Scotland has voted to remain part of the United Kingdom but Scotland will never be the same again. The energy, passion and commitment to a fairer, more equal and sustainable Scotland has reached unprecedented levels. Matters with which this blog is concerned – the democratisation of land relations, economic relations and political relations – now have a constituency far beyond that which existed a few years ago.

We live in very interesting times.

Meanwhile, the graph above, created by Robin Parker, highlights one of the underlying messages of Thursday’s vote. As I tweeted on Friday morning, it looks like the poorest & most disadvantaged of Scotland’s citizens have cried the loudest for change.

Responsibilities follow.

72 Comments

  1. ‘Poor’ people need local (and national) economic growth (agricultural and industrial production and lots of trade) plus local (and national) land value tax. The Greens want the latter but not the former, and the other political parties want (varying amounts of) the former but not the latter. One could wonder if an Independent Scotland would have brought either – given the SNP’s (renewable) energy policies and how the Socialists, Labour and Lib Dems are in thrall to Scottish climate legislation which discourages CO2 emissions. Maybe poor people’s only hope lies in voting Tory or even better, UKIP…..(If Andy can convince them to include land value tax in their manifestos.)

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    • I don’t think growth is the problem I think inequality is the problem and growth does not address inequality: it only masks it. In fact, given the way power and money seem to work in the UK, growth only leads to even greater levels of inequality.

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    • If you have a really sustainable localised economy such as we had for many thousands of years you do not need growth. In a village where people bartered something they had too much of for something someone else had that they needed there was no need for growth. However direct swaps are often not very practical so money became the intermediate thing. Still works fine if the village produces enough of everything to satisfy everyone. It is debt that unbalances things. If someone has a bumper crop and someone else is sick and doesn’t grow much and the sick person is asked to pay back a bit more than he is given this year next year suddenly he has to grow more to do this. The debt leads to the requirement for growth in order to fund interest rates. Economic dogma has been that we have to have interest. Yet for most people their savings have had hardly any interest for years. Meanwhile the banks seem to be still managing to charge interest to borrowers.
      If we want steady state economics but we need to cut our carbon emissions the growth needs to be green growth like building more railways, cycle paths and renewable energy or insulating houses but this needs to be accompanied by reductions elsewhere but that is fine as we will be cutting use of coal, gas and oil and not needing to build so many cars etc. People will be fitter so less money is needed for the health service. The problem is selling this economic model to the fossil fuel industry. Spending money on insulation and cycle paths is a lot more egalitarian than spending it on roads. A third of Scots don’t have a car anyway.

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  2. I’m an atypical old wrinkly then; I’m 68 and a good friend of mine is in his seventies and we both voted yes and we live in Perthshire!

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    • We just needed more of your kind!

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    • I can top that! My partner’s parents from Perthshire are 76 and 75 and both voted yes. Both are ex-professionals and her father’s vote especially surprised me because he’s one of those old moaners who seem to hate everything new. Sadly my Welsh mother voted no but her ties to the UK are so strong that it would have denied her life-experience to vote otherwise.
      I’m optimistic however. I liked Andy’s point at the Channel 4 debate. This country needs modernizing and an independent Scotland or DevoMax Scotland IMHO answers that.
      I’m middle-aged now and I am pretty confident we’ll get there eventually.

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  3. Regina Harty-Allen

    The poor and disadvantaged are often ignored, tragically. Took the US forever to get someone like Obama in office, and now Republicans bash his Affordable Healthcare Act aka “Obamacare” as being a move towards socialism. Looks like Scotland needs leadership that will listen to and act upon the needs of the impoverished and less advantaged. Waiting to see if Cameron delivers on promises, but politicians offer mostly empty promises. The strength lies within the continued passion and union of the YES voters to make a difference for the true Scottish people. You cannot lie on the ground weeping, motionless, defeated. That gets you nowhere and leaves you to become historic dust. Get up, gather your thoughts and carry on. It’s true that for the moment, your dream has been dashed……but the fires of passion lie deep within, protected from the occasional bucket of water. Burn on, move on, keep your eyes and your actions keenly focused on much needed change for the true Scottish people.

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  4. All the major parties are tied to big finance and the corporations which are only concerned with profit. They do not have the vision to see what is really needed – the support of primarily local enterprise, local energy generation and local banking that can provide capital for small-scale ventures.
    What did not emerge as an issue in the referendum is the fact that the UK is bankrupt to the tune of at least 900 billion pounds – nearly 500% of our annual GDP. It can never repay that and another major banking collapse is inevitable.
    The major parties have no answers beyond printing and borrowing more money – and making as much as possible for themselves to put in tax havens so they can escape the worst effects of the next crash.
    The only sensible option is to create strong local communities which can offer solidarity when things get tough. People need to have access to land to grow their own food in cooperatives. There are already some excellent projects – like the one in Penicuik.
    We also need to cooperate to stop the TTIP agreement which will open Scotland to more privatisation and allow the growing and import of genetically modified foods. Scotland has sufficient resources to be prosperous. They just need to be developed and used fairly for the benefit of all.

