and Ian MacWhirter ,who now thinks an independent Scotland would be a failure if we didn’t match the growth rate of China and America, and that the leaked ‘£4,100 better off’ figure from the Growth Commission report is just pie in the sky side of a bus conjecture.

      He equates it with the Boris’ bus and the £350 million a week for the English NHS post Brexit, an NHS which today the Institute for Fiscal Studies forecasts will require £2000 a
      year from every English Family by 2023 just to stand still.

      Yet again, Mac Whirter and Toodle Oo The Noo, who wondered if the swimming club he attended as a boy in Dundee, which it is clear didn’t commit him to a lifelong fitness regime, was still going, agreed that there wouldn’t be a Referendum any time soon, probably not for a couple of years …fade to grey.

      T O T Noo’s filmed insert with Ivan McKee and The Red Balloon Jackson Carlaw was the usual rabble drowning out any reasoned discussion on tomorrow’s Growth Report.
      Job Done. Taylor, strangled it at birth.
      Jackson Laff A Minute Carlaw seems to think that the report is being published deliberately over the Bank Holiday week end as this will will stop the Potholes Better Together Consortium from properly scrutinising its content.
      Aye, richt.
      What an absolute plonker this grinning guffawing ruddy faced ex car salesman, next leader of the Blue Tory Branch Office, is.

      It is clear that Leonard and Davidson, admirers of Margaret Thatcher’s Great Bellicose Free For All Britain are already meeting beforehand to ensure that our Government will get bogged down in councillor level questions like gurneys parked in hospital corridors or alleged torture of civil servants by that Nicola Sturgeon controlled Management teams.

      The Anglo Nats ProudScotsBut are shit scared and it shows.

      I urge all to catch today’s FMQ.

      In the history of Scottish politics there has never been such an abject bunch of failures on the Unionist bnenches. The Law of Diminishing Returns has reached the bottom of the Anglo Nats barrel.
      They are frighteningly abject.

      I am ready now, MacWhirter and Taylor, and so are millions of Scots.
      We are not hanging around until after the next Holyrood Election.

      Of course you both know that, but yet BBC Pacific Quay Anglo Nat Stockade cannot admit that come October, Brexshit will hit the fan big time, and then we move mountains.

      • Clapper57 says:

        Breathe Jack………Breathe.

        I missed FMQ’s but enjoyed your summary.

        So basically same old same old……….SNPBAAAAAAAAAAAAAD courtesy of BT tag team.

        Did watch Annie Wells failed attempt at speaking fluent English and failing, obvs not her first, second,third etc etc language, via twitter video …..oh my……..oh my………..stateswoman in the making….the state being Oompa Loompa .

        • A bunch of feckin’ wasters, every one of them; all out to sell Scotland to the English as a colony, for fuckin’ money.
          There’s a name for it.
          Do Davidson Rennie and Leonard leave their Spread Your Legs And Think Of England benchfillers’ post shafting wages on the bedside cabinet, plus taxi fare?

      • Macart says:

        It needs to be HAMMERED home at every opportunity Jack. This is the UK THEY made. This is the UK their epic fail of an economic stewardship created. THIS is the UK society their narrative and media created.

        In my opinion, we should no longer dance to their tune. No more answering pointless questions. No more laying out reasonable proposals or explanations on demand to either the press or their chain tuggers. It’s a waste of energy and resource. We know what they think of any proposal attached to self determination already, just as we know they’ve already made up their minds to either bury or trash talk before they’ve even asked.

        The ONLY people who have questions to answer are the unionist political class and their media friends. The UK’s politics, societal cohesion and economy are pretty much on the brink of collapse. Why did this happen? Why did THEY allow it to happen? Why should we EVER again trust a word they have to say?

        TBF, those are rhetorical questions. I’d just ONCE like to hear them own responsibility for their own epic omnishambles.

        • We must dissect forensically every word uttered by the Anglo Nats and their cheerleaders in the MSM Propaganda Unit from now to Independence day. We let them away with nothing.
          Today’s FMQ was a disgrace. They are not very good Better Together Town councillors on £240 a day.

          It is apparent that Glenn Campbell will line up Carlaw Leonard and Rennie during Indyref 2 to overwhelm Yes Speakers with pointless irrelevant challenges about eye tests and pissoirs rather than debate the Eurmageddon of Brexit or Scotland’s viability as an independent nation with in the EU.
          I couldn’t share a room with any of them.

          They are poison and should resign and return to Local Government in charge of Baths/Recreation Halls or Parking Meters.
          They are utterly hopeless and away out of their depth.

          But that is a deliberate recruitment plan by their masters in London. Clog up the Scottish Parliament with thickos..

          • TheItalianJob says:

            Spot on Jack. You’ve made all the relevant points today regarding the useless incompetents in the Opposition parties in Holyrood.

            Keep at them.

      • Fillofficer says:

        Sublime, jack, luvvit

      • crabbitgits says:

        I’ll tell ye Jack, apart fae WGD, I come on here fir you; fir this stuff. I’m with you four and square. I’ll be on the parapets wae ye standin proud. Ye speak the truth like it is man, every word a truth. it’s fir you now, it’s fir us. Take it or leave it, I feel it in me bones; mibee no noo but hopefully soon as fuck, cos we need it, as the darkness needs the light/! Scots wha hae!

      • Anne Martin says:

        I stopped watching FMQs months ago because it’s so bad for my blood pressure. Sounds as though it’s pretty bad for yours too Jack lol!

        • Anne,
          yet the Herald Britland has an article, featuring Neil (Obese Czar wtf) Findlay posing with hands in pockets, legs akimbo like a Tory Power Lord, in the empty Chambers demanding that FOI s be ‘anonymised’, whatever that means.
          He alleges that Government Ministers’ SPADs are up to some unspecified skulduggery.
          This is how the Anglo Nat Proudscotsbut dead tree scrollers fill their foreign owned Rags. Printing SNP SHITE nonsense from a bench filler.

          This is the most important issue in Neil The Brickie’s in tray?
          Money for laughing in our face.

          I am ‘righteously indignant’, Anne.
          When I’m looking down the inside of the glass of well earned Guinness tonight, my troubles just melt away… only to return after the 3rd pint.

