An Open Letter to the SNP and Independence Supporters

SNP conference 2013These are fast moving political times for Scotland. The events of the last week illustrate the accelerated fragmentation and disintegration of the UK as we know it.

But these are also times of high stakes and stand-offs, with the Scottish and UK Governments gaming and predicting the actions of the other. Monday’s announcement by Nicola Sturgeon took the UK Government by surprise and seized the centrestage of British politics – forcing the postponement of triggering Article 50. Theresa May’s most recent statement, declaring that ‘now is not the time’ for a referendum’ until the Brexit talks are completed, was predictable. Despite this, it would be ill-advised to underestimate May and the UK Government who, despite her personal inflexibility and lack of comprehension of modern Scotland, will play hard to keep Scotland in the union.

Similarly, while time works in favour of independence, it also has downsides. The SNP have been in office ten years, and with each passing year have more of a record to defend. Next time, the careful 2014 balancing act of being insurgent and incumbent will be much more difficult to pull off. And the SNP’s domestic political dominance (rather like the Tories in the UK) has costs: in that there is, across the SNP and Scottish Government, a tangible weakening in political antenna and sensitivity of how policies and stances appear to those outside the administration. Such a time of high-wire politics means that it is more urgent than ever to reflect, tell hard truths, and to institutionalise more effectively a deeper pluralist politics.

1. Post-First IndyRef

The first indyref was an enormously positive experience for many of us. Independence came in from the cold; and the SNP and Yes defined the post-referendum environment. However, in this climate, a number of opportunities were missed which matter to this day.

In the immediate aftermath of the indyref, the SNP leadership (Salmond and Sturgeon) talked to the 45 per cent who voted Yes, and did not adequately reach out to the 55 per cent who voted No. There was a public failure in the weeks after the vote to reach out to the whole nation.

Then there was the absence of any strategic post-mortem beyond the most private circles. Political defeat can be a release, catharsis, a liberation and a huge opportunity for growth. But that requires a sober assessment that includes a public element and is collectively understood and owned by the wider movement. That didn’t happen for reasons which are hard to fathom. The permanent campaigning of Scotland post-2014 is often cited, but there is such a thing as multi-tasking.

There has been in the period post-2014 an absence of leadership – in the sense of telling the party and movement some hard and difficult truths about how it does politics and the content of any future independence offer. I will go into some of the missing detail of this below.

2. Post-Brexit Scotland

A thorough post-mortem could have informed and assisted post-Brexit political choices. The Scottish Government has presented some informed, thoughtful proposals on Scotland’s position in the UK and EU, but has been boxed in by the inflexibility of the UK Government. If the SNP had been more courageous and reflective post-indyref it would be in a better position to speak for a wider Scotland beyond Yes and legitimately make the case for the national interest being threatened by the actions of the UK Government.

3. From IndyRef1 to IndyRef2

The absence of any real post-mortem means that a number of erroneous assumptions have become widespread which need to be questioned in the build-up period to indyref2.

These include the myth of the 45: a dangerous and ill-advised assumption that independence starts from 45% and underneath it that the only way is up, and that, because of this, winning won’t be that difficult. This is sometimes framed in the often-cited view that indy last time got from 30% to 45% so it won’t be too difficult to get over the winning line next time. Yet, the change last time was mostly the low hanging fruit, made up of many disillusioned former, or soon to be former, Labour voters. Getting over the winning line by a decent margin requires heavy lifting, not aided by reinforcing the myth of the 45.

Many factors show this as the dangerous mythology it is: differential turnout could be even more crucial next time (and might even more aid No), there will still be a demographic advantage for No (with the over-65s turning out more than younger voters), and part of disadvantaged Scotland might not turn out so enthusiastically for Yes this time as they did last.

4. Tone and Content

How the case for independence is presented tone wise matters enormously. The tone of Nicola Sturgeon on Monday was right, but often even prominent people don’t come from the best place.

For starters, a tone of disappointment that the union no longer fits Scotland’s needs is better than anger and bitterness. Therefore, the tone and content of a wistful goodbye, rather than two fingers up to the UK is much better politics. Anger isn’t a great foundation story for an independent Scotland. Instead, the nature of our goodbye should inform the style of our hello onto the international stage.

5. How the next White Paper comes about

The White Paper on independence cannot emerge like last time – produced almost as if from a magician’s hat like a rabbit with all the expectation and suspense that entails.

