No Way

NO

As we stagger about the burnt-out shell that is post-indyref Scotland, we are trying to make sense of it all. So next week we are offering a space for No voters to have their say.

Understanding what the hell just happened before we all disappear for Christmas Pudding and box-set bliss is important – so we’ll be giving over space to allow No voters to express themselves now we are three months on.

If you voted No – what do you think and feel now?

You might want to apologise. You might feel vindicated. You might have realised you were being lied to all the time. Does the oil price prove we would have been an economic basketcase? Or does the pensions revelations prove that propaganda won? Did the Vow wow you?

Whether you changed your mind or feel it was the right thing to do, we want to hear from you.

Send your ideas to bellasletters (at) yahoo.co.uk – or via @bellacaledonia



Categories: Commentary

177 replies

  1. The questions are way too loaded against No voters to be effective in my opinion. It’s a fantastic idea though.

  2. Good idea Bella! Please everyone treat them nicely when they’re published. This will be one of the few cases where we’ll have the opposite of preaching to the converted, and I can’t wait to see the results – being informed by someone with whom you disagree should be a pretty positive experience for all, I hope …

    • Good comment Peter. As a No voter I was continually amazed that Yes supporters thought that the best way to convert me was to a) tell me I was wrong, and/or b) tell me I was scared. Here’s a surprise – I thought (and still think) that I was right and that their scared was my ‘not about to act in a reckless or foolhardy manner’. Now, if someone had engaged me in a conversation they might have learned something and might – just might – have understood my concerns and changed my mind!

      • As the campaign went on Mr T actual debate was less present as the Yes campaign focused not on why power should be transferred (which was what was supposed to be being debated I thought) to what they were going to do once it was. It was never going to be them who decided that was it?

      • What are your concerns Mr T?

      • The difficulty most yes voters have with non independence – is that it goes against the grain to be ‘other’ governed, or ‘non’ represented. The referendum laid bare the idea that Britishness is just a another word for being subjugated to the English cause. How else could you read that Scots should not vote for English laws – but English should determine the social fabric of all its dominions? Oppression is the thing to be most feared – not doing something about it.

        Looking at Britain today …with its zero contact hours, less than subsistence wages, supermarkets and businesses who dictate how Scots should be governed, corrupt bankers being baled out by innocent tax payers, fuel poverty, food banks, and suicide-producing sanctions on the disabled & obscene unchecked costs of the unelected political elite – how could Scots NOT make a better job of governing for its people?

        ‘Reckless and foolhardy manner’ doesn’t begin to cover how these factors sound to an independent mind.

        To consider the status quo as the best option is truly a foreign culture ….

        I really look forward to hearing the case that isn’t couched in ‘risk averse’ terms.

      • We are all still waiting MR T.

      • Mr T that’s really great to get an insight into how some of the no supporters were feeling. I was undecided but swaying towards yes (because id got a lot of factual information leaflets from yes hub but still had quite a few concerns and spent a lot of time trying to talk to no supporters at street stalls. I found them to be quite unhelpful. One labour councillor told me there were no facts to be had, while another told me that TTIP was already implemented by Scottish government (which I knew was wrong). They couldn’t give me any websites to get the information they kept telling about fiscal deficit and gave me leaflets with no factual content, which said “Salmond is a liar”, and “if you don’t know vote know”. I said well that’s not good enough for me I will make my vote count and I’ll go off in search of facts. I spent the next 6 weeks before the referendum researching everything and anything that either side threw out there and I tried to get information which predated the referendum announcement as I thought it would be more reliable. I still had some doubts but over all I found more information to support independence than not but I also believed that unless we had at least 85% of the population for independence then it would never work. It would’ve been a huge challenge and like any change difficult at the start but I would have been up for that.

    • Yes Peter – couldn’t agree more.

      • Beautifully sensible reply, Andrea; summed-up our aspirations against status quo failings in a couple of paras – this is why we’re ‘Yes’.

  3. Nice! Good to see such acts of intellectual fairness and generosity. I hope the comments sections stay civil.

  4. Should be interesting from a psychological perspective. Like when a psychiatrist meets an insane patient.

    • What we have now been left with is the lunatics in the uk establishment still running the asylum….a vote SNP in May 2015 will assist secure a way forward to the “dream”

    • Yes Darien (as in Scotland’s failed Empire?). This will be your chance to forensically dismantle their arguments.

      Will
      it
      not?

  5. This is a great idea. I honestly thought voting no was insane and would be genuinely interested to hear why people voted no.

  6. Good idea, I’d like to understand why letting some other country control, your country, is a good thing.
    Oil is a bonus, so we wouldn’t be a basket case.

    • Bonus as in we’d be fine without it.

      • If I’d been given the choice in 1970, when the oil was discovered, of Independence but no oil, with hindsight, I’d take Independence.
        I used to think the oil & gas would make Scotland wealthy, but it has only made England determined to keep the oil & gas and treat us like the ignorant natives.

    • Maybe they simply didnt see themselves as being governed by another country? We all carry the same passport after all. Your apparent inability to see that some needed to persuaded that Scotland should become a separate country was part of the problem with the whole Yes campaign. Scotland isnt and wont be until its population vote for it a separate country, it is like England a province of the UK, the vote was about making Scotland a fully fledged country, assuming it already is/was doesnt make it legally so. The real argument is and was that we should stop being that province failure to understand the reality of this among to many in the Yes campaign was in my view a major problem.

      • Ian, please elaborate on what you believe is the reality of Scotland stopping being a province of the UK. From where I’m standing, and I believe I am a realist, the positives of this far outweigh the negatives but I am genuinely interested in what you feel we gain from remaining as a province? Also particularly interested to hear if any of what you thought were the gains might have been challenged since the 19th Sept. and if your view has shifted at all?

      • Scotland IS a fully fledged country , as is Wales and Ireland , but we are in a union with england , doesn’t mean Scotland isn’t a country , we are not a region of Britain

      • Sandra McDerment you appear to have missed my point entirely I am a very long time believer in Scottish independence and your missing my point makes my point more eloquently than I did. My point is that the Yes camp was so busy spending their winnings the forgot the race hadnt been run yet. The vote was NOT about creating the socialist nirvana so beloved on many posters but only about ending Scotland’s status as a province of the UK. Post the September vote Scotland remains what it was before it and no amount wishful thinking or bellicose Maglashan rheotoric from folk like Gordon will change this. What we think essentially doesnt matter, legal status does.

  7. Great idea Bella, really looking forward to the responces.

  8. I hope there are – we need to start a civilised conversation with the No voters

  9. It is regrettable if some No voters felt they were not listened to or given a space to voice their concerns. As an ‘undecided’ I went on my own to many YES events and read as widely as I could. The No events were, in my experience, non-existent. I did manage to hear Alistair Darling speak but on asking a question he dismissed me as a ‘nationalist’ even though I had been life-time Labour voter. I tried to get my friends engaged in the hope that they would buddy me to events and we could discuss and debate the issues. Old friends refused point blank to discuss any aspect of independence. If I mentioned an event or an interesting book or article the conversation was shut down. I felt hurt and dismissed. I gave up. I voted Yes.
    Post referendum my friends behave as if nothing has changed . Ive changed. I am sad that YES lost but a deeper , more lasting sadness comes with realising that life long good friends, for reasons known only to themselves , did not feel they could share their concerns or explore the issues with me. I am stunned by that.
    I hope No voters do use this space.

    • Exactly how I feel. I feel as though the referendum has changed me but feel that no voters have remained very secretive to why they choose to vote that way, whereas I was very open to justify my vote. I voted yes… I hope that no voters can use this page to discuss how they feel now, and that yes voters can respect this and possibly support in any remorse they may feel. I do have to say that I feel the no voters have returned to the status quo and have put the matter to bed.

    • I found a similar response among several emphatic No ‘friends’. Quite aggressive tone actually, and that was from CoS regulars. Very surprising, especially in regard to what I think are straightforward moral issues like Trident, illegal war, London financial scandals, fuel poverty, child poverty, inequality etc. They almost seemed to despise their own country (Scotland). A weird ‘hatred’ of Alex Salmond, so MSM/Beeb did its job there. Almost as if these people had flipped. Mostly well off middle class professionals, 50+ age. Proud to be British, mainly. Hence psychiatrist/psychologist needed!

      • Your judgemental tone is not going to encourage or enable any No voters to speak out on this site. You clearly can’t see any reason why people would vote No but if you want to learn anything then I respectfully suggest that you try to listen before telling folk that your views are morally superior to theirs

        • I can’t see a reason for voting No, that’s why I’ve asked those people who can to contribute. Several have already submitted excellent articles which we’ll be publishing next week. Some people might want to retain a sense of humour.

      • I guess I am as much of believer in Scottish independence (something I have been in favour of for many many years) as you ar. But here’s the thing. I don’t share your views on what Scottish independence should mean, beyond maybe the fact that Scotland should be independent. And please can the drivel about folk who don’t agree with your world view needing help of some kind it purest pish to use a guid Scots word.
        Weren’t some of the guys who created those financial scandals and screw ups Scottish, Is self serving greed unknown in Scotland? Or are we all supposed to socialist saints?
        Guess what a Yes vote needed 50+ middle class professionals to support it (the result proved this) and promising a socialist uptopia was not ever going to convince these folk an independent was good idea and Alex Salmond’s broken record on the pound and Europe were other nails in the Yes vote’s coffin despite his arrogant bombast neither was ever in his gift to deliver this (thinking folk knew this) so a sensible clearly stated back up was required it never appeared only more drivel about fairness, and the bed room tax etc.

