The Future is Independent 157


Trident, Austerity and Dentures. Those are the key components of the Labour brand in Scotland. The unionists demographic is overwhelmingly old. Independence had a majority in every age group except the over 55s.

Unionism is not a factor of age in the sense that once people reach 55 they turn into Unionists. People over 55 were the only Unionist age group, because they are also the only age group which predominantly does not use social media, buys deadtree newspapers and watches the regular BBC news bulletins. They are also influenced by residual memories of Empire and Second World War (old Tories). They remember the days when banks were viewed as respectable institutions, when the Labour Party helped the poor rather than supported the rich, and when public figures were widely believed not to lie.

There are very few replacement adults coming along with those kind of beliefs. Unionism is dying out. That is why Jack Straw has launched an initiative to try to outlaw future secession (at the same time contradicting his own position on Kosovan independence against the will of Serbia). Straw as one of the architects of the Iraq War has a strong track record of causing violence that kills many people. His idea of blocking the constitutional road to independence would cause violence beyond doubt.

The high energy community campaign for independence needs no encouragement from me to keep going. There seems general agreement that the May 2015 UK general election provides an immediate campaigning focus. I agree with that, and will address it, but it is also important that we are not corralled purely into the institutional agenda when our great virtue is that we are unconfined and extra-institutional. So I suggest a second vital focus, and that is Trident. Opposition to Trident unites everybody. Let us launch a great movement of protest aimed at Trident, including demonstration and direct action, and let us invite those in the rest of the UK who also oppose Trident to join us in that campaign. This should be a priority.

On the Westminster elections, there seems immediate consensus we should have a single pro-independence candidate per constituency. I strongly support that. There will be difficulties on how to achieve it, and I hope these can be worked through quickly. Tommy Sheridan has suggested that everybody should support the existing SNP candidates, which is very self-denying of him. I see virtue in this. But the Yes campaign was very much wider than the SNP, and I think the momentum could much better be maintained if we start with a clean sheet and local Yes groups choose their candidates through an open selection protest – in which the SNP candidates are welcome to participate, as are Greens and SSP and Solidarity and individuals, and the people will decide.

This is not institutionally neat – there is no clear membership of Yes groups. It requires self-abnegation on the part of existing party candidates. It removes the power of men in suits to screen candidates for acceptability. But those are good things.

I described the independence movement as having a revolutionary spirit. We should nurture that, not try to hammer it into the shape of a regular political party. In the long term there are some very good ideas on a new kind of participative project from the Common Weal. In the short term we need to keep the spirit moving, and go with the flow,


157 thoughts on “The Future is Independent

1 3 4 5 6
  • david

    @Tony, I do not disagree with a single word you just typed. Now instead of hogging that view and ideal up in Scotland we need a way to bring it south, because there are a lot of people north of Watford who feel pretty left out.

    You give a perfect example of why we should be better together, we should not be three countries viewing each others purses and possessions with envious eyes, we should be three countries working to encourage and support each other.

    So in your opinion is the real problem the union or how the union has been handled ?

  • Tony M

    Scotland is a separate unique entity, a community of people, as are England, Wales etc. and should be recognised as such within the British Isles and internationally. I’ve said in another post here a week or two back that within the EU the UK has one seat at the top table of power, one lone voice amongst 27 or so equals, in the Council of Ministers, effectively the executive heads, the Prime Ministers, First Ministers etc. which is where the real power lies in introducing policy and legislation, which the EU parliament can only rubberstamp, or theoretically but never in practice can reject. With an independent Scotland and RUK we double our power and influence there, with distinct Scotland, England, Wales, Northern Ireland, we multiply that power by four, we become a powerful British Isles bloc to counter the malign influence of other damaging blocs such as the the Russophobic eastern states and so on, also we offset the still lingering dominant German and French influence favouring their own industrial and agricultural sectors. That the EU is too right-wing and too big corporation friendly is a product of the right-wing heads of government the constituent countries send there, it is reformable, if we the nations can reform ourselves internally.

