The Timing Trap for Scotland 321


It is self-evidently essential to negotiate for Independent Scotland to remain in the EU, in advance of Brexit taking effect. But those negotiations will take time – budgetary contributions, relationship to the Euro, the Central Bank and Schengen, fisheries quotas, representation in the parliament and commission, Phare and research grants, structural and development funding, and those are only a few of a massive list of details to be settled before Independent Scotland takes its place in the EU. There is over a year of negotiation there.

But Scotland’s position becomes much more difficult if there is not a seamless transition. If when the rest of the UK withdraws, Scotland remains seated at the table as a successor member without its citizens losing that status, both the process and the substance are very much simpler than if Scotland leaves with Brexit and has to apply to rejoin. Indeed there is a respectable legal argument that in the first case Scotland’s continuing membership cannot be subject to single state veto, whereas a Scotland which is rejoining could.

The stark fact is this. Scotland cannot await the outcome of Brexit negotiations. These are certain to take up almost all of the available time between triggering of Article 50 and actual Brexit two years later. If Scotland waits, it will be too late for Independent Scotland to negotiate her own terms in time for continuing EU membership on rBrexit.

The only possible result of the petrified stalling of the SNP in the face of the obvious need for IndyRef2 is that they will fail in both of their objectives. Even at the earliest the Scottish Government may call for IndyRef2 on their current plans, it will be too late. Scotland will find itself still inside the UK and outside of the EU or just about to be. They will then face the prospect of selling Independence with no guarantee that we will be allowed back in.

Caution can be good. But there are times in life where inaction, though from the best of motives, may prove disastrous. I very much fear that, if we do not move to hold Indyref2 in spring 2017, the sequence of events may mean we miss the chance for Independence for a great many decades.


321 thoughts on “The Timing Trap for Scotland

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  • A2

    Personally , I’d see negotiating as a prospective new member as rather preferable to inheriting the UK’s position where we were poorly represented in negotiations for years.

    “They will then face the prospect of selling Independence with no guarantee that we will be allowed back in”

    Not necessarily such a great obstacle, in fact may be key to keeping those Yes voters that were also leave voters on side. In addition the fact that we already meet all the requirements of membership without having to prove anything additional sets the Barrier to membership pretty low.

    • Black Rab

      Some insight into the fanaticism of the Battle of Britain, The Cruel Sea, Dunkirk, The Battle Of London, Reach For The Sky, I Live In Grosvenor Square, Bulldog Sees It Through, Dover, Went The Day Well, King Arthur Was a Gentleman, They Who Dare, For Freedom, 49th Parallel, Above Us the Waves, Zulu, The Hurt Locker, The Way Ahead, The Wooden Horse, Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence, The Wild Geese, The Red Beret, In Which We Serve, London Can Take It, Who Dares Wins, The Bridge On The River Kwai, The English Patient, Bless ‘Em All, Adolf Hitler: My Part In His Downfall, Aces High, Angels One O Five, The Cockleshell Heroes, Bomber Harris………Cult.

      • Resident Dissident

        All that exchange proves to me is that there is a lot of nationalism about of varying kinds – best not to encourage any of them.

        Black Rab clearly has something of a problem in our opposing the Nazis – a German version from the 1930s and 40s.- as of course did some other Scottish Nationalists at the time.

        • Black Rab

          You miss the point, it’s not about opposing the nazis, it’s about opposing an oppressive culture. Ie, Fred thinks Braveheart (William Wallace) opposing an oppressive England is bad. Meaning, Nazis and Braveheart bad, but English oppression good. Hope that clears that up.

    • Dave Balfour

      What a load of tosh. There is no protocol, other than the Scottish Government’s decision to fly the Saltire and not the Union Flag. Theresa May is not a visiting Head of State, she’s the (unelected) Prime Minister of the UK, so you’re examples are completely irrelevant.

    • Republicofscotland

      You’re right Fred on the two Saltires shocking, it should’ve been one Saltire and one EU flag. ?

  • YouKnowMyName

    I notice the USA is requesting that Turkey fully comply with international law in dealing with the thousands of ex-military & ex-judicial coup plotters. Nice to know that the State Department is so keen on human rights in a provoked situation where hundreds were needlessly killed and Erdoğan becomes deeper entrenched.

    On a different subject completely , BBC radio mentions that Stephen Kinnock will lead “nu-continuum-labor” as a new party should Corby win the thing that he’s not ‘supposed’ to win?

    Those who’s Prosecco intake is low enough to remember 2008 will recall a certain Stephen K being expelled from Russia, over registration of foreign agents of influence, USAID style cultural assistance to the impoverished russkies, or something? ( he was director of the British Council, whilst his dad was Chairman ) it could simply have been a minor traffic incident as a trustworthy D.Millipede said at the time , before flying to Tracy Island to work quietly for USAID or something similarly expellable from russkiland. . .

    I get all these stories confused, they sometimes seem to be ruthlessly interlinked, meaninglessly, from the point of view of the chap on the Clapham omnibus?, perhaps

    • Tom

      It’s a bit like the Labour Party where Corbyn gets blamed for not being the victim of a coup.
      The Americans wanted a stooge leader of Turkey just like they wanted a stooge leader of the Labour Party.
      It’s good to see both plots have so pathetically failed.

      • YouKnowMyName

        https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jul/17/us-turkey-coup-attempt-fethullah-gulen

        “Labor’s attempted coup has increased friction between the British and American governments, with the US rejecting claims that it was somehow involved in the failed putsch”

        Yes, that reads quite well. . .

