Saturday, 18 February 2017

Playing hardball with Mrs Angry


There’s a little woman I know who is from the Glasgow area and she always gets her own way. If there is a committee meeting she is aggressive. She interrupts. She tries to belittle the point of view of others. People avoid getting into an argument with her because rather than discuss calmly she gets emotional. She makes assertions which are really just her own opinions, but they are presented as truths. If someone crosses her she will bear a grudge, but at the same time she is a sycophant always trying to find allies and sucking up to superiors. I’m sure most of us know men and women like this in the world of work or elsewhere. The problem is that these tactics frequently work. Most of us want a quiet life. If I come across Mr Angry on the street I do my best to avoid eye contact. The problem in Scottish politics is that we are confronted with legions of Mr and Mrs Angry lead by the angriest woman of them all. The problem is that they have been indulged. They have been spoiled. No-one dares to stand up to them. It’s time we started daring.


We may have to face another Scottish independence referendum. I am sick to my stomach at the prospect. Must we really have to go through all that again? Only this time I suspect it would be much worse. The experience of conflict changes you. The first independence referendum divided Scotland in a way that I could not have imagined previously. The nationalists may enjoy this. They claim that they found the experience inspiring. I did not. There will come a point quite soon when the prize for either side will not be worth having. It will be a permanently divided country whether independent or not. We all learn from each other’s tactics. The SNP chose not to accept the result last time. They just kept fighting. I doubt they would accept defeat next time. Yet they appear to think that if they could win by one vote everyone who disagrees with independence would joyfully accept the result and come together united as one Scotland. This may have been the case last time, but we have learned. We too could campaign to overturn the result at an election or through the courts. But no doubt the SNP calculate that the disagreement of nearly half the population would not matter. They are becoming ever more centralist and authoritarian in government. This would be enough to hold Scotland together under all circumstances like it or not.

We do not ask for this fight. We thought that the last battle was decisive. That is what we were told. But it doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes it is necessary to fight over the same ground twice before we can relax knowing our country is safe. If that is how it has to be, so be it. But for goodness sake make this the final battle and let us at least fight it on our own terms and on ground of our own choosing.

The reputation of David Cameron is looking worse and worse as time goes on. His greatest tragic flaw was overconfidence. He thought he would win a referendum on Scottish independence easily. After all the SNP were miles behind in the polls. He should never have granted it at all. It was the experience of the campaign that created mass nationalism in Scotland. Cameron should have simply told Alex Salmond that the United Kingdom like every other European country was indivisible and it could not be broken up by a vote. Our historical experience is no different from that of countries like Germany, Italy and Spain. They would not allow the formerly independent countries that make up their constituent parts to vote to break up their country. Why should we?

But this is a problem rooted in British history. We have allowed the constituent parts of the UK to continue to maintain a separate identity in a way that is quite uncommon in the world. We have for centuries indulged English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish nationalism. France imposed a common identity, law and language on its parts. The United States made its children pledge that their country was indivisible, because the alternative was the bloodiest war in American history. In Britain however a combination of liberalism and overconfidence meant that we thought we could continue with a very loose sense of common identity. It worked, or seemed to. We didn’t experience the nationalistic revolutions of the 1830s and 1840s. But eventually nationalism always rears its head. It is always ready to take advantage of weakness.

David Cameron was too weak to stand up to the SNP. He should have simply said “No”. This is how the Spanish will see off Catalan nationalism. This is how Abraham Lincoln prevented secession. But even if Cameron was too weak to say “No” why on earth did he make the terms of his agreement with the SNP so beneficial to them?

The Edinburgh Agreement spoke of the result being decisive and that everyone would accept it. But has anyone tried to enforce this? The SNP considered the result of the independence referendum as decisive only if they won. When they lost it was no longer decisive. What’s more it cannot be said that they accepted the result as they immediately set about trying to reverse it.  How long did they wait. Was it a day or was it two? Why wasn't this challenged legally as a failure to follow the Edinburgh Agreement. Why could it not be challenged now? More importantly why didn’t David Cameron insert a clause stating that the SNP would agree that they couldn’t have another referendum for fifty years if they lost? Why did he allow them to set the question? Why did he allow them such a long campaign and to set a date of their own choosing?

The SNP’s tactics of playing Mr and Mrs Angry have been working up to now. We give in rather than confront them. This has to end. If there is to be a second referendum on Scottish independence, let the UK Government organise it, fund it and set the question and the terms. The UK Government should also massively financially support the opposition to the SNP.  After all the Scottish Government used all their power to help the Yes campaign. Apparently impartial Scottish civil servants wrote the SNP's White Paper. The UK Government must see any future referendum as an existential issue for the UK. Scottish independence would destroy our country and deprive us of our flag.  Why pay for a defence budget if you are unwilling to pay to stop the break-up up our country by the ballot box? The BBC should quietly be reminded that it would cease to exist if Scotland won independence and that its first duty is to defend the UK. They did not provide supportive coverage to our enemies in 1940 nor should they help people who hate Britain now. Those people in BBC Scotland who don't like working for an organisation that is British should perhaps work for someone else. 

Above all it is crucial that we make no more concessions to Scottish nationalism at the moment. A "Scottish Six" would be used to fuel the SNP's campaign. Broadcasting is a reserved matter not a devolved one. The UK Government must use this power if STV or BBC Scotland show signs that they are willing to give in to SNP threats or promises. There are far too few voices in Scotland that are willing to criticise the SNP. Let them increase rather than become fewer.

The UK Government had the authority to organise the referendum on the Scottish Parliament. Constitutional matters are reserved. Why give the SNP power to hold a referendum at all? If they don’t like it, tell them that they need not have a referendum at all. If there is to be a question, make it a fair one. It was crucial, perhaps decisive that the EU referendum did not involve a Yes/No answer. A Yes campaign has an inbuilt advantage that may amount to 5% of the vote. Let the Electoral Commission come up with a fair question. It could be “Should Scotland leave the United Kingdom or remain in the United Kingdom?” There may be other alternatives involving different words than “leave” or “remain”. These should be tested to see that they involve no bias and no unfair advantage.