    As to purses and pockets, the City of London, which is not some vague town council, but an unwholesome concentration of power that eclipses parliament and elected government, is robbing everyone in all our respective countries blind, shamelessly, we all are still wealthy countries, but all is taken and an elite few get a first huge cut, with some pocket money returned to the ‘regions’. The UK has become a funnel with all wealth from peoples labour and from the commonly owned natural resources of each nation directed into amassing a stake for speculators to play the tables, activities which are no more than compulsive gambling, which we each of us and now future generations yet unborn, are also underwriting the staggering losses when it all goes wrong, as it frequently does and must. It is a mugs game, but the mugs playing it and the mugs paying for it are not the same. The mugs playing it are rewarded, or reward themselves all the same regardless of the over-whelmingly negative outcomes for everyone else and for the whole.

    Bank bailouts in one day in 2008 exceed many times the entire costs and subsidies given to productive industry and public monopolies throughout the whole period from 1945 till 1985, for which we had at least something to show for it, that created and sustained the state owned titans: post office and telecoms, gas, electricity, steel, coal, rail, shipbuilding, car making and a dozen or more industrial giants on the domestic and international stage, which we were once proud of until the early 70s when we were told suddenly they were all lame ducks. Any losses were tiny, most times though they were profitable, earned income from overseas, employed hundreds of thousands and gave a sense of community and cohesion. What comparable pride for a much much larger investment, a bottomless commitment, for gaming losses, is there in a handful of dodgy banks, empowered to conjure ‘money’ from nothing and loan it to us at interest?

    The union is a fossil, a leftover from the days of kings and conquerors, a product of an earlier age of conquest and domination and when continental powers, notably France were stronger and the brigandage, looting and robbing, backed by deadly force, all around the globe by the British Empire had not begun in earnest, but the people of these islands were the first victims of that terror and exploitation; as the empire appeared to come unstuck, different, looser stealthier economic powers rose to continue exerting still total ruthless control, but the first victims, the prototypical subjugates, including England itself, as well as Ireland and Scotland remained entangled like flies trapped on a sticky web, unable to escape the earlier form of militarisitic projection of raw force, of dominance as well as the newer type economic vassal status. Who could possibly imagine this union which has not evolved one bit in any positive way in 300 years, can only be said to have become worse and is built on such a imperfect, imbalanced footing, is in any way appropriate to the world we live in today -no-one can, it’s absurd, as are the reasons for maintaining it a day longer. There is an historical wrong to right, the union was never voluntary, Scotland was menaced by a stronger neighbour, its trade strangled, its people cowed and its elites bought. If we’re such a basket case of scroungers why the desperation to hang on. Let us go then free yourselves from the Westminster-City nexus too. I had thought of regional oil funds too, from Scotland’s natural resources, being set up with some of the surplus lucre earned from it, while it lasts, not going via Westminster’s grasping hands, but going to regions of England, the North, the Midlands to the distressed parts of London and to Wales to the South-West etc., for investment there in industrial revival and for desperately needed social provision, for we in Scotland will reap the benefits of strengthening and stablising what will still be our biggest trading partner our closest neighbour and friend, we are all under the thumb and vulnerable within the present system, we need to cut out the cut-throat middle-men.

    We could not fail to do better whatever we do, believe me the sky won’t fall in.

  • N_

    What’s the source for the statement that there was a majority in favour of independence in every age group under 55?

    And what’s the width of those age groups?

    Remember that nobody did a proper exit poll. (YouGov rang some people up afterwards. That’s nowhere near as reliable as an exit poll.)

    It was a very clear case of ‘head’ on one side versus ‘heart’ on the other. There are polls which show that that’s how most Yes and No voters (respectively) saw their reasons for voting how they did.

    Personally I prefer it when people vote with their heads.

    It is utter hypocrisy for senior Yessers such as Salmond to talk of how the No voters were all gulled.

    Don’t insult the electorate once you’ve rammed your message onto practically every lamp-post in the country and the electorate has clearly rejected your proposal, you arseholes! Remember who works for whom.

    As the head of the Scottish government – a government which has just had the main plank of its platform rejected by the Scottish electorate – Salmond should go into opposition if he wants to continue the independence campaign. He can’t have his cake and eat it.

