It is now time for Scotland’s MP’s to declare Scotland’s Independence

europestatelessMany Scots have increasingly become more aware, if they needed to be, that the 56 SNP MP’s elected to Westminster in May 2015 are wasting their time there, and wasting Scotland’s time. Scotland’s MP’s appear to have become more interested in process in the UK&EVEL parliament than in Scotland’s nationhood. Yet it matters little what the SNP x 56 do or say in Westminster, because the red and blue Tories will always conspire to vote against Scotland’s interests, and against the will of the Scottish people, Brexit being a case in point.

Some commentators, like former UK Ambassador Craig Murray, Bella Caledonia’s Mike Small, and playwright George Gunn, have argued that Scotland’s MPs should now call it a day at Westminster, each proposing different strategies our MP’s could adopt. It is therefore worth considering the constitutional realities of Scottish independence being achieved in this way, what some might now call the ‘traditional’ accepted method, as opposed to the quite recent, rather neoliberal, and democratically fashionable, received political wisdom which points in the direction of a second referendum on independence as the only ‘proper’ way to proceed.

Negotiations for the moment regarding Brexit are between the EU and the UK. However, there is an argument that Scotland could remain in the EU if it were to become independent prior to the ‘present UK’ announcing Art. 50 withdrawal. If Scotland declared independence now, the entity doing the withdrawing (from the EU) would not then be the UK, as we or the EU currently know it; upon Scotland’s independence, the UK as currently constituted would cease to exist. Once Scotland departs the UK parliamentary union, the UK parliament ceases to exist as far as Scotland is concerned, hence the UK parliament as currently constituted would also end.

The key point here is that the UK as currently constituted ceases to exist whenever Scotland (or England) becomes independent (again); new states are born (or rather old states are re-born). Therefore, the entity that originally became an EU member (i.e. the present UK ‘state’) would no longer exist, only the successor states would exist. What this means is that England (post the end of the UK ‘state’) may take England out of the EU, but it cannot take Scotland out of the EU. In short, by declaring independence now, an independent Scotland would avoid being taken out of the EU.

Also of importance, constitutionally, in this context, is the Claim of Right (recent and past versions) that declares the sovereignty of the Scottish people, not the sovereignty of any UK ‘joint’ Parliament. Scotland’s peoples’ right to assert Scotland’s nationhood does not, never has, and never could depend on the whim of almost 600 MP’s representing other nations; to believe so would be to completely disregard the sovereignty of the Scottish people, and the Claim of Right in that regard, and would also ignore the way in which the union of parliaments was originally constituted, by a simple majority of Scotland’s MP’s.

The SNP x 56, holding as they do the sovereign will of the Scottish people, therefore have a material choice to make prior to any Art.50 EU withdrawal by the current UK ‘state’. The SNP x 56 not only hold the power to declare Scotland independent, now, today; they also hold the power to retain EU membership for Scotland, should they so wish. Scotland does not have to be ‘dragged over a Brexit cliff’ by the UK, more especially if the UK (as currently constituted) no longer exists.

Unionists might argue that forcing independence onto Scots when around half (or a little more) don’t actually support it is not a good recipe for a stable successful country. But we might just as easily consider the situation at the beginning of the ‘union’, which was forced onto Scots when the overwhelming majority of people didn’t actually support it, and which likewise ‘is not a good recipe for a stable successful country’. And if proof of the latter were needed, here we are, almost 310 years later, still searching for the illusion of a ‘union dividend’, whilst pondering Scotland’s painfully diminished colonial status in the eyes of the nations of the rest of the world, most of whom have since moved on from colonial oppression (not least by the UK) and now live in their own independent countries.

Until very recently, Westminster politicians of all parties have always acknowledged (and regularly taunted as much) that if the Scottish ‘nationalists’ ever secured a majority of Scotland’s Westminster seats then that would amount to de facto independence, i.e. independence is there for the taking. What is required thereafter, and to bring about de jure independence, is for that majority of Scotland’s elected MP’s to re-establish the independent Scottish Parliament, and to pass an Act ending the union of UK parliaments, at least as far as Scotland is concerned. That would essentially mirror the 1707 process in reverse, which created the UK parliament through a majority of Scottish MP’s voting for it, thereby making Scotland an independent state again. What England does is essentially a matter for England. If the sovereignty of the Scottish people, demonstrated by the actions of a majority of Scotland’s MP’s, is respected, then England should likewise pass an act to end the union of UK parliaments, again at least as far as Scotland is concerned. This would then mean that, just as an act in the English and the Scottish parliaments brought into force the union of parliaments in 1707, so an act in both parliaments brings the same union to a close. That seems right, fair, and constitutionally consistent.

Some unionists may say that SNP MPs at Westminster do not hold any sovereign will. That they are there merely to represent their constituencies. That they cannot and will not be able to force any political ideology on the people of Scotland (unlike Scotland’s unelected Tory governments!). And that they sit as a minority party in the UK Parliament. Such views, however, all ignore the reality of the way the union of parliaments came about, how the UK parliament was and is constituted, and the specific constitutional reality of Scottish sovereignty.

Scots have never been in any doubt that Scotland’s elected MP’s could end the ‘union’ in precisely the same way it began, i.e. through a majority decision of Scottish MP’s. Scotland does not need to wait to be ‘granted permission’ to hold a referendum on independence by a Westminster parliament dominated by representatives of other nations. Constitutionally, Scotland does not even need a referendum, and never has needed one to become an independent state again. An advisory referendum would still depend on the votes of all MP’s at Westminster, which in turn means that that route to Scotland’s independence would likewise depend on the votes of elected representatives from other nations, who may simply conspire to refuse (or seek to water down) Scotland’s right to independence. Moreover, the latter is unconstitutional because Scottish nationhood depends only on the sovereign will of the Scottish people; it does not and should not depend on elected representatives of other nations. No nation depends on seeking permission from another nation to become independent; nations assert their own independence.

Scotland’s sovereignty is for the moment vested in Scotland’s MP’s to do as they think best, in the interests of Scotland. If these MP’s think it best for Scotland to become independent, prior to the UK’s Art.50 withdrawal from the EU, then constitutionally they have every right to make Scotland independent. To claim otherwise would be to call into question the very constitutional foundations of the present joint UK parliament, an arrangement constituted by a majority of Scotland’s MP’s. Thus, as the union of parliaments was initially began for Scotland, so it can and should be undone for Scotland in a like manner.

The question arises as to Scotland’s future, more especially if the SNP x 56 fail to extend their present political advantage of already achieving de facto independence (despite the fact they do not appear to realise this) and to then declare and deliver de jure independence. With continued inaction on the part of Scotland’s MP’s, the political, social, economic, and national risks for Scotland are indeed dire, and such inaction also demonstrates a disregard for the sovereign will of Scotland’s people. For example: Scotland will be taken out of the EU, against the will of Scotland’s people; a further referendum on independence may be refused, against the will of Scotland’s people; the devolved yet power-neutered Holyrood Parliament could even be abolished, against the will of Scotland’s people; and, Scotland would continue to be controlled by and suffer from the policies of politicians in Westminster that our people do not vote for, i.e. against the will of Scotland’s people. Furthermore, even if a second referendum were permitted, any Yes result is never guaranteed to be respected by Westminster, and could be watered down to such an extent that it becomes meaningless, against the will of Scotland’s people.

Scotland’s continued participation (or rather continued subjugation) within the UK parliamentary union is, therefore, only likely to work increasingly against the sovereign will of the Scottish people. In addition, there is a real risk that the UK parliamentary union will endeavour to reduce Scotland’s constitutional relevance further, possibly to the point that the nation is effectively dissolved, as some unionists already believe to be the case. Ultimately, the only certain, and constitutionally consistent way to re-establish Scotland’s nationhood is for a majority of Scotland’s MP’s to declare Scotland’s Independence. Now would be a good time to do so.

Comments (136)

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  1. Alan Crocket says:

    This article is misconceived.

    Only two and a half short years ago, the people of Scotland rejected independence by a majority vote in an impeccably legal, constitutional, peaceful and democratic referendum. That process has set the standard, so that any attempt to overturn that decision by lesser means would be to disrespect the sovereignty of the people.

    The independence movement should put its whole focus on the holding of a fresh referendum, and its whole energy into winning victory in it. Anything else is a distraction.

    1. Paul Carline says:

      There are good grounds for questioning the outcome of the independence referendum. Does anyone imagine that vote rigging only happens in the US? The truth is that we cannot be sure that a majority of Scots voted against independence. And the media coverage of the issue in the runup to the vote was anything but fair and democratic – a ‘democratic’ vote implying that the voters have been given unbiased and honest information on the issue.

      1. Hector says:

        ” The truth is that we cannot be sure that a majority of Scots voted against independence.”
        …and we cannot be sure a majority of voters in 56 constituencies voted for the SNP.

    2. GreenPhil says:

      Scotland’s IndyRef in 2014 was RIGGED

      Alot of londoners like to cry ‘conspiracy theory!’ at this, but the people here wont forget what we saw

      e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_8PnwQJhlU

    3. against feudalism says:

      The concerted might of the media, all other political parties, and ‘respected’ talking heads, lied and disseminated against the Independence movement – Too wee, Too poor etc. Had the TRUTH been told, with dignity and honesty, then people would not have been afraid to vote YES.

      We would likely be Independent today.

      If we really are dependent upon the ‘largess’ of England and Westminster, and ‘cost’ them so much – why are they holding on so tight ??

      I will e-mail a link to this piece, to my MP Stuart Donaldson, just in case he has missed it 🙂 I am in favour.

      1. Patrick says:

        I would likely be Independent today and with an Scotland Republic, because feudalism, federalism, and Monarchism all is the same bullshit. Only in a Republic the citizen has a truly vote and had to be counted.
        But you need to feel the need of Independence, likewise the air you breast. Today I felt like Napoleon far from French without the hope to return to Scotlandservtubecause Scottish people seems to like servitude and demagogy

    4. Tarisgal says:

      Indeed. But that result was to remain in the UK of that time, not this one, outwith the EU. The UK back then was a very different place. And the ‘no’ people voted for THAT place, not the present one. Also… while I won’t go into the the possibilities of dishonest voting rigging because I cannot provide evidence this, I CAN prove that the Purdah period immediately before the election when politicians were SUPPOSED TO STOP canvassing for voted, was dishonestly broken by the ‘no’ side, when ‘the Vow’ miraculously appeared at a time when ‘the Vow’ promises should NOT have been allowed to be made. That was not within the election remits and there is NO DOUBT that that swayed some voters to vote ‘no’. That was never remarked on, nor brought to the attention of the Electeral Commission, where it should have been! That was totally wrong of ‘Better Together’ to do such a thing. So I say that the result of the Independence Referendum was at worst, dishonest and at best flawed.

      There is also the problem of many of those ‘Vow’ promises being broken. Not to mention ‘EVEL’ the day after the election.

      I’m sorry but, as I see it, there is absolutely no need to respect or even acknowledge the ‘no’ win, as no respect has been given to Scotland in regards to the promises made – and broken. Respect is a two way street, after all…

      Therefore, I am heartily in agreement with Alf Baird’s solution of the method of attaining Independence. If Scotland and her people are not going to be respected enough to be granted a Referendum, especially when the 2016 elections made it clear that Scotland wants SNP and other Indy parties to represent them, and thus another shot at Independence, then – Alf’s method will do me.

      1. Tarisgal says:

        Sorry – *Electoral Commission*. One or two typos there – sorry about that! Trying to do two jobs at once, thinking & typing! 😉

    5. Adam says:

      Interesting comment thanks. Certainly what I think. BTW if anyone wants a laugh I recommend this funny piece on Alex Salmond thinking he can ‘smell an Englishman’ http://www.thesparkmagazine.co.uk/uk/alex-salmond-thinks-he-can-smell-an-englishman/

    6. Fran says:

      The referendum in 2014 was a complete sham. How can blinkered people like you not see that lies of scaremongering that we’re designed to put fear into the most vulnerable; the tactics of having the CEO’s of every major retailer summoned to Downing Street where the PM laid it on thick that they MUST tell the public about price hikes and the great increase in living costs, not to mention the promise of the only way to continue EU membership was with the union, only to announce a Brexit referendum in his victory speech!!!!!
      WAKE THE FUCK UP!!!!!!!!!

  2. John O'Dowd says:

    I’m with you Alf.

    I recently had this published in the Herald:

    Dear Sir,

    So Michael Fallon says “No, forget it” to a second referendum on independence? The SNP government has “no mandate” to hold one – this from a minister appointed by a Prime Minister whose only ‘mandate’ is from the Tory MPs who themselves hold nothing like a majority in terms of a popular vote – and only one seat in Scotland.

    So be it. There need be no referendum.

    Your editorial outlines a range of options open to Ms Sturgeon, but omits the most obvious one. With 54 of 59 MPs (plus 2 nationalist ‘independents’) in Westminster, and the largest single party in Holyrood (plus independence-minded Greens), is it not perhaps time to revert to the original concept by which the SNP would gain our national independence?

    The SNP should recall its members from Westminster to reconvene in Holyrood, and proclaim de jure, what exists de facto: A democratic mandate for Scottish Independence – with immediate effect.

    The elephant in Alan Crocket’s room is that a majority of those born in Scotland voted for independence – and a large number of EU citizens who voted against had been convinced by lies that a YES would mean leaving the EU.

    Scotland is rarely governed by a Westminster government that we voted for – nor is England – in popular vote terms the present Tory Government has no mandate – and a Prime Minister ‘elected’ only by the parliamentary detritus of her own party.

    We are told that this is parliamentary democracy. That works both ways. Let us do what Ireland did – reconvene our Parliament in Edinburgh, and to coin a phrase “take our country back”

  3. Richard MacKinnon says:

    Alf,
    I know you find the sight of our 56 SNP MPs sitting on the green benches, taking part in the farce that is Westminster an embarrassment but unfortunately there is nothing that can be done about it. They like it down there. They play a big part in the pantomine. They turn up on time for make up. They have learnt their lines like an old pro and their delivery has impressed even those on the opposite benches, as they like to call them. Song and dance comes natural. Specialist routines, stand up, and especially impressionist acts are all there to behold. In fact considering how little time they have been down there it is impressive just how quickly they have ingratiated themselves with their unionist fellow members.

    1. interpolar says:

      Och, come on, Richard, you know that is simply not true. The SNP are the only true opposition in Westminster at the moment. Tories are Tories and Labour spend most of the time opposing themselves. Meanwhile, the Liberals are at best worth a footnote. I think 56 are standing their ground and calling the WM government to account on behalf of the people of Scotland – and so they should for as long as Scotland is part of the UK.

      As for the article, I can’t really buy into its premises. If a referendum is granted, then it is by far more the democratic route to independence, and it is this plebiscite that must be won. One might argue that it is the caucus of Scottish MPs who should decide when such a referendum can be called; however, in a bid to strengthen the essential Scottish Parliament, it should ultimately be the reprieve of Holyrood to make that decision, as it is where expression of the power and will of the Scottish people should ultimately lie. It is only if the Westminster government were to refuse the right to referendum that Alf Baird’s recommendations should be followed.

      1. Richard MacKinnon says:

        interpolar,
        Exactly my point, as you say the SNP are now ‘Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition’.

        1. interpolar says:

          “Opposition”, yes, “loyal”, probably not. But what is important, they are being constructive, and they are giving Scotland a voice in Westminster, whereas Scotland had no voice in Labour, not even in Holyrood.

