Options for Independence 1378


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.


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1,378 thoughts on “Options for Independence

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    • bevin

      Thanks for that link. They were playing, by the looks of Chuck’s set in, what I believe used to be called the Mistake by the Lake, the old Cleveland Baseball Park. It never looked better.

      Three great guys.
      And every moment a reminder that Rock is the music of those who do not conform, the working people, and very, much the working people of Britain and the United States. Not the name dropping followers of Christie Murphy and the packs that hunt down solitary posters late at night, the supporters of power, the courtiers and careerists, but those who are rebels because for them surviving is defiance, the cannon fodder, the sharecroppers and factory hands enslaved by the clock.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YZVRvy4O6I

  • Habbabkuk

    It would be interesting to hear “Lysias’s” thoughts on the call by certain republican public figures in Northern Ireland for a referendum on a united Ireland following a Brexit.

    It seems to me that “Lysias” is uniquely qualified among contributors to pronounce on this, given his Irish roots which make him a citizen of two countries which achieved independence from the British.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    Glancing sideways from the obituary of a dead singer, and as we are now on Page 5, here’s an interesting thought on global corruption from someone who should know:

    Only about 0.01 per cent of those from Africa, Asia and Latin America who put their money into The Bank of London (the international idiom for buying property in the capital) set up hard-to-find offshore companies or secretive trusts. The rest do it in full view of the authorities and legions of estate agents, bankers, lawyers and accountants who are only too happy to assist them.

    In fact, it is thanks to those professionals that corruption, for centuries a national issue, is now a global phenomenon.

    The west has created a new financial architecture that unlocks the borders of poor and poorly managed nations. Local lords stuff their pockets at the expense of their people and invest the proceeds into western economies. These corrupt elites benefit from disorder at home and order over here — the best of both worlds.

    (my emphasis)

    The author? Who but Alexander Lebedev, occasional, but not too strident, apologist for Putin, and owner of the Evening Standard, whose new editor is to be a staunch globalist, firmly embedded in Western financial manipulations.

    https://www.ft.com/content/a3b8f16c-d74e-11e6-944b-e7eb37a6aa8e

  • Sharp Ears

    Why has Tony Blair backed George Osborne over Evening Standard editor’s job?
    As the parliamentary standards committee prepares to meet to discuss George Osborne’s new job he wins backing from… Tony Blair.
    19 March 2017
    [..]
    ‘This wasn’t an act of generosity, Mr Blair I’m sure, chose his words carefully. Helping to burnish Mr Osborne’s credentials will, he must believe, help the former prime minister prevent or ameliorate Brexit.

    :: George Osborne may have broken rules over Evening Standard job

    Mr Osborne’s unusual move is an attempt to build an alternative power base outside of Parliament.

    George Osborne says he will still have time to represent his constituents

    With his political ambitions wilting on the backbenches, the attractions for the Tory “Remainer-in-Chief” of editing the newspaper read by hundreds of thousands of Londoners, the Remainer capital of England, are obvious.

    Any significant Brexit backlash against the “Hard Brexit” being pursued by the government must surely start in London – and as editor of the Standard Mr Osborne will be perfectly situated to fan those flames.

    And at the risk of overextending the fire metaphor, be able to hold his former cabinet colleagues’ feet to the fire.

    Likewise, the divisions between the Osbornite liberal wing of the Conservative Party and the May/Brexit Brexit wing are becoming starker every day, something this appointment has thrown into stark relief.

    One of Mr Osborne’s key lieutenants (and another victim of the Theresa May axe) former Education Secretary Nicky Morgan said today: “George is very much about being the voice of the liberal Conservative Party.’
    [..]
    http://news.sky.com/story/why-has-tony-blair-backed-george-osborne-over-editor8217s-job-10807683

    • Ba'al Zevul

      The BBC raised the possibility that Osborne is carving a path towards being the next mayor of London. Still, a major faultline is beginning to develop in the Tory leadership, and I hope he won’t allow himself to be diverted from sabotaging his party. Balir’s endorsement should help. Osborne and Blair will be slapping each other on the (‘centrist’) back tomorrow on a discussion of globalist (aka ‘centrist’) hopes, chaired by the Sieghart woman on R4. Do miss it.

  • Sharp Ears

    Elsewhere the lanky PM stalks off to visit the devolved countries. You would think she would stay in her office to do some work, bearing in mind the mess the country is in.

    PM begins Brexit tour amid battle to save union
    Theresa May starts her tour of devolved nations in Wales in order to keep the UK together before she begins formal Brexit talks.
    http://news.sky.com/story/prime-minister-theresa-may-to-visit-wales-with-brexit-message-10808136

    She reminds me of a flamingo particularly when she wears her red suit.

      • Alcyone

        To answer your question, if the sourpuss is feeling alright, that would normally mean that she doesn’t like flamingoes.

    • Drew Anderson

      Theresa May’s attempts to save the Union will be akin to equipping the fire service with petrol to douse fires.

        • Drew Anderson

          I think you missed the point.

          The woman is charmless and will only succeed in getting people’s backs up.

