The future with independence or stuck in the past with the UK

Saturday marked the seventh anniversary of the first Scottish independence referendum, or if you’re a British nationalist, the day that put the final unbreakable seal on Scottish democracy. Apparently that was the day when Scotland was allowed a say on its own future and would never be allowed a say on its future ever again, no matter how duplicitous or mendacious the promises and commitments that British nationalists made to Scotland turned out to be. Better Together never told us that when they were gushing on about how much Scotland was loved and wanted and how it was an equal and respected partner in a family of nations.

Times have changed radically since 2014. It’s not just that the UK has left the EU, taking remain voting Scotland with it. It’s also that the UK which Scotland was promised it could be a part of in 2014 has turned out to be a fantasy, a deliberate confection that its fervent advocates never had any intention of making a reality. The anti-independence prospectus that was sold to Scotland by the Better Together campaign has turned out to be a lie.

Far from devolution being strengthened and entrenched, the Conservatives are using Brexit as an excuse to put it into reverse. Instead of the pooling and sharing which Gordon Brown lauded as the only way to protect the poor and the vulnerable in Scotland we have a British Government which has just embarked upon the biggest single cut to social security payments in modern history with its withdrawal of the £20 per week uplift in universal credit, throwing thousands of families into penury. Meanwhile the Conservatives are hiking National Insurance, forcing low paid workers, including workers in Scotland, to pay for England’s soaring social care bill in order to protect the wealth of home owners in the affluent south east of England.

In no small measure it’s the fear of being held to account for their lies which explains the vehemence with which British nationalists in Scotland assert that the question Scotland asked itself in 2014 must never be revisited. They know, and are terrified of the truth that British nationalism has blown its credibility and none of the promises or commitments that they make in a future referendum campaign are going to be believed, and that’s without even taking into account that the British government is headed by the serial liar Boris Johnson and its leading Scot is the glibly mendacious Michael Gove.

It’s scarcely surprising that many prominent people who opposed independence in 2014 now say that they would vote for it, from Sharleen Spiteri of the rock group Texas, to the comedians Billy Connelly, and Rory Bremner, the writer Armando Ianucci, the actor Ewan McGregor and many more. Now the broadcaster Jeremy Paxman has become the latest to declare that he’d vote yes in a future independence referendum. The positive appeal and potential benefits of independence have increased as the attractions and supposed advantages of remaining a part of the UK have diminished.

Saturday also marked the launch of a new and invigorated grassroots campaign for independence aimed at reaching out to soft noes, undecided voters and the persuadable in order to present them with a new prospectus for independence in the post-Brexit and covid age in which the true urgency of the climate crisis is starting to be appreciated. The prospectus of 2014, which was based upon both Scotland and the rest of the UK remaining full participants in the EU and the European Single Market and customs union and which put considerable emphasis on Scotland’s huge potential as a producer of carbon emitting fossil fuels has already been consigned to the history books.

The fresh case for independence will only be fleshed out and firmed up in the months ahead, as the Scottish Government gets to work to produce the new financial prospectus for independence which has been promised.

The arguments put forward by the independence campaign will be very different the next time around. Now it’s independence which represents better integration with Europe, the chance to develop Scotland’s export markets and the only realistic and plausible route back to membership of the EU. Meanwhile many of the arguments which were presented by Better Together in 2014 have been blown up by the anti-independence parties themselves and particularly by the Conservatives. Now it’s opposition to Scottish independence and British nationalism which represent the narrow backward looking parochial nationalism which was so derided by Better Together in 2014. We have a British government which fetishises flags and the royal family, military parades, and which even seeks to reintroduce imperial weights and measures. The British state is increasingly obsessed with Britain’s imperial past because it has no plan for the future.

There is now no one who can plausibly and convincingly front an anti independence campaign. Gordon Brown has no credibility left, and Ruth Davidson with her peerage has come to epitomise all that is wrong with the anti-democratic and unaccountable British establishment.

Whoever does finally get roped into heading the anti-independence campaign is going to be leading a campaign with nothing positive to offer, only a doubling down on the scare stories and fear mongering that characterised Better Together’s Project Fear. Absolutely nothing has been done to develop a revived case for this so-called Union in the post Brexit age. Having won the independence referendum in 2014, the Better Together parties complacently thought that they could return to business as usual, that Scotland had been successfully shut back in its shortbread tin and could safely be ignored and taken for granted. The historic failure of the UK will be seen to be that Scotland changed irrevocably following the referendum campaign of 2014 but the parties of the British establishment did not. Scotland gave them a chance to prove themselves in 2014, but they blew it badly with their arrogance, their ignorance, and their immutable British nationalist exceptionalism.

Fundamentally the campaign for Scottish independence is about the future, British nationalism has proven itself to be trapped in the past. The question facing Scotland is whether to look to the future with independence or remain stuck in the past with the failing British state

This is your reminder that the purpose of this blog is to promote Scottish independence. If the comment you want to make will not assist with that goal then don’t post it. If you want to mouth off about how much you dislike the SNP leadership there are other forums where you can do that. You’re not welcome to do it here.

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141 comments on “The future with independence or stuck in the past with the UK

  1. robert harrison says:

    This is why i dont trust Englanders empty promises just to get what they want seeing as they like the past so much the vikings would dubbed people like the modern day English who are running these isles into the ground with there empire crap oathbreakers and to be an oathbreaker was to basically be a wanted man thats to be killed on sight and they want to go backwards and take us with them oh no time we said goodbye to this fake union forever.

  2. Dr Jim says:

    The British Nationalists will do what they always do, they’ll cite their own lies and failure over Brexit to describe how badly Scotland will fare divorcing ourselves from them while trying not to mention the word Brexit

    They’ll likely recall it as something like EU separation was extremely difficult for only a short term relationship so disentanglishing the most successful Yoonyin of all time will be impossible to quantify the damage, which would all be to Scotland financially of course but only very *saaad* for the Britlanders

    Oh and possible invasion by aliens

    • robert harrison says:

      They say that we hit back with didnt you lot state in the frist independence referendum that the only way to protect Scotlands eu membership was to vote no and if they gaslight by saying we never said that show that better together tweet from then and say whats this then.

  3. wm says:

    Another cracker of a post Paul, could not agree more with every thing said. We need to get the soft noes from 2014, It is the hardest thing in the world to admit when something you believe in is wrong, it happened to me with my labour vote when I questioned it from “new labour” was formed till about 2012 when I admitted it to myself that their middle England vote, was the south east well off tory vote.

  4. Old Pete says:

    Excellent post Paul, nothing more to add.

  5. grizebard says:

    I flatly disagree with the headline (and penultimate sentence), but only in the sense that an ongoing Union (AKA English micro-Empire) isn’t the supposedly-familiar status quo any longer, nor a retreat towards a nostalgic rosy future, but rather a reckless lurch towards a new dark age of authoritarian illiberalism.

    (The rest of the article, though, is spot-on, as usual.)

  6. perthcol says:

    Paxman is no convert. Despite being 25% Scottish his wish is for the whinging Jocks to get Independence so we would no longer have Westminster to blame for our situation.
    Hardly a role model for soft noes to find inspiration from.

  7. bringiton says:

    Scotland’s recent history within England’s Union has not been a happy one.
    Twice in my lifetime England’s Tories have trashed Scotland’s economy purely for political purposes which had nothing to do with Scotland.
    It should now be crystal clear to any doubting Scots that within England’s Union we have no say and as always are regarded as expendible when it suits them.
    There is no hope for those who cannot see this.

  8. exile says:

    Paul, thanks, as always, for your articles. You and Peter stay safe, and please don’t overwork Paul.

  9. Capella says:

    Just after 2014, the agents of the Better Together camp congratulated themselves on their success. The Treasury team, who spread lies about Scotland’s finances, and still do, got a Government gong for their “sterling” efforts. Paul Mason, former BBC journalist, said that the BBC was on a war footing during the campaign. It still is.
    (BTW his book “How to Stop Fascism” is excellent and timely).

    Nothing about the UK has changed.

    We need to keep our focus on the goal, the democratic end point: to live in a country where we decide the rules. It’s about basic income and security for everyone, releasing the potential of all of our citizens, or taking care of the vulnerable (i.e. all of us at some point), or making alliances with progressive partners at home or abroad.

    That’s why I’m committed to independence because none of these goals can be realised while we’re ruled by Perfidious Albion.

  10. yesindyref2 says:

    From that article about the AUSUK gazumping of France’s submarine deal, a French person in a long long very interesting comment about France and defence, said this about the UK:

    In fact, with the Brexit, their intent was rather obvious, even honest in a way: they don’t want to be as close allies with any continental European country anymore, their priority is the US and the Commonwealth.

    The question for outward-looking Scotland in Indy Ref 2 could be:

    “Do we want to go back to the past with the UK, or on to the future with the rest of the world including those nearest to us in Europe?”

