Scottish independence: A civilised debate?

Concerns over the nature and quality of the Scottish referendum debate have been thrust into the spotlight in the wake of the online abuse directed at author JK Rowling and carers' rights campaigner Clare Lally.

Ms Rowling was described as a "bitch" and Ms Lally a "liar, a quisling and a collaborator" on Twitter after both gave their support to the pro-UK Better Together campaign.

It followed Better Together head Alistair Darling's recent interview with the New Statesman magazine, in which he likened Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond to former North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il.

So how does all of that fit with the recent claim by the presiding officer of the Scottish Parliament, Tricia Marwick, that the independence debate was an "inspiration to countries throughout the world"?

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JK Rowling tweet Ms Rowling was abused on Twitter donating £1m to Better Together
Anti-social media

The recent online attacks on JK Rowling and Clare Lally have perhaps become the most the most high-profile examples of online trolls on one side of the debate targeting supporters of the other side.

Ms Rowling's donation of £1m to the pro-UK Better Together campaign led to her being described as a "bitch" in a tweet by the Dignity Project charity, which carries out work to improve the lives of children in Africa. The charity later claimed its account had been "hacked".

And Ms Lally, who has a disabled daughter, said she was targeted by so-called "cybernats" after she spoke at a Better Together rally on Monday.

There have also been calls on Twitter for boycotts of businesses that have come out against independence, which has led the pro-UK side to argue that the nationalists were attempting to "shut down debate".

But supporters of the union have also been responsible for directing personal abuse at prominent nationalist figures.

On Wednesday, for example, a man was fined in court for sending an abusive message on Facebook to David Kerr, a former BBC Scotland journalist and SNP candidate for the Scottish Parliament.

And the unflattering language has not been confined to social media, with Better Together head Alistair Darling last week comparing Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond to former North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il in an interview with the New Statesman

Mr Darling was also accused by pro-independence supporters of appearing to agree that the SNP was guilty of "blood-and-soil" nationalism - a term that has become associated with Nazi Germany. Mr Darling denies the claim.

And in April, lottery winners Colin and Chris Weir - who have donated more than £5m of their £161m jackpot to the independence movement - said they had been "smeared" by an article published in the Scottish Daily Mail newspaper.

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town hall meeting The referendum debate has seen the return of old-fashioned town hall politics to Scotland

The issue of online trolling, as upsetting as it is for its victims, is hardly confined to Scotland. Search Twitter for the name of virtually any high-profile public figure and the chances are someone somewhere will have have written something nasty about them.

And it must be remembered that not everyone on Twitter is spouting abuse - after JK Rowling announced her donation to Better Together, several nationalists defended the author's right to get involved in the debate and criticised the abuse she was receiving.

But what is remarkable about the independence debate is how the bile and venom which is too often found online has failed to spill over into the streets.

The referendum campaign has seen grassroots political activity rise to a level that not been seen in Scotland for decades, with hundreds of meetings and debates held in halls and community centres the length and breadth of the country.

But there have been very few reports of trouble, with the small number of mass rallies or protests that have been held also passing off without any disorder.

When hundreds of nationalist activists recently gathered in Glasgow to protest about perceived BBC bias in the referendum campaign, for example, they stood with their hands over their mouths in a silent protest.

And when tens of thousands took part in the annual Rally For Independence in Edinburgh last year, they covered their faces with nothing more sinister than face paint and smiles.

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pro-independence protest in Barcelona Many Catalans are envious of the Edinburgh Agreement, which committed both the UK and Scottish governments to respecting the outcome of the Scottish independence referendum
Seeing ourselves as others see us

While many Scots caught up in the midst of the referendum campaign may despair at some of the things they see and hear, it seems the debate is being seen in a much more flattering light from further afield.

Earlier this year, Catalan President Artur Mas admitted he was "jealous" of what was happening in Scotland.

He pointed out that the Scottish referendum was taking place with the full support and agreement of both sides, while the Spanish government was refusing to accept the legitimacy of a similar vote in Catalonia.

And in May, former Northern Irish First Minister Lord Trimble told BBC Radio's Good Morning Scotland programme that a "Yes vote in Scotland would reinforce the argument against violence because it's a demonstration of how you can achieve major change through the political democratic process".

Foreign journalists covering the Scottish referendum have also commented on the peaceful nature of the debate, with Indian reporter Dilip D'Souza asking: "Can we learn from Scotland and the UK? As far as I can tell, the question of Scottish independence has always only been debated politically. No British military presence on the streets of Edinburgh and Glasgow, certainly. No hostile face-off with a neighbour".

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generic handshake Politicians on both sides have stressed the importance of putting differences aside after the referendum

A nation divided?

The online abuse and polarised debate has led several commentators to ponder whether Scotland will be left badly divided after the referendum.

But the Edinburgh Agreement, which was signed by both Mr Salmond and Prime Minister David Cameron last year, commits both sides to respecting the outcome of the referendum and working together in the best interests of the Scottish people.

Senior figures on either side of the argument have already stressed the need for reconciliation after 18 September.

