London Will Never Give Independence – We Must Take It 797


Yesterday the Scottish Government published “Scotland’s Right to Choose“, its long heralded paper on the path to a new Independence referendum. It is a document riven by a basic intellectual flaw. It sets out in detail, and with helpful annexes, that Scotland is a historic nation with the absolute and inalienable right of self-determination, and that sovereignty lies not in the Westminster parliament but with the Scottish people.

It then contradicts all of this truth by affirming, at length, in detail, and entirely without reservation, that Scotland can only hold a legitimate Independence referendum if the Westminster Parliament devolves the power to do so under Section 30.

Both propositions cannot be true. Scotland cannot be a nation with the right of self-determination, and at the same time require the permission of somebody else to exercise that self-determination.

I was trying to find the right words to discuss the document. One possibility was “schizophrenic”. The first half appears to be written by somebody with a fundamental belief in Scottish Independence, and contains this passage:

The United Kingdom is best understood as a voluntary association of nations, in keeping with the principles of democracy and self‑determination.

For the place of Scotland in the United Kingdom to be based on the people of Scotland’s consent, Scotland must be able to choose whether and when it should make a decision about its future.

The decision whether the time is right for the people who live in Scotland again to make a choice about their constitutional future is for the Scottish Parliament, as the democratic voice of Scotland, to make.

Yet the rest of the paper completely negates this proposition and instead argues that the necessary powers must be granted by the Westminster Parliament:

The Scottish Government is committed to agreeing a process for giving effect to its mandate for a further independence referendum. When they make a decision about their future, the people of Scotland must do so in the knowledge that their decision will be heard and respected and given effect to: not just by the government in Scotland, but also by the UK Government, by the European Union and by the international community.

For a referendum to have this legitimacy, it must have the confidence of all of those that it would effect. This means not just the UK Government acknowledging and respecting the Scottish Government’s mandate, but the Scottish Government and UK Government seeking to agree the proper lawful basis for the referendum to take place.

We call on the UK Government to enter discussions about the Scottish Government’s mandate for giving the people of Scotland a choice, and to agree legislation with the Scottish Government that would put beyond doubt the Scottish Parliament’s right to legislate for a referendum on independence.

I am frequently told that this paper is all just a cunning ploy, and that when the Tory Government rejects – as it will reject – this servile request to grant Scotland the powers to hold a referendum, the Scottish Government will go to court to say it has the right to a referendum.

If that really is the cunning plan, it is the most stupid cunning plan since Baldrick and his turnip. In what way does publishing an official Scottish Government paper which states explicitly that a referendum “must have” the agreement of the UK government to be legitimate, prepare the ground to go to court and argue the precise opposite? Plainly that is not the intent here.

Nicola Sturgeon’s speech presenting the paper made the acceptance of a veto from “the rest of the UK” on the holding of a second referendum even more explicit:

It is based on the solemn right of the people of Scotland to decide their own future.

The Scottish Government believes that right should be exercised free from the threat of legal challenge.

In line with our values, we acknowledge that a referendum must be legal and that it must be accepted as legitimate, here in Scotland and the rest of the UK as well as in the EU and the wider international community.

We are therefore today calling for the UK Government to negotiate and agree the transfer of power that would put beyond doubt the Scottish Parliament’s right to legislate for a referendum on independence.

And what does Ms Sturgeon plan to do when Boris Johnson just says no, as he assuredly will? To be fair to Nicola, she could not have been clearer about what she intends to do. Absolutely nothing different.

Of course, I anticipate that in the short term we will simply hear a restatement of the UK government’s opposition.

But they should be under no illusion that this will be an end of the matter.

We will continue to pursue the democratic case for Scotland’s right to choose.

We will do so in a reasonable and considered manner.

So this is the Sturgeon plan: in the short term, we accept Johnson can block Independence. Beyond the short term (how many years is that?) we do nothing except continue in democratic politics as the SNP already is, operating at Holyrood and putting before Scottish voters “the democratic case for Scotland’s right to choose”, while accepting Westminster’s veto. This will have the pleasant side effect of keeping Ms Sturgeon living very nicely indeed in Bute House, with her husband picking up a massive salary as CEO of the Party, and the SNP just like the last five years doing nothing whatsoever about Independence other than occasionally blether about it, “pursuing the democratic case”, while very explicitly accepting Westminster’s veto.

The truth is there is no route to a referendum by legal challenge in the UK courts. The UK Supreme Court has already ruled that Westminster, the “Crown in Parliament” is sovereign, that the Sewell Convention has no legal force and that any powers that the Scottish parliament has, and indeed the very existence of the Scottish Parliament, is entirely at the gift of Westminster. The clue is on the tin. It is the UK Supreme Court. To be fair the Scottish Government paper plainly does not anticipate any such pointless legal challenge, though it is not inconceivable that one may be futilely undertaken at some stage to keep the SNP’s pro-Independence activists happy, by pretending to do something and kicking Indy yet a few months further down the road.

Because the truth is, that is the purpose of the current Scottish Government paper. The reason it is schizophrenic is that it is a deeply dishonest document. All the stuff at the beginning, about Scotland’s ancient right as a nation and the sovereignty residing in the Scottish people, is no more and no less than window dressing to keep Scottish Independence activists happy. The actual meat of the paper, that Indyref2 “must have” Westminster agreement or it is not legitimate, sits there like a great steaming turd whose stink cannot be disguised no matter how much the SNP leadership has tried to conceal it under flowers.

I have to say, I am astonished how many very decent people in the SNP have fallen for the trick.

The Scottish Government position is fundamentally incorrect. The Independence of a nation is a matter of international law, not of domestic legislation. The UN Charter enshrines the right of self-determination of peoples, and nobody has argued that the Scots are not a people in the encapsulated sense.

It is perfectly normal for States to become Independent without the permission of the state from which they are seceding. The UK Government itself argued precisely this position before the International Court of Justice over Kosovo. I here repeat a post I wrote almost exactly one year ago setting out the legal position:

BEGINS

The London Supreme Court last week not only confirmed that the Westminster Parliament could overrule at will any Scottish Government legislation, irrespective of the Scotland Act and the Sewell Convention, but it also ruled that Westminster had already successfully done so, by retrospectively passing provisions in the EU (Withdrawal) Act that overruled the Bill on the same subject, within the competence of the Scottish Parliament, that had already been passed by Holyrood.

Not content with that, the London Supreme Court confirmed that London ministers may, by secondary legislation, under the Scotland Act decree laws for Scotland that are not even passed through the Westminster parliament.

Which leaves Scotland in this extraordinary situation. English MPs or English ministers in their London Parliament can, at any time, impose any legislation they choose on Scotland, overriding Scotland’s parliament and Scotland’s representation in the London parliament. Yet, under the English Votes for English Laws rules of the London Parliament introduced by the Tories in 2015, Scottish MPs cannot vote at all on matters solely affecting England.

That is plainly a situation of colonial subservience.

I am firmly of the view that the Scottish government should now move to withdraw from the Treaty of Union. Scotland’s right to self determination is inalienable. It cannot be signed away forever or restricted by past decisions.

The Independence of a country is not a matter of domestic law it is a matter of international law. The right of the Scottish Parliament to declare Independence may not be restricted by UK domestic law or by purported limitations on the powers of the Scottish Parliament. The legal position is set out very clearly here:

5.5 Consistent with this general approach, international law has not treated the legality of
the act of secession under the internal law of the predecessor State as determining the effect
of that act on the international plane. In most cases of secession, of course, the predecessor
State‟s law will not have been complied with: that is true almost as a matter of definition.

5.6 Nor is compliance with the law of the predecessor State a condition for the declaration
of independence to be recognised by third States, if other conditions for recognition are
fulfilled. The conditions do not include compliance with the internal legal requirements of
the predecessor State. Otherwise the international legality of a secession would be
predetermined by the very system of internal law called in question by the circumstances in
which the secession is occurring.

5.7 For the same reason, the constitutional authority of the seceding entity to proclaim
independence within the predecessor State is not determinative as a matter of international
law. In most if not all cases, provincial or regional authorities will lack the constitutional
authority to secede. The act of secession is not thereby excluded. Moreover, representative
institutions may legitimately act, and seek to reflect the views of their constituents, beyond
the scope of already conferred power.

That is a commendably concise and accurate description of the legal position. Of major relevance, it is the legal opinion of the Government of the United Kingdom, as submitted to the International Court of Justice in the Kosovo case. The International Court of Justice endorsed this view, so it is both established law and the opinion of the British Government that the Scottish Government has the right to declare Independence without the agreement or permission of London and completely irrespective of the London Supreme Court.

I have continually explained on this site that the legality of a Declaration of Independence is in no sense determined by the law of the metropolitan state, but is purely a matter of recognition by other countries and thus acceptance into the United Nations. The UK Government set this out plainly in response to a question from a judge in the Kosovo case:

2. As the United Kingdom stated in oral argument, international law contains no
prohibition against declarations of independence as such. 1 Whether a declaration of
independence leads to the creation of a new State by separation or secession depends
not on the fact of the declaration but on subsequent developments, notably recognition
by other States. As a general matter, an act not prohibited by international law needs
no authorization. This position holds with respect to States. It holds also with respect
to acts of individuals or groups, for international law prohibits conduct of non-State
entities only exceptionally and where expressly indicated.

As I have stressed, the SNP should now be making a massive effort to prepare other countries, especially in the EU and in the developing world, to recognise Scotland when the moment comes. There is no task more important. There is a worrying lack of activity in this area. It may currently not be possible to spend government money on sending out envoys for this task, but if personal envoys were endorsed by the First Minister they would get access and could easily be crowd funded by the Independence Movement. I am one of a number of former senior British diplomats who would happily undertake this work without pay. We should be lobbying not just the EU but every country in Africa, Asia and South America.

My preferred route to Independence is this. The Scottish Parliament should immediately legislate for a new Independence referendum. The London Government will attempt to block it. The Scottish Parliament should then convene a National Assembly of all nationally elected Scottish representatives – MSPs, MPs and MEPs. That National Assembly should declare Independence, appeal to other countries for recognition, reach agreements with the rump UK and organise a confirmatory plebiscite. That is legal, democratic and consistent with normal international practice.

There will never be a better time than now for Scotland to become an Independent, normal, nation once again. It is no time for faint hearts or haverers; we must seize the moment.

ENDS

Events since I wrote that have made the case still stronger. With the UK now leaving the European Union, EU states will be extremely eager to recognise Scottish Independence and get Scotland and its resources back inside the EU, while sending out a strong message that leaving the EU can have severe consequences. At the UN, the UK’s repudiation of the International Court of Justice ruling and overwhelming General Assembly mandate over the Chagos Islands has made the UK even more of a pariah state, while senior statesmen in the developing world see Scottish Independence as a wedge issue to open the question of the UK’s ridiculous permanent membership of the UN Security Council.

The claim that to proceed to Independence without Westminster consent is illegal and illegitimate lies at the heart of this truly disgraceful Scottish Government paper. That claim is wrong at every level.

You cannot both believe that the Scots are a people with the right of self-determination, and believe that Westminster has a right to veto that self-determination.

This paper by the Scottish Government is nothing more and nothing less than proof that the gradualists who sadly head the SNP are perfectly happy operating within the devolution system and have no intention of ever paying any more than lip service to Independence.

