Mr Salmond “wins” the debate to keep Scotland dependent


I watched the Darling/Salmond debate on Monday. It made grim and repetitious watching. According to the polls and pundits Mr Salmond “won”. He did so by failing to answer some questions, and by taking a very  passive or conservative line on the things that matter.

Would this brave heart champion of Scottish independence like his new country to have its own currency? No

Would this independence seeker want Scotland to have its own Central Bank? Certainly not.

Would he like Scotland to be free of the all entangling laws and directives of Brussels? Perish the thought.

Did he want to say good bye to all Royal Navy ships and shipbuilding as they became the navy of a different country? Of course not.

Would he pay for and build Scotland’s own naval fleet? There was no wish to spend much money on that.

Would he continue with the same non Scottish  Queen as the English? Not even worth asking.

Would he keep the NHS as developed  in Westminster? Yes, in every last historic detail. One of the main aims of “independence” is apparently to stop change in the NHS inherited from the UK.

Would he keep the welfare system developed by Westminster? Yes, in every detail, reversing a few recent cuts.

How will he pay the pensions as North Sea revenues disappear?  He sees no diminution in North revenues, and ignores the decline in North Sea output from 4.5 m barrels a day to 1.5 million and falling.


To me he came over as a tired old politician seeking to reassure many voters who are alarmed by change that “independence” would not change much, and would certainly not mean independence in many important respects. How can you claim to be an independent state if you use the currency of your powerful neighbour and have to join the EU on terms which will entail considerable sacrifice of decision  taking? What will be exciting and different about Salmond’s Scotland if the NHS and the welfare system have to be left just as they were circa 2010? How does that make Scotland a more equal society?


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  1. Mark B
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 5:21 am | Permalink

    All obvious questions and answers to many here I am sure. But there is none so blind who refuse to see.

    As for the Queen of England and Scotland (E II and E I respectively) ? Well, you will have to ask the House of Sax Coburg Gotha.

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

      Douglas Carswell – staggering.

      If he can win Mr Cameron’s in crowd will have a bigger headache than a few Scots wanting independence. If he can not win then the UKIP boil will have been lanced.

      Interesting, your views please Mr Redwood.

      • Timaction
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

        I think the headlines over the last few days will convince most people that it is time for a change from the same old legacy parties. Immigration up to 560,000 in the year to March 2014. 20 Cities the size of Birmingham required over the next 20 years! Hospital, Doctor appointments? School places? Congestion and overcrowding with more of the same with free movement to 485 million people. Building on the greenbelt, water rationing? Remember Mr Cameron “no if or buts promise” on immigration BEFORE the election. Mr Douglas spells out Mr Cameron’s true intentions on that renegotiated referendum on the EU and then stay in stance.
        Then there is the scandal of Rotherham, Rochdale and elsewhere, ISIS in the middle East with British people of Asian descent returning here after committing atrocities putting the British people at significant risk. Political correctness and multi culturalism from our political class has failed. The outcome for the 1400 girl victims is staggering.
        The public have had enough. The silence from the legacy party leaders is deafening.

        • Anonymous
          Posted August 28, 2014 at 11:34 pm | Permalink

          Britain is finished for ordinary people.

          Our future is poverty, crime and corruption. Any politician who tells you otherwise is a liar.

          All that’s left to do is give the legacy parties a bloody good kicking at the next general election.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        Three hundred cheers for Carswell. This is an example of the variability some of us hoped would materialise–cherrypicking winners is not everything (as was said)–no bother at all that it has come early. If others (Nudge Nudge) were to do the same, what a wonderful world this might be. No complacency, but on track for two UKIP MP’s at the very least. This is the breakthrough a lot of us have been hoping and praying for. If others follow and they all (honourably) stand for immediate re-election and all win what happens then? Personally I never fully understood what this fixed term parliament idea was all about.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

        Excellent speech too by Douglas Carswell. He is spot on regarding the malignant tumour that is the “career” politician, seeking the highest offices but believing in nothing beyond their careers. Also the Tory party being led by people who clearly make the right noises and cast iron promises pre election, but endlessly do the complete reverse when in office.

      • sjb
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

        If Scotland votes Yes then perhaps Cameron will not survive as leader of the Conservative and Unionist Party.

        What struck me about the ICM Post-debate poll [1] is that although 63% of the Don’t Knows thought Salmond had the better arguments [2] this does not appear to be sufficient to persuade enough of them to vote Yes.[3]

        [2] Table 5
        [3] Table 6

      • Kenneth R Moore
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        Rejoice!, rejoice, rejoice!!, Douglas Carswell paves the way for other conservative Conservative’s to abandon the sinking Conservative Party ship.

        • Mondeo Man
          Posted August 28, 2014 at 8:11 pm | Permalink

          Boris won’t save the Tories either.

  2. Duksue
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 5:51 am | Permalink

    John – thank you for your views. Many of us in Scotland know him as a bully. The shouting match on Monday did nothing to dispel that and it was frankly terrifying. Yea sayers think there will be endless jam and sunlit uplands. What we will get is ever closer political and fiscal union with the EU and rule from Brussels. This fairer society thing is interesting. In the cause of social justice the first min spent £400k of our money on hiring the Rag in Pall Mall for the duration of the Olympics to “showcase” Scotland. Had he stayed at the YMCA we might take him more seriously.

    • APL
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      Duksue: “Yea sayers think there will be endless jam and sunlit uplands. What we will get is ever closer political and fiscal union with the EU and rule from Brussels.”

      I’m not sure that is correct. Should Scotland leave the Union, Scotland will be ‘independent’. The title United Kingdom, would, it seems to be still lie with England, Wales, and Northern Island.

      The Nation Scotland is mentioned once in the ’73 act joining the EU, to all intents and purposes, Scotland will be out of the EU, leaving England, Northern Ireland and Wales in the EU.

      So it seems to me, that Scotland will need to renegotiate its entry back into the EU.

      Now the interesting thing is, Would the EU be able to agree Scottish re-entry to the EU, given that Spain for instance wouldn’t want to encourage its separatist regions.

      It is interesting how Salmond said he didn’t want to adopt the Euro, a complete about face from the early days of the SNP.

  3. Mick Anderson
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Two politicians having a debate, so why would I believe either of them? Scotland has already been awarded extra goodies by all the Westminster party leaders; good negotiation skills (not), and there will be lots more haggling (read “giveaways”) after the vote anyway.

    As an Englishman living in England, my opinion is not relevant. I’m just expected to pay for all the Political largess. Whatever happened to “no taxation without representation”?

    If we are all part of the same Country, how about treating us all in the same way?

    • alan jutson,
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 8:33 am | Permalink

      Mick A

      Agree with your points, but unfortunately that is what most politicians (I exclude our host) seem to want to do.
      Get power, and leave a so called legacy, no matter what the cost, no matter if it works or not.

      Devolution has been a disaster for the UK in my view, but we are where we are.

      The last thing we should do now is go for Devomax, if it is not to be the same for all members of the UK.

      I hope the Scottish people will vote to stay in the UK but if they go then they go their own way, no Bank of MUM and DAD for those who leave the family home, time to stand on their own feet.
      That is what they seem to want to be able to do, so they should get it if they vote for it.

