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By a Newsnet reporter

Scotland’s debate on independence is not harming its image internationally according to a leading banking executive.

Philip Grant, chair of the Scottish executive committee at Lloyds Banking Group, has said that the referendum is having a positive effect and that countries are more interested in Scotland than ever before because of the debate.

Speaking at a discussion on economic growth this week, Mr Grant told the Scottish Parliament's finance committee "there is maybe some advantage" in the independence debate and "there are parts of the world where people are getting interested in Scotland again".

He told the committee that he “looked forward” into the future and had the same concerns for his children as every person living in Scotland who wished for “real opportunity for them in a prosperous and thriving Scotland.”

Mr Grant insisted he was an optimist and saw “an opportunity in every difficulty and challenge.” and added: "Scotland has great strengths, great national opportunities and great talent and strength in its universities sector.

"For people to be more aware of the brand of Scotland and the capability that we have, and the opportunities, I think, is no bad thing in a global market.

"The definition as a region, or nation, or country, or economy, is in many ways, for businesses and for people looking for jobs, irrelevant. It's about 'is there investment here?' and 'are markets opening up for us?'"

The banking executive's comments coincided with an article in the Wall Steet Journal that described claims that Scotland relied on subsidies from the rest of the UK as a “myth”.

The article, published by the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch website, added more weight to the case for Scottish independence, said the SNP, and discredited many of the claims from the anti-independence parties.

According to Market Watch: “There is now little dispute that Scotland on its own can be a viable economy.” it continues: "The claim that a penurious Scotland is a subsidy junkie has already been proved a myth."

Welcoming the reports, Linda Fabiani, SNP MSP and Convener of the Scottish Parliament’s Scotland Bill Committee, said:

“More and more informed opinions across the world recognise that Scotland can stand on its own two feet - the case for Scotland is strengthening all the time.

“Scotland is country rich in natural resources, big on skills, attractive to foreign investors and a world leader in renewable energy.

“As the Wall Street Journal points out, it is objectively the case that Scotland pays more in taxes to the UK Treasury than it receives in expenditure.

“The longer that the anti-independence parties continue to talk Scotland down, the further they will alienate themselves from the people of Scotland.”

The Scottish Government's consultation on the referendum ends midnight today [Friday].  Around 20,000 submissions are expected to have been made by people keen to give their views.  The consultation asks people to give their opinions on votes for 16 year olds, the proposed referendum question and whether there should be a devo-max option on the ballot paper.

The success of the consultation has led to Unionist claims that it is an attempt at rigging the referendum with some people initially being allowed to submit more than once.  However it emerged that the UK consultation which attracted less than one sixth the submissions of its Scottish counterpart had allowed a similar number of multiple submissions, it also emerged that many of the submissions came from a Labour party website.


Read the WSJ Market Watch articles here:
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/making-scottish-independence-add-up-2012-05-02
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/snp-holds-cards-in-scottish-independence-vote-2012-05-02


• The latest GERS figures, published at the beginning of March, found that every man, woman and child in Scotland would have been £510 better off last year if Scotland had been an independent country.
• In cash terms in 2010/11, the relative difference in Scotland and the UK’s fiscal positions was equivalent to £2.7bn. This is equivalent to £510 for every man, woman and child in Scotland.
• Scotland continues to be in a stronger budget position than the UK as a whole, contributing 9.6% of UK and public sector revenue while receiving 9.3% of total UK public sector expenditure, including a per capita share of UK debt interest payments. Scotland’s population is 8.4% of the UK total.
• The GERS publication shows that North Sea Oil revenue makes up 15% of Scotland’s total tax take.  In Norway, the figure in 2011 was 29% (source: US State Dept http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/3421.htm)
• In December, the Social Attitudes Survey found that 65% of those questioned would support independence on the basis that they would be £500 better off with a higher standard of living.
• 60% of respondents said they felt that independence would make Scotland’s economy the same or better.

Comments  

 
# tartanfever 2012-05-11 06:27
I'm not sure about any positivity internationally when you look at what's written on the BBC website. In the headlines we have 'D-Day for Referendum' - the final day of the Scottish Governments consultation . The following article is the usual BBC drivel, and includes the following quote from Michael Moore :

He ( Moore) also said both governments were clear there should be a single question asked in the referendum and the process should be overseen by the Electoral Commission.