  4. Alasdair Macdonald says:

    Thanks to Alf Baird for presenting this article in such a thoughtful way.

    The ‘unwritten constitution’ of the United Kingdom, in the words of a former head of the Civil Service “allows us to make it up as we go along”. But this begs the question, “who are ‘us’ (we)?” I do not think that he meant the great majority of the electorate.

    The referendum, as a device, is a relatively recent feature in UK politics and has always been ‘advisory’ unless Parliament declared its result binding. In my recollection, UK-wide there have been only three – c1975 confirmation of access to the ‘Common Market’ (although UK had been a member since 1973), the rather risible PR one in c 2011, and the recent EU one in 2016. In addition, in Scotland we have had the 1979, 1998 and 2014 ones. There have been others in Northern Ireland and Wales.

    Many countries have referenda as part of the written constitution and in these circumstances the voters know that what they are voting for will be enacted. There are clear rules about when they are used and how they are called.

    But, in the UK the referendum is in practice a device, a ruse, a diversionary mechanism, a way of elected members seeking to fudge or delay decisions. It can indeed be a very useful way of validating decisions as, say, the 1998 referendum in Scotland was and as some were in NI to move the Peace Process forward. And, in NI, the ‘border poll’ is allowable and, in all probability, will be enacted sometime in the next 10 years. So, I am not decrying the referendum as a device, per se, but, it has to be within clear conditions, particularly with regard to how it can be ‘triggered’. With regard to ‘IndyRef2’ it is popularly being presented in the majority of the UK media, ‘if Mrs May decides to allow you to have one.’

    So, it is right for Alf Baird to discuss other options than the referendum. He is right to indicate ‘the majority of Scottish MPs criterion for independence – it was Mrs Thatcher’s opinion.

    It is possible for the Westminster Parliament to discuss the composition of the UK and decide to dissolve the various union acts. Since SNP has a huge majority of Scottish MPs, then a Westminster which acted in a serious way, respectful of the composition of the elected members from a particular part of the UK, could consider a dissolution which was equitable, respectful and peaceful. Similarly, in Wales if PC and some other individual MPs formed a majority in the Senedd then discussions about the withdrawal by Wales should begin.

    If SF and other parties in NI were to gain a majority, a Border Poll could be called. And, if there were a majority, then withdrawal from the UK and incorporation into a united Ireland would begin.

    Well done, Alf Baird for setting out your thoughts.

  5. Socrates MacSporran says:

    An excellent article Alf, I concur with your analysis.

    Under the elective terms of the Holyrood parliament, a majority of the elected members favour Independence. Under the elective terms of the Westminster parliament, a majority of the elected Scottish members favour Independence.

    Therefore, since the United Kingdom is a parliamentary democracy – the majority of Scottish parliamentarians favour an Independent Scotland.

    The UK is a union of two kingdoms, but, over time the wishes of one of these two kingdoms has routinely been ignored. Why then should not that ignored signatory to the union seek its dissolution?

  6. bringiton says:

    The “will” of the people.
    How do you determine that?
    The MPs elected to represent Scots at Westminster were not sent there on a ticket of withdrawing to Holyrood when it suited them.
    Should English MPs refuse to acknowledge our right to hold another independence referendum at a time of our choosing,then we may be in different territory but until then,our MPs have to continue to represent their constituents’ interests as best possible.
    I think we can all agree that the Westminster electoral system is far from representative of the democratic wishes of the people so not,in my opinion a valid test of the “will” of the people.
    Only another referendum on an unambiguous question whose outcome is legally binding will satisfy the requirement of representing the “will” of the people as seen both within our borders and by outside observers.
    I would also prefer a shortcut to independence but the democratic process must be observed and that takes time.
    Thanks Alf.

  7. Brenda says:

    My recollection is that it used to be SNP policy that the mandate for independence was that when we got 50% 0f MPs plus 1 then that was it, negotiation for independence to start the following day. When and why this changed I don’t know. It seems that Westminster and the Conservative party want it both ways. They have an absolute mandate to do anything because they have a majority of MPs (not a majority of the electorate). Yet we, the SNP, have a mandate for nothing at all despite having almost all the MPs in Scotland. When our First Minister went down to London with our 56 MPs she boldly declared (I paraphrase) that if Westminster thinks that they can carry on as if nothing happened then they’ve got another thing coming….
    Well, not only have they carried on regardless they are even worse. It actually does not matter how clever and hard-working our 56 are (for avoidance of doubt they are all performing superbly within ridiculous parameters) the arithmetic will never add up.
    We can’t go on slogging through the rest of this Westminster term. It is pointless, debilitating and ultimately counter-productive. The ‘surge’ who elected the 56 won’t be so passionate the next time, they will quite rightly say ‘what’s the point’; and sink back into the endless despair of the disenfranchised, dispossessed and defeated.
    Why don’t we force 56 by-elections with one item on the manifesto – independence? If we win a majority of seats we start negotiations the following day, with independence declared one year after.
    We’ve got to try other strategies. We’ve got to be bold, while we still have the passion of the people on our side.

    1. c rober says:

      I think the resign and re elect has legs , but do we need to watch for what the loony fringe calls voter fraud in such a scenario?

      Its something that FPTP perhaps works for producing intent , unlike council and Holyrood elections.

    2. K.A.Mylchreest says:

      It may have to come to this. Not an easy decision to make in a “heavy the head that wears the crown” sort of way. But above all, Timing is of the Essence. When to jump? He or she who hesitates may be lost, but we don’t want a premature leap into the dark either. Thank heavens I don’t have that responsibility.

  8. Peter: You have convinced me the, decision is , NO. says:

    Scotland voted no and now you looking for any excuse to have another referendum because the result was not what you wanted, sod democracy.

    The article is nonsense, each Scottish MP in Westminster has the same influence as any other MP it is not a Ignore Scottish MP’s parliament. There is 59 Scottish MP’s in parliament so they have 59 votes on policies.

    Also for the guy writing the Article, Scotland is NOT in the EU the UK IS in the EU and Scotland is a state in the UK and will need to apply for membership, as other countries have. These EU people making statements about Scotland and EU are not committing and are not in control, it is just anti Brexit campaigning.

    Where is the Fiscal plan , how would an independent Scotland manage with a £15bn 9.5% deficit (Scottish Government Figure) and the addition of our share of the UK debt est £9bn and the additional couple of £bn for infrastructure changes.

    To Start …

    How will an Independent Scotland manage, with such a deficit (cuts etc. … ) ?
    What is the government doing to boost the Scottish Economy ?
    What countries have we agreed will trade with us ?
    What pan global companies will be coming to Scotland ?
    What is the tax plan long term to encourage investment here , or not ?
    What is the stance on democracy, the article above seems to be against it.

    1. Helen Scott says:

      Commonweal are seeking to develop answers to these questions in their draft white paper for independence. Why not take a look, given your interest. I am sure they would appreciate any input you might have in trying to develop ideas re how the whole thing could work, and to the benefit of ordinary people living in Scotland.

      1. Peter: You have convinced me the, decision is , NO. says:

        Thanks, is this the URL http://allofusfirst.org/ , checking just in case there is a different one.

    2. Josef O Luain says:

      When you are inured to your subjugation, as you clearly are, I guess that’s how you’ll view Scottish Independence. Try not to be so angry.

      1. Peter: You have convinced me the, decision is , NO. says:

        I am not angry, i am disappointed that the same incorrect arguments are used by independence supporters over and over and over and over again and the important questions I am asking are not answered.

        Also , the tendency of the independence supporters, as you have done, you cannot answer the question so you resort to insult, all that does is show how weak the independence argument is.

        1. David Francis says:

          Got to hand it to you for sheer brass neck.

          You sound like a typical Brexiteer Unionist – and the Brexiteer “plan” for ANYTHING simply does not exist.

          You puerile little “list” can more appropriately be applied to the impending Brexit Disaster for the UK, driven by that bunch of Tory Dummies in Westminster – and there is not a single one on your list, they could answer.

          As for Scottish MPs “not being ignored” in WM – I take it you did not watch the ridiculous sight of every singe Amendment proposed by Scottish MPs (including Labour) to the SCOTLAND Bill, being completely voted down by the massed ranks of English MPs – the vast majority of whom did not even have the decency to take part in any of the related debates, preferring to prop-up the various bars in the Westminster Village and then shuffle back into the Chamber to cast their votes.

          They were completely and utterly disinterested in Scotland, but STILL had far greater influence over what went into that Bill, than did the Scottish MPs elected by and representing Scots themselves.

          Unionist like you might find that farce acceptable, but most Scots do not.

          As for the favourite Unionist diatribe about the “black hole” which an Independent Scotland cannot possibly recover from –

          Firstly, GERS figures are ONLY a reflection of Scotland WITHIN THE UNION and it is perfectly evident to most rational Scots that it is primarily the membership of that skewed, unequal, unbalanced and unfit UNION, which led to that deficit.

          All you really need to do is look at other Northern European Countries of a similar size to Scotland – but with nowhere near Scotland’s natural resources – to see how much better they have managed to govern themselves as Independent Nations, in comparison to Scotland within the UK, where, even now, the vast majority of major fiscal/financial levers, control of which those other Countries take for granted, are still Reserved to Westminster.

          Even accepting the GERS figures/deficit as completely accurate – Scotland’s deficit now is still LESS THAN the UK’s 10.5% Deficit of only 7 years ago.

          The UK’s Black Hole, only those few years ago, was NEVER described as being as “catastrophic” as Scotland’s is now – even although it was substantially larger……… and the UK recovered from that set-back, just as Scotland will.

          When, as is looking increasingly likely now, Scotland becomes Independent, there will have to be a division of UK ASSETS as well as our share of UK debt.
          The final settlement will probably have scant relationship to that 9.5% figure in any case.

          As I stated earlier, it is the UK Government which has the much larger problem after Scottish Independence.

          Scotland, without a shred of a doubt, will be a Member State of the EU and will be part of the largest trading bloc on the planet – with all the existing trade deals/arrangements and security that brings – whereas the rUK will, at the time of leaving, have NO trade deals with anyone and may have to fall back on WTO Rules, since new trade deals can take a decade or more to set up from scratch – and that would, indeed, be catastrophic for the rUK.

          The enormous problems which Brexit will bring might indeed result in the rUK having a far, far more precarious economy than an Independent Scotland within the Single Market.
          And that is without even mentioning May’s crazy plan to “walk away” from any EU Deal, if she cannot get what she wants, or Hammond’s cretinous idea for a Tax-Haven UK.
          If that happens, the rUK NHS systems are finished, as are the vast majority of their Social Services.

          All in all, it is NOT Scotland which is facing overwhelming problems in the near future, it is Brexit rUK.

          Finally, I think the bigger picture is now beginning to dawn on most Scots.

          If the Brexit Vote and subsequent Supreme Court case did nothing else, they pointed out the bleeding obvious.

          They pointed out that, on any future major Constitutional/Major matter for these Islands – EVEN IF 100% of voters in Scotland, Wales and N Ireland ALL cast their ballots for/against something, it will only take a mere 60% of voters in England to choose the opposite option, to win the day.

          In other words, the TOTAL of ALL voters in Scotland, Wales and N Ireland will count for absolutely NOTHING.

          That is the nature of the British Political Union – Biggest wins every time and the rest just do not matter.

          Not good enough any more.

          1. James Coleman says:

            Excellent reply.

          2. Hyperborean says:

            It always interests me that it is the pro Indy writers who provide the most detailed, and analytical comments with logical through-lines, whereas it is the anti/Brexit types who tend to use the ‘what about the … ‘ formula of simple-minded taunting, seeming to imagine this to be a form of argument.
            This difference alone is almost enough to confirm me in my pro-Indy anti-Brexit beliefs. If it is nearly always the apparently most informed and most able to offer a detailed logical argument who support independence (and oppose Brexit) then I’d think myself a fool to cling to any other view, or join those singing “What about the … ,” (insert here any tired, long-debunked anti-independence notion you like) and then “La, la, la, la, we can’t hear you, la, la.” whenever a solid defence of independence is offered.
            I believe ‘La La Land’ is a hit film at the moment. It seems to me that most anti-independence types have been living in La la la la land for years, refusing to look squarely at the evidence and logic, and delivering fewer and fewer hits of any substance.

    3. James Coleman says:

      “the same incorrect arguments are used by independence supporters over and over and over and over again ”

      Ah… but those “incorrect” arguments as you call them are merely the opinions formed in your little brain. You have absolutely NO evidence that what you say is right. You are opining without fact just like most of the YOONS in the MSM and elsewhere.

      And the deficits that you write about are deficits as a result of the current connection to a nearly failed state, ie the UK.

    4. c rober says:

      Daisley , Daisley , give me your….

    5. Peter: You have convinced me the, decision is , NO. says:

      I am replying all the ranters ,,,,

      You get irate and insulting because someone makes factual statements that are backed up by government documents, you don’t like so you cannot prove they are wrong so you dive into insults.

      Here is my evidence.

      First of all membership of the EU , Scotland is not a member of the EU

      https://www.parliament.scot/S4_EuropeanandExternalRelationsCommittee/Inquiries/Letter_from_Viviane_Reding_Vice_President_of_the_European_Commission_dated_20_March_2014__pdf.pdf
      I

      quote “When part of the territory
      of a Member State ceases to be a part of that State, e.g. because that territory becomes an
      independent state, the treaties will no longer apply to that territory. In other words, a new
      independent region would, by the fact of its independence, become a third country with
      respect to the Union and the Treaties would, from the day of its independence, not apply
      anymore on its territory.”

      Transfer of UK Debt https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/270643/uk_debt_and_the_Scotland_independence_referendum.pdf

      Quote “In the event of Scottish independence from the United Kingdom (UK), the continuing UK
      Government would in all circumstances honour the contractual terms of the debt issued by the
      UK Government. An independent Scottish state would become responsible for a fair and
      proportionate share of the UK’s current liabilities, but a share of the outstanding stock of debt
      instruments that have been issued by the UK would not be transferred to Scotland. For example,
      there would be no change in counterparty for holders of UK gilts. Instead, an independent
      Scotland would need to raise funds in order to reimburse the continuing UK for this share.”

      The £9bn, was an estimate as i said (est), estimates ranged from 23 to 100 bn i though 9 was more sensible a figure, we won’t know untill the SG get an agreement in place prior to another ref.

      Deficit in Scottish Economy Report March 2016 , the defict is the last at the bottom 14.9

      http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2016/03/3692

      The infrastructure costs won’t be known until the SG actually work out what needs to be done, hence i said a couple of bn, which was a mid point in the estimates i found.

      So you think I have a little brain for basing my figures on Government evidence.

      And I have little brain for saying that Scottish mp’s have the same right to vote as any other MP in the UK, hmmm odd.

      On Brexit, yes there is a risk hence May is out there selling trade with the UK and getting agreements in place, this is a plus.

      We have continued using the £ and great, we will not have to dump our currency on exit, which reduces risk a lot.

      May is talking about a tax haven in the UK, so come to the UK, pay lower taxes and trade with the EU and the rest of the world with no fee’s.

      There is a risk, but we managed to become one of the most economically powerful countries prior to joining the EU, we still have the commonwealth to trade with and it will be great to dump the EU rules and regulations and to have control on who can get into out country as most other nations do.

