Our Falkirk Moment 164


The largest battle of the Jacobite 45 was not Culloden and not Prestonpans but Falkirk. On 17 January 1746, amidst a howling winter storm, an 8,000 strong Jacobite army routed a similar sized Hanoverian force under Lieutenant General Hawley, which had been marching to the relief of Stirling Castle. By every conventional measure it was a Jacobite victory. They held the battlefield while the Hanoverians retreated pell-mell to Edinburgh, they captured the Hanoverian artillery and baggage, Hanoverian casualties were higher by about four to one. Yet the history books tend to call it a draw.

The Hanoverian force broken at Falkirk formed 80% of the victorious force at Culloden a few months later. Falkirk was decisive because, had the Jacobites chased Hawley’s force as it retreated to Edinburgh in great disorder and with shattered morale, it could have been destroyed. This did not happen, for a variety of reasons. The most important was that Charles Stuart thought it prudent to get all his ducks in the row by capturing Stirling Castle first. The second was that Charles had failed to appoint an overall commander or a commander of the left wing, and spent the actual battle with his senior staff indoors around a fire staying out of the storm, while George Murray, fighting on foot, led the right wing of MacDonalds and Athollmen to victory.

You will gather that the research for my biography of George Murray continues. But unless you are particularly slow today, you will gather that I see a lesson here for the Yes Movement.

This is our Falkirk moment. Both the Tories and Labour are riven by internal dissent over Brexit. The UK is in palpable political chaos, and the prospect of remaining tied to Westminster has never been less appealing. It is not the job of the SNP to “save the UK from a bad Brexit”. It is the job of the SNP to win Scottish Independence, after which Scotland can decide itself on whether it wants to be in the EU or not (and the fact is that when last asked it very much did).

I fumed when the SNP fought the last Westminster election on a “don’t mention Independence” platform, and deservedly lost MPs as a result. I fumed still more when I was not allowed to hold a fringe meeting on Indyref2 at the SNP conference, and the subject was rigorously excluded from the motions before the Conference itself. Now that Nicola Sturgeon is daily putting further and further excuses forward for not moving on Independence, I am inclined to fear that the comfortable fire around which Charles Stuart warmed himself during the Battle of Falkirk, is an apt analogy for the position of the SNP Establishment, who are doing very nicely, thank you, out of their position within the UK, and show no inclination whatsoever to stop warming their toes at the Establishment hearth and move out into the storm and bullets.

I have no more claim to be a strategic genius than the next man. But when I see my sworn opponents, disoriented, in disarray, and fighting fiercely amongst themselves, I cannot help but feel that now is the time to attack them.


164 thoughts on “Our Falkirk Moment

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  • Lorna Campbell

    You are right, of course, Mr Murray. You could have used the Bruce-Bannockburn analogy, too, in that there always comes the day that you have to decide whether you stand and fight or run away from confrontation again. I have sometimes tried to envisage in my head what Bruce must have been feeling, what those ordinary Scots from a the airts and pairts must have been feeling as they saw the huge English host with their heavy cavalry, with their burnished armour, with their longbowmen, with their massive, caparisoned destriers, trained to smash a man’s skull to pulp with their hooves, and vastly outnumbered. I intend to purchase your book on George Murray, that brilliant strategist to whom the ‘Bonnie Prince’ rarely listened. He has long been a man who has never really been given his due, and the House of Stuart, with one or two honourable exceptions, have always been given more than they deserve. They destroyed Scotland in one way or another, and Scotland was never enough for them, rather like the Scots today who care not a jot for their own country and people.

    I would suggest, however, that a second indyref may be the perfect example of what not to do,a la George Murray – like crossing the border to try and garner the support of the English Jacobites – as he kept trying to get through the head of the ‘Bonnie Prince’? Our present situation calls for tactics that circumvent a full-on challenge to English establishment power. We need to have the Bannockburn pits dug, we need to draw them into the bog and take advantage of their weight and numbers. Calling on the UN to recognize our right to self-determination, to shrug off our colonial status and to flex our human rights muscles, just as the Declaration of Arbroath dought and received the blessing of the Pope of the day.

