The Game Has Changed 198


If both Theresa May and Boris Johnson had not refused formal requests for a S30 agreement for an Independence referendum, Scotland would already be independent. Alex Salmond was absolutely right yesterday to insist that other paths of democratic legitimacy are open to Scotland, as a referendum is being unreasonably refused. The start of such alternative pathways is this very election and the chance to vote for Alba and demonstrate commitment to this view.

Indeed, the tactical stupidity of the SNP, in accepting in terms that Westminster has a veto, cannot be overstated. To accept a Westminster veto is logically incompatible with the claim to be a people with the right of self-determination under the UN charter. It thus undermines the argument we need to make to the international community to be recognised as a state. The notion that the Tories will give way and grant an S30, for a referendum they know they will lose, is entirely fanciful. I find it remarkable that some people purport to believe that London will relinquish Scotland’s resources without a tremendous struggle and in the spirit of fair play.

Here is Alex Salmond’s speech yesterday, on the anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath, setting out alternative routes to Independence. You will see no fair reflection of this in mainstream media, so I am unapologetic about hosting it on my blog. Alex starts talking about seven minutes in.

Salmond’s key proposition is that immediately after these elections, the Scottish government should open Independence negotiations with Westminster as a result of an electoral mandate of a pro-Independence majority. He continues:

A standing Independence Convention can then be established, drawn from all of Scotland’s elected representatives, to give support and substance to the Scottish Government’s independence negotiating position.

A section 30 referendum could be part of that, as could a plebiscite, or another democratic test, as could domestic legal action or international and diplomatic initiatives, as could peaceful and popular demonstration.

The tactics will inevitably evolve with the negotiations but the strategy is to make the achievement of Independence a real and overriding priority.
Be clear- if we don’t make it ours, Boris Johnson certainly won’t make it his.

This is precisely the energy and determination which has been needed in the push for Independence and which has been so sadly lacking.

I would add that I have never held that the 2014 referendum was fair. A truly astonishing level of media bias, particularly from the state broadcaster, made a fair vote impossible. I maintain that Gavin Esler’s massive BBC News puff piece for the entirely fake “Vote No Borders” organisation was as bad as any “journalism” I have ever witnessed, anywhere in the world. If you have never seen it, do watch this great documentary by Alan Knight, which documents numerous examples of BBC bias in the campaign.

So I utterly reject the notion that the 2014 referendum was a free and fair expression of the will of the people of Scotland. Any replication of that referendum would need to be very different, with official international monitors to oversee issues like media bias and the security of postal ballots.

Let me finish with the Declaration put forward by Alex Salmond yesterday:

A NEW DECLARATION FOR SCOTLAND

“We hereby proclaim the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of Government best suited to their needs, and declare and pledge that in all our actions their interests shall be paramount.

We further declare and pledge that our deliberations shall be directed to the following ends:

To assert the sovereign right of the Scottish people acting through their Parliament to secure independence.

To mobilise Scottish and international opinion to ensure that this right is respected and acted upon.

“For in truth it is not glory, or riches, or honours for which we are fighting but for liberty – for that alone, which no honest person gives up but with life itself”

Delivered by ALBA this 6th day of April 2021”

—————————————————–

 
 
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198 thoughts on “The Game Has Changed

1 2
  • John O'Dowd

    Thanks for this Craig, and particularly the link to the excellent London Calling – to remind us yet again of Albion’s perfidy, and the disgrace that is its State Broadcaster.

    If only it were honest and stated it is the propaganda wing of the British state – instead of spouting all its guff about impartiality and integrity in broadcasting.

  • Courtenay Barnett

    Craig,

    ” Indeed, the tactical stupidity of the SNP, in accepting in terms that Westminster has a veto, cannot be overstated. To accept a Westminster veto is logically incompatible with the claim to be a people with the right of self-determination under the UN charter.”

    Brings to mind the Catalonian situation; who expects Spain to urge the Catalonians to go ahead and test the waters in a referendum we shall honour? So, why should Westminster be expected to endorse the will of the Scottish people?

    Polytricks indeed.

    • DunGroanin

      You missed the reference to that? Read it again.

      Also independence is not reliant on Salmond alone or even being elected back to parliament.

      It would not be the genuine Indy if it was.

      It is reliant only the will and clarity of purpose of the Scottish peoples and self opinion. He is merely the yeast and grit to that jewel finally emerging after centuries of being the house dogs of the Aristos.

      • Tony

        I did not miss any reference.
        What is actually going to effect to change the current position?
        Any legal challenge will be dismissed as being hypothetical.
        International concerns already accepted Scotland independence needs to be brought about legally.
        Marches and campaigns are already part of the independence movement.

        Alex Salmond is just electioneering.

        • Alf Baird

          As Alex has said, a pro-independence #Supermajority at this ‘independence’ election marks the beginning of independence negotiations. If the UK Gov ignores this, I expect it will soon enough be faced with another declaration.

      • Johny Conspiranoid

        “It is reliant only the will and clarity of purpose of the Scottish peoples and self opinion”

        The last referendum was too close for clarity.

  • U Watt

    I’m not sure even international monitors would constrain media bias, today even more unabashed and unscrupulous than it was back in 2014. Already any indy supporter who is sceptical of the movement’s tame, approved leader is dehumanized as a misogynistic, transphobic Russian dupe.

    Were a second referendum to be held in the 2020s, by the day of the vote every Yes supporter would likely be firmly cenented in the public mind as an anti-Semite. The British political and media class — including its liberal elements — have shown they have no compunction these days about scraping the very bottom of the barrel, because there is never any price to be paid for their lies, smears and character assassinations, no matter how debased. Then there is the added obstacle in overcoming smears and disinformation in the shape of the Murrells and their supporters.

    • Tony

      There is no requirement upon the media to be fair.
      To claim that referendums and elections were not fair because they bring an unfavourable result is the realm of Juntas.

      • U Watt

        But there is a cost to having a debased public culture that normalises lies, smears and character assassination. It quickly produces a society with more and more creatures like you.

        • Tony

          The issue is really the public cannot distinguish journalism from opinion or analysis.
          The role of a journalist is to report the news as factual.
          Media outlets have opinion pieces , editorials and news analysis
          The problem arises due to the misconception that anybody who writes in a media publication is regarded as a journalist.

          • pretzelattack

            uh, there is case after case after case of “journalists” uncritically regurgitating straight propaganda as “news” or “analysis”.

