40% of Scottish Labour Voters Support Independence 414


The headline from the major new Ashcroft poll of Scottish public opinion is that Independence now has 52-48 majority support, and that is excellent news. Ashcroft himself is a Machiavellian Tory but his polling effort involves much larger samples than regular newspaper polls and has a generally good record. For me, the most interesting point in his new Scottish poll is that fully 40% of Scottish Labour voters in 2017 now support Independence.

This has important repercussions. The Labour leadership will no longer be able to portray Independence as beyond the pale for decent thinking people, or to portray Scottish nationalism as akin to Viktor Orban, without alienating a huge swathe of its own support. It certainly ought, at the very least, to encourage the Labour Party in supporting the Scottish people’s right to a new referendum, against Tory attempts to block it.

But it also has ramifications for how the SNP and wider Yes movement conduct ourselves, particularly online. Nationalists must stop automatically writing off Labour supporters as unionists. There remains a Blairite rump still powerful in Scottish Labour who are rightfully despised, but we need more readily to acknowledge how much we have in common with a great many ordinary members of the Labour Party, both in terms of supporting Independence and in terms of the more socially inclusive Scottish state we wish to build.


The dates in brackets indicate that the affiliation refers to how people voted in the election or referendum of that date.

It is not surprising that many more Labour voters are looking to Scottish Independence as a reaction to a historically extreme right wing government in London. But as I blogged at the time, already in 2017 25% of Scottish Labour voters supported Independence and a significant number who had voted SNP in the 2015 General Election had reverted to Labour in the 2017 General Election. The reason for this was simple – the SNP showed little sign of pushing on with Independence anyway and our dreadful, lacklustre 2017 GE campaign was conducted entirely on the basis of “don’t mention Independence and deny we are pushing for it whenever the Tories bring it up.” No wonder some Indy supporters drifted away.

As ever I looked to the estimable James Kelly for his interpretation of the latest poll, and found that I had beaten him to it. I did however find his last article touching on precisely the subject of whether the SNP should put Independence at the forefront of their campaign in the likely event of an early General Election. As James puts it:

“But we’ve all heard the mood music from the SNP leadership: in a snap pre-Brexit election, they’re more likely to emphasise their plan to stop Brexit, albeit with a pledge to hold an independence referendum.”

I too have picked up that mood music, and I have also picked up the massive groundswell of discontent with it. The SNP must put Independence right at the forefront of a general election campaign, and I entirely endorse the Angus MacNeil option of declaring the general election a de facto Independence referendum if the Tories persist in their refusal to countenance a formal one.

For the SNP yet again to put Independence on the backburner and to lead their campaign on Brexit would be a massive mistake. Firstly the surest way for Scotland to remain in the EU is to become an Independent country. It might end up with more SNP MPs at Westminster, but for those of us whose object is to have Scotland out of the UK and no SNP MPs at Westminster at all, the SNP is looking more and more like an organisation over-interested in its own institutional strength and in highly paid UK jobs for its highheidyins.

In short, Tommy Sheppard’s brilliant 2015 quote “We came to Westminster to settle up, not to settle in” is in danger of turning Tommy – for whom I have high regard – into a liar if they don’t rediscover the sense of urgency that quote conveyed.

Secondly it is not our right to keep England and Wales in the EU if they wish to exit. If we genuinely believe Scotland should be an Independent country, we have to accept that we have no right to interfere in English politics and no right to force them to stay in the EU, against the democratic wish of English voters, just as they have no right to drag us out of the EU, against the democratic wish of Scottish voters.

The SNP seems to have its heart set on being heroes on the UK stage and beloved of the Guardian and Alastair Campbell by thwarting Brexit for the UK. Well, bugger that. I want to destroy the UK and I want Scottish Independence. The rest is detail.

Whether England remains or leaves the EU is a decision for the residents of England, not for me.

Thirdly, an all out bid for Independence will attract back to voting SNP many of those Independence supporting 40% of Scottish Labour voters, many of whom voted SNP in 2015 but not 2017. I can see no especial reason they should change their vote if the SNP does not look a great deal more serious about Independence than it does today.

Finally, if you can’t achieve Independence while Boris Johnson and his bunch of ghouls are lurking around No. 10, when can you? Forget waiting for a better time.

If the SNP fails to strike all out for Independence now, and gets further distracted by the effort to stop Brexit for the whole UK, I shall not be alone in wondering how many of the 8% of SNP voters in the Ashcroft poll who do not support Independence, are at or near the top of the party.

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414 thoughts on “40% of Scottish Labour Voters Support Independence

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  • Peter

    People may (or may not) be interested in this afternoon’s R4 Media Show which features a programme length (36m), Amol Rajan interview with none other than Eliot Higgins of Bellingcat fame/infamy:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0007bwn

    You may notice the way his voice speeds up when he’s asked questions about eg his funding and relationships with the security services.

    • David

      I’ll raise your Bellingcat with another spooks are both individually highly moral, but collectively immoral story…coincidentally on relationships with the security services, I’ve been doing some reading in Australian news

      https://intelnews.org/2019/08/07/01-2603/

      a heartwarming story about a top politician (1) who revolving-doors into a big energy company, coincidental to 5VEY Sigint attacks being made seemingly on behalf of big energy companies, not for Nat-Sec reasons as is usually claimed, by GCHQ, CSIS, NSA etc

      in the interests of CYA or Nat-Sec, choose one!, Australia’s spooks then arrested only The Director of technical operations of the Australian Secret Intelligence Service, and he is seemingly still entombed in a bunker somewhere for being moral & accurate with the truth. Australia then admitted in The Hague that they had bugged a minor nation to steal treaty negotiation data.

      This fascist behavior of UKUSANZACAN secret squirrels is further amplified by AUS parliament wittering on about “terror” from Hobgoblins, whilst arresting/raiding journalists and Australian spooks themselves, again, unashamedly

      https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/08/07/spy-chief-warns-foreign-intelligence-agencies-will-not-trust-australia-if-leaks-continue/

      Who will trust Australia, or UKUSA etc….?

