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?”

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

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  • A Node

    I’ve reluctantly become a convert to the Scottish Independence cause. It goes against my instincts as an internationalist, but I despair of the Westminster government ever being accountable to the citizens of the U.K. I can only hope that a government elected by a smaller electorate will be less remote from the people, e.g. Iceland.
    I don’t hold out a lot of hope, though.

  • Maxter

    Its not what Salmond and co talk about, its more about what they wont talk about that concerns me the most!
    When Salmond meets Cameron the mass murderer and doesnt conduct a citizens arrest or take him to task over Bombing Libyans, then I have to say he is as bad as the worst there is.

  • A Node

    Regarding antipathy of Scots to the English, both nations should be aware that it is actively encouraged by our MSM.
    For a vivid demonstration of this, anybody travelling across the border on the day of a sporting event between the two countries should read the Sun newspaper on each side. You don’t have to actually buy it, read it in a service station, then mess it up so that nobody else will either.

  • nevermind

    How will those EU immigrants fare who do not hold UK or Scottish citizenship? The rules of Scotland vis a vis the EU surely is as important as the internecine rivalries between clans and sectarians.

    I am a EU citizen who happens to live in Europe, I can’t be fazed with rights which have long lost their meaning, indeed are despised by the majority, British or Scottish, for example voting.

    Unless England get its own Parliament, preferably not an expensive London centric body accumulating vast armies of bureaucrats, all on London wages, this idea of citizenship in England has no meaning. I do not find the rules taken by Scottish N.Irish and Welsh in Parliament, when they haver their own, far more democratic Governing institutions at home, are relevant to the English.

    Democracy has been usurped in any way, so unless somebody suggests to make voting compulsory, or adopts demarchy as an evolutions that disperses with cronism and corruption at every level, this debate has no other consequences than to turn those who believe that they have a say, further away from the process and the system they live in.

    So what will happen to those demanding dual nationality? those landowners unknown, holding large acreages of Scotland as an investment portfolio? what will happen to immigrants in Scotland who feel sidelined by the arguments, affected in some ways by the proposals, but who will, most likely, not have a vote?

    Loch Ness fodder?

  • Maxter

    @A Node, Yes but he is a lying politician, thats what they do. He knew fine well that it would make good headlines at the time for his persona. At the end of the day he will talk the talk but never walk it, when it comes to betraying the money power that pulls his puppet strings. There is systematic abuse of children by establishment people that Salmond and Macaskill know about, but instead of doing the morally correct thing, they said nothing when the man that highlighted it was given a 1 year jail sentence for breach of the peace.
    The corruption in the Scottish establishment stinks. Lockerbie lies, Dunblane lies ect

  • N_

    @Frazer – when you said it was you who built the power plant in Ghana, I assumed you meant you either owned the company that ran its construction or were in charge of the project at the company. If you one of the people who really did build it, i.e. the blue-collar workers, then I apologise unreservedly!

    I still love Corinne Souza’s definition of ‘development aid’ as basically a corporate loyalty scheme, though!

  • A Node

    I agree with you regarding all the examples you mention. However, I am Scottish and I have to make a choice …. Alex Salmond or more of the same.
    At least his lies are socialist and anti-war. 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.

  • N_

    Any MP who supported impeaching Blair for war crimes deserves credit where it’s due, so Salmond deserves praise for this, regardless of whatever else he’s done or hasn’t done.

    It is funny, though, how the SNP didn’t take the UK government to court in 1989 over the poll tax, the introduction of which in Scotland was very clearly in violation of the Act of Union.

    To be exact, it violated clause 14, which states that “the kingdom of Scotland (may) be not charged with any other duties laid on by the Parliament of England before the Union, except those consented to in this Treaty“.

    The introduction of the poll tax in Scotland a year before it was introduced in England and Wales was therefore clearly unlawful.

    You’d have thought the SNP could have made some political capital out of that. Especially given the number of Edinburgh lawyers in the party.

    So why didn’t they?

    I’ve always suspected the SNP may be owned by the Tories. There are precedents for this sort of thing. In Austria, the ‘far-right’ Freedom Party was owned by the ‘centre-left’ Social-Democratic Party.

