Nicola and Independence 1634


I have been gently chided for not giving my reactions to the SNP conference, which I attended as a delegate.

Nicola’s major speech was very good. The media universally attempted to characterise it as kicking a new Independence referendum into the long grass. I did not hear it that way at all. I think they are clutching at the straw of her single mention of patience and perseverance, against the fact she used the word “Independent” or “Independence” an extraordinary 31 times in her speech. Of course she wishes to retain flexibility and an element of surprise, but as someone who has studied the matter extremely closely and who distrusts the highly paid SNP professional “elite” on this issue, I was reassured as to Nicola’s intentions.

The members are in extremely good heart and very confident. I was personally much touched by the many scores of individuals who bothered to come up to me and say they followed the blog. The conference agenda was somewhat bland, though fizzing with righteous anger at the effects of austerity on the vulnerable. My major criticism would be that far too high a percentage of total speaking time on the conference floor is given to MP’s, MSP’s and MEP’s. Constituency proposed motions, for example, were too often used as a showcase for the MP/MSP rather than introduced by an ordinary party member.

I dislike the political class now attached to the SNP in just the same way that I distrust the professional political class in every political party. The horrible Alex Bell should be a serious warning of the kind of false hypocrites that a salary will attract “to the cause”. Seeing MPs I knew as just punters campaigning in 2014, now walking proudly before power dressed entourages of paid staff, was a strangely unpleasant experience.

My major concern is that the SNP’s foreign policy and defence teams at Westminster appear to have been entirely captured by the UK establishment and indeed the security services. They have been willing and instant amplifiers of the Tories’ Russophobia.

It appears to me truly remarkable that I was not allowed to hire a room for a fringe meeting on Independence campaigning, but that the “Westminster Foundation for Democracy” – which is an FCO front and 90% FCO and DFID funded – was allowed a room on the fringe to hold this anti-Russian propaganda fest with a Ukrainian MP imported by the FCO.

Furthermore the meeting was co-hosted by the SNP and “Westminster Foundation for Democracy” and featured two SNP MPs.

I took issue with two other senior SNP figures last month over the party’s slavish devotion to what the UK intelligence services tell them.

The problem here is of course that the SNP is accepting a UK-centric vision of the world. This is a fundamental error, a category mistake. Because Russia is in an antagonistic relationship with the UK does not mean Russia should or will have an antagonistic relationship to an Independent Scotland.

Whatever happened in Salisbury, the root cause was spy games between Russia and the UK. Precisely the kind of spy games an independent Scotland must have no part of.

MI6 recruited Sergei Skripal as a traitor to Russia, who for money revealed secrets of his nation to MI6, including identities of agents. That is the root of the Salisbury events, and it is not the sort of thing an Independent Scotland will be doing. If an Independent Scotland is just going to behave like the UK in foreign affairs, carrying on neo-con foreign policy by illegitimate methods, I see no point in Scotland being independent. The Skripal affair, whatever really happened, is part of an entire system which most people in the Yes movement wish to get out of. We do not see the UK’s enemies as our enemies.

But the UK security services are our enemies. Scottish nationalism is defined in security service tasking as a threat to the UK and we are targets of the UK security services. The British government is not going to agree to another Independence referendum and we are going to have to win Independence, like the Catalans, in the teeth of every dirty abuse of British state power.

I would feel very much better if the SNP leaders, like Chris Law and John Nicholson both of whom I count as friends, would sometimes draw a deep breath, forget what they imbibed as Westminster MPs, and remember which side they are on.


1,634 thoughts on “Nicola and Independence

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  • Kempe

    I assume you attended otherwise you wouldn’t have known it was “propaganda”.

    Why the sudden desire to defend Russia at all costs?

    • Michael Droy

      It is propaganda because it it supporting an obvious set of lies. Not least that Russia is guilty of anything in Ukraine.
      It was a US coup backed by all the Western media. If you can’t get that far, perhaps you really are lost.

      Note both the Skripal case and MH17 have been handed over to Bellingcat (along with the fake chemical attacks in Syria).

        • Jack

          Kempe

          Lovely, you coming here other of propaganda (why come here at all if you do not like the views?) and call other to be under influence of propaganda while it is obvious you are the one spewing propaganda.

          Please tell us more about the evil russians trying to break scots’ free from UK. Lets see how propaganda free your own worldview is?

