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Scottish Referendum debate: Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond, Wednesday September 10th, 1.45-2.45pm

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MNHQ have commented on this thread.

JustineMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 09-Sep-14 08:35:59

Hi all,

We're delighted to announce that Alex Salmond and Alistair Darling will both be joining us on Mumsnet this Wednesday at 1.45pm, to take part in a live debate in the lead-up to the Scottish Referendum on September 18th.

The decision with which Scottish voters are faced this month constitutes a significant moment in the history - and future - of Scotland and the UK. And with polls currently predicting a result that's too close to call, this final showdown between the two leaders could potentially prove decisive.

The debate will be conducted along typical Mumsnet webchat lines, but with each guest free to question and respond to the answers of the other. We know the referendum has been a topic of serious discussion on the site (we're currently on IndyRef thread number seven - and counting ...) so in order to ensure that the leaders answer your questions, we're restricting the ability to post to Mumsnetters who'd been members of the site for more than 24 hours before the launch of this thread. Otherwise, the usual guidelines apply.

Please join us on Wednesday at 1.45pm - and if you can't make it then, as ever, do post up any comments or questions in advance.

PoppadomPreach Wed 10-Sep-14 14:59:10

Regarding Salmond's last response, AGAIN he is evading answering the question and simply responds in rhetoric.


Salmond is not telling the truth!

OneNight Wed 10-Sep-14 14:59:50

Thank you to both participants for coming along in what must be a pretty tiring week for them.

chocoluvva Wed 10-Sep-14 15:00:12

Well, they're both good writers.

A grade for persuasive writing in National 5 English to both from me (disclaimer - am not an English teacher)

No I haven't changed my mind either. My question of whether it is justifiable in the case of UK for Scotland to claim independence is rarely ever acknowledged.

Roseformeplease Wed 10-Sep-14 15:00:17

Oh, not his last post. His penultimate one.

His last one is just scary. Elect a government of our choice. In a democracy loads of people don't get what they choose.

Really cut and pasted 2nd to last paragraph as well. Some researcher has been up all night!

LatinForTelly Wed 10-Sep-14 15:00:51

When AS keeps saying 'One Trillion Pounds' does it remind anyone else of this?

Roseformeplease Wed 10-Sep-14 15:01:15

I am an English teacher and have just marked dozens of scripts with "Answer the question" which is why I found this so frustrating.

chocoluvva Wed 10-Sep-14 15:01:30

OneNight - I know and it must be so tiresome having to trot out the same stuff over and over while tv presenters and the like talk over you.

OOAOML Wed 10-Sep-14 15:01:36

femin you do realise that quite a lot of people in Scotland vote Tory? Not a majority, and the combination of constituency boundaries and FPTP means they don't get the seats, but there is support out there. I think the best hope for a non-Tory government is to stay in the UK. I'm expecting a slightly edgy time at the next general election, possibly a minority Labour government and a fair few policy deals, but if we get Scottish independence I wouldn't be surprised if the Tory vote rises considerably in the medium term. And if there's a Tory government in rUK, how is that going to work out with them being such close neighbours/trading partners/us hoping to use the same currency?

WhoKnowsNewName Wed 10-Sep-14 15:01:48

AS: "I care, as I'm sure you do, about poverty and inequality all over this planet and do whatever I can in any way I can to mitigate its effects and help."

Good god. The policies the SNP is most proud of - universal free prescriptions, freezing the council tax, free university tuition come what may - are policies that disproportionately benefit the wealthy. Unbelievable.

tedmundo Wed 10-Sep-14 15:01:57

OOAOML not entitled to use our own currency <sigh> It has been pointed out many times that we could indeed use the pound - but not in a currency union and therefore with very grave consequences. With respect, just because you think something should happen, doesn't mean it will.

Exactly. I tried to make that point above. I am properly shocked at the lack of clarity to this utterly fundamental point. I would be very scared to be a No voter in Scotland right now. I was actually saying 'grrrr' and shaking my head to some of Mr Salmond's politically correct replies.

wwbuffydo Wed 10-Sep-14 15:01:57

femin Erm, how? We'd be doing what they wanted? I think that they are more likely to be punish us for not going to Eton and being 84th in line to the throne..


Thanks to both (still not convinced me I'm afraid Alex, but if you fancy answering any more of my questions please do feel free!)

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 10-Sep-14 15:02:01

f course Scotland can make a difference. We don't just have to stand in solidarity and watch, we can campaign, work together, mobilise as has happened in Scotland over independence, and MPs can take their seats in Westminster and make better policy.*

Remember how the Labour government took so much notice of the millions marching against an Iraq war. That was a massive campaign, coordinated across the whole of the UK with HUGE public engagement - it was completely ignored.

