"facts are chiels that winna ding and canna be disputed"
January 2, 2015 3:07 AM   Subscribe

So the question of Why We Lost? is really why did 33% of the electorate who are Heart Yes vote Head No?
Gordon Guthrie on Scottish Independence: why we lost.
posted by MartinWisse (43 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
facts are chiels that winna ding and canna be disputed.

how true that is
posted by thelonius at 3:21 AM on January 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


He's right. 'Yes' never had good answers to the currency and banking questions.
posted by Urtylug at 3:43 AM on January 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


I think a lot of people had originally assumed that the supra-national framework of the EU would make reshaping the political geography of the UK easier. It could take away the issue of border controls, and if the euro had been universal it would have had the potential to remove the currency problem.

The news that leaving the UK probably meant leaving the EU, and that the EU was resolutely unsympathetic to independence, made it all far harder. You had to be extremely optimistic, extremely committed, or extremely indifferent to economics to vote that Scotland should risk being isolated as well as independent. In the circumstances "Yes" did remarkably well.
posted by Segundus at 3:51 AM on January 2, 2015 [7 favorites]


facts are chiels that winna ding and canna be disputed.

how true that is


Dinna greet, ye weans: whit's fur ye’ll no go past ye.
posted by Segundus at 4:04 AM on January 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


"facts are chiels that winna ding and canna be disputed"--could some please translate into standard UK or US English because "chiels" and "winna ding" just are not working for me. Other than that I thought it was a quite concise and objective assessment of the referendum--watched very closely by myself.
posted by rmhsinc at 4:45 AM on January 2, 2015 [1 favorite]




Poor chap seems to think that independence will be back on the agenda in four to five years.

Dinosaurs died over this. Salmond is no more. There can be no sensible attempt for thirty years - a political generation.
posted by Combat Wombat at 6:28 AM on January 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


If they can figure out the answers to the economy questions, and sort out the EU side of things, I'd guess they'd be able to get enough political capital to try again in maybe eight to ten years?

I agree that four to five years seems rather optimistic.
posted by YAMWAK at 6:38 AM on January 2, 2015


I was surprised and disappointed to see no mea culpa over the "No's" failure to put a case for Scottish economic independence. Are there no Scottish economists, then? It was handwaved away with "Tourism and North Sea oil!" This had two problems: (a) that might have worked when oil was $120 a barrel, but it's looking increasingly comical as the price of oil falls below that of Irn Bru; (b) Seriously? Your plan for Scotland is an economy based on landlords and a different sort of landlord?!
posted by Joe in Australia at 6:44 AM on January 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Clarity on continuity of membership of the European Union — in particularly with regard to the Eurozone would be helpful. But given that a number of European states have their own independence movements that clarity is likely to elude us

At some point the EU is going to have to figure this out, because there are a bunch of regional separatist/nationalist movements in Europe that mostly want to leave their current nation but stay in the EU, and while I can see the temptation of using the threat of losing EU access to keep the separatists from succeeding, I don't think that's going to work forever.

I didn't follow the Scottish campaign closely, but I had expected the vote to be closer than it was, and really was expecting it to tilt towards independence. I was surprised at how much the UK government was willing to promise in order to convince undecided voters, but it clearly worked.

As was said the author's timeline seems short, but the trend on this seems clear and that eventually there will be a tipping in the direction of independence. The biggest barriers seem like solvable issues given enough time, unless there is a big surge in internal migration of people from other parts of the UK into Scotland that further dilutes the nationalist vote.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:55 AM on January 2, 2015


45% isn't a bad result at all if you're a gradualist, the entire might of the british state was thrown at the yes campaign. I don't think the yes get out the vote effort was very good either - loads of people registered with no follow up.We could learn a lot from democrat gotv efforts.
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:33 AM on January 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


All the Scottish independence movement has to do is wait for the English to renege on their promises and people to notice. It should take about two years.
posted by srboisvert at 7:35 AM on January 2, 2015 [6 favorites]




Dinosaurs died over this. Salmond is no more. There can be no sensible attempt for thirty years - a political generation.

Actually, things seem to be playing out in Britain a lot like they did in Canada, where Quebec sovereignty (or the threat of separation) shaped our politics for at least 30 years, if not more, including two referendums - one in 1980, and one in 1994.

It has only been in 2014 that the Quebec sovereignty party really ceased to be a major force on the national stage in terms of seats in national Parliament.

In fact, in the leadup to the 1994 referendum (which was very similar to the Scottish referendum), the sovereigntist Bloc Quebecois (analogous to the SNP) was the Official Opposition in Canada:

In the 1993 federal election, the Bloc won 54 seats (out of 75) in Quebec, sweeping nearly all of the francophone ridings. Because the opposition vote in the rest of Canada was split between the Reform Party, the Progressive Conservative Party, and the New Democratic Party, the Bloc narrowly won the second largest number of seats in the House of Commons, and therefore became the official opposition.

