The existential choice before us

It’s clear that the second Scottish independence referendum, which the Scottish Government is committed to delivering within the term of this Scottish Parliament, is going to be very different in character from the first. Although the independence cause ultimately failed to get over the 50% threshold in the referendum of September 2014, the campaign scored some significant and lasting victories upon which which the campaign in front of us is able to build.

One of the most important of these victories, was the seismic achievement of changing the Scottish political landscape in a fundamental way. The victory of the Better Together campaign was a Pyrrhic one, which has seen the annihilation of the Labour party in Scotland and the destruction of its former position of dominance. Far from making the independence issue go away as Labour and its Tory allies so fondly hoped, the narrow defeat of the Yes campaign in 2014 did not result in a return to the Scottish politics of the 1990s and the early years of the 21st century. Quite the opposite, the issue of independence is now central to Scottish politics, indeed it has become the dominant issue around which all other issues revolve.

As we approach a second referendum what this means is that the question of independence has established itself as a serious and realistic prospect in the Scottish population at large, even amongst those who do not themselves support it. This gives the Yes campaign a huge advantage as it no longer needs to work to establish the idea of independence as a plausible reality in the face of anti-independence parties and a media which was keen to dismiss the idea out of hand as a Scotch pie in the sky which had no basis in the real world. We now live in a Scotland which opinion polling has repeatedly confirmed that most people believe is ultimately destined for independence. This figure is consistently higher than the number who currently support independence, which means that a small but significant section of those who oppose independence believe that theirs is ultimately a lost cause.

However there are also dangers here for the Yes campaign. As the 2014 campaign got underway the Better Together campaign and the London-centric media were characterised by a deep rooted arrogance, their unshakeable belief in British exceptionalism meant that they airily dismissed the independence movement and confidently predicted a crushing victory of 75% or more for opponents of independence. The narrowness of the final result shook them to the core, and goes a long way to explaining the anger and resentment that Anglo-British nationalism in Scotland has displayed ever since.

Another major difference between 2014 and now is that the Anglo-British opponents of independence will struggle to frame the independence referendum campaign as a choice between Scottish nationalism on the one hand, with all the emotionally loaded baggage which the word nationalism carries, and non-nationalism on the other. Brexit and the union flag fetish of the Conservatives, their rank xenophobia and constant appeals to a Great British nostalgia have laid bare the regressive and reactionary Anglo-British nationalism of the Westminster parties, above all the Conservatives, and even with the assistance of a willing media have made it much harder for them to peddle the foundational delusion of Anglo-British nationalism, that it is better than the nationalisms of lesser nations like Scotland by virtue of not being nationalist at all. We see through that deluded fairy story all too clearly now.

The next referendum will not present a false choice between Scottish nationalism and a fake non-nationalism, but rather must be framed as a choice between whether Scotland is best served by a destiny chosen for it by the Anglo-British nationalists like Alister Jack, who by his own admission does not even like to acknowledge the existence of Scotland as a distinct country in its own right, and who seeks to subsume Scotland into a unitary and centralised British nation state, or by a destiny chosen by the people of Scotland and a government answerable to the people of Scotland and no one else.

Effectively the choice before us in the next independence referendum is a starkly existential question. Do you want Scotland to continue as a distinct country and nation, making its own contribution to the world on its own terms, or are you content to see Scotland erased as a meaningful polity and country and reduced to a historic region of a unitary and centralised British nation state, with no more political significance, modern identity, or ability to frame its own public policies, than Mercia or Wessex. Because make no mistake, that is the future that the Conservatives have in mind for us, and which they will not hesitate to make a reality once they are no longer constrained by the prospect of another Scottish independence referendum.

One of the marked characteristics of the 2014 campaign was the “happy clappy” nature of the Yes campaign and its determination to focus exclusively on making a positive case for independence and to avoid talking about the risks that Scotland faced if it rejected independence. Brexit and this irredeemably corrupt Conservative government with its clear trajectory into authoritarianism and the neutering and destruction of democratic safeguards has changed all that. In the coming campaign we must highlight the immense dangers that Scotland faces if it is foolish enough to reject independence a second time.

