Looking back on Scotland’s ‘No Vote’ – Why?

English people pretending to be Scottish

English people pretending to be Scottish

By @ShaunyGibson – Used to be @ ShaunyNews

Looking back on the whole year we all wrote, read and tried to free Scotland from a Union we still could and can leave within a few years, it makes me sad. I done so many articles, Audio blogs and said “VOTE FOR SELFISH REASONS WE WILL LOSE” This is EXACTLY what happened peeps https://acenewsdesk.wordpress.com/2014/07/13/why-we-cant-be-selfish-in-this-vote-scotland/ Some of us fell for the BBC Lies, the lies about Banks, banks who never actually said these things same as the Oil industry, the BBC tricked us, yet people STILL watch the BBC and pay a TV Licence. Some fell for Gordon Brown’s promises, yeah the same Gordon Brown who has retired a Multi-millionaire not a million miles from me to live his life in utter riches, same as Johann Lamont who after the no vote ran for the hills KNOWING she did wrong and to be fair her conscience got the best of her. Some believed DAVID CAMERON AND ED MILIBAND!  And most of the %’s of people who votes no were lied to in 1979 when we actually freed ourselves but were not allowed to leave. I still shake my head at the selfish people who voted no. Tommy Sheridan is a man I still have TONS of respect for, he did a talk almost every night for 130 days, in the end his voice gave way. I feel for everyone who pushed the Yes vote hard. But listen, we vote SNP next year! We can be free. SCOTLAND, DO NOT FALL FOR THE LIES AGAIN, PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are nearing an election, so I thought I would start the ball rolling

A modern day Nobleman who went with English kings

A modern day Nobleman who went with English kings

I did this article here 




And one last thing, you who voted no, WE ARE YET TO HEAR 1 REASON WHY YOU VOTED NO! 

This is what happened for real



♫ Stanley Odd Son I Voted Yes ♪

Scotland, listen and be at one with our future!

Alex Salmond – This is our time

Why Scotland must vote yes




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Nicola Sturgeon tops politician trust rating poll – Way ahead of the pack

Nicola Sturgeon is expected to take over from Alex Salmond as First Minister of Scotland

Nicola Sturgeon is expected to take over from Alex Salmond as First Minister of Scotland

By Shaun Gibson @ShaunyNews

MORE than half of Scots trust Nicola Sturgeon to fight for Scotland’s best interests compared to less than a quarter who think David Cameron would do the same, a poll has revealed.

The Panelbase study for the SNP found 54 per cent of people believe Ms Sturgeon – who is almost certain to succeed Alex Salmond as First Minister next month – would stand up for the country’s interests compared to 24 per cent for the Prime Minister. A third (33 per cent) of those surveyed said they did not trust Ms Sturgeon to represent Scottish interests, giving her an overall trust rating of +21 – higher than the ratings for all of the Scottish party and Westminster leaders. Mr Salmond is the only other leader to have a positive trust rating, with the outgoing First Minister achieving a net score of +18.

Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont was given a net rating of -5 by the research while Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson had a net score of -20 and Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie scored -28.

The three Westminster leaders had lower ratings, with Nick Clegg being scored at -58 in the research.

Almost three-quarters (71 per cent) of Scots do not trust him to stand up for Scotland’s interests, compared to the 13 per cent who think he would.

Mr Cameron’s net trust rating was -41 while Labour leader Ed Miliband fared slightly better with a rating of -38.

SNP business convener Derek Mackay said: “The poll shows strong trust ratings for Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon – with the leaders of the No campaign parties at Holyrood and Westminster all negative.

“These are remarkable figures for the leaders of a government after over seven years in office.

“The Westminster parties show every sign of having to be dragged kicking and screaming to deliver on their vow of ‘extensive new powers’ for Scotland – which is no doubt a major factor in why their leaders are all so deeply distrusted.”




