Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Why the SNP is Right to Want a Referendum

SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond has published a white paper today outlining three options for the future of Scotland. Predictably all three opposition parties have rounded on him and accused him of trying to wreck the United Kingdom. That may or may not be so, but surely it would be a good thing to allow the Scots to vote on their own future, rather than the argument dragging on needlessly. The white paper outlines three options:-

1. Stick with the current devolved settlement
2. Enhance devolution by extending the powers of the Scottish Parliament in specific areas
3. Full independence

I am disappointed Scottish Conservatives jerked their knees and rejected a referendum on these options out of hand. It is surely difficult to argue that the British people should decide on whether we sign up to a European Constitution, and then say that the Scots should be denied a direct say on their own long term constitutional futures. David Cameron is right to want consistency of policy and consistency of argument. While Scottish Conservatives might feel they have done the right thing to protect the Union, this is a short-termist position.

The best way to protect the union in the long term would be to have a full debate now and end it with a binding referendum. The SNP is in government in Scotland and have a right to put proposals like this on the table. Sure, they didn't get a majority of the votes or the seats, but I think it would be better to let them have their day and allow a public vote. My own view is that the unionist side would be far more likely to win that referendum that the SNP. But I guess we shall now never know.

Of course, if the Scots had their own referendum on independence, that would let the genie out of the bottle for a referendum in England on full devolution and an English Parliament. And that would never do, would it? No wonder the three main parties stick together on this.

80 comments:

Liberal Republican said...

"My own view is that the unionist side would be far more likely to win that referendum that the SNP. But I guess we shall now never know."

You are right. Scots will never vote for independence. The EU killed it when the Commission said Scotland would not get automatic membership.

Tom FD said...

An independent Scotland would surely ensure the absolute irrelevance of Scottish MPs in Westminster, answering the West Lothian question once and for all. Collateral damage would be mainly SNP and Labour seats in the Commons, including Brown's I suppose. Perhaps I am missing some critical aspect of the issue here but tactically I would see it as a great potential boost for the Tories in England.

nullo said...

i agree: not only it is politically viable to call for a referendum without supporting independence, but it might very well be the best way to protect the union.

p.s. in italy you just need to collect half a million signatures and get the approval of the constitutional court to get a referendum

Gavin Kennedy said...

The pro-unionist parties are behaving somewhat silly on the issue of an independence referendum. However, your suggestion is not quite well founded.

In what manner would a referendum be 'binding'? That ignores the closeness of the voting; the perceived fairness of the alternative proposals; the external events tkaing place at the time; and the doubtful legality of a vote in one period binding anybody.

I believe that independence will do well in an open campaign (I hope it would win), but I am not naive enough to believe that if the UK unionists 'lost' the vote that they would quitely process the votes through parliament to implement the decision.

Nor would the pro-independence voters quietly accept the decision and give up. In both cases there would be a long way to go before one or other, or both 'gave up'.

Events, Ian, still rule political management.

Fred said...

Let them go, the quicker the better. Make sure they take their begging bowl and Westminster MPs with them as they leave. Proper passport and immigration controls at the borders, please, and through trains and airflights only by intergovernmental treaties.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the SNP wants the other parties to refuse a referendum. The last thing they want is a referendum that they lose (as would happen currently - unfortunately). Much better to be the victim.

Wrinkled Weasel said...

As I never tire of saying, the SNP promised a ref in their manifesto, and unless some scrofulus tossers who belong to the Labour party are in any doubt, manifesto commitments for referenda are best honoured.(see Europe)

UP here the Conservatives are torn between Annabel, who does not want a referendum, and A N Other, who does, on the basis that it will fail to get the result that the SNP desire.

It is remarkable that people who are less than 400 miles away, with the evil internet and everything else, fail to understand that the Scots will not be told what to do.

Every time the BBC or whoever, tries to fix the will of the public, they are being counter productive. It merely plays into the hands of the SNP as evidenced by their current position.

Alex Salmond is not bent on "wrecking the union". He is merely honouring a comittment for which he has a (slender) mandate.

What's wrong with letting the people decide? What's wrong with a ref on the European Treaty?

By the way I am puzzled by your point here, Iain:

While Scottish Conservatives might feel they have done the right thing to protect the Union, this is a shirt-termist position.

What is wrong with shirts? Unless of course they are accompanied by outrageously loud ties?
Shirts have been a mainstay of our political landscape - see how many there are in Parliament. Of course I prefer Hawes and Curtis to Turnbull and Asser, but that is merely a shade of opinion.....

Teesbridge said...

The usual line on ConservativeDribble.com is "we are a Unionist party, or we are nothing".

In Scotland, I fear the "or" will be replaced by "and", before long.

In England, I suspect that lots of ordinary voters are a good deal less hung-up about the Union than the blazeratti like to kid themselves, and there will be few tears at midnight on Partition Day.

tapestry said...

Of course Scotland must have a referendum.

Why not have a referendum first about whether to have a referendum to get the show in the road?

The SNP should be assisted by Conservatives, who should remember the adage that my enemy's enemy is my friend.

Andy said...

Seems entirely consistent to me, to call for a referendum on the European Constitution/Treaty, but not for Scottish Independence. In the European case, the Govt intends to proceed with legislation to enact, and therefore this should be put to a plebiscite.

Whereas in the Scottish case, there is currently no legislation planned, and the Govt intends to effectively petition the public on a vote of confidence in an entirely speculative way. If they get a "yes" vote, they will try to present it as a fait accompli.

If and when the Scottish Govt creates the legislation necessary to implement secession from the union, and plans to push it through parliament, then it should definitely go to a referendum. But I don't think that the Scottish parliament has the authority to enact legislation of this kind.

In any case, it should only reach this stage when [a] it's imperative that something be done (significant unrest), and [b] there is an overwhelming (eg. over 75%) majority in favour.

I don't believe in compulsory voting in general elections, but I don't think that fundamental constitutional changes should be made on the basis of a 51% majority vote with a miserable turnout.

The decision to have a Scottish Parliament was taken on a "yes" vote of 1.775m out of a population of 5m (35.5%), and the Welsh Parliament was created after a "yes" vote of 0.56m/2.9m (19%).

Is that fair?

Laurence Boyce said...

Well said Iain. Why is everyone so scared about this? Lib Dems could have been part of a Scottish coalition. But no. Because that would have involved giving Scots a democratic choice.

Ian McKellar said...

here is the difficulty- in their manifestos, the SNP said they wanted a Referendum. The Conservatives, Labour and Liberals said they were aginst having one. Now if any of the three Unionist Parties vote for a referendum on Independence, their MSPs are breaking their election promises so although I have reservations, theirs and indeed the SNP stances are entirely logical.

Bu where the European Constitution is concerned all three major UK parties said there should be a referndum on the Constituion but on this the Labour Party have broken their promise while the Conservatives are keeping theirs.

Anonymous said...

The three other parties had a joint press conference here in Scotland to slag off the SNP - there is a picture of the three opposition leaders looking so happy together.
Just confirms everything the SNP say about them really - they are all the same and do what London tell them!