          Your follow up point?

          • fred

            Sometimes that is what is needed.

            In the 1930s we tried appeasing Nationalists but quickly realised if you keep paying the danegeld you never get rid of he Dane. As how much you give them they will always demand more.

            The time came to ditch Chamberlain and bring in Churchill.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            The woman…Nicola Sturgeon?

            Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

            And, incidentally, if you hadn’t noticed, charm can be extremely deceptive. Remember the last PM but three? Spare me charm.

      • Habbabkuk

        Exactly my thought, Ba’al.

        The poster in question should stick to her BBC/MSM news service and her cutting-and-pasting, even her mini-thoughts are too much for her!

    • Habbabkuk

      “She reminds me of a flamingo particularly when she wears her red suit.”
      ____________________

      And I have this mental picture of you as a old, fairly skinny *female dog* with a pointy sort of snout setting off a disagreeable expression, whose first owner neglected to take you to dog training classes.

      • Sharp Ears

        Your canine imaginings are as febrile as ever and wrong in all regards. Komodo’s sniping too. Often wonder which side the wordsmith (he loves to fill the pages and doesn’t like competition) is on. Plain nasty……

        • Ba'al Zevul

          …Loves to fill the pages*? Doesn’t like competion? Sniping? You haven’t looked in a mirror lately, have you?

          As to ‘sides’, I’m apolar. I don’t have an anthology of approved ‘left’ policies. In fact that model is well out of date in any practical sense: the current struggle is between globalists and populists – the latter being the marginalised left as well as the marginalised right.

          If I disagree with something you approve of, I am merely stating my opinion, independently. If I agree with something you agree with, be happy. But I am still stating my opinion, independently, and usually after looking for more information than Surrey Today offers on the topic.

          ‘Plain nasty?’ More of a jungle nasty, actually. And it’s a nasty bloody jungle.

          • MJ

            “the current struggle is between globalists and populists – the latter being the marginalised left as well as the marginalised right”

            Please allow me independently to agree with you there.

  • Sharp Ears

    Hold on Trinity Mirror! This is going a bit far.

    Her Maj will not be pleased to know that plans following her demise is being discussed.

    Operation London Bridge: These are the secret codes that will be used to alert the nation to The Queen’s death
    Plans have been in place since the 1960s for the Queen’s death including secret codes, special warning lights and gun salutes
    http://www.getsurrey.co.uk/news/uk-world-news/secret-codes-used-alert-nation-12752063

    • Ba'al Zevul

      The Guardian had it last week. In detail.Try to keep up. I think that will be the moment when the crashing irrelevance of an hereditary head of state will become a major topic of discussion.

        • Habbabkuk

          Surely the injunction “keep your tongue inside your mouth” – as it stands – is meaningless and superfluous in that, physiologically, the position of the tongue of human mammals IS inside the mouth. The impression given is that Ba’al’s tongue has become detached and is floating around his ears or perhaps lying twitching on the ground.

          It is of course entirely possible that Mary thought that Ba’al was sticking his tongue out at her (figuratively speaking) but that does not equate with his tongue being entirely outwith his mouth; the injunction, in that case, ought to have been “keep your entire tongue within your mouth”.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            The reference is probably to my lizardliness, Habb. And is malicious, for without the free deployment of my tongue – an extremely sensitive detector of trace molecules in the ambient atmosphere – I would be unable to locate my prey. I have no intention of concurring, obviously.

        • branches

          The horrendous famines in India during the 1870s was not just caused by drought but was partly caused by the Colonial Government which at the tIme was reducing welfare, promoting the commodification of grain and exporting too much grain back home to the UK.

  • Dave

    If the Scots really want independence then hold a referendum after Brexit because then that would be independence, not the plastic independence offered by the EU/SNP, but I suspect after Brexit Scots will still prefer “independence in UK” to “independence in EU”!

    • MJ

      The same applies to a referendum before Brexit because leaving the UK would automatically take Scotland out of the EU. Either way Scotland would have independence thrust upon it. No wonder the nationalists are sounding so panicky these days.

    • Drew Anderson

      fred,

      Pray tell what kind of stability Brexit offers?

      Captain May and the crew of the good ship “HMS Rudderless” are saying “no deal is better than a bad deal”. That means trade using WTO regulations; 30-40% tariffs on agricultural produce and 10% on anything else. The economy will go down the pan in short order.

        • Drew Anderson

          fred,

          With the greatest of respect, how on earth can staying in the single market, thus avoiding WTO tariffs make things worse?

          Remaining within the single market, whether through the EU or EFTA means that all our trade agreements continue. The exception being that we would need a bilateral trade agreement with what remains of the UK. We are net exporters to England & Wales (I’m not sure, off the cuff, what the situation regarding Northern Ireland is), we export over £5bn of electricity to England annually alone. They’d still need it as they don’t have the generating capacity. We send them water because they don’t have enough that either and they’d have no option to keep buying it.

          Please don’t tell me about England & Wales being four times more important than the single market; that is a guess at best and a lie at worst. There are NO reliable figures for internal UK trade and GERS is a joke.