  11. Hamish100 says:

    The current Australian government is pretty right wing so more likely to side with US and U.K. Shows like the U.K. they cant be trusted to honour any promise or treaty.
    Scotland knows this already

  12. yesindyref2 says:

    This is an old chestnut, and a negative aspect of the Indy campaign, and it’s about time it was put into context.

    Latest time series I found for natcen Scottish / British identity is up to 2012, there may be later.

    “Scottish not British 23%
    More Scottish than British 30%
    Equally Scottish and British 30%
    More British than Scottish 5%
    British not Scottish 6%”

    So only 23% don’t claim a British identity at all, the other 77% do.

    Which means calling people BritNat or British Nationalist, potentially antagonises 77% of the voting population of Scotland.

    It’s an Indy Ref LOSER, big time.

    But hey, I’m shouting to people wearing ear defenders.

    • Simon Jonathan Taylor says:

      Brit Nats or Brit Nationalists are not the top 3 criteria listed in your email. I think you know this. I also think the Scottish public are well aware of the distinction and , as far as i can see, no-one is accusing undecided and soft No voters of being Brit Nats. On the whole Brit Nats define themselves as Unionists. They are part of the Unionist establishment and yes they ARE British Nationalists. There needs to be a way of linking British Nationalism with Unionism , both regressive, reactionary , imperialistic cults and those who support Nationalist Unionism need to be called out for tacitly supporting right wing ersatz facism

    • 2012 IR2?
      A ‘generation’ ago.

      A lot of bilge has flown under the bridge since then.
      There is no such country as ‘Britain’.

    • Statgeek says:

      Did they ask the key question?

      Which people do you trust more to run your country’s affairs?

      Scots, regardless of party: xx%
      Westminster Tories most of the time: xx%

      That for me is not even a partisan question, but a fundamental one. If we assume that the Tories have an even chance of winning in 2024 or earlier, we can easily see them here until 2029. That being the case, they will have been in power for 37 years out of 50 (74% of the time).

      There’s no Blair effect on the horizon ever again, and Labour support in Scotland / Wales is never going to be at Blair levels. Electoral Commissions, voter suppression, and the usual Tory policies to keep their base voting for them out of fear of the alternatives will have Scotland run my Westminster Tories for the rest of the century (at least 75% of the time, if not all of it).

      That’s the living generations and the next three generations of Scots Donald Ducked.

      All other arguments are fairly moot. But if you insist, there’s the EU and prices rising in the UK. There’s foreign policies with the US and Aus. There’s an NHS Scotland for Holyrood to defend for the next 75 years and so on.

      Scotland resources being taken. Used as a dumping ground. Best talents being filched away by industries we should have ourselves. The list is endless.

      It’s never too late to change things, and I’ll wager more than a few Scots and Europhiles in England might take their money over the border when it happens.

    • grizebard says:

      You seem to be continually missing the point. We don’t call the “77%” (or whatever) “BritNat”. That term is reserved for those who actively propagandise for the Union. Because British Nationalists is what they are. And they don’t seem to have any similar qualms about what they call us.

      But we here are always open to alternatives for re-framing. Maybe try a positive suggestion next time..?

      • yesindyref2 says:

        You might reserve it, many don’t. Some use it for any NO voter, and some even call them “cowards”.

        The positive suggestion is NOT to antagonise 50% of the electorate of Scotland by calling them “BritNats”, or some other playground insult, nor many of the other 50% who don’t like their family or friends being called “BritNats” just because they (currently) have different beliefs. Remember that other word of the moment “inclusive”? What ever happenened to that?

        Re-framing is to use the massively large normal vocabulary that should be available to anyone.

        And they don’t seem to have any similar qualms about what they call us.

        Yes I know. Good, excellent, marvellous, fantastic, brill – see below the line in the Herald for instance. THEY are doing their best therefore to lose Indy Ref 2, and they don’t even realise it, so caught up in themselves are they, that they seriously believe it’s a good thing to insult people.

        • grizebard says:

          I don’t believe “many” do use the term indiscriminately. (Letter writers to the radical-left-leaning National are not exactly typical, if that’s whom you had in mind.) I don’t see too much evidence for that here, for example. But insofar as they do, you are of course right.

          No, complaining about incorrect messaging isn’t a positive suggestion, even if it’s a start. British Nationalism exists, but hides in plain sight. (If you doubt this, just visit Morrisons.) If you are unhappy with terminology, by all means suggest a more effective alternative.

          But we do need re-framing, and for exactly the remaining innocents that we still need to convert, be in no doubt about that.

          • yesindyref2 says:

            Grizebard, I’m not going to insult you by suggesting that your entire vocabulary is limited to just 2 words:

            “British Nationalist”.

            It’s not up to me to “reframe” it, it’s up to you to use normal language – some of the whatever, 30,000 odd words, with whatever, 5,000 in regular use, to say what you actually want.

            For example: “Bojo is a BritNat”. Are you using that in the sense of:

            a. BoJo is a Bozo
            b. Bojo is incompetent
            c. BoJo wouldn’t know democracy if it hit him in the ass
            d. Something else

            • Bob Lamont says:

              Dear god man, we get it, you don’t approve.
              Nobody else does, and YOU don’t get it.

              • yesindyref2 says:

                Thank you for your usual polite and positive contribution.

                • Bob Lamont says:

                  No, indeed, thank you so much for your correction to my comment, your
                  “I am Amy and bought a Melton Mowbray pie with a Union Jack on it. It was delicious. I am a BritNat.”
                  “I am Reginald and wear a poppy on Remembrance Sunday. I am a BritNat.”
                  “I am Jeannie and watch the Brit Awards. I am a BritNat.”
                  “I am Paul and smile when I watch a Spitfire looping the loop. I am a BritNat.”
                  “I am Ethel and voted Conservative. I am a BritNat.”
                  “I am Nicola Sturgeon and cheered when Raducanu won the US Open. I am a BritNat.”
                  “I am Thomas and think that when I drive down the M74 and cross the border there is land on the
                  other side, rather than the mists of emptiness and chaos. I am a BritNat.”
                  simply exuded positive contribution.

                  You’ll be delighted to know I finally found the missing F from your polite “MYO B” response to my last query on one of your comments, your positive contribution was much appreciated.

                  In the six hours since you started “This is an old chestnut”, everybody else was wrong was my point, however polite or positive you receive it.

  13. Dr Jim says:

    69% of people in Scotland identify as Scottish, only 20% Identify as British, the rest don’t care who or what they are or what people call them, but even those figures aren’t that important as to identification, it’s pragmatism and reality that counts when it comes to voting on the constitution, and if a person who lives in Scotland yet decides to vote against the opportunity for their own self determination then they’re either cowards or British Nationalists, there’s not going to be a middle choice on this or a third option or even a cooked up pre arranged promise of one like there was before, Nicola Sturgeon won’t do the deal, if she had been prepared to deal a referendum would’ve already happened by now and Scotland would’ve chosen the slimy third option that was supposed to happen in 2014

    • yesindyref2 says:

      When forced to pick one identity, yes. But as that report says:

      However, forcing people in Scotland to choose just one identity runs the risk of underestimating the degree to which they are willing to acknowledge at least some sense of Britishness. When Scottish Social Attitudes has given them the chance to choose more than one identity, typically around 40 per cent have chosen both Scottish and British, with the most recent reading (for 2012) standing at 45 per cent.

      As I say; trying to force people to be ashamed of any British identity is divisive and counter-productive. And what is the point of that? It’s the UK we’re trying to become Independent of, not Britain – there is no such thing as a British Government, it is a UK Government.

      And after Independence it won’t be a Rest of Britain Government that’s left behind, it’ll be the Rest of UK Government (rUK) or whatever it chooses to call itself.

      Hearts and minds Dr Jim, not playground insults, will win Indy Ref 2.

      • Capella says:

        What about European? Did they have the chance to say whether they felt European? I think that should have been available as an option.
        As to what we call people in the rest of the UK. We call them what they call themselves – British. If they’re nationalist then they’re British nationalists.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          It’s not about aggression, scoring points, or being one up on natcen, or activists, or the 4.1 million voters in Scotland, it’s about wanting them to vote YES next time.

      • scottish skier says:

        The problem with the SSAS Moreno question is that Scottish people are legally British citizens, so many answer to that effect even though they don’t nationally identify as British. They legally are British!

        I don’t nationally identify as European but I am Scottish, Irish and European with passport to boot, so would tick European too event though it’s not a nation and I don’t nationally identify as European for that reason.

        Also, in the Moreno question, you can’t just say ‘Scottish’, you have to say ‘Scottish not British‘ which is a negative answer suggesting some potential dislike of British people. Ticking that box really can feel like saying ‘I’m not one of them!’, which puts people off. Even ‘more Scottish than British’ does this somewhat. In the Moreno data series, you see Scotland looking like it’s a bit more British through time as support for independence rises and it’s population actually becomes more Scottish (from the census, free choice national identity by year of birth). It’s because being ‘Scottish not British’ is being demonized (‘racist anti-English!’) in the media.

