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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    • Athanasius

      Whatever Craig’s views are — and he can speak for himself — my own are that it wouldn’t work. It would require an acceptance by the English that they are only one of four votes and they could be outvoted by the Celtic fringe. They’d never accept that under any circumstances. What you are talking about is an actual union, not Greater England, as the UK currently is.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Excellent post. Fully agree with the analysis. Thanks for the link to the raw data. 16 and 17’year olds are excluded so this may add a percentage point or two. Some speculation that EU nationals were also excluded from the poll. Many, many positive take aways.
    How will it play out in the MSM?
    My homophobic twat of an MP (Steven Kerr) was on BBC Radio Shortbread the other day and the State propagandist drawing a wage as a journalist brought up the recent poll of English, Tory councillors that found two thirds would accept an independent Scotland as a price for Brexit. Kerr’s response; “I just don’t believe that!” The interviewer let that pass without comment.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Also fully behind the call for improved decorum in our language and behaviour. Stuart Campbell has done a great deal of invaluably positive work, but encouraging “Yoon” name calling will not be one of his finer legacies.

  • iain

    If a NI poll showed a 52-48 majority for immediate Irish reunification Sinn Fein would not wait one day before demanding a border poll. The opinion of the Guardian and A-liar-stair Campbell would not even enter their heads.

  • Alec

    A couple of problems with Scotland remaining in the EU. Once Britain leaves Scotland would have to apply for membership of the EU and there is no guarantee of getting it. Also Scotland would face the same problems as Eire. Would the EU demand a hard border? Would free trade between England and Scotland be allowed by Brussels? You can kiss goodbye to any economy at all north of the border if either bad scenario took place. Also would Scotland use the pound as currency? If so your monetary policy will be controlled from London and if you use the Euro it will be controlled from Brussels. You’d be less independent than you are now. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all in favour of Scotland leaving the union asap but it is England that would benefit.

    • Merkin Scot

      “A couple of problems with Scotland remaining in the EU. Once Britain leaves Scotland would have to apply for membership of the EU and there is no guarantee of getting it.”
      Seems so much like 5 years ago. Project Fear rears it’s ugly head.

    • Davie

      Honestly mate, I’d live in a mud hut to escape London rule. Which ironically I may have to endure post Brexit. Your ludicrous ‘threats’ simply carry no weight

      • Rhys Jaggar

        I do not think he is making threats, he is engaging in legitimate conversation.

        If you think he is wrong, if the arguments are well versed, researched and sound, your answer would be different.

    • Republicofscotland

      “A couple of problems with Scotland remaining in the EU. Once Britain leaves Scotland would have to apply for membership of the EU and there is no guarantee of getting it. ”

      How so?

      We already meet much of the criteria as part of the UK, and the Britnat myth that Spain would veto Scotland joining has been well and truly busted.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        Look, if you think the EU play fair, then dream on.

        Facts are: if EU see value in you being in, then they will bend the rules. if not, they will use legal shenanigans to stop you.

        • Republicofscotland

          I don’t suppose its about bending the rules, its about the criteria which Scotland has had in place as part of the UK.

          I’d imagine our fishing grounds alone would be enough to gain entry without taking anything else into consideration.

          • Glasshopper

            Why would you want to give up your fishing grounds? Iceland and Norway seem to do rather well holding on to theirs.

            Or maybe you don’t really want independence after all?

    • Mr V

      “Once Britain leaves Scotland would have to apply for membership of the EU and there is no guarantee of getting it” What utter, complete nonsense. You really think EU would pass a golden chance to both get a little payback for Tory shitstorm and to boost morale of its supporters? Especially seeing the only state that threatened to block is about to jump head first into a cesspool and lose all voting rights? In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Scotland had a pretty big chance to inherit some of the UK exceptions and bonuses (yes, UK had one of the best membership terms in the whole EU grandfathered in, alas, you won’t hear that from lying right wing propaganda machine) if they applied right now…

      • Kempe

        So you think the EU are so vindictive and petty minded they’d fast track Scottish membership just to spite rUK?

        Yeah I can believe that.

        • Republicofscotland


          You just have to look across to Ireland to see petty mindedness, eminating from Westminster over the backstop.

    • John2o2o

      “Also Scotland would face the same problems as Eire. Would the EU demand a hard border?”

      I think you’re mistaken there Alec. The EU has borders already with non-EU countries.

