Disagreeing without being disagreeable

There appears to be a misconception circulating in certain quarters that I am advocating that the Scottish Government keeps on asking for a Section 30 order, and then magically at some point Boris Johnson will agree out of the goodness of his heart. Sorry, but if that’s what you think you’ve not been paying attention.

What I am arguing for, and what I believe the Scottish Government ultimately intends, is to maneouvre the Johnson regime into a situation where the consequences of the Prime Minister continuing to refuse a Section 30 order become more serious for him than the consequences of saying no. At the moment there is very little downside to Johnson saying no, but that situation does not necessarily have to continue indefinitely. It ought to be the job of the independence movement and the SNP to ensure that this situation does not continue indefinitely. And there is indeed a way in which we can make it happen. It’s a way that involves holding our nerve and not panicking. It’s a way that involves seeing the true weakness of the British government instead of succumbing to British propaganda about the monolithic nature of the Conservatives’ commitment to the Union and throwing up our hands in despair because of a false belief that we’ll never get a referendum.

As has been much rehearsed and argued, there are several ways in which Scotland could have a vote on independence without the cooperation of the British Government. There’s a referendum without a Section 30 order. There’s a plebiscite election. There’s a national convention and the withdrawal of Scottish representatives from Westminster. There’s a concerted national campaign of civil disobedience. These are strategies which are not necessarily mutually exclusive. However, and this is the important bit, for any of them to work there has to be a solid and unarguable majority opinion in Scotland lending them its support. Despite the fond imaginings of sections of our movement, who bewail the repeated mandates for a referendum that the SNP has already accumulated, that majority support for an alternative strategy has been lacking. It certainly exists within the online bubble of committed independence support – but that bubble is not reflective of Scottish opinion as a whole. If it were we’d be seeing support for independence in the high 80s in the polls.

For years I have said that if Scotland had a fair and balanced media which accurately reflected the range of constitutional opinion in this country we would be independent already. But that’s not the Scotland that we live in. We live in a country where all our newspapers except The National and its Sunday edition oppose independence. We live in a country where our broadcast media is controlled outwith Scotland. Given that reality, imagine what would happen should the Scottish Government embark upon moves to independence without a Section 30 order and without first securing the support of a substantial majority of the Scottish population for that alternative strategy. The BBC would be telling one and all that it doesn’t matter if you do support independence, there’s no point in voting because it’s a “wildcat” referendum. We would be slaughtered in the media, and the very people whom we need to support the alternative strategy would be scared off by what they read in the press or see on the BBC. Those are not people who are already committed to independence. We would lose even before we got out of the starting blocks.

As I keep banging on about in this blog – committed independence supporters are not the people who need to be persuaded of the viability of an alternative strategy. There is not a sufficient majority within Scotland to support an alternative strategy unless we carefully lay the groundwork first. The Scottish Twittersphere is not enough. Bloggers and their followers aren’t enough. (And that’s not a dig at anyone in particular.) We have to ensure that people who do not currently share our enthusiasm for the independence project are on board with an alternative strategy otherwise it has no chance of succeeding. Much as some people in the movement would like to believe otherwise, we’re not quite there yet.

So it follows that if we wish to use the threat of an alternative strategy to leverage a Section 30 order out of the British Government, we must first ensure that it’s a strategy which is going to have majority support and a strategy which has a very good chance of success on its own merits.  And here’s the key which so many independence supporters seem to miss, it’s not you or me who needs to see that the alternative strategy is likely to be successful and to enjoy widespread support in Scotland – it’s the British nationalists.

This can only happen following a formal request for a Section 30 order being refused, and that in turn is only going to happen following the reelection of a majority SNP government in the next Scottish elections standing on an explicit mandate for another referendum. It’s their reelection as a majority government in a Scotland where there are consistent majorities in polls for independence which will provide the Scottish Government with the moral and political capital that it requires in order to make a success of a credible threat to embark upon an alternative route if Boris Johnson says no. If he does not think that the threat is credible, he’s going to continue to refuse to play ball.

However if Johnson does believe that the threat is credible then he is likely to U-turn and to concede to a Section 30 order in order to maintain some semblance of being in control of events. He needs to do so in order to preserve the British nationalist fiction that Scotland’s membership of the UK is voluntary. It would be an immensely powerful argument in our favour to be able to campaign in a vote for independence which our opponents have done their utmost to prevent from happening.

Of course the obvious reply is that the SNP have already got a mandate which they haven’t used. However it’s one thing to have a mandate for another referendum, it’s quite a different thing to believe that you’re going to win that referendum. We only have one shot at this, because if we lose the next referendum then the question of independence really is off the table for a generation. We are where we are now because of Brexit. Brexit was not foreseen in 2014, and it’s Brexit, compounded by the Coronavirus epidemic, which has provided the rationale for a second referendum. However although Brexit gave us the reason for another referendum, we couldn’t have that referendum until Brexit had actually happened and its consequences felt by a public which is largely not engaged with politics the way that pro-indepedence activists are. It’s only this year that Brexit has happened. Yet even if we had by some miracle wangled a referendum earlier, it’s also only this year that we’ve started to see consistent majorities for yes in the polls. And then the virus struck.

Then there are those who say that Johnson would never agree to a Section 30 order because he would end up being the British PM who lost Scotland and would have to resign. To which one can only retort that a British PM is also supposed to resign if he’s caught lying to the Queen and prorogating Parliament based on a lie. A Prime Minister is also supposed to resign if he lies to Parliament, something which Johnson has done on repeated occasions But here we are, and there Johnson still is. He’s only going to resign if he possesses a modicum of shame and a sense of responsibility, two things in which he has been singularly lacking throughout his entire career. Johnson is quite likely to paint the loss of Scotland as him being England’s champion. That’s why it’s significant that recent polls have found that a majority of Conservative voters in England are in favour of English independence. It means that Johnson’s voter base is unlikely to punish him for the loss of Scotland. Indeed a large part of it is likely to reward him for it. Keeping your voters on board is all that counts in politics.

None of this implies that I’m an enthusiastic cheerleader for everything that Nicola Sturgeon has done. She could be doing a lot more to ensure that her previously committed supporters are on board. We are where we are now because many in the independence movement feel adrift and rudderless, and the responsibility for that lies with the leadership of the SNP. Nicola Sturgeon could and should have been a lot more forceful in pressing the case for independence. Her much touted speech in January was an error which she really didn’t need to make. The Alex Salmond trial speaks poorly of a party which is riven with egos and careerists – it tells us that certain people really need to get a firm grip of themselves. There is currently considerable disquiet in the wider independence movement, which is precisely what is causing all the talk of the need for a second party on the list, and the SNP leadership could and should be taking a far more active role in calming nerves and providing reassurance to those nervous and frustrated independence supporters.

However as we have these debates, let’s always remember two things. Two extremely important things. First – we’re all on the same side. What we disagree about is tactics and not the fundamentals. Our opponents are not one another, it’s the Conservative Goverment and its British nationalist helpers. There is a regretable tendency in some quarters of this movement to forget that it’s not the people with whom you disagree over tactics who are your real opponents, it’s the British nationalists who profit from us falling out amongst ourselves. Yes by all means we can disagree, but always try and remember what yer mammy told you about how you can disagree without being disagreeable. (Unless of course you’re one of the Scotland in Union trolls who periodically attempt to infest the comments section of this blog. In which case you can piss right off.)

And secondly, and perhaps even more importantly – we are winning. We are now in a Scotland where a clear majority support independence.


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183 comments on “Disagreeing without being disagreeable

  1. Sanity prevails. Thanks Paul.

    • S Hunter says:

      Agreed. Agree with every word of this Paul, except I think we could have a very good extra lever with specifically a formal Section 30 refusal – in writing and with a specific reason given for that refusal – and it needs to be signed by Boris Johnson as PM and nobody else. The London Administration has been very careful to avoid that and resort to vocal refusal declarations – or have provided a sort of official refusal but in the words and with the signature of someone other than the PM. And I would want it to be noted globally that this has been done and exists.

      I have a reason for this – but I would need to type a tome and talk about the wording of the detail in the ‘power grab’ statement re Brexit AND the body which is going to be presenting wording on the pretendy ‘UK internal market’ – and whatever ends up ‘in writing’ regarding the set up of this committee/body and the specifics of its alleged remit of ‘control’ over this supposed ‘UK internal market’.

      Their wording, I feel, is going to be vital in all of this – and I do see ways to whack this mole over a big barrel – in slightly similar fashion as the reason given for proroguing parliament – but much much more serious. The more ScotGov gets in writing from them – the better, even if it initially appears to be to our detriment.

      But all depends on the SNP getting enough of the constituency vote in 2021 to be able to have them as ScotGov to more easily legitiimise any smart out of the box move they could conceivably make.

      I don’t want to get into any debate about impatience, other indy parties, anger at Nicola Sturgeon’s perceived lack of interest or movement. There’s enough of that to last a lifetime at the moment.

      I think are prospects are much better than some seem to negatively feel – but as Paul says, our attention should be on those not currently amenable to independence. We have to be amongst them and around them – metaphorically at the moment – but you know what I mean. They are our answer to getting what we want.

  2. Hamish100 says:

    A pragmatic approach is required rather than the apparent belief by some spouting UDI, walk outs and the like that the Scottish electorate has the same view. I would suggest the majority do not.
    Good article again. Thanks

  3. Mark Russell says:

    Westminster may agree to a s30 but on condition that any subsequent claim of independence must include Scotland’s immediate payment of its share of the national debt. It’s nonsense of course, but it’s the kind of stance that would scare the shit out of those dependent on the UK government or the City for their income. Long before an s30 application is sought, Scotland needs to learn how other countries operate their fiscal policies and economy away from the established order in London.

    • Cubby says:

      Taking a share of the debt should include taking a similar percentage share of the assets at least. That works well for Scotland and does not scare the shit out of anyone.

    • Of course, Scotland would then ask, immediately, for our share of all the assets. Unless the Westminster Government has bankrupt the country, they would greatly exceed our debts and Westminster would be liable to pay the difference.

      • Mark Russell says:

        Somehow, I don’t think it’s going to be an amicable divorce and mediation a waste of time. I guess we’ll have to ask the EU for a bung to keep the English happy – but that means lumbering the debt to our kids and hoping the EU will be a better boss than Westminster.

        Is there another option?

      • Cubby says:

        Last time I looked UK assets were about £10 trillion. UK Debts now over £2 trillion.

    • Tim Rideout says:

      The National Debt is actually the UK National Savings. Your premium bonds, your pension scheme gilts, etc. It also includes the £70 billion of Bank of England bank notes (which are a debt of the BoE). You also need to deduct the £735 billion of gilts now owned by the BoE (since the BoE is owned by the Treasury and you can’t owe money to yourself). So the current actual National Debt is £1.35 trillion and NOT what you read in the media of £2 trillion or more. The debt is currently near an all time low of 65% of GDP and the interest cost is also near an all time low. The annual interest bill has actually fallen by £8 billion pa just since March this year. The interest rate on what is owned by the BoE is zero. There is no need for Scotland to take any share of it. Under International Law as the Continuing State then rUK gets ALL the assets and ALL the liabilites EXCEPT what is actually located in Scotland. All the latter is ours, whether that is Faslane or the HMRC offices in East Kilbride. rUK will always be the Continuing State, whatever it costs them, as otherwise the UN Security Council seat gets re-allocated to somebody else. The UK can repay the all of the National Debt bonds any time it wishes by simply telling the BoE to make the payments. No tax is required and the economic impact is essentially zero as this would simply move your savings out of a Savings Account (the bond) into a Current Account (at your bank) instead.

      • Shagpile says:

        Hmm… True, that England want to be the successor state. Thing is, like independence, it is recognition that ensures that. The ‘chickens’ of the negotiated dissolution of The Treaty Of Union are ‘not yet hatched’.

        Czechoslovakia had joint successor states.

