A Question of Loyalty 1016


I was just talking to an old friend in the European Commission about Scottish Independence. He said within the Commission there would now be overwhelming support for it and for immediate Scottish membership of the EU. He then added “But please can you leave Dr Fox with the English?”.

He was joking, but it led me to think about the loyalties of Unionist politicians. I don’t doubt Dr Fox would stay with the English – there will be no power in prospect for Tories in Scotland.

When asked in an interview during the last Indyref where his loyalty would lie if Independence won, then Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael replied without hesitation that of course he was a Scot and he would be loyal to Scotland. Where, I wonder, would Fluffy Mundell’s loyalties lie? The border is a short hop for him. Colonel Ruthie Davison has always had her eyes on high office at Westminster, and I expect she would be quickly down the A1. As for Labour, I don’t suppose anyone in England especially wants Richard Leonard. To be fair, I suspect Gordon Brown is not going anywhere and would reconcile himself to being the Scot who, in his own mind, saved the World. Wouldn’t it be lovely if J K Rowling upped sticks and went to be closer to her beloved Tony Blair?

With Scotland in the EU and England outside, would Andrew Neil be allowed to “queue jump” and stay as a top Tory at the England and Wales Broadcasting Corporation? Or would he fall victim to a hostile environment? Surely the mighty Laura Kuenssberg would demand a larger field for her snide right wing jibes than her home country?

I offer the “which way would the unionists jump” game to those of you whose minds have been frazzled by the banal spectacle of the results of British hubris, as relayed to us from Westminster all week. The game works much better with a few drams of Caol Ila.


1,016 thoughts on “A Question of Loyalty

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  • Sandy W

    Alistair Darling – England to keep his nose in the HoL trough.
    Duncan Hothershall – England, desperately fleeing South through the hills on foot to escape the cannibal holocaust that he believes an independent Scotland would be.

      • SandyW

        Doubt it. Why would we need one and why would we have one just because there was one 300 years ago?

        • Martinned

          Why would you try to have everyone speak Scots Gaelic just because that’s what people did 300 years ago? The whole point of nationalism is that practicality doesn’t really factor into it.

          • John O'Dowd

            That is just the kind of smug, facetious comment from our ‘superiors’ that reinforces the conclusion of increasing numbers of Scots that it is time to give England her country back.

            Keep it up.

          • Martinned

            For the record, I’m not English and I meant “nationalism” in the generic sense, not necessarily limited to Scotland. I picked a Scottish analogy, but I could have just as easily mentioned Brexit to draw an analogy with English nationalism.

          • D Paterson

            Only in the frothing imagination of the unionist is it true that the Scottish Government is trying to get “everyone to speak Gaelic”.
            The Scottish Government is supporting Gaelic for those who speak it or who want to learn it. It is doing this because of the 2005 Gaelic language act which was brought in by the then labour government and which had cross party support (including the tories).
            Of course you could easily have found that out for yourself, but the point of unionism is that truth and brains don’t really factor into it!

          • Republicofscotland

            Well I doubt they’ll be an upper chamber, if there is I’d like to see it made up of ordinary folk.

            Of course no matter what, I doubt we’ll kill and eat our PM, FM, as they did in the Netherlands with Johan de Witt, and his brother.

          • Martinned

            They’re promoting the use of Gaelic, which is pretty much what I said:

            The Scottish Government recognises that Gaelic is an integral part of Scotland’s heritage, national identity and current cultural life, and has great potential as an asset for adding economic and social value. The Scottish Government has taken action and has put in place the necessary structures and initiatives to ensure that Gaelic has a sustainable future in a modern and vibrant Scotland.

            However, the position of Gaelic remains extremely fragile. If Gaelic is to have a sustainable future, there needs to be a concerted effort on the part of Government, the public sector, the private sector, community bodies and individual speakers to:
            – promote the acquisition of speaking, reading and writing skills in Gaelic

            https://www.gov.scot/publications/scottish-government-gaelic-language-plan-2016-2021/pages/2/

          • Martinned

            Of course no matter what, I doubt we’ll kill and eat our PM, FM, as they did in the Netherlands with Johan de Witt, and his brother.

            LOL, let’s hope not. Incentives matter. The Netherlands hasn’t had a decent politician since, just bland bureaucrats.

          • Andrew Ingram

            You’ve just shown your ignorance with that statement. Gaelic was spoken in the west of Scotland 300 years ago and still is. In Edinburgh people spoke Scots. After the Act of Union English became trendy among those in polite society who could afford to pay an Irishman to teach them.

          • Photios

            @ Republicofscotland
            Don’t be too sure. As far as I am aware, it was the supporters of the House of Orange wot ate the Witts.
            Scotland’s Orangemen similarly suffer a want of Wit(t).

          • D Paterson

            No it’s not what you said. Promoting a language is not the same as forcing everyone to learn it. As I’m sure you actually well know.
            I’m interested if you can provide any scenario where you, or anyone you know, has been forced to learn Gaelic ?

          • Rob Royston

            In my community sixty seven years ago we all went to infant class speaking only Gaelic. The teachers priority was to teach us English after which our whole curriculum was in English. In earlier times the schools taught in Gaelic, including English language.
            Scholars who had their school learning in Gaelic then travelled the world, among them famous ships captains, world famous explorers, and a few days ago I read of the Surveyor General of India, Cailean (Colin) Mackenzie CB.
            The language that you are taught in is no barrier to your future accomplishments.

      • Greumach

        There were the three estates, of which the Lords were certainly a part, hosever I don’t think there was a separate “house” of Lords. I think our lot met in ths same room?, chamber? or whatever it was called.

        • Photios

          The Parliament of Scotland was unicameral. The Thrie Estaitis (clerics, tenants-in-chief and burgh commissioners sat in the one chamber and were presided over by the Lord Chancellor or (after 1603) the Lord High Commissioner, representing the absent monarch.

  • Bill Gardner

    Let’s hope Rory Stewart is marooned in Neverland.

    Plus all those Unionist Red Handers on GMS get sent back to a United Ireland as their visas should be expired.

  • GFL

    Oh how I wish I was a Jock or Welsh or Irish, I would then have a legitimate reason to hate the English. If or when the Scots get their independence the M6 will be full of uncle tom style Jocks heading south and Tory hating republicans heading north.

    Nearly a reason for celebration yesterday!

    • jake

      It’s considerate of you to refer to the Welsh as Welsh and the Irish as Irish. It’s progress.

    • Jo1

      Can I just say that many Scots don’t hate the English or promote hatred of the English. Indeed, articles like this, in my view anyway, do a lot of harm to the cause of Scottish independence. They only serve to make the debate even more toxic than it already is.

      • craig Post author

        Jo1,

        What complete bollocks. This article is about whether various Scots will have loyalty to Scotland or to the rump UK. It is in no sense anti-English.

        I must say, that as your comments always say “I support Scottish Independence but we have a problem that Scottish nationalists are racists” or “I support Independence but the economic arguments for Independence are rubbish”, I harbour doubts about your persona.

        • N_

          In the event of Scottish independence many Scottish unionists would probably soon stop being unionists, given that the restoration of the Union would require a referendum in rUK as well as one in Scotland, and the rUK one – assuming it was even held – would probably say “No” on the grounds of “stop taking the piss”.

          Meanwhile if an independent Scotland were to join the EU leaving rUK outside it (a Monty Python’s “Black Knight” scenario), Scottish citizens (or subjects, given that the SNP is monarchist) who wish to travel south would be well advised not to renounce their British citizenship if they want to avoid having to apply for visas. (Analogy with Ireland is not applicable in this context. Just as cakes can’t be had and eaten too, the SNP can’t win an independence referendum by saying it wants the country to have a lovely close relationship with rUK, because people who want that will vote for the Union.)

        • Peter

          “What complete bollocks. This article is about whether various Scots will have loyalty to Scotland or to the rump UK. It is in no sense anti-English.”

          Then what exactly is your beef with JK Rowling Craig?

          A wee dram or two may oil your wheels but not always those of your better angels.

        • Jo1

          Wow, so I disagree with you and you come back and accuse me of being anti-Scottish Independence? Worse, you add quotes which you attribute to me but which I don’t even recognise. When did I say those things?

          I am for Scottish independence. That is true whether you doubt it or not Craig and your rude response was quite unnecessary.

          In my life I mingle with many Scots. Some are for Scottish independence, some are not. I do not consider the latter disloyal to Scotland. I do not consider myself more Scottish or more loyal to Scotland than they are. And I’m sad that, in the whole debate, it’s often more dangerous to disagree with the side you support than with the opposition.

