2007 - 2021

Just say No #noway

Alistair Darling

I am not a No voter as I live in England but I have followed the debate closely and would have voted No.

From comments I have seen on your site and WOS since the referendum I think Yes campaigners still struggle to understand why the vote was lost. What has happened over the last 3 months does not really affect the true picture behind the vote.  Oil down, Vow not what some thought it was, MOD negotiating on shipping procurement etc.. does not make much difference.  If you look at the surveys about 25% of voters consider themselves British first so are unlikely to ever vote Yes so the question is why the other 30% voted No.  I believe the majority of these 30% voted No because they thought they would be worse off in an independent Scotland than in the UK.

These Scottish No voters probably have jobs in the financial services industry or one of the many service businesses (restaurants, taxi drivers, printers, designers etc.)  that rely upon the financial services industry.  The banks were not lying when they said they would relocate if Scotland became independent.  Whilst they might have said no immediate job losses, people knew that the writing was on the wall and that independence would have a severe negative effect on the Scottish economy for many years as this industry contracted and partially relocated to rUK.  This relocation of the banks etc is something that the Yes campaign is still not recognising or seeking to address.

To win the vote at the next referendum Scotland needs to re-balance its economy away from financial services so that when it votes to cut its ties with rUK and the Bank of England it is not severely negatively affected.  Nicola Sturgeon should perhaps be actively encouraging RBS, Lloyds etc to relocate now to get the process going.

The Yes campaign did not win the argument about the economy and it needs to before it can win a referendum.

Comments (72)

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  1. John Page says:

    Thank you, James for this piece which provides analysis worthy of thought as well as a longer term solution

    1. sarah says:

      Agree, we have family members employed in banking, and they had no doubt they would lose their jobs, their employers made it clear that the jobs would be moved out of Scotland.

      So they feared to vote Yes (although sharing the SNPs stance on Trident and a just society), as they have families and mortgages and their chances of finding alternative employment in Scotland are nil.

      1. I hope they don’t work for Lloyds (cutting 9000 jobs after the No vote) or the Clydesdale (NAB pulling out of the UK) because what they feared is happening anyway.

  2. Will McEwan says:

    John. The Scottish economy is just fine and far better balanced that the UK one but you are accurate to say we didn’t win the economic argument.
    Had the Scots been confident that Scotland is comfortably self supporting we would have won easily. They were not confident of that because the whole media lied and suggested otherwise. The whole Better Together campaign was based on a simple implication that Scotland was dependent on UK subsidy and pensioners for instance were targetted on their pensions etc.etc etc
    We now have the time to make sure every Scot is able to make a valued judgement at the next oppotunity because they know the actual position.
    This is (and always has been though we haven’t been aware enough of it) by far the most important battle we have to engage in.

  3. DC says:

    One of the principle issues in the campaign, and a criticism of the Smith Commission proposals, is that the Scottish parliament lacks the power to influence its economy – or orientate it away from services towards a more diverse economy. In other words the argument presented here could only be addressed by independence unless the UK ceded all fiscal powers under a devo-max settlement. This piece therefore is as much a damming critique of the UK economic structure as it is of the independence argument.

    1. Anton says:

      Er, no, if an independent Scotland continued to use the pound, it would have to concede fiscal policy to rUK. Devo-max would not work. See, for example, an admittedly strongly-worded analysis here:


      The only way for an independent Scotland to control its own fiscal policy would be to have its own currency. (An option I support, btw.)

  4. Peter A Bell says:

    No bank said it would relocate in the event of independence. A lie remains a lie even if you are gullible enough to believe it.

    1. Anton says:

      It’s true that no bank said it would definitely relocate in the event of independence. That’s simply because the Scottish Government never adequately explained how it would address the currency question, and the banks were unable to express a formal view about policies which were unclear, to say the least.

      However, the banks knew, as did everybody else, that what appeared to be the Scottish Government view (though notoriously the point was constantly evaded by Salmon, Sturgeon, et al) that its advocacy of sterlingisation in the absence of currency union was always batshit insane and would certainly force them to relocate.

  5. Barontorc says:

    How many hurdles are these NO folk going to put up to avoid the unshakeable truth that Scotland is in an imbalanced union and is being kept inside that union for the other party’s benefit only.

    Don’t put hurdles in my way if I see an independent future as being better than what I’ve got now. Don’t lie to me and my people to keep us in your cosy wee scheme as you milk us dry.

    Sure there are forces against independence that cause fear for jobs and whatever scam they can think up and they sooner they clear off the better we will all be in the long run and I know the SNP / SG never at any stage lied to it’s people.

    What we got was spin and distortion from the UK-ists that tried to make lies out of it and when that wasn’t working there were outright lies from Brown and Darling and Milliband and Clegg and Cameron and Murphy the BBC and their unspeakable media as they waged a propaganda war on Scots to vote NO.