        The only reliable source of national identity information is the when it’s free choice and no answer has negative connotations, as per the census, i.e. you ask people to choose one of more of the following national identities that applies to them:

        – Scottish
        – English
        – Welsh
        – N. Irish
        – British
        – Other………..

        In 2011 (during the rise of the SNP and with the prospect of iref1), 64% selected Scottish first with no second identity or a non-UK one, but did not select British as they don’t nationally identify nationally as that.

        62.4% Scottish identity only
        1.9% Scottish and any other identities
        = 64.4% ‘Scottish but not British’

        18.3% Scottish and British identities only
        8.4% British identity only
        = 26.7% ‘In whole or in part British’

        2.3% English identity only
        2.0% Any other combination of UK identities (UK only)
        0.3% Other identity and at least one UK identity

        4.4% Other identity only

        It’s important not to confuse British Scots with Brits or, crucially, Scottish unionists.

        While the terms are all used interchangeably, Scottish unionists are technically those that identify as Scottish but not really British, but support the union for pragmatic economic etc reasons. These are not in principle against independence, and can be brought on board. Even half the ‘Scottish & British’ are more Scottish than British and can be tempted.

        In 1997, the 74% Yes came from the SnB and half the S&B joining up. Yes-Yes was mainly the SnB. In the very simplest terms.

      • Dr Jim says:

        The trouble with democracy is the people who don’t want it are free to destroy it

        The people in Scotland who are British Nationalists already know what they are and they like it that way
        so I’ll go right on insulting those people for their efforts to thwart democracy because these are not nice people and again they already know it, they just marched up and down the streets of Scotland threatening the populace with their displays of military uniforms and racist chanting, they’re not meandering through their lives unaware of what they are and if I’m jolly nice to them with my fluffy persuasion they’ll just see the light and change their minds

      • grizebard says:

        “As I say; trying to force people to be ashamed of any British identity is divisive and counter-productive.” I do agree wholeheartedly with that. This is one instance where “ac-cent-uate the positive, e-lim-inate the negative” really does work best. Though I find that the people who go in for that kind of counter-productive behaviour tend to be bandwagon climbers with some kind of political axe to grind, not the vast majority of independence supporters.

        OTOH we can’t be expected to perpetually chant “kumbaya” either and not point out the many pitfalls of remaining in the Union, with governments like the current BoJo Circus so readily helping us make our case. That’s not the same thing.

        It’s important here to point out the practicalities: post-indy, people in Scotland will have a free choice of citizenship. They will be able to keep their UK one if they wish, either in part or in full, since Scotland won’t require them to choose. And unless there’s a change in the law in England to require single citizenship there – very unlikely given the potential fallout – it won’t be an issue. Though no doubt with constant encouragement, some member of BT2 will give it a try.

      • Donald McKillop says:

        Sir, a small point regarding your constant criticism of language used in comments here. My field of study is literature, linguistics and the aetiology of words, therefore any comments I make is based on research and fact. I use no honorifics as I know my credentials, but you sir are, I believe, being a bore with this. With over forty years of teaching I have never once chastised anyone for using an incorrect expression or interpretation of the written word. I read this blog every morning in my adopted country Australia, and I understand to the nth degree the content to all comments, hence my slight censure of your contributions.

        • Donald McKillop says:

          My apologies, this was meant for indyref2. Mea culpa

        • yesindyref2 says:

          With over forty years of teaching I have never once chastised anyone for using an incorrect expression or interpretation of the written word

          Good. That is what General Semantics is about. To take the classic example, if a student says “Them rotten tomatoes was honking”, the teacher shouldn’t correct the grammar and words used, but should ask “Which tomatoes?” as language is a method of communication.

          But this isn’t a school, and the voters aren’t eager students waiting for enlightenment. They’re voters who expect to be treated not just with respect, but as equals, not students of the campaigner who is supposedly trying to get them to vote YES.

          I doubt very much you call your students “stupid warped mindless fools”.

          • Donald McKillop says:

            I see you are a follower of Korzybski’s general semantics, which is somewhat replaced by logical and lexical semantics today, or do you disagree with this? The last sentence of your discourse is intriguing, firstly you make a statement regarding the manner in which I would treat students with no knowledge of my teaching methods and secondly your use of quotation marks are incorrect, I refer you to a good Australian book on this matter for beginners (Snooks & Co, Style Manual, 2006), this is not a Harvard reference type, just a quickly written one for your benefit.

            With kindest regards Don

  14. Capella says:

    Simon Jenkins in the New Statesman in July refers to us as the “Celtic virus”.

    The Celtic virus is back in British politics and defying all efforts at immunity. The first wave hit Ireland in 1921 and broke the island in two. The second wave was overcome with devolution in 1999 and subsided. The third is now upon us and the outcome is uncertain. When at last month’s G7 summit in Cornwall the French president Emmanuel Macron taunted Boris Johnson for trying to rule four nations not one, Johnson was furious, but he choked on his Northern Irish protocol.,,
    When the British empire disbanded over the course of the 20th century, the fate of the ancient English empire of the British Isles was left unresolved. The English assumed they had assimilated the Welsh and Scots while the Irish Question had been “parked” with partition.

  15. Welsh_Sion says:

    As fellow Duggers well-know, we are mere colonies – now confirmation from Westminster:

    Michael Gove handed responsibility for ‘United Kingdom governance’ in new role

    20 Sep 2021 2 minute Read


    “He [Gove] will therefore also take on the additional title of Minister for Intergovernmental Relations, working closely with the Territorial Offices and leading coordination with the devolved administrations on the Prime Minister’s behalf.”


    – “Territorial Offices”? Pffff!

  16. rongorongo says:

    Somebody from Sweden might describe themselves as both Swedish and Scandinavian – the first being a national/political affiliation and the second being regional/geographic. In that case there is no room for confusion. Not so with “British” which stands for both geographic belonging (somebody from the British Isles) and political (somebody from the United Kingdom). A poll responder living in Scotland and describing themselves as “British” might be intending it as a geographic label but at the same time, they can consider themselves as firmly Scottish and be supporters of independence. Or they might be a died-in-the wool unionist who doesn’t regard Scotland as a separate nation at all. We can’t tell which – and that makes the label rather an unreliable one as a predictor of Indy support.

    • Good comparison. I’ve always complained when seeing the word British that it doesn’t really denote a nationality but merely describes a geographical label. As for questions (as in the census) that ask for my race, I always tick “other” and then add the clarifier, “human being”.

    • ‘died-in-the wool’, rongorongo.
      Lambs led to the slaughter, Brexit style?
      As parapraxes go, this is a doozy.
      Loved it.
      Eat yer heart out ,Sigmund.

      There is no such country as Britain.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Exactly Jack, there’s no such country as Britain, these comparison choices that the UK media government keep proffering the population as a choice don’t exist

    • grizebard says:

      I’m looking forward to a time when I can again happily call myself “British”, but in a geographical sense only. “Liberate the word”, I say…!

  17. scottish skier says:

    Another morning, another successful business bites the dust due to brexit.

    Devastated Edinburgh restaurant Maison Bleue announces closure due to pandemic

    Edinburgh restaurateur Dean Gassabi has blamed Brexit and lockdown struggles for the “heart-breaking” decision to permanently shut a popular Morningside restaurant…

    …“Unfortunately we just don’t have the chefs, so all our staff have now been moved to Victoria Street.

    I hope those that voted for ‘Scottish jobs for British workers!’ are happy.

  18. scottish skier says:

    Oh, and for those on other blogs that don’t know what they are talking about.

    Natural gas is mostly methane (normally >90%) which has the formula CH4. LNG (liquified natural gas) is almost pure methane. This means it is 80% hydrogen and 20% carbon, so natural gas is mostly hydrogen on an atomic basis. When you burn it, you are effectively burning mostly hydrogen with a little carbon along with it.

    As a result, methane burns mostly to water while hydrogen burns fully to water.

    This is why methane is a great way to reduce CO2 emissions compared to coal, which is pure carbon (excluding impurities), so burns to pure CO2 (or carbon monoxide if there’s not enough oxygen).

    By burning methane, we are just one step away from burning hydrogen as methane is 80% hydrogen.

    And that’s before we consider thermal aspects which favour the lighter gases compared to heavier oils and coal in terms of output/efficiency.

    It’s also why hydrogen can be easily produced from natural gas yielding it and even pure carbon; i.e. a harmless ‘rock’ like coal. This is so called ‘blue hydrogen’, which do be fully clean, does require carbon capture and storage.

    By contrast, ‘green hydrogen’ from electrolysis of water needs more energy; the same must be put in as you get out from burning it as you are simply reversing that reaction.

    • Legerwood says:

      Burning methane is not quite the panacea that it is made out to be.

