The task ahead

On Monday the First Minister addressed delegates on the last day of the SNP’s virtual conference and gave us all some much needed certainty about the timing of the second Scottish independence referendum, or at least as much certainty as is possible when the world is dealing with an inherently unpredictable global pandemic which has taken millions of lives already, and which continues to pose a grave danger.

Given the constraints imposed by the uncertainties of the pandemic, the Scottish Government intends to ramp up campaigning for independence in spring of the coming year, and later in the year will set the process in motion for the referendum to be held in 2023. The idea is that the early part of next year should be spent laying out a renewed case for independence in order to go into the inevitable political battle with a Conservative Government which knows that it is bereft of a compelling case for a union that it itself is destroying with the support of as broad a range of Scottish public opinion as possible, and to enter the referendum campaign proper with a solid platform of independence support which will carry Scotland to assert its desire for independence in the subsequent vote.

The BBC and the rest of Scotland’s overwhelmingly anti-independence media is very fond of telling us that support for independence has slipped back since last year when Yes was consistently ahead in the polls and at one point support for independence reached 58%. However what the British media is less keen to point out is that even if support for independence has slipped back, this also means that support in Scotland for staying with the not so tender mercies of the Westminster system is extremely fragile.

While there is a significant and highly vocal minority in Scotland, validated by the media, which is opposed to independence under any circumstances, at least 58% of the population of Scotland – indeed probably more – is not only open to the idea of independence, but is already on the verge of committing to it. They have already toyed with the idea of independence to the extent of thinking about voting yes in a future referendum. The task before us in the coming year is to reach out to this vital segment of the population and to assuage any fears or doubts that they may have in order to turn their wavering support for independence into a solid determination to vote yes. That is a job which ought to be considerably less challenging than attempting to covert a confirmed No voter to Yes.

The questions and issues which face us as we go into this second referendum are different in some key aspects from the issues which dominated the campaign of 2014. Economic discussions will not be dominated by Scotland’s oil and gas resources but rather by the country’s immense potential for the production of energy from renewable and clean sources. Possessing a quarter of the entire European potential for wind energy production, as well as a massive potential for tidal and wave energy production, independence could unlock for Scotland a future as an energy rich nation, Europe’s green powerhouse. And unlike the oil and gas, no one can claim that the wind and tides are going to run out.

Another significant difference is that the experience of the pandemic has proven that Scotland does not require the Westminster Parliament in order to deal with threats and challenges, even those of a global magnitude. Indeed we learned with Johnson’s shambolic, incompetent and chaotic response to the pandemic that Westminster actually endangers Scotland and puts us at greater risk. Furthermore we learned that the priority of this British Government was not the public good but private interests and the corrupt and sleazy handing out of lucrative contracts to the friends and associates of senior Government figures.

The argument that Scotland required Westminster in order to fund furlough payments is a specious one as Westminster had reserved to itself the necessary borrowing powers. It’s a bit like being told that you can’t leave your controlling partner because you need them to pay the household bills after they have refused to give you access to the bank account and refuse to allow you to get a credit card. There is absolutely no reason why an independent Scotland couldn’t do as every other independent nation has done and make its own borrowing arrangements.

However perhaps the biggest difference of all will be the discussion around Scotland’s relationships with Europe and the rest of the world. Brexit has destroyed the British nationalist claim that support for Scottish independence is inward looking and parochial. It has also destroyed the pretensions of British nationalists that British nationalism is inherently non-nationalist and laid bare the ugly reality of British nationalism as reactionary, xenophobic, and founded upon an unshakeable belief in British exceptionalism.

Brexit and the lies, deceit and untrustworthiness of Brexit Britain in its dealings with the EU has ensured that the British state will find it far less easy than it did in 2014 to produce a succession of foreign politicians willing to make statements which are helpful to the anti-independence campaign. Furthermore it has generated considerable international sympathy for an independent Scotland and a much greater understanding in other countries about why Scottish independence is desirable.

It is now unarguable that the quickest and easiest route for Scotland to get back into the European single market and customs area and to restore the rights of freedom of movement that Brexit stripped from Scots, along with everyone else in the UK, is with independence. This of course raises questions about the Scottish-English border for which we need answers. We must act decisively to put to rest any British nationalist claims that there will be passport checks at Gretna. Scotland will remain a part of the passport-free Common Travel Area along with Ireland. Any border checks will apply solely to commercial traffic and can be carried out away from the border itself.

The coming year will be crucial for the future of Scotland. For too long the independence movement has been obsessed with process and what to do if Boris Johnson refuses to consent to a referendum. It seems that the strategy of the Scottish Government is to press ahead with a referendum and to dare Johnson to challenge it. The best way to tackle that eventuality is to work to ensure that there is such a groundswell of support in Scotland for independence and for Scotland’s inalienable right to determine its own future in another referendum that Johnson and the Tories realise that any attempt by Downing Street to veto Scottish democracy will catastrophically backfire on them and will guarantee the political destruction of Scottish unionism. That’s what intend to devote my time and energies to in the weeks and months ahead. 2022 arrives in a few short weeks and Scotland’s time is coming.

Just to let you know, I am currently going through a phase of what my physiotherapist calls neurological hypersensitivity. Nerves and sensation are starting to reawaken on the left side of my body, however because my brain has had no input from the left for many months and because the relevant parts of the brain suffered damage in the stroke, the brain is interpreting these signals as pain.  It’s uncomfortable and exhausting but it is a sign of progress and therefore is good news.  Hopefully my brain will relearn what these signals really mean and the pain will diminish and I will have meaningful sensation.  However in the meantime it’s causing a lot of fatigue and exhaustion as well as pain, so I will be blogging less frequently until symptoms settle down.

albarevisedMy Gaelic maps of Scotland are still available, a perfect gift for any Gaelic learner or just for anyone who likes maps. The maps cost £15 each plus £7 P&P within the UK. You can order by sending a PayPal payment of £22 to (Please remember to include the postal address where you want the map sent to).

