The Disappearing Prime Minister 887


UPDATE

I was delighted by Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement today, both the content and the manner of her making it.

I am unsure why she put the window for the referendum as far back as autumn 2018 to spring 2019. Autumn 2018 is fine but spring 2019 is late – Nicola Sturgeon spoke of Scotland needing to declare its choice for independence before the UK actually leaves the EU or very shortly thereafter. But very shortly thereafter is too late. In diplomatic terms, a miss is a good as a mile here and in diplomatic terms at the EU, negotiating to get back in will be much harder than negotiating to remain a part of the EU.

My suspicion is Sturgeon is giving May a ladder to climb down on agreeing the referendum by making it potentially post-Brexit. I see no need to have been so accommodating to May. I am frankly puzzled.

But my major observation is that Nicola’s performance was excellent, the decision sound. Yet what struck me most was the lengthy question and answer suggestion. The mainstream media lackeys laughingly called journalists were not really putting questions. They were emitting deep-seated cries of unionist belief, wild anti-Independence assertions, with the lightest disguise as questions. It is a fair warning of what we have coming.

Even Gordon Brown had a honeymoon period. The temporary popularity of a new Prime Minister evaporates as a morning mist searched out by strong sunlight. The budget tax increases, combined with fierce pre-planned benefit cuts, are evaporating May’s popularity before our eyes. The reality of Brexit debacle will shortly hit very hard, and people will start to notice she is not actually very good.

I have been listening out to determine the extent to which May’s Thatcher voice is a deliberate impersonation, and in consequence have been most forcefully struck by how little we hear her voice. Those packaging her, together with a compliant media, seek to present her as much as possible through silent images. She is repeatedly on television entering places and greeting people, but remarkably seldom is her voice heard. She does not give nearly as many media interviews as David Cameron, because she is not good at them.

Prime Minister’s Question Time has almost vanished from our screens. When David Cameron was causing animal guffaws of genuine delight from Tory MPs roused by his facile debating skills, no week went past in which the BBC News did not show a substantial clip of Prime Minister’s Questions, edited for maximum effect in making Cameron look dominant and Corbyn look out of his depth. I do not believe any reader in the UK can honestly say such an image is not seared on to their mind. But now Prime Minister’s Questions almost never make the news bulletins for more than a very few seconds, because May is hopeless at them and is arguably bested by Corbyn fairly regularly. She has no ability for repartee, no timing and wins mechanical guffaws purely by reading out pre-prepared attacks on Labour and SNP that do not pretend to relate to the questions asked.

How do the broadcast media respond? Prime Minister’s Questions are suddenly no longer newsworthy. Unless you happen to be free to watch live – which rules out almost the entire working population – you would very seldom see May flounder. Indeed, the entire plan for retaining her popularity appears to be based on the public hearing her as little as possible. Personally, I have no doubt her recent Glasgow speech attacking not just Scottish independence but the very notion of devolution, was extremely helpful to the Independence cause. I can understand why the establishment try to avoid us actually hearing her.

Jeremy Corbyn should not now be abandoned. I was saddened to see Owen Jones stab him in the back. Jones appears sadly set on the trajectory typically caused by the salary of a Guardian columnist. He will now increasingly retreat into identity politics rather than the cause of universal social justice. I give it eight years before he spends his entire time attacking the left as having “lost their way”.

I could not disagree more strongly with Jeremy on Scottish Independence or on his approach to Brexit. Nobody would claim quick repartee or even set piece oratory were his strongest suits. He interviews fairly well but is of course handicapped by the extraordinary stream of scepticism and deliberate misrepresentation with which journalists approach him. But the honesty and integrity of his beliefs are why he was elected, and those remain at the core of his leadership. For the English and Welsh voter to be given a real choice, rather than just Blue or Red Tories, has horrified the entire neo-con establishment.

It is most improbable that Corbyn will be able to deliver a Labour Westminster victory in 2020, but it is not impossible. The alt-right spasm gripping England and Wales will diminish by then and Brexit enthusiasm will meet the cold real world. I can assure you the Tories are already considering how to avoid having Leaders’ Debates on television for the next general election. For Corbyn to be able to put a radical message directly to the public, and May’s deficiencies in debate to be so directly exposed, is something they will not want at all. May should be seen and not heard, is their motto.

The European Union has put a fault line through the Tory and Labour parties. The chips have fallen in a way that leaves both parties with leaderships that were more sympathetic to Brexit than they revealed during the campaign, and certainly have no interest in trying to stop it. The 48% who voted Remain are therefore practically unrepresented in England and Wales. As I suspect that 48% will increase – and there is a curious lack of opinion polls – this will become an increasingly acute problem as the body politic recovers from shock.

The Lib Dems would be the obvious beneficiaries, but they will not so soon recover from popular revulsion at the alacrity with which they abandoned all pretence at restraining the Tories, in return for ministerial limousines. They also have the least able and least charismatic leader in that party’s long history. Indeed, possibly in any party’s history, anywhere. The never appealing Brezhnev was more charismatic than Tim Farron even when he was being wheeled out to parades propped up and effectively dead.

The Labour Party is in the abject position that its pro-Europeans are very largely the totally discredited Blairites. That the delusional Blair sees the EU issue as his chance of a political comeback, is only evidence of what a terrible state the pro-EU camp is in. There are plenty of pro-EU Tories but they too are more concerned with personal careers, except the Clarkes and Heseltines whose course is already run.

It is difficult to believe this situation is sustainable. On the biggest issue of the day, which will have a huge impact on future living standards, 48% of the population, the best educated and most politically active 48% of the population, have no effective representation. Only in Scotland have we a coherent pro-EU political force, but circumstances are such this cannot help England.

The democracy of the UK has become severely dysfunctional. I firmly believe that a crisis is coming, and that Scottish Independence will be a trigger for the resolution of that crisis. Not only will it remove Scotland from the subjugation that has sapped its energies for centuries, it will give a profound and much needed jolt to the political kaleidoscope in England and Wales and lead to new and more relevant political alignments. It may also finally break the obsession with being a world power that so damaged British people for so long.


887 thoughts on “The Disappearing Prime Minister

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  • Clark

    “I do not believe any reader in the UK can honestly say such an image is not seared on to their mind”

    I think you must mean “viewer” or “listener”. Presumably because I am neither, my mind seems to have escaped the brand-iron. I avoid the license fee, too.

  • Robert Pennington

    There really IS a “curious lack of opinion polls” on what people think about Brexit now. One would think that there should be the strongest possible interest in the ebb and flow of Leave-Remain opinion, but it’s simply not there – it’s difficult to attribute this to anything other than the Leave hegemony in the MSM and its owners.

    • craig Post author

      Yes – it contrasts with a plethora of continuing opinion polls on Scottish independence. I suspect that was because until the last three weeks they gave the answer the proprietors wanted.

      • J

        A graphic depicting the relative numbers in stark terms would be an instant and potent message.

      • CanSpeccy

        As such a consistent backer of lost causes, its always good to hear you, Craig, when you’re on about Scoxit, or should that be Scotchit?

    • nevermind

      How can we know about Brexit and make any opinion count if those selected to enforce it, illegitimate or not, fail to have any plan A or B, Robert.

      I throw this in again. Would Guy Verhoeven act in the interest of Europe, if he sits down with a Government that is then subsequently to be shown as cheats in power?

      Good to hear from you, Clark, your preferential inability to watch the daily propaganda channels is not a disability in my view, but a genuine exercise in neutral thoughts and opinions.
      That the national propaganda public broadcaster thinks Mrs. May is not up for broadcasting her plans for Brexit or the mess thereafter should speak volumes to us all.
      The BBC is promoting totalitarianism best friend, ambiguity.
      Now off to get some muck for the garden.

      • Clark

        Nevermind, it was the same with milk. I gave it up for a while for other reasons, and then when I tried it again I was very surprised to find that an experience I formerly craved had become rather sickening.

