Know Your Limits 479

The English and Welsh voted to leave the EU. They are entitled to leave the EU, and it is not the job of the leader of the Scottish National Party to frustrate their intention, or even try to influence the terms on which the English and Welsh leave the EU. Just as it is not the job of the Scottish National Party to stop Westminster having the Tory governments the English people inexplicably keep voting for.

It is the job of the leader of the Scottish National Party to secure Independence for Scotland, and to ensure that the vote of the Scottish people, to remain within the EU, is respected. I am therefore entirely unconvinced that for Nicola Sturgeon to try to play a role as the darling of the Remainer population of England is of any use to the people of Scotland. And the truth is that knowing the very last detail of the eventual Brexit outcome, of which we know the essential outlines, will have virtually no effect on the prospects of an Independent Scotland.

Now is the moment of maximum chaos; whatever eventually emerges between London and Brussels will work without immediate catastrophic effects. People will not starve and run out of medicine, in the real world. The UK will continue to be a Tory hell with some changes of arrangements. Scotland should not be in Tory Hell, whatever Tory Hell’s relationship with the EU.

I am here considering Brexit only as it affects Independence.

If Independence is actually Sturgeon’s overriding aim, the only logical analysis on her part which I can see, that explains her constant haver on Indy, is that Brexit will be so immediately catastrophic as to have Scots clamouring for Independence as an alternative.

But that is a miscalculation. I am confident the dislocation effects of Brexit will not be as immediately harsh as doom-mongers predict. Plus if the outcome were immediately harsh, Scottish Unionists are far more likely to don tin helmets and rally round the Union Jack while blaming Johnny Foreigner, than they are to convert to Independence on the grounds the UK is having a hard time.

There are of course other options. The UK may not leave the EU at all – which would do nothing to advance the cause of Scottish Independence. There may be a general election which could bring Labour into power – that would on balance reduce the desire for Independence in Scotland.

The truth is, that the delay in pushing for Scottish Independence is not predicated on increasing the chances of attaining Independence. It is based on attempting to secure for the United Kingdom what is best for the people of the United Kingdom. It is an essentially unionist position.

This is Sturgeon’s dilemma. She sees a UK in which the tragedy of the Remain camp is that its leadership is utterly discredited. Blair, Campbell, Umunna, Clegg, Mandelson, Straw; the only people articulating a Remain position have no credibility. They are all people who turn the nation’s stomach when they show up on Marr. That leaves a huge leadership vacuum which Sturgeon is filling in Remainer eyes, and in Guardian/BBC eyes. A Remain minded leader who is not personally hated. A very rare thing indeed.

Who else do the Remain camp have as a leading politician who is not discredited and deeply unpopular? Serious question, please do attempt an answer.

That is a massive temptation to a politician to step forward and take the glory. If Sturgeon appears far more interested in Brexit and in Remain than in Scottish Independence that is, on a human level, very understandable. If it leads to the great opportunity for Scottish Independence being passed over while in pursuit of UK/EU relations and fawning headlines in the Guardian, that would be nonetheless unforgivable.

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479 thoughts on “Know Your Limits

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  • alasdair galloway

    Craig, when you write “It is the job of the leader of the Scottish National Party to secure Independence for Scotland, and to ensure that the vote of the Scottish people, to remain within the EU, is respected” I do agree with you. But where I part company is on whether this is what she is doing.
    If we start at the end of your quote, IF ( and its a very big IF) she succeeds in organizing and motivating the opposition at WM to frustrate May, AND put a stop to Brexit then would she not have ensured “the vote of the Scottish people to remain within the EU, is respected”?
    To be perfectly honest – particularly given the constantly shifting position of Corbyn (because Labour are sine qua non) I doubt she will do this. In any event, if it was perceived in Brexit circles that Sturgeon – A SCOT – had frustrated the will of the English (and Welsh) people there would be hell to pay, would there not?
    However, there is one further advantage to her actions. Since the vote, it has always seemed to me that Sturgeon has done all she could to ensure that Scotland remained in the Single Market, irrespective of what the UK did. This extended as far as having Anton Muscatelli chair a group to come up with ways in which this might be achieved. Basically, I suspect what she wants to be able to say at the end of all this is “look, I have done this, I have done that, I have done everything I possibly could to keep Scotland in Europe without necessarily leaving the UK. I have, though been frustrated at every turn, so folks, its make your mind up time. What sort of future do you want? Do you want to be in an isolated UK out of Europe (probably, imo with no deal) OR as part of an independent Scotland which will be part of Europe (on some basis whether the EU or the EEA)?”

    • N_

      folks, its make your mind up time. What sort of future do you want? Do you want to be in an isolated UK out of Europe (probably, imo with no deal) OR as part of an independent Scotland which will be part of Europe (on some basis whether the EU or the EEA)?

