Bad Blood

With 11 days to go to the Scottish referendum, I read today:


I haven’t written about it before, because until today it looked like the No votes against Scottish independence would easily carry the day. But my attitude to Scottish independence is very much like my attitude to the smoking ban: I regard it as profoundly divisive.

I’d perhaps feel differently if the Scots had been demanding independence for years, and conducting a guerilla war against England, much like the Basques in Spain. But in my lifetime there’s barely been a hint of anything like that. The 300-year-old Union has seemed rock solid, with Scots participating fully in British life.

But now, suddenly, and bizarrely, and unexpectedly, it looks like the Union may be about to dissolve. And it will no longer be possible to speak of the United Kingdom of England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. And Scotland will become a foreign country, with a border between England and Scotland. The million or so Scots who are living in England will also become foreigners, and equivalent numbers of English people living in Scotland will become foreigners too.

In fact, England and Scotland may even become enemies, as historically they often were prior to the Union.

In thinking about this, I sometimes wonder if I may be being inconsistent, in wanting on the one hand the continuation of the United Kingdom, while on the other hand not wanting to remain in the larger European Union. But there is a difference, and it is this: the United Kingdom has successfully endured for 300 years, while the European Union is a modern invention – still in construction -, and already showing signs of becoming an undemocratic, bureaucratic tyranny.

And I really can’t see what Scotland (or England) has to gain from independence. Both will be diminished. In fact, it seems to me that only the enemies of the UK will gain anything from the dissolution of the Union.

So all I can see is deep division and bad blood flowing from Scottish independence.

And I hope the Scots don’t vote for it.

See also: If Britain breaks up, the rest of the world would think we’ve taken leave of our senses.

And:  Ed Miliband today issues the stark threat that manned border posts could be introduced if Scotland backs independence in next week’s historic vote.


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29 Responses to Bad Blood

  1. cherie79 says:

    Born in Glasgow and spent half my life there I never thought the yes vote had a chance but who knows. I would be very sad to see a break up as most of my family still live there and they are deeply divided. I, my son and grandchildren all live in England now but we have no say, I fear most a legacy of bitterness if the vote is a narrow win for either side. I still can’t see any real reason for breaking up a successful union. There has always been an undercurrent of anti Englishness in Scotland but can’t say I have ever experience any anti Scottishness in England and I have lived all over from North to East Anglia and now South East. just hope we can come together whatever the result.

    • Frank Davis says:

      What reason do the members of your family who wish to leave the Union give for doing so?

      • cherie79 says:

        The ones in favour seem to feel that Scotland should be an independent country and that it is very different in attitude to England, not really true, my relatives who are in favour are all pretty well educated and it is a gut instinct rather than any economic reason. They are mostly in their 40s, not sure about the younger ones but I think they will be pro independence, a pride in their country the main motivation though I don’t know what they expect after. My older relatives are dead against it as they have more memories of shared experience in war and the aftermath. My best friend said she is coming to live with me if the vote is yes! On the other hand a friend I was speaking too is voting yes because he hates the idea of any kind of dependence but said friends in the local pub were voting no because it might affect their benefits. It seems there are a real variety of reasons why people are choosing a side none of which makes any sense to me and certainly not worth tearing our island apart.

        • harleyrider1978 says:

          Cherie Independence on one hand could spell disunion from the EU or an adamant ally for it. But it would make for an interesting political battlefield over the coming years to watch. I don’t think any of them really know what they want except probably change from whats going on already. If they feel that England has led the way for all the nannystate laws it might be a good thing. But something tells me the EU is drawing lines in the sand across the EU in case something else is about to happen like the enevitable EU break up.

          In which case new trading aggreements and alliances would be made along with all the normal political shennangins that happen.

        • cherie79 says:

          If anything Scotland has been leading the way as a nanny state ! and from what I read they intend even more assaults on liberty as in minimum alcohol pricing, plain packs, and a named person for every child! It is quite frightening. What seems to be proposed is more statism not less unfortunately.

  2. jaxthefirst says:

    I find it really; really difficult to get worked up about Scottish independence. There are pros (no more Labour Governments; possible opportunity to back away from the EU – as the country which joined it no longer exists; financial savings) and there are cons (nostalgia; shared history; loss of oil revenue – admittedly declining, but still a loss; loss of a unique national set-up).

