Options for Independence 1387


So what do we do now with Theresa May apparently obdurate on blocking the referendum?

It is important to realise politics are fluid. In a week’s time the situation will not be what it is today. The battle for public opinion is key. The unionist media (ie virtually all of it) are asserting continuously, as a uniform line, that opinion polls say the people of Scotland do not want a second Independence referendum in the timescale Nicola Sturgeon has set out – even though that is not true at all. The serial Tory crooks at You Gove came out with an opinion poll right on cue “showing” that support for Independence is hitting new lows. But I suspect it will not be long before evidence emerges that May’s unattractive diktat has profoundly assisted the Independence cause. That will change the game.

So with a wind of public opinion behind her, what does Sturgeon do if Westminster denies a Scottish Parliament request for a referendum? There are several options:

1) Hold an Advisory Referendum

It appears probable (though not undisputed) that the Scottish government can hold a referendum which is not binding, without Section 30 permission from Westminster. It is hard for Westminster to dismiss the result of an advisory referendum, given that Brexit was only an advisory referendum and May has taken as a matter of faith that it is binding.

But as we saw in Catalonia, a boycott by unionist forces can be quite effective in denying the credibility of a non-binding referendum result. I strongly suspect that would be their attitude to an advisory referendum, and I do not see it as a strong way forward.

2) Call a New Holyrood Election

This is an attractive option in many ways. It would be predicated on the plain statement that a new pro-Independence majority would declare Independence unilaterally. That would be the normal and internationally accepted way for a country to secede – a referendum is very much the exception.

But there are problems with this approach. The first is that it would require a two thirds majority of the Scottish parliament to dissolve it, and the Unionists would in all probability simply block it. Forcing them to do that may be a good move, but doesn’t take us far forward.

The second problem, should parliament dissolve, is the campaign itself. As it would not be a referendum campaign, media coverage would not be balanced on independence, but the unionist parties in effect given three times the coverage of the SNP, assuming the Greens continue to be very poorly treated. But as the “Balance” of the referendum coverage was risible anyway, I am not sure this is so much of a drawback.

More difficult is the uncertainty created by the appalling De Hondt system. There is no doubt that the optimum outcome for Independence would be for every Independence supporter to vote SNP 1 and Green 2. But in practice that will never happen on a significant scale, and what is the best way to utilise your vote to achieve independence is simply not predictable. Risking all on a system so prone to statistical fluke is a problem.

3) Call a National Assembly

In the event that Scotland is being blocked from holding either a referendum or an election, the Scottish Government could move to convene a National Assembly. This might consist of all MPs, MSPs and MEPs and that body could declare Independence. To be clear, that would be a revolutionary act in UK terms, but it is perfectly normal for such an act to be required at the birth of a new state and is no bar to it being accepted in international law as a state through recognition by the United Nations General Assembly.

The argument would run that, having been blocked at every turn from holding a democratic vote either by way of referendum or parliamentary election, the Scottish government had taken the option of convening all representatives democratically elected at the national level – MSPs, MPs and MEPs, and these elected representatives of the Scottish people had made the decision. That is perfectly respectable and entirely analogous to the way many EU members such as Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Slovenia, Croatia, the Czech Republic and Slovakia became independent.

To return to my original argument, the possibilities depend very much on how public opinion is seen to be trending. May’s calculation appears to be driven firstly by a desire to play to her Brexiteer base in England – which judging by the rabid comments pages across the media is very successful – and secondly by a desire to further polarise Scottish politics to the benefit of the Scottish Tories. She is more than happy for Independence to be decided on a straight SNP vs Tory field. That May thinks she can win such a battle is an example of staggering hubris.

I have been saying in all of my speeches across Scotland in the last year that the game has changed and we have to be prepared for the idea we may have to achieve Independence without the consent or cooperation of the Westminster government. I am happily no longer a radical outlier in this belief.


1,387 thoughts on “Options for Independence

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  • lysias

    Nicola Sturgeon herself discussed today the alternatives to the Westminster-authorized referendum that has been refused: Sturgeon hints at ‘other ways’ to hold new Scottish independence referendum: First minister refuses to rule out staging an unofficial referendum as she makes overtures to May for an alternative timetable.

    An election in late 2018 or early 2019 would be 100 years after the parliamentary election of December 1918 that brought about Irish independence.

  • Grafter

    Was interviewed by BBC today outside M&S here in Aberdeen. Being an SNP supporter I gave them a history lesson. 40 years of my working life have been spent in the oil industry here yet to look around trying to see the benefits ? They were very interested that I have two daughters. One who voted yes and the other who voted no in 2014 and would I be interested if they contacted myself for further enquiries ? Interesting times indeed.

