Time to Strike For Independence 118


If a second Independence referendum were called now, who would lead the official No campaign? A serious and important question. Not enough attention has been paid to the utter disarray of the unionist camp.

Last time, the Tories were by and large content to hide behind Gordon Brown, Alistair Darling and Jim Murphy and let Labour do the bulk of the heavy lifting. At that time, Labour were still a massive force in Scottish politics, with the large majority of Scottish MPs and a formidable numerical (if not quality) presence at Holyrood, plus an awful lot of urban councils.

Now the landscape is utterly changed. The Tories, following the Holyrood election, see themselves as taking over the leadership of the Unionists from Labour with whom they are engaged in a neck and neck struggle for distant second. The Tories will not agree to play second fiddle now, while for their part Scottish Labour will not rush to complete their suicide by again sharing platforms with the Tories. The Electoral Commission will have to make a choice between two “No” campaigns, just as it had to choose between UKIP and Tory Leave organisations in the EU referendum. I suspect it will again choose the Tories.

The media adulation of Ruth Davidson after the Tories managed the “stunning result” of just over 20% in the Holyrood elections was astonishing – in fact it was about the same level as the media adulation of Jim Murphy when he became Labour Party leader. But still only one in five Scottish voters in that election, and one in nine of the registered Scottish electorate, actually voted Tory, and I am prepared to bet that was a high water mark. As the reality of Tory rule, and the prospect of still more Westminster Tory rule, is reinforced, then a straight choice between the Tories and Independence, with no Gordon Brown media-hyped pretence there is something inbetween, is precisely the situation in which I would like to campaign for Independence.

Support for Independence rose by over 15% during the course of the referendum campaign, after rising only very slightly for the previous decade. Since the campaign it has gone back to rising slightly and slowly again. The difference is that now we only need a very small improvement to go over the winning line, and I have no doubt whatsoever that once again during a campaign we will see a major advance in support for Independence. If however we wait for the “natural rise” to take its slow effect and set a bar of 60% in opinion polls before we call a referendum, there is a real danger we will lose the moment. Indeed without a campaign, I doubt 60% will happen in my lifetime. With a referendum campaign, we will hit it.

That moment is now. Our opponents have never been weaker and never been more divided. Nationalists have become too inclined to gaze at their navels, and are failing to look up and see the complete and utter disarray, the total shambles, in the opposing camp. We should strike before they recover.

I still do not expect to see Brexit. If we did see Brexit, I would argue for Holyrood MSPs and Scotland’s Westminster MPs to meet together as a National Assembly and declare Independence, to be followed by a confirmatory referendum, the object of the Delcaration being to maintain the rights of Scots as EU citizens. There would be a great deal of international sympathy for that, and as I have continually explained, as a matter of firm and indisputable international law you achieve Independence through recognition by other states, not by any arrangement or otherwise with the residual UK.

But assuming Brexit does not win the Tory Leadership Referendum, the Greens’ idea of a million person petition to trigger a new referendum is a good one. Sooner rather than later. I suggest 2018 for the vote – stripping Labour of their corrupt local council resource next year must be a key stepping stone.


118 thoughts on “Time to Strike For Independence

  • Alan

    “If we did see Brexit, I would argue for Holyrood MSPs and Scotland’s Westminster MPs to meet together as a National Assembly and declare Independence, to be followed by a confirmatory referendum, the object of the Declaration being to maintain the rights of Scots as EU citizens.”

    Didn’t the people of Diego Garcia once believe in their own independence too?

    • fred

      “Didn’t the people of Diego Garcia once believe in their own independence too?”

      No, I don’t think they did. I think they worked on the plantations, fished, played laughed and cried, raised families. I don’t think their society had been corrupted by such concepts.

      • Alan

        That was mild sarcasm on my part. I’m aware that Craig is active in his support for the people of Diego Garcia, and this is one the instances that show that the British government simply does as it likes, no matter what the people say, or do.

        Another example is the shortest war ever:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglo-Zanzibar_War

        • lysias

          When Ireland did what Craig suggests and formed its own national assembly, the UK eventually had to accept Irish independence

          • fred

            And the people of Ireland had to accept a crippled economy, institutionalised paedophilia and a civil war that won’t go away.

          • Herbie

            Fred doesn’t like people getting independence.

            Likes to keep them under the yoke.

            A boot stamping on a human face forever.

          • Brian Fleming

            Fred, if it was institutionalised paedophilia they wanted, they might as well have stuck with the Brits.

        • Martinned

          Not sure that Zanzibar is a good example. The British used military force to enforce their rights under a lawfully made treaty, as they were entitled to do prior to the ratification of art. 2(4) of the UN Charter.

  • fred

    “If a second Independence referendum were called now, who would lead the official No campaign?”

    I don’t think it would matter. Holding another referendum so soon would be such a huge betrayal of the Scottish people and demonstrate such a huge disdain for democracy that the Nationalists would lose support from all but the most fanatical voters.

    Today I read that there is a fall in students from poorer areas, yesterday I saw the bridge will be over schedule and over budget, the day before how the farce that is Named Person will be a total disaster. These are the things that matter for Scotland, these are the things that matter for the Scottish people, not flag waving.

    • alasdair galloway

      Dearie me Fred, so many misleading statements in so few lines. First the issue of access to Univesity is not just a matter of education but also about poverty and culture. In any event, there is no quick fix – you dont turn around a pupil who is disengaged from education to get him the three Highers that he needs de minimis to go to University. The bridge is not over schedule – it was originally scheduled for middle of 2017, and the current completion date is May 2017. It was ahead of schedule, but what was gained has not been lost (largely). As for NP, should we not observe that the legislation is supported by every children’s charity and that the already watered down Tory motion at Holyrood was lost. You are right – these are things that matter, but you dont seem to have much idea about them.