    The jury is still out as far as I’m concerned on the Electoral Commission and voting fraud too and that ain’t gonna go away anytime soon no matter how many want to ‘move on’.

    1. James Greer says:

      Well said Barontorc. Could not have put it better myself. The author of the article seems to miss the part that the VOW played in the vote. What we were promised was near federalism/home rule and what we have received is the Smith Commission – and by the way what colour of road signs would you like!!!

      1. Patrick says:

        Where does this mention near federalism, home rule or road signs? Always worth checking primary sources, rather than repeating secondary opinion:

      2. Patrick,

        You seem to have a short memory – we, however, do not.

        I would recommend you read the first chapter of G.A. Ponsonby’s most excellent upcoming book…

        “How the BBC Stole the Referendum”.


        I think you will find what you require there – the vows, devomax, Devo super max, home rule, greater power, etc,etc. may by all the usual suspects.

        It is quite astounding to see the scale of the deception in the weeks running up to the referendum when all summarised in one place. I still find it difficult to fully comprehend the role of the “impartial” BBC in all this.

        After you have read it – can you please come back and apologise to Barontorc and James Greer.

        Also, if you would like to fund G.A. to complete his important work, there is a indygogo link…


      3. Patrick says:

        In response to the posts below. Hoss – I wasn’t responding to Barontorc, so no need to apologise to him. I’ll offer a half-hearted apology to James Greer, as his comment seems fairly light-hearted, and I didn’t respond in the same spirit. I’ve skimmed through Ponsonby’s chapter, and frankly it doesn’t alter my point below one bit: the actual Vow did not actually offer very much and doesn’t mention devo max or federalism (unless there’s more of it inside, as I admit I’ve only seen the cover). The BBC report cited by Ponsonby quotes accurately from the Record. Darling doesn’t say anything in his response to Bird’s question, that’s just classic lawyer/politician-avoiding-the-question mode, which they all do, all the time. Ponsonby’s quotation – “Yeh, when I launched our campaign… [Darling then meanders into campaign speak.]” – is pretty weak stuff, and the implication that the “yeh [verbal tic]” is a “Yes” is unconvincing. Everything Darling says, “stronger powers” etc. is consistent with the Record and even the (admittedly disappointing) Smith Commission. His mention of federalism at the end is pretty sly, but he doesn’t actually say that he’s offering it – he says that on certain policy areas, they are offering more control than many federal states have.

        But I’m not here to defend the BBC, because at no point did I suggest that they weren’t biased. I am astounded by the level of hurt and surprise expressed by Yessers about the BBC’s role, and can only conclude that they were either extremely naive, or are expressing mock outrage to further their political objectives. The BBC is a pillar of the British establishment – what the hell did you expect? The clue’s in its name. I generally think the BBC does an ok job from day to day, but at particular times it always switches into state broadcaster mode – royal deaths and babies, dubious wars, national tragedies etc. Of course it was biased, although for the most part I think the bias exhibited by individual reporters reflected more of an ingrained institutional/cultural bias than an evil machiavellian plan. Which isn’t to say that there wasn’t some of that going on too, particularly towards the end; Ponsonby has some convincing points. But the BBC had absolutely no authority to promise anyone any kind of Devo Max.

        (On a slight tangent, Yes supporters seem to conveniently forget that while they didn’t have the media on their side, they did have the full weight of the Scottish Government behind them, which has to count for something. The David and Goliath stuff is an exaggeration.)

        Where I think Yes supporters have a more legitimate grievance is in the role of Gordon Brown. The official line is that Brown went rogue and started shooting his mouth off with no authority to do so or to back up his promises, and that Darling, BT and the party leaders were annoyed with him for talking about near-federalism without consulting them first. It wouldn’t surprise me if this turns out to have been a fiendish plot to get those ideas out there without having to follow through on them, and if that turns out to be the case, then you have a right to be outraged.

        But to return to my original point – the ‘Vow’, as it appeared in the Record, makes no reference to Devo Max or Federalism.

    2. maxi kerr says:

      Well said Baron,point made.

  6. Jim Bennett says:

    Much better article than the other sneering one. Good points made.

  7. Alan says:

    Yep, of the three articles I’ve read on why people voted no it’s perhaps ironic that the most well thought out and considered is from the person that didn’t have a vote. I would actually agree with you on some counts, there were problems in scotland’s economy that would have provided road blocks.

    I was optimistic that these things could have been sorted out, and quite frankly I allowed economic issues to take a back seat to issues of social justice, right of self-determination, and of course the feel that a scottish economy properly organised could be prosperous but you are well within your rights, and probably correct, to say it would have taken time to reach this point.

    I suppose now we fall in difficult territory and it depends on whether you fundamentally believe an independent scotland should be aimed for or not. If so then yes, Scotland should be given a drip feed of extra powers and the move to independence should be facilitated in increments, if not we get to a bit of a catch 22 situation. However, that’s not really you’re fight I guess (and you’ve made no indication it would be), Good comments on the whole

    1. maxi kerr says:

      Alan,independence would free up Scotland and the rest would take care of itself.