        “Public insinuations or claims about any role by the United States in the failed coup attempt are utterly false and harmful to our bilateral relations,” the state department said, summarising a message given by secretary of state John Kerry to his BoJo counterpart.

        I seem to have dyslexia, typing one thing when I mean another, suppose I can get away with it as bitter satire, but it’s seriously not very funny chaps. Isn’t MIx supposed to defend us from external influence?

  • remain means remain

    As regards the criticism of the Saltires at Bute House. Clearly it’s once again a case of trying to make Scots feel embarrassed if we’ve in any way confidently asserted our identity. Trying to make Scotland feel small. That doesn’t work anymore.

    • fred

      OK, I won’t criticise the Scottish government if the Nationalists here don’t criticise the British government.

      That’s fair isn’t it?

      • michael norton

        One very, very simple question, when Scotland leaves the United Kingdom for the Sunny Uplands
        whose currency will you use.
        You’ve already been told you will no longer be able to use the pound.

          • fred

            The problem with that is that the people in Scotland who voted to leave are going to feel very cheated.

            I remember after the indi referendum all the unfounded allegations of vote rigging bandied about by the Nationalists. Imagine what would have happened if more people had voted for Yes than No but then they decided Scotland wasn’t going to get independence anyway. People are going to lose all faith in democracy if Scotland reneges on the deal.

        • Republicofscotland

          Scotland will use the pound, and Phil Hammond will openly endorse that after independence is gained, because it would damage both economies to do otherwise.

          • michael norton

            But you have already been told unequivocally by the United Kingdom Government
            that an Independent Scotland
            will no be able to keep the pound.

          • fred

            I think I would want to see hard evidence of that first it sounds like Nationalist wishful thinking to me.

          • Republicofscotland

            I must say I was rather proud of the SNP at FMQ’s during the week, whilst other parties stood up and applauded David Cameron’s tenure in office, which included austerity. Sanctions that led to many deaths, the attempt to balance the books on the backs of the poor and disabled, the SNP MP’s sat impassive.

            Bearing in mind that the current incumbent of 10 Downing St, Theresa May was part of David Cameron’s government, one could easily suggest that with regards to the above policies they’ll be no real change.

            Tomorrow we’ll throw away god knows how many billions of pounds on WMD’s to placate Westminster’s fanciful imperialist dreams.

          • Republicofscotland

            Ireland used the pound, until it decided to use its own currency the punt, then it moved to the Euro.

            I very much doubt any chancellor of the Exchequer would damage his own countries tax revenues by denying Scotland the use of of Sterling.

            I’m confident the CBI would endorse Scotland using the pound.

          • michael norton

            Phil Hammond is an arsehole, he is only in place as a stop-gap.
            He was an avid REMAINIAN, the LEAVERS have been moved into top posts
            of:
            Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
            Secretary of State for International Trade
            Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union
            Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

            plus many people thought Theresa May Prime Minister of the United Kingdom,
            was expected to come out before the E.U. Referendum on the side of Leave
            but she essentially kept quiet ( all the better to claim the prize of BREXIT)

            Phil Hammond was useless at Foreign and Commonwealth Office, he is a placeman.
            He was moved to his present roll, for a while, to no alarm the people who wanted Remain.
            he is already a dead man walking.

          • michael norton

            You will note that Hammond has next to nothing to say on the economy, he has said there will be no emergency budget.

          • fred

            “Tomorrow we’ll throw away god knows how many billions of pounds on WMD’s to placate Westminster’s fanciful imperialist dreams.”

            They are buying nine P-8A Poseidon patrol planes at a cost of £3 billion which will keep RAF Lossiemouth open and provide over 100 jobs in an area which needs them.

            Sounds like good news for Moray to me.

          • Kempe

            Having prematurely scrapped the Nimrod aircraft to save £2 billion and written off the £4 billion development cost.

          • fred

            I’m just happy for the people and the economy of Moray, it’s a piece of good news for a change.

          • Republicofscotland

            “They are buying nine P-8A Poseidon patrol planes at a cost of £3 billion which will keep RAF Lossiemouth open and provide over 100 jobs in an area which needs them.”

            _________

            Scottish independence, would create thousands of jobs in the armed forces, the likes of you Fred, settle for the crumbs off Westminster’s table, when you could have a seat at the dinner table, typical Britnat mentality on show.

          • Republicofscotland

            Fred.

            The only pipe dream, I know off is the one where BAE were promised contracts to built British navy ships at Govan in Glasgow.

            A independent Scotland would employ thousands of people in the armed forces and thousands more would be needed to built our ships.

            The Faslane base has been touted as the navys port, so no damage to the economy of the surrounding area would be felt indeed it could even grow.

            Westminster is throwing Scotland a bone in the shape of some planes, the narrow minded fools amongst us will be delighted at this placating titbit. However those with a wider view, are looking at the bigger picture.

          • Node

            They are buying nine P-8A Poseidon patrol planes at a cost of £3 billion which will keep RAF Lossiemouth open and provide over 100 jobs in an area which needs them.

            The people of Moray could create many more than 100 jobs if they were given £3 billion to invest directly in the local economy. And there could be 100% employment in Caithness if the money wasted at Dounreay was invested in productive jobs.

        • Franco

          One very very simple question, are you implying that the GBP belongs to England?

          • Wee Jim

            It isn’t the GBP. It’s the English pound issued and supported by the reserves of the Bank of England. Scottish pounds were exchanged for English pounds – at a rate of twelve Scottish pounds for an English pound – after the Act of Union. Scottish – and Northern Irish – banks that issue bank-notes now can only issue them to the value of reserves held by the BofE.
            Yes, Scotland can continue to use the pound if it becomes independent. It can do it the same way Ireland did for many years – issue currency with the same value as the English pound supported by national reserves and leave it up to the Bank of England and the British Treasury to decide on interest rates and economic policy.