          • fred

            Not another GERS denier.

            Read this http://chokkablog.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/richard-murphy-gers-denier.html

            So if Brexit is such a disaster how come the SNP spent less money campaigning against it than they do on a by-election.

            How come before the referendum I was arguing against while the Nationalists on the blog were either neutral or pro?

            Brexit is coming, there is no alternative the people of Britain voted and undermining democracy would be far worse without that we have nothing. Wait and see what the deal is, wait and see the result of negotiations and how hey affect us, there will be swings and roundabouts. The one thing that is for sure is we can’t believe Nationalist propaganda they make it up to suit themselves.

            I

          • Republicofscotland

            Unsurprisingly for those who believe the GERS figures, produced to display Scotland in a poor economic light, the the crux of the GERS figures is that they only count (if you believe them) as part of the UK.

            The figures mean absolutely nothing in a independent Scotland.

            What does it say about the Westmister stewardship of Scotland over the decades that Scotland is so deeply in debt, again if you believe those figures.

            Drew, here is the TRUTH on GERS.

            http://wingsoverscotland.com/the-six-key-facts-about-gers/

          • fred

            ” We are net exporters to England & Wales (I’m not sure, off the cuff, what the situation regarding Northern Ireland is), we export over £5bn of electricity to England annually alone.”

            Much of which is renewable, wind and solar, it has to be subsidised by the government because it costs more than market price to generate.

            The more electricity Scotland exported the more it would cost us.

    • Republicofscotland

      Major teacher shortages in England, kids not being taught properly.

      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-35531982

      Add in that the NHS south of the border, which was officially abolished in 2012, is in a crisis. Also the area with the worst child poverty in Britain is London.

      http://www.cpag.org.uk/child-poverty-facts-and-figures

      Combine this with the national debt of £1.7 trillion pounds, or 87% of of national income, and the sheer incompetence of consecutive Westminster governments, shows that UK debt, is equivalent to about £26,000 pounds per person in the UK.

      Not forgetting the House of Commons Library, briefing paper number 06167, which states that the UK budget deficit is forecast to be £31 billion pounds 2016/17, though Brexit will likely push this up.

      Add to this Cruella Deville, aka Theresa May has set the date to dragged Britain out of the largest trade bloc on the planet, and into fiscal oblivion, and a independent Scotland doesn’t look too bad.

      • fred

        “Major teacher shortages in England, kids not being taught properly.”

        Good to see you endorsing the BBC but that article is over a year old.

        The link I posted was to this mornings P&J and concerns Scotland, what happens in English schools doesn’t affect me.

        • Drew Anderson

          fred,

          Back to your earlier link re GERS. (there was no option to reply to your comment and I’m still getting used to the site)

          I’m man enough to concede that point to you, it would appear I’ve been misinformed. However there is still a lack of reliable data regarding internal UK trade.

          Announcing a referendum will take place in autumn ’18, spring ’19 is waiting to see what happens. It takes around 9 months to organise these things, so 18-25 is not being hasty. The negotiation process will be complete by autumn ’18 with a 6 month ratification period to follow. Malta and Southern Cyprus amongst others can have their say, why can we not?

          You still haven’t addressed the no deal, WTO scenario.

    • Node

      City kids to be taught via video link as Scottish Government struggles to cope with teacher crisis

      Are you claiming that Scottish schools are worse than those in the rest of the UK?
      If so, evidence please.
      If not, you are highlighting how badly governed the UK is.

      • fred

        Read what I said, I didn’t mention the rest of the UK.

        Nationalist policy when the Scottish government are criticised is to google till they can find something bad to say about England.

        My policy is to point out the failings of the Scottish government and hope they will do something to rectify them.

        • Node

          My policy is to point out the failings of the Scottish government and hope they will do something to rectify them.

          Your policy is meaningless unless you can demonstrate that the failings you perceive in Scottish education are the result of Scottish government mismanagement rather than UK wide budget deficits. I can find no evidence that schools are better elsewhere in the UK, and neither can you or you would have done so. Your policy is actually highlighting reasons to leave the UK.

          • fred

            What is the point of Scotland having the power to manage their own affairs if all they are going to do is blame Westminster for their failings.

            The Scottish government decides where the money is spent, they can spend it on free prescriptions for the rich, they can spend it on free university tuition for the children of wealthy Europeans or they can spend it on recruiting teachers.

            As I said, the uncertainty of the threat of another referendum does not encourage someone to start a career in teaching in Scotland.

            So it’s time the Nationalists stopped blaming everything on Westminster and took some responsibility.

  • michael norton

    off topic

    as The United Kingdom moves its troops into The Baltic Crimea sees some movements.
    RT

    Large-scale maneuvers begin in Crimea

    Military exercises involving three large units of Russia’s Airborne Units, Air Force and the Black Sea Fleet began in Crimea’s Opuk firing range on Monday, Airborne Force Commander Colonel-General Andrey Serdyukov said. “For the first time in the Russian Army’s history, the Airborne Forces’ three large units were simultaneously alerted as part of the drills and partly redeployed to Crimea with weapons and equipment,” he said. More than 2,500 paratroopers and some 600 pieces of equipment are involved in the drills, TASS reports. The troops will train to conduct operations “as part of a group of rapid reaction forces” against terrorists and regular forces of a simulated enemy.

