Farage Boost to Yes 93


I have maintained ever since the independence referendum date was announced, that the EU election results would boost Yes support into the lead.  I am very confident that will prove a good prediction.

Today’s Sunday Times opinion poll on European election voting intentions gives:

UKIP 31

New Lab 28

Cons 19

Ldem 9

Green 8

A win for UKIP will not only remind Scots that England remains in thrall to very right wing politics tinged with racism.  It will also make plain to Scots that the only way to be sure to stay in the EU is to be part of an independent Scotland.  No professional career diplomat seriously believes the EU would expel Scotland, even though a tiny minority of European politicians occasionally like to threaten it would, for their own domestic purposes.

A massively greater risk is the crazed Little Englanders dragging the UK into leaving the EU.  UKIP are rampant.  The Tories are terrified of them, and have a risible position that after the next election they will renegotiate Britain’s membership, then have an in-out referendum.  In fact there really is no chance that all the other member states will unanimously agree to Cameron’s demand for changes in treaties that were excruciatingly difficult to gain unanimity for in the first place.  In several instances EU states would be unable to agree without a referendum, a can of worms nobody wants to open.  Cameron’s renegotiated settlement can never happen, so the Tories’ European figleaf only has a couple more years to go before expiry date.  Then the English will want to leave.  A majority of English voters already do want to leave.

The difference between English and Scottish voters on the EU is not a myth.  Lord Ashcroft regularly commissions polling data for the Conservative party on a much greater scale than anything the newspapers do.  Newspaper samples are typically around 1,000.  Ashcroft’s are around 20,000. His first quarter survey in 2014

All things considered, do you think that the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union? (Sample 20,058)  (excluding don’t knows etc)

Wales England Northern Ireland (WENI)

Yes 49

No 51

Scotland

Yes 60

No 40

That is a huge difference, and shows one clear reason why Scotland needs to be an independent state with its own foreign policy.

I trace this strong popular support for the EU in Scotland back to the early 1980’s.  Thatcherism was devastating the economy, there was negative public investment from Westminster, and the only available jobs were on EU regional development funded projects like the A9 upgrade and Dundee City airport.  I remember the big blue EU hoardings at those sites, and it was like a breath of sanity amidst the English Conservative wreaked havoc.

Scottish EU support is also part of our open, internationalist outlook.  We have no desire to rebuild barriers between ourselves and the vast European cultural social and economic space.  We are not fearful or resentful of those foreigners.  We want the EU itself to be more outward looking and porous too.

New Labour are not going to win the next UK general election.  In the last six UK general elections, the governing party has gained an average of 6.5 percentage points in the twelve months preceding the general election.  New Labour are at their polling zenith – which is not at all high – and about to decline.  The Tory/Clegg disaster is coming back to the UK in 2015.

Though when New Labour are committed to cut benefits more than the Tories, and given their record on bank bailouts, NHS privatization, academy schools, PFI, university tuition fees and the numerous other disasters New Labour visited upon us – not to mention Iraq, Afghanistan and extraordinary rendition – I cannot understand the brainless tribal loyalty that makes anybody believe New Labour would be any better anyway.


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93 thoughts on “Farage Boost to Yes

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  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Donald Carthlan

    Your post does not describe entirely accurately the case of Sweden and the euro(there are too many short cuts), but before continuing I should like you to source the following

    “Indeed the EU has accepted that Sweden is staying outside the eurozone for the foreeseable on its own decision. Olli Rehn, the EU commissioner for economic affairs has said that it is up to Swedish people to decide.”

    Can you provide more info (preferably by direct reference and/or quotation) on those two assertions?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Donald Carthlan

    No need to respond to my post of half an hour ago – I overlooked your words “de facto” (but Sweden does not have exempted status, ie an opt-out, like Denmark and the UK; it is formally a “Member State with a derogation”.)

  • Mary

    That post which I put up at lunchtime has only just gone up as it was in moderation and already it is being analysed and criticized.

    Anyone want a stalker? I know of one going spare.