          • Garreth Brady

            Big fan of Craig here, but judging from his last couple of pieces, I think he should be barred from drinking whiskey and watching Braveheart at the same time.

            Full disclosure – London born and lived in the Gaelic heartlands for over a decade, voted for Scotland to leave the UK. Craig knows enough of history to understand that Gaelic and Scots culture is almost totally distinct, linguistically, culturally, historically, and to a large extent politically. The conflation of the two, or even the suggestion of synergy, is wilfully false and politically driven.

            I won’t go into it because it’s too easy for anybody to fact-check themselves, but as Craig insists on a narrative of England/Britain exerting hegemonic control over the Scots – it is equally the case that Scotland has sought likewise over the Gaels throughout the centuries. Alec Salmon’s “Gaelic is the jewel in the crown of Scotland” spiel only represents the end-point of Scots domination – the cultural appropriation of Gaelic by the ruling-class middleclass Scots, as a twee fetish, rather than a serious and autonomous ethno-political entity.

            Either way – as much as I love Craig’s insight, intelligence and bravery, I find his intermittent reversion to parochial notions of ethnic and national identity to be regressive, divisive and depressing.

          • craig Post author

            Garreth,

            The post has no mention of ethnicity whatsoever. It is about whether a variety of unionists will choose to live in England or Scotland post-Independence. No connection whatsoever to Gaelic culture.

  • Geoffrey

    Craig,when in Ukraine last year year I heard many people talking in a similar way about some of the Ukrainians living in the Donetsk region, sounds like you might be suggesting what others might call Ethnic Cleansing…..and why not ?

    • craig Post author

      Don’t be fucking stupid. Nowhere in the article is there a slightest suggestion anyone should be moved anywhere against their will.

      • John O'Dowd

        Craig,

        I detect a shift in mood of the yoon trolls that plague this site (thus paying it the highest of compliments).

        An edge of desperation has crept in after the parliamentary triumphs of recent weeks – and the clear demonstrations of the terminal senescence of the mad British State.

        Things are shifting – hard hats on – prepare for incoming ordinance!

        • Tatyana

          trolls or stupid, I don’t know, but I’ve noticed that some people suspect the worst, when there’s nothing of the kind.

          I was called racist for using the word “jew”. Whatever you in your country have special towards jews, in Russia it means a bancker or a lawyer who is tricky and can deceive you and take your money. Sometimes we even say to our friends “Ну ты еврей!” as praising them for finding an unexpected solution of some hard task. Or getting profit where no one could expect it.

          More, in Russia we use the word, that sounds very similar to english N-word. It is correct word to say out in Russia, we learn it in schools at Geography lessons. “В Африке живут негры.” I’m sorry, but we have no other word in russian, we have not many such people in Russia, and we had never experienced what other countries had, like slavery, segregation etc.

          • Republicofscotland

            “Russia, and we had never experienced what other countries had, like slavery,”

            Tatyana.

            I’ve read that thousands of serfs died constructing the beautiful city of St.. Petersburg.

            Serfdom, sounds an awful lot like slavery.

            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serfdom

            The city has the unenviable nickname of The City Built on Bones.

          • Tatyana

            I was speaking about … when you go to another land, conquer it and turn its population into slaves and benefit from it.
            Serfs were different from slaves, if we are going to touch historic facts. Surfs had property, their ecomomy function was to work and to pay share to their lords. Surfdom developed naturally from peasantry, when paying the Prince’s military service by providing agricultural and crafted goods – it was normal. A type of ancient social agreement.
            But it developed to something very close to slavery, must I say.

          • Iain Stewart

            ” in Russia it means a bancker or a lawyer who is tricky and can deceive you and take your money. ”
            That sounds really lovely. And does a Scotsman suggest anything to you too?

          • Tatyana

            Iain Stewart
            we had no connections with Scotland, so we have no “popular wisdom” or a well-established stereotype.
            Only noticable external features – highlanders, wear kilts (with nothing under it!), play bagpipes, produce excellent whiskey :-), tartan pattern has meaning. Walter Scott and Robert Burns, John Napier and William Wallace.

          • Iain Stewart

            Oh I think the next time you meet a Scotsman you may find there is indeed something under his kilt.

          • Iain Stewart

            I’m impressed that you mention John Napier. Suspecting his servants of theft, he insisted they touch his black cock in turn, after being told that its crowing would prove who was guilty. Of course only one refused.

          • Tatyana

            Don’t be much impressed, it is in cross-word puzzles, the base of the natural logarithm called either Euler’s or Napier’s number.

          • Tatyana

            Millsy, never paid attention in spells different in English. In russian it is ‘виски’ /’vi:ski/
            Is it widely recognised difference?

          • Millsy

            Big difference to anyone who can differentiate between Scotland and Ireland . ‘Scotch’ is whisky – Irish is whiskey .

    • Ingwe

      Geoffrey-how you can reach your absurd conclusion on ethnic cleansing from reading Mr Murray’s article defies me. Did you actually read his article?

    • Republicofscotland

      I think you’ll find its the unionists (Westminster) that have been blowing their trumpets over getting rid of the EU passport for a shiny new dark blue British one.

      So much much for getting their priorities right.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Nice to have a whimsical post every so often, but remember minds will have to be won over from 2014 positions and the low hanging fruit has already been picked. I have no tolerance for the pigeonholing of individuals as yoons. Gawd knows some of them deserve derision.
    I have no interest in supporting a certain writer of children’s fiction. I haven’t read any of her books and haven’t seen any of the offshoot movies. I have seen the BBC adaptation of her detective novels and she should have run the draft by a technically literate proof reader (you can’t really commit suicide by sticking your head in a gas oven since the switch from Town gas to North Sea gas in the early 70’s (Iam in no way recommending the practice as you are likely to kill yourself, just not by asphyxiation)).
    For reasons that elude me J. K. Rowling is a “decision influencer” with an appparently healthy following. She has registered her disgust at Nigel Farage’s little England, xenophobic nationalism. It is not beyond the realms of possibility that faced with a choice between isolationist English nationalism and internationalist Scottish nationalism, she will opt for the latter and sway some of her “followers” the same way.
    So, less yoon labelling please.
    p.s. Not that I’m accusing Craig of such.

    • Rhys Jaggar

      I have read some creitnous rubbish in my time, but ‘little england’ vs ‘internationalist nationalism’ takes the biscuit.

      A post Brexit England would wish to trade with the whole world as a state taking full sovereign responsibility.

      SNP wishes to be a province of the EU, but that is looking internationalist.

      By that definition Juncker et al are ‘little Europeans’ because they have the power and will use it.

      Arsenal FC have achieved nothing since vaste swathes of pathetic supporters started hating SAF for his success.

      Scotland will achieve nothing being obsessed with hating the English.

      By the way, if Macron asks the Scots to keep the nukes at Faslane as part of the EU army, will you start hating the EU?

      • Jeff

        It’s only some English people and broadcasters who are obsessed with Scots ‘hating’ the English. Fact is we don’t. Maybe you should come visit.
        The nukes will go from an independent Scotland – that IS a ‘red line’.

      • PhilM

        Who knew that Scotland’s bid for independence was exactly like Arsenal’s (relative) trophy drought?
        Cretinous rubbish indeed…

      • Kenny Smith

        I’m getting a bit fed up with the hating the English line. It’s an excuse and I have heard English people in living in Scotland say it too. At that point I suggest they look up the English Scots for yes group. I have matched beside people carrying a St George’s cross at Indy rallies and not an eye was blinked or a bad word said. When we talk about Westminster we are not looking to charge the border with our broad swords, the normal Joe on the street isn’t who we are arguing with. Like Gerry Cinnamon said ” Manchester, Nottingham and Sheffield they already know, we are doing it for them and it’s only the start of the show”

          • JOML

            I was in the Snaffle Bit after a Scotland-Croatia game a few years back. The bar was heaving and all cheering on England’s 5-1 drubbing of Germany. Indifferent at first but loved seeing a major country being stuffed on their own patch.
            Is this what you were thinking about?

      • Duncan Strachan

        The nukes will be withdrawn by the rump uk if we leave. They will not countenance them staying here.

          • Mistress Pliddy

            I think it’s even required to withdraw them by the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty.

            1) Incorrect, it isn’t.
            2) The USA houses its nuclear warheads wherever it pleases, and indeed currently maintains stockpiles in Turkey, Bulgaria and Italy, as well as the Northern Territories (Oz) and Djibouti or Eritrea.

          • bj

            Mistress Pliddy, where did the US enter here?