      • Republicofscotland

        Alasdair.

        Yes Fred, can’t seem to remove his #SNPBAD goggles, something to do with if I recall correctly ambulance waiting times, that he once mentioned. ?

    • Jeanette McCrimmon

      [ Mod: Caught in spam-filter, timestamp updated ]
      —-

      Forth Crossing Bridge Constructors’ (FCBC) contract runs until June 2017 and until recently, the target of opening in December 2016 – six months ahead of the contractual completion date – was considered challenging but still achievable.

      Since September 2015 the downtime due to adverse weather, specifically wind, has been 40 per cent compared to the 25 per cent anticipated by the contractor. Until May, FCBC believed that they could mitigate these effects – however, the impact of the weather in April and May with 13 days and 12 days lost to weather was such that they have advised that they can no longer deliver the December 2016 target.

    • Peter A Bell

      That phrase “holding another referendum so soon” nicely illustrate the lack of thinking going on behind the threadbare British nationalist rhetoric. The earliest that the next independence referendum might be held is late 2018 – fully four years after the first one. That is not “soon”. That is commonly a parliamentary term. Or, to put it another way, a “political generation”.

      Further evidence of the vacuousness of British nationalist fanatics follows hard on the heels of the inanity regarding the scheduling of the referendum. To say that respecting the democratic right of self-determination and allowing the people’s voice to be heard is a “betrayal of the Scottish people” is evidently idiotic. The more so when it comes from those whose every effort is bent to obstructing the democratic process.

      But it gets even more ludicrous with the insistence that holding another referendum would “lose support” for a Yes vote. British nationalist fanatics just don’t understand popular democracy. They are so firmly wedded to the idea of parliamentary sovereignty; so mindlessly determined to defend the ruling elites of the British state; so accustomed to being told by politicians rather than doing the telling, that they can’t get their heads around the fact that the next referendum will only happen when there is an unmistakably identifiable popular demand for another vote.

      The idea that people in general would be angered by a referendum that had clear popular support is evidence of the British nationalists’ disdain for democracy. The notion that independence supporters would be put off voting Yes just because they’ve been given the referendum they wanted is just plain idiotic.

      • fred

        ‘That phrase “holding another referendum so soon” nicely illustrate the lack of thinking going on behind the threadbare British nationalist rhetoric. The earliest that the next independence referendum might be held is late 2018 – fully four years after the first one. That is not “soon”. That is commonly a parliamentary term. Or, to put it another way, a “political generation”.’

        But it isn’t a parliamentary election, it is a referendum for major constitutional change, two entirely different things.

        Would you be calling for another referendum if Yes had won?

        • Peter A Bell

          Is there no aspect of British nationalist idiocy that you do not embrace with dumb relish? Why the hell would I, as a Yes voter and lifelong campaigner for independence, be calling for another referendum if Yes had won? Take a wee moment to think about just what a magnificently stupid comment that is.

          • fred

            I voted against independence but if Yes had won and the UK government had declared we would have another referendum I would have opposed it and campaigned against it.

            But I am not the Nationalist bully and I am not the fanatic.

        • Kempe

          You have to understand Fred that the Yes camp want their referendum conducted under EU Referendum Rules. That is they keep having these votes until the silly people come back with the “right” decision. Afterwards of course the people will never get another chance should they change their minds.

          This they have the brass neck to call democracy.

      • Chris

        At worst, we could remind the Britnats that the Belfast Agreement has set the precedent for a “political generation” in referenda context – 7 years. The only reason NI hasn’t yet had one, is because demographics alone will ensure victory for reunification and leaving the UK.

  • Martinned

    I agree with Fred. You can’t have a revote so soon unless there is a massive change of circumstances, like a Brexit. And even then, I suspect pragmatism/status quo bias will win out in the end, regardless of who leads the official No campaign. (The importance of which, in both Brexit and Scexit referendums, has been massively overrated, imho.)

    • fred

      This “change of circumstances” clause has been invented by the Nationalists after the event. No, brexit would not be an excuse for another referendum, when we went to the polls it was a once in a lifetime event, they can’t start moving the goal posts because they lost. That just creates uncertainty and uncertainty damages Scotland.

      • Rodric Selbie

        Do you mean like moving the goal posts by changing the rules even after many had sent their postal votes in, suddenly when YES were ahead in the opinion polls a NO vote became a vote for DevoMax, this might be deemed illegal in some democracies, and certainly broke the purdah rules. Or does it just work one way for you?

        • Peter A Bell

          British nationalists operate on the basis of a rigid dogma that is summed up in the slogan, “The Union At Any Cost!”. There is NOTHING they will not resort to in the name of preserving the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state. There is NO conduct so reprehensible that British nationalists will not consider it fully justified by the imperative of maintaining the old order and the old ways.

