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My voting form arrived on the doorstep this morning. After, months and months (and years for some, and 'centuries' for others!) of debate, it's now become very, very real! There will be an actual vot

I have to be honest I have not looked at this post for six months maybe, just got so peeed off with the lies coming from both sides.   Oddquine by the way is a real person, of the more senior genera

Well. of course it does and they have never made any secret of the fact.which is why the Scottish Parliament voting system was deliberately set up by Westminster to ensure there would never be majorit

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The reason they voted "YES" is that the SNP hijacked the referendum and did some shameless electioneering by promoting a range of un-affordable policies which they said they would introduce if Scotland was independent and which would be directed to the poorest in our society.  These folk are mainly in labour heartlands where support for independence has always been low.  They didn't vote YES because they believed in the arguments for independence, they voted YES because they were promised short term benefits if Scotland became independent.

 

 

Doofers Dad is absolutely 100% correct here. All the SNP/Yes were interested in from the start was getting people's crosses in their box and they were never all that fussed about how they did it.

One of the main things they benefited from was complete ineptitude on the part of the Labour Party from the mid 90s right through until the polls closed last Thursday.

* In the mid 90s, Labour abandoned their Socialist principles in order to make themselves electable and hence created a political vacuum which the SNP instantly filled with various promises to the "have nots". In the run up to the referendum they knew, if successful, that these would only be exposed as completely vacuous AFTER an irreversible decision had been made.

* By creating the Scottish Parliament in 1999, far from "killing Nationalism stone dead" (as George Robertson claimed would be the case) they instead obligingly provided the SNP with a soapbox.

* One of their own - Wendy Alexander - advised back in 2008 that they should "bring it (a referendum) on" at a time when there would have been an overwhelming NO vote. They failed to grasp that opportunity and rejected Wendy's proposal.

* They then proceeded to run such an inept 2011 Scottish "Sandwich Shop" election campaign that there materialised an SNP majority in the Scottish Parliament even although only 22% of the electorate voted SNP.

* And finally, with the complacency which has always been the hallmark of the Labour party in Scotland, they ran such a poor NO campaign that they couldn't even hold on to a significant slice of their "own" supporters.

 

But to return to DD's accurate appraisal, much of the Yes vote didn't actually come from people who support separation. Many voted Yes because they were promised more cash in their pockets after Yes were allowed to take over the Socialist agenda. As a result, much of the Yes vote was a consequence of Socialist - Capitalist considerations and not motivated by any fundamental desire for separation.

There is also a further consideration which I fully acknowledge may offend some, but is a fundamental, albeit unfortunate truth. The experience of 37 years in the classroom told me long ago that, regrettably, perhaps around a third of the population are simply not capable of understanding the issues of the debate. I would also suggest that a disproportionate slice of these people were seduced by self interest and instead responded to simplistic bribes from the SNP and voted Yes. Anecdotally I found this definitely to be the case during the campaign, such as the Yes voter who had been given The Reverend Whinge's blue book but was unable to discern in which direction it was urging him to vote.

Ironic isn't it that the SNP have bleated on self-righteously for decades about Scotland in 1707 being "bought and sold for English gold" and then resort themselves to a policy, the mainstay of which is cynical barefaced bribery and exploitation of those unfortunate people least able to appreciate what is going on.

Edited by Charles Bannerman
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I disagree. Until the vow, there was clear and rapid momentum from No to Yes with the gap narrowing from 20 points to, in one case a Yes lead.

 

The No supporters can argue many things but they can't seriously argue that these 'promises' didn't make a difference to the result.

I'm a bit of a stats geek but it didn't quite work like that.  There was a narrow squeeze but not very much when you take YouGov out of it.  Now, in UK elections, YouGov has been excellent but poor in Scotland (ICM are far better).  The massive narrowing was greatly exaggerated by a change in methodology when YG realised they were hugely underestimating the amount of SNP voters they were picking up.

 

As for broken promises...I suspect many will be upset over what is eventually reached but No would still have won, just more narrowly.  What if it would have been Yes?  Would the currency union have appeared?  Would Junckers have admitted his statements of an application being necessary was a ruse?  No to both.  Neither side would have got exactly what they want but the Scottish people made their decision.  Saying they were too stupid to realise the issues is patronising stuff.  There were bigger broken promises there to be found.

