The Case for Scotland Making a Unilateral Declaration of Independence in May 2015?


I heard of a possible unilateral declaration of Scottish Independence from the late Robin Cook MP in 1983 at the Labour Party Conference in Perth City Hall. I asked Robin about Labour’s prospects at the election. We will win Scotland, we agreed but it looked like another Thatcher victory due to English dominance of seat numbers.

He then said ‘How can we let the Scottish people suffer another Tory government hell-bent on union destruction and driving down living standards? I am seriously considering leading all Scottish Labour MP’s over the burning bridge to join with the SNP and declare UDI’.

Robin Cook contemplated UDI but clearly forces within the Scottish party stopped him. Labour has tended to make the mistake of equating their own jobs-worth interests in Scotland as the national interest of the Scottish people and by 1983 Gordon Brown had forgotten his statement of principle in the Red Book for Scotland that if the Union of 1707 stopped serving the interests of the working people of Scotland it should end. Labour do not serve the interests of the people of Scotland otherwise they would acknowledge that there has never been equality between England and Scotland since the Union of 1707. As the McCrone reports of 1974 and 1975 show all the cream of profit from North Sea Oil has been taken from Scotland  and spent on England, with projects such as upgrading the north and south circular road in London, the M25 and the Channel Tunnel also paid for from the ‘bonanza’ of NSO. Economically, Scotland has been robbed and impoverished by subsequent Westminster governments.

Better Together kid themselves by asserting that the referendum vote on 18th Sept expressed the settled will of the Scottish people. Nothing could be further from reality. Project Fear turned to Project Hysteria in the last two weeks and unleashed the most vicious forces of what was a Westminster-led ideological war upon the Scottish people to kill confidence, kill hope, and undermine the idea that Scots were even capable of running their own affairs. Economic collapse and calamity would ensue if we DARED to vote Yes, huge retail price hikes would be instantaneous, pensions would cease the day after the vote. Essentially we were told DO NOT DARE to VOTE YES – WE OWN YOU AND YOU WILL OBEY YOUR MASTERS!

It went right off the Richter Scale of political discourse. The 3 riders of the Apocalypse rode among our cities like ‘Murder’ in Shelley’s Mask of Anarchy. Those who think themselves the rulers of Scotland raged their venom via our tv screen and newspapers they own, telling us what they would do if we dared to think for ourselves. So, by any standards, the will of the Scottish people was among some groups, especially the elderly, that of fear, panic and some were petrified. Thugs who would deliberately do this to any community would be judged as criminals and brought to court and sentenced.

The day of reckoning is coming for the Project Fear masters at the ballot box on 7th May 2015.

Ruth Davidson MSP and her Labour cohorts are naive in the extreme to believe there was ‘intimidation’ on both sides of the Referendum debate given the state sponsored ideological war that raged upon the concerns of the people of Scotland in the last weeks of the Referendum. The egg thrown at Jim Murphy was idiotic. Some stupid unpleasant comments on the internet from either side pails to a drop in the ocean compared to the authoritarian anti-democratic abuse orchestrated from Downing Street, aided and abetted by the Scottish Labour crew. The will of the Scottish people could not have been more unsettled, muddied, insulted, scared and in some cases petrified. I saw the fear in pensioner’s eyes while campaigning. In old Scots parlance, it was Keep yer fit on their neck. Endless intimidation was the essential buckshot in Project Fear’s armoury.

I, like others, have suggested, since the referendum result, that the Yes Campaign should be maintained and work together at the next election in tandem with the SNP where only one Pro-Independence campaign is fielded in each constituency. This would allow candidates to come from the wide spectrum of the Yes Campaign, if talents such as Iain McWhirter, Jeane Freeman, Lesley Riddoch, Blair Jenkins, David Hayman, Carol Fox, Cat Boyd, Colin Fox , Liam O’Hare, Jonathon Shafi and hopefully others if they are prepared to stand as pro-Independence candidates unopposed by SNP candidates. This makes sense on many levels. Yes literature, car stickers, badges, flags, T-shirts and so on are already made. No need for a new marketing brand for a new organisation. We all know what Yes Scotland stand for. This co-operation needs agreement at senior level but as an SNP councillor In would be more than happy for this community wide approach. Together we awoke a new civic voice in Scottish democracy and its structure is still extant and needs to continue.

If there is a majority of Pro-Independence MP’s elected on 7th May 2015 there are various scenarios that might play out. One is that the majority of SNP and Yes Scotland MP’s will compel Westminster to deliver on Devo-max. But Devo-max will not provide the oil and gas revenues to Scotland needed to kick start Scotland out of austerity. England and rUK need that tax take to pay their stupendous debts. We will still have weapons of species obliteration in the Holy loch. £100 billion wasted on the Empire mindset phallic symbol of world status that gives the egos of Westminster ‘global influence’ to bomb kill and create more Terrorism in the name of peace and stability.  We will not have enough funds to eradicate food banks and grotesque socially engineered austerity and poverty wages and socially engineered unemployment which is designed to keep wages as low as possible. Thatcherism started the process of social engineering and it has been continued by every government since, Blue or Red. Tories all. The Prime Minister and Gordon Brown differ on the Vow and are now promising different powers to our parliament. Brown is in a panic that Scotland might get control of raising and spending income tax because that might cause problems for British Labour in London – he is fixated on helping Labour, not the people of Scotland. The vow is in tatters already. Christine Graham MSP was right when she said the relationship between Scotland and London is now over, even if the vote was a majority for the No camp. If Westminster politicians cant even agree on what level of ‘Devo-Max’ they promised, what will they deliver?

Labour has already lost Scotland. Whatever the result next May. They could not face the people of Scotland in public meetings. They hid from the people. They were scared to debate with Yes Scotland speakers. They were scared of the people of Scotland. One or two did on a small scale. They hunted in packs. They had meetings where people were invited via email. Selected members of the small crowds. Vetted. Secret venues. This was the behaviour of the people’s representatives! What happened to the once proud, open and democratic voices in the Old Labour Labour party I once was a member of? They are dead. Labour have lived in a power ‘bubble’ of their own self-importance for so long now, they don’t even know they are in a bubble. Bubbles burst.

I believe the grass-roots Yes Scotland campaign should, if we (SNP and Yes Scotland candidates) win a majority of seats in May, make a unilateral declaration of Independence and demonstrate peacefully with unswervingly disciplined law-abiding behaviour, from the day after the election result, in every city of Scotland and demand action from our new MP’s and the Scottish Government. Such a demonstration would not be to usurp the authority of our elected Members or Scottish government, but to show that Scotland is ready for major change, whether that be for full ‘Devo-Max’ or demands for another Referendum or negotiations for Independence should be left to the political leadership of Scotland. Nor would it be wise to call for an occupation of all cities to go on until demands are met, which would be a recipe for confrontation. It is the job of elected representatives and leaders to lead and to speak our collective voice: demonstrations are a way of making that voice heard loud and clear.

A close examination of electoral statistics for Westminster governments from 1945 show that no government elected in that period had the authority of 50% or more of the total votes cast at any election. All took power with under 50% of votes cast. Two governments were elected with around 35% of votes cast.

Indeed, when we consider the 40% rule imposed upon the vote at the 1979 Scottish referendum for a Scottish Assembly, and look at the governments elected to Westminster it will come as no surprise to readers that no government since 1945 obtained 40% of the total electorate in their favour. The iron cast stipulation of the 40% rule made for the vote in 1979 was therefore a deliberate stitch-up to postpone the creation of a Scottish Assembly. Labour are not to be trusted and neither are the Tories whatever Vow they make.

So, if today’s Yougov speculation comes true and there are 26 or more SNP/Pro-Independence candidates elected on 7th May, I would suggest that a unilateral declaration of Independence should be considered by grass-roots Yes Scotland campaigners as a means of keeping the feet to the fire of the Westminster elites, be they Blue or Red Tories. If we elect a majority of MP’s for Pro-Independence candidates and have one or two more MP’s that Labour, then a claim of right for UDI may be subject to question. However, if Yes Scotland/SNP win by 5 or 6 more MP’s than Labour in Scotland then the case for UDI is clear because that would put Yes Scotland/SNP around 10% ahead in seats. First past the post governments in the UK have always taken power, even with around 35% of the vote, so Scottish UDI should be seriously considered if we win a large victory in May.

I would attest that around 20% of the NO votes in the Referendum were cast due to fear and panic and therefore the vote may remain legal and binding, BUT it was a pyrrhic victory with intimidation at its core and does not represent the settled will of the Scots people. It may be far sooner rather than later that our new First Minster can echo the words of Nye Bevan and say ‘We were the dreamers, we were the sufferers, now we are the builders’. Scotland must be Independent for the sake of all our people.


Patrick S Hogg is an SNP councillor in North Lanarkshire and a biographer of Robert Burns and co-editor of The Canongate Burns edition.


* * * * * * *

To make a donation and support our work please go here. Thank you.

Comments (200)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published.

  1. David Steele says:

    Ever since dark Thursday I have felt that the Yes campaign should not just go away. This proposal makes perfect sense to me. My only fear is that there may be too much of a schism already within what was the Yes movement. I pray that I am wrong on this. Please let me be wrong.

      1. Ideed! What schism?? This is a great plan and focus ~ and we dont have long to implement it ~UNSTOPPABLE MOMENTUM SCOTLAND 100 YES!

    1. Henry Condy says:

      Is this the David Steele ex mp for Tweeddale and Lauderdale, who lived 45 minutes from Edinburgh, but on becoming ,I believe the presidng officer in Hollywood, wanted. A mansion built, as becomes his station, to save him travelling. What a chancer

    2. If you were in Freedom Square in Glasgow yesterday you would have witnessed complete solidarity, with not a schism in sight…

    3. Kenny says:

      I think we all need to calm down a bit and be patient. UDI cannot be a viable option because it would just alienate yes voters who would see it as an undemocratic act and would want to distance themselves with this kind of governance. It may also spark of real tensions within Scotland if the percentages of people are still roughly 50/50 yes & no. If the SNP can get a majority again in the Scottish parliament, they can set the mandate (if they want) for another referendum for independence. If Westminster deny it, it will just fuel the independence movement as they would be seen to be undemocratic.
      Scotland is moving towards independence no matter what happens. Just now, even with bbc bias coverage, the people of Scotland cannot fail to see the squabbling about the “vow” in Westminster and the backtracking of Gordon brown etc, etc…
      We cannot fail. If they give us devo max/ federalism (which I think is very unlikely!) the Scottish government will be able to prove to people without doubt that we can look after ourselves. If we get a token offering of extra powers, then there will be uproar and the “vow” will be shown to be broken. Either way, support for independence is bound to grow, especially with the politics of UKIP/ Tories/ red tories going on down south. Lets all pull together, get ideas out there, but keep them democratic. I don’t see why we should do anything undemocratic after we have done so well by doing things by the book.

      1. arzanic says:

        If the SNP campaign on the basis of an UDI and get a clear majority of votes and seats from the people of Scotland, what exactly would be undemocratic about the UDI? It would possibly be the most democratic thing done in the UK in a long time.

      2. scottishmatters says:

        I could only go with UDI if we returned all seats with yes alliance parties. Then, it’s a no brainer. A referendum in every seat, so to speak. Historic and worthy of UDI.
        Is it possible? I believe so. How? By campaigning on this mandate, and to an extent that would eclipse the yes campaign like we couldn’t imagine.
        Question is, are we willing to coalesce in old and new ways?

      3. Jimmy Hat says:

        ‘scottishmatters’ it’s only a “no brainer” if one has no brain. There was referendum and the pro-independence movement lost, I’m sure you’ll get another one at some point, but as Kenny points you’ll just alienate people who voted no to independence, and just to remind you, there was more of them than there was of you. Whatever way you cut it that is a dangerous way to start a country. I’m afraid you’ll all just have to be patient.