I am now writing the daily newsletter for The National, published every day from Monday to Friday in the late afternoon.  So if you’d like a daily dose of dug you can subscribe to The National, Scotland’s only pro-independence newspaper, here: Subscriptions from The National

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92 comments on “The task ahead

  1. James Mills says:

    As to the Border Question if/when we rejoin the EU – Johnson simply ignored the Brexit Border Controls in Northern Ireland , so ask the Tories if the same lax attitude will apply to Scotland !

    • scottish skier says:

      As per my post at the tail end of the last thread, N. Ireland is reaping the benefits of being half outside the English wall. It’s economy is rapidly reorientating towards Ireland and the EU due to the hard border down the Irish sea.

      Brexit Protocol brings economic uplift to Northern Ireland – performance better than rest of UK

      …Analysis of the Office for National Statistics experimental figures for gross value added (GVA) from all UK regions showed Northern Ireland’s economic output in the three months to September was just 0.3% below the last quarter of 2019, before Covid-19 had struck.

      In contrast, the overall economic performance of the UK as a whole had fallen 2.1% in the same period, the Financial Times said..

      Scotland completely outside would benefit even more, just like Ireland is enjoying a brexit boom.

    • Clydebuilt says:

      James. . . . There will be two answers to that question . . . . The hostile one before the vote . . . . And the pragmatic one after we vote to become A Normal Independent Country

  2. deelsdugs says:

    Great stuff Paul!

  3. scottish skier says:

    A really good summary of the task hand Paul.

    The border one is very interesting as I keep saying a hard border will not harm Scotland, and should in fact benefit us as it puts England at a disadvantage, not Scotland. It is always better to be outside a massive barrier to trade than be isolated within one.

    Nicely, N. Ireland is becoming a great example proving this. Being half outside the wall with a hard border down the Irish sea is proving very beneficial for it economically.

    That and it still sort of has full free movement in that Ireland has that with the EU, and N. Ireland has it with Ireland and the UK. I suspect, unlike the UK, N. Ireland is not facing mass, uncontrolled emigration of skilled workers. Rather, like Eire, it is enjoying an influx of these from the UK as the latter undergoes long term skills/brain drain*.

    Article in my post above.

    *Nothing could support the evident UK brain drain more than the talent of the current UK government.

  4. Hamish100 says:

    Good summation.

    “… Emancipation, self-government and Independence were your way-points. Freedom, justice and self-determination have been your guides.” So says Prince Charles- but not to us.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Yes indeed, Charlie even talked about Barbados’s national pride an extremely important thing for them and others but apparently Scottish people have no right to something so freedom and self determination sounding as pride, we must know our place in the great scheme of British Englishness like the folk in Barbados used to submit to until they ejected it from their country, and now they’ve rejected the English Royals to go along with it

      It should be noted as well that Mr Prince Charlie the self professed *greeny* took a jet halfway around the world to congratulate those folks on their decision to get rid of him and his family, I mean really, has the guy no got a phone or an internet connection powered by recyclable dandelions to do that

      The BBC of course reported that Barbados will still be part of the *Commonwealth* well no they won’t, whit part of word Republic evades their brains, they might have said come again anytime for a wee visit if you feel like it but you don’t get to wear your wee crown hat and uniform wae the feathers stickin oot yer heid

      I guess we’ll be seeing a lot of Union kilted Royal feathery hats waving at us over the next wee while trying to convince us they’re the same species as us, honest we are, then they’ll have to disagree with us about our right to self determination right up until the time they congratulate us for self determining to be free

      Who knows maybe like the Barbadians Scotland will have the right to reparations from the British or whatever they’ll call themselves next

      • Alastair Gunn says:

        The BBC of course reported that Barbados will still be part of the *Commonwealth* well no they won’t, whit part of word Republic evades their brains

        There are 54 countries in the Commonwealth. 15 of them “Commonwealth Realms” that have the Queen as their head of state (be that as the Queen of Antigua and Barbuda, Queen of Australia etc etc), 5 are monarchies that have someone other than the Queen as their head of stage (such as the Sultan of Brunei or King ʻAhoʻeitu Tupou VI of Tongo) and the rest are republics.

    • Alex Montrose says:

      by the 6ish news programmes on the BBC, ITV and Ch4, Charlie’s speech had been edited with no mention of the “… Emancipation, self-government and Independence were your way-points. Freedom, justice and self-determination have been your guides.” part.

      • grizebard says:

        Bit too close to home for consumption by the already-restless natives here, eh?

        Somebody please keep a copy of the full vid so we can replay the ever-so-incendiary “missing bit” next indyref. So we have a contribution more substantial – however inadvertently – ready and waiting from the House of Windsor than that artfully-staged wee cluck last time from Her Maj.

  5. P Harvey says:

    Great post Paul – the campaign starts now!

  6. scottish skier says:

    The face of modern Britain / England.

    Hastings RNLI lifeboat crew ‘blocked from going out to sea’ by people angry at them rescuing refugees

    The RNLI has confirmed an incident took place following claims Hastings RNLI lifeboat crew were blocked from going out to sea by people angry at them for rescuing refugees in the Channel.

    A group of people on Hastings beach reportedly shouted “horrible” abuse at the RNLI volunteer crew, according to a caller to James O’Brien’s LBC radio show on Thursday (November 25). Zoe, from Hastings, told the presenter she witnessed the group blocking the RNLI lifeboat and shouting, “don’t bring any more of those home, we’re full up, that’s why we stopped our donations, and that kind of really horrible stuff.” She added: “It was really upsetting, and you could hear the hatred in their voice.”

