Today’s Sun has two parallel polls on Scottish Independence – one of Scottish adults, one of English & Welsh adults.

In Scotland 29% of people support Independence, 58% of people were opposed (this survey asked a generic support or oppose independence question, but the result was almost identical to when we asked questions on how people would vote in a referendum on independence for Scotsman prior to the election).

Asked if Scotland or England & Wales benefited more from the Union, Scottish respondents tended to think it was quite even – 40% thought both partners benefitted equally, 32% that England and Wales benefitted more, 21% that Scotland benefits more. Scots also tended to think that both sides of the Union would be worse off if Scotland was independent. 43% thought England & Wales would be financially worse off without Scotland (only 14% thought they’d be better off), and 47% thought Scotland would be financially worse off if it became independent (28% thought Scotland would be better off). In Scotland, while a large minority support independence and think Scotland would be better off independent, the general view seems to be that the Union is a partnership that benefits both sides, roughly evenly.

Compare this with England and Wales. English and Welsh respondents are pretty evenly split on Scottish independence – 41% would support Scotland becoming independent, 40% would oppose it (meaning, of course, that Scottish independence is actually somewhat more popular with the English and Welsh than with the Scots). Perceptions amongst the English & Welsh are that Scotland currently gets the better deal from the Union – 54% think Scotland benefits more, compared to 27% who think it is equal and 8% who think England and Wales get the better deal.

54% of respondents in England & Wales think that Scotland would be worse off financially if it became independent (15% think Scotland would be better off), and 40% think that England & Wales would be financially better off without Scotland (14% think England & Wales would be worse off). Overall, English and Welsh respondents think that the Union favours Scotland far more than it does England.

Finally YouGov asked if the future of Scotland should be up to Scottish voters alone, or if there should also be a referendum of English and Welsh voters. In practice this would raise some tricky questions anyway – exactly what would you do if Scotland voted for independence and England and Wales voted no – try and keep Scotland against its will? (Or indeed, vice-versa, if Scotland rejected Independence, but England and Wales wanted Scotland to go?) As it happens, there does not seem to be any great demand for England & Wales to have a say anyway – 34% of English and Welsh respondents said there should also be a vote in England and Wales, but 42% said the decision should be made by Scottish voters alone.


198 Responses to “Opinion on Scottish Independence… in Scotland AND England”

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  1. Listening to non-Scots discussing the Scottish constitutional question is like listening to 10 year olds talking about the opposite sex: you are all very interested, but feign hostility, and really don’t have the slightest scoobie what you are talking about.

    Scotland is several decades ahead of England in discussing these issues. And, oh boy, does it show!

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  2. Socal
    If you thought you lived in a parochial state, the USA, just imagine what it would be like if you had border controls between Arizona and Cal.

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  3. @Stuart Dickson

    “Listening to non-Scots discussing the Scottish constitutional question is like listening to 10 year olds talking about the opposite sex: you are all very interested, but feign hostility, and really don’t have the slightest scoobie what you are talking about.

    Scotland is several decades ahead of England in discussing these issues. And, oh boy, does it show!”

    That’s an excellent way of putting it. Interestingly, I see no difference in the level of understanding exhibited by non-UK nationals and those non-Scotland UK types..

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  4. Socal
    Re-reading i realise you think a state is a state whereas we think the US is a state (still with me?).

    Hopefully you got my drift but a better example is between urban areas like new Jersey and New York where people are just commuting from one city to another. I can be in Amsterdam from Bristol quicker than I can between Bristol and Aberdeen but I need a passport and queue to exit the airport for the first journey but don’t need to for the second. Yet Ii feel less culturally alienated in Amsterdam than I would in Aberdeen.

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  5. “There could be a huge temptation for DC to say ‘Enough is Enough’ – ‘If you can get the mandate for Full Independence from the Scottish people, then we will not stop you from going”. ‘You will get no more major concessions of Sovereignty and no guarantees from any post-referendum discussions.’ He could even just make such a committment before that referendum”

    Could you PLEASE do everything in your power to make utterly certain David Cameron does this. :-D

    BTW oldnat and others have answered those questions and are no doubt weary of every unionist that suddenly realised there was something called independence demanding to be educated on the subject. Though to be fair Iain Gray rasied some of those too at the election. Where is he now ? ;-)

    The scottish people will ask their questions in the referendum campaign and then vote as is right and proper. That is many years away and on a question of Salmond’s choosing for those who still haven’t yet grasped what the landslide meant.