As for MPs in Westminster, as don't have enough to push anything through without support from rUK MPs. And if WM had the slightest interest in tackling inequality etc they would have already taken steps towards solving it, rather than actively making it worse.

I do admire your optimism

femin Wed 10-Sep-14 15:02:12

I am not partisan like may on this thread, until a few days ago I was totally undecided. But I do think on this webchat it was Alistair Darling who either did not answer questions, or who twisted the truth in his answers.

We needed more from the Better Together Campaign than just scare stories that never seem to pan out. I think if the vote had been 3 months ago I would have voted no, I was to uncertain about what a yes vote would mean. But the Better Together Campaign has just treated voters as idiots.

BardarbungaBardarbing Wed 10-Sep-14 15:02:38

It comes down to ideological nationalism which is ok and understandable but hardly a great leap forward to the future they are selling it as.

chocoluvva Wed 10-Sep-14 15:02:40

Rose - my sympathies.

OOAOML Wed 10-Sep-14 15:03:08

Poppadom I am most definitely not a fan of AS, but to be fair he is a politician and rhetoric is what they do.

But he was more evasive than AD.

Cue the yes voters saying the opposite - I suspect everyone remained confirmed in their own views and most of the undecided found it not very helpful.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 10-Sep-14 15:03:24

Good god. The policies the SNP is most proud of - universal free prescriptions, freezing the council tax, free university tuition come what may - are policies that disproportionately benefit the wealthy. Unbelievable

Can you explain that?

Igneococcus Wed 10-Sep-14 15:04:08

If I see the word "scaremongering" used on more time in response to people's honest and very real worries I will throw a hissy fit my children would be proud of.
Sorry not really a contribution to the debate but I'm so utterly sick of it.

femin Wed 10-Sep-14 15:04:10

wwbuffydo - I don't know, by enacting harsh policies against Scotland. Thatcher certainly treated Scotland more harshly than England in the past. Anyway you can dismiss it, but it is one of my fears.

OOAOML Wed 10-Sep-14 15:05:02

ItsAll Holyrood voted in favour of the Iraq war as well.

SantanaLopez Wed 10-Sep-14 15:05:09

Free university tuition really only benefits the middle class children who have the grades to get to university in the first place.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 10-Sep-14 15:05:54

Cue the yes voters saying the opposite - I suspect everyone remained confirmed in their own views and most of the undecided found it not very helpful.

I completely agree. Wheeling out politicians to spout the same thing over and over just doesn't cut it with anyone. I was reading somewhere that basically, unlikely previously, the politicians have completely lost control of this. IG is entirely down to the people and the politicians are now a bit of an irrelevance in the campaign.

chocoluvva Wed 10-Sep-14 15:06:09

Who said anything about being optimistic about any WM government? Doesn't mean you should give up.

BardarbungaBardarbing Wed 10-Sep-14 15:06:20

Free University tuition help all the middle class students who make it through the unequal school system to university.

Then the SNP have cut college places for vocational training - which can't help an economy, can it?

tabulahrasa Wed 10-Sep-14 15:06:42

"A very good question. Thank you. All of us should be equally concerned about child poverty no matter where that child lives in the UK. Surely our humanity and sense of justice means that we should strive to eradicate child poverty throughout the whole of the UK? Our concerns shouldn't stop at the border.

Solidarity and working with our neighbours is fundamental to my political beliefs."

I am concerned about child poverty in any part of the UK, but Scotland could have voted for the pandas in Edinburgh zoo and we'd have made as much impact on who is in power. hmm

It's hugely frustrating when Better Together don't even acknowledge that it's an issue.

bellacullen18981 Wed 10-Sep-14 15:07:11

Im not sure it was fair to keep replying to certain posters several times... there were other people wanting questions answered. That wasted a lot of time, never got my question answered sad

BardarbungaBardarbing Wed 10-Sep-14 15:07:37

I thought the point about shouting at someone about to walk in front of a bus not being "scaremongering"was good!

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 10-Sep-14 15:08:35

ItsAll Holyrood voted in favour of the Iraq war as well.

I know, and it is shocking. I'm sure that's part of the reason that Labour started losing so many seats to the SNP. At least in Scotland if the MSPs ignore public opinion they get the boot, and you can get a different party to speak for you.

Clarinshobbs Wed 10-Sep-14 15:08:40

As always Mr Salmond avoiding any difficult questions & when challenged ignoring. More effort from Mr Darling and nice short succinct answers too although even Mr D doesn't get full marks.

I fear for our country at the moment - it is being torn apart. However I remain firmly No - why would we want to throw everything away that is good about being part of UK when we have powers for the things that really count already. I am happy with what a devolved Scottish Government can do and if there are more powers, great if they are used properly and wisely by a SG to really tackle the issues. And yet we can benefit from being in the UK - from defence, from financial security, from being a bigger part in the world. At the end of the day, I am thinking of my children and their future will be a lot brighter, safer and better off by being in the UK. And that is what counts for me.

femin Wed 10-Sep-14 15:09:05

A yes vote would at least mean the West Lothian question was dealt with. That was always my objection to Devo Max.

