Calm down, Alex Salmond is not Attila the Hun

The appeals to Labour to put the Union first and spurn an SNP deal coming from Tory warhorses John Major and Ken Baker sound very statesmanlike. But what do they really mean, with Labour just ahead of the Tories in the forecasts?  First, based on all the predictions of main party scores and an SNP landslide, Labour could not form a minority government without some form of SNP support. The Conservatives are stubbornly behind in the polls even though they’re running …

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#Indyref – According to Ashcroft poll, Protestants saved the Union #updated

Interesting post independence referendum poll from Lord Ashcroft (results mirrored actual referendum result). calculated from Ashcroft’s data, makes clear, there does appear to have been a simplistic correlation between religious affiliation and referendum voting patterns. Essentially, the majority of Catholics, non-Christians, and those professing no religion all favoured independence. It was only the votes of Protestants which saved the United Kingdom. The vast majority of these affiliate to the Church of Scotland and may have been influenced by the fact …

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The Nasty Face Of Nationalism

A PERSONAL VIEW by Derec Thompson Derec Thompson is a self-employed web designer originally from Belfast who now lives in Cambuslang just outside Glasgow. He was recently involved as a campaigner for a Yes outcome in the Scottish independence referendum and has consequently joined the Scottish National Party. Follow Derec on Twitter   I’ve just emerged from the first political campaign I’ve ever been involved in. The Scottish independence referendum campaign has possibly been the longest in living memory. As …

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Lessons from #Indyref?

Ok, before the inevitable predictions poll, results debate and recriminations, what lessons can be taken from the totality of the Scottish independence referendum? Here’s a couple of suggestions. 1. The neverendum? A long campaign, or certainly what feels like a long campaign, has pros and cons. The emergence of what seemed to be widespread public engagement by polling day in voter registrations, but will be clearly measured by the actual turn out. Are we to indulge in a bit of …

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#Indyref: An Orangeman on the side of George Galloway

Less than a week and too close to call.  The independence referendum is upon us.  There is no getting away from the fact that the Better Together campaign has allowed the SNP & Yes Scotland to frame the debate and run with the Scotland vs The Tories line. I warned of such the very start.  It is incumbent on Better Together and other `No` groups to counter this narrative.  I understand the need to focus on the `don`t knows` but the resulting …

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Effing Tories

David Cameron made an impassioned defence of the United Kingdom today as he began campaigning for a ‘No’ vote in next Thursday’s Scottish independence referendum. However the phrase making all the headlines is “effing Tories.” Has the Prime Minister scored a spectacular own goal? Cameron said “Because it’s an election, because it’s a ballot, I think people can feel a bit like it’s a general election. That you make a decision and five years later you can make another decision. If …

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Edinburgh Orange Order pro Union parade illegal?

Interesting one from `Cybernat` (his term) Craig Murray regarding the proposed Orange Order demo in Edinburgh shortly before the Independence referendum. The proposed Orange for No march appears plainly to be in contravention of the Public Order Act 1936. This act makes it illegal to wear a uniform to promote a political cause: Section 1 (i) Subject as hereinafter provided, any person who in any public place or at any public meeting wears uniform signifying his association with any political organisation or with, the …

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Murdo Fraser: A Federal Future? #indyref

There is nothing new about the idea of federalism in Britain. Early last century a Cabinet sub-committee was tasked with drafting a Bill for a federal UK, in an attempt to deal with the Irish question. Federalism has long been a Liberal, then Liberal Democrat, objective. In recent months the idea has attracted more interest, as a possible way forward should Scotland vote No in September’s independence referendum. At its core, federalism is the belief that sovereignty is entrenched at …

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Scotland Essay: Why the No side should be looking up in Scotland…

By John McTernan The most important three words in any campaign are not ‘Vote For Me’, but ‘Hold Your Nerve’. The independence campaign has reached what Sir Alex Ferguson used to call ‘squeaky-bum time’. The polls are closing – we are told. The No campaign needs to be positive – opine commentators. Scotland is so different, so progressive – pant assorted lefties breathlessly. Wrong, wrong and wrong. Now is the time for the campaign against separation to hold its nerve. …

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Scotland’s Future … an introductory guide (that shouldn’t be ignored by NI)

The Scottish Government’s 670 page long white paper Scotland’s Future was published today. The document reads like a cross between a party manifesto and a giant FAQ. It’s tone is of modernity and a progressive Scotland. Issues around independence are opportunities not challenges – and derivations of “opportunity” appear four times more often than “challenge”. It makes an independent Scotland seem like a more tangible possibility while simultaneously supplying just enough information to spark hundreds of questions in your head …

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England and Scotland – growing farther apart anyway?