James R said...

I'm appalled by the rank stupidity of the Scottish Conservatives.

Here was an opportunity to leave Labour looking like they did ten years ago as the party doing what bosses in London wanted.

Instead we look like Labour's lapdogs and the nationalists will use this to paint us as so.

Here was an opportunity to square the circle of the West Lothian Question by getting Dave Cameron to announce that we would be looking to create a new Union. To become that party of the future George Osborne talks about. To leave Labour and the Lib Dems looking like parties of the past harping on about history instead of giving a vision of a new Union.

Instead we look like the staid, boring old party propping up the mess that is Labour and the Lib Dems devolution project.

I'd heard that the Scottish Conservatives were in a morass intellectually but this just exposes their failure of imagination by making us look like Labour's little helpers.

Hopefully Dave can pull it back for us by calling for a new Union juxtaposed against Brown harping on about the Empire.

vanfuertes said...

"The decision to have a Scottish Parliament was taken on a "yes" vote of 1.775m out of a population of 5m (35.5%)"

Remember under 18s can't vote. Turnout was just over 60 per cent, about the same is in the last Westminster General Election. The reason devolution was not introduced in the '70s was the introduction the Cunningham Amendment whereby 40 per cent of the ENTIRE electorate had to support devolution. If there had been a similar stipulation in '97, the 'yes' vote would have been sufficient.

If people can't be bothered voting on significant constitutional matters then hard luck. Not turning out should not automatically count as a 'no' vote.

Adrian Yalland said...

..and Lord Forsyth agrees with you. He (as a former Scottish minister) said he would be happy to introduce a bill in the Lords to support Salmond's desire for a referendum. ALthough he believes Salmond would lose.

Personally, as a Conservative, I am not a Unionist. Scotland is an expensive folly. If they wish to go their own way as a free nation within the EU, then let them go with our blessing and friendship (although I suspect the scots dislike the English greatly, despite decades of benovalence and sponsrship of their economy).

But it sickens me to hear Labour wrapping themselves in the flag! They only do this becuase they know they need Scottish Labout seats to keep control over the British Parliament. Remember when Labour told us devolution would kill off nationalism. How silly that comment looks now!

Adrian Yalland said...

Curiously, I remember the first Scottish Parliament Election and a guy with a blue rossette saying "I'm a Scottish Conservative".

I remember thinking there should be anpther guy stood next to him with a rossette saying "I'm the other Scottish Conservative".

The point is, electorally for us Conservatives, losing Scotland would be like a marginal Tory council losing a ward with a large council estate to the neighbouring borough! Yipee - who needs to jerrymander when the Labour voters decide to leave of their own accord!

Personally, if we don;t have some form of federal arrangement (my second choice), or reverse devolution (my third choice), then independence for Scotland is the only solution which makes sense, resolves the West Lothian issue, guarentees some form of freindly relationship with Scotland, and saves us english £12bilion a year!

I won't weep if the Union Flag is lowered over Hollyrood!

Wrinkled Weasel said...

“Another anxiety expressed about Britain's membership of the Common Market is that Parliament could lose its supremacy, and we would have to obey laws passed by unelected 'faceless bureaucrats' sitting in their headquarters in Brussels.”

This is so quaint. It is from a 1975 government pamphlet.

SNP..passes the Ronseal test, but does Labour?

(please visit my blog where I have a bit more to say about this)

Matt said...

The Conservatives have exactly one MP in Scotland. Ergo Scotland has roundly rejected us so why do we want to hang on to them, especially with the oil due to run out fairly soon?

Independence would have to genuinely mean that though, a total end to shedloads of my money being shipped over the border to prop up their economy. And that, of course, is why an Independence referendum is doomed to failure. As soon as the canny Scots people realise just how much UK Government money they would lose and how they will then not be able to afford their current, considerably more generous than the English one, welfare state they'll vote no with a vengance.

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

Not entirely inconsistent in my view, but if Scotland gets a referendum, then the other Home Nations must surely get one, too.

English independence from the United Kingdom is possibly the only pragmatic way in which we can gain independence from the EU and redefine our relationship not just with Europe, but with the rest of the world, without being punished for it by Brussels (can you imagine them letting the UK leave the EU without any penalties?).

Anonymous said...

"I suspect that lots of ordinary voters are a good deal less hung-up about the Union "

Absolutely. Indeed, a fair number will be glad to be shot of the whinging parasites. And that includes a number of Scots I know who now live in London and are fed up of subsidising their motherland.

Andy said...

vanfuertes: "Remember under 18s can't vote. Turnout was just over 60 per cent, about the same is in the last Westminster General Election.

No they can't, but they will be the ones to suffer the consequences. Constitutional issues are much harder to reverse than any of the legislation that governments routinely pump out, so today's youth will be tomorrow's electorate, essentially stuck with the choices made by their parents and grandparents.

Actually I think that the voting age should be lowered for referenda, partly because children should have a say in their own future, and partly because the issue and the arguments are usually straightforward. It's also a great way to involve children in the electoral process before they get jaded by the political process.

Leaving non-voters out of the equation doesn't really alter the fact that the system was changed by the will of a minority of the population, even as it was being sold as a victory for the people.

If people can't be bothered voting on significant constitutional matters then hard luck. Not turning out should not automatically count as a 'no' vote.

Whereas at the moment it counts as 'undecided'. Does 40% of the adult population really not have an opinion on such a fundamental issue? Or if they're the same 40% who don't vote at all, then perhaps they think there's no point - the politicians will just keep asking the question until they get the answer they want (as in Ireland).

In which case the process is still broken. It SHOULD be hard for politicians to get a mandate to make sweeping changes to the structure of our system, even if those changes are self-evidently in everyone's best interests.

Anonymous said...

Adrian Yalland - This notion that England subsidises Scotland by £12billion a year is utter nonsense. Last year the difference between revenue and expenditure in the GERS figures was about £9-10 billion but that excluded all of the oil revenues which would have reduced the figure to £2-4 billion which in the great scheme of things is very little money. Also in years of higher oil revenues there is no subsidy at all.

Certainly it would be outweighed by:
(a) the loss of a wholly disproprotionate chunk of the army which would come with independence (b) either having to move the whole Trident system and provide for a new base or pay an independent Scotland for thre right to keep it at Faslane.

Furthermore its a bit of a cheek for all the English Nationalists to come out with this patter about how unfair it is that shedloads of our money go to subsidise the feckless Scots. During the 1980s it is absolutely irrefutable that oil revenues sustained the Thatcher revolution. So if its unfair for England to subsidise Scotland now why was it fair for Scotland to subsidise England then? Go on someone answer this as whenever i have put it before nobody has rebutted this point.

Finally this notion that the Scots are chippy and dont like the English may have an element of truth but is wholly hypocritical coming from the sort of English nationalists who post here, the Telegraph, ConHome etc. You would be hard pushed to hear a more chippy, bitter, xenophobic, unpleasant, stereotype-laden series of comments than you do on these sites. ie the scots are all feckless drunks, scotland is raping england, david cameron shouldnt be tory leader because he has scottish blood etc etc.

scottish conservative

garypowell said...