      1. Hyperborean says:

        You fall at the first fence. Scotland is not and never has been “part of the territory of a Member State”. We are part of no territory but our own. We merely share a Parliament with a neighbouring country. As a nation we have never signed up — or, more accurately, been signed up against our popular will — to be part of a joint State. That’s where the constitutional importance of the sovereign will of the Scottish people is of such over-riding importance, and why its principle needs to be applied now.
        En passant, you do, indeed, appear to me to be very angry indeed. I think we are all entitled to form that opinion (if we do) from what you write, and to draw whatever further conclusions we wish from it. If many of us form the opinion that you are, in fact, extremely angry, and further conclude from this (as we may) that you are angry because you find yourself on the losing side of every argument, unable either successfully to defend your own case or cause really wounding attacks to others, you shouldn’t be so surprised. Your unfortunate situation does tend to make people a bit cross.

        1. Peter: You have convinced me the, decision is , NO. says:

          ROFL, that quote is from the Document on the Scottish Parliament Site., that was issued by the EU, the link is in the post, so you are saying Scottish Parliament and the EU don’t have a clue about Scotlands position in the EU.

          So asking loads of serious questions on subjects that need to be addressed, means I am angry ROFL.

      2. aladair galloway says:

        you repeat WM policy that “”In the event of Scottish independence from the United Kingdom (UK), the continuing UK Government would in all circumstances honour the contractual terms of the debt issued by the UK Government. An independent Scottish state would become responsible for a fair and proportionate share of the UK’s current liabilities, but a share of the outstanding stock of debt instruments that have been issued by the UK would not be transferred to Scotland. For example, there would be no change in counterparty for holders of UK gilts. Instead, an independent Scotland would need to raise funds in order to reimburse the continuing UK for this share.” This seemingly reasonable statement actually raises more difficulties than could easily be managed. For instance what do they mean by “proportionate”? Proportionate to what? Perhaps population? That though is a matter that would be determined by the negotiations which would follow a Yes vote and for which there is absolutely no certainty – or much less than WM typically presumes that their view would prevail.
        One example of the difficulties that WM got itself into last time was that it claimed in its Scotland Analysis paper on international law, to be the continuator state, in rather the same way that Russia became the continuator state to the USSR. Being the continuator state is important to WM for it is through that device that it would inherit the Security Council seat at the UN (my own view is tht they are welcome to that) and, rather ironically, the EU membership of the UK. Basically their argument was that following a Yes vote then WM would be the UK just now, just minus a bit called Scotland. The problem with that position – and rather sadly its in a footnote in that same paper – is that if you take on the assets of the former state, you get the debts as well.
        Having realised this, the UK govt then made clear their “reasonable” view that ok, if Scotland took on its fair and proportionate share of the debt then they would share the assets as well. Then in the very next sentence started a list of assets that would not be part of this deal – for instance the BBC was a core UK institution (so it is, but it has an asset value – I wonder what its back catalogue of programmes is worth?) Scotland could not “cherry pick” defence assets according to Hammond (so presumably we would take what we were given, lucky wee Jocks that we are). What that sort of position omits is that at the end of this there would have to be an agreement (ie a statement of debt allocation and of the distribution of mobile UK assets) to which both sides assented. If not, and if the UK continued to make its continuator state claim then WM would be landed with all the debt
        As for infrastructure costs, it is interesting that you admit that these wont be known – I would prefer hard to quantify – until we know what needs to be done. This is a vast improvement on the 250 billion suggested by HM Treasury, but even then I am a little astonished with your figure of 9 billion without clarifying that there are ongoing infrastructure costs for the UK govt if we remain part of the UK – new systems (eg for Universal Credit) or renewal/ maintenance costs, or that administration in Scotland would be much more simple being much smaller scale than in the UK as Dunleavy made clear. These costs mean that our share should be put against the new set up costs.
        Its when you get to the end of your rant that you verge on the delusional. For instance we can still trade with the Commonwealth. The Commonwealth had to make its own arrangements after 1973 – do you really imagine they are going to come running back? As for dumping all EU regulations, do you intend not to sell to Europe any more, for if you do the UK will still have to meet these product and service regulations. The fact the UK is no longer a member does not give it carte blanche to do what it likes with regard to what we sell them.

      3. c rober says:

        Your reply about rants and answers , here’s the rebuttal to what is in effect disinformtaion

        In you first paragraph you misquote to prove something , and are actually disproving yourself.

        With respect you says Scotland isn’t in the EU , providing a quote from ScotGov , and where the quote states it WONT BE , not isn’t. The fact.

        IN effect it is saying after BREXIT there will be no EU membership (as part of a former member state) after that state leaves. There is no argument on this , Holyrood , the SNP , Westminster and all involved have stated as much. The Fact II.

        You though are perhaps wrongly stating it currently isn’t , setting up the argument for fake news , disinformation. FAKE FACT.

        You are perhaps arguing , yet giving the answer that therefore that independence is the only way to RETAIN that membership of the EU.

        But with this comes more disinformation to muddy the waters from the yoon project sphere. Directing the traffic , pre baiting the trap , will in no doubt be your next step to….

        IE Spanish veto.
        EU says no.

        Which are arguments already trumped – so will shoot those down first.

        Where the EU has said , special deal for Scotland , Westminster has not.

        Where as long as Scotland remains part of the UK the EU can only PUBLICLY deal with its parliament – So until BREXIT happens to be declared , with the protest vote in Holyrood already concluded to REMAIN in the EU , as Scotland’s ELECTED Parliament , sets the door open once MAY lights the touchpaper. You do realise this was the reason for that vote in Holyrood so ridiculed in the MSM as being tokenism , dont you? IT was instead a parachute regiment behind enemy lines.

        Scotland through already meeting the criteria , as a current member , and where an independence referendum pre Brexit will mean instant membership.

        As a result Spain has no veto , saving its face for the time being with Catalan and Basque until SPAIN decides to leave the EU , and thus setting the same precedent… A double bluff if you will at the card table , TO agree for Scotland REMAINING or leave the EU themselves thus setting in motion exactly the same.

        But then again no one is crying for GIB , that rock of total Britishness , cast into Spains hands , the sacrificial lamb. If only they were obvious and hidden assets for Westminster.

        BUSTED.

        In the second paragraph you have highlighted the “fair share of UK created Debt” , which is fair enough , but also in doing so the threat that there would also be no asset transfer. Again your probably doing worse than making your point – and of course showing Westminster intent/threat , of subterfuge and secret warfare.

        But this isnt the sort of thing you were arguing about , for. You were arguing about deficit.

        The deficit is CONTROLLED and created by Westminster , NOT HOLRYOOD , NOT THE EU.

        A deficit , which since post Nulabour , when the Tories took power at Westminster , along with their Libdem lackies , then declared austerity has increased – and not on Nulabours , or as a result of Scotland .

        Westmister has created this debt – on protecting the banks , cutting taxes , and where the WEALTHY have doubled their wealth since the financial crisis.

        These are the same wealthy that wanted to remain in the EU , the likes of London , and will once again have their income protected by a special deal to keep it – on the backs of taxpayers , including also Scottish ones.Austerity paid for it before , subsidy will now , the perversion of socialising debt and profit.

        Of course we can avoid the other deficit creating elephants in the room , like Hs2 , Lizzies hoose , Trident and so on , even 12b on Westminster repairs , that just like the quote you mentioned where “proportional share” is applied TO PAY FOR IT.

        SO though admitting there is a deficit to start off with in Scotland , but that once again the treasury is issuing a threat not to release the assets in a similar proportional share also.

        What it also fails to say is that SCOTLAND’s deficit is less than 10 percent of Scottish GDP , AND THE UK DEBT TO GDP IS…. Drumroll ….. 90 percent!!!

        Unless my maths are as bad as my grammar – then a little under 10 percent is ACTUALLY lower than 90 percent , and with the added benefit of no hands tied , all taxes returned.

        http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-kingdom/government-debt-to-gdp

        As for the 3 percent debt to gdp ratio often touted in the yoon media , that Scotland would have to have…. This is also a pile of the steaming stuff.

        The GDP to debt ratio of the EU , as a combined state is higher than the current UK one.

        http://www.debtclocks.eu/public-debt-and-budget-deficits-comparison-of-the-eu-member-states.html

        BUSTED.

        Infrastructure costs.

        By which your mean what , the employment increase of creating an Army , Navy , Airforce , Tax offices etc?

        These are not liabilities , these are investments , normal running costs. The jobs for MIL supply can be on the Clyde , or in buying cheaper from the Likes of Norwegian yards?

        Like moving out of the family home once your grown up , or leave an abusive partner , the independence house costs money to buy or rent , to heat ,to insure. These arent liabilities , these are normalcy , and importantly decided by you not for you compared to how it is currently.

        But with independence that normalcy is no longer dictated and controlled by your parents or partner in their interest = or for parasitic profit.

        Perhaps you mean like setting up state propaganda agency media , like a new BBC?

        You know the biased media corporation , which like Scotland itself is a cash Generator , and a model of GERS accountancy via the Licence fee for parasitic drain from Scotland – less than 40 percent returned for program creation , and a percentage of that as “shifting” for non BBC via English domiciled private companies.

        Or do you mean setting up the radio spectrum into Scottish hands , you know like the auctions of 3g , 4g , where not a penny was returned to Scotland from those sales done by Westminster?

        BUSTED.

        SUPER MAY and how she is “making Britain Great again” , well Trump is saying the same.

        She is taking us out of trade markets , trying to define the biased trade model of “we will export to you in a larger way than you can in reverse”. This isnt a model the world will accept any-more of colonial Britain. China , India have long memories , as does all the former empire.

        Well Scottish WW exports are routed through English ports , subsidising English jobs , and making the per unit cost higher for Scottish exporters as a result , and by increasing taxation through higher wages and transit costs.

        Eire has just like Scotland a forced scenario along those lines too. For exports through English ports , and a biased trade weighted in UK favour.

        Scottish trade with the RUK as internal exports argument hardly works , if you highlight also UK imports being more than 50 percent larger , and where some is classed as UK exports as resale , not direct defeating proportional tex returns to Scotland.

        Westminster has Scottish Trade , corporation tax , as a reserved power. This is not a carrot , its not even a stick – it is a leash.Compare that to the EU of common interest and not one single member a cash cow for the largest partner.

        SO trade is biased , controlled , and of course once again more elephants in the room the threats that come with it , of hard borders , of tarrifs – its 1706 all over again.

        BUSTED

        Scottish MP’s have the same power in Westminster , or the right to vote , there is a MAJOR difference.Westminster is a closed shop , of supply for the larger constituent partner coming first.

        Where was Scotland’s power in Westminster on EU brexit amendments?

        Where was Scotlands power for 40 years of industrialisation being removed?

        Where was it in rejecting the poll tax – yet England once installed there different outcome.

        IF there was equality in being a member of a union in its parliament , then there would be no reserved matters for Westminster to hold on to at all.

        May is talking about a tax haven , as the rest of the World removes them.

        Do you really understand how tax haves work , they are wealth creators and protectors for those THAT DONT PAY TAX! Thus have no benefit to the rest of the population other than the bankers and wealthy investor.

        The pound , that little piece of toliet paper turned into a beer token – that cant buy a beer anymore.

        You mean the same pound used as a threat in indy 1 for project fear , later admitted that there could be no prevention of its use by both Darling , who originally said it , and the governor of the BOE at the time whom didnt? Are you not forgetting currency reserves also?

        The same pound used by British protectorates , like the CI , Falklands , IOM et al ? IE those with autonomy and all powers devolved?

        Or the same pound heading southward in the currency baskets , that means post brexit worth halve of what it was vs the euro before the referendum?

        Or the same declining pound that means wage erosion on imports , meaning less food in the cupboard , higher gas prices and so on?

        You last paragraph , once again your doing the work for indy , not union.

        “There is a risk, but we managed to become one of the most economically powerful countries prior to joining the EU, we still have the commonwealth to trade with and it will be great to dump the EU rules and regulations and to have control on who can get into out country as most other nations do. “

        Pointing to pro tory , ukip and perhaps darker leanings like BNP and EDL.

        Not one of of which is pro indy for Scotland , but is anti everything non England and non white anglo saxon protestant. You know the kind of people stupid enough to hoist a George cross , and not see the itony at anti immigration that even their flag has immigration all over it.

        You are of course refferring to a time of RULE Britania , of raping countries of their resources , of slavery , of murder , of installing depsots , or a now partial commonwealth that GAINED their independence.

        Somewhat ironic considering then that Scotland is perhaps the last in the colonial queue scared to cast its shackles , and one still being raped of those resources , thus slaves to its Westminster masters whom have form.

        Immigration for Scotland is ideal not undesired , as is the EU itself.

        EU It offers a line of protection of biased trade , of shared markets , of free movement for people and trade legislation. NORWAY ?

        But of course thats another elephant in the room – a successful small independent country , which unfortunately never had its benevolent masters to protect it from by stealing its oil.One that still has industry , one gearing for post carbon and the EU eco energy shared grid.

        EU free trade means a market of 500 million , instead of 50. AS well as no prevention from Westminster for trading with the commonwealth itself with independence , the EU dont prevent its members , or do hidden tarrifs , or have one states port jobs subsidised – unlike in the UK.

        But you are right in some ways there is a similarity , leaving a union means more power retained by Sovereignty – its not by Scotland leaving the the EU though , its by leaving the UK.Scotland will have powers devolved directly to WESTMINSTER as a result of leavin , more veins for the parasitic to drain.

        It is the Union of the UK that has the most power unelected over Scotland , with reserved powers – not the EU with shared goals.

        If you argue that RISK is bad for an independent Scotland , then should the same RISK you are championing by MAY , by Westminster , By BREXIT , not be in effect exactly the same as INDY.

        Thus in conclusion , I offer that you PETER UNDECIDED , were indeed already decided.

    6. aladair galloway says:

      Leaving aside the terribly obvious BT strategy of asking questions which cannot possibly be answered by anyone, when you write “Scotland is NOT in the EU the UK IS in the EU and Scotland is a state in the UK and will need to apply for membership, as other countries have” you really are so far into the territory of sophistry that you may not be seen again.
      The key here is to treat Scotland as a state just now. The fact is that the UK’s legal advice paper (the one by Crawford and Boyle) denied that Scotland is a state – in fact they contend that “Scotland was extinguished in 1707”. However, there remains a region of the UK, which is described even by the UK govt as Scotland, which has a defined territory – for instance those parts of the UK where Scots law operates, or the territory where Act specifically intended for Scotland operate. That region voted by a substantial (after all if 52/48 is significant, where does that leave 62/38) to remain in the EU. So Scotland might not be a state but it is an identifiable region of the UK, and if that region exercises its international rights of self determination to become an independent state, then it might be argued that if the newly independent state of Scotland were to remain in the EU then all that is happening is an adjustment to the boundaries of the UK such that Scotland remains part of the EU while the remainder of the UK is lost to the EU.

      1. Peter: You have convinced me the, decision is , NO. says:

        irrelevent what happened in 1707 , with respect to membership of the EU , Scotland is not a member of the EU

        This is a letter from the EU to the Scottish government

        https://www.parliament.scot/S4_EuropeanandExternalRelationsCommittee/Inquiries/Letter_from_Viviane_Reding_Vice_President_of_the_European_Commission_dated_20_March_2014__pdf.pdf

        This is a quote from the letter

        “When part of the territory
        of a Member State ceases to be a part of that State, e.g. because that territory becomes an
        independent state, the treaties will no longer apply to that territory. In other words, a new
        independent region would, by the fact of its independence, become a third country with
        respect to the Union and the Treaties would, from the day of its independence, not apply
        anymore on its territory.”

