back to article Scottish leader splurged £20k appealing disclosure of EU membership legal bungle

Alex Salmond wasted £20,000 of public money trying to stop the Scottish Information Commissioner's Office from revealing that he'd not taken legal advice on a post-independence Scotland's eligibility for European Union membership. The walrus-like Scottish National Party (SNP) leader used taxpayers' cash to fund a Court of …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If only it was their own money...

    1. Ted Treen
      Big Brother

      @AC 11_10_13 10:23

      "...If only it was their own money..."

      They think it is.

      Our only role is to do the work to earn it, and happily let them rifle through our wallets at will.

      1. ISP

        Re: @AC 11_10_13 10:23

        "Our only role is to do the work to earn it, and happily let them rifle through our wallets at will."

        and I'm sure you never use any state provided services, like roads, museums, emergency services, etc...

        1. Richard 120

          @ISP

          "I'm sure you never use any state provided services, like roads, museums, emergency services, etc..."

          Not in Scotland, no.

          1. ISP

            Re: @ISP

            And I don't use any in Westminster or Manchester for that matter but I imagine that some of my taxes go to funding things there too. What's your point?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He will win this easily, he has the 16-18 year old vote in the bag, with a 'free mobile phone for every vote'.....

      Mind you I hope they like Blackberry phones.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Please, please

      Vote for independence, I will no longer have to explain to a shop keeper that a Scottish £10 note is actually legal tender because it won't be.

      The EU will also make it difficult for him to join, Spain may veto its membership simply on the grounds that if it doesn't the Catalan areas may try the same thing.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Please, please

        Technically scottish (and NI) notes arent "legal tender" in england and wales, no more than BoE notes are legal in scotland or NI.

        http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/banknotes/Pages/about/faqs.aspx#16

        It is up to the party to decide if the note is as-good-as-it-says-it-is

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So their argument in their defence is

    "we're just as bad as the other guys", then? Half the FOIs for 1/20th the population isn't a good ratio, nor is blowing more per objection.

    Really hope this Indy thing doesn't go through... I have no objection in principle to it but no-one competent to run an established country has yet reared their head, let alone able to design a new one.

    He's had 30 years of campaigning to get his house in order, get answers to questions, cost out basic models. And still hasn't shown any evidence that he's managed to get this far.

    1. CodeMonkery

      Re: So their argument in their defence is

      And the world as it is now, is exactly as it was 30 years ago.

      Oh, wait...

  3. Bill the Sys Admin

    Stupid triple chinned idiot. Easily the most annoying man in Scotland.

    1. oddie

      the fact that he is tripple chinned and/or a walrus should have nothing to do with our opinion of him.. dislike him for his weasely politics and his aparent lack of capabilities.. no reason to resort to namecalling over physical appearance... his idiocy stands perfectly well on its own without it.

      I hope Scotland does declare itself independent, but probably not with mr.Salmond at the helm.. which is what elections are for :)

      1. Fibbles

        Salmond already makes himself look like enough of a fool. Childish name calling, such as that in the article, does nothing but detract from what would otherwise be valid criticism.

    2. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

      Seeing as you are so clever...

      Can you tell me if Britain is eligible for membership when it no longer exists?

      I'd say: "please" but I don't want to be pleasant to an idiot.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    >The walrus-like Scottish National Party (SNP) leader

    While I intensely dislike the SNP as they're only in it for power and personal gain (like most politicians) and will do little more than move bureaucracy from London to Edinburgh, with a different bunch of quangos and chums creaming off the country's assets for themselves, is there really any need for pathetic name-calling like this?

    Is this the daily fucking mail or what?

    1. Jason Hindle

      I think El Reg tries to be more like The Sun.....

    2. theblackhand

      Re: Is there really any need for pathetic name-calling like this?

      If this was the daily mail, we would have had:

      The walrus-like Scottish National Party (SNP) leader whose dad hated England

      Based on no research, but I'm assuming it's not too great a leap to find some one in Scotland who hates England....

      As far as name-calling, when politicians stop being self-serving, thieving, corrupt w*nkers, I'll consider treating them as people....

      1. cortland

        Re: Is there really any need for pathetic name-calling like this?

        And "Humza Yousaf, external affairs spokesman for the SNP" says it all, really. What's his clan tartan?

        Nationalism seems to have gotten rather less strident than it once was; where's REAL hostility when one needs it?

        1. LarsG

          Re: Is there really any need for pathetic name-calling like this?

          A rather racist statement, he is Pakistani/Kenyan whose parents immigrated to Scotland in the 1960's.

          However he has never had a real job in his life, after studying Politics at Glasgow University he worked for Bashor Ahmad SNP as a researcher. He is one of those career politicians that has no real experience other than living in the political bubble of politics which pretty much includes the whole bloody lot of them from lands end to john o groats.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "The walrus-like Scottish National Party (SNP) leader" is simply unkind to walruses.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Was going to say much the same thing.

        What happened - did a walrus once nick the author's fish supper?

      2. Chad H.

        >>>true what youre saying but they are going to pay on time no matter what the mainstream media tries and convince you otherwise. Already provisions in the law that treasury can allocate the funds for emergency purposes such as this.

        Indeed, I saw him more as a Jabba the Hutt figure

      3. hamcheeseandonion
        Devil

        .....he's got a face like a City Bakeries Halloween cake...the fillings much the same too.

    4. Gav

      Pathetic

      Agreed.

      Salmon is a prat, but his physique is not relevant. Sarcastic comments like that are fine for a opinion piece, or satire and comedy, but this is supposed to be news. It's pathetic .

      1. Tom 38 Silver badge

        Re: Pathetic

        You come here for the news?

        1. Mycho Silver badge

          Re: Pathetic

          So wait, are there politicians that the Reg hasn't insulted still?

    5. FanMan
      Linux

      Showbiz for ugly people

      Politics is legitimate "showbiz for ugly people" but the the odobenous Mr Salmond and his shrill sidekick Sturgeon are abusing the privilege. Do we really want them dominating our tellies and papers for years to come? It's a legitimate concern.

      PS "Walrus" need not be a term of abuse necessarily. Sure the characteristic under-chin flotation sac appears to be present but if Mr Salmond is also equipped, walrus-like, with a sturdy baculum, then he is more to be envied than derided and it would help to explain his trademark smug demeanour.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Showbiz for ugly people

        "odobenous"

        I had to look that up! Reg commentards educational as usual.

  5. Triggerfish

    Just goes to show

    Whether Scotland chooses independence or not, they're still going to end up with politicians as shit as the rest of us have.

  6. FanMan
    Headmaster

    "Sic" yourself

    ...to try and [sic] hide information that never even existed.

    "To try and" is a perfectly respectable Scottish construction.