        • ALEXANDER RUSSELL

          we will use the scottish pound which after a few years of scottish independance England will plead to join

        • David

          Michael there is nothing to stop Scotland using the pound it is a world tradeable currency japan america china could use it if they wanted to and at the moment there is 14 country’s use it on a 1-1 basis but i would prefer our own currency myself.

    • Republicofscotland

      Agreed.

      I’ve just listened to some old fart on the radio vehemently complain that Sturgeon should’ve went to the bottom of the stairs at Bute house to meet May, she then went on to say Sturgeon should’ve let May enter Bute house first, yet if you see the clip, she did offer May to enter first but May declined.

  • Republicofscotland

    One has to wonder that if Westminster can fashion a referendum to leave the EU, then why can’t they or more to the point don’t they fashion one to leave the UK.

    I mean why would Westminster act so desperate to keep Scotland in the union?

    So lets see Westmister call for a independence referendum.

        • Republicofscotland

          Can’t you read Michael, or comprehend other folks comments?

          Scotland will use the pound, for umpteenth time, because any other set up would damage tax receipts of the Treasury.

          • MJ

            Do you comprehend your own comments? What on earth has tax receipts to the UK treasury got to do with what currency Scotland uses?

          • Republicofscotland

            MJ.

            You clearly don’t get it do you? Yet you bang on about what currency Scotland will use.

          • MJ

            You’re right, I don’t get it. I therefore repeat: what on earth has tax receipts to the UK treasury got to do with what currency Scotland uses?

    • Republicofscotland

      Regarding my above comment, I’m surprised at the public South of border are not calling for a English independence referendum. After constant claims of funding Scotland for centuries on end.

      Surely Westminster will listen to the good people down South and run a English independence referendum. I mean Scotland is supposedly a drain on British resources so why not allow it to leave, it makes sense to me.

      • Republicofscotland

        I’m sure there must be plenty of people South of the border that want to see the back of Scotland, so my point seems a fair one yours however….

    • Alan

      ‘I mean why would Westminster act so desperate to keep Scotland in the union?’

      Duh! Because Scotland started the union; because the Queen is part Scottish but certainly NOT English, nor Welsh, nor Irish; because the majority of UK PMs in my lifetime have had Scottish names; hey the list goes on and on but you’re the only one who doesn’t get it.

      (Heath and Thatcher didn’t have Scottish names; all the rest in my lifetime have.)

  • Lee Roberts

    Thank you, Craig. I think you are dead right. Both the Tories and the EU would love it if Nicola took her time, was seduced by Theresa May’s offers on consultation etc. May is an extraordinarily devious person, and very skillful. So its essential, now that the seduction has begun, that the SNP take independent control. It really doesnt matter a damn if the Tories say a second referendum is unconstitutional. It will carry the weight of decision…nothing can prevent that. But Nicola does have to take soundings to ensure she will win. A second loss will be a catastrophe. I have alerted my SNP colleagues, and I hope this message will be relayed to HQ.

    • michael norton

      A second loss will be a cat.

      No it will not
      if there is to be a second Ref. in Scotland and the people of Scotland vote to stay a part of the United Kingdom

      they will have voted that way because they are intelligent enough to see through the paucity of the arguments of Ms.Sturgeon.
      They know what side their bread is buttered on.

      • michael norton

        It was not the ENGLISH who voted for SCOTLAND to REMAIN in the UNITED KINGDOM

        it was the people of SCOTLAND who voted to REMAIN in the UNITED KINGDOM

        • Republicofscotland

          “it was the people of SCOTLAND who voted to REMAIN in the UNITED KINGDOM”

          ___________

          Yes but circumstances have now changed.

          • Alan

            ‘Yes but circumstances have now changed.’

            How many referenda have we had in my lifetime? Oh that’s right – two! We can’t have a referendum every time some minority group gets upset about something.

            Now for Krissakes, stop your whining!

          • Republicofscotland

            Being dragged out of the EU is a big circumstance, Scottish farmers rely heavily on EU grants, as does scientific research, the Erasmus programne and a whole host of other areas and departments.

            You can call it whining if you want, I call it concern.

      • Republicofscotland

        “they will have voted that way because they are intelligent enough to see through the paucity of the arguments of Ms.Sturgeon.
        They know what side their bread is buttered on.”

        ___________________

        Paucity you say, with regards to Westminster I’d call it incompetents, holding a Brexit vote without any contingency plans, then when reality bit they all resigned.

        No Sturgeon is a genius, compared to the bumbling fools running Westminster.

        • Alan

          ‘No Sturgeon is a genius, compared to the bumbling fools running Westminster.’

          My cat is a genius compared to the bumbling fools running Westminster.

          • Whatever (aka Alcyone): End Every Cliche

            Thank you Alan, I appreciate your comments. As you have no doubt noticed that there are few sane voices around here, so yours from what I have gleaned, is a welcome addition.

            The impression I’m getting is that May is going about things, largely playing with a straight bat and ‘doing the right thing’. I often though look at things very naively. But the Tories seem to be getting there act together and moving on?

          • Republicofscotland

            All the more reason for Scotland to become independent wouldn’t you say?

    • MJ

      “The only thing holding Scotland back, is Scots themselves”

      Can’t argue with that but nationwide ignorance of basic economics is one of the main culprits I feel.

