2007 - 2022

Narrow Nationalism and the Missing

Cn1jYW7WAAQFkup“One by one the pillars of support for the Union have been removed” notes Paul Kavanagh. As the very credibility of Britain slides into disrepair let’s just reflect on three of the issues driving this change.

Defence – nuclear or conventional – is a shambles. ‘Security’ was a key meme of the Better Together campaign, a central plank of the psychological warfare of Project Fear, the notion that cleaving to the British State would allow moderation, stability and the status quo to endure. Continuity away from wild speculation. Security against reckless change.

Remember: “Who moves house in a hurricane?”

As Britain descends into an international embarrassment and an economic basket case, the idea of this being an entity you would cling to in troubled times looks increasingly ridiculous.

During the referendum campaign we were told that 13 frigates were to be built on the Clyde, but only if Scotland voted to remain a part of the UK. Hurray!

Now we’re told that’s not going to happen.

Blair McDougall @blairmcdougall “Really is depressing how many nationalists simply don’t care about shipyard workers and their jobs. Independence at any price.”

But it’s not so much the lies or the contempt that matters as the sense of drift and chaos. As Theresa May shuttles from Edinburgh to Berlin the idea that anyone, anywhere has ‘taken back control’ looks unlikely. Britain’s inability to envisage economic innovation based on anything other than a reliance on a Cold War militaristic ship and sub-building programme seems increasingly retrograde, and don’t anyone ever talk about a ‘narrow nationalism’ ever again.

This is as much a failure of economic innovation as a cultural end-point. There is we’re told no other way to keep Helensburgh High Street open than to spend £250 billion on a weapons system that we don’t control.

Shutting Lidl would probably do it.

Instead, as we’re about to celebrate Pippa’s wedding plans Parody Britain just slides effortlessly into entropy.

Cn1zJK_WYAA7OrMAs for ‘Europe’ we’re told (and are kidding on we believe it) that we’ll have a key part around the table in the negotiations.

That’ll be right. It’s certainly not what Philip (ET) Hammond, Crispin Blunt or David Davis have been saying.

As Theresa May returns from Berlin and ‘talks tough’ to Jeremy Corbyn everyone – especially the state broadcaster – seems mesmerized.

For some the vision of a ‘Strong Leader!’ and a woman sets-off some sort of frenzy that we should politely just call ‘adoration’.

But as Angela Merkel said yesterday, speaking for the vast bulk of mainland Europe bored rigid with this endless charade of false-victimhood England’s been chuntering on about for the best part if three decades: ‘What are you waiting for?’

There will be a few months shoe-shuffling about while our government pretends that its multiple wish-list is somehow compatible with reality the eventually pressure from far-right Brexit Skeptics and bored European countries will lead to Article 50.

As Martin Kettle writes:

“The May government ultimately faces a choice between trying for a Brexit that the City and the financial sector wants, and trying for a Brexit the Brexit voters want. It is a choice May cannot avoid. Yet everything May has said about domestic priorities since entering the leadership contest suggests that she intends to deliver for the latter, the Brexit voters, rather than for the former, the City.”

Out of the many things that no-one has ‘taken control of’, the timetable for this slow motion disaster movie is not of ‘our’ making either. Sure, in theory Britain can delay the 50 for a bit, but the longer they drag their feet the more pissed off the other 27 European nations are likely to get.

That’s not of no consequence.

Cn1gr6DWIAADm8E.jpg largeAs all eyes are on the Trident renewal vote as evidence of Scotland’s democratic deficit and Britain’s imperial madness, another big ticket item has slipped below radar.

Hinkley Point nuclear power station was initially supposed to cost just £6bn, but has more recently been estimated at £18bn. Now the Infrastructure and Projects Authority assessment published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change put the potential cost of Hinkley at £37bn. It’s just another project we don’t need and can’t afford.

I love the idea that we’re suddenly in charge of our own affairs unshackled from the Brussels Beast, yet we outsource our energy programme to the French.

Hinkley is the mirror to Scotland’s shattered renewable programme, the crystal-clear message that across most key policy areas Scotland and rUk have diametrically opposed interests. Whether it’s the Brain Family and what they represent or the idea of simply abolishing the department for climate change, we are marching to different tunes in different directions.

