We’re losing democracy. One by one the consequences of a No vote are coming home to roost with extraordinary predictability.

The Smith Commission, pictured in the Scotsman squeezed into what looks like a small glass shed boasts all of the talent of Annabel Goldie and Tavish Scott, alongside the egregious Adam Tomkins who managed to squeeze the most contorted and bizarre nonsense about ‘ethnicity’ into his commentary over the past year.

His blog ‘Notes from North Britain’ (sic) of August 29 railed against the idea that Scotland – with 1% of the population and 60% of the oil / 25% of the renewable resource – would be allowed to stay within the EU.

Tomkins, who nobody elected to sit on a commission to decide our constitutional future, wrote on May 26: “I am of the view that political differences between Scotland and her southern neighbour are much exaggerated; that it suits those who seek the break-up of Britain to perpetuate such exaggeration; and that arguments seeking to set Scotland up as if it is some sort of northern cure for English diseases are both deluded and dangerous.”

Today he is proved comprehensively wrong after The Times reports:

“The results of academic research suggest that an in/out referendum on EU membership would generate a different result on either side of the border — which the first minister has said could trigger a fresh bid for Scottish independence.

Just four Westminster constituencies in the whole of Scotland have a majority of voters who want to leave the EU.

Meanwhile, in England, most constituencies back leaving. Support for the move soars above 75 per cent in Clacton, the constituency that now has Britain’s only Ukip MP. Some of the UK constituencies least supportive of a so-called Brexit are in Scotland — Edinburgh North and Leith at 22.74 per cent, and Edinburgh South at 23.8 per cent. When the English, Welsh and Scottish constituencies are ranked in order of support for quitting the bloc, none of those north of the border make the top 150. Only Banff and Buchan makes the top 250.

The findings are part of a study by Nick Vivyan at Durham University and Chris Hanretty at the University of East Anglia. Dr Hanretty, a reader in politics, said: “What this analysis shows is that Scottish views on the European Union are distinct from English views. Even looking at constituencies just north of the border — areas that are by no means bedrocks of SNP support — you find a more favourable opinion of the EU than you do in the north of England.”

Meanwhile, back to those chickens.

In an interview with the Sunday Herald (20 July) Tomkins was quoted: “”I am English and British, but I live in Scotland,” he said. “My wife is Jewish and American, but lives in Britain as she would see it. My kids have dual US and UK nationality and they are Jewish: so multiple identities feel natural and normal.”

Identity and culture seemed central to his warped analysis when it was absent from the Yes movements multicultural campaign. The inexorable slide to the right and the far-right emboldened by a  No vote was regularly pilloried by these Unionists. But now UKIP are in the ascendancy and Tomkins ‘ethnic problem’ is manifest, not by ‘narrow Scottish nationalists’ but by right-wing British separatists.

Yesterday David Cameron made Migration Watch’s Andrew Green a peer. We await the condemnation from No campaigners.

The appointment was immediately lauded by Nigel Farage who tweeted:

“Congratulations to Sir Andrew Green, recognition for a life spent in public service latterly with “.

As Powerbase reports:

Migration Watch, in spite of its claim to non-partisanship, has  well established right-wing credentials. Its Co-founder David Coleman was special adviser to former Tory Ministers Leon Brittan and William Waldegrave. Sir Andrew Green the former ambassador to Saudi Arabia was one of the Tories ‘favourite diplomats and a close friend of former Minister Jonathan Aitken who sits with Green [15] and Baroness Caroline Cox on the Board of Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW). CSW’s claims with regard to Sudan have long been questioned and has been described as “overeager or misinformed” by reputable human rights activist and past director of African Rights Alex de Waal, with regard to her previous claims about slavery in Sudan[16] CSW’s former President Baroness Cox, who was then replaced by Jonathan Aitken, was even thrown out of the Tory party for openly supporting the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) which is notorious for its hard-line anti-immigration stance. (Pallister, 2007) David Coleman’s right-wing credentials are even more impressive than his co-founder; he has been described by the BNP as their “friend at the immigration-reform think tank Migration Watch” and “a very distinguished demographer whom we trust” [17]. Being praised by the BNP of course is not in itself an indication of his political objectives; David Coleman has been a long-standing member of the Galton Institute which was formally known as the Eugenics Society.”

The high priests of the No campaign seem unrepentant.

But these stage-hypnotists need to be confronted with the brutal reality of their vote. The self-deception, spin and propaganda that could lead Scotland out of Europe to a separatism beyond anything imagined and projected by Project Fear.

Comments (24)

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  1. douglas clark says:

    There is much to dislike about the ‘No’ campaigns tactics, etc.

    The most egregious nonsense was to assume that there was a we. An ethnic group, if you will.

    It was never thus for me, nor I suspect the vast majority of ‘Yes’ voters.

    In general terms we are a bit delighted that people who we educated might wish to stay, people who are affeared of returning home can find a safe haven, People who wish to retire here find it amenable, etc, etc.

    There never was an exclusivity to the case for independence. If you lived here then you were not only entitled to vote but also encouraged to do so, whether you were for or agin.

    The democratic enlightenment, the enormous percentage vote, tells us one thing, and that is that people have awakened to the power of the vote.

    It is that, the power of the vote, that politicians are rightly affeared of. For they really do not want to be challenged, and they have been, comprehensively, on places like this and elsewhere. The geography of Scotland is changing to a place recognised not only by it’s landmarks but also by it’s cybermarks – to coin a word.

    I have no better a crystal ball than anyone else, but I suspect that this whole debate is not over yet.

  2. dcanmore says:

    Excellent article Mike, what a NO vote has done is raise more questions about Britain and democracy than the threat of a YES vote ever did. Maybe it’s because the YES vote was being bombarded with myths when the actual damage to democracy, liberty, freedoms and social rights is being perpetuated by the pro-unionists.

