Grasping the thistle

The first in the Scottish Government’s series of papers laying the groundwork for a fresh case for independence has been published. With its publication the second independence referendum campaign has now officially got underway. Today’s paper, entitled : ‘Independence in the Modern World. Wealthier, Happier, Fairer: Why Not Scotland?’ looks at an uncomfortable truth that opponents of independence are keen to gloss over, why is it that every comparable northern European country which is similar to Scotland in size does so much better than Scotland does as a part of the UK.

This is true across diverse metrics, equality, wealth, productivity and the happiness of their citizens. Yet these countries often do not possess the many advantages that Scotland does, such as Scotland’s wealth of natural resources, the skills and talents of a high educated English speaking population It seems clear from the evidence presented by this paper that the status quo is not allowing Scotland to fulfill its potential, and that the UK economic model, and Westminster decision-making, are holding the country back. The paper demonstrates, objectively and with an abundance of supporting information and examples that we are decidedly not “better together”. As the SNP Depute Leader Keith Brown pointed out : “A decade of Tory austerity coupled with a Brexit that Scotland didn’t vote for has made us poorer.”

And as the First Minister said in an interview on the BBC this morning, if the people of Scotland had known in 2014 the path that British governments were going to take in the years since the referendum she has no doubt that Scotland would have given a very different answer to the referendum question in the ballot in September that year. Indeed the failure of the Better Together parties to deliver on the promises and commitments that they made to Scotland in the 2014 campaign is by itself reason enough to revisit the question of independence. After all if the electorate cannot hold politicians to account at the ballot box for the promises they made, then democracy is dead. The people of Scotland gave their verdict on whether they wanted another independence referendum at last year’s Holyrood election, no matter how much the Better Together parties might wish to argue otherwise, the question of whether Scotland wants to revisit the independence issue has been asked and has been settled. Democracy demands another independence referendum.

Nicola Sturgeon has also addressed the question of how the referendum will be held saying that it will take place with or without a Section 30 order. Speaking to the BBC the First Minister suggested the Scottish Government would explore other avenues to hold an independence referendum outside of the route used in 2014. One way or another, Scotland will have its say. The future of this nation is for the people of Scotland to decide, not Boris Johnson.

The building a new Scotland series of documents will together form the prospectus for an independent Scotland, addressing the huge potential an independent Scotland will have and challenges that will be faced after a Yes vote. The First Minister said that future papers, which are already in development, would address issues such as international trade and currency. I do not propose in this blog piece to rehash all the arguments presented in the paper. The best thing you can do is to read the 72 page document for yourself. You can download it here in pdf format by clicking the following link : Independence in the Modern World. Wealthier, Happier, Fairer: Why Not Scotland pdf. CLICK HERE.

Of course finances and the economy are vitally important and I have not the slightest doubt that independence is key to unleashing Scotland’s immense economic potential and using it for the benefit of the people of Scotland instead of syphoning it off to give a further boost to the already wealthy city of London and South East of England. With independence Scotland can be more prosperous, fairer, and more just. However these are topics which are best addressed by people with greater financial and economic expertise than I possess and in the weeks and months ahead I will use this blog to give a platform to some of their arguments and ideas. However today as the starting pistol is fired on a reinvigorated and renewed independence campaign, what I’d like to talk about instead is a more profound and fundamental reason why independence is vital.

I touched on this at the end of yesterday’s blog piece in which I pointed out that in the eyes of the rest of the world as a part of the UK Scotland is tarred with the ugly British nationalist exceptionalist brush which is so enthusiastically wielded by the Westminster Conservatives and the Johnson regime. Independence gives Scotland the opportunity to define itself as a nation, to say to the world what it stands for and what it represents.

Today the Johnson regime is determined to press ahead with its callous cruel and immoral policy of sending asylum seekers on a one way ticket to Rwanda despite the policy being denounced by the UN as an egregious breach of international law. The British Government is also going ahead with its decision to rip up an international treaty which it itself negotiated and in the process risk a trade war with the EU just as people are struggling to cope with the worst cost of living crisis for decades. This is what the UK is now, a law breaking state governed by a liar and a law breaker where corruption, entitlement and privilege enrich a few at the expense of the many, where the rich and connected are free to ignore those rules that they find inconvenient and which feeds the masses flags, the glorification of the military and the monarchy instead of a dignified standard of living. If we remain with Westminster the future is one of continuing decline, of a hollowing out of democracy, of a further descent into a right wing British nationalist nostalgia where flags, parades and royal events substitute for the participation of citizens in power and decision making.

Scotland doesn’t have to be like this. We can be better than what Johnson and the sclerotic and corrupt Westminster system can offer. Scotland can be a beacon of respect for democracy, the rule of law and human rights. Scotland can be a nation which prioritises fairness and equality, and which is an honest and trustworthy partner to its international friends and allies. We can be a nation which is seamlessly integrated into the network of advanced European economies. Scotland can be a nation which looks to the future, a future which respects the environment and strives to build a sustainable economy so that generations to come can continue to share equally in the bounty which this rich land of ours has to offer. All we have to do is to grasp the thistle.

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64 comments on “Grasping the thistle

  1. John Stephen GambaJockG says:

    I am pleased that we seem to have something substantial about Indyref 2 at long last and hope that all independence supporters can get behind this without descending into factionalism.