Let genie out of bottle

If such a thing did happen you can be sure the BBC will help socialists put it back in the bottle ASAP.

If possible the BBC will not risk anyone knowing ANYTHING was out of its bottle in the first place.

This government could be caught red handed robbing banks, dressed in drag, while 'banging up' crack, and still come out of it smelling of BBC and Murdoch roses before you can say,

" they cant possibly get away with this one as well, can they?"

The sad thing about a Scotish independence vote would be that Scotlands vast army of social security addicts, that make up 3/4 of the population, will simply vote for the CASH, and stay in. For the same reason their greedy and corrupt leaders did 300 years ago.

SHAME

Sea Shanty Irish said...

Interesting to compare Scotland with Quebec.

The Wrinkled one is correct: the English cannae make the Scots do anything. It's agin their religion. Quebeckers are same way. The more English Canada tells them they've got to do something, the less likely they will comply.

Two things that seem to work best in Canada are creative ambiguity and entangled interests. For example, tacit understanding between Stephen Harper's English-Canadian Tories, noted for devotion to Queen & Empire, with Quebec separatists. (Those of ye who look to SNP to deliver Tory England, take note!)

And Alex Salmond & SNP should note this Quebec experience: closer you get to voting majority for independence, the harder it becomes to garner the extra increment needed to actually achieve that majority, however it is defined.

North Britons at helm of Scottish Tory Party appear to be repeating an historic mistake in opposing a referendum. But that's a decision for Scots, not outlanders.

True Brit said...

Good on you Scottish Conservative.

As I keep pointing out to the spiteful ingnorami who go on and on about Scotland, including our host (because Scotland doesn't happen to vote their way):

England has the Labour government that England voted for!

At the last election the results in England alone were:

Lab  286 MPs
Con  193 MPs
LDim  47 MPs

plus two others, including a Scot elected in Tower Hamlets by his adoring English constituents :-)

Labour's majority in England is almost as much as all of Scotland's MPs together, yet a lot of you idiots seem to believe that it is Scots MPs who keep Labour in power. Far from it - it's down to all those English people who vote Labour, giving Labour a large English majority.

Next up, some twat will say, ooh, but the Conservatives got 60,000 more votes than Labour in England - which matters precisely b****r all under our electoral system. When the Conservatives were last in power the electoral system happened to favour them at the time - not many around here complained about that then.

Also, on the subject of oil revenue vs. higher public spending in Scotland, Evan Davis, who is highly respected (even though he works for the BBC!) reckons that the two pretty much even each other out - another little Englander myth busted.

The West Lothian Question is of minimal impact so far - there have been just four, count 'em, four votes (out of hundreds and hundreds) in the HoC where Scottish votes have made the difference in legislation that ostensibly didn't apply to Scotland - and even some of those four still had aspects that affected Scotland.

You little Englanders need to grow up and look at the real threats to England - namely the EU and uncontrolled third-world immigration - not a few million Scots who are mostly proud to be part of our, note, our, great nation.

tapestry said...

anonymous 1.21 'During the 1980s it is absolutely irrefutable that oil revenues sustained the Thatcher revolution.'

Scottosh Oil money has been spent 100 times over in the minds of Scots Nationalists.

Many English are sympathetic to Scottish nationalism as they feel that their own nationalism has been equally suppressed.

English Conservatives are particularly keen on Scottish nationalism as a way to undermine Labour's grip on power in Westminster.

Even if the Union were to break and in Scotland there is little demand for that, there would need to be a lot of cooperation between our two countries. England and Scotland haven't done too badly over the last 300 years taking all into account...founding together most of the modern world, defining western culture and parenting the US, Canada, Australia, NZ, India, Pakistan plus numerous others, including Hong Kong, without which modern China might not have come about. I think we both need a pat on the back.

(Ireland had quite a role in it all too of course especially with the USA)

Newmania said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ant said...

Hi Iain,

It's all very well saying that Scotland should have a vote for full independence but, just like the devolution referendum under Blair, shouldn't you also think about the impact that such a move would have on the rest of Britain?

I find it extraordinary that an integral part of Great Britain was devolved and now may be lost on the basis of a referendum that purely canvassing the opinions of a vocal minority (the Scots). Why do you disagree?

english democrat said...

Oh dear!

The Tories have yet again plyed right into the hands of NuLabour!
WHY?
It is in the interests of the Tories to support the SNP because it will show how undemocratic the socialists are! The Scots are neither stupid nor cowardly! They know that threats of doom and isolation if they dare to step out of the Unionist yoke is just a scare tactic!
The tide of opinion is that an enforced Union kept together by fear and threats is wrong!
I cannot help but think that the Tories are so badly advised AND led that they cannot see that a free referendum on the future of the Union is in their interests too!
Its almost as if Gordon Brown has a policy advisor in the shadow cabinet!

strapworld said...

I find it rather hypocritical for the Conservatives to 'demand' a euro referendum. (which was in all manifesto's) and not accept that the Scots, who voted for the SNP, who stood on having a referendum for Scottish Independence within their manifesto,should have a referendum.

Of course the referendum should go ahead and the Conservative Party Leadership should make sure their Scottish Colleagues change their attitude.

Toque said...

Ming Campbell and Alex Salmond signed the Scottish Claim of Right which acknowledged 'the sovereign right of the Scottish people to determine the form of government best suited to their needs'.

For those parties to now oppose a referendum is pure hypocrisy.

more vulgar than a vulcans vulva said...

"but surely it would be a good thing to allow the Scots to vote on their own future, rather than the argument dragging on needlessly."

Iain, this is the thing. Referendum, or no referendum, the argument WILL drag on endlessly - until Scotland either becomes independent, or Scots lose their appetite for independence completely (say, to <20% of the population in favour)

In Quebec, there have been at least a couple of referendums on independence, neither of which were carried, the issue still drags on.

Australia rejected a republican model (although arguably, they wanted one and it was a rubbish option they rejected) the issue still drags on.

Northern Ireland, you can bet your bottom dollar, will still have nationalist/loyalist arguments dragging on.

France/Netherlands rejected the EU constitution, the issue still drags on.

If Scotland rejects independence by ooh, 60%/40%? That won't kill it. It's too close a result to kill it. The only thing that will kill it is having a political party in government that does not want it and/or altering attitudes at the grassroots level to such an extent that a referendum would never succeed.

As far as I can tell, opinion in Scotland is finely balanced enough (for/against) for there to be countless referendums (with maybe 3-4 years inbetween each) until the "independence" motion is carried.

A result that mirrored North-East Englands regional assembly rejection (80%+ saying "no") would do it - anything less won't pull up the issue by its roots and it will keep respawning until the nationalists get what they want.

strapworld said...

sorry Matt, cannot agree. Scotland will be able to achieve more money from the EU than the miserly amount \england have given them when you consider just what Scotland has given us in wealth, culture and politicians!