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  6. If an independent Scotland had existed in the late 1930s how confident can we be that its Government would have followed England & Wales in declaring war on Nazi Germany?Surely there would have been a fair chance of it opting to follow the example of the Irish Republic by remaining neutral.I would seriously doubt that England & Wales alone – deprived of the Scottish armed forces and the logistical advantages conferred by Scapa Flow etc – could have effectively resisted the might of Nazi Germany in 1940.If so , Scottish independence would not have lasted long!

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  7. Yes, yes. Scots are sophisticated, intelligent and mature. They understand these things. Other nations, particularly the English, are stupid, backward and can’t possibly be expected to have a clue about these things.

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  8. Elaine Murray enters the race… and jumps straight into 6th place:

    Best bookies’ prices – Next leader of Labour parliamentary group

    Jackie Baillie 15/8 (SJ)
    Ken Macintosh 5/2 (PP, WH)
    John Park 5/1 (SJ)
    Hugh Henry 6/1 (PP)
    Johann Lamont 6/1 (PP, SJ, WH)
    Malcolm Chisholm 8/1 (SJ)
    Elaine Murray 10/1 (SJ)
    Michael McMahon 16/1 (Lad, SJ)
    Richard Baker 20/1 (SJ, WH)
    Jim Murphy 20/1 (PP)
    Kezia Dugdale 25/1 (Lad, SJ, WH)
    Jenny Marra 33/1 (SJ)
    Graeme Pearson 33/1 (SJ)
    Gordon Brown 200/1 (PP)

    Lots of price movements today, eg: Macintosh has shortened from 8/1 to 5/2; while Henry has lengthened after losing the PO contest. Chisholm (by far the best candidate) longer too.

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  9. Graham

    Groan!

    Godwin rises again

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  10. In the hope that the next thread won’t be anything to do with Scotland, how about continuing the discussion of all things Scottish on this thread?

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  11. @GRAHAM

    Maybe without Scotland the rest of the UK would have thought resistance was futile and given in to Germany, this could have so incensed the Scottish that they would have invaded England and taken control of the UK. The Germans seeing the might of Scotland would have backed down and the second world war would have been averted. And if ifs and buts were candy and nuts we’d all have a merry Christmas.

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  12. “Groan!

    Godwin rises again”

    Not at all.
    These are the sophisticated, intelligent and mature questions we hope will be raised in the referendum along with other gems like whether an independent scotland would be catholic or protestant.

    ;-)

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  13. Tonight’s YouGov – Scotland only
    Lab 41
    SNP 32
    Con 17
    LD 5
    UKIP 2
    Green 1

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  14. FrankG

    Wow! What a list.

    I’m not “a lead”. I just read a lot.

    I’ll do what I can to answer.

    1. That’s more or less right. The exact proposal is in the extract of the draft constitution which I posted earlier.

    2. (a) No one can know precisely how the EU will respond to the dissolution of a member state. Realpolitik will be the effective decider. Doomsayers can assume the worst. Optimist can assume the best. However, if the UK, Spain, or another state dissolves before Belgium, EU members will need to bear in mind that the precedent set could affect the very fabric of EU institutions.
    (b) Ireland is a member of the Common Travel Area rather than Schengen, largely at the UK’s insistence. In practice, Scotland would be in a similar position to Ireland.

    3. Given Scotland’s wealth (once we have control of our own resources and taxation) it has always been inevitable that Scotland would be a net contributor to the family of EU nations and not just to a few via London.

    4. (a) Now you are being silly. Clearly what currently happens in the British Isles Common Travel Area is a flight of someone’s imagination, as Ireland already operates exactly the same freedom of passports, visas etc as Scotland would.
    (b) Countries who still cling to imperial pretensions find the business of running embassies very expensive. Small countries frequently share costs with other friendly nations. The error is in imagining that Scotland would want to replicate the UK’s arrangements.