    The people of Scotland have given a clear message. You may not like that message. Similarly the people of Britain gave the government a clear message in this year’s EU elections, by giving UKIP a plurality – and I didn’t like that message one bit. UKIP is a right-wing outfit which supports benefit cuts, more power to big business (under the banners of deregulation and ‘local control’) and the car lobby (‘don’t persecute motorists’). Vile. But the people did speak.

  • N_

    Oops! Major typo!!

    I meant to type:

    “It was a very clear case of ‘head’ on one side versus ‘heart’ on the other. There are polls which show that that’s how most No and Yes voters (respectively) saw their reasons for voting how they did.”

    Most No voters voted with their heads.
    Most Yes voters voted with their hearts.

    So who’s gullible, Alec?

  • N_

    the May 2015 UK general election provides an immediate campaigning focus

    Do you think the SNP will be able to improve from its position in the 2010 UKGE, when around 80% of voters in Scotland voted for unionist parties?

    The SNP came third, by number of seats. And let’s not hear any whinging about how that was unfair because they came second by number of votes. It’s only because of the first-past-the-post element in the Holyrood system that they’ve got a majority in that chamber. Bloody politicians.

    Let’s also recall what percentage of the vote they did get in the last Scottish GE. That’s right, 45%.

    Yes = SNP.

    (OK, I realise there was some churning.)

  • Tony M

    N_ I take you aren’t in Scotland as you seem not to have the least clue what you are talking about. Nothing unusual there, do continue making a complete fool of yourself.

  • david

    @ Tony, I don’t disagree again. Apart from the EU and you will really struggle to convince me on that one. I see what they are doing to business and its not helping the SME sector at all, seeing as most people work in SME’s its does impact the working lives of many people. It is a corrupt organisation that has only at heart the national interests of the big players, because without this they cannot fund it. The fact that they now want their own armed forces scares the living hell out of me, and I would much rather see the UK out of Europe than see that unelected unrepresentative body have control of anyone’s armed forces. The level of war will increase hugely and my guess is they will bring it closer to home.

    If we the people are really going to make a difference then we need to start taking apart some of the apparatus that supports the status quo. The first that must be challenged is the media, and more importantly who controls it. We should start a campaign to ensure that no individual can control, directly or indirectly any more than 2 media outlets and the punishment for breach should the nationalisation of said asset and resale to benefit the tax payer. This would go some way to bringing us to a situation where the media can express different views without it being the view of one very nasty person ( Murdoch) I’m sure that if we really tried we could at the very least force a debate in parliament by using the system that exists. the hard part of course is getting the message out there and getting the 100,000 signatures that would be required to force the discussion. I think it would have strong public support.

    Its taken 30 years to bring us to this point, and it might take 20 years to get us back to a situation that works for all, wont benefit me, but it will my kids.

    As I keep saying, the time is right, we just need a good leader and a banner to get behind.

  • Leslie

    Muscleguy

    You’re right – we won’t send in the tanks. We don’t need to. Simply zip up the border and blockade. And wait. All fantasy. Silliness. But at least some acceptance is occurring within Yes that they blew it. Blaming pensioners is not a good start – convincing them of the security of their pension might help. Do you want 6 million or 60 million behind your pension? Answer that one and you’re there. Just waiting for them all to die off might not work – the new ones might also wonder about upending the state when they are so reliant on it. But being nice to people is a start – though can the SNP keep it up? I don’t think so.

  • N_

    @Tony M

    You’re wrong: I am in Scotland. What point is there in calling me names rather than responding to the content of what I said?

  • N_

    Some of us recall that Tommy Sheridan’s mask rather slipped when he called for “naming names” after the 1990 London poll tax riot, and when after that battle he wrote slanderously in blanket fashion about the hundreds of defendants, many of whom were jailed. We didn’t wait until he lied about visiting the sex club he went to when living his cocaine-fuelled lifestyle, nor until he chummed up with the notorious Glasgow gangster Paul Ferris, who allegedly had Blackhill ‘godfather’ Arthur Thompson’s son murdered and is widely thought to have killed “Bananas” Hanlon and Bobby Glover who had been tasked, probably by Ferris himself, with doing the job on that occasion. Even in the 1980s, Sheridan was just a gang leader in Pollok. Anyone who got on the wrong side of his gang on a demonstration would soon get knives pulled on them.

