Westminster Cannot Block Scottish Independence 640


Boris Johnson’s facetious, point-scoring reply to the formal request from the Scottish government for agreement to a second Independence referendum is an act of extreme arrogance. An off-the-cuff campaign remark from a single politician has no weight in weighing the will of a nation, and I presume Johnson is not arguing that every political statement Nicola Sturgeon or Alex Salmond has ever made has the force of law.

The “once in a generation” remark has no more force than “die in a ditch”. It is not contained in any official document, and appears in neither the Edinburgh Agreement nor the Smith Commission report. For Johnson to base his refusal of a vital democratic step on such a flimsy pretext is extremely arrogant. It is born of colossal self-confidence. He is perfectly confident the highly centralised Westminster system will allow him simply to ride roughshod over Scotland.

Johnson is of course right. You may be surprised to hear that I agree with the analysis of McHarg and McCorkindale published today that a legal challenge arguing the Scottish Government’s right to hold a referendum is a waste of time, not least because if such legal challenge looked like succeeding the Tories would simply pass Westminster legislation outlawing the referendum explicitly. There is no doubt whatsoever that such legislation would be upheld by the UK Supreme Court under the doctrine of the Sovereignty of (Westminster) Parliament.

I also have no doubt that a futile and time-wasting court action is going to be a key part of the Scottish Government’s approach in response to Johnson, of pretending to do something about Independence a few more years.

McHarg and McCorkindale are quite right on UK Constitutional Law, which is where their expertise lies. They know very little about public international law and still less about international politics.

The truth is that UK Constitutional Law is as irrelevant to Scottish Independence as Soviet Constitutional Law was to the question of Latvian, Lithuanian and Estonian Independence. The UK is disintegrating and not the smirk of Johnson, the frippery of the UK Supreme Court nor the witterings of lawyers can hold it together.

Independence is not a matter of domestic law. It is a matter of international law alone. Independence is the existence of a state in relation to other states. It is gained not by any internal process- internal process is utterly irrelevant, and in 95% of cases does not involve a referendum – but by recognition of other states, formalised through the General Assembly of the United Nations.

I touched on these points in my brief statement at the AUOB press conference after the march on Saturday.

In its judgement on Kosovo, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) specifically confirmed that the agreement of the state being seceded from was not necessary for Independence. That is the position in law, whatever any UK court may say. Indeed it was the UK government itself that put this argument most clearly to the ICJ in the Kosovo case.

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. 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 a state has the right to declare Independence without the agreement or permission of the original state and its political or legal authorities.

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. 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.

So the key question is, could Scotland get recognition from other states for a Declaration of Independence? The attitude of the EU will be crucial and here Catalonia is obviously a key precedent. But it is one that has been totally misunderstood.

The vast majority of the politicians and functionaries of the EU institutions viewed the actions of the Francoist government of Spain in assaulting the people of Catalonia who were trying to vote, with extreme distaste. But they held their noses and supported Spain. Because over 20 years experience as a diplomat taught me that the EU functions as a club of member states, who will support each other in almost any circumstance. So Spain was supported.

But the UK is shortly going to stop being a member. It is Scotland, as a potential member with a long history of valued membership and a firm intention to join, which will have the natural support of the EU, the more so as there will be a strong desire to get Scotland’s fishing, energy and mineral resources back within the bloc. The disintegration of the UK will also be encouraged as a salutary lesson to any other states that consider leaving the EU. The political forces within the EU are very, very strongly behind recognition of Scottish Independence.

Once the EU decides to recognise Scotland (and crucially it is not a decision that needs unanimity in the EU vote, an extremely important and overlooked fact) the rest will be easy. The UK is detested in much of the developing world for its continued refusal to decolonise Diego Garcia, for the Iraq War, and for the whole history of colonialism.

So how should Scotland proceed? My advice would be to declare Independence at the earliest possible opportunity. We should recall all Scottish MPs from Westminster immediately. We should assemble all of Scotland’s MEP’s, MP’s and MSP’s in a National Assembly and declare Independence on the 700th Anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, thus emphasising the historical continuity of the Scottish state. The views and laws of London now being irrelevant, we should organise, as an Independent state, our referendum to confirm Independence, to be held in September 2020.

The key criterion which governments have traditionally used to recognise another state is control of the state’s internal territory. (They do not have to use that criterion, each state can recognise on whatever basis it wishes, but that is the usual one cited). This is where the Catalonian Declaration of Independence failed, the Catalan Government never managed to enforce it on its own ground.

There is going to be no process of Independence agreed with the British government. We have to take Independence, not beg for it. At some stage, there is always the danger that the British government may try to react by sending in the British Army to enforce Westminster’s will. If we believe we are an independent nation, we have to be prepared to defend ourselves as an independent state should the worst happen. Calling a confirmatory referendum as the first act of the Independent state would make it difficult for Johnson to justify sending in the British Army to try to prevent it, but we cannot rule it out. Hopefully that will not involve anyone getting killed, but we must be plain that Westminster will never voluntarily allow us to leave and may physically attack us if we try.

I appreciate this may all sound very unpleasant and confrontational.

We have two alternatives now – we stand up for ourselves and our inalienable right of self-determination in international law as defined in the UN Charter, or we grovel before Johnson’s smirk and try various “legal” and “constitutional” avenues in terms of the UK’s utterly irrelevant domestic legislation. Which will get us nowhere, slowly.

The time has come for Scottish Independence. With a referendum denied by no fault of ours, we must seize the moment and take the Independence for which they will not let us vote.

——————————————

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640 thoughts on “Westminster Cannot Block Scottish Independence

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  • michael norton

    The Hydrocarbon industry and both governments talk about there being 20 billion barrels of oil and gas left in the North Sea fields
    but the 2P reserves are much smaller than that, at about six billion barrels of oil and gas.
    There is a bit more oil than gas, but not far off 50:50.
    If you apply the UCL study, we should be able to take only 3.4 billion out if we are to play our fair part in the global picture. That is less than is already expected in currently active fields and, at current productions rates, gives between ten and 15 years’ more extraction.
    https://www.scotsman.com/news/opinion/columnists/this-is-how-long-north-sea-oil-industry-has-got-left-dr-richard-dixon-1-4931056
    COP26
    Glasgow to hold the Climate Emergency Conference this year.
    Ms. Sturgeon has already declared a Climate Emergency.

    So if there is to be a dwindling extraction of Oil over the next decade and a half, what will a Free Scotland base the Economy on in fifteen years time?

    • Giyane

      Michael Norton

      The rat you are shaking supposedly to death is already bones and fur. North Sea oil is not going to be a factor in Scottish Independence. Go and find a live one to shake, like climate change.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Michael Norton. In reply to your 09:10 post.
      “Trump has slapped a massive tariff on Whiskey.”
      True, but not nearly as potentially damaging as Scotch whiskey loosing its EU protected Geographical designation. Once the UK is out of the EU (end of the month or January the first 2021, depending on how bold the US distillers are) expect US distillers to be exporting product labelled “Scotch” into the Chinese and Indian markets.

    • Republicofscotland

      Indeed Michael, I’ve read that the (SAM) Scottish Atlantic Margin has as much oil in it as that of Saudi Arabia.

    • Cubby

      Michael norton

      Scotland has never had a penny from the oil and gas resources. Every penny has gone straight to Westminster and stayed there. So if Scotland is independent and stops extracting oil and gas it will be no worse off than at present but it means that the robbing barstewards in Westminster will not get a penny and it helps climate change.

