Berwick Upon Tweed 150

I am considering standing for Berwick upon Tweed on the platform of the constituency joining Scotland. This boundary adjustment would give the people access to free personal care, free prescriptions, no university tuition fees and the many other advantages of Scotland’s more society friendly government. It would give Scotland some thriving new communities and a more favourable future North Sea boundary.

I realise no Independent has been elected in modern times unless they were a sitting MP, or major parties stood down in their favour. In fact the 5% I obtained in Blackburn was the best showing since 1945 by an Independent where those conditions were absent. I realise this is a rather Quixotic reaction to my rejection by the SNP hierarchy, and would result in loss of time, energy and money. On the other hand, I understand quite a lot of people in Berwick wish the constituency to be in Scotland and it would be good to give them the chance to express that. As the seat is a Tory/Liberal marginal the alternatives are hopeless.

I think my friends really ought to talk me out of this.

150 thoughts on “Berwick Upon Tweed

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  • Kenny

    I would definitely do this, Craig, especially under a “Scots for England” banner, to show that we are NOT anti-English at all. But I would push the benefits for Berwick *theoretically* joining Scotland — and suggesting Berwick (and England) remains England, just that they adopt the policies that you are pursuing, which are more or less left-wing SNP.

    This could then provide a catalyst for other independents standing in the North of England. Not just under a “Scots for England” banner, but at least campaigning for policies which reject the failed Westmonster model (and might mean signing up to Scotland in a new, better “union” at some future point).

    I think the long-reaching advantages would be providing a prededent for an independent doing well and possibly beating candidates from the established unionist parties. And also for showing the words of the Gerry Cinnamon song are not hollow and “we’re fighting for them [England] and it’s only the start of the show.”

    Maybe you could form a “Scots for England” Alliance Party with a couple of others up for standing on anti-austerity programme in the likes of Liverpool, Yorkshire, Cornwall…?

  • nevermind

    ‘I think my friends really ought to talk me out of this.’

    Why should they when these are valid points to be standing on?

    Question is, what kind of support have you got within that area? who, within the Independence campaign, will give you their active support?

    What would it do to your SNP membership? will you be expelled?

  • Calgacus

    Craig, I think you would make a great MP wherever you stand. Good luck to you whatever you decide and thank you for your whistle blowing over British complicity in torture.

  • geomannie

    Berwick rejoining Scotland in an interesting idea but where would one draw the boundary? You would logically have to include the Berwick suburbs of Tweedmouth and Spital, both of which are south of the River Tweed, otherwise you would end up with all sorts of administrative complications for the residents of these areas. However, once you agree that the border should go south of the Tweed, the question is then how far south can you push it? We all know that the residents of Newcastle have more affinities with the Scots than the residents of Southern England :-).

  • Ed Davies

    “… I understand quite a lot of people in Berwick wish the constituency to be in Scotland and it would be good to give them the chance to express that.”

    So why hasn’t somebody from Berwick stood for this?

    Good idea in principle, though. Personally, I think the border should be the anti-clockwise hard shoulder of the M25.

  • TFS


    Apologies if you have mentioned this is the past, but what is your take on 9/11 and 7/7?

  • June Maxwell

    Craig. Did Christine Grahame (SNP) not say she was considering standing for this seat as well?

  • John Goss

    Sound idea Craig, mostly because it removes the SNP’s arguments of having tried to use their party machine, which is far too rigid for decent people, for your own ends. Just one question. Wouldn’t you need to move or have a residence in the constituency?

    Off topic. You are more likely to see one of these in the estuaries of Scotland or the borders than Birmingham, so I feel very privileged to have captured this. I am pleased and proud to be able to share this capture of a little egret with you all.[email protected]/16033844228/

  • Ba'al Zevul

    I think the border should be the anti-clockwise hard shoulder of the M25.

    Slogan: “It’s Oor Tailback”

    A more modest proposal: the Iapetus Suture is the junction between two major geological units and could be rationalised as the border by a similar, though much older (~420 million years), Act of God as the Israelis invoke. It cuts off the NE dog-leg full of Geordies – this might be problematic – and I think it would give you Bowness, if you wanted it. Details here:

    But don’t do it, Craig. Berwick’s proud of its ambiguous status, and where’s the fun in reivin’ your own sheep?

  • OldMark

    As Kenny comments ‘the benefits for Berwick *theoretically* joining Scotland’ at the present time are considerable, given that Scotland under the current Devo arrangements enjoys free personal care, free prescriptions, and no university tuition fees. However if Scotland became a sovereign state, Craig’s pipe dream would actually contravene Article 3 of the Helsinki accords, and inadvertently stoke other border adjustment claims across Europe (South Tyrol being the first of many).

