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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    • Hatuey

      Independence in the purist sense that you use here doesn’t exist anywhere… but independence from our bullying wife-beating neighbour is a step in the right direction.

      • Clydebuilt

        Exactly An independent Scotland in the EU would have much more sovereignty than it currently has under Westminster control.

        Scotland voted to remain in the EU, that vote currently counts for nothing and had been ignored by the Tories.

        That’s not a sovereign state thats a vassal state.

        • Hatuey

          I concur. And I don’t care how better or worse off it makes us — I just want to live in a normal country that runs its own affairs.

    • Muscleguy

      The powers we get from Westminster are an order of magnitude greater than those we must SHARE with our European partners. We also get a say and a veto where appropriate and we go from 6 to 13 MEPs. We can make alliances. In the UK the SNP caucus with Plaid Cymru and have friendly relations with Caroline Lucas and, that’s it.

      In the middle ages Scotland traded up into the Baltic with the Hanseatic League, I expect the Baltics to open to a reminder of that. We can reinvigorate the Auld Alliance with La Belle France, get all Scandi light, chat up the Maltese and Cypriots.

      In the absence of Westminster’s eternal push for mercantilism we can help build a more progressive, people first, EU with likeminded partners. And let us not forget we too will have a veto over Little England’s reentry request. Revenge is a dish best served ice cold. Just ask NZ and Australia as they flex their honed trade negotiators for a (r)UK trade deal. It will not be couched in those terms but the memory of the shock when the UK entered the EEC will be present in the room.

      • Republicofscotland

        “In the middle ages Scotland traded up into the Baltic with the Hanseatic League, ”

        A interesting point on that is that Lufthansa, is named partly in respect of the Hanseatic league. Which traded all over Northern Europe during Medieval times, a kind of early EU if you like.

    • David

      what has the EU ever done for us? (see monty python Roman sketch) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7tvauOJMHo

      one of the best rarely mentioned redeeming features of the complicated European Union is that it thinks on a time-scale that is slightly greater than the timescale of the British politician, possibly a five times longer timescale.

      there are a lot more positives than negatives, for/from EU membership.

  • N_

    What a shame Ashcroft managed not to make his data properly available publicly (at least when I tried to download it), so we don’t know the Don’t Know/Won’t Vote/Won’t Say figure. Dig the reference to “London”. What, me, gov? Yes, Yougov. “Socially inclusive”? What about Scotland’s national minorities and the Scottish national minority in the country next door? Or would only a genetically feudalist foreigner or traitor ask? And what of Viktor Orban when this blog has proposed a (misunderstood, but known to have been substantially “ethnically cleansed”) Croatia as a good example to follow?

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      It’s just a theory. You take an observation of an provable phenomenon, in this case, a 31% differential in the Brexit preference between England and Scotland and the fact that on a parliamentary constituency basis the differential is tracked EXACTLY along the border. You then apply the scientific method to try and derive a theory to explain the phenomenon. A finer point of the scientific method which you choose to ignore when it is inconvenient is that you cite data (in this case historical events) in support of your theory.
      You don’t like my theory because it doesn’t fit in with your ideological belief system, but you don’t offer an alternative theory to explain the phenomenon that includes anything that could be considered as evidence.

      You take an observable phenomenon, in this case, a bunch of self entitled middle class prats blocking off city streets ’cause they know as a 100% provable fact that an extinction event is about to start, right down to the very year, and you derive a theory that the individuals involved are followers of some nutty 19th centuary “philosopher”, cum mystic. Your theory may or may not hold water. We don’t know ’cause anytime anyone asks for links to supporting evidence, you cry SEALION! and shutdown.

  • N_

    no right to drag us out of the EU, against the democratic wish of Scottish voters.

    Shortly before the EUref, Scotland voted AGAINST a state of affairs where “Should Scotland be a member of the EU?” would be a legitimate question.

    Surely independence supporters remember what answer Scotland gave them in the referendum they are bleating about being “dragged” by the English into not being allowed to re-run?

    The “every phrase contains a rhetorical trick” school of politics is so repulsive. It’s like someone coming up to you and nodding and saying “Your mother wears army boots, yeah? You admit it, yeah?”

    • N_

      more socially inclusive Scottish state

      Stop taking the piss.

      There was a Scottish nationalist poster here who attacked the English as genetically feudalist, a quality he patronisingly pretended to show respect for because the poor English are born that way and can’t help it.

      There was another poster here who called for a racial franchise in Scotland, lyingly couched in terms of excluding “people born elsewhere in Britain” from having a vote in a Scottish independence referendum.

      In neither case did any other Scottish nationalists jump in to say “Hey buddy. Scottish Nazism isn’t welcome.” Why not?

  • uncle tungsten

    Perhaps the reason for the SNP picking up diversionary tactics is that the leadership have understood that swapping UK tyrrany for EU tyrrany is not what ‘independence’ means.

    Fascinating to watch but it must be perplexing to be in Scotland with those swords of damocles clanging in the air.

    • Hatuey

      It isn’t perplexing.

      Being in the UK means letting our English neighbours control about 95% of our whole country, politically, culturally, and economically.

      Being in the EU means we give up decision making over about 10% of our economy, mostly to do with trade, and we get a lot back in return.

      Moreover, the EU isn’t likely to drag us into murderous wars abroad and force us to berth their weapons of mass destruction.

      I have a whole catalogue of other reasons too… we have barely scratched the surface here.

