A Conservative stitch-up

Do you hear that roasting sound? Hear it pop and spit? It’s the sound of shrivelling, shrinking, and burning up. Do you feel the heat and the fire that threatens to destroy the house? Are you unable to see anything through the dense smoke? That would be a million gammons learning that the UK can’t even ask itself if it wants to leave the EU without first getting the permission of Jean Claude Juncker. But that’s exactly what they demand of Scotland. And then they have the nerve to tell us that we’re in the most perfect union of nations ever seen on the face of this Earth.

The reality is that Scotland doesn’t need Theresa May’s permission to decide on its future. There is, as this blog has explored, more than one perfectly legal way in which the people of Scotland can have a democratic vote on whether we want to remain subject to the whims of an incompetent, venal, and broken Westminster system or become an independent, grown up, normal nation. There’s a consultative referendum, there’s turning a future Holyrood or Westminster election into a plebiscite election on independence. One way or another, Scotland can have a vote on its future, and Theresa May can’t stop it.

The Conservatives, you know, those people who don’t want Scotland to have any say over its constitutional future at all, know that too. So they also want to control how and when Scotland should have a say if and when Theresa May or whoever is Prime Minister in a few months’ time deigns to permit it. Or more accurately, when they discover that it’s politically impossible for them to prevent it.

Imagine that someone you know was determined that you shouldn’t have an enjoyable holiday. They tell you that they control the pursestrings, that you need their permission to go on holiday, and they’re not going to allow you to go. They do their utmost to prevent you getting the information you need in order to make an informed decision about your finances, about possible destinations. They lie to you. They tell you that you won’t be allowed a visa. They tell you that you’ll be refused entry into Europe.

Then when they discover that you’re going to go on holiday anyway and they can’t stop you, they inform you that they’ll decide when you go, where you go, and how you go. You can be as certain as it’s certain that TIG is going to be on Question Time that they’re going to do their utmost to ensure that you have the crappiest holiday imaginable. They’re going to make it so crappy that you’d prefer not to go on holiday at all.

The reason that the Conservatives want to control the timing, franchise, and question of a future independence referendum is because they want to pauchle it. The question in 2014 was rigorously fair and unbiased. It made no assumptions. It was not leading. The question that the Tories are likely to pose will be along the lines of “Do you want to break up the most successful partnership of nations that the world has ever seen and destroy Scotland forever? And see this kitten? It will get drowned.” They’ll ensure that the vote is held in the depths of winter in the worst weather possible on the same day that a royal baby is born while some other member of the royal family gets married on the centre of the Wembley pitch immediately before a Scotland-England fitba match. They’ll gerrymander the franchise to exclude 16 and 17 year olds and EU citizens, while extending it to everyone in the rest of the UK who has a Scottish grandparent or who once went to Argyll on a coach trip. Then they’ll insist that at least 60% of those who voted need to have voted in favour of independence and that the turnout has to be over 80%.

Westminster has previous for this kind of thing. 40 years ago Westminster pauchled the Home Rule referendum of 1979 in order to ensure that it was as difficult as possible for Scotland to achieve even a very limited form of self-government. The House of Commons introduced the infamous 40% rule, insisting that 40% of the entire electorate would have to assent to Home Rule. Scotland voted in favour of the then Labour government’s limited proposals for Home Rule, but not by enough to surmount the 40% of the entire electorate restriction. With an independence referendum, the stakes for Westminster are even higher. They will do their utmost to ensure that the referendum is skewed in their favour.

The Conservatives have already proven that their promises to Scotland cannot be trusted. Every single one of the promises and commitments that they made to Scotland lies shattered and broken. They haven’t strengthened devolution, they’ve undermined it. They haven’t kept Scotland within the EU, they’re taking us out of it. Scottish Conservative MPs have not been voting in a bloc to defend Scotland’s interests within the UK, they’re supine and spineless enablers of a British government determined to ignore and marginalise Scotland in the Brexit process. A Scottish independence referendum which is controlled, determined, and worded by the Conservatives in Westminster isn’t a Scottish referendum. It’s a Conservative stitch up.

For quite a while now, as I’ve been going around Scotland giving talks on independence, I’ve joked that whereas we were told in 2014 that Scotland couldn’t use the pound, the scare story that Better Together Mk II is going to use the next time round is that Scotland has to use the pound. And so it has come to pass. Opponents of independence are now quite literally one of my jokes.

