Turn! Turn! Turn!

Some interesting transformations this weekend. The revelation undergone by David Martin MEP contradicts the last two and a half years of denial of the reality of Scotland’s place in the EU. The other is the emergence of journalist David Torrance as a Unionist commentator rather than an impartial observer, the basis on which all his previous work had been based.


By far the most important is the key change adopted by Martin in relation to our membership after a Yes vote. It was, to be blunt, stating the obvious but it finally blew away the synthetic hysteria of Better Together that Scots would lose their citizenship, be thrown out of the club, go to the end of the queue, struggle to negotiate a deal and be left outside rotting on our own while the rUK sailed on undaunted. I know the dinosaurs like Struan Stevenson are clinging to the myth because that’s all they have left, but there is no mistaking the importance of Martin’s announcement. He is by far the most senior Scottish figure in Brussels and the most experienced.


Which is why I couldn’t accept his previous wilful twisting of the principles of the EU as an institution and a force for inclusion and integration. It was a denial of everything we know to be true and was, as we now know, unsustainable.

The open and sometimes tacit acceptance by Unionists who should know better of absurd and insulting remarks by EU officials, notably the discredited claims of Barroso, also opened our Unionist MEPs to ridicule.

I see David Martin now suggests that wasn’t deliberate at all, merely a misunderstanding due to Barroso’s lack of English skills. I didn’t get that impression at all from the Andrew Marr programme. Indeed Marr himself justified his own support for Barroso’s position by telling us he’d spoken to him at length off-air. We learned over the weekend that there has been no legal work done by the Commission on this subject so Barroso had no recent basis for his view. Loose talk indeed but taken at face value and championed by Better Together nevertheless as it did down Scotland.

I’m not sure why all this has changed for David Martin, though. Is he presenting this as no-change? Is he claiming this has been his position all along?

Here he is only last November. ‘Scotland will have to reapply and even the fast lane to EU membership is a long road… Pro-independence supporters are less keen to admit that as a new applicant to the EU, Scotland would not have an opt-out from the Euro and would be obliged to join when it met the economic conditions. The opt-out to Schengen’s open borders would also be lost…’

Yet here is the Sunday Herald: ‘he effectively distanced himself from claims by the Better Together campaign – which he supports – that Scotland might fail to become a member of the EU after independence or be rejected by the European Commission.

He also said that Scotland will not have to join the euro or the Schengen common travel area in the event of a Yes vote. My view is that Scotland, of course, would get into the EU eventually. It’s not automatic, and would take several rounds of negotiations, but they’re not going to force us to join Schengen. They’re not going to force us to join the euro.

I think that is a step-change, an undeniable shift in position which brings him very closely towards alignment with the SNP position which has never been ‘automatic and seamless’ but that it would be negotiated from within and therefore had an element of automaticity not available to new applicant states. Scotland’s case, as David Martin now seems to confirm, is exceptional in that the country starts out meeting all the conditions for membership through its inclusion via the British state.

But, again, why now? Well, we vote on Thursday in the Euro elections. Does he feel the need to get the record straight in advance rather go into the vote on a false premise, one he knows won’t bear scrutiny later and which will be pressurised further if the SNP win three seats to Labour’s two.

Is there a risk after the election that the Commission might publish some legal advice on this issue and make him look silly? Indeed it’s only recently that the European Parliament had to stop him from ensuring that Scotland would not be an exception.

Martin planned to write a report arguing that any new state would be automatically outside the European Union and would be forced to reapply for membership…

He has so far relied on the Barroso doctrine…. ‘when part of the territory of a Member State ceases to be a part of that state, e.g. because that territory becomes an independent state, the treaties will no longer apply in that territory. In other words, a newly independent region would, by the fact of its independence, become a third country with respect to the Union and the treaties would, from the day of its independence, not apply anymore on its territory.’

So this all sounds very different and of course it chimes with Lib Dems MEP Sir Graham Watson that it’d be politically unacceptable for Scotland, as a territory which is already part of the EU, to have to join from scratch. He is the first senior pro-Union figure to speak against the UK Government’s position that an independent Scotland would have to reapply to join the EU. ‘You can debate about the legal aspects in many different ways but politically, you cannot throw outside the EU a territory that is already part of the EU…’

This is a continuing realignment of Unionist opinion to shadow that of the nationalists. It may be late in the day from David Martin but it returns to him some of the credibility lost over the previous years trying to put obstacles in the way of his country’s advance if there’s a Yes vote.

