We Can Rule the World – Err, No We Can’t 188

Alistair Darling has warned Scots that they will lose diplomatic influence if they leave the United Kingdom.  He gives Syria as an example.  Syria having been such a resounding diplomatic success for the UK, and the UK having contributed hugely to the successful resolution of the conflict – or presumably his reasoning is something like that.

An Independent Scotland would almost certainly not have invaded Iraq and would be most unlikely to have occupied Afghanistan for ten years.  It would thus not have squandered vast sums of money, not contributed to the continued political disaster of both countries.  An independent Scotland would not be a permanent member of the Security Council.  This would impact terribly on the population, who would be benighted like the peoples of Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Australia, in all of which  the lives of ordinary people are absolutely intolerable because of their non membership of the Security Council, and all of which have been repeatedly invaded and wiped out in nuclear attacks continually throughout the last six decades.

I worked in multilateral negotiations in both the UN and EU and found colleagues from countries like Ireland, the Netherlands and Canada to be professional competent and influential.  The Scots certainly can be all of those.  Small countries contribute to policy, to peacekeeping and to humanitarian effort.  This latest bit of unionist nonsense is contemptible.

188 thoughts on “We Can Rule the World – Err, No We Can’t

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  • MJ

    “An Independent Scotland would almost certainly not have invaded Iraq and would be most unlikely to have occupied Afghanistan for ten years”

    Iraqis and Afghans must be relieved about that. My understanding is that an “independent” Scotland would not only retain the pound and stay in the EU, it would also be a member of NATO, with all the obligations that that entailed.

    Would an “independent” Scotland have its own independent military force? If it wanted to invade Iraq and occupy Afghanistan, would it be able to?

  • Donald MacDonald


    Those are SNP policies, which could not bind a future Scottish Government.

    And why would Scotland want to invade these places.

    Keep up.

  • Fred

    “Would an “independent” Scotland have its own independent military force? If it wanted to invade Iraq and occupy Afghanistan, would it be able to?”

    That’s one of the worrying parts.

    If an independent Scotland isn’t going to be having any foreign interventions who are they planning on using those 15,000 front line troops against.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “If an independent Scotland isn’t going to be having any foreign interventions who are they planning on using those 15,000 front line troops against.” Fred, 2:36pm, today.


  • Ed Davies


    Apart from the issue of the pound, which is debatable at least beyond a transitional period, all attributes you list would apply to many of the smaller countries in Europe – Ireland and Denmark spring to mind as comparable. Would you use similar scare quotes to describe their independence?

  • James Mason

    I agree with the argument that Scotland would not undertake these ventures should it become independent. But I also believe its values as a world interlocutor would be marginalised as a result. Scotland would sit alongside the Marshall Islands as a world power. That may be acceptable to the people of Scotland and possibly a respectable place to sit in world opinion. But no one outside to Scotland will bother to ask for the dialling code for Glasgow or Edinburgh when it comes to consultation on international affairs. Why bother?

  • Craig Evans


    Well said, why would an independent Scotland want to have this “clout”? We will find our way in the world and our influence will come from the way we act, the alliances we make and the values we hold.

    These seem far away from the vested interests in Westminster, the City of London and Washington.

    Vote YES in 2014

  • foolish finking was frank fool

    All countries align themselves with others. Britain plays a funny role aligning itself sometimes with Commonwealth and sometimes with Europe and sometimes America, as a bridge between Europe and America but mostly aligned with America. So with whom would Scotland align? It is not going to be China or Russia? Doesn’t US still make use of Scottish bases. Wouldn’t US state department consider that an independent Scotland would be even more easily manipulated than the UK. Independence has emotional attraction but surely a better model is a properly federal UK. US is not such a bad example in terms of its domestic set up.

  • Je

    An independent Scotland could join several other countries without an armed forces, just a police force. Possibly a couple of maritime patrol/search and Rescue aircraft. Maybe a few soldiers with light weapons for UN peacekeeping. But that is it.

    One might think some air defence fighters – but the Russians can blow Scotland to pieces with ballistic missiles anyway – so why bother…

  • cirsium

    @ James Mason, 2.51 – “Scotland would sit alongside the Marshall Islands as a world power” Scotland would also sit alongside Norway. Are you saying that no one outside to Norway bothers to ask for the dialling code for Oslo when it comes to consultation on international affairs?

    Vote YES in 2014

  • MJ

    “And why would Scotland want to invade these places”

    Search me. My use of the word ‘if’ was meant to indicate that it was a hypothetical question.

    “Ireland and Denmark spring to mind as comparable. Would you use similar scare quotes to describe their independence?”

    Ireland yes, Denmark no. Denmark has its own currency.

  • Chris Jones

    @James Mason “But no one outside to Scotland will bother to ask for the dialling code for Glasgow or Edinburgh when it comes to consultation on international affairs. Why bother?”

    And Scotland is consulted on international/imperialist affairs now is it?

