Tories Tread a Dangerous Path 793


I have always believed that Theresa May is likely to try to block a new Independence referendum – and it is extremely unlikely her defence secretary, the odious Michal Fallon, would have said this so categorically without prior agreement with May. Fallon, taking a break from supplying weapons to the Saudis for killing Yemeni children, displayed huge arrogance towards Scotland, which the Tories believe is firmly under the heel. They refuse to acknowledge that any difficulty arises from the contradictory referendum results in Scotland, where Scots voted both to remain part of the UK, and to remain part of the EU – the second more recently and by a much wider margin.

The Tory view is that Scotland is but a province of the UK. They are of course right – the UK Supreme Court decision makes quite plain that Scotland’s so-called “parliament” does not derive its power from the Scottish people, but only from what Westminster condescends to hand back. Indeed Westminster could abolish Scotland’s parliament tomorrow. For the Tories, a combination of that Supreme Court decision, their Brexit victory, and the elevation of the Tories to 21% in Scottish elections (Fallon quotes public support for Ruth Davison in his interview), mean that they don’t have to offer Scotland anything.

For God’s sake, let them not be proved right.

Do you remember the scene in Braveheart, where the nobles at Stirling Bridge are planning to negotiate and go home, and Wallace forces them into a fight? Well, I know which Sturgeon reminds me of more at the moment. If she is planning to fight eventually she is masking her intentions brilliantly. The problem that worries me is that the SNP is now the Scottish establishment, and as Scotland is still very much part of the UK, they are part of the British establishment too. A lot of our MPs seem to have their feet under the table very nicely at Westminster. The SNP as an institution has not just its Westminster MPs but their secretaries and research assistants and the group staff, and all the people paid with millions of Westminster “Short money”. That is a major group of party apparatchiks making a fat living out of the current system. Plus of course Holyrood and its power and jobs.

The SNP as an institution is doing very nicely out of the status quo, and that is why there are so many siren voices within the SNP arguing that it is too early for a referendum; “we might lose it”, “leaving the EU is not such a disaster”, “there are a lot of anti-EU Independence supporters anyway”.

There is a lot of self-fulfilling prophesy here. As there has been virtually no actual campaigning for Independence since 2014 and the media still spew anti-Independence propaganda daily, it is hardly surprising Independence support is not rising in the polls. It is a miracle it is holding steady.

The Tories are banking on leaving the EU being normalised. People are getting used to the idea, and the ill consequences of leaving the single market will not really bite until we do so. This is where Sturgeon’s Fabian tactics play in to the Tory agenda. Instead of a break with Westminster over EU membership, the Scottish government is allowing public interest to evaporate in a series of dull Joint Ministerial Committee meetings. There matters are kicked into long grass and mollifying but insincere words spoken about how seriously the devolved administrations are being taken. I can see no point in continuing with this charade unless the SNP itself intends to allow the issue to fizzle out in a drizzle of EFTA’s, EEA’s, CTA’s and other dull acronyms.

The racist majority in England and Wales are trying to force us out of the EU. The UK Supreme Court has ruled the Sewel Convention has no legal force. Now the Tories are arrogantly refusing the right of the Scottish people even to hold a referendum. I cannot imagine the degree of humiliation the SNP feels is necessary to pull the trigger on another Independence attempt. The time is now.

If the Tories do succeed in preventing another referendum from taking place, they are playing with fire. It is worth noting that there is no requirement for Scotland to hold a referendum to become Independent.

Independence is not an internal question. It is the existence of a state recognised by its fellow states, and that recognition is expressed by the General Assembly of the United Nations. A referendum is not a requirement for that UN recognition. Please note the rest of this paragraph very, very carefully. The majority of States in the world have achieved independence during my own lifetime. The vast majority of those did so without a referendum. Not only is a referendum not a requirement, it is extremely unusual. Of the 194 states recognised by the UN, only a tiny handful featured a referendum as part of the process of the formation of the state. This is also true within the EU. Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Croatia, Estonia, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Czech Republic all recently assumed their current form and none of them had a referendum to do it.

If the Tories refuse a referendum, the Scottish Government should respond by declaring Independence. My preferred method of doing this would be to convene a National Assembly, comprising of all Scotland’s MEP’s, MP’s and MSP’s, and for that National Assembly to make the declaration. This would broadly accord with international norms. Independence should be effective from the declaration, but that Independence could if desired be employed to hold the referendum which the Tories had refused.

I do not posit this as the best way to achieve Independence. My preference would be a new referendum now in the new circumstances of the UK leaving the EU, as fairly presaged in the SNP’s successful manifesto for the last Holyrood elections. I am convinced that once campaigning starts, support for Independence will surge as during the last campaign, only this time starting from a much higher base.

The Tories fought the Holyrood election on a manifesto saying no second Independence referendum. They got 21% of the vote. May and Fallon should be aware as they plan to block a referendum: other options are available.


793 thoughts on “Tories Tread a Dangerous Path

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  • John Goss

    “Of the 194 states recognised by the UN, only a tiny handful featured a referendum as part of the process of the formation of the state. This is also true within the EU. Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Croatia, Estonia, Slovakia and the Czech Republic all recently assumed their current form and none of them had a referendum to do it.”

    Two you left out, more recent than the others, are the Donetsk People’s Republic (DNR) and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LNR), which will never bow to the will of the coup government of Kiev. Each declared their independence but were ignored by Poroshenko’s government which declared the first civil-war in the former Ukraine for more than 90 years and brought a weak economy tumbling down further despite being propped up by the IMF.

    Be careful Scotland. Michael Fallon is quite quite mad. He is already committing an HMS Diamond destroyer to the Black Sea (which as you may remember is just off the coast of Plymouth) to protect British military advisors to Ukraine. I think we have four of these destroyers. Fighting has been intensifying near the border of the DNR (in contravention of Minsk II) with civilians the main target again and NATO countries are stepping up their aggressive manouvres on the borders of Russia.

    http://www.vestnikkavkaza.net/news/Britain-sends-warship-to-Black-Sea.html

    • michael norton

      I think it is more likely than not, that we are leaving the hated European Union.
      Theresa May was “apparently” for Remain as was Boy George and Boy David.
      She has grasped the mantle and seems to be running with it.
      Theresa’s main thrust of her premiership will be to attempt to make this happen.
      She can not allow herself to be derailed by the S N P.
      I expect she imagines the S N P will call Indeyref2.
      I expect she believes that if Indeyref2 happens, even fewer Scottish people will want to leave the United Kingdom.
      Our economy has now had sixteen quarters of continuous modest growth, that is pretty good, the Bank of England has just again, updated its forecast for our economy.
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38841747
      Bank of England sharply raises 2017 growth outlook
      Bear in mind that the economies of both Italy and France are about to go down the plug-hole.

      • michael norton

        The Celitc Tigers are in abeyance, Greece is in trauma, Portugal and Spain are in austerity wrote large, Italy is staggering, France is going to be staggering later this year.
        The smirk is being wiped from the face of Frau Merkel.
        Possibly Marine Le Pen will be the first woman of France.
        The Socialists in France are in big trouble, the Republicans in France are in big trouble, true Marine apparently owes the E.U. one million Euros but she is the current lead candidate in the French Presidential election, plus she is not being dissed in her own party, unlike the others.