On Twitter on Saturday Blair McDougall, the chief of Better Together Mk I, warned that Scotland needed to keep using the pound. You know, that pound that he said we couldn’t use in 2014. What has changed is of course that the SNP is now moving towards adopting a Scottish currency after independence and is dropping the previous policy of continuing to use sterling for an indeterminate period. So Better Together’s position on the currency is that if Scotland wants to use the pound then it has to use its own currency, but if Scotland wants to use its own currency then it has to use the pound. We’re glad they’ve cleared that up.

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49 comments on “A Conservative stitch-up

  1. Craig Fraser says:

    We must not let Westminster get within a million miles of our ref2. It must be controlled start to finish by Scotland. Our bat our ball our rules.

  2. Macart says:

    Process and legality. Action and consequence.

    It’s a pickle for them. 😉

  3. Davy says:

    We give Westminster nought, nothing, nada. If they say no to a section 30 request that should be the last they are allowed any involvement in our referendum.

  4. fynesider2 says:

    Brilliant – as ever…!

  5. Illy says:

    In line with this (and as I’ve been saying for a while now), we should start a campaign of “They’re Scotland’s Nukes, we’re keeping them!”

    Then, either Westminster isn’t responsible for keeping the Clyde clear of nuclear waste (they’re spiteful enough to spill crap there intentionally), or they’ll remove them for us out of sheer spite.

  6. […] Wee Ginger Dug A Conservative stitch-up Do you hear that roasting sound? Hear it pop and spit? It’s the sound of […]

  7. JGedd says:

    Besides the loss of our resources and the damage to their prestige that would come from Scotland exiting their precious union, I think they also fear what might come to light about their corrupt state in the aftermath. Those who have been guarding their secrets will be the most zealous in preventing that exposure.

    On independence, there might be a power outage on the national grid as millions of shredders are employed, especially in the Scottish Office.

    • Robert Harrison says:

      And don’t forget the lot in England that are xenophobic england supremist gits your tommy Robinsons your nigel farages your edl your ukippers you know those types they will riot when Westminster blames Scottish independence for Englands economy going down the toilet because those lot believe to there dying breath we are a drain on them and will never stand for the truth being the total opposite.

  8. Now, another scenario comes into play. With the possibility of an extension to Article 50 of at least 2 months, this takes us into the EU elections. The UK will be legally obliged to take part in the EU elections on May 26th.
    Under EU law, a member state government cannot remove the rights of EU citizens to take part in the elections for the European Parliament. This, as well as UK citizens, also includes the EU citizens living in the member state, as well.
    So, if the UK government required an extension of 2 months or more , this would be an excellent opportunity for Scotland. The Scottish Government could choose to make these elections an independence Referendum.
    By that time the 62% of us wanting to remain will have shot up to? Your guess, is as good as mine. I would surmise by that time, there will be a very large majority in favour of Remaining. As the SNP is the only major party 100% Remain, if this scenario pans out, it should be a slam dunk for Indy.

  9. benmadigan says:

    excellent as always Paul – Here’s what’s going on in the Irish Re-Unification debate at the present.


  10. Marconatrix says:

    But if push came to shove, what’s to stop Westminster simply closing down Holyrood exactly as they’ve closed Stormont? Although I accept that they’d try something more devious if they could.

    • Coinneach says:

      It would only be a temporary closure, for then we’d turn the next State Election into a plebicide. The question then would be whether they would suspend democracy altogether.

      We’re already in the politics of the loony bin but the Brits’ game must be to try and spark some violence which they can blame on us. Then they can deploy their army. Nothing gives them a boner quite like the thought of deploying their army.

    • weegingerdug says:

      The Tories are evil, selfish, nasty, and incompetent, but they’re not stupid. (Well, most of them.) They won’t close down Holyrood because they know it would provoke a major political crisis which would only benefit the independence cause. They’re far more likely to try and hollow out Holyrood from within.

      • Robert Harrison says:

        Don’t underestimate the blue torys and there supremacist attitude they are dumb enough to do it you forget people like Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees mogg litter there ranks and I swear they trying to out do may for the title of Englands stupidest politican.

      • Coinneach says:

        I hope you’re right, Paul. Once upon a time I would have agreed with you that the Tories are not stupid, but this whole Brexit affair has revealed a new side to them. The incompetence doesn’t come from nowhere.

        Unfortunately, I meet individual Tories every day. What strikes me is just how old they seem, even as I have aged.

        Elderly, senile, demented, stupid. Metaphors for their own State.