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Disabled Labour delegate asked to move to make way for party’s ‘bright young things’


By Shaun Gibson : @ShaunyNews

A disabled Labour Party member claims she and others were ejected from their reserved seats in order to make room for “bright young things” at the party’s conference in Manchester on Tuesday.  Bernadette Horton, a 47-year-old Labour Party member who cannot walk without crutches, fell over after conference organisers made her and two other partially disabled individuals move from their reserved seats. Ms Horton, who has been a Labour Party member for three years, said: “The way we were treated by a party that sets itself up for the most vulnerable was appalling.” The Labour delegate, who works as a career for her autistic son, alleges she and others were moved – despite stewards explaining to conference organisers the floor seats were reserved for disabled delegates – because Ed Miliband was due to pass the seats on the way out. “I noticed at the end when Ed did walk past there were all the bright young things sitting in the disabled reserved seats and shaking hands with him,” she said, “while we couldn’t get anywhere near him.” “Disabled and careers were not mentioned in the speech at all and the feeling among us all of literally not having a seat at the table was very strong,” Ms Horton said. “I am flabbergasted that the Labour party are treating its delegates as second class citizens.”

Ms Horton, who was seriously injured in a car accident four years ago and walks with crutches as a result, explained after she fell – attempting to climb the stairs to new seats rows behind their reserved ones – party organisers “panicked”. Afterwards, seats for Ms Horton and the two other disabled individuals were found elsewhere in the conference hall.

Scottish police chairman condemns no campaign for exaggerating aggression


Lets hope the Police speak to the BBC first. The no campaign has SPECTACULARLY fell to pieces in-front of the World! 

The Scottish Police Federation has issued a statement accusing the media and no campaigners of exaggerating the extent of aggression deployed during the Scottish referendum campaign. Brian Docherty, the chairman of the federation, said in the statement: “The referendum debate has been robust but overwhelmingly good-natured. “It was inevitable that the closer we came to 18 September passions would increase but that does not justify the exaggerated rhetoric that is being deployed with increased frequency. Any neutral observer could be led to believe Scotland is on the verge of societal disintegration, yet nothing could be further from the truth.” He added: “Scotland’s citizens are overwhelmingly law-abiding and tolerant and it is preposterous to imply that by placing a cross in a box our citizens will suddenly abandon the personal virtues and values held dear to them all.” Ed Miliband was forced to abandon a walkabout in Edinburgh on Tuesday after being verbally abused by yes supporters in a reflection of tense last-minute campaigning before Thursday’s referendum. The Labour leader was caught in a crush with TV crews and journalists at the St James shopping centre in central Edinburgh. Yes campaigners shouted and hurled abuse at him, calling him a liar and a serial murderer, prompting the politician to say: “I think we’ve seen in parts of this campaign an ugly side to it from the yes campaign.” The verbal abuse and chants aimed at Miliband are the latest in a series of incidents where senior Scottish Labour figures campaigning for a no vote, including Jim Murphy and Gordon Brown, have been targeted by pro-independence protesters. Docherty said people should carefully consider their words, maintain level heads and act with respect. “Respect is not demonstrated by suggesting a minority of mindless idiots are representative of anything,” he said. “One of the many joys of this campaign has been how it has awakened political awareness across almost every single section of society. The success enjoyed by the many should not be sullied by the actions of the few.”

Proclaimers no more as radio goes ‘Scot Free’ – As England carry on being Childish and threatening

The Proclaimers - and all other Scottish acts - have been banned from an English radio station.

The Proclaimers – and all other Scottish acts – have been banned from an English radio station.

Well we had this:

Then there was this

FEAR TACTICS START – We’ll put guards on Scottish border: Ed Miliband




An English radio station has banned all Scottish music – including hits by the Proclaimers – and redesigned it’s logo as a backlash to the referendum.

The edict on BOB fm was issued by programme controller and breakfast show host Graham Mack at 8.20am, when he interrupted the Proclaimers’ ‘500 Miles’ halfway through the song.

He announced: “I’ve had enough of this! You’ll walk 500 hundred miles, but you don’t want anything to do with England?