  • Alex Birnie

    Craig, There is just one fly in the ointment of your argument for UDI, and that is the proximity of the last referendum. Not yet two years have passed, and while the political landscape has been transformed since then, with every indicator going towards the SNP, there has not been a clear-cut question asked, which would justify UDI. I am as passionate about Independence as anyone, but I am even more passionate about democracy. Yes, the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems cheat on an industrial scale, but we shouldn’t. A majority of my fellow Scots voted to stay in the UK. Since then, Better Together has reneged on just about every promise made during the purdah period of the referendum campaign, and the SNP growth has been phenomenal, “indicating” a movement towards independence, but until another referendum has been held, NOBODY has the right to act “for the people”. Brexit would almost certainly precipitate a second referendum, and failing a Brexit vote, you are right about the slow growth of the independence movement, without a campaign. There are many people who realise this, Robin McAlpine et al – and many within the SNP hierarchy as well, and the campaign will kick off again after this damned EU/Tory leadership referendum. Fred’s argument about “betrayal of the Scottish people” is puerile and desperate, and hardly needs answering. I would just ask for an example anywhere in the world which compares with the situations pre- and post-referendum. The situation before the referendum was one where the people of Scotland were made certain promises if we stayed. Well – we stayed – and the promises have turned out to be fool’s gold. In light of these unfulfilled promises, it would indeed be a “betrayal of the Scottish people” if they were NOT asked the question again. But democracy is only lauded when the result matches the desires of the likes of Fred – ay
    Fred?

    • fred

      “Fred?”

      The likes if “Fred” who is capable of making his argument without the use of ad hominem attacks on other posters because his arguments are valid.

        • fred

          People in Scotland have self determination. They can vote in elections for a Scottish parliament and they can elect MPs to the UK parliament. They have more self determination than people in England.

          • Peter A Bell

            It comes as no surprise to find that a British nationalist fanatic is totally ignorant of what self-determination means. Long experience tells me that they tend to prefer this ignorance and resist all efforts at enlightenment as if it were some form of plague.

          • fred

            But I’m not a Nationalist, I oppose nationalism, I oppose the BNP and the EDL, I oppose Zionism, I oppose the SNP, I oppose all nationalism.

            I know what self determination means, it means when the majority voters in Scotland vote they want to remain part of the UK their wishes are respected. You are the one who has it wrong.

        • Resident Dissident

          Craig seems to advance one in his call for Scottish UDI without a second referendum.

  • MJ

    “If a second Independence referendum were called now, who would lead the official No campaign?”

    Depends on the question I suppose. It might not be the same as before. It might be “Do you think Scotland should remain part of the United Kingdom?”.

  • Mike Fenwick

    Are there signs that the grassroots are very much alive and kicking, and more importantly – preparing?

    I suggest some of such signs can be seen in the recent announcements from The National Yes Registry, and their invitation to build on the existing 20 or so initial vanguard members, and at the most recent meeting of the newly established Scottish Independence Movement, a “Currency” group was formed with the intention of establishing a) debates across Scotland on an issue that proved to be one of the weakest areas in the first referendum and b) with the specific intention of holding inclusive debates that do not differentiate between those who voted YES or NO.

    Yes we can see disunity and weaknesses in the Union camps, and yes, we can look for triggers that may lead to a 2nd Referendum.

    But for me this adage is paramount – “If we fail to prepare, we prepare to fail!”

    We must stand ready, and we must stand able.

    • MJ

      If the UK leaves the EU and Scotland wants to join, it will have no option but to use the euro. So it’s a bit late for pathetic “Currency” groups. And your National Yes Registry may have to rename itself the National No Registry depending on the wording of any second referendum.

          • Mike Fenwick

            Welcome to the debate, precisely what the “Currency” group wish to see happen, differing points of view being aired.

            And you raise an interesting point to further that debate, should, or perhaps you might prefer could, Scotland prepare to have its own internal only, perhaps digital,”medium of exchange”, with the pound, the euro, the dollar (given oil), or indeed a basket of currencies under a Currency Board for external trade?

            We already know that any note issued by a Scottish Bank can be seen as a full reserve currency, and given the banking crash with its origins in fiat currency, there is indeed much to debate, or perhaps you may disagree, but please bear in mind that is the purpose of debates.

        • Kempe

          Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Sweden have undertaken to join the Euro when they meet the criteria although a referendum in Sweden rejected the move.

          Before any nation can join the Euro it has to spend two years in the ERM and a new nation could only do that once it was sure it’s economy had stabilised in relation to the rest of Europe. Scotland would need it’s own currency at least as an interim measure.

          • Martinned

            And as long as you don’t join the ERM, you’re under no risk that you might have to join the Euro. That’s what Sweden has been doing for 20 years. It’s the grandmother of all loopholes.

    • Peter A Bell

      I weary of seeing this stuff about the currency issue being “one of the weakest areas in the first referendum” as if it was some sort of eternal truth. In reality, it wasn’t even a real issue. The furore and confusion was entirely manufactured by Project Fear and their accomplices in the media. Along with the despicable scaremongering about pensions, the whole currency thing was one of the great successes of the anti-independence propaganda campaign. So successful, in fact, that even Yes supporters were taken in by it. Some still haven’t realised that they were duped.

      The problem arises from the all to common failure to question the rhetoric of the British nationalists. When you distil their assertions regarding currency what it comes down to is the notion that a a developed, democratic Western European nation with a long history, well-established infrastructure and a strong, diverse economy would be left in some kind of limbo with no functional currency. A moment’s rational thought brings the realisation that this notion is not only ridiculous, it borders on the insane.

      But there wasn’t a lot of rational thought going on at the time. Just a lot of witless knee-jerking.

      Back in the real world, there was only a vanishingly small chance that the British state would have followed through on the threat to unilaterally abolish the currency union. Nobody asked the meaningful questions about this threat. (Although, to his credit, Bernard Ponsonby did try.) Had they done so, they’d have quickly discovered just how vacuously empty a threat it was.