        Scotland is not a member of the EU

        1. aladair galloway says:

          Well I suppose ignoring the argument is one way of dealing with it. If we start from the Crawford and Boyle paper then Scotland was “extinguished” in 1707 – their, and by implication the UK govt argument – but try reading my post again. I actually agree with you that Scotland is not a member of the EU. Scotland right now is not a sovereign state, so it cant be. But that is not the basis of my argument, which is that Scotland, a region in the UK, is an identifiable territory, and thus if, before the UK leaves the EU it becomes a sovereign state by asserting its internationally guaranteed rights of self determination, then when rUK leaves the EU, then the EU borders can merely be adjusted so that rUK is no longer part of the territory of the EU, but Scotland is.
          Moreover, lets assume you are right and I am wrong – and given the novelty of this situation, there is no certainty either way – your argument is that Scotland would be out of the EU and that this would be a major problem for we would have ‘join the queue for membership’. God help us if we are behind Turkey eh? But that country points to the fallacy in the “queue” analogy. There is no queue. Turkey has been a candidate member of the EU forever and during that time numerous countries have become members of the EU, and they have done that by becoming compliant with the EU acquis, which Scotland already is. Given this, as Mme Minor pointed out – though for some reason this was seldom reported in the msm – “There are a number of official candidate countries – Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, [but] they are still quite some way away from meeting the criteria for membership. And obviously were Scotland to become independent, they would join that list.
          Now, it might be easier for an independent Scotland to meet those criteria. The fact that all your legislation has to be in alignment with existing European rules would presumably not be too difficult for Scotland, compared with, say, Montenegro. And that might enable them to move faster than others.”

          1. Peter: You have convinced me the, decision is , NO. says:

            Sounds like we agree, i don’t see joining of the EU as a addition to a queue, but we will have to join and go through the process.

            But, we have a 10% deficit , EU has a 3% limit on countries joining the EU, they may flex to 4 or 5% but up to 10% seems unlikely.

            So why is the SG not looking into this, why is their no plan for getting rid of the Deficit , this is my issue, the economy is the major factor in and independent Scotland, but the SG don’t seem to be interested in sorting it out.

        2. c rober says:

          “Sounds like we agree, i don’t see joining of the EU as a addition to a queue, but we will have to join and go through the process.”

          The process is instant as long as the EU agree to it.Which they will , even Spain cannot veto.

          “But, we have a 10% deficit , EU has a 3% limit on countries joining the EU, they may flex to 4 or 5% but up to 10% seems unlikely.”

          So your taking notice its a 10 percent deficit , when the UK one for D2GDP ratio is 90 percent. WIth having a STATE BANK – Scotland at that very inception point with a ratio of 1/10 th that of the UK , and without State Bank. You are also avoiding that the EU as a union has a combined 91 percent debt to gdp ratio. The 3 percent often qouted in the yoon media – well have a look at the wiki page here , a site that bans the Express and Mail. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Debt-to-GDP_ratio , or http://www.debtclocks.eu/public-debt-and-budget-deficits-comparison-of-the-eu-member-states.html , where not one single member seems to be anywhere near that fabled figure of 2 percent.

          “So why is the SG not looking into this, why is their no plan for getting rid of the Deficit , this is my issue, the economy is the major factor in and independent Scotland, but the SG don’t seem to be interested in sorting it out.”

          I agree to a point , more so in indy 1 with the questions unaswered , but is MAY not doing exactly the same with brext means brxit and 160 word papers?

          There is more to it than just bringing out the cheque book for an independent nation. Deficits at 10 percent are believe it or not an amazing place to start , and where the case for every other qualifying criteria is already met and in place as a CURRENT member.

          But like you I would like to see more answers , more on a sovereign state bank or banks along the lines of Germany;s investment ones and other state owned of the like , definately not getting into bed with private central banks – like the BOE , US FED , and the Rothschilds.

          More on currency.

          More on the taxation.

          More on Using councils as banks and mortgage holders , as well as private low cost developers – as England gears for private enterprise renting through corporates and returns of 12 percent.

          More on NsandI.

          I dont want to see a straight swap on indy to the systems and devices of old Westminster to empower and enrich the many , all , of Scotland in the NEW Holyrood – I want to see new ones.

          1. aladair galloway says:

            the fiscal consolidation pact, which requires no larger deficit than 3% of GDP, applies only if a member state is part of the Eurozone – were it otherwise the UK would have been in the shit long ago!

        3. James Mills says:

          Peter : You have convinced me , the decision is YES ! Your circular arguments and studied myopia have convinced me that I must be in the right camp if I am opposing you .

          1. c rober says:

            aladair galloway

            “the fiscal consolidation pact, which requires no larger deficit than 3% of GDP, applies only if a member state is part of the Eurozone – were it otherwise the UK would have been in the shit long ago!”

            Actually its a misconception portrayed in the media – the 3 percent number is RELLY for USING the EURO!

            The other more important criteria is the DEBT TO GDP RATIO , and as I have mentioned Scotland currently , with the MSM and both Governments admitting that it is 10 percent of current GDP.

            So in the intermediate term , the time frame from declaration to Joining , then the pound still being used , like many have done using their states currency until adoption would happen as NORMALCY , would mean therefore no need to do anything about the 3 percent qouted for the ERM.

            In fact many within the EU currently still dont use the ERM , and THE UK is one of them.

            These are the knowns – its the unknowns I mentioned earlier that worry me more , not the lies about not being able to “remain” as a current parallel member , or as instant ascendency for the same reason – ie already meeting the criteria anyway.

          2. aladair galloway says:

            to C Rober
            Actually you are wrong – its a condition of being in the Eurozone though countries can sign up to the pact voluntarily – Denmark has done this but retains its own currency. However, if a country were to use the Euro informally (because like the pound its convertible) rather as Puerto Rica uses the dollar, then the pact would not be relevant.
            As for the 10% of GDP argument, that depends on how much debt an independent Scotland would take on. I get seriously fed up with ex cathedra statements on this by Unionists who know perfectly well that there would either have to be an agreement between the two parties about distributing debt and assets, which might be they get all the mobile assets and we get none of the debt. In any event the amount of debt we would take on should be treated as a known unknown.

    7. Stu says:

      If Scotland needs to re apply them so to does the restUK as UK wont exist anymore. Absolute tripe. It was a union not a surrender, a union like a contract can be terminated. You’ll get over uour Stockholm Syndrome some day!

  9. Bob Mack says:

    I agree with you for many reasons. Time has created an ever greater imbalance between the authority of the two countries involved in the Union. Emphasis has gone with the majority of population rather than with individual “National” interests
    of each of the signatories to the Union.
    We have become the kept relative in the eyes of many down south, who only survives due to their enduring generosity.

    Both Conservatives and Labour who bear the Scottish moniker ,seem unable to prioritise Scottish interests above those of their national party objectives. Policy is created in Westminster and not Holyrood for these entities.

    Like the author, I fear we will be methodically and systematically neutered in an effert to stop our nation ever again seeking our freedom. The time to decide is upon us.

    1. c rober says:

      If Westminster is so unfair , then how does Holyrood stack up?

      With its Murdos , unlected 5 times in a trot. With its party leaders like Dugdale able to govern a party on said head office mandate being shunned by the electorate she now repesents as leader.

      Scotland isnt perfect , its far from it. But is it at its own hands , that is the larger question?

      And that answer is actually in the form of another question…..

      Its not Are You Yes YET , its can you afford not to be yes yet.

  10. Willie says:

    Alf commentary reflects what so many of feel. Fifty six out of fifty nine MPs count for absolutely nothing. Democracy is a total and utter sham and the holocaust of foreign rule continues unabated whilst living standards and social protection plummet. But maybe the English are right. Maybe the Scots are, in political terms, something you wipe off your shoes. Certainly seems so because nothing is changing. Time these boys and girls withdrew.

  11. Almannysbunnet says:

    Watching our MP’s being disrespected in Westminster is painful to watch but it is not a waste of time. Everytime some Tory yelps like a dog, filibusters an SNP motion or the deputy speaker tell them to shutup, no voters move to yes. They should get a bloody medal for putting up with it. We’re all champing at the bit for independence but once we have it these few years since 2014 will look like a little blip in history.

    1. c rober says:

      The way I am viewing it now is that 300 odd years the sleeping monster has been laid quiet , but its stirring is becoming more frequent – the gaps in between becoming longer , alongisde closer and closer together.

      Since 1919 that monster was subdued by voting Labour , offered as the only solution , back when its mandate was home rule , now conveniently only rolled out on tea towels come donation time like taxes for the war chest.

      Since 1979 and the rise of Thatcher working class Scotland continued that voting form , in the belief that it made a difference… after strikes , blackouts , winter of discontent , the English electorate got sick of unions and that meant Labour.

      So thats 60 years of no effect at this point. And About 5 years after McCrone was buried if memory serves , by Tory then Labour…. where the latter still likes us to believe in Scotland in a BIASED , Bullying , THIEVING union is good for it. But in this they forget they are elected for Local and national as representatives , and not for the rest of the UK by Scottish voters , they are in effect a perfect example of why Scottish votes then dont work or matter , in that we are electing them to represent therefore England. So is that the reason then why Scottish Labour aided and abetted the theft of NSO , not once but twice , in that it is FAIR for Scotland? BTW the theft is 3x , if the truth on the Fracking and oil under the Clyde is real – and given Scottish Labours history of shovel politics , of lying and theft on the Scottish people I fear it might be.

      Then after 17 years Labour got elected , but only by ironically becoming the Tories in England – ie a mandate of preserving much of what they were elected on in Scotland to defeat and remove. Elected on promises of empowering the worker of Scotland , of rebuilding , re industrialization. Of after shunning devolution by accountancy , wealth creation by theft aiding and abetting for the few paraded as solidarity and socialism , then supplying a parliament in Scotland , a chocolate teapot with a voting system it never introduced into Westminster- as a way of supplying further jobs only as another form of politics without power.

      Since the inception of Holyrood has came the rise of the SNP , so its not been all that bad , we have instead began to weed out the chaff – as seen by this very topic of discussion , those sent to Westminster , reflecting that sentiment that Nulabour , Slabour are “doooooomed” – said in best remembered BBC Scots ala Dads Army…. the very idea of what kind of sentiment perhaps led us to a no in 14.

      But since 14 things have changed drastically , that dooooom has shifted.

      Scotland is seeing 1979 all over again , its seeing 1974 also in the theft from it , its even seeing 1706 in tolls and trade threats.Its seeing the Tory rise in Scotland , as well as the extinction of Labour aligned and aiding them. Project FEAR is now real – but hardly in the manner in 14 , pandoras box is open , the fears are now not of the perceived , promoted and offered unknowns , or of now known lies like the vow , the fears NOW are of the knowns.

      Switches on Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting rant mode…

      Those knowns are of Sewell being moot , of free trade lost with the EU , of democracy only works for England and being dragged along for the ride , of a plunging pound for English exports and higher food price imports alongside gas , of doctored GERS , of NHS privatization , of pension ages beyond the Glasgow effect , of flat pack housing as private corporate rented with 12 percent returns , of an ever increasing deficit at Westminster hand and a decade of austerity , of bank protection after deregulation paid for on the tax payer , of threats that the Scottish parliament is temporary , of wages today heading towards that of 1979 in real terms , of Trident remaining on the Clyde to protect England from attack preventing a Clyde oil and gas boom , of removing subsidy for eco energy North of the Border , of deals for NI , Wales , London and not for Scotland , of farming returning to Westminster as a reserved matter , of preventing using the pound , of subsidising port jobs in England for Scottish Exports thus increased costs , and the removal of ECHR along with EU membership for Scotland from a fairer more democratic system more equal than the Union with England ever has been

  12. john young says:

    I read somewhere that of over 100 countries gaining independence only 3 ever held referendums,there is/was/never will be anything honest/democratic about them,we were lied to we were cheated so now is the time to declare independence.Its a bit rich that these parliamentarians quote % for or against when most of thee elected governments are in a minority,I say go for it.

    1. c rober says:

      So the option then , ban non Scots owned and UK public service media interference in Indy II , a media purdah or purge? Or just like the majority of those countries simply just declaring indy ?

      The media is the control mechanism today compared to when those countries gained independence , even then that media there was controlled by the wealthy , or world service broadcasting – but the radical found ways around them…. sometimes the kind that seen them as committing treason , or removal to another that too eventually found independence , Australia.

      What you forget here perhaps is that many of them were British colonies , some faught for that independence , others with no material wealth to rape left were cast aside like a used tampon.

      Ruling out the BBC and SSBC , Murdoch , Daily Mail , Express in a single shot can be done by action by Holyrood using its power in the courts as radicalism. Two of these actually are doing some of the work for us albeit without their knowledge , stoking the barnett scrounger fires , just like the EU and immigration did for brexit. Then we have RT , AJ , the enemy of western democracy that were highlighting their competitors bias – so banning would perhaps prevent bias being exposed.

      Just how is that achievable though , with internet – with fake news the new syphilis , Russian hacks , Scottish Labour and buying Facebook likes.

      WE learned a lot in round 1 , and i think there is less power there for THEIR next round , no Darling and Brown , no vow bribery – and where many are now coming in from the cold , even Brown to a fairer deal as perhaps the VOW II. Just how much weight that would add given the failures and sell out since I dont know.

  13. c rober says:

    I agree Alf – but I fear the long grass is the mandate now , and political employment.

    I find little argument in the withdrawal part , but I do see the logic of wait and see , but also with that offering that procrastination rarely works. With wait and see there is no change , but there is hope for increasing the political number on victim hood and cries of I told you so.Hindsight is 2020.

    As for referendums , there is perhaps a reason why they are , or should be , only advisory – brexit is the case in point , the uneducated kneejerk of the voter , and finger pointing by the media and politicians backfiring that gave them the dodgy knee in the first place.

    This is perhaps why we supposedly elect those to represent us , those free from the smears and lies can rise above them , so then able to make those sorts of decisions on our behalf free from such constraints and bias – But as we see this is , or can be , far from the truth , ie the party line overrules the electorates…. so blindfolds instead of blinkers.

    One has to ask does the end voter know the full picture in such divisive referendums , thus able to make such an important decision?

    It is plain to me that in the case of brexit many just dont have the intellect to vote on real reasons . We cant expect everyone to be lawyers , accountants , economics experts , or look at the rear view mirror – So again the reasoning for electing MPS , backed up by data , civil servants and “experts” stands to reinforce your argument over a referendum one.

    I dont think for one moment that the rise of the SNP at Westminster in 2015 wasnt for one moment though an educated electorate seeing the failure and lies from indy , seeing the SNP as protectors of Scotland . It was the same kneejerk reaction that led to brexit , however it is also because of the same culprits that had been blaming the EU for Westminster failures.

    But fear perhaps could be the enemy , in that such a retreat to Holyrood would render them unemployed via a new general election being called as a result , and prevented somehow by those remaining in Westminster. Knowing how the polls are lying today it doesn’t just mean Scottish MPS , but NI , English and Welsh ones themselves having to repeat it.

    As you know Alf I ofter state along similar lines as your offering that Scotland’s voters perhaps need to see power and fight from their politicians in order to back them.

    So perhaps this is such a thing that could give that , and considering the lack of devolved legislation being used to fight oppression in Scotland , on biased BBC , or the media lies in print and online by Holyrood felxing its muscle , then this can offer such pride , such proof , as to engage the electorate.

