Sunday, 15 November 2009

The SNP and its Independence Bill

After being thoroughly drubbed in the Glasgow NE by-election the SNP need to dust themselves down and jump into positive mode. All I will say about the by-election was I hope the SNP now realise a strong local candidate must be the choice in these constituencies. The English unionist approach of parachuting in 'favourites' doesn't go down well here in Scotland.

Jeff is suggesting they now drop their Independence Bill (to be launched on St Andrew's Day), because of the £12m price tag and it's a lose-lose situation anyway.

I completely disagree. This may be a central belt opinion but it's certainly not one I can find here further north. The majority in this area think the SNP would be foolish not to pursue their raison d'etre (the majority being people from all political persuasions) and many say if the Bill was dropped, it would show the SNP is not a party to be taken seriously. Having said that, the consensus here appears to be that the SNP are considered a strong, principled political force in Scotland and Scots do want to chance to choose in a referendum.

The cost is a drop in the ocean when we consider the billions ploughed into the banks, promised to the climate change lobby, given to corrupt governments and spent on the present war in Afghanistan which nobody can justify.

There couldn't be a more perfect time for this Bill to be launched. The UK is still in recession while other Europeans countries are out of it, Gordon Brown is very obviously not in charge of our armed forces - Barack Obama is, David Cameron has promised referenda on any EU changes. The list is endless.

The SNP is strong enough to absorb the media and unionist comments which will pour forth when the Bill is voted down, because we all know it will be voted down this time round. After all, for many years the SNP has had constant negative criticism from the press but they've held firmly to their fundamental beliefs and this is what people quietly admire.

Alex Salmond has promised to work with the unionist parties on the referendum questions. The problem with the unionists is that they don't want any discussion of independence. The very word scares many of them, (not all of them because I know some unionists who may vote for independence) and surely it has been noted the only time a unionist MSP/MP mentions the independence referendum is from a position of fear, not optimism in the Union.

I've just come across Joan McAlpine's post on this issue. In a far more eloquent manner she reiterates what I've written. Attack should be the SNP's plan. Let the people know they're a party which sticks to their promises and holds fast to their principles, but please, oh please, bring forward a firm policy on Local Income Tax because that's certainly one promise they must keep if they want to survive in government. Saying there will be another council tax freeze next year is not enough, not nearly enough.


Munguin said...

S/R I agree, if the referendum bill fails it should not be for the want of trying. They must bring forward something every time they get a mandate. That is what people voted for at the end of the day.

subrosa said...

Thanks Munguin. It's nonsense to even suggest they should give up their main policy.

Do you think Jeff's keeping company with too many unionist Edinburgers?

Anonymous said...


As you say, £12 million is tiny compared to the billions spent on the banks that went belly up under Labour.

It is a daft idea that the SNP should ditch its referemdum even though that it has little chance of getting through parly.

If salmond shelved it the Labour would milk it. I admire Jeff for his post on this but he said it himself that he is not that convinced about independence so I would take his thoughts with a pinch of salt in any case.

Quiet_Man said...

As an English nationalist, I have no objection to the Scots going their own way if that's what they want. However (you just knew that was coming didn't you) it's all about timing and the SNP are currently going through what's commonly known as mid term unpopularity where the ruling party is under close scrutiny and is blamed (in part) for any and all crisis currently underway. The best time for any popular referenda is when the party putting it forward is riding high and if that means waiting for the right moment then that's what the SNP should do. If they get it wrong and they lose (a distinct possibility at the moment) then they'll have to wait possibly up to 10 years before asking again. That's something they don't want I suspect.
I realise that they'll come in for criticism and I don't have a handle on on all that's going on, but choosing the right question at the right time seems the wisest course to me.

BTS said...

I'm a bit confused. If the SNP want Scottish independence, why do they then want to turn the whole shebang over to the EU?

From the SNP website:

"As part of the UK, Scotland has had no direct role in shaping the decisions of the European Union, decisions that directly affect us and have a crucial impact on key industries like fishing and agriculture.

