Buy British

It’s hard sometimes to comprehend what we are confronting. When you look at the full array of opposition to self-determination and its mesmerising spangle of tools you wonder if it is in any way coordinated.

The edifice is riven with fissures and contradictions. Daily, sometimes by the hour, the message changes. One moment Labour tells us that women are the biggest victims of the Tory-led Coalition’s austerity measures, the next Margaret Curran tells us advances by women will go backwards if we escape the Tories’ clutches by becoming independent.

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Oil is dangerously volatile with its price veering up and down, the next it is in long-term terminal decline with diminishing receipts.

Oil is a worryingly dangerous industry which requires London’s expertise to husband it – the same London whose Chancellor brought it screeching to a halt with an unexpected tax hike…the same London that hasn’t invested a penny of hundreds of billions over 40 years.

Oil as a golden egg is finished except when the Prime Minister flies to Aberdeen to identify himself with billions of investment by BP or to Shetland for a potentially massive new field discovery. Which is it….?

We will all be poorer if we vote Yes yet the evidence daily is that we are already historically poorer under Union and our incomes are falling further behind prices – except for the super rich whose wealth has gone in the opposite direction.

England loves us –until we vote for independence when they will punish us as hard as they can for desiring to raise our own taxation, run our own affairs and be nuclear-free.

They want to retain Union but when an explicit offer is made to share one of their most cherished belongings, they spit. Not only will they refuse currency arrangements to make trade flow to mutual benefit, their politicians will promise in their manifestoes to vote against it even if it is in the national interest…the politics of stupid.

And for every Ronnie Corbett and…(Christ, I can’t even remember the others…) who plead with us to stay, there are nests of online reptiles hissing hate-filled spite and scorn, willing our destruction and humiliation in anti-Scottish tirades. Anti-Scottish, mind you. Not just anti SNP. These English furies don’t differentiate – they hate Unionist Scots just the same, no comfort here for Labour and their warm words about English people being ‘just like us’.

Of course Labour has to take a lot of the blame for this hostility because for years none of their proud MPs has ever stood up in the Commons and denounced attempts to paint us as anything other than dependants reliant on English tax money. They too have laughed and pointed with the Tories and the Ulster Unionists at the small group of SNP members and dismissed them as cranks rather than duly elected representatives of a legitimate and respectable cause. Their current pantomime of gold chocolate sweetie coins is the most accurate depiction of Labour’s intellectual state – manufactured, artificial, sugar-coated and childish. It is little surprise that English imbeciles think of us as second-rate no-hopers when they look at the majority of MPs we send to Westminster.

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They offer us more powers but refuse to put their option on the ballot paper. They promise to deliver but won’t say what. They cut corporation tax but decry the same policy in the SNP. They favour nuclear disarmament but will renew Trident.

Which is it…?

They pretend not to hear Plan A and demand Plan B but what is their plan for a Yes?

And so it goes on. There is in reality no coherent Union plan. It starts and stops with one objective – Stop Salmond. Beyond that there is nothing but hint, vague promise and suggestion eked it out to give just enough so they can tell people there will be more powers but not their nature and not what might be removed. There is nothing on revised spending which is inevitable in Britain’s bankrupt state.

How will the Union cope with its rising debt mountain?

How will people cope with the cuts still to come and the extra £25 billion now added in?

How high will tax rises be after the next General Election?

What is the Plan B for an exit from the EU? How many business will move, how many jobs disappear?

If Europe is our biggest trading partner and currency is important why don’t any of our European partners use sterling? (It isn’t just that no one complains about exchanging with the Euro – there are 12 different currencies in use in the EU, none of them causing difficulties for British exporters).

Every time you try to pin down what the British line actually is on any specific subject, it moves out of reach. It is amorphous. Its shape is determined by the moment.

I’m coming round to the idea that what hangs all of this together isn’t coherent political narrative at all but something more akin to corporate branding. If you ask a Scot why he believes in Union, there is little more than platitude. It is because Scotland is too small, Britain works, the war, it’s too complicated…They don’t say it’s socially just or there’s even distribution of resources or it has an outstanding record on human rights and social mobility. They don’t say it’s a fair society or it’s democratically run or it looks after its elderly, respects workers’ rights or leads the worldwide green agenda. It’s as if Britain does not need to be explained. It just IS.