“After all we’ve done for you! For 300 years, we’ve put up with your bagpipes, your spicey eggs, your hairy cattle, your short arsed ponies, your men in skirts, and… THE KRANKIES!

“You ungrateful bunch of whisky swigging, haggis munching caber tossers! From now on, this radio station is banning anything Scottish, that includes music by ALL Scottish artists!

“Until further notice, BOB fm is now Scot Free!”

The ban includes top Scottish musical talent including Paolo Nutini, KT Tunstall and Primal Scream.

BOB fm has also redesigned its logo, which features the union flag, to remove the St Andrew’s Cross.

England Fans Sing ‘F*CK OFF Scotland We’re voting yes’ – Last night

imagesIf we ever need a message from our English friends Scotland, last night they belted out “F*ck off Scotland we’re voting yes” Lets take the hint Scotland. If it’s a no vote, it will lead to issues, already we see the hatred from Ed Miliband saying “We will put border guards at the border” There is far too much water under the bridge now Scotland, we must go it alone now, happy in the knowledge we didn’t hate. 9 days to go, Westminster can’t offer anything new as votes have been posted in 10’s of thousands already, we will get fear thrown at us, and more songs like this/ I personally have been called all the names under the Sun by some English people, we must leave this Union, and I believe we will

Check this from last night


No campaign in meltdown as Labour tries to disown latest border guard threat



Labour said “Ed Miliband” was misquoted. Now I have been saying this for a while now, expect the Media to tell Stories and then for the Political parties to blame the Media for basically getting what was said wrong. I said below in “Scotland the Brave” That we here in Scotland MUST not get frightened by this rubbish. LABOUR HAVE ASSURED US SINCE, THAT THIS BORDER CONTROL WON’T HAPPEN! But does that push me, a Labour voter back to Labour? No chance. It’s been said, it’s how “They” feel in England. The media will tell more stories then the “Oh, em, no, wasn’t what he meant” will come into play, like below. Scotland. SNP MSP Joan McAlpine has said today “Scotland WILL be the wealthiest NATION ON EARTH” Now how do we take that? We take that to the BANK SCOTLAND! Read below how the NO Campaign were their own enemy, they lost it, because they lost thier togetherness, Scotland, we won’t lose this. We are so close now. Lets get through the last 10 days of fear and crap thrown at us ..Article below

Signs of disarray within the ranks of the No campaign have emerged after the Labour party sought to distance itself from comments allegedly made by its own leader in a newspaper interview.

Shot the no campaign in the foot!

Today the No campaign has been accused of going ‘into complete meltdown’ after an Ed Miliband threat to build border posts with an independent Scotland provoked a spectacular backlash – prompting the Labour press office to try and disown the interview. After Mr Miliband’s comments were reported by the Mail on Sunday, the Labour press office immediately disowned the story and tried to blame the newspaper, tweeting: “Ridiculous splash in Mail on Sunday. There is no Labour ‘plan’ for border guards in independent Scotland and nor does Ed say that. Rather than establishing borders, Ed is focused on keeping the UK together” However, according to the newspaper, Mr Miliband was quite clear on the issue, telling a reporter: “If you don’t want borders, vote to stay in the United Kingdom”.  Asked to clarify if this meant border guards and passport checks, he said “it would have to be looked at”.

Compounding Labour denials, a spokesman for Mr Miliband also said: “The last time I looked there were two sides to the Border – and we would be in charge of one of them.  It would be up to us, not Mr Salmond, to secure our northern border.” The border threat was widely reported in many newspapers and also featured in a BBC article which said a newly elected Labour Government at Westminster would “consider building border posts if Scotland voted for independence.”

“The No campaign has gone into meltdown as Ed Miliband’s latest attempt to scare people into voting No has spectacularly backfired. “Ed Miliband is putting forward the ridiculous proposition that he would share an open border with Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands – but he would erect border posts with an independent Scotland. No wonder the Labour party is running for cover.