        • Deepgreenpuddock

          until recently I also had no television and did not watch, I DID listen to Radio 4. however now I have access to a TV and can sympathise with your view. When i first saw some of the tripe that was on TV I was actually incredulous that the broadcast media , in effect shape a very large number of peoples’ perspectives. It shifts the norm of what is reasonable and sensible quite subtly in tiny increments until a point of no return short of cold turkey.It is a bit like alcohol addiction-the recovery/detoxification process can kill you.
          Anyway I did watch a little of the BBC News programme last night, the ‘What the papers say’ feature and was very forcibly struck by the extreme reactionary views of the so called eminent(well known) print journalists they had selected to comment on the stories. It was very strange indeed and left me feeling rather ill and speechless and even a little bit ‘frightened’ as I have never really seen such blatantly tendentious individuals given such a platform. I cannot see how this matter can be resolved in a coherent and peaceable way. We are polarising very fast.

          • J

            Polarisation increases tension. Prepare actions for the moment the leash breaks.

            If the ‘left’ was in reality half as motivated by the images it constantly informs us that it seeks to emulate, it would have taken to heart the lessons of the last thirty something years capably described by Naomi Klein beyond refute.* The fact is, they were enervated by the truth of their own desires, without realising that theses desires weren’t even theirs. They found them in movies and magazines. They became the gesture they thought it was cool to adopt.

            * That is to have, like shock doctrine, at least one plan for every conceivable contingency and for several that aren’t conceivable. The left as such was easily biddable. And it bought into the present it currently inhabits.

  • fred

    The 48% have been represented. They have been represented by the judiciary and they have been represented in the House of Lords. Democracy isn’t broken it just isn’t giving the result your “best educated and most politically active” philosopher class wanted. The common farmers, fishermen, tradesmen and craftsmen are having a say for once.

    • Node

      Brace yourself Fred, Mind your blood pressure …..

      Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed she will ask for permission to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence.
      Ms Sturgeon said she, wanted a vote to be held between the autumn of 2018 and the spring of the following year.
      She said she would ask the Scottish Parliament next week for permission to request a Section 30 order from Westminster.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-39255181

      • fred

        Yes I know already, ask permission for another once in a lifetime referendum when they refuse to honour the outcome of the last one.

        In Scotland it’s the 55% who aren’t represented.

      • Zed

        The GDFTN is asking to repeat something the Remoaners already tried and failed, even after rolling out Blair and Mandelbrot and all their other “big guns”.

        Yawn! Too many of us have been at the receiving end of EU rooles and regulations while people like CM sit there in their little government offices, with their pensions that allow them to spend weekends on the Isle of Skye, or take trips to Leeds, etc etc!

        Democracy – Rule of the people by the people and for the people, eh Craig? So where do these “Populist” assertions come from? Surely democracy is populist?

    • nevermind

      utter rubbish, for starters the referendum should have allowed long term EU citizens living here to vote as well.
      They will get a vote in this years May elections for local Government and in 2019 EU elections should we still be in discussions then, why were they not allowed to vote on their future here? thats rigging the vote in my book for starters.
      That the referendum was called by an illegitimate Government and supported by the Lib Dems who could have resigned the coalition, but were bamboozled by the trappings of power, so they rolled over abstained and had their tummies tickled.

      The 48% who voted to remain should form an interest group/politcal party, if they can leave their ego’s at home, try and get a unified cross message online.
      I fear that anything tried via the MSM and the BBC will be futile as the messages would not get aired and the usual candidates would divert the issues and divide the groups with personal tittle tattle, accusations and outright law to keep the status quo and party politics in power.

      • fred

        I would have preferred long term EU nationals to vote as as well but that was only my opinion. Others had an equally valid opinion that none British citizens shouldn’t vote on British constitutional matters. The criteria for voting was decided by Parliament before the referendum it’s wrong to say the referendum wasn’t fair because it wasn’t decided how you wanted it.

      • Zed

        “They will get a vote in this years May elections for local Government and in 2019 EU elections should we still be in discussions then, why were they not allowed to vote on their future here?”

        Excuse me for asking stupid questions but if the rest of the EU is so wonderful, WHY did they feel the need to migrate to the UK? I’m waiting for you and Craig to explain that to me.

        • nevermind

          Zed, not a stupid question at all, go ask Laguerre and Rob G. and the million of people who live in Spain, my answer is, because we believed in an EU, despite its flaws, we thought that the politicians in charge would work at it and make it work for us, but they are like for like, lobbying companies and the preferences of the elites ruled their roost, hence no reform, if commissioners would be elected and under the control of Parliament, current deficits such as the much defrauded CAP, the stalemate on Schengen, would all be different now.

          People moving here are like people everywhere else, they want to better themselves, they fell in love on a business trip and got stuck.

          Why do you think ex pats are ex pats in Hong Kong, Australia, Spain, Portugal, etc? This world and its people are much closer than the shady deals of politicians would allow, and now this.
          I have become a pawn in Mrs. May tool cabinet, the only plan/lever she has. She is playing a fascist game and nobody gets it, indeed the media chime’s in with it, and the general public follows like the good ol’ ‘conditioned’ subjects they are.
          Enough of us what about you? what plans have you made for the next five years? can you make any plans?

          And what of industry? parts suppliers, export businesses?, UK businesses abroad? what of their workforce?
          All we can expect that May Davies and Fox will walk off in a huff, like children who can’t get what they want.

          She is a lier to boot, EU and her own citizens will not feature on day one, it will be opt outs for banks and other companies, it will be the pesky debts that keep accruing and which we want to cut, just like we cut services, benefits to our poor, disabled and anyone who can’t fight back and has no clout with the elite. Just like that, and you will just have to like it.

    • Clark

      I was your craftsman, Fred, but when I had my say you sided with the one who has power over you, and we all lost out.

      Here’s to Scottish independence. Let the gerontocratic power of Westminster fall.

    • Tom Welsh

      Exactly, Fred. Either one believes in democracy or one doesn’t. We know that the EU hierarchy don’t. We know that Tony Blair doesn’t. But if one does, a referendum should be binding.

  • Soothmoother

    I think the west has been relatively safe and peaceful for so long that proper leaders have not emerged as there were no real emergencies to manage. Everything was ticking over quite nicely, so the incompetents rose to the the top. Lots of non-entities that won’t rock the boat, ignoring the crimes our governments comit overseas as they doen’t affect us directly. Now we have some pretty serious problems and they haven’t got a clue how to deal with them. I have moved from wanting Independence to supporting Corbyn. I agree there is a real sh*t storm coming and it’s better to stick together. I’m not normally a labour supporter, but at least in Corbyn there is some honesty.

    I’m still glad about Brexit and have still to see any convincing evidence for or against it other than from my wife who undestands economics and finance better than I do.

    • John

      incompetents ? nicely ?

      Worth expanding your viewpoint to include the malicious, the psychopathic, and the corrupt. Otherwise, I beg to suggest, things will not appear as they actually are.

  • Soothmoother

    “On the biggest issue of the day, which will have a huge impact on future living standards, 48% of the population, the best educated and most politically active 48% of the population, have no effective representation. Only in Scotland have we a coherent pro-EU political force, but circumstances are such this cannot help England.”

    Will you be questioning the education of the 51% who could possibly vote for independence and ignore the 49% that have no effective representation?

    Should we be made to take an IQ test before being allowed to vote. What will be the pass mark?

    • bevin

      Craig is an old fashioned “we must educate our masters” Gladstonian liberal for whom ‘representative democracy’ is a means of legitimising government by those wise enough to understand that some things never change.
      “You can take the boy out of the Establishment. But you can’t take the Establishment out of the boy.

      • Zed

        Hey, I like that Bevin. You hit the nail on the head. CM, failed diplomat, still keeps flogging his failed brand of diplomacy.