    • I really appreciate your honesty and feel very sad reading your comment, it sounds like a very lonely place to be. I became quite passionate about voting yes about 9 months before the vote and began campaigning for the first time in my life and made new friends through this shared hope and vision. I know some of my long standing friends voted No but the huge sadness and bewilderment for me has been that they cannot/would not articulate why. Perhaps this site will help me to gain some understanding although I know I will probably never know where my friends were coming from unless they someday feel able to tell me.

      Why do many No voters find it so difficult to tell people close to them how they reached their decision? I would love to know the answer to that.

      • I’ve never had a straight answer from any ‘NO’ voter. They just refuse to talk about their reasons for voting ‘NO’ I really have given this a lot of thought and understanding, especiall y to some of my own close family who I know voted NO. They all give the distinct impression of being ashamed. They really do. Everyone knows their own family and this is definitely coming across as shame.

        Try getting them to be big enough to articulate though is trying to get blood from a stone. If they feel so strongly about a “NO” vote why are they not telling the rest of us why. I’m disgusted actually.

        If they really feel good about their vote, why the secrecy. I just don’t trust anyone who voted no, as you should be able to be honest and open if you feel comfortable about your vote and be able to articulate your reasons . Stop the hiding and be big enough to own it.

        I’ve never met a YES voter who is ashamed of how they voted

      • “you clearly can’t see any reason why people would vote No”

        Well, actually I can think of quite a few reasons. How about?

        Fear? (as in project fear)
        Selfishness (I’m alright Jack)?
        Nationalist? (i.e. Britnat)
        Ignorance? (main info was from MSM brainwashing)
        Stupidity? (believed the 3-amigos vow; thought Darling, Brown & Murphy were ‘sincere’)?
        No interest – in Scottish nationhood? (well, 500,000+ English born people living in Scotland voted no – quite an interesting number that!)

        I’m sure there will be more reasons on view next week. But I don’t think there will be any big surprises.

      • Because it is accompanied by a sense of shame…???? ‘

        If they were over 50 then they would have been fed Scot’s wha Hae wi their porridge

        Wha will be a traitor knave?
        Wha will fill a coward’s grave?
        Wha sae base as be a slave?
        Let him turn an flee

      • Sandra,” its as simple as this”-they were simply not bright or strong willed enough, or they were middle class who for some reason thought that they would lose their hard earned(and not so hard earned) gains and place in society.

    • Elaine, always remember that you did the correct thing for yourself,your family and your friends. They will have had their reasons for helping stop our chance of a better Scotland, but they won’t be able to sleep as easy as you from now on.Keep up the fight and we will achieve our goal.

  10. You say Yes, I say No – I’d like to know how we proceed to common ground and from there to National Unity.

    • It would be good to have some no people acknowledge that ‘the vow’ has not been carried out and for them to equally question the biases so clearly apparent in the media.

    • We stop being positional and start discussing why you believe that independence – as described in the campaign – would make Scotland a better place and why I believe that it wouldn’t.

    • But Yes voters don’t just say Yes, we are keen to share why we feel like this. I find it very difficult to understand why anybody would prefer to be ruled by Westminster than govern ourselves.

  11. I think for the majority of people Politics is a popularity contest rather than a numbers game. I am no Psycologist but Politics affect the majority of people in a negative way therefore they dont want to think too much about it they vote with their gut not their brain. There were many things influencing that gut descision such as affluency, sectarianism, history of voting labour, the currency question etc but the thing that I believe influence their gut the most was the Bias media constant portrayal of Salmond as a rouge, Charlatan, trouble maker. When I was trying to influence people this was the common response “I’m not voting for that we nazi hitler” or similar words to this effect. When I reminded them that a seperate Scotland could vote a new leader or any party other than the SNP the reply was still the same “note voting for him” No amount of statistics would give them confidence in our own abilities or distract them from the SNP and Salmond. I hate to say it but the average person is a media slave and has no time or inclination to study the facts.

    • Why don’t those of us who voted Yes shut up for a while about all our beliefs and speculation about why people voted No and let them have a voice here? It seems that Yessers (and I am one) are so evangelical in our belief that we’re right that we cannot even listen to anything that conflicts with our view.

      This site has been set up to enable dialogue with people who voted No, I’m not surprised very few are daring to comment because all we’re doing is 1) (again) telling them why they should have voted Yes 2) telling them why they probably voted No and 3) criticising them before they’ve said a word.

      Take your anger elsewhere and allow this site to develop genuine, respectful dialogue or we will learn nothing.

      • Sandra as well as speculating my beliefs as to why people voted Yes or No I was reflecting my actual experience. I do not think my tone was angry and my view regarding political engagement applied to all voters not just No voters. My point was any views expressed will be the thoughts of a tiny minority who are enthused by politics the majority either way just do not care enough to engage deeply on the subject. How many individuals have engaged here already about 15 the majority are blissfully watching Alan Carr :).

      • Sandra thank you for your unbiased comments, as a proud NO voter with nothing to feel shame about, I would never submit my reasons or enter a discussion with the posters here, suggest they read the ignorant statements being penned here to deduce the reason for this. By the way the vitriol coming my way will not bother me one iota. Sticks and stones and all that.

      • boom. bang on the money. may post why when i get to the bottom of the comments if i dont break my phone of my face. I am liking the fact that the majority seem to be able to engage like an adult. just frustrating to see some of the other comments. people not understanding why somone with a differing opinion wouldnt engage. try re-reading what you just posted flip it around and ask yourself if you would engage with someone so belligerant

      • Sandra

        I can see by the tone of your posts that you indeed seem to be genuine in your encouragement of a dialogue with No voters, for which I applaud your efforts. Therefore I accept your offer and I am answering your post because I am to be quite frank fed up with being trolled on other sites when expressing the reasons why I voted No.

        My main reason for voting No and for all the many No voters I know are eloquently articulated in this 18 minute you tube video by Scotland’s top economist, Professor Ronald McDonald, who is not aligned to any political party. I can already hear the knee jerk cry of ‘scaremongering’ as i am writing this. Fair enough, but play it, listen to the analysis then respond. For those of you who are allergic to George Galloway could I suggest you tune in after 36 seconds to miss his introduction.

        Here is the link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P6NqnCu_2v8

        Bill

  12. I don’t think you’ll get much response from no voters when there’s such a barrage from yessers on the page. It doesn’t feel a neutral, welcoming space still a lot of anti no-ness and I’m a yesser!

  13. As decades-long supporter of indy, I like the idea of giving space here to no voters. Bella is unlikely to be their first port of call, so I dunno how many will see this article, but in principle it’s worth a try. Dialogue is needed.

    However, those who do see it are likely to be repelled by your opening suggestion that “You might want to apologise”. If I saw a similarly-phrased proposition in an unionist publication, I wouldn’t dare respond — because any reply I did write would be far from polite.

    What on earth made anyone think that this was an appropriate way to make the invitation?

    • I second this comment. However I do not think dialogue is what most No/Unionist supporters want. I left a few calm well worded replies to unionist on the Scotlands Big Voice group but because I was not slapping them all on the back for hating the SNP they promptly removed my posts and stopped me posting any further commets. So it is not the nature of the dialogue it is just a general unwillingness. It seems that people would rather exchange insults than ideas or information??? 😦

    • It was to be fair, only one of several options available, and, we already have one No voter doing just that. Watch this space.

      • It’s the first option, and it sets the tone. Many people won’t read beyond that point, and if they do, it may be in fury.

        Don’t take my word for it. Approach a no-voter face to-face, and try it out verbally. See if they allow you to continue beyond the “You might want to apologise”, and how many just give you a slap.

      • Am I missing something? Can people reply to you without their comments appearing? If so, I’ve probably just wasted 20 minutes trying to encourage Yessers to be more open to hearing ‘No’ voters. PS and I agree that ‘Might want to apologise’ is not going to encourage many

  14. This is a great idea. A shame the first suggestion is “You might want to apologise” – if I was a No voter that might get my back up. I would love to have more of a dialogue with people who voted No back in September and as you say, find out what they think/feel three months on. We can’t stay entrenched where we were on18 September and this could be part of moving forward.

  15. Like many folk looking to obtain independence, I was frustrated at the hidden no vote. We didn’t know who was voting no and yes voters were afraid to bring it up in conversation except with other yes voters because we were vilified as being aggressive.

    However, it took a long time for me to realise that the better together campaign were mostly trying to stop the ordinary person who was voting no from engaging in the debate. The better together campaign held meetings but it was invitation and pre-registration only whereas anyone could just turn up for a yes meeting – the only thing stopping you getting in was space. BT didn’t want no voters speaking to yes voters because BT couldn’t control the information and so they discouraged the debate by telling folk that those voting yes were aggressive.

    Anyway we are all ready to look back now and learn lessons so that we can look forward.

  16. Great idea and needed. As others have said whilst I think the no side did understand the attractions of yes the reverse is not true. Too many on the yes side thought no voters did so for base, selfish reasons or were conned by the media, stupid, not informed, self hating, deluded or actionable. It was a binary question but far from a simple decision for many and I am sure people had very good reasons on both sides. Even now I don’t think we know who voted which way and why. A lot has been made of fairly small samples from Ashcroft, too much I think. A big factor though I think is the yes side failed to engage with no voters in any meaningful way and reinforced to some extent the no vote. Despite some attempts I think the gulf between yes and no is deeper and wider now than at the time of the vote.