    A referendum without Westminster co-operation raises a number of challenges not seen in 2014. Speaking as someone who has had with a long running interest in this matter that stretches back several decades to my days as a law student, I favour the Scottish Government’s view here. Far too much airtime is given to those who seek to answer this question based on English legal principles who fail to even recognise that Scots law is different.

    Notwithstanding the above I fully expect some legal challenge to be made by the UK Government or their Scotland in Union proxies. I think the timing of the referendum means that the Scottish Government either want to hold it before the next UK general election or, perhaps more likely, ensure that the next UK general election in Scotland is treated as a plebiscite on independence.

    C’mon Scotland. We can do this!

    • Golfnut says:

      Far too much airtime is given to those who seek to answer this question based on English legal principles who fail to even recognise that Scots law is different.

      Or to recognise that English legal principals are confined to where English legal jurisdiction is eh, legal😀

  2. Alan Howard Baxter says:

    Wow! What a piece of Penmanship. If this piece on it’s own doesn’t turn the tide then Hell Mend us all!

  3. raineach says:

    Well I’m already impressed by the quality of the SG’s publications, and so far better than the White Paper from last time round [although I still have my copy!]

  4. Hamish100 says:

    Yip, compare to the Brexit lack of information.
    The No’s won with 300000 votes last time. The demographics have changed and as Patrick Harvie mentioned since 2014 over 500000 younger voters are now eligible. Demographics are in our favour as well as the No’s, maybes and undecided who detest being dragged out of the EU and our current financial mess. All under unionist policies. Labour will find it hard to say we must vote to keep Johnson in charge over Scotland. I suspect at least 20% Labour voters will vote for Independence if not for the SNP/Green parties.
    This is why this and pro Indy blogs are important. The official news is biased.

  5. Alex Clark says:

    It’s certain that today’s press conference by Nicola Sturgeon and Patrick Harvey is bound to kick off wider debate, something I’m sure we’re all looking forward to!

    One of the most interesting parts of the speech today for me was Nicola Sturgeon’s confidence that a legal route can be found to a referendum without a Section 30 order. There will be no more requests to Boris Johnson, that ship has sailed. he was told today that if he wants to discuss a Section 30 agreement then he knows where she is. It is clear that Nicola Sturgeon will now forge ahead with passing an Independence referendum bill in Holyrood and challenging Westminster to do its worst.

    I also believe that her plan for a referendum does not rely on the Supreme Court ruling that the Scottish government does have the power to hold a legal referendum, in fact, I believe that it is better to assume the opposite and expect the Supreme Court to find in Westminster’s favour. I think such a decision would move support so much in favour of Independence that it would then be unstoppable and I also believe that there would be International outrage at the Scots being held “prisoner” in a Union they could never leave.

    “All peoples have the right of self-determination. By virtue of that right they freely determine their political status and freely pursue their economic, social and cultural development.”

    As Nicola Sturgeon is very keen of reminding everyone. The UK government’s position on this is undemocratic and unsustainable. Bring it on 🙂

    • barpe says:

      I agree with your view on this Alex, I’m convinced Nicola knows exactly the way to deal with Boris, the anti-democratic, charlatan.

  6. Hamish100 says:

    James cook and the bbc are not happy chappies.😂

    Looks like the FM tactics have worked to date. I would add that Patrick Harvies input was helpful too by giving a different perspective. This will hurt labour in particular.

    • Dr Jim says:

      Maybe the BBCs James Cook has seen yet another non existent email, the BBCs punishment to him for being caught lying for them was a years holiday in America

      Once again we see and hear the unionist cry of *there are more important things, now is not the time* and the problem with that piece of stupidity from all the cowards who use it as their propaganda tool is that what they really mean is now will never be the time for them so they pretend that they want Scotland under Nicola Sturgeon to be made perfect then they’ll vote for Independence *they’re liars* and we know it, they say she’s got the powers but isn’t using them *they’re liars* and we know it

      Every reasoned argument favours Independence over the only thing England has left, outright anti Scottish and racism, and we know it, and we’re going to see a great deal of it exhibited over the next year because it’s all the unionists have left

      Panic is due to ensue in the ranks of the Unionists because they have no case

      • grizebard says:

        Mitigation Hell has passed its sell-by date, and it’s getting ever more obvious by the day.

        Note that, Labour supporters. You want social justice? There’s only one plausible way left. And it’s not by collaborating again with the Tories, now, is it?…

  7. Hamish100 says:

    Looks like the unionist trollls are on steroids on the bbc. Had several emails from BBC claiming my comments online are not acceptable. Nothing offensive but doesn’t meet their criteria. My impression is that the trolls are automatically complaining to get pro Indy responses removed as a matter of course.
    Saddos scared of the truth. The best people to govern Scotland are the people of Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿

    • Dr Jim says:

      Yeah, apparently it’s all Nicola Sturgeons fault that the UK has made all of us worse off but she has the *power* to make Scotland not worse off using the same system that’s made the whole UK worse off, who knew the FM had more *powers* than the completely failed Tory PM, these must be very secret powers eh

  8. OldPete says:

    “The best people to govern Scotland are the people of Scotland 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿” sounds like a winning slogan to me. Well done that man 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁳󠁣󠁴󠁿👍

  9. Capella says:

    Just had a quick skim through the document “Independence in the Modern World” Paul links to above. It certainly makes the case for leaving behind the poverty and constraint of the UK. Ireland does suspiciously well 🙂

    “Wealthier, Happier, Fairer? why Not Scotland” is the subtitle. Well, why not?