    If you want to know why England has mass, uncontrolled emigration, with the exit gates packed with anyone who can get out, then this is it.

    • P Harvey says:

      Absolute disgrace!
      I also heard refugees phoning from the middle of the channel to England were told – your not in English national waters & when they called the French side were told your not in french international waters
      This is absolutely disgraceful – anyone in trouble on the water should be assisted, no matter the situation. What has England become!!!

      • Clydebuilt says:

        “What has England become?”

        A country to hurry through on your way to somewhere nice. . . . .

  7. Hamish100 says:

    Terrible mind set by I hope a few small minded “little englanders”

    I am sure most folk support the RNLI and understand their role in saving lives no matter what creed, age, sex, colour or nationality

    • scottish skier says:

      This is a product of brexit and the UK government. The racists are always with us, but the UK government has given them a voice, and is doing their bidding. After all, Patel wants to use force against the migrant boats, pushing them back, endangering the lives of those on board. Starmer is jumping on the bandwagon, accusing the Tories of not being tough enough on the people in the boats.

      Boats full of HGV drivers, carers, chefs, front of house staff…while the UK faces an ever more acute labour shortage as the exit gates are packed with EU passport holders getting while the still can.

      At this moment I am wondering how acute the labour shortage will become before exit visas are brought in to stop Brits leaving. It’s the natural fascist next step after ending their free movement. It’s how you get the super cheap (mainly white) labour for the workhouses that is the Tory dream.

    • Marc says:

      Of course, it is. From the reports, it was a small group of idiots. But in this social media age it seems they are all the ones that get the ‘headlines’. In that very same article it mentions:

      On Thursday evening, an estimated 250 people gathered on the Stade in Hastings Old Town to hold a moving vigil for the 27 people who died when their boat capsized.

      Last week, businesses and local people were thanked for helping 93 people who arrived on Hastings beach after being rescued by lifeboats in the Channel.
      One group – 35 men and five teenage boys – spent two days at sea in a small dinghy before they were picked up by Hastings RNLI inshore lifeboat on November 16. RNLI crew helped them on to the shore near the harbour arm in Hastings Old Town. They were met by police stationed on the beach and later handed over to Border Force officials. Volunteers from Hastings Supports Refugees handed out hot drinks, food, warm clothing and blankets to the group – from Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Palestine and various African countries.

      They’re are the sort of things that should be all over social media; instead, the media/social media concentrates on the tiny fraction of the population that do things like blocking lifeboats giving them the publicity they don’t deserve.

    • scottish skier says:

      I really wish it were only a small group of idiots…

      If it was, we’d still be in the EU and not facing a mass emigration, economic and creeping fascism crisis.

      But British/English voters voted for this, and it gets worse every day.

      • Marc says:

        Think there is a big difference between trying to stop a lifeboat and voting for Brexit!

        All of this, of course, has nothing to do with Scottish Independence. No one is going to switch from no to yes because of what a few people on the south coast of England did!

        • grizebard says:

          Indeed. Obvious, really.

        • scottish skier says:

          The goal was not to stop the lifeboats going to sea, it was to turn around migrant / refugee boats, which is UK government policy, and policy key to brexit.

          For many people I know, it’s an important part of their support for indy. I feel the same, hence talking about the issue.

  8. I came across a wee half hidden piece by Red Tory’s Jock Lone Gunman, Ian Murray as I scrolled thought he Dead Tree Scrolls headlines online efforts fleetingly yesterday.
    The man in the tree piece butcher’s apron, sole survivor of the English Labour, now New New neo-conservative Labour, clones of the Balir and Brown era, Murray had 10 questions which he demanded that the Scottish Government answer iro to Independence.
    Now this wee man, darling of the Morningside silver haired ladies, actually believes that he has some sort of overriding authority, that his voice counts for anything at all in Scotland, and since he is backed by the might of England and their armies, that he can stop his fellow Scots in their tracks, because we are a vanquished nation, held fast by arms and threats to our economy and trade by the likes of Sarwar dross Coal Scuttle and Murray himself.
    They would open the gates during the night while we all slept and let English dragoons into our land, and ‘bayonet the wounded’?
    I can’t recall the lot, because the Record has withdrawn this drivel sharpish.
    But it was the usual mish mash, threats and downright lies from the Project Fear I Handbook.
    He lied when he asserted that r UK would not still be liable for, and legally bound to continue to pay our state pensions.
    The DWP confirmed that retired Scots who had paid into the system would continue to be paid their RP from the English Treasury, just like ‘ex-pats’ in Spain, Canada Australia, and so on.

    My sister in law in Australia has just ‘bought years’, paying for notional contributions into the UK scheme and shall receive a full UK state pension when she gives up the ghost and retires; In Australia

    Another one of his 10 ‘demands’ asserts that Scotland would have to join the Euro to get back into the EU.
    We have debunked this crap many many times.

    Oh and what about the trade with England we’d lose?
    Aye, right.

    If and When Scotland rejoins the EU, we shall have the same trading arrangements with rUK as the other 27 nations in the trade bloc.

    Oh, and there will be a hard border between England, his adopted home, and Scotland..and passports, and, and.

    Enough from me.

    Paul covers some of this nonsense above.

    WE shall open up our ports and export directly to Europe and the rest of the world.

    We shall have our own currency, Mr Murray, and a Central bank.