      Also i have to laugh at the Britnats who said in 1979 just before the referendum that the oil will run out in the
      mid eighties and who are always saying the oil is just about to run out – sometimes in 5 years and sometimes in ten years – are now saying you won’t get it out the ground due to climate change. Britnat liars have been lying about oil and gas extraction for over FIFTY years and are still at it. There is easily enough for a hundred years the question is – is the right thing to do to extract it. Westminster will never ask this question. An independent Scotland may well do so.

      The original Brent and Forte oil fields are still going strong more than 50 years on but Britnats kept lying and pronouncing the end is near every election. A new pipeline has just gone live from the Forte field (£0.5b investment) to the petrochemical Grangemouth Ineos site.

      There are new massive fields that have gone live in the last few years (one of them a £5b investment in platforms) that are bigger than the original Forte Brent fields estimated to produce oil for another 50 years.
      Total has recently gone live with a new massive gas field.

      Finally, the UK gov has been selling off licenses to explore in large numbers in the North Atlantic and every penny going straight to Westminster to be wasted again.

      So in summary Westminster and Britnats and Britnat media have lied and lied and stolen all of Scotlands oil and gas resources and worst of all totally wasted all the money. And people think we should stay in the UK – Stockholm syndrome writ large.

      Independent Norway on the other hand has the world’s largest national saving fund of £1trillion. Pity Scotland hasn’t been ruled by Norway for the last 50 years rather than the crooks and liars in Westminster. The Scottish gov has an annual budget of approx £33b – Norway made an income on its savings fund in one QUARTER recently of £130 billion.

      So Michael Norton you know nothing about Scotlands economy.

      • michael norton

        Cubby, you shouldn’t be so defensive (very anxious to challenge or avoid criticism)
        it was a serious question,
        if Scotland becomes A Free Land sometime in this decade, on what will you base your Economy,
        Free and unencumbered (free of debt or other financial liability)?

        • Cubby

          Michael Norton

          Thanks for your advice but I will respond as I see fit.

          Scotland exports more than it imports. The largest export from Heathrow is Scottish salmon

          England does not. England imports more than it exports.

          Perhaps your question should be what will England base its economy on when the UK ceases to exist.

          Simply put – your question betrays an offensive assumption that Scotland is too wee too poor and too stupid to be independent. If you cannot see how that may seem offensive well so be it.

          • Republicofscotland

            Actually Cubby, after indy we’ll probably not export goods to the EU via England, so the figures won’t be skewed anymore on how much we export, counted as British exports, and not Scottish exports.

            We’ll probably export straight to Europe via our East coast, a departure point is yet to be decided, as is the landing port.

          • Cubby

            ROS

            I agree. Didn’t want to overstretch Michaels capacity to take it all in. A lot of people after decades of being told they subsidise Scotland cannot handle the truth – it blows a fuse in their heads is normally my experience. It can take them weeks to recover but is better for them in the long run.

          • Kempe

            ” Scotland exports more than it imports “|

            That’s true of imports/exports outside the UK but Scotland does 60% of it’s trade within the UK and there it’s a very different story. Many Scottish industries are heavily dependent on raw materials imported from England. The livestock industry is wholly dependent on foodstuffs imported from England and, whisper it quietly, the Scottish whisky distillers are buying more and more grain from England because Scottish farmers can’t meet demand.

            As far as your filthy, diseased, lice ridden farmed salmon is concerned please keep exporting it as far away as possible. China is a major market as they have a boycott on Norwegian salmon, some comments made by Norwegian politicians about human rights in China if I remember correctly. Actually the laughs on them as 68% of the Scottish salmon farming industry is owned by Norwegian companies. I guess that means Scotland isn’t going to see much of the profits.

          • Cubby

            Kempe

            I see you have moved on to slagging off Scottish salmon.

            Still waiting for your pathetic excuse to explain only moving the eastern sea boundary between England and Scotland (where the oil and gas is) but not the Western boundary. Did your wee Book of Britnat excuses not cover that and you are waiting on a reply from Britnat HQ in London

      • Kempe

        It’s hard to know who did profit from North Sea oil, apart from the (largely American) petrochems. The Tory’s decision to throw over the reins and leave the economy to market forces meant it became uneconomic to invest in anything other than North Sea oil and gas. The result was that most of the money went to pay additional unemployment benefits. An independent Scotland might’ve managed things better but it’s too late now. The money’s gone.

        The Fortes field had its peak year in 1979 and despite the new discoveries production has decreased ever since and far from going strong Shell are in the process of decommissioning Brent. Brent Delta closed in 2011, it’s 48 wells capped, Alpha and Bravo followed in 2014 and Shell plan to complete the process within ten years.

        • Cubby

          Kempe

          Were you around in 1979 forecasting the oil and gas would run out in the mid eighties. You are spinning the same crap. What is it only 5 or 10 years left? Same crap different decade.

          Did you get most of that post from your wee Britnat Book of Excuses.

    • Mark Russell

      “So if there is to be a dwindling extraction of Oil over the next decade and a half, what will a Free Scotland base the Economy on in fifteen years time?”

      Water. Use Scotland’s green energy – wind, solar to produce electricity to electrolyse water into Hydrogen and Oxygen then use hydrogen to power fuel cells for vehicles, industry and homes. Think of the work that can be created in that industry alone – manufacturing, supply, infrastructure, installation and servicing. Leave the oil and gas where it is. We have an abundant supply of natural resources to provide a clean, sustainable alternative.

    • Bill Boggis

      Scotland has a ‘Saudi arabia’ of renewable energy and leads the world in marine renewable energy – in terms of resource, design, manufacture, installation, and servicing. This is part of the only possible future we can have – a sustainable one. The European Marine Energy Centre, based in Orkney, has been so successful that it has become the template for other nations to follow.

  • Mary

    Of interest?
    ‘The Alex Salmond Show examines this week’s constitutional drama, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson vetoing Scottish demands for another independence referendum. Alex takes the temperature from north of the English border, as he chats with top commentators Ruth Wishart and George Kerevan and former Cabinet secretaries Alex Neil MSP and Kenny MacAskill MP. They offer their perspectives on the road ahead for Scotland.’
    16th January 2020
    https://www.rt.com/shows/alex-salmond-show/478366-johnson-scotland-independence-referendum/

  • Alastair McIver

    There are several key problems with your proposed approach. You might well be correct that UK constitutional law is irrelevant in international terms, but it is likely to matter a lot to the countries whose consent we need to consider ourselves independent. Your argument that EU countries will be pissed off enough at their former member, rUK, fails to convince, I’m afraid. It sounds like wishful thinking.

    Most of the countries you cite as precedents are former Soviet territories. They were occupied forcibly (which you could argue was once the case in Scotland, however we consented to the Union in 2014. Neither you nor I like that fact, but it is a fact); there was an overwhelming majority for Independence among their population; and the state from which they seceeded was considered an enemy by around half the world. None of these things is true in Scotland.

    Your prediction that BJ’s Government will be able to rush through legislation inhibiting the courts is just bizarre. Legislation cannot be enacted retroactively, therefore once a case is under consideration by the courts, it cannot be affected by a legislative reform of the courts. Otherwise a politician whose mate is on trial for a criminal offence can just abolish the court prosecuting – fortunately, it just doesn’t work like that. It does mean we need to get a move on, though.

    But the biggest flaw in your plan is that if we declared UDI and then sought confirmation through a referendum, we would lose that referendum. People who were on the fence would be pissed off at having their choice taken away from them and vote No soft-Nos would become hard Nos; soft yesses would become soft Nos; moderate or reluctant Yes voters would vote No because most people just don’t like constitutional chaos; and there just aren’t enough firebrands to win the day. You and I and most of the oriinal 45 would vote Yes, but I doubt many of the people we need to convince would.