          • monsieurbunny

            It’s mistaken to accept that opinion pieces should be allowed to be dishonest. They may speculate but only from the base point of real facts. Mind you much so called pure fact reporting can be biased … for instance by emphasis and omission … though just as often blatantly.

          • Northern+Sole

            And what is your specific insight into the mind of “the public” Tony? How many individuals do you know and actively engage with? Where, exactly, do you engage with this “public”?

  • KM

    “Any replication of that referendum would need to be very different, with official international monitors to oversee issues like media bias and the security of postal ballots.” 100% yes.

    • N_

      Whingeing about losing before you’ve even lost the second time is not attractive. Why not try to convince a mere 5% more voters of the merits of independence? I mean the merits of… er….dunno which currency…but NATO, yeah…and there will still be the BBC…and the royal family…and oil, oh it’s all OURS and it’s so GREEN…and the Declaration of Arbroath, that was where it was at…and “we’ve got a RIGHT to EU membership, never mind what the EU says”…and “the ratings agencies who say they’ll give an independent Scotland a gamma minus are all LIARS”…

      Oh wait, someone’s stopping you from setting out your stall fairly… It can’t be anything to do with the cack that’s on it. “Yes” lost because the Scottish people had the good sense to call the cack “cack”.

      Imagine calling the “No” side gullible! The “Yes” side didn’t even know what it was proposing!

      Meanwhile Trump has talked about beating the Democrats in a presidential election for a “third time”. Got to wonder whether he’ll pitch in in this election in his mother country…because the level of insanity is approaching Trumpian proportions.

  • N_

    Alba equals the “help the government game an election” party, marketed to those of low intelligence, who repeat phrases they’ve heard uttered by celebrities on the television, and who think it’s poncy and “English” to ask for example “what’s a supermajority?”

    “Do I look like a dictionary? I’m just a knucklehead.”

    If a majority of voters and elected MSPs – elected to an assembly which the Scottish people have ALWAYS (since it was established in the 1990s) told local politicians they believe to be less worthy of their time than the one in London – support a referendum, of course the British government will grant one. They will have no other choice. To say otherwise is babyish and dishonest. Anything for votes! For an educated person to convince themselves to the contrary is Nazi rabies.

    Salmond is Sturgeon’s poodle now – this can happen in politics – and the SNP is trying to game the system to conjure up the appearance of winning the few percent in the middle that have always eluded them. His SNP masters are basically saying they’ve given up trying to convince a majority to support their cause, and they have decided instead to encourage those who do support them to do the equivalent of voting twice. Calling an apparent majority a “super” one will be music to the ears of morons north of the border who are the spitting image of those English people who voted for Brexit, but it doesn’t make the “majority” genuine or deserved or representative. The nationalists deserve to be given an almighty army boot up the coccyx from the electorate.

    “Westminster” isn’t denying the Sacred Nation shee-yit.

    • Giyane

      N_

      There’s such a thing as wisdom. The owner is the one that has it, not the poodle. Wisdom is the ability to both respect those who disagree with you and also encompass a wider spectrum of reality than them.

      You omit to mention that normal people are disgusted by the lies of the political class especially when they use power arrogantly as Sturgeon has.

      You omit to mention that the EU is now as furious with the Tory right wing as the Scottish people are, which does not confer a right to EU membership, but confers a bright blue red and white target for the EU to take a penalty kick at.

      You omit to mention the realpolitic of the Greens worldwide seeking power from more powerful allies, and the volatility of that realpolitic. If Sturgeon’s devolutionism is in power the Greens will be devolutionists, but if Salmond’s independence politics is in power, they will follow the sun.

      ” Ah sunflower weary of time
      Who follows the steps of the sun
      Seeking that sweet golden clime
      Where the travellers journey is done.

      Scotland is green and England is not. So it’s perfectly obvious which side the Greens’ butter is on.

  • Bob (original)

    As an ex-SNP member, I fully agree with the observation that the 2014 Referendum was not ‘free and fair’.

    Likewise – and especially now we are post-Brexit – I can’t believe that London will ‘allow’ Independence via the ballot box.

    London can now justify, [to itself that is], any actions taken whatsoever “in the national interest [of England]” – in order to retain Scotland.

    Sadly, I honestly believe our only chance of Independence via the ballot box was in 2014.

    • Republicofscotland

      Bob.

      I thought it was a remarkable feat by Alex Salmond to achieve 45% in 2014 when you consider the full force of the British establishment and its media arms were against us. Alex left Sturgeon on 45% and Brexit easily gave her the 6% swing she needed, but she betrayed us and instead decided to try and save England from itself.

      Now her utter betrayal has let Brexit cause untold economic damage to Scotland, and it will only get worse, Scotland must dissolve this onesided union if its to prosper, Alex the great statesman that he is can help us achieve this goal.

      I feel the S30 route is a ruse, and we will need to take our independence for it will not be given willingly.

  • N_

    If there’s a majority of votes and MSPs for independence, Boris Johnson will announce probably on Friday 7th May that he will grant a section 30 request if he receives one.

    Cue “That’s what he would say, the colonialist! We want independence, not another referendum. And if we have a referendum, we want it observed by Russia Today – we don’t want the British civil service having anything to do with it!”

    • DunGroanin

      He’ll probably want it held in the depth of midwinter so that there will have to be plenty of postal ballots issued so that their MI team can do their magic! LauraKoftheCIA will be on hand to steer the narrative breathlessly. Wonder if she’ll make the same soft focus girl love crush on a park bench or bar stool with NS and Wightman, as she did with Bozo?

  • Alex Birnie

    Who ARE these people in the SNP who are “accepting that Westminster has a veto”?

    Nobody in the yes movement, from Nicola Sturgeon, and Alex Salmond – all the way down to ordinary “yes” punters like myself – is “accepting that Westminster has a veto”. That is a gross mis-characterisation of folk ANYWHERE in the independence movement, and it is NO BETTER than the comments made by “Sturgeonistas”, that anyone who doesn’t rigidly toe the party line is an agent of MI5 and Westminster (which both sides of this argument level at each other).

    I cannot fathom the motives behind such comments. As you know, if we get a majority of votes, and Sturgeon THEN declares that ” Westminster has a veto”, or if she drags her heels in that completely unprecedented situation, THEN I will accept that I’ve “been had”, and we can all begging the laborious process of reforming or replacing the SNP as the party of independence. But……. NOT YET!!