      Time for them to either cut themselves loose, or to stay and allow us to form an English Parliament.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 9:15 am | Permalink

        It’s not the ‘Scottish people’ but the people who are domiciled in Scotland who are voting, and anyone from anywhere can vote on the dissolution or preservation of our nation provided that they register an address on the electoral roll by 2nd September.

        • alan jutson,
          Posted August 28, 2014 at 2:38 pm | Permalink


          Yes I meant Scottish residents, did not realise that anyone outside of Scotland had a voice at all.

          Guess that is where postal votes come in ?

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 28, 2014 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

          It is disgraceful, and Cameron should never have agreed to it.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 28, 2014 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

          Indeed it is an outrage that Scottish people living in the UK for a year or two cannot have a say. Yet others, perhaps only 16 & living in Scotland for a month or two and perhaps not even speaking English can vote.

          Perhaps “resident” in Scotland perhaps (as domiciled in UK tax terms anyway is rather different).

          Of course the English should have a say too. If England and Scotland were of similar size they would clearly have to have a say. It affects them too and very considerably.

      • Larry the Cat
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 10:02 am | Permalink

        Devolution has been a disaster for the UK in my view, but we are where we are.

        Sadly “devomax” is where this will probably end up. The current devolution model does not work. You cannot have a representative “national” parliament with spending powers and no taxation responsibilities

        At least we will see the back of the ghastly Barnet formula and the end to abhorrent English subsidies for Socialism in Scotland.

        • APL
          Posted August 28, 2014 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

          Larry the Cat: ” You cannot have a representative “national” parliament with spending powers and no taxation responsibilities”

          The Scottish Parliament has tax varying powers. According to the devolution ‘settlement’ the Parliament may vary the rate of income tax by +/- 3%

          They have never bothered to exercise this right. Which makes one wonder why they want independence.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 6:07 am | Permalink

    Indeed if Salmond had a vision to be a low tax, vibrant, small government, industry embracing, low regulation nation. One independent of the UK and the EU, with its own currency – perhaps a Norway or Switzerland but better still Honk Kong or Singapore, one might have had rather more respect.

    His vision of a Scotland under the thumb of the EU, but still using the pound and continuing with the basket case NHS is clearly absurd. The usual Anti nuclear, pro wind and expensive “renewables”. England should of course refuse to buy this over priced electricity (up to ten times its true intermittent value).

    Companies have foolishly invested in wind, encouraged by Huhne & Davey’s absurd government subsidies and buy in policy. They (the companies and ministers) must have both known it was absurd. I have little sympathy for them when these subsidies and other market distortions are stopped as they should be.

    Learning from when Scotland was indeed a real engineering power house of the world would be a good idea.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 6:22 am | Permalink

      I see even Gordon Brown has been resurrected, to push the better together agenda. One assumes this can only assist the independence movement. Or perhaps Gordon Brown still seen as a wise economist and leader north of the border. Mind you Cameron could not even beat the Brown sitting duck in 2010. Due perhaps to Cameron’s cast Iron EU ratting and lefty, green crap agenda.

      Had Osborne not deterred Brown from going for an early election, with his promise of £1M threshold for inheritance tax, then Cameron would not now be PM. This would probably have been better in the long term. Needless to say Osborne has ratted on the IHT promise is this the current Cameron’s Tory style.

      • stred
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 8:38 am | Permalink

        Brown’s argument for the No side seemed to depend solely on the continued ability to milk the rest of the UK for welfare and public projects, such as his two aircraftless aircraft carriers.

        I could not help thinking how lucky the drivers into Edinburgh are, with tolls abolished, when driving both ways over the Dartford crossing, with a 5 mile queue one way mid morning and half the toll booths closed and a 15 minute wait to pay £2 just before the free time at 10pm.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted August 28, 2014 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

          Indeed what is the point of building a very expensive, wide road bridge then constricting its capacity at one end with inefficient & slow, tolling systems? Anyway are England’s motorists not mugged enough already?

          The delays and extra fuel wasted probably costs more than the tolls that are collect.

          • stred
            Posted August 28, 2014 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

            They are installing a numberplate recognition system and putting the price up again. The delays at the crossing may lessen but thousands of drivers will have to log on and pay, taking 10 minutes or face fines. As many drivers will not understand the system there will be plenty of these. The increased toll is necessary to pay for the computers and cameras and possibly a new crossing. We already have 8 lanes in and out, so this is another waste. And lets not forget the real reason is supposed to be to control congestion!

          • Bazman
            Posted August 29, 2014 at 8:00 am | Permalink

            Tolls are the most sensible as I’m sure you will agree? Giving the motorist choices and incentives to build roads. How else should the road system be funded, as you say the motorist is getting mugged by the present system. Number plate reading technology will make collecting tolls easy and cheap if done right by a sensible low cost private companies chose by specialist advisors to the government on this subject using strong sensible contracts written by top lawyers with expertise in transport matters.
            How are roads funded in your trisect tax haven. If they have roads that is…

        • Bryan
          Posted August 28, 2014 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

          Wasn’t it due to be entirely free after the initial build investment was paid back?

          Another promise gone the way of “‘milk those who can’t fight back”

          • Lifelogic
            Posted August 28, 2014 at 3:43 pm | Permalink

            How do you tell when a career politician is lying? His lips are moving (and he is not saying something so self evidently true that it is not actually worth saying anyway).

      • APL
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

        Lifelogic: “Gordon Brown has been resurrected, to push the better together agenda. ”

        Then the Unionist cause is lost.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        Brown knew he had a job to do for the EU, and while he might well have won an early election there would have been a risk of the Tories winning and then possibly Cameron might have felt compelled to make good on his unqualified “cast-iron guarantee” of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Then in June 2008 when the Irish voted against the treaty it became obvious that Brown would have to carry on more or less to the bitter end to give them ample opportunity to vote again and get the right answer before Cameron could become Prime Minister.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      Salmonds vision is not Singapore or Switzerland etc. Venezuela would be a better comparison. (Although as pointed out before with a fraction of the oil).

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      Well done Douglas Carswell. It clearly is a rather futile gesture, but one that is surely right to make. I cannot see how Douglas comes to the conclusion that Cameron is “an honourable man” though, he is very, very far from it. Clearly Cameron is not serious, nor even remotely interested in real change on the EU (as Cameron seems to have even admitted to him). He never was, he was clearly interested in power, career, making 299+ tax increases, ratting on IHT, ever bigger government, over regulations, more EU and green crap. His cast iron promise was a cynical deception, his “renegotiation” scam is clearly just the same.

      He merely pretended to be a bit sceptic in order to get elected as leader. We might as well be led by Ken Clark in many ways I prefer him, as he is at least honest about his idiotic views.

      Let us hope Douglas Carswell is returned and with a huge majority at the by-election. He certainly deserves to be.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

      Net migration figures also the highest since 2011 I see too today, just to add the Cameron’s woes. All for want of a working compass and some sound principals.

  5. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Mr Salmond did indeed win the debate the other night by all party politcal standards. He did so using party political tools of obfuscation, scaremongering, promises of jam tomorrow and light detail.