And you must have noticed a sharper and committed tone to David Torrance’s output recently. So pervasive is he, he can’t be missed. Good for him. He’s been one of the best analysts in the debate. But I’ve sensed a move away from the theoretical and historical to the clearly one-sided and opinionated….the kind of writing I prefer. Today for example in the Herald (Nationalists determined to rewrite inconvenient history) we get an all-out assault on the SNP and the bête noir of Alex Salmond who ‘has always delighted in launching deeply personal attacks on his opponents’, revisionism of the 1979 Tory promise of more devolution, a thesis that the Westminster government didn’t waste the oil money and a grotesque claim that independence is being fought on a 1970s agenda and isn’t about the future.

It contains to my mind mistake after mistake of a kind only a dedicated Unionist and a Tory apologist could make.

I used to keep a list of those Salmond had been compared to by politicians and interviewers but I remember it contained Genghis Khan, Pol Pot, Kim Il Sun, Hitler, Mugabe and Vlad the Impaler (this one could be accurate). Recently he has undergone a witchhunt for being honest about Vladimir Putin, a man the British have tried to enlist against Scotland. Against this kind of background Torrance suggests that Salmond using terms like ‘zero credibility’ about Ed Miliband is a low blow. Mmm. He criticises the use of Eton as a slur against Cameron yet the point to me is that 19 Prime Ministers of this country went to that one school when it represents 0.001 per cent of the population. Since it is school to only the most privileged, does that tell us nothing about our country? Is the Torrance narrative that being the latest in a long line of rich public school boys in government is of no interest in a country where 96 per cent go to state schools and an overwhelming number describe themselves as working class even when they’re not?


Slamming home the pro-Tory line is the rewriting of history – a Torrance speciality after his book on Thatcher claimed we misunderstood her – about 1979. The point about the Home intervention was that it did convince some to change their vote in the referendum – the Tories were a much more powerful force in those days and Home did offer ‘better devolution’  in return and didn’t deliver. Why are we pretending it wasn’t relevant to the outcome? And while the killer was the 40 per cent, it was in Callaghan’s grasp to stop that. Labour connived against the devolution plan and that’s why the SNP AND the Liberals voted them out. Why wouldn’t a campaign point out how the same lies were traded by the same vested interests 35 years ago? (If the SNP didn’t do it, I bet the historically-minded David would have.)

And is it not perverse to deny the importance of the catastrophic decision not to invest a rare natural asset like oil? They never mention it in the Unionist campaign, but the massive bulwark of money built up by Norway is a standing condemnation of London’s greed and myopia. The failure to use the revenues for some national project of long-term significance is a  scandal of monumental proportions – unless you’re objective is to apologise for the routine mismanagement of Britain by a corrupt and cack-handed political class.

But this column ends with the most egregious of errors in understanding – that ‘so much of the pro-independence case relies on two debating points, one 35 years and the other almost four decades old.’ No it doesn’t. I’ve never heard that historical point made at a public meeting, it is at best an add-on to more salient comments that come in to this blog and misunderstands – again – that this campaign is not the SNP but is now overwhelmingly a grassroots movement optimistically looking to taking control of our own lives and re-ordering society to suit the Scots. It is forward looking and relentlessly positive – despite the Torrance effort to paint it otherwise – and is far, far more than Alex Salmond and what the slow-witted conventional media recognise as politics. Isn’t it sad and predicable that the same shallow, personalised invective motivates the media and, as I always explain when asked about media bias, journalists write and broadcast what they know the boss wants. They know who pays the piper and he calls the tune. It is why it is such a release to say exactly as I please and be able to reach thousands without having a P45 waving in my face.





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76 thoughts on “Turn! Turn! Turn!


    DEREK I so look forward to your blogs giving me a different perspective,thi I find some of your respondants a bit long winded
    keep it up please i look forward to the next

  2. I think the most interesting thing to come from David Martin’s comments is his use of the inclusive US when referring to Scotland. Too many of his colleagues phrase things as THEM effectively putting themselves on the wrong side of the divide when the Yes vote rolls in come September.

    It seems that Martin may be accepting the inevitable and positioning himself accordingly.

  3. Another crack in the dam wall from Mr Martin. Wonder how this plays with his leadership? I’m betting there will be a few terse phone calls back and forth. 😀

    As for Mr Torrance? I’ve never actually considered his personal position on the referendum to be in any doubt whatsoever.

    • Torrance is a Federal UNIONIST, meaning London majority still rools.

      Not much comment in the press on Dick Douglas’s death, who left Labour for the SNP?

