The Unanswerable Case 396

Simon Jenkins gets it with this simple and unanswerable argument.

Scots are now very significantly poorer than the Irish, the Norwegians, the Swedes, the Danes, the Icelanders or any of their obvious comparators. Every one of those nations is in the top 10 of the UN Human Development Index. The UK is not, and Scotland is below the mean for the UK. It is not because Scots are stupid or feckless, it not because of climate and it is certainly not a lack of natural resources. It is because of the draining away of human and physical resource by London over centuries.

Against that fundamental fact, the cloud of stupid obfuscation around the minutiae of transition is a mere distraction, and a deliberate one at that. Countries which are far poorer than Scotland successfully run on their own currencies – scores of them. Why would people believe Scotland is unique among nations in being incapable of having a currency? Yet such pathetic shibboleths are pounded out by the media, and particularly the BBC, on a daily basis to make a significant number of Scots believe that what is possible for every nation that has tried it, is uniquely impossible to them.

It is particularly galling to see those that have made us poor tell us we cannot be independent because we are poor. Particularly when the entire system of government accounting has been manipulated over decades to ascribe Scotland’s revenue to the wider UK, to ascribe a portion of infrastructure projects in SE England such as Crossrail as Scottish expenditure, and to present an entirely distorted picture of the Scottish fiscal position.

I am entirely at the end of my patience. It really is time that we claimed our Independence and stopped this slavish adherence to the laws of the Imperial state which seeks to continue its leeching out of our resources.

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396 thoughts on “The Unanswerable Case

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  • Steve

    How much of Scotland’s apparent poverty is because striving Scots move to London and elsewhere in Britain outside of Scotland? How much of Scotland’s lower HDI is due to Britain’s immense number of immigrants from poorer countries?

      • Andyoldlabour

        John A

        Denmark population – 5.8 million, 8.5% are non Western immigrants around 493,000, of whom 5.3% of the population are Muslims around 307,000 and 67.5% of these people live in ghettos.

        • Old Mark

          Any Old Labour- The Danes have recently (basically since the Mohamed cartoons controversy in 2005) come to their senses and now have the strictest immigration controls in W Europe- and the new SocDem government pledged to keep these policies introduced by their predecessors out of fear of not winning the vote !

  • Val Wells

    Beware Greeks bearing gifts. Sir Simon Jenkins must have an ulterior motive in advocating this. His views are invariably anglocentric. He won’t be advocating this for the benefit of Scotland.

    • Gordie

      Jenkins is either right or he is wrong. Regardless of his motivations for saying it.

      • Shatnersrug

        It’s pretty economically illiterate to say that Denmark’s averages $66,000 per capita whereas Scotland is $33000 when firstly the gdp isn’t split fairly among the population and secondly demark is twice as expensive to live in as Scotland.

        What demark does have that Scotland doesn’t is a decent welfare state and equal public education – something that Britain could do with as a whole. Outside the UK Scotland will be the victim of Mi5 and Mi6 it’s inconceivable that the British state would stand aside they’re a bunch of arrogant crooks

  • Doug

    More proof that being in the so-called united kingdom is bad for Scotland. We must put an end to this sordid union with England.

    • StephenR

      As a Welsh Remainer I hope we go for independence too otherwise Faslane will be on to Pickford to move to Milford Haven.

    • Dungroanin

      You can leave it there and charge a LOT of rent. It is probably too polluted for any useful purpose anyway.

      I mean if the Cubans have Guantano Bay on their island and live with, while having independence, I’m sure the Scots could too.

      There are deepwater ports in England. Milford Haven is explosive enough as it is with the LNG ships – if one of these blows it will be as big as a nuke! Anyway Pembroke doesn’t any radioactivity and I don’t want the beaches and isolation ruined by hordes of overpaid imported workers and bored sailors, who regularly go ‘postal’ or prang their useless boats.

      The Submarine fleet could happily park itself in the US or even Oz.

      The main issue is who works there and replacing their jobs with a peaceful high quality endeavours. Of which there are many!

  • Trowbridge H Ford

    Still nothing about the lack of military establishments in Scotland by London for security and economic reasons, and what little it has ends up helping Emglish families more,

    Long established security policy.

  • Ralph

    Craig,is this true?:
    All member states must adopt the € by 2022 and any new member state must do so within 2 years of joining the EU as laid down in the Lisbon treaty.
    If the UK were to remain in the eu, then it (Scotland) loses control of its fishing, oil and gas rights.

    • craig Post author


      Presuming that Scotland chooses to stay in or rejoin the EU,

      Theoretically right about the Euro, though in practice the Euro crisis and Germany’s unwillingness to finance and entire continent have made it a dead letter, subject to endless fudges. Personally I see many advantages to Scotland joining the Euro anyway, though there are also disadvantages.

      Wrong about oil and gas. Not a common resource.

      Right about fisheries, which would be part of the Common Fisheries Policy. Quotas and rights would be subject to negotiation though – it’s not a case of having a regime forced on you. The UK took a deliberate decision to sacrifice fisheries in negotiations to promote other interests. Arguably that wasn’t a terrible decision. Scotland may choose a different route. Remember English vessels would no longer have the right to fish Scottish waters.

      • George S Gordon

        On joining the EU, a country commits to joining the Eurozone – but joining the ERM II, a requirement for Euro adoption, is voluntary.
        Sweden has no intention to join ERM II.

        See also
        “The Treaty does not specify a particular timetable for joining the euro area, but leaves it to Member States to develop their own strategies for meeting the condition for euro adoption. Seven of the 13 Member States who joined the EU since 2004 have already joined the euro area, most recently Lithuania on 1 January 2015.”

        There may be advantages in joining the Euro, but there is a massive disadvantage in not maintaining currency sovereignty.
        Having your own currency is the most crucial feature of a country’s Independence. This is why we would be foolish to stick with the UK pound, and be subject to the whim of the UK Treasury and the Bank of England’s control of monetary policy.

        The Eurozone does not have a central treasury, so it’s even more heavily dependent on bankers (the European Central Bank) than the UK. If the EU is not careful, the ECB will turn Italy into another Greece. I appreciate they should never have allowed Greece into the Eurozone, but they did, and then punished Greece for the EU mistake.

        • StephenR

          Greece got in on a technicality courtesy Goldman Sachs.

          It should be a lesson to the Brexiteers that the EU accepts and sticks to its rules regardless of how mind-numbingly stupid the outcomes will be.