      • N_

        Being in the UK means letting our English neighbours control about 95% of our whole country, politically, culturally, and economically.

        What crap. You write as if there are no Scots in the British elite. You write as if it isn’t the case that the most successful Scots in almost every field of endeavour generally choose to leave Scotland at the first opportunity. Why’s that? Did the English make them? That’s apart from those who stay in Scotland and make their money from trousering state grants.

        • Hatuey

          What difference would Scots in the British elite make to the nature of things? The upper classes all over the world have been selling their countrymen down rivers like that since the year dot. A lot of Brexiteers accuse their politicians of doing the exact same thing.

          As for the idea that people leaving their homeland in some way reflects some sort of underlying systematic success, try saying that into the gaunt faces of African corpses that wash up on the beaches of Europe every day.

          It’s well understood that one of the biggest drivers of migration is economics. If Scots are leaving Scotland in order to forward their career prospects in England, or simply find work, it indicates that Scotland is struggling economically and that’s the very reason most of us want to run our own affairs.

          You haven’t thought any of this through, have you…

        • Terry callachan

          Hey Marxist what a blether you are
          England has ten times as many votes as Scotland wales NI added together that alone is good enough reason to end the union
          Careful mr Marxist, you are showing your true colours
          You like equality but think England is just a bit more equal than the rest and so deserves to decide everything for the rest ,well unsurprisingly the rest have had enough, you can keep it, now is the time for England’s independence it’s time you stood on your own two feet and stopped creaming off the best from the rest.
          See ya Marxist

  • Hisaab

    West Indies outperformed Bangladesh in a really low scoring match and won a ton of assurance. Cricket is the second most-watched sports on earth. India obviously has a touch of slack over Pakistan when it has to do with colossal ICC events and they’ll enter the match as top decisions. It ought to deal with the loss of bowler Rohit Sharma, who is out hurt with shin issues. It is situated the second-best gathering on earth, behind Australia, while the West Indies sit directly at the base of the rankings in eighth. Bangladesh Premier League 2018-19 discharge will initiate in irrefutably the initial multi day stretch of January 2019.

    • Dungroanin


      Err is this about the new test league? Kashmir? The last WC? The terminator Steve Smith?

      Or Scotland?

      I’m taking a few days off between the Ashes series. Why we played Anderson just so he could have a last test match, was absurd. Now Archer has to go in without any first class warm up. Grrrr

  • giyane

    Since the New PM’s crashing of the pound the bargain buy-up of British assets has begun.
    My energy supplier solarplicity has been bought up by Toto ( ToryTory ? ) along with my bank details and personal info.

    Johnson sold innumerable London assets as Mayor. Now the whole country is up for sale.

    • Andyoldlabour


      Much as I dislike Bojo the clown, the mayor of London does not have the power to sell off assets.

      • Deb O'Nair

        But he was in bed with property developers, who now bank roll him as PM, and his decisions directly increased their wealth. He gave his chum in Addison Lee a huge break by deregulating the cabs (creating more pollution in central London than when the congestion charge was brought in) and then awarded them contracts. Spent £80m on thin air (the London garden bridge), water canons etc. etc. ad infinitum.

  • Sharp Ears

    Does Milord Ashcroft still live offshore? Belize?

    Excrutiating stuff in his biog I have…I was….I am…. on and on

    ‘Ashcroft, 71, is a former party treasurer and deputy chairman who has given millions to the Conservatives, including £500,000 towards the party’s most recent campaign. The pro-Brexit peer is influential in British politics through his polling company and the website ConservativeHome, a centre-right blog aimed at grassroots party activists.’

  • Rod

    As an English person I would be as sad to see Scotland leave the the United Kingdom as I would be to see this whole nation leave the European Union; I believe all thing being considered we are better together. By the same token it is only correct that the Scottish people have the right to self determination and if they subsequently vote to leave the UK and become an independent nation that will have to be honoured.

    Please, someone, in the event of Scotland becoming independent of the UK tell me how you will avoid the the catastrophe that is Brexit. What will the situation be with regard to any withdrawal agreement, border, customs and currency issues. How will Scotland deal with a prime minister of Johnson’s persuasion and if Holyrood finds itself in a long and protracted exit negotiations with Westminster how will it deal with any call for a second confirmatory referendum when arguments become tiresome and the people just want to leave at any price.

    • michael norton

      I like almost all of us have family in England as well as Scotland, I have always considered myself English as I have only ever lived in England.
      It would be very sad if families are to be rent apart with in fighting, leaving lasting bitterness.

        • Bibbit

          As a Scotnat with many English family members in Luton, Leeds, Cornwall, Carlisle & The Channel Isles, there will be no ‘rending apart’, ‘fighting’ or ‘lasting bitterness’. We’ll carry on being a loving,caring family, irrespective of the geographical situations of our Parliaments.

    • Hatuey

      Scotland is under no obligation to explain any of those things to you in advance, just as a battered wife is under no obligation to explain her intentions to her loving husband.

      Good try though.

        • Republicofscotland

          That right I forget all the other nations that told Westminster to shove it and became independent gave a lengthy detailed account on all matters beforehand.