      Any thoughts on how you’d like Scotland’s only land border to work? If Scotland were in the EU (or outside the EU but in its single market and customs union), and rump Britain were outside the EU (and its SM and CU), that would mean that Scotland would not be allowed to operate free trade across the border, even if both its own government and the government of rump Britain wanted such free trade. (Membership of a club brings a responsibility to obey its rules.) So – hard border: worth it, not worth it, or blame somebody else? Some SNPers would simply stare with hatred at anyone who asks, having played the “Don’t let your parents tell you what to do” card for so long.

      • Susan Smith

        Hard border’s fine by me – or else the technological solutions Theresa May’s negotiators were so keen on.

      • Bill Purves

        An independent Scotland could still trade with an independent England Under the same conditions as England traded with countries outside the E.U. when it was a member of the E. U. For example the USA, China, India, Saudi, and many others.

      • Jon


        An Independent Scotland in the EU would trade with the Rump UK with an open border based on the same technology as Westminster is proposing as the solution to the Irish border.

        Obvious really!

  • jazza

    Joel Skousen: “The globalists are setting us up for failure in World War 3″

    “The UK, in my opinion, is going through a grand deception in Theresa May running Brexit. The telltale sign was [her] bill to inculcate the whole of EU law into British law. Why do that? Once inculcated into law, it’s very difficult to remove. You’re being set up to absorb this by assimilation: you think you’ve had Brexit, and yet she has basically betrayed Brexit by putting [the entire acquis communautaire] into UK law.”

  • Sharp Ears

    Any comments on info on the UAE life sentence for Matthew Hedges?

    A couple of tweets:

    Borzou Daragahi
    Matthew Hedges, a 31-year-old student at Durham University who went to UAE to research his PhD thesis, was handed LIFE sentence at Abu Dhabi court in a hearing that lasted less than five minutes, and with no lawyer present…
    46 mins ago · Twitter

    Misha Glenny
    Utterly shocking news – Matthew Hedges jailed for life by a court in the UAE. 5 minute hearing. No lawyer present. Jeremy Hunt’s appeals to UAE ignored. These are the people that Liam Fox and his ilk want to strengthen ties with after Brexit. A disgrace.

    • N_

      Durham University’s School of Government and International Affairs is a nest of MI6. Sounds guilty to me.

        • N_

          I can’t, except by saying it’s well known. The list includes St Antony’s College, Oxford; Caius College and other colleges at Cambridge; the School of Slavonic and East European Studies in London; Durham; Exeter; and I think there is something at St Andrews too but I’m not sure whether it’s still going.

        • Sharp Ears

          The goggle eyed Foreign Secretary, latterly i/c of wrecking OUR NHS, appeared to be shocked at the news saying he had come to an arrangement with the UAE authorities that Mr Hedges would not be jailed. Oops!

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Spectacular bad timing given that Abu Dhabi hosts Formula One this coming weekend (I’d rather watch grass grow). Bearing in mind that most if not all Formula One teams are based in England.
      The announcement at the start of the month that Formula One is adding Hanoi, Vietnam to its rosta, confirms my long held suspicion that they are playing dictatorship bingo.

    • berlingooner

      at least he’s not yet been chopped up Khashoggi-style but the parallels are striking and I wonder how far Trump’s comments yesterday emboldened the Emiratis to throw the book at this poor bloke?

    • Radar O’Reilly

      Matthew Hedges research was on relations between the different tribal components of the uae, according to his wife. According to the uae news websites he was lawyered up, and they all say that he admitted doing research contrary to the uae national security, which was confirmed by the data/meta-data analysis on his digital devices. UAE also professed to be surprised by the lack of formal contact with UK authorities during the months of investigations and the trail process. Much informal contact, Mathew has a right to appeal, so I hope someone can do something helpful for his case. Who to believe?, I’m certainly aware of people in KSA who were arrested and imprisoned for simply being somewhere near a vehicular incident (previously called a car-crash) I suppose it boils down to ‘does the UAE government need overthrowing spontaneously in a new Gulf color revolution’ a question the Glennies of the world certainly know the answer to, but would never dream of sharing with us.

      • Ian

        A forced ‘confession’ in Arabic which he doesn’t read or speak? Academic research which they could have confirmed with his university. Only on Craig’s site could you find apologists for a despotic Gulf regime.

        • Radar O’Reilly

          Calm down folks, we’ve just reported the news from the Emirates point of view.
          It is a very intelligent thing to do when you get a major news item, rather information-light,
          check what the ‘opposition’ is saying about the same story, and fundamentally:-

          One man’s academic research is another despot’s terrorism!

          When I flew into Edinburgh recently on RyanJet, whilst waiting for baggage the nice conveyor belt entertained me with dire threats and consequences. A big TV set gave a surprisingly long list of illegal dangerous chemicals that I wasn’t allowed to bring into the UK. It gave the concentrations, the exact chemical names , and was rather a shock. TMI was my first thought, so I looked at chemical # 20 on the list , let’s call it code-name “Rhubarb” max allowed concentration 10%, max quantity a few grammes, possession of anything more would likely be ‘terrorism’ in the U.K., no?