      4. M says:

        AAhhh, Westminster did things democratically…what a pile of P….., UID would only be the way for Scotland, did you not follow the 2 years of the referendum campaigning…who said UID ISN’T DEMOCRATIC…SCARE MONGERING AGAIN……

    4. A staged approach would probably be more successful. If pro-independence MP’s form
      the majority sent to London in 2015 then there is the possibility that they might hold the
      balance of power in a hung Parliament.
      Conservative or even Labour might concede DevoMax for support in any Vote of confidence
      motion. They would abstain on English Bills.
      Coupled with the elimination of Labour in Scottish politics this removes any interest London
      has in Scotland as a source of revenue or political power (Labour).

    5. bob mccracken says:

      schism…..far from it united in a purpose

      1. Quizmaster says:

        A UID is presumably an inter-uterine device —suprised that M advocates it for the whole of Scotland but sure he will know best

  2. alan webster says:

    Couldn’t agree more. This is just the start and I only hope we can all stay together for next Mays vote. Labour in Scotland are dead in the water after their romance with the torys

  3. FeartieFifer says:

    UDI for Fife is a better bet.
    300,000 souls with a nice blend of power (longannet), agriculture (east Fife), Shipbuilding (Burntisland), tourism (east neuk), education (St Andrews & numerous brilliant schools) AND the largest potable alcohol factory in the world (cameronbridge). Raise extras with 2nd home taxes from the Edinburgh rich & tolls on the crossings for non-Fifers.
    Nae limits. Sorted.

    1. Will it be the People’s Republic of Fife?

      1. No it will always be the Kingdom

    2. Katherine hamilton says:

      Ayrshire’s next!

    3. Fraser Reid says:

      Ah wid chiyng that tae Tolls fur non-Scots

  4. muttley79 says:

    Interesting article. However, I really do not agree with declaring UDI in the circumstances you have outlined, it would effectively kill independence stone dead forever. We have to accept that we got beat in the referendum. Accepting the result, and accepting the manner in which it was achieved, are not the same thing. However, UDI is political suicide.

    1. BOB MCCRACKEN says:


      1. Scoone says:

        More straw-clutching. It was the settled will of the Scottish People whether you like that or not. I suggest you grow a pair (along with a brain) and accept democracy. Had the vote gone the other way you would be saying exactly the same to No voters.

      2. J Galt says:

        No Scoone I’m not going to accept a future for my country based on foul deeds such as scaring old folks with lies. It isn’t over. Consider the demographics Scoone – it’s not nice but as the 70% NO voting oldies die off at the rate of – what 10-20,000 a year? – they are replaced with 10-20,000 70% YES voting Youth.

        The roughly just under half of the country which voted YES is the Politically Aware, Active, Impassioned, Intelligent, Energetic and YOUTHFUL half. We will grind you down as the years thin you out.

        You’re “Settled Will” Scoone is doomed.

      3. Alex Steven says:

        If we turn the next GE into another referendum we will lose again. Not enough will have changed. It hurts to admit it but there is not likely to be enough of a swing. We must be patient, our time will come.

        Broken promises will be the way forward and the timescale for that is a longer game.

        Also important is not to take for granted that our starting point is 45%. Many of those were soft Yes’s and work needs to continue to educate and empower them.

        Our time will come and returning a majority of Yes candidates (SNP or other) would be a significant landmark.

      4. Terry Vincent says:

        I yous get UDI you will not survive. Read up on UDI!! It’s the most dangerous way to gain independance. On the whole, independant Scotland wouldn’t survive. Wake up!! In this world, unite don’t break up!!

      5. Jimmy Hat says:

        “No Scoone I’m not going to accept a future for my country based on foul deeds such as scaring old folks with lies”

        What? you mean likes like, if you don’t vote Yes the NHS will be destroyed? Hello Mr Pot, meet Mr Kettle.

        A quick look at your demographic calculations shows you forgot to factor in that a great many people from underachievers from ‘deprived’ areas of big cities vote ‘yes’ (on account of the fantasy shangrila they were being promised), those same people have fairly low life expectancy, don’t bet on them outliving no voting ‘old folks’!

  5. An excellent article. Shared.

    1. Cal Lough says:

      Excellent Article? It is full of blinkered, irrational, undemocratic bollocks.

      1. Stevie says:

        What exactly would be undemocratic about a party the put in It’s manifesto that it would declare UDI, should it win, and then doing it if it wins?

      2. Cal each to his own opinion, of course. Clearly you have yours in reference to this article. I would however point out that discussion and debate is how we forge a consensus, course of action and then move forward. This article is certainly a contribution to the debate, and I thought some of it was quite cogent and well said. Is describing it as ‘bollocks’ also a genuine contribution to this debate? Or does it take us down the road of squabbling like children, and so handing victory to our opponents? I simply pose the question.

  6. andyshall says:

    An appalling article. Any declaration of UDI would be an illegal anti-democratic coup d’etat. Muttley79 has it exactly right.

    1. BOB MCCRACKEN says:


    2. J Galt says:

      How so if a majority vote for parties who openly state that policy?

  7. 1. It wasn’t “the settled will of the Scottish people” but the petrified will of the octogenarians.

    2. Do you not need a majority of the electorate voting for YES candidates before UDI is morally justified?

    1. muttley79 says:

      It is very difficulty to convey in words just how furious the American state would be at a Scottish attempt at UDI in these circumstances, or in fact under almost any circumstances. People need to understand very quickly just how disastrous this tactic would be.

      1. I agree with you that it is potentially disastrous. For what it’s worth, I also doubt that the correct conditions for UDI will arise from the State Election of 2015. However, London ain’t going to cooperate on “Indyref II”. So we need to know more about the nuts and bolts of UDI for future reference.

      2. So we answer to the AmerIcan state? Westminster does, absolutely. Given that corporate capitalism and the warfare state, as supported by the USA, will allow the human race another 50 years on the outside, do we really need to continue to do as they tell us?

      3. UDI is a legitimate route to Independence. IF and ONLY IF there was an overwhelming majority – 90% of elected representatives and a similar proportion of votes. Anything less is puerile dreaming and actively damaging to our cause. 100% agree with muttley79

      4. John Thomson says:

        Mutley 79 we do not live in america and we are most certainly not there slaves. Free and democratic Scotland is what I voted for. What I got was fear, fear, fear, fear, fear fear do you understand FEAR and what it does to the eldetly and infirm.

    2. muttley79 says:

      Sorry, but for me UDI is not an option. The more I think about this article the angrier I am getting. It makes us look like anti-democratic dolts, which I do not think most Yes voters are. This does us absolutely no favours at all.

      1. Would you feel the same way in 2020 after five years of Farange and Johnston, with YES support > 60% and London refusing to countenance change? Don’t fixate on the “2015” on the title. We just need to explore our options.

        I’m pretty sure that Nicola agrees with you, so fret not.

      2. Garry says:

        Not half as angry as I get at your ridiculous statement that we pander to the Americans (unless you somehow are referring to Westminster as the ‘american state’ in which case even stating that we are by default the lapdog of the yanks – its another good reason to leave). What an absolutely stupid statement… Please Mr President – Can we the Scots people have independence. (who cares what they think – they declared UDI and its really hurting them isnt it?) What the author has said is that the people should declare there intention of UDI and leave it to the elected MSP’s to decide how best to do that for the people of Scotland. If more than 50% of people vote a pro independence candidate then that surely says more than 50% would by that time (after seeing the lies from the referendum) want Scotland to be free from westminster rule. HOW is that not democratic? Or do you not accept that things, like oh there is no oil one week and then oh look our mistake, there is lots and lots the next week, are below the belt and were counterproductive to finding out the real will of the people. Our pensions will disappear – what happened this week, a mistake in the accounting and actually the UK pensions are in a dire state.

      3. “Would you feel the same way in 2020 after five years of Farange and Johnston, with YES support > 60%”

        If this beloved Yesser fairytale comes to pass, then the solution is for a party to obtain a mandate for an advisory indyref by winning a Holyrood election, for them to then hold this indyref, winning it comfortably, and then using this as a mandate to start negotiations w WM.

        The idea that UDI is obtained via a majority of Scottish WM MPs is utter nonsense on stilts.

        BTW – I believe in the sovereignty of the Scottish people – my objection to UDI is not its illegality.

      4. MBC says:

        What Muttley says is right. We would become a pariah state if we did not have international support. Nobody would recognise us unless the leading western powers would. This is what we have to work on – getting other states to be friendly towards the idea of an independent Scotland. And frankly that’s going to be difficult. Not impossible, but difficult. it would take political skill of a high order. But it could be done. It needs to be done. We need to be establishing high level back channels internationally, sounding out friendly supprters. We would need to impress what we would contribute to upholding the international order.

        What power to we have to declare UDI without Westminster’s agreement? And would UDI ever achieve a super-majority anyway? Doubtful!

        Remember what happened in Ireland after Sinn Feinn declared UDI? But without a majority in Ulster? And barely a majority elsewhere?

        No, it can only be achieved through negotiation and persuasion. Sorry.

      5. Cal Lough says:

        I’m with you Muttely. One of the problems that we have is that a small number of vociferous people think that you only need balls to run and lead a country, not brains. We spent hundreds of years on the balls out approach and where are we now?

      6. Deeky says:

        From my point of view a Tory Government was unacceptable at the last GE and so they only got 1 MP in Scotland which tells me the majority of Scots felt the same. But as this is a democratic society it doesn’t matter what we vote. WM will give us nothing they are spending billions on infrastructure projects south of the border and nothing North of it, and I would also say the Yes voters are the ones that are still for independence it is the No voters now that are wavering. If UDI was part of the SNP manifesto they would still be the majority party in Scotland.

  8. BOB MCCRACKEN says:


    1. Press the key with CAPSLOCK written on it.

  9. ldhighlander3000 says:

    We have got to be a thumping great big sharp thorn in their foot and keep stabbing away at them, harder and harder until they cave in and collapse. Divide and conquer was their attack but we must just stay sharp and focused on the objective.

  10. Independence is not theirs to grant; it it ours to take.
    I’m sick of taking whatever abuse and exploitation the British heap upon us and I’m no longer prepared to be nice about it. If we have to take it through UDI and the world doesn’t like it then let the world go to Hell. Not as if any of them bar the Catalans spoke up for us despite the blatant propaganda that was directed at us throughout the referendum campaign.
    If no one likes us I know longer care, I’ll carry one helping to build my nation free of Neoliberal interference.

    1. muttley79 says:

      That is a recipe for disaster.

      1. I’ve no reason to doubt you friend but we are not dealing with reasonable people and I have little patience for being reasonable with those who have such blatant disrespect for my people and me. They have no principles, integrity or decency and my attitude towards them is merely a reflection of that, born of experience. If they cannot observe basic political etiquette in the course of a normal democratic process as has been so starkly demonstrated in recent history then I would have no qualms whatsoever about dumping all over them as they have done to us. Like I say, I’m through being nice to them, be that for better or worse.

      2. muttley79 says:

        Well it would be all over if we did a UDI, and in a catastrophic way at that.

      3. Garry says:

        explain how it would be a catastophic disaster…… really, how?

    2. MatthewMcGovern says:

      You seemed to have missed this but we actually had a referendum recently to decide whether or not we should be an independent country and we voted, by a clear majority, no. To unilaterally declare independence would be as undemocratic as it would be legally illiterate

      1. A 5% “majority” achieved through threats, deception and outright lies is not a clear majority. I don’t think it’s me you should be lecturing about being undemocratic.

      2. Garry says:

        based on lies….. And regardless of the vote, what this article states clearly is that if a large majority voted for a PRO INDEPENDENCE candidate then it shows that people would want independence. Otherwise they will vote for a unionist party.

      3. John Thomson says:

        Mathew for your information and anyone else who reads this reply, it was not a fair referrendum, fear and intimidation on a scale never before witnessed in scottish / British politics was used against the scottish people I am truely surprised that it wasn’t an outright “Thank God for the Union” the truely astonishing thing is that 45% of the scottish people were not taken in by “Project Fear” and voted with both there hearts and minds. Time is the great healer or so I am told?

      4. David Lynch says:

        Was it democratic for the British secret service to open postal votes on the Monday before the election resulting in a historical rush to Scotland by crooked politicians?

    3. muttley79 says:

      Independence is not theirs to grant; it it ours to take.

      Voting for independence. and then getting international recognition for our independence, are two sides of the same coin. Yes got 45 per cent of the vote. No won, we move on.

