The only hope of salvation

Ruth Davidson asked the people of Scotland to use these elections to send a message to Nicola Sturgeon, and that’s exactly what the people of Scotland have done. It’s just a terrible shame for Ruth that the message isn’t the one that she wanted. The people of Scotland have sent a very clear message, and that message is that we’re not at all impressed with the Tories, with the Labour party, with Brexit, or with how Scotland has been treated during this entire sorry Brexit process. Scotland said in resoundingly clear terms that it wants a say on whether we are to be taken out of the EU. Scotland demands another referendum on EU membership. Scotland has said you can stick your Tory and Farage Brexit.

The European elections have shown conclusively that Scotland is in a very different political place from the rest of the UK. Where the story of the night for England and Wales was the inexorable rise of the gurning face of Faragism, Scotland proved itself resistant to his dubious charms and returned a decisive vote in favour of a second EU referendum. In every local authority area in Scotland, a pro-EU referendum party topped the poll. The SNP won everywhere, except Orkney and Shetland which narrowly preferred the Lib Dems, and ended up with three out of Scotland’s six seats in the European parliament. It’s worth pointing out at this juncture that independent EU nations with a similar population size as Scotland, like Denmark or Finland, have 13 each. It’s yet another UK benefit that Scotland gets to be underrepresented in Europe.

62% of Scottish voters opted for parties which unambiguously want another EU referendum – the SNP, Greens, Lib Dems, and Change UK. Only 28.2% supported parties which are unequivocally in favour of Brexit – the Brexit party, the Tories, and Ukip. Then another 9.3% voted for Labour, and no one knows what they want, least of all the Labour party. It’s a fairly safe bet that many of the rump of voters who remained loyal to Labour in Scotland are also in favour of another EU referendum, so the 62% who voted for parties overtly calling for another EU referendum represents the absolute minimum of Scottish support for revisiting the EU question, it’s really higher than that. The question now is how those voters who opted for anti-independence parties supporting another EU referendum will react if Scotland is indeed taken out of the EU without the matter being put back to the people. They’ll have a very strong incentive to support another independence referendum, and to vote yes in it, as the only way of rescuing EU membership for Scotland.

Despite Scotland very clearly and unequivocally saying that it wants another say on Brexit, none of the Conservative leadership candidates seem disposed to offer one. The front runners are now vying with one another to out-Farage Nigel Farage, to offer the most hardline Brexit possible. The Tories went down to their worse defeat in British politics in modern times, managing just 9% across the UK, dropping to fifth place in the polls. They didn’t do much better in Scotland, where they could console themselves with the cold comfort that at least they didn’t do as badly as the Labour party.

Ruth’s fantasy of becoming the next First Minister is now as dead as her party’s reputation for strong and stable government. It’s difficult to see how her party’s fortunes can recover in Scotland, tied as they are to a Westminster party which is hell bent on delivering something that the Scottish electorate has so resoundingly rejected. This election has only highlighted the gulf between the political directions of Scotland and England. No number of cheeky photo-ops can plaster over it.

You might think that Ruth “A Vote for Me Is a Vote for a Voice for Scotland Within the UK” Davidson would be entreating with the Tory leadership candidates to ensure that they take into account the sensibilities and wishes of a Scotland which has just given her party a kicking. You would of course only be thinking that if you lived in the cave next door to the one where Ruth goes to hide whenever she’s avoiding speaking to the press because there’s some bad news for her party. When it comes to a choice between her own career, or protecting Scotland’s interests, Ruth’s careerist instincts win every time.

Naturally Ruth isn’t trying to intercede with her party to ensure that Brexit is as soft as possible and does the least amount of damage to Scotland. Instead Ruth is asking all the Tory leadership candidates to rule out consenting to a Section 30 order to authorise another independence referendum, and telling the rest of us to suck up Brexit because it’s what the UK voted for. She’s the politician who see her role as being to close down democratic options for her country.

The UK was politically unstable and uncertain last week. It’s even more so now. The Conservative party is now in full on panic mode as it digests the devastation wreaked upon its electoral support. Their MPs will certainly not be in any mood for an early General Election right now. Turkeys don’t vote for Christmas. That said, British politics are so volatile that anything might happen. Funny that, considering that back in 2014 Scotland was told that the only volatile thing it needed to worry about was the oil price per barrel.

Whoever succeeds as Tory leader will enjoy a honeymoon period, but it won’t last long. The same divisions, the same Parliamentary arithmetic, and the same looming deadline of October 31 will destroy it very quickly. But with the Faragistas breathing down their necks, the Tories are going to be even more motivated than they were before to allow the UK to crash out of the EU at the end of October without a deal, and bugger the consequences.