      Methane is itself a greenhouse gas and leakage of methane during extraction , transport and burning would possibly offset any advantages. Carbon capture would not capture all of the Carbon dioxide released during the burning of methane. There would still be leakage into the atmosphere.

      Using renewable energy to split water to give hydrogen which can then be burnt to produce electricity is perhaps a greener option but the question is whether it can be done to scale.

      Around 2010-11 the Energy Offices were opened in Methil in Fife. It was an R&D facility focussed on using renewable energy to power the offices. When the renewable energy was not required by the businesses round about then it was used to produce hydrogen from water. The hydrogen could then be stored and burned to produce energy when the renewable energy from the wind turbine was not available. It seemed to work quite well.

      • scottish skier says:

        Yes, methane isn’t carbon free as noted, but compared to coal, it’s a whole lot cleaner as it is 80% hydrogen atomically, which was my point. Some people out there were saying a compound with the formula CH4 (1 carbon + 4 hydrogens) isn’t ‘mostly hydrogen’, as maybe they didn’t pay attention at school. 😉

        Moving from coal to gas, notably LNG, can be done very quickly, providing a means to reduce CO2 emissions (60%+) massively almost overnight. It presents a transition fuel as we move towards renewables; a move that will take a good few decades.

        In the past, people realised the benefit of anything that reduced CO2 emissions, but it seems some are getting so hysterical, they want to burn coal rather than methane as we still have relic coal power stations, but the idea of investing in switching these to new gas ones has people up in arms as it’s ‘not renewables!’. It’s like hanging on to an old polluting banger rather than switching to an modern eco-petrol because you refuse to buy a petrol car, but are holding out for electric to become widespread. Mad really.

        The problem of course with wind, solar, hydro, wave etc is that they are weather dependent. The calm dry summer Europe has experienced has really hit renewables production, driving up demand for gas, depleting winter storage levels, with this eventually forcing coal power stations back online. The weather problem is very difficult to get around, hence the focus on energy storage. Even then storing many month’s worth of energy is very difficult. Gas of some form remains the easiest way to do that. For now, methane / LNG are pumped into depleted oil/gas reservoirs during the summer for storage then use in the winter. In the future, this could become hydrogen, although it’s a very light gas, so needs much higher, often impractical pressures to store at the same energy density as methane.

        Of course there is nuclear as it’s always ‘on demand’, but fission remains highly problematic in the dangerous waste it produces. Fusion may one day be achievable, but is a long time off.

        In terms of sourcing gas and methane release… Scottish waters are heavily regulated and you need to apply for flaring. As a rule, gas isn’t flared as it’s worth money and platforms can normally export both oil and associated gas. Flaring mainly happens when there’s e.g. a problem and the line needs depressurized, e.g. during an unforeseen shut-in event when hydrate plugging presents a risk.

        By contrast, in the USA, middle east etc, often all the gas associated with oil production is flared continuously as the oil as value but the gas doesn’t / there’s not the infrastructure for it. This is a huge problem as you note.

        It’s why we should drill as much as possible in our own waters rather than importing hydrocarbons that we need. If we stop producing and import, we increase our carbon footprint and pollute the environment. At the same time, relying on the Russians to keep our economy moving isn’t that wise.

        • Legerwood says:

          If you burn Methane you get Carbon dioxide and water:
          CH4 + 2O2 >>> CO2 + 2H2O
          Where does the extra step come from, and the energy, to split the water to get the hydrogen?

          Whatever the source of methane – sea be or permafrost, the drilling releases methane, a greenhouse gas. Transporting it releases some more as does burning it to produce energy no matter how well the CCS process works.

          • scottish skier says:

            In effect the total energy of the reaction is that released when C bonds with O2 and 2H2 bonds with O2 minus what was needed break the original C-H bonds. The net is a positive release, obviously. To get things going, you need the activation energy, which comes in the form of e.g. a match. One of the problems with H2 is the low activation energy; it goes ‘boom’ a lot easier than methane, so air-H2 mixtures are particularly dangerous, as the Hindenburg showed.

            As noted, methane gas is a good transitional fuel, and as long as we still need to burn something for energy, it’s far better to burn that than heavier oil or coal. It’s a continuation of what we’ve been doing for years by e.g. making petrol engines more efficient. Anything that reduces emissions is good.

            We should of course try to limit methane emissions and a great way to do that is to stop eating meat, notably beef, lamb etc! Enteric fermentation, manure etc outweigh the hydrocarbon industry for emissions. Using land for meat production also means cutting down forests etc. It’s a very inefficient way to produce food.

            The oil and industry has a big role to play, but much of the leaks here are down to poor regulation in other countries, that and flaring willy nilly, as often much of it doesn’t actually burn in the flare. The North Sea has much greater regulation than other areas.

            And even if we stop burning stuff, which we should absolutely aim for, we will still need to produce gas for petrochemicals. We can’t make wind turbine blades or solar cells without petrochemicals! It’s not as if we can use wood and stone to make polymers and epoxy resins. 😉

            If we all become vegan, this will be even more important as we won’t have any dung anymore for natural fertilizer, so organic farming will become harder… Instead, we’ll need those synthetic fertilizer plants which use natural gas to produce this, a by-product of which is food grade CO2 which we then eat/drink. So the grain in our beer ate natural gas to grow, and then we eat it along with carbon that came from natural gas that bubbles through it in the form of CO2!

            I think people do often not realize they are eating, wearing and living in oil/gas products, not just burning it. Even that nice new wind turbine blade is bonded by it!

            Of course burning hydrogen produces the most powerful greenhouse gas on earth and the one we can thank for the warm climate we have; water. The role of this, notably in the form of cloud formation and how that regulates the climate on the longer term is still poorly understood.

            And of course we should remember that we’re actually quite good. People in the UK have a carbon footprint ~1/3 of that of the USA and their population is 5 times that of Britain.


            Anyhoo, I didn’t meant to derail the blog. It’s just the area I work in so get carried away!

            Geologist originally -> then geochemist (working on naturally occurring methane) -> now chemical engineering in the energy sector, including CO2 and H2.

            I’ll try to wheesht for indy now, particularly as I have a report to finish 😉

        • UndeadShuan says:

          Tidal is not wheather dependant.

          In Scotland we are blessed with vast coastlines which can be utilised for tidal arrays.

          Tides will bee there until we lose the moon, which would be the worst of our worries.

          Meygen is the worlds 1st large scale tidal array and is moving into phase 2.


          We also have hydro and 2 pumped storage hydro facilities with plans to expand this.
          Pumped storage like batteries offer backup to other renewables like wind.

          Solar is also being expanded with scottish water at perth using it to power treatment works with battery backup.

          And SSE arecplanning to close the last remaining gas plant in Scotland and open a new Carbon Capture one, building on tge failed plan under labour and tories that didnt do this.


      • grizebard says:

        I’m hoping that we move fairly rapidly from natural gas to renewable-generated hydrogen, just as in a previous era we moved from coal gas (hydrogen+carbon monoxide) to natural gas. As you say, hydrogen is a very useful way to store surplus electricity. All that infrastructure just ready to be re-cycled. I know that energy policy is a reserved matter – another reason to get out pronto – but I just wish that there was some clearer sign that somebody was already busily preparing for that transition, even if there’s an intermediate stage of production along the way. (Mind you, the way things are going, natural gas doesn’t seem to be a very stable resource anyway.)

        • Marc says:

          I think you have hit the nail on the head. We (and by we I mean the human race) have always be behind the curve in regards to combating climate change.

          What is being done now and being proposed is not going to stop climate change, even if we stopped pumping out greenhouse gasses completely tomorrow we would still have decades of warming to come due to the residual effects of the greenhouse gases in the environment and the oceans (which are the worlds natural heat sync) have been burnt out and instead of reducing atmospheric heat are now releasing heat.

          All we are really doing now is determining if things are going to be bad, really bad or unsustainable.

          If you want some good graphical information on the climatological situation we are in then this is a good account to follow (has an Instagram account under the same name)

    • Hamish100 says:

      If you are “burning” or where combustion takes place we use up oxygen which we require.

      With all the the issues over CO2 it is funny in a way that the drinks industry wants CO2 to put the fizz into even water. Surely this should be reduced all round but the industry sponsors the tories.

      Nae mair girders for me.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      those on other blogs” – Cubby I think, took me a time remembering as it was so insignificant.

  19. yesindyref2 says:

    Well, at least it’s moved on from using the label “yoon”, which of course the usual extreme element realised rhymed with “loon” as in “yoons are loons”, though that didn’t make a lot of sense in Aberdeen, but that’s another story.

    There are clearly a good few supporters of the use of the term “British Nationalist” (or BritNat for short), including one who thinks it equates to fascism, so perhaps they could consider becoming therapists and setting up “BritNats Anonymous”, with the idea that recognition and acceptance are the first steps to being cured. So we have an illustrative meeting, going clockwise:

    “I am Amy and bought a Melton Mowbray pie with a Union Jack on it. It was delicious. I am a BritNat.”