  • Pam McMahon

    This sounds like an excellent idea. South Berwick should have the opportunity to return to Scottish sovereignty if that’s what the people want.
    You will certainly stand a better chance there standing as an anti-Westminster Independent, than as a member of the SNP. Good luck to you, if you decide to stand.

  • Frazer

    @TFS Both have been discussed at length on previous posts. See no need to rehash all this again ?

  • Michael Andersen

    Hi Craig, sounds intriguing, I loved the whole Blackburn experience and will definitely be there if you do have a go!
    …”It would result in loss of time, energy and money# – that is what people like you and I do with our lives, isn’t it?….

  • nevermind

    Why should the SNP have anything against Independent candidates/ MP’s, after all they wanted to be Independent themselves? should they not support and sucker them?
    That nobody can deliver the real Independence is not here or there anymore, or is it?

  • Tony M

    Christine Grahame, presently a Borders MSP, had expressed interest in running there. I think the SNP hierarchy nixed this, or she abandoned the idea. I didn’t really pay the details much attention, as it didn’t affect the priority of maximising pro-independence representation at Westminster from Scotland, but could have dealt a swift and powerful jab to a sensitive spot on a vulnerable Lib-Lab-Con flank. One of the reasons she gave for this (floating the idea of running in Berwick) was to upset wilful exclusion of the SNP from national televised debates, in which Tories, Labour, Lib-Dems and UKIP will all participate but the SNP have been excluded by connivance and on the grounds that they are not a ‘national’ party, as not running candidates south of the border. Running a candidate outside Scotland would have removed that justification and the BBC etc. would have to find some other, even more absurd reason, to exclude the SNP from these, to me anyhow, worthless, stage-managed set piece cross-fertilisations between politics and show-business razamatazz, turning politics into some sort of game show and encouraging leadership cultism, slick presentation covering absent substance. Doing so however (running a candidate somewhere in WENI) would for inexplicable reasons have severely reduced SNP entitlement to PPBs in Scotland (don’t ask me why, it makes no sense) under some archaic rules. The issue should have been pushed, as if the pro-Labour bias of Scottish broadcasters and media was increased further than its present nauseating saturation levels, I think, the people would have cracked and the whole system of cosy media-unionist collusion would have broken down. Personally I would say this has already happened and the crisis has come, broadcasters are widely derided and despised, no longer having relevance or trusted in the least. By becoming the story, a sorry tale of strident partiality and betrayal, a crime caper with them as villainous moronic henchmen, a sorry fate awaits them in the next chapter when they get their long-deserved come-uppance.

  • nevermind

    Tony M. the BBC has never needed much excuse for not covering Independent or other minority party candidates, they just did it because they can and because it is inconsequential to their dependency on political parties for their ongoing tax take. They are in dire need of a break up and dispersal.

  • ian chisholm

    Go for it. You need to get the boundary issue clear as others have said. It should start at the west where the old suspension brig is…the Union bridge and dog leg south following current local authority ward boundaries to encompass south Berwick. Alternatively, simply follow the centre of the Tweed. It wouldnt be the first town divided by a border.

  • Bena

    You have too many serious things to say to do something silly like this.

    One of strengths of the campaign for Scottish independence is that the border between Scotland and England is not a matter of dispute, so why turn over (or at least suggest turning over) the apple cart?

    Running against Jack Straw was a matter of high principle. Don’t ruin it by becoming a new silly candidate in elections.

    That’s my honest advice in plain English.

  • Paul Tinnion

    Go ahead, but don’t expect to poll well under fptp in the only marginal seat for miles around. The boundary would have to be just south of the town, not including Lindisfarne. I’ll be working in the campaign and would like to meet you at hustings etc.

  • Mark Golding

    “The people of Berwick feel really independent. You are a Berwicker first, Scottish or English second.”

    Derek Sharman, historian

    An unofficial referendum in 2008 to find out if residents would prefer their town to be part of Scotland. The poll saw 1,182 voters in favour of becoming part of Scotland and 775 in favour of staying in England.

    The SNP could stand for Berwick in the UK general elections this May, in a bold but very smart move to gain a spot in the UK-wide television debates.
    Christine Grahame, MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, has offered to stand for the English seat. She says broadcasters have no plans to include the SNP leadership in any UK-wide debates to be screened in the run-up to May due to their presence being confined to Scotland, but a move to stand in an English seat would automatically provide the party with an ‘across the UK-presence’.

    SNP MSP Christine Grahame mulls over cross-border bid

  • DRE

    Only 5% of the vote against a fascist who was engaged in kidnapping and torturing Muslims and still Blackburn turned out for him. We’re doomed I tell ye, doomed! Think youre better off outside that pit of vipers. If you stand a chance of being elected it would be in a metropolitan area, Sheridan and the independent nationalists seem a more likely proposition than the dour SNP.

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