Features

What Britain will lose if Scotland goes

Our future disunited kingdom could be more of a mess than anyone has really grasped

5 July 2014

9:00 AM

5 July 2014

9:00 AM

On 19 September, people over all Britain could wake up in a diminished country, one that doesn’t bestride the world stage but hobbles instead. If Scotland votes to leave the United Kingdom, it would be Britain’s greatest ever defeat: the nation would have voted to abolish itself.

The rump that would be left behind after a Scottish yes vote would become a global laughing stock. Whenever the Prime Minister of what remained of the United Kingdom raised his voice in the international arena, he would be met by a chorus of ‘You couldn’t even keep your own country together!’ If even the British don’t believe in the British way of doing things any more, then why would anybody else?

This problem would be particularly acute for David Cameron since the referendum would have been lost on his watch. But it would affect his successors too. One can almost hear Vladimir Putin deriding the idea of taking lectures from a country that couldn’t even hold itself together. Those whose job it is to assess threats to our security say that Scottish independence would make us infinitely more vulnerable. President Obama’s decision to intervene in this debate was a result of Washington’s fears about what would happen to its ally’s global role if Scotland left.

The worst thing about a yes vote is that Britain would have been lost in a fit of absence of mind. Scotland is not a colony speaking a separate language; the Scottish people are not discriminated against within the Union. Indeed, the last prime minister and chancellor were both Scots. Rather, the momentum for independence is being produced by a general anti-politics mood and a folk dislike of the Conservative party in Scotland.

It is a weak basis on which to try to rend asunder the most successful marriage of nations in human history, but it has gained traction because this country has forgotten how to talk about itself. We have said for so long that it’s just not British to discuss what makes you British that we have forgotten our raison d’être. If this referendum is defeated, it is imperative that we learn how to foster our sense of national identity again. If we do not, this plebiscite will not be the end of the matter but the beginning.

Already the Scottish vote is casting a long shadow over Britain’s international standing. It looks to the rest of the world as though Britain is having a national identity crisis. One cabinet minister exclaimed after a recent foreign trip, ‘I am fed up with going abroad and being lectured about how to keep my country together.’ What interests a foreign audience most is our two referendums: the one on whether Scotland stays in the United Kingdom and the subsequent one on whether the UK, or what’s left of it, will remain in the European Union.

The rest of the world has grasped something that too many people in this country have not: this September’s referendum isn’t just about Scotland’s future but about the rest of Britain’s too. If Scotland votes ‘yes’, Great Britain will become Little Britain.

One Labour frontbencher tells me that this country would be a ‘shitty Singapore’. This might be going too far, but he has a point. Think of almost any foreign policy or national security issue, and Scotland’s departure from the UK would affect it. Britain’s position in Europe would be weakened, its military forces cut down still further and its nuclear status threatened. But perhaps the most profound effect would be on the nation’s psyche. Scotland choosing to leave would be a Suez moment.

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Many calculate that the departure of Scotland, one of the more pro-European parts of the Union, would strengthen Euroscepticism. But if Scotland went, the next thing to go would be any chance of a substantial renegotiation of Britain’s terms of EU membership.

In the aftermath of Scotland’s departure, what remained of the United Kingdom would hardly be in a position to demand concessions from Brussels. Instead, the attitude would be stay close to Nurse for fear of something worse. It would be 1975 all over again, as a fearful electorate concluded that it had no choice but to stay in Europe despite its misgivings.

If a prime minister did try to renegotiate, it is not hard to imagine how the rest of Europe would react. There would be warnings aplenty about how our prime minister of all people should know about the dangers of playing with referendums. EU leaders would also be far more inclined to call Little Britain’s bluff than they would be Great Britain’s bluff.

If Scotland left, she would take with it a chunk of Britain’s military. But partition would barely reduce the defence demands on the rest of the country, since very little of the forces’ focus is on territorial defence. The Ministry of Defence is so concerned about what Scottish independence would do to the military that it has simply refused to do any contingency planning on the subject. Instead, it is hoping that the jobs associated with Scotland’s defence industry will help swing support behind the Union. The Prime Minister’s presence at the launch of the new Queen Elizabeth carrier is designed to remind voters that these Royal Navy ships are built in Scotland because it is part of the United Kingdom.

The Scottish government’s independence white paper says that, on a population share, Scotland would be entitled to £7.8 billion of the United Kingdom’s £93 billion of defence assets (the 2007 figure). The white paper details what Edinburgh would ask for from each branch of the UK military in negotiations. From the Royal Navy, for instance, it would seek two frigates, four anti-mine boats, two offshore patrol vessels and between four and six patrol boats.

Considering that there are roles for all 13 of the Royal Navy’s frigates in the UK’s defence missions, the loss of these two frigates would reduce capability. What worries those who work for the Chief of the Defence Staff is that these losses would not be replaced. Instead, the Navy would simply be asked to carry on performing the same tasks but with less kit.

This fear is understandable. The United Kingdom is only just hitting the Nato target of spending 2 per cent of GDP on defence. Research commissioned by the military top brass, and subsequently leaked to the Financial Times, shows that in 2017 the country will fail to hit even that target. In these circumstances, and with the defence personnel budget in line for further cuts after the election, it is hard to imagine us choosing to spend enough to make up for the capability lost to an independent Scotland.

But perhaps the greatest danger to the country’s military position from Scottish independence is that a shrunken Britain would simply decide to abandon its global role. As the House of Commons vote on Syria last summer revealed, an isolationist mood already pervades the land. This would be exacerbated by Scotland deciding to leave. After all, this would no longer be the same country that had fought on the winning side in two world wars and coloured half the globe pink. It would, instead, just be the successor state to that great nation.

Scottish independence would pose an immediate challenge to the rest of the kingdom’s nuclear status. The SNP has been campaigning on a promise that it would not accept the nuclear deterrent continuing to be based at Faslane and Coulport. Those familiar with SNP thinking on the matter are adamant that there is no deal to be done on Trident and a currency union: the nuclear weapons would have to go south of the border.

But where? No other base in Britain is equipped to house them and the alternatives that were looked at in the 1960s have become more unsuitable over time. In the best-case scenario, the weapons would be stored in Berkshire while the submarines that are supposed to carry them would be based three hours’ drive away in Plymouth.

Philip Hammond, the Defence Secretary, has already conceded that there would be a ‘huge cost’ in relocating the nuclear deterrent elsewhere in the no-longer-united kingdom. It would take 20 years or more to build a new home for Trident in England, according to the Scottish Affairs Committee of the House of Commons. Indeed, we could end up with the rest of the UK’s nuclear warheads being stored by the French at Brest, something that would effectively end the independence of the deterrent.

It is also doubtful whether what remained of the United Kingdom would be prepared to spend the money necessary to build a new base for Trident. This ‘huge cost’, well into the tens of billions of pounds according to several estimates, might well tip the balance against renewing the nuclear deterrent.

If the remainder of the United Kingdom ceased to be a nuclear power, it would be much more difficult to justify its permanent presence on the Security Council of the United Nations. There would be clamour for this seat to be given up, handed over to the European Union, or its influence lessened by other states being given a permanent presence on the council. In the end, the rump state would probably retain it, as the Russian Federation kept the Soviet Union’s seat. But Britain’s influence would be further diluted.

If Scotland does decide to leave, the United Kingdom would be the first advanced industrialised democracy to separate in the postwar era. It would be an undignified end for a country that in its 307-year history has done more to shape the modern world than any other. The world we live in is one that England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have, in large part, created together.

Scots must look to the horizon before they go into the voting booth. If they decide against reviving a border that was dissolved in the early modern era, it will show that the spirit of the Enlightenment that made Britain great lives on. But if they opt for separation, they will have managed something that no foreign foe has ever achieved. They will have ended Britain.

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Show comments
  • Pier66

    Best thing is Scotland stay with England…. and together we go OUT from euro scum
    in december 2014 after a referendum

    • thomasaikenhead

      Not at all, the best thing for Scotland is to become independent and take control of its own destiny!

      • Pier66

        The story said that Scotland is a great Country with a wonderful people, they gave so much to the world in every single issue…I’m sure they make they right decision stay together and get out from Eu asap.
        YNWA AND TORY IN THE FA

        —-Messaggio originale—-
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        thomasaikenhead
        Not at all, the best thing for Scotland is to become independent and take control of its own destiny! 12:53 a.m., Thursday July 3

        Reply to thomasaikenhead

        thomasaikenhead’s comment is in reply to Pier66:

        Best thing is Scotland stay with England…. and together we go OUT from euro scum in december 2014 after a referendum
        Read more

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      • Pier66

        The story said that Scotland is a great Country with a wonderful people, they gave so much to the world in every single issue…I’m sure they make they right decision stay together and get out from Eu asap.
        YNWA AND TORY IN THE FA

        —-Messaggio originale—-
        Da: notifications@disqus.net
        Data: 3-lug-2014 6.54
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        thomasaikenhead
        Not at all, the best thing for Scotland is to become independent and take control of its own destiny! 12:53 a.m., Thursday July 3

        Reply to thomasaikenhead

        thomasaikenhead’s comment is in reply to Pier66:

        Best thing is Scotland stay with England…. and together we go OUT from euro scum in december 2014 after a referendum
        Read more

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    • alexicon

      It would not be the best thing for Scotland.

      • Pier66

        The story of Scotland is near and together with England and other historic nice country…
        United they are more strong and important…

        Great Dave Cameron and Genius George could give more independence in something they asking for.

        SCOTLAND SAY NO INDEPENDENCE ALWAYS AND FOR EVER

        YNWA AND TORY IN THE FA NOW

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        alexicon
        It would not be the best thing for Scotland.
        2:03 a.m., Thursday July 3

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        Best thing is Scotland stay with England…. and together we go OUT from euro scum in december 2014 after a referendum
        Read more

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  • thomasaikenhead

    “Rather, the momentum for independence is being produced by a general anti-politics mood and a folk dislike of the Conservative party in Scotland.”

    The ignorance and arrogance displayed in this statement is staggering!

    The momentum for independence in recent times was created by the Monklands East by-election launched by the death of Labour leader John smith back in 1992.

    The corruption, tribalism and sectarianism represented by Labour in Scotland, and the fact that it mirrored the political establishment at the time was revealed to the public in its full ‘glory’.

    Labour narrowly won victory but it was a pyrrhic victory, and sowed the seeds of the demise of the Labour Party in Scotland that culminated, decades later, in an SNP majority in Holyrood.

    James Forsyth and the views he delivers in this article epitomise the Anglo-Scottish elite who see the UK and the British Empire as a springboard for their ambitions and a platform to build a career that will bring wealth and power.

    Tony Blair and Gordon Brown are perfect examples of this type, they care not a jot about ordinary Scottish people, or indeed the working-class of the UK but rather simply exploit them to serve their personal, petty interests at the expense of national interests.

    Well, unfortunately for those that follow them, the British Empire is finished and the days of ‘gunboat diplomacy’ are over, and rightly so.

    these political pygmies want to posture and preen on the world stage on behalf of ‘Britain’ rather than address the practical realities of life in the UK for its inhabitants.

    They have been found out, and as members of ‘the political class’, are being increasingly rejected by the electorate.

    Far from being ‘anti-politics’, the public want MORE politics, but on a national, practical level, not a load of old flannel about abstract idelas like the various ‘wars’ on drugs or poverty whilst politicains fill their pockets with gold, but simple, effective solutions to social deprivation and poverty n the UK.

    Scots are voting Yes to independence to regain control over their own, local, affairs as they know that they are ill-served at best by a remote, metropolitan elite based in London!

    Vote Yes in Scotland as it is in the best interests of those who live north of the border AND the rest of the UK!

    • Cath Ferguson

      More recently that may be so. But long before that – and before oil – politicians were getting votes in Scotland by promising and talking about home rule, that goes back to the 1880s and was supposedly supported by Labour, the Liberals and even Tories at some points. And in the 1950s there was a petition with 2 million signatures demanding it passed to Westminster. There is nothing new about the desire of people in Scotland to control our own affairs. It’s been there since the union came about, undemocratically and amid riots.

      • 123db

        The Union came about because the Scots didn’t realise that you didn’t buy colonies, you stole them. It almost went bust due to this oversight, and the union was, in part, the cost of that bail out.
        There was nothing undemocratic about the start of the union – the Scots wanted it!

        • Andrew Morton

          According to the English spy, Daniel Defoe, the Union was supported by virtually nobody in Scotland. Every single burgh in the country submitted a protest against it. It was only carried by the votes of those who were bribed or coerced. The signing was attended by a massive riot in which the people of Edinburgh roamed the streets searching for the commissioners in order to prevent them from signing the Treaty.

          If you’re going to make assertions about an event which is well documented, you should check the facts first.

          • 123db

            There is a nice piece here http://www.scottishrepublicansocialistmovement.org/Pages/SRSMArticlesDanielDefoe.aspx where it seems obvious to me that Defoe needed to make his mission sound as dangerous and as worthy as possible – and fiction was something he was very good at! 😉

          • Andrew Morton

            Nice attempt at deflection. However all other current sources agree with him and the petitions from the Scottish burghs are a matter of historical fact.

            For further reading try Karin Bowie’s, “Popular Resistance and the Ratification of the Anglo-Scottish Treaty of Union,” Scottish Archives, 2008, Vol. 14, pages 10-26

          • Michele Keighley

            For a much better and less emotive history of the debacle read the real documents of the time. Nothing made up, no sanctimonious excuses just the plain truth. Find them in the Spencer Collection at the University of Glasgow – available to read on line.

            http://www.gla.ac.uk/services/specialcollections/collectionsa-z/spencercollection/

          • Greig Craig

            It seems that fiction is also something you excel at yourself.

        • Peter Mcphee

          Is that so ? The Darian expedition was a private project, and not one that the Scottish Government was involved, it was the wealthy rich business men and land owners that lost there money , Scotland was never ever, bankrup!!! Westminster offered them money to cover there losses , but at a price. They sold the Scottish people down the river. ( a parcel of rogue’ s bought and sold for English gold )
          and for your information , there were riots in every town the length and breadth of Scotland when it was sold for a pittance. ??? So much for the Scottish people wanting it …. please go and read some history , before you bleat out rubbish. .

          • 123db
          • John Hamill

            Lets not forget part of the failure of the Darian Scheme was the fact that English warships blockaded the port to prevent Scotland becoming competition to England’s trade.

          • Michele Keighley

            Read the documents of the time John, this is rubbish – the link is above to the Spencer collection in the University of Glasgow

          • Wessex Man

            I’ve, only just got around to reading these fairy tales, what world do you and the 19 people who gave you an up tick live on?

            You have a very warped view of your own country’s history, get and check some real historical instead of the prejudices in the back of your head.

            The money raised to finance the Darien Scheme was raised throughout Scotland- in the records held at Edinburugh University it is stated that- “In February 1696 the subscription was with 400,000 sterling of capital on offer, A mere six month’s later that figure was reached.it was a remarkable achievement, especially when compared to similar ventures of the period. Moreover, it represented an extraordinary investment for a poor country. The subscribed capital was nearly two and a half times the estimated value of Scotland’s exports-and that in a year of harvest failure, when the newly established Bank of Scotland (founded 1695) was also seeking capitalisation. Nearly 1,500 Scots peldged money, the two major Burghs of Edinburgh and Glasgow were pre-eminent.”

            You and others on these pages are seeking to twist historal fact to paint my country as some sort of agressor toward Scotland when in fact England had her hands full fighting a war against France. Scotland decided to take territory already claimed by Spain to establish the Darien Scheme.

            I now fully expect a Scottish Cybernat Nutjob attack for telling the truth. I sincerely hope that the Yes Campaign wins the referendum so that people like you will have to find other targets to vent your fury on.

          • ayescotland

            No one’s saying that the Scottish ruling class wasn’t greedy, but William of Orange forbade support to Darien, which the Scots had a right to expect since he was their King too. The alien act of 1705 meant that Scotland was going to be cut off from North America, a colony they had a right to trade with, and land held by Scots in England would be seized, then the indebted ruling class was offered their debts to be wiped out. This is what caused a parliament if aristocrats to sign away Scotland’s independence. The ruling class of Scotland was greedy and venal, but England did aim to strangle Scotland into submission AND the Scottish people never wanted union at any point.

          • Wessex Man

            No you can’t be allowed to say that without me coming back to correct you. Whilst many in Scotland viewed William as their King. Scotland was still an independent Country when this disasterous scheme was put into practice in an independent country.

            The fact of the matter is that Scotland was not in union with England even if it did share the same Monarch, that Scotland freely entered into this scheme of it’s own will that it was broadly supported by thousands of indiviuals through out Scotland, that England was engaged in war with France that there was not a chance that England would enrage Spain by becoming involved trying to rescue Scottish settlers and England had been invited to become involved in the scheme but chose not to.

            Scotland had believed that she could be an equal on the World Stage with England and the Netherlands and failed.

          • ayescotland

            Allow me to reply, William had Executive Power, including foreign policy, which means that we shared the executive part of government and therefore could expect protection as subjects under the Executive Crown. In a population of over a million a few thousand rich Scots supported Darien. Don’t get me wrong, from a geo-political, empire-building point of view, there was logic in what William did, but the injustice fell on the Scottish people, who lost their country and had to pick up the national debt if England for their troubles (while the wealthy were paid off).

          • Wessex Man

            i have no wish to carry out a dispute with you but it was not a few thousand rich Scots, please read the documents at Strathclyde, Edinburugh and Southampton Universites. All agree that investors came from all walks of life and numbered 1,500 people invested in a very short period of time February to August 1696 raising £400,000. William had banned the dealings in the Darien Company by Willam Paterson prior to that investment in London and Hamburg.

            You should be asking youself why Scotland was so keen to invest after William had banned the trading of the Darien Company.

          • ayescotland

            If Scots had money to invest they were, de facto, rich Scots. Most Scots at that time would not have ever held 2 pound notes in their hands at the same time. Scotland wanted to invest in Darien for a couple of reasons: rich Scots wanted to get richer; Scotland, in an age if Empire, would be overrun without improving its finances. (William did not have Scotland’s interests at heart.)

          • Wessex Man

            come now that is simply speculation on your part, I’ve told you where in Scotland where you can check these facts why don’t you do so?

          • ayescotland

            ‘All walks of life’ – you mean subsistence farmers, itinerant wage labourers, Highland drovers and Newhaven fishwives contributed to Darien in any number. Ridiculous! From a population of a million, 1500 is not a great deal: it is 0.15% of the population.

          • Gregory Mason

            ‘right to trade with’

            Naw.

          • ayescotland

            What do you mean? Scotland émigrés went to North America and traded with Scotland, exactly as English and French émigrés went to North America. Scotland had trading privileges as much as any other nation.

          • Gregory Mason

            You having émigrés there does not give you the “right” to force another country to trade with you.

          • ayescotland

            No one was forced! It was free trade. An idea that The English parliament wanted to drop to bully Scotland.

          • Wessex Man

            oh come on, what did they take to trade with the Kuna? combs!

          • ayescotland

            Your point eludes me…

          • ayescotland

            Your point eludes me…

          • Gregory Mason

            Other targets? Don’t be silly, we’ll still be blamed.

          • Wessex Man

            Please expand on your short comment.

          • Gregory Mason

            I find it highly unlikely that the cybernats or Scottish nationalists will find another target. A fair few of them I have no doubt only support independence because of their hatred of the English and as such we are their bogeyman. We’ll be blamed for everything that goes wrong post-independence (if they vote yes) regardless of how grounded in reality those accusations are.

          • Wessex Man

            I’m rather afraid that I agree with you, if they do vote for independence that must be it, no shared currency, no reunification, no shared forces, Trident housed at Plymouth or Portsmouth, all military works relating to England back to England.

          • Raddiy

            Spot on, though I have no doubt the independence negotiations will give Scotland more than it is entitled to, a guarantee of a a way back in if their economy goes t*ts up, and all at the largesse of the English taxpayer.

          • shaunthebrummie

            who gives a fuck what happens to scots…if they starved so what…they are the enemy…as is that shit CAMERON

          • Commmenter_Without_Portfolio

            If you fully expect a ‘cybernat nutjob’, then perhaps you are not giving those with whom you disagree sufficient respect.

            A massive amount of people are expressing themselves online about the future of their country, and the attempts by some to castigate and demonise them is poor form. Yes, there are those who are abusive and unwelcome, but frankly, they are rare, and on both sides of this debate. Any suggestion that disagreement is a product of mental illness is unwelcome, and likely to only foster further malice and disagreement.

            Why assume negative intentions and aggression before you see it?

          • TheLulzWarrior

            Guess what, moocher? The current system isn´t going to last much longer regadless of the outcome, the UK will soon be bankrupt and unable to import the food needed to feed its populations.

        • poort

          Nothing about the massive bribes to the landholders and lords nothing about the massive English army poised on the border your point is moot the people of Scotland did not want want it and were in fact not even consulted under todays laws that is called annexation and hence illegal

          • HJ777

            And what about the suppression of the press at the time amongst those opposed to union with England?

          • http://www.pearshapedcomedy.com Anthony Miller

            I think that’s rather missing the bigger picture. While it’s true that Union was achieved by a mixture of carrots and sticks (bribery and bullying) the motivation was not the Darien scheme alone. At the end of the 2nd Civil War Charles I had managed to get military support from Scotland to attack England. When the English parliament became a republic under Cromwell this left both countries without a defacto head of state except Cromwell for some time and his authority north of the border was …er… dubious …so he invaded and experimented with parliamentary union (not that he was that much of a democrat) that Charles II then abandoned. After the restoration of the monarchy the Stuarts carried on for some time with the new system of a constitutional monarchy which didn’t really have a consitution running two separate parliaments through one monarch. When it turned out that James II was a closet Catholic and William of Orange deposed him it had started to create a constitutional crisis of sorts because this was the first break in direct lineage of the monarch since Henry VII and some people adheard to the Jacobite line. This problem continued to the Battle of Culloden. When Anne came to the thrown she didn’t have much authority with either the English and Scottish parliaments and couldn’t create an heir so the Act of Settlement was passed in England… but not Scotland … the two countries then got caught in a spiral of legislating against each other with the Scottish Parliament passing the Act of Security which was designed to try and prevent Scotland being stuck with the English Parliament’s choice of monarch after Anne. Politically something had to give or it was going to eventually end up in another war and as people had already had two civil wars something gave. If a similar situation had happened 70 years earlier I doubt if a “peaceful” solution would have been arived at. Anyway the big political schism at the time was sectarian rather than national so the various parties stitched together an expeditious solution. Now that we’re a Constitutional Monarchy only in the name and ceremonial stuff and the vestiages of the House of Lords and the CofE none of this is as important … but what happens if England and Scotland split and the two countries get in such a cycle of legislating against each other again for whatever reasons …? Who knows … it’s uncharted territory. Could be good … could be rubbish… but the history is a bit simpler than Scotland ran out of money / people were bribed. I would point out that Scotland fought wars against England as well as the other way round. That’s what happend in those days…

        • MartinNYID

          Yeah, they wanted it, hence they rioted in the streets when the English threatened to cut off sales from Scotland to force a small group of wealthy merchants into passing it. Revisionist History: the new drug of choice.

