Responding to Boris Requires Winning not Losing

In a surprise to absolutely nobody, Boris Johnson has followed the lead from Alister Jack and has refused the First Minister’s claim for a Section 30 Order.  This is of course an affront to democracy and a suppression of the right to vote and determine our future.

It is is undoubtedly disgraceful, but it is also inevitable.

Instead of turning our anger on the SNP or the Scottish Government – or coming up with wildly far-fetched fantasies about how to respond – we should make plans for a serious response.

The journalist Peter Geoghegan has written: “Boris Johnson can keep doing this for *a long* time. He doesn’t need Scottish votes and playing to an English nationalist gallery while issuing bromides about One Nation could play very well for him.”

This is unfortunately true.

The constitutional lawyers Chris McCorkindale and Aileen McHarg have written: “There are no legal short cuts … just as there is no legal right to insist upon Scotland’s independence or its competence to hold a referendum.”

This is unfortunately true.

The blogger Craig Murray has argued that we should : “…declare Independence at the earliest possible opportunity. We should recall all Scottish MPs from Westminster immediately. We should assemble all of Scotland’s MEP’s, MP’s and MSP’s in a National Assembly and declare Independence on the 700th Anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, thus emphasising the historical continuity of the Scottish state. The views and laws of London now being irrelevant, we should organise, as an Independent state, our referendum to confirm Independence, to be held in September 2020.”

This is, unfortunately, complete nonsense.

The reality is that without a legitimate legal process, or, in the face of resistance by Westminster of an overwhelming majority, it is highly unlikely that the international community would recognise an independent Scotland.

It is also true that in the absence of a majority in favour of an independence referendum, taking such unilateral action would doubtless alienate vast swathes of both the pro-independence movement and those considering joining it.

Talking of civil war, as Murray does here isn’t a functional, viable or useful contribution.

He writes: “At some stage, there is always the danger that the British government may try to react by sending in the British Army to enforce Westminster’s will. If we believe we are an independent nation, we have to be prepared to defend ourselves as an independent state should the worst happen. ”

This will play well on social media and Murray will be supported from his closest allies and the Woadus Dei – but this doesn’t and can’t play well IRL.  This is not the time to play to the crowds to excite the already convinced and hide in the bubble of saltires and confirmation-bias.

This is precisely the time to talk beyond that silo and talk to people who will be shocked and offended by Johnson’s arrogance and anti-democratic actions.

Boris is a preposterous politician who will be an abysmal Prime Minister. Brexit will be an economic disaster. The Scottish Conservatives will be routed. We need to build the case for independence and win people over. This is very possible to do.

There are people who long-ago gave up talking to and engaging with people they needed to persuade and listen to. However frustrating, the political task remains to convince people and build a majority of people in favour of independence and in favour of a referendum.

Do this and we win, fail to do this and indulge in fantasies and we lose.

Comments (151)

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  1. meg macleod says:

    Boris and his attitude will surely turn into a` bed-sore` for reasonable people.. very uncomfortable and a shift in position inevitable ..tho it may take time and patience..yes ,let us have diligent explanation and reasoning as to why Scotland thinks in a different way and has different needs and different thoughts about the future..SNP must watch their rhetoric and not alienate those they wish to persuade.Truth may speak for itsef if we throw a spotlight upon it.

  2. Iain macphail says:

    You are spot on. I always think the 1997 referendum showed the true lay lines in Scottish politics.
    Even after 18 years of Thatcher then major’s dysfunctional “bxstards” cabinet (his words), we saw 25% of Scots (actually 26%) still voted No, just to devolution.
    Thankfully circa 75% had had enough & voted yes.

    2012-14 felt like a staging post, shifting from 30% to near 50% for indy.

    Brexit is bringing people round to the 75% yes again.

    Literally the only thing that can stop that is if Boris makes a huge economic success of Brexit. But it’s clear he’s not even trying. As long as his 1% big backers are happy, Boris is happy, and the media will try to paper over the cracks down South. So the politics of 2014-19 have softened up half the 2014 No voters and the economy will cement them to Yes in 2020/21.

    That’s how I see it – and I suspect downing street appreciates it too

    1. David Allan says:

      All very well . How do we get indy when “once in a generation” is taken to mean not in Nicola’s lifetime!

      What route is going to deliver Indy if the referendum one is closed?

  3. Geoff Bush says:

    So Mike, once we’ve built a majority in favour of independence by playing nice, how do we leverage this situation to hold an independence referendum ? Request a section 30 order ?

    1. Black Rab says:

      My sentiments exactly Geoff………..whats Mike talking about?

      1. We need to win clear majority support for independence. Do you disagree?

        1. Geoff Bush says:

          I don’t disagree with the need for a clear majority , so lets say we have polls consistently showing 60% plus – my question is about how we leverage that for a referendum which is deemed to be in the gift of Westminster, and I’m still not hearing any convincing answers to that question.

          1. The argument the Unionists put out is simply removed in the face of 50+% support. How to leverage support requires dissent, protest, actions and disruption. But if we simply ‘declare indy’ we lose international support and legitimacy and alienate huge numbers of people. We know this.

    2. Its not a case of ‘being nice’ its a case of winning. We make the case undeniable.

      1. Geoff Bush says:

        Even if polls showed 90% plus for independence then a politician like Johnson could still deny an indyref “request” , so please define the level of support which would cause Johnson not to deny a request.

        1. ALa Bothwell says:

          He doesn’t seem to want to answer that.

        2. I dont think there’s a Magic Number. But I do think abandoning the goal of persuading a majority is just crazy. I’d love to hear why this is a great idea.

          1. James Mills says:

            Much as I agree with this approach , Mike , even if we get the majority of Scots supporting Independence the intransigent position of Boris and his ilk has been made clear -they will turn a deaf ear coupled with a Nelson eye to whatever we do or say ”up here ” ( to paraphrase a Labour leadership contender ).

            Can I ask – How will we know when we have a majority for Independence ? Have there been any meaningful polls recently taking the temperature of the electorate ( and can we trust the polls knowing who we are up against ?

          2. How will we know when we have a majority for Independence?

            When polls reflect that?

          3. Malky Mack says:

            The problem is in order to ascertain and confirm majority support there needs to be a poll. What would the unionists say about an opinion poll in favour of Yes?? My bet is they would say; “you can’t trust opinion polls”. Then we’re back to square one.

          4. Lorna Campbell says:

            Mike Small: Legally, neither in the UK itself, nor internationally, a referendum is not necessary for independence. Fact. All pre independence referendums in traditional democracies have been lost – in Quebec, twice Fact. Supermajorities are unnecessary and are usually obstructionist. Fact. Although the Vienna Treaty does not cover older treaties (international agreements), there are other tribunals and institutions, both UN and non-UN which do deal with old treaties.

            According to the UN Charter on self-determination, the right of a people to decide their own future path is theirs and theirs alone, and there is no corresponding right to stymie the right to self-determination, especially not by the people who have migrated to the territory, from the main entity, where the territory in question is seeking to leave the main entity. That is considered to be colonialism. Human Rights covers the deliberate prevention of a people’s right to choose their own destiny and not to have it decided by anyone else. The UK is already in serious breach of international law over the removal of the Chagos Islanders. They are not going to care a jot about empty threats from Scotland in the domestic arena and courts because British (English) constitutional law overrules everything, including devolution.

            The only recourse we have to justice is through resiling the Treaty in the international courts. Or by winning a referendum. Now, how do we get that referendum when Johnson has ruled it out – which he is legally entitled to do at least until Brexit is done and dusted (ten, twenty years?)? On the other hand, since the SNP has ruled out any other route than a referendum, how do we achieve that? Moreover, how do we overturn a 55% majority from 2014 (+ the 5% discrepancy from 45% to 50% + 1)? WE are talking here about at least four to five hundred thousand people. Granted, some have turned. How many? Let’s be generous and say fifty thousand, and let’s add on those EU voters left who are now more likely to vote YES next time. Then let’s extrapolate from the over one million who voted for Brexit: around a third were YES supporters and most, but not all of them, are likely to vote YES, though possibly all if Nicola Sturgeon promises a Norway-style deal with the EU, perhaps; that leaves two thirds of a million who were NO/Leave voters and who want us out of the EU. They will never vote for independence because they want Scotland out of the EU with the rest of the UK – let’s say, 500,000+ to be generous to ourselves?

            Taking into account that around 75% (that is, three-quarters of all rUK residents in Scotland voted NO in 2014, more than enough to augment the 47.3% of Scottish Unionists who voted NO to not only bring them over the 50% line, but right up to 55% (along with EU NO voters, at 57%) how are we going to persuade that number, that percentage to support independence? Yes, we went from a low percentage prior to 2014 to a high percentage, but, taking aboard the fact that ALL pre independence referendums in the traditional democracies has been lost, how do we turn enough NO voters to make the difference next time when we may already have reached, more or less, saturation point? We can’t, Mr Small. We simply can’t. The only way we can win a referendum is by excluding people, which, although legal internationally, is not on, and not something I would be willing to support. We have three options left: 1. we accept our fate and forget all about our independence; 2. we start an internecine conflict. Either is insupportable. Again, personally, I could not support either; 3. ergo, we have one chance and one only, outwith those two: we must seek the help of the international community and we resile the Treaty by making a case to the international court that there is no democratic way we can achieve independence; that England-as-the-UK has consistently broken the Treaty of Union; and that we are not prepared to accept this situation under international law, human rights and the UN Charter. Because this would suspend Brexit, it could be expedited in the interests of both Scotland and rUK.

          5. Mr T says:

            So if I understand Lorna’s post correctly……..the independence movement can’t persuade Scotland’s population to vote for independence, so it has to use international law to take a decision that the population doesn’t want.

          6. Geoff Bush says:

            No-one has said it is not a good idea to build support. However if you suspect (as I do) that there is no level of support – however high – that can force the UK Government to accept that the level is “undeniable” then you’d be foolish to rely on that happening

          7. actually people have explicitly abandoned this idea, though some are bit coy to stand by it

        3. Alan Bissett says:

          This is a valid line of questioning. We can build all the public support we like but at some point there needs to be a political or legal mechanism which will enable independence – or at least a referendum – otherwise what’s it all for? As Peter Geoghegan rightly points out, Boris Johnson can continue doing this for a long time. At the moment I’m hearing silence from the leadership of the SNP about what this mechanism will be, and I’m starting to suspect it’s that they simply don’t know and are stalling for time in the hope that we haven’t realised it. I mean, if we take this to the Supreme Court and they formally rule that competence for legally-binding constitutional referenda lies with Westminster alone, is that the end of it? Sturgeon has committed us to this single route and decreed all other avenues of achieving independence as bogus or improper, which we can be certain will be repeated back to us by Unionists should that route prove a dead end.

          Even supposing a popular outrage in Scotland which takes support for independence soaring in the polls, what then, when the Secretary of State has told us that they simply won’t be granting a referendum to us ever again? And while the SNP leadership are playing the long game of trying to win this popular support, and piling up mandate after mandate as the electoral cycles pass like lengthy seasons (presuming continual pro-independence majorities, of which we can cannot certain), Johnson will be trying to weaken and undermine Holyrood as an entity to the point where it no longer presents any kind of threat.

          We need a plan.

          1. WE do need a plan and we do need insurgency, but the former Ambassadors plan isn’t the plan we need.

          2. Graeme Purves says:

            Nicola Sturgeon and her team don’t have a plan. The growing realisation that we need one represents an advance.

          3. Melissa Murray says:

            I agree with Alan here. There’s been much discussion about this on Twitter. While I don’t fully condone Craig Murray’s position. We may find ourselves eventually with no alternative.
            Bottom line, is the more support we get for independence, the less likely any Westminster Government will grant a Section 30 Order. WM can’t financially afford to lose Scotland, especially in the post Brexit world. They need our resources (especially oil and gas).
            So the SNP can tell us indefinitely we need more support for indy, it makes no difference.
            We do need another plan, getting Westminster approval isn’t going to work.

          4. “the more support we get for independence, the less likely any Westminster Government will grant a Section 30 Order” – is the logic of this that we want less support?

          5. Jeel says:

            We can change the terminology for starters.

          6. Jeel says:

            We can change the terminology for starters, A.

      2. Jim Fraser says:

        Well said, Bella.

        It is not a case of ‘being nice’ or not. What is the corollary – ‘being nasty’?

        That would be juvenile.

        We are a serious country, with serious intent, and I think the First Minister rightly has that thought at the heart of her strategy thinking.

        I don’t envy her on the tricky question of timing, but if after the 2014 referendum we were consigned to playing the long game, it seems Brexit has catapulted us at least into an ‘accelerated long game’.

        And there is no substitute for persuading (or at least talking to) No voters, one at a time if necessary.

        Hard work, I know, but with Brexit the hard work just gets a bit easier – I know several No voters who have been aghast at the turn of events, having voted No with Remaining in mind.

        They are not happy.