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        Serious consideration should be given to the Euro. Not ideal to have fiscal policy set according to the needs of Berlin and Paris, but it is a stable currency and Scotland has no ambition to be anything other than a small Northern European state. With a stable currency we should be able to harness our abundant, clean energy to reinvigorate manufacturing industry.
        The problem with even suggesting adopting the Euro is the years of MSM demonising the “evil centralising zeal of Brussels”. This propaganda has been so inculcated into the psyche of your average punter that the Euro would have to be a long term project for an established independent Scotland.

      • Thomas Dunlop

        Its my opinion that Scotlands petro, resource rich economy would benefit from the euro, much in the same way Germany does. The euro is weaker than the old Mark would otherwise be, thus making exports cheaper , thus creating a strong export driven recovery.

        However this is very much in the future. Best to park our selves in EFTA , and have the maximum amount of control over economic levers, in order to repair the damage that the union has done to the Scottish economy before embarking on another currency union.

        The fisheries would be meaningful, only if we educated Scots to eat as much of the fine stuff, as the Norwegians and Islanders do. Otherwise it is a small fish in a big barrel, as it were. Much better to harness the renewable energy and export the surplus. But also negiotatiate a fair deal for the fishermen of Scotland.

    • stewartb

      Ralph, I’ve been told the moon is made of cheese. Craig, is this true?

      Ralph, as you have raised certain issues perhaps you should first expend a little more effort. I suggest you share with us some detail of the specific sources you have seen that make you feel it worthwhile amplifying them here?

      • Ralph

        stewart, I’ll just give you a succint and short-cut answer: ‘ever closer union’. Eventually, power will be centralised and everything will belong to it to decide what happens to the European – not countries’ – resources.
        Based on the USA, but going far beyond it, all regions then (when no longer countries) WILL have a single currency whether they like it or not. Yes, 2022, may be the wrong date, but it’s going to happen.

    • Ian C

      The only control Scotland would lose is the right to fish the North Sea until it is barren for the benefit of a small minority of rich fleetowneRS which almost happened. And unlike Scotland, Norway did not lose its oil and gas rights even although it is subject to the EU policies. Even if Scotland had to use the Euro which, as I’m sure you must know, is false, the pound doesn’t seem like a good idea, at least for many years to come.

      Most of the people of Scotland are no longer buying into these absurd and irrational argenments any more. Enough of false prophets.

    • OnlyHalfALooney

      All member states must adopt the € by 2022

      The Eurozone can decide what it likes about member states adopting the euro. Denmark has an opt-out. Sweden has adoption of the euro permanently on hold. Other “new” members like Poland and the Czech Republic do not meet the convergence criteria (and are unlikely to by 2022). The last thing the Eurozone wants is another Greece.

      It is a similar situation with the Schengen Zone. Romania is “obliged” to join Schengen in the future. But although Romania is very eager to join, other Schengen countries resist because Romania does not meet the conditions required.

      There is no reason why an independent Scotland could not be granted an indefinite period to adopt the euro. But what would be so bad about adopting the euro anyway?

      The EU is a democratic institution that operates on the basis of consensus. Exceptions are possible and indeed are necessary. The UK has been given a huge number of exceptions and opt-outs in the past.

      The whole currency argument is smoked kipper if you ask me. If a country like New Zealand can manage its own currency, why shouldn’t Scotland?

      • Mr Shigemitsu


        “ But what would be so bad about adopting the euro anyway?”

        You would be subjected to permanent austerity under the various treaties, but especially by Article 123 of the Stability and Growth Pact, which prohibits budget deficits over 3% of GDP, and national debt in excess of 60%.

        Considering that many of Scotland’s problems stem from insufficient public spending, this is an unnecessarily damaging straitjacket for the new nation to subject itself to. It would be like having George Osborne as your permanent Chancellor of the Exchequer.

        At least in the rUK, there is a chance someone could eventually come to power who understood the potential for spending for the public good that’s possible with currency sovereignty; in the Euro those decisions are effectively taken externally, it’s fundamentally undemocratic, and once in, there’s absolutely nothing you can do about it (see eg Greece and Italy).

        Advocates for independence should not be arguing for adopting the Euro – you’d be swapping one flavour of domination for another – and would also be well advised to #LearnMMT.

        • kathy

          There wouldn’t necessarily be austerity. As a democratic union, the EU only puts into practice the policies voted for by it’s constituent members. Once the EU gets rid of the trouble-making UK and consequently malign American influence, it is unlikely that the remaining member states would continue to vote for the austerity policies so beloved of the UK and America for obvious reasons – to impoverish the poorest.

    • Muscleguy

      As others have said you must join ERM II first and to do that you have to have an independent currency existing stably outside it first. Scotland does not have an independent currency and it will take years before it is free floating. Initially it will be pegged, likely to a basket of comparable currencies as is current best practice for some time before being floated. iScotland will need to amass a war chest of foreign hard currency from trade to be able to defend it from the likes of Soros when it floats. This will take time.

      So, even if we wanted to join the Euro and with our own high energy surpluses why should we? My main worry for the Scotpound post floating is that it will, due to oil, gas and electricity be too strong for other exporters. This is part of Norway’s problem. Other than fish and forestry and oil Norway has few other competitive exports due to the high Krone because of the oil and gas.

      I grew up in NZ with the fluctuating NZ dollar being good for exporters when low and bad when high when things like the international price of milkfats go very high. So I have some experience of that. A high Scotpound would also be bad for the whisky, food and tourism sectors.

      Because of this and because of AGW I thnk Scotgov when it gets the powers should pledge to keep it in the ground as much as possible and rely on renewable energy exports to rUK and through the interconnect to Norway and when the EU build the HVDC superconducting spine up the North Sea to whoever can pay for it. With the new floating deepwater wind turbines and exploiting our high number of tidal races with turbines in them and more pump storage capacity in the hydro installations to store the power when it’s in excess and smooth things out we should be fine.

  • Ken MacDougall

    That we are paying for HS2 and Crossrail just makes my blood boil. Sorry, had to get that off my chest.

    Better now!

    • Rhys Jaggar

      Have you asked the Germans and the SE English how they felt about funding Objective 1 and Objective II pots of money for deprived Scottish regions back in the day?

      You know: funding the A82, A9 and the like?

      Swings and roundabouts….

      • Davie

        Dear God Rhys you are deliberately thick. If you honestly think SE England has ever funded Scotland’s (piss poor) road infrastructure then you’re just thick.

        We have been sending big oily floods of cash to fund their extensive infrastructure builds and received peanuts back with claims of subsidy.

        Just accept it’s all over. It’s easier for everyone that way.