    WE will be wooed by suitors from Europe to open up satellites, in manufacture, industry, finance, as a New EU member.
    It is essential that we ridicule this nonsense loud and wide and name names.
    Murray lied..
    He is a pointless reminder of the Gang of Wasters who looted Scotland since the War.
    Let’s make sure all Scots know this.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      I know we shouldn’t give Murray Mint too much oxygen, but I found you the article, Jack:

      Labour 10 questions on independence as SNP veteran says ‘hard work’ not being done

      Ian Murray MP, Labour’s Shadow Scottish Secretary published questions ranging from currency to pensions.

      ByTorcuil Crichton Westminster Editor

      14:11, 28 NOV 2021

      • Well done, WS.
        How long will it take to set up an independent state, he muses?
        At 22.00 hours on the eve of Indyref 2, Mr Murray.

        The captain of the Scottish Football team will be eligible to apply for Scottish citizenship, just like wot Norn Irn citizens wife, Belfast born, is an Irish citizen, and enjoys all the rights and privileges of EU membership.
        Scots throughout the world can apply for Scottish citizenship; but only those Scots citizens currently living working and paying their taxes here may vote in the now imminent Referendum.
        As you can see from Murray’s ‘list’, they have nothing to offer. threaten, or bully us to force us to remain a conquered colony of England.
        They have one MP in Scotland, yet this insignificant man gets the full treatment from the hacks.

        • iusedtobeenglish says:

          Unfortunately, thanks to the united efforts of the MSM, these are just the sort of questions I suspect will sway undecideds. In fact, some of them resemble some of my own questions in 2014 – though neither posed nor meant with such arrogant aggression.

          It may be as well to have the answers to this sort of guff ready…

    • JoMax says:

      As someone said in a post yesterday, they are very afraid. The reason? They know that one day those Scots who haven’t already twigged will find out just what Murray’s Anglo-British Labour Party and their buddies, the Anglo-British Tories and the Anglo-British Whigs (aka Liberals, aka LibDems) have been doing to, and just as important, not doing for Scotland for over 300 years. Many of us here came to that realisation a long time ago, the rest are either not interested or have not gone looking for the truth. They’re in for a shock.

      From your description of Murray’s ramblings, he’s all out of scare tactics and is regurgitating the same old tripe. He must have been ‘in conference’ with Gordy Broon on instruction from one Knight of the Realm, Servant of the Queen, Keir Starmer.

      • “How would you protect the pensions of people who have paid into the UK wide state pension scheme?”
        Ian Murray set out to terrify frail elderly pensioners living on the worst State Pension in Europe as part of his precious Union.
        There are octogenarians who will be taken in by this litle moutebank and his Cut and Pastry Hack [al, Torcuil Crichton.
        This is not ‘journalism’. It is Goebbels’ strength lies,,propaganda, and threats.
        Chrichton knows that DWP confirmed that rUK is legally obliged to continue paying state pensions if Scots had contributed to the scheme before Independence.
        They are reduced to bare faced lying but couched as a weasel worded enquiry.
        So this hirsute ba’ faced little nobody gets away with bullying our frail and elderly, on the instructions of his English Overlords.

  9. grizebard says:

    The “hard border” is surely going to be a prime issue next time, both in terms of trade (“we’re oh, so dependent on England for our economic well-being”) and in interpersonal relations (the “Magrit Curran” factor). So we had better be well-prepared for both.

    As for trade, hopefully the Irish examples (both sides of the border) will inform a better understanding of realities. But I hope someone is keeping those videos of Boris, Oily Gove and the rest of them glibly assuring us that everything would go perfectly swimmingly at the EU-NI interface, that “technology would easily take the strain”.

    There is a potential difficulty with freedom of movement of the exact same nature as with the former currency union proposal, namely that however objectively straightforward the solution might be, because it crucially depends on the Unionists demonstrating goodwill, it offers a propaganda hostage to fortune. Just like the abject Miliband last time, the English can all line up to declare that they simply won’t allow an extended Common Travel Area, and hope that it’s only the Yes side that needs to explain. There isn’t a potentially sticky area that the Unionists won’t throw sand at in order to amp-up the uncertainty, and this is a sensitive one. However, there clearly won’t be any problem in arranging a Common Travel Area with the ROI, so I suppose people could always flit between Scotland and England via Dublin! (Ryanair might be pleased.)

    • There are many of us who favour a hard borfder, grizebard.

      • Dr Jim says:

        Indeed, some kind of a border with controls has to be necessary or we’d be different from every other normal country who has them, they’re there for a reason, the Yoons can spout their fear mongering all they like but they’ve got them in England so why on earth wouldn’t we have them

      • grizebard says:

        Yes, these days the advantages are becoming steadily more apparent, and worth promoting in their own right. I’m just anticipating the likely oppositionalist moves to unsettle the people we still need to convert. We need to be ready for those, come the day. But part of that is indeed to “accentuate the positive”.

      • scottish skier says:

        Given the mass emigration crisis England has voted upon itself, we face the possibility that tight border controls at Gretna may be a necessity.

        Scotland is just 8% of the UK population; it could not sustain a huge refugee influx from the rUK. The numbers that have escaped the fundamentalist conservative advance so far varies from ~300k into the millions. For the moment, this is mainly EU passport holders and is being absorbed by the wider bloc.

        However, such depopulation isn’t sustainable (1) and it would not be a surprise at all if we see the UK government bring in exit visas in an attempt to stop it. That would cause a massive surge in those trying to get out before the border shut completely. An iScotland and Ireland would be obvious destinations as English speaking and not requiring an EU passport currently.

        And while some might scoff at such suggestions, we are already at (1), with what follows, having happened in many countries facing the same, including plenty in Europe under misrule.

        • grizebard says:

          “Huge refugee influx from the rUK”. What on earth are you on?