    • Marmite

      I’m curious to find out whether the UK is now construing campaigners for Scotland’s independence as ‘extremists’. I’d be very surprised if it wasn’t, because it seems these days that the government regards everything as extremist except itself.

      Sadly, in the eyes of those who don’t have the wherewithal to see through this fascist belligerence, it’s a very effective way to discredit someone or something.

  • N_

    Another thing about the SNP: the entitled way they go on about how the media are biased against them (never mind that Scots are probably over-represented in the top echelon of the BBC) suggests that they believe that, on the one hand, we have a large proportion of idiotic, submissive Scots who are conditioned by whatever they see on the telly to believe that it’s good to stay in the Union, and on the other, we have a large proportion of intelligent, truth-recognising, rational Scots who realise the nation’s sacred destiny is towards independence and has been since Hollywood released Braveheart some landowners wrote some self-serving stuff in Latin 700 years ago. Also the trickery and babyish rhetoric that SNP supporters come out with is so half-arsed that it would be amusing if it were possible to view extreme nationalism as amusing, which it isn’t. For example, the persistent use of the term “Westminster” to mean some kind of “foreign”, when facts (voting figures) show that more Scots care about British politics than about Scottish politics; or the use of the term “pre-independence referendum” (those who use such terminology must think they’re so clever – will you tell them or shall I?); or the call for foreigners (they mustn’t be English, mind) to scrutinise a referendum rerun, which implies that no Scot can be relied on to be honest and independent enough, which is a grave insult to Scottish people, but SNP types don’t realise it. (Would they still want foreigners to wipe their bottoms for them in elections held after independence too?)

    And as for the references to Catalonia, where privileged middle class nationalistic a*rsehole fantasists want to stop “subsidising” the rest of Spain and also to cr*p all over the wishes of the working class majority in Catalonia, really the feeling is that the Scottish nationalists should give it a rest. The Catalan independence types are comparable in some ways to the “opposition” in Venezuela – they are, in short, the nasty side in Catalonia, just as the Guaido supporters are the nasty side in Venezuela. Parties with the majority seen to be against them don’t tend to force independence in any country. No wait – I have forgotten Ian Smith in Rhodesia! And no, Scotland is nothing like all those countries in black Africa that used to be under the rule of the British empire – let’s stop taking the p*ss, shall we? Scotland was part of the union called “Britain” that had the damned empire. Some in the SNP dearly want to get some heads cracked so that they can go around carrying a Blood Flag and fuming about a Stab in the Back while simultaneously dreaming that the first attempt at a Beer Hall Putsch will be successful this time, especially if CNN can be got on board – oh yes and the UN General Assembly too – when of course it won’t be successful. It is truly disgusting. How about proposing a Scottish republic that isn’t allied to the US in NATO? No, mustn’t do that. Don’t want to lose the right wing vote.

    As I said, parties with the majority seen to be against them don’t tend to force independence in any country. The SNP could bring about a Scottish general election within weeks but they haven’t got the guts because they know the Scottish population would give them an almighty kick up the a*se.

    • N_

      Meanwhile the SNP embarrassingly perform the green nutter dance saying there’s a “climate emergency” (after all, a mentally ill Scandinavian child who dresses as Pippi Longstocking says so), while preparing to run a national economy based on charging multinationals rent for extracting hydrocarbon-based transport fuel. Surely some mistake! But only a non-believer would say so, because Scottish oil is greener than green, as green as a plate full of bogies, and superior to every other country’s oil! Most of it gets turned into much-needed medical supplies, right?

      • Lorna Campbell

        Oh dear, did we rain on your parade, N? Thought you had a nice billet here for ever and a day and these nasty little Seps have gone and spoiled it all? Never mind that self-determination is a right enshrined in the UN Charter, not to mention a human right. Calling Greta Thunberg mentally ill when she is autistic and highly intelligent sums you up totally. Incidentally, no one is trying to be clever when they say, ‘pre independence referendum’ because that is what is being proposed. What I, and others, have been trying to point out is that ALL – without exception – referendums held before independence (i.e. not ratifying or confirmatory ones) have been lost. I should have thought that was a very salient point and well worth pointing out, no?

        • Republicofscotland

          N

          Having his usual wee mostly incoherent rant, I almost feel sorry for the poor sod.

      • _F

        Have to say those last two posts have to be the biggest pile of guff form you to date.
        Trolling has turned your mind to goop.

      • IMcK

        Very entertaining and some good points well put.
        I reckon the odds on a realistic challenge of the content are long.

      • Marmite

        Just as I thought, a bunch of Trump trolls have invaded here.

        I thought only Tories were incapable of being adult enough to understand that children can sometimes think and act more sensibly than people over the age of 25 (whom, you’ll remember, the great Bucky Fuller said never to trust).

        Anyway, the ‘green nutter dance’ sounds a lot more fun than the red, blue or yellow one.

        There is no such thing as green oil or green growth or green capitalism. I don’t think you are saying there is, but just for the sake of clarity….

        If the world carries on with this blinkered ignorance, thinking everything can be solved simply through a Keynesian model of economic growth (which is Labour’s mistake as well as the SNP’s, no doubt), we shall soon have not only killed off all wildlife but also ourselves, making the planet uninhabitable. All else is trivial, and this becomes a non-conversation.

  • Cubby

    FASCIST UK

    The UK gov are explicitly saying now to the people of Scotland that it does not matter now or in the future how you vote it will never be sufficient to be accepted by us. Let’s be clear this is nothing like the calls for the EU ref the so called people’s vote. There had been no mandate provided by the UK electorate for the people’s vote.

    The SNP have won the last NINE elections in Scotland and have had a mandate specifically since 2016 Scot parliament election and ratified on subsequent occasions since. The most recent being last months GE.

    Thatcher used to claim if the SNP won a majority of Scottish seats in the H of Commons it was a mandate for independence. Now it is not even a mandate for a referendum even when it is explicitly stated in the manifesto.

    As the SNP grew in strength the Tories started to say it was only a mandate for independence if you win two successive GEs. Then again later it was stretched to a mandate over THREE GEs. – this of course could amount to a 15 year period.

    Currently the Tories will not and neither will Labour or LibDems even say what a mandate is for an independence referendum despite the clear and indisputable precedent of a mandate being set in 2014.

    So in summary we have gone from a clear statement from Thatcher on what constitutes a mandate for independence to no British party even saying what a mandate is for a referendum – despite a precedent being set in 2014. In a normal democratic union there would be a constitution that addresses these matters but in the dysfunctional UK nothing.

    This is not a family of nations.

    This is fascism and colonialism. Not a good look for a UK wanting to be seen as a global UK.

      • Cubby

        Laguerre

        Thanks for that suggestion but technically and legally Scotland cannot do UDI – by definition it terminates the Treaty of Union – a bi partite international treaty between two sovereign kingdoms and the union is over. No UK – it is consigned to history. That is not what is described by the term UDI. So using the term UDI is misleading. Can England do a UDI from Scotland – no but it can terminate the Treaty just as Scotland can. Of course if Scotland is such a burden to England as many people say England has the option to terminate the Treaty.

        Now, for example, Catalonia declaring independence without agreement from Madrid and a change to its constitution is UDI.

        Hope that helps

        • Laguerre

          I’m not sure that I’m bothered whether it’s technically a declaration of independence or the breaking of a treaty of union. The point was the U bit, unilateral, without Westminster approval. I’d say, go to it. There’s not much to be hoped for in remaining slaves to Westminster. Johnson is about to abolish your rights.

