A Cunning Plan

Alex Salmond has unilaterally decided not have a separate Scottish defence force after independence. Without consulting his party he has announced that all Scottish military personnel would remain under the command of the Ministry of Defence in London. He also hinted that he would agree to drop the demand that Trident missiles be removed from the Clyde.

The Unionist parties accepted the radical change in policy with good grace and said although it was late in the day and some people had already voted, it was acceptable to alter the offer to voters in an agreed period of purdah. They didn’t ask why this policy hadn’t been proposed in the preceding two years and didn’t inquire how it dovetailed with the overall independence plan. ‘It’s fine with us’, said Better Together. ‘Constantly changing policy without consultation or detail or working out the implications is part and parcel of the democratic process. We welcome this intervention.’

As if…can you imagine the indignation and outrage that would erupt if there was a last-minute switch by the SNP or Yes? Can you imagine the gales of ridicule that would descend upon them from the scoffing Jim Murphys and compliant Press, not to mention the obsequious BBC which deems its role in our society to be page-boy to the great and good?

Instead we hear grandiloquent statements about Devo Max – where the hell did that come from – or federalism – where are you David Torrance – and radical, even ‘huge’ powers according to Nick Robinson. It isn’t just the Unionist parties who have lost the plot – it is the entire country epitomised by the media which proves daily in this process how it lacks the critical faculties expected of normal journalists.

Who in the media is this morning pointing out the flat contradictions between statements and promises between Brown and Darling or Brown and Balls? Labour’s own diluted proposals on tax-raising announced earlier in the year were ridiculed at the time. Now they form the basis of a ‘radical’ new offer verging on federalism. We are entering the world of 1984 where words mean the opposite of their original meaning.

Democracy is being gazumped. Even the STUC is going public with its misgivings about last minute changes and lack of consultation. If this can be put together in days and fixed up in months how come it didn’t happen earlier…

The world knows this is a last throw of the dice for a losing campaign designed to fool enough of the uncritical Labour constituency which desperately wants to believe no eggs need be broken. Some will read the dishonest drivel of the Record and give up their aspiration for real change, no doubt. But if the groundwork has been done properly, the movement is already too strong, the polls are behind the trend and it has become unstoppable. The UK is beginning to look ridiculous.

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74 thoughts on “A Cunning Plan

  1. Not only is the UK looking as ridiculous as it is, in reality it is a solid slap on the back of the Scots’ head for permitting a useless system to supposedly monitor discipline and indiscipline by the opposing camps.

    How can the Edinburgh Agreement be trashed so openly by the BBC and the NO side after the purdah period has started and what is the Electoral Commission about if it will not put a stop to and heavily censure such behaviour?

    How can last minute – gate closed – with postal votes already been cast – yet additional promises be put up by BT which thereby directly contravenes EC and Edinburgh Agreement rigour?

    You’re right Derek, we are ridiculous.

    • The UK has looked ridiculous for many many years, I suspect we are only now seeing it as the world sees it as we have 1 foot out the door and are looking back at it from a different angle. It’s very hard to see your own faults. We in Scotland are partly to blame for this as well, for generations we have been disengaged in politics in our own country and the UK as a whole and have gotten by by accepting the meager handouts from Westminster as all we can expect and all we deserve. Scotland has woken up from its slumber in the last year and I don’t think, win or lose, the genie will be able to be put back in the bottle.

    • I thought the following email correspondence with the Electoral Commission might be of interest. You need to start reading from the bottom to get the sequence of emails in the right order.

      Short summary is that EC will do nothing (who knew that eh?) and I now must complain to the cabinet office. The email address to complain to Propriety&ethicsteam@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk. I never knew the UK government has an ethics team – the things that you find out!

      Dear Ian McEwan,

      You can find a factsheet that we have produced on the public bodies and referendum material here: http://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/164433/ep-ris-public-bodies-referendum.pdf. This includes the contact details you need with regard to any concerns you may have about the activities of either the Scottish Government (cabinet_secretariat@scotland.gsi.gov.uk) or the UK Government (Propriety&ethicsteam@cabinet-office.gsi.gov.uk) and if would like to make a formal complaint I suggest you contact the relevant Government.

