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On the No Plan Memo

CxSoY6NW8AA302TIn response to the utter meltdown within the government over Brexit as reported in the Times today, John McDonnell for the Labour opposition is making a speech in which he will powerfully urge the government to have a nice Brexit that is nice to people and not a nasty one that is just plain nasty to everyone cos that wouldn’t be nice. He is, of course, not opposing Brexit as such but he’d like it to be nice please if you wouldn’t mind. He will not do anything nasty like vote against the government or anything icky like that.

It is a bad joke. There is no opposition to a government that is falling apart with its own incoherence and both Labour and the Tories fall back on protecting their respective electoral bases from UKIP while Farage is being interviewed over a Full English Brexit by Piers Morgan on exactly how Theresa May should butter up Trump in order to save British Trade from jumping off a cliff.

It is surely obvious to the most benighted, SNP-hating member of Scottish Labour that there is nothing to be looked for from the Mother of Parliaments. The government will press ahead with an entirely unscrutinized reflex spasm of an invocation of Article 50 simply because they can think of no better way to cover their own divisions…and UK Labour will go along with it because some of them think it’s what Tony Benn would have wanted, and some of them think they’ll get their party back when Corbyn fucks up the next election…

Even if Corbyn WINS the next election, Brexit will go essentially unchallenged. There is no solution to this except a Scottish solution. Everyone must see that.

CxSnV-xWIAA9aYnSo there will be those who yell for Indy Ref 2 now as if that would save us – but it won’t work – the electorate will simply not stand for it, not in times like these, not with this level of uncertainty. In the long term, with luck and good management, we are looking at a future of energy self sufficiency from which we can negotiate our way in the world with some possibility of success. But right now? Independence by 2020 after a second referendum is a pipe dream and a distraction from what is actually happening to these actual islands of the coast of actual Europe across the water from an actual President Trump.

So what i propose is this. Starting right now, today, in the Scottish parliament debate on Brexit, we start to work towards an accommodation between the SNP and Scottish Labour. (Yes…I know, pigs might fly – but Hillary will never lose the election, okay?)

Take a deep breath, and starting today, right now, in the debate on Brexit at Holyrood, we have to ask Scotland’s politicians to do better, to think beyond their tribal bases and assumptions about each other, and bite the constitutional bullet.

Scottish Labour have to accept that only a strong Scottish negotiating position in collaboration with others in these islands can secure our future relationship with both Europe and the UK being on anything like bearable terms. On immigration, on trade, on tourism, on energy, we have to be FUNCTIONALLY independent from UK policy. Now, you can call that what you like, federalism or a New Union, I don’t give a damn, I really don’t. There HAS to be a united negotiating position…which means that Scottish Labour HAVE to get behind Nicola Sturgeon one hundred percent, in public as well as quietly and actually exercise that autonomy that they were granted (without thinking about it) by Jeremy Corbyn.

And in return, the SNP have to agree to park Independence. Yes. Not just Indyref 2 before 2020, the SNP have to undertake here and now to park any move towards Independence until a fresh mandate is sought in the Westminster elections in 2020 and the next Scottish Election in 2021.

That’s the only possible deal. That’s the only way both parties can serve the people who elected them, and who voted on both sides of the referendum debate. That’s the way they can both serve Scotland. But they both have to do it and they both have to mean it. Or we’re screwed.

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  1. bringiton says:

    “Scottish” Labour have been told by head office that the position of British Labour is to support the Tories in executing article 50 (with some vague caveats about retaining access to the single market).
    If they agree in Holyrood to support the Scottish Government’s demands for guaranteed continuing access to the market for Scotland then fine but somehow,I don’t see it.
    A big majority of Scots,have already decided that they wish to retain EU membership and if Labour in Scotland stick with the London line of assisting the Tories to do the opposite,then their already greatly diminished support will disappear completely.
    This is a matter of principal and not tribal politicking but it is their call.

    1. Dobbs says:

      Sorry, I’m not saying you are contradictory, but it isn’t necessarily the case that “continuing access to the market for Scotland” would be “fine”.

      As you pointed out, we in Scotland voted to stay in the EU. We didn’t vote to have access to the EU market which every country in the world has access to. We voted to retain our membership.

      As for Scottish Labour, I don’t know where they stand on this or anything really. They seem to suggest they are for the British Union one minute and then say they are “not unionists” the next. Same with Brexit, one minute for and the next against.

      I’ve heard that real clever people are able to believe in two contradictory positions at the same time but Labour seem to take that beyond extremes. Trying to be all things to all people can often leave you looking like an insincere, duplicitous fool…

    2. c rober says:

      well the problem with that is that there is only one Labour member sent to Westminster from Scotland – the others are councillors and the dodos that are in Holyrood – well they follow the party south of the border , and not those that elect them.

      And therin also lies the problem with the list system in Scotland – proportional representation doesnt work – if your not elected then your ideaology is also rejected. By having leaders remain , then so does the mandate – rather than a change in regime through their leaders failing to lead – then all you get is the potential leaders of change being prevented.

      1. John B Dick says:

        C Rober

        It’s not very clear what you mean about the list system.

        I think you are saying that there is party control through List candidate appoval. I think the reason is that the whole d’Hondt Closed list system was designed by the Labour party in Scotland before 1953 and closed rather than Open d’Hondt was the price of approval.

        Rather than criticise them for this imperfection, I admire them for their committment to democracy, and getting it nearly right in so many ways.

        When so many of those in all parties who put themselves forward and get elected, are unfit through indolence, stupidity, alcoholism or suceptibility to temptations financial or sexual, there is a case for political parties having some degree of control over the choices of constituency members.

        Maybe Closed d’Hondt isn’t such a bad compromise.

  2. Dobbs says:

    “So there will be those who yell for Indy Ref 2 now as if that would save us – but it won’t work – the electorate will simply not stand for it, not in times like these, not with this level of uncertainty.”

    If we have learned one thing over the last few months, it’s that we shouldn’t be so confident about predicting how people will react or vote when it comes to certain issues.

    I don’t think anyone can predict how the Scottish people will react when article 50 is activated. It’s easy to imagine them reacting badly with Boris and the gang hanging over them, threatening and insulting them, etc.

    I actually think Scotland is on a knife-edge like never before and as much as it could probably go either way, I don’t think the SNP are likely to falter in terms of upsetting significant numbers.

    The likelihood is that the 50% who currently support Independence will be joined by many more once it is clear that Britain is heading into the Abyss. Abyss means Abyss.

    But you don’t actually propose anything here, not anything new anyway. Basically you are advocating that we all drop the argument for independence and indyref2 because we are in a crisis and we need to act in the national interest. We’ve heard that a hundred times in the last 20 years.

    Britain is always in crisis. That’s the deal with these disaster capitalists. One crisis after another (credit crunch, war, Brexit, Trump, and so on) and the response is always the same — park independence, cut welfare, attack Syria, etc.

    Don’t you understand that the case for independence is made stronger by these crises? Some of us believe that the best way to avoid future crises is to distance ourselves from decison-makers in London who have systematically screwed up over the last few decades; the best way to really fix things, once and for all, is to achieve independence.

    You could be — and I think you are — reading this situation and how it is likely to develop all wrong.

  3. Mary MacCallum Sullivan says:

    I can’t but agree that any campaign for independence at this stage and in these circumstances is doomed – too much uncertainty all round. The maximum functional freedom from Mayhem we can achieve should be our aim.

    A strong and unified Scottish ‘resistance’ to ‘Hard Brexit’, a determination to remain within the EU or some ‘strong’ version thereof is vital. If Scottish labour party members and MSPs don’t get it, I agree that they are doomed to irrelevance for the foreseeable…

    Don’t forget the Greens; the only party that is paying attention to the extreme challenge of climate change, in regard to which, resistance – with the other signatories to the Paris agreement- to May/Trump and their climate-change denial, is paramount.

    1. c rober says:

      But these are the status qou – no idea for the party future , and of course ignoring its history.

      The Scottish Party needs new blood , from old genes , and if the party continues with its leader , whom seems to make indecision her main decision then no change.

      I forsee that IF the SNP has the non gender specific balls come May council elections – to stand on one policy , a mandate for indy to vote for SNP councillors , that the Scottish Labour party will be dead in the water.

      Which means no place for the filed MPS and MSPS to get a job – even through edging out traditional working class local politicians , ones whom most likely know that the only future is Indy lite to remain as part of the union – and along with it EU special circumstance for Scotland also.

      If its good enough for NI to have an EU deal , whom voted to remain , or Wales with tax autonomy and other measures denied to Scotland in the VOW , that voted leave EU , or NE England or London – then why not for Scotland – you know the place they are elected to represent?