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  5. I’m a bit hesitant about this data on the old timers voting No. I reached pension age recently and I’ve voted for independence at every opportunity; in 1979, 1997, and now, and at other times tactically when it seemed like a good idea to vote SNP. Campaigning in Edinburgh the local Yes shop was full of, and staffed by, pensioners. In my generation between 25-30% voted SNP and were for independence. So the news that 27% of the over 65s voted Yes is hardly startling. It confirms the voting patterns of decades, and shows simply that the bulk of this demographic has not shifted its voting intentions. Campaigning on the doorstep and meeting people in their 70s, they were unable to distinguish between the SNP and the Yes movement. You would get replies like ‘I’ve always voted Labour’.

    But I was also struck by how many people I encountered in their 20s, 30s, or 40s, who were hostile to Yes. I was standing outside a polling station holding a Yes sign as buses regularly passed by in front of me and was getting quite a negative reaction from about 2/3 of the passengers of all ages, and of motorists; a finding which corresponds with the result in Edinburgh of 61% for No.

    So I would caution it being more about age; I think it is equally about class. I mean, we were all astonished by the results from parts of the NE which is the SNP heartland. You can’t put that down totally to age, surely. Some of these areas are very affluent.

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    • In online discussions I was challenged more than once by NO voters demanding to know if I, as a YES voter, had anything to lose? Did I have a mortgage? A family? A job? There was a clear implication that poor people somehow shouldn’t have the same rights to vote as the property owning classes (and of course a blind acceptance of all the financial scare stories about independence threatening economic disaster).

      What do the poor have to lose…? They’ve already lost it. Maybe we should not complain about less well-off sections of society voting for change. Maybe we should automatically give people in the most deprived parts of the country two votes. That might help a little to counteract the “tyranny of the (comfortable) majority”.

      Another thing I found (not a scientific study) was that most of the NO voters I spoke to talked only about perceived risks themselves and their own personal prosperity. By contrast the YES voters seemed to be bursting with hope, ideals, positivity, creativity. YES seemed to want to create a better society for everyone.

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    • I agree M Clyde. It is a big story that the Yes campaign took Glasgow of course but surely an equally big one that the SNP heartlands went No. I think the result also rather exposes the myth that we are all Jock Tamson”s bairns in Scotland. I ave never bought into that one myself and it now looks like a very shoogly peg to hang a movement on.

      The other point I would add is that god knows what size the No majority would have been had they ran a campaign as well as the Yessers!

      I was taking pics at George Square last night – at least until the flares went off – and someone had chalked right in the middle of the Square under Wattie Scott, between the Loyalists’ OBEY YOUR QUEEN on one side and GLASGOW SAID YES on the other, this –

      SCOTLAND, WHO ARE YOU?

      It’s a good question.

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      • I agree – Scotland has many cultures, ie not just Gaelic speaking or what have you, ie Scottish Gypsy Travellers who have their own language called The Cant etc

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  6. I voted Yes and I’m proud of it !, but I think a major part of the problem with the Yes campaign was that it was too closely associated with SNP politics that were too “PC” or “leftist” for most of the populace, ie , recent polls show that on immigration issues, most Scots would agree broadly with UKIP, so the antics of some people in trying to close down debates with Nigel Farage would have lost support, as would the SNP’s flirting with islamic groups.
    Much of the public are also dubious of “tax & spend” type politics – realising that this is just a way of building up debt-serfdom for the next generation.

    On the inequality & poverty side of things, I would say that nationally, and indeed globally, the major problem is that of tax evasion through offshore banking etc – it is estimated that 52% of world trade is conducted offshore to avoid tax, obviously the rest of us plebs have to make up the shortfall by paying more tax. More locally speaking, many “Sporting Estates” etc are funded directly or indirectly through tax avoidance etc, such as ownership via holding companies in tax havens, or by the use of Corporate Hospitality accounting being used to avoid tax whilst being spent on such things as the Pheasant shooting industry, grouse moors etc

    On another note, the threats made by the Banking Elite were plain for all to see, whatever side of the debate they were on …. and so soon after these parasites led the world into recession, and may very well ruin us even further yet, the power of this invisible dictatorship must be drastically reduced in the interests of both democracy and the genuinely productive economy.
    Many in the banking industry etc are fond of quoting Ayn Rand when it suits them, but here is a quote of hers they would probably rather keep quite about, but they really ought to get tattooed on the backs of their hands ;
    “When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion
    – when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission
    from men who produce nothing – when you see that money is flowing to
    those who deal, not in goods, but in favors – when you see that men
    get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t
    protect you against them, but protect them against you – when you see
    corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self sacrifice – you
    may know that your society is doomed.”
    Ayn Rand

    So yes – roll on with the land reform and raptor protection … don’t get angry, get even !

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    • This is where Land Rental Value demonstrates its potential again. LRV is generated by all in society. It is generated at a100% value, so it would be 100% fair to see it collected at a 100% rate, to replace taxation on income and man-made property as the basis of public revenue. So the disincentives on working harder and more creatively are removed as a well as those on housing upgrades etc. Since land cannot be moved or hidden, LRV collection offers nigh on unavoidability, even by nondoms and offshore companies.
      The recent collapse of our financial system is a directly associated with speculation on this societally created LRV from a non man made entity that had no production costs and consequently no capital value, linked of course to a fiat currency banking regime that creates notional debt from its exhaust pipe. It is an awful tragi-farce of a system
      We require a full collection of LRV, full reserve banking and a system of Universal Citizens Income to replace the Byzantine inanities of the current welfare system. The solution begins in Scot-LAND.