      • George boyd

        This will be the bank of England, (why not bank if Britain), after all, the countries that make up the UK all contribute, towards the Londonland piggy bank, the BoE that was fast asleep when the capitalist banking cartel collapsed, the BoE that is printing money (QE), ie taxpayer/public liability debt, out of thin air to allow the already rich and wealthy an extended line of credit?

        • Republicofscotland

          Don’t be silly George, you know the black hole that is London, is the centre of Britain. Anywhere else on these islands is ignobilia. ?

      • Anon1

        All is not lost for the remainiacs. A coalition of Lily Allen, Anna Soubry and Eddie Izzard have vowed to fight on.

      • Merlin Chesters

        If I hear another British (of any country within the UK) parading the “Italy is going bankrupt” trope again I might start screaming.
        Have you ever lived in Italy?
        I guess not.
        Well I am Italian and our public debt has been ginormous since WWII. We lost a war, we were full of debts towards the United States of America and only recently (as in 5 years ago) we were able to finish to pay it off. When I was a teen in the 1980s everyone knew that our public debt was about 130% of GDP, counted in billions of billions of liras.

        Italy has gone bankrupt for the last 30 years. So do ‘us Italians’ a favour, it would be nice if you dropped the far right English propaganda. Of all Italy’s problems, EU is actually the last one

  • Brianfujisan

    Craig.. I might Be Wrong but in one of your recent talks… Do we need a Referendum ..

  • Anon1

    “The racist majority in England and Wales are trying to force us out of the EU.”

    Hahaha. I’m not even going to bother, you are such a joke.

    • Dave Price

      “The racist majority in England and Wales are trying to force us out of the EU.”

      That sentence also struck me as off-key. However since the 17 million in favour of Brexit, or alternatively a 28 million majority of English and Welsh, are not as we speak trying to force Scotland out of the EU, I assume Craig means ‘parliamentary majority’, aka the Tories. I think it would help his argument (which as it happens I otherwise agree with) if he amended the sentence to make that clear.

      • Anon1

        No he thinks Brexit is racist and all those who voted for it are racists. This is because he has never been able to formulate a proper argument in favour of the EU. Brexit is just an opportunity to press for another referendum on Scottish independence.

        The man is a complete joke, representing a lunatic fringe of the independence movement all by himself that no one else will go near with a bargepole.

      • nevermind

        Yes I agree thats sentence needs clarifying, but how? Because its the lack of education that lies at the base of it.
        ‘democracy only works when the citizens are educated’, just ask Socrates, so the sentence should have started with ‘ the politically inept and uneducated racist majority in England and Wales are trying to force us out of the EU’.

        Imho though, such notion was never the aim, the aim was and still is, to drag out the process, destabilise the EU by violences in the ME and its resulting refugee streams, and break the EU’s resolve and its economy.

        Europe has enjoyed peace for a long time, so those who are pushing for it to break up are asking for peaceful relations to discontinue, its war mongering by another name.

        • Anon1

          “The sentence should have started with ‘ the politically inept and uneducated racist majority in England and Wales are trying to force us out of the EU’.”

          Lol, it gets even better. Who would have thought that the people’s desire to rid themselves of an anti-democratic, unaccountable and failing political union run for the benefit of Germany would attract such hatred towards the people of this country? No wonder Nevermind couldn’t even save his deposit such is his contempt for democracy and the people of his adoptive country.

          • nevermind

            You do not pay deposits in local elections, anon1, just shows how much you know about the electoral system, fool.

            When have you ever tried to stand up for something you believed in? and please don’t mention your paltry 6″.
            You value your perfect country so much, and you love that voters are held in perpetual stupidity by the main status quo merchants, it so good that you never had the guts to speak up, but going by your uneducated comment above and the standard of education, you might have never heard of the possibilities of standing up for what you believe, what it takes to become a candidate.
            bless, so yyou come here to take the mickey out of those who try and fail, poor mut.

            I do not feel contempt for the uneducated, they have too many other things to worry about then those who fleece them like ticks on a dogs back, or those who take it likes it comes without ever raising their voices, they are silenced by the MSM and party poopers like you on a daily basis.

    • Geoff

      I truly despise ever finding myself in agreement with Anon1 (thankfully it is rare) but when I got to the “racist majority” sentence, the rest of the article was lost on me.

      I have great fondness for this blog, but when Craig forgets to temper his anti-sassenach feelings, I do turn off. Especially as my brother and his family experienced no shortage of demonstrations of intolerance towards them and their ‘white-settler’ accents while living there. No, it was by no means universal, but it was hardly rare either, yet I am led to believe that racism is a purely English phenomenon.

      • Merlin Chesters

        @Geoff

        As a Eu citizen in England, I do think we are leaving because the racist majority in England is forcing UK out. I have been insulted (and even attacked) relentlessly for months now, especially online. All people who did so were English.
        The argument “but people voted to get rid of Juncker and Co.” is stale as 1-week-old bread in comparison to anyone who voted against the Eu for immigration reasons. 10% maybe, against 90% who voted against immigration (with all the variables possibly included, from anti-Muslim/racist/xenophobic reason to border control).

        Here in a mainly Leave area I have not counted a single Leave voter who did it for the Eu. They have all replied immigration.
        So your antisassenach rhetoric, I am sorry but it doesn’t hold true in this case.

        • Geoff

          Sorry Merlin but

          a- You seem to have responded to several claims I never made in my brief post, as I never even hinted at the merest whiff of what reasons I believe people voted to leave. I voted to remain and I didn’t enter into any pub conversations about it with anyone of either persuasion. This response is the first (and, I anticipate, the last) time that I have ever found myself typing ‘Juncker and Co’ in my life.

          b- I am sorry that you have been insulted/attacked, but I fail to see how you can extrapolate from this anecdotal evidence anything about what proportion of the population is racist.

          I would put it to you that your and Craig’s evidence-free derogatory generalisations about the character of an entire foreign populace are in fact, erm, racist.

          • Alcyone

            Well said. Merlin knows that all the people who have abused her online are ‘English’? Amazing, she must have a way of getting to know the colour of people’s underwear online!

        • nevermind

          With this Government of cheats being applauded in a masochistic pleasure of self harm by you Anon1 it is not surprising that many immigrants are being attacked, verbally and physically, indeed a hard working tax paying Polish worker was murdered.

          Not that Anon 1 condemned the 15 year old teenager who did it, a case of inept and uneducated racism.
          Now stop bothering new contributors to this blog.
          If you don’t like it here you can always sling your hook.

  • Republicofscotland

    The Scottish independence grass roots movements should be in full swing, but it’s not. I’d say although the SNP are the main vehicle to independence the independence movement isn’t solely theirs.

    Saying that some difficult questions need to be answered questions that damaged the independence movement in 2014, such as what currency shall a independent Scotland use. We cannot fall back on the old “we’ll use Sterling anyway” that ship has sailed.

    I for one on the currency question, prefer Scotland to float its own currency, the Merk would be my option, it would also negate unionist mantra that Scotland can’t use the pound.