        BTW, is not QE owing money to yourself? And taking the interest for yourself before you make a payment… flirting with the rules for QE?

  4. Craig Murray says:

    “This can only happen following a formal request for a Section 30 order being refused, and that in turn is only going to happen following the reelection of a majority SNP government…”

    Except that it has already happened. A S30 order was formally requested and was formally refused. Nicola did nothing but make a speech accepting the Westminster veto and insulting everybody who does not accept the Westminster veto.

    The SNP has had six mandates already. I do not believe that the current SNP leadership has any intention of making a serious bid for Indy, and I believe they are delighted to hide behind a S30 refusal. It would be very easy for them to come up with a declaration of firm, timetabled and committed intent to make me and the tens of thousands of other doubters look like fools.

    I shall not hold my breath.

    • james gourlay says:

      I have thought this for some time now. Their attitude to another possible independence party on the list vote has their supporters foaming at the mouth. If they were serious about independence they would have done much more towards it. They have done very little in the past five years.

    • weegingerdug says:

      But there wasn’t a clear majority in Scotland for independence at the time. Nor was there any indication that people in Scotland would support an alternative to a Section 30 order. That’s precisely what has been absent until very recently. If we had pressed ahead regardless in the political climate we were in in 2017 we’d have lost and independence would be off the table for a generation.

      You confuse caution with a determination to avoid tackling independence under all and any circumstances. In any event Craig, you’ve already made your mind up that the SNP has been taken over by people who don’t really want independence, and no explanation of any strategy for getting us to a referendum is going to persuade you otherwise.

      • Petra says:

        What I find to be a bit of an anomaly is that at least two blog owners, who profess to want Scotland to become independent, have done their utmost to turn everyone against Nicola Sturgeon / the SNP. The only political party in Scotland capable of doing so. One has being doing this since 2014/15, long before the Alex Salmond case, Brexit, Section 30 order request and so on, with the other behaving similarly since late 2018 (drip by drip to torrential now). When we all know, or should know, that acquiring a majority of support for Independence in Scotland is a basic requirement to actually achieving our objective one has to ask themselves what exactly is going on with these particular individuals. Why are they constantly attempting to undermine our chances of acquiring our freedom?

        • T.C. Nu says:

          Speaking as an Independence supporter, but *not* a SNP supporter (other than foolishly loaning them my vote on the sole condition that they deliver independence…you can judge how well *that* has worked out over the past couple of *decades*), if you’ll accept an outside point of view about the SNP.

          It has become patently obvious NS isn’t interested in Independence, in fact, it’s obvious that there’s a whole cadre within the current SNP administration who’re at best paying lip service to the idea (after all, they do need our votes..), their priorities are apparently not those of the majority of the Scottish people, but those of themselves and their special friends.

          I keep seeing critics of the nonsense being perpetrated by NS and her cadre on the Scottish people (and whilst I’m at it, no, not this ‘people of Scotland’ BS) getting told by the apologists for their actions ‘now is not the time, Independence first, then we’ll sort it all out afterwards’ well, sorry, as it is patently obvious that NS and her cadre would be ousted after Independence, they view the prospect of it the way a sentient turkey would view the approach of Christmas.

          I glance occasionally at this blog (and more so the other one you allude to), I think you’re *very* mistaken and have put the cart well before the horse if you think that *they’re* the ones out to ‘undermine our chances’, see above about sentient turkeys and Christmas, I think you’ll find they’ll do their damnedest to avoid the oven.

          (Btw, on the NS vs AS thing, I used to ‘dislike’ Salmond, actually, I still do, but honestly, even after surviving an attempt at political character assassination that was so bloody obviously orchestrated by the cadre that even Mr. bloody Magoo could spot it, he’s currently looking like the least worst option for a ‘figurehead’ for a proper Independence movement)

      • J R Tomlin says:

        The last I heard 54% is a clear majority, Paul and that has been in several successive polls.

        • weegingerdug says:

          You’re doing it again. I was replying to Craig in response to his remark about something that happening in *2017*.

          Was there a 54% majority for Yes in 2017? No. There wasn’t. There have only been 54% majorities in the middle of the current epidemic. Hardly the right time for an independence campaign.

          • Angry Weegie says:

            “Was there a 54% majority for Yes in 2017?”
            There was in 2016 but we didn’t get anywhere then either.

          • Maria says:

            A look at the over 100 polls conducted between October 2014 and July 2020 tells a different story, I am sorry to say. By the look of it, there was already a majority for independence immediately after indyref. From October 2014 to August 2015 there were no less than 7 polls putting the yes vote ahead. That is a lot of polls to simply ignore.

            A poll conducted by IPSOS Mori/STV in the last week of August 2015 put YES at a whooping 53% and NO at 44%. A TNS poll from 12 August to 1st September 2015 put Yes at 47% and No at 42%.

            On the day of the 2015 GE, Scotland gave 56/59 seats to the SNP and 53% of the vote to pro independence parties. Let’s not forget that at that time NS was commanding also an absolute majority of seats in Holyrood until 5th May 2016. She had all the cards to push for independence but she chose not to and to cool down the momentum.

            Between the 24 and the 28th June 2016 three polls were conducted (Survation/DailyRecord, Panelbase/Sunday Times and Survation/Scottish Daily Mail) The three of them put Yes ahead by: 48% to 41%, 47% to 44% and 47% to 41%. Again, NS chose not to capitalise on this and by 2017, by her refusal to campaign on independence, she lost a good number of the seats.

            Looking at all those polls is very sobering. It very much looks like the moment for independence that was present already by the end of 2014 and well into 2015 was lost with this leadership. This is not surprising, as this leadership left active independence campaigners like you fighting on their own, without the backup of a indyref date or a plan of action. Like shooting in the dark. That, in my view, is not the most efficient use of resources.

            You can see what I am talking about here:
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_on_Scottish_independence

            Sorry, Paul, but the only conclusion I personally can extract from those polls is that it very much looks like if we are not independent today is because the current leadership of the SNP did not want us to be.

            • Alex Clark says:

              “Looking at all those polls is very sobering. It very much looks like the moment for independence that was present already by the end of 2014 and well into 2015 was lost with this leadership.”

              Are you seriously suggesting that there was any possibility of holding a second referendum within one year of holding the first without any change in circumstances? If so can I have some of what you’re smoking as your head is clearly in the clouds.

            • Alex Clark says:

              “Between the 24 and the 28th June 2016 three polls were conducted (Survation/DailyRecord, Panelbase/Sunday Times and Survation/Scottish Daily Mail) The three of them put Yes ahead by: 48% to 41%, 47% to 44% and 47% to 41%. Again, NS chose not to capitalise on this and by 2017, by her refusal to campaign on independence, she lost a good number of the seats.”

              Those polls were in the immediate aftermath of the vote to leave the EU, Nicola Sturgeon campaigned on having a referendum. It was given top billing in the 2017 manifesto of the SNP.

              Scotland’s choice
              At the end of the Brexit process, when the final terms of the
              deal are known, it is right that Scotland should have a choice
              about our future.
              Brexit must not simply be imposed on Scotland no matter
              how damaging it turns out to be.

              Last year’s Holyrood election delivered the democratic
              mandate for an independence referendum. The recent vote
              of Scotland’s national Parliament has underlined that mandate.
              If the SNP wins a majority of Scottish seats in this election, that
              would complete a triple lock, further reinforcing the democratic
              mandate which already exists. And, in such circumstances,
              any continued Tory attempts to block the people of Scotland
              having a choice on their future – when the time is right and the
              options are clear – would be democratically unsustainable.

              I like how selective you are when you choose to make points, points that are demonstrably wrong, we’re seeing a lot of that lately and I have no idea why that might be LOL

            • Cubby says:

              Maria, I agree with Alex Clark that it would have been unrealistic to even consider having an independence referendum so soon after 2014 but I don’t think it was appropriate what he said in the last sentence. He should remind himself of the article heading at the top of the page.

              Unlike Alex I will comment on the main thrust of your post which is that the opinion polls have fluctuated over the years and it has not been a nice steady upward trend as believed by many. That of course does not mean that we will not see a rising trend in future or alternatively it settles around 54% or it goes down if Covid settles down.

              It does beg the question though what role should poll percentages play in deciding whether to ask the people of Scotland about their future or should it be specific and major issues like being forced out of the EU by England against our vote. Can any self respecting nation not ask the question – is that acceptable to us?- never mind accept it happening.

    • vivianoblivian7 says:

      Perhaps consider; “A widnae haud ma breath”.

    • Shagpile says:

      “Except that it has already happened. A S30 order was formally requested and was formally refused”.

      For me, that is not surprising. The UK constitution does not allow for a constitutional referendum to be repeated within a seven year period. Although it is not beyond the power of Westminster to grant one before then, it might create a precedent which may affect the rules on a Border Poll in NI relating; of course to The Good Friday Agreement. Like Mrs May before him [Boris] NOW is not the time. The simplest thing to do.

      “Nicola did nothing but make a speech accepting the Westminster veto and insulting everybody who does not accept the Westminster veto”.

      I don’t feel insulted. Westminster said no. Constitutionally they can not say no beyond 2021. With polling evidence in our favour, they can not reasonably withhold consent. A judicial review would reverse any refusal.

      “The SNP has had six mandates already. I do not believe that the current SNP leadership has any intention of making a serious bid for Indy, and I believe they are delighted to hide behind a S30 refusal”.

      I believe you are mistaken.

      “It would be very easy for them to come up with a declaration of firm, timetabled and committed intent…”

      It would be, but there again… NOT keeping your cards close to your chest and revealing your plans to the Britnats; in every shape and form, whether they be in Fleet St or The Palace of Westminster, would; in my book, be an “act of unpardonable folly” to quote a genuine political strategist.

      “….to make me and the tens of thousands of other doubters look like fools”.

      It could be argued, you are doing a good job all by yourselves.

      “I shall not hold my breath”.

      Please don’t. Don’t give up the fight, loosing your patience and throwing Teddy out the pram because things don’t happen as quickly or as exactly as you like.

      The odds at stake are too very fucking valuable to be lost by those of victimhood mentality. Don’t! Just DON”T!

      I respect you. I admire your empathy for victims. Please don’t be one of those people you yourself despise. The leader of that party which is the ONLY sure vehicle to independence, faces a lot of attacks. Some merited, the vast majority? Well, you would expect that from… well… certain types.

      Just because you’re not in the loop, it does not mean that you are being ignored.

      Call me names, an Essenpeefile, a fishy loyalist if you will, but know this. I am NOT an SNP member, and have never donated to the SNP.

      I was once a dyed-in-the-wool unionist. So I know… you are pushing every button of the Britnat, your rhetoric would have entrenched my unionist view if I was warming to independence. Now you know too.

      • jennifer daly says:

        Love it Shagpile well put. I dinnae understand how people think oh dear SNP r gonnae get voted in 1 week & we’re gonnae be Indy d next. They’re politicians no fuckin superheroes 😀😃😉✊👊✌💙💚💛❤💙

        • Jeff Saunderson says:

          All these comments are valid, and I agree with the salient point of Pauls; that it is only recently polls are becoming consistently positive, hence why the topic of HR2021 is part of the Yes movements focus (although the Salmond Affair and campaigning against Brexit instead of Independence have caused much disquiet) however the rationale for gaming the D’Hong system is irrefutable.

          The system was rigged to prevent natural majoritis.
          The last decade of polls and results show the more votes for SNP alone the fewer seats gained from the list.

          A coordinated approach to voting will deliver the supermajority *across* a spectrum of parties (destroying myths of totalitarianism or one party states).

          The SNP, Greens, Solidarity, ISP et Al cannot lead this but the Yes movement can,
          … and should!

      • Cubby says:

        Basically you are saying that the UK constitution is what ever it says from one day to the next law is passed. That is not Scotlands constitution if you can call it a constitution.

        There was a consitutional referendum in 2014 and then another in 2016 – not a 7 year gap so under your concept/idea of a UK constitution it is presently a 2 year period.