    • rongorongo says:

      I’ve been looking through the report too. It is a really impressive work in that they have clearly done a lot of research on other European countries so as to trawl for good ideas and so as to set benchmarks for what Scotland could be as an independent country. Every citation matches back to a reference and everything is expressed in such a way as to be readable by a wide audience: politicians, academics, civil servants, businesses – even journalists. Then – it has been openly and widely published.

      Really – that is exactly the sort of thing a government should do when planning any major policy. It looks the Scottish government have realised that they need to up their game from 2014. But the real point of comparison is with Brexit: where everything was decided reactively, without any proper basis of research and without any insight into what what our neighbouring countries were doing.

  10. grizebard says:

    Comparison with other small European countries has long been my preferred way of convincing the yet unconvinced that an independent Scotland would be a very sound proposition indeed. It short-circuits the usual deathly dull tactics over economics that the BBC, for example, typically deploys to sow doubt and confusion. Drowning by numbers.

    This approach by ScotGov gets right to the nub of the matter in a way that is easily digestible by ordinary folk. An auspicious start!

  11. jfngw says:

    As the unionist have nothing to rebut the arguments for independence, their 2014 arguments just look ludicrous now, I suspect their tactics will to try and discredit any vote and advocate boycotting it. They believe they can’t win so they need to either stop a vote taking place or claim the result is bogus.

    We already have D.Ross stating he will boycott it if it is not approved by the English government (it is in all effect an English government as that is the only country in which they have a majority, even if you removed Scot/Welsh Tories and gave them to the opposition they would still have a majority).

    The requirement to overcome this is the number of Yes votes cast, it doesn’t matter if they boycott if we can get a substantial Yes majority. We have a comparison from 2014, anything over 1.8 million is a reversal of this result. The task will be to get the Yes voters out, we will be fighting the MSM telling them there is no point voting as it will not be respected.

    • grizebard says:

      But, but, but… Glenn Campbell BBC keeps insisting that Boris just has to say “no”. So why is DRoss suddenly getting in all of a lather, and claiming he’ll abstain from a legal referendum that ain’t gonna happen? Something doesn’t add up here, folks. Oops!

      We all know, even DRoss, how easy it isn’t to ignore an {ahem} “consultative” referendum, least of all the result. Like the EURef, remember?

      Having a legal referendum is crucial here, as Nicola knows. Any abstention is then a “don’t care”, not a vote against. There’s a lot of desperate bluff going around right now, but the Unionists daren’t (and won’t) ignore this one, however much they might wish it just went away.

      Methinks they protesteth too much…

      • Dr Jim says:

        The people we need to recognise this referendum and its result aren’t in the the rest of the UK they’re in Scotland the EU and the UN, if all of that is achieved England can go Google how much we care about what they think

        Imagine the cheek and low life commentary from them by introducing the war in Ukraine as a justification for their opposition to Scotlands freedom to choose, Unionists just have no sense of shame in the things they say, millions have died in wars for the freedoms Scotland advocates while England is denying those freedoms and even deporting people to another country those that they call illegals

  12. Angus MacKay says:

    “the First Minister suggested the Scottish Government would explore other avenues to hold an independence referendum outside of the route used in 2014”

    Would explore? They haven’t done it yet? This could have been done *years* ago. It’s only a little over 6 months until referendum year, aren’t they moving a bit slowly to get it done in 2023?

    • Dr Jim says:

      Oh I’d put my house on the line that they’ve covered every back door on this and collected every ally around the many countries the FM has visited in the past few years and now following Englands Brexit insanity many of the leaders of those countries are perfectly free to speak on Scotlands behalf on this issue, and very soon I expect them to be arriving in Scotland to do just that

      There are those who claim they support Independence yet demand the FM answer to them, I believe she’ll answer to no one except the timetable and plan she has formulated for this

      Tonight the European court kept a British plane bound to deport people on the ground, I believe none of this is coincidental

  13. Alex Clark says:

    Douglas Ross now following the lead of the right wing media and claiming that Nicola Sturgeon is planning to hold an illegal referendum. He says he expects NO would win it but will have nothing to do with it.

    The Tories will boycott another referendum, no real surprise that he would say that since he has no positive case for the Union and his only option is not to play then.

    • Hamish100 says:

      If the tories boycott a Democratic election they will be defeated. We just need to make sure we do vote. Of course like labour long time ago those who didn’t vote or had died before casting their vote were all unionists. Undermining a Democratic process is a dangerous game.

    • Capella says:

      DRoss is going to have to ignore the referendum until autumn 2023. Good. I trust the media will stop asking him about it.

    • Dr Jim says:

      He’s such an idiot, he’s actually admitting there will be a referendum but won’t take part because even though he says he’d win it he doesn’t want to put people *through it?* oh the pain the pain

      DRossy in wonderland disappears down all the rabbit holes again, oh well he’ll probably change his mind tomorrow and decide he will take part, then again maybe he won’t, such a conundrum is the wee DRossy

  14. dakk says:

    Excellent Paul.

