Where is the anger?

Given the way in which the lies of Better Together/Project Fear have been so comprehensively exposed; the scaremongering so thoroughly debunked; and the promises so completely revealed as empty and worthless, the surprise is there is any continuing support at all for keeping Scotland thirled to the British state. If recent polls showing only a statistically insignificant increase in support for independence demonstrate anything, it is that there are rather more people committed to ‘the union at any cost’ than can readily be explained by reason alone.

There is a notion within the independence movement that we will persuade previous No voters to the cause of restoring Scotland’s rightful constitutional status simply by presenting them with better arguments. The belief is that the Yes movement got certain things wrong last time and that we need only get those things right in order to win over the ‘soft’ No vote. There are, of course, at least as many views as to what constitutes the right message as there are individuals and organisations offering an opinion on the matter. Pretty much they only thing they all agree on is that we mustn’t ever tell these No voters that they were wrong.

Across the Yes movement, it is held almost as a matter of dogma that we must be nice to No voters. We must not confront them. We must not contradict them. We must constantly reassure them that their original choice was perfectly valid even as we strive to convince them that it wasn’t by presenting them with evidence incontrovertibly proving that the choice was made on the basis of an entirely false prospectus. A prospectus, moreover, that was quite transparently false even as these No voters were allowing themselves to be influenced by it.

It is rightly said that it is futile to deploy reason in an effort to persuade someone from a position not arrived at by reason. The Yes campaign urgently needs to heed the wisdom of this aphorism. There is no magic form of words describing independence that will induce an epiphany in someone who has blithely rejected the evidence of their own senses in order to cling to their prejudices.

We will not win people over solely with the power of the argument for independence. That argument cannot ever be more powerful than it has been ever since the political union was conceived for the purposes of securing established power completely without regard for the interests of the people of these islands. The case for independence cannot be made more powerful because it is already a matter of fundamental democratic justice.

We seek independence, not for some necessarily transitory and uncertain economic gain, but because it is right – in the most profound sense of that term. What we seek is not something extraordinary or outlandish. What we seek is the normalisation of Scotland’s constitutional status. We seek to correct the anomaly of an asymmetric and patently dysfunctional political union. We are trying to put right an ancient and abiding wrong.

It is not some pretty new formulation of the independence argument that is required in order to break through the barriers of stubborn adherence to the union and learned aversion to the normality independence. People may well be lured by the plain logic and democratic appeal of bringing Scotland’s government home. But they will not even begin to hear that message until they are first induced to question the union and their allegiance to it.

We should treat former No voters with the respect of presuming them to be, not delicate hot-house flowers who need careful handling, but mature, intelligent individuals perfectly capable of questioning their own assumptions and preconceptions if they are given sufficient reason to do so.

By rights, those who voted No in 2014 should all be very angry at those who deceived them so egregiously. The polls suggest they aren’t. The Yes campaign needs to consider why that is.

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46 thoughts on “Where is the anger?

  1. Corrado Mella

    It’s a generational issue.

    Over 55s have been so massively conditioned by the British State through enforced suppression of any Scottishness that they don’t feel any belonging to the land they live on and believe in a fabricated machination of a self-appointed, autocratic establishment.

    We shall not convince or coerce them to admit the error of their ways, as that would shatter their lives beyond acceptance.

    It’s impossible for a mature human being to admit s/he’s been robbed of his/her identity, conditioned, brainwashed, and accept to be a failure, without deep, everlasting psychiatric consequences.

    Rejecting any evidence we are wrong is a natural act of self-preservation that is far more stronger the older we become, misled in the conviction that age equals experience.

    Would you say is more mature a 55 year old that never left the town he’s lived, has never travelled to another continent, doesn’t speak another language than the Queen’s English, or a 30 year old that works with European colleagues at a research institute and visited Russia, or even an 18 year old connected with every corner of the world via Internet, living and studying in a foreign city thanks to the Erasmus program?

    There is a lost generation, that we should disregard completely when sociopolitical processes are in play, like a dataset that’s been tampered with.

    We need to energise the younger generations instead, that also are those more invested in the sociopolitical change we seek, and leverage their enthusiasm into a future they can look forward to.

    Tipping the balance will be easier, and long lasting.

    1. Helene O Shaw

      I am a 63 year old voted YES last time, will vote YES again for Independence. I know lots of people similar age who think exactly like me.

      1. Corrado Mella

        And it warms the cockles of my heart to see people like you, looking to the future rather than harking for the past.