  11. diabloandco says:

    It beggars belief that Scotland has been involved in this unequal union for so long.
    300 odd years of being treated like rubbish and no Scottish Guy Fawkes , a bit of a failure but at east he tried!
    I remain surprised and proud that some young bloods have not resorted to violent activity .Even I have to take a deep breath and think of Gandhi on occasions and I am quite ancient!
    Though were I faced with certain folk of certain political persuasions , I’m not sure that either deep breathing or Gandhi would be sufficient to prevent an assault!

  12. millssandra says:

    The reason that arch-unionists like Mr BLIAR McDougall are reversing their thinking on the Pound is simple – without Scottish exports of oil , whisky etc. propping up the Pound, it would be on a par with the currency of Zimbabwe or Venezuela !
    They are desperate to keep us despite the decades of putting us down as an impoverished ‘region’ of Englandshire because their balance of payments would sink through the floor if we left , or even worse, if we left and changed to our OWN currency .
    It is , as ever , naked self-interest writ large !

    • Shagpile says:

      Indeed, and as Paul said:

      “I’ve joked that whereas we were told in 2014 that Scotland couldn’t use the pound, the scare story that Better Together Mk II is going to use the next time round is that Scotland has to use the pound”.

      As the £billions the BoE printed as lender of last resort, (quantitive easing) has to be paid back with interest and that might see iScotland as rUK’s biggest creditor.

      So the elephant in the room may well be the question, how much does rUK owe iScotland towards payment/settlement of the UK national debt?

  13. Bill McDermott says:

    I was interested to hear Gavin McCrone of The McCrone Report, being interviewed by Douglas Fraser on GMS this morning in the ‘long interview’. When DF asked him his up-to-date view on Scottish independence now that Brexit looks likely, I detected a strong sense that staying in Europe was his first priority and that he would now go with an independent Scotland in Europe. I get the sense that the political runes are telling us that a second Indyref would produce a minimum vote of 60:40 in favour of independence when the EU opens up for us. Such issues as a hard border at Gretna and the ‘UK single market’ will prove to be insignificant in the grand scheme of things.

  14. Robert Graham says:

    Westmonster should not be allowed within a mile of our referendum.

    I believe the only organisation that could be trusted would be the UN , verification and counting done at the place where the votes are actually cast , no more long undocumented journeys to a central point , we all witnessed on TV the various unmarked vans and cars arriving at the count in Glasgow , where did they come from who knows , were they escorted again who knows so many unanswered questions , there was never a verifiable chain of custody of these votes available.

    I suppose at least we have the satisfaction of now knowing the unionist side accept there will be another referendum because they are trying to rig it from the start , the only thing now is to work out how it can be tampered with and put an immediate block on that particular little project .

    Because we all know Westminster can be trusted don’t we ,

    The recent judgment against this Tory government by a overwhelming majority at the UN and the subsequent dismissal by the same intransigent government gives the game away , they can never be trusted .

    • Millsy says:

      As Mr Stalin used to say – ”it only matters who counts the votes ”.

    • E Thomson says:

      Absolutely, count in polling stations only, ballot boxes in full view all day, monitors everywhere! In my view, postal ballots should also be delivered unopened to the appropriate polling station, verified and counted at the same time as the other ballots. Don’t care how long it takes, as long as it is honest.

      • cirsium says:

        I would hope that there is no postal voting in the next referendum. It is too open to fraud.

        I like the idea of counting in the polling stations.

  15. Iain says:

    Would retaining use of the pound – for however long – not prevent us being members of the EU?

    • Charles McGregor says:


    • Shagpile says:

      No. Luxembourg and Belgium were in a currency union since 1921 until they joined the Euro.


      • Iain says:

        But Scotland would be using the currency of a state that is not a member of the EU. Different thing surely?

        • Andy Anderson says:

          No. You can use any transferable currency

        • Shagpile says:

          Not really, the main point is that they did not have their own currency.

          Kosovo and Montenegro are both EU candidate countries and do not have their own currency. Both use the euro, equally they could be using the US dollar, and as Andy said below it is a transferable currency.

          It would make no difference IMO if iScotland uses the GBP, or pound Scots. Scotland already meets the accession criteria. EU politicians have already said Scotland would be fast tracked to continued EU membership, whatever that means, but not one have warned or stipulated any caveat about what currency we would need to have in place. If it really was so important, I think someone would have mentioned it. And I don’t mean fearmongering rabid yoons.

    • Robert Anderson says:

      You are not forced to take up the Euro, you can use any currency you like. Many countries in the EU such as Denmark do not use the Euro.