      • Rod

        Hatuey. That was a rather terse response and although you might have no obligation to me, you might have some obligation to fellow Scots who may prefer to remain as part of the United Kingdom. I asked my question in all sincerity as I would not wish a Brexit situation as we have it now on any nation or group of people. I’m at a loss to why you think my questions were ‘a good try’, all I was seeking was genuine enlightenment and I thought those who have studied this whole subject in depth would be of benefit to people like me. Your remarks come across with the sense of bitterness that has befallen the little Englanders who are in opposition to the European Union and I would not want that to happen to the people of Scotland who may be asking the same questions; but thank you for taking the time to respond.

        • Ian

          It’s a perfectly reasonable question, which also illustrates the many pitfalls after a no deal brexit and a rampant rightwing US led administration in Westminster. Brexit will underline the case for independence, at the same time as making it far more complex and bitter, which a Boris government will inflame further.

        • Hatuey

          My response was appropriate. Frankly I’m sick of interfering morons under the guise of pretending they mean well telling us how difficult life will be without them.

          As for the politics and economics of negotiating the future with our rogue neighbour, you forget one critical thing — we will be in the EU and negotiating collectively with the whole EU by our side, or, subject to a deal that has already been struck.

          I think the latter is more likely since, let’s be honest, the only pot England has to piss in is offshore and it won’t be long before the EU brings you to heel.

          • Matt

            “Frankly I’m sick of interfering morons under the guise of pretending they mean well telling us how difficult life will be without them.”

            As a Leave voter who is tired of the delays and bitterness, I completely understand how you feel.

          • Glasshopper

            You remind me of a fanatical Brexiteer. Very similar temperament and sense of grievance.

          • Northern

            You’re one of a few knowledgeable pro Scottish independence voices on here I genuinely appreciate the opinions of, so understand I find this post disappointing. I didn’t detect any inherent negativity in Rod’s initial post, just a desire to understand a view point that this site is a good representation of. There’s a certain irony in your comment “Frankly I’m sick of interfering morons under the guise of pretending they mean well telling us how difficult life will be without them” in the context of Scottish independence and Brexit, no?

            Equally, please attempt to moderate the target of your points. As many people, including me, have stated on here in the past, the English citizenry is NOT the BRITISH state. Scottish independence would be a lot further down the road if Scot Nats attempted to find common ground with the English working class instead of deriding them all as close minded racists. The English and The Scottish toil under the same yoke of oppression, the ruling classes don’t give a shit about your nationality. I would point to the SNP’s apparent reluctance to agitate for genuine independence as the most obvious evidence of this same yoke.

          • Hatuey

            Northern, I didn’t actually call him an interfering moron. And believe it or not, I didn’t mean to imply that, although I see now how it reads.

            I’m just sick of these tired old arguments. We really shouldn’t need to explain what we plan to do at every hypothetical juncture in the future in order to win the independence argument. The implication being that if we can’t explain everything so many years down the line then we have failed.

            It’s a totally rigged debate and I don’t see how anyone with the intelligence of even a 7 year old wouldn’t see it as such.

    • Independent Woman

      You would think that Scotland was the first country in history to have seek independence from a bigger, controlling country. How many countries are clamouring to reverse their independence decision? Scotland is in a much better position than many of these countries in that Scotland has huge natural resources and well defined education and political systems.
      Try viewing the Lesley Riddoch films on the Faroes, Iceland and Norway. (I would start with the Faroes if you are new to these films.) They can be found on phantom-power-film.scot

      • Rod

        Independent Woman : Thank you for the link to the Riddoch films so, as you suggested, I have watched the Faroes episode and it was most interesting but, sadly, it did not answer the questions I posed in my initial posting.

        Scotland leaving the UK in 2019 and Faroes opting out of Danish control in 1946 when Nazi occupation troops might still have been on the train back to Germany isn’t a comparison.

        States like Faroes, Iceland and Norway have little similarity to Scotland (and more especially the UK) in the way that that their societies are built around a fairly high standard of living and local democracy, which produces high involvement and achievement and low crime.

        Generally speaking the UK has huge levels of inequality and exploitation of its own populace by a handful of overprivileged individuals and a proportion of those greedy individuals also live in Scotland. According to the film that type of society does not exist in the Faroe Islands.

        I simply do not want to see Scotland in the God-awful seemingly intractable mess that the Westminster government has led this whole nation into. if the people who will manage any process of any separation of Scotland from the UK have not asked the questions the Westminster government should have asked three years ago it will be a case of History repeating itself.

        I just hope the Scottish government of whatever political persuasion will be better equipped and prepared using the experience of the lamentable Westminster attempt.

  • Deepgreenpuddock

    I am curious about the 8% of snp supporters who don’t want Scottish Independence!.Maybe I am being picky
    but would Nicola and all the MSPs and MPs and all their paid officials really add up to 8%?


    “Timing”….SNP require perfection to declare an Independence Referendum or an Indy plebiscite GE/Holyrood ….whereas BoJo, with a parliamentary majority of ONE, elected as leader with less than 1% of the UK electorate comes off the subs bench and sees his first, early opportunity to secure English “Independence” from EU goes for goal……

    ….as Boris shoots and scores, Team SNP are still in the dressing room in the dark…..Cui Bono ? London.

  • remember kronstadt

    Better call Hadrian – then send them back! A slogan we can all call our own.

  • Greg Park

    I’m not Scottish but if I were independence would be a no-brainer and I would share your frustration that the movement is being led by somebody like Nicola Sturgeon. Instead of being radical and aggressive and anti-establishment, she is being cautious, conservative and cosying up to the neoliberal/ NeoCon establishment. What message is sent to independence supporters when she shuns their marches but joyfully strides out on a so-called Peoples Vote march, alongside war criminals like Alastair Campbell? For me, that sounds alarm bells for the prospect of Scotland gaining its independence in the near to medium term.

