Friday, 22 March 2013

Thursday 18 September 2014

Alex Salmond seemed a little emotional yesterday when he announced the date of the independence referendum.

Now the date has been set I'd like to see a constructive debate on why the SNP think Scotland would benefit from being part of the EU and also details of how immigration would be controlled.

If the SNP's elite were in touch with their electorate they would realise these two issues could be the difference between the result being Yes or No.


Anonymous said...

I have to disagree with you on the timing as the run up to the referendum is not the time to be getting side tracked into debating membership of the EU or immigration for these issues would be seized upon by the unionists and their media chums and become the main issue of the debate rather than the economic and social benefits which are the real reasons why Scotland needs to be independent of Westminster.

The SNP have been at pains to maintain a "steady as you go approach to issues like these because they are well aware of what would happen if they allowed the debate to be hijacked by them.

Once independence is in the bag we will see a re-positioning of all the political parties (and some new ones to boot) in Scotland and it will be up to them to formulate their policies and sell these to the electorate in the run up to the first Scots General election in 2016.

Then and only then should issues like EU membership and immigration issues be debated.

pa_broon74 said...

I don't think we can debate immigration or the EU properly because no one (not even the SNP) can know what shape it'll all be.

On the broader point of EU membership, I think we need to be steady with that for now, to include a debate on membership (which I'm not sure I want either) in among the debate on independence will definitely be self-defeating.

Westminster tells us independence is bad because it threatens EU membership for Scotland, they then threaten Scottish EU membership themselves by offering an in/out referendum, and since we know a majority English voters don't like the EU, we'd be out which ever way we voted in Scotland, which they're saying is bad but only if Scotland is independent and out of the EU.

While the SNP point the double standard above out, they then start their own debate on EU membership thus being guilty of same thing they accuse Westminster of doing (threatening EU membership which we are told is a bad thing...)

I think debate about the EU is something for after independence is gained, I can't decide if it'll be good or bad if I don't even know what kind of deal Scotland will get from it, although I agree what's in place is rubbish.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

I suppose, like many others, I have fantasies of Salmond donning the plaid climbing on to his cuddy and with Ball and Chain crashing into the chamber of parliament and clouting the numbskulls of self serving pathetic apathy with a war cry of "Yer for nothing for Scotland and yea dea nothing for Scotland." before leading the march on London!

But then, well, he's no Mel Gibson. It's a fact he recognises and has rejected as a strategy preferring instead the pragmatics of guile, wit and consummate conviction, commitment and sheer bloody minded optimism.

Now I like him for that bloody minded optimism. After all is said and done he's held to it for far longer than the independence card has been on the table and fought his way through two 'establishments' on both sides of the border to get it there.

Sure there are times and issues when I wish for more clarity or carillon on the note struck for independence - how the sovereignty of the people will be incorporated in Scotland's governance for one - the Monarchy, EU, controls on financial probity amongst others fill my head with the why's and what if's. It's one of those times when, accepting someone's better informed than you can ever be you dally between trust and wishing you had a direct plug-in to his brain.

So in the end you plump for hope, predicated by a degree of trust and a gut feeling from all the lines you've read between and the lies sifted out of hyperbole by the better together in the doom,gloom and austerity camp in order to serve their 1% masters that you really have no choice. And that's a fact.

Only after a Yes in 2014 will the real work begin to shape and mould the new Scotland. That's when we have to ensure the Scottish Government is fully aware our investment of trust doesn't come cheaply.

Now there's the real choice, Holyrood or Westminster?

Captain Ranty said...

Here I go again: singing the same song.

The Scottish people are being duped. Just like the British were duped in the 1970's. They were told then that they were joining a common market and that there would be no loss of sovereignty. Look around your house: there is not one single item that isn't regulated by the EU. Not one.

Fast forward to Sept 2014 and the Scots will be hoodwinked as well.

As things stand, a Yes vote in 2014 will not bring independence. It will bring even greater dependence on an entity many miles from our shores.

Scots will vote for two things in 2014: to break away from the Union-a velvet divorce, to be sure-only to be tricked into a forced marriage with the EU.

One of those unions is unelected and unaccountable. The other is, I grant you, pathetic as well. But better the devil we can unelect. Better the devil we can hold accountable.

I have to vote no in 2014 because the SNP will not give me two choices on the ballot paper.

Yes for independence, and No to the EU.

It's absolutely no use saying to me "Well, let's just get the independence thing out of the way first".

The two things are welded together. If you doubt that, just ask your SNP MSP.


pa_broon74 said...

The thing is, we can't unelect any one from Westminster, nothing Scottish voters do in terms of voting has any effect on Westminster, it never does.

Where-as, in May 2011 such was the crapness of the Labour front bench a great many of them not only lost shadow cabinet positions but their seats as well, heck their leader scraped back in by 150 seats, that's never happened in Westminster.