    I agree that the time for talking is over and the time for action is upon us. However in my opinion timing is everything, I still think that Brexit, has more bad news to offer, other than the, loss of 80,000 jobs, the rise of inflation, low wage economy, higher prices, the latest being high roaming charges for mobile calls in Europe. Add that the devastating loss of EU funding and access to EU projects and data, not forgetting back home stricter laws and deep infringements on our civil and working rights, and the need for Scottish independence becomes glaringly apparent.

    2018 would be my preference for another indy vote, but as you say are the SNP getting just a little too comfy. In contrast Catalonia, has said September 2017, will be the month Catalonians go to the polls.

    • michael norton

      Police Scotland in a £200 million black hole.

      Where will the money come from to plug this black hole RoS?

      • Republicofscotland

        Okay Norton, lets play your game for a moment.

        Independence will see all fiscal and economic levers returned to Holyrood, such as North sea tax receipts, monies saved on servicing the national debt. In the last five years for example Scotland sent £35 billion pounds to Westminster in services charges.

        http://www.businessforscotland.com/westminster-charges-scotland-billions-of-pounds-in-service-costs/

        Not forgetting the billion in VAT generated by the retail industry (especially supermarkets) which pay their tax where their HQ is situated.

        http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-great-gingerbread-robbery/

        These are just a quick example of revenue that would be returned to a independent Scotland.

        • glenn

          How will Scotland service its share of the national debt, or do you think it can (as a former partner) just walk away from it, leaving the remainder of the UK to carry it? Do you think it’s fair for Scotland to keep all “its” assets, while shrugging off all debts and obligations?

          • Republicofscotland

            On the contrary Glenn, if Scotland receives its rightful share of movable assets, which Scots taxpayers have contributed to, then a share of the national debt will also be taken.

            However Scots won’t want a share of leasing the American owned Trident missile system, of which it costs Scotland £200 million per year in service debts. Trident can head South without any regrets whatsoever.

          • Kempe

            ” Scotland will take its share of UK national debt ”

            and the entire burden of bailing out it’s criminally and incompetently managed banks.

          • Republicofscotland

            Kempe.

            Correct me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t it the Tories at Westminster who decided to bailout the RBS. Of course the bank to receive the biggest bailout, (in Britain ) was English bank Barclays.

            Still at the time I was all for convicting and imprisonment for those dodgy bankers, (from ALL banks) as happened in Iceland.

            But again Westminster instead of convicting bank bosses, decided to throw wads of taxpayers cash at them, Westminster couldn’t let their sponsor and donor buddies go under could they now.

            I did however find it amusing that you find Scots banks incompetent (of which I agree) yet consecutive Westminster governments have ran up a whopping £1.5 trillion in debt, (a debt that will only grow and never be paid) through sheer incompetence. Yet you fail to mention that.

          • Harry Vimes

            Question: When the Republic of Ireland gained independence from England did they pay or take on a proportional share of the then National Debt or not?

          • Republicofscotland

            Harry.

            Under the Anglo-Irish agreement, The Irish Free State would assume responsibility for a proportionate part of the United Kingdom’s debt, as it stood on the date of signature.

            Bearing in mind that at that time the Irish Free State was still a dominion, of the British Empire.

          • nevermind

            How will England service its 30 billion plus EU debt, Glenn, or do you think it can (as a former EU partner) just walk away from its responsibilities, leaving the remainder of the UK citizens, not those who bypassed/defrauded the exchequer, hallo George Osborne you cheat, to carry the can?

          • Kempe

            Well of course the Tories at Westminster could’ve let RBs and HBOS collapse and take the savings and pensions of millions of Scots (and English) with them but I doubt you’d have thought that a preferable solution had you been one.

            Whoever got the most RBS and HBOS were bailed out to the tune of £90 billion and RBS is still struggling to get back on it’s feet.

            I do agree though that those responsible should be doing time. I see one of the main culprits in the HBOS case has been sent down for 15 years. That made my day.

          • Bayard

            “Of course the bank to receive the biggest bailout, (in Britain ) was English bank Barclays.”

            Which you conveniently omit to mention was not bailed out by the British taxpayer, unlike HBOS and RBS.

        • michael norton

          North Sea Oil in steep economic decline

          Royal Dutch Shell profits last year were held back by the cost of its record-breaking purchase of BG Group, and a lacklustre performance from its oil and gas trading arm.

          Shell, the United Kingdom’s biggest oil company, saw 2016 profits fall below £3bn.

          In the final quarter of the year, profits dipped to $1bn from $1.8bn for the same period a year earlier.
          http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-38837703
          Shell is the middle of a $30bn sale of oil and gas fields following the BG deal, and earlier this week sold a clutch of North Sea assets for nearly $4bn.

          Shell is getting out of North Sea Oil to concentrate on the Americas.

          • michael norton

            Incidentally, BG Group used to be known as British Gas.

            It is thought that in the near future, Methane will be more important to the world economy than oil.

    • Ian

      The meda would pour scorn on the ‘Merk’, but you’re maybe right about the pound. So if we cannot remain part of the EU and use the Euro, we could have a Scottish dollar – just as former British colonies Australia, New Zealand and Canada have their own dollar currency.

      • Republicofscotland

        Ian.

        Yes the media would pour scorn on the Merk, but here’s a interesting scenario.

        Scotland sets up the details for using the Merk, in a credible sense, the unionists try and attack that approach. But if the Merk (and its use) was in theory sound, then minimal damage would be done by unionist remonstrating.

        But here’s the pay-off, Westminster would relent (in the event of independence being obtained) and allow Scotland to use the pound. Why? Well it makes perfect sense, from a commercial aspect.

        Then after a non specific amount of time, Scotland would set up its own central bank (in the meantime Scotland would be susceptible to fluctuating Bank of England interest rates), and decide when was a good time to float its own currency.

        • Brianfujisan

          Trident can head South without any regrets whatsoever…Well said RoS

          I’m going to , Helensburgh in a few weeks for a conference.. ‘ Life After Tridend ‘

          a few tickets left

    • Geoffrey

      If you have your own currency (the Scquid ?). You would have the Greek problem,your share of the UK National Debt ( say 10 % in line with your share of the population) would be in Sterling which is likely to appreciate whilst the Scquid would probably be weak,leading to ruinous service costs on the Scottish share of the debt.
      If on the other hand you kept Sterling and the debt was handed over to the Scottish government it is likely that lenders would require much higher levels of interest than they do to the UK government requiring ruinous levels of tax to service it.

  • MJ

    The reason neither Craig nor Sturgeon want another referendum right now is because they both know damned well they would lose.

    • Republicofscotland

      Mods please remove my 13.57pm comment, it’s now obsolete thank you.

      MJ.

      “By the way, the Herald article completely misrepresents Panelbase’s polling yet again. It claims that support for holding Indyref 2 “by spring 2019” has “fallen significantly” from 43% to 27%.