        The Scottish constitution is the “Claim of Right.”

        • Shagpile says:

          “Basically you are saying that the UK constitution is what ever it says from one day to the next law is passed”.

          No I am not. On the other thread where we started this discussion, I said that all Westminster legislation is constitutional. I did not state anywhere, that all those laws directly relate to the Constitution.

          “That is not Scotlands constitution if you can call it a constitution”.

          Scotland no longer has it’s own constitution. Scotland has a shared constitution with England, Wales and NI. The UK is the state. Any state in the world can have only one constitution. And as an aside, the UK is not the only state with an unwritten one.

          “There was a consitutional referendum in 2014 and then another in 2016 – not a 7 year gap so under your concept/idea of a UK constitution it is presently a 2 year period”.

          I get you do not understand “strawman”, no need to shout it, I’ll bet others have noticed too. I’ll explain it, shall I?

          A constitutional referendum can not be REPEATED within seven years. The referendum on leaving the EU, was not a constitutional one. It was about withdrawing from the EU, an institution with which the UK shared SOME of it’s sovereignty, not all of it. It would be no different to having a referendum on withdrawing from NATO.

          “The Scottish constitution is the “Claim of Right.””

          Scotland does not have a separate constitution, that was suspended in 1707… around the moment when our independent sovereign parliament was adjourned. Oh dear… I feel you might get hysterical over that fact.

          • Golfnut says:

            Scotland had and still has separate and distinct Constitutional law, just as the Magna Carta is cited as the founding document for English Constitutional law, Scotland has the Declaration of Arbroath. They sit side by side in the Union Parliament and it is those legal systems that form the basis of an equal partnership. The Magna Carta got a boot in the baws recently at the Court of Session having been rejected as evidence in a submission to the court as having no standing in Scots law.
            When the Union ends, it is the independence of the legal systems that will determine international recognition of a plebiscite.

            • Shagpile says:

              “Scotland had and still has separate and distinct Constitutional law”

              Yes, I agree.

              ” just as the Magna Carta is cited as the founding document for English Constitutional law, Scotland has the Declaration of Arbroath. They sit side by side in the Union Parliament and it is those legal systems that form the basis of an equal partnership”.

              Again true, and it is worth pointing out that they are both very different documents, and although lauded highly, the former is very much misrepresented, yet in their commonality, both give power and authority to the nobility.

              “The Magna Carta got a boot in the baws recently at the Court of Session having been rejected as evidence in a submission to the court as having no standing in Scots law”.

              And that is not the only time that has happened.

              “When the Union ends, it is the independence of the legal systems that will determine international recognition of a plebiscite”.

              It will most certainly be one of the factors, but international recognition is entirely political. There is no prescribed definition under international law.

          • Cubby says:

            Shagpile – “Oh dear …….I feel you might get hysterical over the fact.” Nope just not engage/debate with you as you prefer your personal insults.

            You may want to look at the top of the page where it says disagreeing without being disagreeable. You failed.

      • J R Tomlin says:

        ‘Revealing their plans to the BritNats’ is a weak and pathetic excuse. We are not playing spy games.

        • Shagpile says:

          “We are not playing spy games”.

          Correct, indeed we are not playing games at all. The point is tipping your hand now gives the Britnat MSM from exactly now until referendum day, acres of print and month after month of TV coverage to knowingly distort and twist the narrative. Or did you not notice the “once in a generation” distortion that Boris is even now still peddling?

    • Tam the Bam says:

      ….”I do not believe that the current SNP leadership has any intention of making a serious bid for Indy…” Do you Craig?…Do you honestly believe this?…….and to all those cheer-leading the formation of a new list party to be headed-up by Alex……despite everything…Alex realises the state of play and will never impede the election of a majority SNP SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT…….SNP is in his blood and DNA.

    • Section 30 order had nothing to do with the holding of the referendum. It was an agreement between the Scottish 1st minister and the British Primeminister on talks after Scottish voted for independence.

      • Shagpile says:

        True. Yet the test on whether or not the Scottish government could have proceeded without one (given the possibility of a legal challenge was avoided) is currently being considered by the Court of Session.

        I am hoping that such an option will be upheld and we can permanently lose this s30 Albatross hanging from our collective necks.

  5. Guybrush Threepwood says:

    The problem is that Nicola Sturgeon has already said that she will not proceed with an independence referendum without a section 30 order.

    Nicola is an overly cautious politician and will not go down any other route.

    Boris Johnston will quite rightly (in his mind) continue to deny a request for a section 30 order. That is exactly what I would do. I would not risk presiding over the break-up of the UK. I would not risk losing my premiership, nor would I risk a backlash from Scottish unionists.

    Nicola Sturgeon promised us that a vote for the SNP at the last GE, would place ‘Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands’ – only to then hold a disastrous press conference at a exhibition center in Edinburgh, where she yet again let us all down.

    • Cubby says:

      Getting a referendum is only the first hurdle. The Britnats plan to make it you must get 60% in favour and 55% of the electorate must vote – the second point (55%) effectively gives the Britnats a possible veto.

      I doubt Westminster would try to implement this bill if we were still in the EU but after the end of the year – full steam ahead.

      Expecting the Britnats to respect democracy is delusional – the whole UK Westminster was built on no democracy for Scotland.

    • weegingerdug says:

      And what I’ve laid out in this article is how to get a Section 30 order.

      • Ian says:

        “However if Johnson does believe that the threat is credible then he is likely to U-turn and to concede to a Section 30 order in order to maintain some semblance of being in control of events”.

        Johnson in control of events? He doesn’t give a damn about the appearance of being in control. He was invisible during much of the Covid briefings and when does appear he just rambles incoherently like a skit from Monty Python. He clearly isn’t remotely concerned about any semblance of looking in control of events in the way in which you probably mean it.

        The only thing that any UK PM cares about in relation to Scotland, especially any Tory PM, is wanting to avoid at all costs being the PM that ‘broke up the UK’. Cameron said it and you can be sure that for any UK PM, ‘prestige’ and how they go down in history are more important than any idea of seeming to have been in control while PM.The idea of a Westminster U turn on a Section 30 is wishful thinking. It’s a dead parrot.

        • weegingerdug says:

          No. Johnson doesn’t care about the unity of the UK. He cares only about one thing – his own ego and his own position. He didn’t resign after being caught lying to the Queen, he certainly won’t resign if Scotland votes for independence. You’re assuming that Johnson has a sense of shame. He doesn’t.

    • Petra says:

      Nicola Sturgeon has already stated that she isn’t ruling out a holding a consultative referendum on independence without Westminster’s consent.

      • Chicmac says:

        Ukraine held a referendum without Moscow’s permission while there was a Soviet summit going on. Yeltsin, the de facto head (although Gorbachev was still the titular leader) had no real option but to accept the result.

        Surely the old Soviet Union was more authoritarian than our ultra Britnat one?… but maybe not.

    • Golfnut says:

      By the 31st of January the Covid disaster was already upon us, Nicola had been calling for immediate and aggressive action from Johnson as early as the 4th of January, so she new what was coming and the evidence was already stacking up on just how deadly and infectious this virus is. Like many I was disappointed with Nicola’s speech, but recognise now, she was right, we were and still are wrong.

      • Petra says:

        Spot on Golfnut and where would we all be now if Nicola Sturgeon had announced a date for holding Indyref2 this year? It would have been utterly shambolic. Additionally prior to this coronavirus crisis we were neck and neck with the BritNats. Since Nicola Sturgeon has been afforded air time on a regular basis, and demonstrating how honest, competent and compassionate she is (and how LBJ is an erse), support for independence has been rising.

      • Cubby says:

        I am all for giving the FM credit where credit is due and she has been brilliant re the virus for some months now. But why invent credit where it is not there. She never mentioned the virus during that speech. Also if she was that concerned about the virus and was so on the ball in Jan why did the football go ahead at Ibrox against Bayer Leverkusen who brought over 5k fans from one of the worst infected regions of Germany a few days before the lockdown in March. Even Ally McCoist said it should not be taking place on the night of the match.

        She is not some sort of perfect being. She is a formidable and the best political leader in the UK by far but what does it serve to kid on she is perfect about everything. She rightly does not do that herself.

        Unlike the tosser in Downing st the FM learns from her mistakes. Johnson and his crew will never learn from their mistakes because in their arrogance they don’t make mistakes. That is not who we want to be.

        • Golfnut says:

          It is prohibited for any member to make public Cobra or Privy Council briefings. Nicola looked very uncomfortable when giving her speech, it should be patently obvious why.

          • Cubby says:

            Golfnut, I agree with your first sentence but I don’t understand it’s relevance. I don’t understand the second sentence. Care to spell out the obvious to me.

            • Golfnut says:

              Nicola undoubtedly new how dangerous this virus was from the Cobra briefings, the first of which was given to Johnson in December 2019, and I believe it was the reason she changed the date of her speech to the end of January. If she was briefed at either aCrobat meeting or via the Privy Council she would not have been able to share that information.
              I have little doubt that lead to her rather uninspiring speach which many expected would signal the start of the campaign to end this union. I believe she knew how disappointed some would be.

            • Cubby says:

              Thanks for the clarification Golfnut.

              I now understand the point you are making. That may well be the case. Many people were very disappointed including me – I thought it was pretty uninspiring – the complete opposite of so many of her previous speeches over the years. However, unless you have some info it is just reasonable speculation. If the FM was so clued up about the virus in January I really do not know how the match at Ibrox was allowed to proceed days before the lockdown in March.

    • Nichola Sturgeon has NEVER said that.

  6. marconatrix says:

    Well for now at least WM seem to be playing into our hands, but the threat of a power grab against Scotland needs to be born in mind.

    Still, this should be inspiring :

    There’s an easy way and a hard way, which will they choose?

    • Petra says:

      O/T

      Good one marconatrix. WELL worth watching. Stushie between the speaker and Ian Blackford. ”Cummings Commandos”, ”Boris’s Bombardiers”, ”Super State wrapped in a Union Jack” and where’s Ian Murray, lol? It would be interesting too, to see what the Scottish Tories were saying about Scotland prior to Pete Wishart’s speech.

      I see that a journalist attending the Coronavirus briefing today attempted to bring up the UK internal market issue. White paper due to be released tomorrow. Nicola Sturgeon stated that the briefings related to the coronavirus crisis but mentioned that it was a real power grab (words to that effect).

      http://www.thenational.scot/news/18585298.outrageous-tories-try-sneak-scottish-power-grab/

      Alok Sharma covered this issue in detail in the Commons today (will make your blood boil) and it’s really worth listening to, as he mentions the centuries old union. Just wondering, for one, how breaching the Acts of Union by Scotland, say, having differing trade deals from NIreland is going to pan out?

      Search for Alok Sharma on this site.

      https://www.parliamentlive.tv/Search

  7. vivianoblivian7 says:

    Theresa May stated that agreeing to Customs posts at Belfast & Larne was “unconscionable for any PM of the United Kingdom”. Fair enough, she was being held hostage by the DUP at the time.
    Nonetheless, that’s exactly what Johnson agreed to (Customs posts) with the EU in order to deliver Brexit for ENGLAND.
    Cummings is deadly serious about this “Singapore of the North” malarkey. His plan stands a greater chance of reaching any meaningful form of fruition without us Celtic naysayers acting as a drag chute on “England’s manifest destiny, once more a colossus bestriding the globe”.

  8. proudcybernat says:

    Hi Paul,

    I don’t doubt that, when push comes to shove and given the opportunity, the indy movement will set aside its differences and pull together as one to vote for our independence. No question. All we’re seeing at the moment is frustration borne out of anxiety (only 168 days to the end of the Brexit transition).

