Scot Goes Pop post-Brexit poll

I’m James Kelly, and I write the pro-independence blog Scot Goes Pop, which has a particular emphasis on opinion poll analysis. Over the course of 2020, I commissioned three Panelbase polls with your help. All three showed pro-independence majorities, and they were all landmark results in their own ways – the one at the start of the year put Yes on 52% for the first time since the summer of 2016, the one in June was the first to show that the events of the pandemic had pushed Yes back into the lead, and the one in November saw Yes soar to an all-time high in Panelbase polls of 56%.
The time is now ripe for another poll. After four and a half years, the terms of Brexit are finally known and will become a harsh reality within just hours. Extraordinarily, and without a shred of evidence, the Conservatives are claiming that Boris Johnson’s last gasp, minimalistic trade deal is some sort of monumental setback for the independence movement. They also seem to believe that the public have been successfully hoodwinked into believing that the SNP “voted for No Deal” – when in fact it was only the Conservatives themselves that put us all at severe risk of a catastrophic No Deal outcome. Who knows, perhaps the public are reacting in the way that the Tories want them to react – but that seems highly unlikely somehow, and they should probably be allowed to speak for themselves.
As before, if the crowdfunder is successful, I will commission an opinion poll from a firm affiliated to the British Polling Council. It will ask the standard independence question, ie. ‘Should Scotland be an independent country?’, plus a number of supplementary questions of interest to the Yes movement. I’ll ask for your suggestions before deciding on the final list of questions. Bear in mind that there’s never any guarantee that we’ll get the results that we want – but anything is better than unionist parties presuming to speak for the people of Scotland at such a critical juncture in our national story.
Target figure: I’ve set a slightly higher target figure of £7500 this time – not because the poll is likely to cost any more than the previous ones, but simply to give us a head start for the spring. It would probably make sense to commission one more poll during the Holyrood campaign proper.

Johnson’s deal puts rocket boosters under arguments for independence

It might have been a covid Christmas, but some seasonal traditions are sacred and unchanging despite the global pandemic. So there’s the traditional Queen’s speech on the telly and the equally traditional rush for the remote control to turn the channel so we can watch Judge Judy instead, because if the broadcasters are determined to show us a bad tempered and sour faced rich old white woman patronising poor people, it’s far better to watch the one who at least offers some entertainment value.

But the big news of the week is that a trade deal has been reached between the British government and the EU. It’s a thin deal which in no way comes close to the rights that we have lost from leaving the Single market and the Customs Union, The fishing industry – the only sector of the Scottish economy which had actually supported Brexit, is already crying betrayal. The vital financial services sector has been sidelined entirely. Important Scottish agricultural products have been omitted from the deal.

As soon as the deal was announced, Tories like Michael Forsyth were triumphantly tweeting that the deal meant it was all over for the SNP and hopes of independence, sadly for him, that Dracula in a gimp mask, the deal is a gift to the indy movement. It has alienated farmers and fishermen, given the services sector a reason to support indy, and removed the threat that Scottish goods post indy won’t have tariff free access to English markets. It ensures that an independent Scotland which is a member of EFTA or The EEA will be able to trade with The Uk with only the same checks that will now be in place for goods travelling between Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK. This is an arrangement which Michael Gove has described as the best of both worlds for Northern Ireland. Him and his Conservative pals will now no longer be able to claim that independence will result in Scotland being economically cut off from English markets.