    Mr Darling found it hard to compete when his only tool was that things could continue pretty much as they are. As Obama proved, population loves to be promised change.

    The Nationalists need to put meat on the bone, in seeking the mandate to negotiate a settlement as Mr Salmond is now positioning it, surely there would need to be a further referdum once those terms have been negotiated. Maybe the rest of us may get a say in that too. A simple tickbox form showing; currency yes or no, defence yes or no, queen yes or no, pension liability yes or no etc. would suffice

  6. Ted Monbiot
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Your article is spot on and echoes all my thoughts on the recent debste and the vauge policies of Mr Salmond.
    He sounds like an unhappy teenager keen to move out of the family home to live independently, claiming he or she can somehow afford afford it, but is soon returning for free meals, better quality TV as well as the parental washing and ironing service.
    Oh as well as very soon asking for more money to pay for it all.
    The word “fairness” is used a lot by Mr Salmon too.

    • Richard1
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 8:03 am | Permalink

      I fully expect Scottish people to have the sense to reject independence, but God knows the No campaign deserve to lose. Mr Darling is grossly overrated. OK Brown was Prime Minister during the creation of Labours Great Recession, but Darling remained in office and did not resign when obliged to implement Browns disastrous tax borrow spend policies, the terrible bank bailout and the immoral attempt to explode public spending so as to create a quarter or two of ‘growth’ before the election.

      The problem is Darling like Salmond is a leftist. Today for example Mr Cameron has again made it clear there will be no currency union. The No campaigns response? To say Mr Cameron’s intervention is not helpful because he is an old Etonian and a Tory. This pathetic chippy class warfare is what’s wrong with Scottosh politics and much of the British left.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        If Darling was such a poor choice why didn’t the Tories propose one of their own senior figures in Scotland as an alternative? Oh, because it’s hard to think of any senior Tory who is well-respected in Scotland, even if he was Scottish he would still be excoriated as a hated Tory. Salmond even managed to blacken Darling’s name by saying that he was “in bed” with Tories in the Better Together campaign; not a Tory, but contaminated by association with toxic Tories in a supposedly cross-party group.

        • Richard1
          Posted August 28, 2014 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

          It is a pathetic, divisive,chippy campaign. There is no voice for small govt, free markets etc. The Tories do in fact get 20% or so of the vote in Scotland but no seats, but it is a leftist stronghold now. No wonder its such a mess.

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted August 29, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

            Only 12% in the 2011 elections for the Scottish Parliament, and as they are held under a form of PR it might be expected that the Tories would do better than under the FPTP system used for elections to the Westminster Parliament.

  7. mick
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    Morning Mr Redwood, off subject for a moment why cannot we follow Germany`s way to deport foreigners.

  8. Mike Stallard
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    If this is what the people of Scotland, who screamed and shouted through whole thing and asked the most stupid questions (Mr Darling was only there for the money. What about the NHS which Mr Salmond already controls?) with shouting and cheering whenever the Great Leader of the Scottish People opened his mouth, then, frankly I rather hope they do disappear.(Only joshing).

    But there is a serious message here.

    The Debate which will happen this year on National Television for the General Election, starring Nigel Farage, Nick Clegg, cameo walk-ons Messrs Miliband and Cameron with a guest appearance of Caroline Lucas of the Greens, must be a TV spectacular. I suspect that it will be a rival to the X Factor with telegenic smiles all round and the jury (that’s the hand picked and totally fair audience) telling us who to pick for a Glorious Future.

    Reply I do not think Mr Darling would be paid for doing that. Senior politicians appearing on tv and radio to put their party or political case do not usually ask for or receive payment.

  9. Alan Wheatley
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    While I accept that the vote on Scottish Independence is to decided in Scotland, I, and I hope many others, believe that in the event that Scotland votes to leave the UK the terms of the breakup MUST be decided by the whole of the UK. AND that means ALL the people of the UK, not by the PM without consulting the people.

    Separating what has become integrated over 300 years will be a long and complicated process. It will be very acrimonious. It will be very expensive. It will hit growth, as time and effort will have to be wasted establishing a new set or norms. There will have to be border controls between England and Scotland, particularly strict with Scotland in the EU and England out.

    The Scotts need to understand that if they vote for independence they can expect no favours from the English, rather the opposite.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      What, would you dare to defy the sovereign will of the people of Scotland to have whatever Salmond says they want, apparently irrespective of the sovereign will of the people elsewhere in the UK and especially England? It does concern me that even if the vote is against separation a substantial chunk of the population will have been prepared to accept what Salmond said without reflecting that he was treating people in the rest of the UK with utter contempt.

  10. Old Albion
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Salmond wiped the floor with Darling. He reduced him to a stuttering, bad-tempered, incomprehensible wreck.

    When the referendum result is announced and i expect ‘no’ to be victorious, sadly. Cameron, Milliband and even the irrelevent Clegg will all promise more devo for Scotland. In truth this is what Salmond secretly wants. Devo max, max, max
    He gets to run Scotland his way comfortable in the knowledge if and when it all goes wrong, he can call on the Bank of England to bail him out.

    If i had a vote, i would be voting ‘yes’ Not because i believe or care what Salmond says. But because as an Englishman living in England i see a ‘yes’ vote as the only way the Westminster (dis)UK/EU puppet Gov. will ever be forced into recognising England exists.

    Either way it’s time to end the unfair ‘Barnett formula’ that funds Scottish largesse with English taxes.
    It’s time to remove Scottish MP’s from the House of commons and prevent them imposing taxes upon us that they will not/cannot impose on Scotland.
    It’s time for Westminster to seriouly consider Federation.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      To a first approximation the Barnett formula funds Scottish largesse not with English taxes but with the revenues from Scottish oil. And if you want Scottish MPs removed from Westminster presumably your plan for federation would involve the establishment of a new federal Parliament elsewhere?

      • Old Albion
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

        Currently Denis, we all put in the same pot. Scotland however, gets rather more out of it than us here in England.
        As for federation that would require all four nations of the (dis)UK having a equal governments. The new federal body would sit nicely in the House of Lords. Getting rid of 800+ peers at the same time.

  11. Richard1
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    It was indeed very grim viewing. Mr Darling was very weak, partly because instead of pointing out what a disaster statism under the nationalists in Scotland has been he had his Labour hat on. With life expectancy in parts of Scotland at 3rd world levels and education standards – traditionally high in Scotland – now plummeting, the right anti- independence line is to say let’s not put even more power in the hands of the likes of Mr Salmond.

    Darling also allowed Salmonds absurd argument to stand that he will repudiate Scotlands share of debt if they dont get a currency union, because they wouldn’t be getting the Bank of England’s ‘assets’. Sterling is is not an ‘asset’ of the bank of england. If Scotland repudiates its share of debt it will get no assets at all, there will be no deal. No ships, no buildings, no share of public sector organizations – and no share of oil revenues. Scotland will have to assume a fair share of debt or there will be no agreement on anything. If any Scottish voters are in any doubt as to whether the UK govt would agree a currency union they should ask themselves whether they think the people of rUK would wear it. Of course we won’t.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

      Once again Salmond highlighted the gilts held by the Bank of England as an asset which should be shared in the event of independence.