          I cannot for the life of me think who will be the Brexit Together Team this time ’round.

  22. Col says:

    We need to hammer it home that Scotlands economy has been mismanaged by comparing ourselves to Norway and how well they have done. Remind people what they have achieved since starting a wealth fund only in the mid 90s.

  23. grafter says:

    Good article but you forgot to mention how Scotland continues to be shafted by successive Westminster governments re our oil and gas reserves. I have recently retired from this industry after 40 years service here in Aberdeen. The price of Brent crude is now almost $80 a barrel. Tens of thousands of oil jobs have been dispensed with and the now “streamlined” oil companies stand to make future £billions aided and abetted by their friends in our English parliament who provide generous tax incentives to them at our expense. Scotland will see zero benefit from this ongoing fraud. People need to grasp the fact that this asset is being pumped out of the ground 24/7 and will continue to be extracted for years to come. Aberdeen the supposed oil capital of Europe looks more like an economic basket case with property prices collapsing and a main street filled with bookies, charity shops and an increasing proliferation of beggars. It’s a far cry from when it all began and yet here we are powerless and passively accepting this state of affairs. The concealment of this massive wealth must surely go down as one of the greatest con tricks perpetrated against our nation.

    • Cubby says:

      Well said grafter. The whole UK project has been an ongoing rip off by England of Scotlands wealth. If we had an objective media that told the truth Scotland would have been an independent country long ago.

  24. Shagpile says:

    Good article Paul, but there is a but, which I will explain. Firstly, as you are aware project fear has not gone away. Those who oppose independence will continue to lie and spin that project with their usual… “Ah but”!

    You said in your article:

    “Meanwhile the issue of the Irish border looms large in the Brexit negotiations. Ireland and the EU are demanding, rightly, that the UK abides by its commitment not to introduce any perceptible border within the island of Ireland. It is likewise politically impossible to introduce a border between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. The UK cannot threaten a Scotland which is a member of the customs union, the single market and the common travel area with a border, when it has guaranteed no border with another state which is a member of the customs union, the single market, and the common travel area”.

    And the “Ah but”!

    The republic of Ireland has an opt-out on Schengen just like the UK. (Not quite as it sounds though. Both UK and Ireland ARE signed up to Schengen, it’s the open border bits they have opt-outs on). Which has enabled the UK/ROI common travel area to remain in place.

    So, you can see where I’m going with this…

    Project fear will once again be telling us that THERE WILL BE a hard border between Scotland and rUK/ROI, BECAUSE new member states in – the EU/EFTA/EEA – WILL have to fully sign-up to Schengen. And the euro, with respect to the EU.

    We know the latter is bollox… Sweden being a case in point, yet as for the former:

    http://www.efta.int/sites/default/files/documents/advisory-bodies/parliamentary-committee/jpc-resolutions/20May2003EnlargementFutureofEurope.pdf

    The no “IFFs or BUTS” to the “Ah BUT”!

    As the adopted resolution notes:

    “7. Considers that all acceding countries should join the Schengen area as soon as possible; also considers, however, that this should result in the building of bridges with neighbors, not fencing them off”;

    There is, therefor, the answer to project fear. Like the requirement to join the euro, there is an inbuilt “opt-out” for Scotland.

    Hope that helps. 😉

    • crabbitgits says:

      Nae buts, the time is now. Or never.

    • Tol says:

      @Shagpile

      Unfortunately you are also falling into Project Fear’s trap. As soon as you address their rubbish points they win.

      These ruses are designed to bog you down, create fear, and stop you getting to your important points…and the media is expert at carrying that can for them. The only way to counter act that is to not let them define the debate or the terms of the discussion.

      Project Fear and their enabling media have a practiced method.
      1 – Throw a huge number of random details (most rubbish)
      2a – Retract it if they are caught out (the media cycle will have already moved on to the next ruse & won’t hold them to account)
      2b – Any point that some one responds to will be on 24 hour media rotation and dog every YES interview and news item for several weeks.

      Westminster is attempting this with the EU and the EU does not even engage with their crap. It floats above it and always addresses the core principles. It might take the occasional momentary hit but it comes around to their favour. The keep getting their message out while maintaining the public perception they are unruffled, cool and in control.

      Who do you think is most able to convince those on the fence? Those who look like they know what they are doing with a clear vision, or the rattled and confused?

      If the question is about the threats to Scotland’s sovereignty (which it is this time), YES has the compelling argument. Why would you let Westminster set the terms of the discussion?

      In response to any boarder question:

      That is a non-starter (insert name of person who posed the question).
      Scotland will negotiate the best deal possible, but we will not risk potential attacks on our public health or threats to neuter our distinctive Scottish produce that is part of our heart and soul. Protecting our sovereignty allows Scotland (us) to choose how we trade with our closest European neighbours and how we value our health for all.

      • Shagpile says:

        @ Tol.

        “Who do you think is most able to convince those on the fence”?

        Those with the facts. I’ve just pointed out a fact.

        Because, as you say, “Project Fear and their enabling media have a practiced method.
        1 – Throw a huge number of random details (most rubbish)”.

        If you know the pitch that’s coming in advance, you will not be caught off guard by it.

        I think this is an important point. Paul seems to think so too. Ought he not to have bothered mentioning “the border” issue too? As I remember. Currency and the border were the two biggest issues in 2014.

        Those issues will be raised again and again. And, as I said previously, spun on a completely false narritive.

        Thanks for your reply 😉

        • Tol says:

          @Shagpile

          I wish this was a world where those with the facts win. That is not the case…and “Project fear” are only the most recent example. Westminster and the media aim to never argue on that plane..they know not to give their opposition any oxygen. They are so adept at drawing discussions onto non-core tangents using the various logical fallacies that make rogue scandalous points seem related to the topic.

          History has shown that fighting the last battle is the surest way to defeat.

          This time the circumstances and risks for Scotland are totally different. Are any of the issues Westminster managed to drag the 2014 campaign onto really relevant to the new and pressing threats to Scotland? Scotland now has a different and compelling case for protecting its sovereignty that has nothing to do with Westminster or its political parties—good, bad, or terrible – or even its economic standing.