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797 thoughts on “London Will Never Give Independence – We Must Take It

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  • AKAaka

    Interesting eye opener on how IDOX and Canadian company CGI are owning the UK electoral system and more (from council admin to GCHQ and NSA) and how SNP may be complicit in their taking root.

    https://melkelly60.wixsite.com/whatthepapersdontsay/post/2017/05/02/snp-put-tories-in-charge-of-election-count

    With that in mind, the ‘system’ has been put through much testing with the elections/referendums galore in recent years. Scotland is rife but the rest of the UK probably is now too, especially considering IDOX was used in around 70 constituencies in local elections, then something like 100 just 3 weeks later for European parliament elections in May this year.

    https://elections.idoxgroup.com/media/2053/idox-elections_local-and-european-2019-election-delivery.pdf

    I’ve heard there are strange goings on with the postal ballot in particular this time round too, though I have not seen the data. There are rumours of high postal ballot percentages. Average may be something like 20% usually I’m not sure, but talk of 30, 40 and higher. Look up (ctrl f) Dungroanin to see interesting links to 2017 results discussed further up. Someone saying postal ballot was as high as 55% in Sunderland. Data found here:

    https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/media/321

    My calcs confirm this but my calcs may be wrong because this is my first day off in a while and I just want to do proper fuck all. I am failing.

    Another thing I noticed in the data was the tally for postal votes. This accounts for total amount issued vs total amount counted, rejected etc etc and so should balance. They mostly do, but some are way off. Interestingly the big discrepancies are both in Tory strongholds and Labour ones where say 10% of the postal vote is either missing, or an additional 10% (sometimes 1.5k votes in one constituency) has magically appeared. Funnily enough the +10% are in Tory seats, the -10% are in Labour ones. I am also hearing rumours of more postal votes being counted this time round than were actually issued. Well if 2017 is anything to go by, then this rumour may well have solid foundations.

    Damn I wish investigative journalism didn’t mean life imprisonment and torture nowadays.

    It all stinks. It’s obvious. They will make it less so. Dumb down the people. Make them desperate. Make them scared. They won’t dare question it. As the people begin to mimic their masters they find they are accepted and succeed. Turns out fascism is a contagious disease, and highly profitable for those at the top. How does it end?

    • Giyane

      AKAaka

      Thank you . My allergy to lies alarm sirens have been wailing for weeks. Your article is the key to silencing them.
      Now that we know that it is not just tribal Asians manipulating the vote but the tribe of approved politicians, Postal voting must be scrapped and privatisation of electoral systems forbidden.

      Quis custodet ipsos custodes? Boris Johnson has a mandate for nothing. The BBC has been collaborating with the PTB to analyse the election in the mould of the fixed result of the election. If you compare that with match fixing in sport, that makes one think the fixing is done by the managers, not the competitors.

      Perfidious Albion

      • Hatuey

        In this country, no, not in general elections. Even when it was clear that rules were broken in regards to Tory election funding and their “battles bus” in 2015, all that followed was a small fine.

        There are lots of examples of local election fraud and one was overturned in Tower Hamlets by the electoral commission quite recently, I think it was a mayoral election.

        The most fraudulent thing in the UK is the role of the media. For some reason people in the UK think this is okay but it isn’t. And it’s the big reason that the UK ranks so poorly when it comes to the integrity of elections in international comparison studies. Just about everything the OSCE condemned Turkey for in 2017 could be said of the MSM in the UK when it comes to elections.

        Impartial media and access to information, allowing voters to make informed choices, are central planks of democracy. In the UK it’s all seen as a bit of a laugh and bashing Labour, the SNP, and others who don’t bow to right wing dogmas, is seen as a sort of sport. It’s very sinister.

      • nevermind

        Not that I know of one, J, but if there are more postal votes in than given out, with dissapeared and added votes, all hell should break loose.

    • Kim Sanders-Fisher

      In Northern Ireland it was harder to rig the election using postal votes. With more controls over qualifying for the right to vote by post and, despite winter constraints, even fewer postal votes were issued this time around. On the Electoral Commission website it states that:
      “If you’re registered to vote in Northern Ireland, you must provide a valid reason as to why you can’t attend your polling station in person. This could be because of: illness, disability, holiday or work arrangements. In certain circumstances, you can also apply for an indefinite postal vote. You can do this at any time of year.”
      The DUP who had propped up the Tory Government last time around just lost two seats.
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2019-50735423

      In the past postal voting often relied on by the elderly, was more likely to favour Tory candidates. However, the decision to hold this election so close to Christmas, in the week that students would be heading home from university, persuaded a lot of younger voters to use a postal vote. Those away at university are able to select between one of the two constituencies where they can legally register to cast their vote. Many of these predominantly young and often first time voters chose to vote tactically to maximise the ability of their vote making a difference.

      With a strong statistical likelihood of this younger demographic voting for progressive parties or to block the Tories, this presented a goldmine of an opportunity for IDOX, the company controlling the postal vote handling throughout the UK. The strong encouragement to apply for a postal vote was very successful with the number using this method nearly doubling since the 2017 election.

      The percentage of postal votes varies in different regions of the UK, but the overall number has risen to 37% of those registered to vote. At one point I could have supplied a link to the page where a complete breakdown by area is documented on the Electoral Commission Website. Either this page has mysteriously vanished quite recently or it is just unnecessarily difficult to search for it on their site. A search produces a scattergun of relevant and not so relevant document titles in no particular order of chronological or subject relevance.

      I had managed to find the page in question in the past; did the EC just decide to make the site harder to navigate to hide sensitive information? The person politely and very promptly answering my questions to the Electoral Commission has chosen to cut short this useful cooperation with an email offering no further answers and saying she is away until the 6th of January. I think that the Electoral Commission is getting jittery that the level of concern from the public might go way beyond complaints about Laura Kuennsberg.

      I did find the data outlining who is likely to be registered to vote in the UK; in England only 36% of people remaining in a tenancy for less than a year are registered to vote.
      https://www.electoralcommission.org.uk/who-is-registered.
      This would indicate that the massive problem of insecure tenancies and easy evictions, some after falling into rent arrears on Universal Credit, all help to disenfranchise large sectors of the population who would not vote Tory even to get Brexit done.

      The introduction of voter ID will disenfranchise millions more people for no legitimate reason while IDOX is given a free pass to tamper with the remaining votes, but only if we allow them to get away with it. A site called “Facts Central” has dug up a lot of disturbing facts and suspicious looking information on IDOX; it is well worth visiting.
      https://factscentral.site/Idox.htm
      One interesting comment from includes the title on the IDOX segment that reads: Hey, UK, are you aware that your elections results do not add up anymore, and that some Oil&Gas corporations are massively involved in the process?

      It is important to stress that even if there was no wrongdoing with regard to the incomprehensible results of this latest election, demanding further analysis or an investigation would not be at all unreasonable or the wrong thing to do. Any truly free and fair electoral process must be able to withstand robust public scrutiny within a healthy democracy.

      Boris has laid out plans that will limit scrutiny and damage our democracy to such an extent that future elections are just a cosmetic exercise to placate the masses. If we want to close potential opportunities for large scale vote rigging and establish a genuinely secure voting system for the future, we must challenge this election result ASAP.

  • MBC

    Craig, as I see it, any sovereign state may resile unilaterally from an international treaty made with another sovereign state. These arrangements are essentially voluntary.

    The question is though that the Scottish parliament surrendered its sovereignty in 1707 to become incorporated into the parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain.

    But so too did the parliament of England. It too became incorporated into the parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain, a new entity. In 1800 Ireland joined.

    The issue is that though their parliaments and distinct national sovereignties were extinguished by the Treaty of Union, which set up the British state, that England dominates the parliament of Great Britain to the detriment of the other nations.

    So surely this is a matter – if it cannot be resolved amicably within the UK itself – for appeal to an external body such as the ICJ, or alternately by defying the UK government and hoping for external recognition of our just cause.

    • Cubby

      MBC

      “Distinct national sovereignties were extinguished by the Treaty of Union”

      Sorry but that is incorrect. The Treaty of Union did no such thing. The Treaty of Union preserved Scots law. Scots law as recently confirmed once again in the H. Of Commons preserves the claim of right for the people of Scotland. This is distinct from the English sovereignty which is based on the Monarch of England delegating/devolving sovereignty to the parliament.

      • Iain Stewart

        And here’s a bit of the Scotland Act for those who still think Scotland had vanished up England’s arse:
        Reserved matters
        Part I
        General reservations
        The Constitution
        1The following aspects of the constitution are reserved matters, that is—
        (b) the Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England,

        • Cubby

          “(b) The Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England”

          Take note – Kingdoms not countries/nations.

          The two Kingdoms still exist – two monarchy’s one monarch. It can be changed in future to two monarchy’s two monarchs if the people of Scotland so desire. Lizzie your on notice of better behaviour at the next referendum.

      • romar

        Good point. I’m no expert, but it seems logical that “national sovereignties” are not something that can be legally “extinguished”: under current international law provisions, the will of the people of a sovereign entity cannot be superseded. It remains the deciding factor in all cases. Putin re-emphasised this when discussing the case of Crimea in relation to the Kosovo legal precedent:
        “Concerning Kosovo, the UN International Court of Justice ruled that, when it comes to sovereignty, the opinion of the central government can be ignored.” http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/51154
        It is astonishing that neither the paper, “Scotland’s Right to Choose“, nor Ms Sturgeon in her speech, mentioned the Kosovo precedent. This raises a strong suspicion that “she intends to do nothing”, as Ambassador Murray remarks.

  • Anonymous London

    I feel no sympathy for the Scots just as I have no sympathy for the french who voted in the bankster Macron. You had your chance for freedom…NOPE, you got persuaded by propaganda and scaremongering to remain; ultimately against everything your ancestors have fought for. So now sleep in the bed you’ve made. No sympathy whatsoever.

    • Cynicus

      “ I feel no sympathy for the Scots….”

      “….. I have no sympathy for the french who voted in the bankster Macron. ”

      “… So now sleep in the bed you’ve made. No sympathy whatsoever.“
      —-

      Is this a late entry for The Most Pointless Post of 2019?

      If not, what is it?

      • Tom Welsh

        “Is this a late entry for The Most Pointless Post of 2019?

        “If not, what is it?”

        It appears to be a comment that disagrees with you. The replies to that comment speak for themselves.

      • romar

        Not at all pointless: Anonymous London is simply expressing frustration at Scotland’s leadership’s wishy-washy attitude.
        Recall that the General Assembly, in accordance with Article 96 of the UN Charter to request the ICJ to render an advisory opinion, the question put to this court was: “Is the unilateral declaration of independence by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government of Kosovo in accordance with international law?”
        The ICJ answered “yes, it is.” Yet, unlike Scotland, Kosovo had only “provisional Institutions”. So why are Ms Sturgeon et al not basing their arguments on this precedent? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advisory_opinion_on_Kosovo%27s_declaration_of_independence

    • MBC

      We DID vote to leave the UK in 2014. A majority of Scots born did vote Yes. Unfortunately 400,000 English immigrants voted No.

      • Alex Westlake

        About 800,000 Scots live in England. Given the chance I suspect most would have voted to stay in the UK

        • Cubby

          Alex Westlake

          Why stop there just let Scots living everywhere else in the world have a vote – for the avoidance of doubt that is a sarcastic comment.

          So I take it you think EU citizens should have had the right to vote in the EU election.

          • Alex Westlake

            No, I think British nationals living overseas should have the right to vote UK elections, (and is the EU referendum). Currently this right expires after fifteen years, I don’t see why it can’t be for life. Most countries allow expatriates to vote in their elections.

        • Mrs Pau!

          My sister in law is proudly Scottish – she moved south to marry my brother but her entire family all still live in Scotland. Her son, my nephew, was born in England but went to Edinburgh University. He married in Edinburgh in the family tartan.

          His wife has an almost identical background to him: born in England to a Scottish mother and English father. My nephew was working in Edinburgh but moved south recently to England for a career promotion not available in Scotland. Should my Ango Scottish relatives have a vote on independence?