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        Rhys. You have (inadvertently?) stumbled on one of the strengths of the Brussels system. It’s not that Westminster never targeted investment at the Highlands, think Corpach and Invergorden. The investments were one off and opportunistic matching the short term planning needs of a government thinking in 4 or 5 year cycles. Ultimately the individual projects failed (partly due to poor infrastructure). Objective I money went into infrastructure with no guaranteed return. After centuries of population decline, the Highlands & Islands is now experiencing modest population growth.

      • kathy

        There is a huge difference between funding an impoverished country compared to funding a rich one.

    • Mr Shigemitsu

      Taxes in the UK *do not fund* public spending.

      They are simply a reserve drain at the BoE to hoover up excess currency so that the public spending cycle (carried out by the opposite reserve add operation via a keystroke at the BoE) can continue ad infinitum without causing the inevitable inflation that would result if continuous govt spending went untaxed.

      (Think of taxes as the little drain hole at the top of the bath that stops it overflowing, because for a nation to function to its maximum potential, the taps (spending) need to stay on continuously.)

      The UK govt does not require prior tax receipts in order to spend. It spends by creating the currency, and it creates the currency by spending. Did anyone get a massive extraordinary tax bill before the govt could bail out the banks to the tune of £800bn? Buy up £435bn worth of Gilts from the private sector (QE)? Spend billions more on foreign military adventures? No, of course not, because that’s not how it works.

      The vital and essential purposes of taxation in a nation with its own sovereign non-convertible fiat currency such as the UK, US, Japan, Aus, etc, are to:

      1) ensure ubiquitous national adoption of an otherwise worthless fiat currency by demanding payment of taxes solely in that currency, on pain of confiscation of property or imprisonment;

      2) prevent inflation by removing, approximately, what is spent in the first place by govt (less whatever’s saved by the private sector, which equals the budget deficit, and accumulated public debt), and,

      3) for social engineering in order to discourage certain behaviours (smoking, drinking, etc)

      Taxes certainly do not exist in order to supply the sole issuer of the national currency (the UK govt)… with the currency that it creates every single day, via a simple keystroke at its own central bank!

        • Mr Shigemitsu

          Thanks Alison!

          Not my original idea I’m afraid, and the metaphor is slightly flawed by the fact that water is, in reality, a *real*, and potentially limited, resource, whereas, fortunately, UK govt spending is just a potentially infinite supply of ones and zeroes on a BoE computer – although not without real world consequences if spent beyond the economy’s capacity (= size of bath tub!) to absorb it, of course.

  • Doghouse

    Since the beginning of time people have fought for the right to self determination and despite the rose tinted Euro view held by many, a sizeable chunk of the European electorate would like a referendum of their own – and it has nothing to do with racism. People have fought, prevailed but only to be rapidly thwarted every time for the same reason. Simply put, countries are not run by the people for the people, but by egregores, by mindsets, by political animals carrying a disproportionately high number of unsavouries from the grossly dishonest to full blown psychopaths who pay only lip service to purpose whilst burying themselves entirely in the power and financial troughs. It is sad, disheartening, and a perennial problem that the Scottish people have a right to discover for themselves.

    The French took to knotweed extermination only to be replaced by a Napoleon. The American people freed themselves of the hydra only for it to reincarnate in their heart. At dropping the big one on Hiroshima Truman made a righteous speech declaring that it was a fine thing that the US had gotten themselves the a-bomb, because if it had been Hitler he would have added it to his arsenal of weapons which he intended to use to enslave the world.

    You couldn’t make it up.

    Another thing is certain, if Scotland adopt their own currency, it will be theirs in name only, the purse strings held and drawn by the financial dragon that does just that almost across the board. Enjoy the fight for after that its back to prison no ifs or but about it, just a matter of when, how quickly the parasites embed…..

    • Laguerre

      ” a sizeable chunk of the European electorate would like a referendum of their own ”

      That’s wish fulfillment for a Brexiter. All the far right politicals on the continent have dropped the idea from their manifestos like a hot potato since Brexit. France should be a case that corresponds with your desire. Marine Le Pen started the 2017 presidential campaign with it in her manifesto, but quickly had to drop it, because it didn’t go at all. Wilders isn’t doing too well either.

      • Northern

        You know he wasn’t referring to France or The Netherlands there though. Try asking some working class Italians or Greeks, I’d wager they’d count as a ‘sizeable chunk’.

        Cause I still don’t think I’ve seen any actual in depth discussion of it; is there an actual legal precedent for the United Kingdom leaving the common market but Scotland retaining it’s membership, or is it just wishful thinking? I would understand that as Scotland being taken out of the single market and having to re-apply when GB leaves but I would defer to someone with proper knowledge in the field? Following this thinking, an independent Scotland applying for EU membership would cause some real problems for Madrid and it’s Catalonian seperatists, would they not veto Scotland joining in order to avoid having to deal with that situation?

        Being a leave voter, I would find it hypocritical to oppose self determination for the Scottish people, so please understand I’m not asking these questions from a place of hostility, just trying to understand an issue I haven’t seen much discussion of. The only time I’ve seen Sturgeon discussing such in interviews, she seems very keen to brush over this quickly as though it’s already a resolved issue.

        • Laguerre

          “You know he wasn’t referring to France or The Netherlands there though. Try asking some working class Italians or Greeks, I’d wager they’d count as a ‘sizeable chunk’.”

          Same remains true. The Greeks didn’t want to leave when they had the chance, and things are going better now in Greece. The Italian 5* populists dropped it from their manifesto too. Britain is severely isolated now in still wanting to Brexit. That’s not to say that there aren’t a certain number of hyper-nationalistic nutters everywhere, there always are, but not a major figure. They’ve seen what a disaster zone Brexit is.

          • Northern

            Well it’s not exactly that black and white with the Greeks is it? Saying they ‘didn’t want to leave when they had the chance’ implies that the choice was wholly theirs to make and leaves out a whole host of political shenanigans and chicanery that went on, not to mention Syriza bottling it at the critical moment.

            So English Brexiteers are ‘hyper nationalistic nutters’ but Scottish Nationalists aren’t? I’m just trying to understand how there’s such a vast difference in the way the 2 groups are portrayed, despite the majority of arguments underpinning Scottish independence and governance at the local level also being arguments in favour of Brexit? There’s lots of intelligent people here, I want to know why Scottish nationalism remains a progressive cause in your eyes but the English are all easily lead xenophobes? Like I said, my vote for Brexit was based on a desire for self determination, how is that any different from what the majority of independence supporters argue here in regards to Westminster?

            And also as mentioned before, is there an actual legal basis for the UK leaving the EU but Scotland retaining the membership? If not, why is this not a more pressing issue for SNP politicians to address when agitating for a new independence vote? Personally I find it hard to avoid the conclusion that the SNP have become part of the Westminster elite and have no intention of getting actual independence, just ensuring that business continues as usual.