There can be no question this time round of Gordon Brown’s federalist fantasy. The Conservatives will take a defeat for independence as a green light to embark upon an all out assault on the devolution settlement and the powers of the Scottish Parliament. They will certainly take steps to ensure that Scotland cannot have any more referendums and will have no compunction about transforming the UK from a voluntary union of nations into a union based upon compulsion, making a third referendum unlawful and removing the right of the people of Scotland to determine for themselves the form of government best suited to their needs.

In the next referendum we must highlight that the choice before us is either independence or Scotland ceasing to exist in any politically meaningful way, as nothing more than one of Alister Jack’s regions with a quaint dialect and a colourful past, just a pretty tartan bow on a Great British shortbread tin.

I have been in a lot of pain and discomfort this past week, so much so that I am having difficulty walking and am experiencing a lot of fatigue and exhaustion. Unfortunately I am not operating at full capacity and consequently won’t be able to get new blog pieces online as frequently as I would like to. I have also been told that it is unlikely that I will ever regain sufficient sensation and control in my left hand to be able to use it for tasks requiring fine motor control.  I’m going to have to learn how to write with my right hand. As someone who was very dominantly left handed before the stroke, that’s going to be a challenge. But needs must.

 

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81 comments on “The existential choice before us

  1. Interpolar says:

    I couldn’t agree more.

    • grizebard says:

      Me also!

      Especially Paul’s warning that a no win the next time will be a virtual green light to unleash the full rapacious aggression of the English Tory state to imprison us in their robber kingdom, dismantle all our existing protections, and swallow us and our precious natural resources up for their own selfish ends like never before. There won’t then be a meaningful Holyrood where Sarwar’s nth successor will urge yet more mitigation, and mitigation itself won’t even be an option.

  2. scottish skier says:

    In the next referendum we must highlight that the choice before us is either independence or Scotland ceasing to exist in any politically meaningful way, as nothing more than one of Alister Jack’s regions with a quaint dialect and a colourful past, just a pretty tartan bow on a Great British shortbread tin.

    Amen to that. This is the essence of ‘muscular unionism’*, and you can sense the unease it is causing for mainstream Scottish unionists, as opposed, that is, to ‘British nationalists’. While we might use these terms interchangeably, they are not actually the same thing. Being Scottish (the nation) and British (the union) is quite different from being British (the nation) and Scottish (regional identity).

    In the old days, the ‘Scottish unionists’ were the former, but since the English conservatives took them over, they’ve become ever more the latter. Labour and the Lib Dems have been going the same way, notably since brexit and their meek acceptance that what England wants, all the other nations have to suck up. At least in Scotland (nod to Welsh Labour for fighting back with Plaid Cymru). However, the Scottish electorate have not been following them, and ‘Scottish unionist’ voters are now getting ever more uncomfortable with the UK as it tries to erase their Scottishness in favour of Englishness dressed up, as always, as ‘Britishness’. Devo was the Scottish unionist baby after all; it wasn’t what the pro-indy parties really wanted, nor what the British nationalists (Tories) wanted either.

    Undermining devo is not an attack on ‘the nats’, it’s an attack on unionist voters.

    —-
    *From the end of the last thread:
    https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/20419058211066522

  3. Capella says:

    Old fashioned Tories are very worried about the lack of action on Covid and Brexit and illiberal laws like the Crime Bill. Chris Patten – sorry Lord Patten – former governor of Hong Kong, says in PM R4 on Thursday that this present Tory government is an English Nationalist government and might very well cause the break up of the union.
    Clip at 42:36 in but the whole interview is interesting:
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m001283v

  4. exile says:

    I agree with Paul!

    And the current Internal Market Act is a foretaste of what Scotland voting to stay in the UK could expect from the UK government.

  5. JoMax says:

    As Paul says, Scotland may be ‘subsumed into a unitary and centralised British nation state’, but … there’ll always be an England and we would never be allowed to forget that.