      • Charles Bostock

        Droy

        “an obvious set of lies”. So it is propaganda because it doesn’t accord with your personal views. That is rather weak as an argument.

    • Republicofscotland

      Probably because Russia isn’t trying to undermine Scottish independence, whereas Westminster is.

      • Kempe

        You need to ask yourself why. I’ve no doubt Russia would love to have an independent Scotland within its sphere of influence. Don’t be fooled into thinking they have your best interests at heart.

        • Republicofscotland

          I agree Russia doesn’t particularly care about what Scots want. However breaking up a already defunct union is to Russia’s advantage, and I might add to Scots as well.

          After Scottish independence the rUK via Westminster, can go back to playing their Great Game with Russia.

      • Charles Bostock

        The slant is fallacious.

        Scotland is currently part of the United Kingdom. Hence it is those who want independence for Scotland who are doing the undermining (of the United Kingdom, and not the other way round.

        The thought also occurs that since, legally, the Scots are citizens of the United Kingdom, to seek to undermine the United Kingdom is at best a dubious activity and at worst treasonous.

        I have no idea what the position of Russia is regarding the undermining of the United Kingdom through independence for Scotland but it is probably quite happy about Brexit since Brexit will lead (in practice) to an undermining of the European Union.

        • Hatuey

          I’d like to see how you got on applying those standards to the EU. Treasonous Brexiteers? Lol

          Didn’t realise you were so thick until I read this. I should thank you.

          Thank you.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        Westminster is trying to retain the Union, a positive act in some people’s eyes. They might consider SNP actions as trying to undermine the Union….

        But right now the SNP are Celtic and Westminster are Rangers…..

        • Republicofscotland

          “They might consider SNP actions as trying to undermine the Union….”

          Try definitely.

          As for your sporting analogy, believe it or not there are Rangers fans for Scottish independence, and Celtic fans, who distrust the Scottish government even more than Westminster.

          The die-hard unionists, John Reid and George Galloway are committed Celtic supporters.

    • laguerre

      Kempe at 1

      “Why the sudden desire to defend Russia at all costs?”

      Really? Craig has been pretty anti-Russian.

  • kininvie

    You state that while UK sercurity services target Scottish Nationalists, the Russian services do not. I think the word ‘currently’ is needed. After independence, Scotland will become an extremely attractive target (North Atlantic gap and all that). And if you are inclined to put your faith in Putin’s benevolence towards newly-independent nations, I have several Baltic states to sell you….

    • Muscleguy

      Note Baltic state paranoia is not evidence that the Ruskies are coming to get us. Also I would trust that the Scottish defence forces and our security services will be up to the job of keeping Russian subs and agents at arms length.

      To continue my NZ hat the RNZAF regularly wins the regular sub detecting competition in the North Pacific against the Americans, Canadians and Australians. Scotland can be like that. If we are to help patrol the Iceland gap we will need to be that good.

      The removal of Trident from Faslane will remove a major target for the Russians though I expect the Bear Bombers will continue their flights. After all the West does equivalents to Russia. After the Yeltsin years the Russians have resumed their armed normality posture everyone else other than the Icelanders do. I see no particular problem with it. Their fly their planes next to our airspace and we send up planes to shadow them. Both sides get some exercise.

      I expect they will require and be granted overflight rights to confirm that Trident and the nuclear attack subs have left Faslane and Coulport. We should support such confidence building measures.

    • Republicofscotland

      Oh Christ it’s Lord Roberston in disguise, who said Scottish independence would lead to the Balkanisation of Western Europe.

      Robertson was once the Secretary General of Nato, which say more about Nato than Robertson I think.

    • Jack

      sigh the russophobia, its so dumb I dont know where to start, is paranoia treatable through the internet by commenting here or is it useless trying to counter this hysteria?

  • Merkin Scot

    It is disappointing that the SNP feels the need to follow Westminster on the Russophobia train to nowhere.
    This just suggests that some of them know exactly who butters their bread.
    Shameful.

    • Jo1

      More than disappointing. It was bloody outrageous and it caused outrage indeed among many SNP supporters to hear Sturgeon and Blackford (who grows more obese by the day with all that subsidised nosh in London) following May’s lead on day one of the Skripal affair and attacking Russia.

  • defo

    Why?
    Having one security service against us in the run up to the vote is quite enough already.