The question of who decides whether Scotland should remain a part of the UK must also be addressed. I would not expect to decide on such an issue in any other country. What right do I have to determine if Bavaria should revert to being a sovereign independent nation state? I am not a German, nor am I Bavarian. What has it to do with me? Someone who wants to break up my country while keeping his own intact is a hypocrite. We have defended our country’s territorial integrity against foreign armies. To allow them to vote us out of existence is perverse. Therefore only British citizens should decide. Moreover, it is unfair that Scots who happen to be living outside Scotland, perhaps for a short time, should have no say in our country’s future. For this reason I would argue that any British citizen who has been on the Electoral register in Scotland in the past twenty years should have the right to vote.

The franchise too on such an important issue should be exactly the same as during a General Election. It makes no sense to give the vote to school children as the issues involved are those that adults who work and have to run a house are more likely to understand as directly affecting their lives. If we are to give the vote to 16 year olds, why not 15 year olds? Why not 10 year olds? The issue concerns their future too. The SNP know that school children are frequently little nats because of football. They also know that they often grow out of it. The break-up of our country is an issue for careful thought and consideration. Let it be decided by adults.

Let us get this over with quickly. We must never again give the SNP a chance to build momentum with a campaign that goes on for years. The period from announcing a referendum to holding it ought to be no more than three or four months. “Twere well it were done quickly”

Finally and most importantly make it absolutely clear that this will be the last time that the SNP will be allowed to have a referendum on independence. Set a legally binding date far in the future. If we don’t do this, then they will want to hold another referendum in another two or three years.

I would much prefer that Theresa May simply says “No” you’ve had your referendum. But if she feels unwilling or unable to do that, then at least set conditions that will make the contest fairer than last time. It’s time that we stood up to Mrs Angry. If they want to boycott the referendum, then we will just have to take the result as more decisive than it otherwise would have been. We are all sick to death of Nicola Sturgeon. Let this be the final battle and if she loses, let her do the decent thing and retire from public life. 

116 comments:

  1. We all know where the SNP stands and where it will always stand. What will determine whether we are broken up is the attitude of the UK Government. So far they have acted as though they don't much care for the UK as long as they can remain in power of part of it. I agree - our biggest foe last time out was not Salmond it was Cameron.

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    1. Well, both are now goners (although Salmond continues to stink up the HoC with the rotting corpse of his political career).

      It is to be hoped that Theresa May is better prepared, more cautious and more patriotic than Cameron. Cameron was a serial gambler - and he very nearly pulled it off. 2% in the EU referedum turned out to the difference between absolute triumph and absolute failure. But absolute failure it was and it is to be hoped that Theresa May will only gamble on sure bets.

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  4. Totally agree , The questions in a generations time should be , " Should Scotland remain Part of the UK "

    I actually would go as far to say that all Scot's born in the UK should get a vote , in fact giving the rhetoric from the SNP over leaving the EU against our will nonsense, should the vote be expanded so as Wales, England and Northern Ireland can't be removed from union with Scotland against there will !

    I too also find it strange that pro union sides have not taken the legal route, even more so since the supreme court ruling as this opens the door on any future Scottish plebiscite !

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    1. Absolutely agree. All Scots within the UK should be able to vote. This is a Scottish question after all. Why should a Scot have his vote removed , if he just happened to move to another part of his own country (the UK). I believe that ALL Scots should get a vote on THEIR country. In fact I believe that the children of Scots living in the rest of the UK should also have a vote (they are Scottish too). Surely a 'nationalist' can not argue that point?- and if they do it shows simply that they do not care about REAL Scots. This subject, I believe, is a very strong case for the courts decide upon. I think it is against the human rights of a Scot who just so happens to have spent most of his life and had kids in, in say Birmingham, to be denied a vote about his own country alongside his own kith and kin. Then, if the courts do not allow it, unionists can do the SNP trick and declare the entire premise of indy2 totally invalid. TBH If Ruth Davidson had some balls she should declare NOW that she will not take part in indy2, and in fact her entire party will not take part in it, simply will not recognise it, an electoral unionist 'strike'. 2014 decided the matter. After all if no unionists voted at all - it would be a totally invalid ref and if the SNP wanted to force it through - well, just let them try. Time to play the SNP at their own game. This isn't cricket.

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  5. Sounds like the Edinburgh "Agreement" is viewed as so much toilet paper by both sides. Cameron truly was the heir of Blair and a complete airhead.

    If you want to make sure anyone relevant is listening to your excellent points, you'd better send a copy of this to Theresa May, David Mundell and Ruth Davidson.

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    1. Blair using the break-up of the UK as a foundation for his Brexit intervention, if he's not the most ill-qualified person to advise on keeping the UK together he would give the winner a run for their money.

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  6. Maybe the question should be asked should Glasgow be independant and in the EU and give the rest of Scotland a break from all this nonsense? Doesn't have to be Glasgow but a lot of support is from there so why not? The rest of Scotland does not want to be dragged out of the Union against our will

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  7. Oh dear, what planet do you Inhabit? How much drivel can one person write in a single blog. In effect you are claiming we should all give up our national identities and become what? North Britain, an extension of England only further north than the Northerners? You are IMHO an absolute zoomed.

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    1. Seems you are adding drivel to common sense. We are all British like it or not. Furhermore we are all heavily related to Vikings and so from a common heritage. I now prefer to call Scotland North Britain as it truly is because SNP caused a deep and ugly rift with its Indy nonsense. It is high time the Nats realised that we are a one nation, that there is no place for democracy within the EU and to shout for the EU in preference to the treasured bond of the UK makes no sense at all.

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    2. Meanwhile back on planet Earth we have an EU writing to the SNP government quoting legal treaties and calling us a territory or region ! Also telling us any vote to leave the UK would mean those treaties would no longer apply, It goes on to say in regard to joining the EU that it " is subject to ratification by all Member States and the applicant state."

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    3. North Britain sounds great.

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  8. A masturbatory Unionist wish-fulfilment fantasy - will not resolve the issue, will actually just make it an eternal problem. Sorry, Europeans will be voting because it effects them too. If no Europeans are allowed to vote, then no rUK born citizens should be allowed to vote either.