    “I am Reginald and wear a poppy on Remembrance Sunday. I am a BritNat.”

    “I am Jeannie and watch the Brit Awards. I am a BritNat.”

    “I am Paul and smile when I watch a Spitfire looping the loop. I am a BritNat.”

    “I am Ethel and voted Conservative. I am a BritNat.”

    “I am Nicola Sturgeon and cheered when Raducanu won the US Open. I am a BritNat.”

    “I am Thomas and think that when I drive down the M74 and cross the border there is land on the other side, rather than the mists of emptiness and chaos. I am a BritNat.”

    Therapist: “Recognition is the first step, now you all need to think about your BritNattiness and see how you can change your evil and fascist ways and stop being BritNats”.


    • Capella says:

      Are you denying that there is such a condition as British Nationalism, in spite of the Union Jack festooned evidence that it exists? Or “in denial” as we therapists would say?

      BTW Emma Raducanu is Canadian of Romanian and Chinese parentage and a naturalised “Briton” (if, indeed Priti Patel has given her permission to remain in the county).

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Do you want to explain to any survivors or descendants of Clydebank, that the sound of the Rolls-Royce Merlin, and the sight of far too few Spitfires for far too short a time in the skies of Clydebank in World War 2, was “British Nationalism”, and should be despised?


        If you promote a term, you don’t get to be selective about its use.

        • Capella says:

          WWII consensus was killed off by Margaret Thatcher in the bonfire of the nationalised “British” industries, including those in Scotland. The residents of Clydebank are well aware of who was responsible for decimating their industries. That’s why Jimmy Reid joined the SNP and advocated independence for Scotland to get out of the “British” state.

          We can manufacture our own products once we have the levers of an independent economy in our own hands. They won’t be “British”.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        Are you denying that there is such a condition as British Nationalism

        Reply 2.

        I think I’ve made it very clear that I despise this invented, contrived, extreme and extremely divisive and anti-Independence term, which was invented in playground “retaliation” for Independence supporters being called “Nationalsts” and compared to Hitler by a few extreme anti-Independence activists..

        I want Independence Capella, not to try to vaunt my superiority over people who don’t agree with me by calling them names.

        • Hamish100 says:

          Why on radio are we referred to as Brits ?

          Are we a music award or something more deeper than that?

          Why are toilet rolls, bag of sugar, festooned with the Brit flag?

          Worse, we are told who we are by the likes of Gordon Brown, Daily Express and such like.

          I am a Scot. Happy with that.🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿 If others define themselves as English, French, German, Welsh, Irish I have no issue with that either.

        • Calum says:

          I assume you consider “Scottish Nationalism” to be a contrived term as well.

  20. Alex Clark says:

    British Nationalism is real, it exists and you don’t need to look very far to see evidence of it. The Conservative and Unionist party, together with their allies in the right wing press and the BBC are British Nationalism’s greatest proponents.

    It’s why every one of them when during the pandemic when appearing on TV via zoom or whatever, always had a prominently displayed Union Flag and/or picture of the Queen directly behind them. It’s why Johnson spent an astronomical sum to turn a room in Downing Street into a red, white and blue chamber of horrors. It was so ugly that the whole idea of using the room for press briefings was scrapped and never spoken of again.

    British Nationalism is the celebration of all the victories ever won in battle against the foreigners. It is the celebrations yet to come of the smiting of the EU by the plucky Brits and will have £120 million spent on a “Festival of Brexit” next year which “showcase the UK’s creativity and innovation to the world”.

    British Nationalism exists and can be witnessed almost on a daily basis in the actions of this “world beating” government. For British Nationalism to exist then so too must those that revel in it, they are British Nationalists or Brit Nats for short.

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Alex, in what way does calling people “British Nationalists” advance the cause of Independence for Scotland?

      Bearing in mind the power of language and the uses extreme people have for the term – the Spitfire being just one example I’ve seen, all the rest in my “BritNats Anonymous” group session are also genuine examples – including Sturgeon being called a British Nationalist because she cheered on Raducanu.

      And British Nationalism only exists in the minds of those who invented and support the term – others would call such examples differently.

      “The symbol is NOT the thing symbolized
      the word is NOT the thing
      the map is NOT the territory it stands for”

      S.I. Hayakawa – Language in Thought and Action (General Semantics)

      The problem is that very few have read the book, so for many the word is the thing, etc.

      Calling people “British Nationalists” converts not one single undecided or NO to YES, and I would assert, it’s quite the contrary. So why do it?

      • Alex Clark says:

        British Nationalism is being used in an attempt to replace people’s belief in their Scottish identity. Those attempting this what Scots to be proud of being British because of all the great things Britain has done for the world rather than be patriotic towards Scotland.

        The figures from the census quoted earlier show that 62% are Scottish only when forced to choose with 18% identifying as Scottish and British. The reason Union flags have appeared all over Scottish food in our supermarkets is to reinforce the idea of being British first. They of course want to reduce the numbers claiming to be Scottish only and move them into the Scottish and British box or even better the British only box.

        The propaganda on TV in the last decade is a perfect example where too many to even count have been named as “Great British….” this that and the other.

        The fact that there are undeniably politicians and their allies in the media who would like nothing more than to absorb the Scottish identity into that of a British is something worth highlighting as not everyone is even aware that such things are going on.

        I see nothing at all to be gained by pretending or ignoring that British Nationalism exists and in pointing out that it is British Nationalists who currently make our laws and decide where to spend our money. I think many more of those 62% who described themselves to be “Scottish only” may be convinced to vote Yes next time if they thought their Scottish identity was being undermined on a daily basis in an attempt to replace it with a British one made in Westminster.

        • grizebard says:

          Except as Simon Jenkins rather let out of the bag, we here are mere colonials of the English Empire. I’m old enough to remember when it was “England” this and “England” that, and the only change since has been in superficial presentation. Even the little bit of autonomy we managed to achieve in the last 20-odd years is being steadily eroded now. “British” as being propagated these days is an outright lie.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          and in pointing out that it is British Nationalists who currently make our laws and decide where to spend our money

          That is specifically politicians at Westminster, specifically Conservative politicians, specifically the Tory Government, and specifically BoJo and his crew of the Jolly Roger anyone who gets in their way and keelhaul the filthy prolateriat down to the depths below.

          But the term is applied by many to people in Scotland, and not even specifically politicians or activists, unfortunately many use it just to describe NO voters – which therefore includes our family, friends, neighbours, people who live in our towns and villages.

          As a term it is just to open to being abused – that’s if it is supposed to be only about the likes of BoJo and his lot.

          Ask yourself this: is it a term Sturgeon or Swinney would use to describe NO voters?

          • Alex Clark says:

            I never use the term Brit Nat anyway, however, if I did it would be specifically in terms of those that are undoubtedly Brit Nats who are mainly politicians or media figures with the odd, and more extreme Brit Nat such as Allistair McConnachie aka “manky jaikit” thrown in.

            I most definitely do not think of No voters as a homogeneous group and apply that description to them.

      • grizebard says:

        You continue to conflate ordinary people with propagandists. They’re fairly obviously not the same thing.

        And I’m still waiting for some positive alternative for re-framing, because re-framing is crucial, not least for those innocents about whom you are (rightly) most concerned.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          You continue to conflate ordinary people with propagandists. They’re fairly obviously not the same thing.

          No, I don’t.

          People who use the silly divisive negative term do, and people who hear the silly divisive negative term could, even if not directed at them.

          Which is why it’s so divisive, negative, and anti-independence, a playground insult which has absolutely no positive purpose for winning hearts and minds and gaining Scottish Independence, and whose only purpose for most people is to put down anyone who disagrees with them as in “You’re a British Nationalist, yah boo sucks. Tig.”.

          • scottish skier says:

            For me, I have always assumed that the term ‘Britnat’ is actually being used with respect to actual British nationalists. i.e. Tory / Orange order / George square rioter / online troll types.

            I think excessive and inappropriate use has no obvious benefit, and may be counterproductive, so agree with you. I don’t use it myself, although I do use the full term to describe that group as needed technically.

      • Eilidh says:

        So what do we call those people who singly or as a group identify themselves wholeheartedly as being supporters of the British state do we call them British Unionists. Some people would find that far more offensive than British Nationists due to the Unionist connections with Protestant Northern Ireland. Maybe we should just call them fascists because those who deny full democracy to Scotland are exactly that. I really do not understand why you are making such a fuss about the term British Nationalist. I have had the socially constructed term British foisted on me since the day I was born. As far I am concerned I am Scottish,European and a citizen of planet earth and always have been. I don’t acknowledge British as part of my identity and never will and it is irrelevant that it is mentioned on my passport

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Eilidh, why use the word “British” at all? Just call them “unionists” if they’re activists, same as they do, for instance Ruth Davidson: “I’m not as depressed as a number of unionists seem to be right now.

          or if they’re not activists, “voters”. Or just “people”.