    • Tom Welsh

      Well, I am a member of Mensa with an IQ (according to them) of 162; I was a scholar of Winchester College and an exhibitioner at Trinity College, Cambridge. I believe myself to be moderately well educated.

      And I unhesitatingly voted for the UK to leave the EU. (I would also have unhesitatingly voted for Scotland to remain in the UK, had I been allowed to vote. Although I am a pure-blooded Scot, I happen to live in England and so I was disfranchised.

      If it’s of any interest, I voted in those ways because I am, by temperament and experience, a conservative (lower-case; I don’t consider the so-called “Conservative” Party to be at all conservative in its policies). Robert Conquest’s First Law of Politics states that “Everyone is conservative about what he knows best”. If you think it over, I think you will come to agree with that statement.

      My point of view is that the UK (or Great Britain as I prefer to think of it) has evolved through the past millennium, with great expenditure of effort, persuasion, thought, blood and tears, into a society and a government that work reasonably well and have accomplished a huge amount. To break it up would, I think, be a huge mistake.

      As for the EU, my attitude to it has changed more or less in step with my attitude to nuclear power. At first I thought they were both splendid ideas. As I grew older and saw more of life, I came to understand how weak, dishonest and untrustworthy people can be; and I came to see that money and power tend to attract the worst people. If the EU were run by saints – or even honest people – I would support it; just as I would be more enthusiastic about nuclear power if I could be really sure of the people in charge of it.

      • Fence

        Tom,

        Could you add some clarity on this part of your statement –
        —————-
        As for the EU, my attitude to it has changed more or less in step with my attitude to nuclear power. At first I thought they were both splendid ideas. As I grew older and saw more of life, I came to understand how weak, dishonest and untrustworthy people can be; and I came to see that money and power tend to attract the worst people. If the EU were run by saints – or even honest people – I would support it; just as I would be more enthusiastic about nuclear power if I could be really sure of the people in charge of it.
        ——————-

        This differs from Westminster and the UK head of state how exactly?

      • Laguerre

        Yes, the elderly, even the intelligent ones, voted for Brexit, desiring a return to an earlier age. I too am of that generation (note to Habb: add that to your file on me). Unfortunately, that is the past. National isolation doesn’t work any more. The young need to move to work, and they expect to be able to do it seamlessly.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      the best educated and most politically active 48% of the population

      Don’t forget the wealthiest. They’ll need to spread their good fortune around a bit before the dissent quietens.

      All of it: UKIP, the SNP’s success, Corbyn’s street support, Trump’s ditto, the European far Right, stems from growing discontent with the status quo. It’s the same phenomenon under a variety of banners. The old Left-Right thinking doesn’t cover it or address it.

      I’ve been struck and even occasionally impressed by Craig’s demotic appeal. But the fact is that he doesn’t realise how distant he is from much of the 52% he sometimes embraces as The People with democratic rights and sometimes despises as what he calls racists.
      They can’t move to Edinburgh from England, on a whim, and without a secure job to go to. They do not have an interest in the family firm. They don’t write books, and possibly some don’t read them either. They’re not intellectuals….but they can see something’s wrong with the system as clearly as Craig can. And as to political activity, it’s probably evens. UKIP definitely appealed to white van man* -to use the rather derogatory coding of the middle classes – while the SNP, with a precisely comparable objective, is run by rentiers.

      *In my locality, among the best-mannered drivers of the lot. Hat tip.

      • craig Post author

        I certainly did not mean to imply they are necessarily right because they are the most educated and politically active part of the population. My point is that as they are the most politically active and educated part, it is not to be expected they will continue to have no political parties to represent their view.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          To which I can only respond that because organising educated people is like herding cats, you’d best be leaving them out of the equation.:-)

          Interesting in that connection to note that the Blairites – a natural party grouping, sharing little in the way of ideology with traditional socialists, show no sign of wanting their own party. They are short neither of activists or intellectuals…as I said earlier, they’d rather be inside the tent pissing in.

          • Stu

            The Blairites (or Third Wayers or Common Purposers) are essentially an administrative caste competing against the Aristos and Arrivistes who comprise the Tory benches to manage the country in the interest of the international Corpocracy.

            They cannot form their own party as they have no ideology other than careerism. They need to disguise themselves in the history of the Labour Party to have any credibility and the trick that worked for Blair is unlikely to work again. The Tories may be bastards but they tap into the ingrained plebian instinct found in many English people which finds it’s most perfect expression in the individuals who spend their Chirstmas day waiting outside a church to see the Royals. It’s pathetic but genuine. There is no genuine connection between Harman, Umma, Cooper, Hunt etc and the electorate, they only connect with their fellow careerists.

          • J

            Herding cats is easy. Put something in front of them they all like. Herd. Herding them after that is merely ‘educating them’ toward what you like. Who would want to be that arsehole?

            Herding cats is unpleasant. Not difficult.

      • J

        All of it: UKIP, the SNP’s success, Corbyn’s street support, Trump’s ditto, the European far Right, stems from growing discontent with the status quo.

        Very likely but that discontent was shaped and honed, not by a few but by a majority of media output, even as it wrung its collective hands.

  • Demetrius

    Because the media etc. along with others is so fixated on the stereotypes of the past they simply have not noticed how much has changed so quickly and the implications. Yesterday I explained why the Tories are on course to lose the next general election. As for the Union, it is now over fifty years since conscription threw men together in the armed forces from across The Atlantic Isles. Also, England today is increasingly removed from the past in terms of population origins. Scotland is seen as the ill tempered grannie in the attic who costs a fortune to keep by many of the younger and newer generations in England and they would like to pack her off to the workhouse of Europe.

    • Republicofscotland

      Wolsto.

      I’m sure you’d be more than welcome, though, another commentor in here Zed, (not a Scot or from Scotland ) I take it he’s a London man, refers to your neck of woods as the Oop North, a rather derogatory term in my opinion.

      Incidently on the “Roses Rivalry” (Yorkshire and Lancashire) I’m reminded that the War of the Roses, were not called that. It was term coinned by Sir Walter Scott, hundreds of years later. 😀

      • Wolsto

        And the Olympic squad, Yorkshire was nearly topping the medal table for a while last time around.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      You are envisaging the A1 as a security corridor through Durham and Northumberland, I take it. Or maybe you’d like Yorkshire to change places?

      • Wolsto

        I’d settle for a line from the mouth of the Dee to Chesterfield, then from Chesterfield to the mouth of the Humber. Anything north of that becomes the Republic of Wolsto.

  • Loony

    I don’t know why attention is paid to the purveyors of fake news. Who cares what they publish or what they broadcast? Like Heseltine and Clarke their race is run. Donald Trump has shown the way – Ignore them, disparage them, ridicule them, call them out for their lies and their falsities and most importantly use the power of technology to go over their heads and speak directly to the people.

    Paying attention to the established media is not only stupid it is positively dangerous. For example listening to the media you may form the impression that the EU is a good thing or in some way beneficial to someone other than those with their snouts in the trough. Paying attention to the real world would enable a more realistic understanding as to the true venality of the EU and just how much it is detested by large swathes of Europeans.

    Far from being small minded, bigoted, racists the British are moving in an act of pure munificence to remove the iron heel of oppression from the faces of all European peoples. An educated person would thank them for their efforts and not ridicule them for their lack of table manners.

    All those Scots who intend voting for independence just so they can stay in the EU would be well advised to spend some time in Greece prior to voting – keep out of the tourist compounds and just check out how ordinary Greeks are making out on a day to day basis. If you don’t pay attention now then you will be forced to pay attention later. Still maybe the safety net remains that ultimately the Scots will be rescued by the English – after all they intend rescuing all of Europe and the added burden of Scotland will be one that can be readily borne.

      • Loony

        Let me help you out. The phrase is: “An apple a day keeps the Dr, away” It is NOT: “An ad-hominem a day keeps the truth away.”