    • remember kronstadt

      Blair and Campbell – two first class tickets for the McWindrush please. This won’t end well.

    • Ian

      I see. So if you support a People’s Vote, you are by association a war criminal. With logic like that, who needs politics?

      • Greg Park

        Hmm? I didn’t say she was a war criminal, I said Alastair Campbell is. Sturgeon knows he is war criminal too, yet she took a picture of herself snuggling and beaming with him.

        • Ian

          Right, so that means she supports every policy he has ever voted for or instigated. Obviously she doesn’t have a mind of her own, but is controlled by the Campbell lizard people. She has been pictured with thousands of political leaders, giving them a warm greeting, does she agree with all of them on their political actions and beliefs?

          • Tony

            As has been pointed out by Kit at Off Guardian in his brilliant assessment of Alaister Campbell, there are levels of criminality that can’t be washed away. Would you be happy to pose for a photo snuggled up next to Harold Shipman (he was my sister-in-law’s doctor during her first pregnancy, and she thought he was lovely), Peter Sutcliffe or Fred West (a popular guy in Gloucester’s pub communities, apparently)? If you add up the deaths caused by the aforementioned monsters, they don’t even add up to a fraction of a percentage of the deaths of innocent men, women and children caused by Campbell’s entirely intentional criminality.


          • Jo1

            Campbell was NEVER a political leader and, actually, that photo of her with Campbell didn’t go down well at all with many who support independence.

          • Republicofscotland

            Tony here’s some info that you may find interesting. After the Nazi’s were prosecuted at the Nuremberg trials in (1945) there was still nothing in Internatiinal law that covered the crime of genocide.

            The UN wouldn’t adopt the (CPPCG) The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide until 1948. However it didn’t come into effect until January 1951.

  • Sharp Ears

    Nicola Sturgeon’s views on Theresa May and Boris Johnson.

    ‘Nicola Sturgeon has described her meetings with Theresa May as “pretty soul destroying and torturous” and described Boris Johnson as someone who talks “utter nonsense”. In a brutal verdict on her Tory rivals, the Scottish first minister accused Mr Johnson of “selling something that is not true” and crossing the line between “optimism and delusion”.’
    3 hrs ago

    So nothing doing then?

  • AndyS

    So the UK finally gets the chance to bury the Tories for once & for all, but the Scots have decided to jump ship…Brilliant.

  • SoTexGuy

    Hello, I am a fan and a follower of your blog and commentaries.

    It’s interesting and informative that your statistics slice up Scotland into 8? separate factions? How can any society move forward together after first being defined as being divided by certain opinions or color or religions or most any demographic label? Surely the people of great Scotland must share some common hopes and goals?

    This is of importance to me as an American since I see the fracturing of our peoples into one camp or another.

    Thank you from Texas, USA.

    • Republicofscotland

      “This is of importance to me as an American since I see the fracturing of our peoples into one camp or another.”

      Hi from a wet Scotland, wasn’t the Lone Star state an independent nation in its own right for about ten years, prior to being annexed by the USA. Do Texans want to leave the USA? Or are they quite happy to stay? And what of Trump do Texans like or loathe him?

      Finally what are your views on the possibility of a independent Scotland?

      • Deb O'Nair

        Texas is the only state in the US that could practically cede from the Union. They are energy resource rich and have their own electrical grid infrastructure.

  • Republicofscotland

    Craig the reason you beat James Kelly to the punch is he was writing an article for the National newspaper on Ashcrofts poll.

    This is from his blog, which must havethe yoons in meltdown mode.

    “You can just imagine the mounting panic of unionist politicians and strategists when they first read through this poll. Normally it’s possible for them to find a silver lining to cling to somewhere, but on this occasion the Yes side seem to have managed a full house…”

    “Majority for independence – CHECK

    Majority in favour of holding an independence referendum by 2021 – CHECK

    Majority who think maintaining EU membership is more important than staying part of the UK – CHECK

    Majority who think Brexit strengthens the case for independence – CHECK

    Majority who think Brexit makes independence more likely – CHECK

    Majority who predict a second independence referendum would result in a Yes win – CHECK
    Nicola Sturgeon the most popular politician – CHECK”


  • Skye Mull

    It’s a great mistake to move to a referendum vote on the basis of an opinion pole that may simply reflect a marginal mood change that could easily reverse in a few months. If nothing else the U.K.- EU referendum highlights why you really need a proper majority in the region of 2:1. And the campaign to leave the U.K. yet stay in (or rejoin) the EU is madness!

    • Courtenay Barnett

      Skye Mull,

      Consider this.

      1. There is oil in Scotland – which England values.
      2. There is the whole shipyard and Polaris related issues – which England needs.
      3. There is the overnight border shift for some 3 oil rich offshore wells to be included in the English territorial border – just before the last referendum.

      And so ‘perfidious albion’ continiues.

      Not for a moment shall ( or is that ‘will’? ) England permit/allow Scotland to disengage easily – and/or – fairly in any refendum.

      That is the history of the Britsh Empire – that is the challenge for an independent Scotaland.

      • RandomComment

        Also consider this:

        1. UK is a net contributor to the EU, which EU values
        2. UK has a huge trade deficit with the EU – which EU also values
        3. Territorial resources…also valued.