        • Marc says:

          Good god man would you listen to yourself. Is this really where we are at, taking leaves out of the Brexiter playbook. Making unsubstantiated claims about needing Brexit so that the UK could control its own borders so that the UK would not have a massive influx of immigrants that the country was unable to cope with was a big policy point for Farage et Al

          Now we have people like you saying Scotland needs independence to control its borders to stop a huge English refugee influx that Scotland could not cope with. That’s the message you want to sell to the don’t knows?

          • scottish skier says:

            ‘People like you’.

            If I had a pound for every time a British nationalist said that to me, I’d be a rich man.:-)

            Scottish? Irish? Centre-leftie? Married to a European? Pro indy? Pro-free movement? Migrant lover (literally)? Which ‘people like you’ group have you put me in?

            I am a ‘proud’ unionist who supports full free movement, hence backing independence in the EEA/EU. I’d love free movement with England and the whole EU. I voted for that in 2014. As I’ve said plenty times, global free movement is my dream, but sadly a pipe one for now as racism / related authoritarian regimes won’t agree to play by the same rules on democracy, trade etc. England/Britain has joined these.

            Estimates are that over 1 million may have already fled England/Britain. I think its fair to say if these had all turned up in iScotland – with population of just 5m – we’d need serious help dealing with that, as per my post. We’d have no choice but to have UN camps along the border etc.

            I was kindae obviously being somewhat tongue in cheek, except those packing the UK exit gates are no joke. If it’s not stopped, the UK economy is away down the pan, and as fast as e.g. Venezuela’s went under similar economic mismanagement. England/Britain just isnae ‘exceptional’.

            Certainly, I’m not the one getting hysterical about a few k folk arriving in dinghies while hundreds of thousands to millions flee. As I’ve said many times, we should be sending ferries for the folks trying to cross the channel and bussing them across the UK to help with the labour shortage. That’s my ‘brexiter’ attitude lol 🙂

            • Indeed, SS.
              I note that they wait in the wings ready to pounce on here, like good little Albaists accusing you of being a tartan Farage.
              Some time ago, with not a little whimsy, I postilated that when we are back in the EU, and the motor giants shut their assembly plants in rUK, and head North to set up in Scotland, that there would be thousands of English ”economic migrants’ heading out of Little England seeking jobs in Scotland.
              I’d welcome them and their skills. As NS once observed:- Come to Scotland, there’s plenty of room.
              Over the first decade of Freedom, Scotland will be a magnet for people looking for a new and better life for themselves and their families.
              There will be a fairly brusque but measured transition ove the first decade.
              Land Reform will be essential.
              The 4/5ths of Scotland ‘owned’ by a few hundred of the Elite Oligarchy must be returnd ed to public ownership.
              The 18% of Scotland laid waste so that Rich Chinless wonders and the Nobles can kill animals for sadistic pleasure must stop, and the land returned to the people of Scotland.
              We have a land mass roughly equivalent to England’s. We could easily accommodate another 5 million, and not feel swamped.
              New Towns will spring up and there will be work for the incomers, of that I am certain.
              Je suis, ‘People Like You’, SS. Proud of it.

            • Marc says:

              Maybe if you did not parrot right wing nationalist lines about influxes of foreigners people would not tar you with the same brush. I note you cant seem to help yourself once again bringing up fantasy border camps and other countries economies (bringing up Venezuela’s economy was of course a common attack line from the right – vote for Corbyn and end up like Venezuela etc)

              As i’ve said before you don’t need the right when the center /left start parroting their attack lines.

              By 2023 when the referendum is penciled to happen I can guarantee that the UK will not have 2000% inflation Venezuela, nor will the UK Gov have introduced visas to stop people leaving.

              So maybe we should just concentrate on the aspects of Scottish Independent that are actually going to be relevant rather than making up wild stories about things that are not.

            • scottish skier says:

              It’s not me calling English, Welsh etc folks ‘foreigners’ Marc. 🙂

              You know fine well I support full free movement, including with the rUK, and that I’m half ‘foreign’ (Irish) with a ‘foreign’ wife and half ‘foreign’ daughter.

              I am really not sure how my tongue in cheek post could have been misinterpreted, unless there was the desire to do that. At present, the idea of massive, Venezuelan style queues at Gretna is obviously far fetched.

              That said, I’m not going to overlook the massive crisis going on. We have a government that is no longer making logical, sensible policy, but instead has fully gone down the reactive populism route. This has resulted in increasingly severe economic contraction (masked by covid) and an associated mass outflow of skilled workers, something which is unsustainable.

              I don’t believe in English / British exceptionalism, so am watching with increasingly grave concern.

              I am certainly not making things up. The numbers are real. The UK has a mass emigration crisis, with GDP nowhere near returning to pre-pandemic levels. That’s impossible given the depopulation, particularly of younger, skilled workers. These things tend to feed upon themselves, causing a downward spiral.

              I merely pointed out what this might look like if all those fleeing England turned up at the English hard border between it and an EEA Scotland. To put things into perspective.

              As things stand, in the most optimistic scenario, the UK has lost the population equivalent of one of Scotland’s bigger cities. Upper estimates are comparable to Edinburgh and Glasgow combined. That is nuts and should terrify people. And this shows no sign of stopping. If we are really lucky, ~2k net skilled workers are leaving a week. The number of channel migrants this year is ~23k; it’s nothing by comparison with the 100s of k to million+ who have left Britain to seek refuge in Europe.

              A sensible government should be ferrying the migrants across, with fast track interviews for visas/jobs on board, and bussing them across the UK to fill workforce gaps. Instead, it is trying to turn boats full of HGV drivers around or deporting them if they actually make it.

              And all because of racism. The UK has not had an immigration ‘problem’ for half a decade; it’s the total opposite that is causing an economic crisis. But hatred of the other has overtaken sense. When a government loses it’s mind like this, things start going very wrong very quickly. Venezuela is a prime example.