        • Wolsto

          Fair enough, sorry if I offended. That’s some rather extreme views you’re espousing there though, lacking in both nuance and understanding. There are a large number of overlapping reasons for the existence of the EU and a number of different consequences, both good and bad, and it’s a struggle to read hyperbole such as ” the British are moving in an act of pure munificence to remove the iron heel of oppression from the faces of all European peoples” and still take you seriously. And if Donald Trump showed me the way to anywhere I would head off in the opposite direction faster than you could say “alternative facts”

          • Loony

            OK there is some hyperbole in my post.

            But, whether you like it or not Donald Trump is showing that you can win things without the support of the media and he is attacking the media rather than fawn at their feet. Contrast this with British politicians desperation to win the endorsement of Rupert Murdoch.

            The EU is opposed by many people. Brexit proves this from a British perspective. In Europe the Front National in France, Gert Wilders in the Netherlands, the AfD in Germany, and the 5* movement in Italy are all anti-EU and are all growing in popularity. The British are, so far, the only people permitted a vote, and as a consequence of their vote they are necessarily in the vanguard of anti-EU forces.

            Places like Spain and Greece are being destroyed by the EU – they do not resist to the extent that they should because of their own history. Spain only became a democracy in 1978 – not that long ago really. At the moment the EU is better than Franco – but the direction of travel is clear, and even in Spain a tipping point will be reached, but they are desperate to avoid reopening old wounds. Not so for the British, and so they can lead the way.

          • Wolsto

            I don’t think Trump’s rhetoric would have had an audience had Fox News and their ilk not laid the groundwork for the last ten to fifteen years. The overwhelming impression I got from Trump and the US media is that they loved each other… even if they’re at each other’s throats. Trump brings viewers and sales, and scandal and exposure brought Trump free campaign publicity, albeit sometimes of the “dead cat” variety. Trump also made far more effective use of newer media than anyone else; the man’s addicted to Twitter, for starters.

            I don’t think you can lay the blame for Spain or Greece solely at the door of the EU as an institution, rather then blame lies with the global consensus on economic policy as implemented by politicians and bankers, EU or otherwise. Elect different people and the EU would be run differently. Through my work and in the city I live I’ve seen an enormous amount of positive influence from the EU, both in terms of direct funding promoting social and economic regeneration and in encouraging shared understanding and knowledge across the fields I’ve worked in. Of course, no person or organisation is perfect, and there’s a lot in Brussels that needs reform, but throwing out decades of closer and closer integration, learning and support – and unprecedented decades of peace – in order to turn what remains of the UK into a deregulated tax haven for the mega rich, stripped of all social democratic safeguards for the working population, seems like… well… lunacy.

          • Clark

            “…Donald Trump is showing that you can win things without the support of the media”

            Oh! Did the mass “news” media stop treating the election as a binary choice; “unless you support A then you’re supporting Z”? I must have missed that bit.

          • J

            Walto, pro wrestling? Faux aggression taught to us through professional sports or theatre as it might also be known. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss though apparently, different. Hmm.

  • Tom Welsh

    Er, I seem to have missed something, Craig. There have been two referenda. The first one determined that Scotland should remain part of the UK. The second one determined that the UK should leave the EU.

    Nothing in that implies that Scotland should – or can – leave the UK.

  • John Spencer-Davis

    From what I have seen of May at Prime Minister’s Question Time, which admittedly isn’t much, she’s utterly dismal – a ventriloquist’s dummy – and has been comprehensively thrashed by Corbyn. I honestly cannot understand May’s popularity, she seems to have nothing to recommend her, not even Cameron’s nasty wit. I would have thought even Conservative supporters would have been fed up with her by now.

    I’ve been rather puzzled that Corbyn’s reputation has not improved more with his handling of May, but I hardly ever watch the telly, so maybe Craig is right and no-one ever sees what I see online unless they go looking for it.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      I honestly cannot understand May’s popularity, she seems to have nothing to recommend her,

      I can. She’s not addicted to spin, she’s practical, and she’s implementing the referendum decision against quite a head of opposition. If you want show ponies, fine – give me a nag that’s not scared of hard work. It’s about time the ridiculous charade of PMQ’s, which achieves nothing in terms of actual government, was ended, in any case.

      • Republicofscotland

        “I can. She’s not addicted to spin, ”

        ______

        Baal

        Really? She sure spun more than Arachnia in a spinning contest with Athena, when she was head of the immigration service, she spun furiously blaming everyone else for the complete mess that allowed mass immigration, without any checks on who entered the UK.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          I think you’ll find that ‘everybody else’ aka the subject of Blair Miles, was indeed responsible for that particular fuckup. Though I do allow that la May isn’t about to cut off the flow of cheap labour completely. Which may prove to be her final mistake.

          • Republicofscotland

            Yeah right, and Brodie Clarke wasn’t made a scapegoat either.

            “A leaked document shows that in July the Home Secretary authorised UK Border Agency staff not to carry out full checks on the passports of hundreds of thousands of people arriving at British airports and ports for a six-week period.”

            “In September, Mrs May extended the scheme – which was never made public – for another six weeks, despite having only “very limited information” about the consequences of the change.”

            http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/immigration/8876045/Theresa-May-accused-of-shambolic-leadership-over-UK-Border-Agency-scandal.html

            May has done more spinning than Pete Burns.

            https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=PGNiXGX2nLU

          • Ba'al Zevul

            That’s not spinning. It’s just denial and obfuscation. Spinning is telling us it’s good for us to have mass economic immigration. Cue Tony again.

            BTW, in your considered view is spinning so low and immoral an activity that the SNP has never used it? Marks will be deducted for a spinning answer…

          • J

            All art is a manipulation according to someone. If politics is an art, perhaps it ought to be more of a science occasionally.

  • Fuddlededee

    Compliant media? I think we will see this tested again over the next few days once the entrails from Nicola’s press conference have been kicked over. Maybe the BBC will launch their BBCScotlandThe Brave digichannel sooner.

    If it hasn’t been used already I think we should have a twiiter tag #mediaevil to reflect the times we live in.

    Here in Germany my colleagues and I have introduced the term “shiny shiny” to indicate an interruption of a conversation thread in order to introduce a banal new thought to change direction quickly. Very helpful in project management meetings where we use it to head off BSBingo. When applied to UK politics and its reporting it affords us much merriment as we realise it can be applied to almost every Trumpism or Mayism of the last few months.

    OK, so we need a replacement for BSBingo

    • J

      When you’re enjoying something you’re probably most deeply within ideology, according to Slavoj. I think he’s on to something.

  • Republicofscotland

    I agree that Autumn 2018, is preferable over Spring time 2019, to hold a second indyref.

    The BBC news has went into overdrive since the announcement became public, apparently Scots will be homeless, penniless, doctorless, and completely destitute if we vote yes, well that’s the manner and tone of the BBC.

    The usual culprits have been wheeled out to bark about the benefits of the union, Sarah Smith, her namesake Norman Smith, and Ruth Davidson, have had their say.

    I have to say that I’m rather surprised Theresa May didn’t budge one inch, and offer the Scottish government more powers and access to the Single Market.

    Now we have a high stakes game, if May wins Scots along with the majority of the rest of the UK, will suffer under the yoke of Brexit. However if Yes prevails and Scotland becomes independent, Scots could gain entry to the Single Market, after a short process.

  • Dave

    I hope the Scots people grasp this opportunity and avoid cowering as they have done before.

  • branches

    Norman Smith of the BBC, immediately after Sturgeon’s speech and questions, asserted that Spain would oppose independent Scotland in the EU.

    Not just suggested that it might, but asserted that it would.

    Just a couple of days after BBC Scotland showed Pons saying the opposite in an interview.

    Once the Brexit process starts politicians from EU members will be queueing up to make encouraging noises about Scotland staying in the EU. The BBC will have no choice but to change their tune.