The Reform Party of the era, by the way, shares many characteristics with UKIP, including a penchant for splintering the right-leaning vote.

So with Salmond looking to be elected to Westminster, and a very strong SNP showing in May, I would say that Britain is in for at least 5-10 years of talk of Scottish independence.
posted by Nevin at 7:41 AM on January 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


BBC: Thousands of Scots Face Bankruptcy in 2015.

This Illustrates the problem, theres half as many bankruptcies as in 2009 but here's the unionists throwing out a scary wee headline.

The UK has nothing of value to make its case apart from some scare stories and sooner or later, the effect wears off.
posted by sgt.serenity at 7:43 AM on January 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


All the Scottish independence movement has to do is wait for the English to renege on their promises and people to notice.

"The English" are not in a position to do any such thing. The UK government may, although it's extremely unlikely.

I was surprised at how much the UK government was willing to promise in order to convince undecided voters, but it clearly worked.

What promises? "The Vow" didn't have much effect on the polls, and didn't promise anything much more than a definite timetable for powers that were in the process of being transferred to the Scottish parliament anyway. The idea that there was some sort of last minute sop or bribe is rubbish.

the trend on this seems clear and that eventually there will be a tipping in the direction of independence

Why? The economic case - weak though it already was - has been fatally compromised by the collapse in oil prices (you may remember Mr Salmond making a "cautious estimate" that was twice the current price per barrel). Nothing else of substance has changed in their favour. Why might not Scottish nationalism fall into the same irrelevance as the Welsh or Cornish varieties?

internal migration of people from other parts of the UK into Scotland that further dilutes the nationalist vote

Careful, this was supposed to be about "civic nationalism" remember.
posted by sobarel at 8:54 AM on January 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


If we are trading year-end articles that sum up the referendum - and the aftermath - then I'd recommend Robin McAlpine's "So Far So Good. British Unionism’s Review of 2014".
posted by rongorongo at 8:56 AM on January 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Poor chap seems to think that independence will be back on the agenda in four to five years.
Dinosaurs died over this. Salmond is no more. There can be no sensible attempt for thirty years - a political generation.
posted by Combat Wombat at 2:28 PM on January 2 [1 favorite +] [!]

Ha ha. I did laugh at this, you obviously have no idea what is going on in my country. Independence is still very much on the agenda, Salmond is gearing up to hold sway in Westminster and the only dinosaurs which died over this were Scottish Labour, Brown and Darling. I give it until the end of the decade before Scotland is voting a majority decision on Independence again.
posted by Caskeum at 1:07 PM on January 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Wow - No mention of the collapse of oil prices and the undermining of SNP oil forecasts in that Medium piece ??

Also worth reemphasizing that the Yes campaign/SNP got the referendum on highly favourable terms - excluding all British citizen Scots not currently resident in Scotland (including those living short-term in the rest of the UK or in a foreign country) from the vote was huge for one thing.

"But the No campaign read their tea leaves, identified their core vote for the Union at about 40% and professionally and ruthlessly went about securing their victory." - this is absurd. The No campaign was widely and long criticized for being lacklustre, bumbling, and clueless and ultimately going into a complete panic. In contrast, the SNP Yes campaign was widely praised as being a smoothly-run, well-oiled professional machine.
posted by Bwithh at 1:25 PM on January 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wow - No mention of the collapse of oil prices and the undermining of SNP oil forecasts in that Medium piece ??

The SNP is and was fully aware of the volatility of oil prices and was at pains to note oil is a bonus to an economy that can survive perfectly well without it. The UK's failure to set up an oil fund for such shocks was raised continually. It's also worth noting Scotland would not be have been an independent country by 2015 anyway to be affected by the current manipulation of the oil market by the Saudis to screw with Iran and Russia. See also

Also worth reemphasizing that the Yes campaign/SNP got the referendum on highly favourable terms - excluding all British citizen Scots not currently resident in Scotland (including those living short-term in the rest of the UK or in a foreign country) from the vote was huge for one thing.

I fail to see why excluding Scottish people not resident in Scotland was favourable for the Yes campaign. Scots-born referendum voters overwhelmingly voted Yes. With their vote alone Scotland would now be independent as English-born resident voters voted three to one against.

"But the No campaign read their tea leaves, identified their core vote for the Union at about 40% and professionally and ruthlessly went about securing their victory." - this is absurd. The No campaign was widely and long criticized for being lacklustre, bumbling, and clueless and ultimately going into a complete panic. In contrast, the SNP Yes campaign was widely praised as being a smoothly-run, well-oiled professional machine.