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    1. No EU citizens will be allowed to vote only UK citizens... suck it up

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    2. Even with EU citizens included, the polling is still at 50% No, 43% Yes. If we take out the Europeans due to their conflict of interest over brexit, then the no lead will presumably be even bigger.

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    3. @Aldo

      Based on 2015 population data I'd estimate that there are about 247K EU nationals in Scotland, or 4.6% of the population.

      If they were:

      -Allowed to vote in IndyRef2
      -Voted 62/38 for independence (same ratio as Brexit in Scotland)
      -Turned out at 84% - same as 2014

      They would give Indy a 50K vote advantage, or 1.4%. Helpful to them but not decisive.

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    4. And at any point during the indyref2 campaign, Westminster can destroy this advantage by offering blanket citizenship or permanent right to remain for EU citizens. That then makes the UK the safer bet as there would be no guarantee of Scotland even getting into Europe.

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    5. An excellent blog. The SNP are very aggressive & use the aggression for their own ends. The fact that there is no economic case for an Independent Scotland should be enough to say NO, but obviously it isn't & there would appear to be a lot of people who don't know or don't care about the economic case as long as they get an Independent Scotland. These people should be tackled at every turn, very firmly.

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    6. There should be a referendum asking if we should have another referendum, then there should be a referendum on what question should be asked in the referendum, then there should be a referendum on what happens after the referendum. Then the result of referendum should be put to parliament for a vote, then it should go to the lords for a vote, then a referendum to check we havn't changed our minds. Then a final (really final) referendum to check if we have soft, hard, clean, cliff edge, green white and gold or red white blue indy.

      By that stage hopefully we'll all be deed.

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  9. There was me thinking we were a family of nations rather than a country. The sooner we can ignore nearly half of the electorate the better! (so long as it's the half we agree with, right?)

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    1. The Supreme Court has already settled the matter; Scotland is a region of the UK.
      The people of Scotland can have no influence over how their country is treated by the Westminster government.

      That's fine if you're happy with it.

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    2. The administration of Tony Blair and its 'medievil land border revival' was a mistake (he says as much now) and he has a lot to answer for. Notwithstanding this, the UK is a nation of families. Read your passport. A single unitary state. Get used to it. It's a fact nobody with any good sense would even think of contesting. If this is your view (a family of nations) you are mistaken.

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    3. Last week, I watched Scotland get humped at the rugby.

      And, a few months ago, I watched them get humped at the footie, off England (they will no doubt face the same fate this June on the return leg).

      Every time I watch Scotland get humiliated at sports, I think "why the fuck couldn't we just have a British team? At least they'd make the finals"

      Well, thankfully we do have a British team - for all the stuff that matters. Finance, defence, health, welfare. If you break up THAT team, you face getting humped not just in sports but in every other area of life.

      No thanks!

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    4. "The people of Scotland can have no influence over how their country is treated by the Westminster government."

      =

      "Mps from other parties sometimes say mean things to the 56 SNP Mps currently sitting in Westminster. It makes me feel bad"

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  10. @Effie

    Agree with the sentiment but there are a lot of hurdles, just on the franchise.

    Problem 1: The SNP will cry 'rigged' if the rules are even 1 iota different than last time. "Why not just keep the rules the same?" needs a very good elevator pitch answer that satisfies most Scots. "The situation is different" is a good start but this needs some thought.

    Problem 2: If there is another referendum the franchise of eligible voters will have to be legislated again (the previous Act expired in 2015). This was legislated by Holyrood and would be again. Unless Tory + Labour + Green + Lib Dem ALL unite the SNP will get their way on the text of the franchise. This seems a major obstacle I can't see an easy way around. The simplest solution is refuse to allow a referendum before May 2021 to reduce the SNPs majority but that seems a bit idealistic and also open to the "rigged" charge. The other is to have Westminster amend any Holyrood franchise Act directly - provocative but legal.

    Other problems you/I would want to change (assuming the two problems above can be fixed).

    1. Scots outside of Scotland generally not being able to vote

    Winnable. The criticism of this last time was based purely on logistics/it being a bit hard and some nonsense about the UN not recognising the result. Allowing Scots to register to vote online if resident outside of Scotland for say less than 15 yrs seems a simple fix, and very similar to how UK nationals were allowed to vote in the EU referendum. Something similar was allowed for service personnel anyway.

    2. 16-17 year olds allowed to vote

    Lost cause. The SNP have had this in their manifesto to allow it for all elections/voting and been repeatedly elected on it, 2007, 2011 etc. And they voted in 2014. I see no changing this and instead we should focus on persuading them that the SNPs economic mismanagement paired with the EU's catastrophic youth employment levels is a bad combination for their future. Also that the SNP are taking them for granted just based on their age. Plus they were 2.5% of registered voters last time, if it's that close we've probably lost anyway.

    3. Commonwealth / ROI / EU citizens allowed to vote

    Easily Winnable. Only one sentence needs to be changed to prevent EU citizens from voting and why, say, Serbians, shouldn't have a say on a major UK constitutional question is blatantly obvious now that the UK has voted to leave the EU. It will be even more obvious if the referendum is held AFTER the UK has left the EU (which it should be but I guess Sturgeon is aiming for a Sep/Oct 2018 target with Brexit happening in March 2019). I bet Spain isn't going to allow EU citizens to vote in Catalonia if that vote ever ever happens.

    4. Changing the Question

    Lost cause. In the Edinburgh Agreement the SNP had to seek the advice of the Electoral Commission and so should have to again (for 2014 the EC proposed modifying the SNPs initial wording and the SNP did agree to change it). This is good but the problem is the EC will only tweak/amend a question rather than proposing an entirely new one. If the SNP propose the exact same question as in 2014, this is already the ECs own "clear and fair" wording so they will have to agree to it. Who has any authority to propose a different question to last time? This seems wishful thinking.

    5. Timing

    Lost cause. The Electoral Commission recommend a similar 6-9 month gap between the referendum act and the poll for any future referendums, the SNP will point to this as definitive support for the same type of timetable.