  • Zed

    I see Moody’s chief credit officer for Europe, the Middle East and Africa told the Sunday Times.that Independent, but in the EU, Scotland’s credit rating will be “Junk”; kind of on a par with the likes of Azerbaijan and Guatemala.

  • mike

    For 20 years, rich interests have been funding the Progress group of Blairite MPs. Among its funders are Lord Sainsbury. Progress is a private company limited by guarantee. Its funds are not part of general Labour Party funds.

    Not a lot of people know that.

    But Unite possibly funding Momentum is bad, according to the corporate media, and is today’s top story

    • Republicofscotland

      Don’t you mean fiscal oblivion day, will be a week on Wednesday.

      The 29th of March a Wednesday, will go down in the annals of British history as a worse disaster than that of Black Wednesday. If I recall correctly the Tories made a complete arse of that as well.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        It will go down in history as one of the few instances where a British PM accepted the democratic will of a majority of the UK population, despite her own serious reservations and the efforts of ‘centrist’ personalities to bypass it, and got on with implementing it.

        As to financial oblivion day, the less wealthy among us have been watching it approach since long before the Brexit vote. The additional effects of Brexit on undeclared taxes held in offshore funds or criminal cash laundered through London property need not bother us: we expect to continue to be fucked over by whatever pondlife surfaces afterwards, just as we were fucked over before.

      • Zed

        Ah yes, RoS, I remember Black Wednesday and what caused it, seeing as it cost me and my wife two houses. Some shit-for-brains, who now infests the House of Lords, insisted on linking the Pound to the ERM.

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

        The ERM, forerunner of the Euro and the burning memory of that was the principle reason I voted for leaving the EU.

        Oh, and last, but not least, George Soros broke the Bank of England by shorting the Pound.

        RoS, I do assure you that I remember it very well.

        • Zed

          Oh yes, and RoS, who so obviously spends his entire life seeking security and reassurance, DREAM ON!

          Black Wednesday proved conclusively that no matter how hard you work and try to invest your money wisely, there is always some rich shit who can short the Pound and break the BoE.

          Security is just an illusion held dear by losers like you.

  • Loony

    Oh look the European banking crisis is back, and this time it is bigger than ever and will wreak havoc across the continent. Read the numbers and weep. If you don’t understand them and are thinking that Scottish independence is a good idea, get someone to explain things to you. Forget the meme that numbers are “racist” and just accept them as numbers.

    http://wolfstreet.com/2017/03/17/eu-banking-crisis-meets-euro-tarp-on-angel-dust/

    Anyone with literacy problems should immediately look up the meaning of the word “contagion”

    All those people that voted for Brexit and were insulted, demeaned, and smeared for having done so have their vindication at hand. The unwashed masses have saved both themselves and their terminally ungrateful social superiors.

  • nevermind

    News just in, a device has exploded in Michael Nortons pocket and they believe it to be a rabbit he pulled out. It totally disintegrated and left bystanders with bloody serious terror stains…….

    And the peregrine falcons on Norwich cathedral have just laid their first egg, it must be Easter soon……..

    Lastly, massive air exercise over East Anglia are seriously threatening the daily entente cordial amongst gardeners, some who have been seen wearing ear muffs to block out the Biggles swooping overhead…..

  • Habbabkuk

    @ “Drew Anderson”

    Firstly, a big welcome to this blog, I’m sure you’ll fit in very well, and congratulations to you for using your real name in your posts.

    ***************************

    ” We are net exporters to England & Wales (I’m not sure, off the cuff, what the situation regarding Northern Ireland is), we export over £5bn of electricity to England annually alone…etc”

    but, a couple of lines later:

    “There are NO reliable figures for internal UK trade”.

    🙂

    • Drew Anderson

      Okay Habbabkuk,

      Touche!

      May I clarify, the figures as a whole are unreliable, however that is one of the knowns.

      Looks like I’ll have to be extremely careful what I say around here!

      Thanks for the welcome, its refreshing to be on a site where the opposition aren’t trolls or zoomers.

      Doesn’t mean I wont rip the piss should the opportunity arise.

      • Republicofscotland

        “Thanks for the welcome, its refreshing to be on a site where the opposition aren’t trolls or zoomers.”

        ______

        Drew.

        I wouldn’t feel to refreshed, you’ve just had your first exchange, with one of the most prominent zoomers in here. 😀

    • Loony

      What could be your motive and reasoning for posting as you do?

      How do you know that the name “Drew Anderson” is the actual or given name of the person posting as “Drew Anderson”?

      If Drew Anderson really is Drew Anderson then why is that a reason to offer congratulations?

      Did you know that Samuel Langhorne Clemens wrote under a nom de plume (Mark Twain) in order to criticize common ignorance. Do you believe that the writings of Mark Twain are any more or any less valid because he chose to write under a name that was not his own.