      “That’s absolute garbage – support for holding a referendum within a maximum of two years (ie. by early 2019) actually stands at 49.4% in the latest Panelbase poll. The 27% figure is for the option of “in the next year or two”, and is not directly comparable to the 43% figure in an earlier poll which was for a different option of “in the next two or three years”. The date of spring 2019 was never specified in any of Panelbase’s questions.”

      http://scotgoespop.blogspot.co.uk

      The above is from James Kelly ‘s blog, he has a good reputation, on analysing indy polls.

  • Michael scurfield

    I think Scotland should go for it. Rules are meant to be broken. If would have to be a hidden agenda, as I’m sure there are those that would squeal if they got a hint of it. Historically it has been Scotland’s achille’s heel.
    Knowing your stance on several things like this and speaking out on them. This might be a time of holding your own counsel, with those time tested true supporters.
    Time to play poltics

  • Dave

    The institutional pressure is to fit in, be constructive and make things work! I’m glad to say this has happened to the SNP at Holyrood and Westminster. Not unexpected as the SNP has progressed away from independence to secure office and become a successful stronger voice in UK party.

    I mean devolution in UK and a big presence at Westminster is as close to independence as you can get and certainly closer than being in the EU. And the same localism sentiment expressed as “anti-London” rather than “anti-English” is behind the growing devolution deals within England.

    As a nationalist and unionist I support the principle of independence, but think the UK (with Ireland) creates a practical sized union that can work, whereas the EU is just too big and an added benefit is Brexit delivers a blow to the neo-cons far more effectively than a Scottish vote to leave UK and Remain in EU, considering the EU was promoting the neo-con agenda of sanctions and war against Russia.

    • Iain

      “As a nationalist and unionist” – a what?? You mean a British nationalist i.e.” the UK (with Ireland) creates a practical sized union that can work”.

      By the way are you proposing that the Republic of Ireland should be abolished? Do you honestly think that the people of Ireland want to sign up to having the Westminster mob running their affairs re Scotland?

      I presume that you favour a federal solution to allow us poor plebs in the Celtic fringe a bit of say over our own affairs? If this is indeed the case, and light of the poor joke that devolution has been revealed to be and the attitude of the Tories to compromise over the single market , can you tell us how this is going to be delivered? Why would we want to be on the end of more jam tomorrow when we can just do it ourselves?

      “an added benefit is Brexit delivers a blow to the neo-cons far more effectively than a Scottish vote to leave UK and Remain in EU”, now that has got to be a joke, you did see May on her knees last week didn’t you? Or how about Liam Fox and his talk of flexible labour markets and getting rid of red tape?

  • Peter A Bell

    “The problem that worries me is that the SNP is now the Scottish establishment, and as Scotland is still very much part of the UK, they are part of the British establishment too.”

    I first heard this from Lesley Riddoch as she played to the gallery at an RIC Conference. It was a load of pish then as well. The British establishment is more than a mere financial arrangement. Being part of the British establishment involves a lot more than being in receipt of ‘short money’ from Westminster. Being part of the British establishment means being intimately, inextricably bound up in the structures of power, privilege and patronage which define the British state.

    If you want to see a party that has been absorbed and neutralised by the British establishment, look no further than British Labour. Now ask yourself if the SNP looks anything like that.

  • Ian

    I expect the referendum date to be called shortly after Art 50 is triggered at the end of march. Everything the SG has said seems to be warming up to this point. To call the referendum now would be a mistake, as conversion of soft nos will require a position of being seen to have done everything we could have done to avoid this ‘mess’.

    Is Fallon trying to goad us into a premature move?

  • Doug

    Craig,

    I have an enormous concern that everything points to the Tories’ intention to scrap Holyrood before any second referendum – possibly within the next few weeks. Given Mundell’s obvious and complete disdain for Scotland and Davidson’s “Fratricide” comment along with regular talk of “one country” I would suggest they, and most senior Tories know this is the plan already. The other major parties (SNP excepted of course) would be delighted to see the back of Holyrood too and would offer no resistance.

    The ensuing chaos in Scotland would allow the Tories to seize control of the few powers Scotland currently has and using the tame media and an overwhelming majority in Westminster, put down any attempts to declare UDI (with no effective Scottish Government who would “declare”?). With Trump leading the way as a Fascist role model for the similarly inclined May it wouldn’t surprise me if the Army were also to be deployed to further discourage resistance “National Security….protect Trident….protect the public” and so on. Although the protests and displays of outrage against Trump in the US and worldwide were justifiably significant and widespread, they appear to have achieved nothing other than make the protesters feel good about themselves. Who, outside of Scotland would protest our fate to the same extent and to what effect? The UK Government appears to take little or no notice of the UN.

    Until I saw Trump do what he has in the last ten days or so I thought our FM was playing exactly the right game. Times and circumstances have changed rapidly though and I hope she is ready to act quickly and radically.

  • Dog homework

    Your assertion that support for independence will surge appears nothing more than wish fulfilment. As you know the establishment psy-ops will go into overdrive in this scenario: they WILL NOT accept part of the island of Great Britain being outside its military control, and Sturgeon knows this.

    The Scottish are at a heart a clever, stoical, but cautious and conservative (with a small c) lot. I don’t envy their dilemma but their innate national characteristics will rise again in another referendum. Those seeking change would be better off working with progressives south of the border in the coming decades as the baby boomers descend into dementia than this naive fantasy of “independence”.

  • Mark Rowantree

    I think Craig, that when push comes to shove the British Government will backtrack as indeed Fallon seems to have done already. Whilst I agree, that all options should be carefully considered, but like you I would greatly prefer a referendum to such a confrontational stance.
    Despite their bluster, the Tories know, or perhaps it would be more appropriate to say that the SNP nave at least as great a mandate for IndiRef2 as they had for the Brexit one. In addition for what it’s worth I’d imagine that the Labour Party could not again simply aqqiece in yet another hardline Tory policy? Finally, again not that it’s categorical proof, the Scottish Tory leader is on record as saying WM should not veto another ImdieRef under the circumstances, pertaining.
    However, even if all these points prove to be illusory, Yes I would support the Scottish Government taking the steps you have proposed.

  • Ian Seed

    Almost spat out my tea when I read this bit: “The racist majority in England and Wales are trying to force us out of the EU.”

    So I’m a racist am I? I must admit didn’t expect such unbelievable rubbish on this blog.

    The terrific irony is that the EU is itself a racist organisation. The single market is a protectionist trading bloc that benefits members at the expense of non members (so quel surprise big businesses wanted to stay in). The EU allows freedom of movement and benefits/rights to those who hold a particular passport but not to those who don’t. This is a totally discriminatory system – ie it is racist. You can come here and work no questions asked if you’re Swedish/Dutch/Maltese but if questions absolutely are asked if you’re African.

    It’s hardly apartheid levels of racism but it’s still racism. Even if one argues it’s not racist because it doesn’t discriminate against RACES of people – well it’s just discriminating against people who come from particular countries. There’s no difference to my mind.

    But half the governments in the EU actually are racist in the “old fashioned” sense too. As in they hate foreigners, hate blacks, hate Jews, basically hate people who don’t look and sound like them.

    You’re looking at it the wrong way round.

    • Merlin Chesters

      Not really.
      Racist as in….?? Please provide well reasoned examples and evidence. And by the way, I am one of those dirty ‘forrinners’ you would like to deport so I am quite allowed to call you a xenophobe (racist doesn’t apply given that I am white).

