Routes to Independence Six: Escaping From England’s Attic

‘England’, wrote Robert Tombs in his celebratory tome The English and Their History, ‘is a rambling old property with ancient foundations, a large Victorian extension, a Sixties garage and some annoying leaks and drafts balancing its period charm.’ One key point this Cambridge professor carelessly omitted to mention in his structural survey is that England also has an attic. It’s called Scotland.

How else to define a spacious, sometimes freezing, upper adjunct used primarily to stuff away dangerous and unsightly objects and substances at a safely distance from the posh living quarters down below. Somewhere you locate oil and water tanks to keep the house ticking over comfortably.

Somewhere also generally out of sight and out of mind, except on those rare occasions when disturbing sounds seem to be coming from it – or ferocious storms threaten to blow the whole roof off. A neat summary of the essential nature of Anglo-Scottish relations since the 1960s, wouldn’t you agree?

What this means in practice is that Scotland served for several decades as the primary dumping site for the UK’s nuclear waste and remains, chillingly, the UK’s number one nuclear war target. What it also means is that this unblessed plot will almost always be a mere afterthought at the Palace of Westminster. Since the ink dried on the Treaty of Union, the British state has been, in the words of the historian Rosalind Mitchison, “ignorant of and indifferent to the problems of Scotland” – except at moments of crisis.

Such will remain our collective fate until and unless we, the Scottish people, create a real crisis by signalling, with absolutely no ambiguity, that we’re finished with a defence and foreign policy founded on post-imperial delusions of grandeur – delusions which have only ballooned since the referendum endorsement of Brexit.
By taking full responsibility for its external relations, Scotland would be able to adopt a dramatically different approach, shaping a more positive and peaceful future for ourselves and our neighbours. We might even come to serve as an inspiration to other states around the world.

Obtaining a clear mandate for all this can only come about if we put as much passion into discrediting the warfare state as has been put into defending the welfare state north of the Border. To be clear, advocates of self-determination need to raise their game by not just concentrating on a significant degree of focus from bread-and-butter domestic issues, but equally on defence and foreign affairs. Geopolitics as much as politics.

When we dare to doorstep our compatriots with that proposition, we will be knocking, I suspect, on quite a few open doors. More and more people in Scotland sense that winter is coming.
We all watch the nightly news and can only be increasingly unnerved by the growing sabre-rattling in both Washington and Moscow. A belligerence increasingly matched, if less perceptibly, in Paris and Beijing.

The news has been particularly unnerving of late following Trump’s threat to rip up the non-proliferation treaty on intermediate nuclear forces with Russia. It did so after warning Vladimir Putin that the Kremlin had been found to be in material breach of this concordat through testing a mobile ground-based missile system.

Suspending the first treaty to abolish a whole class of nuclear weaponry – it led to the decommissioning of Cruise missiles with a range of 300 and 3,300 miles – already signals (if anyone were still in any doubt) that a New Cold War is well underway. Especially since this belligerent move is backed by Nato.

In an unsettling new era of strongmen leaders, even President Macron has struck a macho stance by pushing for the fast formation of a “true European army”. France’s enigmatic President is invoking the threat from Trump, as much as from Putin, to overcome foot-dragging on a defence union by other EU member states, telling Europe1 Radio: “We have to protect ourselves with respect to China, Russia and even the United States of America.”

Those who still fantasise that (continued or renewed) membership of the EU would be certain to keep Scotland snug and safe in a peaceful and progressive comity of European nations should mark this unprecedented rhetoric from Macron. He is clearly determined to succeed Angela Merkel as the supreme leader of the Union or even become the new Charlemagne who resurrect the Holy Roman Empire.

French belligerency was also indicated by France’s defence secretary Florence Parly publicly declaring recently: “Cyber war has begun.” And she said the French military will use its “cyber arms as all other traditional weapons… to respond and attack.”

Meanwhile, China is swiftly expanding their nuclear arsenals. One reason for America scrapping the INF Treaty, America would be freed up to counter more effectively this threat. Americans’ upping of the anti against Putin’s regime could well be a pretext for the Pentagon to muscle flex more in the Pacific.