  6. scottish skier says:

    Slight divergence to the other side of the Irish sea, so I’ll keep it short. Ashcroft polling on Northern Ireland.

    46% Y / 54% No for a snap referendum on reunification ‘tomorrow’, which is impressive given NI got to half stay in the EU with an open border, unlike Scotland. As a result, it’s enjoying an economic brexit boom*.

    If there was no NI protocol, it could only benefit the republicans, yet the unionists want rid of the one thing that’s holding up support for NI remaining in the UK for now, not least by boosting the economy.

    https://lordashcroftpolls.com/2021/12/northern-ireland-unification-or-the-union/

    Longer term picture looks bad for the union there too due to similar demographic patterns to Scotland.


    *
    https://archive.md/TBEkM

  7. Welsh_Siôn says:

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-59636145

    SNP retains Moray Council control on a cut of playing cards

    – Ace!

  8. Hamish100 says:

    Oh dear, Sir Keir Rodney Starmer is a patriot. Union flag in the corner. I have no more to say.

  9. scottish skier says:

  10. bringiton says:

    During the 2014 referendum the Westminster establishment claimed that the union created Greater England and that Scotland ceased to exist at that point.
    A majority of Scots agreed with them.
    I still can’t understand that.

  11. Hamish100 says:

    A majority voting in Scotland was for No. A majority of Scots voted Yes.

    As a song goes. “.. it’s in the past now and in the past it must remain..”

    We are still here, fighting -we can still win. We do exist.

  12. Derek says:

    Will it be a referendum or a declaration, though? Depends upon who’s voting, I suppose, and who decides that and what they decide. So many intagibles…

  13. Hamish100 says:

    I think we should do both … let the opposition work out their undemocratic stance.

  14. Capella says:

    Tories attempting to blame Nicola Sturgeon for decisions made by Westminster and global investors. If only we had those powers.
    Debate tomorrow in Holyrood brought by the Tories about Cambo. Some good comments so far btl. I’ll post both live and archive links so that non subscribers can read them. This is bound to become a hot potato in any campaign with the Greens being targeted as anti industry.
    https://archive.fo/4gaLu
    https://www.thenational.scot/news/19782063.holyrood-vote-future-oil-gas-industry-tory-debate/?ref=ebln

  15. Capella says:

    Nicola Sturgeon will update us on the new Omicron measures in Holyrood today and there’s to be a pre-recorded televised update tonight. The BBC will marshal all the opposition leaders in a round table discussion of whether public health professionals know anything about public health.
    The hospitality spokesperson will later advise that drinking in pubs is the best protection against a deadly virus.
    Actually I just made that last bit up.

    https://archive.fo/CtZoy

  16. scottish skier says:

    So much for the ‘good old back in the war’ days where Britain grew its own. Instead, the UK faces the destruction of domestic agriculture with costly imports and the carbon footprint that comes with that, and all due to rampant Tory party xenophobia.

    At least some in the party are speaking out.

    https://archive.md/dDqL1

    Senior Tory MP warns Brexit ‘destroying’ British agriculture and condemns government failure to act

    A senior Conservative MP has warned Brexit is “destroying” British agriculture, as he condemned a government minister for failing to act.

    A furious Neil Parish laid into Neil Foster, the immigration minister, for ignoring a recommendation to make it easier to bring in EU butchers and other workers – leading to a huge shortage.

    The chair of the Commons environment committee warned that planting of vegetables was down 25 per cent and poultry production by 12.5 per cent, since Brexit.

    “We are seeing our industry slowly being destroyed,” Mr Parish told the minister – demanding to know why the migration advisory committee’s recommendation was rejected.

    “I thought Brexit was about encouraging production in this country, not discouraging it. This is down to labour shortages.”

  17. rongorongo says:

    “Brexit Actually” – Tadgh sums up Scotland’s position just now quite nicely, I think.

  18. Clydebuilt says:

    O / T Apologies

    Don’t Frett

    Yes BBC parliament channel are broadcasting Westminster’s debate on changing England’s Covid rules. It’s’ on from 13.40 till 19.00 ie 5hrs 20 mins.