  4. Torrance will give you the Byrd for this Derek.

    • He did, with a twittery flounce about green ink! Derek could have been a respected newspaper columnist like himself, but instead he chose the dark side.

      I, for one, am glad Derek gifted this blog to the world. It makes the Referendum campaign a richer place, and much more fun. 🙂

      • I think Torrance is overrated, John Mc Leod is a much better wordsmith. I’ve been trying to encourage him into the debate, no luck so far.

  5. My in-laws believed in devolution, but were taken in by “that nice Sir Alex.” People tend to forget that, pre his promise of a better bill, he was held in high regard. Afterwards, realising they had been conned, they never cast another vote in an election.

    With regard to Martin, wonder if he is positioning himself for after a Yes vote, when cross-party people will be asked to join AS’s team Scotland in negotiations. Perhaps he sees himself playing a significant part in EU negotiations, so raising his own profile and positioning himself for some position within the EU.

  6. A couple of tedious points of pedantry. Sturgeon’s on record saying that entry to the EU would be automatic. Plainly it won’t be that easy. It’s still a leap of faith over what will happen.

    Callaghan might have been able to do something about the devolution 40% rule, but the small cabal of Labour dissenters to the plan could have seen it fail altogether if he had decided to take them on.

    As for the claim of the grassroots Yes campaign being “forward looking and relentlessly positive”, do you mean this kind of thing: http://wp.me/p2for3-1z8 ?


  7. Hi Derek

    Was it me on in the Sunday Politics Euro Hustings was George Lyon channeling his inner UKIP ?

    The thing I was screaming at the telly was “Aye, but if Scotland votes YES and you still gonna be arguing Scotland should be treated like Croatia after 40 years membership”

    The lassie Tasmina asked Martin this directly but he waffled and avoided answering and Gary Robertson didn’t press him.

    After a YES (with perhaps the honourable exception of Jackson Carlaw) all Unionist politicans will face a choice……admit it was scare mongering bullshit they came out with during the campaign or genuinely act/conspire against Scotland and their constituents interests to save face.

  8. Another great piece Derek – thanks.

    I think the point Torrance misses is that the only reason 1979 is ever mentioned by Yes is in answer to the No campaign’s half-hearted pledges to grant more devolution in the event of a No vote.

    That is not Yes supporters just looking back abstractedly into history looking for a reason for independence it is for the purpose of asking the Unionist parties how they can guarantee extra powers this time around when they couldn’t before.

  9. Could it be that David Martin has only come out now because his re-election to Bruxelles is more or less guaranteed and he cannot be deselected before the election?

    He is making a play for a continuing seat post a Yes vote in September?

    Just covering both positions, in case.

    • I agree, Martin is a professional politician and he may have seen the ‘missing’ poll – he will be repositioning himself to keep his job.

      If it is a Yes, he will probably now say, he was misinformed about Barosso’s comment.

      I still find it hard to accept his trying to get Scotland excluded on day 1 of indy.

      I was one of those who emailed him after you informed us of that and he replied to say that he was only trying to clarify Scotland’s position post 18th September and he would always work to support Scotland no matter the outcome of the vote.

  10. Did anyone see the snippet of the TV debate by the candidates for Barroso’s position after October? They all slated Barroso for making the comments he made. I wonder if that influenced David Martin’s thinking? He probably actually saw it unlike most of the UK as far as I can discover.

    Somehow, I feel that BT will not be making too much use of the “you’ll be out of Europe for years, have to join the Euro, Schengen” lines now that they no longer have a tame politician is the outgoing president.

  11. They know who pays the piper and he calls the tune. It is why it is such a release to say exactly as I please and be able to reach thousands without having a P45 waving in my face.

    Thank you Derek.

  12. Perhaps its time for the SG to announce that those politicians who deliberately and unequivocally misinform the public about the consequences of Scottish independence, will not be considered to be appropriate persons to form an all party negotiating team post a yes vote.

    • Absolutely. No Trojan horses in the negotiating team. An end to opportunists battening onto the body politic (including wannabe casuists in the journalistic fold cheerleading their ScotBrit political masters – Torrance Out of The Unionist Closet of that Ilk springs to mind: An aspirant Conor Cruise O’Brien if only in his, Torrance’s, wildest dreams).

      In effect, no sleekit mewlers shifting with the constitutional winds of re-asserted citizen sovereignty in Scotland to continue on their multiple paths of feather-bedding their parasitic nests.

