Voting against being the sacrificial chicken

Boris Johnson, who has his finger on the pulse of Scotland in the same way that a dad-dancer is dahn wit da yoot, has assured us that there’s no demand in Scotland for another independence referendum if the UK votes to leave the EU but Scotland votes to remain. Boris knows this to be true because he speaks to Scottish people like Michael Gove and Liam Fox. He knows it to be true because didn’t that wee Buffalo Rider win the last Scottish elections? It said so in all the papers.

Well when I say “assured us”, what I really mean is that Boris has been assuring Middle Englandshire that there’s no demand in Scotland for another independence referendum if Scotland ends up facing being taken out of the EU against our will. Boris doesn’t really give a toss what Scotland wants, neither does the Tory party, and neither does Middle Englandshire. That above all else is why Scotland needs independence more than it needs to be taken out of the EU as a by-product of a Tory bun fight. If Brexit wins next week Scotland will be left to the tender mercies of a resurgent Tory right with an exhultant UKIP cheering it on. They’re not going to do us any favours.

This is a Tory referendum, fought for reasons which have nothing to do with Scotland and in which Scotland’s interests and opinions are a hall of mirrors sideshow in which Scottish reality is distorted beyond recognition. That’s why Boris can blythely claim that there’s no demand for another indyref if we’re taken out of the EU against our will.

I’ve argued this before, but it’s worth restating. Even if you support an independent Scotland outside of the EU, if you live in Scotland and you support Scottish independence you still need to vote remain in this referendum. Our best chance for a second indyref comes from Scotland voting to remain in the EU but the rest of the UK voting to leave. That not only provides us with the best chance of getting another indyref, it also creates conditions which neutralise many of the scare stories and threats used the last time by the Unionists.

It’s going to be a whole lot easier for an independent Scotland to leave the EU than it is to leave the UK. The priority for independence supporters is to establish and make concrete the principle of Scottish sovereignty. The polls show that Scotland is heavily inclined towards a remain vote, supporting the exit of Scotland from the EU even though only a minority of Scots want it would be a denial and a perversion of Scottish sovereignty.

Scotland should only leave the EU if and when there’s a referendum held by a sovereign Scottish state in response to the demand for one from the people of Scotland, and the exit negotiations should be carried out by a Scottish government on behalf of the Scottish people to ensure that Scotland gets the best deal. If you want an independent Scotland that’s outside the EU, then campaign for one. But you can’t piggy back on a Tory Brexit and then complain that the Tories have no mandate to rule Scotland.

There are many things wrong with the EU. It’s imperfect. It’s infuriating at times. You might well think that the TTIP trade deal treaty being negotiated between the EU and the USA is the nearest thing to devil worship this side of a chicken sacrifice, but consider the post-Brexit alternative. Do you honestly believe that a right wing post-Brexit Tory government headed by Boris Johnson aided and abetted by Iain Duncan Smith and with Nigel Farage grinning over their shoulders is going to negotiate a trade deal with the USA which is a fluffy bunny package of respect for workers’ rights and protection for our public services? If you vote for that, you’re voting to be the chicken which is going to be sacrificed.

I have more faith in the French parliament to block TTIP than I have that Boris and his pals will negotiate something better. Just last month the French president said he’d reject TTIP, and without the approval of all 28 EU states the treaty is dead in the water. Outside the EU, a Brexit Britain will have to rely on the Tory dominated Westminster to block an unfair trade deal between the UK and the USA negotiated by the arch-Atlanticists and privatisers of the Tory party, people who want to exit the EU precisely because they want to turn the UK into a cold and damp Singapore, where business rights reign supreme and workers’ rights count for nothing. Within the EU we have 28 chances to block an unfair trade deal, outside it we are consigned to the tender mercies of an increasingly right wing and xenophobic Westminster.