To become part of the decision-making process in Europe, and gain the power to stand up for our vital national interests, Scotland needs to become a member state. To become a member state, Scotland has to become independent."

Montague Burton said...

Quiet Man, this mid-term unpopularity has the SNP sitting on 40% and Labour on 32%on the constituency vote according to TNS-BMRB poll.

Weber Shandwick voter seat projection translates to:

SNP: 54 seats (+7)
Lab: 44 (-2)
Con: 15 (-2)
LibDem: 14 (-2)
Green: 2

Can I ask you as an English Nationlist, why the Media down south aren't investigating the benefits of English nationalism?

subrosa said...

I know Spook. Jeff's the first SNP member I've ever come across who's not sure about independence.

subrosa said...

Hi QM, yes I knew what was coming. :)

The SNP promised this referendum during it's first term of government QM and it can't go back on that promise, regardless of being mid-term or whatever. That's the reason the SNP exist - for independence for Scotland.

As far as I see it there's no date for it on the Bill, it's just the Bill so it could be held at any time.

It would be their biggest vote loser if they didn't put the Bill forward, both from their present supporters and from those the unionists managed to convince the SNP were untrustworthy. So far, for a first government, the SNP have kept a firm supporter base and more because of their principled stands on certain matters.

Of course that's the wisest course, but putting forward the Bill and knowing (because we all know) it will be defeated, then they've kept their word to the country.

subrosa said...

BTS, I'd like a debate on an independent Scotland and the EU but that's another story. That's been their policy for years and perhaps it's time soon for them to listen to how attitudes have changed.

Let the Lisbon Treaty get a grip first and then we'll see how opinions change.

subrosa said...

Monty how did you know I was looking for these figures to show QM? Thanks.

I'm sure QM will respond to you himself.

Mr. Mxyzptlk said...

The snp should go for it they have made a promise (even though they have ditched others).
After all it isn't going to get through holyrood.

as MB shows 54 seats against 73 even if the polls are proved right Ha!

Great Big Billygoat Gruff said...

The SNP need to come out fighting, retaliating first and putting the boot in. Labour, who have their backs to the wall will do all the above and much, much more, with the assistance of the MSM.

Gloves off!

A serious rethink of tactics and pour soe cash into making it happen. Running around in cars honking the horn and sticking a saltire out window did not work in Glanrothes and letting the Labourites take the steering wheel did not work in Glasgow NE.

Time for some radical rethinking re the West of Scotland. The SNP of the East and northwards has no resonance with the Labour gene pool in Labour's hinterland.

We need former Labour street fighters for there and somehow an bridge has to be built quickly.

wv = muddl and it was in Glasgow NE

Great Big Billygoat Gruff said...

find the lost Ms in y last post

Crappy M key

Quiet_Man said...

I wasn't referring to polling popularity, but of policy popularity. The SNP were recently forced to cancel the ECML connection to Glasgow, they are currently feeling the squeeze financially as they look to trim the budget, this will all be a factor when (or if) the SNP ask the Scottish people do they want independence. Remember you're going to be up against an implacably hostile press who are going to dredge up scandal and innuendo in an effort to derail the move to independence along with a still fairly healthy level of support for the unionist parties.
Tbh, I don't think at the moment the SNP can win, but I don't have a finger on the pulse of Scottish opinion. That's probably a good enough reason to delay a referendum, also at least until after the economy recovers too.

The reason the media down south don't discuss the benefits of English Nationalism are complex, but boil down to only going for sensationalism (Barnet formula myths etc) and attributing English nationalism with the racist element of the BNP and not the civic nationalism we're actually trying for. Basically we're up against a closed shop and although we're making some progress, at the moment it's at the level of trying to point out to our media that England and Britain aren't interchangeable and that the UK parliament is not the English parliament and discriminates against the English through asymmetric devolution.

subrosa said...

There's only one I can think they'd 'ditched' Niko. Do list the other 999 please.

subrosa said...