          I checked immediately online, delivery to Kirkcaldy by the next day, 5 kilos of “Rhubarb”, high-purity&strength 95%, (seems to be boat deck-cleaner as well as a W.M.D), just twenty quid including delivery! I didn’t check the rest of the chems terrorism list, but I’m sure Prime would deliver.

          Was my detailed academic research arrestable? Did I break U.K. laws by putting 4 gallons of the stuff in my shopping basket?
          Have I degraded U.K. security by revealing how idiotic it is to list stuff like don’t bring “CH3COOC6H4COOH” (relax, this isn’t from the list) at a major port of entry?

          I certainly think that whomsoever put together a long list of bad things , concentrated where there’s a very large captive audience, should remove the over-detailed descriptions and just say ‘be sensible – no poisons’ – it’s also a mockery of border controls when you can buy barrel-loads of them cheaply when you enter the country, and when the U.K. security services have effectively told the mad/bad guys exactly what ‘not’ to buy. Really!

          [if you read this and know how to remove the list, then please take some action!]

      • Kempe

        It may have been electronic devices in contact with his delicate parts that prompted the confession. The UAE has form here.

  • N_

    The white “root race” Walther Darré and Rudolf Steiner “Extinction” nuts have today again disrupted traffic in central London, chanting things like “What do we want? Climate justice. When do we want it? Now”. There seem to have been a few dozen of them.

    If anyone has news of what happened to the more than 80 “Extinction” cultists (or hangers-on) reported to have been arrested in London during their far bigger protest last Saturday, please can they post it. Were they all released without charge?

    The BBC say that “The force previously reported that 85 people had been arrested but the number was revised down due to duplicating reports made by officers.

    That sounds very much like a cut-and-paste from a Metropolitan Police statement. Has anyone ever heard anything like that before? Has even a single one of the nutcases been charged with any offence whatsoever? Will even a single one of those who were released without charge be pursuing the police for wrongful arrest? Will anybody be investigating why the police arrested so many people and then didn’t charge them? Do we know the names of any of the arrestees? Has the paperwork been changed so that some of the arrestees were now officially not arrested at all? Or was it a case of smiles all round at Thames House?

    This whole business is as fake as f***. Expect more.

    It looks as though I was right about a Prince Charles link. This Steiner-loving moron said two years ago that “We are on a deeply depressing trajectory to witness the sixth global mass extinction in our planet.” If anybody can stomach reading this idiot’s stuff, they might also look for Steiner-winking usage of the term “era” or “epoch”.

    • bj

      Nutters, nutcases, idiots.
      From those qualifications alone I conclude they’re probably mostly harmless.

      • N_

        NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is a Steinerite. The restructuring of the school inspection regime was principally to help their organisation. Once there was the Thule Society. Nutters? For sure. Today’s demonstration was small, but money and connections are required to block the London bridges. Had striking miners tried to do it in 1984, the police would have stopped them before they got anywhere near the capital. Prince Charles is stupid, but those who are behind the “Extinction” operation aren’t.

        • bj

          That is a) a guilt by association fallacy and b) a NATO Secretary-General is a warmonger-by-profession (and as such more dangerous than a nutcase could ever aspire to be).

        • Ian

          There a a lot of unsourced and wild conspiracy theories on this site, but yours must take the biscuit as the most outlandish cobbled together nonsense trying desperately to link two entirely different things and make yourself look idiotic with your uninformed claptrap about climate change. Spectacular.

    • Mr Shigemitsu


      What exact evidence do you have that ExtinctionRebellion are connected to Steiner organisations? Could you pls post any links, etc?

      I don’t currently have a view about them either way (although I’m happy to see measures enacted internationally that would slow down AGW) but it would be interesting to see some direct proof of any ulterior motive to their campaigning, rather than evidence-free, or “guilt by association” allegations.

      Their rapid emergence (to say nothing of their somewhat ominous looking logo) does smack of some kind of cultish organising in the background, and reminds me of that fake “Kony” PR stunt campaign that appeared on Facebook, manipulated a whole bunch of adolescents to get in a lather, and then disappeared as quickly as it had arrived.

      Looking at the news photos, the protestors do look ever so white and middle class, though perhaps a bit hippier than the Waitrose-emptying Remainers on the march last month, so you may have a point.

      Medialens (who I generally admire) are going gung-ho with support for them, but then I’ve always believed that if you scratch a hippy you find a fascist, so if what you allege is true, then ER may indeed be true to form.

  • Sharp Ears

    Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador 2007-2017, describes the current political system in Ecuador.

    Ecuador’s Soft Coup and Political Persecution
    By Rafael Correa
    The destruction of the rule of law

    November 20, 2018 “Information Clearing House” – Can you imagine a “democracy” in which the president handpicks a council that proceeds to dismiss the Constitutional Court, the Judicial Council which oversees the judiciary, the National Electoral Council, the Attorney General, the ombudsman, and all six major regulators (superintendents)?