Next time there has to be an element of better process and wider ownership of the independence proposals. There are lots of examples around the world of popular constitutionalism – from Ireland to Iceland to Australia.

Maybe it is time to dust down one of the most powerful and evocative clarion calls of the wider self-government movement and invoke the tradition of ‘A Claim of Right for Scotland’. There have been three previous claims: 1689, 1843 and 1988, and maybe the right set of circumstances has come for a fourth, making real the rhetoric of popular sovereignty (something the Scottish Constitutional Convention cited, but never practiced). Today any initiative has to do both: reference it and practice it in its actions.

6. What the White Paper does

It was understandable that last time the White Paper was 650 pages long, but in this over-inflated form it was a statement of weakness and a strategic mistake. Next time, the shorter the better. A good model of an inspirational document of political and social change, and one with programmatic detail is Labour’s 1945 manifesto, ‘Let Us Face The Future’, which was a mere 27 pages long.

Don’t just have one big hit, document wise next time. Then the monthly UK Treasury expert reports did lasting damage by causing multiple hits, whereas independence waited until its one date with destiny. Considering a series of supporting documents to the short, main prospectus is one possibility.

If there was the time the ideal question to ask might not be what was asked last time, but: ‘Do you give the Scottish Government a mandate to open negotiations with the UK Government?’ This has consistently shown a popular majority, parks independence on the side of the Scottish question, and would mean the amount of detail the Scottish Government would have to answer would be reduced. It would mean two referendums would have to be held – one on the principle, one on the actual deal – and that probably isn’t possible or desirable in the tense political environment. It might be too late for such an approach, whatever its merits.

7. Policy and Ideas for Independence

A big question in Scotland is: where do policy and ideas come from? We have a small policy community (as well as powerful conservatism in many parts of public life – including the Scottish Government).

One possible idea and vessel would be to set up an Independent Commission on Independence – which could be situated at an independent institution such as a prominent Scottish university. This could form a twin-track process with the more participative processes of ‘A Claim of Right’ running alongside a more expert-led initiative.

A good move would be to consider putting together a public citizens’ panel of sceptical Scots (or even completely of No voters) to speak to about their concerns and doubts over Brexit, the neverendum, EU membership and the independence offer. Signals matter in politics, and this would send out a powerful signal of listening and leadership.

Beyond campaigning dynamics, there is an urgent need for an independence supporting think tank – beyond the sterling work of Commonweal (itself a hybrid model of think and do tank). This has to be independent of the SNP, but needs a relationship with it. Moreover, we need in preparation for independence, a plethora of such bodies and research institutes. In terms of how expert and professional opinions views the independence project, this could be helpful both to win converts and produce a better polity. The SNP leadership, traditionally, over the devolution period, has not seen the need for such political advice, preferring to focus on the party as the vehicle for change. But the party cannot have a monopoly on ideas. It also needs actively to facilitate such a political culture and encourage a climate more fertile to new ideas and policies for a future independent nation. Substance cannot wait until day one of independence.

8. An Emotionally Intelligent Politics

These are fast-changing times, disorientating and disrupting for some. The ideas, policy, culture and pluralism of a future and independent Scotland is being made in the here and now.

For some, the permanent political campaigning environment of Scotland post-2014 is a threat and unpleasant. We have to be able to understand that. It also has implications for how the Yes movement and mindset judges the political moment. Many are impatient for change, but do not recognise that much of Scotland doesn’t feel the same.

There is a need for some honest talking about the strategic choices of an independent Scotland. Independence supporters need to be careful not to believe their own hype or mythologies. The Saltire filled rallies of last time while good for the troops didn’t win over many floating voters (and probably scared some away). The zealots and over-partisans – including some very prominent independence supporters – need as much as possible to be stood down. The existing SNP leadership approach of silence about specific abuses, while condemning the abusive and unacceptable in general terms, isn’t sustainable.

A final thought. We have to reach out and have a politics informed by emotional intelligence and the multiple identities of Scotland. Many No voters feel they face the prospect of losing a part of their identity under independence. That needs to be listened to as well, and not (as I have seen too often) dismissed with scorn and condescension. A number of high profile initiatives geared towards showing that the SNP and independence movement understand this would be smart politics.