Let Scotland be Free! did we not celebrate the end of slavery?

Newmania said...

Scottish Conservative -The fact that posters in this vicinity may enjoy themselves at the expense of the thin lipped baby eating pictish hoard should not be confused with the way the Scots have actually defined themselves in opposition to the English for a very long time indeed . As we can see from the quiet acquiescence with which most of the supine Angles accept the rule of a Scottish mafia there are more important things on most peoples minds but this is changing as the outrage of a quasi imperial settlement at our expense unravels . People always get this wrong . It is not that there is a democratic deficit , which there is , it is that Scotland is politically a foreign country in which half the votes cast are counted against Conservative vote in England . For the English this has lead to the entire tone of our Parliament being warped in a n number of ways. It is far more pro European, far more socialist and weighted towards urban working class areas that mirror the Clydeside fastness of Labour .
So English votes are worth very much less than Scottish votes for whom the factual separation has been reflected by devolution. There is no defence .It is not just individual laws but entire governments that are chosen in Scotland

Sadly the Conservative Party in Scotland is reduced to its most traditional rump and it is wedded to the Union in a way that the rest of the Conservative Party is not anymore. It is not English Conservatives that have changed other than with time . It is the Scottish Conservative Party that is now utterly unrepresentative of main stream Conservative thought .This is why they embarrass themselves and us by allying with Labour to further gerrymander against the interests of the English. Brown has signalled that he is once again going to devolve further powers to Scotland . He can do this under existing legislation and without ever having to go near the “constitution” a trick he is becoming alarmingly good at..hmmmmm? There will be no question of the English being consulted, they will merely be further discriminated against.

I put it to you SC, that the Scottish Conservatives represent no-one but a fossilised remnant, an angel beating its wings in a vacuum. As a lover of lost and hopeless causes I sympathise but that they cannot to continue to hippity hop about , like re-animated Do-dos making an anachronistic spectacle of themselves.

Colin D said...

Would Scottish Independence save us [English] Money? I think so, Loads of it!! They along with the welsh & Irish are an expense we could live without.

Anonymous said...

Just to confirm that some of the posts regarding English subsidies to Scotland are complete nonsense.

If you analyse the public spending per head data fairly you will find that it is regional inequalities in England that are most startling.

English regions vary widely. If you took London, at £8,404 per head, it would outstrip Scotland (at £7,597).

These statistics, and more, can be found in an interesting article by Magnus Linklater in The Times.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/magnus_linklater/article1991123.ece

Wrinkled Weasel said...

I came across an astonishing fact...

Do you know which EC country gets the biggest EC handout per head?

No googling!

english democrat said...

Instead of insult and counter insult between us why not talk about the positive aspects of a mutual breakup of the Union by fererendum with the whole UK making its opinion known? The Union affects us ALL on this Island and we should have the right to be involved! It is not just a Scottish issue because everybody in the UK will be affected! The question in my mind is a simple one, Do yo think that it is better to have a willing and equal friend on our borders than a chained and unwilling subject?

Newmania said...

anon 10.15 . It is hardly news that there are great regional variations whithin England .This does not have anyting to do with the differences between England and Scotland unless you are suggesting that England as a conceot has no integrity which is , in fact , midly offensive.

We know that those who hate the English wish to break it up into regions but thus far it remains a country and as we are discussing countries that is the apppropriate unit to take

Newmania said...

WW - Northern Ireland ?

skipper said...

A referendum would not be a bad option for the opposition parties and as soon as possible, as polls show less than a third of Scots support independence right now. But the more Salmond continues to impress as First Minister the more support for his main policy objective will grow.

Newmania said...

anything less won't pull up the issue by its roots and it will keep respawning until the nationalists get what they want.


Vulva that a superb analasis but whats the problem . This reflects the fact that many people in Scotland deperately want independence whereas others are indifferent and therefore default to the current arrangement. The amount of will is not the same as the amount of votes and in reality that must be reflected

Beeb Basher said...

Hi Iain. Over on Biased BBC they've got the unbroadcast portion of Neil Kinnock being interviewed by James Naughtie on Radio 4 from 1989. Take a listen - it's great stuff - you should link to it!

The fact that the BBC covered up that embarrassing interview for more than a decade points up just how wrong it was of the BBC to show that Redwood footage again.

If Kinnock was a Conservative that interview would have been all over the news at the time - Kinnock would have been finished, and recent British history might have been very different.

The BBC. It's what they do.

Anonymous said...

On true brit's reference to Evan Davis' contention that the loss of UK public funded spending would more or less be balanced by oil revenues, Evan Davis concedes that: 'The oil money in the fiscal year just ending would be worth £8.6 billion to Scotland, assuming that the Nationalists are right in asserting the country would keep 95% of the total UK £9.1 billion oil revenues.' It is a rather big assumption. Given the way in which territorial boundaries are extended into the sea, it is not clear that such a large proportion would actually be in Scottish waters. England may gain more than the SNP realise - and, as Evan Davis points out, the oil will eventually run out anyway.

Koba said...

English independence would solve the UK’s regions dilemma in a stroke.

Blogfan said...

Skipper said 'But the more Salmond continues to impress as First Minister the more support for his main policy objective will grow.'

And he will get the credit for whatever change comes in the meantime. You have to hand it to him he's snookered the lot of them and they can't find a way out of their own refusal for a referendum. What a laugh!
Alex Salmond - worth every penny!

Wrinkled Weasel said...

Newmania. A very intelligent guess because according to the info, it is a small well developed country:- Luxembourg!!!

Anybody out there wish to dispute this? I am willing to be corrected.

more vulgar than a vulcans vulva said...

Mr. Newmania

Cheers - good point!

Where, I think, you and I differ (!) is that I am a unionist - despite disliking most Scots intensely.

I've laid out some reasons for this in other threads before, but, in a nutshell, my concerns are that to split the union could endanger our global standing and reduce our influence our foreign/ defence policy. UN seat/Commonwealth etc.

Those associations are based on "Britain" not "England". Of course, we may still call ourself the "UK" sans Scotland, but that is a bit silly given the UK was formed out of the England/Scotland union.

Emotional reasons: I like our flag, history, empire, institutions etc. It is a bit sad we cant work out a way to all get along. If the Scots were nicer to the English, maybe we wouldn't be so bitter to each other now (myself included)

Frankly, I'm worried about us all squabbling amongst ourselves as independent nations on the periphery of Europe and becoming irrelevant to the world.

Finally, I certainly don't want Scotland adopting the euro as added pressure on us to take it and I really do think Scots benefit globally from the union in the greater opportunities and influence it gives them in the world.

But, I fear, I'm fighting a lost cause!

Koba said...

English independence would solve the delema of the UK’s regions in a stroke.

guido faux said...

shirt-termist?

Freudian slip Iain?

David Lindsay said...

Arise, Sir Alex Salmond. And why not? Partly, this would be in the way notionally Nationalist politicians in various Dominions and Colonies used to be knighted while still ranting against Britain for domestic consumption.