      1. Accepted. Provided we all agree on a collective strategy such as the “First Westminster, then Holyrood” concept currently being mooted. We do also need to thoroughly cleanse our town halls of the disgusting Labour Party too. I really don’t think we should hold back on discrediting and thoroughly undermining that particular malevolent bastion of power in Scotland.
        Right now I’m angry as Hell and I want to make these vile people pay the heaviest price that can lawfully be inflicted upon them for their corruption, their greed in trying to cash in on re-registered voters and their utter malevolence in spreading terror amongst Scotland’s senior population.
        Let them reap the whirlwind.
        I will laugh at every single one of them who’s career is destroyed in the process.

      2. There again, there’s less moving on in that than there should be, maybe!

  11. gerry67 says:

    There are now no nuclear weapons in the Holy Loch, the American navy fleet stationed there left in the early 1990’s
    I think faslane is based at the Gare loch while Coalport is at Loch long both are used as ports for the UK nuclear submarine fleet.
    Excellent article!

  12. Alison Brown says:

    what about the 55% of the Scottish electorate that don’t want ‘independence’? Are you actually advocating abandoning democratic principles? Over my dead body.
    Get a grip. Get a life. Look outside your spoilt first world problems.

    1. I’m assuming you view queuing outside a food bank, robbed of dignity and hope as a spoilt First World problem then…

    2. What percentage of this magic 55 percent were not pressured by bully tactics and fear? Democracy is only real when the people are left with the facts and the freedom to make an informed choice.

    3. Garry says:

      the democratic principles were abandoned already by the ‘better together’. You no-ers cant see that you might not have won had your side not used questionable tactics… but its the result that counts yeah… too bad people were scared because banks said they’d move etc… Get a life indeed, spoilt first world problems, most yes-ers ARE looking outside and trying to be fairer and inclusive.

    4. IAN MCCRONE says:

      The 55%, mostly did not want their pensions stopped(Red and blue tory lies). So tell them the truth and then ask them to vote. I am certain most would vote to have a lower pension age and probably better pensions, so a YES to independence.

  13. Stephen W. Foster says:

    Is it really necessary to point out that the Americans issued a unilateral declaration of independence in 1776 and managed to create a successful nation in spite of never having held a referendum?

    1. autarkes says:

      True, but it took eight years of bloody civil war that turned into a trans-Atlantic conflict in order to secure that independence? Is that the price Scotland is prepared to pay? Is that what the civil democratic spirit of the Yes campaign was about?

    2. Matthew says:

      You can point it out, but then I’ll point out that it was 300 years ago, they formed a UNITED country and they also fought a 6 year long war after UDI that resulted in over 70,000 deaths (imagine what that might be in modern times with more advanced weaponry?)… Scotland unilaterally declares independence on the back of the referendum result – I guarantee there will be bloodshed.

  14. MatthewMcGovern says:

    Scotland voted in a free, fair and democratic referendum against independence. To shift the goalposts and subvert the democratic will of the Scottish people is as ridiculous as it is legally illiterate. I’m embarrassed the suggestion came from an elected official.

    1. Annette says:

      Scotland voted in a referendum against independence. The adjectives you use are extremely questionable. I think the YES side should accept the outcome, because we must be seen to do things right even if the other side do things wrong. But they did do wrong, and it was neither fair nor free. There was an enormous amount of bullying going on.

      1. Lorraine says:

        Let’s not forget vote rigging!

  15. Doug Daniel says:

    The only conditions in which we could claim moral authority for UDI would be a Catalonia-style situation, where we hold a consultative referendum without getting “permission” from Westminster, and get a pretty substantial majority for Yes, which Westminster claims can be ignored. Anything else would look anti-democratic and thus simply won’t happen.

    Now that could come about as a manifesto commitment in 2020, or it could be as a result of rUK voting to pull Scotland out of the EU against our wishes in 2017. But it would need to be a referendum. The “we’ve got a majority of MPs” route is a non-starter now that we’ve set a precedent with the first referendum.

  16. Sunshine on Crieff says:

    No one who advocates UDI actually states how the process would work, particularly when it would be triggered by a majority of Scots MPs at Westminster (I’m not sure how 26 MPs would be a trigger for anything).

    Seriously, what are the technicalities around declaring UDI? The majority of MPs at Westminster and/or a majority government at Holyrood declare independence. Then what?

    Do tax revenues, absolutely vital for the functioning of a modern state, miraculously start flowing into the Scottish Government bank account. Or do taxpayers continue to obey tax laws laid done by London?

    Do civil servants employed by the UK state, on their own initiative, start to take orders from Scottish Government ministers?

    Most importantly of all, does the UK state, still one of the most powerful states in the world, just accept a loss of part of its territory?

    No. The pro-independence representatives would be arrested, the SNP would become a proscribed organisation, and British troops would be deployed in our towns and cities.

    I can understand the disappointment people feel about the referendum result – I feel it myself – especially after the way it was won by the British establishment, but there really isn’t any other way to win independence other than through majority support at the ballot box. And that means holding another referendum, when the time is right, unless and until further independence referendums are banned.

    1. deewal says:

      “And that means holding another referendum, when the time is right, unless and until further independence referendums are banned.”

      And that will be very soon if the last 39 years worth of actions culminating in the last 4 years of the most undemocratic outrageous manipulation of the MSM and downright lies and threats of our Very Democratic UK Government are anything to go by.

    2. Sunshine on Crieff
      October 12, 2014 • 22:08

      Most importantly of all, does the UK state, still one of the most powerful states in the world, just accept a loss of part of its territory?

      Scotland is not ‘part of England’s territory’.

      The term Act of Union is the hint…

    3. Robert Louis says:

      The minute troops are deployed, Scotland ceases to be governable from London. There really would be no way back.

      You might like to know, that prior to the opening of the Scots Parliament, it was widely accepted, that for independence to happen, the SNP would need a majority of Scottish seats at Westminster. The idea of a referendum is a relatively recent notion.

      UDI, backed by democratic mandate is a perfectly legitimate course of action.

    4. Illy says:

      “No. The pro-independence representatives would be arrested, the SNP would become a proscribed organisation, and British troops would be deployed in our towns and cities.”

      And quite frankly, as soon as that happens, Westminster *LOSE*. So I’m quite happy with forcing their hand like that. 5 years of shit are worth it for the rest of our lives.

  17. JBS says:

    I see the tactic here. Publish inflammatory stuff like this and drive the Better Together crew right up the wall. Push them into padded cells so they can no longer combine to oppose Scottish independence.

    Next up from Bella Caledonia: ‘What Lessons can Modern-Day Scotland learn from the French Revolution of 1789?’


    1. Garry says:

      inflammatory how? – dont be pathetic.

  18. Patrick Hogg – This is a wonderful and well articulated defence of a universal declaration. Thanks for this. I do hope that you don’t mind us sharing it.

  19. This is dispiriting stuff.

    In the referendum independence was supported by less than 37% of those eligible to vote. More than 63% (2 million No voters and 0.8 million abstainers) declined the opportunity to make Scotland an independent nation. If that isn’t a clear result, what is?

    The idea that “around 20% of the NO votes in the Referendum were cast due to fear and panic” is supposition that has no evidence to support it, and can be countered with supposition that 20% of the Yes vote was duped by promises of jam today and manna tomorrow. Both are equally apparent to opposite ends of the partisan spectrum, and equally bogus.

    Advocating manipulation of the crude electoral process for Westminster to force UDI on the clear majority of Scots who do not support independence is cynical and profoundly undemocratic.

    If Mr Hogg and other Yes voters are serious about achieving the social justice outcomes that they claim to desire then they would do well to concentrate on defining policies that will deliver these outcomes and promoting them in ways that are attractive to Scottish and UK electorates.

    Independence might have made it easier to deliver these things in Scotland, or it might not. The only thing that we know for sure is the independence option has been soundly and democratically rejected for the time being. Let’s put our energies into something more productive than agitating for UDI.

    1. On your specific point relating to non-voters: actually, a majority of voters either chose independence, or willingly acquiesced to independence by neglecting to make a preference. (see how anyone can recruit non-voters to their side in an internet comment?).

      Also, saying “this is [adjective] stuff” is incredibly clichéd stuff.

    2. Doug Daniel says:

      “In the referendum independence was supported by less than 37% of those eligible to vote. More than 63% (2 million No voters and 0.8 million abstainers) declined the opportunity to make Scotland an independent nation. If that isn’t a clear result, what is?”

      Sorry, but you don’t get to include non-voters as No voters, which is what you’re doing. For a start, 1,617,989 is 37.8% of 4,283,392, which is not “less than 37%”, and thus the total “not Yes” percentage of the electorate is 62.2%. Also, there were not 0.8 million non-voters – there were 0.66 million.

      But mathematical gripes aside, the implication of your argument is that the referendum needed an absolute majority to be won – that is, a majority of the total electorate, not simply those who voted (why bring abstainers into it otherwise?) Well in that case, 53.2% of the electorate didn’t vote No, which means neither side actually won the referendum.

      Would you like to rerun it until one side achieves an absolute majority of the electorate?

      1. I do not “include non-voters as No voters”. I said that non-voters “declined the opportunity to make Scotland an independent nation”. We cannot know why they abstained but we do know that they didn’t actively support independence via the ballot box.

        I didn’t mean to imply that a referendum should be decided on an absolute majority. Had either side one by a single percentage of the vote I would have respected the result. My intention was to point out that only 37% of those eligible to vote were sufficiently enthusiastic about independence to turn out and vote Yes.

        As for the maths…

        On the 11th of September it was widely reported that 4,285,323 people had registered to vote, which was 97% of those eligible. This means that the total of those eligible to vote was 4,417,858.

        1,617,989 is 36.6% of 4,417,858

        4,417,858 minus 1,617,989 minus 2,001,926 = 797,943 abstainers. which is 0.8 million to one decimal place.

    3. muttley79 says:

      @Malcolm Henry

      Yes got 45 per cent of the vote, in a turnout of 85 per cent. It is really not a good idea to attempt to suggest that the Yes vote was not as high as it was. It does nobody any good.

    4. Scoone says:

      perhaps the most articulate and reasoned comment today. Agree with you 100%.

    5. soda says:

      It was actualy nearly 38% not less than 37%. Also you lump in the 15.4% of those who didnt cast there vote unfairly in the no camp. One can just as easily lump them into the yes camp and say that less than half the electorate had faith in the UK gov (46%). My point is you can skew the figures in any way you wish but to say that is a clear result is kidding yourself on a little. The fact is neither camp won an overall majority of the Scottish elecorate so IMHO there’s still all to play for. Until one side wins a clear actual majority the issue isnt settled either way. Besides it is ridiculous to suppose in a democracy you should give up your beliefs because you have lost a vote. The same could be said of course if yes had won. In that case it would be fair that say after 10 years of indy we could have another referendum to see if we wanted to once more give up our independence and be ruled from London. How do you think that would go?

  20. Indy says:

    This is an insane idea.

    Here’s the thing. Most people voted No.

    We have a big job to do understanding that. On the limited analysis we have it seems that we need to work hard speaking to women and to people born elsewhere in the UK as those are the key groups we need to win over. Of course we also need to keep the existing Yes vote on board.

    I have not mentioned older people because my own view is that they simply don’t want independence and they’re not going to change. That’s their right. But we can build support that outweighs their votes.

    There’s no short cut to doing that and once we have majority support we can have another referendum. A referendum is the only way of doing this which would be internationally recognised and accepted.

    I can understand people’s frustration but let’s keep the heid. For those of us who have been doing this for decades getting 45pc is not a disaster. It really isn’t. It makes the prospect of getting 55pc plus much more realistic.

    What we don’t want to do is see suppport for indy collapse if people think we’re going to do mad stuff like declare UDI. That is a mad idea. I can’t believe you are even discussing it.

