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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  • Republicofscotland

    Frankfurt and Dublin, look like the big winners as banks, and financial institutions begin the process of moving large parts of their businesses out of the listing ship HMS Brexitania.

    The exodus looks like seeing around a quarter of a million jobs fleeing Britain for Europe. Add in the £2 trillion worth of assets that will, also take flight to Europe, and HMS Brexitania, will begin taking in water at an alarming rate.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/brexit-latest-news-uk-banks-hsbc-goldman-sachs-citi-jpmorgan-plan-theresa-may-eu-departure-talks-a7641021.html

    • branches

      “…will begin taking in water at an alarming rate.”

      Theresa May’s got plenty of pumps.

      Unfortunately they’re of the footwear variety.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      Maybe all that vacated property will at last be available at an affordable price…
      And maybe we can find a replacement industry for the one that prints unlimited money and hands it to the wrong people.
      rUK’s Independence will be a challenge and an opportunity….won’t it, Scots?

    • Dave Lawton

      “Frankfurt and Dublin, look like the big winners as banks, and financial institutions begin the process of moving large parts of their businesses out of the listing ship HMS Brexitania.”
      Fake news from a fake paper the Independent is the same as the fake Guardian which has lost it way.If you swallow what
      these propagandist papers say you will swallow anything.

  • lysias

    It’s long been known that, under the ECHELON system, member countries of the Five Eyes alliance have been using the surveillance agency of another member country to do spying on their own citizens. Thus, GCHQ surveilled Strom Thurmond and Jane Fonda. NSA surveilled Princess Diana. This stuff has been going on for years.

    It would be surprising if GCHQ had not been used to do surveillance on Trump and his campaign. And the sudden and mysterious resignation of the chief of GCHQ (allegedly to spend more time with his family) on Jan. 23, three days after Trump’s inauguration, calls out for an explanation.

    • lysias

      Judge Andrew Napolitano, the legal adviser to Fox News who reported that GCHQ had been surveilling the Trump campaign, has just been suspended by Fox News. I guess the powers that be don’t want that sort of stuff reported.

      • glenn_uk

        I hope that’s not what you’ve been looking for on here, all this time for the past few years…

      • Hieroglyph

        Full disclosure: I now regularly watch InfoWars. Napolitano is well known to Roger Stone, and the alt-right, so would usually not be ‘my kind of judge’. Conservative on almost everything, and quite possibly the next Trump pick to the Supreme court. However, he is merely stating what every fool knows: GCHQ and the US Spooks have a very close relationship, and when GCHQ spy on US citizens, it is with the approval, and active connivance, of the US spooks. Do we think GCHQ will so much as far loudly, if it displeases the US? Doubt it.

        Really, the idea that Trump somehow was not under surveillance that is the conspiracy theory here. ‘Course he was, and InfoWars actually has evidence, not that evidence means anything to Trump haters. There is some doubt as to whether Obama ordered the ‘tapp’, so I guess Trump might take some flak for pointing the finger, but there is zero doubt he was under surveillance. Napolitano said so, and will probably never appear on Fox again. I believe this is called censorship. And when they are even censoring conservatives, one has to wonder who exactly is in charge.

        The people on InfoWars fall into the familiar trap of blaming ‘the left’. There is no organized left in the US, far as I can see. No, the left has been infiltrated and used to the point of irrelevance. The Clinton bots are hardly ‘the left’, and the billionaire marionette’s aren’t either. Nope, I suspect very dangerous people are in charge in the US, and they use identify politics to silence class politics. But they aren’t the left.

    • Ba'al Zevul

      I can now reveal what Mr. Hannigan said to a GCHQ HR manager just before he asked for his cards:

      “Fuck listening to that orange arsehole’s whining voice 24/7. I can’t take any more simple-minded lying bullshit without projectile vomiting. Get another director. A deaf one.”

      (If I told you how I came by this definitely authentic information, I’d have to terminate you with extreme prejudice)

    • Sharp Ears

      The whistleblower : GCHQ, Katherine Gun, is forgotten.

      ‘Katharine Teresa Gun (née Harwood, born 1974) is a British former translator for the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), a British intelligence agency. In 2003, she became publicly known for leaking top-secret information to the press concerning illegal activities by the United States of America in their push for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Some of these activities include the US National Security Agency’s eavesdropping operation on countries tasked with passing a second United Nations resolution on the invasion of Iraq.’

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katharine_Gun

      It was ever thus.

      It is also worthy of note that the film called ‘Official Secrets’ being made about her, has been stalled. Wonder why that is??

      http://www.theknowledgeonline.com/the-knowledge-bulletin/post/2016/05/10/production-halted-on-official-secrets-film

  • Velofello

    A bunch of silly, and a few smart arsed comments on Scotland’s finances and “polls”, Fred however, never fails to amuse – he quotes a Sky poll!
    For those of you able to concentrate beyond the time it takes to type out your comments here, suggest you google and read Richard Murphy, Prof. of Practise in Intenat’l Political Economy at city University of London.

    Oh, and why is it only Scotland that receives a GERS report. N Ireland? Wales? England?