      Back when the Tories got into bed with the Lib dems , the Labour party was shafted by the privately educated Tory light party – maybe , just maybe they fear the same happening , but I doubt it – they are hankering to days of old , where voters voted for Socialist Labour , when this is today undeliverable witrh the party being Tory Lite in order to be lected in middle England.

  4. Jim Ferguson says:

    We have been lucky in Scotland to have a ready made Centre-left alternative to The Labour Party in the SNP. Had this not been the case I think we might have been heading much more rapidly along Ukipper-Trump Street. As things stand the SNP are going to have to find some way of making life better for the bottom 30% (even up to 50%) of the population who took their anger out on Labour’s inability to do much for them by shifting to the SNP. Right-wing economics aligned with right-wing cultural policies could undo any of the good that has been achieved since World War II. And the right (Torie, UKip or otherwise) could yet take votes from the SNP just easily as Labour lost those same votes in Scotland. The economy is no side show: if we let it hang to the right both Unionism and the so-called ‘free market’ of multi-national corporate capital will dominate not just the economic but also the cultural sphere. These are not mutually exclusive ideological (or policy) battles. The right are asking all too blatantly, why have economic hegemony and not cultural hegemony? Blair, Clinton, Brown et al failed spectacularly in their attempt to marry progressive -ish cultural policies with right-wing economic strategies: the right and center are keeping their capitalist economics and in Europe, Russia, England, Wales and the USA they are succeeding in deconstructing a leftist sense of human solidarity and political progress- they argue for a fear of migrataion and a fear of the future, and fear is the weapon they use to justify their ugly policies and ideas. There is no room for complacency, if folk want to live in a decent world it is necessary to argue against capitalist exploitation for the some moral reasons as opposing racism or language suppression/oppression. These are not two different struggles, they are the same moral struggle for human liberation that has been going on throughout most of human history. Let us have a Scots Language Act. Let us have sustainable economic development that is real, no based in the fantasy credit world of private banking. Let us have a Scottish currency and a publicly owned and controlled Scottish National Bank. If these things can be made to work Scottish Independence will most certainly come. But if it’s seen as not being part of the one economic and social struggle we will be defeated by forces of division and fear so beloved of those on the right everywhere on the globe.

    1. c rober says:

      The union itself is right wing.

      Its represented the wealthy over the poor when it was created , and today little has changed…. but you are right , the economic question of Liberation hedges on a financial one. One I hope that the SNP addresses properly – one that SLAB can aid , and over the Unionist that have deserted the party for Tory strategic voting….. those that they have aligned with in Holyrood like some form of schoolyard clique in order to defeat the SNP – only serving to worsen the decline further.

      The leadership of the party , Its like watching a greek economist work – lets create more civil service jobs to increase tax income!

      What this shows , in the SLAB change in the electorates voting , either to SNP or Tory , is that there was , perhaps still is , a middle class in the party directing working class in their benefit , wolves among the sheep , they remain as long as leaders remain , and where policy is directed as England mandated to appear to middle England.

      The only surefire way for SLAB to remain relevant today , for tomorrow , then is to offer one option – one that beats the SNP while at the same time sating the reason why many will continue to vote for them over SLAB – that one thing is the original core directive in the creation of the Labour party itself – HOME RULE.

      But as I often mention as failure is rewarded for the leaders , the directors and leaders of the policies of the party in Scotland , through the list system , protecting their own income over that of those they lead – then change in the party will not happen , thus it is heading to a footnote in History.

  5. Willie says:

    Voting in Scotland doesn’t count. The people voted very substantially for Remain. They voted in huge numbers too for the SNP in both Westminster and Hollyrood. Something else will fill the gap if voting doesn’t.

    1. Scott Young says:

      Spot on

    2. c rober says:

      Voting in Scotland , for Westminster doesnt make any difference – having Holyrood only serves to have a third level of politicians in the Trough without any real power.Four if you include the EU – but thats baiting the hook for brexiteers really.

      So the result , for change at least , is indy – then your removing two levels of the trough.

      Even the list system prevents change – and whom installed that one again? Labour. While I agree in proportional representation , of sorts , I dont think the D Hondt is that way – unless you prevent leaders from being in the list system , then you dont have a single reason to adopt change…..or even listen to your voters.

      In evolutionary terms , your keeping the bad dna with using the list – which is probably why the Labour party is facing extinction.

      1. John B Dick says:

        If you think closed d’Hondt is bad, what do you think is better? Surely not FPTP?

        As I said in reply to your earlier comment, d’Hondt may not be perfect [What in this world is?] but it is a huge advance on FPTP as long as we have parties.

        I have never been a member of a political party, because I regard them as a conspiracy against democracy and I have voted for candidates of at least six, though never Conservatives.

        As for your two levels of the trough, I am concerned at a rise in support within the SNP for a second ‘revising’ chamber which would negate the ‘proper job for backbenchers’ that Donald Dewar told me (sometime beween 1953-54 and 1956-57) that the list and committee systems would provide.

        1. c rober says:

          John B Dick ,

          Your right , its the fairest option – at least in theory.

          Democracy is though FPTP – we cant change that , democracy 3.0 rather than 2.0 would be better – but it can be argued that 3.0 , the people themselves , ie in the case of the Brexit Ref – in that it too has its failure.

          Theres the populist vote , and Binary options which give us like Brexit and Trump , and then theres the pop vote , which is why Scotland gets a Government it rarely elects in Westminster via FPTP. But somehow Scotland is prevented from that same system in its chocolate teapot glorified council chambers.

          However D Hondt , when it protects political leaders – whom cant lead , or whom cant get their wards to elect them due to the policies they mandate – then there lies the problem , no triage , no necropsy = no change.This is at the expense of the walking wounded – whom take their commands and even on the public themselves. In other words KEZ , through Dhondt not removing a leader of a party thats dying more and more each election , means less opposition – is essentially doing the SNP the biggest favour – and the tories too by proxy as the Unionist vote deflects to a party on the rise rather than one in decline.

          So when the Holyrood mandate landed on the floor of Blairs doormat in no10 , then why was the change from FPTP to D Hondt not also imposed on Westminster?

          If its that fair , then after 17 years of complaining as the opposition , then 14 or so as the incumbents , they somehow had the time to implement it for Holryood but not for Westminster ? Though they did change to HOL to elected – but never removed the landed peers?

          Oh and dont get my started on the SNP and the upper chamber n after decades of complaint about the HOL – so if we remain in the UK and the EU , you have Local , Holyrood , HR upper chamber , HOL , Westminster and the EU – and thats a lot of jobs for the non gender specific boys. I know unemployment is an unwanted thing – but FFS we cant have everyone employed as politicians in the trough – we arent Greece.

          There is though scope for an upper house , like D Hondt in theory it too would work. But that involves creating specialist positions – not as an additional level of govt but as empowered Civil servants if you will – employed to aid the Government , more so if it is to publicly prove them wrong , or in the headwind of the likes of a “project fear” campaign to prove them right.

          Giving out those jobs should be based on what though – donations to a party , being a retired lecturer , self made business person and so on…. or something like Big Brother or Strictly come Lordships – as the great unwashed votes by text from the comfort of their DFS leather sofa for a laff?

  6. scrandoonyeah says:

    Did you go out with John McTernan last night for a quiet drink and had a few too many and woke up with a hangover and had a bad dose of the shakes this morning?

    Pull yourself together man and stop your whimpering.

  7. tartanfever says:

    ‘So there will be those who yell for Indy Ref 2 now as if that would save us – but it won’t work – the electorate will simply not stand for it, not in times like these, not with this level of uncertainty’

    This seems to be a much repeated quote – straight from the mouths of Ruth Davidson, The Scotsman and others of the ‘union persuasion.’

    But common sense tells me that if Brexit causes uncertainty, then Scotland staying in the EU surely doesn’t.

    That argument is usually followed with :-

    ‘Ahh but what about the 50% of Scottish exports that the rest of the UK currently buy that keeps your economy afloat ?’

    Most of that 50% ends up leaving the UK as exports anyway, and as you’ve mentioned, the UK is in uncertain times and looking more and more like taking an economic dive. The spending power of consumers south of the border is going to take a big hit. So cut out the middleman in exports (England) and look to bolster the EU market would be the sensible way to proceed.

    More importantly, I think that Peter fails to take into account is the importance of the passage of time.

    Time just now is working just now for Scottish Independence because May’s Government has no time. The self imposed deadline of March 2017 for Article 50 and the 2 years negotiating after that forces them to be quick, hasty and make mistakes highlights and forces home the utter ineptitude of the UK’s position.