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    1. It was and it is still disgraceful that as a 52 yo who lived in Scotland until 2000 and intends to go back to live soon had no vote in the referendum.

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    2. Very informative Mark. I didn't know much about this, but then I'm willing to bet a great many don't know much about this either.

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    3. "It was and it is still disgraceful that as a 52 yo who lived in Scotland until 2000 and intends to go back to live soon had no vote in the referendum."

      if someone with a huge war chest (Gina Miller style) was to take on your case. I'd say it would be at the very least interesting to the result.

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  11. alexander russell18 February 2017 at 13:50

    why should we accept the result of the 2014 referendum, when everything promised to the scottish people turned out to be a lie and the only people who gained out of the vote were the English, and maybe you should think again the supreme court said scotland must give way to the westminster parliment , it did NOT say scotland was a region of england. This is the UNITED KINGDOM two kingdoms uniting and if you read the treaty it states either kingdom can come out of the agreement so scotland is doing this one way but we can always just dissolve the treaty of union and with the EU behind us we would make it stick. so stop talking pish and living in la la land and get real

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    1. "... two kingdoms uniting and if you read the treaty it states either kingdom can come out of the agreement "

      Not to be a pedant but I'm pretty sure you haven't read the treaty. There is no mechanism in the 1707 Act of Union for "either Kingdom" coming out of the agreement. In fact it states the Union is "for ever":

      "That the two Kingdoms of England and Scotland shall upon the First day of May which shall be in the year One thousand seven hundred and seven and for ever after be united into one Kingdom by the name of Great Britain" (Article I, The Kingdoms United)

      Of course that doesn't change the fact that Scotland can become independent as long as an act of Parliament is passed supporting it, but that wouldn't be based on the original treaty. I do wonder where this stuff gets spread around though....

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    2. And Scotland's people are sovereign, as the Declaration of Arbroath still stands, so bollux to that! You are flouting a basic UN principle, of self-determination, if you think Westminster can prevent another referendum!

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    3. Scotland and England merged their sovereignty to form a new sovereign state, the UK. So the UK government does have the legal right to deny a referendum - particularly considering we only had one about 5 minutes ago. Hardcore seps predict chaos and people taking to the steets should this happen. But I seriously doubt it - your average person these days is more concerned with x factor or the latest iphone than in campaigning for a political cause. So the government conceivably could veto a referendum. Maybe this would be the safest option, from the unionist point of view. But I quite fancy the thought of beating the seps again. No convoluted voting system, no vote splitting among several parties. Just two options - yes or no - and the loser really is the loser this time, with no feasible way back, for decades.

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    4. Also, the vow was delivered. The SNP now has extensive powers over taxation and welfare. It just wont use them - a source of increasing friction between the SNP and the Greens. It wouldn't surprise me at all if independence is one day lost forever because the SNP and Greens had a rammy. The Scottish left is well known for destroying itself.

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  12. You appear to be very afraid of giving the Scottish people a say on their future government. Many of us do not wish to be governed by our larger neighbour but would rather we governed ourselves. The Edinburgh Agreement was broken when the Unionists presented their lying "Vow" within electoral purdah. A legal challenge on that might have resulted in the referendum result being void, but since no case was heard we will never know.

    A main part of the Unionist argument in 2014 was that a Yes victory would mean Scotland leaving the EU. Now we are to be dragged out of the EU against our will, so the option of remaining in both the UK and the EU no longer exists. That is the material change of circumstances that justifies another independence referendum. This time the decision is effectively which union do you wish to remain in, the UK or the EU?

    Comparing the two, the obvious question is which union is better for Scotland at this time? Scotland historically benefited from the UK and its empire, but with the empire gone and the UK in gentle but relentless decline, it is difficult to see any benefit now. Scotland is ignored by Westminster: consider all the amendments proposed by Scottish MPs that the guffawing Tories vote down without even listening to the debate. Consider the major London infrastructure projects deemed "strategic" that Scots have to pay our share of while having to fund the new Queensferry Crossing entirely from Scotland's budget.

    In contrast, consider all the projects funded by the EU. Scotland gets back almost as much as it contributes to the EU as the Regional Development Fund and other projects put EU money into areas which Westminster has neglected. Last year on Harris I found new roads signed "Funded by the Scottish Government and EU in partnership". There is increasing evidence that the EU would warmly welcome Scotland's continued presence while "Full English Brexit" makes life difficult for all and impoverishes the UK.

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    1. "Scotland is ignored by Westminster: consider all the amendments proposed by Scottish MPs that the guffawing Tories vote down without even listening to the debate"

      Scotland has 9% of MPs in Parliament. Parliament is also a real legislature it that it can propose new laws without anyone's permission.

      If Scotland joined the EU upon independence, it would probably have 13 of 691 MEPs in the EU Parliament - or 1.8% of MEPs. And the EU Parliament can't propose laws without the permission of the essentially unelected EU Commission.

      Whatever the case for Scottish independence is, it certainly isn't based on the amount of influence or an ability to not be ignored - that would be worse in the EU - and less democratic too.

      "A main part of the Unionist argument in 2014 was that a Yes victory would mean Scotland leaving the EU"

      Voters certainly didn't think so, according to exit polls, when asked what the 'Most important issues in deciding their vote' was, only 14% of voters said 'EU Membership'. It was the 8th most important issue, behind NHS, Westminster, the Pound, Taxes, Pensions, Defence and Jobs.

      That said I'm glad you're making the case for joining the EU, as that means adopting the Euro as well - which <10% of Scots support.

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    2. "Scotland is ignored by Westminster"

      Arguably the most powerful devolved administration in the western world, barking up the wrong tree with that one.

      Just imagine the influence a population half the size of Greece with twice its deficit is going to have at the EU top table.


      "Scotland gets back almost as much as it contributes to the EU"

      Not exactly something to boast about, countries like the UK and Germany put more in than they get out precisely because they are some of the most best performing nations!


      "There is increasing evidence that the EU would warmly welcome Scotland's continued presence"

      Not a chance the EU will want to make Scotland their problem, they are not that desperate for members.

      Some such as Spain will go out of their way to be as awkward as possible.

      iScotland would be rUK's mess to deal with.