      (1)Australia’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Alexander Downer, had been hired as an adviser to Woodside Petroleum, an energy company that was directly benefiting from the CMATS treaty (a Craig style Maritime treaty “Certain Maritime Arrangements in the Timor Sea”)

  • fwl

    You couldn’t make it up. Labour deciding to support SNP in a repeat bid for independence simply so that Labour can upend Boris, but in the process Labour then damn themselves to opposition benches thereafter. Talk about short sighted.

    • RandomComment

      Labour, historically and by definition is a party of the workers, has now morphed into a completely different beast. Discuss 😉

      • Republicofscotland

        “Discuss” indeed H.

        I agree that Labour has lost its roots the original Clause 4 of 1918 called for common ownership in industry. Blair’s version on Clause 4 changed, and all but abandoned the socialist principles, much of which haunts Labour today.

  • Anon1

    “Scotland. Independent in the EU.”

    Imagine the hilariious outpouring amongst Scotch poetic hero types.

      • Anon1

        So not independent at all then. You have far more independence now than you would as an irrelevant non-country, walked all over by the EU.

        • Republicofscotland

          We can’t remove Trident as part of the UK, we need to plead vigorously with the Home office, if we want someone to stay in Scotland. We have no control over powers reserved to Westminster, and at present we have very little say on EU matters, and as a member of the EU we, in rotation can hold the presidency of the Council of the European Union.

          Just as important would be not being dragged into illegal Westmister wars, at the behest of the US, I recall Tony Blair to G W. Bush saying in a letter, or phone call, “With you whatever” prior to the illegal invasion of Iraq.

          No, leaving the union is the right way to proceed.

        • Clydebuilt

          Anon1

          An independent Scotland in the EU will have much more sovereignity than currently.

          Scotland voted to remain in the EU Westminster has ignored that vote.

    • defo

      in the company of their EU counterparts dear, whilst John Bull howls alone against the future.

    • Republicofscotland

      Of course not, however you’re always going to have small parties with far right views led by the likes of Wilders and le Pen.

        • Republicofscotland

          I broadly agree with their attempts to hold Macron accountable on the erosion of the French standard way of life.

          However, I don’t agree with the excessive vandalism, though they could well have been infiltrated. A terrible offshoot of the demonstrations, but not directly attributed to them, is the steep rise in suicides among the French police.

          Macron has given some concessions however his inexperience in France’s hotseat is plain to see. More accomplished statesmen or women for that matter wouldve reached a settlement with the movement by now.

          • RandomComment

            I appreciate the response, but don’t understand your logic in referring to Wilders and Le Pen as “Far-Right”, when they also appear to be fighting against the erosion of their national way of life. Le Pen clearly has some left-wing elements to her platform. Don’t know Wilders as well, yet I have a handful of friends over there – left-wing Europhlles at that – who don’t consider him as anything more than standing up to the erosion of the Dutch way of life.

            Macon’s history is interesting. How did this inexperienced Rothschilds banker and Bilderberg attendee end up in power?

            [ Mod: Here’s a reminder of an announcement Craig made two years ago:-

            Blog Housekeeping Point
            Marine LePen is an actual racist and fascist. Anybody arguing for her will be permanently banned from commenting on the blog. Fair warning.

            The same holds for anyone advocating the politics of Geert Wilders.

            Any comments or opinions about this moderation policy should be posted in the relevant thread in the Blog Support Forum: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/forums/topic/blog-housekeeping-point-marine-le-pen/

            Thanks. ]

            ]

          • Laguerre

            Le Pen doesn’t take a left-wing position, RC. She’s a far-right nationalist, but not as embarrassing as her father or her niece. From what you’ve been saying, I take it that you think National Socialists really were socialists. They weren’t. But many Brexiters seem to think so, even after it’s been disproved time and time again.

          • giyane

            Random Comment

            Wildest standing up for the Dutch way of life.

            I won’t eat people. Eating people is wrong.

            Son have you been talking to one of your mother’s again?
            People have always eaten people. If people didn’t eat people what is there left for them to eat?

          • Antonym

            Imran Khan, Mohammad bin Salman or Xi Jinping on the other hand are fine. Just check how tolerant and diverse their countries are: 97% mono race/ religion.

          • RandomComment

            Gotcha, although I am neither a supporter nor advocate for either.

            Nor was I lying about my friends in the Netherlands 😉

          • giyane

            Antonym

            Saudi Arabia and China are ethnically and religiously diverse. As for Pakistan Pre partition India was religiously diverse and it still is in its post partition form.

            You could listen to a programme at 23.30 this week on Radio 4 about what happened 70 years ago .
            Meanwhile the US has used the events of 100 years ago to justify the creation of the IS fake caliphate as a cover for trashing the middle East for every last barrell of black gold.

            Memo: engage brain and disengage Sun before proceeding.

        • Republicofscotland

          “when they also appear to be fighting against the erosion of their national way of life”

          RC.

          Apologies RC, I shouldve been more distinct, I meant their economic way of life. It sounds to me as though you are alluding to something other than that.

          • RandomComment

            RoS there is no need to apologise (and I appreciate you taking the time out to reply to me – you’re a good person I think) – I was talking about more than their economic way of life. People feel their national identity and culture under threat.I don’t see this as a controversial statement, but apparently some people do

          • Republicofscotland

            “People feel their national identity and culture under threat.I don’t see this as a controversial statement, but apparently some people do”

            Ah, I see, I can understand that, however the world is getting smaller by the day, societies are becoming (already are) cosmopolitan. That can frighten people used to tradition, they can also feel alienated and not understand, which of course leads to resentment and ultimately anger.

            I don’t profess RC to know the answers to this dilemma, each country must find a away to strike its own balance.

            I do know this violence and persecution is not the answer.

  • N_

    There was another cyberattack on British airports today.

    D Notice territory. I’m still fascinated by how the Register has someone on the committee… Get your irreverent cyber news here 🙂

    • Goose

      That’s the problem with a more aggressive approach to espionage and sabotage in other countries. Those other countries, often with far less resources, find IT expertise relatively cheap to develop : Iran, N.Korea; Venezuela, Syria – Bolton’s club of rogue states, along with big boys like China and Russia can all respond in kind. A lose-lose situation for everyone.

