Tracking Attitudes to independence

The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey (SSAS) was published today. This is not a normal opinion poll, rather it is a long term project which tracks how public opinion about a variety of topics has changed over time. The Scottish Social Attitudes Survey runs in parallel to the British Social Attitude Survey and has included a question on Scotland’s constitutional debate since 1999. The survey uses a random sample of all those aged 16 and over who live across the whole of Scotland, so it provides a robust and reliable picture of public attitudes in Scotland, with a sample size of over 1600, which is larger than that of a typical opinion poll. SSAS has been a face-to-face survey since 1999 but in2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the survey was conducted as two separate surveys; one on the telephone and one primarily online. Field work was carried out in October 2021.

This question about the constitutional issue is not framed in the same way as the question in more usual polls, where the question asked, at least in reputable polls, mirrors the likely question which would be put to voters in a referendum – Should Scotland be an independent country?

You might be wondering why an opinion poll carried out a year ago is still relevant. Certainly the usual British nationalist suspects on social media and the supremely self-regarding Scottish Lib Dem Alex Cole-Hamilton have been rushing to dismiss it as irrelevant. However as pointed out above, this is not an ordinary opinion poll, but a long term survey, It does not not ask about Scottish independence in the same way as other polls, rather the SSAS asks respondents about their views on a range of possible constitutional options for Scotland, independence, devolution, or the abolition of Holyrood and direct Westminster rule. The survey invites respondents to say which of five options is closest to their view about how Scotland should be governed:

1. Scotland should become independent, separate from the UK and the European Union
2. Scotland should become independent, separate from the UK but part of the European Union
3. Scotland should remain part of the UK, with its own elected parliament which has some taxation powers
4. Scotland should remain part of the UK, with its own elected parliament which has no taxation powers
5. Scotland should remain part of the UK without an elected parliament

For that reason this survey is not directly comparable to the regular opinion polls that we are more used to. These polls give a snapshot of public opinion at a given moment in time, the aim of the SSAS is to provide a picture of how public opinion is evolving over a longer period. That is what makes today’s publication highly significant, because the SSAS has discovered that for the first time ever, independence is the preferred constitutional option of the people of Scotland. 52% of respondents said that they preferred independence versus 38% who chose devolution and a mere 8% who would like to see the outright abolition of the Scottish Parliament and a return to the constitutional position which held prior to the establishment of devolution following the referendum of 1997.

That 8% who want the abolition of Holyrood is highly vocal on social media and in the comments sections of the anti-independence press, they are also disproportionately represented amongst the embittered ranks of the Scottish Conservatives, who opposed devolution in 1997 and have never been reconciled to it. Of course the fact that so few people in Scotland are in favour of this country coming under the direct control of Westminster will not prevent the most right wing Conservative government that the UK has ever had from continuing its assault on the devolution settlement. Scottish democracy was and has never been a concern of the Conservative party, which is more than willing to ride roughshod over Scottish public opinion when it suits the interests of the Conservative party. This o course makes Tory bleating about ‘respecting the result of the 2014 referendum’, particularly hypocritical.

The survey has found that support for independence has gradually increased in Scotland since the question was first included. In 1999, the year that the devolved parliament was opened, a mere 27% of respondents chose independence as their preferred option, 59% chose devolution, and 10% did not want any Scottish Parliament at all. In 2010 support for independence had declined to 23%%. That was a period when the Scottish Parliament was still new, there was a Labour government in Westminster, and there was still confidence that Holyrood would be able to do the job that it was created to do, to protect Scotland from the excesses and cruelty of a Westminster Conservative government that Scotland did not vote for. Brexit and the years since 2016 have disabused Scotland of that notion.

Over the course of the past 23 years there has been a sea change in Scottish attitudes about independence and Scotland’s constitutional status. The referendum campaign of 2014 normalised independence and forced even those who oppose it to take it seriously. The Brexit vote of 2016 and the perfidy of the anti-independence parties in the aftermath of the 2014 referendum demonstrated that devolution is toothless when it comes to protecting Scotland from the policies of a British Conservative government that it didn’t vote for. We have learned the hard way that opposing independence is not, as British nationalists like to claim, a means of protecting Scotland from damaging change. Damaging change is happening anyway, but without independence Scotland is subject to decisions made elsewhere, and without the powers to allow it to respond adequately to that change.