Now it is certainly the case that upon achieving independence Scotland would not automatically be a part of the EU and would have to apply for membership. Even with an expedited application process this is still likely to take a while – even though the oft-repeated claim that Scotland would have to get to the back of the queue behind Turkey is a nonsense, as is the repeatedly debunked claim that Spain would veto a Scottish application in order to discourage Catalonia. However Scotland could enjoy all the same rights of market access by joining the European Free Trade Association along with Norway, Iceland, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein. Scotland could potentially join EFTA in the period between a Yes vote for independence and the actual date of independence itself, so that Scotland would be a member immediately upon attaining independence, ensuring a seamless transition into the European Single Market Sright of freedom of movement and settlement throughout Europe for citizens of the newly independent Scotland. Unless the British government were to change its citizenship laws to strip Scots of British citizenship, Scottish citizens eould retain the right to live and work and travel freely in the UK, making the possession of a Scottish passport a valuable asset for anyone applying for a job with a company trading with both the UK and with Europe. Incidentally, it is vanishingly unlikely that the British government would move to strip British citizenship from Scots, as if they did so they woul also have to remove British citizenship from the likes of Michael Gove. Michael Forsyth, Liam Fox and Malcolm Rifkind. That’s not going to happen.

Crucially, the UK cannot treat one part of the European Single Market differently from any other part, otherwise it wouldn’t be a single market. This renders toothless any British natuonalist threat that Westminster would seek to punish Scotland economically for daring to seek independence. Thanks to the Tory deal We now have a guarantee that Scotland will not economically suffer from independence, we only stand to gain, and to attain what Michael Gove himself has described as the best of both worlds. Meanwhile vital economic sectors such as finance an services have now been given a very powerful motive to support independence which they did not have before. An independent Scotland would be ideally placed to hoover up the financial sector jobs and investment which is now looking at leaving the UK.

This new deal does not mean that there would have to be passport checks on anyone crossing the Anglo-Scottish border, that scare story can be put to rest too. Ireland remains a member of the Common travel Area, and so could an independent Scotland too. Any checks on commercial traffic between an independent Scotland and England would be the same as those henceforth in place on commercial traffic travelling to Northern Ireland and could be handled in a similar way. There need be no passport checks or controls on individuals crossing the border for private visits. Anyone who insists otherwise is scaremongering, pure and simple.

What this deal, which was unwanted by Scotland and in the making of which Scottish interests have not been taken into account, has done, is to massively strengthen the arguments for independence while destroying some of the most important arguments that British nationalists have hitherto deployed against it. Scotland’s angry and resentful remain supporting majority have now been given a powerful reason for supporting independence as the quickest and easiest route to the restoration of our rights as European citizens which the Conservatives have stripped from us.The gleeful crowing of the Tories and their allies on social media is entirely misplaced. It’s as wrong as their belief that the pandemic was going to destroy any hope of independence. All that the Conservatives with their Brexit obsession have done is to put rocket boosters under the indy cause. Over the coming months support for independence is only going to grow even more – and it’s all due to the myopia and arrogance of British nationalism.

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

Donate Button

2021 will be the year that Scotland takes back control


The Tories have pretty much admitted that opponents of independence are going to lose the next Scottish independence referendum. Asked by the Daily Rocket, sorry, Record, whether they’d participate in an advisory referendum held by Holyrood following a court ruling that an advisory referendum without a section 30 order was legal, a spokesauthoritarian for The Scottish Tories said that their party would boycott the vote. Obviously, you don’t announce that you’re going to boycott a vote if you believe that you’ve got a good chance – or even a realistic chance, of winning it. You only announce that you are going to boycott a ballot when you think that you’re going to lose it and you are desperate to do what you can to delegitimise the result. It’s the political equivalent of bursting the baw when you realise that you’re going to lose the match. That’s the Tories for you, when they cannot win the argument they don’t have the grace to admit that the people have abandoned them, instead they abandon democracy.

However although the Tories will be calling on opponents of independence not to vote and will not officially take part in the campaign, you can be quite certain that they and their hypocritical allies in the overwhelmingly anti independence Scottish media won’t desist from a constant barrage of scare stories and threats which will be uncritically amplified and broadcast by the BBC and most of the Scottish press. That same press and BBC will also do their utmost to aid the Tories and reduce turnout by constantly telling everyone in Scotland that even if you do support independence , voting is pointless because Westminster won’t recognise the result.