  16. Luigi says:

    I am concerned about postal votes. The huge number of postal votes (unprecedented) helped swing the vote to No last time. Another big concern is the huge amounts of dark money that will appear for the NO side. Shady sources and astro-turfed movements, all designed to dupe the public that the pretend union is popular.

    I hope these issues have been considered and plans are prepared to neutralise (or at least minimise) their undemocratic effects.

    • Millsy says:

      Re. Postal votes – Ruhie is too busy changing nappies ( including Fluffy’s ) to be at the count this time !

    • Wee Chid says:

      That’s because the BT went out and actively encouraged postal votes. I’ve heard SNP people saying that we should be encouraging it among supporters too as it ensures people don’t just decide not to bother voting on the day if the weather is bad or something else comes up.

  17. Marconatrix says:

    Not entirely OT I hope, I think this channel is informative and deserving of many more views :

  18. Robert Graham says:

    A bit o/t .

    Let’s see how much support the Teachers get if in fact they vote for strike action , most folk would bite your hand off for the offer they have been presented with , I wonder who they would have suffer to accommodate their pay rise , because every penny has been allocated from the pocket money Westminster graciously provides.
    Labour in Scotland working with some of the unions haven’t picked the best time to try and add to the Brexit chaos this won’t end well because most folk will question what makes teachers so bloody special , me first doesn’t go down well .

    • They’re closing the libraries in Aberdeen, Robert, presumably to pay teachers 9% plus another 3% in April.
      I have no sympathy for this EIS Militant nonsense.
      Let them go on strike for a year if they want.
      An index linked final salary pension, full pay when off sick for up to six months, two weeks off at Christmas and Easter, a week’s Half Term Holiday In February and October, six weeks in June July and August,plus Bank Holidays….
      What planet are these selfish people living on?
      And spare me the hours of correction in the evening nonsense, or the stress of the job…
      Try sitting on your arse at a checkout counter for eight hours on minimum wage, or driving the night bus into an run down estate, or driving an ambulance, or spending a day with a single mother of three on Universal Credit and Food Banks..
      But of course they had to go to Uni to get a degree so they deserve to be treated like spoilt brats.
      They have lost all touch with reality.
      I know some Duggers are teachers.

      • astytaylor says:

        I think you’re out to lunch on this one, Jack.

        • I’m being ‘controversial’, asty.

          • astytaylor says:

            Christ, that’s no like you, Jack!
            Anyway, i’ll write you a longer reply elsewhere.
            I think you just struck a chord with me… Most of my teacher pals are selfless, dedicated people. In a society that’s aff the rails.

            • asty. I am surrounded byneighbours and relatives who are/were teachers, including a brother and several cousins.
              I know almost first hand what they go through and their contribution towards the social cohesion and stability of our fragile society.
              They shouldn’t be flexing their EIS muscles at this time.
              It’s terrific offer in this climate, and the threat of industrial action is basically Larry Flannigan and his Momentum Brit Nat mates using the profession as a baseball bat to bash the bad SNP and Us Independentistas.
              Remember the P1 assessment of five year olds and the lies spouted about children breaking down in tears and parents up in arms in their thousands .
              Lies, lies, yet again coming from the union agitators.
              No, my phone’s not ringing off the hook yet, asty.

  19. Welsh Sion says:

    In other news from Western parts of this Disunited Kingdumb …

    The Welsh National Assembly and the Scottish Parliament to vote against Theresa May

    5 March 2019 at 09:54 Last updated at 10:06

    The Assembly in Cardiff Bay and the Scottish Parliament will vote on the same motion today (Tuesday, March 5), which states opposition to Theresa May’s Brexit agreement.

    The proposal calls upon the British Government to take “immediate” action to prevent a ‘no agreement’ situation and to extend Article 50 so that a new agreement can be negotiated, which is different to the Prime Minister’s.

    According to First Minister, Mark Drakeford, (Labour) the debate and vote today is an “historical step”, and he hopes it will send “a clear and unified message” to the British Government.

    “The implications of a no deal are happening now, with investors such as Honda and Nissan pulling out of the UK or cancelling investment plans,” said Mark Drakeford.

    “The effects will worsen every day while the uncertainties are allowed to continue.

    “There are only 24 days to go until we come out of the European Union. The Prime Minister can and must take action to eliminate this risk.

    “I hope that the joint debate today, and the vote, will put more pressure on the Prime Minister to do the right thing.”

    Source: https://golwg360.cymru/newyddion/cymru/541363-cynulliad-senedd-alban-bleidleisio-cynnig-erbyn

    Translation: Google Translate and Welsh Sion

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