        • John Swan

          Sorry Cath the Nobles wanted it, when the populous found out what had been done in their name, there were riots in the street, the scots were sold out to maintain the wealthy elite.

          • Wessex Man

            Please show your sources that the ‘Nobles’ wanted union, it seems even now over 300 years after the event, you still can’t accept that the enthusiasm with which all classes in the mad adventure that was the Darien Scheme that a poor country like Scotland could not afford to get wrong, they did.

            That the union with England was the only solution to a country that was bankrupt.

            I do hope that rather than usuing the usual Mel Gibson Braveheart approach, you are actually studing the very numerous records held at Scottish Universites which will also point you in the right direction for the sources that you have made your statement

        • Joe Douglas Brennan

          The scots never wanted union at all,And stop generalising,It makes you look extremely narrow minded and ignorant.

          But it was a scot “King James the VI of scotland and 1st of england” who created it and even designed the first union flag,And no doubt he had some scottish support,but that support was more than likely forced or bought and paid for through titles and land donations. And i’m damned sure the scots which i am one knew exactly how the english gained their lands,Through invasion,Supression and Wink Wink Holy wars..

        • Greig Craig

          Rubbish. The only Scots who wanted “It” were the Scots who lost their money in Darien,

        • MartinNYID

          Complete and inaccurate rubbish. Try studying a credible history book, rather than a tabloid newpaper.

    • Eddy Coulson

      Labour have just moved up in the Scottish polls and SNP down. We will also win next year. The Tory argument is redundant. Labour promised devolution in 97 and delivered it months, min wage was brought in raising wages for people who were working for greedy employers.

      • poort

        Dream on pal until labour stop being mini tories Scotland will reject them we are not as stupid as some people would have us believe

        • MartinNYID

          INdeed. The Glaikits.

        • thomasaikenhead

          poort,

          You are absolutely right, Scotland has been slowly but steadily rejecting Labour since 1992 at the level of local councils, MSP level, MP level and MEP level.

          What is more, Labour voters are a rapidly ageing group as the SNP becomes ever more popular with the younger and better-educated members of the electorate.

          • Gregory Mason

            ‘younger and better-educated members of the electorate’

            They’re certainly not better educated given that standards in British education have been in free fall for decades.

      • Jim Fraser

        Eddy, we could go for ‘Just One More Push To Get Rid Of The Tories’. Or we could just get rid of the Tories. (Isn’t it fun to be having this discussion on the Spectator’s page!) I like the idea of never having another Conservative government, unless we vote for one. Spectator readers will no doubt say we’ll be doing that pretty damn quick when we have to live with the consequences of our own decisions (and not Westminster’s, for a change). They might be right, but if I were them I wouldn’t hold my breath.

        • HJ777

          Lots of Scots vote Tory. Are you thinking of forcibly expelling them?

          • Jim Fraser

            Not in the least, HJ! In fact I think the Tories in Scotland will do relatively well under independence. Quite large chunks of Scotland are ‘small c’ conservative in outlook, in my opinion. The Conservative party has simply been hampered (tainted is such a harsh word) by it’s connection with the party in the south that, if not actively anti-Scottish, is perceived to rarely have Scotland on its radar. Murdo Fraser (no relation, thank God) stood for the leadership against Ruth Davidson on a ticket of ripping up the party and starting again. Say what you like about him, he is not a stupid man. Once de-coupled from the Union, I think the Tories in Scotland will have a new lease of life. I’m sorry that it wasn’t clear from my comment that by ‘getting rid of the Tories’ I was simply speaking in the political sense of not being governed by a party that a majority of us have not collectively voted for since the war. I’m sure you were only joking when you mention expelling folk but, really, what a strange place for your mind to go. Are you sure you’re not projecting 😉

          • http://owsblog.blogspot.com Span Ows

            I think you’re probably right: their showing in votes (not seats) in 2010 is not too shabby…

            Labour: 1,035,528
            Liberal Democrat: 465,471
            Scottish National Party: 491,386
            Conservative: 412,855

        • Gregory Mason

          According to the stats the Scots have had the government of their choice just as much as the English. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with Scottish MP’s propping up Blair past his ’97 victory.

          • Thomas Mills

            Behave. Blair would have had a comfortable majority of seats for each of his terms without a single Scottish MP.

          • Wessex Man

            The New Labour Government Cabinet was not known as the Scottish Taliban for nothing, the Scottish Ministers outnumbered all other Minsters combined, they had all also signed The Scottish Claim of Right to put the interests of Scotland above all others.

          • Thomas Mills

            Why do you feel the need to lie? A quick google shows at no point did any Blair cabinet have a majority of Scottish ministers. Do you just hope no one will check your nonsense?

          • Wessex Man

            Lie how dare you!

            Hansard

            Gordon Brown, Malcom Chisholm, Tom Clarke, Robin Cook, Alistair Darling, Donald Dewer, George Foulkes, Sam Galbraith, Helen Liddell, Calum MacDonald, Michael Martin, John McFall, Henry McLeish, John Reid, George Robertson, Higel Griffiths, Adam Ingram, Dr Gavin Strang and Brian Wilson!

          • Thomas Mills

            Oh dear. Again with the misleadingness. It’s a bit pathetic really. You’ve added all the people who were members at any time rather than the three different Blair cabinets. At any one time there was never more than 7 Scottish cabinet ministers out of 22, that fell to 6 in the 2nd cabinet and 5 in the last.

          • Jim Fraser

            Gregory, England regularly votes Tory and gets a Conservative government. And quite right, too. Scotland never votes Tory (at least not in the last 50 years) but we still get them in Westminster. Slightly different, don’t you think?

        • stelsewhere

          This Independence is to rid Scotland of Westminster (foreign rule) .. The English Tory’s are simply a catalyst … Labour in Scotland has always been a protest vote against Westminster … with our own country that protest is over!… I can certainly see a large Tory following in an independent Scotland.

          • Jim Fraser

            Quibbling with you on the meaning of large would be daft, St. Eleswhere, so I won’t. We’ll get what we get, democratically, and that’s good eough for me. The left will probably re-align quite significantly, too. Politics seem quite exciting for the first time in years.

          • stelsewhere

            i agree … stating an “amount” may be a little frivolous but the chance to vote for Scottish “only” on anything feels like freedom to me 😉

      • John Hamill

        Reality check Eddy. The UK will not hand over its financial future to Ed Balls. Labour in Scotland will not see power for many a long year. Many people have had their eyes opened to Labour because of this Referendum campaign only the diehards will continue to support them.

      • stelsewhere

        Belfast Taliban retard! .. you lot are too busy throwing bottles at 12yo girls to see what is right in front of you ,, NUTTERS

    • Quinie frae Angus

      Thank you for this post. It sums up exactly what I was thinking as I read this article. I can appreciate James Forsyth’s points but seriously, the level of ignorance displayed by numerous metropolitan-centric writers is, as you say, truly staggering. Have they ever really come up here to talk to people? Read the online indy blogosphere? Been to any of the village hall meetings that are springing up all over the place?

      In short, done ANY on-the-ground news-gathering at all?

    • Peter Gardner

      ‘Scots are voting Yes to independence to regain control over their own, local, affairs as they know that they are ill-served at best by a remote, metropolitan elite based in London!’

      True of many Scots. We English would also vote for independence from them, given the chance and a party that would stand up for the English.

      • http://twitter.com/#!/DavidWLincoln David W. Lincoln

        Do both of you take a look at facebook? I see there is a page of Canadians for a United Britain, and a page of Americans for a United Britain.

        In other words, you can expect those who believe in the Anglosphere to weigh in.

        • DrPlokta

          If Americans and Canadians want the Anglosphere to be united, perhaps they should apply for their own countries to rejoin the United Kingdom.

          • http://twitter.com/#!/DavidWLincoln David W. Lincoln

            Expanding the list of those directly affected by Westminster is a non-starter. Westminster is in over its head as it is.

            Not everything has to be run from London, which is what DLG concluded a century ago.

    • Damon

      So, 137 votes in support of this post and not a single, Unionist vote against? Something a little fishy here, I suspect. The only vote that will count, anyway, will be the one in September, when the Scottish people will indeed secure their prosperity – through voting ‘no’.

      • Jim Fraser

        Maybe you’re right, Damon. But many people in Scotland would say they haven’t much prosperity to secure under the current arrangement. However, I fear Spectator readers in Scotland, like myself, won’t be enough to swing it for you. (p.s. it’s up to 157 now – conspiracy!)

        • Damon

          Perhaps, Jim, perhaps. Nonetheless, I’ll keep taking comfort from those lovely opinion polls which make such delightful reading for us Unionists both south and north of the border. I still believe that Scottish common sense will bring home the bacon in September, and based on current trends, my own optimism has a much sturdier foundation than that of the Nationalists.

          • Jim Fraser

            Ha! You are right to take comfort from the polls, Damon. In fact, as Labour MP Ian Davidson memorably said, it may be all over bar: “some mopping up and bayoneting the wounded”. However, I hear that Blair Macdougall is privately worried that, despite being ahead in the polls from the start, no one thinks that No is winning. By the by, which side are you on for the EU referendum – In or Out? I’d tell you where I stand but, as a voter in Scotland, what I think hardly matters. Other people will be making that decision. Is this what they mean on the telly when the say ‘normal service will be resumed soon’?

  • alexicon

    James Forsyth’s constant use of the term “country” to describe the UK is one of the reasons I am voting YES.
    The UK or Britain is not a country, Even though the latter has been adopted by the establishment to describe Britain. The fact is that the UK is a state and Britain, which was originaly England and Wales, is not a even a country when used in terms of Scotland being included. If you want to include Scotland then the term ‘Great Britain.’
    It may sound as though I am being pedantic, but when it is the identity of my country, Scotland, that is being diluted or slowly diminished from view, then I will take great umbrage at that.
    How can you have 2 countries with a country?

    • black11hawk

      You are being pedantic, that is an extremely fatuous reason to vote for independence. I’ve been up to Scotland twice this year, once on business, once on holiday and there was no sense that Scotland’s culture was being repressed, if anything it seemed as though there was something of renaissance of Scottish culture. The United Kingdom is a country and England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are its constituent parts.

      • alexicon

        I’m going to be pedantic again.
        If you read what I wrote “…is one of the reasons…” not the only reason like you said, “that is an extremely fatuous reason to vote for independence” meaning it was my only reason.

        • black11hawk

          Ok, I accept that you have other reasons, but tell me how we English are supposed to be suppressing Scottish culture. Most English people I know love hearing the sound of bagpipes and the Highland Games and having the odd dram of whisky with a spot of haggis. I would personally see it as a great loss if Scottish culture were to die out.

          • Cath Ferguson

            That post really says it all black11hawk. And that you won’t understand why.

          • HJ777

            and you are incapable of explaining why, it would seem.

          • black11hawk

            Sorry but that isn’t much of an answer. Could you at least try to explain to me, and I apologise if my shriveled brain doesn’t comprehend, how the English are suppressing Scottish culture?

          • Cath Ferguson

            Well firstly, the post mentions nothing about either culture or suppression of it.

            Secondly Imagine for a moment, a pro-EU person from Germany arguing against the UK withdrawing on the grounds that, “Me and many of my friends love toasted tea cake, village greens and morris dancing, honest”?

          • black11hawk

            To be honest that wouldn’t really bother me, it all depends on how much you take umbrage over something. I did not mean that that is all Scottish culture amounts to, I was simply trying to point out that the English don’t hate Scotland and we do not sit around night after night thinking about how to bring Scotland down. For me the referendum is all about democracy. The claim you get ‘governments you didn’t vote for’ is simply not true if you consider yourselves part of a common ‘demos’ with the rest of the people of the UK. I don’t like it when we get Labour governments, but I accept that as the majority view and hope that next time round people will vote Tory. The only reason you could think that the government is illegitimate is if you do not considers yourselves culturally and democratically bound to the rest of the people of the British Isles. If that is how you feel and I think it is deeply sad if that is the case, then you should vote yes, but if not then vote no and let’s stick together in what has been an extremely successful union.

          • Cath Ferguson

            You could make that argument for any level of government though. Why not opt to give all control over defence, welfare etc to Brussels also send all our taxes there for them to choose how to spend? After all, we’re culturally and democratically tied to Europe as well. I wouldn’t support that because I believe the country level is the best (and normal) unit of democracy and governance, with as much devolved locally as is possible. My country is Scotland.

            Doesn’t mean I dislike England anymore than I dislike Canada, the US or Germany, none of which I’d want to hand over control to and become a part of either.

          • black11hawk

            Yes, but at some point the cultural ties become too loose to create a cohesive demos. I would say that considering we have been together as a country for 300 years, we all speak the same language, we have engaged in many mutual endeavours and the cultures of the home nations are more similar to each than they are to say Slavic or Germanic culture that the peoples of the British Isles form a pretty good demos.

          • terregles2

            We have not been together as one country for 300 years. We have been united together as two separate countries since 1707.
            What is a person to do if they wake up governed by Cameron.They looks at what is waiting to take his place. Clegg Miliband and Farage. Time to pack up and leave

          • Michele Keighley

            I personally would be delighted that they have recognised part of the culture of England and appreciate it. But then, I don’t have a preconceived ‘victim’ status to uphold.

          • David Wilson

            Scottish culture is a damn sight more than whisky and bloody bagpipes.

          • black11hawk

            Yes of course it is, Scotland has produced many great authors, poets, singers and other cultural icons but I still don’t see how the English are suppressing that.

          • Eddy Coulson

            Not In some parts

          • northern soul

            Stigmatise yr fellow countrymen…. oh aye, better together right enough

          • alexicon

            I’ve never said the English are suppressing Scottish culture.
            For your information. What I am saying that there is a tendency for Westminster politicians, newsreaders etc. to try and turn my country, Scotland, into a region of Britain which we all know means England to many down south and overseas.
            The constant use of the term “nation” and “country” when refering to the UK is a slight of hand propaganda tool that politicians and the press use all too often.
            I stay in one country and you stay in another and collectively we stay in the UK, or Great Britain and Northern Ireland if you want the correct terms.
            They should say it as it really is and stop using convienience in the ease of words as a double edged sword.
            After all they, the establishment, made the rules up in the first place.

          • black11hawk

            I don’t get why you’re so annoyed about it though, it wouldn’t bother me if someone called England a region of Great Britain, particularly seeing as we are all on one small island together. Anyway, you said you have many reasons for voting yes, which among them would you say is the most important?

          • alexicon

            Okay England is a region of Europe.
            I get annoyed because my country Scotland is being denigrated into a region, we all know how it works.
            Self determination.

    • Eddy Coulson

      Words of nonsense . You hate England and you hate Britain and the UK

      • alexicon

        Do I oh wonderful sage?
        I’ll let you into a secret, I am half English, on my mothers side, and all my elder siblings, 6 of, were all born in England, some stay in England. So for you to say that stupid thing, it’s what I expect from a no voter, is totally wrong.
        My hatred is for the sytem of our politics in the UK not England.
        Now please trot of troll.

      • Mark Mair

        Eddy – can you give me one example of something that is a material benefit to Scotland that we only get as being part of the UK and not if we were independent. They key word is material.

  • alexicon

    James Forsyth’s constant use of the term “country” to describe the UK is one of the reasons I am voting YES.
    The UK or Britain is not a country, Even though the latter has been adopted by the establishment to describe Britain. The fact is that the UK is a state and Britain, which was originaly England and Wales, is not a even a country when used in terms of Scotland being included. If you want to include Scotland then the term ‘Great Britain.’
    It may sound as though I am being pedantic, but when it is the identity of my country, Scotland, that is being diluted or slowly diminished from view, then I will take great umbrage at that.
    How can you have 2 countries with a country?

  • Mark Harper

    “One can almost hear Vladimir Putin deriding the idea of taking lectures from a country that couldn’t even hold itself together”
    You actually believe that the UK ‘lectures’ Russia? Do you truly think that this diminished little crumb of a former empire and pet dog of the USA is listened to seriously by the likes of Russia or China?

    • Eddy Coulson

      Why do you hate the UK so much, I love it

      • northern soul

        Its not hate..its realism

      • Max

        Opium wars, the Great Famine in Ireland, millions of Africans turned into slaves, millions of Indians dead, petting Hitler to start the war etc etc etc. And yes, William Wallace. Great reasons to love the fucking isle, the fucking queen and the fucking nation. Burn in hell.

        • Wessex Man

          my what a well reasoned perfectly argued case for we English to support the Scottish Yes Campaign, which we have been supporting for some time, we would like you to go and shut the door behind you.

  • liam

    “Those whose job it is to assess threats to our security say that Scottish independence would make us infinitely more vulnerable.”
    When I read sloppy language like that I’m less likely to take the rest of the article seriously. Slightly more vulnerable, maybe. Substantially more vulnerable, perhaps. But certainly not INFINITELY more vulnerable.

  • Blindsideflanker

    This article shows the defeatism of the British establishment, which goes along with the belittling of England, they are so Scottish centric they think that that the world will come to an end if Scotland leaves, summed up by the Labour front bencher ( and I would love to know who he is) who says the country that was left would be a ‘‘sh1tty Singapore’. ( I would love to ram that comment down his throat).

    The British establishment have come to believe all the rhetoric of the Nats, no doubt because it plays to their self loathing, and loathing of England. If they are worried about population size, losing 5 million Scots only represents 8% of our population, which just takes us back to the population we were 10 years ago. Hardly a catastrophic loss of population, soon to be made up with their mass immigration madness. And as for the loss of military capability, well aren’t they the stupid ones for failing to make any forward planning, and criminally stupid for closing down English regiments, that had no problem with recruiting, in order to keep Scottish ones that did. and as for the insanity of shutting down the last warship building capacity in England to centre it in Scotland, well Hammond and his mates should be put up against a wall and shot for that.

    The British establishments trauma at losing Scotland, isn’t really about losing a large chunk of our country, for Scotland is pretty small beer, it is really about their distress at the thought of having to recognise England.

  • MichtyMe

    Mr Forsyth, Scotland cannot vote to leave the United Kingdom but it can vote to end it. Without Scotland or England there is no Union and no UK. The problem with “Unionists” is that they are not that, they are metropolitain/ english supremacists who just think that UK is another name for England.

    • https://belasariust.wordpress.com/ solly gratia

      No. I’ve always used Britain to mean the whole of the UK. It’s only the trendy nationalist movements of Scotland and Wales that required me to take cognizance of something called England, and then to take notice of the fact that those of us outside London fare well down the list behind the City, Wales, NI and Scotland. We are the last place to have local based democracy. We still haven’t got it, and our national politics is skewed by the labour bloc of London and Scotland.

      • MichtyMe

        Was not Britannia the name given to the servile province (south of the wall) by their Italian conquers?

        • IainRMuir

          It was the name given to the bits they were bothered about.

        • Kennybhoy

          Sad wee manny…

          • MichtyMe

            Oh dear, nae levity allowed po face?

        • Gwangi

          Italian? Oh my. I can assure you that Ancient Rome has very little in common with modern Italy.
          And in fact, Britain refers to ALL of Britain including the land to the north which became Scotland but which in fact is several countries stitched together (shall we break that union up too into Scots/Irish and Picts and Vikings?)
          Moreover, the Romans only didn’t go further north for reasons of geography – and also because there was and is F all there!

    • black11hawk

      What are the English supposed to have done?

  • Paul Docherty

    I’m glad that people are beginning to wake up to the enormity of Scottish Independence, however this article does illustrate one of the reasons it is happening and one of the reasons Scotland will vote Yes.
    You speak of power, posturing and position, but not about people. The current system of government (regardless of which party is in power) is based on greed, self-interest and pandering to the super-rich and multinationals. Any crumb thrown to the population is calculated to be just enough to (hopefully) stop revolution.
    Westminster has abandoned the population in favour of the financial markets, to the point where 1 in 4 children are in poverty and even working people are ‘stealing’ food from bins behind supermarkets to feed their families.

    This isn’t about Scotland hating the Tories, or the English, or Britain. Scotland just happens to be the only part of Britain which has a chance to leave this corrupt, failing system and build one which is fairer. Fairness is the word you’ll hear most often in any Yes campaign meeting. An independent Scotland want to give everyone a fair chance of work or education, keep the NHS free of privatisation, look after the elderly, disabled and poor rather than demonizing them.
    An independent Scotland want to keep British values – it’s Britain which is leaving them.

  • Paul Docherty

    I’m glad that people are beginning to wake up to the enormity of Scottish Independence, however this article does illustrate one of the reasons it is happening and one of the reasons Scotland will vote Yes.
    You speak of power, posturing and position, but not about people. The current system of government (regardless of which party is in power) is based on greed, self-interest and pandering to the super-rich and multinationals. Any crumb thrown to the population is calculated to be just enough to (hopefully) stop revolution.
    Westminster has abandoned the population in favour of the financial markets, to the point where 1 in 4 children are in poverty and even working people are ‘stealing’ food from bins behind supermarkets to feed their families.

    This isn’t about Scotland hating the Tories, or the English, or Britain. Scotland just happens to be the only part of Britain which has a chance to leave this corrupt, failing system and build one which is fairer. Fairness is the word you’ll hear most often in any Yes campaign meeting. An independent Scotland want to give everyone a fair chance of work or education, keep the NHS free of privatisation, look after the elderly, disabled and poor rather than demonizing them.
    An independent Scotland want to keep British values – it’s Britain which is leaving them.

    • Kennybhoy

      I disagree, but well argued…

      • Andrew Morton

        I agree with Paul.

    • Eltipoborracho

      Usual bollocks from a Yes voter why not just admit that you hate England and being British and i suspect trying to get for Scotland what your bombs and guns couldn’t get for Northern Ireland i.e. separation from the U.K.

      • Col McGillveray

        ^^^^^This^^^^^^^^^^

      • Paul Docherty

        I love England, and I really hope that Scottish independence will bring about a positive change across the whole UK. We all deserve better than what the UK has become.
        For the record, I don’t own any bombs or guns. I do have a vote though, and I’d like to use it to bring about greater democracy.