  • CaperAsh

    For those interested, google: “Start an online radio station”

    It is far easier than it used to be. There are many alternative, political Talk Radio stations in the US which put together a roster of hosts, each with a one or two hour show, usually once a week, but some on daily. These are hosted by a website with news articles they aggregate; and some have blogs and some individual shows have blog threads. But the point is that a single, modest operation can host a broad variety of views in terms of hosts, guests, discussions, articles. Rather than advertising, which should be limited to only 1-2 spots per 30 minutes (if at all), I think subscription-based would be best because that way you have listeners who are engaged. The monthly fee need be no more than $1 (sorry, no pound sign!) payable by automatic monthly withdrawal, and some sites also give access to archived shows only for people who have made a one year committment etc.

    As to style, that is up to the operator. It could be as slick as (the over-the-top broadcaster) Alex Jones or very barebones with minimal user interface. But it could easily be managed in a fashion that represents both the dignity and passion of the movement in a way that is not overly radical and offensive to more conservative Scots who might end up tuning into only one particular broadcaster once a week. Again, a broad variety of hosts can be invited into the ‘menu’. Most importantly, this is not a huge organisational or financial undertaking but it would immediately have access to anyone in Scotland (and beyond) with regular computer access.

  • Tony M

    N_: Who are you actually addressing? I’ve never read such a pile of shite in my life. If anything as you describe happened, how come you’re the only person who heard of it, certain the Scottish press would have been all over it. I call bullshit, as for your posts earlier there’s nothing credible to respond to, care to try again making whatever your point is, something about polls or something, in a more comprehensible fashion, take your time.

  • Richard

    Straw is considerably worse than an idiot; he is really quite disturbingly unpleasant. I would have thought that now would be a good time to deal with the West Lothian question once and for all – for once I agree with Cameron about something – and while we are at it prescribe the means by which any part of the country can leave the Union peacefully and constitutionally if desired. Certainly it is not a process one would wish to go through every twelve months, it is too time-consuming and distracting, but every ten to twenty-five years, perhaps. I believe in the Union, but it is most undesirable to try to keep people in it against the will of the majority.

  • Tony M

    There only are two parties to the union, ending it can only happen once. I know what you mean though, leave the despotic control of Westminster and the City of London, of those two the latter has the greatest power and does not even afford the pretence of being in anyway democratic or representative of anyone other than some banking oligarchs who through the City of London absolutely control Westminster. The electorate have no real say in either of these institutions, they simply get to pick the actors who lounge around on the benches and rack up expenses claims on top of obscene salaries (I think they recently voted themselves another 12% increase), afterward pocketing forever inflation proof pensions and for many too, they pick up around £500 a day, plus travel expenses and meals, for popping their head round the door of the House of Lords. The West Lothian question is not a big deal, it is Labour MPs from Scotland who vote on purely English matters who create this WL problem, SNP MPs at Westminster have studiously avoided voting on English matters which do not concern them. I think it is solving itself, without any action by Cameron, as Labour MPs from Scotland will after the May 2015 general election be as rare as hens-teeth if not as extinct as the far-lesser spotted dodo.

  • Paul Barbara

    ‘Alternative Media Success Panics NeoCons:
    http://www.veteranstoday.com/2014/09/25/alt-media/

    ‘…While most old people still cling to the corporate media worldview, the young are skewing ever-harder toward alternative perspectives. In Thursday’s Scottish independence referendum, for example, the London Daily Mirror reported that 71% of 16-17 year olds voted “yes” while those over 65 voted “no” by a 73%-27% margin.

    Why does the vast majority of Scottish young people favor independence, while an equally crushing majority of old people opposes it?

    Short answer: Old people still believe BBC propaganda, while the young do not.

    During the run-up to the referendum, huge crowds of young people gathered to protest the BBC’s biased coverage of the campaign. John Robertson, Professor of Media Studies at the University of the West of Scotland, said: “My research indicates that our public broadcaster, funded as much by Yes as by No voters, has betrayed its charter on impartiality.”