    1. Monty Cantsin

      Re: "Sic" yourself

      Yep, you'd regularly hear that in Ireland too. Jasper Hamill should try and remember that there's numerous valid dialects of English.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Richard 120

        Re: "Sic" yourself

        I thought you try to do something.

        If you try and do something then it's not really trying, it's achieving.

        Just because the general populace use the construct doesn't mean it's grammatically correct, we're not all writers.

        This is (mostly) an IT publication, logic means something.

    2. Fibbles

      Re: "Sic" yourself

      It's also valid in northern England. Of course, as is the consensus view in much of the south, we're all subhuman ape men who shouldn't be taken seriously. To be honest it's amazing we manage to dress ourselves in the morning let alone construct a sentence.

      1. Richard 120
        Headmaster

        Re: "Sic" yourself

        Are you sure it's valid in the context that's being used here?

        "and" is a conjunction, you could play hide and seek, you could even try and convict.

        If you try and kick a ball then you are successfully kicking a ball, but who/what are you trying?

        1. Fibbles

          Re: "Sic" yourself

          Trying to make sense of one dialect using the rules of another isn't going to get you very far. Geordies sometimes say 'us' instead of 'me'. You could spend all day complaining that it doesn't make any sense according to the rules of the Queen's English but it shouldn't come as a surprise since the dialect doesn't use that rule-set.

          1. Richard 120

            Re: "Sic" yourself

            It used to be that journalists and writers determined the language particularly the broadsheets. Now everyone considers themselves a writer, subsequently regional dialects are considered part of the language, at least by some.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It'll never happen...

    Andy Parsons summed it up quite nicely on Mock the Week:

    "41% of English people want to see Scotland go independent, but you're never going to find enough Scots who'll vote for anything that makes that many English people happy"

  8. Gordon Pryra

    As an Englishman

    (well a South African who chose to be English)

    I say give us a bloody referendum so we can vote on either kicking them out or the less onerous "Expulsion-max"

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: As an Englishman

      We can't kick them out, we could vote to leave the union, but that would be a legal nightmare as Alex Salmond is finding out. Or rather not finding out and telling everyone "It'll be alright, we'll get automatic entry to the EU, we don't even need to apply, no-one will object, we'll keep the euro, sorry pound and we'll be able to control interest rates, despite having no influence on the Bank of England. Oh and everyone in Edinburgh will be able to take the tram to cast their votes for glorious independence."

  9. James Spragg

    True indpendence, north & south of the border would be if the public could make politicians pay / tell the truth/ be accountable (to the people)

  10. Just_this_guy

    So the actual 'scandal' here...

    ...is not that they tried to hide the legal advice, but that apparently they didn't get any in the first place. That seems pretty irresponsible.

    1. BrownishMonstr

      Re: So the actual 'scandal' here...

      Kinda reminds me of Futurama:

      Leela: Fry, we have a crate to deliver.

      Fry: Well let's just dump it in the sewer and say we delivered it.

      Bender: Too much work. Let's burn it and *say* we dumped it in the sewer.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I just find it funny that Alex Salmond wants independance from the rest of UK, BUT wants to be tied up with the EU.

    Why fight for independance only to lose it again.

    1. CodeMonkery

      You may find it funny but perhaps if you think about it, you'll see that there's a big difference between the UK and the EU.

      London is a centre of absolute sovereign power that devolves it unwillingly and grudgingly. For the original devolution settlement the powers of the Scottish office were simply handed to the Scottish Parliament. The extra 'powers' the Calman commission granted were nothing more than frittering around the edges.

      The EU, however, derives its power by virtue of the agreements made (treaties signed) by its member countries to allow the EU to run these areas for the common benefit of all.

      The EU still does not decide on a nation's taxation and spending, welfare, foreign policy, defence policy and more. In the UK all of these are currently controlled by London and through independence, Scots would control these powers themselves.

  12. Mike Brown

    The no campaign is grasping at straws here

    shows how terrifiied they are of us leaving the UK.

    One thing that Salmond needs to get across is that a vote for independance isnt nescesarly a vote for the SNP or him. Once we are independent you could still vote tory if you so choose.

    1. Shasta McNasty

      Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

      No-one is "terrified" of Scotland leaving the UK.

      This just highlights the fact that the very people telling the public that independence is all planned out and will be rosy aren't doing their due diligence.

      Its like when HP bought Autonomy without due diligence. Look how well that worked out.

      1. Niall Wallace 1

        Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

        considering "better together" have so far spouted little more than "pish and bullshite"

        Examples:

        1) "You'll have to pay roaming fees for using your phone in England" A) No shit sherlock b) O2s roaming costs are LESS than they charge for domestic use, due to EU rules.

        2) You'll need to carry your passport: Again no shit sherlock, foreign country and all that.

        3) Englanmd will be a different country... another no shit sherlock, but wait, what's that, Scotland and England are different countries with different legal systems, school systems, health care systems, and even different forms of the English language.

        So far their claims would struggle to meet the requirements of a "Not Proven" let alone "Guilty" of delivering the truth.

        1. Chad H.

          Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

          Examples:

          1) "You'll have to pay roaming fees for using your phone in England" A) No shit sherlock b) O2s roaming costs are LESS than they charge for domestic use, due to EU rules.

          2) You'll need to carry your passport: Again no shit sherlock, foreign country and all that.

          3) Englanmd will be a different country... another no shit sherlock, but wait, what's that, Scotland and England are different countries with different legal systems, school systems, health care systems, and even different forms of the English language.

          So far their claims would struggle to meet the requirements of a "Not Proven" let alone "Guilty" of delivering the truth.

          ------

          How can that be "Not proven" when you've just stipilated to the facts? You've just agreed that everything theyve said is true?

      2. Mad Mike

        Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

        As has been pointed out by most polls. There are probably more people south of the border that would vote for Scottish independence than there are north!! That's the biggest problem here. If the Scots want a vote, that's fine. Let them do so. However, as it's a 'Union' that requires that both parties want to stay together. So, those south of the border should be given a vote on whether we want to stay with Scotland. If the answers no, then Scotland should be split off regardless of their wishes.

        Effectively, there are four outcomes and only one (both parties wanting to stay together) results in the UK remaining as is.

        1. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

          Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

          @Mad Mike

          It doesn't require the consent of both parties to dissolve a Union - check out the divorce courts!

          But the analogy is interesting in respect of Scottish independence and membership of the EU etc.

          The break-up (if it happens) could take two forms: a formal divorce, in which case the assets are divided between the two parties, i.e. Scotland takes on a fair share of the assets and liabilities (National debt etc) of the former partnership, but that means the two parties are equal, and so both Scotland and RumpUK have EU/NATO/Eurovision membership etc or neither does.