    My biggest concern would be that the remaining MPs in Westminster would make too many concessions to the departing Scotland. In my view, if the Scots want independence then they should get it – completely. No shared currency, no continuing welfare payments, no shared monarchy, no shared military resources, no “keeping political or civil fingers in pies” either side of the border, no “transitional arrangements” of any kind. Independence should mean just that. We cut you loose; you’re on your own; you’re a free sovereign nation; you are no longer “part of us” and we are no longer “part of you.” Zilch. Nada. No connections any closer than we have with any other independent countries anywhere else in the world. Trade, diplomatic relations, and that’s it. We can (and hopefully will) still be friends, but we’ll have no more obligations towards Scotland than we have towards any other independent state. If the whole project falls flat and Scotland takes a nosedive then it’s “operation bootstraps” for them – they can’t come running back with their hands open demanding bailouts and trying to blame England for their woes. They’ve had 300 years voting in our Government to claim back anything that they might think that England has wronged them over. Now is the time for a clean sheet. You get your independence, and we get ours.

    That said, our MPs in Westminster don’t have a great track record where looking out for their constituents’ interests are concerned, do they? Most seem to be more concerned with the welfare of citizens of pretty much anywhere else in the world in preference to the people they are supposed to represent. So, if the vote is a “yes” it’s highly likely that it’ll be very much on Scotland’s terms and Westminster will do little more than make a few token gestures, in the form of a few tough-sounding speeches, to ensure that the rest of the UK is served as well by the division as Scotland is, before capitulating to Scotland’s every demand. That’s my biggest concern about the whole issue – will our MPs ensure that the division works fairly for everyone? I don’t hold out much hope that they will, simply because they’ve shown themselves to be either incapable or unwilling to do just that on many, many previous occasions. Do they care about us? Not a jot!

    But the whole thing’s a bit of a farce anyway. I don’t know how many English people live in Scotland, but they’ll all be getting a vote. How ironic that one of the things which most irks English people – i.e. Scottish MPs voting on purely English matters – should now, because of the call for independence, be foisted on the Scottish people themselves in the form of English people living in Scotland now voting on something which, morally if nothing else, should be a matter for just Scottish people to decide. Similarly, Scottish people living south of the border aren’t being allowed a say, because they live here. And that seems a bit unfair, too. After all, Scotland is still their home country. One would have thought that at the very least they could have given a vote to anyone who could show a birth certificate indicating that they were born in Scotland, even if they’ve since left. Would that really have been so difficult?

    What a huge damp squib it’s all going to be if in the end the vote is “no” and the union stays just as it is and it’s “business as usual” for the next 300 years. Between you and me, I think this is likely to be the case. I think that the rabid Scottish nationalists are a bit like rabid anti-smokers – they make a lot of noise and that makes it seem like there are more of them than there actually are, but in reality their number is pretty tiny and the vast majority of Scottish people would be quite content for things to go on just as they have for the last 300 years. The difference is that the Scottish people are at least having a chance to have their say in the form of a referendum; in the case of the smoking ban the only people who got a say, right from the start, were the raging antis – on that issue normal, tolerant non-smokers had no more of a say than smokers themselves did.

    • Frank Davis says:

      I think that the rabid Scottish nationalists are a bit like rabid anti-smokers – they make a lot of noise and that makes it seem like there are more of them than there actually are, but in reality their number is pretty tiny and the vast majority of Scottish people would be quite content for things to go on just as they have for the last 300 years.

      If so, why are polls now showing about half of Scots wanting independence? And if rabid Scottish Nationalists are like rabid antismokers, they’ll probably get their way.

      • jaxthefirst says:

        Well, for the same reason as all those “public polls” before the smoking ban showed that “80%” of the public were in favour of the smoking ban, of course – astroturfing and concerted campaigns to take part in polls like these. I’ll bet that, just like in the anti-smoking movement, there are swivel-eyed independence zealots who spend many long hours posting, responding to surveys, filling in opinions polls etc etc, often under different names and in different guises to give the impression that their number is greater than it actually is. All aided and abetted unintentionally, of course, by the many thousands of Scottish people who don’t have very strong opinions on the subject, and so don’t go to great lengths to make the point that they are perfectly happy with things as they are, thank you very much – much as many non-smokers who weren’t actually particularly bothered about either smoking or the possibility of a smoking ban didn’t bother to register their “no” or their “not bothered” vote prior to the smoking ban. As a result, the loud-voiced antis appeared to have the public behind them when in fact that wasn’t the case at all. As in so many other areas of life, the anti-smoking movement has, once again, shown those who want to get their own way how to achieve that aim. But, as I mentioned before, unlike the smoking ban, this time there’ll be a referendum which might prove a stumbling block to this impression of a big swing towards Scottish independence. Time will tell …

  3. legiron says:

    The SNP are anti-smoking and anti-drinking and pretty much anti-life. Anything they want, I don’t want. It took me a couple of years to sway two definite ‘yes’ voters into ‘no’ voters but the local undecided were easier.