And the Church of Scotland has said it will hold a special "healing" service in Edinburgh on the Sunday following the referendum, with politicians from both sides expected to attend in a symbolic display of unity and respect.

As Ms Marwick pointed out in a recent BBC interview: "In 1979 when Scotland voted for an assembly and it was denied, people came together.

"In 1997 there were Conservatives who were passionately opposed to the creation of a Scottish Parliament. The coming together that we saw after both of these referendums, we will see again. I am absolutely confident of that."

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Scotland Decides

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Scotland Decides: SCOTLAND VOTES NO

  1. No 2,001,926
  2. Yes 1,617,989
After 32 of 32 counts Results in detail

Referendum Live

    15:20: Young people's 'energy and engagement'

    Annabelle Ewing, the SNP MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife tells MSPs that "hope" had underlined the enthusiasm, energy and engagement of the young people of Scotland.

    She says the Scottish Parliament does not have the power to change the voting age at elections to 16 and she hopes the party leaders will bring that about.

    Annabelle Ewing
  2. 15:18: Andy Murray - Your Views

    Gary: Andy Murray is Scottish first and British second. The media, newspapers and TV commentators always says he is Scottish when he loses and British when he's winning. So leave the guy alone and get a life.

    15:16: Jones: Wales at heart of debate

    Carwyn Jones adds that changes in one part of the UK "affects the position in all the others".

    Carwyn Jones

    "The prime minister said on Friday that he wants a balanced settlement, fair to people in Scotland and to everyone in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as well."

    He said that he wants Wales to be at the heart of the debate. I will hold him to that promise," he says.

    15:13: 'Power of capital'

    Neil Findlay, Labour MSP for the Lothians, says the facts are that the majority of the electorate voted No.

    "I fundamentally believe you do not challenge the power of capital by dividing along national lines," he says.

    Mr Findlay says the SNP claimed to want a fairer society but the only redistributive policy it had was to reduce corporation tax for the richest business.

    15:12: Jones: 'Status quo gone'

    Carwyn Jones: "I spoke to the prime minister on Friday. I told him how much I - and most members of this Assembly - welcomed the positive choice that the people of Scotland have made: to remain part of the United Kingdom.

    "But the status quo has gone. Events in Scotland have swept it away and there can be no going back to the way things were."

    15:11: Carwyn Jones statement

    Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones has been giving a statement to Assembly Members in Cardiff, where he has urged David Cameron to involve all members of the "UK family" in future talks on devolution.

    He also urged the prime minister to ditch short-term "sticking plaster solutions", adding that he would hold the PM to his promise that he would put Wales at the heart of the debate.

    15:10: 'Trust shattered by fear'

    Aberdeen SNP MSP Kevin Stewart says some No voters had their trust shattered by fear.

    He says there were Polish voters who were told they would be deported if Scotland was independence.

    He says the promise of Devo Max enticed some people to vote No. He says the Westminster politicians had done everything they can to keep Devo Max off the ballot.

    @AlexSalmond 15:09: First Minister Alex Salmond

    First Minister Alex Salmond tweets: We have a totally new body politic, a new spirit abroad in the land - one which is speaking loud and clear. Things cannot be the same again.


    The Scottish Parliament will now have an open debate on the independence referendum.

    15:02: 'Innate resistance to change'

    "Westminster has an innate resistance to change," Mr Harvie says. "In Scotland there is a thirst for change of the broken economic system and the broken political system which has been propping it up."

    Mr Harvie says the "generational change" is a great thing. He says he speaks as a member of a party whose youth wing is bigger than the entire party was earlier this week.

    15:01: Salmond: Full story

    Here's the full story on Alex Salmond calling for the voting age to be lowered.

    Mr Salmond also said he thought Scotland was now the most politically-engaged nation in western Europe.

    "Wherever we're travelling together, we're a better nation today than we were at the start of this process. We are more informed, more enabled and more empowered," he added.

    14:59: 'Within a political bubble'

    Scottish Green MSP Patrick Harvie says all variants of "Devo Next" point to Scotland needing to be able to have its own powers and take its own decisions.

    He says the deal being brokered by Lord Smith will not have enough time to do the job properly and it can't be a decision made "within a political bubble".

    14:57: 'Inspiring behaviour'

    The co-convener of the Scottish Greens, Patrick Harvie, condemns bad behaviour on both sides of the campaign. But he says he has found it far easier to find examples of "inspiring" behaviour.

    The co-convener of the Scottish Greens, Patrick Harvie
    14:56: Miliband: General election question

    Mr Miliband says everyone in the conference hall "has a responsibility to try to explain why 45% of people voted Yes - 45% wanted to break up our country".

    He tells a story about a cleaner called Josephine he met during the campaign.

    Labour leader Ed Milliband

    "I don't know how Josephine voted in the referendum, but I do know that the question that she was asking - is anyone going to make life better for me and my family? It isn't just Josephine's question, it is the question that people are asking right across Britain...

    "That wasn't just the referendum question, that is the general election question."

    14:55: 'Clear, legal and decisive'

    Mr Rennie says the result on Friday was "clear, legal and decisive". As the first minister said the question of independence has been decided for a life time, Mr Rennie says.