      Put very simply, the situation with the Republic of Ireland is very different as the border is not accepted by Republican Irishmen and women and so it’s becoming “hard” is a very very sensitive issue.

      • Republicofscotland

        Agreed John, once you start putting up hard borders, and stopping and searching, a level of mistrust can begin to appear. From there its only a short hop to the re-ignition of the troubles.

    • Michael Droy

      Alec – my thoughts too. In practice Brexit makes Independence quite impractical. Which in turn makes a poll on Independence a thought experiment, not a guide to what might happen. There is no downside to an impossible dream. (I think most people are actually wanting Remain AND independence).

      You are going to get some fierce resistance here, because they think a change of heart by Scots proves they were right, rather than shows it is now impossible. And actually I’m sure the EU would welcome Scotland with open arms. But a hard trade border with England and NI would be tough. You might even find Scots need work permits to work in England if no freedom of movement is agreed in the Brexit deal.

    • remember kronstadt

      ‘there is no guarantee of getting it’

      as there is no guarantee that you will wake up in the morning but we sleep with optimism and a better day

    • grafter

      Dear Alec we will use the pound initially then a Scottish pound will be introduced. You may not have noticed it but Scotland is an oil rich country and without the ongoing theft of that asset by London the English Brexit economy is surely doomed.

    • paul

      Once Britain leaves Scotland would have to apply for membership of the EU and there is no guarantee of getting it.

      So how is that worse? We will not be even able to ‘apply’ under the current arrangements.

      Also would Scotland use the pound as currency?

      No, but it could,and should, use a scottish pound.

  • RolftheGanger

    Please take these as constructive suggestions and not criticis,.

    I thoroughly endorse the thrust of the article but would ascribe the caution of the SNP leadership to thinking lag rather than personal motives. Supporters tend to be all to ready to believe the worst of their leadership.

    I also agree with distinguishing between rump Labour Unionists and Labour self government support,but that needs to extend to being more nuanced about the language around dissolving the Union. The Union arrangement needs to end, but that is a different flavour to “destroy the Union” which sounds like wanton economic and social damage. Exactly the kind of loose wording of the “once in a generation” misrepresentable quote to be pounced on and beaten to death by the State Broadcaster and other assorted imperialist propagandists.

  • Goose

    96% ! How loyal to London Westminster rule are Scottish Conservatives?

    They’d probably favour scrapping the Holyrood parliament had they been asked.

    After their hilarious booing of the national anthem antics, you’d probably get more Scousers wanting independence for Liverpool, than the number of Scots Tories in support. And how annoying is their leader Ruth Davidson? Anyone seen the Matthew Broderick film Election, and the ultra annoying character Tracy Flick (played by Reese Witherspoon).

  • Republicofscotland

    “The headline from the major new Ashcroft poll of Scottish public opinion is that Independence now has 52-48 majority support, ”

    Its likely to be a bit higher than that for yes, as Ashcrofts polls didn’t take into consideration 16-18 year olds nor EU citizens, who are predominantly for independence.

    • michael norton

      European Union people cannot vote in the United Kingdom
      after we have left the E.U. on Halloween 2019.

  • Ian

    I disagree with your views on brexit. It is all very well saying ‘nothing to do with us’ and seeing independence as your escape route. But it will have plenty to do with Scotland whether you like it or not. If the charlatan in Downing St, along with his network of dark money, Bannon, Banks and the rest, crashes the UK out, as seems the plan, it will have catastrophic consequences for Scotland as well. You can’t really pretend you will be somehow isolated from it, the economic damage and the social consequences. If you are of the shock doctrine school of the alt right, you might think the shock will hasten independence, but it will be accompanied by a massive hit to the Scottish economy before you have even started. And that kind of chaos, with the rise of the digital manipulation of polling, I wouldn’t be confident that things will go the way you imagine.
    In other words, it is perfectly compatible to oppose brexit, for the benefit of the Scottish people, which is Sturgeon’s prime responsibility and to campaign for independence. That would be the best outcome – brexit stopped and independence won. Pretending that it is some English problem is just shallow, or that stopping brexit would be some kind of altruistic act, is just nonsense. You can’t avoid the consequences, especially as the die is virtually cast and no deal is almost certain. Pretending Scotland is insulated from the brexit of English nationalism, and the US corporate takeover which beckons is utter folly, and if i may say so, rather insular and head-in-the -sand.