        (By the by, some of us are going to the parliament in Edinburgh around 10:30pm on Friday 31st January to mark our being dragged out of the EU against our will. Perhaps we’ll sing We’re No Awa’ Tae Bide Awa! All welcome.)

        1. Wul says:

          To Mr. T above,

          I think Lorna’s point is that, due to the effects of colonisation, Scotland is now unable to hold a referendum that accurately reflects the wishes of people who were born and raised in Scotland.

          She has made the point in the past that, were a referendum to include only people born in Scotland, the “YES” side would have won in 2014.

          Whilst you may not agree with this line of thinking, you should be able to see that it is a frustrating situation for some native (born in Scotland) independence supporters.

          Lorna has also said that she would not support disenfranchising any groups from a future plebiscite.

  4. Alastair McIver says:

    Unfortunately, there can be no momentum for gathering support for a hypothetical referendum. The polls won’t shift until the campaign is underway. Suppose we did as you suggest, and spend the next couple of years talking to our neighbours and building support for a hypothetical referendum. Suppose this approach somehow actually works, and we get poll after poll showing an overwhelming majority in favour of holding a referendum. Suppose the next Holyrood elections produce, against all the odds, a third consecutive pro-independence majority. How will any of that compel Johnson to do it?

    1. Wul says:

      Good points Alastair,

      The presence of a “big decision time” does add impetus and energy to a campaign. And it is more difficult for people to care about something that might happen sometime in the future. Many of us are just focussed on getting to the end of the working week intact.
      That’s partly why I feel a campaign to normalise the idea of self-rule is important. Just a constant drip-drip of valid arguments in favour of autonomy. And also some exciting possibilities for the future to aspire to and dream of. (How do we see the next 30 years inside the UK panning out if nothing changes?)

      My feeling is that we should not be worried about gaining permission from Westminster. We instead build support for self rule to the point where it becomes an unstoppable force, Westminster agreeing or not. At the moment they can fall back on the “Scottish people don’t want another referendum or independence” argument ( and have it broadcast widely) Let us remove that argument entirely.

      The most poweful human motivators are fear and hope.

      We are lucky to be able to use both to build our case; there is little “hope” to be seen in a de-regulated, debt-ridden, unchained UK in thrall to Trumpism. In fact there is a lot to realistically fear. There is however a great deal to hope for in a modern, resource rich, Northern European, highly developed, independant nation of 6 million souls.

      1. Alistair MacKichan says:

        A route map from where we are now to Independence includes civil resistance in Scotland to WM impress. This route map includes the impeding of funds flowing south, and the civil resistance to defence involvements with NATO. This route includes the establishment of a separate Scottish currency, and financial institutions. It requires the disruption and cancellation of the impacts of the Barnet formula. Until we become so irksome to WM that they want to let us go, we will be held forcefully by them. There is no democracy any more, and talk of referendums is passe. Building support for Inde makes no difference. Committed Inde supporters need to enact a route map to an independent state, in every business proposal and transaction of every day. Craig Murray has the right general idea on how to play things, and Lorna Campbell above has the right international approach to winning widespread support of sister nations. For the first time ever, I am convinced Mike Small’s support for SNP is completely wrong: his reaction to Boris’ letter reveals a subservience to the status quo and the jolly merrygoround of the commercial central belt. Where is the Celtic spirit, the fire in Wallace’s cry? Yes we must be a serious nation with plodding establishment, but the paradigm shift we need is not gained from the thinking of that base. We now need some movers and shakers, and I am with Craig Murray, Lorna Campbell, and Wul’s hopes and fears too. Mike Small’s one liners at the beginning of his article are a little hysterical : I think he realises he is being backed into a corner, and is taking a defensive line. You need a day off an a hill walk Mike, a chance to see the wood from the trees.

  5. Blair Breton says:

    Johnson with this reply will produce more less votes and the more stone walling he does the more the pendulum swings towards Indy. The SNP know this and the citizens committees are a big part of the hearts and minds campaign. SNP will continue to pressure Johnson to keep saying no no no in English accents. Why should a politician from Eton and Oxford determine the destiny of Scotland? Many Scots and Sassenachs think that. Indy is coming but patience is needed.

  6. Arboreal Agenda says:

    One of the comments on Murray’s site offered something it seems to me:

    ‘I don’t think that a referendum is the answer. In my view, the SNP and Greens leadership should take the bull by the horns, and publish – asap – the manifesto for the 2021 election, which should consist solely of something along the lines “A vote for the Scottish National Party (Green Party) will be a vote to authorise the elected Scottish government to declare Scotland an independent country, and to start negotiations with Westminster for the division of assets and liabilities”.’

    This would be a brave move but one that if it worked would be very powerful indeed. If the feeling is that support for independence is becoming overwhelming then this would prove it and so surely should now be the direction of travel?

    1. Fortune favours the brave says:

      Brexit will not bite fully until after the transition period but some effects will be immediate. If not now then when?

    2. Malcolm says:

      SNP have been in power for 12 years -have had a referendum for independence which failed. The same reasons for Scottish independence fuelled the EU referendum-it succeeded (English Independence?) Now Scotland is still in Britain but out of the EU ie Britain is now independent
      No strong political figures currently opposing Nicola (Ruth Davidson showed potentially what could happen if she returns).It is getting late-enthusiasm can only be maintained for so long if a policy(independence) is not implemented-time is running out.
      Events overtake an unimplemented policy (Hospitals,Education,Alex Salmond…)If Boris comes with “Make Britain great again………

  7. Colin Wilson says:

    Using “independence” is fine as a casual term but, in purely legal terms, it’s inaccurate. Scotland isn’t a dependency or a region of England, but a partner in a political union established by an intergovernmental treaty. Seceding from this isn’t a declaration of independence in the strict sense of the word. There was a similar case when Syria seceded from the United Arab Republic, and had no difficulty in gaining international recognition.

    1. WB says:

      I agree – this point occurred to me just recently (took me a long time to get there). Scotland is an independent country, and we are entitled to rescind/re-negotiate previous agreements. If that is not the case, then England isn’t an independent country either – see how far you get with that statement South of the border.

      As far as convincing NO voters to change their mind is concerned, it would appear that, to date, we have made no impression whatsoever. There was a poll showing just over 50% support shortly before the referendum and, as far as I’m aware, that hasn’t been exceeded in any poll since, and that’s even with the absolute gift of the EU result. So presumably we are not doing the right things.

      Mostly we just talk among ourselves – that’s easy to do, it’s much more difficult to talk to NO voters. It is preferable if we can get them to come and talk to us rather than the other way round. To do that we need to talk about the things that concern them. We need to understand that some are disinclined to see anything in Scotland in a positive light, so we have to approach the discussion from a different angle. They may understand that independence is about control, but not what the implications are if we do not have control – what can be done to us without our agreement, or even being consulted – what we are not ‘allowed’ to do – that if we say we don’t want to control our own affairs, that means we’ve decided to let people somewhere else control them, that they will inevitably look to their own interests when exerting that control and will do all in their power to retain control. This not about us and them, in the sense that we would do the same if the situation was reversed. It’s not about nationality, but about basic human psychology.

      We have to explain the power that is centred in London and how that’s draining wealth from the rest of the country. We shouldn’t be too surprised if the people who make the rules end up being the main beneficiaries – this is a subject almost without end, and we should be hammering it home at every opportunity.

      We need to be more co-ordinated. For example, how about a campaign over one week with all YES hubs/street stalls/leafletting based on the question ‘Worried about US influence on the NHS?’.

      The relative chaos of the YES campaign was great fun, but it was the po-faced, focused side that won. We can still do the fun, but focus is compulsory, and we have to start fighting on our chosen territory – make the other side answer the questions.

  8. Jo says:

    Johnson’s letter has a great big lie in it. We didn’t vote on any promise made by Salmond or Sturgeon about the timescale for any later referendum. The vote was YES or NO to independence.

    Neither of them made any sort of “promise”! That is a lie and I wish someone would point that out to the eejits who keep telling it.

    The scary thing is that he’s made such a big deal of a lie in his letter, making out that Salmond and Sturgeon somehow gave some sort of legal undertaking concerning a further referendum. They did not. Both were asked their personal view at separate times and expressed an opinion, that was all. The phrases once in a lifetime/generation came up. I’m guessing I’m not alone in wishing they’d both kept their views to themselves.

    1. Wul says:

      Yes, this bothers me too Jo. I don’t understand why it isn’t challenged head on by Nicola Sturgeon. Where is this “promise” recorded? What legal or constitutional status does it have?

      Boris’s letter is very flawed and makes little sense ( of course it doesn’t need to, being a piece of theatre rather than a serious letter between national leaders).

      Why does the UK Government hold contemporaneous comments, made in interviews, by Sturgeon & Salmond in such very high regard ? They have elevated these opinions to the status of binding state treaties which trump any subsequent democratic mandates for the rest of all time. It is patent nonsense.

      PS: Sturgeon was asked about this very topic on one of the leaders’ debates but chose to downplay the issue. ( An audience member asked her; “When was this “once in a generation promise” made?”

      1. Jo says:

        Wul
        It’s infuriating. The quote “generation/lifetime” is weaponised across the board. Politicians use it, journalists… the lot. (Ian Blackford had it quoted at him today by Coburn on Politics Live!) You’d actually think it was written into the Edinburgh Agreement!

        I really want this nonsense dealt with. I’ve heard Sturgeon making the point that the Brexit vote was a material change for Scotland. They really need to challenge the way her quote and Salmond’s are being twisted. It’s gone on long enough.

        1. MBC says:

          Actually it appears in the preface by Alex Salmond to Scotland’s Future, but as an opinion, a piece of rhetoric, not as a policy position.

  9. Gray says:

    I agree Mike that its time for cool heads.
    But you say `we should make plans for a serious response`, but with respect everyone down to Noddy knew what Johnson`s response would be so surely the SNP should have already made plans. Or have they.
    This year it will be six years since the referendum and in reality what have the SNP actually done in that time to advance the cause of independence apart from react to events. They don`t seem to have a plan or strategy and one wonders what they discuss at meetings behind closed doors but I suspect its not independence,
    I have lost confidence in them as they seem to lack passion and commitment , they appear apathetic and talk in a monotone devoid of inspiration. I have been on this bus to indy for a long time but I fear the driver has lost the way.

    1. I agree on the need for more serious urgent strategising and action – the simple question here is have we abandoned the idea of persuading people for a majority for indy? For me that is not only wrong and premature but politically suicidal

      1. Mary MacCallum Sullivan says:

        We could usefully ‘take it back to the people’? Wider ‘Yes’ movement to organise a series of local discussions/assemblies with a common set of questions.
        E.g. about how we think of Scotland in light of the 1707 Treaty of Union: is Scotland a partner or a vassal state of England?
        What do you and I – local neighbours – want for Scotland and for our children and grandchildren?
        How do we feel about the attitude of the Conservative Westminster establishment to Scotland over all these years that the Scottish vote has counted for nothing?
        Etc., etc.

        Further: declare 6th April a Scottish public holiday to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath and start the discussions then as part of the ‘Yes’-organised celebrations.

    2. Jo says:

      Gray

      We need to remember that an (earlier) second referendum wasn’t on the cards until the Brexit vote happened and even after June 2016 there was hope it wouldn’t happen. We’re three and a half years on from that with all that happened in between.

      In amongst those events there are domestic chores to see to in government here in Scotland.

      In my view there are a significant number of areas where the SNP are slipping and I’m concerned about that. For the 2021 Election is now more important than ever for the SNP and I really want to see a focus on addressing these things. We know Labour’s position in Scotland is desperate but along with others they’re raising major issues at Holyrood every FMQs. Sturgeon cannot keep her eye off the ball for much longer. The QEUH debacle was scandalous, still is. The shambolic ferries disaster brought more terrible headlines. There are others. This has to stop.

      If we want to bring more people on board the SNP must not forget the basics. They are not indestructible. The plain truth is that every SNP mistake is presented in glorious technicolour in the wider media. They cannot set governing responsibly aside to focus only on independence. Complacency is death.

      Wul’s post below makes sense to me. We are wasting energy here. We should be concentrating on addressing issues Scots are worried about and showing them ideas, ways forward. We should be looking at the big problems and fixing them. Sturgeon needs to lead that instead of laughing at Rennie when he raise concerns in Holyrood about mental health services. It’s not funny. And, yes. Labour may be dying a terrible death but if Sturgeon doesn’t up her game domestically she might face worse problems in 2021! It’s one thing to want Indyref2. It’s another to win it and win it well.

      Sod Johnson. Sod Gove. Brexit isn’t “done” yet and their lies over how easy it will all be are already unraveling. They’ll keep. Urgent domestic matters here won’t.

      1. Meg says:

        This sums up my concerns.snp not showing a new way forward with clarity…and limping along as a carbon copy of Westminster..let us at least have a written proposal of how they see an indie Scotland. We will lose support for sure otherwise…and the last election I believe was positive for snp because of many reasons …look at the alternative on offer .I feel alot of folk felt pushed into snp camp ..we want them there by choice with enthusiasm

  10. Wul says:

    I don’t understand our obsession with “Indyref2”. It seems to have become an end in itself.