        You help, more than you imagine.

        Thank you.

        1. MBC

          I am 64 and have never felt British in my life. I have always voted SNP, voted Yes in 1979, Yes in 1997, and Yes in 2014 referendums.

          My younger sister on the other hand (equally Scottish) voted No. I lived all my life in Scotland, it was a conscious committed decision I took in my 20s.

          She got a job at the BBC in 1980 and spent 20 years in London, where she made a number of English friends who shared her love of film, theatre, the arts and were likewise of a left leaning in politics. She votes Labour and on returning to Scotland 15 years ago accepted all that SNP bad crap. She is suspicious of the SNP, and that and her empathy with liberal left leaning English friends is I think is her main reason for continuing to oppose independence. That and fear that we would not be able to cope financially. If independence was more associated with other parties than the SNP or was not perceived by her as party political and she was more assured of the economic case, then I am pretty sure she would vote Yes.

          I meet quite a few older people like her whose historic Labourite antipathy to the SNP is the main stumbling block, that and their English connections, Scottish family living in England.

        2. jdman

          That could have been taken as patronising, Im 60 and have beleived in Scottish independence all of my life, you dont need to imagine that over 55y/o people need an epiphany to bring them to the yes camp, some of us have always been there!

      2. Toni Young

        I agree with you, Helene. Unfortunately I also know a few of those 55 plus people. They are very difficult to persuade. I also am 63, born in England, living in Scotland most of my life, definitely consider myself a Scot.

    2. Willie John

      The blanket assumption that the ‘over 55s’ are all NO voters is an attitude that really does get my goat. I am past my three score years and ten, and my brother-in-law is ten years older, but we are both committed to seeing Scotland independent.

      At our ages we are more likely to see the pain of the rebirth of our nation without any of the gain, but are willing to accept that for the benefit of those who follow. We would just like to see it happen in our lifetime.

      1. Corrado Mella

        It’s not an assumption.
        Polls, stats and the Indyref result say so.

        I wish it was an assumption, and a wrong one.
        It isn’t.

      1. roddy

        I am 65 on my next birthday in January.I have had the vite since the 70s and never voted anything but Yes.
        Most of the people in my circle are YES too.
        The demographic needs broken down further.
        I think you will find 55+ in AB demographic are the selfish I’m alright Jack types.
        Nothing will change their view or snobbery.
        A few severe winters only diminishes our side more

    3. Archie Hamilton

      “Would you say is more mature a 55 year old that never left the town he’s lived, has never travelled to another continent, doesn’t speak another language than the Queen’s English, or a 30 year old that works with European colleagues at a research institute and visited Russia, or even an 18 year old connected with every corner of the world via Internet, living and studying in a foreign city thanks to the Erasmus program?”

      No, I’d say that the maturity to understand that we need to make independent Scotland an attractive option to one and all is what is important.

    4. Brian Ritchie

      Agreed, except to say that the latest poll shows a comfortable majority in the under-65s rather than merely the under-55s.

  2. Graeme

    I agree with Willie John there are many over 55’s who voted for independence and we shouldn’t tar them all with the same brush but sadly it seems that a high proportion of no voters did come from this age group and I don’t believe any of them voted no because they thought they would lose their pensions but because they’re British through and through their whole mindset is British because that’s how they’ve been conditioned to think all their lives and for the most part no amount of reason will ever shift them, they are lost to us and sadly to themselves.

    The good news is the demographic is on our side and I believe it is the younger demographic who we need to concentrate on because they are the future and it is them who will win our independence in the end

    1. MBC

      I don’t agree that the majority of them feel British rather than Scottish. It’s more that they don’t see Scottishness and Scotland as being threatened by Britishness.

      A lot of the reason they don’t see Scottishness as being threatened by Britishness is that they have empathetic connections with England – close family or friends who live there. They also tend not to follow politics closely and find politics in general a turn off. So they go by their heart rather than their head. You can argue with them till the cows come home that they will be no more ‘separated’ from their loved ones if we are independent, but that rational argument doesn’t shift the weight of their instinctive empathy to protect those relationships.

  3. Mark

    I’ve already spoken to close older family about the possibility of them abstaining next time round with a limited degree of success.
    Theses are ingrained Britnat Scots who has it drummed into them that Scotland would be a wasteland without the Union.
    I’ll never convince them they are wrong but I am beginning to have success with the argument that their children, grandchildren, nephews and necessary all want something different for their future.
    Due to the huge elderly population percentage we have, which I’d quite like to join one day, we have to find a strategy to deal with their intransigence or at least let them see ghats the younger working population should be allowed their future.
    I think my strategy is worth rolling out at our next referendum.
    We cannot once again have our future dictated by those living in the past.

