Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The Issue Which Will Lose The Yes Vote In Scotland

It was my intention to start the year with my own thoughts on the independence debate, but JRB has voiced them far more eloquently on the Ian Hamilton post and I’ve copied it below. Thank you JRB.

2014 has arrived - so the debate begins …

We have before us two stark choices, one a version of Independence as seen by the SNP and a few Europhiles, the other is merely the status quo, dictated by Westminster.

But from the outset I would ask you all to spare a thought for those of us who fear that ‘democracy’ is passing us by.

Much as though I may dream of an independent Scotland it is not of one where we are hamstrung and tied to an overbearing and over powerful Europe.
I therefore find myself, still very much pro-independence but unable to commit to the SNP’s deeply flawed interpretation of what it sees as independence.
So do I really have a democratic choice?

The other stark choice on offer is but more of the same. Totally unacceptable.
Had there been another option of remaining within a united kingdom but with considerablely enhanced devolved powers, I might have given that some thought.
So, again, do I really have a democratic choice?

If I don’t vote I may be accused of apathy but nothing could be further from the truth.
If I feel my only option is to spoil my ballot paper, then I have to ask – where is the democratic choice in all this? 

Of this Hobson’s choice of a referendum, as I have said before – “I’m damned if I do, and damned if I don’t”

… and a word of warning - vocalised so well by Ian Hamilton [@3:31]
“Scotland will never be the same again after this vote” 

Captain Ranty’s started the year with his own concerns about an independent Scotland being part of the EU.  It’s hard to believe the SNP’s determination to be part of this corrupt organisation.  All I can presume is that money is at the core of their EU policy rather than democracy.  If they were listening to the people, as they insist they do, then they would realise just how many voters are dissuaded from voting yes purely because of their EU policy.


JimS said...

What JRB says applies right across UK politics, no real choice across the board, they are all pro-EU, pro-mass immigration etc.

The EU is ideal for these people as it is a political ratchet. An idea or policy just gets slipped in to the system which spends thousands of man hours developing it and producing so much bumpf that it would take a team of thousands to unravel. A single MP/MSP/MEP doesn't stand a chance. As for organising 20-plus countries to vote it out, no way, particularly if the policy is entwined in an EU treaty.

Barney Thomson said...

To quote -

"I therefore find myself, still very much pro-independence but unable to commit to the SNP’s deeply flawed interpretation of what it sees as independence.
So do I really have a democratic choice?"

You have two democratic choices -
1. Independence or status quo (at best)?
2. Assuming a Yes vote, to vote in a Scottish general election for a party which reflects your views on Europe.

The SNP doesn't own the referendum, nor will it own Scotland after independence. The democratic view of the Scottish people vis-à-vis EU membership can be established clearly after it is independent and put into effect by whatever government the Scottish people then choose to elect.

Captain Ranty said...


Why do you assume there will be a choice on EU membership?

The SNP are fully committed to joining The Stupid Club and they make no bones about it in their Big Fat Book. It is a pre-conceived plan. It's a done deal. They say membership is essential to Scotland's future.

In theory, the SNP should simply dissolve following a yes vote but I bet you a months wages they will simply morph into something else.

The EU gravy train is very tempting (to politicians of all stripes) and I guarantee that they will have booked their seats already. No other party in Scotland is opposed to EU membership.

We will be joining, with or without a mandate from the people of Scotland.


Budvar said...

"EU membership can be established clearly after it is independent".

You seriously believe that all this hasn't been organised in the interim?

You wont get a chance to vote on the EU, it'll be railroaded through before the ink is dry for a yes vote on a ballot for independence.

Then when the Scots wake up and say "Huh What???", Oily Al will turn around and say "But we told you so, we've been blathering on about it for decades now".

Barney Thomson said...

If there is really a democratic will amongst the Scottish people not to be part of the EU then it's up to them to get off there arses and do something about it. If there was enough of a groundswell, the Parliament would have no choice but to take notice of it.

To oppose independence on any single issue among so many seems a bit short-sighted. I'm sure everybody could find something in the White Paper that they disagree with but should that mean they reject independence altogether?

Captain Ranty said...

Democracy enables us to vote in a brand new set of clowns every five years. 10 seconds after they get elected, MPs/MSPs go deaf.

There is a massive groundswell all over the UK to leave the EU today. Poll after poll tell us that the majority want to leave. Who, in "democratic" Britain, is listening?

No-one in Westminster, certainly. The proposed referendum in 2017 is likely to be killed off in the House of Lords in 5 weeks time. There will be no referendum on EU membership in 2017.

No-one in Holyrood is listening either. Their hearing will be further impaired post-independence.

As has been repeated ad nauseum, this is a once in a generation opportunity to get rid of the interfering Westminster scum, and believe me, I wish that with all my heart, but not at any price.