    • Bill A

      You have it, Lorna. The enemy are on their knees in tatters. The last thing they want is to fight on three Fronts. Their internal battles, their attack on Europe…and Scotland taking her Freedom.

  • Skye Mull

    Please sort out the Brexit fiasco first. Deal, No Deal, or No Brexit. Theresa Mays options to the House, with, I detected, a little grin. The deal is worse than no brexit so will get thrown out. Then what? People’s Referendum? Theresa May may be looking to keep us in the EU by a route that will ultimately result in the EU giving her a special award when Brexit fails. How about £5m a year for one day a week consultancy after she leaves the PM job?

    • Andyoldlabour

      @Skye Mull,

      “Theresa May may be looking to keep us in the EU by a route that will ultimately result in the EU giving her a special award when Brexit fails.”

      Well said, I totally agree with this. May was always a remainer, and she has made no effort or any progress in the “Brexishambles”. She is deliberately trying to derail the process.

      • Martinned

        Yes, she cunningly sought to derail Brexit by putting hardcore Brexiters in charge of all the Brexit departments!

        But seriously, this does raise a fascinating philosophical question: Could HMG have made Brexit have been any more of a trainwreck if they’d tried?

        • Johny Conspiranoid

          “Yes, she cunningly sought to derail Brexit by putting hardcore Brexiters in charge of all the Brexit departments!”

          But seriously that is exactly right.

  • Stonky

    There’s still something sadly and ironically funny in the way that we were told that should poor wee stupid Scotland opt for self-determination, we would be booted out of the EU, whether we liked it or not, And now, having opted against self-determination, we are going to be dragged out whether we like it or not – and pay four billion pounds for the privilege.

  • Bill

    Sun Tzu agrees – “So in war, the way is to avoid what is strong, and strike at what is weak.”

  • Andyoldlabour

    The question is not whether Scotland wishes to be in the EU, but if the EU wants Scotland to join.
    What is the EU going to get out of it?

    • craig Post author

      What a strange question. What did the EU get out of Croatia, or Slovakia, or Estonia, or Denmark? It is a European Union – the clue is in the name. It accepts any European state which meets the acquis, which Scotland clearly does.

      • Andyoldlabour

        @Craig,

        Not really Craig, because whilst I tend to agree with a lot of your articles, on this I beg to differ.
        If and when the UK leaves the EU, there will be a huge hole in the EU budget, so where is the money going to come from to prop up all the countries and more which you have mentioned?

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          Hyperbole. The EU doesn’t “prop” anyone up. It distributes development funds to stimulate economic growth. Less net contribution from the UK, less available pot of funds, slower development.

          • corkie

            “It distributes development funds to stimulate economic growth. ” A code phrase used to describe the selling of more Mercs and BMWs. Why join the EU to drive overpriced German cars when you can stay really independent and buy second hand Japanese imports for a fraction of the price? Hang tough long enough and you will be doing a deal with the Italians as well.

        • Radar O’Reilly

          @AOL, “it depends”, is the answer!

          If UK leaves like a gentleman and pays all dues to the multi-annual-framework-programme committed to under Horizon2020, then there is ‘no hole in the eu budget’ if Scotland applies to join the eu with multi-annual-framework-programme committments to “Horizon Europe”, then some committee somewhere will study that appropriately & carefully.

          If UK leaves without paying, though as a sovereign nation it can of course do what it likes, I’m sure any committee would pass Écosse in at a first meeting, on the nod.

          • MaryPau!

            If UK pays its promised EU budget contrib up to 2020, that only allows EU to distribute funds to end of current budget cycle. After that there will be a big hole where UK contribution used to be. In any case EU funds are mostly distributed to needy cases and in terms of income, Eastern Europe is much lower than UK Inc Scotland.So I cannot see any EU funds forthcoming for an independent Scotland in the EU. Plus of course no Barrett formula from England either.