          There is a saying that the ground is as comfortable as you are tired. The level of threat to Scotland determines the level to which all the subsequent questions need to be answered (or if they are even asked). Just as an example, If I told you that within 6 months Scotland would cease to be a country, have any parliament, and be assimilated permanently within Britain/England as a region…What would you do?
          – Would you vote for independence to protect Scotland?
          – How many details of the future independent Scotland’s arrangement would you need fully answered?

          I am sorry to say, but the unfettered powers Westminster are marshaling in their Brexit legislation (not Brexit itself -damaging as that may be) pose a pressing and existential threat to Scotland and all that Scotland holds dear.

          2014 was about SELF-DETERMINATION…how Scotland chooses to use its sovereignty
          2018 is about SELF-PRESERVATION….will Scotland be able to keep its sovereignty at all?

          Now, YES needs to focus its new narrative on the new risks…one that puts it in the driving seat.


          • Shagpile says:

            @ Tol.

            “Are any of the issues Westminster managed to drag the 2014 campaign onto really relevant to the new and pressing threats to Scotland”?

            Yes.

            “Scotland now has a different and compelling case for protecting its sovereignty that has nothing to do with Westminster or its political parties—good, bad, or terrible – or even its economic standing”.

            I am under NO illusion, the consequences of a No vote are the very same as they were in 2014. We did not get The Vow, we got betrayal. Another NO vote will accelerate that betrayal into complete destruction of; ironically, the politics of which most Scots wish to see prevail in a very general sense.

            “If I told you that within 6 months Scotland would cease to be a country, have any parliament, and be assimilated permanently within Britain/England as a region…What would you do?
            – Would you vote for independence to protect Scotland?
            – How many details of the future independent Scotland’s arrangement would you need fully answered”?

            Yes to the independence question. The following is irrelevant as it would be a consequence of my yes vote of which would have been part of the majority. I know where you are going with that, and it is also irrelevant, as it is not congruent with the true and factual answer to the “spin question” of “Ah but”! I provided.

            I’ll take you back to your own statement again… you said:

            “Who do you think is most able to convince those on the fence”?

            On the fence… someone wishing a thoughtful accurate verifiable answer, or, something akin to a Brexiteer answer to how independent the UK is going to be outside the EU? With er sorry, the back of my fag-packet is not online yet?

            Yes lies are far far worse than No lies, for obvious reasons. Worse than a lie is an I don’t know. It means you have no argument to make. If you have no argument, you should not be here… simples 😉

            “I am sorry to say, but the unfettered powers Westminster are marshaling in their Brexit legislation (not Brexit itself -damaging as that may be) pose a pressing and existential threat to Scotland and all that Scotland holds dear’.

            Is that your crystal ball or is there a link to that? You did ask “– How many details of the future independent Scotland’s arrangement would you need fully answered”? Replace “independent Scotland’s” with “UK”. The truth is you don’t know, but for about 18% of Scots, that is music to their ears and wish it to be true. It’s what they might even call “project fear”. Why would you wish to promote their very argument? That person on the fence has already had both side’s opinion. Perhaps he/she wants to hear facts? Regardless, you will tell him/her no?

            You seem to think I’m some kind of NO voter. I am wondering if you even read my post that seems to have got your back up?

            • I love a good playground scrap, lads. Round Two.
              Ding!

            • Tol says:

              @Shagpile

              Please excuse if it reads as if I have my back up,,,that was not the case. Your post engaged thoughtfully with Weegingerdug’s amazing writing so I in no way assumed you were a NO supporter. My posts were only meant to discuss ideas and approaches.

              I know not everyone sees it this way, but I interpret the risk now as far more serious than the 2014 No result. As such this is no re-run of Indyref. It is a far more serious beast. Just to explain.

              ……………………….
              THE SNP MANDATE IS ONLY TRIGGERED BY A NEW THREAT

              The SNP mandate was not a universal “VOTE FOR SNP and HAVE INDYREF2’. It was very specific….

              If there was a material change
              of circumstance, Scotland reserves
              the right to hold another referendum….

              The current mandate has only been trigged because of new circumstances. AND these are now emerging as an exponentially greater threat to Scotland’s sovereignty than any previous issue since the Act of Union.

              ………………………………………
              THE NEW THREAT

              While people are mockingly deriding the Tories for lack of planning at ports (looking for physical things of a real Brexit), the Tory Cabinet has been building the foundations of a new and very dangerous legislative framework. Think of it like a “joining the dots” picture….at the moment we the public only see random dots…The full impact will only become obvious once they link them at the end.

              The implications of the following 5 factors that have emerged as important since the Brexit vote make me break out in a cold sweat:

              1 * BREXIT HENRY VIII powers –
              Ministers alone can change/repeal
              laws with out parliament approval
              https://www.amnesty.org.uk/henry-8th-brexit

              2 * SCOTLAND OFFICE
              Indy-car’s information about a surreptitious & massive
              expansion of Westminster’s Scotland Office….(why and what for)

              3 * A NEW ACT OF UNION – by Westminster
              This rumour is Sooooo freaky. How can anyone in Scotland sleep at night.
              http://www.constitutionreformgroup.co.uk
              https://peterabell.blog/2018/04/11/the-shackles-are-ready/

              4 * UK’s UNWRITTEN CONSTITUTION
              Once a convention is broken by parliament, it is no longer part of the UK Constitution.
              Any new convention is part of the Constitution.
              https://cakewatch.fireside.fm/8?t=2361

              5 * THE SEWEL CONVENTION
              As worthless as “The Vow”
              https://www.businessinsider.com.au/scotland-supreme-court-lord-keen-article-50-case-government-makes-case-to-bypass-scottish-parliament-2016-12?r=UK&IR=T

              If you don’t see the terrifying risks to Scotland… just feed Henry VIII powers into UK’s unwritten constitution and then apply that power to POINTS 2 & 3. Extrapolate that out on the potential impacts for Scotland…Does it leave you with a Scottish parliament, a Scottish legal system,….Is your sovereignty safe….Is that a place you want to live? Do these risks align with what we are witnessing at the moment regarding Westminster’s treatment of Scotland?