    Unfortunately, that is the current situation in Ecuador. Abusing participatory democracy, and deceiving the public with the complicity of a corrupt press, on February 4 of this year they called an unconstitutional referendum.


    • Blunderbuss

      Yes Peter, Brexit is dead. Britain will be staying in the EU. Tony Blair and his chums will be celebrating.

    • Hieroglyph

      Interesting article. May is a wrong-un, of that I have no doubt. However, it is the central question facing the Indy movement, isn’t it? One may argue that independence within the EU is merely a case of swapping pimps. I’m not quite sure that’s accurate, in fairness. But as now-sceptic, the only logical path is to a) declare independence, as Craig states, then b) hold a Scottish referendum on the EU. I’m fairly sure the referendum would go pro-EU as it happens, but it’s still a worthwhile venture. After all, it’s a huge issue, and something Scotland should decide upon all by itself.

      Myself, I’m now more of a common-market kind. Some sort of trade agreement, but with none of the EU super-state authoritarianism. Protection of borders, and immigration policy to be decided by Scotland, not Merkel. But certainly room for a visa system where EU partners can apply, should they wish, and within reasonable numbers, as can be supported by the Scottish economy, and which benefits the Scottish economy. But Open Borders is for fools or naves. Scotland can afford to be neither.

    • Dave Lawton

      November 21, 2018 at 14:18
      One must remember that Robins is a brainwashed EU Common Purpose robot and still in the Matrix and who keeps trying to “Create The Space “to remain in the EU.

  • Republicofscotland

    I can only imagine that Nicola Sturgeon is attempting to keep Scotland in the Single Market because she knows the damage that will be done to the Scottish economy without it.

    Of course your point is that independence will see Scotland remain in the EU, which is all very well, but first we need to win it, and like everbody else, who wants independence I’m chomping at the bit ready to go, however timing is a real factor on which some disagree on.

    • Ian

      Exactly. i think Craig is barking up a non-existent tree here with his speculations, both regarding Sturgeon’s strategy and goals. The analogy with Falkirk is also absurd. It is easy to armchair wargame, but the idea that Sturgeon can, or would think it a good idea, to unilaterally declare UDI is off the charts.

  • Michael Laing

    I do agree with you, Craig. While I think Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP have in general done an excellent job for Scotland (for example, as one dependent for survival upon DWP benefits, I can say that they have transformed the experience of claimants and the help available to them at Job Centres vastly for the better), I have been quite unimpressed by the lack of focus on independence and how it would enable us to avoid every unwanted, undemocratically-imposed Tory policy and to implement the policies we do want.

    With regard to Nicola Sturgeon, I have two thoughts. Firstly, I presume that she considers it necessary to be seen to have explored every option to keep Scotland in the Single Market, which is perhaps justifiable in view of the fact that we voted by a larger margin to remain in the EU than in the UK (if the 2014 referendum result is to be believed: I suspect there was massive fraud). Second, that the immediate future, with regard to the survival of Theresa May and/or the Tory government, is very unclear, and that she needs clarity before she commits to indyref 2. I know Nicola isn’t a dafty and I’m sure she has a carefully-considered plan. But I certainly share your sense of frustration at the present lack of emphasis on independence.

  • Sharp Ears

    On the day we hear about the number of children who are involved in betting, we hear of the obscene salary of the CEO of Bet 365.

    The UK’s best-paid boss, co-founder of online gambling firm Bet365 Denise Coates, has received another bumper pay rise.
    The firm’s accounts show compensation, for the firm’s “highest paid director” rising to £265m including dividends.
    That was £48m higher than the total she received last year as the popularity of online gambling continues to grow.

    Number of child gamblers quadruples in just two years
    2 hours ago
    The number of children classed as having a gambling problem has quadrupled to more than 50,000 in just two years, a report has claimed.
    The Gambling Commission study suggests that +++450,000 children aged 11 to 16 bet regularly+++, more than those who have taken drugs, smoked or drunk alcohol.
    Bets with friends, slot machines, and scratchcards, were most popular.
    A campaigner on the issue, Bishop of St Albans Right Reverend Alan Smith, called it a “generational scandal”.

    • Sharp Ears

      bet365’s revenue last year was £2.3billion. It is registered in Gibraltar.

      There is an APPG (All Party Parliamentary group) that supports Gibraltar. One of the members, Robert Neill, spoke up in PMQs today.