  4. Dawn in NL

    I spoke to a friend today that I only see once every couple of years, she is (even) older than I (about 70). Last time we spoke was before the indy referendum and all she could say was “I hate that Alec Salmond, he is smug and arrogant”. This time it was “Madam is being a bit quiet these days, she was told to sit down and get on with the job of running the country” When I told her that the Scottish NHS is in better state than the English one in many areas and other “good news” she literally turned her face away. This is someone who is never going to change her mind and doesnt want to hear any arguments that may make her doubt her position. There is no anger but the anger against the SNP. I feel a bit desperate this evening,

    1. Kate Malcolmson

      Dawn…don’t despair.
      There is a certain mindset out there that would never question their own thinking or beliefs.
      You could provide evidence aplenty but that would require them to be engaged, open-minded and willing to listen to, and consider,other points of view.
      Most of the people I know who voted no to Independence rely almost exclusively on the BBC for news.
      If they still read newspapers it’s inevitably the Herald, The Daily Mail,The Record or the Express…it does not occur to them that they do anything other than report the truth.
      Some people are so buttoned down and closed to discussion or change that you just know instinctively that they won’t help you to try to restore Scotland’s rightful constitutional status.

    2. Sandy Watson

      Yes. I’m over 60 too. What you say is common in NO folks that I know too. And it’s not just the older cohort.

      When it’s change that’s being proposed. Change to a way of life, to one’s culture. Change that strikes one as BIG, irreversible, risky, upsetting. This change is very ‘against the grain’ for many.

      You can quote statistics, prove points with intelligent argument, show up the faults of the opposition until you’re blue in the face. Until a person us either ready or forced by circumstances to make that change they won’t budge.

      In the final analysis, we all make decisions on an emotional basis and to convince, persuade and convert people to your thinking that’s where the main effort must be.

      (Remember that TED talk – Why…How…What?)

        1. Connor McEwen

          WHY, WHY. Why never entered NO VOTERS heads only fear of change or were to busy with other issues.
          Spare time with no deep seated worries helps to consider WHY.

  5. Karen

    Regardless of the polls, most over 55 I know voted yes & I’m in Glasgow so I guess geography has something to do with it too.

    That aside, while I loved (still do) the positivity of the Yes campaign I think sometimes cold, hard facts hit home a little harder. This might be needed, as well as the positivity, when pointing out the many shortcomings of consecutive UKGovs.

    1. Bunny Daft

      I think you’re touching on an interesting point. It’s really easy to praise the positivity of the yes campaign, but in the end we have to realise it was ‘project fear’ that won the day. Just as this strategy won the EU referendum campaign. In fact, there is a reason why US political culture employs negative campaigning so often – it’s because it is highly effective. Even if we could get No voters to lose their enthusiasm for voting it would help our cause. I think for indyref2 we need to be a lot more calculating and not be afraid to do as much mud – slinging as we need. Positivity is all well and good, but we really need to win next time!

  6. Iain McEwan

    When article 50 is triggered and the U.K. goes down the pan the No voters will be begging to vote YES.
    Even senior Tories are sceptic. I can see another EU vote before long to save the Union. Westminster dirty tricks are legendary.

  7. Jim


    Many soft ‘No’s’ do consider economic arguements first. They are not primarily interested in Scotland’s being a free nation, unpalatable as that may be for us to contemplate.

    They want to know if it would work out for them economically. They are being bombarded by misinformation every day, so it is a tough sell, but if we do not make it, they are not interested in taking a punt on Scottish Independence.

    The Brexit vote showed that there are lots of votes still there for us. Many who previously voted ‘No’ were now open to persuasion again about Independence. Now it looked like ‘No’ might be the ‘safe’ option. The choice, as they see it, is a pragmatic one. Nicola Sturgeon made a big impression on many of these people with her conduct in the immediate aftermath of Brexit. She was clearly more honest and more competent than anyone in the British government.

    The constitutional arguement is a no-brainer, but anybody who can be won over by that, probably already has been. With the rest, it is the hard slog of showing them economically Scotland will prosper in the long-run.

    I agree however with Corrado’s point that we must redouble our efforts to engage with unpoliticised younger voters. If we do not get it soon, they will ensure we get it eventually.