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  7. I was proud of the stance taken on immigration being important to future prosperity and pensions in particular. Please stop blaming us Auld Yins, many like me have been standing up for independence for forty years. The Unionists showed their true colours last night.
    But infighting apart, independence was a route to a fairer society. That’s the real goal.TTIP will make a mockery of sovereignty as Corporations insist we pass no laws which affect their profits, such as minimum wages, banning dangerous chemicals etc. etc.etc.

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  8. The telegraph is spouting that only one in four no voters were swayed by the vows made by the 3 stooges.
    Call me old fashioned, but that is 500,000 votes, or enough to win independence.
    yes 2,100,000
    no 1,600,000

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    • indeed Hector, even if it was just 7% instead of 25%, it would have been enough. The landed mafia are laughing in their subsidised feather beds.

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  9. I Voted Yes – I’m in my 40’s and have enough to feel the hurt if I lost it, mortgage on a nice house, cars free time to enjoy, kids to feed and bring up. But to change Scotland we need to stand up and take control. To do that you need to be brave enough to accept that it might go wrong, but that’s life!

    When I was 17 I had to leave home to go to University – there wasn’t one in the Highlands then – and at the same time it was both terrifying and exciting. I had to choose – safe path, home cooking but home by 10pm and other rules or take a risk and make my own way in the world. I chose the latter – it wasn’t plain sailing, and I could have gone home which would have been tricky for and Independent Scotland to do, but I didn’t I worked through the bad times and its gone OK.

    Is it better? Absolutely no way to tell I’ve done OK, my parents are doing OK how would it have worked if I’d stayed at home? Nobody knows.

    For those not doing well with the current arrangement “Yes” is not a gamble or a risk its a viable alternative as “No” brings more of the same and they already know they don’t like that!

    Notably the the biggst “No” results were in the financial and Oil power centres. Having lived in both I was not surprised – there are a lot of people who are only in these places for the money.

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  10. Andy, do Scottish local authorities have enough devolved power now to introduce LVT in Scottish cities and rural areas? LVT would go a long way to encourage local financial control, promote equality, local authority income and local income generation. The SNP don’t believe in it, but the other parties might be persuaded by it as a practical policy – preferable to, for example, meaningless guff like ‘sustainable development.’ A healthy growing population needs an economy which grows, and we should be wary of idealising primitive economy per se.

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    • The introduction of LVT requires legislation (local authorities can only do what the law permits them to do). The Scottish Parliament has full control over land and property taxation and could introduce the relevant legislation.

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  11. I agree with Paul Carline. We’re sailing on the Titanic and have just rejected the offer of a lifeboat.
    I applaud people on both sides who voted for what they considered the greater good, rather than just what was best for them.
    Let’s not be too disheartened. We could have a website where people post ideas to make Scotland a better place to live, like planting fruit trees in our public parks. Set up workshops and market gardens where pensioners and unemployed can volunteer to spend a little time growing or making things and enjoying a bit of company. Limit the amount of land that may be owned by any one person or business, and provide inexpensive housing. Between us all I’m sure we could come up with some great ideas.

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  12. So we can’t control oil revenues but we have control of land taxation? Very interesting. Perhaps LVT is the route to raising the revenue we need to implement the changes we want.

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    • Please see my comments above regarding Land Rental Value ( I detest the incorrect LVT descriptor) The same right that gives us the power to licence exploration and production blocks on the marine solum and tax oil profits, allows us ( with full independence only) the right to replace taxation of oil profits with a 100% collection of LRV, If we could agree a 5 year in advance rate of LRV to replace taxation, then the oil companies would have predictable outgoings and the Scottish Treasury would have a predictable income from the nullification of the oil price volatility problem. LRV would also secure us from workforce demography problems.

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  13. It looks like the wavering NO voters have been lied to by the 3 Wise Men from London who came up to Scotland and promised them the earth if they would vote NO and are now trying to wriggle out of their commitments, published in the Daily Rag. A lot of people don’t like change and voting YES was just a step to far for many but to get anything in this life one has to take a chance and this was a chance for Scotland to stand up for its self and not live on the scraps thrown form Westminster. Why should we be tarred with the morals of England who want to fight all over the world but neglect their own countries problems.

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    • ….possibly a more interesting statistic the Telegraph could have researched is how many “No” voters were swayed by the treats of the banking/financial mafia….

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  14. Isobel, indeed it seems the Scottish Parliament does have enough powers to legislate in LVT which, as Andy has written about for ages, is indeed a very good way to raise money (especially locally) to, as you say ‘implement the changes we want.’ By the time politicians at the distant centre work out a strategy that suits them all, we shall indeed have to ask how long do we have to live? Far better to pressurise them into actually implementing laws that will do us good – and LVT would do us good. Politicians are elected and paid by us to do what we want.

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  15. Pehaps now the SNP will get on with real change on lvt, land reform etc.