Thefishewife Wed 10-Sep-14 15:09:09

Mr salmod

Why is it you think that the Bank of England should be your bank of last resort if things go belly up it seems you don't want to be in a union with the English but are happy for the English to bail you out if things go wrong

Curreny unions don't work if your not sure ask Greece

Mark carney has said it won't happen
All 3 leaders say it won't happen

As a voter I am saying I would never vote for any party that would have a curreny union

If you want to join the EU you need to adopt the euro

So it seems the only way a currency union will happen is in your mind

chocoluvva Wed 10-Sep-14 15:09:19

We do have a voice in WM.

TeaLady17 Wed 10-Sep-14 15:09:20

Alex Salmond is really the one treating folk like idiots. There are plenty of us who will vote no as we can see through his rhetoric and lies. The way Better together has run their campaign sometimes disappoints me, however fortunately I feel intelligent enough to look at facts myself and act on them. I am rather disappointed to be made to feel less Scottish and to experience comments aimed at me about how real scots would like to get rid of the traitor no voters. But both groups have nasty folk in them, as with anything but I am fearful of outwardly showing my no status in public. That is not a good society. I am pretty disgusted at alex salmond for referring to the Yes campaign as Team Scotland and insinuating no voters are less Scottish.
Sadly whatever happens, it seems half the population are going to be unhappy, so this whole divisive affair is going to be around a long while yet.

Chunderella Wed 10-Sep-14 15:09:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

WhoKnowsNewName Wed 10-Sep-14 15:10:16

Okay, take a family living in Morningside, bankers, double-income six-figure salary etc, two kids both privately educated throughout primary and secondary. Should they get free prescriptions? A freeze on their council tax? Free uni education?

I don't think so. But they do.

PamSco Wed 10-Sep-14 15:10:17

*FannyFifer Wed 10-Sep-14 14:54:10
PamSco the Labour Party knighted Goodwin.*

2 rights make a wrong? Not in my book. I was questioning AS' statement that the ABN Amro purchase was a great thing for Scotland. Awesome foresight!

femin Wed 10-Sep-14 15:10:35

This vote isn't about Alec Salmond, whatever he may say. It is about deciding if Scotland is independent, and that will include people i Scotland voting for the party they want in power.

bellacullen18981 Wed 10-Sep-14 15:10:49

Not sure it was fair of other posters to keep monopolising the discussion...... dissapointed there was no time and i didnt get my question answered sad

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 10-Sep-14 15:11:48

We do have a voice in WM.

A wee one. Hence why the ruling party is voted for by the English, and Scots never get the party of our choice (unless England chooses it too).

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 10-Sep-14 15:12:58

I'm very glad MN hosted this but blimey, did they actually answer a single question between them?

Nopegrin This thing has gone well beyond politicians now...

OOAOML Wed 10-Sep-14 15:13:05

prescriptions - lots of people on low incomes didn't pay these (doubtless some people who weren't exempt struggled, but I don't think the policy benefits the poorest). I can understand the argument that making them free takes away the expense of having to administer the exemptions.

council tax freeze - again, lots on low income didn't pay this. Others may have paid it but are likely to have lived in properties at the lower end of the valuation scale. The real savings are for those middle income and wealthy people (or possibly impoverished aristocracy rattling around in their unheated mansions wink whose property is higher in value, and therefore the council tax bills would be higher.

I'm also concerned whether enough money is being made available to councils to protect services. But I don't want this to end up as another council rant.

university tuition - yes this is good, and benefits a lot of people from a range of backgrounds. However, living costs are still a worry for lots, especially from poorer backgrounds. AND whilst money is being spent here, college places have been reducing in number. Not everyone goes to university, I'd rather see funding spent on a range of options, but university seems to be the flagship.

TooExtraImmatureCheddar Wed 10-Sep-14 15:13:19

Santana, what, so no working class people get the grades to go to university?

frankblackswife Wed 10-Sep-14 15:14:12

I thought AD came across very well today, although I'm a No votes I haven't been massively impressed with the Better Together campaign but thought today AD came across as human.

AS on the other hand was patronizing and trotted out the same old lies...

SquattingNeville Wed 10-Sep-14 15:14:13

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Wed 10-Sep-14 15:14:15

Thanks OOAMAL thanks

PamSco Wed 10-Sep-14 15:15:20

I am pretty disgusted at alex salmond for referring to the Yes campaign as Team Scotland and insinuating no voters are less Scottish.