This is a kind of revered status that marketing companies kill for. It puts your product beyond criticism into a unique realm where there is no real challenge to its hegemony.

COKE

So it could be Coca Cola, Google or even Kellog’s, something that dominates and has acquired kudos that transcends the mundane. Explaining that it is carbonated water filled with sugar or industrially-cooked corn in a cardboard box doesn’t cut it. It is so much more than that because we have bought into the marketing and allowed it to take over part of our thought process.

We have accepted the promotional message that it is a force for good even against all the evidence – Coke kills through obesity and rots young teeth and almost all the health benefit of eating cereal comes from the milk, not the sugary flakes. But who cares? You can go to any country on earth and say one word: ‘Coke’ and be served the drink (Careful with that in Colombia).

Unknown

The word Britain does something similar in many places because of a centuries long story of international involvement leaving even countries that were conquered, controlled and exploited still amenable to the British Crown and Country concept as we witnessed at the Commonwealth Games.

Britons, when they see their state under threat as it is today from Scotland, draw together in defiance and overlook the inequality, the poverty and noblesse oblige and prefer instead the pride of tradition, of flag and a mystical notion of their brave country doing right in the world. They back the brand. They know its faults but when the enemy is at the door, faults are ignored in the interests of the greater good. The Scottish Unionists buy into this and by doing so prove they are Britnats putting the UK first and Scotland second. That is where Labour is currently located – backing Tories and UKIP, applauding the bankers and Duncan Smith welfare cuts and the case of the people of Liverpool and Manchester before the Scots – because they too buy the brand. Like the BBC, Labour is a thoroughly British organisation with Britain at its heart and British interests as its priority. Even when its policies are anathema to everything their party was founded to uphold, they are mesmerised by the brand. They hold the British loyalty card and it is the most powerful motivation left to them.

Personally, I don’t buy it.

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45 thoughts on “Buy British

  1. “Britain” Best before 18th September 2014

  2. My thoughts exactly. You must be reading my mind !

  3. Well said Derek and so true.
    As part of the lies being spun by the British state and in particular the British Labour party is the myth of a British NHS system which results in Scotland getting more than it’s “fair” share of spending.
    The Scottish NHS is entirely funded by Scottish taxes and administered as a completely separate entity from it’s English counterpart.
    The Scottish health service belongs to the people of Scotland,alone and this needs to be given much greater exposure in the referendum debate and the fact that if we vote No,will no longer be owned by us but probably by American health companies.
    We will be together with England but definitely not for the better.
    Sorry to go off a bit Derek but this is a fundamental issue which needs to be shouted from the rooftops.

  4. Re the declining oil reserves. I was slightly disappointed that Angus Robertson did not highlight the massive new Claire Ridge discovery, which is being downplayed by the No mob. This film not only announces that there will be 640million barrels, but that with BP’s new technology it will be cheaper to extract. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kxZlMLmbgQ4&feature=share
    And that is without the untapped resource from the West coast
    What is not talked about, is the continuing instability of Middle East, in particular Iraqi oil, which, according to an International Energy
    Agency forecast, would account for 45 per cent of the growth in global oil supply
    from 2012 to 2035 – will fail to meet recent expectations.
    This is the main reason why the UK are desperate to hang on to Scotland.

    • AS if to emphasise my point on stability, here is what oil analysts are saying about oil prices.
      http://www.cnbc.com/id/101917280

      • I think Robertson was in a slightly tricky position since sensitive commercial information might have been put at risk.

        What he could have said though, was that since the McCrone report was suppressed for 30 years, he wouldn’t put anything past a member of HMG.

        Having inside knowledge from a high yin in BP, I can assure you it’s true even though many mistakenly believe the big find is closer to Faslane.

        • Sorry. I cant buy thay as the link above is from BP, who proudly announce it.
          And guesss what, its now official, but still no mention on BBC Scotland or STV.

    • Thanks David just posted your link on facebook

    • So the wealthy Westminster incumbents need Claire Ridge in order to suck in even more wealth………..which is why they’re fighting tooth and nail. Their greed, just as their ability to run up debt, knows no bounds. The ad should be viewed by all Scots and all people intending to make Scotland their home.
      Many, many thanks to Derek and David.