    • Hi Monty. I am intereste in your comment about failing to engage meaningfully. My experience of the debates prior to the vote was of a Yes campaign which outlined (in some detail) the many benifits of a seperate Scotland in a very positive way. Whereas it was the Better Together group who seemed to only express negative views of how wee were too small or too stupid or deluded by Salmond vitriolic kilt wearing dreamers. At no point in the campaign did I ever see a No voter give me a positive reason to stay in a Union. So my question to you would be in what way was the engagement not meaningful.

      • The Yes campaign certainly did do far more work in preparing a case for independence than the No side did for staying in the Union. The Yes campaign was proactive, and the No campaign was almost entirely reactive.

        The reason for this is simple: because it was the Yes campaign that were driving for change, the onus was on them to produce evidence to support their arguments that said change would ultimately be better for us Scots. A large amount of Scots were always going to vote Yes, regardless of the realities it would bring whether positive or negative. However, they were not the majority, and to win the referendum you had to also convince otherwise neutral Scots who were more interested in the hard realities of what would happen in the event of independence.

        You put forward lots of arguments, but they were too easily dismantled. As I have remarked elsewhere, Scotland has a world class education system, and perhaps this managed to stop Scots being fooled into voting Yes for what was very likely to be a difficult short and medium term future and very uncertain long term future.

        Ultimately, there simply wasn’t enough nationalists who would vote Yes regardless of what the outcome was likely to be. The Yes side had to also secure the vote of Scots who were more interested in their and their family’s economic well-being and future as opposed to the visceral concepts of nationhood, nationalism and self-governance. But you lost the economic argument, and hence lost the referendum.

    • ” A big factor though I think is the yes side failed to engage with no voters in any meaningful way and reinforced to some extent the no vote.”

      Excuse me? I have spent the better part of 2 years speaking with No voters – on the doorstep, at stalls, in functions, at schools and church halls and supermarket aisles. I worked at a yes shop for the final three months, and every day we had at least half a dozen No or Undecideds coming in either challenging us or seeking out our opinions.

      In all those 2 years, I have spoken to hundreds of people who I am fairly certain voted No. I saw many of them when I stood outside as an election agent at my local constituency. I’ve seen many of them since. And not a single one of them hads given me a remotely convincing reason to vote No. Oh, there were plenty of worries – about pensions, currency, NHS, whatnot – but nothing that ever gave me pause for thought, something that made me think they might have a point. And many of their reasons were outright lies.

      I’ve talked with Polish migrants who came into the shop in a fluster, worried, because they had a phone call saying that they would be deported if there was a Yes vote. I’ve talked with unemployed people who said people at the job centre told them they would lose their benefits if there was a Yes vote. I’ve talked with pensioners who were stockpiling food after they had a phone call saying their pensions would be stopped immediately if there was a Yes vote.

      So by all means, I’m happy to read people’s explanations for why they voted No. But I’m pretty certain it’s not anything I haven’t heard before a dozen times by now.

  17. My no vote was mainly due to the economic argument. I spent a lot of time with a calculator/spreadsheets doing my own numbers and avidly reading information from all sides in reaching my conclusions. I didn’t feel that Scotland would be better off on its own, all things considered (these points are well rehearsed on both sides so let’s not revisit) . The economic argument isn’t about whether we could be an independent country, ie survive. – I am sure we would. It’s about whether we would be net better off. Since the referendum there is a lot of finger pointing at the state of the UK economy and austerity – you cannot deny its a mess. But people seem to think that being independent would resolve that – it wouldn’t. My fear was that if independent the recovery would be even slower, cuts even deeper (in the long run). And I didn’t like the proposal from the current government to borrow more and spend our way out of recession. I feel our national debt is high enough and I don’t want to leave any more than necessary for my children to repay. On top my view that we wouldn’t be better off there was also a number of financial risks, all if which represented more downside and few were upside. And no, it’s not all about money, but if we were worse off I failed to see how we would better tackle the social issues – poverty, inequality, etc. The “vow” was never a factor for me. I was fully aware of the offerings of each unionist party re devo ahead of this. I felt implementation of any material separate taxation powers was “tricky” in practice and it looks like that will be the case. Thanks for opportunity to air views.

    • You’ve expressed my feelings exactly.

    • Care to post the spreadsheets?

    • Steve is you calculator working some of the biggest financial experts in the world in the Financial Times said we would be a lot better off ecconomically speaking.

    • “And no, it’s not all about money, but if we were worse off I failed to see how we would better tackle the social issues – poverty, inequality, etc. ”

      Because we wouldn’t be choosing to spend billions on nuclear weapons, high speed rail upgrades that don’t go past the River Tweed, London sewage upgrades, and other vanity projects while our children starve and our adults have the lowest life expectancies in the world. We would better tackle the social issues because we would not have the same spending priorities as the Uk government.

      Austerity is an idealogy. It is not necessary, it is not unavoidable, it is a choice which this government has made. The Scottish Government have consistently come on budget, despite the extreme pressure and the very little powers they have. They have proven they would do better with their economics than the current UK government have.

      • You are right about the austerity,it could be stopped tomorrow along with all the illusions of debt and every sick parasite that hangs on for the ride.The fiat currency scam denies people basic economic stability.

  18. Firstly, it has been my experience that Bella has always given No voters a voice (unlike some sites).

    Moving on, as you will have likely assumed from the above, I was a No voter. And why would I want to apologise? Look, I’m tired of the continued abuse that has been directed at those of us who voted No – everything from being “feart” to being called quislings. It doesn’t do your case any good. Have you honestly not realised yet that you generally don’t win people’s votes by insulting them yet? (Or do you even think that people’s votes are important? I heard the idea of a unilateral declaration of independence being bandied about.)

    I actually had a more civil reply written, but had only read the first three paragraphs. I read the last paragraph and then deleted it.

    • You still have not answered the question everyone of us Yes voters would like to know. WHY did you vote No?

    • So why did you vote No?

      • For a better future and more prosperous nation, ultimately. I’m a professional in my twenties; I want to be able to stay here for my entire life, like most Scots. Westminster is not a paragon of competent governance, but with the SNP at the helm I could only see a less successful nation in the future.

      • Hi Shaun. Well done you for braving the lions den :). Could I ask though a question I asked many No voters who had a dislike of the SNP. If gained Indepencence we would have been free to chose any party in any subsequent free election. So is a dislike of the SNP really a good reason to vote no. I ask because it seems short sighted to give up a lifetime of self governance for a few short years of a particular part rule.

    • They Have had 300 plus years to give Scotland a ‘better’ future – but if you stick around or another 40 plus years – I doubt you’ll be quite so complacent.

      What could SNP do that could possibly top Thatcher, Blair Brown and Cameron?

      A unilateral declaration sounds great to me – there was not a snowball’s chance that Scotland was ever going to be allowed to leave…

      • The SNP would have went wild with public expenditure – indeed a large part of the campaign was based on an escape from “austerity” – which, coupled with a reduced level of income, would have caused us huge financial problems down the line.

        Eze1, I can’t seem to reply to your post. But I’m not much of a Labour fan either. Whilst part of the Union and the extra public funding that brings, I don’t think an economically sensible government is a priority for many Scots.

      • Hi Shaun. So I think you are saying the real reason you voted No was that you only trust the conservative party and the Scottish people do not traditionally vote Conservative. Maybe a scottish Conservative party free from the Influence of westmonster could have been more socially pallatable to the Independent Scottish electorate. However thanks for your sensible reply yours is a reason I can understand despite not relating to it.

    • Shaun

      I am OK with hearing rightwing views – I want to know my enemy. I have listened ‘live’ to many extremist ‘enemy within.” Even Roger Scruton, Malcom Rifkind, Edwina Currie and various Labour MPs like Jim Murphy.

      Admit it – you are that rare thing – a Tory in Scotland.

      Counselling is available. But not on the NHS for you – you must go private.

    • “Firstly, it has been my experience that Bella has always given No voters a voice (unlike some sites). ”

      Why should it be up to pro-independence websites to give No voters a voice? Where is the No counterpart to Bella Caledonia? Where is the Unionist Wings Over Scotland? Where is the NewsNetScotlandUK?

      “Look, I’m tired of the continued abuse that has been directed at those of us who voted No – everything from being “feart” to being called quislings. ”

      I’m tired of my loved ones being intimidated, assaulted and having their property defaced and vandalised because they still bear Yes stickers proudly. I’d happily trade being called “feart” and a quisling for what I’ve put up with over the past few months. I’d even take an egging!

  19. Great Point….“the reality of NO was much more complicated than the view put forward by the (Unionist )Press right at the starting gun, my Aunt got out the atlas looked at how small Scotland was …..and that was that….Mind closed for 2 years….. an informed patriotic no thanks vote in the bag.

  20. Sometimes what people rationalise to themselves are not their real reasons. Is all.

  21. They have made no attempt to understand us or the great pain they caused us.

    • Quite, pain is a good way of putting it, though perhaps ‘pain’ is not sufficient, Thwarting ones own nationhood is nothing to be proud of. Nationhood is priceless. So intentionally refusing ones nationhood is not easily understood. We are probably the only nation to willingly give up our nationhood. The No voters cost us our nationhood. And they prefer Scotland to be ruled by posh Eton boys and their elite friends who take great delight in keeping the heel firmly on our neck.. Lets be clear – No voters have nothing to be proud of. But lets hear what they say anyway.