  • Ben-

    “I know of one going spare.”

    It’s more like an ankle-biting Border Collie Mary. Habbabreak makes for cryptic comments.

    I find it easier to just step over the droppings on the pavement, or kick them to the curb; whichever is more convenient.

  • Phil

    To extend the tabloidesque insinuation the 40% north of the border who do not hold EU aspirations are “little Scotlanders” who are “tinged with racism”.

  • Mary

    I had a border collie Ben and he never bit any ankles! Robbie had been a working sheepdog in Yorkshire and after being put out to stud, was advertised for rescue. When I first saw him at the farm, he was living in the boot of a Volvo estate. He was the dearest dog I have ever had and I loved him to bits as the saying goes. He’s in the garden now under a tree.

    Excuse the diversion Mods.

  • Hector

    A win for UKIP will not only remind Scots that England remains in thrall to very right wing politics tinged with racism.

    Curiously, about twice as many immigrants, proportional to the population, choose to settle in England rather than Scotland.

  • craig Post author

    Sackerson

    I met Alan Sked – spoke with him in a debate a few years ago somewhere. Seemed a perfectly decent person and very bright. You would be quite wrong in thinking I despise or dislike people who have different opinions to myself. I don’t at all.

  • fred

    “I’m hoping that an independent Scotland offers a path to repatriation for those of us whose ancestors were forcibly removed from their land during the Clearances.”

    I haven’t seen any barbed wire keeping people out. Come on any time you want, there’s nothing stopping you. We’ve plenty of room.

    Though I speak to people all over the world, Canada, New Zealand, Africa, Americas. Nobody has ever told me they wanted to come back. Hell some of them have ranches bigger than Scotland now.

  • Michael McIntyre

    A win for UKIP will (…) make plain to Scots that the only way to be sure to stay in the EU is to be part of an independent Scotland.

    The only way to be sure? Your rationality is going out of the window. You sound as if you’re writing an election leaflet.

    Which may be why we get the following fallacious argument from authority, written without your usual care:

    No professional career diplomat seriously believes the EU would expel Scotland

    No organisation can expel a non-member. That’s the only sense in which you’re right.

    You can accuse me of pedantry, but your use of the word “expel” is twisty and suggests an assumption of what you mean to show.

    Nor do you know what all professional career diplomats believe, whether seriously or otherwise. Maybe some of the PCDs of your acquaintance switch off whenever conversation goes tartan?

    The decision as to whether Scotland will become an EU member state wouldn’t be taken by career diplomats. In the period between referendum day and independence day, diplomats from Britain in particular would exert little influence. Anybody who thinks EU governments would recognise the inexorable logic and unshakeable legal basis of the Scottish case is deluding themselves. There wouldn’t be protracted legal proceedings on the issue. The decision would be political.

    The Scottish government can stamp its foot and blame the English (a stage villian appearing in such guises as ‘Westminster’ or the ‘London media’). Such rubbish plays very well in the home market, where chips on shoulders are a Scottish nationalist requirement.

    In Frankfurt, Berlin, Paris, Rome, Madrid, Brussels, Washington DC? Nobody would be interested.

  • Ken

    According the the Scotsman last week, UKIP were on 10% in Scotland, which was just one point behind the Tories. It looks to me as if they will grab the Tory seat.

    One of the reasons is the sheer hysteria that is being built up around them and the people that it is coming from. Frankly, it’s everyone that a lot of people just loath and UKIP is riding high on that.

  • Rhisiart Gwilym

    Couple of small points Craig: To be accurate, Fromage’s Funtime Follies should be called EKIP. That’s how a write it always, just to make the reality clear. UKIP is simply inaccurate, and delusional. Remember the hot reception he got when naively trying it on in Edinburgh.

    Also, for an educated Scot like you, who also speaks English English fluently, to use the illiterate Amercanism ‘wreaked’ when you really mean ‘wrought’ must have been a momentary lapse of attention, I’d have thinked. 🙂 Cheers Craig!