Under such circumstances, where opponents of independence say that they are not going to vote, there’s going to be little doubt that Yes will end up with the largest share of the vote, so the main task for the independence movement will be to work to maximise voter participation and to increase turnout as much as possible in order to place the result beyond dispute. So, purely as an illustrative example, if turnout is 55% and there’s a Yes vote of 90% (which is not unfeasible if opponents of independence don’t vote at all), then even if No voters had voted they would still have lost. It’s harder for us certainly, but not impossible.

It is entirely likely that support for independence and the SNP will increase on current levels once the UK exits the EU transitional period either into the chaos of no deal or with a threadbare deal cobbled together at the last minute. That pro-independence majority will only be boosted even further if Johnson is foolish enough to refuse to agree to a Section 30 order following the election of a pro-independence majority to Holyrood next year. A union which refuses to allow the people of Scotland to decide for themselves whether and when they want an independence referendum is no union at all, and will be rejected by a large majority of the people of Scotland. Johnson’s cant about once in a generation is just that. No political party which claims to be democratic can bind the electorate to a promise that a politician from another party may or may not have made. Even among the Tories more sensible voices acknowledge that ‘just saying no’ is not sustainable.  The popular anger generated by a Johnson regime which has imposed Brexit on Scotland refusing to agree to a Section 30 order will boost support for independence to such an extent that it will guarantee that even a Conservative boycott will not be enough to call the outcome of an independence referendum into doubt.

A convincing victory in this referendum needs to be followed through however. Upon the announcement of a yes result which is beyond reasonable doubt, The SNP needs to immediately make it its job to use every arcane rule and regulation in the House of Commons playbook to bring the business of the British government grinding to a halt. They must be disruptive, they should ignore the gentleman’s agreements upon which the Westminster parliament depends and become a constant thorn in the flesh of Johnson and the Tories until they agree to begin independence negotiations. The Scottish Government should cease to co -operate with UK government departments. This should be combined with a mass campaign in Scotland of peaceful civil disobedience. If the Conservatives refuse to allow the people of Scotland to govern Scotland, then the people of Scotland need to make it their goal to ensure that the Conservatives can’t govern Scotland.

This strategy has the best chance of success if at every step along the way we ensure that we retain majority support. That means we can’t cut corners. It means first making that demand for a section 30 order and seeing it refused.

Conservative denial of Scottish democracy by refusing a Section 30 order and planning to boycott a lawful referendum held under the auspices of the Scottish Parliament will provide ample political legitimacy in the eyes of soft yes voters and undecideds for a plebiscite election in which pro-indy parties seek a direct mandate for independence itself. Johnson’s consent is not required for this to be lawful. After all, if the British government has demonstrated that it’s going to ignore the key mandate given to the Scottish Parliament by the voters of Scotland – then what is the point of a devolved parliament? It will be far harder for the Conservatives and their allies to boycott a plebiscite election. The key will then be to demonstrate to the international community that there is unarguably majority support in Scotland for independence. The international community is far more likely to accept and recognise the outcome of a Scottish plebiscite election if it sees that the British government has blocked the previously recognised route to a referendum for no other reason than the fact it’s likely to lose the vote. Then a combination of pressure from within Scotland and international opinion can bring Westminster to the negotiating table.

This isn’t going to be easy. The Conservatives and their allies are going to put every obstacle in our way. We will require determination, resolve, and plenty of that pig-headedness that Scottish people possess in abundance. But in the longer term the Tories cannot win – and they know that too.

A huge thank you to everyone who contributed to the crowdfunder. Thanks to you we have now had an offer accepted for a fully accessible new home and are aiming at moving in towards the end of January. So I won’t be blogging much over the next few weeks as we need to get everything packed up for the big move. Although my recovery is going far better than I could have dared hope, my mobility is still quite limited and I am experiencing issues with post-stroke fatigue so it takes me much longer to manage everyday tasks, and then I have a day or two when I am completely wiped out and just need to lie on the sofa and do nothing.