The Yes campaign had a campaign that was bordering on the anarchic, a melting pot of wide and disparate grassroots organisations full of passion and enthusiasm and fully engaged on a huge number of issues, many of which conflicted but were discussed and debated throughout the campaign. To say the yes campaign was smoothly run and well-oiled is disingenuous, it simply had a strong and positive message that people from all walks of life could rally around through social media and on the ground activity. The No campaign had its mis-steps but benefited hugely from being 100% establishment driven with the full power of big business, Westminster, mainstream press and television and even the Queen herself weighing in. Under Blair Mcdougall they dictated everything that we could not have and would not get and will not happen if the Scottish people democratically decided to dissolve the union and did so relentlessly in the final weeks when it became clear that the Yes movement was gaining ground. See also
posted by Caskeum at 2:54 PM on January 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


internal migration of people from other parts of the UK into Scotland that further dilutes the nationalist vote

Hey you just reminded me! Years ago I met a man in Edinburgh who claimed to have run an experiment of sending fake CV's - half English, half Scottish-, to have found the English CV's were given precedence and it was a conspiracy to settle more English people in Scotland to dilute the nationalism, and that when he tried to go to the press his flat was raided by secret services under the "Official Secrets Act". I just.. I don't even.
posted by yoHighness at 4:10 PM on January 2, 2015


The last fortnight leading up to the referendum was both one of the most exciting and frightening periods of my life. I watched first-hand all the power and might of the British Establishment suddenly turn its attention to One Thing and Deciding to Do Something About That One Thing. I've never seen anything quite like it and I hope I never shall again. It was chilling.

For what it is worth, I live in Glasgow and most of the Xmas parties I attended were rife with political discussions. It's not over yet. Not at all.
posted by kariebookish at 4:49 PM on January 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


> "Scots-born referendum voters overwhelmingly voted Yes. With their vote alone Scotland would now be independent as English-born resident voters voted three to one against."

I'm not sure where you're getting the stats for that. From what I've read, about 49% of Scots-born referendum voters voted yes. While this is certainly much higher than those born in England, Wales or Northern Ireland (26%), and also higher than those born outside the UK altogether (41%), it was neither overwhelming nor would their vote alone have led to Scottish independence, although it certainly would have been a narrow loss. Here's a source with the stats.
posted by kyrademon at 5:01 PM on January 2, 2015


The SNP is and was fully aware of the volatility of oil prices and was at pains to note oil is a bonus to an economy that can survive perfectly well without it.

Oil makes up about 20% of Scotland's GDP - it's not a "bonus" to the economy but a major constituent. And of course the SNP is fully aware, but chose to paint an absurdly rosy picture of a post-Yes oil bonanza (c/o John Swinney) or Mr Salmond's "cautious estimate" of $113/barrel and rising (it's currently below $60/barrel).

a melting pot of wide and disparate grassroots organisations full of passion and enthusiasm and fully engaged on a huge number of issues, many of which conflicted but were discussed and debated throughout the campaign.

Even now that a bit of time has passed I've still not been able to reconcile this picture that Yes likes to paint of itself and the reality of the aggressively and cynically dishonest campaign that I witnessed. Even after a long time of watching politics and thinking myself a hardened cynic I found myself genuinely shocked by much of the Yes campaign. In a year run-through with the malevolent stupidity of George Osborne and Nigel Farage it takes quite something to get to the top of my Political Villain of 2014 poll, but Alex Salmond & Co. take the title with aplomb.

I despair at their introduction into British politics of a level of blatant dishonesty and contempt for reality that I'd thought was restricted to fans of quack medicine and the loopy Tea Party fringe in the US. I despair at the Wings / Bella hall of mirrors. I despair at the ease with which they've rebranded base nationalism as something progressive.

even the Queen herself weighing in

The Queen said she hoped people would "think carefully" before voting. I can certainly see why the Yes campaign would think this was biased against them.

Under Blair Mcdougall they dictated everything that we could not have and would not get and will not happen if the Scottish people democratically decided to dissolve the union

This is nonsensical. Blair McDougall was running a political campaign, how was he in a position to "dictate" anything?

in the final weeks when it became clear that the Yes movement was gaining ground.

There was one - one - poll that showed a small Yes lead, otherwise the polls had been solidly and consistently showing a decisive, but not massive, lead for No for months. Quite correctly as it turned out.

I'll also add that the final link you provide (the Buzzfeed one) is a truly appalling piece of journalism. The headline and sub-headings bear no relation at all to the remarks actually made by Mr McDougall and quoted in the article. It's an indefensible smear-job.
posted by sobarel at 5:16 PM on January 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


I despair at the Wings / Bella hall of mirrors.