    I believe that Alex Salmond has made a mistake in launching Alba. One of his mantras has always been “People don’t vote for divided parties”. That statement was correct when it was said, and it’s still correct today. However, since I believe that Alex Salmond has an excellent chance of being elected in NE Scotland, I will be voting Alba, because I’m not into “cutting off my nose to spite my face”. I feel sorry for the poor Indy supporters in South Scotland, where the dangers inherent in vote-splitting (that James Kelly has spoken about constantly) are very real. If I lived in South Scotland, I’d be voting SNP/SNP and canvassing like mad for the SNP against all other parties. As it it, I’m voting Alba, but keeping my mouth shut about it to my neighbours, in discussions with them about independence. Every time I speak to a potential yes voter, I fervently hope that they won’t bring the subject of Alba up, because I can’t in all honesty defend Alex Salmond’s decision.

    • Republicofscotland

      Alex.

      If memory serves me I think the Smith Commission states Scots can hold an indyref; it’s the people that are sovereign in Scotland not the monarchy or the government.

      • Alex Birnie

        Republic,

        You’ll have to forgive me, if I ignore that remark from the Smith commission. Pretty much everything they “stated” has been ignored, so why would that particular statement be singled out and treated as being important? It has all the relevance of Salmond’s statement about “once in a generation”.

        If “we” vote for Indy parties in a majority, then “we” will be holding a referendum, no matter what Doris says – unless the legal establishment colludes with him and trashes everything we understand about sovereignty and the Act of Union. In that case, “we” will vote in a plebiscite election. If they ignore that, then “we” will go for UDI. Whichever route “we” take, “we” WILL get independent.

        The ONLY thing that matters, is that “we” must consist of 50%+1 of those Scots who vote. Mind you, 60% would be even better…..

        • Republicofscotland

          Well Alex the Tory party agreed to the principles of the Smith Commission, and in doing they committed themselves to accept that voters have the right to choose independence.

          The Commission agreed that nothing in the report prevents Scotland from becoming an independent country should the people choose to be.

          Despite this Johnson looks intent on riding roughshod over the report.

          That’s why I’ve said that we’ll need to take our independence as it won’t be willingly given.

          • Alex Birnie

            Republic. Ok I give up. I challenged the premise that anybody in the SNP – from top to bottom – “accepts that Westminster has a veto”.

            If you think that anyone in the SNP “accepts that Westminster has a veto”, then name them, and we can look at the evidence for such an assertion. If someone says (as Sturgeon has done) that it is up to the people of Scotland to decide whether or not they become independent, it takes a strange kind of thinking, to be able to twist that into “I accept that Westminster has a veto”.

            Hopefully, we will have a resounding victory in May, with a clear majority of votes for Indy parties. In that event, I expect Sturgeon will make a formal request for a section 30 order. If, as expected, Doris replies formally in the negative, then I expect her to move ahead with legislation to set a date for a referendum anyway.

            If, instead of doing that, she throws up her hands and says “What more can I do? Westminster has a veto!”, then I will turn round and say “Shit! I was completely wrong and Craig Murray and Stuart Campbell etc were completely right!”.

            If she DOES immediately legislate for a date for a referendum, then I will turn round and say “As I thought, Craig Murray, Stuart Campbell etc with their talk of defeatism in Sturgeon, were TALKING THROUGH THEIR ARSES!”.

  • Mist001

    Regardless of peoples opinion of EU membership, in 2016, we’re told that the majority of Scotland voted to remain as EU members.

    But here’s a question which nobody (apart from me) seems to have considered:

    In 2014, Scotland was told that it would leave the EU if it voted for independence so by voting no, did the Scottish people really vote no in order not to leave the EU instead of no to independence, which is what it appeared to be on the surface?

    That would be an interesting poll, did you vote no in 2014 not to leave the EU, or did you vote no to independence?

    • Bayard

      “But here’s a question which nobody (apart from me) seems to have considered:”

      I’m sure lots of people have considered it, but they just don’t want it put about that the 2014 referendum was lost by the Independence parties because people voted to stay in the EU, any more than they want it put about that the 2016 referendum was lost by the Remain parties because people voted against the government.

  • Vivian O'Blivion

    Recommend James Kelly’s interview with Alex Salmond on Scot goes pop. Salmond flat out refuses to accept David Leask as a journalist. Alex also swats away the relevance of Gerry Hassan (the academic / writer / journalist who’s never, not been dependent on the State for an income).
    Refreshing to see a politician that’s not afraid to tell it like it is, return to the fray. Contrast with the Scottish Government propping up the oligarch owned Scottish press with a £3m advertising splurge and god-knows how much in Business rates relief.

  • david

    If Scotland pushes ahead with a referendum without support from Westminster all that will happen is that the No crowd will be told not to vote, which they won’t en-mass.

    The result would be a massive win for yes, but a voter turnout that rendered the result utterly meaningless. Which is pretty much what happened in Spain.

    A meaningless vote would not be sanctioned by any international body, and as such all you have actually achieved is asking independence supporters if they want to be independent. Game set and match London.

    If Scotland then pushed ahead anyway and declares independence from the union, Scotland would risk facing being cut off from pretty much everything. Cross border trade between the UK and Scotland would pretty much stop dead. If you think Brexit has been bad for UK exports to the EU, it would look like a picnic compared to Scotland losing access to its biggest trading partner, because there certainly would not be any deal on the table under these circumstances. Re-entry to the EU will take years, like it or not, and the Scottish economy is not large enough to be self sustaining in the short or medium term. I suspect that in the longer term Scotland will get back on its feet, but 10 -15 years of very very difficult times would be inevitable.

    And then the really big question. Would you actually be any better represented than you are today. Or will you simply end up with a different ruling elite lining their pockets with your tax money.

    I’m English and I’m not a fan of the Union either.

    • Republicofscotland

      David.

      If I recall correctly Boris Johnson got elected on only 40% of the vote, should his tenure be renounced.

      Of course some of the 2014 no voters will boycott any indy plebiscite, but not all of them will, a 51% victory for yes, would be more than Johnsons 40%.

      • Squeeth

        No politician in office because of a FPTP vote can claim to be elected. In the last fake election the Tories (Officials) got 40% of the FPTP rigged votes cast on a turnout of 67.3%; this is 26.92% of the vote once the abstainers are included. No-one can know how votes would have been cast if the election was democratic or the size of an abstention.

    • Marmite

      I’ve always found it amusing that so many of those who oppose Scottish Independence do so on the basis that they oppose nationalism. But they are completely okay with the really toxic form of nationalism that is Britain.