Really, I didn't know the single question was agreed ?

It's not what I heard this morning on Radio 4's today programme in a chat between James Naughtie and Brian Taylor - who was reporting on the end of the consultation period, but actually spent most time telling us that 'Salmond want two questions in the referendum, it's his fall back position.' - But that it's legality would be highly questionable.

Finally, just to add injury to insult the BBC have a page of stories 'Scotland's future' - it can be viewed here:

www.bbc.co.uk/news/16630456

I see the BBC are making sure that any article that questions the SG consultation is being brushed down and put on display again, with such delights as '

'Most back single Scots question'
SNP moves over consultation row
Row over independence responses
Majority 'back early Scots vote
Scottish 'border checks' warning

Funny that there's no articles dedicated to the UK governments consultation and the multiple votes that came from the pre-filled form from the labour party website.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-05-11 12:16
'Salmond wants two questions in the referendum, it's his fall back position.' -
How does Taylor justify such a statement, which he continuously restates even in briefing sessions for non-Scottish journalists? He doesn't have any proof of this, does he?

Incidentally, outside the UK, Moore does not exist. Talk is of Cameron only. Moore's position is either not understood or considered irrelevant.
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-05-11 12:33
I don't know Marga, it's quite staggering that he is allowed to state this categorically. In recent weeks I've even heard Glen Campbell say that a second question is only an option and not an SNP policy.
 
 
# mealer 2012-05-11 06:37
I think as time goes on it will be harder for Westminster to find respected intelligent people to back up their argument that Scotland would fail miserably without the UK.
1) They dont believe it
2)With the public split evenly,its not wise to pick sides openly when theres nothing to be gained by it.
3)They may feel a bit isolated,even silly,when Scotland moves forward and they are seen to be way behind.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-05-11 07:01
This article is excellent. Compare and contrast it to the permanent negativity hurled out by the biased UK 'state broadcaster'.

Now, today, they are assisting Governor General Moore who is spinning like mad, in order to pretend the UK consultation (with just 3,000 responses) has any credibility. Of course this completely ignores the fact, that the results of the Scottish Government consultation will not really be know until after the summer, as unlike the Westminster charade, the Scottish consultation will be actually scrutinised independently.

Ahh... good old BBC leading the unionist, anti independence charge from the front as usual.
 
 
# Macart 2012-05-11 08:18
If it hadn't been for Labour Hame would there have even been 3000 responses. Seriously doubt it.

If the numbers are right and the SGs is up around 20K that should well and truly put the mockers on the Westminster consultation.
 
 
# Mark MacLachlan 2012-05-11 08:00
Two more years of this...

scotlandsaysyes.com/.../...
 
 
# UpSpake 2012-05-11 08:01
Upon Independence Scotland will move from a land of alledged dependency to a land of Opportunity hope and aspiration for all and that includes international business who will grasp the opportunities that strategically placed Scotland can provide.
 
 
# Macart 2012-05-11 08:30
Folks if you want to see a fair yet positive outlook for Scotland's future you can do worse than check out this article from the Wall Street Journal. Enjoy

bellacaledonia.org.uk/.../...
 
 
# Louperdowg 2012-05-11 08:36
I see that Michael Moore is getting all chippy again...

heraldscotland.com/.../...

He does deserve credit for the following line though!

"It's not about the numbers [of responses], it's about the arguments."
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-05-11 08:43
Quoting Louperdowg:
I see that Michael Moore is getting all chippy again...

He does deserve credit for the following line though!

"It's not about the numbers [of responses], it's about the arguments."




Haha, Malcolm Tucker would be proud. Colonial Governor Moore sounds more ridiculous each time I hear him - did he not see the Libdem election results??? Here's a clue...nobody likes the Libdems.
 
 
# Mad Jock McMad 2012-05-11 08:38
The less you notice the BBC Scotland output the more you notice the growing international support for independence for Scotland.

There is a growing awareness across the world of Scotland's strong work force, knowledge and skills from Japan, China to the US - Scotland is being recognised as the place where new renewable technologies are invented and developed.

No longer are our inventions being sent elsewhere to be developed and built courtesy of the short termism prevalent at Westminster.
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-05-11 08:50
Unfortunately MJM, the BBC is usually a first port of call for many foreigners wishing to get the latest on whats going on here.