My walking is improving. I’m able to get about indoors without the walking stick, but am still dependent on it outdoors. I still need a wheelchair if I need to get further than a few dozen metres, but as my strength and stamina improve I should need it less and less. I am also noticing some minor issues with forgetfulness, but am told that this should also improve over the coming months. It’s already a lot better than it was, in the days after the stroke I was losing entire days – which was alarming and distressing. I  still also have some issues with hemianopia – a lack of awareness of what’s going on in the left hand side of my visual field, but this is also improving. It’s now very mild and scarcely a problem at all.

One of the biggest problems I am still experiencing is a lack of sensation and feeling on the left hand side of my body. I’m now able to waggle my fingers and some movement has returned to my thumb, but my grip is extremely weak and I struggle to pick anything up because I can’t feel if I have a grasp of it or not. However it’s still early days – only two months since the stroke when I was completely paralysed down the left hand side, and there is still plenty of potential for further improvement, so you can be sure that come hell or high water I’ll be playing a full and active role in the campaign that’s ahead of us in 2021 it’s going to be a much better year than 2020.

So in the meantime let’s all enjoy this Christmas and New Year. We’ve all go so much to look forward to in 2021 – let’s make it Scotland’s year. Johnson and the Tories are boasting that they’ve taken back control, now it’s our turn.

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

Donate Button

Ripping Bunty’s knitting

When albert Einstein developed his famous theory of relativity, one of the realities about the nature of the universe that it proved was that nothing could travel at faster than the speed of light. In this instance however, the famous scientific genius was wrong, there is an observable phenomenon , very close to home in fact, which is easily capable of moving at a speed well in excess of the speed of light, and that is a British nationalist – sorry ‘patriot’ – in search of victimhood status.

There was a perfect example of this the other day i my Twitter feed. A notorious British nationalist troll @Blood politics who calls herself Bunty – although ‘she’ is probably an overweight balding late middle aged male virgin in a stained t- shirt who lives with his mother – tweeted at me that if I wanted to ‘”slot into the close knit community of Maybole” where we have just bought our new house – that I should tone down the seperatism. It was clearly a threat, or at least a transparent attempt to intimidate. It also spoke of a deep seated arrogance common among British nationalists their belief that they own the town an by extension the whole of Scotland. Bunty was never elected the spokestroll for the whole of South Ayrshire except in Bunty’s union flag bedecked – but resolutely non- nationalist – you understand, imagination.

when others responded to Bunty’s passive aggressive attempt at intimidation, she locked her Twitter account and then started to complain about how she was being targetted by those vile separatists, because naturally, she’s the real victim here.

I told Bunty that I am gay and was born and brought up in the East End of Glasgow, I’ve faced down far bigger bullies in my life and I am certainly not going to be intimidated by some anonymous prick on Twitter.I have never “slotted in” with anyone during my life but if others are so inclined they can choose to slot in with me. I have absolutely no intention of toning down anything, but now that Bunty has attempted to intimidate me, I will be making it my mission to rip her knitting. Can you imagine the response from British nationalists if an independence supporter had warned an opponent of independence who was moving to a new town to “tone down” the Brittery? There would have been a front page article in the Hootsmon bewailing the vile and divisive Scottish nationalists and demands from Conservative MSPs for Nicola Sturgeon to condemn. But of course, it’s really Bunty who is the real victim here.

Bunty is merely taking her cue from far more prominent British nationalists – sorry, opponents of nationalism who are British patriots, who delight in finding things that are the responsibility of British nationalists or the British state, then blaming them on Scottish independence and its advocates and then claiming the status of a victim. Clearly they now believe that the best strategy for preventing Scottish independence is to make a bid for the pity vote.