    1. Iain MacLaren

      I think this is the most considered comment that I have seen on this site.

      So, whether I’m representative of some, or any, No voters or none, here’s my tuppence-worth.

      You do not have to persuade me that Scotland is big enough to be independent (not “too wee”); you do not have to persuade me that Scots are clever enough to be independent (not “too stupid”); you do not have to persuade me that Scotland *could* be economically self-sufficient (not “too poor”) eventually.

      I can absolutely see the appeal of self-governance. It’s a fundamental issue, bound up with personal and national self-esteem and all the rest of it. I mean those things positively.

      What you have to persuade me is that it is possible to become independent, with the consequent de-coupling from the UK, the 4th or 5th largest economy in the world, with massive capital flows and tax-generation through its capital city, and not suffer at least a temporary very, very, noticeable step-down in the standard of living. I mean noticeable at the day-to-day level. I don’t mean pretend-noticeable that people on social media can get indignant about. I mean proper noticeable. Consider the pictures from the Winter of Discontent, for example (regardless of your view of the politics of that period) and what happens when public services break down, for whatever reason. Not just rubbish-collection. Heath, education, transport, whatever. As Elvis Costello put it, “That could never happen here, but then again it might”.

      You may say that the UK of September 2014 no longer exists, and, regrettably, you may well be correct. But in my risk-averse way of thinking, the EU of that period no longer exists either. The direction of travel of that institution has changed – it is now in a period of damage-limitation. Greece, Italy, UK. All negative, and all an existential threat to the current form of the EU, the reaction to which will not be positive.

      If your view is that the GERS-derived potential deficit is some confected accounting sophistry, you will lose me immediately.

      So, make of that what you will. It’s meant constructively.

      1. Breastplate

        Just for clarity Iain.
        What level of national debt do you believe a country should have before it forfeits its sovereignty?
        What deficit do you believe a country should be able to run as an independent nation?
        Should Scotland seek a union with the 1st or 2nd largest economy?

        It is documented fact that Scotland in very recent history was a net contributor to the UK, should Scotland have been independent then?
        Are you a black belt in complete Fuckwittery?
        Ram your vote up your Union Jack, we don’t need it.
        Scotland will be independent whether you like it or not.

        Have a good day.

        I mean that most sincerely from the heart of my bottom.

        1. Iain MacLaren

          An robust taking-down of my argument, there.

          You have a good day, too, Breastplate.

          (In answer to your questions

          1) Don’t know – ask the Greeks;
          2) A sustainable one;
          3) No;
          4) That would be an interesting discussion;
          4) No.)

          1. Connor McEwen

            YOU ARE FALLING INTO THE ” better together fear argument trap ” IN ASKING WHAT CANNOT BE ANSWERED.

      2. Born Optimist

        The reply from Iain Mclaren seems very rational, as is the case with most critical and contructive replies. I note particularly his comment re ‘massive capital flows and tax generation through [London.

        Should he not also be asking himself how this benefits / disadvantages the citizens of Scotland and how things would change if Scotland had its own Government with full control (or at least as much as any other Government) over policies of interest? At the very least it seems to reflect the ‘too wee, too poor’ critique of Scotland that he decries.

        Perhaps he also ought to bear in mind the benefits that Scots already receive thanks to the existance of the current SNP government that don’t exist in England and Wales. The ability to manage these indicates a completely different mind set from that which produced the Winter of Discontent.

        I accept that there is probably a sound basis for the GERS figures as various economists favouring an independent Scotland accept the general picture they paint. However, little effort is made to produce a set of figures that would reflect an independent Scotland’s finances, though there have been one or two of these recently, thank goodness
        However, despite accepting GERS I always have a number of reservations: how much faith can one really have in figures that reflect an intransigent opposition rather than a seat of Government willing to allow democratic decision making on the basis of a fair and free discussion of constitutional and economic issues, a Government who transferred 6,000 square miles of Scottish waters from Scotland to England without any debate in Parliament days before the Scottish Parliament was reconvened, a Government who hid the income from North Sea Oil and used it to underpin a faltering economy and allow the decimation of old established industries while offering little in their place?

        Surely, given the potential in a country the size of Scotland with an educated population, a country capable of generating considerably more energy than the country could consume, with considerable development potential for native businesses, one ought to be willing to take the possibility of a noticeable short term ‘hit’ given the likelihood of benefits in the future.