      Were it revolutionary France, well history tells us how, at that historical point, the mewlers and the outright and forthright oafs of the Der Telegraf type met their destiny under the eagle eye of the citizen lady knitters. They should, therefore, feel blessed that in a re-sovereign citizen Scotland, their fate is only that of a chiel no more nor less consequential than their brother and sister citizen.

      OT Tweeted that this site is being flagged up as inaccessible. A techie thing or jiggery pokery?

  13. Mr B,
    David Martin may have got a message from above about the future. As for Barrosso, he seems to be very happy to sit smiling beside the man who is the interim president of the Ukraine: that’s the Ukraine that the EU has been helping to try and achieve the criteria for entrance to the EU for ten years, and is now in chaos. Could he really think it would be ‘impossible’ for Scotland to join the EU after that debacle?
    As for the comparisons of Salmond to historic dictators, I recall a well known Labour man, now a Lord, calling Salmond ‘il duce.’ Imagine that!

    • Yes, Anne. Discovered the blog this afternoon, let a “NO” visitor watch Mr Jappy and enjoyed seeing the conversion to a “Yes” before my eyes!

  14. Looks like David Martin is simply creating an escape route for himself now that our independence looks to be not just possible but actually highly probable. No doubt others will follow the same path. Fine – but David Torrance was never able to disguise his admiration for Westminster and all it stands for. I can’t imagine why he tried to pretend otherwise. It’s a pity he hasn’t found the confidence simply to BE Scottish and take a pride in his background.

  15. Aye derek, if you are so keen to write about David Martin’s comments perhaps you would also like to write a piece about the comments of Alyn Smith SNP MEP at a law society debate in April?

    I presume it must have just slipped your mind, i know you like to be balanced on the indy debate, but just to remind you, he admitted that the SNP’s position that EU accession would be automatic was wrong and that they should admit they have made a mistake. Seems that David Martin isn’t the only MEP making comments that differ from the established party line, you’d almost think there was an election on.

    Waiting with baited eyes for you dissection of his comments.

    • It’s ‘bated’ as in Bateman, not ‘baited’. Short for ‘abated’.

      Regarding the automatic entry, as I posted above I think what Nicola Sturgeon meant was that membership would be automatic, not the terms.

    • Time you changed your name again, seems that people have tumbled to the fact that you are that well known BT Gull who roams across Scotland shitting on things with that cry Jings,crivens, help ma boab.
      AS we know that gulls like you do not like balance in your debates, that is why you use the offices of people like the BBC and the mass media who stifle it on your behalf, I consider your last paragraph to be superfluous.

  16. the last time i checked this wasnt a typing competition but then again andrew i wouldn’t expect you to do any else than the online equivalent of missing the ball completely and kicking the man in the shins…

    and as for you being good enough to tell us what nicola meant, im sure she will appreciate you speaking for her… however as far as i am aware alyn was referring to the entire snp position on eu accession… alyn was meant to be one of the architects of the snp’s position on eu accession but for ever reason he seems to have been ignored… perhaps you might share your cutting insight on the reasons for that with us lesser mortals? but anyway, as i said above i await (with BATED eyes) to read dereks dissection of alyns comments… only in the interest of balance of course.

    ps. this may have posted twice as the page isn’t working right.

    • You have the actual quote that was said, yes? It’s just that the only thing I’ve ever seen is a tweet from the debate (having tried live-tweeting a debate myself, I know how “accurate” that can be), and various utterings from Lib Dems, which all seem to lead back to one Lib Dem source, who is not exactly known for being neutral when it comes to the constitutional question.

      Combine the lack of a quote with Alyn’s flat-out denial, and you have nothing more than a “he says that she says that he said something like this” story.

      (And how does one await something with “bated eyes”, incidentally? That sounds painful.)

  17. Thanks for your excellent article, I fair enjoy your take on this debate & always enjoy reading your blog

  18. First things first: Vote Yes.

  19. Free Scotland

    Tip: When you read anything by JINGS, who is actually Grahamski using a different name, don’t rise to the bait.

  20. We can only consider that Mr Martin is aware of the situation and as other’s have said is now making the matter clear, thus preparing the way for his sudden change of mind towards the end so that the jump to YES will not look to opportunistic. Another excellent Blog Derek, we hope that the denial of service was in fact internal and not as has happened on Wings an outside influence which was far from benign.