          Why feel the need to use some derogatory tag?

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Or as Curtice said:

          However, as the prime minister himself acknowledged, unionists need to say more than that Scotland cannot afford independence. They need to make a positive case for the Union.

          Some times I call them unionist activists, some times if they’re quite nasty, unionist agitators. Leave the insults to them, is a winning strategy – the Tactics of Mistake as Gordon R. Dickson had his Dorsai Cletus Grahame describe it.

      • Donald McKillop says:

        I tend to think that is not his most academic book from the Canadian born Japanese, American academic, still good for non academics to try and read. Du mußt zustimmen schnee ist weiss.

        Regards Don.

        • Donald McKillop says:

          Sorry, once more meant as a reply to yesindyref2. I don’t really want to indulge in a test of the written word with him, that would be unfair.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          I liked the aims of the Curriculum for Excellence here in Scotland:

          Curriculum for Excellence places learners at the heart of education. At its centre are four fundamental capacities. These capacities reflect and recognise the lifelong nature of education and learning. The four capacities are aimed at helping children and young people to become:

          Successful learners
          Confident individuals
          Responsible citizens
          Effective contributors

          All good, but it’s “confident individuals” caught my eye when I first read it years ago because why not indeed? Back in my era confidence was something you were lucky if you managed to acquire, yet it makes you able to succeed – and also to resist, to cut a long story short, propaganda. The sort of propaganda Scotland has been subjected to for decades.

          I was lucky as I was always brought up to think I had more ability than I actually had, so a normal sense of confidence was at least replaced initially by over-confidence, rather than any feelings of inferiority. The good thing about it was that nobody was superior to me in my mind, but also, as I got better informed, I was superior to nobody.

          That’s my interest again to cut a long story short, in “Language in thought and action”, because if that theme had been taught from an early age in Scotland, the propaganda used in Scotland to make people think we’re too poor, too wee and too stupid would never have had a chance even to get started in peoples’ minds. It would have made people totally resistant.

          As it is, language is often used as a weapon, to make people feel inferior, dependent, weak, and to get an expected response, and without understanding of that, it often succeeds.

    • scottish skier says:

      Absolutely. The Tories are recognized as nationalist party, hence the flag in the logo; that and the fact that the UK is already an independent country.

      The SNP are not nationalist, but social-democratic liberal, hence the light yellow logo with no fleg. The are ‘national’ in that they back independence, but not nationalist in the conventional sense.

      Alba are the closest thing Scotland has to a nationalist party, hence the flag logo, however as Scotland isn’t independent, they get away with this for similar reasons to the above.

      If Scotland votes Yes, Alba need to dump the flag logo asap, as parties with flags in logos in independent countries are generally not very nice, i.e. ‘nationalist’ in the Tory/BNP/National front etc sense.

      The SNP have studiously avoided the saltire for this reason; had they used it, the ‘Tartan Tories’ label could have stuck much more readily.

  21. Dr Jim says:

    Right now today British Nationalists are swarming all over the internet attempting to convince the rest of us not to wear a mask because those are the lack of rules in England the country they pledge their allegiance to, forget about Wales who have the same rules as Scotland because poor old Wales like Scotland does not count to the British nationalist because we we are nothing and know nothing, well here’s how to prove masks do indeed work ……put a mask on and spit at the ground and you’ll soon find out that it all just stays right on your face and if that’s not protecting others from harm I don’t know what is

    I guess everybody in the rest of the world must be wrong too, it’s the British Nationalist way

  22. Capella says:

    As for nationalism segueing into fascism, there is a well trodden path.
    1 Claim national exceptionalism. Make ******* great again. World beating everything..
    2 Hark back to a glorious past – BREXIT, WWII, bring back imperial measures
    3 Identify enemies of the state – the EU, immigrants, Catholics etc etc (an endless list).

    It’s not difficult to identify. As for Nicola Sturgeon being a British Nationalist for celebrating Emma Raducanu’s tennis win, quite the opposite is the case. ER s a Canadian, Romanian, Chinese, British resident. NS is Scottish. I think that shows a remarkable lack of nationalism.

  23. Alex Clark says:

    This is a British Nationalist project that we are all paying for despite not all of us asking for it.

    ‘Festival of Brexit’: first events for divisive £120m project announced

    A celebration of British weather and a grow-your-own food initiative will be among the festivities

    Grow your own food! Only someone with a Brit Nat mindset could come up with crap like that.

  24. scottish skier says:

    No change here and so my average for 2021 remains 50.2% Yes ex DK.

    • scottish skier says:

      Remember this is not how people plan to vote in e.g. 2023, but for a hypothetical snap referendum sprung on voters by the SNP ‘tomorrow’, as per the question.

  25. Dr Jim says:

    British Nationalist Kwazi Kwarteng in the House of Commons states that MPs shouldn’t be quoting Brexit and blaming the government for todays problems, “these questions are irrelevant” he says

    Yer man Kwasi goes on to say that the UK government aren’t in the business of bailing out companies who failed to prepare or adapt to price increases

    Bernard Mathews says supplies of poultry will be affected, I’ll bet money that’s the only statement that’ll make England sit up and take notice of what they voted for, British Nationalists in Scotland will however still insist it’s all an exaggeration and there’s tons of HAGGIS out there just waiting to be shot

  26. Alex Clark says:

    These people in George Square celebrating the result of the referendum on 19th September 2014 are NOT representative of No voters and I doubt that many Independence supporters imply that they are when using the term British Nationalist.

    I also doubt there would be much payback in terms of winning support, in trying to persuade the majority of people at this gathering, of the merits of an Independent Scotland.

    • Capella says:

      Grim 😡

    • Dr Jim says:

      Aggressive nasty British Nationalist triumphalism as observed every Saturday at Ibrox park and demonstrated every time the Orange Order surface, there’s no thought to how they behave or what they do, they’re a collective tribe of dependent followers that a Chimp could lead

  27. Golfnut says:

    Some figures on oil and gas production you won’t see on the UK propaganda networks.

  28. Alex Clark says:

    The shortage of CO2 gas in the UK that is likely to result in major problems for the food and drink production industry is a problem that could be easily be resolved by a government that was not ideologically wedded to the idea that “the market” will always find its own solution to these so called supply problems.

    It’s amazing to realise that the great bulk of CO2 production in the UK is in the hands of two private companies, one Norwegian and the other American. The fact that they choose to shut down when the costs of producing their main product, which is fertilizer, exceeds what they can sell if for shouldn’t come as a surprise.

    The fact that the by-product CO2 is an essential requirement for other companies to operate is not of their concern. There is only one action that this government can take and it needs to make its mind up quickly. They either subsidise the costs of gas these companies use or they nationalise them and ensure that food products get from the farm to the shelf and are available to the populace.

    Or they could just ignore it and hope it all goes away and no one will blame them. Take your pick as to what the likely outcome will be.

    • James Mills says:

      Tory choice – nationalise a private company or subsidise a private company ?
      Well , let me think !!!

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Sorry Alex, but “The fact that they choose to shut down when the costs of producing their main product, which is fertilizer, exceeds what they can sell if for shouldn’t come as a surprise” is correct but based on an outright lie, and it’s HUGE one.
      All across Europe they’re talking maybe a max of +20% on domestic energy costs, even ignoring the bulk discounted for industrial consumers, say as a component of the product cost at 10%, so the product price increases by 2%… Does it not strike you as rather odd the EU fertiliser factories far from shutting down are ramping up ?
      It is not energy which has Kwarteng chasing his tail but the the collapsing freight sector finally hitting industrial production lines, the domino effect.
      They can’t ship enough in or out so they shut down production.
      It’s not Gas, it’s not power, it’s Brexit, hence the hugely inflated lie to avoid mention of the B word..

      • Alex Clark says:

        Bob, I had read your previous comments and this and can’t agree with your argument.

        In the UK the wholesale price of gas has increased by 300% this year alone and almost 500% from the lowest prices two years ago.

        The fertilizer companies in the UK are not British owned companies and I fail to see how a British government could dictate to them whether to keep their business running at a loss or not without simply taking them over.

        I’ll admit I do not know the scale of the increases in the price of gas that are happening in the EU right now or what their fertilizer companies are doing in terms of production. If they are ramping it up then that is good news as I guess UK slaughter houses will be able to import CO2 gas from there.

        What I do know though is that Centrica the UK’s largest gas supplier and owners of British Gas shut down the largest facility for storing gas in the UK in 2017 and left the UK hostage to shortages at any time. The EU has depleted their gas storage with the exceptional winter but at least hasn’t got rid of it altogether.

        I’m sure Brexit is in there and hasn’t helped but the energy shortage is due to much more than that, a lack of planning, ignorance of renewables, and government policy have all played their part. Particularly the ignorance part in my view.