Now isn’t the time for safety-first politics or just repeating what brought success in the last ten years. It is the time to carefully and strategically choose when to strike out of comfort zones and embrace a political practice which puts flesh on independence, makes it more widely owned, and engages with numerous publics and groups in what could be seen as a genuine ‘national conversation’. That is, one which contributes to changing our political culture. Independence is a process, not an event, and all of the above is part of it becoming an element of everyday life and normalised. Moreover, this aids making independence not just abstract – something inspiring to some, but tantalisingly in the distance to many – but real and practical, and hence a project and vision with more popular appeal.

 

Gerry Hassan is author of Scotland the Bold: How Our Nation Changed and Why There is No Way Back published by Freight Books, £9.99..

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  1. George Gunn says:

    Interesting stuff. I think the suggestion that the Claim of Right has to be revitalised is a good one and I thing the Commission on Independence. These could be two ways of focussing all shades of opinion and experience. It is obvious that Scotland has changed since 2014 – how it could it not have? – and this time round we who support independence for Scotland have to engage creatively with the No camp. It is important, as Gerry says, not to underestimate the shaky ground of the 45% – in taking it for granted – but we cannot afford to undersell the reality of what is happening here and the continual democratic deficit which corrodes our democracy and puts many off the political process. We should also never underestimate, either, the sheer bloody mindedness of the British state to hold on to Scotland.

  2. Jeff says:

    “…(Salmond and Sturgeon) talked to the 45 per cent who voted Yes, and did not adequately reach out to the 55 per cent who voted No.”

    How can we reach out to people who are not online/media savvy when the print media only shows one-sided propaganda, and the broadcast media is obviously (to us) biased beyond belief?

    1. Calum MacRae says:

      Door knocking and speaking to people or stands in high streets!

      However this does not have the impact that the ever present tv has on Scots, i.e. bbc misinformation service.

  3. bringiton says:

    Some good points here from Gerry.
    Completely agree with him about the assumptions being made with regard to how easy a Yes vote will be and possibly our starting point in terms of Yes support.
    The Brexit nonsense in itself may not be sufficient to sway voters but it exemplifies all that is wrong with the current constitutional arrangements and is being borne out by a dictatorial Tory leader in London telling us that we have no say in this major constitutional change.
    People may agree or disagree with her stance on the EU but at the end of the day being treated as a possession and ignored is not good enough.

  4. manandboy says:

    Oh dear. That stuff again.
    Right, Gerry, you’ve got that off your chest, now sit down please.

    PS. Why not give the SNP a call and speak directly to them. Open letter? Aka bitching.

    1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

      No, manandboy, Mr Hassan is right to raise these issues openly. The SNP although by far the biggest and best equipped part of a YES coalition is not its only part.
      Mr Hassan is demonstrating Gramsci’s ‘pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will’. Given the dominance of the media by the unionist side, YES will again rely on bloggers and footsloggers. It is important that we do not underestimate the difficulty of getting enough people to change and of getting potential voters out to vote. This will require good communication, the ability to listen and respond appropriately and with sincerity.
      Finally, as perhaps indicated by ‘Doghouse Reilly’ – I am always wary of posters who do not use their own names – we have to avoid the vanity of small differences or, perhaps, as he is doing, being a ‘wormtongue’; implying he is on the YEs side but seeking to sew doubt.

      1. Doghouse Reilly says:

        Very peceptive Alasdair, and as I will explain, I understand the root of your suspicions.

        I don’t use my own name because I work on the edges of politicians and am prohibited from being openly involved in politics, that and the knowledge that there are some that would judge my work based on what they think they know of my Allegencies.

        I am a Marxist, a communist. You reference Gramsci, he also said, in not so many words that to seek for the truth is a revolutionary act.

        That is my motive for reading and posting on this site, I want to learn and I ask the questions that I genuinely want to see debated and answered. When I express a view you can be assured that it is sincere.

        But I read more than I post. And I enjoy the debate.

        1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

          Doghouse (if I might call you that?) thank you for the explanation. It has plausibility. It is rare – and welcome – to read someone describing himself as a ‘communist’ these days.

          Putting counterarguments and identifying concerns are useful, in sincere debate, for strengthening positions, in preparing for the debates to come. However, in the Machiavellian world of politics there can be bluff, double bluff, triple bluff, obscuring and plain mendacity. Sorting this out can be difficult. I tend to adopt the principle of charity, until I have reason to be sceptical.