  21. Patrick Hogg says:

    Some excellent critical points made in comments. I was not suggesting the Scottish government declare UDI if there is a majority of SNP MP’s in May’s election. Having thought about the issue of UDI since sending this article to Mike, it is clearly the case that the Referendum result would trump such a suggestion. Even if we win a majority of MP’s in May. Yet, even Thatcher conceded years ago that Scotland would have effectively won its Independence if the SNP won a majority of seats in Scotland at a general election. A majority of SNP MP’s in May is, in my view, a prima facie case for Independence. Such a victory in 2010 or before would have led to demand to negotiate Independence. But the Referendum result is so recent, that it would be unwise to not let the promised powers and Vow take their course – to test if Westminster will deliver on its promises. Is it not the case that IF Westminster parties renege on their Vow and promises, the victory in the Referendum is not just pyrrhic, but effectively, forfeited? If forfeited, then the Scottish government would be within its rights to demand another Referendum or consider UDI or even a Bill of Scottish Sovereignty which would be a couple of years from now…….I thought the idea of UDI worthy of open discussion, even if it does make some people’s blood boil.

    I am acutely aware that the British state and its power fixation of bloated world influence will never let Scotland go without a major fight as it cant afford to let us use NSO revenue to end austerity in Scotland: austerity is socially engineered from the top to keep wages as low as possible and Cameron and Co dont mind if people starve or freeze to death in Scotland. We are disposable Jocks to the callous elites. We really should know our place since we are treated as if we are a colony and insulted by the brain-dead media that could not be more foreign to Scotland. My opinions are simply that, right or wrong. Always happy to reflect and learn. Indeed, I trust completely that the superb team in the current Scottish government will find a way over the next couple of years to out manoeuvre those who will keep Scotland from flourishing as a free nation. And, Muttly, I hope Dick Dastardly is kind and gives you a medal.

    1. Frank says:

      The idea is indeed worthy of open discussion. Thank you Mr Hogg. I too am from North Lanarkshire, where we are not so easily dispirited by comments for discussion. Your article is extremely well articulated and is very worthy of attention.
      I too have immense confidence in our team in the Scottish Government, who have protected us from the worst effects of Westminster politics since SNP gained the majority (despite the constraints of the Barnett formula). Your description of the social engineering of austerity by Westminster is clear and it is difficult to understand why some do not grasp this fact or why there are people living in Scotland who, like Cameron and his cohorts, do not care whether people starve or freeze to death. Discussion of all possible options is desirable and I thank you again for your article and for today’s talk at the rally.

      1. Flower of Scotland says:

        I agree Frank! Thank you Mr Hogg. This has started a very good discussion and we need to discuss everything!

    2. Doug Daniel says:

      “Yet, even Thatcher conceded years ago that Scotland would have effectively won its Independence if the SNP won a majority of seats in Scotland at a general election.”

      You’re missing a vital point here Patrick – there was no Scottish Parliament when Thatcher was about.

      The presence of the parliament has changed things, and having a referendum has changed them even more, as it has provided a template for doing this. More to the point, if a majority of SNP MPs is all that we need to declare independence, then why was it not enough just to get a majority of SNP MSPs? The fact that a majority of SNP MSPs (in a proportional system, no less) did not then lead to a Yes vote in a referendum, then how can we seriously say that a majority of SNP MPs (in a FPTP system) presents a demonstration of people’s appetite for independence?

  22. Capella says:

    One point that nobody has so far commented on – democracy is not possible without a free press. Our state is dominated by Unionist media, TV and newspapers. Any impartial observer could see that only one side of the argument was broadcast, witness Bonnie Greer’s response to the Sky news reporters who were utterly incapable of understanding why both sides of the argument should be presented.
    Without a free press we do not have democracy.
    Therefore, any decision arrived at under duress is null and void.

    1. What do we have, a BBC giving the establishment view. We also have large new companies with so many cronies. The news should be run by non-profit making cooperatives. There should be an ethics committee to advise the editors to ensure no undue bias. Although, this seems to me to be
      a pipe dream.

  23. Valerie says:

    I enjoyed reading this article, because it does articulate the issues around our position very well, subservient and disposable to Westminster, even though we only have 1 Tory MP. We only have to look at the extensive media coverage being given to UKIP just now, which will only increase. The BBC reported the rally in George Square on Sunday as in the hundreds; Police said around 6,000. I was there, and it was in the thousands. I like many other Yes voters only want a fair hearing, a fair representation of the facts, and we will never get that if we didn’t get anything like it in this referendum. How embarrassing is it to the UK govt., that an American, Naomi Wolf, travelled to that rally to announce handing over 400+ witness statements about blank ballot papers? She will hand them to the Press, as the Electoral Commission, Police, Councils do not want to touch them! Something stinks, but will the UK govt. care? However, for me, for now, I have joined the SNP, and will go to my first branch meeting next week, and work towards May, 2015, and see what that brings. I will continue to keep up to date, and well informed through our new media outlets etc., and enjoy provocative articles on Bella.

    1. andygm1 says:

      BBC reported it on Scottish News as 6,000, I heard it. I also said to my wife that the only reason they reported it all was that the Referendum was over. There would have been a blanket of silence otherwise.

  24. Malcolm says:

    The referendum result was not that of a free and fair democratic vote. Even then we managed to get 45%. If it had been fair and democratic, Yes would have got at least 60%.

    We will never get a free and fair democratic independence vote in Scotland. We will only get independence by electing more and more pro-independence candidates at every level and especially to Westminster until the unionists have no credible democratic mandate over Scotland.

    UDI would lead to the Scots being crushed as brutally as any people in the former colonies. I am shocked that an SNP councillor is mentioning UDI. The SNP’s and your priority should be to get together a Yes grouping to contest the 2015 UK election to unseat the Labour and Lib Dem unionists.

    1. kate says:

      I though Alex Salmond mentioned UDI as a future option not long after the referendum, so its already been raised in the public domain. The SNP is still testing the water further perhaps? – and needs to see what the establishment may be counter arguing, as well as what Yes people are thinking.

      Why is it shocking that an elected national parliament might consider declaring itself the parliament of the independent nation that it previously was, once again? Long established nations don’t need to ask permission of other nations to be nations.I agree that any parliament ideally acts on the national wil ( though often not the case!) & that will be a grey area for a while. But who could successfully argue a hugely increased SNP/Yes majority Scottish government had no right to call another referendum, even if Westminister refused permission, when it was backed up by mass public demonstrations in Scotland?

      However if an SNP govt were to sign up to TTIP there would be no public or national sovereignty over global corporate interests, no ability to retain public ownership of NHS , or re nationalize rail, no control over stopping environmental degradation caused by private companies in oil,fracking,etc. There is a deeper way to lose sovereignty than via parliament – when a national government is able to be sued by transnational corporations for protecting the public interest.

      If the SNP stays committed to TTIP (and NATO probably) the Greens for instance could not support SNP in an electoral alliance and remain very credible as environmentalists.

      1. Andrew Forbes says:

        “Why is it shocking that an elected national parliament might consider declaring itself the parliament of the independent nation that it previously was, once again?”; because the people have very recently voted against it in a referendum. It would be utterly shocking to go against their wishes.

        “Long established nations don’t need to ask permission of other nations to be nations”; no but you recently asked permission of your own people in a referendum. They said NO.

        Try again in 25 years.

      2. Malcolm says:

        “But who could successfully argue a hugely increased SNP/Yes majority Scottish government had no right to call another referendum, even if Westminister refused permission, when it was backed up by mass public demonstrations in Scotland?”

        That is completely different from declaring UDI. A majority SNP/Yes Scottish government definitely has the right to call a referendum as early as 2016 if it was in its manifesto, and it doesn’t need anyone’s permission for it.

        “Why is it shocking that an elected national parliament might consider declaring itself the parliament of the independent nation that it previously was, once again?”

        Why did a majority SNP government not declare Scotland independent in that case? Can you provide evidence about Salmond mentioning UDI?

        After just losing an independence referendum, it is totally out of order to be talking about UDI. It would be the equivalent of a military coup, except that we would be crushed by the British military.

        We cannot get independence as long as we have a majority which doesn’t want to live in an independent country. It is as simple as that.

        Our task is clear cut – build up the 45% independence support to 55% and then win a referendum.

      3. Paul Carline says:

        A very good point, Kate. I was shocked to learn of the SNP position on TTIP. There is enormous public opposition to it in Europe, especially in Germany, where there is clearly a much stronger sense for democracy than in the UK. But then all Germans enjoy direct democracy through rights of initiative and referendum which they gained by forcing the state governments to implement them.

      4. tartanfever says:

        The SNP have absolutely no say over TTIP, any decisions regarding that trade agreement are being made in Westminster.

        Likewise they have no say over ‘re-nationalising’ railways, that again lies within the Westminster domain.

        They also have no say over Trident, Oil and the only objection they can make to fracking is through planning consent as Westminster are already selling off the entire centre of Scotland and have signalled a complete green light to all energy companies to crack on.

        In all the things you mentioned, the Scottish Govt. have very little power, you need to divert your attention to Westminster, not Holyrood.

    2. Scoone says:

      Any evidence for that Malcolm? Seems the rest of the world thought it was a free, fair and democratic vote based on the reports of the official observers. Continually shouting the same message of supposed foul play when everyone else has moved on just leaves you standing there alone eventually, holding your Teddy bear while the kid with the ball has gone home.

  25. Political Tourist says:

    I would support UDI if independence candidates got 30 MPs out of 59 next

  26. UDI would put a dent in our relationship with Europe, so I think the in/out referendum becomes key. If some Tory/UKIP coalition drags Scotland out, against our will, then we would be fully justified in making a break for it. The EU could hardly complain about a situation like that.

    1. IAN MCCRONE says:

      Oh wake up. Scotland are the biggest oil and gas producing country in Europe. It would stupid to try to exclude us from the EU. Or do you think they would rather deal with Russia. Stop ranting with more fear of what might happen. You sound like a westminste-rite. Don’t believe the scare tactics and don’t waste your breath trying to make the rest of us listen to your own, westminster instilled, fear mongering.

  27. davidmcgill says:

    UDI is an internationally legally recognised route to independence! UN supported! Why would it be so wrong for a Scottish majority elected under FPTP or the scottoish election system to declare UDI -IF THEY WERE ELECTED ON THAT MANDATE!? Why the fear?

    1. Sure Scot says:

      In the unlikely event of UK government accepting something like that we would be viewed as a rouge nation/region. Absolutely no hope of joining EU or NATO.
      Real possibility of UN sanctions trade embargos etc.
      Reasons – it would be an oppresive move upon the majority of its people!
      63% of the entire voting population did not vote for independence!
      In reality though this would probably result in the SG being disolved and the relevant politicians being arrested on civil disobedience charges.
      Will probably result in troops on the streets etc – Not unheard of in the Uk – look at what Northern Ireland went through a few decades ago!
      37% of voters cannot declare independence against the wishes of the 63%

  28. kate says:

    Re a long shot for gaining support for scots indy in rUK + cooperative stance against neoliberal policies.
    Try to help the english : by SNP standing some candidates in england?

    SNP pro public ownership policies re national ownership of rail,post & NHS, free education, decent social welfare, no nuclear weapons,no re entry into Iraq war, immigrant and refugee friendly policies, highly regulated or no fracking etc. would probably be very popular in parts of England and segments of england’s population – if any high profile party had the courage to offer those policies! In contrast to UKIP, the Greens can’t get much MSM press coverage in england. .Labour only offers a fraction of the SNP social democratic agenda.

    The english left have argued it is Scotland’s duty to save britain. Might it be possible to stand some SNP candidates in england – against George Galloway or other deserving people, for instance? Or for a real contrast in an UKIP zone. SNP could offer almost exactly what they broadly offer in scotland as policies for rUK

    If the english see close up what scotland gets/wants from its parliament more of them may demand it too, instead of just being angry & secretly jealous.

    The SNP standing in selected English electorates might get press coverage on reasons behind why scotland wanted indy – this could plant seeds for future alliances with/in rUK politics.

    1. Gary Thom says:

      Nobody is going to vote SNP in England other than a small clutch of Scottish people living there. It would be a complete waste of resources. The Greens pretty much have all the policies you mention so if people wanted an anti-austerity pro re-nationalisation party they would vote green.

      And nothing would kill the SNP vote in Scotland quicker than putting UDI into their manifesto. Many many unionists vote for the SNP at Holyrood because they’ve shown themselves to be a very capable government. They’d quickly revert to unionist parties if they thought they were voting for UDI.