  • Trowbridge H. Ford

    Not a word about how Scotland is militarily cemented to the UK, and it is cemented to the USA.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Are you saying leaving NATO is as impossible as Remainers would like leaving the EU to be?

      Very easy to leave the Union militarily: Scottish regiments are reallocated to a Scottish army, you trade Faslane nukes for the two aircraft carriers and you assign a percentage of the RAF to Leuchars and Lossiemouth.

      Well, maybe that is an opening salvo before UK Admirals expostulate in outrage, but doing a deal to divvy up the armed forces will be one of the easier aspects of negotiation.

      More challenging will be assigning an appropriate net worth from GCHQ and telling the Yanks to limit their Fylingdales peepshow antics to the servile English.

      Somehow the Scots will have to acquire some submarines to patrol their waters….

      • jake

        Indeed, it should be easy. Divide up the Army hardware on the basis of relative area of landmass of Scotland and rUK; divide up Navy hardware based on relative length of coast and Airforce hardware based on relative area of sum of airspace above the landmass & territorial waters. I’d concede of course that the above formula should only apply to defensive/retaliatory hardware, the rUK can keep all the offensive/first strike/foreign adventurism stuff.

      • Trowbridge H. Ford

        I am saying that it is most unlikely that Scotland will vote yes in any referendum because the UK can initiate a nuclear winter to tip the voting, as it did in the previous case, and if Scotland still somehow voted yes, London would fight to prevent it from becoming achieved.

        • Iain Stewart

          “I am saying that it is most unlikely that Scotland will vote yes in any referendum because the UK can initiate a nuclear winter to tip the voting, as it did in the previous case, and if Scotland still somehow voted yes, London would fight to prevent it from becoming achieved.”

          Tell us more about that nuclear winter which was initiated the last time, please.

      • Busted Flush

        There is no way that serving member of UK forces can be”allocated” to the armed forces of a foreign country. If Indy ever happens,
        ?Scotland will have to build our armed forces from the bottom up. I wonder who we will ask to provide the training.

    • Republicofscotland

      Trowbridge.

      That’s why Westminster is determined by hook or by crook to keep Scotland tied to the union.

      The nukes at Faslane afford Westminster a seat at the top table at the UN. Too many contractors make a tidy sum out of the nukes, of course post Scottish independence Westminster will need to find a suitable location to decamp the nukes to. In the meantime a tidy income could be made by renting out Faslane to the British government.

  • iain

    The neo-connery is coming from the very top I’m afraid Craig. All the careerists are merely aping the leader – just as their Nu Labour counterparts did. Mini Hillary has not only “gone for” Putin in recent months she has also paid homage to Kissinger and Red Hands McCain. She would have Scotland right in the front row of future NATO wars, arms linked with the maddest of the mad.

  • Dan Huil

    I wouldn’t trust the so-called united kingdom, and the British nationalists therein, on any subject, not just foreign policy. I can only think the unquestioning acceptance of Westminster’s foreign policy response to Russia by some SNP politicians is a tactic to give the Britnat media one less excuse to go SNPBaaaaaaad.

    Scotland’s independence is more desirable than ever.

    • Busted Flush

      Danny boy, you are assuming that SNP politicians have some insight unavailable to the rest of us. Personally I think that they are right to mistrust Russia , even monkeys get things correct occasionally.

        • Busted Flush

          The origin of the Zinoviev letter is unknown, and is irre!evant to the Indy debate. Lay off the Buckle and you might present some cogent arguments.

  • gordie

    Russian Federation and UK are both corrupt and are or have been empires. The SNP should stick to its long held opposition to British foreign policy and avoid supporting any of the world’s empires. The SNP can do this easily and in a diplomatic way and simply stay out of of the centuries old Britian /Russia argument.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      I do not think Russia have the acquisition of Scotland on their agenda, no way the Yanks would allow that. Nothing to do with liking the Scots, merely self-interest for them.

      Every nation is corrupt….including Scotland!

      • Rowan

        @Rhys Jaggar: “I do not think Russia have the acquisition of Scotland on their agenda, no way the Yanks would allow that.” This is presupposing that the USA retains sufficient leverage over Britain to succeed in permanently strategically subtracting it from Europe. Is this really something to be presupposed?