      International treaties were proposed by German Chancellor Merkel and then Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff after Snowden’s revelations in 2013, but it was the US and UK, at the forefront of FVEY, leading the resistance against those moves. Now every power outage and ‘IT glitch’ in the west, leaves you wondering whether it’s some retaliation for something we’ve done?

  • Hieroglyph

    Personally I doubt Nicola S. even desires independence. Just as I am sceptical that our own Pauline Hanson has any particularly strong views on immigration. It is what it is, but the vast majority of politicians are completely untrustworthy, to a quite bizarre degree. Who knows what BoJo really thinks on anything at all? He’s clever, but I literally have no clue what his politics really are, other than self-advancement.

    Lizards, all of them.

    • Node

      Who knows what BoJo really thinks on anything at all?

      Democracy is the smoke screen from behind which this country has been run by British Establishment puppet-masters since Napoleonic times. Now they compete with the Globalist puppet-masters to exploit us. Boris is the puppet of the Old Guard – his job is to take Britain out of the Globalist entity known as the EU, and deliver its riches back into the hands of our home-grown gangsters.

    • N_

      In your opinion, did Alex Salmond desire independence when he was leader? I suspect he didn’t. His meeting with the batsh*t crown prince – sheesh! I can’t quite slot that as an attempted triangulation. But he’s far brighter than Nicola Sturgeon. I doubt she even understands what independence would mean in the formal sense. She’s the idiot who when asked whether Scots would have Scottish passports replied sure, they’d get Scotland written on them when they came up for renewal. And even with Salmond one has to ask why he didn’t see the currency question coming. And he thought he was strong on the EU when actually he was weak.

  • Les Wilson

    Well, the 40% number could be higher on the day. Some labourites has some sense, which does not apply to their bosses.

    In regards to O’Donnell talking at the fringe, we cannot fall for this, it is smoke and mirrors to raise the Labour profile in Scotland,
    in the hope that it may improve their votes here.

    There is nothing sensible here, it is a cynical move. Designed to confuse and misdirect.

    Beware of Unionists bearing gifts Scotland. We know how labour delivers, er nothing positive for Scotland. They will not deliver on this.
    For god’s sake, how can Scots believe anything Labour says, we know them, we know what they do, please do not fall for this.

    • Shatnersrug

      John MacDonnell is not cynical. He’s one of the few politicians that says what he thinks, it was Keir Hardy’s principal that Scotland should be independent from from the uk and Westminster and that belief has been kept alive on the left of the party. The left have not had this much influence in the party since the 1930s and their voices rarely heard.

      The people you shouldn’t be distracted by are the SNP, a party that since Alex’s demise have shown little interest in another Indy ref, they seem more interested in spreading Govt propaganda about Russian spy’s and bombing Syria, not to mention the odd big up for Kissinger. They are the very example of ‘controlled opposition”

      • N_

        I thought Keir Hardie was in in favour of home rule, not independence. Also I haven’t checked but surely he wasn’t a monarchist and therefore he would not have supported the existence of the UK.

    • John2o2o

      Write to him. I did. Maybe it will do no good, but it’s got to be better than doing nothing.

  • Clive P

    Yesterday Ian Dunt’s usually excellent Politics UK site carried a single item about stopping fake news. It came from a group called ‘Stop Funding Fake News’ which puts pressure on advertisers not to use ‘fake news sites’. It says that The Canary is one such site because it claims Assad did not carry out any gas attacks. Others fake news sites mentioned on its own website are those who criticise the official Skripal narrative, or criticise Israel. So who are this group? No details are given. They claim they are simply a bunch of spare time activists who have to remain anonymous for their safety. No information is given on how they are funded. This looks very much like an Integrity Initiative/77 Brigade activity.

    • Andyoldlabour

      Clive P,

      Looks as though they are very pro remain, pro EU – neo liberal. They must be existing on more than a Gofundme campaign.

      • Northern

        Probably just Hugh Grant trying to cover up another love child, bollocks to press freedom.

      • Northern

        Wow. We’ve seen evidence free conflation of all those issues for years, but to tie them all together in a nice easily consumed shiny pie chart like that is naughty to say the least. What’s the source for this if you don’t mind me asking? Guessing the messaging of such a graphic isn’t nearly subtle enough for anyone with genuine establishment connections though. Looks like something the ITN intern made.

        Although it’s not necessarily surprising if we have reached such a point in the manipulation that people will just accept a bare faced assertion of Russian conspiracy without any supporting evidence what so ever.

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          Tried to track down a source to no avail. It was being circulated in Twitter last week.

      • N_

        They’re probabluy right, though.

        Ngel Farage and Alec Salmond love their Russia Today work and some of Arron Banks’s and Dominic Cummings’s Russian connections are publicly known. Who the f*** is in a position to set up an airline in Russia shortly after they leave university?

        Talking of Cummings, is he connected with the inane crown prince, Charles? He seems exactly the kind of self-assured loony with big (albeit cut and pasted) ideas that the said prince would admire.

        • N_

          I meant to type “insane”, not “inane”. “Inane” is far too soft a word for that guy.

        • Vivian O'Blivion

          Scottish independence overlaps with Evangalist populism. Really? The Souters and their millions are ancient history. The Sturgeon iteration of the SNP is super woke. If anything the evangelicals have infiltrated the Conservative & Unionist Party.

    • MJ

      How amazing that an anonymous bunch of “activists” should have some insight into what is true or not.

    • FranzB

      Rachel Riley is somehow connected to SFFN. She had a go at The Canary because of their money problems.
      https://twitter.com/RachelRileyRR/status/1159066618384850951?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

      She recently implied that Jeremy Corbyn was a Nazi after he was attacked by someone with an egg at a London Mosque. Spot James Cleverley’s suggestion. Imagine if a muslim had posted that.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ddDPzGiYyE
      https://twitter.com/rachelrileyrr/status/1102271526425055232?lang=en

      She’s labelled Corbyn as an anti-semite. I think Media Lens did a search on Corbyn and anti-semitism in the press prior to his 2015 leadership bid. There were 14 hits all showing how Corbyn was fighting anti-semitism (e.g. EDMs, marches, speeches).

      https://twitter.com/RachelRileyRR/status/1123493872003362816

      • Deb O'Nair

        I adore Rachel Riley but her twitter feed is is clearly being used to attract trolls in order to give the appearance that she is being victimised. She criticises the Canary as being responsible for fake news and promoting antisemitism but this is an outrageous slur. The Canary is independently regulated by IMPRESS, which is a government recognised press regulator. I read the Canary and do not recognise it as the site described by Rachel Riley. The real problem is having a media, both news and entertainment, being completely dominated by right-wing millionaires who see Corbyn and Labour as a threat to their wealth and position in ‘society’.