    Things have changed , and perhaps I can offer that the rope is not yet quite long enough – the gallows are built though.

    1.The declaration that Holyrood is a whim , post vow and Sewell , and therefore powerless , only granted and enabled by Westminster , and can be removed in its entirety by a single nation in the Union voting to remove it.

    2.Brext means Engxit – deals for leave regions , deals for NI , Deals for London. Smell yer maw for Scotland.

    3.The lies of the vow , and its watering down. And the betrayals that resulted.

    4.The lie of remaining in the EU was only through remaining in the UK.

    5.The biased trade deals , that Scotland needs the UK market more than the UK needs the Scottish one – again like GERS tallied up without the real data to appear too poor , too wee.

    5.And of course nearly every lie during the Brexit ref that paled in comparison to those in indy.

    So while Tories and Labour in England are concentrating on securing “best deals” for their own , in order to appease their pitchforked mobs locally , they have taken the ball off the indy ref but still singing the songs on the terracing – SO is the reason why they are preventing it , or any discussion , through the media and mouthpiece citing ” no mandate”.

    As everyone knows History tells us it is hard to fight a war on two fronts. Brexit and Indy being those fronts.But as we know Tory , Slab , Lab , Lib dem are the allies – so that means we by default are the common enemy.

    So perhaps then there is such scope for an immediate withdrawal until a referendum is granted , remove the troops from the battle – then at least without a voice in Westminster , just like the ears , then it could very well force their hand – the one we are threatened we should not to bite that feeds us.

    So what then is stopping it , is it that the numbers arent there yet , is it as I suggested job protection , or is it just as simple as the May council elections?

    Politics is warfare , so perhaps MAY is the ammunition – If you believe in the spiritual and of signs , then a leader called MAY , and council elections in May , then it MAY well be the political interpretation of planet alignments…. or the second coming.

    Which brings me to what I often offer as the solution – In May then all the SNP has to do is run the party on one mandate to see that referendum happen.

    That one mandate is of course for another INDY ref – or of course they could just stand on declaring indy at Westminster – defeating the need for a ref altogether.

  14. Doubting Thomas says:

    Utter drivel!!

    1. Rory Winter says:

      Would yoy care to expand on that??

      1. Rory Winter says:

        ‘You’

        1. Doubting Thomas says:

          Naw.
          It is utter drivel and fantasy.
          No electoral mandate, no legal mandate, bring on the referendum.
          It will never happen she is too feart!!
          Cos she knows she knows she will lose.

          1. Coolheads Prevail says:

            You’re GWC2 and I claim my €5.

  15. cath says:

    Is there a mid-way here? What would be really great would be if Scotland’s representatives – its 56 MPs and its parliament – could “temporarily” take the powers of independence that would enable them to deal and negotiate with the EU as a sovereign, independent nation. That would enable us to forge our own way, for ourselves, not being spoken for by Theresa May and Boris Johnson. Could that be done, on the understanding that 2 or 3 years down the line, when we see where both we and rUK respectively are with Brexit, another referendum will be held to ratify where we now are?

    I strongly suspect that if people in Scotland were asked to ratify something that’s already happened is now a certainty rather than a choice between two uncertainties, they’d be far more likely to choose independence as the obvious option – keep what we have now, rather than give it up and go back to non-independence.

    1. c rober says:

      Cath when you get into the bones of it then the EU is our normalcy NOW , brexit isnt. If the EU has , had , so much control over the UK then why the different outcome regionally? was it perception , or portrayal?

      So a nation of bravehearts that voted to keep that normalcy in 2014 , then again in 2016 , somehow fears the unkown , while its neighbor took the other option. Are they then not bravehearts , but fearthearts?

      Something I forgot to add in my reply to ALFS piece , and suggest not withdrawing the troops , but being the resistance , and instead offer ENGLAND another referendum on remaining in the UK.

      If the fashion is foot shooting , of burning bridges – then lets hear more about this Barnett formula today , and its removal , importnanly before talk of Scottish indy II.

      Scotland voted to stay in the UK , in a once in a generation referendum , based on promises that were broken or never materialized , so expects the same with brexit. Scotland is not alone in that betrayal , regions of England with a similar treatment meted on them from the south for the last 40 years have been deflected that the problem all along was not Westminster and those they elected , but instead the EU and immigrants.

      The people of England have a right to inspect those same promises of leaving the EU. In asking about the 350 million , in job protections for some over others , of investment and subsidy which will have to be supplied by cuts on others… it is time that they opened their eyes as well.

      As I mentioned in my post earlier – the time is now , battles cannot be won on two fronts , more so when the electorate are fighting amongst themselves. It truly is the old empire in action – to divide is to conquer. Internal Labour conflict , Tory too , all play into the hands of freedom and autonomy for Scotland.

  16. Craig P says:

    In English political theory, English MPs have sovereignty.

    In Scottish political theory, the people of Scotland have sovereignty. (Which they voted to give to English MPs).

    Scottish MPs are not relevant in either of these approaches. Not unless they resign en-masse and stand again on a platform of independence. *Then* we’ll be getting somewhere…

    1. c rober says:

      And before they do table a motion for a referendum for the English to once again be English…. then like fireworks retreat to a safe place as the Tories and Labour shoot it down , and UKIP rise one again in their true colours – the EDL.

      1. IAB says:

        I preferred the EDL – they, at least, were honest and obvious.

    2. Hyperborean says:

      But they did “stand on a platform of independence”: can there possibly be a single voter who put their cross on a ballot paper who were not aware that the SNP has independence as one of its main policies?
      It might be less clear that those voting SNP laid the same emphasis on independence in casting their vote as the party does, voting for them for other reasons. But it’s not the voter intentions, whatever they may have been, that lie at the root of any justification for our MPs electing to enact independence. That root is their responsibility to enact the will of the Scottish people, and the Scottish people want to remain part of the EU, they said so clearly. (That recent polls suggest they now, narrowly, also support indepen is not the issue here.) So if the only way to enact the popular will to remain in Europe is to declare independence while we are still a member, then they should do so. That, in short, is the argument proofed here.
      The argument is sound as far as logic is concerned. Whether, all things being considered, such a move would be wise is another matter. Part of me wants to yell, “Go for it! It’s our only chance!” as if we were in some thriller movie and breaking out of jail our only chance of freedom, and also because I’m old and tired and want to live long enough to see independence.
      But part of me, still in thriller movie mode wants to say, “No, wait! It’s a trap!” and old, tired, jaded me wants to ask, “In how many ways could this go wrong? How could the Unionists use this against us?”, mindful of the financial bribery, threats of tolls and actual bans on trade that forced the hands of even those who were not a greedy, shady, parcel of rogues 300 years ago, enough to virtually enforce the Union in the first place.
      So, what’d the answer? Damned if I know. Not right now. Except that the threat of constitutionally legitimate UDI is a powerful weapon to place on the negotiating table, but perhaps one not best fired except in an emergency.
      So, what would an emergency look like? Is this one? Damned if I know. Not right now. Fortunately it’s no up to me — or any one of us — to know. We just have to trust Oor Nicola to continue to be the wily, tough yet supple negotiator she has been up to now, and to believe that she will play whatever hand she is dealt with skill, eyes ever on the main prize: independence, sooner or later, one way or another. Her responsibity to choose the means, and to make it stick.
      But, though I’m old enough to have more sense, something in me still likes the idea of a wild, whooping, guns-metaphorically-blazing, dramatic breakout via UDI. Yet, equally, I’m old enough to know that’s unlikely, and that, in reality, the best way will probably be via negotiation and maybe a degree of compromise over the details. Still, maybe I’m wrong. And with even the prospect of UDI we can at least give the opposition a good fright first!

      1. Hyperborean says:

        Sorry: my iPad spell wrecker screwed up some bits and I didn’t spot any of its perennial evil machinations to make me look a right numpty until too late.

        We need to be able to edit our posts, Editor!

  17. aladair galloway says:

    Alf, I would so like to think that you are right, and in what follows I am not suggesting that I think you are necessarily wrong. I just think there are a couple of complexities that you might have missed out.
    The first one is that in 2014 we went down the referendum option and lost. That is the most recent precedent, and I dont think we can just say now that we have changed our minds. That said it does not make irrelevant the point that you make.
    Secondly – and perhaps a bit more critically – how many times did Nicola Sturgeon say during the 2015 election campaign that this election was not about independence. that we had had that vote the previous year etc etc. This opens up the possibility that some of the electorate who voted SNP did so not to secure independence but to put into Westminster someone who would better represent them and Scotland generally than the Unionists who were being replaced.
    That said, it was none other than Thatcher who argued much as you have just done, during the 1980s, so your argument has traction.
    But one last point – if WM does not go along with this and agree independence, then it might put EU membership at risk because the Spanish will almost certainly strongly object for their great fear is the Catalans (with others looking on) declaring independence.
    But an interesting and well constructed read which makes some interesting points – not least the opposition of the people in the street to the Union in the first place. No doubt that sort of objection will be described as “utter drivel” by Doubting Thomas who I think I might have encountered on the Herald website – he says much the same to me.

    1. c rober says:

      Is it irony that a nation can elect a pro indy party to represent them in Westminster , yet shun independence , or is it clever voting , or the proof positive that Holyrood was nobbled in proportional representation? If the tories can be the Governing party in the UK with 35 percent of the vote , yet in Scotland the SNP cannot with 45 percent , then why not?

      When Labour set up Holyrood , it was this thinking that would supposedly prevent a single part majority that impacts Scotland via Westminster – but Nulabour in its tenure never did the same at Westminster.

      One rule for them – where rule is the operative word – and one rule for us.

  18. Alan Crocket says:

    However well-intentioned or thoughtful they may be, the views expressed in the article and in many of the comments contemplate the imposition of our will on the people.

    What we in the independence movement tend not to appreciate, and certainly did not make nearly enough of in the 2014 referendum, was the effect a No vote would have in giving a democratic seal of approval to the union. Never before in our history had the people, every single one of us, been given our own personal choice on the issue. That is a precious thing. We cannot now cancel that choice just because it didn’t suit us.

    It’s a moral issue, quite apart from the practical danger of giving ammunition to our opponents.

    I might be the most brainy, enlightened, well-informed, articulate and saintly separatist so-and-so in Scotland, but my will counts not a jot more than that of the most dumb, benighted, malicious, knuckle-dragging, brachycephalic, UK-worshipping troglodyte to be found anywhere between Muckle Flagga and the Mull of Galloway, and neither of us have to justify our position to the other.

    That is democracy. I want independence for Scotland, but I want us to be able to look ourselves in the mirror the day after we achieve it.

    1. c rober says:

      Which is when the other question comes to the table – Home Rule , aka FFA , in other words a proper union with clarity instead of creative accountancy and threats.

      You know the same sort of thing that the EU represents – but isnt good enough for the rest of the older union.

  19. Colin Dunn says:

    Wouldn’t work. SNP MPs have no mandate. They’d need to return to Holyrood, and Sturgeon would need to call snap general election on basis of majority of MSPs for Indy before mandate provided. Otherwise could lead to violence and riots.

    1. c rober says:

      Mibbe Ruth could bring her tank to George Sq to quell it

    2. mr j r geddes. says:

      The Scottish members of parliament have a mandate they are the Scottish executive.
      I would like to point out also English votes for English laws: automatically returns the English parliament.

  20. fermerfaefife says:

    It is an interesting article – but I feel it only comes into play if Westminster blocks a second referendum – in that case I think that our MP’s have the right to withdraw from UK and either fight a countrywide Scottish by-election on the premise that 50%+1 MP’s is a mandate for dissolution of Union or declare UDI ratified by the people in a referendum mandated by Scotlands MP’s.

    To go down this route if a referendum is allowed like last time would be folly as the precedent has been set the last time.

    1. c rober says:

      Scotland would need their fermers , I am assuming here you are one , or were , perhaps the reasoning for Holyrood empowerment in farm reform – but that cant help those that have lost theirs , tenants or land owners.

      With the EU subs , and then the power reserved to Westminster possibly from brexit , then whom can the Scottish farmers trust? After all they are being threatened , through removal of EU cheap labour , on hard borders , on taxes and tarrifs , and subsidising English ports jobs for exports meaning less competitiveness.

      If the fishing fleet are the fermers of the sea , then Westminster has history on how they are treated , and leaving the EU we are told wont make any difference to catches – which are ironically mostly exported to the EU.

      Its time the Farming belt wise up instead of voting in Tories , they are not protectionists of land owners Noth of the Border – unless you count trickle supply , nor are they protectors of jobs as seen with industrialisation , nor are they anti Montsanto and all that stands for in Seed and toxic weedkiller. They are though promoters of farmers and debt to survive , on supermarkets and milk pricing destroying them.

      We need to empower farmers , more so in Scotland 2.0 , where things like eco energy on land they own should mean they can use it as such , achieving rentals driving down debt and lowering costs , perhaps even as hydrogen farms?

      The future is bright for Scottish Farmers post indy , or just not as bright as the farms are bought up for a song under Westminster rule – by the wealthy and corporate elite as factory farming , then given subsidy soon afterwards denied of tenant and owner farmers. This is how the system works – its the same as housing protection , destruction of social housing , now as we see corporate flat pack imported housing , the system is rigged, the workers view of democracy is realy to vote in corporate enablers.

  21. Heidstaethefire says:

    This is a completely wrong headed post. The candidates in 2015 did not, unlike the M.S.Ps in 2011, go to the electorate explicitly saying that a majority of S.N.P.s would be regarded as a mandate to declare U.D.I. We still haven’t convinced c half of the electorate. Any attempt to go down this route would be seen by many of the electorate as an arrempt to railroad them into independence, and is far more likely to cost us support than to generate more.

    1. c rober says:

      Then withdraw , resign , and stand on that mandate in all of the by elections- like the russian rat says , simples.

      1. Heidstaethefire says:

        We still only have c 50% of the electorate for the moment, and we’re asking the voters to take a big step in leaving a union we’ve been in for 300 years to join a union in which a fair number of faults exist. The likely effect of your strategy will be to force all the union supporting voters into one camp – probably the tories. We don’t have an absolute majority of voters in every seat, which in turn implies fewer S.N.P. members returned, thus weakening the case.
        We go when we have the numbers, knowing that Brexit has not yet kicked in

  22. Gaga Glasgow says:

    If there is support in Scotland for a unilateral Declaration of Independence, then there ought to be support for another referendum; and, of course, support enough to win it.

    I think everything Alf says here makes good sense. But I disagree with the timing. If Westminster attempts to block a second referendum, or attempts to renege on the outcome, then that would be the time to declare independence; and let the chips fall where they may. This isn’t the time.

    I think there are signs that Europe, the Tories, and the SNP are looking at ideas behind the scenes. We might not need a referendum. There’s a lot of room for creative minds.

    Concentric circles: Scottish Independence in Europe and the UK?

    Easy to dismiss but what if the UK was redefined and restructured as a free trade zone which an independent Scotland was a member of? What if, at the same time, Scotland retained the UK seat in The EU after England’s withdrawal?

    I’m cynical about anything that resembles federalism within the UK, we all know how they lie and cheat with such things, but if the only commonality between England and Scotland amounted to a shared free trade area it would potentially satisfy everyone and save a lot of work.