Compared to Scotland’s position in the UK, the EU is a paragon of accountability. Decisions like TTIP have to be approved by the European Parliament and by national governments. Within the UK Scotland has no means at all of ensuring that the UK government is accountable to the people of Scotland. We’ve got a Tory government even though we have a single Tory MP, and that Tory government is holding this EU referendum because it wants to settle internal disputes within the Conservative party and in an effort to see off the challenge from UKIP. Scotland’s interests do not enter into the equation at any point. Yet as a sovereign member of the EU the Scottish Parliament could block TTIP.

If the UK votes to leave the EU next week but Scotland votes to remain, we have the best chance for possibly a generation in securing and winning a second indyref. Even if the UK votes very narrowly to remain, but the rest of the UK votes narrowly to leave and the decision is swung by Scotland, there will be an almighty constitutional crisis as the Tory right and UKIP fall over themselves to expel Scotland from the UK. We will still have an excellent chance of securing Scottish independence. But in order for either of these scenarios to play out, Scotland needs to vote to remain in the EU.

Voting to remain in the EU next week is not a vote for Cameron. It’s not a vote for Osborne. It’s not a vote for Westminster. It’s a vote for Scotland. It’s a vote against being the sacrificial chicken.

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44 comments on “Voting against being the sacrificial chicken

  1. […] Wee Ginger Dug Voting against being the sacrificial chicken […]

  2. Tinto Chiel says:

    I think you’ve hit all the marks here, Paul. As I often say with your humdingers, I wish more people in Scotland could get access to them.

    This vote is almost as important as our own referendum. If Remain in Scotland can underline the different mindsets of Scotland and England, it gives us a much stronger hand for the future, whatever the result on Thursday.

    And I was unaware of Hollande’s statement on TTIP.

    But that can’t be true: I don’t think I heard it on the BBC.


  3. Dougie says:

    If your a regular watcher of parliament TV you will have heard Cameron repeat that the No vote gave him a mandate not that it’s ever reported up here it should be getting reminded to every No voter and that I fear will be Westminsters postion unless Brussels courts Scottish membership will that be enough to persuade NOs? Whose only concern is that it’s a foreign flag that they bow too

  4. John says:

    As a friend of mine said recently, voting to leave the EU is like cutting off your hand because you have a splinter in your thumb.

  5. Tinto Chiel says:

    Thanks for the link. I notice Hollande leaves a bit of wiggle room but I’m a bit more reassured TTIP can be blocked.

    And what’s that coming over the hill? It’s Bob Geldof telling us what to do again, and on my radio.

    His Bobness, the only Irishman to love the Union. Haven’t forgiven him for that.


  6. Bookies are giving Stay 11/20 Leave 13/8.

    • Neil Anderson says:

      Odds on we stay? Against the findings of the pollsters? Looks like we’ll be staying then. “I’ve never met a poor bookie.”

  7. Cal says:

    The worst possible outcome would be for a UK-wide vote to Leave and a narrow vote for Remain in Scotland. We would have no bargaining power with anyone if that happened – not with Westminster or the EU.

    These Scottish fishermen protesting in London today demanding a Leave vote are going to be shat on again when the Westminster government negotiates away their newly won fishing rights back to the EU in exchange for low tariff access to European markets.

    Rumours today that Farage could be given a cabinet post in Boris Johnston’s government. Minister for Foreign Affairs? Minister in charge of Immigration? How safe is the Barnet Settlement if Boris is boss? Shudder! This is serious shit we’re dealing with here.

    Never underestimate the Scots ability to self harm. So many people still drink from the poison cup of the British media. We truely a’re a cursed people. I wait in trepidation hoping against hope but fearing the worst.

    If anyone is listening….



    2.YES in Indyref2

    Then, and ONLY then,

    3.LEAVE in a Scottish EU referendum (if that’s your thing).

  8. says:

    Reblogged this on Bampots Utd.

  9. awkwardboy says:

    Thanx for that, I don’t think I would have voted leave but up till now the most pro EU stance I could have taken would be to deface my ballot.