I agree with you Billy. The SNP need to be on the front foot. Find the 'dirt' on the labour candidate long beforehand, check it out thoroughly, print up the leaflets and slap them through the doors before labour get their bus loads involved.

Plenty willing folks around to do it if they think it's the right candidate.

subrosa said...

I've done my crossword for today Billy. :)

subrosa said...

No QM the ECML policy was cancelled by Westminster who are in charge of the rail contracts.

The SNP are used to hostile press, they've known little else.

Shame English nationalism is classed along with facist parties. The unionists have tried hard over the years to put the SNP into that box but to give the SNP credit, they've handled that well.

Many English feel they have no voice of their own. Sadly they think all Scottish MPs vote on English matters which is quite untrue. SNP MPs have never voted on purely English matters - that's one of their policies.

DougtheDug said...

Subrosa, this is pretty much the same post I put on Moridura's blog and though he still believed that the SNP had failed to run a good campaign I don't.

You said that,"After being thoroughly drubbed in the Glasgow NE by-election the SNP need to dust themselves down and jump into positive mode.", but what did anyone expect the SNP to do? This was close to the safest seat in Scotland for Labour and the SNP vote stayed firm and did not fall. It wasn't a drubbing unless the expectation was that the SNP would miraculously take the seat from Labour against the evidence from all the previous elections.

If you go back and look at the election results from 1997 till now then the vote share is pretty constant. I'm aware that Glasgow Springburn became Glasgow NE in 2005 but it's still pretty close to the original constituency. If the SNP had previously held the seat or their share of the vote had collapsed then that would have been a Labour triumph but the SNP vote held up despite the relentless media barrage in Scotland and the attempt to make it a BNP/Labour fight by the UK media in order to deny the SNP any publicity.

Voting in Glasgow NE appears to be tribal where the vote is for the party, right or wrong, in pretty much the same way as fans support a football team because the vote doesn't appear to have changed much between the halcyon days of Tony Blair's coronation in 1997 and the fag-end of this current Labour Government, bogged down in expenses scandals, surveillance and ID card plans and a slavish following of the neo-cons in the States which has tied Britain down in an endless war in Afghanistan.

Looking at the results it appears that the campaigning from all sides made no difference and the constituency voted as it has always voted. A much better analysis of the results would be to say that the Labour vote held firm and the SNP also retained their support but the Lib-Dem vote went into free-fall when compared with 1997 the last time they fought the seat.

It is a problem for the SNP in that they haven't made a breakthrough but Glasgow NE was probably one of the toughest nuts in Scotland to crack. I've put in the previous electoral results to show how nothing has changed in the electorate's voting patterns in Glasgow Springburn/NE between 1997 and 2009 despite expenses scandals, financial collapse in the banking system, Iraq, Afghanistan and the assault on civil liberties in the UK, all on the current Labour Government's watch.

The results for 1997 (Springburn)
M Martin Labour 22,534 71.36%
J Brady SNP 5,208 16.49%
M Holdsworth Conservative 1,893 6.00%
J Alexander LibDem 1,349 4.27%
J Lawson Scottish Socialist 407 1.29%
A Keating Referendum 186 0.59%

The results for 2001 (Springburn)
Michael Martin Speaker (Lab) 16,053 66.6%
Sandy Bain SNP 4,675 19.4%
Carolyn Leckie Scottish Socialist 1,879 7.8%
Daniel Houston Scottish Unionist 1,289 5.3%
Richard Silvester Ind 208 0.9%

The results for 2005 (Glasgow NE)
Martin M.J.* Speaker 15,153 53.32%
McLaughlin J.F. SNP 5,019 17.66%
Kelly D. Ms. Socialist Labour 4,036 14.20%
Campbell G.M. Scottish Socialist 1,402 4.93%
Houston D. Scottish Unionist Party 1,266 4.45%
McLean S. BNP 920 3.24%
Chambers J. Ind 622 2.19%