  • Athanasius

    I’m Irish, and as far as we’re concerned, I couldn’t imagine any problem about an independent Scotland joining the EU, even if it became independent AFTER Brexit. There is NO waiting list for joining, and this point simply cannot be made often enough. You join when your laws are in accordance with those of the EU, and Scotland’s already are. You’ve been in for forty odd years, for God’s sake. Who’s going to oppose your entry? Not us, for sure, and I can’t imagine anyone else doing so. Not even the Spanish, despite the lying garbage pumped out daily by Westminster and the MSM.

    • Republicofscotland

      Athanasius.

      Thank you for your support, I’m reminded of that Irish rebellious spirit, that blossomed into a independent Ireland, indeed the famous South American revolutionary Che Guevara’s grandmother was from County Galway.

      Che’s father once said of his son, “The first thing to note, is that in my sons veins, flowed the blood of the Irish rebels.”

    • fred

      The budget deficit would have to be less than 3% of GDP. Scotland couldn’t achieve that without tax increases and cuts in services on a massive scale.

      • Athanasius

        I think you’ll find the definition of 3% is more malleable than you might imagine, especially if it means sticking it to May. And raising taxes and cutting service is what sovereign states do as they decide they need to. That’s the point of sovereignty.

        • fred

          Not malleable enough to stretch to 9.5% and it would take a hell of a lot of tax rises and service cuts.

          This time the people should be informed of the facts which means negotiating and agreeing all terms before the referendum. Let the people know what they would be letting themselves in for.

    • Loony

      So you are Irish and can see no problem from a Spanish point of view. Have you ever heard of ETA? In many ways they are similar to the IRA. Is the world a better or worse place as a consequence of the IRA no longer being committed to armed force? Would the world be a better or worse place if ETA picked up their guns and their bombs?

      Would Ireland be in a better or worse economic position if Leinster declared independence from the rest of Eire? I think you will find that prospect fairly analogous to Catalan independence – with the single difference being that there is no proposal for Leinster to become independent.

      Of course it is true that Spain has been substantially destroyed and no-one much cares what the Spanish may say or do just as long as they keep serving the vino like the good little camareros that is their allotted role. Unfortunately for the EU there are some in Spain who will do all in their power to avoid a return to 1937.

      • bevin

        Analagous? Catalonia has its own language, for a start. And a long history of Independence

  • MJ

    “But very shortly thereafter is too late”

    Scotland has to leave the UK before it can apply to join the EU. There will have to be a period when Scotland is in neither the UK nor the EU. It’s called independence. Don’t worry about it. Membership of the EU is not guaranteed. It will be determined by the member states.

    “48% of the population, the best educated and most politically active 48% of the population, have no effective representation”

    Apart from the Lib Dems, SNP, Sinn Fein, substantial sections of Labour and the Conservatives and the BBC.

    This absurd caricature of a country divided into decent educated types on the one hand and racist simpletons on the other suggests that you are yet to comprehend the full significance of Brexit.

  • Sharp Ears

    Silly Hat Season cont’d.

    It is completely irrelevant to the current political situation but Her Maj and co are attending a service at Westminster Abbey to ‘celebrate’ Commonwealth Day. It is being carried live on BiBiCeee1 shortly . Ms Chakrabarti has been seconded to report.

    • Loony

      The EU is a good thing because it is intended that all the wealth of Europe be transferred to Germany – and what is good for Germany is good for Europe. Moving all wealth to Germany also punishes Southern Europeans for their idleness.

      This allows entire nations to be destroyed and no-one has to take any personal responsibility for the consequent carnage and devastation. Anyone that opposes the destruction of the peoples of Southern Europe can be written off as bigoted racists. Fortunately University education means that no-one will have an understanding of the word “irony” and hence the intellectual classes will genuinely feel no shame for their behavior.

    • Laguerre

      “Why is the EU considered a Good Thing?”

      You’re a good proof of the old saw that Brexiters are ignorant.

      • Ewan

        Seriously? That’s your answer? Try a bit harder: why IS it considered a Good Thing?

        • fred

          It’s a good thing because before the EU for centuries the countries of Europe were always at war with each other which was not a good thing on either a humanitarian or an economic basis. In the first half of the 20th century Germany had invaded France twice but since the EU they haven’t invaded them at all. They haven’t even invaded Poland or any of the other countries they used to invade on a regular basis either.

          With modern technology war was just getting too dangerous, we had to find another way, the cycle of rise of nationalism and bloody slaughter had to be broken somehow.

          • Ewan

            Do you not think that the absence of war in the last seventy odd years has more to do with the US and the USSR. If they had wanted war, there would have been war; if they didn’t, any war their “allies” started would soon be halted. The notion that the EU is responsible for the absence of hostilities is not plausible.

        • nevermind

          had any wars in Europe lately, Ewan? Has Scotland not become more prosperous for trading in the EU?
          Why does your other think you are good for Scotland?

          • Ewan

            There was rain yesterday. I don’t think it had much to do with my rain dance.

            As I have said, the absence of war had more to do with the division of Europe between the US and USSR. Also, the fact that none of the European powers had anything to fight over any more – none of them have empires.

            Scotland, like all the other countries in the world, trades with many others. The trade would be more conducive to the prosperity of many of our trading partners were the protectionist blocs such as the EU and US to reduce their barriers to free trade and cease their effort to lock in advantages for their corporations through such as the TTIP. Does Scotland benefit more from being part of a protectionist bloc than it would from free trade? I don’t know the answer. But is that the sole consideration that should motivate our decision to stay in the EU, reform the EU, or quit?

            I doubt either European or Scottish exporters and importers will accept politically motivated efforts to hinder trade if we leave the EU. I doubt we should allow ourselves to be bullied by over-mighty protectionists. We may well pay a price, but it would (arguably) be worth it.

        • Ewan

          And the nomenklatura who have taken on the task of “ever closer union” with their false teleological view of history have caused a reaction in the form of the nastiest sort of nationalism – apparently many think it the only way to resist the juggernaut. And this is keeping the peace in Europe?

          • Ewan

            That’s daft. We really need “ever closer union” and ever more fictitious democracy, otherwise we will all be bombing the bejeesus out of each other? This is not a serious assessment of the current state of the EU as an adjunct to NATO as an adjunct to the US as most active promoter of war, the death of hundreds of thousands, and in Europe itself a wholly unnecessary Cold War II. Whatever the original intentions of some of the founders of the project for European unification, the current EU is not obviously a source of good for anyone other than banks, corporations and the nomenklatura that serves them.

  • Paul Smyth

    Reading your last paragraph marries with comments I made to people before and during the referendum campaign. I held that “Brexit” (I still hate that term) would lead to the break up of the UK, finally. Not only Scottish Independence but the recent Northern Ireland elections shows us how close, with the shadow of a hard Brexit upon it, Irish reunification could be. Within a few years of this, should those former constituents of the United Kingdom begin to thrive while Brexit drags us down, the North of England could finally seek separation from London. Those of us who study History understand that it’s cyclical not linear.

  • Fence

    What a great thread.

    Silence from Michael, Hab and Anon well they await their handlers instructions on ‘Indyref smear campaign 2.0’ after today’s great news.

    They will seriously struggle with Project bullshit this time, MSM outlets or not.

  • Loony

    Another benefit of the EU is that it embraces the free movement of people, and this is universally a good thing. The only exception to this being members of the Turkish government who wish to travel from Germany to the Netherlands then it is obviously a bad thing. And so we have a policy that is universally beneficial except when it is not. what could possibly be clearer?

    • Laguerre

      Turkey is not a member of the EU, and hasn’t been given freedom of movement. So what is your point?

  • Republicofscotland

    Well here’s a goods bit of news NATO’s General Secretary Jens Stolenberg, has said that a independent Scotland would need to apply to join NATO again.