I recall reading the Wee Blue Book and these websites on the issue of the sea border between England and Scotland, and it was some grassy knoll level conspiracy stuff. And then those videos with the freezeframe images of ballot papers...wow.
posted by Thing at 5:29 PM on January 2, 2015


I watched first-hand all the power and might of the British Establishment suddenly turn its attention to One Thing and Deciding to Do Something About That One Thing.

They had a wobble because of that dodgy poll and sent the party leaders for brief last-minute visits to Scotland. Ed Miliband walked around a shopping centre. If this is the best the Establishment can do then I don't think there's much to be concerned about.
posted by sobarel at 5:32 PM on January 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


It's frustrating having to address Sobarel's points as I've had arguments with people like him for most of the last two years and I'm tired of it. But just quickly...

Oil makes up about 20% of Scotland's GDP - it's not a "bonus" to the economy but a major constituent. If you exclude oil and gas revenues then GDP per head in Scotland was £20,571 in 2011 and for the UK it was £20,873 so our economy is as good as the rest of the UK even without it.

"the reality of the aggressively and cynically dishonest campaign that I witnessed." I can't even begin to tackle this. You obviously took your information from the media, I was in the thick of it and it was incredibly friendly, positive, passionate and high-minded. More than anything I'm proud of how the Yes campaign conducted itself. The fact that you're knee-jerking into tea Party references and conflating the Yes movement with evil Nationalism says it all really. You have no idea what you're talking about.

This is nonsensical. Blair McDougall was running a political campaign, how was he in a position to "dictate" anything?
I said UNDER Blair Mcdougall, they referring to the establishment driven No campaign.

The Queen said she hoped people would "think carefully" before voting. I can certainly see why the Yes campaign would think this was biased against them.
The Queen and the No campaign careful orchestrated her statement in the last days of the campaign, breaking protocol and inviting press to eavesdrop on a public conversation with the sole
intention of making her views clear, thus interfering in a democratic political process, something she is not supposed to do. See

There was one - one - poll that showed a small Yes lead, otherwise the polls had been solidly and consistently showing a decisive, but not massive, lead for No for months. Quite correctly as it turned out. There were several internal polls conducted by both sides that confirmed the shift in soft No voters and Undecideds. Hence the mass panic down south in the last few days.

I'll also add that the final link you provide (the Buzzfeed one) is a truly appalling piece of journalism. The headline and sub-headings bear no relation at all to the remarks actually made by Mr McDougall and quoted in the article. It's an indefensible smear-job.There are plenty other post-ref pieces which do nothing to contradict the Buzzfeed piece. He ran an odious campaign which thought nothing of cold-calling pensioners to tell them their pensions were at risk if they voted yes (a lie), belittle women in their ads and leak information from the supposedly impartial UK Treasury (which had a team working for the No campaign) to the press for political gains. They also broke Purdah and only then salvaged their win by changing the entire nature of the vote from a straight Yes / No to Yes / Devo Max.

I'm done here, everything that has happened since September 18th has shown the deception and flagrant abuse of power of Westminster and the associated No parties. No sooner had the No vote been announced than they began backtracking from promises and pushing their own agendas. But the Yes movement lives on, SNP memberships are through the roof, Labour is set to be decimated in Scotland and the Union, like it or not, is already broken. It's only a matter of time and I'll see Scottish independence in my lifetime, of that I am 100% certain.
posted by Caskeum at 1:17 AM on January 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm tired too. Almost everything you just said is nonsense, just the same old lame talking points from the nationalist echo chamber, but what's the point dissecting it? The Big Lie has been swallowed, epistemic closure has been achieved, useful idiots and true believers have been created and nurtured, and onwards the false narrative rolls.

The good news is that the majority of Scots - being not the gullible innumerate fools that the Yes strategy needed them to be - saw through the attempt at fraud that was made upon them. "Facts are chiels that winna ding" indeed.
posted by sobarel at 6:28 AM on January 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


The good news is that the majority of Scots - being not the gullible innumerate fools that the Yes strategy needed them to be - saw through the attempt at fraud that was made upon them.

We're certainly seeing through the fraud now, although perhaps not in the way you'd like to half-think.

YouGov: New Scottish independence poll puts Yes at 52%

Survation
I look forward to watching you eat you words very soon.
posted by Caskeum at 8:01 AM on January 3, 2015


Serious question: what makes you think that another referendum will be 'soon', Caskeum?

Reading your comments, I get the feeling that you don't believe that Westminster wants Scotland to be independent.

