Deluded Democracy

In Fugue State Britain, feudal hangovers and anachronistic establishments mean power remains in the hands of a chumocracy dominated by Lady Mone and her ilk.

The last few days has revealed Britain too be suffering some kind of Fugue State [Dissociative fugue, formerly fugue state or psychogenic fugue, is a dissociative disorder. It is a rare psychiatric disorder characterized by reversible amnesia for personal identity, including the memories, personality, and other identifying characteristics of individuality. The state can last days, months or longer. Dissociative fugue usually involves unplanned travel or wandering, and is sometimes accompanied by the establishment of a new identity.]

The cause of this is unclear ranging from Suez to Devolution, to the tabloidisation of society, to the banking collapse or even (improbably) the Machievellian cunning of Nigel Farage.

Whatever the cause it’s clear that “Britain” (I use the term advisedly) is suffering the condition, staggering about in a state of some distress.

The disorder seems to include suffering the delusion that the House of Lords is a credible democratic structure, a pretence that is taking us hurtling backwards to before I was born and way before that when the idea of these institutions as anachronisms to be dissolved as soon as possible was a mainstay of liberal opinion.

You don’t have to be a terrible Nat to accept this. Even the venerable Lord Steel who many had thought had simply become as one with the leather upholstery of the Upper Chamber popped up to defend the Scottish Parliament.

As Iain Macwhirter reported:

“As the Former Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Lord Steel, said in yesterday’s debate, it is simply unacceptable that Scotland’s governing party, the SNP, will not be represented in this legislative process. It will not be able to argue the very cogent case that the First Minister has made about keeping Scotland in the single market. Indeed, the DExEU impact assessment leaked to Buzzfeed could have come straight from Nicola Sturgeon’s office.”

This is an insight, if an obvious one. In times of enhanced tribalism it is gratifying to hear a politician recognise that this is not about party politics but constitutional issues. This is a rolling crisis, one part Scottish Tory incompetence, two parts unreconstructed feudal relic.

As in all aspects of Brexit Dark Mirror nothing is what we’re told. Take back control means explicitly: losing control. Cries of ‘sovereignty’ inevitably, effortlessly slide into Undemocracy. People expressing basic tenets of democracy are branded Nationalists, whilst flag-obsessed Nationalists are described as anti-establishment radicals.

As the mask fell from the very last possible notion that Brexit wasn’t going to lead us into economic chaos, and the various reports telling us this (as if we didn’t know) were suppressed, then revealed, then belittled, then released, one Labour voice Jerry Hogg said plainly:

“Let’s drop the pretence. Brexit is a planned coup by a cabal of egotists, narcissists, tax avoiders and self-enrichers which would be the biggest economic disaster for ordinary people in Britain since the 1930s.”

As Theresa May disappeared to take time off from her cage-fighting colleagues and get to the other side of the world, ITV’s Robert Peston pointed out the probles with the government’s own spinning against their own reports:

“On plane to China, PM downplayed civil service analysis of costs of Brexit as “a very preliminary analysis which ministers have not signed off, have not approved”. This is slightly chilling. Ministers’ job is to make policy decisions on basis of evidence, not invent the evidence.”

May in China, like Nixon in China with fewer scruples, was a sight to behold. Ashen and confused she was moving from photo op to culture-shocked photo op like a fugitive on CCTV.

Soon she’ll be back, doing what she does best.

But if there was one snapshot of Brexit Britain (aka ‘Global Britain’ aka ‘England’) that struck home this week and encapsulated where we are and where we are going, it was the sight and sound of Lady Michelle Mone in action.

East-ender, Labour supporter, Girl Done Good, she is, if you were to believe it the Poster Girl for Meritocratic Britain, or what the Strong and Stable One has taken to calling the British Dream (like the American Dream but with more ermine).

Mone you will recall responded to the Glasgow SNP MP Stewart McDonald’s criticism of her voting record.
He wrote online: ‘How thrilling. Since becoming a Baroness and legislator – for which she is entitled to £300 per day – Ms Mone has submitted no questions to the government and taken part in only two votes.
‘Still, she’s sold some jewellery.’ Her response was the magnificent: “What are u talking about u SNP MORON! I have voted over 78 times, not twice! I’m a Global entrepreneur with 9 biz interests not a full time MP like u! The difference is I’m a Baroness for life, whereas u will be out of ur MP job in no time.”

It’s not my favourite all-time Mone tweet though. That has to go to her message to Eamonnn Holmes (don’t ask me): “We are too soft. People who riot steel (her spelling) cover face deserve zero human rights”.

Records show that Mone has voted 68 times in the House of Lords and spoken only twice, which may be where McDonald’s figure came from.

He was, however, correct in stating that she had submitted no questions to the government.

But the truly insightful statement was the one in which she had re-understood the world of democracy whereby a lowly MP, who is after all only elected by real people in a constituency, would have a lower status than a Lord or Lady who is appointed in a Chumocracy.

Sooner or Later?

That’s pretty much pure Fugue State Britain right there, but at least you’d have Labour to stand against such feudal hangovers and anachronisms, right?

Not really. Even Scottish Labour’s New Model Old Labour Neil Findlay uttered the astonishing line:

“I want to see the House of Lords abolished sooner rather than later but this week shows the folly of the SNPs failure to nominate people to sit in that place.”

Trotskyist Pragmatism or completely unprincipled undemocratic nonsense? When David Steel has more edge than you, you may be in some difficulty. It’s a line that does conjure the image of the Scottish comrades chanting nervously: “What do we want? To abolish feudalism! When do we want it? Sooner or later!” with perhaps Baron Foulkes leading the responses.

Way back in 2001 Tom Nairn wrote in ‘Pariah Kingdom’ of the coming of New Labour and the Britain it represented:
“When Tony Blair was elected Britain’s Prime Minister in May 1997, the world’s media fêted the re-branding of Britain he claimed to represent: the birth of cool Britannia, the announcement of the Millennium Dome and the proclamation of the Third Way. Within weeks a young man who had never held office was taking the lead in international seminars about the future of the centre-left, and consulting with Clinton and Yeltsin as an equal.

As the 2001 election approached, the enthusiasm had given way internationally to disdain and domestically to widespread apathy and foreboding. When, finally, after its foot and mouth postponement, Blair launched the campaign on 8 May in an evangelical visit to a south London high school, the public’s worst suspicions were confirmed. He seemed certain to win, but the aura of sanctimony was dreadful to behold.”

Our leaders certainly can’t afford an aura of sanctimony these days, it’s been replaced by naked opportunism, and barely contained and savage self-promotion.

This is a regime beyond redemption and a state staggering under the weight of its own delusions. The constitution seems to have just been abandoned and the most Undemocratic aspects of the British State seem to have been promoted. Rather than democracy or sovereignty being in revival they are reviled and institutions like the monarchy and the unelected House of Lords are now celebrated by the many not the few. The reek of self-entitlement and the contempt from Michelle Mone is crystal clear, as are the options for a Scottish democracy. As the saying goes: Britain is for the rich, Scotland can be ours.

If the week exposed some harsh realities about where we are and where we’re going, its worth contrasting with where we were.

In a speech that now seems quaintly pre-Trumpian – Tony Blair’s farewell address at Sedgefield:

“The British are special. The world knows it. In our hearts we know it. This is the greatest nation on earth.”

You can’t imagine a British politician saying that any more can you?

Comments (49)

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  1. Roland Laycock says:

    This is first class

    1. Iain Reid says:

      Totally agree. Excellent summation of the decline of the British state into a cynical, toxic, sub-Ruritanian shithole country.

  2. Alf Baird says:

    So, what do you propose Mike? Bearing in mind that apparently 55% of ‘Scots’ voted to be ruled over by this “Fugue State”? Should we head for the UN Decolonisation Committee now and plead to end what the UN calls “the scourge of colonisation”? Or maybe we should deploy the SNP majority of Scotland’s MPs and an indy majority at Holyrood to give notice of Scotland’s withdrawal from the UK union, as required by the Treaty and Acts of Union, perhaps followed by a ratification referendum under the auspices of the UN? Or should we just wait on Westminster allowing us poor wee timorous Scots to enjoy the privilege of their giving us another dubious referendum on our own right to statehood, sometime in the future, maybe, or maybe not?