    Our nation can only become self-ruling when significantly more than half our population want it. Once that position is attained it becomes impossible, perhaps illegal, for the UK Govt. to deny that a vote take place. The focus on the process of obtaining a second referendum is, in my view, a time-wasting sideshow. I have little interest in it as a route to independence.

    Surely the crucial task is generating an unstoppable demand for autonomy and the benefits it could bring us and our children? It’s education we need, not endless debate and posturing about process. For one thing it is dull and boring.

    Let’s see billboards showing some of the hard facts about Scotland’s true resource base. Lets see national TV advertising showing how small countries are wealthier, better places to live. Let’s have leaflets showing how much cash we have lost subsidising the UK. Let’s get our young people fired up about living in a high wage, exporting, energy rich, modern democracy. That is an entirely winnable debate. We could easily raise £10m or more for a competent marketing campaign over the next 24 months which promoted the benefits of self governance.

    Battering our heads against Boris Johnson’s wall of bullshit is an utter waste of energy.

    1. Malcolm says:

      It seems to come down to faith in idea-independence- for the Yes versus the economy -for the No,s
      Unless the Yes can persuade on the Economy -the No,s will not buy the idea of independence
      The SNP seem very keen on being green and unco guid but not too economically convincing
      If Britain takes off after Brexit the SNP are toast but if the Economy goes belly up then their day may come
      Not a great scenario either way

      1. Lorna Campbell says:

        Malcolm: people in Scotland (and in England) have been told consistently over many, many years, that Scotland is poor and a drain on England. That kind of relentless propaganda is very efficient. The English ruling elite, supported to the hilt by the self-serving lickspittles up here who owe their allegiance to the British State (big business, landowners, establishment job holders, etc.) have ensured that this is the message that we hear all the time, subtle and not-so-subtle. That the truth is more or less the opposite means that they have to keep on refreshing this propaganda in different ways as each era unfolds. The advent of the internet and social media has made their task much more difficult, if not impossible, now, but they keep hammering away.

        No one knows what an independent Scotland would look like, but we can work out with a great measure of accuracy what it could look like, and what it could look like without England’s dead hand on its shoulder. All that anyone needs to know to arrive at the truth of the UK set-up is this: England, the biggest part has the least natural resources, the largest population and the biggest debt potential; Scotland has the most natural resources, a much smaller and containable population and far greater future potential for a debt-free existence. In between are Wales and NI, with Wales supporting the big English cities of the Midlands with water supplies. Any reasonable mind can work out why the English/British ruling elite, which has lied to its people since the Union’s inception, does not want them to know the truth about their individual situations; likewise, it is not hard to work out why Westminster desperately wants Scotland to Brexit with rUK and why there is such united opposition across all the British parties, both north and south of the border, to stymie independence. Like all reactionaries, they do not appreciate that the very actions they take are the very ones that will guarantee conflict, if they are not careful, and certainly will bring about that to which they are so opposed.

        Anyway, I really have had enough of all this. I find that I am now in despair most of the time, so I’m not going to comment again. Mr Small, a donation will be made soon, and that will be that. I will continue to support independence, of course, and march when I am able, but I have other things to do with my time than bang my head against a brick wall called ‘democracy’ when it is anything but, and few have the cojones to say so on either side of the divide.

    2. Lorna Campbell says:

      Wul: I agree; it has, indeed, become an end in itself; and the utter complacency of those who still support it sends me into a spiral of despair. There is no magical way that we can win a second indy ref even if we get it. For so many, that seems to be the thing. It is not a given, however, and another NO vote – which is as likely as not, whatever might be thought right now – would spell disaster and, I believe, propel us straight into an internecine conflict that would make the Irish Question a sideshow. No one in his or her right mind wants to see an internecine conflict, but that is more often than not what happens when a people are thwarted over and over again in what, let’s be absolutely honest here, is a perfectly legal and legitimate aspiration.

      Then, we have the nicey, nicey approach to turning NO voters. Again, I prefer honesty to delusion here: on the doorstep in 2014, I found not just an opposition to independence in many voters, but a kind of loathing that was hard to understand, as if we were deliberately stoking a division that had not existed previously. Often, I tried to explain that the SNP and the desire for independence had been a political reality for a century nearly, but it fell on deaf ears. The most common reaction I got from rUK voters was: I came up here for a nice life and how dare you rock my boat with your independence, and anyhow England bales Scotland out? With Scottish Unionists, it was usually a laugh and a sarcastic: well, good luck with that, but I’m British and the SNP is just divisive and making waves for no reason; we’re all quite happy being British, thank you.

      It seemed to me then, and still seems to me now, that those are two mindsets are not open to persuasion at all, quite the opposite. It is a totalitarian mindset that accurately reflects the pointlessness and delusions of Brexit. I know it is hard for the socialist mind to accept that working-class English people voted against their class, and own, interests, but that is what happened in England. That that mindset might not have migrated to Scotland via rUK residents is wishful thinking. However, the orthodoxy insists that we must never tell the truth about anything to do with the nihilism and DUP-like bigotry of Scottish Unionism and/or the ‘God is an Englishman’ delusions and pretensions of many rUK voters. No, we must all pretend that we are all one big, happy family. Well, if that is the case, what the hell are we trying to get independence for? Surely it is, in one sense, to get away from that Central Belt Scottish pro British Unionism that blights our society, as well as the arrogant, deluded superiority of the British State?

      Either dissolving the Treaty via Holyrood and holding a ratifying/confirmatory plebiscite after independence, or resiling the Treaty in the international courts with a legal case and, thereafter holding a ratifying/confirmatory plebiscite are now the only ways we can keep Westminster’s and Whitehall’s sticky fingers out of the process, and legitimacy is bestowed. Either of these remains a risk, of course, but no more so than a pre independence referendum which we will not get anyway, or, if we ever did, the British State would be sure to ruin our chances. Doing nothing is not an option because it will allow for the building-up of a head steam of rage and conflict. Yes, it would be great to have the vast majority of people with us, but the very set-up of the UK itself precludes any such easy option, and, in any case, all the evidence from across the world shows that, where a referendum on independence is held prior to independence, coupled with the fact that the state from which independence is being sought is a traditional democracy (the UK could just about fit that description, with a push) has shown that these referendums are lost – without exception.

      Generally, they are lost because of attitudes (even if not consciously articulated) of ‘colonialism’ and the kind of Stockholm Syndrome that seems to afflict those who believe, often erroneously, that they are the beneficiaries of state largesse, despite all evidence to the contrary. These, coupled with the undecideds, the don’t knows, the couch potatoes, the uninterested, the dead (1979), often are enough to destroy independence aspirations against all notions of natural justice and human rights.

      1. Geoff Bush says:

        Lorna – really liked your informative input in this discussion, moved my own thinking on quite a bit

  11. MBC says:

    I fear we will never get to hear how awful a Prime Minister Johnstone is or how he has broken promise after promise to the northern towns. It will be covered up by a compliant media. Likewise Brexit. He will never be outed. He will get away with it. There are ways to expose him though.

  12. Malky Mack says:

    There is an Australian solution which was out of left field but worked very nicely.

    For the last decade and more in Australia there was a huge ideological split in Australian politics around same sex marriage. Even though the Federal parliament had the power to legislate and present a bill to parliament legalising and recognising same sex couples had the right to marry. The issue crossed party lines and it was suggested that the parliament hold a conscience vote where all members of the house would vote along with their own ideological position not the party line. (In the Australian parliament it is extremely unusual for MPs to cross the floor) The ruling Liberal Party (misnomer they are actually Tories) would not sanction a conscience vote due to the very powerful Christian faction in their party. There were calls for a referendum but that was also refused and would have required all states in the federation to be unanimous in the outcome in order to amend the constitution to allow the act to gain legitimacy.

    So what did they do, they conducted a non binding postal survey/plebiscite run by the bureau of statistics. Everyone on the electoral roll (voting is compulsory in Australia so it’s a fairly complete list of the population) was sent a registered letter complete with a prepaid reply envelope and were asked the question; in favour or not in favour? There was a campaign from both sides of the debate which ran for 3 months. People filled in the forms and posted them back. The Bureau of statistics announced the survey result with more than 80% of respondents in favour of same sex marriage with a response rate of around 90%. This result was so overwhelming that the opposition collapsed and the legislation was introduced debated and passed in the house 3 days later it was then sent to the (Elected) senate for approval and then given royal assent by the Governor General (the Queen s rep in Oz) the first couple were legally married in a civil ceremony 3 months later.

    Here is an open question to all:

    Does the Scottish Parliament have the power to conduct postal surveys? Even though a positive result for Yes would hold no legal basis but a large majority for yes could not be dismissed as just an opinion poll. Please pass this on to Mike Russel if anyone knows him.

    1. Wullie says:

      Michael Gove the TV nay-sayer is worth thousands of votes!

      1. David Allan says:

        Wullie – Sadly Votes no longer count ! this SNP Gold Standard International recognition route to Indy is closed . Other ways now need to be explored.

    2. Jim says:

      A similar idea was posted on Wings. A referendum could be held asking the question ‘Do you wish there to be an independence referendum?’ There is no section 30 required for this as it is not a vote to decide the constitutional issue. However a majority for in favour would have enormous moral force and garner international recognition and support.

      I have a question for Mike and all those who say ‘just focus on persuading people..’. Nobody disputes that we need to be persuading people. But at what level do you think ‘Yes’ would be now, without the heat of the campaign in 2014? Nearer 27% or nearer 45%?

      1. Hi Jim – good question – I’m sure nearer 45% is my answer and I have no doubt we could win a campaign from a starting point of 45-55% (whatever it is).

        I’m very much in favour of a referendum was that not clear?

  13. Ian Davidson says:

    I like Nicola and Scotgov are doing a great job. Excellent managers. But not leaders sadly. Where is the oomph, buzz, zeal, vigour. We are being well managed to a bleak future. I wish there was a bit more verve and leadership.

    1. DW SCOTT says:

      All this noise over the years has given. no clear indication of HOW we can LEGALLY win independence .
      Yes other countries seem to have done it
      So……who can we copy ?

      1. David Allan says:

        As Kevin Bridges would say – CORRECT

  14. The Stroller says:

    Craig Murray is either a wee bit mad or pretty cynical and looking for clicks and funding for his blog.

    We´re not going to get anywhere by deceiving ourselves that we have enough support for UDI at the moment, such as there was in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia when the Soviet Union crumbled, which is one of the comparisons Murray reaches for. Those States were militarily occupied by the Soviet Union during WWII. How on earth can anybody take Murray seriously when he makes such outlandish comparisons?

    The Union of 1707 came about after a process of approxiamtely 100 years. It has been coming apart at the seams since at least Thatcher, so, forty years, about half that time. We may have to be patient here. This may take some time. We do need a strategy of civil activism, but talk of the British Army in Scotland is just a wee guy on his computer pretending to be a big hero.

    I would suggest the following: a) citizens assemblies and far more face to face meetings across Scotland, b) cultural pressure from Scotland’s artistic community comparable to the 80´s when we were after Devolution, c) a strategy of obstructing everything that can be obstructed in Westminster by the SNP d) an international campaign of support for Scotland’s right to remain in the EU as an independent nation, and e) an upping of the rhetoric so that we give the Tories a right shericking at every possible opportunity, f) reaching out to sympathetic friends in England and g) a national bumflash, that is, a massive demonstration in London of Scots which culminates in thousands of Scots giving the arse to Westminster Palace…

    We know how to do this, because we already did it back in the 80’s when the quest was for a Scottish Parliament which we weren´t supposed to have. We don’t need to keep doubting what London´s response will be, and getting into hypotheticals. All the polling suggests that there is no political will among the English electorate to keep Scotland in the Union, and if we go about our business calmly, with determination and intelligence, we will win independence in the very near future….

    1. Graham Ennis says:

      this is totally excellent. Well done. Bumflashes are essential.

      1. The Stroller says:

        Yep, the great Scottish national bumflash is the way to go for independence movement, I have no doubts about that at all…

        Just think, tens of thousands of Scots and New Scots, flashing their arses across the Thames at Westmintser Palace… it´s an image which will go around the world, and is a lot more Scottish and straight to the point than all those Catalans holding hands…

        I’m in….

  15. Mr T says:

    I’m middle aged, middle class and a soft No. As are most of the people I know.

    Everybody I know is dissatisfied with the UK’s trajectory. Everybody I know thinks that Scotland could, in time, be a successful independent country.

    Nobody I know thinks that the independence movement understands the complexity of / has a viable plan for the transition process (5 yrs) and the medium term difficulties (5-20 yrs). And nobody in the independence movement is talking to us about those concerns. Insisting that ‘Scotland doesn’t have a deficit’ and all the other nonsense that I see everyday is not cutting it.

    1. Alan Bissett says:

      It would be nice if some of those soft No’s started taking responsibility for the mess we are all in, and offering their own solutions on the way forwards, instead of picking apart a movement who tried over and over again to warn you about the very danger we now face.