  • Tony_0pmoc

    As an almost life long member of trades unions, who I often had massive respect for (Unison still sends me mail), the main problem why the Labour Party has been self destructing since 1997 (and don’t tell me Tony Blair is a success)…is cos – well – if you are having a party, you invite everyone in. It’s a party – you can’t discriminate. All our political parties have been infiltrated, by forces (sometimes foreign) that have absolutely no interest in the ordinary working man.

    The Labour Party is supposed to look after the interests of the ordinary working man in the area which they were elected – ie The UK

    I am not voting for any of them, and I wouldn’t even if I was a member of The Labour Party.

    Corbyn needed to get rid of The Blairites, could, and didn’t.

    Nice to hear some female voices from The North West, but basically The Labour Party is buggered now. I can’t think of any eloquent solutions.

    RIP The Labour Party

    Tony

    Ps Off-Guardian is being bombed to buggery – massive ongoing denial of service attacks. Can the guys who host this blog give them some advice, cos I know they have done it to you. I’d take it as a mark of respect, if I was running their blog

    • remember kronstadt

      O Tony_O

      ‘I am not voting for any of them, and I wouldn’t even if I was a member of The Labour Party.’

      It is far less painful for me to leave the Labour Party now than it was to join two years ago. RIP.

    • Laguerre

      The problem is that the “ordinary working man” doesn’t exist much any more, in the sense of unionised workers in a mass industry. Those that are, are out to preserve the advantages they’ve obtained. The current strike of the rail workers in France is a case of that.

      Socialism is not defined like that. It’s for fair treatment of everybody. That is a much wider definition, and may include Blairites, if they go for fair treatment. I didn’t like Blair’s behaviour on Iraq, and even less the subsequent cosying up to the far right in Israel. But a socialist attitude is not about foreign policy, but domestic. On that front, Blair’s government can only be described as not too bad. Much better, at least, than the Tory regimes that have followed.

      • Squeeth

        Are you on the same planet as the rest of us? Bliar sold the freehold of the NHS, kept the policies of permanent mass unemployment and permanent destitution, advanced the police state and dished out goodies to his cronies. Thatchler a-go-go.

        • Laguerre

          Yeah, there are a lot of people like you, squeeth, on the comment columns with an absolutist approach – one has to be 100% pure. There isn’t much to say to that sort, it’s not a realistic programme for action.

          • J

            You can be a consumate arsehole sometimes. There’s nothing pure about 2.4 million murders or PFI or delivering the UK to fifteen years of asset stripping in addition to further weakening unions, turning the Labour party into a neo-liberal corporate buffet service and the UK into a police state which Thatcher would have been (in fact was*) proud of.

            (*Asked her greatest achievement “creating Blair.”)

  • Tatyana

    I hope that on Friday night we are allowed a slight retreat from the main topic and exchange of some info on other important events. Does anyone know about the progress in Assange’s case? Mr. Murray mentioned that extradition hearings are expected to take place in February, I’d like to know if a judge has been appointed yet?

  • Kim Sanders-Fisher

    I do not fault your fervent desire for Scottish Independence and I feel you absolutely have that right no matter what our government decides. However, I would be sincerely worried about another referendum at a time when we cannot guarantee the security or integrity of the electoral system in the hands of private companies. There was evidence of vote rigging at your last referendum and the matter was never fully investigated.

    GLASGOW IDOX: Glasgow City Council votes for Idox – YouTube https://www.youtube.com › watch
    https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/14478267.concerns-raised-over-senior-tory-mp-link-to-election-count-firm/

    You have just witnessed the most overtly biased media campaign in living memory and you can be absolutely certain that the same venom will be unleashed on Scotland for defying Boris’s right to dictate to your people: the Tory media machine is ruthless. Can you imagine if Boris appeared to cave in after overwhelming demands for IndiRef2. Then our loathsome snake of a PM lies and cheats to steal the vote using stacked opinion polls, highly selective Vox Pops, propoganda via the BBC’s hard right Tory mouthpiece and MSM to cover his stealth attack while manipulating the postal votes.

    Then Boris crows his stolen victory to drum home the hoax that the Scots did not really want independence after all and he is the one speaking up for the Scottish people. He can then delegitimize your claim for independence on the world stage and lock Scotland into a toxic subservient relationship for decades.

    I do not think you need a IndiRef2 and can rightfully claim independence without delay or begging Boris for permission. Another referendum could set you up to fall into the Tories favourite democracy-free trap; you vote but the Tories, via their dodgy private contractor, controls the count. It becomes a foregone conclusion possibly employing a fake scandal to concoct a reason. All of the functioning mechanisms for doing vote rigging by stealth are already in place with lengthy contracts to protect their monopoly over the vote.

    However, you have one big ticket hostage securely within Scottish territory: namely Trident! I am guessing that most Scots will want rid of the nuclear subs but, how will this be dealt with as you depart the union? Does Trident present you with a bargaining chip or saddle you with a dangerous liability? Trident represents a massive investment and huge global prestige for our insecure narcissistic ruler. Does Trident alone grant UK forces an excuse to march on Scotland?

    The 2019 General Election in the UK, saw the vilest propaganda spouted by our allegedly neutral state broadcaster the BBC. It was without doubt the dirtiest, most corrupt vote I have ever witnessed in my time here after returning to this country. We will not see anything more than purely cosmetic votes in future as I fear we have allowed a dictator to seize power and it will take decades to remove him. We are being duped into accepting an insane result that makes no logical sense. This disastrous vote will strip us of our human rights, workers rights, environmental and other protections while dismantling our welfare state and the NHS. I can certainly see why the Scots want out!

    I for one am devastated by the result but, I remain committed to exposing the truth. A Watchdog that cannot watch is just a dog! I have spoken at length with the Electoral Commission who have been surprisingly prompt and transparent in their replies. Sadly, at the time when parliament decided to privatize our elections they did not legislate for the EC to have oversight of the private companies like IDOX who would become involved. There is no question about the total inadequately of any safeguards in place to protect our outsourced electoral system.

    There are significant anomalies to suggest that the not only this last election, but your first independence referendum and the EU vote too may have been rigged. A healthy democracy can withstand a legitimate challenge; this is not frivolous demand as it is our democracy and our collective future at stake. If you want to find out more about why these suspicions are so strong please visit the Elections Aftermath Forum on this blog site. Do not even contemplate handing Boris another fake victory without taking a very serious look at the evidence we have accumulated thus far.

    [ Visit the discussion forum for further details: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/forums/topic/elections-aftermath/ ]

    • John Cunningham

      Makes a change from the usual demagoguery of Sturgeon sycophants and stooges but BBC an easy target for all sides. I love BBC.

        • John Cunningham

          Not a captive audience, I watch through choice, mainly to avoid the 5 minutes of ad breaks in every 10 minutes of programming you suffer with subscription/commercial TV.

      • Xavi

        But can you name even one well known leftwinger employed in an influential capacity at the BBC, providing a tiny modicum of balance to its news and political coverage? Just one name….. Or do you believe all its well known Tories are scrupulously impartial?

        • Cubby

          Xavi

          At the last opinion poll 52% supported independence in Scotland. Not one independence supporter is employed in the broadcast media based in Scotland. If there is then they clearly keep it hidden due to fear of the sack/sidelined.

          BBC in Scotland is based in Pacific Quay Glasgow but is commonly known as Propaganda Quay, or Pacifier Quay. In previous centuries Westminster built stockades then forts (we still have places named after them like Fort William, Fort George, Fort Augustus) to keep the Scots subjugated by the threat of violence. Today we have their modern equivalents in Pacifier Quay STV and BBC in their large buildings pacifying Scotland by the use of propaganda rather than violence.