      • The matter is dead simple WITHOUT Scottish oil London will be well and truly in the “Poo” finincally, they have been living the “high life” on our oil for these 35 years+. Its time we got the good out of it

  5. Once more Derek your nose for what is at the heart of the matter hits the spot – corporate branding. But I would like to suggest that there is also at play the very negative corporate branding that attaches to the Scottish Parliament, Alex Salmond, and the SNP.

    People are only just beginning to get over their indoctrination that the Scottish Parliament is (to quote Billy Connelly) ‘a wee, prentendy, parliament’ and most acknowledge that it has done a good job in shielding Scotland from the worst of austerity, and in governing Scotland. But the hatred and suspicion of the SNP is visceral and instinctive, even though they have protected us from council tax rises, provided free student tuition, and dropped prescription charges.

    The MSM has however never really dropped its contempt for devolution or the Scottish Parliament. Coverage and analysis is limited.

  6. Great post Derek and sums up the UK state to a ‘T’.

    They created this anti-Scottish publicity monster. They and they alone created the subsidy junkie myth to suit their own agenda. Same deal with the old tartan tory and the more recent and much darker insinuations of nazism, xenophobia and intolerance. All in the name of politics and all in the name of who sits in the big chair. Any tool is viable to achieve the result they desire regardless of collateral damage, regardless of long term societal fallout. Tory, Labour, Liberal? No difference.

    If you cannot exercise care for all of your electorate, you are fit to care for none. They’ve proven they are not fit to represent anyone.

  7. Excellent post Derek, you have hit the nail square on. Thank you

  8. It seems to me that increasing numbers of English bloggers and people generally interested in democracy are joining their Scottish and Welsh neighbours in questioning why we all can’t work together as independent countries.

    It’s almost as if the British nationalists are trying to circle their wagons around us to stop us all from living in peace, mutual respect, co-operation and prosperity.

  9. I wrote to an American friend almost two years ago attempting to explain why the No side would wage a viciously dirty and intellectually incoherent referendum campaign. To those who identify with the British state, what was being proposed by the Yes side was the dissolution of their country. Yes Scotland posed the biggest threat to the UK since Hitler’s forces in 1940 (which, by the by, explains why so many Unionists characterise Alex Salmond as a latter day Hitler). Like all nationalisms, British nationalism is rooted in emotional attachment, and British nationalists are not used to explaining why the UK state serves the peoples north of the Tweed/Solway border. Asked to explain themselves, British nationalists tend to lash out. They don’t like their identity being questioned, far less being “threatened”. Luckily, they are in a minority, as most residents of Scotland identify primarily with Scotland. We can still win this. Brand UK has been rumbled as past its sell by date, and people now increasingly see it as poisonous.

    • SALMONDELLA

      I really feel that one of the divides that we have in Scotland is between those who want to have that conversation in the pub or on the bus or in the street where they can just say the word Salmond to a stranger and the stranger will smile benignly. The two will then bond in a rush of moral superiority knowing what a vile human he is. No further words need to be exchanged as they both go back to their real lives affirmed in the belief that the devil incarnate is none other than the Scottish first minister.

      This Salmondella condition seems to afflict many Labourites who have never got over the fact that Scotland’s most popular politician is not of their tribe and it also afflicts some of the middle classes. They hate the fact that an independence supporting man commands an overall majority in Scotland’s parliament and has done his bit to turn it from a do-so-little-talking-shop that doffs it’s cap to those Westminster superiors into a chamber that supports Scotland and it’s people.

      • Salmondella… that’s exactly what it is!

      • I have heard that more often that I would have expected.

        When I ask them what is they say he is a liar.

        So, I ask them to tell me one example; none has been forthcoming.

        It is subliminal imprinting, coming from MSM headlines and slewed sound bites.

        It is no different in principle to what Goebbels used against the Jews.