    BBC Scotland broadcast the FM’s Covid message must’ve been on for at least 15 mins before boldly cutting and going over to the studio.

  19. Dr Jim says:

    The Unionists squealing their heads of about Omicron not being dangerous again because *look at South Africa*
    Here’s a wee piece of information for those folk, average age of the population in South Africa is 26 years of age, average age of the entire UK is 41 years of age, I could go on but that alone should be enough for Unionists and anti vaxxers to work out at least one of the reasons why it’s far more dangerous to us fat lazy unhealthy older *British* folk who for the most part never walk the length of ourselves except to walk to where we parked our mobile phones to call “let’s just eat” for a wee home gutful of lard just waiting to be Omicroned

    • scottish skier says:

      why it’s far more dangerous to us fat lazy unhealthy older *British* folk who for the most part never walk the length of ourselves

      Oi, watch it! Who are you calling ‘British’!

      😉

      • Dr Jim says:

        That’s why I put the wee stars round it to emphasise the horror of the word, I would never intentionally describe Scots Welsh or Irish people as *British*, I leave that to the British to rename peoples and nations

        • Welsh_Siôn says:

          Why we are Cymry (‘Welsh’ is an Anglo-Saxon racial insult) and not British – featuring Martin Sheen.

          If you have a spare moment, enjoy.

          • scottish skier says:

            Very much enjoyed that. Sorry for using the term Welsh! 😉

            • Welsh_Siôn says:

              In an English-speaking context, I guess we have little choice but to use the term ‘Welsh’ (qv any dictionary as to its etymology) as opposed to ‘Cymry’ (the compatriots, Celtic *’Com-brogi’). Note the two ‘y’s’ – the country is ‘Cymru’ with a ‘u’.

              Not sure if you got ALL the cultural and historical allusions, but those of us who know these things, most certainly do.

              We also remember that the Britannica (‘For Wales, see England’) was at least originally published out of Scotland. (And to this day carries an enormous error regarding the Welsh language translation of the Bible, 1588).

              • Welsh_Siôn says:

                We do of course actively condemn the use of the verb ‘to welsh’ (or ‘welch’) and noun ‘a welsher’ (lower case in both circumstances.) True, it’s not proven they have connections with the land of my fathers, but a linking is often made – and we suffer the detriment.

          • Dr Jim says:

            Their method never changes does it, ruin our countries with theft murder political starvation then tell us we’re ungrateful, answer back and we’re named by them as separatists and terrorists when all along it’s they who are the separatists and terrorists, by dividing peoples then terrorising them into obedience

            The English who renamed themselves *the British* to include the lands and peoples of those they subsumed out of existence

            When I lived and worked in the Costa Blanca Spain I found out my neighbours primary school children were taught that Scotland is a peninsula of England

          • Golfnut says:

            Brill

          • Golfnut says:

            Short comment last night, dug required an outing. A tragic story narrated beautifully by a foreigner making English sound good, Sheen is up there alongside Burton and Hopkins.

  20. Capella says:

    So, The HoC votes for Covid “passes” and face masks in spite of 98 Tory rebels. The BBC news played clips of Nicola Sturgeon several times today as if they were desperate to find a political leader who would spell out the grim reality which public health officials were telling politicians. They won’t find that in Westminster.

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/live/uk-politics-59651187

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      Rebellion seems even more serious than that, Capella. Sky now reporting 101 Tory rebels.

      And in other news:

      The Daily Mirror has published a photo showing a “raucous” Christmas party thrown by Conservative aides on December 14 last year, when London was in Tier 2.

      The image shows 24 people crowded together in a medium-sized room in the party’s Westminster HQ, with guests including billionaire Tory donor Nick Candy and a senior figure on Boris Johnson’s leadership election campaign.

      • Capella says:

        Dear oh dear oh dear. Surely he has to go now? Yes? No? An endless stream of damning revelations should surely mark his Downfall. Just waiting for the famous clip of Bruno Ganz in the bunker. 😂

      • Alex Clark says:

        Extraordinary that they can flaunt themselves like that during a lockdown and ban on social gatherings but that’s baked in for those that occupy Tory HQ as they believe the rules the rest of us have to follow don’t apply to them.