      To those of us who don’t uncritically accept the media’s version of reality, several things were perfectly obvious. It was obvious that, in the event of a Yes vote, the UK Government would perform a U-turn on the threat to abolish the currency union so fast it would make the Queen’s head on banknotes spin. They would do so under severe pressure from the Bank of England and business organisations such as the CBI – who were never consulted about the policy. (Why did nobody ever ask if they had been?) They would do so under the pretence that it was to help Scotland. A claim that would convince nobody other than other British nationalists.

      It was also obvious that maintaining the currency union would be an open-ended transitional arrangement. It was always the most pragmatically sensible arrangement. That’s why it has lasted 300 years. But it would cease to be so as the economies of Scotland and rUK diverged – as they inevitably would given the increasingly different political cultures that pertained. But this would be a slow process. The transition might take decades. And the need to move away from currency union would be evident years in advance. In short, not a problem. For obvious political and economic reasons the Scottish Government could not be explicit about the transitional nature of the arrangement. But it is obvious nonetheless to those who care to think about the matter.

      And it was obvious that there would be no problem even if rUK did unilaterally abolish the currency union. Even if British politicians were so petty and spiteful as to inflict serious harm on their own economy (as described by Professor Anton Muscatelli and others), There were numerous other perfectly viable options available to Scotland. Each, like the continued currency union, has its pros and cons. But they were options. The idiotic mantra regarding “plan B” was rendered doubly idiotic by the fact that there were enough alternatives to use up a significant proportion of the alphabet.

      Enough! Enough of this pish about the supposed weakness of the Yes case – especially in relation to currency. The Scottish Government’s position was entirely rational and sound. It was so because it was arrived at by careful consideration of what was, on balance, the optimal choice, rather than by looking for either the scariest or the most saleable scenario regardless of how daft it was should anybody take the trouble to reflect on it.

      • Mike Fenwick

        Hi Peter … clearly we differ on whether we see “Currency” as a debatable issue, with alternatives open for debate, or arriving at a conclusion that having any such debate, as pish with the matter conclusively obvious and decided.

        May I firstly invite you to accept that where there is no shred of difference between us, I suspect, is in our belief in Scottish independence.

        I am not intending to repeat the comments in my other posts, but if, as you have stated, you concede there are options other than the continued use of the Pound, that they have their pros and cons, and that timing has its importance, might you, just perhaps, therefore welcome, rather than dismiss, as widespread and as detailed a debate as can be had on those very issues?

        Might you, as you have so clearly already demonstrated, have a vital part to play in such a debate?

        Should an Independent Scotland allow its “Currency” to be under the control of the Bank of England or a National Bank of Scotland?

        Should an Independent Scotland see its “Currency” fluctuate on the dictats and whims of a Tory Chancellor, and the comprehensive failure of an austerity agenda.

        Just two of the many questions, I believe require debate amongst those who wish to see an Independent Scotland.

        A debate that requires active and challenging debate where there are differences in opinion, not to divide over such differences, but to coalesce and unite in finding the answers that best support and secure the future of Scotland and its people.

        I hope to see your continued participation! Let not our differences hide the path on which we are both walking!

  • MJ

    “Sure it does. Or do you think Scots use shells for money?”

    My understanding is that it uses the UK pound. If it leaves the UK, the UK pound will be the currency of a foreign country, one that is not even in the EU. The euro is the only option.

    • Mike Fenwick

      Beg to differ, per my post above, but again, welcome to the debate, there is indeed much to discuss whether in agreement ot not.

    • Martinned

      Even assuming that the UK pound would be a foreign currency, what prevents an independent EU-member Scotland from using it indefinitely? (Except, possibly, economics.)

      • Republicofscotland

        Martinned.

        Erm…. I think you answered your own question their.

          • Republicofscotland

            Martinned.

            I’m sure Scotland could continue to use the pound, and Westminster would secretly be pleased so would the CBI to cut costs on cross border trading.

            However in the event the Treasury said no, Scotland could still use a Scottish pound pegging it to the Sterling currency however that’s not an ideal situation, and it could be fraught with finanicial difficulties, such as currency worth and the lack of a central bank to fall back on, when loans are required.

          • Martinned

            Setting up a central bank isn’t that hard. Post-Scexit, I can’t imagine that that would even break the top 10 of legal difficulties.

            The bigger difficulty, monetary policy-wise, is that the Scottish pound would be caught between a rock and a hard place. Pegging against the English pound offends against optimal theory, as we’ve seen in the Eurozon, unless there is evidence of high labour mobility across the border. (Which UKIP would presumably seek to prevent.) Scotland and England couldn’t be more asymmetrical. But a floating exchange rate would create significant transaction costs, as you said.

  • Cameron Brodie

    Just out of curiosity, how many of those commenting on Scotland’s independence, actually live in Scotland, or indeed the UK?

    Sterling is not owned by HMG or England, Scots can not be prevented from using it. However, I would prefer to see a publicly controlled Scottish central bank established post-independence. Only then will Scotland be free of the Corporation of the City of London* and it’s influence over the Palaces of Westminster.

    * The global epicenter of financial ‘irregularities’ and terrorist finance, allegedly.

  • Ben Monad

    Strike? What would that look like? As I understand it, leaving the EU is part of the mix, but what’s the PLAN?

    I am curious (Yellow)

  • 6th man

    It’s interesting to watch the UK’s indigenous colonizers trying to corral the discourse. Lots of variants on ‘it’s settled,’ a fundamental tenet of City of London dogma. The most intriguing trick is invoking ‘democracy’ to prohibit continued deliberation. If the people of Scotland have spoken, why are British subjects so afraid to let them reaffirm their choice? (Hint: they’re afraid because the free expression of the Scottish people’s will was illegally thwarted by a massive campaign of deceptive state propaganda.)

