Positively Independent 112

I am speaking at a conference in Glasgow on Sunday to promote Scottish Independence.


There are many reasons I support Scottish independence (and Welsh independence and Irish reunification). But among those reasons, and the one which I shall be expounding on Sunday, is that the United Kingdom as an entity is fundamentally tied to US military and neo-imperial interests. Neither Robin Cook nor Lib Dems in government have been able to separate the UK from aggressive foreign occupations, ruinous military expenditure, addiction to weapons of mass destruction and a contempt for international law.

The UK must be broken up. I want to see a Scotland that accepts it is a proud and equal nation among other nations, but has no desire to be more than equal, that plays an active part in the UN and in strengthening the framework of international law, does not possess WMDs and which will never attack another country unless it or an ally is physically attacked,

A Scotland like that is acheivable. A UK like that is not. Part of the reason may be that the UK was in truth in itself an imperial construct, with Scotland, Wales and Ireland the first conquered people. Their later absorption into the imperial culture (which still infects unionists) does not alter that truth.

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112 thoughts on “Positively Independent

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  • Vronsky


    Alone, you get the point. There is no conflict between being a proud Englishman and supporting Scottish separation for reasons other than witless Englanderism – as Craig has been bold enough to suggest, there is a sensible liberal agenda in there.

    And to set another hare running, I support Craig in his desire to see a re-united Ireland. It is possible, and if we cannot make it actual we probably cannot solve any of the problems that face us. Two therapeutic exercises for democracy: an independent Scotland, a united Ireland.

    Let’s take a stiff birch broom to the dust of the imperialists.

  • Alfred

    “Based on my own experiences it is very clear that the United kingdom is no longer a country where civil liberties, human rights and the rule of law flourish. So I too would support an independent Scotland.”


    With your first sentence, who can disagree? But the logic of the second sentence escapes me. It is like saying that a herd of cattle infected with foot and mouth disease can be cured by dividing it into two — a measure very unlikely to achieve the desired result.

    What is needed is simply reform of a political system corrupt from North to south.

    The British Isles are a small archipelago that form the natural basis for a single political entity capable of independence. Lacking great resources it should be a tempting object of aggression to no one. Being small and relatively vulnerable, it should be a threat to no one.

    Internally, the British Isles should be reorganized as a federation of 12 provinces: Scotland, Wales and Ireland comprising two each (upper and lower), England comprising six provinces (left and right, top, middle and bottom) plus London. Each province should be self-governing in virtually all respects. The basic policy of the Federal Government would be to establish and maintain total independence, i.e., outside of NATO, the EU and the UN. Britain’s nuclear deterrent, if it really exists, should be retained as a bargaining chip for use in the negotiation of a global nuclear disarmament treaty.

  • Vronsky

    “What is needed is simply reform of a political system corrupt from North to south.”

    But that’s it Alfred – where and how do we begin? What are you doing down there? Up here, we’re scaring them shitless.

    I’ll leave Roderick to comment on your illogical logic, if he thinks it worthwhile. Perhaps you should read (re-read?) Sun Tzu.

  • Alfred

    Hey Vronsky,

    Re: where and how do we begin?

    With an idea. Hence my proposal for a constitution for the Federation of the British Isles, concerning which it should be understood that the aim is not to centralize government in London, but to eliminate the central government from virtually all aspects of life. A central agency would still be required to deal with foreign policy and defense. But it need not be the kind of plutocrat-owned rubbish government the so-called democracies have now. The details of the constitution obviously need some thought.

    As for scaring them “shitless”, I wonder. Politicians like Tony Blair and David Cameron are made of a special blend of India rubber, teflon and carbon fibre nanomaterial which cannot be frightened by any known means other than depletion of their personal bank balance.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    I take your point Vronsky – No I was thinking in terms of executive decisions and model agencies like the release of Megrahi who was framed or the Children in Scotland’s investment in children from poor families or the Lord Advocate’s dealings where few children under age 13 ever appear in criminal proceedings and only 60 young people under age 16 were dealt with in Scottish criminal proceedings in 2010 – that sort of thing.

  • eddie

    Yawn – here we go again. I agree with Craig, bit for a different reason. Like most English people I resent the fact that my taxes subsidise the Scotch. Public spending per capita is much, much higher north of the border – and most if it subsidises appalling health and lifestyle choices. Scottish independence will create a failing state on the fringes of europe, just like the Irish republic – about to sink beneath the waves. Let them go. The union was not an “imperial construct” – Scotland begged to join England after the reckless Darien adventure. WIthout us they would have starved to death.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq

    Alfred that sounds like the aspirations of the ‘Big Society’ – devolving power from the centre. The central agency or hub you quite rightly condemn as capitalist is the problem. The system is ring-fenced by the security services and the top echelons in defence. This is the core of corruption today, we still live in the shadows left by the Knights Templar.

    The transformation of the Knights Hospitaller into the Venerable Order of Saint John shows us the way forward where power and breeding bestows only the right to serve mankind and not religious superiority or military dominance.