    5. Currency arrangements need to be appropriate to the time that independence happens. If we assume a 2015 referendum and 3-4 years negotiation of the detail then the decision of a Scots currency shadowing another currency,or membership of the euro is a decision that need not be made yet. Your assumptions about Scots poverty are invalid.

    5 (bis). Defence forces – Scotland doesn’t need to have WMD or forces designed for offensive operations (other than in a UN type operation). We could choose between the expensive Norwegian model ($1,245 per capita which they can comfortably afford) or a cost similar to the UK ($940 per capita) or the German model ($558 per capita).

    6. We already have our own Civil Service running existing affairs. We will need more to handle the new responsibilities – but we will no longer have to contribute to paying for the bloated bureaucracy of Whitehall, so a net profit there I think.

    Like you I await the stance of the UK Government with interest.

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  15. Non-Scots,

    As you see, Nat wisdom is matched only by their humility.

    It’s always worth bearing in mind that as far as the views of Scots and the nature of independence are concerned ‘it ain’t necessarily so’.

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  16. @Oldnat – “The argument over whether the British Isles, in their multi-national state, should merge into Schengen is nothing to do with the question of Scotland being an independent nation.”

    Wrong question. The idea raised was about Scotland only entering Schengen – that is what sparked the debate about the England/Scotland border.

    @Barbarbenzero – no idea what the Green party line on Schengen is. I have my own views on it though.

    @Stuart Dickson – “Listening to non-Scots discussing the Scottish constitutional question is like listening to 10 year olds talking about the opposite sex: you are all very interested, but feign hostility, and really don’t have the slightest scoobie what you are talking about.

    Scotland is several decades ahead of England in discussing these issues. And, oh boy, does it show!”

    Sigh. I’m Scottish, I have masses of friends and relatives living across many parts of Scotland, and I’ll say without hesitation or doubt there are many, many stupid Scottish people who haven’t the faintest idea of the issues around independence, governance or the price of fish. I’m with Neil A on this and I love haggis.

    Why, just last night some tw*t physically attacked Neil Lennon at Tynecastle, live on TV. Talk about dumbf*ck – and he’s Scottish!

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  17. I suspect most English voters don’t care who rules Scotland as long as any changes don’t affect them financially.

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  18. Stephen Gash

    “Scots voted against independence when they gave Labour a landslide victory in Scotland at the 2010 general election.”

    No they knew perfectly well that they were voting for what the great novelty that Christian Schmidt characterised the SNP government in its first months as “bog standard competent government and a few minor gimmicks” and a referendum sometime in th next five years, probably on the anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn.

    The SNP’s victory in this year’s Holyrood elections was merely a blackmail vote designed to extort more money from the UK government for Scotland.

    No, it was bcsause of Labour’s unremitting negativity for the last four years, a cack handed campaign and the comparison between a very, very inferior ministerial team and a surprisingly good one.

    In the judgement of anti-Cons, some previously Labour and many SLD former voters, the SNP were the better bet as a defence against the ignorant and inappropriate application of UK coalition policies to a nation with radically different demographic and geographic conditions and deep-rooted values owing more to the sermon on the mount than to right wing Oxbridge think tanks and London focus groups.

    Among other things …..

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  19. ALEC
    no idea what the Green party line on Schengen is. I have my own views on it though.

    The quote was from the E&W Green’s EUROPE Part 1: The Green Vision for Europe re the Schengen Convention. In context, it reads:

    EU742 The Green Party is committed in principle to freedom of movement for people. However we will oppose vigorously any moves for the UK to sign up to the inappropriate Schengen arrangements, to impose the Schengen arrangements on the EU as a whole.

    EU743 The “compensatory measures” put in place by the Schengen arrangements to counteract their opening of internal borders include much stricter surveillance of people within borders, and much tougher policing of the external borders to create a “Fortress Europe”. EU citizens may not need to show a passport to cross a border between Schengen states, but may instead be required at any time to produce proof that they are EU citizens. In practice these arrangements have been used to discriminate against ethnic minorities perceived as “non European”.