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  13. What a pretentious load of pish

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  14. Funny how it's only Yes voters who claim, on behalf of No voters, that "A main part of the Unionist argument in 2014 was that a Yes victory would mean Scotland leaving the EU."

    The EU status had no impact on us No voters.

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  15. Great article - wholehartedly agree. They(snp) need to be told no. The power of no.


    We had a vote it was no. Thats it. It was ridiculous that cameron put the integrety of the UK up for grabs in a stupid binary vote.

    Its over and no means no.

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    1. Indeed. And the fact that a government was elected in 2016 with the right to hold a referendum if Scotland was removed from the EU against its will isn't at all relevant.

      We had a vote. It's not over and yes means yes.

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    2. It certainly isn't over and the SNP are not going to go away anytime soon! (The clue is in their name). They are as popular now as they have ever been. So suck on that!

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    3. "And the fact that a government was elected in 2016 with the right to hold a referendum if Scotland was removed from the EU"

      This wasn't in their manifesto.

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    4. "This wasn't in their manifesto"

      Unfortunately, it was. SNP Manifesto for May 2016 elections:

      "We believe that the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if there
      is clear and sustained evidence that independence has become the preferred option of a majority of the Scottish people – or if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will"

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    5. "Should have the right" does not equate to "we will...". They've clearly left a bit of room there to wriggle out of it if need be.

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  16. And there was i thinking you were meaning the nutty professor when you wrote of Mrs Angry.

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  17. Why does everyone on here assume that if you are in favour of independence you are a supporter of the snp? Maybe some people just want to take control of their own country!! Why all Scots would not like this is beyond me. As for Nicola sturgeon there is not another politician in Holyrood capable of taking her place.

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  19. Your blog is a most hysterical and irrational collection of muddled thinking.
    Not only do you deny the existence of Scotland and Wales as (ancient) nations, but you include Ireland as well! So you are totally ignorant for starters. Ireland has been a totally sovereign nation state since 1948, as the Republic of Ireland. If you mean Northern Ireland, that is a province, and is only part of the UK due to the relentless forced occupation and settlement of 'Ulster' by fanatical Protestants, following a century of exploitation and forced starvation. You should go back to school and repeat history! You spout so much misinformation, with venom, it's hard to know where to start, so I would only say if you don't understand the raison d'ĂȘtre for the SNP by now, you shouldn't be writing at all, never mind a blog. It's purpose, core beliefs and message will not go away, until we gain full independence. You carry on feeling British if you want, comforted by the multitude of myths about the 'glorious' empire, but our campaign will go on, until successful.

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    1. Dear Mike,

      What you are saying is a bit like saying all muslims support ISIS. Which is daft of course.

      If there was a referendum in Northern Ireland tomorrow. They would vote to remain part of the UK. In a free and fair vote. You can say that is an 'un-irish' thing to do, but that's just your opinion.

      There are also many good folk in the ROI and Northern Ireland who consider themselves to be pro "Anglo-Irish" or at the least very much supportive of the UK. A feeling that is reciprocated by British people to the ROI. Let's not forget the UK had immense positive benefits in Ireland, you know, little things, like the creation of roads, banks, business and stuff like that. Trivial things of course.

      Not to mention a quarter of a million brave Irish died fighting in two world wars shoulder to shoulder with their brothers and sisters on mainland Britain (whilst the IRA supported Nazi Germany, I may add).

      There has never been a better relationship between the UK and the ROI as there is now. Isn't that just great!

      You can try and pretend Northern Ireland is 'under occupation', like a tiny amount of dissident republican murderers do (who by the way are utterly despised by all "sides" in Northern Ireland and ROI).

      Besides, from what Nicola and Alex said.....I thought the SNP liked Her Majesty rather a lot, no?

      Delete
  20. "The reputation of David Cameron is looking worse and worse as time goes on"

    Credit should also go to Tony Blair - devolution architect and self appointed expert on constitutional affairs. Stunning move dividing the population along the lines of medievil land borders.

    If devolution breaks the UK his sagging legacy droops a little further. Anyone notice his 'brexit could lead to the UK breaking up' line, getting his excuses in early I see. What kind of politician tries to usurp the democratic process as a means to prop up his own legacy?


    "Above all it is crucial that we make no more concessions to Scottish nationalism at the moment."

    They need to die by their own blade and they look to be doing a pretty good job of that so far.


    "I would much prefer that Theresa May simply says “No” you’ve had your referendum"

    There's no incentive for her to say yes, SNP sought no mandate for this in their last manifesto, she has nothing to gain by it and is not tied to David C's mistakes. Say no and watch the supreme leader implode. If she says yes then good luck explaining why she undermined those who voted in 2014. It also opens the door to other areas in the UK to hold similar votes (like London / NI etc.). Tip of the iceberg.

    Sturgeon/SNP need to go back to the people to get support for a second referendum.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Let them call a referendum. It would be suicide.

    Of thirteen polls conducted since last July, no has led in thirteen. The latest poll, conducted at the expense of Wings Over Scotland and using a very yes friendly pollster, Panelbase, gave 50% No, 43% Yes, the rest undecided (broadly in line with what they were showing during the Spring of 2014). It was expected that brexit would help the SNP but their demented europhilia has driven people from their ranks over to the unionist side.

    So if they are going to be so unbelievably stupid as to push for another vote, let them have at it. The champagne is already in the chiller.

    ReplyDelete
  22. What's it like to live your lives as knee bending cowards?
    My god you people repulse me.
    Disgusting, grovelling cowards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And you would seek to grovel on bended knee to the Germans and French, our country controlled from Brussels. I prefer to co-govern Britain with our kith and kin in these islands. If that means I get called a coward by a knuckledragger like yourself, so be it.

      Delete
    2. Wellsaid, Aldo. What I want to know is, what is the Scottish Numpty Party going to do if the GENUINine nationalist Marine Le Pen comes to power in France this May, has a referendum on EU membership, the Yes to withdrawal side wins and the EU collapsses?

      Delete
    3. Le Pen already distanced herself from EU exit.....