  21. Some years ago I read an essay by David Martin on the EU and was impressed by his candour on its undemocratic nature. Perhaps that originated my less than total confidence in the institution. Back then Martin seemed one of the good guys, so I was much taken aback by his more recent comments, which are just dumb repetition of the Unionist line. So having swung 180 degrees, he now swings another 180. Suspicious behaviour at the very least.

  22. Mr GM1 says,

    Mr GM1 says: “I think what Nicola Sturgeon meant was that membership would be automatic, not the terms.”

    Think what you like Andy, but what he she meant was that a separate Scotland would automically be an EU memner enjoying all UK opt-outs and rebates.


    SNP don’t say that now, of course.

    It’s all Turn Turn Turn from those vacillating nats!!!

    • Jings/Grahamski
      Spelling mistakes aside, I would not believe everything you read in the Scotsman as gospel.
      Alyn Smith’s position was quite clear in that debate, which was in response to a rant from the Labour MEP that you cant trust the SNP in Europe.
      Alyn simply explained that the SNP position was always that they said there would be negotiations over EU membership, but that “we also allowed the use of the word automatic to creep into coverage of the discussion”.
      Of course the Libdems press releases managed to morph that in to ‘Smith calls on SNP leadership to apologise for misleading the people of Scotland’ etc., something which he categorically did NOT say.

      • Agree with you there David. The Scotsman is a small regional newspaper London owned by Johnstone Press who are in dire straights financially. Anything to sell a paper.

  23. I have to agree that Torrance’s article was a sharp change, but one that has surely been coming, as there has been an increasingly BritNat trend to his pieces.
    Look for more of the same from the MSM.
    I’d like to think that they will not try to play the Scot/English card but fear I’m mistaken.

  24. JINGS has nothing to do with me.
    I only ever post under the name Grahamski.



  25. John Dobbins.

    Derek – the recent decision of the Sunday Herald to “declare” for the YES camp is inextricably linked to the “outing” of Tory apologist, David Torrance as the “official” Tory apologist we all knew he was. I have no doubts that these developments are market orientated decisions and a cynical ploy to exploit both sides of the independence debate. And, so far, it looks like many YES voters have swallowed this “cunning-plan” – hook, line and sinker.
    So, what we have now is a luke-warm, pro- independence Sunday Herald which is still hyper-critical of the YES campaign (and the SNP in particular), and continues to publish every Unionist scare-story – usually, with limited criticism, if any; and as an “antidote”, the Herald on Monday provides a virulent “Tory Corner”, headed by Mr. Torrance, to pander to its right-wing, unionist readers. But, don’t be fooled – as ever, the default position of this group of newspapers (which includes the Evening Times) is support for New Labour; as witnessed by the appointment of Magnus Gardham as the Herald’s Political Editor. Add to this, Tom Gordon of the Sunday Herald, and numerous other ex- New Labour apparatchiks, and you get the picture. But, what REALLY worries me, are the recent appearances of both Gardham and Torrance on the STV’s “Scotland Tonight” programme, where they are introduced as though they are impartial, “independent” commentators – really? So, has NEWSQUEST, which owns both the STV and the Herald stable, been taking lessons from the “impartial” BBC Scotland, who continually use “experts” who have a proven history with a specific political party that would suggest their “opinions” should be greeted with caution – if not, a safety warning? But, what really got to me, was Mr. Gardham being installed as a sort of impartial arbiter over the claims of the YES and NO camps – a bit like asking the oxymoronic, Comrade-Lord George Ffoulkes his views on Hibs! So, fellow paranoiacs keep an eye on this worrying and unacceptable development – but, don’t be jealous because “the voices only talk to me”!?

    • May I thank you John, you have confirmed what we in our house has thought regarding the Sunday Herald, like those who had one son in each side in the time of the Jacobite Rebellion. I too feel that they are lukewarm in their support and still to inclined to take the Better Together Campaign at face value.

  26. This is a bit mischievous but I thought I would test the water at Better Together website:-

    From: Better Together Info
    Sent: Tuesday, 20 May 2014, 11:09
    Subject: Re: [Better Together] Signup: Send us your questions

    Dear Anne,

    Thank you for your message. The Scotland Act (2012) means several more devolved powers will be given to Scotland should we vote against independence in September. This offers the Scottish people the best of both worlds and overcomes your concerns that Scots have no control over their future should they vote NO in the referendum.

    We currently have a strong Scottish parliament that make real decisions in Scotland about Scotland. However, we still get the benefit of sharing the rewards, risk and resources with the rest of the UK. This can be seen in the UK’s recent reaction the global financial crisis or any future fluctuations there may be in the price of oil.
    ​I hope this answers your query and has convinced you to vote NO in September.