    EU744 We are completely opposed to this attack on civil liberties, and to any such proposal to require identity cards.

    Apologies for making the unwarranted assumption that a poster on a political website would be familiar with the policies of his own party.

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  20. Alec

    Thanks for the clarification on the Schengen aspect of the discussion.

    Re your comments to Stuart.

    I think the problems come about when people start seriously to consider a question like Scottish Independence for the first time. That included a lot of Scots, of course, but the politically literate in Scotland (unlike some of the politically literate outwith Scotland) have been looking at the issues involved for many years.

    Hence few Scots tend to ask stupid questions like “should Scotland have the seat on the Security Council every few years?”

    The level of issues raised on UK political blogs, therefore, is often very ill informed and that is irritating.

    I try to answer questions rationally – even those that people might have googled to find the answers themselves, and hopefully only get snappy with those who are being silly for the sake of it.

    Inevitably generalisations are used which don’t cover all sectors of any community, but I would prefer it if people could avoid silly stereotypes. These are particularly unhelpful in what should be a mature debate.

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  21. @barbazenzero – thanks – you learn something new every day. For the record, apart from cost and efficacy, I’ve got no problem with ID cards but I don’t like Schengen for the UK as I don’t think it fits with the majority view of how we should operate our borders.

    A bit of history – I resisted naming my party allegiance here for a long time, with many posters assuming I was a Labour supporter. I reluctantly put up my Green colours knowing that everyone would assume I followed the party line on everything. I have many disagreements with the Greens, but slightly fewer than with other parties, so I opt for them.

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  22. Alec

    Welcome to the club of the dissenters!

    I don’t agree with the SNP on everything either.

    I would worry about anyone who did support their party right or wrong. They would come into the category of “authoritarian followers” that John B Dick has posted about.

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  23. Bill Patrick @ Stuart Dickson,

    “On the basis of the polling data, I believe the opposite: that a large portion of people who support the SNP are unionists who like a centre-left One Nation party that stands up for Scotland.”

    It might be even more basic than that.

    The only other party that improved its vote, the Greens, did not gain seats because of the huge surge to the SNP.

    The two parties who did well were parties managed and led in Scotland and have policies focused on and bespoke for Scottish conditions. The others have the impediment of leaders who are focused on another parliament with a different culture.

    In the last parliament, the two Greens made a more effective opposition (considering their resources) than any other party, and the SNP demonstrated a level of competence with which voters were unfamiliar.

    It is not therefore surprising that the two Scottish parties improved their postion and the others regressed.

    It is also the case that several SNP ministers were much more than merely competent, and Labour sends its A team to Westminster. Unsurprisingly SNP miisters worked their socks off in their first chance of government and it is more than likely that if they continue at the same pace for the next five years it will be at the sacrifice of health or relationships. They are that keen.

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  24. @Oldnat – respect, as they say. As a Scot, I just tire of some of the stuff I hear that that elevates we Scots above the English. I’ve been brought up with it but in reality I see no difference in the levels of bigotry, small mindedness and general dimness north and south of the border. And the good stuff too. If I was born an Englishwoman I would be just as proud. There is a strand of Scottishness that Neil A picked up on that is a bit superior, without any real evidence to back it up.

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  25. Stuart referred to this Scotsman article on the next thread

    http://www.scotsman.com/news/Lib-Dems-plot-to-oust.6766772.jp

    It will be interesting to see if the Scottish LDs do actually mount a revolution against their previous Scottish and UK leadership, and revert to arguing for federalism based on the Steele Commission

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  26. Alec
    Yep! People are people – even Scots (though sometimes I wonder if some of our southern cousins think that, judging by some of the comments over on political betting!)

    Paxman is the exception, of course. He considers the entire human race to be inferior to his own self-elevated view.

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  27. Ulva School has been saved, and the council Leader embroiled in the controversy broke many records in the Argyll and Bute election.

    Who was it that was “out of touch”? Was that the person who is scapegoating Iain Brown for his own mistakes, or was it the other Blair clone?

    The people who send their kids to Ulva School read the same newspapers as you do and as you know they are full of the issues in Education in England.