Independence is now the preferred option of the majority in Scotland, that’s a finding which would have been incredible back in the 1990s, yet now it scarcely comes as a surprise. Over the years, Scotland has been growing away from the UK, a process which will only gain pace as the right wing reactionaries of the Truss government seek to bend an unwilling Scotland to their will. The trajectory charted by the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey is clear. Scotland is well on the path to support for independence being the settled will of the people of Scotland.

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70 comments on “Tracking Attitudes to independence

  1. yesindyref2 says:

    Back in 2012-14, one of the reasons I found people wanted the Scottish Parliament to be abolished was too many politicians, too many layers, too many at the trough. I knew quite a few, and did suggest that voting for Independence would get rid of 650 + 800 = 1,450 politicians at Westminster – more than 10 times as many as abolishing Holyrood (129). I got a few thoughtful faces, and they should not be dismissed as opposing Indy, and in fact a similar method should perhaps be used in targetting them in Indy Ref 2.

  2. yesindyref2 says:

    That by the way is ordinary punters, not politicians of course!

  3. Statgeek says:

    Relevant?

    2021 “poll” (not a poll, so much as a survey, i.e. more in-depth than a poll) – Not relevant

    2014 “poll” of the people – Relevant for at least a generation, apparently.

    #MovingGoalpostsAgain 😀

    • Iain MacEchern says:

      Thank you for that wonderful analysis, so there is nothing for the unionists to get worried about or take any action on. Gordon Brown will be pleased that he won’t need to spout another load of false promises to the Scottish people

  4. Hamish100 says:

    The survey is SO unimportant, the Lib Dems, tories and labour condemn it with venom.

    Just because you deny something doesn’t make it go away.

    The Scots won’t go away. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

  5. Tatu3 says:

    And yet the vast majority of all media sources only represent the 8%

  6. John says:

    It is also not to be understated that the evolution of the desire for independence coincides with the evolution of the internet and the ability for ordinary people to debate free of state control.

  7. Capella says:

    I just checked the BBC Scotland website pages to see how they were framing this survey result. You will be shocked to hear that the “Independence debate becoming more polarised.”

    The latest annual British Social Attitudes report published on Thursday shows that attitudes towards Scotland’s constitutional status have polarised between SNP and Conservative supporters in recent years, and between Remainers and Leavers.

    You have to scroll down to Para 10 before you read that 52% now support independence. But even that is framed as only 6% higher than in 2016.

    That, at 52%, the overall level of support for independence in the latest survey is six points above what it was in 2016 is largely the result of this change of mood among Remainers.

    A masterclass in framing the narrative from our world class propaganda supplirs.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-62999783

    Of course, their lead item is the “horrendous” waiting times in A&E in Scotland. DRoss must have sent them his press release from FMQs.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-62997250

  8. bringiton says:

    Both Ireland and Scotland telling England that their days of pretending to be the UK are numbered.
    If they want to have a working relationship with the other nations of these Islands in future,then they will have to start treating them with respect.
    They should take a lesson from what Russia is doing to Ukraine where there is no prospect of any sort of working relationship for a very, very long time and the economic consequences for Russia as a result.

  9. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Leaked Labour plan for government includes handing devolved governments new tax powers

    22 Sep 2022 2 minute read

    https://nation.cymru/news/leaked-labour-plan-for-government-includes-handing-devolved-governments-new-tax-powers/

    Labour’s plan for reforming the UK should they be elected at the next General Election includes plans to hand devolved governments new tax powers, according to a leaked draft.

    A copy that found its way to the Guardian also includes abolishing the House of Lords and replacing it with an upper house of nations and regions.

    Devolved governments would also be given a minimum of three years’ funding certainty to give them certainty for longer-term planning, after the Welsh, Scottish and Northern Ireland governments complained about a lack of economic certainty.

    Gordon Brown has been commissioned to undertake the constitutional review by the Labour leader, Keir Starmer.

    A Labour spokesperson told the Guardian: “This refers to one of several early drafts. The commission has yet to take a view on all these issues.”

    […]

    ___________

    I guess they’re working their way up to a VOW.

    “And they’ll be dancing in the streets in Auchtermuchty, tonight.”

    • grizebard says:

      Ho hum. Promises, promises, until the chips are down (post-indyref2 with Smith Commission mk.2, if we’re foolish enough to believe these latest sweet nothings). Then Labour will once again oppose every single transfer of power, large or small.