    1. Jamsie says:

      No apparently about it as you well know.
      And a majority of MPs?
      What a load of tosh!
      Just because a lunatic fringe or faction wants something does not mean it is going to happen.
      Scotland is and will remain part of the United Kingdom based on a democratic vote.
      A once in a generation referendum to quote a politician.
      Ten years from now or perhaps twenty there might be another referendum but I doubt it.

      1. Rodric Selbie says:

        You can’t on the one hand insist that the Scottish people have spoken in 2014 and then ignore what the Scottish people said in 2016. the Unionist parties do not get to demand that the result of the 2014 referendum is respected if they do not respect the promises that they made in order to win it.

        Vote NO to secure our place in Europe (LIE)
        Vote NO to save 2000 HMRC Income Tax jobs (LIE)
        Vote NO or companies like Scottish Widows will leave, now based in London (LIE)
        Vote NO to secure the building of Frigates on the Clyde, now reduced and the frigate factory shelved, (LIE)
        Vote NO to save British Steel jobs, it took the Scottish Government to save the plant (LIE)
        Vote NO or subsides for Scotland’s renewable energy sector will stop, now stopped (LIE)
        Vote NO because only the broad shoulders of the UK could save the OIL Industry, now mass unemployment (LIE)
        Vote NO Cameron promised a 200 Billion North Sea Oil boom with investment (LIE)
        Vote NO and lose the HS2 planned for Scotland, now we are told ‘no business case’ for taking fast train service to Scotland (LIE)
        Vote NO and lose the £1 billion to develop “carbon capture and storage” technology on power stations, now cancelled (LIE)
        Vote NO Cameron said “Scotland should lead the UK not leave” on the same day as the NO vote EVEL is introduced making it impossible for a Scot to become a Prime Minister ever again… (LIE)
        Vote NO and Scotland’s parliament will be made permanent. (LIE)
        Vote NO for Devomax, Home Rule or near Federalism. (LIE)

        Those lies affect folks livelihoods, don’t you care?

        1. Alf Baird says:

          Absolutely right Rodric. Lord Darling and the Tory offshore bankers sold ‘No’ voters a shiny new Audi in 2014 but they took home an Austin Allegro, which won’t go into reverse, and are left paying debt for the Audi. Perfidious to the core.

        2. Jamsie says:

          The vote in 2014 was specific to the offer of independence of Scotland.
          The majority of the electorate who voted said No!
          In 2016 the vote was a UK choice on the EU which of course meant that as the choice made in 2014 was to remain part of the UK the result of the 2016 referendum on the EU was based only on the outcome of the count of the UK as a whole.
          This is all really quite simple.
          The problem with Yes voters is that they cannot accept that the vote was lost and that it would be a “once in a generation vote”.
          However that is what it is.
          And the attitude of Yes voters that all the people who voted No are somehow deluded or intellectually inferior or were somehow duped is risible.
          Therein lies a big part of the problem for Yes supporters – how do you on the one hand call Yes voters idiots and then on the other reach out to try convince them that there is a case.
          Taxing them more is certainly not going to work.
          And until someone can explain how the gap which is bridged by the Barnet formula is filled, which currency would be used and other economic basics then nothing will change.
          The SNP have shown they don’t have any answers except to take more money from hard working people to fund stupidity like baby boxes.
          They have shown to be totally incompetent in “government” in the devolved parliament, why would they be trusted with any further power.
          55 per cent of the Scottish Electorate made that choice and seem to still be making it so it will never happen despite the hare brained schemes on here on majorities of MPs and MSPs.
          Any attempt to go down that route would not be legally competent.

          1. Rodric Selbie says:

            Your Quote “The vote in 2014 was specific to the offer of independence of Scotland.
            The majority of the electorate who voted said No”!

            So you simply brush off the lies told in order to get that victory, how very British, must be one of those lovely values we keep hearing about.

            Your Quote “In 2016 the vote was a UK choice on the EU which of course meant that as the choice made in 2014 was to remain part of the UK the result of the 2016 referendum on the EU was based only on the outcome of the count of the UK as a whole”.

            This is where I have a problem, that EU referendum was the opposite of democracy, democracy for England perhaps, let me explain. The UK is made up of 4 Countries, England makes up 84% of the UK population, 2 of those Countries voted to remain and the other 2 voted to leave, let’s throw in Gibraltar who voted remain, did you know even if Wales had voted to remain the result would have remained the same. I don’t feel we are a family of Nations as when it comes to General elections and constitutional matters the other 3 Countries may as well not turn up to vote as England will determine our direction. That’s not England’s fault just solely because of the population size. I am completely confused at why Scots are content to simply go along with decisions made elsewhere against their will, for me it’s like France having a referendum on the EU the leave vote wins and France says we are taking Belguim with us, that wouldn’t be acceptable anywhere in the world but its fine for Scotland. We are not to be informed of the full content of the reports into how Brexit will affect our Country. We are not to be told what sum of money they are having to pay to leave the EU. They are giving us no say on the terms of the leaving. We are to be taken out of the single market. Our Government has not been consulted on one single aspect of their Brexit. A fair and equal Union? Just crap! and certainly can’t be described as a democracy.

            Your Quote “The problem with Yes voters is that they cannot accept that the vote was lost and that it would be a “once in a generation vote”.

            Not that at all, let me give you a couple of examples, and believe me I have more.

            Just a few of months after our referendum Sir Nicholas Macpherson the Permanent Secretary at the Treasury and is charged with taking a neutral stance in British politics states and I quote ” He said that in such an “extreme” case as Scotland’s referendum, in which “people are seeking to destroy the fabric of the state” and to “impugn its territorial integrity”, the normal rules of civil service impartiality did not apply” he goes on to say ” It, therefore, was imperative that – in effect – anything and everything could be spun, elided, made up, distorted and omitted” he finishes off saying “the strong recurring conclusion” of his teams’ studies was that independence would be against the interests of the Scottish people” would you call this DEMOCRACY?

            Better Together had the backing of all 37 tabloids along with the BBC/STV and SKY and YES had 1 Sunday tabloid on side, even Blair McDougall (Head of Better Together) now admits if FEAR had not been used they might have lost. DEMOCRACY?

            Better Together also changed the rules even after many had sent their postal votes in, suddenly when YES was ahead in the opinion polls a NO vote became a vote for DevoMax, this might be deemed illegal in some democracies and certainly broke the purdah rules. Funny how it was Westminster who didn’t want this option included in the first place, this was rarely challenged though.

            I am still trying to figure out why Better Together lost a 22 point lead, surely if we were truly Better Together that lead should have grown, especially when they had the backing of all media? unless it’s a lie of course.

            YES voters are disappointed not so much with the result but how it was achieved IMO

            You would think a 300-year-old Union could win on merit rather than the tools of LIES, FEAR and DECEIT?

            Your Quote “And the attitude of Yes voters that all the people who voted No are somehow deluded or intellectually inferior or were somehow duped is risible.
            Therein lies a big part of the problem for Yes supporters – how do you on the one hand call Yes voters idiots and then on the other reach out to try convince them that there is a case”.

            That’s a big chip on your shoulder, I haven’t called anyone an Idiot, but I believe we were conned, for example if I worked for HMRC and thought voting YES would cause me to lose my job I may of voted NO also.

            Your Quote “Taxing them more is certainly not going to work”.

            Until the Scottish Government has control over all “Income tax”, VAT, National Insurance Contributions, North Sea oil and gas revenue (geographical share), Corporation tax, Fuel duties, Capital gains tax, Inheritance tax, Tobacco duties, Interest and dividends, Alcohol duties, Other taxes and royalties, Vehicle excise duty, Rent and other current transfers, Import Duties, Other taxes on income and wealth, Insurance premium tax, Betting and gaming duties, Climate change levy, Aggregates levy and “Air passenger duty” they can not be judged.

            Your Quote “And until someone can explain how the gap which is bridged by the Barnet formula is filled, which currency would be used and other economic basics then nothing will change”.

            The Barnet Formula pays for nothing.