    Excellent from Nicola today.

    The shameful unwillingness of the british to recognise the democratic wish of Scotland’s people will not help their campaign when the time comes.

    How to win hearts and minds will be key.

  15. Hamish100 says:

    My better half likes a wee gin and tonic. Happy to buy local but it won’t include the distillery from Linlithgow whose owner believes Scots who wish Independence stand in their kilts shouting from the top of the hill.
    He’s a businessman after all and is superior in intellect and all things. If it bleats like a Tory, acts like a Tory……. Apparently voted Yes in 2014.
    This proud Scot as he described himself to James cook esq of the bbc just looked pathetic with his wee Scottish cringe.
    He did brituk proud.

    • Dr Jim says:

      He must have totally forgotten folk know who he is and they do tend to tell other folk who tell other folk and so on until somebody blabs him up as the wee Tory boy he’s always been, and now he’s a lying wee Tory just as everybody knows he is and expects him to be

      BBCs James Cook probably got an email from him, the FM has seen it and showed it to me, oh yes I’ve seen the email James Cook

    • Stephen McKenzie says:

      You have to wonder did he “actually” vote “Yes” in 2014. I do have my doubts as this looked a standard BBC Scotland set up.

      But hey, James Cook did his “I am available for better things CV” no harm. Next stop to get the dust sheets off Gordon Brown and 240 volts to get his jaws moving.

  16. Dr Jim says:

    Nicola Sturgeon has expressed her gratitude and respect to those who worked tirelessly to ground Englands deportation transport

    Nothing’s a coincidence

  17. jfngw says:

    It’s quite a simple equation, the parties with their HQ in Scotland want Scotland to have a choice, those with their HQ in London don’t. Which parties have the best interest of Scotland as their reason to exist and which have theirs as a stepping stone to greater things in another country with the prospect of patronage, ermine and riches. Just look at all the poor quality unionist peers from Scotland queueing up for their daily allowance and cheap booze at Westminster.

    We’ve seen how corrupt Westminster is, the Tories have opened the door to let us see, they are now just so arrogant they no longer care. Those unionists party members want their noses in the trough for personal gain, what other possible reason could they have.

  18. Alex Clark says:

    Unsurprisingly, it turns out Boris Johnson is a coward, full of hot air and with no bottle for a fight.

    Boris Johnson has told his Cabinet ministers to “de-escalate” the war of words with Brussels over the Northern Ireland Protocol to avoid a trade war, The Telegraph understands.

    His new white paper on the NI protocol is going nowhere and won’t get out of the starting blocks.

  19. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    We are now in the “And so it begins” territory….with the usual suspects…spewing out the same old same old….as if , they expect people in Scotland to think that currently Scotland and it’s citizens are enjoying as near to Nirvana being a part of their UK as is NOW…..where it is all going so very very swimmingly well is it NOT…..

    We are all about to enjoy the Union BINGO word(s) game played by Unionists every time they hear the word ‘Independence’ uttered with words like “Divisive”, “UK Internal market”, “Border”, “What Currency”, “You won’t get into the EU with Scotland’s deficit”…actually I am exhausted just trying to list / think of EVERYTHING…..I just can’t……so boring……BIG YAWN.

    CUE the Fanclub for the Union doing THEIR bit for the Union …..GB News , Jeremy Vine show, Talk TV, GB Radio, Talk Radio, Times radio, BBC news, BBC Debate night, BBC Question Time, BBC Scotland (INO) radio, BBC Reporting Scotland (INO), Scotland (INO) Tonight, BBC Main news, STV News, ITV main News, Channel Four News, Daily Express both English and Scottish (INO) editions, Daily record, Sunday Mail, Daily Mail both English and Scottish (INO) editions, The Mail on Sunday both English and Scottish (INO) editions, The Times both English and Scottish (INO) editions, SKY News, The Telegraph aka Torygraph, The Scum both English and Scottish (INO) editions, The Guardian, The Herald, The Sunday Herald, The Scotsman (Oxymoron), Scotland (INO) on Sunday, The Edinburgh Evening News, The People, The Sunday People, The Mirror both English and Scottish (INO) editions, The Sunday Mirror both English and Scottish (INO) editions, The Financial Times, The Spectator, The New Statesman, The Independent (ironic), The Independent (ironic) on Sunday, The Daily Star, The Evening Standard, The Evening Times, Channel Four Andrew Neil show, The Metro, The Press & Journal, The Courier, Loose Women (most probably), BBC Radio 4, Have I got News For You ( oh yes a few WEE jokes will be cracked at oor expense), Five Live news programme, BBC Politics Live, Peston, BBC Scotland Disclosure, supposed political pundits, political and naebody’s newspaper columnists, various Think Tanks, Ex primes Ministers, EX MP’s, EX MSP’s , Scotland in Union, These Islands, George Hat Galloway, John Barrowman, Matt Forde, Al Murray, JK Rowling, The Ghost of Xmas past, the Ghost of Xmas Future, Kermit the Frog (via Boris Johnson), Prince William, Winston Churchill lookalike , Gove’s Union Unit, Gordon Brown’s Think Tank, Ruth the TANK commander, Tory MP’s, Labour MP’s, Lib Dem MP’s , Tory Lords, Ladies and Dames, Labour Lords, Ladies and Dames, Lib Dem Lords, Ladies and dames, Nigel Farage, Laurence Fox, Martin Daubney, GMB News, GMB Trade Union, Frances Barber (Ha Ha I’m feart)…….with THAT list supportive of the Union I would say they themselves seem to be the ones mair obsessive than us…….oh but Unionists here say media too saft on the SNP……yes I know…I cannot start laughing as I may suffocate with being unable to STOP laughing at that…….