      Labour are just as addicted to top-down monolithic rule as the Tories. Even more so, traditionally, in fact. A party now firmly dedicated to serving English Brexiteer interests. So anyone tempted to wishful think that a Labour return to power in WM – if we stick around long enough to see that happen – will do Scotland any lasting good, is just setting themselves up for yet another fall. It’s time we avoided another generation of disillusioned young people.

      This survey reveals the reality: a tectonic move apart by the peoples of Scotland and England which though at times frustratingly slow, is nevertheless relentless. Time to recognise that reality and save an unnecessary waste of precious time. We need to move on, and in our own way, one that best suits our own needs.

      • G says:

        One of the proposals includes setting up a Scottish Treasury, I know😂 We don’t need Labour’s empty proposals, we can set up our own Treasury.

    • The unionist had their chance ahead of and post-2014 to deliver properly enhanced devo, i.e. ‘Devo max’. They totally blew it, then gave Scots Tory hard right brexit as an alternative.

      No way to undo that. The baseline Yes are not for turning, and they make up half the electorate or likely a little more now.

    • May I suggest that we discontinue referring to the Scottish, Welsh, and Northern Ireland governments as ‘the devolved governments’.
      My Scottish Government is the government of Scotland. It was not ‘handed down’ by some higher English authority.
      Same with the ‘devolved administrations’.
      The time is now.
      We take our country back from imperial england.
      By any means at our disposal.
      Has anybody got Dross’ time sheets for his shape shifting jobs in WM, Holyrood, the SFA, and his Blue Tory Jock leader gig?
      4 jobs, one body.
      And we pay for them all, either from the public purse or the turnstiles.
      He was banging on about a poor soul waiting 84 hours in A&E in Ayrshire today at FMQ. Well, that accounts for 13 minutes of his diary this week.
      And Sarwar?
      What does he get up to all week?
      And Coal-Scuttle?
      Where does Gordon Brown get money to bring Wee Willie Rennie on to his One britain Think Tank payroll?
      The same dark money tree which finances Lady Smith’s think tank to pay nice little earners to her daughter, Kezia Dugdale and Baroness Rape Clause?
      There’s muck to be raked, Duggers. Follow the money.
      None of these carpetbaggers will ever have to worry about choosing between heating and eating, until we drive them and their corrupt system from Scotland.
      It’s time to fight back.

  10. Just so it’s easier to visualise.

    Three-way question:

    And converted to binary, assuming no devo folks swap to indy as a lot did in 2014:

    Unionists not offering a three-way with devo max ahead of 2014 then failing to deliver the vow after was a f’n disaster for them. Brexit tipped the scales completely.

    • Statgeek says:

      I guess that 62% of the Scottish Brexit result is looking bolted on as a potential Indy result.

      • Well, as illustrated, 37% shot up to 45% in 2014 as a significant proportion of people who preferred more/max devo but figured, correctly, that the UK was not going to deliver, opted for indy.

        Assuming the same could happen this time, then starting from 53-54% ‘baseline’ indy backers, topping 60% seems not outwith the realms of possibility.

        Also important to note is how sustained the baseline is. It is not a flash in the pan. It developed over 7 years from 2012-2019 through 2 major constitutional referenda and associated outcomes. It has held steady for 2-3 years, so is around a decade in the making.

        It seems the Scots are ‘not for turning’ on indy, but it has finally become their settled will. This is not the SNP/Greens doing; all they have done is shown we can govern ourselves fairly competently and a lot better than British parties can. That’s all they need to do on top of giving Scots the opportunity to express their constitutional preference at the ballot box somehow. The unionists have done the heavy work, convincing a majority of Scots that independence is needed.

        The future of the union has always been in the hands of the unionists and not Yes parties, as it belongs to the former. The only people who can persuade Scots of the need to leave the union are unionists, and they have ‘delivered’ on this it appears.

        You can think of it like any relationship / partnership. No matter how many times your friends / family (Yes supporters) might advise you to get out of that partnership as it’s harming you, it is ultimately the behaviour of your partner that will make you finally decide to pack your bags.

  11. England has now ended the ban on fracking on top of doing the same for the cap on banker’s bonuses.

    Boris was a constitutionally astute and cuddly left-winger compared to what’s followed.

    • grizebard says:

      Fracking will achieve diddly-squat for immediate needs and even less for longterm energy self-reliance. It was one thing to deploy reality-denial to gain power courtesy of the retrograde Tory faithful, but persisting with it afterwards is plain perverse.