            The Barnet Formula is how public expenditure in Scotland AND Wales AND Northern Ireland is worked out to reflect spending in England.

            The spending across the UK is paid for by the TAXPAYER (personal and business), or borrowed for future taxpayers to repay.

            How the countries in the UK then decide to allocate their share of public spending, is up to Governments/Administrations in those countries.

            For England the Dept. of Education, Dept. of Health, Dept. of Justice, Dept. of Transport, (part of the Home Office………………………………………………. decide how public spending for England is allocated/spent.

            Re : Currency, I’m sure we will not become the first Country on the planet that won’t have a currency, but what saddens me is the acceptance that our London masters won’t allow us to use the pound, the term “Proud Scot” looks pathetic now.

            Your Quote “The SNP have shown they don’t have any answers except to take more money from hard working people to fund stupidity like baby boxes.
            They have shown to be totally incompetent in “government” in the devolved parliament, why would they be trusted with any further power”.

            LOL and this comes from someone content being ruled by a Parliament based in another Country which has been described as the most corrupt on the planet. Can I just add 140 Countries have left your beloved Westminster regime, all had a political party at the helm, not one of those Countries are governed today by the same political party, what makes you think Scotland will become the first western democracy ruled by one party?

            PS The Baby Boxes cost the Tax payer £4 a year, they are not compulsory and are for the less fortunate.

          2. Alf Baird says:

            “Any attempt to go down that route would not be legally competent.”

            All the more reason to test it! What’s to lose, considering the cost of a hard brexit – i.e. 10% of GDP and rising.

            This is also what your 2014 ‘No’ vote is costing Scotland, in addition to the opportunity cost of what would be our wonderful new position globally as a recognised state, and return of our self-respect which are absolutely priceless attributes of statehood. You may revel in your miserable plea for Scotland to continue to be a worthless haud-doon colony, but there is no appetite for such a pathetic ‘vision’ amongst those of us who believe in Scotland and its people.

          3. John O'Dowd says:

            Alf Baird wrote: So, what do you propose Mike? Bearing in mind that apparently 55% of ‘Scots’ voted to be ruled over by this “Fugue State”?

            Of course a majority of the ‘electorate’ (just) voted no – but a clear majority of Scots (not ‘Scots’) voted ‘Yes”. Alf’s clear point.

            No what is all that stuff about the right to national self-determination?

            Only the Scots can self-determine Scotland’s national fate. It’s really just a point of logic Jamsie (Cotter by any chance?)

          4. Jamsie says:

            Rod S
            As there was no reply box I hope this goes in the correct order in response to your rant!
            I can see you have a problem.
            There is obviously some kind of cognitive dissonance going on.
            If it was a referendum for the whole of the UK where each country has chosen to remain a part of why does it matter how each individual country voted?
            Flawed logic or what?
            The votes to remain or leave counted throughout the UK carry the motion.
            That was obvious beforehand and no one raised any comments as they did not believe the people would vote that way.

          5. Rodric Selbie says:

            Your Quote “I can see you have a problem.
            There is obviously some kind of cognitive dissonance going on”.

            The only problem I see is how you ignore 99% of what has been said, that’s called deflection, or trolling, another wonderful British trait.

            Your Quote “If it was a referendum for the whole of the UK where each country has chosen to remain a part of why does it matter how each individual country voted”?

            Firstly as said you have simply ignored what has been said before and continue to repeat yourself.

            Secondly, we have to look at why we ended up here and why we even had an EU referendum. Cameron (Tory) who’s only goal in life is to retain power offered the referendum to get UKIP voters back and it worked. So basically Scotland is being dragged from the EU by a political party (UKIP) who managed 1.4% of the vote in Scotland along with the Tories who we haven’t voted for since the 1950s

            So it does matter how individual Countries voted, well it does for the people living in Scotland that has some pride and a backbone, servants like yourself won’t care but who truly wants to model themselves on that title.

            As I pointed out your beloved corrupt to the core Union only survived our referendum using the tools of Fear, Deceit and Lies. You guys who are born and bred in Scotland are basically English disguised under the fake British identity, the problem we have in Scotland is you control the media, you are the minority, the last census carried out where they ask for the first time what identity they called themselves only 18% said British as opposed to 62% that said Scottish.

            Just you keep rabbiting on, we will be having another referendum soon, within the next 2 years and I wouldn’t be too confident about a NO victory next time if were you, we know that approx 70% of pensioners voted NO and it has been worked out that around 150,000 NO voters will have made the trip to heaven by the year 2018, we lost the vote by less than 200,000, also remember many EU Nationals voted NO due to the worry of EU membership, now their worry is the other way round, not only that we now can see the lies I posted earlier that Better Together spewed out.

            We started at 28% last time, next time at the very least 45% bring it I say.

  3. John Burrows says:

    Well said.

    The “British” have successfully turned back the clock. It is now 1918, not 2018. Look on the bright side though. The Irish Free State was only four years away back then. Perhaps Scotland can attain its own nationhood in the same timeframe. If not sooner.

  4. William Low says:

    How much longer will we tolerate this “British” government – that has rendered poverty on so many, that has allowed the lack of education to increase(30000 teachers short, 2000 lecturers short), has encouraged those on benefits to be regarded as scroungers, has encouraged use of phone lines to tellDWP who is scrounging( 85% of alleged scroungers and benefit fraudsters found not to be so), a society deteriorating into race hate and led by a group of people who have no ideas of where they are going.

    Will the SNP majority please wake up and do as Alf suggests, give notice of our withdrawal from the UK union before it is too late. The clock on our deteriorating situation must be near midnight and it is surely time to go. We could just button up and aye be cheery and have a dram afore we go!!

    Bill

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Thanks Bill. Yes, like many others I expect, I really don’t see what the SNP has to lose by using its Scotland majorities effectively now to: (a) issue a notice of Scotland’s Withdrawal from Union at Westminster; (b) introduce a Bill to that effect at Holyrood; and, if required, (c) arranging our own referendum to ratify. The supreme court would have some difficulty in finding any legal flaws in that, if it were to be tested, which would be expected. This seems entirely democratic to me and a fair response to Westminster’s abject refusal to permit another mandated referendum on independence, whilst also ignoring Scotland’s overwhelming vote to remain part of EU and the impending extraction of our EU citizenship. The ‘do nothing’ option is no longer politically acceptable for the SNP. They must act.

  5. Tom Hubbard says:

    Fugues? They’re best left in the hands of J.S. Bach and his succeeding ‘unacknowledged legislators of the world’.

  6. Patrick Haseldine says:

    Angela Haggerty: U may be a Baroness for life Michelle Mone, but ur Twitter tantrum was infantile!

    (http://www.heraldscotland.com/opinion/15918599.Angela_Haggerty__U_may_be_a_Baroness_for_life_Michelle_Mone__but_ur_Twitter_tantrum_was_infantile/)

  7. carlqceol says:

    Of all of literary sources, Bella Caledonia is the last I would have expected to to use the word “ilk” improperly.

    1. David McCann says:

      And your point caller is??

  8. Jamsie says:

    J O’D
    Are you suggesting people who reside in Scotland and pay their taxes here should not have a vote?
    Sounds like the SNatsies are losing the plot!

    1. John O'Dowd says:

      What I’m saying Jamesie, is that only members of a nation can exercise national self-determination.
      That is simply a matter of logic.

      Scottish nationhood was usurped by a bribed cabal in a non-democratic parliament in 1707 – but this provides a parliamentary route to redress that wrong and regain nationhood – just as that mechanism deprived a disenfranchised majority of its nationhood on that fateful day.

      On the 1st of May, 1707, the Union came into effect and the bells of St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh rang out to the tune ‘Why am I so sad on this my wedding day?’ and there were riots throughout our land.

      We remain sad. And the descendants of the self-same landowners, we learn from a leaked spreadsheet, orchestrate and pay for the anti-Scottish anti-democratic astroturf groups who would still deprive us of our birthright.