    But why would a independent Scotland want to rejoin a nuclear alliance, when it wants rid of Trident and all its nuclear baggage?

    Speaking of nukes, from 1960 to the mid 1977 the launch code for nukes (presidential code) was, nine zero’s, how imaginative.

  • Robert Crawford

    Until we in Scotland get England out of our mind, we will never get England out of our country.

    Too much attention is being paid to what England says via papers, tv and radio. Yuk it!

    Pay attention to your own thoughts and dreams, not England’s.

    If you do not, they will mess with your mind until you will not know your arse from your elbow.

    This is “squeaky bum time” for those you call “elite”.

    For a change try, John Robertson’s, thoughtcontrolscotland site.

    • Loony

      You are halfway correct. There is no need for anyone to pay attention to the fake news industry. Just ignore them and they will go away.

      Most people in England (i.e. the vast bulk of people who are not in the fake news industry) could not care less what Scotland does.

      However Scotland seems to have a lot of its own fake news problems. The English are not the cause of any problems in Scotland – therefore “getting rid of the English” will not solve any Scottish problems.

      Ignore England by all means – the English are quite prepared to ignore Scotland. Do what you want to do, and go where you are going to – but you wont get anywhere if you think the English are the problem. They are irrelevant to you as you are irrelevant to them. Your problem, is the same as everyone else’s problem and that is US domination through entities like NATO and the EU, and razor thin margin of acceptable economic and political opinion.

      Scotland is not exactly an innocent victim in all of this – as it has produced a disproportionately large number of neo-con stooges. People like Blair, Brown, Darling, Reid, Robertson, Fox etc etc. What is it about Scotland that produces people like this?

      • Herbie

        “What is it about Scotland that produces people like this?”

        Calvinism and the concept of The Elect seems to fit rather well with what our own elites are up to, in both thought and deed.

        • branches

          The chauvinism of isolationist brexiteers and the greed of the elite of the City of London are what the UK is about. Independence is about an outward looking and fairer country.

          • Herbie

            Not quite sure what you mean by “isolationist”.

            Just because countries don’t want to land themselves in a Globalist elite neo-feudalism, doesn’t mean they don’t want to do business with other countries.

            They do want to do business with other countries.

            They just don’t want to do business in terms dictated by a bunch of theiving corporate elite cnuts.

            These slogans simply mask the argument. That’s their purpose.

            All these tedious “isms” function the same way.

            That corporate lickspittle, Blair, recently made such an argument in The Guardian, I believe.

            Just nonsense slogans and garbage.

            No substance.

      • Laguerre

        “There is no need for anyone to pay attention to the fake news industry. Just ignore them and they will go away.” Then why did you accept them in your previous post? It seems illogical to accept fake news at one point, and then to reject it at another.

    • MJ

      “Until we in Scotland get England out of our mind, we will never get England out of our country”

      Yes, but you also need your own currency. You cannot be beholden to the BoE, even if England is out of your mind..

      • branches

        The Irish Free State used sterling for six years after independence before setting up an Irish currency in 1928.

        To argue that a country like Scotland that produced the likes of David Hume, Adam Smith, Alexander Fleming, R D Laing, James Hutton et al somehow, unlike the many dozens of countries that have become independent in the last 100 or so years, will have trouble sorting out a currency for itself is beyond reason.

        • Loony

          Maybe the people that you mention had some idea of what was going on – hence why people have heard of their work.

          The times they have a changed. If Scotland wants to be in the EU as an “independent” entity then it will be required to adopt the Euro..Therefore it will have no trouble in “sorting out a currency for itself” as a currency will be imposed on it. Some people (presumably the ignorant, racists and bigots) may think that if you are compelled to use a specific currency then you are not really independent. In fact you are the opposite – you are a vassal state.

          • branches

            Sweden joined the EU in 1995 and still uses the krona instead of the euro with no plans to change.

            Scotland in the EU is not going to be a vassal state.

            Having said that, better to be a vassal state than a vassal substate. A vassal substate is what Scotland is now in the UK.

          • Loony

            You are treading a dangerous path of ignorance. Of course Sweden has the right not to use the euro – that is because it joined the EU prior to the introduction of the euro. Check out the EU rules – they are clear. Anyone joining the EU now must adopt the Euro. Ask why this is a compulsory requirement.

            How can you argue for a position when you do not even understand the rules governing the attaining of that position.

            You think being a vassal state is better than the current position? Here is some advice – emigrate to Greece. Alternatively take your proselytizing garbage to Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania and ask the people there how they felt as vassal states of the USSR. After all you must have empathy with these people as you want to be in a union with them. I do wonder whether they want to be in a union with a Scotland that seems to view the EU as being a mere tool with which to beat the English. Not exactly a union based on mutual understanding and respect.

          • Harry Vimes

            Joining the Euro/Euro zone 101 for the benefit those addicted to fake news. Courtesy of https://weegingerdug.wordpress.com/2017/03/06/the-christopher-lee-of-currency-scares/

            “It says in the EU treaties that, unless a country has a specific opt-out from membership of the Eurozone, membership of the EU implies that state should eventually join the single currency. However the EU treaties impose no time scale on when a member state needs to join the Euro and impose no penalties for not doing so. If a member state decides that it’s not in its interests to adopt the common currency, then no one in Brussels is going to insist that they do.

            What this means is that no country can be forced into the euro. Joining the single currency is a process with several steps to it. Each one of those steps is at the discretion of the member state. That means the steps don’t have to be taken, and if the member state doesn’t take the steps, they don’t join the euro. It’s really that simple.

            Step number one is starting off with a currency of your own. Even if, as seems likely, an independent Scotland will set up its own currency, it will take a number of years for this to come into effect. When Ireland became independent in 1922, it continued to use the pound sterling until issuing its own currency, the punt, in 1928.

            Step number two is reducing your budget deficit to within certain pre-determined parameters. However for the purposes of this discussion about the euro, what is relevant is that it’s for an individual member state to decide when and how to reduce its deficit. If a country which isn’t using the euro decides that its deficit is sustainable, the EU isn’t going to force it to reduce it.

            The third step is joining the ERM-II, the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. The Czech Republic joined the EU in 2004, after the euro had been adopted as the common currency of the original 11 members of the Eurozone. The Czechs won’t be bounced into the euro, and have consistently refused to make moves to adopt it. In January 2010, Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas stated that the country did not require a special opt-out in order to retain the koruna as its currency. Nečas said: “No one can force us into joining the euro … We have a de facto opt-out.”

            Candidates for euro membership must sign up to ERM II for at least two years before adopting the euro as currency, however it is entirely up to the discretion of each individual member state when to sign up to ERM II and member countries can legitimately delay this indefinitely. That’s what the Czech PM meant by a de facto opt-out..It’s not a legal right in the sense that it’s explicitly spelled out in the treaties, but it’s an effective right. It’s a real right that an independent Scotland could use to refrain from joining the euro.

            It’s a right that several EU member states make use of. This approach has also been adopted by the government of Sweden which has likewise declined to join the Eurozone but has no negotiated opt-out. Sweden says nej to the euro. Poland, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia likewise are not eurozone members and none of them have formal opt outs. They will join the euro as and when they decide it is in their interests to do so, and they may very well decide to postpone that decision indefinitely. The EU isn’t going to force them to do otherwise. It wouldn’t force an independent Scotland either.”

          • branches

            Loony

            You’re wrong. Sweden joined the EU after Maastricht and is officially obliged to adopt the euro. But it has been in the EU for twenty two years and is still not being forced to adopt the euro.

            The Swedish people voted against the euro adoption process in 2003 and the EU let things be. Sweden continues to use the krona with no plans to change.

        • Old Mark

          Branches- the ‘Irish currency’ to which you refer was tied at par with sterling until 1978

          ;the ‘Irish currency’ to which you refer underwent 2 post WW2 devaluations on the the say so of the BoE and the British government, not the Irish government.

          the ‘Irish currency ‘ to which you refer underwent decimalisation in 1971 as a fait accompli, again at the behest of the British government.