    Oh, and Westminster informed Scotland, in 2014, that Scotland’s trade with Europe represents 40% of her exports. Now Westminster informs Scotland that her trade with rUK is SIX times greater than her trade with Europe! Do the maths folks, or scotch the Westminster lies.

    Oh, and Scotland’s Government ministers learned from the BBC news that PM May had set the date to declare Article 50.

    • MJ

      Perhaps the first figure includes the UK, as a member of the EU, while the second figure does not.

      • Rob Royston

        The man said “do the maths”, so if the trade with the EU including rUK is 40% and the UK trade is six times the trade with the EU then only 5.8% of our trade is with the EU and 34.2% is with rUK. I think all these figures are nonsense, or as the man said “Westminster Lies”.

    • fred

      “Oh, and why is it only Scotland that receives a GERS report. N Ireland? Wales? England?”

      Because it stands for Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland.

  • Ben

    I think Comey s low key dismissal of all St Donaldus tweets from the Twat had tectonic reverb at Fox, which normally defends their maroons but also have an influential Board who like to keep their stock price.

          • Ben

            I apologize for being ‘merican all the time and I seem to continuously explain to Ponders that Trump is not your friend.

          • Habbabkuk

            I don’t recall “Lysias” ever explaining how he managed to spend 4 years at Oxford reading Greats without hearing of the existence of the Bullingdon Club.

          • giyane

            Habb

            I spent 3 years at Oxford and I never heard of the Bullingdon Club. A tiny clique of fatuous politicos represent in your mind executive celeb. This clique have no ideas, no morals, no creativity, no science, no philosophy, no religion , no brains, and yet this is regarded as the perfect qualifications for running the country.

            I listened to a BBC eulogy of Phillip Hammond on Sunday on Radio 4. He was praised by none other than my millionaire MP Liam Byrne for being clever with money. When the Bullingdon boys cocked up everything they touched they had to bring in the hoi polloi to take over the country. One can forgive Hammond for forgetting a Bullingdon manifesto.

            There is really nothing memorable about the Bullingdons except that they were useful idiots in destroying 2 more Muslim countries, Libya and Syria, on the neo-con shopping list. [eat your own] EYO Vomit: ” If seven maids with seven mops Swept it for half a year, Do you suppose,” the Walrus said, “That they could get it clear?” “I doubt it,” said the Carpenter, “

          • giyane

            I visited a drop-in centre in Oxford once and they were using solid silver spoons someone had donated. And your point was , Habb?

    • bevin

      Will that million dollar budget for Hillary’s internet trolling campaign never run out?

      • Ben

        Trump clones everywhere. You are just like him…

        Media: “Do you have biz connections in Russia?”

        Trump: “Hillary!!!!” “Obama!!!”

        • glenn_uk

          How is it that people like you and me see this very clearly, Ben, yet the erudite Bevin has a total blind & deaf ‘un for the entire Trump show?

          • Ben

            He’s been seduced by his Hillary hate and the Art of the Deal which is a Mein Kampf bizness interpretation.

          • glenn_uk

            Sure, Hilary hate is all very well… but even the most anti-Hillary apologist for Trump will have to admit a few basic facts. There are a couple of thousand US troops now on the ground in Syria, the US is ramping up its military. More drone strikes are on the cards – far more that Obama’s total in 8 years is likely to be hit by trump in 18 months.

            Why do the Hillary haters/ Trump apologists ignore this, even if they don’t care about what little remains of the US humanitarian programmes worldwide, or the rather serious plight of the poor back in the US itself?

          • Ben

            They ignore the facts they abhor. It’s a closed-loop reality that feeds on its own offal. I dunno about the apologists across the Pond. Their flaccid excuse appears to be:

            WE AVOIDED WAR WITH RUSSIA, yet they seem blissful over war with CHINA/NK or they dont see that aside as their spectacles need a new prescription.

  • michael norton

    S. N. P. MSP James Dornan says people need to consider what kind of legacy they want to leave for people.

    Mr. Dornan asks if people want to be governed by a UK Tory government who “do not even care enough” to take in unaccompanied children.

    What swines those U.K. government types must be, not to want huge numbers of outsiders moving in.
    Oh, wasn’t the one of the main points of Brexit?

    Ministry of Truth

  • branches

    Three of the major investment priorities of the European Union for member countries are transport, energy and research. Three categories that are particularly important to Scotland.

    Scotland’s rural communities rely on EU funding and investment to not just develop transport links but to maintain them.

    Scotland’s renewables industry would not be an integral part of the EU Energy Union with all the loss of investment and jobs creation that entails. The European Investment Bank has made one of it’s largest renewables investments in the Beatrice offshore wind farm in the Moray Firth. Not that you’d know from reading the UK papers since they seem to have airbrushed that fact.

    Scotland’s universities are at the forefront of research in many diverse areas. Without EU assistance that would be unlikely to remain the case.

    With Scotland’s block grant set to be further reduced if we stay in the UK the Scottish Government money available for these three areas is going to be a big problem. Most extra investment that Westminster can afford seems likely to go to London in efforts by the UK government to compensate for the post-brexit diminishment of that city as a major financial centre.

    These three areas, transport, renewables and research are vital to Scotland’s infrastructure, environment and jobs and we have to remain in the EU for those three areas alone. But of course there are so many other reasons for remaining.