      Fair enough, but he should know, and he probably does know, that the asset value of those gilts is more or less matched by the liability of the new money created to buy them; hence according to its 2013 balance sheet:

      the Bank of England had total assets of about £398 billion but also total liabilities of about £394 billion; so the net assets, the total equity attributable to the UK Treasury as sole shareholder, was only £3.4 billion, of which Scotland’s share would be about £300 million.

      Even Darling had thought it worthwhile to try to explain this he would have been hampered by the public’s chronic lack of understanding which is the direct result of his own obfuscation when he started quantitative easing in early 2009; so that point passes, and Salmond gets away with another deceit.

      • Richard1
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

        The bank of England has very few net assets to divide. The gilts bought as a result of QE have a matching liability as you say. They would be entitled to a share of the gold, but that’s not much thanks to Gordon Brown. It was incredible to me the Darling did not challenge salmonds nonsense on debt repudiation. Perhaps he doesn’t understand it himself, he showed scant understanding of how economies work when he was chancellor.

  12. Margaret Brandreth-J
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    It is British John. The Brits have been hated ,mocked, sold out ,for the last 35 years.It is a stream of bad intention directed towards our once empire. The fish swimming in the stream just go on an on repeating the same old things thinking they are the first to come up with the new idea of freeing from themselves from Britain, whether it is off shore business or self rule. The salmon swimming against the tide are doomed as they die and their spawn go back in the swim.

    The strange thing is they don’t even realise it and if suggested would argue their complete independent thought and lack of inclusion in the sway of generality.

  13. Ian wragg
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    Let’s face it John he couldn’t be worse than the last 4 years of endless socialism foisted on us by CMD and his daft mate. He’s just a clone of the liblabcon. Endless lying. Should do well.

    • Bazman
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 8:19 am | Permalink

      Will that be socialism for the rich causing more socialism to be needed for the poor?

      • Mark B
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 10:20 am | Permalink

        No !

        It is Socialism for the poor, and ‘Crony Capitalism’ for the rich.

        Do try and keep up, dear chap.

      • Narrow Shoulders
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 11:51 am | Permalink

        Not cause and effect Baz deliberate policy.

        Support for the rich (socialised losses etc)

        Socialism for the poor

        Paid for by the middle

    • Lifelogic
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Indeed I do not think Salmond would be worse than Cameron. They are both essentially the same:- big government, pro EU, pro the dysfunctional NHS, green crap, tax increasing socialists.

  14. Graham
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    Good article John

    Summarises very well the whole ‘something for nothing’ attitude which typifies the Salmon approach. I just hope that, come what may, we the English are not left to keep paying the tab for the Scots,

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 9:15 am | Permalink

      Graham–I believe continuing the Union will win and hopefully win well but unfortunately that will not be the end of the matter for from then on in there will be a clamour from the Nationalists at every turn to revisit what they think Scotland should get especially as regards anything to do with welfare. The questions from the (obviously partisan) audience during the debate made that very clear. Do I understand Salmond to be seriously maintaining that Scotland is going to be able to join or rejoin the EU (and quickly at that) whilst still using the pound (even in the extremely unlikely event of a Currency Union)? Donnez moi un break as someone once said. It is admittedly hard to tell but an “independent” Scotland if such there be could well be blackballed even if she agrees to convert to the Euro (and in any event it is for discussion whether that would be good or bad).

  15. Douglas Carter
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    It’s been a very long time since I left Scotland and I don’t really permit myself a view on the matter since if the Scots voted for independence, it doesn’t have specific immediate significance for my own person but after all these years of campaigning, Salmond should certainly be in possession of fairly solid manifesto concepts to demonstrate a post-Independence process holds water.

    I’m more interested in conceptual terms in the debate itself – particularly where Alistair Darling assiduously insists on ‘Plan B’ being made available to the Scots (…and English, I suppose….) electorates.

    Mr. Darling has been emplaced as leader of the ‘No’ Campaign – presumably – with the willing acquiescence of both Mr. Cameron and Mr. Miliband. To date I’ve not heard his campaigning technique or strategy publically called into question by either and by the nature of this approval, you’d have to assume the campaign takes place essentially with the sanction of the Westminster Parliament.

    So via this debate I’ve recently learned:-

    That where a matter arises that an electoral choice will be offered to any electorate upon withdrawal from, or remaining within, a Union between previously linked nations, that the full details of plan ‘B’, ‘C’, ‘D’ etc. MUST be presented to that electorate well in advance of that Referendum, or presumably any Election which might frame the terms of reference of any Referendum dependent on that Election.

    That the current Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition are of this view. That the Westminster Parliament are of this view. (So it would appear to be clear party policy) That to fail to present the comprehensive details of those plans in advance of any referendum is an unacceptable form of politics, and is essentially a betrayal of the trust of the electorate. That to fail to even prepare properly in specific realistic planning terms for unwelcome eventualities is a posture held by a politician who cannot be relied upon to conduct his office in a manner which deserves to be rewarded by any electorate.

    I learn these things recently (on observation that these points have gone uncontested by our Political leaders) with considerable interest, since previously on certain matters I’ve been advised that it’s foolish to present your ultimate plans on certain controversial options in advance of the event. Apparently you warn your opponent of your intentions.

    With all that in view, where the public is to be awarded a Referendum (for example, one on membership of International Organisations…) I look forward to seeing the full and comprehensive details of the plans for the eventualities offered. Even if the resultant vote goes against the will of the Government, presumably a full and comprehensive package of pre-framed legislation will already exist and it will be presented to that electorate well in advance of any Referendum or General Election for their leisure and scrutiny?

    I must admit, now that Mr. Darling has confirmed that this is the view of this, and any future British Government, I look forward with great anticipation to see the full details and all the small print of suggested future Referendums in the UK, and a clear illustration of the conduct of the Government subsequent to the vote if it wins, or if it loses that vote. And well in advance of the vote itself.

    Thankyou Mr. Darling – and by association Mr. Cameron & Mr. Miliband also. Message received loud and clear.

    Reply The Conservative party has decided that it is best to let the No Campaign design and run its own campaign drawing on people of all parties and none. We broadly support the NO position, but that does not mean we endorse everything they say or do as our party policy!

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 9:28 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply: The Conservative Party in Scotland, what’s left of it, has crawled under a stone and hoped that nobody will notice it until the referendum is over.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

      In case you haven’t noticed it’s the SNP in the form of the Scottish government which has been setting out its detailed prospectus for an independent Scotland, but a prospectus which does not stand up to critical examination and could even be described as fraudulent in some respects. They know perfectly well that they should not rely on best case assumptions, such as Scotland automatically being welcomed into the EU as a new member state, let alone without being forced to adopt the euro, and the rest of us in the UK being only too happy to share a currency with what would have become a foreign country, or otherwise being so supine that we would willingly shoulder the part of the UK’s debt that funded extra public spending in Scotland in the past without any thought of retaliating through a boycott of Scottish exports to the rest of the UK, exports which actually account for about a third of GDP, and therefore jobs, in Scotland.