    Faith Schools, Sink Schools, Academies etc., are not their biggest concern as the video shows.

    h ttp://ulvaprimary.wordpress.com/2010/11/22/video-proposed-school-run/

    On the other thread Stuart shows that the further North you go the less is UK goverment approval and, of course SNP majorities (Northern Isles excluded).

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  28. Correction:

    … thegreater the SNP majorities.

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  29. Having been born to Scots in England and lived most of my life in Scotland, England, and Ireland, I have too say I despair at some of the comments on these sites… UKPR is better than most, but still, the sound of little Englanders and Scotlanders trying to drive a wedge between people distinguished largely by accent is unedifying.

    I will be voting against independence in a referendum. Not because Scotland is weak, or because England needs oil, not for anything to do with the Labour party or Tory dominance. I will vote for the Union because I think it benefits all parties by including them in an Nation larger than themselves. The UK is greater than the sum of its parts.

    For me personally there is an issue of national identity too. I have no difficulty in describing myself as British, but as a mongrel of these islands ‘English’ or ‘Scottish’ (or Irish, Welsh, Shetlander or Cornish) is difficult. English or Scottish is more racial that British, which seems more national. Just a thought.

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  30. Sorry – above is not an answer to polling data, but just a general viewpoint! Apols.

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  31. @Mushypea – no need to apologise to anyone. Pertinent and thoughtful post.

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  32. Mushypea

    If you think of yourself as “British”, then voting No to independence in a referendum would be the sensible course.

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  33. Surely if England and Scotland agreed a union then it is open to either England or Scotland to withdraw from that union if the majority of their voters want it.

    So if there was a referendum in England and Scotland on England and Scotland separating (which is what we really mean by Scottish independence) then either England or Scotland voting for it would be enough for the referendum to be passed – it wouldnt need both.

    I find the SNP supporter’s comments that English independence from Scotland is nothing to do with English voters very patronising!

    (Must admit I’m not quite sure how Wales fits into this equation!)

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  34. Gareth Hartwell

    “I find the SNP supporter’s comments that English independence from Scotland is nothing to do with English voters very patronising!”

    That is only because you have totally misunderstood!

    Scottish independence from England is nothing to do with English voters.

    English independence from Scotland is nothing to do with Scottish voters.

    It’s called self-determination – and the idea has been around for a very long time!

    Wales is an interesting one of course. It was conquered by England, and (in modern international law) England has a responsibility to ensure its good governance. Presumably, you could go through similar steps to give it back its independence, in the same way that UK/US did with Iraq. :-)

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  35. @OldNat, maybe I did misunderstand – glad we agree.

    So I think there should be a referendum in England on independence from Scotland and a referendum in Scotland on independence from England. If the votes were as the most recent polls, then the English referendum would pass so Scotland would be an independent country even though a majority of Scottish voters voted against it.

    Or would Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland still be part of Britain but without England? :-)

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  36. An interesting view from an English Tory supporter of the Union

    http://conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2011/05/bruce-bell-a-federal-settlement-for-the-uk-the-political-reform-we-really-need.html

    Many on my side of the constitutional debate are constantly amazed that those in power positions on the Unionist side always seem to put themselves in the position of conceding too little too late, rather than examining the constitutional structure of the UK seriously.

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  37. Gareth Hartwell

    I love constitutional “what-ifs”!

    Let’s start by copying YouGov and totally ignoring Northern Ireland! If it’s good enough for Anthony, it’s good enough for us. :-)

    In 1707, we signed a Treaty of Union with England. At that time Wales was a conquered province of England.

    If that Treaty is ended by us, then you are still left with Wales.

    If that Treaty is ended by you, then Wales remains what it was then – a conquered territory occupied by England. You would need to find a wholly separate solution with them. You can’t simply abandon them.

    Northern Ireland is a more fascinating case. It is the remnant part of a Treaty of Union between Ireland and the United Kingdoms of England and Scotland.

    Since treaty obligations normally remain with the successor state of a dissolved Union, you could have a choice.