          The head of the monarch may have been removed from coins and banknotes circulating in the 26 countiues after 1928, but it certainly wasn’t a currency the Irish government controlled in any real sense whatsoever.

          If Scotland votes for independence because it wishes to remain in the EU the only viable alternative currency it can use is the Euro- if you are lucky, you may well stay in the EU, and start using the Euro, just as 57 varieties of shit cascade into the fan- Enjoy!

          https://mishtalk.com/2017/03/09/massive-cascade-of-eurozone-defaults-coming-up/#more-44594

  • Cyril Wheat

    Excellent piece. We are going to need lots more of this positive stuff if today’s knee jerk reactions are anything to go by. Sturgeon is the target and she will get top billing alongside Corbyn in disgusting misrepresentation by the MSM. Already the spectre of Benn spouting his tripe is making me feel sick so we better get used to more lies and scare stories. Well done Craig for this piece.

  • David

    I think Sturgeon has just fallen perfectly into her own trap. May has played her like a fiddle. Sturgeon has left herself with zero room for manoeuvre after the last few months of mouthing off at anything English. May told her to get lost, she cant have what she wanted, not just because the UK doesn’t want it but because the EU has pretty much ruled out Scotland staying whilst the UK leaves.

    She has no oil argument to fall back on, Scotland has a massive budget deficit that it cannot support, she has no definitive yes from the EU, and without it she cannot claim Scotland will join the EU, not just immediately after separation, but maybe not at all. Certainly Scotland’s finances pretty much exclude it from joining. It will not be a net contributor to the EU, it will be another country the EU has to offer massive support from day one. All at a time when the EU budget is about to take a big hit.

    She cannot start her own currency, it would collapse over night, she could use the Euro, but that’s not a good option at all. She could use the GBP but would have no say over it.

    Scotland’s ship yards will fall silent, the UK government does not build war ships in foreign countries.

    As the UK is almost certainly about to enter a trade war with the EU, if Scotland votes to leave she has multiple and immediate problems. Possible high tariffs on good exported to the UK, which is where most of Scotland’s exports go, and possibly no EU membership, in fact no EU membership would probably be best for Scotland to start with !

    I think May has forced her hand, and I think that’s what she was trying to do. If the SNP lose this referendum, and there remains an equal chance they will, then it will be the end of the SNP and Scottish nationalism, not just now, but probably for ever. Permanently ending that thorn in Westminster’s side. Combine it with the other domestic issues in Scotland, mainly that Holyrood has all these powers and responsibilities that the SNP is failing on. Too much focus on indy and not enough on dealing with the problems Scotland has, that she has power over.

    If I was a betting man Id bet against Scotland choosing independence, which is what May is also betting on, its a gamble for both sides in truth with no one really knowing what the outcome will be.

    For what its worth I no longer care if Scotland stays or goes, in truth its pretty irrelevant to the lives of most English, in some respects the UK will be better off without Scotland. I do however worry that the Scottish will get totally shafted by this vile woman so that she can complete her desire to be “The One” who bough independence to Scotland.

    At least if they do go they wont be able to continue blaming the English for things that frankly are not our fault anyway.

    Good Luck to the Scottish people either way, its their choice – Shame its such a rubbish one !

    • MJ

      “If I was a betting man Id bet against Scotland choosing independence”

      Me too. I reckon that as soon as the Scots are informed that leaving the UK and joining the EU will entail switching over to the euro most of them will suddenly realise that England isn’t too bad after all.

      • Republicofscotland

        “Me too. I reckon that as soon as the Scots are informed that leaving the UK and joining the EU will entail switching over to the euro most of them will suddenly realise that England isn’t too bad after all.”

        ________

        MJ.

        I can’t quite work out if you intentionally play the fool (see comment above) or if you’re just being your usual mischievous self.

        I’ve explained on several occasions to you, that a independent Scotland can’t just join the euro. It has to meet certain criteria, and even then it’s a long process.

        Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and yes even the United Kingdom, are all in the EU but do not use the euro.

        I see the same old tedious, lies and scaremongering, are about to up a gear, over the up and coming Scots indyref.

        • MJ

          “Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and yes even the United Kingdom, are all in the EU but do not use the euro”

          They have their own currencies to use, Scotland does not. What currency do you think Scotland would use while it awaited consideration of its application to join the euro? Certainly not sterling. Neither the UK nor the EU would accept that.

          • Republicofscotland

            Scotland will need to have a viable stand-by currency possibly the Merk, just in case the British government denies it the use of Sterling.

            However as I’ve also explained this before to you, (though it clearly hasn’t sunk in). I foresee the British government agreeing to Scotland using the pound, because the rUK exports billions of pound worth of goods to Scotland, and Scotland exports similar to the rUK.

          • MJ

            “I foresee the British government agreeing to Scotland using the pound, because the rUK exports billions of pound worth of goods to Scotland, and Scotland exports similar to the rUK”

            No worries. Most UK businesses accept euros. If not you’ll just have to convert them into sterling first.

          • Old Mark

            MJ

            rUK, or South Britain, or whatever name we re-christen ourselves as after Nicola has led Scotland, Saltire flying, into the sunset and the clammy embrace of the EU, would have no problem with Scotland using Sterling on the same basis that Ireland did from 1922-1978; as I’ve explained, that would mean Sterling being run to suit the needs of rUK, and Scotland having to accept this as a fait accompli just as the Irish did. The BoE and Westminster, knowing that the only alternative for Scotland is the Euro, or the waiting room for the Euro (as Brussels decides) holds all the bargaining chips over Scotland’s continued use of sterling- if that indeed is the SNP’s preference.

        • David

          Its not inconceivable that if the EU wants to cause some mischief it could offer Scotland a place in the EU, so long as they immediately used the Euro. Id rule nothing out to be totally honest, games of state are being played and quite literally anything can happen !

          • branches

            No EU member has ever been forced to use the euro.

            And independent Scotland is going to be something of the hero nation in the EU. Not the bootboy.

            Whereas if we stay in a UK that is out the single market we’ll be forced through Barnet differentials to have a privatised health system in line with the already privatised English NHS.

            And with English Votes For English Laws Scottish MPs would be de facto debarred from holding the office of British Prime Minister.

            With independence in the EU we get a turn at the EU Presidency. We get a Scottish EU Commissioner and double the number of MEPs we have now. We get direct representation in the Council of Ministers. All that is real power and influence.

            Stay in the UK and our mineral resources will just service the City of London as it becomes the HQ of a Singapore style tax haven. While Scotland gets alternately told how precious and how rubbish we are.

          • fred

            So if Scotland doesn’t use the Euro what do we use? Milk bottle tops? Creating our own currency would cost tens of billions and rUK say they don’t want currency union.

          • Republicofscotland

            “Creating our own currency would cost tens of billions and rUK say they don’t want currency union.”

            _________

            Alistair Darling admitted after no had won that of course Scotland could’ve used the pound.

            Still if they cut off their own nose to spite there face by denying the use of the pound, we’ll use the currency that we’ll have on stand-by.

            I’m sure if Westminster can print billions and call it quantitative easing Scotland can launch a currency.

    • branches

      In the time it took to compose and type out that tripe you could have improved your knowledge of Scotland’s politics, economy and society with just a modicum of research.

      • David

        Or I could just talk to any number of my Scottish friends associates and business colleagues. Funny how you simply call it tripe without any other comment…. feel free to dispute what I have said, with logical argument, hey it might even be fun.
        So I assume you think the UK will continue filling ship yards in Scotland ? I presume that you are ignoring the Scottish budget deficit, I presume that you think Scotland could start and support its own currency despite pretty much every economist saying it couldn’t, I presume that you think the EU will welcome you open arms, despite evidence to the contrary…..I presume you think oil will go back to $100 a barrel ( which it wont this decade ), I presume you are happy with the state of the Scottish education system, which is one Scottish domestic issue amongst many…. shall I continue……….