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  16. I received a news letter today from ‘National Collective’ which is relevant to the discussion and I reproduce it below. They don’t mention the BBCs ‘Editor of Propaganda’ Robinson but I’m sure his card is now well and truly marked in Scotland!


    Statement: Why We Won And Why We Will Win

    Dear Stuart,

    We know that you are completely exhausted and utterly heartbroken. We are too.

    On face value we lost, but there is more to the result than meets the eye and this was anything but a fair fight. Two years ago, we started off with Yes on a poll of 25% and yet we ended up with 45%. The sheer resilience of the Yes movement in the face of the full might of the British state, corporate and media power, that was designed to demonise, smear and alienate anyone who chose to side with it will not die down. We’ve been looking straight into the eyes of the British establishment, and we don’t think much of what we see sneering back at us.

    From the very beginning, the then ‘Better Together’ turned ‘UKOK’ turned ‘No Thanks’ campaign threw every toy out of the basket, played every dirty trick in the book, and ran a campaign based on negativity and scaring the population into thinking that we were not actually capable of running our own affairs. What we were faced with was a campaign based on stifling engagement, dumbing down politics and deadening thought whilst portraying a No vote as the rational, educated and realistic option.

    One of the most heartbreaking moments in the campaign will be a familiar one for many. Knocking on doors and being confronted with an elderly person who had postal-voted No because they were told that they would lose their pension. The No campaign had shamelessly managed to convince people that, in the 14th richest country in the world, we could not afford pensions. The fear tactics employed were sickening. They threw everything under the sun at us, but not once did it dampen our spirits. We canvassed, we danced, we wrote, we sang, we campaigned. And we will continue to do so.

    Aside from the fear tactics, this was a campaign aspiring to diminish thought, simplify politics and close minds. #PatronsingBTLady proved an excellent illustration of such, as was the ‘I love my family, I’m saying No Thanks’ billboards, and let’s not forget the ‘independence stresses me out’ stress balls handed out at fresher’s fayres. This is how they see us. They think we are passive, disinterested, selfish and stupid. In contrast, National Collective toured the country on Yestival, Radical Independence knocked on tens of thousands of doors in a day on their Mass Canvasses, tens of thousands of activists reached out to apathetic communities through local groups, Generation Yes ran open platforms on social media where young people could ask us anything – the entire Yes movement was about encouraging people to think and imagine.

    Despite the ‘Better Together’ campaign being what is unquestionably one of the most incompetent political campaigns in the history of British politics, what hindered the steady surge to Yes was a largely compliant mainstream media. For example, a Guardian journalist sent us sarcastic e-mails refusing to publish details of a list of 1,300 prominent artists and creatives who had signed a letter backing a Yes vote, Dr John Robertson’s academic work proved the evident systematic bias of the BBC, and we were constantly demonised as ‘anti-English’ ‘separatist’ ‘nationalists’ and, at times, ‘fascists’ despite many of us being English, and some of us knowing the journalists personally. If they cannot win through an honest factual campaign, what does this say about their case?

    Aside from the blatant smearing of anything Yes, the press did something significantly more sinister. They controlled the dissemination of information, closed the space for Yes voices to be heard, and thus facilitated and legitimised the scaremongering onslaught from the No campaign. How many times did you hear that ‘there are just too many unanswered questions’, despite the questions being answered? How many times did you hear that people were voting No because they didn’t like Nationalism, despite us not being nationalists? To suggest that British identity is in no way nationalistic derives from a neo-imperialist mindset. How many times did you see Alistair Darling and Alex Salmond compared to Dennis Canavan? How many people do you honestly think were aware that Salmond wasn’t the leader of Yes? This was most evident during the last week of the campaign, when we saw the Telegraph stating that voting Yes was an insult to dead soldiers and their families. The establishment’s compliant media was the cherry on top of the cake; a systematic abuse of power.

    Did we let this deliberate misrepresentation and demonisation take us down? No. We became the media. Stephen Paton released his #IndyRef weekly reviews, websites like National Collective and Bella Caledonia became a space for underrepresented Yes voices to be heard, and we took to social media to overcome the smear and spread our progressive visions. We should point out here that the Sunday Herald, in supporting Yes, demonstrated courage throughout this movement. It’s not easy to go against the tide of mainstream media opinions and portrayals. The Yes movement should be incredibly proud of our ingenuity and tireless determination and we mustn’t let it dwindle.

    Within the political landscape of the No campaign, Scottish Labour provided the front whilst the Tories pulled the strings and supplied the funds. If they were honest democrats, Scottish Labour should have held an election within their party regarding which stance to take on the referendum. The Scottish Green Party for example voted on it, and maintained that members who supported No could speak freely on the matter. This was the first indication that Scottish Labour were about to ostracise those demonstrating autonomy in their party. And boy did that happen. They were openly seen and heard mocking Yes supporting Labour members at their party conference.

    Despite Scottish Labour supporting a No vote, around 38% of their voters supported Yes. The Scottish Labour Party ignored their own supporters, and instead blindly pursued an agenda that panders to the Labour Party in Westminster, a party that is out of touch with the people of Scotland and one that they have overwhelmingly rejected. One of the results of this is that we are now witnessing memberships of the SNP and the Scottish Green Party skyrocket overnight. Scottish Labour have risked alienating 38% of their own vote in Scotland to preserve a failing Westminster elite. This highlights how little regard they have for the Scottish political landscape. True power, they believe, lies at Westminster.