          My sister in law voted to stay in the Union because she thinks an independent Scotland would be lost in the EU and because she is sceptical how financially viable it would be. And before anyone starts shouting at me about how Scotland pays the UK Treasury far more in taxes than it receives in subsidies under the Barnett formula, please be ready point me to some valid statistics to back this up. I will then show these to my sister in law.

          • Cubby

            Mrs Pau

            Perhaps you should ask your sister in law why she is so brainwashed into thinking Scotland is so poor when we have so much in the way of valuable resources. Tell her to look across the North Sea to Norway ( with less natural resources ) to see what Scotland could be today and what it could be in the future. Quite frankly I get fed up with the basic laziness of so many people. It is so so easy to get info on the internet these days but people just want to soak up propaganda from the TV and newspapers. Pathetic.

            Tell your sister to do her own research.

            “Lost in the EU” what on earth does this actually mean?

            The UK is in charge of the books. The UK as far as you can trust them not to cook the books says Scotlands annual revenues are in the order of £65billion. £33 billion is returned to the Scot gov in Edinburgh. The rest is kept by Westminster.

            Norways annual revenues are about £80 billion. Norway can decide how to spend its revenues and now has a Massive Trillion savings fund. The largest in the world.

          • Mrs Pau!

            I finally tracked down some figures. This is from a House of Commons briefing paper no. 06629 published in 2018. It says the figures it contains are drawn from the Scottish Government’s official expenditure return for 2017-8. It says the Scottish government’s estimated total public expenditure in 2017-8 was £73.4 billion against estimated revenue raised of £59.6 billion. It says if North Sea oil revenues are allocated according to geographical location of oil and gas fields, this reduces the fiscal deficit to £7.9billion.

            This is a higher per capita expenditure than for England. Surely this would be key point in pressing for independence? That it would reduce the pressure on the UK budget of supporting Scotland. Of course a formal trading partnership would need to be established between the two countries particularly if Scotland became independent before joining the EU. These are questions pro – independence supporters in Scotland should be addressing.

          • Mrs Pau!

            My point here is, if you take Westminster’s own figures (and those of Scottish Government), keeping a reluctant Scotland in the Union is costing the UK a heavy subsidy to the Scots each year. Why not stand your argument on its head and say the UK cannot afford to keep subsidising Scotland. Better to give Scotland its independence and set up a special freedom of movement and trading partnership with an independent Scotland. I suspect this line would get quite a lot of support in England.

          • Cubby

            Mrs Pau!

            The figures you state are total propaganda mince. I do not know how many times I have to read this crap.

            The £70 odd billion figure you quote is what the the UK says it spends on Scotland. That includes things like HS2 in England! The UK can deem any expenditure it wants as UK expenditure and then allocate a pro rata share to Scotland Wales N. Ireland but is mainly spent in England. It is pure propaganda. The Scottish gov only has a budget of about £33 billion.

            If you really think Westminster subsidises Scotland to the extant of these figures why are they so desperate to hold on to Scotland when they couldn’t stomach paying money to the EU.

          • Mrs Pau!

            Entry requirement to become member of EU is a deficit of no more than 3%. If you are going to convince the EU to admit an independent Scotland you have to be able to demonstrate that (or find a Goldman Sachs to produce a nominal case….)

            So you have to start somewhere and the official Scotland government stats are the obvious starting point. I don’t think presenting a case saying simply that the official Scottish government can present no statistics because all its official stats are actually crap, will cut it somehow. Someone has to present a convincingly reworked case.

            I see the SNP says the major part of the case could be made if Trident was taken out of the costs, but I have read wildly varying estimates for this. Anyone have any up to date figures.?

          • Cubby

            Mrs Pau

            I think I have wasted my time replying to you. If you want to keep repeating propaganda then that is your decision.

            Only an independent country can have a proper deficit. That’s why they call it a NOTIONAL Deficit. The GERS figures were created by a Secretary of State for Scotland (Ian Lang) in 1992 for the purpose of propaganda. He said so himself in memos. It has worked extremely well because people still quote GERS figures. People who do not look at the workings and logic behind them.
            The UK spends more than it has and creates debt it then allocates interest payments on this debt to Wales, Scotland, N. Ireland to help create these fictitious deficits. Only the UK has an annual deficit and only the UK has £1.8 trillion of debt.

            Oh and your comment about only admitting members to the EU with 3% annual deficit is wrong .

            You are repeating gov propaganda. If that is what you intend then so be it.

  • gayle

    Well said, however, so as not to create confusion, the use of UK and Westminster should state England/English and Parliament of Great Britain as appropriate. When read with the corrections to the language and terminology used it is even more stark that this is a Scottish Government that views Scotland as a colony. While they mention Scots sovereignty they clearly do not believe in it or more importantly actually understand what it is to be sovereign. This is of greater concern given any future Scottish state would have to create trade deals with other countries around the world. It was only ever a trade agreement that was ratified by the parliaments in 1707 and yet the Scottish government fail to recognise that fact. Nowhere within the trade agreement will you find anything that states that England can refer to itself as the UK and assume sole authority of the state. In fact the very opposite is true. It states perfectly clearly that both countries are equal partners with equal authority. It also states that the PARLIAMENTS are to be united as one under the Parliament of Great Britain not the commonly referred to House of Commons which the English government referred to the English parliament as. It does not say that both GOVERNMENTS are to be combined, only that both must sit in the state parliament. Thus, the Scottish Government imbued with Scots sovereignty sits in the state parliament at WESTMINSTER. So, yes, the English Supreme Court can claim sovereignty lies at Westminster but NOT with the English government. Indeed, in England sovereignty rests with parliament. However, the English parliament was abolished in 1707 in order to create the state parliament. England merely uses the state parliament. It does not have its own and there is no clause within the trade agreement which permits the transference of English parliamentary sovereignty onto the state parliament. On top of this is the little inconvenience that no foreign country has any authority in and over Scotland or indeed any other country, especially one that is internationally recognised as sovereign.
    The Scottish Government need to make a proclamation or go to court for impossibility of contract not seek another English government run referendum )and voting system). The Scots have given the mandate to proclamation by electing a self professed pro-indy Scottish government three times since 2015. Even Thatcher would have recognised the legitimacy no matter how distasteful it may have been to her. At the end of the day Scotland is a sovereign nation state. Its rights enshrined in its ancient laws and customs which by royal decree are held in perpetuity. Those ancient laws include the sovereignty of the people which was reiterated in the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320 and again in 1689 in the Claim of Right and more recently recognised by both Holyrood and the state parliament. The Scots are sovereign and it is time to exercise that sovereignty.

    • Blue Dotterel

      Maybe Scotland, Wales and England (optionally N. Ireland) should negotiate a form a federation/confederation in lieu of complete independence, similar to Canada’s provinces with respect to its federal government. All ten have separate parliaments with control over areas such as education, healthcare and energy. The three (or four) British “provinces” could have considerable separate powers from the Westminster central government – far greater powers than the Scotish parliament holds today.

      • ecrits

        England has about 85% of the UK population. Ontario, the Canadian province with the largest population has about 37%. The chances of England not being domineering in a UK federation would be remote. With the chances of a rather xenophobic England and an internationalist Scotland reaching a consensus over such a federation’s foreign policy being remoter still.

        • MJ

          Perhaps Scotland should demonstrate this apparent “internationalism” by fostering good relations with its closest neighbour. England is a very weloming country, not at all xenophobic. Many Scots live and work here.

          • ecrits

            Yes, Scotland should always foster good relations with England. Yes, England is a welcoming country. Nevertheless England appears to have a serious problem with the modern, interdependent world.

          • romar

            Many Scots live and work here even after an eventual secession.
            However, “keeping a reluctant Scotland in the Union” is against international law. If the Scots want to exercise their right, then they can just declare so. If the Kosovo case does apply to Scotland – and I think it does – then you don’t even need a referendum:
            The question that the UN General Assembly put to the ICJ was merely
            “Is the unilateral declaration of independence by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government of Kosovo in accordance with international law?”
            So Scotland’s parliament may simply decide to issue London with a “unilateral declaration of independence” and that would be that.
            And London will have nothing to say to that, since they so enthusiastically fell in with the ICJ advisory on Kosovo, not foreseeing that their turn may come…

        • N

          a rather xenophobic England and an internationalist Scotland

          Hahaha! You need to widen your horizons. Which country out of Scotland and England still has “golliwogs” for sale? (Click here for further information.) In which country out of Scotland and England did researchers find that a THIRD of the 1500 people surveyed “felt that Muslims living in **land were depriving *** of jobs, homes and healthcare provision”?

          Are you going to post an answer similar to what Zionists say about any investigation into a Zionist massacre that indicts the Zionist armed forces for war crimes and crimes against humanity, namely that the investigators suffer from “anti-Semitic” prejudice? Scottish nationalists talked very much like that when agencies announced they’d give an independent Scotland a low credit rating.

          “Internationalism” used to be a good word. It denoted those who strove for a worldwide human community, in other words anti-nationalists, globalists. Socialists such as Rosa Luxemburg could be called internationalists, people who opposed nationalism, whether it was German nationalism, Polish nationalism, or Jewish nationalism. Unfortunately, relying on the etymology, those who are “leftwing for the moment” in Scotland have adopted the word to show in effect how they support anybody who is playing against London Westminster England, although of course the ones who went to university and who post political cobblers on the internet don’t put it in such gutter-brained terms but rather as “justification” for their oh so “temporary” support for the nationalistic right wing. How did left wing support for right wing nationalists turn out in Italy and Germany? Well it will f***ing well turn out the same in Scotland too if it is allowed to run its course. Oh sorry…maybe I haven’t appreciated Scottish “exceptionalism” and a self-serving declaration written in Latin by a dozen or so barons in the 14th century?

          • N_

            I’ll say one thing for the English left in comparison with the Scottish “left”. The English left doesn’t have 90% of its people supporting a nationalistic alliance with English members of the ruling class on the basis of shared “nationality” and working towards the aim of an England that is truly independent and can roar once again, on principles written down in the 14th century by a gang of “noble” Christian land thieves. Generally speaking they know the difference between “Henry VIII stuff” and the Diggers and Chartists. Being left wing should be about class, and the working class have no country. Very simple.

          • pete

            Re “which country has…”

            The source of this story is the Daily Telegraph, written by one Lexi Finnigan, formerly of the Sun. So while it may be accurate I guess that it is just a bit of anti-Scottish bile from Lexi, I do not understand what point you hoped to make by repeating it again. Lexi’s twitter account (https://twitter.com/LexiFinnigan) seems to feature many puff pieces for John Lewis, so I assusme she gets a rake off from them or some other reward. One day, perhaps, she may get a proper job.

      • gayle

        Scotland is a country not a province. Why would a sovereign country reduce its status and authority? In addition, Wales and the annexed portion of Ireland are deemed English territory. Scotland doesn’t need a federation. It needs to reassert its statehood.

          • MJ

            Sorry, that was meant to be a reply to ecrits. To gayle I would point out that these countries are not “English territory” but components of the United Kingdom.

        • N_

          You know a country is an imagined entity, these days run as a kind of brand, and it doesn’t “need”, “reduce” or “assert” shee-yit, any more than Coca-Cola does?

          • Antonym

            That’s what Mao though of families and he separated its members in male and female mass groups, just faceless numbers.

            Only the uber rich jet set, the Ummah, the drugs maffia and some Marxists support internationalism at present. A fantasy playground without borders or referees for all sorts of mischief.