      Yours sincerely,

      Alex Webb
      Public Information Support
      The Electoral Commission
      Tel: 029 2034 6811

      From: Ian McEwan
      Sent: 09 September 2014 13:00
      To: Alex Webb
      Subject: RE: Registering concern over new prosposal for further devolved powers CCM:0261680

      Hello Alex,

      Thank you for the informative response. My concern is that on Sunday the UK government (in the person of the Chancellor of the Exchequer) has given forewarning of its intention to breach the terms of the Edinburgh agreement by promising to publish new powers after a ‘no’ vote later this week. If such a publication is indeed forthcoming, how would I take a complaint forward?

      Yours sincerely,

      Ian McEwan

      Reverend Professor Ian McEwan FRSE FREng

      From: Alex Webb [mailto:AWebb@electoralcommission.org.uk]
      Sent: 09 September 2014 12:14
      To: Ian McEwan
      Subject: RE: Registering concern over new prosposal for further devolved powers CCM:0261680

      Dear Ian McEwan,

      Thank you for your e-mail.

      The ‘purdah period’ refers to the 28 day period before the Scottish Independence Referendum that restricts the information that Scottish Ministers and certain publicity funded bodies can publish about the referendum. The restrictions relate to publishing general information about the referendum as well as about the issues and arguments. The restrictions also apply to encouraging people to vote. The UK government is not covered by the referendum legislation but has agreed to abide by the same purdah restrictions.

      The ‘purdah period’ does not apply to public broadcasters such as the BBC. If you are concerned about political impartiality in broadcast media this is covered by the editorial guidelines relevant to that particular broadcaster and any compliance matters are regulated by the BBC Trust in respect of BBC output and by Ofcom in respect to commercial broadcasters output.
      The BBC’s editorial guidelines on broadcasting during the Scottish independence referendum can be found at: http://downloads.bbc.co.uk/rmhttp/guidelines/editorialguidelines/pdfs/2014ReferendumGuidelinesFinal130314.pdf
      I hope this answered your query

      Yours sincerely

      Alex Webb
      Public Information Support
      The Electoral Commission
      Tel: 029 2034 6811

      From: Ian McEwan
      Sent: 08 September 2014 21:54
      To: infoscotland
      Subject: FW: Registering concern over new prosposal for further devolved powers


      I sent the email below to you yesterday but have not yet received a response or acknowledgement. In my view some sort statement from the Electoral Commission is required to clarify whether or not the terms of the Edinburgh Agreement are being fulfilled.

      Yours faithfully,

      Ian McEwan

      Reverend Professor Ian McEwan FRSE FREng

      From: Ian McEwan
      Sent: 07 September 2014 23:18
      To: ‘infoscotland@electoralcommission.org.uk’
      Subject: Registering concern over new prosposal for further devolved powers

      Dear Sir/Madam,

      I am concerned that today’s intervention by George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, in stating that proposals for further powers for a devolved parliament will be tabled in the next few days. This is a clear breach of the Edinburgh Agreement. Furthermore, the Right Hon. Mr. Osborne’s statement creates a situation which may cause the referendum itself to be brought into disrepute. Should such proposals actually be brought forward prior to the vote, this would be a breach of so called 28 day ‘purdah period’. This problem is made worse when so many postal votes have already been cast. How can the vote have integrity when such a statement has been introduced after postal votes have been cast?

      I would appreciate a clear public statement of guidance from the Electoral Commission to provide clarity on this matter before further damage is done to the integrity of the referendum process.

      Yours faithfully,

      Ian McEwan

      Reverend Professor Ian McEwan FRSE FREng

    • Not suggesting it’s not disgusting but purdah is not law in the UK, it’s sort of an unspoken gentleman’s agreement.

    • According to a reply received by someone from the electoral commission, the purdah rules only apply to the Scottish Government. The UK government can do as it wants. So much for democracy!

      • Yip that’s pretty much it. “The UK government is not covered by the referendum legislation but has agreed to abide by the same purdah restrictions.” that is until it decides not to.