Cn5BzWBWIAE5IsmBut the farce of UK nuclear policy, the shame of Trident or the inevitable blood oaths revealed by Chilcot are not what matters. What matters is the cumulative sense of instability. The ‘grand narrative’ of what is stable and what is risky has completely changed since 2014. The perception of which set of politicians are ‘winging it’ and which are to be relied on has completely turned around for a large section of the previously ‘indy-skeptical’.

There is no Brexit opt-out. There is no Brexit veto. These are fairy tales for children.

But if the myths of security, trust and solidarity are forever broken, importantly so too is the myth of a united kingdom engaged in some common endeavors with common respect. Such a story was perpetuated by scribes and stage-hypnotists long after it made any sense. But the impact of the last two years, accelerated and magnified by the last two months, has seen this discarded, broken even for die-hard.

There will be no more cairns. Rory will not be visiting again.

Dependence made sense when the host was kindly, understanding, or at least went through the pretense of having shared interests. Nobody’s really pretending that’s the case any more. And although Theresa May has the British media in raptures – in the real world people realise she’s not an elected premier, she has no mandate, and (quickly forgotten)  she currently has 30 MPs being investigated for fraud.

But if one-by-one the pillars of support for the union are being removed – this doesn’t mean that the Yes movement doesn’t need to address its own issues and problems. The currency question is being explored, but we need to develop a sophisticated and compelling reason for change that will engage people. Already we’re hearing some rumblings that we can somehow replicate Brexit with simplistic slogan and a message that will somehow ‘carry everybody’.






Comments (59)

Join the Discussion

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. MBC says:

    Has support for indy increased any? I fear that No voters will slip back into their comfortable complacency and just suck it up. It feels very unreal at the moment, things seem to have quietened down.

    1. tartanfever says:

      Maybe things had to quieten down after Brexit, that level of engagement through the entire population couldn’t last and I think we have come to the end of the first stage – the new Tory govt and a timetable of sorts for Article 50 being triggered.

      Focus just now is really on Labour and individuals politicians like Boris Johnson and Trump. However, given the news today about economic gloom forecasts it won’t be long until we’re in full swing with tough choices having to be made and cruel realities have to be faced, especially by No voters in Scotland.

      Give it until a few weeks after the Rio Olympics and Westminster resumes. Autumn economic figures will not read well.

      1. Connor McEwen says:




  2. Dougie Blackwood says:

    All true but where is the vision for what we should be doing and where we should be going?

    The foot soldiers are ready all over the country but we need both a plan and the starters pistol. There is only a finite time to get the wagons rolling and the message across to those that have not yet seen the light. When Article 50 is triggered we should be in the trenches; if we allow things, here, to drift as they are in the Labour party and in Westminster it will be too late.

    We have learned from the last time. The BBC are already pushing the Scotland disaster story: Your oil is down the tubes, your economy is in ruins and we’ll no let ye have anything. We are not getting any message out and we will not until the GO! signal is given.

    We have a great balance in our economy; we export lots of food, the best spirit in the world, the most innovative university spin out programs and a workforce that are flexible, hardworking and loyal. The oil is still worth having regardless of it’s temporary doldrums and it never was the only thing that was needed to keep the country afloat; that was a myth put about by the unionists to pretend that we had nothing else.

    Nicola needs to announce that the options for Scotland in both the EU and UK are now exhausted and that the way forward is to have Indyref2. That is the starting pistol and the many Yes groups throughout the country will re-form and be re-energised within days.

    The grass roots efforts, without much assistance from above moved the Yes position from about 25% to 45% in the months in the run up to Indyref1. Those same people with many more recruits can take us over the line with good leadership and a better story to tell. Ammunition is everywhere: ships on the Clyde, EVEL, Labour ineptitude and unelectability, Permanent Tory Government and the disastrous imposition of austerity on the poorest in society.

    For goodness sake let’s GO.

    1. tartanfever says:

      My suggestions. Focus on the things that Better Together used. For instance, the everyday things, like mobile phone roaming charges going back through the roof after Brexit.

      Or how about the plan for a new ‘City of London’ which is to make it the most de-regulated financial centre in the world with 0% Corporation Tax – because when they lose their European banking Passport, you’re going to see an exodus of investment, firms and jobs that currently use London as it European base – that directly plays against the ‘broad shoulders of the UK theme’

      What about fresh food ? The UK currently imports 40% of fresh food from Europe, what happens to supply and prices in a new trade deal ?