        • Northern

          Would agree with your suspicion that Riley’s being used for some further reason, she regularly gets into slagging matches with trolls and pro-Palestinian users that I can see literally no benefit to, unless you’re trying to prove how much antisemitism you get subjected to. She’s a great example of how a pretty, young person can still harbour abhorrent Tory views – I very much struggle to reconcile the TV personality with the stuff she comes out with on twitter.

    • N_

      a bunch of spare time activists who have to remain anonymous for their safety

      Is there something terribly wrong with that status?

  • Goose

    Anyone catch BBC 2’s Newsnight last night, with the appalling Ian Murray, interviewed by the equally appalling, snarky Emma Barnett?

    Barnett immediately made insinuations about McDonnell’s motives , asserting that in being warm to the idea of a second referendum he was motivated solely by sheer lust for power – she never once suggested McDonnell was simply respecting democracy. Note. McDonnell has a history of supporting democratic moves to independence whether on the front bench or back benches.

    Outrageous therefore that Barnett turned his words into some conspiracy without evidence.

    Not once did Barnett put the case to Ian Murray, for the need to respect the democratically expressed wishes of the Scottish people at Holyrood, it was all about her bleedin’ conspiracy theory about why McDonnell was saying what he’s said.

    This is the same BBC that’d quickly accuse this blog of pushing conspiracies, no doubt.

    • Hatuey

      People like Emma are just spinning lies that get passed down to them from above. She could just as easily arguing for indyref2, nuking Ireland, or rebuilding the British empire. It’s not up to her.

      What she and people like her bring to the table is a willingness to argue convincingly for anything, no matter how sinister or absurd it may be, all at the behest of her masters and in pursuit of shallow career goals and money.

      • Goose

        I genuinely think she hates the Labour party. It was she in a radio interview, who asked Corbyn for some relatively obscure figure in the last election campaign – an attempt at creating a deliberate ‘gotcha moment’ that led the news .

        And Newsnight itself is generally a cauldron of anti-Labour activity. Very rarely do they invite Labour MPs on unless it’s to discuss some highly negative story they are running. Tory MPs are brought on, as if for a fireside chat by way of contrast; they get polite interviews with few interruptions. The only Labour MPs treated respectfully are those bashing Corbyn.

        And Ian Murray was either naive or something more sinister by agreeing to appear on that show.

        • Jo1

          I saw an equally awful Hardtalk last night where the BBC’s Stephen Sackur interviewed Ireland’s Senator Neale Richmond and basically blamed Ireland for the stalemate over Brexit. His undisguised hostility was shocking. He was actually shouting at the guy, accusing Ireland of jeopardising future Anglo-Irish relations and its own economy by refusing to compromise. Mr Richmond remained dignified throughout. Even by the BBC’s awful standards it was disgraceful.

          https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0007hqz

          • Goose

            Parts of the BBC should be thought of as parts of the intel apparatus, spooks are heavily integrated through the World Service apparently. This according to a report the BBC did on itself.

            Newsnight presenters pull this unreasonable stunt every time they get some Irish politician on. It’s like watching someone shout:

            Why aren’t you prepared to rip up the GFA !?!

            The Irish remain dignified, but they must be quietly fuming that the British want them to destroy the Good Friday Agreement…. and all so the Tories can keep the DUP sweet. A party who might not even be relevant in a future UK parliament.

          • Deb O'Nair

            The BBC World Service is partly funded by the Mike Pompeo run US State Dept., as its geopolitical propaganda output consistently demonstrates.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      The little scamp will have the last laugh on all of us. Largest constituency majority in Scotland. 55% of the vote in a four way contest.

      Latest YouGov poll sending seemingly contradictory messages. Scottish Labour on 12%, but Corbyn polling relatively strongly in Scotland against Johnson. Corbyn only -3 against Johnson in Scotland against an average of -19 in England and Wales. English regions all over the place. In London, Corbyn only trails by 6%, in the rest of the South it’s -30. The trend appears to mirror Brexit preference.

      https://d25d2506sfb94s.cloudfront.net/cumulus_uploads/document/8i9x45cenq/TheTimes_190806_VI_Trackers_w.pdf

      Perhaps embracing Corbyn is a way back for Scottish Labour. Dickie Leonard is said to be socially Corbynite but the wee soul completely lacks gravitas. Comes across as a bad, 1970’s end of pier comedian.

      • Goose

        Polling best ignored tbh. Corbyn either gets near no press or a virulently hostile press. And Johnson is enjoying a brief honeymoon.

        Election coverage and debates are different. A good popular manifesto and impressive TV debates can change public perceptions overnight.

        The main concern is this antisemitism smear bollocks, that seems to rear its ugly head whenever Labour start moving upwards in the polls. Scary to think the vile media and certain Labour MPs can turn it on and off like a tap.

        • michael norton

          Labour seem to be nine points down from the Coservatives.
          Jeremy Corbyn is virtually invisible, these days, is he ill?

          • michael norton

            Heard an interview on Radio Four this morning between Nick Robinson and Chuka Harrison Umunna, Chuka was being asked about the chances of a government of national unity being formed with his old pal Jeremy Corbyn being the next Prime minister, he thought it very unlikely as many Labour M.P.s don’t even want Jeremy as their leader.
            Chuka thought a better leader would be his new pal, Jo Swinson.
            Chuka went on to say there are twelve LibDem M.Ps, he must have forgotten that there is now a new one,
            Nick Robinson did not put him right.

    • Ken Kenn

      Yes, then as usual the whole program went into weird territory ( thank you Emily ) and some earnest woman came on with a report
      re: the effects of a No Deal Brexit on the cullling of cows in Northern Ireland.

      The gist was that if a No Deal came about the price of milk in the Irish Republic would rocket to 45p per litre.