  10. it boggles mmy brain that the bank of england has had to clarify their position as the no side bangs on and on about currency,which is frightening the markets,but cameron will keep going simply to save his job and face
    milliband needs scottish mps or he will never hold power
    jackie bird was vile to alec salmonds,and showed great personal bias with her curled lip and scorn,lets see how she deals with darling tonight

    • Ah, the old myth that Labour will never win office at Westminster without the block of MPs from Scotland. In 1997, Bliar won so many seats in England alone that he had a majority in the Commons before a single vote was counted in Scotland or Wales. It happened then, so it can happen again.

  11. Steve Asaneilean

    Just a word on the currency nonsense from BT?NT. Finland has a land border with Russia, Sweden and Norway. Finladn uses the Euro; Russia the Ruble; Sweden the Euro-pegged Krona; and Norway the independent Krone. Two of these other coutries are in Finland’s top three traing partner (Sweden, Germany and Russia); three of these countries (Finland, Norway and Sweden) consistently top the OECD tables of equality, “happiness”, education, social care, etc.
    So what’s the problem?

  12. Steve Asaneilean

    Oops – that’ll teach me to type with a sandwich in my hand – “Finland uses the Euro” and “top three trading partners”

  13. It makes an interesting contrast to the coherent anarchy of Yes. On the one hand, the big brand; on the other a diverse bunch of people, united – temporarily at least – by one single idea.
    The referendum goes beyond the question of Scottish independence – it’s a contest between one of the largest brands in the world, backed by the full marketing power of the MSM, and a few thousand people determined to go in a different direction.
    The Yes campaign has evolved its own structure, without anyone telling people what to do. People just seem to pop up and fill whatever niches need filling, using whatever communication tool they have to hand to get the message out. It’s not quite samizdat,but has elements of it – the message being passed from hand to hand beneath the radar of the traditional media. This is why no outsider journalist who is not steeped in the ways of Yes can have a clue about what is going on.

    Will we win over the brand? That’s the unanswered question of course. But if we do, there will be endless analyses in journals and political think tanks the world over. But even then, none of them will quite grasp it. You have to be there to understand.

  14. The Brand of Empire – like Imperial Mints or whatever. All the Great British of the past few years from trains to tray bakes to trout w. salsify.

    I tweeted Scottish Labour to decry their puerile playground potitics attempts at serious political engagement and nationwide campaign. “We spent longer w. the ship builders than the SNP”.

    I could do better to promote their cause out of sheer dedication to doing a good job (despite my principles and Yes stance).

    What stands out of all this is NOT that thee is not (or is) a coherent case for the Union but that there has been no coherent campaign that hangs together with depth, bredth, progression, coherence, relevance (5 of the 7 principles of design for Curriculum for Excellence) to coalesce into fitness for purpose.

    It buggers belief (beggers) that they could not – did not – have an overarching view, mission statement, praxis of campaign policy, delivery mechanism. Not too many cooks because for all individual component views, the Grassroots of Yes have had their focus on the goal with few deviations.

    The incompetence in Campaign Management (from briefings to avoid Scary Numbers moments, to peurile insults, to chocolate coins, and Gordon’s crashing around) to factual accuracy on policy to managing lesser beings (like History Woman, Horshall (?) and Kathy Wyles … It may or may not speak of underestimation of the electorate or of the “opposition” or of complacency.

    That there has been time to regroup and reengage and they have not done so, means that the bottom line is that I do not want such buffoons running the country far less with their hands on the button of a nuclear device, whether Tory or Labour or Lib Dem.

  15. Another brilliant post, Derek. You’re absolutely spot on about the brand thing. I’ve sat here and thought about what you’ve said and a great deal more has fallen into place for me.

    If you ask some (not all) No voters that question, and you’re given the reply that you describe, and you then say, “but how do you feel about the extreme poverty, the mounting number of foodbanks and the verified-by-Osborne fact that we will be hit with even more savage cuts?” you can sense the No voter is between a rock and a hard place. What to do? Agree with you that things are indeed dreadful and by doing so, admit that the UK is not all that it is being cracked up to be? Torn between loyalty for the brand and the need to justify their No vote, and the nagging awareness of the realities of what life is like for many in the UK, their reaction, in general, is to attack – attack the SNP, attack our First Minister, attack what they perceive to be a disrespect for all our forebears who fought in World Wars 1 and 2, attack your apparent treachery for daring to reject the UK brand.