The results for the 2009 by-election
William Bain Labour 12,231 59.39%
David Kerr SNP 4,120 20%
Ruth Davidson Conservatives 1,075 5.22%
Charlie Baillie British National Party 1,013 4.92%
Tommy Sheridan Solidarity 794 3.86%
Eileen Baxendale Liberal Democrats 474 2.30%
David Doherty Scottish Greens 332 1.61%
John Smeaton Jury Team 258 1.25%
Kevin McVey Scottish Socialist Party 152 0.74%
Mikey Hughes Independent 54 0.26%
Louise McDaid Socialist Labour Party 47 0.23%
Mev Brown Independent 32 0.16%
Colin Campbell Labour and Tory Tilt 13 0.06%

Observer said...

Agree completely with subrosa here.

The SNP are not in existance to run a devolved administration.

The referendum bill is not like the local income tax bill or any other bill which is up for negotiation. This is one bill which is non negotiable and if the unioists vote it down then that is the clear blue water between them and us that we need.

It's the line in the sand.

The thought of dropping it is sheer madness and I am 100% confident it will not be even considered.

subrosa said...

Thanks for posting that Doug. I hadn't read it before.

I think they did get a drubbing even although you say they held their share, which of course is correct. Although I didn't think they'd win the seat, I certainly expected a smaller majority for labour.

As I've said the campaign started badly and that set the tone of it. Never once did I feel inspired by what I saw on TV (as I live too far away to have witnessed any canvassing).

That is not to say the campaign was so badly run, it just wasn't up to the GE one in vitality. I know many people worked their socks off - I read Indy's blog, but labour were given too many initial home goals.

Again taken from TV, there seems to be a large percentage of over 65s in that area and all idolised Michael Martin. A hard nut to crack that type of idolatry. Once my generation die off politics will change all over Scotland, I have no doubt about that whatsoever.

Hopefully we will have restored some pride in our country and ourselves and realise there's a better life out there without a life on benefits being the only option.

subrosa said...

Well said Observer. You should have written this post!

CrazyDaisy said...


We need to hold it and as planned, no waiver, no break in focus and by being detemrined and resolute in our endeavours. Time the SNP faced down Labour lies and "man up".

The London Centric Civil Service and the FCO are very aware of the reality of Scots voting for Independence and behind the scenes are addressing it seriously, this was from a slip of tongue I was fortunate to catch this week on my travels.

On my last jaunt I sat back and listened to a HM Gov Policy advisor compare the geographic sea bed and it's locality, hydrocarbons etc to that of Scotland. It is acknowledged that the change of maritime boundary will revert to 90 degs to the border on seperation, so any guff you've read elsewhere from the Unionist doom mongers - forget.

I'm disappointed that the SNP did not achieve a better result in Glesga NE, but there's only a max of 6 months before the "game is on". Mr peely wally will perhaps not enjoy the fruits of his "Labour" for long.

Saor Alba

Crazy Daisy

p.s. nice to be back after a week of snow!

sm753 said...

"It is acknowledged that the change of maritime boundary will revert to 90 degs to the border on seperation"

What, parallel to the coast?

Look up "UN Convention on the Law of the Sea".

Jeesh, even the two editions of GERS produced under Nat management use the UNCLOS median line as the definition of "geographic share".

The words "straws", "at" and "grasping" come to mind when I look at you.

In any case, it's irrelevant. The difference between median-line oil revenue and east-west line oil revenue is insignificant.

The larger point is that whatever line you choose, Scotland is already consuming its oil revenues - and more - in public spending.

There is no magic "hidden" surplus.

There is nothing with which to create an "oil fund".

"Independence" amounts to paying more and getting less - smaller, weaker, poorer, less important and more ignored.

Dramfineday said...

Important to keep calm and drill into the Labour fantasies and demolish them one at a time. Start next Thursday, just when Iain stands up to pontificate, put him to the task. Start be asking why he supported the anti Edinburgh aspect of the campaign, ask why he thought he was fit to be the MSP for SW Edinburgh and the working class folk there and then to back Bain and Glasgow Labour in their attack on the self same folk via their Glasgow first crap - bloody hypocrite!