Spot on Tealady17. That is the nationalist way. I am voting No as I want to stop the destruction of Scotland. Devolution and federalisation can move in a Scottish direction without the seismic risk taking AS thinks will just work. This doesn't make me more or less patriotic.

OOAOML Wed 10-Sep-14 15:16:10

Nope This thing has gone well beyond politicians now...

ItsAll once again we have a moment of consensus wink

tabulahrasa Wed 10-Sep-14 15:17:12

"We do have a voice in WM."

Not a big enough one to influence which party is in power and not a big enough one to affect the outcome of votes even when policies will be detrimental to Scotland.

wwbuffydo Wed 10-Sep-14 15:18:25

femin I'm not dismissing you because I'm trying to be horrible - although I admit I was a bit glib and I'm sorry. I genuinely don't think that's going to happen though - Thatcher used not just Scotland, but Wales, and the North too to test horrifically unfair policies because they were never going to vote for her. Maybe she also punished them but I think that's because she hated poor people, as she thought poverty was a choice, not a predicament.

She was just nasty. Now I'm not saying that the current crop of Tories are not nasty, but I would argue that if we vote no, we would be doing what they want and that they are unlikely to punish us for that.

However, I do believe that they are also systematically punishing people, whatever part of the UK they happen to be born in, for being poor and we should all be fighting against that with everything we've got, not getting distracted by fairy dust about independence.

I really am sorry about being glib though - I'm scared of a lot of the independence stuff too, but I'm actually more scared of the SNP punishing us for voting no. Or blaming everything that goes wrong in the next 2 years on a no vote, and not their own governmental choices.

And I'm done!

Polonium Wed 10-Sep-14 15:18:31

If I was teetering on the edge of no, about to become a yes, I think one read through this web chat would make me fall back into the big strong arms of no.

Thank you to all those who asked such helpful questions.

Thefishewife Wed 10-Sep-14 15:18:53

Also comparing the vote to apartide frankly is disgraceful

1- as if some how the English are oppressing the Scottish people
2- and in my view trivialising the struggle for black to be even allowed vote

SantanaLopez Wed 10-Sep-14 15:21:50

Santana, what, so no working class people get the grades to go to university?

I didn't say that. Some working class people do, but not enough! Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee, Aberdeen and Strathy are populated almost entirely by middle class students, who always have gone to university and always will, even if they have to pay fees.

Redirecting this money into education in deprived areas at primary and secondary level would make a greater difference than paying for a 4 year Travel and Tourism course at the age of 18.

Thefishewife Wed 10-Sep-14 15:21:52


You do have a voice I did not vote for the god awful SNP yet they have a say on ALL English matters

You voted your voice was heard you have the snp

Spiritedwolf Wed 10-Sep-14 15:23:12

Poor people have Council Tax Benefit, had free prescriptions anyway, and had access to grants for university. Meanwhile, as the SNP haven't given local councils or NHS boards the extra money to pay for these policies to benefit those who could afford to pay, they have had to make savings elsewhere, likely into the very services that poor people use.

I am not opposed to universalism in principal (and appreciate that the policies benefit the low paid who didn't qualify for free things before too), but it has to be properly funded otherwise you diminish the service to poorer people in order to give it to better off people for free.

In order to make higher education 'free' for students from middle class families, they've cut college places which disproportionally affect those from poorer households - often stopping them from accessing courses which could get them qualifications to get to university.

In addition, "free university education" sounds fabulous but the devil is in the detail. Did you know that because of the repayment terms a graduate on a lower salary in Scotland has to pay back much more of their student loans (for living costs) than English students who are also paying fees? We have to start repaying sooner and at a higher rate of interest.

Scotland's Free Tuition Scam

BardarbungaBardarbing Wed 10-Sep-14 15:24:00

Hear, hear Santana.

Spiritedwolf Wed 10-Sep-14 15:25:31

Sorry not the rate of interest, but the write off date is later.

tabulahrasa Wed 10-Sep-14 15:26:52

Thefishwife...I don't think Scottish MPs should vote on purely English matters, like education either - I'm not an SNP voter, though I do believe they abstain on votes that are purely English.

I do believe in decentralised government and think that large parts of England could benefit from it too.

My issue is that better together keep saying that it's about making your voice heard and affecting change within the whole UK, solidarity and various words like that...only the Scottish voice is too small to actually do anything.

Spiritedwolf Wed 10-Sep-14 15:27:50

Courses being 4 rather than 3 years has an impact on the cost (I know some universities are trialling squeezing 4 year courses into 3 years atm too which might help).

femin Wed 10-Sep-14 15:29:02

Surely the issue is independence, not SNP's policies.

AbbieHoffmansAfro Wed 10-Sep-14 15:29:54

It does annoy me that the referendum is generally presented as 'Scotland vs Westminster/London'.