 

What would have been interesting is if Yes had laid it out on the line.  What were the plans for the currency if no union?  How would Scotland cope being outside the EU?  Is the Euro something that is a no go, no matter what inducements the EU offer?  As you can see on this very forum, I was leaning towards Yes until the White Paper.  Maybe they needed to go for the blind optimism approach to get the Labour vote in Glasgow's estates but it certainly turned me right off.  As I've said a number of times, there was a case for independence but Yes didn't make it.

 

But can't we move on?  Enough with insults about wanting to be Greater England and throwing toys out of prams.  I would hope that we all want Scotland to succeed, independent or British.  If your hope is that Scotland fails so you can wave your little flag about, it's not patriotism that's driving you but selfishness.  If you are simply expecting Scotland to not succeed...well, let's put that aside for the moment and work together.  I guarantee you, I would have been waving the Scottish flag if independence had come, maybe even voting Labour to get the best deal from Westminster after the break up (and that's saying something after the Blair/Brown years!).  We're all in this together, like it or not, so let's try to make it work.

 

 

I agree with the sentiment there but would really like to hear some clear goals of those who seek to pacify Scotland.

 

What exactly can we do to work together, to make the whole of the UK better?  Ignorring the obvious question of why havent we done it before, is there a clear path to actually improving social inequality, increasing social mobility, improving quality of life?

 

Miliband is asking for Scottish voters to rally behind his £8 an hour minimum wage (in 2020) but with no tie in to inflation, £8 an hour in 6 years time will be no better for folk than £6 an hour is just now. 

 

Theres no plan in place to reduce the national debt besides kicking the can further down the road.  Theres no party talking about smashing the civil service to bits to structure it more in line with the private sector, with just piecemeal tinkering the Unions will stand for.  No party is talking about how to open up access to services currently available to Scots in England, devolved regions of England spending more of their own money won't work as theres even more inequality and poverty down here than there is in Scotland and devolution will only further create division in quality of life that no party will stand for (such as those between Scotland and England already).

 

Also theres no talk of constitutional reform for the House of Lords anywhere, theres still not going to be any greater say for Scotland at national level on foreign affairs, defence or budget policy, our MP's are still outnumbered 10/1 by those in England unless we can get a federalised system that no part besides the Lib Dems is talking about.  Under a federalised system, where each region has a set number of representitives making decisions equally, Scottish MP's would be able to vote more in line with MP's representing similarly disenfranchised demographics in the North of England even if its accross party lines there will be a more defined Left/Right balance than the current party lines where everyone is mixed in the middle.

 

What Scotland has voted in favour of is mind boggling stupid, people obviously don't realise how skint the UK is.

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Doofers Dad is absolutely 100% correct here. All the SNP/Yes were interested in from the start was getting people's crosses in their box and they were never all that fussed about how they did it.

One of the main things they benefited from was complete ineptitude on the part of the Labour Party from the mid 90s right through until the polls closed last Thursday.

* In the mid 90s, Labour abandoned their Socialist principles in order to make themselves electable and hence created a political vacuum which the SNP instantly filled with various promises to the "have nots". In the run up to the referendum they knew, if successful, these would only be exposed as completely vacuous AFTER an irreversible decision had been made.

* By creating the Scottish Parliament in 1999, far from "killing Nationalism stone dead" (as George Robertson claimed would be the case) they instead obligingly provided the SNP with a soapbox.

* One of their own - Wendy Alexander - advised back in 2008 that they should "bring it (a referendum) on" at a time when there would have been an overwhelming NO vote. They failed to grasp that opportunity and rejected Wendy's proposal.

* They then proceeded to run such an inept 2011 Scottish "Sandwich Shop" election campaign that there materialised an SNP majority in the Scottish Parliament even although only 22% of the electorate voted SNP.

* And finally, with the complacency which has always been the hallmark of the Labour party in Scotland, they ran such a poor NO campaign that they couldn't even hold on to a significant slice of their "own" supporters.