  22. Personally I found most of the aggressiveness prevailed on the No side; that is where all the threats came from, after all. Aggressive people tend to be threatening! And they don’t take criticism well. Which is why they feel hard done by, poor souls. During the campaign I recall somebody said all the smiling faces were on the Yes side. That is true, and telling surely. Yes folk have no reason to be apologetic.

  23. its very interesting to hear others view points on why the naysayers felt the way they did. i found that it was a very similar experience when socialising with friends and the conversation came round to how we would vote. i got a cold and chilled atmosphere when i said i was pro independence and felt it would be a positive move for the country, i got silence, no dialogue and told dont want to speak about it/change subject. totally bewildered by that response, though it was totally consistent most/ if not all were no voters..over 55, homeowners, pensioners within 5-10 years, opened my eyes to how many are pro union on both east and west coast areas..wont discuss it ever again with them, bewildered they could be so blinkered.

  24. Many of the replies here have forgotten the real reasons. They are entirely ignoring the fact that a completely dishonest campaign waged against independence by virtually all the press and broadcasting media with virtually no balancing coverage of an excellent YES effort makes it useless to try to describe the result in any other way.
    Most NO voters are thrashing about looking for excuses,not reasons because they know the result was fixed but they can’t allow themselves to admit it.

    And I still don’t believe the result

    • Hi will. I was also very dissapointed with the result and blame bias media coverage. However lets not go down the conspiracy theory route. A landslide Yes vote would have been very hard to dismiss or change to No. The fact is for whatever reason many many Scots voted No. They won.!

    • I dont believe the result either. ….there is no reasonable explanation for the rise in political engagement in Scotland post referendum ..other than the intuitive sense of having being cheated…

    • The result wasn’t fixed. Where’s your evidence?

      Stop the illusion of that conspiracy theory and face up to reality.

      And ask yourself what you’ll now do about it.

      • Bothy, the outcome was arranged to suit Westminsterand anyone who believes different must be deluding themselves.You don’t need to write long articulate replies on what happened as we see on these pages. We all saw what happened in plain sight ,what the establishment did to keep RULE over our country, families and friends, and no amount of intellectual banter will ever change that.Action at the ballot box must be top priority for us true Scots now.

    • I think you are spot on – who can celebrate a victory that has been won through cheating? The No voters knew it was an unfair contest (hence the embarrassment and the tight lips). Also they were admitting that in many respects Scotland was not a country fit to govern itself – how embarrassing was that for all those proud Scot “Flower of Scotland ” singers.

      But the “unfair contest” has resulted in the Yes side now having the momentum and it’s all to play for. Fear and self-interest do not build anything – least of all a nation – but courage, intelligence, optimism and passion do. I met so many folk who had moved from No to Yes during the campaign and they nearly all had the previous qualities. I’m female and it was upsetting to see women vote in higher numbers than men for a government that is attacking the NHS, the poor and supporting nuclear weapons. I reckon fear won the first half – however truth will win the game. And with support for indy now at 52% despite the best efforts of the MSM it seems the truth is getting out there and decent No voters are hearing it.

  25. What Shaun is ultimately articulating by his statement ‘with the SNP at the helm’ is that he feels that Scots are not up to the job of running their own country.

    Shaun, if it was Labour in Scotland who had been running the referendum, as they did in the 1997 referendum, would you have felt differently?

    Or is your concern not party political? If not, then it is Scotland and the Scots that you regard as sub-standard. Too wee, too poor, too stupid. Where did you imbibe this poison?

    Fifty years ago this year the tiny island of Malta was offered independence from the British. They took it. They have a population of 450,000 and no natural resources.

    They prosper.

    • The British state offering independence? Were they feeling all right in Westminster and Whitehall? Then I read those words, “no natural resources”.

      • De-colonisation is an interesting field to study. India was hugely profitable and the principal rationale behind the acquisition of much of the rest of the empire but most of the British Empire was not. Once India went (1947) Britain found itself with developmental challenges elsewhere whilst simultaneously dealing with post-war reconstruction at home. Quite simply, Britain was skint and these colonies were not profitable and needed investment in order to develop. Many were becoming burdens. This was particularly true of Africa. African independence movements portray themselves as heroic but they were rushing at an open door. Some tiny island possessions like Malta had a military-strategic importance to Britain’s power projection and I think this arrangement may have continued post-independence. Some remote tiny island possessions are still part of the British Empire. Like Pitcairn Island, which costs the British tax-payer millions every year but is of no value to Britain whatsoever.

  26. The Noes have condemned us all to their rotten, stinking, union, and I am still grief stricken and disgusted about that. It is a profound pain I will either have to suffer and carry all my life in silence – or else loudly reject, and turn grief into anger and affirmative action. The thing I find most difficult to handle is that they have no remorse for the emotional pain they have inflicted on us their fellow countrymen. We are trying to reach out to them, to understand them, but there is no corresponding wish on their part to reach out to us and to understand us.

    As I’ve said in previous posts my main sense of why they voted No was failure of imagination. When they thought about independence they felt they were staring into an abyss. They couldn’t see the road from a Yes vote on September 18th to the disaggregation of the military-fiscal systems of the UK and transfer of power to Scotland. They couldn’t imagine the orderly and phased transition. They just thought they’s wake up on September 19th and there would be nothing.

  27. There is a reason that many no voters don’t try to justify their vote. That is why a lot of non decided decided not to say they were undecided until the end. I saw a few non decideds, say they weren’t too sure and then got jumped on by multiple Yes voters and brow beat them with their point of view. Four on one in one case was not a question and answer session it was an intellectual mugging as the poor girl couldn’t get a word in edge ways and anything the four in question couldn’t elaborate on was answered by waving the wee blue book in the girl’s face.

    No voters just got bombarded by ‘you are wrong’, ‘you are mad’ ,’you are scared’ and the ‘you are being stupid’. When we asked questions like what would happen if other nations didn’t agree to the plans in the white paper according to the timeframe an Independent Scotland wanted, we didn’t get an answer. We got variations on eye rolling. We got told we were being nasty, we got told we were buying into the Tory ideas because they were scaremongering, that we were closet Tories, we got we were making it about the SNP and not about the issues, which were weren’t doing.

    Now I’m not against passion or that they aren’t some No activists that weren’t as bad but really if you continually felt you were going to met with that attitude, would you put yourself through that if you had an option not to?

    Since the referendum it hasn’t gotten better in some quarters. I’ve heard vocal Yes voters say that No voters should be ashamed, are evil and should be violently kicked out of Scotland. When the hell did it ever become a right thing to say?

    Actions like that are not a great way to make some people feel like an independent Scotland is a good idea as the implication is if you didn’t think the same way as those yelling at you then you were lesser and then would be threatened. It doesn’t give you confidence in pulling away from the establishment down in London because doing so would open ourselves up to more of that, a kind of Scotland where we maybe frightened to say anything.

    Now I’m not saying the Yes voters don’t have legitimate concerns about the system and that No voters just want things to stay the same. But really it wasn’t the No’s project fear that put some voters off, it wasn’t that we were conned by the media and vested big interests or even the Vow or Gordon Brown and his speech.

    It was being on the street while being bombarded by the Yes lots Project ‘You will do as you are told because we know better than you and we are in your face’ and looking at some of the comments here it is still going on.

    • Yes supporters were being bombarded by the No lots projecting “you will do as you are told because we know better than you and we are in your face” every single day. Every TV channel was implicitly or explicitly advocating a No vote. 30 of the 34 daily newspapers advocated a No vote. The three main Westminster parties advocated a No vote. Tycoons, businessmen, celebrities, millionaires, royalty, international political figures, all paraded on the news and papers saying “Better Together.”

      I understand why you equate the Yes grassroots’ campaigning with this feeling that you’re under attack. That’s what happens with cognitive bias. But understand that what you felt, when all those yes voters were rolling their eyes at your questions, “not answering your questions” (sorry those individuals didn’t answer you, but if you really wanted to know there’s a wealth of information available online), an the general feeling of “us versus them” – this is what every single Yes voter has to put up with from the media and establishment. We, as the minority, had to promote ourselves, to present our case to the undecided, because the media and UK establishment weren’t going to do it for us – in fact, they would downplay or even sabotage us.

      No voters have had every opportunity to speak up and have their voices heard, safe in the knowledge that the media and establishment would support them. If the Cybernats attacked, then the Daily Mail and BBC would back them up, make sure they were ok, maybe give them an interview. Worked for Susan Calman. Yes voters have been physically assaulted, before and since the referendum. Where were they on the news?

      • The information on line seemed to be a lot of the time we have a GDP to reveal the rest of the world and that the EU wouldn’t dare throw us out. But even if we had to set up a new currency and had to wait to get back into the EU an independent Scotland could have been an attractive prospect to some No voters if the info on line didn’t seem to come down to a us or them thing and they will capitulate to us in the end.

        But that is not most of my point, now I’m not the media, I’m not the establishment, which most of your reply is about – I’m a fellow Scot. I get the Yes lot had a mountain to climb but that wasn’t what I was asked. I was asked why I voted No. And what put me off was that I was treated like an enemy by some and an idiot by others who wanted to vote yes and that isn’t my cognitive bias – it is the way I and others were made to feel.

        Most of your answer seems to be that the media and establishment was against the Yes lot, but I’m telling you why I and some others voted No. We did so because a lot of Yes voters, especially towards the end were arrogant and strode around with puffed up chests. It put a lot of us off, it made us feel that an independent Scotland may not be worth having if these is going to be its starting place.