      • Mark Potter-Irwin

        From The Edinburgh Agreement
        ” Government activity during the 28 days before the referendum

        29. It is customary for there to be a period before elections in the UK, during which Ministers and other public bodies refrain from publishing material that would have a bearing on the election. Section 125 of PPERA sets out the restrictions that apply to Ministers and public bodies in the 28 days preceding referendums held under that Act. Both governments recognise the importance of respecting the 28-day period prior to a referendum, in the same way that both governments already respect each other’s pre-election period for Parliamentary elections. The Scottish Government will set out details of restricted behaviour for Scottish Ministers and devolved public bodies in the Referendum Bill to be introduced into the Scottish Parliament. These details will be based on the restrictions set out in PPERA. The UK Government has committed to act according to the same PPERA-based rules during the 28 day period.”

    • Funnily enough, just signed this petition- http://www.change.org/p/the-electoral-commission-investigate-better-together-new-advice It seems that it is in fact illegal and if enough people sign they will retract. Any uncovering of their campaign faults, especially the illegal ones, shows their utter disregard of doing the ‘right thing’! All the more power for the YES vote. Even their supporters will have to question this desperate last ditch attempt at an illegal vote rigging. YES for Scotland, no to old politics, Scotland out of Europe

    • Did we really expect them to keep to the rules? The standard of journalistic scrutiny by the Fourth Estate has been woeful, the reporting supine. Had this “back of a fag packet” mumble of “new powers” been cobbled together on any other topic, the media would be ripping it to shreds – the delusional has-been Gordon Brown pitches up blathering about a St Andrews Day to Burns’ Night timetable… his protege Ed Balls directly contradicting him just hours before… Downing Street with no idea of what was going on… Malcolm Tucker popping veins and eyeballs as he waxes splenetic, spraying spittle over poor Ed Miliband’s big pouty face.

      Hours later they’re hoisting the Saltire all over England. “We love you, Scotland!” I’ve had messages from friends in England, outraged at this debacle – their leaders have blurted out all this nonsense with no consultation, no debate and have no mandate whatsoever.

      They needed worry. Either Scotland will vote Yes and all this drivel becomes academic, or we vote No and we’ve shot our bolt. Does anyone – anyone except the most deluded Lib-Labourite No campaigner – believe any of this will come to pass? After a NO on 19th September there will only be one show in town – the 2015 UK General Election. The Mail, the Express, the Telegraph, the Sun, The Times, the Star and the Standard will all switch to max Jock-bashing mode, convinced we’ve no belly for another fight anytime soon. The Guardian and the Independent will wring their hands. The English electorate will be whipped up – “Why should we give the subsidy junkies free heroin?!”. Every Tory will have a UKipper breathing down his neck. They’ll take their lead from Boris – “No kowtowing to the Jocks!” – and play to the worst prejudices of their constituents. 2015 will be a squaky-bum election – so watch how quick Labour ditches its “Jock-lover” label so as not to lose face to Essex Man. Not a single MP will walk through those lobbies without first having extracted a concession.

      Our ‘Home Rule’ will be more tax raising powers, but not the big ones not the oil revenues, not the corporation tax. The DWP will still wreak havoc amongst the weakest and our soceity will be same old, same old but worsen by the day. We’ll have no power to divest ourselves of nuclear weapons and divert the billions into education or childcare or the NHS. The UK will sign up to TTIP and a devolved Scottish Government, not being the government of a sovereign nation, will not have the power to opt out. Creeping privatisation will get off its knees and run amok. The Barnett Formula will be slashed or junked, meaning the dog’s breakfast currently vaunted by David, Nick & Ed will be served up laced with arsenic and spiked with cyanide – and any Scottish Government will be left with it all over their face as the Scottish electorate turn on them when the inevitable amputations to public services ensue.