        • HJ777

          You don’t like what the UK has become?

          You don’t like free, prosperous democracies respected around the world?

          • Paul Docherty

            The UK is a great idea, in theory. But it has become a place where the rich can’t lose and the poor can’t win. It has the biggest gap between rich and poor in the developed world, where sick and disabled people commit suicide from despair, where 1 in 4 Scottish children are in poverty, and parts of Glasgow have lower life expectancy than third world countries. I’m not proud of any of that. I’d like it to change.

            Prosperous? Seriously?

            As for democracy, Scotland has never got the government it voted for, but always the one England votes for. Many in Scotland would like the chance to make our own mistakes. I don’t think that’s so unreasonable.

          • HJ777

            You need to try living in other countries (as I have) and then you would come to appreciate the UK.

            The picture you paint of sick and disabled people here committing suicide out of despair – by implication because of the union – is simply ridiculous.

            Child poverty is measured only in relative terms and does not take into account state provision of services. Scotland has seen a large fall in such measured child poverty in recent years anyway and it is not substantially different from England. And in what way is life expectancy in Glasgow a problem caused by the union?

            The fact of the matter is that the UK is very prosperous and separation would have a substantially negative economic impact (especially on Scotland) for at least a decade.

          • poort

            Child poverty has risen in Scotland year on year under the tories and please explain why it would have a negative effect on Scotland simply stating opinion doesn’t make it fact

          • HJ777

            The Joseph Rowntree Foundation says it has fallen. I prefer to believe them.

            It would have a negative effect on Scotland for the reasons outlined here:

            http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/the-road-to-secession-estimating-the-costs-of-independence-in-advanced-industrial-states/

            Of course, Salmond simply won’t be honest about the costs. He just goes around claiming that ll you have to do is vote “Yes” and you’ll be magically better off.

          • poort

            Why not use the governments own statistics that’s the uk governments which shows it has and do you really think its all about money? Trust me i know a lot of yes voters and it is more about the right to self determination rather than anything else that is something unionists dont quite seem to grasp

          • HJ777

            The UK government’s statistics say it has?

            Where can I see those statistics then?

            if it’s not about money, then why has the “Yes” campaign been putting up posters all over the place promising that Scots will be richer? They know most Scots don’t support separatism so they are making claims about being richer if people vote “Yes”. They will make any claim, however dishonest, to try to get the result they want.

            The right to self-determination does not equate to independence – which is something you don’t quite seem to grasp. I suggest that you look up self-determination in the dictionary.

          • poort

            •Under current government policies, child poverty is projected to rise from 2012/13 with an expected 600,000 more children living in poverty by 2015/16.10 This upward trend is expected to continue with 4.7 million children projected to be living in poverty by 2020

          • HJ777

            But it hasn’t – it has continued to fall.

          • Benbecula

            Government definition : Poverty, as measured by a household’s income relative to the national average.

            There is no (absolute) poverty in Scotland.

          • poort

            Also i know the definition of self determination but Scotland cannot attain that unless we first gain independence ii agree they are two different things but one is essential for the other

          • HJ777

            Clearly, you do not know the meaning of self determination.

            The idea that voting against independence means there is no self-determination is a contradiction in terms. There will be a vote. That IS self determination.

          • poort

            And as for your ‘dishonesty’ claims would you like to discuss the mcrone report

          • HJ777

            Yes, very happy to.

            It recommended that poorer areas in Scotland should benefit from oil revenue and not be left behind.

          • poort

            It also stated the immense wealth that was in the north sea and what an independent Scotland could gain from it and as such was buried and labelled secret only obtained under the freedom of information act over 30 years later but you accuse the nationalists of dishonesty? Surely this reprehensible Westminster decision tops any so called dishonesty you could care to level at the yes campaign?

          • HJ777

            And that wealth was discovered with Scotland in the UK. A UK where revenue raising and spending is shared throughout the UK. Nothing changed with the discovery of oil.

            It said that the SNP would make political capital out of it to argue that Scotland would be richer if independent – possibly true at the time. But what would your reaction be if the oil just happened to be in English waters and a report had said that England would be better off it if jettisoned the rest of the UK?

            It was an internal report and never designed for publication.

            Yes, I do accuse the “Yes” campaign of dishonesty.

          • terregles2

            Vote NO then if you have a vote…..If you don’t have a vote then save your breath to cool your porridge.

          • terregles2

            Just as well that after independence Trident will be removed from the Holy Loch and oil exploration that was blocked by the MOD will continue in the Firth of Clyde,

          • Paul Docherty

            The poorest 20% in the UK are as poor as the poorest 20% in Eastern Europe. No need for this at all. The UK is by many measures a wealthy nation – but opportunities and resources are not fairly distributed. Apparently we’re all in this together under extreme austerity measures, which would be fair enough, but the wealthiest in UK have become more wealthy during this time, while the poorest are becoming poorer. Unequal and unfair by any measure.

            Do OECD’s figures hold any weight with you?
            http://highpaycentre.org/blog/what-would-the-neighbours-say-how-inequality-means-the-uk-is-poorer-than-we

          • HJ777

            I suggest that you actually look at the OECD figures because they do not substantiate your claims. Additionally, those with the lowest incomes receive benefits that are not common in Eastern Europe – such as non-contributory medical care.

            We also have an unusually high proportion of social housing provision compared to most other countries – social housing is let at below-market rents for those on low incomes.

            In the last few years, the level of income inequality has actually fallen in the UK.

            As for ‘extreme austerity measures’ would you like to clarify exactly how large these ‘extreme austerity measures’ have been? Spending figures please.

            You will find that public expenditure has continued to rise in cash terms and has barely been cut at all in inflation-adjusted terms. Contrast that with Healey’s cuts in the 1970s. ‘Extreme Austerity’ is a myth.

          • jedi44

            Maybe you should read some real statistics other than those spouted by IDS and his cronies via the Daily Mail. IDS has been hauled up by his own statistics office several times for blatantly lying. As for the Joseph Rowntree foundation, they came out just the other week saying that the amount of money required to stay out of poverty is rising while wages are falling, as are benefits.

          • HJ777

            I read the OECD report.

            You seem to think that ‘real statistics’ are any interpretation with which you agree.

          • Benbecula

            There’s no poverty in Scotland – fact.

          • Paul Docherty

            I have travelled widely – you are correct that many places are worse than here. But things here are worse than they need be. Nothing wrong with trying to make it better.

            A simple Google search on “Atos suicide” might make my statement seem less ridiculous.

          • HJ777

            Show me evidence that the suicide rate has risen.

          • jedi44

            Unfortunately that is not likely since IDS has refused to release the number of deaths of people waiting for or having been denied ESA. The figures a couple of years ago were around 10,000 per annum. Since it has probably got much worse now the cuts are biting harder, FOI requests are being refused and the figures kept secret.

          • Mccuaig William

            My god dig your head out the sand Children are going hungry families relying on foodbanks pensioners frightened of the cost of heating their homes in the winter people dying through victimisation because they are ill people being Sanctioned having benefits cut for no good reason people committing suicide harassed to their death by the jackboot torries old diseases are now returning Scarlet Fever, rickets, TB all through lack of nutricion and poverty enforced by this government the countries assets sold of to the torries rich friends they’re asset stripping the UK their friends are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer wake up and see the corruption that is the UK roll on independence 18th Sept 2014

          • HJ777

            Were you never taught punctuation?

            Or is it just considered optional for incoherent rants?

          • terregles2

            The people who live and work in Scotland will decide what independence means. Any other opinion is irrelevant.

          • Marie Shanahan

            I think you are right. It’s a shame to see Scotland split away, but people must remember there was a good, strong Britain way before Scotland got there. This union is only 300 years old, Britain was a major, world power for ages before that. Britain will make it as a bigger and stronger as it wants following this. The question is does it want to get up and start being Britain, again. Don’t give up, brothers. Fight back!

          • Gwangi

            What a stupid thing to say. You want independence because you cannot get a hard left government elected in Westminster. How pathetic. And you even blame the English for your own dreadful Scottish diet and drunkenness problem! Time for Glasgow men to slim down, do exercise and stop drinking. Your ugly drunken cultures in Scotland is nothing to do with me or the English. I have know many Scots who left Scotland to get away from that backwardsness and bigotry. Independence will change nothing there anyway.

          • Andrew Morton

            Remind me how many elections Tony Blair won with Scottish votes. Remind me how much more Scotland has contributed per head in taxes than the rest of the UK over the last 30 years.

            And thanks for the insults and patronising language too, sonny.

          • Wessex Man

            So it can only come from your direction then?

          • Moderator

            “Time for Glasgow men to slim down, do exercise and stop drinking. Your
            ugly drunken cultures in Scotland is nothing to do with me or the
            English.”

            I agree with the first part but disagree that it is exclusively a Glasgow or Scottish problem with drink, obesity, eating low nutritional food and lack of exercise….all of those are working class and more specifically benefit class problems.

          • Paul Docherty

            Seen any slim, fit, sober Lords recently?

          • Eddy Coulson

            wow, nailed it son

          • northern soul

            You two touching one another..? He spouts pish n u agree…gon,yr village is lookn for ye

          • poort

            You sir are a racist!!!!!

          • Benbecula

            Silly comment, but just remember some of us are racist’s get used to it.

          • Dodgy Geezer

            ALL of us are ‘racists’. It’s just that some of us admit it.

            Myself, I deny it…

            (with apologies to H. L. Mencken)

          • Gregory Mason

            Scots and English are the same race. Don’t let inconvenient facts get in the way of your rage.

          • poort

            Its not rage statement of fact discriminatory behaviour against person or persons based on their country of origin is racism

          • Gregory Mason

            That’s not racism… Racism is discrimination against someone’s race. The word kind of gives it away a bit…

          • poort

            Yes it is racism that is the term used to describe it whether it is grammatically accurate or not is a matter for linguists to debate but the fact is that is the term that is used to describe such discrimination

          • Wessex Man

            That’s why I as an Englishman feel so discriminated against by the UK Government.

          • poort

            Then why not campaign for English independence if you are so disillusioned with the uk gov? U would back your right to do so and more would support the objective

          • Wessex Man

            I have, I carried one of the banners when the Campaign for an English Parliament marched on the 300th anniversary of the union, which handed in a petition with thousands of English signatures asking for a referendum on an English Parliament which was unread by one Scot- Brown and even though we had previously agreed to walk around the Front of The Houses of Parliament another Scot- Martin the Speaker of the House had us diverted and kettled on the Embankment.

            Many thousands of us have been ignored by the ‘Scottish Taliban’ and the Unionist Tories, many of us been invited to the Lords and the Commons by a few in Westminster who agree with us, I remember very well a Welsh Labour Peer who thought it extremely funny to jeer everytime anyone else tried to speak.

          • poort

            Then you will understand the frustration many of us up here have felt for many years the problem you have unfortunately is that there is no major party willing to champion English independence therefore it will never come to pass unless someone stands on that ticket as the snp did here in the 70’s

          • poort

            Only twice in a century has Scottish vote even come close to having an effect on what government is elected in Westminster and your 10% figure is wrong but als by the fact Scotland pays more than that facts which even the no campaign no longer even try to refute hence the ‘better together’ campaign

          • HJ777

            Not so, unless you consider electing MPs who have been senior members of UK governments as not having an effect.

          • david croft

            There was no Scottish vote there was a UK vote for a UK government.

          • terregles2

            Was that the same UK government that gave all of the UK the Thatcher government.Was that the same government that lost the Home Office child abuse Dossier

          • Wessex Man

            oh dear, are you denying that the New labour Administration 1997-2010 was not dominated by Scottish labour MPs , who despite the size of the Scottish population carried a majority in the Labour Cabinets, these Scottish MPs who had all signed the Scottish Claim of Right. They were referred to as the Scotish Taliban by Westminster Journalists with good reason.

          • Gregory Mason

            Like every Labour victory post 1997?

          • HJ777

            Unfortunately, many of the “Yes” campaigners think – of pretend – they can just vote for whatever they want and this means they’ll get it.

            Laughable.

          • terregles2

            Almost as funny as your slant on reality.

          • Paul Docherty

            I’ll try to nimbly step over your personal insults – not easy for a stupid, ugly, overweight, drunken, bigotted, whinging Scotsman but I’ll do my best…

            Firstly, I never said that I wanted a “hard left government elected in Westminster”. And I’ve never blamed the English for the many problems that people in Scotland have. I do think that we have a failed system of government in the UK which disregards the needs of ordinary people all across the country. Perhaps you noticed 50,000 people marching on Westminster last week for that very reason.

            Scotland does have problems – all Yes voters are asking for is the chance to do something about them for ourselves. I don’t know why you feel so threatened by that?

            As for general elections – if you remove the Scottish votes for the past 60 years it makes no difference to the outcome – we all get Labour when England votes Labour, we all get Conservative when England votes Conservative. That’s just the way it is, England has a much bigger population. It’s not about blame.

            But if Scotland wants to fix its own problems, pay its own way, collect its own taxes, use its own resources – you seem to be upset. You should applaud. Every part of the UK deserves the same opportunity – rather than being sacrificed for the great Casino of London.

          • HJ777

            In what way is London any more of a ‘Casino’ than Edinburgh (I assume you are referring to the size of the financial sector)?

            And in what way has the rest of the UK been ‘sacrificed” for it apart from benefitting from the tax revenues (which far exceed the bailout costs – not that I approved of the bailout)?

          • northern soul

            You went full retard….you never go full retard^^^^^

          • terregles2

            Have you checked out the level of support that Scottish independence is now enjoying from English people who now live and work in Scotland. Some have joined the SNP.
            Facebook has a few thousand but they are just the tip of the iceberg. The English who have come to live and work here have been an asset to Scotland. Great people. i think with the hatred you have for people living in Scotland the best way to quench your hatred will be if all of us living up here Scots.English, Irish, Welsh, Asian, African etc. vote YES.

          • Wessex Man

            Have ypu checked the level of support that the Scottish independencve is now enjoying form English people in England?

          • Eddy Coulson

            What has the SNP and Scottish government been doing about the poverty in Glasgow?

          • Richard Gibbons

            You mean all those constituencies that have had Labour MPs for 50+ years over seen by the wondrous Labour GCC! This is a decades old problem not one that manifested itself over night. And how can the Scottish Government solve social problems when Scotland’s block grant gets cut year on year?

          • poort

            Everything they can without being blocked by the labour dominated councils

          • HJ777

            Would people in Glasgow not be allowed to vote Labour if Scotland seceded then?

            Doesn’t sound very democratic.

          • jedi44

            Of course they would. Too many people are thinking of this referendum as being an election for the SNP. If Scotland becomes independent, the SNP’s role will be largely redundant. Their job will have been done. The Scottish people will then elect the government they see fit.

          • HJ777

            That may be because the SNP issued a 700-page manifesto-type white paper making all sorts of policy promises but omitting to tackle any of the substantive issues relating to succession (you know, little things like the cost an what currency Scotland would use if others wouldn’t do what they wanted).

          • jedi44

            The white paper was produced, whatever the content, due to the promise in their actual manifesto from which they were democratically elected and mandated by the people of Scotland, unlike those in Westminster.

          • HJ777

            So Scots weren’t allowed to vote in Westminster elections?

            The reason why the SNP produced the white paper are neither here nor there. It makes all sorts of policy promises rather than tackling the substantive issues involved with secession.

          • jedi44

            Of course they were allowed to vote. The results gave neither the Tories or LibDems a full mandate to govern. The destruction of the NHS and the destitution caused to the poor, especially the disabled, was not voted for by the people of the UK. They believed the lies that “the NHS is safe in our hands” and “there will be no reconstruction of the NHS on our watch”.

          • HJ777

            So we have a coalition government with (unusually) over 50% of the vote behind it.

            In what way has the NHS been ‘destroyed’? It’s funding has been preserved, as was promised in both parties’ manifestos. The reforms were pretty clearly labelled in the Tory manifesto and don’t affect Scotland anyway.

            Where is your evidence of the “destitution caused to the poor”? Some data please. Most of the government’s welfare reforms (such as the welfare cap) are supported by most people in Scotland anyway according to polls. And if you are receiving a capped amount you aren’t exactly poor compared to the average person (by definition, as the cap equates to average earnings)

            And you want to break up a 300-year old union because of a few ridiculous whinges about policy that you can’t even justify with reference to any data. Do grow up.

          • Benbecula

            The Scottish parliament can vary tax raising powers by +/- 3% but neither labour or snp have expressed a desire to use it and Alex Salmond has said we are one of the richest small countries in the world .

          • IndependentEngland

            Just got a billion haven’t they?

          • Wessex Man

            They alos got ALL the money that was meant to have gone to designated areas deprivation in Cornwall/Devon and indusrial Yorkshire from the EU diverted north by Cameron as a bribe, not to be fair to the Scots that they had asked for it.

          • jedi44

            I hadn’t heard that one but I wouldn’t put anything past Cameron. He came out and declared that the vote was a decision for the people of Scotland and that the UK government would not interfere. Just last week every household in Scotland received a nice glossy colour brochure in support of the No campaign. According to the title, It had been produced and circulated by The UK Government. I wonder what you, presumably an English taxpayer, think of your money being spent in this way?

          • IndependentEngland

            England voted overwhelmingly Tory in 2010 but ended up with a coalition. Labour and the Lib Dems almost did a deal but couldn’t quite the numbers stack up. Tory England nearly ended up with Gordon Brown as PM in a Labour Lib Dem coalition!
            The Disunited Kingdom needs to be consigned to the history books. We English don’t want it and, if the Scottish were to really say what they think, they don’t want it either!

          • Wessex Man

            I never voted for the tories or LabLight as they are referred to here, I voted UKip but even though I am a member of Ukip I agree with you entirely that it’s time to wrap up this dis-United Kingdom.

          • Gregory Mason

            What about those times that England was subjected to horrid treatment (mass immigration, multiculturalism, the welfare state) as a result of a Labour government that wouldn’t have got in without Scottish MP’s? For example, without the Scots Blair would only have had one term if he’d even been able to run at all (for without the Union he’d be a foreigner).

          • MartinNYID

            Respected??? HA! How about “tolerated”. Read the headlines Pal, and the tea leaves – just last week China, a bigger economy than Britain will ever be now, took you to the woodshed. Even Mr Compromise a.k.a. Obama is neutered. Honestly, do everyone a favor and stop boasting for five minutes. Geez. There needs to be leaders with rolled up sleeves, at the table, fixing things – all there is are elitist patsies with rolled up noses, running and hiding behind their expense accounts and BBC spin machine.

          • HJ777

            I suppose it is too much to ask to translate that into coherent English?

          • Wessex Man

            I like his moniker though, think it means Martin New York Idiot.

          • Iain Hill

            Irony survives!

          • berosos_bubos

            Public servants are meant to be just that and serve the tax-payer, rather than using their office for their own posturing and benefit.

          • dmurdo1

            What planet are you dreaming on….1.4trillion deficit and growing, 3rd highest child poverty rates in Europe. A deeply divided society that is increasingly desperate for change. I suggest you start reading more and maybe the bubble you live in might burst.

          • HJ777

            It’s quite hard to answer someone who is so badly misinformed that they think we are running a deficit of £1.4 trillion.

            Of course, Salmond and Swinney have said they would borrow more to avoid ‘austerity’ but I doubt even they plan to run a deficit that large.

        • Eddy Coulson

          I love the UK, I also love Scotland as my home of 10 years, I also love England and especially Northumberland my old home. Breaking up the union would hurt Northumberland as well as the Union. Vote No

      • Cath Ferguson

        “why not just admit that you hate England and being British ”

        Because we don’t, and the referendum is nothing to do with that but, as Paul said, with many of the attitudes on display in this article.

        I find it sad, because looked at another way, Britain has a chance to show the world something very positive – that it can adapt democratically and become a new kind of British Isles. There are huge positives to Scottish independence for England and Wales (and Ireland/NI), should you choose to look at it that way. For example, where we share interests, we’ll have two voices and votes on the world stage, not just one (three if Wales also became independence). Where we don’t share interests, we can all act for ourselves rather than England ride roughshod over other interests. This will lead to a lot less issues between people.

        Getting rid of Trident and re-shaping defence would also be a positive – especially for Scotland which has nuclear weapons 30 miles from it’s most populous city, but doesn’t have the defence it needs around assets in the North Sea.

        • Colonel Mustard

          “…rather than England ride roughshod over other interests.”

          I think we have had too many Scots MPs in Parliament and in government, including PMs, for that to be a credible accusation. If you had said Westminster or the British government instead of England I might agree with you but England has had no government or parliament or assembly to run roughshod over anyone.

          • Richard Gibbons

            Believe me, in the Scottish Labour party it is the Party that comes first, Scotland is waaay down the list of priorities. That’s why they lost control of the Scottish Parliament. Labour Party in Scotland is dying on its feet. Scotland sends 59 MPs out of 650 in Westminster, hardly ‘too many’! But if Scotland goes then you get your wish, No Scottish MPs!

          • Colonel Mustard

            Never said I wish for no Scots MPs. Please don’t take my “too many” out of context. Read the whole sentence – “…too many – for that to be…”.

            Never mentioned Scottish Labour either!

          • terregles2

            Scottish independence means a fairer deal for the English electorate. We wiil do our best for you by voting YES.

          • Colonel Mustard

            I don’t think we can predict that. No-one knows what the consequences will be and it is not for me as an Englishman to expect any Scot who is determining his or her country’s future to do their best for me.

          • Wessex Man

            and nor will they, unfortunately the Yes Campaign just can’t seem to hit that magic 50% mark.

        • Eddy Coulson

          This whole Trident thing is a farce. Slamond wants to be in Nato, Nato supports Nukes. Also its going to cost millions to rehouse Trident for the UK tax payers. Also how can you force UK military personnel be in another countries army as we have been told that Scotland’s would retain about 9% of the military. Nonsense Vote NO

          • Maureen Luby

            Do you even know what NATO stands for?

          • Wessex Man

            too late vote Yes! please!

          • terregles2

            We will have patience can’t do it before 18th Sept.

          • terregles2

            Trident is not a farce it is an albatross around Scotland’s neck. The MOD blocked the oil exploration in the Firth of Clyde because of the close proximity of Trident,
            I am voting YES. I prefer oil to nuclear weapons.

          • Mark

            Another ill-informed “rant” from the business man. Surprised you’re still in business if you put this much research into your public outbursts!

      • David Wilson

        I don’t hate England, I do pity idiots like you though. How the living f%%k can you go from what he said to thinking “He hates England”.
        Moron.