              In relation to the impetus for England/Westminter to keep hold of the reigns, this too has become exponentially more essential since 2014. I.e. Westminster will fight even harder as the loss of Scottish resources are exponentially more impactful to the English establishment. Historically, states are as brutal in their efforts, as you are of value to them. How valuable is Scotland and Scottish seas to them? Now, post Brext the English economic fundamental are at risk:
              – London will no longer be the EU banker;
              – England will be outside of EU’s massive just-in-time manufacturing supply chains;
              – London’s gold primacy will be challenged by China’s new gold-backed oil-dollar.
              https://www.ft.com/content/e2d5b638-0610-11e6-9b51-0fb5e65703ce

              These massive negative impacts for England’s moneyed elite did not exist in 2014. Extrapolate onto those impacts on to what an isolated England would loose if Scotland left. Now consider how hard Westminster will fight.

              Once Scotland showed it wasn’t going back in the box, Westminser has not stood still and is now gunning for Scotland.

              • Shagpile says:

                @ Tol:

                “Your post engaged thoughtfully with Weegingerdug’s amazing writing so I in no way assumed you were a NO supporter”.

                Thanks for that, if I gave the impression I was hostile to your comments, I apologise. 😉

                I have read your post.

                You do not know me. In short, I have been arguing the case for independence on internet political forums in the UK (and USA) for, I guess, 15 years or more. I know some who post here know that and have indeed engaged with me on some of those forums.

                I share your opinion and view.

                2014 ripped the soul out of me. I believed we would have won that by 60% or more. Do not get complacent that in the next referendum we will be starting at 45% rather than the one we started at 25% back then.

                The state is every bit as strong now as it was then.

                I understand the Britnat. I was once dyed-in-the wool 100% Britnat. I used to mock the SNP.

                Facts are what turned me. I was fully signed-up to “pulling and sharing” (not a mistake, orgasms of the powerful, where power resides. Did you believe rape was about sex?) before GB G Brown thought of that spin, and if you scratch the chrome finish, underneath it’s plastic. Always has been, always will be.

                I was serving in the RAF when I awoke. Not long after a large fatal accident occurred on the M25. It transpired that the contributing fact to the fatalities was that the crash barrier was the wrong height, something like a quarter of an inch. The entire crash barrier was replaced (to the correct height) to ensure that it would never happen again. (The length of the M25 is about one third of the total motorway network in Scotland in today’s money). whilst driving back to base up the M9 on a wintry Sunday I passed a large south bound accident. Both lanes reduced to a crawl… now, you would rubberneck too… eventually a stop. Guess what? No crash barrier, nada, zilch. Just the width of little more than a hard shoulder, just railway line stones between both carriageways. What a pathetic fact to turn me into an independentista!

                But there you are.

                The point is, and yes I’ve arrived at last.

                When a newspaper reports that WGD is talking pish about the border between and independent Scotland and an independent England because an independent Scotland in the EEA/EFTA/EU would have to sign-up to Schengen. Which means that there will be a hard border… a very hard one, one so hard that you will need all sorts of documents, just to ask the SAS Border Trooper on the English side the time….

                …. What answer will you give?

                Best regards 😉

                • Tol says:

                  @Shagpile

                  Just saw your post. Just thought I would let you know I will reply shortly. There is too much in that post to rush a quick response.

                • Tol says:

                  @Shagpile

                  ANSWER:

                  Our priority is to protect Scotland and its fundamental asset of sovereignty.

                  We refuse to expose the population to risk of our elderly and vunerable losing pensions –the risk of WASPI style abandonment across the country. We won’t countenance a population without access to universal health care. And critically we must protect our diverse population that calls Scotland home from any risk of Windrush style deportations in the dead of night.

                  We will negotiate the best deal possible and strengthen our ties with all our neighbors. Scotland has fundamental alignment and friendship with all its neighboring countries including those from both the North Sea and Europe and will fully activate trading and cultural networks to leverage the talent and abilities of Europe’s most educated country.

                  We all know the Westminster has itself admitted it does not need a boarder and we do not seek to build one. We also expect that as an independent Scotland we will both maintain our right to choose our destiny and also strengthen our hand in negotiations. Scotland is the home of the emerging zero-carbon economy and it is doubted that Westminster would wish to damage or downplay its links to such an important neighbour.

                  Just because England and Wales chose to leave the collective path the 4 nations were on. In effect they have left Scotland and we must choose our own future.

                • Tol says:

                  @Shagpile

                  That is the sort of answer if I was being diplomatic. If I was in a different mood or the situation called, the answer would have been much sharper tongued. The above @ 60 seconds length when spoken, is able to be cut down for brevity:

                  …………………………
                  We will negotiate the best deal possible. Scotland has fundamental alignment and friendship with all its neighbouring countries including those from the North Sea and Europe and will fully activate trading and cultural networks to leverage the talent and abilities of Europe’s most educated country.

                  We also expect that as an independent Scotland we will both maintain our right to choose our destiny and also strengthen our hand in negotiations. Scotland is the home of the emerging zero-carbon economy and it is doubted that Westminster would wish to downplay or damage its links to such an important and larger neighbour.
                  ………………………….

                  Importantly, in this 30 second version there is not one soundbite clip the media could extract that mentions the boarder. Any point they extract is a good message for YES and also engages the idea emotionally. As mentioned above, Do not countenance Westminster distractions and always reframe their small minded questions to address the big issues for Scotland.

                  YES must attempt to frame the discussion from a position of strength and act and communicate as a Sovereign country-not a colony. As a sovereign people, Scotland has the constitutional right to dissolve the union if and when it sees fit.

                • Tol says:

                  @Shagpile

                  Re-reading your posts. I suspect we see who is on the fence (and what is their cognitive/emotional state) differently.

                  Facts will work on a certain percentage of the population when they are cognitively receptive to take on-board facts that re-set the way they see the world.

                  I would see those who are on the fence also includes those who are curious or know something is not right but not yet able to make that huge conceptual jump to take on addressing their sacred cows.

