Sunday, September 21, 2014

SNAPS ON SUNDAY

It didn't take long for the thieves to fall out...
... AND The real losers in this are Scottish Labour.
They are out of touch...
...Lost...Looking around for support...
...and finding it in the kitchen,
burning the membership cards. How sad.
I loathe you Gordon, but I don't think you did lie.
 I think you were naive and stupid to believe
 that the Tories would honour obligations you made.
You might have expected Ed to, but then
it's a rough old world and he's a nasty spiv.
You undoubtedly won this for them, but you will go down
 in history as the man who was used by London
to stuff his own country. Shame on you.
And now this is how they see us. 
This is what you get for having a YES sticker on your car.
The undeniable fact is that the young, who voted yes,
will be here a lot longer than the old, who didn't.
And all that oil money goes to fight wars, refit palaces,
build English railways and sewers...
... but the upside is that despite the Nazi thugs who were fighting
with young lassies and screaming obsenities at yes supporters
burning down newspaper offices and creating mayhem,
there are people who just wanted to give to the
local food banks, and did so.

I'm happy to say I'm one of you.
Oh no, there's no box big or strong enough now, Eck
to put the people that we have energised into.
Bravo Inverness (and Kirkcaldy...
That's a slap in the face Gordon.)
Thanks Alex. We couldn't have done it without you.
And Moira, one of the loveliest people you could meet.
We won't go away. We're watching.
Devo max... or we'll vote again
Jack Straw or no Jack Straw.
So says the furry one...
In the end after all his hopelessness
Gordon had to come in and win it for them.
Useless to the end.
Epic Fail...AGAIN Darling.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Norman Smith, BBC: Sources say new powers for Scottish parliament will be "an extension of existing responsibilities" - not Devo Max

 We'd have thought that having said that Bob, you'd have had
the sense to keep your gob shut.
One of the drawbacks about winning a referendum campaign in which you have made promises and signed pledges, is that it comes with some sort of obligations. 

Politicians don't perhaps realise this, because election after election they produce manifestos containing promises which are as swiftly broken as Katie Price's marriage vows.
Dave does a lot of pointing, doesn't he?
Maybe they teach it at posh schools
to save you having to remember plebs' names.
But as Cameron was quick to point out in a condescending speech to Scots a couple of weeks ago ("let's say F'ing; it will sound passionate, and I'm told the savages use it 3 times in every sentence, not that I speak to them as a rule"), this was not an election, and we can't boot the F'ing Brits out in 5 years.

Of course a great deal of the No's campaign was based on threats rather than promises. You won't use the pound; you won't be in the EU, you won't be in Nato; you won't have clout; you won't be able to visit your granny in Carlisle without a visa, food prices will spiral and you'll starve, mortgages will be unobtainable and you'll live in a tent, cyber attacks from space will knock out all your computers and you'll need to get an abacus, you'll lose your state pension, you'll be small insignificant and oil rich broke, etc, ad infinitum.

Most of the threats were demonstrably rubbish, and a decent and free press or state broadcaster would have pointed that out. But then we don't appear to have these, so that knocks that on the head.

Promises are, however, another kettle of fish.
Should have consulted him for the pledges and vows
Vague promises are best in these situations, and always peppered with words and phrases which will provide a strategic get out. "Consultations", "in conjunction with the countries of the UK", "in as far as is possible under legislation", "within a framework of regulations set by the European Union" make the job of unpicking what has REALLY been promised, and can be delivered, almost impossible.

The campaign started off with an absolute from Cameron. There will be no devo-max. It will not be on the ballot paper. His Scottish deputy, David son, went so far as to tell us that a line had been drawn in the sand. 

However, as the song goes, "la mer efface sur le sable, les pas des amis desunis"! and it wasn't long before the exigencies of the campaign meant that the line in the sand had followed the steps of the lovers and been wiped out, as vague indications of possible new powers were made.

Polling showed the campaign to be much closer than the final result, and so, with apparently not a trace of irony, a couple of weeks ago the two main UK parties joined with Nick Clegg... yes Nick Clegg, to sign a pledge... yes a pledge... to giving new powers to Scotland.  
Yep, Nick, we know poppet.
And then, with only 2 days to go with polls looking even more gloomy for unionists, a set of Vows were agreed to by the three English based parties, and published on the front page of one of Scotland's best selling downmarket organs, The Daily Record, (Scottish version of the Daily Mirror, and Labour's messenger to the Scottish working classes). Gordon Brown's fingerprints were all over this, but it was a promise from the two main UK parties and the Liberals

With immediate effect a process would be put in place, they swore. Better Together went further and actually annotated this process with date deadlines. This was a process that they would be obliged to leave to a Tory government with no electoral interest in Scotland, in a run up to a general election. 