      Therefore ( I think ) the Northern Irish farmers would lose money and have to cut down on their milk producing capacity as in
      de -stocking ( culling ) their livestock.

      So- not a farmer or cow was interviewed or asked to comment and it all ended in a strange way.

      Is it me or has this program become very strange?

      One thing’s for sure DUP supporting farmers and their families are not going to like the outcome of a no deal.

      Prior to that some Tory pratt came on and said like a lying Boy Scout that the government was ” prepared ” for a No deal situation.

      Well……..in his department anyway as backside cover.

      Truth is Johnson’s doomed anyway and he knows it despite what Cummings says.

      He said ” it’s do or die ” and he will die.( metaphorically ) and it will be written that he was the shortest reigning PM in history.

      As Grieve said the Queen should sack him.

      Or put him in the Tower where he and his Adamm’s Family Cabinet can do no harm.

      These people are dangerous.

      • N_

        If Grieve had more guts he’d remind people of how the “queen” made a major contribution to the Leave campaign.

  • Neil

    Craig, it’s time to put aside childish frivolities. There’s only one topic worthy of our attention now and that’s climate change.

      • N_

        Haha, Godolphin! Whenever anthropogenic climate change True Believers assert their belief in circles where people can reason for themselves they soon get drubbed! You did it in 10 words. I’m impressed.

        But I would say that because I’m paid by Corporate Centrale! 🙂

    • Trowbridge H Ford

      What about Trump’s lunacy? He’s apt to pull the plug on nuclear holocaust one of these days if the pressure keeps building.

        • RandomComment

          Let me add, what about Hilary Clinton? The person you claim to have tried to kill you several times.The person who laughed at Libya’s demise – Carry On up the Jacksie. The person – along with the Obama admin – let US soldiers die in Benghazi? Seems a bizarre position to take

    • Tom

      It’s not worthy of our attention at all – most likely a complete hoax on behalf of the elites. Hence why the BBC and Guardian are all over it as soon as there is a warm day.

      • Neil

        So your theory is that 98% of the world’s scientists are involved in some kind of conspiracy, fabricating data, forging documents, producing photoshopped images of ice-free coastlines, spreading chemicals near coral reefs in order to kill them, etc etc etc, and there’s no need to worry because some guy called Tom on the Internet says it’s all right?

        How reassuring.

  • Sharp Ears

    Don’t be so silly Anon1. You must have been reading the Specator’s offering.

    btw It’s the Tories who lock people up. Remember Julian Assange in Belmarsh? He is in a very bad way incidentally, according to John Pilger.

    ‘@johnpilger
    7th August 2019
    “Do not forget Julian Assange. Or you will lose him.
    I saw him in Belmarsh prison and his health has deteriorated.
    Treated worse than a murderer, he is isolated, medicated and denied the tools to fight the bogus charges of a US extradition.
    I now fear for him. Do not forget him”.’

    • Bramble

      I am sure the fake journalists who rule at The Guardian are patting themselves on the back and cheering as the man they worked so hard to destroy (if only they had worked as hard to speak truth to power) is driven to an early grave. None of which can change the fact that Mr Assange revealed the truth, and that is his real crime. Meanwhile the Guardian is boasting that they have now broken even. I wonder where that cash is really coming from….

      • Goose

        Perversely, were Assange a person of colour and a homosexual, the guardian would probably be organizing marches in support of his immediate release.

        Whoever’s idea it was to link him to the guardian’s pet hates: Putin and Russia, then call the highly suspect ‘he said/she said’ business in Sweden ‘alleged rape’ ,sure knew how to press all the right ‘trigger’ buttons with the fake left feminist ultras at the guardian. Still smarting from Hillary’s defeat. I’m no fan of Trump myself FYI.

        For some on the fake left, Assange’s real crime is being a white, heterosexual male, (falsely) labelled a stooge of the Kremlin.

          • Goose

            Not at all.

            I just think there’s a section of society more willing to defend and oppose injustice, if that injustice is happening to some minority. It’s why the false claims and outright lies about the prevalence of antisemitism in the Labour party were so effective and so hard to refute- because they were so readily believed among the ultra PC brigade.

            The ultra PC types and virtue signallers find it harder to look at injustice in isolation . There’s little desire to campaign for a middle-class , white heterosexual like Assange and examine the absurd injustices keeping his future in limbo. Almost an assumption a middle-class, heterosexual white man is privileged enough already and can take care of himself.

            An example is Chelsea Manning, who btw should undoubtedly be free too. I do wonder, had she stayed plain old Bradley Manning, would Obama have shown the mercy and compassion he did? I don’t know, but the fact he was struggling with gender identity issues and was a trans woman probably weighed heavily in her favour.

            My point being. It shouldn’t take some extra minority flavoured element for progressives to rally in support of those being subject to cruel and unusual punishment or injustice.

            This isn’t a criticism of the left – who have defended Assange- it’s a criticism of the fake left virtue signallers, who’ll only defend minorities in order to win moral plaudits among that peer group.

          • remember kronstadt

            @Goose

            and i still don’t understand why you would sexualise the issue when there are many me me me demands for special treatment and exceptions? i’m also surprised to see the arcane reference to ‘heterosexual’ as most of ‘us virtue signallers’ have moved on to a sliding scale of preferences.,

          • Goose

            rk

            It’s a delicate argument to make and some may think a tenuous one. Plus always a risk of seeming to stray into sounding bigoted oneself.

            I am not bigoted at all, I take a live and let live approach to all these matters. I’m a very much a libertarian on and don’t judge people by their preferences. My criticism is aimed at those who consider themselves progressive or liberal yet are happy to let Assange rot, simply because there’s no ‘culture war’ aspect to his situation, he doesn’t tick enough boxes to arouse their interest. Were he female and called Julia Assange, there’d be much more outrage from feminists for example, including I’d wager, the Guardian.

        • John2o2o

          I don’t know Goose. They’re not big fans of Chelsea Manning either are they.

          • Goose

            Manning got more favourable coverage than Assange is currently getting, prior to Obama’s commuting of her 35 year sentence.

            Assange is being treated like some serial killer or something. I mean, the guy published leaked video and documents that showed actual war crimes. It’s madness.