Interestingly, the Sunday Herald was full of the usual contrite blathers, having ignored and failed to question on the obvious gaps in Bain’s "profile" (and that includes it's sister paper), and about the other lies being pedelled. Democracy, great stuff ....but only if it is in the unionist image. Muriel Grey was on the right track today, mithering about how Murdock and the Tories will manipulate the press and ensure that the only story was their story. She completely blew it by then referring the SNPs desire for a BBC 6 as they wanting to appear more on the box. Totally oblivious, of course, to how the trash papers and the so called nationals and the national broadcaster dealt with the level playing field aspect. Idiot, she's obviously never heard of the term Glancampbly.

At one point, when it looked as if the BNP would get third place, I thought that perhaps now the SNP would get an even playing field....unfortunately the Tories (good lass, wish she was a Nat) edged it. So it's back to attacking the democratic nationalists as the enemy within – meantime the Nazi’s slowly advance and the poor stay at home isolated, stuffed, and in despair. Help ma boab, and I told you to keep calm.

Dramfineday said...

Evening SM753 - have a wee check back to how the rules were changed by Westmidden to carve a large chunk of the sea out of Scottish waters and put it into "English" waters.

I understand that a view from Carnoustie covers that water - but I may be wrong. Howver like most unionists, you assume that we the people of Scotland are, too wee, too poor and too stupid to:
a)renegotiate the line. b)dispute the line through the usual international courts. C) manage our own expebses and ecomony. Come on, you had a braw fighter in Glasgow NE. Spare us the usual unionist drivel about "we couldnae dae it for oursels ye ken... we need a big lad tae help us". Pathetic!

PS apologies, I'm feeling gittish again tonight - I seem to have the opposite of the Scottish cringe - every time I perceive a gubbing - I get beligerent, just at the point when my fellow Scots shoulders start to droop.

subrosa said...

Thanks for telling how it is in the unionist world CD.

If we gave up it'd be like rehashing the song "Ye cannae shove yer grannie aff a bus" to "Ye can shove yer grannie aff a bus if she's getting oan yer nerves" isn't it.

Peely wally? Auch yer being a bit too kind there.

DougtheDug said...

Iain Gray is bandying about a cost of £12 Million for the referendum bill but is he talking about the cost of holding a referendum which means that he expects the bill to pass or is he talking about the cost of having the bill presented and defeated in the Parliament which is what he tells us is going to happen? We need to be clear about this.

It's not about cost anyway. The unionists happily voted through £500 Million to lay a light railway through Edinburgh which had one of the best bus systems in Scotland while in the UK the MOD is giving its Civil Servants £42 Million in bonuses and the fire hose funding to keep the banks solvent as they leak money from every orifice is just not mentioned.

So why do the unionists not want the Bill?

The unionists view the Holyrood Parliament as local government so debating constitutional issues is just plain wrong in their eyes as it's too close to being a real parliament and having to debate difficult issues which are well outside their comfort zone. It also will bring the issue to the forefront of the public's mind as the General Election approaches. Even though the unionists claim the SNP would lose any independence referendum they don't want it because it is almost as dangerous to let the public know there is a choice as to lose the referendum. Having the public think about these issues is dangerous in itself.

They will also have to explain why they all think that a referendum for the Welsh on extra powers is OK but a referendum on Scottish independence is not. The Lib-Dems who have always preened themselves as nearly-nationalist federalists and the party of choice is going to be in a very difficult place denying the Scots a referendum. Labour are also pushing internally for a referendum on electoral reform but want to deny the Scots a referendum on constitutional choice.

The SNP have to put this bill up because it is their core aim and reason for existence. Even if it fails it will make apparent the LibLabCons desire to deny Scots a choice and it will bring independence to the electorate's attention as the General Election in 2010 approaches.