Well duh! Saw ya comin', Brown.

The latest pledge, oh sorry, vow (has Nick Clegg signed a vow before?), promised that on the day after a no vote (ie the 19th September, 2014) a motion on more powers would be published in the London parliament. 
Missed the first deadline then?
It is now the 20th and flying in the face of the famous English tradition of Fair Play, no such motion has been published. 

In short they lied. 

Not the best of starts.

No one, in all this vowing and pledging, seems to have been aware that in other parts of the Uk all is constitutionally not well.
Gordon and the Mrs have grandma round for some advice
on how to grind the poor to dust.
Gordon Brown has the excuse of knowing nothing about this because he and his mrs spend most of their lives in 5 or 6 star hotel rooms, or travelling first class around the world on the back of their "charity". The Tories all went to Eton or Westminster or Harrow and "up to" Oxford, and are in their positions because of connections rather than brains, and that is their excuse for getting most things wrong. But surely there is someone somewhere who knew better?
Get rid of the 10p tax Gordon. The poor want to pay more.
Yes MA'AM.
No one seems to have thought that the English, who have always had the whip hand in this union of nations, provinces, principalities and little semi-detached islands, feel that they have been neglected since Blair's botched devolution.

Of course, they actually aren't that badly done by, but, compared with the total power they used to have it's not not quite good enough and they have been encouraged in the past by people like Boris, to feel resentment. 

It's a bit like the EU situation. If you blame as much as you can on an organisation or country, you shouldn't complain when the people turn against it. Governments and press have, for years, blamed all kinds of problems on EU regulations, to the point that a vast swathe of people loathe it and want out of it. 

Trouble is none of the political parties want that. Yes, they want you to hate it a lot so that you hate them a little less, but get out of it... Oh god no. 
Likewise, tell the English for decades that Scots are subsidy junkies, who get far more per head than good decent English taxpayers do. Encourage them to think it's their taxes that pay for our free education, and elderly care, prescriptions, etc, etc... and that most of us spend our lives staggering between the pub and the bookies and sticking pins in Englishmen... and then not wanting them to take umbrage when you appear to bribe the Jocks with more power and money lacks a certain level of perception. Duh, in fact.

Foresight isn't a quality with which the union politicians seem to be blessed. They must not teach it at Oxford on the PPP course.

So it looks like a complete constitutional rethink is going to be demanded and that's going to make mockery of BT's promises... especially with a UK election around the corner. We don't really care that you politicians have problems in England. You're problem. You promised us a real change, starting yesterday, and we want it.

Of course you have to feel for them. Well a bit. (Don't you?)
Once you start messing with the powers allotted in the London parliament, you open a whole new can of nasty poisonous worms. 

The most obvious of these are:

making Celtic MPs second class legislators; 

allowing English only MPs to vote on how much is spent on, for example, health or law and order, in the other nations, despite the other nations paying taxes;

and the most frightening and insurmountable of all, a possible situation where a potential Labour government of the day in the UK could find itself in a situation where it would not have a majority in a parliament which spends most of its working week on English only legislation.

Oh what interesting times we live in.
************
Ah. Unionist politicians and their past tenses.
Who could ask for more?
Who is he?
Apparently a minister in the NI government
who has... uhm..."went off" message
Munguin's Republic thinks there is going to be far too much fun and games in the coming months for it to take even a few days break.

I'm delighted to see that my friend James Kelly's Scot Goes Pop fund raiser is doing well, and I hope that he will raise the money to stay in the game  for at least the next 6 months. James' contribution to understanding polls and his quick wit and sense of humour make him an absolute must. 

I hope that other friends will stay on board too... too many to mention. You're all in the sidebar and I've appreciated all your contributions.

And especially (and I'm sure you other bloggers won't object to me singling him out)...

Stuart Campbell... I know you're tired. You've worked non stop with posts, broadcasts and wee blue books. You need a break. You deserve a holiday.

But please come back and help us fight. No one needs to tell you the dramatic effect you've had on the campaign. I don't mean to undervalue the efforts of anyone else, but you have made a phenomenal difference. 