  8. Sandra Stewart says:

    The author is right as a Yes voter I don’t and probably never will understand those who voted No. I do understand my own beliefs, values and my frame of reference and I will continue to push for an independent Scotland.

  9. macart763 says:

    And how do you propose we rebalance the economy away from financial services without the economic levers to do so?

    Surely the whole point of complete self governance was that we would have those powers. The power to create our own economic model. To create our own tax system, our own incentives to industry etc. Bit difficult to do that without controlling all of the economy really.

    1. James says:

      I am not proposing solutions just setting out the problem. I do however doubt that new tax systems and incentives are the panacea some see them to be. Holyrood can already use its devolved powers over business rates to encourage business creation in preferred sectors. If the Scottish government put its back behind this it could achieve a great deal within the current and proposed devolved framework.

      1. macart763 says:

        “Holyrood can already use its devolved powers over business rates to encourage business creation in preferred sectors.”

        And this they have done to good effect, but real economic control comes from full control of resource, tax and spend. Without those levers you are left with managing from a budget with only peripheral control of legislation. The ability to alter a country’s legislation to suit its requirements is where the real meat lies. Without it, you’re only playing at government.

    2. Dean Richardson says:

      Of course, Westminster will never allow any devolved legislature the economic levers to rebalance, diversify and strengthen its own economy. In Scotland’s case, the British ruling classes are more than happy that such a large proportion of Scotland’s eggs is in one basket, one marked ‘financial services’. They want the Scots to perceive themselves as being unable to do anything beyond the fossil fuel and financial service industries.

  10. Peter Dodge says:

    Mr Boatman, your article is considered in my opinion to have significant merits but lies seriously wanting in some of its identification of the referendum voter profile.
    If you wish some assistance in trying to analyse the spectrum of identifiable bodies who comprised the No vote I can provide an insight to a close island community which to a greater or lesser extent mirrors Scotland in general.
    A general look at those groupings which voted by over 80% No, finds pensioners over the age of seventy and those who have moved here from England.
    Moving to the over 70% No, you encounter those over the age of 40 who are bachelors, spinsters and childless plus those who actively participate in unionist politics.
    The 60% No voters comprised women over the age of 35, a % which was almost identical to that of the women under the age of 35 who voted Yes.
    Other than for those individuals for whom self interest was a major concern, economics was barely an issue during the campaign.
    With respect to the small business voters it may surprise you to learn that they comprise a significant proportion of the Yes vote.
    By now, from the foregoing, I am sure you will have appraised the reality which exists in Scotland. Basically the No vote is rapidly dying out, whilst being substituted by an active Yes vote.
    Post referendum, it was concluded that natural wastage will see Yes in the majority inside eight years. However, recent interpretation now sees this timespan considerably shortened.

    1. Jim Daly says:

      Peter, can I ask what is your source.

      1. Peter Dodge says:

        Jim, my island home is occupied by over 20,000 folk of whom I will be acquainted with roughly 50% from absolutely all walks of life.
        As a political activist for several decades, I, in conjunction with campaigning colleagues constantly monitor the pulse of the various sectors of our community. When you have very extensive business and community interests plus an exceptionally large extended family this is comparatively easy as compared to those attempting a similar analysis in a less static urban context.
        Unfortunately, the post referendum statistics bore an all too similar pattern to that predicted with the exception of a significantly higher percentage of young girls/ladies voting Yes than had been anticipated. In respect of the latter aspect, what I found and continue to find gratifying is that the young lasses have been greatly influenced by an expanding group of exceptionally able girls. It is truly inspiring to see the impact that these well educated bairns are having on their contemporaries and their mothers. As to their Grannies, their fear of any change is only matched by their apathy and liberalism.

  11. Staggie says:

    The banks only said they would move their registered office. This is basically the brass plaque. No staff and no assets move because of it. They were telling the truth. it’s just the No campaign and those who failed to challenge them who were peddling the myth of banks leaving.

  12. Doug D says:

    This is an article which I read as in support of Devo Max to ease the economic transition to independence. Currently for many independence seems (or seemed) like a radical choice, but more devolution and a rebalancing of the economy would make it less so in the future.

  13. John C says:

    John, I do share some of your views even though I voted Yes, and would have done in any referendum, but you are correct that the Yes campaign did not convince the undecided voters about plans for the future economy of an independant Scotland and so did not win the economic argument.

    A lot of that failure was of course down to the approach of “Project Fear” and the combined spin and downright lies of the concerted establishment media campaign but that does not absolve the Yes campaign of the failure to present a clear and strong enough case regarding the future economy of our independant country to convince the undecided voter.

    So, at the moment all we can now do is hope that this valuable lesson has been well learned and that in the next indyref campaign, and there is no doubt there will be one, the economic case for an independant Scotland is clearly, and strongly, stated at the outset rather than from the back foot later in the campaign.