          • Laguerre

            You’ve obviously only been reading the British media anti-EU narrative intended to blame the EU for Greece. (Thanks Boris for creating it). There are others, you know. Of course it was the Greeks choice to remain or leave; they were perfectly free. They created their own financial problem; they didn’t have to look to the EU to bail them out, I remember the event very well at the time. It’s worth looking at a comparable similar event rather more than a century earlier, when Egypt had precisely the same financial problems, in that case your wonderful democratic British government did not merely enforce payment but actually invaded Egypt in 1881, and continued to occupy it militarily for 70 years, while seizing the Suez canal when the Egyptians defaulted. I don’t think what the EU did had the gross brutality of British behaviour.

            You misattribute ideas to me that I don’t possess. I am not a partisan of Scottish independence, though I do think now it’s the best solution for Scotland, now that Westminster is occupied by an extremist ideological government.

          • michael norton

            “Try asking some working class Italians or Greeks, I’d wager they’d count as a sizeable chunk”
            Italy likely to soon change government, into extreme right wing anti E.U. anti immigration coalition.

        • lysias

          If Scotland joined a federation with Ireland, it would automaticslly stay in the EU.

          • Northern

            Thanks for the reply Iysias. I’ve seen a couple of people suggesting such a thing on here as of today, will be intrigued to see if it gains any traction with establishment figures in the next few days. I can certainly see the economic arguments for such a federation between the 2 countries.

        • Liz g

          I can’t speak with any legal authority about Scotland staying in the single market. But it is my understanding that it was proposed as a solution to enable both the results of Scotland and England in the EU referendum to be implemented .
          It was argued at the time that if Westminster and the EU were willing it could be made to work. Holyrood delivered to No 10 a detailed proposal of the mechanism to do so…. This was never acknowledged or considererd… So we’ll never know!
          We do know that the EU was willing to do this very thing with Northern Ireland but Westminster rejected it.
          What’s not really mentioned about the ” N.Ireland staying in the single market” proposal , and putting border in the Irish sea is that, agreeing to it Breaks the trade terms of the 1707 Treaty of Union between Scotland and England and that the Scottish government would undoubtedly have acted on that. We only ever hear of the DUP rejecting the proposal .
          As to the Spain veto…
          It’s utter nonsense it always has been.
          Spain has a written Constitution which expressly forbids any part of the Country to cede.
          I’m sure I don’t need to tell you that the UK dose not have a written Constitution at all.
          These two situations are therefore not the same.
          Scotland and England have a TREATY agreement between them.
          Scotland can perfectly properly vote to end that Treaty arrangement!
          Since Scotland would not be and could not in any event vote to disregard the Written Constitution there is no comparison here .
          Except in the minds of those who would make mischief .
          Spain is on record as saying that it would not stand in the way of of Scotland staying in the EU.
          The Wee Ginger Dug blog covers this subject extensively if you want to explore it further.
          It’s author has lived and worked in Spain and is fluent in Spanish. He provides links and translations to demonstrate his points.

          Hope this helps

      • Doghouse

        Laguerre – Try not to be so bitter because a vote in which I took no part didn’t go your preferred way. Nothing to do with so called wish fulfilment, personally couldn’t give a toss about who is or isn’t a member of Europe, whether Scotland is a member of the UK or whether Britain is run from London, Cardiff or Camber Sands. A good chunk of the Europeans would indeed like a referendum and no amount of quoting political attitudes is going to change human nature, that’s a fact. Just as it is a fact that an individual’s right to desire self determination does not make him ‘extreme right’ however much you imply it may.

        I personally believe in the right to self determination because it should be apparent to any fool, the bigger the administration, the bigger the pot, the bigger the corruption. Yet corruption is endemic, almost built in which is the real point I tried to make. Just the notion of independence is in itself enervating because on one hand it provides an outlet for resentment and frustration, whilst on the other fuel for optimism. But it is a historical fact that all such struggles are ultimately thwarted by reinfection of the administration. Often times even the notion of a fresh infection free start is an illusion for those setting themselves up to pave the way to nirvana are often times carriers and sources of infection. A new administration will serve the people for only the briefest time before it serves itself completely and above all else. Fact.

  • Mist001

    I doubt Scotland will see independence, at least not in my lifetime. These harlots and charlatans in the SNP leadership have put paid to that. It’s too late now to challenge the legality of the section 30 order and anyway, Sturgeon has already said that she won’t hold a referendum without one.

    Brexit was the golden opportunity and a referendum should have been organised to be held before October 31st, giving Scots a simple choice; Do you want to go with the UK and leave the EU or stay with Scotland and rejoin the EU?

    But that bunch of clowns in the SNP have neither the gumption nor the stomach to even think of anything like that.

    No offence meant to any clowns, BTW, I just can’t put into words how much I detest the SNP leadership.

    • Republicofscotland

      Oh dear more doom and gloom, I see your point but, I don’t like you, believe the opportunity has passed yet.

      If it does without the SNP seizing the initiative, I will be the first to agree with you.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Granted the Sturgeon household is maddeningly reluctant to push at a open door but the door is guy shoogily and looks likely to collapse of its own accord. The fast approaching No-deal Brexit is forcing folk to take sides.
      In Scotland, the Ashcroft poll.
      In Northern Ireland this morning a poll where people identified as 26% Unionists, 21% Nationalist and 51% Neither / other.
      Wales is erupting. Former First Minister, Carwyn Jones is “Indy-curious”. Current First Minister, Mark Drakeford says “… you have to face the possibility that some of the component parts of the United Kingdom may no longer choose to be part of it.” “… any sensible political party or Gove would have to reassess Wales’ part …. in the future.” Plaid Cymru are ahead in the polls as of last week for both constituency seats and regional lists.
      Scottish independence first, then we can consider a loose Celtic federation.

      • Vivian O'Blivion

        So who in Scottish Labour is about to make principled leap that Carwyn Jones and Mark Drakeford have made in Wales?
        Judging from the billing and cooing emanating from SNP HQ targeted at David Martin, they already have a deal. They should practically “get a room”.
        Will Henry McLeish ever stop teasing and commit one way or ‘tother?

  • Anne Bruce

    He also writes this:

    “Sooner or later, London will be forced to grow up and recognise that it has sacrificed the right to rule the British Isles. Ireland has gone and Scotland will clearly go one day. Whitehall should take the initiative and prepare a fiscal and legislative independence package; one that withdraws Scots MPs from Westminster and sees Scotland rejoin the EU, but keeps travel, currency and citizenship ties in place.”

    Still trying to maintain control of *Independent* Scotland?