 

But to return to DD's accurate appraisal, much of the Yes vote didn't actually come from people who support separation. Many voted Yes because they were promised more cash in their pockets after Yes were allowed to take over the Socialist agenda. As a result, much of the Yes vote was a consequence of Socialist - Capitalist considerations and not motivated by any fundamental support for separation.

There is also a further consideration which I fully acknowledge may offend some, but is a fundamental, albeit unfortunate truth. The experience of 37 years in the classroom told me long since that, regrattably, perhaps around a third of the population are simply not capable of understanding the issues of the debate. I would also suggest that a disproportionate slice of these people were seduced by self interest and instead responded to simplistic bribes from the SNP and voted Yes.

Ironic isn't it that the SNP have bleated on self-righteously for decades about Scotland in 1707 being "bought and sold for English gold" and then resort themselves to a policy, the mainstay of which is cynical barefaced bribery and exploitation of those unfortunate people least able to appreciate what is going on.

 

 

To suggest that people had to be tricked into voting for the SNP/Yes on the back of false promises of more money is no different to the proportion of No voters who had to be scared into voting to remain in the Union, without realising the dangers that lay ahead if doing so.

 

The SNP is by a distance the most popular party in Scotland and it isn't necessarily all due to protest votes against New Labour, since 2007 Alex Salmond and the SNP have lead an incredibly efficient government at Holyrood despite the contstraints of the current devolution settlement.  They've also done well at council level where others have failed for decades, Dundee being the best example, where they have visbily revitilised the city's prospects through council level negotiations to promote industrial investment in their Universities after decades of decline under Labour.

 

You can call the SNP's policies since the mid-90's a bribe for sure but who were they trying to bribe?  Do traditional Labour voters really care about the protection of rural education and health facilities?  Do all the people on benefits really care about a council tax freeze when they don't pay CT already?  Who benefits from protecting rural post offices?

 

Slashing business rates at council level has changed lives, was that a bribe to the working class aswell?

 

I've said it myself that the Yes campaign turned too Socialist in targetting Labour voters, Scotland is traditionally a country of innovators, merchants and tight ******** who would happily have voted yes on a ticket of equal opportunity for all, rather than equal reward.

Edited by clacher_holiday2
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 the SNP have lead an incredibly efficient government at Holyrood despite the contstraints of the current devolution settlement. 

Well for starters....

 

* They have centralised control of the police who also now adopt "one (central belt) size fits all" policies such as the routine carryng of guns.

* They will not save nearly as much cash through this policy as they claim.

* They have also removed the Fire Service from local control.

* They have imposed a Council Tax freeze which reduces the capacity of local councils to implement the wishes of their local electorates.

* They have, whilst implementing all the above centralisation, set themselves up as paragons of the devolution of power.

* They have made a total pig's ear of implementing their flagship Curriculum For Excellence policy in education.

* They have failed to provide the women of Scotland with the childcare provision over which they have devolved power.

* They have allowed public services to struggle by failing to use the tax varying powers afforded them by the devoluiton settlement of 1999 and instead blamed "Westminster". Now, not even having used powers already granted, they are screaming for more.

* They have allowed their justice system to get into total disarray with issues like the corroboration question still in the air.

* They have completely sidelined the day to day needs of the Scottish people whilst preoccupied for the last three years with their now failed vanity project.

Edited by Charles Bannerman
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Well for starters....

 

* They have centralised control of the police who also now adopt "one (central belt) size fits all" policies such as the routine carryng of guns.

* They will not save nearly as much cash through this policy as they claim.

* They have also removed the Fire Service from local control.

* They have imposed a Council Tax freeze which reduces the capacity of local councils to implement the wishes of their local electorates.

* They have, whilst implementing all the above centralisation, set themselves up as paragons of the devolution of power.

* They have made a total pig's ear of implementing their flagship Curriculum For Excellence policy in education.

* They have failed to provide the women of Scotland with the childcare provision over which they have devolved power.

* They have allowed public services to struggle by failing to use the tax varying powers afforded them by the devoluiton settlement of 1999 and instead blamed "Westminster". Now, not even having used powers already granted, they are screaming for more.