      1. Lorna Campbell says:

        Well said, Mr Bissett. The NOs, soft or hard, have brought us to this mess we are in. Sorry, Mr T, but lots and lots of people like us were warning you what would happen, but, NO, like zombies to a flame, you just had to go and ruin it for all of us. If you want to know about the difficulties facing an independent Scotland that might make you quail, think about Brexit and how nothing – but nothing – could be worse than that for Scotland. Even the UKG itself has admitted that Scotland will suffer. Yet on you go – on and on and on – about how bad independence might be. Nobody knows. Nobody on God’s green acre knows, Mr T, what an independent Scotland will look like in the 21st century because – and this will tickle your fancy – we have never been an independent Scotland in the 21st century. What we do know is this: we have almost 90% of the UK’s fresh water; 96% of the UK’s oil, with around 60% or more of the UK’s natural gas reserves; and over 20% of renewable energy before we even start to get serious about it. Then, we have about 90% of the UK’s hydro power and over 60% of its maritime integrity. The list goes on. Few other countries are as well endowed in natural resources as we are. That is why the English ruling elite do not wish to let us go, and never will unless we take our independence. If we ever are given a S30 Order and are ‘allowed’ a second indyref, and people like you vote NO again, it will be a case of soft NO meets hard boot, metaphorically speaking, because you will not be forgiven a second time. Please pass that message on to your fellow soft and hard NOs. They are in breach of the UN Charter, in breach of the Treaty of Union and in breach of Human Rights. You, and they, are totalitarian – you know, like Stalin or other dictators. Many in the independence movement are fed up pandering to you and we are not going to for much longer.

    2. David Allan says:

      Mr T

      Take some ownership here ! the information you need is out there just make a serious and objective effort to cut through the chaff and educate yourself!

      1. Mr T says:

        I do look and I am not convinced by what I find.

        The independence movement wants constitutional change, it is up to them to communicate a convincing proposition.

        1. David Allan says:

          I do hope you will not rely on the Media as your sole source recognising it as a propaganda tool of the Unionist State .

          I hope that reading Bella comments and it’s contributions will sway your Soft Know to a Yes. Have a look at the internal politics of other small nations- look how Denmark, Iceland , Ireland, Sweden , Norway and Finland have progressed.

          Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands. Why is that concept not attractive ?

        2. duncanio says:

          The argument for independence is essentially one of democracy: Do you want the opportunity to remove a government that does not or no longer represents your viewpoint? In Scotland, presently and for a long time, we don’t have that privilege.

          If you feel an emotional attachment to the Union you will find no arguments – political, economic, social or otherwise – to weaken or break your fondness for the UK.

        3. Wul says:

          Mr T,

          I am really glad you posted here and that you read these pages. Please keep commenting and contributing.

          You say no one in the independence movement has a plan for the transition. Have you read the various, detailed policy and strategy papers produced by Common Weal? Link below:

          https://commonweal.scot/big-ideas

          You say you are “not convinced”. Can you say exactly what would convince you to support independence for Scotland? What do you and others like you need in order to feel comfortable about self-rule?

          1. Mr T says:

            Hi Wul, thank you for your welcome, which encourages me to engage much more than the instructions to ‘take some ownership’ and to ‘do my own research’.

            I have read some of the Common Weal papers and think that they are a good start.

            You asked me what would convince me. As I said in my opening post my concerns are much more about the transition rather than the end state. To that end a couple of things that would help are…

            1. A register of the apparatus of state that would need to be created from scratch or split out from the UK systems and migrated, with an estimate of cost and timescale.

            2. More detail about how Sterlingisation would work in the short – medium term.

            3. An honest assessment of the trade and economic issues that would arise by putting some sort of barrier/sand in the gears between us and our major trading partner – the rUK. And while we are on the subject of honesty please can people stop with the nonsense about whisky export taxes, us paying for London’s sewers, selling water to England etc. All of these have been debunked many times.

            Sorry if those few ideas sound dry, but I can live without independence, so I need to be reassured that it won’t have too detrimental affect in the short to medium term – in the long term I think it could be a success.

            Got to go – things to do.

        4. Lorna Campbell says:

          A convincing proposition is coming, Mr T.

          1. MBC says:

            Mr T, I’m not the Scottish government, but I think about the transition period myself a lot. Essentially we would need to reach an agreement with the rUK government for a phased transition and handover of powers, assets and institutions. This would also cover border arrangements.

            The most important thing in sovereignty is to be able to make our own laws especially our fiscal arrangements. That will be on Day 1. On Day 1, we will no longer need to follow UK fiscal arrangements but obviously to ease the transition we will carry on with them until we change them. This is the same process the UK proposes when it leaves the EU. All EU laws will be in place until they are replaced by UK ones. We will do the same. We anticipate there are many areas which with fullness of power we could make significant positive changes to our revenues and deficit which we can’t do at present because these are made in the context of UK rules. This is a major reason for seeking independence – that UK fiscal rules are not what suits us.

            We would need phasing and transfer of powers over things like Trident, defence establishments (which would fall under immediate Scottish control or joint control until they are either removed from our territory, leased from us, or bought by us, whichever we decide by negotiation). We do not want Trident nor need it, but obviously it could not be removed immediately. rUK would retain it for a period of time until they had found another harbour for it. Meanwhile they would pay us rent for keeping it on our soil. The rent may be in some other form than monetary.

            We would start by using sterling until we have our own or another currency. We would set up a central bank during this period, if we had not done so before independence. We already have something of a Treasury and a tax collection agency. If we were both outside the EU there would be no need for border controls re tariffs until either of us decided to implement them.

            We would need to set up our own military and MOD but given that there is already a Scottish Regiment, this would fall under our MOD. A joint security arrangement may be needed for other military establishments as an interim measure. I think a Scottish navy is very important. We have 80% of the UK coastline. It would revive our ship building and engineering tradition.

            Of all these things the setting up of our central bank seems to me the most important. Sterling is a fully tradable currency which any country may use, plus the Bank of England was nationalised in 1948. It is the Bank of UK they just never got round to changing the name.

            As Craig Murray says over and over, the most important thing is that other countries will recognise you, especially the ones that you are likely to have the most dealings with. These affirmative discussions need to be well advanced before independence. I surmise and would hope that these are going on at present, under the radar. If they are not, I would agree with you that we are on a no-hoper. Since these negotiations are clandestine, I can have no way of knowing, neither can you.

            I am a historian. All independence struggles end with a treaty of some sort. What it takes to get to that stage really depends on how reasonable or bloody-minded either side are.

  16. Graham Ennis says:

    The shock of seeing johnson actually keeping his word and saying no will soon wear off.
    So its time for a dose of reality. No one wants to face this, but in strict logical terms, if he continues to say no, as he will, then even if we had 100% support, he would still say no.

    That leaves a very harsh and stark choice. You give in, and give up, or you fight. The irish were forced down this route, in 1919, when an overwhelming vote for freedom resulted in a provisional Government being formed in Dublin, which existed for some months, until the london Government simply arrested and brutally imprisoned its members. Without anyone to negotiate with, the situation deteriorated, and led to the launching of armed groups who took the situation into their own hands. The IRA did not exist, as a functioning body, when this happened. got that?

    In Scotland, the refusal of a referendum means that sooner or later, Holyrood and the SNP have to accept that there will be no referendum, and continue to run a puppet Government that can be overturned at the whim of the london regime, or they have to face reality. In this case, it means extra-parliamentary opposition, outwith Holyrood, and rapid organisation of extra parliamentary groups and bodies that will protest and resist further London Control. They can hardly protest against their own Government, but there are a large number of actions, short of military violence, that can be used. Please look at Catalonia, and the actions of the Catalans. I think that the Spanish para-military actions there have been a disaster. It will inevitably lead to extended violence.

    We need to think in new and clever ways. the issue has to be constantly kept in the sight of the English public, with clear indications that we do not accept in any way the London government. For example:
    Blocking all the border crossings by Scots for several hours, to make a point. (crossing over onto the English side, of course, so that the UK is provoked into the whole thing being dealt with in the UK courts. ) Doing this on a regular basis, say every three months.
    Also, ceasing all intergovernmental scotland/England cooperation. In various ways.
    more AUOB demos.
    A mass licence strike against the BBC. (more court cases)
    Forming nationalist “Action” groups outside the SNP. to do large scale key protests, such as blockading the Faslane nuclear base, and the nuclear stations, such as Dounray. The nuclear issue would be a gift that keeps on giving. It would get very large media coverage.
    Likewise, protesting outside any military base in Scotland that does not have Scottish troops in it. likewise, blocking UK military basis, on a regular basis. All of this is non-violent, and peaceful. the only violence would be from the London regime. But this is all about creating a public consciousness, in Scotland and the rest of the UK, that this is THE issue, it will not go away, and much else. Leave the anguished hand ringing of the SNP to themselves. Leadership has now passed to the Streets, as it is plain that th Holyrood Government will only go so far. I hope that readers find this very provocative and even annoying. I am doing this, saying this, to make people think. Responses keenly awaited.

    1. Wul says:

      Geting clubbed on the head by mounted police, and a criminal record (terrorist record?) for me & my children?

      No thanks Graham.

      1. Alistair MacKichan says:

        Wul, your “No Thanks” goes to the heart of my questions. Ireland only got Inde after a willingness to resist which you do not share. I do not think that many in Scotland realise how brutal and nasty the WM regime is. If we arise in a true sense in Scotland, the boot will come crunching down on us. It is a terrible thought, and I honestly do not think we will get Inde this century without serious confrontation. The idea of negotiating our way to Inde is so many straws in the wind.

    2. Jim says:

      Absolutely the way to go. A non-stop campaign of civil dissent utilising the ideas of this post and others.
      We are being denied our democratic rights and if that is not a case for civil disobedience I don’t know what is.

    3. MBC says:

      I would like to think that we are cannier than that, but it depends on what we are up against. I think the more important thing is to build a greater public awareness of just how problematic Brexit is going to be. I like Kenny MacAskill’s idea of a big tent, but focused on how Brexit is damaging us, bringing in all civil society elements, COSLS, STUC, NHS, universities, business organisations, voluntary sector. Civil society is defined as being below the level of the government but above the level of the family. It needs to be outside of Holyrood, independent of it. We need to identify clearly what problems Brexit and Boris are causing, because the papers won’t report on it and without wide discussion we are not going to find out. You might say, that’s what the Scottish Government should be doing. But a government is top down, not grass roots up. A government tries to find out what is going on and then thinks about what to do about it. But it is not broad based. It is just guessing what it thinks is going on. A civil society movement builds consensus about what is happening more readily than a government can because it is broad based and not controlled by any one party or any party, but based on what exists on the ground.

      Then I think that will act to throw light on what has to be faced and what is being forced on us by Boris. It will identify a common front and build an opposition movement which Boris will find more difficult to resist because it will draw in key people with expertise, and then I think we could start to see real momentum towards independence and answers to the means to achieve it and implement it, especially during the transition, the question which bothers Mr T.

  17. David Allan says:

    it’s hard to see how we can ever win Indy, if the SNP even have a landslide GE Result we are still dependent on Westminster to approve a section 30. Once in a generation bla bla is going to me the continued response. The Gold Standard route needs to be ditched.

    It’s time to take much stronger action publicly appealing to the International Community the Commonwealth ,United Nations . This situation where the sovereign will of the Scottish people is persistently ignored is a fragrant abuse of democratic power .

    the SNP have been week on various fronts and now is definitely a time to consider possible much stronger responses .

    if SNP fail to appreciate the strength of feeling and convey this adequately to Bo-Jo we might as well vote Labour next time round as an SNP vote is becoming totally meaningless.

    1. Jeel says:

      The current refusal is based on numbers who voted for “Unionist Parties” at the GE.

    2. David Allan says:

      If new Labour leader is wise , support for a second Indy ref following next GE could see SNP / Indy vote for Westminster evaporate toward Labour.

      Get Tories out , get indy ref and have Scottish SNP dominated Holyrood deliver Indy through successful referendum.

      Can we wait that long?

      1. Jeel says:

        Current Labour leadership candidates are Unionist.

        1. David Allan says:

          If they are serious about winning power in Westminster they’ll realise Scot’s votes and MP’s are necessary !

          This scenario could happen.

          1. Jeel says:

            They’re Unionists first & foremost.

  18. The Stroller says:

    PS: I don’t see any reason to suddenly become critical of Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP. They are a party set up for constitutional politics, and they´ve done a good job there in representing our views I think. Of coruse, we can be critical of their record in Scotland, in fact maybe we should be, but they have delivered at every single big election over the last 10 years, and there are so many things that can go wrong in these campaigns, that it´s important not to overlook how impressive they are as political party representing the views of Scottish indie supporters. The work people like Nicola Sturgeon and Joana Cherry and so many others have put in is truly admirable.

    So, let´s not criticize the SNP, let´s think about what Scottish civic society can do to move things on. I think we can do a lot more than writing BTL on Bella and going on the odd march. I´d like far more face-to-face events, I don´t mean big rallies with the oh so familiar faces on the platform going through the same cliches over and ovr again. I mean small groups where you actually can converse with people.