    The UK brand is an heirloom comfort blanket ripped to shreds, yet a little fabric remains to cling to. Without that scrap of fabric, what is the UK? A failing state, £1.3 trillion in debt, the lowest pensions for its senior citizens who struggle to survive if they don’t have a private pension plan, thousands in work yet having to rely on food banks. The list of failings gets longer every week. The UK is losing its worldwide status; its leaders are mocked in Europe and the United States for their droit de seigneur arrogance.

    People know that the reality of modern day Britain is all they’ve got unless they – or someone else – changes it. If they can’t pretend to themselves that it’s better than it really is, they have nothing, and the referendum has shone a very bright light on the UK brand and revealed it for what it is. Some in the UK react to that bright light by standing up and demanding better government and a better society and actively pursuing that goal for themselves and their communities. I’m not only talking about Scotland but the other countries of the UK too. Others are afraid and angered by what they see, but their need for that comfort blanket is stronger than their ability / will / courage / strength to fight for a better way of life. So instead, they shoot the messenger.

  16. Steve Bowers 74% win

    Spot on Derek.

    I asked the father of a customer ( I was sweeping their chimney yesterday and wearing my usual YES badge) who was up from Derby for his views on the Ref, he said he’d be sad to see us go because he didn’t want the union jack flag to change, I confess that for the first time in two years I was actually lost for words.

  17. In corporate branding terms, e.g. Rolls Royce does retain more cachet (in some circles) than Mini. But I cannot recall any ad campaign saying: ‘Rolls Royce: if you can’t afford one (and you can’t) then why even think about owning *any* car? Our B-quality hood ornament is only £9.99 more than a whole Mini – and it’s an investment in our superior brand’. Who’s really going to go for that?

    Any car salesman whose only response to ‘I’d like to buy a car’ is ‘But you can’t afford a Rolls cash-upfront’ becomes irrelevant sharpish. Can’t just keep saying it! When the customer says ‘Well, there’s that car over there, look, I can afford that one’, replying ‘I guess, but you strike *me* as a Rolls Royce sort of person, so I can’t let you settle for less!’ is just silly. When it gets to the point of ‘Imagine if we crashed! My Rolls Royce would crush your lesser car, so you’re better off being a pedestrian who can get out of the way’ then one can only hope there’s a way to back away quietly.

    And it’s worse than that, because the real analogy is carpooling. Say the neighbours are good people, and it all used to work when you just shared the costs and went to the same places. But when fuel got expensive, they persuaded you to hand over your fuel card. Now it’s all that keeps their Rolls on the road, but the only places they ever give you lifts to are luxury car conventions. Quite reasonably saying (for the fourth time) ‘I asked for a compromise, and you weren’t having it. So I need to buy my own car, and I’ll be having the fuel card back. We’ll still be friends and neighbours, but this carpool isn’t working’, invites what response?

    A lecture on the costs of car-ownership (from someone who hasn’t had to buy petrol for 40 years, because they’ve been ‘sharing’ yours)? To be told that your share of the costs (not counting petrol) had never been enough to justify the luxury you’d been – occasionally, and with destination determined for you – allowed to associate with from the backseat? A statement that they won’t allow you to park a car in your own garage (that’s where the Rolls lives)? A threat to black-ball you at the luxury car conventions? Disparaging of your driving skills? To be told that the occasional spin in a Rolls Royce is just *better* than using your own car – because no other car could ever be as ‘good’? That you’ll be placed in ‘coventry’ and the rest of the street will never speak to you again? A ‘concession’ that if you agree to keep paying for the Rolls and the petrol *forever*, they will probably sometimes give you a lift to somewhere you want to go (list of possible destinations to be created unilaterally, after you sign up)?

    All of these may well be things your neighbours *feel*, but that doesn’t make them a positive case for the carpool. The Rolls may indeed be a ‘better’ car than what you’ll decide to buy, but that hardly implies that your own car will be ‘worse’ at getting you wherever you choose to go. And crucially, none of these ‘arguments’ are going to make you respect your neighbours more, or want to associate more closely with them. Plus, saying ‘Look, I get that you want to keep carpooling: how about you return my fuel card, and I keep sharing the cost of the Rolls?’ is not actually the height of arrogant ‘cheek’. That’s a compromise, and the inability to recognise it as such has to be pretty much a deal-breaker.