  16. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    Alistair Darling (along with Brown) presided over a massive financial mess that leaves us weak…borrowing and printing debt for our children/grandchildren. However, I preferred his approach in this debate… risk and as Brown has said…poverty till doomsday.

    The detail does not exist…does it? If its not available or not understood fully, why are they voting? Darling clearly showed that the critical detail is absent/weak. Wonder what Peter Jones might say?

    Salmond managed to cross Trump on a dumb subject…windmills. That must have been about the Scottish Saudi Arabia thing?

    I suppose if its Yes then perhaps we have to supply overseas/overland aid…or will the same money come back via the EU.

    Had a whiff of another IT project failure yesterday….HMRC. I thought it was rather cack anyway, just using SA on the web. Perhaps it wasn’t live….or like most Gov IT projects, dead from the KO. Please pay here, no refunds….sorry!

  17. The PrangWizard
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    And how much of this will indeed come to pass if they do go for independence? But let’s look at your reference to naval shipbuilding – who consciously and deliberately allowed the transfer of the last vestiges of surface ship building to Scotland just recently and just before any vote? Answer – David ‘I’ll take on the Little Englanders’ Cameron. A gross dereliction of responsibility.

    Which government and party is opposed to a Secretary of State for England, a Minister for England? Yours. Who speaks for England? You ask, but the answer is no-one. Until the people of England get their own parliament, the Scottish, with the help of the Unionist Elites who are happy to misuse the powerless English, will continue to lead the English horse.

    People in authority turned a deaf ear to the victims and voices speaking up against the racist origins of child abuse in Rotherham, a fact admitted by Yasmin Alibi-Brown this morning on Sky TV – now they have been exposed for the moral cowards and collaborators they are. Very few have listened to the voices of the English who have not only been accused of being racist for making their case, but have come under relentless attack. When are the oppressors of the English going to be brought to book? When will they be cleared away? Do people have to take to the streets?

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 9:40 am | Permalink

      What has been happening in Rotherham and indeed many of our cities was exposed years ago in some detail. The trouble is that it was exposed by the ‘wrong party’. Need I say more?

    • Excalibur
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 10:23 am | Permalink

      Yes, I watched that Sky interview too, PW. Amidst all the recriminations and calls for people to be held accountable, no one seemed to mention the perpetrators.

  18. Andyvan
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    If I were allowed a vote on the Union (which, being English, I’m not) I’d vote for Alex. Let the Scots have just exactly what they want but actually have to pay for it themselves. See how that works out for them.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      It’s not about the Scots. It’s about Salmond.
      We need to sort the UK out together, not get tied up in knots over silly historical enmities based on some spurious difference between people in Scotland and England that distracts from more serious concerns such as the mass invasion of our island by economic migrants.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

        Max–Best I understand, Salmond actively wants more immigration (best I gather so as their taxes can pay for his increased welfare spending–just like that if you can believe it). The Scots I meet don’t even come close to liking that idea.

      • David Price
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 8:04 pm | Permalink

        Abgsolutely, the world is a dangerous place here and now and what happened several hundred years ago has no bearing.

  19. Know-Dice
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    On the day after the Scots decide either for independence or DevoMax, I want our remaining UK MPs to ensure that those of us living in the rest of the UK have full parity with whatever is given to Scotland.

    For a kickoff – only English MPs should vote on English matters.

    I was amazed at the childlike attitude from one party, that if Scotland couldn’t use and have a say in how the Pound was run, they wouldn’t honor their part of the national debt…unbelievable…

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      The debt issue was just used by Salmond to ramp up the hate between north and south. Don’t fall for that tripe.

  20. oldtimer
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    Nicely put!

    It was a dispiriting “debate” to watch given the enormity of the issues at stake.

    One aspect you did not mention was the Salmond threat to repudiate Scotland`s share of UK public debt if denied a currency union. According to Paul Ormerod, writing for CityAM the other day, this idea comes from a Scottish economist Sir James Mirrlees. If UK politicians in charge are to be believed (a big ask) there will be no currency union with an independent Scotland. I doubt that many Yes supporters understand the implications of this, although Mr Darling did try to point them out above the barracking. I was left with the feeling of on their heads be it.

    • stred
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 11:46 am | Permalink

      Don’t worry about the Scots welching on their share of public debt. We have plenty of English Scots to stand up for us. We have Cameron The Bent Nose at the top. Then there is Chief Secretary of the Treasury, Mr Alexander. ( he is the one who turned the Highways Agency into a publicly owned company when the boss was Archie Robertson- thanks for the Dartford tolls Archie) And don’t forget we had Sir John Grieve( Scots names- re. Behind the Name) to look after our interests before it all went a bit wrong under Gordon and Alastair.

      But, we also have English Sir Nick Mc Phearson( Irish Scots name) in the Treasury to make sure we are not Devoing too much Max and to make them pay up. While in the Ministry of Defence, we had Lord Jock Stirrup to help Gordon place the order for two aircraft(less) carriers in order to ‘rationalise’ our dockyards. Re. wee Andrew Marr 11.4.2011.

      Now Jock has been nobled Kevin O’ Donaghue (Irish Scots) is Chief of Defence Materials and will be able to relocate the submarines, boats and aircraft as cheaply as possible. Also, luckily, in case the Russians get too naughty we have John Mc Coll as deputy Supreme allied Commander Europe to sort them out without using the weapons we don’t have.

  21. Chris S
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    “The Scotts need to understand that if they vote for independence they can expect no favours from the English, rather the opposite”.

    Absolutely right, Alan. This is rightly a decision for the Scots alone to make. We should not be trying to persuade them either way.

    However, whichever way they vote things have got to change in respect to England.

    If they vote no, a new devolved settlement has to give equal devolved powers to each nation in the Kingdom. Currently none of the Westminster parties are offering an acceptable form of Devolution for England. This is unacceptable, particularly from the Conservative Party which has most to gain.

    Tax raising powers should be fully devolved as should be expenditure so there will no longer be any need for the hated Barnett Formula.

    If Scotland votes No, Oil, of course, will be a UK asset and the taxes raised should continue to go into the Treasury and be distributed across the Kingdom.

    The Scots will, of course, now be crying Unfair ! But they need to remember they get a ( currently overgenerous ) share of the cash raised from income tax and VAT because the receipts from these taxes are predominantly generated in England.

    We need to be ready to resist an attempt by Labour and the Lib Dems to destroy England’s standing and influence via devolution to smaller English Regions. Labour tried this once before and were rebuffed by the electorate. They will attempt to try it again to protect their power bases in the North.

    We need to ensure that we get a settlement with English MPs sitting in Westminster as the English Parliament. The concept of Second Class MPs can be got round by offering the Scots and Welsh the option of sending a number of their devolved assembly members to Westminster instead of having separate Westminster Members.

    Neither can we accept having a bizarre copy of the European Parliament with English MPs decamping to Leeds or Manchester for sittings on English Matters.

    There will have to be fundamental change to the way the UK is Governed whatever the outcome. Thanks to Labour, the English have been disadvantaged for far to long. It’s disgraceful that Cameron and Co have not proposed a solution.