      Mike mentions the fiasco with Hinckley Point. That part of a crucial infrastructure project for energy supply and protection for the coming decades and it’s going nowhere and could actually be cancelled because of the Brexit fallout. With the cancellation of renewable subsidies and the demise of a department for climate change, the UK long term energy needs are looking farcical.

      These are the discussions that should be happening now in our communities and workplaces, just start reading.

  3. leavergirl says:

    Dunno. The Wall Street Journal opined just the other day that Britain will do very well post Brexit.

    1. MLL says:

      Wall street loves status quo. It means business as usual. Big pharma, big finance, big business is the tail that wags the dog.
      Well street wants time to get its ducks in a row before Brexit hits the fan, what else can they say?

    2. tartanfever says:

      Based on the UK getting all it’s wishes granted in Brexit negotiations, which is not going to happen.

      Consider that in order to negotiate all the trade deals, not just with the EU, but with other nations, the UK is going to require thousands of experienced trade negotiators. Civil Service chiefs currently estimate we have between 20-40 such people.

      The call has gone out to private business to put forward their own negotiators that the UK can use, plus New Zealand have offered the services of their negotiators.

      It is those trade deals that will determine exactly how well the UK does in the future, and frankly, it doesn’t bode well that we don’t even have the staff.

    3. Wilma Watts says:

      That’s because they know the UK Government want TTIP and can’t wait to sign on with USA businesses to sell off the NHS. We already look after their WMD so we will become one of their ” overseas territories”. Did you read the article in Private Eye about why they had to rush the Trident vote? The USA do a lot better out of the Billions spent on Trident than Britain does.

    4. Ned says:

      The Wall St journal is talking about the financial markets of the City of London rather than the uk.
      I am more concerned with real life.

    5. “Britain’s decision to leave the EU has led to a “dramatic deterioration” in economic activity, not seen since the aftermath of the financial crisis.”


      1. Cabbageman says:

        Hi Mike. i really thought it was great what you did with the Fife diet. Am looking into a similar local sustain project. Any chance you could publish the publicaly funded accounts? Was promised on the website over a year ago but zilch, nada, rien. Just for our own budgeting purposes. Cheers.

      2. Connor McEwen says:


    6. Heidstaethefire says:

      Guess who owns that? Clue: R….. M……

  4. Mach1 says:

    May’s government is indeed a shambles with no democratic mandate. The media, craven as ever, is talking up stability, just as David Blanchflower, the economist who predicted the 2008 recession, is warning that, without a stimulus package now, the UK is heading for recession, with Scotland facing the loss of billions of EU funds currently supporting infrastructure programmes.
    We face a calamitous autumn, but at the same time need to win over those who voted No in 2014 (dual citizenship and Scottish passports could offer a major enticement).
    In some ways, in Scotland, we should be investigating all means to secure EU citizenship rights, irrespective of state membership.
    We also need to argue hard against more cuts. It is time to spend, and to borrow to spend on infrastructure, including social housing. This must be the thrust of the argument to oppose unelected Tory centrism and New Labourite, anti-Corbyn forces north of the Border. That rural Scotland will suffer most from the loss of EU funding may be arguable, but most commentators would accept that the Scottish Tories drew on discontent over delays in the payment of CAP funds to farmers to build support in the recent Holyrood elections. The Tory failure to protect this constituency must be hammered home. On the Labour front, it is time, in Scotland, that trade unions reflected the groundswell of support for the SNP. It is, therefore, time to seek to remove New Labourite representatives at branch and national level. Only then can the Labour movement in Scotland be harnessed to the independence cause.

    1. tartanfever says:

      In the case of the unions, just what will Brexit mean for workers rights ? Does anyone trust the tories to replace rights lost with Brexit ? These are the questions for the unions, force them into making a choice.

  5. Josef O Luain says:

    If now is not the preferred moment for the SNP to mobilise for Indyref 2, that moment will surely arrive if/ when we see the election of Trump in the U.S; an event guaranteed to shake the British establishment to its core.

    Although this possibility would be far from the liking of most of us, there’s not a damn thing we could do about it; in such a circumstance we’d be forced to play courageously with the cards dealt us.