      ‘Robert Neill (Bromley and Chislehurst) (Con)
      Q10. I refer the House to my entry in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. There are no people more proudly and passionately British than the people of Gibraltar. The agreed text of the withdrawal agreement gives significant and important safeguards to them in the text and in the protocol. Will my right hon. Friend make it clear that under no circumstances will she permit that text to be reopened to put those safeguards at risk, and that under no circumstances will she permit Spain to seek to exclude the people of Gibraltar from discussions on the future arrangements? [907758]

      The Prime Minister
      We are absolutely steadfast, as is my hon. Friend, in our support for Gibraltar, its people and its economy. We have always been clear that Gibraltar is covered by our exit negotiations. We have been committed to fully involving Gibraltar as we exit the European Union. We are seeking a deal that works for the whole UK family, and that deal must work for Gibraltar, too.

      I am pleased that we have agreed a protocol, as my hon. Friend knows, on Gibraltar. That will form part of a wider package of agreements between the UK, Spain and the Government of Gibraltar setting out the parties’ commitment to co-operation. I have been clear that we will not exclude Gibraltar from our negotiations on the future relationship. We want a deal that works for the whole UK family, and that includes Gibraltar.’

      Neill is yet another non-practising barrister. Well and truly at the trough. His monthly income is staggering. Add up the increments.

  • Republicofscotland

    Meanwhile Jeremy Corbyn has come under fire for snubbing a letter from over 200 Catalan academics, prestigious writers, musicians and other fields. In which they ask him to show concern for the plight of the Catalan political prisoners held in a Spanish prison for over a year without trial.

    The letter was written over a month ago, to Corbyn believing he champions human rights and civil liberties, but Corbyn has chosen to ignore their plea for recognition.

    • Jo1

      Why did they write to Corbyn I wonder. Even if he’s all for defending human rights, he’s hardly got the authority to get involved in the Catalonia matter. I’d say it’s the EU they need to start with.

  • James Stewart

    “Who else do the Remain camp have as a leading politician who is not discredited and deeply unpopular?”

    Caroline Lucas?

    I’m no remainer, but I admire CL (she used to be my MEP).

    • Republicofscotland

      Nicola had better stay clear of any beaches or coasts whilst in England. A 1324 royal prerogative decrees that any Sturgeon found on the beaches or coast line in England belongs to the monarch. ?

  • Jack

    More British troops will head to Ukraine to ‘defend democracy’ – Williamson set to announce

    After the chaos the post-brexit deal generated, the UK gov. looking for an enemy for the people to unite against.

  • mog


    So…what would Scotland use for money? I think you are saying ‘sterling’, in which case Scotland woud be a peon to the Bank of England in a way comparable to Greece is to Germany in the Euro system.
    Scotland could create its own independence currency, which would put it at the mercy of speculators (most of whom work in the City of London).
    No comment from you about the military half of the point made. Perhaps you are ignorant of the degree of military unification that has already taken place (with ALL UK armed forces) ?

    I am not a Brexiteer. I think the whole debate is a scam to detract from a supranational re-organisation that porceeds irrespective of Leave/Remain. Capital does not respect borders, so the nationalist argument is to re-draw borders, or at best to re-instate national control of capital. Without tackling the root of the power of capital though, this is either self defeating or even more disempowering.

    • Martinned

      Why would the Scottish pound be at the mercy of speculators? The only way that that would be true is if the Scottish central bank tried to maintain a peg against the English pound and/or the Euro.

      • Mr Shigemitsu

        This must be the first time I have ever agreed with Martinned on anything, but on this matter he is totally correct.

        If an independent Scotland fails to introduce its own fiat, non-convertible, unpegged, currency it may as well not be independent. For that reason, it should never, ever, be tempted to adopt Sterling, or, worse, the Euro, as its currency, or peg to either of them.

        The central bank can then always beat the speculators: that’s why the Japanese govt bond market is known as the “Widow Maker”: any bond trader trying to short JGBs will fail because the J central bank can purchase any bonds it wants to, with an infinite amount of yen at its disposal, raising the price and pushing yields into negative territory, as they are at present.

        No speculator has that access to infinite amounts of yen, or any other currency, but they’ll happily bet against any country’s currency which is hobbled by its needing to borrow from commercial banks, or foolishly choosing to defend an unrealistic currency peg.

    • Paul Barbara

      @ mog November 21, 2018 at 14:54
      Scotland could produce it’s own currency on it’s own version of the Bradbury Pound, and quit the Bankster’s scam of printing the money then charging the governments interest on it.
      No wonder it was cooked up (or at least the Federal Reserve version of it) on Jekyll Island:
      ‘The Creature From Jekyll Island (by G. Edward Griffin)’:
      Of course, that would put the Scot’s into Uncle Sam’s crosshairs for ‘Regime Change’.

  • Steve Hayes

    Craig, you say the United Kingdom may not Leave the European Union at all. I would be very interested to hear the pathway to that, as I cannot see any politically realistic scenario whereby that would happen.

    • Tom

      Craig will have his own ideas but here is a possible scenario: May’s Deal voted down in Parliament; May resigns; new Tory leader and/or general election; new PM asks for Article 50 to be suspended; new referendum backs Remain and/or Brexit kicked into long grass for economic reasons; UK doesn’t leave EU.