            Anyway, are you sure there isn’t an obligation, to countries bound by the NPT, to make a best effort
            to prevent the proliferation caused by a country breaking up?

            There may be precedent in the breaking of the USSR, I don’t know.
            It’s an interesting question.
            There’s reason for Scotland to kindly hand them back /before/ its Independence.

        • Mistress Pliddy

          The nukes will be withdrawn by the rump uk if we leave. They will not countenance them staying here.

          It will be in neither Scotland’s nor rUK’s gift to make that call. Just as now in iUK, a unliateral disarmament pledge by any party is meaningless, because this is not a sovereign decision. Are people so really ignorant about who controls the ropes?. Clue, over towards the Far West of the map. There, that’s it. The source of all the blight in the world.

          • Jeff

            Bollocks. USA had to remove it’s nukes from Spain on the Spanish government’s insistence after an accident there.

      • Iain Stewart

        “A post Brexit England would wish to trade with the whole world as a state taking full sovereign responsibility.”
        Arise, the nation of shopkeepers!

    • Casual Observer

      Ms Rowling has become the anglicised version of the American notion that any boy can grow up to be President. Going from single mum on bennies, to squilionaire author is quite a feat, and has been used handily in the same way that lottery winners are presented 🙂

    • J

      I read her first Harry Potter to the eldest when it came out, he was desperate to experience what the buzz was all about. Having grown up reading Alan Garner and Ursula Leguin, upon commencing I quickly gritted my teeth but read it through. It saddens me what she did with the gift she was given, first in the writing, latterly in her attitudes to the rest of us. She never took another penny of mine after that first one.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Craig,

    The question of ‘loyalty’ might be assessed and considered by reference to these two examples:-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IW3HCWwaxSE

    Issue at hand: The Government of Jamaica in a recent OAS vote disavowed the legitimacy of the recently elected government in Venezuela. I had this to say:-

    Dr. Nemhard made this observation: “But can’t Venezuela contest this seizure in a court of law? I mean various govts, say in the UK or the USA are sued from time to time for some type of action perceived to be illegal or unjust. So what is Venezuela’s legal recourse?”

    My reply:-

    Dear Dr. Nembhard,

    Pragmatism can be married to principle.

    I agree with you when you say, ” Everything must be done to ensure a fair and just outcome in the matter both for Jamaica and Venezuela.

    Do not agree on the Jamaica/Venezuela issue in certain other aspects, for very clear legal reasons.
    Under a domestic contract, when the parties disagree, they initially negotiate ( assuming that there are two rational parties acting in good faith) and they seek to find a resolution. If that fails they then proceed to court to have a judge decide the issue.
    Under international agreements ( i.e. between nation states) there would normally be a dispute resolution clause which would have the matter referred to arbitration if negotiations failed. One such agency is The International Centre for the Settlement of International Disputes (ICSID).
    It is unacceptable by any measure of bona fides and/or acceptable lawful international practice to proceed to legislation to acquire the 49% of shares which the Venezuelan Government owns.
    Repercussions will follow. A unilateral path to legislation for purposes of acquisition ( read: expropriation) is a sad and terrible precedent for the Jamaican Government to set, without at the very least, a bona fide effort at negotiation – or – in a worse case scenario resort to the ICSID.
    As a lawyer, for quite some decades now, this is the sort of behavior I expect from a scoundrel businessman, not from a country of dignity with a sound international reputation and good name to be protected.
    Then we have the sub-text of Jamaica playing puppet to Washington’s spate with the Venezuelan Government while playing that conjunctive ‘bad card’ to support the administration’s desire and strategy to acquire the 49% shares. Serious questions should be raised in the press and scrutiny be given as to who are the parties putting up the funds for acquisition and what are the consequences and implications for the country, if this expropriation measure is actually implemented.
    I am disappointed at the Jamaican Government’s stand on this issue, to say the least.

    WHAT ARE FRIENDS FOR?

    Dearly beloved, we are gathered once more at the place of the holy truth, to preach yet again about truth, rights and justice. The sermon today asks the question:-
    What are friends for?
    Many in the congregation may think that this is a simple inquiry regarding likes and dislikes – loyalty or disloyalty. To some extent that is correct, but the actual dynamics of friendships or lack of friendships or waning friendships or abuse of friendships is what we shall weigh and consider from the pulpit today.
    May I use a personal example to get to the topic of concern – Venezuela/Jamaica relations are very much on my mind. The personal example shall lead to the broader and more important issue of political friendships on a global scale.
    During my time at London University there were some eight Caribbean fellow students. We ranged from Black British of Caribbean parentage to latter day migrants’ children to British born to persons such as myself who had been shipped off to get an education. We bonded in that we realised that we were the so-called ‘minority’ and not necessarily with overt disapproval of our presence we were nevertheless colourfully noticeable, be this by dint of our complexion or the lively personalities of some of us. Not to say that the Anglo-Saxons had disavowed our right to be there, for we accepted them as friends to the extent that such friendships were invited and/or welcomed. So, within this demographic sub-group of said Caribbean students there was a person, like myself, who had sights ultimately set on a career in the business and professional world. The majority of the others went on to earn doctorate degrees, become a professor or lecturer in a university or in one way or another remained directly affixed to academia. Note that I have chosen not to call this person’s name. Some, like myself and this “friend” ended up back in the Caribbean – while others remained in Britain.
    Thus, a young lawyer and a migrant from Jamaica to the Turks and Caicos Islands ( where I built my career), I would frequently visit Jamaica and spend time with my beloved ( now deceased) mother. On a Sunday my habit was to drive and visit friends and have discourse, meet their families and wish them the best for their futures. The kind of things friends normally do with true friends. Upon returning to my Mom’s home she asked this particular Sunday, “ So Courtenay, who did you visit today?” I was not in a pleasant mood for reason of something I had experienced and I shared it with her.
    I drove to this “friend’s” home up to the security gate and sought entry to visit “X”. The security guard rang up and I replied, “Tell him Courtenay, he will know who.”
    Word came back, “He is in the bathroom.”
    I replied, “Tell him I will wait.”
    Another message came back, “ He says he won’t be out for another twenty minutes”.
    Well, kiss mi neck back and another part of mi anatomy thereafter. Mi kiss mi teeth, tun mi vehicle and proceeded to visit true friends.
    My mother understood fully my feelings, for she had visited me in London at my flat, helped cook food for my party guests, met friends ( including this “friend”) and remembered all, and did inquire at times how “X” or “Y”, as the individual may be, was getting on in life. She was like that; she meant people well and had genuine concern for human welfare. Her reply came to me in a memorable one liner, “Courtenay di higher monkey climb, di more ‘im backside expose”, and we proceeded to discuss more pleasant things and persons. I have not exchanged words with “X” since then, chalked him up as shallow and opportunistic, and have elected to walk through life on the other side of the road with true friends instead.
    Dearly beloved, we must reflect in this fleeting passage of time we call “life” and ask ourselves, “ what are friends for?” For, it is sagaciously said, “a friend in need is a friend indeed.” If I were in need when I sought to visit “X”, be assured, he was confirming – I am fine and rich and mighty; do not come knocking; I am fine; I don’t care how you are; I have neither time nor care nor concern for your piddling friendship for there are more important persons in life for me to engage. Yes – I heard and understood your message loud and clear.
    Let us therefore reflect and now turn our minds to the really big question regarding Venezuela and Jamaica’s friendship with our said Latin American neighbour. I shall do so, not with any sense of grievance and/or resentment as I felt about my assumed personal friendship – but – by reference to standards of international law and global political values.
    Venezuela
    The post World War 11 era has seen several Latin American coups and dictatorships installed – and many of them were either supported by, approved of, or directly engineered by the United States of America.
    Following the 1953 CIA led coup in Iran, the next one was in Guatemala to assist the preservation of the Dulles brothers’ interest in that country to the advantage of Chiquita bananas and to the manifest disadvantage of the Guatemalan people in this notable example which gave its literal name to the now well known phrase – ‘banana republic’.
    The facts do reveal that be it the military in Argentina or in Brazil or in Chile under Pinochet, the patterns have only changed to the extent that elections take place and the question for the US is not one of real concern for preservation of democracy ( recall the US support for the short lived coup against Chavez and the overnight reversal when the OAS renounced the action of the military) – but for support of the supplicants who can support US foreign policy. This brief background serves well to address the current Venezuelan crisis with facts and direct questions:-
    A. Did a paper ballot validate the electronic votes in Venezuela?
    B. Why when Marcon in France was voted in with the same turnout at 48% as was Maduro voted
    in with is there an assumption that there is not a broad ( even as so declined) base of support
    for the elected government?