Unless of course you think you'll get your vote in 2017 from Westminster and are gambling on England saying no to the EU, which would take Scotland out as well? Because the Tories regularly make manifesto promises they don't carry out.

Looking at the arguments for Scottish independence leaving the EU issue to one side, that you'd sacrifice all of the other potential gains just to get out of the EU (something that could very well happen anyway with an independent Scotland) seems daft to me.

Given that, if independence is achieved the SNP will not be the only game in town, (you'll have a Tory party forced to be dedicated to Scottish interests and not those of the UK and I think the SDA will field candidates...) You could vote any way you wanted, and with Holyrood's system of voting, be far more likely to get people you want into parliament.

It's still a no brainer. If you want out of the EU, a yes offers your best chance.

Captain Ranty said...


I hear you, but I am still unconvinced.

Everyone alive is sovereign. That is an indisputable fact. Yet this (UK)government, and many others before it, have sought to take that sovereignty away. I have battled for nearly five years to assert my own sovereignty and I know that no man or woman has the right to take that away from me.

Yet here we are, in 2013, having surrendered our national sovereignty to a bunch of idiots in Brussels. IF the Tories hold true to their word in 2017 we will get the opportunity to take back what was never theirs to give away.

To watch the Scots compound that stupidity by voting for the EU with their eyes wide shut is tearing me apart.

The EU is a monster. Look what it tried to do to little old Cyprus. Do you think Scotland will be safe from this beast? Really?

Want a glimpse of Scotland under the yoke of the EU?


2014-we all vote yes (or a significant majority do).

2016-we secede from the Union.

2017/2018-we have begged and begged and now we are full members of the EU.

2020-the honeymoon is over, and we are only now realising how bad our decision was.

2025-we are broke, and the EU, who happily lent us an umbrella when we didn't need one, snatch it back as the deluge falls on us. We become Cyprus II.

And through it all, Lord Salmond, newly, but self-elected, Lord High Protector Of All Scotland (aka the North Atlantic Tranche, as the EU calls us), makes excuse after excuse after excuse. When his feet are finally held to the fire he admits, "We didn't know what we were letting ourselves in for".

Newsflash: I knew. We all knew. We witnessed the UK suffering for four decades under foreign rule. We lost control of our borders, immigration, our economy, our ability to trade with whoever we damn well please, we lost our system of law, we lost habeus corpus, we lost the right to jury trials, the right to remain silent, we lost that most precious of things: the right to be presumed innocent, and under the European Arrest Warrant, THEY lost the need to provide any evidence before Britons were whisked away to languish in foreign gaols for months and months on end.

This is not all about straight bananas.

This is about life itself. And the right to live one, unfettered and unencumbered by a couple of dozen power-hungry control-freaks.


William said...

How often can Nationalists plead for questions to be kicked down the road and answered later before they're no longer taken seriously?

I don't take them seriously anyway but you get my point.

JRB said...

Dear All

I’ve got a great ‘Scheme’ which will bring champagne and caviar to us all.

All I need you to do is sign up for the ‘Scheme’ and agree to all the terms and conditions.

Don’t ask me for details of the ‘Scheme’, I’ll maybe tell you that once everyone has signed up for this great ‘Scheme’ of mine.

But I will say it will be champagne and caviar all the way – well probably – well maybe – well at least I hope it will be!

So, come on one and all, this is the opportunity of a lifetime – don’t listen to all these naysayers - don’t be left behind – sign up for the ‘Scheme’ now.

Say ‘Yes’ to the ‘Scheme’.

(… wonder how many takers I’ll get?)

DCBain said...

Come on all you turkeys, let's hear it for Christmas!

pa_broon74 said...


I read your blog and really like the message you send, plus, a lot of it is fascinating stuff,* I support the idea of sovereignty and desire it. I am mistrustful of the EU and by extension the SNP's plans, but a lot less so than Westminster's intentions.

I can't sign up to your glimpse into the future nor can I accept the accusation made by William about Nationalists 'kicking things into the long grass' when Westminster is guilty of it too, there are question they don't & can't have an answer to at this time. (Of course there is a question which Westminster could ask about the EU and Scotland's position re. membership - but they won't...)

Cameron offered his EU in/out ref in 2017 to please his own euro-skeptic party membership and to appeal to people in Scotland who hate the EU more than they dislike the Union, he's tried to split the indyref vote with an offer of potentially leaving the EU but only if you remain in the UK. Trust and the Tories do not go hand in hand.

I would say, at least with independence you can affect change, history itself proves you can't change a thing within the union settlement. We got Devolution because (ironically) the Council of Europe told the Blair government it had no choice but to provide it.

As for saying Nationalists voting for independence are like turkeys voting for Christmas, its risible. A no vote in the indyref means nothing would change, nothing at all, arguably, assuming you're not a rampant neo-con; things will get significantly worse while the powers at Westminster do their best to shore up their own support at the expense of the people they know can't threaten their electoral position.