    • michael norton

      But Theresa May has already told you, we are all leaving together, for good or for ill.
      It was settled in a U.K. referendum.
      So, if you leave the U.K. or if you stay in the U.K.
      no difference, we are all going at the same time.
      E.U. BAD.

      • branches

        Scotland did not vote to leave the EU.

        Scotland did not agree that we should have no veto over brexit.

        Scotland is being told by the British PM that we cannot have a referendum before brexit.

        Westminster is attempting to dragoon Scotland pure and simple.

        • michael norton

          branches,
          there was a referendum in Scotland, the Scottish folk voted overwhelmingly to stay in The United Kingdom.

          Then there was a U.K. vote and we voted to exit the hated European Union.

          That’s all you need to know.
          It is called democracy.

    • Anon1

      “Sturgeon demands…”

      The whole country is focused on Brexit and getting the best deal for Britain in the negotiations ahead, yet we have this rabbiting munchkin in the background strutting around and yapping away, demanding this and that for Fucking Scotland.

      Forgive me if I’m wrong but I thought we have just had a referendum on independence and Scotland voted to remain in the UK?

      Quite right that the Prime Minister put the little thing back in her place and told her she can have her wretched referendum when we have dealt with the important issues at hand.

      • Craig John Macfarlane

        Do you really question why we want to leave when we are come across such arrogant attitudes…

  • Habbabkuk

    Now that someone has admitted that the SNP has kept silent about its intentions regarding nationality in a future independent Scotland (or perhaps hasn’t yet got round to doing any thinking about such a trivial matter) it seems time to move on to the following question.

    Which is :

    What is SNP policy regarding a future Constitution for an independent Scotland? In particular, will there be a written constitution, how and by whom will it be drawn up and how and by whom will it be approved?

    • michael norton

      Last time they wanted to keep speaking English.
      Last time they wanted to keep the pound.
      Last time they wanted to keep the Queen.

      Is it the same old, same old?

    • branches

      Habba

      It was all there in the 2013 White Paper called Scotland’s Future that the Scottish Government published during indyref1.

      All residents of Scotland will have Scottish citizenship on independence. People can retain their British passports if they wish. All Scots living abroad or elsewhere in the UK will have Scottish citizenship on independence. People with Scottish parentage qualify for citizenship. Immigrants can apply for citizenship.

      There was more detail but that was the gist. It’s in Chapter 7 of the White Paper.

      • Habbabkuk

        Thank you for that and thank you for making the effort to supply the info. I had rather been expecting to get it from “Republicofscotland”, the frequency of whose posts had led me to believe that he was this blog’s leading expert on matters related to Scottish independence, a belief I shall now have to revise (perhaps it’s a case of he who posts the most knows the least?).

        On the substance:

        1/. “All residents of Scotland will have Scottish citizenship on independence.”

        Is there any qualifying period of residence before independence day?

        2/. “All Scots living abroad or elsewhere in the UK will have Scottish citizenship on independence.3

        Doesn’t that sound a tad circular to you? It seems to be saying that all non-resident Scots will have citizenship if they are Scottish?

        3/ “People with Scottish parentage qualify for citizenship”

        It would be interesting to see the extent of this ius sanguinis: how far back? unbroken or broken lines? Etc, etc.

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

        Subject to further detail, the conclusion one could come to at this stage might be that this particular mixture of ius solis and ius sanguinis you’ve set out constitutes a rather generous and wide path to citizenship. Perhaps suspiciously so?

        Let Scottish people hope that a future Scottish govt will not apply American-style tax laws for private citizens…….

        • branches

          Habba

          The White Paper can be read at the Scottish Government’s website. E-book versions are available.
          I think the kindle version can still be got at Amazon for free.

          • Republicofscotland

            Branches.

            Your turn, now as Habb to clarify Brexit and what the outcome will be.

            But don’t hold your breath waiting on a intelligent answer. ?

        • Zed

          I’ll guarantee that most here have no clue about American-style tax laws, which have been described as some of the most draconian in the world. Didn’t you hear How Boris Johnson gave up his American citizenship because they wanted tax from a house he sold, and payed UK taxes on, in London?

          • fwl

            Yet they have the Alternative Minimum Tax said to have been paid by D Trump on his 2005 return and they have trust laws, which have allowed billionaires to put their wealth on trust for their offspring free of inheritance tax provided the income is applied to charitable purposes for 10 / 20 years. Those trusts are the reason why we may tend to think of Americans as being such generous givers. If you read Dark Money you will see how that trust income can be made to work for political ends even if not applied directly to politics eg apply it to university endowments to subtly shift the thinking of the institution to your political framework until your idea having found intellectual substance are ready to be farmed out to think tanks, and finally astro turf movements. I don’t know to what extent the charitable trust income can be used for the popular movements or think tanks, but it can be used for stage one.

    • glenn_uk

      Sorry JSD… out in the wilds these days, just got a brief time with a connection with a fairly primitive device. If you’re still wondering in a few weeks and nobody has helped, give me a shout.

  • michael norton

    Brent Crude, still dropping
    there is such a glut in the world.