    • Mr V

      While you do have some point in short term, Brexit might be pretty good thing for the EU and Europe in the long term. EU critics are often fixated on a few times EU was forced to adopt right wing economic policies (although it was still far less than individual EU states adopted them, on average) – in all cases, the biggest pusher for pro-US and pro-corporate policies was UK. With UK gone, hopefully EU will steer leftward, and will do something with US meddling and espionage. Maybe it’s slim hope, but certainly far better than what would be possible with UK still in. Also, when UK voters will finally see how pure Tory rule looks like (because so far, some of the worst aspects of it were blunted by EU treaties and funds…) they might throw that party to garbage bin and rejoin the EU, without exceptionalism and veto rights UK got ages ago, and hopefully with bigger left wing and green representation added to EU politics. If we want EU to be both beneficial and durable union, it *must* dump all the Tory-like nonsense and with UK as it is poisoning everything, I doubt it will be possible.

      • ReM

        Ian is right, “Pretending Scotland is insulated from the brexit of English nationalism, and the US corporate takeover which beckons is utter folly, and if i may say so, rather insular and head-in-the -sand.”

        With the UK gone from the EU and, by necessity, more attached to the US, the EU will be less and therefore less able to resist “US meddling”.

        Anyway, I reckon Craig Murray is actually in favour of Brexit.

        • Ian

          Like Corbyn, I think he is indifferent about it, imagines he and Scotland won’t be affected by it, and thinks his case will benefit from the fallout. Which, imho, is extremely complacent and unrealistic. It will get much nastier, which won’t necessarily help Scottish independence. And the election manipulation will be much more extensive. Something Craig has also ignored, despite the evidence. See the Hack.

          • grafter

            Dear Ian don,t be so negative. Scotland’s future will be in their own hands after independence and not in the hands of a corrupt institution such as your beloved Westminster.

    • Ralph

      Ian: ‘That would be the best outcome – brexit stopped and independence won.’ That’s a typical small minded, selfish attitude you have, stopping us English from getting out of the eu(rine). FIRST get your scottish independence, then we won’t have you interferring in our decision. Just begone! (And make sure you take g brownshit with you).

  • Republicofscotland

    “For the SNP yet again to put Independence on the backburner and to lead their campaign on Brexit would be a massive mistake.”

    Yes I agree the SNP must put independence at the front and centre of any debate or conference. The no deal Brexit is fast approaching and Sturgeon and the SNP hierarchy must be ready to move quickly.

    It will be bitterly disappointing if they pass up on this open goal appearing up ahead.

    • John2o2o

      Well when I was in Scotland last month an uncle of mine who is against independence (the other two are for it) said he was fed up with Nicolas Sturgeon and the SNP talking about independence. I don’t know how representative his views are ros, but it seems that focus on the issue is upsetting at least some voters. He also seemed to think that trade between an independent Scotland and England would be badly affected, which I think was his main objection to independence.

      Personally I agree with Craig, I wish the SNP would get on with it. As he said, “if you can’t achieve Independence while Boris Johnson and his bunch of ghouls are lurking around No. 10, when can you?”

      • Republicofscotland

        “He also seemed to think that trade between an independent Scotland and England would be badly affected,”


        I can’t say for sure John, however, remaining part of the largest trade bloc in the world, the EU, is also vital to Scottish businesses and jobs.

        • michael norton

          Harland and Wolff – Northern Ireland
          Union sources said staff were given redundancy notices saying the business will cease trading on Monday evening.

          Oil industry is winding down.
          In fifteen years it will be miniscule.
          If Scotland does become separated from the rest of the U.K.
          no more Royal Navy ships will be made in Scotland.
          Just use your noddle RoS.

          • michael norton

            Mr McDonnell, who visited Harland and Wolff staff in Belfast on Monday, said the shipyard has the potential for future work,

            He said he saw no reason why naval ships could not be built in Belfast in the future, in order to maintain the skills and capacity at Harland and Wolff.

          • Republicofscotland

            Michael Google new oilfields Scotland and you’ll soon see the oil and gas aren’t about to run out anytime soon.

            As for warships, the MoD promised quite a few of the new type frigates to BAE in Scotland if they stayed in the union, as usual most of the ships never materialised.

            So on independence we’ll be busy building our own, as we get around to our airforce and army as well. Which won’t be dragged into illegal Westminster wars.

            As for Harland and Wolff, a great name in shipbuilding, one wonders if NI as a independent nation, or united with the RoI wouldve seen the renowned shipyard go under.