    People are genuinely worried about Brexit & UKGov’s moves to emasculate our ScotParl when the EU Devo protection ends on 31st December. The UKGov isn’t slow to act on this – the moves to hollow out Holyrood are happening NOW. That shiny new UKGov building in Edinburgh is standing by for a reason. My personal concern is that, whatever the SNP’s strategy might be, there’s a fair chance it will be outflanked by WM’s present manoeuvres.

    And all I’m hearing is calls to give the SNP yet another mandate. Boris Johnson has absolutely nothing to lose by telling Scotland “No” to S30 every time we ask. He has a a LOT to lose if he concedes (Scotland’s vast oil & gas wealth for starters). The UKGov is presently engaged in muzzling Scotland and I really worry that the SNP will miss the present window of opportunity. My only crumb of hope is that they will see what WM is doing and just call it by making SE2021 a plebiscite election on independence (should they win the majority of seats AND 50%+1 of the popular vote). I doubt they’ll do it but that’s my hope right now.

    • Mart says:

      Half of Johnson’s party want to split off England. The uneducated voters have been fed a steady diet of ‘subsidy junkies’.

      Now look at this with the recent Brexit fiasco in mind. The professional bureaucrats in Westminster knew it was going to be a disaster; the UK business community knew it was going to be a disaster. Cameron ran away from it; May tried to thread a needle without an eye. Boris brazenly went for a no-deal Brexit by sabotaging any kind of negotiation, and he is feted as a hero by the Leave faction.

      If Boris thinks he can win the populists over the sober bureaucrats by granting a Section 30 order, he will do so in a heartbeat. In this he has been completely consistent.

    • Petra says:

      ”My only crumb of hope is that they will see what WM is doing and just call it by making SE2021 a plebiscite election on independence (should they win the majority of seats AND 50%+1 of the popular vote). I doubt they’ll do it but that’s my hope right now.”

      My hope too proudcybernat and I reckon that they will do it. My concern right now is that this coronavirus crisis will go on and on and will have to take priority. We’ll also have to deal with the economic fallout of such and convince the faint of heart again that no matter the challenges Scotland would be better off being Independent.

    • jistjr says:

      It Is Seats that count NOT votes. Name a time on these Islands when any party in government had 50% plus vote share. So “give up hope all ye who enter here”

      • In that case I suggest SNP should make clear in its SE2021 manifesto:

        1) If SNP win a majority of Scottish Parliamentary seats AND 50%+1 of the popular vote then that will be taken as a mandate to negotiate independence with WM.

        2) If SNP win a majority of Scottish Parliamentary seats but fail to win majority of the popular vote then that will be taken as a mandate to hold a 2nd Independence Referendum.

        One way or another, the SNP simply MUST have a majority of the popular vote for independence either in a referendum or in a plebiscite vote. Indy must be the clear and unambiguous will of the majority of the people of Scotland expressed in a democratic vote. It would be unconscionable folly to declare indy on a mandate of majority seats won. I have read Craig Murray’s views on this and I humbly disagree with him. Calling for independence only on winning a majority of Scottish Parliamentary seats will end up with civil war in Scotland. NO ONE wants that.

  9. Guybrush Threepwood says:

    The problem is, that’s not how Nicola Sturgeon plans to secure a referendum.

    You can post blogs like this all day long, but it won’t change her thinking.

    There are only so many times you can march the troops to the top of the hill, before we begin look elsewhere to secure independence.

    • Petra says:

      Guybrush just wondering if you reckon that you’ve got the ability to read minds? Perceiving another’s thought without using normal means of communication? And as for looking elsewhere to achieve our Independence, where do you suggest we look?

      • Guybrush Threepwood says:

        An SNP with Ms Cherry as FM.

        • Petra says:

          Do you really think that Joanna Cherry would make for a better FM than Nicola Sturgeon? The latter has years of experience under her belt with regard to the multitude of issues relating to dealing with the ”day job” (Joanna Cherry doesn’t) and that’s what’s seeing support for independence rising. Nicola Sturgeon is absolutely on the ball, and never ever gets caught out, when it comes to responding spontaneously to off the cuff questions: Or in this case a simple question that shouldn’t have led to this response. That example, performance, doesn’t augur well for someone required to handle, decimate, the Britnats at Holyrood as Nicola Sturgeon does so effectively week after week.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TbbwI2ywUA

          Joanna Cherry additionally seems to be on the same page as Nicola Sturgeon when it comes to Independence and of course hasn’t endorsed Plan B at all.

          ..”Writing in The National, the SNP MP (Joanna Cherry) points to the First Minister’s Brexit day speech in January where she suggested a second referendum may be within the remit of Holyrood and that such assessment has been made by a range of constitutional experts.”..

          http://www.thenational.scot/news/18554409.joanna-cherry-urges-nicola-sturgeon-plan-legally-binding-indyref2/

          • wm says:

            Petra, Guybrush is a spy, it is called divide and conquer, they are using names like Joanna and others to try and split the SNP into a Nicola party or a Joanna or Alex party. This is to have the yes movement and SNP divided, then WM wins.

  10. Stuart MacKay says:

    The fundamental problem I see with the gradualist approach is that it must convert soft Noes into hard Yeses. Life is going to have to get pretty awkward, post Brexit, for there to be a large clamouring to get us out of the UK. Even then, it seems that won’t take us to freedom without a corresponding shove from the English Nationalists who want to be rid of their now, destitute neighbour.

    It seems that we will have to weather a lot of damage when instead a deft leader could have pulled the eject lever on many occasions in the past few years.

  11. Robert Graham says:

    A bit o/t but relevant i believe

    A comment you made Paul in the previous article ” the biggest threat is our impatience ” you said with Alex Salmond in mind he would put his personal grievances to one side for the sake of the independence movement ,
    Really ? ,do you believe the prospect of a lengthy Prison sentence and personal ruin constitutes a grievance ?, well i suppose thats one way of looking at it not sure i can agree with you on that one .

    The Shit storm thats coming down the pipe in about three weeks time because of the inquiry into the Scottish Governments handling of Alex’s case .The unionist MSPs on that panel wont be slow in sticking the boot in they will cause as much damage as they can , right to the very top of the SNP if they can .I expect most of the evidence will to save embarrassment will be held in secrete but that wont stop union supporting papers getting the juicy bits like the Record did with allegations against Alex
    The fallout will have wide ranging consequences for the upper management of the SNP it wont be pretty , the stooshie about List seats and other self inflicted misguided proposed legislation will pale into insignificance when this hits the Fan .

  12. vivianoblivian7 says:

    A reasoned argument needs to be presented for courteous debate across the divide as well as amongst ourselves. All this “Yoon this, Yoon that” will convert naebidie to the cause.
    The trajectory of Brexit Britain is increasingly clear for all to see and it ain’t pretty. When individuals like Dan Snow can see the petty, insular, racist character of the supposed “sunlit uplands”, and can wish us the best on our European journey, others can be reasoned with to follow.
    A certain childrens author was rightly disgusted by Farage’s Brexit night outburst ” … a victory for ordinary, DECENT people.”. Hurling insults at folk over the Twittisphere won’t win any converts.

  13. Robert Hastings says:

    Well said Paul although I fear that these wise words have fallen on stony ground among the many highly opinionated anti SNP government who infest this and every other blog.

    There are none so blind as those who will not see. My response to the naysayers is to ask them when precisely in the past was there even the slightest chance of actually winning a Referendum. It is only now that we see a slow but steady move toward a majority for Independence in a succession of opinion polls.

    The one thing which would put off the undecided, the soft NOs and even the soft
    YESes would be a Charge of the Light Brigade type of assault on a Referendum with all the added uncertainty that entails.

    Far better a determined, albeit measured, approach to this fundamental and permanent change to the way we govern ourselves. The one thing all sides in this debate agree on, and I believe there is only one, is that the First Minister is cautious. But this appears to so many of the chatterati as a failing rather than a virtue. I can only illustrate this by the huge approval ratings accorded to her for the way she has conducted the approach to the Coronavirus Pandemic and contrast this to the shambles in England. This is the first clear demonstration of how Government business would be conducted post Independence and should allay the fears of many NO voters deterred by the Project Fear Campaign of 2014. When they perceive the care and caution applied to elements of the post independence arrangements such as currency, fiscal policy, business support and social policy they can be reassured that this will not be 2014 all over again. This should be a front and central feature of Indy2.

    Yes I agree that some significant housekeeping needs to done within the senior ranks of the SNP hierarch, and urgently, and we need a clearly stated objective and timetable for not just a Referendum but for Independence itself but let’s get the Virus under control first.

  14. Dr Jim says:

    You made an attempt to be reasonable Paul and here you have it, the bitterness and bile comes flying at you from one direction as they’re instructed by the over guru who knows all and sees all because this is the new Nigel Farage approach of the psychic predictors and mind readers

    I know what Nicola Sturgeon’s thinking is the absolute proof and basis of the garbage they stand behind, she must be destroyed because somebody thinks something then they fill in the blanks with their very own invented unprovable truths, but this mibbees could’ve happened so that means it definitely did, Nigel Farage did the same thing when he convinced England to lose the plot and implode, George Galloway makes a living out of it, who is it next David Icke because he’s aready made a comment on the FM as well, they’re in fine company these upholders of truth justice and the light

    Michael Russell said “If this parliament votes for an Independence referendum then that is what the people of Scotland shall have” Is Michael Russell a liar too, is John Swinney a liar, how many of the SNP government are they prepared to call liars, 2, 3, 4,5, all of them? well probably!

    Every one of them sounds like bad football supporters moaning about the striker the goalie the centre half the manager, but you know the what’s different about football supporters, at least they cheer their team on because at least they understand the players on the field are the ones selected to do the best they can, these subversives don’t even want Scotland to have a team unless it’s the team they pick, how very democratic of the lot of them, Nicola Sturgeon is the striker she’s got the ball, Alex Salmond isn’t even on the bench or even likely to be in the reserves

    By her actions Nicola Sturgeon has shown the Scottish people what their own government could be capable of, she’s instilled confidence, boosted support for Independence to levels not seen before
    and all these people have got in their petty wee arsenal comes down to *we think we know what she’s thinking so we’re determined to destroy her before she gets the chance to do what she said she would*

    I remember the FM being questioned on one of these people once and she answered

    “I think I’ll just manage to soldier on” and we all know what that means

    • weegingerdug says:

      It’s disheartening that we’ve *finally* got to a place where we have consistent majorities for independence in polls, and yet all you get from a section of the online indy movement is complaints, moans, negativity, and attacks on others in the movement who are deemed not to be sufficiently ideologically pure or “too woke”. The only people who benefit from this are the British nationalists.

      But I think I’ll just manage to soldier on. I am convinced that all this negativity is an online bubble phenomenon and it won’t have a great impact in the real world. If it did have a significant effect, it would be reflected in opinion polls, but it’s not.

      • Valkyrie says:

        I’m not usually a violent person (in fact someone once called me a hippie!) But I would quite happily punch everyone who uses the term “woke”!
        In recent years, it’s become like a really annoying song that every radio station insists on playing again and again and again, ad nauseum!
        It’s like the new “SJW” and just as irritating. I know language is supposed to evolve with the generations, but grabbing random terms made up by trolls with one single brain cell between them off of Urban Dictionary and 4Chan is more like going backwards!

        Phew, just had to get that minor rant off my chest, it’s been building up for a while.

        Anyways, well said. I have my doubts that cooler heads will prevail now, for the impatient folks always seem to have the loudest voices (or at least the most active typing fingers!), but at least someone is talking sense around here for now.

    • Tam the Bam says:

      I appllaud you Dr Jim!…well said!

  15. andyfromdunning says:

    You are correct Paul. Agree with all you wrote here.

    All we need to do, it takes time and can be frustrating is to convert No people to Yes. How many of us Yessers who mouth of all the time have actually convinced one person to change their view on independence? Go on look at yourselves in the mirror and admit how many conversations you have made. Zero, one, two? I have managed twenty five and have two more hopefully soon. Just get on with it, learn how to converse.

    Onwards and upwards.