    Older Scots grew up inside the bubble of the mainstream media monopoly. Most do not understand how the BBC and other mainstream outlets used subliminal cues as well as blatant bias to push for a “no” vote; nor do they realize how utterly corrupt their government and media have become.

    Younger Scots, by contrast, grew up in the internet era and follow alternative media. Many know that the BBC covered up the Jimmy Saville pedophilia scandal in order to protect Tony Blair and other leading politicians. They know that the BBC reported the “collapse” of World Trade Center 7 twenty minutes before it happened. They know the BBC has worked overtime covering up not only 9/11-anthrax, but also follow-up false flag attacks including the 7/7/2005 London bombings. They know the BBC mis-portrays conflicts in the Middle East and Ukraine. And they realize that the Western “democracies” are rotten with election fraud – which makes the mainstream’s refusal to sponsor the usual exit polls in the Scottish referendum highly suspicious.

    Just as young people disproportionately support European independence movements while opposing NATO and the EU, they also break with their elders in supporting the Palestinians rather than the Zionists. According to a July 23rd Gallup poll, Americans in the 18-29 years old range opposed Israel’s attack on Gaza by a two-to-one margin; while Americans over 65, who are less likely to use the alternative media, supported Israel’s assault by a 5 to 3 margin….’

  • N_

    Tony M:

    N_: Who are you actually addressing? I’ve never read such a pile of shite in my life. If anything as you describe happened, how come you’re the only person who heard of it, certain the Scottish press would have been all over it.

    Can you please explain the difference between what you are saying and “I only believe what’s in the papers”?

    Do you find it hard to learn stuff that’s different from what’s already in your head? Maybe you think Tommy Sheridan is the new John Maclean? (Or Vera McLynn? 🙂 )

    Your logic is rubbish. You are “certain” that if what I said was true (which bits of it?), it would have been in the newspapers, are you, indeed? Start by searching on Tommy Sheridan and Paul Ferris if you’re really interested.

    I call bullshit, as for your posts earlier there’s nothing credible to respond to, care to try again making whatever your point is, something about polls or something, in a more comprehensible fashion, take your time.”

    You call bullshit at what, specifically?

    I suggest that if you want to argue properly then you should learn to write in proper sentences.

    Is what I say incredible or is it incomprehensible? Make your mind up. Or is it only incredible to you because you find it incomprehensible?

    Here are 4 extracts from above that you might consider cogitating on, rather than responding to by inexpertly throwing faeces-related insults at me.

    1) What’s the source for the statement that there was a majority in favour of independence in every age group under 55?

    Good question, surely?

    Bear in mind that, as I said, there were no exit polls. (Implied claim followed by premise – get it?)

    2) (To Alec Salmond and the SNP) Don’t insult the electorate once you’ve rammed your message onto practically every lamp-post in the country and the electorate has clearly rejected your proposal

    For your benefit, I’ll spell this out. The SNP put enormous marketing effort into pushing their message. They got not just attention but also a lot of interest. People talked about it up and down the country. Turnout was unprecedentedly high. And they lost. It is disgraceful for them to start calling the majority of voters names. People got the message fine, thanks, and rejected it. As I said, bloody politicians!

    3) As the head of the Scottish government – a government which has just had the main plank of its platform rejected by the Scottish electorate – Salmond should go into opposition if he wants to continue the independence campaign. He can’t have his cake and eat it.

    Do you want this spelled out too? The government made a proposal; the people rejected it. If they want to continue their campaign, go into opposition and do it from there. The job of the government is to represent the people. The people want to stay in the Union. The popular will is very clear. Stop going on about how older people are less likely to use Facebook (or is it that they are more likely to have longer attention spans and be less amenable to advertising?)

    4) Do you think the SNP will [in the 2015 UKGE] be able to improve from its position in the 2010 UKGE, when around 80% of voters in Scotland voted for unionist parties?

    Craig has said let’s go all out for the 2015 UKGE. I was just saying why not come down to earth. Repeat: separatist candidates didn’t even get a fifth of the vote last time round.

    The SNP came third, by number of seats. And let’s not hear any whinging about how that was unfair because they came second by number of votes. It’s only because of the first-past-the-post element in the Holyrood system that they’ve got a majority in that chamber.