      Alistair Darling conceded today that Westminster retains the power to dissolve the Scottish Parliament but that it never would, any more than it would use its power to dissolve the NHS. People wouldn’t stand for it, he said. Well, the NHS is just a name – it’s internal market is a shark’s soup for big pharmaceuticals, staffing agencies, management consultants, caterers, cleaning conglomorates and it’s all about to get much, much worse. The NHS Dr Jeykll is having its character utterly transformed and TTIP will turn it finally, irrevocably into Mr Hyde. They executed the same gameplan under Birt at the BBC, and on the Post Office. They’re the same institutions in name only.

      So take heed if you think you’re voting for “Devo Max” next week, or “Home Rule” or even “greater powers”. Wesminster spits on losers. It’s the Eton Way.

      • Brilliant, absolutely brilliant critique.
        I’ll say one thing in favour of Vote No Supporters.
        At least they’ll have the World’s cleanest brains, the amount of washing they’ve had to endure

  2. When I shut my eyes and listen I hear death rattles for the No campaign.

    As Ian Davidson has no more a net for his bayonet, apart from self immolation, and we need to inflict the coup de grâce.

  3. net = use jeez

    I didn’t type net!

  4. You’re perfectly right. We’ll be far better off without them. Ridiculous Albion.

  5. Why is the EC not publicly denouncing these “promises”? Lying and deluding the electorate is one thing, sadly assumed to be part of the politician’s tools of the trade. But this is a clear breach of the Edinburgh Agreement. These people clearly have no respect for contracts so we can ignore empty gestures like this.

    • Capella

      I met a few weeks ago, by accident in my home village here in France, a Tory Grandee of some status and probity.

      We had a beer but never really mentioned the Referendum, deliberately on my part beyond a one liner which was to the effect of a YES vote certainty.

      A certainty, I said unless there was a ballot fraud.

      His conversation became very pithy and he was very scathing about the EC, saying in fact that it was not fit for purpose and should simple be replaced with a real EC 2 with teeth.

      In fact, if Derek ever reads this post, I think I might be able to ask him to do a guest interview on Bateman Radio.

      I am in contact with him via a member of his family as, he doesn’t do e-mails.

      • Good idea. These organisations need to be under new management. Why the recent Glenrothes by-election was not declared null and void after the manipulation of the postal votes and disappearance of the register of voters, is a mystery. It’s like a banana republic without the bananas!

    • Just spoke with the EC in Edinburgh. The Main branch in London eventually hung up on me, I think by mistake. I think the young man trying to respond was just incompetent and couldn’t answer any questions. Edinburgh man very helpful and articulate…basically EC cannot censure the UK government because by using campaigners, ie Brown and Naw, they are not contravening Purdah. They may privately acknowledge that the Edinburgh Agreement has been breached but are powerless even to comment.

  6. the UK Establishment were never going to fight fair and keep to the terms of any agreement….their tactics are the desperation politics of a beaten campaign, always to be expected, but what makes my jaw drop on a daily basis is the craven behaviour of the compliant and complicit media….with the BBC being by far the worst offenders ……

  7. In the case of a NO vote, as soon as the Referendum is over, Westminster will be looking to the next General Election, not Scotland.

    Since the rUK electorate has been led to believe Scotland is a subsidy junkie, there is NO WAY that any party can afford to devolve anything of significance. It would be political suicide.

    Labour is not in a position to offer anything until the general election without Tory support, and you can forget the Lib-Dems. That timetable is just so much hot air.

    And after the General Election?

    With a NO vote there is a very small chance that Labour might get in with a narrow majority. However, if it is as tight as the polls say and the South-East electorate takes a look at how Labour figures conducted the campaign, I doubt they will like what they see (and I’m sure the Tories will make sure they know how they almost squandered a huge lead). Chances are high that Cameron alone or Cameron/Farage will be calling the shots – that is assuming Cameron manages to hold off Boris.

    With a YES vote, the Tories are in trouble and UKIP looms. It might be Boris and Nigel. From what UKIP has said in the past, it isn’t likely to be any more devolution. The Tories and UKIP will be pounding on Labour for losing Scotland.