Simply put. We need you. 

So have another fundraiser if you need to, but please don't go.
**********
I've just read Stuart's latest post on the BBC and its lies.

About a month ago I decided that I'd had the BBC up to here. It had been a long time in the coming. 

I felt for a long time that whilst a national funding scheme was probably quite reasonable for a tv service that was the BBC and only the BBC in the 1960s, it was already redundant by the time there were 4 channels. 

By the time I could, in theory, choose from a hundred or so channels on my Freeview, it seemed ridiculous to be paying for the BBC at the outrageous cost of £145 per year.

I've never been a tv watcher and neither of my sets was used regularly, so much so that I was at one point unaware that my aerial had been tampered with, and on another occasion when a friend asked me if he could watch something on my lounge tv, I had to admit that I didn't know how it operated. (We eventually found a switch underneath to put it on.)

The stories about decades of depravity and sexual liberty taking, known by all including amazing Esther Rantzen but reported by no one, and then finally the coverage of the referendum campaign sorted it. 

I wrote to the licensing authority (it's not an authority, it's Crapita) and they won't get another cent from me. I've spent my refund.

Like Stuart, I am not advocating illegality. (The Wings article lays down clearly the conditions under which you can use a tv and what you can watch on computers, phones and whatever else you have without breaking the law and it points to the website so you can be sure that you are not inviting the police to investigate you.)

But I urge you to ask yourselves if support of this state broadcaster, which one Pole confessed to Craig Murray, reminded him of Pravda in the days of Poland's Solidarity movement, is something that you really want to engage with.

Friday, September 19, 2014

IT'S A BRAND NEW DAY


I’m gutted, as I know most of you are.

But the people voted, the first minister has made a statement and we must accept the democratic process. There's an end to it and at the same time the beginning of something else. 

Scots voted in overwhelming numbers. They voted to be British. They voted for clout and nuclear weapons. They voted for being part of the 4th most unequal nation in the developed world, and for the lowest pensions in that world apart from Mexico. That is what they wanted; that is what they will get.

They voted for neo-liberal governments of Conservative and Labour complexions for which money is the only god, and nothing else (most certainly not ordinary people) matters. They voted to be part of the least democratic country in the EU with an hereditary head of state holding and using real political power; a massive and expensive unelected house of parliament full of aristocrats, would-be aristocrat placemen, rich party donors, and the hierarchy of the Church of England, along with a corrupt house of parliament in which 66% of the seats are jobs for life because of the antiquated voting system used by Britain for ever, and that they just approved in a referendum. 

They voted for Iain Duncan Smith, Lord Fraud and Esther McVile. They voted for throwing the chronically ill off benefits and letting them die. They voted for the NHS to be privatised. I hope they never need it.

They voted for a country more or less permanently at war with countries to which is sells arms; a country where the troops sent to fight these wars (wars that increase rather than diminish the threat to our peoples) have substandard kit and rations, while the government boasts the 4th largest military spend on unusable weapons of mass destruction. All so that the likes of David Cameron, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair can strut the world stage while in power and then enrich themselves after by sharing anecdotes of their times with the real leaders of the world.

They voted for a country where the money goes straight to London and its environs, leaving Scotland with third rate roads and railways, while billions, possibly trillions is spent on upgrading infrastructure in the south some of which will actively harm the Scottish economy. 

They voted for no voice in the EU and the very real possibility that the UK will leave the union, and lose millions of jobs in the process

Everyone will have had their own reasons for having no confidence in their own nation.

For some it will have been that they believed the lies of the BBC and non-Scottish owned press about not getting pensions or border guards with barbed wire fences and sub machine guns and a hundred other fabrications that were later disproved, but only online.

Of course the press may print what it likes. We needn't buy it. As for the BBC and their lying corrupt second rate journalists, who refused to seek the truth? Well apparently Scots voted for them too, so get paying for their salary increases.

Some may truly believe that they are British to the core and that no matter the realities of British life and the consequences of staying, they will not leave their queen and country. 
Difficult though it will be to comprehend, some will have believed the pledges of more powers from the likes of the arch liars of Cameron, Brown and Miliband.  (Frankly I find it hard to believe that anyone would have been stupid enough to do anything but splutter with uncontrolled laughter at the compulsive pledge signer Clegg.)

Some were just greedy, self serving, selfish individuals who believe that hungry kids and cold pensioners in an oil rich nation is a price worth paying so that they could go on earning large amounts of money, paying reduced amounts of tax. Their consciences can always be salved with an occasional donation to a food bank.