          1. Doghouse Reilly says:

            Alasdair

            Feel free to call me Doghouse, you’ll not be surprised to hear that I’ve been called worse over the years. But communists are, as you say, a bit of a rarity these days and I have to accept that the sorts of questions that matter to me aren’t really going to be mainstream to the wider debate.

            But I’m not working to anyone else’s agenda, I’m not a plant or a troll and my questions and my doubts are genuine. They’re driven by a desire not just to interpret the world, but to change it (if I can be forgiven for paraphrasing Marx), or at least see it change, for the better.

            One of the down sides of 25 years or more of political restriction is that I do tend to see politics as a spectator rather than a participant. Which may explain my apparent abstraction from the process. Still, with a bit of luck I’ll make it all the way to an active retirement and can join in again some time around 2030. If you can leave one or two of the more interesting issues until then I’d be very grateful!

  5. Frank says:

    Interesting stuff but indicative of the ways in which everything in politics is now about strategy, tactics and calculations – whereby everything’s a ‘signal’ rather than anything of real substance.

    That a prominent political analysis can write an open let to the yes movement without any mention any mention of the policies or the issues is a sign that these are worrying times.

    Yes we need strategy – But let’s not forget that it will be matters of substance that decide indy ref 2.

  6. Crubag says:

    Good, reflective article. In terms of where we are now, I think there are two weaknesses coming from 2014, and which mean it is better to take time over this, and develop detailed plans. The UK/EU split, and the UK/Republic of Ireland arrangements will also both provide plenty to pore over.

    But after 2014, I think two weaknesses emerged:

    – The SNP (and everyone else) assumed that there would not be any scope for a second referendum anytime soon – no-one saw Brexit coming – and the 2015 SNP Westminster manifesto was all about governing for Scotland within the UK and EU. The polling results for Brexit seem to show a substantial proportion of the Yes vote is also a No vote to the EU, and even in the four day stramash there seemed to be emerging voices for an iScotland outside the EU or EFTA/EEA.

    – The umbrella groups, notably Yes Scotland, folded into the SNP, so we now have more of a monoculture for what post-independence Scotland would look like. RISE was launched but sunk so quickly that it almost didn’t happen, and the Old Firm show little sign of developing a Scotland-specific policy offer. This means it becomes more of an SNP show, which with funding, organising and tight messaging, has its strengths, but is also more party politics as usual, rather than a broad movement.

  7. Doghouse Reilly says:

    I think if manandboy’s response is anything to go by there’s already a problem.

    There is a real risk that this is becoming “Nicola’s referendum”.

    If it becomes a battle of will and ego between NS and TM folk will turn off at a rate of knots.

    I think I’d be tempted to a period of dignified contemplation for now, at least until after 4 May.

    I think the 5th could well be a day for rethinking our understanding of things.

  8. Dougie Blackwood says:

    Well written and worthwhile. We do need to reach out and be inclusive rather than hectoring.

    The SNP are an excellent vehicle for independence but are too afraid of frightening off the middle and right. They are too timid in not using the powers that we have to create a better and fairer society. Yes many things are reserved but land reform was ducked, as was the council tax.

    1. Doghouse Reilly says:

      I think it’s worse than that, land reform, the council tax, land taxation and the reform of private renting, to give just a few examples, have been calculated to give the impression of progress whilst taking care not to really challenge any of the powerful vested interests.

      I’m not sure an organisation already in thrall to vested interests is an “excellent vehicle” for anything but the status quo which is what an independent Scotland run for these same vested interests would be.

      1. Dougie Blackwood says:

        Gain independence then all bets are off. It the becomes a democratic decision in what is hopefully a rainbow parliament. Argue the case for any change and if you can get support enough it will happen.

        1. Doghouse Reilly says:

          I think asking for a leap of faith is a big, probably unreasonable, ask.

  9. Euan Leckie says:

    I too have had misgivings about all the indy eggs being in the SNP basket. Scotland has a sophisticated democracy – one party domination will not suit us for long. Sure Labour ruled Scotland for decades before the SNP ascendancy, but that was … well, different. For huge periods of that rule they didn’t actually do any ruling.
    One thing that would delight me woud be to see the Greens grow (pardon the pun) especially if at the expense of unionist parties, but that seems to be happening only at a frustratingly slow pace.
    But while I’m sure one day the SNP will somehow fall from grace, I’m not sure any of the unionist parties should be gearing up for a spell on the claymore throne. I see no improvement in appreciation for the merits of Labour in Scotland, indeed a continuing decline, and I suspect the Tories have “maxed out” their electoral credit card. The Lib Dems may rally like their English colleagues, but again I see precious little evidence of that.
    Where would disaffected SNP votes go…? I don’t know, I don’t think most SNP voters will have given it a thought.