    Brand identity and loyalty aren’t everything: I’d rather have a Mini and the fuel card back, than a Rolls Royce I cannot drive.

  18. Derek

    Could you please clarify your position on something raised in your post.

    You say that:

    “There is nothing on revised spending which is inevitable in Britain’s bankrupt state.

    How will the Union cope with its rising debt mountain?

    How will people cope with the cuts still to come and the extra £25 billion now added in?

    How high will tax rises be after the next General Election?”

    From this you appear to be (a) against the national debt being too high, (b) against further cuts and (c) against tax rises.

    How do you reconcile these positions? Surely to tackle the debt mountain (which I am all for) you either need to cut spending or raise taxes.

    • Or print more money and effectively devalue. The UK has been inflating its debt away for over 100 years.

    • It depends what you decide to spend your money on. Do you think feeding starving people, making capital investments to create jobs are better than spending billions on trident ?

      It’s not just about cutting spending and raises taxes, that’s over simplifying.

      On the issue of debt and deficit, Derek says:

      ‘How will the Union cope with its rising debt mountain?

      How will people cope with the cuts still to come and the extra £25 billion now added in?’

      Lets get real here; The debt mountain has grown to £1.4 trillion, and that’s net debt, not gross. The UK governments liquid assets are removed from the gross figure ( I know, what liquid assets ?)

      But the important thing is the deficit. Derek says £25bn more in cuts have to be added in. The reality is that it’s far more than that.

      I’ve often heard the media use the line ‘we’re 40% of the way through cuts, another 60% to go’. It’s absolute rubbish.

      The UK deficit still stands at £120bn a year, thats the gap between the plus and minus side of the UK balance sheet. So £120bn is being added to the debt total every year.

      Osbourne’s plan is to reduce that £120bn borrowing a year, that’s what ‘austerity’ is about, there are no plans to deal with the huge national debt at present. The plan to reduce this by austerity measures is failing miserably, it still stands at over £107bn a year (figures show that the last quarter of last year saw a dramatic drop in the deficit because Osbourne was so far off target. This brought the deficit under £110bn, closer to the Tory target. Of course, the first quarter of this year the deficit has sky rocketed to no-one’s surprise). £120bn is our annual deficit and thats our target. It’s fairly consistent

      We are nowhere near 40% of the cuts, in reality we haven’t even started austerity yet.

      The tories have a plan to see the annual deficit of £120bn turned around into a surplus by the years 2017-2018, just three years away. Now, that deficit could be reduced by improving trade figures, but they’ve proved once again to be disappointing and are actually shrinking, so trade is not going to reduce the deficit.

      So, the only alternative to reduce the deficit in the 3 years planned is to, wait for it.

      take it off the Welfare budget !

      The welfare budget last year stood at £159bn of which £74bn was spent on pensions. The Guardian provide a good diagram of this here:

      http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2013/jan/08/uk-benefit-welfare-spending#zoomed-picture

      Even if we stopped paying all pensions in the UK immediately, we still couldn’t stop annual borrowing. To hit our magic total of £120bn we would have to stop everyone’s pension along with Income Support, Housing Benefit, Jobseekers allowance, Attendance allowance and any Disability Living allowance.

      Only then do we see our yearly deficit reduced to £0.

      You think it’s bad now, you have no idea how bad it really is.

      Now, let’s move on to the National Debt which we’ll call £1.4 trillion for arguments sake.The tories have said the limit for the UK to be considered a healthy economy, one not at serious risk of major financial collapse, the debt should be no more than 40% of GDP.

      So, the debt is £1.4 trillion, GDP stands at around £620bn annually. For the tories to reach their 40% of GDP target, the UK has to pay off well over £1 Trillion pounds of debt.

      Hold on a sec, we’re struggling to reduce our £120bn a year deficit, how the hell are we going to deal with the overall debt reduction of more than 12x that amount.

      The answer is that it’s not going to happen. Most likely it’s going to take decades to get out of this. The chances are that anyone alive today over the age of 60 will most likely see some form of austerity for the rest of their lives.