    C. Why evidentially and in point of law are the Venezuelan elections fraudulent?
    If there were European Union election observers, it would be interesting to read their assessment and analysis and conclusions about the Venezuelan elections.

    But, those are issues of the internal affairs of Venezuela, which interestingly, while I can discern same as being vital and important in getting to the truth regarding the ultimate question of legitimacy of an elected government ( leaving aside for the moment the paramount legal issue of ‘sovereignty’) – there is no such valid questioning and provisions of analysis which directly provide verifiable answers in the mainstream Western media.

    My long-term observation is that the US has consistently embraced regimes across the world doomed to failure while threatening reformist and/or revolutionary governments which make the promise of betterment for their people more difficult to achieve in practical terms. Likewise, Britain and the other European powers reflect this same pattern of opposition, be that in Rhodesia or then Apartheid South Africa.
    In the 1980s when Reagan was the US President, he had this to say about then President Mobutu of then Zaire and his ‘Kleptocracy’ – now Congo:-
    Reagan, astonishingly, described the dictator Mobutu: “A voice of good sense and good will.”
    Not in the least surprising for Mobutu Sese Seko, as a leader acceptable to both Belgium and Western multinational interests, was installed as President and dictator in 1965, when the democratically elected Patrice Lumumba proved objectionable. It was the Belgians and the CIA that had worked jointly and murdered Patrice Lumumba, a man who at the independence ceremony openly critcised the Belgians for their exploitation of the Congo. In 1956 the Congo had its first university graduate. Between 1908 and 1960, when the Congo became politically independent, there were a mere 17 university graduates from the already decimated Congolese population of some 13.5 million. Belgium was offended by the truth as spoken by Lumumba – and the CIA quite helpfully installed a compliant and plundering leader to continue the looting of the Congo ( likely the world’s richest territory with its oil, uranium, minerals, gold and diamonds). That is the truth; that is the established historical pattern. Belgium subsequently acknowledged its wrongdoing and apologised to Lumumba’s children.
    I was a student in the 1970s in London when I noted that Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher was working actively to prolong Apartheid’s racism in South Africa, which she found desirable and acceptable. Not surprisingly, it was no other than her husband, Denis Thatcher, who had substantial investments in Apartheid South Africa at the time.
    All the above to give context. And now back to Latin America and Venezuela.
    China now happens to be the world’s most dynamic economy. President Trump finds himself continuing to embrace failed and losing strategies. He is embracing Bolsonoro’s Brazil while confronting China, in a manner reminiscent of the ‘opium wars’ when the European powers unilaterally dictated to the minions and lesser breeds across the world.
    What are Brazil’s President, Jair Bolsonaro and President Trump trying to achieve? They both want to reverse nearly a century of state directed economic growth. They both believe that privatisation of the entire – or – most as possible of the public sector, including the strategic finance, banking, minerals, infrastructure, transport, energy and manufacturing sectors – or – so much of it as politically they can in their respective countries force to take effect – is the path to greatness. In Brazil, priority is now given to the sellout to foreign multi-national corporations. Interestingly, previous authoritarian civilian and military regimes both had protected nationalised Brazilian firms as part of tripartite alliances which included foreign, state and domestic private enterprises. I use this example to contrast what had happened under Chavez in Venezuela, for he had significantly reversed foreign ownership and consequentially also reduced the net capital outflows from Venezuela while simultaneously raising living standards – which – now, admittedly for reasons both domestic and international are under serious threat of reductions, if not ultimate reversals. That is the truth; those are the realities being faced by the Latin American and more particularly, for purposes of this sermon, the Venezuelan people.
    Venezuela and Jamaica
    One does not need to be a student of international law to accept and recognise that Venezuela is a sovereign nation.
    Jamaica, for its part, as a small state should be able to exercise its sovereignty in its best interest to command respect, trust towards finding avenues of constructive and beneficial co-operation in and with the international community.
    Have we done so in response to Venezuela?
    At a time when oil prices were souring on the global market, and when small oil dependent Caribbean nations, such as Jamaica, saw their entire economic future facing dire consequences once required to purchase oil at those prices – what happened? Under the Pertocaribe deal, it was Venezuela which came to the rescue of the Jamaican economy, and on generous terms of payment for extended periods of payment made oil affordable for the Jamaican consumer. What Jamaica received was in excess of US$3.2 billion in deferred debt.
    Venezuela paid Jamaica an equity cheque of US$63 million.
    It was Venezuela via the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica ( Petrojam) in 2006 agreed with Jamaica to a 49/51% ownership between Venezuela and Jamaica where the long-term objective was towards having the facility move from hydro-skimming to catalytic cracking technology – all to the advantage of Jamaica. Application of that technology would make the petroleum product more aligned to the energy-consumption patterns of Jamaica.
    Venezuela bought back Jamaica’s debt at 50 cents on the dollar where some US$3billion is accepted as satisfied for a mere US$1.5 billion.
    Venezuela, way beyond the few facts stated above, has been a friend to Jamaica for a very long time.
    So, what does our foreign minister do to this friend?
    What does the Jamaican government do to this friend?
    Recall the loving relationship between Presidents Mobuto and Reagan and note that genuine concern which Prime Minister Thatcher had for democracy in South Africa. Care? Concern? For those people?
    First I ask, whether Jamaica’s Foreign Minister asked the questions I did above. Then if she did, did she bring her findings to the Prime Minister, the Cabinet and the Jamaican people before rushing to judgment on the recent Venezuelan elections? At the very least, if a friend is flawed or coming up short, then as a true friend, would one not engage, discuss and then make an informed decision? International law recognises the principle of non-interference in the domestic affairs of all nation states, one to the other around the globe. If, for a small nation state, there were findings that a big power did interfere in the internal affairs of a middle range or small state’s domestic affairs, should not enlightened self-interest give pause for concern and questioning? Well, our foreign minister voted not to recognise the elected government of Venezuela.
    Moreover, there are moves afoot to effect a hostile take over ( buy out – more like “sell-out”) of the Venezuelan held shares in Petrocaribe.
    Are all these moves by the Jamaican Government, principled, enlightened, right, justice, fair, loyal – or demonstrating any of the attributes of true friendship?
    As with my long lost once assumed “friend” – I raise these questions, for as a student I was proud of Jamaica’s stand against Apartheid, from the colonial days when then N.W. Manley ( small as Jamaica is) took a stance of non-importation of South African produce through to the respectful relationship under both political parties in respect for and response to Nelson Mandela and the ANC. If Usain Bolt earned his respect on the international stage by virtue of sterling and consistent performances on the international track; then Jamaica did too earn its respect for sterling performances in joining with the global forces standing up for justice – as distinct from being supportive of – oppression.
    Jamaica finds herself having to service debt, while education, health care and provision of other vital social necessities go wanting. Thus, did the Venezuelan government’s direct assistance in reducing the debt burden while assisting in securing energy security not serve well Jamaica’s long term economic and social developmental prospects?
    Tell me – for I am truly concerned – my friend was not a friend. Does Jamaica show herself acting comparatively much the same as my “friend”?
    Is that what friends are for?
    And so endeth my sermon for today.
    AMEN!

    • Trowbridge H. Ford

      Like most sermons, it gets nowhere, only resulting in boredom and self-criticism for submitting to read it.

      Try saying what you are thinking in a few hundred words.

      • Tony_0pmoc

        Trowbridge H. Ford,

        Well I not only read it all, and thought that most of it was really well written, I was sufficiently intrigued to find out who exactly was The Foreign Minister for Jamaica, and who was her Dad, and I wondered why Courtenay Barnett sent it to the journalist Dr. Nembhard, who judging by his articles would almost certainly agree with him, rather than The Foreign Minister for Jamaica Kamina Johnson-Smith…

        I particularly liked what his Mum said. ““Courtenay di higher monkey climb, di more ‘im backside expose”
        which I thought was class.

        Tony

        • Trowbridge H. Ford

          You got that little out of the thousands of words written? Glad I didn’t waste my time by reading more.

          • Tony_0pmoc

            Trowbridge

            Yeh, but you went to school in the USA in the 1920’s & 1930’s

            Courteney and I went to school in The UK in the 1950’s, 1960’s and the 1970’s

            We got the better education.

            Tony

          • Trowbridge H. Ford

            Just more of your irrelevant. ignorant arrogance.

            I went to school in the late ’30’s, ’40;s, ’50’s and 60’s, and really started leaning things then on my own, getting a Ph.D. from Columbia in political scienceI. I have had three books published, many scholarly articles, and pots appear on the internet since then. Think my most important work has appeared in the UK during the “80’s, ’90’s. and in the 21st century.