    However, people have high hopes and the parties have their job cut out to meet them.

    14:55: 'Free, fair and open ballot' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Ruth Davidson: I understand "Yes" voters are feeling hurt, grief and loss. But to move on we need to acknowledge that the process was not flawed. This was a free, fair, open and decisive ballot. #indyref

    14:53: 'Biggest ever endorsement'

    Mr Rennie says two million votes is the biggest ever endorsement for a political decision in Scotland. The Scottish Lib Dem leader chastises Mr Salmond for his comments at the weekend in which he claimed No voters had been tricked.

    Mr Rennie says the Lib Dems proposed that the Scottish parliament raises most of the money it spends. He says they made these proposals two years ago; the party says that can be done within a federal structure.

    He says he hopes the SNP engage constructively with process of devolving new powers.

    14:52: 'Tremendous political skills'

    Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie says he recognises Alex Salmond's "tremendous political skills".

    Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie

    Mr Rennie says this has been the most amazing democratic experience of his lifetime. He too endorses the votes for 16 and 17-year-olds.

    14:51: Miliband: 'Together we can'

    The Labour leader, speaking in Manchester, says the idea that won the referendum can be summed up in the word "together".

    "Together we can build a better future for the working people of Britain," he tells his party, perhaps echoing the "Yes we can" slogan of pro-independence campaigners.

    14:49: Straight off the political bat Carole Walker Political correspondent, BBC News

    Ed Miliband appears to be speaking without notes/autocue but word perfect on sections briefed in advance.

    14:49: MSPs told to 'weesht'

    Ms Davidson says "We need to know that this government is going to stop the politics of grievance and make devolution work."

    The Tory leader's list of occasions that SNP ministers had said "only with independence" can something happen leads to voices of dissent who are told "wheesht" by the presiding officer.

    14:48: 'Sit this one out'

    Ms Davidson agrees with the first minister that the story of the referendum was "participation".

    People thought this discussion was too important to "sit this one out".

    The Tory leader also agrees that the lesson of the votes for 16 and 17-year-olds means it must now been looked at across the UK.

    She says the process of giving more powers is real. Will the SNP stop "sniping from the sidelines and get involved?", she asks.

    14:47: 'Credit to our nation' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Ruth Davidson says the referendum conversation has been a credit to our nation but the country must now move forward with common cause.

    14:46: Don't 'cry conspiracy'

    Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson says she understands many who voted for independence are feeling "grief and hurt". But she says that grief is not healed by crying conspiracy.

    Since Friday, we have three senior Nationalists saying there are other ways to declare independence, she says.

    14:45: 'Democratic will of voters' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Johann Lamont sounding rather angry as she suggests the SNP is not accepting the democratic will of voters, with talk of being "tricked".

    14:44: Miliband: Understand 'Yes' support

    Mr Miliband argues that Labour has to understand what motivated some people in Scotland to vote "Yes" to independence.

    He says people are asking: "Is anyone going to build a better life for the people of this country?"

    Mr Miliband says that was the real "referendum question" and the question being asked all over the UK.

    14:42: Salmond tribute

    Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson says she was 11-years-old when Alex Salmond first became leader of his party. She says the first minister has changed his party and Scottish politics.

    Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson

    We must accept that the majority has spoken, says Ms Davidson. The country must move forward with common cause, the Tory leader continues.

    This was a "free, fair and decisive ballot," she says.

    14:41: 'Not found wanting'

    "No-one believes Scottish politics can go to business as usual", says Johann Lamont.

    She says she enjoys shouting at people as much as anyone but that cannot be the way to do politics.

    The eyes of the world have moved on, she says. Scotland seemed like the centre of the universe when the world's media descended.

    They have moved on but the eyes of Scotland are still trained on us, says Ms Lamont.

    "Let us not lapse into the debates of the past and be found wanting."

    14:40: Miliband on Scotland

    "Our country nearly broke up," Labour leader Ed Miliband says. "A country that nearly splits apart is not one in good health."

    He thanks Labour politicians who "helped save our country", including Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling, Johann Lamont and Jim Murphy.

    14:39: 'Scotland at heart'

    Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont urges parliament to be a lively, energised place that invites people in and goes out to find out what people think.

    "I don't fear engaging with anyone who has the interest of Scotland at heart," she says.

    14:38: Miliband thanks 'Team Scotland'

    Ed Milliband thanks "Team Scotland" for the part it played in keeping the UK together following the Scottish referendum. He starts his thanks by mentioning Gordon Brown - a political figure he has been accused of missing out previously.

    Ed Miliband
    14:37: 'We need to move on' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Johann Lamont: We need to move on. We don't need anybody to hold out feet to the fire to make Holyrood stronger. #indyref

    14:35: Committed to new powers

    Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont says the people of Scotland will hold the politicians to the commitments on the new powers.

    She says she will work with the government on childcare and protecting the NHS from privatisation but calls for honesty from the Scottish government.