        • romar

          Well, if Scotland needs to reassert its statehood, then its authorities are not going about it the right way. As Ambassador Murray convincingly argued, the Kosovo case is a sufficient basis for Scotland to simply declare it’s quitting the Union: “The UK Government itself argued precisely this position before the International Court of Justice over Kosovo.”
          The UNGA had asked the ICJ to answer the question: “Is the unilateral declaration of independence by the Provisional Institutions of Self-Government of Kosovo in accordance with international law?”
          The ICJ answered “Yes”: international law allows even “provisional institutions” to declare independence – that is to say, no referendum is required. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Advisory_opinion_on_Kosovo%27s_declaration_of_independence
          Why the Scots are not simply getting on with this simple job is not clear. Perhaps they don’t want to?

  • Chris Palmer

    This is the problem with referendums. The side which wants them just keeps on calling for them until it eventually gets the result it wants. Once that happens, the issue supposedly becomes closed.

    It is good that Craig is open and honest about his intentions if he can’t get his way via other routes. The SNP still haven’t achieved an electoral majority of votes in any recent election or referendum (by which I mean more than 50% of the vote). I know it must be enormously frustrating given the desire for Scottish Independence (although, if you end up back in the EU, is that really independence? I would say not…), but perhaps you are just on the wrong side of the argument and the majority genuinely don’t wish to leave the UK? Will you ride roughshod over them to get what you want? How far does this go?

    • Andyoldlabour

      Chris Palmer

      At last, a post which reflects my views entirely. I bet Craig and others would take 52% for independence, if it ever happened, all day long, whilst maintaining that the EU referendum was “advisory” and that 52% was not enough to leave. Then we have – Scottish nationalism is good, English nationalism is bad, xenophobic, racist etc.

      • Cubby

        Andyoldlabour

        The difference between England and Scotland is that Scots are sovereign and the English are not.

        If you ask Scots to vote in a referendum then that is the sovereign will of the Scottish people e.g. 62% remain in the EU.

        In England parliament through the Monarch devolving sovereignty is sovereign. Parliament is sovereign – a promise was made by Parliament to respect the EU vote but as it is sovereign it can break that promise.

        In Scotland the First Minister is duty bound to respect the Scottish people’s vote in any referendum.

    • Cubby

      Chris Palmer

      Your post is a good example of people posting what they wish to be true but is not.

      Have a look at the percentage vote the SNP got in 2015 GE and 2012 Scot Parliament Election.

      The British nationalists are always keen to say that a vote for Labour/Tory/Lib Dems is a vote against independence but a vote for the SNP does not mean everyone voted for independence. Anyone with half a brain can see the contradiction in that approach.

      It has currently been identified that approx 40% of Labour voters are for independence but vote Labour in Elections out of party loyalty. Similarly not all voters for SNP are necessarily for independence but a lot respect the legal right of Scots to choose their own future.

      Despite what the British Nationalist media may say with their propaganda there is a cast iron mandate for Indyref2. The question that remains is whether the UK is democratic or a rogue state that attempts to imprison a partner in a bi partite union. The EU did not say to the UK you are not having a referendum on whether you want to leave. That is the mark of a consensual union. The UK is acting like a dictatorship. The more the UK acts like a dictatorship the more the EU looks like a better model of a union.

      A final comment you say the side that wants them(referendums) just keeps on calling for them. You are letting your experience with the EU referendum cloud your thoughts. That is a true statement for the “people’s vote.” The difference in Scotland is that there is clear mandate from a number of election victories.

      In summary you are completely missing the point in Scotland. A democratic mandate for Indyref2 is not riding roughshod over anyone.

      • Chris Palmer

        You have constructed a straw man argument and attributed to me words and attitudes I do not hold. Try to read what’s written before coming back.

        I don’t believe there were Scottish Parliamentary elections in 2012. If you are referring to 2011 then the SNP took 45.4% (on a 50.4% turnout). At the General Election in 2015 they took exactly 50% of the vote. Neither of those figures are over 50% as I had suggested (although one is very close and, I suppose could technically have been either side due to rounding). It has been back down since then though.

        I take your point about whether or not a vote for a party means a vote for independence or not. The only direct source of information on that bias was the Referendum, which suggested a majority did not wish to leave. If you want another one now, how often are you expecting them to happen if you do not get your way? Every 5 years, every 2 years, 6 months?

        Cast iron is a brittle substance, so interesting that you should use that analogy. The UK and EU are two different unions so I don’t think your comparison is valid. Also, if the SNP got another referendum and lost, they would want another, and another. This isn’t just something which the People’s vote was guilty of doing – it is a problem with referendums in a Parliamentary democracy.

        If Scotland has another referendum and votes to leave the UK, fine. That was not my point, and, as I highlighted earlier, you are constructing strawmen. I was referring to what Craig stated about the Scottish Government unilaterally taking action and declaring independence on a mandate of less than 50% of the vote if they were not given another referendum. It could well be that the majority did not want to leave the UK and the SNP would be forcing them out against their will.

        • Cubby

          Chris Palmer

          It is you who are missing the point. It’s democracy. It’s mandates. The SNP have them. Switzerland have referendums all the time.

          The EU and the UK are two different unions. You are correct with that comment. One is an English dictatorship the other is a Union.

          Cameron got about 36% of the vote to get his mandate for an EU ref. SNP get 45% with a referendum specifically written into its manifesto. The Scottish parliament has already voted for a referendum because it has a mandate from the 2016 Scot parliament election.

          It is not the SNP wanting the referendum it is the people of Scotland who have given them the mandate.

          I’ll change it to a heavy duty steel mandate if that makes you feel better.

          Please note that it is the duty of the people who win a referendum to respect and deliver the promises they made. Westminster and the Britnat parties have not done so. I can’t really be bothered listing all the promises not delivered and how Westminster broke the Edinburgh agreement.

          Johnson gets a mandate on 44% vote. 56% of seats. SNP 45% vote and 80% of seats.

          It really is pointless discussing matters with some people who just won’t accept democracy and the Scots claim of right and post nonsense about strawmen.

    • Hatuey

      In a democratic system, you can have as many referendums as people want and vote for. Had remain won in 2016, far age and the gang would be pushing for another crack at it right now — especially if the fundamentals of the relationship changed in some way.

      Here’s a good chance remain will now campaign to re-join the EU. That’s fine. It’s democracy. If you win an election on that, nobody can argue.

      Only idiots think a referendum puts something in stone, idiots that have no clue what democracy means.

      • Jack

        Hatuey

        So the top democratic tool is only important if your side win?
        If the remainers would have won you would be the first to defend the referendum I am sure.

        Pretty obvious which way the people want to go, 2 elections to Tory + Brexit referendum, just deal with democracy.

        • Cubby

          Jack

          Not in Scotland. Tories have never won any election in Scotland. But they do appoint colonial governors to rule over us. The toffee nosed Pratt that is the current colonial governor ( Mr Union Jack Tory MP) has just confirmed he is a prison governor and the rest of the Tories are the prison guards.

          He stated today on the radio that the UK is not a voluntary union. It’s a prison then just as Sturgeon stated on the Marr show. I’ll have to get that series Prison Break.

          Are the English proud of themselves. They used to run concentration camps but now it is just involuntarily unions. Is that English progress?

    • Jack

      Chris Palmer

      It seems like Labour and other leftish parties throughout europe made a u-turn on their view on EU some 15 years ago or so.. Before that, EU was something leftist parties were very critical of if not rejected altogether. I guess the Blairite Third-way politics is at fault for this.
      I am sure if Labour had stood up against the EU in the election they would have won this easily.

    • romar

      According to the Kosovo jurisprudence, a referendum is not a sine qua non condition: a simple declaration of independence is all it takes.
      However, mere legalism is not always the best route when a country wants to maintain decent relations with members of the union it’s quitting, or to re-cultivate them when they have soured during the unilateral declaration of independence.
      Therefore, the “Scotland’s Right to Choose” paper misled the people when it stated that a referendum will be valid only if the UK Government acknowledges and respects it. International law does not require any such acknowledgment or expression of respect. These may be welcome from the diplomatic angle, but they are not necessary for the secession decision to be valid.
      The validity of a declaration of independence – which may be unilateral – is solely a matter for the sovereign will of the people of Scotland. London confirmed this when it supported the Kosovo ICJ advisory opinion:
      “International law contains no prohibition against declarations of independence as such. […] As a general matter, an act not prohibited by international law needs no authorization.” https://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/141/17912.pdf

  • Peter Dorley

    Ireland tried the political route ended up with the military route the only language that the Brits understood and the job is still not finished

    • frankywiggles

      I believe that is right. Scotland would need to be made as ungovernable as Ireland was a hundred years ago for this hard right chauvanist government to throw in the towel and walk away. That is a million miles away from happening.

      Ireland in 1916 probably had just as large a proportion of Stockholm Syndrome sufferers. But the blood sacrifice that year (which produced 26 county independence a few years later) was rooted in a recent history and memory of extreme suffering, injustice, humiliation and general misrule that does not exist in Scotland today.

      I am not convinced some neat little unradical lawyer is going to persuade an extremist Tory government to give away the top half of Britain by means of courtroom finangling and Scotland has no modern history of armed risings to inspire radical youth to organise for combat.

      • Shatnersrug

        What you’re saying frankie, is we’re fucked. This last election was insane. But propaganda won the day in the end, I have feared that the day propaganda stopped working would be the day that the boot took over, but it seems that soft power won out for now.

      • Deepgreenpuddock

        I think you have captured the dilemma.I see no stomach for the kind of struggle, involving civil unrest and destroying the foundations of a governable entity, no matter how unsatisfactory that entity may be.The other factor I see is that there are untold governance problems unfolding in the next ten years in relation to climate change, that may create conditions for unrest and the loss of ‘governability’ i.e. consent

      • romar

        “Scotland would need to be made as ungovernable”
        No, it doesn’t. All it needs is to simply declare its independence.
        An ICJ judge put this question to the members: “It has been contended that international law does not prohibit the secession of a territory from a sovereign State. [Are there any] principles and rules of international law […] which, outside the colonial context, permit the secession of a territory from a sovereign State without the latter’s consent?”
        The UK answered that “International law contains no prohibition against declarations of independence as such. […] As a general matter, an act not prohibited by international law needs no authorization.” https://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/141/17912.pdf
        Ergo, no need for rebellion: all it takes is a declaration that Scotland is quitting the Union.

  • Deepgreenpuddock

    To me, the crux of the matter is that, breaking a long standing ‘union’ is extremely difficult. Since whenever we date this process of amalgamation/domination or whatever we call it, we have become intimately merged, for good or bad, with England, the overwhelmingly more powerful partner in the union.
    In asserting our independence without the permission of the dominant partner we ,in Scotland, invite vindictive retribution.
    I have not the slightest doubt that Johnson and Westminster would pull every lever at their disposal to undermine, prevent, destroy any move to independence.It would be dirty and unfair but can anyone see anything didfferent.
    That seems to me the reason why the Scottish government is so pusillanimous.Independence can only be achieved with a real struggle against, a much larger opponent. It would require a revolution and I suggest that definitely there would be deaths and casualties either in open conflict or by stealthier means.

    • MJ

      “breaking a long standing ‘union’ is extremely difficult”

      Agreed. Breaking the union with the EU is relatively easy since the union has been less than 50 years in duration. Breaking a union several centuries long is quite different.

        • Shatnersrug

          Dungroanin, they didn’t really, the running of them was handed over to the Americans and the idea of puppet ruler installed. When people think of Australia when Gough Whitlam tried to claim back sovereignty and kicked the CIA out he was thoroughly Corbyned out of office.

          No country that was formerly the property of a European empire has managed to escape except Cuba and Venezuela. I suppose Nicola could do some cosying you to trump, and become a direct vassal.

          • Tony

            The CIA also brought down President Nixon by using its undercover agents to botch the Watergate burglary. This was just a few months after it is alleged that the CIA tried to assassinate him.
            There were a number of reasons why Nixon clashed with the CIA. One obvious one was that he wanted to see their files on the JFK assassination. Nixon suspected that Lyndon Johnson ordered the assassination when he saw Jack Ruby shoot (and thus silence) Lee Harvey Oswald.