              The boat problem could be solved overnight, with the labour shortage somewhat alleviated. But nope, on down the plughole the UK goes.

              • Excellent, SS.
                I read somewhere that 1.3 million EU nationals just up sticks and left, in the initial Exodus.
                On QT and elsewhere Tory ministers bang on about ‘a million vacancies’ which the Great Unwashed Brits can take up…
                The ‘vacancies’ are Brexit driven.
                The Brit Jocks are collectively covering up the Fall of The English Empire..and the BBC in particular is collaborating in this Grand Deceit.

                Covid hit GDP by 2%, Brexit so far, by a further 4%, according to the OBR and Treasury.

                Covid has been a godsend for the carpetbaggers raping the UK.

                There shall be mass immigration into Free Scotland from England, particularly the NE.

                Almost immediately the New Scots Pound will bounce in value against the ‘GBP’.
                Indeed McCrone predicted this disparity back in 1974.

                Our Scots pound will soon be worth £1.25 English , as our economy soars and England’s continue on its inevitable ‘third country’ decline.
                A ‘what’s in it for me’ element of Self Determination will be the undisputable fact that Scots citizens, especially the estimated 350,000 English born who had the good sense to come and settle in God’s Little Acre, can opt of ‘dual nationality’, holding both rUK and Scottish/EU passports.
                What’s not to like?
                Similarly, English ‘economic migrants’ flooding North, will find themselves back in the EU, while still being ‘rUK-ish’.

                Win win: so what’s the fuss here?

    • scottish skier says:

      Free movement with the rUK just isn’t an issue I feel.

      All folks in Scotland that currently are eligible for a British passport will still be eligible afterwards, as will their kids, and so their kids, and their kids….if they want. There’s no way around that unless the rUK starts taking passports off people and denying English folks in Scotland entry back into their own country.

      Also, crossing the border just isn’t a salient issue with most Scots as they don’t cross it. I’ve been over about twice in the past 10 years and that would be similar for the average Scot. And I do international travel quite a bit with work. It’s just like e.g. Danes and German; most just don’t go to Germany on any regular basis. Why would they?

      British people cross a lot more. It’s all tied into their identity; they generally have a lot of family on both sides, maybe have lived back and forth. They tend to believe everyone else is in the same position when it’s not the case. They made this mistake in 2014 and did the whole ‘granny in England’ thing. They though this would be a salient issue for others because it is for them. That’s silly though; what’s important for one person isn’t for another.

      Both sets of my grandparents lived in Scotland, just as is the case for most Scots. My wife’s folks live in France. Great grandparents were Scots and Irish. The sea border with Norway is more important to me as with work I’ve crossed it a lot more.

    • Bob Lamont says:

      There is ZERO chance of them threatening the CTA, it would be catastrophic for London, and there would be hell to pay with Ireland, the current co-signatory.
      Jack’s daft “hard border” intended to bolster discontent in the Borders, but from the few I still keep in touch with there, it is almost like a “does he take sugar” moment, the media is banging on about but nobody is asking them as they’re not bothered about it at all.

      • grizebard says:

        Yes, you know that and I know that, and even Magrit Curran has always known that, but that’s not the point. I’m sure that last time, Alex Salmond was assured by experts who knew their business that a currency union was the best medium-term solution all round. And we all saw just how he got boxed in over it by the astute scaremongers of Bitter Together.

        As Paul has reminded us, it’s not the reality that matters, it’s who can tell the best story. And the disillusionists have an entire media apparatus to help them spin their scary web of lies on those who are not knowledgeable. And these are the people who are going to be the hearts and minds that will be fought over, and who will ultimately determine the winner. We have to think like them, not like us.

        As is wisely said, someone who is forced to explain their position has already lost the argument. We can’t afford to be the losers on the border argument when it arises, and it surely will arise, you can bet your house on it. So we had better get the positive framing on that right, and starting from now. Complacency isn’t an option.

      • grizebard says:

        Note, BTW, I wrote “an extended CTA”. The Brenglish have no obligation – for indy debate’s sake, if no other – to change what already exists. So they are not obliged to offer to iScotland what has already long existed for Ireland. The Irish are free to make their own arrangement with us, and virtually certainly would without hesitation, but that won’t catch the same attention.

        This is all about sowing doubt, and there is no Unionist who will freely concede CTA for Scotland in advance. Why would they? If we passively let them, they will instead leave us posturing and dangling over any arrangement that self-evidently depends on their willing co-operation. That’s just political reality. We made that mistake last time, and whatever we do, we mustn’t make the same one again.

        • Bob Lamont says:

          True on both.

        • scottish skier says:

          Aye, but British citizenship is conferred through parentage, so everyone in Scotland who has that will still have it after indy. Their kids can have it, so can their kids…. and on and on. Free movement with England nae bother if that’s yer hing.

          It’s not like EU citizenship which is conferred by membership of the bloc by an individuals state.

          I can’t see how threatening Scottish unionists – including load of English folks – with the loss of their British nationality if Scottish indy supporters vote Yes helps the pro-UK cause.

          • grizebard says:

            “Just keep your British citizenship.” Now, that is simple, effective and easily-understandable. Exactly the kind of counter-argument we need. I like that one.

  10. Alex Clark says:

    So the army will be drafted in to assist the NHS in getting everyone over 18 a booster jab, all 400 of them. That’s right, just 400 compared with the 10,000 volunteers they are seeking.

    What is the point of highlighting “the support of the army” other than British Natioanlism?

    • grizebard says:

      Another example of typical circularly-referential Unionist posturing, alas. As if a modern Scottish Army somehow wouldn’t be equally capable. And its troops would all be deployed “on the doorstep”, right here at home!