It seems to me that Scots are not thinking with their heads but with their hearts. There is noting wrong with that passion, or that patriotism, but this must be a time for thinking as well as feeling.

I would say "Better the devil you know" (regarding Westminster) but we already know that the EU is out of control, and it is fully committed to a United States of Europe. Scottish independence should be about retaining identity, not agreeing to dilute it even further.

The EU will control immigration.

The EU will control law.

The EU will control our fiscal policy.

The EU will continue to control our fishing grounds.

The EU will force us to adopt a new currency (the yoyo).

The EU will stand idly by as we emulate Ireland with a Tiger economy and then fail in five years time.

So no, I disagree with you that the EU is a "single" issue.

It is reason enough to run away screaming. Sooner, rather than later.


English Pensioner said...

I could never understand why Ireland fought for independence and then joined the EU. I'm sure that Brussels interferes in their government far more than Westminster ever did.
So why should Scotland want to leave the Union but remain part of the EU. Again it would seem that the EU is far more likely to interfere in Scotland's affairs than Westminster does under the present arrangements.

Alice Moore said...

A NO vote is a vote for the endless `Doomsday Scenario` AND Europe without any opportunity for Scotland to disengage.

A YES vote gets us closer to the power structures in Scotland. People can withhold their consent and/or put pressure on the new Government. Democracy has to be fought for endlessly. It is never handed to people on a plate.

JRB said...

SR - Many thanks for giving my little post a second airing.

For some inexplicable reason the one thought surrounding the upcoming referendum that keeps going round and around in my head today is a verse from The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam -

Ah Love! could you and I with Fate conspire
To grasp the sorry Scheme of Things entire,
Would not we shatter it to bits -- and then
Remould it nearer to the Heart's Desire.

Antisthenes said...

I am something of an interloper by commenting on Scottish independence as I confess I am Welsh by birth and my link to Scotland is only by ancestry. However an independent Scotland or otherwise does affect all UK citizens to some degree so I am taking the liberty of doing so. To me I am ambivalent about whether Scotland should vote yes as I am for because I believe that government should be of the people etc we all know the quote and as our parliamentary system is a representative democracy process and not a direct one the easier it is for people to hold their representatives to account the better. To do that a government in Edinburgh is going to be made easily more accountable than one in London where Welshmen, Englishmen and Northern Irish also have a say in matters Scottish. Also being on the right of the political spectrum I would gladdy see Scotsmen having no say in the other direct especially as most of them are of the left wing persuasion. I am against because I believe a split would weaken both nations and they will both the poorer for it. My solution and one that the referendum may eventually cause would be devo max and the creation of an English parliament and a very limited UK parliament. If Scotland does opt for out then they should opt for discarding all forms of tyranny so should also opt out of the EU as well.

JRB said...

As SR has so kindly reposted my thoughts I think it only polite that I reply to your responses.
No doubt SR may have her own thoughts and comments to add …

JRB said...

@JimS Sadly you are correct in what you say. Little wonder many of us have lost faith in our politicians.

JRB said...

@Barney Whilst I agree with your point (1) I would have to ask you to point me in the direction of an appropriate Scottish party for point (2)

JRB said...

@Captain Ranty With you all the way. It is reassuring to know I am not alone and that there is at least one like mind.

JRB said...

@Budvar Sorry I must disagree. For me Independence is not some abstract state of mind. It is a political statement and with that comes a political standpoint and for the current Yes campaign that is totally pro-European, which as you may gather I am not.

JRB said...

@ EnglishPensioner A good and valid point well made. Thank you.

JRB said...

@Alice Agree we should never take democracy for granted, but I fear today’s politicians will promise us the earth merely to win favour and further their own ambitions

JRB said...

@Antisthenes Never feel like an interloper, to our credit Scots welcome all, especially when it is with such well thought out comment as yours.

Dioclese said...

Ruled by Westminster or ruled by Brussels. Not much independence in that is there?

Personally, I think it's about time we had an English parliament. How about we elect the House of Lords and call it a Federal Senate or something with responsibility for the UK and then each country has it's own House of Commons? A bit like Canada for example.

Just a thought to throw into the mix.

subrosa said...

Thanks for your comment Jim. Sadly you’re right.

subrosa said...

The problem there Barney is that there’s no current party which is anti-EU. We have to hope that one will appear in the case of a Yes vote, but I would prefer to see one being established now.

subrosa said...

What I said to Barney ^^ but more succinctly CR.

subrosa said...

That’s the nightmare Budvar.

subrosa said...

I don’t think the EU issue as a single issue is short-sighted Barney. It’s the difference between being independent and dependent all over again.

subrosa said...