“All of these territories have been part of the Common Travel Area since the 1920s, and that sensible arrangement will continue after Scotland becomes independent – because it is in everyone’s interests for it to do so.” Claims by Labour officials that the Labour leader has made no such claims, contradict comments Mr Miliband himself made in June when he raised the prospect of border patrols in the event of independence.

On a visit to Scotland, Mr Miliband said: “It’s certainly the case that we would have to have a look at the issue of a border if we’ve got different immigration policies. It totally stands to reason.” Ms McAlpine added: “The No campaign’s credibility has completely collapsed – the more they try and frighten people into voting No, the more they are moving toward support for Yes. “As the referendum approaches, more and more people are realising that Scotland is one of the wealthiest countries in the world – and a Yes vote next week is the golden opportunity to make that wealth work for the people of Scotland – building a fairer society, creating job opportunities and protecting Scotland’s NHS.”

The apparent contradiction at the top level within the Labour party is being seen by Yes opponents as a sign of panic within the No campaign as a newly published poll has revealed Yes may in fact have overtaken its rival in the referendum race. The poll, from Yougov, puts support for Yes on 51%, with support for No at 49%.  However another survey carried out by Panelbase has shown the reverse, with No on 52% and Yes on 48%. The two polls are being interpreted by both sides as evidence that the result of the independence referendum is now too close to call.  However few are now challenging the fact that all recent polls confirm that momentum is now very definitely with the Yes campaign.



MORE FEAR TACTICS FROM WESTMINSTER – Scotland will be more at risk of a terrorist attack – Cameron warns


Doing his party no favours and pushing undecided to yes..

First this! FEAR TACTICS START – We’ll put guards on Scottish border: Ed Miliband http://shaunynews.com/2014/09/06/fear-tactics-start-well-put-guards-on-scottish-border-ed-miliband/ now this! NOW WE KNOW WHY WE NEED OUT THIS UNION! The Queen will be head of state, we will be part of NATO. This is utter lunacy by Tories and especially Labour, Labour can forget their Scottish voters with Miliband’s “Boarder Guards” remarks!

David Cameron today warned that Scotland would be more at risk from terrorism if it votes for independence. The Prime Minister said the United Kingdom had the best security and intelligence services in the world to keep people safe. He said the safety of staying together in a ‘very dangerous and insecure world’ was one of the ‘strongest arguments’ against separation.  Mr Cameron, speaking at the end of the two-day Nato conference in Wales, said: ‘I don’t think anyone can be in any doubt we live in a very dangerous and insecure world. ‘I would have thought one of the strongest arguments that those of us who want to see the United Kingdom stay together can make is in that dangerous world and insecure world of terrorist threats and other threats isn’t it better to be part of the United Kingdom?’ He said the UK ‘has a top five defence budget, that has some of the best security and intelligence services anywhere in the world, that is part of every single alliance that really matters in the world in terms of Nato, the G8, the G20 European Union, a permanent member of the Security Council of the UN’. Mr Cameron added: ‘To have all those networks and abilities to work with allies to keep us safe, isn’t it better to have those things than to separate yourselves from them. ‘Those are some of the arguments we will be making in the weeks to come before this vital vote.’

Gordon Brown (left) spoke in London today ahead of the forthcoming Scottish vote for independence on September 18

Gordon Brown spoke in London today ahead of the forthcoming Scottish vote for independence on September 18

First this! FEAR TACTICS START – We’ll put guards on Scottish border: Ed Miliband https://acenewsdesk.wordpress.com/2014/09/06/fear-tactics-start-well-put-guards-on-scottish-border-ed-miliband/ now this! NOW WE KNOW WHY WE NEED OUT THIS UNION! The Queen will be head of state, we will be part of NATO. This is utter lunacy by Tories and especially Labour, Labour can forget their Scottish voters with Miliband’s “Boarder Guards” remarks!