      • Steve Hayes

        Tom The scenario you present depends on Article 50 being extended (there is no provision for it to be suspended). Such an extension would have to be agreed by the European Council, ie the 27 member states. All of this needs to happen prior to 29 March 2019. Frankly, I do not see the timetable working. The proposed deal isn’t going to be presented to parliament before the middle of December. So, according to your scenario, May resigns just prior to the Christmas recess. The Tories hold a leadership election, starting just before the recess. Such an election requires Tory MPS to vote and the candidate with the least votes is excluded. These rounds of voting continue until there are two candidates, when there is an election by the whole of the Tory party. This process could easily take us into March. Your alternative scenario of a general election has similar problems, plus of course the need for two-thirds of MPs to vote for one. Given all the delays by the Remainers and In Name Only saboteurs, there really isn’t time for such scenarios to play out, which is ironic.

    • giyane

      Steve Hayes

      Our minds find it difficult to fathom the depths of callous evil which makes Tories tick.
      Universal Credit is Mrs May’s Poll Tax. It is tipping millions of people into desperation and anger will spread like Californian wildfires after so many years of Tory austerity and cack-handed unrolling of Brexit.
      Corbyn has not moved with the times from the blinkers of our industrial past, unions etc but Tories all know how deeply their policies are hated by the survivors of the Tory hatred of the general population.
      John Major, now deeply hated by straight-jacketed foaming Right, and in answer to Craig’s challenge, could very easily be replicated in the looming crisis by Dominic Grieve, especially after 2 years of utter right wing tripe from the likes of BoJO and Moss-Bros.

      We are coming to a point where people are so fed up with right wing dogma that they could turn against the party of racist Brexit. Everybody is fed up with Mrs May’s populist racism. I think it’s highly likely that the country will choose a voice of reason in Grieve and rally behind Remain solely because they can’t bear to listen to the howling of braying wolves from right -wing think tanks. I’m sorry to say it but Corbyn’s fossilised view of the world has not been able to challenge the Tory venom. his main advantage is his resistance to Zionist wars against innocent Muslims and other friends of the UK. Nobody is going to rally behind a labour leader who is incapable of screwing Tory lies to the deck.

  • mog

    Why would the Scottish pound be at the mercy of speculators? The only way that that would be true is if the Scottish central bank tried to maintain a peg against the English pound and/or the Euro.

    Are not all currencies subject to the ‘discipline’ of financial markets?
    A Scottish pound would be valued according to the way that the world’s financiers will view a future Scottish economy. Scotland could, theoritically, create a radical monetary and banking system, but the usocracy would not like it and would crush it.

    [cannot ‘reply’ on this web page for some reason]

    • MJ

      “Are not all currencies subject to the ‘discipline’ of financial markets?”

      Not if they’re artificially pegged to another currency, as the Chinese yuan was to the dollar for many years. There’s no point speculating about a Scottish pound. There is no Scottish pound and it’s a bit late to be summoning one up now. All that stuff should have been sorted before the 2014 referendum.

    • Mr Shigemitsu

      Not true. All that would happen is that a free-floating Scottish currency might lose some value on foreign exchange markets.

      However, apart from oil revenues bolstering the value of a Scottish currency (for now at least), there is a limit to which the currency can fall for advanced economies (eg Scotland) whereby its improving exports would eventually correct the drop in exchange rates, as foreign earnings, and foreign investment, increased as a result.

      An independent Scotland must adopt its own sovereign fiat non-convertible currency and a floating exchange rate, otherwise ‘independence’ will be in name only.

    • pete

      Re: Everything You Thought You Knew About Western Civilisation is Wrong.
      The review of this book looks good, I can’t see that the ideas in it will get much traction or currency in today’s insanely greedy and acquisitive society. However I do sympathise with the basic notion of debt forgiving, particularly for nation states.

  • Deepgreenpuddock

    I don’t think this is an easy decision. NS is fully aware of the mischief that an English administration can do to a nascent Scotland,Don’t underestimate the vile malice that the ‘english’ elite ( and the Scottish anglophile elite are capable of when they see the assets and potential that Scotland represents sliding from under their suffocating influence.
    One of the effects of an unchallenged May styleBrexit, i suspect will be supercharged asset stripping of just about anything with any value.It is going to be very difficult for any politician to find a way through the Brexit

  • SA

    Scottish independence may actually throw up lots of unpredictable problems such as those experienced with Brexit. Has this been factored in or is it all going to be very straightforward?

    • Republicofscotland

      Tell me SA, how did all the other independent nations cope with them? Or is there something special about Scotland that it won’t be able to?

      Even Borneo, the third largest island in the world, which is divided up between Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei get by.

      • SA

        OK. Just asking as theoretically it was also easy for U.K. to Brexit. The economic interdependencies in this globalised world can lead to unforeseen intricacies. Also if you are happy for independent Scotland to be like Borneo then that is also OK.