      • Richard Gibbons

        I’m a Scot living in London, my friends are mostly English, my extended family are mostly English, I love England and I love London. I hope Scotland votes YES (I don’t get a vote) and ends this pathetic 19th century quasi democratic hegemony that has its citizens as subjects and foreign policy as force projection. Both Scotland and England need to prosper not just London, both can’t by being shackled together but separately they are free to forge their own successful futures. What we really have here is the fear of change and this lack of change is strangling the UK to death.

        What people forget is the UK has been breaking up since 1922!

        • Wessex Man

          at last a comment that I agree with entirely.

      • poort

        Usual bollock from a unionist that is also very inflammatory your post suggests the yes campaign is all about Irish terrorists that is both slanderous and libelous

      • MartinNYID

        Nobody “hates” England. Not the way England “hates”. What Scotland is going to dump, hands down, is your very kind of angry vitriolic spin. If you take away all the relentless stentorian BBC bombast, all you got is a wealthy elite puppeteering you into flag waving, while the economy, jobs, and culture tanks. Scotland wanted ‘Devo Max’, your man Cammy said no. But please, keep shouting rubbish – each time it sends a few more to the YES side.

        • Wessex Man

          Scotland wanted nothing of the sort, if Scotland did Scotland would have insisted that it was included as an option on the ballet paper.

      • northern soul

        Tis true that the empiest vessels make the most noise.^^^

      • Max

        Why you just admit that you are just an imperialist? You can always aks Uncle Sam to help you forcing Scotts to love your fucking queen. Remember the last word of William Wallas: Freedom!

      • stelsewhere

        you’re an idiot … most Scots have family in England and there is a substantial English presence in Scotland who have declared themselves to be voting YES … I foresee devolved parliaments in Yorkshire etc. within 10 years due to the centralisation of London .. Westminster is a Global Corporation NOT a parliament for the people .. the constant pandering to business and Religion has broken the UK ..

        • Wessex Man

          sorry, why on earth shoould there be parliaments all over the country, give we English what has been given to the Scots, Welsh an NI one English Parliament, I don’t care where it’s sited just restore democracy!

          • stelsewhere

            “WE ENGLISH” have already declared an interest in self governing states .. ask Yorkshire, northumberland ,cumbria etc. these “regions” of England are sick of London and Westminster bias … an independent Scotland will force England to re-embrace democracy !

          • Wessex Man

            Please show me you where I can check your assertions that Yorkshire, Cumbria Northhumberland have already ‘declared an interest.’

            It must be more than just you mind.

          • stelsewhere

            check out .. yorkshire devolution movement … regional assembly England .. N.E & Cumbria devolution … hits on wiki , google , BBC , various national press etc. … has been talked about for years due to the north south divide! … the fact you question what has been going on for decades makes me question your knowledge!

          • stelsewhere
    • Eddy Coulson

      Just sounds like the same empty promises to get votes. VOTE NO for common sense

      • poort

        Same empty promises? What you mean when we voted to reject devolution on the promises of more powers we didn’t get hmmmm wait that is sounding very very familiar is it not?

      • northern soul

        Common sense!!!! Jesus christ,irony is a stranger to you isnt it….

    • anncalba

      I live roughly 100 miles from both Edinburgh and Glagow. I am mildy amused when the SNP go on, and on, about breaking away from “Westminster” rule. Scottish demographics are very skewed, the huge majority of the people living in the Central Belt. For those of us who don’t, we find ourselves increasingly ignored, and the centralisation of power in Edinburgh is not much different to rule from London,

      • HJ777

        In fact, it’s worse because the Holyrood parliament has to tightly control the things for which it is responsible in order to justify its existence. ‘Devolution’ has actually centralised power within Scotland.

      • Paul Docherty

        And wouldn’t you love to be part of changing that? If there’s something we don’t like about Westminster we can’t do a thing about it. In an independent Scotland your vote will count, and every part of Scotland will be able to have a say.

        • anncalba

          Every part of Scotland within the Central Belt. Outwith that corridor, our views have been consistently ignored by the Scottish Parliament, and I see no reason to think this will improve.

    • HJ777

      “I’m glad that people are beginning to wake up to the enormity of Scottish Independence…”

      So you think that Scottish independence would be gravely wrong? I thought you supported it?

      The other possibility, of course, is that you don’t even know what ‘enormity’ means?

    • Gregory Mason

      ‘1 in 4 children are in poverty’

      Which definition of poverty are you using? Given that no-one is in absolute poverty (you know, Africa) then I’m assuming you’re using the definition which puts the poorest in poverty regardless of their actual wealth making the term ‘poverty’ completely subjective.

      • Wessex Man

        They live in their own little worlds.

  • Mark M

    “Scotland would be entitled to £7.8 billion of the United Kingdom’s £93 billion of defence assets”

    ..Wait, Salmond & the NATS have already threatened to withold their share of the National Debt, in which case they’re not “entitled” to anything..

    • Jimbot

      Salmond has promised to help repay England’s debt as long as the assets are divided fairly. It’s the BritNATS who want something for nothing.

      • Michele Keighley

        It is NOT England’s debt you twerp – it is UK’s debt and you and yours help to create it. And even if you find your backbone and vote yes, you will still have your share of the debt to pay. Even Salmond with his dodgy economics degree must know what it would do to an IScotland’s credit rating to renege on this debt.

        And if your are entitled to 8% of all of UK’s assets – then surely UK is entitled to 92% of all Scotland’s assets – or does the analogy only work one way?

    • Paul Docherty

      “Salmond and the NATS” (great band name!) have never threatened to withhold their share of national debt, but have generously offered to pay a share of it even though Scotland is not responsible for it. If the rUK insists on being the continuing state rather than recognising the dissolution of the UK then it inherits all the debt. Westminster has already accepted this.

      The fairest way forward, proposed by the Scottish government, is to share the assets and liabilities in a pro-rata manner.

      • HJ777

        Salmond thinks the pound is an asset. It’s not. It’s a currency.

  • Jimbot

    Shallow drivel. THe Spectator needs to spend some cash on employing journalists. And why is this published two days in the future?

  • https://belasariust.wordpress.com/ solly gratia

    It might be that a trial separation could be good for both of us, and any re-union – once the Scots realise the enormity of what they have done, and the price they will pay – can be negotiated on terms more equitable and suited to the future, rather than 300 years agone.

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

      The West is self-destructing. There is nothing ‘trial’ about this separation. If it happens, it will be forever.

  • Toomtabard

    The things you fear losing, are the very things I hope we lose in iScotland. I notice, not once, did the welfare or happiness of the people of scotland get a mention.

    • Ed Seyfried

      Nor did you, seemingly, notice the title of the article

    • Eddy Coulson

      Im not sure you read the article. This is all about Scotland and our neighbours.

      • Aine O’Neill

        Again you keep inferring as if you are a Scot “our ” eg it doesn’t matter how long you live there you’ll never be a Scot you’re English end of.

  • http://www.englishstandard.org/ Wyrdtimes

    Boo hoo and home rule for England

  • Pier66

    ‘Some people believe football is a matter of life and death, I am very disappointed with that attitude. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.’

    *****

    ‘If you are first you are first. If you are second you are nothing.’

    *****

    ‘Liverpool was made for me and I was made for Liverpool.’

    *****

    ‘The trouble with referees is that they know the rules, but they don’t know the game.’

    *****

    ‘Son, you’ll do well here as long as you remember two things. Don’t over-eat and don’t lose your accent.’ – to Ian St John when he signed for Liverpool.

    *****

    To a journalist who suggested Liverpool were struggling – ‘Ay, here we are with problems at the top of the league.’

    *****

    Talking to a reporter about Roger Hunt – ‘Yes Roger Hunt misses a few, but he gets in the right place to miss them.’

    *****

    Explaining to Kevin Keegan what’s expected of him at Anfield – ‘Just go out and drop a few hand grenades all over the place son!’

    *****

    ‘I know this is a sad occasion, but I think that Dixie would be amazed to know that even in death he could draw a bigger crowd to Goodison than Everton on a Saturday afternoon.’ – speaking at the funeral of Everton legend Dixie Dean

    *****

    ‘If Everton were playing at the bottom of the garden, I’d pull the curtains.’

    *****

    ‘Sickness would not have kept me away from this one. If I’d been dead, I would have had them bring the casket to the ground, prop it up in the stands, and cut a hole in the lid.’ – after beating Everton in the 1971 FA Cup semi-final.

    *****

    Addressing the Liverpool fans who turned up in their thousands to welcome the team home despite losing to Arsenal in the 1971 FA Cup final – ‘Chairman Mao has never seen a greater show of red strength.’

    *****

    After signing Ron Yeats – ‘With him in defence, we could play Arthur Askey in goal.’

    *****

    To Alan Ball after he’d signed for Everton – ‘Never mind Alan, at least you’ll be able to play next to a great team.’

    *****

    To Tommy Smith after he’d turned up for training with a bandaged knee – ‘Take that poof bandage off, and what do you mean YOUR knee, it’s LIVERPOOL’S knee!’

    *****

    To the players after failing to sign Lou Macari – ‘I only wanted him for the reserves anyway.’

    *****

    To Ian St John – ‘If you’re not sure what to do with the ball, just pop it in the net and we’ll discuss your options afterwards.’

    *****

    ‘In my time at Anfield we always said we had the best two teams on Merseyside – Liverpool and Liverpool reserves.’

    *****

    About the ‘This is Anfield’ plaque – ‘This is to remind our lads who they’re playing for, and to remind the opposition who they’re playing against.’

    *****

    ‘Of course I didn’t take my wife to see Rochdale as an anniversary present. It was her birthday amd would I have got married during the football season? Anyway, it was Rochdale reserves.’

    *****

    Shankly to the Brussels hotel clerk who queried his signing ‘Anfield’ as his address on the hotel register – ‘But that’s where I live.’

    *****

    Shankly explaining rotation to a reporter – ‘Laddie, I never drop players, I only make changes.’

    *****

    Comparing the Anfield pitch to other grounds – ‘It’s great grass at Anfield, professional grass!’

    *****

    ‘The difference between Everton and the Queen Mary is that Everton carry more passengers!’

    *****

    To a local barber, who in 1968 had asked ‘Anything off the top? Shanks retorted – ‘Aye, Everton!’

    *****

    On awaiting Everton’s arrival for a derby game at Anfield, Shankly gave a box of toilet rolls to the doorman and said – ‘Give them these when they arrive – they’ll need them!’

    *****

    ‘I always look in the Sunday paper to see where Everton are in the league – starting, of course, from the bottom up.’

    *****

    To Chris Lawler during a training session at Melwood – ‘Was it a goal? Was I offside?’ Lawler replied – ‘You were boss.’ Shanks then quipped – ‘Christ, son, you’ve been here four years, hardly said a word and, when you do, it’s a bloody lie!’

    *****

    To Tommy Smith during training – ‘You son, could start a riot in a graveyard.’

    *****

    ‘There’s Man. Utd and Man. City at the bottom of Division 1, and by God they’ll take some shifting.’

    *****

    ‘It’s a 90 minute game for sure. In fact I used to train for a 190 minute game so that when the whistle blew at the end of the match I could have played another 90 minutes.’

    *****

    On a wartime Scotland v England match – ‘We absolutely annihilated England. It was a massacre. We beat them 5-4.’

    *****

    After losing to Ajax in the 1967 European Cup – ‘We cannae play these defensive continental sides!’

    Shanks and Tommy Docherty were at a game. There was a player every other club coveted on view. Docherty said to Shanks – ‘100,000 wouldn’t buy him.’ Shanks retorted – ‘Yeah, and I’m one of the 100,000!’

    *****

    What Shanks disliked about football – ‘The end of the season.’

    *****

    Radio Merseyside reporter to Shankly – ‘Mr Shankly, why is it that your teams’ unbeaten run has suddenly ended?’ Shanks replied: ‘Why don’t you go and jump in the lake?’

    *****

    On hearing a rival manager was unwell – ‘I know what’s wrong – he’s got a bad side!’

    *****

    To reporters after a 3-0 defeat – ‘They’re nothing but rubbish. Three breakaways, that’s all they got.’

    *****

    Talking about Tommy Smith – ‘If he isn’t named Footballer of the Year, football should be stopped and the men who picked any other player should be sent to the Kremlin.’

    *****

    To a translator, when being surrounded by gesticulating Italian journalists – ‘Just tell them I completely disagree with everything they say!’

    *****

    After winning the FA Cup in 1974 Shankly goes into a fish and chip shop and orders a fish supper. The woman at the counter asks – ‘Mr Shankly, shouldn’t they be having steak suppers?’ Shanks replied – ‘No lass, they’ll get steak suppers when they win the double!’

    *****

    To the Anfield PA during a match – ‘Jesus Christ, son, can ye no’ talk into that microphone when the players are in the penalty box. You’re putting them off, you’re doing more damage than the opposition.’

    *****

    Shankly on boardroom meetings – ‘At a football club, there’s a holy trinity – the players, the manager and the supporters. Directors don’t come into it. They are only there to sign the cheques.’

    *****

    Talking about the Liverpool fans – ‘I’m just one of the people who stands on the kop. They think the same as I do, and I think the same as they do. It’s a kind of marriage of people who like each other.’

    *****

    Explaining on what the off-side rule should be – ‘If a player is not interfering with play or seeking to gain an advantage, then he should be.’

    *****

    ‘I was only in the game for the love of football – and I wanted to bring back happiness to the people of Liverpool.’

    *****

    ‘”If you can’t make decisions in life, you’re a bloody menace. You’d be better becoming an MP!’

    *****

    When told he had never experienced playing in a derby – ‘Nonsense! I’ve kicked every ball, headed out every cross. I once scored a hat-trick; One was lucky, but the others were great goals.’

    *****

    After a 0-0 draw at Anfield – ‘What can you do playing against 11 goalposts!’

    Waxing lyrical about Ian Callaghan – ‘He typifies everything that is good in football, and he has never changed. You could stake your life on Ian.’

    *****

    ‘Fire in your belly comes from pride and passion in wearing the red shirt. We don’t need to motivate players because each of them is responsible for the performance of the team as a whole. The status of Liverpool’s players keeps them motivated.’

    *****

    ‘Football is a simple game based on the giving and taking of passes, of controlling the ball and of making yourself available to receive a pass. It is terribly simple.’

    *****

    On the leaving of Liverpool – ‘It was the most difficult thing in the world, when I went to tell the chairman. It was like walking to the electric chair. That’s the way it felt.’
    all England, Welsh, N. Ireland want Scotland stay together…
    Liverpool feel something special about Scotland cause we had so much great players and coach like Shankly so do not break our hearts
    VOTE NO FOR INDIPENDENCE

    • Andrew Morton

      Sorry, but it’s a Yes. No hard feelings.

      • Pier66

        Is you cat in The pic?

        —-Messaggio originale—-

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        A:

        Ogg: Re: New comment posted on What Britain will lose if Scotland goes

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        A new comment was posted on The Spectator

        Andrew Morton

        Sorry, but it’s a Yes. No hard feelings.
        9:09 a.m., Thursday July 3

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  • Andrew Morton

    The question which is neither posed nor answered in this article is, ‘What are Scotland’s interests?’. After years of being told that we are subsidy junkies, one would have imagined that removing the burden of supporting the scrounging Scots would leave the rest of the UK in a stronger financial position rather than the weak one described

    • The Masked Marvel

      Never mind the reduction of problematic Labour MPs, eh?

  • Flintshire Ian

    The last paragraph sums it all up form me. There is no border. Scotland is no more a real country than Yorkshire. Or Wales either. This is a small island and we either do well together or fail apart.

    • Paul Docherty

      There is a border, it’s marked as clearly as the one between France and Germany. Scotland has its own legal system, education system, separate NHS, internationally recognised identity, including land and sea territorial borders, monarchy (under a different arrangement to England)… We even have a parliament. What we don’t have is power to make our own decisions, collect our own taxes and set our own priorities – Westminster has kept hold of that.
      The island won’t fall apart. It’ll be stronger when there is true democracy across these islands. An independent Scotland could be the first step in taking power away from Westminster elite and back into the hands of all our peoples. In fact it’s the only thing which offers an opportunity for substantial political change in these islands.

      • Michele Keighley

        “Scotland has its own legal system, education system, separate NHS, internationally recognised identity, including land and sea territorial borders, monarchy (under a different arrangement to England)… We even have a parliament.”

        You can’t have!! … you are all Soooooo oppressed by those dastardly English who have … er … hang on … none of the abovel!!

        Do you really understand just how pathetic this seems to outsiders?

    • john

      What a soggy comment from the Welsh Borders. Scotland can do as well as any other moderately wealthy middle sized country.

      • Gwangi

        Aye – it’ll be the Albania of the north…

        • john

          Daft!
          How about Belgium, Norway or New Zealand as pretty good analogies?.

  • Michael H Kenyon

    England can manage perfectly well without Scotland; we have plenty of cannon-fodder, and nuclear subs (if we insist on this white elephant) can be based in the south-west. It would be a relief to get rid of the chippiness and sniping that so many public Scots insist on in relation to England.

  • Bill Cowan

    And you think we Scots should stay so that you can keep your expensive nuclear toys? So that you can sit at all the top tables? Pretend you still have an important role to play in the world? Invade other countries at the command of the US?

    We want no part in any of these things. We desire only to run our own country with a government we elect, not one imposed against our democratic wishes, which imposes policies that are anathema to all that we hold to be true and fair.

    • HJ777

      Who elected you to speak on behalf of “we Scots”?

      Your opinion is your own.

      • Ron Livingston

        And quite a few others.

      • alexicon

        He certainly speaks on my behalf.

        • HJ777

          Fools seldom differ.

          • alexicon

            Apart from the personal attack.
            Do you have proof of that imaginey majority?

          • HJ777

            So you question my assertion that most Scots aren’t fools, do you?

          • alexicon

            YES in your assertion of Scots voting no are somewhat not fools. Have you considered that a good proportion of possible no voting Scots are being scared into voting no by the uk governments scaremongering?
            Some democracy.

        • David Wilson

          … Mine too.

          • Eddy Coulson

            Not mine or the majority

          • alexicon

            Do you have proof of that mystical majority?

          • Eddy Coulson

            You Gov or most of the polls. Thanks for asking

          • alexicon

            You Gov…Ha ha ha.
            Anyway he was referring to Scots. I don’t know any real Scots who are voting no, just Brits.

          • Aine O’Neill

            You are not Scots

      • Mark Mair

        And me.

    • Gwangi

      Daft delusions of grandeur, I see. Most Scottish people disagree with you, so you are certainly not speaking for most of them. Most Scots DO want to be part of the Union – a mature democracy happily free of the petty small-minded sectarian religious bigotry of many urban Scots.
      Scotland and Scottish people have had massive opportunities thanks to the Union. The English have suffered many Labour governments they did not want thanks to the Scots vote. They accept it because it’s called DEMOCRACY. Or maybe we should just return to city states? Maybe the Highlands and Islands should declare independence as they want no part of your SNP daydream. Why not? If that’s what they want?
      And purlease – for you to blame every UK government decision you disagree with on the English just shows your racial hatred. It was a LABOUR government who went to war in Iraq – largely elected by Scottish votes.
      True and fair? What – taking English money to subsidise Scottish students and old people? Fair? HA! Don’t make me laugh!
      Most educated and middle class Scots want to stay in the Union, and most women do too. It’s mostly working class white male bigots who want independence – in England they’d be football hooligans and BNP supporters.

      • Andrew Morton

        Prior to the referendum, the majority of Scots (67%) wanted either a federal UK (Devo Max) or Independence. That is according to the opinion polls, not my own belief. Federalism isn’t on the table, nor will it ever be.

      • Bill Cowan

        It’s a complete and utter waste of time going through and disposing of each point that you think you have made, so I won’t waste my time doing so.

        You are quite obviously completely and deliberately ignorant of the situation in Scotland at present.

        You are either trolling (as would be deduced from your other posts) or just trying to provoke argument.

        You may impress other non-informed people with similar attitude to your own, but they won’t be voting in September. Anyone from Scotland will recognise you immediately for what you are.

      • Cath Ferguson

        ” The English have suffered many Labour governments they did not want thanks to the Scots vote.”

        No they haven’t. Scottish votes have never made a difference at Westminster, bar a couple of very short lived hung parliaments.

      • northern soul

        Spouting shite and shouting spite…id call you a fud…but I feel you lack the warmth and depth

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

      Pathetic.

      • Bill Cowan

        I think you mean ‘prophetic’.

    • Eddy Coulson

      Clearly we dont want that or you would be ahead in the polls

    • Benbecula

      “we” as in a small minority of the Scottish people.

    • Wessex Man

      Why do you and all the other Yes supporters here always refer your questions to “you” or the “English”?

      The English have never ever had a say in any of this, what makes you think we want nuclear toys anyway? what makes you think we want to be the boy scouts told where to go and intervene in other countries by uncle Sam? what makes you think we want to hold on the Scotland, what makes you think we want to hold on to the whinning LeAnn Woods and the Welsh or indeed who ever asked us if we wanted anything to do with NI?

      I prey for you the Scottish people to vote Yes in September and start the break up of the UK.

  • john allan

    As a English YES voter, maybe its about time the Uk stopped involing its self in other countrys affairs and started to help its own people first. VOTE YES

  • Peter Thomson

    Its Teflon gusset tear off time for the Westminster establishment as backsides squeak and they wake up to the reality of what a Yes vote in Scotland actually means to their cushy number within the M25 Orbital.

    The Gulf Times editorial, today, describes Cameron – in effect – as a ‘dead man walking’. As they see it, Cameron is about to lose Scotland, the rUK will then exit the EU, at that point the rUK will cease to be the USA’s best EU buddy and the Chinese recent definition of rUK as a dead and decayed empire will be fulfilled.

    Cameron’s big plan to prevent this? To promised to give the Scots less of their own money back and, as a bribe, call it a major investment in Scotland and the mealy mouthed plea, ‘If you love your country ….’. Mr Cameron as your Better Together Campaign have so usefully supplied us with the answer here it is; ‘No Thanks’, your promise will not last the time it took you to say it nor are your addressing the core reason driving the Yes vote – more autonomy and a new UK Union fit for the 21st Century.

    Yes is not about diminishing the rUK (though that is an inevitable outcome) but about democratic reform, it is a rejection of the Westminster Establishment and their self assumed hegemony of self selecting elites. England maybe happy with a return to the politics of the Whigs and Tories now seen on a daily basis but Scotland wants none of it. At least this author has grasped that core fact in amongst his diatribe on saving the rUK’s nuclear deterrent .