    One wonders also what ‘celebrities’ will come out to play this time…..” Don’t leave us Scotland also known as Sweaty Jocks”….BTW how many celebrities that came out in 2014 to try and persuade us to stay came out again post 2016 EU Ref to say to us ” Sorry “………just after EU Vote and since Boris Johnson became PM too….Hmm.

    Buckle up …….be prepared to have a mixture of platitudes, threats, Fear, condescension, LOVE, insults, Irony, hypocrisy, double standards, scorn, derision, Scot-A-Phobia, Lies, empty promises, Devo Max, Federalism, anger, ignorance, aggression, manipulation, vindictiveness, disrespect, rudeness, intolerance, disregard, pessimism, hostility, psychotic rants, scorn, denial, and the word ‘DIVISIVE’ used EVERY SINGLE TIME in the context of another independence Referendum oh and also added ” No one wants it”….. and many other weapons they can muster to ‘sway’ the vote their way….for their benefit……of their Union.

    I just cannot ….wait……..I mean with the above ARMIES rallying for the (non) Union they should be at least between 80-90% in ALL opinion polls FOR the (non) Union…..surely…..yet they are NOT…..Hmm funny is it not with such a LARGE arsenal of opposition to independence YET no LARGE MAJORITY percentage of people in Scotland questioned via various opinion polls at various times in ALL of the opinions polls that actually AGREE with them, these vast armies of the (non) Union, in EVERYTHING that they say and do FOR their (non) Union……..Hmm

    Bring it on……as our arguments for independence are now clearly far more effective weapons ……what with ALL things considered currently in THEIR (non) UNION and disunited and dysfunction UKnotOK (at all).

    • dakk says:

      The responses today from Sarwar and Ross show them for the creatures of the Union they are. Relentlessly defending the indefensible they must be feeling the screw tightening on themm

  20. yesindyref2 says:

    In much the same way as some people say Britain or UK when they mean England, or vice versa, I’m not entirely sure that there isn’t some constitutional confusion at times about the terminology. And of course that is very important in Law, though also so is the intent behind the Law if the two appear to be different – if you can discern the actual intent from the terminology. I find this confusing for instance:

    I – That the Two Kingdoms of Scotland and England shall upon the first day of May next ensuing the date hereof and forever after be United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain And that the Ensigns Armorial of the said United Kingdom be such ..

    That’s “Two Kingdoms”. And then

    II – That the Succession to the Monarchy …

    which explains I – it’s all about the Monarchy so far, no more Queens of Scots to murder as there can’t then be one. And the so-called Union of Crowns was just James preferring the high life of London to the hills and glens, it wasn”t scriven into Law. But then:

    III – That the United Kingdom of Great Britain be Represented by one and the same Parliament to be stiled the Parliament of Great Britain

    That’s where you get the Parliament bit as opposed to the Monarchy. But then in the Scotland Act:

    1The following aspects of the constitution are reserved matters, that is—

    (a) the Crown, including succession to the Crown and a regency,

    (b) the Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England,

    so that’s II and I from the Union Act – about Monarchy, and then you get:

    “(c) the Parliament of the United Kingdom”

    which doesn’t quite match III which is Great Britian not United Kingdom. None of this would really matter perhaps, apart from this flyaway comment from Carloway who “wrote that had a real bill come to court [sessions] the question would have been whether an Act to hold a referendum on Scottish independence ‘relates to the Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England’, before caustically concluding that ‘viewed in this way, it may not be too difficult to arrive at a conclusion’” (according to Ciaran Martin)

    But a referendum wouldn’t relate to I as there’s no intention to put a King or Queen of Scots on the throne, or remove a British one from it, so it doesn’t relate to the “Union of the Kingdoms of Scotland and England” as defined in I and contexted by II, with III being clearly separately described for the parliaments.

    I hope that muddies the waters enough for any Unionist spies. I have inside knowledge you know, as I need a cup of tea before going back to my pit, and what that means is <em

    • yesindyref2 says:

      Oh – yesterday Martin retweeted a link to his article

      Lots of things I don’t agree with in that article by the way, including this:

      the British government

      There ain’t any such legal entity, as in this confused page:

      Britain isn’t a member of the UN or NATO, World Bank, IMF, ECHR, or any other organisation, but the UK is. Even on ISO / tinterweb, though the UK reserved gb as in .gb and uk as in .uk, .gb is not used. Try putting in and see where it gets you. The ccTLD .gb isn’t recognised.

      Confused? You will be, you will be …

      • Golfnut says:

        The whole diatribe collapsed at the ‘Westminster could decline to repeal the Act of Union’
        I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at this level of stupidity.
        This is what passes for ‘ informed political and constitutional ‘ commentary.

        • James says:

          He’s actually correct.

          Ultimately, Westminster can decline to repeal the Act of Union and refuse to recognise an independent Scotland. Some of these actions might – might – increase political support for independence. But no court could or would do anything to stop them.