  8. Quebec and Scotland are two very different places.
    What worked in Quebec for the federal government will not work here.
    Quebec was starting from a situation where it had a great deal of autonomy in terms of taxation and revenues (devo max) and was only really talking about defence and foreign affairs.
    Scotland,on the other hand is more in the situation of a dependent country (colony) where the vast amount of decisions about tax and spend are made externally by politicians who do not share our priorities.
    The choice for Scots is far more stark and clearly about being either dependent or not and whether we wish to continue leaving major decisions affecting our lives in the hands of unelected politicians.
    Non merci to Westminster and their empty rhetoric.

  9. Anthony Armstrong

    You had me worried there Derek, I thought you had jumped ship for a split second, hopefully the electorate see the absurdity of it all.

  10. Still think there is no bias in the BBC Derek? They have shown total disregard for the news and are now 100percent engaged as Westminster Spin doctors and propaganda wing. For months you thought they were merely incompetent rather than biased? How about now?

  11. Some perspicacious observations here by ‘a former Whitehall insider’ on what is likely to happen in the Scottish Review:
    …and in the same edition a rather sad contribution from Carol Craig, who will be voting No, as she is spooked by Paul Krugman’s dire economic warnings in the NY Times the other day.

    Carol seems to fit the profile of the older female voter least likely to vote Yes out of economic fears.

    But what she hasn’t factored in is that the Referendum has utterly transformed the political game in the UK, and that there can be no return to the status quo ante. She hasn’t taken on board the sheer revanchism and nastiness of those at Whitehall who have had a direct hit served on them by this debate. She also seems reluctant to acknowledge that Scotland has been on a long term journey towards recovery of our autonomy, as much autonomy as any small European nation can have in an interdependent world. While most were happy to see this increase incrementally, and perhaps fall short of a complete break with the UK if the arrangements seemed to be working, this is no longer possible, as the revanchists will see to it that our peaceful national journey is strangled at birth.

    Very disappointed that Carol cannot see this. Carol, if you read this: there are bogeymen and dangers everywhere out in that big, bad, world. Including the wolf on our doorstep you cling to as a friend. Friend it ain’t: it has woken up and is in an angry mood with more power to damage us that anything you fear.

  12. Perhaps the story in yesterday’s Independent forecasting a switch from the SUN to YES could give the campaign another forward nudge.

    • Have you read the editorial in today’s Scottish Sun? No mention of support for Yes, but hard-hitting comments on Gordon Brown’s antics.

  13. I don’t believe it’s “the last throw of the dice” to be honest, I think there are more lies to come. Excellent article though.

  14. “The UK is beginning to look ridiculous.”

    Too late. 😀

    They went past ridiculous several weeks back and are well into the area of slapstick and parody at this point.

  15. On Sunday David Torrance was at the Imagine Scotland event in Govanhill along with Iain Macwhirter and others. The debate touched on Federalism but to be truthful I think the opportunity to explore in detail wasn’t available due to the breadth of issues under discussion. I asked David what in the current context (Sun lunchtime, things move so fast, and words change their meaning so quickly) Federalism means. He gave a response based on his own views on what he considers Federalism to be, but (I hope I am fair to him here) he concluded that it is not possible to examine current propositions in detail.

  16. […] If the groundwork has been done properly, the movement is already too strong, the polls are behind the trend and it has become unstoppable. The UK is beginning to look ridiculous. Derek Bateman […]

  17. So Cameron decides not to come up to Scotland during the last throw of the die to save the Union.

    He has delegated that to Crash Gordon Brown.

    Here it is then, Crash Gordon and Flipper Darling are going to have their names associated with the failed NO campaign, just like it were going through a stick of Blackpool Rock.

    The two most economically illiterate, (along with Osborne), Chancellors in the history of UK politics, now about to lose the Union.

    Reminds of a Lone Ranger joke.

    LR Well Tonto we are backed up into a vertical ravine, with now food or water and 2,000 Cherokees waiting for us to try and break out

    Tonto Yes Kemosabi

    L R we are doomed?

    Tonto Who do you mean with US, white man?

  18. The BBC continues to spread unionist lies about “more” powers being devolved. The people of Scotland can’t fail to see the duplicitous nature of this so-called “united” kingdom.