        And like it or not you have to look at that because a majority of this country voted No to breaking from London in a time of austerity and with UKIP on the rise

  28. Honestly who the hell is going to admit – well I work for the government so I voted No to keep my job….. I mean where is the noble sacrifice in that? And why would such a person NOT fee ashamed of robbing Scottish people of their birthright??

    probe most people’s No stance and there would be self serving reason behind it……..

    • It is definitely true that many No voters are quite clandestine about their motivations for voting that way. No voters were typically wealthier and had a lot more to lose in the event of independence, e.g. finance workers in Edinburgh could have lost their jobs as their companies relocated to London or elsewhere.

      And what is wrong with voting for a better future for yourself, your children and your family? Isn’t that why many people voted yes, because they thought they’d get even more free stuff? Why should hard working families feel ashamed for choosing not to make “sacrifices” (at least you appear to admit that we would likely be worse off after independence) to appease an almost fanatical minority and their hatred of the English?

      • Hi Shaun. I had some sympathy for your previous comments but this one is quite frankly rude. You are implying that only dole scroungers voted yes??. I like my wife and many other yes voters have worked all my life (now mid 40’s). I do note hate any race nation or creed. Nor am I a kilt wearing Caledonia dreamer. Very pragmatically speaking we are the poor cousin of Westmonster all investment to create new jobs goes to London all money goes to London and they decide how much pocket money we get. It is not wrong to want to grow up and leave the nest and strike out on your own two feet.

      • Good to hear your views Shaun. I am English and middle class, well paid and work in Edinburgh. I read information supplied by both sides and decided to vote Yes. This wasn’t based on getting more ‘free stuff’ but the logical belief that the people who live here might have a better idea on what the priorities should be and on how best to govern. Moving the proportion of tax revenue from being spent renewing Trident or subsiding the House of Lords into supporting the development of Tidal energy technology or improving childcare, both popular in Scotland sounded sensible to me. The creation of a simplified tax system where tax avoidance was difficult also appealed, and was possible with a Yes vote. I don’t recognise your portrayal of Yes supporters as anti-English, I actively campaigned for a Yes and the ONLY people who ever brought up my nationality were No campaigners. Everyone I met believed in civic nationalism.

    • Andrea… you said..’I work for the government so I voted No to keep my job’. ….

      …….Sigh… do you really think your job is safe in the UK? Do you know about more than double the Tory and Labour cuts to come? Are you listening? – because they TOLD you – and you didnt listen. Have you ANY idea what is coming?

      There’s no John MacLean to speak for you now.

      Andrea, you’ll be on the dole soon, I’m sorry to say, treated like a leper through no fault of your own. You’ll have no job and you gave them your vote so they could sack you; this is the thanks you’ll get. Then there will be tears.

      But too late-
      you
      voted
      No.

  29. Shaun
    December 13, 2014 • 12:20
    ”The SNP would have went wild with public expenditure – indeed a large part of the campaign was based on an escape from “austerity” – which, coupled with a reduced level of income, would have caused us huge financial problems down the line.”

    Shaun, you’re at it again – you love to make ordinary wealth producers pay for bankers’ frauds and the politicians who let them away with it. You refuse to think clearly and seem to be a mini version of a Daily Mail editorial.

    All the guff about getting ‘free stuff’! Come on man, get real, stop making it up as you go along.

    Now stoppit willya?

    • Can you argue points without resorting personal attacks and putting words in people’s mouths? Maybe if your side had been able to do that you might have even been able to win.

      But you couldn’t, and didn’t.

      • What personal attacks? What words in your mouth? Evidence please, only evidence.

        YOU said are for austerity (food banks, bedroom tax, low wages, tax cuts for the rich etc etc) on those who did not cause the current crisis. Correct?

        You said Yes voters wanted ‘free stuff.” What free stuff? Evidence please.

        No need for the personal attack about ‘my side’ losing.

      • Classic no campaign tactic – make outlandish claim, someone points out you’re wrong and then you bleat personal attack. Murphy has made a career out of it.

  30. Andrea said
    December 13, 2014 • 11:18
    Because it is accompanied by a sense of shame…???? ‘

    If they were over 50 then they would have been fed Scot’s wha Hae wi their porridge

    Wha will be a traitor knave?
    Wha will fill a coward’s grave?
    Wha sae base as be a slave?
    Let him turn an flee

    I am unfortunately over 50 but I never got this fed to me wi’ ma porridge. Be careful of such generalisations. And this song/poem is one of Rabbie’s worst – oversentimental in the extreme.

  31. Eze said………..”London decide(s) how much pocket money we get.”

    No they dont, we do. We agreed to this system so it’s our fault.

    Eze said ….” It is not wrong to want to grow up and leave the nest and strike out on your own two feet.”

    You must abandon this idea of leaving ‘mother’ and this ‘nest ‘ stuff. Please.

    • Ha ha Bothy you appear to be seeking to confront. I did not agree to any system I wanted Independence. No matter who agreed it the fact remains that it is London who descides how much is spent where. And I do not just mean welfare spending I mean Infrastructure spending such as upgrading Westmonster and the already tidy London Underground HS2/3 which only operate in England the recent £60 million for English football team I agreed to none of this.And I think my analogy fits well as they (London Westmonster) treat us lick silly wee children.!!

      • Yes Eze – I confront arguments and not persons. That’s why we are here, to debate.

        You say you did not agree etc. I am speaking about Scots in general not you. Surely I dont have to explain that.

        Yes you are right about all the spending policies you quote – but dont blame the English – in their own way they are a remarkable nation – but we Scots allow this to happen, so whose fault is it? It’s our fault, giving new meaning to ”Here’s tae us, wha’s like us?” Yes, gey few.

        We are treated like weans because we think we’re ….. ? ….fill in the answer…..

      • Ok Bothy. I agree you meant us “Scots”. Though I never mentioned the “English” I specifically said London and Westmonster I am not an English hater. You however are coming accross as a Scots hater bemoaning the result of the vote with no real positive input to the debate. It is easy to slag people off it is more dificult to be constructive and positive. The referrendum is lost so how do we convince No voters that having a strong SNP presence in Westmonster is good for Scotland and could mean we get a better slice of the infrastructure budget. To your blank I would add a sentence not a word ……..an oppressed people backed into a corner….I just hope we come out fighting in a metaphorical sense and not literally.

      • Ok Bothy so I knew you meant the Scots. However I did not mention the “English” I spoke of London and Westmonster. I repeat I am not an English hater. You however are coming accross as a Scots hater bemoaning the result and giving No voters a hard time. I get it Im upset to.

        It is easy to slag people off it is more difficult to be constructive and positive. So how in your opinion do we convince the No’s and Neutrals that having a strong SNP presence in Westmonster may help us get a better share of the infrastructure spending.

        To your blank I would add a sentence not a word..an oppresse people being backed into a corner…I just hope we come out fighting metaphorically and not literally.

      • Sorry for double post it did not seem to work fist time 😦

    • How on earth do the Scottish electorate decide on how much money we get from Westminster?

      • We don’t decide – and Scotland agreed to that by voting No.

        Again, don’t blame the English who are as worthwhile a people as the Scots. Blame the Scots.

  32. Agree questions are far to loaded if you want to sound genuinely open to responses that aren’t I’m sorry!

  33. Ok. i will give this a go because some you seem like civil normal humans.

    I voted no because in a nutshell i think the risks outweighed the potential gains. Not through “fear” but in a calculated assement. Mostly it was the economic risks. I dont think becoming a smaller less diversified country would be wise. Not having a reasoable currency plan may be a dry topic but it is massively important. Not having a known place or role in the eu. I believe in that in the global market we are in that some of the policies we would have adopted (whilst having good intentions) would have been overly idealisitic and ended up damaging us.

    Some truth bombs now. People who voted no did so because they thought it was what was best for scotland. It does not equate to an endorsment for the status quo. I found it quite revealing that if i asked a yes voter why they were such inclinded 4 and sometimes 5 out of 5 of the reasons they gave were things that we wanted to.

    As most of you have been be respectful people if you want a dialogue. Its politics. Its policy. There is not a “right” answer.

    If you want more details in anything i have said ask away

    • “I believe in that in the global market we are in that some of the policies we would have adopted (whilst having good intentions) would have been overly idealisitic and ended up damaging us. ” I

      I like this comment Stephen though I think your idealistic is our Socially just. The global market is always on a knife edge boom and bust’s which used to happen over decades now only take a few years. far too much wealth and power is in too few peoples hands. I think there is some protection in being small and looking after your own. We cant compete against the China’s and Americas of the world even as part of the UK. I think it is time to start reigning it in ?

    • “Ok. i will give this a go because some you seem like civil normal humans.”

      Fine start.

      “I dont think becoming a smaller less diversified country would be wise.”

      Malta did it. St Kitts and Nevins did it. Antigua and Barbuada did it. Those countries are all far smaller than Scotland, with far fewer resources, and far less going for them. They did it. Why couldn’t we?

      “Not having a reasoable currency plan may be a dry topic but it is massively important.”

      What was unreasonable about the Scottish government’s currency plan? If anyone was unreasonable, it was the UK parties’ refusal to consider a currency union, even though it would’ve done far more harm to the rest of the UK than to Scotland.

      “Not having a known place or role in the eu.”

      We don’t know if we’ll have a place or role in the EU in ten year’s time even as part of the UK.