Another disturbing geopolitical development, as is the Trump administration’s cooling of commitment to Nato. All somewhat embarrassing for the current SNP, given the faith they have controversially placed in this nuclear-armed alliance since 2012.

In advance of the knife-edge debate on this vexed topic at the party’s conference, then defence spokesman Angus Robertson toured the nation’s TV studios to assert that Nato membership – divested of Trident subs based at the mouth of the Clyde, of course – would “take us through the geostrategic challenges we face in northern Europe together with our regional neighbours (such as) Norway, Denmark, Iceland”.

Strangely, Robertson omitted to mention that our nearest neighbour has survived perfectly well since it broke away from London rule. Ireland has done this by navigating, not just a non-nuclear but a neutral and non-aligned pathway. While it has admittedly felt compelled to sign up to the EU’s PfP (Partnership for Peace), no serious politician in Dublin would dare suggest ending neutrality or joining Nato.

Perhaps inspired by Ireland’s example, the sole intellectual ever to grace the SNP’s benches at Holyrood, historian Christopher Harvie, has correctly argued: “The prospect of removing abhorrent weapons of mass destruction from Scottish waters is a hugely compelling argument for independence; membership of an outdated, dangerous club is not.”

Deep in our psyches and souls we all know that all forms of militarism always end tragically. As Hegel so depressingly observed, ‘we learn from history that we do not learn from history.’
With the storm clouds gathering again across much of the globe, we should heed these wise words of Eamon de Valera, delivered to the League of Nations assembly in 1936: “Peace is dependent upon the will of the great states. All the small states can do, if the statesmen of the greater states fail in their duty, is resolutely to determine that they will not become the tools of any great power and that they will resist with whatever strength they may possess every attempt to force them into a war against their will.”

In Scotland’s case, attaining the freedom to adopt such a peaceful and constructive posture will require rapid consciousness-raising among our compatriots, such as the (unfairly demonised) Dev pursued when he dominated the Irish Free State.

Impressively, the Alt-Nat media (ably led by Bella Caledonia and The Ferret) have admirably taken on that task. But – and it’s a big But – creating and constructing a Scottish Free State will require something over and above this. True statesmanship. That is the one and only route to true independence. And it can only be demonstrated through convincing and charismatic leadership of the pro-independence movement.

If we embark with full determination down such an audacious geopolitical route, let none of us underestimate how dauting and dangerous is the task ahead. The British establishment may have declared that it no longer has any selfish or strategic interest in Northern Ireland, but the warfare state will do everything in its awesome power – perhaps even wage another dirty war – to keep Britain in the nuclear club.

Anyone who presents a real and present danger to the UK’s status as a permanent member of the UN Security Council should prepare to become, potentially, the victim of a vicious smear campaign – or meet an even grimmer fate.

Never underestimate the dark arts of the British state. Always remember Will McRae.

Mark also the creepy warning uttered by a staunch Unionist academic in Frederic Lindsay’s intelligent thriller Brond: “The independence some people in Scotland claim to hanker after is just a no-go option from a strategic point of view. They want to forget about their poets and history and stuff and just get out a big map and catch up on the geography. This is a useful piece of real estate.”

In other words, England wants to keep its attic.

Comments (39)

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  1. squigglypen says:

    Excellent article…keep going….now how to get rid of the annoying little foreign parasites who seem to think The Holy Lamb walked on their green and pleasant land..and couldn’t care less about our bonnie land a nuclear wasteland…why did they put the nuclear weapons where they did ? Couldn’t find anywhere that didn’t have a large population nearby and deepwater facilities….. except Scotland. Ever heard of Glasgow not a stone’s throw away from the unholy loch….

    I saw a photo of the nuclear lorries that transport missiles broken down outside one of our primary schools where oor weans were playing
    outside during break..only feet away…..think on that…

    1. Rob Brown says:

      Thanks for your kind comments. The BBC documentary A Very British Deterrent revealed recently how Harold MacMillan, fearing political fallout, would have much preferred Polaris to be based on the banks of Lich Linnhe since the population of Fort William was far smaller than that of Glasgow. But President Eisenhower insisted that it should be close to Prestwick Airport. Hence the Holy Loch.