  16. J R Tomlin says:

    The problem with your ‘eventually it will cost Boris Johnson too much’ argument is that I see no way that will ever happen. You say ‘hold your nerve’. And…? What will that do that hurts the Tories? They don’t need or care about Scottish votes. Exactly what is this unknown thing that will suddenly be a cost to them?

    No one has ever said what this thing is that he can be ‘maneuvered’ into. You still don’t. So much as I usually agree with you, I don’t on this one. That does not mean a ‘wildcat’ referendum is called for, but a court case to force them to prove that a Section 30 is even needed would be the first step.

    Yes, the pandemic was a good reason to delay, but eventually, the SNP needs to take a more aggressive stance or else the ‘cap in hand’ thing will start losing votes.

    • weegingerdug says:

      I explained it in the article. And I do have to say this isn’t the first time you’ve missed the point of something I’ve written.

      What I say above is that the Tories will agree to a section 30 order when they see a credible plan from the Scottish Government to pursue independence by other means. In other words, a credible Plan B which can count on majority support (not just support from diehard indy supporters) will result in the success of Plan A.

      • Cubby says:

        And that’s why the SNP should say they are putting a mandate for independence in the SNP manifesto for 2021. Announce it just after the EU transition period ends in January 2021. Let’s see how Johnson reacts to that move.

      • J R Tomlin says:

        I apologise for being too stupid to ‘see your point’, but those plans you mention are ones that Nicola Sturgeon has ruled out. And you continue to ignore that repeated polling shows a majority.

        • weegingerdug says:

          I am not ignoring that at all. The repeated polling showing a majority has only happened this year. Know what else has happened this year? A global epidemic. Hardly the time for an independence campaign.

          At no point has Nicola Sturgeon told us what she’s going to do if Boris Johnson refuses a Section 30 order – if she were to do so she’d be conceding the point that he would and that he’d have a right to. She’s not about to get into that possibility right now for reasons that ought to be obvious. So no, I don’t accept your point that she has already ruled everything else out.

  17. dorancaird says:

    I would like to see 60%. for independence . Hell, we were once under 30% . The msm is the problem . Whatever you think , you are reading headlines when you are queuing . Every day. It has an effect whether you agree with them or not. Then radio and TV news!!! I think more than anything THOSE confirmed my determination to vote Yes 2014. I could feel the bias and the “patronise the natives” rhetoric. And always in terms of Labour v Conservative. The coverage failed to see they were not important to us. And bringing in all these English commentators and journalists to tell the populace how they were thinking . Never asked us,in the main. Just told us. As if guys on the ground here knew nothing. I voted yes in 79. Still waiting for the better arrangements Tories promised then. I voted for devolution ’99. Voted Yes ’14 and Remain in EU. By Christ , I’m now sharpening the tines on The pitchfork. Leave Nicola alone. Have patience. She knows more than all the bloody armchair experts running the country from the house.!
    I have been waiting since ’79. I might not live to see it, but it’s coming. Vote, vote, donate.

  18. Tam the Bam says:

    Well said Paul……I hate to say it but the more I read ‘on some other blogs’ on this topic …I get a flashback to that point in the movie ‘Braveheart’…..where certain ‘nobles…clan.chief et al…. turn their horses and ride away.I so hope I’m wrong.

    • diabloandco says:

      The line from Braveheart which I prefer is , ‘they couldn’t agree the colour of shite’ – but then I am vulgar.

      Paul , as ever the voice of reason which gives me hope. Don’t often comment these days as my comment would be surplus to requirement but the ‘thank you ‘ remains.

  19. Dr Jim says:

    The SNP need say nothing, by doing what they’re doing right now and keeping the UK and the media off the subject of the constitution that’s what’s making them crazy, the UK wants to get the fight going now to get her off the Telly, those who are making all the wild claims about her want that too but Nicola Sturgeon isn’t fighting on their terms because that immediately gives the BBC the motive to remove the FM from her health briefings claiming party political broadcasts, and as long as she holds the centre ground on health and surrounds herself with top experts demonstrating her government in action she stays on the Telly and her personal ratings and Independence numbers keep going up, the general public at large aren’t in the least bit interested in Internet squabbling or who’s pals with who, they’re watching one of their own in charge doing a better job than the Munsters in London and they like it

    As to court challenges, again great if you know you’re going to win, but if you don’t then prepare to be in court for the next forever because that kick the can will be made from titanium

  20. Macart says:

    That needed saying Paul.

    Bunnet doffed. 🙂

  21. JSM says:

    Reblogged this on Ramblings of a 50+ Female and commented:
    Will Holyrood be just an empty shell by the time the next election comes around next year. I fear it may.

  22. jistjr says:

    Hi Paul, An excellent and calm article as seems to be par for the course for you. Well done.
    Ignore the negative drivel and soldier on.
    In your strategies I notice you do not mention abolishing the Act of Union, is there a reason for this?
    I am in the process of reading this document and it immediately strikes me that the phrase”And that all Papists,and persons marrying Papists,shall be excluded from………….
    Substiute Blacks or Gays for papists and this rubbish would be subject to such an outcry it would be abolished.
    Your views please?

    • weegingerdug says:

      Andrew Tickell spoke about this topic when I interviewed him for the podcast a couple of weeks ago. Basically there are no legal shortcuts involving abolishing the Treaty of Union. What we have in modern Scotland is primarily a political issue, not a legal one, and it can only be solved through political means. Even if the Scottish Govt did decide to abolish the Treaty of Union it still requires a democratic mandate from the people of Scotland in order to do so if it is to possess democratic legitimacy. So we’re still back at the question of getting a recognised referendum.

      • Hamish100 says:

        The fact so many new folk have came on here complaining about the snp and Independence is perversely a good sign. The unionists are worried.

        Who is on the podcast tomorrow?

      • Tony O'Neill says:

        Rubbish!.The treaty of 1707 was signed between the sovereign scots parliament and the sovereign English parliament
        There was no referendum to join in union with England. An overwhelming number independence supporters msp’s in the scots parliament can vote for repair of the treaty of union,with no confirmatory referendum required either. We should have declared independence when the snp sent an overwhelming majority of mp’s to Westminster the first time. But the snp shat it.Remember when Thatcher said if the scots want independence all they have to do is send a majority of snp mp’s to Westminster. Well they have done more than once over the last decade,and there’s STILL no independence. Scotland needs to stop playing at Westminsters rigged table,or their rigged referendums game.

        • weegingerdug says:

          Why yes. Yes indeed I’m going to take the legal opinions of some random person on the Internet over those of a legally qualified man whose job is to train people in Scots Law.

          We can’t get independence unless a majority of people in Scotland explicitly vote for it. It’s really that simple.

  23. Ken2 says:

    Johnston will be voted out. Brexit mess and shambles. Vote out all the unionists. There will be no opposition to Independence for Scotland. There will be no one to oppose with all the unionists voted out of Scotland. The SNP holding the balance of power. There will be no one to disagree.

    NATO/UN International Law supports self governance and self determination. If people vote for it. Scotland campaigned for Devolution. It was recognised the remerging Eastern European states had more democracy than Scotland. In the Union outvoted 10 to 1.

    Blair/Westminster had to agree to (far too limited) Devolution or face EU sanctions. People in Scotland formed a Convention and took their case to the EU. They can take their case to the UN and get support. If people vote for it. To have another EU Ref.

    The Westminster Gov would face International sanctions. If they do not support another IndyRef. If people vote for it.

    UK debt £2Trillion. UK assets £8Trillion.

  24. jistjr says:

    Sorry I was not active at that point.. How would I find the interview?

  25. Col says:

    The solution is easy, The Scottish government have a mandate, so they call indyref 2 on 14 Sept 2021 saying ideally it’s with an S30 from Boris but if not, with agreement of the Scottish people, a de fact people’s S30. Then they ask Boris for the S30. Boris refuses. So we have an election in May. Either the SNP are vindicated by getting an overall majority of Independence MSPs elected, I.e a people’s S30, or they are rejected by the electorate and a unionist majority cancels the otherwise planned referendum.

  26. 1) There is only one political party that will get you Scottish independence and that is the SNP.
    Without the SNP winning the majority of seats in the next election forget it.

    2) New List party,s can only succeed on the back of the SNP , that’s a fact , no List party will secure you Scottish independence without the SNP winning a majority of seats.

    3) If you intend to not vote for SNP in order to give your votes to List party,s you will not only reduce the chance of the SNP getting a majority of seats , you will also ensure that all List party’s will be of no benefit whatsoever to Scottish independence.
    List party’s are only of use WHEN SNP WIN A MAJORITY OF SEATS

    4) No matter what other bloggers think about tactics and methods used by SNP and no matter what they think about the policies of the SNP I personally find it t very difficult to believe that they can support Scottish Independence AND at the same time encourage people not to vote for SNP .
    My reason ?
    Without SNP winning a majority at the next election forget independence .

    The GRE discussions on certain blogs do not make sense when they say they support Scottish independence but disagree with SNP policy on gender recognition and then in the next breath say people should not vote for SNP because of SNP policy on gender recognition.
    These same bloggers used to tell people that if you do not agree with some or any of SNP policies you should set your disagreement aside until after Scottish independence has been won because the jewel in the crown that will allow sensible discussion and debate within Scotland will be much easier and more straightforward without the British media leading the story and that will only happen after we have Scottish independence.

    5) Lets get back to that position where Scottish independence above all else gets our vote.
    VOTE SNP

    6) lastly, if List party’s will help us get Scottish independence the SNP will make use of them , who to vote for and where your vote will be a winner is information that will have the be calculated using past voting habits as a guide.

  27. Arthur Thomson says:

    I bet you didn’t realise you were this popular Paul, what with all these BTL comments.

    Strange though, how many of these new commenters are full of sh…. negativity towards Nicola Sturgeon. Strange too that so many amateur strategists have arrived all at once.

    Anyway, I’m sure everyone will be delighted to know that Nicola was communicating ever so effectively, with real people, again today.

    BUT

    I noticed there were two women and one man on the panel again – very iffy. I feel sure that Craig and his pals will tell us if this proves that she is actually a witch? Apparently we are going to find out when the witch hunt begins three weeks from now. No doubt a stout pole and dry tinder has already been collected in readiness because we know that all that “im innocent” stuff doesn’t work with witches. Whatever they say is to be automatically construed as lies. In fact, if Nicola Sturgeon only knew what Craig and his pals know she would just admit her infamy. With their ability to read minds, Craig and his pals know her mind better than she does and everything she thinks, says and does just proves it. The evidence is all there I tell you, you just have to have special powers of perception (ESP – exceptionally shite perception) to be able to see it.

    Careful you don’t get your fingers severely burned guys.

    • Cubby says:

      Arthur, I would refer you to the title of the article above. Any chance of showing it some respect, if only for this BTL.

  28. Petra says:

    Ian Blackford:- ”So much for a respect agenda. This UK Gov gave notice to the press this evening regarding publishing their power grab white paper tomo, not only without informing the House of Commons but without even informing the devolved administrations that will be hamstrung by it.” https://mobile.twitter.com/Ianblackford_MP/status/1283467877274783744

    …………………………………..

    I’ve heard it all now https://twitter.com/ggsinclair/status/1283735966126084099

  29. velofello says:

    “Two women and one man on the panel today again – pretty iffy”.

    “Craig and his pals will tell us if this proves that she is actually a witch?”.

    What the hell are you hoping to gain here with such remarks? I watched today on BBC Scotland , a calm measured fact-filled presentation by all three contributors – and without pause I’m inclined to believe them.I trust their advice and professionalism.

    Now when I consider the UK government presenters – as they speak my reaction is –

    Hancock, he’s lying; Raab, he’s lying; Johnson, he’s lying.
    I also note that the Tories always declare some huge £billion sum they are providing to whatever fact -absent subject they are seeking to delude the public.