      Africa, last time I checked, was a separate continent and it’s not part for the Eu for obvious reasons. As China is not part of Australia. Agree?

      • Alcyone

        “Africa, last time I checked, was a separate continent and it’s not part for the Eu for obvious reasons. As China is not part of Australia. Agree?”

        China is an integral part of Eurasia as is ‘Europe’.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Europe

        ” the non-oceanic borders of Europe—a concept dating back to classical antiquity—are arbitrary. ”

        And you, my dear, are even more arbitrary and come across as suspiciously racist.

      • Ian Seed

        Call yourself a “dirty forriner” by all means. Your words, not mine.

        You just sound like you’re trying to start a fight that I have no interest in having.

    • Aurora

      The bit EU-ers can’t think and won’t allow others to express is the idea that the ‘Europe Union’ itself is a colonial and racist construct, intended to sustain European (post)colonial dominance in other forms, and indeed limit freedom of movement and opportunity to everyone except those inside it borders. Why else do the ‘liberal classes’ Craig Murray and co. so explicitly despise love the idea of the EU (and why indeed does he?) Push this question and you’ll be told, obviously the EU isn’t racist, it shows we love the Spanish and Poles too! As well as ourselves, well apart from those racist English and Welsh (!) who we’re free to disdain. But what about the North African, Nigerians, Iranians, Bolivians etc? They get to form their own ‘economic blocks’ in the EU mold as compensation. Only, of course, the EU will do everything to ensure its own supremacy (relative to the US and China obviously) and to undermine these blocks from achieving comparable levels of global economic power. But that’s the ‘liberal trade’ CM so loves too, along with Trump. Scratch a bit and you’ll see those European supremacy ideals surface. This obsession with instantly enslaving a newly independent Scotland to the monolithic, anti-democratic EU corporate banking machine says it all. The good bits, e.g. European justice, Scotland can introduce itself, no? So why the rush to turn regained freedom into new submission? It’s bizarre. I support an independent Scotland but not one run by idiots who immediately want to replace Westminster with Brussels and an unelected neoliberal triumvirate deciding Scotland’s fate in the same way as Greece’s.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    The dreaded E-word is as usual conspicuous by its absence. And it might even be convenient to cut Scotland loose – though perhaps not as desirable outcome as you might wish. Fact is, the Scottish economy has been assisted for decades now by North Sea Oil, most of whose UK-administered reserves are in Scottish waters. But it’s now a strongly-declining asset, and not just due to the low price for crude. Worse, the industrial-strength wreckage it leaves behind has to be cleared up as production dries up. Which costs:

    https://www.ft.com/content/9b1d17d0-d425-11e6-b06b-680c49b4b4c0

    Be careful what you wish for. Reduced income – cleaners’ wages + being shafted (undoubtedly) by the EU?

    • John Goss

      Or it could go the other way. The EU could reward Scotland for its loyalty which could then look down on its impoverished neighbour and all of us clamouring to emigrate to Scotland. Major mistakes of leaving the EU relate to us still being a net importer of food, we have no industrial base, and Saudi Arabia has more military planes made in the UK than we have ourselves. That is one reason why Fallon’s saber-rattling in the Black Sea is a not just dangerous but foolhardy. Still, if anyone dies it is rarely the politicians’ children.

      • Kempe

        ” The EU could reward Scotland for its loyalty ”

        Like they did Greece? Dream on. England is Scotland’s biggest trading partner. If it goes down it’s taking Scotland with it. I think Sturgeon is clever enough to realise this (in the same way the Irish government recognises the threat to its economy( even if some here aren’t).

        • Republicofscotland

          Kempe.

          The most recent Scottish government figures, not including oil and gas, show Scotland sold £50.5bn in goods and services to the rest of the UK in 2013. The rest of the UK sold £62.7bn in goods and services to Scotland.

          http://archive.is/hAPiq

          You’ve somehow got it into your head, that trade is a one-way street, and that if it wasn’t for the English market, Scotland would collapse.

          The figures however tell another story.

          • Kempe

            Where did I say it was a one way street? Your own figures show that England is the destination of 70% of Scottish exports, I would’ve thought it obvious that if the English economy collapses such that we can’t afford them it’s going to have a serious knock on effect on the Scottish economy. It’s also important to consider what type of goods are involved. The Scottish beef industry is nearly wholly depended on imports of English feed for example.

          • Harry Vimes

            RoS

            Could you clarify your figures on Scottish trade to England on one point please?

            Does this figure also include within it Scottish produce going through England for export abroad via English ports (air and sea) and which gets counted within the overall exports of the UK as though they originated in England rather than Scotland or is this aspect of trade part of a separate set of trade statistics?

        • Harry Vimes

          “If England goes down” ? Bit of very big wishful thinking in the first word of that sentence. The facts and the reality point very firmly to a when rather than an if in that regard. Here’s a few pointers for starters

          http://www.niesr.ac.uk/blog/will-new-trade-deals-soften-blow-hard-brexit#.WIsSzlOLQdU

          https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-01-31/what-the-world-s-biggest-banks-say-about-fleeing-brexit-britain?cmpid%253D=socialflow-facebook-brexit

          https://www.socialeurope.eu/2017/01/go-home-uk-order-to-eu-academics/

          http://archive.is/326xv

          That bit about “taking Scotland with us” bit is also very revealing of a mindset one encounters too often these days which is drunk on its own bullshit, believing it is not only entitled to treat it’s own opinion as unvarnished fact but also to inform their neighbours who think differently that, on the basis of the opinions expressed by a mere 17 million or so from a population of some 66 million, the actual majority should bugger off with their entire families in tow out of what they consider to be “their country.” This is the mindset of the unthinking mob and cannot end well. The poster Fred posts flippent guff about “civil war” without any obvious understanding of the a) the enormity of such an outcome, both within and between the two Sovereign Nations which make up the current disfunctional and disintegrating Union and b) how close we may be to such a scenario if one section of our society insists on dragging everyone down this malice in blunderland rabbit hole with them.

          Notwithstanding the issues and scenarios which went into the make up of this article:

          http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/why-an-independent-scotland-could-become-the-richest-country-on-earth-9096120.html

          The real elephant in the room is a psychologically dysfunctional identity crisis amongst the English, an issue covered in depth here:

          http://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/the_problem_with_the_english_england_doesn_t_want_to_be_just_another_member_of_a_team_1_4851882?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Social_Icon&utm_campaign=in_article_social_icons

          One manifestation of which is the contradictory stand taken by the zeolots and xenophobes who insist on facing two different ways on the same people Democraticly”taking back control” principle of majority voting – the English dominated UK Single Market vis-a-vis the EU =OK; the Scots vis-a-vis the English dominated UK Single Market = not only not OK but over a steaming pile of bodies it seems.

          Which demonstrates most clearly the stinking hypocrisy at work here in the claims about the principles of democracy and majority voting within and between the two Sovereign Nations which made up and signed the Act of Union. As such this is nothing but horseshit. It’s a mindset which hides behind a grandiose principle but which is really saying one law for “us” and another law for anyone else. It’s the stance of the thug, the bully and ultimately the coward.