    • nevermind

      I think that the BBC, who has the same unionist agenda than the Westminster Government of the day, should be shunned, why should they use people’s experiences to spin them were they want. But its a personal issue whether one thinks that the ministry of untruth and its masters are to be obeyed.

      Sod them, time to get a dedicated Scottish broadcaster.

      And why should the Scottish people not walk away from ignorance and uncertainty when their voices count for very little? How much longer will such behaviour down south be acceptable?

  • RobG

    Tommy Sheridan on yesterday’s Richie Allen show…

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LQqoRzbIjs

    I’m staying out of the Scottish independence stuff, because as an Englishman (long exiled) I really don’t have a horse in the race. I’ll just say what I always say: good luck to our friends north of the border who want independence.

    As well as Scottish independence, Tommy Sheridan also talks about Rupert Murdoch and the presstitutes and all the rest of it.

    • Zed

      You’re listening to Richie Allen? Why not go the whole hog and listen to David Icke?

      Back to those ancient Celts:

      http://jmney-grimm.com/2015/10/the-keltoi-of-europi/

      “I remember I was confused when I saw that the album notes in Loreena McKennit’s The Book of Secrets referred to her exploration of Celtic music in Spain and Morocco. “There were Celts in Spain?!” I thought. “That makes no sense!””

      The Celts have no greater claim on Britain than the Anglo-Saxons and you are simply racist (and ignorant) for continuing to spout that BS!

      • Laguerre

        Yeah, McKennit comes from that well-known Celtic country, Canada. Her understanding of Celtic origins is a bit confused. I don’t think there were any Celts in Morocco (unless Berbers are secretly Celts, they play a pipe not unlike the Bretons). There are Celts in the northwest of Spain, they appear every year in the Festival Interceltique in Lorient in Britanny. However, she performed in the Alhambra, which is about as far as you can get in Spain from the Celts. But a nice singer, though.

      • nevermind

        you do know your history well, Zed, apart from the facts that is. Some 80% of British ancestry is genetically Anglo Saxon and the Celts have/ had footholds in Spain, Catalonia, Cornwall, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, a very sophisticated and developed foothold that is.
        But you don’t want to let archeaology get into the way of rampant populist wishful thinking.

        • Old Mark

          nevermind- I’d stop lecturing Zed on not knowing his history when you clearly hold views on the ancestry of the UK population that have no basis in fact-

          ‘There has been ongoing historical and archaeological controversy about the extent to which the Saxons replaced the existing Romano-British populations. Earlier genetic analyses, based on limited samples and specific loci, gave conflicting results. With genome-wide data we can resolve this debate. Two separate analyses (ancestry profiles and GLOBETROTTER) show clear evidence in modern England of the Saxon migration, but each limits the proportion of Saxon ancestry, clearly excluding the possibility of long-term Saxon replacement. We estimate the proportion of Saxon ancestry in C./S England as very likely to be under 50%, and most likely in the range 10%-40%.’

          and

          ‘We saw no evidence of a general “Celtic” population in non-Saxon parts of the UK.’

          These quotations above are taken from a 2015 article in ‘Nature’ (link below) which AFAIK is the most up to date analysis of British ancestry and, as you can see for yourself, the findings therein flatly contradict the assertions you’ve made about the ‘Anglo Saxon v Celtic’ mix in the genetic structure of the UK indigenuous population.

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4632200/

        • Drew Anderson

          nevermind,

          …”Some 80% of British ancestry is genetically Anglo Saxon”…

          Absolute rubbish! Do you get your lessons in history from the same school as Melanie Phillips?

          87.5% of the ancestry of these isles comes from the people that arrived, across the land bridges, as the ice retreated following the last glacial maximum. The rest comes from ALL the immigration since: Celts; Romans and peoples from the Roman empire; Germanic tribes (Angles, Saxon and Jutes) and Northmen (Danes and Norwegians, then Normans) were invaders. After that there were people escaping religious persecution Jews and Huguenots for example. Then came late and post-colonial immigration from the former empire. Recently we’ve had an influx from the EU and refugees from conflict. I’m sure I’ve missed some groups, but my point is, only one eighth of the people here have are descended from, or have arrived since Britain was cut off (physically) from Europe about 7,000 years ago.

          It took a remarkably small number of Angles and Saxons to culturally dominate England, the Lothians & Eastern Borders.

          The Celts once dominated Central Europe (I have a German friend who likes folk music and considers it part of his cultural heritage too), but as has been mentioned reached Galicia in NW Spain as Galatia in Central Anatolia (Asiatic Turkey). The Bretons incidentally, were settlers from Southern Britain.