Whatever the reason, we must accept that more people voted for Britain than voted for Scotland.

So what to do now.

Well according to Cameron, the work on devolving more powers starts today. Mind you, according to the rest of his party, it doesn’t. So I wish them luck trying to persuade English MPs, whom we know are the vast majority in the London parliament, to agree to better conditions for Scotland, at a time that they are trying to fend off the Ukip threat in the run up to their general election and hang on to their soon to be increased salaries, fabulous expenses and unbelievable pensions. 

I wonder how the Labour Party in Scotland feels having manage to lose the four poorest areas of Scotland. They may be feeling very smug about having won overall, but it must strike them that they are no longer trusted by the people they were supposed to represent; they are no longer the people’s party. I'm not entirely sure they will survive this intact.

Just before we try to get off to sleep here, it seems appropriate to say thank you to the people who worked so hard over such a long time on this referendum. No names, because I’d leave someone out and be embarrassed, but I mean… the politicians, current and retired, the “celebrities”, the bloggers, the Sunday Herald and the few journalists who took a balanced view of the campaign, and the tens of thousands of hard working volunteers who pounded the streets day after day and night after night.

It was a life changing experience to be part of it all.

What will Munguin do?

Well, I think, after discussions with the furry one, that we shall stick around and poke fun at the horrible mess that will result of the conflicts of interest between Scotland and UK. There will be a continued campaign here for decency in the treatment of the poorest: a campaign against the Iain Duncan Smiths and Gideon Osbornes of this world.

Mr Cameron has said the matter is settled for a generation. I doubt that very much, Eton boy.  We shall all be watching you carefully. We can expect no help for the BBC or the English press. We must do it online.

It's a brand New Day.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

WELL WELL, I NEVER. THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT WE WANT RID OF

The Barclay Brothers (friends of Mrs Tahtcher) who live on the Channel Island of Sark,
where there is no company law,
have offered Cochrane a bonus to write his lying drivel,
according to 'Private Eye',
no huge friend of Scotland or our independence.
Never mind honest journalism, just don't lose the Tories the oil money.
Journalist? Dirty money grubbing little *&^%$£, more like.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Well, this is it, people.

Everything has changed
For what seems a lifetime we have been campaigning for something that will be over in (as I write) 24 hours or so.

Tomorrow will be a busy day, and there will be little opportunity to blog, so I guess this is it until tomorrow night and it’s all over bar the counting.

It’s been a fascinating experience, this referendum campaign. Particularly in the last months, and most of all in the last few weeks when people who normally don’t interest themselves in politics, finally got involved and the place started to buzz.

I’ve written before that I have been astounded by the way that for the first time in my lifetime, people have become engaged in the political process. What we may have thought was a thing of the past, something that belonged to a time before television, has been reborn. Town hall…village hall …church hall meetings have been convened, as speaker after speaker toured the country. People from politics, from show business, from trades unions and from nowhere in particular have drawn packed houses on warm summer nights. 

Unheard of.

This may be because the BBC and STV have been one-sided in their coverage, and although that is a terrible thing for democracy, or what passes for democracy in the UK, the grassroots meetings have, in their turn, been a marvellous thing for that democracy.

You see, we find a way. 
We have a  handsome capital city
And well over 90% of people eligible to vote have registered to do so. An amazing statistic in this amazing referendum campaign.

People have said that the independence question has split the country, but the truth is that all that it has done is show the divisions that were already there. We’ve talked about them, and we’ve energised around 40% of the population that has never been energised before. That’s good for democracy. There will be some politicians who will wish that it had not happened.

And no matter what happens tomorrow, all of that has changed Scotland. And changed it for the good. Whatever happens tomorrow and whatever Westminster thinks, it won’t be the same on the 19th.

So, it’s no secret how I will vote. I’m not an emotional patriotic sort of guy. That patriotism is the last vestige of the scoundrel isn’t far from right.  Send people to war with inadequate kit and hardware and then cry over “our boys” as they come home in coffins with a union flag draped over them, killed by bullets manufactured in their own country and sold for profit to a dictator. Get misty eyed over a monarch and centuries old English traditions, Nope, none of that is my cup of tea.