      A parliamentary majority is enough to reverse that wrong – not a referendum including, inevitably, those who logically cannot exercise Scottish national self-determination because they are not, and do not claim to be, members of that nation. If such individuals had been honest they would have abstained in 2014.
      But many people who voted in that referendum did not, and do not, consider themselves Scots. I know, and have friends and acquaintances, among that group. A majority of those born in Scotland, or who are Scots by adoption and conviction (wherever they were born) voted ‘Yes’. Yet we were denied our right. Self-determination cannot be exercised by those who stand outside it and was denied in that referendum.

      A parliamentary route to self-determination does in fact exist right now and has been elected “by all of those entitled to vote in Scotland”. We live, we are told, in a parliamentary democracy.

      A Parliament composed of all elected MSPs and MPs should be reconvened now in Parliament Hall (not in Holyrood) to vote on a Bill to revoke the Act of Union.

      If a simple majority of those present vote ‘aye’, that will be enough: A simple majority of the landowners who voted in 1707 was enough to deprive an un-consulted majority of their nationhood; a simple majority of elected parliamentarians must be enough to reverse that wrong.

      A fine parliamentary democratic symmetry would occur – and “those entitled to vote in Scotland” will be fully enfranchised in that process – and national self-determination, a cardinal principle in modern international law, will have been honoured.

      Referenda are open to abuse, and are the instrument of choice of dictators.

      We should invoke a parliamentary remedy to right an ancient wrong.

      1. Jamsie says:

        J O’D
        Interesting if somewhat flawed perspective.
        However I think you fail to realise that under devolution the Scottish Parliament is not completely sovereign and where it acts outside it’s legal powers can be challenged.
        If they sought to enact a scenario outside of the powers delegated then this could be overturned by legal challenge.
        That legal challenge need not be brought by the UK Government but can be pursued by any citizen of Scotland.
        Funnily enough citizenship could be considered to be someone of whichever nationality who has the right to reside in Scotland who probably also enjoys the right to vote in elections or referenda.
        Seems to me the dire position Indy supporters find themselves in is breeding desperation and they would accept any method of subverting democracy to get their wish.
        Fortunately that won’t happen.

        1. John O'Dowd says:

          Now Jamsie,

          We have no idea who you are or with what academic, professional or legal authority you speak when you describe mine as a “flawed perspective”. For all any of us know you might be sitting in a vest and pants in an Islington bed-sit shooting up God knows what and barking at the moon.

          This is the price you must pay for being an anonymous troll. So until we know otherwise, I’ll leave that little worm by which readers might measure what weight to accord your very confidently stated views.

          Seems to me you either have the baseless arrogance of youth, or the senile cerebral degeneration that that is often associated with Unionist trolls.

          I am happy here to call in support the view of someone who was one of Her Majesties Ambassadors, with many years of Foreign Office experience.

          Here is what Craig Murray – a man who has the academic, professional and intellectual credentials to comment has to say on the matter. I note carefully the qualifiers he places on this course of action (in contrast to my more direct approach). But thetas what one might expect from someone who is a careful analyst of the matter in question.

          “Call a National Assembly

          In the event that Scotland is being blocked from holding either a referendum or an election, the Scottish Government could move to convene a National Assembly. This might consist of all MPs, MSPs and MEPs and that body could declare Independence. To be clear, that would be a revolutionary act in UK terms, but it is perfectly normal for such an act to be required at the birth of a new state and is no bar to it being accepted in international law as a state through recognition by the United Nations General Assembly.

          The argument would run that, having been blocked at every turn from holding a democratic vote either by way of referendum or parliamentary election, the Scottish government had taken the option of convening all representatives democratically elected at the national level – MSPs, MPs and MEPs, and these elected representatives of the Scottish people had made the decision. That is perfectly respectable and entirely analogous to the way many EU members such as Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia became independent.”

          What you fail to understand, Jamesie is that nothing can stop a sovereign people from exercising sovereignty, and whilst we may be a little away from the scenario described above, the gerontocracy that largely voted ‘No’ are disappearing through the passage of time; younger voters are both more pro-indepondence and pro-Europe, and most importantly, we are have to yet seen the actual effects of Brexit, nor how a Rees-Mogg government will cope with the mayhem.

          1. Jamsie says:

            J O’D
            I think you think that I think that somehow this blog can change the course of the political direction currently in place.
            The sovereign will of the electorate of Scotland as already expressed is to remain part of the UK.
            you may take that statement as being authoritative.
            My professional opinion based extensive research is that the people of Scotland do not want another referendum on the subject and that in the event the Snatsies tried to call one which would be subject to legal challenge because they have no mandate or legal powers to hold one then based on current polls they would lose anyway.
            Now if you have any credible or verifiable evidence to the contrary instead of the huffing and puffing which you have been doing so far then please provide it.
            We both know you don’t have anything other than wishful thinking.

  9. Jamsie says:

    Alf B
    It’s just a pity that those of you who who don’t have an appetite for Scotland being in the UK don’t have a majority eh?
    Those people in Scotland whose interests you claim to have at heart don’t seem to share your vision which would ultimately lead them to be an impoverished third world country with no hope.
    One man or woman one vote.
    There is no rational or ethical reason for any other way.
    This administration is on the way down and out and the sooner the better for us all not just the ranting few telling us all what we should think, when we should think it and how we should live our lives.
    Move on.
    The people have spoken and continue to speak.
    The answer is Naw!!
    Mibees a wee bit of introspection will explain why but then again mibees not.
    There are not enough people who share your view or want the type of country people like you want.
    Of course they are all thick, deluded etc etc but that is the hard fact you have to face up to.
    Get used to it!

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Jamsie, what you appear to be saying is that it is ok for England’s Tories and their offshore banker friends to do with Scotland as they please, despite the fact the Tories are a minority party in Scotland and remain toxic here, more particularly amongst Scots. That is essentially what ‘No’ voters consigned Scotland to, rule by a culture most Scots do not much care for, far less vote for. Do you really think such a situation is sustainable?

      1. Jamsie says:

        Alf
        What I am saying is quite simple.
        That is that if the people who are entitled to vote in Scotland as citizens vote when they are asked to on a particular issue and they vote in a favour of a particular proposal or against one then the politicians should adhere to the will of the people.
        The reason politicians ask the people to vote in referenda in subjects like the UK and the EU is that they know the limits of their mandate.
        If and I personally don’t think there will be another Indy ref and the vote goes against it once more the matter will be dead.
        The SNatsies will not risk this they would rather cling into power.
        What you are saying however would be beyond the powers of the Scottish Assembly and whilst we remain a part of the UK totally open to challenge by the citizens of Scotland be they Scottish by birth, descent or residence.
        European law can be a wonderful thing don’t you think?

        1. john O'Dowd says:

          So Jamesie, if it was absolutely essential that all those registered to vote in Scottish elections were allowed to vote the Scottish Referendum, why was it OK to exclude EU nationals (who arguably were most affected) from voting on Brexit?

        2. Alf Baird says:

          “the citizens of Scotland”

          Jamsie, there is no such thing as Scottish citizenship. You and other ‘No’ voters in Scotland voted in 2014 to block Scots like me from enjoying a Scottish citizenship . And I was so looking forward to my new Scottish passport too, not least to enable me to travel to some of the places my having a British passport prohibits me from entering.

  10. Jamsie says:

    Well!
    Nice to see the SNatsies in the form of rod selfie showing their true colours and respect for the pensioners of the country eh?

    1. Rodric Selbie says:

      Jamsie, your reply verifies defeat.

      1. Jamsie says:

        Defeat?
        By what or by whom?
        All you have done you silly little man is to show how nasty the Snatsies can be and how out of touch you are with reality.
        I actually find people like you quite funny in a perverse sort of way as you provide me with endless entertainment in you constant professing that it wus the medya what dun it.
        That the referendum result was all wrong and does not count because the No campaign was full of lies.
        Hello!!
        The people of Scotland are not stupid even although you think they are.
        They made their decision and they are sticking by it.
        Scotland remains part of the UK as the alternative has no credibility.
        So I am not defeated in any way in fact I am quite heartened by the increasing desperation being shown and the crass stupidity in the comments on here demonstrates that aptly.
        Oh, and I voted No in 2014 and leave in 2016.
        By my reckoning that put me on the winning side twice.
        How about you?