          Alternatively it ends up with the equivalent of Scotland abandoning the other half by packing a few belongings into a suitcase and doing a runner while RumpUK is down the boozer, and abandons any claim to the assets and benefits (Eurovision membership etc) BUT also walks away from any liabilities, so starts up as a country with NO national debt (and quite a lot of oil...) - sounds like the sort of country the EU would like to admit anyway.

          The No camp can't have it both ways - if they want Scotland to take on some of the national debt, then they get a divorce and both countries can stay in the EU (if they want) - or both countries end up having to re-apply.

          1. plrndl
            Meh

            Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

            It's not for the UK to decide if an independent Scotland can remain in the EU, it's an EU decision. I personally think that the chance of Scotland being permitted to join the EU without embracing the Euro is negligible. Furthermore if they end up as oil-rich as the SNP claim, the EU will want a large slice of that to bail out Ireland, Portugal, Greece etc.

            1. Ian 55

              Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

              @plrndl

              Never mind Spain: if I were Prime Minister Milliband - it could happen - I would veto Scotland's admission to the EU on the basis that Scotland's independence means I lose whatever majority I have and Labour will never win a UK General Election for the foreseeable future.

              1. amuzed

                Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

                I won't predict the future, but all of Tony Blair's governments had comfortable English majorities. The 'Labour needs Scotland in order to be electable' myth is just that.

                I believe we are responsible for Nick Clegg's current position though - you're welcome.

            2. CodeMonkery

              Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

              There are ten countries in the EU that do not use the Euro. They are: United Kingdom, Bulgaria, Czech Rep., Denmark, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania and Sweden. Of these, most were admitted after the requirement to join ERM2, a precursor to joining the Euro. It still requires certain economic requirements to be met (IIRC for a sustained two year period) AND a referendum before a member country can adopt the Euro.

              Scotland is a rich country and so should contribute to the Eurozone. That's not a problem, because it already does contribute to the EU by virtue of the UK's membership. Your point is?

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

            @Pen-y-gors - In the event that Scotland leaves the Union, they have done just that. England, Ireland and Wales remain the UK, they don't need to re-apply to the EU, however Scotland, a new country will have to re-apply and it's by no means certain. Spain will certainly object to their membership, not wanting to encourage their own separatist movement, which will scupper Scotland's entry, even if it can be sorted out through negotiation, this is by no means automatic EU entry.

            As touched on above, the UK have an opt out of the Euro, so an indi Scotland will almost certainly be expected to take up the Euro and even if they don't they have the probably worse option of keeping the pound with no political influence over the Bank of England, which would be a criminally stupid idea.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

              @AC 12:28

              England, Ireland and Wales remain the UK, they don't need to re-apply to the EU

              Ireland's still part of the UK? Fucking hell, you need to read a history book or something

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

                Ok, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland then, personally I call the Ireland south of the boarder Eire.

                1. This post has been deleted by its author

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

                  Ok, The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland then, personally I call the Ireland south of the boarder Eire.

                  Did you have to go and look at the cover of your passport before replying? Yes,the small part of the island owned by her Maj indeed Northern Ireland.

                  The rest of it is more commonly known as Ireland or Éire (depending on whether you speak Irish or English) as per Article 4 of the Irish constitution.

                  http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/en/constitution/index.html#part2

            2. ISP

              Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

              "In the event that Scotland leaves the Union, they have done just that. England, Ireland and Wales remain the UK, they don't need to re-apply to the EU, however Scotland, a new country will have to re-apply and it's by no means certain."

              Given the level of eurosceptism currently in vogue maybe the rump UK would rather take the excuse to leave the EU instead.

            3. Ejit

              Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

              "@Pen-y-gors - In the event that Scotland leaves the Union, they have done just that. England, Ireland and Wales remain the UK, they don't need to re-apply to the EU, "

              Wrong - The UK was formed as a result of the 1707 Union between Scotland and England. The state formed by that Union signed the EU membership treaties. When Scotland becomes independent, then the UK ceases to exist, and England-Wales-Northern-Ireland are in exactly the same legal situation as Scotland, because the state comprising England Wales and Northern Ireland didn't sign the EU accession treaties either.

              Learn your history. We have already checked ours.

              1. Jonathan Richards 1
                Megaphone

                Advice flies

                Cripes, guys. You're punting points of view that are exactly the legal topic which the FOI request was directed at. Has a lawyer advised Mr Salmond that the Ejit is right, or has he advised differently?

                It appears that Mr Salmond forgot to ask, but the fact remains that WE DON'T KNOW. Clearly you two know what you'd like the answer to be, but that's not the same thing.

                1. ISP

                  Re: Advice flies

                  "It appears that Mr Salmond forgot to ask, but the fact remains that WE DON'T KNOW. "

                  I suspect you could get any answer you want on the subject from the right lawyer but it would cost a lot more than £20k...

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

                @Ejit - I'm not exactly sure who's learned your history, and I suspect by "ours" you mean all of Scotland, who you don't speak for BTW. However the thing is that this whole story is about Alex Salmond not taking legal advice. Now the people that I've heard speak on the matter, and this includes Herman Van Rumpuy speaking in his position as EU President, are very clear that any treaties or arrangements would continue with the non-Scotland countries keeping hold of the legal entity of the United Kingdom.

              3. Flatpackhamster

                Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

                The EU says you're wrong. The Lisbon Treaty states that in the event of a country breaking up, the bit that's buggering off to be a new country has to reapply. That means Scotland. Act of Union, pish. It's like claiming that you could leave the EU by revoking the 1972 Communities Act, it's been superceded by EU law.

                1. Ejit

                  Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

                  You miss the point.

                  The Acts of Union (there were two, one in Scotland and one in England) only ratified the Treaty of Union agreed between to two governments and signed by Queen Anne. There is no power given to the EU, or Westminster, in international Law to repeal or amend theTreaty, especially when the English version of the Act of Union states " “the said articles of union so as aforesaid ratified approved and confirmed by Act of Parliament of Scotland and by this present Act… are hereby enacted and ordained to be and continue in all times coming the complete and intire union of the two kingdoms of England and Scotland”.

                  The Treaty of Union no longer exists in law when either party to the Union declares it ended.

                  1. Anonymous Coward
                    Anonymous Coward

                    Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

                    @Ejit - Let's assume you're correct (I disagree with you, but we'll assume) even if the UK has ceased to be from a technical legal point of view, the treaties, the seat on the UN and the UN security council, the position of the former UK in the EU, all treaties with any other countries, everything, transfers to New UK. Scotland, however becomes a new entity and has to apply to join all these bodies and if the new eastern countries joining the EU are anything to go by, I wouldn't hold your breath. This is what everyone outside of the SNP is saying. The SNP, haven't got legal advice - why, exactly, I have no idea, it would seem to be the first thing you'd do when proposing a break up of any legal entity - they have been caught out lying about it and appropriating public funds to try to pretend they haven't.