                  Just as fish don’t realize they are wet. When you have always been brought up in a dysfunctional union that has deliberately cultivated your insecurities., breaking that programing is not easy. This is not a new phenomenon; Plato descried it 2.5 thousand years ago in “PLATO’S CAVE and Bertram Verhaag’s “Blue eyes” documentary shows how effective this psychological war fare is.

                  It is often that to reach that cognitive step that enlarges the way they understand their world, many require some tipping point that gives clarity to that disconcerting feeling they have not been able to define.

                  Before that, Westminster and their supportive media play on these people’s fears and deliberately attempt to “excite their lizard brain” (I.e. fight, flight & fear – where the body’s inbuilt limbic system base emotional responses overpower logic systems and our primeval instincts take over). Hence Westminster is always only interested in keeping discussions on part “facts” or distractions that hit peoples hot button issues.

                  YES’s job is to also engage people’s emotions. But in a way that opens their view of the potentials of an independent Scotland. Using your example of any fear campaign around a boarder – YES can’t let Westminster control that discussion to be about the fear. Instead, YES must address the boarder not on Westminster’s terms but by constructing an new more important discussion on the 2 different worlds either side of it (while never actually mentioning it).

                  If they create a logical and emotional case that an independent Scotland is better regardless of any boarder…it becomes a non-issue emotionally and logically…It is even better if at the same time YES can make the any actions around a boarder part of an irrational and scared campaign by Westminster that is a obvious furfy to the audience. This then gives YES opportunities to engage people’s faculties and not have to pull people back from their flight or fight.

                  • Shagpile says:

                    You do understand why the common travel area was able to continue after The Maastricht Treaty?

                    It was because the UK and ROI had opt-outs on Schengen. Had the ROI not sought an opt-out, there would be no common travel area today… correct?

                    In your very first sentence in this discussion, you said I was doing the NO campaigns job for them. Yet here you are, now in the possession of a salient fact, not using that fact to back up WGDs excelent article as to why he is not talking pish.

                    I would say that Paul is more “clued-up” than most Independentistas, but I’ll go out on a limb here and suggest that Paul was unaware of that de facto opt-out on the open border part of Schengen.

                    I am bemused, to be honest why you didn’t put a reference to McCrone in that post? The truth is, and it is important because a fence-sitter; or more correctly, undecided which seeks an answer to a clearly answerable question is going to be told irrelevant opinions that he/she will already have heard time again is gonna be told… shut up. We’ll negotiate, negotiate, negotiate… like a Dalek… on an issue where there is no requirement for negotiation!

                    If that is the YES tactic for Indyref II…. be prepared to loose again. This Brexit mess is indicative of a wish list and reality. Undecided may conflate the two.

                    Rev Stu is not attacked for highlighting facts against media spin, but hey-ho…That’s all I’m going to say on this.

                    Best regards 😉

                    • Tol says:

                      @Shagpile

                      Just to clarify/correct a couple of points in your last post.

                      I did not say you were “doing the NO campaigns job for them”: What I actually said was:
                      “you are also falling into Project Fear’s trap”. These are not the same thing. The first describes a type of collusion, the latter is being beaten in tactics.

                      I maintain that if YES again gets sucked in to addressing Westminster’s points in Westminster’s terms, Westminster gets to control the narrative and the default position in people’s minds.

                      Secondly, I did not make any direct comment on weather there would or would not be a border between England and Scotland. Instead, I deliberately enlarged the discussion by noting that relationships with all neighbours were part of a negotiation (hence that covers boarders but does not give them oxygen). Why give Westminster the ability to dominate the narrative about loss of one connection when it is potentially outweighed by multiple more profitable connections. I purposely reinforced this dismissal of an English focused response by highlighting the strength of Scotland’s negotiating position and by inference the insignificance of rUK (or more correctly England).

                      I specifically did note that it is a negotiation…which as you point out, so was the original agreement to establish the dual opt-outs by Ireland and UK). As part of this positioning, I focused on constructing a narrative that Scotland is actually in a stronger position. It has other options and the benefits of independence, and the value of what happens on their side of the border vs what Westminster is potentially about to wreak outweighs the risk of any border in Scotland’s calculations.

                    • Shagpile says:

                      @ Tol:

                      “I specifically did note that it is a negotiation…which as you point out, so was the original agreement to establish the dual opt-outs by Ireland and UK”

                      Well if you do not have a link to that, it’s a lie. Yet again, it is also irrelevant, as states wishing to join the club MUST adopt Schengen in full… with that notable exception, specifically relevant to Scotland. You simply can not rewrite history to suit your narrative. It’s what unionists do.

  25. And it’s even better on second reading; humdinger Paul

  26. Geordie says:

    An absolute belter of an article. A true vote-winner. I agree with a comment above – this needs wider reading and should be reproduced in the Guardian, Independent or similar.

  27. Craig P says:

    The American colonies cost the British state money in the 18th century. When the war of independence happened loyalists were able to point to this fact, that the amount of money spent on infrastructure and garrisons outweighed the amount of state income recieved from the colonies and that the ‘United States’ would be bankrupt in a few years.

    So project fear has been going for centuries. And is as much pish now as then.

    Of course America was able to pay its way. And its the same with Scotland. Because like other colonies Britain has had, from America to India to Ireland, the core has profited whilst simultaneously doing the accountancy so that it looks like Britain is doing the colony a financial favour.

    The true value of the Scottish economy is deliberately obscured from us. We will only ever know how wealthy we are by grasping the nettle and being responsible for our own accounts. And at that point, Scottish unionists who argued for the union on economic grounds will start to look as foolish as female anti-suffragists a century ago.

  28. Luigi says:

    The 2014 YES campaign was, rightly 100% positive in nature. Those were exciting times, full of promise. Next time round, however, we have to be a bit more balanced. Yep there are still plenty positives for independence, but there are also plenty of negatives for staying part of the UK.

    These negatives have to be driven home. IMO we secured the bright, optimistic voters in 2914, but we neglected the fearties. We need some fearties to vote for us next time, and the only way is to show them how awful staying in the UK is going to be. 2014 big juicy carrot. 2018/19 Carrot and stick approach. With BREXIT the fearties are trembling – we have to reinforce this and show them a way to a brighter future.