            But I have previously been assured here that latest forecasts indicate Scotland is prosperous and potentially financially independent without the need for English or EU grant money. I hope for everyone’s sake this is the case.

  • N_

    Bit of a nutty post, this one, if you ask me 🙂

    Perhaps the SNP could go totally Sinn Fein whackadoodle and un-take their Westminster seats?

    • Carl

      Taking their seats in London shows the world they believe in the legitimacy of English rule in Scotland and in nice cosy little arrangements for themselves personally. Hardly channeling the spirit of Falkirk is it?

      • Martinned

        Well, given the current state of affairs in England, you might also say that the Scottish are kind enough to help run England, since the English clearly can’t be trusted to look after themselves…

        • Yr Hen Gof

          Yes thanks Scotland for giving us Blair, Brown and Cameron, whose father was born in Huntly, Aberdeenshire. They all made such a contribution to the common folk.

          • Northern Sole

            Blair, Brown and Cameron (amongst many others, I’m sorry to say) are the modern day “Parcel o’ Rogues in a Nation” to which Burns angrily referred. Scotland has produced it’s fair share of rascals, no doubt. However, as I write half of the inhabitants of this beautiful country (that’s correct, Country with an “R”) desire to take back what is rightfully theirs. Or more than half I’m inclined to surmise.

  • giyane

    “But when I see my sworn opponents, disoriented, in disarray, and fighting fiercely amongst themselves…”

    The problem is, in a post-truth age, the establishment writes the entire narrative for both itself and the opposition. The objective of this political stratagem, otherwise known in plain English as a lie, is to deceive the punters, you and me, into thinking there is a robust democratic debate going on around Brexit. In my opinion news is now so managed and so contrived that the principle objective of government is to deceive the people and retain control over the country. Even the words spoken this morning by a representative of the DUP that Mrs May will face consequences for differentiating between UK and NI, seems to me to be more fake blood, more fake smoke, and more fake emotion for the News Soap. My father in law was a picture restorer and I watched him one day paint over a damaged part of a battle scene. ” There was far too much blood anyway “.

    Let’s face it the main reason why these Tory trash are in power is that over the last 30 years xenophobia of every kind has been stoked by the MSM, the propaganda tool of government and the efforts of the Left Wing opposition to manage the economy in a more caring way have been sabotaged by the core institutions of the City of London and other vested interests like Zionism cloaked in secrecy , but evident by the war-mongering actions of every single government of either Litmus hue.

    The real reason for Brexit is not to make money. I’m quite sure those whose interests are worldly gain will achieve their aims whatever happens. No, the purpose of Brexit is to re-calibrate the social contract between people and government in order to reverse the social gains made through history by the Left and to promote the evil Thatcherite policy that socialism is dead. The state has no duty to care for or provide for anybody.

    All this blood and smoke , huff, puff and sheer trash from all parties is camouflage for the real aim of destroying socialism in this country. If the SNP are colluding with this long-term strategy #, no amount of crocodile tears from SNP leadership will fool the people of Scotland. The idea of breaking away from the status quo of right-wing dogma, with right-wing dogma is both a blatant betrayal and ultimately futile. Why does Craig stand on a platform of justice and decency and then extol the virtues of Soros one of the most active right-wing manipulators against socialism?

    People are totally fed up with fake Al Qaida paint, fake nationistic paint , fake May social justice paint. What we actually want to see is Thatcherism in all its subversive forms to stop immediately. We want a socialist, anti-war, Jeremy Corbyn in power and the destruction of the neo-cons, their swamp and their ability to return.

    We voted for Brexit to get rid of Cameron, and we will vote for remaining in the EU to get rid of the Tories. Our cause of social justice for all has right on its side and it will prevail. People will do whatever is necessary to stamp out the evil of Thatcherism, including breaking up the UK if necessary.

    • Northern Sole

      This is an excellent comment and correct in so many ways. I do believe that Corbyn could be the saviour of England and Wales, but his flavour – to Scots – is rather insipid. The young folk seem to like him all the same, can’t think why. Perhaps it’s because they haven’t lived through the endless betrayal of working class people perpetrated by Labour government after Labour government. Ah well, they can always speak to their parents and grandparents for the low-down.