      I’m just as anti-nationalist as the next person, but I think that that anti-imperialism needs to take priority in these matters. Hence, the sooner the break-up of toxic unions based on imperialism, the better off the world will be.

      One can worry about the fallout for Scotland later.

    • Bayard

      Any independence supporter who thinks Westminster isn’t going to use every dirty trick in the book is being a bit naive. Similarly anyone who thinks that there isn’t an odds-on chance that Scotland will just be swapping one elite for a very similar one. However, if nothing is done, it is 100% certain that the only change in future will be for the worse.
      Personally I think that the result of a unilateral declaration of independence will be like the closing scenes in “A Very British Coup”.

  • Chris Downie

    Whatever the outcome in the medium to longer term, one great advantage I can foresee in the more immediate future, is that Alba will expose the rotten Murrell regime for the charlatans they are, in their non-pursuit of independence.

    • Alex Birnie

      Chris Downie,

      If we are indulging in baseless assertions and predictions……

      Whatever the outcome in the medium to long term, one great advantage I can see in the immediate future, is that the SNP will go ahead rapidly towards independence and expose the charlatans like Stuart Campbell et al for the bloviating “bleeters o’ shite” that they are.

  • SA

    The methodology is now clear. First you establish a narrative, second this narrative becomes a mainline view, thirdly anyone who publicly disagrees with the narrative is demonized beyond any possible redemption. In the case of Assange the narrative was his supposed sexual misdemeanors, in the case of Corbyn it was the alleged antisemitism. Salmond has the distinction of both the alleged sex abuse against woman and now also the Russia bashing narrative,
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/apr/07/salisbury-poisonings-salmond-accused-of-spinning-russian-propaganda

  • Willie

    The game has indeed changed.

    The return of a super majority changes all. Maximising the SNP for Constituency seats and ALBA for the regional seats does that. A Parliament not with a minority SNP or a Parliament with a micro majority, but a Parliament with a thumping SNP and Alba majority.

    A parliamentary majority valid in the eyes of the international world the changes in the days after the election will be absolutely profound. No longer the coterie of control and the cowed ranks but a new vibrant realigned parliament skilled, capable committed and empowered to pursue the changes so desperately needed.

    There is now huge hope, huge enthusiasm. And in a few weeks we will have the tool to drive that hope and vision forward.

    Thanks for a good article Craig. You have been very much part of all of this. You still are. Your commitment is absolutely appreciated. We will not fail! And on a personal note I hope the new baby, your new son, is a source of delight to you and Nadira and a symbol of the hope for the future.

    We are all Jock Tamson’s bairns.

  • Gus Jackson

    Scotland is unfit to become Independent.
    How long would it take for Scotland to reach parity to today’s living standards?
    10 years, 20, more? No-one knows.
    As things stand right now, our Economy is in tatters, No Welfare, or Pensions until 2024 unless it gets pushed back further, as are many of our other Services.
    EVERY World Economist knows independence in our current state would be disastrous for us, especially the Poor and folk on Benefits. How can we possibly replace Westminsters’ £Bns, let alone make us “better off”!
    Nearly all Local Authorities are in debt, even after closing down many Amenities vital to the Community.
    It’s accurate to say the SNP Government have made a complete “baws up” of practically everything they touch, costing the Country £Bns
    There are 1001 different, valid reasons to remove the SNP from Holyrood, a place which they’ve gradually taken over to hide all wrongdoing.
    Different Scandals almost on a weekly basis, from Embezzlement, Fraud, Sexual, Bribes as well as lies throughout, and the rest, all protected by “Spin Doctors.
    The SNP could not have hired a more deviant group of individuals if they’d tried!
    I want an Independent Scotland, but not one run by a lame bunch of lying shysters like those we have today, from the top down.
    I want to be proudly marching in to a Brave New Scotland fighting fit, sound Economy, Businesses booming, everyone together 100% support with the support from London, not as an enemy like Sturgeon wants, but as a friend.
    NOT under EU control, but real actual Freedom.
    In my opinion, Sturgeon IS a Narcissistic Sociopath, look it up!
    Conspiring to jail her friend and mentor, devoid of any empathy, is final proof that she is mentally ill.
    Today’s creepy SNP broadcast with her face on numerous TVs, alongside daily broadcasts on national TV, cameras with her everywhere, Selfies, even getting her haircut, and finally, the different posed photos at Auschwitz trying to her look thoughtful!
    How anyone can support the hapless SNP to take Scotland successfully into Independence is, and will always be a mystery.

      • Gus Jackson

        I’m sure Boris has contemplated shutting down Holyrood several times.
        He enjoys a healthy majority in the House, so it wouldn’t be too difficult.
        Not fit for purpose, a costly experiment which the selfish nats have have screwed up.
        Nowhere does it say the Scottish Parliament can conspire to wreck the very Country which gave it life, I’ve looked.
        http://www.scottish-devolution.org.uk/scottish-parliament-duties.html
        The biggest problem for me is what happens next?
        5m population, half of whom are Pension/Welfare Dependent.
        A similar number of Taxpayers to pay just Benefits!
        All the other Services also need huge funding, NHS, Local Authorities etc
        Look, I don’t care who runs Scotland, as long they’re truthful, honest, and competent at the very least.
        Are there any “Experts” claiming independence anytime soon, would be beneficial to Scotland’s People?
        Peter Zeihan, Geopolitical Strategist claims ..

        “Hilarious! An independent Scotland would absolutely destroy the economic future of the young. An independent Scotland would be Europe’s oldest and least healthy population. It would rapidly degrade Third World status. Absolutely no way the EU would admit it as a member”

        • pete

          I was surprised you cited “Geopolitical Strategist” Peter Zeihan, I had no idea he was an expert in Scottish Economics, or how he formed such a bleak outlook from his crystal ball gazing. Wikipedia says he attended the Patterson School of Diplomacy, but does not say if he graduated. To be fair Wiki does say the article “contains content that is written like an advertisement” so it may not be correct in any respect.
          Again, according to wiki, The Patterson School of Diplomacy employs various former State Department luminaries to guide its students, which might lead one to suspect their objectiveness. Wiki says also that the university has as many as 70 graduate students, which is an impressive figure, not.
          As you know economics is not a precise science, how you could possibly expect anything other that a general guide as to how the Scottish economy might perform after independence is beyond me. The issues you raise at 15.13 were all tropes of anti independence propaganda from the last referendum, they are attempt to change the narrative by focusing on issues that could only be resolved once independence becomes closer to reality; to expect them to be thrashed out now is unrealistic.
          I have no vote in Scotland, at present I am living in Wales, so my interest is in how the vote turns out as we have a similar voting system here that might benefit from the same strategic voting. I am definitely voting this way just to see if we might throw off the Westminster centred yoke that has proved to be so undesirable.