    Ben Carroll
    Better Together

    My reply –

    Thanks Ben for your reply and I see you sincerely believe what you say, however, I still hold the view that my country, Scotland, should be run by our own countrymen/women in a Scottish Parliament which has full powers and access to our rich resources. With this I believe that we are extremely capable of going it alone and of course we will still care about the rUK and will be willing to help them out at anytime they should need it.

    Yours sincerely


  27. For those of you rushing to kick me in the shins rather that play the ball perhaps you would like to consider this from pp221-222 of the white paper.

    “The Scottish Government will approach EU membership negotiations on the principle of continuity of effect: that is, a transition to independent membership that is based on the EU Treaty obligations and provisions that currently apply to
    Scotland under our present status as part of the UK, and without disruption to Scotland’s current fully integrated standing within the legal, economic, institutional, political and social framework of the EU.

    We recognise that specific provisions will need to be included
    in the EU Treaties as part of the amendment process to ensure the principle of continuity of effect with respect to the terms and conditions of Scotland’s independent EU membership, including detailed considerations around current opt-outs, in particular the rebate, Eurozone, Justice and Home Affairs and the Schengen travel area.”

    If that isn’t an attempt to say that scotland will seamlessly join the EU under the same membership terms as the uk currently enjoys through the principle of continuity of effect i don’t know what is. Feel free to withdraw your comments trying to explain what nicola sturgeon was trying to say. Here’s what she was trying to say in black and white. She was merely repeating then established snp party line as spelled out in the white paper; the party line that alyn smith disagrees with.

    ps. i don’t even know who grahamski is.

    • Jings, I recognise that those in the NO campaign do not have a trace of irony in their make up. I am willing presently to see you as a separate entity from Grahamski but I am not willing to believe you do not know him.
      As for playing the man and not the ball. I thought Better Together only knew the rules for that particular manoeuvre. As Alicsammin knows very well to his cost that seems to be your only attack method. Just for good measure your Bete Noir, Grahamski also managed to crack a funny by saying here once that one should never interrupt an enemy whilst he was making mistakes. We all had a jolly good laugh at that. Your whole campaign is littered with them.
      As for Europe, I am presently a European Citizen, do you know how long it took Greenland to get to leave the EU, seven long years and they were going willingly. So away with your pronouncements of doom. Do you know that the Better Together Followers are showing signs of deep depression, whilst those in the YES campaign are enthusiastic and optimistic about the future.

      • And once again the ball is missed completely as you go in two footed from behind then ramble on about something completely irrelevant.

        Once again, I haven’t got the slightest clue who grahamski is.

        • His other sobriquet is Ham Shanker.

        • Free Scotland

          Jings, here’s a clue: grahamski is the one who displays a fond attachment for the metaphor of playing the man and not the ball. In fact, I’ve lost count of the number of times he’s used it in his rambling comments. If that’s not enough of a clue, you could always try looking in the mirror. And if that fails, try taking on board this piece of philosophical advice: “Man, know thyself.”

        • Ah you see I do not play or even watch Footie, could not give a toss but you obviously do so you know of what I speak, Ball or Man, well BT it is the man every time. You have no arguments for the Union. IF you have I have yet to hear them. I may be a bit deaf but I ain’t stupid.

    • I don’t understand you at all, Jings, Sturgeon has outlined the SNP approach, but she does not claim it will be successful.

      How does that morph into a “an attempt to say that scotland will seamlessly join the EU”?

      • Oh dear. Yet more shin kicking and not one of you addresses Nicola’s assertion that eu accession will be seamless or indeed the fact that what she said is exactly what the white paper says.

        Whats wrong? Dont you want to admit that the snp’s position on eu accession is all over the place? With some snp authorities, such as Alyn Smith, claiming there will be difficult negotiations over the terms of entry and yet others including Nicola Sturgeon and the white paper saying it will be seamless and under the preferential terms the uk currently enjoys? So what is the truth? Are Nicola and the white paper wrong? We already know that all of the references in the white paper to accession through article 48 are wrong so it safe to assume that the entire section on the EU is at best wrong or at worst deliberatly misleading?

        So many questions and yet no answers… And you guys are meant to be ones with your fingers on the nationalist pulse. How dissapointing that you don’t realise how important these issues are and seem to be more interested in skirting round the issues spouting propaganda rather than addressing them. You’d almost think that some of you haven’t even bothered to read the white paper. If one of you turned up on my doorstep in your blue jacket you wouldn’t last 2 minutes.