        1. Jamesie – I am extremely open about comments – favouring open debate and dissent. But here’s a yellow card. Change your language or you’re out.

          ‘Snatsies’ = unacceptable.

          My site my rules. Change or go play somewhere else…

          1. Jamsie says:

            Apologies!
            In future I will moderate my language.
            I think the message can be communicated just as effectively in moderation.
            No doubt it will still draw out the venom that lurks in sections of the Indy movement.

        2. Rodric Selbie says:

          Your Quote “All you have done you silly little man is to show how nasty the Snatsies can be and how out of touch you are with reality”.

          Yet you are the only one I can see calling folk names and not addressing anyone’s points.

          Your Quote “The people of Scotland are not stupid even although you think they are”.

          Not once have I said the people of Scotland was stupid, I said they were deceived and lied to, but you on the hand believe we would become a third world Country outwith Westminster rule, you are the one that believes the people of Scotland are stupid as all you see is failure.

          Your Quote “Oh, and I voted No in 2014 and leave in 2016”.

          A British National that condemns his true birthplace, you must feel so proud…. seriously I’m interested, I have long believed anyone that states they are British and proud have been completely brainwashed by the establishment, I have numerous examples of how this occurs but first I would like to ask a question. I understand we are all products of our upbringing, but what are you actually proud of being British of, is it the British African Slave Trade or the millions that have been killed in Uganda, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Somalia, Australia, Canada, or the millions that died during the Bengal famine where they invented the concentration camps, in fact not many Countries around the globe have escaped the British wrath, the most recent being Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria does this mass murder of innocence trigger some sort of genocide fetish perhaps??

          Or is it the Westminster Parliament who have committed crimes that include Murder, Illegal War, War Crimes, Terrorism, Torture, Crimes against Humanity, Corruption, Espionage, Treason, Drug Trafficking, Paedophilia, Rape, Indecent Assault, Sex Trafficking, Arson, Blackmail, GBH, Bribery, Insider Trading, Cash for Questions, Asset Stripping, Tax Evasion, Money Laundering, Expenses Fraud, Theft, Perjury, Phone Hacking, Spousal Assault, Perverting the Course of Justice, Cover Ups, Cash for Honours, Conspiracy and Forgery.

          It can’t be all the British institutes like British Steel, BP, British Aerospace, Cable & Wireless, National Freight Corporation, Britoil, Associated British Ports, Enterprise Oil, Jaguar, British Telecommunications, British Shipbuilders, British Gas, British Airways, Rolls-Royce, BAA, British Steel, Water, Electricity they no longer exist as they have been shut down or sold off.

          It can’t be British Democracy, there ain’t any with more unelected Lords than any other Country in the world bar China, an unelected hereditary monarch who only gained their position through Rape, Pillage, Plunder and Murder, within this system we have a 2 party state..

          It can’t be the title “British” as it doesn’t exist “Britain” is a name for three countries – Scotland, England and Wales.
          As you can be born in only ONE country, not three, you are either Scottish, English or Welsh.

          Many of my points stem from centuries ago to present day, but let’s look at the British government’s achievements today

          The 4th most unequal country in the developed world, and now confirmed the number two in Europe, Europe’s second-largest tax haven, 1 in 4 kids born into poverty and rising, Soup kitchens increasing at such a rate Westminster scrapped collecting data on them, obviously this prevents future release of how bad the situation is. 120,000 deaths/suicides of the most vulnerable people in society and not counting anymore, failing 236 billion pound govt projects, the list is endless. the looming car crash that is Brexit, the impossibility of getting a secure home of your own if you’re a young person, or the fact that wages are stagnant and people in employment are forced to resort to food banks.

          The UK’s chronic rates of low productivity, its consistently weak GDP growth, its runaway housing and rental costs, and its explosive levels of private debt. And that’s before the ruinous economic effects of Brexit – which Scotland voted overwhelmingly against in 2016 is membership of the UK that is visibly failing across a range of key social and economic fronts all fine with you?

          And to crown it all, after stealing resources from around the globe we vote Brexit, the biggest reason was we don’t want to share our resources with foreigners. If you ask me anyone who is British and proud need to seek medical help. Perhaps you can show me where I’m wrong.

        3. John O'Dowd says:

          “Oh, and I voted No in 2014 and leave in 2016.”

          Well, you surprise me indeed Mr Jamesie. Who would have thought that you were a xenophobic distempered Britnat?

          You seem so well balanced and reasonable.

          “I think you think that I think that somehow this blog can change the course of the political direction currently in place.”

          Well Jamesie, if that is not the case, not why are you wasting so much of your highly valuable professional time on trying to do just that with the demographic that is likely to read this blog?

          Have you heard of the term ‘psychological projection’?

          After all, we are the ones whose views you are trying to change with your highly sophisticated and oh so very carefully constructed and well informed arguments. Not to mention the wealth of empirical data that you have marshalled to support your exquisite reasoning.

          Surely you are not just trying vent some spleen on people you clearly despise? And why would you bother if you are “quite heartened by the increasing desperation being shown and the crass stupidity in the comments on here”?

          Why wouldn’t just sit back and enjoy it – I’m sure you have much important work to do with that brilliant mind and your linguistic gifts.

          “All you have done you silly little man is to show how nasty the Snatsies can be and how out of touch you are with reality.”

          Such unrivalled erudition and stylistic rhetorical flourish is bound to impel all of us, at least to consider carefully the important points you make.

          I for one will take full account of your wise words before addressing my long-held erroneous convictions. It is very difficult to gainsay your brilliant analysis and your unrivalled rhetorical gifts.

          You may well have have a convert here, Jamesie boy.

          I shall be ever in your debt.

          Now be sure to take a little drink with the tablets.

        4. William Low says:

          ‘The alternative has no credibility?’ Really? If you have carried out any background reading at all, then you will know that there is plenty of evidence to prove that an independent Scotland would fare very well. From criticism of GERS by more than one eminent economist to the more basic, if the oil is so worthless, why do Westminster still want us? The fact that Scotland more than pays her way in the union, and is not a scrounging whingeing little whipper snapper, is evidence that we could do very well on our own. The fact that we would not have to contribute to the Trident programme, a weapons system that even senior military figures question, would be of tremendous benefit. I do not think for one moment that the Scots could not emulate or better Denmark, Estonia, Lithuania etc. The SNP may well have argued the case badly or inappropriately, but that does not detract from the fact that we would be better making it on our own.

          With regard to being on the winning side, I wish you all the best post Brexit, when it appears that the economy of Northern England will be 16% poorer and it follows that unless the Scottish Parliament steps in Scotland will be even worse off in %age terms. That may well be the nail that changes opinion and galvanises the people into action

          Bill

          1. Jamsie says:

            Och William I seem to have hit some nerves across the blog.
            Explain to me again this fact that you proclaim my arguments have not detracted from.
            “We would be better making it on our own.”
            How and when did this become fact?
            55% of the people of Scotland have obviously missed this.
            Whilst you and your erstwhile indy supporters on here may well believe this it is only your opinion and certainly not based on fact is it?
            GERS as it happens is collation of information by the Scottish Administration’s own statisticians.
            Yes that is correct by the Civil Service that the SNP have gone so far in politicising.
            That is why the SNP do not criticise or argue with GERS.
            The people who are criticising GERS who are they?
            Why are they criticising the figures?
            Why does the Barnet formula exist again?
            So between you all so far the main possible reasons that another referendum might take place are a.) the people were lied to before the last one, b.) someone is forecasting we will be poorer after Brexit and c.) because the GDP growth of the UK (really??!!) although it has been well ahead of the GDP of Scotland consistently over the last ten years.
            So answer me this :- why do the people of Scotland consistently poll that they do not want another referendum. And why do they poll consistently that they prefer to say no to independence?
            Given the majority of Scots are against both scenarios and have demonstrated this do you think democracy would be served by seeking to impose a referendum on the Scottish people via a false mandate of MPs and MSPs who would be acting illegally and beyond the sovereign powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament?
            Personally I think you are all aware that this will never happen and furthermore if it did the backlash would be huge.
            In fact all of the crises in policing, education, health and other day to day issues are eroding any public sympathy she may once have had hence she has such poor ratings personally.
            Nope best case scenario is she will cling to power and hope to get through the 2021 elections as the largest party but I think that will still be substantially less than would enable her to form a majority in conjunction with the Greens.
            So we will have status quo and the vocal minority will continue to chatter on about indy but be powerless to bring it about.
            Democracy will have been served.