    • In 1952 there was a Foreign Office paper called ‘the problem
      of nationalism’. In it the FO argued that it was possible to ‘ draw the constructive forces of nationalism to the British side by offering limited political authority in order to minimize the threatened erosion of British power’. Brown would be
      familiar with the games Whitehall can play in offering new limited powers while
      retaining real power.

      Dr. Brown, (Phd history) et al have conjoined in policy with David Cameron and are now offering the Scottish people an ancient constitutional duality of dynarchy (from the Indian Raj) : the system of joint Governance like a devo-max.
      London will offer Edinburgh certain additional fiscal /taxation powers etc What should we say? “Thanks you massah or thank you sahib”. We are` so grateful.”

      Brown should be ashamed of himself peddling Unionist policy like some Tory tout.

  19. Derek, I have not seen the true basis of the ‘purdah’ period set out anywhere. As far as I can see, the following are relevant:

    (1). The Edinburgh Agreement (signed by the Scottish and UK Governments).

    Para. 21. “The governments agree that it will be important to ensure that broadcast coverage of the Referendum is impartial. Broadcasters, Ofcom and the Electoral Commission will discuss the best way to achieve this.”

    Para. 29. “It is customary for there to be a period before elections in the UK, during which Ministers and other public bodies refrain from publishing material that would have a bearing on the election. Section 125 of PPERA (this is a Westminster Act, the Political Parties, Elections and Referendum Act 2000) sets out the restrictions that apply to Ministers and public bodies in the 28 days preceding referendums held under that Act. Both governments recognise the importance of respecting the 28-day period prior to a referendum. … ”

    (2). The Political Parties, Elections and Referendum Act 2000.

    Section 125
    Restriction on Publication etc of promotional material by central and local government etc.

    “(1). This section applies to any material which –

    (a) provides general information about a referendum to which this Part (of the 2000 Act) applies;

    (b) deals with any of the issues raised by any question on which such a referendum is being held;

    (c) puts any arguments for or against any particular answer to any such question; or

    (d) is designed to encourage voting at such a referendum.

    (2). Subject to subsection (3) no material to which this section applies shall be published during the relevant period by or on behalf of –

    (a) any Minister of the Crown, government department or local authority; or

    (b) any other person or body whose expenses are defrayed wholly or mainly out of public funds or by any local

    (3). Subsection (2) does not apply to –

    (a) material made available to persons in response to specific requests for information or to persons
    specifically seeking access to it;

    (b) anything done by or on behalf of the (Electoral) Commission or a person or body designated under section
    108 (designation of organisations to whom assistance is available);

    (c) the publication of information relating to the holding of the poll; or

    (d) the issue of press notices

    and subsection 2(b) shall not be taken as applying to the British Broadcasting Corporation or Sianel Pedwar Cymru.

    (4). In this section –

    (a) “publish” means make available to the public at large, or any section of the public, in whatever form and by
    whatever means (and “publication” shall be construed accordingly;

    (b) “the relevant period”, in relation to a referendum, means the period of 28 days ending with the date of the
    poll. ”

    Why are reputable journalists not investigating this? What was the outcome of the “discussions” referred to in para. 21 of the Edinburgh Agreement? Under section 1 are not the apparent proposals for new powers, or DevoMaxor, in which any government department becomes involved, unlawful? What then is the involvement of No. 10 Downing Street in all this? Are political parties exempt because they are not funded out of the public purse? Why do we even have to ask these questions? The attitude of the mainstream media is beneath contempt. No wonder that there will be a Yes vote on the 18th. And no wonder that the political and media institutions of this country will then face intense and pervasive forensic scrutiny.

  20. Sorry. My reference to “section 1” at the end should be to “section 125”.

  21. My only goal in life right now is for the YES WIN, And the BBC to be booted out of our land
    Just now nothing else matters, I don’t care what cure cycle we get I don’t even care
    about the EUROPEAN union. I just want ” justice ”

  22. I mentioned currency. Dam this predicted spelling lol

  23. Doing the math, devolving housing benefit and attendance allowance would leave Westminster with 87% of Scotland’s welfare/benefit spending decisions, and devolving the totality of income tax (not even being proposed by Labour or the Tories) along with the already devolved council tax, business rates, stamp duties and landfill tax would still leave Westminster in control of over 70% of Scottish tax revenues. And, that is what unionist politicians, and the media including the BBC, are calling devo-max, a federalist approach and even home rule. Fraud and corruption from Westminster – lazy journalism and compliance with the British establishment by the media, and particularly the BBC – no change there. But, it won’t be forgotten.