Forget cost because it's a red herring. The chorus of calls by the unionists to abandon the bill shows how much the do not want to have any debate about independence in the Parliament. For that reason alone it has to be presented to Parliament in Holyrood.

subrosa said...

Aren't we too slow off the starting line at times Dram? As someone said today somewhere, labour get in there with their message then the SNP appear to take ages to counteract it.

Of course in reality that's perhaps not true but that's the way the media display it.

We must demand a more even playing field on television. More of us need to complain that the unionists receive far more time that we do.

Muriel Gray. I started off thinking it was a balanced piece for a change but just knew there would be a sting in the tail. The woman can't help it, she's a fervent unionist.

Mind you, she'll be one of the first to clamber for a piece of the limelight when independence arrives. That's the trouble with them, they have no principles.

subrosa said...

Ah Dram, good on you. Shoulders back and onwards, that's the way we should all go.

Bill said...

Although I am totally opposed to separation/independence I have always been completely in favour of holding a referendum on this topic as quickly as possible to test the real opinion of the Scottish electorate. If the referendum were to 'succeed' I would, quite obviously, be extremely unhappy, but would have to accept the result - and go and live in Godalming (that last bit is a joke, although I might end up in Worthing or Eastbourne one day ;) ). On the other hand if it were to 'fail' I would be much happier, and this is what I, and the opinion polls, suggest would happen. In that case, though, I'd hope it could be laid to rest for a generation (say 20 or 25 years) at least.

I do not think it is good for Scotland to keep harping on about this, whichever way the decsion in a referendum might go - there are far more important things to worry about.

Jeff's assessment, it seems to me, is based on the assumption that a referendum would 'fail' and perhaps he suspects that it would inevitably mean it was a dead issue for many years (as I suggest it should be in that situation). On the other hand if it is abandoned for next year they can come back again in a few years and perhaps Scottish opinion will have moved on from where it is now - which is pretty overwhelmingly opposed to separation/independence, however much the SNP 'zealots' don't want to hear this. Frankly some of the hotter heads amongst them (and I would never suggest you are one of those, Subrosa, lol) remind me of children having a tantrum, screaming at their parents that they want something and repeating it endlessly with screams at the top of their lungs and drumming their little heels on the floor maniacally.

Politically the only advantage for the SNP in presenting their referendum bill is that the other 3 main parties in the Scotland Parliament will vote it down as they will inevitably do, so Salmond could perhaps play the 'we wuz robbed' card one more time. I've always thought Labour, the Conservatives and the LibDems should call the SNP bluff and let the referendum bill go thhrough - when it is highly likely (according to the opinion polls) that the SNP would receive a well-merited drubbing from the only people who matter in this, the whole voting population of Scotland.

Bring it on, I say.

MekQuarrie said...

Just got time to agree with you, SR, and disagree with Jeff on this occasion. I don't think I ever stood in an election for the SNP thinking "I'll probably lose; best not to bother". Some are lovers, and some are fighters... ;-)

Stewart Cowan said...

Here's my plan!

I think we need to get out the EU as a United Kingdom before having a referendum on Scottish independence, because Scotland in the EU would not be independent at all.

If the UK Gov't won't allow the UK to leave the rotten elite club of scoundrels, then let the Scottish independence referendum be for true independence.

Perhaps a lot of Nats are under the misapprehension that rule from Brussels is preferable to rule from Westminster?

subrosa said...

Well said Doug. An excellent description of the fear unionists have of the words independence referendum.

subrosa said...

Evening Bill. I don't think the referendum will be called as the Bill to be produced at the end of the month will be voted down.

I don't see there are many more important issues that the future of the country. Now we're shortly even going to be mining gold - yet more tax to give to another country.

Auch Bill, you're right, I can't be called a hot head. After all it's perhaps 30 years since my interest in the future of Scotland suddenly appeared.

Such a pity so many people are still of the mindset that we can't manage to look after ourselves.

Godalming or Eastbourne instead of Nairn? Something wrong with you my man. Have you visited either place recently? They are certainly an example of where I wouldn't want to live now.

subrosa said...