      Delete
    4. It would certainly be interesting to see the SNP argue for union with a group of nations that includes a bona fide far right government as its second most powerful regime. Its also a bit difficult for them to justify union with Francois Fillon - a self confessed Thatcherite and anglophile.

      The Euro is, of course, doomed. You cannot have monetary union without fiscal and political union. So either the eurozone forms a union more like the British one or it will collapse. It may take 6 months or 15 years. It would be an absolute dream if it fell just before indyref2, but we aren't that lucky.

      Delete
  23. Any request by the so called Scottish Parliament for another referendum should be instantly dismissed by our PM Mrs May,people come first not the headcases that frequent the assembly of no nothings in Edinburgh. Its the usual SNP tactic of stirring the pot and causing anxiety. It springs to mind that the Nazis were very good at that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Please let that happen, it would get a lot of people's back up.
      What exactly reminds you of the Nazi's, is it the desire for open borders and looking to bring in refugees or the free tuition ?

      Delete
    2. Careful what you wish for Running Man. If May vetoes the proposed indyref, you don't really have anywhere to go except direct action - civil disobedience, violence. You don't have the majority of the country behind you and no sob story convincing enough that it would bring international support. After all, you had your indyref and lost it. Governments all over the world have to deal with morons like the yessers. Some simply wipe them out. We don't hear much about Chechnya these days or the Tamil Tigers. You were lucky enough to have a liberal government that allowed you a vote on the matter, held largely on your own terms, and the answer was NO.

      Delete
  24. Your very nasty Effie deans and I wouldn't like to bump into you in a darker alley, the Scottish people are entitled to decide there own future without people like you and Wastemonster interfering!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We already did decide our own future, in 2014. Since then, unionist parties and candidates won the popular vote in the Holyrood election of 2016 and polling still shows yes well behind. This isn't about what the Scottish people want - it never was. It's about the seps getting their way, by hook or by crook.

      Delete
  25. If there were a second independence referendum, with no successful Court challenge claiming breach of the Edinburgh Agreement, and a simple majority voted YES, would there be a third referendum when the SNP failed to procure the instant continuing membership of Scotland in the EU?

    In my view, contrary to that of the SNP, Scotland would not be quickly admitted to membership of the EU on becoming independent. So those voting naively for an independent Scotland still within the EU could reasonably claim that there had been a material change of circumstances.

    I have not yet addressed why a fourth or fifth referendum might be likely as much depends on what happens after a possible second or third one. This could go on for a hundred years.

    I will never accept separation from the rest of the U K so my fight will go on. Sorry to be a " grovelling coward" but at least I am giving fair warning.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All noises fro the EU itself seem very positive...The chance for the Europeans to put a dent in the Brexit Titanic will not be missed. PErsonally Scotland in the EU and rUK out is potentially best of both worlds for Scotland.

      In finance we will then be seen as alternative to London, already Citibank and DB are saying they will move their London offices. Paris and Dublin are both courting them. Berlin has a new office for banking just opened looking to entice international banks from London.

      Delete
    2. @Running Man

      "In finance we will then be seen as alternative to London"

      In the financial sector, just *Canary Wharf* alone employs significantly more than all of *Edinburgh* (~85,000 compared to ~55,000) So good luck with getting planning permission to nearly double the size of Edinburgh. Maybe HSBC can open an office in the Castle?

      That's putting aside the fact that virtually no financial services company is going to relocate from the UK to a Scotland that has (a) EU financial transactions taxes, bonus caps etc. (b) a higher tax burden on high earners (c) SNP economic policies including borrowing 9.5% of GDP in a new Scottish currency.

      Delete
    3. Yet here we see they are all looking to move to EU countries to retain their ability to trade their products there.....One would assume all those non existant EU regulations you listed would apply to all of the EU ?

      See thats your lack of imagination right there...poking out. When the Brexit waves hits, folk like you Mark will be swept away with their mouth agape....

      Are you really denying there is an exodus started already of certain parts of the banking sector ?

      Delete
    4. @Running Man

      Clearly there is no "exodus", the City is waiting to see the shape of any deal negotiated with the EU first. Just since the referendum JP Morgan, Barclays, HSBC and Morgan Stanley have all confirmed they have no plans to move any jobs or business to the EU. They *are* carrying out contingency planning, and I'd hope so too - considering the UK's financial services sector is X9 our entire GDP they should plan for every eventuality. London has been the worlds financial centre for centuries and 40% of the worlds business is there (75% of Europes'), its not going anywhere soon.

      Even Mark Carney, Bank of England governor (lets put him in the 'Remain' column and also note that the SNP want him to stay in charge of an independent Scotland's currency) stated clearly this year that the larger risk to financial stability at the moment is for the EU, NOT the UK. A few weeks ago he said: "the ability to [pick up and move business] to another jurisdiction, people, capital, models, collateral, that is a very very complicated exercise, there is huge operational risk... huge financial risk... it's not something you do overnight". He also said that when any firm moves to the UK it usually takes at least 4 years.

      A few other things

      "They are all looking to move to EU countries" - see above

      "Non-existent EU regulations" - A bankers Bonus cap is EU law today and regulated by the European Banking Regulator, The Financial Transactions Tax isn't in place fully but both France (Paris) and Germany (Frankfurt) have agreed to adopt it (plus another 9 EU countries).

      Oh, and as of Sep 2016 the Global Financial Centres Index (which ranks all financial centres) has London number 1, and no EU centre even in the top 10. And the Isle of Man is ranked ahead of Edinburgh - this is the same Isle of Man that doesn't even have the precious EU "passporting" rights.

      The idea that these places are going to compete with London anytime soon is unrealistic.

      Delete
    5. Wee google search throws up confirmed job exports of 1000+ each at UBS and HSBC plus 3000 at the Giant Squid split between Dublin,Frankfurt and Paris....

      Of course its just preparation.....You do know that passporting already ruled out if not in SM....

      Delete
    6. these are those just confirmed since Jan....not including speculation from last year.

      Delete
    7. @Running Man

      See the difference is I read the reports, not just googled them after they were pointed out. They are not "confirmed job exports", e.g. HSBC is the "extreme" example I mentioned and it is contingency planning only.