    2. Rodric Selbie says:

      Your Quote ““We would be better making it on our own.”
      How and when did this become fact”?

      Independence is considered normal around the globe unless you can supply a list of Countries giving up their Independence, I would be really keen on seeing the list of Countries signing up for Westminster rule, a Parliament described as the most corrupt on the planet.

      Where is your evidence of facts that Scotland would become a 3rd world Country?

      Your Quote “55% of the people of Scotland have obviously missed this”.

      Already been addressed several times which you have chosen to ignore, repeating the same thing over and over without responding to previous posts is how Trolls operate.

      Your Quote “GERS as it happens is collation of information by the Scottish Administration’s own statisticians.
      Yes that is correct by the Civil Service that the SNP have gone so far in politicising.
      That is why the SNP do not criticise or argue with GERS.
      The people who are criticising GERS who are they?
      Why are they criticising the figures”?

      GERS only shows how well Scotland performs in the UK whilst Westminster controls our economy. Your view might be of more value if you based it on an Independent Scotland. Debt servicing in the UK is significant and rising and outwith the remit of Scot Gov.

      GERS assumes expenditure which would not be made by Scot Gov and omits expenditure which would newly fall to an independent Scotland. Basically comparing apples to oranges.

      GERS has inbuilt costs which would not fall to an Indie Scotland. The oil figures are an obvious example that would change. At present only a population share (not a geographical share) is returned to Scotland and even that is seriously depressed due to oil loaded directly onto tankers not being included in the total figures. The problem with GERS is the lack of valid data available and the assumption that Scotland would continue to pay a share of debt which they have not raised or benefit from.

      Your Quote “Why does the Barnet formula exist again”?

      Already been addressed before

      Your Quote “why do the people of Scotland consistently poll that they do not want another referendum. And why do they poll consistently that they prefer to say no to independence?
      Given the majority of Scots are against both scenarios and have demonstrated this do you think democracy would be served by seeking to impose a referendum on the Scottish people via a false mandate of MPs and MSPs who would be acting illegally and beyond the sovereign powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament”?

      The latest polling carried out was 49% for YES and we haven’t even started campaigning. We already have a mandate for another referendum, it’s you who doesn’t like democracy.

      May 2016: the SNP run for the Scottish Parliament on a manifesto of a second independence referendum, if there is “a significant and material change of the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will.” The SNP win that election by a minority, but Green support ensures a pro-independence majority in Holyrood.
      June 2016: the UK narrowly votes to Leave the EU but 62% of Scots elect to Remain, triggering the “material change of circumstances”.
      March 2017: after various Scottish Government proposals allowing Scotland to stay in both the UK and EU are thwarted by Theresa May, the Scottish Parliament passes a bill for a second independence referendum by a majority of 69 to 59.
      May 2017: the SNP publish their manifesto for the UK election which states that “if the SNP wins a majority of Scottish seats, that would complete a triple lock [on the referendum], further reinforcing the democratic mandate which already exists.”
      June 2017: the SNP win 35 out of 59 Scottish seats, a clear majority. The mandate is thus triple-locked.

      By the Unionist parties’ definition, the Tories had no right to implement their manifesto on an EU referendum after 2015, on 37% of the vote.

  11. John O'Dowd says:

    Jamesie,

    I used to teach in universities. One of the major problems in that role is the student who thinks he/she is smarter that they actually are. Paradoxically, they are usually the dumbest – being so dumb that they don’t realise how dumb they are.

    A real pain in the arse, because they often suffer from the Dunning–Kruger effect, which is a cognitive bias wherein people of low ability suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly assessing their cognitive ability as greater than it is.

    The cognitive bias of illusory superiority derives from the metacognitive inability of low-ability persons to recognize their own ineptitude; without the self-awareness of metacognition, low-ability people cannot objectively evaluate their actual competence or incompetence.

    I note your critique of, for example Professor Alf Baird, in this thread. Alf was a professor of economics, who in the spirit of open discourse and democratic equality that this site stands for just posts as ‘Alf’. Alf displays the opposite of the Dunning–Kruger effect. He just lets his high intelligence speak for itself – just as your own level of intelligence is placed by you on open display.

    Now just because you are unaware of particular arguments, doesn’t mean that they don’t exist or have substantial merit.

    So we come to your comment above:

    “GERS as it happens is collation of information by the Scottish Administration’s own statisticians.
    The people who are criticising GERS who are they?”

    Well, Here for example is Richard Muphy, Professor of Practice in International Political Economy at City University, London. Richard is a UK chartered accountant and political economist whose main areas of research relate to taxation and its impact on local, national and international economies and the relationships within and between them.

    Richard was a practicing chartered accountant and corporate director for more than 20 years before becoming one of the co-founders of the Tax Justice Network.

    Professor Richard Murphy says Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (Gers) statistics are “completely rubbish approximations”. In fact he says they are CRAP.

    Here is what he has to say about GERS in detail:

    “Public sector expenditure is estimated on the basis of spending incurred for the benefit of residents of Scotland. That is, a particular public sector expenditure is apportioned to a region if the benefit of the expenditure is thought to accrue to residents of that region.

    This is a different measure from total public expenditure in Scotland. For most expenditure, spending for or in Scotland will be similar. For example, the vast majority of health expenditure by NHS Scotland occurs in Scotland and is for patients resident in Scotland. Therefore, the in and for approaches should yield virtually identical assessments of expenditure. However, for expenditure where the final impact is more widespread, such as defence, an assessment of ‘who benefits’ depends upon the nature of the benefit being assessed. Where there are differences between the for and in approaches, GERS estimates Scottish expenditure using a set of apportionment methodologies, refined over a number of years following consultation with and feedback from users.

    The for approach considers the location of the recipients of services or transfers that government expenditure finances, irrespective of where the expenditure takes place. For example, with respect to defence expenditure, as the service provided is a national ‘public good’, the for methodology operates on the premise that the entire UK population benefits from the provision of a national defence service. Accordingly, under the for methodology, national defence expenditure is apportioned across the UK on a population basis.

    The methodology note on the GERS website provides a detailed discussion of the methodologies and datasets used to undertake this task.

    The emphasis on for and in by use of italics is in the original.

    Might I say now that I have read the GERS methodology notes with care? Might I add that I know they are accounting adjustments to both income and expenditure (many of which are the equal and opposite of each other)? Might I also add that right now I cannot see that they explain in any way the matter I refer to below? Nor, as far as I can see, does anything in the detailed methodology notes on expenditure and income. And then can I note the following statement in the GERS income methodology note:

    Now I hate to be an accounting pedant here, but I am not sure I agree. Let me offer a third party view, found using Google on a web site called Accounting Coach. It says:

    Under the accrual basis of accounting, expenses are matched with the related revenues and/or are reported when the expense occurs, not when the cash is paid. The result of accrual accounting is an income statement that better measures the profitability of a company during a specific time period.

    As an accountant I will say straight away that this second version is what accruals really is, and not what GERS says it is. And this matters, and could explain why GERS appears to sell Scotland so short.

    The point then is this: a significant sum is spent for but not in Scotland. The cost is recorded as Scottish. But because the version of accruals accounting in GERS is a distortion of what that accounting concept actually requires, which is that costs and revenues be matched, the tax paid as a result of that spend does not appear to be credited to the Scottish tax account. Instead it is credited where the activity takes place.

    Take an example of spending on the civil service in London charged to Scotland in GERS. The cost is in GERS. But where is the revenue? That’s in south east England.

    Now dow we know anyone with

    If that is the case, and I think it is, then I would suggest that the accounting base used for GERS is misleading, and the distorted view of accruals accounting as defined for GERS might suggest that this is by design.”

    GERS is crap ‘by design’. Like so much of the official propaganda designed to fool credulous individuals into thinking that Scotland is economically unviable.