  21. Alex Clark says:

    The MP’s in Westminster tonight voted by 385 votes to 100 for compulsory vaccines for frontline NHS and social care staff from April 2022 in England. The SNP did not take part in any vote tonight since the party do not vote on England only matters.

    The Tory party and Labour want to force people to be vaccinated against their will using the threat of them losing their jobs if they refuse. This is a massive blunder and when jobs are plentiful in areas such as retail then this vote tonight can only result in a mass exodus of critical health and social care workers from the sector.

    It is estimated that there are currently 94,000 workers yet to be vaccinated, so even if 20% leave it will result in a crisis in the care sector.

    That’s the state of the people who are running the UK, time for Scotland to make its own decisions.

    • Capella says:

      In the Chris Patten clip I posted yesterday from a R4 PM broadcast he was scathing about the Tory Party refusing to support “illiberal” laws like face masks and Covid passports while supporting the Police and Crime Bill. He could have added compulsory vaccination and gutting the Human Rights Act too.

      • Alex Clark says:

        Yes, it really is amazing that more Tory “libertarians” voted against covid passports than mandatory vaccination, the vote was 369 votes to 126.

        What kind of mindset does it take that believes needing to show proof of vaccination to access a nightclub results in less freedom of choice than mandatory vaccination or the threat of losing your job.

        • Capella says:

          There seem to be some remarkable fractures emerging in the Tory Party now. Good. None of the vultures lining up to succeed Boris Johnston look like winners. Pity for Anas Sarwar that Keir Starmer’s Labour Party is only marginally less unpleasant.

    • Welsh_Siôn says:

      The SNP did not take part in any vote tonight since the party do not vote on England only matters.

      _________

      Ditto for Plaid Cymru. (Never seem to feature in MSM for some reason. Oh sorry. They only represent a small part of a ‘territory’ of this Disunited Kingdumb, don’t they?)

    • Bob Lamont says:

      Indeed, bizarre comparisons with Nazi Germany are being bandied about over Vaccine Passport ID, yet they had no issues over compulsory voter-ID…. And let’s forget the fact IDs were obligatory throughout WW2 and were only repealed in 1952.
      That “principle” matters more to them than masks or even vaccinations in getting public health under control is hard to fathom, but as this clip shows, https://www.channel4.com/news/many-in-my-party-have-had-enough-tory-mp-says they remain loyal to the Prime Charlatan.

      • grizebard says:

        Yes, very evident cognitive dissonance there. (A confused state of mind often shared by their fellow-travellers, the rightwing “sanctity of life” believers who are typically quite relaxed about state murder. And don’t have any problems with enforcing their own brand of restrictions either.) Yet these {ahem} public servants cling steadfastly to their third-rate personality cult as the only way of saving their own miserable access to public largesse and influence as MPs.

        Let’s see whether that weathervane begins to waver after the English byelection tomorrow.

  22. Hamish100 says:

    I take it the metropolitan police were to busy to notice them?
    Cressida Dick should be sacked but she is one and the same with tories.

    The tories keep giving. The unionists media will latch onto labour as saviours.

  23. Melb Don says:

    May I just ask ,does anyone know of an intervention body to help me stop reading another blog that is consumed by anti SNP rhetoric and self ID. I will now be pronounced as a numpty by the one commenter with approximately 90% of all the comments on that particular blog.

  24. Welsh_Siôn says:

    Just in case you missed this one:

    https://nation.cymru/news/welsh-tory-lord-suggests-a-new-royal-yacht-would-be-invaluable/

    Welsh Tory Lord suggests a new royal yacht would be ‘invaluable’

    14 Dec 2021 2 minute Read

    A Welsh Tory Lord has suggested that a new royal yacht would be “invaluable”.

    Byron Davies, who sits in the unelected House of Lords, believes such a vessel, which has been given a price tag of £283m, would help with “promoting Britain in the world”.