      • Alex Clark says:

        Britain’s largest storage site for natural gas is to close permanently, leaving the country more dependent on imports and exposed to price shocks.

        Centrica, the UK energy group which owns British Gas, said it had concluded that its Rough storage facility off the Yorkshire coast could no longer be operated safely because of failures in its ageing wells.

        The 32-year-old site — a reservoir of permeable sandstone under the North Sea into which gas can be injected at times of surplus supplies and drawn from when needed — accounts for 70 per cent of UK gas storage capacity. It can meet a tenth of the country’s daily peak gas demand in winter.

        Loss of Rough will remove an important supply buffer during winter months when demand is highest, and leave the UK more reliant on gas imported via pipelines from mainland Europe or as liquefied natural gas brought by ship from places such as Qatar.

      • Capella says:

        Perhaps the fertilizer companies have shut down because British farmers and growers have had to dump massive amounts of produce because they can’t get people to pick the stuff and can’t get truckers to take it to market. Maybe they’ve not bought in any fertilizer for next year. BREXIT dividend.

  29. scottish skier says:

    Ok, so expect the lights to go out this winter. Certainly, if the weather patterns we’ve seen this summer continue into the winter, with high pressure dominating, it’s gonnae be a cauld yin!

    And ironically, we’ll be short of frozen food in addition to delivery drivers.

    No chance lights will go out, says government

    • James Mills says:

      … and no Tory Minister would ever lie !

    • Alex Clark says:

      30th Sep 2020 Boris Johnson at the podium as reported in the Guardian.

      There was a word of encouragement for students that he would personally make sure they would all go home for Christmas, regardless of whether they wanted to or not.

      I commented at the time “Students everywhere, don’t be booking tickets to get home for Xmas.”

      My advice today on hearing “No chance lights will go out” would be, best get some candles in.

      • Welsh_Sion says:

        My advice today on hearing “No chance lights will go out” would be, best get some candles in.


        Waxing lyrical, Alex?

        Better go – before I get on your wick …

        [EXIT, pursued by irate Scotsman]

  30. WT says:

    I have to say that I agree with everything yesindyref2 has said about the use of the term BritNat. I cannot see any way that its use in any way helps to promote Scottish independence. I can understand why people might use it to vent their anger or frustration but our job as YES voters is to convert NO voters to become YES voters. I hardly ever see any discussion on here btl as to how we should do this. Contributors often seem to get caught up in what unionists used to call grievance and then the others pile on in agreement. We need to concentrate our efforts at the task at hand.

    When anyone mentions ALBA, off we go attacking them, ABLA this ABLA that. When Christopher Rosindale made some excellent points that attempted to list areas requiring attention as part of an embryonic prospectus for independence, he was jumped on. And this is the trouble: rather than noting the very relevant content concerning the “severing of the 300+ year old cross-border community in Southern Scotland” which might be “severely disruptive socially, economically and politically” (over)confident statements about how the border will function after independence and how people will not have to worry about their nationalities are trotted out missing the important point, that what actually happens after independence is of secondary consideration to how the people in the borders perceive or fear what might happen after independence. This is about allaying those fears and building confidence in the opportunities that independence might offer them. Pre Indyref2 is all about perception and confidence.

    We know why they are putting the Union Flag on everything, we know why they talk up British values, British spirit and the rest of the British fantasy, but ultimately, if we spend our time attacking other YES voters and continue to carp on about BritNats – how does this promote Scottish independence? How does this convert one NO to YES?

    • Golfnut says:

      Alba spent almost the entirety of their recent conference attacking the SNP and the Scottish government, fb is awash with Alba supporters using the same arguments as the britnats to discredit and undermine them in the eyes of the Scottish people. If you can point me in the direction of anything positive they have contributed to Scotland’s emancipation I would be pleased to hear of it.

    • Dr Jim says:

      If you were leading a political party that purported to support Independence for Scotland but lost massively at the first election even though you’d been planning it for over a year and you were polling as the most unpopular politician in the British Isles a long way behind the most unpopular Tory PM ever, for the benefit of the country you say you love would you not stand down and keep your very large unpopular mouth tightly closed if it in any way affected those chances of the country actually becoming Independent or would you keep right on damaging the actual political party that can get the job done yet still pretend you’re the genuine article when the entire electorate bar 1.6% disagree with you and weekly polling suggests that will never change because those same voters do not either trust you or just downright don’t like you

      So how many converts to YES is this bunch managing, and our survey says, *none*, because that’s not what they exist for is it, they exist for an entirely other purpose

    • grizebard says:

      I suggest you should be preaching at the Alba lot first before trying it on here. Go first where the error is greatest, surely? Yet I’ve never seen any sign of your efforts elsewhere. Why ever not?

      (Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t believe this is the first time I’ve had to point out the obvious to you over this either.)

  31. Alex Clark says:

    “We know why they are putting the Union Flag on everything, we know why they talk up British values, British spirit and the rest of the British fantasy”

    That would be the British Nationalists then promoting Britain by waving their Union flags, they exist and ignoring that fact doesn’t help the cause of Independence but opening peoples eyes does. This might or might not surprise you but an ordinary No voter does not in any way want to associate themselves with the antics of extreme Nationalism of any kind.

    Pointing out that it exists is not just the right thing to do but in my opinion necessary because the Brit Nats I’m talking of are extremists and it does no good to ignore them when they are so abundant. Ignorance is not always bliss.

  32. yesindyref2 says:

    You can just imagine the scenario:

    “How did you vote in the last Indy Ref?”

    “I voted NO”.

    “You’re a nawbag British Nationalist”

    “Oh right, I didn’t realise that, I’d better vote YES next time”.

    Ummm …

    • James Mills says:

      Yes , and that scenario will happen , will it ?
      Any concerned Independence voter would be a little more restrained – only an idiot would think THAT response was appropriate or think that it would happen !

      I don’t believe that there are too many idiots promoting Independence who would have that approach . Do you ?.

      • yesindyref2 says:

        It’s an allegory.

        Anyways, busy day tomorrow^H^H^H^H^H^Hday, nite nite, sleep tight, don’t let the BritNats bite.

    • grizebard says:

      Oh, puhlease. This is just getting silly now (and past boring). Your basic point is fair enough, since it’s obvious that it makes no sense to alienate the very people we need to convert. You’re pushing on an open door there. So there’s no need to bang on about it ad nauseam and now reduce it to caricature.

      • grizebard says:

        And if I may add, while recommending your motivation, I believe your basic premise here in particular (and implicitly elsewhere) is flawed. Who would be offended by the term “BritNat”? Self-identification is the key here.

        Someone who was a Unionist propagandist would already know they were a BritNat, and presumably would be proud of the appellation. Just as the familiarly-termed “ScotNats” (ie. conventionally, members of the SNP) equally are of theirs.

        But how would the “soft-no”, someone who, by definition, can at least see some merit in independence and perhaps only hesitates eg. because of economic uncertainty, possibly self-identify by the appellation “BritNat”? If they knew the term at all, they would – quite rightly – presume it applied to others and not themselves. So how could they then possibly be offended by it…?

        • scottish skier says:

          This would be correct. Only a reader thinking themselves a British nationalist would see the term as directed at them. Scottish unionist voters who don’t identify as British, or feel mainly Scottish, would not think it about them, but about orange order / rabid Tory types etc. After all, if they are online, they will be reading actual Britnat comments too, so they seen who is being talked about!

          You’d have to actually direct the term towards them clearly for anyone to take offence. Even then, they’d take offence with the person doing that, not the whole movement.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          I covered some of that in my reply just made to Donald McKillop, but for this:

          If they knew the term at all, they would – quite rightly – presume it applied to others and not themselves.

          is wrong in my opinion. Firstly they are unlikely to generally know the term as it is a contrived term, used in the Independence debate context by one side only, so unless they’re actually involved in the debate they won’t know it. The vast majority of voters at the moment would, I would say, pay little attention at the moment, Covid is still more of an issue.

          So when they come across it, it will be in some article or posting, or even facebook or twitter comment, that uses the term in a derogatory sense – as indeed most do.

          And many of them might think:

          “But I’m British, it says so on my passport and driving licence, why are Independence supporters abusing me?”.

          Anyways I’m out of here. I either made my point – or I failed. But no harm in trying, it’s just one point of view. After all, who can really tell what the rest of the 4.1 million currently uninvolved voters will really think of it all?

          • scottish skier says:

            As noted, I don’t use the term for reasons you talk about. For me, it is obvious to all who a British nationalist is. They march in large numbers through Glasgow, spitting on scots. Everyone watches them rioting on the TV in George square with their union flags. They are the right / Brexit wing of the Tories, the BNP, the National Front, the Orange Order, British Terrorist groups such as the UVF…online trolls hating Sturgeon and the SNP….

            People should use the term freely for these, but only these, obviously.

            Buy aye, yer common or gairden Scot disnae inhabit the indyweb, so will be none the wiser to most of what goes on there.