I've read so many false reports in International newspapers regarding Independence and it's quite easy to see that many are just rehashed from the BBC website or the MSM.
 
 
# Marga B 2012-05-11 12:21
I would in fact question that, tartan fever.

Abroad like here most people go for what their national press tells them, which for good or ill, like the UK, is first and foremost coloured by the politics of their own countries, which we can't do much about.
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-05-11 12:36
I'm only thinking that if I want news in America for instance, I'll go and look up the Washington Post, or the New York Times or another mainstream media outlet that I have heard of.

I'm sure if you asked the majority of Americans what the major media/news outlet is in the UK they will say the BBC.
 
 
# call me dave 2012-05-11 09:43
O/T


Aberdeen's City Garden Project: Labour committed to scrap UTG redevelopment

bbc.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-05-11 10:23
Thanks NewsnetScotland ,particularly for the link(below) to the US State Department site re NORWAY.
Reading the "ECONOMY" of Norway,and how they have carefully managed their natural resources since the 1970's are in stark contrast to UK Labour and UK Tory Governments.

What a tragedy of missed opportunities for Scotland,and still the anti-indepence politicians persist in the mantra,"Stronger together than apart".

I think it's their status and salaries they're more concerned about.
NOT about the PEOPLE living in Scotland and their standard of living.
Shame on them---every single one.
www.state.gov/.../3421.htm
VOTE YES IN 2014 REFERENDUM.
 
 
# Leswil 2012-05-11 10:25
A positive view from Mr Grant. This is the kind of response to Independence that does make business actually think that hey! maybe this could be something that could turn out for the best.
More of this stuff will help people to consider Independence as a very viable option.
 
 
# Louperdowg 2012-05-11 10:27
Just remember...

The deadline for public submissions on the Scottish Government independence referendum consultation is midnight tonight (Friday).

If you have not done so already, please play your part and make your voice heard today.

You can fill in a quick response. Click:
snp.org/.../...

The quick response has the key points in an email ready to send to the Scottish Government consultation team. All you need do is pop in your name and email address.

Or you can visit the Scottish Government's own referendum website to give your thoughts in more detail. Click:
consult.scotland.gov.uk/.../
 
 
# A_Scottish_Voice 2012-05-11 10:37
The wife just completed the consultation form on the Scottish Goverment website.

There were a couple she could not answer as she did not know enough about electoral commission.

The most important questions for her were the ones about the actual referendum question, the proposed time table, and whether 16 or 17 year old should be allowed to vote.

The whole process took less than five minutes, I kid you not.
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-05-11 11:37
I really would not advocate any kind of pre formed templates, and I don't think the SNP are being smart offering one. It only takes a few minutes to go direct to the survey site, leave your views on some or all of the questions. You do not have to answer them all. So you can have your say on the question, and age of voters or whatever you choose.

consult.scotland.gov.uk/.../...




.
 
 
# Skip_NC 2012-05-11 22:58
Greetings from Raleigh, North Carolina. Well I have just done my bit and submitted my offering to the consultation. Personally, I feel that most of the questions are for the Scottish electorate to opine on. However, I was more than happy to give my views on how to improve voter turnout, based on my experience with early voting here in the USA. It was nice of the SG to invite the rest of the world to offer an opinion. Very inclusive and it demonstrates that the current administration really does believe that it does not have a monopoly on wisdom.

Just one thought though - is holding the referendum on a Saturday during football season really such a good idea?
 
 
# RTP 2012-05-11 10:33
BBC.
SNP boosts council election gains New The SNP has increases its gains in the council elections as the results of a delayed local authority ballot are announced.

Good news total now 425 but BBC have not changed it on the Council Result result page.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-05-11 10:36
Is this it?
Dunoon. bbc.co.uk/.../...
Great news.
 
 
# Giles 2012-05-11 11:13
O/T

Bella Caledonia has an interesting article about Scottish Independence in the Wall Street Journal on the home page.
 
 
# cjmasta 2012-05-11 11:26
I just submitted my views in the consultation on the referendum and i`m glad I did.
Someone had said on here previously that it took an hour but it depends how much you decide to write.
I had more to say on some aspects than others, you don`t have to write an essay. I spent 15 minutes filling out mine,
Please if you have time go and have your say, even if you don`t have any strong feelings on some of the content what`s important is the parts where you do have strong feelings.
 