    Forward that to some time after 2020. While the economy may be slow, weak and final trade deals not sorted out etc, time will have made us understand and accept our position. The longer you get used to being out of the EU, the less you miss it, (the press will also help with that, continuing to paint the EU in an increasingly bad light)

    Time takes us further away from the EU, the longer we wait, the further the distance to travel back to it. In my mind, this is the ’emotion of the argument’, you know, that thing that voters felt when the voted Leave and voted for Trump.

    Brexit is the change, it’s the driving force for a new indyref. Careful timing is required, but waiting until at leat 3 years until after the UK left the EU is suicide because by that time, many have already adjusted to life outside the EU.

    Indyref surely has to happen at some point in the next 18/24 months.

    In the meantime. please, we need more articles on the disaster of Brexit. There’s simply not enough.

    1. bringiton says:

      Indyref2 must happen if the wishes of the Scottish people are to be respected.
      The relationship between Scotland and England has been that of a bullying spouse (England) who will not tolerate any sort of independent action by us (the China debacle being the latest of many instances).
      Anyone who thinks that they are going to “allow” Scotland to waltz off with the Scandinavians or anyone else other than them is in for a nasty surprise.
      It will be their way or the highway for us Scots unless we follow through on divorce proceedings.

  8. tartanfever says:

    Michael Gray tweeting:

    ‘Labour MSP Richard Leonard confirms the party will not support motion in favour of Scottish membership of the European Single Market.’

    With this in mind, maybe Peter would like to do a follow up as it’s clear Labour cannot take of it’s tribal blinkers.

  9. Peter Arnott says:

    In order to create an effective alliance against a hard Brexit, the SNP and Labour , this afternoon, both had to be grown up enough to concede territory to each other…until the next electoral test..which is either gong to be Indyref 2 or the next UK election in 2020 or earlier. They haven’t done that. Each has acted as if they believed that if they shout at each other loudly enough, the other will agree to cease to exist. Both predicate everything on the disappearance of the other. ASs if either the 45 or the 55 percent will just go away.

    My argument today was that there was a way past territorial delusion…a popular front, as it were, to represent the consensus that exists in Scotland, but does NOT exist in the Labour and SNP voters any more in one than the other, against Brexit.

    Well you both blew it. You will no doubt happily blame each other as you allow the Tories to flush us down the toilet for territorial ,reasons of their own. But today, in my opinion, both the SNP and Labour failed to act for Scotland. So, frankly, a plague on both your houses.

    1. c rober says:

      The snp rise is about more than just indy to voters – as SNP moved left , Slab and its bosses thus were moved right by definition – and stayed right , still believe they are right and the people that elect them are wrong – their exit therefore for what remains is the last door on the right.

      Even second choice voting may not even save them now – because the unionist vote that was within their electorate has went even further right , as seen with the rise of tories in council , Holyrood , and Westminster voting…. they are consigned to history , that is unless they somehow have a penalty awarded.

      That penalty is FFA , adopting independence , and in a union.

    2. Calum says:

      What a load of absolute bilge.

      1. John B Dick says:

        … and bad grammar, bad speling, non-sequturs and unsupported assertions.

        1. c rober says:

          Thanks for the constructive criticism , I do though suffer from bad grammar – but my maths are perhaps a little better. And as we know the lost argument internet rule – say its tripe , say bad grammar , and lastly I will wait for the godwin bus to finish the triple.

          Under the current leader SLAB has lost 40 seats at WM , 13 at HR , without a crystal ball though we have to wait until MAY to see the rest.

          The unionist vote that left them meant that 13 of those HR seats may well have accounted for 13 of the 16 that the Tories have gained mostly through the list system.

          But still there is a indecisive hand on the tiller. Unionist party this week , but not next week , Corby bad , Corby good.

          Methinks she will be back on the boaby soon.

    3. Donnie MacLachlan says:

      So labour’s expectation is:

      A. The SNP must have a detailed policy response to the uk government’s policy on brexit despite the uk government not having a policy and making a hash of everything EU related.

      B. We (labour) will take an opportunity to sh1t on the SNP despite it being to the detriment of the Scottish people and siding with the tories.

      Let’s face if, labour voters in Scotland are decent people, labour politicians in Scotalnd, steered by London colleagues are treacherous in the extreme towards Scotland, they’d sell their grannies to a glue factory.

      Solution is to appeal to Hthe common sense of labour voters in Scotland over the heads of their treacherous political leadership.

  10. Alastair McIver says:

    This is a rather incoherent ramble. If I am to accept a rather counter-intuitive argument for “parking” independence, it is going to have to be made in clearer terms than this. What on Earth are you talking about?

  11. Maria F says:

    “So there will be those who yell for Indy Ref 2 now as if that would save us – but it won’t work – the electorate will simply not stand for it, not in times like these, not with this level of uncertainty”

    I am sorry but what you present as an assertion is nothing but supposition. How do you know that it will not work? Please don’t say that you rely on polls because recent events have shown to those still trusting them what a piece of crap they really are.

    If I understood you correctly you are presuming that like you most people in Scotland regards the union to England as more important to retain economic stability than membership to the EU. I think that is where you are completely wrong. Currently, the UK offers to Scotland no stability whatsoever and many people is quickly realising of that.

    Please do not underestimate the intelligence of the Scottish people. The only real way you can find out what the people of Scotland values more is by asking. As a matter of fact, considering that a 62% of the electorate in Scotland voted to remain in the EU and seeing the monumental mess those self-serving incompetent in power down south are causing, I think indiref2 is owed to the people of Scotland. Scotland has been silenced enough.

    You must know that being forced to leave the EU – because forcing Scotland to leave is what the self-serving incompetents up here representing the 3 unionist parties are advocating for – just because the other kingdom of this union wants so, is not fairing that well around many. If you haven’t realised of this yet is because you have your fingers firmly stuck on your ears.

    Please don’t forget that all this disappointment around Brexit is already on top of the disappointment created by having to endure a Tory government rejected by an 85% of the electorate voting in Scotland during the last GE, but again, voted in by the other Kingdom of the union. A Tory government that is now represented by a bunch of self-important and full of hot air incompetents, the laughing stock of the the EU they want to leave, who 4 months after the detonation of the casino politics-bombshell signature of Mr Cameron, embarrassingly, still couldn’t come up with ‘a plan’.

    Since 18th September 2014, many in Scotland have realised that remaining in an union with England means having to give up our democratic rights: the GE of 2015, the vote on Trident, the vote on the bombing of Syria, the stopping of the subsides for renewable energy, the mess made by Gideon with the oil industry, the closing of army bases in Scotland, the GERS deficit, etc etc etc, are continuous reminders that for as long as Scotland remains in this union, it will never have a say in running its own affairs or its economy: that privilege is reserved to the MPs elected by those in England and not for the benefit of Scotland.

    It is also beginning to be clear to many in Scotland that Westminster decisions are totally toxic for Scotland, and again, it is also crystal clear that there is nothing Scotland can do to avoid a future Tory government if that is what England wants. I think you find that those are powerfully persuasive.

    On the other hand, how is it acceptable that London, banksters or some Japanese car manufacturers are going to get a special deal of access to the single market while Scotland, one of the two kingdoms part of this union, where an 62% of the electorate who voted rejected Brexit, is not even considered for the privilege? Do you seriously think that the majority of the people of one of the two kingdoms of this union will accept willingly being be regarded as so irrelevant? I wouldn’t be so sure.

    I think you find that it is precisely the casino politics of Cameron and co, the brexit that England and Wales voted for and are determined to impose on Scotland against its will, the policies implemented by a Tory government rejected by the overwhelming majority of the Scottish electorate but voted in by England, the suggestions of a hard brexit without access to the single market and without a say from Scotland and the diminishing treatment of Scotland compared with London, banksters or car manufacturers, and overall the monumental mess that the current tory government is making of the whole brexit thing what has created and will still create uncertainty.

    For Scotland (I personally don’t care if it adds uncertainty to the rUK) Indiref2 is not going to create more uncertainty than what we already have. Differently to brexit and the nightmare that is the incompetent Tory government and main opposition party, indiref2 in my opinion is the opportunity that Scotland has to put a stop to the uncertainty. It truly is the only fair way to allow the people of Scotland to decide what type of uncertainty they want for their future. It is about time the Scottish people decide for themselves what they want for their country rather than having those in England making all the decisions for them. Don’t you think?

    Bring indiref2 on!

  12. George Gunn says:

    Maria F has made a good case, so I don’t need to repeat it. Except to say that “uncertainty” is not the result of anything but a control tactic by those who rule us. Also, what if not having a plan is actually the Tories plan? If they say what the “plan” is half of them will eat it up for breakfast. What they are ALL interested in is power and how to retain it. That, as far as I can see, is what the EU referendum was all about.

    1. c rober says:

      Ah the politics of Columbo , dithering , when not dithering.