  6. Black Rab says:

    I always look out for your posts Mike, but I never imagined that anyone would be daft enough on the positive side of Scottish independence that, that would be good enough to win the argument. I imagine that the wider movement for independence is much more sophisticated than that. Isn’t it the case that neoliberal ideology looks for slogans as they assume that the mass population responds viscerally to any given situation. Oggy oggy oggy, what do we want……….independence, when do we want it………………………………………..NOW?

    I think we got that licked.

  7. Steven Milne says:

    This article is basically an anti UK fantasy with only the most tenuous link to reality.

    The reason that construction of these vessels has not started is because the designs have not yet been approved. I can draw two conclusions from the actions of those who are attempting to exploit this situation.

    Firstly, they are narcissists who believe the world revolves around their wish for Scotland to leave the UK.

    Secondly, they have zero understanding of industry and commerce.

    On the one hand it is embarrassing to read facile statements such as “Britain descends into an international embarrassment and an economic basket case” but on the other I am pleased to read them as it further reinforces the view that many Indy supporters are motivated by a hatred of the UK and that this is causing them to dream up ever more lurid fantasies about the evils of “Westminster”.

    Unfortunately for the haters, Scotland has never had it so good. Standards of living are far higher than they were in the 1970’s before your #1 hate figure Margaret Thatcher became PM. If you want to see what an economic basket case looks like then cast your eyes in the direction of Greece and Venezuela. Both of these countries have adopted the anti austerity economic policies supported by Bella Caledonia.

    1. John Page says:

      There was me thinking that only if I spent a couple of hours constructing a reference based essay explaining the profound inequalities and the stunted growth potential for Scotland inherent in neoliberal British policies, you could be persuaded to support Independence. But if you don’t feel (on the evidence before you) that Westminster is an embarrassment nor that it is irredeemably against the interests of the people living in Scotland, any dialogue would be a waste of time. I’ll go back to my cognitive dissonance and you can go back to reading the Daily Mail/Telegraph to pursue your agenda free, rigorously objective search for truth.
      This person is dishonest in pretending to be open minded to divert attention from the evidence mounting daily of British dysfunctionality. On the evidence of the last few weeks, that is not the case.
      John Page

      1. Steven Milne says:

        Would you rather emigrate to Greece or Venezuela or live in the UK?

        1. John Page says:

          Is the false dichotomy shop out of “North Korea” options tonight or do you keep that solely for your Trident replacement discussions?

          1. Steven Milne says:

            I will take that as a tacit admission that you prefer living in the UK rather than in the “anti austerity” states of Greece or Venezuela.

        2. John Page says:

          Under what logic could you draw that inference from your initial false dichotomy fallacy?
          John Page

        3. Ian says:

          Steven, in answer to your question: Would you rather emigrate to Greece or Venezuela or live in the UK? I’d rather live in an independent Scotland!

        4. Maria F says:


          Steven, your approach to the issue reminds me an awful lot of the contingency measures used by the Westminster establishment to make us feel that we are given a choice:

          the third option proposed to be included in the indiref ballot, being that of a fully devolved Scotland, was not allowed in the ballot. Why?

          well, my own personal opinion Steven is that this was done because a fully devolved Scotland was the option preferred by the majority of the voters. Westminster representing an establishment unable to let go of their imperialistic past and reluctant to lose total control over Scotland (and Scotland’s resources) rejected the inclusion of that option in the ballot as a mean of containment.

          Was this done in the best interests of the people of Scotland? Of course it wasn’t. And why shouldn’t we be given that option at that time? Because it is never about what the people of Scotland wants, is it Steven? Ironically, what the establishment in its arrogance didn’t account for is that by excluding that option it opened a can of worms: many of those in favour of full devolution, when they weren’t given the option of full devolution, started to see the benefit of full independence. The problem is that once you choose independence, you never go back (I am speaking for myself here). So if anybody is trying to ping the blame for the strength of the independence movement I think that perhaps the target for this should be the arrogance of those rejecting that third option in the ballot and not the pro indy people.

          Your pretence of offering a choice also reminds me of the deceptive ‘options’ for electoral change offered by Westminster: one bad option and another even worse: FPTP or AV. None of them being the preferred by the voters, which is proportional representation. So, why not including the preferred option Steven? If you are going to the lengths and expense of doing a referendum, why not doing it properly, cover all flanks and properly ask what people want once and for all? Again, in my opinion, because it is never about what people want, it is rather all about control… maintain control… preserve control… every calculated ‘option’ is a reflection of the establishment’s fear of losing control.