Good to see some real debate emerging over the Scottish independence at last.  But is this happening to late, when the result is all over bar the shouting, with the No vote 20 points ahead, as American polling guru Nate Silver has been telling them at the Edinburgh Festival? Not so with 44 % registering undecided, according to Ipsos Mori. Looking behind the stats, commentators warn against relentless negativity from the Better Together campaign, including Andrew Marr recovering from his stroke, …

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Nate Silver delivers a timely wake up call to the Scotland Yes camp in the #IndyRef?

You get a sense of why Nate Silver has annoyed politicians and pundits in the US when you have a look what he’s been saying in Edinburgh about a prospective Scottish Referendum whilst launching his book, The Signal and the Noise: In an interview with The Scotsman, Mr Silver said polling data was “pretty definitive”. “There’s virtually no chance that the Yes side will win”, he said. “If you look at the polls, it’s pretty definitive really where the No …

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Belief in Scottish independence may see nationalism outperform current poll ratings…

Kevin Toolis provides a fascinating take (h/t John at Nuzhound) on the quiet unionist syndrome noted here yesterday when he looks to Northern Ireland for lessons to draw for Scotland which will in the Autumn time begin to pick up speed in the run to an election… For its adherents Nationalism, he notes, “possesses an intrinsic moral good” which “trumped all personal sacrifice..” …Whatever the polls say, the Yes believers are likely to turn out in far greater numbers to vote as …

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No parallels with Ireland as a pro-union strategy in Scotland begins to emerge at last

There were risks in sending a posh English boy like George Osborne to Scotland to warn that it might be no doddle for an independent Scotland  to continue using sterling as its currency. The move  might yet backfire among thrawn Scots if  the English try to put the frighteners on them. Like pointing out the supposed difficulties of Scotland continuing more or less automatically as a member of the EU, Osborne’s sally north  was part of London’s  growing challenge to the …

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Scotland – will the Orange Order save the Union?

From the Herald comes the news that the Orange Order are mobilising for a “No” vote in the September 2014 referendum on Scottish Independence: THE Orange Order has begun the mobilisation of its members across Scotland as part of its campaign against independence. It has applied to join community councils and is involved in a series of roadshows across greater Glasgow, where it plans to lobby councillors on how it can get involved in the No bid. Similar events have …

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What will become of the May 2015 UK Parliament if Scotland votes “Yes” on independence?

Every so often – but not very often – a major theme enters political  debate which nobody noticed much at first  but when attention is drawn to it, it becomes completely obvious.  This topic is one such I’m posting here on how a referendum vote in favour of Scottish independence in September 2014 could greatly complicate the options for transitional UK government up to the general election in May 2015 and even more, the composition and form of the UK government thereafter. …

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Unionists be warned. Negative campaigning against Scottish independence is not enough

A warning shot against unionist complacency in Scotland… Backing for independence among voters aged 18 to 24 stood at 58 per cent, according to the latest Ipsos MORI survey on voting intentions for the 2014 referendum…There were 34 per cent who supported Scotland leaving the UK, the poll of more than 1,000 people interviewed between 4 and 9 February showed. Support for Scotland staying in the Union fell slightly, going from 58 per cent to 55 per cent over the …

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Opening shots muffled in UK government’s fightback against Scottish independence campaign

Significantly as PM and not as Conservative leader David Cameron launched on Sunday a “heart and head” campaign against Scottish “separation” as unionists like to call it, with a upbeat image of four happy partners. Britain is admired around the world as a source of prosperity, power and security. Those glorious Olympics last summer reminded us just what we were capable of when we pull together: Scottish, English, Welsh, Northern Irish, all in the same boat – sometimes literally Dave’s …

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An Irish Borgen?

Dyspeptic Scots columnist Kevin McKenna (now where did that name come from?) is  so right when he says Scottish politics are too boring to mount a drama like Borgen. But then, Alex might reply that Scotland is not an independent country – yet. Staying glued to Borgen though fits perfectly into Scottish culture. Manfully, I’ve been trying to lower the life expectancy of Borgen fans by preparing for the Saturday night fix thus: watching Soccer AM; grabbing a few Bacardis; …

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Referendum blues

Bad news for the Yes campaign for Scottish independence, analysed by the psephological  guru of gurus John Curtice. It’s a debate worth following not only for its own sake but for  how issues wider than the border itself might feed into any referendum debate in Ireland. First off, the headline: just 23% now say that “Scotland should become separate, independent from the rest of the UK”. That’s nine percentage points lower than last time round in 2011…Going beyond that headline finding, there’s …

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