      • MJ

        Perhaps the Scots could come to England for evening classes. One of the most gratifying aspects of the EU referendum has been the discovery of how many people (from the losing side in particular) have turned out to be expert economic forecasters, graciously prepared to share their gloomy analyses with anyone who will listen. For too long they have hidden their lights under bushels. I’m sure they could be of great assistance.

    • Alan

      ‘The only thing holding Scotland back, is Scots themselves, by believing the lies and deceit spouted from Westminster, and coveyed in the media.’

      Do you find that when you walk into a room others get up and leave? We know you want (yet another) referendum, and you want this, that, and the other, and that from the above statement that you hold all Scots that think differently to you in contempt, but it’s completely useless bugging us about it, because only the government can give you what you want. Why don’t you try bugging Genius Sturgeon who might be willing to listen to you, if you can catch her before she leaves the room. Talk about obsessed.

      • Republicofscotland

        Well the last time I looked this thread was about Sturgeon the EU and independence. That’s why I’m commenting on it, and to those who’ve commented to me about it.

        However looking through your recent comments on your cat, whining and smoking whatever, I would agree that folk would leave the room when you open your mouth, I know I would.

        • Alan

          ‘However looking through your recent comments on your cat,’

          After you told us Sturgeon is a genius. You imagine that somebody like her does all her thinking for herself? Like every other politician she has a team of “advisers” telling her what to say and when. And she has “Donors”, who want returns on “their investment”.

          Now you seem to believe in “Change you can believe in”. Now where have I heard that one before?

          • Alan

            Oh, and RoS, if Ms Sturgeon was any real threat to the establishment, she would be undergoing the same sort of attacks that Jeremy Corbyn is under, but no, she is the very first one that Theresa May goes to consult with.

          • Republicofscotland

            “After you told us Sturgeon is a genius”

            ________

            Compared to those Brexit clowns yes.

            ________________________

            “she is the very first one that Theresa May goes to consult with.”

            __________

            Yes because May knows Scotland’s on the verge of a second indyref, and May rushed up to Bute house, to try and convince Sturgeon to hang on so see what’s on offer, or to tell Sturgeon she can’t have her second indyref.

          • Node

            …. if Ms Sturgeon was any real threat to the establishment, she would be undergoing the same sort of attacks that Jeremy Corbyn is under ….

            Ouch! Unfortunately that’s a good point, hard to argue with.

  • Tony M

    Money spent on weapons costs the countries many times over. That which is wasted on it and the waste of not spending it in some productive way that earns a reasonable return and improves people’s lives. Take needless defence spending and multiply by three, to determine its real cost.

    They’ve plenty of rusting useless willie-waving junk as it is already.
    HMS Gormless, HMS Artless, HMS Fearful, HMS Witless, HMS Fruitless, HMS Glamourless, HMS Honourless, HMS Pointless, HMS Speechless, HMS Feckless, HMS Trouserless, HMS Tremulous, HMS Ridiculous, HMS Crapulous, HMS Furunculous, HMS incredulous, to name but a few.

    The UK is a lunatic asylum.

  • Whatever (aka Alcyone): Scotland should eat more pasta..

    …so that Italy’s economy can improve and there is an EU left for Scotland to join.

    • Whatever (aka Alcyone): Who is Gulen?

      Ben, who’s Gulen?

      Do you have an update on your Presidential elections, VP choices, etc.?

    • Trowbridge H. Ford aka The Biscuit

      Oh, Fedup won’t say more about his mentioning man-made earthquakes in Turkey as it helped put Erdogan in office after Ecevic’s was hit with that one in Izmit for helping Milosovic during the NATO bombing campaign to break up Yugoslavia, and Washington got Erdogan to give up his independence over Palestine by hitting Lake Van with two more a few years back.

      Erdogan knows that getting along with Washington is his only hope.

  • Tony M

    I’d be worried about having the diabetic May in charge of U-KOK. Among the first faculties to go in a hypoglycaemic condition, due to slight overdose of insulin or variation of takeup and action in anti-diabetic pills is a persons reason and decision-making ability, long before any physical symptoms such as shivering, sweating, weakness, panic attack, collapse or black-out, coma and even death have become apparent. I assume the cabinet members will have glucagon for emergency intravenous injection, if Theresa hasn’t had her proper brekkie, doesn’t stick to the strict diet, or can’t resist a sugary treat and her bg starts to yo-yo.

    I hope she has this under control and is not subject to excessive swings from high to low or vice versa or even marginal ones which can seriously affect from one moment to the next, a persons judgement. This is why I suspect she is just keeping the chair warm for Boris Johnson or some other Tory nut and is operating within the narrowest parameters of action and is in fact in the job in name only.

    • Tony M

      She will require time to contemplate her actions, with a cooling off period for reconsideration of any decisions, whilst her colleagues will urge the rashest and most idiotic of actions and urgency, bold, decisive etc. It’s yet another series of U-KOK disasters in the making.

  • Tony M

    I can see her commanding to the front phantom armies that never existed except in her and her inner circle’s imagination.

    I would say Theresa May is someone who, having made the most awful decisions, sticks to them grimly thereafter to their bitter and horrible end, even when it’s soon apparent they’re disastrous and wrong, she’ll get trapped in ill-thought out runaway destructive courses of action with England’s people dragged along with her for a white-knuckle trip without end. Mix that with her seemingly unshakeable clinging to long discredited, bankrupt Thatcherite neo-liberal vulture economics, it doesn’t bode well, even though there’s only bleached bones left after her and her cronies have had the pickings on this ‘their’ turf for as long as anyone can recall.