But mostly, it would be in the way that someone like Sir Robert Menzies of Australia was knighted, for the rather simpler reason of being almost embarrassingly pro-British. Of course, if Sir Alex examines his passport, then he will see that British is exactly what he is, simply as a matter of fact.

This White Paper is laughable, and absolute proof that Salmond, with his three salaries and expenses packages from the British taxpayer (one for a job which he now refuses to do), has no intention whatever of bringing about independence.

The votes of people with nowhere else to go were just his stepping stone to the high life, promotion coming so much more quickly in the SNP than in, say, the Labour Party.

The White Paper's proposed referendum question on independence is in fact merely a question on whether or not people want the the Scottish Executive to begin negotiations with the British Government towards independence. But they can already answer that simply by voting SNP, or not. And they have already given that answer.

Meanwhile, even if this proposed referendum delivered a Yes vote, then that would put the ball entirely in London's court. It could just say no outright, on the grounds that there was only a mandate for negotiations, not for any specific conclusion. Indeed, it could just say no outright because it felt like saying no outright.

Or it could (and certainly would) insist on the permanent retention of at least fifty per cent of oil revenue, if not on a permanent per capita split. Or it could (and certainly would) insist on the perpetual ongoing right to station in Scotland any forces or weaponry of its choosing.

Or it could (and certainly would) insist on the continuation within the United Kingdom of any parliamentary constituency, or municipal area, or Lieutenancy Area, with a Yes vote below fifty per cent (at the very least) of the total registered electorate.

Unless all three of these conditions, no doubt among others, were met in full, then it would simply refuse to sign. If it didn't just refuse to sign anyway.

Meanwhile, there is no majority in either House for further devolution, a situation which would not change even if the SNP won every Scottish seat at Westminster. So Salmond is whistling in the wind there.

But, of course, that is exactly what he wants. He can then sell himself as Scotland's Champion, keeping himself in British-funded clover for many years to come. And, to be fair, keeping him in a position to do various things domestically. It's an old, old game. And Salmond is very, very good at it.

In any case, devolved power is devolved power: the Parliament of the United Kingdom reserves the right to legislate, overridingly, in any area it likes. So it wouldn't matter even if there were further devolution. Which there isn't going to be, to Salmond's great, and carefully calculated, relief.

It is interesting that Salmond's first call for further devolution has been in the area of broadcasting. This is a vitally important insight into the class base of Scottish Nationalism, i.e., among the upper-middle-class types who have long used their wildly disproportionate clout to ensure that popular television programmes are "except for viewers in Scotland" (I once even saw such a listing for Rab C Nesbitt!), who must instead switch over, or switch off, or watch either some piece of patronising tartan'n'shortbread nonsense, or else something "Scottish" which, however worthwhile, almost nobody really wants to watch, certainly not in preference to what is being shown in the rest of the United Kingdom.

Salmond wants a whole broadcasting network like that. And, in this digital age, why not, at least on a subscription basis? It's certainly not as if the target audience couldn't afford to subscribe.

But that realisation says it a very great deal about the Nationalists, with even more said by the realisation that, ideally and if the technology still allowed for it, they would want this new network to replace the BBC in Scotland.

Finally, I note the return of the "devolution is not an event, but a process" line to the debate, attributed to Donald Dewar in Scotland, and apparently attributed to Ron Davies in Wales. Dewar certainly never said, and I very much doubt that Davies did, either. It is a simple error of fact: devolution is not in fact a process, but an event.

However, that event has yet to happen, since it includes the enactment (routinely, in fact) of overriding legislation by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, as presupposed by the Scotland and Wales Acts, Acts fully supported by the SNP and Plaid Cymru on the floor of the House of Commons.

True Brit said...

more vulgar than a vulcans vulva: "I am a unionist - despite disliking most Scots intensely"

That's a remarkably stupid statement for any thoughtful person to make - unless you happen to know most Scots personally - out of five million or so.

more vulgar than a vulcans vulva: "I like our flag, history, empire, institutions etc. It is a bit sad we cant work out a way to all get along. If the Scots were nicer to the English, maybe we wouldn't be so bitter to each other now (myself included)"

And of course our shared history, empire, institutions etc. are nothing to do with those nasty Scots, eh! The Scots played a huge part in the making of Britain and the Empire, and indeed the whole free world (written by an American academic, not a Scot!).

You assume that the Scots "aren't nice" to the English - a big assumption. You'd do well to remember that Scotland is a small nation of 5 million tacked on to a big nation of 50 million - any distinct tenth of a pupulation is bound to make distinctions between itself and the larger group. Think of how Brits regard the USA and Americans, and then you might understand how and why the Scots regard England and the English! Or Londoners vs. non-Londoners, etc. etc.

Adrian Yalland said...

Scottich Conservative. I never said any of the things you attribute to 'people like me'. I don't think the Scots are feckless, lazy or deep-fried Mars bar guzzling, Buckfast-tonic swigging louts who enjoy pulling the wings of butterflies - etc etc ad nauseum. Many Scots I know are bloody canny, hard working, frugal, inspirational and deeply humerous people. If you have such a low opinion of your countrymen, then I am sorry - but it isn't a view I share.

But I do think there is an undercurrent of anti-english sentiment which has been particularly stoked up since Braveheart was released (obviously, Braveheart was a sympton not a cause - Nationalism was on the increase since the 1960's.

In the Victoirian era, the Scots where the most ardent Unionists - althoug fielrcely proud of their heritage. The English, whilst subconsciously regarding Scotland as an extension of England and englishness, none the less where proud of Scotland's many achievments, indeed wrapping themseleves in the Saltire and adoptopting sucessful scots as honourary englishmen.

But all this doesn't take away from the fact that (and I stand to be corrected here) only in one year since it cam eon stream did revenues from Scottish gas/oil exceed the subsidy from England.

Yes, there are benefits from the Union, but there are drawbacks too.

If Scotland's people wish to be independent, then who am I to stop them. Let's part in peace.

But what I am not prepared to do is put up with this insane system whereby the Scots live beyond their means knowing the Sasanach's south of the border will continue to pour money over the border because of a notion of 'union' to which the Scots no longer subscribe. And, all the time putting up with my country's interests being ignored to entrench Labour's rule over the English from their Scottish fiefdoms!

Without Scotland - and indeed without the EU - We would have billions more to spend on the English issues which affect us, whilst Scotland would be free to pursue her own destiny through building up her excellence as a financial centre to rival one of the smaller European centres (Frankfurt for example), touriasm, light industry and what remains of the gas and oil.

Do yourself a favour - move to England!

Andrew said...

David Lindsay, is your post meant to be so insulting as to covertly galvanise support for independence? No self-respecting independent state would agree to any of those things. One of the main platforms of Scottish independence is to get Trident out of the Clyde, there is no way an independent Scotland would put up with this. The reason Scots want independence is so they no longer have to put up with the imperialist garbage of Westminster, not agree to more of it.

What a load of absolute tosh.

tarryboy said...