Mr Cameron’s remarks came after the former Prime Minister Gordon Brown vowed to lead a campaign for more powers for Scotland if it rejects independence in this month’s referendum. The former prime minister, signalling his return to front line politics, said he would push for further devolution within weeks of the September 18 vote. Mr Brown is among senior Labour figures being deployed in a final push by the party to prevent its supporters being won over by the Scottish National Party. With polls suggesting a late swing towards the Yes camp, Mr Brown urged voters not to ‘abandon’ the huge value to Scotland of pooling resources with the rest of the UK in areas such as pensions and healthcare. He told an audience of activists and politicians at Westminster that he had asked Speaker John Bercow to allow him to lead a debate when the Commons resumes business in October to galvanise cross-party support for reforms. A pledge of extra tax and legal powers for Holyrood in the event of a rejection of independence in the popular vote has been signed by the leaders of all three main Westminster parties.

SNP leader Alex Salmond was canvassing in Peterhead fish market today

SNP leader Alex Salmond was canvassing in Peterhead fish market today

Mr Brown said the aim should be the ‘maximum local decision-making powers that is possible’ while maintaining the union. ‘The status quo is not now an option. A no vote does not mean no change.’ He said: ‘A no vote will usher in the further constitutional reforms in social, economic and fiscal affairs and a no vote will mean the choice you have made is against separation but for further devolution to the Scottish Parliament. ‘Over the next few months after the referendum, we can take the lead in ensuring that these powers – that the Conservatives and Liberals say they would support – can be implemented as quickly as possible. ‘I have asked the Speaker that when Parliament returns after the referendum in October, that in the first week he allows me to lead a debate about how we can secure the timetable and the delivery of the further devolution proposals.

‘This is not like 1979 when the then-Conservative government promised change and then denied us it. This is like 1997 when the Labour government came in and, within a year, had delivered its promise of a Scottish parliament. ‘When we are talking about the future of the constitution, London must and will change, Westminster must and will change, and, of course, the United Kingdom must and will change.’ He told the meeting – hosted by Blairite pressure group Progress – that the No camp ‘will accept whatever result comes our way’. ‘But the Scottish National Party have got to recognise that if they lose this … we have got to get back to the issues of improving public services. ‘I think the Conservatives will have to accept these proposals … the strong weight of opinion for them. ‘We stand ready to talk to other parties about how we could reach a consensus on these proposals for the future.’ Mr Brown said the UK was a uniquely successful arrangement anywhere in the world. It offered pooled resources across four nations ‘to guarantee to anyone no matter where they are in any part of the United Kingdom that they have the same right to healthcare, to help when unemployed, to dignity in retirement and, of course, to dignity and support when they are sick, disabled or vulnerable. ‘That is a principle that we should never abandon.’ He dismissed SNP plans for a corporation tax cut as ‘the Scots Nats backing the fat cats and obviously cheered on by the cybernats’. He also dismissed the level of demand for an English parliament. ‘The English do not want a parliament of their own. If they wanted it, that would be an issue, but there is no evidence that there is a desire for an English parliament,’ he said. ‘We have got to recognise the assymetric nature of the British constitution, find a way of accommodating the ambitions of all the different nations – and indeed the regions.

FEAR TACTICS START – We’ll put guards on Scottish border: Ed Miliband




Ed Miliband today issues the stark threat that manned border posts could be introduced if Scotland backs independence in next week’s historic vote. With just 11 days to go until the referendum – and polls showing growing momentum for Alex Salmond’s nationalists – the Labour leader has urged voters to face up to the consequences of severing the 300-year-old Union. ‘If you don’t want borders, vote to stay in the United Kingdom,’ Mr Miliband said in an interview with today’s Scottish Mail on Sunday.  Asked whether that would mean him introducing border guards and passport checks if he was Prime Minister, Mr Miliband warned: ‘It would have to be looked at.’ And Mr Miliband’s spokesman added last night: ‘The last time I looked there were two sides to the border – and we would be in charge of one of them. It would be up to us, not Mr Salmond, to secure our northern border.’