    I do however disagree with your general assessment of the Scottish economy.

    Yes, we do have a strong financial sector but unlike the UK economy as a whole we are not so dependant on that sector of the economy that our entire economy grows or declines as a result of its actions. Indeed in comparison with the UK economy the Scottish economic structure is much more varied and diverse which may be the reason we are doing relatively better in the post financial crisis than the UK as a whole notwithstanding our strong financial sector. That has been achieved in spite of the Scottish Government not having any real power to influence or assist with growing our economy. Just imagine then what we could do if we were fully independent.

  14. Steve Bowers says:

    It’s been really interesting reading the 3 “no” voters thoughts. this one seems the most thought out and reasoned, unfortunately he seems to have bought into the MSM spin, can I ask James how you view the BBC spinning Jim Murphy at the moment, I for one can’t believe that labour voters can’t see the wool for the sheep

  15. Gordie McRobert says:

    Fair commentary. Interesting point about size of financial sector. There’s more to independence than money of course. That said, to propose to share a currency with a state that is opposed to our existence does not sound credible to me, arguments for it don’t trump that. More work needs done on Central bank and own currency.

  16. I think there is a lot of conjecture from James. He doesn,t understand that we are a different nation altogether. Voting labour to keep the tories out has been the mantra in Scotland for years, when in fact only once has the Scottish vote helped to elect labour. I, for one, am sick and tired of wasting my vote. We now have a chance of getting represented in Westminster by voting for independent parties, especially the SNP, with their membership swelling to nearly 100,000. James just doesn,t get the feelings of the Scottish people, We have a chance to decide our own destiny. roll on 7th. May. alba gu brath

  17. Scott Egner says:

    The uk economy as a whole is the most overleveraged except for japan. Since the 80s the post war economy has been destroyed and replaced with one of financial speculation and people are still of the belief that the city of London provides. We still mistake debt for prosperity and watching mark carney today ‘encouraged’ that more people are going to go further into debt to buy ever more expensive properties, fills me with despair.

    The uk is a so called capitalist country with very little capital, save for the North Sea.

    1. Steve Bowers says:

      How strange, I put a different slant on Mark Carney, I thought he was just prepping us for the massive crash coming next year, it kinda leaves him in the clear cos he can say ” told you so”

  18. dcanmore says:

    “I believe the majority of these 30% voted No because they thought they would be worse off in an independent Scotland than in the UK.” —-

    Regardless of what else the author has said, this comment is exactly what I posted in 2012. It was always going to go down to money in people’s pockets to swing it, I’ve worked long enough with ordinary people in my life to see their fears, and they mostly manifest in having no money that determines their decisions in life. It is sad but true. Too many people with very little but ‘comfortable’ were feart and that is it. Scotland the Brave is a myth I’ve seen proved over and over.

    The YES campaign couldn’t overcome the fear being peddled over money, jobs and the economy by Westminster, their press pals and others. We know most of it was lies, but it didn’t take much of it to persuade people they might lose a £1 if they voted YES. Against the weight of the British State and their friends the figure of 45% for independence is truly astonishing

    The referendum was a much needed wake up call in Scotland. It revealed so much about ourselves and the society we have that for so long was hidden under a shortbread tin. Remarkably the referendum has galvanised the independence movement leaving the hardcore NOs with their heads in the sand, what has flourished during the campaign and since September with more to come is exciting. The independence movement is now an immovable block and will only grow and be more influencial helped by an increasingly distant Westminster.

    1. Very impressive, dcanmore…thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  19. Bothy Basher says:


    Do you see the hideous irony that you are talking about the importance of the financial sector when they’re the ones who are taking us all to the cleaners?

    This lot are the enemy within and Tories and New Labour are the enemy without. Do I think it would be paradise in an independent Scotland? Not at all but we could hold these fraudster banksters to more account.

    We used to make and sell things but now a few shift money around, leaving others to pick up tiny wages in so called ‘service industries’ – shelf stacking.

    .S. Egner above has good points..

  20. John McGeown says:

    James I would live in a cave and eat grass to survive if I could do it in an independent Scotland. Over the years people have been given enough rope to hang themselves and are scared of any change to a lifestyle that brings them cars, holidays, bought houses and the latest technology etc. In debt and mortgaged up to their eyeballs they are afraid to be unwell or miss a day at work for fear of losing what they think they have. What they do not have is a “life”. Every day is dominated by fear and Westminster used that fear to the maximum in their campaign. The reason most people voted for independence was to start the creation of a fairer and just society for all who live here. Politics and economics are important factors but the most important factor, in my humble opinion, is the distribution of the wealth and the health, prosperity and well being of all the citizens of a country and not the select few born into wealth and privilege

    1. Michael Housman says:

      Well said John.