    Westminster’s arrogance, ignorance and self limitation has been the seed of its own destruction. On a yes vote it will be up to the electorate of England if they are going to sustain this failed political model.

    • john

      On the money! Don’t forget the independent Scots will probably dump the Windsors after a decent interval. O happy day!

      • S0l

        Not entirely!
        We might keep Prince Philip, he’s good for a laugh!

      • Peter Thomson

        Some more research today indicates the City of London are sitting on debts of bonds, QE and UK Government borrowing to the tune of 400% of UK GDP – if Wall street catches a cold nothing will save the UK Commercial and Mercantile banking sector this time around. the same key structural problems in the ‘City’ remain – the main one is the regrowth of an unsustainable mortgage bubble which Dr Kearney of the Bank of England is already expressing concerns and threatening to raise interest rates if it does not cool down.

        The trigger for the UK fiscal collapse is likely to be a rise in interest rates in the USA which the Bank of England will have to follow to prevent capital flowing out of Sterling to the dollar reducing Sterling’s net ability to service its current debt exposure in the City of London. If you are paying over the odds out in interest with out increased economic performance, you have less net cash flow to pay off your debts.

        Take Scotland’s 25% foreign exchange earning power out of Sterling, on no currency union, and you are heading for a combination of inflation and low economic growth of Wiemar proportions – rUK could end up in as bad a position as Greece or even Zimbabwe.

        Time for Conservative ostriches to take their heads out of the sand and face facts; economics will always beat bad politics or the rUK will suffer the consequences – there will be a currency union because the world financial markets want one, no currency union and the rUK will be in the thick and steaming as the economic impact on no currency union is to add £660 million costs to English trade with Scotland.

    • Michele Keighley

      How marvellous to meet a psychic – now do you have the lottery numbers? That at least would be useful.

  • Zootopian

    You’d almost think the United Kingdom had never lost a substantial part before: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Free_State

  • Theuniondivvie

    Whiny..

  • john

    One is really concerned that those plebby Scottish chaps will let the grouse moors go to pot and ruin the sport.

  • Salmondnet

    What a load of defeatist tosh. If the Scots were wholly committed to the United Kingdom the loss of Scotland would be a set back, but nothing like the doom and disaster predicted above. As it is Scotland is already semi-detached and a large minority of its population are thoroughly disaffected, so its loss, in the medioum to long term might well prove a net benefit.
    In any event, Scotland is not going to go this time around. Next time (and there will be a next time, rest assured) it will probably be different. Devolution set Scotland on a route to independence from which there are no exits, so we should use the extra time to plan for their absence. We can and should learn to do without them.

  • Gwangi

    Really, what sort of person would vote to throw away economic stability, political stability and representation, massive subsidy, a voice on the world stage, access to markets and arenas via Britain as whole, and much else besides, all for a gamble on what a nationalistic, bigoted, romantic daydreaming rabble rouser Alec Salmond says? An idiot, that what.
    As George Galloway says, to do vote YES would be to take a huge and unnecessary gamble. If Scotland does go independent, the leader of that new one party state will desperately want to be un-independent and jump under the thumb of the EU anyway – so Scottish independence is a mirage.
    The fantasy is that all Scots are salt of the earth honest John folk and all English people are upper class oppressors. Really, the Scottish education system must be utterly carp if that is what Scottish schoolkids learn as fact. Robert the Bruce was a murdering thug; most Scottish heroes were upper class landowners who fought battles using mostly mercenary French and German soldiers against other upper class landowners; most of what we think of as Scottish culture (bagpipes, tartan, highland games etc) was invented by Walter Scott and the English Victorians anyway so it’s all fake.
    What’s more, take away the Union and the unpleasantly thuggish bullies of the SNP with turn on each other in sectarian infights which may, just may, end up in violence. Visit Scotland; the New Pigs Ear of Northern Ireland…

    • john

      You nicely summarize the tradititional arguments used by those who prefer to remain colonies rather than go it alone. How many ex colonies ever beg to return to their erstwhile masters? Not the Irish.

    • Andrew Morton

      Standard colonialist fare.

      ‘You have no culture or if you do it’s worthless.’

      ‘Until we came along you were sunk in barbarism and thuggery. It is only by subjugating your interests to ours that you can become civilised.’

      ‘If you try really, really hard we may accept you as a kind of second class Englishman, although you’ll never be truly one of us.’

      ‘We’ll take your taxes and exploit your resources for our benefit but we’ll tell you it’s for your benefit, so you should be jolly grateful.’

  • black11hawk

    I wonder what all these Cybernats are going to do if it’s a no vote. Will we still see the same tirade of abuse?

  • dado_trunking

    Is now the right time for yet another new acronym?
    Q: What’s left when the UK disunites?
    A: a DisUnited Kingdom AND COnVoluted EiRe (DUK&COVER)

  • The Masked Marvel

    It’s a shame that historical grievances would never permit the development of a proper United States of Britain.

  • Eddy Coulson

    Good article, the polls seem to be showing that we are not going to ruining a perfectly good union. As a businessman in the borders I think it would be foolish to have a different currency arrangement which we have been told will be the case, also we would no longer b in the EU or qualify and have to reapply. Those things the Yes side simply put their fingers in their ears and go la la la to when you bring it up. We have no official figure on the start up costs from the Yes champaign, they just start linking you to that professor who estimated it. No official figure has come out. How much would all of the embassies cost we need? How can we keep a certain percentage of the military. If a person is in the UK Military and wants to remain it it, you cant just take him or her and make him join another countries army. Total nonsense this whole thing. This Union is going nowhere. NO THANKS

    • Cath Ferguson

      If you want a currency union, speak to the unionist parties – they’re the ones saying no. Personally I’d prefer our own currency when we’re independent, but we are completely free to use the pound, as Ireland did as well, or a mixture. But if CU is your thing, let your UK representatives know now.

      No rational person says we won’t be in the EU – it’s accepted we will. It’s far more likely we’ll be dragged out in 2017 if we vote no, especially the way Cameron is going.

      We cannot have definite “start up costs” until the negotiation of asset and debt split is done. We already own and pay a fortune for embassies across the world, but which don’t represent Scotland as a country – Scotch whisky firms actually have to pay them to promote it. We’re entitled to a share as part owner. The UK government figure was denounced as ludicrous by that same academic they claimed to have based it on. He agrees broadly with the Scottish governments estimates.

      I started off being very uncertain, but it’s all these constantly repeated scares, despite them having been comprehensively debunked that are pushing me ever more firmly to yes.

      • Eddy Coulson

        We are not getting a currency union, it doesn’t work for the UK or Scotland. I want to stay in this union as none of the counties in it can possibly do better apart. UK is in the EU not an independent Scotland. We would have to reapply then adopt the Euro. Tories wont win next year either. UK owns the embassies Scotland would need their own. Scotland only owns 28% of its Whisky man lol

        The only thing thats been denounced and discredited is the silly White Paper.

        Yes the old I am convincing you to vote yes rubbish, you already made you mind up. If your undecided now then you will either not vote or vote No as you simply dont care about the issue.

        Its going to be a No vote as things are looking. Then we have to repair the damage this silly thing has done.

        • Andrew Morton

          Sigh. Not the Euro thing again. Scotland couldn’t join the Euro even if it wanted to. Can we put that to bed now?

    • Mark

      It’s an estimate Eddy, because some things have yet to be negotiated. I thought as a business man you would appreciate that not all things can have definitive costs until they happen.

      If I asked you to get me a price for building and fitting out 30 houses, would yo be able to provide me with an exact cost? No, you would provide a range or estimate. The only person sticking their fingers in their ears is you.

      Scotland would gain membership to the EU as part of the UK, it wouldn’t be joining as a new member state.

      Why would we need embassies in all the countries that we do currently? We would either share the UK one (it is our asset too) or the UK government would pay us a £ amount for the share of these assets.

      One thing I would agree on is your sentiment; “This Union is going nowhere” – so it’s time to get out now while we have the opportunity.

      • Eddy Coulson

        I have not seen an official Yes side estimate, everything is a guess with the Yes campaign, you hit the nail on the head. Gamble and guess. No Thanks, I love the UK and dont see how any ok the countries can be better off apart. The Yes side dont even make an estimate, just some random professor has a stab at it and you all jump all over it. The UK is a member of the EU, Scotland would leave the EU. We would then need to reapply. You know this and this is the normal blinkered Yes answer. We would then need to adopt the Euro as currency. Total madness for business both sides of the border. UK have the embassies not Scotland, thats why, I cant believe you are even making these assumptions. I like the union, Im sorry your life is not a good as mine

        • Mark

          Why would we need to adopt the Euro? Is rUK going to burden the business with millions of pounds of transaction costs if Scotland had a different currency?

          Currently, Scotland is a part of the UK so it’s entitled to a share of these assets. Or do you think Scotland should take it’s share of debt but not have it’s share of assets?

          There’s no guarantee the UK will remain in the UK is there? Nothing in life is guaranteed other than death and taxes.

      • Michele Keighley

        “Why would we need embassies in all the countries that we do currently? We would either share the UK one (it is our asset too) or the UK government would pay us a £ amount for the share of these assets.” – I didn’t know you were one of the negotiators Mark, or that the UK government had discussed this issue with you personally.

        Unfortunately None of these assets are Scotland’s- they are the UK’s and if you expect to have UK’s assets shared on a pro rata basis you would only get 8% of everything. What exactly IS 8% of an embassy? An outside toilet perhaps?

        • Mark

          In that case, you would get a cash equivalent. This is all laid out in papers.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

    Bored post-moderns trying to do something interesting. And wrecking a nation for no good reason. It will only end in tears.

  • section9

    Perhaps there is a role for a more Madisonian arrangement for the integral parts of the UK that would retain state sovereignty whilst keeping a national parliament in Westminster, somewhat as existed in the U.S. before the Senate was bastardized by the 17th Amendment during the Wilson Administration.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

    Don’t miss Heffer’s take. http://www.spectator.co.uk/features/9253661/england-unchained/
    I think it’s amazing that this referendum is happening specifically because Leftists want to conquer and rule (see poster Bill Cowan’s comments below: they say it all!). As if the rest of Britain hasn’t been railroaded by Leftism already! As if the Scots are bravely standing against a Britain in which sailors are press-ganged and women have no economic power, etc. This is really delusional stuff. But it’s also, as I say, the Left’s biggest power grab to date.

  • Arup_2

    A formal federal form of government – divide UK into 7 or 8 states would protect the UK. PM must and must produce a document on that now. September would be too late!

    • john

      Replacing the HofL by a senate would do the job better. Use the US model – 2 senators per state (in this case region) and this would give every area an interest in national issues.

      • Arup_2

        Interesting !! Nice idea though a Senate needs “Regions or States” in the first place – England, Wales, NI & Scotland. This

        However, I think a regional devolution of power is necessary. The mid 1980s euthanasia of British Industry hurt Scotland most. They might have done the same thing. But then Scots would not blamed on London!

        • john

          My secret idea is that the old counties be used as the basis of Senate seats. I think there was 42 – Rutland to Yorkshire. Would give 84 seats – about right,

    • IndependentEngland

      Why only seven or eight? Why not divide Scotland into Highlands, Lowlands and Borders. Wales into North Wales and South Wales and so on.

      • Arup_2

        [From North to South]
        Scotland – Highland & Speyside
        Scotland – Lowland
        Scotland – Islands & Campbeltown 🙂
        Lake District & North England
        Northern Ireland
        Midlands & Yorkshire
        North Wales
        South Wales
        Cotswold & West District
        Angelia & South England

        • Michele Keighley

          You’d have a civil war on your hands – you have no idea about the way the English define themselves do you?

  • Roger54

    The notion that the UK would even allow such a vote is idiotic. We Americans rightly fought a Civil War to preserve our nation as such. Why Britain would allow a parochial vote aimed at dissolving Britain itself is a complete mystery. It is worse than a mystery — it is idiotic. But Britain lost its will to live long ago. You have disarmed your citizens and degenerated your people into disarmed, government-dependent subjects. No wonder that these sheeple lack the will to be a country. As a British-American myself I am saddened by Britain’s death-wish.

    • Dr David Ritchie

      You mean a disarmed country that mainly doesn’t shoot its school kids? Back to the tea party boy.

      • Michele Keighley

        Dunblane?

    • Andrew Morton

      Because the United Kingdom came about by international treaty between two sovereign states. Not at all the same thing as the US which is an indissoluble union.

  • Dr David Ritchie

    Ha Ha Ha bricking it much are we?

  • john

    Good. Perhaps we can drop our dreams of worldwide influence (anyone remember Iraq) and get back to creating a real democracy at home.

  • KampungHighlander

    “If this referendum is defeated, it is imperative that we learn how to foster our sense of national identity again.”

    If you have not learned to do that in 300 years of union you never will.

    “British” has always meant English with the Celtic nations expected to subsume their own identity’s in favour of becoming pseudo Englishmen, not quite as good as the real thing, but almost.

    Lets just face facts, Nation States are the natural way for people to organize their Governance and Multinational Unions while being viable for a time eventually always break up into their component parts.

    Don’t worry, even if the rUK has to give up its Nukes your security council seat is in no danger. The composition and rules of the security council can only be altered with the unanimous consent of all 5 permanent members.

  • CWM

    Sums up the Unionist side . Just reading first few sentences shows what ignorance and detachment from our culture you have. Always british Always scottish but never a unionist. And why does Scotland wanting to stand alone and enter a brave new world mean we are anti anything?
    Do you ask your kids why they hate you when they leave home??

  • proculharem

    Get thee behind us Scotland!

  • poort

    What drivel is this if Scotland votes for independence ‘ era of enlightenment is over’ is this the era of enlightenment that ‘coloured half the globe pink’? An empire built on the blood and slavery of the worlds population which Scotland wales and Ireland had no say in? So very enlightened!!! I would say the era of enlightenment was that in which the people decided what happens in their own country that is democracy after all or did the age of enlightenment start when the romans built their empire? This has to be the most inaccurate drivel i have seen yet and something only an Englishman would find appealing if you are trying to drive up the yes vote by all means continue with this farcical journalism if not its about time some people realised the empire is gone and is never coming back get used to it

  • Andidry

    Obama didn’t intervene, he responded to a begging letter. 85% of informed voters are voting YES, the other 15% are halfwits. Scotland has been plunged into poverty by successive tory/labour governments. We’re voting to make a brave new nation. I hope the rump UK do the same over time. We need to get rid of the corruption from westminster, a nest of thieves and liars.

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

      Another arrogant Scot with a false sense of superiority.

      • MartinNYID

        Yeah it’s the arrogant Scots claiming 2 houses, backyard swimming pools and funding lavish parties on their MP expense accounts. Try again. #fail

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

          So what you’re saying is that because you are having a temper tantrum, the grand union must come to an end. Adolescent and irresponsible.

          • MartinNYID

            No what I am saying is you’re a troll posting rubbish.

          • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

            No, I’m a citizen of Great Britain and I’m proud to defend the free world.

      • Andidry

        PAHAHAHA pot, kettle.

    • HJ777

      Of course, Salmond and his crew are models of honesty, aren’t they?

      £20k of taxpayers money to try to cover up the fact that he lied about receiving legal advice on EU membership, anyone?

      Westminster, for all its faults, is, by international standards is a paragon of virtue – one of the least corrupt parliaments in the world – and respected internationally for it.

      Interesting that you think anyone who doesn’t agree with you must be a ‘halfwit’. You don’t think much of Scots, do you?

      • John Hamill

        Jings!! Can’t believe I just read that.

        • Wessex Man

          why not? do you suffer from memory lapses?

      • Andidry

        Salmond and the rest of the snp are paragons of vitue in comparison to the nest of thieves and liars and paedophiles in westminster.respected???hahaha by whom?.I see WM like the england football team.The only people that think they’re any good, are the english. Yes,yes i know scotland didn’t qualify, but at least we see the reality of it 😉
        I dont think much of apologetic scots no,( those who see themselves as british), nor unionists. Thankfully they are both few.

        • Wessex Man

          is this the Salmond that had a written guarrantee that Scotland’s membership of the Eu would continue after Scottish Independence but refused to show it and then after fighting a Freedom of Information Request which cost the Scottish government £50,000 admitted it didn’t exist, is that the same Salmond?

          • Andidry

            I’d trust him over any of your paedophiles, any time. WM only brought out the press gagging order so their nasty little deviances go unreported, not that there is an honest journalist left. These are the people YOU trust to run YOUR country. Makes me retch.

  • they don’t listen.

    If Scotland is kicked out, we can massively reduce the welfare bill including healthcare, reform trade unions, keep out the socialists, tackle the debt, grow the economy by lowering taxes, and afford to replace any military units we need to. There is a lot you can do when you don’t have socialists running rampant.

    • MartinNYID

      Yeah there’s alot you can do when you don;t have paid hacks posting utter rubbish on forums too. Keep deluding yourselves though – this is better than a comedy special. Coming soon to a pity party near you: “September, 2014: Where’s Everybody Go!?”

      • Wessex Man

        with every childish post you show yourself to be what I think of you.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

    It won’t be Scotland Forever if they leave: it’ll be Hard Left Forever.

    • MartinNYID

      “if” ha, ha, ha. The fat lady’s warming up and she ain;t singing ‘Britannia rules the waves’ anymore.

  • Hegelguy

    You should have thought about this when you voted for Thatcherism time and again. It was the selfish people in England who voted Thatcher who really destroyed the spirit of union, not the Scots.

    • MartinNYID

      Indeed, and the testament to this is that Reagan pulled the same stunts in the US and look at how great it’s worked out there… 2 countries, 2 similar strategies, 2 economies in a mess we’ll never see the end of.

    • HJ777

      Yes, the record inward investment in Scotland under Margaret Thatcher was really unwelcome, wasn’t it?

      The fact that Scotland grew richer faster than England under Margaret Thatcher was terrible, wasn’t it?

      • Hegelguy

        Under Thatcher there was tremendous destruction of Scottish industry and livelihoods and communities. Some might have got rich but that was no compensation for the misery inflicted. And what was worse, Thatcher destroyed any notion one could have of Britain as a fair society that took care of the poor and believed in a national society, not just short term individual selfishness.
        “There is no such thing as society”, Thatcher crowed, and Blairism followed it up by eulogising the monied class when Mandelson proclaimed, ”We are intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich.”
        All this may have sounded great in the English Home Counties but in Scotland and Wales it was simply English upper and middle class triumphalism at the expense of the poor.
        The Welsh are too few to fight back but the Scots can and that is what Scottish secessionism today is about. Britain is like a family where a respected father turned out to be a soulless self-seeking crook. Naturally the children drift away.

        • HJ777

          Of course, uncompetitive industries and industrial decline were all her fault, weren’t they? Nobody else bears any responsibility for the fact that when she came to power, nationalised industries were half as productive as their international rivals and were absorbing huge subsidies. No, it was all down to her.

          Let’s blame her for everything, shall we? Much easier than having to think.

          Look up the context of where she said “There is no such thing as society”. She was making the point that we cannot cast problems onto “society” because it is an abstract concept – only people can take responsibility for, and help, themselves and others – and they should do so. Quote the whole passage and then tell me what you disagree with and why.

          The average Scot became far better off under her government.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

    The foolishness of this campaign can be seen in the fact that the Scots already have more self-determination than the English (or even the Welsh and the Northern Irish, with the national assembly). The Scots have a sweet, sweet deal, their only complaint being that England and therefore Britain as a whole isn’t quite as rigorously socialist as they would like. On this basis they have launched a campaign for secession. Their attitude really beggars belief.

    • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

      Why should England be the standard by which the adequacy of Scotland’s democracy is judged? Surely there is only one appropriate standard and that is the needs, aspirations and priorities of Scotland’s people.

      It’s not that Scotland’s desire to restore its rightful constitutional status “beggars belief”. It’s just that you completely fail to comprehend the nature of both the existing union and the independence campaign.

      This dumb incomprehension is amply demonstrated by your foolish insistence that Scotland has a “sweet deal” when something in the region of 66% of those who actually have to live with that deal consider it totally unsatisfactory.

  • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

    What James Forsyth needs to explain is why Scotland’s interests must be sacrificed for the benefit of the British state. Like so many British nationalists his arguments are based, no on reason, but on a quasi-religious belief in the absolute righteousness of the established order. We, meanwhile, are expected to be grateful for being allowed to be part of the Greater England project and never question the cost.

    The near-pathological arrogance of it would be breath-taking had we not long since become accustomed to the deluded posturing of those whose perspective on the constitutional question owes more to largely imagined past imperial glories than the realities of the 21st century.

    • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxZsdWIuQRs Tahitiholiday

      What James Forsyth needs to explain is why Scotland’s interests must be sacrificed for the benefit of the British state.
      Why on earth do you think they are, man?! As I’ve said below, the Scots have a sweet deal as things stand!

      • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

        As you grow up you will, hopefully, learn that you saying something doesn’t make it so. You dumbly pander to the notion that it does by totally disregarding the reality that two-thirds or more of the people of Scotland are dissatisfied with that deal and something approaching half are so dissatisfied that they want to end the political union altogether.

        Nurse your delusions.

    • HJ777

      More of your word soup, as usual.

      • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

        Thanks for taking the trouble to let us know that you have absolutely nothing to contribute to the discussion. You can get back to eating your crayons now.

        • HJ777

          Says the most pompous and wordily vacuous man ever to ‘contribute’ to these boards.

          • http://peterabell.blogspot.co.uk/ Peter A Bell

            Diddums!

          • HJ777

            Usual lack of content, but at least you have the virtue of brevity this time.

            Had you ever considered including content in your posts?

          • Maureen Luby

            Have you ever considered actually reading his posts? Your ad hominem attacks will not persuade anyone that you have anything to contribute.

          • HJ777

            He would make a good North Korean state prosecutor with his flowery ritual denunciations accompanied by lack of supporting evidence.

            That you can’t recognise this is revealing.

  • Dave_Coull

    “the Russian Federation kept the Soviet Union’s seat” – and it did so with the support of the other republics of the former USSR, but at a price.

    The price was that Russia accepted full responsibility for ALL of the USSR’s debts.

  • stefanstackhouse

    It will be one of the great ironies of history if an ill-conceived effort to keep together a nation that should split up (Iraq) plays a part in leading to the break-up of a nation (UK) that should stay together.