All that can be said for certain is that this UK is not the beacon of political and economic stability that was sold to Scotland in 2014. It is highly unlikely that this Westminster Parliament is going to permit a public say on Brexit, which means that all that is left for Scotland is another independence referendum. This week the Scottish Government introduces the legislation to prepare the way for another independence vote and the Scottish Parliament must make clear that a Westminster refusal to consent to a Section 30 order is not an option if Westminster wishes to preserve the notion that the UK is indeed a union of nations.

The EU elections proved that Scotland wants a different path to the only one on offer within the UK. If the gurning influence of Nigel Farage is the defining shape of the future of British politics, then another independence referendum is Scotland’s only hope of salvation. It’s high time that we took it. The UK can’t save Scotland. Scotland can only save itself.

newbook My new book has just been published by Vagabond Voices. Containing the best articles from The National from 2016 to date. Weighing in at over 350 pages, this is the biggest and best anthology of Wee Gingerisms yet. This collection of pieces covers the increasingly demented Brexit years, and the continuing presence and strength of Scotland’s independence movement.

You can order the book directly from the publisher. Ordering directly means that postage is free, and for the next ten days Vagabond Voices are doing a special offer, giving you two pounds off the cover price. You can order here –

You can also order a book directly from me. The book costs £11.95 and P&P is an additional £3.50, making a total of £15.45. To order just make a Paypal payment to, or alternatively use the DONATE button below. Please make sure to give me your postal address when ordering. Orders to be sent outwith the UK will incur extra postage costs, please email me for details. If you can’t use Paypal, or prefer an alternative payment method, please email

You can help to support this blog with a Paypal donation. Please log into and send a payment to the email address Or alternatively click the donate button. If you don’t have a Paypal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button.
Donate Button

If you have trouble using the button, or you prefer not to use Paypal, you can donate or purchase a t-shirt or map by making a payment directly into my bank account, or by sending a cheque or postal order. If you’d like to donate by one of these methods, please email me at and I will send the necessary information.

Please also use this email address if you would like the dug and me to come along to your local group for a talk.

GINGER2croppedGaelic maps of Scotland are available for £15 each, plus £7 P&P within the UK for up to three maps. T-shirts are £12 each, and are available in small, medium, large, XL and XXL sizes. P&P is £5 for up to three t-shirts. My books, the Collected Yaps Vols 1 to 4 are available for £11 each. P&P is £4 for up to two books. Payment can be made via Paypal.

27 comments on “The only hope of salvation

  1. douglasclark says:

    “The UK can’t save Scotland. Scotland can only save itself.”

    We need the oxygen of an election, or a referendum.

    We need, in essence, a means of saving ourselves.

    Answers on a postcard please.

    I am heartily sick of being asked to march up and down the hill.

    I want the battle – political obviously – and I want is soon!

    Several folk on our side have said that there is a bill about to be placed before Hollyrood that claims the right to a further referendum. My research has come up with nothing, nada, to confirm that. If it is true then perhaps our good host could devote a post or two on it?

    There is so much disinformation around.

    • Andy Anderson says:

      Bill is starting it’s progress this week. When complete probably late this year it will go to the Queen to get signed off. The purpose of the Bill is to put formally into Scots law the right to hold a referendum.

      It is likely Westminster will send it to the Supreme Court. As it will use valid law and will use the Claim of Right and the Interceding laws it will be approved.

      Then we will not need clause 30.

      • Millsy says:

        Is this correct ?
        My understanding was that the Scottish Parliament was simply setting out the framework for the next referendum when ( and if ) we were given permission ( section 30 ) to do so by our liege lords ?
        I hope that YOU are right and I have grasped the wrong end of the shitty stick!

      • Wee Chid says:

        “It is likely Westminster will send it to the Supreme Court.” Where there will have been a law changed retrospectively that means we are denied any rights. The BE don’t play fair and this will get dirty.

  2. Gordie says:

    Whoever is at Westminster will say NO. That means we have to continue to try to build support for Independence. When the UK comes out of the EU and it will that should be enough for the majority of Scottish people to demonstrate their desire for Independence. The balls in our court then we can choose how which political vehicle we want to demonstate that majority. If we get a win then Iceland, Belgium, the Catalan government and Ireland will recognise our Independence.
    I do not favour another referendum due to the horrendously one sided press we have in Scotland. I suspect the press will be caught flat footed if we use a Scottish parliamentary election to do it.

  3. yournicknamesystemisretarded says:

    Spot on, Paul. The election map says it all. Scotland truly is another country.