          The propaganda is not working as well as it used to so now we have the veil being lifted and the ugly face of British Nationalism/fascism is being seen by even more people in Scotland.

        • Davie Oga

          Xavi
          Their are no left wingers in the BBC because they are such a minority in England and non existent in the British establishment. English left wingers talk about crushing Scottish democracy with baton sticks and tear gas. Almost without exception, they think they own us and that we owe them something at the same time. Their socialism has always been about a more equitable distribution of what the British steal from other nations. Most nations have sent have sent them packing and Scotland will as well. I’ll start believing English politicians and media, could possibly be left wing when they drop the exceptionalism and advocate that England stands on its own two feet and starts cooperating on equal terms with other nations.

          • Cubby

            Davie Oga

            Excellent post
            A perfect summary of British Labour in Scotland – an example of their socialism is the way they treated the female Glasgow council workers wanting equal pay. Working WITH the unions they spent millions taking legal action against the women to stop them getting equal pay. Not once did the (British) unions take them out on strike for equal pay. Why would they when they were working hand in glove with Labour to stop them getting equal pay. When the SNP won the council elections and were running Glasgow council the unions immediately took them out on strike and tried to blame it on the SNP. The SNP have sorted the issue including recompense for back pay.
            You even had Hugh Gaffney Labour MP kidding on he was a normal member of the public on Sky news when he was interviewed walking on the hypocritical unions equal pay march. James Mathews Britnat ultra from Sky news couldn’t seem to recognise a Labour MP when he was talking to him but he let him drone on about how it was all the bad SNPs fault. Thankfully Gaffneys voters pressed the ejector seat on him in last months GE.

            Who was one of the union officials who actually worked against the female employees? – Richard Leonard current leader of the Scottish branch office of British Labour in Scotland.

            Labour and the Tories are known in Scotland as the TWO CHEEKS OF THE BRITISH ARSE
            Very little difference between them.

          • Xavi

            English leftwingers are not such a minority as you think Davie. Polling on policies always shows a public far to the left of centrist politicians and commentariat. The pitch by Labour in December was fatally undermined by a pledge to make people vote again on the EU issue, when 79% of the marginals they had to win had already voted to leave..
            Throughout England the vast majority of young and urban people support Labour and just two years ago 40% of the votes overall were for a leftwing Labour agenda; one that had been monstered relentlessly by the media and sabotaged by rightwing Labour MPs (like Lisa Nandy.) That isn’t far short of the % of Scots who voted to ileave the UK when they were given an opportunity.

        • John Cunningham

          Hopefully broadcasters keep their politics to themselves and I never find out. Also, I’ve never voted tory.

        • Cubby

          Xavi

          People voted to LEAVE the EU because it is a multi country union. The EU still exists after the UK leaves.

          People cannot vote to LEAVE the UK because it is a bi- partite union. People can only terminate/dissolve/end the UK. If England or Scotland end the UK it no longer exists.

      • Cubby

        John Cunningham

        Britnats love the BBC and all the media in Scotland because they have their own propaganda Broadcasting stations pumping out their lies, misrepresentation, and of course propaganda by omission.
        Not to mention all the newspapers doing the same. The BBC even pays for the newspapers reporters. These Britnat newspapers have such a low circulation in Scotland that in any normal industry they would have gone out of business a long time ago. They are kept going to pump out propaganda. A perfect example is the Scotsman – the name itself is trolling as it should be called the Britnatman – a bunch of totally looneys posting/ sending in letters/emails- that is assuming these mad letters/emails/posts are from real people. The Scotsman ‘s circulation is so low that it went into administration but once again was propped up and keeps pumping out its lies.

        Why would a Britnat not love the current situation. It is very similar to any fascist state that controls the media. Who loves this type of set up fascists of course. They kindly identify themselves by their fervour for propaganda – That’s you John Cunningham

        • John Cunningham

          No clue what your britnat is, but you’re obviously quite comfortable throwing labels at other folk. Isn’t that called a having superiority complex?

          • Cubby

            John Cunningham

            British Nationalist = Britnat and I think you know fine well what it is and you know fine well what you are. A democracy denier.

            A Britnat complaining about labels and superiority complex from a man who posts ” usual demagoguery of Sturgeon sycophants and stooges” – a few labels there Britnatman.

    • Cubby

      Kim Sanders – Fisher

      In Scotland we get English TV telling us how we are useless, stupid, poor, drunks and the only country in the world that could never be independent. Not to mention covering up looting our resources and telling us we depend on England for our survival and putting together false financial information. We get weather maps that enlarge England and Wales and shrink Scotland. We get English newspapers masquerading as Scottish. A media totally controlled by Westminster and billionaires.

      Growing up the only Scots person I ever saw on the English TV was a drunk, a wife beater, a hoodlum or a drunk thug. Racism. Then you have English people accuse us of racism when we complain about it.

      So thanks for telling me that English TV is not fair and honest and is controlled by right wing racists and fascists. A lot of people in Scotland worked that one out a long time ago. Glad to hear that some people in England are now recognising that their media is comparable to other fascist states like North Korea. What took you so long?

  • sprocketsanjay

    Will the EU accept Scotland in the fold? Philosophically I agree with you. The EU may well be very sympathetic to the idea.

    But going back to the Brexit shambles the subject of a hard border between England and Scotland will emerge (to protect the single market). Do you not see that as a stumbling block to Scotland re-joining the EU? (Just the practicalities of it. I am not saying there will be troubles at the border!)

    I would like to read your thoughts on how Scottish membership of EU would work alongside England bring a “sovereign nation”.

  • Republicofscotland

    Well English isolationist nationalism, is about to peak, as the Brexiteers triumphalism comes to the fore. Hundreds of thousands of pounds have been crowd funded to make Big Ben bong, even though its more likely that a recording will be broadcast instead of the actual bell ringing.

    A countdown clock will be projected onto Big Ben to countdown the hours to the exit point on the 31st of January. According Farage a huge party has been arranged with music and speakers to celebrate their triumph over the EU.

    Of course North of the border it will be a day of mourning, and God only knows what EU citizens living in the UK will make of it, apart from feeling frightened and unwanted, and unsure of what their future holds in the UK.

    • Vivian O'Blivion

      Is English nationalism about to peak? That has not been established. Is English nationalism the by-product of Brexit mania or is Brexit mania a manifestation of English nationalism? If the former then perhaps English nationalism will shortly peak. If the later, then the grievance culture that fuels English nationalism will find another target. Some imagined impediment to England reaching its manifest destiny; “once more a world super power, bestriding the globe”. My guess would be a reversal of decimalisation and a return to imperial weights and measures. “Proper British measurements, uncontaminated by filthy foreign influence.”. Do you think that Tory MP and über gammon Mark Francois will be sated by Brexit?
      This is of course unfair, the über gammon, English nationalist psyche is not universal. It may not even be in the majority but it does exist manifested by the likes of Francois and Farage.

      • N_

        If Francois and Farage are English nationalists, why don’t they call for English independence or even English autonomy? Or call loudly for some kind of political embodiment of the “will of the English people”, such as an English parliament? Farage and UKIP supported an English parliament several years ago (although not independence), and perhaps still support it on paper, but probably only a tiny proportion of people who ever voted for UKIP or the Brexit Party are aware of this or give the slightest toss. “English issues” don’t register among most English people’s concerns along with things like immigration and crime (meaning respectively “non-whites and other foreigners” and “non-whites”). “English issues” probably wouldn’t make the top 30 in the minds of more than about 5% of the English population.