      To re-cap:

      The figure to concentrate on is the £120bn yearly deficit. To reduce that to zero we would have to wipe out 75% of all welfare benefits including all UK state pensions.

    • Raise taxes on whom or what though? One way to raise taxes is to grow the economy so that you can take more tax from it without raising rates. Another is to maximise your tax collection. The Coalition has done neither. In fact it has fired vast numbers of tax inspectors so even less tax is being collected as they cannot keep track of who might owe it. So small businesses are in effect not paying tax in many cases. Either because they fly below the underpowered radar or they submit bogus figures knowing they will be gratefully accepted and not questioned.

      Not only do the rich and big corporates pay very little tax but over the last few decades the proportion of taxes paid for by ordinary working people has increased while that paid by business has decreased. We are paying for all the infrastructure business needs (and don’t they bleat if it isn’t there to their satisfaction?). This has been happening all over the Western world and is part of why so many governments are so deep in debt.

      So by all means raise taxes, but for the right people/sources and make damn sure you collect it. We berate the Greeks for being lax in collecting due taxes but we are just as bad in the UK.

  19. It’s only choreographed astigmatism, where they will only see what others of their ilk decide they will see and believe. Sychonized swimming only works when we don’t cause a tidal wave of truth to upset their wee swimming pool.

  20. The Unionist parties have lazily depended on a sooky-up press to shield their lack of substance in this debate. None of them having insisted they come up with persuasive arguments, they have instead complacently encouraged gutter tactics, shallowness and distortion. Now that their press has been outflanked by mass action and social media, the hollowness of the parties’ own positions are plainly being exposed, and meanwhile the press can do nothing but continue to posture and bluster. The Yes side has been far more rigorously demanding of its spokespersons, and the strength of its determination is based not on assumed privilege but hard-won authority and individual and collective certainty.

    It is pitiable that the media did not engage properly with the arguments in this debate right from the start, and shameful too that the Westminster politicians were sleazily content that there was no clear mirror in which to see their own faults. If things had been otherwise – if things were otherwise – there would be no need for a debate on this subject. As things have turned out, independence has been proven to be the only way to begin to restore political reality, justice and fairness, to these islands.

    By the way, what news of brand Carmichael, the nonpareil?

  21. Tonight Alistair Darling will be interviewed live on Bbc Reporting Scotland in 2011 he fought his parliamentary campaign on the Tories will cut funding and harm Scottish NHS and Schools now we are expected to believe the Union is protecting them
    Whats it to be he is lying about one.
    Expect Sally will sort tonight

  22. Derek: You Don’t Buy It? – what about selling side? Oil and gas in dollars; whisky in dollars,tourism exchanges for euros, yen etc.;manufacturing; and etc., all then deposited
    in your Scottish bank, your “sales for the day”, this mixture of tradeable currencies. You wish then to withdraw some cash – to go to the pub – and the teller asks, -“in which currency? We are an exporting country, and have for sale goods that cannot be manufactured, natural energy resources, and unique high quality food and drink.
    The UK’s “big economy”. reminds me of the expression “busy fools”. Selling low tech, low value goods at poor margins. Big turnover, low profitability.
    We could nevertheless fail as an independent country if we vote in fools of the calibre in the opposition benches we witness at FMQ.
    A reminder to folk reading this and undecided. They say don’t look down whilst climbing. Looking back when deciding how to vote may prove educational on just what this SNP government has achieved – resolution of the Scottish Labour Monklands hospital fiasco; council tax freeze; bedroom tax assistance. Add your own.

  23. Spot on hit, nail, head, as usual Derek!

    Reading your piece I was reminded of a comment attributed to Hitler’s Propaganda Chief Josef Goebbels:-

    “The essential English leadership secret does not depend on particular intelligence. Rather, it depends on a remarkably stupid thick-headedness. The English follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous.”

    I think this pretty much sums up Westminster and Project Fear.

  24. The more British nationalists ram the union flag down our throats the more inclined we are to vomit.
    This “united” kingdom is, as far as I’m concerned, is already covered in puke.