          The Celts, or at least their ideas and cultural domination pre-date the Germans by a couple of millennia.

          But, you don’t want facts get in the way of drivel.

    • Zed

      So RobG, if you are a regular listener to Ritchie Allen, then you ought to know he follows Icke’s thinking, which is that you have the controlled government opposed by the controlled opposition. So don’t you see that Sturgeon is just the controlled opposition?

      And Craig keeps telling us about these countries that have “gained their independence”. Well I sure know about one such country and that is the Republic of South Africa. 40 years ago the Afrikaner government was shooting down miners for going on strike, and just last year the new government was shooting down miners for going on strike.

      Hey, “here comes the new boss, same as the old boss”, and we surely all know a song about that?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7hvZjjsO28

  • Ba'al Zevul

    So with a wind of public opinion behind her, what does Sturgeon do if Westminster denies a Scottish Parliament request for a referendum?

    That’s the wind of Scottish public opinion, I imagine. The light breeze of English apathy is however picking up as a depression moves in from the Atlantic (I rather like this metaphor). Sturgeon could, if she chooses to continue her current line of shrill hectoring, generate a gale of resentment among the majority of the population of what is, for the moment, a unitary nation. There are, er, straws in the wind already.

    Beware wind power.

    • Zed

      Let’s face it Ba’al; no revolution ever took place unless those revolting were willing to pick up a gun and fight for their freedoms (and even you Yanks somehow jumped out of the frying pan into the fire) and I sure don’t see any Scotsmen willing to spend money on guns and bullets when they might just lose.

      • Ba\'al Zevul

        I’m not a Yank. And the SNP has always eschewed violent insurrection. If that remains the case, its only option is skilful diplomacy, which does not appear to be one of its talents. Still, no-one’s listening, so what does it matter what pixels say?

        • Laguerre

          The SNP, and Sturgeon in particular, look more skilful at diplomacy than May’s government in Westminster. A more incompetent bunch than May’s would be difficult to find. Sturgeon seemed to me to have chosen her timing well. With a not very strong hand (as an outside observer), she seems to be making the best of it.

  • Velofello

    Options for Independence.
    Scotland did in vote 56 SNP of 59 MPs; the SNP secured 46% of the vote for the Scottish Parliament and has a substantial majority of constituency MSPs. And here’s the twist, we also have list MSPs at Holyrood. What are they, if they do not have a constituency? Good question, and due to the De Hondt voting counting system, many Tory MSPs, trailing behind the winning SNP candidates by +13,000 votes secured a seat at Holyrood as List MSPs. On roughly comparable, though fewer Tory votes, De Hondt vote allocation numbers for list MSPs, the Tories were allocated, note allocated, not voted in, 24 list MSPs, the SNP just 4. Complicated eh? And why? Well the UK were concerned to ensure against a majority of party MSPs at Holyrood.

    So to summarise: There are a majority of pro-independence MSPs in the Scottish government; There are 56 SNP of 59 Scottish MPs at Westminster; 62% of Scots, and all council regions of Scotland voted to remain in the EU.
    Why hold a referendum? Well,risk of corruption the votes? Risk of another VOW? Risk of the promise of even more naval ships to be built in Scotland, absolutely none so far? And most cackhanded of all, an undertaking to locate all the UK nuclear submarines in Scotland! We want them all gone from Scotland.

    Cast your mind back, an English judge declared the postal voting system open to corruption as he jailed some guys for filling out postal votes in a lock-up garage in Birmingham.

  • branches

    EU Brexit negotiator Michel Barnier has said today that the full details of Brexit should be known by October 2018.

    Well within Nicola’s timetable.

    • Zed

      “Well within Nicola’s timetable.”

      It amazes me how much faith you people put in politicians. Don’t you get it? They spend election year promising you the earth and once they are in power, they spend their whole time feathering their own nests, and really, Craig Murray should know this as well as I do, seeing as he spent his working life in the FCO.

      Dream on!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hHRNSeuvzlM

      Some of us are wide awake and not living in your dream.

      • michael norton

        I think the S. N. P. should hold Indyref2 as soon as possible and say fuck off to Theresa May, you know it makes sense to rest your own destiny with violence, it is the only way.

      • Zed

        For example, it wasn’t so long ago that George Galloway was going to lead us all to freedom, and then he went on “Big Brother” and everybody woke up.

      • branches

        Apathy, fear, cynicsm and resignation are all that Westminster tries to instil in ordinary Scots now.

        We don’t need utopian dreams or even faith in politicians particularly. Just some improvement. Independence is the only way to get that.