    England could be the successor state and you keep Northern Ireland, or we could agree that Scotland is the successor state and we take Northern Ireland and the seat on the Security Council. :-)

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  38. Shouldn’t the Northern Irish have self-deteermination too? They would have an interesting choice:

    Union with England (+ Wales maybe)
    Union with Scotland
    Union with the RoI
    Independence in Europe
    Independence outwith EU

    If you go back to a time when Scotland was several kingdoms, N I was in an economic and monetary (!) union with Scotland, and the sea in between wasn’t a barrier or boundary, but more like a motorway.

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  39. To the poster above labelled “John B Dick – the real one”

    That doesn’t read like one of John Dick’s. Not only are his erudite, he can also spell.

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  40. @OldNat

    Not for the first time have you taken the trouble to provide a very considered and thoughtful response to my queries and for that I am very grateful, so thanks.

    Living here amongst the Cypriot community, political discussion here can quickly degerate to strictly religious/party lines (often in that order) with scant regard to any facts. Similarly there are not the same opportunities here for access to the scope of documents/party information leaflets or even newspapers that you have obviously have and read.

    1. Referendum register – glad I understood correctly.

    2. (a) Again we seem to agree, future events that require changes to EU treaties/institutions are not likely to be easily obtained in the enlarged EU and could by themselves trigger considerations of other amendments.
    (b) It would indeed be very dificult to manage if Scotland went for the Schengen version for its border control.

    3. Have not very much knowledge of the relative wealth of Scotland apart from the views expressed here and they seem contradictory to say the very least, so much depends upon what the baselines for comparisons actually include. The only thing that seems clear is that the EU will want to end up gaining more financially from any change.

    4. (a) Yes probably frivolous.
    (b) Cyprus is a country far smaller in population and size than Scotland would be. Yet it has a substantial number of embassies throughout the world, EU/UN seat etc. and the civil service size is probably the greatest per capita of any other EU member state. However I too am sure mutually beneficial arrangements would prevail.

    5. Living in one of those small countries who gave up its own strong currency (Cyprus pound) to adopt the Euro and is now struggling to cope with Euroland economic pressures, general opinion would advise against small countries adopting the stringences involved and to beware the virtual complete loss of financial sovereignty. Sorry about any assumptions about Scots poverty. I was unaware of making them and if so they were accidental.

    5 (bis). Defence forces – Would much rather you helped pay for ours. Beside from my experience our own forces have a large % of Scottish personnel, if they joined your Army etc, from where would we get our recruits. Could end up bringing back national service to cope.

    6. D.mn! Just as I was hoping to cut our civil service numbers by sending some up to you.

    7. Yes, the stance of the UK Government will be interesting.

    By the way, the figures of MPs to show that, if Scottish MPs are not included, Con would already have an OM in England were not really aimed at you, but at others who seem to think the Con/Lab ratio in England would not be grossly affected.

    Thanks again

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  41. FrankG

    I may have retired from teaching – but the teacher in me will never retire! :-)

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  42. FrankG

    I don’t seriously expect you to examine the Scottish economy in any detail, but if you are bored out of your mind sometime you could cast an eye over the GERS data

    http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Economy/GERS

    Scotland is the only part of the UK where professional statisticians have made a determined attempt to disentangle the economic data for a single part of the UK.

    If you look at the analysis over time it is clear that Scotland has a fiscal deficit. It is also clear that the fiscal deficit is roughly equal to the UK fiscal deficit.

    When you think about it, it’s fairly obvious. Scotland gets a Block Grant based on a formula which gives us more money on a % basis than is spent on equivalent functions in England (more or less). If the UK is in fiscal deficit, we will be in fiscal deficit. If the UK is in fiscal surplus, we will be in fiscal surplus.

    But we get more money than England! How can it be that the % fiscal deficits are the same?

    It can only be that we put more in, in the first place.

    Logic is useful sometimes.

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  43. The argument about economy and nationalism is totally irrelevant.

    Nationalism is not logical. It’s worth noting that, what, half the countries in the world are bankrupt but are they asking to merge with another country? No. Why?

    Nationalism is from the heart; it’s a feeliing of ‘race’. History, language, culture etc all make up this feeling and Scotland has this in buckets loads. And it’s worth noting that Scotland has been independent for far more than it’s been sold to England time.

    This is why Scotland will become independent again.