  • Misbah

    If it’s such a strong case then why do you have so much difficulty convincing your fellow Scots?

    • Republicofscotland

      We are fighting against probably to most widespread and powerful propaganda machine in the world, the BBC, (and most gallingly of all is that we have to pay to listen to the propaganda) all the tv news channels (terrestrial) Sky news etc, and every single national newspaper as well oppose independence.

      We are also at the same time countering three unionist branch office parties ran from London at Holyrood. So I say to you to be ahead in a Lord Ashcroft poll, whilst attempting to counter such odds is quite remarkable indeed.

      • Rhys Jaggar

        I think you will find that propaganda is losing its power. More and more folks do not look up to authority, they increasingly hold it in contempt.

        Usually some seminal event triggers that. Like the dodgy dossier on Iraq. Or the 1970s pub bombing judicial scandals. Or the MPs expense scandal, the BBCI banking scandal, the 2008 banking bail out etc etc.

        Ordinary folks see that the top dogs are just avaricious swindlers, control freaks, psychopaths or more than one of those. By the values ordinary folk hold dear, they are not superior at all, they just have more power.

        So over matters of deeply held principle, as opposed to pragmstic decision-making, ordinary folks make their own minds up…

      • Misbah

        Thanks for your response. As you say a remarkable achievement. Unfortunately too many people allow the media to do their thinking for them. People’s capacity for critical thinking must be re awoken.

        Perhaps Scotland should turn to boycotting English goods & services? A General Strike or civil disobedience are also tools to utilise. There’s a whole range of techniques that settled societies have forgotten and must rediscover.

        • Republicofscotland

          “Perhaps Scotland should turn to boycotting English goods & services? A General Strike or civil disobedience are also tools to utilise.”

          I don’t think it would a fair response to boycott English goods, I see no reason why the hard working people of England who run businesses should suffer.

          Civil disobedience is another kettle of fish though, however I doubt Scots have what it takes to implement it, but thanks for the suggestion, alas we’re not the French, who know how to be disruptive when they need to be.

          • Yr Hen Gof

            There was a day not so many months past a 100 years ago when Churchill answered those then feisty Scots with troops, six tanks and a 4.5″ howitzer in the infamous Battle of George Square.

            “I rode a tank
            In the General Strike
            When the workers raged
            And Government stank.”

            Do the Scots no longer have the spirit of their forebears?
            Would Johnson not relish an opportunity to mimic his hero?

          • Misbah

            A fair response no but when is the other side fighting fair? No response just maintains the status quo.
            Striking Scottish oil workers would certainly disrupt the tax take.

  • Republicofscotland

    Yes it will be same old tired rhetoric wheeled out, that Scotland is too wee, too poor etc to become an independent nation, of course most of this nonsense will be carried by the unionist media straight into Scots households in the hope of preventing the natives thinking for themselves.

    However what they won’t read or see on tv, is that Scotland has contributed far more to the union for well over a hundred years than it has been given in return, and we’re still doing it today.

    Of all the colonies wrestled control of by the London ran empire, Scotland’s capture and systematic draining of resources and people must be the longest and most successful campaign, still providing for, over three-hundred years.

    Countless tomb tabards over the centuries, concerned solely with self aggrandisement have obediently went along with the holding and draining Scotland’s wealth to the often severe detriment of its people.

    • michael norton

      Royal Bank of Scotland
      “Yet again, we were reminded that Royal Bank of Scotland would remove the brass plate from Edinburgh and install it in London.

      It’s simply too big for Scotland to take on the burden of a bank that big, McEwan explained.”
      Can I ask you a question RoS.
      At this moment of extreme uncertainty, when the pound is at a five year low and the U.K. is teetering on the edge of recession, would this be a good time to heap even more uncertainty on the country?

      • Laguerre

        Why would independent Scotland be bothered about the future of England? That is the typical English cakeism we have witnessed in their demands to the EU.

        • michael norton

          “Why would an independent Scotland be bothered about the future of England?”
          About twenty times more trade is done between Scotland and the rest of the U.K. than with the rest of the E.U.
          Many people have family in Scotland and the rest of the U.K. They may wish to stay cordial.
          Scotland would want to sell their electricity/methane/oil/booze/fish/tourism to the rest of the U.K.
          Scotland would be at least for a few years using the same pound as the rest of the U.K.
          Scotland would need at least for some time the use of the Royal Navy/Royal Air Force.
          Scotland may wish to continue building ships for the Royal Navy.
          People in Scotland may wish to work in the rest of the U.K.
          These might be some of the reasons you are seeking Laguerre?

          • Laguerre

            I.e. the same reasoning that Brexiters use as for why their argument the EU is about to surrender and give Britain everything it wants. Well, it isn’t happening there; one might reasonably wonder whether it ‘s good for Scotland either.

          • michael norton

            German economy slips back into negative growth
            That takes the annual growth rate down to 0.4%. Germany, Europe’s largest economy, narrowly avoided a recession last year.

            Early signs for the third quarter “look ominous”, said Andrew Kenningham, chief Europe economist at Capital Economics. “Manufacturing business surveys for July were all gloomy.

            “And while the services sector should continue to hold up better, there are some signs that the slump is spreading to the labour market.”

            It seems that many of the European economies are currently flat-lining, it can’t all be about Brexit, which has not actually happened.
            Some of it will be Donald Trump and his actions to punish countries, some of it will be the fiddling that has happened in the German car industry.
            Some may just “peak stuff”
            when the public no longer fall for advertisements and come to understand their lives may be more enjoyable if they stop buying stuff they do not actually need.

      • Republicofscotland

        “Can I ask you a question RoS.
        At this moment of extreme uncertainty, when the pound is at a five year low and the U.K. is teetering on the edge of recession, would this be a good time to heap even more uncertainty on the country?”

        Of course you can Michael, firstly though RBS casino banking will more than likely need to be bailed out again in the future. Moving the plaque to London, ensures that the rUK will bail it out again to the tune of whatever it needs.

        You’re assuming that as part of the union, Scotland’s future is safe and in stable hands. It isn’t in either case. No Michael I think you need to ask why the UK is teetering on the brink of a recession, and where to point the finger.

        Better to leave the union and make your own decisions, than have another parliament do that for you come what may.

  • John2o2o

    Scotland could surely transition to independence with relative ease. It has it’s own legal system. Even after 300 years of union it retains a fundamentally different legal system from that of England and Wales, whose association is much more profound.

    In the US politicians are referred to as “lawmakers”, so independence to a large extent perhaps is an assertion of the right for Scotland to make it’s own laws and act in it’s own best interests.