    Has the good Professor Tomkins ever been asked if Britishness is solely about Westminster politics? Can’t one be for an independent Scotland or England and still feel British because we inhabit the same island called Great Britain and it’s shared social and cultural links? Does this include the Royals too, can you be British and republican? Is his wife no less American for wanting to live in the UK and have dual citizenship? It seems to me that Prof Tomkins idea of Britishness lies with the politics of Westminster hence his idea of living in ‘North Britain’.

    Of course what Tomkins and others peddle is myths. Anyone can be who they want to be regardless of where they are in the world. Tomkins is British because that is what he wants and feels, I regard myself as solely Scottish because that is what I want and feel, and I live and work in London and enjoy doing so without the need to come Blighty all of a sudden. If people want to be both than that is fine too. But this is not acceptable to Tomkins and other British nationalists who simply do not recognise Scotland as a nation, but a region of something else and they want the politics of the greater part to subsume you and suffocate you in a submission that we’re all British and must be governed from Westminster. To move away from such will always be seen as a ‘threat’ and that is the basis from where Tomkins and his ilk begin from.

    1. Dean Richardson says:

      Congratulations for putting the words “Britain” and “democracy” in the same sentence. It’s something I find impossible to do, and I’m probably far from being alone in that.

      1. dcanmore says:

        Yes, but I didn’t say British democracy thankfully.

  3. Tomlins’s contributions are on the whole totally unhelpful to the political discourse this side of Hadrian’s Wall. Ad far as I can ascertain it is perfectly right and acceptable for the Professor to peddle his Anglo-centric world view, but narrow minded and indeed dangerous if his Celtic cousins respond with similar versions of their own, it is unfailingly derided as lacking some essential and undefinable quality. In other words he has a tendency to walkout of his backside.

  4. Well some might have the sense to realise what they voted for,just don’t blame me I voted YES.Brit Nats close to Nazi and remember 75 years ago many wanted to side with those other Nazis so you voted no why? for this?

    1. jocklandjohn says:

      Comparing the population of the country that stood alone against Hitler as close to Nazis is a crass insult from a person below the belly of a slug.

  5. douglas clark says:

    “Tomkins says devolving income tax to the Scottish Parliament would transform politics in the country by triggering a “grown-up” argument about tax and spend. He would like to see unionists and nationalists work together to develop devolution further, arguing there has been a “silo” approach to constitutional politics for too long.”

    Tomkins does not offer to devolve all taxes, only selective ones. To that extent, it is a poisoned chalice he offers….

    What of taxation on oil, what of the ability to tax land ownership?

    It seems to me that a partial devolution, as we might get through the Smith commisiion, is likely to hurt more than it assuages.

    I suppose it matters how strong the 45% are in sticking together. That is a substantial vote, come 2015 and 2016.

  6. douglas clark says:

    Charles O’brian,

    It is unhelpful to see 55% of the Scottish population as Nazi sympathisers. They were affeared, nothing more. They bought into a media “tell you so.

    Now, that is sad on so any levels…..

    Bit it does not make them Nazi’s.

    1. EH says:

      How can you seriously suggest that all 55% of people who voted no in the referendum did so because they were scared into it by the media? What utter spout.

      If you have that attitude then you completely fail to understand the mood of the majority in this country and you will never be able to win them over. Maybe if you were not so patronising and self-righteous you might recognise that most people want to stay part of the UK. The only reason the yes vote was as high as 45% was due to the ineptitude and negativity of the no campaign.

      1. Gregor says:

        I do not think 55% voted no because of the media but I think it possible, even likely that 6% did because they did not have the benefit of unbiased media.

    2. jocklandjohn says:

      Take this extract from the article

      “Just four Westminster constituencies in the whole of Scotland have a majority of voters who want to leave the EU.”

      and replace it with

      “Just four council areas in the whole of Scotland have a majority of voters who want to leave the UK.”

  7. eric blair says:

    First, they compare two million Scots to the Nazis – then they say they are fools scared by the media.

  8. jocklandjohn says:

    “We’re losing democracy.”

    Indeed we are. We had a democratic vote, but a small minority who did not get the result they want are agitating for another vote, alleging dirty tricks, BBC and MSM bias, vote rigging, MI5 involvement and all sorts of other conspiracies.

  9. jocklandjohn says:

    “One by one the consequences of a No vote are coming home to roost with extraordinary predictability.”

    Yes, some being

    1 allegations of vote-rigging
    2 allegations of BBC bias
    3 calls for another referendum
    4 suggestions of possible UDI
    5 failure to face up to holes blown in budgets by recent oil price decline

    The list is growing wtih extraordinary predictibilty

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

      A sad attempt at trolling, kinda pathetic.

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

        ”Yes, trolling is pathetic”

        Well, stop doing it then.

      2. jocklandjohn says:

        My apologies. I’m clearly neither a member of Team Scotland [ (C) the SNP ] nor “on message”.

  10. Douglas Robertson says:

    On BBC Scotland this Sunday morning it was stated that the retiring (or rejected) Labour Leader Joanne Lamont wanted Prof. Tomkins to be their independent advisor on the referendum strategy, but that was blocked, so now he represents the Conservatives on the Smith Commission. That ties in with your thesis Mike, about democracy, or the lack of it. So just who is Tomkins, and for that matter who is Lord Smith of Kelvin, and how do these men get the power to determine Scotland’s constitional future? But also, and this ties to Labour’s inability to come to terms with the devolved Scotland it helped create, just how is he able to offer such limited and contorted constitutional wares equally to both Labour and the Tory’s.

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

      ”and how do these men get the power to determine Scotland’s constitutional future?”

      Freemason’s motto ” We don’t control everything, just the important stuff.”

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