            Ruby had been introduced to Nixon in 1947 as ‘one of Lyndon Johnson’s boys’.

            https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=jack+ruby+exposes+LBJ+&view=detail&mid=9197D6824FAFB45C69119197D6824FAFB45C6911&FORM=VIRE

          • Dungroanin

            Ah come on?

            So Gandhi was doing the Empires bidding? Kenyatta?
            Malay?

            Yes i agree there were many placemen in ‘independence’ but surely that was to avoid genuine insurrection?

    • romar

      “In asserting our independence without the permission of the dominant partner we, in Scotland, invite vindictive retribution.”
      You don’t need any permission. The UK itself stated, during the Kosovo discussion, that “International law contains no prohibition against declarations of independence.” https://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/141/17912.pdf
      You have the jurisprudence. Simply go ahead and declare your independence, with no need to consult London, and if they attempt any act of revenge, since you’ll by then be an independent state, take them to the ICJ.
      Meanwhile, the longer you act fearful, the more London will be emboldened…

  • Phillip

    OK, so an assembly of al the elected SNP, Green, and others who support independence would sit in a hall and declare Scottish independence and expect the world to recognise that. In the real world which countries would recognise this declaration?

    None of the EU countries would thus no chance of joining the EU via the ‘Craig Way’. And the UN would not admit Scotland as it would not recognise the declaration by the elected reps. That is the reality.

    The only way to achieve independence without any questions to the legitimacy is via another referendum. And to me that will not occur during the present parliament so my advice is to plan for the next Parliament after the 2024 elections.

    For what it is worth I agree completely with Craig’s analysis that many SNP MPs etc like the wages, ‘short money’, and other expenses that come with being an MP in Westminster thus are for independence in name only.

    • craig Post author

      That is completely untrue. There is no requirement for a referendum. The majority of states in the entire world became Independent in my own lifetime, and only a handful had referenda on it. At least half a dozen EU states became independent during the last thirty year, without referenda. You are talking wishful nonsense.

      • Deepgreenpuddock

        context is everything. the european countries that declared independence did so in circumstances where the dominant partner had collapsed into dysfunction and where the countries concerned had been taken over relatively recently since 2nd ww and there was a willing economic partner taking the place of SU. Latvia has about 50% Russian speaking population Strategic considerations provided a fair wind for the change.

      • Coldish

        Deep Green Puddock: Slovakia gained its independence from Czechoslovakia without a referendum and with full co-operation from the remaining Czech sector of the federation. The two nations use essentially the same language, but the Slovaks are mostly devout Catholics, while Czechs lean towards secularism. The divorce was handled professionally and harmoniously from both sides. The two countries have since diverged,monetarily, with the Slovaks (whose share in the previously common currency lost about 20% of its value shortly after the divorce, but remained stable thereafter) joining the troubled Euro currency, while the Czechs have stuck with the old Hapsburg Krone. I know it’s a lot to hope that England could behave as reasonably and responsibly in its relations with Scotland .as Czechia did with Slovakia, but one can hope! I add that I’m English (also a bit Welsh) and would much prefer Scotland and England to remain close, but… . .

      • romar

        Absolutely.
        I’m surprised so many commenters here are so timid, fearful of what London may do to Scotland.
        If the people do not want to leave the union, well and good. But if they want out, let them simply say so, and walk out. They’ll have international law on their side.

  • TJ

    Scotland had a vote on independence, you xenophobic ethno-nationalists lost, time to grow up, accept the democratic will of the people and get over it.

    • gayle

      Ah, the playing the racist card. Funny how colonialists never seem to apply the same rules to the English government and its establishment. England exercises its independence and sovereignty every single day (as it should given that it was a mere trade agreement that was drawn up by the queen’s commissioners in 1707 and ratified by both parliaments and all rights prior to and after the signing were to be fully upheld) but if Scotland should do the same? Well, that’s a big no no. Scotland is supposed to act as a mere silent business partner providing the capital for the state while having no say in its governance. To be subjugated by a foreign country’s government. Yes, subjugation to a foreign country’s government seems a sustainable position to hold. Now, why are other countries not seeking to do the same if it is such a great idea? Could it possibly be that running one’s own affairs is, I don’t know, normal? Preferred? Better for all involved? One wonders whether if Scotland was a poor, resourceless, utterly ruined country with no geopolitical position and territorial waters if those who seek Scotland’s subjugation would still hold this view or whether they would be demanding Scotland be discarded?

      • Cubby

        Gayle

        Well Gove ( not a Scot but a British Nationalist) did say Scotland can be independent when there is no oil or gas left.

        That would be in a hundred years time according to the Britnat slimy Gove.

        • John Pretty

          Cubby, I don’t like Michael Gove either, but he is Scottish. My guess is you know that, though.

          wikipedia:
          Michael Gove, born Graeme Andrew Logan, 26 August 1967 (age 52) Aberdeen

          These days IMO it is better to stick to the facts even if you find them unpalatable.

          • Cubby

            Mrs Pau

            Perhaps you should ask your sister in law why she is so brainwashed into thinking Scotland is so poor when we have so much in the way of valuable resources. Tell her to look across the North Sea to Norway ( with less natural resources ) to see what Scotland could be today and what it could be in the future. Quite frankly I get fed up with the basic laziness of so many people. It is so so easy to get info on the internet these days but people just want to soak up propaganda from the TV and newspapers. Pathetic.

            Tell your sister to do her own research.

            “Lost in the EU” what on earth does this actually mean?

            The UK is in charge of the books. The UK as far as you can trust them not to cook the books says Scotlands annual revenues are in the order of £65billion. £33 billion is returned to the Scot gov in Edinburgh. The rest is kept by Westminster.

            Norways annual revenues are about £80 billion. Norway can decide how to spend its revenues and now has a Massive Trillion savings fund. The largest in the world.

          • Cubby

            John Pretty

            He is a British Nationalist and that’s a fact. Just like Andrew Neil, Andrew Marr, Laura Kuenssberg, Gordon Brown, Alister Darling…………….

            Slimeballs that rundown the country they were born in to suck up to the English and claim to be British. British Nationalist.

            There are people born in all parts of the world that live in Scotland today that are Scots. More Scottish than any of them will ever be.

            These slime balls gave up any right to be Scottish many decades ago. There are plenty of their ilk in Scotland today they call themselves British not Scots.

            That’s the truth and factually correct even if you find them unpalatable.

  • PhilW

    Westminster will do what its told over Scottish ‘independence’, as over everything else.

    If the SNP can convince the global power holders that independence is in their interests then Scotland will get its pseudo-independence. It will not however be the sort of Scotland that Craig and others here envisage. It will be a de-regulated tax haven, producing virtually untaxed oil and fossil fuels, and hosting huge amounts of US military hardware.

    It may well however have an open door immigration policy, as I’m sure the Israeli government would like somewhere to put the the Palestinians, and masses of cheap labour never goes amiss, so not all bad. in your book.

  • Alex Birnie

    49%. That’s the only statistic that matters. As long as the number of independence supporters remains under 50%, all of the prognostications about “poor SNP tactics”, “rights of self-determination”, “recognition by the international community” etc etc are academic.

    As ordinary punters, we have one job, and one job only – to persuade as many of our neighbours, friends and relatives of possible to support independence. Once we have done that, and it is reflected in polling figures, THEN, and only then, can we turn our attention to the supposedly “terrible job” that the SNP are doing to promote independence.

    Nicola Sturgeon can stand up tomorrow, and do all the things that the “Experts” in the independence movement are saying she should be doing, but it will be an absolute waste of time, if the polls are still sitting at 49%.

    My attitude is this. Once you are happy that you’ve persuaded all those around you who are amenable to change, then you can look around and point fingers at others, if you still feel that way.

    If you haven’t expended the last ounce of your efforts to persuade your neighbours, or even worse, you haven’t tried, then you have NO RIGHT to criticise those in the SNP who are dedicating their lives to independence, or – even worse – suggesting that these people are quite happy with the status quo. If you are one of the latter group, you’re not needed. We’ve got Stephen Daisley and the rest of the unionist mob of journalists who are fulfilling that role.

    • Jay

      You won’t find many on 80k a year in the British HoC who are highly motivated to make themselves unemployed. Especially if they have no personal history of self sacrifice.

  • Julia Gibb

    History has clearly demonstrated that London never concedes ground willingly. We will have no “velvet divorce”. Other nations had to either resort to armed conflict, campaign on civil disobedience or concede financial advantage.

    The other lesson from history is that even when London are forced into surrendering control they always poison the well. From N/Ireland through the Middle East to the Far East the mandarins of Whitehall left a cultural divide by exploiting division in communities in the hope that they could exploit this later.

    We are about to get into a tussle with a hardened street fighter and we will be sticking to Marquis of Queensberry rules. ( The street fighter is picking up a handful of dirt to throw in our eyes just before he uses his knuckle duster)

  • Mrs Pau!

    As an English woman I support the cause of Scottish independence. I have my doubts about how much independence Scotland would gain as a small nation among many in the EU and very great doubts about the wisdom of adopting the euro. But putting these issues to one side for a moment.

    When I discuss independence with Scottish friends, and relatives, someone English in the group inevitably pops up to ask if an independent Scotland can survive without British subsidies. It is widely believed in England that the Scots are subsidised by the British and that the public spend per head of population is greater in Scotland than in England. This invariably leads the Scots present to growl about stolen Scottish oil revenues and the Brits to counter this with the recent bail out of RBS.

    In the UK when a former charity has its public sector grant removed, it is often the case that it is given a dowry representing several years worth of subsidy, tapering off to nothing, while it develops its own sources of revenue. Let us say that independence for Scotland was agreed on this basis and all the existing infrastructure of public buildings, schools, hospitals etc was handed over to Scotland which then gradually took on responsibility for meeting ALL its annual public sector running costs, has anyone costed what total figure would be needed and how it would be raised.? Do the figures add up?

    I am genuinely interested in the answers as it seems to me that detailed budgeting for a fully independent Scotland is an important part of the planning process.

    • Cubby

      It is widely believed in England Scotland is subsidised by England you say. There are plenty in Scotland who think the same and think they are being smart taking extra money from the English. Why do they all think this?

      All the media is controlled by the British state and its friendly billionaires. They pump out lies, misleading info Non stop. The UK media is nothing but a propaganda unit.

      They are desperate to hold on to Scotland for a variety of reasons and one of them is not to give Scotland more money than in the SE England and London. That is a given. Westminster has been helping itself to Scotlands revenues since the union commenced in 1707. It is in its DNA to do this.

      • Brianfujisan

        Cubby

        I like this Opening Paragraph from the Dug Today –

        ” Classical references are the new big thing these days, what with Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson name dropping Ancient Greeks and Romans at every opportunity in a vain attempt to convince us that he’s not merely an expensively educated boor. So here’s a quote from the Roman author Publilius Syrus, which has direct relevance to a Scotland under the thumb of that upper class exercise in artfully tousled arrogance. And it’s this – Cave furorem patientis – beware the fury of the patient one. Scotland is patient. We are patient still. But the anger is rising and our reserves of patience are not infinite…

        • Cubby

          Yep we keep giving Westminster every opportunity to act in a decent democratic manner and it keeps getting flung back in our faces with added insults for good measure.

          Have they learned nothing at all over the last 100 years in the way they dealt with Ireland.

  • SA

    The Tories are on a high, the opposition is reeling and confused and there is lots of heart-searching. But the government is run by a cult of schemers and liars. They can lie to us and they can scheme as much as they like. But what happens when Boris meets world leaders and tries to bluff his way? There will be no BBC to protect him from the glare of negative publicity from his actions. I think the Tory juggernaut supported by voters already fed up with lies will soon unravel and when wheels start falling off the wagon then Johnson may have to go. Or is this all wishful thinking?