        Brexit undoubtedly complicates matters as there is as yet no indication how this is going to affect people, and even the currency depreciation has not yet made much impact on people’s pockets, unless they have had an overseas holiday recently. Even on a worst possible outcome basis should Scotland become independent within the EU I cannot envisage markets in England being affected in the long term except on the basis of individual acts of vindictiveness; any trade deals will be between Scotland/EU and rUK with the former possibly holding the best ‘hand’ in any negotiations.

        As numerous other commentators have indicated, Scotland, despite its current subordinate status in Westminster, also has options as an independent country re debts, etc that allow just as much scope for optimism as pessimism. But where does this lead the rational thinker? Nowhere, really.

        As I think I have indicated from my pro independent but somewhat vacillating commentary, tryring to evaluate the pros and cons will never lead anyone to a sound conclusion (even though each individual might be happy with their personal conclusion). What is going to win the next Indyref will be emotional ‘pull’.

        Whether that comes from massive public demonstrations, emotive speeches, unpredictable events, rejection of the MSM, politically astute policy making, publicly acceptable ‘front men and women’ (The current First Minister, for example, appeals to individuals who could not tolerate her predecessor), an awareness of shared social or cultural identity, public gaffes by anti-Independence politicians, or whatever, is immaterial. Emotion is what will get the Indyref campaign over the finish line. Or to put it another way: it will be Hope winning over Fear?

        The escalation of Project Fear will continue as Indyref2 approaches. The Queen will be wheeled out, celebrations of past history will redouble, the BBC will wallow in nostalgia and British exceptionalism, and economic doubts will be trundled out ad infinitum, as will numerous ridiculous threats concerning WW III and aliens. Some 30% to 40% of Scottish residents will never see past such issues when emphasised on the BBC and the MSM but the doubters won’t simply be swayed by rational arguments, they will be swayed by the people around them, those speaking in public venues and in the media, those willing to speak up and encourage others to speak up, those who have faith in a better future, a future that will depend largely on the effort that people put into developing a better future.

        Would inependence be worth a ‘hit in ones pocket’ or depreciation in the notional value of one’s house? I don’t know.

        I can look at my current behaviour in spending a noticeable proportion of my pension (yes, I’m one of these oldies also) to supporting Indy organisations and publications. Is this rational behaviour? Again, I don’t know: I was in favour of Independence long before I gained the ability to appraise and digest complex arguments. Was this simply an emotional response to reading history books from Edinburgh’s public library system, hearing my teachers at school, or my parent’s at home? I’ll never know, and neither will anyone else as we all rationalise what we feel and believe, often resisting change in the short term ,But. when major social forces develop, as in the case of the YES movement, they can be irresistable.

        One needs to develop rational arguments and appraise evidence but before deciding when there is a binary choice one needs to FEEL the force of the underpinning emotions.

        I therefore look forward to the invigorating joy of another Indyref, to countering a barrage of misinformation, and doing my best to overturn the status quo with the expectation that the outcome will benefit everyone in Scotland (and ultimately, elsewhere).

        1. Iain MacLaren

          First, I appreciate that you have taken my comments in the spirit in which they were intended, and your summary of my thinking is pretty bang-on.

          You have set out your own thinking very clearly and I fully respect it.

          For me, the London tax-revenues thing is key. I know full well that some of the decision-making in Scotland is beneficial to the people of Scotland. What I am worried about is the adjustment to a lower tax-take (the tax which enables those beneficial decisions to be taken).

          So, full control, yes, but full control of less money. This is not just a debating point, it’s fundamental to the way the country would be.

          From what I’ve read (link below), London provides 28.6% of the *entire UK*’s tax-revenue (that’s the 2014/15 figure, up from 25.3% in 2004/05). We can argue about whether that is a good or a bad thing (and we probably wouldn’t disagree). But de-coupling from London’s tax-take would have consequences. (I acknowledge that post-Brexit, that could all be up in the air, too).

          I think, even if you don’t buy into GERS, it is intuitively obvious that the reduction in tax revenues from: 1) the lower oil price and; 2) “de-coupling” from London, taken separately and together, would have a negative effect on Scotland’s public finances.

          Money’s not the only factor when arriving at a decision, absolutely, a point which ‘Born Optimist’ acknowledges when they mention the existence of “emotional pull”, but for me it’s key here.


          1. MBC

            I’m not an economist but people whom I’ve argued with on indy blogs (No voters) tell me that if you have your own currency and your own central bank, you can never run out of money. You can print as much as you want. I know, I know. But Paul Mason says the rules of linking currency to the gold standard were revised by Reagen and Thatcher in the 80s and banks are no longer required by law to retain 20% in liquidity relative to their lending. He doesn’t agree with this, and neither do I, but that’s what is currently being practised.