    • Republicofscotland

      But May has her secret weapon in the shape of Boris, I’m sure the Inspector Clouseau-esque Johnson, will have no trouble in starting profitable wars around the globe.

      I understand through the press that Boris now oversees MI6, god help us all. I have visions of him countermanding intelligence sources, and causing more damage than Churchill at Dardanelles, or Haig at the Somme.

  • Loony

    Hey look here are some youth unemployment rates for selected EU countries:

    Greece 50.4%, Spain 43.9%, Italy 36.9%, Croatia 31.4%, Portugal 28.6% and France 23.3%.

    These figures are lower than they otherwise would be due to EU inspired forced emigration of swathes of people many of whom have washed up in the UK.

    On the assumption that Scots are either stupid or terminally lazy and never wish to work again then they should be rushing to vote for independence and to remain in the EU.

  • Loony

    Are Scottish people generous people? Do they like to save up and send all their spare money to fascists and neo Nazis?

    If the answer is yes – then Scottish people should all seek independence whilst simultaneously remaining in the EU. As someone who is aggrieved that not enough money is being given to fascists and neo Nazis then the EU has listened to your concerns and has a program in place to address them

    http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_MEMO-15-5035_en.htm

  • Loony

    Is Scotland a land consumed with hatred for poor people? Do you think that the third world has not suffered enough? Perhaps you are concerned that Scotland alone cannot inflict massive economic damage on the third world.

    If this is reflective of your concerns then you should immediately seek independence and membership of the EU – as once again the EU has listened to your concerns and has a program in place which should meet your approval.

    https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/poverty-matters/2011/oct/11/eu-agriculture-hurts-developing-countries

  • Loony

    Perhaps you are Scottish but have a desperate yearning for World War 3. Maybe you are concerned that not enough is being done to provoke WW3. Maybe this concern is so great that you would be prepared to economically harm yourself in order to accelerate the march to war.

    If this describes you then the answer is clear. Vote for independence and seek to remain in the EU – for the EU has a program that is well designed to meet such concerns

    http://www.economonitor.com/blog/2015/08/for-whom-the-bell-tolls-really-the-impact-of-the-sanctions-against-russia/

  • RobG

    The blacks in America hate the cops because of their values and lifestyle (and not because the militarised cops regularly murder blacks). It won’t surprise me in the least if that’s the line the presstitutes will start pushing; and of course in this contrived atmosphere of total hate against people with darker skin, they will probably get away with it, yet again.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/live/2016/jul/17/baton-rouge-police-officers-shooting-louisiana

    And don’t forget to take part in the two minute hate against Goldstein/Corbyn.

    What has our society become..?

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Wouldn’t the SNP be better, right now, to be bending any vaguely sympathetic financial ear to obtain investment in present and future Scottish industry? Although we may not enjoy hearing it repeated so insistently, the sustained oil price crash -and the heavy depletion of North Sea resources prior to that – should have ensured that it is not now regarded as central to an independent Scottish economy. The question arising from that is, what is? Oil isn’t going to look up until the world economy does, and that’s in the doldrums. There is the added , admittedly very remote, possibility that international opinion may eventually decide that enough global warming is enough, and genuinely restrict fossil fuel production, if not to sustainable levels, to those which delay the denouement. Forget oil. What else have you got? What credible means have you got for maximising income from this? Will the majority of Scots be any better off outside the UK than in it? What ideas have you got for ensuring this?

    I’d like to see answers to those before even contemplating a second referendum, which might then be justified on the basis that the first one was based on flawed premisses (and was at least patly, like Brexit, a “f**k you” vote). I spent half my life in Scotland, I am all for the place and the people, and I have been a member of the SNP; I’m not just putting my oar in at random. But let’s get sensible, eh?

      • michael norton

        So, they don’t like Trump, even though his grandfather was a native Scottish Gaelic speaking Hebridean fisherman, even though he has pumped millions of dollars into Scotland and is prepared to pump in even more, even though he has a reasonable chance of becoming president of the U.S.A.

        • michael norton

          Mary Anne MacLeod was born in Tong, a tiny village (2001 population: 527) on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides, off Scotland’s West Coast. Her parents spoke Gaelic; the remote town offered a hardscrabble life. In 1930, she left for New York, where she met and married Fred Trump, a successful real-estate developer. In 2008, Donald Trump visited Lewis for the first time in decades, stopping by the cottage where his mother was born (for 97 seconds, according to The Guardian’s count).

          “I feel very comfortable here,” he said. “It’s interesting when your mother, who was such a terrific woman, comes from a specific location, you tend to like that location. I think I do feel Scottish.”
          http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2015/12/donald-trump-scotland-golf/421065/

          He could well be the next President of America,
          give him the time of day for your own sakes.

          • fwl

            Trump. If he has one purpose in life it could be to take bankruptcy to a higher level, and be the president, who defaults on national debt. Why else would he be allowed to succeed?

          • Ba'al Zevul

            And that has nothing to do with my comment. Fwl, I absolve you of blame, but if Michael Norton continues to append his random observations to the serious points made by other posters, he’s going to be extremely unpopular, and not just with me.