            What they do see oan the telly is a British nationalist PM / Government, Orange Order Marches, racism and harking back to the imperial past with union flags plastered on everything, and they ken whit that aw means.

            • yesindyref2 says:

              The term is only for use for preaching to the already converted “They’re BritNats”, “Yes, they’re BritNats”, “They’re awful BritNats”, “Yes, they’re dreadful people”. NOT for when trying to talk to the rest of the population – unless the term is fully defined every time “It’s not you, it’s about those nasty Unionist activists”.

              Which does beg the question – why use a term that can offend at all? To get back at the British Nationalists? Who, seriously, cares? What about the collateral damage?

              And, of course, a further question. Why bother talking to the already converted, shouldn’t we be trying to talk to the undecideds and NOes?

              I did say I was off, ho hum. Tidying up after finishing a 2 week hard work job for my wee business.

              • scottish skier says:

                And, of course, a further question. Why bother talking to the already converted, shouldn’t we be trying to talk to the undecideds and NOes?

                I do this all the time. I helped generate 4 new Yes party voters ahead of May and they’ll be voting Aye in iref2. Been working on them for a while. Of course all credit to Sturgeon’s SNP too for extending the franchise to them (here working on visas in the oil and gas industry), albeit it two recently got their citizenships anyway.

                I’ve a list which must be almost as long as my arm now of friends, colleagues and neighbours (and even some online in other forums) I’ve helped along the road to Yes. Never told them what to vote or called them names, just answered questions and explained why I vote the way I do.

                I’ve an English (Labour voting) couple from up the road now considering Yes. They were terrified of the idea before, but since brexit have become receptive. Also since chatting so much about it with a Scottish person while walking the dogs. Not sure I’ll get them to vote Yes, but they likely won’t vote against (they are retired, so do sort of see it as something for young scots). What is key is that they’re not scared now, and are starting to think it may be the best for Scotland. Helps that the lady’s mum was actually Danish.

                This is how it’s done. Was it not Margo that said each of us only needs to help one other on the road? If so, I’ve defo done my bit. And you know what’s best, when you help someone to yes, they generally start doing the same to others around them.

  33. scottish skier says:

    Great article on British Nationalism in the National Paul.

    Worth remembering that the terrorist wing of the British community in Scotland.

    We’ve been told to fear the Irish flag of peace and unity between orange and green, but it’s the British terrorist groups who have bombed Scotland and trashed its streets.

    Links with loyalist paramilitaries
    There have long been links between the Orange Order in Scotland and Protestant Ulster loyalists in Northern Ireland.[16] After the onset of the Troubles, many Scottish Orangemen began giving support to loyalist militant groups,[17] such as the Ulster Defence Association (UDA) and Ulster Volunteer Force (UVF). These groups had cells in Scotland that were tasked with supplying funds and weapons.[18] Although the Grand Lodge publicly denounced paramilitary groups, many British Orangemen in Scotland were convicted of involvement in loyalist paramilitary activity,[19] and Orange meetings were used to raise funds for loyalist prisoners’ welfare groups.[20][21]

    In the early years of The Troubles, the Order’s Grand Secretary in Scotland, John Adam, toured Orange lodges for volunteers to “go to Ulster to fight”. Thousands are believed to have volunteered, although only a small number travelled to Ulster.[17][22] At The Twelfth in 1970, British Grand Master Thomas Orr publicly declared that British Orangemen from Scotland would support Ulster loyalists “in every way possible”.[23]

    In 1974, Orangeman and former soldier Roddy MacDonald became the UDA’s ‘commander’ in Scotland.[24] In 1976, senior British Orangemen in Scotland tried to expel him after he admitted on television that he was a UDA leader and had smuggled weapons to Northern Ireland. However, his expulsion was blocked by 300 Orangemen at a special disciplinary hearing.[24][25][26] Following this, the Grand Lodge of Scotland issued a resolution condemning all militant groups who “seek to usurp the law”.[27] In 1979, MacDonald was sentenced to eight years in prison. His successor as British UDA commander in Scotland, James Hamilton, was also an Orangeman and had been auditor of the Ayrshire Grand Lodge.[24]

    In February 1979, the UVF bombed two pubs in Glasgow frequented by Catholics. Both pubs were wrecked and a number of people were wounded. Nine British men from Scotland were convicted for involvement,[28] some of whom were Orangemen.[19] That same year, twelve British UDA members – including several Orangemen – were convicted for a range of crimes, including possession of illegal firearms and serious assault.[24] In 1989, another six UDA members were convicted for possession of illegal firearms. All of the men belonged to an Orange lodge in Perth.[29]

    I’ve changed ‘Scottish’ to ‘British’ etc as should be the case. If anyone is a wiki editor, they might want to do the same on the real article.

    The reality is that Scottish (not British) people are not and never have been part of the orange order or unionists terrorist groups. Only people who nationally identify as British would do so.

    • scottish skier says:

      And genuinely, saying ‘Scottish UVF members’ is as completely ridiculous as saying ‘Irish UVF members’.

      In N. Ireland, you have Irish people and British people with some in between. Just the same as here. The equivalent of ‘Irish people (in N. Ireland)’ is ‘Scottish people (in Scotland)’.

      It’s therefore total nonsense to talk about ‘British loyalists’ when talking about NI, but suddenly about ‘Scottish Loyalists’ when you are in Glasgow. They are all British loyalists; neither Irish nor Scottish (in primary nationality / national identity).

      This is the English/British tying to pretend the nasty racist elements of their own community are ‘Scots’.

  34. bringiton says:

    Until such time as Britishness is viewed in the same way as Scandinavian or Balkan for example it will always be associated with English domination of our islands.
    The problem that “British” people residing in British countries outwith England have is that the terms UK/British/English are used interchangeably by the English establishment leaving them open to the charge of being colonists of the country they live in.
    Much looser arrangements between the countries of Britain are required in order to satisfy the democratic aspirations of those countries that constitute Great Britain and are not called England.
    Not going to happen easily with the present right wing junta in London who see force as being a valid tool to be used to preserve their present dominance.
    Let’s hope this can be resolved peaceably.

    • Capella says:

      Good article. Raises the question,why? Why are UK energy prices so much higher?

      • Legerwood says:

        Partly because the UK has so little storage capacity that it ends up having to buy at the top of the market.

        I think it was during the bad 2010-11 winters that this deficiency came to light. The UK had about 2-3 weeks of gas reserves while France and Germany had 2-3 months with the result that the UK had to buy gas when prices were at their highest.

        Time does not appear to have improved that situation. If anything it has become worse.

      • Alex Clark says:

        It looks like at least some if not all of the disparity in energy prices between the UK and the EU can be attributed to Brexit.

        As Mark Haller writes for West England Bylines, the UK has elected to remain outside the EU Internal Energy Market, even though a considerable amount of the country’s energy needs are met by Europe. As a result, the UK has lost significant control over prices, losing the ability to participate in the energy auctions that determine the cost of fuel. Indeed, almost half of the UK’s gas supply is imported from the continent.

        There are undoubtedly a range of global factors, beyond Brexit that have contributed to the rising prices, namely: high demand for liquefied natural gas from Asia, low winds causing less renewable energy to be generated, and outages at some nuclear power stations.

        However, these factors do not change the basic fact that Brexit has accentuated the problem, not least by reducing the UK’s ability to respond through the EU Internal Energy Market.

  35. dakk says:

    Would like to think the UK energy crisis may concentrate a few ‘No’ voting “Scottish” minds as to the wisdom of an energy rich country such as Scotland having no control of it’s own energy due to not being a normal independent state.

    Probably not.

    A ‘stick on an extra cardigan and get hoovering’ public information ad from the English government would suffice as wisdom for some.

    I mean if people can stomach illegal wars, Brexit, Trident, and food banks then what’s a few toes lost to frost bite.

    There may be a few very stiff upper and lower lips this winter.

    Forgot to mention, also one of the highest covid death rates in the world.

    Better together, union dividend it must be.


  36. Dr Jim says:

    The Orange Order marches saw 18 arrests at the weekend for various breaches of the law but a new offence I’ve not heard of seems to have become part of these various offences and it’s “hateful singing”
    I’m puzzled as to when the crime of overt racism was downgraded to “hateful singing”

    If these same people are caught on camera at their favourite football club behaving in this manner the club bans them from attending, so do the Orange Order have a duty to ban them for the same offences because if they don’t then there is no deterrent to behaving in this way, indeed the opposite must be the case, and if it is then the Orange Order must be a lawless organisation

    Is not that a reason to drag these racists to court and get them banned the legal and proper constitutional way, so which lawyer takes the risk and subjects him/herself to the threats and menaces that they would know would follow by taking such a case forward and of course derailing their own career in the process

    These people are vile and they go all the way up to you know who in the big London defenders of the faith elite and her government

    Another reason for Scotland to be Independent

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