    Ms Lamont says the "enormity" of the referendum has taken the focus of things such as education and health. She says perhaps now we can go back to debating these issues. "We should discuss what we can do rather than what we can't," she says.

    She adds that land reform, "bold radical changes," is a journey that is not yet complete. The party's leader says this is an area where parties can come together to make a radical difference to people's lives.

    14:34: Miliband speech

    Labour leader Ed Miliband receives a standing ovation as he arrives on stage at the party conference in Manchester.

    14:33: 'Feet to the fire'

    Johann Lamont says "we need to move on" as there is consensus to do so.

    "We don't need anyone to hold our feet to the fire," over giving new powers to the Scottish Parliament, adds the Scottish Labour leader.

    14:31: 'Settled will of the people'

    Ms Lamont says she must recognise the amazing achievement of getting 1.6 million people to vote for independence. But she says it mustn't be forgotten that two million people voted to remain part of the United Kingdom.

    The UK is now the settled will of the Scottish people and the issue is firmly settled, she continues.

    Ms Lamont says she does not speak for the 45% or the 55% - she speaks for the 100% of the Scottish people.

    14:29: Voting change should be 'embraced' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Johann Lamont says votes at 16 should be embraced. #indyref

    14:27: Voting change strikes chord

    The Scottish Labour leader, who went to vote in the referendum with her 17-year-old son, said she had long supported votes at 16 and would agree with Mr Salmond that this should be brought in for all elections.

    Johann Lamont says the energy and passion was sometimes misplaced and became aggressive.

    It was not a few miscreants, she says. It was sometimes intimidating and that behaviour is entirely unacceptable.

    "Laying siege to the BBC for four hours" was not appropriate behaviour, the Scottish Labour leader adds.

    14:25: Salmond's political contribution

    Scottish Labour leader Johann Lamont says there will be an opportunity at a later date to talk about the massive contribution that Alex Salmond has made to Scottish political life.

    Johann Lamont

    Ms Lamont says Scotland has voted No but politics can never go back to the way it was before.

    She is immensely proud of the young people in her party who were engaged in the argument and she knows that those on the other side of the political divide feel the same way.

    14:24: 'Peaceful, passionate discussion'

    "This land has been a hub of peaceful passionate discussion," says Mr Salmond.

    People have been enthused and energised like never before he says. There has been a generational change in attitudes to independence. Things will never be the same again, the first minister goes on.

    "All of Scotland will emerge the winner," Mr Salmond concludes.

    14:23: Devolution 'must boost growth'

    Scottish business leaders have issued a joint statement calling for any new devolution to focus on driving economic growth.

    Signatories include the Federation of Small Businesses, Scottish Chambers of Commerce, Institute of Directors, CBI, Scotch Whisky Association and the Scottish Building Federation.

    It says: "With the Scottish Parliament set to become a more powerful force in our economy, the touchstones of the new devolution settlement must be boosting business and growth.

    "It's also really important for business that whatever settlement is now agreed is stable and sustainable, and seen to be so."

    14:23: 'Politically engaged' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Alex Salmond: Scotland now has the most politically engaged population in Western Europe. #indyref

    14:21: Clamp down on violence

    Mr Salmond returns to the Treasury briefing on RBS in the run-up to the referendum, calling again for an inquiry.

    He also calls for the police to continue to crack down on "pre-arranged thuggery" on evidence in George Square on Friday.

    14:20: 'Three key tests' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Alex Salmond says "three key tests" for more powers: make Scotland more prosperous, fairer and with a stronger voice in the world. #indyref

    14:19: Job-creating powers

    The first minister says "any approvement of the devolution settlement" will require consent at Holyrood.

    He has three key tests:

    • Genuine job-creating powers
    • Address inequality
    • Give Scotland a voice on the world stage.
    14:18: Miliband speech

    Labour leader Ed Miliband and his wife Justine have just arrived at the party's conference in Manchester.

    Ed Miliband

    Mr Miliband is set to make an 80-minute speech.

    14:16: 'Restless for change'

    Mr Salmond quotes STUC leader Grahame Smith who said the people of Scotland are restless for change. Mr Salmond says the referendum debate engaged people in every community in the country.

    The SNP leader says everyone should support Lord Smith's commitment to proper consultation.

    Mr Salmond reels off a number of economic indicators to show that "Scotland was not on pause during the referendum campaign".

    He says, rather, it was "on fast forward".

    14:15: 'Energised people of this nation'

    Alex Salmond says he was surprised when David Cameron said on Friday that change in Scotland would be "in tandem" with change in the rest of the UK.

    The SNP leader says the statement yesterday was different from this, indicating they are showing signs of understanding that they must deliver their commitments to Scotland.

    "The true guardians of progress are the energised people of this nation," he says.

    14:12: Moving forward

    "Where do we move forward from here?" asks Mr Salmond.

    He says he believes strongly in the Edinburgh agreement and will stick to Section 30 which means he will accept the result and bring forward constructive proposals for the future.

    The outgoing first minister welcomes the appointment of Lord Smith, the head of the new commission on delivering more powers to Scotland.

    14:11: Lowering voting age?