  10. Macart says:

    There’s no win for Scotland in this Tory pissing contest and THAT is what this is make no mistake. Scotland will be on the receiving end of a Tory’s tender mercies either way. The choice here isn’t in or out of the EU, its which brand of Tory gets to run the UK.

    IMO this is not the time for Scotland to be having this conversation and not under these circumstances.

  11. John Edgar says:

    Farage to the HoL if Brexit and remember Ukip want to do away with the devolved governments!
    EVEL after Brexit will be redefined tighter and tighter and devolved powers will be whittled back. Mundell will assume veto powers to block all Holyrood decisions in the interim.
    Even worse, Davidson is elevated to the Lords (remember Mone) and assumes Secy of State functions with Mundell as Commons mouthpiece and retains her seat at Holyrood.
    Fantasy? There are no constitutional guidelines at all! Ergo, anything goes.
    Vote Remain!

  12. lanark says:

    If Scotland is left to the tender mercies of a Boris government, at least our generation has woken up and will vote SNP and push for independence.

    I remember all too clearly my parents generations’ response to protect Scotland from Maggie was to vote Labour! What a tragic waste that was. What the hell was wrong with Scotland then????

  13. hettyforindy says:

    Agree Paul, we really need a good number of people in Scotland to vote to stay in the EU. This is a referendum that we are dragged into, in fact, how much time have people had to weigh up what is best, and gather info so they can make an informed decision, it all seems very rushed. For a reason.

    This is a tory versus tory vanity project, with utterly serious potential consequences, for all but especially for the devolved governments.
    Can’t see Indy for Scotland becoming a reality with a brexit, more likely removal of powers from the Scottish parliament, budget vastly reduced and if that doesn’t work, some kind of war on Scotland. Worse case scenario, but rule nothing out.

    Remain, it has to be, for Scotland. I see a huge exodus happening, from england as well, if it’s a brexit.

  14. Joe Kinnear says:

    Basically your ‘argument’ is ‘evil English Tories’ – but it might have escaped your attention that Davie Cameron and Georgie Osbourne are Tories. And if Remain win they will be in power for the next four years. Next it’s genuinely pathetic to want someone ‘bigger’ or ‘better’ to in some magical way constrain the Tories – as if outsourcing of democracy to unaccountable technocrats is a good thing if you get a government you don’t want.

    Where is the guts to fight, with intellectual honesty and integrity? That our rights are not gifts from technocrats but things that we must collectively fight for. That sovereignty and democracy must go hand in hand to work. To endorse Project Fear mark 2 (the Goldman Sachs “progressive” version) and NOT to expect all those quotes, all that logic to be turned onto IndyRef2. And what the fuck are Fat Alex and Queen Nicola going to say when the “experts” they like to cite about the disastrous consequences of Brexit say precisely the same thing about Scottish independence? That incongruous inconsistency will be more than a little inconvenience in any IndyRef2.

    Let alone the delusional fantasy that small u unionist Scotland values the EU more than the Union.

    And to top it off there is not any sign from the bovine “the SNP can do no wrong’ crowd of having given any critical thought to what the SNP have been saying and what/how they have been arguing during this referendum.

    The leadership figures are seemingly a brain free zone too. I never thought I’d ever say this but in a Boris Johnson versus Alex Salmond debate about the nature of democracy, sovereignty and the EU Johnson is the person with more intellectual honesty and integrity – which is a fucking tragedy.

    The SNP badly needs to allow some intellectual oxygen into the hive mentality.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I see you’re still struggling badly with this entire concept of persuading people to your point of view. Telling people that you want to get on your own side that they’re bovine, lacking in intelligence, and bereft of honesty and integrity, and that they have a hive mind mentality isn’t how you go about making friends and influencing people.

      If you want people to listen to what you have to say, it’s always a good idea not to piss off your audience by insulting them. Just a wee bit of advice there. Happy to help.