        “The grievance culture”. LOL! Which side of the border are we discussing? 🙂

        UKIP and BXP are mostly Britain-focused. They don’t go on about what’s “good for England” much, as far as I’m aware.

        “Is English nationalism the by-product of Brexit mania or is Brexit mania a manifestation of English nationalism?”

        Neither. Dominic Cummings makes an interesting point when he observes that Brexit won 38% of the vote in Scotland without even being campaigned for much. Had it been campaigned for more, it might have reached a proportion similar to the 52% it scored in England. There is a lot of discontent with the SNP minority government and if there were to be a well-organised campaign opposed to it (as compared to the cr*p kind of campaign that seems to be the best that Labour are capable of) the only thing it would be able to do would be to call its opponents traitors. Their advance depends on a continuing fall in the intelligence of the population, and one has to wonder whether there isn’t a limit somewhere. People might well ask “So the SNP is Scottish? So what? So are the rest of us.”

        In other Brexit-related news, “financial services” interests have moved £0.8 trillion out of Britain in preparation for Enoch Powell Day on 31 January.

        I won’t be surprised if Cummings sacks Rees-Mogg from his current position as (along with nine others) an “attender of Cabinet meetings”, nor if a major restructuring is announced of a) the cabinet, b) its committee structure, c) the House of Lords, d) parliamentary select committees, and e) the remit of the Supreme Court. Rees-Mogg might be asked to manage d), reporting to someone who’s actually in the cabinet, but that’s unlikely to be his intended career path. Alternatively he could be promoted to run a super-department. But surely from semi-dictator Cummings’s point of view Moggy is an awful poser who may be skilled at investing money but who isn’t on the same level business-wise as maybe 50 guys are in Silicon Valley or much of a rival even in the narrower investment sphere to figures such as Warren Buffett. Also Rees-Mogg looks a bit pathetic insofar as he had to be kept out of the way during the election campaign in case he did something so stupid that it handed Labour a couple of million votes. I realise elections aren’t the main part of what running the state is about, but I still doubt Moggy is held in much respect.

        • N_

          I will p*ss myself laughing if the British government announces it will stop building the two aircraft carriers and that it will offer them in their present uncompleted state to whoever wants them, which will probably be China. Cummings certainly has his work cut out for him if he fights the commercial “defence” racket in that way. It could even come down to “You can do what you want but don’t touch the aircraft carriers” versus “What the hell do you mean by imposing limits on me doing what I want?”

          Brexit is likely to mean the British a*se gets kicked all over the place by the US (see the threat to a US-Britain trade deal if Britain doesn’t become Israel’s slave regarding Iran), China (see the paragraphs above and below this one), possibly Russia (although beating up the local west-Eurasian weakling might not be top of the Russian agenda when said weakling seems quite able to beat itself up), and, who knows, perhaps even France and Germany too.

          FWIW the way the British media is reporting the Carlos Ghosn case may have been influenced by Chinese propagandists. Painting China as bad in Xinjiang is one thing; painting China’s opponents in the South China Sea as bad (in this case, Japan) is another. The BBC must be winning themselves some brownie points in the Chinese embassy for this one.

        • Cubby

          N

          You really really do post some pish

          If only Brexit was properly campaigned for it would have got 52% of the vote like elsewhere you say. I say absolute pish nonsense..

          There is a lot of discontent with the SNP government you say. I say more absolute pish. That’s why they won 48 out of 59 seats in Scotland and have won the last nine elections in Scotland – a lot of discontent is it. Labour got one MP in Scotland and that was only because he acted like a Tory in a Tory area.

          The only discontent in Scotland is with Britnats who are finding their control of the media and the propaganda it pumps out is is not working as well as it used to.

          • N_

            Well we can’t know because it’s counterfactual, but it’s factual that little effort was put into campaigning for Brexit in Scotland. So 38% in the 2016 Brexit referendum was quite an impressive showing, given that UKIP only got 10.5% in Scotland in the 2014 EU election. As for the SNP you need to look at how their proportion of voteshare has moved. That will tell you more about their level of popularity than how many seats they won in an FPTP election. And they already lost their majority at Holyrood.

            But another dimension should be added. Obviously a sizeable proportion of the electorate is not only pro SNP but strongly pro them. Nonetheless there is still a lot of discontent with them. Strength of support among a party’s supporters is different from extent of support. Many non-SNP people can’t stand the sight of Nicola Sturgeon and believe everything she says is sh*t. She is a highly unpopular figure. What’s your explanation for why many voters switched their vote from Labour to the Tories, assuming you agree that happened? Dislike for the SNP had something to do with it. If the Tories campaign well in next year’s Holyrood election they may even win it. A challenge for Dominic, anyway. He may rise to it.

          • craig Post author

            N
            Your hatred for the SNP drives you well beyond the realms of sensible analysis. There is no chance whatsoever the Tories will win Holyrood.
            About 36% support for Brexit in Scotland was the referendum figure and around that mark has been shown in every poll since. You can’t argue that the figure is actually higher in some mystical fashion because of a crap campaign. Scotland is enthusiastically pro-EU, that is undeniably true. Whether that is a good or bad thing is a quite separate matter.

          • Cubby

            N

            There was little campaigning because all the political parties in Scotland (other than UKIP who didn’t have any MSPs) voted against the EU ref in the first place. All the MSPs in Scot parliament voted to stay in the EU.

            I dont think you know anything about Scottish politics.

            In the EU ref the vote crept up to 38% because IMO some independence supporters thought it would be good for Scot independence to vote for leaving the EU. They thought the Tories would make a total arse of it. They did and they still are. The jury is out on whether their form of tactical voting was of any value.

            With regards to the SNP losing a majority in Holyrood. A majority has only been achieved once and that was thought to be remarkable as the system has been designed by the Britnats to prevent a majority – hence Britnats prattling on about the SNP needing to get a majority in 2021. If the same system was used in Westminster it is unlikely that there would ever have been a majority in the last 100 years.

            Nicola Sturgeon consistently tops the leaders polls. So she is still more popular than any of the other diddies. But all leaders have a shelf life.

            Some Labour voted Tory because the Tories flooded Scotland with leaflets telling them they were the only party to stop indyref2 and that Labour was weak on the Union.i personally got 10 leaflets from them saying stop Indyref2 – not one even mentioned Brexit – I repeat not one of the leaflets even used the word Brexit or leave the EU. You would have thought Brexit was in a different world.

            Now you post some total pish but your final comment saying if the Tories campaign well they might win the Holyrood election next year is the biggest pish stain yet. Ruth Davidson – remember her – the Tories next FM then PM total delusional nonsense. They have never won an election in Scotland and with Johnson in charge the only way is down.

            The only way the Tories and Cummings would win an election in Scotland is if they banned all the other parties and based on their actions to date I would not put it past the facist barstewards. Of course that really would not be an election.

        • N_

          Sajid Javid may be for the chop too. Tim Shipman, political editor of the Times, reports that Dominic Cummings is writing the budget that will be delivered by Javid. Cummings is also said to have written the queen’s speech. He sure gets about, that lad.

          If they can time the sackings and restructuring announcement for one day after the Commons rises then it will be on Valentine’s Day and will be referred to as the 2020 Valentine’s Day Massacre! It is likely to dwarf Macmillan’s 1962 “Night of the Long Knives“. For “Kremlinologists”, something to look out for will be Michael Gove’s exact positioning on top of “Lenin’s Tomb”. I still don’t understand what was going on when after the referendum result Gove supposedly unexpectedly kiboshed Boris Johnson’s drive towards Number 10 and then soon after they were mates again. Did he actually really temporarily betray Johnson? Or was he simply a tool that Johnson used to back off for a while? I don’t know the answer.