  • Republicofscotland

    If Johnson persists in denying Scotland’s right to a S30, then the Scottish government must, in whatever manner possible seek intervention from the EU. The EU has already intervened in Spains affairs regarding the Catalan indy vote of 2017.

    International voices are required if Johnson continues to deny the sovereign people of Scotland the right to choose their future in a democratic process.

    Scotland has a lot to offer the EU and vice versa, they know 62% of folk voted to remain in the EU, and access to our fishing waters alone will easily see the EU fast track Scotland back in again if we leave first before the indyref.

      • Republicofscotland

        Don’t make me laugh, the interfering that Westminster has done in other countries politically over the decades is vast.

        Interferring goes on around the globe on a daily basis, recently Germany told the US to stop interfering in its business with Russia over Nordstream II.

        Every constituency in Scotland voted to remain in the EU. If the EU offers support to remain in it then we’d be silly not to accept it.

        • Tatyana

          “I’ve been hearing all day from European diplomats thanking me for taking this action” (c) US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell commented on US sanctions against Nord Stream 2
          https://sputniknews.com/business/201912221077716866-germany-nord-stream-2-project-us-sanctions/

          Cassandra I am not 🙂 European diplomats from Ukraine, Poland, some other small principalities with almost identical names and most probably Bulgaria, still hoping to be the gas hub on South Stream.

          • Republicofscotland

            Hi Tatyana.

            Yes from what I can gather from the news, the Germans are fed up with the US threatening sanctions on the nation for wanting to buy Russian gas.

            The US wants EU nations to buy US gas, I think it’s time the EU took a step back from the US.

            I see Russia and the Ukraine settled their differences financially anyway.

          • Tatyana

            Hello, Republicofscotland 🙂
            I am amazed to see that the country with greatest debt ever lectures the long-established European capitalist countries how they should do their economy. Some kind of absurdity.

            Something is being decided with Ukraine, but there is still no certainty. Meanwhile, Zelensky is pushing the law on the sale of state lands into the hands of foreign investors. Thank God, the Ukrainians still have the peasant people’s vein, they are protesting. There is no certainty that the protest will help, but at least they are not silent, as was the case with privatization in Russia.

          • Republicofscotland

            Scotland isn’t outside the EU yet, December 2020 is the projected end of the transition period.

        • Cubby

          ROS

          That is the problem – they call themselves Unionists but think they own Scotland like a colony. But they want to be called unionists and their precious Union because they don’t like the other more truthful names that describes exactly what they are.

          The UK is legally a Union but since the first day England has used it by weight of votes in Westminster to loot Scotlands resources – just like a colony. It’s in their DNA.

          • Republicofscotland

            “The UK is legally a Union but since the first day England has used it by weight of votes in Westminster to loot Scotlands resources – just like a colony. It’s in their DNA.”

            Very true, it’s not a union of equals in any way we were ignored over Brexit and we’re being ignored now. It’s time to leave this unfit for purpose union.

            We’re still in the EU and appeals to the EU to be allowed to hold a democratic indyref should be made, it would be in the interests of the EU to aid us.

    • Ingwe

      Those of you expecting the EU to support the Scots (or anyone else) in seeking to determine their own futures is either naïve in the extreme or haven’t been watching European events for the last 20 years. On Catalonia, where there has been a truly fascist reaction by the Spanish state and the EU says and does fuckall. And it not only stands around but but actually participates in the destruction of Greece. So appeal all you want to the EU but expect nothing.
      I’m afraid the Scots, just like the English are going to have to wrestle power from the powers that be for themselves and not wait for intercession from the EU. I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating. The English, Scots and European working class have more in common than with the ruling classes of their respective nations. We need to get up off our supplicant knees and organise.

      • Republicofscotland

        “On Catalonia, where there has been a truly fascist reaction by the Spanish state and the EU says adores fuckall.”

        Actually that’s incorrect Spain sentenced Oriol Junqueras to 13 years in prison over his part in the 2017 Catalan independence referendum.

        However the ECJ has overruled this and that Junqueras had diplomatic immunity because he was at the time a MEP. Junqueras tweeted that “Justice has come from Europe.”

        The same result should apply to ex-Catalan president Carles Puigdemont and one of his ministers Toni Comin, both who were elected MEP’s at the time.

        Also the EU stood up and will continue to stand up for the interests of Ireland. Whilst Westminster continues to ride roughshod over Scotland. Then there’s the EU standing up for Cyprus, or to be more specific the part that’s not Turkish which is a EU member as Turkey continues to drill for oil in EU/Cyprus waters.

        Without the EU Turkey would act far more aggressively towards the non Turkish part of Cyprus.

      • Hatuey

        We can expect a more constructive approach from the EU when it is free of obligations to the UK as a member state. Spain as a continuing member state is in a very different position.

      • Cubby

        Ingwe

        “More in common”

        British Labour have been pitching that line in Scotland for decades. It doesn’t work anymore in Scotland.
        That’s why British Labour in Scotland have one MP out of 59 MPs in Scotland. They’ve been rumbled.

        Scots want the government they vote for not the Tory gov that the English vote for.

        • Ingwe

          Cubby, your point doesn’t invalidate mine. The fact that the Labour Party under a series of right wing leaders and policies betrayed the Scots electorate just as they did the English electorate. That doesn’t have anything to say about the Scots and English working classes having more in common with themselves than their ruling masters whether called Labour or Tory.

          • Cubby

            Ingwe

            It is a British (London ) Labour Party dressed up as a Scottish party. It’s a fraud – still is and always has been.

      • romar

        “Those of you expecting the EU to support the Scots (or anyone else) in seeking to determine their own futures is either naïve…”
        Declare independence and join the EU, and I see no reason why they wouldn’t welcome a new member, as any conflict with London will be against their own declared position during the Kosovo debates, on unilateral declaration of independence:
        “The UK answered that “International law contains no prohibition against declarations of independence as such. […] As a general matter, an act not prohibited by international law needs no authorization.” https://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/141/17912.pdf

    • Brianfujisan

      Depends where you live..
      Craig is a Scot.. Fighting for independence..And a Brave Man too..Read his first Two Books…

      Mind you, not all Scot’s are Brave.. Michael Andrew Gove. G Broon.. D Dewar.. Bliar, The Mass Murderer, and master of on going Slaughter in the M.E Fucking Cowards

    • Giyane

      Cardogan Enright

      Because this election victory is entirely fictional it is going to be ignored. Everybody will proceed subjectively to what they voted for.racistscwill be racists. Europeans will get on boats and planes and work in Europe. Corbynites will insulate their homes and change to heat pumps. Tories will start islamophobic wars for Israel. Ireland will unite.. .

      Scots will secede and join the EU . Until england grows up and starts going by the rules of social democracy; it wont be invited to tea.

  • Cubby

    For all the Brexiteers

    1. “This is the 21st century and you cannot hold a nation captive against their will” – Mark Francois, Conservative MP.

    2. “Every Sovereign state has the right to withdraw from a treaty if that treaty is not anymore compatible with its interests.” – Geoffrey Cox, Conservative MP, Attorney General.

    3. Why would a sovereign nation sign up to a deal with a union which says we are not able to leave when we want to? – Kate Hoey Labour MP.

    Yep spot on Brexiteers – so we will leave the UK Union if we want to and you ain’t gonna stop us.

      • Cubby

        Fondo

        Scotland voted to remain. Claim of right. 62% 38%. Scotland now has to say bye bye England.

    • andic

      What makes you think that Brexit supporters in particular can not countenance the idea of Scottish independence from the UK/England, Wales, NI?

      I think the blob which Scotland needs to overcome is probably quite similar to the one which the Brexiteers must; Whitehall, corporate interests, NATO/security interests, corporate media, the bureaucratic and comfortable middle classes etc.
      Whether or not one supports either cause it’s quite plain that it is the institutions which are the problem, not people

      • Kerch'ee Kerch'ee Coup

        @andic
        I have the impression from long reading/lurking on this blog that our noble and generous host has indeed a greater interest in breaking up the Crown/City/Establishment nexus rather than a nebulous and nominal Scottish independence within the current EU and NATO(green pillar boxes as James Connolly termed it).

      • Cubby

        Andic

        “What makes you think that Brexit supporters in particular cannot countenance……….”

        David Coburn/UKIP/Farage and what Brexiteers in general always say. If that is not you then well done.

  • SA

    Strange piece by Luke Harding of fake news ‘Manafort visited Assange ‘ myth fame. As usual with Luke he reports something real and then through a web of false conflations, deduces something else. The underlying innuendo here is of course that because Putin has helped the election of Trump (proven to be fake, but still held as real by many), he has now completed his plan also to subjugate Britain by helping the election of Johnson. So the story here is that Johnson attended the 60th birthday party of Alexandre Lebedev on 13th December the day after he won the elections. Of course the link here is that Lebedev was once a KGB agent, became an oligarch and left Russia for the safety of Britain and now owns the evening Standard together with Gideon and other politicians through his extravagant entertainment style and general largesse. Lebedev’s cultivation of the rich and the famous and of politicians of all political hues including Blairites and of royalty is somewhat reminiscent of someone else on a separate continent, but we shan’t go there. Anyway Luke infers that in fact Lebedev is still working undercover for the Kremlin despite his owning the famous anti-Putin Novaya Gazeta in Moscow.
    Harding brings in the suppression of the Russia report into this, again with the implication that it is to hide the hidden hand of Moscow in interference with politics when the very clear support of Rich Russians for the Tories has been well known. The high progfile Browder tried to get the government to introduce a Magnitsky rule here in UK but failed, as this was too near the bone.
    Of course it is very difficult to untangle all this web, it may well be that Russian oligarchs both those who are clearly anti-Putin, those who have tried not to be openly hostile, as well as those who are pro-Putin (for there are some) have only one common interest, which is also shared by other oligarchs anywhere in the world.
    This is Luke’s contribution
    https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2019/dec/22/johnson-visit-to-lebedev-party-after-victory-odd-move-for-peoples-pm
    Here are some of the references to oligarch donations to the Tories:
    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/russian-tory-donors-named-in-secret-report-z98nqpkx0
    https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2019/11/11/four-russia-linked-tycoons-donated-around-2-7m-to-tories-putin-must-be-delighted/
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2018/mar/12/tory-links-russia-saudi-links-corbyn-spy-extremism
    And probably the delay in publishing the Russia report by Johnson is an attempt at diluting the implications and by trying to bury it and publish when there are other events such as someone in the royal family sneezing or catching a cold.

    • SA

      This Russia-gate may in fact be the Achilles heel of the Tories and his long association with Russian Oligarch money. We need fearless journalism to expose the explosive facts that could blow the Tories out of the water.

      • Tatyana

        SA, you could use logic and deduction method yourself, remembering that the Russian oligarchs took their place as a result of privatization, and by asking one simple question – how could ordinary poor Soviet people suddenly have enough capital to buy an entire industry or natural resource developement rights?
        You would probably find a clue if you noticed that many of these oligarchs later acquired an certain passport. Or, if you paid attention to how many of them settled in, and continue moving to, Britain, whose Parliament chock full of Friends of that certain state.
        But unfortunately, it is forbidden to discuss this fact, even for the purpose of enlightenment and understanding of what really happened.

        • Tatyana

          An addition, for my above comment be understood correctly.