    Show them it doesn’t have to be as bad as they expect. 🙂

  29. Robert Graham says:

    slightly o/t but relevant , I made the mistake of listening to a re-run of Farage’s show on LBC 21st of May , Tripe and lies from the start ,he first said Nicola Sturgeon never accepted the 2014 result first Lie , The SNP rejected the westminster power grab Lie ,I thought it was the Scottish Parliament that refused consent ,i gave up after about 5 minutes it was that bad , what did catch my eye was the comments on the show from well probably difficult to describe viewers , the outporing of Bile and total hatred expressed would shock our proud scots who want to be associated with this Scum , disgusting .

    • Cubby says:

      Was it as bad as the woman from the south of England on the The Wright Stuff who phoned in to say, in all seriousness, that all their paedophiles should be sent to Shetland to live out their lives. Lucky old Shetlanders eh!!!!!!

  30. Luigi says:

    Come to think of it:

    In 2014, the NO campaign had the carrot and stick. The carrot was the benefits of staying part of the union – well that went well! Next time they will only have the stick.

    In 2014, the YES campaign only used the carrot. Next time, we still have a juicy carrot and a very big stick!

    2014: BT – carrot + stick YES – carrot only

    2018/19 BT – stick only YES carrot + stick?

    What a turn around from 2014. The NO campaign no longer has the luxury of offering a (pretend) carrot. That carrot soon turned out to be rotten and full of maggots. By contrast, we now have undeniable positive and negative reasons for voting YES.

    We should use them all. 🙂

  31. This is the way we must go in Indyref2. Highlighting the disaster of staying with Brexit England. The SNP should now be able to, quite easily, destroy the legitimacy of the GERS figures. The fact is that GERS reports were only instigated by the Tories in the early nineties, for the singular purpose of undermining Scots confidence in themselves.
    GERS figures take into account the cost of English infrastructure projects. For instance the Chunnel, at a cost of £18 billion was included in the GERS figures. The cost was slapped on to the overall British total, handily for the first GERS figures in the early nineties and Scotland had to pay it’s share. Of course no one asked or cared if we minded.
    So the English saw the benefits of the GERS figures idea. Like a cunning plan. They could now build fancy projects in England and at the same time getting Scotland to pay for projects, which weren’t located in Scotland. Also, this is where it gets really clever, undermining Scottish confidence in their ability to go it alone by adding the costs onto this new GERS report wheez. Because these figures were and are used, as a stick to beat us with in any Indy debate. It looks as if Scotland cannot pay it’s way, but this is because of English spending, debt and skewed figures.
    Now, this isn’t the end of it. The Scottish Government should receive a share of English spending through the Barnett Formula. So if England spends an extra £100 million on it’s NHS, we’ll receive around 8% of the £100 million. This is not the case if the UK Government designate any English project as benefitting the whole of the UK. For instance the London Olympics cost £12 billion. The Olympics were designated as a project that would benefit the whole of the UK. So Scotland paid its share to regenerate the East End of London. Our share of the £12billion is added on to the GERS figures though. And so it goes on, now HS2.
    HS2 is a Beezer for the GERS figures. £56 billion for a high speed rail system for England. Again no benefit to Scotland whatsoever. But our share will be added to the GERS figures. This huge amount will make these figures look really bad for Scotland with no benefit to Scots. Also, we know this estimated cost will rise. Union Jackie won’t be mentioning the truth of course, the bad GERS figures will all be down to us being rubbish.
    Cost of Hinkley Point, £20 billion. Scotland is self sufficient in renewable energy. We don’t need this incredibly wasteful, foolish, dangerous and costly project. But we are paying for it and it will be added to the GERS figures.
    Now, one that really grates. £3.5 billion for the refurbishment of Westminster. “Don’t stint, the Jocks are paying for it and we’ll add it on to their GERS figures anyway.”
    So you can see that it’s not in England’s interest, to hold back on spending in England. It is against their interests to spend anything on infrastructure in Scotland. The last thing they want is for Scotland to look good at anything. There will be as little spent in Scotland as possible. Nothing if possible. The SNP saved Scotland £7billion George Osborne didn’t want to give us, in the 2015 budget negotiations.
    Now the final nail in the GERS figures. The recent leaking of the Brexit economic Treasury reports, showed the cataclysmic damage that Brexit is going to wreak on the British public and economy. This is not something that the Tories want us to know. When these reports were leaked, Tories were lining up to disparage the accuracy of previous Government forecasting. That Government economic reports and forecasting were notoriously unreliable. Government Ministers including the Brexit Secretary David Davis, were also agreeing that Government financial reports were famously untrustworthy.
    GERS is a UK Government produced report and their now admitted unreliability by the Tory Government, should be used to destroy any Britnat or BBC lying hack if they try and use the GERS figures against us in Indyref2.

  32. Referendum1707 says:

    Absolutely brilliant article which is quite capable of getting under the emotional and psychological skin of the softer no’s.

    Any indy supporter who reads this and who uses Twitter and FB (I don’t) has a DUTY to spread it as far and wide as they possibly can, with the focus being on people they know who are undecided or soft no.

  33. Robert T says:

    GREAT article Paul and soooo many uplifting and positive comments , especially but not limited to MACART AND JACK COLLISION , I share everyone’s frustration but we need Nicola and the SG to light the way and DESTROY these charlatans on FMQ’S , highlight CONSTANTLY the facts as many lay out here , expose publicly their incompetence . FMQ’s is the only chance of publicity for the SNP SG as it’s live broadcast make the most of it

  34. Robert T says:

    SORRY edit JACK COLLATIN

  35. Iain says:

    Every time I see a film advertised featuring Steven Seagal, I think “Why? What? Eh?”.

    It’s like seeing Ruth Davidson at FMQs.

  36. TheItalianJob says:

    Paul this is one of your best ever and you have had some great posts in the past.

    You are such an elequent writer and speaker. You do Scotland proud.

  37. Ronnie says:

    An excellent post, thank you.