All interesting comments so far about Scottish subsidies - but you all miss the point that the very purpose of subsidising Scotland is to contain Scottish nationalism.

It is the oldest political trick in the book to keep a society happy that would otherwise rebel. The Romans used it extensively throughout their empire - not least in England.

Anonymous said...

All interesting comments so far about Scottish subsidies - but you all miss the point that the very purpose of subsidising Scotland is to contain Scottish nationalism.

It is the oldest political trick in the book to keep a society happy that would otherwise rebel. The Romans used it extensively throughout their empire - not least in England.

True Brit said...

David Lindsay: "Or it could (and certainly would) insist on the permanent retention of at least fifty per cent of oil revenue, if not on a permanent per capita split"

Yeah, right, like there's any justice in such a unilateral resource grab!

David Lindsay: "Or it could (and certainly would) insist on the perpetual ongoing right to station in Scotland any forces or weaponry of its choosing"

Yeah, right, like that's going to happen if even a sizeable number of Scots don't consent.

David Lindsay: "Or it could (and certainly would) insist on the continuation within the United Kingdom of any parliamentary constituency, or municipal area, or Lieutenancy Area, with a Yes vote below fifty per cent (at the very least) of the total registered electorate"

Yeah, right, like that's a recipe for peace and order - ever heard of Northern Ireland or Kashmir?

What an idiot you are with spouting such nonsense - and at such length too, quite inverse to your ability to be coherent and rational!

David Lindsay said...

Andrew, I feara that you really only reflect just how insular Scotland's political culture has become, contrary to her history, and contrary to the interests of her people. It really does now seem to be presupposed there that she could just walk away from the Union on any terms she liked. No, she could not.

The three things that I set out - at least a 50/50 (if not a per capita) split in oil revenue, the continuing right to station absolutely any forces and weapons it liked in Scotland, and, to call a spade a spade, partition (unless independence magically got well over half the eligible vote abolutely everywhere in Scotland) - are the bare minimum that any British Government could agree to unless it probably wanted to lose a confidencce motion and certainly wanted its party to be wiped out for ever at the next opportunity.

It is not a question of an independent Scotland signing up to these things: without these things, there could simply never BE an independent Scotland, beacuse no British Government could possibly sign the necessary treaty.

And again I say that Salmond has given up. As SNP First Minister always will, since he will either have joined the British Establishment or will be, like Salmond, a longstanding member of it anyway. As much as anything else, Salmond has now taken the Privy Council Oath, of which any serious pursuit of independence would be a breach.

And he's the last person to want independence, really: posing as Scotland's Champion against London will keep people voting for him. Again, any SNP First Minister will always be in the same position.

Why should any referendum be held only in Scotland, anyway? There is no comparison between devolution and secession. There is, in point of fact and in no sense as a matter of opinion, no state in the United Kingdom except the United Kingdom, and no nation except the British nation. The United Kingdom is my country, and no one has the right to take it away from me.

But them no one except a few cranks is even trying to any more, and Lord Salmond probably never really was.

David Lindsay said...

True Brit:

1. "Justice" seldom enters into these things, and I don't see how anything written into a tratey could be "unilateral", but in fact the unjust "resource grab" would a secessionist entitity's attempting to walk away with most or all of the United Kingdom's oil revenue;

2. The idea of any such treaty without this provision is laughably naive; and

3. The notion that a British Government or Parliament could expel a discernable part of Scotland (and I've listed three types, to all of which this point applies) - or, indeed, a comparably discernable part of England, Wales or Northern Ireland - from the United Kingdom without the express consent of well over half of its electorate is positively obscene, and mercifully inconceivable politically. But think of it this way: no more Union equals no more Scotland.

And it's all academic: the SNP has given up. It has been no just brought in, but bought in.

tarryboy said...

David Lindsay - what makes you think England or the British institution is in any position to stop Scottish independence should she decide that is her future.

I'll cite America, Ireland, India, Rhodesia, as just a very few examples of how the British empire has unravelled - sometimes under very bloody circumstances. But Britain has proved unable to stem a political tide when it truly turns.

While the institutional political processes in Britain may not allow a breakaway state - that has not stopped it happening before.

And let's not kid ourselves that Scotland is anything but one of the last outposts of an old empire.

tarryboy in Dublin

David Lindsay said...

"Let's not kid ourselves" that it is. The institutions to which you refer are not English, but British. Is Gordon Brown English?

And the SNP's own preferred referendum question talks about a negotiated settlement with those institutions. Well, these would be the terms of any such settlement. Otherwise, there simply wouldn't be one.

The SNP has given up, anyway. Otherwise, it would not be bothering with "further devolution", which, after all, would just be devolution, by and subject to Westminster Parliament. It would be demanding independence now. It isn't. And it never now will in anything more than the most rhetorical sense.

tarryboy in ex-colonial outpost Dublin said...

The institution I chiefly am refering to is Scotland - this is the fundamental unit in question. It is politically undefined but internationally recognised - and this will be key to independence - international support.

As I said before - the constitutional machinery is not in place att he moment to allow a breakaway state - but there are plenty of precedents of how it could be achieved - peacefully.

Gordon Brown is Scottish of course. Tony Blair was Scottish too. (Wasn't he? Born and schooled, a Scottish name and a Scottish parent I believe?). So the nationality, or whatever, of the British Prime Minister is irrelevant to Scottish determination - unless I missed something.

The N in SNP must surely refer to the Nation state which is implicitly an independent entity, (which may subsequently join another union eg European). so I can't believe the SNP 'has given up'.

And I'm not sure you have enough evidence to declare the SNP has given up either. Their current stance is tactical, I believe - independence by stealth. And can you doubt Salmond's shrewdness?

alanindyfed said...

It seems to me that the Conversation that Alex Salmond called for has already started!
That man knows what he's doing.

Anonymous said...

Newmania - I do not accept this widespread notion, which you repeat, that Scotland is ruling England in some "quasi-imperial settlement at our expense". Firstly, as has been pointed out Labour has a majority in England. Secondly, the degree of influence which England has exercised over Scotland's affairs has far exceeded the influence operating in the opposite direction.

For instance a present gripe is the WLQ and I can see the unfairness here and also accept that if the English wish a symmetrical remedy that is fair enough. However, what I object to is this notion that the current system is peculiarly unfair, novel and unique. I do not think the WLQ is any more egregious than the pre-devolution position was for Scotland. We simply have a new form of asymmetry in our constitutional arrangements. Since the War I am reliably told that until the 2001-2005 parliament there had never been an instance where Scottish voted had tipped the balance on a piece of English legislation. However, before devolution English MP's will have determined the outcome of the majority of Scottish legislation - very often against the will of the majority of Scottish MP's.

I have some sympathy with your description of the predicament of the Scottish Conservatives although I think the Party could revive in Scotland to some degree if we pursued a more distinctively Scottish agenda but we'll need to wait for some more politically focused MSPs for that to happen.

Scottish Conservative

Anonymous said...

adrian yalland - i did not attribute these remarks to you but everyone who has read a right of centre English blog will recognise these rather bigoted sentiments. English nationalism is not inherently bigoted or unleasant but i think the majority of English nationalist bloggers express bigoted sentiments towards the Scots.