  • Trowbridge H Ford

    London will never allow Scottish independence if ever its residents so desire!

      • Trowbridge H Ford

        Because its war mongers believe that the UK is essential to maintain for strategic survival.

        • Republicofscotland

          But wouldn’t the warmongers just continue warmongering without Scotland in toe?

          • giyane

            RoS

            If BoJo removed his toe from his mouth he’d have to insert a plum to maintain his exceptionalist British Queen like tones..

            A remarkable feet of human contortionism for a man in 40s who has never yet left his pram.

  • Oliverx

    Very interesting analysis. Anyone have thoughts on Scotland retaining the English/German monarch after Scottish independence?

    Recent developments from Belgium regarding the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha mob some might have missed.

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/02/saxe-appeal-king-of-belgium-reintroduces-german-lineage

    It has been such a long time since one of the last family feuds, where the various SCG divisions, financed by the various Banks of Rothschild, sent ”their” subjects, ie the great unwashed, a great distance to slaughter their equally unwashed ‘foreign’ equivalents, that the Belgians have decided all is forgiven/forgotten and its time to reinstate the original name. Hurrah. (They must be 100% confident all this time later they’re not going to get the Russian treatment). I’m not quite sure when they held the public vote on this but no doubt the whole of Belgium was consulted in advance.Article left this out.

    Should England follow suit? Rid the world of this phony ‘Windsor’ stand in and reinstate the original — King Charles Saxe-Coburg-Gotha — has a nice east end ring to it. Rolls off the tongue (like spit). Windsor sounds more like a housing estate than royalty, no? Perfect time with Brexit and all the Empire 2.0 stuff floating around the bowl these days. Maybe someone can start one of those online petition type things.

    On a related note – Do you think the never ending ”Russia is going to kill everyone on the planet” meme for the past few decades from the UK and co has anything to do with the Russian division of the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (+Rothchild Financial) having their hands removed from the Russian golden goose by the sensible people of Russia or is it a tad more complex as to why the rulers of Britain et al want the great unwashed once again to slaughter each other on behalf of their bank balance? I’m leaning toward ”they’re still pissed off about the goose”.

    • Republicofscotland

      I recall reading that King George V changed the family name to Windsor, to make the Royals appear more British, and less German. Britain and Germany were at war and George didn’t want any royal anti sentiment when the name Saxe Coburg-Gotha was mentioned.

      In a jibe at his cousin Kaiser Wilhelm II, reportedly told aides that he’d take in Shakespeares The Merry Wives of Saxe Coburg-Gotha, rather than the Merry Wives of Windsor at the theatre.

      As for a independent Scotland retaining a foreign cosseted monarch, I’m personally against it, however I’d imagine a vote will be held on it when the time comes.

    • N_

      The family only changed its “house” name to “Windsor” because war between Britain and Germany made “Saxe-Coburg-Gotha” seem inappropriate. They kept to the German tradition of naming themselves after their main castle, though.

      The current “real” name is not Saxe-Coburg-Gotha but Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg,

      It’s disgusting to read journalists write about “dragging the queen into politics” and various scenarios involving the monarch when the monarch contributed to the Leave campaign and her contribution may have even been decisive in its victory.

  • Trowbridge H Ford

    No, I am not, Random Comment. I am an 89 year old, retired college teacher.

    I just learned that Toni Morrison is seeing that my name is posted on the wall in Montgomery, Alabama,of those who stood up against bigotry and hatred during the last half century. She sent a signed certificate of appreciation to that effect before she died, though I never contacted her.

    • RandomComment

      If I’ve mistaken you for someone else – not the ex-CIA wiki spooks entry and author of Codshit and your new piscean website forgive me.

    • BrianFujisan

      Well Done Trowbridge.. Principled Stuff indeed.

      I hope you make that trip here to Scotland someday

      • Trowbridge H Ford

        Thanks Brian, still planning to come, and still think that Captain Simon Hayward aka Captain James Rennie did in poor Willie McRae.

  • John

    A good rule of thumb is that anything opposed by the repellant, subhuman filth that are Tories, is usually a good idea.

  • Legs Eleven

    I remember that when I first looked at this site a couple of years ago Craig had just come out strongly against the EU because of its complicity with Spain vs Catalonia. Now he seems to be in favour of Scotland remaining in or rejoining the EU. What has changed?

    • remember kronstadt

      Good point Legs – I hope that Scotland isn’t going to run from the arms of one ‘abusive’ marriage into the arms of another. A period of reflection and consideration would be wise.

      • Goose

        It would be, but for the fact EU interference in member states is far, far less than Westminster’s interference in post-devolution Scotland today. Plus Westminster is always in a position to threaten under current arrangements. Given many Scottish Tories would probably secretly like to end devolution & abolish the Scottish parliament, replacing it with direct rule. This threat seriously curtails what the Scottish Holyrood govt feels able to do. Hence the reticence on using the tax raising powers. A Tory majority at Holyrood could spell disaster for devolution.

        Someone posted an interesting pie chart on Twitter illustrating EU vs Westminster control and Westminster is still quite overwhelming by comparison to what EU input would be in an independent Scotland. If Scotland eventually joined the Euro it’d be a big change, but that’s not without stability and protective advantages for Scotland.

        • Republicofscotland

          Lets not forget the Hub opens up next year in Edinburgh, with its only cabinet office outside of Westminster, and its 3000 staff.

          One can only imagine this General Mola Fifth column situated in Scotland’s capital city is there for far more than just liasing with Holyrood and Westminster.

          We will forfeit our EU protection on leaving the EU, the EU Monitoring Committee on Pluralist Democracy, which forced the British government of the day to set up devolved bodies in Scotland, Wales and NI will no be able to intervene, if Westminster decides to roll back devolution.

          It would be foolish not to assume that the Tory government aided by its new Hub, aren’t intent on doing so.

      • Ken Kenn

        Let’s stare reality in the face here.

        I love a good political/economic philosophy and political principles but we live in a globalised world.

        There are three trading blocs.

        The EU – the USA and its acolytes and the big one China and the BRICS.

        As the UK we are closest to the EU geographically.