  21. Robert McClair says:

    I’ve no wish to be rude, but your analysis is simplistic in the extreme. To pronounce that 25% voted NO, and therefore will always do so is risible…..as it suggests that no one who voted Tory back in the 1960’s wouldn’t do otherwise….which is demonstrably NOT the case, as election after election since has seen what was a tory MAJORITY in the scottish votes back then evaporate to the extent where they can hardly get anyone elected anywhere in the land….SO……don’t be so dismissive that self determination cannot be achieved and in the VERY near future when, and it’s a statistical fact that it would only take one voter in every twenty to change side and independence would be a reality…..and remember that, with the SNP now emerging ( post a “defeat”) post September with a party now with SEVEN TIMES…..and perhaps more…..than the Scottish Labour party who, not so many years ago, could send FIFTY MP’s to Westminster ……and with the SNP now being ( easily) the third largest UK political party….larger than UKIP and the LibDems COMBINED……and rapidly catching the others despite only drawing support from within Scotland. Indeed, were you to prorata such memberships to a british equivalent, the SNP can ALREADY be considered, on that pro rata basis , as being FIVE times larger than either of the Westminster “big two”.
    The whole constitutional issue is, far from being settled and the zYES vote discarded in a lost cause, even THE most cursory examination of the momentum in both scottish and UK politics at this time, reveals that the all-important momentum in politics isn’t with UKIP as the southern press would tell it but, without any question or doubt, that title lies with the SNP, with the only other forward momentum going to the greens.
    It’s often the case that politics must be played as a long game, and its something the SNP has subscribed to these many years, but self-determination( which is NOTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH CHAVINISM OR ANTI-ENGLISHNESS AND THE LIKE) is a condition whose time has come and, as people’s individual fear of change assuages, the growing understanding that, for any democratic nation state, self-determination is the natural state of things, rather than being the numerically weak partner enjoined to a political system ( and even a building) that was the root of the larger nation’s institution’s ( like Church of England bishops) being an integral, and unelected hand on laws that are regularly passed by those whose interests and very existence certainly aren’t based on what the “north brits” opine. Why would they?
    A new era is just around the corner, only the start-up date has yet to be determined…………….think it through……..and BE PART OF IT.

  22. IN my opinion, the real reason we did not win the referendum is quite simple, the one-sidedness of the media. If YES did not win the economic argument then it is quite simply because the media had full control over what people heard. The opportunity was there for in-depth exploration of the issues surrounding Soctland’s problems and the opportunities which Independence would have brought, however this just did not happen because the media worked as a block, in more ways than one.

    I agree with someone above who said, in light of this, 45% was an amazing result. People are gently and slowly becoming aware of the media lies and spin now, so, the trust is being broken which is good for next time.

    1. John McGeown says:

      Definitely a major factor. School pupils in my area were only allowed to access websites associated with the Better Together campaign due to the local council leader and his cohorts being avid “No” campaigners for the sake of their own skins.

      Fortunately the younger generation are mostly computer literate and had the ability to remedy the bias shown by our council

      Many of the older generation had, in the past, been totally reliant on the Beeb for their world news and they thought of it as the best in the world because they were brought up with it. Their reputation was renowned and revered the world over in the days of the “good old Empire”. It was inconceivable to many of the older generation that the BBC, the press and the labour party in Scotland would lie through their teeth and use scare tactics to win them over.

      Sadly many of our older people were brought up to respect any and all authority and don their cap to school teachers, local dignitaries, foremen, managers etc. in the workplace and the like regardless of how they were treated by them

      Nothing wrong with being good mannered and courteous but people in those bygone days were cowed into believing they were inferior to the ruling classes. People of certain professions such as doctors, lawyers, policemen etc. could not be telling us anything other than the truth!

      Some of our so called “Pillars of society” deserve little or no respect from anyone. There are more thieves, liars and god knows what else walking the corridors of power in this union and we are the only people who can change things.

      WE ARE MAJORITY……..They are the MINORITY !!

      1. Bothy Basher says:

        ”Fortunately the younger generation are mostly computer literate…..Many of the older generation had, in the past, been totally reliant on the Beeb….Sadly many of our older people were brought up to respect any and all authority…….It was inconceivable to many of the older generation ….people in those bygone days were cowed into believing they were inferior to the ruling classes…”

        Your long list of unsupported generalisations and stereotyping does your argument no credit at all.

      2. John McGeown says:

        I was born in the 50’s and raised by parents who donned their cap at authority, a father who refuses to believe that the labour party are nothing other than the saviours of the working classes and still does to this day. A man of 85 years who donned his cap to officials and called them sir or madam. He also believes the BBC to be the finest of its kind.

        I worked for 30 odd years in heavy industry where people where bashed and browbeaten by their employers into working in the most dirty and unhygienic conditions you could imagine. Conditions that could have been largely avoided if employers were made to buy and distribute the proper safety equipment.

        I raised a family through the Thatcher years and the successive red Tories in Blair and Brown. I am not generalising. I have lived and experienced the things I talk about.