          If he did betray Johnson and then beg forgiveness afterwards, one can easily imagine Johnson clutching him to his bosom, telling him he forgives him, that he loves him like a brother, and then, some time later and when the time is right, finish him off and it’s goodbye Gove.

          Gove of course helped the Steinerites when he was at “education”, so how will that side of it play out? He also goes back a long way with Cummings.

      • Republicofscotland

        “Is English nationalism about to peak? That has not been established. ”

        In hindsight I must agree, once the pesky EU is out of the way altogether well, you may well be right.

    • glenn_pt

      Curious phrase, “… celebrate their triumph over the EU.”

      That would be like me “celebrating my triumph over my wife”, if I agreed to a very expensive divorce settlement which left me permanently poorer and less mobile, together with being in hock to banks and bullies for many long years to come, while placing a huge dividing line through my former friends half of whom now hate each other.

      Some triumph!

        • N_

          Or Monty Python’s “Black Knight“.

          “Triumph”, lol. At least they’re not building a monumental arch! I doubt they could manage even if they wanted to, given they seem to be having difficulty sourcing funding for ringing a bell for a few minutes.

          Apparently they are going to project a countdown clock on to the wall of 10 Downing Street. At least there will be a funny side if the clock stops because of poor engineering or a power cut. Maybe they should wheel a portable generator into Downing Street to power it?

          The choreography on the night could be worth watching. The intended message will be “Welcome to the start of the New Golden Age”, but it’s likely the actual message that will go out to the world will be “We’re stupid, we don’t have a clue, and we’re finished”. The second bit will be “Please form a long queue to give us a kick up the a*rse if that’s what you want to do before you come to the fire sale. There hasn’t been a fire, but never mind. Boy, do we know how to show the world the way! Anybody want an aircraft carrier? Tell you what, you can have two for the price of one.”

          A case of Millennium Dome Mark 2?

      • Republicofscotland

        “Curious phrase, “… celebrate their triumph over the EU.”

        Don’t tell me you believe that Johnson and Co, Farage, Mark François etc don’t see it that way. The language used by Johnson and Co towards the EU, over the last three years, has been that of Churchill against the Nazis in WWII. Yeah they see it as a victory that must be celebrated.

        They should leave the EU quietly, all they are doing is fostering more division and bad feeling in the UK, between remainers and leavers.

        Not to mention the poor EU citizens who will almost certainly feel disenfranchised in the UK.

        Finally why hold a national celebration on making peoples live worse, well most of them.

  • remember kronstadt

    Vive l’indépendance – sur la route de quelque part

    ‘The rules of the European Union prohibit a Member State such as France from developing its own civil-oriented industrial policy, since everything must be open to unhindered international competition. Utilities, services and infrastructure must all be open to foreign owners. Foreign investors may feel no inhibition about taking their profits while allowing these public services to deteriorate.’

    https://consortiumnews.com/2020/01/17/french-popular-uprising-revolution-or-frozen-conflict/

    • Blissex

      «The rules of the European Union prohibit a Member State such as France from developing its own civil-oriented industrial policy»

      That’s ridiculous misinformation: they prohibit a member state from giving unfair advantages only to its own national industries thus damaging the industries of other member states.

      If the french government decided for example to have an industrial policy favouring the car industry, for example giving preferential loans to car businesses, that would be perfectly legal under EU rules as long as they were given to any EU car businesses that applied, not just french companies.

      What EU rules forbid is not industrial policy, but unfair competition among member states.

      «Utilities, services and infrastructure must all be open to foreign owners.»

      Under EU rules owners from other parts of the EU are not foreign, they are EU citizens or corporations too. The essential principle of the EU is non-discrimination within the EU among people and businesses who are EU citizens or corporations.

  • Wikikettle

    N_. You mention that Cummings may cancel the two carriers. Even if you were joking, it’s a serious matter. It has a strategic blunder having the Navy win not one but two white elephants. Not only for the RAF but for the whole ‘Attack’ ( Defence ) budget. It tied us into the most expensive military program in history – the F35. Nearl 20 years on, it is already put of date. A massive money spinner for the US and military useless. One missile can sink a carrier now and all their aircraft. A US admiral gave testimony to Congress years ago to this. But another vanity project to keep the Imperial flag waving and power projection to natives and keeping up with the Jones’s no doubt.

    • Cubby

      Wikikettle

      You made a serious accusation against me that I posted advocating the use of violence for Scottish independence. Now I know that I do not advocate violence for anything so I asked you to provide your evidence or apologise and admit your error. You have done neither.

      • Wikikettle

        Cubby. Please read my previous reply on that matter. I had said you ‘seem’ to….I am sorry and apologise.

        • Cubby

          Wikikettle

          Your apology is accepted but I still do not see where I “seem” to have said that. Is it the way I posted something that is open to misinterpretation because I certainly would not like to say anything that is open to such an interpretation and genuinely would like to learn so as not to repeat it or have you totally got it wrong. I am genuine in this request.

    • Cubby

      Mary

      That is a disgrace. The benches in the pictures don’t look that bad. If they are maintained properly the benches would last forever.

  • Mike Anglin

    THe most cogent argument I have read. However I still think Britain is better as one country than split in its historic parts – in a similar way we should remain part of the EEC.

    • Cubby

      Mike Anglin

      Britain is not one country. What does it say on your passport. Does it say Britain – no it does not. Do the French Germans Italians get the name of their country wrong all the time. – no

      The fact that so many people cannot even get such a simple matter correct highlights it is not a true country but a Union that people casually get the name wrong.

  • Chris Palmer

    So, you will declare independence, but then hold a referendum to confirm that independence… What happens if the people decide they don’t want an independent Scotland? Are you going to put everything back together or ignore them?

    • Giyane

      Chris Palmer

      What happens if the people are not the people, but a massive algorithm warped by what the Queen and SoSlow want?

      A privatised voting system cannot be trusted, especially when the BBC has access to the trends from the postal votes so that it can manufacture fake expectations of the rigged system.
      Unfortunately the 1% have gone too far this time by blatantly changing the essence of democracy by their dogma of privatisation.

      We are now at war with the 1% because their Burkean arrogance has decided to bury the Brxit polarisation.
      It might suit business to renegotiate its trade contracts and its employment contracts but Tory governments want to scrub out all the repatriated laws which 100 years of socialism has gained for the 99%.

      We are now approaching a Peasants Revolt and Chatism.

      The result of a proper democratic vote would look very different from one run by either the Tories or the current Labiur Parties. Both of whom have run roughshod over the electorate for far too long.

  • Eddie Thompson

    I’m up for this approach 100%. Would be interested in Nicola Sturgeon’s view. Let’s get the ball rolling and take the wind out of Westminster’s sails

  • Chris Terrell

    Thank you for bringing up these points, which are important considerations for any “plan B” . I think however that there needs to be very good planning and preparation for the practical aspects of continuing to be able to run public services, power and other utility supplies and of course maintain food supply , all of which are very vulnerable to blockade… no need to send in troops at all. This requires a greater level of public support than I sense at the present, as it would have a rapid and serious disruptive effect on many, if not most, people’s daily lives. I would like to see a greater emphasis on what, specifically, we are aiming to achieve as an independent nation and how, specifically, that vision can realistically improve the lives of ordinary Scottish people in ways that matter to them (something conspicuously lacking from the entire Brexit debacle). The emotional appeals of ideas of Independence, Freedom (whatever that really means) etc, are essential elements to galvanise and motivate people, but they must be combined equally by workable strategies with meaningful, concrete outcomes that meet more mundane needs if a unilateral push for independence is to succeed. Reliable alliances (insofar as these things ever are) with other nations in the EU and beyond are needed, through discreet and focused background work. I hope for, but am not *yet* convinced that we are ready for, such an outcome.