Without getting into the debate either way, my understanding is that there cannot be another referendum without Westminster approval. If they don't want an independent Scotland, all they need to do is say 'you've already had your referendum' and ignore requests for another one. They'd be able to do that for another decade at least; referendums are expensive, after all.

Merely having popular support for independence hasn't hastened it for many other unhappy groups in other EU countries.
posted by YAMWAK at 11:01 AM on January 3, 2015


Westminster categorically does not want an independent Scotland. Why? The first reason is that the Labour Party rely on Scottish MPs from their traditional heartlands to hold influence in the Commons chamber. The importance of this was reinforced by the fact that the No / Better Together campaign was spearheaded by various Labour Party grandees (Darling, Brown etc). Secondly without Scottish oil revenues the UK's financial centre, the City of London, and the wider UK economy would be substantially worse off. Thirdly, the UK's nuclear arsenal and Trident Submarine base is located 30 miles outside of Glasgow, our largest city, with independence and the SNP's front and centre policy of a nuclear free Scotland then it would have to be relocated to England, not a big vote winner down south. The Scottish economy also contributes greatly to the UK's especially things like whisky duty. Given how often the press trumpeted what a bunch of scroungers and over-subsidised parasites the Scots are one would think rUK would be happy to get shot of us, but the reality is that Scotland is vitally important to the UK.

Why do I think there will be another referendum soon? Because last year's referendum reawakened politics in Scotland. People are active, informed and 45% of us voted in favour of independence in the face of every threat the UK threw at at us (no use of our Sterling currency, businesses fleeing south of the border and all manner of other scare stories). All independence requires is a 5% swing and a significant percentage of No voters voted in that way because they were promised a whole heap of new devolved Devo Max powers in the last-minute "Vow", something that simply hasn't materialised. With the threat of the UK withdrawing from Europe if the Tories and UKIP succeed in May's general election, the Labour party's commitment to maintaining austerity measures and Westminster's continuing drift to the right then a left of centre Scotland will never be satisfied. The English Votes For English Laws debacle is further evidence of the demise of the union. Its worth noting that even now YouGov and Survation polls confirm this putting the desire for a new referendum past 52%.

The SNP is now the third largest political party in terms of membership in the UK and they look set to demolish the Labour Party in Scotland in both the upcoming Westminster and Holyrood elections and there is the distinct possibility that they could hold the balance in power down south by forming a coalition with Labour to keep the Tories out in 2015. Alex Salmond could be Deputy Prime Minister. Imagine that. With this sort of formal, ratified political standing in both parliaments then no Westminster permission would be required, the SNP would simply announce their intention to let the public vote again.

It's worth remembering that the binary Yes/No vote of September was not the SNP's preferred choice, a longer road to independence via Devo Max was always the preferred option but this was disallowed by Westminster (ironically until their panic set in at the last minute) so the current situation, in which we make our way towards being an independent country little more carefully is very welcome indeed.
posted by Caskeum at 2:55 AM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Thanks Caskeum, I hadn't considered the possibility of SNP being part of a coalition government - that would make Westminster politics rather interesting for a while, wouldn't it.
posted by YAMWAK at 4:44 AM on January 4, 2015


For those who support independence, one way of bringing it about is to climb up to the top of a hill with a flag and just declare it (Britain, in particular, has a long experience of having its former colonies do just that - the USA for example). The problem is that this only works for the declarators have a really strong level of popular support - and if the country they are declaring independence from is sufficiently OK about the proposal not to go to war over it. In Scotland the SNP have long been a niche group who could only dream about such a move. The referendum of 2014 has seen a surge in their support - but nowhere near to the levels that they require. Their strategy has therefore been - and I think remains - to play a long game: gradually get more powers devolved to them, demonstrate they can use these powers responsibly at home, show a spirit of independent action and aim for a point where independence would eventually become either the de-facto state or the clearly obvious answer in a referendum.
posted by rongorongo at 4:50 AM on January 4, 2015


Yes, I think war is probably not an immediate likelihood.

Actually, just working out what deal the nationalists would like is a key challenge. The one they've already got, slanted financially towards Scotland, with both over-representation in Westminster and a devolved government is kind of hard to improve. In the referendum campaign we saw Salmond apparently saying he wanted to keep a UK currency, run from London; he just didn't want Scotland to have any say in its management any more. That was a really weird thing to want, especially for a nationalist; I conjecture that he just genuinely couldn't devise a realistic arrangement that was better than the existing one.

It's entirely possible that if the vote had been 'yes', we'd be negotiating a form of independence that actually reduced Scottish power and made it more of a colony.
posted by Segundus at 9:50 AM on January 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Actually, just working out what deal the nationalists would like is a key challenge. The one they've already got, slanted financially towards Scotland, with both over-representation in Westminster and a devolved government is kind of hard to improve.