          • Kempe

            Michael Google new oilfields Scotland and you’ll soon see the oil and gas aren’t about to run out anytime soon.

            New oilfields replace about one tenth of the annual fall in production.


            As for warships, the MoD promised quite a few of the new type frigates to BAE in Scotland if they stayed in the union, as usual most of the ships never materialised.


            So on independence we’ll be busy building our own, as we get around to our airforce and army as well. Which won’t be dragged into illegal Westminster wars.

            So Scotland is going to be constantly building enough warships to keep it’s shipyards working a full capacity? What are you going to do with all of them? What does Scotland need a blue water navy for anyway and how are you going to pay for them? (Don’t say “oil money” it’s gone and the SNP have spent it 4/5 times over already).

            As for Harland and Wolff, a great name in shipbuilding, one wonders if NI as a independent nation, or united with the RoI wouldve seen the renowned shipyard go under.

            How could it have been any different? H&W got over £1 billion in subsidies from the UK government, Do you think NI alone or the RoI could’ve afforded that kind of money?

          • Republicofscotland

            “New oilfields replace about one tenth of the annual fall in production.”

            There’s still plenty there


            On the ships.

            “There will definitely be THREE Type 26 frigates built on the Clyde, out of the 13 that were solemnly promised during the indyref. They’ll secure work at the yards for 4-5 years, not 20.

            – But that’s the ONLY solid commitment. The next five, we’ve just been expressly and unambiguously told by the Defence Secretary, are yet to be negotiated and may be lost if there’s a second referendum, or for any number of other reasons.

            – And the five lesser ships are only a “possibility”, subject not only to the above and the general uncertainties of the future but to a very real and openly-stated chance that they could be awarded to other yards outside Scotland.”


            Scotland’s warships I’d imagine will be versatile coastal ships not just for defence. We wont need warmongering staging posts that Westminster loves.

          • Kenny Smith

            Let’s take the oil and gas remark 1st. How long have we been told the oil is running out? Remember during indy ref that we were called insane for saying the UK gov was holding back announcing new finds then lo and behold massive fields were announced at the same time as roughly 150 exploration and drilling licences were being handed out. To put it bluntly there is still plenty to keep 5 mil people going but bottom line is we are moving to a time where we are going to have to leave it in the ground anyway that is why Norway is moving towards renewables at a rate of knots and why we will be years behind if we don’t control the sea and land ourselves. Norway is using their vast oil fund to start thinking about wiring electricity to Europe and Scotland has 25% of European renewable capacity that will be our next boom and I don’t want they fuds controlling and wasting that like they did with oil. Secondly the navy has more ships built abroad than they do here. Its only warships that are fenced off. There is a massive campaign to have the next batch of merchant navy ships built here but so far Tory gov non committal. The Clyde yards have 3 of 8 type 26s at mo you know the one, it was 13 to begin with. It’s more than likely they will get at least more if not the other 5 but nothing definite. The next contract up for grabs is type 31e and there is talk of breaking it up and spreading work about so Scottish yards might not get a great deal out of that. Also Scotland will still need a navy as we have 62% of the UK Sea area so we could have more bases and boats actually based here. Bottom line we could argue about the fine details of this or that but people believe we should be picking our own curtains and I agree we should

          • grafter

            Dear Michael the oil industry is not “winding down”. We had all this bullshit when I first started working in it 40 years ago. We don’t need you and your English hand outs any more. The theft of this asset under Tory and Labour administrations working hand in glove with the BP’ and Shell’s of this world will soon be over. Scotland is not being “separated” from anybody. Stop quoting propaganda from the BBC.

          • michael norton

            The value of Brent crude has dropped so much, now it is on 3/4 of what it was worth twelve months ago.

            $74.65 twelve months ago

  • GFL

    Surely any self respecting jock, once realising that Scotland is a country and not a county must fight for self determination. What is the matter with you guys, you have a great chance to become a democratic republic, prosperous and free from the absolute shit bag British establishment.

    I live near Liverpool, was always taught at school never to boo, but sometimes you just have to.

  • MJ

    52/48. Oh dear. Haven’t you learned from the Brexit vote? A mighty 48% always trumps a paltry 52%. Everyone knows that.

    • giyane

      A mighty 48% always trumps a paltry 52%. Everyone knows that.