 
# macdoc 2012-05-11 11:39
Ive just filled mine out, Only took around 20 mins, told them how concerned I was with the biased Media and this was the number one priority to address.
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-05-11 11:42
Same.Filled mine in and doesn't take long.
It's the only chance for our views to be heard between now and the the Referendum!
 
 
# Robert Louis 2012-05-11 11:40
You're right, it doesn't take an hour. I have lengthy opinions and it only took me twenty minutes. Most folks can do it in five minutes, and you really don't have to answer all the questions.

Just remember, do NOT assume that all the other independence supporters will fill it in, so you 'don't need to bother'. This is important, so have your say;

consult.scotland.gov.uk/.../...


.
 
 
# balgayboy 2012-05-11 12:08
Quoting Robert Louis:
You're right, it doesn't take an hour. I have lengthy opinions and it only took me twenty minutes. Most folks can do it in five minutes, and you really don't have to answer all the questions.

Just remember, do NOT assume that all the other independence supporters will fill it in, so you 'don't need to bother'. This is important, so have your say;

consult.scotland.gov.uk/.../...


.

Yup, just done the same, should have done it before but never mind better late than never. The end result is more important and I really hope and wish I can have the biggest celebration in 2014.
 
 
# Louperdowg 2012-05-11 12:45
My teenage daughter has just filled it in and I will get the missus to put in her tuppenceworth later.

Onwards and upwards!
 
 
# Nation Libre 2012-05-11 12:55
Me too. Last minute as usual!

I had proposed that the STV system could be used with voters noting their preference on three options:
Independence 1
Devo Max(?) 2
Status Quo

That seems very straightforward to me and would avoid the third/third/third result. Am i missing a problem in using the STV system?
 
 
# Soixante-neuf 2012-05-11 13:02
Yes, frankly. It's a disaster-recipe for there being no clear outcome.

We need a clear outcome to show the international community there is a majority for independence in the country. 35% first choices won't cut it.

If there is a second question (which I hope there won't be), it is absolutely vital is a secondary one, couched as "IF the independence option fails to secure a majority, THEN would you be in favour of...."
 
 
# Nation Libre 2012-05-11 13:28
69, I don't see how it need be a disaster. I am totally for independence and given a straight yes/no on that would pick yes every time. What I'm not so sure about is everyone else in Scotland voting the same way and dread to think of the consequences of a no vote. While DevoMax (to be confirmed) would not be my choice, it would very quickly lead to Independence. Using the STV system to achieve an over 50% winner, I just can't see that winner being the status quo
 
 
# Soixante-neuf 2012-05-11 14:55
Using the STV system to achieve a winner would result in a failure of the international community to recognise the result as legitimate, unless over 50% voted independence as their first choice. That's the reality.

You HAVE to ask the independence question straight, up-front, first out of the box, and get over 50% on it. Otherwise nobody is listening. Westminster declares no majority, and if the Scottish government appeals to the UN or Europe they won't get traction.

The only place for a second question is as a "what if", supposing independence doesn't get that majority. And only then, if you have cast-iron guarantees that this option will be delivered if it is chosen. That last one is the killer. There is no chance Westminster would agree to deliver anything approaching the sort of deal that would be needed to guarantee a win for a devo-max option. Offering something that would be refused by the parliament in whose gift it is would be suicidal.
 
 
# K Mackay 2012-05-11 22:09
Did mine a few days ago and just got brother and girlfriend to do their consultation responses, hopefully get my mum to do hers before midnight too. Think I might get the prize for most last minute responses :)
 
 
# Dundonian West 2012-05-11 13:11
Her Majesty's Secretary of State for Scotland:---
"He also said both governments were clear there should be a single question asked in the referendum and the process should be overseen by the Electoral Commission."
Is Moore correct?

Must be true----it's on BBC Scotland on-line today.
 
 
# Jim1320 2012-05-11 21:43
Moore seems a bit wrong footed by the weight of response to the Scottish Government's consultation in relation to their rather pathetic affair. He seems to keen to have talks before the numbers are crunched on the main consultation (I think we can safely forget about the Westminster effort).