    • Tony M

      I would think the greatest change will result simply from policies to encourage industries to grow and to setup. The UK has systematically and deliberately smashed all trace of industry, in Scotland with a vindictiveness and recklessness over decades simply to thwart Scotland’s viability and cement dependence. The Ravenscraig plant was brand-new state of the art in 1969, with not a penny of public money, built by the private sector firm Colvilles, just before the formation of BSC. The quality of the raw product was immediately far better than that produced in Wales; soon after closing Ravenscraig, switching from Ravenscraig steel to Welsh, major car manufacturing companies quality control began rejecting whole batches of the steel now being supplied to them, as inferior to what they had received and contractually agreed before, they went abroad instead and that business was lost forever. They quite idiotically closed the wrong plant then. Likewise with steel-pipe production for the oil industry, they had a great product, Scottish steel was specified all over the world for this application, with some vast orders fulfilled and anticipated for continent spanning lengths.
      .
      You have to compare what is left after wilful U-KOK incompetence and malice, and what might have been and will be without it. Apples and Pears.

  • Some comments

    * France has been in a “state of emergency” since shortly after the Bataclan massacre. Can you believe it?
    * Blocking access by terrorist-driven lorries to areas containing crowds is not rocket science. Just use concrete blocks or barriers. They are present at several sites in London (sometimes made to look like benches), and are also used to bar site access to gypsies, while barriers separate lanes on motorway contraflows. By any standards Mohamed Bouhlel was only able to drive the lorry along the promenade on Thursday because of a major security failure.
    * Police vans positioned to block access to lorries were removed hours before the attack.
    * Mohamed Bouhlel did not pray and did not attend a mosque, and he drank alcohol. He was a cultural Muslim but there is nothing to suggest that he was a religiously practising Muslim, and by all accounts he wasn’t.
    * Bouhlel sent £84000 to his brother in Tunisia days before the attack – cash, smuggled in bundles. His brother hadn’t seen him for several years.
    * Bouhlel was known to be mentally ill and had been seeing a psychiatrist.
    * He drove the lorry – or a lorry – along the promenade on Tuesday and Wednesday. He then rented the lorry on Thursday, slightly more than an hour before he drove it on the same route to murder scores of people.
    * Prime minister Manuel Valls said he believed Daesh had manipulated an unstable individual to carry out the attack. “Daesh gives unstable individuals an ideological kit that allows them to make sense of their acts … this is probably what happened in Nice’s case.” This is just typical pseudo-intellectual bullshit. The act of terrorism was the last thing that Bouhlel did. He didn’t need to “make sense” of it. Valls also said that “France will have to live with terrorism”. Valls should shut his mouth except for announcing “I resign”. He is clearly not up to the job. Where the fuck does the buck stop in France?
    * Meanwhile the interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve spoke far more responsibly when he said that the ongoing investigation would determine whether Bouhlel had acted alone, perhaps because he was psychologically “unbalanced,” or whether he was linked to a terrorist network. Unfortunately he also spoke of Bouhlel having been “radicalised” very quickly (so quickly that no-one noticed?) when the published accounts so far available indicate only that he was violent, antisocial, mentally ill and irreligious.
    * President Francois Hollande said that the authorities had “taken all necessary measures so that this fireworks show might be as protected as possible”. That is an absolutely outrageous statement for the head of state to make, and like Valls, Hollande should resign.
    * Calling up gendarme and other police reservists is OK but what is needed most is not gendarmes but the military. I would not like to be in the shoes of a soldier who was supposed to be responsible for ensuring that vehicles were placed to prevent terrorist lorry access during a state of high alert and then removed them, allowing 80 people to be killed. If ever there was a role for the army, here it is.
    * Meanwhile in Britain SAS snipers being present at the Notting Hill Carnival, ready to shoot at vehicles being used as terrorist weapons, is fine, but that doesn’t do much to help the obscenely low level of security understanding on the part of many security personnel who work at public events and facilities, many of whom are of low intelligence and cocky with it. Some are gangster thugs. Others may have dreamt of being police officers or prison guards but were too fucking stupid to get in. Meanwhile non-security staff who have some security responsibilities (such as basically all staff on the railway system, given that passengers are told that if they notice anything suspicious, report it to any member of staff) often view whatever they are told about security as akin to unnecessary “health and safety” bullshit. Many when a passenger does report a suspicion to them just say “yes yes” and forget about it, unless maybe if the passenger is middle class and speaks with authority. If they regularly had contact with the army, the army might be able to wise the morons up a bit and sort their attitudes out.
    * I wouldn’t be surprised if the packing of the van’s loadspace with grenades is a total lie, although a nonfunctioning grenade in the cab may have been present.

    • RobG

      During the Tour de France bike stuff there’s been zilch security (I talk as someone who lives in France), despite the fact that the ‘state of emergency’ is supposed to protect French citizens from supposed ‘terrorist attacks’.

      Go figure.

      Following what apparently happened in Nice, France is now in a permanent state of martial law.

      Once again, go figure.

      I can assure you that the French people are figuring it out.

    • Whatever (aka Alcyone): Evil is not the opposite of Good

      Thank you for that very cohesive summary; agree with all you say.

    • MJ

      “Police vans positioned to block access to lorries were removed hours before the attack”

      Interesting observation if true but I haven’t seen it anywhere else.

  • michael norton

    If Scotland will not be able to overly rely on

    COAL / OIL / GAS

    to support itself, it must find other incomes.
    One of which is GOLF

    Mrs.MURRAY tried to open a Tennis center but she has been refused.
    Donald Trump has pumped millions of U.S.A. dollars into GOLF / TOURISIM

    yet he is disliked because he does he is Islamaphobic

    Theresa May is Isamaphobic but Nicola still talks to her
    why not Trump?

    • michael norton

      My little point is,
      if you can put less future reliance on the old industries, to turn good coin,
      you have to come up with something else.
      Telling the English to fuck off might work but telling Americans
      to fuck off
      and telling enterprizing Scots to fuck off
      who are you going to welcome Poland?