        …….or are you just another SNP stooge with your head firmly buried in the sand ?

        Independence always comes at a huge economic cost, be that Brexit or Scoxit.

        • branches

          Isolationist independence does come at a huge cost which is why SNP policy is independence in the EU.

          And the UK government hasn’t noticeably been filling Scottish shipyard order books despite the promises made in indyref1.

          As for economists. Joseph Stieglitz the Nobel Laureate for Economics believes an independent Scotland is totally viable.

          • David

            There are quite a few ships being built in Scotland at the moment, yes the new 23’s are delayed but the work is promised. The EU is simply not a safe option until Sturgeon has it in writing from the EU that Scotland can join, anything less and the risks escalate horribly, they are not to be trusted! I don’t care if Scotland leaves the Union, but I got quite a few friends up there so I do care if they suffer.

            The brexit crowd rolled out one or two economists who all said it would be fine as well, and who knows maybe it will, the problem with crystal ball guesswork is that it just that. In 20 years I’m sure Scotland’s economy will be fine, it will have to be, the Scots are not lazy people by any measure, and likewise no matter what happens with Brexit, no matter how hard it is the UK economy will be fine in 20 years as well. The big difference is GDP, UK borrowing as a percentage of GDP is high, Scotland’s would be intergalactic if it was a sovereign state today or in 2019.

            I try not to follow best or worst case scenarios it usually ends up someplace in-between. Scotland would need a decent grace period from the UK if she votes to leave, that may not be forth coming.

        • Stu

          The debt question is more complicated than it seems.

          Is it likely that any British government would hand a portion of the debt directly over to an independent Scotland? The Tories would sell every first born child birthed in an NHS ward before they defaulted on a single pound to lenders.

          Scotland should take on a share of the debt but there is also the matter of our share of the assets to be settled alongside that which complicates matters incredibly.

          • JOML

            Scotland could perhaps offset their share of the Trident ‘assets’ against some of the debt.

          • Old Mark

            The debt question is more complicated than it seems.

            It is indeed Stu- one of the preconditions an independent Scotland would have to accept for its continued use of Sterling would be an acceptance of a fair share of the rUK’s national debt- (if the Barnett formula is used, that would be 10% of the total)

            Ireland under the 1921 Treaty had to accept it’s share of the UK debt also- and immediately had a problem in finding the money; fortunately for them, the UK and the Free State subsequently agreed to write off Ireland’s share of the debt in return for both governments agreeing to bury the findings of the 1925 Boundary Commission- which both governments felt would be tantamount to opening a can of worms-

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Irish_Boundary_Commission

            The odds on a fledgling Scottish state getting off Scot free (geddit!!) in the way the lucky Irish managed back in 1925 must be pretty long.

          • nevermind

            Mrs May wants to just walk away from UK debt to the EU, so why should Scotland not be able to walk away from its debt?, in return they let, sorry, allow, the UK to take their nukes home, deal…..

            Scotland can turn Faslane into a successful deep harbour port and they do not have to send their wiski returns south to PM Adolfina May anymore.
            Forget about oil, turn to the massive potential for alternative energy, that’s were the world is going, bar our golden boy Trumpington. One would not want to be seen swinging the same club as he does. Oil and gas is a losing polluters game now, after Paris polluters should be hunted down and oiled, feathered and Alberta tarred, alive preferably.

        • J

          Or I could just talk to any number of my Scottish friends associates and business colleagues.

          And all we’d be getting is your view of what they think or even what they say, to you. There’s a fallacy somewhere.

    • Deepgreenpuddock

      I agree about the high stakes but it is also ‘high stakes for May. If it goes against her, she, and Brexit probabl y becomes untenable. Scotland is a big loss-it is strategically important. It would force some kind of ‘accommodation’ and a hard Brexit for rUK (without Scotlnd) would become a disaster. Much damage could result. Apart from that there is much for the EU in keeping Scotland. It alters the negotiating position-generally strengthening the EU, and weakening the Tory brexits. Also don’t forget there will be sympathy for the Scottish position within rUK.
      It’s certainly quite a difficult calculus here.

      • David

        Your not wrong Deepgreenpuddock, its a huge risk for everyone concerned, but May is not known for being reckless, if she said a flat out no to Sturgeon then she must be reasonably confident the SNP will lose, which they may not of course. Its quite possible the EU will try and use Scotland as a pawn in the negotiations, and maybe with some success, however the UK economy is not dependant on Scotland, its far more dependant on the EU. God alone knows what will ultimately happen, one thing for sure, the worlds going to be a very different place in 5 years time, and that’s not forced to be a good thing

        Brinksmanship is never a good idea in truth, but both May and Sturgeon are playing the game, and lets be honest, its just a game to these people, neither of them really care about you and me.

      • Loony

        Why don’t you tell everyone how keeping Scotland in the EU is beneficial for the EU. In particular I would be interested to know in how keeping Scotland in the EU would raise living standards in Greece and reduce youth unemployment in Spain, Italy and Portugal.

        Would keeping Scotland in the EU allow the EU to send more or less money to Nazi;s in the Ukraine. Are Ukrainian Nazis beneficial to the EU, and if so how? If they are not beneficial then why does the EU fund them?

        Once these questions have been answered the calculus is really quite simple. Refusing to address these issues does indeed make for a difficult calculus.

    • mochyn69

      @David

      “mouthing off at anything English”?

      Total bollocks. Please give me a single example of anything the First Minister has ever said that is “mouthing off at the English”.

      You can’t and you know it. You have no credibility whatsoever.

  • Robert Crawford

    There you go.

    Almost all negative responses to my first post.

    You see what I mean?

    She who must be obeyed wants us all to be nice to one another. No upsetting of the apple cart you Subjects!

    Scotland can’t get it’s Independence from America, however, the President’s mother was Scottish. There will be goodness there.

    The President may be sympathetic after all, look at the shit he is getting.

  • Seydlitz

    What a load of bo—–is if Scotland get its independence do really believe utopia will be achieved, no country in the World has social equitable society, the Worlds hedge funds and world and bankers will pick the carcass dry.

    • branches

      Seydlitz

      So Scotland can only be independent if it creates a utopia?

      And if we can’t guarantee utopia we have to knuckle down under Theresa May’s authoritarian ultra-rightism?

      “What a load of bo–is”.

      Is that a load of boris? Which is what we’ll be getting if we don’t choose the sane option of independence in the EU.

  • Ian Seed

    “As I suspect that 48% will increase – and there is a curious lack of opinion polls”

    You STILL listen to opinion polls. Jeeez.

  • Ian Seed

    “48% of the population, the best educated”

    In fact Remainers are some of the most guileless imbeciles I know. They would rather be ruled by unelected criminals from Brussels than an elected government at home.

    Even if one accepts that we are also ruled by criminals in the UK (albeit at least ELECTED) isn’t it better that we keep the sphere of influence of such people as small as possible? I’d sooner that inherently bad people were in charge of 60m people than 600m people – especially given they at least have to PRETEND to care about the 60m.

    When you come out with such statements you sound like a ferocious, bitter snob.

    And haven’t you and your ilk yet learned that the EU is the CAUSE of the far right?

    • Wolsto

      I had the opportunity to vote for my MEP. Who elected the House of Lords? Not once has my vote counted in a UK general election either, with our safe seats and ludicrous electoral system.

      One of the many things the EU represents is an attempt to create a shared European identity, precisely so we can head of the resurgence of far right nationalism. It’s failed in the face of economic disaster for the majority of ordinary Europeans, but it’s intentions in this regard were honest.

    • Zed

      Too true! The GDFTN is certainly determined to get her own way = Rule with an iron fist.

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