A case in point is the tousle haired one himself, Neil Oliver. Neil had a bit of a sulk over the weekend when he claimed in an article for the Mail that Scottish independence would be a breach of his human rights because it would strip him of his British identity against his will. Poor Neil. Now Neil Oliver is of course perfectly entitled to his own opinions about Scottish independence, no matter how petulant they might be, However he is not entitled to his own facts. Scottish independence would not strip him of his British identity, he would be free to define himself as he chooses, just as the rest of us will remain free to define him as a histrionic attention-seeker.

Indeed Scottish independence would not even strip Neil, or anyone else, of his British citizenship or his poxy blue British Brexit passport. The government of an independent Scotland has no power or authority to tell another sovereign state – in this case the rest of the UK who it can or cannot recognise as a citizen. Just as the UK can’t tell France who gets to count as a French citizen – this being purely a matter for the French, so it is entirely for the British government to decide who is a British citizen – whether before or after Scottish independence. If people like Neil who are currently recognised as British citizens lose their British citizenship following Scottish independence, that can only happen as a result of a decision made by the British government. But that doesn’t suit Neil’s narrative and allow him to pose as a victim of vile Scottish nationalists.

If the British government leaves its citizenship laws as they are just now, then everyone in Scotland or born in Scotland but resident elsewhere in the UK, who is currently a British citizen will remain so following Scottish independence, and any children that they have in the future will be entitled to British citizenship by virtue of having a parent who is a British citizen. These citizenship rights can only change if the British government decides to change them. An independent Scotland can’t tell the British who gets to count as British any more than it can tell the French government who gets to count as French or the US government who gets to count as American. So if anyone is going to breach Neil’s human rights and strip him of his Britishness against his will, it’s going to be the British. If he’s really upset about it -he can always take it up with the European court of Human Rights oh wait – no – he can’t do that because of Brexit, another British decision. But still, I’m sure that won’t stop him from finding a way of blaming that too on Scottish independence. An inability to take responsibility for British screw ups and to perpetually pose as the victim is the defining characteristic of British nationalism. Not that Bunty could ever grasp that truth, because it would really rip her red white and blue knitting.

I have set up a crowd funder in order to ensure that I have a home that is suitable for my changed needs following my stroke you can donate directly to the crowd funder on gofundme by clicking the following link,

Alternatively you can donate by Paypal, using the donate button or log into Paypal and send a payment to the email address Or just click the donate button. If you don’t have a Paypal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button. If you would prefer to donate some other way, e.g. by bank transfer or cheque please email me at for further details. Once again thank you all so much. You are giving a practical demonstration of the better more loving and caring Scotland that we are all striving for.

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

Donate Button

fifteen in a row

It’s getting to the stage now where we get 56% for yes in an opinion poll and it scarcely counts as news. Today an opinion poll from IPsos Mori which was commissioned by STV was published which placed support for independence at 56% once don’t knows and undecideds are excluded. It is the 15th poll in a row to show majority support for independence. Even when don’t know and undecideds are not excluded this poll places support for independence at 53%, don’t knows are on 6%, whereas opposition to independence struggles in at a paltry 41%.

The poll also shows that the SNP is on track for winning a majority. The SNP is set to hoover up55% of the constituency vote and 47% of the constituency list vote a seat projection based on this poll gives the SNP 73 seats, the Conservatives 27, Labour 19 and the Greens and the Lib Dems 5 each. This would give pro independence parties 78 out of the 129 seats in the parliament versus just 51 for parties opposed to independence. That is a solid and convincing majority by anyone’s standards. We are getting to the point where there is no need I think we might as well to do polls on Scottish independence since the established majority for Yes has been confirmed so many times. Let’s just move on as quickly as possible to the final one where the poll sample is the entire electorate of Scotland and then from that on to independence and an escape from the dysfunctional and damaging mess of Brexshit.