          • Kempe

            ” That bit about “taking Scotland with us” bit is also very revealing of a mindset one encounters too often these days which is drunk on its own bullshit ”

            Feel better for that? Here is a take on the concerns currently being discussed in Ireland which is in a similar situation an independent Scotland within the EU would be:-

            http://www.irishtimes.com/business/economy/brexit-effect-expected-to-shrink-economy-by-nearly-4-1.2856850

            I’m sure they’d be delighted to be reassured by an expert such as yourself that it’s all “bullshit”.

            Oh and that article in the Independent is 3 years old. Oil prices have about halved since then.

          • Harry Vimes

            Any analysis is only as effective as it’s assumptions and we do not have very far to go into this article to find one of the key proviso’s one finds attached to any speculative analysis:

            “The projections are based on a zero policy response from the Government.”

            It would certainly be interesting to see the actual paper rather than a newspaper report which tends to a) oversimplify complex analysis and b) sensationalise matters with headlines which don’t always match the text below. One example may suffice here in which no differentiation is identified in the article between the levels and volumes of trade between RoI and the English/Scottish mainland and that cross border trade between the NI part of the UK ( the other part of the four parts of the UK single market which had a majority of favour of remaining within the single market trading arrangements).

            Moreover, the headline and the story are misleading inasmuch as they clearly focus exclusively on one possible scenario – a Hard Brexit according to the text – which is likely to have been amongst a number of scenarios within any serious work of analysis. Aspects which are ignored in the article most likely motivated by lazy journalism chasing easy click bait targets which has clearly worked in at least one case one can identify here. If someone wishes to hang their hat on this shoddy example that is their affair and their problem. A Hard Brexit is certainly one which the Tory Party favour, as do many of their cheerleaders some of whom can be found on this site. However, this is by no means granted as people who voted both remain and leave who are not enamoured of such a nonsensical policy will certainly not be shutting up and leaving their fates and futures to the numpties amongst us.

            What is certain is that at least the RoI have the ability, as is recognised and accepted even in this article, to make their own decisions to alleviate any impacts upon them. Not so a Scotland tied into a unequal and subservient relationship in which a majority within their society are being not just dragged out of a trading relationship against their expressed wishes and needs but are also being dragged down with a section of English society determined to cut off not only their own noses but also that of their neighbours by hanging onto what they clearly see as ‘their’ North British colony out of nothing but sheer arrogant spite.

            To wish that on other people and deny them the ability to democratically decide their own futures so as not to be dragged down such a road is certainly a se tijent worthy of the description of both arrogance and bullshit. Context is all. But then you knew that anyway. You are just acting obtuse.

          • Kempe

            ” Not so a Scotland tied into a unequal and subservient relationship ”

            Like being a member of the EU?

          • Ba'al Zevul

            Amused to see you citing the ‘New European’ in defence of your somewhat impenetrable thesis, Harry. Set up specifically to lobby against Brexit, it’s one of the few outlets these days to allow Tony Blair unlimited space foir his opinions. Which it reflects uncritically. Rather than spend time deconstructing your summaries of its arguments, readers may prefer to go direct to The Master, well-known to be a pretty straight sorta liar.

            http://www.theneweuropean.co.uk/top-stories/i_am_tony_blair_ask_me_anything_1_4809132

            Speaking of one law for us and another for anyone else, that is precisely what the independence camp (perish the thought that they are zealots or xenophobes, any of them!) wants. Isn’t it?

            As someone who is on record repeatedly saying that if the Scots want independence they should have it, let me say that the result of the referendum was clear: they don’t*. Therefore they remain part of the UK, and subject to its laws. The subsequent Brexit vote was equally clear. The UK as a whole wants out. What part od democracy don’t you get?

            *Furthermore, without anything resembling a realistic economic plan, they never will.

      • Dave

        There is an assumption that EU will want to punish UK for leaving. But why, I think they are relieved, as they never wanted us to join in the first place, and we only joined to wreck it, based on an historic (but outdated) policy to oppose a United Europe. A smaller EU makes sense, but the ever expanding EU and Euro promoted by UK to undo the Franco/German alliance was its undoing.

        • Aurora

          The EU just want to fend off a Le Pen win in France (i.e. exit France, stage right) and the fall of Merkel in Germany. And similar elsewhere. I don’t think it leader really care less whether the UK is actually ‘punished’ or not. Well not much.

          This is the mess you get when you let a bunch of sociopathic bankers and corporations decide the destiny of a continent.

      • Merlin Chesters

        John, if for ‘us’ you mean Northern England, we are as fed up as Scots about Westminster. Indeed there are many here that they wouldn’t think twice to jump the border.

        Local economy is now nearly ruined and austerity cuts have already destroyed the social fabric and services in many places locally.

        • John Goss

          And to think higher education is free and prescriptions are free over the border. Some of us older folk Merlin remember when it was the same in England. Not wanting to sound too much like the generation before I’ll refrain from saying those were the days . . . 🙂

          Incidentally I co wrote a song once called Merlin the Magic Music Maker. Is Merlin your given name?

        • Old Mark

          Merlin C

          Indeed there are many here that they wouldn’t think twice to jump the border.

          Why indeed?- if the economy in the north of England is ‘now nearly ruined’ ,and the locals are forever acting in a racist manner towards you WTF are you still residing there ?

          Do you prefer the wind and rain of northern England to the warmth and sunshine that predominates for over half the year in your native land ? Do you prefer mushy peas to your native cuisine ?

  • Andy Ellis

    A new referendum now has a higher probability of failing than if we exhibit some patience. Of course, the polls may be wrong, but there’s no denying that they haven’t moved that much since 2014; over the long term since indyref1 and brexit Yes has picked up a few % going by an average of all comparable polls, but it’d be a brave Yesser who felt a quick indyref2 was a sure thing. For good or ill, the chosen path to independence is via a referendum. I see your point that it is uncommon in international terms, but then Scotland’s case for independence (much like those of Quebec and Catalonia) are significantly different to those of former colonies or ex-Soviet republics or satellites.

    Fallon’s statement is bluster. I have my doubts May sanctioned it, even if she agrees with the sentiment. the fact remains however that the Edinburgh Agreement pre indyref1 established a precedent; neither the Scottish government or the wider Yes movement accept that holding a referendum is within the gift of Westminster, nor do either of the Scotland Acts prohibit Holyrood from holding one. Cameron’s agreement to grant a Section 30 order was a sign of unionist weakness, not strength. He and his legal advisers knew that there was no certainty they would prevail in any legal case, as there is simply no constitutional or legal consensus on the issue. If they had been confident, it is highly likely they would have exercised the veto in 2012. Given the events of the last 5 years, it is even less likely such a veto attempt would be successful now. Holyrood’s simple recourse would be to hold the referendum in any case. Absent the use of legal threats (a la Madrid in the case of Catalonia) or the use of force, both of which would be spectacularly counter-productive, it is difficult to see how Westminster could prevail.