          No court can tell the UK Parliament to repeal an Act once it is on the statute books, only Parliament can do that. Equally no court or the UK government can stop Scotland from becoming a Sovereign State. Any group of people as long as they meet some basic requirements (a defined border, a permanent population and a Government) can declare themselves a sovereign state.

          Long and short of it nothing legally stops Scotland from becoming a Sovereign State at any time of its choosing, equally, nothing legally forces the UK government to facilitate the process (such as dissolving the Act of the Union) or recognise an Independent Scotland.

          • Golfnut says:

            Exactly, it’s irrelevant to Scotland whether or not westminster repeals the ‘ English Act of Union ‘ Scotland is not a colony, we don’t need an English Act to make us an Independent state. If the article was a gun, it would be firing blanks.

      • welshsion says:

        And don’t forget as of December 1993, Wales is no longer in union with England – Schedule 2 of the Welsh Language Act 1993,as enacted by Westminster, repeals the two ‘Acts of Union’ of 1535 and 1542 (officially, ‘the Laws in Wales Acts’) between England and Wales.,

      • James says:

        Splitting hairs a touch 😉 There is no American Government, America is not a member of NATO or UN etc, the United States is, however it is excepted that if you write ‘American Government’ you are referring to the United States Government, in the same way, that if you write British government you are referring to the UK Government.

        • yesindyref2 says:

          Splitting hairs in normal conversation, but not in Law.

          Remember how the UKSC had a discussion about the word “normally” in the Scotland Act for the Sewell Convention?

          This was an article about the Constitution, and I’d think terminology was actually important to get right.

  21. Bob Lamont says:

    Well expounded indeed Paul, thanks for the link, will catch up on the actual document later today.

    After some technical glitches on the stream at launch, finally caught up with the full press conference, and what a delight Patrick Harvie and Nicola Sturgeon were – On the same page, confident and assured, articulate, patient, the contrast to Johnson’s mafia could not have been more glaring, and that matters a great deal.

    Despite my constant irritation over what passes for journalism these days on anything Scotland, from Glenn Campbell’s opening barb to Sky’s “everything’s going to hell in Scotland” it was all handled with aplomb, but what stood out most from the questioning by journalists was the muted hostility and profound and wilful ignorance of some.

    As Pacific Quay, Herald, Scotsman, Sarwar and DRoss have discovered to their cost, singing from the same hymn sheet SHOULD change minds, but the recipient only has to recognise the lie once and it’s game over for anything thereafter
    – What gave the BT consortium advantage in 2014 is gone, in the interim myths have been busted, promises exposed as a sham, and the UK headed down the U-bend.
    It is not the pro-Indy side at disadvantage on this evolution…

  22. Bob Lamont says:

    I had not the slightest doubt HMS James Cook would frame a report on yesterday’s press conference negatively with their habitual “Analysis by Glenn Campbell”, but to have two bites at it with another “Analysis by James Cook” is downright greedy.
    For any who enjoy deconstructing propaganda, be my guest
    Naturally for articles they wish to promote, Comments opened so the “Nicola ate my hamster brigade” could descend – 7097 comments in just 14 hours, presumably Indy supporters had begun to arrive and comment, so they ceased comments 10 hours before their usual 24… 🙄

    Two memorable distortions from “Analysis by…” –
    James Cook – “Today the SNP leader did not or COULD NOT detail the alternative path she intends to follow if Mr Johnson persists in his refusal” – My emphasis
    Glenn Campbell – “What THEY DO NOT HAVE is the explicit power to hold a vote” – Again my emphasis.

    Very much a case of the Bluenose Brothers “putting the band back together”…

  23. Dr Jim says:

    So this morning the DUP Tories in Scotland led by Douglas Ross sent out Tory MSP Craig Hoy who came third in his election result to the SNP, and he was parroting the same line that his party the DUP democracy denying Tories in Scotland know what the people of Scotland want even though they lost the election, and in this election there was the Green party who the DUP Tories seem to completely dismiss as irrelevant even though they had Independence within their manifesto

    The DUP Tories of Scotland have conveniently forgotten that in Westminster the Liberal Democrats were in coalition with the Tories in order so they could get their legislation through even though the Liberal Democrats did not have any Tory policies within their election manifesto, and still they governed Scotland with no argument from the opposition as to the legality of that because them’s the rules

    I name the Tories in Scotland the DUP for very good reason, they have acted and behaved in exactly the same way as their Northern Irish counterparts in that country, they lost the election then immediately refused to follow the rules of democracy and assist the formation of a government to carry out the wishes of the electorate solely because they lost and the people of Northern Ireland be damned

    DUP Tories democracy deniers and dictators or fascists if you prefer

  24. It’s not even his bat or his ball, for that matter.
    If The Linesman doesn’t want to play, the game will proceed without him running the line in his dinky wee shorts, waving a flag and screaming ‘Red card, red card, red card.
    Is he really that deluded? Is he lost touch with reality/
    Is he merely an intellectually challenged Brit mouthpiece?
    Douglas Ross is Scotland’s Jeffrey Donaldson.
    Like the DUP leader, Orangeman, ex UDF corporal, who lived through two of his cousins being murdered by the IRA during what is laughingly referred to as ‘The Troubles’, who should realise what ‘boycotting’ Stormont might do to the fragile peace in the North of Ireland, Dross is ‘no playin’ ‘, and urges us all to boycott ‘Nicola Sturgeon’s’ wildcat and illegal Referendum.