      Some say that anonymous speech is most often maligned by those frustrated by the protection anonymous speech affords against ad-hominem attacks. I am sure your concerns with regard to anonymous speech are predicted on altogether different grounds. What those different grounds could be though are somewhat mysterious to the common observer.

      • Drew Anderson

        My given name is Andrew, which will surprise no-one.

        I’m fairly certain your sire didn’t write “Loony” in the relevant box when he registered your birth.

      • Habbabkuk

        Loony

        You’ve been reasonably sensible of late and so I shall reward you by replying briefly to your points.

        “How do you know that the name “Drew Anderson” is the actual or given name of the person posting as “Drew Anderson”?”

        Call it intuition if you like :). Have you any reason to think it is not?

        “If Drew Anderson really is Drew Anderson then why is that a reason to offer congratulations?”

        I think it is, for several reasons, including that he realises that using a moniker is not an effective guarantee of anonymity.

        “I am sure your concerns with regard to anonymous speech are predicted on altogether different grounds.”

        Why should I be concerned about it?

  • branches

    Scotland can choose being governed 8% by the EU and 92% by ourselves. We even get to influence the 8% by having a turn at the EU Presidency, direct representation in the Council of Ministers etc.

    Or we can choose being governed 92% by Westminster and 8% by ourselves. And given the trashing of the Sewell Convention, EVEL and plans for reducing devolution we won’t get to influence the 92%.

    We can have happy cooperation in the EU with other countries such as Germany and Sweden that, like Scotland, believe in free education.

    Or we can have Westminster diktat to Scotland by staying in the UK and being taken down the uber privatisation route without even the single market to cushion the effects.

    8% EU and 92% ourselves.

    or

    8% (if we’re lucky) ourselves and 92% Westminster.

  • Deepgreenpuddock

    Fred’s comment re schools and teaching
    City kids to be taught via video link as Scottish Government struggles to cope with teacher crisis

    https://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/fp/news/aberdeen/1199463/teacher-shortages-could-mean-pupils-get-e-lessons-instead-says-education-secretary/

    Scotland needs stability, not uncertainty, if we want teachers to choose a career here.

    There are definitely problems in schools and staffing and it all deserves a good discussion but the P and J is over-rated even as an arse wipe.Its reporting is nowhere near the ‘actualite”.
    One of the problems that deserves some kind of airing is that the wrong problems are being diagnosed. The idea suggested (lessons by some kind of electronic link) make a lot of sense, especially for senior stages. It is pretty difficult to not see the teacher employers not taking advantage of such technology when it can be just as effective, and much cheaper than employing a teacher. The role of the teacher is changing but it is never really talked about outside some of the teaching journals. The problem is the reiuctance to to face this issue as the implications are quite serious in many ways.
    The general point however is that education is, and will be affected by technology just like many other areas of work once thought to be immune to technology.

  • michael norton

    Of those Scots who are working, one in five work for The United Kingdom State.
    What will they do to earn a living, when Scotland is independent?

    • branches

      The majority of state sector workers in Scotland work for departments in the Scottish Government and not for Whitehall departments.

          • michael norton

            Miss Davidson supported her claims by publishing figures from the Office for National Statistics, which showed the average Scottish household consumes £14,151 more in public services every year than it pays in tax.

          • Drew Anderson

            michael norton,

            I’ll try to explain, in simple terms, that this isn’t worth the trees that died to make the newsprint for this.

            Because of the recent increases in personal allowances, 44% of the UK population do not pay tax. Most of the personal income tax is paid by the highest earners. I do so hope you think that is fit and proper; fat cats pay high taxes, people on the bread line don’t.

            So far, so clear? However the exchequer draws in taxes in many forms: Almost everyone in work pays NI; we all pay VAT; almost everyone, working or not, pays some form of excise duty (fuel, road tax, alcohol, tobacco etc…); then there’s corporation tax; inheritance tax; airport landing charges, I could go on…

            So, personal income tax paid by majority is dwarfed by the total revenue intake. A non-story.

          • Republicofscotland

            Explaining to Norton is like trying to write down Graham’s number, it’s impossible to comprehend. 😀

        • branches

          The majority of civil servants in Scotland work for the Scottish Government either directly or indirectly. That is all schools, college and university staff. All health service employees. Police and Fire Services. Local government employees. All the civil servants of Scottish Government departments. Employees of many Quangos and Public Bodies.

          The Scottish Government pays their wages from the block grant which is money from Scottish taxpayers sent to the Treasury and then sent back. In other words Scotland pays at the moment for Scottish Government employed civil servants.

          Civil servants or quango employees in Scotland who work for Whitehall will be employed by the Scottish Government. For instance Scotland’s Job Centre Plus responsibility will be inherited by the Scottish Government on independence.

      • Rob Royston

        That means there will be more jobs, with the departments now locked in London that will be moved North. This will also apply to commercial companies who will need Scottish headquarters if they have a lot of business up here.

  • mochyn69

    As Mayhem heads off to bully, browbeat or bribe the Celtic fringes into submission, it’s worth remembering the following:

    Gwynedd did not vote to leave.