  38. Macart says:

    Well done Doug Daniel. 🙂

    twitter.com/DouglasDaniel/status/999728505716920320

    (just add https://)

  39. Arthur thomson says:

    In 2014 the Yes campaign was suckered, suckered and suckered again into accepting the No agenda. There needs to be an iron policy of not answering questions unless there is an advantage to the Yes campaign. It is self defeating to try to persuade don’t knows by answering ludicrous questions about currency options and detailed economic arguments.

    The Yes campaign needs to be OFFENSIVE. The Leadership need to be dismissive of rhetorical questions, of loaded questions and of obviously stupid questions. If the Scottish populace are too cowardly to get behind independence then so be it. They need to be challenged to throw off their slave mentality or suffer a lifetime of eating shit.

    • Tol says:

      @Arthur thomson

      I totally agree. YES is doomed to lose if it again lets Westminster set the agenda.

      Westminster knows from long experience if they set the default language, they set the default answer in peoples minds–putting YES on the backfoot from the beginning. YES should never ceed the upper hand of the strong constitutional and emotional position it now holds.

      However, its not about not answering questions (never run away). Its about reframing those diversionary tactics to always focus on the bigger question for Scotland – protecting its sovereignty and who gets to speak for Scotland’s sovereign people.

      More importantly, YES needs to be bold and weaponise their points so they are razor-sharp and able to cut down Westminster’s provaications…without requiring a meandering explanation.

  40. The line up on QT tonight, funded by my Scottish TV tax, reflected the marriage of the House of Windsor and American Royalty, Princess TV soap star, with two Americans, now plying their trade in London, USA, Lionel Shriver, author of ‘We need to talk about Kevin’, and Sarah Churchwell, Professor of American literature, and Nigel Lawson’s son, Dominic, an Alt Right wing scribe at the Mail, and Anna Soubry, the Brexit loose cannon in the Right wing tory ranks, and, a Scot, well, sort of, Labour’s Anneliese Dobbs, born in Aberdeen, attended Oxford, first class in Philosophy and Politics and an Oxford MP, after 3 failed attempts in the SE of England.

    It is clear that England is more foreign to us now than ever before.

    he mainly white middle class Worthing audience consisted of determined Let’s Get On With It Brexiteers, determined to ‘take back control’ of their country, England, and on the night demanded ‘strong leadership’ from the Brexit negotiating team

    Brexit got a 20 minute airing, with the NI border mentioned fleetingly, by Soubry, but of Scotland, there was not a peep.

    Privatisation of British Rail got a SE of England slanted airing.
    No mention of anywhere North of Watford.

    The reported elitism of Oxford University, white, middle class, favouring privately educated, mainly south East students, was broached, with three members of the panel, Lawson, Dodds, the Anglo Scot, and of course the Chair, Dimbleby, all Ox Grads.
    The irony that half the panel on a BBC Current affairs programme all were elite white middle class privately educated Oxos was completely lost on the Make Britain Great Again gathering.

    The discussion was widened hastily to include access to English Universities for ‘disadvantaged ‘ students blah de blah de blah…

    No mention of Scotland, no tuition fees, and so on.
    To the good folk of Worthing, Scotland is another country, a colony, which will be ‘sorted out’ once Worthing ‘takes back control’.

    Well, Anneliese left Aberdeen for Oxford. The past is another country. She is as Anglo as ProudScotButs can be now.
    The ‘country’ to which she referred all night was ‘England’.

    The English NHS and the £2000 per family tax increase just to tread water discussed. Nothing to see here, Jock, move on.

    There was nothing of any relevance to Scotland in the hour of white middle class Southern English Right Wing chatter.

    Yet I paid for it.

    Next week from Perth. Would that be Perth, Australia?
    Might as well be.

    It will be a Bad SNP, ‘see that Nicola Sturgeon woman, it’s all her fault’ audience hand picked to attack and belittle Scotland
    Somebody called Loki, ‘a Rapper’ will feature.
    I’m sure he’ll update us all on swimming lessons in Dundee, and plummeting Higher Biology figures.

    After tonight, it is arguable that we have more in common with a French snail farmer than this lot now.

    • crabbitgits says:

      A dinnae unerston why ye watch that pish Jack!

      • crabbitgits, it holds the same fascination for me as watching a bluebottle which has made it indoors while She Who Understands Everything And Keeps Me Right is hanging out a wash and has left the back door ajar.
        The English ‘take back controllers’ who defiantly announce that they knew perfectly well what they voted for when they chose Leave in June 2016, were in full flow again last night.

        Like the trapped fly buzzing frantically against the inside of our dining room window, the poor dumb insect perplexed that an unseen force (the glass) is preventing it from soaring off into the sun kissed back garden, I marvel at the sheer defiant ignorance of white middle class England, the ‘gammon’ faced white Grunts who turn vermillion with rage when a panellist dares question their No Deal/Good Deal reasoning.

        They genuinely believe that Britain Made Great Again will tell Johnny Furriner where to go, and stick their Customs Unions, Single Market Free Movement of Goods and People, European Court of Justice, up their recycled garlic emitting jacksie.
        Their frustration at being trapped behind the glass walls of the EU spurs them to extremes of alt Right fascism,
        They haven’t a clue what fate awaits them post March 2019.

        Eventually, I open the window and gently brush the trapped insect outside into the Brave New World where it becomes a potential snack for the five thousand birds who have settled in our hedgerow.
        There are plenty of birds of prey out there just waiting to pick at the dying carcass of EngWaland over the next few years.

        • Kenzie says:

          “Grunts” Jack? Surely a spelling error?

          • You spotted that, K?

            • Kenzie says:

              I did, Jack. And talking about name changing, my grandson made a remark to me yesterday that has given me cause for thought, I may be changing mine to Hoof Hearted.

              • Are you related to the Hearteds of Hartfordshire, Kenzie?
                My PG Wodehouse moment.
                I’m out killing dead things (a Belfast expression!) in the Front Garden. This is my 10th sunstroke break.
                I’ll skim the Growth Report later once the ‘furious row’, ‘critics say’, ‘Sturgeon under pressure’, ‘Ronald MacDonald (not the Burger clown, the Glasgow Uni one) expert of experts slams SNP Pie in the Sky’, dies down.It’s a bummer for the Dead Tree Scrollers over the holiday week end cut and pasting Adam WATP Tomkins’ critique, and Murdo the Quue’s eleven Frasers excoriating tweet, and printing it as gospel in the week end Rags.

