Happy St Andrews Day. Many events have been taking place throughout Scotland this weekend but today there is also the Big One.
Alex Salmond finally launches the SNP's long awaited White Paper on the country's constitutional future. That will pave the way for a referendum Bill early next year.
The First Minister's aim and intention, if they can get the Bill passed, is for an independence referendum to take place "this time next year."
Mr Murphy, the Scottish Secretary based in Westminster, has accused Scottish independence supporters of being not being patriots and of 'putting their party before Scotland'. What Mr Murphy has to understand is that many SNP voters are not party members but support the policy of independence or at least the fact that the SNP are firm in their intention to ensure everyone has a say in the country's future by proposing a referendum. Remarks like this have no chance of winning over floating voters - quite the contrary.
An opinion poll published yesterday found 50% of people agreed a referendum should be held in a few years' time but it is not a priority at the moment, 25% said they believed a referendum should be held as soon as possible, 20% didn't support a referendum at all and 5% didn't know.
It's common knowledge that the unionist parties will vote against the Bill, but I applaud Alex Salmond for his determination in offering Scots the chance to decide their future.
Happy St Andrews Day and congratulations to the launch of the Big One.
Update: Since publication the Bill has been now been placed on the Scottish Government website.
David Cameron could pull the rug out from under Labour's support in Scotland if he has the courage to promise in his General Election manifesto to devolve full fiscal autonomy to Scotland (Devo max) but with Scotland remaining still within the UK for that is what the vast majority of Scots would vote for. For Labour are offering nothing more to the Scots but their Calman proposals which is a dogs breakfast that will inflict enormous damage to the Scots economy if applied. Scots are naturally conservative - indeed you may recall its not that long ago since Scotland returned a majority of Tory MP's to Westminster. They would return to the fold if the economy of Scotland was improved. Labour fear this more than anything for it is only the benefits dependency that they created that gives them votes in Scotland.
Now that would certainly make a division between the tories and labour M. Much of what I hear is that people can't see any difference between them so why vote for either party with neither having anything worthwhile to offer.
Yes it's not so long ago M and it would make Scottish politics interesting to have a tory opposition instead of the dead in the water labour bunch.
Somewhere recently I read there was discontent with Annabel in the tory party. It's not too late for them to change their leader up here but will they? Seemingly CallMeDave likes Annabel.
Will he have the courage? You email him and see.
I think David Cameron underestimates the use Scotland is to the tories.
At midnight tonight we (the UK) are fully subsumed by Europe. We have lost our nations and we have lost our sovereignty.
Independence is no more. Scots (and the English, Irish and Welsh) are no more. At midnight we become europeans.
Exactly what or who will Scotland be independent from?
People have no idea how damaging our dirty new deal is with the EU.
It's all over, hen. Put away your thoughts of independence. From midnight Scotland becomes Region 9. Later on in 2010 we will be renamed the North Atlantic Tranche.
Innocent until proven guilty-gone.
Sterling-gone by the end of 2010.
We no longer need our parliaments. Regional Governors are to be appointed. We no longer need MPs/MSPs/Assembly Members. London (soon to be called Arc Manche) is already controlled by a mandarin in Paris.
All those "scare stories" about Common Purpose graduates are about to become reality as these numpties slide into powerful positions up and down our island.
The only way back is to repeal ECA 1972.
Our wee world changes at the stroke of midnight.
Please prove me wrong. I would be ecstatic if you could.
CR oh how I wish I could prove you wrong but I can't. May I use your comment as a post for tomorrow? You've put it so much better than I could do.
I'd love to say no, SR, and pretend that none of it is real, but it is. Tomorrow is a black day, and I suspect things will get very much worse, very soon.
Please go ahead.
I just posted this over at Leggy's place, and I still haven't run out of reasons to mourn, so take what you need:
Wot? No celebrations?
If there was ever a blog entry for which I didn't want to click "publish", it was that one.
I am now wondering why we aren't celebrating. At midnight, history is made. We have helped to create a superstate and for the first time ever, most of Europe is united.
We get rid of the £. Why no party?