    • ‘lazy journalism’ I would disagree. I think this type of journalism is well thought out, to turn the people’s heads and fuel the already scary and horrible comments from unionist racists. Is it not yet well known that the bbc are sleeping with our enemies and are one of the biggest (being the original) propaganda machines on the planet? Example from history;
      ‘US bombs medical research centre in Georgia, Thousands of newly developed vaccines and cures have been destroyed.’ We did not hear about this at the time but we are feeling the aftermath of this action now.
      In the same week the bbc reported that; “President Clinton enjoys BJ from secretary!”
      These days we have atrocities that are taking place in the world that we never hear of and this kind of ‘news’ that we have come to expect from the bbc is insulting and damaging. It’s the kind of news you would give to a child in order to modify behaviour. YES for Scotland, no to old politics, Scotland out of Europe.

  24. Derek, I’ve been watching BBC News for a marathin five hours. Sauration coverage for More Powers, the Beebs’s senior journo’s interviewing the heads of all the parties over and over: not one single time did they actually ask them what “More Powers” meant.
    Gigantic Pravda-like silence.
    It’s like a movie all about a giant invisible rabbit that no-one wants to talk to, and even the drunk guys refuse to look at it. It is as absurd as it is chilling.

  25. Plus – how spooky is this? The Beeb actually went to Downing Street and put a camera up on the roof opposite to watch two guys in hard-hats run a flag up a pole.

    • Spookier still. The flag got some way up the flagpole then fell down. They showed a clip on a BBC News Scotland at Six trailer and cut the clip before the flag fell. BBC journalism at its best, symbolic of how they convey the preferred version. But could it be a sign? Or just a couple of embarrassed joiners?

      • watched that on Sky news someone on WOS had a link to it…the bbc really are a joke, not even showing the whole thing. The Saltire on top of Downing st, but but, they really slagged A Salmond for waving it at wimbledon. The Union flag has been pushed in our faces every day on zillions of products, with Britain this and Britain that on bias broadcasting corp…and now they have the nerve to fly the Saltire in London? What a bunch of despicable creeps.

  26. Derek,
    This reminds me of the ‘you’ll be £500 a year better off…’ promises.
    I asked myself at the time, ‘Why am I not £500 a year better off now?’
    The sight of the prime Minister’s proxy, that’s Goggy the former PM who is now an opposition back-bencher with no power and no prospect of it, waving his arms around promising Nirvana, after the Postal Votes have been cast, is enough to drive anyone to vote ‘Yes.’ Keep it up Goggy.

  27. A rumour is circulating that Gordon Brown is not standing in the 2015 election, indeed that his successor has already been selected. So he will not be around to push any proposals for devo whatever through Westminster. Nor will he be there to take the flak when his proposals fail to materialise as Westminster approved increased powers for the Scottish Parliament. Surprise, surprise.

    Now we know why he was selected for this saving the union attempt. When it all goes pear-shaped, as is the plan, then he can be blamed for misleading the gullible Scottish electorate, while he is far away earning hundreds of thousand lecturing other gullible folk.

    • Earning? That word implies that a person deserves the money, and that they’ve worked for it. Crash Gordon’s never done a day’s toil in his life. Does he actually know what the word ‘labour’ means?

  28. I tend to think that after a YES vote the 2015 Election might be postponed, as they will be in such a mess
    that only UKIP may be able to function, simply because they have not drained any energy, and do not have anything to lose. There will be political turmoil in Westminster, the blame game will abound.

    The elites will see this and push to delay the election for fear of losing even more.

  29. Derek, I well remember you starting your blog and staunchly defending the BBC against frequent claims of bias. I take it that your silence on the subject speaks volumes regarding your thoughts on the matter nowadays?