    If it hadn’t been for all those lifestyle controls I wouldn’t care at all. If they get independence and screw it up (which socialists always do) I can always move back to Wales. Which isn’t all that much better, really..

    Your title popped up an instant memory. It was this –

  4. harleyrider1978 says:

    Don’t tell me let me guess,the politicians in control of Scotland are pretty much all heavy EU and smoking ban supporters ehh!

  5. Junican says:

    These polls mean absolutely nothing. I trust them no more than I trust ‘visiting pubs after a smoking ban’ polls. Let’s wait for the actual event.
    I agree with jax. If Scotland votes for independence, then it becomes similar to Ireland. Some ‘privileges’ of movement between the people of the Independent States of Scotland and England remain, but nothing else. Indeed, Scotland would have to decide (by referendum?) whether to be a Member of the Commonwealth or not. It would certainly have no currency, and would therefore have to adopt the euro, like Ireland. If they do, they they subject themselves to rule by the World Bank.
    But how would that be different from the UK? The Health Zealots gained control of the World Bank ages ago. If the Scottish people believe that they will gain some sort of independence, they are way off the mark. They will gain sub-servitude to EU dictats. But our politicians are already ignorant of the true worth of Treaties. They are not ‘laws’ – they are only local, temporary agreements.

    Or it may be that Cameron et al know very well that the EU does not really have substantial existence, since it is not a State. It is just the product of a Treaty. Only the laws enacted by our Parliament have substance.

    After WW2, great efforts were made by really well-meaning top politicians to ensure that the the history of wars among European nations came to a stop, and they succeeded. But those people are now long dead. They have been replaced by Charlatans, as we historically ought to expect. The Charlatans reside in the Bureaucracy. Our Elected Representatives have, once again, failed to see the consequences of well-meaning initiatives. It always seems to happen. The reins are taken out of the hands of the kind and gentle and put into the hands of thieves.
    History repeats.

  6. A ‘Yes’ vote would be just as planned. To break up the UK would be a serious victory for the global strategists in these times of coercing every country to abide by the same rules. Of course, at Westminster, they’ve been generally complying anyway, but with UKIP’s rise there’s at least the hope now that the damage can be reversed.

    Not for an ‘independent’ Scotland, though. We have a very rich country here which could easily thrive with ‘normal’ people running things, but as Leggy says, socialists would always be in charge (globalist puppets) and they always mess up.

    We already know that the SNP ignores the people (overturning wind farm planning permission refusals; ignoring their consultation on same-sex ‘marriage’) and wants to control us tightly, as Cherie says, like the ‘named person’ for every child and the 50p per unit min. price of alcohol.

    They are also the ultimate watermelons: they propose that Scotland will be 100% powered by renewables by 2020. I’m sure they will participate fully in Agenda 21, if the decision to allow a eugenicist conference in the Scottish Parliament is anything to go by,

    The radical group is urging First Minister Alex Salmond to launch a Government campaign to curb family size, using the slogan “two’s plenty”.

    OPT is calling for Scotland’s population to be cut by a quarter.

    I believe that they are likely to give in to such ideas – even a one-child policy. We know that Salmond would like half the World to live here, hence anyone from the EU, apart from England, Wales and N.I., can already study here free. Scotland would soon become unrecognisable. Limiting family size would help his plans for mass immigration – indeed, it would be necessary to bring in younger people from abroad to do the work to pay the taxes to support the retired.

    Scotland doesn’t have the same quality of dissenting voices as England does. I expect with indepretendence we’d be up to our neck with socialism from alternate SNP and Labour governments obeying every command from the leftist EU, Council of Europe, UN agencies, climate change conferences, etc.