    "There is not a shred of evidence now for saying 16 and 17-years-olds should not be allowed to vote," Mr Salmond says.

    They should be given the vote in all future elections, he argues.

    14:09: Salmond addresses MSPs at Holyrood

    And now the First Minister Alex Salmond is called on to make a statement. He says the presiding officer rightly identifies that the referendum was "exhilarating and empowering".

    Outgoing First Minister Alex Salmond

    Mr Salmond says the turnout in 1997 referendum was 60%. Last week's referendum was 85% and both sides (except for a few miscreants) conducted themselves in a democratic manner. "It has brought us great credit nationally and internationally".

    Mr Salmond says there were a few "mainly Metropolitan" journalists who concentrated on the negative.

    14:07: 'Rippes of hope'

    The presiding officer shares words from Senator Robert Kennedy's "ripples of hope" speech.

    She quotes: "The essential humanity of man can be protected and preserved only where the government must answer - not just to the wealthy; not just to those of a particular religion, not just to those of a particular race; but to all of the people."

    14:04: 'Most deprived communities'

    The Scottish Parliament's presiding officer told MSPs "it cannot and must not be business as usual".

    She says: "It is for the political parties to make their own decisions about how they involve young people, those living in our most deprived communities and women in the future.

    "However, this parliament like other institutions in Scotland must also respond and I pledge to you and to our fellow citizens my determination to do so."

    14:02: 'Humbled by fellow Scots'

    Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick does not usually lead Time for reflection - it is a period in the parliament timetable normally taken by a speaker sharing a perspective on issues of faith.

    Leading Time for reflection today, Ms Marwick said: "I have been truly humbled by the clear wish of so many of our fellow Scots to be involved, many for the first time. How often have we heard people say they were not going to bother voting because it wouldn't make any difference?

    Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick

    "Not this time. Let us be clear about the scale of this unprecedented level of involvement and what it means for all of us. It is now for us to embrace and nurture that desire for political expression."

    14:00: What did Murray statement mean?

    BBC Newsbeat has "decoded" what Andy Murray had to say on the issue of his tweet in favour of Scottish independence. Read more here.

    Andy Murray
    13:56: Back to business

    MSPs are back at Holyrood for the first time since the independence referendum.

    The chamber session starts at 14:00 with Presiding Officer Tricia Marwick leading Time for Reflection.

    The main event of the day will be Alex Salmond's statement to the parliament following the No vote and the announcement of his resignation.

    This will be followed by a debate on the statement.

    13:55: 'Commitment and focus'

    Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael has said agreeing further powers to be devolved to Scotland will "require commitment and focus on the part of all those involved".

    The Lib Dem MP was speaking after Lord Smith of Kelvin set out details of his Scotland Devolution Commission, which has been charged with drawing up proposals following the 'No' vote.

    Mr Carmichael said the process had "hit the ground running".

    Alistair Carmichael
    13:50: Key speeches

    We've got three big speeches coming up shortly:

    We'll bring you all the latest lines as we get them.

    @BBCGen2014 13:41: BBC Generation 2014

    Waiting for @AlexSalmond's speech at #Holyrood shortly. He is expected to call for the voting age to be lowered to 16 in future elections.

    13:30: 'Recipe for deadlock'

    A senior Labour MP has been questioned in detail about Scottish MPs being allowed to vote on laws that only affect England.

    Shadow communities secretary Hilary Benn told the BBC Daily Politics show Labour was "prepared to look at" the issue. But he said there were other "anomalies" in the UK constitution, citing the example of London MPs voting on issues like transport that are devolved to the London Assembly.

    "You can't have two centres of power in a single Parliament," he adds, saying this would be "a recipe for deadlock".

    Hilary Benn
    @PeterMurrell 13:23: SNP chief executive Peter Murrell

    SNP chief executive Peter Murrell tweets: Sporting a new t-shirt for the occasion, this cheeky chap on my desk has a HUGE announcement. @theSNP 50,000 strong!!

    peter murrell
    13:18: Cool politics?

    With tennis star Andy Murray getting involved, and teenagers voting in their thousands, has the referendum made politics cool?

    Dr Lynn Bennie, on BBC Radio Scotland: "Up until now, politics has certainly not been cool. In the past few decades it's not been cool to be a party member, it's not been cool to be associated with a traditional party.

    "But this seems to be re-writing that relationship."

    13:08: 'Back pocket'

    On the SNP's increased membership figures, Prof Paul Cairney, professor of politics and public policy at Stirling University, tells BBC Radio Scotland's John Beattie: "When you get into negotiations for so-called 'devo max', it's a good thing for the SNP to have in their back pocket to say 'our support is going through the roof, and if the negotiations do not go well then the rest of the parties will suffer'."

    12:57: 'Minority sport'

    Dr Lynn Bennie, a reader in Scottish politics at Aberdeen University, tells BBC Radio Scotland the high turnout in the referendum was "exceptional" as politics is still seen as a "minority sport".

    In total, 3,619,915 million people voted, making the turnout 84.5%.