      The Brexit thing is about fixing the race , for those that will lose the most that are the wealthiest , to limiting it , working the markets with talking it up as they offload their risky assets.

  13. MBC says:

    Hmmm… I am with you Peter on the futility of pinning our hopes on Indyref2 ever being a success in the current climate of fear. But I think doing the Oliver Twist routine for a nice Brexit, please, England, is equally futile.

    I agree that we have to get Scottish politicians to put their tribal loyalties aside and think of the Scottish national interest, but, well, pigs might fly.

  14. Gary Elliot says:

    I read this at lunchtime today and thought it made a lot of sense. Then the rest of the day happened. Seriously, 62% of Scots voted to remain *IN THE EU*. The idea that Scottish Labour can now – after 5 times voting to stay in the single market – suggest that we should leave it, is mind boggling. The idea that there can be *ANY* trust in them was blown out of the water today. They are meekly following their London counterparts in meekly accepting Brexit, which is one thing in rUK when that’s what they voted for. But in Scotland? Unbelievable.

  15. Tam Dean Burn says:

    ‘Even if Corbyn WINS the next election, Brexit will go essentially unchallenged. There is no solution to this except a Scottish solution. Everyone must see that.’
    I got this far with Peter and thought, after Labour’s apparent acceptance of hard Brexit today, YES I do see that now. Only Scotland can present an alternative to it all, Brexit and Trump, by seizing its unique opportunity to vote again to stay in the EU through IndyRef2. Anything else leaves the ball entirely in the Tory court ( I could attempt an Andy Murray metaphor here but won’t ). But what does Peter then propose? Something that is shown to be utterly ludicrous within hours and is based entirely on the notion that indyref2 can’t be won because folk are scared of uncertainty. Jeezo peeps Peter there’s nowt more uncertain than everything going down now. Folk are desperate for change. That’s why SLAB were wiped out, why Corbyn won, why Brexit and Trump happened and why Nicola and the SNP won. SLAB have absolutely SFA to offer- just read the tweets of its Left like Sean Duffy and Neil Findlay- and putting any faith in Dugdale and Murray is not even funny. I returned to my communist roots after a year in the SNP ( like Peter, except the roots bit ) and set great store by Corbyn’s victories, as Peter well knows with me arguing comradely against him a lot lately. But now, while I still long for genuine socialist solutions to all our problems, now I’m convinced that an all out fight to maintain Scotland as at least a half decent haven for progressive politics is vital and that will only be happen through INDYREF2 ASAP.

    1. MBC says:

      It’s whether the 55% will change, and I doubt it. They are not the desperate, they are the comfortable, the cautious, they are not the ones crying out for change, they are crying out for the status quo. Sad but true. I think they just cannot believe what shit is hitting the fan.

      1. douglas clark says:

        If all 55% ‘changed’, then we would have a plebiscite for independence of 100%.

        Not going to happen.

        Perhaps, more realistically 10% may be persuaded to change to ‘Yes’ because of this Brian Rix farce that is the Tories in power.

        More concerned about the parking of the bus approach that Peter advocates. That, it seems to me is not going to work either.

        I think that, after this hiatus, which is what is happening right now, lots of people are going to wonder whether 2016 was just a bad dream. I expect politics to become more, rather than less intense next year, what with Brexit being officially triggered and negotiations actually commencing. Whether it will be enough to turn circa 10% more Scots towards independence will probably depend on the economic deal that is struck, then spun. Frankly, I suspect it might be very hard to spin.

        At the end of the day, it will be for the Scottish electorate to decide what the trigger point for independence actually is. Or, indeed, if there actually is a trigger point at all.

        1. John B Dick says:

          It doesn’t need 10% of the electorate to change. Not even 10% of NO voters.

          The vow, EVEL, Generational change, Brexit are all moving opinion in the same direction.

          The SNP leadership are well aware that a YES majority will be there in time, but the consequenses of having Indiref2 before it is certain to be won are too grave to give way to supporters keen to campaign.

          The SNP are right to be canny. Differential turnout is key. Whether they rely on polls, horoscopes, eye of newt and toe of frog, or whatever, if they guess wrong will those who now clamour for an early indyref2 admit they were wrong and the main cause of failure?

          Lets just wait for one more Eton mess. It won’t be long.

      2. Maria F says:


        you seem to forget the rather important detail that quite a few of the 55% did in fact vote to remain in the EU and want to remain in the EU.

        It is the EU now what represents the Status quo and security and not an increasingly unpredictable Brexit UK dragging Scotland out against its will with all the consequences that Scotland voted to avoid.

        That changes the game completely, I think, because it is now a question of what that 55% considers more ‘comfortable’ and ‘secure’: retaining their EU citizens’ rights and still enjoying the economic and social advantages of being part of the EU, access to the biggest single market in the world and support from 27 other countries or accept giving all that up because, contrarily to us, our neighbour country has decided so.

        The few within that 55% that voted to remain in the EU and I have spoken to prefer the EU to the UK. I guess that group may be now disgusted with the U-turn of Jackie Baillie now in support of Brexit. But I guess everybody expected that at some stage the establishment branches in Scotland would start to close ranks. At the end of the day it is their UK parties and not the people they represent what constitutes their number 1 priority, that bit is at least clear.

        A 45% voted to leave the UK in 2014 MBC. To become independent Scotland only needs a 6% from that 55% to shift. Brexit and the flip-flop nonsense coming from the three establishment branches may just do it.

  16. ronald alexander mcdonald says:

    Peter, I disagree entirely with your comments.

    SLAB are just a branch office. Labour today have come out in full support of Brexit. Telling us how wonderful it could be. That killed any possible deal with the SNP.

    Right now things are manic. I don’t think it’s realistic for those who voted NO in 2014 but voted to remain in the EU to support Independence until we know whether there is going to be a hard brexit.
    Considering the UK Gov are fighting among themselves and the courts, people are possibly hoping on a wing and a prayer for a soft brexit. We should know within a year? If it’s a hard brexit then it could be game on for INDY2 in 2018. We just don’t know how people will react. Things are too unpredictable.

    1. Donnie MacLachlan says:

      Alan Johnson et al labour’s high heid yins were furious at Corbyn for mot making a better case for the EU during the referendum.

      Roll the clocks, brexit has to happen,my here’s no going back, people have spoken and we must respect people’s views, etc.

      What changed, post brexit labour have now found that English core labour voters outside London voted to leave. labour are now pandering to a racist ukip and Tory right wing inspired political atmosphere.

      And Scotland is expected to follow loyally, labour are rotten to the core and now believe weaponising brexit in Scotalnd gives them a stick to beat the SNP with,mirrespcobe of it being to Scotland’s detrement.

      You can’t negotiate with fundamentalist british nationalists, aka so called Scottish labour, Scotland and scots will always come second for them!

  17. punklin says:

    Sorry Peter but I think you’re wrong on 2 counts.

    First you give Scottish Labour unwarranted significance. They’re dying on their arse and will soon be irrelevant. We might once have wished it otherwise but they have put themselves in an impossible position. They cannot figure in some kind of “let’s bury our differences and postpone thoughts of independence” alliance.

    Secondly you overplay the aversion to indyref2. I see how recent events make more “uncertainty” an issue but I think people will be gagging for a way out when it comes to the bit.

  18. Redgauntlet says:

    Peter Arnott is a novelist and you can tell from this piece in which great flights of fancy spread their wings and fly. Which is, I grant you, more entertaining than engaging with the prosaic reality of Scottish politics in general, let alone the sordid, muddy and darkly-lit backstreet of that realm which is The Labour Party in Scotland…

    …which has quite a ring to it, the Labour Party in Scotland, not unlike the Queen / Crown in Parliament…something which is there without really being there, a kind of ghostly yet palpable presence, a kind of grey zone in which the usual questions flourish: what powers does the Queen / Labour Party in Scotland actually have? Is it all just a show and an illusion or do they actually decides policy? Etc.

    Scotland’s last chance is to use the triggering of Clause 50 by Miss Mayhem as “the material change in circumstances” which the SNP have said will occasion a second referendum.

    It is not about waiting until you think you can win it. It’s about being coherent, democratic – we voted to stay in the EU by a comfortable margin – transparent and true to your word.

    The tacticians can work out the date for the referendum, but that it should be announced the same day as Clause 50 is the only honest thing to do. And if we lose, then we lose…

    1. douglas clark says:

      Didn’t know Peter Arnott was a novelist. You appear to have similar abilities.

      I am not convinced that the triggering of Article 50 is the right moment.

      I think you trigger a second independence referendum when you think you can win it. Which is, probably, not long into the negotiation process. But it is into the negotiation process. Theresa May may have a cunning plan, but I don’t think she does. It will all unravel pretty quickly and that is when you look at your chances of winning an independence vote.