Not really. In the interim between now and full Independence then the Devo-max i.e full fiscal autonomy / fiscal federalism promised to us by Brown and Co would suffice meantime. We'd also take removal of nuclear weapons from Scottish soil, a veto on the UK leaving the EU and an end to UK austerity measures too.
posted by Caskeum at 2:56 PM on January 4, 2015


There's really not going to be another referendum for a generation. We're talking same distance as the previous one to this one (1979 to 2014) before it's really possible. Even in the unlikely event that the SNP are the sole party available to act as a coalition partner (so assuming that the Lib Dems, UKIP, the Northern Ireland parties, Plaid Cymru, etc don't get enough seats in a split that could work), it's just not something that the UK parties are going to agree to. What's the SNP's bargaining chip - to threaten to stand in a corner and shout "NO" at every policy that isn't tied to the promise of another referendum? That's a great way to show that you're a responsible party of government.

Apart from that, there's the questions which aren't asked or answered in the Medium piece (which Sobarel has mentioned above). The complete lack of any discussion of oil's volatility (along with the overly optimistic projections which the SNP suggested were pessimistic) is the most stand out, but there's other parts which seem to fall into the same have cake and eat it mentality that existed before the referendum. There's not a problem with clarity around the EU and the Euro with the currency - if a country joins the EU, they have to join the Eurozone. The UK has a lot of exemptions and opt outs from treaties, but a new independent Scotland would not necessarily inherit these. There's the impacts of the Euro, Schengen and the like to consider (loss of certain fiscal powers, impact on cross border relations with the UK). Then there's "we'll keep the nice bit of the banks, but break the rest off". Which is nice, but I don't really see the boards of RBS and LloydsTSB being overly enthusiastic about a proposal to slice off their retail arms, nor the government of another country being happy to take on banking liabilities without banking assets.

His premise for the % splitting of the population has problems for me as well. He has the electorate broken up as follows:

Yes At Any Cost - 23%
No Way — about 16ish % of the electorate who simply don’t regard themselves as Scottish in the sense of a state-people — cheerfully British politically — happily Scottish in a range of other ways
Heart Yes, Head Yes — another 20ish % of the electorate.
Heart Yes, Head No — about 33ish % of the electorate.
Non-Scots And New Scots — about 8ish % of the population who weren’t born here (predominantly English — approx 3 Nos to 1 Yes)


The first problem's that there's no source cited for these. I don't think I've ever seen the electorate broken out to varying degrees of Yes or No and "not born here" anywhere else. The other problem's that the grouping of Yes and No are not equal selections, and that he doesn't acknowledge this. The groups for both should be - unchangeable belief in X, emotional and logical belief in X, emotional belief in Y outweighed by logical belief in X, logical belief in X. His groupings assume that everyone's swayed one way or the other by their heart, and leaves out the last grouping altogether on either side. Goes on to say that there's a divide in the No vote between those who were logically and emotionally committed to the Union and those who voted for the Union on the basis that it was the logical thing to do despite an emotional belief in Independence, which didn't exist on the Yes side. Here's a question - did anyone hear of people who emotionally believed in the Union, but voted Yes because it was the logical thing for them to do? That divide isn't a problem on the No side, it's a glaring illustration of the failure of the Yes side to build a winning case for an Independent Scotland. The piece he quotes (PROF. ADAM TOMKINS - REFLECTIONS ON 2014) to illustrate his point actually expands on this (section titled "Why did we win?").



There's a couple of points from Caskeum I want to belatedly respond to.

"Ha ha. I did laugh at this, you obviously have no idea what is going on in my country. Independence is still very much on the agenda, Salmond is gearing up to hold sway in Westminster and the only dinosaurs which died over this were Scottish Labour, Brown and Darling. I give it until the end of the decade before Scotland is voting a majority decision on Independence again."
Either you really have no idea what is going on down here in the England, or you're sticking your head in the sand. There's a consensus that the question's done when it comes to Independence, and any politician that puts a re-run of the referendum above other issues is going to be running risks about how people see their priorities. Westminster is not going to pass another referendum bill any time soon.

"I fail to see why excluding Scottish people not resident in Scotland was favourable for the Yes campaign. Scots-born referendum voters overwhelmingly voted Yes. With their vote alone Scotland would now be independent as English-born resident voters voted three to one against. "
You live in England but have roots in Scotland, maybe you've got a house up there but you're having to rent in London for work. You don't have any issues with travelling between the two in terms of currency, borders, whatever, and you get the same rights and entitlements if you're visiting home as when you're in London. Your home country is voting to leave the UK, with the aim of adopting divergent policies to the rest of the UK. Why do you think these people would overwhelmingly vote Yes rather than No?