  • roddy

    I don’t think this is really anything to worry about at this time. The SNP and especially the top people in the SNP cannot diverge too much from western ideology at the moment. It would mean giving our unionist critics within the media an open goal to kick at. Many ordinary scots voters are coming round to thinking again about Independence due to brexit and the completely incompetent Tory Westminster government. However, in my view, wholesale change in foreign policy would not go down well, and may be a step too far for many.

    In an Independent Scotland, foreign policy will change over time and it will be our job to make sure it does.

  • Muscleguy

    I’m now a bit worried. One of the reasons the SNP does not nominate peers and will expel any member who accepts a peerage is because we have watched firstly how the Clan Chiefs were coopted and now speak almost universally with English accents and secondly how the Labour party was coopted by the Establishment.

    Because they are not ‘clubbable’ in that sense the British establishment must use other methods to coopt SNP MPs etc and the ‘privilege’ of receiving security briefings is obviously going to be it. That they have swallowed this is disappointing and concerning and they urgently need to wake up and smell the coffee and see how they are being led by the nose.

    They should talk to the NZ govt. As the rest of the Western Alliance were evicting Russian diplomats by the score the new NZ PM Jacinda Ardern let it be known that NZ had been unable to find any Russian spies to expel. Note, NZ is a member of Five Eyes and hosts the Waihopai listening station so is party to Five Eyes intel. Though it has a semi-nonaligned foreign policy after the Nuclear Free status was brought in in the ’80s. That announcement was them dissenting from the Russophobia. They are not convinced by the intel.

    I don’t know how much business NZ does with Russia these days, back in the day we bartered Butter for Lada cars when the Soviets were low on foreign currency. But I doubt they are as significant as the Chinese who we have a free trade deal with now.

    I trust PM Ardern and her team over the security briefings of the UK security state and the SNP should as well.

  • Charles Bostock

    From the lead-in post :

    ” the “Westminster Foundation for Democracy” – which is an FCO front and 90% FCO and DFID funded – was allowed a room on the fringe to hold this anti-Russian propaganda fest with a Ukrainian MP imported by the FCO.”

    Now the theme of that fringe meeting, according to the tweet reproduced by Craig, was the impact of Russian disinformation in the Ukrainian energy sector.

    What is wrong with that and why is is automatically “propaganda”? Are you seriously denying that Russia is just as much into disinformation as every other government? After all, you have admitted that all governments are equally crooked os Russia now different again for the purposes of this latest post of yours?

    • John A

      Gluing up the pages again Bostick?
      As for your comment
      “Now the theme of that fringe meeting, according to the tweet reproduced by Craig, was the impact of Russian disinformation in the Ukrainian energy sector.”

      What exactly is the Ukrainian energy sector? Ukraine used to get its coal from the Donbass, which is now seeking independence from the neonazi anti Russian banderists. The Americans, as part of the Nuland ‘midwifed (her words)’ 2014 coup, wanted to start fracking, and to this end, VP Joe Biden installed his drug tainted son Hunter on the board. Ukraine also got its gas from Russia, some of it by paying a discounted price, some of it by siphoning it off, effectively stealing it. What other energy sector does Ukraine have? Once Nord Stream 2 is live, Ukraine can be bypassed, losing huge amounts in transit fees and ‘free’ gas. No wonder the neo nazis and the Americans want to blame Russian ‘propaganda’.
      So, Bostick, what exactly is the Ukrainian energy sector?

      • Mishko

        If the answer to your question is fracking, perhaps that spells a change of policy on this issue in a not so distant future.
        With friends like these…

        • John A

          Yes, you are right Mishko, plus anyone opposed to fracking anywhere, be it Lancashire, Sussex, Romania, Ukraine, of parts of the US, are all ‘puppets’ funded by the demon Putin!
          I also forgot to mention the infamous Chernobyl nuclear power station in Ukraine. No doubt Bostick thinks what happened there was part of Russian propaganda against the mythical Ukrainian energy sector! And but for Putin, Chernobyl would be providing plenty of Ukrainian energy at a price, ‘too cheap to meter’ as the proponents of nuclear power long argued!

  • Goose

    The SNP have enough on their plate without picking a fight they don’t need and can’t win. It’s just sensible politics to avoid getting into regularly questioning UK intel information. SNP opponents would love to paint the SNP as ‘cranks’ and tin-foil ‘conspiracy theorists’ . And besides, if western intel is as messed up as some hypothesize, Sturgeon and the SNP aren’t in a position to fix it from Scotland anyway.