          You are presenting us with an identical containment strategy here: selecting one of two unwanted options to make the UK not looking so bad. Why are you leaving out the obvious option-that of living in an independent Scotland- out? Why are you not risking to include the very attractive option of living in an independent Scotland? What are you scared of? losing control? losing the battle? losing the argument? No, it is because you already know the answer and you don’t like it: the same as the reasons for the establishment to leave out full devolution or proportional representation: containment by deception. Present the option that the plebs don’t want only with one that is perceived as worse and you are guaranteed to win the argument.

          I am not falling for that deception anymore, so Steven, coming back to your question:

          would I live in an oppressive UK continuously silencing and ignoring Scotland, would I live in Greece/Venezuela or rather in an Independent Scotland with Home Rule, governed for the benefit of the people living in Scotland, and where Scotland’s voice is not suffocated by Tory governments at Westminster without Scottish mandate?

          the answer is obvious Steven: an Independent Scotland all the way.

          Why? because that is the option I really want and because I do not see why that option should be left out of any choices I am presented with.

    2. Mark Crawford says:

      You should expand these insights into a book-length project, perhaps even a multiple-volume epic. But if you seek the literary greatness which lies within your grasp, you must work very hard. Spend every evening and weekend writing away. Rethink every word and sentence several times over – don’t just rely on your obvious genius. I urge you to sacrifice your entire life to this cause. Forget doing anything else. It simply isn’t worthy of you. Send the finished result to as many publishers and agents as possible. Don’t let rejection letters discourage you. Keep going until you die, your every fragment of life burned up and consumed by this epic project of yours. At the point of death, your family will be strangers to you because you have been working so hard outlining reality for those who don’t understand that what Greece has in fact been implementing an anti-austerity program in recent years, but they will have become your adoring fans from a respectful distance. A monument to you may be erected, speeches given in your memory in the chamber of Holyrood. Are you ready to sacrifice all existing comforts for this selfless challenge, sir?

      1. John Page says:

        Two handed trolling? Or multiple identities?
        Basically you are saying Westminster are the masters and are always right and it is ridiculous for a mere colonial subject to envisage an alternative. Thanks for that.
        John Page

    3. Otis Galloway says:

      You truly have no idea what you’re talking about.

      And saying it in what you think is an authoritative tone doesn’t cut it.

      1. c rober says:

        The problem with using Greexe and Venezuela as arguments for anti austerity is that you also forget EIRE , and importantly an ex part of the British Empire , ruled by Westminster.

        Eire adopeted an anti austerity stance , and is now the highest GDP in the EU , or in the world depending on the maths per capita. They let the banks fail , forced them to sell off assets , like houses for pittances , even whole estates were just buldozed.

        But then again we can go on about a Country added to the EU , where their accounts were done by one of the banks that caused the financial crisis in the first place.

        Or with Venezuela a country so rife with corruption , holding onto a semblance of communism that even Cuba and the parent of Communism itself Russia has long thrown to the wastebin , where now oligarchs have replaced the old guard- but retain their politics and control levers of the people for it to remain that way…. akin to Westminster and the London elite with regard to Brexit or Indy , but one of those refs kind of booted them in the spherical democracies.

        And to which they are looking to reverse that referendum , pity really that they never had a low turnout clause.

        The only option now is to admit failure for investment since the 1970s , by successive govts , that have led to brexit reasoning in the minds of voters , and importantly the maths regarding the pension timebomb , that without immigration means the two generations that have benefitted so much will actually at the end of life get so little , leading to a 3g lifestyle in housing and care like a 3rd world country , and a state pension age outwith their life expectancy as private pension funds are going to the wall.

        1. Steven Milne says:

          The facts are that Ireland adopted austerity measures far more severe than the UK in 2008. These included an emergency tax and a reduction in the minimum wage.

          It still wasn’t enough and the Irish government had to be bailed out by the Troika in 2010 and accept even more severe austerity.

          In the 5 years from 2008 around 250,000 Irish citizens (6% of the population) emigrated – many of them to the UK.