    Even if the unionist establishment were able to spike the guns of indyref2, the simple next step would be for all of the current SNP MPs at Westminster to stand down, provoke bye-elections and stand again on a specific platform requesting a mandate for independence. Assuming 50% + 1 of the vote goes to pro-independence candidates, Scottish MPs simply declare the union dissolved.

    Leaving aside such “whataboutery” however, there is still much work to be done over the next 24 months to “build Yes”. The revived Yes2 movement starts from a much higher base, and needs to reach out to over 65 voters, pro-EU “soft” No voters from 2014, and to those who were unconvinced by the economic case for indyref1. The Scottish government needs to ramp up its lobbying within the EU and more widely to ease Scotland’s acceptance as an independent state, and look at beginning to establish its own institutions for a post-independence world, as our Catalan friends have already been doing. Finally however, the on-going brexishambles, the prospect of an offshore, low tax, #Globalbritain as Europe’s Singapore, and cosying up to the basket of deplorables in Washington, Moscow, Ankara and Beijing in the hope of privileged trade deals, will hopefully drive thinking former No voters into the arms of Yes.

    Much like the Scottish government’s response to brexit, the response to any threatened indyref veto needs to be measured, calm and crystal clear: Here are our reasonable proposals, presented in good faith for consideration. If you don’t meet our expectations, we have a mandate from the Scottish people, who are sovereign, to ask whether they wish to remove Scotland from the union. There is no rush, and voter fatigue is a much greater danger to the prospect of victory than acting too quickly.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      That looks to be a fair and informed assessment. But shouldn’t the SNP, as the principal players, be working very hard on a saleable economic model for an independent Scotland? Unless there is a credible probability -as opposed to possibility, or castles in the air – that Scotland will be any better off or more contented out of the Union than in, the smart money will continue actively to lobby against any move to leave, and, who knows, even the man on the Leith omnibus will remain with the devil he knows.

  • Anakim

    I have to agree with you but I fear the military and secret services will be intervene to block any national assembly and / or declaration of independence. Indeed I would expect the reaction to be ruthless and far from bloodless.
    We know how the MSM would react. Lots of misinformation reported by them..
    This would have to be very well planned and unless support from the likes of the EU was arranged beforehand it could be very messy.

    • bevin

      Why not call a National Assembly to discuss the issue of the EU?
      It would be a perfectly reasonable thing to do, if you believe that the issue is one of cardinal importance. There is no reason why the matter of Independence should be resolved at such an assembly but it would be a good way of rallying nationalist opinion and challenging the Unionists.
      Besides which I have no doubt that a large proportion of the ‘Remain’ voters are Unionists and that this puts them in a position in which they are open to argument.
      My dogs are uninvolved in this scrap.

    • lysias

      Michael Collins blinded British government knowledge of what his IRA was planning by having his own spies within Dublin Castle.

  • Chris Rogers

    CM,

    I must take issue with your comment regarding ‘racist majorities’ in England and Wales, which to myself as a Socialist married to an Asian, and Welsh myself, smacks of the crap Hillary Clinton espoused in referring to ‘deplorables’ in the Rust belt States that have suffered huge economic hardships these past 30 odd years. Given I voted to leave the EU based on my absolute opposition of the EU/IMF imposing severe economic hardships on peers within several EU nations, do I take it I’m a ‘racist’ too, despite the fact my own daughter is of mixed heritage?

    • MJ

      I think so. You must understand that only racists voted to leave the EU and therefore the majority of people in England and Wales are racist. Who can argue with that?

      • Chris Rogers

        MJ,

        Who can argue with that, well a fucking large number of actual Left-wingers opposed to neoliberal economic prescriptions as doled out by the Commission/ECB and several other EU Institutions can argue with that, not withstanding those opposed to warmongering – see Ukraine and expansion of NATO – never mind the very anti-democratic nature of the EU. Still, given all actual Socialists are now racists, perhaps we’d best call ourselves National-Socialists and be done with it all!!!!!!!!

        • Merlin Chesters

          It doesn’t make you non-racist only based on the fact you are married to an Asian.

          I have heard plenty of Eu citizens who naturalised and who voted leave to get rid of the EU scum.

          So I am sorry but your spouse doesn’t automatically make you “non-racist” ( you might be but just because you never were, regardless of your wife’s race)

          I also disagree with ‘racists’ only because it is incorrect to speak about racism when only a very tiny percentage of Eu citizens are non-white.

          Xenophobes fit the bill.

          • Chris Rogers

            Merlin,

            Unlike Liberals and their ilk, of which I include much of the Conservative Party, I’m an actual Socialist, so I’m colour blind, gender blind et. al. because I believe fervently all, and I mean all are equal, which is what I thought the actual basis of Socialism was, namely equality. Now, as an immigrant myself where I reside courtesy of the Tories hysteria over immigration in the UK, with full knowledge of EEA family procedures for living within the EU with my family, I’m still opposed to much of the economic prescriptions the EU rams down member nations throats, namely neoliberalism dressed as austerity – so, if the price for a United Europe is massive economic suffering as witnessed in the PIIGS, well it ain’t a price worth paying – although Craig is of the opinion the Euro is a great success, which is funny because Jeurgen Stark, formerly of the Bundesbank and Executive Office of the ECB, believes like me the Euro is a economic disaster, one ripping the heart and soul out of Europe and any notion of community – as witnessed by multiple attacks on the Greek from the MSM across much of the EU – which is hardly internationalism, again another idea underpinning actual Socialism. I’ll leave it there, but unlike others, I believe solidarity with my peers across Europe is important and to ignore their plight disgusting!

  • buachaille

    The Tories are bluffing. They know they can’t keep on refusing a second indyref and that the EU inspired Yes vote will likely be more than the 55% that No managed to get in 2014. They’re bluffing in the desperate hope that a sufficient measure of Scottish cringe will emerge that can be used by the residual groupings of Britishness in Scotland to dampen enthusiasm. They think that Scots being barked at parade ground style by the likes of Michael Fallon might somehow forestall the demand for indyref2. It will not.

    Your criticism of the SNP is excessive Craig. The situation the SNP leadership are dealing with calls for grand strategy. Article 50 still hasn’t been triggered and Sturgeon still can’t make too many moves at a time just yet. She learned grand strategy after all from Salmond. A master of it.

  • Holyrood or Allt Na Reigh?

    Doug’s point at 14:04 is important. To preempt the risk of a national security clampdown, Craig’s National Assembly should tie its self-determination to the peremptory norm of nuclear disarmament. Then let Britain decide if they want to keep Scotland at the cost of opening that can of worms. Nukes are Britain’s last shred of a claim on atavistic P-5 impunity. If Britain is made to choose between Scotland and their Trident rubber ducky, they’ll disgorge Scotland at once.

    http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?sum=498&p1=3&p2=4&case=95&p3=5
    http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?p1=3&p2=4&k=e1&p3=4&case=95

  • Sid F

    “The racist majority in England and Wales”

    Another day, another mention of “ray-cism”.

    Were you bullied in Norfolk or wherever it was you born and bred?

  • Donald Bruce

    I can not see the Scots leaving the UK. People have had enough of Brexit and independence. They just wish to be left alone to get on with their life. It’s going to get bad but Scotland survived the scourge of Thatcher. I do think the Scots have the stomach for any declared independence and the possible civil disturbance that this would cause between England and Scotland.