I can quite understand Scottish people feeling alienated from and ill-served by London and Westminster. The fact is that Scotland has that in common with very large numbers of people in Cumbria, and Yorkshire, and Wales, and Cornwall, plus lots of points in between.

femin Wed 10-Sep-14 15:30:05

And the idea of never having another Tory Government is for me the biggest reason to vote yes.

I don't like the nationalism that is being stirred up by both sides in this debate though.

RavenAlexanda Wed 10-Sep-14 15:32:20

10 September 2014
Update for shareholders, customers and advisers

On 18 September the Scottish people will vote on whether Scotland should be an independent country.

If there were to be a vote for independence we understand it would be at least 18 months before Scotland could become a separate country from the United Kingdom.

During this period of continued constitutional uncertainty we will provide regular updates to our customers, our advisers, our shareholders, our people and other stakeholders in our business. We will also take whatever action is required to protect our customers' interests and maintain our competitiveness in the markets in which we operate.

As we stated in February, and repeated at our half year results in August, there continues to be uncertainty around a range of issues material to Scotland's future in the event of Scotland separating from the United Kingdom. These include:

The currency that an independent Scotland would use
Whether agreement and ratification of an independent Scotland's membership to the European Union would be achieved by the assumed target date (currently 24 March 2016)
The shape and role of the monetary system going forward
The arrangements for financial services regulation and consumer protection in an independent Scotland
The approach to individual taxation, especially around savings and pensions.

In view of the uncertainty around Scotland's constitutional future, we have put in place precautionary measures which would help enable us to provide customers with continuity. This includes planning for new regulated companies in England to which we ^could^ transfer parts of our business ^if^ there was a need to do so.

This transfer of our business could potentially include pensions, investments and other long-term savings held by UK customers to ensure:

All transactions with customers outside of Scotland continue to be in Sterling (money paid in and money paid out)
All customers outside of Scotland continue to be part of the UK tax regime
All customers outside of Scotland continue to be covered by existing consumer protection and regulatory arrangements e.g. the Financial Services Compensation Scheme and Financial Conduct Authority
We will continue to serve our customers in Scotland and will consider what additional measures we may need to take on their behalf as a consequence of constitutional change once further clarity and certainty is received.

Standard Life will continue to be listed on the London Stock Exchange. There will be no change to the way in which share dividends are paid to shareholders.

If the referendum result is supportive of Scotland remaining part of the United Kingdom, resulting in the devolution of further powers as seems likely, we will monitor any impact that this may have on our stakeholders and take whatever action we feel is required.

Standard Life has a long history in Scotland – a heritage of which we are very proud – and we hope that this continues but our responsibility is to protect the interests of our customers, our shareholders, our people and other stakeholders in our business.

The plans we have put in place will help to ensure continuity and peace of mind for all our stakeholder groups.

David Nish
Chief Executive
Standard Life plc

PamSco Wed 10-Sep-14 15:32:38

*femin Wed 10-Sep-14 15:29:02
Surely the issue is independence, not SNP's policies.*

Alex Salmond clearly stated the Yes vote is his mandate to negotiate the White Paper proposals (BBC debate 2 weeks ago). The White Paper is an SNP manifesto. There is no Scottish election before AS's proposed independence day. This means we ARE voting for the SNP and Alex Salmond if we vote yes - which I won't be.

AS will be in the driving seat. It will be his agenda a country will be built on. This is wrong and undemocratic.

Roseformeplease Wed 10-Sep-14 15:33:13

Interestingly, my sidebar is now promoting an ebook on Independence, available as an ebook on Amazon.

femin Wed 10-Sep-14 15:35:17

I understand that the SNP will be negotiating issues such as assets and debts, and setting up any institutions needed. But actually the day to day policies that most of us care about, are decided by whichever Government is in power.

So yes, it is a vote for independence or not,not a vote for the SNP.

SantanaLopez Wed 10-Sep-14 15:35:44

Surely the issue is independence, not SNP's policies.

I think they are very closely tangled. We keep being promised a fairer country, and one of the examples of this is that tuition fees will be paid. So it is connected.

femin Wed 10-Sep-14 15:37:21

But whoever is voted into power in the future will make policy decisions such as tuition fees. Scotland could vote for the SNP and its policies, or for Labour and its policies.

RavenAlexanda Wed 10-Sep-14 15:37:54

Many of Scotland’s most successful businesses operate globally. They work across many countries. For them Scotland gaining full economic powers to improve economic growth is a positive or neutral step.

Where a handful have felt obliged because of a fiduciary legal duty to list even outlying risks in their annual reports – such as Alliance Trust, RBS or Standard Life – they have emphasised their neutrality and tended to refer not to the principle of independence. Instead they have emphasised the importance of the White Paper’s backing for maintaining the common market, a currency union and, in the case of the financial sector uniform, prudential regulation. All of which will remain after a Yes vote despite the scaremongering of the No Campaign.