    And we need to hear from the young people, and we need to talk to them. Young people are often a bit underconfident, maybe they don´t speak out, but I’m sure they have some great ideas. Also, many of them won´t know the history of Scotland or much about its culture – I certainly didn´t when I was young – so maybe we could do workshops or something, I don´t know.

    Anyway, I think we need to get out there and change Scotland. But let´s not blame the SNP for Johnson´s negative. It´s not Nicola Sturgeon´s fault.

    1. Alasdair Angus Macdonald says:

      Hear! Hear!

      We have a wide range of characters who support independence and a few can be quite volatile at times and sometimes can be quite aggressive to fellow supporters. This is to an extent, understandable, because they feel strongly about independence and, like all of us, get frustrated at times and get crabbit.

      What the Prime Minister and his colleagues are doing is playing the ‘divide-and-rule’ tactic. We need to recognise that and to start planning for the next phase. There are plenty of ideas in this thread and over the years, on this site and others, these have been set out. So, let us start organising and doing constructive things.

      1. The Stroller says:

        Will you stand cheek to cheek wi me, Alasdair, and buttock to buttock, on the windswept banks of the Thames? With the decline of our national game, we haven´t invaded Lonon toon for many years now. It´s time we got down there and reminded Johnson and the arrogant, crowing, cocksure Tories just why they had o broker a union with Scotland in the first place…

    2. Jo says:

      Stroller

      There is every reason to remind everyone that managing Scotland’s needs is of vital importance to the SNP, especially with Scottish Parliament Elections just around the corner. They cannot afford to lose any ground whatsoever.

      So if criticism is warranted, it’s warranted and, remember, any disasters are magnified by a hostile media and plastered everywhere.

      There have been major domestic disasters, that is a fact. The QEUH is a monumental one. The Sick Children’s Hospital in Edinburgh is another. The Ferries business. These things are serious. There are others. They’re being thrown at the SNP, even in the Commons never mind Holyrood! They’re being raised on politics panel programmes and used as ammunition to suggest the SNP can’t manage devolution yet want independence. We need to see a responsible approach. These things can’t be ignored. They’re important for everyone in Scotland. They are not some trivial aside.

      It’s vital to increase support for independence. The last way to go about it is to dismiss major concerns in domestic matters as trivialities.

      1. The Stroller says:

        It´s a vital aspect of a modern democracy that there be criticism of government, Jo, and the SNP govt deserve criticism on a whole number of issues, not least culture in my opinion.

        But what I´m saying is that Johnson´s No – which is what this page is about – is not Nicola Sturgeon´s fault, and people should remember Nicola will be feeling extremely aggrieved, because she has put all this work into securing an outstanding victory last month, despite the hostile press you mention, and yet she has been denied the spoils of that notable victory without even any kind of democratic process or the slightest courtesy.

        So, I would say, a thought for Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP, at least on this day. They did a fantastic job and they´ve been cheated, simply cheated by an overbearing and arrogant govt who, sooner or later, by any reading, are in for a fall.

        Look, we Scots have too negative a mentality. It´s the combination being a subjugated nation for three centuries, the dead hand of Calvanism, and the weather.

        It seems to me that Johnson has made a huge tactical blunder and that this disparaging line of argument he has taken will actually galvanize a section of Scottish society which would otherwise have been hesitant about voting for independence….

        What people shouldn’t do is tie themselves in knots trying to figure out problems which are months or years down the road and allowing defeatism to set in… I think we´ve never been in a better position to secure independence. I really think it´s an open goal now…

        1. David Allan says:

          so Stroller by which mechanism is Scotland going to achieve it’s Independence?

          1. The Stroller says:

            David, right now we´re campaigning for an independence referendum… that´s all we need to focus on for the moment I think…

            Have faith. One must have faith…

      2. Wul says:

        Jo,

        I agree with you that all governments must be held to account.

        However, I see the scandals at QEU Hospital and Edinburgh Sick Children’s hospitals as manifestations of our out-sourcing model for public works. Sub-contracting ad-infinitum leads to people who, frankly, don’t give a monkey’s, being responsible for creating vital public inftastructure. (see also PPF schools falling apart). We need better, more honest and painstaking methods of building public services.

        The Govt. of the day must be responsible for what happens within it’s purview but hospital problems are not a uniquely SNP trait. It just seems like that. England and our 10 year old Tory administration have their share of hospital cock-ups too.

        https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6566725/The-new-500m-hospital-lying-just-three-miles-Theresa-launched-NHS-plan.html

        https://www.theguardian.com/society/2019/dec/13/nhs-england-on-its-knees-as-performance-figures-hit-new-lows

        NHS in Northern Ireland is in a parlous state of near collapse as well.

  19. w.b. robertson says:

    have waded through this tedious list of brave words and fighting talk. at the end of the day/year/century? it all boils down to a clear majority of Scots voting for Indy. But first they have to be persuaded that it will mean a better life. Not expensive new hospital shambles, nor education standards declining, nor ferries being the subject of expensive cock ups, nor politicians in court. In short, Holyrood and the party must produce their evidence to convince the punters. TV pix of dyed in the wool supporters marching through town centres in the rain is not enough. And finally any future Indy referendum is doomed if the SNP still want to substitute Brussels for Westminster.

    1. The Stroller says:

      As Hugh MacDiarmid rightly noted, the biggest obstacle to independence has always been “the canny Scot” mentality which people like yourself sum up so well, Robertson…

      The question is not: will I be better off? The question is: do you want to have agency over the public affairs of the country you live in?

      Those are two different questions pertaining to two different matters, so why do so many Scots mix them up?

      I mean, it´s really, really basic. Money has got nothing to do with it. The Irish never worried about money, Ireland is more prosperous as independent country than Scotland is in the Union, why on God’s earth would Scotland not prosper like Ireland???

      It´s totally unbelievable, the canny Scot mentality…it´s just the worst thing about Scotland by a mile…

      1. The Stroller says:

        PS: Robertson, as a general forecast on the basis of the limited information available, my prediction would be that in an independent Scotland, the wealthy and affluent would be slightly worse off, and lower income Scotland would be slightly better off. Because that is what the country has been voting for during my whole lifetime, during which, there have only been two governments in London which the Scottish electorate endorsed. Two, count em…

        And if we actually make a list of things and policies which the Scots have had foisted on them by English votes, then it is really quite shocking the democratic deficit the Scots have had to put up with, like no otehr country in Europe.

        It would include Trident nuclear weapons, Margaret Thathcer, the privatization of all of our national companies including the trains, massive tax cuts for the rich, the systematic desmantelemnt of the Welfare State – a Scotish / Welsh creation – endless wars abroad in Afgahanistan, Iraq and Syria, and now, to top it all, leaving the greatest and most succesful economic union in the history of humankind…

        It is really quite flabbergasting to me that there are people who, despite the above list, reduce the matter to the question of whether they will be better or worse off as independent in the country of Adam Smith, David Hume, Robert Louis Stevenson and James Clerk Maxwell….

        1. The Stroller says:

          There is a guy I knew from when I lived in Europe called Antonio, he was a phsyics teacher at a school, and he liked his bevvy. When I told him I was Scottish he said, “Oh, Scottish! Socttish!! James Clerk Maxwell!! James Clerk Maxwell is a genius, the second greatest physicist after Einstein!!!”.

          Every time I met the guy he would talk to me about Scottish science and how much he admired James Clerk Maxwell and by extension the Scots….

          Probably, not many in Scotland know who James Clerk Maxwell was and what he is famous for… I´m afraid to say…

          Anyway, enough…

    2. Wul says:

      w.b.robertson;

      “..But first they have to be persuaded that it will mean a better life.”

      Are you saying that they will need a cast-iron guarantee that they will have more money in an iScotland? That guarantee cannot be given because none of us knows what will happen in the future.

      However, take a look at the economic and social metrics of other North European countries with populations similar to ours. They are ALL better off, have better pensions, are healthier, are happier, have less inequality, have better social & elderly care, more trust in government, more hope for the future etc. etc.

      What, in your opinion, makes Scotland uniquely doomed of all countries in the world?

      If you, yourself are very wealthy, and have made heavy use of tax avoidance to establish your wealth, then yes, you could be worse off in an iScotland.
      Your grandchildren however will be wealthier, happier and healthier and so will their friends and partners.

    3. Wul says:

      It’s a bit like making a journey from Glasgow to Inverness by car.

      I’m happy that the car has passed its MOT, the tank is full of petrol, we have a large pile of sandwiches, flask of tea, bottles of water. I’m ready to hit the road. Let’s go!

      However, 55% of my fellow Scots won’t get in the car until I absolutely guarantee there will be no traffic jams, no punctures, no engine trouble, no rain and no unforseen expenses on the trip.

      We already have everything we need to create a much better country. Even the harshest opponents of Scottish independence admit this. What more do we actually need? Yes, it’s a risk. Feel the fear and do it anyway.

    4. Alistair MacKichan says:

      I can see the time coming soon when many of us would vote against Inde in a Referendum because we would rather be the poor, subject, colonialised partners in a prospering and vibrant post-Brexit UK, than a vassal state in an increasingly autocratic EU empire with a nose-diving Euro and a perilously tense border with Russia and Iraq requiring our contributions to the European Army to soar. The direction of travel in EU is dire, and if UK plays it well, Brexit could well bring in an era of resurgent national enterprise and confidence. UK wanted out of EU for the same reasons that Scotland wants out of UK, and at the moment UK is making a better job of it than Scotland. The idea of withdrawing support from a Europhile SNP and supporting genuine Inde parties has to be weighed.

  20. Graham says:

    We are in a no win situation with getting a Section 30 for Indyref2.
    If we don’t have a majority for independence then Johnson will say there’s no appetite for Indy.
    And if we have 50%+ then he will not to give us it

  21. John Bryden says:

    15.01.2020

    Mike Small

    I do not agree with your rather negative approach on this question. Despite the wholly anticipated – and also negative – response of Boris Johnson to our First Minister’s claim for a Section 30 Order, I believe we must proceed as if we had the right to declare independence from the Union of Crowns and Parliaments given majority support for that course of action within Scotland. Whatever else this requires, and this is disputed territory, we know that it will require both support from other nations and a constitution. We also know that at some point in the possibly not too distant future, a political and constitutional crisis will arise in the UK, and that such an event will provide an opportunity for Scotland to act decisively to declare or seek its freedom.
    Let us then get down to the business of preparing a Scottish Constitution, and establishing our national allies in the quest for freedom in the face of colonial rule.
    In the inter-regnum between rule by the monarchy of Denmark and the limited rule by the monarchy of Sweden, following Denmark-Norway’s defeat in the Napoleonic Wars, the Norwegians held a constitutional assembly in 1814 that agreed a progressive national constitution. They neither sought nor obtained permission from either Denmark or Norway to do this. The resulting constitution was largely put in place, even after the Swedish monarchy was formerly ‘given’ Norway shortly afterwards. And that Constitution had a decisive effect on the subsequent economic, political and social development of the country.
    Scotland, then, must immediately revive the Constitutional Convention that had such a decisive influence on Devolution in 1999. Membership of this Convention spanned the different relevant political parties, religious and civil society organisations including Trade Unions. The remit would be to draft a new constitution for an independent Scotland.
    Such an initiative would hopefully build a consensus on some key issues across interests and political parties, and engage people in a crucial debate about what Scotland’s future political system should look like, what checks and balances between the legislative, judicial and executive branches of government should be put in place, what the division of power should be between the central and local state, and the branches of government, what the fundamental rights of citizens, residents and others (e.g. Children, refugees) should be, how minorities would be protected. The Constitution would also set out the purposes of a free Scotland in the world, the processes needed for the amendment of the constitution, and other important matters.
    Importantly, the process would engage with people and their organisations and parties in a way that Brexit has not, and would raise awareness – and interest – in the many issues involved. In other words prepare for the day ….
    I do not know – any more than most other people who are not constitutional lawyers- if Craig Murray is correct that we have a legal right to proceed on our own bat with a referendum and declare independence. Equally, I do not know whether Chris McCorkindale and Aileen McHarg are correct to argue the opposite. And I cannot tell from your article what grounds you have for favouring one argument over the other. But, whatever the typically unclear (in the UK) legal constitutional position is, I and many others believe that as a historic Nation that joined as partners in a Union of Parliaments, we surely have a moral right to depart from that Union when conditions change through no fault of our own, and in ways that damage our interests and wishes.
    Carpe diem! The time will come, and nobody can predict exactly when!

    John M Bryden
    Emeritus Professor of Human Geography
    University of Aber

    1. Graham Ennis says:

      Well, there is a good mix of ideas on here. The principle one is extra-parliamentary action, and also a constitution, (that could have been done years ago, why was it not?) and generally causing a much of a public stir as we can. action, in the streets, using the tactics of the extinction rebellion movement, would be a damn good idea. At all costs, we must start moving. action, not just words.