* They have allowed their justice system to get into total disarray with issues like the corroboration question still in the air.

* They have completely sidelined the day to day needs of the Scottish people whilst preoccupied for the last three years with their now failed vanity project.

 

 

Has crime increased since the police were reorganised?  Has there been a sudden surge in crime or a delay in the response to criminal activity that never happened before the centralisation?

 

Has Scotland seen more people burn to death sicne the Fire Service was centralised?  Do you feel more vulnerable?

 

Do you think the 'local electorate' would vote for or against an increase in Council Tax, on the promise of more being done locally with the money?  I wouldnt be against individual councils have the power to offer it to people as part of council elections.

 

Childcare and Education I've no idea about but from doing a bit of research, the childcare issue is moving in the right direction even now, using the devolved power.

 

The tax varying powers are tax increasing powers, their argument with Westminister is that the money to pay for the extra services is already there, the SNP would just rather have the money spent on social services than faster trains around London and faster missiles to fire at nobody. 

 

The corroboration issue had SNP opponents aswell as advocates, as you say the question is still up in the air, disarray is exaggerated spin that could be used to describe any change in the law.  You could say the changes to Double Jeopardy sent the justice system into 'disarray' aswell, yet its hard to argue against the motives behind abolishing it.

 

Can you highlight any good they have done since taking over Holyrood or is it just a consistent seethe?

Edited by clacher_holiday2
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 their argument with Westminister is that the money to pay for the extra services is already there, the SNP would just rather have the money spent on social services than faster trains around London and faster missiles to fire at nobody. 

 

 

 

I would prefer the analogy that it might be better to have had the money spent on the A9 years ago rather than on a second Forth crossing or on the Edinburgh trams. For the SNP to blame "Westminster" (or is it OK just to call them "the English" again now the vote is past?) is a bit rich when the SNP centralises power on itself and on Edinburgh and continues the practice of marginalising the Highlands in which central Scotland has indulged for centuries.

Edited by Charles Bannerman
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Mr Bannerman, may I ask have you ever been outside of this UK. Up until recent years we were one of the very few countries in the world with a police force who didn't carry guns. We also live in a country where police officers are being killed or seriously injured in the line of duty by guns so why shouldn't they carry the ultimate protection?

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To be honest if I see a police officer with a gun my thoughts change instantly and he no longer becomes the friendly policeman I am used to...

 

I am all for gun squads that get called out but they should not be on show if they are not needed, hell you can't even have fag packets on show in shops anymore but guns are okay?

Edited by Ayeseetee
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To suggest that people had to be tricked into voting for the SNP/Yes on the back of false promises of more money is no different to the proportion of No voters who had to be scared into voting to remain in the Union, without realising the dangers that lay ahead if doing so.

 

 

 

I actually think it is fundamentally different.  Let's not forget there were scare tactics on both sides, with the YES campaign scare stories on the NHS being described by Johann Lamont as the most shameful bit of electioneering she has ever come across.  And of course one person's scare story is another person's identifying the risks of one course of action.

 

What the SNP were doing with what I have called "bribes " was quite different.  The White Paper on the independence referendum "Scotland's future" goes way beyond a paper detailing the process and certain consequences and, indeed the case for independence.  What it provided was a manifesto for the 2016 election detailing what measures the SNP proposed to implement in an independent Scotland.  It then heavily promoted those policies to those who would benefit most.

 

The problem here is that it was a one horse race.  No other major party could say what policies they would propose if there was an independent Scotland because they were all opposed to independence.  To put forward policies in the event of an independent Scotland would only serve to encourage people to vote YES if they liked the policies.  All that the other parties could say is that the policies were not affordable; to which the SNP's response was that they would borrow to fund the policies.  This gave the SNP free reign to stick in anything which they thought might be popular.  As Charles says. it didn't matter whether the policies were affordable or not, by the time these bought votes resulted in Independence an irrevocable change would have been made.  The SNP would then either renege on their promises or plunge the nation into debt.  Either way, they wouldn't be caring because we would be an independent country and that was the goal all along.