          1. Broadbield says:

            Paul Krugman argues Eire has done nothing to improve the finances of ordinary people. The headline figures showing economic success are distorted by its “tax haven” policies which have attracted international companies boosting their own revenues.

    4. tartanfever says:

      If we want to get the message out about the shambles of Brexit, the disarray and splits in Westminster and the utter denial amongst unionist supporters then just reprint this comment. It’s utterly brilliant. Thanks Steven.

  8. Bob says:

    Who is Pippa?

  9. Crubag says:

    And yet the SNP/Greens won’t call an indy plus or minus referendum in this parliament. Things are too uncertain and they still feel bitten hard by 2014.

    The timeline for BREXIT means we won’t know what the deal with rEU will be in time for SNP/Greens to call and fight a referendum, including the status of the borders (which the Irish republic will be the text case for).

    Add to that the substantial minority of Scots who voted for independence from the EU – and more who might come round when they see the sky hasn’t fallen on us – and it looks too difficult to reliably win from a standing start. And the SNP don’t take risks (Greens are a different story).

    There has never been any substitute for a long game – designing and fine-tuning what our institutions will look like post-independence – the Irish did it before their move, creating shadow ministries. And given the powers of the Scottish Parliament, we could do 50% of it now, with the revitalisation of local democracy.

    Back in rEU, the powers are undecided which way to go. The EC and centre-left seem to be arguing for greater centralisation (with Germany paying the bill) and the centre-right thinking these nation-state things aren’t such a bad thing after all (with Germany paying less of the bill).

    1. Hi Crubag, I was only really looking at some of the important shifts that have happened as a result of Brexit +++. But you are right – and we have long been advocating – the ‘fine tuning’ of post-indy institutions. Many view this as reformism but it’s actually beginning the process of self-determination and independent thinking. We’ll be publishing on proposals for a Scottish constitution in the next week.

      Thanks for your comment

      1. Crubag says:

        That would be good. I can understand that the nature of British politics means the SNP doesn’t want to risk thinking out loud and then being stuck with something as a position (though I think that will disappoint the new members looking for creative input, it certainly did me when I was in), so the task falls to those outside the political class.

        It may be off-topic for this site, but as a community we should also be thinking about the other half of independence, how we do things at local government level. I’d favour more decentralisation, along Swiss lines, but for both New Labour and the SNP (and seemingly post-Cameron Conservatives) the big idea seems to be Big State – more centralisation to drive greater efficiencies. So Big Police, rather than local police. Local planning decisions determined by a quick vote in Parliament. The SNP’s next move is to create regional health boards overseen by a super-group of local authorities – I can see those super-groups then becoming a single council…

  10. David Sangster says:

    We are assured that matters are in hand. What was to have been Hosie’s Headache (until more southerly parts of his anatomy intervened), namely the “summer consultation”, is we understand, going ahead. Surely, come the October conference the present fog will, as Coleridge put it, have “defecated to a pure transparency”? I can well understand people’s frustration and itch for action, but now’s not the time to call the pikes together. The rising of the moon will come.

  11. Richard MacKinnon says:

    I have read this article twice and I still dont know what Mike Small is trying to say. He makes pointless snide comments about Brexit, the EU, defence, ship building, somebody’s wedding, Hinkley Point, and of course the referendum results without any attempt that I can make of linking them together. When I read “As Britain descends into an international embarrassment and an economic basket case” I thought, is it?
    I expect Mike Small voted the same way as I did in 2014 and 2016, the difference between us is I have accepted the results. I can see the irony of Scotland voting to remain part of the UK and England voting to leave the EU. They took their chance we didnt. Mike Small seems bitter and and a bit jealous. This not good a good way to be. May I suggest to Mike Small that for his own good he should try and accept the democratic process and move on with his life.

    1. tartanfever says:

      Sorry Richard, what was that about snide comments ?

      1. Richard MacKinnon says:

        I am shocked I never meant to cause offence. If my comments come across as snide I will be the first to apologise. You will have to help me here, where did I cause offence?
        My only intention was to point out to Mike Small that his article sounded a bit disjointed, and that it might be possible that Mike has not been able to get over the two referendum results, that put together the reality of the results could possibly be bringing Mike’s spirits down. Im worried, I dont want to say he is depressed, I am not a doctor. All I am suggesting is that Mike might feel better in himself if he accepts the results and tries to move on with his life.