    As to currency, well Scotland already mints it’s own banknotes. I have a Bank of Scotland £10 in my wallet. Glenfinnan Viaduct on one side and Sit Walter Scott in the other. No mention of London or England anywhere.

    Scotland has the means to stand on it’s own. It needs courage and a willingness to act with determination to achieve that goal.

  • Spencer Eagle

    You would have to regress a couple of centuries to find any of Scotland’s ‘talent’ and most of those left as soon as their talent earned them enough money for a ticket south.

    • Republicofscotland

      Oh I don’t know, we build more space satellites than any other European country and, there are now 132 space companies with a Scottish presence, compared with 104 in 2016, and 83 of these are headquartered in Scotland.

      The Scottish sector supports 7,542 jobs, a rise of 600 from two years earlier, and an annual income of £140 million, an increase of £9m from 2016.

    • A C Bruce

      Oh, I don’t think so.

      We have the only functioning government in this here, DisUnited Kingdom.

  • grafter

    This to my MP…….


    On behalf of those people who support independence for Scotland I would like to invite you to take part in the March for Independence in Aberdeen on Saturday 17th August starting at Albyn Place 1.30pm. I do hope that a high profile SNP politician would be only too glad to take part in this event, There appears to be a feeling that the SNP have been too long sitting on the political fence and that their support for those who wish to raise the profile of Independence has been severely lacking. So I would urge you and your fellow SNP politicians to come out from behind your net curtains and join us in the March in a hopefully sunny Saturday in Aberdeen.


    • Dave Albiston


      I have been on a number of the marches. I’ve seen Keith Brown, deputy leader of the SNP, on a couple. Tommy Sheppard and Phillipa Whitford are not exactly known for a low profile. There are usually one of two MPs or MSPs in attendance.

      It would be nice to see Nicola. I think the time is certainly right for her to appear. And the MSM couldn’t ignore the march if she were present – not after the ‘welcome’ she gave Mr Johnson!

  • ReM

    In the event of a general election, your and Mr Jenkins hypothesising could only help the Tories.

  • Tchoutoye

    May the Scots succeed in their quest. If only we English had a similar option of seceding from the evil twins that are The City and Whitehall.

  • Caratacus

    Will someone please explain to me how Scotland, if it were to free itself from the imperial and tyrannical English yoke, would better itself by joining an even less benevolent organisation which is inching ever nearer to its own implosion as inexorably as night follows day. Christine Lagard as president of the ECB? Really??

    Please don’t misunderstand me; I’m all for people achieving independence, whether personal or national – and I would be amongst the first to wish an independent Scotland well – but please, please don’t put yourselves at the mercy of the EU. Stay independent. The “Scottish Pound” sounds good to me … go for it!

        • jake

          The US got their independence some time ago now. They’ve had their ups and downs, but I don’t sense any regrets about that decision.

      • Iain Stewart

        “The EU is a federal union. The UK is an incorporating union.”
        You’ve said this before, MBC, but it is untrue. The EU is a mere confederation of independent states.

    • Liz g

      I suppose the difference is that the EU has an “Article 50” .
      So Scotland can trigger it any time the Union with Europe stops working for Scotland.
      It works for us or we leave… Simple and Safe… We are not trapped in it,we have rights!
      This current bloody Treaty of Union on the other hand has been and is a nightmare to try to end!
      Unions and Treaties between Countries are in the main a good thing but this one ??
      Asking the permission of the other partner to even have a vote on the thing..
      How insane it that!!
      That’s the difference between the two Unions…. Can ye see it?

  • Dave

    Alas your case for independence is different to the one on offer from the SNP which at the last referendum was ambiguous about having its own currency. The Euro was touted until the Euro-crisis and then staying with Sterling was the fall-back position, but that could blow if SNP right about No Deal, but in reality without control of your own currency, its not independence. I recall Michael Forsyth saying if genuine independence was on offer he would find it an attractive idea, but as it isn’t he prefers devolution in UK rather than devolution in EU.

    • Merkin Scot

      “I recall Michael Forsyth saying if genuine independence was on offer he would find it an attractive idea, but as it isn’t he prefers devolution in UK rather than devolution in EU.”
      Michael Forsyth? lol
      If he deliberately supressed the truth about his links to Thomas Hamilton, what else would he lie about?
      Forsyth is about as relevant as the Brunosaurus.

      • Dave

        Actual independence was the policy of the early SNP, who were at that time denounced as Tartan Tories, but to progress into office they progressed away from independence. Now you could say its just a tactic, but it could as easily be the new membership are happy with the diluted (and progressive!) message of devolution in EU, and now consider actual independence the preserve of the “deplorables”!

  • Willie

    Too right Craig about the substantially higher standard of living, wages, and Human Development Index of so many of our Nordic neighbours compared to Scotland and the UK.

    These countries are modern and progressive and their excellent results for their citizenry are interestingly correlated with excellent GINI indices. ( a measure of a country’s inequality). Fair, open, inclusive societies not fixated on foreign wars and projections of lethal force of course usually perform better than fading powers like the UK.

    But our lot is the one that we have over the years chosen. Austerity whilst the elitist rich get richer and richer is no one’s fault but our own. People are funny that way. Like abused dogs they come back for more. Better Together, well that’s what we chose.

    But just maybe, folks will change their minds. It certainly looks as if they might. And if they don’t, well let them enjoy the even greater pleasures to come under people like Boris Johnston and his elitist Tory band.

    Meanwhile, over in the statelet that they call a Northern Ireland one only need look at the pictures emerging from last night where the heavily armed police had to flee a confrontation with residents in the New Lodge area of Belfast and where, reminiscent of the early Troubles barricades and a no go are have been established.

    That together with the discovery of explosive booby traps in Craigavon at the other of the province shows how the Conservative Government’s repudiation of the Good Friday Agreement, together with Brexit and the alliance with the DUP is driving NI back to war.

    Para military forces in body armour and armed with assault rifles and side arms is a dark vision altogether. But as Boris Johnsons father opined not so long ago, who cares if the Irish shoot each other.

    Yes, better together with the paternalistic Tories to look after us. We did indeed choose wisely ( not! ) in 2014. But have we learned since and especially so as we look across the water to an NI moving back to the future. Not for them a Nordic future it seems, if the Brexiteers have anything to do with it, or us too if we do not change.