    The former MP, who is President of the Welsh Conservatives, made the suggestion in a debate about replacing the Royal Yacht Britannia, which was scrapped in 1997.

    This is despite reports that senior members of the Royal Family won’t use the yacht for holidays after a row about the huge price tag.

    […]

    They *really do* live on a different planet from the rest of us, don’t they? (And I don’t mean just because their Lords but coz they’re Tories …)

    • Capella says:

      They sure do WS. I’m struck by this totally off topic tragic tale of two homeless men from Bolton who went to London to beg. They bought shopping using stolen details of a credit card. Items included two lottery cards, One was worth £10. The other won the £4 million pound jackpot. How lucky was that. But they didn’t have a bank account and so suspicion was aroused when they tried to claim their winnings. They ended up being charged with obtaining money by fraudulent means and are now in jail.

      Well at least they aren’t homeless now.

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-59654724

      • James Mills says:

        Now if they’d only set up a fake company selling PPE and contacted Tory HQ they would have been in the money – and a lot more than £4m quid!

        • Tatu3 says:

          Haha. They should have donated some of it to Boris and they’d now be in the HoL earning £300+ a day, fine food and drink in abundance and a cosy place to sleep

  25. Capella says:

    From The National today:
    Next up on the Tory agenda – the Human Rights Act.

    The Tories have already shown they cannot be trusted to uphold human rights with their attempts to crush peaceful protest through the Policing Bill, their Judicial Review Bill and their Borders Bill. Dominic Raab must not go anywhere near the Human Rights Act.

    SNP Justice spokeperson Anne McLaughlin
    https://archive.fo/6n7MC

    New money same as the old money. Treasury U turn to fund Omicron in the “devolved nations” is, they admit, old money.
    https://archive.fo/TQqbc

  26. scottish skier says:

    I will happily tell Alba for free that if they want to attract voters, this just isn’t how you do it. This is the sort of thing that unionist parties do. If it doesn’t work for them, it won’t work for Alba.

    https://archive.md/YPzJ4

    Carrots dumped outside SNP MP Pete Wishart’s Perth office in Alba protest

    Come on folks, get door chapping. Produce a pro-indy newspaper or something!

    • Malkie says:

      Wasn’t that little stunt just utterly pathetic? The Alba Party door-chapping? Producing a pro-indy newspaper? Developing some actual policies rather than peddling their visceral hatred of Nicola and the SNP? Fighting council by-elections? Come off it, Skier, it just isn’t going to happen.

    • scottish skier says:

      I really didn’t know what to say about this story. First wee toy ferries, now littering the streets with union jack carrots.

      I’m struggling to believe that some of these people really support indy.

      I do actually think the pro-indy side needs choice. After all, it is inevitable that the more support for indy there is, the less one tent will be able to host everyone. I’m on record for saying this many times on different sites. Yes is getting to big for the SNP.

      The rise of the Greens has been to me a good sign, even if they are a ‘rival’ to the SNP and the latter is ‘losing’ list seats to them (or rather Green leaning now are confident in voting Green and getting that). Personally, while I support a number of green initiatives, I disagree with others. The same applies for the SNP, but the ratio of support to oppose is highest for them in my case, so they get my vote. That is not set in stone; if another party matches me more closely, I’d look to shift.

      I personally like PR and coalitions, thinking it better if no party has a majority. So a ‘rainbow’ yes coalition is a good thing in my book, and we are in fact probably missing a moderate centre right Yes party to give us more of a full spectrum. Alba are missing an opening here. They clearly have attracted more social conservatives, and could work that base effectively while putting forward their own positive vision instead of just ‘harrying’ the SNP to the delight of the unionist media.

      Throwing around vegetables with wee flags on them to bag another Herald article? Whit?

      Donate the carrots to the foodbank, forget silly political stunts, and put forward a positive vision for indy. We can all agree to disagree on policies, but we all share the same goal. After indy we’ll have all the time in the world to argue with each other! 🙂

      • Don Carr says:

        You assume indy is going to come with a seventh mandate, I am more sceptical, especially since I don’t see the positive vision you call for having been put forward over this last seven years.
        Of course it could happen yet, but I’m rapidly losing faith in the current government being able to do it .
        Maybe I’m just impatient at my time of life, but I’d have expected policies on currency, a central bank, borders, etc to be in position by now.