  • Sofia Kibo Noh

    Before Scots adopt the Euro take a look at what it has meant for their Irish neighbours.

    http://www.capitalismwithoutfailure.com/2012/05/david-mcwilliams-powerful-series-on.html

    Also consider the deep democratic deficit and rampant corruption of the EU and it’s unelected commission. Remember when the Irish voted No to the Lisbon treaty they were told the had voted wrong and millions of euro were spent scaring them into voting Yes on a second try. A canary in the democratic mine?

    The skeptics in Englandland might be right in this issue for the wrong reasons. Maybe the Norwegians could share some of their experience regarding sovereignty, resources, democracy and currency.

  • Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    From everyone I’ve spoken to (in England), voting UKIP is going to be (a) a desperate protest vote, against the indistinguishable policies, obvious incompetence and bland indifference to public opinion of all the alternatives and (b) an indication of objection to untrammelled immigration, with all that is perceived to bring in the way of changing the culture of the country. I am not yet getting any clear intention to vote UKIP in UK parliamentary elections, but if this lot don’t get their act together, and that eftsoons or right speedily, we could well be seeing a lot more of Farage’s grinning mug.

    For the moment, though, the feeling seems to be that it doesn’t matter much who represents us in Europe…and, candidly, I’d rather have people who are critical of what goes on there representing me in that flaccid, corrupt and manager-swamped forum.

  • fred

    “From everyone I’ve spoken to (in England), voting UKIP is going to be (a) a desperate protest vote, against the indistinguishable policies, obvious incompetence and bland indifference to public opinion of all the alternatives”

    You have to allow for the large role cognitive dissonance plays in these matters.

    I’d bet a large proportion of those made the decision first and thought of the reason later.

  • Geoffrey

    “very right wing politics tinged with racism”! at least UKIP would’nt have attacked,or supported the attacks of:Afghanistan,Iraq,Libya,Syria nor would it be fomenting war in the Ukraine.

  • fred

    ““very right wing politics tinged with racism”! at least UKIP would’nt have attacked,or supported the attacks of:Afghanistan,Iraq,Libya,Syria nor would it be fomenting war in the Ukraine.”

    Of course they would.

  • Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    I’d bet a large proportion of those made the decision first and thought of the reason later.

    I wouldn’t. The perception that we are being governed by shambling incompetents serving an agenda which has nothing to do with the bulk of the population is surprisingly widespread – if not in the Belgrave Arms* itself. Where you’ll be hearing very little about UKIP as they have been jeered back across the border when attempting to establish a presence in Scotland. Might be a little cognitive dissonance there as well. I’ve heard deep red Labour union men coming very reluctantly to the conclusion, correctly, that New Labour is a pile of crap, the Greens have lost their way, and that the system needs some radical surgery…before voicing the dread initials UKIP.

    Farage’s trick is simple – he looks as if he’s listening. The others don’t even bother with the appearance of listening. What’s worse, Murdoch is not unsympathetic. Win or lose, UKIP is going to make politics a good deal less predictable.
    Though if they were to achieve any electoral edge in the long term, I think we can safely assume that UKIP’d guzzle as heartily as the pigs already at the trough.

    * or wherever your boat floats

  • fred

    “I wouldn’t. ”

    I didn’t think you would.

    I don’t remember a government people actually liked. Governing the country has always been a compromise, there have always been people ready to jump on the negative and shout it loud. Would you want another Thatcher, a Callaghan maybe? Maybe you’d rather have the Greek government? That’s how radical extremist parties always campaign.

    But if you discount the negative campaigning and look at what UKIP is actually offering different`it all revolves around that damned Johny Foreigner.

  • Mary

    Ex Medialens from the excellent John Hilley

    The CBI has killed the BBC stone dead
    Posted by John Hilley on April 28, 2014, 10:00 am

    ‘This is the end of the road for the BBC in Scotland. Whatever happens at the meeting in Pacific Quay is totally irrelevant. You are watching end game.