                2. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

                  Well how about publishing the relevant part of the treaty because I seem to have found the one person who seems to "know" the position with the EU... political experts, EU members, professors of law have all had a look and not one has stated with the certainty you have that Scotland would be kicked out.

                  Forgive me if I therfore take your contribution with a truckload of salt.

              4. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

                Plain wrong.

                1) England part-annexed and then merged with Wales (process completed by C16th Act of Union)

                2) E&W and S merged to created GB (Act of Union 1707)

                3) GB and I merged to create 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland' (Act of Union 1800)

                4) Southern portion of I leaves UK leaving 'United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland'

                :. E, W & NI will form a 'rump' UK with automatic EU membership, S as new country will have to apply to get in - simples!!

                So, *you* try reading some history.

            4. McHaggis69

              Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

              Ok some basic facts for you -

              Scotland will negotiate renewed membership from within the EU. There is no mechanism to chuck us out. It took Greenland years to go through the process and they WANTED out.

              The UK will no longer exist and if you state there is uncertainyty surrounding Scotland's membership then I'm afraid that position would hold true for rump UK. As it stands now, the balance is actually tipping to Scotland being in the EU and the rump UK not!

              Scotland will not be forced into adopting the Euro. I would post the legal position but take my word for it and look at Sweden's position. There are, in fact, practical legal positions that have to be met first and any country that doesnt meet them cannot be forced to adopt the Euro.

              You do realise that despite its name, the Bank of England is a UK institution that Scotland is entitled to around 8% of? Keeping the pound at the outset is an emminently sensible view and no-one could stop Scotland doing it (any country can as it is an open tradable currency). Perhaps the Bank would impose strict controls, but hey ho... just until Scotland decides what to do in the long term.(did you get that bit cos its quite important - SCOTLAND will decide what to do).

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

                @McHaggis69 - Scotland wouldn't be chucked out of the EU because Scotland isn't a member of the EU, the UK is the member.

                I don't know if you've noticed but the Bank of England's name doesn't appear on currency North of the Border, that should be a clue as to the status of the Bank of England.

                Posting some claimed legal position wouldn't help when all the people who actually have any say in the matter (the EU president, for a start) disagree, based on their legal advice.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

                  Sorry, its clear you are unable to present coherent arguments, just the same duff nonsense long since rubbished by proper analysis.

              2. Flatpackhamster

                Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

                McHaggis - Nobody's saying that Scotland would be 'chucked out'. But Scotland would have to renegotiate membership, and that includes the Euro.

                Don't take my word for it, here's old Jose Manuel to tell you himself:

                http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/scotland/9734785/Jose-Manuel-Barroso-Independent-Scotland-not-EU-member.html

                Scotland will be forced to adopt the Euro.

                1. amuzed

                  Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

                  "Scotland will be forced to adopt the Euro" - bet you a thousand Euros we aren't.

                  Quite a few other countries in the EU have effective Euro opt outs. Joining the Euro is a prolonged process which requires a country to have its own currency, which no popular political party plans to set up post-independence.

                  The Euro story is just another scare story punted by the ignorant and partial.

            5. R Callan
              Happy

              Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

              If Scotland should gain independence from the United Kingdom, The United Kingdom ceases to exist. It was formed when Scotland took over England and combined the two kingdoms of Scotland and England into one united kingdom. (The earlier take over of England by Wales did not result in a united kingdom as Wales was a number of Principalities and not a kingdom).

              Further, the expression Great Britain used in the meaning "The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland" could no longer be used as a large proportion of the island of Great Britain would not be included. This would hopefully invalidate all of the ridiculous treaties signed by "Great Britain" including the EU treaties allowing the independence of England, Wales and Northern Ireland from foreign domination (the first time from 24th March 1603).

              All I can say is roll on Scottish independence and freedom for the English, Welsh and Northern Irish.

              1. Flatpackhamster

                Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

                Much as I would love us to break free of the EU I'm afraid that isn't how it works. There are laws which regulate what happens when a chunk of a country breaks away and those laws state that everything which applied to the UK with Scotland in it now applies to the UK without Scotland.

                The best and most sensible way out of the EU (IMO) is to invoke Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty rather than trying to repeal the Communities Act. The former gives us a gradual, organised breakup whereby competencies are returned to the UK, the latter creates an almighty mess whereby all our treaties are abrogated and leaves us with lots of paperwork to do in a very short space of time (and given the average ability of the average civil servant these days will lead to chaos).

    2. Chad H.

      Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

      >>>The no campaign is grasping at straws here

      >>>shows how terrifiied they are of us leaving the UK.

      What straws? Alex Salmond did waste public money hiding the fact he hadnt asked for a legal opinion, right when legal opinions are coing out that makes him look like an idiot.

      1. CodeMonkery

        Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

        There was no legal advice because only the UK Government has the right to ask for it.

        """

        The UK government has said it would not seek the view of the European Commission. The Commission has stated that it would express its opinion "on a request from a member state detailing a precise scenario".

        The Commission has now confirmed it has not received any such request so far. A Scotland Office spokesman said that the UK government does not take its legal advice from the Commission and would not "pre-negotiate" ahead of a 2014 vote on Scottish independence.

        """

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-20155813

        So the UK government has the ability to end the doubt about a newly indelendent Scotland's status with regards to EU membership but they choose not to ask the EU about it.

        Why is that, do you think?

    3. Gav

      Re: The no campaign is grasping at straws here

      "shows how terrifiied they are of us leaving the UK."

      "They" are "us". Or at least some of "us". Just like some of "us" want to leave the UK.

      Or are you one of those tiresome people who takes it on themselves to decide who is "really" Scottish depending on how much you agree with them?

  13. i like crisps
    Go

    £250 on Tartan Trousers!!!!

    Wallace only spent £6.50 on Grommit's 'Wrong Trousers' and his were 'Bionic'....bet Alex's aren't Bionic...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SNP

    Is this the same paranoid SNP that wanted a separate telephone system in the Scottish Parliament building so no-one could intercept their calls? Only to change back to the generic 'all-party' phone system once it was pointed out that a separate system would make tapping *their* calls much, much easier?

    Most of the scots I know and worked with in Edinburgh realise independence is a non-starter and rate Salmond as little more than an oxygen thief.

    1. CodeMonkery

      Re: SNP

      Clearly the people you worked with provided an unrepresentative sample of the Scots population as a whole.

      http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3270/Voters-continue-to-back-the-SNP-at-Holyrood.aspx

      1. Nial

        Re: SNP

        "Clearly the people you worked with provided an unrepresentative sample of the Scots population as a whole.

        http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3270/Voters-continue-to-back-the-SNP-at-Holyrood.aspx"

        Clearly thinking they're doing a reasonable job in the Wee Pretendy Parliament isn't the same as wanting an independent country!