      When reality-denial meets reality, guess which wins…?

  12. James Mills says:

    Trussonomics :

    borrow hundreds of billions to subsidise Energy Companies
    + reduce tax take by lowering N.I
    + reduce tax take by lowering Corporation Tax
    + reduce tax take by lowering Stamp Duty
    + reduce tax take by tens of billions by eschewing Windfall Tax
    + falling Pound increases rate of inflation
    + cross fingers and hope that Economic Growth will bail out the incompetent Government , while Bank of England states UK is in Recession .

  13. Dr Jim says:

    Labour to oust the SNP in Scotland according to polls says the Daily Express

    I laughed when I read it as well

  14. Hamish100 says:

    The fact labour needs the Daily Express to promote it, tells its own story.

    Anti-Tory Labour and pro independence supporters , join us. 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    • ArtyHetty says:

      Yesterdays The National was well hidden in local shops here in Edinburgh, there just be a wee army of BritNats going round hiding them behind the daily Tory right wing rags. Luckily, most people do have other means of finding out what’s going on in Scotland as well as outwith Scotland.

  15. ArtyHetty says:

    Good. Thanks for the article Paul. Nice photo of the dug there🌼

    Brexit, it’s a disaster, to put it mildly. It was forced onto Scotland against the will of 62% of the people, at least. Scotland’s majority vote to remain in the EU, was discarded as totally irrelevant, the BritNats may as well have not bothered issuing ballot papers to the people of Scotland in fact, it would have been more truthful. Of course after England’s decision to drag Scotland out of the EU with them, Scotland’s democratically elected SNP government tried to at least have some input in what sort of Brexit we were going to get from the cabal next door. Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, was basically told to go sling her hook by the Tories in London. Scotland’s voice counted for nothing, and it still counts for nothing in the disunited KINGdom.

    Scotland in ridiculed, laughed at, ha ha ha, and to add insult to injury, Scotland and the people of Scotland, are stolen from to the tune of trillions of pounds by the country next door. That’s not very nice.

    I like the idea of including the fact that with independence, Scotland can ditch 100s of public servants, MP’s and unelected lards and lardesses, as mentioned in the comments. That would be a saving for the public purse for a start.

    ‘Freeports’ and ‘charter cities’ are on the Tories’ list of to do’s. Privatised councils, and unregulated, unpoliced ports, what could possibly go wrong.

    Scotland needs to get off the Tories’ to do list, if not our country is in for a doing and it won’t be pretty.

    Great comments btw, always good to read. 🙂

    • deelsdugs says:

      👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

    • The Natives are getting restless, Piers.
      Time to send in a gunboat or two and an expeditionary force in place to quell the uprising.
      What’s that you say?
      We already have outposts and gunboats Up There?
      God save the king !
      No major supermarket stocks the National.
      They plaster the butcher’s apron all over their English imports.
      We are reaching the end of days for the mighty English Empire, ArtyHetty.
      Kwasi Kerching is about to hand tens of billions to the rich today, while I struggle by on a 3.15 increase on my State Pension, and the NI hike scrapped and the NHS and Care Home Sector in England don’t get funds promised by Rich! as Croesus only a few weeks ago.
      England has lost it completely.
      WE get moving now.
      Ross Sarwar and the Yellow Tory are a disgrace, lying for England.
      No more Mr and Mrs and Ms Nice Guy.
      It’s time to rip their lungs out. Metaphorically, of course.

      • Eilidh says:

        Jack,
        Asda,Morrisons and Sainsbury all stock the National in West Glasgow and Bearsden not sure about Tesco. Lidl don’t nor as far as I know do Aldi.There are problems with eegits hiding the paper and I always try as much as possible to ensure the paper is visible when I am in supermarkets and other shops

        • That would explain it, Eilidh, although I frequent none of the stores you cite.
          That we are debating the distribution of the only Dead Tree Scroll which is ostensibly pro Independence (barring their ‘sports’ which is just the Herald’s we lurv the Old Firm guff clipped on to the back pages of the National) says it all. The whole of Scotland MSM is Brit propaganda….I coined ‘Fourth Estate, Fifth Column’ as far back as 2013.