      For professional politicians the concept of winning an important decision by a tiny majority is normal . Normal politics. But for ordinary people it’s not a normal way to make decisions. ordinary people will never accept that a tiny majority will completely overide the wishes of the nearly equal number of opponents. It’s the logic of civil war and civil disobedience.

      Mrs May made things with brexit infinitely worse by deciding that brexit meant the hardest possible divorce from the EU and she started to back-peddle from that hard position for three years in order to win support for her withdrawal deal. If she had opted for the softest, compromise deal she would never have had the slightest difficulty in getting the Withdrawal Agreement through the commons.

      She just decided to piss off both sides at once, Leavers for daring to disagree with the democratically elected Tory government policy and remainers for daring to oppose the democracy of a referendum.
      Most people do not run their lives by democracy, including British governments. We intensely dislike the hypocrisy of government forcing us to abide by vote counts when they do whatever they fucking like.

      A large majority of leavers voted leave to send a message to Cameron that getting a leg up into power through Nick Clegg was unfair and undemocratic in the extreme. They wormed their way into power by vote counting the losing Tories together with the losing Lib Dems. Nanny May’s only mission from then on was to fight for vote counting as legitimate modus operandi of democracy. But logically , if you put two parties the electorate doesn’t like together , you get double hate.

      I think Craig’s point is that the evil of the Tory Lib-Dem coup in 2010 might tip the Scots towards severing from England. That is to ignore the massive swell of English anger at being foisted with a Tory government by Nick Clegg’s treachery. An anger which has just been re-fuelled by the incendiary comment of Jo Swinson that she would do the same at the next election, putting Johnson’s ghouls back into power for an indefinite period.

      The only outcome you can expect from a deeply felt grievance is redress for that grievance. You can’t expect voters to embrace independence for Scotland unless it kicks the Tories very hard in a place that hurts.
      The reality of the current impasse is that Corbyn will win the next election. Lib-Dem votes will be seen as a green light for austerity and everything we hate. When Corbyn wins the next election, especially if the highly unpopular arseholes get a No Deal Brexit, he will immediately change that No Deal Brexit to a Norway + Brexit.

      The moment of Scottish peak pique will be past. I think Scottish support for EU membership and independence will disappear if the main benefits of the EU, free trade and free movement of people , are retained in spite of leaving the EU membership. I’m not saying that’s what I want to happen. I’m just saying that imho that’s the easiest path for the tide to squeeze through the rocks.

      • mark golding

        Paradoxically giyane crashing out of the EU into the tutelage of US superiority will inevitably result in the completion or pinnacle of anti-Corbyn activity that exists to make sure the will of the British people does not bring to power the wrong leader. Exactly the same rigging against Bernie Sanders and the silencing of Julian Assange is at work, right now, before our eyes.

        I ask the question, when will we finally understand. appreciate and accept that a system designed to pacify us while a few grow rich at the expense of our children’s future and our own does not have to continue. Our appeasement must be galvanized into a melding of minds that will deliver redemption else that tide will engulf us in a hidebound swamp of hate, bigotry and conservative puss.

  • M.J.

    But it’s unlikely that Boris will agree to another Scottish Independence Referendum. I don’t know about Corbyn, but I suspect that neither will he. How can you get round that?

  • RandomComment

    The best time to push for independence would be when no-deal Brexit happens – if it happens. Then, as we have been reliably told by the experts, rioting, food shortages, no medicines, raining cats and dogs, third-world UK, will make the case for another referendum and, I’d predict, a huge majority for independence. Project Fear works both ways

    Alternatively, there may be a deal on the table, as London has no desire for a hard border with Ireland. This would be imposed by the EU, possibly crashing the Irish economy. Will they call BJ’s hand?

    I’m also reminded of the Darroch leak, which seems a clear attempt to undermine a possible future UK-US trade deal, which would be a huge (optical) victory for a post-Brexit UK. (Cue, chlorinated chicken remarks, while you eat your chlorine-washed salads 😉 )

  • Matt

    I find it baffling that so many Scots want to leave the UK, but remain in the EU. How is that independence? I also find it odd that so many Leave voters do not support Scottish independence. As an English Leave voter, I feel morally obliged to respect the democratic will of the Scottish people. I would feel quite the hypocrite, voting to leave the EU, then saying Scotland shouldn’t be allowed to decide their future.

    • JOML

      Matt, there are significant differences between the UK and the EU. That aside, while in the UK, Scotland has no say on whether they are in or out of the EU – they must do what their much larger neighbour decides. Get out of the UK first, then Scotland can decide themselves what they want – for better or worse.