        Not for a moment will the EU permit/allow the UK to disengage easily – and/or – fairly in any referendum. It has (possibly) spent its (ie our) money wisely.

        Let me also add, when you say “England” you mean the British Establishment. I’m assuming at least, because I’ve never met anyone who cares about this stuff apart from politicians and their masters.

      • N_

        How can “England” permit or not permit “Scotland” to do anything?

        As for the British empire, you do know it was British and not English, right? You’ve heard of the role of Scotsmen in it? Scotland has never been ruled by “England” as part of the British empire. Only a crazy loony with a personality (or is it a shoulder?) warped to the extreme by nationalistic race-propaganda would say otherwise. What next – talking of “securing the existence of Scottish people and a future for Scottish children”?

        All national identity is poo. You’ve been had.

  • Peter N

    “. . . 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.”

    Sums it up Craig. The real revelation of this for me came when the corporate lobbyist Andrew Wilson punted out his “Growth Commission” report which Sturgeon waxed eloquent about for a while during photo-ops with herself and Wilson, stamping SNP approval on the entire thing. For Christ’s sake, a corporate lobbyist and his banker chums just wrote a document the highheidyins in the SNP want to use as a legal framework for the future legal economic governance of an independent Scotland. If you read it, even skimming it, it is a prospectus for Wilson and his chums to get themselves hard-wired from the position of an ‘independent’ Scotland into the financial system in England — what! Loads a money to made there I guess, but what sort of independence would it be.

    P.S. On a different note the rant about the Edinburgh Festival in this video is well worth a watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ex5aY7AZ4Ug The guy is spot on with his view of what is happening, has happened, to Edinburgh.

    • Wullie

      And if you look over at the other side from Edinburgh, and at Loch Lomond you’ll see the Scottish Government giving over 50 acres of iconic land to a real estate – theme park owner for the peppercorn sum of £200,000.

      At an absolute give away price the new owner intends to build a new hotel, some shops and a swathe of low rent chalets.

      Doesn’t take an Einstein to realise that in a few years the chalet land will be repurposed into hugely profitable loch side real estate.

      Quite how a bit of Scotland’s most iconic land could be leased out I don’t know.

      But rather off to a real estate developer for some cheap loch side attraction with the land no doubt to be held in some off shore tax haven.

      So well done Derek Mackay our finance minister who not so long ago headed to a four day real estate conference in Cannes.

      At a cost of over £5,000 a pop of taxpayers money a head, plus all the luxury corporate hospitality you could imagine neither our Finance Minister nor any of the other SNP council leaders felt it appropriate to register any corporate hospitality.

      Put simply, their explanation is that at a four day conference and over meals paid by sponsors, no lobbying re property deals were discussed whatsoever.

      And then you wonder why Flamingo Land and it’s real estate millionaire owner is getting over 50 acres of land for relative sweeties.

      So what did Finance Minister Mackay talk about when he dined alongside the various real estate developers.

      ( Post script a plot immediately adjacent to the ” Flamingo” Land with planning permission for a house and comprising circa one quarter of an acre was advertised for sale at £185,000. Using that rate pro rata indicates thst the land if it is to be used for housing to be worth over £37,000,000! )

      Something is seriously wrong with the SNP heirsrchy when it supports deals like this. Betraying the people who put their trust in them they are now like New Labour on Steroids comfortable with their ensconced positions

      Time for the membership to clear out the troughers

      Did he feel no guilt troughing freebie meals at over £200 a pop with free bars all paid for courtesy of corporate sponsors . I’ll bet not

      And that unfortunately is now so much the direction of SNP travel

  • DaveX

    I’m English – but i dont blame the people of Scotland for wanting to leave this mess. Once Scotland has independence then the raison d’etre of the SNP disappears & the Scottish people can refocus on the inequalities & injustices in Scotland. I would suggest many would go back to Labour – if Scottish Labour can shift from its Blairite tendencies. I remember when the SNP was to the right of the tories, I wonder where they will be if independence is taken off the agenda.

    • Ken Kenn

      In the possible event of a GE and a hung parliament it might be necessary for the SNP to join the Labour Party in Coalition.

      The price from the SNP?

      A vote to Remain or Revoke.

      I can see Farage’s blood red face face in my mind right now.

      I see these Tories in government are still hiding behind the Throne again.

      As someone ( Grieve ) has hinted the Queen could ” sack” Johnson after a vote of no confidence.

      If he refuses – off with his head – ( metaphorically of course).

      Hugh Edwards will do the gravitas at the Chopping Block..

      It would make great television and the French and the US Republicans would love it.

      I’m going to pitch the idea to the BBC Producers.

      And the Queen.

      • N_

        Yes – pay the SNPartei, with a support level measured in the most recent British general election (not by Tory Lord-face Ashcroft in private polling) at 37%, the price of a referendum in which it can insult the Scottish people by asking a question they’ve already answered – because the SNP is too scared to call for a Scottish general election, because it doesn’t want to risk having its snouts pulled out of the trough.

        Perhaps the Partei’s big leader for most of the last 30 years can play Nelson Mandela from his cell in Barlinnie, locked up in a “British empire” prison for his “crime” of wanting national “freedom”.

        I would support Labour paying this price to remove the Tories from office. Best call it what it is, though.

  • Goose

    Talk in the press of a Labour and SNP pact to stop Brexit, the press are dubbing it a ‘Remain Alliance’ possibly to include Plaid Cymru and Green(s), possibly the Lib Dems.