    Taking all of this into consideration, and acknowledging that we were challenging the full force of the British establishment, their corporate might and their compliant media, we did bloody well. If we were at the forefront of a campaign with that level of influence, power and money, we would see a 55% as an international embarrassment.

    Part of the reason that we saw the groundswell of grassroots activism that we did is because there was a deadline, a common shared goal for September 18th 2014. Although the deadline has been removed, we still have that shared aspiration. The question now is how to we encapsulate and maintain the momentum of this progressive, diverse, grassroots movement?

    The first means of achieving this is clear. The vast majority of the mainstream media have demonstrated their complete lack of autonomy and level of compliance to the British establishment and the corporate elite. We need to create and preserve alternative media channels. But there is little point in creating them as a protest to the mainstream media. These alternative channels must become the mainstream. To do so requires working together. There are some utterly brilliant and resourceful people in this movement. It’s time to unite.

    Secondly, we need to organise ourselves with the common aim of holding Westminster accountable to the promises that they made to us. This starts with their pledges for further devolution. We expect that this won’t happen. 1 in every 4 No voters casted their vote under the promise of further devolution. If these promises fail to transpire, we will seek to secure a date for the next referendum on Scottish independence. We have various options as to how we can help make this happen, and we will update you on this later should it be required.

    Thirdly, as stated above, the Yes movement seeks to make people think. It is our duty to continue to create a politically engaged, educated electorate. What Westminster wants is a Yes movement that is so utterly deflated that it regresses into the shadows, it stops dreaming, it stops imagining that another Scotland is truly possible. There is a reason why the likes of Rupert Murdoch expressed concern at the influence of progressive Yes groups in Scotland.

    We simply cannot afford to let our beautiful movement regress. 1.6 million of us stood up and dared to dream. We lost by the equivalent of the population of a small city. We can win this, we must win this, we will win this. When you get a popular revolution driven by hope and optimism like this, that energy will not dissolve into nothing. It can only grow. In the aftermath of a normal election, the losing party is disheartened and their supporters deflated. The difference here is that the whilst the official No campaign has finished and will no doubt try to delete all evidence of it ever existing, people still make the Yes movement and we will continue to campaign and dream. We will always put hope over fear.

    National Collective had made plans to continue the Yes movement’s legacy of a politically engaged and educated electorate, regardless of the result. We will be announcing details of this shortly.

    Keep imagining a better Scotland.
    National Collective.

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  17. Not only can we hope, we can insist on the SNP and Labour adoptin Land Tax/ Rent as policy. (I find LVT is a more easily explained term than LRV Ron.)
    The money raised should be spent building well designed genuinely affordable housing. This would create wealth in turn by providing jobs and apprenticeships, and lower unemployment and housing benefit whilst reducing carbon emissions – not to mention the mental and physical health benefits to the tenants. I’ve long been a believer in Land Reform but never realised we had the power to enact it, and show other parts of Britain a way forward.

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    • Indeed Isobel. One of the main reasons for high ‘house’ prices is the synthetic construct of capitalising LRV when land has no capital value in the first place. With LRV collection we could reduce the cost of housing land by at least 25% and more likely 40% according to some estimates. With independence the 9% of the current UK population residing in Scotland has access to 30% of the terrestrial surface area, 50% of the marine solum and 70% of the coastline. This overall land potential contains every animal, mineral, vegetable, tangible and intangible resource known to mankind. We have one of the most favourable resource to population ratios anywhere in Europe, if not the world. All we have to do is collect the rent we have all created.

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    • Tax is a negative concept in the mind and rent less so. You will find that those trying to explain LVT frequently have to explain by paragraph 2, that it is not really a tax at all and it isn’t. By this stage possible converts have been lost before how LRV could replace the tax burden on them has been explained.

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    • isobel, raise your aim,
      people could build their OWN homes if land was made available.
      Forget tenancy, its a yoke to the past.

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  18. So how do we put pressure on the legislators to implement LVT/LRV? (I use ‘land value tax’ only because it was used by Andy in his great book ‘The Poor Had No Lawyers.’) If the Scottish Parliament can legislate without being independent of the UK, then what’s stopping us at least writing to our MSPs (who might now be ready to do something to please their constituents.) I know the SNP are not in favour of LVT/LRV having already written and spoken to my SNP MSP about it.

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    • Both Prof. Roger Sandilands ( Economics, Strathclyde University ) and myself have had several attempts at engaging John Swinney on this issue, but to no avail and to no explanation. I now regard the SNP as one of the land- monopoly -capitalist parties, but they now might listen to the advice of the LRRG in investigating the potential further.

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  19. Three times now I have tried the democratic approach… three times I have been shafted … so.. whats the point?… that the bbc who pumped out so many lies & distortions on behalf of wm … that elderly folk who hadn’t a clue about social media… could be bussed into the polling and exercise their ill informed democratic right to screw it up for the rest of Scotland…. whose own grandkids.. if academically able will now need to pay through the nose to achieve the enlightenment their their elderly kinfolk have so kindly gifted to them… that the same elderly will now fund their own prescriptions & home help… all down to commercial interests… and now…. some more posts on following some blue sky kind of political pressure…… not me….