We can't back down right enough Mek. Not least that we'd be the laughing stock of the UK for years.

subrosa said...

Stewart you know my thoughts on the EU.

scunnert said...

Present the bill and make it an issue of confidence.

subrosa said...

I think that could well be Salmond's plan scunnert. Would like to think so anyway.

Idle Pen Pusher said...

I agree it'd be better (for the SNP) to lose sticking to their beliefs than back down, pace Brown's non-election.

I'm a Unionist and would be sad to see the Union dissolve. But the vast majority of decisions Westminster and Whitehall make shouldn't be made there. Most should be made by individuals. The rest should be made at a local level. It's not hard to see why separatist feelings strengthen, given this. Cut off from the stupefying morphine of English subsidies, I could see Scotland benefiting from independence, too, after the cold turkey. I just wish that could happen within the Union, and not just for Scotland!

subrosa said...

It's already lost IPP because the unionists are terrified at what the outcome could be.

When Scotland becomes independent that may give extra heart to England to push for more open and more localised government.

It could well be the solution to quite a few of the political problems presently within the UK.

Billy said...

Why any of these unionists do not want independence I do not know! The Scottish MPs at Westminster aredoing absolutely nothing for the people of Scotland - £30 million being wasted on these unemployed wasters who are only getting rich at the peoples expense. This does not include things like the Scottish office, millions that could be spent on patients or pensioners being wasted on MPs doing nothing but interfere in English matters. We do not need MPs at Westminster - we do not need three parliaments to run us.


subrosa said...

Agree with you Billy, but we do need SNP MPs in Westminster at present to scrutinise all the paper which is generated and to ensure the unionists' tricks are brought into the public domain.

Idle Pen Pusher said...

They're right to be worried. The outcome, I'm sure, would initially be pretty gruesome. Scotland will convulse with palpitations and sweats as she will come off the drug of welfare currently subsidised by the south east corner of England. If she does that and stomachs the pain of it, she'll soon be back to strength and might in the medium term, like Ireland, overtake England in prosperity. But that's not certain. Who's to say all those layabouts high on welfare won't decide at the ballot box that they'd actually rather like to stay on their current dose and instead vote for heavier taxes to make up the shortfall? After all, the client state vote is proportionally bigger in Scotland than the UK. That's what condemned Ireland to decades of poverty and emmigration before it finally saw sense 20-odd years ago.

CrazyDaisy said...


For Sm753 I have and I'm qualified, the person I was talking to is a fast track civil servant about to qualify as a Barrister in International Maritime Law and has worked for the UN and it is the same UN Law that Scotland will apply - fuckwit.

And it's not about the oil it's the geography, not everyone is banking on or obsessed with oil.

Grasping at straws - pussy! What kind of insult is that, I'm keekin ma breeks!

Anyway I digress, Unionist Land is alive and well and I'm pleased to announce the diaspora I was talking to is also planning on returning home to Scotland after 30years away, something to do with Independence coming nearer to reality.

Labour, I've shat bigger things than the Glesgas newest MP.

Have a guid wan,

Crazy Daisy

subrosa said...

Auch IPP the subsidy question, that's what disappoints. I never thought you'd be part of the Scots Are Scroungers Righteous and would be better informed.

The oil, which was found in Scotland's waters, kept the south east going back in the late 70s and early 80s. I can direct you towards some recently released evidence in which Maggie Thatcher's government stated Scotland's oil paid for the M25, the channel tunnel and other comforts for the lovely people of the south east - all while she was happy to destroy industry in Scotland (particularly the west where there was a strong culture of hard work within these industries).

Also of course we provide you with cheap electricity. You may less for Scottish electricity than I do. How kind is that?

We need to wait until the present over 60s population has died off (yes that means me too) and then perhaps we may get a better balance of political opinion up here. The young who I know are very aware of the draw benefits have for them to really do nothing yet have a reasonable standard of living. They have no sense of self-respect and are quite happy to laugh at others working themselves into the ground to fund their pleasant lifestyles.