    • Pigeon English

      Scottish Parliament creates Central Bank of Scotland which creates Scottish Sterling (already existing as banknotes).
      Pegged to GBP or Euro or SDR or unpegged/free-floating to be discussed by Parliament.
      2008 and 2020 proved that Central Banks can create money out of thin air like ECB did at it’s creation!
      Only few days ago I realised that after splitting, Czech Republic still has Koruna while Slovakia adopted Euro in 2009.
      Having your own currency and Central Bank is a MUST for Scottish Independence.
      You will not need GBP and Westminster to cover your deficit.

      • Mr Shigemitsu

        Scottish currency must freely float or you will be forever defending an exchange rate against the bond markets via higher interest rates and austerity.

        You’d be better off staying in the UK, whose currency floats freely and against whom bond markets are powerless (see record public sector debt, alongside record low interest rates. Not meant to happen, according to economic orthodoxy… yet here we are, thanks to a free floating, sovereign, fiat currency).

    • Squeeth

      Whose living standards? The British states policy of mass unemployment and mass destitution have created abysmally low living (and dying) standards.

    • Bayard

      Where did you find that figure? All the polls I looked at were saying 6 seats. (unless 3% will give Alba 6 seats, that is).

  • Marmite

    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2021/apr/07/salisbury-poisonings-salmond-accused-of-spinning-russian-propaganda

    Looks like those of you who say The Guardian is a UK propaganda machine are right.

    And that the slimeballs are doing the same thing to Salmond as they did to Corbyn, Assange, and any other figure who doesn’t conform.

    I don’t see what Salmond’s position on something like this has to do with anything, but obviously they want to frame him as a state enemy, and the gullible British public will lap it up, as they do all the excrement that the media feeds them.

    • TheBlogg

      Agreed – desperate stuff, trying to link Salmond’s (understandable) equivocation about the Skripal nonsense to his RT role, and implications of Russian interference in elections. I’m seeing this as a sign of mild panic by the PTB.

    • Ash

      > Looks like those of you who say The Guardian is a UK propaganda machine are right.

      I’d say it’s self-evident to anyone whose worldview isn’t already steeped in identity politics.

      • pretzelattack

        has been obvious for several years. for me it was the way they turned on assange like a rabid dog, and the incessant lies about him.

      • DunGroanin

        According to my friends still hooked into the Groaniad’s echo chambers and pied piper sjw poseur integrity initiatives –

        • Assange is a rapist and therefore all Wiki leaks can be ignored.
        • Salmond is a rapist so the blessed Nicola must be worshipped no matter how much odure rises from her naked procession and Salmond can be ignored;
        • Novichok exists and was used in Salisbury without mass collateral deaths of innocents – except a couple of societies dregs, so that whole fairy tale can be believed.
        • XR led by an Elfin princess will lead the world’s children (whether they want to be or not) to the great saving and restoration of the environment because only she can control the climate and has nothing to do with the monetisation of the remaining wild areas of the planet, so the continued daily rape of the planet can be ignored;
        • Labour became Anti Semitic by the election of a Terrorist loving Corbyn who would have made us bankrupt by spending a few hundred billion in public services, cancelling student loans, paying decent wages and providing affordable social housing where people want it – only for it to instantly disappear under the Great Knight Hope, so the death of social democracy and the welfare safety nets can be ignored;
        • Trumpet was Evil – Hillary is a saint – Biden is their man of goodness who is clear headed and leading us to world peace, so all US Exceptionality must be ignored;
        • That a world war is being brewed up and is already heating up by unprovoked attacks in sovereign countries thousands of miles away against proxies we have created – can be ignored!

        Etc etc etc

        Their brains are mush and they will not look at evidence because they are mesmerised by the piper’s self-declared sjw woke credentials – they are really beginning to look like lost souls to me and I worry how they will handle the trauma when they discover the truth – they ain’t kids anymore and it’s not about realising there is no such thing as Santa, Heaven or Hell except what we make in our short lives.

        I tell them that to their face and watch as like a child they get angry and red faced and start to use the Conspiracy spell.

          • Marmite

            If you think people don’t listen to and trust The Guardian, I am afraid you are possibly living in some very remote and elitist ivory tower.

            There are very few around me who don’t pick it up every morning and worship what is printed there.

            Also, I don’t see anyone (except on here) with brains enough to call it what it is.

            DunGroanin is right about all of the above.

  • Alf Baird

    In addition to a biased external (to Scotland) msm, the other main area of considerable external interference in the Scottish self-determination process is the residence based franchise itself. A local government franchise is being used for what is a Scottish national referendum (and Scottish national elections too), which is highly irregular. This permits residents coming from countries outside Scotland and thus holding to national identities and allegiances other than Scottish, to vote on national/sovereign matters in Scotland. This group understandably has the highest propensity to oppose independence and may account for as much as 50% of the No vote.

    Bearing in mind the significant ongoing and unrestricted population inflows to Scotland from rest-UK, Scotland should consider the recent UN sanctioned New Caledonia referendum which took account of this anomaly by introducing ‘secondary criteria’ as follows:

    “New Caledonia Franchise
    The referendum was held using a special electoral roll. Potential voters had to be registered on the general electoral roll, and also meet one of the secondary criteria:[10]

    • Was on the electoral roll for the 1998 referendum on the Nouméa Accord;
    • Qualified to be on the electoral roll for the 1998 referendum, but were not enrolled;
    • Failed to meet the requirements to be on the 1998 electoral roll solely due to absence related to family, medical or professional reasons;
    • Having civil customary status, or born in New Caledonia and have their material interests in the territory;
    • At least one parent born in New Caledonia and have their material interests in the territory;
    • At least 20 years of continuous residence in New Caledonia by 31 December 2014;
    • Born before 1 January 1989 and have had their residence in New Caledonia between 1988 and 1998;
    • Born after 31 December 1988 and reached voting age before the referendum, with at least one parent who was on the electoral roll (or qualified to do so) for the 1998 referendum.

    As a consequence of these restrictions, in the 2018 referendum 35,948 registered voters on the general list were thus excluded from the vote, equating to 17.11% out of a total of 210,105 registered voters on the general electoral roll.[11][12][13] Vote restriction restricts the voting power of recent inhabitants—derogatively known as Zoreilles—and enlarges the voting power of native Kanaks, and was long sought after by FLNKS.”