If you exclude oil and gas revenues then GDP per head in Scotland was £20,571 in 2011 and for the UK it was £20,873 so our economy is as good as the rest of the UK even without it.

Do these oil and gas revenues include a collapse in employment in the sector or not? I'm asking as someone who has friends in oil supporting industries which are seeing potential redundancies due to the falling oil price and the impact that that has on the viability of production in the North Sea.

I can't even begin to tackle this. You obviously took your information from the media, I was in the thick of it and it was incredibly friendly, positive, passionate and high-minded. More than anything I'm proud of how the Yes campaign conducted itself.
I'm with Sobarel on this, and I took my information from WingsOverScotland and the comments on other Yes sites (most of them weren't as abusive as WOS in the actual posts thankfully). 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, etc.

Not really. In the interim between now and full Independence then the Devo-max i.e full fiscal autonomy / fiscal federalism promised to us by Brown and Co would suffice meantime. We'd also take removal of nuclear weapons from Scottish soil, a veto on the UK leaving the EU and an end to UK austerity measures too.
Uh-huh. End to UK austerity measures? Cool, go for it. Just use the tax raising powers that have been in place since 2012.
posted by MattWPBS at 12:41 PM on January 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Same old wishful thinking, exaggeration and lack of evidence or facts from the Nats as was demonstrated during the campaign. Caskeum and people like him/her opine tediously in forums and think they are making an impact but the population are not that stupid. Given the choice, a majority said "No!".

Imagine that there had been a 1 vote majority in favour of independence. The Nats would have behaved as though this were a pronouncement from on-high and would have resisted any call for a rerun of the referendum, instead they are ignoring a 10% majority because it is inconvenient. This adequately demonstrates their repect for the democratic process.

The uncomfortable fact for the Nats is this: there was no solid economic case for independence, otherwise one would have been made. Nothing has changed, if anything the economic case is weaker. What we have is the same old Little-Scotlander blowhards making their coded anti-English arguments to each other.
posted by epo at 1:26 PM on January 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Thought experiments are adequate demonstrations now? Great! Imagine there had been a 1 vote majority in favour of independence. The Unionists would have behaved as thought this were a pronouncement from on-high and would have resisted any call for a rerun of the referendum, instead they are ignoring a 10% majority because it is inconvenient. This adequately demonstrates their repect for the democratic process.
posted by yoHighness at 3:45 AM on January 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Either you really have no idea what is going on down here in the England, or you're sticking your head in the sand. There's a consensus that the question's done when it comes to Independence, and any politician that puts a re-run of the referendum above other issues is going to be running risks about how people see their priorities. Westminster is not going to pass another referendum bill any time soon. It doesn't matter what's going on in England. The English have nothing to do with it. If Scotland decides another referendum is warranted it will happen with or without Westminster consent. The issue isn't going away although the push for Devo Max / Home Rule will take precedence over any push for a second ballot.

You live in England but have roots in Scotland, maybe you've got a house up there but you're having to rent in London for work. You don't have any issues with travelling between the two in terms of currency, borders, whatever, and you get the same rights and entitlements if you're visiting home as when you're in London. Your home country is voting to leave the UK, with the aim of adopting divergent policies to the rest of the UK. Why do you think these people would overwhelmingly vote Yes rather than No? Because Scots-born referendum voters overwhelmingly voted Yes. And if you have a house in Scotland then register to vote in Scotland and have your say.

Do these oil and gas revenues include a collapse in employment in the sector or not? I'm asking as someone who has friends in oil supporting industries which are seeing potential redundancies due to the falling oil price and the impact that that has on the viability of production in the North Sea. Of course the figures don't. The collapse of the oil industry is being drastically overplayed, even pro-Union oil baron Ian Wood has said so. A rough 18 months is ahead but if the UK had bothered to establish an oil fund this Saudi manipulation of the markets would not be an issue. The oil price will bounce back.

I'm with Sobarel on this, and I took my information from WingsOverScotland and the comments on other Yes sites (most of them weren't as abusive as WOS in the actual posts thankfully). I very much enjoy Stuart Campbell's WOS blog but he's an outspoken guy who doesn't mince his words. 99.9% of the time his invective is justified and directed at some genuinely despicable people. It's worth noting that WOS was not and is not the Yes movement, just an independent part of the discourse. To gain some perspective the read other bloggers like Bella Caledonia, Lallands Peat Worrier, National Collective, The Common Weal etc for a wider, more balanced overview of the debate.