          WE are at war now.
          No, not a killing each other war.
          A struggle for our very existence, nevertheless.
          BBC Scotland, The Herald, Record, Scotsman, and the ‘regionals’ are funded by foreign investors…
          Our journos are their ‘fifth column’.
          I wonder what their children think?

      • UndeadShaun says:

        Copies of National are hidden in supermarkets by unionists, some of whom are tory councillors. I witnessed this in a local tesco with one who was the council leader at the time.

        After he left I put a copy of national in front of the daily heil, sun, record, telegraph and other papers.

  16. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Re LATEST desperate attempt to STOP independence from Gordon Brown ( who is the SAME Gordon Brown who it was reported had liaised with Tory Michael Gove when Gove was STILL a Govt minister under Boris Johnson on matters concerning ‘saving’ the (non) Union )….we have a Guardian journalist Jessica Elgot doing the big reveal via an orchestrated ‘leak’ (Guardian being a pro Labour paper…New New Labour that is)….stating in a tweet :

    “Exclusive: I’ve been leaked Gordon Brown’s big internal review on devolution and the union.

    🗳Labour is considering abolishing House of Lords if it wins next election, replacing it with an upper chamber of nations and regions”

    “leaked”…..another word for ‘Testing the waters’ for voters ……also ‘preparing the ground’….and more importantly getting English people onboard with devolution for English regions …more autonomy and powers for…ENGLAND….to win next GE…..with Scotland on par as a classified REGION of the UK…..and a weak and insipid attempt to yet again FOOL Scotland to STOP independence here….

    She then goes onto elaborate via other tweets some of the content of the ‘ideas’ being ‘considered’…as in NOT definite as Starmer and t’others could kibosh those ‘considerations’ included that were not appealing to them as in “abolishing House of Lords if it wins next election, replacing it with an upper chamber of nations and regions”….some of the Labour MP’s aspiring , post their careers as MP’s , to be elevated to HOL….aka gravy train may not find THIS so appealing or indeed some of those currently sitting in the HOL’s.

    IF and CONSIDERING ….being the big issues here…..as IF Labour win next GE and that these ideas were “considerations’…..so yet again like The Vow not written in stone (or blood) and may at point of (non) delivery…could CHANGE…as in NOT be delivered as presented to Scotland BUT England may get, yet again, what IT wants via Labour the UK party………..Hmm

    However in her elaboration she includes the term ‘devolved government’ which she then in a subsequent tweet rectifies as an error by tweeting :

    “Sorry slip of the type, I meant devolved authorities, not governments” !

    Funnily enough the reclarification in her subsequent tweet is to many Scots seen as the REAL actual error…as in her reclassifying OUR elected Scottish government as an authority…….oops #FallAtFirstHurdleJessicaMessengerOnBehalfOfLabourParty..

    Scotland a nation equated with REGIONS in England that sounds very Tory via Gordon Brown…indeed almost reminiscent of David Cameron on 19th September 2014 when he stated that….. Scotland had spoken…. now let’s get down to giving England MORE of a voice …I paraphrase obvs …but it seems Brown like the Tories method is ‘You can’t see green cheese’…..in other words they all cannot have Scotland distinct from England and being perceived as having anything which seems like MORE than England…. and seem adamant in refusing to recognise or accept Scotland as a country against all of the regions in England…..so basically the vibe is yet again…. the UKOK….no preferential treatment for Scotland and all that brown ‘offers’ Scotland (while Tories in power and he himself NOT an elected politician a La 2014) is SAME that he offers regions in England with the CENTRAL power and government STILL in London England via WM……meagre offerings to try and appease the Scottish natives…..but NEVER forgetting the English people (as need their votes to win GE’s see)……….