    Scotland could be rich, like Norway and Switzerland, but I’m sure we would end up like an impoverished Soviet satellite. I think it’s the wrong time and definitely the wrong people who will be ‘leading’ us.

    • Some French bloke says:

      About Limiting family size

      There should be a way of being greater without becoming ever ‘bigger’. Quoting Frank’s words from five months ago: “perhaps, Britain was at its greatest when it was simply a small maritime nation around 1600, without even a couple of colonies to rub together”
      For further historical perspective, consider that, in 1630, the population of Great Britain AND Ireland was 5,600,517, eleven times less than present-day UK’s.

      And back in the 1950s (when global population was around 2.5 billion), people like Aldous Huxley or Albert Einstein were quite concerned about population growth. I’m sure you view such people as neither stupid nor hateful, let alone ‘enemies of mankind’.

      • The Huxley family is infamous for its humanism – and naturally, the strong belief in ‘survival of the fittest’ – and they often apply this to the human race as well. The family is also noted for its mental illness.

        Aldous Huxley’s grandfather, Thomas Henry Huxley, was known as ‘Darwin’s Bulldog’.

        According to his brother Julian (first UNESCO director-general), the guiding philosophy of UNESCO should be what he termed, ‘World Evolutionary Humanism’. He was also president of the British Eugenics Society.

        Concerning a public health and racial policy in general, Julian Huxley wrote that “…unless [civilised societies] invent and enforce adequate measures for regulating human reproduction, for controlling the quantity of population, and at least preventing the deterioration of quality of racial stock, they are doomed to decay…”.

        I don’t know how much of this rubbed off on Aldous, but to have written one of the two most famous novels about a dystopic future suggests that the ideas he picked up from others in his family would have produced his world society without religions – just what Julian would have wished for.

        If the Huxleys were ‘concerned’ about population growth, it was likely because the ‘wrong’ people were being born. Early ‘family planning’ crazy lady Marie Stopes thought that the diseased, drunkards or simply those of bad character should be sterilised. She doted on Hitler.

        Frank wrote about Brock Chisholm (born 1896, Canada. died 1971), who was the first Director General of the World Health Organisation, which was formed in 1948.

        According to Brock Chisholm, the World Health Organization, and the Cold War, he was a psychiatrist and an eugenicist:

        Well before leading the WHO, he had been a vocal critic of organized religion and especially the Catholic Church. He favoured birth control, sterilization practices, negative eugenics, and even euthanasia.

        The militant humanist/evolutionist is a dangerous breed, leading us towards that Brave New World Order of global government and eugenics.

        • Some French bloke says:

          Thanks for your detailed response, Stewart.

          These troubled, angst-inducing times we’re presently living already feel like some utopia gone pear-shaped. As seen from the perspective of a mid-19th century society, this is a veritable technological utopia we’re now living in – e.g. who would have then imagined that such a reduced chunk of the active population would one day be in charge of agriculture, to say nothing of what happened in the fields of industry, communications, or leisure time? From material as well as spiritual standpoints, we are faced with the serious limitations of this ‘unplanned utopia’, but our globalists generally come up with inept or abusive utopian schemes and I wouldn’t trust them either, if only because they fully endorse this stupid anti-smoking program.
          Stagnation, progress, regression, only a seer could tell us where the gravest dangers are lurking, but danger as well as change are inevitable. To combat the bungling utopians, we must also develop our own utopian viewpoint, though I admid it would be a first in human history to make a planned utopia work, at least on such a scale.

        • These days were billed as Utopia while I was growing up in the 1970s. TV programmes like “Tomorrow’s World” painted a picture of machines doing all the work and people having tons of leisure time.

          Of course, the Fabian and Frankfurt School graduates and their likes have infiltrated every institution to ensure that the opposite has happened, where most people seem to have little time to themselves and are just getting by paying for their house, car(s) and utility bills.

          And smoking bans and disintegration of society and family mean that leisure time is increasingly spent alone. Some Utopia!

          In a fallen world, there cannot ever be a Utopia, but we can return to a more Godly, moral Western World. Even the non-Christian Thomas Jefferson wrote (what is known as) ‘The Jefferson Bible’. Unfortunately, he rejected the supernatural elements to Christ’s teachings, but he wrote of the rest,

          There will be found remaining the most sublime and benevolent code of morals which has ever been offered to man.