    As for spying on the Scottish assembly, Blackford is on the ISC, so no doubt he’ll have asked about that.

  • BrianPowell

    All of the SNP MPs I saw were sitting in the audience with the rest of the members, and walking about the Conference by themselves, so it must be a very few who had assistants.
    But on the evidence of Russian involvement, I would take Brit Intel with considerable scepticism.

  • Charles Bostock

    Craig’s post call for a couple of comments.

    Firstly:

    “Of course she wishes to retain flexibility and an element of surprise, but as someone who has studied the matter extremely closely and who distrusts the highly paid SNP professional “elite” on this issue, I was reassured as to Nicola’s intentions. ”

    Now this implies that the SNP as a party would need to get rid of the “highly-paid professionals” who are constraining the SNP leader and First Minister of Scotland and her “good intentions. How highly would Craig evaluate the chances that it will do so?

    Secondly, re the thought that ” we are going to have to win Independence, like the Catalans, in the teeth of every dirty abuse of British state power” : the constitutional arrangements for Catalonia do not give it the power to call a referendum on independence (this has been confirmed by the Spanish Supreme Court). Hence calling the Catalan referendum was an illegal act. The constitutional arrangements for Scotland likewise do not provide the powers to call for a referendum. Hence any attempt to do so would also be ultra vires and therefore also constitute an illegal act.

    Thirdly: kininvie’s point at 13:12 has the great merit of reflecting likely reality.

    Fourthly : it is unrealistic – for many reasons – to believe that an independent Scotland would follow the foreign policy path many commenters on here seem to wish. So a “neutral country” stance, involving inter alia Scotland leaving NATO (if it would still exist) is unlikely. It would be as fake as the stance the Republic of Ireland took during WW2 (to the Republic’s credit by the way).

    • Golfer

      Mr Bostock care to prove your assertion that a Referendum that has a mandate from the Scottish people is illegal. You seem so sure of your statement I assume you know what you are talking about. Perhaps you should call yourself Judge Bostock.

      Scotland is NOT Catalonia.

      • Charles Bostock

        @ Golfer

        I quite agree that Scotland is not Catalonia. But our common position would appear to be a minority one (many posts refer).

        Even if a referendum has the “mandate” of the people (by which I suppose you mean “the majority of scots want a referendum” – which is not certain, by the way), that does not make it legal. The constitutional arrangements for the UK as a whole and/or for Scotland in particular are key here in determining what is legal.

        I am not a member of the legal profession – not eve a “stupid solicitor” (comments on a previous thred on the stupidity of solicitors refer).

        PS – you are a golfer. What is your handicap?

        • Republicofscotland

          Even if a referendum has the “mandate” of the people (by which I suppose you mean “the majority of scots want a referendum” – which is not certain, by the way)

          Charles.

          It’s a parliamentary majority, the SNP got the mandate through with the help of the Greens.

          “I am not a member of the legal profession – not eve a “stupid solicitor” ”

          Oh Charles you don’t even need to be a person involved in the judiciary in anyway shape or form. Five minutes searching on the web would’ve been enough time to find out about the mandate.

          You’re laziness is all very Ponting/Pointing-esque if you ask me. ?

  • Clydebuilt

    I have to agree with other commentators, Obviously not going against the UK’s approach to Russia removes a further attack line for the UK establishment to use against the SNP .
    The party have a Herculean task in removing Scotland from Westminster’s grasp, they don’t need another position to defend.

    • Tony Little

      If I recall correctly, Nicola Sturgeon said shortly after her briefing (I am paraphrasing) “Based on the evidence we have seen, it does look like Russia is involved”.

      I noted particularly the potential “get-out” clause, “Based on the evidence we have seen”. So if that proves to be false, or exaggerated, or lies, she can reconsider.

      • Jo1

        There was no evidence! Even the chief at Porton Down had to come out and tell the media that Boris had totally misled them on PD’s findings.