      We need some evidence.

      Otherwise we are just looking at opinions, not facts. And the ‘Leave’ side are masters of spin.

      1. Redgauntlet says:

        Well, we don’t know, but my feeling is that the we have an iron-cast case for a second referendum from the moment Article 50 is triggered, and the longer we wait from that moment, the weaker our position becomes.

        We went from 25%-30% in 2012 to very close to 50% in two years. We can surely travel the same distance again. I believe we can do it, I am convinced. And if we don’t do it, then we forget about independence and concentrate on other important matters, not least the environment. But we clear the Constitutional air so to speak.

        Besides, to frame a second Scottish independence reference in the white heat of Brexit is a smart move. It will win all sorts of voters who would not have even contemplated independence before. Peter Arnott is right to say we need a broad coalition against Brexit. But he is wrong to frame it in terms of Parliament. We need that same coalition, right across the spectrum, of a Scotland in the EU YES campaign which should kick off next March.

        We should be bold, the SNP should be bold and above all, true to their word. They promised a second referendum if there was a “material change” in circumstances, and the day that Article 50 is triggered, we can be sure that has taken place. There is no point in relying on the polls. That is no way to win independence…

        1. douglas clark says:

          Good points. Thanks for the reply.

  19. Justin Kenrick says:

    At the moment the EU looks like a safe haven, but

    . . . with the prospect of Le Pen being elected President in France, Wilders coming to power in the Netherlands, etc., we need to think ahead now, rather than be reacting then when we are offered a choice between a right-wing UK and a fragmenting rightwards EU.

    Key to getting back ahead of the curve (as the Yes movement was) is to not accept compromises within a failed framework but to strike out for what we really want, and insist on it.

    2016 tells us that, in these times, the unthinkable is much more likely to happen than the thinkable.

    So what do we need to think into being?

    A just inclusive welcoming country where land and resources are there for communities to develop and sustain, and where the exorbitantly rich are welcome to threaten us all with leaving and then to actually leave. They can take all sorts of things with them, but what makes us rich in the ways that matter is if we are treating each other fairly, and if we refuse the lie that we need exploitative systems to survive.

    ‘Unthinkable’? You bet, and who do you think works day and night to make sure we think that that kind of world is unthinkable? And who are we to disagree and make a future for our children instead?

    1. Tam Dean Burn says:

      Thanks Justin, you’ve said what I wanted to get at. We really need to seize the initiative with a bold ambition for a better nation. Political chicanery tailing the Tories and seeking a soft Brexit landing is doomed to failure. It’s like Owen Smith’s dumb idea that a referendum happens after all Brexit negotiations. There’s no way back by that stage. Indyref2 asap will offer a definite alternative to all that. It shouldn’t be left to the SNP. Yes, go get Nicola’s National Conversation up to 2m by Nov30 from 1.6m now but let’s get mobilised for indyref2 action now. Pussyfooting around May and hoping for enough disaster to make UK untenable is totally disastrous in itself. Now’s the day and now’s the hour…

  20. William Ross says:

    You all keep on saying that 62% of Scots voted to stay in the EU. You know this is not true. Sixty two percent of Scots voted for the UNITED KINGDOM to stay in the EU. Most of these were not nationalists. On the other hand around 40% of the 38% who voted Leave were nationalists. Of all parties, SNP supporters were most likely to vote ” Leave”. Quite a few of our parliamentarians voted Leave but were afraid to be open about it. A worrying sign?

    1.1 million Scots voted to leave and 1.3 million did not vote at all. 1.6 voted for the UK to remain. Can we build a winning consensus on these figures?

    Indyref 2 must happen after Brexit is finalised. We are looking at after the next Holyrood elections.

    1. c rober says:

      or the council elections in MAY – that is if the SNP are brave enough to stand its Councillors on one simple mandate.

      Hard for WM , May et all to ignore it.

      Its not like they have any troops left to send into George Sq to remind the people to submit.

    2. Maria F says:

      William Ross

      “You all keep on saying that 62% of Scots voted to stay in the EU. You know this is not true. Sixty two percent of Scots voted for the UNITED KINGDOM to stay in the EU”

      I am sorry for the rant William, but I find this is a rather mean argument which is often used by unionists for whom deception seem to be the only tool they are proficient with. The problem is that you can only deceive for so long.

      That deceptive comment does annoys me quite a bit, actually, because it brings back rather painful memories of the massive deception that was the better together campaign and makes my blood boil.

      I have looked back to reports and articles from up to 2 years before the 2014 Scottish Referendum and what I found was one disgusting deception after another.

      The fearmongering of the potential unavailability of organs for transplants or blood for transfusions for an independent Scotland was nothing less than sickening, but there were many awful others like the potential increase of the BBC TV licence by double if Scotland would become independent (as if many people would be prepare to pay that for the BBC ;)), the disgusting deception of the threat of the HQ of certain financial institution moving to London if Scotland would become independent, only to move them anyway after a NO vote, of course, the deception of the ‘security of pensions’ only possible within the UK to be changed after the NO vote, the deception continuously spouted by unionist bigwigs saying that warships would only be built in Scotland if remaining in the UK, to procede immediately after the NO vote to reduce the number of frigates even postpone them indefinitely and close army bases in Scotland, the deception of EVEL… As I said, deception after deception.

      In matters of the EU, article after article brought back over and over again the suggestion that it would be very difficult for Scotland to be part of the EU as an independent party. Suggestions that Spain would veto it were constant. Barroso’s comments were weaponised in many articles too. Even Ruth Davidson is in record suggesting that the only way to remain in the EU was by remaining in the UK. She is back-peddling on her words now, of course. I didn’t find any mention at all in the unionist press at the time about the possibility of Brexit if Scotland voted NO. Of course not, because at that time we were bombarded with the deception of poll after poll claiming that Labour would win the election. Now of course, when it is clear that all the arguments of the unionists were a lot of porkies, they come up with the extra deception that ‘the detail was in the small print’. I guess that it was written with lemon juice because I didn’t see it at the time. For the unionist parties It is of course the fault of the Scottish people for not realising that it was there for them to read.

      Personally William I am sick of being deceived and being treated like if I am an ignorant. I am fed up of having unionist big wigs constantly presuming they know what I want, what voted for and what I don’t need or I didn’t vote for. That is not for them but for me and only for me to decide.

      On the 23rd June 2016 the Scottish people going to the polls were presented with ballots that did not give them the option to chose if their country, that is Scotland, should remain in the EU or should leave. That option was never made available from Westminster, and you know very well William that this option will never be available for the Scottish people for as long as Scotland remains trapped in this union. Therefore, the only possible way the electorate in Scotland had to express if they wanted their country, that is Scotland, to remain in the EU or not is by choosing the UK to remain.

      I am sure that you remember as well as I do that the Scottish Government asked to be able to veto Brexit if the 4 individual countries constituting the UK didn’t vote to leave. Of course Westminster in form of the Tory party rejected that because it was not convenient to the brexiteers within its ranks. Therefore, William, the only possible way the people of each of the 4 countries had to decide if they wanted their respective countries to remain or to leave the EU was by voting for the UK to do so. If you have a problem with that, it is not the electorate you have to blame for this, it is westminster and the Tory party.

      To be honest attempting to deceive the electorate again by pointing out now that the people just voted for the UK does nothing but rubbing salt in the wounds because it is a reminder that for as long as Scotland remains in the UK, the Scottish people will be always deprived of the option to decide on their country’s future. Do you really want to do that?

      The only way you can know for sure if they voted for the UK or for Scotland to remain in the EU is by asking every single one of them William. And the way to do that William is with indiref2. So bring it on!

    3. tartanfever says:

      ‘around 40% of the 38% who voted Leave were nationalists.’

      So thats works out at roughly 15%. That’s all. 15% of voters who favoured independence in 2014 voted to leave the EU. That’s tiny.

      In the meantime, 65% of Tories in the rest of the UK voted to leave the EU, against the express wishes and campaigning of Ruth Davidson, whose own Tory constituency voted overwhelmingly to stay in the EU.

      And you seem to be saying the nationalists have a problem, not the Ruth Davidson party ?

  21. Craig Miller says:

    It’s just what’s happening now …EU or UK ?…this is hardly a choice I want to make , like Clinton Trump ….but this is what’s put before us , my faith in our ability to change a single thing contrary to the states wishes wanes by the day ….NATO ……? An Independent Scotland would be a Russophobic endorser of resources theft ?…no choice at all there, all bar the Honourable Greens , and if they were to come close to power they too would be infiltrated and “turned” like another party I won’t name ….the state has abolished meaningful politics in a functioning democracy ….we were all watching Gogglebox fodder at the time ….