    Ceredigion did not vote to leave.

    The Vale of Glamorgan did not vote to leave.

    Cardiff did not vote to leave.

    Monmouthshire did not vote to leave.

    Thousands of voters elsewhere in Wales did not vote to leave.

    Theresa Mayhem and her bunch of brexshit idiots would do well to remember that. She may find there’s no welcome in the hillsides.

    Dim croeso i Gymru i’r hen Fayhem a’i chriw!

      • D-Majestic

        Nobody will give one about the Brex-Cliff-Lemmings when the pound is worth zilch and the aforementioned carrots cost two quid each. As for who will be staffing the NHS-well,let’s not even go there. Still-we will have taken our country back, the new religion for the intellectually challenged, apparently.

        • Habbabkuk

          D-Majestic

          “when the pound is worth zilch and the aforementioned carrots cost two quid each”
          _______________

          You said exactly the same thing a day or so ago.

          So I shall have to repeat what I said to you on that occasion. Namely:

          links, sources, evidence?

      • michael norton

        From DAY-ONE
        SNPSCOTLAND should have a currency in place, that will be accepted by most other countries.

        Everytime somebody asks “Which currency will you use”

        they never have a credible answer.
        You can’t be a credible country without a currency.

        • JOML

          One option could be Pound sterling in the short term, introducing a Scottish pound in the medium term. Longer term, continue with a Scottish pound, unless there is a more beneficial alternative. I’m sure there will be other options that will be considered nearer the time. Is this a credible answer?

          • michael norton

            Yes, that is a credible answer.

            However if you are going to keep the queen, keep speaking English, keep using the U.K. pound, how Independent will you be, what is the point supposed to be?

          • JOML

            The Queen is an irrelevance and using the UK pound should only be a short term, transitional arrangement – very short term if Westminster takes a hostile approach. As for the English language, fortunately there’s no copyright and it can be altered to suit… as our friends across the pond demonstrate in their spelling.

  • Drew Anderson

    fred,

    I will look at the archived thread and I will look into GERS further.

    However believe me, as a lifelong independence supporter, I consider the fallout from Brexit to be of greater consequence than the failure to break the union in 2014. I was most certainly not jubilant last June and my young adult children were devastated. Their generation will, after all, be retiring at close to eighty to pay for the profligacy of baby-boomers and my demographic (middle-aged). National debt at £1.7tn, up 50% since the start of the coalition; despite record low interest rates. We’ve already mortgaged younger generations up to the hilt and now we’re about to hamstring their futures.

    Now is not the time (you listening Theresa) to throw the toys out of the pram and walk away from the biggest trading bloc on the planet.

    • Geoffrey

      At least the pace of the increase in National Debt has slowed down since the days of the Scottish bank bail outer Gordon Brown….
      Of course he should have let HBOS and RBS go down the toilet. In fact RBS is still a basket case long after he squandered billions bailing it out.

      • Drew Anderson

        Geoffrey,

        The bank bail-out was triggered by global events. Banks deregulated by Maggie and Ronnie playing casino capitalism.

        £600bn added to the national debt in six years doesn’t indicate a slowdown to me.

        • Geoffrey

          Drew,to an extent you are right. Pretty much all economic “growth” since Maggie can be blamed on her deregulation ie allowing the banks to enter the mortgage market and to encourage personal lending. However the Blair/Brown duo really put the accelerator on……the 2008 banking crisis was entirely foreseeable and was caused by incompetent banks encouraged to lend by sleazy politicians.
          That of course is why Brown bailed out his mates. He took the National Debt from £500 bn to £1 tn.
          Osborne continued the profligacy but at a slightly slacker pace.

          • Drew Anderson

            Geoffrey,

            The problem with looking at absolute numbers here; £500bn over 3 years against £600bn over 6 is that it takes no account of interest rates. Adding £600bn whilst interest rates were historically low is not an improvement. But, that is hair-splitting. I think we can agree that the economy has been chronically mis-managed for quite some time.

            Once global interest rates start increasing, even by low base point rises, the interest payments will become eye-watering very rapidly. A 1/2% increase on £1.7tn debt is an extra £85bn per annum. That’s simple, not compound interest. Frightening!

            But, the bankers are earning big bonuses again and the poorest of the poor are paying for the crash that they caused.

        • Geoffrey

          Drew,
          That debt does not even include off the books debts such as PFI borrowing,unfunded government pension etc.
          Far too easy cop out to blame the bankers….Politicians encouraged the banks to lend with low interest rates and easy terms,and politicians decided to spend more than they tax, and why did politicians encourage borrowing ? To get elected ! And who elects politicians …..?
          You are right that when interest rates start to rise,or even stop going down …we could well see the end of Western Capitalism as we know it ! That is if we can find something to eat.

          • Drew Anderson

            Geoffrey,

            Fair point re PFI.

            As far as pensions go the deficit in the state pot is just another part of the national debt. In the private sector I’d like to see a situation where a company is legally obliged to make sure the pension pot is full before share dividends are payable. That would avoid future BHS/Green style fiascoes.