        • Mr Shigemitsu

          Hehe…Saturday afternoons off spent hopping over from (dry) Brunei into Malaysia for the booze run!

          I’m wondering what the future equivalent might be on the English/Scottish border…?

  • Tony_0pmoc

    Julian Assange’s Lawyer Jennifer Robinson in fine form. How long, can this ridiculous situation drag on? So far as I can see, he has broken no laws, and done nothing immoral. He may well have embarrassed The US, British, and Australian Governments, but that is neither illegal, nor immoral. Their treatment of him is completely and utterley appalling, regardless of who if anyone he is working for. There is no evidence against him for doing anything wrong, and he has not been charged with any crime. The UK is now like living in Soviet Russia, or East Germany, under the control of The Stasi, and yet hardly anyone complains, whilst none of these governments , nor the CIA controlled mainstream media make any sense.;


      • J

        The charges were withdrawn and shown to be malicious. What’s your point? As I’ve pointed out before, the racial laws in Germany were lawful. Will you go the extra mile to defend those?

      • J

        Especially as we now know, charges were secretly cooked up by the US authorities as early as 2010 in anticipation that should Assange be embroiled in a spurious legal case, such as the rape allegations, so that he might be extradited to America and effectively disappeared.

  • N_

    When she was Home Secretary, Theresa May seems to have blocked an investigation into the alleged payment of Russian money to Brexit campaign and UKIP funder Arron Banks.

    Has Theresa May got snow on her boots?

    Has the Tory smearing of Jeremy Corbyn as a Russian asset, using the BBC and other channels, been a classic case of “he who smelt it, dealt it”? The left should be shouting this question from the rooftops.

    Letter from Lib Dem MP Thomas Brake.

  • Sharp Ears

    The Remainer’s Remoaner and the Paramount War Criminal’s spin doctor, Alastair Campbell, is reported to have said that ‘Brexit is as dead as Dr Kelly’. To have made such a nasty reference to Dr Kelly, is he even more psychopathic than his former master?

  • Sharp Ears

    As we approach the season of ‘Peace on Earth and Goodwill to All Men’, the world becomes nastier and even more dangerous.

    ‘The White House has reportedly issued a memo authorizing troops stationed at the Mexican border to engage in law enforcement duties and use lethal force against illegal immigrants if necessary.

    At present, just under 6,000 active-duty troops are stationed at key locations along the US’ 200-mile border with Mexico. The troops were deployed to the border by President Trump as multiple ‘caravans’ of Central American migrants made their way toward the US border via

    Rather than meeting the migrants with weapons drawn, the troops had been tasked with bolstering the presence of the Customs and Border Protection and National Guard personnel already at the border. Their duties include constructing barriers, and providing reconnaissance and logistics support to the CBP agents.

    Now, Military Times reports that the White House signed a memo late Tuesday authorizing the troops to “perform those military protective activities that the Secretary of Defense determines are reasonably necessary” to protect border agents. These activities include: “a show or use of force (including lethal force, where necessary), crowd control, temporary detention, and cursory search.”’


    ‘Senators propose change of doctrine so Russia could respond with nukes to any ‘strategic strike’
    21 Nov, 2018

    Russia should be allowed to use its nuclear arsenal in response to a non-nuclear strike with a strategic weapon, Russian senators believe. Their recommendation is to amend Russia’s nuclear posture accordingly. A suggestion to make the Russian nuclear doctrine more flexible was one of the recommendations backed by the upper chamber of the Russian parliament late on Wednesday.

    The senators said the Russian National Security Council should prepare and propose an amendment on the nuclear doctrine, which would allow “taking a decision to retaliate in case of enemy use of hypersonic and other strategic conventional weapons” against Russia, reported RIA Novosti.’

  • dunwich

    I can’t help thinking an independent Scotland within the EU would find life a good deal easier if England was similarly in the EU.

  • DiggerUK

    “Panorama special telling the inside story of how Russia sent an assassination squad to Salisbury to murder former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. In the first nerve agent attack in Europe ever, this brazen and reckless attack risked contaminating thousands of people.

    With exclusive access to the Salisbury investigation, reporter Jane Corbin hears for the first time from front-line police officers, the government’s chemical weapons scientist, soldiers drafted in to decontaminate the city, diplomats and intelligence insiders. She travels to Russia to speak to friends and family of the former spy Russia wanted dead, and in America she hears from the scientist who helped develop the deadly nerve agent which killed Dawn Sturgess, left four people lucky to be alive and has had an impact far beyond Britain.”

    This is pasted from BBC Panorama blurb which will be shown at 2000, Thursday, November 22nd. The promo on the tv claims it will have an interview with Detective Sergeant Nick Bailey; no mention if Sergei and Yulia will get a cameo.

    Praise the lord and pass the popcorn…_

    • Dave Lawton


      “Panorama special telling the inside story of how Russia sent an assassination squad to Salisbury to murder former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia. In the first nerve agent attack in Europe ever, this brazen and reckless attack risked contaminating thousands of people.”