  22. English Pensioner
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    As an Englishman, I would like to see Scotland have its independence simply because it puts us nearer true English independence. I am fed up with Scotland receiving a subsidy from England under the Barnett formula and I am fed up with Scottish MPs at Westminster voting on English matters.
    Both Scotland and Wales control their own NHS and have greater funding per capita than the English NHS. But their MPs come to Westminster and vote on our English NHS.
    If Scotland does vote no, there need to be a lot of changes, the primary one as far as I am concerned being that Scots MPs can’t vote at Westminster on any matter that has been devolved to their parliament.

    You point out that Salmond failed to answer a number of important question; surely this is true of all politicians including our Prime Minister who steadfastly refuses to give the public any information on the concessions or changes that he would like to get from the EU. How can I vote for a party where the leader is behaving just like Salmond on the major issue of our time?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

      Are you also fed up with receiving the revenues from oil production in Scottish waters which to a first approximation fund the “subsidy” from England?

      In the event of a “no” vote one simple measure would be to tell the EU that we are no longer going to use their Eurostat system for our internal purposes and in the future tax revenues originating from Scottish waters will be attributed to Scotland and not to the mythical land of “extra-regio” as they require.

      • Chris S
        Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        Denis, you have conveniently forgotten that Scotland gets a bigger share of the overall tax collected than England, Wales or NI.

        The source of this largess is predominantly VAT and Income Tax which is overwhelmingly paid by English Taxpayers.

        The SNP predicts North Sea Oil taxation to reach a wildly optimistic £57Bn in 2018. In the same year, overall tax receipts in the UK including Oil taxes, is predicted to be £680bn.

        Using any form of calculation, Scotland gets far more than it’s fair share of money to spend than it should.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 29, 2014 at 10:47 am | Permalink

          Not if tax revenues which originate in Scotland, including offshore revenues as well as onshore revenues, are actually attributed to Scotland rather to the mythical land of “extra-regio” under the EU’s Eurostat system, which effectively means that parts of the UK remote from the North Sea are nevertheless credited with their shares of North Sea revenues. When all the revenues generated in Scotland and its waters are correctly attributed to Scotland it becomes debatable whether the rest of the UK is subsidising Scotland or it is the other way round, but either way the sums are marginal. In the unfortunate event that Scotland does become independent then taxpayers in England who assume that this should reduce their tax burden will be sorely disappointed, indeed it is far more likely that their taxes would have to go up.

          • Monty
            Posted August 29, 2014 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

            Well if Scotland is going to enjoy a wealth bonus on independance, why do they want a currency union?

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted August 31, 2014 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

            Salmond doesn’t actually want the currency union that he pretends to want so passionately and claims will be ceded whether or not the rest of us like it. He really wants Scotland to be part of the euro currency union, but he dare not say that before the votes have been cast in the referendum.

  23. Cliff. Wokingham.
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    Personally, I am finding the whole Scotish debate some what tedious now to say the least.

    The SNP in general and Mr Salmond in particular, remind me of an angry teenager who wants to leave home but they want to keep their monthly allowance and access to Daddy’s credit card. They also want to take their bed and TV and when asked how they’ll fund their “new independent life” they say with their wages from their paper round.

    I think if the question was put to those of us South of the Border, I suspect Mr Salmond would get a resounding YES! I think many English people are fed up to the back teeth of Mr Salmond’s stroppy teenager negativity….I have always backed the union but, now a little part of me secretly hopes they say yes and we can say goodbye to them.

    I always have a shudder down my back when I hear a politician announce they want something to be fairer: it rarely is in the end.
    Perhaps socialism will suit the people of Scotland. Last night, ITV had an interesting piece about the way people will vote in relation to their socio-economic situation. It showed (desparate) politicians husting with a group of homeless street people because, the item suggested, there were about a million of these people who would not normally vote and so, this group if they could be pursuaded to vote, could make all the difference.

    My biggest fear about the way the vote looks likely to go is this;
    Should the Nationalists loose by only a few percentage points, would they accept the result of that vote or would they turn to violence, given that we have seen some violence and intimedation over the last few months against those who dissagree with the yes arguments.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      Your last paragraph raises an interesting question and one that concerns us up here. I trust that Faslane Naval Base has upped security in recent weeks.

  24. fomula57
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Indeed “How will he pay the pensions as North Sea revenues disappear?”. Well how will the UK pay? But why should the rest of us care if it ceases to be our problem, hitting our pocket, should Alex gets his way (which he will not alas, for as stated hitherto, the voters of Scotland know on which side their deep-fried Mars bars are battered)?

  25. Ex-expat Colin
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    There is another piece of naughty industry in Scotland, sort of….Rosyth. Portsmouth closing shipbuilding this week I think….off to Rosyth? QinetiQ, BAE and MoD. Bit awkward.

    Then there is the sub/aircraft ranges in Scotland (MoD/QinetiQ). Perhaps we have to rent them. It raises a security issue when operating in a different country.

    There was an earlier swap out a few years back…All BAE avionics/electronics to England.

    Right old muddle.

  26. zorro
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    It was wonderful to see the intellectual Titan James Gordon Brown, our sorely lamented previous PM lend his rigour to the No argument….. The wonderful thing being that hopefully this will secure a ‘yes’ vote through his lingering ‘Jonah’ like vibes on this type of argument.

    I don’t want to see Salmond smirking with devo max as a result of a no vote…… As a result of a yes vote, I want to see him in his kilt with a handful of groats proclaiming Scottish independence and cut the apron strings!


  27. zorro
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    John, did you see the article …..

    Are some people getting worried about some of the revelations coming out? …… ‘Nothing to hide, nothing to fear’…… Perhaps Lord N can tell the NSA et al to stop monitoring conversations on an industrial scale. That would be a start.

    Typical response to one of the greatest, most positive, democratic developments of our time……. Some people can see their control and power waning and don’t like it.

    “If I want to do or say something which I am only prepared to do or say privately, then it is an interference with my freedom of expression, if I cannot do it or say it because it will be reported in a newspaper.’….. What nonsense – is he unaware of capabilities at present? If he wants to say something privately, don’t allow yourself to be recorded or don’t say it. Of course,, if someone was discussing something unlawful, that would be different…..


  28. matthu
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    Breaking news:
    Douglas Carswell defects to UKIP and triggers a by-election.

    This is a very interesting development: I hope our host will comment!

  29. matthu
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Spectator says:

    Regarding Douglas carswell and the by-election he has triggered:

    The Spectator says: You’d have to be a very, very loyal party footsoldier to agree to go down and help in the by-election fight against a former colleague. A small split in the party will emerge simply over whether you’re an MP prepared to knock on doors on behalf of whoever the Tory candidate is, or whether you’d rather stay away and tacitly congratulate Carswell on taking a stand.

    I trust our host will be one of those staying away from Clacton-on-Sea?

  30. zorro
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    I see Douglas Carswell has had enough……. ‘Apres moi, le deluge?’


  31. The PrangWizard
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    I hope you will run a piece tomorrow about Douglas Carswell’s going over to UKIP. He has stated that one reason he has given is that Cameron ‘is not serious about change’. In other words he is not to be trusted. He is fooling us all about his intentions on Europe. That is what Mr Carswell thinks.