    Ross declares that he is not prepared to put Scotland through another divisive referendum, which his band of colonialists would win, so there.
    Democracy doesn’t count as far as the DUP, and Dross are concerned.
    Fold your arms, close your eyes tightly, and stamp on the ground outside the Scottish Parliament and it will all go away.

    Inside his head this poor man must actually believe that Scotland is not a sovereign country, that the Holyrood Government has no authority or power or mandate to go to the people and ask the Independence question again, given what’s happened over the past 8 years.

    Implicit in his ramblings in front of BBC cameras is that Scotland does not exist, other than as a conquered ‘territory ‘of England. The corollary being that the Scottish Parliament is an illusion, yet another con foisted upon us by Ross’ Imperial Masters, England,.
    So it’s all palyacting when he attends Holyrood? He has secret powers bestowed upon him by the English to declare Holyrood null and void. He has the power to tell the people of Scotland what he will aloow or forbid?

    Like the school bully, implicit in his bombast is the notion that he has the backing of Mighty England, and its Iron Heel bellicose Oligarchy.
    He is de facto, ‘English’, doing his utmost to bully Scotland into colonial submission on behalf of his Paymasters.
    Some would call him a traitor, a quisling, a Fifth Colonists. Some would, but not I.
    He is a wee man who is clearly not up to the job, that job being running Scotland into the ground, crushing Scotland, subjugating its 5.4 million citizens for his boss Boris Johnson. Oh, wait, he’s ‘boycotting’ The Fat owl of teh remove too.
    Every time he rants is that petted simpering voice of his, he adds to the YES vote.

    Like James Cook, whose question, to Sturgeon at yesterday’s excellent launch of Indyref2, was a despairing reference to the ‘300 years Union’, in which we have apparently been ’embedded’, Ross was brainwashed from birth, to be an obedient serf, a lesser being than English born, but still, ‘British’, so that’s something at least.

    Cook, et alia, are ’embedded’ Brits, whose lives have been shaped and their success on the Establishment Media merry-go-round, of the reality of any notion that Truth actually matters.
    assured, by talking Scotland down, and lying and threatening us Scots, regardless
    Macwhirter has gone with the ‘hard border’ nonsense; Last night the Newsnight anchor compared Scotland to Catalonia wth a derisory smirk, and sneered about ‘sunlit glens’ when mentioning today’s launch.
    Macwhirter fails to mention that we shall reopen 27 hard borders next year when we vote YES,
    It’s England which will be enveloped in a fascist Iron Curtain.

    They are frantic, sad, defeated old men and women.
    The new ‘generation’ of 500,000 young Scots who will vote next September don’t even buy a ea tree scroll, or watch BBC Jockland….
    My trees are looking trim and fit again…as is Scotland.

  25. Check out my typos..not ragin’, laughing t them.
    I have coined ‘Fifth ‘Colonists’..a corruption of ‘Fifth Columnists’. Feel free to adopt.
    Ross is a Colonial Field Boss lashing his non existent whip across our aching backs for the Massah.

  26. yesindyref2 says:

    From the Nationa about Rwanda flightl:

    The Bar Council and Law Society of England and Wales issued a joint statement condemning the “misleading and dangerous” comments from the Prime Minister.

    So did Dunlop, Dean of the Faculty of Advocates – Scotland.

  27. Dr Jim says:

    We know that Scotland is a colony owned by England but the so called UK just won’t admit that because it would annoy those who think Scotland is an integral part of this mythical UK

    England at present seeks to deny Scotland an agreement to respect and implement the result of the forthcoming referendum that’s coming whether they agree or not, and the risk to the government in England is if they do not agree to the democratic demands of Scotlands elected winning government as to their manifesto promise to the electorate then the government in England is admitting that Scotland is indeed a colony owned by them, and that puts them in the precarious position of being forced to admit publicly to the world that the United Kingdom is in fact not the United Kingdom they claim to represent globally and is a Colonial dictator regime, the result of which would also be declaring that Wales and Northern Ireland are also colonies of England on that same measure, perhaps a court case against Independence for Scotland for Johnson and his cabal is not the good idea that the opponents of Independence think it is and could well turn out to be a lose lose even if he won the thing

    Boris Johnson and his fascist cabal in England must surely know this and perhaps that is why even at this moment he cannot bring himself to officially and publicly refuse this agreement between England and Scotland, Johnson merely keeps repeating a dogmatic denial of the existence of fact in the hope voters will believe this and the media will promote his dogma as official UK government refusal of what the media love to call UK government permission or approval without him having to actually do it

    I have no doubt whatsoever that FM Nicola Sturgeon will not officially request the section 30 transfer of competence as previously required for the 2014 referendum until she is secure in the knowledge that the entire world is paying close attention to what’s happening in Scotland and until the campaign for democracy becomes so high pitched and noisy attracting much interest from all countries who endorse the rule of law and democracy

    Angus Robertson may have made a slip this morning on radio Scotland when it sounded like he inadvertently mentioned the referendum is scheduled for next October, moments later he said it would be next year, whether by accident or design, if I heard it so did others so we shall see, but if correct this kinda knocks on the head the constant barrage from the moaning faced brigade of the *Sturgeons lying we demand tae know the date* *real* Independence supporters

    • Alex Clark says:

      According to the Scotsman, Angus Robertson did say the referendum was to be next October.