    How exactly would this work?

    For it’s suggested the SNP et al would agree to support Labour(supply and confidence) in order to help bring about another EU referendum; in return Labour would give support for another Scottish Independence vote. Sounds fine, but what happens if we collectively (as a UK including Scotland) vote to remain? Where then would be the incentive for Scottish independence? Not only that, but Sturgeon has chosen to emphasise the risk of no-deal, as the whole reason for the need to hold another independence vote so soon after 2014’s.

    Clearly any Scottish independence vote would have to be scheduled for before the rUK votes on the EU again.

  • SA

    Or looking at it another way:
    “An overwhelming 60% of labour voters do not support Scottish independence”.

    • Willie

      Mind you, sixty percent of a party polling 10% across Scotland is not exactly the Hill o Beans that it used to be!

      Labour are finished. Folks have lost trust. Folks have moved on, and yes, the vote is moving as maybe Nicola Sturgeon anticipated.

      I just wish Nicola Sturgeon would do a bit more to reign in those in the ranks who have become comfortable in their positions. We’ve a general election to fight, and the GE could be our grounds for independence. So let’s get the troops mobilised because although independence is bigger than the SNP, the SNP are critical to delivering the backcloth to independence S30 or otherwise.

      Attitudes are turning, and for many, it’s not Braveheart sentiment, or bold vision for the future, but rather the basal reality that down south is an absolute disaster and that solid rather boring SG governance I would be better. That I guess is what’s now moving the vote. The fear of change is now evaporating, since if they do not change to independence, then they get the change of Brexit Boris and his frankly racist and fascist southern government.

  • Gary

    BREAKING NEWS! In a shocking coincidence Jeremy Corbyn has stated he will not prevent a second referendum and has declared that it is up to the Scottish Parliament to decide upon when to hold such a vote. (BBC ‘Breakfast’)

    Meanwhile…Leonard is still being quoted as wishing to BLOCK this. But he’s just the branch office manager.

    • Republicofscotland

      Yes John McDonnell has iterated the same thing, whilst Corbyn’s branch manager in Scotland Richard Leonard still spouts never to a Second referendum his boss as usual overrides his minion. It confirms to everyone else (Scots already knew) that Scottish Labour is really run from London.

      But why the support from Corbyn and McDonnell now? Are they looking for SNP MP backing at Westminster? Probably.

      If Boris Johnson had any sense he’d negate Corbyn’s ploy and tell Sturgeon she can have her referendum, as long as she doesn’t interfere on Brexit. That would stop Sturgeon concentrating on Brexit, and allow her to focus on independence.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      At first pass the arithmetic looks good if a crash, “Brexit” GE is called. The Scottish Tories are hopelessly schizophrenic on a No-deal Brexit so are bound to lose seats big time to the SNP. Scottish Labour are (now) split on the IndyRef so will likely lose all their seats bar Edinburgh South assuming Ian Murray runs as an independent (oh the irony). Alistair Carmichael may hold on to Orkney & Shetland on the basis that they have voted Liberal since Methuselah was in short trousers but I am not convinced that Swinson can hold Dumbartonshire East. So, a confidence and supply deal for Corbyn in office followed by an exit from the EU with “A” Customs Union which would facilitate a soft border at Gretna.

      The substantial fly in the ointment is that even after Johnson looses a vote of confidence, he can schedule the “Brexit” GE for after the 31st of October and all will be fait accompli.

      • MJ

        Watch out for a GE on 31st October. Good for Johnson and good for Corbyn too. It’s all a question of getting the timing of the no confidence vote right.

  • Jimmeh


    I agree with much of what you have said. But:

    “Firstly the surest way for Scotland to remain in the EU is to become an Independent country.”

    I don’t think that works. If the UK leaves the EU, Scotland does at the same time. If Scotland becomes independent before Brexit (some home of that) then it has the same status as an independent Catalonia would have had: the EU was perfectly clear that it would not “inherit” EU membership from Spain, and would have to apply for membership just like any other third-party country (which can take a while – c.f. Turkey).

    Despite the verbiage about “self-determination” in UN and EU charters, the EU is fundamentally opposed to separatism, and I can’t find any evidence of a clear-cut legal right for a region or people to become independent, without the consent of the “parent” nation. Of the three arms of European government, the Council consists of ministers of the respective governments; the Commission consists of political appointees of the respective governments; and the Parliament (supposedly) represents majority opinion across the EU. None of these bodies is ever going to encourage independence for a region or people, unless it is with the consent of the “parent” government. Spain, in particular, would veto the acceptance of Scotland as an automatic EU member following independence, if it had a veto.In fact I bet Spain would oppose an independent Scotland’s entry to the EU under any circumstances, even after a lengthy application process.

    And remember: new EU members MUST adopt the Euro as their national currency. Even if Scotland’s independence was with the concurrence of Westminster, and even if EU membership did follow automatically, I don’t think that Scotland would be let off the Euro hook. (Of course, I can’t imagine that many independence-minded Scots would care much for the idea of carrying around a pocketful of portraits of the Queen, each backed with sundry symbols of the Union).