    I’m not a UKIP member or supporter, it is just another Unionist party which like you is against the establishment of a true English parliament, but it’s going to be difficult for your position and I’d like to have your views as soon as possible. Will you stay loyal?

    • Bryan
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

      I do not think Mr McCameron is trying to fool us about our subscription to (sorry, membership of) the EU; he is quite clear that he will try to negotiate a ‘better’ deal for the UK , put that deal to the electorate in a referendum, and personally vote to stay in. No con there regarding his intentions nor his ability to play hard ball.

      The only fools are those who think he will get a really good deal without invoking Article 50 before he goes in to negotiate.

  32. bernard cowley
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    If “Yes” wins, this will mean the end of the Labour Party in England – Labour has nearly 50 seats in Scotland.

    • Bill
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

      Yes, which is why Labour is leading the No campaign. Let Scotland vote Yes and then have a Conservative England.

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

      Wishful thinking on your part. Without Scotland Labour would still win UK general elections almost as often as with Scotland. You forget that there are swathes of England and also Wales where the Tory party is well on the way to being just as much disliked, even hated, as it is in Scotland.

      • Bill
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

        You may be right. Certainly, there is irrational and visceral hatred of Conservatism in parts of Yorkshire where there were once mining communities. Equally, in Wales there is a tribal commitment to Labour among those who have any kind of working class roots.

        But the assumption that the loss of Scotland would benefit the Conservatives is based on parliamentary arithmetic based on the current map. Yet, I assume that if Scotland left the Union, there would be agitation of the re-drawing of constituency boundaries and, if Labour were in power (with or without the LibDems), we can assume that the boundaries would be drawn to give Labour maximum benefit. If the boundaries were re-drawn under a Conservative government, one could hope for a better outcome along the lines I have suggested.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted August 29, 2014 at 10:50 am | Permalink

          As I recall since the war there have been only two occasions when the Labour MPs elected in Scotland were essential to putting a Labour government into power.

  33. Pauline Jorgensen
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    The depressing thing about this debate was that all the talk from Salmond and Darling was about spending taxpayers money not about creating the wealth that Scotland and the UK need. If I was a taxpayer in an independent Scotland I would be very worried. With the porous border and ease of movement of labour and industry an independent Scotland could quickly become an impoverished wasteland of benefits claimants and employees of the state.

  34. Bob
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    Great news about Douglas Carswell!
    A man with the courage of his convictions.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

      Bob–Absolutely fabulous

  35. matthu
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Speaking to Sky News moments after the announcement, [Douglas Carswell] said: “I don’t think they’re serious about the change this country needs. This country needs serious political reform.

    “They’re not serious about making government accountable to parliament and parliament accountable to the people.

    He added: “I know David Cameron is not serious because I’ve heard him say it.

    Has something been misattributed to Cameron here?

  36. BobE
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    BBC news. Tory MP Douglas Carswell is to join the UK Independence Party

  37. JoeSoap
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    “How can you claim to be an independent state if you use the currency of your powerful neighbour and have to join the EU on terms which will entail considerable sacrifice of decision taking? What will be exciting and different about Salmond’s Scotland if the NHS and the welfare system have to be left just as they were circa 2010? How does that make Scotland a more equal society?”

    You are right, and many Scots who see this are still prepared to vote Yes to rid themselves of Tory rule. Which isn’t great for your Party when south of the border, it’s own MP’s seem to be seeing the light in a different kind of way.

    Where to now?

  38. Robert Taggart
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    Change ? No Change ! – would appear to be the underlying message behind the YES campaign.
    We should not be surprised – they always oppose any change – as proposed by Westminster. Could this simply be a case of ‘not invented here’ ?

    Change ? – Yes Change ! – vote YES – to change England – for the better !

  39. agricola
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    I found it a very fractious debate, and at times it reminded me of what I have seen of the Jeremy Kyle show. Salmond came over as all mouth and trousers well deserving his unofficial title of the bull frog. He seems to want independence while retaining the convenient aspects of belonging to the UK. The Scots will have to be very blinkered to buy into his brand of snake oil. I sincerely believe and hope they are not that daft.

    Now lets discuss Douglas Carswell’s resignation and alignment with UKIP. I’m sure it has been no surprise to you and would be a suitable subject for a diary contribution.

  40. ian wragg
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Off Topic. I see Douglas Carswell has defected to UKIP and put himself up for a bye election. Come on John, the die is cast, lets have you with us. No doubt you read Con. Home and see Carswells reasons, mainly that CMD is not sincere in his re-negotiation ploy.
    I think today will be remembered as a watershed in the history of British politics.

  41. Terry
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    It’s daft to declare a winner of any such debate unless an exit poll is taken at the time to establish who convinced whom to change their existing voting intentions solely because of that debate. The Scots are canny, well most of them and they will realise that a separation from the UK would automatically mean a loss of far too many jobs. All connected to UK Government. The armed service jobs are mentioned but not those of the civil service. Inland Revenue employs thousands north of the border. They too would have to go. And where would all of these jobless persons be re-employed? Would they be able to draw benefits while seeking a new position? Where would that funding come from? I would have thought these basic questions without hard, factual answers would be enough to sway even the most hardened but practical Nationalist. Well, maybe. It remains to be seen who actually won these debates and the interesting figure to me is going to be the actual turnout. That would demonstrate how many were willing to ‘fight’ for their personal cause.

  42. Iron Feliks
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Salmond never wanted independence. He uses it as a bargaining chip for Devo Max and the appeasers at Westminster fall for it every time.

    However he’s awoken the English who will now have a far more sceptical interest in percived featherbedding of Scotland and the SNP threat to leave will have effects.

    If your wife threatens to leave tha marital home and packs her bags then the relationship changes forever even if she doesn’t walk out in the end.

  43. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

    Douglas Carswell’s comments as reported in the Telegraph:
    “They are not serious about real change in Europe. Everything they have done is about trying to win the election. This is about change so everything can stay the same.”

    “Things don’t have to be this way. I will be asking voters in Essex to help me change them. The Conservative leadership are not serious about change. If I believed they were sincere about real change, I wouldn’t be here.”

    “His advisers have said to me, ‘People will not vote to leave. Why? Because we will give them just enough to persuade enough of them to stay in.’ That is the game plan. It’s about not leaving the European Union.”

    “David Cameron has made up his mind – he wants to stay in. It’s all about positioning for the election.”

    “It’s not about changing things – it’s about hanging on to office. Once I realised that, my position in the Conservative Party became untenable.”

    At last! someone has seen what has been glaringly obvious to many of us and is principled enough to take some action. Add to this today’s appallingly high migration figures and you need to ask why on earth would anyone who cares about such things want to vote Conservative let alone be a party member? You have dismissed our views – these same views – how tenable is your position?

    • Kenneth R Moore
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 9:00 pm | Permalink

      The most damaging part of Mr Carswel’ls resignation was the public confirmation that No.10’s strategy IS to hoodwink the public – to remain an Eu member by stealth, by appearing to give an illusion of a new relationship with the EU.
      The purpose of the Conservative Party is to stay in power – good governance is a secondary priority. There are many good and decent people in the Conservative party but they are all damaged by the modern partys values.