  • Dave_Coull

    “Those familiar with SNP thinking on the matter are adamant that there is no deal to be done on Trident”

    In the aftermath of a YES vote, members of the Labour Party in Scotland, who would like to be rid of Trident, but who have been keeping quiet on the subject because it’s party policy not to be seen to be agreeing with the SNP, would find themselves in a position where they could criticise the SNP if they should show the slightest hesitation over getting rid of Trident. But Nicola Sturgeon was a member of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament BEFORE she joined the SNP. The membership of the SNP would of course never accept any Trident deal from their leaders. As for the wider support for YES to independence, most of them would be absolutely furious at the merest hint of such a thing, and words like “betrayal” and “traitor” would be used. But it’s simply not going to happen. Anything else could be up for negotiation, but Trident has to go.That is non-negotiable. Trident has to go, with no ifs, no buts, no maybes, no deal, and no delay.

  • PROF EVIL

    Friends, I have the ideal answer – rubber Trident missiles.

  • Dave_Coull

    I was born and grew up on the south side of Montrose harbour, and attended Montrose Academy. Right now, HMS Montrose is on one of its regular visits to its namesake town. Montrosians already feel a sense of ownership, and that is one of the two Type 23 frigates which the White Paper envisages as the biggest ships of the Royal Scottish Navy.

    • Wessex Man

      good for you.

  • davidofkent

    A small point: iScotland keeps Faslane for its own defence requirements and in return, rUK keeps all of the defence assets. Fairs, fair!

  • Colin

    If Cameron had to make a choice between the Union or remaining in the EU, which do you think he’d choose?

  • Drew

    Interesting article and one of the very few I’ve come across with
    that makes an honest assessment of the effect of Scotland leaving the
    UK. Worth noting, however, James Forsyth did not set out one single
    reason – not one – focused on how Scotland would benefit from remaining
    part of Britain. That’s a glaring omission from his analysis, and
    extremely telling. The fact is a New Scotland would be far better off
    independent – economically, socially and, above all, democratically.
    Everybody at Westminster knows it, and in spite of the pitiful,
    poisonous No campaign more and more people across Scotland know it too.

    James is correct to identify a general disaffection with politics and
    “dislike” of the Tories as being drivers for independence, but simply
    fails to grasp the depth of anger at an institutionally corrupt nation
    state – for that is what the UK is. It’s a cliche to say the rich get
    richer but it remains true for all that, and as the gulf grows with
    every passing day more and more power is concentrated in the hands of a
    self-serving cabal living in ivory towers – as classic behaviour of a
    dying Empire as anyone who has read history could say.

    And as anyone with any knowledge of history could tell you, that precisely
    why James’s slightly pathetic appeal to the spirit of the Scottish
    Enlightenment sounds to my Scots ear like the dying breaths of a once
    feared despot.

    • victor67

      Exactly if you live in a council house in Dundee and don’t have a pot to piss in then the weakening of Britain is not an issue. The yes campaign will be one and lost by how effectively it can speak to the working class and the losers in our neo- liberal utopia.

  • weescamp

    Of course the UK has already lost it’s automotive industry, most of it’s aerospace industry, virtually all civil shipbuilding and all but a small pocket of its electronics industry.

    Last year the Govt was hoping it could also rid itself of the UK’s largest aerospace company and more recently its largest pharmaceutical company and in a year or so it’s air sea rescue service will be contracted out to an American company which will use American helicopters. The RN’s latest generation aircraft carrier couldn’t have been built without the French as main partner, it’s jet fighters are being supplied by the USA and helos from an Italian company. Even the generators are Finnish!

    Add to all this that the glorious UK is now longer capable of building its own nuclear reactors ( although it led the world in this in the 60’s/70s) and has to depend on the French, Chinese, Japanese and maybe even the French. Then of course we need to remember that not one of those wind turbines being installed onshore and offshore was manufactured by a UK company although of course most electricity providers and generators are also foreign owned now.

    I could go on but I really no longer know what it is we Scots are being asked to keep our faith with. For sure though it can’t be a “Great Britain” because Britain has almost nothing left to feel great about.

    Perhaps when Scotland quits the UK the rump will wake up to what a complete mess they’ve made of their country and do something about it.

    • HJ777

      The UK has the world’s second largest aerospace industry and the automotive industry is in rude health.

      It is called Great Britain in the sense of large. Don’t you know any history?

      • pedestrianblogger

        My understanding is that Great Britain is so called to distinguish it from Little Britain, or Brittany.

        • HJ777

          Yes, precisely so.

          • pedestrianblogger

            Your chum, the Little Scotlander, will neither know nor care.

      • weescamp

        You are talking utter nonsense. a) Almost the entire automotive sector is foreign owned b) The aerospace industry in the UK has shrunk dramatically in the last twenty years. BAe the main contractor even tried to sell itself to EADS last year. The French aerospace industry is considerably bigger.

        • HJ777

          Most globally-operating industries are internationally owned. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have a successful automotive industry in the UK.

          According to The Economist, we have the world’s second largest aerospace industry after the USA. Rolls-Royce, for example is the word’s second largest aero engine manufacturer.

          One of us is talking nonsense – it’s you.

          • weescamp

            Yes we have a successful automotive industry in the UK. But it most certainly isn’t British which means of course we have absolutely no influence over it. You may have read recently that even the UK Govt was concerned how few UK suppliers were being used as companies preferred to use their native companies.

            When was the last time the UK built a civil aircraft or indeed a military aircraft on its own? Now, we even have to rely on an Italian company to provide helicopters.

            You’re out of touch. Wedded to idiotic neoliberal economics.

    • vieuxceps2

      Yes, you are right to go your own way.Don’t blame you.But if what you say is right, then rats annd ships spring to mind.When SS Empire sailed you were happy to be aboard, were’nt you?

  • John Hamill

    “The rump that would be left behind after a Scottish yes vote would become a global laughing stock.” Don’t you think Scotland would be a global laughing stock if it votes No. Labour talk about multilateral nuclear disarmament, good luck getting Israel to comply with that.

    • pedestrianblogger

      Scotland will never become a “global laughing stock” because most of the inhabitants of the globe are unaware of its existence and have much more pressing things on their minds than whether the Scots choose to bite off the hand that feeds them.

  • Sanctimony

    What would England lose…. a huge whinging millstone !

    • John Hamill

      Thanks for that valuable contribution to the Scottish Independence debate.

      • Sanctimony

        A pleasure… and I hope that they’ll have to contribute to the rebuilding of Hadrian’s Wall….

        • Maureen Luby

          Do you actually know where Hadrian’s wall is?

        • Scott Bowie

          england will lose a lot more pal.
          all that lovely oil revenue, all that whisky tax revenue, 25% of europes renewable energy, the largest fishing grounds in europe…scotland runs in the black, we export more than we import. england imports more than it exports, it runs in the red and is one of the most heavily indebted nations in the world. (of which around 8% is scotlands debt) if those fools in westminster do go through with no currency union (they won’t, but lets say they will) then they lost the stability of being tethered to all that crude and the pound will devalue. what can england do to shore that up? more austerity? enjoy that.

          • http://www.gamrreview.com/ Machina22

            Why are Yes voters so keen to plunge themselves even further into the European Union?

            I can understand the desire for independence, indeed I share it in the sense that I would like us (the UK, or whatever remains of it post-referendum) to become independent from the EU, but how can Scottish independence voters square their desire to be freed from the political control of London with supporting increased political control from Brussels?

          • Scott Bowie

            machina22 we’re already in europe, you do realize that? we’ve been in europe for forty years, just like the ruk.
            we want independence from london, that way we can work out the very best deal for ourselves, rather than have a foreign government do it for us, and usually for the scraps. with independence we can decide down the line if we wish to leave europe if that is our nations wish. as it is currently the ruk could vote to leave europe next year and we’d be given roughly an 8% say, when as an independent nation we could be given 100% say.

          • http://www.gamrreview.com/ Machina22

            I note you completely dodged my central question. How can you strive for independence from London whilst at the same time supporting membership of the EU, which involves foreign government from Brussels?

            I am aware we are part of the EU, my point is that the SNP and many of its supporters in the Yes camp are pro-European. If you win the referendum (and I don’t mind one way or the other) then you’ll still be enthusiastically shackled to foreign rule from the EU.

            I note also that you make a point about getting ‘the very best deal for ourselves [in the EU]’. A tacit acknowledgement that being part of the EU involves loss of self-determination and a large element of foreign rule.

            If you truly believed in independence you would oppose your country’s membership of the EU.

          • Scott Bowie

            i kind of did answer it…but here we go again, you sound awfully like one of those silly, anti-euro kippers to me. well if you think france, germany, spain and the others are not independent then i suppose we won’t be either. should we aspire to englands bold independence? banks bailed out by american companies? jumping to america’s illegal wars, oh so independent.
            it’s the 21st centry, there is no such thing as a truly 100% independent country (the ruk will still trade with other nations for example are they still independent?) so you’re argument is weak.
            as i already mentioned if we don’t like it we can vote to leave, or join as an efta member (my personal preference). but the point is we will decide, not a government in another country. our country will decide our countries fate.

          • http://www.gamrreview.com/ Machina22

            I’m a ‘silly anti-euro kipper’ because I want independence from the EU? By that logic you’re a ‘silly pro-euro SNPer’ that wants some sort of metaphorical/token independence from England but is happy to give away increasing amounts of political power to the EU. What bold independence!

            You and the rest of the Yes’ers that are pro-EU are fakes, and if you truly believe that EU membership doesn’t mean giving up a large chunk of political power to the EU then you’re fools as well. Just because you have the ultimate ability to leave the EU if you wish to do so does not change any of that until and unless you decide to exercise that right.

            But anyway, good luck with the referendum. I hope Scotland votes Yes, if only to stick the finger up to the political class in London. Just don’t expect it to make you truly independent, because you’ll still be ruled in large part from abroad.

          • Scott Bowie

            england isn’t truly independent either pal. for the reasons i explained above. i hope that england also looks inward upon our leaving and becomes a more federal, fair society as opposed to the ancient westminster corruption that can cover a paedo scandal.
            you see it’s nothing personal, it’s not about anti-english venom, it’s about breaking away from outdated rule. i think it will lead to the modernization of this island, not the destruction.

  • victor67

    These arguments are preaching to the converted. The question is can Scotland look after all its citizens and not just the privileged few better than the Westminster Elite.

  • IndependentEngland

    ‘the nation would have voted to abolish itself’
    Oh dear. Where do I start? The UK is not a nation it is a union of nations. Britain is not the UK.
    Putting this aside ‘the nation’ has not ‘voted to abolish itself’. Only the people of Scotland have a vote in this. England Wales and N.Ireland have no say. So it is the Scottish who will have voted to end the Union and leave the UK. Good luck to them I say. The end of the Union is long overdue. Give us English a vote and we will put it out of its misery. Have no doubt about it!

  • Hegelguy

    so long

  • Amir

    Read this interview with David Blunkett about Scotland’s independence:

    http://www.casualpolitics.co.uk/2014/06/an-exclusive-interview-with-r-t-david-blunkett/

  • Stephen Gash

    If Scotland left the UK it would be like a ball and chain being removed from around England’s neck. We English are never asked about this blighted so-called Union. We’re only robbed by it. The English invented the modern parliamentary system yet England is the only country in the EU without its own elected chamber. Reprtedly this vile Coalition government has dropped plans to stop MPs outside of England voting on English matters because it might offend Scots. No British MP speaks for England. The sooner England gets out of the UK the better.

    • Chris D

      “Coalition government has dropped plans to stop MPs outside of England voting on English matters because it might offend Scots.”
      Why would it offend Scots? I think you’d find we have no interest in the matter. If only English MPs vote on English matters, then good for them. It in no way affects us.

  • Jackthesmilingblack

    “What Britain will lose if Scotland goes”No more Labour governments, perhaps?
    Vote “Yes” Scotland.

    • Peter Thomson

      You have not had a Labour Government since 1979 just Whig or Tory ones.

      • Wessex Man

        thats all we’ve had from 1997 to date thats why we are in the state we find ourselves in.

  • Gwangi

    Read the Stanley Baxter interview in this week’s Radio Times and admit an uncomfortable truth: many Scots are bigoted anti-English racists; very few English reciprocate that hatred to the Scots (if any).
    Mr Baxter has the intelligence to know the Union is good and should remain – and that the Scots would be stark raving mad to want to split it apart.
    Many people I know also left Scotland 1) to find more opportunities in England and 2) to live in the more tolerant, modern, civilised environment they found in England and get away from the bullying, backwards, secksist, racist, small-minded little Scottisher mindset that was very prevalent in Scotland in the past, and still is if you scratch the surface (Catholic/Prod wars in Glasgow for example, where you cannot even wear green in certain areas or blue in others, for free of suffering a sectarian attack – but, to be fair, both the Catholic and Wee Frees are equally oppressive, bigoted, hateful, discriminatory, weird and nasty).

    • Scott Bowie

      i suppose the english are kind hearted benefactors to all then?
      you’ll find a bit of friendly competitive banter for the most part, of course there are some extermists, but they live in your country, ukip, britain first, the bnp. i think that’s the kind of nationalism you’re referring to. scottish nationalism is inclusive and actually wants immigration (crazy right!).

      • th43

        …a bit of friendly competitive banter

        Yeah, I remember racists down here who would say we’re only ‘aving a laugh but we’ve grown up a bit since then.

        As for BNP, NF, Britain first or UKIP, how many MPs have the English returned over the last, ehm fifty years?

        • Wessex Man

          Please tell me why you are equating UKip with the BNP NF or Britain first, we are nothing like the clowns in those so-called parties, we are a respectable party formed by fed-up people from all over the political divide, who actually topped the European Elections in this country mere weeks ago, who the Tory party have realised will pick up 18 of THEIR seats yet alone the fading Lib/dums and bacon butties splutters.

          In fact we will probably end up with more MPs in Westminster than the SNP.

          The expression on Salmond’s face when we had our first MEP elected in Scotland was a sight to behold!

          • Scott Bowie

            it won’t matter to him, we’ll be independent by the time you vote england out of europe and into oblivion.

          • Wessex Man

            This will be the europe which is the European Union which the IMF and the Economist are predicting will fall back into recession, the EU which Moorad Choudhry, professor of Mathematical Studies, expert on Banking who believes the UK will be better off out of.

          • Michele Keighley

            Yep – I think he means THAT EU 😉

          • Scott Bowie

            we’re not voting for europe, we’re voting for independence. if we don’t like what we find in europe we will have the freedom of choice to choose another solution. the same way the ruk will decide if it wants to remain in europe.

          • Wessex Man

            Please note that it’s not ruk if Scotland leaves iut the UK as usual.

          • Scott Bowie

            ha, as if you ever called it that before. i’m sure you called it england, just as you will when scotland leaves the r(est)uk behind.
            you cant be a united kingdom with only one kingdom really can you? united with whom? the welsh? they are a principality. the only other kingdom is that of the scots.

          • Wessex Man

            ha, you are now showing your Anglophopbia in all it’s glory now. when 8.4 of the people leave this Union it will still be a Union of the Englsh, Welsh and NI. We will still be the United Kingdom until and hopefully soon, the Welsh and NI decide to go as well.

          • Scott Bowie

            where do i show anglophobia? by claiming you called it england? that has you all upset now? i still bet you did. i’m not anglophobe, though you’re clearly one who would belittle my country, somehow you seem to think that’s acceptable?
            i’ve lived in london for a few years, even the north, i rarely heard anyone call it the u.k or britain for that matter. it was engand. now there’s nothing wrong with that, in fact you are england and we are scotland, two different nations, placed under a temporary union that is now coming to its logical end in the new millenium.
            sure it will be a union of peoples, but not kingdoms.
            if you have a problem with people choosing their own self-determination there’s nothing i can do for you.

          • Wessex Man

            Don’t be a silly billy, I support Scottish Independence and wish that it happens, though lookinf at the polls it won’t, I have family in Scotland, I don’t belittle your country merely stste the facts and that I hope Wales and NI become independent as well.

            If you lived in London and ‘the north’ what do you expect those people to call it, New Canada? are we English not allowed to call our own country ENgland?

          • Scott Bowie

            of course you are entitled to call yourself english, as we are entitled to call ourselves scots, and do. that’s my point, this rally call of ‘great britain and the u.k’ by cameron and co. is tired and obsolete. we are two very distinct nations, culturally and politically and can never last in some false union, especially when one side makes up around 80% of said union and drowns out any real voice we have.
            as to the polls they are generally from the msm, based in london, yougov for example is a company owned by two know english conservatives. if you actually look at the grass roots campaign, which is the largest of its kind ever seen in scoltand, you’d see the numbers are somewhat different. i suppose that’s why camerons wee bottom is blowing bubbles and he’s up here trying to bribe us with our own money, and the u.k government is suppressing 300k of public spent money on polls they haven’t released the results of, that they’re confident and relaxed in a no win?

    • Bonkim

      Over the top – I did not find Scots more racist than say the Chinese or Indians or Middle-Eastern folk. By and large a better educated lot – Yes some of what you say in the Glasgow area – but that is no different from say Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham or parts of Wales. You will similar issues in England and Wales, NI is much worse.

      • Gwangi

        Yes I agree, many Scots are just as bigoted as those in the most swivel-eyed parts of English cities and Welsh backwaters. Hardly a compliment though, is it?
        And try being gay in Scotland!
        In general, the whole nationalist myth that the Scottish are one tribe of one blood that has no connection to English 1) is a great big lie as disproven by DNA testing and 2) very dangerous nationalism that encourages hatred, extremism, bigotry and racism – as in those eejits who think Braveheart is historical fact and then go out and punch up anyone with an English accent. Some parts of Scotland are lovely – but the general culture has a very dark side.

    • Vehmgericht

      the more tolerant, modern, civilised environment they found in England

      It’s so nice to see that the art of satire isn’t dead!

      • Gwangi

        I am only reporting what Scots tell me and have told me over the years.

        The women I used to work with who couldn’t wait to escape the Chauvinistic drunken gropery of the average Scottish workplace and weekend.

        The gay people who hated their Scottish homelands for the hatred they experienced.

        The non-white people who suffered racism like they’d never see in England.

        Those who refused to play the Catholic versus Protestant game and couldn’t wait to settle in the secular land of England, particularly London and the south-east, where most people live and let live and really do not care what other people do in bed or what they religion is or isn’t or what skin colour they have.

        No matter what Salmond says in his silly ‘Scotland is more tolerant than England’ fantasy socialist speeches, Scotland is not a tolerant place in general – and it has so few ethnic minorities too. I look forward to Scotland taking 16% non-white as England has.

        • Vehmgericht

          I moved from Scotland to England in 1988 and spent 25 years working there, during which time I witnessed the streets become more and more unsafe, and violence and crime increase. I subsequently returned to Scotland, and it was like a different planet. I would readily trade your illusory “tolerant, modern, civilised” for low crime any day of the week.

          I look forward to Scotland taking 16% non-white as England has.

          😀

        • Simon Delancey

          I am only reporting what Scots tell me and have told me over the years.

          They were pretty obviously pulling your leg, since the Scotland you describe is nothing like the one I happen to live in.

          • Max Permissible

            Funny how he didn’t have any reply to that, isn’t it?

  • Hegelguy

    tosh

  • Max

    Why bother any way? The isle will sink soon without anybody remembering it.

  • Amir

    Check this article, David Blunkett on the Scottish independence:

    http://www.casualpolitics.co.uk/2014/06/an-exclusive-interview-with-r-t-david-blunkett/

  • jmjm208

    There is absolutely NO WAY the jocks will vote for independence, they know that they will lose the subsudies from the English taxpayer. If they breakaway who will pick up the bill for the benefit claimants in Scotland?

    • Scott Bowie

      except that england doesn’t subsidize scotland, if anything scotland subsidizes england, has for the last 40 years since the oil was found, scotlands oil, spent in london.
      even without the oil we pay more than we get, we’re more than capable of running ourselves.
      thanks for all the insults though, i’m sure you helped gain a few more yes votes.

      • jmjm208

        Live in the real world – if it wasn’t for Scotland being the UK it would have been bankrupted in 2008 with the banking crash.

        I don’t care if you get a few more yes votes, it will be nowhere near enough to win for one simple reason – most jocks know the truth viz. Scotland will be a lot worse off without English subsidies.

        • Scott Bowie

          the banking crash based in london that the u.s bailed england out on? is that the banking crisis you’re referring to? you know that rbs is 90% based in london right? or do you assume the 10% in scotland caused the crisis?
          the u.s bailed out the banks. all this inofrmation is online course if you took the time to search for it before coming on here with your ‘live in the real world’ before going on to describe a fantasy world.
          the english do not subsidize the scots, another already well established fact in the real world.

    • Bonkim

      Petty!

  • FrankS2

    Not all Scots will be able to vote – only those currently living in Scotland. Is this really a good way to decide on the future of a country?

    • Scott Bowie

      yes. as the people living in said country are the ones who will be directly affected. would you like the entire eu to vote on your referendum to leave when it comes up?

      • FrankS2

        Do Scots surrender their nationality if they move to England?

        • Scott Bowie

          of course not, but they are no longer living in the country independence affects.

        • Bonkim

          Depends on how you define nationality – place of birth, race, creed, ancestry – how many generations back, etc. The British are genetically a mixed race with people emigrating over two millennia from Europe and further afield. There were people of African and North African ancestry in Roman times and also moors in later centuries quite apart from recent immigration.

    • Bonkim

      Scots, English and others that now live in Scotland will have a say in the matter – Doubt if the tens of millions of Scttish ancestry that emigrated across the globe including England, Wales and NI would or should have a say in the matter.

    • Vehmgericht

      Allowing residents of Scotland to vote is the only practicable method – unless you have some ingenious method to identify True Scots?

      • Gwangi

        Apparently, they all have a third nipple – a vestige from the days when these pure blood Scots used to wean baby haggis on the heather-huwed hills. Surely we could test the population for these third nipples quite easily?
        Alternatively, we can accept that genetically there is no real difference between the English and the Scottish. The myth of Celts is just that.

    • Gwangi

      And the English and Welsh won’t have a vote either, despite the vote being about splitting a union created between Scotland and England (incl Wales) in 1707 (and monarchies and language shared for a great deal longer than that). If the vote were fair, the English and Welsh would also have a vote. Ironically, if that happened, Scotland would probably be severed from England whether it wants it or not!

  • Liam

    Wow one of the most one-sided articles I have ever read! Britain has been a sinking ship for such a long time, its not Scotland fault it wants to stand on their own 2 feet, the continuing divisive policies, year, after, year that has destroyed Scotland’s faith in the union, even a good proportion of people in England, Wales, N.Ireland feel the same way, the old “divide and conquer” mentality as come back to haunt the old-guard elitists who have aligned themselves with big business year, after year instead of the wish of the people who voted them in. It will be a sad day IF Scotland leaves, bot only for the rest of the UK because they will be still stuck with the wretched 3 (useless) political parties who couldn’t give a dame about the people they are suppose to represent!