      “I believe in that in the global market we are in that some of the policies we would have adopted (whilst having good intentions) would have been overly idealisitic and ended up damaging us. ”

      Such as? They can’t be any more damaging or ruinous than the policies the UK has adopted.

      “People who voted no did so because they thought it was what was best for scotland. It does not equate to an endorsment for the status quo. ”

      In intention, it does not. In practicality, it does. Voting for Westminster to continue governing our lives is an endorsement for Westminster to continue governing our lives, regardless of who’s in power.

      “I found it quite revealing that if i asked a yes voter why they were such inclinded 4 and sometimes 5 out of 5 of the reasons they gave were things that we wanted to. ”

      The difference is the Yes voters realise that those things are much more difficult, if outright impossible, within the current political situation.

      I have to inquire: who are you going to vote for in the 2015 General Election? The Greens? They’re years, if not decades, away from having any power. New Labour? After the torture revelations, the wars, the assaults on civil liberties, they’re no better than the Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats? They’ve sold their very souls for power. Somehow I don’t think you’re going to vote Conservative or UKIP based on your comments, yet who else would possibly get into power?

      How are we going to achieve the sort of fair society which both Yes and No seem to agree is desirable, when the only political parties with any power (aside from the SNP) are hell-bent on curbing immigration, destroying benefits, stripping the NHS, and launching interminable war? How many people are going to starve or freeze to death under austerity?

      With a No vote, we Yes voters don’t have anything to prove. No voters, on the other hand, have EVERYTHING to prove. Prove that you were right. Prove that we are better together. Prove that the people of Scotland didn’t make the biggest mistake in their history by being the only nation ever to reject its own independence.

  34. The longer this goes on the more obvious becomes the gullibility of NO voters like Shaun (if Shaun actually exists). These are excuses, not reasons and it reminds me how throughout the campaign the NO side disappeared whenever some entirely credible fact or figures surfaced to support independence.
    They did not contest them.
    They allowed the media to bury them.
    They relied entirely on the press ignoring these facts and figures and continued their campaign of appalling scaremongering.
    The YES side very comprehensively won the economic argument with those with access to it and the ability to understand the issues. The press and the broadcast media ensured that there was no widespread distribution of the truth and some of the contributions on here make their success in that very plain indeed.
    I have so far read no sensible reason for a NO vote.
    I suspect that is because there is no sensible reason for a NO vote.
    And ,as a visitor to our new Forward shop told us last week,the rest of the world now thinks we’re a bunch of fannies

    And no.
    I do not believe the result. Until somebody explains to me how an impossible 97% take up on the postal ballot can be achieved, as it was in five area of Scotland, I will not believe the result. But that is another debate

  35. I will say, without evidence, that the reason that NO voters cant/wont explain their vote is because (like UKIPers)that there is no intellect involved but only gut emotion (fear). . This emotion is well served by rightwingery, The Sun , Scotsman , Daily Mail and so on. To say nothing of Brown, Murphy, Cameron etc.
    Shaun is a victim of that.

    Will, dont look for a conspiracy – or you become like the No voters, full of vague emotion. If you think it IS a conspiracy then you will NEVER find the real reason for the No win, and will therefore never overcome it.

  36. Eze1
    December 13, 2014 • 18:53
    Ok Bothy so I knew you meant the Scots. However I did not mention the “English” I spoke of London and Westmonster. I repeat I am not an English hater. You however are coming accross as a Scots hater bemoaning the result and giving No voters a hard time. I get it Im upset to.

    It is easy to slag people off it is more difficult to be constructive and positive. So how in your opinion do we convince the No’s and Neutrals that having a strong SNP presence in Westmonster may help us get a better share of the infrastructure spending.

    To your blank I would add a sentence not a word..an oppresse people being backed into a corner…I just hope we come out fighting metaphorically and not literally.
    ———————————————————————————————————–

    I didnt say you were an English hater – I said dont blame a fine race for Scotland’s weakness. Some dont like it when , in effect I say grow up and blame yourself.

    Yes I’d like to give the No lot a hard debating time but I dont think they care about my view.

    When I ”slag people off’ as you say I want to wake folk up to reality – dont blame England because Scotland hasnt got the bottle to stand up for itself. YOU even spoke about ‘It is not wrong to want to grow up and leave the nest and strike out on your own two feet.”’. Jeez – I cant tell you how bad that was to read. What nest????

    The Scots are NOT oppressed – stop the victim mentality please – we had the chance a few weeks ago and we blew it. BraveHeart thinking will get us nowhere.

    • Oh Boothy! ..sigh!..Ha ha still nothing positive to say then. The metaphorical nest of the supposed security blanket that all is good as long as we stay together. Do you not get analogys. You are playing the victim card not me. Poor us those bloody no voters I am looking for a positive way forward and trying to engage you with this but you much prefer to mock.well mock away my good fellow I will not swallow your bait because I am not and will not be one of your victims 🙂

      • Oh I forgot we are oppressed did you not see the weight of the whole media against us during the referrendum…….Was that just me being a victim 🙂

  37. Now I am Scottish. I have never seen myself as British even though I have lived in england longer than in Scotland. Independence was a no brained for me. Before reasoned argument, just as a fact Scotland should be independent. My excellent English friend said that he loves being British and that anybody trying to break up Britain is an act of treason. For him it is a gut thing, the same as I say Scotland should be independent. We just agree to disagree on the whole matter. Don’t look too deeply at people’s opinions. I could never give up on the need for independence. He could never give up on Britain as a whole.

  38. We will have to wait till the results of next May Scottish general elections are known. Arguing the rights and wrongs of voting yes or no, whether the referendum vote was rigged or not, or whether the press and media were biased towards the no vote.The electorate will have the opportunity to vote and retifya wrong.

  39. Bothy Basher
    I’m not looking for a conspiracy. However anybody who believes that such is impossible/unlikely/unthinkable with the economic survival of the UK State on the line is living in the wrong world.

    Can you explain to me 97% take-ups on postal ballots on an old register?

    But as I said this is a dfferent debate.

  40. Will, dont look for a conspiracy – or you become like the No voters, full of vague emotion. If you think it IS a conspiracy then you will NEVER find the real reason for the No win, and will therefore never overcome it.

  41. Was the real problem in the YES campaign that we went online, sat in the canteen/pub and “debated” with people who had the same views as us?
    There seems such a gulf at times, similar to labour/tory in the ’80s.
    It’s not just a generational thing, but it’s accentuated by it. It’s between me and the ballot box is about all I ever get on politics from my father. If I can’t engage him in debate, then it’s going to be even harder for everyone else.
    This is a good initiative from Bella, so best for me to shut up and let the folk the article is intended for put in their submissions.

  42. I am really interested in this debate, I hope there will be a good variety of opinions but let us also remember that to be respectful, to truly listen to an opinion, is to not immediately counter it or bombard with questions. For those who really felt it was not right, their feelings were valid and in order to hopefully move on in the best possible way we need to understand why.

  43. Higher up the comments trail John asked me to elaborate on what my concerns were. I can’t reply to his comment directly, so let me do so here.

    A bit of context first: I had two Scottish Grandparents and two English ones. I was born and brought up in England but have lived for the second half of my life in Scotland. To my English friends I’m Scottish. To my Scottish friends I’m English. To me – I’m Scottish, English, British – it really doesn’t matter to me.

    I live in and work from Scotland, employed by the rUK subsidiary of an American company, but all of my commercial activities take place outside the UK.

    I really don’t care if we are governed by Holyrood, Westminster or Brussels – what is important to me is quality of governance.

    So to sum up, I don’t have an emotional or an employment angle, though I am motivated by what I feel is best for my family and for Scotland.

    As a Sales Manager, and I spend my working life trying to understand the decision process that my clients are going through, and I tried to apply the same analysis to how I was feeling. What I came with was five points of concern, three you could call structural and two personal.

    1. Benefits. In general I feel that having government closer to the people should make for better governance, so that’s a big plus for independence. However, I felt that such a far reaching change (it would have been the first time that a first world country with a 300 yr. history of joined-at-the-hip cross-border trade / finance / government had become independent) would produce winners and losers, and for me the Scotland’s Future picture of everything flourishing was just too simplistic. Benefits were not guaranteed and would take time to filter through.

    2. No detailed analysis of costs. Which WERE guaranteed to occur, and do so starting from day 1. There are something like 300 cross-border government functions which would need to be recreated. It took Germany 15 years to incorporate East Germany into West Germany’s existing functions, but apparently it was ‘meaningless’ (John Swinney I think) to discuss the cost and timescale of creating ours from scratch.

    3. No answer to the big ‘risk’ questions. In fact no evidence of big thinking. Currency – Yes should have been able to say WHY it would have been in the rUK interest to join a CU and to have said what protection would be in place for the rUK. EU – a Spanish Government Minister gave a long and detailed explanation as to why Scotland would be out for a long time, and Stuart Hosie replied with ‘He’s wrong.’ Sorry Stuart – if you want to persuade me that he’s wrong you have to be able to say why he’s wrong. Finally financial services. Just about no individual or organisation in the rUK buys their savings, pension or investment products from a supplier based in France or Ireland, but Yes seemed to believe that if Scotland became as foreign as Ireland that things would carry on as before.

    For me #3 was the main reason to vote No and I suspect the main reason that Edinburgh voted No, and the Edinburgh vote on its own beat the four Yes voting areas. Fundamental shortfall on the part of Yes.