        I am not naïve enough to think that independence will change everything overnight. I know it will be a struggle. But the people of this country, especially many of the older generations, have been brainwashed by the mainstream press and media

      3. Bothy Basher says:

        Yes John but your personal history is no basis for a raft of derogatory generalisations on society, unsupported by any evidence.

        Because your parents doffed their caps for authority doesn’t mean that most people do. I do understand that your family situation makes you critical of most older people, but I reject that view.

  23. Darien says:

    So Scots sold their nationhood for a bank? Again? Would you credit it? Deja vu.

    1. Bothy Basher says:

      Yes, like the Darien scheme!!!

  24. Clootie says:

    Good luck with the fishing.

  25. junius45 says:

    The online media such as Bella, are largely responsible for the magnificent 45% vote. The Unionists controlled the Press & BBC. True we had Mc Whirter & Co with thought-provoking articles in the broadsheets but who reads the broadsheets? certainly not me any longer after 35 or so years.
    I think the result reflected the fact that those optimists with a bit of go, whose glass is half full, were outnumbered, for now, by skinflints whose glass is half empty.
    Demographics will sort this problem out, the crematorium inevitably beckons. “Ask not for whom the bell tolls”. Absolutely shocking the price of funerals by the way.
    The referendum was just the trial run.

  26. Iain Donald says:

    There were plenty of pro Yes activists stating that Scotland could increase manufacturing and rely less on financial services. Inf act there were plenty stating it was an absolute requirement. The referendum was lost because of lies and scare stories. Labour calling pensioners telling them they would lose their pensions if they voted yes.

    The Yes campaign was definitely weak in areas and I was frustrated at that but i do not believe that is what lost the referendum. Had it truly been a fair campaign, Yes would have won IMO.

  27. Iam Scott says:

    You right that 30% voted no partly because of stories of banks and insurance companies leaving.

    But these were just part of the scare stories told by “Project Fear”.

    Quite frankly I would be quite happy to see the banks leave and replaced by a nationalised Scottish Bank that issues our own currency.

    Thanks to continued deregulation from Thatcher onwards, they now have a stranglehold on the whole UK economy that is detrimental to democracy and every ordinary voter in the UK.

  28. Fay Kennedy. says:

    The media were the culprits in defeating the Yes campaign. Their power and influence is endangering our lives. The so called terrorist siege in Sydney another example. They are putting our lives at risk with their poison. You are very fortunate to have Bella and other alternative media in Scotland. I depend upon these sites to keep me informed but more importantly inspired.

  29. Grant says:

    “The Yes campaign did not win the argument about the economy and it needs to before it can win a referendum.”
    With 1.5 trillion in debt, the No campaign certainly did not with the economy argument.

  30. Scott Egner says:

    Grant, I think people associated more pain leaving the uk than staying in it. Until that changes people will be opt to stay. Human nature I guess.

    It will be difficult to wake people up from their trance. The city of London (the establishment) has a very powerful PR machine, primarily because it can print money.

    We are like the proverbial frog in boiling water, the FTSE looks ok so things must be good. Never mind that the PE ratios are ridiculously pumped up by central banks which are run by private bankers. Never mind that wealth is being drained from your pocket as we speak due to zero interest rates and exponential money printing – basic financial repression.

    People still see rising house prices as sign of the good times (cheered on by economically illiterate media). Basically the uk economy is growing purely because individuals are taking on more private debt, all whilst salaries fall. This of course is encouraged by whatever government holds power on behalf of the city.

    When it falls apart the tax payer underwrites the elites. The banking system hasn’t been reformed simply because the same people run the country regardless of whatever government holds the seat of power.

    We’re getting back to 2007 levels of private debt and our salaries are even lower. Take from that what you will…..

    So we either out-PR the establishment or people have to feel more pain before they will change their mindset.

  31. stilbury says:

    I think this is a fair and sensible analysis, and I agree with the author’s conclusions that we need to start now to prepare for independence in the future.

  32. Angus MacRury says:

    Among the reasons that the vote was narrowly (and it was only a 5% swing) for no was because of a media onslaught and constant negativity where the better together position was almost permanently posited as one for the Yes campaign to be on the back foot on whether in screaming headlines or aggressive media interviewers with the ‘extras’ from the union carping on and on in the background.

    The ‘no currency union’ was delivered as a strap on to be constantly pressing into the backside of Scotland having any currency all of which were constantly ridiculed by people like Darling given excess time to repeat their claims, and the currency union announcement was only made in the last seven months before the vote precisely to create a harping on rhetoric that actually very nearly came close to backfiring.

    i think the rather short and simple article is ok, but it doesn’t come close to taking into account how much unproven innuendo based negativity constantly reported in hysterical ways lost us the Yes vote which is why there is a dirty taste in the mouth of both Yes AND no voters, many of whom were swung at the last minute by the vow and the bumped up threat level over these pathetic weasel announcements from banks and supermarkets who simply mouthed off what the red tories and blue tories told them to say.