    Text 80295 12:50: Referendum - Your Views

    Joe, Forres: We've got to be very careful that we don't get caught up in ourselves and our own issues, and become an inward-looking Scotland.

    Tony from Lanark: Andy Murray for first minister. He has belief and courage of his convictions. Inspirational guy. Cheers.

    Audrey: The No camp wheeled out a crowd of celebrities from Eddie Izzard to JK Rowling to tell us how to vote, yet as soon as Andy Murray expressed his opinion there was a howl of protest. Double standards?

    @bbcscotlandnews 12:45: Referendum - Get Involved

    Jim, Glasgow: Firstly, 16 & 17-year-olds should not have a vote. They are too young and inexperienced. Secondly, Andy Murray didn't need to apologise, he chose to do so. Thirdly, 62% of the electorate did not vote for independence.

    Bill: To Ben in Partick - I am 66-years-old and proud to vote Yes. Why should OAPs vote with fear? Their pensions were guaranteed by both sides. As OAPs we also have a responsibility to leave a better country and better future for our children and grandchildren. To be brutally honest, any changes to Scotland would not take place until 2020 and how many of those who voted will still be here then?

    12:39: 'Courage and compromise'

    The head of the new commission on delivering more powers to Scotland has warned it will "not be easy" to get agreement from the Scottish parties.

    Lord Smith said those involved in the talks would require "courage" and "compromise" - but he was confident they would rise to the challenge.

    Lord Smith of Kelvin

    The discussions on new powers for Holyrood are taking place after Scotland voted against independence.

    Draft legislation is due to be unveiled by the end of January.

    12:33: 'More powers' James Cook Scotland Correspondent, BBC News

    Lord Smith asks Scotland's political parties to nominate representatives and submit ideas for his "more powers" commission. He says Scotland expects the parties to arrive at a consensus #indyref.

    12:31: 'Raring to go'

    When the Scottish Parliament returns this afternoon, Labour MSP Jenny Marra says she wants to see "a recognition... that Scotland voted to stay within the United Kingdom and how now we bring these more powers that were promised in the 'No' vote to the Scottish Parliament".

    The North East Scotland representative also tells BBC News Scottish Labour Leader Johann Lamont is "raring to go this afternoon" and "absolutely the person to lead us forward".

    Jenny Marra
    12:29: 'Completely overshadowed'

    At the Labour Party conference in Manchester, the debate following the referendum has "completely overshadowed the whole thing", journalist Beth Rigby, of the Financial Times, tells the BBC's Daily Politics show.

    "The problem Ed Miliband has, is if he backs David Cameron's desire to have English votes for English laws, he then automatically cuts out 40 Scottish MPs from voting, so it's not in his political interest."

    12:25: Never Miss A Beat... John Beattie BBC Scotland

    We're talking about the Andy Murray indyref tweet story. Listen live to the programme here.

    Text 80295 12:23: Referendum - Get Involved

    Iain: Andy Murray has a perfect right to say whatever he likes. He should stand by it rather than this response which makes it sound like he's now more worried about his 'brand'!

    Anon: I didn't vote No for more powers, I voted No because I didn't want a Yes. Please don't try to tell me how and why I voted.

    James Crawford, Helensburgh: Andy Murray supporting YES: Why is there all the negativity? He is entitled to his opinion. We don't have a witch-hunt on all the NO celebrities - and many of them weren't even Scottish! Speak out against No and you get a media attack.

    Text 80295 12:10: Referendum - Your Views

    Deirdre Murray (not related to Andy), West Kilbride: Andy Murray has every right to say what he thought about the referendum, much more than some other 'celebrities' who gave their opinions. I'm delighted he supported independence for Scotland.

    Theresa: Andy Murray is a Scotsman and totally entitled to voice an opinion.

    11:55: 'Win win'

    Although the 'Yes' campaign lost the referendum, it was always going to be "a win win" situation for the SNP, Nicola McEwen, of the University of Edinburgh, tells BBC News.

    "It has pushed the UK parties onto the constitutional agenda, onto a commitment for more powers, far more than any of them wanted to go and it will continue to do so," she says.

    She also says it is "very unlikely" that 'Yes' voters will be satisfied by the offer of new powers that will come from Westminster.

    11:46: Labour conference

    The Labour Party conference is likely to touch on the issue of how Labour is responding to the Scottish independence referendum.

    You can follow all the latest coverage here, including Labour leader Ed Miliband's speech just after 14:00.

    11:37: Salmond a 'colossus'

    Alex Salmond is a "colossus" in the independence movement, says Mr Hepburn, who describes him as the man who has transformed the SNP from a parliamentary party of three MPs to being Scotland's largest party.

    Asked if he would be voting for Mr Salmond's deputy Nicola Sturgeon as the next SNP leader, he says: "Everyone is voting her. Of course I am."

    11:31: 'Flame continues to burn'

    Jamie Hepburn, SNP MSP for Cumbernauld and Kilsyth, tells the BBC News Channel: "It's been rather amazing to see the resilience of so many thousands of people who were involved in the Yes movement, determined that the flame continues to burn."

    The 20,00 people who have joined the SNP since the result, joined because they "believe in independence", he adds.