      • Ben Monad

        I submit that Trump is PT Barnum and his circus is 3-ring.

        1.) Get the People’s attention with raw rhetoric.

        2.) If successful, double-down on rhetoric.

        3.) Ask forgiveness for the rhetoric and capture the imagination.

        We are witnessing a psychological phenomenon of archetypal magnitude.

      • bevin

        If the idea is to base the Scottish economy on investment by foreign capitalists you are entering a race to the bottom in which the government will have to compete, with other neo-liberal governments, in lowering labour costs, lowering corporate taxes and giving away public property.
        You don’t need to leave the UK to do this. As a matter of fact most of the popular support the Independence cause gets is from people disillusioned with neo-liberalism, not enthusiastic masses wanting to fly a saltire over it.
        The SNP claims to be in opposition to Westminster’s neo-liberalism. It gets support on the basis that it will not raise tuition fees, that it will expand public services, perfect the NHS model, stop wasting scarce resources on Trident, NATO and the armed forces.
        But is it? Increasingly it looks as if the real basis of popular support for independence comes from voters who, disillusioned by New Labour (and generations of Old Labour treachery) share the ambitions of the Keir Hardies, Jimmy Maxtons, John Macleans and many others who wanted Scotland to be free, not so that it could caddy for rich Americans or create jobs by hosting nuclear bases but by setting out to build a new economy on proincipoles diametrically opposed to the neo-liberals’ .
        They might vote “Yes” in a referendum but I can’t see them accepting everything that they have hitherto detested just because it wears a kilt, made in Bangla Desh by debt peons.

  • RobG

    It looks like there’s mega stuff kicking off in the USA, but there’ll be a complete media black-out on it, because we live in totally closed societies.

    Just like North Korea.

    • Loony

      No Rob – We live in totally fucked up societies, and so you will hear about this.

      Forces are at work evidently attempting to ignite a civil war in Europe and a race war in the US. The chosen epicenters for these events appear to be France and the US Gulf Coast area.

      Graphic images of US police shooting black suspects is widely available and hyped by the media. The same media that urges restraint in showing images of events in Nice. The same media that surreptitiously hints at evidence relating to the torture and willful dismembering of victims of the Bataclan atrocity.

      • RobG

        Loony, the mobile phone footage of what the police do in America is always crystal clear.

        For some reason the mobile phone footage of attacks in France is always blurry and unclear; ie if anyone could believe that a heavily pregnant woman could hang by her fingertips from a window sill for more than five minutes during the cold month of November (and at one stage by the fingertips of just one hand), is perhaps buying into the propaganda.

        Likewise with Nice: a large, white truck that supposedly ran into hundreds of people does not have a single bloodstain on it? Anyone familiar with large vehicles hitting large numbers of people will be laughing their head off.

        The sad thing is that most people still buy into this criminal false flag bullshit.

        • michael norton

          Go for it Nicola, go for it NOW

          MSPs are due to head to Brussels this week in an effort to find out what Brexit will mean for Scotland.

          Members of the Scottish Parliament’s European and External Relations Committee will meet ambassadors from the EU and the European Free Trade Association on Tuesday.

          Later this month the committee will hold an evidence session.

          It will hear from businesses and the public sector likely to be affected by last month’s vote to leave the EU.

          European and External Relations Committee convener Joan McAlpine said: “Sixty-two per cent of voters in Scotland voted to remain in the EU.

          “For that reason alone, it is important to understand what the possible options are to safeguard Scotland’s place in Europe.

          “Our meetings in Brussels will seek to open channels with key European decision makers to discuss how Scotland’s interests can be represented as discussions go forward.”
          ‘Questions and concerns’

          She added: “Our session later this month provides us with an opportunity to hear from key sectors, including higher education, finance and industry.

          “We will raise the questions and concerns of those sectors in our meetings with the Scottish and UK governments.”

          The evidence session will be held on 28 July, with witnesses expected to include members of the Scotch Whisky Association
          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-36816788

          You’ll win by a landslide!!!!!

          • Erdogan

            I detect sarcasm.

            I do not care for it.

            These are my truths, and I find them self-evident.

            You can, of course, disagree.

            In 2014 there was a referendum.

            Independence for Scotland lost.

            In 2015 there was a UK general election.

            56 of 59 Scottish seats were won by a party that espouses independence for Scotland.

            And has done so since its inception.

            Odd thing to happen in the aftermath of a referendum that defeated independence.

            A Scotland Bill was proposed.

            Every amendment proposed by the 56 Scottish MP’s was out-voted and ignored by the majority in Westminster.

            But that was ok. A Scotland Bill was passed. That the majority of Scottish MP’s voted against.

            This is democracy. We are told so by the BBC.

            In 2016 there was a Scottish Parliamentary election.

            The SNP increased their share of votes, but not their seats. They became more popular, but lost influence in the parliament.

            That is the system, the SNP accepted it.

            Their opponents tried to say it was a defeat.

            Terrible thing to be defeated by a system designed to prevent any one political party from having a majority.

            In 2016 there was a vote on the European Union.

            The majority of England and Wales voted to leave.

            The majority of Northern Ireland voted to remain.

            But Northern Ireland was not united in that vote.

            The majority in Scotland voted to remain in the EU.

            In every district.

            Every. Single. One.

            Scotland was and is united in its desire to stay in the EU.

            But apparently this is irrelevant.

            The majority in England and Wales voted to leave.

            So the body politic of Scotland must abide by the decision of others.

            Because what England and Wales voted for was to free themselves of the undemocratic diktats of EU Commisars.