  • Roderick Russell

    Alfred ?” For the reasons I outlined in my 2nd paragraph above, I see the UK’s elites to be a huge burden on the rest of the country; yet so powerful (and frankly stupid) that I think they will successfully resist any reforms. The Greeks said ?” those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad. The UK’s London elites by their behavior are well down that road. When a country no longer respects rule of law, civil liberties and human rights, I think it is time to recognize that its shelf life is over. Forming new political entities, united within the EU, is probably the easiest way to achieve change.

  • Alfred


    I agree, in general, about the elite, but Forming new political entities “united within the EU,” seems sounds like the triumph of hope over experience.

    The continental powers have always been more inclined to absolutism and tyranny than the British. Life united within the EU would surely mean servitude under the rule of a plutocratic, oligarchy intent on restoring European global supremacy.

  • Roderick Russell

    Alfred – Right now my wife and I would be quite happy with the continental system of justice, since we have found the English one to be rather wanting in terms of rule of law, human rights, civil liberties and fair play. What the British have been inclined to in the land of Shakespeare is playacting at democracy; not practicing democracy.

    Nevertheless who’s talking about adopting any new European practices? We are talking about four separate countries living in exactly the same relationship to the EU as the UK presently does. I know some of these over privileged London elites and the only peaceful way to deal with them is to form new political entities that leave them (and their huge bank debt) behind.

    My wife once Succinctly summed up a couple of the London Elites whom we knew – describing them as “arrogant and ignorant”. Britain under the real rule of these elites is not in good shape – constitutionally, financially or politically. Either one breaks the country into new fresh political entities to kick start change, or the UK will die the death of a thousand cuts.

  • anno

    It is always easier to address yesterday’s problems than today’s. Tribes live in the time warp of history. When you go to the chalk hills of Hampshire and Dorset, you see the glint in the Saxon farmer’s eye, ‘Best thing we ever did, coming over here and grabbing a bit of decent, hilly land’ Go to West Wales and they still talk about St David as if he was living yesterday.

    Intolerable, English arrogance self=perpetuates, in spite of the class upheavals of Industrialisation, World Wars and Thatcherism. I agree with Craig that it is a particularly shitty mental strain. We already see Asian Muslims in British politics and maybe we will soon see those of Afro-Carribbean origin as well, lording it over everybody else as the latest heirs to what arsehole Crawford calls ‘wily British diplomacy’.

    One might have hoped that Obama would have had better policies than Bush, or Brown than Thatcher, because of the injection of fresh mental DNA. What makes Craig think, if the Celts were separated from the UK, that they woujld not revert to their old tricks and try to wreck them again?

    The ethnic problem that is facing the UK today is not this separatism. It is the arrival of Islam, challenging the morale decline, Suhayl’s ‘ cultivated ignorance from many sources and periods of time ‘.

    I can see that it is easier to try to solve yesterday’s dilemmas, than today’s, but the challenge facing us now is how to strain the truth of Islam from the inevitable outpourings of anger that arrive with the Muslims whom we have persecuted over the last 1,000 years.

    They hate our guts for wrecking, raping, murdering and pillaging their lands both today as we speak and previously. And yet the religion they bring is pure enlightenment to our remnant of a remnant of a religion. ( As Allah describes the cult of the inhabitants of Jerusalem, before the Children of Israel arrived.)

    How to extract the best qualities of the English, forbearance and creativity, and combine them with the best qualities of the Muslims, patience and lucidity. That is today’s challenge. If we don’t do it, we will be left with a Muslim population of imperialist Quilliamites , and patronising Muslim Tories who want to pull up the drawbridge of the welfare state after they have climbed to safety by its means.

    Craig’s Liberalism actually means letting people do their own thing, whereas what is required right now is for the English to learn new tricks from Islam. Why does the British establishment spend so much time and energy inventing and pooping themselves about bombs in passenger planes? Purely and only to stop the progress of this challenge, the challenge of the sensibilities of the English, meeting and embracing the truth of the religion of Islam.

  • dreoilin

    “Internally, the British Isles should be reorganized as a federation of 12 provinces”


    Good luck with that, mate. Who do you reckon is going to do this reorganisation? I don’t see no federation, given that we’re only independent for about 80 years.

    “likes of Ireland and Greece as a European basketcase”

    — MJ

    I’ll assume for now that you mean ‘economically’, MJ!

    “arrogant and ignorant”


    Funny, that’s how I describe many Americans. It’s a combination that drives me mad.

  • alan campbell

    To quote the great Scotch philosopher Renton:

    “It’s SHITE being Scottish! We’re the lowest of the low. The scum of the fucking Earth! The most wretched, miserable, servile, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization. Some hate the English. I don’t. They’re just wankers. We, on the other hand, are COLONIZED by wankers. Can’t even find a decent culture to be colonized BY. We’re ruled by effete assholes. It’s a SHITE state of affairs to be in, Tommy, and ALL the fresh air in the world won’t make any fucking difference!”