A lot of folks like to say of the indyref; why leave one damaging union only to jump into another. I'd say why stay in one which is already a load of shit while we have an alternative offering a real chance at divesting ourselves of both.

* I have a pile of so-called parking tickets from P4rking ltd, I'm looking forward to them attempting to recover their 'fines'.

JimS said...

Of course the SNP don't want to discuss what happens if and when they achieve independence because they are selling 'change'.

Don't like what you've got? Vote for 'change'! Want more 'Europe'? Vote for 'change'. Want less 'Europe'? Vote for 'change'! You name it the SNP has got it, it's called 'change'.

And when we have 'change'? Well just like now some may be in the direction you like and most won't.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Mibbea I; there again Mibbea No?
Oh Hell, mibbea I'l jist stand on the fence and think up an excuse.

Jo G said...

I'd prefer to see a constructive debate from Labour in Scotland and others as to why Scotland should remain in the UK.

I am sick to death of the negative rubbish coming from them. I am sick of Lamont whining and delivering no sort of message whatsoever and I am sick of the contempt in which Labour especially hold that body they often refer to as "the people of Scotland" when they insult our intelligence by expecting us to define their input as anything remotely resembling a "debate"!

Right now a quick look south should convince the don't knows of what lies ahead. Hague, right now, is running in circles trying to get us caught up in another war in Syria as illegal as the one we went into just ten years ago in Iraq. He has no mandate from the UN, the EU has this week told him to get lost when he pleaded that it should lift its arms embargo in order to give weapons to one side in Syria which, incidentally, is itself guilty of committing appalling atrocities against civilians including public executions of those who don't back them!

Earlier this week we had an announcement from some "US Admiral" in NATO outlining what NATO wants to do in Syria. Near the end of the piece (which was in the Herald) he accepted that, of course, NATO has no current mandate to do any such thing as the UN would need to pass a new resolution to allow NATO to follow this guy's plans but, hey, that's our plan anyway!)

Hague is going all out for more "regime change" which is still as illegal now as it was when Blair did it. Do these people learn nothing? So, in short, look south because the UK government is gearing up for another war. Always handy in a recession don't you think? Except I doubt Scotland will show any more enthusiasm for getting involved in Syria than it did when Blair took us into Iraq.

Jo G said...

On the EU Rosie I agree with your question. I don't think it should be something Scotland should automatically wish to be part of and I'm not impressed with it so far. My first concern about the EU as a body is the fact that no one is willing to sign off its accounts going back years. With the budget at its disposal I find that terrifying. Where is the financial accountability there? It is non-existent. That is absolutely wrong.

In public life not even the smallest organisation receiving grants from any level whether it be local or central government is permitted access to such funds without presenting proper accounts. Yet here we have a massive public organisation with a frightening amount of money at its disposal whose own accounts for successive years are stamped only with question marks.

So, no thank you. I want something better for Scotland in the future.

William said...

Re 'illegal' wars. The phrase always amuses me. Illegal to whom? And why? Clearly what's happening in Syria is very 'illegal' but they seem to be doing it anyway.

I don't think anyone should really care what the UN thinks about anything. In fact, it should be given the same level of respect as the opinion of the EU.

subrosa said...

M, I think the economics of independence, by way of the fact we can afford it, are being realised.

What I would like to see is the EU being discussed sensibly and not as a replacement government for Westminster.

In the past year the EU has changed in many ways yet this has never been acknowledged.

Another remark I often hear is 'Why doesn't the EU know about Scotland becoming a member? They seemingly set the rules."

These are points which niggle folk, the kind of issues which should be aired now and not left until after, because most sensible folk know that the 'after' promises never survive.

subrosa said...

There is that pa_broon but have you ever heard the Yes campaign mention it?

subrosa said...

I agree with you about Salmond Crinkly. He's perhaps one of the shrewdest politicians around today, but he's not winning the hearts and/or minds regarding independence. The EU seems to be the main concern with my friends at the moment and that's why I mentioned it.

subrosa said...

Ranty, a few of my friends feel exactly as you do and I understand why.

subrosa said...

I usually get your point William. :)

subrosa said...

I couldn't give you an accurate answer JRB.

Reading your comment made me think that politics is rather like religion - put your faith in a person/people you don't know.

subrosa said...

Oh dear DC, we're all turkeys these days.

subrosa said...

Crinkly you surprise me!

subrosa said...

We're never going to get that Jo and that's why there will be no debates about the EU and other issues which concern folk.

subrosa said...

Well said Jo.

subrosa said...

It amuses me too William. The Record twisted it today though I heard.

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Rosa - the second comment was an exercise in irony.

subrosa said...

So was mine Crinkly. :) Apologies if it didn't come over that way.

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