  • Dave123

    People, please try to remember that history, is history. Most of the comments ive seen below are concerned only with what the Scottish have suffered hundreds of years ago and what the English dished out, hundreds of years ago. This is 21st Century Great Britain and despite England’s and Scotland’s troubled and bloody past, today we stand united.
    We stood together through two World Wars, not as two independent nations, but as one united one. We stood for the same principles throughout the Cold War. And now Scotland wants to tear this union apart. A lot of people would argue the benefits of secession, but i just cant see it. As a Great British Scotsman, i can only see disaster on the horizon. I can sit here now, and argue to death the finer points of Britain’s economy and the impact secession will have on both countries, but i don’t want to get bogged down with such things. Instead, just think about the Union. Scotland and England used to be bitter enemies, but thanks to the Union we have had 300 years of peace. It hasn’t been equal, it hasn’t, everybody knows that too much wealth and power is situated in London, but its thanks to the political union and the principles this country endorses that even allowed the Scottish Referendum in the first place. Scotland was not an equal partner at first, but it is now and its a mark of equality and respect that the referendum can take place, because Scotland IS NOT A COLONY it as a Kingdom of equal repute with England. England does not own Scotland, it values Scotland as a brother nation. Too many Scottish people, even those within my own family, are too concerned with sitting in their chairs and blaming their woes on England without actually looking at the bigger picture. What do they have to complain about? A bad economy? It can ruin lives yes, but people are STILL ALIVE. When England and Scotland were enemies the citizens of each country had more to worry about then their pockets, they had their lives to worry about, people died because of the wars we fought against each other, the Union bought peace and prosperity. Ive asked many other Scottish people what their main issues are with Union and most reply in the same way; we dont get to decide what we want to do, And to that i argue, well yes actually you do,

    • Dave123

      Scotland is a devolved government and decides its own policies on pretty much everything save for defence and foreign policy. And if it decides to join NATO and/or the EU it will probably retain the exact same defence and foreign policies Britain has now, only it will have to fork out all the money for the enactment of those policies from their own treasury.
      Scotland has many elderly citizens, how will it pay their pensions? North Sea Oil cant sustain Scotland for ever. How will it sustain a Scottish NHS-esque health service? Every time I’ve seen Salmond questioned on the state of the economy, he promises Scotland will be ok but doesn’t actually identify where the money for the policies will come from. To me, he seems an armchair patriot given too much power. I am proud to belong to a British Scotland, and i urge Scottish citizens to not concern yourselves too much with the past, instead focus only on what the future can bring. We as a species will always be more prosperous, will always be stronger and will always work better TOGETHER not apart. Union has stopped wars and bought prosperity…what has secession and nationalism ever done for humanity?

  • th43

    The rump that would be left behind after a Scottish yes vote would become a global laughing stock.

    Oh please, you have got to be kidding.

    No more Gordon Brown, RBS, West Lothian Question, Barnett Formula…

    However will the tiny 90% of a “rump” that’s left, ever manage?

  • johnschuh

    Reminding me that a hundred years ago,Ireland was aflame. The British cabinet almost carelessly chose to go to war with Germany, even though no essential British interest was involved, and all because of French pride and unwillingness to make way for Germany ascendency on the continent. Of course, the Germans were spoiling for a fight with Russia and pushed the Austrians into a war with Serbia. Oh, what folly, it all was! And it brought an end to the Europe and could dominate the word.

    • Vehmgericht

      The Germans’ inhumane treatment of Belgium had more than a little to do with the decision.

      • johnschuh

        That came after the declaration of war. Holding onto Antwerp was more an incentive.

        • Wessex Man

          You have made your assumptions on what? you seem to have a very feeble grasp of History, our Alliances of the time and our obligation by law to protect Belgium neutralitiy.

          If you had bothered to actually read anything about the causes of the war instead of spouting rubbish, you might have proved yourself to have a brain.

          • johnschuh

            Britain entered into the Entente Cordiale was because Britain felt isolated after the Boer War. King Edward can be given credit for that, and if the Kaiser had half the diplomatic skills as the king, he would not have contantly been pushing British’s buttons, especially with regard to a navy that did not serve Germany’s purposes in Europe, which lay to the East. The French, however, could not get over their reduced standing in Europe, and their alliance with Russia, which was Germany’s real rival in Europe, together with their open desire to retake Alsace-Lorraine, was the real cause of the Schlieffen Plan. 1870 marked the end of France as the dominant power on the continent. Their refusal to accept that was a major cause of the War. Britain, by shifting its weight to the French, aimed to discourage the Germans from attacking France but also a curb on French desire to regain Alsace-Lorraine. The problem was that neither the British nor the French had any idea of the power of the German Army, and the Germans had no idea of how far short they were of having enough force to break through while holding off the Russians.

          • Wessex Man

            This is clearly your own opinion, the fact is that Austria was itching to teach Serbia a lesson, the spark was grasped with both hands by them, Germany like Britain shared an alliance with Austria, as did Russia with Serbia. once the Austrians and Serbs mobilised, like a pack of fools so did the Russiams, Germans and the French and then we did.

            If we hadn’t joined the war when Belgium was invaded we would have had to eventualluy if Germany defeated the French and controlled Europe from the Spanish Border to Denmark threatening British trade.

          • johnschuh

            German control of the continent would have had an effect on British trade, and so Britain would have had to come to terms with a victorious Germany. What is not an opinion but a matter of documentation that German’s aim was to dominate eastern Europe. England, even France was a secondary matter to them.

          • Wessex Man

            Please tell me how that jelled with the Grand German attack Plans which were hoping to knock out the French forces and then to concentrate on Russia, hoping that the UK would not honour it’s treaties.

          • johnschuh

            The German strategy was to score a quick knock out of France and then a rapid transfer of forces to the East, to confront and defeat the Russians. In Mein Kampf, Hitler subscribes to the same strategy. An alternative would have been to meet the French offensive into Alsace-Lorraine and achieve a stalemate, but that would in prospect have tied down too many Germany troops. As it turned out, something even worse happened.

          • johnschuh

            Germany’s thrust in 1914 as in 1941 was toward the East. Russia was the main obstacle. France was a dangerous foe on her western flank, but still not the main foe. If Britain had not intervened, France probably would have been forced to come to terms with the Germans after her offensive was blocked and she had to fall back on her capital. Belgium would not have resisted strongly if England had not come in. Germany would then have shifted her forces to the east and achieved Brest-Litovsk four years earlier, still remained a monarchy and become an associate with Germany as Austria had after 1866, along with Turkey.

          • Wessex Man

            So what are your opinions of Schlieffen and Moltke the younger’s Battle plans to knock France out of any war before turning German might eastward. That Moltke changed the German Battle Plan which included the invasion of Holland in favour of a narrow fast attack in Belgium to hit the centre of France and Capture Paris.

            The original Battle Plan having been laid down in 1894.

            Perhaps you can enlighten me when France moved to the east of Germany.

          • johnschuh

            The Schlieffen Plan was the German response to the alliance between Russia and France in 1894. As France was a republic, and Russia an autocracy, it was as unlikely as the one between Germany and Russia in 1939. Germany now faced a war on two fronts. The Schlieffen Plan was an effort to avoid this. It proposed a swift knock out blow of the French while holding off the Russians, who would be much slower in mobilizing their force than the French both because of capability and distances. Of course it required the invasion of Belgium. The alternative was to engage the French when they invaded Alsace-Lorraine, but that required a lot of German forces to achieve a stale-mate, forces the Germans needed against the large and dreaded Russian hordes, and to accept a two-front war. In 1914, the Russians were able to mobilize much faster than they would have in the 1890s, so Molteke diverted forces to meet the faster than expected Russian Advance.

    • Michele Keighley

      The British Government had a treaty that supported Belgium independence – when it was invaded the British Government honoured that treaty and declared war on Germany. You may consider that to be ‘carelessness’ and you may think that disregarding a sworn treaty would have been in Britain’s best interest, however the politicians of the day thought otherwise … but the word ‘integrity’ has little meaning for many today.

      • johnschuh

        The British had had a much more definite commitment to the defense of Denmark but took no action when Prussia went to war with Denmark and annexed Schle wig-Holstein. This when at least half the population in the disputed area was Danish. The whole Purpose of putting Britain’s small force onto the continent was to shore up the flank of the French army. I do not dispute that the Germans treated the Belgiens brutally, or even that they were bullies everywhere. But the British interests was in limiting the mobility of the German fleet and that could have been accomplished even if the Germans held Antwerp. Absent the Entene Cordiale, the Germans would have defeated the French and the war in the west would have been over by the fall of 1914. The Germans would then have moved their forces to the east to accomplish their real goal which was to dominate eastern Europe and gain access to the oil fields in the Turkish Empire.

  • Charles Patrick O’Brien

    Question what has the last two Prime Ministers and Chancellors being Scots got to do with it? Britain is not a country but a union of countries,and one of us wants to leave so that we can advance our democracy.I hear on political shows i.e. BBC,s Question Time,people talk about the UK then say up north we are building a faster train,and I look to see whereabouts “Up North” thinking of Plockton Cape Wrath Dingwall,but no the mean Manchester “Up North” Manchester,its not even in the BRITISH MIDLANDS,have a wee think about which country is which,and where it is.

    • HJ777

      All the indications are that Scotland doesn’t want to leave, contrary to your assertion.

      You may want to. You are welcome, and free, to go.

      • Gwangi

        Oh no don’t say that. London parks are full of drunken Scotsmen as it is…

  • Vote YES in Sept ’14

    Whoever wrote this is talking pure mince. Scotland will work with the US, the Norwegians, NATO and other EU allies to maintain a coherent defence network around our landmass. I don’t doubt the rump of UK will have soul searching to do but they will pick themselves up and together Scotland and the rest of these island nations will continue to work together abscent of all the jingoistic pomp, cap doffing nonsense this article is filled with. Get a grip, we’re talking about a transfer of political power, nothing more the rest you’re referring to is all fluff inside your head.

    Save Scotland, VoteYes!

    • Bonkim

      Scots don’t want nukes and trident there.

    • Chateauneuf-du-Puss

      Save Scotland From Itself: Vote NO.

    • Gwangi

      Oh dear… The fluff is all inside your head, methinks. If Scotland is stupid enough to split the union, it will lose massive subsidy, massive business opportunities, much of its talented workforce will leave, it will not have Sterling (but some weak Scottish pound), taxes will go up across the board, eventually the IMF will be called in to demand cuts – and the EU if Scotland is ever allowed to be a member…
      Get a grip, laddie! You cannae eat daydreams… (though they’d probably taste better than haggis…)
      And it bemuses me that you think Scotland needs saving. It has been devolved since 1999, with Salmond in charge much of that time, so surely it is him you should be blaming for the mess and squandering the massive subsidy England sends north? or do you blame the English for the rain too? Tsss. Racist.

      • Wingman2020

        “….squandering the massive subsidy England sends north…”

        Are you just trolling or really that ill informed?

        • Wessex Man

          is that moniker a homage to Wing Over Scotland?

  • Bonkim

    The Scots punched above their numbers in Enterprise Britain. Look up history of the Empire, trade, engineering innovation, and education across the globe and scots feature large. From Viceroys of India or Jardines Hong Kong, mining, Railways, tea and coffee plantations, shipping – Scots were the doers and go getters of the Empire. I have not touched the Southern plantations in the US and the Scot-Irish that opened up the new world. Yes If Scots decide to go solo, they will do well, we will miss them bt then nothing is certain in life and nations are built up and in time change/disappear.

    • vieuxceps2

      Yes, the 1707 treaty allowed Scotland acess to the markets and trading opportunities of the existing English Empire and they proceeded to fill their boots.
      They were especially active in the slave plantations of the Caribbean as the number of present-day West Indians with names from Scottish plantation owners clearly shows.I believe R. Burns was set on becoming such a planter at one time.
      All gone now of course, so they need to get their bread elsewhere, but it is rank hypocrisy for people to speak only of Scottish achievements in the empire and not to share any of the blame.
      But then, in Scotland and in the minds of many people south of the border, it’s always England’s fault.

      • Bonkim

        Blaming anyone for events in history would be silly. That is how human societies behave/progress; man is a competitive animal and will exploit any new situation for benefit. the British Empire whilst motivated by commercial gain, also helped develop new lands, introduced novel technology and business practices. and initiated the worldwide trade and economy that we see today, spread education, organised society, and benefited the people of the far flung reaches of Empire – not everything negative exploitation. Regarding slavery and exploitation – that was the order of the day – many societies across the globe continue to be exploitative of their weaker sections – so don’t blame the Scots for what they did in accordance with the prevailing norms of the times.

        The main point was Scots featured large in relation to their numbers in Scotland – the reasons were – poverty and they had to try harder, religion, work ethic, and education.

  • Jock Campbell

    More trash. Thank goodness this nonsense is presented in electronic media, or our landfill sites would be filled with all of this tripe.

  • cas47

    Why would you pay any attention to what the twit Obama says. Tell him to kind his own business and do his own job for a change.

    • Chateauneuf-du-Puss

      That’ll be the day!

    • Gwangi

      Oh and I am sure you’d have the same opinion if he had came out in favour of the YES campaign! Yeah right!
      Let’s face it: the most educated, rational and intelligent people – and most women too – want Scotland to remain part of the UK.
      On the YES side are irrational dreamers, bigots, racists, dinosaurs – lower class, uneducated, drunken Glaswegians – and mostly men too, who are irresponsible gamblers.

      • Wingman2020

        Look up the definition of bigot.

        I think you fit quite accurately.

  • Peter Gardner

    ‘Chief of the Defence Staff is that these losses would not be replaced. Instead, the Navy would simply be asked to carry on performing the same tasks but with less kit.’

    Why not set up a mutual defence agreement with Scotland and share the burden?

  • DaHitman

    so a long essay but we wont actually loose anything, we’d save a ruddy fortune

  • Liz

    I literally can’t wait until September until the Scots either bugger off or shut the hell up about buggering off.

  • Vehmgericht

    If Scotland does decide to leave, the United Kingdom would be the first advanced industrialised democracy to separate in the postwar era.

    I think a case could be made that Czechoslovakia was an industrialised democracy. Or was it insufficiently “advanced”?

    • Gwangi

      Yes, indeed, by Czechoslovakia was only created in 1918 from the remnants of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
      Slovakia was by far the less industrialised and modern part of that country though – why the Slovak crown devalued 10-20% immediately when they split (as any non-Sterling Scottish pound would).

  • Chateauneuf-du-Puss

    If Scotland does secede ever — and the indications despite misleading and tendentious headlines is that the Yes side doesn’t have the votes — what happens to their nationality? I mean, what if you’re a Scot that voted No and wants to remain British? Will you automatically lose your British citizenship? Could you apply for it thereafter? And what would it mean to allow Scots to remain both Scottish (so they can vote there) and British (so they can vote in Britain, while the rest of the British couldn’t vote in Scottish elections)? The citizenship question could be thorny, especially as there is no way that, having rejected the UK, the Scots should be allowed even more voting and political power than they have now!

    • Wingman2020

      I mean, what if you’re a Scot that voted No and wants to remain British? Will you automatically lose your British citizenship?

      Are you serious? Even if you vote YES in Scotland, you can keep your British passport 🙂

      • Tahitiholiday

        But why? Either the Scots want to be British or they don’t. To want it all ways makes them seem grasping and unprincipled rather than hard-done-by.

  • justejudexultionis

    Why would Scotland wish to remain in an empty shell of a country with no discernible purpose and yet still obsessed with its inglorious imperial past?

    SAOR ALBA 2014 – THA SINN DEISEIL

    • Gwangi

      There’s me thinking its the Scottish Nationalists (who want to swap union with England by servitude to the EU – so not true independence by a long chalk) who are utterly obsessed with their inglorious past. Robert the Bruce murdered his way to the throne, and most glorious battles much worshipped by Scots nats involved one upper class landowner fighting another using a foreign mercenary army and the prize was land and oppressing the people on it!
      Scotland will be the laughing stock if it goes it alone – because it is not a rational choice to cut oneself off from the source of one’s wealth, identity and opportunity. It will be sans EU membership for years, sans a royal head of state, sans Sterling, sans many thousands of jobs, sans any voice or presence on the world state. Scots will be worse off by at least £1000 a year each – and that’s for starters!
      Read Stanley Baxter’s interview in this week’s Radio Times – he sees clears and know that many Scots like you are small-minded racist anti-English bigots, but that anti-Scottish bigots do not exists in any real way in tolerant England (and boy oh boy Scotland is not a tolerant place, not to the English, not for gay people, not for religious people in the wrong area).

      Of course, Shetland and Orkney have a good case for independence too – better than Scotland’s, because Scotland is not one nation anyway, being Pictish, Viking and Scots (Irish). Genetically the Scots are the same as the English. And what one thinks of as Scottish culture (highland games, tartan, kilts, bagpipes) was all invented by Walter Scott and the Victorian English! It is about as grounded in reality as Brigadoom. And oh yes, whisky was invented by monks on a Welsh island too!

      • Wingman2020

        Where was bitterness and bigotry invented?

  • http://www.workinprogress.com Nicetime

    There’s really no point wringing our hands about this. Whether they go or stay this vote should be the watershed we need to reorder our politics and our relations with the world. Our politics is absurdly shallow, sclerotic, incapable of decision or honesty, because our media is venal and dependent on soundbites & misrepresentation to create a narrative. Our population is massively uneducated and seems (if ‘Question Time’ is anything to go by) incapable of rationally analysing the cause of the issues we face. If, (and it’s still a big ‘if’) the Scots go, it will be the terminal act in a process of destruction begun by the liberal elite over a century ago, and may be the trigger for a change in zeitgeist that saves us from a far more inevitable fate, that of becoming a minority in these islands within 50 years if nothing is done about immigration

    • Tahitiholiday

      If, (and it’s still a big ‘if’)
      A vast unlikelihood, as things stand.

  • Wingman2020

    Scotland is 8.4% of the population… hardly a major disaster for the UK.

    You conflate Great Britain’s pride and status with Scotland’s imperative for economic recovery.

  • Sanctimony

    Your name betrays your allegiance, James Forsyth.

    Your claims are among the most ridiculous things I have read in a journal of the Spectator’s calibre.

    The wretched Celts have instigated this process for secession and we, English, will be relieved of the most enormous burden, should they have the guts to leave, which is unlikely, given their inherent venality.

    Bring on England being freed from the Scotch yoke !

    • Jeremy Pascoe

      and what about the money and electricity that flows from Scotland to england? Scotland contributes more than it takes out and has done so for decades.

  • Blindsideflanker

    Yes Cameron has just made us the laughing stock. Scotland gets devolution, then Cameron goes and gives Glasgow a £500 million bung.

  • ayescotland

    The Scottish people never wanted the Union, and it had to be signed in secret. Three uprisings and a proposed genocide give you an insight into the strength of feeling against it. Continual demands for Home Rule throughout the 19th and 20th centuries also mark the strength of feeling. This rump UK line in the article doesn’t go far enough – the rest of the UK has no assets, mountains if debt, a ponzi economy in London joined with an asset bubble, and a set if regional economies that never produce a surplus. Scotland leaving saves itself, and forces the rest of the UK to face the reality. Better now than later.

    • Blindsideflanker

      Just to spoil your victim hood winge , the Scots as a people had more say about joining the Union than English people.

      • Matthew

        It’s true. The English, as a people, had no say about India joining the British Empire, no say about Wales, no say about Ireland, no say about Canada, Jamaica. It’s a long-standing outrage! I think it’s time the English people stood-up, declared independence, constituted a truly representative government and went it alone.

    • vieuxceps2

      Is there a chair of Revisionist History in Scottish Universities? “Three” uprisings and a proposed genocide. The uprisings wereput down by middle belt lowland Sassenachs and a “proposed” genocide has as much significance as English cries for Hadrians Wall to be repointed.
      You lot did well rom the Treaty, half a million in gold from England to Edinburgh and a share in the trade and commerce of the existing English Empire.You were especialy good at slavery ,asWI surnames today indicate.
      Go, by all means,but take off your self-delusion glasses won’t you?

      • ayescotland

        Well

        • vieuxceps2

          I don’t know, and neither do you, if 25% is accurate or not, but at least you accept your part in the history as indeed you do with your share of the ills of the Empire Thanks for hat.
          Gold was paid by England to the Scottish coffers to keep the country afloat financially.If your nob class stole it then it’s not our fault. We certainly paid it.
          The genocide you describe is that perpetrated by your lairds on their crofter peoples, not by us.Highland Clearances I think you call it.
          Anyway, we joined up together, achieved much together but time moves on.Time for a change, time for a new begining for us all.I welcome the thought of an inependent Scotlan and stillmore an independent England.

          • ayescotland

            We can be reasonably certain that it was about a quarter based on the regiments that fought.

          • Wessex Man

            We can be reasonably certain that you will never admit to vieuxceps2 be right, how sad.

          • ayescotland

            I admit he/she is correct several times, but I do have to point out the errors!

          • ayescotland

            I’ve admitted he/she got some things right, others parts of his comments are less correct.

  • Benjamin Dover

    Here we find a lighthouse in the fog conjured up by the quacks, progressives, and clowns who pollute today’s mass media: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0094KY878

  • Liberalism Is Nonsense

    All the arguments for decisively defeating your liberal teachers and professors: http://tinyurl.com/q3gkwf2

  • Hamish MacSwally

    “Rather, the momentum for independence is being produced by a general anti-politics mood and a folk dislike of the Conservative party in Scotland.” Once again journalists in England completely fail to grasp the huge grassroots politicisation of the Scottish people and the real arguments of the YES campaign. Appalling journalism.

  • rod robertson

    I do not know where to start with this diatribe,it encompasses perfectly why there is even a referendum in the first place.
    The author conflates UK Great britain and England as one in the same.
    He spouts on about Uk losing this and that how bad for “england”
    The root cause is not a hatred of Tories it is a loathing for the entire corrupt immoral and incompetent Westminster with thieving child molesting MPs and Peers ,expense fiddling cash for peerages ,illegal wars policies for only the south east of england ,a true lack of democracy ,ronyism ,arrogance and theft of our resources and children.
    westminster and Uk “democracy” needs massive overhaul and WM will never willingly agree to that.
    The 40 years of neocon liberalism do not sit well in Scotland and this is our only way of escaping it.
    Bye bye we are just up the road if you need anything ,excluding illegal wars ,Lords ,Nuclear weapons or power and we will under no circumstances tailor or Foreign affairs to suit you or USA

  • john

    The Speccie has repeatedly told us that the Scots are good for nothing without the benificent leadership of London based Tories. So how can the loss of 5 million welfare spongers weaken the UK?