      • kailyard rules

        Zed. Sounds like you are suffering from sleep deprivationand halluco-cynicism.

  • Loony

    You want Scottish Independence? I can tell you exactly how to achieve it.

    Let the English vote. You be gone just as soon as the votes are counted.

    • AnonScot

      Alternatively, you could let the Scots vote to make England independent, you also be gone just as soon as the postal votes are counted .

  • giyane

    Now that Boris Johnson has admitted in Parliament that the Conservative government aided and abetted by Mick Clegg started and prolonged the Syrian Civil War for seven years by backing Al Qaida on Obama’s instructions, why is it necessary for the SNP to limit its objection to the Union to the question of the UK leaving the EU?

    All that is needed to gain independence is for all Scottish MPs at all times to rebel against Tory neo-con Foreign Policy. This would have the added advantage of upsetting the neo-con elements in the EU, such as war-criminal Hollande and war-criminal Merkel. If you don’t like Westminster neo-cons, why do you think EU neo-cons will be any better? The reality is that Obama was using these EU war-criminals to run the war against the Syrian people because of Blair’s high-profile Iraq and Afghanistan failures.

    Those who created the EU as a Federal entity, like the founders of the USA, failed to incorporate appropriate checks and balances to prevent their Federal governments engaging in external aggression to their near and far neighbours. The US has become more aggressive if possible than the British Empire and the EU has become more aggressive if possible than the Third Reich. The 20 million Syrian and Iraqi refugees says this is so.

    Let’s see some proof of 2 fingers up to neo-con policy at Westminster, before accepting the argument that Scotland joining the EU will draw a line under subservience to neo-con aggression. If they can’t stand up to the red and blue Tories, how will they stand up to the black flags of Paris and Berlin?

      • giyane

        Fact is that the system called democracy allows criminal governments working for the criminal NWO to escape trial, by being unelected. President Trump says the Muslim countries hate the West. Is it surprising when the democratic system removes all the guilty parties from any accountability and wipes their slates clean? We in the West are mushrooms, kept in the dark and shat on from above.

        I want to see Obama and Hillary Clinton in Guantanamo Bay for getting themselves whitewashed by defeat. Have you a small cage for William Hague and Cameron? Will you be able to reserve future cages for Boris Johnson and Mrs May? You’d probably need something bigger than Cuba for all the imams and political Muslims who have conducted the war on Islam at USUKIS ‘ behest.

  • bevin

    From Counterpunch today:
    Trump on Letterman, Jan. 2015:

    “A friend of mine was in Scotland recently. He got very, very sick. They took him by ambulance and he was there for four days. He was really in trouble, and they released him and he said, ‘Where do I pay?’ And they said, ‘There’s no charge.’ Not only that, he said it was like great doctors, great care. I mean we could have a great system in this country.”

    • Dave

      Yes, within what’s possible in the US, Trump is an antidote to the WWIII globalists.

    • Sharp Ears

      Yes he has been taken down from the loft, dusted off and wheeled out.

      ‘Gordon Brown: ‘Holyrood should gain Brexit powers’

      Gordon Brown is to set out a “third option” for Scotland’s future, based on more powers being transferred to Holyrood after Brexit.

      The former Labour prime minister will suggest the Scottish government be given the power to set VAT rates and sign international treaties.

      Control over agriculture, fisheries and environmental regulation could be transferred, he will argue in a speech.

      It comes as Nicola Sturgeon is pressing for a second independence referendum.’

      /..
      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-39309133

      Like an episode of Antiques Roadshow.

      • mochyn69

        Yeah, I couldnae believe it!

        Gordon Fucking Broon already. Saw it in the Grauniad. And it goes without saying, the Grauniad is off to a flying start with its dirty, filthy unionist tricks.

        Just fuck off and die retard, as Fred would say!

  • fwl

    1) the EU referendum was understood to be binding. It was only after the result that a technical argument was adduced that it was only consultative. The government is estopped from not following the result because it told everyone it would follow it.

    2) Revolutionary acts are never perfectly normal. They nearly always result in a vacuum, a power grab and an unexpected change of direction. In other words the idealists are betrayed.

  • 100%YES

    Even if the SNP held the referendum and the unionist parties boycotted it, why would that matter if you took the percentige that voted in 2014 referendum and say on average throught the country it was 80% for the number of poeple that did vote, surely if your vote for yes was greater than 50% in 2018/19 of the national vote thats all that would count based on the electorate who can vote.

  • TH

    Perhaps a referendum shouldnt be rushed? Last time it was very rushed and the Pro-independence groups were far too slow to spreading their message, if Scotland is to become a independent state you need to move up your PR campaign doublefold.