    $50.78/ barrel

    • Rob Royston

      Let me cheer you up a wee bit. Every large tanker will be carrying about 2,000,000 barrels, or $100,000,000 worth of crude. Go on a ship spotting website and count how many large tankers are on the move from the North Sea. Don’t forget the oil pipelines and the gas pipelines. The oil industry is a massive producer of wealth, especially when you are supplying your own domestic downstream industries, it’s a double bonus.
      In the “boom times” the price was sometimes below $20 but we sold it all on the export market to re-build the City for the politicians friends and benefactors.

        • Republicofscotland

          In 1990 oil was only $17 dollars a barrel- the price of oil goes up and down like a rollercoaster.

          It doesn’t however prevent Westminster from issuing new licences.

          I’ll say to again and you’ll dodge the question again, if oil is such a burden and of no value why hasn’t Westminster devolved it to Holyrood.

          • fred

            Has Scotland got an oil bourse now? Can Scotland finance the decommissioning costs.

            Even if Scotland were independent the oil would still be sold in London and the taxes collected by the British government then Scotland’s share transferred to them or you would see the oil companies vacate the North Sea en mass.

          • Republicofscotland

            Decommissioning like everything else is a complete f*ck up by Westminster.

            So why doesn’t Westminster devolve oil and gas to Scotland if it’s such a burden?

            It’s embarrassing watching those Westminster politicians scurry around like rats saying anything to hold onto Scotland. Lying profusely at ever turn, whilst putting on a false facade claiming we love you Scotland.

            It reeks of sheer desperation.

          • Rob Royston

            To Fred,
            Re decommissioning, the UK collected all the royalties and taxes so they are responsible for de-commissioning.

          • michael norton

            I agree with RoS
            yes, it would be a good idea to devolve OIL & GAS to SCOTLAND

            It is in the waters around Scotland, the benefit should go to Scotland.

        • Rob Royston

          Yes, but a great deal of that $43.33 is spent in the UK service and drilling industries. Win, Win.

      • nevermind

        we are subsidising oil and gas with hundred of millions, not Phillip Hammond, his tax take is still running upwards on the escalator.
        I hope somebody in the SNP will get it, oil and gas are not the future, alternative energy supplies are, the grid will be much more stable if more alternative producers feed in.
        Alternatively communities can set up their own grid/network and use the much cheaper energy, you see there is nobody forcing anyone to use oil, gas or nuclear generated power. Such a move would be the death nail for the rip off merchants who are currently pushing up prices and inflation.

  • Habbabkuk

    The comment by “branches” about dragooning (“Westminster is attempting to dragoon Scotland pure and simple”) and Lysias’s rather curious comments about Northern Ireland reminded me that that most excellent of British regiments, the Royal Dragoon Guards, has a splendid partial Northern Irish pedigree in that it incorporates the former 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards and the 4th/7th Royal Dragoon Guards, the latter regiment having itseif been formed in part from the 4th (Royal Irish) Dragoon Guards.

    The contribution of many Irish people, both Catholic and Protestant, to the British Army both before and after 1922 cannot be overstated. On that precedent it seems clear that many Scottish people would wish to continue serving in the British Army after any possible Scottish independence.

        • Habbabkuk

          It is to be hoped that a future Scottish govt would have the sense not to replicate (mutatis mutandis) the confusion surrounding relations between the Irish Republic and the United Kingdom between the end of WW2 and 1949.

          But the Scots are a more sober people than the Irish. Politically speaking, I hasten to add!

      • Habbabkuk

        I agree. Ob the subject, I recall reading somewhere that the govt of the Irish Republic tried to make life difficult for citizens of the Irish Republic to enlist in British regiments during WW2 (despite the fact that Irish neutrality during that conflict was, despite various pronouncements by Irish political leaders, a complete sham, as any student of the times knows). One would hope that the Scottish govt would adopt a more enlightened line.

        • John K

          Irish neutrality was indeed a sham (fortunately), as (even more fortunately) was that of the US until Pearl Harbour and Hitler’s foolish (for the Nazis) declaration of war on the US.

          • Republicofscotland

            Speaking of Hitler, when the Nazi’s had to pull back from Paris in 1944, Hitler gave Himmler, the order that the SS should snatch the Bayeux Tapestry (it’s really an embroidery) from the Louvre museum.

            However before the SS could do so, the resistance had already occupied the building – the SS left empty handed.

  • michael norton

    Years of ultra-low U.K. interest rates probably hit productivity, but were a price worth paying to avoid higher unemployment, the Bank of England’s chief economist has said.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39332826
    A Bank modelling scenario found that years of 0.25% rates probably kept 1.5 million in jobs, he said in a speech.
    He would not have sacrificed those jobs for an extra 1% or 2% productivity.

    U.K. Government borrowing falls in February
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-39336980
    Government borrowing fell last month to its lowest amount for February in 10 years, according to official figures.

    Borrowing, excluding state-owned banks, was £1.8bn, down from £4.6bn a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said.

    In the financial year-to-date, borrowing has fallen by £19.9bn from last year to £47.8bn.

    Analysts said the figures meant the government was on track to meet revised borrowing targets.