      Here in Scotland we have a slightly better than evens chance of “People… do (ing) whatever is necessary to stamp out the evil of Thatcherism, including breaking up the UK if necessary.” That’s my favourite bit of your post by the way. Can’t wait for it to happen. However, as Craig says here, we can’t necessarily depend on the SNP to be the vehicle of that. Indeed, I’d say that the movement (how socialist is that word?) driving the desire for an independent Scotland is more likely to take over. Then we’ll have a real People’s Vote. Good luck England and Wales.

  • Gavin Roberts

    There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood leads on to fortune; Omitted all the voyage of their life is mired in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat, and we must take the current when it serves,Or lose our ventures. Julius Caesar Act 4 Scene3. Maybe Shakespear was a Scottish Time Lord!

    • craig Post author

      Gavin,

      Yes – funnily enough I nearly gave the same quote in the text, but decided the Battle of Falkirk was already enough analogy!

      • Hagar

        Craig,

        Take a walk down Falkirk High Street and ask the locals where Falkirk Bridge is? Where was the battle fought? Very few if any would be able to tell you.
        However, The Roman Wall, that is a different story. Falkirk Council have spent a fortune on it, in the guise of Tourism. Just ask any Catholic Councillor who voted for the honouring of foreign invaders, murderers and rapists.
        The Roman Wall is only a fucking pile of Scottish rubble.
        Fools.

        • Hagar

          Furthermore Craig,

          Nicola Sturgeon will NOT bring Scotland to Independence. Mark my words, she has not got it.
          We need a new leader, and I do not see anyone in the ranks of politicians at the moment.

          It is obvious to me that England has Nicola by the short and curlies with regard to you standing as a SMP and MP.

          How do we oust Nicola and replace her with you?
          Are you up for it?
          I would love that fight.

  • jeffm

    Ireland never gave up the fight that was the difference the Scots did and they were not treated like a colony like Ireland was ,Ireland the only part of the UK that had an armed police force with rifle and pistol, November 2019, the centenary of the Irish declaration of Irish Independence, it was worth the fight for freedom.

  • Terence callachan

    I agree
    Scottish independence needs to come first
    And that applies too if you want to stay in the EU

    Theresa Mays deal is a dead duck

    Crashing out of the EU with no deal is possible and would lead to an immediate Scottish independence referendum that the YES side would win but crashing out of the EU with no deal although possible is very unlikely there are too many against it .

    Staying in the EU and abandoning Brexit requires another vote and that would not be good for the Scottish independence cause it would deflect away from the knife edge position Scotland always finds itself in having continually to wait and see what England wants because what England wants is always what Scotland gets no matter if Scotland wants different.

    Another vote could be a referendum or a general election

    In another Brexit referendum who would campaign for remain given that Corbyn is a brexiteer ?

    If leave won there would be a crash out with no deal and then a Scottish independence referendum and the YES side would win.
    If remain won there would be civil war in England for a while ,in Scotland all those who moved from NO to YES in the Scottish independence movement would move back to NO

    If there is a general election rather than another Brexit referendum it would be presented as a two way choice leave or remain in England but in Scotland it would be presented as a three way choice remain or leave AND
    Scottish independence and that split would be detrimental to the independence cause

    • Jim Sinclare

      There’ll be no civil war if Remain wins, Leave is a busted flush and their leaders could be arrested any moment. Remain had 700,000 people on the streets last month. It doesn’t matter that Corbyn is a Brexiteer.

    • Northern Sole

      “If remain won there would be civil war in England for a while ,in Scotland all those who moved from NO to YES in the Scottish independence movement would move back to NO” How so Terence? Surely, after all of the nonsense and mayhem people in Scotland have witnessed, those same people would have the good sense to know that it was only a matter of time before another shitstorm arose from the House of (Usher) Parliament? That house will fall too.