        Two of the trading blocs don’t have much of a Social State or a Welfare State similar to the EU.

        In the EU there is austerity as in the US.

        But ( and it’s very very important ) in the EU the rich/corporates and their sychophant media spielers can not get away with what the US and the UK has done – that is: harsh cuts to the Welfare State.

        Macron bought the truck drivers off and Merkel has to placate the German Unions whereas in the UK Thatcher did manage to drive massive wedges between the working and middle classes.

        So as usual in a Bourgoise democracy ( a Marxist term Dave ) we are left with a choice of lesser evils and I view the EU as the lesser one.

        Corbyn scores the EU 6.5 – I score it 6.

        Now if all on here can come up with a better one than the three blocs I’m all ears?

        If I was young I’d be off to China – the West is finished and has had its day.

        Whether they are strictly Marxist _ I don’t know but the Chinese don’t give a crap.

        • Republicofscotland

          “If I was young I’d be off to China – the West is finished and has had its day.
          Whether they are strictly Marxist _ I don’t know but the Chinese don’t give a crap.”

          Ken you gave a fairly good summary of the EU. However I doubt going to China would better your way of life, than what you could have in the West, nor is China a more politically free society than in the West.

          As for China and Marxism, maybe at the lower end of the wealth scale, but at high end of the wealth scale China in my opinion is a capitalist state, posing as a Communist one.

          Yes I’d agree that the Chinese don’t as you say “Give a crap” on the domestic front anyway. Countless executions take place everyday in China, judged in secret, and executed in secret. China does not give out any information on how many people it executes yearly.

    • Republicofscotland

      I’d imagine that Craig, knowing the ins and outs of Westminster through the FCO, feels like many others do, that the EU is the lesser of two evils so to speak.

    • Laguerre

      At the moment, there are two models of Europe. One the model of the large national states uniting in a free union in order to defend themselves against the inevitable horrors of globalisation. The other is where these national identities dissolve through internal contradictions, eg UK, and the individual entities rejoin Europe for the same reason. Independent Scotland is the perfect example, but Catalonia would be the same. It’s what I expect more and more. Regional identities will take the fore, the EU will be the uniting element. The advantage is that each entity is free to make its own decision. That’s not so for Scotland today.

      • Legs Eleven

        I think that was the idea behind the failed attempt to introduce regional governments in Britain. The EU would be tailor-made for a larger number of smallish entities – Scotland, Austria, Belgium, etc, banding together for mutual support, not unlike the USA. The fly in the ointment has always been the large historic countries with corresponding ambitions.

  • Alf Baird

    What surprises me, Craig, is that SNP elected members seem more inclined to take up court cases seeking to establish the sovereignty of Westminster MPs to unilaterally block EU withdrawal (or anything else MPs may be minded to block), rather than legally testing the sovereignty of Scotland’s people and a majority of our elected representatives to unilaterally withdraw Scotland from the UK union. Is such a legal test so difficult to bring forward?
    I suspect there may be too many recent unionist converts and political careerists in the SNP’s elected ranks who don’t quite realise what being a nationalist really means. Mind you, as soon as I saw all those new SNP MP’s in 2015 setting up constituency offices I had a feeling they were ‘settling in’.

    • Goose

      You mean they’ve got used to the pay and perks of being leading politicians?

      That happens a lot; radical voices go quiet when they realise the lifestyle they can enjoy. Independence may well result in SNP fragmentation into new left and centre-left groupings, made easier by Holyrood’s proportionate voting system which allows new parties to emerge and thrive. Some SNP MSPs, MPs and MEPs may worry their particular faction may end up out of favour in an inde Scotland. Thus have become wedded to the status quo, perhaps?

    • RandomComment

      So you have to wonder – is the ultimate aim here to ensure Scottish Independence, or to bolster EU integration? No-one here can offer a coherent reason why joining the EU fosters their nationalism. Logically, the two are incompatible. It’s easy to point out the venality and evil of the British Establishment, yet there is no mention – ever – of the evil of the EU.

      Perhaps, because, it’s an inconvenient truth. You get threatened with being banned etc 😉

      • Republicofscotland

        “So you have to wonder – is the ultimate aim here to ensure Scottish Independence,”

        In a word yes.

        • Alf Baird

          Yes, independence is more important than a state’s membership of any treaty-based union, for without independence there can surely be no treaty-based union between states. This also implies that the Scottish state is merely asleep, constitutionally; i.e. Scotland is to all intents and purposes a sovereign state, its people (and elected representatives) just don’t realise it.

        • BrianFujisan

          Absolutely RoS

          I follow a dude called Gordon Ross of Indy Car.. He does his “shows” from his ‘ Indy Car ‘..

          On one of his shows he said ” If England want the oil, let them have it ” his point being to trade our oil for Independence.. Not sure I quite agree on that one, why should we have to.
          Gordon’s secondary points being that Scotland could, and will get on just fine without oil.. Because –

          The Ocean and seas with two tides every day of every year
          The wind ( occasionally it’s calm though )
          The Sun, Advances in Solar power
          Gas
          Timber
          Tourism
          Whisky
          Fishing
          Games industry tech
          Space Science tech
          Obviously Oil – still ours at the moment

          AND IMAGINE We had the sense to farm Hemp

      • Goose

        @RandomComment

        EU integration isn’t the bogeyman in Scotland that it is in England.

        Take England’s obsession ‘Freedom of movement’, it’s far more potent in England than in Scotland due to depopulation in parts of Scotland. Many small EU nations of similar sized populations to Scotland quite happily maintain both their national identity alongside a European identity and see the EU purely in terms of pooling sovereignty where practical.

        The tabloid press in England are largely responsible for the wildly distorted negative views on the EU found in England.

        • RandomComment

          Ah Goose, well I can’t speak for the UK tabloid press – I never read them nor would believe them if I did. If mass immigration works for your country, I am not going to oppose it.

          I am curious as to this pooling of sovereignty idea – is this born out of reality?

        • John2o2o

          Goose, the Greeks are none too keen on the EU. Alex and Alexander on the Duran have expressed a good deal of anger at what the EU has done to Greece. I don’t have a link, but you may be able to find something on the Duran website.

          I think there may be a lesson in this for an independent Scotland and it’s future relations with the EU.