        1. I’m deeply touched by your concern Richard, if I sound disjointed its because its difficult to keep track of the cultural and political collapse of our nearest and dearest neighbor.

          I am a bit down its true but looking forward to Pippa’s wedding lifting my – and the whole nations – spirits.

          PS What am I jealous of? (!)

          1. Richard MacKinnon says:

            Them voting to leave.

  12. Alf Baird says:

    Defence, foreign policy, energy – and other reserved to Westminister ‘powers’? Nothing to stop the SNP and its 56 ‘roaring lions’ setting up actual physical ‘shadow’ Ministries for all this now – e.g. in a secure office block in Edinburgh or Glasgow etc. Prepare for the big day, an aw that. It would at least show the folks here what the SNP would do differently compared with Scotland’s unelected Tory masters, and that they mean to end the union asap. These shadow Ministries could churn out the press releases big time on a whole host of key issues. Stuff setting up ever more committees of advisors. Lets behave like we really want independence.

    1. Richard MacKinnon says:

      Good point Alf. I have always thought it looks a bit out of place, all those SNP MPs sitting on the green benches of Westminster, playing all those the silly games of the place they love to hate.

      1. tartanfever says:

        What silly games Richard ?

        1. Richard MacKinnon says:

          Asking pointless questions. Pretending to be indignant on receipt of answers to those questions. Voting on issues that have nothing to do with Scotland. Participating in the parliament of the United Kingdom a country the SNP want to break up. Taking oaths of alligiance in same parliament.

      2. Alf Baird says:

        Thanks Richard. As Mike suggests, pretty much all Tory controlled reserved power areas are an ongoing disaster for Scotland, and shadow ministries actually physically located here in Scotland could help reinforce the message about just how inept and incompetent Westminster rule is, as well as preparing the ground for a future independent Scotland in the process answering other major ‘what if’ questions. Perhaps such ‘shadow’ ministries could even be ‘recognised’ by the Scottish Government and their input to policy taken into account where merited? We need to do more than simply meekly question unwanted Tory policies imposed on Scotland and then await the inevitable negative consequences.

        1. Richard MacKinnon says:

          The only problem I have with your idea is that everyone in Scotland will end up being a politician and there will be nobody left to do any work.

          1. Agatha Cat says:

            Except for Lorna Clayton, the hair stylist.

  13. michael boyd says:

    My German partner is visiting Germany at the moment. The word on the street is that the Germans just want the English to go NOW. I dont think there is much appetite for prevarication. Which begs the question: what plan do the SNP actually have?

  14. bringiton says:

    With the real economic effects of the referendum now beginning to bite,England’s Tories and their right wing press are starting to say that they didn’t really mean it and that perhaps they won’t really trigger the formal exit procedure after all.
    The problem they now have is that most of Europe have had enough of their opt outs and intransigence and subject to agreeing basic trading arrangements want to see them gone,tout de suite.
    The EU will now get on with more important matters,not least of which is Trump’s threat to NATO for those European states that don’t spend enough on defence (2% of GDP) and the subsequent necessary formation of a European defence force (which needless to say has been vehemently opposed by HM government until now).
    England is going in one direction and everyone else in another but that will probably suit the Tories fine….Tally ho….Rule Britannia.

  15. Justin Kenrick says:

    Paul Cavanagh makes a really interesting point that the Spanish Government may well veto the terms the UK seeks for Brexit, but appears to be thoroughly on the side of a Scotland seeking to stay in the EU. Another lie nailed?


  16. Connor McEwen says:


    1. Richard MacKinnon says:

      That was Ronnie MacKinnon.

  17. Agatha Cat says:

    Question Time:
    1. Are Duncan Hothersall and John McTernan the same person?
    2. Has Ian Murray rebuilt his life after the surviving a sticker on his office door?
    3. Can anyone name 5 former Labour MPs?
    4. Is Hilary Benn the daughter of a famous boxer?
    5. What’s the name of the Liberal, again?
    6. Is Kezia Dugdale still in the Labour Party or is she a GOP Republican now?
    7. Does Ruth ‘Tanktop’ Davidson know the answers already?

  18. Frank says:

    Duncan Hothersall is a complete embarrassment for the Scottish Labour Party. In fact, I know several people in Labour who think that the best thing which could happen for the party would be for Hothersall to close his Twitter account.

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.