    • Wessex Man

      The Spectator has said nothing of the sort, incase you in you ignorant distain haven’t noticed most of them at the Spectator are Scots, typical chip on shoulder rubbish that I expect from Cybernat nutjobs.

  • DrPlokta

    No advanced industrial democracy has split up in the post-war era? I think you’re forgetting about Czechoslovakia, which was just that when it split up in 1993 (although it hadn’t been a democracy for very long).

  • James Morrison

    Ahh, the positive case for the Union. Instead of droning about how Scotland is too wee, too poor and too stupid to be independent, apparently England is also too wee, too poor and too stupid to be independent!

  • Angelswithdirtyfaces

    “Rather, the momentum for independence is being produced by a general anti-politics mood and a folk dislike of the Conservative party in Scotland.”

    Evidently not written by a Scottish resident. The opposite is true. The referendum debate has revitalised grass root politics. This is not within party control – it is more of a movement. It is anything but negative. Of course there are PUSH factors and a recognition of the problems of being an outlier in terms of the UK government. Yet there is immense hope and optimism we can build a better, more socially responsive, responsible and caring country through having self determination. We want the decisions that affect us to be taken by us and not for us. Of course we are on diverging courses – we are already looking more to Keynsian economics and less to neo-liberalism – which is the only show in town at WM. This does not mean Scotland is a Tory free zone. But in an independent Scotland it too will take a different direction once free from Central Office control. And as for the Labour Party – quite possibly its move to the right will be halted by a rebirth of the Slabs post Indy and salvage its reputation as a party of the people and not simply an opthe rbloster to the plutocrats so beloved by Blairism. The sense here is that the big 3 WM parties are fearful of having a neighbour which does different – yet is successful and prosperous in the future. Hence Project Fear.

  • davidshort10

    Would a Spectator senior writer have written something similar when most of Ireland got its independence or when we gave up the Empire? Even though I was born and brought up one county away from Scotland, I did not go there until I was almost 40 on a press trip and I have now been to Edinburgh precisely three times since. I don’t think it will make one jot of a difference if Scotland goes independent. I rather hope they do as so much rancour has built up over the past decade or so. Better that than terrorism as we had in Northern Ireland until 9/11 forced PIRA and Sinn Fein to give up once the money tap from the US was turned off. But they should vote to be independent to be a nation, not on any cost-benefit reasoning.

  • Luye

    I do personally believe a United Britain would be stronger, on paper. However, it needs a political landscape capable of producing something that at least has a snowflakes chance in hell of resembling a government with plans for long term growth. And exactly this is just not possible with the existing political channels, the corruption simply runs too deep.

    A independent Scotland would be worse off initially, but it would have the chance to make the right choices for healthy growth and development. Maybe even the early attempts of doing things right might not work out, but a failure caused by ones own hand is a lot easier to swallow/learn from than one that was forced upon you.

    You say the border will be revived, but that is simply not so in practical sense. Scotland isn’t going to be drifting off into the Atlantic, it will still be there cooperating with the people of the English lands as it has before. The difference would be the decision making, and hopefully a independent Scotland will lead by example. The vast majority of England has a lot more in common with Scotland than Westminister. This would not be the end of Britain, it would be the end of the current political landscape. It may be as you say, an undignified way of ending the union, but it is a lot better than an undignified way of living.

    Sad perhaps that has come to this, but that should not stop us from looking at the horizon ahead of us while moving forward. Twisiting your neck looking at the horizon behind you while trying to move forward is not going to benefit anyone. The British people needs Scotlands independence as much as the Scots. What else is really going to break the status quo? Perhaps years down the line the British people will know to demand a government worth trusting. We might even see a reforged Union, not one that exists on the grounds of coercion or manipulation, but one that exists purely on the mutually beneficial merits. The Britain that exists today simply NEEDS to end because there is no future for anyone down this road, Scots, Welsh, Irish and English alike.

    Thank you for reading. Well thought out and unbiased questions and responses are welcome.

    • Wessex Man

      I do agree that in this day and age we should all go our seperate ways but my country as it is a Country, one of the oldest nations in the world, yet the only one without it’s own Parliament or Assembly not broken into regions as Blair and Prescott tried to do and as Miliband is now proposing again.

    • Chris Morriss

      It will be worse off initially, that is true. The problem is that this ‘initial’ period might well last for 50 years.

  • Jeremy Pascoe

    And in here we have a prime example of a journalist simply failing to understand the issues. The drive towards independence is nothing to do with a lack of feeling british or Scotland leaving as such. Its about England driven by the xenophobic and neo con rightwingers leaving the post war consensus that is the UK. Scotland wishes to remain part of the EU and have a voice in the EU., Scotland wishes to retain a welfare state that looks after the poor, the old and the ill. Scotland wishes its public assets to be owned by the public. Scotland wishes not to attempt to be a world player posturing on the world stage but is content to accept its role as a small European country and not to get involved in illegal wars in far off places.

    Its the attitudes of the right in England that is driving Scotland away. A government of the UK that stood for values that are widely shared in Scotland would not create the momentum for independence. Its a shame labour is also playing to this neocon xenophobic tendency.

    • Jacky Treehorn

      Lets hope Scotland gets it socialist republic then. Maybe the Europeans will help pay for it if you’re lucky.

      • Richie

        You missed the point so spectacularly there that there might be a job for you writing for the Spectator.

        You don’t need a socialist republic for these things to happen. Rather than being a socialist republic Britain was at it’s greatest when it stood for these ideals, sadly in the eighties that was ditched in favour of the greed is good mantra which has pervaded politics and business in this country ever since.

    • BigCheddar

      I just love the language of our liberal and balanced friends form the North. How many times have we in England been labelled as xenophobic because we don’t want an unelected undemocratic elite in Brussels deciding vital issue that concern our economy and security.

      May we contrast the idea of being xenophobic with the notion that we are the oldest democracy in the world. Europe has no conception of democracy like we have in the UK. We believe in democracy and in Scotland’s right to vote “yes”. I hope you do and surrender your democracy to Brussels.

      • Jeremy Pascoe

        This is a huge part of the issue. The EU is democratic – what did we vote for recently? We wish to remain part of it. We would like to have a voice in the EU which we don’t right now.

        • BigCheddar

          Jeremy, I just think this is wishful thinking.

          It’s hard to make a case for the EU being democratic. The only public vote you’ll remember was for a ‘Common Market’. We have never voted to allow free movement across our borders for example. And yet this is a fundamental concept of democracy.
          Also, the leadership and legislature of the EU is far from democratic and sits above any form of democratic accountability the likes of which we in the UK take for granted.
          It’s fashionable to argue that we don’t have a voice in Europe because we take antagonistic positions on EU policy. This is only partly true, our lack of influence is simply because our desired outcomes don’t match those of the undemocratically anointed EU leadership who are in the business of undemocratically creating a United States of Europe. Scotland would never have an influence in that debate.

          • Jeremy Pascoe

            So what was the recent european elections for then|? Where you asleep during this?

          • BigCheddar

            Hi Jeremy, I was neither asleep or engrossed in a fit of xenophobia. I noted how in the UK and France in particular there was a swing towards anti federalist parties. I was also fully awake to note how the election of Juncker went against all democratic principles in order to appoint an arch Federalist at the head of the EU. I was alert too to how he offered austerity concessions to the Italians and Greeks to secure their support. I could not detect ethics, democracy or legitimacy in th]at particular process.
            I was awakened, however, to a steely side to David Cameron I didn’t believe was present previously as he forced the EU to undergo a democratic vote to elect Juncker. The indignant reaction of the inner circle also helped to highlight to the fully cognisant how superficial the appearance of democracy in the EU is.
            I am no blinkered anti European and I am interested in all the arguments for and against membership. Anyone who is genuinely interested in understanding rather than being proven ‘right’ will be alarmed at how hard it is to get real information out of thenEU and dig below the propaganda. For example, who actually funds the EU? You might say a host of nations do and the UK, especially with the rebate, are well down that list. Certainly Brussels tries to put out that impression. But 40% of the whole EU budget is spent on the immoral and corrupting CAP. This renders countries like France as net gainers from the EU budget. It appears to me that taking CAP into account only the UK & Germany are net contributors.
            Were you fully alert to this fact Jeremy? Probably not because it’s so hard to get the information. I even asked a client who works in Brussels if this was correct. She works hard at lobbying for British interests and is a pro European. She didn’t know.
            I cannot be sure this is correct because information is so opaque. But I want to understand so I am properly informed for my opinions. Throwing around accusations of xenophobia or of being asleep is not debating or understanding – more closely resembling unquestioning faith. If so believe your faith in the EU is misplaced.

          • Jeremy Pascoe

            So much nonsense. France is a major contributor not net gainer – more per head of population than the UK. As is Holland and a host of otehr countries. So despite adn election where hundreds of millions of people voted it is not democratic? cameron is a laughing stock for waht he did and teh UKs interest is diminished again. If he had kept the tories in the EPP group who where the largest block in teh EU parliament then he might have ahd some influence on teh EPP candidate but instead under the influence of the xenophonbes he took of to the far right fringes with some nasty racists for company squandering what little influence he had

            You might need to do some fact chacking given your rantings bear no resemblence to reality. Here are the true figures on who contributes what after CAP the figues are publicly available – there is a telegraph link if you prefer. Per capita the UK is the smallest of the net contributors..http://www.theguardian.com/news/datablog/2012/nov/22/eu-budget-spending-contributions-european-union

          • Wessex Man

            He hasn’t ranted at all, if you won’t understand that the major decisions in the EU are made by unelected Commissioners and then rubber stamped by this obedient Parliament, you know nothing and shouldn’t really comment on the workings of the EU.

          • BigCheddar

            Erm, no not nonsense my friend. But before I respond can I bring to your attention the irony of calling my calm objective responses ‘rantings’ after your use of words such as ‘xenophobic’ and allegations of being asleep etc. I wonder what you are like driving your car, do your rage at the world from the safety of your cabin? Do you sit on park benches shouting at the pigeons? Calm down, be more objective and explore both sides of the argument.

            If you read my last comment again you’ll note that I said I was unsure about the true budgetary position because it is so obscure. Deliberately obscure I’m sure. Thanks to your note I am a little more clear although the truth is still hard to discern.

            Please note, in the article you posted it does not refer to CAP. The EU tries hard to mask the effects of CAP. It refers to agricultural projects, e.g. helping French wine producers gaining market visibility. Defiantly not cap.

            According to the figures you forwarded to me, excluding CAP France contributes a net 5 billion Euros to the EU. They get 11 billion back from CAP. I.e. they gain a net 6 billion Euros from the EU budget.
            As I said I cannot be sure I’m correct with these figures but it’s entirely credible to draw the conclusions I have from the information available. The obscurity is unacceptable and in my view a deliberate attempt to hide who pays for Europe. So far there has been no credible argument to rebut my hypothesis that only Germany & the UK make a significant contribution, net, to the Euro budget.

            Please don’t shout at me any more, I’m not engaging in the debate any further. Bye xxx

  • Angus

    “the momentum for independence is being produced by a general anti-politics mood”

    Whilst in the real word, the exact opposite is true.

    • Richie

      The Spectator, being the Spectator sadly appear to see politics and Neo-Liberalism as being inextricably intertwined so that any rejection of the latter must inherently be a rejection of the former.

  • Gregory Mason

    Mass immigration and multiculturalism caused this. Well done to the wan*ers in Westminster! *clap clap clap*

  • http://www.svbosworth.co.uk Suzanne Bosworth

    Oh James, get a grip.

  • Richie

    Scotland doesn’t want to leave due to a dislike of the tories, that is lazy, sloppy, ignorant journalism. Scotland, like much of the population outwith London and the Home Counties has become utterly disenfranchised with the three main parties unwavering adherence to Neo Liberalism and teh sort of fake austerity which has seen the poor hammered while at the same time the banks are de-regulated and teh rich unfettered in their endless pursuit of greed and further profits. Trickle down has been replaced by trickle up but Westminster is still more interested in serving the needs of big business, rather than the public who voted them in, in the desperate hope of cushy sinecures for people once their political careers are over.

    To borrow from a friend “We have the most expensive public transport (run by private businesses for profit), energy (ditto), the longest working hours, the most inefficient tax system, the lowest pensions, the most unequal and skewed economy, the most centralised concentration of political power in Europe and both a government and an opposition in Westminster committed to this status quo, including the dismantling of the NHS to replace it with a US style system that puts profit before people. We live in the most unequal society in Europe.”

    What is Great about that?

    A vote for an independent Scotland might not change that, and it certainly won’t deliver the sort of socialist utopia some mistakenly seem to believe in, but it is a chance, no more, to build a fairer and more equitable society. Sticking with the status quo means no chance whatsoever.

    • Chris Morriss

      Is it somehow ‘cool’ to deliberately misspell ‘the’ as ‘teh’? I see it so often deliberately done that I think I must be missing some important social movement. Either that or many people are as thick as two short planks.

      • Richie

        Or perhaps they are more concerned with content than typing?

        I thought it was a little pathetic that this was the best response you could come up with, however looking through some of your other content and seeing that your usual level is making light of abuse claims due to someone’s weight it’s probably for the best that a trite soundbite is all you could manage.

  • Mark Paterson

    The standard ? England and Scotland would survive. Though to what standard of living ?

    • Wessex Man

      about the same, you could use the same argument about crossing the road.

  • Roger Hudson

    I love North Britain , many of my ancestors were ‘cleared’ from there and went to London. The answer is to recognise that Scots are a vital backbone of the islands peoples and stop London being the home of the British government , how about York.

  • Roger Hudson

    Everybody forgets the Isle of Man and places like Sark, the British Isles should have a loose group of parliamentary states under a simple strategic entity (the abstract Crown) looking after self defence and UN diplomacy , just don’t put the centre in London.

  • Terence Hale

    Hi,
    “Without Scotland, England will be a weedy laughing stock”. The whole discussion; It’s all Mel Gibson fault.

  • proculharem

    Ignorant argument and irrelevant to the Referendum where the United Kingdom will not vote. The English look forward to he Scottish departure and are sorry they can’t vote. The English and the United Kingdom will get on with their lives without the Scots, happily.

    • Scott Bowie

      thanks for the warm goodbye.
      enjoy your bitter isolation from the world and having no human rights when you vote to leave europe. still at least you’ll have the glorious house of lords to keep feeding.

  • BOBMAC

    GREAT BRITAIN!!!! and all its glory did huge damage to the world
    more than all the dictators….perhaps Scotland leaving will wake up politicsthat decisions shouldnt be made DESPITE the people,and i hope in Scotland we can create a genuine democracy

  • john

    If reality was ever able to get alook in, it would be understood that we have been a “weedy laughing stock” since the end of WW2. Generally, I wouldn’t use that particular description. Moribund and stuck in the past would do better.

  • Mark-Anthony Hill

    I Don’t Care I’m Welsh Go On Scotland Be Free And Wales Will Follow,, England Will Cripple Take Back What Is Owed Back… The Welsh And Irish Love You Remember “The Battle Of Stirling” England Got Scared Well Guess What They Are Getting Scared Again

    • vieuxceps2

      Are you insane?

    • Mukkinese

      Just another bigot…

      • Wessex Man

        an insane bigot to boot.

  • BigCheddar

    This piece assumes that we want to bestride the world stage. I’m not sure we do. The celts are welcome to their independence so long as we don’t have to pay for it. We will be a lot better off without 59 socialist Scottish MPs in parliament. The English people will be better represented too without them. We should be shouting this out aloud.

    Good bye Scotland, I hope you vote “yes”. I wish you no harm, I hope Scotland succeeds as an independent nation. I’m confident England will be better off. As far as world politics are concerned, I’d be very happy if we just started to mind our own business and concentrate on our own business.

  • Rhonda Bates

    If merit entitles a person, then liberty does not exist because someone else has been empowered to position them via subjective judgment.

  • mdj

    ‘One can almost hear Vladimir Putin deriding the idea of taking lectures from a country that couldn’t even hold itself together’

    Really? of all the arguments to choose, this must be one of the weakest, given the relative size and power of Mr Putin’s present country compared with the old USSR.

  • Hegelguy

    Thatcherism killed the Union. Its raucous, obscenely selfish English upper and middle class nationalism made England very hard to like anymore. Affection for it north of the border died. And that verdict will have no repeal even if the referendum result is a narrow defeat for Independence. Because all that will mean is that the Scots will get Devo Max, which means absolute independence in all matters except defence and foreign policy. In other words, a dissolution of the union in all but name. Give it a few more years after that and the continued subordination to London will seem absurd and the Scots will get full independence. It is only a matter of a few years. All that is going to be decided in the referendum is whether the independence will come in one stage or two.
    If you did not want this, you should not have voted again and again and again for Thatcher.

    • Wessex Man

      My! that chip on the shoulder as wide as the Clyde really really sums up the Cvbernat nutjobs perfectly.

  • Lydia Robinson

    Shouldn’t that be the other way round? Did anyone see the Question Time edition about it last night? Apparently, these saps think Scotland will be a new Socialist Paradise. More than likely, they’ll end up like Ireland with no free NHS (it’ll be unaffordable) and offering low taxes to induce companies to invest there.

  • Lydia Robinson

    The last time I went to Scotland all the service jobs were being done by foreigners, so no different from us then.

  • Wessex Man

    If the Scottish Yes Campaign needs to stoke the fires a little bit more, this one seems to have got by all National Press and Media.

    Conservative Mp Laurence Robertson has submitted an Early Day Motion to scrap the Football teams from England, Wales, NI and Scotland to play just one Interantion Team- Team United Kingdom.

    You couldn’t make it up! this is Tory diplomacy at it’s giddy heights!

  • Michael Ramirez

    Whereas liberty offers freedom for all, collectivism offers freedom only for those who are self-proclaimed to be “the good and the wise”.

  • Stephen Dunlop

    What I have seen in the various YES gatherings is that the Scottish referendum has rejuvenated the spirit of the Enlightenment era.

    What this article exemplifies is the obsession amongst UK nationalists of being a Global Power instead of asking ‘how can we make society a better place’? The author of this article is quite clearly very detached from the debate if he believes the YES momentum is driven by anti-politics. I believe the English people will benefit from a YES vote as much as the Scots. After Scotland becomes independent, the rUK can quit the pretenses of being a big shot and get on with running it’s country. Britain has long since demised as a Global Superpower.

  • doug Rumbles

    and..time to stand on yer ayne 2 feet..

  • SPS

    What would happen to the UN seat ? Once Scots decide to leave, who will get to keep the P5 UN membership – Scotland or England……….

  • Jock Campbell

    Pathetic article. So desperate to peddle the end of Britain line

    Pity you failed to realise that Great Britain will continue… it’s the UK that will end.

  • Ludo

    If it gives Londoners a slap in the face, it can only be a good thing for the English. Finally, we might get democracy in this country. The Scots have helped London inflict the politics of Rotherham-Rape on England, and I don’t care what we need to do to end it.

    In 2014, we are a country ruled by the aristocracy who have their own parliamentary chamber.

    Scotland leaving will energise all those in England who have been betrayed by Westminster.

  • Chris Law

    The ending of Britain will come as a huge sigh of relief to the EU, the world and its relationship with the UK and will end the farcical nature of the UKs foreign policy of extraordinary rendition, illegal wars and the greed of multinationals in pursuing power throught the world through UK military might. The world will undoubtedly be a more peaceful and protected place. Time to end the rogue nation of the UK.

    • Dave Cockayne

      Rubbish.

      According to the UN there are now over 50 million forcibly displaced people in the world, the first time since WWII that number has been that high.

      The cause of this is mostly Islam, in Libya, Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, etc.

      Multinationals like return on their investment, which is a problem when your staff and infrastructure are being attacked and destroyed or your assets stolen.

  • MartinNYID

    I hate to correct such a momentous pile of rubbish, but to quote the Father of The SCOTTISH Enlightenment, Frances Hutcheson:

    “If a country is capable of looking after itself – IT SHOULD”.

    And it will. Copenhagen, Denmark, Iceland…proving you and yours wrong one nation at a time.

    David Hume was a unionist, but only as far as it served both parties, as was Adam Smith. It’s is no longer serving both parties – which is clear. If you’re going to bandy about with big-boy terms and quotes from The Enlightenment, perhaps you’d read them in advance?

    Please let me know if you’d like the precise language of Hutcheson’s essay, it, and the refute to most of your common propaganda are readily available.

  • GOD bless the United Kingdom

    Whatever happens, England will remain England – The country that gave their language to the world…PROUD. If Scotland will be so stupid and daft to leave the rest of the UK, then good riddance to bad rubbish & for sure “very happy to MISS you”. I/We love the Scots and if they don’t love us any longer then lets all enjoy the divorce and make the best of it. LIFE GOES ON – FOR REAL. But I know we’d still share a border whatever happens. One thing is for sure, a new Scotland will be so flooded with illegal immigrants from the current UK and from everywhere…it’d be great for LONDON because we need some space here now.

  • gaz

    It feel to me that scots have always felt bitter towards the English and also feels like that them voting yes it cutting off there nose to spite there face, lets face it if there is a yes vote both countries will suffer

  • Huw Wilson

    Hitler would be thrilled to know that he didn’t have to lift a finger against the UK after all!

  • Dan Smith

    Scotland would have been a very different country if not for England, How you ask? look up you’re history Scots…

    You’re welcome, England.

  • Adam Graham

    I haven’t read the article yet but I have read the title and its nonsense. Did you know that nearly 1 million people from Scotland live in England.
    My grandad is Scottish and lives in England and he said he was against the yes campaign for Scotland and he’s reason is that he didn’t want to see a split up country.
    When I come to think about it you’ve got the title the wrong way round. It should be ( what would Scotland do without England). I’ve got nothing against Scottish people.

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  • custurd

    You know Britain isn’t a country, right?

  • Jutdanangsax

    ‘James Forsyth’ if you please, what a whinger. This guy sounds like a Scottish Tory. As an Englishman I’d have had no objection to Scotland breaking away if that’s what its people wanted. The United Kingdom has run its historical course and now we want to go our separate ways, the fact that we can do this peacefully should be a source of pride to all Britons, can you imagine many other countries where such a change could take place fairly painlessly and with mutual co-operation? Nor can I!

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