    The only way to be able to say ‘lesson learned’ is to not just poll as getting rid of labour in May 2015 in Scotland but to actually DO it!

  33. ian says:

    I no longer live in scotland having left nearly six years ago and.like probably many of you on this site i voted in the seventies for the very same thing,independence from the Union.The next four decades we slept walked through life and accepted what we were told through the media ect but aprox.six months before the referendum i was awakened by my “english”born wife.She had continued to keep up with the news in the uk,i had long given up on it since it was to depressing.She had noticed a clear imbalance on the reporting by the media in favour of the better together campaign,i then started to become interested especially as the gap in the poll’s began to close.The more i learn and understand,thanks to sites such as this the more angry i have become.We are having our childrens,grand childrens ect inheritance stolen from us our country has been raped by the greedy and individuals in power who care little for our country.
    France has its share of problems but the people are generally more content and flaunting of money is regarded as vulgar,its a no no.The health system is very good,pensions are good and people retire at a decent age.
    I may live in france but i want the best for my country of birth “Scotland”and the day independence is acheived i will walk taller and will be a proud Scot agian.
    The author probably was’nt to far of the mark but for me its an emotional thing which is’nt so easy to quantify.

  34. Kenny says:

    I noticed a fundamental difference between the two campaigns. YES has “bairns not bombs”, the SNP has a child with a saltire on their website front page, many campaigners such as Tommy Sheridan stressed how we wanted an independent country so it could be a great land for our children…. The NO vote seemed to atttract utterly selfish people: what about my job… my employers said he would close his business (oh, really, what sane person does that – and should you really be working for such a tosser who walks away from customers?)…. my pension….. my mortgage…. to me that was a fundamental difference in the two campaigns… And not a cheap from the NO campaign about ending child poverty in an oil-rich country, despite so much promised “pooling and sharing” (rolls eyes). Shame on all those selfish gits would voted NO if it would save them a couple of quid a month or a year… I would live on bread and water to be independent (doubtful, given all our fish, of course)….

    1. Anton says:

      I’m sorry to learn that you consider two million of your fellow Scots to be “selfish gits”. I don’t. I think they had legitimate concerns which weren’t being addressed. Is that their fault or ours?

  35. john young says:

    What do most think of the genetic profile of Scots? are we conditioned to be “submissive” as Lamont alluded to, quite possibly on the premise that the strongest/best survive and rise to the top therefore gauranteeing the progression and furtherance of the species,we inmo have not recovered from the “1745” debachle,we lost possibly our bravest and best in that final battle,those that survived were hounded from the land,we were left with the “runt of the litter” and have/still suffer to this day.Compare us to the Irish who have had as much as much if not more heaped on them at the hands of the British ruling class yet they remain a proud/confident people.Scots are one of the most successful of people worldwide as Churchill has said,unfortunately they have to leave their native land to acheive this success??

    1. Bothy Basher says:

      When I hear talk like this on genetic profiles I want to reach for my Kalashnikov. You may know that 1930s Germany was full of such talk. It is sinister.

      As for the 1745 bravest and best – you mean the most duped don’t you? These poor saps were dragooned into defending a royal fop and they lost everything. They would have gained nothing if they had won.

      To suggest that survivors were the runt of the litter is disgraceful. You also forget that those who were ‘hounded from the land’ went on round the world to drive others off their land.

      Away ye go tae the smallest room and ‘think again’.

  36. Bothy Basher says:

    Whe-e-e-e-e-e-e-res Jimmy Boatman !!!??????

    1. James says:

      Hi Bothy, been off air. Whats up?

  37. John most if now all of the Banks HQs are in London. The world is such a small place nowadays , business conducted on the internet, especially banking and finance. Scotland wealth is not all about oil. Oil is a bonus that the Westminster Gov has squandered for decades. Oil whilst in the ground is an asset, when removed from the ground it is a commodity and valued at whatever the cost on the day. We have whisky as one example that makes the Treasury £135 per second. Scotland has so much more to offer. So John you are just plain wrong there is no viable financial case that can be made for a NO vote. For 33 years Scotland has supplied the Westminster Gov with more taxes than we get back in spending. In the figures the better together and unionist MPs were happy to quote that £1200 more was spent per person in Scotland is true, what they stopped short of saying was the every person in Scotland mad £1700 more per person than anyone in the rUK. These figure were from Government sources the 2011/2012 GERS. The 2012/2013 figures should be out next year, it will be interesting to look at these.

  38. Glib analysis covering two-and-half million people is a waste of time. Putting it down to ‘Britishness forever’ is also silly. And avoiding the obvious – the losers have won, the winners lost, another howler.

    It was never going to be easy to achieve a huge swing for self-determintion in the middle of an austerity campaign brought on by the biggest heist in human history, from the people to the banks.