    Now do we know anyone possibly suffering from Dunning Kruger who has been taken in by this crap data – just because it fits a particular set of biases and a distorted world view?

    Can you think of anyone, Jamesie?

    1. Jamsie says:

      Ah John
      You used to teach at Universities eh?
      And you’re an accountant eh?
      How many votes does that allow you at the ballot box?
      I know a wee bit about edumacation and about accounts or more specifically running companies and major projects.
      I recognise your stupid student bit but think you missed out some points worth noting.
      Seeing as you obviously suffered these problems where perhaps students did not take you seriously and you were clearly insulted by this my question would be who was the real sufferer of cognitive bias and illusory superiority?
      The student or you?
      A good lecturer would have introduced the student to the realisation of his inadequacy and encouraged him to learn rather than dismissing him as just being a pain in the arse or suffering from an effect whose very existence is both dubious and disputed by other experts in the field.
      Perhaps the good lecturer would have illuminated to the student that he was unconsciously incompetent and would have brought him on to being consciously incompetent.
      And if he was any good he would further develop him to being consciously competent and then to being unconsciously competent.
      As I say a good lecturer would have been able to do these things by holding attention and mentoring instead of just dismissing the student as a smart arse.
      Much in the same way that you seem to feel intellectually superior to me I suspect you go through life spewing your own importance and the absolute correctness of your opinions as against those of others simply because they do not agree with you and challenge the obtuseness you put across so ably.
      Alf seems like a nice chap and I was aware of his professional and educational status but despite this I choose to disagree with some of the ideas he has espoused particularly in relation to the MSPs and MPs simply declaring independence.
      My reference for such a disagreement comes from other esteemed experts in the field of law and politics in Scotland.
      Perhaps you should read Nick McKerrel’s view or even some of the earlier stuff published by Brodies who concur that a legal challenge in the public interest could or more properly would be made by the Lord Advocate in the Court of Session should the administration act outwith it’s delegated sovereign powers in calling a referendum without the section 30 order in place.
      Now I don’t know anyone with the Dunning Kruger personally but I suspect a lot of your students were probably labelled as such quite unfairly probably in the same way you have tried to label me.
      Perhaps they were able to recognise in you a narcissistic personality disorder.
      I certainly do.
      But you only get one vote at each election or referendum for that as well.

      1. John O'Dowd says:

        Hi Jamesie,

        You kind of prove a point for me. Nowhere did I say I was an accountant – I’m not – and that’s not what I taught (although I did learn some in my MBA – my PhD and academic activities in the natural sciences were in a quite different sphere).

        Rather, I cited the words of an eminent academic accountant, Prof. Richard Murphy whose analysis somewhat undermines your thesis (such as it is). You clearly did not read what I have written, or if you have, you failed to understand it. When I write on a field that is not my own, I cite evidence from those who are expert in it – indeed I do that in my own field too – it is standard practice for any sort of writing that seeks honestly to inform, educate and persuade.

        But as Rodric Selbie has pointed out to you, that’s not really why you are here. You present no facts, data or analysis to support your various ill-thought out positions. You just have a visceral set of beliefs and prejudices which you endlessly repeat as assertions without evidence, logic or reason, in the bizarre belief that their endless repetition will some how validate them. That’s not how it works, I’m afraid.

        In short you are a Unionist troll. Alf, Rodric and I are out here with our own names – we try to justify our arguments with facts, and make a rational, logical argument with them. We are aware that there are other points of view, but any validity they might have needs to be tested against facts, and argued rationally.

        You, however, troll anonymously and cite no actual authority or other evidence to support your assertions.

        For example:

        “Perhaps you should read Nick McKerrel’s view or even some of the earlier stuff published by Brodies who concur that a legal challenge in the public interest could or more properly would be made by the Lord Advocate in the Court of Session should the administration act outwith it’s delegated sovereign powers in calling a referendum without the section 30 order in place.”

        Dr McKerrell is of course entitled to his view – and I’m sure has argued it cogently and professionally. But in the end it is just a view – other views also exists – and in areas such as the social sciences these are often incompatible, at odds with each other, and in the end un-reconcilable.

        That’s just the nature of the beast. Usually in such cases, the case made coincides with the underlying belief system of the person who makes it. That’s less the case in the sciences, but even there people tend to hold doggedly to pet beliefs – but at least in the natural sciences, objective experimental evidence will tend to dislodge untenable beliefs. It’s not that straightforward in the social sciences and humanities. But even there, few genuine academics will hold a view against all the evidence – once it becomes available.

        As for Brodies – well I’m sure that’s the legal advice they are happy to give, and I’ve no reason to doubt their integrity – but other advice may be purchased from other lawyers, and may well come to a test in court.

        But one of the major difficulties we have is that the appointment of the judiciary in this country is in the hands of a deeply conservative (self-) selection process that manages, from all the available talent to select an improbable proportion of judges who are privately and Oxbridge educated, whose opinions and prejudices are thoroughly predictable.

        What you have done is to select those opinions, views and judgments that accord with your pre-existing beliefs, and to repeatedly ignore evidence cited by others and by me, that does not fit your pre-determined view.

        And so to your words:

        “A good lecturer would have introduced the student to the realisation of his inadequacy and encouraged him to learn rather than dismissing him as just being a pain in the arse or suffering from an effect whose very existence is both dubious and disputed by other experts in the field.
        Perhaps the good lecturer would have illuminated to the student that he was unconsciously incompetent and would have brought him on to being consciously incompetent.
        And if he was any good he would further develop him to being consciously competent and then to being unconsciously competent.
        As I say a good lecturer would have been able to do these things by holding attention and mentoring instead of just dismissing the student as a smart arse.”

        Well, once again you prove my point Jamesie – at no time did I dismiss any of my students as a ‘smart arse’ – nor did say that of you. I did say that such students could be a pain in the arse – but that is not the same thing (careful accurate reading is an important academic skill).

        Indeed, a good lecturer would take time and pains to do the things you say, and more, and go to extraordinary lengths to provide correction and guidance to all students – especially the kind of less able less insightful students you describe.

        And what precisely, do you think I have been doing here?

        Some, I’m afraid, no matter how much guidance and assistance is given, forever remain beyond remediation.

        But that is your value to us. We see precisely what we are up against in our struggle for a better Scotland. Keep on trolling, Jamesie.

        1. Jamsie says:

          John
          Did you or did you not write – “As an accountant I will say straight away…….”
          You may very well be an accounting pedant given YOUR version of GERS but you are displaying signs of NPS.
          Do try to keep up and at least remember what you have written.
          It does you no credit to deny hard fast evidence in displaying your tendencies.
          You are of course correct when you point out that certain points of view and arguments are un-reconcilable and you demonstrate this admirably.
          No other opinion or attestation is considered to be worthy of consideration even in the face of the hard facts which portray the truth of the situation.
          Scotland said naw!
          The UK said leave!
          This is clearly hard to bear for you especially given there is no real prospect of it changing.
          By the way I read very well.
          Perhaps your memory plays tricks on you?
          Or you don’t read what you have writ!

          1. John O'Dowd says:

            Jamesie, Are you thick or are you just taking the piss?

            “John
            Did you or did you not write – “As an accountant I will say straight away…….”

            No Jamesie, I did not write that, I cut and pasted it from an article by Prof Richard Murphy

            I wrote:

            Professor Richard Murphy says Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (Gers) statistics are “completely rubbish approximations”. In fact he says they are CRAP.
            Here is what he has to say about GERS in detail:
            “Public sector expenditure is estimated on the basis of spending incurred for the benefit of residents of Scotland. That is, a particular public……. As an accountant I will say straight away…….”

            These things here ” ” are called quotation marks.

            Primary school children are taught that you use these to indicate that you are quoting the words as someone else, as my piece made quite clear. I was quoting Prof Murphy who IS and accountancy professor

            Since you tell us that you are a smart accomplished businessman, we must assume that you are just a piss-taking troll. Nobody could be as thick as you appear to be, surely?

            That being the case, I’ll leave it to the editor of Bella to decide what to do with your multiple inputs.