  • mike cobley

    If the diplomats and civil servants from smaller countries so competent and so influential, why is the world so fucked up?

  • Krishnamurky

    Only 40-50% of the oil in any well is normally extracted,£2 TRILLION so far. Apart from ongoing production and new tech, there will be a chance to pump water (and raise the remaining oil to the surface)into these “exhausted” wells (that have the bonus of having all infrastructure already in place)using free night-time electricity, fracking in the North Sea, etc. The sky is the limit. And we are talking for a population of only 5 million? Its clearly a no brainer, if only never to have another Rifkind rooting for war (to serve israeli interests) as a “representative” of the Scottish people.

  • Juteman

    Who wants to he a world power?
    Trident doesn’t put food on the table.
    Maybe we won’t need foodbanks after 2014.

  • DoNNyDarKo

    Fred: Why does an army have to have foreign interventions ?
    Scotland’s 15,000 troops would be used for Defence.
    At the moment, the UK seems to have confused the Ministry of Defence with Offence.
    Or are you one of these people that thinks the UN is something to sidestep and disregard ?

  • Someone

    Alistair Darling, the man made Chancellor of the Exchequer by the powers that be!, Alistair Darling, the man who had his finger on the heart and pulse of global financial dealings, Alistair Darling, the man intrusted with the financial health and welfare of the nation!, Alistair Darling, the man who by his own admission knew NOTHING about the financial armageddon that was unfolding or what was going on in anyway until he read about it on a news stand in a shop in Spain while on holiday!!!.

  • Moniker

    Trouble is, you’re making it sound so attractive but I live in England – how can *we* declare independence from the United Kingdom of Westminster?

  • Jemand

    Craig, I can confirm that life in Australia was absolutely intolerable prior to us assuming the presidency of the UN Security Council just today. Well what can I say, everything has changed!

    For me personally, membership of the UNSC has had an immediate, positive effect on my life. I’m no longer feeling my old depressed self – which is a good thing because it’s a filthy habit. I recommend others joining the UNSC, the benefits are many and the fees are comparatively low, much lower than buying the World Cup or Commonwealth Games.

  • Ex Pat


    Then Scotland will be just another increasingly restive subject nation of the US Empire. But more and more of us are simply ignoring the dying US Empire – see South America.

    Plus they too can then use those great Anti-Fascist Anti-Empire tools the UK invented and gave the world. Yes, Monty Python. ; ) The means to be creatively (highly) offensive about those who would murder, torture-to-death, commit illegal war, genocide and even use chemical weapons to create a fake reason for more murder.


    The US Empire collapsing not with a whimper, but a bang. No change there, then! –

    Johan Galtung latest – the revered father of peace studies. 5th March 2012 – Transcend Peace Organization –



    Europe – the ECB – Neo-Conmen, neo-liberal tools, of the EU Elite in cahoots with the US Elite. Perfectly according with Johan Galtung’s theory of Imperialism that handily explains colonialism, US neo-colonialism of the 1950s and 1960s and today’s neo-neo-colonialism of the US Empire???

    ‘A Structural Theory of Imperialism,’ _and_ how to combat it! ; ) – Johan Galtung, 1971 – revered father of peace studies –


    Plus ‘A Structural Theory of Imperialism – Ten Years Later – 1981. _More_ on how to combat Empires. Strangely enough the pdf is unreadable – the Empire has willing hands everywhere? – Printing it helps a very little!

    See ‘Online Papers’ and search for ‘Imperialism’ at Transcend Peace Organization –



    Just say “Up yours” to USUK Empire Neo-Con Nazi mass psychosis! –


    USUK Empire Neo-Con Nazism made mainstream by ‘Biggus Dickus,’ (of Wome on the Potomac) — Big Oil tool and US Torture promoter – brought to Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Sudan, Aden, Syria, Egypt, Uzbekistan, Poland, Lithuania and many, many more —

    – “You lucky bastard” – Monty Python – Life of Brian –


  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella!)

    DoNNyDarKo says :

    “Fred: Why does an army have to have foreign interventions ?
    Scotland’s 15,000 troops would be used for Defence”

    My question is : defence against whom?

    Surely it is the opinion of many Scottish independentists that Scotland will no longer have any enemies once it is free of the contemptible United Kingdom, that well-known and much-hated vassal of the evil American Empire?

    So surely an army will not be necessary at all? Surely Scotland could do a Costa Rica?

    Or perhaps not (whisper : employment…jobs for the boys from Fettes…nice uniforms… parades and ceremonies and a nice ministry for Scottish politicians….OH, but I forgot that Scottish politicians will be…different….from English ones 🙂 )

  • Ex Pat



    “The Kremlin has released the official text of President Vladimir Putin’s remarks on the Syrian crisis. What is striking is that Putin spoke far more extensively than what the media reports suggested, and, second, he spoke on virtually every aspect of the explosive situation.”