I never understood that either EP. However the Irish I know are now all anti-EU because it’s decimated their country in many ways.

subrosa said...

How can we withhold consent if we’re not asked Alice?

subrosa said...

Thank you JRB. My apologies but I couldn’t find an email for you to ask your permission.

subrosa said...

No matter Antisthenes, all are welcome to comment here.

Unfortunately ‘devo max’ will never be a reality in my lifetime if the answer is No.

subrosa said...

JRB thank you so much for responding to comments. How kind of you. Was ploughing my way top to bottom and didn’t notice until now. :D

Christina said...

I have long thought that the SNP stance on EU membership was completely at odds with any idea of real Independence and have raised this issue for years now. Why leave a small pond where you are a big fish punching above your weight to then enter a lake with far more much larger fish and a few sharks if you truly wish to embrace real Independence?

On the issue of democracy, we currently have this wonderful option in abundence here in Scotland with an election almost yearly. Locals, Holyrood, Westminster and the EU. So democracy is not an issue here and never has been.

I have always felt that Salmond and SNP had they had the benefit of hindsight before the Holyrood 2011 elections results should have taken slower steps in their bid to win over the electorate to Independence, and again have repeatedly made the point that they should have gone for a Referendum on Devomax earlier in this Parliament. They would IMHO have won this battle while keeping the option of an Independence referendum on the table at a future and more winnable time while wielding a more powerful hand in negotiations with Westminster on budgets etc.

This was a real mistake in SNP strategy in the longer term.

Martin Burns said...

Of course the EU isn't ideal.

But consider the alternative: we'd increasingly fall into an American sphere of influence. Even less democratic. Even less social policy. Even less chance for us to influence.

European travel will be harder - I've just crossed 2 borders travelling away from the UK and was waved through them.

Working abroad will be much much harder - although our stupid inability to learn languages makes it hard enough. I start my new job in Sweden on Monday and have done short stints in other countries - would have been near impossible outwith the EU.

As an independent nation, Scotland will have a lot more influence on the EU than it has now, and the chief "it's about money not social policy" influence (is the UK) will be diminished

Please remember that everything you know about the EU is told you to further a political agenda.'s agenda has been clear over the last 20 years and sold through the uk media; it's only by stepping out of that bubble that you gain some objectivity.

Budvar said...

However did we manage to travel to Spain before there accession into the EU in what 86?

It was absolutely terrible, it was like living in fortress Britain, we were stopped at our borders and everything. We couldn't trade with anyone, our freedom of movement was blocked. It was like living under the GDR with minefields and Berlin wall it was.

Oh wait, I've just woken up and I was dreaming I was in a 60s Len Deighton spy novel...

Captain Ranty said...


"As an independent nation, Scotland will have a lot more influence on the EU than it has now..."

Really? Allow me to gently remove your rose-tinted spectacles.

Read this, and ask yourself how Scotland will gain more power, more credibility, and more influence in their Brave New World:

This has been the plan all along, and it is frightening to me that Scots would actually vote for this.

Scotland, along with the other 28 member nations would have any vestige of power removed if the EU has its way. You can now see that they want national governments to be subservient to an unelected and unaccountable EU Commission.

Regarding travel: I flew almost 80 times in 2013 and I vividly remember spending hour upon hour in queues at Schiphol, at Charles de Gaulle, in Frankfurt, in Stuttgart, in Stockholm and other European airports. In contrast, I breezed through Immigration in Lagos, in Dar es Salaam, in Nairobi, in Douala, in Johannesburg, in Cape Town and in Accra. By far the worst experiences were had in Europe. Holding an EU passport does not make my life any easier.


subrosa said...

Can’t disagree with you Christina. It’s a real mistake and possibly the worst the SNP has ever made.

subrosa said...

If the independent vote is No then that could be a sensible option Dioclese, but it’s not on the table and never will be will it?

subrosa said...

Hello Unknown. What influence? We won’t have any more than we have now and that’s token gestures.

As for travelling. Goodness me! in the 60s and 70s I travelling and worked throughout Europe and never had one problem. Of course I had to have work permits but then the countries in which I worked/lived had the right to know who was living there. Nowadays nobody knows who is where and that is causing multiple problems for all.

So I completely disagree that travel and working in the EU will be harder.

Also, I do take time to research EU matters when I can and take little or now information from the British media, which as you state is purely furthering a political agenda.

I’ve never been in the ‘bubble' and do my utmost to view current affairs objectively.

subrosa said...

Budvar, how about 67 when I first visited. No problems then and a bonny stamp on my passport.

subrosa said...

Back in the 60s and 70s there were never problems at European airports or borders CR, or at least I never met any. Now it’s entirely different partly because far more people can afford to travel, but also because some of the EU countries you mention are doing their best to record arrivals and departures. The UK has given up on both.

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