      • Golfnut says:

        There are probably more Scottish troops helping down south rather than helping here and they were deployed in England before Scotland. Numbers are suspect, are they the same troops helping out ambulance crews, are we to assume the ambulance crisis is over.

      • grizebard,

        thinking out of the box, surely Scotland’s Defence Capability could enrol young people into the services, with the express strategy of providing the first steps in developing their recruits with a ‘career path’ , of training, higher education, and qualifications so that they can more easily move from military service back in to civvy street?

        Is it beyond the wit of Future Scotland to look beyond the myopic ‘lethal and deadly’ role of our army navy and air force?
        WE train young people to be killers and that’s about it?

        Certainly the primary aim of a standing army/navy/airforce is to create units trained to defend our nation against any eventuality; however it may be argued that in collaboration with non military stakeholders, and inward investment from future employers, our military personnel can be trained/coached/ educated in ‘across the board’ skills knowledge competencies trades and professions which would be in demand and planned for when personnel move on to the next phase of their work life.
        A ‘joined up’ partnership between the military and businesses/ Government to provide seamless careers for life?
        I’m thinking not only about the obvious career paths, like Police, Emergency Services, Nursing, but also trades, like plumber, electrician, carpenter, welder, and the whole range of what is wrongly classed as ‘non vocational’ fields, as well as the vast panoply of jobs and careers opening up in newly independent Scotland.

        Stakeholders from the private and public sectors could chuck in some money to finance the life long learning of our youngsters who choose to serve?

        Can’t seeany down sides.

        Join the army and take the first steps on the path to a career for life?

        It has a ring to it.

    • What’s a ‘jab’, Alex?
      My Everlovin’ is getting her booster jag and ‘flu shot tomorrow.
      Beware the creep of Anglo Speak.

  11. Dr Jim says:

    I find Unionists an odd bunch, they don’t want Scotland, their own country, to be in charge of anything but they don’t mind other countries being in charge of themselves, they like England running Scotland and Wales and Northern Ireland as though we’re one country yet they happily go on holiday to Europe which is 27 countries in an organised deal with each other, they didn’t like England not being in charge of the EU so when they were told they could leave it to be Independent they liked that….they said

    So every other country in the world can do what they like, if they like, just not Scotland, and this is where they come up with the thousand reasons which I won’t bore everybody with because they’re all drivel, so why do they keep this odd invented attitude up?

    The Unionists filled the internet with hatred over the national flag of their country until Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling told them it was their flag too, then they decided to have two flags to support their position of England ownership but still having a wee bit of Scottishy identity, not too much mind because that’s un English or anti English so a certain amount of deference must be maintained to the master race country

    The Unionists argue that we’re all the same well except for the Irish who’ve already left the Union and are more than delighted not to return, so the attitude towards those folk must be good riddance but we should never have *allowed* them freedom in the first place even though they were a lot of trouble and we didn’t like them anyway, pretty much the way they feel about Europeans now

    It seems the Unionists have a serious problem with themselves and their arguments, they can’t seem to make their minds up on their opinions until England tells them which opinions to have and that’s where they expose themselves as dependent serfs awaiting instructions from folk in another country because they have no respect for the people in their own country, indeed it appears that they have no respect or confidence in themselves

    Unionists seem to revel in their own misery at being subservient while simultaneously demanding the rest of us be in their miserable gang or by weight of numbers they’ll conquer us,
    It’s a strange dichotomy that they believe weakness versus weakness together equals stronger, when what it actually accomplishes is just increased weakness dependent on somebody else’s (England’s) largesse, if they happen to feel like it, and if they don’t well we’ll all just have to wait until they do but until then show them how dependent we are and maybe they’ll be kind…..later

    Rab C Nesbitt comes to mind “I will walk alone” but only till the pubs open which will be full people like me waiting for the barman to give me a drink

    Y’see the Independent thing to do is get your own pub (metaphorically speaking)

  12. scottish skier says:

    I’ve put a couple of graphs here on UK GDP contraction and the mass exodus of skilled workers that’s underway.


    Growth began to slow immediately after the 2017 vote and by late 2019 the UK economy began to contract, well before covid. At the same time, both a symptom and a cause, net immigration started to slow, stop, then begin reversing, again by late 2019.

    I’d like to be wrong, but I cannot see how GDP can return to pre-pandemic levels in the face of the current mass depopulation, particularly of young, skilled workers.

    The UK government need to stop the depopulation asap as we are entering an economic death spiral, whereby emigration causes the economy to slow which in turn encourages more emigration…

    I suspect they might well try exit visas, i.e. preventing people leaving; a standard authoritarian government approach. It would be the natural next step after they removed the right of brits to free movement, effectively putting these at the mercy of other countries if they want to seek refuge. Of course that would just make things even worse, and anyone with an EU passport would head for the exit gates.

  13. iusedtobeenglish says:

    Just come up in the National

    Douglas Ross faces investigation by Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards

    Along with Rees-Mogg

  14. scottish skier says:

    Mori poll is nice.

    55(+5)% Yes
    45(-5)% No

    Changes on May, but this is the highest Yes they’ve got since November 2020.

    • scottish skier says:

      STV article:

      58% satisfied with Sturgeon. ‘Real indy supporters’ will be raging.