If I was Alex Salmond I would be tempted to get the consultation numbers analysed, turned into big colourful pie charts and then decorate the walls of the discussion venue with them.

To be sure the Unionists will almost certainly have filed returns too but I am rather hoping and expecting that the bulk of the returns will be supportive of the Governments plans.
 
 
# call me dave 2012-05-11 14:31
O/T

I hope our SNP team have been able to resist the temptation to embellish their expenses claim. If not, I'm sure it will be on the next round of SNP accused headlines.


-----------------------------------------
MPs' expenses bill soars by nearly £50million after watchdog relaxes rules
Feb 12 2012


MPs’ expenses have soared by more than £46million this year, new figures reveal.
A Commons watchdog, set up to restore confidence in politicians after the expenses scandal, have received claims by MPs adding up to a massive £164.7million.
The rise comes after rules were relaxed on travel, hotels and ­spending on staff.
The cost of MPs’ pay and expenses was £118million last year. But despite politicians’ ­salaries being frozen, the total for this year is now due to be nearly £47million higher.
The Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority slipped out news of the rise in a new estimate updating their cash needs.
The expenses bill only covered the 11 months after the May 2010 general election. It included “golden goodbyes” for departing MPs and spending on the winding up of their offices.

--------------------------------------
dailyrecord.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# tartanfever 2012-05-11 14:37
Yes, MP's are clearly demonstrating that 'we are all in it together'
 
 
# raisethegame 2012-05-11 14:47
The more they scoff........

An article by Peter Jones in The Spectator headed "Ancient and modern: Aesop on Alex Salmond"

"In Aesop’s fable, mother frog threatened to explode by puffing herself up to a size big enough to take on the ox that had accidentally trodden on one of her young. It’s all so Alec Salmond, puffing himself up to save tiny but heroic Scotland (5 million) and its plucky welfare dependents from being crushed by its tyrannical neighbour (52 million).
In a Politeia pamphlet, Lord Fraser has proposed that it would be better for Scotland to become something like a Roman ‘client kingdom’....."

spectator.co.uk/.../...
 
 
# Soixante-neuf 2012-05-11 16:49
Someone has commented the article is "patronising, chidish drivel".

It's insulting, too. He obviously really hates Alex Salmond. Maybe it's not that wise to be so openly virulent to someone who was elected First Minister by 45% of the popular vote.
 
 
# Jim1320 2012-05-11 21:36
Good grief! If that was posted as a comment it would be decried as out and out trolling. Whoever this chap Jones' history teacher is should hang his head in shame.

For the record Agricola, Antonine, Hadrian, Sepitimus Severus etc., all had serious attempts at conquering Scotland. Severus brought a huge army and conducted a vicious campaign in 208 through to 210 and lost a substantial part of his army due to the scorched earth, guerilla tactics employed by the Caledonians.

The Romans gave up and strengthened Hadrians wall because the stubbornness of the people, the climate, terrain and tactics used by the Caledonians. All these made attempting to conquer Scotland an expensive and futile task.

The trolling I can take, even admire ;) but the assault on history? The man is a scoundrel.
 
 
# bigbuachaille 2012-05-11 16:05
I can only agree that the referendum places Scotland a positive frame in the eyes of other countries. I was recently in Australia and met with widespread interest in and approval of Scottish Independence. The Aussies complained that they would love to see a new Aussie national flag without the Union flag being stuck on as a needless adjunct to the Southern Cross.
 
 
# truth 2012-05-11 16:54
Some of the newspapers in Hong Kong already show maps of the UK, with the border marked and Scotland marked as "Scotland" and the rest marked as "UK".

Always makes me smile that.
 
 
# Barontorc 2012-05-12 07:42
How many responded to "Your Scotland, Your Referendum" survey?
 
 
# Caadfael 2012-05-12 09:36
IIRC some >21,000 but as some liebour nonentity pointed out there was the possibility of multy-entry funny business and even the usual micky mouse got in.
Still, rigourous examination will root out the rubbish leaving a "clean" result.
 
 
# MappingMum 2012-05-14 22:24
Quote:
The consultation asks people to give their opinions on . . . . whether there should be a devo-max option on the ballot paper.


Not true.

The consultation asks people what their views are " on the inclusion of a second question in the referendum "
 

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