  • Resident Dissident

    Of course the best option for Sturgeon and the SNP, especially given recent Scottish opinion polls, is to delay calling for a referendum until the Brexit negotiations have been completed so that the Scottish electorate know what they are getting. While at the same time placing trust in her English nationalist friends in the negotiating team to achieve very little – the ideal would be a no deal hard Brexit. In the meantime Sturgeon can indulge in a little of the Machivellian stuff where unrevealed she does all she can to frustrate a deal on Brexit while publicly at the same time is calling for the deal to include membership of the free trade area etc. – past form suggests that Sturgeon is rather good at this sort of politics.

    Quite why any rationale Scot would vote to leave a free trade are with which they do most of their trade in exchange for only the possibility for rejoining a trade area with which it does much less trade at present is beyond me – but economic rationality does not enter into the equation when it comes to nationalism, as unfortunately we have just found out in England.

    • Habbabkuk

      Yes, Ms Sturgeon is a twister along with the best of them.

      Just another politician.

  • Alcyone

    I note a very high degree of impetuosity around.

    What is the good of having a ‘free’ Scotland, divided in itself?

    Shouldn’t a major determination like this be made in a cool, calm and collected manner? And, yes, as others have suggested after knowing the actual outcome of Brexit, when effects can be calculated and anticipated.

    Those clamouring for another referendum are, say what you will, simply being disrespectful of Scots who want to stay or who are not clear. This is truly a case of Craig Murray, the politician, pretending to be a ‘good’ politician. Now Craig, if you got together say with Mhairi Black and started something totally fresh that will be interesting.

    At any rate, I fear a referendum will give you at best a down-the-line result, and that is not a clear answer. It’s so obvious.

    • Resident Dissident

      Craig is a million miles away from being a ‘good’ politician – remember he accused the majority in the last Scottish referendum of stupidity.

      If the English Nationalists allow a referendum I wouldn’t be surprised if they imposed a condition that at least 40% of the electorate have to vote for Independence – it isn’t as though that technique hasn’t been used before and resulted in devolution being delayed for 18 years.

  • michael norton

    Huge amount of people work for the state in Scotland.

    When Scotland becomes independent
    who will pay for all their pensions?

    • michael norton

      Huge amount of people work for the state in Scotland.

      When Scotland becomes independent
      who will cover their dole money?

        • michael norton

          I might do a flying visit to Scotland using my Queen Elizabeth, United Kingdom Passport.
          Who’s face will be upon your passport?

          • michael norton

            We, all The United Kingdom are leaving the hated European Union.
            After we have all left, we will no longer be using E.U. passports, we will be using United Kingdom Passports, with the face of Queen Elizabeth upon it.

          • Jamie MacDonald

            ‘Who’s face will be on your passport?’ ..er google ‘passport photo’ before you plan your trip..

    • Resident Dissident

      You forget that nationalism trumps economics so just as the English Nationalist lied about economics in the EU referendum so will the SNP in IndyRef2 – they’ll say all the duty the rest of the world pays on their whisky will be returned to them or similar.

    • Drew Anderson

      michael norton,

      Since checking facts before you drag your knuckles across the keyboard is clearly not your forte, let me enlighten you.

      At the last referendum the Westminster government agreed that they were liable for any and all pension obligations. If anyone has already retired and is on a full state pension, they will still be entitled; just as they would if they had a pension with a private company. Anyone who has not retired will be due a part pension an a pro-rata basis. However the Scottish Government’s white paper indicated that a future Scottish government would take on this responsibility. Just as well, as they will be able to afford it, the economy of England and Wales will tank without our assets.

  • michael norton

    United Kingdom interest rates kept at 0.25%
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39293002
    The Bank of England, led by governor Mark Carney, expects the UK economy to grow fairly briskly this year, at a rate of 2%.
    —–
    When Scotland becomes independent
    What Currency will you use?
    What interest rate will you choose?
    Where will you print your money?
    What reserves will you base your currency on?
    Which countries have agreed to take Scottish money as payment for stuff?

    Answers on a postcard to Ms. Nicola Sturgeon, the big house, Scotland.

    • Resident Dissident

      Did you notice in the Budget report that total business investment in the UK fell by 1.6% last tax year compared with a rise of 5.6% the previous year. Why do you think that happened? What do you think the long term consequences might be for our growth rate?

    • JOML

      What repetitive drivel, Michael, but it is comforting to know you are concerned. If Scotland votes to become independent, we will have to answer all these questions, no doubt in a similar manner to other small countries.