MoS2 Template Master

The prospect was raised as a shock poll showed that 51 per cent of Scots would vote ‘Yes’ to going it alone with just 49 per cent saying ‘No’. The results of the YouGov survey means that the ‘Yes’ campaign has overturned a 22-point lead within a month. Until now, Mr Salmond’s SNP has insisted that a separate Scotland would be part of a common, free movement area with the rest of the UK and Ireland.  But a Downing Street source backed Mr Miliband, saying: ‘All the research shows that if there is a material difference between the immigration policy adopted by an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK, then border controls would have to be introduced.’ It raises the extraordinary prospect of drivers having to stop at manned barriers on the borders to show their passports.

With the latest opinion polls showing Mr Miliband on course to win May’s General Election, a Labour Government could be in charge of negotiating Scotland’s passage to independence by March 2016 if the referendum returns a ‘Yes’ vote. The SNP dismissed the idea of border controls as a ‘scare story’, but Mr Miliband’s advisers say it is not an idle threat: a secret memo drawn up by the Foreign Office in 2009 warned that a secure border would have to be established to protect the ‘remaining UK’ if an independent Scotland applied to join the EU. All new EU members are obliged to accept the Schengen open borders scheme, meaning travellers from the continent would be free to fly into Scotland without immigration checks. But Britain has opted out of the scheme, and erects border controls to vet travellers from Schengen countries, raising the prospect of a new Hadrian’s Wall between the two nations. New border posts would cause chaos for travellers and prove to be hugely damaging to business. The 95-mile border, which runs from Lamberton on the east coast to the Solway Firth in the west, cuts through 21 roads, including two major trunk routes, the A1 and M74.

No idle threat by Mr Miliband: A memo drawn up by the Foreign Office in 2009 warned that a secure border would have to be established to protect the ‘remaining UK’ if an independent Scotland applied to join the EU

No idle threat by Mr Miliband: A memo drawn up by the Foreign Office in 2009 warned that a secure border would have to be established to protect the ‘remaining UK’ if an independent Scotland applied to join the EU

A total of 23 million vehicle crossings a year are made on the roads, in addition to seven million passenger journeys on the West Coast and East Coast railway lines. If controls were set up, immigration staff could man barriers on the roads while the train terminals would have to install checks similar to those adopted by Eurostar. Last night former Labour Home Secretary David Blunkett echoed Mr Miliband’s warning by referring to last week’s riots in Calais when immigrants attempted to storm a ferry. ‘Were the Scots to vote “Yes” to separation, the issue of border controls and the threat of entry through Scottish ports and airports would take on serious proportions,’ Mr Blunkett told The Mail on Sunday.

‘This is one issue that has not yet emerged as a key part of the debate over Scotland’s future. There is much at stake and little sign of Government action in response.’ Panic spread through the ‘No’ campaign last week after an opinion poll showed that its lead over the nationalists had shrunk to just six points, with support for Mr Salmond’s position up by eight points in a month. Mr Cameron is happy to let Mr Miliband make the running for the pro-Union campaign as Labour supporters make up a large proportion of the ‘undecided’ voters. The Prime Minister paid his annual visit to the Queen at Balmoral yesterday, but accepted the advice of Palace aides not to join her at the Braemar Games in case it was seen as ‘politicising’ the Monarch. It is also in Mr Miliband’s interest to defeat the nationalists: if Scottish voters had been excluded from the last Election, Mr Cameron would have won a clear Westminster majority without the need for a Coalition. The scale of Labour fears over a possible ‘Yes’ vote was laid bare yesterday when the party’s English and Welsh MPs were told to get up to Scotland to save the Union. In an email to all Labour MPs, Chief Whip Rosie Winterton revealed that Labour had booked scores of train tickets to get them to go north of the border before the referendum. In his interview, Mr Miliband also mentioned his ‘personal connection’ with Scotland – his father, Ralph, was stationed at Inverkeithing, Fife, during the Second World War. ‘The rest of the UK would be much weaker without Scotland. It matters for reasons of heart and for head,’ he said.