      Try and find an example of a financial institution saying they are definitely moving jobs from the UK to the EU, and this is a result of Brexit.

      Delete
  26. What the Scottish nationalists don't seem to grasp is that, like many other so-called unionists, the U.K is my country and I have the same feelings for it as they do for Scotland and I'm as willing to fight for the U.K's survival as the nats are for the U.K's destruction.
    As far as feeling 'Scottish' goes, I have always felt British first and then Glaswegian. The whole 'Scottishness' thing never ever appealled to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i feel for you. To feel Scottish is a great feeling.

      Delete
    2. It used to be, before Scotland disappeared up its own arse and began electing arrogant pricks en masse to promote bigotry, make unreasonable demands and destabilise the country. I used to consider myself Scottish and British. Now I'm just British. Scotland will need to be thoroughly detoxified before I self identify as Scottish again. That may take many years.

      Delete
    3. Exactly Aldo. What that person didn't realise is that I never said I never felt Scottish, just that it was never strong and that I never got into it.
      As for today, I'm just like Aldo. Being Scottish is almost an embarrassment and I refuse to appear to the world as a British hating grievance-grabbing whiner who puts politics before people.

      Delete
    4. I have never met anyone who said they were British when they were actually Scottish. Maybe the mad Orange Order type, or staunch monarchist or a mad Unionist. Its the type of language one expects of Northern Irish Unionists...

      What next 'Scotland says NO' is a big booming voice.

      Delete
    5. Wake up Running Man! I say that forcefully because I can only presume you've been asleep since 17th Sept 2014 because the very next day Scotland did use it's "big booming voice" to say No. So it's not "what next"? It's more "Running Man, why weren't you awake"?

      Delete
    6. Blah Blah Blah bluster......I'm British not Scottish, a phrase never heard anywhere ever in Scotland by anyone who is actually Scottish.

      Outside of you and maybe Gordon Brown....

      Delete
    7. Not sure what your seeing now but if Effie's ever higher pitched wailing is a barometer the wind is changing.....

      Look at the lot of you, grasping at straws, making stuff up, blustering, calling foul on another vote. I can smell the desperation from here, you are all shitting bricks that its becoming more real and its hilarious.

      Delete
    8. And you are entirely confident and assured of victory. That's why you're on here trolling...

      Delete
    9. Running Man, when two million people voted to stay British, they implicitly stated that they are British and that this identity takes priority. They may never explicitly say that, for fear of offending someone or for fear of going against the brainwashing that we all receive in childhood, but that's the decision they took back in 2014 - to be British, rather than Scottish. Your own compatriots said as much themselves, with comments like "Scotland has voted to be a mere region". Yes, absolutely. That's exactly what happened. It is odd that nationalists only talk sense when they are beaten and demoralised. Perhaps its because the pressure to maintain the lies and spin is suddenly removed.

      Delete
    10. Did they ? 68% of the population as late as 2016 stated in a poll that were Scottish not British....Voting No does not make you British not Scottish, thats utter guff.

      I've never face to face met anyone who was Scottish say there were British not Scottish. I know a few of you howlers exist but I suspect as internet persona's rather than real folk. I think based on your last couple of posts you are clearly not born and raised in Scotland. I'd bet your no doubt hefty SE mortgage on it.

      Delete
    11. I'm not of course 100% confident of victory, I am more confident today than I was in December....I doubt you are more confident, you have all moved from no indyref to , fix the question/ electorate... It's a slippy slope old boy...a slippy slope... and its getting steeper.

      Only last week the WM cabinet meeting was 90% about independence.....haha...

      Delete
    12. I'm with Running Man on this one, if the polls are accurate then Scots generally align themselves more to their Scottish nationality than others in the Union. e.g. those in England.

      Scotland
      56% say they feel Scottish not British or More Scottish than British
      29% equal Scottish/British
      10% British/More British than Scottish

      England
      37% say they feel English not British or More English than British
      40% equal English/British
      18% British/More British than English

      Polls from WhatScotlandThinks, as of Aug 2016 for Scotland and Dec 2016 for England.

      It'd be too long a topic to get into why this is and the amount of effect it has on Scottish independence, but my suspicion is that Scottish nationalism is freely promoted in Scotland, whereas English Nationalism is much more frowned upon in England, and the British/UK identity is more widely promoted.

      Delete
  27. "Scottish independence would destroy our country and deprive us of our flag"

    Only a British nationalist could come up with a line like that.

    Remind us again how you hate nationalism effie...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What you call British nationalism is normalism. We've been one country for more than 3 centuries. People naturally want to maintain that.

      Delete
    2. Thats a cracker.....Do you want your empire back as well ?

      Delete
    3. Flawed logic. Presumably a German that wants to stay German wants the Third Reich back. Or a Frenchman that wants to stay French quite fancies nicking back Algeria. Coupled with the fact that British imperialism can't be 'normal' to anyone unless they're about 100+ years old, this shows your reply to be about as sensible as your other 'contributions'.

      It was also Scotland's empire. You probably had an ancestor that forced himself on black girls while whingeing about the defeat at Culloden.

      Delete
    4. Yet you saying ohh we had it so great last 300 years why change it now....Is what ? New Red , white and blue ambitious outlook ? More like retarded reactionary.

      Give yourself a bloody good shake man. I have my doubts you are actually Scottish. Your inward looking worldview is something usually only seen on London based journalists

      Delete
    5. On your basis we should not be exiting the EU....

      Delete
  28. Just joined the Scottish Conservatives. Plan to donate more and get involved in campaigning, should nippy pull the trigger. We need to be proactive this time - really stick it to them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you Aldo. I will probably join the Scottish Libertarian Party and try from within to convince it that, instead of being pro indy as it is now, the best way to smaller gov't is to scrap Holyrood and give its powers to local councils.

      Delete
    2. Libertarianism is anathema to the Scottish parliament. Enjoy a drink? We'll make it more expensive and less available. Smoker? We'll exile you into the pissing rain and treat you as being one step short of Savilism. Wealthy / hardworking? Give us that money you fcking tory so we can help ra poor buy better tellies....eh, sorry, food. Yeah, food. That's it. Don't like mass immigration? Shut up you WACIST! We're going to get you the sack!