      They the state keeps saying the first use of a nerve agent in Europe since WW2.This is an complete lie as they tested Sarin B nerve agent on thousands of servicemen using the excuse they Porton Down were trying to find a cure for the common cold.

      • DiggerUK

        I am unscooped, damn you Sharp Ears.

        I wonder if Pablo Miller or Christopher Steele do anything for the camera…_

  • fwl

    EU has stated that they slipped up when they failed to prohibit the possibility of a nation leaving the EU.

    Scotland wants to leave the UK and join the EU.

    If it does then it has to recognise that it will be a very junior partner in a changing federation. If it joins the EU then doesn’t like it then it seems unlikely that it will have the opportunity that the UK now has to vote to leave for that door will close after the UK leaves.

    During the EU referendum campaign Nick Clegg on a platform with Farage rubbished any suggestion that there would ever be a EU army as the most outlandish loony conspiracy theory going and on a par with no men on the moon etc. That was two years ago. You see where this is going. Corbyn is right to be cautious about the EU. It’s not only the Atlantic Alliance which has got up to skulduggery.

      • fwl

        I didn’t say that.

        I said that during the referendum campaign the suggestion that the EU was intent on a EU army was laughed at a conspiracy theory, but now it’s accepted as policy.

        It used to be suggested that the EU was not covertly (or openly) moving towards a federal United States of Europe. That too now appears to be the agenda. Indeed some have accepted that was well known If not promulgated) when we first joined.

        It is only now being suggested that the EU should prevent members from leaving – just as the US does not contemplate the possibility of a US state now leaving the union.

        So my point is if Scottish nationalists think (1) there is something inherently wrong and unchangeable about England and Wales (2) if Scots vote to leave they have a right to leave the UK or (2) that an elected SNP government can just make a valid UDI as and when they wish and (3) that it’s a good thing to join the EU, then

        how they reconcile this with joining a bigger “unit” than the UK (i.e. the whole of Europe), which is not democratic, which they will not in future be able to leave whether by vote or UDI and which includes countries who they can’t but conclude are every bit if not more reprehensible than England and / or Wales and who they will not be able to reform?

        It doesn’t make sense does it. Not really? Isn’t in essence a case of the grass is greener on the other side.

        It also doesn’t make sense for Nationalists to believe that they are morally good and that England and / or Wales are morally bad and that if so England and / or Wales can’t be changed. But at the same time they believe that other countries such as Germany have changed.

        In short, promote Gaelic, Scottish culture, Devolution, the diversity of peoples in the UK, constitutional reform, but don’t give up on the island as a whole.

        As to a EU army I don’t say worse. Weaker yes, but what it will used for I don’t know – probably not much for some time. If has got to suit Russia’s global strategy to have a weak EU army rather than NATO and an EU dominated by Germany, a Germany reliant on Russian energy.

  • Blissex

    «the Tory governments the English people inexplicably keep voting for.»

    That’s very easily explained: property prices and rents in southern England have been ballooning, giving £10,000-£40,000 a year of work-free gains to southern tory voters.

    «Scotland should not be in Tory Hell, whatever Tory Hell’s relationship with the EU.»

    For southern tory voters it is paradise: not only they get £10,000-£40,000 a year work-free, the hired help has become cheaper and taxes have been pushed down by big cuts of spending on non-tory voters; plus the tory voters in finance have had their jobs saved and their bonus pools refilled by hundreds of billions of no-strings-attached government money.

    • giyane


      Craig was using the word in the headmasterly sense. Your son has done certain inexplicable small acts of naughtiness. i.e. your son is sick of being neglected and unloved. If something is very easily explainable and very well understood the word inexplicable must refer to the creator of the problem, not the victim.

      Craig is saying that he himself does not understand why the Tories would wish to jettison 200 years of enlightened social justice, placing England in a prominent position of international respect, for the sake of a quick buck and the disgrace of a poor class that cannot afford a house, nor a means of heating it, nor of avoiding getting into large debt, nor a means of achieving a peaceful stable family life.

      If Scotland managed to provide some of these essentials of life which the English Tories are so intent on destroying there will follow a very large mass migration to north of the border after Independence has been achieved. Eventually Scotland might grow into the whole of the north of England, a place enjoying Nordic wealth and prosperity while snobbish southern England sinks into a pit of homelessness and unrest.

  • Sean Swan

    I suppose it’s possible that if England is kept in the EU as a result of the Scots/Sturgeon, the English will be so frustrated/enraged that they will break up the UK themselves. I mean opt for an independent England – which would have the same effect on the UK as the sun leaving the Solar System would have on the solar system…
    That only holds true if the DM is into.capable of that level of deviousness…I have no idea about that.

  • Cynicus

    “Who else do the Remain camp have as a leading politician who is not discredited and deeply unpopular? Serious question, please do attempt an answer.”

    Ken Clarke?

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