    11:27: Voting age: The other parties

    Where do the other parties stand on lowering the voting age? Mr Miliband called for votes at 16 in his party conference speech this time last year.

    The Liberal Democrats have also called for it, and MPs voted in favour in a Commons debate in 2013.

    Labour leader Ed Miliband

    But the Conservatives are against the change. When Mr Miliband proposed it last year, the Tories accused him of "student politics".

    11:19: Hotel 'sold after No vote'

    An Edinburgh hotel has been sold for £25.7m to a real estate investor who said the deal was conditional on a referendum No vote.

    Redefine International, a real estate investment trust, bought the five-storey, 138-bedroom Double Tree by Hilton hotel in Edinburgh city centre.


    Chief executive Mike Watters said the deal had been "conditional" on Scotland voting to remain part of the UK, saying it was a matter of economics and not politics.

    11:12: Why sign up now?

    Comedian Julia Sutherland explains why she has just signed up as a member of the Green Party - and why membership of political parties like the SNP is rocketing.

    "It's that sense of helplessness after the referendum," she tells BBC Radio Scotland.

    "That was the way that we were trying to affect change for the future of Scotland and because we weren't able to do that, because we didn't get the vote we wanted, this is what we do now because we feel part of a movement, we feel forever changed.

    "We feel we're engaged in a way that we weren't before."

    11:10: English votes for English laws James Landale Deputy political editor

    Tory MPs invited to lunchtime meeting of 1922 committee at Westminster on Thursday to discuss English votes for English laws.

    10:46: New movement?

    BBC Radio Scotland has turned to the issue of whether there is a new political movement in Scotland.

    Journalist and commentator Alex Massie says: "Some of them [Yes voters] are doing this out of denial because they haven't quite got round to recognising what the settled will of the Scottish people is."

    Comedian Julia Sutherland, a Green Party member, says she disagrees. "It's not because I haven't accepted the decision - it's very much because I have.

    "Twenty thousand people have joined the SNP and they've got over 40,000 more than the Lib Dems in the rest of the UK - I think that sounds like a very clear message about how engaged people are."

    In recent days more than 3,000 people have joined the Greens, which now has more than 5,000 members, she adds. "It's really patronising to suggest that's just about people being upset."

    10:34: Jim Murphy's role Laura Kuenssberg Chief Correspondent

    Subplot at lab conf, pressure on Jim Murphy to take on Scottish leadership - tricky as Johann Lamont in place, but he proved huge worth in indyref.

    @bbcscotlandnews 10:32: Referendum - Your Views

    Gary McAlonan: The legacy of the referendum should empower everyone one to keep a pulse with all the current politics of the day. We need to be the watchers of our politicians and keep them in line with the will of the people. When we switch off, the politicians seem to rush through bills that not many people want.

    Lee Wootton: Re, Iain Brown from Dundee. Funny that you believe the people who voted majority "Yes" should get a vote but those who voted majority "No" shouldn't? If the vote had gone the opposite way would you now be calling for no under 18's to vote? Gerrymandering much?

    Mark, Dunfermline: A lot of spite and vengeance being poured forth by frustrated Yes campaigners. Can they not accept that they were by far in the minority? Politicians come and go, priorities and policies change over time, and governments never have enough money to do what they hope to do. Vote for the future knowing that, not remembering one failed moment in the past.

    10:26: Salmond spat

    First Minister Alex Salmond has written a letter to The Herald in reply to an article on Monday by commentator and Salmond biographer David Torrance, in which Mr Torrance praised the SNP leader's "significant personal achievement" but questioned his economic analysis and referred to "pettiness" and "downright rudeness".

    Outgoing First Minister Alex Salmond

    In his response, Mr Salmond said: "First, I hardly know David Torrance. And secondly - and much more problematically for a biographer - he doesn't know me at all."

    Mr Torrance has tweeted in reply: "I think this might be the proudest moment of my career..."

    10:18: Youth vote

    Just a reminder of why today's discussion focused on the issue of 16 and 17-year-olds voting - Alex Salmond is to call for people in this age group to be given the vote at all future elections.

    He's set to make the plea this afternoon, as Holyrood reconvenes for the first time since the referendum.

    10:12: Young electorate

    Glasgow boasts the biggest population in Scotland and also has a high number of teen voters. Figures from the 2011 Census show the city had more than 18,000 people aged 13-15.

    Depending on when their birthday falls, these youngsters will now be aged 16-19.

    10:03: How did teenagers vote?

    How did 16 and 17-year-olds vote in the referendum?

    According to a snap poll by Lord Ashcroft asking voters how they had cast their ballots, 71% voted Yes.

    More than 100,000 16 to 18-year-olds had registered to vote on Thursday.

    Referendum ballot paper
    Text 80295 09:56: Referendum - Your Views

    Tom, Rosyth: Can anyone explain to me why 200 celebrities can sign a letter and make pleas on national TV for Scotland to stay in the Union but Andy Murray has to apologise for one innocuous tweet supporting independence?