  • anno

    Sorry, my third person plural pronouns weren’t very precise. I meant, if the Celtic countries achieved independence that the English might go back to persecuting the Celts again.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Ha!! Great quote, Alan.

    Yet Irvine Welsh wrote a puff-piece (lifted from his review of the book) for a book on The Scottish Enlightenment which ran something like: “Every Scot should read it. Scotland now has the lively, provocative and positive history it deserves”. So such a factual book was addressing the internal colonisation and loss of hope which he depicted so well in ‘Trainspotting’.

    Welsh has been critical of the way the New Town of Edinburgh and the C20th slum clearances cast the working classes out of the city of Edinburgh into peripheral housing schemes. Kelman, too, in relation to Glasgow.

    Fiction and reality: the two are tangential; fiction suggests deeper truths about our emotions and the passions that drive reason (Hume, again, I think, angrysoba, correct me if I’m wrong).

    It’s all true at different levels. So the quote has profound validity. It’s emblematic of a very real wallowing self-hate that has dragged certain aspects of Scotland down esp. in the post-industrial phase.

    In a novel, one is allowing characters to explore… everything.

  • dreoilin


    Why would you of all people refer to a “Scotch philosopher”? Was he covered in sausage meat and deep fried?

    From Alfred it’s understandable, poor dear.


    That helps. I did find it a wee bit hard to follow.

  • sean

    I’m Scottish (not, sadly, ‘Scotch’), and – unlike some – can probably say with some measure of balance that the fundamental problem that anyone advocating the dissolution of the union faces is that there is barely a serious appetite for the form it is usually presented in, i.e. as an intrinsically valuable concept in it’s own right. The SNP have yet to convince the Scottish public that it is a project worth pursuing in it’s most extreme, and – for them – most ideologically desirable form.

    The arguments that normally galvanise Scottish people regarding independence relate to the possibility of its instrumentality in doing something as opposed its soundness as a principle in it’s own right. Which is unfortunate, as none of the serious political, social, economic and environmental problems facing the UK can be answered by the dissolution of the union; certainly anyone following the state of political discourse in Scotland knows that our politicians do not vary much in their inadequacies, idiocy, and general corruption from Westminster – the loose collaboration between Socialist/Independent/Green MSPs as a potential voting block against the big four parties didn’t last long; replace the board without replacing the pieces and you’ll still end up playing chess, if you get my meaning – and nowhere is there a more damning indictment of the state of political participation across the U.K.than the face that, in Scotland, despite the relative differences in our electoral procedures we have failed to elect any better a set of representatives than any other part of the UK.

    People have to face the fact that the problems we face are the problems we *all* face. And going off about the Barnett Formula won’t change the fact that we have a government that actively avoids implementing fair taxation and waives responsible reductions in the public sector budget in order to facilitate private profiteering ( http://www.taxjustice.net/cms/front_content.php?idcatart=2 ), and actively scaremongers about government expenditure when we actually spend less in welfare now than we did fifteen years ago ( http://duncanseconomicblog.wordpress.com/2010/10/27/welfare-spending-some-facts/ ).

    The idea that there is anything special in the Scottish psyche that is anymore able to provide a resistance to the current government’s modus operandi than any other part of the UK as a default position without serious levels of organisation is laughable.

  • Alfred

    Dreoilin said: “we’re only independent for about 80 years.”

    And broke already!

    Anyway, you’re not independent. You’re a part of the EeYoo, the largest European political agglomeration there has ever been. They tax you, they make laws for your and they have a President in the choice of whom you have no right to a direct vote.

  • alan campbell

    I don’t really know much about all this. I do think “Balkanisation” of our great union is a bit sad.

    To quote the great New Jersey poet Madeline Bell:

    “What we need is a great big melting pot

    Big enough enough enough to take

    The world and all it’s got

    And keep it stirring for

    A hundred years or more

    And turn out coffee coloured people by the score”

  • anno

    To be united as the Balkans were under the injustice of Soviet communism is being compared to being united under the injustice of US style ‘sado-monetarism’.

    It would be so wonderful to dismantle Thatcherism and the warmongering machine of cross-eyed tyrant Tony Blair with a wave of popular dissent, and these odious and indistinguishable political parties were forced to listen to the people whom they ignored about the Afghan and Iraqi wars, like Ceaucescu and Tito’s downfall.

    What a wonderful dream. I would personally either put Mrs Thatcher into her grave if she was not in it or take her out of it to be hung in chains and beheaded like Oliver Cromwell, if she was in it. And I would personally shoot Blair and Brown for their criminal genocide.

    As to the colour of people’s skins, I find my own to be several shades darker than many Iraqis or Afghanis, so I’m not sure what colour has to do with anything.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Alan: ‘Melting Pot’, Blue Mink, 1970. I think co-written by Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway, one of the guys from earlier folk-pop duo, ‘David and Jonathan’. It’s a good song.

    Madeline Bell, as opposed to Maggie Bell, Scottish blues singer – of Stone the Crows fame and more.

    Spambots – boys, you’ve been rumbled, you are no longer effective here. Get lost.

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