  10. Colin Mackay says:

    One of the best articles I have read on the way forward. Completely right about the strange and dangerous lack of reflection and examination post 2014. Regarding the white paper, Gerry’s point about another think-tank is compelling. I would also like to see real cooperation with Commonweal regarding their excellent research and presentation. This can’t be all about the SNP again or we will lose again. The suggestion of a panel of sceptical scots is good too, we need to make our case and allow people to tear it apart if required to find out what is not going to cut it.

    Have to say, I am lacking a bit of energy for this coming round so far, as are many. There is some time though to carefully map out a route to what we want to achieve and rather than rely on raw energy(which was an absolute buzz and one of the best experiences), let’s think this one through properly. It’s not going to be the same as Indyref1.

  11. bellwether says:

    This article reads like something an alien has written.

    We need to reach out to the 55%? Are you for real? Try tying 50 pork chops to yourself and standing inside the African Wild Dog enclosure at Edinburgh Zoo, if you want an idea of how that’ll go down.

    And then we need to invoke the “most powerful and evocative clarion calls of the wider self-government movement”, otherwise known as the “‘Claim of Right for Scotland’; There have been three previous claims: 1689, 1843 and 1988…”

    I’m just imagining myself surrounded by 6 or 7 raging Rangers fans who are about to kill me until I inform them of my intention to invoke the ‘Claim of Right’. Sorted. That’ll show them.

    I was in Glasgow in 1988. If someone conjured up The Claim of fucking Right it made absolutely no difference to the abject misery of my life back then.

    This article reads like a piss-take. Seriously, give up. I read this and felt like giving up on independence. I’m actually thinking of turning to the dark side.

  12. Clive Scott says:

    Reaching out to the 55% is a waste of effort. A minimum 35% are beyond reason and will vote for the precious union, the benefit scrounging Windsors and the Great British Bake Off till the day they die. 10% can’t be bothered to put their brain in gear and see nothing wrong with whatever the status quo of the moment happens to be so will vote to retain it. Indyref2 needs to concentrate effort on getting the under 25’s to turn out in the numbers the over 65’s do and be sure that the voting franchise includes all who live and work in Scotland.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      “the voting franchise includes all who live and work in Scotland”. Aye, mair fools us, worth remembering that c.100,000 people from rest-UK are piling into Scotland each year to access superior/free public services, to work, study, retire, buy cheaper properties, and to get as far away from English inner cities as possible. The downside of this is that 80%+ of folk coming from rest-UK to live in Scotland (soon 1.0m people/20% of the population) are automatic No voters which means they will probably account for 40-50% of all No voters in indyref2; i.e. up to half of the people voting against Scottish independence will not be Scottish.

      1. 3Rensho says:

        Frankly this comment reads like an editorial in a ScotNat version of the Daily Mail. Do you have a source for that 100,000 figure, or any proof that all of these immigrants are anti-independence? Most progressive English people I know in Glasgow are pro-independence for the same reasons progressive Scots are. What would be the point of anybody emigrating north only to let Scotland degenerate into a run down province under perpetual Tory rule?

        1. Alf Baird says:

          “source for that 100,000 figure”. The last census indicated Scotland’s largest immigrant group is from rest-UK, and has been so for the last century, and mostly the professional classes. Reasons are given why this inbound migration is likely to have accelerated since devolution and especially over the past decade as social/economic policies of Scotland and rest-UK diverge.

          “any proof that all of these immigrants are anti-independence”. Voting intention surveys during Ref1 suggested 80%+ were likely to vote No, i.e. twice the rate/probability of Scots voters to vote No.

          “Most progressive English people I know in Glasgow”. Most people from rest-UK coming to Scotland don’t live in Glasgow.

          “What would be the point of anybody emigrating north only to let Scotland degenerate into a run down province under perpetual Tory rule?” Scotland has been a Tory province for 300 years and more – this is not a new phenomenon.

          1. Hector says:

            “The last census indicated Scotland’s largest immigrant group is from rest-UK, and has been so for the last century, and mostly the professional classes.”