      Libertarians supporting Scottish independence? They must be high on something.

      Delete
    3. Haha did you get a pipe and slippers as a signing up gift ? Maybe a Parker pen just for applying.

      Delete
    4. What is average age of a Conservative member these days , must be in the high 60's if their conference audience is anything to go by.

      Delete
    5. I have no need of a gift running man. The knowledge that my donation goes into an anti independence warchest is good enough for me.

      Delete
    6. You brining down the average age will be much welcomed as well I expect.....

      Who the hell votes Tory these days ...really take a look at yourself.

      Delete
  29. There are only 54 Scottish MPs in Westminster. Very important fact to remember.

    ReplyDelete
  30. 59 actually. About 8 or 9%, in line with our population. How important those MPs are depends on what party they are from and the composition of the parliament. In the 1990s, the tories relied on their Scottish MPs to give them a majority. In the late 2000s, Blair and Brown relied on Scottish Labour MPs to keep them in power. Scots have frequently served in cabinet and provided several chancellors and prime ministers. This, however, cannot happen anymore now that the Scottish people have isolated themselves by voting for separatists - saboteurs and troublemakers who other UK MPs cannot and will not work with.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, apologies. 54 SNP MP's, that's what I meant.

      Delete
    2. Not a single one of Blair's victories would have been lost if everyone in Scotland voted Tory...Not one.

      Nor any of David Cameron's if we all voted SNP or Labour.....Brown as you know never won an election.

      You can see the issue here.....

      Delete
    3. And if every single eligible voter in the ancient Kingdom of Wessex voted Lib Dem or the ancient Kingdom of Fife voted SNP no difference would've been made either, so what?
      In a healthy, mature democracy some places will vote differently to others.

      Delete
    4. Last I looked Scotland existed and your mucker there said Blair needed Scots votes for victory. This is untrue but hey we know you little britain types don't do well with facts.

      Delete
    5. Big Aldo there making the case for Scottish independence in one post. If you vote against the Westminster hegemony you will never have a say. I'm sure you love stuff like the Bain principle where PLP can never vote for an SNP laid amendment.......Regardless of content.

      What next for the saboteurs and troublemakers in your delicious democracy... ? Camps or sent to an island(one without oil of course)....

      Delete
    6. The 2005 election would've been a hung parliament, rather than an outright Labour victory, had Scotland been removed from the equation. The 2010 election would have been a conservative majority, instead of a hung parliament.

      It may interest you to know that Westminster (the district within London within which parliament is situated), gets the government it votes for less often than Scotland does. On Scot Nat logic we should therefore see Westminster declaring independence from Westminster.

      The SNP can't be involved in the government of the UK, Running Man. You cannot govern that which you wish to destroy. You cannot look out for everyone when you are solely concerned with one thirteenth of the country.

      Delete
    7. Utter nonsense again, it would have benn outright majority regardless of Scottish votes. How many things do you get wrong, its like you are just guessing stuff.

      Majority for Labour was 66 in 2005. There were only 59 seats in Scotland in 2005 as it was first election with boundary changes. So even if every vote in Scotland was for Tories....They still had 7 majority

      I see you are making the case for independence there....Your votes mean nothing....You need to vote for teh status quo or you don't count...What sort of stupidity is this ?

      Delete
  31. I voted Labour & Conservative the last time round. But will vote Conservative on May 4th.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you Vic, you and the auld yins

      Delete
    2. You're an auld yin yourself Running Man. Always going on about the fifties and single ends. You'll be like a prop from the Thriller video by the time independence happens.

      Delete
    3. May 4th is listing by order of preference. Or, if you only wish to vote for one candidate, you put 1 next to their name, leaving the others blank. I think the best way of doing it if you're pro UK is to exhaust your preferences for all the unionist parties and candidates (and obviously putting nothing next to SNP/Green/RISE/Socialists). Lots of labour councillors will be elected by Tory second preferences and vice versa. With enough of that going on, we can keep the seps to a minority in lots of Scottish councils.

      Delete
    4. You'll need to make it pretty simple for them Aldo......

      This all makes me nostalgic for the tactical voting in Moray against Salmond led by wee Effie....

      How'd that work out again ? oohh you got pumped...

      Delete
    5. loving your work mate, these yoons really do hate facts.

      Delete
  32. I think that scenario would be hilarious for the non SNP amongst us. If it does happen it will be the fault of the English or the Tories or Westminster.

    ReplyDelete
  33. It would perhaps be more constructive if the seps could tell us about what is so great about being Scottish. Beyond the realm of 'we get free stuff', I can't really think of anything to be honest and I'm genuinely trying (and the 'free stuff' is English funded and can be attacked from both ends of the political spectrum).

    I remember the 'Scots, wha's like us?' feeling from childhood, the thrill of watching Scotland play football, the feeling that being an underdog somehow makes you more moral and worthy.

    But I'm not 10 years old anymore.

    So tell me, what is so great about Scotland that isn't illusory, universal to the UK or reliant upon the UK? Is it that we are more socialist? You wouldn't think it to look at the SNP/Green budget and Scottish social attitudes surveys year after year.

    And socialism is always so easy isn't it, when someone else is providing the cheque?

    Anyway, enough from me. Please explain why Scotland is so brilliant.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. All this nostalga, makes me want to vote Tory....

      Delete
    2. "and the 'free stuff' is English funded"

      Your exclusion of the people of Wales and NI (and your ignorance of facts ) gives us an insight into your mentality.

      Slow hand clap

      Delete
  34. A very articulate post, Effie. Also, I could not agree with you more on just about all of your points. My son, working in Ethiopia for two years, will likely not have a vote, and I believe that his nationality (British) will be changed for him in the event of a win by the SNP. If you need some light relief, I invite you to read my post: Patsy & Edina go to Scotland: A draft sketch comedy with a serious message https://roddymacleod.wordpress.com/2017/02/28/patsy-edina-go-to-scotland-a-draft-sketch-comedy-with-a-serious-message/

    ReplyDelete