    All those financial and insurance exporters in England could continue to export tarrif free to Europe — provided they put brass plates in Scotland. We would be able to remain in Europe and be largely independent of England with whom we could trade freely with on a border free basis. And Europe’s integrity would be maintained, without the grief a hard Brexit by England might entail.

    For us the UK means a sort of vassal enslavement right now. We all get that. But what if it was simply a reference to a free trade zone, with an independent Scotland on one hand and rUK on the other?

    1. c rober says:

      The brass plate argument , or the wealth shift north , as we have seen is prevented at every turn – the amendment shot down by Westminster – and will also be shot down by the EU unless NI sets precendent , which I can tell you is where the will go to prevent said wealth shift North to prove the indy Economic argument.

      1. Gaga Glasgow says:

        C Rober, It isn’t simply the brass plate argument. There’s nothing to stop an independent Scotland being in the EU whilst also having a free trade agreement with England and what remains of the UK. If there is anything to prevent that, I would guess that it could be negotiated away.

        And if it sounds unrealistic, it’s pretty close to what the SNP have been suggesting for the last 10 years. The only difference is that England would be outside the EU.

        The National just two days ago suggested that negotiations were going on behind the scenes with the EU, UK, and SNP. Apparently there was some sort of leaked document that pointed to that. Probably all crap.

        But if you think about it, an independent Scotland in the EU and in a UK free trade area makes a lot of sense and kills about 50 birds with one stone. The SNP always envisaged some sort of free trade and movement arrangement with the rest of the UK after independence anyway.

        It would solve the border problem between Scotland and England. It would allow us to freely trade and move about as we do now in the British isles. It would allow Europe and England to deal freely with each other on economics and trade, via Scotland. It would soften the blow to dyed in the wool Unionists in Scotland who would be able to keep their UK passports if they wanted to or apply for a new Scottish/EU one. It would give us full sovereign control over our affairs, taxation, etc., in full to the extent that other EU member states have. It would make the currency issue easier to deal with since England would have an interest in cooperating rather than trying to ride roughshod over us.

        In this scenario, England might lose its ability to plunder us but they would gain access to the EU for their financial and insurance sectors which account for 52% of their total exports. The potential alternative is that they lose us anyway and don’t have free access for their exports or any agreement on the other stuff.

        Anyway, it seems like it would potentially save a lot of arguing and shouting and provide a much needed incentive to cooperate. The alternative is years and possibly decades of negotiations and all sorts of instability.

        1. c rober says:

          GAGA cant find fault at all , you offer the argument and the outcomes far better than I ever could.

          I have at times tried to play devils advocate , with a heavy hand at times , but the reply given is the sort of information or suggesting that the wider movement needs to adopt – highlighting the common benefit , without one side being parasitic.

          Perhaps then this is the reasoning for NI being that Free Trade zone for brass plagues , and with it the level of control it would lose with an independent Scotland…. and consequently the parasitic drain.

  23. Caoimhín McGlás says:

    Oh aye, Bella banned UDI’ers for saying this very thing, we are wasting our time with Westsinister, especially after the rigged referendum. The Brexit vote was rigged the Scottish side too! Blank Balklots in Dundee, Barcodes in Broxburn, same all over Scotland. Independence is independence and the only way you are going to get Scotland to vote to remain in the EU is if it is rigged, and guess what, what this space_______________! #AyeUDI

      1. Caoimhín McGlás says:

        I started up the UDI movement, you banned me and many other members, or are we all liars now?

  24. Lochside says:

    Great article Alf. I wrote a similar, but much shorter post, on much the same proposition a week or so ago. The one flaw, in this action, as others have noted is the SNP’s wrong headed strategy at the General Election to not fight it on Independence, but a reformist Westminster whitebread manifesto of ‘let’s not support the Tories’. This effectively torpedoed the contention of Scottish sovereignty being free to be acted upon subsequently in the straightforward manner that both you and I would like.

    As I noted before…the focus on Hollyrood has been a major error…perplexing to many…as a source of Scottish sovereignty. As has been confirmed by the English and English only ‘Supreme’ Court ( with its two Scottish lackeys), Hollyrood is a subordinate talking shop. Unfortunately, our MPs instead of creating a real shitstorm on the back of this Constitutional brick wall facing them decide to sing and whistle ‘ode to Joy’ instead of walking out and forming a convention of msps and civic Scotland in order to begin the dissolution of the Act of Union.

    Unfortunately, because of the wrong route over the past 6 years of our SNP MPs ignoring our Sovereignty in Westminster as such…i.e conditional on the Scottish people’s interests above all other considerations…the ludicrous Sewel motion became the means to a de facto dimunition of that sovereignty. We should never have had to ask permission from Westminster for a Referendum. The outrageous interference and gerrymandering ( see postal votes investigation in Argyll with ‘world record’ turnouts) proved that our people’s sovereignty could never be tested properly without interference by our UK ‘Partner’. This distortion of our equal existence allowed the loathsome Mundell to claim that Scotland had actually ceased to exist in 1707.

    Therefore, we need to walk away from Westminster, but we need to form a convention of all significant representatives political and civic to establish a declaration to dissolve the Act of Union. Unfortunately, for the reasons I have pointed out, a plebiscite will be required. However, it should be run by Scotland, with no interference by the media or the BBC other than strictly factual information by Independence and anti-Independence organisations. No more Gordon Brown, Murphy or lying 3:1 ‘debates’. if this happened, a large section of the Scottish population would learn, for the first time, the truth of our situation under the yoke of Westminster. If we had an informed and truthful exposition of the real facts, I reckon we’d achieve a large majority ratifying that Declaration dissolving the 300 year old chains of Imperialism,.

    1. c rober says:

      And there lies the battle , in assuming that the playing field is level.

      All but a blind and deaf man cant deny the lies , the bias of indy – and as mentioned when anyone questions the voting by post well they are measured for a tin foil top hat.

      The other option , harder to nobble , is instead to offer English INDY , given the reading on the same polls in our Daily Heil and Express you would think the support for that would be higher than even brexit.

  25. Alf Baird says:

    I am indebted to all those commenting on my article and to Bella Caledonia for publishing it. Much as I would like to respond to each comment, I think it best to keep any further comments on my part fairly brief and to the point.

    There are some who think another referendum, assuming we are permitted one, is the democratic way to proceed, or even a ‘precedent’. Many others highlight why a referendum may not be democratic, examples being excessive control of the mainstream media by the No side, dubious postal voting, the Vow coming during purdah, broken promises etc etc. The further point I make is that, assuming a referendum is even permitted, then in the event of a Yes vote the final decision to ratify or not that decision rests with Westminster. So, nearly 600 MP’s, none of whom are representative of the Scottish nation, and almost all of whom we can assume are anti-Scottish independence, get to make the final decision on whether Scotland can become independent, and perhaps more importantly what that form of independence might look like. Where is the sovereignty of the Scottish people in that?

    Moreover, can any of us imagine what an ‘Independence Scotland Bill’ would look like after passing through the House of Commons, that is assuming such a bill was presented, or even got through? Or what it might look like after the House of Lords have had their turn to rip it to shreds? Can any of us here in Scotland imagine what ‘their’ Westminster version of an independent Scotland might look like, irrespective of a Yes vote initially? They, i.e. our present legislators, most of whom despise the idea of Scottish independence to its very core, get to ‘design’ an independent Scotland? So, to restate, where is this idea of democracy in leaving the very final ultimate decisions on Scotland’s constitutional future, and the nature and form of our independence, to representatives of other nations, virtually all of whom are anti-Scottish independence?

    So, yes, we can (perhaps) have another wee ‘democratic’ vote in a referendum. But that is only the beginning of that process, much as we see with Brexit. But we should not consider the Brexit and Scottish independence referendums as the same sort of ‘animals’, for they are quite different, politically and geographically and more. The reason Westminster ‘respects’ the Brexit result is because a majority of voters in England wanted it. But just because a majority of voters in Scotland vote for independence, this does not necessarily mean that we will receive the same level of respect; we are after all only 8% of the UK population, and we are all located north of Hadrian’s Wall, and we no longer vote for ‘their’ kind of political parties. They can therefore do with Scotland much as they please, as they do now, and for sure they will, and usually with rather passive and polite (naïve?) reactions on our part; but only if we let them get away with it! An independence referendum is really no more than another Westminster constitutional trick, for the form of ‘independence’ Scotland would end up with (assuming the process even got that far) would not be decided by Scots. And this is where the important matter of the sovereignty of the Scottish people is completely ignored.

    A second key aspect to consider here is what form and process/actions any declaration of Scotland’s independence should take, assuming that option is taken, as I and others strongly advocate for? I mention others who have proposed different possibilities in this regard, such as Craig Murray, George Gunn, and Mike Small, and there is also John O’Dowd’s views on this, and I would urge everyone who has an interest to look closely into the different options proposed. And there will be others who can suggest different approaches, and Scotland needs to consider these options carefully, though time is short. So if I do have another suggestion to make it is that someone might rapidly put these options together in a paper so that they can be discussed and debated further.

    So, my main contention remains that a referendum on Scotland’s independence could never lead to a democratic outcome as things stand, and as that process would inevitably disregard the sovereignty of the Scottish people, it cannot be constitutionally acceptable either. That leaves the only course of action being for Scotland’s MP’s to withdraw from Westminster and to conclude the union of parliaments in much the same way as it began, though with some further democratic advantages this time around in that: most of the population at least had the opportunity to vote for an MP this time; the % majority of Scotland’s MP’s taking us out of the union of parliaments would be far greater than took us in; an nae siller’s chynged haunds tae!

    1. Gaga Glasgow says:

      Alf, support for the SNP and independence has not yet crossed the 50% mark in any consistent way, in elections or polls. You can argue about the reasons for that, and you can assume corruption in the media and with postal votes all you like, but, without the support of at least half the country, what you are advocating here isn’t independence; you’re proposing a coup of sorts.

      Now I may or may not be in favour of such a coup, but have the maturity to at least acknowledge that nobody has given a mandate for what you are proposing and no party or politician has ever asked for such a mandate.

      With all that considered, I don’t think you could rule out a really bad reaction to what you are proposing. The truth is you couldn’t predict the reaction, it would possibly take us into the sort of territory that no peace-loving person would want to contemplate.

      The SNP approach, whilst not exactly swashbuckling, is grounded in maintaining stability and proceeding in a way that nobody could possibly have any basis for refuting or negating at a later date.

      Sometimes the means are as important as the end itself. The journey and how we get there is as important as the destination.

      Everything is aligning in our favour right now, Brexit was like a gift from God to us, and it would be foolish of us not to take the path of least resistance now when that pathway has never looked so certain and clear.

      Your proposal, if it went badly, has the potential to destroy the independence movement forever.

      1. c rober says:

        GAGA

        But a modified one , of resigning the lions , forcing multiple by elections , standing on one mandate?

        But would the now employed and comfortable in Westminster accept it , taking one for the team?

        I fear then that it would trigger a GE in response – putting brexit in even more turmoil also.

        That is the bigger Question.

    2. c rober says:

      I fear your over analyzing now Alf , not a bad thing , cos you can stand back and look and see the wider picture as a result. The doubts , the fears , the prize , the method being less than clear than simply polar decision making.

      Indy – post yes.

      It would be fool hardy for Westminster to nobble , or decide anything for Scotland post indy , or offer any sort of remit for INDY with reserved powers at Westminster – thats not independence , thats federal , or thats perhaps a protectorate your talking about. Ironic considering that many of those protectorate have more power than Scotland has – especially the pound use.

      In fact it would leave them vulnerable on the international scale for as such – including attempting post indy tarrifs , borders they would have to pay for we arent Mexico , import restrictions or any hand at the tiller in its parliament or laws. They couldn’t even “order” down the line for future ref as a secession deal – That sovereignty you are asking for is whole , not partial. The only negotiation will be on assets and liabilities , and as we know the pound is out , and pensions are protected from round 1 , so that leaves us with debt and military only and UK without NSO.

      In a post INDY Scotland everything is devolved , England has its sovereignty , or as part of RUK as a new union.

      A new union , which I tell you the other members will also insist on new terms as a result and negotiate – As much as you were arguing to strike while the iron is hot , in removing our lions , then declaring , the same goes for using the scale of the negotiation war with the EU , with a new constitution being drawn with RUK members among themselves to our benefit. Think about this for a second , this is the same kind of threats from inside the EU from populist parties , that the UK media is portraying as the end of the EU itself.

      So what you are perhaps forgetting here is that Independence gives Scotland far more protections from Westminster than the union currently does , or even being in the EU – it puts Scotland on the international map , and with it protections and actions as a result…. the sort of actions that has led to embargoes on Russia.

    3. Alan Crocket says:

      I’m afraid I still regard this as off the rails. It begs the very question at the heart of the independence movement, namely: whether there is a majority for independence, while blithely assuming that there is, and in the face of the 2014 result. What is proposed is no less than the engineering – the fixing – of a result which Alf Baird and all the rest of us want. If there is in fact no majority, that would be fraudulent. The course of action proposed is anti-democratic.

      By voting No two years ago, Scotland subjugated itself in practical terms to England, but we did not relinquish our sovereignty, in the sense that our right of self-determination persists, can be exercised any time we choose, and cannot be frustrated by Westminster. So, given the mandate of the Scottish Government, a referendum should go ahead. Personally, I cannot envisage London withholding consent, but if it did, although that would entail some strict legal and constitutional difficulty, the referendum would still be perfectly legitimate, an important distinction in getting the rest of the world to accept it. The limitation which we placed on ourselves by our democratic No vote in 2014 was simply that any future decision to change that vote would have to be no less democratic. The reason for this is that no one – and that means no one, including our own dear selves in the independence movement – has the right to set aside a democratic decision of the people of Scotland.

      The rehash of complaints about the process of the 2014 referendum are pointless. It is universally acknowledged, even by the courts, that election balloting is flawed, especially in postal votes. But if all the complaints which are even halfway serious had been attended to, it would not have affected the outcome, and all such complaints are now well past their sell-by date anyway.

      Complaints about dirty campaign tactics by the No side, while doubtless mostly correct, cannot justify calling the result into question, because that would be to interpret to our own advantage what was going on in the minds of No voters, in order to devalue their votes, which is blatantly undemocratic. You cannot say to someone who voted differently from you “Ah, but you were misled, so your vote doesn’t really count, and we’re now going to try a different approach”.

      A good idea to safeguard against such things in the next referendum would be to have international scrutineers oversee both campaign and process, as suggested by Craig Murray.

      And if none of the above washes with you, and you are still tempted, remember that the best measure of the folly of any proposal is how much gratification it would provide to union strategists.

  26. mr j r geddes. says:

    Remember the Scottish parliament passed into Scottish constitutional law The claim of rights.
    Which gives the Scottish people the sole right to decide what kind of self government they want that’s binding constitutional law today. Westminster does not have reserved rights to the constitution of Scotland either.

  27. Teribus says:

    Nobody quite like us Scots for “dancing on the head of a pin”. For me no self respecting person would want their affairs dictated by another. It should be as true in politics as it is in life. I have supported Independance from the day and hour I began to take an interest in Scottish history. Getting on for 60 years now, I can conceive of no circumstance that would make me think otherwise. The rest, the political argument, is simply “smoke and mirrors”, one either has confidence in ones own ability, and this, in my view, applies as well to countries as to the individual or one does not. I cannot, for the life of me, understand any other argument.

  28. SleepingDog says:

    Perhaps the building of an independent nation needs a better story, even if it takes a long journey on hard roads? Can you call a foundation built on opportunism or procedural adventurism “the settled will of the Scottish people”?