            So an indy Scotland with its own currency and central bank isn’t going to run out of money, and the ability to change the exchange rate is obviously one that an independent country can do if it feels that making exports cheaper is more beneficial or making imports cheaper. Those Yessers who consider these things think that a Scottish £ pegged 1:1 with sterling would be the stepping off point, but we could vary this slightly if needed.

            There is also nothing to stop us using £ sterling. It is a fully tradable currency. Any country could use it, just like Panana uses the US$. But we would have in that case the disadvantage of not controlling monetary policy.

            Second point. Most modern countries run a deficit. That is, they spend more money on public and government expenditure than they raise in taxes. This applies to the UK too. So it’s not as if Scotland would be unique if that was the case, or that we would run out of money.

            Third. You have to realise that policy changes if only we were independent could greatly affect both the tax yield and public expenditure. We could reduce public expenditure by policy changes or make public spending more efficient and more productive long term. For instance, by building more high quality energy efficient public housing and keeping the cost of living low, by policies on food, energy, housing, we would reduce the cost of welfare. Low income families would be more secure and happier, and would aspire more. Small businesses might be tempted to expand, especially if we had a national investment bank aimed at assisting that sector. Housing Benefit is the largest component of welfare and welfare is the largest component of UK public spending BY FAR. Or make low wages go far further than they do now. We could tailor fiscal policy to the profile of our economy and demographic; at the moment it is tailored to that of the SE of England. Alf Baird regularly points out how Scottish ports authorities are privately owned by foreign multinationals, making restrictions on what we can do with our ports. In Denmark port authorities are municipally owned, same in Norway. I could go on. I hope you catch the drift that the basic problem in being yoked to the UK is not only the democratic deficit in that we don’t get the governments we voted for, but as a corollery of that we don’t get fiscal or monetary policies that are tailored to our needs. We are in a one-size-fits-all straightjacket. The manoeuvre possible under devolution is minute.

          2. Geejay

            Other economists have pointed out that over the last few decades Scotland has been a net contributor to UK finances and got a lot less back than was paid in.

            Re GERS John S Warren recently deconstructed the basis of GERS on Bella and concluded that we simply don’t know from the methodology what the fiscal position of Scotland is. Commonweal are currently working on an alternative methodology.

            Where is the Anger? I feel it in many ways, no more so than the way successive Tory and Tory-lite governments have enabled wealth to “trickle up” from the 99% to the 1%. They have enriched their friends at the expense of the poor. Several economists have shown that the income and wealth at the top has rocketed while the wages of ordinary workers has stagnated over recent decades. Poverty is at the root of many of society’s ills. That’s something to be angry about.

            Now, an Independent Scotland won’t miraculously change all that, but it would give us a chance to change things if we grasp the opportunity and hold our politicians to account. And one way would be to dismantle representative elected government and introduce citizen democracy.

            If you think that the corrupt UK polity will change for the better of its own accord then hell mend you and you will have to live with the consequences – which is likely to be a Tory government for the foreseeable future.

          3. Alison Barclay

            For you, London tax revenues are key, but surely post Brexit, these will fall dramatically. Frankfurt is already rubbing it’s hands anticipating many of the financial institutions moving there. Edinburgh could also do well if we were independent.

            I understand that the biggest slice of these revenues are spent in London and the Southeast anyway.

            I am almost 64 and only switched to SNP in 2014. We really need to get away from the corruption, greed and cronyism of Westminster. I don’t know if the present Scottish Government is going to be any better but they appear to be listening and it’s only through being a small country that the people perhaps will be able change the way our government is run.

  8. Cadogan Enright


    You write convincingly , good arguments are not enough

    We need to make the emotional and moral arguments too

  9. William Bryan

    My Dad was 94 when he died, my Mum is 88, I and my wife are 63, my younger brother is 60, my youngest brother is 58 we and all our family have always supported an independent Scotland. We have never been a self interested family only concerned with our financial position. We will never stop fighting for our right to self determination and the betterment of our Country.There are no better people to govern us than ourselves,the people of Scotland.

  10. Geoff Huijer

    Generally, the over 65s I know that use the internet voted Yes; the ones that don’t & get their information from TV &/or newspapers voted No.

    Coincidence? I don’t think so.

    To me, the MSM is the biggest threat to independene.