  • MBC

    I’m not a racist. I don’t believe any people is inferior to any other or less capable of running their own affairs. Whatever their resources – why would another people be better at running them than the people that actually lives there? That’s why I’m a Scottish nationalist – ever since I argued at age 17 against a white racist Rhodesian who claimed that the whites needed to run Rhodesia because the blacks were children who never actually ever grew up, and I countered that this was a biological impossibility because the definition of adulthood is that you reach a stage when you can stand on your own two feet, and handle yourself independently, so any race or species whose individuals never reached adulthood was doomed to extinction, which clearly they were not. They had survived at least 100,000 years in Africa quite adequately without any help from us. And when I went away and thought about it, I thought ‘Well that must be equally true of us in Scotland too. So why do we let England run us, not believing ourselves capable? Uniquely amongst all people on earth? We whose ingenuity helped build the modern world?’ And if Scotland is now crap, does that mean it’s because we are crap? And somehow deserve its crapness? And at that point I started asking myself: Just why is the world so ill-divided? Do people get crapness because they are crap and deserve it?

    Scottish nationalism isn’t about believing we are better than other people, but that we are as good as any other people and equally capable of self government. I’m a Nat fundamentally because I’m not a racist; I stand up for the right of the people of Scotland to rule themselves as passionately as I once stood up for the right of the native people of former Rhodesia to run their own country. We are all adults aren’t we?

    • Republicofscotland


      Well said, as Alasdair Gray often says when asked about his political stance, he replies, I’m a Civic nationalist, and a Republican.

      • Northern

        Hey ROS, so why can you can agree with that from a Scottish Nationalist, but the English voted for Brexit because we’re all unthinking racists?

        “Whatever their resources – why would another people be better at running them [their affairs] than the people that actually lives there?”

        • Republicofscotland

          I’m not of a mind that English folk are racist. If the people of England want to leave the EU, that’s fine by me.

          Its the Tories and Farage, that are pushing the English superiority, isolationist card. That somehow the EU is holding back the UK.

          • RandomComment

            Oh for gawd’s sake RoS, living in the real world, talking to real people in England, the idea of English superiority is risible. (With a nod to the DNC I would like to self-identify as he/him, Cornish, Welsh and Yorkshire.). Sure people like to feel some self-respect, but the idea that the UK has a “manifest destiny” is long past. Even Trump doesn’t say this (although Obama I think did)

            Of course, you will meet racists everywhere, but not as often as people rant on about,. Like many other words, it appears to have lost its real meaning (fascism)

            Personally, no matter how shite it is (and I get all the criticisms) I still wake up thinking “Thank God I wasn’t born in some other hell-hole” We’re damn lucky even to be having this conversation. Of course that’s not an excuse for all this nonsense.

            As I believe in democracy, the Scottish people are free to make their choice.

            There was a time when this belief in English superiority was manifest; I can’t see much evidence of that conviction now. Be happy in that, if you hate them (which I know you don’t – said for dramatic effect ;)) .

            The idea that the Tories and Farage are pushing the isolationist rhetoric, is frankly nuts isn’t it?

          • Republicofscotland

            “Oh for gawd’s sake RoS, living in the real world, talking to real people in England, the idea of English superiority is risible.”


            I did not say English people superiority, I said the Tories and Farage, have campaigned in that mode to leave the EU.

            “The idea that the Tories and Farage are pushing the isolationist rhetoric, is frankly nuts isn’t it?”

            Not in the slightest, from May’s Go Home vans, to Farage’s false posters of millions of Romanians flooding the UK to Johnson’s letterbox comments, and EU jibes as FS, one can clearly notice the superiority tone emanating from their attitudes.

            Lets not forget their man of the moment Tommy Robinson.

          • RandomComment

            Well I’m not going to disagree they are pushing the superiority rhetoric, but are they pushing the isolationist rhetoric?

        • MBC

          Good luck to the English if they believe the EU are ‘running their affairs’ and they want out (they aren’t, but if you believe, that, go for it) just don’t drag us Scots out with you. The EU is one of the glues holding the rickety UK together. You can have your Brexit or you can have your UK. But not both.

          • Northern

            I have no loyalty to the UK as a political entity. I would happily dissolve the union tomorrow and see its constituent parts restored to full governance. All I want is a system which more fairly represents those of us who prop up this insane ponzi scheme with our manual labour, English, Scottish, flying spaghetti monsters, the lot. If I’d seen any evidence the EU was a reform able entity then I’d have voted remain, but in my eyes the whole edifice appears constructed to avoid reform.
            You’re also making distinctions between Westminster and Brussels that most people wouldn’t subscribe to, I think. All they saw was a corrupt political class from the UK and the EU telling them overwhelmingly to vote remain.
            Like I said further up the thread, to vote leave but oppose Scottish independence would seem hypocritical. So as you put it yourself: “Whatever their resources – why would another people be better at running them [their affairs] than the people that actually lives there?” None of this is intended to distract from the million and one pressing issues at Westminster, just a reminder we have to fight our battles where we’re able to at the time.

            Nobody has actually answered my initial question either; is there actually any legal basis to you saying ‘don’t drag us Scots with you’ or are you just hoping that’s the case? I’ve seen lots of people asserting such a thing is possible but I’m yet to see anything to confirm or deny it.

          • Laguerre

            “Nobody has actually answered my initial question either; is there actually any legal basis to you saying ‘don’t drag us Scots with you’ ”

            You’ve misunderstood Craig’s position on independence for Scotland. Independence doesn’t have to be “legal”; it has to be recognised by other states. Perfectly legitimate for Scotland to declare independence – it works if enough states recognise the act. UDI Rhodesia was a case where not many did.

  • Mac

    “I am entirely at the end of my patience. It really is time that we claimed our Independence and stopped this slavish adherence to the laws of the Imperial state which seeks to continue its leeching out of our resources.”

    You are not alone.

  • Graham Harris Graham

    [ MOD: Caught in spam-filter, timestamp updated ]

    What is genuinely mystifying is the claim by Unionists that Scotland would be poorer post independence & that it is economically much better off, shackled to Westminster which decides much of its domestic & all of its foreign policy as well as skillfully hiding hundreds of billions of pounds of wealth transfer to The Treasury; where the bulk of it is then “wisely” invested in the south east of England.

    Even die hard Labour MPs from Scotland continue to sing from this hymn sheet despite all the reasonable logic that the opposite is true; easily confirmed by simply comparing like for like countries right on our doorstep.

    What exactly is it that people like Ian Murray (MP Edinburgh South) for example, think is at risk if Scotland, like almost every other European country, kept all of its resources to itself?

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Ian Murray has the safest seat in Scotland (55% of the vote in 2017) and the £76 K salary that goes with it. Nuff said!

  • Xavi

    National independence may only be legitimately achieved by “constitutional” means according to the historical disgrace that is the British establishment.

    That is why the United States, Ireland, Kenya et al are cannot really be considered legitimate nations.