    2. Wul says:

      I like the idea of working on a Scottish constitution. That’s a project everyone can get involved in. The created constitution would be an aspiration for a better country as well as a prospectus for independence.

    3. David Allan says:

      Thanks John – How refreshing to see someone like yourself get involved in this conversation/debate .

      To many professionals and those in public life fail to publicly express their opinions .

      So well done you. And a great suggestion as well.

      The SNP need a convention to shake some life in to them.

      1. MBC says:

        I also think the Constitutional Convention idea drawing together all civil society groups and all parties wishing to participate is the way to approach the coming storm.

        However, I think it should be focused on the economic prospects of Brexit as they face Scotland, in the context of the likelihood that we face at least 10 years of a UK government that we did not vote for and is inimical to our interests. We need to identify where exactly this is hitting us so that the issues are crystal clear to everyone. I don’t think we actually have this information. Much is conjecture. When it happens we need to know how it is affecting us. I think such an investigation and discussion would be cathartic and would jolt No voters into seeing the logic of independence. It would also bring together the kinds of minds who could identify the way forward politically and economically.

        Because I think we need to find a way forward together. This includes No voters. The SNP may have a majority of seats but they do not yet have a majority of votes.

        Further up the thread Mr T asked about transition arrangements to independence. All independence movements end in treaties and negotiations. There is an agreed means of transfer of powers. That technical stuff is not the really difficult bit. The difficult bit is getting the other side to agree to come to the negotiating table, and what you have to do to get them to see sense.

        So we need to create a groundswell of pressure from the mass of people and the movers and shakers of civil society. That’s our best bet for achieving independence by peaceful means.

        I believe that by gathering everybody together into the big tent to really focus on our parlous state with Boris and Brexit in charge for the next ten years at least, would pull together and focus minds just as the Eidsvoll men faced in Norway in 1814.

        1. MBC says:

          The crisis that is facing all of us in Scotland is how do we face up to 10 years of a Boris Brexit government we did not vote for and is inimical to our economic interests. The No voters need to face up to that as well as the Yes voters. The UK Labour Party faces the real threat of extinction or at least being unelectable for a considerable period of time during which not only will they be out of power but there will be no effective Opposition in the UK parliament to hold Boris to account.

          If Mr T further up the thread has any ideas about how we are to cope with this and defend ourselves without leaving the UK, I am interested to hear. For my part I think we should all forget our differences and discuss how we are to protect our economic interests and our NHS in the face of that threat. For me, the logic is independence. If you think the Union is the answer, please tell me how it is going to work in our economic interests from now on.

  22. Hamish100 says:

    I have opposed a new Independence Party based on WoS idea. The owner is a loose cannon & has attracted the wrong press on too many issues. I am loathe to vote Green but could hold my nose if this increased the majority at Holyrood. If they are lute warm on the matter eg challenging the snp on the first vote then a party specific created from such worthies as Lesley Riddoch or Vote for the “Common Weal” or “Yes Scotland”on the 2nd ballot paper would put pressure on the Unionists. What happens before that, who knows the way things have been going recently. But the plans and funding need to start pretty soon. Like many others punters I would help.

  23. John docherty says:

    Offside
    Just bought my ticket for Scotland v Israel match . 26 March. Looking forward to a sellout game. Really hoping we win that then it’s the winners of Norway v Serbia away for a place at Euro 2020 this summer. Since I remember , it was always the hope, rarely the result.
    Wether Scotland make it to their first finals in 22 years or not Glasgow will be hosting four matches and England, Croatia and the Czechs await should Scotland break this run.
    England have every game they play at Wembley for this new format tournament final, with both semifinals and the final at Wembley. It’s fair to say this is with a talented squad and manager a good chance for Scotland’s neighbours to end their search for another tournament win .
    It may be that there’s a bit of a fanfare as the group games get underway. Interesting that the wee nations of Czech Republic ,Croatia and Serbia didn’t exist until the nineties . ( that will be interesting if they qualify for Croatia group) .

    Closer still ,in just over a week after Brexit day, Scotland host the World’s oldest international rugby match hoping to win the Calcutta Cup for a third time in a row.

    Competitive team sports are our favourite sanitised way of battle. At that Scotland is one of the oldest international competitors. It’s certainly something I have always identified with and has likely helped keep Scotland in its box. Give us a ball to play with .

  24. Lorna Campbell says:

    Mr T. Your post may be intended to be witty but it is profoundly silly. International law does not demand a majority to resile a Treaty. It does require that a case be made that shows that there is no other way than to resile a Treaty to escape the clutches of a perfidious partner who acts like God Awmighty. Or, we go down the route emphasized by Craig Murray, which would also be an option. However, in both cases, it would be the government of the territory seeking independence that would be making the moves. Your argument is a circular one and would eventually disappear up its own a***h**e: you, like so many in Scotland confuse what passes for democracy/constitutionality in the UK – whatever the UK government, backed by the Lords, says it is – with real democracy as expressed in numerous elections by the people, who have consistently voted for the SNP whose main plank is independence. Yes, I understand why some anti independence folks might vote for the SNP in elections, as no doubt all of us can understand – all those freebies and mitigating factors, eh? Or just a better government?

    You and others, wedded to the wholly fictitious concept of left-wing and working-class solidarity across nations are deluded into thinking that there is such a thing. There is altruism in individuals and they, together, can make good and decent things happen, and, occasionally, certain classes on the lower rungs of the societal ladder come together out of desperation to create a more fair environment. Brexit, voted of, and, later, ratified in the 2019 election by abandonment of sacred Labour tenets by the English working-class blows that myth out of the water. That same class is calling for Scotland to be booted out of the Union against all the resistance of the ruling elite which knows they actually can’t if they want Brexit to deliver something, anything.

    So it was in 2014, when rUK voters who had moved to Scotland decided that their best interests and comfort lay in having an impotent (independence-wise) SNP in Scotland, while maintaining the Union (well, no border to cross and how inconvenient would that be). The sheer colonial arrogance and self-righteousness that I encountered in this group made me realise before the close of polls that we had lost. Oh, yes, our home-grown Scottish Unionists, many akin to the NI DUP in their faith and bigotry, lapped up the extra support from both the rUK voters and just over half of the EU voters – who, I was told by one of the number, had been told that Scotland would be out of the EU if it voted YES, and they would be repatriated. We could, legitimately in international law, exclude both these groups next time – if there ever is a next time, and there very likely will not be – but that be going against all tenets of human rights, and, as I said, it cannot be countenanced in Scotland. The point is that there is now no way to overturn the opposition to independence. Get it? We have no choice but to invoke the Treaty, the Claim of Right, the Mandates, the Declaration of Arbroath and anything else. If that necessitates a trip to The Hague for our constitutional lawyers to make our case to resile the Treaty or if it necessitates a bold move by the Scottish government, so be it. The fact is that neither you, TB, nor any anti independence voter has any right in international law to vote down the independence of another country. I ask you this: what will you do with the 45%, now nearer 50%, of independence supporters? Do you expect us to drift away? If you do, you are a fool. Internecine conflict is far likelier where we are crushed and have no recourse to justice. History shows that to be the case almost always. I am certainly not advocating it incase that is your beef. Far from it. I want a peaceful, internationally recognized solution to our problem, of which you are part. It is the essential folly and stupidity of reactionaries that they never seem to understand that they have already lost. We will find a way to have our independence and nothing you or your Unionist friends can do will prevent it.

    By the way, Mr Small, I will be sending you a donation soon, for your forbearance if nothing else.

    1. When you write: “International law does not demand a majority to resile a Treaty” – can you give some examples or references please?

      Thanks.

      1. Lorna Campbell says:

        Mr Small: treaties are international agreements between independent and sovereign states. When they are resiled, this will normally involve one or both or more of the states involved in bringing a case under the Vienna Convention, and is usually within the remit of a government rather than the people of the territory/country, etc. Since the Treaty of Union is an older treaty not actually covered by the Vienna Convention, it would have to be resiled via one of the tribunals of either the UN or a non-UN body. I will gather the research together for you, but it is my understanding that resiling a treaty depends on placing a case in the international courts to show that you are not being treated fairly or that the other partner(s) is/are not sticking to the agreed terms (Articles) of the Treaty between you and that one has usurped it for its own benefit to the detriment of the other(s). It would involve Scotland’s government in showing that this had happened with the Treaty of Union. An absolute wealth of evidence exists to show that England-as-the-UK has behaved towards Scotland as an imperial master in relation to a colonial possession since 1707. That does not require a referendum or a majority or anything else. It is a legal device, a legal case. For example:

        MATT QVORTRUP, in the 2015 Revue Française de Civilisation Britannique, the official journal of the Centre de Recherches et d’Etudes en Civilisation Britannique, the national network of the discipline, and has been instrumental in its structuring. It purports to apply one or several of the social sciences to the study of Britain. This includes the empire and decolonization as well as modern and contemporary history. Two to four issues are published every year. Articles are peer reviewed and meet traditional research standards, but the journal is also used for the training of candidates for the competitive examinations leading to the teaching profession in France.

        One of its paragraphs stands out in relation to the Scottish independence campaign: “Perhaps interestingly, he says, ” the only UNSUCCESSFUL referendums on independence have been held in countries with established democratic traditions (the UK?)…it was very much the case that, as a contemporary scholar put it, “the rules governing the intercourse of states [did] NEITHER DEMAND NOR RECOGNIZE THE APPLICATION OF THE [REFERENDUM] IN THE DETERMINATION OF SOVEREIGNTY”.

        He goes on to say:…“[given] that most referendums on independence have not been subject to a supermajority requirement, to demand a special majority in the Scottish referendum would not be warranted…[while] there are examples of special majority requirements in countries with impeccable democratic records – such as Canada – these are rare. More often than not, such requirements have been introduced as an obstructionist tactic, such as in Israel or the Soviet Union…

        “…This type of obstructionism, albeit in a different setting, was also the motivation behind Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s insistence that a two-thirds majority should be required for secession in Latvia…”

        He adds “Of course, this is not just a result of a concern for fairness and democratic legitimacy. Far from it. In politics, opportunism and ulterior motives are often presented in the guises of what we might call democratic appropriateness. Special majority requirements are no exception: a special majority quorum is often a mechanism of obstructionism. This was arguably the case in the late 1970s when the Callaghan government’s proposal for Scottish and Welsh devolution was obstructed by the Labour MP George Cunningham who introduced an amendment to the effect that devolution had to be supported by a majority that represented at least 40 percent of the eligible voters. This meant that devolution in Scotland was rejected although a majority of those voting, voted YES in the referendum in 1979.

  25. Thanks to everybody for what is a really good discussion.

    One point – and this applies to anyone writing in support of Craig Murray’s ideas – can you give examples of countries in the modern era that have just declared independence and then have been recognised by the international community?

    Do you realise how important in terms of trade, security, environment and basic functioning it is to be recognised by other nations and states?

    1. Mr T says:

      Also worth thinking about how you’d persuade the rUK to keep running the tax, benefit etc computer systems on our behalf. No apparatus of state = no state.

      1. The Stroller says:

        Great reason to vote against indie…too much of a hassle to set up out own IT system….

        Why do bores like you come on Bella Caledonia? Why not run along and do whatever it was you said you needed to be doing, you clown….

        1. Geoff Bush says:

          Hey Stroller – think its a good idea to play the ball and not the man – doesn’t matter if you think the suggestion is irrelevant, say so but don’t slag the guy off for making it

          1. Mr T says:

            Thanks Geoff! If I stop by a Yes stall I’d listen to you and Wul, but probably not Stroller.

            I’ve said yesterday that I’m a soft No, I’ve outlined the sort of thing I’m concerned about and I’ve made a comment about the severe difficulties that would follow UDI. If I was trying to persuade a few more % I might engage with me.

          2. The Stroller says:

            Speak for yourself Geoff Bush, and I played the ball AND the man or can’t you read English? And who are you to police this site by the way? First time I’ve seen you here.

            I´m about to get my EU citizenship taken away which is very important to me and I don´t contrbute to this website to have clowns like Mr T suggesting that the practicalities of an IT system can be seriously used as an argument against independence. If you say idiotic things, you deserve to be treated like an idiot.

            For anybody who is intersted, there have been more than 30 referenda since the beginning of the 21st century on questions of self-determinaiton and with varying results, so Lorna up the page is wrong when she says they always end in defeat: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independence_referendum

        2. Geoff Bush says:

          Hi Stroller – I am actually Geoff Bush – not hiding behind aliases, so I am actually speaking for myself – mostly politely – though that is often under strain. So because you have not seen me on this site before does that invalidate my input ? or is it YOUR exclusive site.

          1. The Stroller says:

            Ah-ha. So, what, you think you’re something special cause you’re called Geoff Bush? Is that it? We’re meant to be impressed by your being called Geoff Bush are we? We’re meant to bow down to your comments and views, on account of your name? We’re meant to defer to you because you decide to use your real name on Bella C and this earns you some kind of kudos or special status? We’re meant to doff our caps to you then, is that it Geoff Bush? (My real name, for what it’s worth, is Emilio Pacheco MacAlister, which is a great name, just as good as yours. In fact, in my view, it’s much better name, especially the Pacheco bit).