      • Resident Dissident

        Perhaps the electorate in Scotland might wish to know the answers before the vote this time – together with many others e.g. NATO, Monarchy, a second chamber etc.

        • JOML

          Where possible, definitely. However, the position of the monarchy does not necessarily need to be clarified for an independence referendum. That can wait for a future referendum. A second chamber (elected) is already being discussed and would need to be clarified in advance.

          • fred

            With the local elections 4th May shouldn’t people and parties be thinking about things like schools, hospitals, roads?

    • AnonScot

      When the police turn up to arrest michael norton for incitement to violence what type of cuffs will they use?
      Will he come quietly or will they have to bring out the tazer?
      What suit will he wear in court?
      What evidence will he site to defend his comment at https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2017/03/options-for-independence/comment-page-2/#comment-662006 ?
      What sentence will the judge hand down?
      What institution will he be incarcerated to?

      So many questions.

      How soon can we see the answers?

      • michael norton

        You Indygoons have not a clue,
        why would the public follow Ms. Nicola Sturgeon into the Abyss?

        • AnonScot

          And do you think the “public” will follow you into your abyss?
          Say hi to the worms.

      • Loony

        If you want evidence there is no shortage of it. Try for example:

        Eire, The USA, North Korea, South Korea, East Timor, Bolivia, Eritrea, Zimbabwe, Finland,, Bosnia, Kosovo, and South Sudan. All of these countries achieved independence or came into being via violence. Should you have interest I can provide a much longer list.

        The only exception to this general rule are the countries that emerged from the disintegration of the USSR. Although this particular game is not yet over – with a civil war in the Ukraine and with western elites seeking to leverage the Baltic states as a potential platform for initiating World War 3.

        Your faith in the judicial system is touching but I doubt that the British (or Scots) have either jurisdiction on prison capacity to handle the full quantum of people who have committed crimes of violence in the name of independence.

        Given the vast quantum of evidence available that transcends both geography and time I wonder what evidence you have to support your belief that “this time will be different”? Surely it cannot be a reliance on some form of racist argument that Scots are more civilized than other people.

  • Sharp Ears

    Sky are covering Brown’s wide ranging speech live from the Adam Smith Festival of Ideas!! at Kirkcaldy. He is pacing from side to side of the stage speaking at a speed of 20 to the dozen and still displaying that strange rictus.

    Gordon Brown intervenes with ‘third option’ for Scotland
    As Nicola Sturgeon prepares to ramp up her rhetoric, the former PM suggests vast new powers as an alternative to independence.
    18 March 2017

    During a speech in Fife the former PM will suggest giving Holyrood the authority to sign treaties with other European countries and set VAT.

    He will also call for EU powers to be repatriated to the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and the regions – not Westminster.

    That would give Scots control after Brexit of the £800m they currently contribute to the EU.

    As Nicola Sturgeon prepares to ramp up her rhetoric at the SNP spring conference, Mr Brown will outline a compromise he believes suits everyone.
    /..
    http://news.sky.com/story/gordon-brown-intervenes-with-third-option-for-scotland-10805675

    He will be followed by Standard Life who support them. Arabella Weir. Sally Magnusson and Brendan Cox feature on the speakers’ list. Get the picture?

    Nice pics of the ex Strictly dancer here
    https://www.thecourier.co.uk/fp/lifestyle/386587/180317-festival-of-ideas-mag-lead/

    Three days of it.
    http://www.adamsmithfestivalofideas.com/home

    Directors
    MR MICHAEL LEVACK
    MR GEORGE ANDREW PROUDFOOT
    MR DAVID STEWART
    MR JOHN GEDDES SIM
    MR RONALD WALKER MCKENZIE Company Secretary – 27 May 2013 –
    MR IAIN MACDONALD
    https://companycheck.co.uk/company/sc417866/THE-ADAM-SMITH-GLOBAL-FOUNDATION/companies-house-data

    • Sharp Ears

      I omitted Sir Gerry Grimstone from the list of speakers. Well in.

      ‘Grimstone worked as a civil servant from 1972-86, then as a director of Schroders from 1986-99
      Grimstone has been chairman of Standard Life since May 2007, deputy chairman of Barclays since January 2016, a non-executive director of Deloitte and the lead non-executive director at the Ministry of Defence.’

      Also Martha Lane Fox
      ‘Lane Fox co-founded Lastminute.com in the dotcom boom of the early 2000s and has subsequently served on public service digital projects. She is a board member of Twitter, mydeco.com, Marks & Spencer, and chairs the board of the digital skills charity, Go ON UK and was on the board of Channel 4 from 2007 to 2011. Lane Fox joined the House of Lords as a crossbencher on 26 March 2013, becoming its youngest female member. Lane Fox was also appointed as Chancellor of the Open University as of 12 March 2014.’
      and
      ‘Sarah Brown is a British campaigner for global health and education, founder and president of Theirworld, a children’s charity, the Executive Chair of the Global Business Coalition for Education and the co-founder of A World at School. She was a founding partner of Hobsbawm Macaulay Communications, a public relations company.’