  22. William Ross says:

    Maria F

    I sympathise with your frustration but I am afraid that your argument is unsound.

    Firstly, to clarify a personal issue. I am a lifelong nationalist who campaigned strongly for Yes in 2014. My garden has never quite recovered from 2014.

    You relate how Better Together argued strongly that the only way for Scotland to be SURE of staying in the EU was through a No vote. In this ( if little else) they were telling the truth. An independent Scotland would have had to apply to join the EU after it left the UK. We would have received “rough” treatment. RUK, Belguim, France and Spain would all have been against us.

    To jump from this assertion to the assumption that we were somehow GUARANTEED a place in the EU if we voted “No” in 2014 is totally unwarranted. It has been Tory party policy since 2013 to have an EU referendum. Cameron`s Bloomberg speech was given in 2013. If you check the Wings over Scotland entry for 19 Sept 2014 you will find that the Rev predicts Brexit from that point. Alex Salmond raised the possibility of Brexit in debate with Alasdair Darling pre-18 Sept. 2014. What you are in effect arguing was that we were guaranteed in 2014 that there were never be another UK Tory government. Sorry, Maria, but it won`t wash.

    In 2015 55% of Scots voted to continue the existing UK state which was and is a member of the EU. The EU referendum is a perfectly valid, long overdue exercise in British democracy. Anyone with eyes to see would know it was coming sometime. To have an in-out EU referendum was actually even Lib Dem policy.

    All anyone can do is to look at the question which we were asked on 23 June 2016. Sixty two percent of voters in Scotland wanted the UK to remain and 38% wanted the UK to leave. However, the UK that WE ( not you or I) voted to maintain on 18 Sept. 2014 voted to Leave. That is the result, period.

    Polling can afterwards provide us with political ( not legal) information. Polling shows that most young people voted to remain. However, polling also shows that some 36 % of SNP supporters voted for Leave. That means that around half of all Remain supporters were SNP/Yes and half of all Leave supporters were also SNP/Yes.

    A nationalist 62% is a total myth.

    Note what happened to the famous”chaos” memo….. Another embarrassment for Remain. Why does Peter Arnott so prefer Merkel`s austerity to Theresa May`s?

    1. Maria F says:

      “I am a lifelong nationalist who campaigned strongly for Yes in 2014”
      Sorry William, but writing that is not going to give any more credibility to your comment. That would be the job of your arguments. I have come across far too many comments from unionists pretending to be what they are not by stating something similar.

      “You relate how Better Together argued strongly that the only way for Scotland to be SURE of staying in the EU was through a No vote. In this ( if little else) they were telling the truth.”

      It very much depends of what you consider “the truth” William. I personally consider that assertion a huge deception and not really the truth. Effectively what you are claiming is that the Unionists were only saying that the best way for Scotland to remain in the Union UNTIL THE EU REFERENDUM was by voting NO. I have read plenty of articles of that time and not a single one ever mentioned this fact, which was carefully left out. That is not telling the truth William, that is taking advantage of the readers trust and use deception to get your way. Not exactly something to be proud of, actually.

      “We would have received “rough” treatment. RUK, Belguim, France and Spain would all have been against us”
      That is incorrect and you know it. As a matter of fact this sounds very much like the lies spouted by the unionists during the independence referendum campaign and I am sick of hearing them, quite frankly. Spain’s PM Mariano Rajoy was in record (I heard him in an interview) and what he said at the time is that for as long as the UK constitution allowed Scotland its independence referendum he would not object. He made the remark that Catalonia and Scotland were two completely different cases, so I do not know where you get that Spain would oppose to Scotland’s membership from.

      As for the rUK being against us, that is not a novelty. When they have not been?
      Now if you refer to their potential opposition at Scotland being an EU member, well that is rather complicated, because what is really the UK, William? If I am correct, it is the union of two kingdoms: Scotland and England. Wales and NI were already conquered by England. So, can you say that is there really a UK left if Scotland leaves? I am not sure so I leave that matter to the lawyers and historians to decide.

      “To jump from this assertion to the assumption that we were somehow GUARANTEED a place in the EU if we voted “No” in 2014 is totally unwarranted”
      You are using deception William and not very well. You need more practice. To be honest, I am so sick of unionists’ deception that I can smell it a mile of. As a matter of fact, there was not any assertion by the Unionists whatsoever that it was not guaranteed. The only ones coming clean were the YES campaign, actually. In every single article from unionist press that I read at the time it was never mentioned that the place of the UK in the EU was threatened by anything else other Scotland independence itself. No, in every single one independence was presented as the only source of EU membership risk for Scotland.

      “It has been Tory party policy since 2013 to have an EU referendum”
      Oops! Deception again William. During the independence referendum campaign, the polls were indicating that Labour would win the GE. As a matter of fact, there is a youtube video around where this is even stated by the one and only Ruth Davidson!!

      William you know very well that the EU referendum was only included in the Tory manifesto in 2015. Party policies are irrelevant or do you keep in mind every day the policies of political parties like ‘Monster looney raving party’ or BNP? A manifesto is what the electorate vote for William. The EU referendum manifesto was only voted by the people in 2015, that was the year after the independence referendum took place.

      “What you are in effect arguing was that we were guaranteed in 2014 that there were never be another UK Tory government”
      No. That is incorrect William. I was not arguing that at all. But what I do argue is that the polls at the time were deceiving voters by indicating a victory for Labour. As I said above, even Ruth Davidson indicated that in a youtube video that is around.

      “Sorry, Maria, but it won`t wash”
      The deception of the unionists? of course not William! They have abused it far too many times.

      “The EU referendum is a perfectly valid, long overdue exercise in British democracy”
      That is valid or not is completely irrelevant for this argument William and you know it. The fact of the matter is that in their aim to get a No vote the unionists and the unionist press purposely disguised and hid the fact that the UK could leave the EU. That was dishonest. When you say British democracy, do you mean democracy the ‘British way’? Because how can you even talk about democracy when the votes of a 62% of the electorate voting in Scotland are being silenced by the three unionist branches in Scotland, who are meant to represent the people of Scotland?

      “Anyone with eyes to see would know it was coming sometime”
      I didn’t see it coming and I have eyes. But yes, I give you that, I was blinded by the unionist press’ deception and half-truths. But not anymore. I have now my eyes wide open and in high alert to any more deceptions coming from the unionist branches or their supporting press.

      “However, the UK that WE ( not you or I) voted to maintain on 18 Sept. 2014 voted to Leave. That is the result, period”
      That comes across as awfully patronising William and I am not having any of it. Sorry.

      What is the UK, William? The UK is a union of 4 countries. 2 of those countries voted to leave the EU and another 2 voted to remain. You cannot say, the UK voted to leave. The UK as a union of 4 countries did not vote to leave or to remain.

      The UK is the union of 2 kingdoms: Scotland and England. One of the kingdoms voted to exit the EU and the other to remain. On that base you cannot say that the UK voted to leave the EU.

      The UK, as a union of 4 countries and as the union of 2 kingdoms did not vote to leave the EU. England and Wales did. Using your very own words, “that is the result, period”.

      “Polling can afterwards provide us with political ( not legal) information”
      William, we all know by now that polling is another deception tool used and abused before elections. It doesn’t provide with any political information. it is more probably used to deliver biased political information and to shift vote. The polls around the independence referendum time claimed that Miliband was going to win the election. Did he win? What about the polls claiming that Clinton was going to win? What about the polls before the EU referendum?

      “That means that around half of all Remain supporters were SNP/Yes”
      And of course means that around half of the remain supporters were Unionist supporters. That means William that the Scottish unionist branches cannot shift the blame of their selfish actions – now rejecting the Common market membership and supporting brexit – by claiming that it is what ‘Scotland voted for in 2014’. It is not: half of the No voters wanted to retain EU membership. It is up to them and not to the unionist branches to decide what union they value more, if the EU or the UK.

      “A nationalist 62% is a total myth”
      Please define “nationalist”. 62% is the overwhelming proportion of the Scottish electorate voting on June 2016 that supported Scotland remaining in the EU. You stated in your own comment that half of those supporting remaining in the EU were NO voters. What has the “nationalist” to do with it?

      “Note what happened to the famous”chaos” memo….. Another embarrassment for Remain”
      What memo? What ‘chaos’? I don’t get what you are talking about. The only memo I am aware of is that of Carmichael, which was an embarrassment not for Remain but for the entire democratic process of the UK. Actually, it was disgusting. Had it being leaked by a member of the SNP and the treatment of the MP would have been completely different. The difference of treatment is what is embarrassing.

      “Why does Peter Arnott so prefer Merkel`s austerity to Theresa May`s?”
      Why do you ask this question to me and not to Peter ARnott? I think you are quite safe William. I don’t think he bites!