            Many of those people are people who were born in Scotland, have worked in England until they retired and are now returning to Scotland having made a nice profit out of selling houses in England.

          2. Wul says:

            This does worry me a lot.
            I feel that everyone who has something to offer should be able to live & vote in Scotland. However, it does rankle that someone can move here from the south to enjoy a better quality of life and then vote to keep Scotland as a UK province.

            I lived down the street from an entertaining Yorkshireman who moved his family here for the better quality of life and work, sent his 3 kids to Scottish Universities and during the ’14 Indyref posted merciless parodies about Scotland, the yes campaign, the SNP and what a laughable idea it was that Scotland could run it’s own affairs. I found this very irritating.

            He “loved” Scotland, wore a kilt at local events and was enthusiastic about local history. But the idea that Scotland could or should be independent was absurd to him.

            I do wonder how to “reach” someone like this.

    2. Euan Leckie says:

      I disagree, Clive. firstly, even taking your rather pessimistic (if you don’t mind me saying) estimate, that still leaves 10% of the 55 that we could, I would say must, try to bring to the cause.
      Let’s be real, we don’t need 55%, nor should we expect to get them either, in fact half of your 10% would take us over the line. I refuse to accept getting 5 of the 55 is beyond our power.
      I hope the Yes 2 campaign appeals to the elderly’s sense of fairness and unselfishness, they need to remind them, often and obvious, that their vote will affect the young far more than themselves. They should combine that with guarantees from the SG that their pensions will be honoured, Westminster is not the safe pair of hands it purported to be last time, and an SG promise will not be compared negatively against a WM one this time around.

      1. Wul says:

        “…in fact half of your 10% would take us over the line.”

        The problem is that we can’t think of the 45% who voted “Yes” last time as being somehow “in the bank”. Many of those voters have switched to “No”.

        I heard one guy on Good Morning Scotland this week say he was a yes voter last time but would not be voting next time because what he wanted (out of UK & EU) is not on the table.

        And then there’s folk like “bellweather” above: “I read this and felt like giving up on independence. I’m actually thinking of turning to the dark side.”

        Sad as it seems, I think the most compelling question for a lot of people is: “show me how I will have more money in an independent Scotland”.

        1. Euan Leckie says:

          I agree with you about not taking the 45% for granted – as individuals. However if you study Curtice’s “What Scotland Thinks” where he runs ongoing polls of polls from Indyref1 (I think he has detailed around 60 of them) you will see that support has been quite consistent (with the odd up and down) at around 47%.
          So, while some people will have swapped around, far from there being a consistent 45% Curtices polls actually suggest a consistent 47% from which we need to build.

  13. Gerard Ewing says:

    I’m worried that this time we might win, but only by a narrow Brexit-like margin. If that happens, we’re likely to see a backlash the mirror image of the 2015 SNP landslide.

    Ruth Davidson, the inaugural First Minister of an independent Scotland?

  14. Wul says:

    I have to admit, I’m struggling to find enthusiasm for another 2 year onslaught of “Scotland’s a shite, wee place, you should be grateful for what we give you, shut up and stop whinging Jock, you’d fall apart if it wasn’t for our charity”.

    However I’m also realising that this time I’m going to have to take a much more active part in trying to convince others to support self-determination. I’m going to have to step way, way out of my comfort zone and talk to complete strangers and knock on doors (something I really hate doing).

    I need to do this if only so that I can honestly say “I did my bit”.

    If we lose another indyref, I would not be able to forgive myself if I had sat back expecting others to do the footwork.

  15. Alf Baird says:

    A sensible dose of realism, Lochside. I expect you are right that Scotland could be turning into another Wales, where the long-term very large inflows of culturally-British/English professionals and retirees etc from its far larger neighbour has fundamentally destroyed any possibility of independence there. Nicola’s speech today emphasises a similar unfortunate blasé naivety on this topic, disguised as what pc neoliberals might refer to as some poorly defined form of international progressiveness. She might tell that to Turkey, Luxembourg, Egypt, even Brexit-Britain and most other nations who only permit those born in their country a vote on constitutional matters, and for good reason it would appear. We would be home and dry if the latter were the case.

  16. You cant call anyone ‘scum’ on this site

  17. James says:

    The next campaign will require a Pro independence media outlet even if it is located in international water on board ship. Particularly when getting a license on shore would probably be met with official vested interest denial.

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