    Typo report:

    “allow the UK to crash out of the UK at the end of October without a deal”

    Sounds a wee bit like the kind of argument the constitutionalists like to make about dissolving the treaty of union! I’m sure the rUK won’t even bother to change its flag once we’re on our way, let alone its imperious sense of natural entitlement.

  4. Melvin says:

    Now’s the time and nows the hour The alternative when UK drops Out is unthinkable and we won’t have the EC of Justice to support us. It’s gonna get messy. Devolution would Not have happened if we were not in the EU, without resorting to other, physical means.

  5. Macart says:

    Ayup. Politically we do want different things. And now? Now people need to come to the realisation that we can’t be who we want to be whilst allowing Westminster to determine our constitutional future. For Scotland’s population there is no remaining party to two political unions, only one of which will allow us to retain the political and societal difference we see in electoral maps.

    Your government of choice… Your system of government and practice of politics, doesn’t just reflect who you are as a body politic, but also as a society. Now take a long hard look at the political and societal carnage generated by Westminster politicking today.

    So yeah. Damn straight we should want to be different.

    Probably worth a thought ’bout now.

    • To add to your wise words, most admired, respected and worthy Mr. Macart, I say that I earnestly hope people do wake up in time to the realisation that independence is the only way not just for us Scots to be who we want to be, but to save ourselves from the threat of full-on fascism right here in Scotland – because that’s the road England is on right now. With a no-deal Brexit creating economic chaos and likely civil unrest, the conditions will be absolutely right for a strongman dictator type to rise to power on a promise to restore order, get people back to work, make the trains run on time…

      And it won’t be the Tory Party, because they cannot avoid being blamed for it all, because it is indeed their fault. (And the fault of those dastardly Johnny Foreigners in the EU, of course.) Labour? Forget Labour too – we just saw how low they too have fallen in public esteem. The pro-EU Remain opposition remains divided, though, which is not a hopeful sign given the FPTP elections to the English Parliament.

      There’s a historic disintegration of the old party political system going on in England at the moment (let’s leave the rest of us out of the calculation for now) which looks set to result in the current single-issue, Faragiste, extreme right Brexit Party having a plurality of votes cast and a likely majority in the House of Commons in the event of a General Election – and even if not, the Brexiteers will be extremely confident and determined, with Tories seeing that the only way to hang on to their seats being to out-Farage Farage. The Brexit Party is a single-issue party right now – but we all know it has another agenda ready-made to put before the public at any moment.

      How does Scotland avoid that fate, with BoJo and Gove and various other bottom-feeding types in the running for leadership of the Tory Party right now, and Farage waiting in the wings just itching for his turn to strut? Gosh, I haven’t a clue. No. Beyond me. I haven’t the faintest idea. Help me out here, people…

  6. ROBBIE KERR says:

    Trouble is Westminster isn’t the least bit interested in demonstrating that this is a union of nations. They can refuse a Section 30 without real consequences…….

    • John Muir says:

      Anecdotes aren’t data, but I have an informative one on this point.

      Talking to good friends at the weekend, once committed No voters for reasons of skepticism about change, May’s resignation had them spooked. Until now, Brexit was this wild story they didn’t care about: hypothetical to its core, a fight over “values” and “identity” that they found tedious at best and, as it dominates more and more, downright alienating. But once the prime minister resigned, they caught the chills. All this guff is real? It’s actually happening?

      Some folk, especially Edinburgh way, aren’t nationalists at all. Scotland and Britain, and yes Europe too, don’t mean much to them. They see government as systems, like global finance and the power grid, which tick over doing their job, until they don’t.

      The SNP just picked up another vote or two in my little sample. But, back to the point, my friend was the one who suggested to me that “Nicola should just go ahead and hold the referendum now, come what may.” This from someone who has never voted for a Scottish party before in her life.

      A popular vote is a powerful thing. Behold the chaos still spewing out of the Brexit vote of 2016! When Scots vote Yes, permission or not, the political reality changes. The way to get a Section 30 may be to give it to ourselves and see what happens.

  7. Funny all these self proclaimed democrats ruling out votes, disallowing elections and closing down debate. Almost as is their commitment to democracy was not as wholehearted as they believe.

  8. Luigi says:

    Sorf NOs are thinking long and hard at the miment. Many more people than we currently observe have already woken up and realise that independence is the only sane solution IMO. They are just dragging their feet a wee bit and puting off that scary decision until they have to. Why show your cards until you are called? Last 🙂

  9. Guga says:

    I thought that the comments by Ruth the Mooth after the results of the election just proved my contention that she really is living on another planet. Moreover, her two-faced attitude to her Tory masters in London (e.g. one minute she hates Boris, the next minute she loves him) will ensure that she never attains he dream of being selected for a safe English seat in the English parliament.