    Certainly, Putin towers head and shoulders above other world statesmen today in taking a highly principled stance, given Russia’s involvement in Syria, knowledge of Syria and the Middle East and the big role it has been playing to cobble together Geneva 2 despite all odds. 

    “Putin’s bid to launch peace doves over Syria,” by MK Bhadrakumar, ex-Ambassador of India, September 1st, 2013 – MK Bhadrakumar blog –


    Kremlin official text – “Answers to Journalist’s Questions,” August 31st, 2013 – Vladivostok – President of Russia –


  • AlcAnon


    Water injection has been used on most North Sea oil fields since the beginning. They have been developed since day one with “enhanced recovery” techniques.

  • Je

    Ex Pat – Putin is a psychopath. Responsible for murderous war in Chechnya and the assassination of his opponents abroad. Russian arms are also part of the flames burning in Syria.

  • Herbie

    “Putin is a psychopath. Responsible for murderous war in Chechnya”

    You sure about that?

    Someone presented a fine argument here yesterday that Prince Bandar Bush of Saud controlled that operation.

  • Ex Pat



    The US Empire is a fascist enterprise – run by those who use the methods of Nazis daily. Illegal war, murder, torture-to-death, laying waste entire countries. That’s what Snowden’s data _proves_ beyond a shadow of doubt, just as the Collateral Murder video did about Iraq. But Snowden will do that for every arm and every operation of the National Security state. As he said in an interview, the individual CIA man can see one or two utterly indefensible murderous wasteful counter-productive operations in a career but the Network Systems Administrator can see _thousands_ of them. He can see that that is business-as-usual (*). As John Stockwell said thirty years ago.

    The US Empire has killed 12m to 16m in 60 years. It is a monstrous evil. Putin is an ant compared to an elephant in the totals murdered, torture-to-death and genocided, imo.

    John Stockwell has put it as clearly as any man could. –

    “I don’t mean to abuse you with verbal violence, but you have to understand what your government and its agents are doing. They go into villages, they haul out families. With the children forced to watch they castrate the father, they peel the skin off his face, they put a grenade in his mouth and pull the pin. With the children forced to watch they gang-rape the mother, and slash her breasts off. And sometimes for variety, they make the parents watch while they do these things to the children.” These are not just words. It is also real. Real mothers. Real children. Real fathers. Real death.

    “We do not parachute teams into the Soviet Union to haul families out at night and castrate the father with the children watching, because they have the Bomb, and a big army, and they would parachute teams right back into our country and do the same thing to us – they’re not scared of us.” – http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Stockwell/StockwellCIA87_2.html

    Video – John Stockwell – “Third World War” – Forty years of Secret Wars of the C1A – 6 million killed – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3ioJGMCr-Y

    John Stockwell – http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Stockwell/John_Stockwell.html

    John Stockwell – ‘America’s Third World War’ – 6 – 20M killed –


    Johan Galtung – the US empire has murdered 12m or 16m in forty years. “The difference is between overt murders and including covert murders by the US.” In illegal wars and genocides. –

    ‘How would we know that the Empire is dead?” – Johan Galtung –



    Putin is the head of Russian political / business ‘family’, with the prime minister as part of that ‘family’. Do they use extreme measures if needed? Undoubtedly.

    BUT, As a politician, is Putin’s the voice of an international statesman preaching peace, respect for international law and peaceful co-existance. YES HE IS.


    Hence he is anathema to those under the sway of hte US Empire mass psychosis – that illegal war, murder, torture-to-death, and genocide are justified because ‘we’ say so. Just. Like. The. German. Nazis.

    > Ex Pat – Putin is a psychopath.

    Evidence? A sociopath? Who in government is not? Compared to ‘Pumphead’ Cheney? Hardly. Compared to the Nazi US Empire and the tens of millions slaughtered, in sixty years, don’t make me laugh.

    > Responsible for murderous war in Chechnya

    Was the US Empire giving Russia another Vietnam?

    > and the assassination of his opponents abroad.

    Berezovsky and the US Empire had much more to gain, imo. Far more likely a US Empire false flag, unless you’ve been asleep for the last forty years.

    > Russian arms are also part of the flames burning in Syria.

    Compared to the US Empire’s contribution? Hardly.

    (*) SNOWDEN

    Snowden: “When you’re in positions of privileged access like a systems administrator for the sort of intelligence community agencies, you’re exposed to a lot more information on a broader scale then the average employee and because of that you see things that may be disturbing but over the course of a normal person’s career you’d only see one or two of these instances. When you see everything you see them on a more frequent basis and you recognize that some of these things are actually abuses. And when you talk to people about them in a place like this where this is the normal state of business people tend not to take them very seriously and move on from them.”
    “But over time that awareness of wrongdoing sort of builds up and you feel compelled to talk about. And the more you talk about the more you’re ignored. The more you’re told its not a problem until eventually you realize that these things need to be determined by the public and not by somebody who was simply hired by the government.”

    See Mondoweiss, google or Policymic –


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