    Britain has forfeited its sovereignty by shirking responsibility. Collusion with US aggression in Afghanistan, Syria, Libya, and Iraq makes the British regime entirely contingent. The Scottish people can put the question permanently on the ballot, if they want.

    • 6th man

      He is a sort of brainless scarecrow, isn’t he?

      “Holding another referendum so soon would be such a huge betrayal of the Scottish people and demonstrate such a huge disdain for democracy…”

      Unfair to single out the dimmest bulb in your apparat, perhaps, but there it is.

      By the way, Martinned, you were last seen trying to weasel out of manifest breaches of the UN Charter by calling NATO aggression ‘arguable.’ Didn’t argue it, of course, just called it arguable, Q.E.D. for third-rate lawyers. What is your position on the legality of overstepping UNSC objectives in Resolution 1973? What is your position on unauthorized use of force contrary to Resolution 1441 (2002), after the US tried and failed to get a resolution authorizing force? What is your position on US force unauthorized by Resolution 1368, after the US tried and failed to get a resolution authorizing force? Parse the resolutions for us, like a real lawyer. Because your British puppet regime colluded in all of it. Lost its sovereignty. Scotland gains the sovereignty that Britain lost simply by virtue of complying with the rule of law – brush up on R2P, you’ll see. Scottish independence is a formality.

      • lysias

        Is he a lawyer? He seems to be up on all of the jargon of laissez-faire economics.

        • John Spencer-Davis

          Martinned is not a lawyer. He has said so before on this forum.

      • Martinned

        The best case for the legality of the Iraq war (the 2003 one) goes as follows:

        – In the aftermath of Desert Storm there was no peace treaty, only a cease fire.
        – That cease fire had terms, requiring the Iraqi government do allow inspections, etc.
        – If the Iraqi government did not comply with those terms, the belligerent parties were entitled to resume hostilities, absent a UN Security Council resolution forbidding it.
        – In other words, the basis for war was still the original Desert Storm resolutions, and no new authorisation was necessary.
        – There was no UN Security Council resolution forbidding military intervention during the cease fire period.
        – In fact, during the Clinton years the belligerent parties intervened militarily on a number of occasions, most importantly in December 1998.
        – They did so based on their own finding that Iraq had not complied with the terms of the cease fire. Military intervention to “enforce” the cease fire was not contingent on a UNSC finding of non-compliance. After all, the UN had authorised Desert Storm, but it was not a party to that conflict, as it was in Korea.
        – (From an international law point of view, bombing and invasion with ground troups are both acts of war, and therefore both equally in need of legal justification.)
        – And so, while the Bush administration sought renewed UNSC authorisation to invade Iraq, they didn’t actually need it.

        I think this argument is at least plausible. Whether I believe it or not is a different story. I’d have to spend more time studying both the facts and the relevant UNSC resolutions to decide.

        • Ben Monad

          Holy shit Jim. It’s not like you are a great lawyer like John Yoo or something. Go peddle your international law where the sun don’t shine.

    • Sixth man

      Yes, we’re all aware of the US propaganda line, but thank you for regurgitating it for us. Unilateral force to enforce a ceasefire is a wad of absurdity squirted out by John Bolton’s mental masturbation. The UNSC was seized of the matter. Than means nobody moves without UNSC authorization. ‘Well, you didn’t forbid it!’ is bad-faith interpretation of the UN Charter in breach of peremptory norms of international law.

      There’s a reason why Bolton obstructed the world summit outcome document with 700 amendments to avoid the word ‘impunity.’ The USG knows it doesn’t have a leg to stand on. US policy is simple: continual escalation to keep its internationally wrongful acts in the UNSC, where it can exempt itself from law with the veto. Their only defense to crimes against peace is further threats to peace. At this rate the SCO will sort it out at the postwar international tribunal.

      • Martinned

        Let me untangle this response to see if I can make sense of it:

        – Wait, we can’t shoot at the enemy if they break the ceasefire or otherwise fail to comply with its terms? Did that rule also apply to Clinton?
        – To follow up: If that is your rule, how is a ceasefire different from a peace treaty?

        – What does any of this have to do with John Bolton? If memory serves, he pushed the pre-emptive self defence line, which is something else entirely. (And quite inconsistent with international law.)

        – “The UNSC was seized of the matter.” I’m not sure that I know what that means. The UNSC debates lots of things at its weekly meetings. Is there some official way that I can discover, at any given times, of which things the UNSC is “seized”?
        – To follow up: About this rule that nobody moves as long as the UNSC is “seized” of the matter, is this rule laid down in the UN Charter anywhere by any chance?

        – Did you notice, by any chance, that in the law generally and in international law in particular, everything that isn’t forbidden is permitted? In what way is it “bad faith” to rely on this principle?

        – Do you know what the word “peremptory” means? If so, which peremptory norm of international law did you have in mind? This can’t be a very difficult question, because there aren’t that many peremptory norms of international law.

        – Which “world summit” did you have in mind? And on what basis did any “world summit” have authority over anything?
        – A follow up: Amendments to what, exactly?

        – Yes, all permanent members of the security council like dealing with things in the security council, where they have a veto. Having a veto is great. That’s why it was arranged that way originally, because the alternative was another League of Nations where the big powers would take their toys and refuse to play. You can’t have your cake and eat it too. I.e. you can’t persuade countries to join an organisation by offering them a veto and then complain when they use it.