    In the Budget, the Office for Budget Responsibility revised its end-of-year borrowing forecast to £51.7bn, down from its earlier forecast of £68.2bn.
    ——–

    So very low interest rates have kept one and a half million jobs in The United Kingdom.

    Lucky we are the fifth largest economy in the world and we know what’s what.

      • Anon1

        Remarkably open-minded for a majority of Labour candidates to support an extreme Islamic theocracy like Iran.

        Yes indeed, Ba’al.

        • Kempe

          I wouldn’t have thought Labour Party values compatible with those of the murderous, misogynistic, homophobic nut-jobs in Iran but there you go.

      • Republicofscotland

        Snow White wouldn’t be white enough that bigot. ?

        Anders Breivik, coated in a layer of white emulsion wouldn’t be enough either. ?

        • Ba'al Zevul

          To put it into context, the three candidates attended celebrations of the 36th (1) and 38th(2) anniversaries of the founding of the Islamic State of Iran, following the deposition of the puppet Shah. It wouldn’t be unusual for any Shi’a with roots in the region (Iran is the centre of Shi’ism) to mark this anniversary. Further, the jihadist atrocities which Anon and its ilk attribute loosely to Islam are not conducted by Shi’a, but by Salafist Sunni – the other lot, whom, in the shape of Saudi Arabia, I am sure Anon approves of our actively supporting.

          Guido gleefully notes that an anti-Xionist Western speaker was present at #38. Whose theme, that Xionists control the West, is at least defensible in the light of the strong polarisation of the West in favour of I—-l and against Iran, probably to re-intensify soon, and by the open influence of AIPAC even upon the initial selection of candidates in US elections.

          It might take a little while for Anon to appreciate all this, but it can’t do any harm to keep on telling him.

          • Republicofscotland

            Thank Baal for that interesting info.

            I recall in the Persian book of kings, a hero called Zal the Albino maybe he’s white enough for you know who, he was the father of the mighty Rostum.

          • Anon1

            Can you tell us which part of Khomeinist Islamist ideology fits with the Corbynite Labour ideology?

            Is it the pitching the gays from the rooftops, or the beating of the women for being inappropriately dressed?

            I mean, it’s not the hating the Juice part, is it Ba’al? No, never!

          • Ba'al Zevul

            The candidates are (I assume) British citizens, and free to act within the law of the land and to speak for themselves. Perhaps you should rather ask them how they reconcile their allegiances – which are traditional and historical – with the values of any UK party. And, yes, perhaps Labour should ask them too. However, your views on our support of Saudi Arabia, in many respects even less liberal than Iran – would still be fascinating.

            If you were a Christian – and you’re not, obviously – I might also ask how you reconciled your hastily-assumed political correctness with Guy Fawkes’ Night….celebrating a hang-draw-and quarter job by our then-militant Christian State….

          • Ba'al Zevul

            RoS …white…

            At risk of infuriating our Islamophobic chum any further, you may be aware that the word ‘Aryan’ is from the same root as ‘Iran’ and applied to its indigenous people. And the current regime is something of a departure from traditional Persian social norms, even those not-too-successfully imposed after the Arab invasion:

            http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2016/09/shiraz-shiraz

            Dig out your Khayyam, and pour yourself a glass of Shiraz, then.

          • Anon1

            Lots of diversions here, Ba’al, to Isr-el, Saudi Arabia, and even our then-militant Christian state.

            I’m quite fond of Iran and Iranians actually, have spent some time there, and I was expecting you to post all the stuff about Khayyam, Shiraz, Aryans and all the other things that people with a little knowledge about Iran like to tell you.

            But this is Manchester, not Iran, Ba’al. Look at the photos in the link, even if you don’t agree with the text. I mean is this is a British election?

            What would I do about Saudi Arabia? Nuke it and cover with solar panels.

  • Republicofscotland

    I see comments on what will happen in a independent Scotland from the usual unionist clique.

    However I don’t see any of them rushing to explain what will happen to a independent UK once outside the EU.

    Infact the chief negotiator David Davis when questioned at a recent committie by Hilary Benn, couldn’t answer any questions with any clarity on Brexit.

    Infact Davis said he might be able to answer some question in a years time.

    Those bungling Brexiteers running the country haven’t a clue what’s going to happen. They cant give even one guarantee. As a result of the organised confusion put forward by the Brexiteers, firms are set to flee Britian along with a whole host of EU nationals who fill vital rolls. Sterling is in freefall and inflation is on the rise.

    I say to those who want scrutinise Scottish independence get your own shambolic house in order first.

    • fred

      Isn’t it a bit late to be campaigning against Brexit now? Shouldn’t you have been telling us all this before the referendum?

      You never did tell us how you voted BTW.

      • Republicofscotland

        Stop going on about oil not being of any value.

        As I’ve asked you further up the thread, if it’s not worth anything why hasn’t Westminster devolved it to Holyrood.

        Also I see you dodged my reply to your unionist troll Lovatt.

        Hague Lovatt geez no wonder you’re obsessed with the SNP.

    • michael norton

      Not sure where you get your information from RoS
      but today the pound has risen against the U.S.A. dollar by 1%

  • michael norton

    Erdogan vows Turkey will ‘review relations with EU’

    U.K. bans Turks from carrying laptops into Britain

    • michael norton

      Some E.U. fanatics has said, they don’t care that The U.K. is leaving, we’ll just let Turkey join the E.U.