  • Goose

    Mr Leonard the Scottish Labour leader insisted that the 2014 referendum was “a once-in-a-generation vote” and that a second referendum was “unwanted and unnecessary”. – Guardian

    What arrogant nonsense. For starters, the once-in-generation quote was actually “this is a once-in-a-generation opportunity ” and it’s a commonly used expression, not a literal statement of intent deciding future policy; just like Johnson’s “one in a million ” chance of no-deal, or ‘slaughtered at an election’ aren’t to be taken literally. The way opponents of another vote have desperately read so much meaning into this one Alex Salmond comment is truly laughable.

    As for another vote being “unwanted and unnecessary”, so why does he fear having one? If he’s confident he’s reading public opinion so accurately it’ll be a another ‘no vote’ won’t it?

    • Jo1

      “As for another vote being “unwanted and unnecessary”, so why does he fear having one? If he’s confident he’s reading public opinion so accurately it’ll be a another ‘no vote’ won’t it?”

      Exactly, Goose.

      And not just Leonard. Same question to Davidson and to Swinson. If they are so certain of the “will of the people” then why do they freeze with fear at the idea of another vote? Why would such a prospect be scary to them and not to be contemplated?

  • Andyoldlabour

    Why is a 52% to 48% poll for Scottish independence a good and worthy cause, when a 52% to 48% vote to leave the EU a bad thing and totally undemocratic according to some?

    • Republicofscotland

      I can only speak for myself and possibly those who want Scottish independence, when I say that a majority of Scots voted to stay in the EU, and now that in all honesty Boris Johnson looks likely to produce a hard Brexit, the majority of Scots (If the Lord Ashcorft poll is anything to go by) now see independence as an escape route back into the EU, though not immediately.

    • Northern

      This is a good question which I’ve not seen convincingly answered, though I would hope this would be place to see someone do so. I can only assume that there’s quite a few remain voting Scots on here trying to not think too much about any similarities between Scottish Independence and the English Brexit vote, or why Scottish Nationalism is acceptable, but English isn’t.

      In my view what it would take to unite the Scottish and English working class, deliver Brexit and thus potentially Scottish Independence would be a genuine anti-establishment politician who made old school class politics and improving the lot of ordinary people the centre of their campaign. Someone who did so could stick 2 fingers up to identity politics (though if they can smear Corbyn as a racist who can’t they?) and would probably be very popular with the electorate. Deliver Brexit and Scottish independence, then continue with reformation of the both parliamentary chambers to clear out as many of the money grabbing bastards as possible. Labour should absolutely be the vehicle for this but I have no faith in them whatsoever anymore. Its like ever since the 80’s the Tories have been chanting the ‘There Is No Alternative’ mantra while asset stripping everything they can get their hands on and Labour have just meekly accepted the lie (or even joined in themselves enough times).

      • Andyoldlabour

        Northern

        I totally agree with everything you have said, particularly the bit about having no faith in Labour – who knows what they stand for anymore, they certainly do not have a clue. I hate the Tory party with a passion, and the LibDems are the most two faced, untrustworthy party around.
        Finally – Scottish Nationalism – great, English Nationalism – bigoted, racist, xenophobic, far right etc.
        The stench of hypocrisy.

  • Sharp Ears

    Goldman Sachs were heavily involved in the collapsing of the Greek economy.

    Now they have been found out in Malaysia. Can’t say they are not mobile.

    Goldman bosses charged in Malaysia bond scandal
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-49289840

    ‘Malaysia has charged 17 former and current Goldman Sachs bankers – including Richard Gnodde, the most senior banker in London – over the corruption investigation at its state development fund 1MDB.
    Attorney General Tommy Thomas said custodial sentences and criminal fines would be sought against those charged.
    Goldman helped raise $6.5bn (£5.4bn) through bond offerings for 1MDB.’

  • Sharp Ears

    Sky News have just given Chuka considerable airtime to hold forth against a No Deal Brexit and Brexit. Chuka of course was a Labour MP two parties back, ie ChangeUK and now LD. The discussion has arisen following Corbyn’s letter to Sedwill saying that there should not be a Brexit coinciding with a General Election and to block any plans that Johnson might have in this regard.

    Jeremy Corbyn asks Cabinet Secretary to block Boris Johnson from forcing no deal during election
    https://www.itv.com/news/2019-08-08/no-deal-brexit-during-election-campaign-unconstitutional-warns-jeremy-corbyn/

    I find Umunna unfathomable and very complicated. He says that he is ‘non tribal and non political’.

    • Sharp Ears

      Cameron’s Brexit Referendum has resulted in a complete mess. (Wonder how the advance sales of his book ‘For the Record’ are doing? He sold the rights to Harper Collins for a reputed £800,000)

      ‘Boris Johnson’s chief of staff cancelled all leave for government advisers until 31 October in a missive on Thursday night, raising further speculation the government is planning for a forced snap election in the aftermath of the UK leaving the EU with no deal.
      It remains unclear if anti-Brexit MPs in parliament would be able to swerve a general election, as senior Labour and Liberal Democrat figures clashed on Friday over their parties’ apparent willingness to place conditions on any unity government or coalition prepared to stop a no-deal Brexit.’

      Johnson is photographed with his chief of staff, Sir Edward Lister, who is obviously an old pal of his from City Hall days.
      https://www.gov.uk/government/people/edward-lister

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/aug/09/no-10-cancels-staff-leave-raising-possibility-of-snap-election

      • Goose

        What I can’t understand, is why Corbyn and McDonnell are so against to the idea a govt of national unity to force another EU referendum? Parliament returns in early Sept -> votes no confidence -> giving 14 days to put a govt of national unity together, with say Caroline Lucas as interim leader, so as not to scare Tories away.

        Caroline Lucas as interim leader – she’s absolutely no threat whatsoever to Labour and is probably more left-wing than most of the PLP, truth be told. Another referendum, resulting in a remain vote would be utterly devastating to the Tories’ reputation and probably split them. If Corbyn insists on leading any govt of national unity however, it’s a non-starter. This is a chance for Labour to really damage the Tories and they risk screwing it up thanks to Corbyn and John McDonnell’s silly overly defensive approach.

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