        1. CodeMonkery

          Re: SNP

          It seems by your dismissive "wee pretendy parliament" phrase, that you resent the existence of a body created by the mandate of the overwhelming majority of the Scottish people, or is it perhaps that you resent just that the SNP won a majority, something Jack McConnell said its its electoral system was designed to prevent?

          If it's so 'wee pretendy', let's give it the full powers of an independent country.

  15. RecQuery

    Seems the Daily Mail, Telegraph and YouTube comments sections are leaking...

    Seems the Daily Mail, Telegraph and YouTube comments sections are leaking...

    1. Gavin McMenemy

      Re: Seems the Daily Mail, Telegraph and YouTube comments sections are leaking...

      Yup. The Unholy Turdspurt is splattering it's putrescence all over this comment thread.

  16. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    Honest politicians are rare

    and Alec Salmond is one of those rare ones. True, he may be a bit lax about following procedures from time to time, but his aims are clear: putting Scotland and the Scottish people first, and doing the best he can for them. He believes that that is best achieved by ending the Union of 1707, and so he is doing what he can to bring about independence.

    If he was the sort of person who wanted power and money, he wouldn't be in the SNP. This isn't some opportunistic attempt to gain personal power: I sat in my room in St Andrews in the late 1970s with him discussing all this, and no-one then really dreamed he'd ever succeed. This is a long-held belief for him, not short-term opportunism. If he'd wanted to be rich and powerful he'd have joined the Tories or Labour and headed south. And you must admit, he's the most canny politician Scotland has produced in many years!

    So please feel free to argue for or against the case for constitutional change, but please let's not descend to personal attacks - let's reserve those for Call-me-dave and the other evil money-grubbing, power-crazed, baby-eating, devil-worshiping scum who form the present UK government and opposition.

    1. Dinky Carter

      Re: Honest politicians are rare

      My respect for Alex Salmond rocketed when he described the pathetic tendency for Scots to support any team that's playing England as "pathetic."

    2. Mark #255

      Re: Honest politicians are rare

      [...] please let's not descend to personal attacks - let's reserve those for Call-me-dave and the other evil money-grubbing, power-crazed, baby-eating, devil-worshiping scum who form the present UK government and opposition.

      I see what you did there.

    3. Corinne

      Re: Honest politicians are rare

      "True, he may be a bit lax about following procedures from time to time, but his aims are clear"

      I'm afraid that if someone has the aim of running an entire independent country, then not just is following procedures a major requirement of the job, but being seen to follow them is almost as important. He may genuinely believe that Scotland will be better off separated from the rest of the UK, but that is no excuse for failing to even get the advice that would prove his point.

      If he believes that devolution will have major benefits for Scotland, then why has he failed to get the proof he needs to support his argument and in fact tried to hide that he didn't. If he was the CEO of some big computer company the automatic reaction from most ElReg commentards would be that he knew the answer would harm his cause.

      Disclaimer: I don't really care either way about Scottish independence. Someone not playing by the rules however usually suggests to me that they can't get what they want without cheating.

    4. Chad H.

      Re: Honest politicians are rare

      >>>Honest politicians are rare and Alec Salmond is one of those rare ones.

      Said in an article that reveals Alex Salmond spend £20k covering up a lie?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Honest politicians are rare

        @Chad H. - I don't think you understand - In the eyes of many of the people who want independence, Alex is a saintly figure who can't tell a lie and is loved by all right thinking people.

        I however actually know a lot of scots, family, friends and colleges, I know vanishingly few who have a good word to say for him.

        1. Pat McGroin

          Re: Honest politicians are rare

          OK, few Scots genuinely like Salmond... big deal!

          The reality is that the Independence vote has got naethin' at a' tae dae wi' that.

          If Scots get independence... and I hope we do... we're likely to vote in a government drastically to the left of Salmond, et al.

          And I for one will welcome my new Scottish Workers' Republic overlords.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Honest politicians are rare

            The vote for Independence has quite a bit to do with Alex Salmond, because he's pinned it upon himself as his reason for being, he is the cheerleader for the independence and therefore his behaviour reflects heavily upon it.

            Salmond has repeatedly shown he can't be trusted and makes alliances with and hangs out with some seriously questionable groups and individuals.

            To put it simply: If someone says "trust me, we're better off if we do it my way" they had better be actually trustworthy and I don't believe he is.

            1. CodeMonkery

              Re: Honest politicians are rare

              No, a vote for Independence has nothing to do with Alex Salmond. Yes, Mr Salmond, among others (Harvie, Canavan, Margo, and more) champions independence and it's his drive and enthusiasm for it which has taken us to the point where we now have a referendum.

              The referendum is about this and this alone: Should Scotland be an independent country?

              After independence there will be a democracy in Scotland with political parties of all colours standing for election in a PR system.

              Name the questionable groups and individuals he 'hangs out' with.

    5. Mike G

      Re: Honest politicians are rare

      As somebody that stays near his constituency, I've seen the very worst of his corrupt, hypocritical and cowardly behaviour close up in local and national politics. I'd recommend watching 'tripping up trump' to see an example of how his constituents get butt-f*cked in the name of him toadying up to one of the world's most odious people.

  17. Dinky Carter

    Preposition?

    Why the ludicrous American-style omission of a vital preposition?

    Reading the title alone, it's impossible to say whether the gentleman in question is appealing *for* or appealing *against* the disclosure.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      Re: Preposition?

      ...except that in the courts, an "appeal" is always against a ruling.

      1. Dinky Carter

        Re: Preposition?

        In your example, "appeal" is a noun, not a verb.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Preposition?

          Irrelevant. If you are appealing something in a court, it is always against. You can't appeal in favour of a court's decision.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Clown Shoes

    This referendum vote is never going to get to a decision between going it alone, or staying part of a community. The incompetence of the SNP means the vote is "do you think these bozos have their ducks in a row" - and the answer is an unequivocal "NO".

    You couldn't in any sanity vote for something where failure is guaranteed by the clown shoes of the the party pushing it. Not having the key items sorted, signed up and nailed down means you'd do better sending the SNP south of the border, to screw up England instead....

  19. Skizz

    I'm not keen on Mr Salmond

    Ever since watching "You've Been Trumped" and how the government overturned a local planning decision and ended up bulldozing an SSSI. Shocking. Should be shown to all the Scots voting in the referendum to show just how much Mr Salmond's government loves Scotland.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I feel for the Scottish, I really do, I live there and am firmly English but I really do like the place, unfortunately they fucked it up.

    They have had the perfect opportunity to carve out something less corrupt than Westminster and yet within the space of a few years have show every intention of following the rest of UK and ripping us off at every turn.