    • Bayard

      “This group understandably has the highest propensity to oppose independence and may account for as much as 50% of the No vote.”

      Well that must be why it is being done this way. Well spotted. I hope you haven’t confined your observations to this blog.

      • Alf Baird

        “I hope you haven’t confined your observations to this blog.”

        There is a chapter on ‘Demographics’ in my book, which as far as I can tell is the only academic text that has developed a theoretical framework outlining and exploring the main barriers to (and hence determinants of) independence: “Doun-Hauden: The Socio-Political Determinants of Scottish Independence”. There is also analysis in that of the irregular local government franchise that is used for Scottish national referendums/elections.

    • AWoLsco

      You’ve got it Alf.
      The southerners are moving north, an eclectic mix of romantic noodle-heads,criminals,sexual perverts, spies, third-raters that couldn’t hack it in England and the corporate incompetent, awkward squad, put out to grass in the boondocks.

      “Look here Carruthers, we’ve got a hell of a problem with Fortescue -Smythe. He keeps on sending me memos written on toilet paper. Any suggestions as to how to tackle this problem?”

      “Well, Sir Geoffrey, just the other day, it came to my attention that our man in Scotland, heading up our main depot, was about to retire, so might I suggest the promotion of Fortescue-Smythe, with a generous remuneration package, to our northern outpost, where I’m sure, he and his old boiler and assorted sprogs will live happily ever-after.”

      “Splendid idea, Carruthers. Just the ticket. Expedite! Expedite!”

      And so, yet another has-been Anglo with his old boiler and semi-educated sprogs heads north to replace the talented, energetic Scots leaving Scotland for London, New York, Paris , Berlin and places unkennt and undeveloped.
      It’s not quite a genocidal holocaust of Scotland and its people……but it’s not far off it……and it’s been going on, for not a few decades…..but for a century or two.
      Can Scotland, REAL Scotland survive?

  • M.J.

    These speeches may be stirring, but what if, come the 7th May 2021, there isn’t a supermajority (say, at least 55%) of MSPs prepared to declare UDI (or equivalent)? What if, on the contrary, 55% (or more) embrace roughly Nicola Sturgeon’s current position, namely, support independence as an ideal but not be prepared to do anything illegal (from Westminster’s point of view) about it?
    OTOH, if you do get 55% of MSPs prepared for UDI (sigh) then we will be in for “interesting times”, echoing the Chinese curse. No doubt that will suit the UK’s enemies just fine – why divide and conquer when the fools are prepared to do it for you? Maybe it will be the kharma of the British Empire’s “divide and rule” policy catching up.

  • N_

    The facts suggest that a fair number of voters in Scotland don’t take the list vote seriously:

    Green voteshare
    2015 Westminster 1.3
    2016 Holyrood constituencies: 0.6 (Scottish Christian Party [*] 0.1)
    2016 Holyrood lists: 6.6 (also: UKIP 2.0, Solidarity 0.6, Scottish Christian Party 0.5)
    2017 Westminster: 0.2
    2019 Westminster: 1.0

    A job for H’Angus the Monkey? (Oh, sorry, Alex.)

    Note
    (*) Had the SCP’s candidates had more of a sense of drama, they would have carried crosses onto the stage and held them with beatific looks on their faces at the results declarations. A former leader condemned the Welsh dragon flag as Satanic. We can laugh, but these loons got 0.5% of the list vote, whereas in the constituency vote they only got 0.1%. We’re lucky they didn’t win a seat!

    • N_

      It would be easy enough to achieve proportionality (if that’s what is desired) by

      • one person, one vote
      • allocating constituency seats by first past the post, and then
      • allocating “additional” seats from the top of (national) lists containing those candidates for each party (plus independents) who failed to win constituency seats, ranked on their list in order of their (constituency) voteshare.

      This would have the merit of there only being one type of vote, and only one way for a candidate to stand for election.

      A strong second place in only a single constituency wouldn’t win a party a seat if their national total wasn’t high enough for their list to provide an additional member. But a large number of strong-second-place candidates probably would.

      “Vote the first time with your head, the second time to show off” isn’t a good message, bearing in mind that every MSP has a vote in the parliament, regardless of whether they won their seat in a constituency or in the list vote.

      I don’t blame Alex Salmond for trying to game the system. But positing a possible UDI and the obvious violence that would ensure on the basis of a gaming of the system rather than a referendum is disgraceful.

      • Bayard

        There are 1001 ways of improving the voting system, but the D’Hondt system is the one that’s going to be used, so it makes sense to base your strategy round it, or do you think Alba would be better basing its strategy on a system that isn’t going to be used?

  • glenn_uk

    I hope this is mostly on subject…. anyone else read in Private Eye how the SNP is refusing to provide access to party accounts to members of the finance and audit committee (FAC)? The chief executive – Peter Murrell, husband of St. Nicola – is the one doing the refusing.

    The £1.5M budget apparently contained £600,000 to prepare for a new independence referendum. There is less than £97K left.

  • John

    I voted SNP for 40 years after hearing Gordon Wilson speaking in Dundee as a boy, I voted YES for independence and was a member of the SNP very briefly after Salmond had left until I heard Sturgeon speak in the Caird Hall in Dundee in 2018 I think it was where plenty of other people were gasping along with me at some of the things she said. She basically said your job is to get the SNP elected and my job is to do whatever I like and you have no say and I have the Scottish government to push my point of view. That completely anti-democratic horror show with as I say many others around me gasping at the cheek of her changed my push for independence to one of let’s get rid of the SNP first and let’s ensure we get a real independence party that won’t simply transfer power from remote chancers in London to remote anti-free speech chancers in Edinburgh and thence to even more remote totally anti-democratic chancers in Brussels.

    Independence as far as I am concerned is on indefinite hold until the misandrist, anti-free speech, globalists in the SNP are gone, many of them to prison.

    The SNP is not the party of Gordon Wilson, Margo McDonald, Jim Sillars or even Salmond and it is the worse for it and it cannot be salvaged.

  • N_

    “The game has changed”…as the Alliance 4 Unity, now renamed All For Unity, has proposed in its manifesto that a referendum should only happen if a majority of the electorate (not simply voters) vote for parties that stand for “secession” (their choice of word). A case of “our opponents can talk crazy sh*t, well so can we”?