    • Boris Johnson, enthusiastically backed by the Establishment MSM, particularly the BBC (Andrews Neil and Marr esp.) actively portrays himself as an open and shut nutcase.
      As you point out, Joe, in your strangely subjective post, he is nobody’s mug. Neither are Salmond and Sturgeon, for that matter.
      Johnson and Cameron are members of the Elite; the British Establishment.
      Both are rabid neo Liberals, who care not a boat trip up the Thames for social justice, democracy, or the people of Scotland. The Tories, ably led by the Branch Manager Up Here, are determined to destroy our social democracy. They reward the rich, punish the rest of us.
      WE have food banks, pay day loans at 1300%, 500,000 Scots living below the poverty level, broken pledges about BAE Frigates, thousands of civil service jobs moved South to Crawley, and so on. £1.2 billion in cuts to Welfare and essential services. Och, don’t get me started.
      These are the real issues Up Here. Not which ‘bounder from the Remove’ heads up the Red Blue and Jaundiced Tory Government of 591 Down There.
      No matter how it turns out next week, our Longest Day, the ‘winner’ will continue to destroy Scotland. Of that I have no doubt.
      I’ll be voting Remain. My priority is to fight for an Independent Scotland, first, and thereafter take part in re-establishing this great nation as a fully fledged member of the international community, warts and all.
      Membership of the EU should be an issue for Independent Scotland; I refuse to stand by while 57 million Down There make our decision for us.
      And spare me the ‘we’re all British’ crap.

      They are determined to hold on to the real estate of course. All those lovely forests, gas, oil, whisky, fish,grouse moors, Lairds’ Estates, and stag hunting. We are a prized colony. They would as easily populate our land with sheep and cattle as people. They did that several times before, you may recall.
      As for the proles who are crammed into cities and towns in the industrial wastelands Up Here, they never have given, never will give, and certainly at present, do not give, a tuppenny toss.

      There are many Scots residents who want out of the EU. Fair Play. There are many who voted YES who subscribe to the argument that replacing rule by WM with rule by Brussels in frying pan and fire logic. (Not I, but we’ll debate that another time.).

      That I consider Boris Johnson and the Leave Consortium to be a more dangerous alternative, I am in no doubt.

      … defining characteristic is his greediness and dramatically overweight appearance. His character is, in many respects, a highly obnoxious anti-hero. As well as his gluttony, he is also obtuse, lazy, racist, inquisitive, deceitful, slothful, self-important and conceited. These defects, however, are not recognized by himself. In his own mind, he is an exemplary character: handsome, talented and aristocratic; and dismisses most of those around him as “beasts”. Even so, his negative sides are offset by several genuine redeeming features; such as his tendency, from time to time, to display courage in aid of others; his ability to be generous, on the rare occasions when he has food or cash; and above all his very real love and concern for his mother. All these, combined his cheery optimism, his comically transparent untruthfulness and inept attempts to conceal his antics from his schoolmasters and schoolfellows, combine to make a character that succeeds in being highly entertaining but which rarely attracts the reader’s lasting sympathy.
      Billy Bunter. Courtesy of Wiki.

      Cameron, Johnson, Osborne and Co., still inhabit the world and values of Grayfriars School, Billy Bunter and Just William. Eton bred them for it. They are our rulers. Endov.
      There will always be an England.
      And the rest of us? Grouse beaters and hotel porters.
      We are witnessing the Fall of the British Empire, Joe. And not before time.

      ‘The bovine SNP ‘can do no wrong’ crowd? You’re better than that, Joe.

    • Davy says:

      Well “Joe”, I suppose the best reply to yersel is ‘MOO’, but just in case that increases your intellectual argument for leave, let me reassure you we have been giving a lot of critical thought to what the LEAVE campaign have been saying, mainly its argument about being thought as “too wee, too poor, too stupid” to run their own country. Does that sound familiar.