            What have you contributed?

    • Wikikettle

      Dear Courtenay. I found your piece very informative and a pleasure to read. It is why I log onto Craig’s site. There are so many contributors with life experiences such as yours that give me like minded association. I hope Venezuela can defend it self from external forces. Another nation with oil that is not allowed to be independent. Thank you Sir.

      • Courtenay Barnett

        Dear All,

        Not in the least bothered by criticism.

        I am a lawyer.

        In first instance criminal trials – I have to sway Judge and jury.

        In the Appeal courts – all the way to the Privy Council – I have to convince, with legal argument, 3 to 5 very experienced Judges.

        All to say ( in a few words – hee – hee) – that there is a distinction between:-

        1. Opposition for opposition’s sake; and/or
        2. Willfully destructive criticism – versus – constructive and/or thoughtful criticism.

        Again – thanks to all for the comments made.

        Kind regards.
        Courtenay

  • steve Bowers

    The moment I’m looking forward to is when they bin the “Scottish” Lords “thanks for sucking up all these years guys, we have no further use for you, out you go, no more freebies for you” I hope they film them traipsing out of the Lords, a wee cardboard box of their personals carried in front of them

    • Martinned

      There aren’t that many Scottish Lords left. The only Scottish Peers are those peers whose hereditary peerage dates back to before 1707. All new hereditary and life peerages created since then are peerages of the United Kingdom. (Which is why the system of Scottish representative peers was abolished in 1963. It wasn’t worth the hassle anymore.)

      • Republicofscotland

        Lord Jack Wilson McConnell, Baron McConnell of Glenscorrodale. Who gained his ermine and scarlett robe by handing back over a billion pounds to Westminster from the Scottish bloc grant, because he couldn’t think of anything to spend it on.

          • Republicofscotland

            You might find this interesting as well.

            Paid to Vote Yes? Year 1707, Act of Union.

            http://unknownscottishhistory.com/articlefive.php

            Here’s a taster.

            1 ~ Lord Anstruther, Sir William Anstruther was paid 300 pounds to vote “yes” on The Act of Union 1707. He voted yes. The 300 pounds received is today worth around 42,000 pounds.

            2 ~ The Duke of Athol, James Murry was allegedly paid 1,000 pounds to vote yes for The Act of Union in 1707, but today’s listings show he voted “NO”.

            3 ~ Earl of Balcarres – Cohn Lindsay is said to have been paid 500 pounds for his vote “yes” in 1707, vote on The Act of Union. This would be worth about 70,000 pounds in today’s money. He did vote yes.

            4 ~ Lord Banff – George Ogilvy was paid to vote yes on The Act of the Union. He did vote yes.

            5 ~ Mr. John Campbell was paid 200 pounds to vote yes. This amount today is worth about 30,000 pounds. He voted yes.

  • Mist001

    I think Ruth will stay, Kezia would join the SNP and in fact, I imagine that all of the Unionists would stay in Scotland because they would sense the possibility of power. It’s easier to be a big fish in a small pond than it is to make yourself stand out amongst many down in Westminster, where they’d be lucky to achieve the status of average.

  • Iain Stewart

    Craig writes: “there will be no power in prospect for Tories in Scotland.”
    — It has always been baffling to me why more Scottish conservatives (Tory or otherwise) haven’t supported the idea of home rule, which would unquestionably give them a new lease of life, once released from their lumbering southern appendage. (The “Unionist” bit of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party refers to the 1800 Act of Union with Ireland, so maybe it’s time for them to advance a century or two?)

    • Rob Royston

      They did in 2015, but their disenchantment with the feeble 56 after the Brexit vote sent the back home in 2017.

      • Iain Stewart

        Thanks for the reply, Rob Roy, but I dinnae understand it. Could you rinse and repeat?

  • Alan O’Brien

    I wouldn’t even refer to these people as “unionists” Craig. They are British Nationalists, especially the ones that want to leave the EU. Using. The term “unionist” buys into the 18th century spin that the creation of Greater England AKA the UK was a “union” or a partnership. I would suggest it was a takeover and is effectively a dictatorship as far as Scotland is concerned.

  • Shatnersrug

    An independent Scotland would be ruled by the Scottish elite who previously left for Westminster the minute they could. It will be fun as a vasal with a Macronesque first ministers and Scottish MEPs will present the anglosaxon viewpoint in the EU partlent ie Neolibrslism Max grants for oil companies and American influence.

    The Scots working class will suck up more EU austerity – so basically no change.

    There are many I know that insist that Scottish elites are unionists, which of course many are, but only because that is where the power lies, should Endinburgh be where the power lies then there they will stay. The elite educated Scottish exercise an enormous amount of influence over Great Britain from Andrew Neil to Blair himself, it’s begins in the elite education institutions. They aren’t going away just because Indy happens. It’s structural. And would require route and branch removal

      • JOML

        Glasshopper, there’s no delusion at present. Scotland is in the shit at the moment, within this Union. Can independence be as bad? Who knows but it’s not really a gamble when you currently don’t have a stake.

        • Shatnersrug

          independance could be substancially worse I’d say, especially if the USA and UK are involved in the process, it will be controlled by the CIA/Mi6 and it could lead to Scotland being run as a tax haven with little regard to the inhabitence outside of the major cities.

          We in the west, especially the English speaking countries must sort out our structural inequalities we are staring at complete ecological collapse and we’re fighting over what group of elites we’d rather have pissing on us

        • giyane

          With a racist PM in London we’re all in the s***. Other opinions are available. May is entirely responsible for the brexit chaos.

          If after independence you get narrow minded proto fascists in power, I suggest you find a better way of kicking them out than asking their own tribe to do it for you.

          My own opinion is that Mrs May should be indited for racism before she implements her racist version of brexit. Blair should have been indicted for planning illegal war.

          Not much point in indicting people after the event.

  • Stonky

    I was just talking to an old friend in the European Commission about Scottish Independence. He said within the Commission there would now be overwhelming support for it and for immediate Scottish membership of the EU…

    I studied EU Law under Professor JDB Mitchell in the 1970s. I speak three Western European languages fluently, and I have spent most of my adult life living and working in continental Europe.

    But this is what makes me despise the whole “EU Project”. We are already members of the EU, and there is in fact no legal mechanism to throw us out of the EU. There wasn’t one at the time of the Scottish Independence referendum either. But somehow – as we were told again and again, by EU officials, European politicians, and our own media – there was a magic non-existent mechanism that was going to allow us to be kicked out of the EU, and another magic on-existen mechanism that would allow England (effectively England) to remain a member.

    Here’s a thought: If Belgium was to split into Walloon and Flemish states – which is an ongoing possibility – then surely in accordance with the “independent Scotland” precedent, one of them would have to be kicked out of the EU.

    So which one, and on what basis?

    • Martinned

      If you studied EU Law, presumably you studied International Law as well? You may want to dig out your old international law texbook because, even in the 1970s, it should have had a chapter on state succession. To be fair, it’s a more straightforward topic since the collapse of the Soviet Union and Yugoslavia, but even in the 1970s it would have been an unavoidable topic for any international law textbook.

      • Stonky

        You can shove your “state succession” up your backside, and while your hands are up there see if you can find the answers to these questions:

        Why would England have the right of “State Succession” and Scotland wouldn’t?
        Where is the EU legal mechanism under which EU citizens in Scotland were going to be deprived of their EU citizenship, but EU citizens in England weren’t?
        Which of Walloon Belgium and Flemish Belgium would be kicked out of the EU under “State Succession” , and on what basis?

        • Martinned

          Why did Serbia inherit the international rights and obligations of Yugoslavia and Croatia didn’t? Why did Russia inherit the Soviet seat on the UN Security Council?

          • Stonky

            Why did Serbia inherit the international rights and obligations of Yugoslavia and Croatia didn’t? Why did Russia inherit the Soviet seat on the UN Security Council?I’ve just read this reply. Clearly you are too stupid to understand the difference between state rights and obligations in international organizations and under international treaties, and the rights of individual EU citizens under EU law.

        • Mist001

          To be fair, Stonky has a point. I(f Scotland had become independent in 2014, it would have left the EU but by the same token, so would England, Wales and NI because it’s the UK as a whole entity which is a member state of the EU, not the individual nations within it, so as soon as the UK becomes non existent as will happen if Scotland ever gains independence, then everybody’s out.

          And that may be the idea behind Brexit. Get everyone out before the entire UK shatters, so you don’t have any comebacks such as the English complaining about being dragged out of the EU and such like.

          It’s a possibility, I suppose.