        – I’m not sure what a “crime against peace” is. Is there some kind of legal definition you could point me to? (I’ve heard of the crime of aggression, but that’s something else, right?)
        – Follow up: In what sense was there ever peace between the US and Iraq between 1991 and 2003?

        – What does SCO stand for in your approach to abbreviations? Could I have a glossary, perhaps? (Scotland? Surely not.)

          • Ben Monad

            If we succumb to the diatribes of attorneys using their terminology with deft hands of subterfuge and deception, then we deserve what we get.

            When we allow logistics as utilized for the efficient dispatching of human lives because the loophole can be exploited, then we deserve what we get.

            If we listen to the status quo as to being patient for change, and give them air to continue their game to it’s conclusion, then we deserve what we get.

            If we allow the masters of verbose minutiae to spew their vomitus into the very air we breathe, then congratulate ourselves for out tolerance, then we deserve what we get.

      • 6thman

        Thanks for your facile witticisms and sincere expressions of bewilderment.

        F.W. #1 (ceasefires): Read Charter Article 51.

        S.E.B. #3 (seized): the UNSC is seized when it says it is seized. Read the resolutions.

        S.E.B. #4 (bad faith): The US is committed to refrain from use or threat of force. Read Charter Article 2.4. And good faith is a peremptory norm of international law of the same fundamental sort as pacta sunt servanda.

        F.W. #2 (summit authority): The outcome document issuing from the summit to implement “In Larger Freedom” is customary international law and accordingly, state and federal common law in the US (read the decision of your Supreme Court, The Paquete Habana).

        F.W. #3 (the veto): the veto is under reconsideration precisely because the US has persistently abused it for impunity for grave crimes. A nation may not exercise its rights contrary to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. The UN itself is under reconsideration for that reason. Read JIU/REP/85/9.

        F.W. #4 (crime against peace): look up Nuremberg. It’s US public law, and postwar international history is a concerted effort to codify it. It’s really quite fundamental.

        S.E.B. #6 (SCO): The Shanghai Cooperation Organization. It’s your designated enemy.

        S.E.B. #8 (was there ever peace): Read Article 51 again.

        This all seems much more complex than it is because of NATO Pact state religion. It’s very simple. Peace is the law.

        • Martinned

          Art. 51 is about the ius ad bellum (self defence) restarting hostilities during/after a cease fire is, by definition, not an issue of ius ad bellum.

          So if the UNSC discussed an issue in March, is it still seized of the issue in June? And is there some place on their website where I can check?

          The US is committed to refrain from use or threat of force.
          It is? I’m sure that will come as a surprise to most commenters here as much as it did to me. Art. 2(4) of the Charter only applies to disputes that aren’t already the subject of an armed conflict.

          And good faith is a peremptory norm of international law of the same fundamental sort as pacta sunt servanda.
          Actually, neither of those things are peremptory norms.
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peremptory_norm#Status_of_peremptory_norms_under_international_law

          The outcome document issuing from the summit to implement “In Larger Freedom” is customary international law
          What, if I may ask, is your authority for that proposition? Outcome documents of various diplomatic meetings aren’t usually considered law, customary or otherwise.

          your Supreme Court
          Not that it has anything to do with anything, but I’m not American.

          the veto is under reconsideration
          It is? That’s news to me, and presumably also to the US government.

          A nation may not exercise its rights contrary to the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
          What, might I ask, is your authority for that proposition? And what are the purposes and principles of the UN Charter?

          F.W. #4 (crime against peace): look up Nuremberg.
          The Nuremberg Principles are not positive law binding on anyone. The definition adopted in Kampala is (well, it will be), but it is not binding on the US, it not being a party to the Rome Statute.

          It’s US public law
          I am not aware of any rule of US public law that forbids the President from starting a war with anybody, as long as he first obtains a declaration of War from Congress.

          postwar international history is a concerted effort to codify it
          Effort, yes, but so far unsuccessful. (Although probably sometime next year the Kampala definition will enter into force.)

          S.E.B. #8 (was there ever peace): Read Article 51 again.
          Nonresponsive in the extreme. (See above.)

          Peace is the law.
          No it’s not. Moreover, it doesn’t tell you what the law is after hostilities have started, as they did in Iraq in 1991.

        • 6th Man

          There’s too much brainwashing and random stuff pulled out of your ass up there.

          Your self-defense creed is familiar propaganda, but it only passes the laugh test with the lamest CIA plants at Mississippi National Guard Reserve War College. Read Chapter VII. It will show that you misread Article 51, which says that Chapter VII applies, self-defense or not. And your niggling with ‘seized’ is too stupid even for Bolton. Refrain from use or threat of force. You don’t like it, but that’s what you agreed. You stop refraining, Chapter VII is binding. Your notion that war suspends the rule of law is pure US Government-Issue propaganda.

          And do you really look up law in Wikipedia? Martinned, where did you get your law degree? As it is, you’re the least convincing Dutchman in the world. Now we’re starting to doubt that you’re a lawyer. You sound like US sub-T14 military cannon fodder. You ask all these stupid questions that you would know if you just read the fucking documents.

          You obviously never read the UN Charter. You never heard of the Kellogg-Briand Pact? That’s nice and short and easy! You don’t know the Nuremberg Principles are US law and A/RES/95 (I)? It never occurred to you to wonder where A/RES/29/3314 (XXIX) came from? And you claim not to know how resolutions adopted by acclamation by the UN member nations come to be customary international law. You don’t know that the Rome Statute is nothing more than another forum for existing universal-jurisdiction law? You don’t even read the documents I spoon-feed you, you just play dumb. I’m not your fucking kindergarten teacher.