        • Jings, I feel your pain, none of us actually care what you have to say, haven’t you got the message, and if you turn up on my doorstep I have all the answers for you, I am unlikely to even try and convert you, because you seem to me to be a bitter wee man so dinnae worry your doorstep is safe from me.
          Do you not think that perhaps you too have done what Grahamski, not you, has done to AndyGym1, and could be accused of interpreting what is in the White Paper. Why do you not e-mail Nicola and ask her for clarification, or does your tribal loyalty not stretch that far.
          Do you not think you as a wee rat, have fallen into a nest of vipers here. Would you not feel more comfortable commenting on one of the Unionist Blogs? If that is you can find one
          Sincerely, Helena.

          • You clearly do not have any of the answers and that’s why the abuse and the attempts to silence me continue. As for me being “wee” and “bitter”, you couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m actually quite tall, probably a lot younger than you with a positive outlook, reasonably successful on the back of my own hard work and simply someone who wants to know what the truth is. This vote is after all the biggest decision that any of us will have to take in our lives.

            You are the guys out there trying to sell something to people like me yet, for whatever reason, when you are asked exactly what it is you are trying to sell you become defensive and start spouting propaganda that others have told you is correct. One of the main differences between you and I is that I am not easily taken in by propaganda and when that is the only thing someone has to say I immediately assume that they have something to hide. The fact is the entire snp position on the EU is a mess. They haven’t the slightest clue what is going to happen if there a yes vote, or rather they have been told numerous times (in the case of Christine McKelvie they have been written to personally) and yet they will not face up to the fact that what they say in the white paper and have stated on numerous occasions since then is completely wrong.

            As I see it the only question that needs to be answered is whether this difference between the snp’s stated position and reality as spelled out by the EC/EU is a genuine mistake or whether it is a deliberate attempt to mislead the electorate? Salmond spending tens of thousands of taxpayers money to resist FOI requests made me think that it was the latter and I have to say the responses from you and your colleagues on here (some of whom I believe are fairly well known in the yesnp campaign) do little to lessen my suspicions. I am now virtually convinced that the yesnp has tried to deliberately mislead people over an issue that is of huge importance to Scotland.

            Ps. You do not need to worry about me turning up on your doorstep as I have never been and never will be a campaigner or member of a political party, do not assume that those you disagree with are a mirror image of yourself.

  28. There was a point some time ago, when I had a sudden revelation, and a whole tranche of authority figures became irrelevant.
    It was after many years of reading newspapers and listening to mainly Labour politicians, then getting the variety of information from the sites dealing with the Referendum.
    I had always thought I had a healthy amount of savvy and cynicism about ‘news’ and views I was presented with, but it was the wealth of detail from the sites that opened my eyes.
    With David Torrance my awareness started soon after I read a couple of his articles.

  29. I see Cridland of the CBI has ditched his neutrality already and has stuck the boot into the idea of a currency union.

    I wonder if he has consulted the BBC .who is a member and who use licence payers cash for its membership fees.

    Meanwhile journalists at PQ have gone silent on their integrity being compromised so we can all assume that they are all onboard with Better Together BBC.

    We will not forget.

    • Bunter – I’ve just looked at the Offcom page, and it says this:

      “Ofcom has certain powers to regulate the BBC’s licence fee funded television and radio services aimed at audiences in the UK, but not the World Service which is grant-in-aid funded”.

      Interesting then that the BBC’s CBI membership has been transferred to its World Service. To what effect I can’t guess, but it sounds a little suspicious.

      • Maybe because the BBC World Service will become wholly funded by the BBC very soon as the FO is withdrawing support. BBC World make money reselling BBC programmes and News. Already I cannot access BBC videos from France but, I can pay a fee and stream a number of their series and specials.

        I suspect that the Radios may become the same, fee access only.

        Transferring the CBI membership might be a commercial decision?

        But, with that sack of serpents, you never know.

  30. Correction to above.

    Newsnet report that NUJ members are raging at the BBC regards its CBI membership.

    Not quite raging enough to take action, yet.

  31. Are we descending into Hell ?

    Or does it just feel like it.

  32. Manandboy , that depends how well UKIP do tomorrow in the election but don’t worry,we have Lord Robertson manning the barricades holding back the forces of darkness on our behalf, George Galloway enshrining your belief in the voting system , FOFF the new party of Respect with a jaunty hat free for each FOFFER and The Secretary of State for Portsmouth in a selfless act of reconciliation offering to share the sweeties (if you buy them ) if there is a no vote so come on it’s what keeps the great in Britain 2014.