Uh-huh. End to UK austerity measures? Cool, go for it. Just use the tax raising powers that have been in place since 2012. Extremely limited tax-raising powers, you can't manage an economy without having access to all the levers. Give us full fiscal autonomy, our oil revenues, no Trident costs etc and we can do something about it.

Same old wishful thinking, exaggeration and lack of evidence or facts from the Nats as was demonstrated during the campaign. Caskeum and people like him/her opine tediously in forums and think they are making an impact but the population are not that stupid. Given the choice, a majority said "No!". Same old, same old. 45% of the country who voted, voted Yes. That's not a decisive verdict especially under the massive duress the electorate was placed through threats and fear from the establishment. I was amazed the result was so high and current polling actually puts this figure higher. It's too late, independence is coming, the proverbial genie is well and truly out of the bottle. But by all means keep reductively stereotyping millions of people as one, unthinking, racist mass all blindly following the same unintellectual processes if it makes the issue easier to digest.

Imagine that there had been a 1 vote majority in favour of independence. The Nats would have behaved as though this were a pronouncement from on-high and would have resisted any call for a rerun of the referendum, instead they are ignoring a 10% majority because it is inconvenient. This adequately demonstrates their repect for the democratic process. A 10% majority that can be changed with just a 5% swing. Or with 5% of the 15% who couldn't/didn't vote doing voting yes. If the result had been 51%/49% I have no doubt there would be an outcry from Unionist voters, and rightly so. It would not have been a decisive result and I don't believe the SNP would have reacted as you claim. Even if they did the opposition from Unionists would be just as virulent and they would have a very good case to make. But we'll never know. Suffice to say the actual result is very troubling for Westminster, at the start of the campaign this is not a result they would have expected in their wildest dreams. If they knew this would have been the case then Alex Salmond's (and I believe most Scottish voters) preferred third option of Devo-Max would have been allowed on the ballot paper and we could have avoided all this vitriol.

The uncomfortable fact for the Nats is this: there was no solid economic case for independence, otherwise one would have been made. Nothing has changed, if anything the economic case is weaker. What we have is the same old Little-Scotlander blowhards making their coded anti-English arguments to each other. Well, your charming turn of phrase shows exactly where you're coming from. The campaign was never, ever, ever about anti-Englishness despite the No campaigns attempts to tar us with the nationalist, racist brush. This was and is about removing ourselves from the right-wing, war-mongering, big-business serving, corrupt, child-abusing institution that is Westminster. Nothing more, nothing less. But then it's easier for you to bang on about Aluxsammin, CyberNats and English hating while ignoring the fact 45% of us were prepared to take that "economic basket case" risk in the face of being told we'd have no access to the very currency and infrastructure we've supposedly been equal partner in building here in the UK for centuries. Almost half of us would have risked our pensions, houses, jobs and children's futures for a chance to go it alone and try to build a better society, free from nuclear weapons and illegal wars. Every major political party in the UK was against us, all the newspapers bar one took a pro-union stance, the Treasury, banks and businesses backed the lies, spin and fear stories and even the Queen played her part in the battle. And we still almost succeeded. Incredible. It must stick in the craw of many that despite losing we have actually won.
posted by Caskeum at 2:45 AM on January 12, 2015


> "Because Scots-born referendum voters overwhelmingly voted Yes."

This isn't true. Why do you keep saying it?
posted by kyrademon at 2:40 PM on January 12, 2015


(I mean, it doesn't even make mathematical sense. 83% of the people living Scotland were born in Scotland. Considering the statistics on how the other 17% voted, it would only have taken about 53.5% of Scots-born referendum voters to carry a Yes vote. If an "overwhelming majority" of Scots-born referendum voters had voted Yes, then Scotland would be independent. And while that does mean that a small majority of them could have theoretically voted Yes and still lost, that isn't even what happened. In fact, the math shows that a small but real majority of Scots-born voters voted No.)
posted by kyrademon at 5:16 PM on January 12, 2015


Poor choice of words to use 'overwhelmingly' on its own, should have been clarified as being in comparison with rUK born residents. YouGov polls showed only 26% of those who were born in England, Wales or Northern Ireland voted Yes compared to 51%+ amongst those born in Scotland and 41% who were born outside the UK. YouGov found those who were born elsewhere in the UK were far less likely to vote Yes. Ipsos Mori found that 88% of those who said they were Scottish and not British voted Yes, compared to 9% of those who said they were ‘More British than Scottish’ and 13% of those who said they were British and not Scottish. Etc.
posted by Caskeum at 1:55 AM on January 13, 2015


> "... compared to 51%+ amongst those born in Scotland ..."

49%, according to the polling you are referring to.
posted by kyrademon at 3:16 AM on January 13, 2015


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