    If you don’t reply I shall take it that your perceptions have indeed altered.

  30. Duplicitous BBC constantly saying devo-max on offer. Today gives conclusive proof of BBC pro-union bias, and they don’t care how obvious it is.

  31. Mark Potter-Irwin

    So far I believe the official YES campaign has behaved with the honesty and integrity that I have come to believe is inherent in the Scottish psyche. Not so the dishonest, greedy conniving bastards from Westminster we are trying to get away from (and some of them purport to be Scottish!) . I am disgusted! A curse on them and all who sail with them!

  32. Have you seen Craig Murray’s latest post “The Stolen Seas”? It’s about the redrawing of Scotland’s maritime boundaries by Tony Blair and Donald Dewar in 1999 to put 7 oil fields in English waters.
    Is there nothing these charlatans are not prepared to steal?

  33. The Scottish Georgina Orwell

    Remember the SNP did not want to be involved in the Scottish Constitutional Convention. They were wrong to shout down devolution then. They are even more wrong to shout down Devo Max now. Or is that a hint of error, a mask which cannot slip. Ooops .. it has

  34. Another hypocrisy no one is highlighting:
    Don’t vote yes, a yes vote will mean taxes will rise.
    Vote No and we’ll give you the power to raise taxes.

    So is paying more tax good or bad?

    • Worse than that it’s illegal! Income tax was invented to pay for the Napoleonic wars. If you are happy to fund war then YES paying more tax is good.The legislation covering it has changed only slightly but if you don’t want to fund war, ask your tax-man if he can assure you that your taxes are not going to fund war or trident. You will find he can’t and if he is clever and can then you refer him back to the legislation which states they will use it for funding war. This is the reason why we cannot leave all this on our books in Scotland. We need a total shake up of our constitution to rid ourselves of old fashioned policies that do no good. The interim constitution does not go far enough in reclaiming sanity and equality for a true democracy. YES for Scotland, no to old politics, Scotland out of Europe.

  35. First time since a militarized rebellion in 1746 that Westminster has turned to look seriously at Scotland. All too late, of course.

    So we get a visit from 3 high-profile Westminster Britnats who know and care little about Scotland’s interests or ambitions, panicking about the oil resources leaving Westminster – a resource they otherwise caution as a burden should it be funneled into Scotland’s economy.

    ‘Losing’ Scotland – their own expression, showing they regard us as Westminster property – would as they indicate lose them status internationally. Which confirms their concern is themselves – not us.

    Maybe with Scottish independence Westminster might waken to its duty of governing all the people who remain and whom it serves, instead of focusing as it does now on southeast England. The rest of England could profit from what we’re about to do, as could Wales and N Ireland.

  36. I listened to Louise Whites morning call on radio I player last night and it occurred to me how the likes of Douglas Alexander talk with a smug arrogance about powers it is not in his gift to give.

    That brought me to wonder about an ex unelected Prime Minister standing in a welfare club dictating the agenda and timetable to Westminster.

    This is about the Labour. party and the ego of the Labour MPs.

    Gordon Brown must be laughing himself to sleep watching the other two parties reaction to him.

    There is something quite frightening about how little in command the great and the good are when they can be so easily manipulated by an insecure , egotist like Brown. A man who cannot openly talk with people of a different opinion and if history is true , even folk with a similar opinion. Who was rejected roundly by the great British public , yet here he is telling Westminster ( who represent all of that great British public ) what the agenda is.

    And the fools have taken the bait.

    They are agreeing to a debate ( a month long intense debate according to D Alexander) without even consulting the people of Scotland , far less the rest of Britain.

    What is also frightening is how duplicitous our media have been in promoting this and Gordon Brown / Labour.

    Democracy , what democracy ?

  37. The end of the prelude is high.

    • I prefer this version. BT, ScotLab and the 3 Stooges have all behaved as though they have been smoking something and come over all paranoid. Goodness knows what Prescott was on with his call for the abolition of the Scottish football team but they need to sober him up quick before he does the Yes campaign any more good.

  38. Error high= nigh

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