  29. red army says:

    Excellent article but just two problems for me, don’t declare udi then use it as some sort of bargaining chip to get greater devolution as seems to be suggested here, declare udi and set about the task of building a new nation.

    Which brings me to the second problem, don’t expect the people, having won this election for Yes to simply go back in the box while ‘our leaders’ negotiate with Westminster. We’re no seeking Westminster permission, we’re taking back what’s rightfully ours

  30. Brian Fleming says:

    Kate: “If the SNP stays committed to TTIP (and NATO probably) the Greens for instance could not support SNP in an electoral alliance and remain very credible as environmentalists.”

    IS the SNP “committed to TTIP” without caveats? I’d be astonished if that were the case. If so, all hope is gone. But i find it very hard to believe.

    1. Robert Louis says:

      The SNP are not committed to TTIP, and have already written to UK Gov to have, for example the Scottish NHS excluded. It is under the control of Westminster, not Holyrood.

  31. Crubagan says:

    This is a non-starter. How many of the SNP heartlands (mildly centre-right, post-Conservatves) voted No? An offer of a neverendum could see them take their votes elsewhere.

    Nicola Sturgeon will be too canny for that. She’ll tack midly centre-left on some social issues to see if she can pick up previously Labour voting areas, but she will pursue devo max, rather than independence, at this stage. The independence voters are in the bag (Green and SSP will hardly stand candidates in the 2015 election), it’s the No voters that are needed.

    Re the SNP tackling austerity – does this mean they will now make it a condition of Scottish Government tenders that private contractors pay at least the living wage?

    (and a curious use of “attest” – you can only attest to things from your own experience, and I don’t think Patrick voted No. You could claim/guess/estimate that 20% of No voters did “due to fear and panic.” But then 83% of statistics on the Internet are made up.)

  32. David Allan says:

    This excellent article and following posts appear to concentrate on a 2015 scenario, my own preferred strategy would be based on the Scottish Election 2016. Pro-Indy parties need to adopt an Independence Stance in event of a majority vote.
    Manifesto commitments being made to pursue an Independence Settlement from Westminster within a set period.
    Scots will have experienced the first austerity budget delivered by who ever wins 2015, they will see the path that Westminster have to pursue not only to reduce the continuing deficit they will begin to finally appreciate that reducing the National Debt comes next. Austerity is here to stay-for generations.

    More influential perhaps Scots will begin to experience the inevitable impact of cuts on Scotland’s budget..

    By 2016 it will also be crystal clear what extra powers the “VOW” actually delivered,and how Westminster parties grudgingly submitted. The Con perpetrated by Gordon Brown will have been truly exposed.
    These factors make Scotland ‘s Holyrood Election in 2016 an ideal opportunity to re-test Scotland resolve.

    Should they choose not to vote for an Independence Party then Scots can experience the austerity program
    of Lamont and Davidson. Let unionists and not the SNP deliver the pain.

    There should be no need to agree on future referendum questions or agreements with Westminster the need to settle this issue requires tactics that are bold. It requires courage from our leaders who urgently need to adopt a more robust approach on progressing these aims.

    The SNP Greens and SSP have all seen massive increases in membership ,these new members want action
    they are not interested in prolonged campaigns they demand an early opportunity to reverse the corrupted referendum outcome of 18 September .

    They like I correctly know we were cheated of the outcome a truly democratic contest would have delivered.

    1. “Pro-Indy parties need to adopt an Independence Stance in event of a majority vote.”

      The problem with this is: voters in Scotland are against independence (we can tell this because we had a referendum a month or so ago and No won by hundreds of thousands of votes).

      So, if parties go into 2016 with an explicit UDI manifesto commitment, people who oppose independence will not vote for them. As a result, because support for independence is less than 50%. unionist parties will form the 2016 Scottish Government.

      It’s not rocket science.

      1. Illy says:

        So then the unionist parties form the scottish government.

        If that’s what the people vote for, then that’s what they get.

        You are starting to sound like forming the government is the goal.

      2. The goal is to advance the cause of increased autonomy and eventual independence for Scotland. The goal isn’t to stupidly hand power to our opponents by deliberately pursuing a losing strategy due to reality-denying pig-headedness.

    2. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

      I almost agree entirely with you. What I would propose is that the SNP and others should campaign for the 2016 election by stating that there will be a referendum within six months of being elected. If there’s a no vote they will resign and call another election.

      I agree that it’s the cuts that will make the huge difference. However, I fear that the SNP may become too comfortable governing under the status quo. I say that as an SNP member! Hope I’m wrong.

    3. Sure Scot says:

      The SNP look certain to pursue another referendum under Sturgeon’s leadership (or heaven forbid a UDI nightmare scenario) but have probably not considered the following –
      1. The scaremongering stories about the NHS being privatised, the Barnet formula and removal of devolved powers will prove to be unfounded in a few years and the electorate will realise that the YeSNP were lying with regards to this.
      2. The realities of independence (or what the YeSNP called Scaremongering) will be even more apparent as all businesses will come to the same conclusion that costs would rise under independence. 
      3. The new oil fields that were rumoured to just about to be discovered will not have been discovered. 
      4. Oil revenues will have fallen further and North Sea reserves will be in rapid decline. 
      5.We will either be in the Eu or not. If we are still in the Eu a yes vote would mean leaving – if we are out it will mean having to join as a new member. 
      6. No matter what government we have we would still not be getting a currency union. 
      7. Banks will still want to move south to keep BoE as lender of last resort. 
      8. The economy will have improved or at least fully recovered and hopefully reduced the use of foodbanks. 
      9. No voters will be more prepared next time. Now that we know for definite that we are in the majority we can speak out in confidence. 
      10. The “perfect storm” for yes has gone! The momentum and boost if national pride they gained from the timing of the referendum (hosting the Commonwealth games, the Ryder Cup, a tory government, recession and also the 700 year anniversary of Bannockburn) – will not be there the next time.

  33. Jim Brown says:

    As an ex-serviceman of many years, Let me say that the UK Government will have contingency plans to deal with UDI being declared here. Troops were sent to Madagascar when Mr Smith declared UDI in Rhodesia, and a blockade was set up. I would not put it past the UK Government to put English and Irish troops on the streets here. They did it before.

  34. Andrew Forbes says:

    Sorry, but the intimidation you describe was actually a gush of offers of home rule, no end to Barnet and anything floating Nats might desire. The only intimidation I saw was by the YES side. Frightening to think that a character like Swinney can write a memo threatening revenge on businesses who wish for a NO vote, then be in charge of the nations finances the next.

    In truth, it was a much more convincing NO vote that YES would ever admit. The areas which steward “Scotland’s oil” voted more strongly and any other region to stay in the union. You could hardly have taken the border counties with you, either. Even the proposed capital city for the new nation wanted to stay with the old. Only two cities, Glasgow and Dundee, actually voted YES.

  35. Robert Louis says:

    This article is simply excellent. As I have pointed out since the referendum, the result was not the ‘settled’ will of anybody. People voted through fear of deportation, or losing their pension, or losing their job, or ALL the banks closing, and so on. There was simply NOTHING democratic about it.

    Had the referendum been a debate between the pros and cons of independence, reliant upon factual information, then I reckon at least 70% would have voted YES. At present due to the bullying, lying and threatening behaviour of the NO campaign, and the multiple breaches of the Edinburgh agreement by the NO campaign and UK Government, then to me the result is meaningless.

    As regards UDI, I think in many circumstances, it is a good idea. During the independence debate, the UK Government and its puppet propagandists in the BBC, showed that they had zero intention of ever honouring any normal concept of democratic debate or discussion. Given that previous behaviour, there comes a point where a country needs to assert itself, without asking London’s permission first.

    A majority of pro independence candidates, in either Holyrood or Westminster is sufficient in my book.

    The referendum campaign taught us a very valuable lesson, and that is that London does not play by the rules. As such their views have now become irrelevant to Scotland.

  36. MBC says:

    Politically you would need a super majority to declare UDI, and you are not going to get that by next May, sorry. Totally unrealistic. The British government would be forced to act against UDI if it did not contain a firm and convinced super majority. And the international community would back the UK up.

    Best just accept what we ourselves understand of the ‘settled will’ of the Scottish people, which is simply that a super majority of us wants far more and substantial powers for the Scottish Parliament. Within that number, a substantial minority would go for independence. But not enough to command a majority, never mind a super majority.

    I think most of us would also want the permanence of the Scottish Parliament to be recognised.

  37. Brian Fleming says:

    Premature ejaculation and the demonisation of Alex Salmond
    13 October 2014
    I’ve had the above title jigging around in my head for a couple of weeks now, but I never seem to have time or inspiration to put any flesh on the bones. What follows could benefit from some editing, rearrangement of the order of presentation, etc. But I’ve spent the past 20 plus years processing other people’s thoughts. This is the first time I’ve attempted to express my own thoughts except in short polemic form for a very long time. So, if it seems a bit stilted or even puerile in places, please forgive me. I hope to do better in future, as I’m sure Scotland will too.
    Coontrary to what I’d hoped, I’ve viewed the recent treferendum from a distance´, circumstances conspiring to snooker my plan to spend 2014 in Scotland in order to campaign and vote. So my impressions reflect what I’ve managed to pick up primarily via the online media, with the odd BBC programme thrown in for ‘balance’. It rikes me that what I’d characterise as the premature ejaculation of the landslide victory for the SNP in May 2011 put the party in a very difficult position. Ideally that should have come in 2016, paving the way for a thoroughly scunnered people to embrace independence with open arms. Instead, the YES movement had to enter the field of battle with a population by and large blissfully ignorant of the deviousness, lies and downright malice of the forces ranged against them.
    Alex Salmond and the SNP tried to delay the vote as long as they could consistent with retaining credibility (would September 2015 perhaps have been better in hindsight?), and it seemed to be paying off with just 2 weeks to go, as more and more people became acquainted with the facts rather than the myths of the independence argument. But then the gloves came off, with the BBC abandoning all pretence of evenhandedness. This pretence, while feeble, had unfortunately fooled a lot of people. But can anybody now (with the possible exception of Blair Jenkins) be in any doubt as to the nature of the beast? The no-holds-barred onslaught on old people sitting at home glued to their TV screens is possibly the most disgusting exhibition of brainwashing any section of our population have ever been subjected to.
    Of course, the NO campaign strategy, of conflating YES with Alex Salmond and then setting out singlemindedly to demonise the man who is undoubtedly the best leader Scotland has ever had since the Union, worked to a T. By the time the gloves came off the knuckledusters, Alex’s credibility among ordinary voters was in tatters. In contrast, the YES strategy of saying ”it’s not about Alex Salmond”, while understandable, seems now to have just been part of the lets-placate-the-Unionist-media-and-skittish-voters-and-hope-for-the-best defeatist approach of the official YES campaign that allowed the foulness of the Unionist campaign to gain the upper hand. The much-trumpeted positive approach had by the end game morphed into turning the other cheek, and the independence movement’s most effective weapon was totally neutered. In effect, Alex Salmond was hung out to dry by his own strategy. Casual references to “wee Eck” by my own brother in Scotland, who does not as far as I’m aware follow the online media, speaks volumes to me. Said not in malice, but casually, it shows the effect of the cancer of belittlement and demonisation on the relatively neutral voter. I myself cannot understand how any thinking Scot could be neutral over independence, but that is another argument.
    I firmly believe the ongoing YES movement must never again allow itself to be manipulated into doing the Unionists’ work for them. Never compromise with liars. If you try and pat a rabid dog, it’ll bite you all the same. Time and again over the 2½ years leading up to the vote, someone (often the execrable Johann Lamont, or some other so-called Labour politician) would launch a lie. This would then be taken up by the newspapers and the BBC, which would present it as a fact. It would then be referred to again and again by the NO campaign as assumed knowledge until even Nicola Sturgeon can now write about a “minority on both sides” who behaved badly during the campaign. This is comprising with evil, plain and simple. It will not lead to victory.
    But, for me, the peak achievement of this campaign of lies was the successful demonisation of Alex Salmond as unreliable. I believe this helped swing the misinformed switherers behind a NO vote. This man should have been the first Prime Minister of an independent Scotland, and it is Scotland’s loss that this has not come to pass. But perhaps he was defeated not just by the lies of UKOK, but also by his own naive faith in the power of positivity without balanced access to the conventional mass media, or indeed a balanced mass media. But I suspect Alex has suffered from something I didn’t previously think he had in him: the subconscious need to be seen as a good guy by the British establishment (or was it just hubris?). The need to be liked is, I think, a fundamental weakness in the Scottish psyche after centuries of Union and decades of escalating anti-nationalist propaganda from the media. “Please sir, we’d like to be independent, if that’s all right with you, sir.”
    I think Patrick Scott Hogg’s article on the possibility of UDI, published on BellaCaledonia on 12 October, is a healthy sign, coming as it does from an elected politician. UDI may or may not be a sound strategy, but please let’s stop mincing around with being nicey-nicey and speak our minds forthrightly. The anti-democratic, anti-Scottish forces we are up against are not nicey-nicey in any shape or form. The media will crucify us anyway. To mix metaphors, we may as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. Time will tell whether UDI has legs. But if it’s never debated, we’ll never know.