    Brown’s vision (desperation) is just a ‘No show without Punch’ ….PUNCH being English regions…..a UK (non) vision again …..that relies on Labour winning next election (and subsequent ones too)….also with Starmer agreeing and implementing it ( so far as leader he, Starmer, has backtracked on many promises he made if elected leader so his assurances are as dodgy as Brown’s were in 2014) so NOT a cast iron guarantee for gullible Scots to RELY on as a definite future but more importantly as ‘ideas’ not really very appealing or innovative for Scotland…I mean what about Brexit ……as for those of us who NEVER bought into forked tongue Brown’s empty promises in 2014 (that’s the still unelected NOW Gordon Brown same as the THEN Gordon Brown who was also NOT in 2014 an elected politician and in 2014 HIS political party was NOT in power via UK Govt) this latest attempt at him to subvert democracy in Scotland aka STOP independence is a weak (non) offer for Scotland and a much BETTER offer for English regions to be on par with Scotland, Wales and NI…..and with a mainstream political party STILL at the helm at WM…..and in their equation they fail to recognise their opposition …the Tories (as in THE party most favoured by English voters hence why Tories have been in power for last 12 YEARS)……mind you we STILL await any pro Tory newspaper ‘leaked’ Tories (non) vision for their UK to STOP independence….wonder what paper(s) will ‘leak that ? …I mean surely their ‘Union Unit’ is not totally abandoned post Gove being ousted….as in even MORE money being spaffed up the wall by the Tories……didn’t Gordon Brown give some input into that also…fingers in many pies has he as a British Nationalist….as in they are all in it TOGETHER….assuring that it is never BETTER for Scotland.

    Pass……..think we in Scotland will stick with independence so thanks (not really) but NO thanks.

    Deja Vu…..

    • Nostalgia ain’t what it used to be, NMRN.
      Brown was on SKY lying about the Vow again.
      A big bloated boor of a Tory Boy, he has recruited Willie Rennie’s sharp mind to his Brit Think Tank.
      I look forward to finding out how much Dark Money Wee Willie Winkie is getting paid for his input via MSP Register of Interests.
      We are taking our country back now.
      Holyrood in not a ‘devolved administration’, or ‘authority’.
      It is the Government of sovereign Scotland.
      No more shall England plunder our land’s wealth.
      We have reached the point of no return.
      We are ‘taking back control’.
      By any means.
      Keep on keeping on, NMRN.

    • Azel says:

      That so-called slip of the type is pretty terrible, no matter how one takes it. The most charitable interpretation is that all this noise from Brown is meant as something for England’s mayors…which would fit with the likes of Khan and Burnham being the most successful Labour politicians of late.

  17. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Meant to add please see (read) Phantom Power twitter account.

    Includes a report (video) via Al Jazeera investigations twitter account on Labour files and how they acted against Corbyn and those who supported him.

    Sorry I cannot link onto here as I am as moronic in tech as I am in comments LOL

    The REAL New New Labour party……..as in even worse than Tories…and the Lib Dems…yuck.

  18. Capella says:

    Here it is NMRN. All you do is click on the right hand icon below the tweet which brings up options. Click on “Copy link to tweet” and then you can post that here:

  19. Dr Jim says:

    Labour are going to think about maybe when the time is right promising to take a long hard look at reforming and reorganising, when it’s fiscally sensible of course, to begin a process of thinking about promising more planion and reeble for the regions of their UK, and just so that everybody’s very clear on their intentions to think about distribution of their gizonrninplat they will set up a committee specifically to design a system based on the substantive issue of the planion with a long term view on the reeble

    So impressed am I by this offering of the Labour party I am buying shares in planions and reebles, not if or when they win a general election, but never when they don’t

    A sensible look to the future there from a Labour party with no representation in Scotland because we found out already that all their promises of reebles tomorrow in the past have always turned out to be planions today, and are only words they use that would lose on a episode of *countdown*

    One thing we can put our trust in is that the Labour party are equal in every way to the Tories, their promises for the future are solidly advisory fluidly interchangeable models solely focused on delivering many more definitive words and spurlings leading to the unlocking of the potential of the British pueblo

    I continue to be your humble servant, call me Splunky

  20. jfngw says:

    The Tories have big plans, workhouses were yesterday, they want Workhouse Cities. Where the city owner is handed over a workforce with no rights beyond what the corporate owners deem acceptable.

    Their message is the UK worker is lazy and needs to be made to starve and freeze until he learns a lesson. Bankers are being rewarded as inflation is eating into their working lunch budget (hic).

    Their slogan should be ‘leisure imprisons you’, just a transposition of a earlier slogan.

  21. Legerwood says:

    The pound is tanking. A few moments ago it was $1.107 and falling. Don’t think the markets liked the budget.

  22. Tax cuts for the wealthy, big bonuses for the bankers, fracking…

    It’s like they want Scotland to go for independence. Just giving us that final push.

    • UndeadShaun says:

      They are so thick and true believer cultists that they dont see the implications of this.

      Not just Scotland leaving, but a massive reaction to the rich.

      Revolutions have happened for similar in history where rich are favoured over other citizens.
      Russia and France being but 2 examples.