    So far my interperation of SNP policy is this, everything is free for everyone, we will milk finite resources forever and you wont pay anything more than you are now, the world will love us all the more than you will have a government equally powerful in the EU as the UK does with a tiny fraction of the population and thus MSPs. Sounds like a utopia

    I am all up for Scotland governing more of its own country but time and time again all the SNP seems able to do is spend money they don't have and miss lead us. is it possible to have a democratic society that isn't corrupt?

    1. vagabondo

      re: AC 11 Oct 12:49 GMT

      You miss the point completely. After independence we in Scotland could vote for any government that WE wanted -- the southern shires would not be able to foist their chosen one on us.

      There might even be a return to a socialist Labour Party in Scotland without the right-wing Blairite "whip". If Scottish Labour could form a credible left, then I would expect a post-independence SNP to shrink and reform as a pragmatic centre party. The Tories should renounce their "Unionist" title and take the "Progressive" title they had in Scottish local politics not so long ago.

      1. Davie Dee

        Re: re: AC 11 Oct 12:49 GMT

        interesting thought, I cant help but wonder though that the SNP would be a bit harder to get rid of then that.

        A new government starts more or less from scratch, can do whatever they want given the majority they currently hold. They already aloud 16 year olds to vote, now all it takes to make sure those 16 year olds are influenced in the right kind of way. Yes some 16 year olds are able to think clearly, but the rest, the majority, are high on ideals or following their parents views whilst juggling Hormonal changes of an incalculable nature.

        I don't think the AC above has missed the point, it is a great shame, for Scotland to have dived down the corrupt hole that infects so many governments, the point I think the AC was making is that its not just SNP that created this corruptness, but since day one its been growing unchecked, £400 and how many million on a building that didn't work, £20k on a single wooden desk etc etc

        and to be fair, I do think its a bit naïve to think that the SNP would just roll over should they win this vote

        id like to be proven wrong but people like Salmond appear to be made of slime and deception, just looking at him! I wouldn't trust the guy to hold my beer without him taking a swig let alone anything else!

        1. vagabondo

          Re: re: AC 11 Oct 12:49 GMT

          £400 and how many million on a building that didn't work, £20k on a single wooden desk etc etc"

          Are you referring to the Scottish Parliament Building at Holyrood? This was a venture under the remit of the Labour Party (Tony Blair and Donald Dewar), you cannot blame the SNP with any semblance of integrity.

          Your recourse to personal innuendo and playground name-calling just sounds like bluster, and a lack of any reasoned argument.

          I have known many people who have supported devolution and independence over the last 50 years. They have been both right-wing (When SNP suffered the "Scottish Tories" soubriquet), and of the left (driven by the successive Thatcherite and Blairite attacks on public life public life and non-selfish ideologies. The one thing that has been constant has been the SNP's commitment to self-determination. Without that we have no choice, with it the people can decide.

          1. Davie Dee

            Re: re: AC 11 Oct 12:49 GMT

            you should check your eyes, I specifically said that I think I the AC was meaning all successive governments from day one have been corrupt, I did not imply that the SNP were to blame for this act alone, although I will gladly go through their own list of shameful acts if you want?

            I suggest you wake up to reality, regardless of which political movement you support, they have ALL screwed up a perfect opportunity for a fresh new start, THAT is the point that the AC is making and I whole heartedly agree with.

            I agree that Scotland should have more influence on its own lands but I disagree for the need to completely separate and over the last 15 years I have lived here there is ample evidence that they simply don't have the maturity and the resolve to make something good out of it, that is the shame. Salmond also seems (in my opinion) hell bent of driving a wedge between the two nations for no other reason than to help him secure a victory namely via the impressionable youth that have miraculously just been given the right to vote at 16, the SNP may be consistent, but their just as full of shit as the next party, they are doing it for themselves in the name of Scotland,

  21. Ross K Silver badge
    WTF?

    The walrus-like Scottish National Party (SNP) leader...

    "Walrus-like"?

    Starting your article with a pointless insult just shows the difference between bloggers and journalists...

  22. nsld
    Devil

    As an English Taxpayer

    I would happily vote for independence for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

    It would likely equate to a 50% tax cut as a result.

    Whats not to like?

    1. Ross K Silver badge

      Re: As an English Taxpayer

      It depends. Do the Scots get to keep their North Sea oil in your scenario?

      1. BoldMan

        Re: As an English Taxpayer

        Only a portion of North Sea oil is in what would become Scottish Territorial waters. You don't just draw a straight line east-west on the map, you follow the border as it intersects with the coastline and the border at Berwick is essentially North East

        1. Ross K Silver badge

          Re: As an English Taxpayer

          Only a portion of North Sea oil is in what would become Scottish Territorial waters

          Learn to read.

          I actually wrote "Do the Scots get to keep their North Sea oil...?",

          not ""Do the Scots get to keep ALL OF THE North Sea oil...?"

          There is a difference you know.

        2. JS997

          Re: As an English Taxpayer

          The portion of the continental shelf which may be exploited is clearly laid down in international law. Around 92-95% of current known oil reserves lie in Scottish waters, and thus belong to Scotland. So, England would get between 5 and 8% of the oil.

          It's actually like boom town in Aberdeen right now, with record investment in North sea licenses. Still lots of oil left - around 40 years minimum. Scotland has a strong economy, only marginally (1%) bettered by that found in London, although it is above any other part of the UK. Upon independence, Scotland would become the 8th wealthiest nation on earth. Currently the UK is 17th.

          1. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Mycho Silver badge

            Re: As an English Taxpayer

            Cite numbers, please.

            This 8th claim keeps coming up unsupported. By GDP using IMF stats the correct value is 18th. Have you actually got a citation which says this is anything but a typo?

        3. ISP

          Re: As an English Taxpayer

          "You don't just draw a straight line east-west on the map, you follow the border as it intersects with the coastline and the border at Berwick is essentially North East"

          Factually wrong, there is an international agreement as to how this should be done:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Equidistance_principle

          Using your method sea closer to Dundee than to any point in England would be English which would run contrary to any reasonable interpretation of International Law.

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: As an English Taxpayer

          I suggest you re-check your facts.

          As a Scotsman living in Fife, I know that in 2008 the then Labour Govenrment annexed several thousand square miles of north see into English waters by redrawing the boundary not at Berwick, but at Carnoustie near Dundee.

          Now why do you think Westiminster might do that?

          Of course, once we vote to become indpendent, international law will redraw the line back where it belongs heading directly east from Berwick upon Tweed,

          1. Ian 55

            Re: As an English Taxpayer

            I wouldn't count on keeping all of North Sea Oil above Berwick - the second Scotland as a whole votes for independence, the campaign for an independent Shetland starts, and it'd win any vote there.

            1. CodeMonkery

              Re: As an English Taxpayer

              Really? Please check your facts before you waste valuable bandwidth.

