Which Union Does Scotland Want To Be In? 142

The rabid anti-Europeanism displayed in the recent House of Commons debate on EU funding was a further clarification of a simple political truth. The real choice facing Scotland in 2014 is, “Which union do you wish to be in?”

Scotland can either be independent within the European Union or part of the United Kingdom outside the European Union. In joining the pro-UKIP wing of the Tory Party in the vote, Ed Milliband was, with short term shrewdness, tapping in to a bottomless well of English atavism that I have no doubt, from living there and simple observation of those around me, is leading England inexorably out of the European Union.

UKIP support rises, the Tory xenophobes bray, New Labour joins them because as always it scents the way to money and power. The English have already kept the UK out of Schengen and the Euro, the two most important developments in the history of the EU and both of which it would be great to be in. (On my advice a company here in Ghana is now buying tens of millions of pounds of manufactured equipment from Sweden, switching source from the UK, because the weak Euro gives much better value for money). The UK is already out of some of the most important aspects of the EU, snad the rest will follow.

When did any major English political figure dare to suggest in public that the EU is a good thing? That, incidentally, is a genuine question. Any answers? Neither English politicians nor media care to hide their gloating at the Eurozone’s economic difficulties, and the London media still makes daily predictions of the end of the Euro, despite having been wrong on the subject 1,000 days in a row.

Most amusing is when pundits who don’t actually support the EU themselves leap with glee when they can find a Spaniard wishing to be disobliging about an independent Scotland’s EU status. Said Spaniard is suddenly the ultimate authority on EU law, even though the same pundits deride Spain in every other circumstance.

It won’t be on the ballot paper. But the real question for the Scots is “Which union do you wish to be in?”

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142 thoughts on “Which Union Does Scotland Want To Be In?

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  • Vronsky

    Was in Edinburgh today for Margo’s (google her) meeting on assisted dying. More fun than it sounds. Walking back to Waverley saw girls in ‘Help for Heroes’ t-shirts planting out a very pretty geometrical array of little crosses, just at the foot of the Scott monument.

    Got sparks in front of my eyes a week ago, went to Specsavers (as I knew I should). All the staff were wearing ‘Help for heroes’ t-shirts. They told me my eyes were ok. They’re not ok – I keep seeing things I don’t want to see.

  • Frazer

    No apology necessary…I was the ops manager for Atholl Energy, when Craig was the CEO…for complete disclosure ..Craig is my cousin, and I know him well..He retained me as ops manager as he needed someone on the ground he could trust, hence me spending 2 years in Ghana building the power plant..for the past 20 odd years I have been a humanitarian aid worker, apart from my 2 years with Atholl..I specialise in destroying land mines and other unexploded stuff that can kill kids or anyone else whom happens to get near them..I get paid crap amounts of money to put on blast gear and walk into minefields, but at the end of the day, it’s not how you choose your life, it’s what you do with it that counts. Again, no offence taken and I do enjoy your posts .. I trust that we will continue to cross swords in the future !

  • Komodo

    Vronsky – sounds like you have a common condition; don’t know what it’s called but I bet it’s in Latin. I’ve had it ever since early childhood. With no ill effects. As long as it’s sporadic, and the episodes don’t last longer than a couple of minutes, forget it. If you’re still worried, take it to the doc, but my guess is it’s nothing. Sometimes, not always, associated with migraine. If you self-diagnose on the internet (don’t) you will find that you have been bitten by a rare Korean snake or that your brain is turning into a microwave. Don’t.

  • Rob Royston

    @ Komodo. Vronsky. Are you talking about an Aural migraine? Zig Zags in the vision. I had some attacks of it in my mid fifties, they said it was stress causing it. Later, my works medicals kept showing blood problems and it turned out I had Iron
    Overload which was starting to affect my organs including my heart rhythm. Since I got the iron levels under control, everything is back to normal.

    So for me it was a sign that something was wrong, but it took the works blood tests to show the repeating wrong levels.

    They blame everything on stress without looking deeper.

  • Alan campbell

    Lol. Craig extolling the virtues of the EU and Siemens in one article. Marvellous. Latest polls have pro-independence vote down to 30%. careful Craig. I fear youre in for a very deep bout of depression again.

  • Vronsky

    Thanks for the medical help. It was diagnosed as migraine without the headache. Unfortunately the headache came along a little later. My reference to disturbed vision was actually a joke about seeing things that truly were there but I wished they weren’t.

  • N_

    N_ On the ‘scaremongering’ charge, i.e. that nobody knows whether an independent Scotland would be allowed in the EU, whether people (in Scotland or outside) would be made to choose between Scottish and UK citizenship, what currency the country would have, etc. etc. etc…

    …the basic fact is that in most significant elections or plebiscites, one side sells the ‘Time for a Change’ message, and the other side takes ‘Better the Devil You Know’. That’s in Elections and Plebiscites 101.

    Obviously it’s the SNP who are selling the ‘Time for a Change’ message.

    And it seems that against their opponents, the main thing they can say is ‘you’re only scaremongering’. Well yes, that’s what the ‘Better the Devil You Know’ side are supposed to do. The ‘Time for a Change’ side appear to have no substantive answer whatsoever. Oh dear.

    Other things being equal, the referendum will obviously go against the SNP. Almost all the people who vote for independence will be SNP supporters, i.e. Scottish government supporters, although it wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of people who voted SNP in the election get a change of heart when it actually comes to voting in the referendum, and end up voting against independence.