Scotland’s a fine place; it’s got fantastic mountains and streams, and some great folk. But I’ve travelled a bit and I’ve seen beautiful scenery and met warm kind decent people all over the world. 
Career politicians in a seat for life
because of a corrupt voting system.
A country is about the way that it treats its people. And my desire for self determination has always been about the fact that I don’t much care for the way our country is run. I don’t like the fact that we value bombs over hungry kids, or palaces over council houses. I don’t like that money is the raison d’être for everything. That there’s nothing that can’t be bought and sold… and run by seedy spivs.

There’s a place for that, but it isn’t in health or education. It isn’t in care of the elderly or looking after children. It’s got no place in prisons and policing or in providing the necessities of life like water and electricity and gas.

But Britain will never change. Maybe people thought it had after the Second World War. And it did for a while. But since the 1980s, it has reverted to type. Class. The pretence of a democracy in which we all know money and connections buy you what you need to make sure you never queue at supermarket, never mind a food bank.

Being born to go to Eton and Oxford and then to find a niche in a government, voted in possibly for life by an undemocratic system, with the inevitable seat in a chamber of aristocrats, placement and churchmen at the end of it. It belongs in the 19th century at the latest.

Britain won’t change. It probably doesn’t want to. But Scotland probably does, and it surely could.

A new Scotland is possible. A Scotland where our foreign minister could say, as the Danish one did recently… “There’s no one really poor in my country… mind you, there’s no one really rich either”.

If we vote no, we will have agreed that the UK is OK. And it’s not. Not by a very long way. But unless we force change on them, they will never change, because it’s more than OK for THEM.

There’s so much more I could say, but there’s a thousand other bloggers writing this stuff tonight and you won’t want to read Munguin till bed time. 
She worked so hard for this.
So let’s vote tomorrow for a Scotland we can be proud of, where the old don’t have to choose between heating and eating; where people who are able to work can find work that pays enough for them to live a decent life, and where folk who genuinely can’t work, can have access to a decent benefit system. One that doesn’t make them feel like scroungers.

And here’s a wee suggestion. Let’s think for a second or two as we vote, of Margo MacDonald and of people like her, who fought hard for this moment, sometimes all their lives, but just missed taking part in it.

**********
I've just noticed that over at Wee Ginger Dog, Paul has pointed out that there are strict laws regarding publishing material on polling days. It is  illegal to publish any kind of exit poll or anything that could be so construed. I'm not sure to what extent blogs like this are included in the legislation, but i want to take no risks.

I'm not sure how to suspend comments on the blog and I'm not keen to do it anyway.

But I'll be out working most of the day and won't have time to moderate in any way.

I would simply ask you not to post anything illegal, or anything that you think could reasonably be construed to be illegal. If in doubt the best thing is to leave your comment till 10 pm. 

Munguin doesn't want to do porridge!

Citizen Smart visits Paisley Better Together Shop...

'Jist dae it Scotland'

Munguin reader, Alan, is clearly even better connected than the wee furry beastie himself. For he got an email from Nicola Sturgeon asking him to share this article by Andrew Wilson, from the Scotsman of September 14.

Munguin is a big fan of Nicola's. Indeed he'd like to add her to his collection of notables who have been lucky enough to be photographed with him. Unfortunately, two busy people (or one busy person and a busy Munguin) can't always co-ordinate times for photoshoots.

We are, nonetheless, pleased to comply with Nicola's request. 

In fact, I'd been going to try to write something smart and emotive today when this, which is so much better than anything I could manage, popped up in my inbox. So I can get on with delivering leaflets and stop worrying about trying to be profound!

Seriously, it's a good piece. Please get it out there to everyone you can, for Nicola... and Munguin. 

(Illustrations and bold face are down to Munguin.)
****************************************************************

Decided or leaning?  If No is in your mind as you ponder your vote this Thursday, I urge you to do me the privilege of reflecting on the next few hundred words. After doing that, I will respect your judgement on Scotland’s future, of course I shall.

If you must vote No, please I urge you to do so for the best of reasons or you could regret your choice, very quickly and possibly forever. Some of my friends and family will vote No with a cast-iron, near religious certainty. But many more of them will lean towards a No vote with a heavy, heavy heart.

They feel the positive case for voting No has just not been made. They would be right. They are as disappointed as I am by the insulting level of disrespect for this small country’s collective intelligence displayed over this campaign. Indeed, it got worse last week with some especially risible interventions from the Downing Street and Westminster establishment.