              """""

              An opinion poll of residents of the Northern Isles, commissioned by the Press and Journal newspaper, has given the lie to claims by certain supporters of the anti-independence campaign that Shetland and Orkney might seek to remain a part of the UK if Scotland becomes independent.

              The poll, published in the newspaper on Wednesday, finds that 82%, the overwhelming majority, of the islanders wish to remain Scottish.

              Asked "Should Shetland/Orkney be independent countries, separate from Scotland?" only 8% of islanders who participated in the poll said that they were in agreement, with a further 10% saying they did not know.

              """"

              http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-politics/7203-northern-isles-are-scottish-say-islanders

          2. amuzed

            Re: As an English Taxpayer

            Line east from N Berwick puts lots of sea that's closer to England than Scotland in Scottish waters so is unlikely to be the international boundary.

            I expect that the actual boundary will be much closer to the line of equidistance (ie sea nearer to Scotland is Scottish waters) which is the one the Labour Government introduced that you mention in your comment.

    2. oddie

      Re: As an English Taxpayer

      Depends... without scotland you might find that David Cameron/Ed Miliband have much easier time of it spending all your money on more nukes :/

  23. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who needs the EU? Join the Nordic Council and be a part in, part out country like Norway.

    Anyway I think it's the vocal English folk in England (as opposed to those English folk living in Scotland) that will win this for Salmond, he doesn't really need to do much to start winning the argument, Cameron and co will do that for him. His biggest problem is he keeps opening his mouth and reminding thousands of Scots just why we don't really like him, or want him to have a legacy..

    1. Flatpackhamster

      Except that the SNP's policy on EU membership is very clear. They want to be balls-deep in the EU, not out like Norway.

      (Norway is not 'part in' the EU. It is a member of EFTA, and not 'in' the EU at all.

  24. Enrico Vanni

    Scottish politics is indeed in stasis while this drawn out referendum campaign plods along. I made up my mind long ago (no to independence - I also voted against devolution as I said at the time all it would do is create another tier of government to drain more from the treasury- Holyrood is just league division 2 politics for the ones that weren't good enough to cut it at Westminster.)

    1. CodeMonkery

      The cost of an extra tier of government is great argument for telling Westminster - with its 650MPs and 750 unelected peers - where to go. Replacing 1400 seats with 129 seems much more cost effective to me.

  25. Keith 72
    IT Angle

    What a crap article.

    Why the hell was it published in The Register? Please don't post biased, abusive, political crap here.

  26. JP19

    20k?

    Just a drop in the ocean of money pissed away creating a whole new pack of useless wankers called politicians.

  27. cheeryAllyjspurs

    If Scotland voted to be independent the whole matter of the EU is quite clear. The UK remains just without a chunk of land i.e Scotland. The UK is not being renamed and remains in the EU, what would happen within the first year of budget agreements is that the UK's rebate and spending contributions would be adjusted as per any loss of GDP from Scotland. Scotland on the other hand does not exist and would have to re apply as a new nation to the EU with its normal 10yr minimum wait and budgetary targets set for them to match to join the euro. This has already been alluded to by various EU ministers already. The EU for instance would not be very inclined to honour Maggies agreement for the UKs cap refund for instance, Scotland going it alone they would love in the EU as they could then agree to reduce the UKs refund as Scotland has gone.

  28. John__

    So much ignorance...

    I have rarely come across so much ignorance in both comments and an article before. First of all, it is standard procedure for governments not to disclose the fact of whether there has been legal advice given. The appeal was to establish that principle. Secondly while general legal advice had been given on the contents of government papers, specific legal advice could not be sought before the signing of the Edinburgh agreement as that changed the legal position . I find it incredible that so many people seem to think that "advice" was being hidden. People may not like Salmond (as this author clearly doesn't), but every time he has been charged with being dishonest (6 times), an impartial investigation has established that he has not been. This suggests to me that the accusations themselves are more dishonest in nature than real attempts to establish the truth.

    John

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jeezo what a level of misunderstanding

    First, its independence not independance.

    Second, Salmond's appearance is neither here nor there.

    Third, they spent £20k defending the fundamental parliamentary privilege that exists in westminster and the Scottish parliament that governments are bound by. To not do that WOULD have been irresponsible. Its no secret that a huge portion of FoI requests to Scottish Government come from one single Labour activist/researcher. A shit-stirrer if you will.

    Independence isn't about Scotland, England, Europe or anything else. Its about the right to self determination. We don't hate England or English what we do hate is being governed by an elite, remote parliament which no-one up here votes for. Thats hardly democracy and I'm pretty sure none of you would accept being governed by, say, Egypt.

    The independence from England but not from Europe is a total red herring... at the moment we have Europe->Westminster->Scottish Government. After independence we get Europe->Scottish Government. You see what I did there? I took out a whole level of control as well as at the same time introduce a direct link to Europe where Scotland can be properly represented (at the moment we are not and anyone who suggests we are is an idiot).

    Honestly, I despair at the levels of ignorance on display - but maybe I should just live with it given the amount of lies, misinformation and media manipulation you are all subject to.

    1. JP19

      Re: Jeezo what a level of misunderstanding

      "Its about the right to self determination"

      Voting every few years to choose between two or three packs of complete wankers does not provide self determination. The wankers in Westminster are every bit as good as the ones in Hollyrood.

      "at the moment we have Europe->Westminster->Scottish Government. After independence we get Europe->Scottish Government. You see what I did there? I took out a whole level of control "

      And before devolution you had Europe->Westminster. See what you did there?

      1. CodeMonkery

        Re: Jeezo what a level of misunderstanding

        Yes you missed out a strong, direct voice for Scotland in Europe. At the moment we have just six MEPs, the same as Cyprus, when we should have at least twice that number, as Slovakia does, together with its representation on the EU Council of Ministers and European Commission.

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Jeezo what a level of misunderstanding

      "We don't hate England or English what we do hate is being governed by an elite, remote parliament which no-one up here votes for"

      And yet the UK is often under the rule of the Scots, NOT the English.

      Blair, Brown, a significant number of senior Labour ministers, politically active union leaders etc etc etc.

      There seems to be fewer Scots in the Tory and Lib Dem parties.

    3. Nial

      Re: Jeezo what a level of misunderstanding

      "We don't hate England or English what we do hate is being governed by an elite, remote parliament which no-one up here votes for"

      That's odd, I have been since moving to Scotland 15 odd years ago.

      1. amuzed

        Re: Jeezo what a level of misunderstanding

        Scotland gets the UK government it voted for less often than it would have had the choice been made by a coin toss. And Scottish MPs have had virtually no influence on what party has won a majority since WW2.

        So sure, you've been voting, but it's been a bit like pressing one of those pedestrian crossing buttons that doesn't actually DO anything.