    With the UK referendum, the only people who voted in favour were Liberal Democrat supporters, plus a few twits (notably in Oxford and Cambridge) who thought, and probably still think, that PR is the ‘clever’ person’s system of choice…forgetting that most people don’t want to have the fucking Liberals in every single ‘government’ there is.

    However…other things may not be equal…and if a lot of money is poured into the Scottish ‘independence’ campaign, it could win. Or if it’s backed from the White House and Langley and the rest of occupied territory in Washington DC, and indeed by Whitehall and the City, although that seems to me to be very unlikely. In such a scenario, leading figures in the three main Unionist parties would have to be discredited, or paid to switch sides. Charismatic pro-independence figures, preferably from Scotland’s main population centre, Glasgow (not hasbeen small-town lawyers who think they know about political theory), would be in every TV watcher’s face. Leading Boys’ Brigade figures and footballers could be paid to say ‘yeah, independence’. Maybe if they’re given large enough deposits in Swiss bank accounts, eh?

    The pro-independence side does have something solid to rely on, namely the ‘chip on the shoulder’ that is associated with Scottish national identity, especially among those who don’t leave Scotland.

    Doing an Iceland on Scotland could also look very appealing from certain desks in New York.

    That said, one is struck by the sheer ludicrousness of the independence campaign, e.g. statements made such as ‘yes, people will get Scottish passports, but only when they come up for renewal’ (oh really, have you cleared that with the London government yet?), ‘we want independence of the same kind as Jersey and the Isle of Man’ (you what???), and ‘we want control over 15% of the British army’ (no comment necessary), etc. Frankly, that’s not independence. Independence requires that a country (albeit only officially!) has its own foreign policy.

    But then the crooks who run the SNP may really be aiming for ‘devo max’ really. Yes, politics is all about money, in Scotland and everywhere else. The issue for them and their backers is contracts and rake-offs. Which could, of course, also be said about their opponents. In short, the referendum, however seriously the chattering classes may take it (well, especially on the East Coast!), is a load of old testicles.

    The hell with national identity! Concentrate on the reality of robbery…

  • English Knight

    The European Union was founded upon the basic premise that it was better to have the Germans pissing outside from inside the tent instead of vice versa – that there would never arise the need for another Maginot line. The French were the prime movers and intellect behind the evolving scheme of things. Unfortunately a big cog in the whole machine was diverted by the powerful “hungarians” in France, political discourse and attention to the European ideal now took a back seat. Instead DSK & Co were now waking up in the morning thinking what they could do for Israel today. The rest as they now say in the ECB is history. Israel in the meantime has not done too badly, creeping annexation, saddam,gaddafy vanquished n all,thank you very much!

  • Phil

    A Node 2 Nov, 2012 – 12:45 pm
    “I have to make a choice …. Alex Salmond or more of the same. At least his lies are socialist and anti-war.”

    You prefer a liar who says what you want to hear? Salmond is a banker loving, NATO supporter. He surely is more of the same.

    You could even, possibly, maybe choose beyond the non-choice you are presented with.

  • A Node

    @ Phil

    You quote me as saying:

    “I have to make a choice …. Alex Salmond or more of the same. At least his lies are socialist and anti-war.”

    and conclude that I “prefer a liar who says what you want to hear?”

    You didn’t include the context of that quote where I explain:

    “I’d rather be lied to by someone who thinks I might like those type of lies than someone who, for example, lies to me offering me opportunities for greed.”

    So, no, I don’t “prefer a liar who says what [I] want to hear?”. I prefer a liar who assumes I’m decent rather than selfish.

  • Komodo

    Thanks Rob Royston – was unaware of the iron connection to migraine aura (not the same as the floaty spark thing). Which I started getting in my forties immediately after a long MIG welding session, and seems to be triggered optically. I think of it in terms of the optical cortex recalibrating itself for want of anything more sensible in the literature. Compensation, I no longer get common migraine headaches. Glad Vronsky’s reassured, though I wouldn’t wish the full classical migraine monty on anyone.

  • Phil

    A Node 3 Nov, 2012 – 2:27 pm
    “So, no, I don’t “prefer a liar who says what [I] want to hear?”. I prefer a liar who assumes I’m decent rather than selfish.”

    So, decency is what you want to hear.

    But beyond semantics, I still do not understand why a war-opposing socialist would vote for a banker loving, nato supporter when you could be doing something you believed in.

  • Mary

    Balls named. Incorrigible. Opportunist. etc etc

    Conservative MP’s secret ‘guerrilla’ plot with Labour’s Ed Balls to make sure EU budget vote was ambushed
    4 November 2012.

    A rebel Tory MP had secret talks with Ed Balls as part of the plot to defeat David Cameron in Wednesday’s shock Commons vote on the EU budget crisis.

    Harwich MP Douglas Carswell discussed the rebellion with a member of Shadow Chancellor Mr Balls’s entourage to make sure the rebel Tory-Labour ambush was carried out with deadly effect.

    The two men discussed in detail how to dovetail their political guerrilla warfare tactics and prevent the Conservative leadership gaining vital time needed to scupper it.


  • Mary

    Osborne as a EU finance minister did nothing to stop the European Investment Bank giving a loan to Ford to extend their Transit plant in Turkey, an EU assocation country, prior to Ford closing the plants in Southampton and Dagenham with a large loss of jobs. The latter decision was known to Gideon.


    Sums up the EU.

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  • Kempe

    I suppose now the French, Germans, Austrians etc have expressed opposition to the EU budget they’re all rabidly anti-European too?

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