    The AFU’s manifesto seems very “back of an envelope”. No way are these guys heavily funded or backed by the British state’s “finest” propagandists.

    What are they doing, in case anyone hasn’t noticed, is going for the army vote.

    • N_

      The AFU trying to win votes from armed forces families makes sense, because the SNP won’t win any by calling the British army and its Scottish regiments “the military wing of Westminster” (just try it!), “an organ of English colonial rule”, and so on. They can’t disrespect the army. A left wing party would be able to, given that there’s been no conscription for decades and that everyone knows that members of the British armed forces tend to be right wing f*ckers.

      The SNP is able to launch a powerful campaign, but the party won’t be very impressive when it needs to REACT, being mostly capable of shouting the equivalent of “Shut up”, “We are Great”, “Don’t Tell Us What To Do”, “Tomorrow Belongs to Us”, etc. (Let’s call it going for the smartphone users’ vote.) And the more they need to avoid showing how weak they are at reacting, the more they will do that. Trouble is, it’s often not the case that “the strongest defence is attack”.

  • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

    Book cover - London Calling, by G. A. Ponsonby

    ‘LONDON CALLING: HOW THE BBC STOLE THE REFERENDUM’ by G.A.Ponsonby is the original book which inspired the documentary featured by Craig Murray in his above post. Ponsonby’s breakthrough book, published in May 2015, is a painstakingly researched exposé of the BBC’s ‘Truman Show’ approach to news manipulation in Scotland. It is generously illustrated with screenshots of BBC webpage imagery and headline manipulation. The 422 page hard-copy book chronicles in compelling detail copious examples of flagrant bias in the influential broadcaster’s coverage of Scottish politics and of the 2014 independence referendum in particular. With 94 ratings the book currently has 4.5 stars.

    Here is the online summary:

    “The Scottish Independence Referendum captivated a nation for over three years. When Alex Salmond’s SNP won a majority in the 2011 Scottish election it signalled the start of the most electric political campaign in UK history. That campaign ended on September 18th 2014 when Scots voted to remain part of the Union.

    “But how did a small lead for Yes turn into a ten point triumph for No during the last fourteen days of the campaign? Why was a backbench Labour MP given unparalleled access to BBC airwaves in order to issue pledges he had no authority to make? Was a Scottish Labour party special advisor allowed to influence the content of BBC Scotland political programmes?

    “The media’s role in the referendum campaign has escaped scrutiny, until now. This book shines the spotlight on the biggest media beast of all – the BBC. What it reveals will shock you.

    “‘LONDON CALLING – How the BBC stole the Referendum’, chronicles the descent of the BBC in Scotland from a once trusted broadcaster to an organisation so despised that thousands of ordinary Scots marched on its Scottish HQ in protest at what they saw as its anti-independence bias.

    “The book takes the reader on a journey that begins with the arrival of devolution and culminates in the No campaign’s triumph in the referendum on September 18th 2014. The journey is signposted by several key political events and the BBC’s coverage explored.

    “The book reveals how Donald Trump, Al Megrahi and Rupert Murdoch were used by the broadcaster in an attempt at promoting an anti-SNP narrative. It also reveals how headlines were altered, video footage edited, stories suppressed and debates loaded as the state broadcaster resisted the political change taking place throughout Scotland.

    ‘LONDON CALLING – How the BBC stole the Referendum’ paints a picture of a BBC unable to adapt to Scottish Devolution and which stood Canute like against the sea change the referendum epitomised. A corporation in denial over its own shortcomings.”

    G.A.Ponsonby’s watershed book is still available on KINDLE for £1.99 —

    https://tinyurl.com/tgqr79c

    • N_

      So basically when “London” isn’t stuffing ballot boxes in referendums, it’s running “fake news”. Perhaps SNPers should boo and hiss at BBC reporters at press conferences. They could even shout “Pizza” at unionist opponents in the hustings.

      The poor little darlings who’ve run the Scottish government since 2007, stealing anything that’s not nailed down – always the underdogs. Whenever the electorate tells them to f*** off, it must be because the electorate have been manipulated by wicked foreign forces.

      • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

        G.A.Ponsonby’s high-principled, exhaustively researched, fact-driven book presents us with a very extensive range of cumulatively conclusive evidence. Your own uninformed lazy rants do you no honour.

      • Bayard

        If the UK government hadn’t already worked out how they were going to win the referendum, they wouldn’t have called it in the first place.

    • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

      There is of course NO NEED to possess a KINDLE device to read GA PONSONBY’s ‘LONDON CALLING – HOW THE BBC STOLE THE REFERENDUM’. A (five star) Kindle APP is available for iPads etc. This superb, “game-changing” 2015 book is still acutely relevant and could well prove a catalyst for your politics. £1.99.

  • Fearghas MacFhionnlaigh

    My own enthusiastic Amazon review of G.A.Ponsonby’s ‘LONDON CALLING’ book was I believe the first to appear. It was posted on 22 May 2015 —

    “INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM: BBC SCOTLAND’S PERNICIOUS ROLE DEFINITIVELY CHARTED

    “GA Ponsonby’s “LONDON CALLING: How the BBC stole the Referendum” is now assuredly key reading for any truly informed assessment of the deeply unsettling extent of cynical black propaganda perpetrated by the British State on the Scottish population during the Referendum campaign. To its everlasting discredit, BBC Scotland news management persistently connived within the dark heart of it all, relentlessly and insidiously poisoning the waters of discourse.

    “GA Ponsonby’s devastating volume marshall’s painstaking research, including copious screenshots of BBC Scotland website’s shrewdly massaged headlines. It irrefutably documents BBC Pacific Quay’s unforgivably malign role in calculatedly distorting and undermining the greatest and noblest democratic transaction thus far in Scotland’s long history.

    “The BBC Scotland news management coterie must not now be allowed to, as it were, fade back into our livingroom wallpaper, and so avoid the searing public censure they have worked so assiduously to merit. Nor, paramountly, must they be carelessly granted leave to perpetrate such sordid perfidy during any Scottish election or referendum to come.

    “It is far from over. We must gain urgent release from this Labour-contrived structurally-Unionist oxygen-starving head-grip. To our democratic peril do we longer ignore BBC Scotland’s strongarm as it stealthily throttles our communal throat, while mendacious mind-games are smilingly whispered in our ear. Scottish broadcasting must be ‘patriated’ forthwith.