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    • Sam, if you take any kind of precipitate non peaceful action, you will be playing right into the hands of the agent provocateurs of Perfidious Albion. NB how they are orchestrating an image of YES as being thugs and loudmouths.

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      • Ron… so sit back & what?… has any peaceful revolution ever been achieved against the kind of odds stacked up by wm & its shareholders … every fight on this Earth has required sacrifice… if that sacrifice is to suffer the daily mail or its cronies saying nasty things about us…SO.. or the quisling’s within the bbc … the jackie birds of this world are going to be ” upset ” when an effigy of ????? is hung from a lamp-post??… THREE times over the decades I have sat back & trod the path of don’t upset the “undecideds” or the don’t knows… and I have watched as jobs & wealth aided by so called Scottish banks have aided buy outs or amalgamations… that have ONLY been of benefit to those in the south who have suddenly found they LOVE us…. & if you want to go into history it was the predecessors of the corporations & wealthy landowners that SOLD us into this false utopia… and the last time the great & the not so good had to hide on their new Eng. estates …
        They want you to carry on playing by their rules … their agenda.. sure you can bitch to each other on social media… but thats not going to pay for my grandkids education… all that wealth that Scotland has & can share will be gone to the same types who originally made millions from selling licenses to prospect for oil in the north Sea.. or to pay off the huge £1.5 trillion debt that wm has racked up… nah… your way is the loser way… carry on buying newspapers.. carry on supporting the companies who advertise in these same newspapers… carry on paying a tax that allows you to be brain washed with crap… carry on buying goods with a wee union flag on it… me…. I will boycott EVERYONE I see supporting this colonial power…

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        • fair enough Sam, I will be avoiding ASDA myself, but such and peaceful demos, foodbank donations etc are democratic expressions. It is not yet time to man the barricades and hopefully it will never be.

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          • Years ago I was given a briefing on how to cause “problems” the very last on a list was manning the barricades… which is the scenario that seems suddenly to be the very first option that some can bring into focus….. The most damage can be caused…… Financially…. that is what I advocate…. you only have to look around you to see the impact this has…. I am sure you do not need to have any great explanation…. Asda.. B&Q.. Screwfix…BP.. RBS.. bbc… ALL newspaper media.. Baxters.. Clydesdale Bank.. Grants whisky… Iceland… John Lewis.. Lloyds.. M & S. .. Mackies Ice Cream…. Mone Clothing… Sainsburys… Shell.. Standard Life… Sun. Post … Hootsman… Waitrose.. Tunnocks… Barrhead Travel.. Daily rag… plus dozens of small local companies within your own area who have let their employees know that they may be on shaky ground if they voted YES.. or some of the subsidised farming/land owning community who stuck up notices in their subsidised fields whilst employing East European workers on below living wages… they may try sell their product in local farming markets…. so BOYCOTT them all…

  20. Ariane, you make a very good initial point re economic activity and the various approaches the pro Indy political parties have to the basic needs; food, shelter, energy etc. My feeling is these ‘positions’ require to be challenged in a constructive manner.
    I lead a design delivery organisation of 30 people building around 20 houses per year – a mix of private and affordable – across Scotland. We use progressive off-site timber focussed methods aimed to maximise local sourcing, timber and other renewable materials and high levels of skill and meaningful work practices. The kind of high skill, high wage value adding industry discussed and promoted by Common Weal and others. We are far from perfect as an organisation but we are working hard at improving our methods! We recently undertook a detailed piece of research into the carbon impact of our house delivery approach. This revealed that on completion of one of our five person affordable units for the Highland Small Communities Housing Trust, that we had off-set or ‘locked-up’ 10 tonnes more carbon than had taken to deliver the development. These houses (a group of four) require very little energy inputs to maintain comfort and longevity of the building fabric and in my view should be good for hundreds of years. I believe this type of approach – using the physical and human resources we already have for high quality place-making – should be equally attractive to the likes of the Greens and the SNP – environmentally & jobs positive economic activity. This approach could be seen as the kind of re-industrialisation which brings a multitude of positive social and environmental benefits; better forestry & land-use, skills & jobs, houses & place-making – a positive, healthy and empowering approach to individual and community well-being.
    Built environment apprenticeships have reduced by 70% in the Highlands since 2007 due in large part to the boom and bust construction sector and our insistence in the UK on the delivery of housing in the peculiar speculative volume built manner. This is not the way in which housing is delivered in all other parts of the northern hemisphere. All other European countries rely on ‘self procured’ methods of house delivery and in so doing maintain a healthy SME construction sector. In Austria 80% of housing is delivered and procured by those who will live there, in the UK its around 15%! Our largest volume builders in the UK – who have all but halted delivery of anything lately – have business models which have little interest in actual house building, hence the crap outcome. As many will know its about increasing the value of land as a consequence of land-banking and related anti public interest methods. LVT or whatever we need to call it, would strike at the heart of these approaches and outcomes.
    The next big thing has got to be lots of smaller things, and I’m keen to work with others on a long term plan to secure better outcomes for us all. Better housing and places made here in Scotland is something that can move this country and all who live in it forward purposefully!