  30. McHaggis69

    Salmond has and continues to have what, by comparison with all other party leaders, is a massive approval rating.

    S'funny how many people seem to aanounce their dislike of a man given the above fact.

    He is also generally regarded among politicians and political commentators as one of the best and most able poiliticians in the UK at the moment.

    Anyone who will consider voting in the independence referendum based upon a personal dislike of one man is a muppet who doesn't deserve to have the responsibility of voting.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Such a large approval rating that you had to join the register's forums especially to trumpet this point.

      Are you an SNP activist or do you do this for fun?

      1. McHaggis69

        Created a new account but been a long time member under a former guise.

        Happy to correct so many fundamental pieces of misunderstanding and/or downright lies. I don't personally know that as activism. Call it 'education'.

        The press in the UK and particularly Scotland are universally unionist. Hence the levels of drivel they spout copied verbatim from a referendum campaign that named itself 'project fear'. Take from that what you will.

    2. ISP

      "Anyone who will consider voting in the independence referendum based upon a personal dislike of one man is a muppet who doesn't deserve to have the responsibility of voting."

      You don't get to decide who gets to vote or not based on your opinion of their views chief. Like or not Salmond is the face of your campaign unfortunately for you there is a sizable proportion of your countrymen who can't abide him and when small things can sway a vote that is big impediment. So unless you want to disenfranchise those who don't toe your line I suggest you get of your fscking high horse.

    3. Nial

      You're going on about what a great politician he is, but similarly.....

      Anyone who will consider voting in the independence referendum based upon a personal admiration of one man is a muppet who doesn't deserve to have the responsibility of voting.

      He's shown he's a liar, why should we trust him when he says Scotland will be better on its own?

      I personally think his only goal is to get his name in the history books. What's he going to do when we mostly vote no?

  31. cheeryAllyjspurs

    The portion of the continental shelf which may be exploited is clearly laid down in international law. Around 92-95% of current known oil reserves lie in Scottish waters, and thus belong to Scotland. So, England would get between 5 and 8% of the oil.

    The equidistant principal is only a starting point for negotiations. In international law, other factors are taken into account in order to give an “equitable” share of oil to each country. So, essentially because British resources have been used to develop the fields (e.g. HMRC have a specific division for oil and gas revenues) rUK could very easily argue that they should receive a greater share than the 5%-10% the SNP would be willing to agree to. These argument would stand up in the international court as international law often encourages parties to agree to an “equitable” conclusion

    There is also a principal in international law which means maritime boundaries follow the land boundary. The current line boundary follows Berwick on Tweed in a north-easterly direction, not an east-west line that the SNP like to imagine. Project the current boundary into the North Sea and Scotland’s share drops closer to 60%. There are precedents in international law for this too.

    The Shetland and Orkneys are believed to hold around 25%-30% of the UK’s oil. If they wished to stay in the UK they would take “their” oil with them, substantially deteriorating Scotland’s fiscal position.

    There is no reason to believe these negotiations would be resolved quickly. The International Court took 4 years to decide on a row over boundaries between the Danish, Dutch and German parts of the North Sea.

    Taken from Oil and Gas journal 2012.(tm)

    Another complication here is the fact that the Orkney and Shetland islands have both indicated they would want to stay with the UK, if Scotland were to separate. These islands were seen as an extension of the UK mainland in UK-Norway negotiations about the borders for the North Sea, and so it is reasonable to assume the islands would have a similar effect if they wanted to stay with the UK, all be it they would be geographically located closer to a foreign country (Scotland).

    1. ISP

      The current boundary line was drawn in 1999 replacing the old east-west line and was done unilaterally by Westminster in a naked piece of opportunism. Are you also trying to claim that HMRC has spent more on developing the oil fields than they have got back in tax receipts? HMRC has had more than its fair share of oil revenue over the years and has largely squandered it.

      The Orcadians and Shetlanders are in general more Scandinavian in outlook, if you ask them you'd probably find as many who want to reunite with Norway than stay in the UK.

      Note, I don't even support independence but I know claptrap when I read it.

    2. John__

      "Another complication here is the fact that the Orkney and Shetland islands have both indicated they would want to stay with the UK"

      A strange comment, as when they were polled on this subject recently, 82% said that they would prefer to remain with Scotland. The poll was in the press and journal, which is in the No camp.

      John

    3. amuzed

      Shetland sits on Scotland's continental shelf, meaning it contributes to boundaries as long as it's part of Scotland. If it were an independent country it could claim a chunk of the North Sea. However, if it were annexed by England it wouldn't 'get' an area of the North Sea with oil in it - just a small surrounding area - due to its island group status.

  32. Yet Another Commentard

    New users, and The Economist

    Some time back The Economist published an article about its view of the economic state of Scotland ceding from the Union. Almost instantly the comments were drowned by users registering to shout about how Scotland would be welcomed back to the EU, how everyone there would earn more, how all the oil would go north, how the south would have to pay for the clean-up bill when it was all done, and even, quite remarkably that any oil found in the Falklands would also belong to Scotland.

    Anyhow, this seems to have happened here too. Several new user pop up today, post only to this article and only pro independence.

    Herewith my question - is there some part of the SNP that monitors the internet for stories about Scotland, then registers on those forums to ensure that the Party Line is shouted about?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: New users, and The Economist

      I don't know, but when I co-organised a conference in Scotland earlier this year, invites were sent to both the 'Yes' and the 'Better Together' campaigns. Only the latter wanted to attend, but that didn't stop pro-independence people complaining about bias on Twitter immediately afterwards.

      1. CodeMonkery

        Re: New users, and The Economist

        That's the opposite of what happened here.

        http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-spokesman-who-wont-speak/

    2. John__

      Re: New users, and The Economist

      I am one of those new users. I have read this site for approx 10 years. I have been driven to respond due to the rank ignorance of both the article and the commentators. Why should I not respond when I read such obvious falsehoods being stated as fact?

      I could turn your question around and ask what is it about the usual articles in the media that relate to the Scottish independence debate which drive people to register and respond?

      John

      1. amuzed

        Re: New users, and The Economist

        Hear hear John. The level of ignorance and chauvinism in this thread is sickening.

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Pathetic name-calling

    I think the name-calling is ok - if he isn't willing to try to take care of himself, why should anyone believe he can take care of a country? Anon as I'm not running for anything...

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Money well spent

    a much needed cash injection for the legal profesion dare I say ;D

  35. CodeMonkery

    How come El Reg does not highlight:

    o The £750m wasted on a pointless tram system by the previous Lab/Lib administration?

    o The ludicrous PFI contracts also signed by them which will go on draining public finances in Scotland for decades to come?

    Answers on a post card, please... oh, wait, the Royal Mail has been vastly undersold!

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Indeed, why would we highlight those things when our ever-trusty commentards will do it for us? ;-)

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