    Kevin, Dundee: I'm totally disillusioned the No side didn't make one positive argument for keeping the Union. I'm off to Ireland: a small independent EU country who had the guts to take their sovereignty.

    09:48: Referendum legacy

    Rev Galbraith adds: "I would like to think the referendum legacy would be that they [young people] see that they have a voice and if it is used wisely they can make a difference."

    09:40: 'Their moment'

    Reverend Neil Galbraith, founder of the charity Glasgow the Caring City, says it would be hard to "put the genie back in the bottle".

    "In the referendum they [young people] were given the opportunity to have their moment - they could start to shine officially. Young people do remarkable work, there are many young folk who are exceptional," he tells BBC Radio Scotland.

    "The referendum has given them the chance to come to the fore...

    "It's young people who are the driving force behind the social change that we need to become a more compassionate society."

    Text 80295 09:37: Referendum - Your Views

    Pat, Glasgow: It has made me decide that I shall never vote for the unprincipled Labour, Liberal and Conservative politicians, i.e. all of them. They told so many lies, they got into bed with each other.

    Jim: Since the result was announced, everything that has happened since has only reinforced my view that I was on the right side of the debate. And I now absolutely believe that we will be independent one day. PS. 16-year-olds should have the vote, although I would prefer if they avoided joining political parties until they were a bit older.

    G, Glasgow: Great idea to allow 16+ to vote. Able to look at all the sides and make up own minds, [they] are the best electorate, not just believing mainstream media.

    09:31: Young people 'not independent'

    Luke Gittos, law editor at online magazine Spiked, says the young voters issue relates to independence.

    "16 and 17-year-olds are not independent people. They are dependent on the institutions that are around them - their families, their schools, their political parties," he tells BBC Radio Scotland.

    Polling station

    "They don't come to their political views as a result of an independent reaction to the world. They come to it through information handed down to them from the people around them - and I think that's problematic."

    09:20: Youth vote

    Kyle Thornton, former chair of the Scottish youth parliament, says 16 and 17-year-olds "very much wanted to make up their own minds" on the referendum.

    "There was a responsibility that came across," he tells BBC Radio Scotland.

    "Young people were very clear that they felt really responsible about their vote and they wanted to learn and take a decision based on information."

    He says they should be allowed to vote in all UK elections and referendums.

    Text 80295 09:10: Referendum - your views

    Richard, Aberdeenshire: I think there is an argument 16 and 17-year-olds should be able to vote but I'm also hit with a sense of predictable disappointment that the parties who are supporting this move are the parties that would benefit from it.

    James, Dalry: Oh definitely. You can't ask 16 and 17-year-old to vote on one of the biggest issues to me in the UK - and then tell them 'Oh you can't vote for a party' [in an election]

    Text 80295 09:09: Referendum - Your Views

    Ali: If 16-year-olds are old enough to marry and have children and join the Armed Forces, surely they should be able to vote in all elections.

    Ben, Partick: Not a good idea for 16-year-olds to vote. At election they were carefree 71% Yes. Over 65s were 73% against. Fear motive - they had lived.

    Ronald: A vote for independence meant being able to look other Europeans in the face. Not doing so leaves us staring at our feet. Simple as that.

    Gayle: Every argument so far against teenagers voting, was made about giving women the vote. Anyone who has a teenager will be laughing at the implication they have any influence over their teen.

    09:04: Yes 'feeling persists'

    Independence campaigners, broadcaster Lesley Riddoch and musician Pat King, have been talking to BBC Radio Scotland about where the Yes movement goes from here.

    Riddoch says strong feelings on Scottish independence "are still there in spades".

    While King says: "One of the next things the Yes movement can do - and I think a Yes movement persists - is to find a way to talk to itself, to meet with itself, and to educate itself.

    "The one thing that caused a No vote was an argument about viable economics or currency - we all need to become economists. What that will do is give us a basic confidence in the viability of [an independent] Scotland."

    09:00: 'Funds to decrease'

    The Times reports that public funding given to Scotland by Westminster could fall over time as more fiscal powers are devolved.

    The Times

    The three UK party leaders have vowed to retain the Barnett formula as part of efforts to persuade Scottish voters to remain in the Union.

    But since last week's vote, Tory MPs have voiced anger at the funding model, which grants £1,600 a head more in public money to Scotland than England.

    Text 80295 08:57: Referendum - Get Involved

    Stephen, Ayr: Can the failed Yes brigade stop blaming everyone else for an overwhelming No. The majority have spoken. Accept it and move on.

    Jon, East Kilbride: Give us all a rest from this debate. The Yes were well beaten and now harping on about anything: accept you were thumped and get on with life.

    Iain Brown, Dundee (weare45): I believe 16/17-year-olds should be allowed to vote because their contribution to society can make a difference for the future. At the same time, over 70-year-olds should not be allowed to vote. The reason being the kids want what's best for the country going forward, whereas over 70s are stuck in the past and make no work-related contribution to our society.

    @bbcscotlandnews 08:51: Andy Murray - Your Views

    Alistair Gellatly tweets: And neither he should. Plenty people gave their opinion, many with less right to do so.



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