Former Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy urged fellow ‘No’ campaigners to hold their nerve, saying: ‘There is a flavour of detail and substance being swept aside in a tide of emotion and exclusive patriotism. It is a dangerous time for the No campaign.’ Asked about Mr Miliband’s remarks, a spokesman for Yes Scotland said: ‘There will be no border posts between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK. ‘The No campaign will say anything to try to scare people into throwing away this unique opportunity to put our future into our own hands. They’ll always put what’s right for Westminster above what’s best for Scotland. Border posts manned by guards take the prize for one of the sillier scare stories.’

Scottish Independence could renew Labour

Labour leader Ed Miliband with her Scottish Labour counterpart Johann Lamont.

Labour leader Ed Miliband with her Scottish Labour counterpart Johann Lamont.

I have said for a while now I think Labour has to come to a Yes way of thinking, or there will be a Scottish Labour as many Scottish labour people are behind the Yes campaign. 

IN JUST a month, Scots will vote on whether to become the world’s newest independent country.

If there is a Yes vote, serious iss­ues will have to be resolved about whether we keep the pound in our pockets, nuclear submarines on the Clyde and membership of the European Union. These are all much bigger issues than the future of Scottish Labour. But if party members were to cast their ballot purely on the basis of political self-interest, they should vote for independence. Labour badly needs something new to meet the challenge of the SNP in the Scottish Parliament. I was part of Iain Gray’s media team during the 2011 election campaign, when the party slumped to its lowest share of the vote since 1923.

This was a shocking setback. The SNP made gains in constituencies that meet the very definition of “Labour heartland”. Even Keir Hardie’s home in Cumnock is now represented by a nationalist. The scale of the defeat was as unexpected as Partick Thistle picking up a victory at Old Trafford. Labour leader Ed Miliband responded by ordering a “root and branch” review of what went wrong and how it could be fixed. It would be wrong to say that nothing changed – but not enough has changed.

The position of the Scottish leader was enhanced, with Johann Lamont, at least in theory, now in charge of the whole party, rather than just the Scottish Parliamentary Group. There has also been reorganisation at a local level, with constituency Labour parties now based around Holyrood boundaries, rather than Westminster. However, the real challenge was to set out a bold and imaginative agenda that would make Scottish Labour 
relevant again. Instead of hope and optimism we have had “Project Fear”. The referendum campaign seems to have crowded out the space for fresh thinking. Furthermore, as time has gone on there is a growing sense that the party’s institutions have reverted to type, with MPs at Westminster calling the shots. The most obvious example of the “wrong people” winning the argument inside the party is Labour’s lacklustre proposals for further devolution, which were published in March.

Instead of a commitment to devolve income tax in its entirety, which had been suggested a year earlier at the party conference in Perth, Labour published a much more limited plan for Holyrood to be given power to vary the rate of income tax by up to 15p. In addition, politicians in Edinburgh could raise, but not cut, the top rate for the highest earners. It felt like a big chance to define the debate on Labour’s terms had been passed over for an intellectually incoherent internal compromise. The policy-making process in the Labour Party has always been defined by different personalities and interest groups who tussle for influence, but since devolution no Scottish leader has had the ability to break through. I have a lot of respect for Johann Lamont, but she is being out-punched. So long as Labour’s crustiest dinosaurs in the House of Commons are able to set the ceiling on the party’s ambition for Scotland, it will struggle to challenge the SNP.

A Yes vote would end the divisions in the Labour Party between two separate groups at Westminster and Holy­rood and bring its biggest hitters home. A-list politicians like Jim Murphy, Douglas Alexander and Margaret Curran would have to stand for the Scottish Parliament if they wanted to stay in politics. Independence would not necessar-ily mean that Scottish Labour moved to the left, or reconnected with communities that feel they have been ign­ored, but it would enable it to offer a much more credible alternative government. With the constitutional question settled, Labour might also stop defining itself in opposition to the SNP and begin to better articulate its own values. «