                • Kenzie says:

                  You would think Jack, wouldn’t you, that after the embarrassment of having every utterance/post torn to ribbons because of their innate stupidity that the likes of Tomkins. Fraser, Wells et al would have learned long ago that it’s better to let people think you’re an idiot than to open your mouth and put the issue beyond doubt?

        • I especially like Wangland Jack. Very fitting.

    • Robert Graham says:

      Exactly Jack if I didn’t know I lived in Scotland I wouldn’t know it existed , throughout this program almost every subject affected or concerned Scots or Scotland . Not even a passing remark on how things are done a little differently and mostly with better results here , This audience were uniformly ignorant of some very basic knowledge of most things , and for Two Americans to voice their opinions on domestic matters in this country was baffling ,is this the Anglo American setup now , The Audience were also as baffling we just want it done was the call , aye but some the detail has to be worked through first , we just want it done was repeated endlessly , yes but , oh hi give up they are as dumb as their bloody politicians , we want ,oh Christ shut up please .

  41. Arthur thomson says:

    @Too

    When I get a snake oil salesman at the door I never answer their well rehearsed questions, for the obvious reason that they are a trap. I smile respectfully and state bluntly that I am not buying whatever it is they are selling.

    Watch Jeane Freeman deal with the media crap.

    Failure of Yes representatives to give short shrift to rhetorical questions absolutely undermines our movement. The Scottish public need to have confidence that those speaking for the movement don’t take shit or they will be AFRAID to follow them.

    I reiterate what I said in my earlier comment.

  42. Macart says:

    Lead story on the National site is about currency. Basically the authors favoured option is pegging to the pound in an extended transitional period.

    http://www.thenational.scot/news/16248938.Revealed__SNP_Growth_Report_s_currency_plan_for_an_independent_Scotland/

    Seems a sensible idea, but then so did a Sterling zone. (shrugs) Basically I’d say it’s about people. It’s about perceptions and rate of change. Some things can be achieved in leaps and some in steps.

    But effectively it’s about what people are willing to wear. Personally, I couldn’t give a shit if we were trading in goats or blaeberries. I’m already aware of the utter clusterfuck that is the stewardship of the economy of the UK. These are the people who presided over the accumulation of near £2tr of debt, the deconstruction of the UKs manufacturing base, the introduction of both trickle down and austerity ideology to their own populations to square their own epic screw ups and then… BREXIT.

    For any Westminster policy gonks having a gander? Frankly I could care less what they say at this point. I’m fully aware of who they are and what they represent. Also that regardless of how the Scottish government presented this report, their minds were made up to trash talk it. So, pegged to pound, Scots pound, goats, shiny pebbles *shrugs*. We certainly can’t do much worse than the clown shoed cretins that have brought our populations to this pass, but we can almost certainly be and aspire to be, a damn sight better.

    Not only that, but today it’s not a question of can we do it? Today it’s a statement that we MUST do it.

    Incidentally, anyone else notice what the report says about the possible date for the first year of independence? (cough) 😉

  43. markrussell20085017 says:

    The economic case for independence is pretty overwhelming, as Paul has so eloquently demonstrated above – but as the Salisbury incident unravels further, we really should be asking ourselves whether we want any association with the Westminster Government at all. Supplemented by the extraordinary revelations from CA, SGL and now “Philip Cross” it is abundantly clear UK PLC is a crooked and corrupt entity, subservient to the real seat of power a mile to the east. The City is where Scotland is bought and sold – and independence is not on their menu and never will be.

    In that respect, I fail to see why the Scottish Government would wish to continue using sterling as a currency for any period of time – it may well prove the achilles heel – and besides, why continue to support a rogue nation – by any definition?

  44. markrussell20085017 says:

    Imagine discovering that your partner of many years is really the local “animal killer” whose been slaughtering family pets and wildlife in the village for the last ten years. Not only that, they actively tried to frame a number of neighbours who they don’t like – for various reasons – ethnicity, religion, business practices – by planting evidence then alerting friends in the police.

    You work in an animal charity shop in the village and have worked tirelessly supporting the families affected.

    Are you going to separate but continue living in the same house, sharing the bills etc? Or do you face up to reality and get the fuck out of there for good?

    That’s pretty much how I see Scotland’s plight.

  45. Robert Graham says:

    The just published route map that will go a long way to prepare for an independent scotland is presently being dissected by i am an extremely fast reader ” Curtis ” on the BBC a fair review i really dont give a f/k as even with the sound down i know exactly what is going to be said , and it will no doubt astound many people the speed at how this document is sliced -diced -pissed on and generally rubbished , this coming from the same sources that have engineered the biggest monumental f/k up in history Brexit , yet another source for the britnat crowd to feed on , i hope it bloody chokes them .
    The usual day job piss will be endlessly parroted day job – day job you have to hand it to them for consistency they consistently spout total unadulterated Pish every bleedn day .

  46. Patience is a Virtue says:

    ‘When an opponent of independence claims that Scotland can’t afford to become independent, they are in fact admitting that the economic policies of the UK have impoverished Scotland. They are arguing that the way in which the British state has failed the people of Scotland means that Scotland must continue to depend on the state that has failed us.
    That nonsensical view is given huge amounts of airtime, its fundamental illogicality is almost never pointed out in a Scottish media which is overwhelmingly opposed to independence.’

    Brilliantly put… posters and flyers everywhere with this.. ………..and discuss Scottish media!

    It’s coming yet…

  47. Cubby says:

    Our media is a national disgrace.

    Non stop British Nationalist propaganda.

  48. John Rutherford says:

    What a fabulous piece of writing! Mr Kavanagh articulates with consumate elegance the thoughts and feelings in ma heid! The bit about the Cringe is laser sharp. I’ve been trying in my clumsy way to highlight this to friends, family etc. Ah’m just no eloquent eneugh! Mr Kavanagh has nailed it! Thank you for voicing my thoughts so brilliantly!
    John Rutherford in Kelty

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