  • Vronsky

    There are utterly no circumstances under which the Scots will be permitted to excuse themselves from the Union and walk away, because they would be taking England’s economic viability (on its present model) with them. Hence the movement for independence must war game this all the way through – *you can be sure the London government already has*.

    The struggle for independence does not end at a referendum result (or UDI, if you prefer), it begins there. A likely scenario is the deployment of the Orange Order to foment civil disorder, followed by the insertion of troops to ‘restore order’. Holyrood would be suspended, if that had not already happened.

    Your move, Craig.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Westminster controls the army but it doesn’t control the Polis. They report to Holyrood. The Scottish Polis do not and never have sworn allegiance to the Crown. The current oath is, “I do solemnly, sincerely and truly declare …. uphold fundamental human rights and accord equal respect to all people according to law.”
      Westminster can put the army on Scotland’s streets but the army trying to conduct “crowd control” without the support of the Polis would get very dirty very quick. Consider the optics of the Catalonian Fire fighters confronting Madrid’s para-military police.

    • michael norton

      Demark is not really a little country, it owns Greenland, 2,166,086 km2
      There are untold riches in Greenland, plenty of fish, unlimited fresh water
      and a good bolt hole, once Global Warming makes Denmark too hot to live in.

  • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

    “Scottish independence first, then we can consider a loose Celtic federation.”

    Whether tongue in cheek or not, the above remark by Vivian O’Blivion (13:12), brought to mind some online material from 2016 (to which I draw attention simply for interest, not as endorsement) –

    Fintan O’Toole article in the Irish Times:


    Aidan O’Neill (not to be confused with ultra-Brexiteer Brendan O’Neill) picked up on Fintan’s idea:


    If I might add on a slight tangent here – in the last link the view of democracy inherent in the Declaration of Arbroath gets related to the subsequent thinking of Marsilius of Padua. The earlier thought of our own John Duns Scotus should certainly also be noted:

    (Slow-burning but authoritative audio lecture with Prof Alexander Broadie [sic]) –

  • Reginald

    The Darien scheme is a good example on how Scotland can’t stand alone without the support of the English.
    The Darien scheme was an attempt by the Kingdom of Scotland to become a world trading state. Success in Darien, a central American wilderness chosen as Scotland’s gateway to the new world, would bring riches and power and guarantee independence. The five ships which sailed from Leith in the summer of 1698 carried the hopes of a nation.
    The Darien scheme had been funded by public subscription – an early example of a financial mania. It raised £400,000 sterling in a few weeks (equivalent to roughly £51 million today), with investments from every level of society, totalling about a fifth of the wealth of Scotland. This money was spent and lost.
    Scotland was bankrupt.
    Scotland came England “cap in hand”, this resulted in the formation of the Acts of Union of 1707, and included a clause in which the English government agreed to pay a sum of money to the Scots [£398,085] to compensate them for the collapse of the Darien scheme.
    England came to the rescue and got the Scots back on their feet again.
    Pro-union Scots see in it a cautionary tale about the dangers of over-ambition.

    • MBC

      South Sea Bubble anyone? Roanoke?

      Plenty of early attempts at overseas expansion went sadly awry. Thankfully after 1707 the English had the Scots to help them. The Scots fought for, built, and ran the British Empire. Thanks to us Scots UK became a global power.

    • Bramble

      “Wilderness”? Really? So – not another white colonial get-rich-quick scheme.

    • Republicofscotland

      “The Darien scheme is a good example on how Scotland can’t stand alone without the support of the English.”

      Actually after the plan failed in Panama, of which the natives of the day claimed that the Scots were friendly, but the Spanish just attacked us and drove us inland.

      King William issued a decree to all the English colonies from Canada to the Caribbean, there was to be no trade with the errant Scots and no assistance, not so much as a barrel of clean water was to be offered to them.

      Of course Scotland was financially weakened, England saw an opportunity to capture Scotland with the help of several notable Scots men who received payments in English gold (The Equivalent) to sell their country out, the compensatory money paid was also a sweetner, pressure was then applied by sanctions and the Alien act, and the illegal union of 1707 was forced through.

      English spy Daniel Foe, he added the De, to make himself appear more interesting sent reports back to London from Edinburgh of widespread rioting by commoners who had no say nor vote on the union. The union had no (and still doesn’t) legitimacy from day one.

      • Iain Stewart

        The disastrous Darien scheme came up in a thread about a month ago, where it was pointed out that the extreme hostility of the English merchant class to this unique Scottish attempt to create even a modest rival colony was one of the impulses that led William shortly afterwards to push for the union of the two kingdoms as the only way to prevent future conflicts, and to open the English colonies to Scottish trade (making Glasgow flourish mostly).

        A newly independent Scotland will no doubt have to deal with a renewal of this un-neighbourly commercial resentment, which is probably the strongest argument for having the muscular support of the EU (a little like the Auld Alliance brought up to date).

    • JOML

      Reginald, I’ll read that book after I finished Pocahontas…
      Scotland was not bankrupt. However, those who financed the scheme were in financial difficulties. Had the scheme been successful, the profits would have been private and not Scotland’s.

      • Old Mark


        Late seventeenth century Scotland might not have been bankrupt, but it was certainly piss -poor- tens of thousands of Scots emigrated in that century to Poland to escape the poverty, and the occasional famine, endemic in their home country at the time.

    • kathy

      I’m afraid some of your “facts” are wrong. The Darien scheme was dreamt up by some aristocrats who hoped to make a killing and not by the Scottish nation. The main reason for its’ failure was the dirty tricks and blockades by the English (sound familiar?) Scotland was never bankrupt throughout its’ roughly 500 year history as an independent nation.

  • Sharp Ears

    We, the English, have stolen your oil and those who are rich have stolen your land.

    Rise up you Scots!

    ‘And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.’
    Romans 13.11.

    • BrianFujisan

      Well Said Sharp Ears.. Cheers..

      As Craig says – Patience is running Thin – Certainly mine is. I hope the All Under One Banner March for Aberdeen next Saturday is HUGE..

      P.s on My River, there is an Old Wreckage of an upturned Sugar boat on some Shallow sandbanks.. The Nuke subs have to pass it going into / out of Faslane…I want to have a Huge Sculpture of Sadako Sasaki built on the Hull.

  • Sharp Ears

    Some nice bungs (in £thousands) from unions, Oakeshott, et al, a few jollies – China, Taiwan – and a lot of filling in stupid questionnaires for ComRes plus some other freebies such as tickets for an ITV bash.
    Ian Murray MP Lab Edinburgh S.
    The only Labour MP in Scotland

    He would rather have Owen Smith than Corbyn as leader. Nuff said.

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