      They are all in it together. Only missing Tony and Cherie.

  • Sharp Ears

    Elsewhere Mr Hollande hypes up his war on terrrrr by the use of the UK second in line and wife meeting the survivors of the Bataclan attack.

    William and Kate meet terror victims hours after ‘radicalised Muslim’ shot dead after airport attack
    Orly Airport – the second largest in the French capital – was evacuated after the man was shot dead when he allegedly trying to steal a soldier’s gun.
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/william-kate-meeting-paris-terror-10049878

    The knowledge that he was a ‘radicalised Muslim’ was instantaneous as you see.

    Strangely, there is an incident at Orly Airport when a man who was attempting to take the gun of a guard was shot dead.

    • michael norton

      *Breaking News*
      France’s highest court confirms 11 official candidates in 2017 presidential election

      I expect that the next Breaking News will be President Francois Hollande, saying that because of Islamic Terror in France, it is no longer safe to continue with the elections, so he will rule by dictât

  • Dave

    We need voting reform and the same system throughout the UK and due to their present condition its now in Labour’s interest to deliver on this and in turn help the Unionist cause in Scotland.

  • Loony

    A number of Scottish Nationalists appear to be pro EU and consider that Brexit will be deeply damaging for the UK. Part of this argument appears to be predicated on the belief that the EU will in some way seek to “punish” the UK for leaving the UK. It would seem that some believe this “punishment” to be deserved.

    Presumably it will not only be acceptable to Scottish Nationalists for England and Wales to recoup its losses by “punishing” Scotland in some manner it will be demanded by them in the interests of equality and fairness.

    • giyane

      UK leaving the UK. Is this a reference to Bilderberg Brown’s Deus ex machina act, move the deckchairs around a bit and pretend it’s independence. Or should we be getting coked out of our heads like Osborne? perhaps we should all jump ship before the pound suffers Zimbabwean levels of inflation?

  • michael norton

    Syrian army says it shot down Israeli jet

    sky news

    Although the I****li government spokesperson has said this is not true,
    this is the first time since the start of the Syrian “civil” war that they have admitted they have been striking with multiple aircraft targets in Syria.

    I expect, it is true.

    • giyane

      Never believe anything stated by [xxx] . Never believe anything stated by Sky. Come to that never believe the Syrian Arab army either. There you are, a wide range of options from which to choose.

      • michael norton

        Netanyahu: Strikes in Syria targeted Hezbollah arms
        Prime Minister Netanyahu says recent I**aeli raids aimed at preventing attempts to transfer advanced arms to Hezbollah.
        http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2017/03/netanyahu-strikes-syria-targeted-hezbollah-arms-170318035135150.html
        Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the recent air strikes by his country inside Syria targeted weapons bound for Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and the same would be done again if necessary.

        Israeli warplanes struck several targets in Syria early on Friday, prompting retaliatory missile launches, in one of the most serious incidents between the two countries in recent years.

        Syria’s military said it had downed an Israeli plane and hit another as they were carrying out pre-dawn strikes near the famed desert city of Palmyra which was recaptured from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) this month.

        The Israeli army denied that any planes had been hit.

        —–

        Perhaps the most imortant point is:
        Is***l does not normally say what it is doing.

        It would seem to me that Is***l is threatening Syria.

        Recently Bibi went to Russia for a chat with Putin.

        So did that chat go well or did it go bad?

        • michael norton

          apparently Syrian missiles fired after Is****i jets landed in Jordan, that would suggest, Is****i
          jets overflew Jordan.
          So were Jordan in on this raid with Is***l?

          Some actors, will not let Syria win the “civil” war.

          • Laguerre

            Syria, Jordan, Israel and Lebanon are all pretty close. You could miss one in a fast jet while winking. Israel wouldn’t bother asking Jordan; they’re not interested in trivia like respecting borders – or international law (conventions in this case).