The cocktail the Tory led Government and campaign want us to drink is “1 part love-bomb to 99 parts fear”. It’s a cocktail of smear and contempt for every person in Scotland. Don't drink it; the sour aftertaste will stay with you for life.

The scare stories of last week and this week are too numerous to rebut one by one. But know this: they are part of an ongoing, concerted campaign to throw fear, uncertainty and doubt into the hearts of voters in Scotland. They range from the invented, to the exaggerated and simple, downright lies.

David Gauke
The fears from above are founded on the idea that the world community will reject Scotland despite welcoming 142 countries before us since 1945. They rest on the belief that a government that tells us it loves us today will set out to destroy our interests from Friday onwards. Here’s the key point. They promote fear even if it destroys their own interests and impedes trade and cooperation between us at the same time. Such fears are founded on the view that unique in the world; Scotland is just not up to self-government and independence. Indeed, even our valuable assets, such as oil and renewable energy, are but curses and millstones around our necks we are led to believe.

The glee with which they stoke uncertainty should cause the more substantial and serious among them to pause. As it should you.


Glee is the word for the faces of Westminster ministers as they told Scotland our banks would “leave.” Indeed, Tory Treasury Minister, David Gauke, said with a chuckle, “there will be more pandas than banks and insurance companies in an independent Scotland.” Please, re-read that phrase and picture David’s goading smirk. For me that quote provided the trough in the atrocious Project Fear campaign and demonstrated a sneering disdain towards those in Scotland they seek to persuade. Don’t let them persuade you.

The truth of the banking story demonstrates much. Because Downing Street, (currently), refuses to even consider sharing the pound, contingency plans are needed to ensure bank regulation remains clear. To remain backed by the Bank of England, the banks would need to move registration to London. So whilst politicians skipped from studio to studio trying to make people worry for their jobs, families and their futures, and get us to believe all branches and offices would close, the CEO of RBS was drafting a letter to staff calming them and pointing out that no jobs or operations would be affected by a technical, brass plate, legal move.

But, unbowed, on the Downing Street tank rolled, cajoling supermarkets, world-wide banks, the armed forces and even telecom companies to join in the fun. No depth is too low for Westminster now. Win at all costs, however ugly and obscene is their intent. If Scotland was worth nothing to Westminster, why do you think they’re fighting so hard to keep us?

If you let this non-stop wall of noise cow you, then you will regret it. Because not only is it not true but it would be the worst possible reason for you to decide to vote No. If we vote No for these reasons, Scotland will feel like the 2nd January, day in, day out, year in year out for decades to come. Vote Yes and we will unleash a massive wave of energy, and a creative pulse that will resonate around us for years.

Of course, we will face tough times and difficult choices. Every country does. But compared to the realities of the crises we have been through since 2008, the risks of our choice are but a whisper in the wind.

Boris, the next UK PM?
Choose No and we will await an election next May to decide who will govern us for another 5 years. The latest ICM poll puts the Conservatives in front, with 49% of the electorate backing either the Tories or UKIP. Think about it. Even if Ed Miliband sneaks a win for Labour, would you trust him to govern us better than our own government here? Really? That truth has been our reality for decades. It’s time for all of us to grow up and remember recent history.

The Scottish Parliament as it is, even with new powers, is but a “pocket money parliament”. Imagine being a 50 year old staying with your Mammy and handing over your wages to her just to be handed out pocket money at the weekend. That’s what the Scottish Parliament is. It’s a small-change, penny parliament at the mercy of our Mammy, Westminster. Without all the levers of power, the Scottish Parliament is no better than you or I being a stay-at-home lodger with some pocket money as we enter middle age.

My friend, Scotland has what it takes to be successful, in bucket-loads. We have economic, environmental and political starting points better than any new country enjoyed before us has ever had. Indeed, we have more resources, information and experience than any of the other 142 nations who have made the positive choice for independence since the end of the 2nd World War.

Scotland also has most of the machinery of government already in place. We have what it takes if we only choose to do it.  The 18th September is our date with destiny and our date with history.

Join with me in sharing this message with your family and friends, rejecting fear, embracing hope and putting our shoulders to the great wheel of Scotland. Let’s make ourselves and our nation all we can be. Let’s not live with regret. We can do this. For the sake of ourselves and generations to follow we must take up the challenge of a Yes vote and change Scotland for the better.

If the Scots from our nation’s proud and ancient past could speak to us now I'm sure they'd say just 4 words.
|
'Jist dae it Scotland.'