  2. Lorna Campbell says:

    I am totally opposed to nuclear weapons and I’m none too happy with NATO either, but there is no way we are going to get rid of these things if we don’t even join the club. Personally, I can see no other way to try and rid ourselves of them, because, as technology becomes ever more streamlined, accurate and far-reaching, and the bases do not require to be sited everywhere, we have a better chance of getting rid of them. I’m less sure that the Americans would insist we keep them, even though they would breach any maritime agreement at will, I have no doubt, than I am that the insanity of imperialist revival would prompt the UK to ‘insist’ that we keep them. Sweden, although a member of NATO is non-nuclear, but it didn’t really help, did it, when the ‘Russian’ nuclear subs which were said to have penetrated their defences a few decades ago, turned out to have been American subs, entering a friendly state’s waters illegally, so nothing is going to help us except ourselves. Ireland is left clear because of the partition situation there: just imagine if a nuclear missile struck Eire? NI would go up in a puff of smoke, too, and the UK would be dragged into nuclear conflict. If unification ever takes place, even a NATO-free, All-Ireland had best look to its neutrality, too. It’s fine and dandy being high-brow and intellectual, but, when the people you have to treat with are decidedly low-brow and utterly self-interested, it is sometimes necessary to get down and dirty. Scotland is in the unfortunate position of having so many natural advantages – which are always a draw for the unscrupulous, greedy and amoral imperialists who want to suck her marrow.

    I was deeply disappointed when the SNP did not as much as even mention Willie McRae recently, after a former nurse had corroborated his brother’s evidence that the bullet-hole was in the back of his head. As a doctor himself, Fergus McRae must have been very aware what that meant, and was probably extremely frightened for his family and himself if he spoke out. I don’t blame him at all for keeping a low profile. Maybe things haven’t changed much in the political and nuclear arenas.

    When I watched the capture of Saddam, and, later, the same of Gaddafi, I could not but notice the utter bewilderment on their faces. To me, both said: we were your friends once; you armed us and backed us. What did we do wrong.? Apart from being two monsters created by the West who terrorized their own peoples, they had made moves that were construed by the West to be inimical to their strategic interests: oil and military/industrial footholds. Venezuela, beware. Scotland beware.

    1. Redgauntlet says:

      Lorna

      Surely it is crystal clear by now given the SNP’s never ending theatrics in Westminster and zero real action on the ground in Scotland, that the only way Scotland will become independent, through a referendum or by other means, is if YES activist groups start going on full activism mode very soon. The date I would pick is March 29th at 11.00 pm… that would be my response to the end of the Brexit farce. The start of a huge civic campaign in Scotland for indie ref II.

      Too many of the SNP big fish have a stake in the British political system to kick up a fuss, there is probably a lot of division in the party too, they are cagey and cautious and don’t want to risk their careers and big pay cheques.

      If YES goes on full activism mode, something will happen. For sure…

    2. Rob Brown says:

      Yes Lorna, states can be the coldest of cold monsters, as Nietzsche observed – especially imperial and neo-imperial states, he might have added. But sometimes even the most evil empires are overcome and broken up. We should never allow ourselves to be completely spooked out by their spooks.

      1. Lorna Campbell says:

        I agree, Redgauntlet and Mr Brown. The former Soviet Empire is the perfect example.

  3. florian albert says:

    Rob Brown quotes De Valera in 1936 insisting on the right of small nations not to be forced into war. As is well known, De Valera’s resolution was put to the test three years later. He insisted that the Free State should remain neutral in what became World War 2. Thus, De Valera chose not to participate in the war to destroy Hitlerism; the most violently aggressive dictatorship of the 20th Century.
    When Hitler was defeated, those who had stood against him spoke of their ‘Finest Hour.’ I do not think this phrase is much used in Ireland, Switzerland or Sweden to describe those years. When the war ended, 4,000 Jews in Ireland remained alive. At the Wansee Conference in Berlin in January 1942, they had been marked down for murder.
    I wonder whether these people felt more gratitude to De Valera or to Churchill. My guess would be the latter.
    There are costs to neutrality and these can include moral costs.