  23. An encouraging survey of Scottish opinion towards independence,which all other nations (small and large) in Europe consider to be normal.I hope that we dont need to wait too long to join them.One concern that I have is about the risk of using the next general election as a plebicite referendum.There is a danger that the insensitivity of the Conservative government towards the struggles of many to survive inflation,will encourage them to try to change the Westminster government,instead of voting for independence.That would be unfortunate since only independence will provide an opportunity to make our own decisions,and to have them respected.
    Dr Reynolds

    • Bill,
      I don’t think that there ae many Up Here who believe that replacing Truss with Starmer will cut their fuel bills or reverse the madness of Brexit.
      Labour are neo conservatists; Blair is back.
      We’re still paying off shore Money men ‘rent’ on schools and hospitals Brown negotiated with is Pals in the ‘City’.
      Scools and hospitals that should have cost millions to build were paid for in billions to the Oligarchy.
      If the Second Coming occurred in the next few months, not even the Son Of God could reverse Thatcher, Blair, Brown, Cameron Clegg May Johnson and now Truss.

      They have opened up the nations of the UK to the biggest feeding frenzy in history.
      In the ‘fifth largest economy’ tens of millions are starving, poor, and England’s pubblic services, the NHS, education, and so many more formerly publicly owned servvices and institutions have been sold off to the carpetbaggers. Blair was the evil spawn of Thatcher. Brown was his henchman. Starmer is cut from the same cloth.
      A Labour Party Conference opening with Gog Save the King and waving the butcher’s apron?
      The National Socialist Party?

      • Check the typos,Bill.
        I’ve tried but failed; I recall the great Ian Bell article, ‘Next Time we’ll be different’, in which Bell points out that Labour always promise to be different, to ‘listen’, ‘the Next Time’; only to go back on their promises and pledges when in power, or lose a GE yet again.
        Can any Dugger Archivist hunt this excellent article out for us less gifted plodders?
        There is no Labour Party now.
        Blair got rid of it. He’s an indecently wealthy man now.
        Old Fettes Boy doncha know?
        WE have had enough.
        We drive them out of our country.

      • I hope that you are right.
        Dr Reynolds

    • grizebard says:

      You’re right to be alert to the likelihood that voters at the next UKGE might be tempted to turn to Labour / LibDem in the hope of a rescue from increasing Tory economic lunacy. Very likely will in England, though that would be a historic mistake in Scotland at any time these days, and hardly a fitting response in a plebiscite election of all elections. I’m not sure the Union can be saved “just like that”. With another lurch back to Labour for a handful of dodgy promises to patronise us slightly better? It’s just as likely that people will finally and definitively turn their backs on the ongoing guddle of the Union, the whole shower of them.

      However, all that assumes that we will still be involved in the next UK general election anyway. If nothing else, the current budget is evidence that the unelected Truss Cabal is engaged in an “all-or-nothing” attempt to rescue their failing hold on power, so there likely won’t be a UKGE till their current term expires. And by then we will have had our proper referendum.

      • Statgeek says:

        Worst scenario is Lab gov with SNP on the sidelines. Better scenario is SNP C&S. There’s no argument for voting Lab over SNP to prevent Tories in Scotland, and an SNP vote won’t allow a Con backdoor win. SNP were 1st or 2nd in all constituencies.

        • grizebard says:

          As before, pre-election Labour will deny a deal, fearing an English backlash, and in Scotland fall back on the familiar mantra (and lie) that the party needs Scotland to win. (Which vote would only give Labour a renewed excuse to walk all over us anew.) In normal times, some might fall for it – hence the concern – but in the midst of a constitutional tussle in a plebiscite election, Labour is still inescapably part of the Bitter Together coalition.

          Post-election, Labour would go it alone if it could, otherwise try to use the LibDems for C&S, assuming the latter manage to turn enough Tory seats down south to hold the balance, as they might well do. We’re entirely surplus to Labour requirements, and for all the inevitable election blah-blah-blah from the Northern Outpost, Starmer has already discounted us.

          But anyway, we should be aiming to get shot of that Fools’ Circus before then.

  24. James Mills says:

    Trussonomics = a replica of 1972 Budget ( under Tories ) according to Paul Johnson of IFS .
    Result – disaster economically and a Labour Government elected at 1974 Election .

    • jfngw says:

      Just as the Tories were comfortable losing to Tony Blair, Thatcher approved of him, I suspect they will be just as comfortable with Sir Keir Starmer as PM.