            I take your point with regard to politicians cheering the bankers on, but the bankers really did come up with some lunatic schemes; CDO’s being a prime example.

            In the US the Federal Bank has already started inching up interest rates.

        • Geoffrey

          Drew,
          There is no state pot . Pensions owed to government employees is in addition to overall debt. Pension deficits in private companies is another liability that is likely to partially end up with the government.
          On a more moot point, I am extremely interested in how the the UK Debt would be split in the event of independence, and the mere haggling over this is likely to make creditors very nervous and may of itself cause interest rates to rise.
          Another point re independence is that those complaining about Tory “Austerity” can hardly then complain about the size of the debt ,and another point is that those Scots who complain about the excesses of the banks should remember that the two worst UK banks that required the biggest bail outs were based in Scotland viz RBS and HBOS.

          • Drew Anderson

            Geoffrey,

            I think we agree re state pension.

            Green has effectively dumped a £100m+ liability on the taxpayer, coincidentally his yacht cost similar.

            The debt (and assets) will need to be shared, presumably on some sort of pro-rata basis. That will call for clear heads and some hard bargaining. (I’d like to expand on that, but time prevents)

            I don’t recall mentioning austerity, but I did have a dig at the bankers who are back on funny money whilst the poorest pick up the tab for the crash they didn’t cause.

            Irrespective of where the banks you mentioned were, and are based, they were operating under UK regulatory control, or lack thereof. Almost all the banks were in trouble, but, its worth noting that Santander came through the crash of 2008 unscathed. They weren’t allowed by the Spanish authority to indulge in casino capitalism. (I’ll expand on that too, but I’ve already trashed my day off and got nothing done, so I’m off on a foraging expedition; it’ll be good practice for when the proverbial hits the fan) 😉

  • David

    No one knows if the population of Scotland want another say or not, polls conducted with a sample of 1000 ish people seem pretty small to make any real observations over, my understanding is that some areas of Scotland are more pro indy than others ? So where the poll is conducted must affect the result ?

    If the SNP are convinced of their case then they should all resign, both from Hollyrood and Westminster. Force what would essentially be a general election in Scotland. If the SNP stated clearly that if they are re-elected to power then they will call for an indy ref. That would determine exactly the support for indy wouldn’t it ?

    Massive risk of course, the SNP might get wiped out, or win hands down. I cant see Sturgeon taking a risk of that magnitude, essentially she isn’t any different to any other politico, north or south of the border. Legacy and power is all she’s after along with all the rest at Westminster and Hollyrood.

    My bet is England Scotland Wales and Ireland would get along just fine if we removed all the politicians from the equation !

    • mochyn69

      David, you do know of course that the possibility of Indyref2 was included in the last SNP manifesto.

      Ergo, Nicola Sturgeon has every right to do what she is doing, indeed has a duty to propose what she is proposing.

      On Independence and the constitution the SNP’s Holyrood 2016 manifesto says this:

      The SNP stresses that independence will only be achieved when the majority of people in Scotland want it to happen.
      It says the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if there is “clear and sustained evidence” that independence has become the preferred option of a majority of the Scottish people – or if there is a “significant and material” change in circumstances, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against its will. And it says it will undertake new work, starting in the summer, to persuade people that independence offers the best future for the country.

      http://www.bbc.com/news/election-2016-scotland-36093405

      Just thought you’d like to know that.

      • David

        Hi Mochyn,

        I don’t disagree, the SNP did state it, but did anyone expect it to happen ? Brexit was a bit of a surprise. The point I was ineloquently trying to make was that the SNP say there is a desire for a Indyref2 but other polls suggest that there isn’t. If they all quit and forced the point May would have no option but to allow it, assuming of course the SNP won. Under those circumstances it would be impossible to claim there was no appetite for a second ref

      • fred

        The main full length manifesto said: “We believe that the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum”…”or if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will.” Not that they would hold a referendum.

        The easy read manifesto which most people relied on just said “We believe that the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum if it is clear that more than half of the people in Scotland want independence.” Which is what they said in public.

        I would hardly say that gives them a mandate, saying there was a possibility deep in the small print when they shouted to the world they would require a majority in favour to hold one.

  • Sharp Ears

    I wish that the Labour party hierarchy would cease their infighting and provide an effective opposition to the fascists in government.

    Tom Watson attacks Momentum-Unite Labour ‘plot’
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-39325559

    ‘Labour’s deputy leader says left-wing supporters of Jeremy Corbyn are involved in a plot which could destroy the party as an electoral force.

    Tom Watson was reacting to claims that the grassroots Momentum group – which helped make Mr Corbyn leader – is hoping to get financial support from Britain’s largest trade union, Unite.

    Momentum’s Jon Lansman was reportedly taped saying that if Len McCluskey was re-elected as Unite general secretary, the union would affiliate to his group rather than just to Labour.’

    Watson himself, apart from being a member of Labour Friends of Israel, has collected tens and tens of £thousands from Unite and £200k from Max Mosley. He knows much about collecting donations.
    https://www.theyworkforyou.com/regmem/?p=11309

    • D-Majestic

      A pity the BBC doesn’t do a ‘Panorama’ or some such ‘In depth investigation’ about the number of MP’s who are involved with The ‘Enery Jackson Society. We can only sit and wait in pious hope.