    • craig Post author

      But why was there a necessity to say anything at all? The enthusiastic endorsement of May and Johnson was completely unnecessary.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    I have been wondering about the public buy in to UK military / intelligence output by Ian Blackford and Nicola Sturgeon since early on in the Salisbury saga. The counter argument would be what’s to gain by publicly rejecting a version of events presented to you as a Privy Councillor?
    Rejection would lead to being labelled a loony as per Tam Dayell (I know, no friend of Scottish self determination) or termination as per Willie MacRae. That there are few among the current 35 that would have the courage to stand out from the pack is no surprise given the candidate selection / vetting procedures. MSM is more slavishly adherent to the Executive position than at any time in my memory. In 2018 could anyone expect a prime time TV investigative revelation akin to the work done on the Guildford 4 or the Birmingham 6?
    Rejecting membership of the Privy Council would raise the accusation of extremism / paranoia / disruptionism (yeh there’s an argument for the last one) and would deprive those refusing cooperation an insight into Establishment thinking.
    Refusing to participate in the House of Lords is absolutely the correct way to go. Deviation from that long established principle would be the true signal of acquiescence to the UK machine. Rejection of the HoL is the one true “revolutionary” act of a incrementalist party establishment. Why Plaid Cymru play the HoL game exasperates me but that’s their business.

  • Republicofscotland

    Last two paragraphs Craig spot on, that’s why Holyrood requires a man of your wealth of knowledge and experience, you know how Whitehall works, and how those within think.

    The SNP are too trusting and naive at times, when it comes to intel from Westminster. You just have look back at what happened to the likes of Willie McCrae to know Whitehall is our enemy.

  • Ewen Morrison

    Hi, Craig, I’m one of your regular Blog visitors and agree with your comments: ‘I would feel very much better if the SNP leaders, like Chris Law and John Nicholson both of whom I count as friends, would sometimes draw a deep breath, forget what they imbibed as Westminster MPs, and remember which side they are on’ – these words say it all, as far as many of us are concerned, apart from adding certain other names, perhaps?

    Thanks, Ewen

  • Robert Louis

    I agree with much of this. It is disheartening to see the SNP MP’s swallow the lines from the ‘uk’ intelligence services in this way. I am not saying they are wrong, but neither do I say Russia is wrong. We simply do not know. Just as Russia is playing games with foreign field agents up to no good, so too is the UK and USA. What irks me most is the notion that this is all one sided, i.e ‘russia bad’. My guess (and it is a guess, since their is NOTHING else reliable to go on) is their is much, much more to what happened on BOTH sides.

    Just for clarity, I am absolutely no fan of putin, due to his rampant, hateful (and frankly childish) homophobia.

    Their are two sides to all of this, but we are told we must accept the UK version apparently because the ‘UK’ never lies – except it lied to the people of Scotland for over thirty years about how massively rich the Scottish oil fields were – and we know THAT did happen because we have all seen the documents and the interview with the Labour chancellor Dennis Healey where he admitted this was the case.

    As to the SNP MP’s, I do often think that sending folk to Westminster carries some risk. Day after day, folks all over whitehall and in the commons are ‘working on them’, a ‘friendly’ chit chat here, a friendly pat on the back to congratulate them every now and then, day after day after day. It works. It takes some steely resolve for folks not to be gradually, bit by bit, influenced (perhaps without even realising) by the pro Britannia games that go on. I do not doubt for one second that this was exactly what caused Pete Wishart to make his completely out of touch comments regarding the timing of an independence referendum. Surrounded in London by pro brexit people, it is easy to forget that people in Scotland are actually pretty angry about it. Sitting back and waiting until 2021 is absurd, and the SNP would lose support.

    SNP MP’s in London should every month or so, sit back and take a long hard look at what they are saying and doing, and remember just WHY they are there – to achieve Scottish independence. NOTHING ELSE.

      • Robert Louis

        Absolutely, but they were, like ALL MP’s elected on a specific policy platform – an SNP pro independence/anti brexit platform. Representing ‘all the constituents’ should not be used as some kind of excuse for SNP MP’s to forget what it is they are elected for, and the electoral platform on which they chose to stand.

    • laguerre

      Putin should not be judged by his personal style, however disagreeable that may be, but by his acts.

    • Tatyana

      Robert Louis,
      it is not fair to say that Putin is rampant, hateful homophobic. You may like to see this interview (in russian)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHVZUVqZzyM

      He is saying about prohibiting gay propaganda for children under 18 years: ‘we are not restricting gay relations, not punishing for it… we protect children from this information… Many european countries… believe that children must not be protected… we are not interfering in your inner affairs, and we ask not to interfere in ours.’