There have been a handful of individuals with a history of opposition to Scotland’s democratic progress or with particular links to the Westminster establishment that have spoken out in a personal capacity. Shell UK, BAE, Thomas Cook and Weir Group are the only large-scale companies to take a corporate view. BAE says it would work with either outcome to deliver the best possible solution. Weir Group CEO’s Keith Cochrane’s long-standing personal views are well known and he’s entitled to put them forward. It doesn’t mean these views are shared by all shareholders.

In contrast, the likes of British Airways, Ryanair, Jupiter Investments, Stagecoach and Clyde Blowers CEOs have all expressed support for independence. However, the real story is how many are relaxed about the prospect. There is no doubt the Yes Campaign, and Business for Scotland in particular, has done a good job of getting its message across. When serious business people tackle the issues - as dozens of our spokespeople have – then that has neutralised much of the worst scaremongering.

femin Wed 10-Sep-14 15:38:16

Alex Salmond might be making this referendum into a vote for the SNP, but it is not. The vote is very simple - do you want an independent Scotland or not.

RavenAlexanda Wed 10-Sep-14 15:41:00

Standard Life Gerry Grimstone, Chair:

“We have been based in Scotland for 189 years and we are very proud of our heritage. Scotland has been a good place from which to run our business and to compete around the world. We very much hope that this can continue”, Standard Life annual report, 27 February 2014.

Standard Life Investments is also reported to have agreed a £75 million development deal at St Andrew’s Square in Edinburgh. They described the deal as “a first class long term investment for our investors.” Business Insider, 17th February 2014. Standard Life also acquired Ignis Asset Management Ltd for £390 million as of 26th March 2014. Ignis is registered in Glasgow, where they employ the majority of their 360 staff. Another vote of confidence If you read the statement issued by Standard Life on independence it does not say anything about leaving Edinburgh in the event of a Yes vote. Instead, it talks about the potential need to restructure subsidiaries. but that’s only in the event of the No Campaign’s doomsday scenario of no common discussions through sensible negotiations. A UK Cabinet Minister told the Guardian earlier this year that his colleagues believe “of course there will be a currency union”. It is in the mutual economic interests of both Scotland and the rest of the UK. This is independently established by world leading experts like Professor Leslie Young of Beijing University (through the Hunter Foundation), Professor Joe Stiglitz of Columbia University and Professor Jim Mirrlees of Cambridge University.

SantanaLopez Wed 10-Sep-14 15:41:04

And we have to question what independent Scotland will be like. Salmond leads the party who want independence, and his policies are therefore a valid topic to debate, especially when they are laid out in the White Paper.

jenny77 Wed 10-Sep-14 15:43:06

Where are the answers?

OOAOML Wed 10-Sep-14 15:44:59


Nothing can guarantee that you never have another Tory government other than outlawing Tories. Then outlawing anyone with right-wing views who tries to set up a political party.

Raven many businesses do operate globally, including financial services. But there are rules about how the group is structured, which parts of the business are registered where, and what functions are where. These are not just rules set by WM or Holyrood, they are a web of rules set by multiple financial regulators.

Standard Life would have to move certain functions because of regulatory issues. They may have to move more because of customer sentiment (they have said that only about 10& of their customers are in Scotland). They may choose to move more or all functions for a range of reasons. Their announcement is worded in a very conservative way, but they are serious about it. Jobs will move - and it is likely to be the higher paid jobs. Companies registered in rUK will be paying corporation tax in rUK. Scotland can lower corporation tax, but for some companies this will not make a difference. They will have to be registered in rUK to continue doing business.

femin Wed 10-Sep-14 15:45:23

I am not denying that the SNP are promoting this vote as a vote for the SNP, but it is not.

Yes in the event of a vote for independence, the SNP will be in power until there is a general election. But at that point the SNP may lose the election.

I think it is very short sighted to vote on the basis of what you think of the SNP. It makes much more sense to vote on the basis of whether you think independence would be good for Scotland.

femin Wed 10-Sep-14 15:46:18

OOAML - The chances of a Tory Government in an independent Scotland are virtually nil. We all know that.

Spiritedwolf Wed 10-Sep-14 15:47:46

'The Scottish voice' is a myth tabulahrasa. Scots have many different opinions. Scots Labour MPs for example work with Labour MPs from throughout England and Wales.

People might sneer at Gordon Brown taking part in the campaign as they don't like him (I do though smile ) but isn't he evidence that Scottish voices are heard in the UK? He was chancellor for years and years and Prime Minister too and he is a Scotsman representing a Scottish constituency.