    Brian Fleming

  38. Andrew Forbes says:

    If the SNP is intending to declare UDI, then it had better put it in the manifesto. It would be a pretty big policy detail to leave out.

  39. muttley79 says:

    Bella, why are my comments on moderation?

    1. bellacaledonia says:

      Because we were on holiday

  40. Andrew says:

    Thats a great idea Cause disharmony amongst brother and sister, neighbour and friend. Even better lets bring a whole lot of trouble to our streets because some people can’t accept the “Sovereign will” of the majority. Why don’t you all grow up and get over it? Keep fighting to make Scotland a better place without seeking to deliberately cause trouble for those who LIKE it the way it is?

  41. robert says:

    aye right 55% voted no so i can assure u that going down this route can only lead to civil dis obedience some people need to move on with their lives

  42. all yes and no voters .. I think everyone has to agree .. that if the campaign had been ran proper and truthful and unbiased then Scotland would have its independence on the 19/9/2014

  43. Gary says:

    This is just fantasy politics. The party which the author is a member of would never support these proposals and if they did they would be wiped off the electoral map of Scotland. And rightly so.

    I voted yes, and was proud to have done so but it is time to move on. I’m also tiring of hearing about the media. There is a danger of obsessing over this until it reaches the level of conspiracy theory and paranoia. Of course, there was propaganda, and scare mongering – and some of it disgraceful. But the focus on the media does two things. Firstly, it suggests, without evidence, that people were scared into making their vote, which can never be proved. Many voted no because no on sound rational reasons. Secondly, it means that the yes campaign is not subject to any critical scrutiny whatsoever. For example, the currency union position was a mess, as was the economics case. I believe and did so during the campaign, that a country not confident enough to argue for it’s own currency is a country not ready to be independent.

  44. robert malcolm says:

    You got beat, get over it and shut up. Demand independance? Parties join forces? What planet are you guys on? I predict a Labour win, if that were to happen would you accept? Of course not because you don’t care what the majority voted for. That’s not democracy it’s damn right selfish and childish!

    1. Kirsten says:

      Ha! From someone ‘confidently’ “predicting” that Labour – a party completely riddled with such internal disease that we have all been able to watch it physically rot and deteriorate more rapidly than some of us actually (ACCURATELY!) predicted – what planet must YOU be on!?

      Then you have the temerity to utter the words ‘selfish’ and ‘childish’ – but not in reference to the repugnant party you claim to support, Labour, who jovially threatened the entire Scottish electorate on what they would make sure would happen to them if we voted yes (most of which has now already happened and/or is in the process of kicking off – as a result of and almost immediately after “securing” a ‘no’ vote being returned! Ha!)…

      As soon as your party FULLY implodes, I wonder how you’ll respond to everyone shouting, “get over it and shut up!” – like some sort of ‘childish, selfish’ little Internet twerp who was clearly too cowardly and selfish to vote for Scottish Sovereignty -real, tangible ‘powers’ to be endowed with, for the people of Scotland to actually truly benefit from, for once; and allow for the way to be paved by all the socially just egalitarian principles that the Labour party have LONG abandoned, in favour of Tory austerity cuts – and in fact have shown (via their profoundly embarrassment submission to the Smith Commission, inter alia) that they are even less willing to bestow or even argue for anywhere near as many socalled “new powers” (which will be redundant anyway without the rest to truly make a difference to our country and the vast majority of the Scottish people), than the Tories!!

      Utterly ridiculous.
      If anyone needs to ‘wake up’ – it’s the likes of YOU.

  45. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    UDI isn’t as crazy as it may seem. It’s application is neither legal nor illegal. Kosovo was an example.

    However, making such a declaration is the circumstances noted in this article, would. in my opinion be crazy. Although I suspect it’s slightly tongue in cheek.

    UDI could only be applied if there was a YES vote in a referendum and Westminster refused to accept it.

  46. A must say Patrick this is a very inspiring proposal and 1 a would gladly back and so would Scotland by May the vow will be well In tatters and our brothers and sisters of the 55 will see right throw the Westmonster lies and most likely back yes .
    1 other thing yesterday in Indy squre a meet a old neighbour of mine from way back a nice hard working women like most Scottish women she mentioned the deceleration via GE and after reading your article this is Devo the way to go it delights the soul change is up to us via peaceful actions and the ballot box and if we can declear freedom via this this is the 1 a don’t see any civil disorder from yessers after several rally’s it’s safe to say they are passive and in control and as a man of peace a have felt more than comfortable in attendance it’s the first time as country we have stood up for change it’s now down to men like your self to focus on this speaking for most laymen we are relying on you’s to creat the path and we will run down it for a brighter future for our children lame and old !

    Good luck and thanks for a great inspiring read lets get the message out there !

  47. Derek Henry says:

    I would class myself as a 100% YES voter.

    However, this would be a disaster as 2 million people voted NO. You can’t just ride roughshod over them . If you do you’ll lose a lot of support. If we get fantstic results in the Westminster election it does not give us carte blanche over democracy.

    Here’s another option since your not going to even engage with and listen to NO voters.

    If the Westminster elections are a good result for us. Why not put the referendum question in the Scottish election as home rule. A simple yes/no question.

    If we get home rule this then gives us the oppertunity to prove and show the 2 million NO voters and say, Look we can run our own country. We just have to make sure we do a good job with the home rule powers.

    The SNP never got this far by riding roughshod over the majority of the electorate and by twisting democracy to suit themselves.

  48. Derek Henry says:

    We would be no better than the Establishment parties if we done this Patrick.

    On another topic,

    Has anybody reached out to areas like Castlemilk yet after their huge support. Or are we just going to turn up in these poor areas when we need their vote ?

    These are the sort of things we should be doing now while we wait on what powers are going to be devolved. Show these areas that we are honest and on their side and not just after their votes.

  49. Lochside says:

    I agree with David Allan. Back in 1983 I argued the case for UDI with Wendy Alexander and other Labourites whilst at Glasgow Uni. At the time we had the ‘feeble 50’ scenario of an impotent Labour block of Scottish MP votes.

    I suggested that the way to beat Thatcher was for all non Tory MPs in Scotland to declare UDI and create a constitutional crisis which could lead to a Scottish independent state. I was advised that the fight had to be a ‘British’ (working class) one. Thirty years on, I am still waiting for the ‘British’ to fight back against the Tories, Red or Blue.

    Risible as it may seem now, many people bought into that possibility. We now know it will never happen, as England lurches ever more rightward politically.

    Ironically however, I believe that with the creation of the Scottish parliament and the recent Referendum result, democracy would be undermined by declaring UDI after the 2015 General Election, even if we had a majority of Pro- Independence candidates. The reason being that unless there was a statistical majority of votes , i.e. as in a plebiscite, then the result would and could not be accepted internationally. And even then, if there was a majority, it would only be recognised as a first step to a proper plebiscite i.e. another referendum.

    Therefore, the aim would be for Indy mandated MPs to secure a majority of the 59 seats in 2015. This would allow the 2016 Scottish Parliament election to be fought on the basis for a new and immediate Indy referendum. Then, if there was a majority for the Independence parties again, this would secure the legitimacy of the process, because of the PR system at Holyrood. No external observer could question the democracy of the process. It would allow a plebiscite for Independence to be conducted constitutionally once again, but this time by the Edinburgh Parliament on its own.

    However, the RUK would certainly try everything to obstruct this process basing it on the bogus legal grounds that were thrown up during the Ref campaign e.g that Scotland and its sovereignty were ‘extinguished’ by the 1707 Act of Union. But whether they or the US, or anybody else tried to stop us, we would have the numbers and the democratic right to reclaim our sovereignty.
    The question is with the amount of fearties in our nation, will we ever have the courage to actually push the boundaries? I hope that over the next two years, that our collective courage will grow and we will bring the majority with us. Another absolute requirement for any of the above to come to fruition is an independent fully functioning Scottish based msm. So get contributing to Bella’s media project to ensure this happens!
    Remember the weekend’s message…’Hope over Fear’. Let’s make it happen!

  50. Shona Gourlay says:

    I find it fascinating reading the article and the comments. We need to hear every ones point of view to make decisions in Scotland’s independent future possible.

    We all know Scotland was shafted, but what can we do now? complaining about it and arguing about it with NO voters just keeps the interest flowing. Keep it up Scotland “where there’s a will, there’s a way”.

    I hope to see independence come in my lifetime, even though I have lived in Australia for the last 24 years. I left Scotland disillusioned in 1990 and have never looked back. But I have followed this referendum with great interest and have learned so much. I wish I was able to be part of this.

    People often say “if you care for Scotland so much, why don’t you go back there” I would love to.
    I didn’t leave Scotland because I don’t care for it. I just cared that my family would get the best possible opportunities in life, and Scotland could not offer them in the days of Thatcher!

    I cried when I heard the result of the referendum. I felt everything that you did in Scotland, and I might add that many expats felt the same.

    We had a hope for a better future and maybe even the possibility to return to a better Scotland one day.

    Even some expats here in Australia believed the rubbish that the MSM were publishing (not that there was much coverage here anyway) Thank god for the internet!
    Keep up the good work folks!

  51. Comments that England would crush Scotland by military might should Scotland declare UDI, are interesting, I feel as a preliminary step it probably would be wise for Scotland to flesh out a friendship pact with Russia just for a little counterbalance. England does not choose Scotland’s friends and I think we have a lot more in common with Russia than England. Like us they are a distinctive proud people, with a deep love for their land, unlike the latter day Romano, Franco, Germanic pilgrims to our south. It would be fun watching England looking for a suitable stick to poke the bear with, for I sure know where the next place the stick would find its self.

  52. douglas clark says:

    Just one question for you all. Are we to assume that the 2015 Westminster manifesto by the SNP will not include a continuing commitment to gaining Scottish independence?

    I would have thought that highly unlikely.

    There are legitimate concerns from a Party Political point of view that to nail ones colours so firmly to the mast immediately after this narrow ‘no’ vote may give the opposition ammunition. On the other hand, denying that independence is your aim would be seen as weak.

    I expect the SNP to stand on a platform, roughly along the lines of:

    Assuming we return a majority of seats at Westminster, we will wait and see what is offered and if it is not sufficient, we will, in consultation with civic Scotland call for a further consultative referendum.

    1. Bet you a hundred quid that the SNP don’t do that 🙂

      The SNP leadership isn’t stupid and know it’d be a complete waste of time calling a referendum less than a year after independence being rejected in a referendum. It’d be an active vote loser. I, as a Yes voter and SNP member, would roll my eyes at such ill-judged nonsense.

  53. Mike Heinemeier says:

    Hi Patrick. I fully agree with you. Is it not true however, that the Independence parties must declare UDI in their pre election manifestos to make it legal. This is so that the electorate know in advance that UDI is what they are voting for. If then these parties have an overall majority of MSPs (or is it a majority of the votes cast?) then UDI is automatic as the settled will of the Scottish People.

  54. Ben says:

    Better together won the vote. Get over it.