      • Martinned

        He did say “re-joining” though, so I guess he doesn’t think there’s any scope for Scotland somehow staying in.
        (N.B., Josep Borell used to be the President of the European Parliament, so he presumably knows his way around EU law.)

        • Morag Branson

          That’s ok. We wouldn’t be out for long and I reckon many would be pragmatic if they knew that!

      • Martinned

        As the foreign minister of Spain, I’m going to say that yes, he speaks for Spain.
        (But, as he clearly said, he can’t say that a future PP government would have the same view.)

        As for Catalunya, as you can tell from his name, that’s where Borell is from. Any suggestions why the Catalans would object to Scottish independence?

        • Dungroanin

          Ah but does he approve of letting the Catalans have a free indy referendum? And then not object to them be EU members?
          As far as the current new membership rules go – a single ‘No’ by any member is a black-ball.

  • Casual Observer

    Scots, being more emotional than the English, have a history of going off at half cock, which has invariably led to the English getting an advantage.

    Maybe the SNP and Nicola have spotted the recurring facet ?

    As every day goes by, the chances of HMG getting a deal with the EU get less, if we get past Christmas without parliamentary resolution, then it seems very likely that the time remaining will be too little to have any expectation of anything other than crashing out.

    The SNP are doing well to be keeping their powder dry, even at this stage there can be no certainty that some last minute deal will not kick the Brexit ball further down the road. And Scottish Independence undoubtedly needs a ‘No Deal’ scenario in order to get it over the finish line.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    There has been no discernible movement in the poles on the Indy question since 2014. After four years and counting the demographics with high Indy support from the younger age brackets and high Unionists support in a dwindling older age bracket should have shown some positive trend.
    We are living in an age of stark binary choice. Indy, Brexit and Trump Repulicanism in America. There are very strong cultural drivers to all those binary positions. Those that could be swayed to hold an Indy position by ideological debate were won over in 2014. New converts to Indy will come from facts on the ground. Brexit is a godsend in this respect. In 2014 a No voter could self justify their position as a rejection of Nationalism. Brexit is English Nationalisms in all but name.
    It is strange to be making the case for “doing nothing”, refusing to campaign for converts to Indy, but remember we are nothing if not thawn. Sufficient numbers will convert themselves to Indy by the cultural and economic impact of Brexit / English Nationalism. Resolute Unionists in my extended family are slowly reconciling themselves to what is to them a reluctant “betrayal” of their long held and culturally embedded position.

  • Adrian Parsons

    “I fumed when the SNP fought the last Westminster election on a “don’t mention Independence” platform, and deservedly lost MPs as a result.”

    The reason that the SNP lost seats in the 2017 election is that they promoted an internally-contradictory message: “Independent within the EU”. To be a member of the EU is ipso facto to be not independent. Voters who wanted true independence therefore faced this choice: vote for Labour (weakly pro-Scottish independence but heavily pro-EU below leadership level) or the Conservatives (anti-Scottish independence but heavily pro-Brexit).

    In coastal NE Aberdeenshire where I live, it was possible to predict accurately the EU Referendum result, Trump’s victory and the 2017 election results for the SNP just by living in a working class community and listening to the concerns of ordinary people doing real jobs. The video ‘vox pops’ that the Guardian’s “down with the people” John Harris posted from ‘North of Watford’ in the run-up to the 2016 EU Referendum were especially amusing in this respect as he continually expressed surprise and incomprehension as he ran into people of a ‘darker persuasion’ supporting the “racist” Brexit campaign, or first-generation immigrants supporting the call for stricter control of the UK’s borders.

    Oh, and I’ve just come across an excellent site some might find interesting: https://consentfactory.org/.

    • Martinned

      To quote the February 2017 White Paper: “Parliament has remained sovereign throughout our membership of the EU”, so please take that “take back control” nonsense somewhere else.

      The reason why the SNP lost seats in 2017 is that they went into the election with 56 out of 59 seats. They had nowhere to go but down.

      • Adrian Parsons

        ‘Sovereign’, as I understand it, has the meaning of unqualified power.