            As for you being polite, I see no sign of that. You sound to my ears like somebody on the verge of an apoplectic fit of rage. You sound like you could snap at any moment and commit a massacre, Geoff. You butted in here, you had to, you must make an intervention and stir up a fuss in the name, yes, Geoff, of politeness. I don’t know you, but you sound to me like a meddlesome do-gooder, the holier than thou sort who are ohhhhh so common in this country of idiots, for that is what Scotland is, a country of suckers and idiots who were promised by the UK establishment in September 2014 that they could only ensure their membership of the EU by voting No to independence, only to be taken out the EU by England just two years later. Not 10 or 20 years later, fckn two years later.

            They were lying to us then, and they-re lying to us now, and the Scots, the biggest nation of suckers on planet earth, are sucking it up again…

            Do you know they are laughing at us in Europe Geoff? I read the comments on the Spanish press, the Portuguese press, the French press sometime (less), and the European are pishing themselves laughing at the dullard, thick Scots who were suckered by the English into voting to No and then taken out the EU and now, when asking for another referendum, are turned down by London. Scotland is a laughing stock in Europe right now. A joke. A nation of mugs and idiots. …

            Politeness is usually a good thing. But there are times it legitimate to do away with it, like today…

          2. Geoff Bush says:

            That’s a great name Stroller – if I were you I would use it more often. The rest of your tirade does your credibility no favours, were you going for the ball there, or the man ?

      2. Lorna Campbell says:

        Mr T: you have no idea how states operate, do you? They come to agreements because to do otherwise would hurt them all. Do you not understand that cutting off all monies that Scotland is due, all communications, etc. would be catastrophic to England, too? We would retaliate by cutting off supplies to England, English suppliers to us would be left high and dry and vice versa. Believe me, mutual trading/import and export, etc. do not work like that. Even states that are at war with each other carry on trading and dealing. Didn’t you know that?

        1. David Allan says:

          Lorna , Mr T is one of those “soft NO” voters who will always come up with some perceived obstacle preventing that change to YES.

          Likely like myself you encountered many of them in 2014. They will always vote NO as they care only about themselves. Mr T will never allow himself to consider that an Independent Scotland can deliver a better society than exist at present.

          and Mr Stroller – well said an all counts.

          The Scot’s with courage all emigrated last century most of the rump that remain are timid by birth. I agree WE are a laughing stock.

    2. Robert says:

      Mike —

      One example of independence without a referendum is the Velvet Divorce (Czech & Slovak, 1993) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dissolution_of_Czechoslovakia

      1. Yeah that’s true. That’s not what I asked.

    3. Lorna Campbell says:

      Mr Small: Slovenia declared independence, was invaded by Serbia, and both Austria and German recognized its independence, with Austria actually threatening to bomb Serbian troops and militia on the border if they did not withdraw. They withdrew. The rest of the international community followed suit and recognized Slovenian independence. It is well to note here that Serbia used the excuse of having ethnic Serbian nationals within the other republics’ borders to invade – ostensibly in support of these minorities, who had not been sidelined politically or in any other way. Some of these Serbian minorities sided with Serbia and waged terrorist activities via militias, but most did not.

      Kosovo is another example where the UK itself, as Craig Murray states, supported its right to declare its independence. Russia tried to impede the Baltic States’ independence, and failed, and the ethnic Russian minorities all voted to remain with their respective host country, their other choice being to return to the warm embrace of Mother Russia. The Czech Republic’s and the Slovak Republic’s politicians decided that they should split and become independent of each other though both groups had, and still have, each other’s minorities within their borders. No referendum was required or held and each republic was recognized in international law and by the international community. We should also remember that the UK, on our behalf, has signed up to the UN Charter, Human Rights, the UN’s Vienna Convention, etc. It atrocious behaviour over the Chagos Islanders, I believe, was prompted by its deluded sense of self-importance in the world and its lap-dog fawning over America and America’s allies. Many states in the UN are furious at the way the UK behaves and it has become more and more unpopular internationally, so we would have allies through the principle of ‘the UK’s ‘enemy’ is my friend’, if nothing else.

      No two situations are the same, but Scotland, having been an ancient independent state of Northern Europe, far more ancient than many others, and certainly no less ancient that England, I feel, and it is just my opinion based on research, would be recognized by the international community if we either dissolved the Union through Holyrood or resiled the Treaty in the international courts. In both cases, a post independence ratifying/confirmatory plebiscite would be necessary to give democratic legitimacy to the project. What would happen if a post independence referendum was voted down? It has never happened in the history of plebiscites, but, if it did, I think conflict would be inevitable and unavoidable. Where change of any kind has been mooted (including revolutions, etc.) it is always the reactionaries who cause the trouble, no matter how obvious it is that they cannot win. Labour has publicly declared that independence is out of the question because the party is internationalist and deplores narrow nationalism. Well, let’s hold them to that by resiling the Treaty in the international arena and daring them to vote that down?

      1. All of these examples are interesting but none shines much light on our situation.

        Declaring independence without a clear majority in support of it is what you are proposing and it would be likely to be rejected by the remaining people within Scotland, within the wider Uk and with the wider international community as being illegal and undemocratic.

        I suspect you probably know this.

        1. Lorna Campbell says:

          “…Declaring independence without a clear majority in support of it is what you are proposing and it would be likely to be rejected by the remaining people within Scotland, within the wider Uk and with the wider international community as being illegal and undemocratic…”

          Resiling the Treaty does NOT require a majority of people to support it, although it would require a large number of the electorate to want it to be resiled. Can you imagine that a treaty is presented for resiling and it is turned down because a good part of the negative vote that stymied the previous democratic indyref that cemented us into the one-sided Union, from which it has become democratically impossible to escape, stemmed from the nation that is trying to cement us into the Union? Heads I win, tails you lose? What kind of democracy is that? Would it be allowed in a marriage?

          Resiling the Treaty requires us to make a case that shows that Scotland has not been given her due in dealings within the remit of the Treaty. In the law of contract, Mr Small, if I contract in partnership with you in a business venture and you cheat me every day of every week of every month of every year, as England-as-the-UK has done to Scotland, if you threatened me and tried to silence me and robbed me of my dues under the contract, if you told me that I am nothing and that you hold all the aces in the partnership, do you not think that I could bring a case to end the contract? Or, are you saying that you would have all the rights and I none?

          That is what is wrong in the UK. Too many believe the rubbish that passes for fact, constitutionality and law in the UK. You might believe that it is better that a majority should support independence, but, when the big country next door controls all avenues of news, information, etc. your chances of achieving that are reduced. When you add to the mix the fact that many of those voting against your independence have a colonized (Scottish Unionist) or colonial (rUK) mindset, you are doubly reduced. If there is simply no way to democratically gain your independence, how do you democratically gain your independence? You can’t, so you do what you have to do.

          In resiling the Treaty, it would be Scotland that would be set free, not the Scots, as such. The Union was not made between two peoples; it was made between two, independent, sovereign states, separate from the people they represent and who live in them. All treaties are; that is what gives them their international legal nature. That is why we should use this route: because it takes the power away from Westminster and the British courts. It would not be difficult to bring evidence to the effect that the Scottish Unionists could not have won the 2014 indyref without the NO vote of rUK voters, the very people from the country from which we are trying to escape. They do not have the right to stymie independence under the UN Charter. That is the real sting in the tail: without the combined negative vote of the colonized and colonial mindsets, we would now be independent. How bloody ironic and undemocratic is that?

          Are you saying that we need the permission of a majority of Scottish Unionists and rUK NO voters in order to do anything? Or, in other words, only by permission of those brainwashed by/in obeisance to the oppressor, those who are too ‘feart’ or too couch-bound and those representatives of the oppressor who happen to have ventured north but have no intention of actually integrating, can the indigenous (UN term) Scots ever free themselves? Perhaps we should change our name to Sioux or Cheyenne or Kiowa or Comanche or any of the other names of the indigenous peoples of North America who were in the way of ‘Manifest Destiny’, except, in our case, it is English Manifest Destiny. Dear Lord, is that what we have come to? Is this what you are advocating, Mr Small? I have never been a blood and soil nationalist; I have always been in favour of immigration and integration; and I have always supported the idea of people coming from elsewhere and retaining their own cultures and roots. The very least the Scots like me should expect is that our culture, our roots, our languages and our social structures and politics should be respected by those who come here. If they are not, that is not immigration; that is colonization and lickspittle subservience.

      2. Hi Lorna

        these examples are interesting but I don’t know what light they shine on our own situation.

        The Slovenian-Serbian conflict is not something I’d want to emulate. The The Czech / Slovak velvet divorce is incomparable and the Kosovo and Balkan states are unique in geopolitics.

        What you continue to say is that Scotland could and should declare independence without a majority of people in favour of it.

        This is almost certain to have three outcomes: alienate and divide the people already in favour of independence; put off those people likely to be converted to independence; make us ostracised by the international community.

        I think you probably know this.

        You say “I feel, and it is just my opinion based on research, would be recognized by the international community”. It really wouldn’t.

        1. Lorna Campbell says:

          If we resiled the Treaty in the international courts, Mr Small, of course we would be recognized internationally. It is more than that, though. We need to build up support in the international community against rUK and the way we are being treated. No count try is going to do anything to help us unless we help ourselves. Your argue,went is that we should just go on and on and on begging anti Scots and lickspittles for their vote? It just will not work like that. It never does. These people have a vested interest in keeping things the way they are. When you can see that something is not working, and gentle persuasion is definitely not working, then you have to try something else. We are told all kinds of ordure by both the Unionists and our own because neither actually wants anything to happen that might take more than a wee protest. The Stroller declares that I am wrong about the pre independence referendums, but I am not: I did state that all pre independence referendums in the TRADITIONAL DEMOCRACIES have been lost, and that is the point. The former Yugoslav or Baltic republics were not traditional democracies. Quebecois was and is (lost twice); Scotland was and is (lost once); Catalunya was and is (lost once, according to Spanish constitution); New Caledonia, a French colonial possession, was and is a democracy under French rule (lost once, mainly through colonial settlement and interference). There is no point in Scotland comparing itself with totally different entities; it must look at similar strugglers and extrapolate from them. The UK set-up militates against a successful pre independence referendum. I really cannot see why deliberately thwarting a people’s independence until conflict is created is any different to people deciding they have had enough and opting for conflict. If you, and others on here, believe that we can win a second indyref, then hold a proper survey. Ask people to contact you with their views. I’d bet right now that you will be shocked at the results. Because you appear to be people who still hold certain views about your fellow human beings, you are unable to even contemplate that others might do you down because they can. I was probably born a cynic, although I am absolutely wedded to human rights, to decent governance, to education for all, to the right of anyone to be who and what they are, and to all people having a fair share, and so on, and nothing in life has ever made me give up hope entirely. The one thing that has brought me closest to giving up hope and spiralling into despair, is what I encountered before, during and after the 2014 vote, and I though that the Tatcher era had done that for me. I encountered a self-centredness and selfishness, a pig-headedness and utter lack of moral grounding and education, a timidity beyond rational understanding, that were way beyond anything I had ever seen before, both from Scottish Unionists and from rUK voters. EU voters I sympathized with and still do because I know that were lied to by Better Together. The other two groups, and I know it is not all of them, not by a long chalk, simply refused to even contemplate the fact that they had no God-given right to their security and comfort at the expense of everyone else, that others were there to take the flack and the negativities of life because it was their own fault. When Brexit came along, Thatcher was proven right: put a beggar man on horseback and he will ride all the way to hell, crushing his fellows under his horse’s hooves. If we do not leave this Union very soon, within six months, we are in line for the reduction of our country and our people. Scotland has what Westminster needs and that is our greatest tragedy. Or, at least, it would be, next to the tragedy of so many of our number in the higher echelons of society deliberately ensuring that we cannot escape because they will benefit, as in 1707, and those so stupid and brainwashed that they don’t even have the gumption to understand that they are entirely dispensable. Such a joke, eh?

          1. Hi Lorna you say “Your arguement is that we should just go on and on and on begging anti Scots and lickspittles for their vote?”

            It really isn’t at all and your language is one of the main reasons we are in the position we find ourselves.

            I note you avoid the straightforward observation that you advocate we simply ‘declare independence’ without a majority of people in favour of this and then expect the international community to support us.

            This is both undemocratic and lead to complete failure, as you probably know.

  26. Wul says:

    Alastair: “…UK wanted out of EU for the same reasons that Scotland wants out of UK,..”

    Does the UK send all of its income to Brussels, and then receive some of it back as a “grant”?
    Does the UK consistently vote for political parties and then have their opposition installed by the EU?
    Does the EU consistently tell the UK ; “We subsidise you. You couldn’t run your own country” ?
    Does the EU have control of 80% of our print media and publish anti-UK stories on a daily basis?