      YOU LUNATICS ARE WELCOME TO TURKEY

      • Republicofscotland

        One has to ask is Turkey even still a democracy? And does it meet EU criteria?

    • Republicofscotland

      Erdogan’s self importance has gone to his head, first he threatens the Netherlands, then he threatens Germany who next I wonder?

      Speaking of dictators, Mussolini tortured his opponents and victims by forcing them to swallow copious amounts of castor oil?

      • Loony

        No – first he threatened Russia. But that didn’t work out so well so he turned his attention to his fellow NATO partners Germany and the Netherlands.

        This time he could be onto a winner as there is some evidence that Germany is akin to an hallucinating schizophrenic. On the one hand it is trying to surrender to Turkey and an the other hand it is ruthlessly smashing the remnants of the Greek economy. Oh and Donald Trump wants a lot of money from Germany, but the Germans seem to think that Trump is from Greece and so can be crushed.

        So what if Deutsche Bank is the most systemically dangerous bank in the world. Who are you, you American prick? If VW wants to falsify emissions data on an industrial scale and break every known law, what has got to do with you. Just drink some ouzo and piss off – we need to get on with out humanitarian mission of crushing Greece and financing that nice Mr. Erdogan.

      • giyane

        There was you thinking ‘we’ are still ‘neo-cons’. No doubt some of ‘we’, like Boris Johnson, being a Bullingdon , might find it takes a few months to understand that under Trump, ‘we’ are not.
        But give them time, they never had to engage their brains with anything before.

    • bevin

      You are either demented or, like the Clintonites, determined not to face the real issues.
      Such as the speed and relish with which the Republicans, safely esconced in three out of four state houses, Congress, the Judiciary and The Executive, are ripping up the last remnants of the social security system which the Clintons played such a large part in tearing down.
      And they can do this because the last President, supported by Clinton et al, set up, in ‘Obamacare’, a Health care structure of such complexity and of such fragility that it could not last. Now it is falling apart, having served its cynical purpose of lasting through two election cycles, and it is taking with it Medicare, Medicaid and much else from meals on wheels to SNAP.
      And the Democrats, who deemed the only viable alternative, to the coming horrors, in which tens of thousands of Americans will die as a direct result of what is being done, namely a single payer system, impractical, unaffordable and politically impossible.( Which was why Bernie Sanders had to be cheated out of the Primaries.)
      The Democrats? They are insisting on the lunacy-the unmitigated nonsense- that Putin put Trump in the White House and, presumably was responsible for the general Republican landslide.
      The Democrats are the White Helmets of Social Security and Welfare a Death Squad posing as its defenders. Unlike the White Helmets however, they don’t even pretend to be doing anything to stop this attack on the vulnerable- they won’t risk losing donations from the Ayn Rand fans who are happy to drive through piles of rotting old folk and the corpses of children born in a land with one of the worst infant mortality rates in any functioning state, just in order to ensure that every cent of their taxes and everyone elses’s goes directly to the arms manufacturers, Israel or Agribusiness.
      Ben, have you noticed how most people are simply embarrassed by the idiocy of the claim that Putin was instrumental in the elections? It is because right or left, most of them realise that this witchhunt is an international joke.

      • Ben

        May I quote your semi-prescient words, in say, 90 days?

        Reserving the right to open the bomb-bay doors sooner of course..

        • Bob Apposite

          Yeah, I’m with you Ben on the Russian hacking. Let’s see what comes out.

      • Bob Apposite

        That’s a long screed that basically says nothing.

        First – you realize Obamacare “failed” only in those states where it was made to fail by Republicans. That’s kind of a fatal point to your main accusation. Somehow it worked just fine in all the states that weren’t openly hostile to it.

        Who’s “demented”?

        Second, I see a lot of foolish criticism and NOT one helpful suggestion or alternative.
        So Republicans and Democrats are terrible. How helpful. Not.

  • bevin

    “Let me cheer you up a wee bit. Every large tanker will be carrying about 2,000,000 barrels, or $100,000,000 worth of crude. Go on a ship spotting website and count how many large tankers are on the move from the North Sea. Don’t forget the oil pipelines and the gas pipelines. The oil industry is a massive producer of wealth, especially when you are supplying your own domestic downstream industries, it’s a double bonus…”

    It is one of the most disappointing aspects of the discussions of both Brexit and Scots Independence that it is largely oblivious to dangers of Climate Change-happening now and rather dramatically- and to the role of fossil fuels in the threat to future life and to many currently dying species.
    If Scotland is proposing to base its economy of fossil fuels patriots should widen their search for cunning tactics in their chess match with May into an enquiry for an alternative, within the Solar system it is to be hoped, venue. After all Scotland not only has James Watt on its collective conscience but Adam bloody Smith too.

    • Loony

      You really do take the proverbial biscuit. Here are some more racist numbers for you.

      The average oil consumption per capita (bbl/per day per 1,000 people) for the US is 61, for Canada 64, for the Netherlands 60, for the UK 26 and for Germany 30.