      Mr Cameron’s advisors have privately admitted this during meetings of the back bench 1922 comittee which is one of the reasons why he felt he had to go.
      Professor Redwood’s position that a Conservative win is the only way to get out of the Eu’ therefore we must stay in whatever cost sounds more hollow tonight. A pro EU party cannot get us out of the EU anymore than the Green Party would allow the building of a nuclear reactor.

      The leadership of the Conservatives would never have granted the referendum unless they were sure of staying in – it was made under duress.

      I hope our venerable host keeps an open mind on leaving the Conservative Party and joining his colleage at Ukip . I predict Mr Carswell will win and win well in the Clackton by election.
      A resignation of the more experienced Redwood is the kind of political earthquake needed to break up the cosy Eu consensus that the Uk must stay in the Eu. Unshackled from the Conservative party he would be a more potent Eu sceptic force and simultaneously attack the stranglehold that the majority federalists have on power.

      Reply Mr Cameron has told us at the 1922 meetings that he will deliver the referendum we all want so we can vote for Out if we wish.

      • Kenneth R Moore
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for your reply Professor Redwood.

        I’m sure that is true but those are just words – but how valuable is Mr Cameron’s pledge when it seems that every fibre in his and the rest of the leadership’s bodies remains firmly committed to a federal Eu project ?.
        Why is there no representative of the John Redwood or Douglas Carswell strand of Eu opinion on the sofa at No.10 ?.
        David Cameron has painted himself into a corner by excluding you and like minded colleagues and has brought this defection upon himself.

        The modern Conservative party seems like an ultra top down centralist organisation – by hook or by crook, fair means or foul Mr Cameron will ensure the referendum result he desires is delivered – in the unlikely event he is able to offer it.

        Your view, Dr Redwood seems to be the official party line Mr Cameron would like us to take at face value – the sceptics amongst us have been saying that the pledge was purely a ‘window dressing’ exercise in order to appease euro sceptic opinion for some time.

        Today was quite extrodinary – an honest man stood up and told us straight something deeply important about the broken relationship between the Eu, government and the people . No spin, party lines, side-stepping the truth, partial truths….

        DG –
        ‘The Conservative leadership is not serious about real change. David Cameron told the 1922, there would be no attempt at associate membership, no attempt at a trade only relationship.
        His (David Cameron’s) advisors have said to me people will not vote to leave the European Union..why ?. Because we will give them just enough to enable them to stay in. That is the game plan’.

        Reply As my post reveals, Mr Carswell held entirely the opposite view of Mr Cameron until yesterday, as he liked the Bloomberg speech policy and urged us all to unite behind Mr C to secure it.

      • Kenneth R Moore
        Posted August 28, 2014 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

        (Apologies should read Douglas Carswell)
        ‘The Conservative leadership is not serious about real change. David Cameron told the 1922, there would be no attempt at associate membership, no attempt at a trade only relationship’.
        ‘His (David Cameron’s) advisors have said to me people will not vote to leave the European Union..why ?. Because we will give them just enough to enable them to stay in. That is the game plan’.

  44. Iain Gill
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 3:30 pm | Permalink

    threaten to stop selling them Buckfast Tonic Wine… will swing the vote if that’s what you want. personally I would rebuild Hadrians wall and introduce border posts.

  45. James Reade
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 4:32 pm | Permalink

    Fascinating you only refer to the “all entangling laws and directives” of Brussels, and not the similar “all entangling laws and directives” of Westminster. Any reason for this?

  46. Denis Cooper
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    It was an appalling debate, Salmond rang rings around Darling but without producing any good arguments in favour of independence. The man and many of his followers are suffering from delusions of grandeur, as was obvious from the start when he made the ludicrous claim that the eyes of the world are on Scotland waiting to see what happens when the reality is that most of the world couldn’t give two hoots what happens.

  47. Pauline Jorgensen
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

    The other thing that worries me is reports on the news that even if Scotland votes no they will be given more tax raising powers. The reason many people would vote no is precisely to stop the SNP indulging in a bout of tax and spend.

    I also note having been in Scotland this week that a lot (but not all) of the Farmers have ‘No’ posters in their fields, is this because they belong to one of the few industries which would find it difficult to relocate if the SNP jacked up taxation post a yes vote?

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 10:24 pm | Permalink

      Property owners are always sitting ducks for feral socialists. I would be very concerned as an owner of land in Scotland.

  48. DavidB
    Posted August 28, 2014 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    I’ve not been here for a while. I see many of the familiar names.

    On Saturday in Edinburgh I observed another young couple pose at the statue of Adam Smith on the High Street. I have seen this quite a lot. I don’t recall seeing that at any other statue. However I digress.

    The problem in this UK is not between Scotland and England. It is between the rest of this island and London. The London which is no longer even a British city. Its overpriced houses are bought by foreigners – no money laundering regulations for Oligarchs. Its resident population was born somewhere else. It houses a political elite who attend different schools to what they provide to the indigenous population, and who don’t get to wait months for a hospital appointment. One recently professed he couldn’t afford to live on a household income of £190k.

    You English are being sold a divide and rule philosophy by a group untouched by the recession. We have more billionaires than ever. Meanwhile your rulers intervene in conflicts where we have no interest – and send none of their sons to die in far off cesspits.

    We have no argument with you. We have only the feeling that there is another way to live. Not wasting money on weapons that we cannot use – and which are really just American offshored anyway – can Dave really press that trigger himself? We get a block grant. We do, really, honestly, pay in more than you give us in pocket money. We choose to spend that on free prescriptions. We chose not to steal the houses from “rich” pensioners. We have different priorities. Instead of condemning us for putting jam on our crumpets why dont you elect people who think that jam is better than spending money bombing Libya or Syria or Anywhereoverthereia?

    I am on the political right. I dont expect to have right wing government in Scotland any time soon. But the people in my country have every right to repeal the act of union. Since the empire was dismantled – at the behest of our great ally across the Atlantic – 50 odds countries have become independent. I don’t recall any headlines in the Mail or Telegraph of any of them begging for British rule again. And so what if we are poorer or richer? At least the idiots we elect will be our idiots. They will look like us. They will attend the same schools as us, and they will sound just like the rest of us.

    We don’t have a problem with you English at all. We just want the right to cock it up on our own. Surely that is a reasonable position.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted August 28, 2014 at 10:46 pm | Permalink

      Which Scottish mountain have you just come down from and how long did you spend up there in the thin air?

    • Pauline Jorgensen
      Posted August 30, 2014 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Having returned from Scotland yesterday I can vouch for the passion this vote has stirred up in my Scottish relatives. Unfortunately free speech seems to also be under attack from an element of the Yes campaign with many vandalised no posters in evidence. Whatever way this vote goes I hope that this is not an indication of the way people will behave towards their countrymen with differing opinions when it is over.

  49. BobE
    Posted August 29, 2014 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    John, please join us.

  50. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted August 29, 2014 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    I intend to write to Mr Salmond soon. May I send him a print of your blog, to rub a little salt in the wound?

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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