    I appreciate that large-scale events are causing concern and participation in the Houses of Parliament might seem like our shackles to a corpse, but if all Scottish MPs hurled themselves into root-and-branch escalating critique and reconstruction of Westminster perhaps there is long-term benefit to forcing a constitutional reformation in the UK first, which might:

    a) remove procedural stumbling blocks, establish the rights of constituent nations and peoples
    b) improve relations with the people of other UK nations through constructive dialogue
    c) reform and recast the role of the media, culture and social commentators
    d) open archives, enforce transparency and allow fabricated official histories to be robustly challenged
    e) reduce the chance and impact of manufactured crises
    f) expose clandestine operations and corruption by rebalancing the relation between the intelligence and military arms of government with the people they are supposed to serve and new official transparency legislation (an independent Scotland governed by foreign agents is not entirely without precedent; it may be best to clean out the UK government first to avoid what in practical terms could be a puppet or hostage government)
    g) conform to international standards of appropriate secessionist behaviour, possibly forming a model for kindred nations.

    The impatient would want to see progress, but perhaps a conversion could be achieved by winning a relatively short series of important arguments with successive reforms gradually levelling the playing field, replacing the crooked referees, disarming the casuals and oiling the turnstiles (terrible metaphor, but). If the Scottish Independence movement feels it cannot take the risk of a reformed UK adding to Unionist attraction, then I suspect it does not really have the support it needs.

    1. Gaga Glasgow says:

      SleepingDog, you seem to be suggesting that we devote ourselves to transforming Westminster rather than getting out of its grasp. That’s a ridiculously unrealistic suggestion which you will find little if any support for.

      You might as well suggest that we devote ourselves to democratising hell.

      1. SleepingDog says:

        No, I was suggesting that Scottish MPs agitate within the system and with any allies to expose and ridicule its flaws and demand reform. Do you think it would be defensible to the public under sustained scrutiny? It could be win-win for the Independence movement if reforms were either adopted (establishing a direction of travel to modernisation with Scottish MPs taking the lead) or resisted, with the UK government falling into greater disrepute.

        I suspect the SNP MPs have little intention of doing so for various reasons, including maintaining a favourable comparison with Holyrood and fear of losing first-past-the-post elections, but if you analyse the weak points in strategies of the Unionist parties, such engagement across a broad progressive front may be something they fear. Fixing each mechanism may result in unexpected and uncontainable progress, which is one reason such change is fiercely resisted.

        For example, the passing of legislation outlawing the British transatlantic slave trade was only achieved after Parliamentary reform, and the enfranchisement of women was achieved in a series of engagements, and after each small concession momentum and pressure grew rather than lessened. Reform can lead to a hunger for more.

        1. Gaga Glasgow says:

          You don’t seem to understand the sense of urgency. We don’t have time for a 50 year campaign that addresses all the flaws of the system. That actually sounds like an incredibly boring hobby to me, on a par with stamp collecting.

          We want out of the UK now.

          1. SleepingDog says:

            I am not advocating dropping other campaigning or means. Like the Scottish Wars of Independence, lasting victory was not achieved on one battlefield, but by a series of campaigns each containing multiple battles.

            If you think that a small, procedural victory in clawing back some Royal Prerogative powers to Parliament, allowing a vote which prevented the Prime Minister unilaterally declaring war on the Syrian people is boring, then I guess we have different views on politics.

            Real, current threats include climate change and nuclear war, both of which need to be addressed on a global level, but both have lacked a properly-informed public debate. Forcing this debate at the UK Parliament level now seems to me, on balance, to be useful when dealing with a nuclear-armed power like the UK, which not incidentally has a monarchical command-and-control system. Consider the implications of pursuing the criticisms in this article in respect of holding the UK to account under international law and revealing more secret nuclear blundering:
            https://www.opendemocracy.net/uk/ian-sinclair/dangerous-omissions-and-intellectual-obfuscation-left-wing-case-for-trident

            Tyranny lurks in the trappings of tradition: hard, effective questioning of some of those taboo topics should shake loose plenty of uncomfortable truths from under the secretive skirts of monarchy and its Parliament. If public respect for such authority turns to disgust and outrage, the way to Independence is paved.

  29. Gordon McShean says:

    When I was a volunteer teenage “message boy” for the SNP Glasgow office in the 1950s (and a close friend of the party’s National Secretary, Robert Curran, who ran the party’s Glasgow regional affairs), I was convinced that Scotland had the right (and the capability) to successfully obtain independence within a very few years. Scots were great at talking about how we’d get independence; I delivered the Scots Independent and participated in various initiatives to spread the Home Rule message. But after a “volunteer” escapade that Robert had engineered went sour (some of you may have read about it my memoir (RETIRED TERRORIST, Trafford, 2011) Robert and I – separately- escaped abroad in order, we thought, to avoid possible arrest and embarrassing the SNP. I was innocent enough to believe that the SNP might recognize the sacrifices we had made and somehow act as our friends – perhaps even assist in clearing our reputations (after all, the venture had been acknowledged as having peaceful motives – we’d obtained and buried guns that might have been used against nationalist demonstrators in the region). Well, I’m 80 now; I’ve lived and worked in 3 sympathetic countries and stayed in tune with Scots’ endless discussions and declarations of belief in their rights. What a wordy bunch of no hopers! No wonder English comedy artists mock us. The discussions here are, as always, impressive. But I’ve now realized (as must the English) that Scots’ rants are all bullshit – most Scots have even even failed to consider they might be better as refugees! The English have been laughing at us for 300 years. I’d like to think that some of the ideas in this correspondence might result in a determination to do something more than talk!

    1. Willie says:

      Yes Gordon we are good at talking and it is getting us nowhere. Save for a few exceptions, this particular organ is a very well intenioned example. The Tories and their totally unwanted rule in Scotland certainly reinforces that. Maybe, like in Ireland and so many other British colonies, the gun is the only way for change. Sadly I hope not ever, but the UK security services are tooled up for it, and we should make no mistake that the UK would use force if ever the democracy charade fails. They ha e a track record in it.

      1. SleepingDog says:

        Why would UK security forces bother fighting Scottish paramilitaries? If the Irish example is any guide, they’d be running them.

        Remember when British politicians used to insult people’s intelligence by repeating the nonsense that one bomb going off would derail the popular Irish peace process? Whose hand was on the trigger?

        Thinking back to the Scottish Wars of Independence, I recall that virtue was more easily scrutinised on a mediaeval battlefield. Who ran, who fought, who the traitors were that gave false intelligence or fled to the other side. My view: the Independence struggle should be conducted in the daylight, with the ideals, explanations and behaviours of the debating individuals and groups closely examined.

    2. Mungo says:

      When in the history of the independence movement have we been this close to achieving our aim? So frustrating as all this talk is, it’s got us on the brink. We’re nearly there Gordon, let’s not lose our heads now.

  30. Frank says:

    Poor article and one which ignores the political reality that a majority of people in Scotland do not support independence. In essence this is an article against democracy and shows a complete lack of respect – which is ultimately counterproductive, to the people who voted no. Moreover, it fails to understand that the 2014 referendum established a precedent which is politically difficult to argue against – namely that independence will be settled via a referendum. I also don’t understand why referendums are ‘neoliberal’ as the author suggests.

    I do understand the frustrations with the SNP at Westminster. For example, they have failed to make any impact, partly through design but also because the quality of their MPs are poor. I can name only a handful out of the 56 who have made any impact and in particular, I don’t understand why the ineffectual Angus Robertson was chosen as the Westminster leader.

    Yet, articles like this reflect a sense of desperation within certain sections of the movement whereby romanticism and adventurism become a substitute for serious political strategy.

    1. Hyperborean says:

      That you can “only name a handful” of SNP MPs is hardly a charge of poor quality against them, especially since their activity is rarely covered in the Anglo-centric media. I have to strain to name even a handful of ordinary backbench MPs from either of the largest two parties. As for the LibDems: I think their leader is called Tim Something? (And I used to be a member!)
      Their actual quality can only be judged by their work, and if the rest of them have managed to pack in as much sheer hard work as our MP where I live then I’d say we were all being very well served indeed.

      1. Frank says:

        I think you missed the general point I was attempting to make, namely that the article holds democracy in contempt. Yet, the comments about the MPs – and I would add MSPs shouldn’t be dismissed either. The lack of quality amongst the elected representatives is a major strategic weakness for the SNP, especially at Holyrood. It reflects a general trend for politicians to act as administrators hence the reason why ‘managerialism’ is frequently discussed in relation to politics. Incidentally, the leader of the Lib Dems is Tim Farron and as my much as I dislike the Lid Dems he is one of the few politicians to have made an impact post-Brexit.

  31. Lochside says:

    Sleeping Dog…your contention would have had some substance a generation ago. But obviously, you have not been studying the reality of what constitutes the facade of democracy masquerading as a Parliament at Westminster. Reform is not ever going to be on the cards in the Palace of lies.

    Frank…. the majority of people in Scotland did vote to stay wedded to the Union in 2014…since then they have voted in a majority of Independence supporting Msps and MPs. Democracy is not static in its direction. The Referendum does not ‘settle’ anything permanently…and certainly not in perpetuity.

    To describe the SNP MPs as ‘poor’ takes a particularly partisan mindset to conclude this. Particularly when you contrast and compare the divided and ineffectual Labour party and the lying and deceitful tories with their Brexit agenda which almost none of the leaders of which agreed with, but are now executing because of their fear of UKIP not their concern for the wellbeing of the people in the whole UK.

    ‘Romanticism’?…no hard reality. We..the Scottish people are being treated with disdain and with anti-democratic mechanisms, such as the illegal Supreme Court, the unelected House of Lords and Royal Prerogatives that do not belong in a civilised democratic society. We are in a Union with England which was imposed via treachery and bribery by a small unelected elite. We are entitled to utilise the mechanism of dissolution of this perfidious union. The only way is to ensure its legitimacy in the eyes of the world, by running our own scrupulously fair plebiscite, with no RUK interference.

    1. SleepingDog says:

      @Lochside, I may have failed to state my point clearly. Reform is not simply an objective, but a process that would uncover the motivations of the people and groups who oppose it. For example, when the minor Royal Prerogative reform led to Parliament voted against bombing Syria, the government had to sneakily do it by the underhand means of supplying RAF personnel to other nations. This was then exposed.

      I agree there is a façade, I am suggesting tearing it down from within.

    2. Frank says:

      Sorry but this is nonsense. The SNP fought the 2015 election on an anti-austerity platform (even though they are not an anti-austerity party) but the wider point is this – their is no mandate for UDI and to propose it as a political strategy is bad (and naïve) politics. It is a gift to our political opponents hence the reason I’m suspicious of anyone who calls for it – as Lenin once said, ‘extreme zeal is often a cloak of treachery’.

      With regards to the poor quality of the SNP MSPs/MPs; if something happened to Nicola Sturgeon tomorrow (heaven forbid), name me the MSP who could replace her and lead Scotland to independence? As I said in a previous post, the lack of quality MSPs is a serious strategic weakness for the yes movement and the reason I didn’t mention the other parties is because my first priority is independence.

      UDI weakens the democratic case for independence and creates the impression that the movement is filled with zealots and demagogues. It belongs up their with the ‘Freedom Square’ rallies, Tommy Sheridan, ‘we are the 45’, ‘Wings over Scotland’, ‘are you yes yet’, and so forth, and an example of how not to do politics – it’s ‘bammer territory’ as one of my SNP friends describes it.

      1. Frank says:

        Sorry that comment was aimed at Lochside and not Sleeping Dog.

  32. Robbie Carroll says:

    I have no fine words to express my feelings for Scotlands hope of independence ,only a feeling in my heart and soul of how proud I am of Scotland and yes we Can make it as a nation among our friends in the rest of europe

  33. SleepingDog says:

    If the SNP MPs are resolved to show demonstrate that the UK Parliament falls short of international democratic best practice, why don’t they invite observers from anywhere round the globe where good practice may be obtained?

    These observers, in their traditional tribal or national dress, should be clearly visible in public galleries and at committee tables.

    After examining the system and practice and publishing reports (which I am sure will be a source of many good suggestions for improvement and useful insights), I am sure that Bella Caledonia would welcome the opportunity to publish their blog summaries of findings and anecdotes of their culture shocks.

    Defenders of the ‘mother of all parliaments’ can hardly complain, since they would expect those observers to learn many useful things about democracy that they could take back home.

    1. c rober says:

      One thing defines referendums for me , Boaty McBoatface , in that is its counterproductive when it has no real meaning.

      Lets remember here , just like many Blue Peter and BBC polls and competitions , the result can be a forgone conclusion – like the HMS Attenburgh. Or by only offering the thing for voting from in a polar matter , just like indy 1 or brexit…. yes or no , not another option. Many have suggested that a third question on either would have meant an entirely different outcome for both.

      I have long argued that a proper parliament represents everyone , and in todays digital age it should in theory lead to not politicians doing the decision making , but for the electorate themselves. However this has a glaring problem , in that do we expect the voter to be kneejerking , taking in all the data in the minutia? Ie Turkeys voting for both XMAS and thanksgiving off sounds nice.

      I am not an economics , legal expert , nor one on taxes and local – nor like the many do I get the information on such things without seeking out “perhaps self serving” experts , and with that comes partisan personalities or a common goal…. good or bad. OR of course where there is a lack of interest in seeking out the information – choosing to turn on the tv instead , and thats where MSM lurks.

      For that reason , and how critical I can be of Scottish politicians , I offer that we elect them , and have done for a long time , as those with the ability to make the decisions on our best interests as OUR PROXY.

      They have the contacts and staff to supply the best solution , based on what is at hand , and importantly what may be , and will in theory read the data – but I also add that 4 levels of Government are frankly too much , more so when one of them isnt elected but hereditary.

      But for that proper empowerment it may mean the use of the likes of UNIVERSITIES as data pools , as independent think tanks , supplying the impartial data in a condensed form to specific questions as the 2nd level of Government as a service. With that comes peer consideration of data , and scrutiny. And why not , these supposedly are teaching the next generation to use the data in employment , and of course politicians themselves.

      Currently things like fiscal can be done by banks going over the books , that decide on the creditworthiness of the nation – enforcing the state of it , and its outlook , by its own credit rating backing up those findings , and where today Scotlands is AAA.

      If maths is a pure science , then all banks should in theory come to the same fiscal conclusion…. Scotland is not too wee nor too poor.

      1. SleepingDog says:

        Open data is certainly of benefit to informed debate in democracy, I agree.

        Other functions of Parliament are to expose the hidden and hold people to account. Before giving up Parliamentary roles, these should be considered.

        Two main threats to democracy and people in the UK are official secrets and corporate power.

        Parliamentary privilege allows MPs to say things on the floor of the Commons that would be illegal outside, which is a most effective way (if carefully used) of exposing state secrets of public interest. They might also follow senator Elizabeth Warren’s much-admired example when she started reading out Loretta King’s letter in senate, was prevented under house rules, and continued reading it outside on social media. This drew a stinging condemnation of the ‘arcane rules’ from the Telegraph:
        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/02/08/warren-violates-arcane-rule-coretta-scott-king-quote-sparking/

        Parliamentary committees can call the most powerful corporate leaders in for a grilling (such as Fred Goodwin and Rupert Murdoch), which are now televised, and few corporate honchos come out of that experience smiling.