          It’s for this reason that (as Yuri Bezmenov, former KGB subversion agent says) religion is being undermined. It has to happen for our cultures to become corrupted, for moral relativity to become the norm and thus, among the confusion, apathy and loss of identity, the global government to become reality – a dystopia.

        • Some French bloke says:

          “religion is being undermined”

          If only it were only ‘from the outside’, but simply think of these so-called Christians who get involved as activist anti-smokers Vincent Riccardo Di Pierri tells us about in his Rampant Antismoking

  7. Rose says:

    I have been expecting the Scots to leave the Union ever since the Stone of Scone was returned to Scotland in 1996, but if they are going they better get on with it as I suspect that this will be their last chance.

    For the benefit of our international friends.

    The Stone of Scone

    Return to Scotland

    “In 1996, in a symbolic response to growing dissatisfaction among Scots at the prevailing constitutional settlement, the British Conservative Government decided that the Stone should be kept in Scotland when not in use at coronations.

    On 3 July 1996, it was announced in the House of Commons that the Stone would be returned to Scotland, and on 15 November 1996, after a handover ceremony at the border between representatives of the Home Office and of the Scottish Office, it was transported to Edinburgh Castle.

    The Stone arrived in the Castle on 30 November 1996 and it remains alongside the crown jewels of Scotland (the Honours of Scotland) in the Crown Room. The handover occurred on St Andrew’s Day, a day in honor of the patron Saint of Scotland, and Prince Andrew, Duke of York was the Queen’s representative”

    Ian Hamilton on Stone of Destiny: I felt I was holding Scotland’s soul

    “Almost 60 years ago, on Christmas Day 1950, Hamilton, then a brash and idealistic young student studying law at Glasgow University, became notorious in England and achieved nigh-on hero status in his native Scotland when he and a trio of friends staged one of the most audacious heists imaginable. In a caper worthy of an Ealing comedy, they motored from Glasgow to London (in those days no mean feat), broke into the Abbey, and stole the symbol of Scottish pride, the Stone of Scone – with one of the ”thieves” breaking two toes when it fell on them.

    The borders were closed, a posse of police vans gave chase, and a national outcry ensued. Whereupon our intrepid quartet calmly held the Stone hostage, deftly tap-danced their way through police interviews and triumphantly ended the escapade by evading arrest. The Scots were ecstatic. The English, by contrast, were bewildered. Was it, they asked themselves, a student jape or an insult to the majesty of the British state?

    No self-respecting Scot should read the next paragraph and, if they do, shame upon them. But, for the benefit of some English readers, a brief history lesson becomes necessary. The Stone of Scone, you might ask – what exactly is it? More than a mere 336?lb slab of ancient sandstone, for a start.

    Alleged to once have been Jacob’s pillow, where the Biblical figure laid his head while he dreamt of a ladder to Heaven, it became the symbol of Scottish pride and independence, upon which the nation’s kings were crowned. Then, in 1299, King Edward I, known as Longshanks, infuriated by the rebellious Scots, stormed Scone Abbey and stole it.”

  8. Rose says:

    I am a great believer in self determination and though I may be wrong, it looks to me like the general public in Scotland were never really given a choice.

    They seem to have originally been joined to the Union because the country was broke.

    Darien scheme

    “The colonization project that became known as the Darien Scheme or Darien Disaster was an unsuccessful attempt by the Kingdom of Scotland to become a world trading nation by establishing a colony called “Caledonia” on the Isthmus of Panama on the Gulf of Darién in the late 1690s.

    From the outset, the undertaking was beset by poor planning and provision, weak leadership, lack of demand for trade goods, devastating epidemics of disease and increasing shortage of food. It was finally abandoned after a siege by Spanish forces in April 1700.

    As the Darien company was backed by between a quarter and half of all the money circulating in Scotland, its failure left nobles, landowners – who had suffered a run of bad harvests – as well as town councils and many ordinary tradespeople almost completely ruined and was an important factor in weakening their resistance to the Act of Union (completed in 1707).”

    “By the time the Darien adventure had ended in disaster, investors’ capital equal to half the gross domestic product of Scotland had been wiped out. No wonder its impoverished nobles and merchants were only too happy to support the Act of Union in 1707 as they struggled to rebuild their battered balance sheets.
    It was not so much a marriage of convenience as one born of financial necessity.”

    If the Scots people have been chained to another country unwillingly for 300 years, it’s time they stood up and said so.