  • fred

    Latest Kantar TNS poll.

    “The SNP has said that a UK vote to leave the EU could trigger a new referendum on Independence. However, on the basis of this latest poll it would appear that appetite for such a move is mostly limited to those who back Independence rather than being shared by the public as a whole. There is also little evidence that opinion towards Independence has shifted significantly since September 2014, with support for a Yes vote, even in these circumstances, well below the 60% level that First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has indicated she would be looking for before calling another vote.”

    http://www.tns-bmrb.co.uk/press-release/support-eu-remains-strong-scotland-demand-second-independence-referendum-limited

      • fred

        I posted the result of the latest poll without comment. I asked no questions of other posters and I don’t care where they live I just present the facts to them.

        It makes no fucking difference what I describe myself as sunshine.

        • Cameron Brodie

          Facts? I was not criticising you as you expressed no opinion, other than to forward the TNS poll as evidence, which suggests you perceive it as credible. Did you believe HMG when they stated Scotland was extinguished in 1707?

          All I’m saying is that poling companies are not under democratic control but are private enterprises and not infallible.

          • fred

            So just stick to posting your opinion on what’s posted and leave out the people posting and there won’t be any problem.

  • Cameron Brodie

    Fred
    Is it not a fair question to ask where folk come from, if they are commenting on Scotland’s future? Is it not prudent to sort out those who might know what they are talking about, from those that merely parrot the largely right-wing opinions of the corporate media? A corporate media entirely owned and controlled outwith Scotland.

    • Habbabkuk (flush out fakes)

      “Is it not a fair question to ask where folk come from, if they are commenting on Scotland’s future?”
      _________________________

      You should address that remark to the likes of “Republicofscotland”, who resolutely resists telling us whether he is a Scot and even whether he lives in Scotland.

      • Cameron Brodie

        Well, I am Scottish and live in Scotland, purely by accident you understand. That isn’t a comment on my September birthday, btw. 😉

      • Republicofscotland

        Good afternoon Habb.

        My resolution is only match by, the sheer tenacity of yourself, in not revealing anything about yourself, execpt, your remit is to keep an eye on CM’s blog, as you openly admitted. ?

    • fred

      Sort out those who know what they are talking about and those who live in Bath?

      • Cameron Brodie

        What are you talking about you unpleasant git? I’ve supported independence since the the 1970s. The Rev. is a relative newbie to the cause, in comparison, though he has done a hell of a lot more than myself, in the interests of regaining Scottish democracy.

        Now fuck off or play nice yah bam.

        • Republicofscotland

          Cameron.

          A word to the wise, engaging with Fred, of whom I’m pretty sure isn’t Scottish, though he claims he lives in the highlands, is like engaging with John Bull. ?

          • Cameron Brodie

            He does appears to be one of those sent to test our humanity. 🙂

          • Tony M

            The same might apply to you and habbaduk. We were getting along great with the tried and tested DNFTT (do not feed the trolls) policy, until you came along; with ‘it’ you make quite a little double act, sometimes more than half of your comments are addressing ‘it’ directly.

            And, why so, many, superfluous, commas?

          • glenn_uk

            In fairness, that showed a considerable improvement in Fred’s discourse. He’s clearly been working hard on his communication skills.

  • achavanich

    What’s is your view Craig of what time of year indyref2 should be held? I reckon holding the 2014 one in September was a mistake.

    Most people might not have their voting choice psychologically influenced by the season of the year but there surely must be a fair number of people who would be more likely to take what for them would be the bold step of voting Yes if the referendum was taking place in springtime. Even if it only gave Yes 1% more of the vote that could make the difference for success.

    People in the northern hemisphere are more favourably inclined to change in April or May than September or October. There was an Arab Spring after all. Not an Arab Autumn.

    • michael norton

      No more British warships would ever again be constructed in Scotland.
      No more wonga would be invested in Scottish Banking.
      No more money would be invested in Scottish Re-newables, the English would tell them to stuff it.
      No more money would be invested in Scottish seas, what’s left would be virtually worthless.
      Scottish people would be re-patriated from the remaining part of the U.K.
      Scotland would sink into its own Socialist hell.

      • michael norton

        I’ll add that much of my family are Scottish and / or live in Scotland.
        All of them are against Scotland leaving the U.K.

      • bevin

        You would appear to believe that capitalists invest money as a form of altruism.
        Could you explain why?
        The generally accepted belief is that they invest in what they deem likely to be profitable.
        I think that you will find that Scots banking, and both renewable energy and maritime resources would be as attractive after Independence as before it.
        The Socialist Hell idea sounds rather attractive to me, at least it does if it is to the alternative to Capitalist Heaven which surrounds us.

      • achavanich

        During the indyref the unionist parties promised a steady stream of Ministry of Defence orders for the Scottish shipyards if Scotland stayed in the union. Those promised orders have never materialised.

        The Westminster Tories have drastically reduced funding for Scottish renewables. We all know the Tories and Labour are hand in glove with the nuclear power industry.

        Scottish people would not be repatriated from rUK after independence. Such a thing never happened after the setting up of the Irish Free State in the 1920s or after the setting up of the Irish Republic in the 1940s.

        The SNP, the dominant party in Scotland , is social democratic in ideology. The unionist parties are neoliberal. The hard left parties in Scotland RISE , Solidarity and TUSC all had derisory votes in the recent election. So why would a socialist hell ensue after independence?