      “The First Minister made clear yesterday that she intends to make an announcement to the Scottish Parliament in the forthcoming weeks about a route map towards a referendum which we intend to hold next October.”

      It might have been a slip or it might have been accidentally on purpose, whatever, it’s sure to wind the usual suspects right up lol

  28. yesindyref2 says:

    From a wet blanket article in the National:

    THE first paper from the Scottish Government in a series …

    … it probably raised more questions from than delivered answers to the journalists at the press conference. It does nothing to answer or advance arguments around currency, borders or pensions or any of the other topic …

    The clue is in, firstly, “THE first paper”, and secondly “in a series”. HTH.

  29. Not-My-Real-Name says:

    Isabel Oakeshott tweet :

    “Never thought I’d say this, but perhaps Scotland should just go its own way. The SNP will never stop stoking that simmering resentment over Westminster’s retained powers. Tragic, but there’s only so much moaning any of us wants to hear:)”

    See she is one of the ‘usual suspects’ …..displaying rudeness, intolerance, ignorance and disrespect….as my above comment last night on here stated they always fall into ….or rather go down the road…of dismissing us with derogatory comments ……she sights that it is “Tragic” yes it is tragic that she yet again, as a usual suspect, takes such a superior and negative position …but NOT unexpected and NOT a solitary opinion….Oakeshott is a GB News presenter, guest on new channel Talk TV, frequent guest on BBC QT , frequent guest on SKY News review of newspapers (English editions obvs)……tis a pattern she adopts as one of a ARMY of Unionists obsessive about their (non) Union given a platform via MSM and alternative NEW media…….

    Hardly a objective or unbiased perspective from her so who in her tweet is she reaching out to….certainly NOT Scots …….she is feeding those who she needs to feed in order to maintain a position of ‘us’ and ‘them’……strange she should state ‘moaning’ in her tweet when her tweet itself is one that is clearly classified as her ‘moaning’ yet again……after all she does work for a TV channel, GB News, whose whole output is a daily #Moanfest via shock Jocks and ex MSM presenters who came out of the closet to reveal their TRUE positions in the Battle for Britain…..ruled via right wing Brexiteers…..obvs

    • Dr Jim says:

      Absolutely right, Isabel Oakeshott typifies the petulant annoyance displayed by the superior exceptionalist attitude that other people dare desire the same rights as them, especially those they believe are lesser than they, which in the case of the English superiority complex is everyone who’s not them

      Their tone is racist classist and narcissistic

  30. Hamish100 says:

    Isn’t she the person that wrote that story over Cameron and a piece of pork? High literary standards I do not believe!

    • Not-My-Real-Name says:

      Aye Hamish… a fake story…her limit and remit….. also In 2019, she wrote a series of articles for The Mail on Sunday based on leaked diplomatic memos written by the British Ambassador to the United States Sir Kim Darroch, where he criticised the Trump administration. The leak led to his resignation….but NOWT happened to HER (powerful friends and allies)….quelle suprise

  31. The language of the Master Race.
    It’s the SNP which is ‘stoking up resentment’, rabble rousing, firing up the Great Unwashed uneducated Lumpen Proletariat, into falsely ‘resenting’ WM. That’s the problem according to Ms Oakenshott, the blonde right wing Brexit mad hack who has an opinion on everything, but expertise on nothing; rather like the hacks who populate Radio Jockland.
    She’s fed up of our moaning?
    Her language implies that in her eyes we are as petulant children, whose strategy is t omoan and howl until Oakenshott. our blonde English mother, finally snaps and ‘lets us go’.
    She, like Farage, is a darling of BBC politics shows…GB news has a semi permanent slot on QT now.
    England is the tribe that lost its head.
    I pity moderates down there.

  32. Dr Jim says:

    Well aren’t we all surprised to hear the Prime Minister declare time and time again at PMQs how well the whole of the UK is doing, how the economy is booming, how *the country* is going from strength to strength, the odd thing though is that his MPs and MSPs are touring the TV studios telling Scotland the exact opposite and how the economy is dire and global and really really bad, so bad in fact that the nasty SNP can’t possibly contemplate such divisive obsessive frivolity in this time of economic crisis as to hold a referendum on an Independence referendum that according to them nobody wants but the Tories would win anyway even if they *allowed* Scotland to have such a thing

    Once again at PMQs the Prime Minister could not commit himself to officially denying Scotland the co operative agreement that would honour the result of the referendum, why not? because he can’t, he’s pinning his hopes on the media quashing this Scottish rebellion for him, because if he officially denies the democratically elected will of the Scottish parliament he becomes an official English dictator in the eyes of not just the world but Wales and Northern Ireland also and declaring each of our countries English colonies

    The game’s up England, you’ve been checked and about to be mated

    • yesindyref2 says:

      The PM also uses a “Downing Street spokesperson said”, because that gives him deniability. And yes, the media lap it up like lapdogs.

    • barpe says:

      Please, Dr Jim, not ‘MATED’ – surely he has already sired too many!!

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