 

I don't blame the SNP for this.  There were no rules of engagement, as it were, to stop turning the referendum into an election. The loophole was there and they exploited it for all they were worth.  As with so much, the blame lies with Better Together and the Unionist leaders for letting them get away with this.  This tactic of the SNP was obvious from the start - after all, they turned a Government White Paper into a party manifesto!  Labour should have responded in kind.  They will have seen the White Paper / manifesto and could have issued a preliminary manifesto for the 2015 election and argued firstly that what the SNP were promising was not affordable in an independent Scotland, and secondly that a UK Labour Government would be able improve on much that is currently a problem - and do it before the SNP could in an independent Scotland.  Perhaps they felt such tactics were not consistent with the togetherness approach.  Whatever the reason, they let the SNP electioneer virtually unchallenged and focused instead on the issues which should have been what the referendum was all about but which was of little interest to some of the most vulnerable in our society who were being offered something tangible by the SNP.

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To be honest if I see a police officer with a gun my thoughts change instantly and he no longer becomes the friendly policeman I am used to...

 

I am all for gun squads that get called out but they should not be on show if they are not needed, hell you can't even have fag packets on show in shops anymore but guns are okay?

 

I dunno, Ayeseetee,in a country in which foodbanks are protected by billions of dollars worth of nuclear weapons, guns in the holsters of a few police seem the lesser of two evils.  Personally, not too keen on the guns being carried by any officers as a matter of course....you'd not have thought it was outwith the bounds of possibility to have gun cabinets in a selection of fairly central police stations over Scotland, would you?

 

I do not  think that the decision to arm some policemen routinely is one which should have been the decision of the Chief Constable, anyway. Parliament should have been able to vote on it.

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I would prefer the analogy that it might be better to have had the money spent on the A9 years ago rather than on a second Forth crossing or on the Edinburgh trams. For the SNP to blame "Westminster" (or is it OK just to call them "the English" again now the vote is past?) is a bit rich when the SNP centralises power on itself and on Edinburgh and continues the practice of marginalising the Highlands in which central Scotland has indulged for centuries.

 

 

* They have centralised control of the police who also now adopt "one (central belt) size fits all" policies such as the routine carryng of guns.

 

I know you see yourself as a cynic and intellectual, you probably introduce yourself as a journalist, in your own eyes the voice of reason. 

 

However its snippets like the above that bring your true nature to the fore, you're short sighted and stubborn, you're as much of a cosmopolitan liberal thinker as I am a black man.

 

This 'central belt' you speak of includes many hundreds of thousands of people more affluent than your middle class Highlander's, with many more peaceful and safe areas than Inverness, with even less need for armed police on the streets.  'Central Belt' as you have used it is a relic of the old world, Us v Them down south, using Central Belt to describe poor and dangerous areas where arming police isnt as terrible an idea as you would first assume.

 

You then let slip again- "or is it OK just to call them "the English" again now the vote is past?", projecting your own out-of-touch outlook on the SNP and Yes campaigners.  You should read Irvine Welsh's article I posted earlier on the phases Scottish society has gone through leading us to the point 45% of the population don't want to be in the Union, the anti-English guff is decades out of date and played no role in the campaign, regardless of how your bitter-tinted specs may have read between the lines.  Again, its a relic of the old-Highland mentality, chip on the shoulder stuff you no doubt style yourself as being above, to even pressume anti-Englishness is still an issue to snipe against.

 

Sadly I suspect you are set in your ways and will dismiss any knock on your perceptions as coming from somebody unworthy of your time, the sort of person who could be conned into thinking Scottish self determination might not be a bad idea.

 

The truth is that I am somebody who grew up in the Highlands just long enough to see the generational decline of the small mindedness you've displayed already.  I had access to news, communication and travel globally during my formative years, before the ingrained Heelin chip on the shoulder could be formed and can spot a dinosaur a mile away.

 

You will prove to be on the wrong side of history on this issue CB, the UK is finished globally and will start to tear itself apart starting at the general election next May, Scotland will suffer in the short term like the rest of the island but will ultimatley come out smelling of roses once we stand up for ourselves.