    What kind of message would it be to the rest of the world if scotland took UDI? That we are quitters. Everyone hates a quitter.

  55. Patrick Hogg says:

    Good debate and some excellent comments on both sides. I can take a hit or two. Hands up to the error re the Holy Loch! An error..My motion to NLC about the transporting of nuclear weapons via road to Coulport a few months ago was detailed about Faslane and where the weapons are stored at Coulport, so apologies for that slip. I am a democrat and I have to accept the Referendum vote, but put my views that it was a result stolen from Yes by bullying the elderly in a semi-criminal way via the power of the media and power of wealth, plus the over-hyped promise of ‘Devo-Max’ as presented in the media, but which, in reality, was a vague set of cobbled together promises as weak as diluted water. By the time the article was published on Bella I was acutely aware the only realistic way of dealing with the Vow was to let it run its course and wait to see if the promises are delivered. That will no doubt take a couple of years although it does seem to be unravelling already. It was a certain Mrs Thatcher who said the SNP could take independence by simply winning a majority of westminster MP seats at a general election.Indeed, a majority of seats for the SNP at any general election is, in my view, a prima facie case for Independence but given the result of 18th Sept any such victory in May would have to be be overwhelming for the SNP to even think of UDI: I am a lowly councillor and have complete trust in the leadership of the party, since we have in my genuine view, the best politicians in these islands working for the true interests of Scotland. As I said at the rally, if the Vow is not delivered as promised on time, then the BT camp have forfeited their victory. A majority of MP’s for the SNP at the general election in May would provide, in my judgement, a team of potential negotiators for Scotland to negotiate OUR independence if the Vow is broken and powers as promised are not delivered. But one step at a time. Any democrat must accept the people’s judgement and I am aware that a grass roots UDI could have the potential for widespread trouble on our streets and that must be avoided at all costs. But we will not walk away or get back into our box. When robbed by bullies, liars and thieves, it is natural to seek justice.I am a follower of the great patriot Ian Hamilton QC and will not shy away from speaking out. How many people will have to starve in Scotland or freeze to death in winter to pay for the disastrous mistakes of greedy bankers? Thank you for all who put comments on here, for or against.

    1. Ann win next time says:

      I must say I enjoyed your article and on the whole agree with most of what you say. I personally feel that Independence will never be given to us no matter how many referendums we hold. We need to exert the utmost pressure, politically and socially using a mass campaign. We must use every possible technique barring physical violence. Gandhi and his people were implacable in their pursuit of independence lets learn from others. I think that just foccussing on independence isn’t enough we need full debate of all channels- keep arguing for all avenues excepting violence.

  56. Fed up with the lies and propaganda of the London Media Industrial Complex says:

    It’s refreshing to hear truth, a quality sadly lacking in the press and the rest of the lame stream media.

  57. Chris says:

    The article suggests that UDI be a means to ‘keep the feet to the fire” and a method of pressurising for devo-max, a very blunt method indeed. I do not think UDI is a legitimate way of obtaining independence as most UDIs have been disputed historically and the referendum in Scotland was only 6 months ago. There would need to be a game changer to invalidate the result of the referendum to make UDI in 2015 a realistic possibility. In the short term we will not get independence but we should aim to maximise the powers available to Scotland and the ability to obtain independence if Scotland desires it in the future.

    1. douglas clark says:


      The referendum ‘decision’ was a mere matter of weeks ago, or have I been in a time warp?

      A, reasonable, ‘game changer’ would be a majority of Scottish MP’s at the next General Ekection who stood on a platform that included independence. No-one is talking about declaring independence without some form of democratic mandate for it.

  58. Ian Gordon Watson says:

    Just to be pedantic and for the sake of accuracy. Weapons of species anihalation are on Loch Long and the Gateloch not the Holy Loch. The US Navy shipped out many years ago along with their Polaris missiles.
    Otherwise a top notch article with some excellent points. Thank you and keep up the good work
    Saor Alba Gu Brath!

  59. Dark Avenger says:

    I find this article deeply troubling. I voted YES last month. Like every YES voter I was disappointed with the result. I’m not happy with the current setup of the Union, and felt independence was the necessary course of action to achieve a better future for our nation. But this talk of a UDI is utterly wrong and profoundly undemocratic. The thing which gave life to the YES campaign and which energised people like me who were previously unsure about how to vote was the fact that this was genuine democracy in action. Regardless of the result, it generated an unparalleled level of political engagement that has been largely unheard of in Britain. But to see certain YES voters now turn around, decry the result and proclaim that independence can be achieved through a UDI goes against everything that I thought that campaign represented. The referendum result was not a cheat, it wasn’t an unfree or unfair process. People voted NO. That is democracy. At times it isn’t pretty. At times it leaves you horribly deflated. There’s that quote about how it’s the least worst form of government that felt most applicable in the aftermath of the 18th. But the nation made its choice. So what if it was older generations that decided the vote and ensured it was NO? Are they somehow less worthy of a vote? Should they not have a say in how their country is run? To see the contempt subsequently doled out to that democratic decision after the result was NO from the YES side (and prominent YES figures at that) is shameful, petty, hypocritical and profoundly undemocratic. The people had their say.

    Contrary to what people may think, there are things you can do to change Scotland. Stop thinking that independence is the be all and end all, the panacea to all our present troubles. We lost. Accept that. The goal of independence isn’t dead. But when the time comes around for that decision to be made again it should be done in the correct manner, through another democratic referendum. That is the only just way, not through backdoor political manoeuvrings. We need to go and choose another battle to fight, in order to change our society for the better.

    1. Derek Henry says:


      And Home Rule is the next battle.

      We can easily get a home rule question referendum.

      Then we are only 2 powers away from our dream.

    2. douglas clark says:

      DarK Avenger,

      So, what are your criteria for a second vote on independence? I am thurled with the old fashioned idea that if you stand on an independence manifesto and you win a majority of Westminster seats then that’s that. You declare yourself independent.

      Your opinion?

  60. Fed up with the lies and propaganda of the London Media Industrial Complex says:

    I hope we don’t have another Referendum, we’ve been down that route, which is just rigged and a charade. The Power Elites, bankers, multi national corporations will never permit Scotland to leave, plus the Independence Movement is up against the corrupt media’s decades of brainwashing of the masses ” Scotland is too small, too stupid, too poor to govern itself. ” We’ll never win against this bent system, too powerful, a better way is UDI.

  61. S M Wilkie says:

    I was very surprised to hear a suggestion from Alex Salmond (as the First Minister for all Scots & referendum voters including the NO voters) – of other ways to achieve independence including UDI. In practical terms, any UDI approach would have been more sensible prior to a referendum – too late now because the people have spoken! If the SNP tried an illegal UDI approach in the future, the opposition MSPs could abandon the Parliament and Westminster could suspend or dissolve the Scottish parliament under the UK government’s reserved powers under devolution – using the Referendum NO vote as backup.

  62. Sure Scot says:

    In the unlikely event of UK government accepting something like that we would be viewed as a rouge nation/region. Absolutely no hope of joining EU or NATO.
    Real possibility of UN sanctions trade embargos etc.
    Reasons – it would be an oppresive move upon the majority of its people!
    In reality though this would probably result in the SG being disolved and the relevant politicians being arrested on civil disobedience charges (and even treason dare I say)
    Will probably result in troops on the streets etc – look at what Northern Ireland went through a few decades ago!
    This is serious grown up politics here with real consequences – not some militant protest that you would find in the likes of a trade union, boardroom or unrest at some social club committee! 
    Please think seriously about what you are saying.

    1. douglas clark says:

      Sure Scot,

      Rouge is reddening for ladies, and some men apparently. I think you meant rogue which is complete utter nonsense of course.

  63. Sure Scot says:

    Despite the increase in SNP membership and potential backlash against Scottish Labour, there are no seats within a 10% swing and only 3 seats within a 20% potential swing from labour to SNP. Dundee west, Falkirk and Ochill are the SNP only real potential gains as they are within the 20% swing bracket. 
    Adding to that I would suggest that there will be a few seats in Angus, Aberdeenshire and Perthshire that could see a drop in the tartan tory vote allowing either labour or the tories in.
    So the SNP may find that they make little or no gains in Westminster seats despite an increase in support.
    63% of scots did not vote for independence!
    A vote for SNP is a vote for another referendum or god forbid the possibility of a UDI nightmare scenario.
    I’m sure all no voters will be voting tactically to stop this from happening!

    1. Soda says:

      Most of the predictions i have seen suggest there could be more than 17 SNP gains and i have failed to see any that predict any gains for the tories or labour from the “tartan tories” (does anyone even call them that anymore? Seriously!)
      As for your insistence that 63% voted AGAINST independence, dressed up by saying they did not vote FOR independence, well… that has been covered already quite extensively. What actually happen was nearly 38% voted in favour of indy, 46.% against and 15.% never voted either way. You are as well saying that 53% voted against the union!
      I feel that the tory vote may well increase in Scotland but at the expense of labour and the the lib-dems not the SNP. However more importantly the right wing vote throughout the UK will indeed vote tactically but this tactic will be for many Ukip supporters to flock back to the tories lest they split the right wing vote resulting in a narrow labour victory.
      What is wrong with another referendum if the promised powers arent delivered satisfactory or the credibility of the No campaign is increasingly proven to be questionable? As for UDI, it is an option that needs to be explored, discussed and even considered or are we going to let the threats of violence and unrest stop us in our democratic right to demand change?

  64. Brian Fleming says:

    I wish I could edit the above scrawl. Can you not add such a facility Bella?

  65. drawdeaddave says:

    Excellent discussion, i agree with most of what you say Mr Allan, the only part i find disturbing is “These new members want action
    they are not interested in prolonged campaigns they demand an early opportunity to reverse the corrupted referendum outcome of 18 September”. My view is we have to accept the outcome of the indyref even though we know we were cheated out of a truly democratic contest, and learn from it, the SNP didn’t exactly cover themselves in glory re the white paper, there are issues still to be resolved first before we go rushing into anything. I too joined the SNP even though my heart is aligned with the SSP and it’s etho’s, i just feel at this moment in time the SSP would be to divisive on the whole when looked at nation wide, the SNP will appeal more on a broader plain, and i absolutely believe in, for the want of a better phrase ” a yes alliance” for this upcoming GE. That said i think we should drop the yes word and the 45% in the upcoming campaign, this is a GE, the ref is over, dead and buried, we need to build up momentum on the premise of giving Scotland more influence at WM and within the union, this would appeal more to those who voted no and unionists rather than campaigning on the premise of we told you so, and we just need such n such amount of MP’s returned to declare independence, that’s a sure fire way to lose votes, Independence shouldn’t even be mentioned during the campaign in my opinion, we have the 45% in the bag, pander to the other 55% and let time and our political leaders do the rest, we will get their in the end if it’s the true will of the Scottish people, which rounds this reply off nicely, once we do have independence, and only then, will i join the SSP.

  66. Laughable, to believe that the Rigged Referendum was democratic or fair, or anything but bullishly and maliciously manipulated by Westminster.
    I’m all for UDI. I would rather take the chance to know what it is like to live without being bled dry by a greedy, grasping corporation masquerading as a government, than spend the rest of my days worrying about how long my disabled husband, for example, will be allowed to BE disabled and not be declared “fit for work” when it would kill him and when he would not find a job in this economically depleted area in which we live.

    1. douglas clark says:

      Well, you and me against the appeasers that we have on here.

  67. Annette says:

    I am very much against UDI under the current circumstances. It would alienate a lot of people from both the Yes and the No side; people that an independent Scotland would urgently need on side to navigate the inevitably difficult transition period. I also would not put it past Westminster that they would consider it a mandate for military intervention. Rather, I think we need to work towards independence in a disciplined, rational and creative way, developing as many strengths as possible so that when the next referendum comes, more people will be confident that we have the ability to manage our own affair. Many suggestions for this strategy have already been made and all of them should be pursued: Developing alternative media, cooperating across the YES spectrum for maximum success in elections, pushing for as much devolution as we can squeeze out of Westminster, establishing international connections etc.