          • Martinned

            State succession is a bit of an inexact science, but the basic idea is that when a state is divided into more or less equal pieces, none of them inherits the predecessor state’s rights and obligations under international law. On the other hand, if one of the pieces is clearly bigger than the other(s), that one tends to succeed in the predecessor’s rights and obligations. All of this depends a little bit on the goodwill of the other parties to the various treaties etc. we’re talking about, and on whether the successor state(s) even want to inherit their predecessor’s position. In the case of the UK, England is five times as big (in terms of population) than the other three home nations combined, so I’d think it would be in a similar position to Serbia & Montenegro after the collapse of Yugoslavia. (And as Serbia after the end of its union with Montenegro.) Realistically, England would inherit the UK seat in the Security Council, the UK membership of NATO, etc. And I don’t see this being any different wrt the UK membership of the EU, unless there was a political desire to arrange it so that the other home nations stayed in the EU while England left.

          • Rowan Berkeley

            Is succession based on the location of the capital of the previous entity? London, Moscow, Belgrade etc?

          • Martinned

            @Rowan: That wouldn’t be bad as a working hypothesis, and I can’t think of a counter-example off the top of my head, but it hasn’t been proposed as a rule as far as I know.

      • Stonky

        And just in case you’re too stupid to understand the point I’m making:

        State Succession concerns the rights and duties of states in international organisations and under international treaties.

        The EU confers individual rights on individual EU citizens. And there is no mechanism in EU law under which an individual EU citizen can be deprived of his or her rights as an EU citizen just because the member state of which (s)he is a citizen breaks up into smaller units. The consequences of such an even are dealt with nowhere in EU law, in any EU treaty, law, regulation,decision, court ruling or opinion. And even if they were, an individual EU citizen would still have the right of challenge in the European Court of Justice.

        • Martinned

          Like the Advocate General said in his opinion in Wightman:

          78. The Treaty on European Union is an international treaty between States and, at the same time, the constituent instrument of an international organisation (the European Union). As such, it would be subject to the VCLT, in accordance with Article 5 thereof. However, it must be borne in mind that the European Union is not a party to the VCLT, nor are several of its Member States (France, Romania). Accordingly, the provisions of the VCLT on withdrawal from a treaty, and the possibility of revoking that withdrawal, in particular Article 68 of the VCLT, are not applicable in EU law as rules of international conventions.

          79. However, the rules of customary international law are binding upon the Member States and the European Union and may be a source of rights and obligations in EU law.

          (Footnotes omitted.)

  • Edward Mackinnon

    So after Brexit the EU would welcome Scotland as a member. At the time of the Indy referendum they said an independent Scotland would not be allowed to join. And you think that the EU is a democratic organisation? Once inside the EU, you will no doubt be threatening Catalonia with dire consequences if they break away from Spain. Why not have a truly independent Scotland, outside the EU?

  • Jo1

    Craig,
    All this, “Someone I know said Scotland would get into the EU right away,” stuff is certainly interesting but, with respect, it isn’t quite formal legal opinion so, really, it’s kind of irrelevant.

    Last time around I recall massive clashes on that specific issue. Again we seemed to be swimming in a sea of opinion with all sorts of claims thrown in about currency, level of debt etc.

    So it really isn’t straightforward. As I said on a separate thread here, we know the mistakes made last time and I really do hope we don’t forget them and make the same ones again. That would be unforgivable.

    • bj

      it isn’t quite formal legal opinion so, really, it’s kind of irrelevant

      Though relevant enough for you to keep posting dismissive and derogatory comments on it.

    • Contrary

      Jo1

      It IS straightforward. Some basic learning about economics will tell you that ‘currency, level of debt etc’ are not an issue, these are myths propagated by the same people that try and convince you that a country’s economy is like a household budget. It isn’t. These decisions on what each will be will be made in the event of independence, and can easily be decided by consultation, referendum or vote, it will not be set in stone for eternity, and everyone will get a say Yes and No alike. These arguments were used in 2014 because there was so little to argue against independence, gasps of desperation. Debt / asset negotiations I am sure will be fraught, but can never be decided on before the event, so it is pointless speculating – there is leverage and weak points for each kingdom and it will balance, so will likely depend on how effective each negotiating team is.

      I really find it hard to believe anyone still believes those cooked up stories about not being allowed EU membership, Westminster really took advantage of the EUs non-interference policy there, but it was so much hogwash. The indication now, unofficially, is that it will take approximately two minutes for Scotland to rejoin if necessary. They are going to debate it in the European Parliament to give an absolute decision I believe, or they will once you have signed this petition:

      https://www.new-direction.scot/european-parliament-petition-on-scotlands-independent-membership-of-the-eu/

      So it is relevant.

      No one else is still stuck in 2014, we’ve all moved on, and educated ourselves, but if you can’t be bothered, it might be best not to go around unfairly criticising those that have?

      Each individual person will have a say, so any ‘mistakes’ made will be part yours too, take ownership of your actions, if you do actually care.

  • SA

    Or looking at it another way, why does the rest of Britain have to put up with these obnoxious self opinionated Scotsmen and women?

    • Tony_0pmoc

      SA, We don’t but are extremely tolerant, though during the Scottish Independence Referendum, a majority I asked in my local pub, were in favour of Scottish Independence, in the hope that the Scottish elite (Blair et al) would go back to Scotland where they came from, and stop creating such mayhem in the world, whilst us English get the blame.

      I am pretty sure the result was bent, by those same Scottish elite. This article, by a journalist from Northern Ireland and a link contained within, cover both issues extremely well.

      https://www.sott.net/article/405118-Still-Confused-About-Brexit-Its-Actually-Pretty-Simple#

      Tony

    • Shatnersrug

      SA don’t be like that – they want out from the awful British rule, so do we! I’m just not convinced indie is the way to go about it. And I don’t know what is, the combined might of the 5 eyes secret services have over 200 years of experience of how to divide and rule shared between them and they do share it all, when a Scot get angry with an English person the five eyes congratulate themselves on a job well done.

      As corbyn said two years ago – it’s not him they fear, it’s the public. And this current government are the most depraved we’ve seen since the depression.

  • Colin Alexander

    Craig Murray, any feedback on this complaint that I sent to the EU:

    Dear EU Commissioners
    I am a citizen of the United Kingdom; I am also a citizen of the Kingdom of Scotland.

    The basis of my complaint is that due to the unique constitutional nature of the United Kingdom, a bi-partite Union, the UK’s withdrawal process from the EU has been unlawful.

    Historically and on an ongoing basis, the people of Scotland are legally sovereign. Therefore, for the UK and EU to agree the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, it required the democratic consent of the sovereign people of Scotland.

    However, the UK Parliament made the decision to invoke Article 50, and trigger the withdrawal process despite the clear decision of Scotland to remain part of the EU when a referendum was held in 2016. In Scotland the Remain ( in the EU) total was a clear majority of 63% to 38% of voters in Scotland. The referendum was an advisory one, not legally binding.

    The referendum was flawed, as it treated the UK as a unitary state, not a bi-partite Union where the consent of the sovereign people of Scotland would have been required. UK Parliament ignored the will of the sovereign people of Scotland. It was UK Parliament which voted to trigger UK exit from the EU.

    The UK state asserts UK Parliament: Crown, Commons and Lords is sovereign, as England considers the monarch legally sovereign but with the monarch delegating sovereignty to Parliament . However, this follows from the English traditional view of Government. There is no written constitution for the UK in a single document.

    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, was created by the union of the Kingdom of Scotland and Kingdom of England in 1707; Wales and N.Ireland were conquered territories which are parts of the Kingdom of England.

    The nature of sovereignty has been different in Scotland since at least the 1300’s. In Scotland, it is the people themselves who are sovereign, not the monarch or parliament. The whole UK / EU withdrawal process has failed to recognise and take account of this legally very important fact.

    In 1689, the people of Scotland used their sovereign power, via the Scottish Parliament, and legally dethroned their monarch, King James VII of Scotland ( who was also James II of England). Despite the constitutional changes that have taken place since then, that document called The Claim of Right 1689, has never become void, it remains legally in force, as it is required to establish the validity of the current monarch of Scotland, Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. Therefore, the sovereign power of the people of Scotland, remains legally valid. That document describes a “legall limited monarchy”.

    Even though Scotland, with England, created the United Kingdom, Scotland maintained a separate legal system and other notable differences from the rest of the UK. Our legal system is called Scots Law, which highlights that Scotland did not not disappear when it formed a Union with England. Thus, it is wrong for the EU to assume the UK is a unitary state just because the current UK Government pretends it is.