  11. Macart

    People voted no for any number of reasons and those who did so from skewed reasoning (independence, not yet), trepidation or what they thought was in their best interests got it terribly wrong. It was a poor choice, simple as that.

    These folk, I would say, were used and abused and should be very much open to approach, discussion and the settling right of a poor choice. Needless to say these folk comprise significant demographics whose attention will be particularly focussed on Brexit, the economic and international fallout especially. They were led to believe a certain vision of the UK would result from a NO vote in 2014 and that UK has NOT materialised. Right now they are awaiting the other shoe to drop on June’s decision, hoping against hope that it won’t be as bad as people think. They’re going to need to see an open hand and a friendly face when it does and it is. I’d rather it was ours.

    Peter is bang on the money when pointing out that those who reached their vote without reason are beyond reasoning with. Whether we like it or not there does exist a considerable demographic who are ‘this union right or wrong’ in their thinking. They have no problem with how they won or that the system they support has failed to live up to its pledges or assurances. As far as they are concerned… it doesn’t need to. Democracy as it is practised in the UK is fine so long as it serves their purpose and their world view.

    For the rest of us? We are whaterver their politicians and their media organs say we are. Which is to say, lesser citizens somehow and our opinions and aspirations worthless just because. They do not and never will see us as fellow citizens, or Scotland as anything other than a region deserving only a parish council government which should ‘get on with the day job’.

    Sad, but true nonetheless.

  12. MBC

    Look, the older voters are a huge demographic. But the fact is that if every other demographic had voted Yes in larger numbers, i.e., 55-60 %, rather than 52-54% Yes, it would have cancelled them out.

    I think we need to pitch at the younger voters. What statistics there were, seemed to suggest fewer of them bothered to vote.

    We also need to get the younger voters to persuade their grandparents to vote Yes, and to make the moral argument to older people who are at the end of their lives that they should respect the aspirations of younger members of their families. Because it is they who will be living with the outcome.

    It is selfish of older people to sacrifice the younger generations’ future in order to preserve the older generations’ past. If younger members of their families are passionate for Yes they should either vote Yes in support of their aspirations or just stand aside if they cannot bring themselves to, and let the wishes of younger generations through.

  13. davidm

    Great question Peter.

    More so than Yes Voters the Scottish No voting Unionists have been utterly betrayed by the UK but still; Why is there no anger?

    No voting Unionists voted for something but it wasn’t “The Vow or against EVEL or to stay in the EU or because democracy matters to them.

    The facts are, democracy doesn’t matter to No Voting Unionists.

    In essence they do not believe in democracy.

    They would rather ‘an idea ruled over them’.

    They have not got angry when their democratic rights were shredded (EVEL & Britex) or when any progressive economic (MoD orders for ships) and social promises were simply and dismissively withdrawn by ‘those that rule over them’.

    None of these things matter to a No Voting Unionist.

    So what dose matter to them? What would get them angry?

    Thanks for raising the question because it is now clear that ‘an empirical answers’ to these two questions really matters.

  14. clipper

    It seems that no one actually has any real idea of what the true pro/anti indy voting intentions are over all demographics. If Yes or No had clear verifiable evidence of a clear lead they’d be trumpeting it from the rooftops. Our sources seem to consist solely of polling organsations using flawed methodology and possibly with unionist bias behind them and online polls which get linked to from pro indy sites whereby loads of yessers pile in and click yes producing figures like 70% Yes, clearly a distortion of the overall picture. None of it is reliable.

    Apparently Salmond recently said that support for indy was at around 57 – 59%, but gave no explanation (that I’ve heard) about how that could be verified. Salmond has made a couple of verbal gaffes in his time, i.e. the once in a generation thing which he should have seen coming and known that it would be endlessly spun out of context, and also, less importantly his remark (I believe it was him who said it but not 100% sure) about Scotland having the most politically aware electorate in Europe, which is of course a ludicrous assumption to make. If there even is such an electorate in Europe it’s not in Scotland.

    As for hard no’s and over 65 political deadwood, we don’t need them. We do need, urgently, to find ways of getting through to the soft no demographic whatever age they are. Oh, and a reliable, unbiased, neutral and objective poll, asking a simple Yes or No question – “should Scotland be an independent country?” no less than 5,000 respondents from all areas and all demographics. At least then we’d actually know where we really stand.

  15. Michelle Cameron

    There was a comment about convincing people that things will still work after indy, and that people won’t notice an immediate in quality of life.