    And out of interest does anyone on this board see themselves as ‘British’ first, or do we all see ourselves as English ? Scottish / Welsh first. I supect we all see ourselves as Scottish etc first.

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  44. I was Scottish till the age of 11 when my father explained to me that if I had a passport, it would say I was British. I was content with that till I saw how the Labour government treated asylum children.

    That made me ashamed to be British and have been Scottish ever since. Fiona Hyslop is a minister whose values and political skills would be constrained in the Westminster culture.

    I do not think independence is the best way to govern these Islands but I will vote for it because it is the only way on offer which will provide a parliament fit for purpose in the country in which I would like my dual nationality grandchildren to grow up.

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  45. @Oldnat

    Not ‘bored out of my mind’, but it did start to rain!

    Started reading the link you kindly gave (almost a poisoned chalice!) and, to be honest, gradually felt I was losing the will to live! So I skipped several really torid chapters and concentrated on the conclusions. It all seems to depend on which interpretation of North Sea Oil (NSO) is taken as ‘belonging’ to Scotland. The ‘pro capita’ amount is of course predictably small. The ‘Illustrative Geographical Share’ (IGS) is huge. Looking at the maps, even I can see where some of the areas claimed could be reasonably disputed by Ireland in the Mid Atlantic bulge area and by Norway in the pinacle pointing towards the North. Even the report itself allows that there are different interpretations to the one they have selected. The Scottish Islands are absolutely crucial to most of the Scottish claimed areas. (Can’t see them getting the chance of an individual regional decision in any Independence question alla N Ireland.)

    The summary of the revenue seems very balanced and I agree that it shows Scotland very much on par with the Rest of the UK in regards to their share of the Fiscal Debt etc as at 2009. The Scottish figures for 2007/2009 are significant – revenue down 3%, expenditure up 6%. Unfortunately it doesn’t give the same stats for the Rest of the UK. It does illustrate that such an annual in-balance for Scotland would not have been sustainable unless virtually all the NSO revenues are attributed to Scotland alla the ISG used in the report.

    Thankfully it soon stopped raining and here in Cyprus it is not scheduled to rain for several months (phew!).

    Instead I can go back to my ‘real world’, which currently is comparing the local government election results as published by the Association of Lib Dem Councillors (ALDC) with those pubished by the BBC News Election 2011. This is done on a council by council basis. If the figures do not agree I go to each council’s website and check through the published returning officers certificates etc.

    Now that really is ‘bored out of your mind’ territory! Mind you the lure of a Keo beer can change things.

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  46. Frank G

    GERS figures are not the easiest!

    If you have 9 minutes and 57seconds to spare, you can listen to Professor Andrew Hughes Hallett, a world renouned economist, being interview on Radio Scotland – It’s not ‘bored out of your mind territory’ and can be listened to while imbibing a Keo beer (although I do have a preference for Mythos, from your neighbours in Crete).

    Click on the link below and it will take you to Ian Valley’s blogspot where you can click on the link to listen to the interview

    http://ianvallely.blogspot.com/2011/05/world-renowned-economist-says-scotland.html

    yia mas

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  47. @OLDNAT

    5 (bis). Defence forces – Scotland doesn’t need to have WMD or forces designed for offensive operations (other than in a UN type operation). We could choose between the expensive Norwegian model ($1,245 per capita which they can comfortably afford) or a cost similar to the UK ($940 per capita) or the German model ($558 per capita).

    I see no reason why the German rate cannot be successful. Germany’s armed forces are purely defensive. Scotland has a greater coastline to consider, but in reality is there a good chance of Scotland being invaded or attacked? What is there to gain? Wet summers and wetter winters. A half-decent airforce and a few more Infantry battalions. Should the Black Watch regiment be re-organised, should it be based North or South of the border? ;)

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  48. Just back from an extended holiday and I was hoping there would have been a poll on this issue.

    To be honest, I had expected support for independence to be significantly higher than 28% especially after the emphatic SNP win plus also several pre-GE polls suggesting support would rise sharply after a Tory win.

    Has anyone compiled any history on independence polling (I see the section on this site has stalled) to show how independence campaigning is proceeding?

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