      And if you want a real fucking tragedy just check out labours hero of the moment a certain Gordon Brown, and who could forget Michael Gove’s performance on the BBC yesterday. There’s a couple of characters you wouldn’t turn yer back on, and their both leave/remain.

      Still if the ‘remain’ campaign won down south at least the plus point would be no Boris Johnston as PM, hopefully.

      It would be interesting to have some input from the Scottish branch office of the labour party, perhaps they have done ?, but as normal no-one bothers to listen to them.

    • Macart says:

      Don’t think you’re helping your cause much.

      I do think we should have this conversation, but I’ll not do it whilst another country’s leadership and electorate calls the shots ‘on our behalf’. That’s neither honest, nor does it require those ‘guts’ (Eeeew).

      If I ever decide a vote to leave the EU is the right choice, it’ll be because we’ve had that conversation on our own behalf and dealt with them face to face.

    • Andimac says:

      Are you Joe Kinnear or are you jokin’ ‘ere? Certainly I’m having a good laugh at your comments.

    • David Agnew says:

      I name you a concern troll and I claim my £5

    • Dave Hansell says:


      Which bit of:

      “that Tory government is holding this EU referendum because it wants to settle internal disputes within the Conservative party and in an effort to see off the challenge from UKIP.”


      “Tory bun fight.”

      are you having problems wrapping your head around?

      Your opening sentence shows no recognition whatsoever that this is the case, that this is a Tory civil war which has been festering for over three decades over the soul of little England. You seem to feel that the prospect of four more years of Cameron and Osborne on the back of a remain result will be intolerable. Many will say Amen to that prospect.

      Yet you do not seem prepared to accept that the alternative of rabid privateers with a sense of aristocratic entitlement such as Gove, Duncan Smith, Petal, Johnson and Co would be far worse by a country mile. Indeed you give a sold impression that you would prefer these dishonest carpet baggers over any other outcome simply because you, Joe, went to exit the EU. Such an outcome, which is what you appear to relishing, would not only cause great suffering across Scotland to millions of people but also do the same to many more across England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

      Thanks a bundle for those wishes and sentiments Joe, I, along no doubt with many others, will think about those who wish such calamitous outcomes for us for their own puerile selfish ends if your bloody hero’s like Johnson and Gove and Farage oust Cameron in the coming weeks. Who would have thought it eh? A so called Scotsman acting as a cheerleader for rabid little Englanders. I bet your ma’s so proud.

      You seem to have no head for strategy, wanting instead your own way on everything with no compromises. In that regard you come across as some Wolfe Smith type wanting to be in the vanguard leading the masses to the promised land that exists in your own head. The option of an independent sovereign Scotland outside of both the UK and EU single markets is not only not on offer at this moment in time it is not even on the horizon. It might wel lbe a twinkle in your eye Joe but that is the only place such a scenario exists. What the author of this blog is arguing is for a step by step approach based on two key principles, that of realty and the wishes of the people of Scotland. It is up to them to decide. Not one deluded individual.

  15. John Edgar says:

    Joe seems to forget that he needs to put aside has reverse rants on Project Fear 2 and remind himself of the fundamentals in the Scottish argument.
    Scots did not vote for Cameron and Co and his (now) Leave Tory ministers IDS,GOVE were appointed by him.
    The need fir Scots to vote Remain, is not to endorse the Cronies of the Remain faction at Westminster, it is to guarantee Scotland’s place in the EU in the event of an Bre/Engxit!
    That reinforces the position that Scottish votes are sovereign and that the NAW brigade’s claims that by staying in the UK would ensure our place in the EU.
    That is now in jeopardy by the etonian old boys scrap about who leads the Tories and the implementation of EVEL. With UKIP whispering in the ear of the Tories, then expect even more Tory right machinations.
    That is not Fear, that is a fact grounds in the complete dismissal of amendments out forward by the majority of Scots MPs in the last Scotland bill!
    The Little and Large Tories are equally toxic towards Scotland; Labour and the LibDems likewise at Westminster.
    Remaining in the EU because Scots vote for it is a next step to leaving Westminster.
    Scots votes for Scots laws. The Westminster HoC gave up all pretence to being a UK parliament when EVEL was implemented. The mask had dropped! Scot BritNats must see that their adulation for UK is to reinforce the second class status of Scots.

