26th March 2017

Multi-pronged Better Together 2 attack (Allan Sutherland

John Swinney was confronted at Holyrood on Thursday with slam-dunk evidence from his own Scottish growth commissioner that the SNP knew fine well in 2014 an independent Scotland could not rely on oil tax revenues to plug the deficit.

That deficit, it turns out, would have been £15 billion every year. To put it bluntly, they never told us the truth.

His response was to wave his arms, rehash old “It’s Scotland’s oil” beans and try to humiliate Kezia Dugdale for standing with the Tories and Liberal Democrats in Better Together in what is now clear was a heroic, bullet-dodging campaign.

Brian Taylor of the BBC’s view was he contrived to “sidestep a question. Twice. But he did so with such panache and chutzpah that he had them roaring”.

Less fawning commentators, less likely to go weak at the knees in the face of an SNP “big beast”, might replace these words with “menace”, “malevolence” and “obediently braying”, and ponder the lengths the SNP will go to drag Scotland out of the UK against its will.

Mr Taylor did make one point which will come back to haunt the SNP junta. Scottish Labour will not join a Better Together 2. Next time the independence camp will face several campaigns, all supporting different versions of the United Kingdom. And each campaign, every day, putting different arguments and citing different examples of how the SNP’s dire track record and dreich nationalism will be the death of Scotland.

And, judging by the growing number of interjections by Jim Sillars, Kenny MacAskill and former leader Gordon Wilson they won’t even be able to rely on their own side to keep their thoughts and doubts to themselves.

I hope that, for Ms Dugdale, revenge is sweet.

Allan Sutherland

1 Willow Row,



  1. Gordon Harmer

    Yes the SNP have sowed the wind and boy will they reap the whirlwind.

  2. James Sinclair

    £15 billion deficit? Well,indyref2 never sounded too snappy to me. I know,how about darienscheme 2.0?

  3. John Ogden

    It is very disturbing that on something as fundamental as the future economic underpinning of an independent Scotland the then Finance Minister Swinney would seek to lie to his electorate. Shameful betrayal of trust.

  4. David Spence

    I would like to hear a good and valid reason why Scotland, should not be independent? (being part of the (Un)United Kingdom (or anything similar) not a valid answer).

    Afterall, we were quick enough to support smaller countries for independence against Russia after Perestroika.

    • Steven Jarmson

      One valid reason for being in the UK and remaining part of it?
      Hmmm, how about, because there was a referendum in 2014 that said the people who live in Scotland want to be part of the UK.
      Is that a valid enough reason?
      I would say anyone with the slightest idea of how a democracy works would say it is a valid reason.

      • John N Hunter

        How about being told that the only way for Scotland to remain in the EU was to continue to be part of the UK?

  5. Robin Stevenson

    “The SNP knew fine well in 2014 an independent Scotland could not rely on oil tax revenues to plug the deficit”.

    Of course they ‘knew fine well’, as anyone with half a clue knows/knew that you don’t rely – or base your economy – on a volatile commodity like oil?… What’s your point, Mr. Sutherland?

    Is it the UK figure of £15 billion? Could you give me a breakdown of how that number was arrived at? Could you give me the number of years that Scotland’s oil revenue surplus was placed into an account where it would subsidise these last two years (and only two years out of 310) that Scotland has needed (so they tell us) to rely on the ‘broad shoulders’ of the UK?

    At a Conservative estimate, that ‘surplus’ figure was £400 Billion, Mr, Sutherland, so if we knock off this fictitious amount over the last couple of years, (let’s say £30 billion) That means we’d only have £370 Billion left in the Scottish kitty… Wow! How could we possibly manage?

    David Spence

    There are no good reasons why Scotland shouldn’t be independent, that’s why our usual tribe here resort to desperate media misinformation.

    • Steven Jarmson

      So, robin, your argument of fiscal prudence is to live from money that doesn’t exist!!!
      That money is gone.
      Scotland was bankrupt when it merged into the UK, the UK paid off Scotland’s debts, which would be in the high billions by today’s values.
      Scotland was only wealthy in the 1800’s because of the British empire.
      It would have been the English empire had it not been for the union.
      What a stupid argument.
      The referendum has be argued on future finances.
      Just to add a note, you’re good at referring to history, all be it entirely invalid.
      Could you not look to more recent history, like possibly to 2014, you know, when Scotland voted overwhelmingly to stay in the UK.
      The SNP talk big about democracy but ignore it when it suits them.

  6. Gordon Harmer

    Yet the SNP was not always so enthusiastically European. In 1975, when the United Kingdom held a referendum on membership of what was then the ‘European Economic Community’ (EEC) or ‘Common Market’, the SNP campaigned vigorously for withdrawal. At a time when the Conservative Party and the right-wing press were overwhelmingly pro-European, it was the SNP that led the campaign for a Scottish No’ to Europe. While Mrs Thatcher campaigned to keep Britain in Europe, resplendent in a woolly jumper that combined all the flags of the European member states, SNP policy documents warned that the European Community could strike ‘a death blow to our very existence as a nation. If the SNP get their way it looks like that prophecy could come true.


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