    • N_

      The whole discourse of whether or not Scotland should “remain” in the EU is based on a rhetorical trick, because Scotland is not and has never been a member of the EU. An application for membership would come with conditions, the same as when anyone applies to join anything. That’s what being an independent country applying to join an international organisation is about. Most of the SNP’s voters are rather like Brexit supporters – they can be led by the nose to accept anything if they’re told that the alternative is to consent to the indignity of letting some other team require conditions from the team they wave flags for. “Don’t boss us around. You’re like the Empire.” The most important country that an independent Scotland would have to sign a trade agreement with would be rump Britain (where Scotland does most of its external trade), and of course such an agreement would be far more important for Scotland than it would be for rump Britain. That would put Scotland in a weak position because it would be easier for rump Britain to walk away (and let Scotland get food parcels from Norway or wherever) than it would for Scotland to walk away. These are the realities, and don’t blame foreigners either for the realities or for recognising them.

    • Merkin Scot

      “…… and I can’t find any evidence of a clear-cut legal right for a region or people to become independent, without the consent of the “parent” nation.”
      Nonsense. You just haven’t looked.

      “And remember: new EU members MUST adopt the Euro as their national currency.”
      Nonsense. Easily checked.

      • Jimmeh

        “Merkin” as in “American”, or as in wig? I’m not greatly entertained by the views of most Americans on matters of the EU. And as far as I am concerned, a wig (whether pubic or otherwise) is a pretense.

        I don’t believe (after looking!) that there is any such clear-cut legal right, outside of the UN Charter (pah). So cite, please.

        With respect to the Euro, I suggest that you check yourself. The reason the UK is uniquely among EU nations not a member of the Euro is that the UK joined the EU before the Euro was invented; and that uniquely among those nations, it declined to join the Euro. Easily checked.

        Baldly negating the statements of other commenters, without citations, evidence or argument, is effectively trolling.

        • MJ

          The UK is not unique in retaining its own currency. Denmark and Sweden do too. The point is that they have a currency to retain, Scotland does not. The EU is very unlikely to consent to a new member piggybacking in on the currency of a foreign power. It will be the euro or nothing.

          • Republicofscotland

            More nonsense MJ Ireland used the pound, then the Punt, and finally the Euro.

            Scotland will use the pound short term before moving to its own currency.

          • Mr Shigemitsu


            “Scotland will use the pound short term before moving to its own currency.”

            If an independent Scotland *doesn’t* adopt its own currency – which it should do immediately on departing the UK, and not use Sterling, even in the short term – it really may as well not bother.

            A nation should never use a currency that it can’t issue itself. There’s no independence if your Central Bank cannot create the nation’s currency, as that’s how its public spending occurs, and the last thing you want is other nations exerting control over how much of that you can do – especially ones that you may have just mightily pissed off (the RuK!), or whose fiscal policy is permanent austerity (the EU, via its treaties).

            If you use a “foreign” currency (e.g. GBP or Euro), you will need to exactly match spending with taxation, foreign exports, and, if you run a current account deficit, foreign debt *in a foreign currency* that you cannot issue yourself. This can effectively reduce your nation to one of third world status (see e.g. Greece, Italy.)

            Go for a Scottish currency straight away, or forget it!

      • michael norton

        If a potential new country to sign up to join the E.U. does not agree to have the Euro ( at some point in the near future) they do not get accepted as an acquisition member.

    • John2o2o

      If Scotland becomes an independent nation then consent is implied in that. It’s not going to become independent if Westminster opposes it. They’ll send the army in.

      I don’t consider the UK to be the parent of any of the nations that are contained within it. The UK is a United Kingdom of four nations administered from Westminster.

      And I don’t see what that has to do with the EU anyway. An independent Scotland can negotiate it’s own deal with the EU.

      I have said before that in my opinion one possible route to independence would be for Scotland to be a kingdom fully independent of Westminster, but with the Queen retained as Head of State, though I fully understand that this is unpalatable to the majority of nationalists.

      • Jimmeh

        I was careful to put “parent” in quotes. But since it seems to need explaining, I meant that Scotland does not automatically inherit any of the privileges of the EU member of which it was formerly a part (where “inherit” is not to be taken to imply parentage).

        Is that clearer? No I thought not. That’s why I used shorthand.

  • N_

    Talking of referendums, Dominic Cummings says MPs don’t get to choose which vote they respect.

    Well actually sometimes they do, Cummings, you moron, when the law does not make a referendum binding. The Indyref was binding. The EUref was not binding.

    Cummings has really got it coming to him.

  • Alexander

    If I lived in Scotland I would wait and see what happens in Westminster before taking a next step. I am more concerned as to what may happen in Ireland if there is a no deal Brexit.

    There was hardly any comment about Trump’s visit to Ireland after he came to England and what comment there was revolved around golf. But the Americans are certainly planning for all contingencies. The UK has been, with NATO, the US beachhead into the EU (as de Gaulle forecast it would be) – outside the EU it is of less use to Washington. The obvious replacement is Ireland, geographically, culturally etc. The US would have little patience with the current division of Ireland and one could see reunification being speedily achieved under Washington’s aegis.

    I understand that this possibility – indeed likelihood – in the event of a bad parting of the UK from the EU – is now recognised in Ireland and is being discussed in the media.

    • remember kronstadt

      ‘The US would have little patience with the current division of Ireland and one could see reunification being speedily achieved under Washington’s aegis.’

      Well said, Trump is working hard on his re-election and will do whatever secures votes. His tiny but very heavy foot on Boris’ throat.

    • MJ

      It’s by no means certain that Ireland will remain in the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

      • Anthony

        It is entirely certain. Bozo’s Britannia Unchained won’t be a society anybody will want to emulate.