    • Merlin Chesters

      You are damn right but I am sorry to burst your bubble, anyone staying here will have two decades of this trope.

      Brexit is not going away, even after the UK is out of Eu.
      History always repeats itself, so I would expect a rerun soon of past events.

      Remember that peace has not lasted much in any century for about 3,000 years now.

  • vlad (not that one )

    A minor factual correction. Croatia did hold a referendum, on the 19th of May 1991. There were two questions, each with the option of “for” or “against”:
    1. Do you wish that the Republic of Croatia, as a sovereign and independent state, which guarantees cultural autonomy and all citizen’s rights to Serbs and members of other nations in Croatia, is to be able to enter into an alliance of sovereign states with other republics* (as per the proposal by the Republic of Croatia and the Republic of Slovenia for a solution of the state crisis of the SFRJ**)
    2. Do you wish that the Republic of Croatia remains within a single federated state of Yugoslavia (as per the proposal by the Republic of Serbia and the Socialist Republic of Montenegro for a solution of the state crisis of the SFRJ**)
    The turnout was 83,56%, and the result was Option 1: 94.17% For, Option 2: 1.2% For. The result was declared on the 22nd May and on the 25th June in a joint session of all three Houses Sabor (the Croatian Parliament) declared independence.
    International recognition followed from January 1992 onwards.
    * This refers to the five federal states within Yugoslavia
    ** Acronym for the “Socialist Federative Republic of Yugoslavia”

    • Dave

      A declaration of independence followed by immediate recognition from Germany and the federation collapsed into chaos providing a pretext for the start of the Blair wars.

  • fred

    “The racist majority in England and Wales”

    That’s a bit rich coming from a Trump supporter.

    It’s a shame you weren’t so vehemently anti-Brexit before the referendum, I seem to remember when some of us were arguing the case against you were giving the impression you couldn’t care less.

    • Republicofscotland

      I find the above comment amusing, coming from Fred, who mocked poor Scots sleeping in doorways in London, yet he claims he’s no a bigot.

  • Rob

    “A lot of our MPs seem to have their feet under the table very nicely at Westminster. The SNP as an institution has not just its Westminster MPs but their secretaries and research assistants and the group staff, and all the people paid with millions of Westminster “Short money”. That is a major group of party apparatchiks making a fat living out of the current system. ”

    I’m not sure there is a problem here. The cost can be simply transferred to the people of Scotland – VAT at 30%, fewer hospitals and schools, that sort of thing. The people will remember that they are no longer party to HMG’s mendacious foreign policies nor complicit in illegal wars. They will be happy.

  • giyane

    This referendum was our only chance to get rid of Cameron.

    If Scotland and Northern Ireland rock the Brexit boat, May’s government will sink.

    • giyane

      Trump has pulled the rug out from underneath the USUKIS and EU’s policy of sabotaging the Middle East. 90% of USUKIS and EU governmental think-power and military muscle has been directed towards this neo-con objective. If Mrs May wants a relationship with the world, she will have to turn this monumental page from being an evil coloniser, to being a friend of lesser developed nations. Otherwise she will have a combination of a cold shoulder from the Atlantic, 2 fingers up from the Commonwealth, Europe and what is left of the Muslim world after 30 years of ravage.

      Craig is right. The Tories have hit the buffers. We sacked Cameron. We chose Brexit. If we don’t get lift-off into the modern world which people want, a world of free-trade on equal and fair terms, without sabotaging the competition, the UK’s momentum, mass + speed, will crash into the end of the runway. Mrs May is simply unable with her cabinet of scoundrels, to get the Brexit lift-off needed to clear the runway fence.

      If I was her, I would jettison all the Red and Blue Tory dogma heavy weights and aim for a coalition with Corbyn, supported by Trump, light enough and supported by the people enough to get airborne. If she has any sense. Just printing money and borrowing and fixing elections can paper over the problems for a while. The country is now divided in more ways that can be counted, North South, rich poor, Job jobless, Left right, devolved and not-devolved..

      If she thinks she doesn’t need real unity to achieve Brexit, and can make do with spin and deceit covering up the cracks, we will be like a Hercules aircraft, too slow , too low, too underpowered to be any benefit.

      • philw

        Giyane “Trump has pulled the rug out from underneath the USUKIS and EU’s policy of sabotaging the Middle East. 90% of USUKIS and EU governmental think-power and military muscle has been directed towards this neo-con objective.”

        Sorry, no, he’s doing a U-turn. Safe havens and no-fly zones in Syria, sanctions and threats on Iran, Saudi and Israel as best buddies. Business as usual in ME, and Wall Street.

  • cushy glen

    97 years ago Churchill sent the tanks north to Glasgow to quell a ‘rebellion’ (workers seeking better rights). The Brits are perfectly capable of repeating this exercise if Scotland tries anything without the endorsement of a referendum.
    However I don’t think the SNP have the balls. They are house trained nationalists who like the sound of their own voices. They want ‘independence’ but still want the queen & the bank of England. Come on, Jimmy!
    It suits them perfectly to be able to off load responsibility onto Westminster & blame the English for all their woes. The Scots have been doing this for almost 300 years. Its incredibly hard to break a habit like that & the SNP show no signs of doing so. It will be sham fighting from now to hell freezes over.

    • Anon1

      “It suits them perfectly to be able to off load responsibility onto Westminster & blame the English for all their woes. The Scots have been doing this for almost 300 years. Its incredibly hard to break a habit like that & the SNP show no signs of doing so. It will be sham fighting from now to hell freezes over.”

      Spot on!

      • Merlin Chesters

        I might remind you that Scottish army nearly got to London but silly Charlie got the goosebumps and preferred to go back (moron).

        I also don’t think SNP has the balls to drag Scotland through a civil war.

  • Rob Royston

    My heart sank when the SNP hitched their wagon to the EU in the Brexit issue. For fifty years I had voted for a party that was becoming detached from reality. The issue of Independence must be fought on it’s own merit. Independence in Europe always sounded as a rallying cry for those looking for a bigger gang to join.
    The SNP have almost all the Scottish MPs at Westminster yet are denied a voice. Do they ever threaten to withdraw? “But English gold has been our bane—sic a parcel of rogues”.

  • Bob Apposite

    A dude who DOXed Hillary Clinton and put Trump in charge really isn’t in a position to lecture people about “tread[ing] dangerous paths”.

    • MJ

      It is indeed a shame that the DP allowed its nomination process to be hijacked by Clinton. We’d have President Sanders today otherwise.

      • Anon1

        Don’t forget that Sanders threw his support behind Clinton when it mattered most. He was always a loser after that.

    • giyane

      “Happy to see Shiner has been struck off.”

      Hillsborough reminds us that justice will be seen to be done in the lifetimes of the victims of crime, however weak the victims and however powerful the protagonists. Just at this moment the Iraqis are dealing with Daesh.
      I will hold you to account for this disgusting statement.

      • Anon1

        [“Hold you to account” when said by a ginger revert-Jihadist usually means choppy-choppy time]

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