    “Via the internet, the truth has set us free thus far. Now, GA Ponsonby’s ‘LONDON CALLING: How the BBC stole the Referendum’ is one man’s heroic endeavour to get vital additional verity (for some, the facts will astonish) into the public domain in book form, hastening our exhilarating advance towards the goal of a just society in Scotland.

    “Do buy this book. Ponder it. Publicise it. Help dispel the residual naivety out there which still trusts BBC Scotland to speak political truth.”

  • fwl

    The first sentence: “If both Theresa May and Boris Johnson had not refused formal requests for a S30 agreement for an Independence referendum, Scotland would already be independent” – It’s just polemic speculation and is not correct. There was a referendum and people voted to remain.

    • Fwl

      The 2014 referendum was not fair in that it proposed independence on a simple majority.

      You can’t argue a change as fundamental as independence is fair on a one-off simple majority without also conceding that an independent Scotland should be able to vote to return on a simple majority, but of course a return would require more than a majority vote by the Scottish electorate. It would need the agreement of and presumably a referendum by the Welsh, the English and the North Irish as to whether to allow back and on what terms.

      The talk of a super majority accepts this basic premise that a simple majority would be unfair. For the same reason that you can not make fundamental changes to a company without 75%. Are shareholders thought more highly and to be better protected then constituent citizens?

      • Squeeth

        50% + at least 1 isn’t simple, it’s a majority, there aren’t any others. What you seem to want is minority rule, which with FPTP here and d’Hondt there is what you’ve got.

      • Bayard

        “The 2014 referendum was not fair in that it proposed independence on a simple majority.”

        Yes, that was a bit careless of Westminster, but you can be assured, they are not going to make that mistake again after the Brexit vote.

  • John Main

    Countless pages, paragraphs, comments and arguments on the subject of Scottish Independence, but I search in vain for even one definition of Independence.

    Which renders the entire argument pointless. Some people want to vote Yes because they think Scotland will be Independent. Others want to vote Yes because they think Scotland will be in the EU. Two other groups want to vote No for exactly the same reasons.

    For only the millionth time, there are no independent countries in the EU. Being part of an international federation dedicated to ever-closer union is incompatible with being an independent, sovereign nation.

    How can anybody spend so much time and effort arguing the pros and cons of something that nobody agrees the definition of?

    And don’t get me started on cognitive dissonance. For oh so many people, there was a referendum which returned a result they didn’t want, so they want to re-run it. I refer, of course, to the Scottish Independence referendum.

    Then there was another referendum which returned a result they did want (in Scotland, at least), so Hell will freeze over before we get asked that question again. I refer, of course, to the EU Membership referendum, AKA the UK Independence referendum.

    To make it crystal clear what I want. A referendum on whether Scotland should break up the UK and pursue its destiny as an independent, sovereign nation. If Scotland chooses this path, I want a follow-up referendum on whether the newly independent Scotland, having thrown off the shackles of 300+ years of colonial subjugation, should then give up the job as too difficult and seek dissolution in the EU.

    It’s not complicated. But until this is all made plain and clear, I mistrust everybody who is hiding behind this confusion. I see no reason to value the opinions of those who have not even twigged that this confusion exists, because they have never stopped to ask anybody what they mean by “Independence”.

    • Giyane

      John Main

      Recognition of Scottish independence by the EU is sufficient. A closer format might look like Canada or Norway. Membership would take a while , during which negotiations would be possible.

      Boring though Brexit was, the Corbyn deal with free movement of goods and people was perfect , so long as the federalisation parts , armies, currency and dogma , were excluded. However , in the case of England, the Tories were always trying to change the EU’s social democratic policies, which meant they were completely incapacitated by their own dogma from achieving any constructive input into the EU..
      In other words a right wing Sturgeon membership of the EU would be Scoxitting from day one. But it doesn’t have to be like that imho.

      • John Main

        Sorry, but I can’t identify if you favour Scottish Independence or Scottish “Independence”, which is the duplicitous state of a country dissolving within the EU whilst its leaders strut about pretending to be influencing all the big decisions taken in an overseas parliament.

        You do touch on another subject I see little discussed. I have a perfect trading arrangement with my local supermarket. But I have no desire to go and live there, while their staff have never indicated any belief that they have a right to come and live in my house.

        The unquestioned belief that trading between international partners cannot occur unless foreign citizens are entirely free to relocate in the inter-trading countries has no rational basis. As this enforced freedom of movement policy serves mostly to dilute the sovereignty and hence the independence of the countries subject to it, I conclude that is its primary purpose.

        So why would anybody be in favour of it, other than for the narrowest of personal, selfish reasons?

    • Bayard

      “Countless pages, paragraphs, comments and arguments on the subject of Scottish Independence, but I search in vain for even one definition of Independence.”

      That’s a feature, not a bug. How many people do you think would have voted for Brexit if they had been told it meant what we now know it meant? Less than 50% of voters, by a long way.

      • John Main

        Good point. Here’s the obverse of your coin.

        How many Scots would still have voted No to Brexit if they had known then what we know now? That a combination of political rivalry, sclerotic processes, penny pinching and the promotion of incompetents to well above their natural pay grade would have resulted in thousands of unnecessary Covid deaths across the EU. That Scotland could perhaps have ended up languishing at the bottom of the vaccine queue with some of the other small EU countries whilst rUK raced ahead to full vaccination.

        I see your vague appreciation that Brexit has been economically bad in some unquantifiable ways and trump it with my Brexit has been good where it matters, i.e. making the difference between life and death for many Scots.

        However, this is obscuring my original point. There is a difference between Scottish Independence and Scottish “Independence”. Most commentators deliberately obscure this difference, or are even unaware of its existence. The ones that choose to gloss over this difference are acting in bad faith at best. The ones that cannot see this difference are not thinking clearly at best.

        • Bayard

          OTOH, if the Tory government had been sensible and stayed neutral in the Brexit debate and we were still in the EU, there is still only a very tiny chance that we would not have a Tory government in Westminster. Which means they would have taken precisely the same attitude to the EU and vaccination as they have done. Even when we were in the EU, the Tories’ response to the EU saying “jump” was always “up yours!” and never “how high?”.

      • Alf Baird

        John Main

        “I search in vain for even one definition of Independence.”

        National independence, which is dependent on a peoples’ ‘national consciousness’ (Fanon), is decolonisation.

        And, as you say: “enforced freedom of movement policy serves mostly to dilute the sovereignty and hence the independence of the countries subject to it”.

        This has been the outcome of UK ‘union’ for Scotland, amply demonstrated in the composition of the anti-independence vote aided by a local government residence-based franchise.

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