    • scottish skier says:

      Mori page with all the details:

      Scottish Parliament voting intention:

      52(+2)% SNP
      19(-1)% Con
      17(-5)% Lab
      12(nc)% Grn
      5(-1)% Lib
      3(+1)% Grn
      3(-2)% Other

      Regional list:
      43(+4)% SNP
      20(-3)% Con
      15(-3)% Lab
      12(nc)% Grn
      6(-2)% Lib
      3(+1)% Oth
      1(-1)% Alb

      • Alex Clark says:

        The Greens now just 3 points away from overtaking Labour in the regional list. What a comedown that would be, Sarwar must resign LOL

        • jfngw says:

          Maybe Anas Sarwar’s tactic of telling us Scotland is a dump and those that work here are more or less incompetent are not having the effect he thought. The man is one vowel away from being an a*sehole.

          • Dr Jim says:

            Smart man Sarwar telling a YES voting area of Glasgow that it’s the SNP who caused his over exaggerated rat infestation that his Union refused to empty the bins in, yeah smart man Sarwar probably increased the YES vote by annoying folk

          • James+Mills says:

            He passed that ‘milestone’ many moons ago !

        • grizebard says:

          Actually, I could see Labour Northern Twig-not-Branch, if its leadership persists with its longstanding neurotic reality-denial, bleeding remaining non-Unionist support to the Greens rather than the tribally-resented SNP (and maybe even losing its residual staunch element to the Tories, as the latter evidently hope).

      • Welsh_Siôn says:

        Why are there TWO ‘Grn’ in the Constituency list?

    • scottish skier says:

      SS’s poll of polls for 2021 including MORI:

      50.21(+0.07)% Yes

      Ex DK

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Perhaps as important this:

      Top issues facing Scotland

      Key concerns for the Scottish public are healthcare/ the NHS (38% mention this as an important issue facing Scotland), Scottish independence/ devolution (27%), coronavirus/ pandemic disease (26%), and education and schools (26%).

      Indy second only to the NHS, even though only by a percentage point.

  15. yesindyref2 says:

    From their pdf:

    Among all likely to vote: YES 52%, NO 43%, undecided 4%

    It’s maybe a bit of a stretch to say, at a glance, that what happened is all the undecideds changed to YES, but not out of the question. It’d need checking!

  16. indy2019 says:

    In relation to borders – I drove from UK (N Ireland) into County Louth (Eire) a couple of months ago. I only realised I was in Eire when I saw a sign at the side of the road welcoming me to County Louth. In effect, freedom of travel.

  17. scottish skier says:

    Ok, because some out there refuse to believe my graph, this time I’ve added every single poll point that went into it. If you simply stick a linear trend through that, even with the pollster bias it introduces, you get basically the same answer.

    Aye, excluding dinnae ken, has risen steadily from around 40% in 2011, to just over 50% today.

    Always look at the bigger picture.

  18. Welsh_Siôn says:


    Andrew Marr to join New Statesman as chief political commentator

    Veteran journalist who is leaving the BBC after 21 years will write weekly column in magazine

    Andrew Marr is to join the New Statesman magazine as its chief political commentator as part of a new chapter in the veteran broadcaster’s career after his departure from the BBC.

    Marr announced last month he was leaving the corporation after 21 years and would be presenting political and cultural shows for the media company Global, including programmes on the talk-radio station LBC and Classic FM.

    On Wednesday, the New Statesman confirmed Marr was joining the magazine as its chief political commentator after the move was revealed in Politico.

    The 62-year-old will pen a weekly political column and contribute more widely to its coverage when he starts in February.


    • Hamish100 says:

      Marr and the bbc have someone from the right wing Spectator on most review type programmes. Not sure if Andrew Neil is still involved?

  19. Hamish100 says:

    On another web page— you would think they would be pleased but “.. At the very least, we’d be cautiously waiting for one or two more polls before jumping to the conclusion that the new trend is real. ” Probably true. Still the committee member did not say whether or not the 1% for ALBA ie -1% was accurate. Could it be some of previous ALBA supporters see the Greens as a better bet to “hing their coats oan.”
    Human nature- people don’t like hasbeens.

  20. Hamish100 says:

    ?more females

  21. Dr Jim says:

    Isn’t it hilarious how STV who commissioned the poll spend more time reporting the previous polls showing support for the Union than on the current one showing the opposite, then mitigate their own result by adding that it’s probably more to do with lack of support for the current version of Boris Johnson oh and by the way Nicola Sturgeons ratings are down as well, even though she’s the only political leader in the Britland isles who has a plus rating and a very high plus at that

    55/45 YES is finely balanced they say yet 52/48 NO was decisive? The English government took their Brexit decision on less and called that decisive as well “The British people have spoken” they said and they did it “The Scottish people spoke” and the English ignored us “The Northern Irish people spoke” and the English bent over backwards just in case somebody shot somebody or blew somebody up, so what does that tell us? what conclusion do we come to based on that? what is it England appears to respect?

    • scottish skier says:

      Sturgeon always gets a higher sat rating when she doesn’t talk about independence. As soon as she does, unionists get all hot and bothered. Otherwise, they think she’s doing a decent job.

      With iref2 now firmly back on the cards after the covid peak, she’s going to take a bit of hit ratings wise for progressing this with those dead against it.

      That aside, she’s still well into positive territory and there’s not a politician in Europe that wouldn’t kill for how she scores in public opinion.

      This is why unionists / ‘real independence supporters’ hate her guts.

  22. Hamish100 says:

    Checked bbc Scotland website Politics just now. No mention of poll as yet. So much for 24 hr rolling news!!

  23. scottish skier says:

    If only there were some people who actually wanted to come and live / work in the UK.

    Lorry driver shortage ‘leaving shops and caterers 30% down on goods’

    The shortage of haulage drivers is leaving the north of Scotland 30% down in volume of goods reaching shops and caterers, say their suppliers.

    There is also a 15% shortfall in goods getting to the central belt, according to Scottish Wholesale Association.

  24. Dr Jim says:

    PTO new topic……

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