          I believe that there is a problem of “alleged anti-Semitism”, that is, some people do not accept absolutely no criticism in the same sentence as the word Jew or Israel. And this only aggravates the situation, because
          1. silence on the facts does not establish the truth, it is always better to express opinions, discuss them and acknowledge either they are false or true;
          2. there is no nation entirely made up of saints, there are all sorts of people in any nation and any state does good and bad deeds;
          3. if this policy of picturing a “holy nation above any critics” continues, then someone will definitely remember that it was also the core of their religion “people chosen by God to rule over the rest” – and this will cause another wave of negativity that may be warmed up by old prejudices and develop into direct violence.

        • SA

          Tatyana
          Thanks. I am aware of how the oligarchs became rich overnight and how they were at one stage called kleptocrats, which is a more appropriate name. I have been trying to find a book that I am sure I have somewhere about the original 13 oligarchs and how they benefitted from Yeltsin’s ‘reforms’ and how in turn they helped him get re-elected in 1996. To talk about their origin then was not a taboo as it is now, but you are on the right track.

          • Tatyana

            In my country, no one forbids openly discussing such issues. And no one makes secrets of nationality.
            When Mrs. May recklessly stated that she would begin an investigation into the origin of the capital of the Russian rich living in London, I thought, “haha, good luck, Mrs. May, let’s see how quickly you shut up and get thrown off your post”
            I’m not on the right track, but just damn right.

          • Jack

            SA

            The report will be released mid january from what I understand, it will cause the same hysteria as it did with Trump/Collussion I am sure.
            It will be used by deep-state/pro-EU media to stop Brexit by claiming russians influenced the vote.

          • SA

            Jack
            I don’t think it is that simple. I think this time it is the Tories who are in receipt of Russian money, only it is not from the Kremlin. But of course the narrative will be managed in such a way to divert from the fact that it is kleptocrat money and nothing to do with Putin.

          • SA

            Tatyana
            What I said is typical calculated English understatement, although I am not English.
            “I’m not on the right track, but just damn right.”
            Of course you are.

          • Tatyana

            SA, why the hell do you need “typical calculated understatement”?
            I wonder, because we are told that there exists Freeeeeeeeeedooooooooom of Speeeeeeeeeeeeeech in the West, the wonderful thing which we never could even dreamed of in our barbarian Russia 🙂

          • Jack

            SA

            Its a bigger issue then, if russians with no ties to russian government are looked upon with suspicion for supporting Tories. That is not right. Lobbying in politiics should be banned full stop imo.

  • David

    a journalist was briefly seen, and a quick scan of the British newspapers show that they didn’t notice this

    The proceedings were closed to the press on the grounds of “national security.”

    really!

  • Skye Mull

    I sometimes wonder whether Craig might be hoping to be appointed an ambassador to represent a newly independent Scotland, and maybe for somewhere like Uzbekistan 🙂 . Then I think of the dilemma for the Queen, assuming of course that the Royal link continues.

      • Republicofscotland

        Pretty good coverage of the Uzbekistan elections on Aljazeera tv the other day, watching the candidates line up on stage to verbally fight it out, it struck me that you might think Uzbeks have come a long way since your days in the country.

        Or is it just all a bit of a front?

  • A

    All the best for Christmas and New Year, Mr Murray.

    Over the years, your insights – not just on ‘independence’ matters – have been genuinely informative and you have countered the misinformation.

    When we are an independent country you, and all the other bloggers, deserve our sincere and deepest gratitude. There have been times when articles ‘grated’, but that is the nature of involved debate, but, on the whole you and they have provided us with stimulating fare since 2014. Thank you.

    • Alasdair Macdonald

      Apologies! My name is Alasdair Macdonald.I did not notice that I had posted as ‘A”

  • Tommy Ball

    As you correctly observe, there are 144,687 reasons why Nicola Sturgeon would be absolutely horrified if Boris Johnson did not refuse the application for an S30 order.

    The timid, cowardly, SNP leadership and the majority of its MPs who have settled quite comfortably into the Westminster club are the biggest obstacle to regaining independence, not the Johnson regime.

    That said, if Sturgeon does finally act on the instructions of the Scottish electorate in the 2016 election, and a Section 30 order is refused, she must be absolutely clear to the British government that winning the 2021 election would be a clear mandate for an independence referendum, and that if that mandate is not respected, the independence movement will no longer take part in the electoral and administrative structures provided by the British, and the campaign for the restoration of independence will, by necessity, move outside the sphere of British democracy and electoral politics.

        • romar

          Perhaps then a referendum is needed to ascertain the will of the people of Scotland.
          And for that, do you need London’s approval? That’s the real issue: what does international law say? That’s what you should be working to ascertain.
          International law allows a country to make a unilateral declaration of independence – and the UK affirmed that right during the Kosovo debates:
          “International law contains no prohibition against declarations of independence as such. […] As a general matter, an act not prohibited by international law needs no authorization.” https://www.icj-cij.org/files/case-related/141/17912.pdf
          But a unilateral declaration of independence is allowed, can there be a prohibition on unilaterally organising a secession referendum? That’s what you should be researching.

    • Cubby

      Tommy Ball

      Isn’t that the name of a comedian.

      We have plenty of mandates for an independence referendum. As Hatuey said we don’t need another one in 2021. Any future Scottish Parliament election should be a single issue independence if the referendum is refused by the big fat racist one.

  • Patricia H Grasso

    I’m American. Our founding fathers did not ask permission of England to leave England. They took it!

    • Cubby

      Patricia H Grasso

      And a lot of people died an ugly death. And Americans have had a taste for guns and killing people ever since.

    • Republicofscotland

      Yes but you had help from France, Spain and the Dutch Republic.

      Scotland has no armed forces, ergo we may need vocal help from the EU, to vacate this so called equal union.

      Failing that we must hold a independence referendum without Westminsters S30, and hold that result as binding, then declare independence.

      If Westminster resorts to deploying troops to crush the result and movement we must call on international voices such as the UN to speak up.

  • N_

    Unelected legislator “Lord” Tony Hall, the royal favourite who is director-general of the Tory BBC, scoffs at those who have the temerity to comment on how his organisation did such a successful job for Conservative Campaign HQ during the recent general election. Given the BBC’s relentless broadcasting of accounts of how northern English working class “lifelong Labour voters” were switching to voting Tory in order to expel the foreign invaders “get Brexit done”, he is, of course, patently obviously guilty and deserves a long jail sentence.

    The three planks of sneering Tory Tony’s “defence” appear to be that 27 million people visited the BBC’s website to find out about election results (so what if it was 500 million – are you trying to sell something, mate?); he was criticised by “both sides” (well since the BBC has a role in bringing “information” and “culture” to the working class for a relatively small flat fee, and it doesn’t openly call for hanging single mothers who reside in social housing, clearly much of the Tory membership does indeed dislike the “Corporation”, but so what?); and the glorious “Yes, of course we faced some criticism. That is to be expected as the national broadcaster. Where we can and need to improve, we will.” In other words, “Got a problem with us? Well you can f*** off. We make the law in this town!”

    Previously chief executive of the Royal Opera House, Hall is likely to get even more gonged up in the future than he already is now. Like the royal family to which the BBC has always kowtowed (and I mean the family with a member who currently holds the British throne, not the Saudi one, although of course the BBC honours that one too), and like the British Medical Association etc. etc., the BBC does not even allow the pretence of accountability. Any person who wants to say anything about the m*****f******s is sneered at as a “viewer” right at the start.

    • N_

      Get this too: “Huw Edwards, who anchored the BBC’s election night coverage, has also previously dismissed claims of bias at the corporation, and said any such accusations are designed to cause ‘chaos and confusion’.”

      In short, only a wicked evil saboteur with filthy filthy foreign state-helping motivation would dare say the BBC is biased and helps the Tories. Clearly that kind of opinion is considered impossible for a decent and respectable and non-subversive person to hold. In fact “subversive would be a better word for Edwards to use, or at least it would make what he is saying clearer to those not in the habit of expecting people in his position to speak with hatred and forked tongues. Then we would get a sentence such as “Anyone who calls the BBC biased is a subversive and a wrecker”. That is what he is saying, except he says it in stuck-up language.

      • Hatuey

        Ah okay, N, I see where you’re going. You want us to sympathise with your English lefty cause and consider media bias all of a sudden.

        Just two weeks ago you were dismissive of media bias in regards to the 2014 Scottish referendum and keen to point out that we lost fair and square etc. you say stuff like that all the time.

        You’ve actually been quite systematically scathing towards Scottish independence supporters too, implying we are all vile nationalists and I think you even called us anti-English racists at one point — the sort of arguments deployed by the same media you now criticise.

        Another hypocrite. And a hypocrite is the worst thing a person can be.

        Merry Christmas and the best of Brexits.

        • N_

          I didn’t pay much attention to the BBC’s effort during the indyref. But I think I would know if they’d broadcast dozens upon dozens of swing voters declaring how they’d always been in favour of independence but now they were changing to supporting the union because they thought “Better Together” was where it was at. That tried and trusted “monkey see, monkey do” rhetorical technique is taught to salesmen: “To tell you the truth, what I would do if I were you is…” Had they done that kind of thing on that kind of scale during the indyref, then they would have been biased, for sure. But the sort of people who allege pro-unionist BBC bias during that period have among their number those who think “Westminster” came and stuffed the ballot boxes too. (Or was it their butlers that did it?)

          I don’t know what an “English lefty cause”? I’m an internationalist in the old sense: globalist, anti-nationalist, for worldwide socialism; the working class has no country. You put nation first – that’s obvious.

          • Republicofscotland

            “I don’t know what an “English lefty cause”? I’m an internationalist in the old sense: globalist, anti-nationalist, for worldwide socialism; the working class has no country. You put nation first – that’s obvious.”

            The only thing that’s obvious is that you don’t recognise civic nationalism as opposed to the other more aggressive type. Now go look it up.

            Anyway that tired old platitude of the workers of the world have no countries is of course wrong, they do have countries, unless of course you’re Chagossian, and Catalan, however no workers of the world are prepared to throw themselves under a bus to make sure they do.

            “I didn’t pay much attention to the BBC’s effort during the indyref.”

            Reading the rest of your comment on that particular subject, its patently obvious you didn’t pay any attention at all.

          • SA

            N-
            Your statement ” I’m an internationalist in the old sense: globalist, anti-nationalist, for worldwide socialism; ” interests me because it obviously derives from Lenin and his original idea that socialism cannot survive in one country but has to be a struggle of the workers of the world. But reality overtook this concept, initially because Lenin died prematurely and secondly because Stalin took over and Trotsky was exiled and later assassinated. But can you tell me how practically this is going to work, the only internationalist show in town is the globalist one. Even China does not seem to want to foster or fight for socialism elsewhere. I am asking this as a genuine question because I do not know how this will ever be achieved.

          • Cubby

            N

            It is clear you know SFA about Scotland and I don’t mean football.

            The old saying comes to mind – keep on posting and confirming that you know nothing about Scotland or the independence movement and what we have to contend with or just give it a rest and try a subject you are better informed on.

          • Hatuey

            According to the crude Marxist, the Vietnamese were nationalists, Gandhi too, and the Palestinians, not to mention the Americans and a billion others, all simple nationalists… we should all sit and wait for the great English working class leaders to emancipate us all..

            Beasts of England, beasts of Ireland
            Beasts of every land and clime
            Hearken to my joyful tidings
            Of the golden future time

            Soon or late the day is coming
            Tyrant Man shall be o’erthrown
            And the fruitful fields of England
            Shall be trod by beasts alone

            The only English working class movements with any teeth are right wing brexit-voting racists. I’m not sure if that’s what Orwell had in mind. If they have one thing going for them, it’s that they’re too thick to see through and resist the crude propaganda that’s impaled them.

            And they call us nationalists…

  • Giyane

    Your daily Oaf wind- up was :

    According to BBC News Daesh have 130 million dollars left and are re-grouping in Syria and Iraq.