  • Tonyandoc

    Pragmatism suggests opening communication channels with like-minded subjects in Northern Ireland. Any region with aspirations to become a sovereign nation should demonstrate that it is capable of an external dimension and is aware of the impact of its actions on its neighbors.

    • lysias

      As Fwl has pointed out, by joining a federation with the Republic of Ireland, Scotland could avoid exclusion from the EU. If Northern Ireland were also to join the federation, an undesirable new Irish border could also be avoided.

      • branches

        The noises from the EU have been positive about an independent Scotland. It’s just that the UK mainstream media have refused to report it.

      • Habbabkuk

        And just think, a scion of the Liechtenstein royal family (cf Lysias, posts passim) could become the Head of State of that new entity!

        • Republicofscotland

          On Liechtenstein, it’s the sixth smallest country in the world, but the worlds largest producer of false teeth.

          Now that’s something to get your teeth into. 😀

  • michael norton

    10.5% of the total public sector employment relates to employment in the reserved public sector in Scotland.

    Am I right in think “reserved” means funded by The United Kingdom?

    In Q3 2016, there were 542,200 people employed in the public sector in Scotland
    http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Labour-Market/TrendPublicSectorEmp

    so about 57,000 United Kingdom State workers, will at the drop of a hat be out of work in Scotland,
    the day you become independent,
    how will you pay their dole money?

    • michael norton

      If each United Kingdom State worker made redundant in Scotland, after Independence got £250 / week, from SNPSCOTLAND
      that amounts to fourteen and a quarter million pounds / week, a tidy sum.

      • michael norton

        However, another way to look at it would be the pump priming of the Scottish Economy, that would be lost.
        If each United Kingdom State employee puts £20,000 / year into The Scottish Economy that would be a yearly reduction
        of £1,140,000,000 spent in Scotland, a tidy sum

    • Drew Anderson

      michael norton,

      If they are doing “reserved” employment, then the majority will be transferred from their UK function to, the corresponding task, within the new Scottish regime as their task will have been repatriated.

      • michael norton

        Drew, could you expand on your statement.

        I am trying to understand what would be the direct loss to The Scottish Economy of the U.K. State jobs lost as
        a result of SNPSCOTLAND no longer being part of The UNITED KINGDOM

        • Drew Anderson

          michael norton,

          An independent Scotland will require an expanded civil service to take on the tasks currently reserved to Westminster, we’d need a Foreign Office for example. So where there is a job being done, on behalf of the UK in Scotland that is reserved to Westminster, that job will probably still need to be done in an Independent Scotland. A straightforward transfer from one employer to another would take place.

          On the other hand Scotland’s priorities will be different from the UK’s and we would definitely not need a Scotland Office. However civil servants are civil servants; their skills are easily transferred. Scotland Office staff could be transferred to other civil service roles.

          • Old Mark

            However civil servants are civil servants; their skills are easily transferred.

            Using the Irish precedent from the 1920s, all UK funded civil servants now based in Scotland would be given the option by the departing UK government of joining the civil service of the fledgling Scottish state, or relocating to take up similar positions in rUK. Given that the unionist element in the Scottish population is considerably higher than the unionist element who lived in the 26 counties in 1922, that could pose the new Scottish state a few problems.

            we’d need a Foreign Office for example.

            And your own Passport office & Interior ministry to issue Scottish passports and grant residence permits/ILR/refugee status to non citizens, your own Cabinet Office, your own MoD (including a procurement division, unless you fancy the idea of setting up a Swiss style citzen army)…

          • michael norton

            It “may” happen that some or all of the 57,000 United Kingdom State employees in Scotland, get offered jobs by the SNP.

            My point is the money for their jobs will no longer becoming coming from the rest of the U.K.
            So the Scottish Economy will be disadvantaged to the tune of greater than a billion pound, every year.

  • branches

    Mike Russell, the Scottish Government’s Brexit Negotiations Minister has tweeted thanking BBC News for informing him of the date of the triggering of Article 50.

    Kieran Andrews of The Courier also has that story, saying his sources told him that Scottish Ministers we’re given no advance notice.

    Other journalists coming out with the same story.

    It’s clear the May government despises devolution, never mind the idea of independence.

    • Habbabkuk

      Why should one part of the UK have been given advance notice and others not?

      Your complaint does make it look as if you expect Scotland to get special treatment all the time. Fair enough, but is that good preparation for independence?

      Because the EU is certainly not going to give an independent Scotland special treatment when it comes to minor matters such as Scotland’s budgetary contribution, its share of the Regional and Social Funds, fishing rights…..etc.

      • branches

        Apparently the Welsh and Northern Irish administrations were not told either.

        Which therefore strengthens my earlier claim that the May government despises devolution.

      • JOML

        Habbabkuk, one part of the UK did get advance notice but kept the others in the dark, until they were informed through the news. So, I agree with you that this is not fair.

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