        What does no more money invested in seas even mean?

        • achavanich

          When I say the unionist parties are neoliberal it should be said that they are different shades of neoliberal. The Tories are now a very nasty kind of authoritarian neoliberal party with a deceptive social liberal gloss to keep the chattering classes happy.

          Scotland has to get away from control by that party.

  • Cameron Brodie

    Tony M

    “And, why so, many, superfluous, commas?”

    Definitely one, possibly two superfluous commas. I’m not charging for them so why moan, excessively? 😉

    • Tony M

      Not you, Cameron Brodie, I replied to Republicofscotland’s comment of June 9, 2016 at 16:19.

      However if you too have been guilty of fondling habbaduk, or Fred or the one other unspeakables, or of comma misuse, and I sense a guilty conscience on one or the other score, then so be it.

      • Cameron Brodie

        Sorry mate, I was a bit shocked by what I thought an unfounded accusation. Cheers for straightening that out. 😉

  • bevin

    This article may help clarify the possibilities open to an independent Scotland-with its own currency and Central Bank.
    http://bilbo.economicoutlook.net/blog/?p=33707

    By way of contrast there are the fates of Greece and Ireland where mountains of debt, far too large ever to be repaid, burden the people with debt servicing charges and sabotage efforts to maintain social services, education and public infrastrucure.

    • michael norton

      achavanich
      June 9, 2016 at 22:38
      Scottish Seas

      means the waters around Scotland.
      Such as
      tidal power, off shore wind power, wave power, off-shore wind power, off shore gas extraction, off shore oil extraction.
      As the off-shore oil extraction is winding down, the Scottish government ( rightly) moved to encourage off-shore wind and other re-newable schemes, however, the returns on these schemes are to come from ex-porting that electricity to England.
      If Scotland votes to become a different country from the rest of the remaining United Kingdom, they understand that no more warships for the U.K. will be constructed in Scotland.
      They will also come to understand that England does not have to purchase Scottish electricity.

      • fred

        Offshore wind and tidal are expensive ways to generate electricity, they rely on government subsidies to make them viable to investors, they would be a liability not an asset to an independent Scotland.

  • michael norton

    Oil sector job losses
    to reach 120,000 by end of 2016
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-business-36491937
    The number of jobs lost as a result of the downturn in the UK oil and gas sector could top 120,000 by the end of this year, according to a report.

    Oil & Gas UK estimated 84,000 jobs linked to the industry went in 2015, with 40,000 losses expected this year.

    It said the offshore industry supported 453,000 jobs at its 2014 peak – either directly, in its supply chain or in trades such as hotels and taxis.

    The new figures suggest 330,000 jobs would be supported by the end of 2016.

    The analysis was carried out by marketing services company Experian.

    Last week a Bank of Scotland/Lloyds Banking Group survey suggested that a third of UK oil and gas businesses planned to cut jobs further during this year.

    Many companies have been struggling under the weight of a sustained fall in the price of oil.

    • Cameron Brodie

      I hope you are not suggesting Scotland could not afford independence due to the currently suppressed oil price. That would be rather foolish of you. Are you not aware that Scotland’s GDP is 99% that of the UK’s, without the inclusion of oil? Oil is a bonus and there is a lot more of it around Scotland’s waters, than simply the North Sea.

  • Muscleguy

    I find this an excellent point Craig. I had not thought about this point but it is a good point and your arguments are cogent and right I think.

    A No campaign headed by the Tories. I’m not sure how we could lose against that. After Red Tories OUT in the GE for the Blue Tories to head it after all the blue blooded land holders elected as MSP’s it would be almost as bad as if Boris Johnson were to head it.

    I’m ready and waiting to go again whenever the starting gun is fired. Armed with LOTS of ‘we told you so’s laid out in the Wee Black Book. If it’s a Brexit that will be front and centre, ‘remember they told us last time the only way to stay in Europe was to vote No?’ will be used to say ‘then how do you know all the scaremongering now is true?’ Such mindworms need to be put in heads. Pick the scaremongering issue that has come true anyway and away you go.

    • michael norton

      Polls are not currently showing a majority of Scots saying they would vote for independence – even when they are asked to imagine a post-Brexit scenario.

      The hard fact is that the SNP will not call another referendum until they are certain they can win it.

      Because they know if they lose again they really will not be able to ask the question again for at least a generation.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-36499608

      • michael norton

        So even after BREXIT

        only idiots will call for Scotland to leave the United Kingdom.

    • michael norton

      It seems quite likely that we will soon become an independent country called
      the United Kingdom.

      How soon after Brexit will Nicola call for a repeat Scotland referendum,
      one day, one week, one month?

      • michael norton

        Betting odds on a British vote to exit the European Union shortened on Saturday after an opinion poll put the “Leave” camp 10 points ahead of “Remain”, hitting the value of the pound.

        Sterling weakened by as much as 1.2 percent against the dollar immediately after the poll, by ORB for the Independent newspaper, was published on Friday evening.

        The pound fell from $1.4343 to $1.4177, but later recovered about half of the loss.

        Britons will vote on June 23 referendum on whether to leave the world’s largest free trading area, a decision with far-reaching implications for politics, the economy, trade, defence and migration in Britain and the rest of the EU.

        The ORB poll put support for “Leave” on 55 percent, against 45 percent for “Remain”.

        http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-eu-odds-idUKKCN0YX06N

  • jim

    we supported to stay under the act of union england can not just decide laws that affect us now the scottish paliment must demand a new ref 2

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