    If Nicola Sturgeon has handed the initiative to Mike Russell, and others to maintain pressure and emphasis on independence then I am very pleased. Why even Pete Wishart gave an excellent mocking performance towards the Tories at Westminster today.

    I

  30. Lynne says:

    Paul, in para 2:
    ‘where the consequences of the Prime Minister continuing to refuse a Section 30 order become more serious for him than the consequences of saying no’, should that ‘no’ be a’ yes’?

  31. Petra says:

    Pete Wishart putting the wind up Gove. https://mobile.twitter.com/annewitha_e/status/1282736531082534912

    …………………………………

    Labour the money for nothing brigade. https://mobile.twitter.com/annewitha_e/status/1282736531082534912

  32. Petra says:

    This is worth listening to. Alok Sharma on the UK single market. Just wondering, for one, how breaching the Acts of Union by Scotland, say, having differing trade deals from NIreland is going to pan out?

    https://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/21e94d26-b052-4941-82c1-30b47c6b9221?in=12:08:15

  33. Alex Clark says:

    Boris Johnson did give his reason for refusing a Section 30 order in his letter to Nicola Sturgeon, that reason according to Johnson was very bizarre, this is the gist of it.

    “You and your predecessor made a personal promise that the 2014 Independence Referendum was a “once in a generation” vote. The people of Scotland voted decisively on that promise to keep our United Kingdom together, a result which both the Scottish and UK Governments committed to respect in the Edinburgh Agreement.

    “The UK Government will continue to uphold the democratic decision of the Scottish people and the promise that you made to them. For that reason, I cannot agree to any request for a transfer of power that would lead to further independence referendums.”

    he signed the letter “Yours Ever Boris”. You can read the full and original letter here:

  34. Craig Murray says:

    Petra,

    You are quite right, I have indeed been blogging for over five years now that Nicola Sturgeon has no intention at all of calling Indyref2.

    The truly peculiar thing is that I appear objectively to have been proven right, and yet you insist I have been proven wrong. I could be proven completely wrong at any moment. Last January when we left the EU and Nicola made her big speech was the most obvious moment she could have announced Indyref2 and I could have been exposed as a fool and a charlatan, and yet I was not.

    So when do you predict that Nicola will actually call Indyref2 or declare that 50% of the vote in the Holyrood elections is a mandate for not a Section 30 request, but for declaring Indy? At that moment I shall do the walk of shame down the Royal Mile wearing nothing but sackcloth and ashes.

    How many years of my being right about Nicola doing nothing about Independence have to go by before you would accept I am right? It’s 5 so far.

    7? 10? 12? 20? Some kind of parameter would be useful to establish.

    • Legerwood says:

      Your memory seems somewhat faulty, or selective.
      https://www.snp.org/nicola-sturgeon-speech-scotland-s-referendum/

      https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/mar/28/scottish-parliament-votes-for-second-independence-referendum-nicola-sturgeon

      Do you think the need to fight, and win, local elections and a general election in 2017 then fight, and win, European elections and another General Election in 2019 may have caused a bit of slippage in the timetable set out in her speech in Bute House? To say nothing of course about a certain pandemic.

    • grizebard says:

      …now that Nicola Sturgeon has no intention at all of calling Indyref2

      Oh, you’re a mind-reader now as well? Have you any insights about Jackdaw Carlot as well to share with us, perchance? Or does your obsession begin and end with ourFM?

      Wow, you’ll be starting your very own alt-indy party soon to compete with all the others, I suppose. You have the ego for it, I’ll grant you that. But fair enough, make your pitch where it really matters, and who among we mere mortals can possibly forsee what the exercise will expose you to be…?

      • Cubby says:

        Grizebard, you posted that on an article called “disagreeing without being disagreeable.” Show some respect to the site owner.

        • Mart says:

          So why are you not reprimanding Craig for casting aspersions at those who do want to support the FM?

          You seem to be remarkably selective in your outrage.

          • Cubby says:

            Mart, like WGD I tend to find Murray is usually very polite. What is it you find so offensive about the post and if I agree I will say the same.

            No outrage by the way just thought it was good manners to respect the contents of the post.

          • Cubby says:

            Mart – I cannot reprimand Craig Murray if you do not tell me what words he used in the posts above merit a reprimand. Otherwise I will assume it was just a cheap shot at me as there is nothing stopping you pointing out to Craig Murray where he is being disagreeable.

            • Mart says:

              It is quite possible to be completely disagreeable while using polite words. Murray as a former diplomat knows that, and you know it.

              Murray just called the First Minister a liar and a hypocrite and those who support her stupid. I don’t know about you, but that’s plenty disagreeable to me, no matter how much you try to gild that lily.

            • Cubby says:

              Mart, sorry but I don t see those words being used. Perhaps I missed them it is a long thread. Point them out please.

              However, I can say your comment ” how much you try to gild the lily” is certainly a personal attack on me and therefore failing to meet the point of the post of disagreeing without being disagreeable.

              Please desist in future with personal attacks on me.

              • Mart says:

                You’re not Paul, he gets to set the standards. And hiding behind the diplomatic wording of Murray when the meaning is plain to see for all, and then trying to judo yourself into the morally right position?

                I know where I stand. And I know just how much respect I have for your stand.

    • Petra says:

      Craig it’s really late now. I’ve been dealing with a massive workload, chilling out watching a film on Netflix and I’m now ready to head off to bed.

      I’m pleased to see that a number of people on here have now responded to your post already, which really saves me some quite some time.

      You try to justify your behaviour in not supporting Nicola Sturgeon / the SNP (more so making grave accusations about her / tearing her to shreds) over the last five / six years, as being due to Nicola Sturgeon not setting a date for Indyref2. Are we to believe that anyone with an IQ of over 90 would have called for Indyref2 to be held a year later in 2015? And hey I’m just presuming that you have an IQ of over 90?

      In 2016, the following year, the EU referendum was held (nothing to do with her however led to a massive workload) and 62% of Scots voted to remain in the EU. That 62% of Scots included those who didn’t want Scotland to become Independent. Nicola Sturgeon worked her socks off on behalf of ALL Scots to keep Scotland in the EU taking us to 2019 (and it’s still not been finally resolved).

      Westminster announced that we were out of the EU in January of this year. This was followed with this coronavirus crisis in January of this year. Now I know this is brief. It’s brief because I’m tired and want to get to bed. The overriding point however is that nowhere between 2014 and now (up until now) have we been in a position to call and win Indyref2. If I’m right you don’t see the necessity to hold a referendum at all. Correct me if I’m wrong.

      I’d say that demanding our independence through any route that doesn’t include demonstrating that over 50% of sovereign Scots actually want that now, in comparison to 2014, is not just a recipe for disaster but could lead to a Civil War. Over and above that of course we would find that, without a means of proving that we have a majority of support, recognition from the International community would be non-existent.

      So Craig let’s just get back to the nitty gritty. You must know full well that we would have lost a referendum in 2015, so why would you advocate that? Still a Libdem supporter? Scotland being left in the wilderness for evermore? Would suit the Libdems right enough.

      You were so keen to join the (now hellish says you) SNP in 2014, great party and all of that and then, following being rejected (for being the loose cannon that you are) you showed all of the signs of being a real nasty wee man. Angry, jealous, vindictive and vengeful. Time tells us now that they, the SNP, got it right.

      You moved from England to Scotland in 2014. Just wondering why as you’ve actually done absolutely nothing in the last 6 years to further our cause. Rather have been detrimental to us moving on, IMO. The Stolen Seas? Good one, however that would have been dealt with by someone else after we get our Independence.

      Sackcloth and ashes? Even more attention? Massaging of big egos? No I don’t think so Craig. The Scots ain’t daft. When you’re over and out here, you are OUT. Believe me. And that’s not being vindictive. It’s the reality.

      • Alf Baird says:

        Ye cruin the pairty sang awfu brawlike.

      • Cubby says:

        Well he does attend AUOB marches and speaks at some of them- so surely that is something Petra – no!

        You really really don’t seem to like him. So risking another cheap shot from Mart perhaps in an article called “disagreeing without being disagreeable” some of your comments like others on this thread have failed to reach the standard.

        • Petra says:

          Thousands of us, if not hundreds of thousands of us, attend AUOB marches, Cubby. CM speaks at them, so I’ve heard, however he doesn’t seem to spout his ”rhetoric” in public, say about Nicola Sturgeon / the SNP, as he does online. Being hypocritical or what?

          My gripe with him is the fact that he has a very influential site that he could be using to further our cause (over the last five years), such as outing BritNat politicians / behaviour and yet chooses to use it to undermine the SNP, as stated previously the only political party capable of achieving independence. So why would he do that?

          He has also advocated a route to independence that would have been / would still be be a dismal failure (covered in my last post).

          As to my post not reaching your standards …. well you know Cubby you often fall into that ”disagreeable” category yourself and are known to stir things up. Coming across as being holier than thou doesn’t suit you, imo.

          • Cubby says:

            Petra, small correction – not my standard – WGDs standard.

            Of course one persons disagreeable comment can be another persons brilliant comment.

            Do you think Murray deserves to be prosecuted and possibly jailed?

            Do you think Mark Hirst deserves to be prosecuted?

            Do you think Alex Salmond deserved to persecuted for two years and erased from the SNP history?

            Hopefully you will not find these questions disagreeable.

    • Shagpile says:

      “Petra,

      You are quite right, I have indeed been blogging for over five years now that Nicola Sturgeon has no intention at all of calling Indyref2.

      The truly peculiar thing is that I appear objectively to have been proven right”

      Really?

      By what standard have set that against?

      Ah… that would be by your own standard. Reality check, it is your opinion, not mine.

      “So when do you predict that Nicola will actually call Indyref2”

      I predict Autumn 2021, if she is FM, with either an outright majority or with support from The Greens and IF polls are still showing majority support for independence.

      “or declare that 50% of the vote in the Holyrood elections is a mandate for not a Section 30 request, but for declaring Indy”?

      Not going to happen. That’ll spare your blushes re: “At that moment I shall do the walk of shame down the Royal Mile wearing nothing but sackcloth and ashes”.

      “How many years of my being right about Nicola doing nothing about Independence have to go by before you would accept I am right? It’s 5 so far”.

      Deflection/diversion. Nothing more.

      “7? 10? 12? 20? Some kind of parameter would be useful to establish”.

      It would be fairer if we start with reality first, and by that I mean, by my response to you in your first post on this article.

    • jistjr says:

      Hi Mungo
      Best thing you can do with this common weal bunch is ignore them, Having listened to them promote themselves on numerous occasions I would say “the only thing in them is what the spoon puts in”

  35. Alex Clark says:

    The first opportunity to even think about calling a second referendum after September 2014 came in the manifesto of the SNP for the 2016 Hollyrood elections.

    Right to a Referendum
    We believe that independence offers the best future
    for Scotland. However, Scotland will only become
    independent when a majority of people in Scotland
    choose that future in a democratic referendum – it will
    not happen just because the SNP wants it to, or because
    there is an SNP government.

    At the same time if there is a clear demand for a
    referendum no politician has the right to stand in the way
    of the people of Scotland to choose their own future.

    We believe that the Scottish Parliament should have the
    right to hold another referendum if there is clear and
    sustained evidence that independence has become the
    preferred option of a majority of the Scottish people
    – or if there is a significant and material change in the
    circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland
    being taken out of the EU against our will.

    In the next parliament, we will work hard to persuade
    a majority of the Scottish people that being an
    independent country is the best option for our country.
    We will listen to the concerns of people who voted No in
    2014 and seek to address them. The case we make will
    be relevant to the complex world we live in today.

    At that stage, the vote to leave the EU had not yet been held and no one could have predicted exactly how that vote would go.

  36. Alex Clark says:

    It was not until 2017 that the SNP spelt out in the General Election manifesto what their intentions were regarding another referendum and it’s relationship to Brexit with regards to timing.

    Scotland’s choice
    At the end of the Brexit process, when the final terms of the
    deal are known, it is right that Scotland should have a choice
    about our future.