    • margo says:

      I agree, Rose. If I were a Scottish resident and had the vote, at the moment I think I’d vote Yes. I don’t know whether most Scots ever wanted the Union in the first place (1706?) Desire to leave has been rumbling on ever since – nothing new about it. England’s got plenty to lose from losing Scotland, but that’s not the point.

      • The Darien scheme and much more recently, New Labour’s ‘Scottish Mafia’, show that we just haven’t had sufficiently intelligent people involved in politics in Scotland for centuries. If that ever changes and genuine independence is on offer, then – and only then – would it be worth considering.

        • Rose says:

          With Independence that would be for the Scots to change for themselves, countries don’t come ready made and it would take a while to sort themselves out.

          Overall the arguments against do seem rather short-termist to me.

  9. Pingback: As New Poll Puts ‘Yes’ Camp Ahead, Do Scots Know What is at Stake? | Real Street

  10. Pingback: As New Poll Puts ‘Yes’ Camp Ahead, Do Scots Know What is at Stake? | Stewart Cowan's Weblog

  11. Rose says:


    MJM, if you are about could you post this on Vaping Liz’s blog for me?

    Going for a smoke break

    But it it is due to anti-tobacco that the additives are there at all.

    “Prior to 1970, the use of additives in tobacco products was prohibited without special permission from the Commissioners of Customs and Excise, under Section 176 of the Customs and Excise Act, 1952. This permission was given only within very strict limits and mainly in respect of flavourings in tobacco products other than cigarettes. The prohibition extended to the importation of tobacco products containing additives as well as a ban on the production of cigarettes with additives for export.”

    “The rise of additives in tobacco products is intimately linked with the strategy to reduce tar yields. The amount of tar and nicotine in smoke is measured by a standard smoking machine in which the cigarette is smoked with a fixed puff volume and frequency with tar and nicotine residues collected on a filter and weighed.

    Governments have insisted on reducing tar levels as measured by this approach, hoping that this would reduce tar exposure to smokers — and therefore lead to reduced harm.

    “The tobacco industry argues that one of the key purposes of additives is to make lower tar cigarettes more palatable.

    The ISCSH accepts this and notes:
    “Some smokers find existing low and low to middle tar brands unsatisfying, but if those who smoked middle or middle to high tar cigarettes could switch to low tar brands whose acceptability was improved by additives, the dangers of smoking could be reduced.
    The Committee recognises the potential value of using flavouring additives in this way.”

    Low tar cigarettes and additives

    “One of the prime justifications for the addition of artificial flavourings is to replace the lost flavour of the diluted smoke. This has in theory been done to facilitate the switch to low-tar. However, any hoped-for health benefits from low-tar cigarettes have largely failed to materialise.”

    That link, open to public view in 2007, is now passworded.

  12. smokingscot says:

    Not one single person I’ve spoken with (and it’s a lot – “independence” is the default opener at the moment, slightly better than that crud about the weather) sought the referendum. Not One.

    The whole thing is crucially important to politicians and it is they who have flooded the airwaves and bunged dozens of flyers through my letter box. And the “Scotsman” newspaper, well that’s been pro separation for yonks.

    To the teeth I am sick of the debates as well as the in depth television programs on various aspects of independence and Scottishness.

    And the “YES” or “NO thank you” stickers they’ve got on their bumpers or car windows, or tenement windows, or huge things stuck in the middle of a fallow field.

    So although I haven’t come across anyone who wanted the referendum, clearly there are many who do.

    What’s sinister are the (reasonably reliable) rumors that the Radical Independence Group is very active in the housing estates and have been visiting DHSS hostels as well as places where street people are known to hang out to get them to register to vote, then asking that one of the RIG people be allowed to act as proxy for them!

    Add the sudden enthusiasm to extend the right to vote to those aged 16 and you begin to feel there’s more than just shenanigans going on here.

    Oh and there’s supposed to be a live TV debate a couple of days before the vote that will feature these new young voters! That’s another I’ll happily give a miss. They’re considered – by our politicians – to be too stupid to be allowed to buy tobacco, yet mature enough to determine the fate of this country and the UK.

    Whatever the outcome, the whole exercise has resulted in tremendous new powers that will devolve to Scotland. From an SNP standpoint it’s a win either way, providing they can manage to win the election in 2016.

    One chap told me to keep an eye on the betting odds. Seems some people will win handsomely.

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