The SNP/Scottish Gov/Yes campaign version of independence - lets call it Indylite, or IndependenceMini, involves many decisions (about currency - and therefore economic policy, Bank of England, energy policy, common travel area - if we have no passport controls on the border) still taking place at UK level. What will be different is that we will lose our vote at Westminster -our democratic say in those decisions. Instead they will be made by the rUK government, perhaps being lobbied by a Scottish diplomat or official or two.

That isn't independence or more democracy. It's less democracy than we have now. I am not giving up my vote without a fight. I want Scottish MPs representing Scottish constituencies able to fully partake in government, punching above their weight as they do now.

I hear a lot from Yes about how Scotland is under-represented in the current coalition government. Does that mean that when there was a Labour majority, with a Scottish PM and Chancellor that we were over-represented? hmm

Geography isn't the biggest determiner of political ideas (unless you are a nationalist of course) people in Scotland don't all vote the same way.

As my post with my question pointed out - saying that an independent Scotland will always have the government it votes for is meaningless nonsense. At this very moment Scotland appears to be divided 50:50ish on the subject of independence - in effect after the referendum half of the Scottish population won't be in the country it wants to be let alone have the government it wants.

As Alex Salmond's last comment illuminated, it comes down to whether you think your country is Scotland, alone. They want you to choose - I've grown up very happily having both as 'my country' Scotland, UK just as Americans are proud of their home state as well as the USA.

OOAOML Wed 10-Sep-14 15:48:03

Raven just a couple more points because I genuinely have to go.

Lots of financial companies buy buildings. They are property investments. SLI was recently in the paper for buying a big building in London as a property investment. They already have quite a lot of property in London, and Ignis has property there as well. I imagine all the big FS companies have property investments in various UK locations that can be contingency space should it be needed, and an investment if it is not. That is what they do, they hedge their bets. They will be prepared for both outcomes. And jobs will move if it is a yes vote.

SantanaLopez Wed 10-Sep-14 15:49:12

The chances of a Tory Government in an independent Scotland are virtually nil. We all know that.

In the 2010 general election 491,386 votes were cast for the SNP and 412,855 for the Tories. That's not a massive difference.

hebeperennial Wed 10-Sep-14 15:50:38

Anyone thinking of voting Yes please read up on currency union and sterlingisation as Alex Salmond is not giving voters the truth. Both currency union and sterlingisation mean the Bank of England will control Scotland's finances so this is not independence.

Even in this debate Alex Salmond says Scotland is being told it cannot use the pound when in the very same post Alistair Darling says that of course Scotland can! Scotland can use the pound but only under the control of the Bank of England.

Yes voters please think very carefully about what you are voting for. Independence in a currency union or with sterlingisation gives Scotland less control over its fiscal affairs as the Bank of England will control interest rates and will scrutinise Scotland's spending but voters will have no say at Westminster. Mr Salmond admitted this earlier on this thread:

'Finally, in an independent Scotland mortgage rates will continue to be based on the interest rate set by the Bank of England, which in a Sterling Area will be exactly the same for Scotland as for the rest of the UK, just as it is now.'

Of course even this is not entirely true as the Bank of England will set an interest rate that will suit England, not necessarily Scotland.

I apologise for going on about this but, contrary to what the Yes campaign would have people believe, currency is fundamental to the future of an independent Scotland - none of the other promises on social justice, jobs etc can happen if the economy and currency are not strong and stable.

OOAOML Wed 10-Sep-14 15:50:48


just a quick point - I wouldn't be so sure. The vote may have tailed off between 2010 and 2011, but there are still plenty Scottish Tories. Attitudes are hardening with the current debate, and engagement is growing - not just amongst those on the left. If turnout remains high after the referendum, I think there's a pretty good chance. Maybe not for the first 10 or 15 years, but not out of the question.

femin Wed 10-Sep-14 15:52:48

I didn't know that Santana, but as Scotland only has one Tory MP, then presumably the Tory votes must have been very spread out.

Scotland's number of Tory MPs has been reducing at general elections for decades. So while there might be a few Tory Scottish MPs, there is never going to be a Tory government in an independent Scotland. There may not be a SNP one either after the first general election.

femin Wed 10-Sep-14 15:54:18

hebeperennial - I thought the Bank of England was independent? So actually no MPs have a say over interest rates. This wouldn't change.

hebeperennial Wed 10-Sep-14 15:54:20

Thanks to Mumsnet for hosting this great debate. The level of debate here has been so much higher than what I've seen on Twitter! I hope there have been some bits of information and answers to questions (not only from the politicians) that have infomred people on both sides of the debate.

RavenAlexanda Wed 10-Sep-14 15:55:47

femin Hi

I understand that, i was merely giving the statement to those who hadn't seen it in regard to Mr Darlings comment!

As for Mr Salmond promoting the vote as a vote for the SNP, i have to disagree on that point. At every aspect he has nullified that opinion and made it absolutely and abundantly clear that the vote is for a Yes/No for independence!