    Fair point, surely? Or do you really love to hear the SNP politicians play the “they said we couldn’t do it” card? Because that’s what they’re doing when they say the Scottish electoral system was stacked against them. The truth is that they only got the absolute majority because of the element of the Scottish system which was similar to the FPTP system used in UK parliamentary elections. Don’t they have any shame, when they imply only just beneath the surface that any system that doesn’t help them more than the other parties must be biased? Look, the issue of independence was only ever going to be settled by a yes-no vote in a referendum. The popular will is “no”. Accept that and take part in trying to improve things on that basis.

  • Tony M

    You’re attributing statements, presumably to me, which I’ve never made, and obsessing over details which simply don’t interest me, therefore I won’t be replying, just skimming them. As for insults, I’ve done no such thing, nor has anyone else, you began this with:

    “Don’t insult the electorate once you’ve rammed your message onto practically every lamp-post in the country and the electorate has clearly rejected your proposal, you arseholes! Remember who works for whom.”

    Still it keeps you busy I suppose.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Bal’Zevul – The SNP is not the only pro-independence party in Scotland. The Scottish Green party, Scottish Socialists and Solidarity (Sheridan’s party since the SSP split) are all pro-independence too.

    And there are many voters who support independence but don’t support the SNP – voters for all the above parties, plus some who don’t back any particular party, and also Labour and Lib Dem voters (somewhere between 27% and 39% of each party’s voters voted for independence in the referendum according to Ashcroft and Yougov polls). Many Labour voters want independence in order to get a real Labour party back, but do not want an SNP government.

    A Yes movement or electoral alliance that goes beyond the SNP will have a far better chance of winning future referenda (or elections made into referenda if another referendum is refused by the UK government) if they can appeal to all these voters and persuade more.

  • Kempe

    ” Younger Scots, by contrast, grew up in the internet era and follow alternative media. ”

    So the yes vote depended on naive and gullible teenagers who believe any conspiracy tripe they read on far-right lunatic websites like Veterans Today? Poor Scotland!

    No mention of the 18-24 year olds who voted no, do they not use the internet either or is simply that they’ve grown out of the juvenile fantasies promoted on the “alternative media”?

  • Tony M

    Too nice a day today, and lots of lots of jolly things to do, to spend so much as a moment pointing out the many logical fallacies in the skewed analysis, of some malicious establishment boot-lickers on the internet, better that you continue to hold to the ridiculous and false, than to disavow you of your many errors and tenuous hold on reality, it will make the inevitable utter rout of your sort the more delicious.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    N_ The source for a majority of over 55s voting Yes was a post referendum poll commissioned by Lord Ashcroft which asked people from an online panel how they’d voted (not technically an exit poll as it wasn’t asking voters as they left polling stations). If you google it you’ll find it on the Guardian website and elsewhere. The majority for No among 55 -64 year olds wasn’t that big according to it – it was the 65+ age group that over 70% of voted No.

    There was a Yougov poll on the day of the vote which had different results, finding every age group except 25-39 year olds had a majority for No.

    Why should (and why would) the SNP go into opposition because they lost a referendum on independence, when they won the last Scottish parliament elections and the next aren’t till 2016? There’s no reason why they should and it won’t happen. Wishful thinking on your part with no logic behind it i’m afraid. Even many voters who voted No are happy with the job the Scottish government’s done in office.

    There’s nothing wrong with forming a Yes alliance to keep the movement built up during the referendum going either. They’re not likely to win in Scotland in the 2015 General election (unless Scottish voters decide they’re so sick of Tories and Labour that they’ll risk getting the tories again, which is possible, but not likely), but they may well win heavily in the 2016 Scottish parliament elections.

    And the only way we’re going to get any serious devolved powers is if the UK government is afraid there might be another referendum and a Yes vote if they don’t give us them. If they’re not still afraid of that then we’ll get some token tax powers and a “proportionate” cut to the Scottish budget (Conservative and Labour plans) to force either public spending cuts or tax rises, or both in Scotland. Cameron doesn’t care if UK parties lose seats in Scotland as the tories only have one seat here anyway. He will care if it looks like another referendum and Yes vote within the next 5 years is a possibility.