I would agree with you about the chance of those third generation benefit families who will obviously vote to stay in their comfort zones rather than vote for advancement in a country.

We need to go cold turkey. There are more people who work than on benefits. It's persuading all those who work to vote for independence that's the sting in the tail. Or, as a friend of mine put it recently, just a detail.

The problem with England is that they don't want to lose us. We're the biggest asset they have and without our contributions in many areas, England (which many foreigners think is Britain), would shrivel.

Are the Scots as courageous as the Irish? I sincerely hope so but many I meet have a have an ambivalent attitude towards taking ownership of their country.

subrosa said...

Cd you know I usually support you in your comments but I give you my 100% support against the unionist smee.

He is nothing but an irritating pimple.

If he had a case then I would listen, but he does nothing other than attempt to degrade nationalists.

Also he does it from a position of anonymity which makes it even more irrelevant.

BTS said...

Crazy Daisy - It's the SNP who go on about North Sea oil on their website. Just mentioning it y'know..

And both SR and CR - I' d be more than happy for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to all be totally (but it must be totally or not at all IMO) independent. And I live in Surrey..

Looks like I'll never get a vote though regardless of the outcome of the bill..

w/v: facksbe - this is taking the proverbial now..

subrosa said...

That's strange BTS. First time I've ever heard an Englishman say he wanted that. Why didn't you say you'd be happy for England to be independent? It's the same thing.

Bit like me saying I'd be happy for France, Luxemburg and the Netherlands to be a union with France in charge really don't you think? Well in the reverse of course.

Idle Pen Pusher said...

SR - I have to say from the stats I've seen the subsidy question doesn't look at all good for the separatist cause, at least not at face value anyway.

The Scots are scroungers. Even more than the English. But not as much as the Welsh or Northern Irish. I happen to believe the awfulness of it might actually be enough to prompt Scotland into sorting herself out, much in the same way that Thatcher's reforms were only possible because the fruits of decades of Butskillism had become so sour.
The Barnett formula disparity is not covered by the fact that an undetermined majority of North Sea oil is Scottish. And that's only one side of the ledger. Scotland is also less productive than the UK average and per capita taxes yields are consequently lower.

It's also arguing over history. Oil and gas revenues are highly likely to continue deteriorating. Unlike the gap between Scottish and English spending/taxation. Back to the history, I've little doubt Thatcher may have thought that. Indeed, the unexpected revenue boost from the predominantly Scottish oil/gas quite possibly was responsible for paying for stuff in the South East which wouldn't otherwise have been funded. But that just means the subsidy was less, due to the oil, than it would have been.

Most importantly, Thatcher didn't so much destroy industry (Scottish or elsewhere) as reduce the extent taxpayers were forced to pay to for a pretence that long-dead industries and companies were still alive. The value of manufactures (not just services) under and after Thatcher boomed. My guess is that this was true of Scotland, too. The blunt fact is that the large state vote is distinctly higher in Scotland than it is here. Initially at least, that doesn't look good for an independent Scotland.

I have to say I'm not that bothered one way or the other on dissolving the Union. If Scotland were to vote for independence, I'd wish her well and hope she'd copy Ireland and boom. If the option were between the status quo and independence, I'd probably even support it. With her intellectual history and productive people in and around Edinburgh and a few other places, Scotland certainly seems to have a lot more of the cultural building blocks for prosperity than Wales, for example. Oil is a dangerous distraction from that, in my mind. As the Scotsman who perhaps advanced the state of mankind more than any other once said: peace, easy taxes and a tolerable administration of justice.

I don't feel like Scots are foreigners. I feel like you are pretty much like us. Or at least like us in the same way that Northerners are like us (Southerners). I do feel like the French are different. Ultimately, that's probably why I believe in our Union, but not the European one. But without Scotland, England & Wales would still be one of the world's largest handful of economies and reasonably populous.

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