    Brexit must not simply be imposed on Scotland no matter
    how damaging it turns out to be.

    Last year’s Holyrood election delivered the democratic
    mandate for an independence referendum. The recent vote
    of Scotland’s national Parliament has underlined that mandate.
    If the SNP wins a majority of Scottish seats in this election, that
    would complete a triple lock, further reinforcing the democratic
    mandate which already exists. And, in such circumstances,
    any continued Tory attempts to block the people of Scotland
    having a choice on their future – when the time is right and the
    options are clear – would be democratically unsustainable.

    We are not yet at the end of the Brexit process, almost there as we have officially left the EU as part of the UK. But the “final terms of the deal” are NOT known, we can have a good guess as to what those final terms will be and we can be sure that they won’t be anything good.

    • Legerwood says:

      Ms Sturgeon first set out the reasons and a draft timetable for the second indyref in her speech in Bute House in March 2017. At that point there was no Westminster General Election on the cards.

      What Ms Sturgeon said in her Bute House speech was essentially what later appeared in the 2017 manifesto as you have quoted in your post.

      The timetable she had set out in her Bute House speech was based on the timetable that came into being when Article 50 was triggered. That timetable started to slip however and as Ms Sturgeon wryly observed how was she to know the Tories, and Mrs May’s Gov in particular, would be so incompetent when it came to negotiating the terms for the UK’s exit from the EU.

      That call for indyref2 was never taken off the table as some have claimed and the material change that triggered it still pertains.

  37. Alex Clark says:

    WARNING! A long post, feel free to skip.

    The manifesto for Decembers General Election last year had this to say.

    The choice of making Scotland an
    independent nation is in your hands

    There is a clear mandate to hold a referendum
    on independence during the current term of the
    Scottish Parliament. Scotland has already voted
    for it but Westminster has so far refused to respect
    that mandate.

    A vote for the SNP in this election, therefore,
    is a vote to endorse the following position:
    • the people of Scotland have the right to
    choose their own future in a new referendum
    on becoming an independent country,
    • it must be for the Scottish Parliament
    not Westminster to decide when an
    independence referendum should be held –
    and the SNP intends that it will be in 2020.

    An SNP election victory will be a clear instruction
    by the people of Scotland that a new referendum on
    independence should be held next year, on a precise
    date to be determined by the Scottish Parliament.

    An agreed process
    In order to put a referendum beyond legal challenge,
    we will seek a transfer of power, such as a section
    30 order under The Scotland Act.

    Westminster should not have the right to over-rule
    a decision of the Scottish Parliament on whether or
    when to hold an independence referendum.

    An SNP election victory will therefore also be a
    clear instruction by the people of Scotland to
    Westminster to ensure a referendum is put beyond
    legal challenge and under the control of the Scottish
    Parliament. It is unsustainable for a UK Government
    to ignore such a democratic instruction.

    The Scottish Government has said it intends to seek
    that transfer of power before the end of this year.

    An agreed process means that no-one will be able
    to question the legitimacy of the referendum both
    here in Scotland and in the wider international
    community. For EU member states in particular, it
    will be essential to demonstrate that a referendum
    has been held legally and constitutionally.

    The request for that transfer of power came before the end of 2019 and as expected by Nicola Sturgeon a transfer of power was not forthcoming. That request for a Section 30 order was just the first step in a process. It was EXPECTED to be refused and she said so in her letter to Johnson, so in my opinion she clearly had plans for alternative avenues that would now have to come into play.

    Nicola Surgeon hinted as much to what those plans might include when she talked in her speech of 21st January this year that she would not rule out a legal challenge to show Scotland had the power under the Scotland Act to hold an advisory referendum. This is what pleased Joanna Cherry so much and she was quoted about this in the National.

    The refusal by Johnson of a Section 30 order was definately not the end of the matter and there are a few acts of the play still to run after this long interval caused by Covid-19.

    • Robert Hastings says:

      Good summary Alex. I have yet to see a clearer exposition of the process and it gives a lie to the continued calls that the SNP have been given Mandate after Mandate to hold a referendum. Read the Manifestoes and an unwavering thread runs through from which the SNP have never deviated. Follow the detail, as the UK government will have, and you will discern a steady progress. Until now we have not seen clear evidence of a majority for independence; yes we have seen majority support for SNP in both both Holyrood and Westminster but not for Independence. We have that now and if it can be sustained over the next few months then we are good for go.

  38. Dr Jim says:

    Anybody can wave their arms around and hold pre arranged co-operational referendums when they fully expect to lose gloriously, I much prefer Nicola Sturgeon’s plan of not expecting to lose, and winning

    And that’s why the UK fear her, because they know she means it and is putting in the work for it
    If the UK thought for one minute she didn’t mean it we’d have had another lost referendum by now
    Theresa May would’ve said Aye go for it, Boris Cummings Johnson would’ve fallen over himself granting powers all over the place if they thought for one nano second Nicola Sturgeon was intending to lose

    Carplot and Leopard are already picking their better together team and guess who wants to lead it, Aye she’s champing at the buffalo bit getting ready to team up with her old mate George Galloway if Boris gives him the OK

    The mind reading conspiracy psychics haven’t been reading the right palms if they think Scotland is going to fall for their games

  39. Alf Baird says:

    Plan B
    Scotland is already a sovereign nation/people. A majority of Scotland’s democratically elected MPs can lawfully end the union anytime, and keep Scotland in the EU as per the democratic wishes of Scotland’s sovereign people. Scotland’s MP’s can do this now. It is not UDI, it is asserting national sovereignty. Courts will uphold this. Third countries will/must accept a lawful exit of Scotland from UK.

    Plan A
    A referendum is always a mugs game:
    – awaiting a S.30 that will never come
    – external Brit interference in Scotland’s self-determination process, against UN Charter norms
    – any Yes vote may still be ignored by Westminster
    – Westminster would define what indy Scotland ‘looks’ like in an Independence Act (e.g. Botswana)
    – Half of No voters are not Scottish (external interference)
    – No might win again thanks to 1million+ non-Scottish No voters (external interference)
    – MI5 will fiddle postal votes anyway (external interference)
    Westminster might insist on a 55% or 60% Yes vote threshold – changing goal posts
    – ‘A referendum is not a legal requirement for independence’ anyway, ever!

  40. Cubby says:

    None of the small (and I include the Greens ) independence supporting parties in the 2016 Scot parliament elections won a constituency seat. Whether or not they put up a candidate in a constituency they are in practical terms list only parties. This is very very unlikely to change.

    So in practical terms a list only party is nothing new. So what is the fuss all about? Why is there all this furore about cheating/ gaming/didling comments now?

    • grizebard says:

      What I’ve been trying to show is that once the SNP begin to pick up more than 50% of the votes – and 54% would be very nice – the need for a list party disappears. Winning a disproportionate number of constituencies because of split opposition (the quirks of FPTP) puts you (not you personally, that is!) at an immediate initial disadvantage in the PR top-up of the regional lists, and that is what exercises people, especially when it produces the likes of Murdo and Annie out of the party lists. But if you have sufficient votes in the regional lists – over the 50% mark as I say, the list ceases to be a disadvantage and begins to deliver even more MSPs.

      If the SNP could garner as much as 54% in the regional lists instead of its typical 48% – not a lot more, thus – it becomes unstoppable. I find this a more positive and attractive ambition than trying to “fix” a situation by some kind of system tweaking. And it is the very prospect of this happening now that scares the very bejasus out of the BritNats, and why they are such busy bees online now trying to stop that happening.

      Of course the PR nature of the lists does offer an opportunity for people with a different political perspective – the Greens being the prime example – to register their support, and that’s fair enough. That may have some impact on the degree of support that the SNP can muster on the lists, but with enough groundswell of support for the SNP, that shouldn’t matter. It all comes down to getting a crucial few percent more support.

      In that regard, Paul’s criticism of the SNP leadership’s past weakness of positive messaging is particularly apposite.

      • Cubby says:

        Grizebard – you say “If the SNP could garner as much as 54% in the regional list instead of it’s typical 48% – not a lot more, thus – it becomes unstoppable”

        In 2016 it was 41.7%. – care to explain how you came up with 48% as typical?

        I would like to see how you can work out that it is unstoppable even if it gets 54% on the list. As the list is unlikely to be a greater percentage than the constituency percentage the greater number of SNP MSPs in the constituency is likely to have the SNP list vote being divided by high numbers in regional lists. My constituency could go up from 8 to 10 SNP MPs. So it is still likely that in my region West of Scotland and others a vote for the SNP on the list will achieve nothing in terms of electing SNP MPs.

        If the SNP get 54% in the constituency vote the system will no doubt deliver a majority for them anyway. So all is left in that scenario that is up for discussion is how best to deliver the best overall result – and that depends on how you define the best overall result. For some like Ken 2 that is to maximise the number of SNP MPs and that is a reasonable, honourable and consistent stance. For others it is to kick out of Holyrood as many Britnats as possible.

        I assume as you did not query my post above you agree with the point I made just as I agree with a lot of your post.

        • grizebard says:

          Without getting too bogged-down in details, getting all the constituencies in a typical region requires around 56% or more to begin to gain on the list as well. Not that far from 54% as per the recent polls. You are correct in that if a party has 54% across the board, it can get an overall majority on the constituencies alone and without the list. But any extras are a welcome bonus (at least for those who don’t have any party-political axe to grind).

          OTOH, if the SNP loses one constituency out of 9 in a typical region, it only has to gain ~50% support to recoup that loss with an MSP from the list. And thereby retain a majority. I was recalling the 48% from a fairly recent poll, I think, but it is by no means far fetched these days, even allowing for some inevitable “shrinkage” compared to the constituencies. 2016 is a long time ago, politically speaking.

          If the SNP can gain >56% in an election, the opposition is toast. Total toast. All without any jiggery-pokery scrambling around trying to make the most of lower figures. Rather than argue ways to suppress the SNP vote – a kind of self-fulfilling negative prophecy – I prefer to be ambitious and look to a very solid result. I believe it is now within our grasp, provided we stay focussed on the main-door prize. This is not 2016, nor 2017.

          Besides, the very thought of 50%+ support for the SNP in an election scares the bejasus out of the BritNats. That’s why their trolls are so desperate right now to promote divisiveness. Their mendacious media indy-deniers won’t count any votes for anyone else, not even the Greens, but they can’t chirrup “there is no majority” when the SNP passes the halfway mark. That level of support also establishes a solid basis for going forward to the inevitable plebiscite, one that everyone can see. It’s called “momentum”.

  41. yesindyref2 says:

    It’s July 17th, just 5 months and 2 weeks till the “UK” exits the EU. It is nowhere near ready. For instance, its 100 page odd internal markets paper has been given just 4 weeks to debate, but has been in the offing for 2 wasted years. That’s wasted by the UK Gov, not the Scot Gov, who have reacted when neccessary, anticipated when advisable, and prepared at all times. And now Westminster is due to waste another 5 weeks while they all go off on their jolly holliers – between 29th July and 2nd September.

    There are Indy supporters saying time is running out for Scotland, and someone somewhere should do something. The thing is this, all Scotland has to do is delay Westminster, or threaten to delay them and we win.

    It doesn’t help Westminster if they realise this and try to take action against it, otherwise I wouldn’t take the risk of pointing it out, as such action is almost certain to be a mistake compounding on a mistake. So the ScotGov just need to sit tight, play the Tactics of Mistake and capitalise on all mistakes by the UK Gov – and there are many, and carry on until they win. I think this will all be over well before next May.

  42. Ken2 says:

    The Tories will muck up again and be out of Office again. Just as they always do. The Brexit mess and shambles will finish them off. A disaster waiting to happen. Their will be riots and social unrest in the south. It will all end in tears again. The Tories will be out of Office for years.

    Scotland will be Independent. The momentum is building up. Scotland will vote all the unionists out. Then have another IndyRef. There will be no one to oppose.