      • RandomComment

        Well they did have a a referendum to stay in the UK, then there was a UK-wide referendum to leave the EU. I agree with Matt, if Scotland wants to leave the UK, it should do – just as if the UK wants to leave the EU it should do. Amazingly, some people think there are entirely different principles at stake.

        Is Scottish independence ever spoken about without the context of joining the EU? I’ve never read any post from Craig which suggests that. Nor much – apart form your lip-service – which suggests it’s a serious consideration.

        I hate to point out the obvious, but you won’t get a lot more nationhood from your new, larger neighbour.

        • Glasshopper

          Most are not interested in independence. They are motivated by a loathing for the English.


    Just make sure that Scotland has its own currency. Do notuse the Pound or the Euro. That is real independence, created your own money is crucial to creating your own policies.

    • Deb O'Nair

      “Just make sure that Scotland has its own currency.”

      If Scotland want to join the EU then having their own currency will impede this by two years, during which the new currency must demonstrate stability by being aligned with the Euro through the ERM. The City of London has enough clout on FX markets to ensure this would be very difficult and costly. The Scots would be better off adopting the Euro vis-a-vis EU membership.

      • glenn_nl

        I have yet to speak to a single EU citizen using the euro who was happy about the transition of their currency. Every single one thought it a significant rip-off, during which they became 10% – 25% more poor overnight. None seem to appreciate their banks and money policy being controlled by Germany either. (Apart from the Germans themselves, who endlessly moan about propping up feeble economies.)

        • RandomComment

          I have friends over your way and they all say the same. My own experience – as a regular visitor – is prices doubled or tripled in the transition.

        • Republicofscotland

          At least the EU countries accept the Euro, what a carry on it us to get Scots notes accepted in parts of England, oh and lets not forget we’re also tied to whatever the BoE decides it wants to do, another down point of allowing a foreign central bank to set your monetary policy.

          No lets dissolve this unfit for purpose union once and for all, and take our place beside our other EU members

          • RandomComment

            I can’t see any problem with taking your place beside your EU comrades and avoiding any hint of a central bank deciding your monetary policy 😉

      • RandomComment

        Is Scottish independence ever spoken about without the context of joining the EU?

        • Deb O'Nair

          The OP said “Do not use the Pound or the Euro.” and using the Euro implies EU membership. So i guess the answer is ‘no’.

          • Athanasius

            Random Comment – yes and no. You have to commit to it, but it’s up to you WHEN you implement it. If that’s the twelfth of never, so be it.

          • Deb O'Nair

            “Does being in the Eu mandate using the Euro?”

            The point is if you have to be in the EU to use the Euro.

      • paul

        The Scots would be better off adopting the Euro vis-a-vis EU membership.
        No we would not.
        A sovereign country requires the ability to issue its own currency in order to make best use of the material assets within its territory.

        London has enough clout on FX markets

        Who cares, apart from you?

    • Calgacus

      Quite right. There is not the slightest question that an independent Scotland in the Eurozone would be much less independent and much worse off than it is now. Even keeping the UK pound would be better – for then nothing much would change for “independent” Scotland – but at least it wouldn’t suffer the massive destruction the Euro is causing and would cause. The only real independence and prosperity is if Scotland has its own currency. Everything else, being in the EU or not, is a minor detail compared to that.

      For the Euro is the worst designed monetary system of all time. It is designed to make the member states powerless and corrupt provincial officials, which is what Scotland with the Euro would be. The bad design is the sole cause of all of Europe’s economic problems. People don’t appreciate just how bad it is – if the EU treaties were respected as written, there is no question that it would have collapsed 10 years ago. The Eurozone is only held together by the ECB (the sovereign who can make exceptions to the rule of law) flagrantly breaking the law. If the new ECB head doesn’t understand that or learn that fast, then very hard times are inevitable there. Economic stagnation, instability and high unemployment as seen today in many Eurozone nations- that’s the best case under the Euro.

  • Robert Graham

    Oh it can’t be true it’s not on the BBC , I mean they would have given it as much prominence as they are giving the children’s hospital in Edinburgh wouldn’t they ? .

  • RandomComment

    Any thoughts on the Yellow-Vest movement? How long has it been going on for? I would have thought that it would have prompted some discussion here – you must have seen some horrific abuse of government authority against genuine protest. Seems a slam-dunk for your average left-winger. Or is it all alt-right provocateurs?