    Thatcher haters, of which I am one, should never forget that the SNP brought down the Labour government in 1979.

  • oddie

    as an english/irish/australia with no interest in the matter, may i say “none of the above”.

    Ex-Labour minister to be suspended from the Commons for A YEAR after claiming expenses on 19 fake invoices
    Former Europe Minister Denis MacShane is to be suspended from the Commons for a year for submitting 19 false invoices to claim parliamentary expenses…
    In a statement, Mr MacShane said: ‘I remain committed to work for progressive values, for Britain playing a full part in Europe, and for combating anti-semitism even though I can no longer undertake this work as a Labour MP…

    what is wrong with this picture…everything…especially given MacShane’s past “indiscretions”:


  • Maxter

    @A Node
    You do know that you do not have to endorse any of these people that lie to you in various degrees. Supporting the lesser of 2 evils is still voting for evil!
    We identify as being Scottish, but the reality is that we are all the same regardless of anything else, and we allow the politicians to play on that and to misinform and misdirect us whilst they take us along on a predefined journey.
    I will give non of these so called people representitives any credit whatsoever. We listen to Craig, then we have to ask ourselves, why was there never a man or woman with Craigs ethics to lead this country. TPTB do want ethical people running the show, only those that can be manipulated to big business money power.

  • N_

    Actually, on further investigation, I have now discovered I may have been ‘hoodwinked’ (masonic pun intended – joke!) with regard to the unlawfulness under the Act of Union of the introduction of the poll tax in Scotland in 1989. Clause 14 of the Act refers to the English parliament, not the UK parliament, so I was mistaken – unless someone wishes to argue the point!

  • Komodo

    Oh, come on, N. Blaming the SNP for ending Wislon’s reign is rather like blaming the aspirin for ending your headache. The SNP/ Ulster Unionist/Labour arrangement was always a marriage of convenience, and the country was going to hell in a handcart. Blame Wilson for his successor if you like – he brought it on himself – but not the SNP. Particularly pre- Salmond, and with a total of two Westminster seats.

    As I recall, in rural Scotland, the Poll Tax united opinion like nothing else I have ever seen. Labs, Tories, Libs, Nats and their dogs got on buses to go and march in London. It wasn’t a political party wot won it – though three of them claim to have done. Mind you, the SNP’s Kenny MacAskill played a prominent part.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Conflict

    I ask, what is the point of frittering away £350million for designing the future generation of British nuke submarines and a projected £97 billion (Greenpeace) Trident upgrade if an independent Scotland becomes nuclear free and the Faslane base is dismantled?

    To me it makes no sense for the English government to issue threats of massive job losses when Ministry of Defence figures show only 520 civilian posts at Faslane and Coulpourt, near Helensburgh, Argyll, are dependent on the nuclear ­deterrent based on the Clyde.

    SNP MSP Bill Kidd said: “Because of its obscene cost to the public purse, Trident is in reality a jobs-destroyer.

    “Attempts to justify the presence of weapons of mass destruction on the Clyde in terms of jobs is the worst kind of nonsense. Diverting even £1billion from Trident into ­infrastructure spending would create around 15,000 jobs – far, far more positions than actually depend on these missiles.”

    The coming anniversary of the Battle of Bannockburn may well indeed tip the scales towards the ‘yes’ vote in 2014.

  • Mary

    Things we already knew.

    Bank of England governance ‘defective’
    The reviews said the Bank was right to keep quiet about the scale of the bailout of HBOS and RBS

    Big Banking
    Global banking scandals explained
    How British banking broke down
    What’s gone wrong with the banks?
    Whistleblower hits out at regulators

    Governance of the Bank of England is “defective”, according to the chairman of the Treasury Committee following the publication of three independent reviews into the Bank’s performance.

    Andrew Tyrie said the reviews were too little, too late.

    The reviews, commissioned by the Bank, questioned its “centralised and hierarchical” structure.
    Something not known to many of those who have taken out private pensions and those who bought AVCs. Another grand theft on the unsuspecting.

    Pension projections cut by FSA to stop ‘false impressions’

    The calculations used to give people pension projections are to be revised down
    Your Pensions
    Q&A: Pension automatic enrolment
    How to save for a pension
    How to cope with pensions issues
    Five questions answered

    Projected investment returns on pension plans must be reduced from 2014, says the Financial Services Authority (FSA).