We reintroduce the death penalty. Why no party?
We say goodbye to our sovereignty. Why no party?
We invite in the armed EuroCops. Why no party?
We become Regions 1 to 9. Why no party?
We no longer need parliaments. Why no party?
We no longer need the 646. Surely that is worth breaking out the good malt?
Seriously, if we have just done a good thing where are all the celebration plans? Not even a national holiday? A special broadcast from our monarch, our prime minister, or someone even more important, like Mandy?
Happy St Andrews Day :)
Even if it's the last real one you'll have!
Scotland and the referendum really don't mean anything if we are being ruled by Brussels. It's so very depressing, we're losing our identities and roots..
Thank you Sue. You're the first one to wish that and possibly the last. Sadly I think too many are lying down just accepting all this without any protest whatsoever.
They'll be the ones who yell loudest when all this comes into being.
At times like this I'm glad I'm this age because you young ones have one hell of a fight on your hands.
Many thanks CR. Kind of you to say I can use it and I will.
Happy Saint Andrew's day Rosie. I have done a picture of your glorious leader preparing for battle.
Is the snivelling censorship of Scottish voices, in particular, over the last few days - just the prelude? What irony to have us muffled on St Andrew's day.
"Here's freedom to them that wad write
Here's freedom to them that wad read,
There's nane ever fear'd that the truth should be heard
But they whom the truth would indite."
1792 Robert Burns
Ignoring democratic national aspirations can produce the sort of civil degradation and oppression that the political shysters within the EU and their muppet political collaborators in once democratic nations may bring on in response to the political classes failure to live up to each nation's sense of self, self-respect and self-worth.
You are right. It will all end in tears. Or bloodshed, or worse.
In 11 hours we become one state, with one law, one currency, and one identity.
If you had hopes and dreams, my advice is to bury them quietly tomorrow morning. Don't make a fuss. They won't like that. Don't criticise the new regime because from midnight it becomes illegal to do so.
A whole new game will soon be underway. It won't be fun because it will be the only game in town.
Our country is lost.
Awe c'mon Captain, it's no that much of a change for the Scots?
If it was as radical as you make out Labour would never have voted for it?
Besides Labour have already all but got rid of the £.
Perhaps we could get a statute that the death penalty only applies to political incompetence or corruption?
We already have a police force re-aligned to serving the State instead of justice.
Democracy has never applied to the UK.
And in judicial matters, whether adversarial or inquisitorial in most respects it's the depth's of the party's pockets that decide the outcome.
In short, none of the issues you mention have ever been enjoyed by the people of these Islands. We've only been conned into believing we had.
That's why we are pushing for independence. As an 8.6% minority of the rump of the UK, there's little chance of Scotland's interests being addressed or considered by Westminster.
"...there's little chance of Scotland's interests being addressed or considered by Westminster."
From tomorrow, Crinkly, they'll care even less.
"Got a complaint, Salmond? Take it to Brussels old son, they rule the roost now".
Otherwise, I can only agree with you. The illusion has been total.
wv-conalli. So true, so true.
Lovely Ollie and thank you. I'm sure he'll be most flattered!
Indeed Clarinda, I too consider our politicians have let us down badly in the past 20 years.
I know you've read much on the EU CR and many appreciate your hard work, along with other bloggers such as Derek.
Crinkly, just you watch the disintegration of our legal system. Bit by bit we shall be told aspects can no longer apply according to EU rules.
That would continue to happen if Scotland insist on being fully part of the EU on independence.
SR, just so you know; my ideal would be for Scotland to be an independent republic whose sovereignty rested with the people in true democratic fashion with a government competent enough to warrant the position without having to rely on snake oil alchemy.
Perhaps a member of EFTA, with membership of NATO far behind; along with the dirty world of foreign diplomacy covered by a call centre in Brechin.
But if the critical path to independence forces a few temporary detours, then so be it.
I'm not so sure about NATO or the EU Crinkly. Like you I'd prefer a debate about being a member of EFTA and rethinking the membership of the EU. The UN doesn't bother me, it's just an elite money-grabbing club which does nothing for the countries which it purports to support.
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