  • Leslie

    The agitation for independence will continue – but watch for how genuine it is. Watch how an independent Scotland will monitor the rUK. Watch for the continued refusal for a separate currency. Watch for EU sycophancy. Look at how its NHS – an English creation – will obsess. Watch how foreign and defence policy will be delegated to others in Nato and the EU. Watch how Scotland will squirm at the site of an English border control. England has nothing to fear from Scottish independence once the transitional decade is over because Scotland is going nowhere. The main beneficiary of the Yes vote will be the North of England. The Liverpool/Hull corridor will be brought on. The North will remain emphatically English. With a strong North, a strong South, Scotland will begin to feel uncomfortable. It will hesitate on independence. The North is too close. The posh boys, who so royally screwed Salmond, will use Labour’s regionalism to develop the North. The consequence is that Scotland – forever looking over the border, unable to give up its ambivalence towards the UK – will hesitate. Do they really want to leave a revived UK? This site, of course, would go. But this site tends to get it wrong.

  • Duncan McFarlane

    Leslie – so what on wanting to keep using the pound? Every country that became independent from the British Empire, including Ireland, used the pound for the first 10 or 20 years of independence before switching to their own currencies.

    “Watch for EU sycophancy” What does that even mean?

    “Look at how its NHS – an English creation – will obsess.” A British creation, established by a government of the Labour party, which was founded by Keir Hardie, who was Scottish. And Anueran Bevan, the Health Minister who established the NHS, was Welsh. So much for “English creation”

    UK Foreign policy has shadowed the US on almost everything since World War Two. Only exceptions in the last 60 years i can think of are Vietnam, Suez and the vote not to bomb Assad’s forces in Syria last year. Every UK PM has led us into every other US led war going.

    Of course Scotland wouldn’t want border controls with England if we were independent. The Common Travel Area that exists between the UK and Ireland (which has a different immigration policy than the UK) would be ideal and most sensible, but if Scotland was independent and the remaining UK decided to put up border controls, hurting its economy and ours in the process, we couldn’t stop it cutting off its own nose to spite its face.

    As for “the posh boys” having “screwed Salmond” it was in fact Gordon Brown’s speech on additional powers that likely swayed a fair number of Labour voters in Scotland back to voting No (despite having no specifics whatsoever on what the additional powers would be). Every time Cameron or Osborne opened their mouths on independence it was a gift to the Yes campaign because it reminded them we had a Thatcherite Conservative UK government who the majority of people in Scotland had voted against.

    As for the tories promoting regionalism, i wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for that. Neither Labour nor the Conservatives want to give up their power in a two party stranglehold system under First Past the Post.

    And if the Conservatives win the next UK election, the chances of another independence referendum and a Yes vote in it go up (though the current polling suggests a Labour win as UKIP will take far more votes from the Conservatives than from Labour – and under First Past the Post that means a likely Labour majority.)

  • Leslie

    Duncan Macfarlane – thank you for your reply.

    The key strategic reason for the Yes defeat was the absence of a Devo Max question. Yes fought a Devo Max campaign – closeness with the UK – on an independence question. It was a fatal strategic error. Gordon Brown, however interesting to see, arrived too late in a two year campaign to make any difference.

    Like Scotland, England has a strong sense of itself. The idea that the North would be allowed to fall under the sway of a foreign power is inconceivable. The idea that The UK’s immigration policy would be limited by a foreign power is currently anathema to many in the UK. It would be no different with Scotland. And Scotland, for its part would be in no mood to bend to the UK’s wishes – otherwise what is the point of independence if you can’t go your own way on these basic things? The Scots are not the Irish. They would come into ‘independence’ in an untrammelled, unbroken way. They will be full of themselves. The immigration issue will bring in border controls.

    The North of England will be nurtured. The ramifications of Scottish independence will now be absorbed by England. Manchester is already asking to replace Edinburgh as a banking centre. The means whereby this happens will be particular to this country. The idea of regional assemblies is not on. The aim is to create a northern powerhouse to make up for the loss of Scotland. There’s £100 billion to be found. The North is where it will come from.

    Until now the Westminster elite had no thought that they could lose Scotland. Now they do. Watch for yourself over the next few years the nurturing of the North. The North has already been rejuvenating. This referendum is the political shock needed to get critical mass.