          • michael norton

            It would seem that among others, Jordan is part of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve

          • michael norton

            http://www.inherentresolve.mil/About-Us/

            HISTORY

            In the summer of 2014, a new terrorist group which had risen during the chaos of the Syrian Civil War attacked across the Syrian-Iraqi borders and seized large swaths of Iraqi territory in the Euphrates River Valley and northern Iraq. Several Iraqi towns fell to the invaders, who called themselves “The Islamic State.” By the end of summer, it seemed that Baghdad itself was threatened by IS. Read more

            OUR MISSION

            Combined Joint Task Force – Operation INHERENT RESOLVE (CJTF-OIR), by, with and through regional partners, is to militarily defeat DA’ESH in the Combined Joint Operations Area in order to enable whole-of-coalition governmental actions to increase regional stability

          • michael norton

            So the aim is to increase regional stability.

            The opposite is happening, because regional instability is the aim

          • Laguerre

            Israeli raids on Syria are not part of “Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve”

          • michael norton

            Also
            Somalia, The Ukraine and KSA.

            So, what is KSA, never heard of it.

            It is Saudi-Arabia, that bastion of reasonableness.

            How could any country allow themselves to be in a co-alition with Saudi-Arabia.

            Saudi-Arabia does not want Syria to exist.

  • Republicofscotland

    Jeez oh, the unionists are wheeling out Gordon Brown again to make more false promises like last time.

    Brown like Theresa May was a unelected PM, and failed miserably in every aspect of governing Britain.

    Last time around Brown made promises he could not possibly have kept, he was then a opposing back bencher with absolutely no clout. Today he has even less clout, I do not foresee the Scots taking him seriously ever again.

    Meanwhile not content with trying to lecture Scots, that they’ll have a vote when she says so. The unelected PM Theresa May, has had a go at lecturing the other 27 EU nations, her arrogance is breathtaking to say the least.

    I recall May urging Brown to hold a general election, to reinforce his validity as PM, he didn’t. May should at least have the courtesy to do the same.

  • Node

    May I appeal to all independence supporters on this blog to avoid the “we hate the English” trap. Writers like Michael Norton and Anon1 would like nothing better than to draw you into their hate-filled world. They’ll try to provoke you into expressing your grievances in anti-English terms rather than anti-Westminster, so they can dismiss your opinions as bitterness. Be a model of reasonableness and ….

    (1) …. take the moral high ground.
    (2) …. make your arguments more effective.
    (3) …. infuriate Michael Norton and Anon1.

    • Republicofscotland

      Good point Node, though I don’t recall reading any anti-English comments.

      But there’s always the possibility that someone who isn’t Scottish or doesn’t support independence coming on and making such a comment, whilst pretending to be a Scottish independence supporter.

      A agent provocateur. ?

      • Alcyone

        RoS, you just put a pin in his balloon, but then you fall into the trap of fanning fear.

        I mean come on, Node wakes up to Spring, from his slumber, and that is all he can come up with? Howlin’ Wolf or Grrrowlin’ Ganglion!?

        • Republicofscotland

          Fanning fear.

          That’s a job for Westminster and whoever is stupid enough to front up the Better Together (whilst Brexiting) campaign.

          You wouldn’t know this but Better Together unofficially dubbed themselves “Project Fear” last time.

      • Republicofscotland

        That’s rich coming from you a person completely and utterly obsessed with the SNP – now that’s scary.

        • fred

          Not just the SNP, I oppose all Nationalists, SNP, BNP, EDL, Zi0nist, it makes no difference which country they are in to me.

          • Republicofscotland

            Yet you only ever comment on the SNP’s civic nationalism, often comparing it to Nazism, as we have already seen you’re obsession is the SNP.

          • fred

            The vast majority of discussion on this blog is about Scottish Nationalism. This blog entry is about Scottish Nationalism.

            It isn’t me that is obsessive. My username is my name, if I had a username like yours I’d be obsessive, fanatical as well.

          • Alcyone

            True all the threads look like this, as if there is nothing else happening in the world.

            Wait, Craig said “Not surprising Blair’s trying to get in with Trump”. And that was a week ago. The resident sourpuss is so fixed on Sky and the beeb that she failed to report this, despite her bout of verbal diarrhoea this morning.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JhLA_jGkrU

          • Ben

            “if there’s nothing else going on in the world..’

            Scots Indy centers the solar system. Is there any subject more important?

          • Sharp Ears

            @ 15.38

            Another petty attempt at an ad hominem. Yawn.

            The resident troll’s assistant is so out of date. The subject has already been covered.

  • Republicofscotland

    Trump’s US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, has ramped up the rhetoric over North Korea’s nuclear tests by saying that a pre-emptive might be necessary.

    However in my opinion, Tillerson is, espousing populist politics, during a meeting with South Korean foreign minister Yun Byung-Yun.

    For the reality of the matter is, China would almost certainly covertly help NK, in any attempt to overthrow the current regime, because NK, is a buffer zone between China and the Western friendly South Korea.

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