            There is only so much time we can waste on deliberate time-wasters.

      2. john O'Dowd says:

        I would also add that this in the end is a not a matter for lawyers and courts – it is a political matter for the sovereign people of Scotland. Any court would be most unwise to deny their parliament its democratic rights.

      3. William Low says:

        Once again Jamsie, you miss the point. What has been suggested is not another referendum, but legislation indicating that Scotland will withdraw from the Union. That does not require a section 30, it is legally within the remit of the Scottish Government so to do. Of course there will be challenges legal or otherwise were this to come to pass.

        On the economics, others have given you clear chapter and verse of the flaws in GERS and the issues facing the government. One further point, Scotland represents around 8.5% of the British population but sends in excess of 9.5% in taxes into the GDP. Barnett was only ever an attempt to right the situation where Scotland fed the subsidy junkies of the South East, as did many other parts of England.

        As far as hitting nerves across the blog, mine are quite calm, in fact I am almost nerveless and certainly I attempt to avoid offending when I debate, especially sensitive issues.

        Again I wish you the joy of ‘winning’ over Brexit, although you may want to reflect on the loss of 200 jobs as a fruit grower takes his business to China and the Japanese Prime Minister indicates that without the market and customs union, certain car manufacturers may well pack up and go.

        Bill

        1. Jamsie says:

          Willie
          Ah what you are suggesting is UDI?
          Catalonia2 perhaps?
          Are you serious?
          Absolute nonsense it will never happen.
          The absolute desperation of some of you guys is becoming hilarious.
          As for your figures – well what can I say – you seem to have solved the problems the SNP face in proving Scotland could afford to go it alone.
          So why don’t they come out and say it?

          1. Rodric Selbie says:

            Jamsie Your Quote “As for your figures – well what can I say – you seem to have solved the problems the SNP face in proving Scotland could afford to go it alone.
            So why don’t they come out and say it”?

            The SNP have always said Scotland could afford to go it alone, only you Union at any cost Brits says differently.

            Scotland and England have been in the Union for 310 years, Westminster has had full control of Scotland’s economy for 292 of those years. When Scotland was given her own parliament 20 years ago it was given 6% devolved power, numerous years later this increased to 15% by the end of April 2017 we will have approx 25% if Scotland is in a mess that blame lies squarely at Westminster’s door…

            Scotland is a country with an embarrassment of economic advantages that any small to medium-sized independent country would give their left arm for.

            Just look at similar-sized populations to Scotland

            Norway owns half the OIL in the North Sea, 30% of their GDP is reliant on OIL, when the OIL crashed our GDP dropped by 1% of course they have an OIL fund that Westminster refused for Scotland.

            Denmark would love to have a national drink that generated £120 of exports per second.
            38 bottles were shipped overseas each second.
            99 million cases (12 70cl bottles at 40% vol) were exported worldwide.
            Laid end to end they would stretch about 30,000kms – or about six times the distance between Edinburgh and New York.
            More than 10,000 are directly employed in the Scotch Whisky industry – many in economically deprived areas.
            Over 40,000 jobs across the UK are supported by the industry.
            Scotch Whisky accounts for around a quarter of UK food and drink exports.
            Scotch Whisky is sold in around 200 markets worldwide.
            Scotch Whisky sells three times its nearest rival whisky.
            Drinkers in the UK often choose to enjoy it with just a little water, but in Spain they mix it with cola. In Japan Scotch is enjoyed with lots of water and ice, and in China with cold green tea.
            More Scotch is sold in one month in France than Cognac in a year.

            Belgium would love to have such a tourist attraction as the Edinburgh Festival and Fringe, the world’s largest arts festival attracting 500,000 visitors and adding £261m to Scotland’s economy, never mind the beauty of wild Scotland or golf tourism.

            Ireland would kill to have Scotland’s online gaming industry which has grown over 600 per cent – GTA the world’s best-selling game is made in Scotland and industry experts claim the gaming sector could grow to be worth more to Scottish economy than oil ever was.

            Sweden would like to match Scotland educationally, Scotland according to the ONS states Scots are the most educated in Europe, we have 45% who have experienced university degrees and further education, Luxembourg, Finland and Ireland all fight for 2nd place with 40%

            Finland must be massively envious that Scotland possesses 25 per cent of the EU’s entire tidal and wave energy potential, a source of energy that doesn’t pollute and won’t run out.

            Scotland is rich in resources like Whisky, Renewables, Tourism, Financial Services, Food and Drink, Fishing, IT. Farming, Manufacturing, Creative Industries, Construction, Global Transport, Engineering, Medical Research, Oil and Gas.

            Scotland represents just 8.3% of the UK population. Remember that number 8.3%
            We have the following share of UK resources –
            32% Land area
            61% Sea area
            90% Surface fresh water
            65% North Sea natural gas production
            96.5% North Sea crude oil production
            47% Open cast coal production
            81% Coal reserves at sites not yet in production
            62% Timber production (green tonnes)
            46% Total forest area (hectares)
            92% Hydro electric production
            40% Wind, wave, solar production
            60% Fish Landings (total by Scottish vessels)
            55% Fish Landings (total from Scottish waters)
            30% Beef herd (breeding stock)
            20% Sheep herd (breeding flock)
            9% Dairy herd
            10% Pig herd
            15% Cereal holdings (hectares)
            20% potato holdings (hectares)
            All with 8.3% of the population!

            We also have a…
            17 billion pound construction industry
            13 billion food and drink industry
            10 billion business services industry
            9.3 billion chemical services industry
            A 9.3 billion tourism industry
            7 billion financial services industry
            5 billion aeroservice industry
            4.5 billion pound whisky exports industry
            3.1 billion pound life sciences industry
            Scotland still has 350 million pounds worth of textile exports
            Gold– one working mine in production last month. Second mine or gold field, found by Aberdeen University, This field has been extended to 200 square miles in Aberdeenshire

            There are very few countries in the WORLD that rival Scotland’s resources per head and in such rich diversity. We absolutely, unequivocally can be an extremely successful independent country.
            So the question should be, knowing some Countries survive on Tourism alone, why is Scotland doing so badly under Westminster rule. Hope this explains why the Westminster regime who doesn’t even like subsidising Auld Granny Smith having a spare bedroom but just loves to subsides a whole Country….Yea right

            What you need to do is explain why Scotland is such a basketcase and also explain what inspires you about a corrupt Westminster regime so much, if you can’t I can only assume you have an ulterior motive for being here.

          2. Alf Baird says:

            Jamsie,

            You question or imply that “what you are suggesting is UDI?”. Constitutionally, ‘UDI’ does not readily apply to Scotland. Scotland is one of two signatory kingdoms that constituted (and still constitutes) the ‘UK’ entity, the latter created through consent of a majority of that kingdom’s MP’s. Neither Scotland nor England were dissolved in 1707, therefore both kingdom’s still exist, they are very real constitutional entities; which further suggests that either kingdom can declare the ‘UK’ political entity or ‘union’ agreement void, and this can be done by a majority of either kingdom’s MP’s, in much the same way the ‘union’ was entered into. Scotland therefore has no need to declare its independence from any ‘superior’ entity because Scotland does not have a superior entity; Scotland IS the ‘UK’ just as much and as equally as England IS, and hence constitutes the UK, and a majority of Scotland’s MP’s representing as they do the sovereign will of the Scottish kingdom and people, can make the UK ‘union’ entity void if they so desire. In this regard Scotland is already to all intents and purposes an independent sovereign nation and kingdom which has merely joined in and created a political and administrative ‘union’ with another independent sovereign nation and kingdom, England. Westminster is, again ‘merely’, or even simply an agreed place where the (now democratically elected) representatives of both sovereign kingdoms and peoples meet, until such times as they decide otherwise, which hopefully may be sooner rather than later.

            You also refer to: “Catalonia2 perhaps?” Well, I don’t think the above reflects at all the situation in Catalonia; the UK is a joint venture ‘union’ between two sovereign kingdoms both of which still exist, a ‘union’ which may be dissolved by either, whereas Spain is not merely an agreement between two sovereign kingdoms and peoples and therefore cannot be undone in the same manner.

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