      The average oil consumption on the same basis for Afghanistan, Somalia, Uganda, Burundi and the CAR is less than 1. for Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and Eritrea it is 1. For Nigeria, Kenya and Pakistan it is 2.

      Do you understand the effects of mass immigration on aggregate oil consumption? Do you understand that global warming is postulated to be a consequence of the human burning of fossil fuels? and do you understand that it is claimed that global warming would be a species ending event?

      Do you understand that you manufactured outrage at anyone who disagrees with you does absolutely nothing to change any of these numbers?

      • bevin

        You would appear to be arguing that …..I am not sure what you are arguing.
        What I was pointing out was that fossil fuel consumption has to be taken under control and that founding a new independent economy on a contradictory proposition is irrational.
        It matters little where the fuels are consumed- the fact that they are pushing up the global temperature to a point at which catastrophic events will be triggered effects all species, even the pond scum.

        • Loony

          Let me make it simpler for you.

          If you move 1,000 people from Somalia to the US then you increase total energy global energy consumption by just under 61bbl/day (oil equivalent).

          Thus there is a direct link between immigration and increased energy consumption. In your terms: Mass immigration serves to prevent fossil fuel consumption being taken under control. Also in your terms: Advocating for mass immigration and for a reduction in fossil fuel consumption is the very definition of a contradictory policy.

          If you knew anything at all about Africa you would understand that in Africa you can live a reasonable life without relying on vast quantities of oil to satisfy your every need. As you so obviously live in the west just look around you and see how totally reliant you are on oil for substantially everything you do. If you live in the UK ask yourself why in 1982 there were 14 million cars on the road and now there are 48 million. The population has not increased almost 4 fold – so why don’t you sort out your own problems before inflicting your fake humanitarianism on vast swathes of the world you manifestly know nothing about.

          As I keep telling you there are good choices left – only bad choices and worse choices.

  • michael norton

    The Dutch Electoral Council has announced the official results of the parliamentary elections, which turned out to be very close to the preliminary polling predictions and confirmed the victory of the Netherlands’ ruling People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD).

    The VVD, the party of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, secured an electoral victory by gaining 33 seats in the Dutch parliament’s lower house out of 150 and becoming the largest parliamentary faction, according to the data presented by the Dutch Electoral Council.
    However, it lost eight seats in comparison to the previous elections.

    Its closest rival, Geert Wilders’ far-right populist Party for Freedom (PVV) came second by securing 20 seats in the House of Representatives. Even second place can be regarded as a relative electoral success for the party, as it got eight more seats than last time.
    RT

    So the governing party lost eight seats and Geert won an xtra eight seats

    not such a loser, after all.
    E.U. FAIL

    • Hieroglyph

      Nobody serious gives a stuff about ‘Russia-gate’. The neocon echo chamber might wish to manipulate us into thinking it’s important – it’s not, never will be.

  • giyane

    The West cannot use Putin to bomb its vomit, Al Qaida and Daesh, into the 21st century without pretending mutually to be at war with eachother. I would have thought so much was evident from a cursory glance at Irish history. The UK was running Irish republicanism while pretending to be at war with it. What are a few dead people?

    If you dream in double-think like Peter Hain, or Tony Blair, it’s not difficult to find a word of praise for fellow double-thinker Martin MacGuinness. Trump is high-octane double-think, pretending to hate the neo-cons, and feminists, and Mexicans, and Muslims while at the same time acknowledging the real-politik of a post-feminist, post neo-con, post US hegemony, post Judaeo-Christian era.

    Trump-watching might be cheaper than sniffing glue, or legal highs, but we have to wait for the scientific effects of Trump-mania to be analysed before we discover what a Trump high does to your brain or your liver.

  • giyane

    http://www.voltairenet.org/article195697.html

    ” President Trump’s desire to fight Daesh and to put an end to international terrorism is going to be extremely difficult to implement. Indeed, it will cause damage to the states who organised it, and implies a reorientation of international politics. The new President of the United States does not seem ready to give his troops the order to attack until he has found and sealed new alliances.”

    Trump plans to get tough with China…. by using Chinese banks instead of German ones and Saudi Arabia…. to reverse the neo-con policy of using Muslim Brotherhood’s jihadist terror.

    Mind the boom!!

  • Bhante

    Since the allegations are based on alleged ledgers of President Yanukovych, i.e. coming out of Kiev, they can be safely assumed with 99.99% probability to be forgeries created by the illegitimate Kiev regime. They are desperate to generate negative headlines for Trump and anyone connected with him. 100% fake news. Not even worth investigating.

    • Bhante

      !!! The post by Sharp Ears this was replying to (timestamped about 4am this morning) has disappeared! Anyway, it was about alleged double accounting by Paul Manafort for alleged consultancy fees received from Yanukovich. If someone provided evidence that Paul Manafort was doing double accounting for consultancy fees I would readily believe it, but the allegations in question were blatent fake news.

        • Ba'al Zevul

          Dismissing it as false news is of course the standard response nowadays The only true news is news personally approved by Trump. The report states:

          On Tuesday, Mr Leshchenko, a former investigative journalist, published an invoice purportedly signed by Mr Manafort that showed a $750,000 payment for a shipment of computers to a firm called Davis Manafort.