    The mess the Tories make plain for everyone to see. They are only in Office to feather their nest. Embezzling public monies for them and their associates. An absolute scandal. They cheat and lie. Liars always get found out. They will be out. They do not care. No one will vote for them again.

    The illegal Barnett Formula will be gone. Scotland has to spend monies on what it does not need. Then does not have the monies to fund what it does need, Poor, bad Westminster decisions. Foreign, economic and social.

    The Westminster Treasury has wasted Scotland’s revenues and resources for years. Since 1928 and before. Kept it secret under the Official Secrets Act for years.

    Illegal wars, tax evasion and financial fraud. Iraq, Dunblane and Lockerbie. Kept secret for 100 years.

    Westminster unionists have lied, liars always get found out.

  43. Ken2 says:

    Treasury to sell off £1/2 Trillion in debt bonds to pay for Coronavirus crisis.

    Scotland will get nothing but will have to pay off the debt. The Barnett Formula. The monies will be spent in the South. To buy Tory votes. The North/South divide. The southern congestion. The North empty. Totally poor bad Westminster unionist policies, The tide rising. Poor, bad Tory Westminster policies. They will be voted out,

    Brexit the nail in the coffin for the Tories. The total shambles and mess. They can’t count or read a balance sheet. They are in Office to rip off the public purse. They embezzle public funds for their associates. On wasteful public projects. Not scrutinised properly. Total lack of democracy.

  44. Mairead Macdougall says:

    I realise this will show I haven’t been paying attention but which speech in January?

    • Alex Clark says:

      Sorry her speech from the 31st of January not the 21st. It was the day the UK left the EU. you can find part of the speech on Youtube posted by the Guardian that includes her sayingvshe wouldn’t rule out a legal challenge.

  45. Ken2 says:

    Russia pop 150,000 million. Military spend $65Billion

    UK/NI? Pop 65million. Military spend $49Billion.

    US/UK Illegal wars costs $3Trns. Less to spend on healthcare/education and poverty, worldwide.

  46. Petra says:

    Nicola McEwen, Professor of Territorial Politics:- ”UK gov proposals on #internalmarket due today. More considered response to come but press release says: “in total, Northern Ireland will be receiving 157 powers, Scotland 111 powers and 70 to Wales”. This is misleading.” https://mobile.twitter.com/McEwen_Nicola/status/1283671504140591104

    …………………………….

    ‘UK Internal Market.’

    Click to access uk-internal-market-white-paper.pdf

      • Petra says:

        Just returned to see that for some reason that didn’t work either! Trying to post the 104 page UK Internal Market document. Third attempt. You couldnae make it up

        …”One of the major benefits of the 1707 Union for Scotland was gaining access to
        England’s markets both here and overseas primarily, at the time, for Scottish
        cattle and linen. The Act of Union saw immediate boosts in Scottish trade,
        through increased links with the Baltic and elsewhere for Scottish merchants. The
        echoes of that growth resound through to the present day – modern Scottish
        towns like Crieff and Falkirk originally thrived as popular merchant markets
        following the increase in trade. By the 1720s, the Glasgow and Clyde ports were
        growing as a result of increased trade made possible by the Union. When we
        look from the vantage point of today – where the rest of the UK is Scotland’s
        biggest trading partner by far – the economic advantages of the Union have more
        than stood the test of time.”..

        Click to access uk-internal-market-white-paper.pdf

    • Alf Baird says:

      Scotlan aye haes its ain sovereign pouer in hits ain haunds an 48 ‘nationalist’ MP’s (80%) represent Scottis sovereignty. Precedents and parliaments confirms Scottish sovereignty.

      48 MP’s (80%) constitute a democratically elected national majority in favour of independence and should therefore be sufficient to deliver independence; it may readily be argued that this has always been the case, as a matter of law.

      Also as a matter of law, ‘a referendum is not a required part of the process of becoming independent’.

      The fact that half-hearted UK-Gov-devolved-ScotGov requests for a S30 remain in the Downing Street waste paper bin is irrelevant; political mandates are also rather meaningless, in law.

      Contemporary opinion about what is or is not ‘democratic’ will always differ. What is more important here is whether something or other may be argued ‘as a matter of law’.

      If it is found to be lawful for a majority of Scotland’s democratically elected national representatives to withdraw Scotland from the union, in the same way it began, then that provides for a valid and lawful route to independence.

      • Golfnut says:

        Good summary of that route out of the Union.
        Up thread I made the point that Scots Constitutional law sits side by side with English law in the Union Parliament and forms the basis of an equal partnership, neither are supreme outside their jurisdiction.
        Whatever route out of the Union the SG has planned it must pass the test of legality, the EU has made that as a condition of a rapid return to EU membership. It also impacts those countries outside of the EU but have trade agreements which would apply to Scotland as a member state.

      • jistjr says:

        Did Margaret Thatcher not say that All that was required for Scotland to become Independent was for the Scots to elect a majority of SNP MPs. I don’t hear that mentioned !!! Only that Alex and or Nicola said the Referendum was a “once in a Lifetime/Generation opportunity bullshit. Westminster now quote this ad nauseum and I believe Boris quoted it in his S30 refusal response.

  47. J says:

    As someone who voted no in 2014 but SNP in 2019 and is now getting closer to supporting independence, I find WGD much more persuasive than other quarters (and a lot of SNP MSPs!)

  48. Undeadshuan says:

    Too many people complaining about NS and scot government re independence are indeed either plants or up their own arses in a bubble within a bubble. Maybe even a warp bubble!

    They and the unionists , to coin a George Galloway quote are 2 cheeks of the same arse!

    Though at the end of the day, I take heart from the non online majority, who are turning to support independence.

    I was too young to vote in 1979 referendum, but this age limit is now resolved for any new referendums.

    Unlike other so called indy supporters, I have been waiting a very long time for the day to come when i live in an independent Scotland. Unlike them i’m willing to wait a bit a longer as we are nearly there.

  49. 1) List party,s can only be successful if SNP win a majority of seats after all the idea of a List party is that it supplements the existing SNP/Green Party majority

    2) If you decide not to vote for SNP for whatever reason for example their gender recognition plans or their perceived lack of Indy action there is absolutely no point whatsoever in voting for a List party , why ? Because of (1) above.

    3) One List party and one alone is possibly a good idea if they can let people in areas of Scotland where an SNP win is certain because they can tell SNP voters to give their second vote to the List party but if there are more than one List party’s the List vote will be split and will possibly maybe even “likely” allow a unionist party to get in.

    4) voting SNP is the only way to get Scottish independence no other party will secure Scottish independence.

    • jistjr says:

      You kid yourself if you think the SNP will win Independence. The Scottish people/ YES movement are the route. The SNP are in truth the political arm we need to use. They cannot do it alone!!! It’s time everyone in the boat sailing towards Independence pulled in the same direction. Even then Westminster can by all accounts Simply ignore us and just continue to suck the life blood (money) out of out country day by day.

  50. marconatrix says:

    Where exactly do the Scottish Greens stand regarding Indy? Could they act as the second indy party on the list in regions where any SNP list votes will carry little weight due to success in the fptp constituency polls?

    • Cubby says:

      That is exactly the current situation in Holyrood. In 2016 the greens got no seats in the constiuency vote – all their seats were from the Regionsl list. In practical terms the greens are a list only party. The greens are an independence supporting party.

      In practical terms whether or not some parties put up a candidate in the constituency vote they will never get elected so they are in effect a list only party.

      • marconatrix says:

        So what if any would be the drawbacks of promoting them as the list party for Indy? Could they be relied upon to support the cause? What would be their price?

        • Cubby says:

          Well in my regional list I judged that a vote for the SNP would not help elect an SNP MSP in 2016. As James Kelly rightly says it is a gamble but if it is a choice between a wasted vote or possibly electing another MSP that may help keep the SNP in power if they do not get a majority then I chose not to waste my vote That is how it worked out in 2016. If I lived in another region in 2016 I may have voted SNP in the regional list eg 3 out of the SNPs list MSPs came from the same region – south of Scotland – where the SNP did not gain that many constituency MPs.

          I believe people like me who made that judgement helped keep a majority for independence in the Scottish parliament. Think of the votes that may not have passed without it eg the votes for an independence referendum or the referendum bill itself. So it rightly pisses me off when people now call you a splitter/ diddler / cheat/ unfair – which strangely enough there was none of that until recently.

          An educated judgement based on the situation at the time with the clear understanding of how the system works will potentially maximise independence supporting MSPs but there are no guarantees in elections. Anyone who says there are absolute certainties are wrong – just probabilities. Alternatively, as Ken 2 says, just not bother analysing the situation and vote SNP twice.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      I do wish the Greens were more vocal on that matter, although some policies may clash, they could have accomplished much via the list and keep their powder dry on policy changes for a new nation.
      This List business strikes me as as a gift to the anti-indy brigade to exploit hence the aggro in conversations…

  51. Brenda Steele says:

    If you note this piece, it wluld seem that the Cummings/Johnnson style may prove to be theor undoing.
    https://politics.co.uk/blogs/2020/07/16/brutal-but-inept-what-the-grayling-shambles-tells-us-about-d
    They may need another distraction – like an English Independence Campaign.

  52. Ken2 says:

    It is not 2016. It is 2020/21. Things and circumstances have moved on. It is not a repeat of the past. It is the present and the future now. The past does not always predict the future. That was then. It is now.

    SNP/Independence support rising 1-2% a year.

    • Cubby says:

      You are spot on there Ken. The past does not always predict the future just as there is no guarantee that there will be a 1-2% rise every year. If that was the case the youngsters could live to see support at 95% for Scottish independence but of course that will not happen in Scotland as there will always be some level of Britnat bampots.

  53. velofello says:

    Petra’s address to Craig Murray on July 17 at 3.52 am…. “Craig it’s really late now…”

    A disgusting unnecessary piece Petra by which you demean yourself. Write on this blog freely as you wish, and are allowed, I will not read another word of your bitter contributions.

  54. Petra says:

    If you say so, vellofello. No one’s forcing you to read my posts. Just scroll on by.

  55. Velofello says:

    Identify yourself Petra, and your minders.

  56. yesindyref2 says:

    Following the link from Petra (thanks) to Nicola McEwen, got me to an article by Michael Keating on Centre on Constitutional Change (that’s not Marting Keatings of S30 court fame). And in that article there’s this quote:

    “The application of this principle to the devolution settlement is problematic in a number of ways. The White Paper asserts that it was part of the Acts of Union of England with Scotland in 1707 but this is doubtful.” which is interesting in itself, but got me to at least have a quick look at the first bit of the 100 odd page UK Gov white paper:

    assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/901225/uk-internal-market-white-paper.pdf

    where I saw to my amazement and even amusement strangely enough, this:

    “2. The Union was created in 1707 when Scotland and England and Wales became part of the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Union grew further when the United Kingdom was established in 1801.”

    Like wow, you’d have thunk the UK Gov would have got the Acts of Union right, what’s their game?

    Oh right I know, they’re trying to change history to affect the present and future. Standard British Empire stuff, basically. History is what they want it to have been.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Anyways, this is the interesting bit perhaps from Keating’s article, from the point of view of Scotland just being far too much of a complete and utter pest for the likes of Cummings and Bozo to put up with for much longer::

      “Internal market mechanisms in other devolved or federal states have been based on intergovernmental agreements and mechanisms and constrained by constitutional rules. So a mutual recognition clause in the Spanish law was struck down by the Spanish Constitutional Court on the grounds that it represented extraterritorial jurisdiction, that is one region legislating for what happens in another one. ”

      https://www.centreonconstitutionalchange.ac.uk/news-and-opinion/response-internal-market-white-paper

      Not much time for the lads to have themselves a constitutional before Brexfast.

      • Golfnut says:

        Thanks, I think Keatings assumption that there will be consultation is a bit pie in the sky, certainly recent events would suggest otherwise.

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