        The UK in the EU does not have the ‘power’ to control its own borders, dispense State aid to sectors of the economy as it wishes, extradite whomsoever it wishes and so on, so please take your pro-EU/globalist bullshit somewhere else.

          • Adrian Parsons

            Just as in the US there is a certain constituency that has been described as suffering from “Trump Derangement Syndrome”, a sort of King Midas In Reverse (with apologies to Graham Nash) in which everything the Orange One touches turns to “fascism”, so in the UK there is a certain constituency that one could describe as exhibiting “Brexit Syndrome” which provokes claims that the EU really had no power over the UK whatsoever: it was all a crazy dream, a mirage, making the Brexit process not just damaging to the UK economy but unnecessary.

            For a good overview of what is really going on, which class fractions are really doing the “gas lighting”, I can’t do better than recommend (again) Wolfgang Streeck’s excellent article The Return of the Repressed in the March/April 2017 issue of New Left Review: https://newleftreview.org/II/104/wolfgang-streeck-the-return-of-the-repressed. What is really worrying is how many of the putatively “Leftist”/”progressive” sites (Democracy Now!, CounterPunch et al) have been sucked into the globalist ideological fold unknowingly, demonstrating just how fragile their theoretical underpinnings were. Every cloud has a silver lining!

          • Martinned

            I would love nothing better than that the UK truly had the power to bind itself to the mast, but it doesn’t. No commitment made by the UK government/parliament is worth the paper it’s written on. That goes for things like the Sewell convention, that were couched in fuzzy language from the start, but also for more precise statutes and treaties. Parliament can make or unmake any law whatever.

            Whether that means that “the EU really had no power over the UK whatsoever” depends how you look at it. Clearly the EU did have power over the UK, because any attempt from the UK to defy the wishes of its EU partners in a way not foreseen in the Treaties would lead to disastrous consequences, as now demonstrated. But that’s a power based on facts on the ground, not legal power.

        • Casual Observer

          So who is next on the autarky hit list ?

          Even if the UK does come out of the EU, those who want total control will find many other agreements where the country limits its scope for movement in return for perceived advantage.

          ‘Globalist Bullshit’ does have the power of the turnip ghost, or tattered shirt for many who don’t seem to look too far ahead. Its also richly ironic that Farage has on many occasions lauded globalism as a means to national enrichment, even going so far as to describe himself as a globalist in that rather interesting day in the life programme that the BBC did with him.

  • George

    Bit misleading calling the defeated ‘Hanoverian’. The Royal Scots, the Glasgow and Argyll militias fought there. Effectively a British army in the service of the British crown. No Hanoverian regiments appear on the order of battle.

  • m biyd

    Murray Pittock’s book on Culloden however demonstrated that the Jacobites were far from the archaic Catholic savages depicted in British historiography. My biggest regret is that each summer i used to go sailing on the Ijssellmeer, Netherlands. My partner’s father had a yacht which he kept at Medemblik harbour. I discovered recently that Lord George Murray was buried around the corner…pity.

    I was recently watching the documentary on Prince Charles and couldn’t help but seeing a physical resemblance to the older Bonnie Prince Charlie and the irony that he would have been Charles III which Prince Charles will be on his accession.

  • Dave Murray

    Isn’t there a case for not interrupting the foe when they’re on the slide into chaos? Things could get a lot worse for the Establishment and more propitious for Indy.
    I trust Nicola Sturgeon to be working to a strategy. I suspect she won’t want to jump to the Indy ref announcement while she still has the chance that her justification for independence is wrong footed by an unexpected outcome in the U.K. deal with the EU.
    I also suspect she is as frustrated by the time the process is taking as the rest of us.

    • Susan Smith

      Yes , trying to work within the system may be the last throw if this dice , in the expectation that it will be unsuccessful . So Nicola Sturgeon can say she’s been ignored by WM politicians , yet again, thus adding to all the evidence that Scotland counts for nothing – strengthening the true justification for independence . Brexit itself is irrelevant though it is a proxy for all the other instances where Scotland has not been governed in Scotland’s interests . I really would hope that she then goes for independence .