You are quite wrong that Scotland only subsidised England for one year during the 1980's. There is a very good book by Jo Eric Murkens which touches on this subject and provides the figures showing this not to be the case although i do not have it to hand. I must also say again that this contention that "shedloads" of money are being shipped off to Scotland is inaccurate. It seems that through contant repetition on right-wing English websites it has acquired the status of fact but the sums involved are actually minimal and used to flow in the other direction not so long ago.

Finally, i think some english posters are mistaken if they think the grievances will end with independence. there are enormous possibilities for disagreement in such circumstances - whow is the national debt to be distributed, what will the maritime boun daries be, what will be the financial ramifications of the trident move. Also an independent Scotland will probably enter the eurozone so dont be surprised if it seeps into common usage in the far north of England carlisle etc. im sure those encouraging scottish independence from england would hugely welcome that!!

scottish conservative

vanfuertes said...

"The N in SNP must surely refer to the Nation state which is implicitly an independent entity...so I can't believe the SNP 'has given up'"


As it happens I too feel the SNP are still focussed on independence. However, don't kid yourself that being the Scottish National Party necessarily means independence will be on the agenda. Sinn Fein means 'Ourselves' in Gaelic and regularly justifies its recognition of Stormont as 'tactical'. However, we all know there is no chance of an independent united Ireland. Sometimes you just have to get the best you can, with the disappointing truth left unsaid.

tarryboy in dublin said...

Not sure, vanfuertes, why you think there will never be an independent united ireland. All the evidence, particulary demographics, points the other way. Each year there are simply less unionists because of birth rates.

But what it really comes down to is money. Just as subsidising Scotland keeps Scotland subservient, as the Republic ramps up cross-border subsidies, and pumps money into the province (as it is doing now) Protestents will begin to wonder what side their bread is buttered.

Right now the Republic is willing to pour more money in the North than Westminster is willing to allocate.

The Republic is a hugely changed place now and Dublin in particular is as multicultural as London.

Intelligent Unionists/Protestants no longer consider the Irish Republic as a Papist nightmare. It is now a real alternative to the Union.

fnusnuank said...

I look to Salmond and the SNP to deliver England.

I can't understand the Conservatives attitude, it seems they just don't want to win the next election.

vanfuertes said...

Tarryboy, you're right in the sense that Catholics are effectively outbreeding Protestants. However, a fifth of Catholics support the Union and another fifth don't care whether the Union is maintained or not. These figures haven't changed much in years, meaning there is little or no prospect of the consent principle working to nationalists advantage in the next 50 years, and probably well beyond.

Furthermore, the investment in the North is not, I believe, enough to change Unionists' minds. Whilst relations with Westminster have become more strained over the last 15 years, there has been an increasing number of Protestants seeing themselves as 'Ultser, through and through'. That is, not so reliant on a sense of Britishness, but keen to celebrate Northern Protestant identity, a mark of separation from the Republic.

Newmania said...

True Brit - For god`s sake Mr. vulgar was joking...

Scottish Conservative-the degree of influence which England has exercised over Scotland's affairs has far exceeded the influence operating in the opposite direction. -

This is meaningless while we are one country

For instance a present gripe is the WLQ and I can see the unfairness here and also accept that if the English wish a symmetrical remedy that is fair enough.


Symmetry would be an English Parliament



However, what I object to is this notion that the current system is peculiarly unfair, novel and unique.

See above . Symmetry would require an English Parliament .No situation of this sort has existed before


I do not think the WLQ is any more egregious than the pre-devolution position was for Scotland. We simply have a new form of asymmetry

No the asymmetry you refer to is only that one part of the UK is larger than another. Not an asymmetry of the value of votes. This sophistry really must be abandoned it is no more valid than a card trick. In various guises this is the sort of thing the labour Party trot out . Shame ..boo hiss…really its nonsense in my humble opinion

Mark McLay said...

Hello fellow politics fans,How do you do?I feel i must throw in my tuppence worths here.
Reading through the comments i started to notice a trend in what was being posted.Most comments tended to be quite seriously written with a lot of attention paid to small details about who said what,why this couldnt happen,what the consequences of this happening were etc etc.Some commenters just do not deserve to own computers considering the crap they are producing with it(i may be one of them).Anyway,i thought that most people were splitting hairs.So,to my point.HERE ARE TEN GOOD REASONS WHY I WANT A REFERENDUM ON INDEPENDENCE.

(1) WE ARE AN ANCIENT EUROPEAN NATION WITH A RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION
(2)THE ACT OF UNION WAS NOT VOTED ON DEMOCRATICALLY
(3)WE CONTRIBUTE MORE TO THE EXCHEQUER THAN WE RECIEVE(FACT)
(4)I DO NOT WANT TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH THE ILLEGAL OCCUPATION OF IRAQ
(5)IAM AGAINST TRIDENT2
(6)IAM AGAINST PFI AND PPP(WHICH IS CORRUPT)
(7)IAM AGAINST NEW NUCLEAR POWER STATIONS
(8)IAM SICK OF THE UNIONIST PROPAGANDA MACHINE(DAILY RECORD,SCOTTISH SUN,SCOTTISH DAILY MAIL ETC)THAT CONTINUALLY FEED US LIES
(9)I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THE CORRUPTION THAT IS INHERENT IN WESTMINISTER(CASH FOR PEERAGES,THE BAE/SAUDI SCANDAL THAT DISAPPEARED ETC)
(10)IT IS TIME

Ps i do not hate the English.Any differences we have are political and not personal

Mark McLay, Falkirk

Anonymous said...

quoting newmania:

"Scottish Conservative-the degree of influence which England has exercised over Scotland's affairs has far exceeded the influence operating in the opposite direction. -

This is meaningless while we are one country"

Ahhh the irony!!!! So i assume that while we are part of the country you will not object to Scotland having greater influence over England then? No of course you will. So if England has greater control then thats just the Union whereas if Scotland has more influence over England it is a constitutional outrage perpetrated by scheming Scottish communists. Seems you apply one rule to the English and another to the Scots.

yes symmetry would require an english parliament. i do not object to this - its the outright bigotry of many english nationalists on these sites that riles me. And the hypocrisy that goes with it ie "i hate these drunken, feckless, scottish imperialists i mean they are just so anti-english" etc.

As to your boo hiss argument at the end - yes the asymmetry prior to devolution derived from the fact that England is much bigger than Scotland. When there were votes on shared UK wide issues and England had the greater influence then that was fine. However there were also innumerable votes on legislation only affecting Scotland in which English MPs very frequently had the deciding role. However at no point from the war til the 2001 parliament was the result of an English parliamentary vote tipped by Scottish MPs. I dont really understand your argument - is the size of the constituent parts of a Union irrelevant in constitutional terms. I assume by your argument that the US Senate is the devils work with Wyoming raping New York, Idaho ruling California etc etc.