    Nevertheless, the author of the superficial article fails to remind readers every single opponent to genuine self-governance agreed Scotland ‘could be a successful nation state.’ if independent. Their argument was a moral one – why leave England in the mire?

    In other words, they asked Scotland to sacrifice its future for the sake of its neighbour – again!

    1. Darien says:

      “Scotland to sacrifice its future for the sake of its neighbour”

      Such has been the lot of our stateless nation for over 300 years. ‘Proud’ ‘Scots’ (again!) willingly sacrificed our nation for the dubious promise of a few baubles. Tragic. Nationhood is priceless, to every other nation except Scotland. Internationally we are an ongoing peculiarity and laughing stock. No wonder we are caricatured so despicably and remorselessly. We cannae even run oor ane country!

      1. Bothy Basher says:

        ” Internationally we are an ongoing peculiarity and laughing stock. ”

        Darien, that’s because we keep presenting ourselves in terms of tartan, kilts, and the Loch Ness Monster. To say nothing of Arthur Thomson.

  39. arthur thomson says:

    John McGeown, don’t you just find it fascinating when some arsehole (no apology for the description) like BB belittles your personal experience. My life experience dovetails with yours. There are a few facts around in this world but mostly there are too many variables for us to gain a truly objective perspective on life. I think I missed the bit where you said that your experience was other than a set of personal observations. Anyone who talks about a ‘raft’ of anything always comes across to me as a balloon. Just my experience.

  40. Bothy Basher says:

    Good stuff Arthur. You like the idea of unsupported opinion based on personal experience. And you have the right to do that – even if it makes you look daft. I defend your right to do so

    In an abandonment of discussion, you opine on ”arseholes”. Well you should know, as this is very much your personal experience. I am happy to recognise your expertise here.

    Rather feebly, you say there are ”too many variables for us to gain a truly objective perspective ”….Artie, keep trying for a wee bit of objectivity – it will be of immense value to you, and will stop you being mocked for respouting your granny’s opinion on life, love and politics. Your granny’s views are of great importance to you and her, but of limited value to anyone else. Probably?

    You admit to missing the point of some of my comments – may I suggest that you try a wee bit harder, give up emoting and try some of the fruits of the Enlightenment? Try if you can, to criticise the argument and not the person.

    Anyone who indulges in bodice-ripping obscenity comes across to me as a wally. Just my observation based on the evidence of your comment.

    Stick to solitary pursuits for gentlemen.

  41. arthur thomson says:

    You’re a comic BB. You dismiss my defence of the expression of ‘unsupported opinion based on personal experience’ as being daft. The expression of an opinion based on individual experience is not invalidated by not having support from elsewhere – it remains the valid expression of the opinion of that person. To treat it with disdain because it isn’t accompanied by ‘evidence’ is just a device to deter the expression of an opinion that you don’t agree with. Nothing has ever been presented on this or any other site – by you or anyone else – that has been supported by incontrovertible evidence. It is inevitably subjective to a greater or lesser degree and more often than not the ‘evidence’ provided is far from proven. That doesn’t invalidate efforts made to provide evidence but ultimately it remains a subjective interpretation. I have a clear understanding of the nature of objectivity and of the infinite nature of the number of variables that affect the matters which are discussed on this site. Consequently, I am well aware that my granny – or anyone else’s granny for that matter – has just about as much chance of being absolutely right on the matters we discuss as you have. No problem with that so long as one doesn’t take an opinion as being more than that – a subjective opinion that has to be considered alongside all other opinions. With regard to your poetic response to my emotional outpouring, I can only say that I assumed you would understand that I was of course responding metaphorically when, in my considered opinion,you attempted to belittle what I perceived to be someone’s genuine effort to make a contribution to the debate. My comment that you’re a balloon was just my observation based on the evidence of your comment: ‘ no basis for a raft of derogatory generalisations on society, unsupported by evidence ‘ You seem awfully angry BB. What goes round comes round.

  42. Bothy Basher says:

    ”You seem awfully angry BB.” (!) Och Arthur, you shouldn’t project your own feelings onto others – it can only end in tears. ”What goes around comes around” is a wee bit of granny wisdom which I commend to you. I am pleased that this time you avoided an outburst of foul obscenity towards those you don’t agree with.

    I’m sorry you promote anecdote, gossip, family problems and personal yarns as the basis for pontificating on Scottish issues. Worryingly, you even defend the sneering towards an older generation who built this country, dismissing them on the most ridiculous of half baked assumptions. When not standing on an IrnBru crate, did you ever work for the Sunday Post, I muse?

    Never mind Arthur, one day, like Schwarzenneger, ”you’ll be back!”

  43. David Allan says:

    To all that voted no, whatever you reasons were, understand that the 2014 referendum is now viewed as merely a rehearsal, lessons have been learned from the mistakes made, when staged the final act will deliver the desired performance!
    Fewer people will choose to believe the “critics” their credibility has been greatly diminished. I for one look forward the next curtain raiser!

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