      *In Russia persons under 18 years are not allowed to buy tobacco, alcohol and adult content. The age of sexual consent is 16 years.

      • Goose

        Look at FaceBook and their McCarthyite actions. Accounts are being removed that in all likelihood have no association with any govt.

        What many western politicians are saying, is basically that people from Russia shouldn’t be allowed to express an opinion on western politics. It’s funny, given how Obama expressed an opinion on Brexit and Hillary did again last week in the UK. In the last US Presidential election many UK MPs openly backed Hillary Clinton over Trump, on their twitter accounts etc. Some even travelled out there to help campaign for Clinton.

        Considering they interfere all around the world, why shouldn’t citizens from all around the world be allowed to express an opinion?

  • RedStarTrout

    “The problem here is of course that the SNP is accepting a UK-centric vision of the world. This is a fundamental error, a category mistake. Because Russia is in an antagonistic relationship with the UK does not mean Russia should or will have an antagonistic relationship to an Independent Scotland.”
    Let me fix that for you.
    The problem here is of course that Craig Murray is accepting a UK-centric vision of the world. This is a fundamental error, a category mistake. Because Russia is in an antagonistic relationship with the whole of Europe, including Scotland, automatically means Russia will have an antagonistic relationship to an Independent Scotland.
    As for people remembering what side they are on, Putin is on no one’s side but his own. What he is opposed to is democracy and the rule of law, values that will be at the heart of an independent Scotland.

    • defo

      Aye, but what really gets Putins goat is Nato encroachment.
      Imagine not wanting your country handed over to the Western thieves, to be sucked dry of resources ffs. Fancy that.
      Russia for Russian kleptocrats !
      ‘Not an inch eastwards’ was the phrase that ended the cold war i believe. amid a collapsing USSR.

      • Republicofscotland

        The inscription on the stone at the crossroads of a Victor Vasnetsov painting called The Knight at the Crossroads, comes to mind to me with Nato enchroachment towards Russia.

        The stone reads “If you go right you’ll lose your horse, If you go left you’ll lose your life, If you go straight on you’ll lose both.”

        • Rowan

          “If you go right you’ll lose your horse, If you go left you’ll lose your life, If you go straight on you’ll lose both.”

          Len Deighton has a good version of that:

          “There are three roads a man can take in life. If he takes the road to the left, the wolves will eat him up. If he takes the road to the right, he will eat up the wolves. And if he takes the road in the centre, he’ll eat himself up.”

  • Kula

    Now that’s what I call ‘rousing’. Quite woke me up. Right behind you, Craig. Up and at ’em.

  • MJ

    “Precisely the kind of spy games an independent Scotland must have no part of”

    Would an independent Scotland have a secret service, or any military at all for that matter? Very expensive to put together from scratch of course but, without one, you’d be inviting invasion.

    • craig Post author

      Just as Iceland has no army and is therefore frequently invaded? What nonsense. Scotland will have armed forces, but there is no danger that Russia will invade Scotland outside the mind of crazed unionist fantasists like yourself. There is only one country that has repeatedly invaded Scotland.

      • Kempe

        Iceland was last invaded by the British in 1940 who felt they needed to control the island to keep the Germans out. The US took over after they entered WW2 and stayed until 2006. Iceland was also a founder member of NATO so whilst it might have no standing army of its own it has adequate protection from a military point of view.

        Any post independence take over of Scotland by Russia is likely to be by more subtle political and economic means.

        • Republicofscotland

          “Any post independence take over of Scotland by Russia is likely to be by more subtle political and economic means.”

          Jeez, you unionist lot are obsessed with Russia, as are the Americans. Sweden, Austria, Cyprus, Finland, Ireland and Malta are EU states which are not also Nato members, and they do okay.

        • Goose

          To claim populations and a strong, accountable , transparent Scottish political system backed up by a new written constitution(eventually) could succumb so easily to such things, is nonsense.

          If anything, the UK govt, with its big money ,two party, top-down systems with all power invested in the executive PM – a President without the checks and balances of a Presidential system are more prone to corruption and deleterious outside influence. As we saw with billionaire party donors under both the Tories and New Labour. Look at the opposition to Corbyn now. Some group is obviously very concerned he’s incorruptible and won’t therefore simply follow orders.