Of course size matters darling xx

Scottish Conservative - with the emphasis now very much on the former :-)

Anonymous said...

Wellsaid, True Brit! We Southern Britons are proud to stand beside our northern cousins. I want all this separatist crap to stop. We've achieved far too much together and we can go on achieving a lot more in the future for it to break-up now. Besides which none of us could be truely 'independent' from each other on this tiny island.


The main threats come from the EU (a Union WE DEFINITELY DON'T NEED) and mass, uncontrolled immigration.


Tarra Boy from Dublin please don't insult Scotland by calling it a 'colony'. It isn't and it never has been.

Terry said...

According to opinion polls, two thirds of Scots want to remain part of the UK and two thirds of England want their own Parliament.

Why then are we considering asking the Scots (who have already had two devolution referenda) if they would like to take devolution a stage further?

Would it be unreasonable to ask the English (for the first time)if they wish to be constitutionally and fiscally equal to the Scots?

Terry said...

Mark Mclay said...

(1) WE ARE AN ANCIENT EUROPEAN NATION WITH A RIGHT TO SELF-DETERMINATION
And England is the oldest nation state in Europe

(2)THE ACT OF UNION WAS NOT VOTED ON DEMOCRATICALLY
Absolutely

(3)WE CONTRIBUTE MORE TO THE EXCHEQUER THAN WE RECIEVE(FACT)
This is not a fact. Tony Blair puts England’s contribution at £10bn and the Scotsman Newspaper recently put it at £20bn. The truth is, no one knows because successive Government departments have obfuscated the facts. Maybe Scotland subsidises the rest, maybe not…we don’t know!

(4)I DO NOT WANT TO BE ASSOCIATED WITH THE ILLEGAL OCCUPATION OF IRAQ
Absolutely. Despite England having a majority of MPs in the House, they were never asked. The Scots dominated cabinet forced this war on us.

(5)IAM AGAINST TRIDENT2
So am I. Who the hell are we going to shoot with them, Russia?

(6)IAM AGAINST PFI AND PPP(WHICH IS CORRUPT)
Tell me about it. England has had Foundation Hospitals forced upon us, despite a majority of English MPs voting against it (it was carried on Scots MPs’ votes, meddling in business that did not concern them).

(7)IAM AGAINST NEW NUCLEAR POWER STATIONS
Fortunately for you, the Scottish Parliament has stated that they will not be built in Scotland. The Scottish led Govt in the UK Parliament has said they can all be built in England.

(8)IAM SICK OF THE UNIONIST PROPAGANDA MACHINE(DAILY RECORD,SCOTTISH SUN,SCOTTISH DAILY MAIL ETC)THAT CONTINUALLY FEED US LIES
Me too.

(9)I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF THE CORRUPTION THAT IS INHERENT IN WESTMINISTER(CASH FOR PEERAGES,THE BAE/SAUDI SCANDAL THAT DISAPPEARED ETC)
Ditto

(10)IT IS TIME
You’re darn tootin’ !

Gus A said...

liberal republican wrote: "You are right. Scots will never vote for independence. The EU killed it when the Commission said Scotland would not get automatic membership."

A ew months back those on the right were saying 'The SNP will never get elected'. This is more wishful thinking. The EU never stated such a thing. The strongest clearest legal views I have read say quite the opposite, the idea that Scotland woud be barred from EU memberrship as an existing constituent is bizarre wishful thinking.

The reality is that there is no Brown bounce, the Tories are flatlining and arund 50% say they would vote SNP at the next election.

A lot of Iains comments sound like wishful thinking.

Gus http://1820.org.uk

Anonymous said...

David Lindsay- “the United Kingdom except the United Kingdom, and no nation except the British nation.”

Have you ever actually been to Scotland??? Have you ever heard anyone describe themselves as British except religious bigots? I have never heard a single person in Scotland voluntarily call themselves British apart from seeing Rangers hooligans. ‘British’ as a concept and nationality is completely dead in Scotland. Numerous Census and British Social Attitudes Surveys has consistently recorded the freefalling numbers Scots calling themselves British.

You are welcome to call yourself whatever you want. But the UK is a multinational political state born out of an undemocratic shot gun marriage of convenience and far from constituting a nationality. I am of Estonian decadency and I consider British soon to equate to other failed political identities that tried to be nationalities, such as Soviet or Czechoslovak. The journey to National independence comes in ebbs and flows and grows in speed and usually succeeds when people, usually the independence supporters, are least expecting it. I look forward to Scotland’s journey back to full independence.

Newmania said...

And replying again to “ Increasingly Scottish Conservative”

Ahhh the irony!!!! So I assume that while we are part of the country you will not object to Scotland having greater influence over England then?

Once again you are confusing the size of the two nations with the value of their votes within it. We are currently semi detached ( due to Scottish nationalism ) but in as much we are one country each vote must count for the same. IE Scottish MP`s cannot have powers over English Law that is not reciprocated. Your vote musty be no more constitutionally powerful than mine which currently it is. If you thought about us as individuals in a country you would find the mists clearing.





No of course you will. So if England has greater control then thats just the Union whereas if Scotland has more influence over England it is a constitutional outrage perpetrated by scheming Scottish communists. Seems you apply one rule to the English and another to the Scots.

Only to you because you wilfully ignore the above . Scotland has a huge influence over the business of Milton Keynes it being so comparatively small . So what. That is all you are saying and it is all you can ever say

"i hate these drunken, feckless, scottish imperialists i mean they are just so anti-english" etc.

Rubbish , the one is jovial the other is actually politics . Have a look at the spleen on Scots Nationalist sites and find an English equivalent. You will not. We have been abused for years . We support Scottish football , they cheer on the Germans .Thats the difference , or at least it used to be . I wouldn1t take the remarks of the English too seriously although irritation is growing certainly

As to your boo hiss argument at the end - yes the asymmetry prior to devolution derived from the fact that England is much bigger than Scotland.

....And bigger than Cornwall or Birmingham or Kent etc, etc, all of whom have a moan from time to time. Bigger than communities like Muslims who also feel they are not properly presented . They get a vote same as everyone else .....except the Scots . Are you getting it at all?



I dont really understand your argument - is the size of the constituent parts of a Union irrelevant in constitutional terms

If there is a Union it is irrelevant and could be applied to any given area of England or indeed any perosn from whom you wish to withhold full voting rights . These are comparatively small obviously . If the Scottish want to be treated as deserving a greater share of power than others in the state then they begin to want their own country . That is the process we are in and this endless attempt to confuse it with the workings of regions within a unitary state have nothing to do with it . Nothing and I wish you would separate them.

garypowell said...

its simple dc cant upset the bbc and the bbc does not want a independent scotland for so many reasons it would take a week to list them all

politics in the uk is dictated by the needs of the media

the greatest and by far the most powerfull of these is the bbc

the bbc has no interest in stiring up discontent in scotland while there is a labour national government

an independant scotland fragments the power of the bbc to influence events around the world and most of all europe

so an independant scotland is very regretibly a dead duck flying nowhere

as is the conservative party right now