    Now the personal stuff

    4. Whilst it was correct to say that a vote for independence wasn’t a vote for the SNP I felt that post-independence we would be likely to have a left wing SNP and Scottish Labour fighting it out without an effective balancing centre right party. The Yes alliance participants such as the SSP, Tommy Sheridan and the Radical Independence Collective were not going to be friendly to the middle classes.

    5. Occasional anti-English racism. I know it’s a minority, but I didn’t feel that Salmond, Sturgeon etc. did enough to stamp on it and every No supporting English person that I know felt uncomfortable during the run up to the referendum. And afterwards when posters on Bella and elsewhere suggested that we shouldn’t have had the vote. Let me put it this way – If I was a Yes activist I would be concerned that the activities of some of my colleagues was making a sizeable minority of the population feel unwanted in their adopted country.

    OK, so now you know why I voted No. You might see these as negative points, but I could describe each one as a positive. If you think that No voters were scared, they would say that they were being prudent. Selfish becomes wanting to protect their families. Lacking imagination becomes a lack of detail to consider.

    Contrary to popular belief I don’t think that the referendum campaign was a fantastic example of Political engagement. Two groups talked amongst themselves and occasionally got together to shout at each other, without ever trying understand WHY the others felt the way they did. I’m offering this so that if there is a next time the engagement might be of a higher quality.

    • “what is important to me is quality of governance.”

      Are you sure about that statement? You seem to have an odd view of reality. Let me refresh your memory on the ‘quality of governance’ you voted know for:

      – UK heading for £2 trillion debt = austerity for next decade+?
      – Lightest touch regulation in EU (banks, energy, arms dealers, privatised utilities etc = corporate profit motive)
      – Scandals – London banks, Westminster politicians, London media etc
      – 1 million Scots households in poverty
      – iIlegal wars/Trident/rendition/ UK arms sales to anybody with cash

      Posh Eton boys doing well in your view then? Pure quality? You voted No for this ‘quality’? You must be joking surely.

      You have not in the least compared the actual Westminster cesspit record with what everyone knows (look at the polls) is a highly competent SNP Gov at Holyrood the past 7 years.

      Get real.

    • Mr T thanks for your reply. You said :-
      “I live in and work from Scotland, employed by the rUK subsidiary of an American company, but all of my commercial activities take place outside the UK.
      I really don’t care if we are governed by Holyrood, Westminster or Brussels – what is important to me is quality of governance.
      So to sum up, I don’t have an emotional or an employment angle, though I am motivated by what I feel is best for my family and for Scotland.”

      From what you say above you really don’t seem to have much of a stake in Scotland so I don’t understand why you say you are motivated by what is best for Scotland. Maybe you like the Scottish lifestyle and cheap property market.

      Most of your concerns seem to be financial and I guess that might be the industry you work in. Obviously there will be costs initially when Scotland becomes independent. John Swinney outlined some of these and obviously the ‘independent’ OBR would say these were wildly underestimated. The truth is costs are difficult to estimate, just ask George Osborne about his targets for reducing the deficit.
      The big questions on currency were all answered. It was going to be the pound in a currency union or outside a union. It was up to the rUK to decide if they wanted Scotland to contribute to the UK debt or to walk away from it. The other question on EU, the Spanish government official obviously has his own agenda ie Catalonia. The EU is in the business of expanding hence Bulgaria and other poor countries have joined in recent years, so they are not going to kick out a member nation like Scotland with it’s wealth.

      Financial services as we have seen over the last few years isn’t really the type of industry we want to pin our hopes on in Scotland. Better to focus on industries that actually produce something like manufacturing and technology. Time to undo the deindustrialisation of Scotland started by Thatcher and continued by successive westminster governments.

      Yes it wasn’t a vote for SNP and after independence other parties will have an opportunity to get elected. That is democracy. Scotland has had to suffer Tory governments for decades when they didn’t vote for them.

      I don’t know what the first minister could have done about perceived anti English racism. Remember he wasn’t the leader of the YES campaign. I lived in England during the 1980s for 3 years as Thatcher was deindustrialising Scotland and work was difficult to find in Scotland. I experienced racism in the deep south of Hampshire. I didn’t let it bother me as these idiots are just that – idiots. So Scotland doesn’t have a monopoly on idiots. In my opinion most racism came from the NO side, remember George square on the 19th September – an absolute disgrace.

      Your final point I disagree with as you might expect.
      For me the referendum was when many people started to ask questions and ignore the lies we have been fed by the establishment for decades through their mouthpiece the BBC and the printed media. Many people now know the truth about how Scotland and other parts of the UK including the north of England subsidise London and the southeast of England. Scotland is on a road to independence and I am sure it will happen within this decade.

  44. Thx Mr T for a detailed response on your thinking at the time. I personally think your reason No.3 and No.2, to a lesser extent, were the primary reasons for most NO voters. What frustrated me was there was plenty information to the contrary available (not Scottish Govt. sources), but not widely published in the press. Out of interest, if you could’ve been convinced on these two points, would you have changed your vote?

    • Hi MeMeMe

      I could definitely have voted Yes if I thought that there was more of a plan and less of a dream. I’ve voted in every Westminster election since 1979 and I can’t remember a good Westminster government yet (maybe early years of Blair sneak in, before he got side tracked by Iraq and Gordon Brown stated spending money he didn’t have). But…..I wasn’t about to swap something that worked badly for something that might not even have worked.

      I think that I read up pretty widely but I wasn’t convinced.

      To me Yes made a choice to make it all look simple so as not to scare too many people off, but the flip side of that was that they DID scare off people who wanted to know about the hard bits.

  45. I voted ‘no’ as I was afraid that Scotland would end up like the Republic of Ireland; an insanely expensive place to live where it costs you £50 just to get in to see your GP.

  46. “I’ve voted in every Westminster election since 1979 and I can’t remember a good Westminster government yet ”

    If you believe this then it seems utterly illogical for you to vote No. What you are saying here is that you are content with bad government at Westminster.

    You continue:

    “I wasn’t about to swap something that worked badly for something that might not even have worked.”

    You are evidently satisfied with proven incompetent Westminster government. And you appear to have no faith in Scots ability to run their own nation better than our Eton friends. Why is that? What makes Scots even more incompetent than the proven incompetents at westminster? What have the SNP Gov been doing the past 7 years! Why are they running so high in the polls? Its about competence. The Scottish Gov has proven its competence. People can compare Holyrood with Westminster easily. The difference is clear as day, for those with eyes to see and ears to listen. You knowingly voted for continued bad government. Well done! And thank you for helping to thwart my nationhood as well.

  47. Bella

    What about a note from voters who should have been a shoe in for Yes – like myself – who instead spoiled the ballot paper with a big X in both boxes on the ballot paper?

    I think the idea is a good one, as are many of Bella’s ideas, but you appear, somewhat, to have given the game away with this comment: “Some people might want to retain a sense of humour.” – it’s a bit like a Bella version of caveat emptor.

    Regards

    Longshanker

  48. The arrogance and triumphalism displayed by the Yes camp, particularly in the latter weeks of the campaign, was enough to turn off a huge amount of ‘undecideds’. Has anyone ever considered that? Has the Yes campaign looked inward and asked why, under a hated Tory government, during a time of harsh austerity and disenchantment they still couldn’t muster a majority? Flag-waving on ‘Freedom Square’, a permanent emphasis on ‘us’ and ‘them’, storming the BBC, constant social-media references to the ‘nawbags’ and the questioning of people’s sanity etc…..all massive own-goals that contributed to a spectacular failure. Unsurprising to see in the comments below that not much has changed.

    • “Has the Yes campaign looked inward and asked why, under a hated Tory government, during a time of harsh austerity and disenchantment they still couldn’t muster a majority?”

      Yes couldn’t muster a majority because 30 out of 34 daily national newspapers backed a No vote. Because the BBC and every other news channel, explicitly or implicitly, backed a No vote. Because every main Westminster party backed a No vote. Because Westminster had ten times the finances and resources Holyrood had. Because we couldn’t counter the avalanche of lies about pensions and deportations and threats of violence. Because the entire British establishment was pitted against us. Frankly, it’s nothing short of amazing the Yes minority was as high as 45% given the opposition.

      As for “arrogance and triumphalism,” how does “flag-waving” in Freedom Square compare to sectarian violence and intimidation? How does a few extremists using “us and them” in regards to Westminster compare to celebrities, politicians and journalists actively comparing us to Nazis? How does “storming the BBC” (when was that?) compare with people being hounded by the Daily Mail?

      “all massive own-goals that contributed to a spectacular failure. ”

      Yes started the campaign in the 20-30% region, and ended up 45%. All this despite the entire might of the Westminster establishment against us, despite the near entirety of the mass media against us, despite the wealth of millionaires and tycoons. It’s hard to see that failure as spectacular – unless you’re referring to the No campaign, which even unionists called a complete shambles.

      • The No campaign was undoubtedly a shambles. I would not dispute that. However rather than patting yourselves on the back about a campaign well-fought (but not well enough) I think some reflection on what the Yes campaign did WRONG rather than what it did right would serve you and others of the same mindset well. My point remains; large swathes of those who you could have won over were turned off by the pre-election victory parades on George Square and the presumption on social media that the result was a foregone conclusion. And the ‘us’ and ‘them’ I was referring to was the yes campaign versus anyone who had the temerity to disagree with them. This undercurrent was everywhere in the debate.

        • “My point remains; large swathes of those who you could have won over were turned off by the pre-election victory parades on George Square and the presumption on social media that the result was a foregone conclusion.”