    Why was the BBC a secret member of the CBI at all? Why in the name of goodness does a body that is allowed to legally extort payment from householders, require to be a member of a right wing lobbying group which has links to the Conservative party?

    For several years the CBI, or more precisely the CBI in Scotland, has had access to BBC Scotland’s substantial media platform in which to promote its ideological opposition to independence and it has used this to good effect.’

    http://www.newsnetscotland.com/index.php/scottish-opinion/9109-the-cbi-has-killed-the-bbc-stone-dead

  • Daniel Buckley

    Scotland may vote for independence, but if it ties itself to either the Pound sterling or the Euro,it cannot be a Sovereign independent country.
    It will still be a debt slave to the English or Euro system.
    A free Sovereign country, that issues and controls its own currency,can use this currency to create full employment and be really free with control of its economy.
    The proviso is that this currency is used to create productive employment and generate REAL wealth and NOT invested in the predatory FINANCE, INSURANCE AND REAL ESTATE SECTORS.
    The wealth of a nation is in the ingenuity and industry of its population, to use its natural resources to good effect for the prosperity of the nation.
    This means directing investment to the wealth creating agricultural.fisheries, mining and manufacturing sectors,etc.
    A sovereign country can never be short of money for investment, It does not have to go to the so-called bond markets for this money.It can create this money from thin air. The money is cancelled on receipt of taxes from corporate and income payers. Surplus from this wealth creation is used for the social support of the population.
    Money is a token, a means of exchange and a necessary tool in modern society. In itself it is not wealth.
    97% of the money in circulation today in the British economy has been created by the private banking system from thin air. This money is created when a bank approves a loan and charges interest on this loan.It is debt based money.
    It is estimated that the private banking cartel extract between 30-40% from the economy using loan facilities.
    Creation of money by the financial sector has created our present worldwide crisis. Digital funny money without asset backing created by the financial casino,does not create wealth or improve the welfare of the citizen. Rather it creates unemployment and poverty and subverts our democracy by suborning our politicians and civil servant, via the revolving door to City of London banking sinecures.

  • Geoffrey

    In the event of further success for UKIP,the Scots would have to consider whether they prefer government from Brussels or London.
    Would the Scots really prefer Brussels? (I suppose,at least they would have lots of new roads and airports).
    Moreover,if Scotland votes Yes it increases the probablity of it being Brussels not London,as UKIPs share of the vote is low in Scotland.

  • Ba'al Zevul (soy Marxista de tendencia Groucho)

    But if you discount the negative campaigning and look at what UKIP is actually offering different`it all revolves around that damned Johny Foreigner.

    Well, yes. Face it, keeping JF out, or as many as possible of him, has through most of our history been official policy. I think the debate is legitimate, and I am all for UKIP having it out in the open. Too long, this has been a topic which PC has forbidden, without ever being able to demonstrate why.

    For myself, I don’t see the logic in importing workers when we have high real unemployment. That is to evade the real issue: why are our workers uncompetitive? I don’t see the point of surrendering part of our legislative capacity to gain the small trade advantage that the EU purports to offer; I don’t see why we are paying our farmers, via the EU, to produce stuff we don’t get to eat, I don’t see why the maritime EU has prime access to our dangerously depleted fish stocks, and I certainly don’t see the point of our complying with EU directives with a scrupulousness which the French don’t even try to match.

    UKIP claims – and I’ll be the first to concede, it probably can’t and won’t deliver – that the UK could potentially act in its own interest far better than the EU allows it to. You may not agree with me, indeed you usually don’t, but you can’t pretend these views don’t have considerable weight with a lot of people.

    And btw, independence from the US would also be nice. We’ve lost all pride in ourselves…

  • Sofia Kibo Noh

    Daniel. 11 14am

    The wealth of a nation is in the ingenuity and industry of its population, to use its natural resources to good effect for the prosperity of the nation.

    Your thoughts on Iceland’s new Auroracoin?
    http://auroracoin.org/

    Mary. Great cartoon!

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