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To suggest that people had to be tricked into voting for the SNP/Yes on the back of false promises of more money is no different to the proportion of No voters who had to be scared into voting to remain in the Union, without realising the dangers that lay ahead if doing so.

 

 

 

I actually think it is fundamentally different.  Let's not forget there were scare tactics on both sides, with the YES campaign scare stories on the NHS being described by Johann Lamont as the most shameful bit of electioneering she has ever come across.  And of course one person's scare story is another person's identifying the risks of one course of action.

 

What the SNP were doing with what I have called "bribes " was quite different.  The White Paper on the independence referendum "Scotland's future" goes way beyond a paper detailing the process and certain consequences and, indeed the case for independence.  What it provided was a manifesto for the 2016 election detailing what measures the SNP proposed to implement in an independent Scotland.  It then heavily promoted those policies to those who would benefit most.

 

The problem here is that it was a one horse race.  No other major party could say what policies they would propose if there was an independent Scotland because they were all opposed to independence.  To put forward policies in the event of an independent Scotland would only serve to encourage people to vote YES if they liked the policies.  All that the other parties could say is that the policies were not affordable; to which the SNP's response was that they would borrow to fund the policies.  This gave the SNP free reign to stick in anything which they thought might be popular.  As Charles says. it didn't matter whether the policies were affordable or not, by the time these bought votes resulted in Independence an irrevocable change would have been made.  The SNP would then either renege on their promises or plunge the nation into debt.  Either way, they wouldn't be caring because we would be an independent country and that was the goal all along.

 

I don't blame the SNP for this.  There were no rules of engagement, as it were, to stop turning the referendum into an election. The loophole was there and they exploited it for all they were worth.  As with so much, the blame lies with Better Together and the Unionist leaders for letting them get away with this.  This tactic of the SNP was obvious from the start - after all, they turned a Government White Paper into a party manifesto!  Labour should have responded in kind.  They will have seen the White Paper / manifesto and could have issued a preliminary manifesto for the 2015 election and argued firstly that what the SNP were promising was not affordable in an independent Scotland, and secondly that a UK Labour Government would be able improve on much that is currently a problem - and do it before the SNP could in an independent Scotland.  Perhaps they felt such tactics were not consistent with the togetherness approach.  Whatever the reason, they let the SNP electioneer virtually unchallenged and focused instead on the issues which should have been what the referendum was all about but which was of little interest to some of the most vulnerable in our society who were being offered something tangible by the SNP.

 

 

The SNP really shouldve carried this election at a canter by promoting the potential of all governments under an independent Scotland.

 

A critique of their White Paper as an unaffordable manifesto, is only fair when the other parties bring out their own in the run up to next May, I suspect none of them will be going in with a balanced budget, given how utterly decimated our economy is. 

 

The money ran out years ago, the numbers on the balance have a minus symbol at the start of them.  Don't kid yourself into thinking we're a rich country when it's all been paid for with credit cards, we have very little of tangible value to offer the world, every party will be running a government off debt.

Edited by clacher_holiday2
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Mr Bannerman, may I ask have you ever been outside of this UK. Up until recent years we were one of the very few countries in the world with a police force who didn't carry guns. We also live in a country where police officers are being killed or seriously injured in the line of duty by guns so why shouldn't they carry the ultimate protection?

Alex... much of what Ayeseetee has said in this debate I have disagreed with, but I am totally with him in what he says in post 1614. There is also a sub-plot to the carrying of guns question in that it is certainly even less necessary in the likes of Inverness than it is in the central belt, but our one size fits all National Police Force dictates that our local cops should have to have them as well, hence depriving us of local control.

There's the irony. At a time when there is much shouting about devolving powers from "Westminster" to Edinburgh, we are also seeing powers being centralised from areas like the Highlands... also to Edinburgh.

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The reason they voted "YES" is that the SNP hijacked the referendum and did some shameless electioneering by promoting a range of un-affordable policies which they said they would introduce if Scotland was independent and which would be directed to the poorest in our society.  These folk are mainly in labour heartlands where support for independence has always been low.  They didn't vote YES because they believed in the arguments for independence, they voted YES because they were promised short term benefits if Scotland became independent.