      William, when you say that you are a nationalist, do you actually mean a ‘british nationalist’?

  23. William Ross says:

    Maria F

    I have to smile when you say that you believe that I am a Unionist. To me it is amusing but to give you fair do`s you cannot know my affiliation. We are communicating through cyberspace. Still, if I were a genuine Unionist I would not be wasting my time posting comments on Bella Caledonia. Give me the benefit of the doubt.

    1. The Better Together argument that “Yes” risked our status in the EU. You must remember that no one, not even Mr Rajoy, ever argued that Scotland as an independent country could not ONE DAY join the EU. Instead, the argument was that Scotland would exit the EU as an independent country and have to re-join ( which would take years) I think this was correct, but in fact we will never know absolutely. EU treaties are all about power, rather than law. Re RUK, something would have been left if we had exited, and since I doubt that Wales and NI would have gone anywhere, “RUK” seems a convenient name.

    2. The “No EU Exit” Guarantee
    Quite naturally, the Unionists did not major on the possibility of a future EU referendum in 2014 but the fact that the largest UK party openly supported it since 2013 with the Prime Minister openly telling the Europeans that this was happening in Bloomberg ( 2013) should surely have been obvious to all. Quite apart from that, all Scottish citizens must have known of the possibility of a future EU referendum because of the UK Parliament`s supremacy. To put it another way, the UK that 55% of the Scottish voters ratified on 18 Sept. 2014 was the member state of the EU and could thus opt to leave ( see Lisbon Treaty, Article 50)

    3. The Lying “Polls” of 2014
    To suggest that pollsters deliberately lie puts you in conspiracy theory territory. The polls of 2014 did not lie, they just failed to predict 2015 with any accuracy. Check out Wings over Scotland 19 Sept. 2016. The Rev worked it all out. He rightly believed that Milliband could not possibly win.

    4. What is the UK?
    A very good question and one that is neglected by too many, including our First Minister. The UK is a “new” sovereign entity made up of England & Wales and Scotland. While the 1707 Union incorporated two hitherto sovereign nations into a new entity, it did create reserved rights for Scotland. For example, our religion, law and education system were protected. Thus a Scottish quasi-state lived on and the Scottish people continued to feel that they were ( and are) a distinct country within the Union. This feeling was greatly bolstered with the coming of devolution and an interesting and very important evolution of the unwritten-British Constitution: namely, that the Scots, as a sovereign nation within the Union, have the right to secede. Mrs Thatcher and all subsequent Prime-Ministers have conceded this. Both Ruth Davidson and David Mundell agree and Theresa M does as well. Note: she asks whether there ” should” be another indyref not whether there can be. This much by acclamation then.
    The problem is that none of this means that Scotland is an “equal” partner in the Union. It certainly is not. The UK is a unitary state with parliamentary representation being determined by population. That I might say is why YOU and I are fighting! We want Scottish independence. Within the Union Scotland has no constitutional vetos and could not have such vetos. The UK is the member in the EU and the UK will withdraw.

    5. I come back to my point on polls. These provide useful political information especially when conducted after the event. Very probably, around half of all Scottish Remain and half of all Scottish Leave voters were nationalist/YES. About 1.3 million ( like Cat Boyd) did not even vote.
    To try to campaign for Indyref 2 based on 62% of Scots voting Remain on a relatively low poll is very dangerous.

    6. Again, the question Scots answered on 23 June 2016 was whether the UK should remain in the EU.

    7. Lastly, you are right, I should have addressed my concluding complaints to Mr Arnott to Mr A. himself.He is now writing other stuff in a similar vein.

    I do not know where you live but here in Aberdeenshire the EU is not so popular among Yessers.

    1. Maria F says:

      William Ross

      “I have to smile when you say that you believe that I am a Unionist”
      Smile away William! You have now convinced me that you are a unionist.

      “Instead, the argument was that Scotland would exit the EU as an independent country and have to re-join”

      We are in a completely different territory now, William. England voted to leave the EU while Scotland did not. It may well be a way for Scotland (as an independent country) to retain the rights of the UK in the EU. We are in unchartered waters, so everything is possible.

      “Re RUK, something would have been left if we had exited, and since I doubt that Wales and NI would have gone anywhere, “RUK” seems a convenient name”
      I completely disagree. The name UK comes from the union of two kingdoms, the kingdom of Scotland and that of England (which already had absorbed Wales and NI at the time of the union). The kingdom of Scotland has as much right as the Kingdom of England to retain the name, therefore if you have to give it a representative name you may be bold and call it KE (the kingdom of England).

      “but the fact that the largest UK party openly supported it since 2013…”
      What???? the largest political party in the UK in September 2014 was labour. Are you suggesting that Labour supported the EU referendum at the time? that is rubbish!!! It most certainly did not. In fact, the polls you are so fond of, where claiming at the time that Labour would win therefore the EU referendum was not going to happen.

      “all Scottish citizens must have known of the possibility of a future EU referendum because of the UK Parliament`s supremacy”
      Have you asked every single one of them William? If you didn’t, how can you make such an assertion?
      Sorry, I have to ask, what do you mean about UK Parliament’s supremacy? Supremacy on what? On cockups like Brexit or causing the GERS deficit in Scotland? Or rather on breaking promises like the vow or EVEL?

      “To suggest that pollsters deliberately lie puts you in conspiracy theory territory”
      No it does not because I didn’t say they lied. But they didn’t say all the truth either. Or have you got any proof that they did?

      “The polls of 2014 did not lie, they just failed to predict 2015 with any accuracy”
      LOL! Ohh! look! another blue fat cat riding a tank!

      “he Rev worked it all out. He rightly believed that Milliband could not possibly win”
      So isn’t this the same to say that the polls blatantly lied?
      Next time I will not waste any time looking at any polls and will read Wings instead. Isn’t the Rev clever? Yes he is, a genius in fact.

      “The UK is a “new” sovereign entity made up of England & Wales and Scotland”
      I think you got this wrong William. The United KIngdom is the result of a treaty of Union by which the two kingdoms present in Great Britain at the time, that is the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England, “agreed” to unite. Actually, Scotland didn’t agree as such and revolted for quite some time afterwards. You could say that the independence movement today is the legacy of those revolting 300 years ago. You should know that by this time Wales and also Ireland had already been incorporated into the Kingdom of England and they didn’t sign the treaty of union between Scotland and England.

      “The problem is that none of this means that Scotland is an “equal” partner in the Union”
      I think if you go to the original document that seals the union between the Kingdom of Scotland and that of England you will find that the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England signed as equal partners.

      “I come back to my point on polls. These provide useful political information especially when conducted after the event”
      That is a matter of opinion William. So far, to me the only thing they have provided is confusion. I will only trust the national survey commissioned by the SNP.

      “Very probably, around half of all Scottish Remain and half of all Scottish Leave voters were nationalist/YES”
      So you don’t know for sure? May I ask why do you insist in calling Yes voters nationalists? Wanting to dissolve an unfavorable union that doesn’t treat us as equals when it is supposed to, takes away our resources and doesn’t bring anything back and doesn’t do anything good for your economy or your social needs is not ‘nationalist’, it is seeking freedom from oppression and home-rule. By the way, haven’t the English people just voted to leave the EU to ‘regain control’? Doesn’t that by your standards make them nationalists too? I think it does.

      “To try to campaign for Indyref 2 based on 62% of Scots voting Remain on a relatively low poll is very dangerous”
      It doesn’t matter if it is dangerous or not William. A 62% of those voting in the EU referendum in Scotland did so to remain in the EU. the current situation is that Westminster is trying to drag us out of the EU against the will of the majority of the Scottish electorate and the SNP, the political party most voted in Scotland’s democratic elections, had included a point in their manifesto to request another indiref if Scotland was to be dragged out of the EU against its will. This is now happening giving the SNP mandate to call for another indiref. Indiref2 should happen before Brexit is completed because the Scottish people should be given the option to retain their EU membership, at the end of the day they voted democratically against losing it, so why on earth should they lose it?

      “Again, the question Scots answered on 23 June 2016 was whether the UK should remain in the EU”
      Did you ask to every single one of them what they voted for William? So if you didn’t how do you know? Was the question whether Scotland should remain in the Eu or not ever asked in the ballot? No, it wasn’t. Why not? So how on earth was the people of Scotland going to express their desire for Scotland to remain in the EU if it was not choosing for the UK to remain?
      You are playing with semantics William, and I find it disgusting that you are trying to undermine the will of the people of Scotland. You like it or not, a 62% of those who voted in Scotland voted to remain in the EU and that result should be respected if this union is any form of democracy. If it is not, then there is absolutely no moral or ethical grounds to demand the yessers to accept that the result of 2014 is respected either.