            So Scotland had to accept that.

            It was a democratic choice after all.

            Not open to EU citizens of course, because who could trust them.

            Unless in a Scottish Independence Plebiscite – then it is ok.

            But EU citizens voting in a plebiscite about EU membership? Crazy talk!

            Accept again that Scotland’s vision of itself did not match the UK majority.

            Accept it and melt away into the background again.

            Why?

            Why should we?

            Why should we accept being outvoted by England and Wales forevermore?

            There is a clear democratic deficit in Scotland.

            Clear.

            What the people of Scotland vote for, what they demonstrate as their will in vote after vote, has been ignored.

            Scotland does not want to leave the EU.

            At least not on the terms deliberated by Westminster.

            Scotland never votes for the Conservative party.

            Yet gets governed by the Conservative party for 24 of the last 37 years.

            The 13 years ‘Labour’ were in charge are the shroud under which that party will lie.

            The truth is that Scotland suffers from a democratic deficit.

            It isn’t taxation without representation.

            Scotland votes and nobody listens.

            We shout out, and get told to shut up.

            Our representatives clap in Westminster, and get told they are out of order, but when everyone else claps for a failure of a Prime Minister, and our representatives don’t, they are reprimanded.

            Small signals are often the most telling.

            Scotland is not valued for its opinions, only for its assets.

            If Scotland is filled with subsidy junkies why won’t the rest of the UK let us go?

            If our oil is so worthless, why redraw the map of our maritime boundaries?

            The new campaign for independence dawns.

            The opponents of independence are the Pedantocracy.

            They will ask why?

            They will ask for proofs they never demanded of the EU referendum.

            They want certainty, when they can offer none themselves.

            They constantly cast doubt, and quibble any offered solution.

            Independence is not about arcane rules in Europe.

            Independence is not about currency.

            Independence is about democratic self-determination.

            The Scots have been denied this for decades, if not centuries.

            Scotland needs to determine its own way.

  • yesindyref2

    There’s a very good paper from Graham Avery on the European Policy Centre website (president Van Rompuy): http://www.epc.eu/documents/uploads/pub_6836_scotland_and_the_european_union.pdf

    It’s got good opinions for Scotland staying in the EU, but here’s a warning which I think we all know:

    That would leave Scotland the option of declaring independence unilaterally, which would weaken its international position.

    A Referendum really is the only sensible option, but the SNP can’t go for that until all other options have been dismissed. As Salvor Hardin (Asimov – Foundation trilogy) used to say: “Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent”. But he also used to take no action faced with choices until there was only one thing left to do.

    • michael norton

      Agree, if you listen to some in FRANCE
      they think they are heading into a sort of civil war with the Moslems.

      Brexit ACTION plan for quick exit: Theresa May’s team on fast track to ditch Brussels
      BRITAIN’S charge towards the EU exit was proceeding at a cracking pace last night with work on a string of trade deals already underway in Whitehall.
      http://www.express.co.uk/news/politics/690397/Brexit-plan-Theresa-May-team-cabinet-fast-track-leave-EU
      Ministers were preparing the ground for rapid negotiations on new agreements with around a dozen countries to meet their timetable for leaving the European bloc in the early months of 2019.

    • michael norton

      Well Ms.Nicola Sturgeon, you’ve had the Brexit decision,
      so when are you going to upgrade “highly likely”
      to “definitely”

      answers on a post card please.

  • Kevin MacKinnon

    The decision to hold a referendum will be triggered as soon as the time table that Theresa May has tried to impose on Scotland lapses in September. This will give the snp government time to lay out its plans. As soon as the outcome of Sept 18th 2014 was known the SNP have been preparing for this day and making good on areas that were deficient in the arguement for Independence.

  • Ken

    Whenever May enacts Article 50. Russian roulette. The Tories shooting themselves in the foot again. They will never be elected in the UK again. Scotland will be gone. Especially when the Ministry of Defence and Blair start getting sued. The Blairites will be finished when they start getting taken to Court and bankrupted. Bankrupt Britain.

    The Unionist crooks and criminal politicians. The Tories committed electoral fraud to win the GE. They overspent in 29 constituencies and won in 25. With an overall majority of 12. Electoral fraud is punishable by prison and by-elections should be held. The SNP would have held the balance of power and none of this criminal mess would have happened. There should be a GE. Either way the Tories are finished.

    17Million out of a population of 63Million is not a majority. Now the Tories intend to take the UK without an overal mandate or authority. Especially in Scotland and NI.

    Youth unemployment in the UK 20%+

    • michael norton

      I think you will find the United Kingdom is currently the fifth largest economy in the WORLD.
      Now France and Brazil are close on our heals.
      If Scotland chooses to row off into the North Atlantic, that is all fine and dandy, the remaining U.K. will have a smaller economy but it may still be the fifth or sixth largest economy in the World because Brazil is going downhill on a toboggan,
      France is in their toboggan, right up behind Brazil.
      The U.K. outside of the European Empire will surge ahead without the E.U. drowning corpse pulling us under, this surge will happen with or without Scotland.
      The choice is for Scotland to make.
      Just [email protected] dither too long.

  • Geoffrey

    Could someone please tell me. Has it been agreed, at least in principle,how the UK’s debt would be split between Scotland and the rest of the UK in the event of Scotland gaining independence ? And how would that debt be then transferred from the UK state to the new Scottish state ?
    I know I always ask the same question,but I never get an answer !
    This obviously is not something that can be muddled through after independence and I presume that there is a detailed plan somewhere.
    Looking forward to any answers.

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