    The City regulator wants investment firms to show more realistic, and also less optimistic, potential returns than those currently used.

    It said this will reduce the chances of investors getting a “false impression” of the value of their potential future pensions.

    Firms will have a year to implement the new rates, which begin in April 2014.


    Beware of the new scam. Compulsory pensions. NEST.

  • nevermind

    I fully agree with you, Oddie, mac Shane has a disreputable soul and should stop trying to kick whilst he’s down.
    I’m sure after a life long on the taxpayers pockets, he will have a nest egg or two to fall back on to, not to speak of his considerable pension rights.

    Meanwhile, after Atos scandalous handling of the assessment for disabled people, apparently that was not hard enough, today’s announcement is suggesting that those living in public housing and have empty rooms should pay for this empty room by loosing an amount in housing benefit.

    Such move will hit the disabled harder than any other public tenants, what a despicable idea. This is the result of housing associations not building enough housing, we have thousands lingering on lists that get only longer and what little does get built is unaffordable to many, artificially.

    Denis MacShane should be expelled from the Labour party for his fraud, its about time that socially irresponsible representatives get what they have been asking for, I could not care whether they make it retrospective and cause loads of empty seats.

    lets not have by-elections any more, they are riddled with corruption, are a waste of money, ignored by the majority, lets appoint the MP via a random pick from the national insurance numbers within the constituency, please.
    there must be a parrot around, or a small child, a homeless person or organ grinders monkey able to do the draw for it, at least it would be ten times more democratic as what we have got now. televise it like a game show, each constituency showing their most outrageous selection process, then the face of the lucky winner…. saying no thanks, then the excitement of the second draw, instantly and without delay, and yes, hurray, this time the chosen one is accepting to be the new MP for Corby.
    At a good salary for four years only and without extensive pension rights. Simples.

  • nevermind

    gender balance could be guaranteed, a serving woman would always followed by a new MP from the opposite sex, that will stop unnecessary arguments, not to speak of the dreaded politicians disease of ‘lardarsinoma’.

  • Mary

    Labour have booted him out but what about the constituents if they need an MP’s help or similar?

  • evgueni

    I am one of those johnny-foreigners living in England and I can see that the EU is not a benign affair. It is intentionally anti-democratic and many of its leading proponents have openly stated this. Quite why it would be better than the undemocratic UK, I don’t see. It’s a false dichotomy. Just because you share many happy memories with a drinking buddy doesn’t mean he won’t screw you over later – that will depend on what kind of person he is. And so with the EU.. Time to replace those rose-tinted glasses.

  • technicolour

    Thanks N and Phil. How can people be for ‘independence’ without actually knowing what it entails? Is it just an emotional thing? I can fully understand why the people of Scotland would like to get away from this and previous governments btw, but then so do most of the people of England.

  • Vronsky


    “What happened at Newsnetscotland. Must have been some comment.”

    Don’t understand the question.

  • A Node

    @ Maxter

    I agree with your sentiments about the con trick called “democracy”, but not about the merits of withholding my vote.
    I’ve never voted for a mainstream party, but I’ve rarely missed voting. In the absence of a decent protest vote opportunity in my constituency, such as the Monster Raving Loony Party, I have variously voted Green, the Natural Law party, and have spoiled my vote on 2 occasions. The last General Election gave me my first ever opportunity to vote for a party whole-heartedly, the Ban The Bankers’ Bonus party.
    However, in all that time, no matter which of the ‘democratically elected’ parties has won, nothing has changed. And it never will – that’s what Westminster is for.
    So I’m giving the S.N.P. a whorl. If a resulting Holyrood government settles down and becomes a mini-Westminster, as is likely, well I’m no worse off. But there is a slight chance that it will be a little more accountable, find it a little less easy to flout the will of a smaller, tighter constituency. I’m not hoping for much, even a government that doesn’t just take the piss out of democracy would be an improvement
    I can’t imagine how it can be any worse than what we have now.

  • Kempe

    Time for us all to avoid tax dodging companies.

    Trouble is it wouldn’t leave us with a lot of choice.

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