    1. Rob Brown says:

      Ireland’s current Taoiseach would disagree with you – and he leads Fine Gael rather than Fianna Fail (the party de Valera founded). Leo Varadkar recently described Dev’s achievement in keeping Ireland neutral in the Second World War as “probably his finest hour”. By pursuing a neutral path, Dev affirmed the Free State’s sovereignty even in the face of considerable hardships and threats, according to the present premier (and several of Ireland’s pre-eminent modern historians). There is also evidence that Dublin offered clandestine support to the British despite the neutral stance during what the Irish officially termed the Emergency rather than World War II.

      1. Lorna Campbell says:

        I agree, Mr Brown, that De Valera did, indeed, play a blinder in WW II, and saved his Jewish population from genocide, and I appreciate that he did help the British clandestinely, as well as allow his people the freedom to enlist in the British Armed Forces, if they chose, as individuals, rather than as representatives of Eire (we must also note that Churchill offered him NI on a plate, betraying the Protestants of the North, but needs must when the Devil drives, one must accept sometimes). The thing is that Ireland has never had nuclear weapons on its soil, but we have. That is the very crux of the matter: getting them off Scottish soil as soon as possible. The whole necessity argument for them is now a moot point, with the range of these beasts, from both land bases and subs, now massively increased so that America can reach all the major Russian cities and ports, as well as many of the Chinese ones, too, without having to leave American soil. There is something very attractive to the megalomaniac mind, however, in ensuring that everyone else goes out with you, so it is a game we’d have to play very cleverly. Iceland, a non-nuclear state, has almost more Americans based there than Icelanders themselves, and it has been hinted that their allies might actually have been using their huge facilities for the transport of nuclear weapons, breaching Icelandic treaties. Germany, too, has been forced to accept nuclear weapons on its soil.

        The SNP does appear to be overly-cautious about many aspects of independence, but I think, as well as gearing up for another campaign, we have to give them the benefit of the doubt until we no longer can. I am a member, and I have a sore heart right now about some of the events that have been happening. One thing is fairly certain: perhaps you can, but I cannot think of any country that gained its independence via a movement, without political leadership and representation.

        1. Derek says:

          “in ensuring that everyone else goes out with you”

          …and I quote…

          “…We will all go together when we go, all suffused with an incandescent glow, when the air becomes uraneous, we will all go simultaneous…”

          A prophet as always, Tom Lehrer!

      2. florian albert says:

        Rob Brown

        I am not convinced of Leo Varadkar as a character witness. He strikes me as over-promoted. We have had a couple like him as First Minister. His belligerent stance of Brexit is likely to backfire on him and – more importantly – on Ireland.
        There is indeed a mountain of evidence of clandestine support for the Allies from the Free State. The problem is that de Valera was promoting his neutrality as a moral stance. Does this provide a template for a future, independent Scotland’s diplomacy; talking piously of neutrality while clandestinely taking sides ?

        1. What on earth is Leo Varadkar’s “beligerent stance” on Brexit? (!)

          1. florian albert says:

            When, as happened recently on Newsnight, even Micheal Martin – the leader of ‘Fianna Fail, the Republican Party’ – told Leo Varadkar that his language was ‘not helpful’, you know that a line has been crossed.

            Varadkar is a novice politician. He wants to be seen to be standing up for Ireland. Fair enough, but there are a number of down sides to this.
            1 It provokes an identical response from the DUP.
            2 It antagonizes UK unnecessarily. If there is a ‘hard Brexit’, Ireland has a lot to lose.
            3 The EU is delighted to have Varadkar on board today. Less than a decade ago, the EU was part of the Troika which, just about, took over running the Irish economy to make sure that Ireland paid its debts. The behaviour of the EU was very similar to that of Britain in the early 20th century when Egypt had problems paying its debts. The EU (rightly) resents Ireland’s status as a tax haven. The EU will prove a very fickle friend to Leo.

        2. Lorna Campbell says:

          Eh? The Irish PM has no choice but to press his country’s case, Mr Albert. Eire never asked for this in the same way that we didn’t, but Eire is not part of the UK any longer. I see that, today, there is a hint that Eire might sue the UK. That should concentrate minds. Your reply betrays a total lack of appreciation of the rights of others: in fact, it is decidedly imperialistic and utterly lacking in empathy.