    Article 50 and UK EU exit negotiations have gone ahead without the legal consent of the sovereign people of Scotland. Therefore, the actions of both the UK and EU are unlawful.

    As a sovereign citizen of the UK and Scotland, I voted Remain, as did a clear majority of my fellow citizens of Scotland. We, the sovereign people of Scotland, expressed our democratic and legal right to remain citizens of the EU.

    The UK and EU have acted in an unlawful manner by denying the people of Scotland their legal sovereign voice in this matter.

    For Article 50 / UK exit ( that includes Scotland) to be legal, the people of Scotland would have had to give their explicit approval for this. The people of Scotland have not given their sovereign consent for UK exit from the EU, so this UK exit process should be suspended until such time as the UK and EU establish whether the people of Scotland continue to wish to remain part of the EU or not.

    As you will be aware, Scotland voted to remain part of the UK in 2014. A central part of the NO to independence campaign to encourage the people of Scotland to reject independence was the assertions made by the then UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, who told the people of Scotland that to vote NO to independence would guarantee Scotland’s continued membership of the EU.

    Therefore, it is untrue when UK Government asserts that the people of Scotland voted NO to independence, so that entitles the UK Parliament to assume the people of Scotland want the UK to be considered as a unitary state following the English tradition of UK Parliamentary sovereignty. The NO vote was an exercise of sovereignty by the people of Scotland, not a voluntary surrender of that sovereignty.

    Therefore, I strongly urge my complaint of unlawful conduct be considered not only as maladministration by the UK and EU but also a breach of the legal rights of the sovereign people of Scotland, I being one of those sovereign people.

    I refer the EU Commission to the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and insist my complaint is also considered with reference to Articles 36 and 41 of the Charter. Regarding Article 43, I request the conduct of the EU Commissioners be referred to the EU Ombudsman regarding UK withdrawal from the EU for failing to consider the legal rights of the sovereign people of Scotland and for proceeding with the UK withdrawal process without authority to do so from the sovereign people of Scotland who are also EU citizens with legal rights under EU.

    Until such time as my complaint is investigated and resolved, I request the EU/ UK EU-exit negotiations are suspended until it is established whether such conduct has breached the legal rights of citizens of Scotland.

    • Martinned

      I am also a citizen of the Kingdom of Scotland

      No you’re not, because there’s no such thing.

      Historically and on an ongoing basis, the people of Scotland are legally sovereign.

      No they’re not. The Queen in Parliament is sovereign.

      However, the UK Parliament made the decision to invoke Article 50

      It may or may not have done. That’s not entirely clear. Depending on who you ask, constitutional law scholars may tell you that Parliament only authorised the PM to make that decision.

      Wales and N.Ireland were conquered territories which are parts of the Kingdom of England.
      No Ireland wasn’t/isn’t. While the Queen in Parliament has sovereignty over Northern Ireland by right of conquest (in 1689), Ireland was never annexed to England.

      [etc.]

      • Kenny Smith

        Ireland was never annexed!! Emm I think you will find it was English territory on the day Union was declared. The joint signatories are 1) the kingdom of England and Ireland 2) the kingdom of Scotland. Ireland was technically never asked as English representatives signed on their behalf which suggests to me they were an English territory. The three kingdoms shared the same monarch but Scotland had it’s very own existence.

      • Iain Stewart

        Extract from the Scotland Act 1998 for Martin:
        “Part I
        General reservations
        1The following aspects of the constitution are reserved matters, that is—
        (a)the Crown, including succession to the Crown and a regency,
        (b)the Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England,”

    • Crabbit Geezer

      Well put Colin and begs the question; why hasn’t the Scottish Government taken this course from the outset and set up legal council to act in accordance of the Scottish peoples wishes at the EU Courts?

    • MJ

      “Article 50 and UK EU exit negotiations have gone ahead without the legal consent of the sovereign people of Scotland”

      Those sovereign people of the UK who happen to live in its most northerly parts gave their consent when they voted to remain in the UK and were therefore entitled to participate in the UK-wide EU referendum.

      • Contrary

        MJ, the people of Scotland are sovereign, not the people in the non-Scottish parts. (Legally ratified etc etc). We have different queens (all royals in fact), our Queen Elizabeth is our head of state, by our ‘choice’. The English Queen Elizabeth II (check out Royal Mail post boxes, no ER II in Scotland, it’s just ER) is sovereign, and confers that sovereignty to the Westminster parliament – the people of the non-Scottish parts of the UK are allowed to vote because the parliament likes to pretend it is democratic, the people don’t actually have any legal rights in this regard, Westminster is wholly sovereign in England’s case. So there is no ‘sovereign people of the UK’, that does not exist. BUT, because the uk has no written constitution and it’s all run by precedent etc, Westminster has backed itself into an interesting situation by allowing referendums (normal countries have them all the time, not ‘once in a generation’) – they have set a precedent, and by allowing any ‘people’s vote’ have weakened their own sovereignty. It will be interesting to see if the people in England and Wales actually use this power, or if it will just stay part of the intellectual debate between constutional lawyers.

        Scotland has different laws and justice system and has different constutional precedents, you cannot by any stretch of the imagination try and pretend they are the same as in the rest of the uk.

        Scotland was forced into voting in an EU referendum it didn’t want, then is being forced to leave the EU without a say in the matter. Colin is correct in what he says.

        Sheer weight of numbers means Scotland will never get a say in the uk, it’s a dead duck union with no future, it’s the past, gone, no box to get back into, and there will be no common ground while lies, omissions and misinformation is the only response from supporters of that union.

  • frankywiggles

    Where would it leave the mighty Glasgow Rangers and their union Jack bearing adherents?

  • Martinned

    Thank you for specifying the kinds of bankers you were talking about in the end. That’s the great thing about antisemites and other idiots: if you let them talk long enough, they always expose their true colours.

  • jeff murpghy

    Scots never fought hard enough for Independence in recent history unlike the Irish who in 1919, boycotted Westminster and set up a parallel State, there are to many Unionists in Scotland kindred with their cousins in Belfast

  • Crabbit Geezer

    Deary me Craig. Why swim about in the swamp and trawl the gutter in this way? It’s not even remotely amusing! You’re better than this usually and more than likely overly influenced by the Caol Ila! I would suggest that all comers will be welcomed in an Independent Scotland if they genuinely want to give it a go.

    • bj

      I disagree.
      It’s a version of a game that has wider application (see above vis à vis The Ukraine).

      Ultimately, it’s wise and enlightening to apply the game to… oneself.

      • jake

        Ukrainians regard reference to their country as “The Ukraine” to be insulting and insensitive. What version of the game are you playing?

        • Tatyana

          In Russia we used to say “ на Украине”, it is historical form, because “Украина” is old word for “Окраина” (outskirts, periphery (of Russian Empire)).
          на” is like english “at” – at the border, at the fringe.
          Now, ukrainians demand to say “ в Украине”.
          в” is like english “in” – in a box, in a room.

          And what about “the”, jake? Why is it insulting?

          • bj

            I suppose losing the ‘the’ was fundamental in creating their own entity and identity.
            That’s taking things very far.

            Imagine: Bahamas, Ssalonika, or Be!
            Or –horror– I could find myself waking up in Nerlands one day!

          • Tatyana

            bj
            we have neither definite, nor indefinite artickles in russian (He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named mentioned it several times, it is one of major differences in our languages)
            The meaning of using or omitting “the” with “Ukraine” still escapes me, sorry. With my eyes I see the difference, with my brains I understand it exists, but I fail to feel it with my heart, what is the emotion standing behind it.
            Just please don’t think it is because of me being Russian 🙂

          • Tatyana

            bj
            since my sales stopped, I am spending my time mostly on movies and cooking recipes, it must be affecting my mental abilities ))) though, I prefer to blame it on the pills I’m taking now.
            Doctor’s say 6 month term is necessary to come in shape. Waiting for April, me be me again, I hope. I don’t mind gaining some extra pounds. Let just my usual state of mind come back %-)

          • bj

            Imagine: Bahamas, Ssalonika, or Be!
            Or –horror– I could find myself waking up in Nerlands one day!

            clue:

            Imagine: The Bahamas, Thessalonika, or Thebe!
            Or –horror– I could find myself waking up in The Netherlands one day!

            😉

          • Tatyana

            you guys are kidding me? it is not a good behaviour of a good man!
            take some pity for temporarily mental invalid.
            can you please explain it in simple words?

            the link is stuffed with emerging windows, I couldn’t get through, jake.

            bj, is it adding “the”, adds some grandeur?
            ——-
            as a linguist I can only notice that ‘The’ is added to the multiple nouns, apparently they were ‘nominal nouns’, later they became ‘own nouns’. I was sure that unique set of characters and writing with the capital letter is quite enough to name a part of the planet.