  16. Kenzie says:

    Well, one thing we won’t have to worry about is Giddy being the next PM. Not after yesterday.

  17. orri says:

    Playing the No campaign at their own game. If the rUK is Scotland’s biggest market then it’s in our interest to ensure that it remains viable regardless of whether we are independent or not. As such it becomes vital that we stage an intervention and try as hard as possible to keep them in the EU. Other wise you’ve the ludicrous situation where once the penny drops, or the pound sterling, the UK/rUK desperately negotiate the same deal as other EFTA states where they pay 90% of a full EU membership for the privilage rather than the at most 66% we do once you take into account the rebate. Down to 50% when you include various grants. Possibly even lower.

  18. Iain says:

    What looks interesting is if Scottish people are deprived of their EU citizenship by the voters of another country. Does that constitute the basis for a legal challenge? It could be argued that the UK is voting on a unitary basis and that “regions” don’t count, but it’s worth bearing in mind that Greenland, a constituent part of Denmark, voted on a devolved basis to leave the EU in 1985. I’m not a lawyer, but it looks like there might be a precedent. It would be great to get a lawyer’s opinion.

  19. Tinto Chiel says:

    Joe Kinnear: you’re surely jokin’ ‘ere, are you not?

  20. Wiseblood says:

    Joe Kinnear! … former foul mouthed English premiership football manager, surely not!

  21. Tinto Chiel says:

    Mibbes, naw!

    Sorry about that: by the time I wrote it and did the WordPress sign in yours had appeared.

    We intellectuals need to stick together, Andimac.


    • Andimac says:

      No offence taken and no criticism intended, Chiel – sorry if I gave that impression. The guy’s monniker was crying out for the “jokin’ ‘ere” interpretation – I’m surprised it hasn’t been done before. You’re right about we intellectuals needing to stick together – guess we won’t be encountering Joe Kinnear in that company.

      • orri says:

        Did that on wings. Then again it’s fairly obvious which might be a tell that he’s a troll on the windup.

  22. Tinto Chiel says:


    But I think Joe’ll be back somehow.

    Two more polls for Brexit, it seems. And the bookies beginning to shave the odds.

    Hold on to your hats, it’s going to be a rough ride, particularly if Prof. Curtice’s talk of the Scottish vote being a possible Kingmaker for The Remain Campaign transpires.

    Cue mad frothings ablow the dyke.

    It’s a funny old game, Saint.

  23. orri says:

    Think avoiding Scotland, Wales and NI combining to keep the UK in the EU was the whole point of attempts to persuade SNP/independence supporters to vote Leave. There’s perhaps far more to gain if despite a Remain vote the tories still have an internal revolution resulting in their eurosceptics gaining control. Who knows they may even go as far as to withhold EU membership money or redistribute funding away from Scotland. At an extreme they might decide to scrap Barnett and bring in punitative measures dressed up as sharing austerity.

  24. punklin says:

    Animal count good:

    Fox, buffalo, piggy, chicken and bunny – the dug must be having a really bad dream!

    I think it’s blithely, not blythely unless you’ve been watching too many re runs of Taggart (clue: she plays DS Jackie Reid).

    Nice response to Joe Kinnear. Or is he only Joe King?

    As you say, people don’t take kindly to those who say things like: “why don’t the bovine SNP supporters do this or that?” Speaking as one who campaigns actively and, I hope, thoughtfully these armchair critics sometimes get my goat!

  25. Jan Cowan says:

    I totally agree with all you have to say, Paul. It’s imperative that Scotland votes REMAIN.

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