    2. Andy S says:

      Well said. One might also point out the collaboration between the IRA and the Nazis and the hostility shown by the Irish state to those brave Irish men and women who did join in the fight against genocidal fascism.

  4. Alf Baird says:

    This is one of the best articles I have read on the independence challenge in a long time. The crux of the matter, aside from the “dark arts of the British state”, is surely this:

    “…creating and constructing a Scottish Free State will require …… True statesmanship. That is the one and only route to true independence. And it can only be demonstrated through convincing and charismatic leadership of the pro-independence movement.”

    Scotland must find such a leader.

    1. Rob Brown says:

      Thank you for your kind comments, Alf. Personally, I have no doubt such a leader is destined to emerge. As Jackie Kennedy famously observed, Scotland is not a lost cause but simply a cause unwon. Don’t despair as the cause will be won in the not-too-distant future.

      1. David Allan says:

        “I have no doubt such a leader is destined to emerge”

        Rob are you hiding some inside knowledge , have you come across someone with the potential to fulfill this role?

        This piece has been a pleasure to read . Welldone Rob Brown.

  5. MBC says:

    I’m well aware of this. What are your suggestions?

  6. Redgauntlet says:

    It’s important to remember that, when the Union of 1707 was signed with England, it was known back at the time as “Incorporating Union” and it was not the only kind of Union being discussed.

    There were Scots who were in favour of a political union with England, but not one which removed the Scottish Parliament, most famously Andrew Fletcher “the Patriot” as he was known.

    Fletcher believed in a union with England which was roughly what we would call Federalism today. He was truly appalled by the idea of “incorporating Union”, rightly so, because it removed the will of the Scottish people from the political equation on almost every matter, Scottish MPs ALWAYS being outnumbered by English MPs in London, as they are today.

    Remember too, that back in 1707, the power of the State over the lives of individuals was tiny in comparison to today. A Scot back in 1707 would barely travel, would be educated by the Kirk and would live in a local community beholden to some factor and aristocrat or land owner. There were no hospitals or schools to run, no social security – except as provided by the Kirk – no bureaucracy to speak of, no police, no nurses doctors and teachers. Little industry to regulate, no work inspectors and no labour laws, much less environmental laws or nuclear submarines.

    So when the Union was passed, most Scots probably didn’t notice much difference in their everyday lives.

    Fletcher the patriot, though, on hearing the news, got on on his horse, absolutely furious, and vowed to leave the country, shouting out that Scotland was “a land fit only for slaves”…

    His words ring down the centuries. Scotland today is a land fit only for slaves…

    The Brexit fiasco has revealed that the Scottish Parliament has no real Constitutional status. It was designed by that parcel of rogues, Blair, Darling and Brown, in such a way that It can be overruled by London at Westminster’s whim.

    In effect, English voters get to decide what happens in Scotland, on almost every single major issue. What kind of a country can allow for a situation like that?

    This is not the case with, for example, the Catalan Parliament, the existence of which is guaranteed by the Spanish Constitution, which it takes a two thirds majority to change in the Spanish Parliament.

    The SNP’s response to that is to make some fine speeches in Westminster and little else. Oh, Angus Robertson, one of our better MPs who unfortunately lost his seat, decides to set up a private thinktank or consultancy firm and court the Scottish bourgeoisie.

    This is likely to achieve nothing of significance, though it wouldn’t surprise me if Robertson gets commissioned some study by some Scottish govt quango, just like Andrew Wilson was.

    The answer to our deplorable situation has to be the start of a mass civic movement to awake the consciousness of the Scottish people. They have been subjected to a humiliating Union with a bullying colonial power for more than 300 years.

    The Scottish people have absolutely every right to feel angry and abused for the way they have been treated by colonial, bullying arrogant England.

    The YES campaign ought to set in motion the process whereby a a leadership team is democratically elected by YES activists, with a view to immediately drawing up plans plans to begin the next referendum campaign…

    The way our country is being treated constitutes a democratic scandal before the eyes of 500 million Europeans.