        • MJ

          It’s not a question of anyone wanting to emulate anything. It’s a question of maintaining the integrity of the Single Market and the Customs Union. It won’t be Ireland’s choice. Unless the EU is willing and able to make a civilised and mutually beneficial deal with the UK Ireland will face expulsion.

        • Peter

          “Bozo’s Britannia Unchained won’t be a society anybody will want to emulate.”

          But it may well be if Corbyn replaces him.

        • MJ

          The key I think is in understanding why the EU is so exercised about the Irish border.

          • giyane

            The EU will have to police the human traffic heading to the borderless border.

            You can ANPR lorries but you can’t ANPR people.

            Only a wanker like Johnson could pretend otherwise,, but British policy in ireland has always been to ignore the oresence of people

          • giyane

            Sorry I was being too polite about Johnson. The technical term for people who don’t care about other human beings is psychopath.

            Gove Johnson and this far right admin are psychopaths to a man / woman.

            While someone who does care about people like MacDonell is ridiculed as stupid for respecting the existence of other human beings

          • Laguerre


            The EU won’t have to police the human traffic. Their best policy would be to ship them as fast as possible over the borderless border into NI, to be rid of them. But that would only happen, I suppose, if relations really broke down. In any case the French are looking into abandoning the treaty of Le Touquet. It costs them a lot of money to police the illegal migrants at Calais, and it’s unlikely the British will pay up.

            With Cummings planning to sneak No-Deal past the HoC, there’s not going to be a lot of goodwill after 31 October.

          • Republicofscotland

            “While someone who does care about people like MacDonell is ridiculed as stupid for respecting the existence of other human beings”

            If you’re referring to McDonnell’s not opposing a Scottish referendum, lets be quite clear he’s not proposing it out of the love of democracy, goodness knows Labour has opposed a second ref in recent times.

            No McDonnell sees the Brexit date fast approaching and he and Corbyn, if they’ve any chance of winning a GE or influencing parliament in a greater way allies will need to be sought out and deals cut.

            Of course the last time the SNP trusted Labour they were stabbed in the back.

          • Republicofscotland


            The EU already has 41 borders with non EU countries, I doubt another one will matter that much.

          • Laguerre

            “The EU already has 41 borders with non EU countries, I doubt another one will matter that much.”

            It’s the effect on Britain, not the EU, which will be critical in the case of illegal migration. The Tories never talk about how they’re going to handle illegal migration over this “open” border, once the EU states no longer have treaty obligations to do anything about illegal migrants trying to enter Britain. It’s an onrushing catastrophe that Brexiters have shut their eyes to. Le Touquet is a bilateral treay, so shouldn’t lapse on 31 Oct, but I hear the French are getting unhappy at the costs paid out on Britain’s behalf, for which they don’t get reimbursed.

          • Republicofscotland


            If the Tories are in power its likely to be a Orban’s Hungary hard border style, I’m sure BoJo, has taken notice of bis pal Trumps Mexican wall.

        • Republicofscotland

          Oh right Germany’s AfD party, the equivalent, or more extreme, than Farage’s UKIP party preaching about the weaknesses of the EU. So what’s new?

          • RandomComment

            In terms of German politics, the AfD is pretty new. Same for the Swedish Democrats. You have to wonder why these parties have become so popular so quickly.

      • Republicofscotland

        “It’s by no means certain that Ireland will remain in the EU in the event of a no-deal Brexit.”

        It’s entirely certain they will, the EU affords the RoI protection from the empirical, isolationist, anti-foreigner attitudes that now govern at Westminster.

  • remember kronstadt

    what we face is an irreconcilable remainer/leaver split that will have long legs, and which will likely keep warm a latent bitterness as the economy suffers. Being born in Yorkshire I was made aware early on of the wars of the roses which was expressed in football loyalties – and in loser solidarity would likewise be a Celtic fan. A successful vote for ‘independence’ succeeding brexit, I suspect, would result in an institutional tory government as onshore manufacturing disappears. inevitably impotent rage of the english ‘whenwe'(ran the world) classes is oft expressed in petty and disproportionate acts of spite and violence. I trust that the SNP has provisions for the management of their midnight moment. whereas in dUnK we will assert our ineptitude in the honoured manner


  • Hatuey

    What we are watching is a Dutch auction. Labour just announced their willingness to take part. McDonnell screwed up, though, and must be aware that appearing to court the SNP is not a good look down south. It’s almost as if he wants to sabotage his party’s chances in any future General Election.

    The good news is that Boris wants to avoid an election and the Tories are also taking part in the auction. Some sort of deal with the EU will be put before Parliament before the end of October and on that day we will open the envelopes and assess the bids.

    Sturgeon played a blinder today with her response to all this.

    Nothing is real.

    • Deb O'Nair

      “Some sort of deal with the EU will be put before Parliament before the end of October”

      Is that sarcasm?

        • Deb O'Nair

          I’m not holding my breath because in order to have a deal you have to have an agreement. Johnson putting a delusional, wish-list, grandstanding-to-the-media sort of deal which is not the result of discussion and agreement with the EU is political theatre.

          • Hatuey

            I think it’s safe to assume that he’s had conversations with the EU. If the Irish border is the only problem, it’s a problem that would be reduced to zero if his minority government didn’t need DUP support.

          • Deb O'Nair

            “I think it’s safe to assume that he’s had conversations with the EU.”

            Sounds like delusional thinking.

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