  • Sarah Black

    Dear Mr Murray,
    I have enormous respect for your opinions and wish to support you with a small monthly subscription. I am an elderly member of SNP and joined after the fiasco of our referendum in 2014. I sadly regret that I made possibly the worst mistake in my entire life by voting to remain in this corrupt UK. I will live with this for what’s left of my life. I apologise to my country for my stupidity.

  • Blissex

    Such discussions are a bit pointless, because Kosovo became independent not because of fine legal arguments, but because the americans bombed Belgrade for months, and that was because Yugoslavia and Serbia in particular were historically russian allies, and the americans wanted to prove that Russia was defeated and impotent to prevent the carve-up of allies (or its own), as a salutary lesson to others.

    The question of scottish independence will be decided in Washington, not Brussels (and not in London), and it is there that scottish independentists need to lobby and work hard.

    In Washington it is not a foregone conclusion that the american establishment will support their mates in London: for example there is history, as the USA is also a country that gained its independence from London, and so was Ireland, that is very popular in the USA.

    • Dave

      Yes a legal declaration of independence is not enough but an ability to enforce it is needed and so a smaller country will need a protector, hence Scotland would need to become a vassal of USA more so than UK, but where’s the benefit in declaring independence if it becomes a race to the bottom of vassal status?

      • Blissex

        «hence Scotland would need to become a vassal of USA more so than UK»

        Not really: while vassalage to the USA is inevitable, the degree of vassalage can happen in a wide range. Indeed look at Ireland, that with shrewd management of its relationship with the USA and leveraging the big american-irish community has managed to be considered an USA friend while remaining a neutral country.

  • Arby

    Scottish independence (which can ‘never’ be meaningful within a US-led Corporatocracy) from the barbaric UK but not from the barbaric EU? Whatever.

  • Calamity

    An interesting post, thank you.

    To me, there seems only one potential block to Scottish Independence, and that, put simply, is the money.

    I am on a fact finding mission to learn more about how Scotland could sustain itself financially (and I am not an economist so it’s very confusing) Accepting that economic prediction is on a par with tea-leaf reading, it would still be excellent to get some real data, so Craig, and/or anyone else rational reading this, if you can point me at useful info, I would be extremely grateful, though I appreciate how busy you are, and the fact that you’ve been ill. Wandering around the Scotgov pages is like a tour through a warren. I’m currently googling like a lunatic! So far the least agenda-riddled info I can find is on Fullfact, which mentions Scotland’s deficit being so much greater than that of the rest of the UK. Why is that? And how would a Scottish government deal with this? Do taxes go up or what? What working models are there for the creation of a healthy, wealthy and self sustaining state? And where is the information outside of opinion on this matter?

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    • Cubby

      Calamity

      I am on a fact finding mission to understand how England would sustain itself if it ever stood on its own two feet rather than plundering other nations resources from around the world. Can you help?

      ” Why is that” – you ask. It’s because it’s propaganda.

    • Cubby

      Calamity

      I have no idea how many times I have posted this. Here goes again. Scotland does not have an annual deficit. Only an independent country can have a deficit as only an independent country has total control of its revenue generating and expenditure. Is Scotland independent – no. Therefore no deficit.

      Only the UK has a deficit and only the UK has a national debt of approx £2 trillion.

      Does Scotland spend £8 billion on HS2? Of course it does not but the UK allocates a percentage share of any costs it deems UK spend to Scotland Wales and N.Ireland as it sees fit thereby creating artificial and nonsensical deficits. It’s propaganda.

      • Calamity

        Thanks for replying to me, Cubby. You may have posted this many times, but this is the first time I have ever read it. I have never heard this definition of a deficit, but in any case, OK, say Scotland declares itself independent and decides not to take up any portion of the deficit. What’s the reaction of England? Isn’t England our biggest trading partner? Not exactly a promising start to a new relationship. And then what?

        Scenario: Say we want to prepare first, economically and in other ways before declaring UDi. What do we do and how long does it take to do it?

  • Rory MacPherson

    Is it correct to think that our Scottish MPs could organise a referendum themselves as they represent the Scottish half of the 1707 Union and that permission would not be required from the English half.

  • Dave

    Its a funny old world, because the SNP’s initial embrace of the EU advanced Scottish Independence, but now acts against it.

    Historic SNP promoted Independence from UK before Common Market>EU was formed and opposed membership of Common Market. In other words it was a genuine Independence Party, but with limited ‘Tory’ appeal, but strong in the North East.

    Then they came up with the idea of “Independence in Europe” as a way to say Scotland wouldn’t be isolated following a break with UK and as a way to make a ‘social democrat’ appeal to Labour and Irish voters in the Central Belt.

    And it worked, but as a consequence those elected believed their own propaganda and confused “Independence in Europe” with actual Independence, and as a result lost former heartlands to the Tories who were promising Brexit.

    Clearly the SNP has managed to advance as a stronger voice for Scotland Party, but by continuing to push the EU will result in defeat in any future “Indy2” referendum, because genuine independence wont be on offer and because Scotland is more Independent with a bigger voice in UK than EU.

    • Cubby

      “Scotland is more independent with a bigger voice in UK than EU”

      59 MPs out of a total of what about 650 MPS – a very very little voice that is ignored In the UK.

      In the UK there is a fascist government telling us our votes don’t count while stealing from us and abusing us.

      Time to check out of the UK.

      • Dave

        The secret for a smaller state in a bigger union is devolved powers which in theory Scotland has always retained and those powers it never had was made up with big representation within UK governments due to presence of Scottish MPs.

        Ironically the benefit of this waned due to EU membership that made the economy London centric which resulted in Leave in England and SNP as a form of Leave in Scotland. But the key to independence is whether you control your own currency and Scotland has a bigger voice within a British currency union than an EU currency union, particularly now that EU austerity (misnamed Tory austerity by SNP) to save the Euro can now end following Brexit.

        If SNP proposed a Scottish central bank and currency then that would be a badge of a genuine independence party, but they don’t, they offer devolution in EU rather than UK. In other words the Greek solution!

      • Kempe

        You think 6-8 MEPS in a European Parliament of 751 is going to give you a bigger voice?

        Scotland might become a net contributor to EU funds in which case it’ll be paying more in to the EU than it gets back.

    • Crispa

      I wonder if the independence movement might take a leaf out of Cumming’s book and rebrand it as the Leave (England) campaign and put more focus on all the disbenefits of being tied in with nasty racist xenophobic big brother. Seemed to work in England with the EU. Just a thought

      • Dave

        Even if true, part of that was opposition to mass-immigration. So are you saying you want SNP to oppose all immigration or just English immigration into Scotland?

  • Stuart Power

    Two objections:
    1. Do you really believe that forty-odd ScotNat MPs can be dragged away from their Westminster trough on any pretext whatsoever?
    2. If you want UDI then you need class leaders like Ian Smith and his Rhodesian government. Your present rabble won’t cut it, for reasons it should not be necessary to elaborate.

  • Christopher McKenna

    Brilliant article – extremely informative.

    Can I just ask, if Nicola Sturgeon holds an advisory referendum without consent from Westminster, what happens if the Unionists boycott it? (As happened in Catalonia) I think they will boycott it, and lobby the UN, Westminster and the EU – Chris McKenna

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