    We shouldn’t be waiting around for the SNP to do anything. We need to do this ourselves… because we, the Scottish people, are sovereign. Not the SNP.

    1. Lorna Campbell says:

      I think the Scottish people who have been willing to listen or who have discovered your truths for themselves are with us; it is those who will not listen or who have some vested interest in remaining within the Union who do not want to listen. Open-minded people always listen, even if it is not what they want to hear; closed-minded people need to retain their closed minds or it all falls apart for them because they have no answers. That is why, personally, I have always favoured the demolition of the supports and struts that support the Union itself, and they require to be deconstructed and laid low by way of the Union itself: the Treaty. The international, legal and UN routes are also available and can be run parallel with the political campaign. I think they must.

  7. Alistair MacKichan says:

    Great article, full of cogent summary of our situation. Westminster will resist IndyRef2, and probably stop it. If it goes forward they will massively influence it (as last time), and if it succeeds they will impose the equivalent of martial law on Scotland. We are not going to be allowed to be upstarts, and they will flatten us with a lead fist. The warnings of this in the article all ring true, but there is a suggestion that we could be inspired and led to Independence. Puigdemont went into exile once Madrid started to put tanks on the streets of Barcelona, for he was not willing for the bloodshed that would have followed in Catalonia. That whole development was a case study for us. Europe supported Madrid, and they will support Westminster I believe, even after a Brexit, and even if Scotland, foolishly, takes membership in a changing and troubled EU. Scotland will have no powerful friends, and will not make it alone. I do not see Independence in the twenty first century, except for a ravaged wasteland. The article’s thesis, that we can be led by a Wallace once again, is just not joined up thinking. We need to stay in Westminster and line up Mhair Blacks to erode and extinguish the era of capitalist elitism that rules there, then we can go for Inde, but not before.

    1. Alf Baird says:

      Alistair, on the contrary I believe the democratically elected majority of Scotland’s MP’s should withdraw themselves and also seek to withdraw Scotland from Westminster and our joint UK union, and that majority should use Scotland’s sovereignty to revoke the Treaty of Union as it was established, and that the other majority of Scotland’s democratically elected representatives sitting in the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh should vote to ratify that decision. That is what I would call leadership. I believe such a strategy also stacks up legally and constitutionally and why would it not? Then we can have a national election in Scotland to decide anything else we want to decide. Meanwhile the world will be watching Scotland assert its own sovereignty, peacefully, democratically, justifiably in terms of Brexit, and in its just Cause. What any neighbouring country does is up to them, though at least we know what we might expect – and that would reflect on them more than it would on us Scots. Another referendum is clearly not an option which means Scotland does not have any other choice in the matter now. Rob Brown is right, Scotland needs leadership, but especially it needs leadership from those who have put themselves forward to be elected as Scotland’s leaders, and if they are not up to the task then they should move aside and let others who are, lead.

      1. Alex M says:

        Alf Baird
        I agree totally with you. With less than 10% of seats in Westminster, we are mere spectators there. It is absurd that first we should ask the essentially English Parliament for permission to hold a referendum, and then if we can win it against their lies, propaganda, and threats, submit to them setting the agenda for separation.
        Holyrood is demonstrably more democratic than Westminster. We can never get a fair settlement if we concede authority to Westminster. We simply must do this through a revocation of the Treaty (Articles) of Union, and the application of International Law to a settlement agreement. Unquestioning acceptance of the Scotland Act is a position of subservience.

        1. Alf Baird says:

          Yes Alex, I agree the indyref2 cheerleaders have never thought things through in the sense that 600 MP’s from other countries would get to determine what an independent Scotland looks like (not pretty I would think), assuming they even accept any Yes vote, however unlikely that may be. Yet meantime if we want another breach of the Treaty of Union for Scotland’s nationalist majorities of MP’s and MSP’s to use to withdraw Scotland from the UK, the Northern Ireland ‘backstop’ seems rather timely:

          ART VI, ToU, “Regulations of Trade, Duties, &c.
          That all parts of the United Kingdom for ever from and after the Union shall have the same Allowances Encouragements and Drawbacks and be under the same prohibitions restrictions and regulations of Trade and liable to the same Customs and Duties on Import and Export And that the Allowances Encouragements and Drawbacks prohibitions restrictions and regulations of Trade and the Customs and Duties on Import and Export settled in England when the Union commences shall from and after the Union take place throughout the whole United Kingdom “

  8. Redgauntlet says:

    It’s one thing to have your country taken away from you, your nation reduced to a bunch of cliches you could buy in one of those tartan tourist shops which now disfigure much of Edinburgh centre, an ancient nation emasculated politically, relegated culturally to an arts venue for REAL COUNTRIES as opposed to pretendy ones, and mainly forgotten by the rest of the world as a country in its own right….

    And this at an unprecedented time for the small nations of Europe. This is the golden age of the small European nation, times of peace and relative prosperity. Independence was never more achievable than in the last 40 years.

    But for me, personally, it’s quite another thing that not only do the Unionist bastars steal your country, they also block your escape route out of Unionist, class ridden horrible nasty racist Britain, by removing your European rights too.

    Leaving Scotland and going to Europe – and America – was always the alternative to ghastly, horrible class infested London for the ambitious Scot.

    But now they have taken that away from us as well…

    It is utterly heartbreaking and totally unforgivable…

    I will never ever forgive England or the Sottish Unionist liars who stole 18/9/14 from the people of Scotland with their pathological lies about our EU status.

    If I were to come across Alasdair Darling or Gordon Brown on an Edinburgh street, I would have to cross the road, because if I stayed on the same side as them, I would have to fight back a real physical urge to lay hands on them…

    Two men who held great power and great responsibility, who abused that power and lied to their own people with their English paymasters. Brown and Darling should both be run out of Scotland…

    1. Willie says:

      Yes Red Gauntlet the escape routes are being withdrawn, and like the 1930s Jews in Germany, people will soon like them, wish they had fled when they could.

      Austerity, the removal of social protections, the hostile environment, totalitarian surveillance, the doubling of the prison estate, martial law provisioning – it’s all in place.

  9. Blair says:

    Excellent article. On a separate note, political power at a local government level has been to the detriment of the people. Christina has flagged up a problem in Aberdeen City where the Lord Provost holds too much power and recommends a return to pre 1973 times when the roles of Lord Provost and Lord Lieutenant were separate.
    I have personally emailed Aberdeen City Council’s Chief Executive asking for Today’s councillors to consider.
    While many of Bella’s readers may wonder why, it is significant that we restablish this particular separate communication path with and via the Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire.
    If you live in Aberdeen Christina needs your support input via your Councillor.
    While writing about Scotland’s independence on Bella’s platform helps we need to reach out to change opinions and show the rest. All that is needed is an email to your Councillor.
    21st century grassroots action.

  10. BCNScot says:

    Hi Redgauntlet,

    Do you have a blog or anything? I´m a frequent visitor to this website (although don´t really comment) & always look for your contributions as they´re consistently brilliant!

    If so I´d love to read it…

    1. Blair says:

      I too am interested. #Indyref2 The way to beat the English is by intelligently using the Alphabet in cyber space.

    2. Redgauntlet says:

      Thanks very much BCNScot. It’s great to hear that my comments chime with you.

      I don’t have a blog. I don’t really have the time or the commitment for that.

      Plus, Bella is where it is all happening. It is the best place on the Scottish blogosphere for debate by a mile…

  11. john burrows says:

    For the past three hundred years, the attic is where England has sourced its toy soldiers. Wales and Ireland passing as the spare cupboards.

    Scots ,more often than not, were the tip of the spear in England’s ‘adventures.’ Doing most of the dying and winning their victories for them. Quebec, Assaye, Waterloo and Balaclava to list just a few. The vaunted British Empire only came about after they put a red jacket atop a kilt.

    Young Scotsmen lie dead in a thousand unmarked fields, having served the interests of a grasping English ruling class and its Scottish factors. We have been nothing more than a useful supply of lead stoppers for them. The same for Ireland and Wales. The fiction of the “Glorious British Empire” and the “Precious Union” makes me want to puke.