Doofers Dad is absolutely 100% correct here. All the SNP/Yes were interested in from the start was getting people's crosses in their box and they were never all that fussed about how they did it.

 

You are both correct on this but what you fail to add is that the other parties /No campaign did exactly the same thing!  Politicians are all the same they want your vote and will tell you anything to get it.

 

But to return to DD's accurate appraisal, much of the Yes vote didn't actually come from people who support separation. Many voted Yes because they were promised more cash in their pockets after Yes

 

Both camps did exactly the same thing by saying you will be better of with them and the sad thing is some people believe them.

 

There is also a further consideration which I fully acknowledge may offend some, but is a fundamental, albeit unfortunate truth. The experience of 37 years in the classroom told me long ago that, regrettably, perhaps around a third of the population are simply not capable of understanding the issues of the debate.

 

I do not have that experience in the classroom but in the 10 years I was there I learnt enough to listen and make up my own mind on things. 

 

 

 

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'Central Belt' as you have used it is a relic of the old world, Us v Them down south,

 

the anti-English guff is decades out of date and played no role in the campaign, regardless of how your bitter-tinted specs may have read between the lines.  Again, its a relic of the old-Highland mentality, chip on the shoulder stuff you no doubt style yourself as being above, to even pressume anti-Englishness is still an issue to snipe against.

 

I fully understand that you would wish to project Scotland as being rather more unified than it really is, but the stark truth is that central belt prejudice against the Highlands remains alive and well.

And I am also in absolutely no doubt that a large chunk of the Nationalist persuasion are simply the same old Anglophobes as they ever were - it's just that, in the interests of electability, Party HQ has of late declared a ban on expressing it.

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 their argument with Westminister is that the money to pay for the extra services is already there, the SNP would just rather have the money spent on social services than faster trains around London and faster missiles to fire at nobody. 

 

 

 

I would prefer the analogy that it might be better to have had the money spent on the A9 years ago rather than on a second Forth crossing or on the Edinburgh trams. For the SNP to blame "Westminster" (or is it OK just to call them "the English" again now the vote is past?) is a bit rich when the SNP centralises power on itself and on Edinburgh and continues the practice of marginalising the Highlands in which central Scotland has indulged for centuries.

 

The SNP were planning to upgrade the A9 in the first term of being in Government after 8 years of rule by Labour/Lib Dems but they were outvoted by the 3 main parties in favor of the Edinburgh Trams which had run millions over budget!  The work is finally started although it will take years to complete at least we will get it completed and hopefully within budget.

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Mr Bannerman, may I ask have you ever been outside of this UK. Up until recent years we were one of the very few countries in the world with a police force who didn't carry guns. We also live in a country where police officers are being killed or seriously injured in the line of duty by guns so why shouldn't they carry the ultimate protection?

Alex... much of what Ayeseetee has said in this debate I have disagreed with, but I am totally with him in what he says in post 1614. There is also a sub-plot to the carrying of guns question in that it is certainly even less necessary in the likes of Inverness than it is in the central belt, but our one size fits all National Police Force dictates that our local cops should have to have them as well, hence depriving us of local control.

There's the irony. At a time when there is much shouting about devolving powers from "Westminster" to Edinburgh, we are also seeing powers being centralised from areas like the Highlands... also to Edinburgh.

 

Charles you and many others seem to be believing all the local media propaganda!  The old Northern Constabulary were carrying hand guns before they became Police Scotland but it is not the routine arming of the police as stated by many.  There are a few trained firearms officers on duty at any one time who will attend other calls if they are required and go into a shop or filling station to purchase lunch.  I am not concerned at all if I see them on my day to day business and am sure others would not notice either if it was not in the papers every week.

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'Central Belt' as you have used it is a relic of the old world, Us v Them down south,

 

the anti-English guff is decades out of date and played no role in the campaign, regardless of how your bitter-tinted specs may have read between the lines.  Again, its a relic of the old-Highland mentality, chip on the shoulder stuff you no doubt style yourself as being above, to even pressume anti-Englishness is still an issue to snipe against.