        • MJ

          “Any post independence take over of Scotland by Russia”

          More likely to be the UK I would have thought.

        • Republicofscotland

          MJ.

          Options take 8% of movable UK assets, if we pay part of natioal debt, including military equipment. Or my preferred option leave without paying part of national debt created carelessly by consecutive Westminster governments, borrow and built our own navy. Or buy in hardware.

          Scottish troops already fight in British regiments so they exist now. Craig could advise on how to set up a intelligence agency, he knows the workings of Whitehall, who better then to ask.

  • Jane

    I notice that Stephen Gethins, the SNP’s Westminster frontbench spokesman for International Affairs and Europe, used to work for an organisation called Saferworld, the sort of name that always sets alarm bells ringing, on arms control, peace-building and democratisation (sic) in the former Soviet Union and Balkans. The list of donors to Saferworld, according to their website, includes the FCO, USAID, Open Societies and other usual suspects. Not much chance of an independent foreign policy for Scotland, then.

    • laguerre

      Saferworld is a pretty harmless organisation, helping out local politics, as in Yemen. State funding, as in FCO, USAID, for such an NGO, is pretty much inevitable.

      • Mishko

        …as in Yemen. Saferworld. A safer world. In Yemen.
        Safer. World. In. Yemen. …is pretty much inevitable…

        • laguerre

          Britain is not fully committed to supporting Saudi in Yemen. I’m not surprised to hear they also support alleviation measures.

  • JOML

    Is the UK paranoid about Russia just because their foreign policy is controlled by Washington? I’m not sure if Washington will allow Westminster to let Scotland go, as Scotland is on the frontline of nuclear defence for the US. A little pawn controlled by people who do not have Scotland’s best interest at heart. A sad state of affairs.
    PS. England is in the same position but can’t see it, blinded by delusions of grandeur.

    • Jack

      Rather the “deep state” that is running the show, as of most western nations. Not the government nor the populace as it is supposed to be.

  • King of Welsh Noir

    First they came for Alex Jones…and some people commenting on here were OK with his being de-platformed by Facebook because he’s a jerk. Spectacularly missing the point in my view. And here is the point: 800 accounts with millions of followers now ‘disappeared’ in the next step of the big internet purge. The silence of the MSM has been deafening.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-10-11/facebook-purges-over-800-accounts-millions-followers-including-conservative-meme

    This may seem ‘off-topic’, but really nothing could be more ‘on’ topic for blogs such as this.

  • Kenneth G Coutts

    Thanks Craig for your experienced observations.
    It’s nice to get a reveal.
    I was taken aback by Ian Blackfords readiness to side with
    The Engerlish , Treeza May when the story of the Skripals
    Started to unfold.
    I never believed any of it at the time, still don’t.
    Was Blackford playing the game, to prevent being attacked by the union?
    Or is it cowardice, in the belly of the beast.
    Aye! Bit of hypocrisy to allow Ukraine a fringe event.
    Yet, blank you.
    I’m not impressed.
    However, onwards and upwards.
    With both eyes open.
    Regards

  • Mist001

    I allowed my SNP membership to lapse a while ago and having see the direction the party has taken since then, I have no intention of renewing it any time soon. The SNP is no longer the party of independence, it’s the party of devo max and that shift in position has come about because the SNP are now as much a part of the establishment as the Tories and Labour. Imagine you’re a housewife or something from a small town in Scotland and one day, you’re elected as an MSP and with it, you get an office in Westminster and a fairly substantial expense account as well as salary. That’s hard to turn down and you’ve got your feet under the table already, so………..

    What I have noticed even more so since the original Brexit referendum is that the SNP are not upfront and honest with their membership, their supporters and the electorate in general. Whilst they don’t lie outright (to the best of my knowledge), they are less than forthcoming when it comes to correcting misconceptions and misbeliefs. They’re quite content for people to believe these untruths because it suits the SNP purpose, which is to keep independence as a talking point because if they don’t, their ‘raison d’etre’ vanishes.

    I’m 56 years old. Neither myself nor Craig Murray will see an independent Scotland in our lifetimes. The ba’, as they say, is burst.

    • Jo1

      “the Party of devo-max”

      Well, ahead of the decision about what should go on our ballot papers in 2014, the consultation exercise produced a majority who wanted devo-max on there. It was David Cameron who refused to allow that option.

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