None of the new fringe parties, whether the pro-independence SIP or George Galloway’s anti independence vanity vehicle, appear to be registering with voters outside their respective social media bubbles. unless something changes dramatically between now and May next year, The SNP and the Greens are the only pro independence parties which have any hope at all of wining any seats in the next Scottish parliament.

it’s been a good week, there’s a £500 thank you bonus for NHS workers, which the Conservatives are shamefully refusing to make tax free There’s a vaccine against covid to be rolled out starting next week, meaning that we can dare to hope that an end to the pandemic is starting to come into sight. The Tories are trying to take the credit for it, and are claiming it’s due to Brexit that the UK has approved the vaccine. This is a lie. The UK is still in the transition period and EU law still applies. However EU rules allow for the early authorisation of a vaccine during times of emergebcy like a global pandemic. And far from being a British triumph this is a vaccine which was developed by Turkish migrants in Germany and which is manufactured in Belgium. But that won’t stop the same people who whined about masks and lockdown trying to lay claim to it in the name of British nationalism.

And now there’s the 15th poll in a row for independence. 2020 has been a horrible horrible year in so many ways, but we have good reason to hope that 2021 is going to be a whole lot better. No wonder the British nationalists on social media are raging. You can hear the sound of union jack dummies being spat out from here to wherever it is that they buy their copies of the Daily Express from – a rag which they like to tell themselves is an actual newspaper. Belief in Brexit and the Tories not being the biggest of their delusions.

Most importantly of all The potential end to the pandemic means that there will be an end to the tragedy of losing loved ones to this terrible disease, but it also means that the economy and jobs can start to recover, and that we can look forward to a liberation from social isolation and start to meet up again with our families and friends, to chat, to laugh, to hug and kiss and to be human again. For an independence movement that has pretty much been frozen it means that we can look forward to doing that face to face, one on one campaigning and persuasion that the grassroots movement does best. We’ve seen support for independence surge to 56% even though we’ve not been able to campaign. Now that the SNP’s National Executive Committee has been taken by party members who favour a more robust approach to the pursuit of independence and we can look forward to the brakes coming off the grassroots movement. There’s going to be no stopping us. 2021 is going to be the year that Scottish independence ceases to be a beautiful dream and starts to become a reality.

On a personal level, my mobility is improving far more quickly than I could have dared to hope just a few short weeks ago when I was lying in a hospital bed, paralysed down one side and wondering whether I’d ever walk again. I am now able to get around inside the flat without having to rely on the walking stick and I’ve even been able to get into the kitchen to make myself a cup of tea and carry it back into the living room. It’s a significant milestone on the road back to normality, one which I really wasn’t expecting to be able to manage for months to come.

I am still typing very slowly, but it is definitely getting easier, and crucially it is no longer mentally exhausting me to quite the same extent as it would have, even last week. I’m even getting some good movement back in my left hand. It’s still not functional movement ,but it’s significantly better than it was. Crucially it’s still only less than eight weeks since I had the stroke so there is still plenty of potential for even more improvement in the months to come. a lot of the credit belongs to all the regular readers of this blog and the wider yes movement and the team at The National who have done so much to support me and to boost my spirits and morale. Having a reason to want to get better is a huge boost in stroke rehab and there’s no better reason for wanting to get better than to be able to play a full part in the exciting months ahead, months that are going to lead to Scotland once again taking her rightful place among the independent nations of the world.

I have set up a crowd funder in order to ensure that I have a home that is suitable for my changed needs following my stroke you can donate directly to the crowd funder on gofundme by clicking the following link,

Alternatively you can donate by Paypal, using the donate button or log into Paypal and send a payment to the email address Or just click the donate button. If you don’t have a Paypal account, just select “donate with card” after clicking the button. If you would prefer to donate some other way, e.g. by bank transfer or cheque please email me at for further details. Once again thank you all so much. You are giving a practical demonstration of the better more loving and caring Scotland that we are all striving for.

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

Donate Button