    The idea of the UK seeking to hold Scotland is not on, apart from a few TV sound-bites. The effort will go into the North and it is that effort that will concern many in Scotland. The story now moves to England.

  • N_

    @Duncan

    Why should (and why would) the SNP go into opposition because they lost a referendum on independence, when they won the last Scottish parliament elections and the next aren’t till 2016? There’s no reason why they should and it won’t happen. Wishful thinking on your part with no logic behind it i’m afraid.

    You misrepresent what I said. I said that if this government, which had independence as a main plank of the manifesto on which it was elected, a proposal which the electorate has now rejected, wants to continue with its independence campaign, then it should leave office and go into opposition.

    Otherwise, it should get on with the job that the electorate want it to do, which is to improve the Union.

    If you really think it got a mandate in 2011 to continue to fight for independence in the event of a No victory, you are living in cloud cuckoo land.

    The will of the people is No. The government should represent that. And if it feels it can’t, it should leave office.

  • N_

    The turnout figures make my point even stronger:

    2011 Scottish general election: 50%

    2014 referendum: 85%

    (Thanks for the info on the Ashcroft poll, reported by Ashcroft here. It’s not just a “technical” point to say that it wasn’t an exit poll. It wasn’t an exit poll. A proper exit poll would probably have been far more reliable. It’s just … well, a poll. Don’t build too much on it. As you say, the YouGov poll reported opposite findings. Using social media didn’t work. Too many people haven’t yet had their attention-spans shortened to a few seconds and their thinking turned into something they do with their thumbs!

    This is a great and unusual victory of electorate common sense and wisdom. I actually agree with the Yessers about the country being enlivened by the debate, and I hope a lot of the energy goes into making things better for the common good within the framework of the Union, rather than cheering on a bunch of failure politicians as they try to flog a dead horse.

  • ------------·´`·.¸¸.¸¸.··.¸¸Node

    I have an open mind on whether there was any significant voting fraud. The video doing the rounds in the immediate aftermath was clearly rubbish and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a deliberate concoction designed to discredit / distract.
    Here’s an article taking a more detailed look at some of the incidents throughout polling day, with named witnesses reporting irregularities.

    “But to conclude that the Scottish referendum specifically was likely rigged for a ‘No’ vote by ‘British’ intelligence, we need to provide reasonable evidence that the British elite have the necessary character ‘qualities’, motive and operational history to engage in such a serious crime. We must also provide reasonable cause to believe that the British government and media opinion polls, that generally predicted a majority ‘No’ vote in the run-up to the referendum, were false, that the majority of Scots intended to vote yes, and that rigging of the vote was therefore necessary. Most importantly, we must present a plausible scenario, backed up by evidence, that British agents had the opportunity to commit this most undemocratic of crimes.”

    If you’re in a hurry, you can skip over the history and motive parts.
    Some ‘evidence’ is stronger than others – I wouldn’t attach much weight to what a postie told the mother of a tweeter – but there’s food for thought.

    http://www.sott.net/article/286355-Special-Report-Scottish-Referendum-Rigged-The-How-and-the-Why

  • говно

    It’s either keep the spirit moving and go with the flow, or it’s keep flogging a dead horse!

  • DoNNyDarKo

    No idea if it was rigged or not, But I have just done an extensive tour of Scotland and would love to know where the silent majority live.The North, Stornoway, the islands,most of the landscape and people I met said Yes…. From the turn off to Sheigra and Sandwood Bay there was a big Yes flag on the hill and altho not so many houses on the way, there were Yes signs and no No’s.Stornoway they disbelieved the vote.On the way from Ullapool to John O Groats there were only Yes posters.Ullapool itself was 60/40 Yes.
    So , not so much the silent majority as the invisible majority.Even when I headed down from Wick 2 days ago, there were still cars with the flag flying.The only place I saw union jacks was in Strathpeffer.
    Its far from over if you listen to the acts that were singing at Loopallu in Ullapool.
    I think the musicians were right.It felt anything but over,and even tonite with my parting pint ,the talk in the pub was of Independence.

1 3 4 5 6

Comments are closed.