          The funds came from an offshore company in Belize via a bank in Kyrgyzstan.

          Mr Leshchenko said the contract was a cover for payments to Mr Manafort for his consulting services to Mr Yanukovych’s Party of Regions.

          It doesn’t take much Googling to establish that there’s probably something in this:

          http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/paul-manafort-ukraine-104263

          Manafort’s friends describe his relationship with Yanukovych as a political love connection, born out of Yanukovych’s first downfall when he was driven from power by the 2004 Orange Revolution. Feeling that his domestic political advisers had failed him, Yanukovych turned to a foreign company, Davis Manafort, which was already doing work for the Ukrainian oligarch Rinat Akhmetov. The former Ukrainian PM and Manafort, the Georgetown-educated son of a Connecticut politician, hit it off.

          Manafort’s firm had a set of international clients and produced an analysis of the Orange Revolution that Yanukovych found instructive, according to one operative involved in Yanukovych’s political rehabilitation. Manafort became, in effect, a general consultant to Yanukovych’s Party of Regions, shaping big-picture messaging, coaching Yanukovych to speak in punchy, American-style sound bites and managing teams of consultants and attorneys in both Ukraine and the United States ahead of an anticipated Yanukovych comeback. While it’s difficult to track payments in foreign elections, a former associate familiar with Manafort’s earnings say they ran into the seven figures over several years.

          Never mind “false” news. It hardly makes it as “news”. Why are the Putin-Trumpistas so anxious to rubbish it?

  • Anon1

    Very interesting comments from Lord Tebbit on Martin McGuinness amid all the media eulogising and candlelit vigils:

    “He was not only a multi-murderer, he was a coward.

    He knew that the IRA were defeated because British intelligence had penetrated right the way up to the Army Council and that the end was coming.

    He then sought to save his own skin and he knew that it was likely he would be charged before long with several murders which he had personally committed and he decided that the only thing to do was to opt for peace.

    He claimed to be a Roman Catholic. I hope that his beliefs turn out to b e true and he’ll be parked in a particularly hot and unpleasant corner of Hell for the rest of eternity.”

    • John K

      Tebbit’s bitterness is understandable given the terrible injury that his wife suffered.

      I doubt if he feels as strongly about the civilians killed or injured in Britain’s “wars of choice” like Iraq. Or if he has the same rancour towards the author of those wars.

      • Ba'al Zevul

        I doubt if he feels as strongly about the civilians killed or injured in Britain’s “wars of choice” like Iraq. Or if he has the same rancour towards the author of those wars.

        Should he? Should every citizen of the UK feel as strongly about these people, unknown personally to them, as their own relatives? In an ideal world, sure, but give us a break.

        Re. Blair, Tebbitt’s rancour is no secret – “The bungled war on Iraq, the dispatch of men and women to fight without the equipment they need, the sensational increases in tax without measurable improvement in services, the debauchment of the civil service, the identity card fiasco, the criminal justice fiasco, his surrender of British sovereignty to Brussels, his remorseless attacks on the conventional family, despoliation of education, use of the benefit system to deepen the poverty trap, lesser incentives to work or save, his fuelling of the culture of drugs, alcohol, yobbery and violent crime which has left the Home Secretary fearful of walking the streets of London at night.

        “It was Blair who introduced uncontrolled, unmeasured immigration of people determined not to integrate, but to establish, first ghettoes, and now demands for separate legal jurisdiction.”
        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/conservative/1580149/Lord-Tebbit-warns-on-worship-of-Tony-Blair.html

        Good sense is often uncomfortable, but Tebbitt’s always been capable of it.

        • John K

          I see nothing in your quotation concerning the needless death of (100’s of thousands of) civilians.

          • Anon1

            Why do you keep diverting to Iraq? Tebbit wasn’t involved in that decision and has expressed his opposition to it.

          • Ba'al Zevul

            There’s nothing in it about ferrets, either.

            And there’s nothing in your comment resembling an answer to my question.

    • Fence

      Anon1,

      A ”coward” is a man who sends other peoples kids to war.

      A ‘multi-murderer’, well Mountbatton and 16 dead para’s ambushed after Bloody Sunday would suggest so. Some sort of justice? Some would say so seen as UK courts will never put british murders in camo into a prison cell.

      If the IRA were so penetrated, why didn’t the british continue on a couple more years instead of giving up? Its as nonsensical as ”the Irish American’s stopped sending money because of 9/11” argument. The GFA was 3 years in effect and no funds were needed. If ever a time comes for Irish Americans to show their support again, have no doubt they will.

      I bet tebbit is perfectly fine with british tax payers funding terrorism in Ireland as they have done for so long. I bet you are too?

      McGuinness evolved with the times. tebbit will always be a backward looking subject.

      • Anon1

        “If the IRA were so penetrated, why didn’t the british continue on a couple more years instead of giving up?”

        New Labour.

    • giyane

      Tebbit saying the IRA was penetrated is like Boris Johnson saying Islamic State has been penetrated.
      These were both false flags from the outset. A Pirate was a Privateer, i.e. someone who was licenced by the Crown to act against the enemies of the Crown independently.

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