  34. Doubting Thomas says:

    I have not stopped laughing!
    This shows the desperation of the indy2 mob.
    What is most startling is that basically the message is “we don’t care if the democratic majority is in favour of staying in the UK. It disnae really matter cos we know better.”
    The realisation that Sturgeon probably won’t be able to deliver seems to be dawning.
    Absolute nonsense!

    1. c rober says:

      I agree UDI as perhaps counter productive , for the reasoning that it may back fire.

      So then the offer of resign is still on the cards , forcing by elections , with one clear mandate – That A vote for the SNP is not a vote for INDY ref – but a vote FOR UDI and independence . But then again will they risk it?

      It also prevents triple locks , of moving goalposts , considering the previous of Wesminster in those sort of situations.

      As I often mention , the electorate can be empowered by its politicians , this is that sort of fight that may produce that number needed…. through action rather than blame and inaction.

      Its basically what many think , thought , that the brexit ref would be – but as a bargaining chip rather than actual brexit. And with the irony that the EU would in effect realise the instant membership , through direct talks with Holyrood prevented during Brexit – and thus not have the 3 percent mandate for adopting the ERM until the dropping of the pound.

    2. Gaga Glasgow says:

      Actually, doubting Thomas, if you look at the responses, I’d say most people don’t want to go down the UDI road precisely because it looks like Sturgeon is going to deliver.

      If Westminster attempts to block indyref2, feelings may very well change. Support for independence would sky rocket and manifest in many ways, of that I am certain.

  35. Caoimhín McGlás says:

    This article is a complete joke. UDI’ers were banned from Bellas group for saying the very same thing.

    1. When did this happen? *

      * It didn’t

      1. Caoimhín McGlás says:

        Every time a UDI-er mentioned our rights as sovereign Scots, every time we mentioned the rigged referendum and the fake Vow and that the 56 seats in Westsinister were useless. You disagreed with us every step of the way. We said we want a democratic UDI and you said not a chance. And here you are saying it doesn’t matter about the majority of No voters, even though they is no majority No voters. So UDI will cause civil war, but you want to just leave regardless of numbers now. You are hypocrites!

  36. Jo says:

    “The SNP x 56, holding as they do the sovereign will of the Scottish people….”

    Ohhhh, I think you’re playing dangerous games there Alf with the “sovereign will” thingy. I have previously heard Salmond say that in Scotland “the people are sovereign”. That’s a different statement altogether, is it not? And, whether we like it or not, “the people” voted against independence in 2014. Material changes or otherwise, that is the most recent result on the matter and if a change of heart has indeed occurred we must surely need to know that it’s happened. The only way to determine that is to ask them again at the right time. Like Gaga, I don’t think it is yet the right time.

    Further, I’m thinking of the outrage – and public disorder – that would surely follow in Scotland if the SNP simply declared UDI in the way you suggest. I’m not going to argue over the validity of the SNP’s mandate to do this (although I’d question it) but would focus, rather, on the fact that on this occasion “the people of Scotland” would be left out of the decision process. I don’t think that would go down well. Not at all well.

    Despite your own lack of enthusiasm for seeing SNP MPs participating in proceedings in the Commons I think they have, for the most part, conducted themselves in a manner which made me proud of them as they engaged in a civil manner (unlike many on the Tory and Labour benches). While they were “reprimanded” for applauding because it’s “not the done thing” in the Commons it must be said that they do not bay, jeer, drown out or insult their opponents there. They also, remember, have engaged superbly in many Commons debates and left many of their opponents standing. (Mhairi Black’s work on the horrendous impact of the changes in pension legislation for women of a certain age has been magnificent and has won praise throughout the UK.)

    I wasn’t entirely happy with Craig Murray’s view of the SNP MPs settling in at WM or the implication that they’re now thinking, “To hell with this independence lark, we’re quite comfy here and on a good number.” I don’t think it’s like that for any of them. I believe they’re genuinely engaging in debate and proving to many others who the real wreckers are in the Commons.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Democracy – is the election of national representatives, reflecting the sovereign will of the people.

      Constitutionally – a majority of Scotland’s elected MP’s, representing the sovereign will of the Scottish people, can end the union of parliaments in the same way it began.

      Referendum – is neither democratic nor constitutional if its initial permission and final ratification (including any subsequent Act defining Scotland’s independence) depends on the decisions of elected representatives from other nations, and not the sovereign will of the Scottish people.

      1. Jo says:

        @ Alf

        As you will. If the SNP go for it I think they will regret doing so.

      2. John O'Dowd says:

        Well said Alf.

        And then when, not if, a YES referendum result is challenged by some Home Counties bampot in the Supreme Court, what do we think that court will make of an ‘advisory’ referendum that was only operational in a small northern portion of Greater England?

        I think we know the answer to that.

        A sovereign people need no-one’s permission to gain freedom over their national territory – least of all from the imperial power that occupies it. It should neither be sought nor relied upon.

        If a duly elected majority of its parliamentarians exercise sovereignty on behalf of the people, it will gain international recognition. That is all that matters. It could happen tomorrow.

    2. c rober says:

      Craigs bit about comfy chairs , I get it , if nothing else he is saying what in essence could be a liability due to perception , or MSM portrayal. Just think about it , all it takes is some pics , a few words , making out the SNP are cosy with X , conviction by association or juxtaposition. The media is capable and proven in such scenarios , of Nic and the SUN , or other papers putting her and Salmond to the interior pages next to articles on rape , murder and so on.

      How many sit and watch Parliament every day , even in the INDY mob?

      So unless one watches it live , what is left , edited highlights or nothing? And as we know the beeb do like their highlights , and of course is there legislation on non repeat of parliament after 24 hrs? Why do you think that little bit of legislation is there – its the ultimate edit and control.

      Its a bit like the better together website , unless you know how to use time machine , many would not know that the people in its pics and vid clips , shown as people like us , were in fact Councillors or wannabe ones already aligned to party mandates.

      That one for me is mi5 style puppetry – so again proof of how the campaign was run as hidden warfare.

  37. Lochside says:

    Frank says: ‘my first priority is independence’…so how do you achieve that Frank?…you have no faith in the SNP, as you seem to believe absolutely no-one is capable in the party of leading it. You accuse me of ‘bammery’…I think you’re more in that category than me Frankie boy…..a concern troll who talks of UDI.

    UDI is unilateral. A strange analysis of a proposal to dissolve a Union of equals. Is a divorce unilateral?..it may be acrimonious, but it is legal.It cannot be stopped if one partner has the grounds to end it. We, the Scottish nation have a right legally (and internationally recognised by the EU and the UN) to the right to dissolve the Union. We need permission from our people, not England, our ‘partner’ and not the rest of RUK, who don’t count in this decision. Even a plebiscite is not legally required, but is to my mind, preferable.

    No, you describe our movement as full of ‘zealots’ and ‘demagoges’…. a typical Unionist slur..from your ‘SNP friend’….yeah right!….what party you with Frank the ‘Independence but only in the fullness of time’ mob?….away and eat yer cereal man.

  38. c rober says:

    After doing some reading – on strategy useful for UDI , using the by election legislation and timetables.

    May is the council elections.
    And May can mean also by-elections , thats if the SNP resign at Westminster within the 3 months before.(typical timeframe for B.E)

    So if there was serious thought , about by passing a referendum , preventing more project fear , of vows and bribes , of mi5 postal ballots , then those we have elected as our proxy in Westminster would need to resign around about now.

    Then stand on one mandate UDI in those elections.IT is then a referendum regardless using normal electoral means.

    The stumbling block for my other argument of using council elections though is that it is not FPTP – so in effect preventative of such things , with its transferable vote , just like Holyrood with its PR and regional lists. Though Westminster is FPTP , and with it ripe for a “go hard or go hame” , “balls out”, single mandate of a vote for UDI.

    What is to stop it , is it wait and see?

    Unless there is a proper rabbit out of the hat for Scotland remaining in the EU from WM , for a trade zone say , then I see nothing other than the SNP happy to be in jobs and increasing their numbers.

    More so with the talk of an upper chamber.

    So I cant be the only one feeling this way that is pro indy , and as it may be evident I dont follow the yoon criteria. This is therefore capital for much of the SNP electorate where apathy will EVENTUALLY REDUCE numbers – ie if Indy is no longer the core of the SNP , but is still for the electorate , then are they not in effect just perhaps pushing voters on to somewhere else , just like SLAB and their Tory rats sensing a dodgy ship?

    Whether we like it or not being the Establishment is counter productive over the longer term to indy and the SNP.

    It will mean the shift to other pro indy parties at least at the voting level in elections by ignoring the pro indy , reducing those for the SNP as a result with D Hondt and or transferable votes.Hell if Labour went pro indy tomorrow they would in effect double their votes at the cost of the SNP.

    The popularity at the polls may in effect become a liability , where those that wish indy will indeed see the SNP as enablers and Governors of/for those they are elected to fight , more even than as their defenders. Much like those generationally voting for Scottish Labour did expecting the same.

    The only counter to this RISING opinion is the fighting of the WM sham democracy lie “of a fair and equal Union” , and when that fight is as shown unfair , through the sheer mass of the larger partner territory that likes to remind us of such , well it is only by using radical means. Sitting on the benches isnt working , figuratively and literally.

    Perhaps then that mass resignation is a perfect display of such radicalism , of solidarity , more so by creating a by election tsunami delivered on a UDI mandate?

    For me it would show fight from our elected proxy , and many more will get behind it as a result, but then thats probably the reason for rolling out “Glasgow becoming the Belfast of old” , “blood on the streets” , “troops and terrorism” warnings of our Yoon sphere MSM. The power of threat only works on the fearful , that power has diminished since indy 1 , and are currently distracted on top with brexit.

    I fear then that the UDI , if not a back burner project waiting on its moment , proves the intent of keeping the status qou for the SNP .

    Its convenient , comfortable , where the SNP in Westminster is over ruled , ignored , and able to sling blame back in Holyrood as a deliberate willing partner , ie to portray victimhood without ACTUALLY fighting back , and as proven increase the numbers…. but that only lasts so long.

    Its the kicking of the dog until it bites in order to confirm its a dangerous dog politics , but eventually there is no more dog , just instead kicking air and looking silly. So perhaps this is also the case for the SNP , no more blame hound = no increase in support , and instead increased accountability?

    This is the exact same victimhood that ironically the opposition partners are stoking in Holyrood , while their national parties do the opposite , or even worse still define the very policy and purse strings and create that which perversely the SNP have to operate from in the first place. They then both complain about it , still elected regardless – a never ending cycle of blame without accountability called political ping pong.

    If we want accountability , a fairer Scotland , with less if not no maisters – then Indy is that only option , but now its how we get there that is less clear.

    So would it not also be the same interest for the SNP , to strike when the iron is hot , roll out an indy ref ii with the knowledge of their tactics learned from the first , or is it wait and see if WM and ROTUK has a reticle aimed at the other foot?

    Known Knowns , known unknowns , or not known?

    Regardless of the outcome on what route to take , the SNP continue to increase their number.

    But there is nowhere upward from an apex , other than changing the legislation on voting and elections to create another – Say by creating an upper house as has been touted for a while now. If this is the modus operandi for the future , then does this not confirm the suggested mandate of job creation for more of them , that inaction is the wanted action , for ultimately empowering themselves rather than for independence itself , thus argued being the new number one mandate?

    Just how many years have the likes of Labour , and the SNP , been decrying to remove the unelected chamber at WM , and if Labour then became part of the system rather than its removal , losing the socialist credibility kerd , then the SNP need to learn that lesson , not repeat it.

    Then perhaps just like the origins of the Labour party itself , of home rule , then the SNP have also moved on from a single party on one mandate?

    Which will mean just like SLAB does itself , and where the SNP roll out of a T towel every so often for the election war fund , happy in the knowledge of the independence “neverending story” keeps the faithful kneeling before Zod , and them in employment , independence supplied but only from wet dishes.

  39. JaceF says:

    The question is at which point am I no longer an EU citizen?

    When article 50 is triggered?
    When the UK’s BREXIT is concluded?
    If Scotland votes for Independence?

    As far as I can tell I will only lose my EU citizenship at the point that the UK concludes BREXIT. If Scotland votes for independence prior to the UK leaving the EU but remains within the UK until BREXIT concludes then I can see an argument for Scotland applying for EU membership. BUT, if Scotland is independent from the UK prior to it concluding BREXIT then how can I have lost my EU citizenship? Take that to it’s logical conclusion and you arrive at the only viable scenario for declaring UDI, that being a Second Independence referendum returns a majority Yes vote and declaring UDI the next day to take Scotland out of the UK securing EU citizenship for existing EU citizens who have not legally concluded the UK’s BREXIT.

    1. Convention by Act of Parliament ( that is not currently the case ) says:

      EU Citizenship is an EU issue – not Westminster. On account EU States Inc UK signed up to the Human rights convention (UN/EU) I cannot see EU nullifying a Human right. Even with Brexit in 2 years ( not certain in Law ) UK will have to extricate itself from HR Convention

  40. and MSPs says:

    Big Question who are the Representatives of the Peoples of Scotland under LAW SCOTS? ( who have the right to pass Scots Legislation)I would like a Crowd fund action to determine that .The relevant jurisdiction is Scotland . There can be only 3 outcomes- All WMPs/ All Scots WMPs / All Scots WMPs and MSPs ( divided powers) . If the judgement is All WMPs ( based on Union Act 1706/7 Scotland/ England) then clearly there instantly creates a causal point in Law – Human Rights. Under HR peoples have an absolute right to Identity and due representation. Therefore there is a clear breach of HR Convention (UN/EU) insofar Peoples of Scotland can NEVER achieve their HR to MEANINGFUL Representation because of the population sizes of the UKs 4 jurisdictions. If a judgement rules ONLY Scots WMPs or WMPs+ MSPs can make Scots Law then there’s no problem!!!!

  41. Henry Holland says:

    In fact huge problems remain, whichever answer we may get to the narrowly defined, legalistic question as posed directly above. Alf Baird’s original argument rests on, “The SNP x 56, holding … the sovereign will of the Scottish people”. How can Alf Baird justify his assertion the 56 hold that “will”, when their status is based on getting not more than 50% of the vote at the 2015 general election? Never has a concept of political philosophy been so abused by power-seekers as “the people’s sovereign will”. What is the philosophical – not the political – argument for asserting that if this sovereign will exists at all – to me, it smacks of voluntarism – that it is singular, and not, instead, a plurality of sovereign WILLS? The UDI agenda is redolent of a long history of republican and leftist snobistic disdain for democratic process, carries the revolting “we are the people” subtext with it, and appears disinterested in those who would be caught in the crossfire if it were enacted. Achieving a 55% majority for independence at a 2nd referendum – the size of majority that would facilitate unproblematic international recognition – will be a tedious and thankless task; but preferable to enacting UDI, and thereby providing the ammunition in advance to the millions, also inside Scotland, who would never accept a unilateral declaration of independence.

    1. c rober says:

      SO have the whip resign them , causing a by election , and stand them on one mandate – UDI.

      But then that may risk the deflation of the Snp in Westminster…. and as many are commenting , they arent lions , but kittens cosied up on warm Westminster benches.

  42. Ed says:

    I have proposed this action in several posts, Go for it!!

  43. Brian says:

    Throughout this entire debate I have yet to see any rational argument as to why the Scots should not leave the union and become independent should they decide to do so. Also does the UK Govt have the power legally to veto such a move?

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