    There are already too many memorials to our dead sons dotting the hills, glens and town centres of this land. Insult and injury has been our only reward for serving England’s ambition. In Scotland at least, the ‘Butchers Apron’ is a well deserved moniker for their flag.

    The Scottish Defence Force should have only one charge laid upon it – Scotland. We should avoid all foreign entanglements, with the single exception of peacekeeping.

  12. Lorna Campbell says:

    There is something I would wish to say about many political sites: it is that females’ comments are, whilst not being ignored or poo-pooed unnecessarily, and some males are very appreciative, never appear to hold the same authority (if that’s the right term – perhaps not) as the males’ posts. I have noticed this on numerous occasions. I, or some other woman, has commented, with cogent points (well we think so) and, later, sometimes only minutes later, or days or weeks later, a man offers the same points, and he is lauded as a ‘genius’. Now, whilst I hope that I am not some kind of megalomaniac – I don’t think I am, just a very politically aware female anorak – and whilst I am not looking for plaudits, honest injun – I do hope that this is not a symptom of what might , in time, become a feature of an independent Scotland in that equality and parity are sacrificed on the altar of having to find our feet. So many revolutions across the world have not only devoured their own children, but their own women, too. I often feel that silencing us, or ensuring that we stay in the background scrubbing out the manky sink and washing the minging nappies takes precedence over everything else, even in the 21st century. Not that I would say that about this site, mind you…

    Just trying to prove that women have a sense of humour, too, chaps, even if many of you don’t think so. We also share your penchant for the bon mot. On we go together…

    1. Alasdair Macdonald says:

      You have my support, Lorna. Scotland has been well served by its women over the centuries. In her recent book, Scotland, Her Story, Ms Rosemary Goring has attempted to report the many contributions of women to the betterment of Scotland.

      Things have changed and are moving in the right direction, but, it is still too much the case that half the population still has some advantages, because of their anatomy.

      Witty women are the real betes noir of the misogynist.

      PS. Mr Brown, this is an excellent article, so I will put down your previous article to an aberration of hackery! All the best!!

  13. Alastair Grant says:

    Genuine question here. When Scotland exits the union, will England then repatriate all Scots living and working in RUK who earn less than £30,000?
    There must be a huge number.

  14. Block says:

    If you come to my doorstep I’ll ask you what the currency of independent Scotland will be, and how you propose to deal with the economic crisis that would be brought on by the double-digit contraction in the size of the Scottish economy between a Yes vote and Independence Day.

    1. Alastair Grant says:

      If England were to decide to leave the union, would they be allowed to keep the pound?
      Remember the title “Bank of England” is a misnomer. It should really be the bank of either Britain or United Kingdom. The United Kingdom consists of an equal partnership of the two kingdoms of Scotland and England, and thus both nations/kingdoms have an equal right to the pound.
      Your assumption that Scotland’s economy would shrink and the rest of the UK’s (RUK) wouldn’t appears to come from a rather prejudiced viewpoint, and I’m sure I’m not going to be able to persuade you otherwise. However, all I suggest is you read up on the Mccrone report, and find out which part of the UK other than the southeast produces the most per head.

    2. Alf Baird says:

      Block:

      Scotland exports (goods and services) to rest-UK – £45bn
      Scotland retail spend – £106bn (almost all of which is supplied from RDC’s in England to RDC’s in Scotland)

      Scotland imports from rest-UK at least 2 times what it sells in return. Ireland is not dissimilar, and is independent, and in the € even. No need to fear Scottish independence, we’re big boys and girls, and big buyers too.

      1. Lorna Campbell says:

        You are right, Mr Baird, and, if we ceased to buy from England, they would suffer, too – perhaps not to the same extent, but they would suffer. In any case, it seems to me to be quite impossible to maintain that the UK single market relationship as it is now, not if the UK wishes to treat with other countries outside the EU, and with the EU post Brexit, would remain the same. We could find ourselves being sidelined for cheaper produce from elsewhere. Indeed, I rather think we would. As for the contraction of our economy, the reduction of Scotland to Scotlandshire, in competition with the likes of Yorkshire, Northumberland, etc., which is what the Tories plan for us, will negate the real benefits of trading in that domestic market, in any case.

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