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  21. As the financial and banking systems have been mentioned in connection with this debate, I thought I’d put up this vid on possible economic collapse, its about the USA in particular, but applicable anywhere ; http://pro.moneymappress.com/MMRBSLG39/LMMRQ928/?h=true

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  22. Jim Sillars gave a talk at the recent Edin Book Festival (promoting his book In Place of Fear II) and was asked by someone in the audience what would be done about land ownership if Scotland became independent. He replied, mentioning Andy Wightman, that land value tax would be introduced. He also mentions this in his book. So he would support it.
    I noticed in his Twitter list (wrong term ? sorry I don’t twitter) this video clearly showing rigging at a referendum vote count centre :

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=IhTtVnCLq9A&app=desktop

    In the meanwhile, I am writing to my SNP, Green and Labour MSPs about LRV.

    Neil, I was very interested to read about your construction enterprise. Of course, LVT/LRV would help! I’m an Accountancy student and quoting from one of my text books: ‘Non-current assets – including buildings – are depreciated over their useful life. The only exception is freehold land, which is a non-wasting asset that does not normally depreciate’ (unless it’s a mine, for example.) (Accounts Preparation, David Cox, 2013.) Presumably, any investment in land makes the land ‘appreciate’ and it’s a %age of this gain in the original ‘non-wasting’ asset which the owner would pay to local authority in the form of LVT/LRV.

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  23. Neil – this is exactly the kind of thing I want LVT to pay for. Not everyone is physically or financially able to build their own home as has been suggested.
    The increase in jobs and apprenticeships would boost the economy, cut welfare spending and give our alienated youngsters hope. Affordable rents would lower spending on housing benefit, give tenants more disposable income and provide a revenue stream. Well designed homes would lower fuel bills, reduce emissions and improve health.
    I’ve already emailes my MSP

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    • Isobel and Ariane,
      Behind the scenes I have been working with others to bring LRV experts Fred Harrison and Mason Gaffney to Scotland for a special seminar on LRV in Glasgow. They are up for it. You might find googling Fred Harrison World War III on youtube of interest.

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      • Ron
        Managed to watch the Fred Harrison video. Do let us know if you manage to organise a discussion in Glasgow about land value capture, land rental value, land tax – whatever.

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    • Yes indeed Isobel, LRV is almost a kind of philosophers stone, it’s ramifications are so immense. There is a dual problem in concept that we will have to overcome in bringing standard bank- o- think politicians around to it: the enormity of the simplicity and the simplicity of the enormity. Simple is of course not the same as easy!

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    • isobel, some are not fit to build a house, but a lot are.
      A passable house could be built for £60,000 costing under £300/month on a 5% mortgage.
      even less if the person does a lot of the work.
      Funding could easily be organised, and land made available by the council.
      simple.

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  24. Really nasty ageist stuff from Sam Mitchell above: “elderly folk who hadn’t a clue about social media… could be bussed into the polling and exercise their ill informed democratic right …”

    So, while we’re changing the franchise to bring in 16 & 17yo’s, why don’t we also deny the franchise to people over 70 (or 60? or 80?). Why not go the whole hog and have anyone of any age guilty of exercising an “ill informed democratic right” subjected to sanctions …

    Please reassure me Sam Mitchell’s views are not representative of mainstream “Yes” thinking.

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    • People are entitled to vote against change if they want. The only thing I take away from this is that next time we need to do more to reassure any people in this age group who want a settled, quiet life that independence will not create any major upheavals.

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    • Given that I witnessed this .. given that I spoke to numerous elderly people whilst campaigning who knew only what their wee radios were pumping out as FACTs you need to know … given that some of their own kids were voting for YES but could not convince their geriatric grandparents that their pensions were the same as the Uk pensioners ANYWHERE in the world… but not according to your mentor alistair darling…. or that we could have used the pound which is an international currency … for the moment… given that whilst canvassing I spoke to five older women who were all obviously infirm and in receipt of free home care with their prescriptions paid for …and yet these five had been convinced by gordo that the nhs was safe with him … with one actually stating that gordo was the most intelligent prime minister we had ever had but had not YET been given a chance… so I agree with johanns lamentable often spoken comment that “Scots are not Genetically Programmed to understand politics””” .. especially those who take everything the bbc and its associated wm backed “”free press “”” say.

      I would like to say that I am on the extreme edge of the YES campaign … most preferred me due to my years to fold newspapers or bundle leaflets…. so I am not representative of the hard working dedicated vibrant clear thinking citizens who made up the majority of YES people… unlike the ” no ” representatives ….waving the butchers apron in Glasgow’s George Square….that had to be dispersed with a police horse charge… that the ever helpful bbc couldn’t find time to report on.

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  25. Thanks for all the advice. Andy, I believe this is an idea whose time has come and I for one shall do all I can; we’ve seen how social media can be used.