I have listened and read to both sides of the debate for well over the past year. I, like many others don't rely on what the politicians are telling us per se, i don't watch TV and i don't read the newspapers. I search the information out and i quantify it with many other reports of the same nature, boiling that information down to those points that are repeated elsewhere, the rest is fodder for the coo's. On that basis, for me personally, it is a firm and resolute YES!

I wish everyone luck in the coming days and i hope it all remains peaceful. Whatever the outcome, Scotland is at the heart of all of our opinions, differing as they may be, but that does not mean our individual opinions are wrong, just seen from a personal perspective so we each relate to differing points.

Alba gu Brath!

hebeperennial Wed 10-Sep-14 15:56:44


But currently the BoE sets rates based on the UK so presumably Westminster policies and the state of the UK economy (affected by Westminster policies) are taken into account.

tabulahrasa Wed 10-Sep-14 15:57:50

Of course the Scottish voice as one is a myth...but then you know, nations are imaginary states anyway.

But, Scottish MPs do not punch above their weight when it comes to decisions that will affect Scotland and where the majority of voters are then becomes about serving the best interests of most voters.

For what it's worth, I'd happily devolve other parts of the UK as well, it's not about Scotland having one voice, but that centralised government doesn't serve all parts of a country equally.

OneNight Wed 10-Sep-14 16:00:32

I suspect that, as ever, this has been more revealing for the questions that the participants didn't answer than for those that they did. Unfortunately, I don't have the time this afternoon to analyse the thread for that.

Noseypoke Wed 10-Sep-14 16:13:32

RavenAlexanda, Ignis asset management used to part of Britannia and Pearl group both of which moved hundreds of Glasgow Financial services jobs down south. A lot of these were highly paid, highly qualified finance professional jobs. Companies have absolutely no qualms about moving jobs wherever they feel fit.

venusandmars Wed 10-Sep-14 16:20:26

Raven - thank you for posting that. I was very disappointed to see Mr Darling, misquote or misrepresent the Standard Life issue.

Yes, of course, SLI are planning for whatever change might happen, and yes, there may be movement of some jobs, however Mr Darling said "I'm sorry to say I can give you one loss announced just today. Standard Life, the Edinburgh pensions company, have said that if there is a Yes vote they are making plans right now to move business down south." That was clearly intended to imply something which has not in fact been stated publicly.

OneNight Wed 10-Sep-14 16:49:08

For those who haven't seen it, here is today's SL announcement which is being referenced.

WildThong Wed 10-Sep-14 16:54:32

raven sorry, what? I don't speak Klingon wink

RowanMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 10-Sep-14 16:57:00


Where are the answers?

Hi Jenny

They're scattered throughout the thread - Alex Salmond in yellow/orange background, Alistair Darling in light green. If you scroll through you should be able to see them. You might find it easier (unless you're on a patchy connection!) to view the whole thread on one page - you can do this via 'customise'.

rino Wed 10-Sep-14 17:05:48

I'd love to know where you live because it's not like that here!

headlesslambrini Wed 10-Sep-14 17:08:37

My husband was born in Scotland but lives in England, if Scotland is independent, what passport will he have?

dalziel1 Wed 10-Sep-14 17:11:24

Surely the SL was intended fro their customers who would be sophisticated enough to understand it. It may not be in a 10 word sound bite, but its still crystal clear what they mean.

StatisticallyChallenged Wed 10-Sep-14 17:13:33

Venus, having been on both ends of Standard Life announcements and how they tend to couch them, I'd say that pretty much is what they're saying tbh. They have a very soft cautious language as a rule - for them to say as much as they have this close means they are pretty serious IMO. It certainly echos the internal rumbles.

niceguy2 Wed 10-Sep-14 17:29:03

Anyone still interested may want to read this article from Huffington

elastamum Wed 10-Sep-14 17:34:36

SC I would agree. The SL announcment is as definitive as they could be given they don't know the result of the vote.

To translate it says 'Dear investors, please stay with us, in the event of a yes vote we have a contingency plan that will relocate our business (and your investments) into the RUK and away from any uncertainty.'

Roseformeplease Wed 10-Sep-14 18:35:35

Interesting that early on in this thread we were told by Justine that the meeting with Salmond was in an Edinburgh tea room surrounded by babies. Yet, on the telegraph website it is reported as being in a cocktail bar.

Which was it? Gin or biscuits?

APlaceInTheWinter Wed 10-Sep-14 18:40:14

elastamum if there is a yes vote then there will be uncertainty about the rUK's economy as much as Scotland's so it's not as clear cut as the financial institutions will move to England. The pound will be impacted whether the vote is 'yes' or 'no'. And there will be uncertainty about the rUK's asset base if Scotland becomes independent too.

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