  27. Jim Paterson says:

    I had a good look at last night’s HOC voting and found something interesting. We all know that the SNP do not vote on English laws but what about the other so called Scottish parties. Well, they took part. The red Tory (Murray) voted for the legislation and the 5 Yellow Tories (Lib Dems) voted against two of the Statutory Instruments and in favour of the one promoting masks. Well I suppose Unionists have got to vote for their Master’s laws!!

  28. Capella says:

    I watched a good documentary last night on the Irish independence movement. There are some interesting parallels there which might inform our debate on the existential choice ahead. Of course, there are countries which became independent in more peaceful ways, such as Australia and New Zealand. But Ireland is credited with inspiring them.

    In the end, independence wasn’t recognised until the 1950s, after WWII and with US support.
    On ARTE and made by RTE which shows what you can do with your own broadcasting corporation. 99 mins:
    https://www.arte.tv/en/videos/105594-000-A/the-irish-revolution/

  29. grizebard says:

    It seems to me that there is no better an illustration of why Scotland needs to wrest itself free than the extreme contrast in what happened yesterday – on the one hand an English House of Commons riven by dissention from dirigiste rightwing denialism, and a government dependent on the opposition to do what is urgently necessary, thereby seriously hampered in what it must yet likely do to protect public health, and on the other hand a visibly-competent First Minister and government able and willing to do whatever is necessary for the common weal, and only hampered by not having the financial sovereignty to do everything they are evidently fully aware is needed already, let alone later.

    We are shackled to a shambolic and arguably-corrupt quasi-pariah state, and it will only drag us ever further down unless we as a people wake up to that reality, cast off all wishful thinking that it will ever be much better, and decide resolutely to get out. Completely out. Being on our own undoubtedly requires some mental fortitude, but we can surely do far better for ourselves than this disgraceful guddle.

  30. Alex Clark says:

    8 MPs test positive for Covid in the past 24 hours.

    https://archive.ph/AJ3a5

  31. Don Carr says:

    You say the Tories “will have no compunction about transforming the UK from a voluntary union of nations into a union based upon compulsion”.
    But isn’t that exactly what has happened ? Hasn’t Nicola Sturgeon been turned down for a section 30 by both May and Johnson ?
    So what happens when she is turned down again?

  32. Hamish100 says:

    She hasn’t been turned down because the request for a sect 30m hasn’t been submitted as far as I know. Still, We don’t need to ask for a consultative referendum- as was Brexit for us to act.

    No point in moving on this until we are assured of victory. Which currently we cannot.

    • Don Carr says:

      You’re in denial Hamish and you really shouldn’t be talking about things you don’t know and could find out with ten seconds googling. Obviously the truth doesn’t suit your narrative.
      The truth is that Nicola will once again ask Westminster , be refused and the pantomime will continue .
      You say we don’t require permission to hold a consultative referendum . Yes but that won’t be “legal” and not only will that not suit the SNP’s leadership, the unionists boycott it and Westminster will laugh at it .
      And as for waiting until we are sure to win, that’ll certainly strengthen a few pension pots and go down well with some!

    • Bob Lamont says:

      You do realise Hamish you are replying to a post on an article last commented on almost 3 weeks ago.
      “Don Carr” has not made an appearance on an old post to contribute to anything useful…
      His distant cousin Juan does much the same in Holyrood…

  33. Hamish100 says:

    Yip – you are onto to create disruption.

    Stil, what will you do to give me a referendum next week?

    Ahh , as I thought. Absolutely nothing. All Hot air and froth mixed with halitosis.

    • Don Carr says:

      What an arrogant ignorant and “malevolent” man you are Hamish .
      This is what you posted , it is ignorance …….Hamish100 says:
      January 4, 2022 at 12:25 pm
      She hasn’t been turned down because the request for a sect 30m hasn’t been submitted as far as I know.

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