Big decision is beset by fog of truth and lies

YOU always know when a politician is telling porkies.

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Their lips move.

Like the rest of us, it's in the blood.

White lies were mixed with white blood cells when as kids we were fed such fantasies as the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus and cows jumping over the moon.

It's the white lie that surfaces on your tax return, like my wife discovering I listed myself as head of our household.

It leads to football managers claiming they didn't see the disallowed stonewall penalty when their star defender assaulted the rival centre forward.

Of course, such examples are merely fibs, lies that have yet to cut their teeth.

The real criminal fiction comes after people proclaim: "If elected, I promise…"

Politicians could give Fifa lessons in deceit.

Take your pick from lies and cover-ups involving WMDs, MPs, bankers, the police, child abuse in church and state, the BBC and Jimmy Savile et al.

Westminster has been lying to Scots for generations, but we've been knee-deep in referendum porkies as all parties - and you can include the SNP in this - have attempted to bully, blag and buy our votes on September 18.

I asked last week if you believed David Cameron and Ed Miliband would keep their promises of greater devolution if we vote No.

Your response was predictable: "Aye, right!"

The Economic and Social Research Council, the UK's largest independent research organisation, found likewise.

In their Constitutional Attitudes Survey, 45% of Scots believe a UK Government would cut spending available for Scottish public services in the event of a No vote.

I can't believe 36% actually trusted Cameron and Miliband to keep their word.

Even former Labour First Minister Henry McLeish, who is expected to vote No, has warned that the Westminster parties may not deliver.

McLeish, who like me believes Westminster boobed by blocking a second devomax question on the ballot paper, says: "The real danger is that unionist parties are now bidding up offers in terms of more policies, in terms of more taxes.

"But at the end of the day, I think the debate has moved on. Quite frankly, if you vote No, people will be a bit concerned, especially in relation to the 2015 General Election."

Those spending cuts would inevitably impact on welfare and our NHS.

Bitter Together harp on that the NHS is entirely devolved to Scotland, but they conveniently ignore the Tory dismantling of the welfare state in England.

Even former Scottish Labour leader Iain Gray has warned of the dangers facing our NHS under the Tories, although he should include his own London lot in any caution.

NHS privatisation in England was kick-started by Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, so Scotland will suffer under its knock-on effects whoever is in No 10.

But as I said, it's not only unionists we distrust.

Some 60% of Scots in that Esrc survey believe both the Yes and No campaigns have been less than truthful.

One thing is certain, whatever the outcome of the referendum the genie is out of the bottle for a whole range of concerns previously unaired by voters all across these islands.

Tory MP John Redwood last week called for Scots MPs to be banned from voting on English matters, following on from future Tory leader Boris Johnson saying he would give Scots no tax-raising powers.

Our largely grown-up national debate - if you exclude politicians and internet trolls - will spark new questions on oil, Trident, the NHS, the West Lothian question, the Barnett formula, welfare dependency.

Other parts of the UK will demand greater devolution from London, and wonder why, like those subsidy-junkie Scots, they can't have free prescriptions, free education, state-owned water companies and a fairer benefits system.

And I can already hear all those political porkies telling them why they can't.

TALKING of the Blair-Brown comedy duo, you probably heard Abbott is missing Costello.

Aussie PM Tony Abbott is the latest leader who just happens to voice a negative opinion on Scottish independence during a visit to No 10.

(Has no statesman ever voiced pro-indy thoughts at No 10? If so, you can bet we won't be told.)

Mr Abbott said: "People who would like to see the break-up of the UK are not the friends of justice, the friends of freedom.

Countries that would cheer at the prospect are not countries whose company one would like to keep.

What a joker.

A lecture on justice and freedom from the leader of a government with an appalling history of genocide against indigenous Aboriginals, a government that as recently as the 1970s forcibly removed Aboriginal children and sent them to white families and church institutions for "cultural reprogramming".

With friends like that…

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