          • Contrary

            Tatyana, they are referring to a terribly English way of speaking down on one’s inferiors – during the British Empire era, it became commonplace to refer to certain countries that were deemed inferior – or rather, made inferior – by adding ‘the’ to the country’s name – The Ghana, The Bahamas, etc etc (as in, ‘this belongs to me’ is how you would feel it). It’s about ownership and power and was used extensively during British empire days. So, now it is seen as highly insulting to the country in question to put The before its name – particularly if they have gained independence from said empire. The Shetlands is wrong and insulting, Shetland is the correct name for the region that comprise a group of islands in the north of Scotland (once having belonged to Denmark, it was ‘gifted’ to Scotland – it is pretty horrific the way empires behaved towards people, society, and the world).

          • Tatyana

            Contrary , thank you! I didn’t know it.
            In our textbooks: “The names of some regions for historical reasons are used with a definite article: The Crimea, The Caucasus, The Ruhr, The Tyrol.”
            Now I understand what are those “reasons” and why it might be offensive.

          • Tatyana

            bj !!! 🙂
            I got it at last !!!
            The Netherlands – Nerlands
            in Russia we say ‘дошло как до жирафа’ referring to giraffe’s long neck, if some idea has to go long way before reaching the head 🙂 it took me almost a day, so I’m a very tall giraffe 🙂

      • Iain Stewart

        An expert in the English language once exlained to me that “the Ukraine” like “the Argentine” refers to the physical geography of the place, not the state.

  • Mary Pau!

    Would the EU commission really arrange fast track membership for an independent Scotland.? it always seems very against setting any sort of precedent which might encourage any of the factions within seeking indepence e.g. Catalonia. And what about the other applicants currently waiting to join, if Scotland were allowed to jump the queue, wouldn’t that be setting a bad precedent?

    • Glasshopper

      I think you’ll find the EU will tell anyone what they want to hear at the moment as long as it undermines Brexit.

    • Tackety Beets

      We are all currently EU citizens & As a Country Scotland is already compliant with EU Regs ?
      Would the EU set a precedent by rejecting us ?
      What reason is there , apart from agreeing terms?
      I suspect the current terms would be acceptable to both parties with the intention of a full review in the months to follow.
      I bet they would help fund our renovation of docks for import/export direct to Scotland
      I EU sceptic but appreciate these structures are like a huge tanker , needs time to change direction.

  • Blair Paterson

    Scotland staying in the e.u. Is not independence it is geting rid of (1master and then having 27 other masters some freedom that ??? Also during the 2014 ref., the eu leaders were lining up to talk out against Scottish independence we even had the black man Obamha telling us we were better to in effect remain slaves rather than seek our freedom I think I know what William Wallace would have told them but hey go on deluding yourselfs

    • N_

      Independent states tend to sign international treaties under which they have legal obligations, compliance with which is determined in the event of a dispute by international judicial bodies. Are you confusing independence with autarky. You seem to be coming from somewhere called “Ain’t letting no foreign f***er tell ME what to do”.

      • N_

        Have you been watching too much Hollywood garbage about a 14th century Scottish knight of Welsh heritage whom the filmmakers presented as fighting for “freedom” against “slavery”?

    • Republicofscotland

      Look at it this way Westminster would be kicking the Republic of Ireland around like a football right now, if wasn’t for the EU backing them.

      • Glasshopper

        Alternatively, look at it this way. Ireland are in a precarious position because they are in the EU.

      • Loony

        The Irish are screwed and are being used by the EU as economic suicide bombers.

        Take a look at Irish GDP which mysteriously rose by 25% in 2015. You think these are real numbers? Inflating GDP by Enron-esque style accounting helps the Irish pretend that aggregate debt only stands at 320% of GDP.. Interestingly Irish financial assets stand at a staggering 1,750% of reported GDP.

        Now take a look around and ask what it is that normally triggers a debt crisis (apart from insane levels of debt itself). The answer you are looking for is some kind of exogenous shock. Well Brexit certainly constitutes that so far as the Irish are concerned.

        If the Irish want to destroy themselves then that is up to them. Whether they like it or not, well they will admit it or not, the fact is that the EU could not care less about Ireland and are perfectly content with the utter and total destruction of Ireland.

        That this must be the case is evidenced by the fact that the EU have allowed/forced Ireland into an insane debt position and are now using Ireland as some kind of whippy stick with which to threaten the UK.

        • Republicofscotland

          I think oif you check your history, you’ll see that Westminster left Ireland ruinous on many occasions, long before the EU’s Schuman, Gasperi and Adenauer pioneered the idea of a EU.

        • Tony_0pmoc

          Loony,

          Even, The English elite, couldn’t destroy the Irish, though admittedly they have historically tried to Lord it over them, and impoverish them. The EU Dictatorship aren’t in the same class. Hardly any of them have been to Ireland, nor met any Irish people.

          We have. The Irish are a Lovely people, and are completely capable of looking after themselves.

          We get on extremely well.

          Us English, and the Irish just can’t stand the idiot globalist elite, who think they are in control. Many of them are Scottish.

          The Welsh are OK too.

          Tony

    • kathy

      Strange logic. Since Scotland would have an equal say among the 27 other nations, how would they be masters?

    • Tackety Beets

      Hardly comparable. EU do not collect ITax ,VAT, CORP TAX, Derv Duty etc etc iScotland will decide for itself & would double our MEPs but best of all meet directly with our delegates directly. eg We can send our own people to discuss CFP etc instead of some one from WM who knew feck all about Scottish Fishing.

  • N_

    There is talk in the media and the political class of “delaying Article 50”. That sounds as though it’s an “expert” or “expert fan’s” way of referring to a move in a sports game, but in fact it indicates poor comprehension of the actual treaty provision.

    Exit happens by default on 29 March if there is no withdrawal agreement by that time and the European Council and Britain have not agreed to set the default date back.

    But it is also possible for a withdrawal agreement to specify that exit shall occur on a date that is not 29 March. For example it could be the same as the current draft withdrawal agreement but with the exit date changed to 27 September and not coming into effect if a referendum in Britain gives a Remain result. Admittedly owing to the EU elections being in late May this is unlikely.

  • Republicofscotland

    Neil Oliver who called independence a cancer, I wonder if he’ll leave his job at the NTS and head south. The Krankies, who loathed the thought of an independent Scotland, will they head south never to star in a panto again.

    Hothershall, McColm, Hague, Dugdale, Lamont, Carlaw, Murdo never (directly elected) Fraser, Clegg, Crichton, Torrance (incidently the new SNP PPB features Dave again its a belter) and a whole host of other toady lickspittles in a multitude of fields within Scotland will all huncker down in Scotland after independence.

    Some I wager would eagerly become Daniel Defoe’s.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Wow! What a way to win converts. Or perhaps your happy remains at an ideologically pure, 45%?
      Some people who expressed a dislike of nationalism as an abstract concept in 2014 may have done so unaware of the juggernaut of English nationalism just over the horizon. Tommy Robinson et al.

      Rhys may see Brexit English nationalism as internationalist but the crucial point is that this is not what the rest of the world perceives looking in.
      The 2014 referendum allowed all Scottish residents to vote, not so the 2016 referendum. While the Scottish government seeks to attract inward migration, the UK (English) Home office seeks to expel working, foreign nationals from the Highlands based on a minimum income criteria applicable to the SE of England.

      • Republicofscotland

        “Wow! What a way to win converts. Or perhaps your happy remains at an ideologically pure, 45%?”

        There are those who’ll convert once they know the truth, and then there are those who would never convert, see the above.

  • N_

    Then there’s Alex Younger, head of MI6. Born in Westminster (literally!), speaks with a non-rhotic accent, graduated at St Andrews, a former officer in the Royal Scots and the Scots Guards. Which side will he “dress” on if Scotland goes independent? 🙂

  • charming

    get over yourselves – it’s an accident of birth. no more oppressed than the folk of grimsby or scunthorpe. as relevant as the relationship between the chinese year and your star sign. look forward not back.,

  • tony_0pmoc

    This article is very much on topic. It’s contained in a link within the other article I posted earlier about BREXIT, by Joe Quinn from Northern Ireland.

    These things do take time to read and understand. They are not like twitter farts. They involve unbiased deep research, without any political objective, except to reveal the truth as close as can be analysed by the available evidence.

    https://www.sott.net/article/286355-Special-Report-Scottish-Referendum-Rigged-The-How-and-the-Why

    Tony

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