    As for Wee Willie Rennie, the sooner the Whigs get shot of him, the better. The rest of his party in Scotland might then wake up to the fact that if they support Scottish independence, they will garner much wider support, and not have to be reliant on the Northern Isles.

    The Labour accounting unit in Scotland will continue to lose support unless they also change their attitude towards independence, as the sitting on the fence of their masters in London will only serve to give them splinters in their arse.

  10. Muscleguy says:

    The deluded Brexiters think they can avoid nasty things like passing the WA and negotiating with Europe by a hard Brext. But the problem is there are no UK regulators any more, they were made EU regulators and they have all left now, bagged by EU cities as hosts.

    If we crash out without a deal there will be NOBODY recognised and agreed (by all sides) that things like plane safety or ferry safety or train safety etc. etc. which means the insurance companies will not insure such trips. So the planes won’t fly, the ferries won’t sail (CalMac excluded, possibly), Eurostar won’t run, ships carrying food imports won’t dock. It’s entirely possible the French nuclear power topups will stop as well.

    The EU will I think let all this happen, let the supermarket shelves empty. Let tearful families parted by travel impossibilities fil the airwaves. Let the impotence of the British government be made plain.

    Then they will invite the UK to talks and the first item will be the WA. Whatever we do that requires the EU to agree the WA will be there needing to be dealt with before anything else. The EU has said this.

    The WA agreement is fantastic for the EU, they want it, they don’t want to water it down which is part of why no more negotiations is the mantra.

    Nothing will turn up. Uncle Sam will not ride to our rescue unless we quite literally turn ourselves into the 51st State giving up far more sovereignty than the EU requires to Uncle Sam.

    Or we become a Hermit Kingdom like NK, supplied by tramp steamers nobody will insure anyway.

  11. Bob Lamont says:

    Excellent synopsis, but I’m chary of concluding the Scottish electorate are majority pro-EU and pro-Independence heartening though that might be, just as a fair chunk of the Leave majority in 2016 was a FU to Westminster, this will doubtless figure in Scotland with those unimpressed by Mr Mirage and his Ltd Party.
    We are entering dangerous times, Westminster control by the Francois.m brigade will now be consolidated under a PM of their choosing, and crashing out in October may prove impossible to stop.
    There is no happy end to such a scenario, the extent of suffering is often overblown but it will not be easy nor quick nor affect the few who have conjured it all. Perhaps 30 years to recover as one St Nigel acolyte infamously pronounced recently “but worth it”.
    Conservatives will do anything now to avoid an election, will refuse a Section 30 Order, and be under no illusion that this lot would impose martial law “in the National interest”.
    Options need tested such that when the worst of the Union finally dawns on those unconvinced Scots, a plan swings into action to secure Independence, and the clock is ticking.

  12. Wee Chid says:

    Off topic – apologies to anyone who has replied to any post I’ve made – I’ve only just discovered the wee bell in the top right hand corner which has a wee red dot to tell me there are notifications. Duh – sorry for being thick in regards to technology.

  13. daddypobbin says:

    Northern Ireland not get a mention here? It’s sent two Remain for first time and first time it’s only sent one unionist to Europe. That is seismic compared to expected and almost inevitable SNP victory. Alliance, lib dem sister party in N. Ireland did much better than expected.

  14. JSM says:

    Reblogged this on Ramblings of a 50+ Female.

  15. Terry callachan says:

    I agree with everything apart from one thing and that is Scotland wanting another brexit referendum I think it is wrong to conclude that Scotland wants another referendum on membership of the EU, Scotland made it clear in the brexit referendum that it wishes to remain a member of the EU .
    These EU elections reinforce that wish to remain in the EU we don’t want or need another brexit referendum .

    Talking of referendums I think it would be more accurate to say that Scotland wants another Scottish independence referendum.

    • Aucheorn says:

      Yes Terry, sorry Paul you got this one wrong. Scotland made it’s decision regarding the EU and doesn’t need to revisit that result. On that other referendum that apparently 67% of people want, bring it on.

      We have a notable date coming up next year. April 6th, 800th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath.
      Let’s campaign for that auspicious date to be Referendum Day, 44 weeks away plenty time to organise it.
      I know it’s a Monday, but why be tied to Westminster’s standard operating procedures.

  16. Col says:

    Brexit will happen, Scotland will be dragged out of the EU by our neighbours! I’m worried for all of us but I do think things may have to get worse before they get better. I think brexit will be such a shambles that we could see as high as 60% vote for independence. Many soft no’s and even solid no’s might well just see our only hope is to break away from what will essentially be a failing state.

Comments are closed.