      “I do not know where you live but here in Aberdeenshire the EU is not so popular among Yessers”
      And I couldn’t care less anymore William and neither should you, because on the 23rd of June 2016 the majority of the electorate in Scotland, that is a 62%, voted democratically to remain in the EU. The time to campaign for leaving the EU William is now well over, the opportunity to campaign for it was BEFORE the 23rd of June. The referendum is now over and the result is clear: a 62% of the electorate voting democratically in Scotland did so to remain in the EU and that democratic result should be respected.

  24. William Ross says:

    Maria F

    The question asked on 23 June was whether the UK should remain a member of the UK? In Scotland 62% of voters answered affirmatively. That is all the vote tells you. I don`t need to speak to voters after the fact because that is the only question I or they was asked. Not a single person expressed a view on whether Scotland should remain in the EU as a separate country because they were not asked. You are the one who is trying to “look behind” the vote. How many voters did you speak to?

    In 2014 the senior governing party of the UK was the Conservative party and it had more seats than Labour.

    Scotland and England did indeed sign the Treaty of Union in 1707 as sovereign countries but the effect was to create a new sovereign country called the UK. That is the unitary state which is recognised by international law in which we live today. As I noted, the Scots negotiated powerful ( for the time) protections for Scotland, such as church, law etc.

    I do not doubt that the Brexit vote can constitute a “material” change which would in principle justify a new indyref should the Scottish Parliament agree. However, it would be impossible for Scotland to “remain” in the EU because it is not a member. Neither could its accession terms to the EU ( if any) be known before Brexit happens. The concept is not therefore workable until after Brexit.


    1. Maria F says:

      William Ross

      “Not a single person expressed a view on whether Scotland should remain in the EU as a separate country because they were not asked”

      With all due respect William, whatever view the electorate of Scotland wanted to express on the 23rd of June in the form of their cast vote is not for you to decide. It is for THEM to decide. As it is for THEM to decide and not for DAvidson or Mundell, you or me what union they consider more important and more relevant for the economy and social fabric of Scotland. The only way you can know if they voted just for the UK or they voted for their country, Scotland, to remain in the EU and the only way you will know what union they consider more important is by asking them, William. That means indiref2

      You like it or not the truth is that on the 23rd of June 2016 a 62% of the electorate voting in Scotland did so to remain in the EU. Because Scotland is considered such an insignificance by some bunch of ignorant who are determined to make it look like another English colony when it is not, sadly the ballot did not include the question that it should be in: Do you think Scotland should remain in the EU?

      Because the Scottish people were not given the opportunity (as if they were ever going to be given that opportunity by Westminster, William) to answer for THEIR country, Scotland, they have to choose what was available to them, that was the UK.

      I couldn’t care less about the semantics of the ballot William. I am sick of deception by the Better Together camp. I am afraid that the meaning is and will always be the same for me. Deceiving semantics is the only argument that the current Westminster government, which by the way it is represented by a political party rejected by nothing less than an 85% of the electorate who voted in Scotland during the GE, can use to blatantly ignore the fact that the Scottish electorate overwhelmingly voted to remain in the EU by a significantly larger margin than that for remaining in the UK.

      The fact that England voted to leave the EU and it is itchy to leave doesn’t change the unavoidable fact William, that the Scottish electorate DID NOT give the Tory party a mandate to drag them out of the EU, first of all because the Scottish electorate DID NOT give a mandate to the Tory party to govern them at all, actually. But what the majority of the electorate in Scotland did was TO GIVE THE SNP and the Scottish Government a mandate to call a second independence referendum if threatened to be dragged out of the EU against their will.

      “How many voters did you speak to?”
      Since the 23rd of June 2016? Quite a few actually and counting. This is my favourite topic of conversation and will be for many weeks to come. How many have you talked to?

      “In 2014 the senior governing party of the UK was the Conservative party and it had more seats than Labour”
      Sorry William, that doesn’t make them the biggest party. The party is measured by the number of members. You find that the biggest party of the UK at the time as it is today is the Labour party. I mean, you can be anal and also consider the Tory party the biggest one if you measure it in terms of the amount of cash it gets from donors in the form of ‘donations’ in exchange for ‘favours’. Don’t you?

      By the way, William, care to remind me how many of those Tory seats were voted by the Scottish people? Wasn’t it one? Now, how many of those seats are from the english electorate? Now, for Scotland, who was the majority party at the time, ie the one given the mandate from the Scottish electorate to govern them at WEstminster? Wasn’t that Labour?

      “Scotland and England did indeed sign the Treaty of Union in 1707 as sovereign countries but the effect was to create a new sovereign country called the UK”
      Rubbish! Scotland and England remained as countries. The UK is not and never will be a country. It is a state resulting from the union of two Kingdoms, one of them a solitary country and the other a kingdom encompassing 3 countries. Please do not attempt to blur reality. The UK is not a country.

      “I do not doubt that the Brexit vote can constitute a “material” change which would in principle justify a new indyref”
      Can constitute, William? Are you having a laugh? Who on earth are you trying to fool here? The English electorate? You like it or not IT IS a material change and a such it was recognised during the Scottish elections campaign, so much so that IT WAS INCLUDED in the manifesto of the SNP, which, you like it or not, it was the party voted BY THE MAJORITY of the Scottish electorate. Voting the SNP as the majority party on that manifesto means that the SNP HAS THE MANDATE from the electorate of Scotland to call in an indiref2. I voted for this party on this manifesto and on the premise that if England dared to drag us out of the EU against our will the people of Scotland would be asked which union they wanted to remain in. More than anything because one of the deceiving tactics used by the Better Campaign was to give the false impression that remaining in the UK would mean that Scotland would remain in the EU. Now William, what mandate from Scotland does the Tory party have to drag it out of the EU, or indeed to govern it?

      “However, it would be impossible for Scotland to “remain” in the EU because it is not a member”
      With all due respect, that is not for you, DAvidson or Mundell to decide, quite frankly. We are in unchartered waters and no matter how much flip-flop Davidson and Mundell would love for Scotland to be dragged out of the EU so England can keep its paws firmly over Scotland and its wealth, that may not need to be the case. Sturgeon is the only high rank politician in the entire UK that has proved to have not only guts, consideration for the electorate, credibility and also a brain. The rest, particularly those heading the Scottish branches and those elected by England and lumbered onto Scotland to govern them from Westminster without its mandate, have proven to be utterly useless and, quite frankly, a hazard for Scotland and for the UK. Ms Sturgeon has spoken with several big wigs in Europe and has the mandate from the people of Scotland to do so. There are plenty of articles out there with politicians from Europe saying that they will support an independent Scotland to remain in the EU.

      So, William, if Ms Sturgeon, who has the finger in the pulse, the brain, the guts, credibility, a plan a the mandate from Scotland, has not rejected the possibility for Scotland to remain in the EU after England and Wales leave, who are you, and half baked politicians such as Davidson, Dugdale, Rennie or Mundell to say any differently?

      The UK is the union of 2 Kingdoms William: Scotland and England. If in one of your comments above you were bent on making me believe that the ‘rUK;’ (ie the kingdom of England) would remain as the EU member in 2014 if Scotland were to become independent. So how can you possibly expect me now to swallow the crap that upon the Kingdom of England deciding to leave the EU, the Kingdom of Scotland cannot remain as the ‘rUK’ and therefore the member state in the EU? What are you playing at?

      Make up your mind William. Can the UK exist at all after one of the 2 kingdoms forming it leave it or not? And if one of the 2 kingdoms forming the UK state decides to leave, can the other one remain as the EU member or not? Your choice. I am fine with both of them.

      “Neither could its accession terms to the EU ( if any) be known before Brexit happens”
      It all depends in what you call Brexit. If you call brexit triggering article 50 and start the negotiations, as long as the Tory government -not given a mandate by the people of Scotland to drag them out of the EU – acts democratically and respectfully to the Act of Union and lets the Scottish Government to take part in those negotiations, then the accession terms can be known before the process gets completed.

      “The concept is not therefore workable until after Brexit”
      I completely disagree. The concept will only be unworkable until after Brexit if the Tory party – not given a mandate by the people of Scotland to drag them ouf of the EU – insists in acting against democracy and keeps the Scottish Government, given democratically the mandate by the people of Scotland to represent them – from accessing the information on the negotiations.

      Do you seriously think that the electorate of Scotland is not going to figure out quick enough that keeping the Scottish Gov out of the negotiations and completing the process of Brexit before Scotland can have indiref2 is the only way the Tory party, rejected in 2015 GE by nothing less than an 85% of those voting in Scotland, have to keep Scotland under English rule?

      Wake up William and smell the coffee. It has been brewed for sometime.

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