  • bj

    You Anglo Saxons sure like your battles, attacks and weapons.

    It may sound tautological, but maybe those are the root of all trouble?

  • Clark

    Come on Scotland, don’t let us down! Beleaguered activists in England like myself need you to break Westminster now! This awful corrupt lackey of Saudi Arabia and the City of London has to go. The whole world is depending on you.

  • Col

    What do you want to do?

    Kill the rest of us that do not want independence on the current Scottish borders?

  • Jo1

    I could not disagree more. That said, the first point I’d make is that this isn’t 1746 and, in my view, those in the YES movement who think in that time-set do no-one any favours.

    Craig also tells a major fib here. Independence absolutely was mentioned by the SNP before the last GE. It was mentioned only days following the speech Sturgeon made in Holyrood in response to the EU referendum result. In that Holyrood speech Sturgeon urged all the other Parties to join the SNP to fight Scotland’s corner against a terrible fate..Brexit. All Parties responded positively except the Tories. This was quite a feat by Sturgeon and a reassuring message for those in Scotland who had voted Remain. They were of all political persuasions and most were relieved that the Parties at Holyrood would defend our wishes together, without the Tories.

    Nicola Sturgeon then, in my view, made a huge mistake. In a later speech – less than two years after the 2014 Scottish independence referendum – and mere weeks after a EU referendum result people were still reeling from – she decided to throw in the possibility of another independence referendum for Scotland.

    The Holyrood consensus was immediately shattered and the opposition Parties were gifted their GE slogan. They were able to claim the SNP didn’t give a jot about anything other than independence and that the “once in a generation /lifetime” timescales quoted by Sturgeon and Salmond were plain lies. And in the GE campaign, Labour, the Lib-Dems and the Tories spoke of nothing else in Scotland!

    For me THAT is the true reason the SNP lost twenty-one MPs. Nicola brought that on herself. Craig is being thoroughly dishonest by claiming those seats were lost because she didn’t mention independence. They were lost because she did! Many people saw that as an attempt to capitalise on a shocking result on the EU by an attempt to sneak in Indyref2 long before the date previously quoted by Sturgeon.

    This is 2018. It isn’t 1746 Craig. And some of us out here who want independence are also paying attention to what people are actually saying. I mean all people, not just YES folk. And, frankly, if you really want to kill all prospects of Scottish independence stone dead then carry on publishing inappropriate comparisons (2018 with 1746) and inaccurate reasons why the SNP lost twenty-one seats at the last GE. And carry on calling for UDI.

    • Morag Branson

      Firstly, the First Minister went into the election standing on a promise that if we were taken out of EU agin our will, she would seek a mandate for another Indy ref.
      She ‘lost’ MP’s by NOT mentioning an indy ref and allowing the other parties to control the agenda. Many, many folk were either too wearied by another election or by not having independence front and centre as it should have been. Believe me I tried hard to encourage folk at the doors to vote but hearts were not in it.
      She will not make that mistake again…

      • Jo1

        I’m sorry Morag, after the GE Nicola Sturgeon actually admitted in a televised interview that the introduction of Indyref2 into the EU debate following the Brexit result had been a contributory factor in the loss of 21 MPs.

        Independence was most certainly not front and centre for most Scots. It wasn’t even two years since the previous vote. I spoke to people too among them YES folk who were concerned that it was far, far too soon when the 60 % target Sturgeon had claimed she would want before calling Indyref2 was nowhere in sight.

  • Mist001

    Brexit is a red herring being used by the SNP to take peoples minds off independence. Why does nobody ask themselves why Brexit is so important to Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP? The only way that Brexit affects Scotland is if Scotland envisage remaining a part of the UK. It doesn’t matter if it’s Brexit or independence, either way Scotland will have no part to play in the EU until an independent Scotland applies and is accepted to become a member. So, why the song and dance about Scotland ‘being dragged out of the EU against its will’ and the effects Brexit will have on Scotland?