  33. This thought just occurred to me only a short time ago and I have taken the liberty of posting it here and on Bella & Wings. I do hope that’s OK.

    Better Together are doing something very clever indeed.

    They have changed the question from ‘should Scotland be an independent country’

    to their version –

    ‘should Scotland stay as part of the Union
    or separate from the rest of the UK’.

    In this change, IMO, the No Campaign are attempting to control the way the voters are thinking – and feeling.

    Their goal is to get people to think about separation, which is usually painful and regrettable,
    and to take their minds off the word independence which is a valuable attribute and something well worth aspiring to.

    These are the bare bones of what I’m driving at, but I think it is very important to keep the word independence to the forefront at all times,
    and to debunk the BT campaign to change what it is we are being asked to vote on.

  34. Ms Brown

    My point is based not on what I imagine is in the so-called white paper but what was actually said by Ms Sturgeon on the record in Holyrood in 2007.

    When asked if a separate Scotland would need to negotiate terms on its EU entry she replied no. She then went on to claim that not only would a separate Scotland not need to negotiate entry but all the UK opt-outs and rebates would automatically be awarded to us too!

    As you know, since then Ms Sturgeon’s position has turned turned turned…

    • The “so-called white paper” is actually a real White Paper. Excuse the pedantry, but you can’t call for accuracy if you’re incapable of employing it.

    • I think I was commenting to someone who definitely says he isn’t you and that he does not know you. I am MRS Brown, the OH comments here as well. Never felt the need to be that strong a feminist having a guid Scots Tongue I can hold my own in most company.
      Now as for what Nicola Sturgeon said or did not say, for me a matter of supreme unimportance. I have been watching this morning’s news Grahamski, and am watching England, they are the ones holding local elections are they not moving relentlessly to the right. The problem I see for Scotland is that should we be stupid enough not to take the chance of becoming an independent country, you know normal where people, aye even you, could run the country for the good of the people in the flavour of politics which they prefer instead of being dragged to the right by their neighbours.
      The only time we are too wee is in Westminster, where being a total of 59 MPs in a community of 650 and should we have the misfortune of doing as Labour/Tory/Lib Dem want a good chance that number will fall. Our influence for those who feel the same was as ourselves is miserable.

  35. The BBC response to my recent complaint –
    Dear Ms Galloway
    Reference CAS-2709958-HJWZ03
    Thank you for being in touch about the BBC’s coverage of the independence referendum.
    It is the job of our presenters to be robust but fair in interviews and we believe Sally Magnusson fulfilled that brief. We are aware from our research that audience members want us to be robust and ask difficult questions of politicians.
    In the Referendum the BBC seeks to bring a range of views to the debate, and to provide balance between the two sides of the argument.
    Sally conducted her interview with the Prime Minister in the same style.
    At the BBC, we are determined to be impartial and fair in our coverage and to bring a range of views to our audiences. The up-and-coming referendum is a long campaign and there have been, and will be, many opportunities across all of our platforms for coverage of the issues. Please be assured that bias plays no part in our reporting. We place the highest value on accuracy and impartiality within our own journalism and rigorous editorial standards are applied across all of our output.
    Details of the BBC complaints process are available online at http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/handle.shtml
    Thank you, once again, for taking the time to contact us.
    Kind Regards
    Laurence Murray
    BBC Complaints
    NB This is sent from an outgoing account only which is not monitored. You cannot reply to this email address but if necessary please contact us via our webform quoting any case number we provided.

  36. FOI request reveals that the CBI application form was signed by two senior members of the organisation and not the wee befuddled office junior as we were told.

    You know if we have any media in this country/region, worthy of the name, there is a huge story to be had regards the discredited institutions of the British State known as the BBC and CBI.

    Any takers?

  37. Jings, Sorry I called you wee, you see being on the short side myself I can never see it as abuse. As for you being younger, very likely not quite at the seventy mark I am truly generation independence. I think Jings you seek certainty in an uncertain world, so I will give you the certainties I see. No Scottish National Health Service, no Europe after 2017, so you need not worry about what Nicola said or did not say, No Scottish Parliament, ( I know people who want to see it go, and they are in Labour), in fact I see a Scotland that has finally vanished thanks to our Biased Media and Broadcasting. It will be a time of great bitterness because it will have been won by the Establishment who will have again cheated the Scots.
    Now this is my final word, OH thinks I am having an affair here.

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