          Why are you so sure of that? Throughout the two years, there has only been one path of trajectory, and that was of Yes to No. If these “pre-election victory parades” were turning people off in droves, then surely we would’ve seen the Yes vote rise rather than fall?

          “And the ‘us’ and ‘them’ I was referring to was the yes campaign versus anyone who had the temerity to disagree with them. This undercurrent was everywhere in the debate.”

          The referendum was a binary question. There were only two choices: Yes and No – or, “us” and “them.” I really cannot see how it could be any other way given the nature of the question. If there was a second question, maybe then we could have more complexity, but we don’t. All we have is Yes or No, Us or Them. And we have the Unionist parties to thank for that, for vetoing the Devo max question.

      • I know you’re just try to goad a reaction, but those were not victory in George Square. Of course you already knew that.

        It’s telling you ignored everything else in alharron’s reply.

  49. A good starting point would be the Ashcroft polling immediately post-vote. The leading reasons given for voting no were:
    Currency – 57% (7% gave as a reason for voting yes)
    Pensions – 37% 10% (gave as a reason for voting yes)
    Defence – 29% 16% (gave as a reason for voting yes)

    So we’re looking at quite different perspectives on the world.

    (I personally don’t think the currency question was ever adequately handled by the SNP. Our own currency is the obvious solution, but the SNP depended on sharing rUK currency and being bound to that fiscal regime – or even using the pound as a hard currency with no Scottish currency!)

    When given prompes, no voters gave main reasons as:
    – Financial risks too high – 47%
    – Attachement to UK traditions – 27% (they do exist! Like someone regarding themselves as primarily European)
    – No vote will give more powers to Scottish Parliament anyway – 25%

    Given how important financial issues were in the referendum, it is striking how little post-referendum discussion there has been on setting up a Scottish currency, transitional arrangements for pensions, etc. These are needed.

    • Currency – most UK residents live on debt and doesn’t matter what currency debt is in, its still debt
      Pensions – UK has worst pensions in EU
      Defence – Scotland has virtually no defence at the moment
      Financial risks – soon £2 trillion UK debt and rising, London about to go pop again = bailout2
      UK traditions – Morris Dancing, cricket, BBC
      More powers – er, I don’t think so

      Seems that 55% failed the test then. Resit required. I recommend more revision next time.
      Gee, this is fun!

  50. There is nothing you can say to those who voted NO that hasn’t already been said in a thousand different ways prior to the vote. Why they voted no is their business after all. No, the only thing that will convince some, but not all, are events.

    First and foremost will Westminster deliver significant legislation which will provide Scotland with a powerhouse parliament fit for the 21st century? Or will they renege on their many and varied pledges? Not looking good so far, it has to be said.

    Secondly, the economy. People are going to suffer from yet more austerity, budgets will be slashed in response to more government cuts. Unasked for and enforced legislation and bureaucracy will be enacted. People are going to lose their jobs, services will be lost. There will be more poverty, disaffection and alienation from governments they have no control over whatsoever.

    There is no avoiding this. Cameron, Osborne and indeed Labour’s and the Libdem’s leadership have made it abundantly clear this is how Westminster oriented parties intend to tackle the debt and economic carnage which they incurred. Get used to it because it is coming and won’t magically disappear at the last moment.

    In short, those who voted no will have to decide for themselves was their vote on September 18th worth it? Are we better together and if they find the answer is no, what do they intend to do about it? If they decide the answer is yes, then they’ll have to understand why those who are directly suffering from their choice may feel somewhat at odds from their decision.

    • Am I missing something here? It is blindingly obvious why the majority of the electorate voted No.The economic case for Independence was fundamentally flawed and still is, Look at page 32 of the Indy White Paper where costings were predicated on a price of a barrel of Brent crude being $113. 3 months later it is $59 a barrel! What more evidence do you need as to why No voters voted the way they did? At the time of Indy day it was plummeting southwards on $90. Check out the Rouble, now worth 1 Euro. The Norwegian economy is shedding Oil jobs and cutting back on investment, Experts predict that the price of a barrel will eventually steady over the next couple of years at between $50-60 which would leave a fiscal deficit in Scotland larger than the £12 Billion cost of running our NHS. This for me kills the case for a second Referendum stone dead. Even if the SNP wins another outright majority there is no way that they would go for it with the Oil price the way it is – plus Indy Scotland’s £130 Billion share of the national debt coming their way to payoff / or the swingeing borrowing rates for refusing to do so,

      For me the choice was simple vote No and get austerity and pay off the $1.5 Trillion debt or vote Yes and get austerity in perpetuity,

      Unconvinced? Check out Scotland’s non party political aligned top economist thinks of the economic consequences of independence given the 4 currency options that were on offer. Starts 18 seconds in

      • Yes, I’d say you missed the whole point of constitutional reform, but the choice has been made and we’ll all have to see how it pans out and live with the consequences. Oh and yes I’m fully aware of the plummeting oil price and why that is. I’m also aware that with or without oil Scotland would be perfectly financially viable as confirmed by all of Better Together’s leaders, or were they wrong about that?

  51. “You might want to apologise… You might have realised you were being lied to all the time…”
    How very magnanimous. Get over yourself, for everyone’s sake. The majority had plenty reasons, you are just adding to them.

  52. The economist in the video is not a Better Together leader. I think I’ll take his word for it that an Indy Scotland would be in austerty +++

    • Ahhhh, the dismal science.

      Quoting an Economist speaking at a workingforscotland.org and claiming he’s impartial says a great deal about you.

    • No but, I’m sure those leaders had access to their own economists advice and resources wouldn’t you say? I can line up a few economists too. One or two can throw a Nobel laureate’s tag around. Or we could go to the CEBR, the Times, SCDI, the Fiscal Commission etc, etc. 🙂

      Its all opinion, there are no crystal balls in business. Its all about who we believed would make the best of our resources and powers. Its all about trust.

      You and many others made a choice, now we get to see how that pans out.

      For good or ill.

      But again, whatever happens we really are in the same boat and we’ll never know what constitutional reform and a new economic model would have done for, or to, Scotland will we? We will however see only too soon what austerity will do. And do remember it wasn’t just about the economy. It was about our society, our laws, our constitutional rights and our form of government. To have forsaken consideration/control of all of those issues in favour of simply a changeable economic argument? We have to ask ourselves did we do justice to our future?

      • Remember his talk was delivered when a barrel of Brent crude was $100! He concluded that Scotland would be in austerity ++

        For me it was and still is only about the economy. You can bang on about a more just, equal and fair society all you want but what is the point if the economic underpinning is not there to deliver it, I do get the very strong opinion reading the posts on here that there are a lot of folk who would be prepared to pay the ultimate price of accepting the economic disaster that would be an independent Scotland if it meant being independent.

      • What does the current price of oil have to do with with a IndyScotland that wouldn’t have come in to force until 2016?

      • “You can bang on about a more just, equal and fair society all you want but what is the point if the economic underpinning is not there to deliver it”

        And Switzerland, Sweden, Singapore, Denmark and a host of other small nations survive how without access to vast oil fields? Could it be that they make an economic model to suit their needs? That they have the wit to make what they do have work for them more effectively than we do? Why are we so singularly incapable of coming up with an economic model with all of our natural resources and infrastructure which would suit our future needs?

        Not unreasonable questions I’d have thought. I choose to believe we do have the talent to go along with our resources, others simply do not. Those other things we ‘bang on about’ are what define a nation. How we enact laws, how we shape our society, how we relate to each other and our communities. The economist and you appear to believe that disaster would have been the result of independence. The fiscal commission’s economists believe otherwise.

        I simply believe we always had the capability to engineer our own solutions to our own problems. What we lack are the relevant powers to do so. We are tied to an economic model and system that has and is in the process of failing. That also has and is failing its societal charge.

        Bit late to prove whether independence would have stacked up or not now really.

  53. So what economic aspects of his lecture are you in disagreement with?

  54. Apologise? Apologise for excercising my democratic right to vote how I wish to! Those kind of words belong not in the UK.

  55. Both yes and no were hugely complex. Many people all had their various own reasons for voting in the way they did.

    gotta say, the way this blog – and it isn’t even the worst – demonise No voters is ridiculous. It wasn’t a party election, a left/right split – and making out Yes was left and No was right, or something, is equally ridiculous. It was a huge overarching question about identity, many other things. Economics and politics come into it but only as part of a larger whole.
    We voted now, and in almost every constituency it was soundly beaten. Actually it did very well, given it started on about 20 – 30% and has always resided at 20-30%. To get to 44.7 it kind of did as well as it feasibly could, given an almost “perfect storm” of reasons to vote Yes.
    It was a massively complex question, we’ve had it now, the answer was No, and that doesn’t instantly mean everything is fucked, forever. Keep going keep plugging away. Besides with oil prices dropping with tracking, and the fact that the chance of us nationalising the oil anyway was slim, we gotta realise that end of the day UK is a massive economy and being part of that is not that bad of a thing.

    bella caledonia : get over yourself. the question was massively complex and it’s over now.

  56. I’m relieved that a first world country, whatever it’s problems on inequalities, didn’t start down the road of balkanization that the nationalist mindset seems bent upon.
    I consider myself fortunate to be born in the latter half of the 20th century in a stable, wealthy and improving part of the world.
    I am simply saddened that 37 percent of our registered voters don’t feel that fixing the current system is preferable to creating division.

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