    Or anything about Poland, Italy, Hungary etc.?

    Going back to Matt’s point, is the ScotsNat movement being driven by a genuine desire for real independence, or has it been hijacked by pro-EU forces? Curious to know 😉

  • Donald McGregor

    I’ve not even read your post yet but I am startled by the collection of unionist / anti Scottish independence troll comments. You’ve obv. spoken some truths!
    Something is hurting, and hurting badly in the rotten UK.
    It’s bonkers that people (?) are even bringing up issues with ‘economics’ when we are presently heading over the edge anyway.
    Buckle up, stiffen our backbones and tell the interferers to let us alone to mind our own country in a free relationship with the rest of the world.
    This is the chaos of dawn-time when all is obscured and yet we know what is to come. Let’s get it!

    • RandomComment

      Buckle up, stiffen our backbones and tell the interferers to let us alone to mind our own country in a free relationship with the rest of the world.

      Now if only Farage had same the same thing.

    • giyane

      Neptune probably uses Russian cruise missiles like Turkey. The expression on Msy’s face when missile after missile destroyed the zusukis proxy’s bunkers. In Syria like a skittle alley.

      Wholesale destruction of the neocons and all their works. my name is Ozymandias king of kings….

    • Deb O'Nair

      I’m sure the British would relocate the sub bases. The British are only too happy to pay 100’s of billions for pretending that the bit of the US nuclear arsenal hosted on RN subs is an independent nuclear deterrent so the huge cost of moving them to an English base would be ‘vital to the national interest

    • Republicofscotland

      Not a bad thing in my book.

      There was talk of Wales taking Trident, as Westminster would surely want to keep it military phallic symbol. Though it might as well be a eunuch as the US calls the shots.

      • Tony

        Labour’s then leader in Wales did suggest this but an outcry forced him to back down.

  • Deb O'Nair

    “The Labour leadership will no longer be able to portray Independence as beyond the pale for decent thinking people… without alienating a huge swathe of its own support.”

    Huge swathes of 11.9% of voters who return 7 Labour MPs out of 59.

  • Hatuey

    To be clear, the recent Ashcroft survey makes for quite staggering reading. This is the most important suggestion;

    “18% of those who voted No to independence last time round said they would vote Yes”

    If we imagine 100 people took part in indyref1 in 2014, and 55 of them voted against with 45 voting in favour, according to Ashcroft, 10 people just defected from one side to the other. If true, that would invert the outcome of any future referendum.

    But there’s more. The survey supposedly did not include data on 16 to 17 year olds or EU nationals living in Scotland, demographics that are likely to be 65-70% pro-independence.

    Statistics is a funny business though and we should be careful about reading too much into such snapshots. That said, a jump of the magnitude suggested her usually points to a trend and polls are really good when it comes to measuring trends, both in terms of direction and rate of travel.

    Finally, assuming all of this is driven by the politics of Brexit and Westminster, is there any realistic scope for the trend to go into reverse or even come to a halt? I don’t see how. If Boris succeeds with his plan then the UK will leave the EU with what is probably going to be a soft hard-brexit (apologies for the terminology) and that outcome is unlikely to win hearts and minds in Scotland.

    A hard hard-Brexit would probably send support for Scottish independence beyond the 70% mark and if we continue to suffer under the clouds of Brexit uncertainty for another year or two, I don’t see how anything positive could come from that as far as confidence in the Union is concerned.

    Addendum: it is worth pointing out that we aren’t in a campaign right now and it’s business as usual as far as the media in Scotland is concerned. Business as usual means a constant barrage of lies, spin, and anti-independence slander. It’s noteworthy, for example, that this latest poll didn’t even get a mention on BBC Scotland news tonight.

    But all that changes when we go into a campaign (an election footing) and the media as well as the general public are forced/permitted to give consideration to both sides of the argument. Recent history has shown that during campaigns support for Scottish independence and the SNP typically surges.

    • RandomComment

      It’s interesting: the UK Establishment is demonstrably anti-Brexit. So is this blog, SNP and of course the EU. Your average Brexit voter OTOH, is completely cool with it. It’s called democracy. In other words, the people who voted out, aren’t the ones conniving to keep you in.

      I f there is a spiritual home for true democracy, I would hope it would be within these isles.

      • Hatuey

        Yeah, great speech but why did you attach it to my comment when it has no bearing on anything I said?