      As the UKIP values have become Conservative values, Conservative values have become the Labour values. The LibDem’s haven’t changed, still grifting for some cabinet positions with whoever offers them the best deal.

      At this moment October 2023 seems a long way away, and what damage will be done to Scotland in the meantime.

      • barpe says:

        … and ‘Oct 23’ may not even happen if the UK Supreme court does as it’s told!!
        The potential damage to Scotland is frightening.

  25. Capella says:

    Good article in the Guardian from George Monbiot:

    Has Liz Truss handed power over to the extreme neoliberal thinktanks?

    Her senior special adviser, Ruth Porter, was communications director at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), an extreme neoliberal lobby group. An investigation by the democracy campaign Transparify listed the IEA as “highly opaque” about its funding sources. We know from a combination of leaks and US filings that it has a history of taking money from tobacco companies and since 1967 from the oil company BP, and has also received large disbursements from foundations funded by US billionaires, some of which have been among the major sponsors of climate science denial. When she worked at the IEA, Porter calledfor reducing housing benefit and child benefit, charging patients to use the NHS, cutting overseas aid and scrapping green funds.

    She then became head of economic and social policy at Policy Exchange, which was also listed by Transparify as “highly opaque”. Policy Exchange is the group that (after Porter left) called for a new law against Extinction Rebellion, which became, in former home secretary Priti Patel’s hands, the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Act. We later discovered it had received $30,000 from the US oil company Exxon.

    Liz Truss, according to the head of the IEA, has spoken at more of its events than “any other politician over the past 12 years”. Two of Truss’s meetings with the organisation were deleted from the official record, then reinstated after the deletions caused a scandal.

    More importantly, Truss was the ostensible founder, in 2011, of the free enterprise group of Conservative MPs. The group’s webpage was registered by Ruth Porter, who at the time worked for the IEA. The IEA organised events for the group and supplied it with media briefings. Twelve members of the current cabinet, including several of its most senior figures, belonged to the group. Today, if you try to open its webpage, you are redirected to the Free Market Forum, which calls itself “a project of the Institute of Economic Affairs”.

    https://archive.ph/Fw8Y8

    There’s more – much more…

    • grizebard says:

      Yes, it looks like the new unelected UKGov is setting out to repeat the same extremist economic experiment with all our livelihoods that Russia tried in the 1990’s. And that one ended well, didn’t it…?

      • Capella says:

        I was thinking more Thatcher redux 😉

        • grizebard says:

          Some comparison is also being made with Edward Heath’s “Selsdon Man” tax-cutting mania of 1971. Which did so well for inflation that after a couple of years – as those of us who were around then can well recall – everyone was treated to involuntary candlelit dinners, if scarcely romantic ones.

          As for Thatcher, though she did wreak untold industrial havoc on the back of stolen Scottish oil, she did also believe in popular capitalism.* Whereas the present incumbent – an appointee of the ruling party – evidently believes in unrestrained oligarchic capitalism. Hence my comparison.

          *”Tell Sid”. Though why is it “Sid & Nancy” that keeps coming to mind instead {grin}…?

  26. Capella says:

    …for example:

    These groups represent the extreme fringe of neoliberalism. This maintains that human relationships are entirely transactional: we’re motivated above all by the pursuit of money, which shapes our behaviour. Yet, hilariously, when you challenge them about their funding, they deny that the money they receive influences the positions they take.

    For decades, policy development on the right was shaped as follows. Oligarchs and corporations funded the thinktanks. The thinktanks proposed policies that, by sheer coincidence, suited the interests of oligarchs and corporations. The billionaire press – also owned by oligarchs – reported these policy proposals as brilliant insights by independent organisations. Conservative frontbenchers then cited the press coverage as evidence of public demand: the voice of the oligarchs was treated as the voice of the people.

  27. Capella says:

    Ha ha ha – from Larry Summers too:

  28. Capella says:

    Some excellent sleuthing from Prof Robertson. Looks like the 84 hours in A&E was a DRoss lie after all, taken up and amplified by the BBC, of course. Shock

    https://talkingupscotlandtwo.com/2022/09/23/the-80-hours-in-an-ayrshire-ae-story-by-douglas-ross-is-exposed-as-fake-news/

  29. Dr Jim says:

    Apparently Scotland is going to suffer a potato famine

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