    It was a wind-up because Daesh are controlled by NATO and used by them to wreak havoc in the Muslim world.
    Remember the new Toyota 4x4s supplied by the US , the Saudi bribe to the Iraqi general in Mosul and the safe passage given by erdogan for them to travel through NATO ‘s Turkey?

    Now you know why the farts in the Foreign Office needed to fake Tory win , to start another proxy zionist war against Islam.

    President Pussy Grab is teaching Prime Minister Promise to Pull Out how to do it in a way that nobody can pin it on you.
    When the BBC talks about Daesh they mean NATO ie me and you

    • SA

      The man interviewed by Today, called Talbani, sorry can’t get his full name, was an obvious western stooge. He spoke in faultless English and the lingo fluently familiar to the west: “Al Qaeda on Steroids” “Christmas come early for Isis” BBC today 23/12/2019 between 38’39 and 41’30”
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000cktq
      They also have ‘a lot more finances at their disposal’ but of course we don’t know where these finances are coming from. At a time when the US can starve Syria and Iran of any financial help, it is astonishing that Isi has these finances, no? So they have this money from ‘oil trade’ but who is this oil trade with? Also they are able to buy vehicles, recruit buy arms and so on, again where from? The bazaar? And then the give away: “The picked up a lot of experience from the khalifate (sic)” 41’02” notice it is not the khalifate as anyone familiar with all this would say. So the answer is, you guessed it ” the international community has to re-engage” 41’22”

  • remember kronstadt

    my neighbour re-painted his house in a bright colour which made mine look rather outdated and shabby. should I kill him?

    • Giyane

      RK

      Old Scottish proverb, Alays put the pattern of your curtains on the outside. If your neighbour has a little time off at xmas to repaint his house, he/she has probably never had a day off in the last five years. Let alone had time to philosophies on moral dilemmas on CM ether time.

      • N_

        Old Scottish proverb, Alays put the pattern of your curtains on the outside.” I really hope that isn’t an old proverb in any country 🙂

        • Giyane

          N_

          Maybe you instinctively detest Christmas and seeing Prittstick Patel gloating on the front seats of the HoC as much as I do. I very told my family I’m going to keep myself away from them until after the abhoration has gone away.

          But. There is one country that puts its curtains on the outside. Islamic state . The women have to wear purdah / curtains when they go outside.

          Told you I was in a bad mood.
          ..

          • Giyane

            I saw one yesterday wearing niqab and tights. Only a slight hint of feminine rebellion against male domination.
            We’ve had two months of fake secular democracy. Now we’re having to endure two weeks of fake religious enjoyment.
            Oh well the whole perversion will be over in a few days/ years.
            Red rant stop button . Push.

          • SA

            giyane
            “abhoration” surely you meant abomination.
            “I saw one yesterday wearing niqab and tights. Only a slight hint of feminine rebellion against male domination.”
            Not really being voyeuristic but how can you tell she was wearing tights when she was wearing full niqab?
            ” Now we’re having to endure two weeks of fake religious enjoyment.”
            Since when is Christmas a religious occasion? It is the biggest feast for mammon, for gluttony and for rip-offs, nothing religious there.

          • SA

            “For a significant minority Christmas is still a religious occasion.”

            Yes John I agree I should have so qualified my sweeping statement.

          • Laguerre

            In the west, wearing a niqab is a personal choice, not forced by males. I had a colleague with the reverse experience. As you know, veiling the face is illegal in France. So, her daughter-in-law, left her face open in public, but veiled before entering her mother-in-law’s house. Not according to the Islamic rules, but that’s where we are with feminine choice.

          • giyane

            SA

            She was wearing a niqab over her head and shoulders and displaying her bottom and legs in tights.

          • giyane

            Laguerre

            From where do you come to the conclusion that the Asian community is living in the West?
            Whatever dodgy dealings the men are doing in my street, some women are in niqabs.
            English people are universally described by the racist term Gora even if they are Muslim.
            I tell them they are British , they are Gora now. We are talking about centuries of blow back from British colonisation.

        • Ort

          FYI, I’m unfamiliar with the proverb, and too ignorant of the esthetics and mechanics of curtain-draping to discern its meaning.

          I suppose it has a different meaning than the closest US idiomatic expression I know, i.e. “the carpet doesn’t match the drapes”.

          Anyway, when I attempted a search it produced endless helpful sites advising “how to hang curtains”– the search engine simply ignored “proverb”, “old saying”, “maxim”, etc. and kept assuming that I was desperate to learn curtain-hanging techniques.

          So if it’s not too much trouble, could you explain its meaning or point me to a source that does? Thanks.

          • giyane

            Ort

            My stepmother is Scottish and she told me the idea of putting the pattern on the outside was Scottish. Maybe it’s just a family expression.
            Search engines !

  • Giyane

    Mary

    Sounds like the BBC think they’re on a winning streak after they scraped the bottom of the barrel to support Zozo.
    You can fool some of the people some of the time and the rest of the time you give them fake news.

    If it’s the BBC it’s a pack of lies. They showed their true colours in the election. Nowadays every day’s an April fool.

  • Cubby

    J k Rowling says some nasty fictional character she wrote about in her books is a Nationalist. Isn’t she a British Nationalist. Pretty sure she gave some of her millions to the Better Lying Together campaign in 2014. The type of English immigrant that gives immigrants a bad name.

    Never read any of her books but I did fall asleep in the Cinema when my young son asked me to take him to see the first film. Perhaps the books were better – I hope so.

  • N_

    It could be that semi-dictator Dominic Cummings is laying down the law (his law) to the BBC now. As well as (obviously) being the originator of the “northern powerhouse university cooperation” plan, and also the source of stories about hospital scandals (which focus on money the hospitals received, the message being that good central control over incentives will improve services and stop scandals from happening – yeah? and the method of preventing Big Pharma from sinking their fangs in even deeper is what exactly?), Cummings seems now to have taken over national defence strategy.

    No sh*t. I’m not kidding. National defence strategy. Dominic Cummings.

    The review of defence and foreign policy led by Boris Johnson’s chief of staff Dominic Cummings will be the most radical since 1945, according to those already involved (…) Cummings is known to be doubtful about the Navy’s two 70,000 tonne aircraft carriers, alone costing some £6.2 billion.

    I wonder how high this guy’s security rating is. How is he faring under Enhanced Developed Vetting?

    It can’t be long before either

    a) we get some high-level resignations (ooh, say from MI5 or the MOD), or
    b) he meets with an accident.

    (You read it here first.)

    It should be possible to identify some of Cummings’s key appointees. John Bew seems to be one of them. I wonder which mathematicians he’ll appoint. Old Etonian Timothy Gowers seems a good bet, having worked on a Cummings-themed “maths for the genetically superior presidents” project for the DFE.

    Is it too early to seek figures with whom one might compare Cummings? Please, not Napoleon Bonaparte. Don’t even think of it. One possibility who came to mind today was Nikita Khrushchev. Khrushchev wasn’t into operations research, but there’s still a basis for comparison. I’d like to say John Law too. Has Cummings got any favourite billionaires? Nutter Peter Thiel has got to be in Cummings’s address book, surely.

    • N_

      Another comment on Eugenics Cummings, Man of Willpower, Man of Destiny…

      Personally I think he may well be a Russian state asset [1] – but even if we discount that possibility, why on earth does he get such a high security rating given his obvious difficulty with keeping his mouth shut? All serious vetters are acquainted with that personality characteristic. Those who have it don’t usually get handed sensitive secrets or put in charge of deciding defence strategy. Never mind that Norman “A*sehole” Stone recommended him. So what? Did every person who was interviewed as part of Cummings’s vetting say that in their opinion he’s a discreet sort of chap?

      This is not going to end well, folks; it really isn’t. When “Son of the Cuban Missile Crisis” arrives, who’s to tell which “branching history” Cummings (or the mess he has left behind him) might cause events to develop along?

      Notes
      1) @Tatiana – Perhaps Cummings is payback for Lavrenty Beria [2] being a British asset? 🙂
      2) Allegedly.

      • John Pretty

        “why on earth does he get such a high security rating given his obvious difficulty with keeping his mouth shut?”

        lol, I take it that is a rhetorical question N_ ?

    • John Pretty

      Brian, I recognise the enthusiasm for this among people here especially, and certainly I do not want to be “ruled by Boris Johnson” (and at least Craig is acknowledging here who is really in charge of the UK!), but I am still concerned that not all Scots share this passion for independence.

      My 77 year old mother is Scottish. She lives in England. She is lukewarm at best about it. One of her brothers (who still lives in Scotland and who is 69) is against it, another brother (who is 75 and who also still lives in Scotland) is for it. You know, I understand that this is important for many Scots, especially those that come here, but any attempt at “taking” independence surely risks disenfranchising those who do not want it.

      My primary interest in being here is Craig’s generally sympathetic stance towards Russia, but being half Scottish I also note the many independence articles that Craig writes. While I respect Craig’s zeal, I find it a little extreme sometimes.

      • Brianfujisan

        Hi John

        Thanks for your reply.. I don not Think Craig’s views are Extreme.

        I think the uk gov are extreme ..they are TERRORISTS Killing, Starving Brown Humans.

      • Republicofscotland

        “but being half Scottish I also note the many independence articles that Craig writes. While I respect Craig’s zeal, I find it a little extreme sometimes.”

        That’s because you’re not involved in it and lack the passion that drives others who favour independence so much so that all options must be on the table.

        • John Pretty

          that may be a fair point ros, but as I’ve said, my uncle is not interested in it, and my concern is simply that a bid for independence is bound to fail if it does not carry the support of an overwhelming majority of Scots.

          Scots who come here are generally strongly in favour of independence because of Craig’s stance on the issue.

          Simply taking independence without enough popular support among all Scots is very risky IMO.

          • Cubby

            John Pretty

            All TV is English in Scotland. How would you fancy decades of German tv telling you that the English are drunk morons being pumped in to every English home . Try and think on how that may affect your self worth and belief in your nationality.

            All the newspapers are English papers badged with Scottish on the front. Try and think if all the papers in England were German papers continually saying how inferior England is compared to Germany.

            Non stop lies and propaganda to tell Scots they are too wee too poor too small. Every day is a diet of subservience, subjugation and humiliation.

            Scots have been conditioned to feel worthless by the big boy in the Union. Our culture is mocked at best removed from site at worst.

            I could go on a lot more but the point is you have no idea. Scotland and Scots have been disenfranchised since the forced marriage in 1707.

          • John Pretty

            “Non stop lies and propaganda to tell Scots they are too wee too poor too small. Every day is a diet of subservience, subjugation and humiliation.”

            Well, when I was growing up in the 1970s and 1980s the main topic of conversation was the sectarian divide and not independence. My (Scottish) mother has told me that my grandfather (who I knew very well) did not like Alex Salmond. I suppose he was probably a Labour voter.

            It was noticeable how run down Blantyre where my grandparents lived was when we used to visit. I can still remember as a wee boy the buildings that lined the Glasgow Road being blackened with coal dust. They then cleaned all the buildings and started a redevelopment programme. Many of the shops were still boarded up though.

            One thing I do remember well is that they were well looked after in the elderly people’s “complex” they lived in in their old age. I don’t know if we get that down here in England. Care homes are extremely expensive here.

          • Cubby

            John Pretty

            The classic British Empire divide and conquer still alive and well in N.Ireland and Scotland – sectarian hatred.

            Britnats (mainly Tory Britnats ) in Scotland like to spin the line that all independence supporters are Catholics. They just love to add fuel to the fire. Vote Tory and halt the kafflicks.

            The ” new” story of working class in the ” NORTH” voting Tory is old news in Scotland. They vote Tory, even if they make their life’s miserable, to stop the kafflicks and to be able to shout no surrender and all that crap.

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