 

I fully understand that you would wish to project Scotland as being rather more unified than it really is, but the stark truth is that central belt prejudice against the Highlands remains alive and well.

And I am also in absolutely no doubt that a large chunk of the Nationalist persuasion are simply the same old Anglophobes as they ever were - it's just that, in the interests of electability, Party HQ has of late declared a ban on expressing it.

 

 

If you really believe that and are "in absolutley no doubt" then you are an irrelevance in this debate, as you have learned nothing in the past 50 years.

 

The real divisions between people are economic and social, not geographic or racial, most of us will have more in common with working class Mexicans, Iraqi's, Russians, Englishmen or Sudanese than we ever have with white, Invernessian or Scottish millionaires that live a mile down the street from us.

 

Globalisation started hundreds of years ago, skip centuaries of economic and technical development until it finally trickled down to the human level around 2002 with cheap home broadband, boundaries were further broken down by 2006 when using the internet on your phone became viable.  Come forward to a referendum in 2014, collectively we've had years of instant access to new information sources and have been enlightened to so many alternative outlooks that your old parochial outlook on life has been exposed as nothing but a fabrication, its petty to pressume people today still hold the values of the past.

 

But then thats the point isnt it?  If you can super impose a discriminatory opinon upon an entire group of people, then you are justified yourself in never having to take them seriously.  They have no place questioning you, you can laugh off any point they come accross no matter how legitimate it is, as they are mere "Anglophobes".

 

I would never claim there are were no anti-English sentiments amongst some of the dinosaurs in the Yes campaign but like you, they are in the minority.

 

The irony is that you talk about the 'Central Belt' in the manner you probably think us SNP supporters talk about the English, I live in the South of England and from experience can see there are rich, poor, stupid, smart, racist, violent, funny etc English people here, aswell as lots of other nationalities, much like Inverness and the Central Belt you're so affraid of.

Edited by clacher_holiday2
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 Politicians are all the same they want your vote and will tell you anything to get it.

 

 

 

 

I haven't agreed with much of what IBM has said across the piece either, but I now find a firm area of common ground with him as well.

My approach to politics is relatively straightforward. The overwhelming motivations for politicians as a species are self interest and the pursuit of power. The people they claim to represent are merely the vehicle they use in order to achieve these objectives.

I support no political party. I simply dislike the SNP rather more than the others because I flatly disagree with their objective of separation. They also unfortunately seem to keep acquiring far more than their fair share of highly objectionable individuals among their hierarchy.

As for Labour, just go back to the mid 90s and look at the way in which they cynically "changed" their core beliefs simply to win the 1997 election. This has caused political chaos across the entire UK ever since.

Tories.. privileged "posh boys"... I am trying to keep this as brief as possible.

And while some people for a while might have thought of the Lib Dems as some of Tim Nice But Dim's "bloody nice blokes", that disappeared with the 2011 election.

As the referendum campaign got under way, I emailed three politicians with local connections expressing my hope that their parties could work fully together in the interests of a NO vote. I got a very helpful and constructive reply from Murdo Fraser (Senior Tory who is from Inverness). I got a complacent and patronising reply from a Gofer in David Stewart's Inverness office, assuring me he would pass the email on. I now know that he never did. And I got no reply at all from that arch opportunist Danny Alexander.

Oops... I forgot the Greens. Maybe that's because these lentil munching beardies are quite simply highly forgettable - even when they do take their heads from out of their backsides for long enough to wring their hands in despair when they discover that CO2 levels have gone up another 20 parts per million, while they still fail to grasp that the fundamwental problem is actually population level.

One of the problems about politics is political parties, because government tends to be exercised first and foremost in the interest of these parties rather than in the interest of the people who voted for them to fulfil their sovereign will.

So what do you do? Stand as an Independent? Fat lot of good that is if you remember that Highland Council's fairly large number of Independent councillors then went on to form what was effectively an "Independent Party" which started getting heavy on some members for not following what effectively became Party Policy.

Hence my overall response to politicians and political parties is "a plague on ALL your houses".... as long as the SNP's house can be visited by an altogether more virulent strain :lol:

Edited by Charles Bannerman
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