    For e example rubbish collection, buses, social services, actually getting paid and not in IOUs.

    I think the yes campaign needs to convince that these contingencies are planned for and showing how.

    That’s just my 2 groats.

  16. Lorraine Cowan

    Having read through the comments here I am excited, enthused, proud and a bit terrified that if we don’t get it right this time ….. aargh. A summary of some of my thoughts.

    If it was fear of change that stopped so many people voting Yes then perhaps we should consider exploiting the fear of the changes that Brexit will bring. With both Labour and the Conservatives in disarray and with the lies that have been exposed in relation to the ‘Vow’ and Brexit, getting the result we want should be simple, but it won’t be. The MSM are in my opinion the biggest barrier to achieving our goals.

    I don’t have the answers but what I see here and at meetings I’ve attended is that we as a movement, if properly directed, can find the answers. I believe that we should to be braver and aim for:

    • An independent Scotland that is a secular republic
    • Our own currency
    • Simplifying the economic case for Scotland in the first year as an independent country as part of the EU as opposed to Scotland in a post-Brexit UK. Galvanise support for this case via well-known and respected figures.

    This is what needs to be harnessed, this level of intelligent and thoughtful debate, this passion and commitment. The tricky part is coordinating it and turning it into a cohesive and well planned campaign. I hope that the SNP realise the gift that the wider Yes movement really is and shows its ability to partner successfully with it to achieve our common aim.

    I am hoping that this Sunday’s Scottish Independence Convention and the work being done via Common Weal’s White Paper Project will set out a clear route-map.

    Not much to do then!

  17. Mark Richards

    Forget about who voted what and what age you or they are,the post asks “where is the anger” and indeed I ask this to myself on a daily basis! I have asked “no” voting friends how they feel about “getting stabbed in the back” and to be perfectly honest most,if not all of them didn’t even know about it and all were completely uninterested,it’s as if it was “job done” nothing else matters,the almighty Union is safe-therefore I am safe too! So,this brings me to a similar conclusion/question as thee post,if those that have been stabbed in the back care so little for themselves and their country,how on earth do we overcome this?, I’m no accountant but if these people are therefore “untouchable” and they amount to 55% again(not that I believe any of that,but that’s another story for another day) whats the plan b in this context! Brexit related stuff may help snp’s case I’m sure,but if Brexit dies down in near future,what then? Worrying stuff,but I actually do really worry,day in and day out at the number of people who simply don’t care about their future,even more importantly their children’s future,one of my my answers is “selfishness”,I’m sorry but I’m all outa ideas.

  18. Iain MacLaren

    This is a reply to the points made within the thread started at comment No. 8. For some reason I can’t reply to the individual comments.

    To MBC

    Briefly, having a new “S£”, and floating its value, is fine. The implication of it being a solution to a lower tax-take (in the scenario which we were discussing) however, is that it would depreciate, rather than appreciate, in value. So it would be OK until you wanted to buy something which doesn’t come from Scotland, like a holiday or a car, or a book. Or Jersey Royal potatoes, to labour the point. All of those things would become more expensive to people who live in Scotland.

    Also, any foreign investors, when choosing whether to invest in e.g. Scotland or England, all other things being equal, would have to weigh up the extra return which would have to be made in Scotland to compensate for the depreciation in the currency in which their investment would have to be made, and returns would be earned. And consequently they would probably plump for England (all other things being equal).

    Sterlingisation, as you say, would prevent us from controlling our own monetary policy (thus denying us a much-vaunted “lever of power”) leaving me wondering what the point of the whole exercise (narrowly economically speaking) would be?

    Having a deficit is fine in principle, sure, but the size of it is important (like I’d rather have a small mortgage than I can afford, than a big one that I can’t).

    To Geejay

    On the net contributor point, I don’t disagree. Things have changed since then, though. (They may change back, sure). On the trickle-up point, I suggest that’s a difficult issue to expect independence to fix. I don’t see how it could do it.

    To Alison Barclay

    I agree on the London post-Brexit tax revenues point. No-one knows what will happen there, but it’s not looking good. Hence the delay (I believe) in triggering Article 50. I think heaven and earth will be moved by the UK Govt to attempt to retain London’s attractiveness to foreign investors. Edinburgh doing well would be great, but there would be a number of hurdles to be jumped before Edinburgh could provide the tax-take to compensate for our share of what currently derives from London.

  19. Pingback: Insightful observation, ‘Britshit’ and fundraising for indy | The Nation said No Thanks!

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