THE SUN MAY NOT HAVE DECLARED FOR INDEPENDENCE...

...BUT, THIS IS A GOOD EDITORIAL FROM THEIR POLITICAL EDITOR


THE last full week of referendum campaigning has been pretty scary, with lots of dire warnings about the long-lasting financial consequences of a Yes vote.

There have been warnings from John Lewis and Asda about the rising costs of their products after independence.

Obviously it costs more to bring a lorry full of stuff to Edinburgh or Inverness — starting next week.

Tesco was quoted in a Better Together leaflet suggesting prices would rise 16 per cent with independence — a claim bosses were forced to publicly shoot down.
But there are two reasons why the price of your shopping will not rise because of independence. One is Aldi and the other is Lidl.

Tesco profits are down by £900 million this year. The big supermarket chains are losing out hand over fist, undercut by the newly arrived chains.

These guys can manage to run a supermarket operation in Scotland all the way from Germany.

So the chances are Tesco can manage to do it from Kent if they really put their minds to it.

But if they are absolutely determined to make sure more people shop at Aldi, a good way to do that would be to make their prices even higher.

RBS and many other banks and financial institutions have made it clear they will flee from Scotland if there is a Yes on Thursday.

The chief economist at Deutsche Bank, David Folkerts-Landau said voting for independence “would go down in history as a political and economic mistake” as large as those which sparked the Great Depression of the1930s.

Just to be clear, this is the same Deutsche Bank which made a loss of 1.153billion euros in only the last four months of 2013.
Roughly half of that loss came from legal fees in America where the bank was forced to pay fines of 1.4billion euros for selling dodgy financial products.

So you may wish to accept Mr Folkerts-Landau’s advice — or you may take the view that he should spend a bit less time fretting about us.

Last month, the London branch of Deutsche Bank was fined £4.7million by UK regulators for financial irregularities in an astounding 29 million separate transactions.

It would have been more but, after they were caught, they put their hands up so they got a 30 per cent reduction.

Which is nice but not the sort of thing that usually applies to your average shoplifter.
In December last year, Deutsche Bank was fined — wait for it — £578 million by the European Commission for fiddling the Libor rate.

That means they were part of a conspiracy to manipulate the interest rates you pay on your car loan, your credit card and your mortgage.

Can you guess who else got fined, who else was part of the conspiracy to rip you off?
That’s right, it was RBS who were fined £310 million.

Do you know who paid that fine? It was the shareholders of RBS.

And do you know who owns 81 per cent of the shares of RBS? That would be you and me.

These people are like criminals — they keep getting caught. They are like inept criminals.

They are so astoundingly bad at their jobs that they actually managed to go bust in the biggest bankruptcy the world has ever seen.

They relied on the rest of us to clean up their mess, continued to use our money to carry out illegal activity and when they got caught, used our money to pay the fines.

Actually I've changed my mind. They’re not like inept criminals at all. That’s brilliant. They are masterminds.

But when they come forward to issue their dire warnings on Scotland’s future, I remember that — however clever they are — they still acted illegally.

It’s just possible — in fact I think it’s more than likely — that these people are not speaking with my interests at heart.

A policeman might suggest I should remember to flick the catch on my double glazing and possibly invest in a new lock for the front door.

A burglar is likely to offer rather different advice.

It’s been a scary week but I’m not scared.

I don’t have room in my heart to be scared because I’m so proud of us.

Look at what we have done. Can you ever think of a time when people were talking about politics in pubs and cafés, on the bus, on a train? It’s happening every day.
Could you ever imagine church halls would be packed out night after night with people wanting to discuss and debate and learn and think and plan together?
Yes, Jim Murphy got hit with an egg. Big deal.

One should not have joined if one could not take a joke.

Aside from that, we have come through this with dignity and generosity, understanding and a willingness to listen.

It took Northern Ireland 30 years of bombings and murders and bloodshed and intimidation to get to where we are now.

And we could be on the brink of going an awful lot further with hardly a nose punched.
That is a fantastic achievement by a fantastic nation.

It’s like the Bible says — “Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams”.

Our sons and daughters are daring to look ahead to a future that will be much different from what we have known.

There is a vision now available to us of a Scotland over the horizon.

These past two-and-a-half years have changed everything.

I look at my kids and I trust them. I’m not scared.

On Friday, we are going to start again.

We either start from scratch on new foundations or we rebuild what we’ve got.

But we have to believe it’s going to be better so, please, don't be scared.