  68. G. P. Walrus says:

    I agree with others that a majority of SNP / Pro-indy MPs does not justify UDI. However it is can be strongly argued that WM debates affecting Scotland should be decided solely by Scottish MPs. This may mean that on some reserved matters WM makes separate policy decisions for Scotland. For example issues of broadcasting, the status of the Crown Estate, energy policy in Scotland have not been devolved but one can imagine different policies being applied in Scotland. If the principle of EVEL is applied at Westminster then it should cut both ways and those areas of reserved powers, where they touch on Scotland, should be debated and decided only by Scottish members.
    The Scottish Grand Committee already exists so it would be a matter of ensuring that it has decision-making power on Scottish reserved matters and that no MPs from other parts of the UK were allowed to influence that. The Scottish Grand Committee would elect from its number a Secretary of State who would sit in the Cabinet (irrespective of the other political make-up) and have policy-making power in Scotland only.

  69. David Allan says:

    There have been many excellent contributions here , I refer my earlier post of 13 Oct 0945, There can be no doubt that many No Voters voted SNP and Green and SSP in the 2011 landslide victory. They then recognised that of all the Scottish Parties the SNP were the best and most capable party to govern Scotland.

    In 2016 these same voters need to sharply focus on the scenario I outlined earlier. Should the INDY parties stand for an Independence settlement, these voters will be required to face the reality of ”the best of both worlds ” Better Together arguement . However potentially with Unionist Parties in power in both Parliaments.

    Should this outcome arise and the austerity cuts bite and the newly ”VOW” devolved income tax rises occur, my bet is that the whole Independence issue will start to take on an entirely more realistic prospect.
    Our job and that of Indy Parties is to ensure that we educate the public and keep our new knowledgeable support fully engaged in potential positive outcomes .If not 2016 then 2020.

    WE are more prepared now than when the YES Campaign was launched. WE have the Sunday Herald and vastly improved and more savvy social media. We have learned the lessons of the positivity over negativity strategy. WE know now that the MSM need to be tackled more robustly. There are so many factors that are more favourable to our cause we even have the massive new party membership and in Nicola , I believe a more radical politician who can pull together a 5 year plan of action which with appeal to all parts of the wider Independence movement.

    I believe we can harness so much more now to ensure that a successful outcome is reached by 2020!

    I’m getting tired of Carmichael and others,since when was a 55:45 score decisive? . Unionists have to accept that 45% voted for Independence the movement is not going away – accept it! The poll was not a contest that was a victory for democracy – accept that as well.

  70. jocklandjohn says:

    By all means declare UDI if you wish, but only for Glasgow, Dundee, North Lanarkshire and West Dumbartonshire. The rest of us in the overwhelmingly greater part of the country will shed no tears.

  71. David Allan says:

    Another of the King Canute school of tide control. Sorry think a soaking is inevitable sooner rather than later.

    When your Council Tax has gone up and you start to pay your Scottish Income Tax supplementary to that paid to Westminster the tears will flow.

    Proud Scot Unionists the reality and impact of a No Vote is not far away. It’s time you spent some productive time on analysis of how future devolved powers will impact on you and your family (future or present).

    Then you may re-visit the case for independence with an informed perspective.

  72. jocklandjohn says:

    King Canute is an apposite reference. It is a myth that he thought he could control the tide. What he actually wanted to demonstrate was that he could not natural forces. The populations in Dundee and Glasgow and surrounds are predicted to increase much more slowly than the No cities – so the biggest current Yes demographic areas are/will be declining by reference to the relatively increasing current No areas. So, perhaps the soaking might be coming the other way?

    1. David Allan says:

      Balanced by the fact that the Elderly No Vote will decline all over .

  73. jocklandjohn says:

    Are you expecting both the number of elderly people and the proportion of elderly people to total population to decline in future – that’s contrary to all predictions which are that both will increase? People tend to become more conservative when they age (some of us would argue more sensible too) and their sentiments often change from the position they held in their youth. Not a sound basis for predicting a future change in the vote – if anything perhaps the reverse and the No vote might increase?

  74. David Allan says:

    The referendum has engaged thousands who previously paid scant attention to Scottish Politics they will be harder to fool or mislead in future.
    Scottish Politics has changed forever expressed by a massive turnout. I merely point out that as austerity begins to inevitably bite and when the Devo whatever proposals are appreciated for what they are people of all ages will reflect on what influenced their decision to vote no.

    The effects of austerity will be experienced even by those affluent Scots who chose to vote no out of self-interest.

    A fall in disposable income will focus the minds of many. Perhaps even yourself.

    1. jocklandjohn says:

      We’ll have to wait and see whether politics has changed forever. I suspect the mass engagement will not be replicated in mundane elections for parliaments.

      “A fall in disposable income will focus the minds of many.”

      Indeed it would. Such as the imposition of VAT (minimum 5% if it had been allowed as one of the one or two categories of reduced rate derogation from standard rating under EU law, minimum 15% if not) on food, new homes and many other currently zero-rated categories of supplies of goods that is required under the VAT Directive for all new Article 49 EU accession countries such as an independent Scotland if that’s what we had become.

      Not sure how minimum 5% food price inflation counts as an increase in disposable income, particularly for the less well off.

      1. jocklandjohn says:

        At the age of 56 I am a current No, but can’t say that in different circumstances I would remain a No (when younger I would have been a strong Yes). However, the economics of the Yes case (for the whole country and not just for the well-off but for everyone) were, in my view, utterly bonkers to the extent that they had even considered it and in many cases it seemed clear they had not even thought or known about crucially important issues. In fact, I’m even slightly ashamed that the case that was made by the incumbent government of my country for independence was so poor. I don’t consider myself to be a traitor, in fact it might surprise you to know that I think I helped to save the country from a number of serious problems, not least an unarguable immediate and probable permanent decline in living standards for all its residents. You think UK austerity is bad (it’s temporary) – it would have been a picnic compared to the situation under independence. That’s not project fear, that’s reality.

        Unfortunately the world runs on money and economics even if we might wish it were different and if you can’t get that right, the rest collapses.

        In short, if/when there is a next time, the proponents for independence will have to do considerably better in making a case if they want any chance at all to persuade me and people like me.

  75. David Allan says:

    Be assured the growing Independence movement will learn from mistakes made, and there were many, we plan to do a better job next time! There will be a next time. (I am 58 a lifelong supporter of Independence through feast and famine)

    From the script – “The most important decisions about our economy and society are best made by the people who care most about Scotland, that is by the people of Scotland. Independence will open a new door to our Nation. The people of Scotland individually and collectively will be better off in a society that reflects our hopes and ambitions the start point is electing a Scottish Government with full control over the levers that will allow progress toward that aim. A Govt that always puts the people of Scotland first”.

    I look forward to reading your future posts and hope that you maintain your interest in Bella Caledonia and the information provided by it’s many well informed contributors.

  76. Lorraine says:

    Who is investigating the vote rigging?

    You just have to watch the following to understand why the dirty tricks were employed

  77. Jamster says:

    total disregard for the democratic desisions being made by Scottish people! The majority voted “no” the minority voted “yes” including me, however these sort of moves are more in keeping with fascist movements which look to take power. Remember it was a “no” vote in September, this is what we voted as a nation?

  78. BearGrease says:

    What a fantastic idea! UDI was such a success for Ian Smith that I can’t fail to see it being absolutely brilliant for Scotland as well.

  79. WeeMalkie says:

    You seem to misunderstand the nature of representative democracy. Our MSPs ought to have a wider remit than simply working for independence, and to select a candidate on a single issue, however important you feel it to be, is a failure of democracy. The SNP has made some reasonably good strides in government (obvious exceptions being education, the environment and transport) but have been distracted by independence too often. I don’t want Holyrood to be formed purely along independence lines – it would reduce its credibility and its ability to deliver.

  80. Is Mr David ‘Schism’ Steele being mischievous? The ultimate aim is independence and of course there will be disagreement along the way in how best to achieve this – but schism?!

    A three thousand sell-out at the Clyde Auditorium RIC event panelled by cross-party and non-party speakers, on the same day as 15000 attended The Hydro for the SNP Roadshow (not to mention the previous packed out venues) AND love him or loath him, Tommy Sheridan encouraging the SNP vote.

    Outside of Scotland we have a pact of sorts with Plaid Cmyru and the Greens.

    Free-thinking people in Scotland (and indeed across these isles) are seeing another way is not only possible but probable.

    Perhaps you’d like to elaborate on how and why you’ve arrived that there exists a schism in the independence movement? Whether we go UDI or not doesn’t represent a ‘schism’ – it represents an idea, a dialogue, an option, a potential way forward.

    For the record my personal view is that UDI is a legitimate option. However the reality is the London and Washington DC based (dark) powers would agitate Scotland for a generation, to the point where our independence would be very short lived.

    We are blessed with a resource rich country but have had the grave misfortune to be born next door to the seat of Etons Empire. Of that, I think we can all agree.

  81. Jock Campbell says:

    Bella finally catching up with the masterplan. Oh joy.

  82. TheHatedEnglish says:

    I’ve just read this piece of paranoid revisionism. Let me tell you, there are many in England that would like to declare UDI from Scotland. Why? To give our ears a rest and to remove the ‘blame crutch’ beloved of so many Scots…

  83. At the very least, ditch the term “UDI” — it has dreadful connotations. Scottish independence looks inevittable (and I’m saying that as someone who feels pretty agnostic on the issue) so why shoot yourself in both feet? Of course you’re advocating only a symbolic UDI, but at best it would be received with laughter, and at worst much support for independence would be lost, both in Scotland and abroad. This is an entertaining cultish vision, but the stuff of fantasy. (As for this nonsense about “project fear” and “lies” told during the campaign, you’ve got to do better than that. Whenever points were raised against independence were made they were dismissed as “scaremongering”. Maybe that was often the case — but scaremongering can be based ion realities.)

  84. The Truth will Out! says:

    The degree if misinformation and downright fabrication in this article is verging on criminal. Everybody is entitled to an opinion (at least we are for now – it seems the SNP and Yes Scotland would like to outlaw opinions which differ from theirs in Scotland), but this is a deliberate attempt to mislead the audience. Really toxic stuff. The so-called Councillor should be ashamed of himself.

  85. arthur aardvark says:

    When Salmond demanded respect for the settled will of the people, was there a bracket containing the words “only if it’s yes”? The people spoke in answer to the referendum and the answer is NO. Move on,grow up and stop this childish tantrum

  86. The referendum was irrelevant A ruse to generate political change in Scotland. It could never deliver independence… even with a 99% Yes vote!

    The real process for delivering constitutional change in any state is a General Election result and subsequent action through legitimate parliamentary process. And that’s precisely how a UDI will be declared by our sovereign parliamentary representatives.

    Feel free to read about the process on my WordPress.

  87. Chauncey says:

    The SEO industry gets a bad
    reputation from the amount of snake oil salesmen and overseas companies
    Shared on Digg, it will be useful to people over there!

  88. Jock Campbell says:

    Expect a UDI to be declared on 6th April 2016. 😉

  89. Margaret Gallacher says:

    When the act of union was forced on to Scotland the Act didnt give England the right to rule over scotland nor did it give England the right to change the scottish laws.

    1. Jock Campbell says:

      Well said, Margaret. Although it should be pointed out that the union was “forced” as much on the English as it was on the Scots. It was treaty agreed between the nobility of both nations in the days before democracy. Scotland’s nobles had the option to refuse, but of course, their own financial circumstances in the wake of the Darien fiasco made them vulnerable to bribery… Which they accepted.

      But your point is valid, England has no rights over Scotland. In fact, I’d say it was the other way round, after all its a Scottish regal lineage that holds the throne!

  90. Scottish-UDI-Movement says:

    An honest investigation into the Scottish Referendum and the ins and outs of UDI. No political spin, just honest journalism with some conclusions with a decent footing in reality. Explore the murky waters of the Scottish referendum in all its horrors…!operation-udi/c1sdy

Help keep our journalism independent

We don’t take any advertising, we don’t hide behind a pay wall and we don’t keep harassing you for crowd-funding. We’re entirely dependent on our readers to support us.

Subscribe to regular bella in your inbox

Don’t miss a single article. Enter your email address on our subscribe page by clicking the button below. It is completely free and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.