    I get that there are problems with the EU. I get that it suits neo-liberals to have a single market and barrier free trade. However, I think Scotland’s relationship with the UK is very different to our UK-EU relationship.

    The (English) man-in-the-street may have voted for Brexit based on the idea of taking back control.

    However, I believe that the reason our billionaires backed Brexit is because of forthcoming EU legislation that would have made it impossible to hide money offshore, without revealing the beneficial owner of said funds. They found that terrifying.
    They also wish to be rid of a superior court (EU Human Rights) which makes it difficult to treat us plebs as harshly as they would like.

    In what way have your (and my) life chances been hampered by our EU membership? Can you give examples?

    1. Alistair MacKichan says:

      Hi Wul. I like your points as to reasons why Scotland wants Inde, and that these are not mirrored by the UK-EU relationship, so how can reasons be the same for UK wanting to leave EU. The first is National Pride. As a Scot (mainly, I confess to being a mongrel as so many of us are) I would like to live in an Independent Scotland, and for those who are born “British” in their hearts, it is the same, they do not want to lose British-ness in the EU. The allied point of sovereign right you mention, in that sovereignty means “control”, and that is allied to the fierce national pride of Scots. Taking back control does mean removing the “democratic deficit”of people voting, as you say, without getting what they want, and that is same for Scotland in UK as it is increasingly becoming for UK in a politically integrated European Empire. The third thing is economics – the 350Bn Boris put on the side of a bus represents money out to EU, which they then dispense as they see fit, and it equates in the popular mind to what happens under the Barnett formula Scotland-UK. The fourth thing is migration. EU migration has been ridiculously high to UK, and the social and health and education services cannot cope. In a rather different way, the Sassenachs in the Central Belt largely control Scotland – I hated Royal Bank being led by Sir Fred Goodwin, and becoming nationalised and exported – it was all just a sick usurping of once Scottish infrastructure, and actually it is the English migrants to Scotland whose roots are still English who were the core of the 55% who voted against Inde in the Referendum. The funny thing about that group is that the SNP falls over itself to support them – Holyrood is essentially a business management system cosseting the English-based companies of our commercial heartland. Scots get absorbed into that system, and then vote Unionist and Tory because it is the status quo that feeds them, so the more successful the SNP in government the more it engrosses the majority that vote against Independence, and this is going on and will go on. So, without answering your list of points directly, that is my own list of five points which bear similarity.
      The Auld Enemy gave rise to France becoming oor Auld Alliance, and there was a European dimension over centuries for Scotland. When the SNP first hailed Scotland in Europe as a mantra, it seemed like a serious country growing up. Things have changed massively in Europe since the eighties and now – thirty years of European development, and the direction of travel is very against Scottish values. We believe in supporting our very diverse nation in all sections and parts, whilst Europe is a homogenising bureaucracy. When I voted as 1 of the 37% in Scotland for Leave, nearly 1 in 4, it was against Sturgeon’s advice, and many took her advice to vote Remain to see if we could drive a wedge of material change between Scotland and England. If she had not said that, Scotland would have voted Leave. We are towing the SNP line on a false premise, and it is going to eventually hurt the SNP very much indeed.

      1. The Stroller says:

        Why are you proud to be Scottish may I ask?
        I do not feel at all proud to be Scottish, or anything else, but especially not Scottish.
        As can be seen on this thread, and plenty of other sites as well, there is a large segment of Scottish society who put their future financial situation – which nobody knows in any case – ahead of the independence of their country. This was never a factor for the independence of Ireland or the Scandinavian countries or the Baltic States as far as I know. It´s not a serious argument.
        I have more understanding and respect for genuine Unionists than I do for the canny Scot fearties. The genuine Unionists – the ones who actually believe Scotland is better off in the Union with England for a whole number of reasons – at least are thinking about their country, the people of Scotland, not their own pockets.
        Then there are the Scots who just can’t be bothered engaging and think not much will change either way. I can understand them too, I can even sympathize with them on a bad day.
        But the canny Scot who moans and blames everything on England and yet won’t vote for independence is somebody I cannot comprehend at all. And in fact, I find the canny Scot one of the most unbearable incarnations on God´s earth… they’re just embarrassing people, and there’s always one on Bella Caledonia…

        1. David Allan says:

          Hi Stroller

          Bloody marvellous! An injection of honesty on the Scottish character.

          I agree.

          We’ve always got just what we deserve. Recently we’ve had ~”now is not the time ” now it’s Boris saying NO ” once in a generation”! THE French are on the streets because
          a threat exist’s to the pension age 62 to 64. my kids will be lucky to see a pension age in the UK under 75.

          We are a docile nation indeed.

          1. MBC says:

            The canny Scot is just a local variant of the ‘I’m all right Jack’ mentality. People who can only think of their own interest.

          2. The Stroller says:

            MBC – for Hugh MacDiarmid, the Canny Scot was almost an archetype, not just an “I’m all right Jack” sort and was a product of the Union of 1707, a kind of deformation of the Scottish charcater.

            I think it is in MacDiarmid’s excellent book of essays “Albyn” that he writes of the Canny Scot with that spirit of serious grievance that makes him so engaging to read. MacDiarmid took these things very seriously to say the least…LOL. (People should read “Albyn”, it’s a great book.)

            The Canny Scot would be the first at a Burns supper while never reading Burns or any poetry the rest of the year and turning his nose up at people who speak Scots.

            He would be petty and pedantic about his Scottishness, “proud to be Scottish” but absolutely scornful of Scotland’s languages and culture and totally ignorant of them too. He would put material gain above every other consideration of course. He would also be anti-English in a kind of petty and pedantic way while quite happy with the Union and prepared to suck up to the toffs to get on in the world.

            Right now the Canny Scot is going around these boards saying things like “can we afford to be independent?” – the real question is now surely just the opposite: can we afford no to be independent for much longer? – and saying things like “I have to be convinced that everything is going to be just like it is now” – to which you might reply, “Why become independent if the goal is to keep things as they are now.”…

            Anyway, read “Albyn” if you haven’t. You won’t find it in a bookshop, but you’ll get it in the library…

        2. Alistair MacKichan says:

          Pride? Clanna Fhiteachain: my kin carried the standard for the one-time Lord of the Isles: sentiment. A century ago my family sheltered Neil Munro, who gave us the chuckles of Para Handy, but also some fine prose: I have his signature in manuscripts: treasures. I have occupied John Knox’s small wooden pulpit in the east of the High Kirk of Edinburgh’s nave on occasion: history and association. Pride I think has its roots in joys and loves remembered well, and to walk the banks of Orchy above Dalmally is to me a moment of grace. There is much that is noble in natural Scotland, eagle, stag and salmon, and much that is ignoble in our mercantile tradition, the deaf riveters of the Clyde boatyards… the grinding poverty and old Gorbals: that cocktail is pride. I’ve met thoosans o’ the very best, and am proud to have been among them – the resilient and wise around the small gas firesides in the old, cold tenements of Drumchapel…. to have shared the Quaich, to have toasted hopes and dreams. That’s my start. And for a coda, amidst the proudest o’ Scotland, so many of us are really humble folk, and that is na’ canny; ’tis fine: humility in the face of grandeur is victory over egotism, and the source of much in our nation’s record of civilised, educated, rounded lives: gle mhath.

  27. meg macleod says:

    there are alot of folk who are apolitical and any comments on these pages will not reach them. The facts of why Independence would be good must get out to the ordinary people who are just getting on with trying to make a living. Speaking to the already `converted ` is a waste of time and energy. At this stage I think `unrest` will cause more harm than good….Facts…..and reasons….. everywhere..so everyone can begin to absorb the logic.There is much to be done to convince fifty percent of the population who have the right to their own opinion. Changing that opinion underlies success..nothing else.

    1. Jo says:

      That’s very true Meg.

      I know so many people who simply zoom out when politics comes up. That said, I think it’s a selfish way to be too. People really should be paying attention. I’ve tried at times to gently talk about different subjects but for some it’s just not an option. They won’t discuss it. (There are a couple where I’ve ended up wondering if they really aren’t into politics or whether, in fact, they do have views they’re not willing to move on or even admit to. )

      By far, tho’, the group who worry me most are the folk who aren’t at all stupid but who genuinely say, “Oh I don’t bother with all that.”

      I have no idea how to deal with that.

    2. Alistair MacKichan says:

      Meg, your measured and grassroots approach is attractive. I want to see it like this, and to build respect for Scottish history, culture, language and traditions as we go. But there is another dynamic now. The Tories are going to deflate Scottish vigour with viscious encroachments into the devolution we have achieved. Holyrood itself is now at risk. The present tide of Independence support, and SNP presence, could just be enough to tip us into Independence if we bravely take the new territory of nationhood. Even as I write, I do not think we will do what Craig Murray suggests. I do however think he is right, and that a generation will look back in despair on a missed opportunity.

  28. Stanley Reeves says:

    CULTURAL ACTION FOR FREEDOM
    Being appalled and righteously indignant at Lisa Nandy’s crude threat to the independence movement will get us nowhere. Most of the British Labour party can have no understanding of the movement for autonomy here in Scotland. No point in trying to correct, educate or persuade them, they can’t vote for independence.
    Our task is clear. The Plan, Alan Bisset should be to make our vision of an Independent Scotland so clear and so exciting that the fearful will get behind it. No Negativity! No point in endlessly enumerating and repeating the faults of the corrupt and self serving British state and the cruel and selfish Tories. This is not news!!
    People cling to the protection of the robber barons when they are afraid of the things in the forest.

    Or task is to sell the image of a new Scotland that addresses climate change, inequality, hopelessness, poverty and alienation. Take small european countries as a model.
    How shall we do this??
    Well, the established indy movement and SNP will continue with commentary, social media, street work, marches rallies and building organisations. It is not enough!!!!
    How do we get a positive message across.
    “CULTURAL ACTION FOR FREEDOM”
    Remember the Estonian “Singing Revolution” ??
    The Monday demonstrations in Leipzig which led to the fall of the Berlin Wall.
    The Portuguese Carnation Revolution.
    A Day for Scotland
    Where are the imaginative positive events which will draw in people to the vision of a better future.???
    Come on Artists, Writers,Musicians, Dancers makers , Book a hall. put on and event, Paint a mural, flash mobs, concerts.
    If there is anyone out there who wants to start organising “Cultural Action” get in touch.

    1. Alistair MacKichan says:

      Stanley, are you not the leader you seek? It is absolutely the way, to enjoy our culture fully and often, to express being ourselves, to celebrate our distinctives, to account “the dignity of difference”. However, without Inde it will be harder, and of itself it is a reason for Inde, not a pathway (unless divergence creates separation?).

      1. Stanley Reeves says:

        I am the leader I seek. I lead a 10/12 piece street band campaigning for Indy. Mostly pensioners. I see no musicians under 40 organising any bands for indy or putting on events.

  29. Lorna Campbell says:

    Mr Small: my language derives from years of frustration and anger at the utter wilful brainlessness and sheer malignity of so many. If someone behaves wilfully and deliberately stupidly, what else is there to say? Oh, give them another chance to show that they’re really not so stupid or malign, even if that means cementing ourselves into that post Brexit Tory One Nation State that means England? That is okay just so long as it is done democratically in a state where democracy would go unrecognized if it sprang up and bit those who shout about it the loudest in theory and are the least exercized by it in practice?

    I have very sympathy for, and empathy with, someone who is misguided or simply not educated enough or just does not have the capacity to understand, so please, don’t patronize me. There is a world of difference between those who genuinely do not understand and those who are malign and/or deliberately refuse to understand because they benefit from pretending not to understand. If Labour people genuinely believe in ‘internationalism’ (although I fail to see how you can have internationalism without first having nationalism, which is nothing more than wanting the best for your country; it is the wickedness in human beings that has endowed ‘nationalism’ with its malign reputation) then they surely can support resiling the Treaty in the international courts as a demonstration of how internationalism works? Well, of course, they don’t support that because they are immersed in British-as-English Nationalism, which is the only type that is okay – that and American Nationalism, of course.

    Good, decent people have to go on being good and decent in the face of the worst adversity; I get that. Good, decent people fought in WW II against the Nazis, but they still fought against that malignity. Nazism was far more akin to imperialism than any kind of rational nationalism, and its main tenet was Lebensraum, which itself is a colonial application of the concept of ‘living space’ and involved the theft of the resources of others and their genocide in order to facilitate the theft. I would never advocate violence – never – and I have been taking the tack I do because I want to avoid any such outcome, but I think it will come to conflict unless this can be settled peacefully and respectfully – and it will be on Westminster’s head, and the heads of those who still oppose independence. We are being treated like lesser human beings and it is simply unacceptable by any standard.

    1. I know where your language comes from, but you dont seem to be able to respond to the detail of the argument apart from repeating ‘resiling’ a lot.

      Neither you nor I know what this sentence means:

      “Resiling the Treaty does NOT require a majority of people to support it, although it would require a large number of the electorate to want it to be resiled.”

      1. Stanley Reeves says:

        Resiling ??? Is that not a German white wine?

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