    And there’s the key: The SNP leadership view the future of Scotland as remaining a part of the UK and as long as that’s the case, Independence won’t happen.

    I seriously think she’s lying to the people of Scotland. She will not lead Scotland to independence, she and the leadership are in hock to too many people with a vested interest in keeping the UK together.

    • Martinned

      Well, I think you’d have to be a pretty optimistic nationalist to envisage Scottish independence between now and 29 March next year…

      • Old Mark

        Well, I think you’d have to have been a pretty optimistic anti-communist to envisage the collapse of the Berlin Wall in July 1989…

        Events. dear boy, events… as another Scottish PM once remarked.

    • Morag Branson

      Too much *mist* birling aboot your heid!

      It’s because of the democratic deficit. That thing where Scotland votes one way and England ++ vote the other and STILL we get dragged out.

      Where Scotland voted Labour for YEARS (much good that did) and found ourselves overseen by Tory gov after Tory gov.

      So, you tell me how we fix that without controlling our own affairs?

    • manandboy

      This is your view, Mist001, and you’re entitled to it, but it’ll make you a lonely man among Independence supporters.

      • Mist001

        As an independence supporter, I couldn’t care what it makes me among independence supporters, I care about independence. That means to me, not sticking my head in the sand and hoping for the best which is what most independence supporters are doing and whilst I’m on the subject, let me just say that the majority of independence supporters that I’ve encountered are the most uneducated, ignorant supporters of a political movement that I could ever have imagined. They seriously need clued up because they’re about to get a major wake up call.

    • Jo1

      “I seriously think she’s lying to the people of Scotland.”

      I seriously think you’re telling yourself a few porkies.

      The point is that Scotland, whether we like it or not, is currently part of the UK and voted in the EU referendum. The point is that Scotland absolutely will be affected by the vote to leave. The biggest point is that while there is not a majority for independence, Scotland is going nowhere. Sturgeon cannot just say she’s decided to “lead Scotland to independence”. There’s the small matter of the answer Scots gave to that idea already and the fact that there’s, so far, no visible sign that the position has altered much.

  • John Thomson

    Never agreed more someone light the fuse and let battle commence, just turned 60 and my retirement is looking good

  • manandboy

    Should we or shouldn’t we go for a Referendum now. This is undoubtedly the source of some disagreement in the Yes camp, and which could grow – and fester.
    May I offer a word of caution. In any argument there is a risk that more heat than light may be generated, and that in consequence, allies and kinsmen may find themselves at odds, or worse. It makes no sense to beget any division on this issue.

    Unity in diversity is the road to victory.

    Let opinions be aired by all means, but let us all agree to share our views and not count either them or ourselves, as badges of honour to be fought over – and divided over. That way lies sure defeat.

  • Rob James

    I think she will wait till after the vote in the Commons and the ECJ hearing before a date is announced.

    As for the bullshit about ‘taking back control’ can anyone please tell me of any laws or acts enforced on the UK by the EU? Every Eu law or act passed has been sanctioned by the UK. The same question was asked by Tory grandee Kenneth Clarke to David Davis, Brexit secretary at the time. He couldn’t provide an answer, other than to say that it was the principle which mattered.That is the difference between the European Union and the “United” Kingdom. Each member state has the right of veto. Decisions require compromise, a term not recognised by the ‘superior’ Britsh mentality. The UK has more ‘special deals’ than any other member. However, within the UK, the constituent nations, with the exception of the largest one, are totally ignored when it comes to decision making. In the EU, pooling and sharing means exactly that. Here in the UK, all the resources are pooled from every corner, and shared in the South East.

    With regard to Scotland maintaining membership of the EU, Articlles 48 and 49 of the EU Withdrawal procedure, particularly the former, appear to suggest that a seamless transition is possible. To some degree, it looks as though it has been written with Scotland in mind.

    Don’t forget that Nicola Sturgeon is a lawyer. I’m sure that she is striving to ensure that every possible opportunity of a legal challenge from Westminster is covered before the starting gun is fired.

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