        • RandomComment

          Says the man who wrote ten paragraphs 😉 But I though t it did, work it out. Or don’t…

      • nevermind

        Rancid commands seem to ruin this blog just as the old Habby troll used to. Blithering on about that onanist Farrage and then yearning for more of the same punishment, what peat bog did you crawly out off?

        • RandomComment

          That’s not actually an argument is it? You can do better. Since you have the better arguments why not use them? 😉

  • nevermind

    And please find room for some redundant Tory’s such as Brendan Lewis who is polluting the air of Gt. Yarmouth and Waveney.
    Thanks in advance.

  • Robert Millar

    Hi Craig. You must be aware that a significant number of people voted SNP in 2015 because it seemed at the time that independence was effectively off the table for the foreseeable future. It was therefore “safe” to vote SNP. In 2017 that was no longer the case. And there have always been those (diminishingly few in recent times) who vote tactically for the SNP in order to keep out other parties. Whilst I share a number of your concerns about the SNP leadership and (lack of) organisation I have to / choose to believe that independence remains their one and only goal. Agree with you wholeheartedly re Brexit. England (and Wales) should get what they voted for – but they should not get to drag an unwilling Scotland along with them.

  • BrianFujisan

    Great News indeed

    So if the new Indy Ref kicks off at 52%.. Great, I believe the 2014 Indy Ref started at 32.
    and that’s without the 16/17 year old’s in the poll, wee bit strange that, considering those age groups could vote in an Independence Ref.

    ONE THING That unites most Scots.. is Opposition to Trident WMD’s.. And whats the first thing BoJ dose in visiting Scotland.. Prancing around Faslane, Well, like P.M May, he had to hide away from the public.. But BoJ tries to be smart – with the targeted message on Nukes – directed at the RUK

    AND WHERE Are our Missing Billions – Check the Staggering figures at the bottom of this page from MACALBA –


  • michael norton

    The pound is going through the floorboards, you might be better off with the Euro if you split from the rest of the United Kingdom

      • michael norton

        It is not only the pound going through the floorboards, Brent Crude is also going through the floorboards as are the economies of France, Italy and Germany, I don’t think it has a lot to do with Brexit
        but mostly Trump has buggered World Trade/confidence.

        • glenn_nl

          Good thing if you bought Bitcoin Litecoin, and gold too – that’s quite a good hedge against the sinking pound sterling. Particularly if you bought it about five years ago.

  • Mist001

    Boris will offer Devo Max and the SNP will bite his hand off. Tommy Sheppard is actively talking it up as an option. Independence is dead in the water with this bunch of brainwashed charlatans running the show. Sturgeon’s already lined herself up for a top job in Brussels which I suspect is what her stopping Brexit activity is all about.

    As for “Firstly the surest way for Scotland to remain in the EU is to become an Independent country.”, nobody has ever explained how that works. Scotland is not, and never has been a member of the EU, so how can it remain in the EU?

    Independence is over and all that remains are the weekend AUOB marches to remind themselves of the good times in 2014.

    Sturgeon has killed independence for Scotland.

    • Hatuey

      Almost nobody wants Devo max. Even the idiots who fell for that sort of lie before don’t want it.

      The only person that wants it is the arch creepy weirdo Gordon Brown, and who ever listened to him?

      • Mist001

        I’m certainly not nervous. What’s there to be nervous about? These idiots have had THREE years to get an independence strategy in place since the ‘material change’ that Sturgeon stamped her feet about happened and all they’ve done is spent their time trying to reverse the Brexit result.

        Nervous, no. I do feel bitterly disappointed and cheated though and at one time, I actually defended Sturgeon. Now I absolutely despise the lying, conniving, hypocritical harlot.

        She has sold Scotland down the river by creating a cult instead of a movement for change.

        And whilst I’m on it, what’s all this about an ‘independence movement’? I see it preaching to the converted, all telling each other what should happen but I see absolutely NO movement whatsoever.

    • paul

      Sturgeon has killed independence for Scotland.

      Can you point me to the crime scene?
      It still looks alive and well from my, and I assume Craigs’s, window

      SNP YES

  • Twirlip

    Small point, perhaps, but wouldn’t it be better to write “I want to break up the UK” rather than “I want to destroy the UK”?

    • BrianFujisan

      Seems to me to be the same thing Twirlip

      Because Without Scotland’s resource’s ??

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