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  26. And a nice wee bit of racism from Alasdair (September 21, 2014 at 10:04 am): “Why should we be tarred with the morals of England”

    Prompts me to ask, a more equal society, what’s not to like, but can’t we have that in the UK as a whole? Do we have to be independent to deliver it? Are Scots somehow uniquely blessed with a vision and foresight to aspire to a more equal society which people living in – say – Yorkshire or Somerset or Kent – are blind to?

    It reminds me of the self centred hyperbole of the Covenanters (“presbyterian jihadists”) in the mid 17th century who managed to convince themselves that Scotland was the most perfectly reformed nation in Christendom, and they invaded England to impose their will on that benighted country …

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    • I think Scots really are different on the grounds that we do not vote for tory MPs. The UK’s lurch to the right, beginning with Thatcher in the 80’s, has created a perfect fault line across the Scottish border. It’s notable that all the talk was of civic nationalism rather than any kind of simple-minded, patriotic, nationalist exceptionalism.

      If we had voted YES, I’d have expected the Scottish political cycle to swing left and right but with rightward swings significantly less extreme than we have in the UK. We just don’t seem to have the same misanthropic right-wing constituency. A Scottish right would have had to be a centre-right with a social conscience.

      That would have made a huge difference, giving us the chance to take a few small steps towards a fairer society. Then, if Scots liked what they saw, we would have been free to consider more radical changes in ways which simply seem impossible within the UK.

      The arrangement of power in the UK reminds me of an evolutionary stable strategy: it’s not the optimum arrangement (by far..) but once established it cannot be invaded by a better one. It’s a political culture which seems to have pretty successfully managed to isolate itself from the electorate.

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  27. An acquaintance of mine who had been swithering voted no; she said that the following she realised on seeing the reaction of Cameron and his cronies that she had made a mistake.

    There must be many like her who were taken in by the no sides misinformation campaign who now regret what they did and won’t make the same mistake next time.

    The Yes campaign had several problems like, how do you counter a negative campaign, not easy when all you can offer is the promise of a better future. It was also seen, wrongly, as being about Alex and the SNP. It needs much better organisation and better arguments and policies being put forward next time; and there will be a next time and sooner than most people think because London has backed itself into a corner with promises I don’t believe it can deliver on.

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  28. I would have expected this form of argument from a closet unionist as it demonstrates all the negatives that unionism tried so hard to emphasis… “””It was also seen, wrongly, as being about Alex and the SNP.””” this was a deliberate ploy set up by the vindictive and over emotional labour part of the tory coalition … they also used the word “”separatist”” to give credence to setting one Scot against another… “if you had support for Scotland being an independent country ” then you were deemed as being outwith some illusory united country and you somehow wanted to “separate”… citing the analogy of divorce…. and no one who has been through the trauma of divorce can say it was a pleasant experience … especially when the other party is threatening & bullying..wants control of the money.. & can decide not to allow communication between the lawyers involved…
    The YES campaign was not a singular entity… it had many valuable contributions from a wide divergence to organisations contributing to a new stronger fairer Scotland as against the only contribution from the no side was a consortium of Eng. celebs or big business telling us that we would be doomed for ever more… with possibly Scotland being the only small country in this world to find such a vindictive neighbour who professed to LOVE us..
    If anything… the YES side should have refused to grant ANY bbc employee ANY access … as it is so obvious where they have their sympathies…

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    • I am a pensioner a yes voter and member of the SNP So be careful what ill informed assumptions and prejudices you start spouting.

      The Yes campaign itself admits mistakes were made and it is recognised that they included the ones I gave. Indeed it would have been strange, miraculous even if none had been made.

      Remember dear boy, there are none as blind as those that will not see.

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  29. What mistakes did you see?.. did these mistakes convince the no voters that they should vote no?… and personally I do not care a jot if you are a member of the SNP… Im certainly not as they are far too soft in their approach.. they should have adopted stronger more active policies during the years they have held power in Scotland.. that is confirmed by the reason for this blog… Land Matters… & pray tell what radical policies they have enacted… what policies have they proposed to show how defunct the other tory groups in the Scottish parliament are?… Free education for those able… the free medical benefits… the continuation of low levels of council tax…. the balancing of the books.. have they broadcast this to all & sundry especially to those blind and deliberately misled in Eng…. but most certainly not when the wm mouthpiece gave this democratic elected government air time…
    The biggest mistake the SNP made was not abandoning the TAX/license fee payable exclusively to the bbc… that has now proven to be the largest singular deficit that they have closed their eyes to… or as some prefer… the blind leading the blind.

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    • I’m quite prepared to engage in intelligent reasoned discussion of the subject which is something regular visitors to Andy’s blog enjoy, but your approach now appears to be straying into the realm of mud slinging and I have better things to do than start a slanging match.

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  30. Scotland will have to have its own bank before another referendum, and its own broadcaster.
    The lack of both has allowed victory to elude the YES campaign.
    The SNP will now have to start passing meaningful legislation to improve scotland, not tinkering with smoking bans or other trivia.

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  31. I’m curious as to how you discovered these figures. It’s just if the vote was anonymous then how can you create a graph detailing life expectancy vs likelihood to vote one way or the other? Is there some genuine data gathered here? In which case how did you get access to the vote count, and if not have you just made a graph showing your opinion?

    Reply

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