  25. Cag-does-thinking

    My biggest reservation of forthcoming events is this BBC debate which they intend to show south of the border. I can’t think of any positive reason why it is going to be. I get the impression that until the SNP got in in 2007 the British state didn’t really view Scottish nationalism seriously. They made the rules they owned the park. That creeping British Great British programming started to accelerate after 2007 to the extent that a new generation of broadcasters are defaulting to British as the key statement about where all of us live. It definately has been echoed by the newspapers but a generation or two can remember they joked abotu the Irish they joke about the Scottish and to a certain extene the Welsh. How can we be in a partnership when really we have no real idea of what our country is worth except through a weird collection of statistics and formulae? A real country should know when it is doing badly or well. From what I can see of the UK the economic miracle of growth is largely due to leaping property speculation, no wage growth and simply not paying benefits to those who have entitlement. That’s not really that much of a miracle. However if ever there was a case for the union it’s not been made throughout this campaign. Those who are benefitting from it are all saying how bad it is not to trust them to administrate it for us, a bit like a bad lawyer telling the Bay City Rollers that their money is safe in their hands, there’s no need to look at the books. Look how well that all ended. And if there’s one thing we have needed to do in this campaign it’s to look closely at the books. Being in the UK is holding us back as a country and as an identity. We will have to start small but it is the greatest challenge to build our country and identity. Especially when we see the previous generation of politiians who spectacularly failed the UK rushing to guide us away from the edge that I am quite happy to step into.

  26. Steve Asaneilean

    I see Tony Abbott, Australian PM, is decrying Scottish independence in The Times and saying those who support it aren’t worth speaking to. Just check out some of his quotes on women, asylum seekers, abortion, climate change, etc. -you’ll be very glad he doesn’t want to talk to you and rUK is welcome to him.

  27. Optimistic Till I Die

    Here is the reason why many BritNats are extremely defensive – they are rewarding themselves for standing up against a case they deplore (as well as often being primary beneficiaries of the current state of affairs in the UK). Drew Westen, a neuropsychologist, points out in his book The Political Brain (subtitled the Role of Emotion in Deciding The Fate of The Nation) that when strongly partisan individuals are challenged they work hard to feel good. Even if they draw erroneous conclusions they still feel better. I cannot do better than paraphrase some of the conclusions drawn from his research.

    ”Candidates who win tell emotionally compelling stories about who they are and what they believe in. They ‘read’ the emotional signals of their constituents well, and make use of strategists who share or complement their political intelligence using intuition and science to help them express their principles, values, and positions in ways that resonate with voters. They can move people emotionally, tell compelling stories, take principled stands.

    Candidates who present facts and figures to support their arguments, and trust votes will weigh the information before making an informed decision generally lose. They appeal to voters’ material interests and assume rational voters are in their pocket. If they are attacked by their opponents with emotional or inaccurate appeals, they assume that voters are rational and interested to ignore or refute it, and either respond with more facts and figures or retreat into silence.”

    The conclusion for the Independence campaign is to keep knocking on doors, develop contacts, extend networks, focus on assessing feelings associated with facts and don’t waste time challenging hard line No voters. For those in the public eye it means being open to acknowledging alternatives, being generous in providing hope for their fellow citizens and appealing to their better nature, it means maintaining an ethical position and, whilst recognising the dangers inherent in scaremongering, avoid responding in kind. In essence, be reasonable and compassionate, not bullying and argumentative.

    Weston concludes his book by stating the most important question that campaigners need to be able to answer is ‘In the light of my values and the best available evidence, what do I believe is right?’ The second issue they need to attend to is ‘How do I close the gap between that answer and the feelings of the electorate.’ It needs the personal touch, handshaking, smiles, generousity of heart, a reasonable vision of the future and a willingness to acknowledge the problems that might need to be attended to produce a better society for those within it.

    Given that reports today indicate Yes is catching up with No in the polls someone somewhere has got it right, even if headliners like Alex Salmond screwed up one opportunity to sway voters. And, on the opposite side of the fence, No it seems is also losing credibility despite, or perhaps because of, their hammering away at the same dismal slogans. One doesn’t need neuropsychological brain scans to figure that voters can figure that out: people are not buying a brand with their brains in neutral. It is their future that is at stake and they will decide on what the FEEL is best for them, their children, and grandchildren (I had to get that in as at the age of 67 I acquired my first grandchild).

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